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Archive for the month “May, 2015”

WWE Monday Night Raw – May 11th, 2015

The red brand comes to Cincinnati, Ohio, hometown of Dean Ambrose. Less than one week from the Payback Pay-Per-View, things are a-happening.


Triple H returns to Raw, and so does Daniel Bryan. Ziggler takes on King Barrett with Sheamus nearby, while Neville answers John Cena’s US Open Challenge. Brie Bella and Tamina go at it, as do Cesaro and Big E Langston. Fandango looks for revenge against Erick Rowan. The fatal four from the Payback main event are in action as well, and as if that`s not enough, The Mega Powers unite!

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TNA Friday Night Impact Live! – May 8th, 2015

Live from Orlando, Florida, Impact Wrestling goes live on Friday night!… Live!


With a special guest referee teased in the main event, Eric Young goes head to head with World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle after picking up a massive win in a stretcher match on Hardcore Justice. Gail Kim helps her new ally Awesome Kong get a measure of revenge on Taryn Terrell and The Dollhouse. The Rising and The BDC go head to head to bring their feud to an acme. It’s a night of settling scores, and it’s LIVE!

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WWE Thursday Night Smackdown – May 7th, 2015

Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, Ontario (just an overnight drive from Thunder Bay) hosts the blue brand as the East Canada tour comes to a close.


The Fatal Four-Way main event at Payback for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is put in focus in the night’s main event, as all participants come together for the formal contract signing. Before then, however, the mid-card and tag team divisions get their time in the spotlight as Thursday Night Smackdown delivers (in thirty minutes or free). The word of the night is “dissension”.

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‘The Weirdo Hero’ Wrestles with Depression: Short film shines a light on the secret life of suffering

In March of 1982, John Belushi’s body was wheeled from its final crash site at the Chateau Marmont. Fifteen years later Chris Farley mirrored this tragic fate at a time when the smoke from Kurt Cobain’s candle-lit vigils still clung to the curtains. Owen Wilson took razor to wrist in 2007 as People Magazine cried “What happened?” Last year we lost beloved icon Robin Williams, and we were once again left to recognize the all too prevalent darkness stirring behind the tears of the clown.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) estimates roughly one in six of us westerners are bitten by the black dog during our lifetime. A humbling figure, considering the quality of life we enjoy. The portion of our populous which suffers silently in depths of depression include the rich and poor alike; they are labourers and lawyers, athletes and actors, personalities both publicly recognized and intimately acquainted.

They are even professional wrestlers.


Enter Theo Francon, better known by his in-ring persona, “Ravenous Randy” Myers. He plays the title role in ‘The Weirdo Hero’, a semi-autobiographical short film which tells the story of a professional wrestler who stands tall before cheering crowds as a fearless and fighting champion, but sits prisoner within a private hell when he gets back behind the curtain. Diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of ten, Francon has intimate knowledge of exactly how bad things can get inside one’s own doubt, anxiety and regret.

The short feature, currently in post-production, is the brainchild of fellow wrestler Derek Hird, who approached Francon after “Ravenous Randy” made his real-life affliction known to his fans and followers. Together, they blended their stories (as Hird also lives with depression), and enlisted the aid of acclaimed author and spoken word artist Shayne Koyczan in writing the script. Ryan Curtis takes the helm as director, a departure from his usual role of Visual Effects Coordinator for television series such as Supernatural. An ultra low-budget production, the film makers have received much support from the community, from volunteers, and from local independent promotion ECCW (Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling).

The hope is that the film will serve to remind audiences that things are not always as they seem when it comes to mental illness.


Like the late Robin Williams, with whom he espied a kinship and understanding, Francon often portrays a character bursting with light-hearted joy and zany antics. In the case of his Ravenous Randy persona, this is by design. “People don’t usually expect it,” Francon says in reference to the character, “but the [wrestler/entertainer] who comes out with the florescent mohawk, lime green tights, hugging little kids and smiling, he’s the one who sometimes goes home and has a rough day. I wanted to get that across.”

Although there has been significant progress in the last ten years when it comes to raising awareness of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety disorder, there is seemingly always more work to be done. Persisting stigmas surrounding mental illness can make it difficult for the afflicted to seek help. Concrete diagnosis can be difficult, due to subtle differences in mental disorders and the fallibility of human perception. Once diagnosed, proper care and support for the afflicted may often be lacking, potentially leaving those plagued with suicidal thoughts to be placed on waiting lists a month long.

Hard science and effective treatment are required. Some, like Francon, believe mental health check-ups should be as regular and compulsory as physicals and dentist appointments in our complex, modern world. But until the day your family doctor can definitively diagnose major depressive disorder with a blood test and send you home with a prescription for Paxil or Zoloft that same day, what is required is an infrastructure of sympathy and understanding. Those who suffer need not feel like failures because they’re simply unable to “pull up their socks and get on with life.”


Merciless and unbiased as cancer and head-colds, depression takes root in our children and our champions, in our weirdos and our heroes. It takes many forms, in ways we do not always expect.

“People can relate to the guy who misses the big kick, loses the SuperBowl, and takes his own life,” reflects Francon. “It’s harder to understand the guy who wins the SuperBowl and then goes home and shoots himself. That’s the story I really wanted to tell.”


Photos copyright ‘The Weirdo Hero’

Lucha: Underground – May 6th, 2015

The Temple in Boyle Heights is the venue of choice for post-Cinco de Mayo, pre-Lucha Libre World Cup action!


After successfully defending his championship title against Drago last week in a hard-fought and controversial contest, Prince Puma must focus on his next challenge: the talented but two-faced Hernandez, whose number one contender spot is placed in jeopardy. Two top luchadores vie for their right to compete for the Lucha:Underground Championship in tonight’s epic main event.

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WWE Raw – May 4th, 2015

Ole! Ole! Ole, ole-ole-ole! Raw goes international as WWE brings the action to Montreal, Quebec, a city steeped in wrestling tradition and home to some of the most passionate fans in the world.


In what would be a mixed bag of highs and lows, awkward moments and huge spots, the outspoken Canadian audience saw the main event picture for Payback undergo a re-adjustment, the tag team champions chalk up a big win, a Hall of Famer rub shoulders with a present and future star, and plastic spiders too.

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TNA Hardcore Justice – May 1st, 2015

Grudges, gripes and grievances to be settled on Friday Night Impact Wrestling as Hardcore Justice reigns supreme!


After the brutal attack last week, Kurt Angle goes head to head with number one contender Eric Young in a non-title Stretcher Match. The X-Division Championship is up for grabs in a Four-Way Ladder Match. Also, the KnockOuts Champion Taryn Terrell defends against number one contender Brooke Adams. All this, and Al Snow too.

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WWE Thursday Night Smackdown – April 30th, 2015

Moline, Illinois hosts the WWE as Smackdown brings its bright lights and big gritties to town.


Tonight we are treated to a match which marks a return to the hottest feud of 2014, as Dean Ambrose goes one on one with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. The Tag Team Championships are also up for grabs as the New Day defends against Cesaro & Tyson Kidd in a rematch from Extreme Rules.

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Lucha: Underground – April 29th, 2015

Boyle Heights, California is home to a dark place of blood and sweat called simply the Temple, and inside is some of the hottest wrestling action in the world today!


This week’s episode, in the aftermath of the epic Trios Championship finals last week, focuses on the Lucha Underground Championship. Inaugural champion Prince Puma defends his title against number one contender Drago, who faces banishment from the Temple if he is not successful. We also see a new talent facing an established star, a triple threat match to settle scores, and the introduction of a new potential player.

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