Jeff Hardy’s win is anticlimactic

I know I am not the only one who saw traces of a young Shawn Michaels early in Jeff Hardy’s career. Michaels, now a wrestling legend began his WWE career as one half of the tag team, The Rockers in the 80’s. By the early 90’s Shawn had outgrown his less-talented partner and began a historic singles run which led way to four World Championships.

Jeff Hardy came into the WWE alongside his brother Matt and took over the wrestling tag team scene as ‘The Hardy Boys”. For years many were expecting huge things from Jeff but watched as the extremely talented (and popular) Hardy Boy got into one mishap after another. By 2003 Vince McMahon fired Hardy for drug use, erratic behavior, and for missing many house shows. After being allowed back in the WWE, Jeff was suspended in March after violating WWE’s Substance Abuse and Drug Testing Policy. A few months later there was an incident of a drunk Jeff Hardy causing mayhem in a Nashville airport.

Somehow, Jeff has finally beaten the odds and won the World Championship after a decade of work and battling his inner demons. Jeff’s certified autographs from Topps Chrome & Heritage sell anywhere between $30-$50 dollars. He is also featured in many other sets, which you can find HERE.

Mike Awesome – A True Hardcore Legend

The life of a professional wrestler is not an easy one. Without fail, every single year another one of our iconic, larger than life heroes passes away before their time. The cause is always different but the tragedy is always the same. One has to even wonder how someone comes to the realization that they want to be a wrestler someday. It certainly doesn’t seem like all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, you will never be short of fans who adore you but you will live every single day of your life in horrific pain until the day your body finally gives in.

Mike Awesome had wrestling roots, if there is such a thing. He was connected to the Hulk Hogan legacy early in his life but somehow never made it to WWF/WWE super stardom. Maybe he was not tall enough, too slow, or just didn’t have the “it” factor. Whatever the result, it didn’t stop Mike Alfonso from pursuing the fame and fortune promised to wrestlers who “make it big” in the industry.

After many years, Mike began to make a name for himself in Japan until landing in Extreme Championship Wrestling, where he became “Mike Awesome”. It didn’t take long for Mike to become a star in E.C.W. By the late-90’s, Mike was the E.C.W Champion but the organization was on its last legs and was about to go under. Having a family to look after, Mike left the promotion to join World Championship Wrestling. After a horrible “gimmick” AKA character, Mke made his W.W.E debut in 2001.

Unfortunately, World Wrestling Entertainment didn’t know how to use him and by the following year Mike was without a job. He made a few appearances in local shows before retiring from wrestling. A few years later, with both W.C.W & E.C.W out of business and the rights owned by Vince McMahon, E.C.W was resurrected for ‘One Night Stand’, a one-time only Pay Per View.

On that night, Mike Awesome made his final appearance in front of a TV crowd against Masato Tanaka and had the match of his career. After the event, Mike went back to Tampa, Florida and continued his new life as a Real Estate Agent, with his family & friends at his side.

One night in early February of 2007, Mike’s friends arrived at his home only to find a lifeless Alfonso hanging from a rope in his garage. Mike was 42 years old at the time of his death and unlike another infamous wrestler he once worked with, Chris Benoit, Mike didn’t hurt anyone but himself on that night. Well, at least not physically.

The following is a video I made as a tribute to Mike Awesome’s greatest wrestling match, which was also his last one. I put together the highlights from the E.C.W One Night Stand DVD, ripped them and edited the files with Windows Movie Maker. I have something a little more powerful but I have not used it much yet.

I hope you guys enjoy!

What is your dream Cut Signature?

Collectors, it is time we face the truth about non-sports cards in your pack of baseball cards. You either love them, tolerate them, or flat out hate them but they are not going away anytime soon. Personally, being a huge movie & music buff—I absolutely love these cards! How awesome would it to pull a cut signature of one of the all-time greatest actors, Marlon Brando? Or how about one of legendary crooner, Frank Sinatra? Truth is, even if you don’t want to keep the card, odds are someone on eBay really wants it. It’s a no lose situation.

So, what is your dream Cut Signature? Oh, and please don’t go and say “Babe Ruth” as you know there are so many of those it’s hard to keep up with. Is there an entertainer, athlete, politician that you feel has been forgotten and would like to see in a 2009 product? Below is my top 3 most-wanted.

3. Carl Wilson – Musician

Carl, along with his two brothers, cousin, and friend formed the Beach Boys in the early 60’s as teenagers. The group went on to have the greatest music career next to the Beatles but Mr. Wilson lost his battle with Cancer in 1996. Still, even while being deathly ill many fans remember going to concerts in the mid-90’s where Carl was propped on a stool singing with the aid of an oxygen tank. He loved performing all the way up until the very end.

2. Steve Clark – Musician

An amazing guitar player who was very underrated in the 80’s and early 90’s for Def Leppard, before they began to suck severely. Steve died from an overdose of pain killers, anti-depressants, and alcohol in 1991 at the age of 30. The video below is from his guitar solo ‘Switch 625’ which Def Leppard still plays in his memory to this day.

1. Eazy-E – Hip Hop Artist

The legend goes that Eric Wright, who stood just 5 feet 3 inches began Ruthless Records with money he made selling drugs. Whatever the case, his company put out the infamous N.W.A of the early 90’s and chart-topping, Platinum-selling Bone Thugs N’ Harmony in the mid-90’s. Eazy passed away in 1995 at the age of 31. You can see a very rare photo of his signature by clicking HERE.

A rare autograph on eBay!

I can remember 1995 like it was just yesterday. I was 15, full of angst, and spent every minute I could listening to rap music. At the time, my favorite rapper was a little guy with a giant persona by the name of Eric Wright AKA “Eazy-E”.

Eazy was a pioneer of “Gangsta Rap”, had a legendary sense of humor, and was about to make headlines all over the world with his untimely death after doctors discovered he had full blown A.I.D.S. just days prior.

You don’t have to be a Rap fan to appreciate this awesome autograph Eazy signed for a fan in 1988. You can see what detail and time he put into making this fan happy despite having a reputation as a “thug”.

The card below is from a set called ‘Rap Pack’ released in 1991. I guess you could call it his trading card “rookie” if you’d like. Believe it or not, there is a sealed wax box of this stuff for just $5 on eBay at the moment but the Eazy autograph is a true one of a kind.

You can find one of his best music videos below the card. It is from Eazy’s first solo album and is worth a watch if you like 80’s cheese and old school Hip-Hop.