Author: michaelpatterson

The Legion of Doom

Earlier this month I was saddened to learn of the death of Joe Laurinaitis, better known to wrestling fans as Road Warrior Animal and one half of one of the greatest tag teams the Road Warriors/ Legion of Doom. Animal was sixty years old. Animal was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania in 1960 and grew up in Minneapolis Minnesota. Animal stood an impressive six feet, one inch/ 185 cm and weighed 285 pounds/ 129 kg. His wrestling career began in 1982 as a singles competitor. He was simply known as the Road Warrior and portrayed a biker gimmick. In 1983 he signed with Georgia Championship Wrestling which was a territory of the National Wrestling Alliance, NWA. It was in GCW that he teamed up with his childhood friend Mike Hegstrand, better known as Hawk and The Road Warriors were born. Managed by Precious Paul Ellering The Road Warriors were part of the wrestling stable Legion of Doom, which consisted of The Road Warriors, Jake the Snake Roberts  The Spoiler, Matt Borne, King Kong Bundy, Arn Anderson, The Iron Sheik and the original Sheik.

Throughout their wrestling career The Road Warriors were no nonsense tough guys who looked like that they could legitimately hurt you. This was not hard for them to pull off, not just because of their size and strength but because they worked as Bouncers before becoming wrestlers. On the WWE DVD about their careers Animal talks about how along with Ravishing Rick Rude and Barry Darsow better known as Smash, Hawk and Animal worked as Bouncers at a bar in Minneapolis called Gramma B’s. It was there that all four were spotted by Eddie Sharkey who trained them all to become wrestlers. All four were very successful, working through the various wrestling territory’s before signing with the then World Wrestling Federation, now WWE. In 1990 The Road Warriors signed with WWE and their name was changed from The Road Warriors to The Legion of Doom.

Tag team wrestling was at its peak in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. It was during this period that the most famous and successful tag teams were together, and all wrestling championship belts were important as they did not change hands as much and there were fewer titles to win. If the wrestling promotor you worked for made you their champion it meant that they had enough confidence in your work to put that responsibility on you. It was during this period that The Road Warriors wrestled for every major promotion and won every tag team title that mattered. For me to talk about every championship The Legion of Doom won would take all day however below you will find some of them:

  • All Japan Pro Wrestling: NWA International Tag Team Championship
  • American Wrestling Association: AWA World Tag Team Championship
  • Fighting World of Japan Pro Wrestling: World Japan Tag Team Championship
  • Georgia Championship Wrestling: NWA National Tag Team Championship (3 times) NWA National Tag Team Championship Tournament
  • International Wrestling Superstars: IWS World Tag Team Championship
  • i-Generation Superstars of Wrestling: i-Generation Tag Team Championship (3 times)
  • Independent Pro Wrestling: IPW Tag Team Championship (1 time)
  • Jim Crockett Promotions/World Championship Wrestling: NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Dusty Rhodes and Genichiro Tenryu, NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-Atlantic version) Iron Team Tournament (1989), Jim Crockett, Sr. Memorial Cup (1986)
  • Super World of Sports: One Night Tag Team Tournament (1991)
  • World Wrestling Federation/WWE: WWF Tag Team Championship (2 times)
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling: IWGP Tag Team Championship (2 times) Working as The Hell Raisers
  • Toryumon Mexico: UWA World Tag Team Championship, working as The Hell Warriors

In 2003 Hawk sadly died. Hawk had a long and well-known battle with drugs and alcohol. Although he had been clean and sober for a long time when he passed, some people suspected that the long-term effects of his battles may have played a factor. In 2011 The Road Warriors and Precious Paul Ellering took their rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame. They are also members of the Quebec Wrestling Hall of Fame, NWA Hall of Fame, NWA Legends Hall of Fame, Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame, and Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Museum.

Animal is survived by his brother, former wrestler, and WWE producer Jonny Ace, three children including NFL Star James Laurinaitis, his nieces Brie and Niki Bella and his wife Kim Laurinaitis.

The Road Warrior’s had something very few wrestlers achieve. That is the ability to simply stand in the ring, say nothing and get a twenty- minute standing ovation. Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin all developed this ability, however, “The Road Warrior Pop” was the greatest of them all. The first main event tag team and one of the greatest tag teams ever. “Oh What a Rush”

Bowel Cancer

In my previous post I wrote about Chadwick Boseman and how he recently died of Colon Cancer, which is a type of Bowel Cancer. www.cancerresearchuk.org have the following quote about Bowel Cancer, “Bowel cancer can start in the large bowel (colon) or the back passage (rectum). It is also known as colorectal cancer. Bowel cancer is divided into different types depending on where it starts in the bowel, and the type of cell that it starts in. Knowing this helps your doctor decide which treatment you need”

Earlier this week British Olympic Champion Kris Akabusi revealed that he has undergone treatment for early stage Bowl Cancer, and that he was urged by his friends to see his Doctor after a discussion about men being slow to seek help. “Our generation grew up being ‘hard as nails, big boys don’t cry, keep it to yourself’, all that stuff. And I’m an Olympic athlete. But another six months and the cancer could have gone anywhere” Kris Akabusi also had a military career serving in Army as a Physical Training Instructor, which may have had an impact on not wanting to seek help.

Signs to look out for:

  • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
  • Change in bowel habits, either having more bowel, smaller movements; more constipation (Any noticeable change from what is normal and regular)
  • A change in stool appearance or consistency such mucus in the stools or narrower stools
  • Diarrhoea or constipation that lasts more than several days
  • Gas, bloating or cramps in the bowel or rectum
  • A feeling of fullness in the bowel even after a bowel movement
  • A pain or lump in the rectum or bowel
  • Other symptoms may include fatigue, weakness, and unintended weight loss.

Having one or more of the above does not mean you have Bowel Cancer, however if you have any of them do not delay speaking to your Doctor. Had Kris Akabusi waited any longer it could have been too late for him.

Useful links:

www.bowel.cancerresearch/

www.cancerresearchuk.org

www.nhs.uk

www.macmillan.org.uk

Chadwick Boseman

Its been a week since it was announced that Chadwick Boseman died of Colon Cancer. For many people Chadwick will be remembered as Black Panther from the Avengers Movies. It has been a long time since I have posted a blog and I have spent the last week deciding between writing about Colon Cancer or Chadwick Boseman. In the end I decided to write about both. This post will be about Chadwick Boseman with Colon Cancer to follow shortly.

Chadwick Boseman was born in Anderson South Carolina on November 29th, 1976 and died aged 43 in Los Angeles on August 28th, 2020, after a four-year battle with Cancer. Like many actors Chadwick Boseman started off with small guest roles on tv shows such as Third Watch, Law and Order as well as CSI New York. In 2008 Chadwick had a regular role in American tv series Lincoln Heights and appeared in his first feature film, The Express: The Ernie Davis Story. Chadwick Boseman also wrote plays such as Deep Azure performed at the Congo Square Theatre Company in Chicago; it was nominated for a 2006 Joseph Jefferson Award for New Work. Plays he wrote, including Rhyme Deferred (co-writer and performer), and Hieroglyphic Graffiti were part of the Hip Hop theatre movement.

Black Panther was a ground-breaking movie for many reasons. It was the first blockbuster movie with a predominantly black cast with a black leading man. Even in 2018 there were directors and film critics in Hollywood claiming Black Panther would be a flop simply because it did not have enough white actors. There were also claims that a black man would not be taken seriously in a leading role. Maybe I am naive, however I do not see how the colour of a person’s skin could possibly be an issue in their acting ability.  When this was brought up by journalists reporting Chadwick’s death I began to think of all the amazing black actor’s such as Morgan Freeman, Eddie Murphy, Samuel L Jackson and Halle Berry  who have all played leading roles in successful films. The more I thought about it the more I realised that these actor’s all spoke with American accents, whereas in Black Panther the actors all spoke in an African accent. To me this still should not have been an issue, again I may be naïve.

Chadwick Boseman’s films, tv appearances and awards are detailed below:

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
2008The Express: The Ernie Davis StoryFloyd Little
2012The Kill HoleLt. Samuel Drake
201342Jackie Robinson
2014Draft DayVontae Mack
2014Get on UpJames Brown
2016Gods of EgyptThoth
2016Captain America: Civil WarT’Challa / Black Panther
2016Message from the KingJacob KingAlso, executive producer
2017MarshallThurgood MarshallAlso, co-producer
2018Black PantherT’Challa / Black Panther
2018Avengers: Infinity War
2019Avengers: Endgame
201921 BridgesAndre DavisAlso, producer
2020Da 5 BloodsNorman Earl “Stormin’ Norm” Holloway
TBAMa Rainey’s Black Bottom daggerLeveePost-production; posthumous release

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
2003All My ChildrenReggie PorterRecurring role
2003Third WatchDavid WaferEpisode: “In Lieu of Johnson”
2004Law & OrderFoster KeyesEpisode: “Can I Get a Witness?”
2006CSI: NYRondoEpisode: “Heroes”
2008ERDerek TaylorEpisode: “Oh, Brother”
2008Cold CaseDexter CollinsEpisode: “Street Money”
2008–2009Lincoln HeightsNathaniel “Nate” Ray9 episodes
2009Lie to MeCabe McNeilEpisode: “Truth or Consequences”
2010Persons UnknownSergeant McNairMain role; 13 episodes
2010The GladesMichael RichmondEpisode: “Honey”
2011CastleChuck RussellEpisode: “Poof, You’re Dead”
2011FringeMark Little / Cameron JamesEpisode: “Subject 9
2011Detroit 1-8-7Tommy WestinEpisode: “Beaten/Cover Letter”
2011JustifiedRalph BeemanEpisode: “For Blood or Money”
2018Saturday Night LiveHimself (host)Episode: “Chadwick Boseman/Cardi B
2021What If…? daggerT’Challa / Black Panther / Star-LordGuest voice role; posthumous release

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
2013Chicago Film Critics AssociationMost Promising Performer42Nominated
2014Black Reel AwardsOutstanding Breakthrough Performance, MaleNominated
2014American Black Film FestivalMost Promising PerformerNominated
2014NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Motion PictureNominated
2014Dublin Film Critics’ CircleBest ActorGet on UpNominated
2015Santa Barbara International Film FestivalVirtuosos AwardNominated
2015NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Motion PictureNominated
2015Black Reel AwardsBest ActorNominated
2016Teen Choice AwardsChoice Movie: ChemistryCaptain America: Civil WarNominated
Choice Movie: Scene StealerNominated
2017NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion PictureNominated
2017Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards#SQUADNominated
2017Saturn AwardsBest Supporting ActorNominated
2018NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Motion PictureMarshallNominated
2018Black Reel AwardsBest ActorNominated
2018MTV Movie & TV AwardsBest Performance in a MovieBlack PantherWon
Best HeroWon
Best Fight (Black Panther vs M’Baku)Nominated
Best On-Screen Team (with Lupita Nyong’oLetitia Wright and Danai Gurira)Nominated
2018BET AwardsBest ActorMarshall and Black PantherWon
2018Saturn AwardsBest ActorBlack PantherNominated
2018Teen Choice AwardsChoice Sci-Fi Movie ActorNominated
Choice LiplockNominated
Choice Movie ShipNominated
2018People’s Choice AwardsMale Movie Star of the YearWon
Action Movie Star of the YearNominated
2019Screen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureWon
2019Black Reel AwardsOutstanding ActorWon
2019Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice AwardsFavourite Movie ActorNominated
Favourite SuperheroNominated
2019NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Motion PictureWon
Entertainer of the YearNominated
2019BET AwardsBest ActorAvengers: Infinity War and Avengers: EndgameNominated
2020NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Motion Picture21 Bridges

What I find the most amazing about Chadwick Boseman is that he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2016, yet he still filmed Black Panther, Avengers movies and visited children with cancer in the hospital, all while dying of cancer himself. Chadwick would go to the hospital for cancer treatment, then visit children, film his scenes in his movies and still make all his appearances.

Chadwick Boseman you truly are an amazing man. Rest in Peace.

Stay Safe In The Sun

Large parts of England have been enjoying a heatwave recently. With the warm weather comes increased risks to the health. These include sunburn from being out in the sun too long as well as heat stroke, dehydration and in the most severe cases even death. nhs.uk report an average of 2000 heat related deaths each year in England, with people over 75 years old the most at risk. Some of these risks can be made worse due to current restrictions relating to Covid-19. Where I work for example, we are not allowed to switch on the air conditioning due to concerns that the recycled air could spread any existing Covid- 19 virus from members to other members and staff. To try and reduce this we have all our extractor fans on full as well as opening windows and exits to try and reduce the temperature. We are also only allowing members who pre-book their activity to enter the building and only at the time they booked to help us with track and trace should we need it, along with all of the other current Government guidelines.

So how can we protect ourselves during the heatwave in our personal lives. The first one is to increase our water intake. During hot weather we sweat more to help regulate body temperature. The water loss from sweat needs to be replenished as quickly as possible. Keeping a bottle of water with you is an easy way to stay hydrated. Reducing alcohol intake will also help prevent heat stroke and heat exhaustion during a heatwave. I understand this will be difficult for some. When the sun is out on a nice day I enjoy sitting in a beer garden with a cold pint of beer, or going to a friends house for a BBQ, however alcohol increases dehydration so for every alcoholic drink you have aim for two glasses of water to stay hydrated.

Another way we can all stay safe during a heatwave is to stay in a shaded area between 11am and 3pm. This is when the heat from the sun is at its most intense which increases the risks to health. As nice as it is to be out in the sun, we must all do so in a safe way. To help with this use a high-level sun cream, wear a hat, and lighter coloured cloths. For more information on how to stay safe in a heatwave visit nhs.uk.  

Another important consideration is the health of any pets you may have during a heatwave. Animals are generally good at keeping safe in the sun by staying in the shade, however it is important to ensure they have regular access to water and shade. If you have a dog take them for their walk early in the morning and late in the evening to prevent over-heating and to protect their feet. When the temperature is high the roads and pavements get hot which can cause the pads on a dog’s feet to burn. Also bring water and a bowl with you in your dog walking bag so that your dog can stay hydrated and cool during a walk.

Finally, if you have a vulnerable family member, friend, or neighbour remember to check in on them to make sure they have everything they need to stay safe.