Monday, May 21, 2018

AS I SEE IT 5/21: Thoughts on a documentary you need to watch this weekend

AS I SEE IT
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
PWBTS.com


Combat sports and wrestling announcer Mauro Ranallo, and his lifelong battle with mental illness are the subject of a new Showtime Sports documentary titled "Bipolar Rock N' Roller". The title comes from the name Ranallo gave himself as a wrestling announcer and DJ back in the early 1990's. The documentary will premiere on Showtime during Mental Health Awareness Month this Friday at 9:00 pm ET/PT. 

Some of the footage you will see in the documentary is raw, visceral, and disturbing. It comes from Ranallo giving his best friend, Haris Usanovic, permission to film him at his lowest and highest points, during some episodes of the illness that are physically and emotionally hard to watch. But they are necessary to watch to understand the depths of the illness Ranallo has, how remarkable what Mauro Ranallo has accomplished is, and the true nature of the battle he faces daily. Friday's documentary also features interviews with friends and family members to further tell the story. 

Ranallo has said about this documentary: "The idea is simply to show others who suffer that they are not alone and that, even when the outlook is bleak, you can overcome and achieve success. Mental illness is a life sentence—there is no cure— but it doesn't have to be a death sentence." 

The battle Ranallo faces is not unique....far from it. 

Here are some numbers from the National Institute on Mental Illness: 

1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%— experiences mental illness in a given year.

1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.

2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.

6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
 

Unlike what some would prefer, what this documentary features can't be entirely divorced from the JBL-Vince McMahon-Mauro Ranallo situation of last year. It isn't entirely, as footage from WrestleMania 34 weekend in New Orleans is a part of the documentary. 

It's obvious that neither John Layfield or Vince McMahon caused Mauro Ranallo's illness. No one suggests that. As Ranallo has made clear, his illness pre-dates any of that by many years. But the thought that John Layfield, Vince McMahon and others involved (despite what any statement in a legal settlement says notwithstanding) in Ranallo's well- reported upon workplace bullying all played a major part in causing Ranallo's most recent breakdown. What took place caused pain for someone they KNEW was going through what he has to every day, and makes me feel there is a special place in the lowest level of Hell for anyone who was involved in it. 

People have committed suicide for far... far less. If WWE thinks they've had problems with the Saudi Arabia deal... what could have resulted had Mauro Ranallo not had the support system he did... might have been much, much worse. 

In a recent interview promoting the documentary for MMAJunkie.com, Ranallo said the following: 

“How many millions of people who suffer with what I do never get the #%&%@#$ chance and because of it have to kill themselves – because someone wouldn’t listen, Ranallo said.... “All I want is to be heard. Just listen. You can save a life. You don’t have to spend a cent. You don’t have to spend a cent – but we need money, we need resources from the government and the medical (industry).

Why can’t we talk about mental health, which impacts all of us? I cannot believe that still, even today, I have family: ‘When is he going to be OK? Does he look for attention like this all the time? Doesn’t he get enough attention being on TV?’ You think I do this for attention? Wow. I put myself
out there because I want to save a life because I’ve lost too many [people I know”].
 

As a society, we treat mental illness in an entirely different manner than we treat physical illness. If someone 
has a broken arm, they get it X-rayed and a cast put on it. If someone has cancer, they are treated with some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation to try to save their life. If someone has an allergy, they take medication, or avoid the item they are allergic to as much as possible (or in some cases, avoid it completely). But no one thinks twice about it. 

But if someone is dealing with depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, they are told to "snap out of it", to 
"grow a spine", to "deal with it". No one would think of saying those words to a child with leukemia...but they would, and do, to adults or children dealing with mental illness....even some in Ranallo's own family, 

The trailer for this documentary is linked below via You Tube, and is elsewhere online. Be aware that it is as 
disturbing as I described. Someone dealing with mental illness could well be triggered by what the trailer shows. 

It's at this link

If you can, please take the time to watch it, and to watch Friday's documentary when it airs, or on a subsequent airing. Then remember what you saw if a friend, co-worker, or loved one has mental health issues, and act accordingly. 

Showtime Boxing ran an ad for the documentary immediately before a Saturday night Showtime Boxing card that was called (as most are) by Ranallo. If WWE had one ounce of integrity, they would air an advertisement for it on RAW or Smackdown this week...or at least on WWE.com (if it was thought the ad might be a bit much for children or those not expecting it), especially since WWE footage was used in it. But I'm not holding my breath waiting for it. 

For anyone reading this blog who is dealing with depression, bi-polar disorder, or other mental health issues, please understand YOU ARE NOT ALONE. As the numbers above show, you are FAR from alone. 

Please talk to someone and use the resources here, or find someone you trust to help you. You ARE worth helping. 
* Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) - (800) 826-3632 
* National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)- 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) 
* Mental Health America (MHA) - (800) 969-6642 
* Adolescent Crisis Intervention/Counseling Nineline 1-800-999-9999 
* Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK 
* Mental Health America (800) 969-6MHA (6642)/In crisis? Call: 1-800-273-TALK 
* RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) 800-656- HOPE 

Until next time.... 

To contact me, email me at bobmagee1@hotmail.com or 
bobmagee856@gmail.com. 

Jim Vicious & BT Talk SMW on new STS!

I posted that match last week. Here is the show that I sit down to talk about the match with Jim Vicious. It’s time for a “special” episode of “Shootin’ The Shiznit.” In a simulcast of another podcast, the episode 10 of “Ringside with Jim” becomes episode 116 of STS. Jim Vicious of Suplex City Limits & BT watch Heavenly Bodies vs Thrillseekers from SMW. Watch the match with Jim & BT on youtube as it is posted on. www.stspod.club. Fun episode clocks in at 29 minutes.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thrillseekers vs Heavenly Bodies for "Ringside with Jim"!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

New episode of “Shootin The Shiznit.” “Picture Perfect” (Christian Jacobs & Chris O’Neal) join Brian Tramel !!

It’s time for a brand new episode of “Shootin The Shiznit.” “Picture Perfect” (Christian Jacobs & Chris O’Neal) join Brian Tramel for episode 115. This is the third show in our “Memphis in May” series. Both guys talk about how they started as fans, training to be a wrestler, tagging with other guys, forming “Picture Perfect,” Chris joining the team, Memphis Wrestling, working WWE shows, two funny WWE stories, two stories with BT and more ! 41 minute packed episode !

Thursday, May 10, 2018

“Shootin The Shiznit.” Mark Southern joins Brian Tramel for episode 113!!

It’s time for a brand new episode of “Shootin The Shiznit.” Mark Southern joins Brian Tramel for episode 113. This is the second show in our “Memphis in May” series. Southern talks about starting as a fan, watching Memphis Wrestling, going to Mid-South Coliseum, working outlaw shows, forming the Missouri Bad Boys, MBB police angles, working for BT, greatest rib ever on BT and much more! This is a fun 34 minute action packed episode !

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Cool Kids Countdown XXVII “Lance & BT DO The News: April 2017” for Episode 112

It’s time for the“special edition” of “Shootin’ The Shiznit.” Brian Tramel and Lance LeVine bring you the Cool Kids Countdown XXVII “Lance & BT DO The News: April 2017” for Episode 112. Lance & BT count down the 10 hottest topics of April in a new monthly series with their own brand of unique humor. 44 mins in rapid fire format !

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Simon Reed joins BT for new episode !

It’s time for a brand new episode of “Shootin The Shiznit.” Simon Reed joins Brian Tramel for episode 111. This is the first show in our “Memphis in May” series. Reed talks about starting as a fan, watching Memphis Wrestling, Sting, training with Don Bass, forming the Beale Street Posse, meeting Lil’Chris to form The Posse, BT tells a few Posse stories and much more! This is a fun 36 minute action packed episode !

Friday, April 27, 2018

Cool Kids Countdown XXVI “Reading is Your Friend Top 10 Dave Meltzer Trolls” for Episode 110!!

It’s time for the“special edition” of “Shootin’ The Shiznit.” Brian Tramel and Lance LeVine bring you the Cool Kids Countdown XXVI “Reading is Your Friend Top 10 Dave Meltzer Trolls” for Episode 110. Lance & BT count down the different trolls that seem to spend their life on Twitter being confrontational to Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer. A fun 44 minute episode !!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Special "flashback" show from March, 2015!!!

It’s time for episode 109 of “Shootin’ The Shiznit.” Special "flashback" show from March, 2015. This is an episode of Tuesday Night Neckbreaker as host Michael Joy talks to Brian Tramel about Rasslin Riot, Ultimate Roider, Mick Foley, Ring Rat Report, smart fans “back in the day,” getting a call from one of the top companies about selling video tapes, Lawler doing a promo on BT, PWG, Daniel Bryan and more. A fun 36 minute episode !!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Cool Kids Countdown XXV “Superstar Shakeup: Irrelevant/Relevant Top 10”

It’s time for the“special edition” of “Shootin’ The Shiznit.” Brian Tramel and Lance LeVine bring you the Cool Kids Countdown XXV “Superstar Shakeup: Irrelevant/Relevant Top 10” for Episode 108. Lance & BT count down the good and the bad from Superstar Shakeup. In rapid fire format this action packed episode clocks in at a whopping 37 minutes !!

Super Fan Fred joins BT !!

It’s time for a brand new episode of “Shootin The Shiznit.” Superfan Fred Cotto joins Brian Tramel for episode 107. Cotto talks about starting as a fan, watching wrestling on WOR, going to MSG, wrestling in Mississippi, Wrestling Observer, Lawler is going to win the belt from Flair, all the places that Fred attends wrestling, Mania weekend shows, fan reaction live at Mania and more. This is a fun 30 minute action packed episode !

Saturday, April 14, 2018

NEW “Shootin The Shiznit.” Anthony Henry joins Brian Tramel !!

It’s time for a brand new episode of “Shootin The Shiznit.” Anthony Henry joins Brian Tramel for episode 106. Henry talks about starting as a fan, who did he like as a fan?, what makes a good worker?, being a UFC fan, training to be a wrestler, becoming a fan of New Japan, no flights for the New Japan dojo camp, wrestling Matt Riddle & more! This is a fun 36 minutes with a young independent wrestler.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Cool Kids Countdown XXV “10 10 10 Takeaways from Wrestlemania 34”

It’s time for the“special edition” of “Shootin’ The Shiznit.” Brian Tramel and Lance LeVine bring you the Cool Kids Countdown XXV “10 10 10 Takeaways from Wrestlemania 34” for Episode 105. Lance & BT count down their Top 10 takeaways from the show. In rapid fire format this action packed episode clocks in at a whopping 49 minutes !!

Friday, April 06, 2018

“Wrestlemania 34: Preview Roundtable.”

It’s time for the“special edition” of “Shootin’ The Shiznit.” Lance LeVine & Brian Thompson join Brian Tramel for “Wrestlemania 34: Preview Roundtable.” The trio discuss the biggest show of the year with thought provoking analysis, comedy and their picks. Episode 104 clocks in at 41 action packed minutes.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

NEW STS ! “Let’s Talk Shiznit on the Dirt Sheets” series. Episode 103 features Jammie Ward talking about The Squared Circle!!

It’s time for a brand new episode of “Shootin The Shiznit.” This is the 5th show in the “Let’s Talk Shiznit on the Dirt Sheets” series. Episode 103 features Jammie Ward talking about The Squared Circle. BT & Jammie talk about when he started being a fan, how it started, how did he put it together?, how many subscribers ?, how many issues ?, why did they stop?, two Dennis Coralluzzo and more.

Friday, March 30, 2018

AS I SEE IT 3/30: Someone in Louisiana is trying to sanitize wrestling for your protection

 
AS I SEE IT
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
PWBTS.com
It's Wrestlemania week, and fans should be concentrating on the story lines and matches on the Wrestlemania card, and all the associated WWE, NXT, and independent shows that weekend.

But this is wrestling, and of course, there has to be drama.

Late last week, The Louisiana State Athletic Commission issued rules which ban pretty much anything short of a college wrestling match (important note...for some):

1. All variations of the Pile Driver;

2. All variations of the Power Bomb;

3. The “Moonsault”, “Shooting Star”, or “450 Splash” or any variation thereof which involves one wrestler, leaping or flipping off the ropes or turnbuckles to contact the head or neck of the opponent with any part of his body;

4. The “Stungun” of any variation thereof which results in the one fighter’s head or neck being dragged, draped or “closelined” [sic] across the ropes;

5. The striking of a wrestler’s head with any object, chair, trashcan [sic] lid, etc., and

6. No wrestler shall throw, push, shove or force another out of the ring or over the top rope.

Talent can get around these "regulations" including “provided permission is sought and obtained prior to the event by both wrestlers and the requesting wrestlers have sufficient training, athletic ability and experience to perform the maneuver without endangering one another.”

Now.....WWE is not subject to these regulations. Neither is Ring of Honor. John Green Jr., a lawyer who serves as the commission secretary confirmed exceptions have been made for these two companies.

So think about this: Will Ospreay does a move which falls under #3 in Ring Of Honor. That's OK because "he's a professional". But when he does this same move at CZW, or EVOLVE, or WWN, he's not "professional" Does anyone realize how patently stupid this sounds?

Then there's the matter wrestling promotions owned by other big companies or people with deep pockets that might have axes to grind.

Can't wait until someone from MGM (remember: Lucha Underground) calls the Governor's office and asks if they want any more movies in their state. Or the Canadian billionaire that owns TNA has his lawyers call. Or when EVOLVE/WWN (all but in name a feeder to WWE) calls Vince and asks him to tell Louisiana to back off....

As far as Louisiana is concerned, they/we are money with legs. WrestleMania 30 generated a record $142.2 million in economic impact for New Orleans. Think that money doesn't talk? So do you by reminding that YOU are that lifeblood...the person who spends tourist money and makes up those figures above. While fans are obviously primarily going to see Wrestlemania and the associated WWE events, they're also going to see twenty or so independent shows and conventions associated with Wrestlemania. They're spending $2-3,000 per person (or more) in many cases. They aren't just "wrestling fans". They are the kind of money I cited above.

Contact the Governor's office, and let them know how unfair, illegal, and disrespectful to fans (aka tourists, aka money) and wrestlers who've spent a lifetime learning what they do.

Email 
the Governor's office and let them know how unenforceable, unfair, and likely illegal these regulations are. Point out the Will Ospreay example I gave above.

For those who think Governor's offices don't listen to such things, I'll take you back to Pennsylvania and 2005. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission placed a draconian ban on a long list of things used by CZW, including barbed wire. There was one problem. That very month, WWE held a barbed wire cage main event at the No Way Out PPV at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, PA with Big Show taking on John Bradshaw Layfield. Pittsburgh radio stations ran advertisements months ahead of time promoting "the first ever barbed wire cage match for the WWE championship." 

This match was allowed to occur, despite the fact that the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission banned the use of barbed wire and fluorescent light tubes in professional wrestling events in November 2002.

The Pennsylvania Governor's office was bombed with emails and phone calls, to the point that the State Athletic Commission was finally forced to back off.
 
To contact me, email me at bobmagee1@hotmail.com or bobmagee856@gmail.com. 

Until next time....

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Cool Kids Countdown XXIII “Strong Style Evolved: Worst to Best” , STS, Episode 102

It’s time for the“special edition” of “Shootin’ The Shiznit.” Brian Tramel and Lance LeVine bring you the Cool Kids Countdown XXIII “Strong Style Evolved: Worst to Best” for Episode 102. Lance & BT count down all nine matches & throw in a “takeaway.” In rapid fire format this action packed episode clocks in at a whopping 49 minutes !!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

“Let’s Talk Shiznit on the Dirt Sheets” series. Episode 101 features Paul MacArthur

It’s time for a brand new episode of “Shootin The Shiznit.” This is the 4th show in the “Let’s Talk Shiznit on the Dirt Sheets” series. Episode 101 features Paul MacArthur talking about the Wrestling Perspective. BT & Paul talk about when he started being a fan, they did not do news, started doing interviews, how many subscribers ?, how many issues ?, why did they stop? and more.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

NEW STS!! JEFF JARRETT FOR THE 100TH EPISODE !!

It’s time for the 100th episode of “Shootin’ The Shiznit” and for this episode we have Jeff Jarrett and a WWE HOF Roundtable! Jeff talks about his first meeting with BT, asking a question at the gimmicks table, talks about HOF, who will induct him in the HOF?, is Jeff ready for the last run?, who would you want to work for the final run?, fantasy booking, tagging with Billy Travis vs Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka and more! The second part of the show, BT is joined by Lance LeVine, Brian Thompson and Jo Jo Feeney to talk WWE HOF. In roundtable format, they each have a pick for “who should be in?” and “who should be out?” Enjoy 33 minutes of a fun episode !! @comicmarkBT www.stspod.club

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

“Let’s Talk Shiznit on the Dirt Sheets” series. Episode 99 features Jon Gallagher talking about the Wrestling Forum.

It’s time for a brand new episode of “Shootin The Shiznit.” This is the third show in the “Let’s Talk Shiznit on the Dirt Sheets” series. Episode 99 features Jon Gallagher talking about the Wrestling Forum. BT & Jon talk about when Jon started being a fan, what inspired him to start the wrestling zine, how many subscribers?, why did it end?, the process of putting the newsletter together, wrestling conventions, Paul Heyman story & more. Join us for 40 minutes of a fun show.