Thursday, January 27, 2022
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Johngy's Beat Contributor Joey Roth and I interviewed the legendary Tom Richmond of Mad Magazine at C2E2. That interview can be found at On the Beat With Tom Richmond at C2E2 2021.
After the interview, Tom was kind enough to send a shout out to Johngy's Beat. We appreciate it greatly and return the favor by encouraging all to check out TomRichmond.com to see all of the cool work Tom does.
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
On Saturday, I trekked to Cedarburg, WI for Great Lakes Championship Wrestling's Golden Days, featuring Terri Runnels. I wrote more about the whole night for Global Women's Sports Radio at Golden Days Was Solid Gold.
One of the highlights for me was an interview I got with Linda Kay, who was the unexpected star of last month's Blizzard Brawl at GLCW. That interview can be found at On the Beat With Linda Kay. Unfortunately, my usual video camera wonked out on me and my backup was not great for audio.
I talked to Linda about her stealing the show at last month's Blizzard Brawl. Ever-humble, Linda said she just had fun. I asked about her future in the ring and she did not rule out more in-ring action. Whether it is wishful thinking or not, to me that means we will eventually see Linda wrestling again. At least I hope so.
On Saturday, Linda was the ring announcer and she did her usual fantastic job pumping up the crowd. At Blizzard Brawl, though, Linda was supposed to be the guest ref in a women's tag match. That plan quickly went away, as Linda ripped off her ref shirt and made it a six-women tag match. Even at that point, I figured Linda would wrestle a bit, and probably get the pin, but only after her tag mates beat the opponents into submission.
I was almost completely wrong. Linda did get the pin, but she earned it. Linda didn't just make a cameo wrestling appearance. She stole the show in the ring. She had moves and holds. She gave a beating and took a bit of a beating, too. In the end, she got the pin on her own as the crowd erupted.
Linda did far more than I expected and she did it extremely well. I am not exaggerating thinking she stole the show. No offense to the other fine wrestlers on the card. They did great, but we expect that from them.
Monday, January 24, 2022
Sunday, January 23, 2022
Celebrity Jersey Cards is a weekly series featuring celebrities wearing sports jerseys. Today I salute teams ousted from the playoffs last week.
Born in New York, Billy Crystal rose to fame on tv's Soap and Saturday Night Live. He went on to an excellent movie career, including City Slickers, one of my favorites. I don't know the circumstances of him wearing the Dallas Cowboys jersey, but I know he earned a Celebrity Jersey Card for it. The #9 was most notably worn by Tony Romo.
Saturday, January 22, 2022
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Erika Piancastelli, softball star of the Italian National Team and Athletes Unlimited. Erika is part of RISR, a venture which is about to launch in early March. Erika was kind enough to take time from her busy schedule to discuss all of that with me.
Born in Modena, Italy, Erika's family moved to California when she was five. Softball is in her blood, as her mother Loredana Auletta competed for Italy in the 2000 Olympics.
Erika starred at McNeese State University, where she racked up many awards and accolades. She was the Southland Conference Player of the Year four times. She finished her career there with a .401 batting average, with 75 HRs, 212 RBIs, 70 steals, and an .868 slugging percentage.
In 2020, Erika played in the inaugural season of Athletes Unlimited Softball. Last year, she played for Team Italy in the Tokyo Olympics, followed by her second season with AU Softball. In our interview, she also confirmed she will return for AU Seasons Three and Four!
Our interview started with Erika talking about playing in the Olympics, I know she has been asked about that experience many times, but I don't often get to talk to an Olympian and I had to hear it directly.
I then asked her for her thoughts on the unique scoring system and play of AU Softball. As GWSR readers know, AU utilizes a scoring system where points are awarded for team and individual statistics. Teams are redrafted every week. At the end of the season, one champion is crowned. Erika had nothing but praise for the league, system and players. Obviously, if she is signed for two more seasons, she must enjoy it, but it says a lot to have a softball lifer embrace and endorse groundbreaking setup of AU.
Last and most timely right now, Erika talked about RISR. Launching in early March, RISR is an app connecting the viewer with athletes through training content specifically tailored to meet all levels of players. The four instructors are Erika, Amanda Chidester, Haylie McCleney and Janie Reed. That's an elite quartet, made of four Olympians.
RISR focuses on hitting and mental training. The content is designated for specific ages and levels of players. RISR has individual lessons and specific goal-oriented training programs. RISR will fit perfectly with a player's coach and private instructor.
Next Tuesday, January 25, the RISR Team of Erika, Amanda, Haylie and Janie will present an exclusive Live Mental Training Panel. Subscribe to RISR for access to this unique Zoom opportunity.
Our interview can be found at On the Beat With Erika Piancastelli. I plan on doing more updates with the elite athletes of RISR. Until then, go to RISRapp.com to learn all about this upcoming app.
Friday, January 21, 2022
Terri Runnels has had a fascinating career in wrestling. She started in World Championship Wrestling as Alexandra York, leader of the York Foundation, a group of wrestlers who used high tech computer info to defeat opponents. She moved to the WWE as Marlena, valet to then-husband Goldust. The cigar-smoking Marlena added a new layer to the intriguing Goldust character. Eventually, Terri assumed her true identity and became a manager for others. The little she-devil even won the Hardcore title once.
Terri has kept a bit of a low profile since leaving wrestling, although she does make appearances at various conventions and events. At the Motor City Comic Con many years ago, Terry started calling me "Jay Leno," a name I heard fairly often those days. This brought frustration to The Honkytonk Man, who was also there and thought he was the first to make that connection. Since then, I have seen Terri many times. She has been kind enough to give me a few interviews, a promo and even wore my shirt.
I will see Terri again Saturday at Great Lakes Championship Wrestling's Golden Days in Cedarburg, WI. It will be a great night of wrestling action, featuring Terri in a pre-show meet-and-greet. Will Terri get involved in any of the wrestling action? Will Terri attempt to mix it up with Linda Kay, the unexpected star of last month's Blizzard Brawl? I don't know, but I will find out while I am "On the Beat" there. I will report back here on all the action.
Go to GLCWWrestling.com for more info on Golden Days and other GLCW events. Check back here for my recurring coverage of GLCW.
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
I have seen artist Enerjax at comic cons, but I never had the opportunity to talk to her at length due to the usual chaos of those events. We chatted a bit at C2E2 2021 and I told her I wanted to interview her. Yesterday, I finally had the chance to interview her about her career and art. Our interview can be found at On the Beat With Enerjax.
Enerjax was born in Indiana, but currently resides in the Chicago area. She studied animation and Japanese in college. After college, she actually taught English in Japan. She draws her favorite characters, as well as creating her own.
At comic cons, with literally hundreds of artists displaying their work, it is not easy to stand out. Enerjax and her beautiful art stand out. This is why I wanted to interview her and fortunately she graciously agreed to give me some time via Zoom.
Enerjax talked about how she got started, making a career of art, her style, her favorite characters, and much more. It was such a fun introductory interview. Enerjax has a lot of positive energy (hence her name) and made it very easy. It was just like having a conversation with her.