Looking Back at 2010

January 02, 2011

Before I get started I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year, I hope you all have a tremendous 2011. With that out of the way I want to take a look back at the year that was 2010. 2010 was a pretty eventful year for me both in wrestling and outside of it so Iím just going to take a point form look back at what I remember from 2010.

TNA: 2010 marked the return of the Monday Night Wars, well sort of. TNA moved Impact to Monday nightís at the beginning of 2010 to go head to head with WWE. This was a monstrous failure resulting in the Impact rating dropping to a one time low of 0.5, and had virtually no effect on WWE. Impact eventually moved back to Thursdayís and got itís rating back up to itís regular 1.1 and for the most part Impact is now the same show that itís always been. At least that is what I hear because while 2010 also marked the end of my 2009 Impact boycott (I gave them another try with the big move to Monday), it also saw my 2010 Impact boycott that started the end of March. I lasted 3 months and could take no more and have not watched Impact now in 9 months.

WWE: I donít remember a lot about WWE programming from 2010, which is never a good sign. I guess the biggest angle run in 2010 was the Nexus Angle, which started big and lasted a fairly long time, but never really captured my imagination much after that first big week. I think what ruined the angle for me was the inexplicableness of it after they revealed that Vince McMahon was behind Nexus and then they jumped him and beat him up and never bothered to explain why. The other big WWE news story in 2010 was the major departures from the company. Dave Batista quit the company, Shawn Michaels retired, and Chris Jericho let his contract expire. There were other departures as well like Matt Hardy, MVP, Mickie James, to name but a few but the lose of three legit Main Event players all of which were having banner years, was a huge blow to WWE.

SWA: 2010 was a big year for my Storm Wrestling Academy with 2 of my graduates being signed to WWE developmental deals. Mattias Wild was signed in September and has already begun working in WWEís developmental territory. Brandon Barker was signed in October and is just waiting for his work visa to go through before he reports for duty and joins Matt down in Florida. Iím looking forward to seeing what 2011 hold in store for both of them.

PWA: PWA is the local independent group, up here in Alberta, that I Book for. We run monthly shows in both Calgary and Edmonton and 2010 was a great year for us. In April Booker T wrestled on our Edmonton event and captured the PWA Heavyweight Title. He returned on a Calgary show in June to defend the title against former Champ and SWA grad ďT BoneĒ Jack Sloan, who defeated Booker T to regain the PWA Title. June also saw my return to the ring when Jerry Lynn and I teamed up to face Danny Myers and Mattias Wild (the aforementioned WWE signee) on our annual Night of Champions event. I also wrestled one other match for PWA in 2010, which was a short impromptu match I had with an SWA grad who made the mistake of calling me out after winning the annual SWA Graduate Battle Royal in November.

The Empire: 2010 marked my first (and second) visit to the F4W Empire. For those of you who donít know what the Empire is (Shame on You), Iím referring to my trips to Seattle, WA to see Bryan Alvarez of the Figure 4 Weekly/Wrestling Observer website. I donít even remember how Bryan and I became friends but over the last 5 years weíve become good online friends despite never actually meeting. In April I managed to make the trip down to Seattle so we could finally meet. We did a radio show in studio, I got to meet Vinny V, I had Eastern Brunch at Grannyís house (the highlight of the trip), and I even put on a masked and worked Bryan in a wrestling match for his local Indy group TCW. The trip was so much fun, I made the trip again in July this time with my wife to attend Bryanís wedding. This trip was even better than the first, as I got to meet so many more people from the illustrious Empire. I canít name everyone I met on this trip but there were a few people I have to mention such as notables, Dave Meltzer and Todd Martin, as well as less notables, Ed in San Antonio and the great man who is Rodney, not to mention the inexplicable experience that is meeting Brent Kremin. The wedding was so much fun; I canít thank Bryan and Whitney enough for inviting us. You are one very lucky man Mr. Alvarez!

WOH: While it wonít air until 2011, I did shoot my first reality TV show in 2010, called World of Hurt. WOH is a Reality show based around my wrestling school, Storm Wrestling Academy. The concept of the show is to follow 10 (4 girls, 6 guys) Indy level pro-wrestlers as they go through an advanced training program with me at Storm Wrestling Academy. The shoot wasnít actually at SWA, although we did use my ring and several of my former students. For the sake of lighting and sound issues we moved my ring to the sound stage at Pyramid Production and shot the entire series there. The set up was very cool and we had so much fun shooting the show. I really have no idea what the final product will be like once they get done editing it, but I canít wait to see the final product when it airs starting in March, on The Cave network here in Canada.

My Kindle: I got an Amazon Kindle for Christmas in 2009 so for me reading wise 2010 was the year of the Kindle for me. I absolutely love this thing. I prefer reading on it because, itís easier to hold, takes up way less space, itís so much easier and cheaper to purchase books with, and more importantly than all of that there are a lot of books that are only available in e-book format that I would be unable to read with out it. I think I would give up my TV before I gave up my Kindle. I discovered so many new authors because of my Kindle. Below is a list of some of the great books I got to read because of my Kindle this year.

With a Vengeance, by Marcus Wynne: This is an e-book exclusive that I would not have been able to read without my Kindle. Marcus is a friend of mine and was featured in my book club years ago with his book Warrior in the Shadows. With a Vengeance is an awesome action thriller, which I am featured in as a small character.

The Naked Edge, by David Morrell: David is my favourite author and while he writes more than just action thrillers, action thrillers are what he does best, so The Naked Edge is freakin awesome. This book is also a Kindle exclusive, and is the follow up to his earlier book The Protector. You do not have to have read Protector to enjoy The Naked Edge, but I do recommend reading both, because they are both fantastic.

Jonathon Grave series by John Gilstrap: This series was a discovery I made thanks to my Kindle. Iíve noticed a lot of series authors put out the first book in their series either really cheap or even for free on the Kindle. I assume this is to entice readers to give them a try in hopes of hooking them long term. Well thatís what John Gilstrap did to me with No Mercy, the first book in his Jonathon Grave series. I found No Mercy for free (its $4.30 now) and gave it a try and absolutely loved it. I immediately purchased Hostage Zero (now $3.80 on amazon) the second in the series and am looking forward to book three due out in 2011. I am now a big John Gilstrap fan.

J.A. Konrath ebooks: Iíve been reading Konrathís Jack Daniels series since discovering it for my Book Club a few years ago and really like his stuff. He also writes as Jack Kilborn and he has a ton of e-books available. Konrath was one the authors that pushed me over the edge and got me to buy a Kindle because he had so much Kindle only material out there. I read 10 Konrath/Kilborn e-book titles last year and plan on reading more in 2011.

Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn: Mark Pink has been bugging me fore years to give Vince Flynn a try to I finally did picking up the first Mitt Rapp book Transfer of Power on my Kindle. This book was awesome and I immediately started working my way through the Mitch Rapp series. Unfortunately I lost interest in the series by the 4th book finding each book less enjoyable because of the romantic relationship Flynn had Rapp dealing with in each book. He managed to turn a kick ass action hero into a guy who gets nagged by his wife. Thumbs down, but the first book is awesome.

Pushing Bullets by Rebecca Evers: Rebecca is my daughter and in 2010 after reading the entire Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, she decided to try her hand at writing. Pushing Bullets was her first effort and is a 36,000 word novella which is surprisingly good. I say surprisingly good because at 14 years of age making her very first attempt at writing anything, this should not have been any good at all and I really enjoyed it. She is continuing to write and since I can upload WORD docs. to my Kindle I get to read her stuff like I do other published novels.

Reading Classics: Thanks the free nature of many classic books on the Kindle Iíve been reading a lot of older stuff. In 2010 Iíve read such books as, Bram Stokerís Dracula, Mary Shellyís Frankenstein (dreadful btw), H.G. Wellsí The Invisible Man & The Island of Dr. Moreau. I really enjoy the formal nature of dialogue back in the day and find these really old books a nice change of pace every once in a while.

Well thatís it for 2010, and hereís looking forward to 2011.