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About Darrell Johnson

Darrell is a dude from Arizona who likes wrestling. Like any good, pretentious fan, he views pro wrestling as a testosterone-laden synthesis of high drama and ballet. He loves the athletic wrestlers, but prefers the ones with great comic timing. As such, Mick Foley, Chris Jericho, and AJ Styles are his long-time favorites. In addition to writing for TheSteelCage, he is the sole contributor to the occasionally humorous blog at

Author Archive | Darrell Johnson

I… Am… Stizzupid!

My gimmick is WHAT?I can’t be the only one wondering — where has Kizarny gone? Has he gone the way of the Shockmaster and the Gooker? Was he the one-off horrible gimmick we all suspected he would be? Say it ain’t so, Vince!

For those who weren’t watching any wrestling over the past (seemingly) seventy-eight months, the WWE overhyped a new character who had the moniker Kizarny. You see, he was a carny and for some reason he spoke like Snoop Dogg at his most herbalicious. Also, he had eye makeup and a long, greasy goatee. I’m guessing Vince saw the dude, decided he reminded him of the tilt-a-whirl operator in a carnival he attended in 1952, and ran with it. At least, that’s the story in my head.

In actuality, Kizarny is a fellow named Nick Cvjetkovich (don’t ask me how to pronounce that). He wrestled in the Canadian independent circuit and on TNA as Nick Sinn, Original Sinn, or just Sinn (ahem, SiNN). According to Wikipedia (the source of information on public figures no one should care about), he’s a protege of Jake “the Snake” Roberts and is childhood friends with Edge and Christian. That just leads me to one question: if he’s connected with Jake the Snake, and is buds with Edge and Christian, why did they give him such a lousy gimmick?

I mean, really — a carny? As a face? Is there a wrestling fan on Earth who would identify with a strange-talking carny character? Most people I know have had either zero or decidedly negative experiences with the guy who takes tickets at the Ferris wheel. Nobody would think, “man, I hope that toothless, unshaven, unshowered jackass pounding stakes into the ground has what it takes to beat Shelton Benjamin.”

When his debut finally came, I was filled with mock excitement. I called fellow TSC founder J-sizzle and made sure he’d be watching. Nobody could miss the level of suck that was to come. It turned out, he’s not a terrible wrestler and he has potentially okay mic skills, if not for his intentional speech impediment. The remarkable thing about his match against the still-losing MVP was that the crowd didn’t care at all. It’s rare when you can sense crowd apathy through a television, but it was apparent. The crowd didn’t hate him for his ridiculous promos, and they didn’t mockingly cheer (as I probably would have done). They sat on their hands and waited for the next match. Kind of a disappointment after seventy-eight months of carnival-themed video packages.

So now it’s been over a month and we’ve heard not word one from Kizarny. Well, okay — he was the first man eliminated in a pointless Battle Royal a couple weeks back. Beyond that, nothing. The rumblings say that it’s time for a rebirth, since nobody will want to stomach another round of “Smizzackdown is gizzoing to gizzet strizzange”. I hope it comes soon. Any friend of Edge and Christian is a friend of mine, so here’s hoping Vince gives him something he can work with.


Geriatrics Run the Show!

Tenay and West they ain't.If you missed TNA this week, I recommend watching the re-broadcast Saturday at 10 AM (eh, TiVo it). The Main Event Mafia “took over” the show — the whole show. Angle booked absurd matchups (my favorite: Matt Morgan vs. Petey Williams in a classic “one arm tied behind Petey’s back” match); Scott Steiner was the ring announcer; Sharmelle took Lauren’s job as interview babe; Booker T did play-by-play (while seemingly doing his best Boomhauer impression); and Kevin Nash provided color analysis. It was pretty uneven, but the experiment was worthy and it was amusing just for the novelty of it all.

Sadly, the experiment collapsed when Mick Foley stormed the ring and took the show back. This marks the first time that a Foley entrance made a broadcast a little worse. I’m sure this will be the only time.


Orton Threatens Suit, Waxes Philosophical

This is Randy's "thoughtful" pose.Man, Orton’s really bringing it now. His strategy to blame intermittent explosive disorder for his attack on Vince really brings a philosophical angle to the WWE. I mean, aren’t we all just slaves to our own chemistry? Isn’t free will nothing more than an illusion? We can’t actually control ourselves any more than we can control the weather — Randy Orton just has the insight to recognize as much.

Okay, I know there’s no chance they’d explore that idea (though maaaybe if it were a Jericho angle). It just got me thinking.



Cyber Sunday Update

Hello Readers,

Yes, it’s been awhile since we’ve posted. It turns out, keeping a regularly updated blog about wrestling is a lot more time consuming than I expected. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, since we’re talking about at least five hours of programming every week (and I tend to work evenings, which makes me less than psyched about writing at night), but foresight was never my forte. Anyway, I have come out of hiding for an important update: a report from Cyber Sunday.

That’s right, I went to Cyber Sunday. The WWE has come and gone through Phoenix too many times for me to ignore it any longer. So with “Functional Jerichololic” sign in hand, I braved the teenage Punk fans, infant Hardy fans, and mouth-breathing Batista fans to finally see what a live PPV was like. And despite the results, I have to say I left satisfied.


The announcers come in one by one. This marks the first (and probably only) time I stand and cheer when Boomer Sooner plays. I was the only one to stand for Matt Striker; he deserves praise — he’s been an entertaining and thoughtful color man on ECW. Finally, Michael Cole got a surprisingly big reaction. I have no idea why.

Lillian Garcia sang the anthem, as she is wont to do. Granted, she sings on key and has decent pipes, but the overblown anthem rendition annoys me every time. Yep, I’m a star-spangled fuddy-duddy.


The ending was a bit too abrupt to be believable, but I was happy to see both of these guys. Shelton and Killings are so athletic, it’s a pleasure to watch them work together. Even with a bad ending, the build-up was fast-paced and the match was entertaining. My only disappointment in this match was with Shelton’s reaction. He’s too good of a performer to get half-hearted heat. That said, Vince has done a stellar job putting R-Truth over. He got a huge roar and most of the lower level was right with him chanting “What’s up?”
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TNA: An Overdue Endorsement

If you haven’t been watching TNA, you’ve missed out on some suprisingly sophisticated commentary on the wrestling business. Actually, I should hesitate to use the word ‘surprisingly’, since TNA has been the more sophisticated of the two major companies since I started watching. It has long treated wrestling as a business, never shy to break the fourth wall every so often in an effort to make a larger comment within the standard face-versus-heel plotlines. (See: any TNA Rough Cut segment.) That is one of the two main reasons why I watch TNA every week and encourage others to do so (the other reason is that, in general, the wrestling itself is more believable — believe it or not).

To update the non-viewers of TNA, Jeff Jarrett has returned during the climax of a long-brewing feud between the young wrestlers and the veterans. Any wrestling fan is well familiar with this trope — young punk(s) are accused of not respecting the old guard, while the old guard is accused of being out of touch and/or unwilling to step aside for superior talent. Alongside pride and women, it’s one of the oldest stories in rasslin’. Lately, though, TNA has made it more interesting than usual.
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