Posted by: cmvenom | May 10, 2016

Kentucky Kingdom and Holiday World: Trip Report

The last time I was near Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, it was 2010, and I was at a rabbit breed show at the adjacent expo center. The park had been closed and shuttered early that year, and between grooming Lionheads and Angoras (and not winning shit because we didn’t have a Florida White), I was forced to spend three days wistfully looking across the parking lot at coasters that I couldn’t ride. But not this time.

Like a true coaster dork, I was at the entrance to Kentucky Kingdom WAY early, like nearly 10:00 for an 11:00 opening. (So early, in fact, the parking gates were unmanned, allowing me to sail through nine bucks the richer.) The ride in from Chicago was pretty prickly, from having to listen to a teenaged couple screaming at each other at a gas station in Merrillville, to the spotty storms that speckled the windshield before turning into a full-blown rainstorm. That same rainstorm was now pelting Kentucky Kingdom on Opening Day, so I parked (second car in the lot), put on my wet weather gear and headed for the gates.

The ticket booths opened at about a quarter to eleven, along with a list of outdoor rides that weren’t going to be open as long as it was raining. The list was exhaustive, everything from the Huss Enterprise to the park’s brand new Rocky Mountain Construction coaster, Storm Chaser. These rides, the paper went on to claim, would open an hour after the rain had stopped. I checked the Weather Channel app. Nothing but a gigantic green glob. Fuck.

The gates opened, and the rain seemed to really be keeping people away. There couldn’t have been more than a hundred and fifty people in view from the front gate, and there was no manic rush to anyone’s favorite, just a slow and wet dissemination into the park. I was almost soaked to the bone already, and with no hurry to get to what would be a collection of closed rides, I decided to take my time and walk the park at a leisurely pace.

Kentucky Kingdom, to put it simply, looked great. The buildings were clean and vibrant, and existing landscaping was being added to, including a nice little feature where some newer plants had small signs with scannable smartphone codes to learn more about said vegetation. Several of these exhibits were right up against the edge of the concrete, making me wonder how well they’ll survive the trampling crowds of summer that are right around the corner.

I walked damn near every inch of that park for the next few hours, in a rain that ranged from a slow and steady patter to a grey sheeted deluge. True to their word, nothing outdoors was running, save for some sporadic cycles of Thunder Run, Kentucky Kingdom’s sole wooden coaster. I got in line, after all, it was running, and I’m a credit whore. My first ride on Thunder Run was akin to driving behind a poorly-maintained gravel truck, as the rain became stinging cold projectiles after the lift hill, making it damn near impossible to asses my surroundings. I can honestly say I had no fucking idea what was going on, and not in a “night ride on the Beast” kind of way. A second ride with sunglasses held tight to my face was more revealing; good speed, a slightly unconventional layout, and pretty comfortable trains. Also, it allowed me to scratch one more off the list for my “Dinn Challenge”, my personal quest to survive all the company’s operating wooden coasters, brought about in 2010 when Cedar Point’s Mean Streak basically gave me cancer.

I dried out inside with a passable pulled pork sandwich, got soaked again seconds after exiting the restaurant, and dried off again in the Angry Birds theater, which featured a pretty lively “5D” (ugh) movie with motion seats that looked like the recliners at a pedicure salon. Somewhere around two o’clock (and having seen just about every part of the park), I decided to just park my ass near the line for Storm Chaser, the park’s brand new Rocky Mountain Construction steel coaster, and the main reason I was soaked to the bone in Kentucky on a Saturday afternoon. The radar looked like it was close to clearing up, but at the rate it was moving, the rides might not open until closer to closing time, if at all. I had a contingency plan, as my out-of-state admission included the next day free. If all else failed, I could hit the remaining coasters tomorrow morning before the hour drive to Holiday World. I just really didn’t want to do that.

Luckily, the rain cleared soon after, and the queue for Storm Chaser opened to a raucous cheer from the crowd of about two hundred. I had made line friends with a few families of enthusiasts and a pair of ride ops from Kings Island, and none of us were ashamed at losing a little of our minds as the first empty train cycled through for testing. After about five cycles, the station opened. We were about to get our fix, a first public train ride on the world’s newest RMC.

Storm Chaser, in a word, is insane. Near the back of the train, the barrel roll dropdown was a forceful spin that almost seemed a bit alarming until it straightened out at ground level. The camelback hill that followed may be my favorite airtime ever, and there was air all over this thing…in the 140 degree stall, in the return run that went right over the entrance to the ride plaza…everywhere. After a helix and a weird bank, the train almost crawled into the brake run, and the whole train and station broke into applause. As we came into the station, we spotted Ed Hart, the park’s President and CEO, and the man basically responsible for returning Kentucky Kingdom from the dead two seasons ago. He seemed to look pretty happy, even when half the train began bowing to him in reverence as we rolled in. And I didn’t just participate, I kinda suggested it. Okay, I started it.

The waiting crowd had absorbed into the queue, and faced with a short line, I hopped in again. Every time I would ride, the line would get shorter, and eventually by the fifth ride, I was able to literally walk up to an empty gate. The fifth was my first at the front of the train, and the initial barrel roll dropdown taken at a slower speed takes your ass way out of that seat. The air that followed seemed almost as forceful as in the back of the train, the entire ride is intense no matter where you sit. It’s just an absolute blast throughout, and is now easily one of my top five steel coasters.

As much fun as walk-ons to a first day RMC was, there were still two other coasters in the park to ride, and lines were sure to be almost as non-existent. First up was Lightning Run, a Chance Hyper GT-X coaster that was the first big addition for the park’s 2014 reopening. Lightning Run doesn’t look terribly imposing; it’s only a hundred feet tall, and the bright blue track kinda reminded me of Arrow designs from the 70’s. This ain’t no Arrow though, it’s a sick little piece of work with a great first drop, plenty of air, and a ground-level slalom run that is as fun as anything I’ve ever experienced. This thing is an underrated gem, and I have no idea why more parks haven’t bought this model.

I justified the final coaster as having to ride a piece of history, as T3 was the first Vekoma SLC (Suspended Looping Coaster) in the United States. SLCs (or “Vekoma hang-and-bangs” as some refer to them) seem to be all over, but this would only be my second after Hangman at Opryland. T3 had always had a reputation of being one of the rougher SLC installations, and apparently Kentucky Kingdom listened, and refurbished the track and replaced the trains in 2015. I’m sad to report that it didn’t help too much. The new trains looked and felt great (with a lap restraint and straps in place of the coaster’s usual rock hard OTSRs), but the ride itself is as shuddery as hell, which is a shame, because the layout is actually pretty intense. The final middle finger from T3 came as the train pulled into the brake run, and I realized that the once comfortable lap restraint was now crushing my thighs and didn’t let up until well back in the station. Yeah, thanks for nothing, T3.

I hit Storm Chaser a few more times, and decided to call it a day, wanting to get an early start toward Holiday World tomorrow. The ride to my hotel was interesting, with a terrifying bridge over the Ohio River (my second of the day, two too many), and the sudden appearance of a junked-out Ford Probe that blew past me at at least 120 mph. If you ever wanted to know what happened to your old car, it had three more owners, and then ended up on a Kentucky freeway. I got settled in my room, grabbed a chicken sandwich from the McDonald’s next door, and was promptly asleep by 9pm. Solo road tripping…it’s a nonstop party.

The weather cooperated the next morning, blue skies and sun, and I was at the gates of Holiday World a little past 10am. Holiday World is known for having some of the friendliest employees in the amusement industry, and that was on full display that morning, as the park’s computer systems were having problems. It didn’t seem to be much of a problem for them, though, as gate attendants were swiftly recording ticket information by hand,keeping the lines moving quickly. The e-ticket on my phone gave the poor girl at the head of my line slight pause, but within 30 seconds, a manager was there, took a picture of my ticket with his phone, and wished me a happy day. At some parks, I’d be there till noon.

The good press on Holiday World is dead-on, this park was superb. Aside from the employees, operations at everything from the coasters to the food service was fast and efficient, and the park was clean…like, Disney-level clean. My first stop was The Raven, the park’s CCI wooden coaster and a perennial member of most enthusiast’s top 25 lists. The smallest of the park’s three wooden offerings, the Raven was by no means the weaker brother. A surprisingly steep drop and a turn into a hill led to a wickedly forceful curve at the edge of a lake that seemed to go on forever. The track then twisted into a heavily forested area with a few strong hills and turns low to the ground. I’m a sucker for a wood coaster in the woods (hence my love for the Beast despite those goddamned trims), and The Raven is a coaster that could only exist at Holiday World.

Despite the beautiful weather, the park wasn’t that crowded, but I still wanted to check off everything my list, and headed to the far back of the park to ride Thunderbird, the park’s 2015 B&M Wing Coaster. I was pretty familiar with this model of coaster having ridden two of the four in the United States (X-Flight at Six Flags Great America…yay, and Gatekeeper at Cedar Point…sorta yay), but Thunderbird featured a 62mph launch into an Immelmann loop instead of a lift hill. It’s a big difference. I hadn’t felt anything like the hang out of the loop on any of the others, and the dive that leads to the vertical loop is crazy fast and low to the ground. The rest of the ride consisted of two overbanked turns in opposite directions (allowing both sides of the train to have an above and below the track experience), a zero-g roll, a keyhole dive through a barn, and a slow inline twist into the brake run. I’ll need another ride on X-Flight before making up my mind (probably this week), but Thunderbird might be my favorite Wing Coaster. Gatekeeper still reminds me of that British au pair I went out with in the 90’s…nice to look at, but man, there’s just nothing there.

And now, The Voyage. Since my first night ride in 2008, The Beast at Kings Island has been my favorite wooden coaster (which should be evident, considering I’ve already mentioned it several times, and this is not a Kings Island trip report). The Beast wasn’t the fastest or most forceful wooden coaster I’d been on, but its incredible layout and length made it my favorite wooden coaster experience.

Sorry, The Beast.

The Voyage is the most intense wooden coaster I’ve ever experienced. The 154 foot first drop is an incredible float in the back of the train, and series of towering airtime hills led into the first of many tunnel drops, one so deep the air temperature noticeably dropped. The train is still blazing fast into the disorienting turnaround in the woods, complete with a wicked sharp 90 degree banked turn. Heading back, the train slowed (and sometimes stopped almost completely) on the brake run before diving into a tunnel for a triple down that got progressively darker. By the time the train burst back out into the light, you’re back at ground level, and that train was fucking flying over those hills. And it didn’t get any less crazy approaching the station, a dive into a fly-by of the lower queue felt as fast as anything in the first half of the ride. Make no mistake about it, this ride will beat you up if you’re not ready for it, but the way it maintained speed and force throughout the entire thing made it worth it. I was able to move seats several times due to any empty station, but even I needed a break after my fourth consecutive cycle.

I decided to cool off in Gobbler Getaway, a Sally interactive dark shooter ride themed to…Thanksgiving. Really? Huh…okay. The first indication that I was in for one fucked up experience came in the empty queue, which featured a pretty solid animatronic of an elderly woman who explained the ride’s story. Apparently, some negligent farmer had somehow let all of his turkeys escape just before Thanksgiving, and he needed our help to round them up. It was it this point that I noticed that the old woman was carelessly waving around what looked like a laser pistol. But not to worry, she explained that it was a “turkey caller”, the device we’d use to help this lazy breeder save his business, or holiday, or whatever. The ride vehicle featured two rows of two seats, each with its own tethered turkey caller, and a welcome sign that sported a few targets so you could see how accurate your aim was before the insanity started. (Each shot was accompanied by a gobbling sound that got a lot less cute the more you heard it.)

Visually, the ride was straight-up nuts, as one would expect in something that combined Thanksgiving with blacklight paint. As you hit targets (no indication of where your shot went, but the turkey guns were pretty accurate), the usual assortment of dark ride shooter stuff happened…clocks spun, things tumbled from precarious positions, and turkeys popped out from behind their hiding places (where they were hiding to avoid being slaughtered, mind you). The ride mindfucked you a bit at the end, in a scene where a Pilgrim family sat down to a holiday feast, and pulled the lid off a piping hot…pizza. “We just couldn’t do it!” said Papa Pilgrim. Slow clap…well played, Holiday World.

After a bacon cheeseburger at Goblin Burgers (no actual goblin involved, sad to say), I did a few rerides on Raven, Thunderbird, and Voyage, before deciding to cool off on Frightful Falls, the park’s log flume ride. After a long and dark tunnel to open the ride, the flume headed out into a nicely landscaped area on its way to the lift. As I sat back and enjoyed that smell that every water ride in the world seems to have, what seemed like every speaker in the whole park exploded in that horrid shriek siren that precedes a severe weather warning. Two more shrieks, then…silence. I looked up at the sky, it was still blue and sunny. Weird.

Things got a lot clearer as my log ascended the lift. Over the trees behind The Legend (which was still closed for retracking), the skies were a soupy black-grey, and did not look pleasant. After the drop and return to the station, the queue was completely empty, and the ride op informed me that everything outdoors had been shut down due to lightning in the area. The storm wasn’t quite here yet, but it wouldn’t be long. Going against the flow of guests leaving the park, I headed back toward Gobbler Getaway. If I was going to ride out another goddamned rainstorm, I’d rather do it in a whacked-out dark ride.

I wasn’t the only one with that idea, as the queue was about a quarter full. During the next fifteen minutes, I had to tell the hyperactive teenage boy in front of me to stop stepping on my toes no fewer than three times. As fate would have it, we were in the same car; he in the front row, me in the back. And simply because I’m an asshole, for the entirety of the ride, as he raised his gun to shoot a target, I dead-eyed it over his shoulder and nailed it before he could. Unaware that I was even in the same vehicle, after about thirty seconds, I had him sputtering and swearing to himself, and a minute in found him banging his “stupid fucking gun” on the edge of the vehicle. I’ll give him credit, though, he never quit trying, even after I racked up a score of 1600 at his expense (“Master Turkey Caller”), while he walked away with zero. Eat it, kid.

Posted by: cmvenom | October 11, 2010

One Uncomfortable RAW With CM Venom


Congrats, now YOU need minor chemo.

Monday nights always had something for me. It was NFL football for many years, until Vincent K. McMahon decided to start running a little WWF weekly show called Monday Night Raw. Good or bad, Raw always managed to deliver some form of entertainment, be it Vince’s feverish (and futile) attempts to make Lex Luger a star or Psycho Sid bellowing that he didn’t know shit, crybaby. After I removed myself from the business in the early 2000s, I watched with less frequency, catching the show here and there, and sometimes watching the Spanish language rebroadcast if in the mood for something more surreal.

By the time 2010 rolled around, I was catching a Raw maybe once every 3-4 months. And after Shawn Michaels put himself out to pasture, I just pretty much stopped watching. Oh sure, I still keep abreast of news, but that’s mostly to be in the loop when someone keels over and dies (Umaga, I’m looking in your direction…southwest and down). Last week I had it on as a background noise/ colorful moving artwork, and was delighted to see Randy Savage featured in a Make-A-Wish video and the fact that our friend Goldust is still employed.

So I got to wondering…what would my impressions of an entire Raw be now? Would I embrace their latest push for a PG product? Or would the absence of such past superstars as La Parka and Aldo Montoya make it nearly unwatchable? I guess there’s only one way to find out. I charge myself with “liveblogging” tonight’s Raw. (This is similar to “Livejournaling” something, but in this case, people are paying attention.)

Note: The following commentary is for mature audiences only, and may contain profanity, questionable statements, and out-of-nowhere references to Dutch roller coaster companies. You have been warned.

Preparation: According to the Comcast guide, tonight’s Raw is summed up thustly: “John Cena joins the Nexus.” Didn’t he do that last week? Maybe nobody knows what’s going to happen on Raw tonight.

8:00pm: Sheamus is now in the entrance video, and we are live in Seattle.

Cena is out (random sign: “C’MON MAN”), and thanks the crowd for standing behind him. He repeats “Never give up”, which so happens to be the slogan on Cena’s shirt. The camera lingers on this, and his Nexus armband. It’s fashion porn.

He recaps the Nexus angle for anyone not paying attention/liveblogging for the first time. He also warns the crowd of how he may have to do some things they may not like. He also may-

Here comes the Miz, along with his Money In The Bank briefcase and someone named Alex Riley. Riley is Alex Wright 2010, and probably wears Ed Hardy on the weekends. Miz touts his position as captain of Team Raw at the upcoming Bragging Rights pay per view, when-

And then here comes Wade Barrett, and it’s good to see that the E still loves interruptions. Barrett says nothing will get in the way of Cena in his corner at Bragging Rights. one was talking about that. Your fears are unfounded. Riley now has the stick, and his nebulous statement falls flat.

An e-mail from the General Manager? What is this? How long has this invisible boss been in place? And since when is Michael Cole such a heat machine?

He announces Miz vs. John Cena…tonight! Barrett looks like a 50s greaser. Barrett takes offense to Miz, and pegs him with a sharp headbutt. Shmozz up, and Riley and Miz put boots to Barrett until he motions for Cena. Cena cleans house, and we head to a commercial like someone’s life defends on it.

I think I will have to purchase Dead Rising 2. And these marching folks commercials from Burger King have their hearts in the right place, even if the execution is sometimes slightly off.

Ted DiBiase and Maryse (?) are in the ring, and Goldust stealing the MDC last week is shown. R-Truth informs me it’s time to “get crunk”, and he has a poor man’s Fergie with him. (Later note: Eve, I guess?) Truth’s theme music is more Puddle of Mud than Public Enemy…are the crunching guitars there so the white folk can enjoy themselves without guilt?

I’m not into calling the moves of the match (I had more than enough of that during LWF commentary), my recaps are more retrospective. Some would call me lazy. I’d be fine with that.

DiBiase preps for the Million Dollar Dream Street…or whatever, but distracted by the music of Goooooldust. Ted loses concentration just long enough to get beat by R-Truth. Goldust looks great. What a superb gig that guy has; he has to stay healthy, but not worry about his abs. Plus, he gets to paint his face and say creepy things in front of thousands of people.


John Morrison looks better with facial hair. And his Hitman-like glasses giveaway is nice. Tyson Kidd is the opponent. Kidd comes out to a modified Hitman theme, and has a ridiculous spork of hair. Morrison looks like he’s improved since last I saw him, his movements seem more fluid. Kidd is an unknown quantity for me. Suddenly-


Too bad for Kidd, though, as he falls prey to-…well, it’s something I’ve never seen two human beings do before.

Black Nexus, Red Nexus, and Anime Nexus are talking to two gentlemen who the crowd knows, but I don’t. Here’s Barrett, advancing his own angle. Black Nexus feints interest in fighting Randy Orton, but Anime Nexus gets the honor. They use their real names in reference to each other. Wait for it…there. I’ve already forgotten. Ortunga? Tortuga?

Forty minutes in, and doing this is a lot harder than I though. I haven’t had to “pay attention” to wrestling for a while. One passable match, one good to very good one. That seems like a pretty good average so far. I have no idea if this is rare for Raw.

Santino Marella is still one of the funniest-…holy shit, what is up with Zack Ryder? No stick time for Santino, I hope they haven’t turned him into a utility wrestler. Ryder has a license plate logo on the back of his trunks. For this reason alone, I wish harm upon him. Santino hits the Cobra (?) for the win, and a spot on Team Raw. A jacked up version of the Fresh Prince’s Karyn Parsons hits the ring, and advances some storyline with Santino.

Holy shit, that Snickers commercial with the plastic face woman is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. If I have the energy when this is done, maybe I’ll look for a photo to post. Or maybe not, but I guess you already know if I did or not.

Anime Nexus is accompanied by Black Nexus and Red Nexus for his match against Randy Orton. I hope Randy still looks like our cat Tennant, with his massive head and tiny eyes. Whooo, Orton is over, and WWE Champion apparently. I get the feeling that three Nexus folks will be of little problem to Randy Orton. We’re still calling him the Viper, right? Has he stopped crapping in people’s shoes? Can we joke about that now?

Orton is much leaner and browner than I remember. Black Nexus and Red Nexus get sent to the back, like Kevin Nash did at Wrestlemania X. That’s Ten, folks…not the mysterious “Wrestlemania X” videotape we saw on the shelf while watching Wrestlemania IX.

Thank Gawd, commercials. Rest for my fingers, and a few squares of British Cadbury Dairy Milk. The American version pales in comparison.

We’re back, and Orton crushes Anime Nexus with stomps. Lawler really sounds like he’s being a little cunty tonight. I like how the Nexus guys all wear the armband. As much fun as I make, I really kinda like the Nexus thing. Barrett’s a strong leader, and they’ve got a nice variety of guys. I guess there like, what…7 originally? Good call in paring it down a bit.

They’re giving this one some time, we’re past the 9 o’clock hour. If Orton is being Orton, the RKO will come out of-

Holy shit, did he stiff that kid with that forearm. Aw, does he still hear “voices in his head”? Did they ever get him “help” for that anger management problem he freely admitted years ago? THERE’S your RKO out of nowhere after a not/quite/full 450 splash. Barrett and Orton should be a good match, not enough to get the PPV, but good nonetheless.

Remember, still to come…Cena vs. Miz for the captainship of Team Raw, which Cena will win, but be forced to give up his spot at 10:04 pm by Wade Barrett. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan Danielson. Do I even know what this guy looks like? I don’t think so. I am a terrible professional wrestling fan.

According to the graphic on the Bragging Nights PPV commercial, I’m going to see Kane face off against Mark Henry. Hoo boy, that’s weak. (Note: Don’t get on my shit. I know we’re not going to see that, matchups are subject to change.) When a film (like say…the Big Show’s Knuckleheads) is touted as having a “limited release”, it’s not a good sign. Show seems like a real affable guy, I kinda feel sorry for him taking part in this. Maybe the script made it look better. In other news, someone got paid to write the script for this.

Oh, that’s Daniel Bryan. Okay. Oh shit, is Michael Cole doing some sort of anti-Bryan heel schitck? Is this something ongoing? Because if it is, it sucks. Sheamus’ skin is brilliant, it’s beyond white. I kinda wanna get up and pee, but I don’t want to miss Daniel Bryan do something that’s going to save wrestling and send me off to buy Ring Of Honor DVDs with Carter’s PayPal account. Did Sheamus put Triple H “out”? I wondered why we hadn’t seen the King Of All Nepotism yet.

Bryan’s pretty good. Michael Cole is inconsistent; he talked shit before the bell, but calls the match like it’s all business. Cole doesn’t have a strong grasp on his character. Sheamus wins with some kind of big kick, and now Cole gets shitty again. What happened to Jim Ross? He was just fine. So Sheamus is on Team Raw, and I realized we haven’t seen any crappy Divas bits yet. I…don’t like that. That means they’re yet to come. Must they?

R-Truth is in the back with Cena, and sends him mixed messages before teasing that there is another way out…”Just quit.” Quit what, exactly? Nexus? The WWE? Wrestling? How about quitting talking to R-Truth?

Great, a promo for the Tribute To The Troops. Show for troops in the sand: awesome. Sending Mark Henry: nice, I guess. A probable upcoming shot of some asshole I used to know in a Kevlar helmet: not so hot.

Alright! The fifth member of Team Raw will either be Evan Bourne or…oh, wonderful. Look who got drafted to Raw. Tonight, apparently. About a minute nine later, and your Team Raw consists of R-Truth, Morrison, Santino, Sheamus, and CM Phil. CM Phil destroys Bourne outside, and some drunk clearly yells “ECW days!“. And that’s funny, because he spent quite a few ECW days sitting across from us.

I watched that Undertaker-Kane main event from the Hell In A Deli PPV, and it…it was such shit.

Goddmanit! That Snickers commercial again! Did this terrify no one during any phase of conception? The director, writer, designer…all of em, should put their names on that little shred of horror. They need to be held accountable.

Whoa, Mark Henry isn’t here…personal matters? Natalya is in ring, name drops “Uncle Bret” 24 seconds in, and taunts “Laycool”, who I guess is Layla and Michelle McCool. She’s the one fucking the Undertaker, right? She’s pretty awful on the stick, and now she’s lecturing everyone on HD. Layla (who sounded like Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny the first time she spoke, now apparently has British in her) is just as bad. Laycool goes to leave, and the rest of the Divas I don’t know are blocking the ramp. Cole helpfully starts listing them off…Bella Twins, Gail Kim, Eve…thanks, Cole. Why couldn’t Bret Hart’s music signal the arrival (via wormhole) of 1997 anti-American Bret Hart? That’s wrestling I want to see. This Divas stuff (shockingly) seems to have gotten worse during my hiatus.

Chris Pike and Denzel Washingston in Unstoppable, about a runaway train? Is GMB already on Fandango?

One hour 50 in, and I’ve got the main event to go. I wouldn’t want to do this every week, but it was certainly different. It’s like writing live commentary, and it’s completely different from anything I’m used to doing lately. I can’t stand the Smackdown vs. Raw video game series, if it ain’t No Mercy, I don’t give a shit.

Here’s our Main: Cena-Miz with the leadership of Team Raw on the line. Is Smackdown doing something similar? Crowd seems oddly divided, and I don’t really see why. Cena’s predicament of being under Barrett’s thumb is about as sympathetic as can be, and he hasn’t done anything classified as “evil”. Why would you react to him negatively? I’d be yelling “Hey, you can find a way out of this predicament! Think it over on the drive to that house show in Spokane!”

 I don’t know, Red. I don’t think I like the “energy shot” version of you.

Miz has gotten “serious” while I’ve been away. I guess it works. They fight outside, and it’s 10pm. Let’s see how the 2010 Raw works the overrun time. Eeeewww…the Key Arena. It probably still smells like Supersonic failure. You Are Unable To View John Cena, and here’s the part of the match where guys trade finishers. Miz’s little buddy (looks back earlier in draft)…Alex Riley is holding the Money In The Bank briefcase in a what would be a horrible future vision.

The two guys I didn’t know from before (Somebody Harris? Somebody McGillicutty?) interfere, and Miz gets the win and the largely ceremonial position of Team Raw Captain. Post match, Cena goes at em, until stopped by Barrett. Face to Face, until the Invisible GM decrees that Those Guys vs. Cena-Orton next week. Now (bear with me, this is all going fast) Barrett says if Cena loses next week, he’ll (uh, Barrett) induct Those Guys into Nexus (Creating, I guess Pudgy Nexus and Weasely Nexus.) I guess that’s bad. Barrett calls Cena spineless, yellow-bellied, and so on. Cena grrrrrits his teeth.

Barrett turns his back on Cena, continuing to taunt his “employee” for no reason. There’s four sides to a ring, why doesn’t Cena just leave? Why would you stand there until well after 10:10pm getting carved up like that?

Cena leaves at 1o:11pm…no, Barrett! Don’t stop him, just let him go.

Oh, never mind. Barrett: “Until next week…you can’t see me!” He then does that thing with the hand waving. That’s fucking golden. The crowd seems more annoyed than angry, and Barrett smiles as the 2010 WWE copyright logo comes up.

So what’s my assessment of America’s Favorite Sports Entertainment Show On Monday Nights? The Barrett-Cena thing is pretty good, and my only hope is that they make Cena do more and more malicious things before the eventual blowoff of this feud. The selections for Team Raw are kinda eclectic, and Heel Michael Cole sucks. That’s what I’ve got.

Jets are up 12-0 on the Vikes in a rainy Meadowlands. Looks like I made the right choice tonight. Poor NFL announcers…it must be hard to kiss Favre ass for three hours plus when he’s just not winning football games.

Until I feel like doing this again…

Posted by: cmvenom | December 27, 2007

A Cockpunch In Disguise From The NFL Network

For those of you not in the know, the New England Patriots play the New York Giants in National Football League action this coming Saturday night. With a win, the Patriots become only the second team in NFL history to finish the regular season undefeated, joining the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

One could argue that the Patriots potential achievement is even more impressive than that of the Dolphins; the regular season schedule in 1972 consisted of 14 games (as opposed to today’s 16), and parity is widespread in today’s NFL. Win or lose, it’s an impressive regular season run, and one that will most likely lead to the Patriots’ fourth Super Bowl title come February.

But a serious problem loomed as this game approached. The league’s NFL Network cable station held exclusive rights to broadcast the game, and with the station only available to 40% of America’s households, a majority of the nation would be unable to see this potentially historic match-up. Sure, the game would get broadcast on regular TV in the Boston and New York markets, but who the fuck wants to live there? (Boston and New York residents: please leave hateful comments below this entry.)

Luckily (?), our nanny state swooped into action. Having solved all of the nation’s serious problems, our beloved senators and congressmen “pressured” the NFL to allow the game to be broadcast on regular television throughout the country. The game will now be shown on not only the NFL Network, but CBS and NBC as well, the first time in history a triple simulcast has taken place.

Everyone gets to see the game (Patriots 34 Giants 14, btw), and no one has to be subjected to Saturday night reruns of Law & Order and CSI: Muncie, Indiana. This is great news, right?

One can only imagine the seething anger of executives in the shadowy and dank tunnels of NFL Headquarters. Their plan to lock up the post-Thanksgiving football viewing audience…foiled! And they would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for those meddling lawmakers. If you listen closely, you can hear them now…

“How dare they force our hand in such a fashion? They should be going after those vampires at Comcast, not us! So, they want the Patriots-Giants game, do they? Well they’ll get it, and more than they bargained for. Unleash…THE GUMBEL!”


This is the ultimate tool of revenge of the NFL Network. The droning and annoying Bryant Gumbel, worse on the microphone than a thousand PL Meyers on Xanax. Sure, CBS and NBC, you can show the game. But it’s going to be played under NFL Network rules, and those rules include this insipid hack and his inane commentary. The only thing that makes NFL Network game broadcasts watchable is Gumbel’s co-announcer, former Cincinnati Bengal receiver Cris Collinsworth. And as intelligent and likable as he is, it’s still not enough to offset the complete vacuum of entertainment that surrounds Gumbel like the rings of Saturn.

What to do? Your options include watching the game with the sound off, creating a three-hour custom music soundtrack for the game (I suggest Lily Allen’s Alright, Still, Depeche Mode’s Violator, and the greatest hits of Phil Collins), or get drunk on rum and bellow out your own commentary.

I’m not a big fan of the government pressuring a private business to do something for the “good of the people”, and in this case I believe their well-intentioned interference did more harm than good. I’m sure if most citizens knew they’d be subjected to Gumbel’s Kermit the Frog-like delivery for three hours, they’d take a pass on watching the game. Effectively, our government has launched a terrorist attack on its own people, akin to exploding a chlorine-filled hot air balloon over Times Square on New Years’ Eve.

Posted by: cmvenom | September 24, 2007

“Scooby Don’t”

It’s 11:30am on a Friday morning, and I need a cigarette.

The “smoking canopy” at my workplace is located out back, near the loading dock. It’s a grim little location, filled with rusting skeletons of welding tables and vehicle husks that will never see the joys of production. But at least there’s a rickety wooden picnic table, and a free-standing ashtray that implores smokers to “park their butts”. Occasionally, I’ll run into a co-worker out there, and discuss the ineptitude of management or the shaky state of the Chicago Bears offense.

But not this time. It’s just me and my Marlboro Menthol Ultra Light 100. Until I spotted “The Solicitor”.

From across the parking lot, I watched him approach; a middle-aged black man dressed in a black shirt, black pants and white striped tie. He carried under his arm a shabby-looking box with some sort of papers jutting out the top. In the twenty five seconds or so it took him to make his way from the street to me, I waited, wondering what business he could possibly have with me.

“Hey buddy, how you doing today?” he asked, jutting out his hand. I ignored it, but kept my voice friendly in an attempt to confuse him.

“Good, good.” I replied. “And you?”

“Not bad, not bad.” he said. “Little hot out today though, isn’t it?”

“That indeed.”

“Listen,” he said, pulling something out of the box, “I’ve got something I want you to take a look at.” He thrust toward me an oversized Scooby-Doo coloring book. Admittedly, it wasn’t exactly something I was expecting. I took it out of pure curiosity.

“It’s a…coloring book.” I said, stating the obvious.

“It sure is.” he said, as if my statement required affirmation. “Great for the kids, and if you look in the middle…” He reached out, and flipped the book open to the center page. “…you’ll see that there’s a full-color poster inside with Scooby and the whole gang.”

“Yeah, it…sure is.” I said, continuing the trend of useless dialogue. The poster was indeed full-color, depicting Scooby, Shaggy, and rest of the “gang” clustered together, looking terrified, while being beset upon by a menagerie of every conceivable movie monster. There was a mummy, a werewolf, a zombie, Frankenstein’s Monster, and a vampire complete with starched shirt, cape, and Euro-trash medallion.

“That’s something, isn’t it?” he said cheerfully. I didn’t exactly understand how a bearded thirtysomething with a cigarette in his hand was supposed to be impressed by the centerfold of a children’s coloring book.

“Yeah, something alright.” I said.

“Now, they’re selling these down at the Warner Brothers Store for twenty bucks,” he said, launching into the “hard-sell” portion of the conversation, “but I’m willing to let these go today for ten apiece.”

I found this statement a little debatable, seeing as how the Warner Brothers Stores went out of business roughly six years ago. So, as he had launched into his “hard-sell” mode, I figured it was time for him to spend several uncomfortable moments with CMVenom.

“Don’t you think this is a little odd?” I asked, pointing at the vampire on the poster. “Y’know, that they would use an undead creature in a book marketed toward children?” If the question rattled him in any way, he gave no indication, and continued to stare at me with a goofy smile affixed to his face.

I decided to continue.

“I mean, technically, a vampire is nothing more than an undead creature. A reanimated corpse if you will, usually by some sort of necromantic magicks. I’m not sure that’s the kind of things you should be thrusting toward kids.”

Instead of debating this completely logical point with me, he decided to pretend I hadn’t said a goddamned thing. “It’s a beautiful book, that’s for sure. Hours of enjoyment, great for the kids…and only ten doll-”

I handed the book back to him. “It’s nice alright, but I’m afraid I don’t have any use for it. No kids. Sorry.”

He actually looked disappointed. “No kids? No nieces, nephews, cousins? Nobody who’d like this?”

“Nope, sorry.” I said. “None of those, and no kids for me and the wife.”

He raised and eyebrow. “Sounds to me like you and the wife need to…you know…start getting busy.”

“Oh, we get busy alright.” I fired back at this wholly inappropriate commentary on my sex life. “But she really likes it in the pooper. Little hard to make babies that way, right champ?”

I’d never seen the color drain out of a black man’s face before.

“Yeah…uh…” he stammered, quickly shoving the coloring book back in his shoddy box. “…well, uh…you have a good day…” He was already retreating while sputtering out the last words.

“You too, dude!” I bellowed cheerfully. “Good luck with that!”

It took him roughly twenty five seconds to approach, but only about fifteen to leave. I’d like to think I did good work today.

Posted by: cmvenom | September 10, 2007

This Blog Is For You. Yes, Just For You.

           I’m a genial type of guy. And few things make me happier than communicating with you, the loyal readers of Several Uncomfortable Minutes With CMVenom. And I’m not just talking about my regular readers (and you know who you are). No, I mean even those of you who put some bizarre chain of words in a search engine, and somehow end up here, miles away from your intended destination. The mental vision I get of your absolutely confused expression when you come across my little bit o’ Internet is priceless.

          Today’s column is dedicated to YOU, clueless person who stumbled across this blog while searching for something completely different. This is your time to shine. Or as one might put it to Sailor Dave; This is your time, comma, shine.

TO WHOEVER WAS LOOKING FOR “who wants to be a milliner the game”          

          I have a question for you; where does one find this spectacular game show, where people vie for the job of making women’s hats? And does anyone watch it except for you?

TO WHOEVER WAS LOOKING FOR “the real meaning of disney on ice death”    

          What is the true meaning of death, man? Is it, like, an afterlife? Or is it more like a purgatory? What is the true meaning of Disney on Ice death? I myself am curious. Was some poor performer’s guts spilled by an angry Shere Khan? Were they squeezed to death by the snake form of the villainous wizard Jafar? Or does it have something to do with the guy looking for “fat bad guy from Pocahontas”? All I know is that I’m keeping an eye out for the next area performance. This I gotta see.

TO WHOEVER WAS LOOKING FOR “peeing uncomfortable”

            Get off the Internet. Go see a doctor. Now.

TO WHOEVER WAS LOOKING FOR “drinking Scotch at Walt Disney World”

            Aw, dude…so close. If you’d done a search for something like “smoking truly heroic amounts of pot at Walt Disney World” or “drinking liquor and popping painkillers like Pez at Walt Disney World” we might have something to talk about. But as it is, you’re S.O.L.

TO WHOEVER WAS LOOKING FOR “the act of having several wives at one time”

            Your Jeopardy answer is “polygamy”.


TO WHOEVER WAS LOOKING FOR “Lovie Smith visibly erect”

            Hey! You’re back! Don’t get me wrong, I love that you’re reading my stuff, but you didn’t find what you were looking for the first time. Why the hell would you come back? Perhaps you found my caustic nature too engaging to resist. Or perhaps you were hoping that I had actually posted some information about the Chicago Bears head coach with a raging hard-on. One of those options will disappoint you.


            Perhaps you’d be more comfortable here.


            Stop typing in all caps. It’s annoying. Also, is this one of those “adult” films I keep hearing about? Like The Day The Ass Stood Still, or Schindler’s Fist? Yup, nothing like a porno about an Indian maiden with a face like a World War I army boot to get me going.


            Boy, that’s a thought that makes your testicles drop, don’t it? Screw the idea of actually working in the WWE; I can’t even stomach the notion of breathing the same air as Randy Orton or that crow-eyed shrew who hangs out with Deuce & Domino. No, I’d want a writing job in the E. Within the first month, William Regal would be Intercontinental Champion, Rey Mysterio would be whipped bloody by Finlay for wearing that stupid silver paint at Summerslam, and La Parka would be the illegitimate son of Vince McMahon.

 TO WHOEVER WAS LOOKING FOR “CM PUNK celebrating in the locker room”

            Oh, yeah…and you’d never see this either.

Posted by: cmvenom | September 6, 2007

Wok Softly And Carry A Big Stick

           Some days, you just want to get off work, go home, order some food for delivery, and waste the evening watching episodes of Build It Bigger. Yesterday was one of those days.

          I had spent a good chunk of the morning in a conference meeting headed by an imbecile, and my afternoon was spent trying to squelch the urge to beat a smarmy engineer to the consistency of strawberry jam. So it was quite a relief to get home, kick off my shoes, and look forward to an evening of relaxation.

          Carter suggested we order delivery from Great Wok, a Chinese restaurant that we had ordered from before. (Remember that, for it is integral to this story. We had ordered from them before.) The selection was made (General Tso’s, beef fried rice, crab Rangoon), and I made the phone call to Great Wok. It took the woman on the phone a few minutes to grasp the concept of our address, but I was assured that the order would be on its way shortly.

          Fast forward twenty five minutes, when the phone rings.

          “Hello, this Great Wok. You order food from us?”

          “Yes, I did.”

          “And you say address is 3892 Hayes? Hayes Lane?”

          “Yeah, that’s it.”

          “Okay…we no got. Driver cannot find. You sure it 3892 Hayes?”

          “Yeah, I’m pretty positive. I do live here, after all.”

          Five minutes later…

          “Hello, this Great Wok. You order food from us?”

          “Yes, yes I did.”

          “And your address three eight nine two Hayes?”

          “Yes, hon. Three eight nine two.”

          “My driver know Hayes, but he not find address.”

          A quick aside; “Hayes” is not a difficult street to navigate. There isn’t even an easterly outlet. If you’re on the street, you’re going to run into our address.

          “I don’t know what to tell you. It’s clearly marked on the front of the building. 3892 Hayes.”

          “3892. Okay.”

          He hung up. I had the sneaky suspicion that this wouldn’t be the last of it. Seven minutes later, I was proven right.

          “Hello, this Great Wok. You order food from us?”

          “For the third time, yes.”

          “You say three…eight…nine…two?”

          “Yes, that’s the address. I’ve been living here for three months, I’ve got a pretty good grasp on it.”

          “3892…what it near?”

          “You guys don’t have a computer? Or a map, for that matter?”

          “What it near?”

          “It’s a condo building right behind the Dunkin Donuts on Williams.”

          “Oh! Behind Dukah Donut!”

          “Yes, very good.”

          Two minutes elapse.

          “Hello, this Great Wok. You order food from us?”


          “You at 3892 Hayes. My driver cannot find. You say it behind Dunka Donuts?”

          “Yes, it’s the street behind Dunkin Donuts. If you’re at the Dunkin Donuts, get on Williams going west. Turn right on Chesterfield, and then make a quick right onto Hayes. I’m down the street. Three…eight…nine…two Hayes. I’ll be waiting out front. I’m wearing a white t-shirt.”

          “Oh, okay.”


            “Hello, this Great Wok. You-?”

          “Yes, I order food from you. What now?”

          “You say…3892 Hayes?”

          “Oh for Christ’s sake…why is this so difficult? Did you understand the directions I gave you?”

          “Driver cannot find Hayes. He at Dunka Donuts.”

          “Well, he’s in the wrong place.”

          “You pick up food at Dunka Donuts?”

          Maybe it’s just me, but having to head out to pick up your own food doesn’t qualify as “delivery” to me. I gave up trying to hide the indignation in my voice.

          “Lady, I’m not driving to Dunkin Donuts to pick up my goddamned food. That’s why I ordered it to be delivered. De…live…erd.”

          “Oh, okay.”

          I had barely begun to explain to poor Carter why she wasn’t yet munching on crab rangoon, when…

          “Hello, this Great Wok. You order food from us?”

          “It’s been so long, I don’t remember.”

          “We no deliver. Driver cannot find 3982 Hayes. We no deliver.”

          “First off, it’s 3892 Hayes. And second, what do you mean you can’t deliver? A chimp could follow those directions.”

          “Driver cannot find on Hayes. Driver go to Dunka-“

          “Yeah, yeah…Dunka Donuts. We’ve been over this.”

          “He not find on Hayes. We no deliver on Hayes.”

          “Y’know what? Screw this. Forget about the whole fuckin’ thing.”

          We ended up driving out to get Mexican in what were essentially our pajamas. And it was good.

          For more on this insane situation, where a restaurant that charges for delivery is unable to follow the simplest directions, can’t afford a computer to access Mapquest, or just can’t open to the map in the goddamned phone book, feel free to call Great Wok yourself at (815) 609-7104.

            Or if you’ve got the persuasion to send them Xerox copies of your genitalia, fax those over to (815) 609-7106.

          Finally, for those of you who prefer to mock and deride in a more personal fashion, stop by Great Wok itself at 2400 Caton Farm Road, Crest Hill, IL, 60435. Tell ‘em CMVenom sent ya.

          Can’t find it? No problem. Here’s a Mapquest link to the goddamned place.

            Now get down to business. Great Wok awaits.

Posted by: cmvenom | August 20, 2007

VWAA 8/18: Night of the Wrestling Gardener


          The interior of the Joliet Park District building reminds us faintly of Romeoville, but the acoustics sound strange. A single test clap echoes for nearly a second and a half. This place is really going to get loud when we start bellowing. The preshow music seems to be selections from the Terminator 2 soundtrack; a nice touch.

The Show:

          Studd Muffin comes out; his outfit is very “busy”. He calls out Michael Lopez, his gardener, and begins to verbally berate him for not doing his job and wasting time trying to learn how to wrestle. Studd Muffin apparently hasn’t poked his head outside recently; it’s been raining like hell all day. For a guy who’s being verbally dressed down, Lopez is grinning too much. Muffin calls out Juggalo J-City, apparently to beat some sense into his hired hand.

Juggalo J-City vs. Michael Lopez

          Some passable back and forth action. Lopez hits a dropkick that nails JJC somewhere around the waist; Ben Jordan would call that a “variation”. JJC is a little too much for Lopez, and gets the pinfall. He looks a little too happy to have beaten a guy with little to no wrestling experience. Studd Muffin is elated, and orders Lopez to the back. I’m amazed that Lopez would even consider staying in Muffin’s employ after that.

Atlas vs. Sal DiNiro

          Squash with a capital “S”. DiNiro looks nothing like the guy featured in the video promo on VWAA’s Myspace site. After a mercifully short match where Atlas gains the win, the “real” Sal DiNiro is heard over the PA system, promising a big surprise for Atlas.

          Frankie Valiant is here, wearing a set of religious robes that actually look like dropped some coin on. His guests are the Furies, and poor Mitch Blake is on crutches. Rick Walsh’s jersey confuses me; it says he’s number 72 on the front, but number 27 on the back. Blake assures me that it’s a “tailor error”. I’ll buy that. Blake says he’s unable to wrestle tonight (regardless of Whack’s claims that the injury is a sham), and Rick Walsh will compete later tonight for the Furies.

Isaias Velasquez vs. Squanto

          Velasquez has a nice purple set of ring gear. Squanto wears a hat that makes him look like Kung Lao from Mortal Kombat. The hat falls off the ring post two minutes into the bout; a bad omen for Squanto. Good match between the two, with a number of near-falls that really kind of had me going. Velasquez picks up the well-deserved win, but both of these guys were pretty impressive.

Ovirload vs. Rick Walsh

          Ovirload and his partner, the Amazing Kuan, are black men in masks. They’ve got a good look. Some wild action in this one, including Mitch Blake absorbing a top rope dropkick, and then showing amazing fortitude by beating Ovirload mercilessly with one of his crutches. This one goes to a no-contest, and Frankie Valiant returns, proclaiming Blake’s healed knee as a “miracle”.

“The Urban American Dream” Willie “Da Bomb” Richardson vs. Jordan Pryde

            This is indeed a pleasant surprise; we didn’t even know Willie was going to be present. Pryde looks similar to a poor man’s Samoa Joe, the difference being that I may actually pay to see Pryde again. Willie responds to our frantic screamings for the Headbutt (twice!), and also grants us two “Potato” shots. Trust me, it was glorious. Willie reverses a cross-body for the win.

          Intermission is actually about 15 minutes, a rarity in indy wrestling these days. I buy an Isaias Velasquez 5X7 for a dollar, planning on waving it at talent I find to be inferior to his greatness. The Dean is introduced as our referee for the second half. We go mad with applause.

Vigilante vs. The Amazing Kuan

            Kuan and Ovirload are still selling their earlier injuries like crazy. It’s attention to little bits of continuity like this that I really like. Vigilante is billed as having something to do with the 80’s. However, his spiked hairstyle is very 1990, and the flannel tied around his waist is pure Pearl Jam circa 1992. We call foul, and continue to do so throughout the match. At about the six minute mark, the Furies come from out of nowhere, starting a Pier Four (two down from Pier Six) brawl. Countout ensues. Boo. Mitch Blake looks pretty good for a guy with a futzed-up knee. Yay for speedy recovery!
Battle Royal

          Bodies are everywhere. Even the Furies’ manager gets in on the fun. This one is over surprising quick, with Vigilante getting the victory.

Abbadon vs. Ivan Manson (No-DQ)

          Good hardcore action. Abbadon uses a golf club and someone’s cell phone as weapons. I get chastised for heckling Cheeks Manson by her mother. Abbadon drags Manson around the crowd perimeter, as fans chop and slap his helpless form. As much as I dislike this practice, the crowd seemed into it. Kudos to the woman in the front row across from us, who laid into Manson with a chop as solid as any worker’s. Abbadon blasts Manson with a computer keyboard to get the win, sending numbers and letters flying. I got a “1/!”.


          The acoustics were the biggest problem; but seeing as how the music was clear while the microphone sounded garbled, this may just be a placement issue. Some of VWAA’s workers seem a bit green, but they all worked their asses off. This wasn’t a bad show at all for a fledgling company, and it seems like they’ve got their act together. I look forward to watching them progress and improve as time goes on.

Posted by: cmvenom | August 14, 2007

Whatever Ye Seek, Ye Shall Not Find It Here

             With some of the bizarre topics I write about, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when peculiar search engine queries lead folks to my little breakfast nook of the Internet. But just about every day, there’s something that seems to do just that. (And now having inscribed the phrase “breakfast nook of the Internet” on this blog, I’m sure somebody with an abnormal fetish for crepes will soon be gazing at page after page of stories about arrogant wrestling federations and dismemberments at Six Flags, and wonder what the hell is going on.) I only wish that WordPress granted me IP addresses, so I could ask those folks personally what they were thinking. Let’s begin!

park my semi truck while at Disney World

Google rank: 8 & 9

          I truly sympathize with those who drive the big rigs. After all, in the words of Emmanuel Transmission, “The truck is the backbone of commerce.” And I really feel bad for the long-distance hauler who decides to bring his Peterbilt to Walt Disney World. Sure, the parking lots have enough space, but they’re in the farthest reaches of the asphalt, where guest trams dare not to tread. Disney ought to be receptive to the needs of these people, these kings of the road if you will, and turn the absolutely useless DisneyQuest building into a multi-leveled semi parking garage.

peeing and lovemaking

Google rank: Good fucking question

          After I failed to find my blog among the first three pages of Google search results, I wondered how far I’d have to delve into the world of “peeing and lovemaking” before I found it. 250 entries later, I gave up. What’s truly concerning is that whoever was searching this particular term went well over 250 entries to find my blog, passing up such gems as “Patches Place Watersports Training Manual” and “housing for working single mother with hlandicap daughter”.

whack his pee pee

Google rank: I’m at a loss

          This time, I decided to stop after 150 misfires. And wouldn’t you know it, still nothing. I wondered if a search for “billy whack his pee pee” would get me anything better. No dice there.

hot girls at six flags

Google rank: 10

          Nice try, perverted coaster enthusiasts. I hope you’re all amputee fetishists into 13 year old girls, because most of the entries I spotted have to do with poor Kaitlyn Lassiter, the girl mangled by Six Flags’ new Ineptitude Policy. Here’s an idea; have another cup of Dippin’ Dots, and get in line for the closest Vekoma Boomerang. Forget about “hot girls at six flags”. Trust me; I’m saving you time and humiliation.

the other sister motion picture

Google rank: I have no idea/1 (see below)

          I stopped at 200 entries. Google lists “about” 2,140,000. Juliette Lewis is a hack, unless she’s playing white trash. Do what ya know.

          For curiosity’s sake, I added “cm venom” to the end of the term. Ah, that’s better.

pictures of chris beniot dead hanging

Google rank: 47

          I don’t know what’s funnier; the misspelling of Chris Benoit’s name, or the fact that someone actually believed they’d find pictures of the former WWE World Champion hanging limply from a Bowflex machine. Wouldn’t Google Image Search be a more appropriate tool for this kind of thing?

billy whack

Google rank: 7

          Ew. There really are some sick fucks on the Internet.

funeral for Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko

Google rank: 10

          At least this one spelled “Benoit” correctly. But I wonder how Dean Malenko would feel about people looking for information on his funeral, especially considering that he’s not dead.

Posted by: cmvenom | August 12, 2007

Brother Don: 1973-2007

          By the time the middle of the 1996 LWF Season had rolled around, we’d learned our lesson.

          As a renegade wrestling company, we had begun pulling in what could only be described as massive crowds (to us at least). Weekend shows had started with a smattering of curious folks, but after we began carpet-bombing local businesses and hangouts with crudely done and vulgar fliers, the crowds started to pour in. By the time mid-summer came, the LWF was hosting crowds of up to four hundred people per show.

          The “backyard” version of the LWF was located on a friend’s farm south of Joliet, and each Saturday night brought a tailgate party-like atmosphere. Fans would show up early, park haphazardly in the field next to the ring, and generally party hard. We would make the pre-show rounds, chatting with the LWF faithful, and freely accepting offers of free liquor.

          All that changed one night. At a show aptly named “Crash N’ Burn”, Brawn the Lumberjack became the flashpoint for a riot during an in-ring battle royale. In all fairness, Brawn was defending himself from an attack by some drunken misanthrope, and the ensuing melee spilled out of control. Scores of fans fled for their cars to escape the cyclone of bodies. The night also featured some imbecile sideswiping parked cars on his way out like a game of vehicular pinball.

          We called an emergency meeting of the LWF Founders the next day; something had to be done. After hours of painful deliberation, we decided that our lax attitude toward our fans’ alcohol consumption was the largest factor in the debacle, and decided to completely ban all such libations from the theatre of the LWF.

          Some folks were decidedly unhappy when they pulled up two weeks later to be greeted by a sign proclaiming the new policy, as well as several stone-faced LWF representatives. Our policy was simple; we were going to search your car, and confiscate any alcoholic beverages. We gave the option of refusing such a search, but admission to the show would summarily be denied. If you somehow managed to sneak alcohol in and we spotted it, you would be ejected from the property. Some grumbled, some left, but most just sighed and handed over their booze. Two hours before showtime, we had amassed quite a pile of beer, wine, and hard liquor, all of it left on display.

          As darkness fell before showtime, several of us would prowl the parking area in teams of two, armed with flashlights, looking for those who had managed to evade our net of confiscation. Our favorite method was to slink up in the darkness, engage the target in some banal conversation, and eventually ask for a beer. When said beer would be offered, we’d reveal ourselves as LWF personnel, and appropriate their stash. Surprisingly, none of us got our asses kicked in the process, despite the fact that there were over four hundred fans in attendance, and we had six people with flashlights.

          About a half hour before the show, I was heading toward the backstage area, when something caught my eye. A group of fans were standing around, talking loudly and laughing. One of them, a young man of about nineteen, was swaying and hooting, holding a can of Pepsi in his hand. I caught a glint of silver on the otherwise blue can. I moved in a little closer.

          “Hey, what’s up, guys?” I asked.

          “Hey, man!” one of them said, “Fuckin’ LWF! You guys fucking rock!”

          “Thanks, thanks.” I said, peering at the can in question. It quickly became obvious to me what was happening. This enterprising youth had actually cut a can of Pepsi apart, and was using it to mask a can of Miller Lite. Pretty sharp. But what would really been sharp was if he had held the slight seam created by his can masquerade away from sight, as opposed to blatantly outward.

          Still, it was pretty damn ingenious. As a reward for his ingenuity, I decided to make this as uncomfortable for him as humanly possible. I spotted fellow LWFer Brother Don walking by, and I waved him over.

          “What’s up?” Don asked.

          “Nothing much.” I said. “I just wanted you to meet a few of our honored fan base.” I locked eyes with Don, and gave a slight nod of my head toward the Pepsi Kid. Don flitted his eyes over him for a moment, and then returned his gaze to me, giving a slight nod. He had seen it.

          “Hey, that’s great.” he said, turning his attention toward the group. “You know, doing all this running around, and getting the show ready is really thirsty work.”

          I nodded. “Oh, no doubt. I just wish I had something cool and refreshing to drink.”

          “Sure would be nice.” Don lamented.

          “Hey!” I said, pointing at the Pepsi Kid, “This guy’s got a nice cold Pepsi right here! And that’s my favorite drink!” The kid smiled sheepishly, and began shifting around as if his skin was suddenly too tight.

          “Wow.” Don deadpanned. “How lucky are you?”

          I reached my hand out to the Pepsi Kid. “Dude, let me have a sip. I’ll totally be your friend forever.”

          “Uh…I…uh…” he began to stammer. A few of his friends exchanged nervous looks.

          “Oh, if you’re worried about me drinking the whole thing, don’t fret.” I said. “I’ve got a whole cooler full, but they’re all the way on the other side of the ring.”

          “So very, very far.” said Don. The smile had faded from his face. He was staring bullets at the Kid now.

          “No, man…this is…is my…” the Pepsi Kid stammered. He looked like he was ready to vomit. I reached out and took the can from him slowly. He offered no resistance.

          “This is your…beer, I take it?” I said, peeling the aluminum camouflage off the can. The Pepsi Kid went ghost white. His friends looked around anxiously.

          “I…I…I…” he began to stutter.

          “You…you…you…what exactly?” asked Don mockingly. He took a step forward, and turned on the “menacing persona”. The Kid and his companions took an involuntary step back. “I’ll tell you what you were doing. You thought you’d be smart, and smuggle in beer, even though it’s blatantly obvious that it’s against our policy.”

          “The sign’s at the entrance.” I added helpfully.

          “But that doesn’t apply to you, does it?” Don asked. “No, you’re exempt from the rules.”

          I poured the remainder of the beer out onto the ground, as the Pepsi Kid watched apprehensively. When it was empty, I tossed it over my shoulder. “C’mon kid.” I said, beckoning him forward with a finger. “We’re taking a walk.”

          “What do you mean, a walk?” he asked.

          “What I mean, is that the sign clearly states that if you’re caught with alcohol, you’re ejected from the property. You were caught with alcohol, so you’re being ejected from the property.”

          The sign actually did say that, but we had been letting people slide on it by just taking their booze. Maybe it was the fact that this kid seemed to have no extra booze on hand to confiscate, but I just kinda felt like being a hardass.

          “What about my friends?” he asked, as the panic started to set in.

          Don scanned the group with his eyes. “Any of you hiding alcohol on you?” he asked. They murmured a negative response as a collective group. “Then they can stay. Your ass, however, is out of here. March.” Don pointed to the field, beyond which was the closest country road, at least a good quarter-mile walk.

          The Pepsi Kid mumbled something under his breath, and started walking. Don and I flanked him, and within moments, the hubbub of the LWF had faded to a dim noise. The moon was the only source of illumination, but was more than bright enough for us to see.

          “This is fucking bullshit”. The Kid spat. “You fucking guys…”

          “If you’d have followed the rules, there wouldn’t have been any trouble.” Don said, and there was no mistaking the amusement in his voice. “Now you’re fucked.”

          We trudged on for a few more silent moments, before The Kid started up again. “You guys can’t fucking do this. What’s your right?”

          “Oh, we can.” I said, sharing a smirk with Don in the moonlight. “And we most certainly are.”

          “Fuck you, man…fuck you both…” he said, before his voice got lower. “Ought to kick the fucking shit out of you…”

          Don tapped him on the shoulder. “What was that?” he asked loudly. “What did you say, you little fucking pissant?”

          “I said…” Pepsi Kid said, gathering up his courage, “…that I oughta kick the fucking shit out of both of you.”

          “Oh, that one’s good.” I said. “You’re going to kick the shit out of both of us?”

          “Oughta fuckin’ kill you guys…” he mumbled. I’m pretty sure he had assessed the situation at hand (two of us, one of him, in a dark field where no one would hear a damn thing), and reconsidered his stance. He didn’t sound too confident now.

          Don pressed the issue. “That’s funny, cuz here’s how it would work. You’d hit one of us, and if you’re lucky, you’d knock him down. But there’s still the other one to deal with. And d’you know what the first one’s going to do then, after you knock him down?”

          The Pepsi Kid shook his head. He wasn’t looking at either of us now.

          Don got right up next to him. “The other one is going to get up, you little motherfucker. And then we’re both going to beat your ass, and dump you in the fucking quicksand pit out here.”

          I suppressed a snicker. The Kid probably thought Don was being glib, but there actually was a quicksand pit out there. And I had no doubt that Don would carry such a threat out without hesitation.

          “And if you are thinking about taking a shot at one of us, I suggest you swing first at him.” Don continued, pointing at me. “Because I’ll knock you the fuck out before he gets back to his feet. It’ll save you the indignity of getting beaten retarded by both of us.”

          Don gave him a little shove, and we continued the forced march. Minutes later, we finally approached the main road, which was shadowy and silent. In the sticks of Elwood, there were no such things as “street lights”, or at this time of night, “traffic”.

          “Here you go, smart guy.” Don said. “Hit the bricks.”

          The Pepsi Kid looked back and forth between both of us. “What do you mean?” he asked.

          “What we mean is get to walking.” I said. “You’re ejected from the property. We don’t give a shit where you go, but you can’t stay here.” We both turned and started walking back toward the lights of the LWF. We had a show to run, goddamnit.

          “But there’s nothing out here!” the ejected genius said. “What the hell am I supposed to do?”

          “Good question.” Don said without even turning around. “Don’t care. Have a good night.”

          “Aw, fuck you guys!” The Kid wailed.

          “And if you decide to come back on the property, and I see you,” Don continued, still walking away, “I’m not even going to warn you. Punch. Drop. Quicksand.”

          That was Don.




          We laid Brother Don to rest on Saturday morning.

          This was easily one of the hardest weeks of my life. Each day brought a new variety of heartbreak. The stunned gathering we hosted on Wednesday hours after receiving the news of his passing. Seeing the text messages I sent early in the week that were never answered. Scanning through eleven-year-old videotapes for screencaps of Brother Don in his many LWF personas.

          Even during the “official services” on Friday and Saturday, we couldn’t help but shoot each other furtive glances. Listening to a well-meaning local pastor who referred to him as “Donald”, and sounded like Sammy Sosa, we all thought the same thing. Don would have hated this.

          We honored Brother Don in our own way. Most of us carried bottles of liquor in our suit pockets or purses, and our clandestine sips in the far reaches of the funeral home parking lot quickly turned into blatant guzzling right outside the doors. The drink of choice for most was “The Smirnoff”, with some Southern Comfort and blackberry brandy thrown in for good measure.

          Classy? Probably not. But Brother Don would have loved it. And it certainly would have made Saul Weinstein proud.

          And through all the mumbo-jumbo that we were subjected to at the services and the church (90% “Glory of God” talk, 10% “Remembrance of Don”), the definitive word came from the eulogy delivered by Don’s (biological) brother. Standing in front of the masses at St. George’s in Tinley Park, Mikey delivered a superlative tribute, peppered with off-color anecdotes and enough “blasphemous” avowals to make the two men of the cloth present shift uncomfortably on their pious thrones.

          And it was brilliant. It was just the kind of thing that Don would have approved of.

          I can’t properly put my feelings for Brother Don into words, and I’m really not going to try. The truth is all of us were better for knowing him, and all of us are poorer in his absence.

          We’ll never forget Saul Weinstein, the drunken and immoral owner of the Lunatic Wrestling Federation. We’ll never forget Agnes, the first hermaphrodite to step into a wrestling ring. We’ll never forget Otto, part-time LWF janitor, brother to the Supreme Aryan, and the reason that Sgt. Army gained the LWF World Title. We’ll never forget Mr. Trumbull, whose ineptitude and misplacement of his tools led to an entire event to be named in his honor. We’ll never forget Robert Buggs, despite having only one appearance in the annals of history. And we’ll never forget Cabrini Dean, the shortest-lived LWF Champion of all time, and the only man to ever be murdered in the ring while the LWF faithful cheered their approval.

          And we’ll never forget Brother Don.


Don Petersen


Always a Gentleman

Forever our Brother


Posted by: cmvenom | July 13, 2007

The Tale Of “Tom The Challenger”

 (Warning: There’s a good likelihood that some of you may be offended by what you are about to read. To this, I say “Hard cheese”.)    

          The Lunatic Wrestling Federation’s first practice facility (dubbed “The Bump Factory”) was a cramped piece of warehouse space in western Mokena. Seeing as how we were completely self-funded in those days (our nest egg had been totally depleted by our ring purchase, and our first show was months away), we pretty much had to deal with what we could afford.

          The building complex was shared by an Ace Hardware and a nail salon, the employees and patrons of which were rattled on a regular basis by the bassy explosions of suplex drills and the muffled profanities when a chain sequence went wrong. Inside, the facility was barely large enough to hold the ring, and the “office space” (only large enough for a card table and a pair of chairs) could only be accessed by cutting through the ring diagonally. Tendrils of insulation hung from the ceiling like cobwebs in a cut-rate haunted house. The whole place smelled like beef and pee.

          But those problems were minor compared to the real enemy…the heat. Summer in the Midwest can range from pleasant to downright god-awful, but this one was bad. In addition to the ambient temperature, the sun would beat down on the blacktopped roof without mercy, turning our humble practice facility into something akin to the interior of Hell’s steam engine. Ventilation was nearly non-existent, so our only option was opening the large main sliding door that opened out toward the building’s back access road. An occasionally breeze would puff in, but for the most part, we felt akin to broasted chicken.

          By mid-July, something odd began to happen. Occasionally while working in the ring, one would catch a fleeting glimpse of something out of the corner of the eye, peering into the facility from the edge of the door. It would vanish as quickly as it appeared, and by the time someone would manage to exit the ring and look outside, there was nothing to behold. These occurrences slowly increased in frequency as time marched on, sometimes happening three to four times a day. We chalked it up to kids from the adjoining neighborhood drawn in by the booming and creaking of the ring, who were running away to avoid detection.

          One day, the Supreme Aryan and I were alone in the facility, working on some ring basics. We had just locked ourselves into a collar and elbow tie up (the standing grapple one usually sees near the beginning of a match, for those of you not wrestling savvy), when I saw one of the peering intruders in my peripheral vision.

          “There’s one at the door.” I whispered to the Supreme Aryan, not breaking the grapple. “See him?”

          The Supreme Aryan slowly struggled with me, moving himself into a better vantage point. “Yeah, I see him. He’s not moving.”

          “Let’s break slowly, and try not to scare him off.” I said. We gingerly released our hold on one another, and turned calmly toward the open door.

          Upon realizing he had been spotted, the lurker jerked his head back, so only one of his eyes was visible. I waved slowly.

          “Hi there.” I said in a pleasant voice, as if talking to an animal I didn’t want to scare off. “It’s okay.”

          “It’s alright, buddy. You can watch if you want to. We’re not going to hurt you.” said the Supreme Aryan.

          Our visitor slowly revealed more of himself, until finally he had poked most of his torso into view. He looked like a kid around ten to twelve years old, wearing a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. He didn’t move, but we got the feeling he was ready to bolt at the first sign of trouble.

          “Oh my god…” said the Supreme Aryan, low enough so only I could hear him. “Look at his face.”

          I squinted so as to better see his facial features. His skull looked unnaturally large, but his face was small. His mouth hung slightly slack, and his eyes were drooped like Katie Holmes on morphine. The eyebrows were high and arched. Having worked at St. Coletta’s years prior, I knew that look.

          “Dude,” I said quietly, “he’s developmentally disabled.”

          “Hi there!” said the Supreme Aryan in a louder voice, waving at him. “What’s your name?”

          The interloper looked confused for a moment, and then slowly slid from view. The Supreme Aryan and I both bailed from the ring, and streaked up to the edge of the door before stopping short. We slowly peered around the corner; we had no intention of terrifying our newest fan.

          He was shambling down the access road, seemingly oblivious to our presence. But to our surprise, he turned left, and walked through a door further down the building. The Supreme Aryan and I shared a confused glance; where was he going? We had to find out.

          Upon approaching the door, our questions were answered. A wooden sign proclaimed it the home of Trinity Services, a Joliet-based non-profit organization that aids the developmentally disabled. The door was solid, unfortunately blocking any view of what lay inside.

          “I bet there’s a whole army of ‘em in there.” Supreme Aryan said. “At least we know who all those ghostly visitors were.”

          “Man, we sure can pick a training facility, can’t we?” I asked.

          Word must have gotten around quick, because the very next day, a handful of the Trinity kids were clustered around the door by noon. They watched, wide-eyed and slack-jawed, as we performed irish whip drills and debated the best way to effectively throw a shoulder thrust. They would back away if anyone entered or exited, but were a polite and quiet bunch, seemingly enthralled by the action going on in the ring.

          Eventually, our kind tones and friendly waves began to comfort them, and they would no longer shirk at our approach. They became our unofficial fan club of sorts, chittering excitedly amongst themselves when particularly vicious maneuvers were performed. A few of the braver ones even came a few feet into the facility to get a better view of the action.

          The Bump Factory was crowded on the day of the Challenger. The Double M Magnificent Mike and the Mimic were in the ring, working on drills. Billy Whack and the Supreme Aryan were in the office, hanging action figures on the wall (the LWF’s preferred method of decoration). CM Punk, Broox, and I watched the in-ring work, and a few of our friends milled around. The Trinity group was out in force, there were at least six or seven pairs of eager eyes about five feet into the facility.

          I kept trying to watch the Double M and Mimic work, but my eyes were continually drawn to the Trinity group. One in particular, a beefy-looking kid of about 15, was slowly inching his way closer to the ring, and away from the group. He seemed enraptured by the wrestling action, and his face looked like Belloq when he first opened the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark. He would shuffle forward a bit, then stop, then do it again. Within minutes, he was at least five feet away from the group, alone in his own spellbound world. I alerted CM Punk to his actions, and we jokingly dubbed him “Tom”, due to his physical similarity to a DJ friend of ours. I continued to watch him, curious about what he would do next.

          Television can be quite impressionable on the young. Kids attempt to emulate their television heroes by donning capes like Batman, or attempting to murder roadrunners with elaborate Acme products. Tom was apparently impressionable as well, but influenced by televised wrestling. And no one watching was ready for what happened next.

          Without warning, he scooped up a nearby metal folding chair, and hurled it at the ring. This was accompanied by a hoarse, guttural cry, the first time we’d ever heard anything coherent from one of the Trinity kids.

          “SHHHHHIIIIITTTT!” he bellowed as he let the projectile fly. It sailed neatly over the ropes, and landed with a clatter in between a stunned Double M and Mimic. Everyone froze in place. The Bump Factory went dead silent, with the exception of Tom’s labored breathing. He had seen wrestling on television, and logically to him, that’s what wrestlers did.

          As the founding fathers of the LWF, Supreme Aryan, Whack, Broox, CM Punk and I gathered in a quick little huddle to discuss the situation.

          “Jesus, did you see that?” Supreme Aryan said. “That could have killed someone!”

          “It figures I didn’t have a fucking camera running.” lamented Whack.

          “That was a good throw.” Broox said. “We should sign that kid.”

          We quickly came to the realization that Tom should be escorted back to Trinity before he did something really dangerous, like attempt a German suplex on someone, or worse, ask to work a program with Johnny Mac. As the only one with a slight familiarity with the developmentally disabled, I volunteered to take on the monumental task of foraging into the unknown territory. Just to be a prick, I volunteered CM Punk to accompany me.

          With soothing voices, we gently guided Tom out of the Bump Factory and down the road to Trinity. The smell that greeted us when we opened the door was similar to that of a hamburger stand at a traveling carnival; sweat and old grease. A dozen of Trinity’s finest were scattered around the room, working on various arts and crafts at low tables. They all looked up with a mix of curiosity and fear. They had caught our scent.

          CM Punk and I realized that we needed to find a fully-functional adult authority figure, and fast. Putting on our biggest smiles, we guided Tom through the room, toward an open doorway. We kept our movements slow and deliberate, so as not to alarm anyone. It was as if we walked through a minefield of our own making.

          That door led to another room, this one even more populated. The activity of choice here was knitting, mostly potholders. A low murmur ran through the room upon our appearance. We were outsiders, and they knew it. We picked up the pace slightly; there had to be an adult here. Somewhere.

          What followed was a ten-minute ordeal I can only describe as a mindfuck. The interior of Trinity Services was like an Escher drawing come to life; doors that led to nowhere, rooms shaped like heptagons, small windows that looked out onto unfamiliar landscapes. The humidity increased the further we went, until finally it was akin to trying to breathe through a damp cotton blanket. And all the while, distrustful scrutiny from the eyes of Trinity’s finest.

          To our relief, we finally came upon an adult who was cleaning up some alien mess from a countertop. He furrowed his brow at us, wondering exactly who these two people were. Perhaps he thought us new arrivals who had abandoned our light assembly duties.

          “Can I…help you?” he asked.

         “Heyhowyadoingwe’refromtheLunaticWrestlingFederationnextdoorwethinkthisisoneofyourshereyagothanks’kaybye.” I said without stopping for breath. CM Punk gave Tom a little shove toward the man, officially completing the transfer of responsibility. We turned on our heels, ignoring the inevitable flood of follow-up questions. Walking at a brisk pace, we knifed through the mazelike interior, hoping that heading in one direction without deviation would eventually lead us to the exit.

          We finally exited into the summer afternoon. Fresh air had never felt so good.

          Tom the Challenger was never seen again. We immortalized him on the Bump Factory calendar, which is still sitting in some dusty box somewhere, sandwiched between surplus fliers from LWF Hit & Run, and booking sheets containing shit too perverse for public consumption.

          Our bizarre fan club dried up instantly as well, perhaps the Trinity powers-that-be decreed that mental retardation and professional wrestling weren’t a good combination. Of course, anyone who’s been to an independent wrestling show would argue otherwise.

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