Remembering Chyna: A Larger Than Life Hero Taken Too Soon

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With the dirt not even cold on the grave of ECW star Balls Mahoney who passed away last week at the age of 44, the pro wrestling world has suffered another tragic loss. Joanie “Chyna” Laurer, one of the most popular female figures in the history of the wrestling business passed away Wednesday evening at the premature age of 45. The term, “icon” is thrown around carelessly in sports, and pro wrestling is no different. If there ever was a use of this word that was 100$% warranted, it’s when it is used to describe the “9th Wonder of the World”, Chyna.

Plucked from relative obscurity by up-and-coming WWE Superstar Triple H, Chyna burst onto the scene of the wacky world of pro wrestling and made am immediate impact. Professional wrestling is saturated with characters, freaks, oddities, and oddballs. From day one, Chyna was able to stand out amongst the masses with her muscular frame and silent but deadly demeanor. She was something that had never been seen before in the wrestling world. A woman with the size, strength, and intimidation factor that could match any man on the roster she stood across the ring from. It was only a matter of time before she transitioned from ringside enforcer for D-Generation X, to a full-blown bonafide in-ring Superstar.

Chyna was matched up with some of the best to ever lace up a pair of boots, such as Chris Jericho, and was able to hold her own, and here’s the kicker, BE BELIEVABLE! When she was in the ring with a male counterpart, it absolutely made sense that she could more than likely hold stand toe-to-toe and take down her opponent, even if they were a different sex. Her all around presence made the character Chyna be cheered on by millions as well as being a woman who was not only breaking stereotypes, but shattering gender roles in wrestling by becoming the first ever WWE Intercontinental Champion. A hero and inspiration to young girls all over the world, even to this day, Chyna displayed feats in the wrestling ring that have gone unmatched by the dozens, if not hundreds, of women who have attempted to follow in her footsteps. Her contributions to professional wrestling will never be forgotten and will live on forever.

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Although it has not been confirmed as of yet that drugs were involved in her death, it is no secret that Chyna struggled with addiction for years, just as many men and women in wrestling before her. Year after year, more and more of our childhood heroes and comrades fall victim to the affects of long-term drug and alcohol abuse. Sadly, those we looked up to will continue to die young. It’s the nature of the business, or at least it was. Drug and alcohol abuse in wrestling has dramatically diminished over the past 10-15 years. Don’t be fooled however, as the demons still swirl and swarm around locker rooms from coast to coast. The thing is though, they don’t have to. This goes for anyone, not just wrestlers—GET HELP! PLEASE!

Addiction can strike anyone, anywhere, anytime. It does not care if you are black or white, rich or poor, a loner or Mr. Popularity. It is more common than you think. Methods to help you deal with and overcome an addiction are more common than you think as well, contrary to popular belief. If you want the help, and that’s the key, you must WANT to be helped, it is out there waiting for you. Anyone can overcome their addiction, no matter how severe, as long as you are willing to put the work in. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen. If you don’t believe me, look at Scott Hall. The former, “Razor Ramon” was the leader in all of our death pools 5 years ago. Today, he is a changed man, sober, and looks great because he WANTED it and was willing to WORK for it.

Weather you’re a wrestling legend, or an average Joe/Jane, you don’t have to suffer. I beg of you to reach out to someone so you don’t become a statistic or the next tragic tale. Find someone who has what you want, in terms of sobriety. As them how they did it. The same method might not work for everyone, but I assure you the technique that can and will help you is out there, you just have to be willing. If you’re struggling with an addiction, it can be very hard to believe you can achieve anything, let alone 24 hours of sobriety. If that is the case for you, remember this, I believe in you. Those who care about you believe in you. If you have ONE person that cares about your well-being, consider that a blessing. You mean something to someone out there. You are never along. Friends and those that want you to succeed are only a call, text, post, or tweet away. Don’t do it for us, do it for you. You owe yourself that much. Be the exception to the rule and give addiction some “sweet chin music” it can never come back from.

 

-Dom Vitalli

[Editor’s Note: If you are struggling with an addiction and don’t know where to start, feel free to e-mail Dom at TheDomVitalli@gmail.com. With over 8 years sober, Dom spends much of his free time helping others overcome their addictions through shared experiences.]

Follow Dom on Twitter @DomElBomb and hear his commentary on a wide variety of topics on the Nothing To Prove Podcast every Monday.

A Night of True Romance with Michael Rapaport and Toby Morse

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Michael Rapaport (Dick Ritchie), Patricia Arquette (Alabama Worley), and Christian Slater (Clarence Worley) in True Romance

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that Michael Rapaport’s, “I Am Rapaport Stereo Podcast” wasn’t the main motivating factor behind Nothing To Prove. I’ve been a fan of “Mike Rap” for years, ever since I saw him play the role of Remy, socially awkward and tragic figure in the film Higher Learning, followed shortly after by his MTV Rock ‘n Jock appearances. From there, I followed his career and came to realize that he was probably one of the most rough, rugged, raw, and REAL celebrities out there. Twitter made that even more clear, and his podcast solidified it for me. When he announced that he would be doing a live screening of True Romance, one of my all-time favorite movies, and to follow it with a live podcast taping, I didn’t even think twice about the six hour drive to go check it out.

The masses met at the Crestwood Theater just outside of Los Angeles and in the shadows of the UCLA campus on April 1st. An eager and hyped crowd wrapped alongside of the building, awaiting the night’s festivities. I Am Rapaport “soft-ass” t-shirts were available for purchase right next to the complementary Red Vines. As you took your seat, you could tell this was going to be a special night, as a who’s who of music and entertainment entered the room and took a seat right near you to enjoy a cult classic. Tim Armstrong from Rancid/Transplants, world-renowned tattoo artists Luke Wessman, Dan Smith, and Lindsey Carmichael, Carah Faye from Shiny Toy Guns and many others filed in and gave out hugs indiscriminately.

Michael Rapaport, along with co-host for the evening Toby Morse, True Romance super-fan, lead singer of my favorite band on the planet H2O, and another inspiration for Nothing To Prove, kicked off the night giving us an idea what to expect and how to behave. The end result; do whatever the fuck you want! During the screening, some people drank, some people yelled at the screen, some people partook in some of that green “Dick Ritchie”. The thing EVERYONE did, was have an amazing time. Even those who had never seen the film before, and there were more than expected there that night, absolutely loved it and the experience. Massive applause rang out as the last lines of the movie blared from the giant screen in the tone of Patricia Arquette’s sultry voice, “You’re so cool. You’re so cool.  You’re so cool”.

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Toby Morse (left) and Michael Rapaport host the festivities and talk all things True Romance

After a brief intermission, it was time for the “Gringo Mandingo” and the “Fake-ass Clarence Worley” (filling in for 2015 Podcast Co-Host of the Year Gerald Moody) to take the stage and record the world-wide phenomenon known as the, “I Am Rapaport Stereo Podcast”. Toby, backed up by his son Max on drums, did an excellent job explaining why he loves the film so much and how closely it ties into him and his wife of twenty years, Moon’s, relationship. True love is hard to find, but Clarence and Alabama, as well as Toby and Moon, are prime examples of what it looks like and that it does exist. Michael, who is unabashedly down to earth, took some time to talk about his experience filming the movie and some of the friendships he made on the set that are still strong today. He shared how he originally read for one of the detective roles later landed by Chris Penn and Tom Sizemore, how this was James Gandolfini’s first major role and what he saw from him, as well as being on-set for the now infamous Dennis Hopper/Christopher Walken scene. It was quite interesting to hear these stories first-hand from someone that was there as it happened, and the way Michael tells a story, it did not disappoint.

The second-half of the taping was mainly answering questions from the audience. Some questions pertained to Michael’s experience in acting in general and some in regards to his time on the True Romance set. One person asked about Michael’s memories about Phife Dawg and filming Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest. His answer did not disappoint (except for one older gentleman in the crowd that took issue with him saying that Phife’s death will mean just as much to music as Keith Richard’s when he dies). Another great question was if Michael’s big mouth ever cost him any roles. You have to tune in to the podcast for that one! I have to give a special thanks to Toby Morse for giving me a small shout out when I went up to ask my question. I’m a firm believer in supporting what you believe in, and the least I could do was come out to support two guys that have brought years of joy and entertainment into my life. xXx

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Nothing To Prove Podcast host Dom Vitalli with Toby Morse (left) and Michael Rapaport (right)

With a sold out theater, lots of smiling faces, and boatloads of selfies with the hosts from all fans, I would say that the screening was an absolute hit! Everybody left happy and definitely got more than their money’s worth. It was an experience I know I will treasure for a very long time and won’t soon forget. I’ve heard rumblings about them maybe doing something similar for a different film. If that’s the case, I know I will be there, and you should be too. Hopefully G-Moneti (one of Gerald Moody’s nicknames) can make it out next time, as he was definitely missed by this crowd. It should also be noted how hard the behind the scenes guys for the podcast (Miles Davis, Mr. Morris, Jordan Winter and others) worked that night. Look out for that recorded episode to drop sometime in April. The “I Am Rapaport Stereo Podcast” is available on Play.It, iTunes, and everywhere else you can find your favorite podcasts. While you’re at it, check out the Nothing To Prove Podcast, dropping new episodes for FREE each and every Monday. We don’t “fact check” either, but we think the “White Arsenio Hall” and the “Black Ed McMahon” would approve, you fuck you!

-Dom Vitalli

Follow Dom on Twitter @DomElBomb and hear his commentary on a wide variety of topics on the Nothing To Prove Podcast every Monday.

Nothing To Prove Podcast Pro Wrestling Dime Piece Bracket

Same old March Madness got you down?  Is your bracket already busted?  Don’t fear!!  Start all over again and help us determine the most perfect “10” female in the history of pro wrestling!  Our field of 64 of the most gorgeous, beautiful, athletic, and talented women in the history of the sport has been randomly seeded and divided into 4 regions named after some of the best in-ring female performers of our time:  Mae Young, The Fabulous Moolah, Awesome Kong, and Bull Nakano.  Voting will take place over the next few weeks and culminate with the winner being announced on the April 4th (#46) episode of the podcast.  Here are the only ways to have your vote counted:

  • Follow @NTPPodcast on Twitter and vote on the provided polls
  • If a matchup is tweeted by @NTPPodcast, reply with who you think should be the winner
  • Comment on any matchup seen on Facebook
  • Comment on any matchup seen on NothingToProvePodcast.com
  • E-mail votes to mail@nothingtoprovepodcast.com
  • No limit to how many times you can vote

Regions are listed below.  Voting is now open so stay tuned for further updates!

 

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Everyone Wants To Be A Pro Wrestling Fan…When It’s Convenient

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(Pro wrestling fans get knocked for being passionate, but fans such as this in other sports are praised)

Let’s face it, pro wrestling fans get a bad wrap. Yes some deserve it, and much worse for that matter, but most are unfairly judged, mainly by those who have no clue what it means to people. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, wrestling fans have to deal with snide remarks, laughs, and snickers from people who are above that “fake crap”. That is, until pro wrestling rears its’ ugly head into the mainstream and it is no longer easy to just brush aside. That is when everyone wants to join the gravy train and be a part of a subculture that gets mocked and ridiculed 90% of the time.

Take for instance, the date March 16th. Reformat that date and you get 3/16, or 3:16, the calling card of the most popular wrestler of all time and crossover superstar, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Everybody knows who old “Stone Cold” is. That beer-drinking, bird-flipping, Stunner-giving, former multi-time World Champion and host of a bunch of outdoorsy type shows on some hillbilly channel. When that calendar hits 3/16, that’s when we start to see more memes, posts, and statuses about Austin than normal. That is also when that guy that has been calling you a “weirdo” because you watch WWE RAW on Monday’s wishes you a “Happy Stone Cold Day” without sounding condescending. 3/16 is the date when hipster Brad that normally “can’t believe you watch that male soap opera”, posts a Facebook status that reads, “Let’s go pound some beers and Stun our bosses today 3:16 Whoooo”. Sorry guys, you’re not allowed to do that, You don’t get to talk greazy about us all year round, yet try to join our party in an attempt to douchify one of our heroes. Oh no no no!

Where were you in the early 90’s when pro wrestling was pretty damn shitty? Where were you when the “PG Era” began and we were bracing for an unwanted change to our weekly entertainment? Where were you when Owen Hart died? Do you even know who Owen Hart is? We do, and we were right here watching each and every single week because WE LOVE PRO WRESTLING! Not because it’s trending. Not because it’s what everyone is doing just for today. It is because pro wrestling is part of our fabric. It is part of who were are and has been a part of us for longer than we can remember. We live it, we support it, we are enthralled by it, and we can’t live without it. Needless to say, we really don’t appreciate you bastardizing it.

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(Steve Austin-targeted by hipster douchebags more and more each year to make him one of their own)

Although March 16th is past us now, we aren’t quite out of the woods yet. Wrestlemania season is upon us and don’t you worry, some of your wrestling-hater co-workers that don’t know the difference between a wrist lock and a wristwatch will be inquiring if they can attend your viewing party. Why wouldn’t they? Every news outlet will be talking about it the next day. It will be a trending topic on Twitter for days. Of course these phonies want to feel a part of something AWESOME, just as long as they aren’t labeled as one of those goofball “rasslin’ fans”. Don’t worry guys and gals. YOU are the realest people out there. YOU are the ones who aren’t afraid to like something that gives you joy while some boner busts your chops about it because he had a shitty childhood and never got a chance to be a Hulkamaniac. YOU are the ones that get to develop bonds and friendships with people in your area and all around the world, solely brought together by this “phony shit”. Never let anyone that is knocking you for loving something get to you. Don’t let them win. Besides, they have some really bad self-esteem issues they need to be dealing with in the first place.

Hold your head up high wrestling fans. This is your time of year and your time to shine. The fakes will weed themselves out, but I urge you to not let these types of people off so easy. Tell them what they are missing. Ask them what they liked about wrestling before they “grew out of it”. Show them just how relevant pro wrestling still is. If they still give you shit, give them the ol’ “Stone Cold One Finger Salute” and tell them to fuck off and go jerk off on an NCAA bracket or something.  Pro wrestling is yours. It’s a private party anyway and they aren’t invited.

-Dom Vitalli

Follow Dom on Twitter @DomElBomb and hear his commentary on a wide variety of topics on the Nothing To Prove Podcast every Monday.

How to Feel Feelings: Some Tips for the Newly Sober

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So you recently went sober (congrats) and you noticed you are starting to have intense emotions and it’s freaking you out. Or maybe it feels amazing. Or maybe sometimes it feels amazing and sometimes it fucking sucks dingo dick. Relax. This is all normal and to be expected. Your brain is rewiring itself and your body is normalizing. You no longer have the option of grabbing the bottle or smoking a bowl when shit gets hard. You are feeling feelings again.

We all felt mad feelings when we were babies and kids. We were such fucking assholes, but that’s because the things we felt were legit. Your brain is literally going back to the place where it feels what it feels and isn’t affected by substances. It can be scary as hell. Trust me, I know. Here are some tips for dealing with it. Why, what else are you going to do? Have a drink or pop a pill? No. You have to just deal with it now. It’s hard as hell but you knew this wasn’t going to be easy. Try out some of these fun coping activities.

Cry Like a Bitch:  Look, I don’t care if you’re a man, woman, something in between, or something new entirely. Crying. Is. AWESOME. I’m not talking about drunk dialing your ex and telling him to go fuck himself after six shots of Jim Beam that the bartender kept giving you for free. That definitely never actually happened to me, nope! I am talking about crying under the influence of the very core of your being. Try crying over something that has nothing to do with you and how shitty you think your life is. Order a fucked up movie on Netflix and lock yourself in your apartment and cry hard. Try scream-crying. Let it out. It feels amazing, I swear! You will feel amazing. Maybe spend some time surfing a rescue animal shelter’s website and read an animal’s back story (unlikely inter-species friendships get me every time). Or, if you absolutely cannot relate to pain outside of your own, pay for a session with a therapist and talk about your dad or whatever. However, if you cannot relate to the pain of others, that is like, a whole other type of article that I am not qualified to write about, but you might want to see a therapist about that too.

Cum Hard:  Ok, I made that intentionally graphic for attention, but you knew what I mean,t and you know orgasms are awesome! I’m saying have sex or masturbate. A lot. One thing you may have noticed (I know I certainly did) is that your orgasms are way different. If your experience in sobriety has been anything like mine, your orgasms are probably more intense, sex is probably much better, and not just because you can remember it the next day. You are feeling everything. You aren’t numbing your brain and body and you are able to experience every feeling, touch, sensation, completely unhindered. That is super cool! Enjoy it, experiment with it. Allow yourself to be a horny virgin again. It might kind of feel like you are! How rare is it that we get to live that all over again (except now hopefully we are evolved adults and not as much of the fucking idiots we were back then)? Hell yeah! Discover new things you enjoy, rediscover the old things you once liked and maybe don’t like anymore. This is a unique opportunity, so take advantage of it. I convinced myself for many years that I could ONLY have an orgasm if I was high. That turned out to be so incredibly not true. I am always discovering new things I like and that is because I am completely, 100% present during the entire act of sex instead of scrambling my brain, trying to dissect a crazy blur of what actually happened while trying to find my panties and get out because wow, I would not have fucked that dude sober.

Be Less Annoying:  You cannot feel anyone else’s feelings for them, but you can control how you affect them. You do that by QUIETLY (and quietly as in, judgement-free. Don’t be that sober dick telling everyone else how to live) observing the way others around you act and talk when they are drunk or high. Some people won’t be that different, but some people, wow! You will find yourself asking, “Was I that annoying? Did I sound like that? Did I say stuff like that”? It can be quite a humbling and life-changing experience. Pay attention to the emotions you are feeling. Are you irritated? Is your patience low? Do you wish this drunk person would shut up and give you some personal space because they are up in your grill and you can smell AND feel the heat of the tequila from their margarita? ARE THEY ARE ALSO SPITTING WHEN THEY TALK? This is another very unique opportunity to explore and learn because you are completely awake and aware and feeling all your feelings. You can pinpoint the annoying things other people do and check yourself. Together as sober people, I believe we can help make the world a less annoying place.

Borrow $20:  Ask your drunk friends if you can borrow $20. Maybe they won’t remember and then you keep the $20. This is not a real tip.

You now have some good ideas on how to feel your feelings and let your emotions be a useful tool in enjoying a sober lifestyle! I’m not a doctor though, ok, but I have been there and I am still there and am feeling feelings all the fucking time. Like I said, sometimes it’s gonna really suck. You are going to have bad days. REALLY bad days, but when it doesn’t suck, you’ll remember why you made this decision in the first place. I hope you’ll allow yourself to fully feel your brand-new feelings, and cry a lot, and cum hard, and maybe you’ll even be $20 richer.

-Paris Kennedy (NTP Contributor)

Follow Paris on Twitter and Instagram: @ParisKennedy

www.ParisKennedy.com

www.ParisKennedyFetish.com

Catch Paris on “Kitten2Cougar” streaming LIVE every Saturday night at 12AM PST on Dromebox.com or check out previous episodes at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDj0bnWqupu4FkNyPU5jUuA

Daniel Bryan- The Small Guy That Got Over Without Doing Any Flips

Today, former World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan (Brian Danielson) announced his retirement from WWE due to ongoing medical issues.  If you are a fan of his work, or the WWE for that matter, this should come as no surprise and has been a long time coming.  Bryan leaves behind an impressive legacy in the sport of professional wrestling, all deserved.  Known as one of the hardest workers and a dedicated student of the game, it’s no surprise he was able to achieve the level of success he did, even at his size.  At 5’10’’ and 210lbs, Bryan defied the odds and became one of the most popular Superstars WWE had ever seen.  With his success, he gave hope to thousands of other underdogs and “little guys” out there that they too had shot at greatness in a business full of giants.  Unfortunately, most of those put themselves in the same caliber of Bryan, when in fact, they don’t even belong in the conversation.

Daniel Bryan was something special.  Sure he was undersized most of his career, but the style he worked in the ring, which would eventually cut his career short, is what made him believable.  Bryan was a wrestler’s wrestler.  Nothing about what he did between those ropes was phony.  He believed in his ability, his technique, and what he was doing at all times.  That’s the difference between him and any other guys his size on the indies trying to make it big.  Bryan understood that there was more to it than seeing how many flippity-doo-dads he could do in one match.  He didn’t wrestle for the, “This is Awesome” chant due to a high spot that didn’t mean anything and that people would forget 10 minutes later.  He wrestled for that chant, as well as “YES!” to be ringing through the rafters after the 3-count was made, allowing him to take tens of thousands of people on an emotional roller coaster ride with the story he told in the ring.  Guys out there now that are his size feel obligated for some reason to do the craziest things they can possibly think of to make up for their lack of size, except for actually learning how to wrestle.  Bryan didn’t need all those crazy dives, moonsaults, and planchas.  Sure he could do them if he needed to, but he took the route of being believable rather than a glorified acrobat.  He made sure he knew his basics, his fundamentals, and that art of wrestling itself.  That is what got him over every place he went.  Believability is a lost art in wrestling these days and so few possess it.  His style needed to be believable in order for him to succeed, which he did tenfold.

Daniel Bryan’s style of work may have very well cut his career short, assuming he stays retired.  He is a smart man and I am more than sure he was aware of the risk he was taking.  His toughness is unmatched, working through multiple concussions, a detached retina, and various other injuries.  Not a lot of guys with his frame could withstand that sort of punishment to the body.  The point I’m trying to make here is that, just because you may be Bryan’s size does not mean you are ready to even sniff a faction of the success he had.  It doesn’t mean WWE is looking for the next Bryan, or Mysterio, or Kalisto.  Daniel Bryan was special.  He was legitimate.  He had it all.  The vast majority of indy guys his size only possess a small fraction of the skill set Daniel Bryan had.  Whether you want to believe it or not, pro wrestling is still a big man’s game.  Sure there is room for guys like Daniel Bryan, but those spots are few and far between and the talent pool for guys that size with the character, charisma, work rate, in-ring skills, etc. like Bryan had are almost non-existent.  Daniel Bryan absolutely changed the game and how we see pro wrestlers.  He also unwittingly gave false hope to a lot of underachievers out there.  Remember guys, “This is an upper body business, kid”.

CM Punk Deserves His Spot In The UFC And You Don’t

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As it looks like CM Punk’s UFC debut is on the horizon, I can’t help but laugh at those within the MMA community, mostly the competitors themselves, that have nothing but bad things to say about him entering their genre. Time after time, all you see is negative posts, tweets, and comments about this “outsider” coming onto “their turf”. What makes this situation even more hilarious is when these statements come from fighters that are virtually unknown, who haven’t done anything or drawn a dime as a professional fighter. Instead of being so quick to bury a guy who has yet to display his skills to the public at large, how about you take some time to visit YouTube to see just what you’re up against.

Punk’s foray into the world of MMA is unique in quite a few ways, many of which it seems his detractors don’t seem to consider. The most obvious is that CM Punk is a bonafide superstar. Love him or hate him, his popularity is hard to ignore. With a loyal fan base coming from his days as a pro wrestler, there is a reason why him being announced as a UFC signee in 2014 generated so much buzz. When is the last time the signing of John Doe with a record of 0 and 0 had that much publicity surrounding it? Never. The UFC is a business, and just like any business, their main objective is to make money. As much money as humanly possible by using each of their investments, in this case, their fighters. The UFC is not run by dummies. There is a reason why business is good and their best and most successful days are ahead of them. When the opportunity presented itself for Dana White to sign Punk to a deal, their friendship out the window, this was a win-win for everyone involved. The UFC would obtain new fans that might not be all that familiar with their product, but are more than familiar with the enigma that is CM Punk. Punk is a star, hands down. He lives the part and is his own hype machine. People will tune in to see what he can do. His loyal fans will tune in to see the pro wrestler beat up the UFC guy. The haters will tune in to see Punk get embarrassed in a sport he has no business being a part of in the first place. Bottom line is, EVERYONE will be watching. It doesn’t matter what the reason is.

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For those fighters who aren’t well known that are upset that CM Punk is getting this opportunity or “taking their spot”, here’s an idea- get better, be marketable, or make your own opportunity. As it looks as of this writing, Punk’s first opponent will be Mickey Gall (1-0) if he can win his next fight. Credit to Gall, he put himself in this position. He was vocal and used every platform he had to let it be known that he wanted Punk for his first fight. Gall now controls his own destiny. For the journeymen out there that have been doing this for a while or are still trying to make a name for themselves, why hate on Punk? He is money in the bank for the UFC, guaranteed. You, on the other hand, are just another faceless name out there, not worth the risk. If you feel you are, prove it. The best work, and work, and work until they get what they want. The best hardly bitch, moan, and complain about what someone else is doing. They work for what they want. You don’t like it, make the adjustments you need in order to stand out. Sell yourself, not just in the ring, but outside of it as well. Conor McGregor is one hell of a fighter. He’s also one hell of an entertainer. He’s got the look, the ability, and the charisma. CM Punk is the same, except we find out about his ability once he steps in the octagon. Can you say the same for yourself, guy who is 6-8 that lives in Bumfuck, Egypt? Didn’t think so.

Dana White was recently a guest on Garbage Time with Katie Nolan. He was asked about his thoughts on the split feelings among the fans regarding CM Punk fighting in the UFC. His response was, “If you don’t like it, then don’t watch”. He’s right, and you know what, you WILL watch. Love the idea of Punk in UFC or hate it, we will all watch. Fans and fighters can complain about it all they want, but at the end of the day, they should be thanking CM Punk. Thank the “fake pro wrestler” for one of the highest Pay-Per-View buy numbers in the history of the company and bringing an entirely new audience to the product. Trust me, it will happen. His track record in sports and entertainment speaks for itself. Tell me again why CM Punk is bad for the UFC?

For the Struggling Addict…

I never imagined I would be celebrating 8 days sober, let alone 8 years. 1/28/08 is the day I decided to start taking responsibility for my actions and take my life back. As arrogant as I was, I figured I had all the answers and could handle this little problem all on my own. The first 3 months I tried to do just that with minimal success. Sure I was “sober”, but psychologically I was a basket case. Some might call this a “dry drunk”, but I call it “a relapse waiting to happen”. The real change didn’t start to happen until I took 2 major steps. The first was to wholeheartedly tell myself I would go to any lengths to stay sober. Not just tell myself that or say it out loud, but actually mean it. The second was to seek someone out who had been in my shoes before and was succeeding in sobriety. Of course, this is just the crib notes version of my journey, but we all need a starting point. I get the fact that it is definitely not easy admitting that you may have a problem and reaching out for a helping hand. An addict/alcoholic is an egomaniac. The last thing we want to do is admit defeat or ask for help.

In light of that, there were many key aspects of sobriety that I learned early on in my journey that I still practice regularly today, an entire 8 years later. Below is a list of things that I need to keep in my tool belt for quick access in order to ensure my sobriety. If you’re struggling, try some of these out. They could help, they might not. At my weakest, I was willing to try anything.

Lose the ego: Believe it or not, the world doesn’t revolve around you. As much as we’d like to think we run this place, in actuality, we ain’t shit. Part of getting sober is giving up the fact that we can depend on ourselves. How far has that gotten us in the past? Right to here, this moment, looking for some answers, some help, a better way to live. Give it up. It is such a relief once we realize we don’t have to take the weight of the world on our shoulders. Once you can admit that you are no better than the next guy or girl, that is when some real change starts to occur.

Put in the work: Sobriety is hard! This shit doesn’t happen overnight. 8 years in and I still have to work at this thing. Addiction is a son of a bitch, waiting for you trip and fall and become vulnerable. If you aren’t actively working on your sobriety, no matter how you do that, you WILL be gobbled up by the insanity again, Just as with anything in life, if you want it bad enough, you better be prepared to work for it.

Be selfless and give back: This one is key. You must give just as much, if not more, than you receive. I’m not talking monetarily here. The moment when you start to consider others is when you realize that you are in fact worth more than you ever imagined. Hold a door open, donate your spare change, help a friend move even though you really don’t want to, offer to drive the carpool, WHATEVER! These small acts of selflessness add up. The more good you do, the better you will feel. Just remember to do it without expectation of having the action returned in your favor. That’s not what this is all about.

Talk to others like you: Believe it or not, you’re not the only one feeling what you are feeling. I found it very hard to talk to someone who wasn’t experiencing all the negative emotions that I was during my addiction. What helped was seeking out other guys and gals who I could relate to, but that were succeeding with their sobriety. They had more answers than my buddy was giving me while he was holding a beer in one hand. Other addicts/alcoholics have been in the trenches just like we have. They’ve survived. It only makes sense to ask them how they made it out alive and are now striving.

Keep that PMA: Positive Mental Attitude. This one is the game changer. You are in control of the way you look at things. Do you wish to dwell on the negative? Well sorry, have fun continuing a life full of misery. You just have to flip that switch and actively remind yourself that to every dark, there is a light. Put the positive spin on things. Bad things are inevitably going to happen to you, even when you’re clean and sober. These things we have no control of, like we mentioned before. The way you react and deal with these things can dictate how your sobriety carried out from there. If you tend to look more towards the negative aspect of these situations, best of luck to you. PMA isn’t easy. We all have bad days. As I once heard Diamond Dallas Page say, “I no longer have any bad days. I just have bad minutes”. Don’t let negativity consume you. It’s okay to process it, but it’s more important that you move on. Things will get better. Maybe not today, maybe not next week, but if you put in the work, trust me, it will.

Take these for what you will. These may or may not help, but I can only speak for myself in that they definitely have helped give me a life I never imagined having, and that’s a good thing. I’m always willing to help anyone who is serious about getting clean and sober. If you need additional help, feel free to contact me at mail@nothingtoprovepodcast.com.

“Watever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”- Napoleon Hill

 

There Will Be Quiet…

The other day as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, something caught my eye as I saw laid eyes on something that was too good to be true. Several of the accounts that I follow had posted a link to the first part of a documentary that was being released about the legendary hardcore band Judge. The accompanying captions said that more parts would be released in the upcoming weeks. For me, this was too good to be true, as Judge has become one of my more favorite bands over the past few years that I have been dying to learn more about.

 

As a late bloomer to hardcore music, I never got a chance to hear many of the old stories about the band. You hear things here and there, but you can never be sure what is true, and what is just made up nonsense. Part One gets right into some of those rumors and sets a good starting point for this documentary to continue on. I’m not going to sit here and review the film. I’m not critic, nor a hardcore music expert, so that’s not my job. What I will tell you is that Mike Judge, the original lead singer of the band, makes some damn good and very REAL points in this very short first installment that myself, and I’m sure a whole lot of others can relate to whole-heartedly.

Mike’s discovery of hardcore punk rock music and the psychological change that one goes through when they discover it is so authentic and relatable, that it is easy to see that he speaks for so many others with a similar story. It was an immediate release for him and many of his emotions that his dad forced him to bottle up as a young kid growing up in a “macho” household after the untimely death of his mother. It’s that discovery, as well as realizing that there are people out there that just DO NOT GIVE A FUCK about what other people think about them—punk rockers. Once he discovered the music and the scene, Mike no longer had to try and be someone he wasn’t, try to impress others that didn’t give a shit about him, or feel alone any longer. There were plenty others out there just like him.

His self-discovery in coming to the decision to never have a drink again is also one I am sure many others have either been through or have been very close. Getting wasted before a show at CBGBs, running his mouth, and getting the shit kicked out of him isn’t such an uncommon story. The epiphany of coming to and realizing that you never want to be that vulnerable or not in control ever again in your life is one that MANY addicts experience, some many more times than once, in their lifetime. It’s a matter of truly feeling that way and sticking to your guns to make that happen.

His awakening and my awakening, although quite a few years apart, aren’t so different from one another. When I finally got sober in 2007, it took me a while to realize that there was a lot of internal baggage that still needed to heal. Like Mike and discovering punk rock music, when I REALLY sat down and listened to it, I uncovered a way of coping and dealing with all the issues I had and how to keep moving forward. When I discovered Straight Edge, I finally saw others who not only refrained from drugs and alcohol, but people who were living by their own rules, refusing to give in to the “norm” or run with the “cool kids”. THEY were the cool kids, not giving into what TV or what the radio told you what was normal or expected of you. It was free thinking, real freedom, something I had lost long ago.

I am eagerly awaiting the rest of this documentary. I got a chance to see Judge perform live for the first time at Musink 2014 is Costa Mesa and it was one of the most powerful shows I have ever been too. I have no doubt that Part One only scratched the surface. If you want to see what it’s like to have passion and live free, I highly suggest you check it out.