Caught in between an X and New York City

I’ve been known to break from tradition a time or two, and this is sure one of those times. WrestleMania X was at its original location in New York City buuuuut repeated the same main event from the year prior. I refuse to have to review another Yokozuna match so I picked the real main event of this sub par card with good reason. For the first time in history, a ladder match was displayed and just as Paul Rudd did in Halloween 6, they stole the show. 

Keeping with history, I’m currently enjoying my first DIPA from Trillium Brewing Company. This one holds another sweet spot for me as they hail from my home state of Massachusetts. My good friends Kyle & Mike sent me this gem to cure my homesickness (totally a word) and I can’t thank them enough. Dialed in (with chardonnay and gewürztraminer juice) is glorious in its execution, even though I couldn’t tell you what the fuck gewürztraminer juice is. This 8.5% beauty is smooth as can be and with just the right amount of hoppy goodness. 

…and now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Diesel, the muscle for Shawn Michaels, has just been thrown out as his alleged interference was too much for the referee. With the sides even now, Razor Ramon takes matters into his own hands and reveals the concrete floor with dastardly intentions. As per usual in wrestling this would be used against him as he’s thrown over the top rope with a sickening thud. The ladder is now in play as Michaels climbs to the top, but Razor is stirring and in desperation he exposes the buttocks of Michaels to get him down. 

(You know you laughed at “buttocks”, always a good laugh.)

Anything is legal in this matchup as Hickenbottom (oops. Fun fact is that Shawn Michaels real name is Michael Hickenbottom) is using the ladder as a weapon and pummeling the back of Ramon. Razor then returns the favor with a slingshot that sends Michaels face first in the ladder. This match was historic due to the non violence aka PG version of wrestling at the time and this showed a shift in the industry. The battle for the undisputed Intercontinental Championship was on as both men were battling from the top of the ladder, resulting in Michaels being hip tossed from the top!!! Ooooh the humanity!! The innovation of Shawn was showcased beautifully as the ladder was used in every situation possible. 

Michaels goes up, Razor is stirring and shoulder checks the ladder and the heartbreak kid gets tangled in the ropes. The chance is there!!! Razor goes up as Michaels untangles himself only to get his arm ensconced in the ropes. Razor is up, Razor is at the top of the ladder, Razor gets the belts!!! Aaaannnnddd NEEEEWWW Undisputed Intercontinental Champion!!!!

History has been made in more ways than one and I’m still thirsty. 

It is Sunday Funday. What’s better than beer and wrestling?…

Beer and more beer of course. What are you drinking today?

Dress to the 9’s in a Toga. 

#9…

#9…

With the Beatles reference out of the way, the ninth installment of this wrestling extravaganza was once again a head scratcher. Held in Vegas for the first time, it was all Caesar and Cleopatra, camels, togas and everything in between. The event of the night was Bret Hart, reigning WWF champion, going up against the 505 pound Japan phenom, Yokozuna. Fun fact is that Yokozuna was from Hawaii the whole time, so… fuck me right? 

Keeping with the sweetest of water theme is their flagship Pale Ale, 420. I have phases between 420 and the IPA and I just might be back on the Pale bandwagon. 

I also had phases between smooth and crunchy peanut butter but that’s beside the point. I can go either way on pale ales but in this case, it’s right up there with the IPA. Weighing in at 5.7 ABV, it has a great hop kick, but with a smoother citrus finish. A green can with a blue top opener thingy, how can you go wrong. 

Never expecting a wrestling lesson from a 500+ pounder, so moves were minimal and agility was basically non existent. I’ll give Bret Hart all the credit in the world for carrying (or not carrying) the big monster through this matchup. A missed corner splash lead to a second rope bulldog by the challenger but only a 1 count with an extreme kick out. Using all the brains he can, Hart exposes a turnbuckle, all the while throwing Yokozuna into it. The big man is down and the sharpshooter submission move is in!! Mr. Fuji has a substance in his hand…

It’s salt in the eyes!! Salt in the eyes!!!

Yokuna gets the 1…2…3 and the NEEEEW WWF CHAMPION…YOKOZUNA!!! 

In the most shocking (meaning the most unshocking) moment ever, Hulk Hogan comes to the aide of the cheated ex-champion to avenge his loss. Fuji then sets a challenge to the Hulkster to fight Yoko with the title on the line. Spoiler Alert: Hogan gets in and foils the plans of the bad guys and heroingly (totally a word) wins the WWF Championship for the fifth time. The silver lining in this is that I will not utter the name Hogan till WrestleMania 18. 

Hallelujah!!

WrestleMania on the 8’s…

“I sell out arenas, I call that getting dome.” – Jay Z

April was once again upon us and WWF, much like Stella, got their groove back. With a crowd of 62,167 at the Hoosier Dome in Indiana, they righted the wrongs of yesteryear with not one, but…

TWO MAIN EVENTS!!!

The WWF Championship was on the line as Ric Flair (I know you just woo’ed in your head) was pitted against the Macho Man. The build for this match was sublime as Flair stated, and had doctored photo proof, of himself and Savage’s wife Elizabeth in compromised positions with a horse. No bullshit, I said a fucking horse. 

                                                                                 Told ya.

Segueing from a horse to a fish, we go to one of my favorite southern breweries in Sweetwater out of Athens, GA. The flagship IPA is delicious and no, it’s not juicy. It’s just a great hop forward smooth drinking IPA that goes down fabulously. The 6.3% ABV is a little low for more modern IPA’s but if you have 8 at 6% or 6 at 8% then it all equals out right? Thought so. 

Savage, who was retired the year before, was back because in wrestling not much can be taken seriously or literally. Macho came out in all gold, which I’m pretty sure always means that you win the championship. It’s taken me a while to come to this conclusion, but I think I’m on to something. As I’m blabbering on, Savage starts this fight on the outside and is a whirlwind of fisticuffs. As many title matches go, there are ebs and flows of momentum and now Flair is battering the back of Macho, literally from pillar to post. Mr.Perfect is running interference on the outside which just leads to more suplexes and of course plenty of chops from Flair. Savage catches the Nature Boy snoozing on the top rope and BAM, Flair is down & he is in a world of hurt, as seen below…

 

In just about every Flair match he dawns the crimson mask and this one is no different. Flair is down and seemingly out as Savage goes up for his patented elbow and he… HITS IT!! 1…2…NO!! Perfect makes the save and in a weasel move throws in brass knuckles and wallops the Macho one with them. The three count will not be had here and to try to preserve justice, as well as the voice of reason, is Miss Elizabeth. Some pelvic thrusts and air kisses from Ric to Liz can only boil the blood of his opponent. The writing was on the wall but just when you thought it was safe to air pelvic thrust, Savage rolls up (with a fistful of tights) and get the 1..2..3… AAND NEW WWF CHAMPION, MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE!!!  This was one of my favorite bouts so far and remains to be to this day. 

Well, I’ve nerded out long enough and still have some tasty Sweetwater IPA left, so I’ll give you the abridged version of the other main event that was touted as the potential last match of the Hulkster. Another snoozer of a match against Sid Justice was the true main event that went last on the card, which still bugs me. Hulk basically gets beat down, you think he’s out, but he no sells to kingdom come all while the mouthpiece of Sid causes a disqualification. The real rub of the post match beat down of Hogan, with a little help from Papa Shango, was the return of…THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR!!! HES BACK!! The newly mulleted Warrior cleaned house which lead to a pose off in the middle of the ring with all the adoring fans taking it all in. 

So nice, I have to… watch another WrestleMania?? Pretty sure that’s how it goes. Here we go…

#9…

#9…

#9…

Brad Pitt’s Favorite Number…

Spoiler Alert: I’m drinking a Bud Light Lime (of the A-Rita variety). Yep, it’s fucking Peach and I’m somewhat ok with it. 

There is a method to my madness though, I promise you. 

WrestleMania 7 was a prickly one. The original venue in Los Angeles was moved for reasons unknown into a smaller venue. I’m just going to guess it’s because the line up sucked. Wrestling nerdery aside, it sucked. The main event was lackluster at best, once again pitting…guess who…

Nothing?…

Come on. You know who…

Yeah, Hulk Hogan shows up again– for the 6th year– against Sergeant Slaughter, you know of G.I Joe fame. He came in as WWF Champion. The controversy here was that Slaughter was an Iraqi sympathizer and turned his back on America and America didn’t really appreciate that. Completely off subject: I just had to mention that Alex Trebek is the ring announcer and Regis Philbin is doing color commentary. WrestleMania 7 in a nutshell but first, here is Austin Powers in a nutshell…

The U.S.A laden Hulk Hogan promised justice and a new WWF Championship reign. Will he be a man of his word?…

????….

Now the Peach A Rita all makes sense right??!! Shitty main event means a shitty beer/malt beverage thingamajig. Not much to say but it’s a heavily carbonated, slightly Peach flavored, very interesting tasting liquid. That’s my review and I’m sticking to it. 

Momentum is swinging in many directions as USA chants are deafening. I feel like the only equivalent to this match would be pitting Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump (who is actually sitting front row in the audience) but maybe that’s just me. Not a wrestling clinic by any means, the usual atomic drops, clotheslines, and 10 count punches were in full effect. General Adnan (you can’t make this shit up) was a huge distraction on the outside while Hogan went to the top rope but was knocked off by the opposing Slaughter…

No Slaughter of the 80’s, not you. The actual Slaughter used a steel chair and Hogan is busted open!!! Hogan is busted open!!! The Iraqi flag is in play and Hogan is doing his classic no sell. It’s only a matter of time now as the crimson mask flows down the face of the challenger and just like that it’s…

Big Boot…Leg Drop…

1…2…3!!

Hogan is once again the WWF Champion for the 10,000th time. Will he headline his 7th WrestleMania??? 

Shit is hot up in the 6 right now…

WrestleMania 6, that is… or WrestleMania VI if you’re fancy. 

The Mega Powers exploding was one thing but this…

Was…

Big!!!

Monumental!!! 

Only a main event that WrestleMania could bring. 

Hogan, for the umpteenth time, is reprising his role in the main event but not to be outdone is the Ultimate Warrior!! Not only was this the first time two baby faces were pitted against each other but both the Intercontinental AND the WWF Championship were on the line. Yep, you guessed it…

TITLE FOR TITLE!!!

Also for the first time, the event was held north of the border in Toronto. In hindsight, I probably should’ve picked a Canadian beer to drink, but that would just make too much sense now wouldn’t it? Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was my first real soirée into the craft world back in the day, so I hold a somewhat special place in my heart for this one. My only gripe is that there isn’t the word “India” before Pale Ale because I love me some IPA’s. It’s the dot that makes it hot. I need to set the record straight here: Pale Ales are absolutely not India Pale Ales. I feel like this point gets lost, but for realzy, they’re not the same. 

Moving on to the championship duel at hand, they start out with some shoves on both sides of the coin, and gaining position is crucial. After trading bodyslams, the warrior gets the upper hand…

                                                     

And it looks like Hogan is injured!! Hogan really favoring his knee but the Ultimate Warrior isn’t shedding any tears. (And Warriors make up is just about sweated off…)

Sweated?? This doesn’t sound right but I’m riding this wave home. 

Hulk trying to wear out the Warrior is easier said than done and what??!!…

Warrior is impervious to blows, one punch…two punches…the Warrior feels nothing!! Hogan, believe it or not, is begging for mercy and the Warrior isn’t obliging. On another note, this Sierra Nevada is pretty tasty, I’ve lost some faith in the recent years with their new options, but this is always a go to in my book.  The bear hug is on and the count to three… WILL NOT HAPPEN!! Hulk on the offensive, Warrior ducks and the referee is down folks!!! The shit has hit the proverbial fan as they say and in the great words of Gorilla Monsoon, “these guys are pulling out all the stops.” Warrior tries to finish him with the press slam but no dice as Hogan is fucking hulking up, AGAIN, but wait— He missed the leg drop??!! Warrior goes off the ropes with a big splash and 1..2..3!!! The 6 (Drake Toronto speak) is going bananas while a new WWF Champion is crowned. 

This was a supposed “passing of the torch” type of match, but that’s another WrestleMania (and another beer) for a later time. 

Craft can be Crap…

*gasp*

*huh?*

*blasphemy*

                                Yep, it’s true. 

For all the #craftnotcrap hashtags, why is it out of the realm of possibility that craft beer can sometimes not be good. All beer snobbery aside (you know my stance on that) just because it’s craft, doesn’t mean it’s good. I’ve had my fair share of craft beer that was pretty gross and would never indulge in again. You can’t win them all but at the same time to think just because it’s craft it’s good, and at the same token think just because it’s macro, it’s bad is straight up…

Have you ever had a bad craft beer? I know you have and it’s ok to admit because sometimes beers don’t always work. Whether it’s the microest of brews or the macro mecca, don’t judge a beer by its label. 

Just taste it goddamnit. 

#allbeersmatter

May the 4th be with you. And also with you. 

The fourth installment of WrestleMania was my first real memory of this grand event as a kid. Yea I’m old, 34 if you’re counting at home, and fell in love with this great sport at the ripe age of five. I was intrigued from the beginning and who would’ve thunk that thirty years later I’d be on my 909th unique beer, while rewatching the spectacle I fell in love with. 

Enough of memory fucking lane, let’s get to the mission at hand…beer. 

Sam Adams will always hold a special place for me and my yankee roots. (Yankee as in from the north, not the shitty New York variety, that’s gross.) The recent Rebel IPA series has been magical for my taste buds is when a new “Pack of Rebels” was released I was enchanted. Pairing with the single elimination tournament for the World Wrestling Federation Championship is Rebel Grapefruit IPA. Fruit in ales such as this can be disastrous and some have straight up crashed and burned…

*cough* New Belgium Citradelic *cough*

But this was a tasty, and welcomed, exception to the rule. The low IBU’s and 6.3 ABV and the perfect amount of grapefruit, make this a solid summertime go to, or in my case an any day go to. 

The stage was set and the tournament was at its end and only Randy “Macho Man” Savage and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase were left. Not Hulk Hogan. Crazy right. Dibiase’s bodyguard Andre the Giant was the enforcer on the outside and the coup was on. Wait a minute?!!?! Not so fast Andre because Hulk Hogan has now evened up the playing field and we’re all square as they say. Macho Man has now turned the tide momentarily but after more outside antics from Andre, Dibiase has locked in the dreaded sleeper hold but wait…

The ref is distracted…

Hogan is in. Hogan has a chair!!! Hogan has a chair!!! The chair connects with the back of DiBiase and the crowd explodes!! Savage goes up and hits the top rope elbow and 1…2…3!!! Savage went through four men to capture his first WWF Championship. 

Not to be outdone, the very next year was held at the same venue but in a daring, shocking, and honestly a flabbergasting turn of events…

                                                          Nope. Even more flabbergasting. 

                                                                           Spoiler Alert:

                    Hulk Hogan vs Macho Man Randy Savage: The Mega Powers explode!!