New York–“Handsome” Johnny Barend, who made a rare appearance in Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio in late 1961 wrestling and losing to NWA World Heavyweight Champion Buddy Rogers, has passed away at age 82. Barend reportedly died peacefully in his sleep after refusing a visit to the hospital as suggested by his doctor. The death is listed as natural causes.
Barend won a variety of titles in his career spent mostly on the east coast in and around New York or in Hawaii where he enjoyed his greatest success. Barend would hold the NWA Hawaii Tag Team Championship a number of times with a variety of partners as well as the San Francisco version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship. Barend would even hold the NWA United States Tag Team Championship with former foe Buddy Rogers in mid-1962.
Johnny Barend was known as a quiet person who loved the wrestling business and often proclaimed that there was nothing wrong with the business itself, it was the promoters.
Las Vegas—UFC President Dana White has responded to comments from WWE COO Triple H about the latter’s comments that the UFC needed to evolve by saying he will learn soon enough not to say stupid stuff. Triple H has also gotten negative feedback from former WWE Champion CM Punk who called the claims ridiculous and ignorant. UFC Champion Jon Jones also called the statements made by Triple H ignorant.
Triple H has done little more than ruffle feathers since he ascended the throne in the WWE by comments many feel are out of line. It is well known that Triple H is not happy with the current developmental area in Florida and is looking to revamp the program. When speaking of former developmental area Ohio Valley Wrestling Triple went on record questioning how someone who never drew money (OVW owner Danny Davis) can train people to make money. That statement has been seen as somewhat silly since many of the top stars and a few former stars, John Cena, Randy Orton, Dave Batista, Brock Lesnar, came from OVW.
Some are wondering if this new role in the WWE has made Triple H’s ego even grander now and how long it will be before he begins to abuse his power. The recent angle with CM Punk, which saw Triple H go over at the last PPV, had many scratching their heads at the finish.
–Vince McMahon may be back running things if shows like this past RAW is any indication. McMahon was said to be very unhappy with a variety of things coming out of the show including a promo by Alberto Del Rio where Del Rio mentioned the WWE owner’s name.
–Dolph Ziggler suffered a hairline fracture of his jaw on Monday, will be wearing a mouth guard and not miss any time.
–Part of the discontent of McMahon may be ratings for RAW and SmackDown are on a downward trend which some can be attributed to the NFL and other TV premiers. House show attendance has been flat and PPV buys are holding steady but down overall.
–Friend of the Show Johnny Gargano, long of Pro Wrestling Ohio and Dragon Gate USA, worked a dark match at the Superstars tapings in Dayton, Ohio.
–Regardless of what else you may see or hear, the reason Kevin Nash is not doing much with the WWE right now is due to an undisclosed medical issue. The move to keep him out of action is not due to a movie role, storyline related, money or any other mystery.
–Former 15 second WWE Diva Lena Yado will marry Dave Draiman, the lead singer for Disturbed this weekend. No word on when Gail Kim and Robert Irvine will tie the knot. I am available to do the ceremony though; all I ask for is trans. Are you listening Tony Myers?
–Roddy Piper is said to be recovering slowly but well from a six hour neck surgery.
–Bobby Heenan, who has been out of the news for some time and has been battling cancer and the effects from it, will be doing a signing this weekend at Wrestling Universe in Queens, NY.
–More and more names are being added to The Wrestling Revolution project with the latest being Kevin Matthews who was trained by Dory Funk Jr.
–From the rhetorical question department, how is an up-skirt photo of singer Brittney Spears related to pro wrestling? And people pay for that stuff…
–A lot happening on October 1, 2011 when Friends of the Show WAR Wrestling and Respect return to their home arena at the UAW Hall in Lima, Ohio with a tournament to crown new tag team champions. Also on October 1 Hoosier Pro Wrestling will be in action at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds in Columbus, Indiana and Insanity Pro Wrestling will also be in action in the capital city. Be sure to check out their respective sites for all the latest information and please remember to support your local indie wrestling group.
–Friend of the Show and adult film star Chyna is being quoted from a recent interview in which she really says nothing different other than she is happy in life. Chyna was a guest on “And Then The Bell Rings” radio earlier this year and we discussed a variety of topics including her time in the WWE, TNA and he decision to make another adult film. Word from Chyna is she is interested in signing a long-term contract with Vivid and make more movies. You can find archived episodes of “And Then The Bell Rings” on iTunes.
–If you enjoy this column please be sure to check out the Charlotte Pro Wrestling Examiner for even more news and opinion.