Daily Archives: March 27, 2011

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Wrestlers From The 1980’s’

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Wrestlers From The 1980’s’

Ok, I am ready for the third installment of this series that hits “30-YOC” every Sunday night.

Going forward, there will be a slight twist – I am going to be adding a category of honorable mention to the list of Top 10.  Frankly, this process has been a lot of fun for me and as I think of new topics and then the contenders for those topics I am oftentimes coming up with more than 10 worthy selections.

So, without further ado – I bring to you – ‘Top Ten Wrestlers From The 1980’s’

To preface this list, I did a little homework and my list consists of guys that wrestled in the 1980’s or debuted during the 1980’s.  They may not have had their greatest successes or failures during that time, but I consider all of these guys as ‘Wrestlers Of The 80’s’

Honorable mention:  Junk Yard Dog, Van Vader, Scott Steiner, Tito Santana, Sting, and Rowdy Roddy Piper.

#10 – King Kong Bundy – Such a fun villain, he really embraced that role.  And while pretty limited from a technical standpoint, his forceful moves made him a fun main-eventer to cheer for or against.

#9 – Dusty Rhodes – Great on the microphone and fair in the ring, Dusty was around for twenty years prior to 1980, but he was still a very high profile talent whose ‘Atomic Elbow’ would knock you into next week.

#8 – Lex Luger – Luger had the greatest debut that I recall from my youth.  I had never seen so much attention paid to a newcomer like it was for Luger.  With a physique that was unmatched, if he had better skills on the mic, he could have been the best.

#7 – Hulk Hogan – As a kid, I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘Hulkamaniac’ but I absolutely respect everything he did to propel the popularity of the sport.  His in-ring presence and ability to control 20,000 people with his actions is unparalleled.

#6 – Arn Anderson – So underrated, Arn Anderson is one of the best technical wrestlers that I have ever seen.  Great in both singles and tag-team action, Anderson provided a great fight each and every time he entered the ring.  Always a bridesmaid, and never a bride, Anderson did not have the looks or personality to carry a heavyweight championship, but he definitely had the skill.

#5 – Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat – Like most kids, I took karate lessons as a youngster.  It was cool to see Ricky use some of the same moves I learned in his matches.  He was fun to watch, was great off the top rope, and had some very intense rivalries during his days.

#4 – Shawn Michaels – I have watched his entire career, from start to finish.  And while I was not a fan of his during his early years, Shawn Michaels became an incredibile performer.  His in-ring work got so good, you could tell that he was extremely dedicated to his craft.  His teaming with ‘Degenration X’ and rebelious ways made being a bad guy fun!

#3 – Bret Hart – Easily the best wrestler that I have ever seen.  His skills were sharp from the moment he entered the ring, it’s a shame that so much of his early years were spent in tag-team action against lesser competition.  Hart’s personality was not the best, but he was good enough on the mic to warrant lengthy title reigns.  And the fact that he competed well against opponents of all sizes is a true testament to his unsurpassed skill level.

#2 Ric Flair – The ‘Nature Boy’ had it all.  Tremendous in-ring skill, and the best performer when in front of the cameras.  He was the perfect bad-guy, and when I was watching him as a kid, he made being bad so much more fun than being good.  The confidence that Flair displayed in his talent took him a very long way – and when he got his Blond hair all bloody, it was priceless.

#1 Randy “Macho Man” Savage – I was captivated by Savage the first time I saw him on TV, and only part of it was due to Ms. Elizabeth.  When Savage would leap from the top rope and drop an elbow on his opponent, he soared!  A very skilled wrestler, and equally talented with the microphone in his hands, Randy Savage mixed in just the right amount of crazy that kept you on the edge of your seat.  From intense battles with Hogan, Flair, Steamboat, Warrior, and more, I cheered Savage like I cheered no one else.

Man, that was a blast.   At some point I will have to dig back into my memory bank and hit the 1990’s.

But for now, I will leave you with a glimpse into next week’s list – ‘Top Ten Actors’



‘On The Road With psugator02’ – Spring Training Road Trip – Day 7

‘On The Road With psugator02’ – Spring Training Road Trip – Day 7

9:30 a.m.
around Phoenix
Friday, March 18

at Diamondbacks’ backfields

Got lost so didn’t arrive until 9:30 a.m., just as Kirk Gibson had finished signing. I could actually see him signing but just couldn’t get there in time. I thought for sure that I had blown my opportunity because this guy has been very hard for me. He eventually walked past me again and I gave him a sob story about getting lost. His reply? “So.” But he gave in, and I thanked him for feeling sorry for me. This setup is the most grapher-friendly in all of the Cactus League. Can’t wait to get back.

Kirk Gibson: 1/1 (SS, ROMLB) in blue ink. He does not do the inscription
Don Baylor: 1/1 (card) in blue Sharpie. I was going to get him on a ROMLB, but he refused to do the inscription.
Justin Upton: 1/1 (11×14)….I kissed his butt, but he still wouldn’t give me the good graph. Totally different from all the other times I’ve encountered him. Engaged me, which was a pleasure. Said his father, a college basketball referee, is not working the NCAA Tournament, instead choosing to vacation with his wife in the Dominican.
Stephen Drew: 1/1 (’09 Ginter)…Doesn’t enjoy doing it, but Gibson allots 20 minutes in the day’s schedule for “Autographs” so he has to
Wily Mo Pena: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)….He won’t turn around to sign so you have to recognize him in time.
Kelly Johnson: 3/3 (’08 Ginters) in blue Sharpie….best signer on the team
Alan Trammell: 1/1 (5×7 a friend took from the mid-1980s) in blue Sharpie
Chris Young: has still eluded me. I think he’s the last of the ’08 Ginters that I need from the D’backs
Brett Butler: 3/3 (5×7 Topps cards from the 1980s) in blue Sharpie. Really nice dude

at A’s

Kevin Kouzmanoff: 2/2 (’09 Ginter) in blue Sharpie…You can now read every letter compared to last year’s KK
Todd Steverson: 1/1 (card) in blue Sharpie
Hideki Matsui: 1/1 (’08 Ginter) in blue Sharpie, 1/1 (SS, ROMLB) in blue ink pen…First time I got him was when the A’s took the field for pre-game workouts. I was one of only two graphers in the stadium. Second time a few more graphers had gathered. Oddly enough, he made sure the cameras were on him both times he signed
Kurt Suzuki: 3/3 (cards) in blue Sharpie. Great dude
Josh Willingham: 0/1. Shouted a bunch of Marlins’ things at him but he wouldn’t come over
Conor Jackson: 0/1 weird dude
Dallas Braden: 0/1 didn’t stop because he wasn’t recognized right away
Michael Choice: 2/2 (8x10s)

at Angels

Missed Bobby Abreu because I chose not to enter the stadium.

Tori Hunter: 1/1 (’08 Ginter) in blue Sharpie
Vernon Wells: 2/2 (’08 Ginters) in blue Sharpie
Bobby Abreu: 0/1 wouldn’t stop in the parking lot
Brandon Wood: 0/1 wouldn’t stop in the parking lot
Other: Also saw former manager Kevin Kennedy but didn’t get him on anything. … A great place to get visiting stars because they park in the same lot as the public.

at Indians’ backfields before their night game

Austin Kearns: 1/1 (’08 Ginter) in blue Sharpie
Other: Missed Sizemore again by less than five minutes

at Goodyear before game

Sandy Alomar: 1/1 (’97 All-Star ticket) in black Staedtler with the inscription, 1/1 help (card) in blue Sharpie. Alomar said he had never seen the Dynasty card I had him sign
Austin Kearns: 1/1 help (’08 Ginter) in blue Sharpie

Tim Raines 2011 In The Game ‘Heroes & Prospects’ Game-Used Jersey Card

Tim Raines 2011 In The Game ‘Heroes & Prospects’ Game-Used Jersey Card

Man, this card is very sweet!  Such creativity…

I found this card online while shopping for the Andre Dawson relic from the same set.  And while I ultimately lost out on that auction(story of my life), I did score this beauty of Dawson’s favorite teammate and ’30-YOC’ PC member – All-Star Tim Raines.

Issued in February 2011, I knew I wanted to add a few of these cards to my collection as soon as I came across them.

The card is issued by a company called ‘In The Game’, and while they are not licensed to use MLB logos or team names, the product offered up is pretty solid.

Mostly done in shades of Black and White, the card looks fantastic.  The little splashes of color that they added, along with the Silver foil stamping, blend very well with the design of the card.  And it doesn’t hurt that the company’s logo matches the Montreal Expos’ colors too.

And the big chunk of Raines’ jersey looks great.  Nice and big, the piece offers up two colors and two seams.

Here it is:

Johnny Bench 2010 Topps ‘Cards Your Mom Threw Out’

Johnny Bench 2010 Topps ‘Cards Your Mom Threw Out’

Wow, easily one of my favorite baseball cards from the 1970’s, and definitely my favorite card issued of Johnny Bench during his playing days!

Have a look:

So many cool elements to the card.  Let’s count them up really quick:

  1. Bench’s focus on the ball and disregard for his location on the field
  2. NO players coming to protect him from falling into the dugout
  3. NO protection from foul balls in front of the dugout
  4. Sweet catcher logo in the bottom-right corner

And while the original was made 38 years ago, I’ll take what I can get and proudly add this card to my collection of Johnny Bench baseball cards.


Ozzie Smith 1994 Topps GOLD

Ozzie Smith 1994 Topps GOLD

In the mid 1990’s Topps had a little infatuation with Gold.  They used it in their Black Gold issues and they also offered it up in their 1994 sets too.

There is no better player to offer some Gold to than Ozzie Smith.  Considered the greatest defensive shortstop of all-time, and arguably the greatest defender to ever play the sport professionally, Ozzie Smith won 13 Gold Gloves during his big league career.

And subtle as it is, the Gold on his 1994 Topps baseball card is a perfect match for ‘The Wizard Of Oz’!!! 

A great, and Golden, addition to my Ozzie Smith collection!!!