Sunday, December 29, 2013

The People Who Impressed Me The Most This Year

As 2013 draws to a close, I wanted to post a blog spotlighting those in the pro-wrestling industry who impressed me the most this year. You are welcome to contribute your own list in the comments section of this post, since I'm sure that everyone has their own individual opinions regarding this topic.

DAISUKE SEKIMOTO: Daisuke Sekimoto is best known for the work that he has been producing for over a decade in BJW. Sekimoto has been very successful there- the BJW Heavyweight Championship, BJW Tag Team Championship, and BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship all being on his resume. However, Sekimoto also did very well outside of BJW this year, winning the wXw (a German-based promotion) World Triangle League tournament. His success in Japan and appeal outside of it makes it clear that Sekimoto can take his career in any direction that he chooses- although Sekimoto can continue to focus his career in Japan (where his physical ring style would probably be most appreciated), WWE and TNA are not strangers to looking at international talent.

ERIC BISCHOFF: All creative minds have their own individual styles, and everyone has their own individual tastes. I personally enjoyed Eric Bischoff's run in TNA as a participant in the company's creative direction. TNA always had a talented in-ring roster, but for many years I felt that the company didn't make the best possible use of that talent. I enjoyed many of the storylines, angles, and match-ups during his time there, including this year. My favorite storyline was, "Aces and Eights". It was exciting and entertaining, it made the talents involved more interesting, and it gave new faces in TNA (D.O.C., Ivelisse Velez, Knux, and Wes Brisco) a platform to show what they could do. The Aces and Eights was often compared to the NWO, and I too saw the similarities. This was a positive for me, because the NWO storyline was another favorite of mine.

HULK HOGAN: During Hulk Hogan's 30+-year career in the pro-wrestling industry, he has been the top name of every major company that he has worked for, he has been an actor, a musician, and has even started his own businesses. Most people would say that Hogan has done it all. However, this is not true, because he continues to explore and involve himself in new areas of the business world. This year it was Hostamania, Hogan's own web hosting service. It's anyone's guess what new endeavor he will explore in 2014.

KANE: For the past 18 years, Glenn Jacobs has been one of the best performers in WWE. No matter what gimmick the company has given him, Jacobs worked it to the best of his ability. "Kane" has been his most entertaining gimmick, and it has been his most successful one. This year, the character has been taken in a new direction, as Kane has gone from being a monster of destruction to being an executive. On paper, it sounds like a bad idea, and I personally wouldn't have changed Kane's character. And yet, Kane is making it work. With his new corporate image, Kane's character has changed extensively, to the point that, "Mr. Jacobs" would be a more appropriate name for him than, "Kane". But it has been shown that behind the currently calm demeanor of Kane, the monster still lurks within (and hopefully it will be seen sooner than later).

MARK HENRY: Mark Henry was absent from WWE-TV three times this year: In January due to recovery from surgery, during the end of spring due to injuries, and when he took time off during most of the fall. Yet every time that Henry returned, he made a dominant impact, to the point that it was easy to forget that Henry had been inactive. And his retirement angle was in my opinion one of the biggest swerves of the year- Henry had put so much emotion into his promo that many were convinced that Henry truly was retiring, which led to their being shocked by the swerve.

NATALYA: I feel that Natalya has been underutilized for quite some time in WWE. She is the only total package who they have in their female division, yet Natalya is often pushed aside so that other female talents in the company can be in the spotlight. What surprised me often is that it never seems to bother her. While many members of the pro-wrestling industry use social media to vent career frustrations, or become sluggish in the ring due to unhappiness, Natalya always gives 100% and never appears to be unhappy with her position in the company. However, WWE's new reality series, "Total Divas" revealed that Natalya is no stranger to being frustrated while being in WWE. One example was when she was told that she wasn't booked for a WrestleMania match. With all of the obstacles that Natalya faces in WWE, she never lets her frustrations show through her conduct as a WWE talent. Instead Natalya remains professional, gives the fans what they expect, and gives the company what they want. All of this shows how valuable she is to WWE and the industry as a whole.

THE UNDERTAKER: Even though The Undertaker is at an age where most other wrestlers would have hung up the boots by now because they could no longer go in the ring, he continues to give excellent performances. After having only one match in 2012 and working one house show in March, The Undertaker wrestled CM Punk at WrestleMania without any ring rust, giving what in my opinion was the best match of 2013.

Friday, December 20, 2013

What You Might Not Know about Hulk Hogan's Hostamania

As anyone who watches pro-wrestling knows, there are two main aspects of the business. One is the sizzle: Gimmicks and promos presented to gain interest. The other is the steak: The in-ring skills and the ability to work a crowd during a match. Hulk Hogan has taken that "sizzle" aspect of the pro-wrestling business and applied it to his newest business venture- a web hosting service named, "Hostamania". Surely, most of you have already heard about it. There is a commercial for it online featuring a voice-over with Hogan cutting a promo in the same style of his promos that have sold out arenas all over the world.

And being the consummate showman, Hulk Hogan is also in an online commercial for Hostamania that drew viewers and comments from around the globe, hitting YouTube like a "wrecking ball".

What many people may not know is that behind the "sizzle" of the promos and showmanship presented to draw attention to the Hostamania service, there is a lot "steak", and it comes in the form of the people who are working with Hulk Hogan to provide his web hosting service. The, "Hulk Hogan" brand is one of the most valuable brands in the world, and Hogan knows that- he doesn't associate his brand with just anyone. Hogan only associates his brand with reputable talents.

Working with Hulk Hogan on Hostamania is Tech Assets, Inc; a company that has been involved with the web hosting industry for over 15 years. Among the brands that they have worked with are Jumpline (their first web hosting brand), Christian Web Host, DomainRegi, OpenSourceHost, SendUser, ServFarm, WebIntellects, WPZilla, and the widely acclaimed APS Panel. Tech Assets Inc. currently provides web hosting solutions to over 150,000 business & personal websites.

If the speed of Hostamania's own website is an indicator of the speed of a customer's website, Hostamania is very competitive in the speed department. I went to Webpagetest and compared the website speed of Hostamania to Godaddy. While WebPageTest gave a PageSpeed score of 91/100, edged them out with a PageSpeed score of 92/100.

Also, Hostamania is partners with cPanel, with cPanel being its web hosting management platform- many of the top hosting providers use cPanel for this purpose. The physical infrastructure of Hostamania features very familiar names- its servers are from Dell, its networking equipment is from Cisco, and its backups are done by R1Soft.

The people who would benefit the most from choosing Hostamania as their web hosting service are those who run a small business and is looking for a quality service at a competitively low cost. So if you fall in that category, check out If Hulk Hogan is willing to put his brand of approval (a brand that's worth millions) on a product, that's all the proof that you really need that it's quality.