Monday, November 21, 2005

Ticket Prices

Well, I found out how much admission for my competition in May is going to be. Unfortunately the tickets cost more than I thought they would. They will be $25.00 per person. I know this will probably cut down on the number of people coming out that night to see me. It's already a drive out to Rockford, and then the money on top of it.. it's a bit much to ask of people I suppose. Regardless, I'll be appreciative of all those who can make it out. For those who would like to come out and offer their support, but feel the $25 is a little steep, you can attend the daytime competition also known as "pre-judging". Daytime admission is only like $7 - $10. The day show is simply the judging. No music, no individual routines, the competitors get lined up in their classes, and are run through specific poses so that the judges can make their decisions. I'll have more information on times and all as we get closer to the show. It's all still a ways off from now.

Results, and photos from the most recent competition from a few weeks ago have been posted here...

This will give you all a glimpse of what these competitions are like, and why I keep saying I'm going to get killed in mine. Like I said I'll be competing in the heavyweight class. So check them out... you'll see what I mean.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

My Favorite Eddie Match

For the first time in 5 years I have found myself NOT wanting to watch wrestling...

I have the last 4 years of pay-per-views on DVD which pretty much dominate my allotted television viewing time. But almost every one of them features Eddie Guerrero in a match somewhere.

I've been on and off depressed over this since last Sunday. This isn't the end of the world for me or anything, it's just something I haven't quite gotten over entirely yet. So watching wrestling just seems depressing to me right now. In an effort to try and get over it, I went through my PPV's and tried to find the one that I felt featured Eddie Guerrero's best match.

Judgement Day 2004: WWE Champ Eddie Guerrero vs. John "Bradshaw" Layfield

This was it. From start to finish this was a great Eddie match. He was quick, technical, funny, and had the crowd on his side from start to finish. The match ends in a disqualification, which allowed Eddie to retain the title, but the win technically went to JBL.

JBL cracked Eddie over the head with a chair, and for the remaining 20 minutes of the match Eddie POURED... and I mean POURED blood EVERYWHERE!!! For 20 minutes he painted the canvas of the ring with blood, the announce tables were covered in his blood, JBL was wearing it, and Eddie who was half out of it for a few minutes bursts back to life doing his Latino Heat dance in the middle of the ring, and floors JBL. The crowd went apeshit, and it was a fun match to watch. That's what Eddie did, he made fun matches. If someone were to ask me to show them the best match I own of Eddie Guererro, I would show them that match. So if you'd ever like to see it, I'd love to show it to you.

Watching this was hard for me, but it did help me.

I talked to Neil tonight. It was the first time I've talked to him since all of this happend. I kind of thought he wouldn't understand me being so upset over this, but I was wrong. He completely understood, and was really awesome about it. It was like he could read my mind, he knew exactly how I was feeling. He related it to when Daryl Kile of the St. Louis Cardinals passed away in his sleep. Neil took that very hard, and was at the first home game following the death, where they had a pre-game tribute. He said he was standing there crying through the whole thing. So he did know, and understood. That made me feel better.

They found Eddie's cause of death. Heart disease. It was a lingering effect of the abuse he put his body through years ago when he was addicted to drugs and alcohol. This hit home for me, in relation to my friend who's having similar problems. Who thinks he can do all the things he's doing to himself until his 30's, quit, and everything will be fine. Well, Eddie was 34 when he went clean, was 4 years sober, and still suffered for his past. I just hate where this is all going.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I just wanted to post a few pictures from the show last night, for those who might not have gotten to see it. It really is truly amazing how much this has impacted me. I have been breaking into tears on and off since Sunday night...

Even now...

Remembering Eddie

I just wanted to say that the memorial show for Eddie Guerrero last night was very well done, and was extremely appreciated on my part. I am someone who needs closure to extremely upsetting situations like this, and like a funeral provides such closure, so did last evenings show. It was naturally, a very difficult thing to watch. To see people whom I consider to be almost superheroes, crippled with grief, and bent over in tears. It was truly a testiment to who Eddie Guerrero was, not only as a performer, but as a person. Again my deepest regrets go out to not only Eddie's friends, fellow fans, but his family. All night the one common denominator between all of the testimonials his friends gave about him, was how much Eddie spoke of his family, and his love for them. That everything he did in that ring was for them.

I have the highest respect for professional wrestlers. I take a lot of shit for it. Most people don't truly understand what it takes, and the sacrifices these men and women make on a daily basis. This is why I get so defensive when people immediately rip on wrestling when I mention I love it, when they themselves don't know shit about it. I respect Eddie Guerrero, and I will honor his memory with a continuing, undying respect for him.

This whole experience has definitely affected me. I'm not sure what the final result will be, but I know that a part of me will not be the same for having experienced this.

One last time, I want to say thank you to Eddie. For busting his ass 300 days a year in that ring, sacrificing his body out there, for making me laugh, and helping me forget my own pain.

You will be missed Eddie, but never forgotten.

Viva La Raza!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Tragic Loss

Today, a great man passed away...

This morning, Smackdown Superstar, and former WWE Champion, Eddie Guererro passed away in his sleep. He had arranged a 7 a.m. wake up call with the hotel he was staying in, up in Minneapolis, and didn't respond. After several attempts the hotel contacted Eddie's nephew and fellow WWE Superstar, Chavo Guererro, who was staying in the same hotel, and they entered Eddie's room. He seemed to be sleeping, according to Chavo, and he just wouldn't wake up. Chavo realized there was something wrong, called 911, and began performing CPR... but it was too late. Currently the cause of death is unknown. An autopsy is being performed to attempt to determine the cause of death.

It is no secret that Eddie battled a serious drug addiction several years ago. So naturally the question was posed, "Did Eddie relapse into drugs again, and possibly have killed himself?". Chavo Guererro answered, that the day before Eddie's passing, he had shared in a private moment with Chavo, that he was 5 years clean and sober as of 3 days prior. Chavo said that you could see in Eddie's face how proud he was of himself, and Chavo high fived him, hugged him, and told him how proud he was of him. So the answer is no. Whether long term effects from the damage he caused himself years ago, had any influence on Eddie's early demise, has yet to be determined.

First and foremost, Eddie Guererro was the father of 3 girls. Ages 12, 8, and 2. He was also a loving husband to his wife Vickie Guererro. And as mentioned earlier was the loving uncle of Chavo Guererro. They were very close in age, and were more like brothers than anything. They collectively were former WWE Tag Team Champions together.

Eddie's story of overcoming his drug addiction, made him a very humanized character in the WWE. He wasn't a superhero. He was a real guy, with real problems, but with the courage and love of his family to help him overcome his demons. Thusly the WWE really brought you into the personal life of Eddie Guererro. Specials, interviews etc. allowed the viewers to get to know the Guererros, and the path they've been down. It is because of this insight, and the simple adoration for everything he brought to professional wrestling, that I am deeply saddened by this loss, and would like to offer my deepest, and most heartfelt condolences to the Guererro family.

Eddie Guererro brought color, energy, smiles, and laughter with him every time he drove out to the ring in a different low rider. His in-ring family tradition of lie, cheat, and steal to win, brought about some of the most hysterical scenarios in the ring and out. Latino Heat... that was what he called the energy he had, the passion he felt.

Eddie had a lot of friends in the locker room. But there were some that he was closer with than others. Guys he had been all over the world with, who had seen him at his worst, and watched him rise up to overcome it. I would like to take a moment to recognize the men who Eddie Guererro called a friend...

Chris Benoit
Dean Malenko
Perry Saturn
Chavo Guererro
Rey Mysterio
Rob Van Dam
Booker T

4 years ago, when I started watching WWE, that was when Eddie Guererro came into the company again after completing his drug rehab. 4 years ago... The journey I have been on in the last few years in my life, I have taken along with me a group of characters that would become like a family to me, Eddie came along for that ride. Every one of those men on the roster who made me laugh when no one else could, who helped me forget the pain when nothing else could, who inspired me when no one else could... every one of those men feel like family to me. I see them everyday, and I see what they are willing to go through to do what they love, and to entertain the fans.

I feel as though I have lost someone very close to me.

I know that many will think I've probably jumped off the deep end at this point, to be this upset about someone on television who I've never met in person. But like I said, he was very real person, with a very real family, who will now have to go on without their loving father and husband. I feel great sadness for the Guererro family, because I know what a great person Eddie Guererro was.

This morning as I ate my breakfast I had been watching Wrestlemania 20 on DVD. Even as I watched it I was asking myself, "why am I watching this?". It's really not the greatest Wrestlemania, but for some reason I wanted to see it. It wasn't until the end when I saw my favorite part, that I remembered there was in fact a part that I liked.

At Wrestlemania 20, Eddie Guererro, and his best friend Chris Benoit had both won the WWE Championship, and World Heavyweight Championship, titles respectively. At the end of the night they stood in the center of the ring together, belts in hands, hugging, and red in the face with tears. You could tell they were hugging and crying so hard they just couldn't let go of each other. Madison Square Garden, with confetti falling all around them. That was the best part of Wrestlemania 20, and it is my favorite moment of Eddie Guererro's career. I saw it this morning... I got the news tonight.

I had logged onto this evening just to check in and see what was new. There on the front page was the announcement, and a link to watch a press conference on the issue with Vince McMahon, and Chavo Guererro. At first Holly and I were just in shock... it didn't hit me all the way. Then as I watched the press conference it all sunk in... and I cried. I'm still crying.

I think the hardest part for me is just trying to imagine the next year without Eddie around on the show. To not see his smile, and his dance he'd do in the ring. To not see where he'd go next in his career, for him to not live to be inducted to the hall of fame. Knowing he won't be there to perform at Wrestlemania 22...

Knowing how incredibly awful this is for his family.

Tomorrow night on Monday Night RAW, they will be dedicating the whole episode as a tribute to Eddie Guererro. The wrestlers have all been told that they do not have to wrestle. Any matches tomorrow evening are voluntary, and are dedicated to Eddie. The majority of the show will simply be each Superstar getting some camera time to share their memories of Eddie, and say their good byes. This will be one night of Wrestling at Steve's I will not be attending. I am going to have to watch this one alone. It will be way too upsetting to see with other people there. But I will watch it. This will be an episode of RAW that will be talked about forever. So should you read this in time, I encourage you to catch it on USA, Monday night, November 14th, at 8 p.m. I guarantee it will be unlike anything you've ever seen.

It will be very difficult to watch my heroes in tears, and in pain over this tragic loss, but as they were there for me during my pain, I will share this pain with them.

Good bye, and thank you Eddie Guererro, you will be missed.

Viva La Raza!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Friend In Need

This isn't directly related to my competition, but in the hours I spend in the gym, I spend a great deal of time thinking about things. This is something that has dominated my thoughts for a while now.

I have been very concerned about a close friend of mine. In the years I have known him he has always been a consistent pot smoker. Now right off the bat I want to say that I have smoked pot. And have even done it excessively. It's no secret. There was a period of time where everyone in my group of friends were smoking like crazy. We all went to extremes. With time, more and more of them laid off and eventually stopped. I took longer than most to lay off due to my extreme depression at the time, and the fact that at I hadn't worked out in years.

As our friends one by one slowed down and eventually stopped, my close friend never lost his momentum, and continued to do it more, and more, and more. People usually laugh it off, when they come by and see how wasted he is. It seems to have become his role in life, and it is a very costly one to take on. In the last year he has now added alcohol into the mix. Something that was more of a rarity for him back in the day. Now it's daily. I spend a great deal of time with him, and can't help but count the excessive number of BONG hits, and drinks he mixes himself within a 3 hour span, and that's just on a weeknight. Should he be on vacation, or just have the weekend off, it's at least twice as much per day. I have seen a lot of people who smoke a LOT of weed, but I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have never met anyone who smokes as much as he does. The drinking on it's own would be bad, but in terms of quantity isn't a devastating amount, just consistent. But when you add it up with the amount he smokes it is a recipe for severe health issues, or even an early death.

I have tried to talk to him about it, but he generally thinks that I'm overconcerned. That he doesn't have a problem, and even more so, doesn't think he's doing any damage to his body. He's in complete denial over the whole thing. He thinks because he is in his mid-twenties that he can do just about anything to his body, and not suffer any long term effects. He thinks that if he lays off in his mid to late 30's he'll be fine. Which is just not true, and even if it were, why would he stop then? At the rate he's going, he'll be doing it all 3 times as much by the time he's in his 30's, and that's assuming he doesn't add something else to his repituare. He also thinks that I'm some kind of health nut now or something, and that I'm just preaching to him. He relies on caffeine drinks to supply him with his energy, and pretty much eats crap from morning to night. But I'm more concerned with the weed and alcohol than his diet.

Now in the last year I've witnessed a few separate incidents, where he would black out and collapse right in front of me. There was once where we were standing in my kitchen with a few friends, just standing there talking, and his eyes rolled into the back of his head, and his knees collapsed out from under him and he dropped to the ground SLAMMING his head on the kitchen counter on the way down. Naturally I freaked out. My brother and I got right down there and were trying to bring him to... I was 2 seconds from calling 911 when he came around, and he acted like it was no big deal. He said it was probably because he didn't take his multi-vitamin that day, and maybe he needed a Mountain Dew. Well I don't know many people who DO consistently take a mulit-vitamin everyday, and I don't see any of them passing out. I asked my father about it, and he believes that's a seizure of sorts. He's also done this in his own bathroom. I was over when he went into the bathroom, and then CRASH!!! I jumped up, and was banging on the door trying to get a response from him, and got nothing. I was once again 2 seconds from kicking the fucking door in, and then he responded. He had passed out again in there, and hit his head on the tub on the way down. If the substances don't kill him on their own, these subsequent blackouts might do it instead.

The worst was when he woke up in the middle of the night choking on a throat full of vomit. He jolted out of bed and said that the whole front of his bed was covered in puke, as well as all over the floor in FRONT of his bed, and he didn't remember vomiting at all. Now anyone else, this might scare the shit out them enough to take a look at what they're doing to themselves. He simply thought he should have kept it to 4 drinks that night instead of 5. That's all. No big deal. He's EXTREMELY lucky he didn't choke and die that night.

It was at this point that I couldn't take it anymore and had to talk to other friends of ours to try and find a way that we could all talk to him either as a group or individually, because I alone have not been able to make any progress. I think he needs to hear from people who have smoked heavily before, and stopped, and even from those who still smoke now, but just not as heavy as him. Every single person I've talked to about it, COMPLETELY shot the idea down, and those were the ones who even responded to my request. No one thinks he'll listen, no one thinks it will make a difference, they think because they haven't witnessed the events I have first hand, that they have no place to bring it up. Well I'll tell you right now, I ain't making this shit up. I wish more than anything it wasn't true. The other issue is that he does successfully maintain his job, pays his bills, and contributes to society. So in my friends eyes, he hasn't hit bottom yet. But it's just a matter of time. While he may maintain his job and all, his social life suffers for it. He is devoid of feeling any emotions other than the anxiety of getting through the day just to take that first hit, and forget about it all.

Now I agree that for him to get better, for him to get the help he needs, he has to want to get help. He has to recognize that he has a problem. But that's my whole point in trying to get people to talk to him. He thinks I'm full of shit, when I tell him he is going overboard, and he attributes it to me being some "health nut". He has shown disappointment in me for not continuing on the same path as him. He pities people who don't smoke everyday, because he assumes they hate their lives and are miserable otherwise. He needs to hear it from other people. That's the only chance he has. Ultimately he hates his life. That's why he feels the need to inebriate himself every free chance he can.

I was the same way.

When I was battling through the hardest time in my life, I was right on that line of wanting to die, but hadn't quite crossed it. The only thing that could ease the pain and anxiety I felt was to smoke. First thing in the morning to the last moment before bed. Really, it kept me from killing myself, but a point came where it had to stop. Me getting back into the gym was an intrical part in me kicking it.

What confuses me in our friends reaction to my concerns and requests for them to help me, help him, is that in the past few years none of them have ever thought twice about telling ME that I need help. That I need to talk to a social worker, or that I needed to stop smoking so much. Nobody ever hesitated to tell ME where to get off, and I think I'm someone who would be much more intimidating to talk to in that manner. I'm the one with the temper! But for my friend, everyone walks on eggshells. It hurts me, it saddens me, and it makes Holly just sick to see how chicken shit everyone is once again, in the face of a serious problem concerning a friend.

I have always said, that knowing someone has at LEAST tried to help, but failed, means so much more than them having not tried at all.

I was deprived of that in my time of need, I wish people could learn a lesson from that and use it to help our other friend. I don't want to be standing over his casket 10 years or less from now, knowing that the people who came over to his house so many times, who called him their friend, never even attempted to help him.

I have left him anonymous in this entry, but most who read this will know who I'm talking about. If he knew I wrote this, he may stop talking to me. But if someone doesn't step up to the plate here with me, and try to help, he'll be dead and won't be talking to me anyway.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Back For More

Well I'm back from a week of rest down in Florida. My father completed the 2005 Florida Iron Man in 15 hours, and 9 minutes. It was a great trip, and all things considered I ate pretty healthy when I was down there. I kept my weight while I was gone. Usually if I don't work out for a week or so, I'll lose weight. I came back to the gym today feeling strong, and fresh. It was excellent. I anticipate this to be a fun week in the gym. I've got my new routine starting this week, I'll be loading creatine all week, and pushing heavy. It's time to start packing some serious fucking weight on, time to get fucking huge. I'm excited.