John Miele grapples with dog sledding in Quebec, Canada.
When it comes to wrestling, Paul “Triple H” Levesque has just about accomplished it all. He’s won the gold over a dozen times. He’s grappled with some of the biggest stars in the industry from “Nature Boy” Ric Flair to Hulk Hogan. He’s been arguably the most consistent draw in the business for over a decade, a creative force behind the scenes, and stands as the only person who can shout “suck it” to thousands of people, and have them cheer with appreciation.
Conquering the wrestling world is one thing; winning over multiplex audiences is another. Yet, that’s what the man they call “The Game” is aiming to do this month. The star headlines his first film (he’s appeared in others, notably “Blade: Trinity”) along with “Modern Family” co-star Ariel Winter in a family-centric action comedy called “The Chaperone.” In the movie, which will be released by WWE Films on Feb. 18, Triple H stars as an ex-con who tries to reconnect with his teenage daughter by chaperoning a school trip of hers.
Playing daddy is nothing new for the wrestler. He and his wife Stephanie McMahon have three young daughters, and the star said this film allowed him to flex some of those paternal muscles. I met Triple H in New York City on Feb. 10, and discussed his family life, acting in general, and his life inside the WWE ring and behind the media juggernaut. I also asked him what it’s like having WWE Chairman Vince McMahon as a father-in-law, and whether or not Internet rumors that “Mr. McMahon” plans on giving him the family business.
“The Chaperone” and Vince McMahon:
On taking over for Vince and WWE Films growth:
“Time To Play The Game?”
Interview coming soon!
Evan Ginzburg is an author, radio show host, writer, and a respected talent agent. For decades, he’s also been a friend of the wrestling industry. When producers were making “The Wrestler,” they enlisted Ginzburg to help with the authentic grappler feel. We spoke to the personality and asked him about that film as well as his new film “Wrestling Then & Now.” Enter the squared circle…now.
Were you surprised by the way The Wrestler was received?
Yes and no. I always knew Darren [Aronofsky] was a genius as I’d seen all his films, and Mickey’s brilliant. My concern was always that critics wouldn’t take it seriously because it’s about Continue reading
By Rich Tarantino
Last summer, I had the honor and privilege of sharing the spotlight with wrestling legend Nikolai Volkoff. Say what you will about the former Tag Team Champion and Hall of Famer but I will never ever forget the moment I shared with the grappling great. Now I know what you’re probably thinking that the two us teamed up and captured some gold of our own but this was not the case at all. On this hot summer night last July, we teamed up for a night of celebration and well beyond the never-ending sushi and an overflow of Sake and Sapporo, the great Russian and I shared the stage and belted out a plethora of songs for the eager and excited crowd. Continue reading
By Rich Tarantino
It is safe to say that the speculation surrounding Mickey Rourke’s appearance at this year’s WrestleMania event is a huge deal. Of course, not only is Rourke a very talented actor but the Sin City star is also nominated for an Academy Award for his role as the washed-up and battered ring warrior Randy “The Ram” Robinson. Single handily,this would be the greatest celebrity appearance in the 25 year history of the extravaganza a star-studded list that includes among others the great Bob Uecker, the late Ray Combs and of course my personal favorite Liberace proudly prancing around the ring at the inaugural ‘mania with the world famous Rockettes in tow.
I may be in the minority here, but I think if Rourke plans on going to the big dance it should only increase his chances of winning the Best Actor Oscar. Continue reading
Despite being used mostly as a jobber during the 1980’s heyday of Hulkamania, it’s no wonder that WWE wrestling legend S.D. Jones will be remembered most for his nine-second loss to King Kong Bundy at the inagural WrestleMania. Jones, who passed away this weekend, was forever immortalized when LJN released a ‘Special Delivery’ Jones Wrestling Superstars action figure complete with 24 points of mustache articulation. Ok, we kid about the mustache articualtion but no doubt S.D. will be missed by all.
While we anxiously await for The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei to hit theaters in December, it’s time to check out the 15-greatest performances in Hollywood by a wrestler not named Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Continue reading
By Mike Johnson
The highly-attractive Dawn Marie is an ex-ECW and WWE diva who has had some semi-memorable storylines inside the ring. These days, however, the grappler is in the middle of a burgeoning career in the charity world. She recently created WrestleRescue.Com, an organization set up to provide suitable health care of former wrestlers who simply can’t afford it. All those chair shots and barb wires to the face can leave a man in some pain, and the federations themselves aren’t known for taking care of their own.
Dawn Marie gave the pop some time recently to discuss WrestleRescue.com, favorite mustaches, and to impart some good old-fashioned motherly advice. Continue reading
The Battle Royal in the Sky just got a lot nastier when wrestling legend Walter “Killer” Kowalski passed away last weekend. Kowalski, 81, was one of wrestling’s most well-known heels. His stomach vise grip known as the “killer clutch” helped him achieve success as one of the sports most hated villains which eventually earned him a spot in the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame. In honor of Killer Kowalski and his devious and distinguished career we bring to you the top ten most villainous acts in the history of professional wrestling…. Continue reading
Andre the Giant was a legend, an icon, and if you saw The Princess Bride, a mighty fine actor. But, he was French. Anyways, here are seven reasons why thecheappop still loves him… Continue reading
Before Hulk Hogan and The Rock made it cool to transition from professional wrestling to show business, there was Johnny Valiant. Johnny’s wrestling career is highlighted by his two stints as WWF Tag Team champion (Hall of Famer at that) and his highly successful managerial career leading such greats as Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and the newly single “Hulkster. ” More recently, Johnny has made a name for himself as Carmine Lupertazzi’s bodyguard on The Sopranos, and as a stand-up comedian with a popular one-man show titled, “An Evening With Johnny Valiant” which he performs around New York and New Jersey. Johnny gave the pop a good chunk of his time recently to discuss his career, Paulie Walnuts, and the best mustaches in the history of wrestling (see sidebar from the other day).
Tell me a little about the stand up career and how it came to be.
I didn’t answer an add in the phone book and I didn’t have anybody teach me. I got my start at the east side comedy club out on long island. A guy I was commentating with in the WWF was bringing me to the airport after they let me go and he asked me what I was gonna do. He had me get in touch with his brother who worked at the east side comedy club and it went from there. Continue reading
Probably Black Jack Lanza. He wrestled with Black Jack Mulligan. The Iron Sheik also had a great mustache.
Well it started out as a good black mustache but I’m sure at some point he started putting shoe polish on there to help keep it a little more on the dark side. I’ll tell you who has an interesting mustache… Goose Gossage, the recently inducted Hall of Fame pitcher for the Yankees. I have one myself. It’s a little on the grey side. I’ve put on mustaches and beards from time to time but one day your shaving and you say ‘ sayonara baby.’
Check Mike Johnson’s full interview with the wrestling legend later this week!