• 4 ON 4 Fans: Maniwa, Alyssa, Garrett, Khristen

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Four on Four. As always, we’ve chosen four of the most entertaining and intelligent wrestling fans on Twitter and decided to peer into their minds four questions at a time. Now let’s meet the panel:

    Nick Maniwa: Pro Wrestling’s BFF aka Papa Maniwa. Commentator for IWAMS. Unpaid intern for Reed Bentley. Getting married to @Jessbeesknees on 10/5. #TeamBestDude. #PMAallday.
    Follow his Twitter.

    Alyssa Kay: TuningUpTheBand. Former AIW intern. Firmly believes that Danny Havoc and Drew Gulak can rebuild their friendship with a little time and love. Teacher by trade (and degree). Also interested in autism awareness and subway trains.
    Follow her Tumblr and Twitter.

    Garrett York: ThanatosTheory. Mastermind behind the upcoming personal fitness revolution Arm Chair Fitness (follow @ArmChairFitness, will be launched within next few months). Kevin Steen followed because of aspirations to show Alex Riley viral sensation ‘FinlayDick.jpeg.’
    Follow his Twitter.

    Khristen Wilson: KhrisTheUnicorn. Graphic Designer. Gamer. #HireHimROH (for graphic design, not jobbing to Davey Richards).
    Like his fantastic graphic design page on Facebook and follow his Twitter.

    1. Who is your favorite tag team of all time?

    Nick:

    I was born in 1988 in Louisville, KY. The Rockers are high up on my list. Almost thought it’d be Edge and Christian (I wanted nothing more than to be as cool as those dudes, even with the CIMA wraparound sunglasses) but I think my pick is PG-13.

    Louisville was a town on the loop for USWA (Jarrett Promotions), so I got to see a lot of PG-13 during my youth. From USWA TV to USWA live shows (went every week with my sister) to eventually them jumping to IWAMS in the late 90s. The hip hop music video, the airbrushed shorts, the shaved eyebrows, hitting people with hubcaps. They spoke to me as a little kid. They can tag hands and kiss babies or be the perfect chickenshit heels. Excelled at both. You might think I’m crazy for picking them but youtube them. They ruled!

    Alyssa:

    Growing up as a kid with an authority problem, as well as one who is absolutely smitten with Shawn Michaels, my inner teenager would be absolutely devastated if I didn’t say DX (the Shawn Michaels and HHH second-or-third-version). And I don’t think that needs any real explanation. Shawn and Hunter made me laugh, scream, cry, and throw various things around my best friend’s family room as I watched them.

    However, having evolved into an adult (if you want to call me that) with an authority problem, I’d be more upset if I didn’t mention my favorite team on the independents: Faith in Nothing (Christian Faith and Vincent Nothing) from northeast Ohio. And while Christian Faith may have de-masked and is still working under his given name, Rickey Shane Page, and Vincent Nothing may have retired and is currently pursuing other life ambitions, their charisma together never ceases to tear at my heart.

    There isn’t enough time or space to talk about why I’ve more or less fallen in love with this team even though they’re now defunct, but I will say that the way they interacted with each other and the crowd, the fact that they could perform diverse styles while barely stopping, and the storylines under which they performed have left me speechless under more than one moment. And even Vincent Nothing’s final match, in which he took on Rickey Shane Page, I can truly say that they were top performers on the independent level, and both were way ahead of their time.

    Garrett:

    Funny thing is I didn’t really appreciated tag team wrestling until maybe 2009. I once told my dad ‘MNM wasn’t even that good.’ But I digress, seeing as how I now love tag team wrestling since I understand how it works. And obviously, there are tons of phenomenal tag teams now a days, with The Young Bucks being the best in the world today with the Briscoes coming in at a close second in my eyes. But my favorite has always been the defunct Motor City Machine Guns. They had wonderful psychology ability, were perhaps the most exciting with double team moves, had tons of charisma, and always possessed a wonderful look. Plus I’ve had a man crush on Alex Shelley since I was 14 or so.

    Khristen:

    Probably a shocker, but it’s not the Kings of Wrestling. The Young Bucks have to be my favorite tag team. They’ve entertained me everytime I’ve seen them and always have time for fans at independent shows. They’re easy to hate and love at the same time. Also superkicks. I love superkicks.

    Besides them, 3.0 (Shane Matthews and Scott Parker) earn an honorable mention for always being entertaining in the ring. #RIPCHIKARA

    2. What’s the best moment you’ve experienced at a live wrestling show?

    Nick:

    I’ve had a lot of best moments at shows. Every show has something that I enjoy. I’d much rather call something fun than bury it 6 feet under. That being said, my best moment has to be getting to watch Samoa Joe vs. Necro Butcher at the ECW Arena at IWAMS’ “Something to Prove” in 2005.

    It was my first time being on the east coast and first time being in the ECW Arena. I got to watch that match from the balcony. The crowd was electric. You could feel something in the air. From Joe’s entrance, you knew it was going to be something special. I was live at Necro/Low Ki at IWA Midsouth’s “We’re No Joke” and for Chris Hero/Samoa Joe at “A Shot of Southern Comfort” but Necro/Joe is just the tops. The perfect main event for that show.

    Alyssa:

    It’s really difficult to narrow one moment down since I’ve become so involved in independent wrestling, specifically with Cleveland’s Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) (EDITOR NOTE: Read more about AIW in our Streets Ahead feature on them).

    And for me to answer this honestly, you have to understand: the AIW fans, despite the fact that we’ve been under a lot of scrutiny from other internet wrestling crowds and personalities, is a very tight-knit group of people. We are a family. We have each other’s backs no matter what. And so it’s easy for me to say that some of my favorite moments are just being part of the ridiculous chants at AIW, joking and heckling each other and the wrestlers, and then being able to just sit back and laugh and smile with these people who have become like my brothers and sisters.

    But I think one of the best moments ever is when I was part of the AIW intern contest, and I was told I needed to “DRESS LIKE A SAILOR” for AIW’s Gauntlet for the Gold 7. Annnnd….so I did.

    I had this captain’s hat, which was really over with the talent. And Cliff Compton decided he liked it, so he was wearing it. And then Colt Cabana was wearing it. And then Luke Gallows was wearing it. And then Dave Crist was wearing it. And then there was a “SHE HAS HEAD LICE” chant in my general direction. But it was hilarious. To date, whenever I see Cliff Compton he gets out the picture of him and I wearing each other’s hats and likes to reminisce that show.

    Garrett:

    Meeting Colt Cabana for the first time. Colorado has a shitty wrestling scene (the most successful Indy here has used Walmart replica X-Division belts as actual championships), so I haven’t been exposed to many actually good or prolific wrestlers.

    And I, as everyone else with a soul does, love Colt Cabana. So when I got to shake his hand in person, it was sobering. Awe inspiring. Here was a man I spent much of my adolescent years watching in flesh and blood and he took the time to talk to me.

    I then went on to mumble how his podcast helped me through some tough times because I wanted to be a wrestler too and how I wanted to go to Truth Martini’s school to train and was told I should never be trained by Raven. I also remember him being not too much bigger than me, giving me hope that such a dream was very realistic. (Second place goes to Davey Boy Smith Jr. yelling at me for wearing Colt’s merch during a match.)

    Khristen:

    So many great moments, but it has to come from CHIKARAPro. It was King of Trios weekend. That whole weekend was amazing and each night was great. Powers of Pain vs Demoliton, the start of the rise of Tim Donst, and just amazing matches. The fan conclave, which was just fans and wrestlers hanging out in the venue playing basketball, racing, and playing WWE ’12 was fun and great to see wrestlers in that environment.

    The icing on the cake was seeing The Spectral Envoy beating Team ROH with the CHIKARA special and cheering with everyone in the venue as UltraMantis screamed “WE DID IT”. (Also burning my hand on a waffle maker when Johnny Gargano came in to the hotel’s free breakfast)

    3. What’s the worst moment you’ve experienced at a live wrestling show?

    Nick:

    There’s no reward without risk. Being around IWA-MS all my life (for those that don’t know, my sister married Ian Rotten), someone getting injured always soured the show. Necro Butcher had a hole in his arm from broken light tubes. “Mean” Mitch Page lost a fight with a grandfather clock. Hell, just this past Saturday at IWA-MS “Simply the Best 9”, “Spyder” Nate Webb dislocated his hip and Mark Wolf separated his shoulder.

    I was on the stage when Mickie Knuckles jumped off and snapped her leg. Actually heard it. I’ve seen some seriously cringing moments. Those are always the worst.

    Alyssa:

    In January of 2012, at the final show at The Arena, Evolve 10. The main event, Johnny Gargano vs. Ricochet… yeah. That match. The one where Gargano injured his back and had to be taken away in an ambulance. It was surreal, and I remember crying – which is something I don’t do easily.

    Johnny is someone I’ve known and watched for years, growing up near each other, my father worked in Cleveland across the street from the restaurant that Johnny’s family owns.They were friends. And I’m sitting there, watching someone I’ve known and believed in for a long time moving much more slowly than usual. And I leaned in to my friend in the middle of the match and said “he’s not moving right, he looks almost bloated” (because his back was swollen). It wasn’t typical.

    As a special education teacher for students that are non-verbal, I picked up on the fact that something was wrong right away. So I held my breath, but then Johnny went down, and he wasn’t moving. And then there was an ambulance. And then I received texts from my Cleveland friends at home asking if Johnny was okay, and I couldn’t answer them. That dread, and that feeling of helplessness was the worst. Thankfully, Johnny’s injury wasn’t as serious as originally thought, and he’s made a full recovery!

    Garrett:

    I once went and saw Matt Striker at an Indy show (and by that, I mean it was the WWE-faux-commentator-and-bully-of-Colin-Delaney Matt Striker, rather than unibrow HWA cool dude Matt Stryker).

    I shouted ‘You tapped out’ at him (this was around the time Striker faced Kurt Angle and tapped out) in a smoke filled bar and caused the 10 other people watching to “stare at me like I said I like to kiss my sister” as my dad phrased it.

    Khristen:

    This one is easy. July 15th. Monday Night RAW at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Section 207. Everyone thinks the NY/NJ crowds are so great with their great chants, and their energy and their reaction. But what you don’t hear is the obnoxious girl in seat 15 trying to get her own chants started.

    The 32 year old (I know because she bought up her age when talking about going down on RVD) was  drunk and ruined my experiences with such chants and quips as “Owen Hart… oops”, “Husky Harris…oops”, “BENOIT!”, and “We Want Taker!” among other comments. For four hours (Superstars taping and dark match) I felt like getting up and shaking my head while saying “I’m done”. Really ruined the experience.

    4. What’s the best birthday gift you’ve ever received?

    Nick:

    The best birthday gift I ever received was definitely my cat, Owen. Best thing my ex ever gave me. Besides that, I’m a huge wrestling memorabilia fan and a t-shirt addict. So anytime I get a t-shirt or awesome wrestling merch, it’s a happy birthday for me.

    Another gift was going to a gentlemen’s club with a bunch of close wrestling friends after a passable wrestling show last year. Not sure if I can tell those stories, :).

    Alyssa:

    I don’t care much for material possessions, honestly. I’ve lived in tiny studio apartments in both Cleveland and South Philly now, and I’ve needed very minimal to keep me happy and content. I live more for experiences.

    So the best gift I can think of off-hand is when my aunt and uncle in Cleveland – for my twelfth birthday – made me a ticket and a letter to look like something from the Harry Potter Wizarding World. I was invited to go to a fancy sushi dinner with them and then they were taking me out to see the premiere of the first Harry Potter movie in Shaker Square. I spent the night in their big house, and I was able to bring a friend. It was so creative and amazing, and I had so much fun.

    Garrett:

    As sappy as it is (and even though we’ve since broken up), I’ve gotta give it to the mix-CD that my girlfriend at the time gave me when I turned 18. It was all of our songs and she even recorded herself singing The Only Exception by Paramore for it. I’m a sucker for sentimental things like that. But I also didn’t play it as many times as I did Vengeance 2004, which I got when I turned 11. So there is that.

    Khristen:

    I don’t have one actually. Nothing memorable, just action figures and video games. No friends to buy me stuff. I do remember having a cake for a party with a picture of me with a Sting mask, DX shirt, and replica World Heavyweight Championship giving the crop chop. But my parents have no idea what I like, so it was a chocolate cake, and I dislike chocolate.

    However, my birthday is February 15th, and if I could get my “former WWE diva” on, you can always buy me stuff from my Amazon wishlist.

    ***FREE WRESTLING GIFT SUPER BONUS*** Thanks to Khristen and FWE (who we recently featured in Streets Ahead), the first reader to use the code “KHJDesigns” will get credits to watch FREE content on FWE’s VOD site that has every show in FWE history available.

    Click this link, create a FREE account, go to “Purchase tokens” and enter the code KHJDesigns in the “Redeem” circle for free matches. We will be giving out some more codes in the near future.

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