Archive for August, 2009



CHRIS & NANCY Photo Preview Brings Muchnick.net Record Traffic

CHRIS & NANCY Photo Preview

Brings Muchnick.net Record Traffic

AUGUST 24, 2009—Anticipation of the October publication of Irvin Muchnick’s CHRIS & NANCY: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death has led to record traffic at the Muchnick.net website.

From August 20 through August 23, the site recorded 7,781 downloads of the low-resolution version of two preview pages of the 16-page color photo insert in CHRIS & NANCY. The pages are viewable at http://muchnick.net/benoitbookphotosamplelowres.pdf. A high-resolution version of the photo preview (http://muchnick.net/benoitbookpphotosamplehighres.pdf, with longer download times) recorded 3,369 downloads.

The full text of the Foreword to CHRIS & NANCY, by award-winning New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick (no relation to author Muchnick), at http://muchnick.net/benoitbookforeword.pdf, recorded 832 downloads over the same period.

For the book’s cover image and complete pre-order information, including international links to Amazon.com, go to http://benoitbook.com.

To reserve an autographed copy of CHRIS & NANCY direct from the author via PayPal, send $19.95 to paypal@muchnick.net. You also can send $19.95 via postal mail (U.S. funds only) to:

Benoit Book

P.O. Box 9629

Berkeley, CA 94709

All U.S. orders of autographed copies direct from the author will be at the American retail price of $19.95, with free standard shipping to U.S. addresses. Prices for Canadian and other foreign orders will be published at a later date.

Irvin Muchnick is author of WRESTLING BABYLON: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal, and a widely published magazine journalist. He is lead respondent in the current landmark case for freelance writers’ rights, Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick, in which oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court is set for October 7.

Media inquiries:

Irvin Muchnick

media@muchnick.net

Simon Ware

Publicity Director

ECW Press

416-694-3348

simon@ecwpress.com

Blog: https://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/irvmuch

YouTube: http://youtube.com/WrestlingBabylon

#####

Vince McMahon’s Campaign Contributions

VINCE McMAHON, THE CHAIRMAN OF WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT, HAS MADE THE FOLLOWING CAMPAIGN DONATIONS, ACCORDING TO THE ONLINE DATABASE OF THE CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS. WWE HAS ANNOUNCED THAT IF McMAHON’S WIFE LINDA, THE CEO OF WWF, RUNS FOR THE 2010 REPUBLICAN NOMINATION FOR THE U.S. SENATE SEAT HELD BY CHRISTOPHER DODD, AS SHE IS CONTEMPLATING, SHE WILL TAKE A LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM THE COMPANY AND VINCE, IN ADDITION TO CONTINUING AS CHAIRMAN, WILL ASSUME LINDA’S CEO DUTIES.
===============

Contributor Occupation Date Amount Recipient
MCMAHON, VINCENT
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT/CHAIR 4/8/08 $1,000 Shays, Christopher (R)
MCMAHON, VINCENT
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT/CEO 3/24/06 $1,000 Shays, Christopher (R)
MCMAHON, VINCENT
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT/CEO 4/24/06 $1,000 Its My Party Too PAC
MCMAHON, VINCENT
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT/CHAIR 10/18/06 $1,000 Shays, Christopher (R)
MCMAHON, VINCENT
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING FEDE 7/6/92 $1,000 Johnson, Brook (R)
MCMAHON, VINCENT
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING FEDE 9/10/92 $1,000 Johnson, Brook (R)
MCMAHON, VINCENT
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING FEDE 10/14/92 $500 Johnson, Brook (R)
MCMAHON, VINCENT
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING FEDE 10/7/92 $500 Johnson, Brook (R)
MCMAHON, VINCENT K
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT INC./ 5/22/06 $5,000 Forward Together PAC (D)
MCMAHON, VINCENT M
ORANGE,CT 06477
STATE OF COUN 12/6/89 $250 Schlesinger, Alan (R)
MCMAHON, VINCENT M
ORANGE,CT 06477
STATE OF COUN 12/6/89 $250 Schlesinger, Alan (R)

Senate Candidate Linda McMahon’s (CEO of WWE) Campaign Contributions

LINDA McMAHON, CEO OF WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT, HAS ANNOUNCED THAT SHE IS TESTING THE WATERS FOR A POSSIBLE RUN IN THE 2010 REPUBLICAN PRIMARY FOR THE U.S. SENATE SEAT NOW HELD BY DEMOCRAT CHRISTOPHER DODD. HERE ARE THE COMPLETE DATA OF McMAHON’S CAMPAIGN DONATIONS FROM THE ONLINE DATABASE AT THE CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS.

===============

Contributor Occupation Date Amount Recipient
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
10/28/92 $5,000 Connecticut Republican Campaign Cmte
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC/CEO 4/17/08 $2,500 Republican Leadership Council
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC./CEO 6/15/07 $2,500 Republican Leadership Council
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION/CEO 9/16/07 $2,500 Our Common Values PAC (D)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE, INC./CEO 3/26/08 $2,500 Republican Leadership Council
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION/CEO 8/22/08 $2,300 Emanuel, Rahm (D)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC./CEO 9/25/06 $1,500 Its My Party Too PAC
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE/CEO 5/19/08 $1,300 Whitman, Kate (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE/CEO 1/30/08 $1,000 Whitman, Kate (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC./CEO 11/23/05 $1,000 Shays, Christopher (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC./CEO 11/30/05 $1,000 Shays, Christopher (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC./CEO 9/18/08 $1,000 Shays, Christopher (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC./CEO 10/23/07 $1,000 Shays, Christopher (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTING FEDE 9/22/92 $1,000 Johnson, Brook (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTING FEDE 9/10/92 $1,000 Johnson, Brook (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWF/CEO 10/27/00 $1,000 Sanchez, Stephanie Hunter (D)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
HOMEMAKER 7/9/02 $1,000 Stephen, John A (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
7/6/92 $1,000 Johnson, Brook (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC./CEO 10/18/06 $1,000 Shays, Christopher (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA
STAMFORD,CT 06902
WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION/CEO 12/19/05 $1,000 Emanuel, Rahm (D)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC/CEO 10/26/06 $1,000 Lieberman, Joe (I)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC/CEO 11/7/06 $1,000 Lieberman, Joe (I)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC 7/26/04 $1,000 Thune, John (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC./CEO 8/24/04 $1,000 National Federation of Republican Women
MCMAHON, LINDA
STAMFORD,CT 06902
WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION/CEO 4/14/04 $1,000 Emanuel, Rahm (D)
MCMAHON, LINDA
SANDY HOOLE,CT 06482
WWE INC./PUBLIC RELATIONS 8/24/04 $1,000 National Federation of Republican Women
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWFE/COO 5/8/01 $1,000 Murray, Kevin (D)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWF/CEO 9/4/02 $500 Sanchez, Stephanie Hunter (D)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC./CEO 6/7/06 $500 Johnson, Nancy L (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC./CEO 9/8/06 $250 Republican Majority for Choice
MCMAHON, LINDA
GREENWICH,CT 06831
TITAN SPORTS 8/15/90 $250 Santorum, Rick (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA E
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT INC./ 9/29/06 $10,000 Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte (D)
MCMAHON, LINDA E
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT INC./ 5/22/06 $5,000 Forward Together PAC (D)
MCMAHON, LINDA E
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION 9/7/00 $5,000 Connecticut Republican Campaign Cmte (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA E
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT, INC. 10/15/07 $5,000 Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte (D)
MCMAHON, LINDA E
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE CORPORATION/CEO 4/30/09 $2,000 Connecticut Republican Campaign Cmte (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA E
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC/CEO 5/11/08 $1,300 Warner, Mark (D)
MCMAHON, LINDA E
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC/CEO 5/11/08 $1,000 Warner, Mark (D)
MCMAHON, LINDA E
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WWE INC/CEO 1/31/08 $1,000 Warner, Mark (D)
MCMAHON, LINDA E
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION/EXECUTIV 10/4/01 $1,000 Connecticut Republican Campaign Cmte (R)
MCMAHON, LINDA E
GREENWICH,CT 06831
WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION/CEO 8/18/04 $500 Sanchez, Stephanie Hunter (D)

‘Gina Carano Date Night in San Jose: Hit Movie, Unhappy Ending’ (full text from Beyond Chron)

[originally published at Beyond Chron, August 17, http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/Gina_Carano_Date_Night_in_San_Jose_Hit_Movie_Unhappy_Ending_7248.htm)

Gina Carano Date Night in San Jose: Hit Movie, Unhappy Endlin

By Irvin Muchnick

My first live mixed martial arts show was also a unique Bay Area summer date night: American Gladiator alumna and magazine cover girl Gina “Conviction” Carano vs. Brazilian destruction machine Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos for the 145-pound women’s championship of Strikeforce, the No. 2 torchbearer of the MMA phenomenon. For the first-ever women’s main event at a major MMA show, more than 13,000 fans, almost all shrieking Gina-maniacs, nearly filled San Jose’s HP Pavilion. Some millions more watched on Showtime.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many couples at a sporting event. This was like a real-life chick flick with an unhappy ending, as Cyborg won convincingly by technical knockout with a single second left in an action-packed first round. The main draw of the nine-fight card, which made for a big-event atmosphere you can’t manufacture with smoke and mirrors, thus also proved the most entertaining match, by far.

Initially, MMA live can be a disorienting postmodernist experience. Even from press row, a mere dozen rows back, it is almost impossible to perceive much detail through the octagon cage, especially when the fighters hit the ground. You learn to follow the action mostly via the many supersized overhead monitors, and track the crowd reaction (which as often as not is fool’s gold) for the most effective strikes, throws, mounts, and submission moves. Boos accompanying lulls in offense also goad the performers into adrenaline mistakes of commission.

But the profound personal connection fans feel with their favorite fighters is undeniable. Here is where MMA less resembles the boxing/pro wrestling hybrid that is so often cited, and more travels the blue-collar trail blazed by NASCAR. On the Saturday undercard, a Fresno lightheavyweight, Mike Cook, got knocked silly by Scott Lighty of San Luis Obispo. Out on his feet, Cook doubled over from a kick to the gut and shook his head, and the referee stopped the bout after one more head shot. Minutes later, walking down the aisle back to the dressing room, Cook was waylaid by a blonde who asked him to pose with her while the woman’s boyfriend or husband snapped away on his cell phone camera. Cook obliged with a warm smile.

With girl-next-door looks and charm, while also making her mark as a top-tier bad-ass cager, Carano is a once-in-a-generation talent. But no one goes undefeated in this sport, and Saturday she met her match for the first time in eight fights. Cyborg is bigger-boned and longer-reaching, and has superior skills in just about every phase, even though Carano is herself a world-class boxer and Muay Thai striker. As the women traded blows and kicks, and took each other to the ground and against the cage, perspiration ran in rivulets down the gutters of their corn-row braids.

But the five-minute round (up from the usual three-minute women’s MMA rounds) favored the Brazilian android over the American cutie. Gina seemed more caught up in the history and the hype, more unwisely determined to use every weapon she knew all at once, more tactically unfocused – in sum, overwhelmed by her opponent. When she got to her feet following the mildly controversial ref’s stoppage, Gina flashed her trademark dimpled smile and graciously hugged her conqueror.

Carano did not attend the post-fight press conference – unusual for a main event loser though far from unprecedented. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he did not know where she was. She may have been depressed, injured, deferring to Cyborg’s big moment, or reluctant to have her puffed-up movie-star features photographed at will.

As Carano ponders her future, she has to be wondering how much more of this she needs to take. Women’s MMA is big and growing, but she, and now Cyborg, remain the only names really known by the general public. With a reset button and the right set of fresh foes to build to a Cyborg-Carano II, the first female main event on the pay-per-view gravy train is a viable possibility a year or so down the road – even if the result is unlikely to be much different.

Irvin Muchnick is author of the forthcoming CHRIS & NANCY: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death, and lead respondent in the current Supreme Court writers’ rights case, Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick. He tweets at http://twitter.com/irvmuch.

‘Cyborg Pummels Carano, Makes History’ (full text from SLAM! Sports)

[originally published at SLAM! Sports on August 16, http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Fighting/MixedMartialArts/2009/08/16/10478786-sun.html

Cyborg pummels Carano, makes history

By Irvin Muchnick

An hour after her technical knockout victory last night in San Jose, just a second before the horn ending the first round, Cris Cyborg was asked if she resented having been cast as the “heel” in her confrontation with the glamourous and charismatic Gina Carano.

“Gina can have the title of ‘face of girls’ MMA,’” the Portuguese-speaking Cyborg responded through an interpreter. “I have this title.”

And she pointed to her new Strikeforce middleweight championship belt – the first ever bestowed on a female fighter by this promotion, at the conclusion of the first major MMA show ever headlined by women.

Carano and Cyborg’s furious five minutes raised the HP Pavilion roof. The arena, filled to 90 percent capacity – with nearly 100 percent of the fans cheering wildly for the American cutie over the Brazilian destruction machine – created an extraordinary gender-neutral big-event atmosphere.

In turn, that could both permanently lift the MMA’s women’s division and transform the profile of Strikeforce as a viable alternative to Ultimate Fighting Championship, where the only women are ornaments.

Moving forward, the only problem may be that other women – or Cyborg and Carano themselves if a rematch is ever made – will be hard-pressed to match Saturday’s performance.

It was an action fight, easily the most electric of the nine-bout card. Cyborg was never in serious trouble. Gina gave as good as she got for at least the first three minutes before Cris’s superior leverage and relentlessness simply overwhelmed her.

On the ground, Carano powered out of Cyborg’s attempted heel hook and foiled a kimura armbar. But eventually Cris got the mount near the octagon cage, Gina’s guard closed up, and a dozen or more wind-up 12-to-6-o’clock right hands rained down.

The crowd booed referee Josh Rosenthal’s stoppage at 4:59, but it was hard to argue with – Carano had stopped defending herself. She rose from the canvas after a minute of medical attention, forced a dimpled smile and congratulated the new champ.

Carano had trained for this fight with Randy Couture, and she may have been overconfident in her new wrestling and clinch skills.

Or she just may have been overly amped up by the history, the hype and the crowd, which led her to try to match Cyborg blow by blow and move by move. Surely second-guessers will wonder if Carano would have better served herself in her more familiar stand-up Muay Thai posture, at least for a round of feeling out an opponent whose overall skill set was at another level.

Even though the more marketable name lost, Strikeforce came out a winner, as the women clearly proved a plus in the company’s quest for perception as a solid No. 2 to UFC, if not a potential 1-A.

Though many male fighters not on Saturday’s card were introduced to the crowd, the other recent Strikeforce coup – the signing of heavyweight kingpin Fedor Emelianenko after he spurned a multimillion-dollar offer from UFC – got no bump at all from the 13,524 in attendance or the Showtime television audience. Emelianenko wasn’t there.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker later explained, “When Fedor is in training, nothing can get him out of camp.” An insider had a less generous explanation: “Fedor is just impossible to work with.”

On Saturday night another Brazilian, heavyweight Fabricio Werdum, made a case for being in line to challenge Emelianenko. Werdum submitted Mike Kyle, one of several San Jose local favorites on the undercard, with a guillotine choke in 1:24 of the first round.

Gegard Mousasi, an impressive fighter out of Armenia, won the Strikeforce light heavyweight championship from Renato Sobral with a one-minute TKO.

Gilbert Melendez, billed as the Strikeforce “interim” lightweight champion during the injury absence of Josh Thomson, stopped Mitsuhiro Ishida with a series of unanswered ground strikes at 3:56 of Round 3.

CHRIS & NANCY, Story of Benoit Murder-Suicide, Includes 16-Page Color Photo Section

CHRIS & NANCY,

Story of Benoit Murder-Suicide,

Includes 16-Page Color Photo Section

AUGUST 19, 2009—CHRIS & NANCY: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death, will include a 16-page center insert section of color photographs. These include some photos of the crime scene that have never been published, plus shots of many of the wrestlers and personalities involved in Chris Benoit’s career and life, and in the investigation of the June 2007 incident, which made headlines on American cable TV news and around the globe.

A preview of two of the photo pages is at these links:

http://muchnick.net/benoitbookphotosamplelowres.pdf (low resolution version)

http://muchnick.net/benoitbookphotosamplehighres.pdf (high resolution version — long download time)

CHRIS & NANCY, published by ECW Press, will be in stores in October. The book opens with a Foreword by award-winning New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick (no relation to author Muchnick), which can be viewed at http://muchnick.net/benoitbookforeword.pdf.

For complete pre-order information, including international links to Amazon.com, go to http://benoitbook.com.

To reserve an autographed copy of CHRIS & NANCY direct from the author via PayPal, send $19.95 to paypal@muchnick.net. You also can send $19.95 via postal mail (U.S. funds only) to:

Benoit Book

P.O. Box 9629

Berkeley, CA 94709

All U.S. orders of autographed copies direct from the author will be at the American retail price of $19.95, with free standard shipping to U.S. addresses. Prices for Canadian and other foreign orders will be published at a later date.

Irvin Muchnick is author of WRESTLING BABYLON: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal, and a widely published magazine journalist. He is lead respondent in the current landmark case for freelance writers’ rights, Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick, in which oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court is set for October 7.

Media inquiries:

Irvin Muchnick

media@muchnick.net

Simon Ware

Publicity Director

ECW Press

416-694-3348

simon@ecwpress.com

Blog: https://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/irvmuch

YouTube: http://youtube.com/WrestlingBabylon

#####

Muchnick Coverage of Gina Carano vs. Cris Cyborg

Gina Carano Date Night in San Jose: Hit Movie, Unhappy Ending

http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/Gina_Carano_Date_Night_in_San_Jose_Hit_Movie_Unhappy_Ending_7248.html

=====

Cyborg pummels Carano, makes MMA history

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Fighting/MixedMartialArts/2009/08/16/10478786-sun.html


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