Throwback Thursday: Big Show debuts in Memphis

Big Show debut

Memphis has been fortunate enough to have a ton of great live wrestling, as of late.  What a way to kick off 2015.

So far, we’ve had Wrestling Night with the Memphis Grizzlies, debut of WGN’s Wrestling with Death starring local talent, and our first WWE pay-per-view in eight years with WWE Fast Lane - and it’s still February!

Speaking of February, do you remember our very first WWE pay-per-view?  Back in 1999, WWE’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre was broadcast live from The Pyramid in Memphis, TN.  This was the first and only St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and was headlined by Stone Cold Steve Austin & Vince McMahon – in a steel cage match!

A few weeks back, we discussed Big Show going one on one with Hulk Hogan at FedExForum.  But even before then, Big Show made a huge impact in Memphis.  Let’s rewind back to Valentine’s evening where Big Show made his very first appearance with the WWE.

The plan might not have gone very well for Mr. McMahon, but just like Roman Reigns did at Fast Lane, Stone Cold’s victory sent him to the main event of WrestleMania in 1999.  Big Show isn’t the only one with history in Memphis.  You remember when Steve Austin wrestled in Memphis, don’t you?  Or what about when Vince McMahon had possession of the USWA Unified Heavyweight Title?

We’ve had Grizzlyweight Championship belts, we are trying to save our Mid-South Coliseum and we even have a new Jerry Lawler mural on Broad Ave. – I’d say Memphis is still very much a wrestling town.

Last Week’s Trivia:  Which Superstar debuted for WWE on that night?  Now, you have your answer!

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and MSL. Follow him @DustinStarr.

SEE ALSO:

Q & A: Memphis record producer standout Gregory Lofton chats with Andre Johnson

EDITOR’S NOTE: Memphian Gregory Lofton has garnered an array of attention as one of the Mid-South’s up-and-coming record producers. The founder and chief executive officer of Memphis-based Silky International Records, Lofton’s unique style of song-writing and producing have become a popular trend particularly among local female media pundits. And given the immense musical strides he has made in the Bluff City in recent, it’s safe to assume there’s no stopping whom many have deemed a rising star of a producer. During a recent interview with MemphiSport senior writer Andre Johnson, the 59-year-old Lofton explained in detail why he is Memphis’ best kept secret in the music industry.

GLoftonANDRE: Greg, assess your admiration for the Bluff City.
GREG: I am a Memphis native who loves my city so much that I wrote and produced recording projects to promote it.
ANDRE: Please enlighten our readers on the various projects you’ve produced.
GREG: Well…Memphis City Beautiful…to promote all of our attractions, Tiger Fever for our Tiger (basketball) fans all around the world, We Love The Grizzlies for Grizzlies fans around the world, and When I Look In Your Eyes that I dedicate to all of our beautiful female newscasters, past, present and future. I am really promoting Memphis in these projects, because I am the Executive Producer for Silky International Records in Memphis.
ANDRE: So how does your music reflect the success of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies?
GREG: The Grizzlies and I both have something in common as my lyrics will reflect. We have both walked roars of adversity. They overcame and I’m still fighting too…Lol.
ANDRE: And what about those tradition-rich Memphis Tiger hoopsters?
GREG: I have been a Tiger fan since the days of my high school days as well as a hero U of M head basketball coach, the late Larry O. Finch. I have become a very devoted Tiger fan to a degree, really since the arrivals of head football coach Justin Fuentes and head basketball Coach Josh Pastner.
ANDRE: So I hear you’ve gone as far as to contact the Grizzlies front office about your musical aspirations. Please explain.
GREG: Well, I’ve contacted The Grizzlies and Tigers in times past on numerous occasions, but I don’t have music to give away and I beg no one. God is my ever exceeding reward and He will give me my rain in its due season.
ANDRE: So with that being said, what message would you like to get across to the Grizzlies and Tigers?
GREG: Well, right now, I don’t fit into their agendas and they don’t fit into mine, So I push my music out of Memphis to a very broad and lucrative worldwide market. Tiger Fever has six different versions that serve purposes of their own…The 9/11 instrumental version of Tiger Fever expresses an emotion that someone may have for a product or event. Of course, the straight instrumental is perfect for introducing a starting lineup of a sports team. There are also four different fan versions for devoted fans of the mascot.
ANDRE: So tell, Greg why have many labeled you Memphis’ best kept secret?
GREG: I am this citys best kept secret because I possess and master skills in various genres of music — R&B, Hip-Hop, Gospel, Pop, Classical, and theme. I am trying to find affiliates and alliances. All I have been introduced to is slave masters in the industry here. I have been writing and performing since the age of 17 and give credit to Kenny Gamble of the Grammy Award winning and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Team of Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and The Black Music Association.

MORE ABOUT GREG LOFTON: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tiger-Fever/117809608251785?ref=hl

LISTEN TO GREG’S TIGER FEVER SONG: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfX9cvdzO9g

WHAT ABOUT SILKY INTERNATIONAL RECORDS? http://www.silkyinternationalrecords.com/

DrePicAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Playing Hurt Podcast: Who Should Replace Josh Pastner?

Josh PastnerJoin Cerrito Live and HardBashin producer CJ Hurt and Sports 56 producer and WUMR Sports DESK host Drew Barrett as they take you on a sports odyssey full of twists, turns, and a good time during  Playing Hurt Podcast.
MemphiSport Live

Memphis Fairley’s Javorian Miller eyeing JSU’s Sonic Boom Of The South

As Fairley High band director James Thomas tells it, Javorian Miller was a once “scared” musician who, to his credit, has weathered an assortment of challenges and obstacles in recent years. Miller plans to attend Jackson State University this fall. (Photos submitted by R. Malone)

BULLDOG MENTALITY — As Fairley High band director James Thomas tells it, Javorian Miller was a once “scared” musician who, to his credit, has weathered an assortment of challenges and obstacles in recent years. Miller plans to attend Jackson State University this fall. (Photos submitted by R. Malone)

Ask Javorian Miller what his plans are after he graduates from Fairley High School in May, and his response will always be forthright and straight to the point.

“I would like to attend Jackson State University’s band camp in the fall,” Miller told MemphiSport during a recent interview.

Not only that, Miller, a percussionist and four-year member of Fairley’s marching band, has a direct message for the chief executive officer of Jackson State’s internationally-acclaimed Sonic Boom Of The South marching band.

“I would like for the college band director to know that I love my craft and I would give 100 percent every day for their band program.”

To get clear indication of why the 18-year-old Miller boasts lofty aspirations of continuing what has been a dazzling career as a member of arguably one of the top high school bands in the Mid-South, look no further than his unpredictable debut four years ago.

As Fairley band director James Thomas tells it, Miller was a once “scared” musician who, to his credit, has weathered an assortment of challenges, thus cleared a slew of hurdles in recent years.

“I have been one of Javorian’s band directors since he was in the ninth grade,” Thomas said. “I have seen Javorian’s growth from a scared little ninth grade boy to the 18-year-old young man that he is today. At Fairley High School, the band lives by a motto that we recite every day at the end of practice and that is D.P.A.C., which means DISCIPLINE-PRIDE-ATTITUDE-COMMITMENT. I have seen Javorian work hard at this goal his entire high school career.”

Miller’s rise as an accomplished musician came in the wake of arguably one of the most challenging moments of his young life.

A couple of years ago, it was discovered that Miller is a diabetic, something about which had taken a psychological effect on him.

“(Diabetes) caused him to feel like he really would not amount to anything,” Thomas recalled.

Consequently, Miller’s mother, Renatta Crawford-Malone, transferred her son to another school, a development that, given his immense progress in recent years, proved to be the wrong decision.

HUGE IMPACT --- Because of his much-anticipated return to Fairley, a school that, for years, was deemed a basketball powerhouse in Memphis, the South Memphis inner city institution has now become popular for his marching band, a trend to which Miller undoubtedly contributed.

HUGE IMPACT — Because of his much-anticipated return to Fairley, a school that, for years, was deemed a basketball powerhouse in Memphis, the South Memphis inner city institution has now become popular for his marching band, a trend to which Miller undoubtedly contributed.

“I spoke with his mother and she told me that taking him away from Fairley High and the band was the worst thing she could have done,” Thomas said. “He spent that year at a different school. He quit band and really acted as if he had given up on life. So we spoke and she asked me if she could bring him back to Fairley and asked if he could get back in the band. I told her I really didn’t understand what happen…why she took him out and that we would love to have him back.”

Since his return to the school that enabled him to connect with his identity both as a member of the band and in the classroom, Miller managed to reinvent himself as the prolific musician he has become.

Now a little more than three months away from earning his high school diploma, he’s been labeled “college band material” by a number of his grandest supporters, most notably his mother and his close aunt, Bridgette Vaughn.

“He has always loved and had the compassion for music,” Malone said. “He expressed his feelings, emotions, and thoughts through music. He practices day in and day out with his sisters to make sure that every sound is to perfection. Music saved his life from becoming a wild child especially growing up around gangs, crimes and drugs. He has always had drum sticks in his hands as a little boy, beating on his grandmother’s pots and pans until he received his own drum set.”

Said Vaughn, his favorite aunt: “My nephew and I have a bond that can’t be replaced. It’s only me and my sister, Renatta Crawford- Malone, and he’s the only boy out of six siblings. We start off (each week) with church on Sunday, a phone conversation through the week, and family time on the weekend. His talent for music is crazy. He breathes it. In thinking of him and his music, I think of (the movie) Drumline. He always says, ‘Music is used for to reason…to rejoice and mourning.’ No matter what day it is, his passion for it will set the tone.”

And because of his much-anticipated return to Fairley, a school that, long before Miller was born, was deemed a basketball powerhouse in Memphis, the South Memphis inner city institution has now become popular for its marching band, a trend to which Miller undoubtedly contributed.

What’s next for this drumline sensation?

“Whichever school he attends,” Thomas said, “I know for a fact they will be very happy to have him.”

Thanks in large part to his DISCIPLINE-PRIDE-ATTITUDE-COMMITMENT.

DreColumnAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson also covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Top 5: WWE Fast Lane at FedExForum

After one of the most controversial Royal Rumbles in WWE history, the fans of Memphis, TN were treated to a night of action and surprises while WWE set the table for WrestleMania 31.  The capacity crowd at FedExForum witnessed the return of one of WWE’s biggest superstars, a Championship changing hands & a couple of very shocking defeats.

It has been 8 years since WWE brought a pay-per-view event to Memphis.  Was it worth the wait?

I took to Facebook & Twitter to see what you thought.  So, let’s take a look back at the top 5 moments from last night’s WWE Fast Lane. (in no particular order)

1.  In his first advertised appearance with WWE, Sting made his return to Memphis to square off with Triple H.  The two men will meet at WrestleMania 31 for Sting’s first match ever in the WWE.

Sting & H

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Randy Orton shocked FedExForum by making his long-awaited return.  He cleaned house after the six-man tag team match and is gunning for Seth Rollins.  The roof blew off the Forum!

Orton Returns

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Rusef shocked the world by defeating John Cena.  Whether the fans were cheering or booing – John Cena had the loudest reaction of the night.  Cena was defeated with Rusef’s patented Camel Clutch.

Rusef

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Just when we thought The Undertaker was making his way to the ring, the casket opens to reveal Bray Wyatt.  Wyatt laid out a challenge to The Deadman for a showdown at WrestleMania.  Some say Wyatt “stole the show” with his promo.  The takeaway?  The Undertaker is coming back!

Wyatt

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Roman Reigns defeated Daniel Bryan via pinfall – clean victory with the spear.  Who saw that coming?  The road to WrestleMania ends a little short for Bryan.  As for Reigns – he’s headed to WrestleMania to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Roman

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a night it was.  If you attended WWE Fast Lane at FedExForum, be sure to share you photos and highlights by tweeting myself or @MemphiSport.  Also, be sure to listen to our predictions and interview with Dave Meltzer from The Wrestling Observer to see how well we did (or didn’t) do.

Photo credit: WWE.com

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and MSL. Follow him @DustinStarr.

SEE ALSO:

Enter to win over $200 in prizes in Cerrito Live’s ‘Beat Us at the Oscars’ Contest

 

beat us at the oscars graphic 2015

   ENTER HERE:  ‘Beat Us at the Oscars’ Ballot

Throwback Thursday: Sting returns to Memphis

Warrior Sting

Ultimate Warrior & Sting –   Memphis Wrestling 1985.

This Sunday night (Feb. 22nd) World Wrestling Entertainment debuts it’s Fast Lane pay-per-view at FedExForum in Memphis, TN.  The event is loaded with WrestleMania hanging in the balance.  It also looks like Memphis will be well-represented throughout the evening.

Daniel Bryan is certainly no stranger to Memphis.  He squares off with Roman Reigns for an opportunity to headline WrestleMania against WWE Champion Brock Lesnar.  Lesnar’s advocate, Paul Heyman, spent his early years in Memphis, as well.  Kane, Big Show & Joey (of J&J Security) have all passed through Memphis on their way to WWE fame.  Let’s not forget The King on commentary – Fast Lane is shaping up to be a Memphis Wrestling reunion!

WWE is also promising a face to face showdown between Triple H & Sting.  But did you know that even the Stinger started right here in Memphis?  He also had an “ultimate” tag team partner.

This week’s Throwback Thursday clip features the tag team of Ultimate Warrior & Sting – collectively known as The Blade Runners.

As an extra added value to this week’s clip, Blade Runners were managed by “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert.  Yesterday marked the 20 year anniversary of Gilbert’s untimely death.

Are you going to Fast Lane?  Share your photos with us on Twitter by sending them to @MemphiSport or @DustinStarr.  I will be live tweeting from FedExForum during Fast Lane.

Fun Facts:  This is not the first time WWE has debuted a new pay-per-view in Memphis, TN.  On Valentine’s Day 1999, WWE debuted St. Valentine’s Day Massacre at The Pyramid.

Trivia:  Which Superstar debuted for WWE on that night?

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and MSL. Follow him @DustinStarr.

SEE ALSO:

Playing Hurt Podcast: Who will win at WWE Fastlane?

Fastlane-Logo

Geeter Middle footballer KaDario Moorlet to appear on national stage in Texas

TEXAS SIZE TRIP --- Geeter Middle School football standout KaDario Moorlet, has been invited to in March participate in the 2015 Nike Combine for the Classes of 2016, 2017 and 2018 high school football players.  A one-day that is also available for motivated seventh and eighth graders, his mother, KaMeisha Moorlet, deemed it necessary to sign up her 14-year-old son for this free event, although he has yet to enter the high school ranks. (Photos submitted my K. Moorlet)

TEXAS SIZE TRIP — Geeter Middle School football standout KaDario Moorlet, has been invited to in March participate in the 2015 Nike Combine for the Classes of 2016, 2017 and 2018 high school football players.
A one-day that is also available for motivated seventh and eighth graders, his mother, KaMeisha Moorlet, deemed it necessary to sign up her 14-year-old son for this free event, although he has yet to enter the high school ranks. (Photos submitted my K. Moorlet)

DALLAS — KaMeisha Moorlet is an avid Dallas Cowboy fan.

So much, in fact, that in December 2012, Moorlet and a few close acquaintances made the seven-plus hour trip from Memphis to Dallas to watch the Cowboys renew their rivalry with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Like the announced the sellout crowd, many of whom turned out that day wearing the Cowboy’s signature blue and gray paraphernalia, Moorlet was in complete awe after walking into the $1.43 billion state-of-the-art AT&T Stadium for the very first time.

As the native Memphian recalls, such a memorable encounter thoroughly summed why she has followed America’s Team since she was a child.

“What a game,” Moorlet told MemphiSport during a recent interview. “It was so much tension in the place, because it was anyone’s game. The score stayed neck to neck, but my Cowboys pulled it off and won against the Steelers. It was a joyous occasion and the stadium was full of blissful Cowboy fans. My first visit was a very proud one. How fun was it watching your team in their new stadium. It was very fun watching my team win at home.”

In approximately one month, Moorlet will return to AT&T Stadium for an experience she figures to savor for a lifetime.

WE DEM BOYZ --- KaMeisha Moorlet is an avid Dallas Cowboy fan.  So much, in fact, that in December 2012, Moorlet and a few close acquaintances made the seven-plus hour trip from Memphis to Dallas to watch the Cowboys renew their rivalry with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

WE DEM BOYZ — KaMeisha Moorlet is an avid Dallas Cowboy fan.
So much, in fact, that in December 2012, Moorlet and a few close acquaintances made the seven-plus hour trip from Memphis to Dallas to watch the Cowboys renew their rivalry with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That’s because Moorlet’s son, Geeter Middle School football standout KaDario Moorlet, has been invited to participate in the 2015 Nike Combine for the Classes of 2016, 2017 and 2018 high school football players.

A one-day that is also available for motivated seventh and eighth graders, KaMeisha Moorlet deemed it necessary to sign up her 14-year-old son for this free event, although he has yet to enter the high school ranks.

The purpose of this combine is geared largely toward allowing players to test their athleticism and compare their scores to other players nationwide.

For KaDario Moorlet, who played multiple defensive positions this past season for Geeter, most notably defensive tackle, defensive end, and linebacker, he is appreciative of his mother for taking the initiative to devise ways to add to his football repertoire.

Named the team’s MVP at the recent athletic banquet, KaDario Moorlet was the catalyst of a Geeter Middle defensive unit that helped propelled the Dragons to an undefeated regular season and a trip to the city championship game.

“My mother has been very supportive from the beginning,” KaDario Moorlet said. “She has always attended my games cheering me on, especially when no other support was there.”

After submitting the necessary information for the first-come, first-serve camp, KaMeisha Moorlet was astounded after fielding the favorable results.

In a nutshell, all she had to do shortly thereafter was start packing for a return to Dallas.

STAR WATCH --- KaDario Moorlet was the catalyst of a Geeter Middle defensive unit that helped propelled the Dragons to an undefeated regular season and a trip to the city championship game.

STAR WATCH — KaDario Moorlet was the catalyst of a Geeter Middle defensive unit that helped propelled the Dragons to an undefeated regular season and a trip to the city championship game.

“Once he received the confirmation email after registering that he was confirmed a spot, I was so elated,” KaMeisha Moorlet explained. “I knew this would be a great experience for him because a camp with such prestige is known for a long tradition of building championship athletes. He will compete and learn with the best and I am very excited about it.”

Because of KaDario Moorlet’s stellar display as a middle school standout this past season, his head coach and cousin, Geeter’s Kevin Patterson said the Nike Combine will only enhance his skills, thus provide him with the confidence he needs as he prepares to make the transition from middle school to prep football.

“Kadario is a joy to be able to coach not only because we are blood cousins, but because he is a great athlete,” Patterson said. “His passion and knowledge of the game are remarkable, and he is truly a team player and an athlete that all coaches dream to have on their team. His participation in the camp will be a great experience for him mentally and physically. He will be able to gain more training at his position.”

Because of KaDario Moorlet’s stellar display as a middle school standout this past season, his head coach and cousin, Geeter’s Kevin Patterson said the Nike Combine will only enhance his skills, thus provide him with the confidence he needs as he prepares to make the transition from middle school to prep football.

Because of KaDario Moorlet’s stellar display as a middle school standout this past season, his head coach and cousin, Geeter’s Kevin Patterson said the Nike Combine will only enhance his skills, thus provide him with the confidence he needs as he prepares to make the transition from middle school to prep football.

Most importantly, though, KaDario Moorlet will have the luxury of representing Memphis on a national stage.

“He will be looked at on a national level,” Patterson said. “Kadario is one that will dominate on the high school level, the college level, and will make his name great in the NFL.”

A dream, of sorts, his mother admittedly had envisioned ever since her son first picked up a football at the age of five as a member of the Whitehaven Saints Little League Team.

How else to explain why she took the initiative to enroll her son in a camp that will unfold in the same venue where here favorite NFL team plays?

“The camp will give him skills to go to the next level,” KaMeisha Moorlet said.

A level that could very well land her son back in Dallas and AT&T Stadium sometime in the coming years.

This time on a regular basis.

DreColumnAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NFL and NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

VIDEO: Amy Lavere singing about saving the Mid-South Coliseum while in front of the Mid-South Coliseum

Memphis-based musician Amy Lavere sang about saving the Mid-South Coliseum at a press conference in front of the historic venue on Thursday.

WATCH:

SEE ALSO: