October, 2001!BANG! NEWSLETTER
Issue 3 Editor in Chief. Sign Guy
Hello all. Welcome to the latest issue of the !BANG! newsletter. If you think last month in the Funking Conservatory was huge, you havent seen anything yet. There will be new students at the training camp and they will BANG the house down at the next TV taping on September 29. This month also features a theme of Japan as Dory and Marti Funk and Adam Windsor will be traveling to Tokyo, Japan where Dory will be competing the first week of October. I will have more on that later in the newsletter. Any comments and suggestions for this newsletter are welcome at email@example.com. Attn: Newsletter. I can be reached at the same address. Attn: Editor.
A Word from the Editor
On behalf of myself, Dory & Marti Funk, and all the stars of the Funking Conservatory, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and survivors of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and also to the victims families. Our thoughts also go out to those who have been involved in rescue efforts and clean up. Thank you for all you have done.
Time Slot Change
For those of you who like to get up early, !BANG! is back at itís original time slot on Saturday mornings at 6:30 AM.
Dory Funk Jr. to compete in Japan
On October 7th in Tokyo's Korakuen Hall, Japan's MUGA Promotion will feature two matches. Dory Funk Jr. will return to Japan to face Osamu Nishimura and New Japan Pro-wrestling President, Tatsumi Fujinami will face Bob Backlund. MUGA Promotion is Fujinami and Nishimura's group. Their style is traditional wrestling. Dory made his first trip to Japan in 1969 and has made 75 trips back to Japan since then. On October the 8th in the Tokyo Dome, New Japan Pro Wrestling will celebrate fifty years of pro wrestling in Japan. Professional wrestling was first brought to Japan by the late Riki Dozan in 1951. On the Tokyo Dome card, Dory will be making a rare appearance to participate in a tag team match with his brother, the hardcore specialist Terry Funk. They will be taking on legendary competition in Tatsumi Fujinami and Bob Backlund. Over 70,000 thousand wrestling fans are expected to fill the "Egg Dome." Joining Dory on his journey will be his lovely wife Marti and his #1 protoge' Adam Windsor. Marti will be doing the videography while Adam will be in Dory's corner on both nights.
Returning to this month's camp will be the Sam Kinison look-a-like, Smokin Sam Hennesey, and the future superstar who wants Tajiri to kick him in the head, my good friend Buck Wylde. Also returning are Adam Windsor's "Brit Pack" partner Neil Faith, the Bodysnatcher Brandon Groom, and Fabulous Mark Edwards.
A special welcome to Brian "Lightning" Bolt and Sean Sullivan who are here at the Funking Conservatory for the first time. Sean is also working the promoter's program. Also, a special welcome to all the other wrestlers making their first trip here. Good luck to each and every one of you.
This interview was conducted with Claudia Reiff, the new chief referee of the Funking Conservatory and head of the Funking Conservatory referee training program.
Sign Guy: Claudia, thank you for joining me today.
Claudia Reiff: Thank you. I am also known as "The Claw".
SG: You started off as Dory and Marti's assistant, correct?
CR: Yes, I went to work for Dory and Marti as their personal assistant. I did that for approximately 7 months. After being a substitute referee back in June, they liked my style, I liked it, and the three of us decided to move in a different direction.
SG: Are you from Ocala?
CR: No. I was born and raised in Bronx, New York. My family and I moved to Miami when I was 12, and here at the ripe old age of 42 years young, I'm starting my career in professional wrestling.
SG: I know the feeling because I'm 32 and just getting my start myself.
CR: Hey, better late than never.
SG: Exactly. That's how I see it too. Now that you are the head referee of the Funking Conservatory, you've said that you will be starting up the referee program with Dory Funk and Adam Windsor. What kind of things will you be expecting from any students who come and participate in the program?
CR: We haven't quite worked out the program yet. However, it's in the works right now and yes, I will be head of the referee program under the tutilage of Dory and Adam. What I will expect out of the students is for them to properly learn how to be a referee. They will learn how to work matches, work on facial expressions, and conditioning because a referee has to have cardio conditioning just like any wrestler. It's more or less that we'll play it as we go. We'll see the talent that wants to come through the referee program, see how they come across on TV, and see how they come across during camp.
SG: Are you having a good time doing the referee thing?
CR: I'm having a blast. I'm having a better time than I thought. Like I said before, I did it back in June as a substitute referee because one of the referees didn't show up. They put the stripes on me, and in I went. I have had previous experience refereeing college and high school wrestling. I knew a little of what I was doing, but it's like chocolate to milk, it just came to me, and I love it.
SG: You've been a wrestling fan since you were a kid?
CR: Let's see. I'm 42 years old, which means I've been a wrestling fan for the last 37 years.
SG: Cool. I started late. I wasn't a wrestling fan until I was 13.
CR: Being from New York, I went to matches at the old Madison Square Garden, the new Madison Square Garden, watching guys like Bruno Sammartino, Buddy Rogers, some of the greats.
SG: Even Dory?
CR: Even Dory. I was there the night Dory lost the NWA title, and saw Terry Funk win the NWA title when I lived in Miami Beach.
SG: I also understand you have a huge wrestling memorabilia collection, because I remember seeing your latest acquisition which is a replica Stone Cold Steve Austin "Smoking Skull" belt.
CR: Yes, I do have several nice replica belts. Most of them were obtained through personal friends of mine. I didn't go out and buy any of them except for one. Besides my belt collection, I also have an extensive photo collection. When you've been a wrestling fan as long as I have, in my case 37 years, you tend to collect a lot of stuff.
SG: Getting back to the referee program, what is your personal opinion on the outlook of the program from where you see it?
CR: From where I see it, I am in charge of the program. What I would like to see is referees more better prepared. When you're in the ring refereeing, it's not only conditioning but knowing your spots, knowing the proper place to count, knowing how to work the match, facial expressions, and body expressions. It's not a blank look, you go along with the match. If someone is hit hard, are you just going to stand there? And it's also the timing. You don't just stand there like a limp biscuit, you have to work it. You have to work the match.
SG: Do you see yourself staying with the conservatory as a referee, or if you were made an offer by another organization like the WWF what would you do?
CR: If someone made me an offer to referee in the WWF, I probably wouldn't be able to do that because I would die on the spot of a heart attack. I wouldn't live to see the next day. I do see myself staying as the head referee of the conservatory for a little while to come. I don't think I'm quite ready for the WWF yet, but I'm aiming toward that. Also, another good part about the referee program and being a referee as a whole, I am a FEMALE. There are no female referees out there.
SG: That brings me to the next question. Being a female, I know you would like to see more females get into your program or any other program. The only female referee I've seen was in the WWF in the mid to late 80s at the time when Shane McMahon was a referee, but the lady didn't last very long.
CR: I have seen a couple of female referees in the past, and I do know of one presently on the independent circuit. From what I've seen of her, no. I would like to see more female referees in the business. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. I'm going to teach guys, and I'm going to teach girls. It doesn't matter.
SG: Exactly. Hopefully there would be a publication or two that would recognize you as one of the few female referees, you deserve that. I've been to the matches when you've refereed and I've heard people around me saying "She's better than that other guy." You've started gaining a fan following.
CR: You know, a couple of important things about being a referee whether you're a male or a female is that you've got to know what you're doing, and you've got to enjoy it. If you enjoy it and you know what you're doing, the rest just comes naturally. if you don't like what you're doing and you're in there just to fill a space, people are going to know it.
SG: Now, you haven't quite exactly gotten hurt yet, but I think the only physical thing that has happened to you is that you've been partially pulled out of the ring by a wrestler.
CR: Yes. That has been done to me two or three times by the one and only Shane Chung. But you know, it's part of the match and part of the business. I will say this, no matter when I go or where I go, I'll be in the Funking Conservatory for at least another few years. If it happens for me in the big time, I'll tell you that there's only three people on this earth that will teach me the right way, get me to where I want to go, and lead me in the right direction that will receive all the credit. Those people are Dory Funk Jr., Marti Funk, and The Royal Stud, Adam Windsor. If I make it, it's because of those three people and nobody else.
SG: You got that right.
CR: That's right.
SG: One more question. When you're in the ring with the wrestlers, whether they're male or female, do they like to try to intimidate you because you are a female referee?
CR: The girls, no. The guys, yes. They want to intimidate me, but they don't intimidate me. Whether you're big or small, male or female, I'm wearing those stripes which means I'm in charge.
SG: Good for you. Any final thoughts?
CR: Not really, but I'll say this once again. When and if I make it to the big time, it doesn't matter. If I do, I owe all of my success to Dory, Marti, and Adam.
SG: Great. They're the best, and you learn from the best. That's the way it is with everyone in the conservatory. The wrestlers, managers, valets, referees, everybody.
CR: I have one more statement in relation to what you just said. As Ric Flair used to say, "To be the man, you've got to beat the man.". I have my own saying, "To be the best, you've got to be taught by the best. Dory Funk Jr..".
SG: You've got that right because I'm learning from the best too. Well, Claudia, thank you very much for your time. As far as the program, good luck to you on that. Congratulations on your promotion, and good luck on all the things to come.
CR: Thank you, Sign Guy. It's been a pleasure.
JUSHIN "THUNDER" LIGER
This match took place in the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Shane Chung came to the ring accompanied by Lance Storm. Jushin "Thunder" Liger came to the ring accompanied by Kensuki Sasake. The match began with Liger and Shane staring each other down. As the high flyer pushed Shane down to the mat, Shane managed to catch Liger in an armlock submission hold, but Liger managed to grab the bottom rope. After another lockup, Shane took Liger down and tried for the armlock submission. Shane then pointed at Sasake and twisted Liger's arm more. Liger managed to reach the ropes again, forcing Shane to break the hold. Shane then attempted to whip Liger into the ropes, but Liger reversed the whip and went to give Shane a dropkick. Shane smartly held on to the ropes and slid out of the ring. The two men locked up again, but this time, Liger gained the advantage by putting Shane into an armlock. Liger attempted to whip Shane into the ropes, but Shane reversed the whip and delivered a nice dropkick. Once Liger was down, Shane executed a headbutt to Liger's lower midsection. Liger recovered and sent Shane into the corner and gave him two very hard chops. After several minutes of hard fought action, Shane attempted a cobra clutch on Liger, but Liger gave Shane a low blow and followed up with a spin kick to Shane's head. Liger then stomped Shane in the back. Liger whipped Shane into the ropes and both men collided and went down. Both men were motionless for a moment, then Liger went to the top rope and executed a shooting star press on Shane. Liger went for the pin. Shane got his foot on the rope, but it was pushed off the rope by Kensuki Sasake. The referee however did see Shane's foot on the rope and called for the break. As Sasake turned around, he was met by Lance Storm's foot as the result of a superkick. Once Shane was up, he distracted the referee as Storm came in and gave a superkick to Liger. Shane then went to the top rope and delivered the flying headbutt on the prone Liger. The referee counted three and the match was awarded to Shane Chung.
This individual didn't exactly train in the Conservatory, but he is a student of Dory Funk Jr. This young man is from the country of Japan and his name is Jun Akiyama. Dory's training of Jun Akiyama was from his start with All Japan Pro-wrestling. The All Japan young boys would meet Dory at the shows at 4:00 in the afternoon for an hour and a half workout before the fans were allowed in the arena. Dory has had the privilege of working in the ring with Akiyama on many occasions. Pro Wrestling NOAH's Jun Akiyama is not only one of the greatest technical wrestlers but also an evil, mean, and nasty one in Japanese Puroresu right now. Akiyama (6', 231 lbs./188cm, 108kg) was born in Izumi City, Osaka on October 9, 1969. He did swimming when he was a junior high school student and did amateur wrestling (Free style 81kg class) and judo in Takaishi High School in Osaka. He went to Senshu University in Tokyo and joined the amateur wrestling team that produced Riki Choshu, Hiroshi Hase, and Manabu Nakanishi. He joined Giant Baba's All Japan Pro Wrestling on February 3, 1992. He debuted as a pro wrestler against Kenta Kobashi at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on September 17, 1992. When Jumbo Tsuruta faded because of his inflammation of the liver, Akiyama was selected as a new tag team partner of Akira Taue in the Real World Tag Team League Tournament from November 14 to December 4, 1992. He excels in wrestling sense and techniques, and his hard training made him close in on Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada, his brother-figure, Kenta Kobashi, and Akira Taue. When Misawa left Mrs. Motoko Baba's All Japan Pro Wrestling and started his new group, Pro Wrestling NOAH, in July 2000, Akiyama followed Misawa, along with 23 other wrestlers and 18 office workers. Since then, Akiyama has established himself as a radical opposition to Misawa and Kobashi in the ring, and he has even shown interest to face New Japan Pro Wrestling clearly.
A special Happy Birthday to Anne Pheiffer aka The Living Dead Girl Cleopatra.
Gossip (or questions to ponder)
When will we see Summer Rain vs Cleopatra for the Women's Championship?
(Editor's note: Just found out, September 29 in an evening gown match)
What does Summer Rain like more? Cookies, pie, or strudel?
Cleopatra is back. She looks alive and well, but not dead.
Why does Brent Cameron Dail scream all the time?
What will Adam Windsor REALLY be doing while he is visiting Japan?
What is Shane Chung's secret recipe for eggrolls?
Rumor also has it that a cable system wants to take !BANG! nationwide.
Buck Wylde is back and looking like a champion.
Why does Bonecrusher carry a skull?
Why does Smokin Sam Hennesey smoke so much?
Should Osamu Nishimura teach Keith The Chef from "Survivor" how to cook rice?
Should we have faith in Neil Faith?
How fabulous is Mark Edwards?
Why does Bodysnatcher Brandon Groom snatch bodies?James Malone - AKA - Sign Guy