Tagged with "johnson"
A moment in history with - Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche
Category: Black Men Rock!
Tags: dr ralph johnson bunche moment history black men rock word life production new quality

Ralph Johnson Bunche (August 7, 1904-1971) was born in Detroit, Michigan. His father, Fred Bunche, was a barber in a shop having a clientele of whites only; his mother, Olive (Johnson) Bunche, was an amateur musician; his grandmother, «Nana» Johnson, who lived with the family, had been born into slavery. When Bunche was ten years old, the family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the hope that the poor health of his parents would improve in the dry climate. Both, however, died two years later. His grandmother, an indomitable woman who appeared Caucasian «on the outside» but was «all black fervor inside»1, took Ralph and his two sisters to live in Los Angeles. Here Ralph contributed to the family's hard pressed finances by selling newspapers, serving as house boy for a movie actor, working for a carpet-laying firm, and doing what odd jobs he could find.

His intellectual brilliance appeared early. He won a prize in history and another in English upon completion of his elementary school work and was the valedictorian of his graduating class at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, where he had been a debater and all-around athlete who competed in football, basketball, baseball, and track. At the University of California at Los Angeles he supported himself with an athletic scholarship, which paid for his collegiate expenses, and with a janitorial job, which paid for his personal expenses. He played varsity basketball on championship teams, was active in debate and campus journalism, and was graduated in 1927, summa cum laude, valedictorian of his class, with a major in international relations.

With a scholarship granted by Harvard University and a fund of a thousand dollars raised by the black community of Los Angeles, Bunche began his graduate studies in political science. He completed his master's degree in 1928 and for the next six years alternated between teaching at Howard University and working toward the doctorate at Harvard. The Rosenwald Fellowship, which he held in 1932-1933, enabled him to conduct research in Africa for a dissertation comparing French rule in Togoland and Dahomey. He completed his dissertation in 1934 with such distinction that he was awarded the Toppan Prize for outstanding research in social studies. From 1936 to 1938, on a Social Science Research Council fellowship, he did postdoctoral research in anthropology at Northwestern University, the London School of Economics, and Capetown University in South Africa.

Throughout his career, Bunche has maintained strong ties with education. He chaired the Department of Political Science at Howard University from 1928 until 1950; taught at Harvard University from 1950 to 1952; served as a member of the New York City Board of Education (1958-1964), as a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University (1960-1965), as a member of the Board of the Institute of International Education, and as a trustee of Oberlin College, Lincoln University, and New Lincoln School.

Bunche has always been active in the civil rights movement. At Howard University he was considered by some as a young radical intellectual who criticized both America's social system and the established Negro organizations, but generally he is thought of as a moderate. From his experience as co-director of the Institute of Race Relations at Swarthmore College in 1936, added to his firsthand research performed earlier, he wrote A World View of Race (1936). He participated in the Carnegie Corporation's well-known survey of the Negro in America, under the direction of the Swedish sociologist, Gunnar Myrdal, which resulted in the publication of Myrdal's An American Dilemma (1944). He was a member of the «Black Cabinet» consulted on minority problems by Roosevelt's administration; declined President Truman's offer of the position of assistant secretary of state because of the segregated housing conditions in Washington, D. C.; helped to lead the civil rights march organized by Martin Luther King, Jr., in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965; supported the action programs of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and of the Urban League. Bunche has not himself formed organizations, nor has he aspired to positions of administrative leadership in existing civil rights organizations. Rather, he has exerted his influence personally in speeches and publications, especially during the twenty-year period from 1945 to 1965. His message has been clear: Racial prejudice is an unreasoned phenomenon without scientific basis in biology or anthropology; «segregation and democracy are incompatible»; blacks should maintain the struggle for equal rights while accepting the responsibilities that come with freedom; whites must demonstrate that «democracy is color-blind»2.

Ralph Bunche's enduring fame arises from his service to the U. S. government and to the UN. An adviser to the Department of State and to the military on Africa and colonial areas of strategic military importance during World War II, Bunche moved from his first position as an analyst in the Office of Strategic Services to the desk of acting chief of the Division of Dependent Area Affairs in the State Department. He also discharged various responsibilities in connection with international conferences of the Institute of Pacific Relations, the UN, the International Labor Organization, and the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission.

In 1946, UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie «borrowed» Bunche from the State Department and placed him in charge of the Department of Trusteeship of the UN to handle problems of the world's peoples who had not yet attained self-government. He has been associated with the UN ever since.

From June of 1947 to August of 1949, Bunche worked on the most important assignment of his career - the confrontation between Arabs and Jews in Palestine. He was first appointed as assistant to the UN Special Committee on Palestine, then as principal secretary of the UN Palestine Commission, which was charged with carrying out the partition approved by the UN General Assembly. In early 1948 when this plan was dropped and fighting between Arabs and Israelis became especially severe, the UN appointed Count Folke Bernadotte as mediator and Ralph Bunche as his chief aide. Four months later, on September 17, 1948, Count Bernadotte was assassinated, and Bunche was named acting UN mediator on Palestine. After eleven months of virtually ceaseless negotiating, Bunche obtained signatures on armistice agreements between Israel and the Arab States.

Bunche returned home to a hero's welcome. New York gave him a «ticker tape» parade up Broadway; Los Angeles declared a «Ralph Bunche Day ». He was besieged with requests to lecture, was awarded the Spingarn Prize by the NAACP in 1949, was given over thirty honorary degrees in the next three years, and the Nobel Peace Prize for 1950.

Bunche still works for the UN. From 1955 to 1967, he served as undersecretary for Special Political Affairs and since 1968 has been undersecretary-general. During these years he has taken on many special assignments. When war erupted in the Congo in 1960, Dag Hammarskjöld, then secretary-general of the UN, appointed him as his special representative to oversee the UN commitments there. He has shouldered analogous duties in Cyprus, Kashmir, and Yemen.

Replying to an interviewer on the UN's intervention in international crises, Bunche remarked that the «United Nations has had the courage that the League of Nations lacked - to step in and tackle the buzz saw»3. Ralph Bunche has supplied a part of that courage.4

 Selected Bibliography

Bennett, Lerone, Jr., Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America. 4th ed. Chicago, Johnson Publishing Co., 1969.

Bunche, Ralph J., Extended Memorandum on the Programs, Ideologies, Tactics and Achievements of Negro Betterment and Interracial Organizations. A research memorandum for use in the preparation of Gunnar Myrdal's An American Dilemma. Original typescript (1940) deposited in New York Public Library; microfilm copies made in 1968 available in the libraries of the Universities of Illinois, Iowa, and California at Berkeley.

Bunche, Ralph J., French Administration in Togoland and Dahomey. Ph.D.dissertation. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Graduate School, 1934.

Bunche, Ralph J., «Human Relations and World Peace», in Gustavus Adolphus College Bulletin, 17 (1950). An address given at Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, Minn.) Commencement and Bernadotte Memorial Dedication, June 4, 1950.

Bunche, Ralph J., «My Most Unforgettable Character», Reader's Digest, 95 (September, 1969) 45 - 49.

Bunche, Ralph J., Native Morale in The Netherlands East Indies. Washington, D.C., U.S. Department of State for the Library of Congress, 1941.

Bunche, Ralph J., «Peace and Human Progress», in Symposium on World Cooperation and Social Progress. New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1951.

Bunche, Ralph J., «Peace and the United Nations», the Montague Burton Lecture on International Relations. Leeds, England, University of Leeds, 1952.

Bunche, Ralph J., «United Nations Intervention in Palestine», in Colgate Lectures in Human Relations, 1949. Hamilton, N.Y., Colgate University, 1949.

Bunche, Ralph J., «What America Means to Me», as told to Irwin Ross. The American Magazine, 149 (February, 1950) 19, 122-126. Reprinted in Negro Digest (September, 1950).

Bunche, Ralph J., A World View of Race. Washington, D.C., Associates in Negro Folk Education, 1936. Reissued, Port Washington, N.Y., Kennikat Press, 1968.

Flynn, James J., «Ralph Johnson Bunche: Statesman», in Negroes of Achievement in Modern America. New York, Dodd, Mead, 1970.

Hughes, Langston, «Ralph Bunche: Statesman and Political Scientist», in Famous American Negroes. New York, Dodd, Mead, 1954.

Italiaander, Rolf, Die Friedensmacher: Drei Neger erhielten den Friedens-Nobelpreis. Kassel, W. Germany, Oncken, 1965. Brief biographies of Bunche, King, and Luthuli.

Kugelmass, J. Alvin, Ralph J. Bunche: Fighter for Peace. New York, Julian Messner, 1952.

Myrdal, Gunnar, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. New York, Harper, 1944.

Phifer, Gregg, «Ralph Bunche: Negro Spokesman», in American Public Address, ed. by Loren Reid. Columbia, Mo., University of Missouri Press, 1961.


1. Bunche pays tribute to this «matriarch» of the family in an autobiographical fragment in Reader's Digest, «My Most Unforgettable Character».

2. See Gregg Phifer, «Ralph Bunche: Negro Spokesman», passim.

3. «Crisis», in The New Yorker, 43 (July 29, 1967) 23.

4. Suffering from heart disease and diabetes, Mr. Bunche resigned as UN undersecretary-general on October 1, 1971. He died on December 9, 1971.

From Nobel Lectures, Peace 1926-1950, Editor Frederick W. Haberman, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1972

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.

 

Ralph Bunche died on December 9, 1971.

 

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1950

Source: Nobleprize.org

Wrestling’s Greatest Rivalries: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock
Category: Voices of Jazz
Tags: stone cold the rock steve austin dwayne johnson word life production feature blog

Professional wrestling is a sport that has spanned over a century. In fact, its foundation may well span to ancient times as early as ancient Babylonia from 3000 BCE.

Through all that time until the modern day, we have seen some of the greatest athletes and performers of all time come and go. We have seen these men and women fight in rivalries that have not only developed the business but molded it through the stories.

The greatest rivalries are so many and so numerous that is hard to limit them, to isolate them in such a way that we can truly find the one that exceeds all others.

So instead, we here at Wrestle Enigma have begun a series known as Wrestling’s Greatest Rivalries where we will be breaking sixty of the greatest rivarlies over all of professional wrestling history. All credit goes to Paul McIntyre who came up with the great idea for the series and organized it.

Many of the best rivalries in wrestling past and present will be covered by some of the best writers here at WE, and we begin with one of the biggest in WWE’s history.

In wrestling, eras come and go, and they are guided by individuals. Usually, there is one man, one icon who defines the entire era by being a truly larger than life character with a sea of great counterparts to work with.

One era though managed to have the unthinkable. Two men who were truly larger than life stars came into the company at the same time and absolutely took the company under their arms and ran with it.

Never before or since have there been two men this big at the same time. No one will ever match what these two men brought to the table. I am of course referring to the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

“The Rock was everything that Austin wasn’t. Steve is a very blue collar, punch the clock workhorse. I think Rock was that first dose of superstar. That was the goodness of the dichotomy between him and Austin, and you clash these guys together and you create a difference of opinion.” – John Cena

“I don’t think the Rock could have been the Rock without Stone Cold Steve Austin, and I don’t think Stone Cold could have been Stone Cold without the Rock because those two together were just incredible.” – The Miz

The Beginnings

Everything big or small has a beginning. With Austin, he began as most wrestlers do. He was a big guy who developed into a solid wrestler through the indies, eventually bursting onto the scene through some luck and a few key opportunities.

He caught everybody’s attention with Brian Pillman in WCW, and ECW made people take him seriously. Finally, when he was hired by the WWF, he was already a bit of a star, but he still had to pay his dues first.

Finally, adopting the name Stone Cold Steve Austin, he erupted onto the scene with a King of the Ring victory that shook the foundations of wrestling as we all knew it. He finished his sudden climb to stardom in a feud with Bret Hart that would end up making him the most popular man in the business.

Around the same time that Stone Cold was becoming a star, an unknown kid named Rocky Maivia entered the scene. This “blue-chipper” came in to WWF on fire with loads of family heritage on his back and a certified seal of approval by Jim Ross.

His very first match he was given a massive Survivor Series win that made him the ultimate underdog victor. He went on to be pushed to the moon winning the Intercontinental Championship off one Hunter Hearst Helmsley only three months after debuting.

The First Shot

The date was March 21, 1997. It was the annual Slammy Awards, and the award category was New Sensation. To say that this category was stacked with talent would be a massive unstatement. This list included names like Marc Mero, Mankind, and, of course, the two real candidates, Stone Cold and Rocky Maivia.

Ahmed Johnson, the presenter, teased the name Stone Cold but ended up saying Rocky Maivia much to the notable disdain of Austin and several fans in attendance. Rocky accepted it graciously and tried to move things along calmly.

Instead, the host on the night made the unfortunate mistake of stating that the voting was extremely close with Stone Cold at a close second. This brought Stone Cold up to the podium to make sure everyone knew that the voting must have been rigged.

 

 

It was a brief shot, an idea that set a wall between these two men. It sparked heat from the fans who would gravitate toward Austin even turning against Rocky’s somewhat one dimensional character in comparison sparking notable chants of “die, Rocky, die”.

The Growth of Two Dynasties

After a main event feud with Bret Hart ended in Austin becoming the biggest thing in the WWF at the time, he set his sights a bit lower as he began fighting for the Intercontinental Championship. During that time, he ended up breaking his neck in a match with Owen Hart for the title effectively putting his push and career on hold.

Over that time that Austin was out, Rocky Maivia ended up turning on the fans and finding his enduring character, the Rock. He and the Nation of Domination began to thrive as a midcard heel stable. He suddenly developed from a simple babyface that the crowd really turned against to a guy that the crowd loved to hate.

It was around this time that Austin was able to come back and win the Intercontinental Championship and challenge this upcoming heel kid that had once been considered to be a brighter star to be than himself.

 

The matches between these two at this juncture were like previews to a feature film coming years later. Austin was untouchable, destined for the top, but he got screwed by management on his way up being forced to lose his title to this young kid, the Rock, because he refused to defend the title on a designated night by Vince McMahon, truly the beginning of the Austin/McMahon rivalry.

Austin and Rock moved on from this brief feud, both pushed a little further. Austin ended up having the torch passed to him by Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIV thanks to a Royal Rumble win where he last eliminated the Rock.

As Stone Cold began a huge run against the boss Vince McMahon while being World Champion, the Rock was becoming a fan favorite despite himself. He was so entertaining that fans couldn’t help but latch onto the Rock, making him the next big star developing in the company until the Rock stole away the vacant WWF Title with a screwjob ending to a tournament with McMahon basically handing Rock the title.

This began the huge run to the top for Rock who fought back and forth with Mankind while Austin was making the boss Vince McMahon’s life as hard as possible, leading to both men’s first true face off after Austin won a WWF Title shot for WrestleMania XV.

WrestleMania XV

These two men had been in conflict before, but this was the first true moment that they began a rivalry, a feud between the biggest heel and face in the company. Austin wanted the title while the Rock and McMahon behind him with the entire Corporation stable were trying to prevent that.

When the night finally came for this main event, the men were on fire from the start. It was constant brawling between both men, moving from spot to spot with precision. These two were in the crowd. They were on the stage. They moved everywhere just to beat each other down.

Austin’s leg was rammed into steel while the Rock was choked out by cable. The WrestleMania logo was even the recipient of the action as Rock rammed right into the steel. Neither man was ready to quit no matter what happened.

Even this early on with one man obviously seeming to be the bigger man at this point, there was never a point where one man was on top. Every major spot, and there were many, wasn’t enough to keep the momentum for long.

That changed a bit after the Rock hit his first Rock Bottom on the night. It wasn’t enough for the victory, but it started things moving as frustration caused the Rock to grab a steel chair, a chair that would accidentally find its mark on the referee’s skull.

As the referee lay on the outside, the Rock gained the first decisive advantage destroying Austin with the steel chair. A new referee entered, but it didn’t matter as it was clear these two had a long ways to go still.

Eventually, as Rock assaulted Stone Cold but could not find his decisive victory, his temper flared, leading to a Rock Bottom to the second referee. The distraction allowed Stone Cold to gain an advantage back until Mr. McMahon slipped into the action and helped beat down on Austin.

It seemed that Austin was in dire straight until finally the match found its one sure referee who wasn’t going to be someone who would go down after one shot. It was the man who had been building up Rock to this point, Mankind.

“The crowd was just going out of their minds. You know, you could feel the building shaking.” – Mick Foley

The action was electric as it had been the whole time, but Mankind was there to keep things under control. He ran in and forced McMahon out of the ring. Then he let the two men brawl.

A Lou Thesz press lead to an elbow drop. A miss timed shot lead to a reversal into a clothesline which allowed the second Rock Bottom by the Rock, but he wasn’t ready to pin Austin. He set it up and went for the Corporate Elbow.

He missed though allowing Austin to go for the patented kick to the gut which Rock blocked and, after a one finger salute, attempted a third Rock Bottom which Austin blocked and then finally hit the decisive Stone Cold Stunner.

The crowd went crazy as McMahon cried on the outside. The rebel had risen to victory over the brash youngster. The first decisive shot was fired, and it was clear who was the better man that night though the Rock had proven he could hang with the best and that he was just a half step away.

The Changing of Momentum

 

 

After Austin’s win and again one at Backlash, the two men separated again. Austin held the title for months on end. The Rock went on to again catch the crowd afire, turning face again.

As Austin realized his nagging injuries were too much for him, possibly life threatening, he had to let go and take time off. This was a time where the guard changed hands fundamentally as a now face Rock took the reigns and became the top star.

Rock kept the company as high on the pedestal as Austin did, leading to Austin’s return just in time for a massive return and victory at the Royal Rumble, his third and final win at the event.

WrestleMania X-Seven

 

“They were the two biggest stars in the industry at the time and of that generation, and they were colliding head on, both wanting to be the best knowing that they can only look the best if the other guy looks equally as good. Man, that’s the recipe for a match that could go down as the best of all time.” – Paul Heyman

Austin and Rock were at the peaks of their popularity as stars. They were the two biggest stars in the WWF at that time. They may very well have been the two biggest stars in WWE history.

They were set to battle at WrestleMania X-Seven in a contest that would define everything that the now named Attitude Era had stood for. They were ready to put their livelihood at risk for one match, one shot at true, everlasting glory.

Stone Cold was coming in as a man broken. He needed this win to remind himself and everyone else that he was the number one man in the business. The Rock was the man, but he had no one there that passed him that torch yet. He had no one he had beaten to prove that he was the next big thing in the business, and he would get that against Stone Cold.

Just as their previous match had, this began as a pure brawl. Punches were fired on and on between both men. Several finishers were teased, but the two were quickly thrown outside to brawl in the crowd.

The fan favorites had the crowd completely divided. The action was equally divided. Austin was in charge for a minute, but the Rock quickly fired back. You could tell that the two wanted to beat each other down completely, but they also were taking their time. Neither man wanted to make a mistake as they knew the other man would capitalize.

Austin seemed a bit consumed with victory as he progressed. His eyes were cold and calculating, ready to take out this man who had taken his spot at the top. The Rock instead wanted to just beat this man. He wanted to take him out and show what he was made of. Just watching the two men go at it, you can feel their emotions in their eyes.

The action here was so fluid yet hard hitting. It was brutal. Austin was a man obsessed, destroying Rock at times, but Rock would never quit. He exploded back even as blood poured down his face.

The Rock returned the favor breaking Austin wide open. Blood poured from both men, getting on their fists and chests, yet they still fought on taking every shot and dishing out just as much.

While both men were just out to beat each other down, as time wore down, they began to see where the weaknesses of their opponent were. Both men applied the Sharpshooter to the other with Austin especially targeting the legs of the Rock.

They were willing to throw out everything and more. Austin went back to his oldest finisher in the company with the Million Dollar Dream. Rock was able to hit a Stone Cold Stunner of his own. Nothing could help put the other man away until the game changer as Mr. McMahon entered the scene.

As the Rock hit the People’s Elbow, a move that has put away the best in the business, McMahon entered and pulled Rock out of the cover. It was a shock. Why would McMahon get involved in this match like that? Why would he stop Rock from winning?

The move caused Rock to chase McMahon around the ring to get revenge allowing Austin a chance to hit his own Rock Bottom on the Rock, but he only got a two count. A blocked Stunner attempt took out the referee, leaving things up in the air.

Both men had done everything they could do to one another, and Austin knew he couldn’t get the job done at the point he was at. Therefore, he called to Vince to get a steel chair who surprisingly obliged and came into the ring.

What was Vince up to? As Austin held Rock up, Vince blasted Rock in the skull which still wouldn’t end the match when the referee recovered to count. Even after a distraction from Vince again followed by a Stunner, the Rock wouldn’t lay down.

Austin was losing it, and he only had one more way he could think of to take out the Rock: he needed to absolutely destroy him. He hit the Rock with sixteen consecutive chair shots. Only then when the Rock couldn’t even move was Austin finally able to get the three count.

It was one of the most brutal, intense, and physical bouts ever seen. With all the impact and importance, it may very well have been the greatest match of all time.

After the match, Austin reigned supreme and shook hands with Vince McMahon in one of the most unreal and disturbing scenes ever seen. As JR put it, “Stone Cold is shaking hands with Satan himself.”

The Beginning of the Final Chapter

The Rock was forced to move on from this loss. He lost a return cage match against Austin when Triple H came in and helped Austin then took some time off because McMahon suspended him indefinitely for his own safety. Stone Cold ruled the roost as champion as the WWF began a power struggle against the rival company WCW and their Alliance with ECW.

The struggle eventually escalated to new heights when Team Alliance defeated Team WWF at InVasion thanks to the unexpected turn by Austin against WWF. This turn caused McMahon to look back and bring in the one man he knew he could trust to deal with the issue: The Rock.

Rock came in on fire and battled with Austin indirectly for a while until they collided in a match at Rebellion where Austin once again beat the Rock. This lead to Survivor Series where Austin lead Team Alliance against the Rock and Team WWF.

In the end, the two men came head to head once again, and only this time did the Rock finally defeat Austin though it wasn’t a singles victory and not at WrestleMania. It was a small victory, but the bigger victory was that Rock had become a star even more.

The Rock became the man for the newly named WWE, and he eventually proved he deserved to be on top when a huge star finally came to hand Rock the torch. In a monstrous return, the great Hulk Hogan came and challenged the Rock at WrestleMania X8 where Hulk Hogan would lose to the Rock decisively.

Stone Cold was sitting on the sidelines that night in a secondary match against Scott Hall obviously disappointed as he felt that was his match to have not Rock’s.

Both men began to slowly drift away from WWE. Stone Cold was running out of time due to all his injuries while the Rock had made it big in Hollywood and wanted to take a chance on his movie potential. Both men were on their way out, but they had a little of unfinished business left.

The Rock developed into a heel character centered around his new found fame as a movie star. He turned against the fans. Stone Cold was beaten to shreds, always an entertainer, but he knew he was very close to the end. He was losing his edge and all his momentum even walking out on the company eventually due to a difference in creative thought.

WrestleMania XIX

After a long ugly dispute between Austin and WWE, Stone Cold came back and was ready to have one more match before riding off into the sunset, and it was the one match the Rock felt he needed to have before he left.

The Rock was plagued by his inability to beat Austin. He felt before he left that he needed to do the one thing he had never done, and that was beat Austin at WrestleMania.

The build here was not the grandiose one that their previous matches had had because at this point it wasn’t needed. This rivalry had spanned an era, it had defined an era. All these two needed to do was wrestle.

“It’s definitely the only match in history that headlined WrestleMania three times. I bet you those buyrates were all through the roof. I mean they headlined WrestleMania three times with the same match. How much bigger does it get?” – Chris Jericho

 

A scary fact about this match is that it almost never happened. The day before WrestleMania XIX, Austin collapsed and was sent to the hospital. Due to the poor job he had done taking care of his body, he was in a rough shape that caused him to collapse. Luckily, he persevered to have this one last match.

As with every match at WrestleMania, these two came out swinging on this night. There was a bit of hesitation and slowing at times, but both men were entirely intense.

The Rock was ready to get away and regroup again and again, but Austin wouldn’t let him breathe for a second. However, Austin’s need to fight would get him in trouble as he would get into a spat with the referee that allowed the Rock to take out Austin’s knee and begin an assault on the leg.

Men all around the ring were taken down. Cameramen were down. Announcers were fleeing back and forth to make sure that they didn’t get in these two men’s way.

As the Rock stalked Austin and targeted his knee, it was clear the power game had shifted. The movie star was able to take Austin down and wear him out with the Sharpshooter. With Austin out, Rock even took the opportunity to get out of the ring and refresh himself with a bottle of water.

That brief respite would turn against Rock though as Austin took control, stomping a mud hole in his long time adversary. These two men knew each other inside and out, and one mistake was all it took to change the complexion of the contest.

Further reminding us how well these two knew each other, they each hit the other man’s finisher and then hit their own, but nothing could keep these men down. Even two Rock Bottoms weren’t enough to finish Austin.

But then the Rock had had enough. Austin was out, barely able to stand, his time dwindling every second. The Rock stood up and stalked Austin for one last shot, the third and final Rock Bottom, and the third time was the charm as this third WrestleMania shot was the charm. Rock stood victorious.

After the match, the Rock quietly sat down with Stone Cold laying there and said roughly “I love you, and I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me.” Stone Cold quietly responded “I love you too.” After that, Rock got up and left as champion, letting Austin soak in the crowd’s admiration one last time.

Beyond every rivalry, every storyline, every thing these two have gone through as friends and competitors in a sense, their rivalry ended quietly yet powerfully with a simple emotional gesture between two enduring friends.

The Number One Argument

“I remember he had jokingly signed a picture to me, Stone Cold Steve Austin #1, and I thought, oh, he’s messing around with me. But I looked, and I saw that was how he signed his autograph. I thought, man, he thinks he’s number one. – One day I gotta write number one.” – The Rock

I want to stress this point as I will again and again. These two men were two of the greatest of all time. At least in the top ten greatest WWE wrestlers of all time, possibly both top five.

In their time, this feud between them wasn’t merely head to head in the ring. These two indirectly were at war at every turn. They were friends and compatriots, but they were also business rivals, each vying to be “the guy”.

The WWF at the time these two were on top was wide open for these two men. Never once could one person legitimately be called the all around top star unless the other was out of the picture.

“If you think that Stone Cold Steve Austin sat there on his throne at the top of the WWE watching this young kid come up the ladder going ‘This is going to be great. This kid’s going to take my spot.’, no way.” – Triple H

It sounds egotistical. It sounds petty, but these two never went out of their way to stop the other’s assent. They helped each other rise to greater heights. Each man wanted to be the best, and to be the best they needed the other man to be almost as good.

Improvement comes most when you have someone to latch onto. You have a rival of sorts to push you so that whenever you even think of becoming complacent that star comes from behind and pushes you out of your stupor once again.

No time in WWE was better than this because at no point after this or before were two guys legitimately pushing one another forward so fiercely.

“Who did the fans like more? Who to cheer for or boo? I think that was one of those organic things that you can’t fake. You just have these two enormous larger than life personalities, you stick them in front of a television camera, and you just sit back and you see what happens.” – CM Punk

At the heart of this rivalry, this feud, were two men striving and the fans pushing them all the way. There may not be two names more compared in WWE history than the Rock and Stone Cold. The question is posed one hundred times over: who was the best?

It isn’t just asked now. It was asked every day by every fan in that audience. It was asked when these two battled one another face to face at each WrestleMania they headlined. These two wanted to be the best, and the fans wanted the same.

“We were so opposite. I mean, he is Stone Cold Steve Austin, and here’s the Rock. So opposite yet parallel each other in terms of desire, commitment, and wanting to be the best.” – The Rock

The Lasting Effects and Conclusion

The Rock would very likely not have been seen at all if the crowd wasn’t pushing for stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin. With Austin’s nagging injuries, the WWF may very well have collapsed if not for the Rock being there to hold the company up if not take it to greater heights while Austin was gone.

These two made the Attitude Era. They molded it through their images and their personas. Their presence alone side by side in the company caused this rivalry to be more than a story. It was an ongoing division in wrestling between fans.

These men wrestled six major singles matches at the peaks of their careers. That is it, yet they were the very foundation of wrestling through all they did. They were the number 1A and B in a company that will never quite see that again.

This brought about the greatest years in WWE history. It gave the company its most lasting success. Honestly, it defined what wrestling was all about from there on out. Even with continuous changes in wrestling as a whole, the impact of the Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin is apparent in every facet of the business.

“Every generation, you’ll get one super huge, massive superstar. A few generations ago, there was Hulk Hogan. Right now, there’s John Cena. At that point in time, there was two: Austin and the Rock. We might never see that again. Two guys that huge in the company at the same time.” – Chris Jericho

Sources for quotes:

Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line on the Most Popular Superstar of All Time

The Rock: The Epic Journey of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Kevin BergeAuthor: Kevin Berge (235 Articles)

I am writing to prove a point. The day I stop writing is the day I realize I have nothing more to say, and I don't believe that day will ever come.

http://www.wrestleenigma.com/wrestlings-greatest-rivalries-stone-cold-steve-austin-vs-the-rock-2

What more can you say about Magic Johnson besides all around best player in life Tags: magic johnson player life word life production sports entertainment feature

Born Earvin Johnson Jr. on August 14, 1959, in Lansing, Michigan, Magic Johnson dominated the court as one of America's best basketball players for 12 years. He retired from the LA Lakers in 1991 after revealing that he had the AIDS virus. He has since then built up a business empire, which includes real estate holdings, several Starbucks franchises, and movie theaters. He is also an author.

Early Life

Basketball icon Magic Johnson was born Earvin Johnson Jr. on August 14, 1959, in Lansing, Michigan. For 12 years, Johnson dominated the court as one of America's best basketball players. He has since then built up a business empire, which includes real estate holdings, several Starbucks franchises, and movie theaters.

From a large family, Johnson grew up with nine brothers and sisters. Both of his parents worked—his father for the General Motors plant in town and his mother for as a school custodian. He had a passion for basketball, and would start practicing as early as 7:30 a.m. At Everett High School, Johnson earned his famous nickname, "Magic," after a sportswriter witnessed him score 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 16 assists in a single game.

Passion for Basketball

Magic Johnson continued to play in college for Michigan State University. Standing at 6 feet 9 inches tall, he made for an impressive point guard. Johnson excelled during his freshman year, helping his team, the Spartans, clinch the Big Ten Conference title. The following year, he played an important role in taking the Spartans all the way to the NCAA Finals. There they faced off against the Indiana State Sycamores. In one of the most famous match-ups in college basketball history, Johnson went head-to-head with Indiana's star forward, Larry Bird. The Spartans proved victorious, and the Johnson-Bird rivalry would follow the players to their days with the NBA.

Leaving college after two years, Johnson was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979. He did well in his first season (1979-80) with the team, averaging 18 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. Johnson won the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award for his efforts in leading the Lakers to a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, winning four of six games in the championship series. The team also included such strong players as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jamaal Wilkes and Norm Nixon.

NBA Star

During Magic Johnson's third season (1981-82) with the team, the Lakers made the NBA Finals again. For the second time in his pro career, the Lakers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers for the championship title. Additionally, Johnson, who scored 13 points, and made 13 rebounds and 13 assists in Game 6 of the 1982 Finals, earned his second series MVP award. The following season (1982-83) saw the third Finals match-up between the Lakers and the 76ers in four years. This time, however, L.A. was defeated by Philadelphia, losing four consecutive games to the 76ers and winning none during the series.

In the 1984 NBA Finals, Johnson again encountered rival Larry Bird, who had signed with the Boston Celtics.

This was the first of several match-ups between the two teams. The Celtics beat the Lakers in a tight competition—four games to three—for the 1984 championship. The Lakers, however, took down the Celtics the following year in the finals.

Johnson and his team continued to be one of the NBA's top competitors throughout the rest of the 1980s. In the 1987 NBA Finals, they again defeated the Boston Celtics,

Retirement and Legacy

and Johnson received the NBA Finals MVP Award for the third and final time in his career. This remarkable season marked Johnson's personal best in terms of average points per game, with an incredible 23.9. Additionally, in 1987, he received his first NBA MVP award for his performance on the court—an honor he would receive again in 1989 and 1990.

AIDS

In November 1991, Magic Johnson retired from the Lakers after revealing that he had the AIDS virus, which he believed he contracted through unprotected sexual activity. The AIDS diagnosis was especially hard for Johnson. At the time he learned he had the disease, his wife Cookie was pregnant with their first child. Both his wife and son, Earvin III, turned out to not have HIV.

At the time, many people thought the virus mostly affected homosexuals or intravenous drug users. There was also a lot of fear and confusion regarding how the disease could be transmitted. Johnson's decision to go public with his medical condition helped raise awareness about the disease. He established the Magic Johnson Foundation to support HIV/AIDS research efforts and awareness programs that same year. In 1992, he wrote the educational guide What You Can Do to Avoid AIDS.

Undeterred, Johnson played in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. Along with Michael Jordan and Larry Bird, he was part of the American "Dream Team" that won the gold medal. He hoped to return to professional basketball for the next season, but he dropped that plan after protests from other players who were concerned about competing against an AIDS-infected competitor.

Retirement and Legacy

Magic Johnson explored other options after leaving basketball. In 1992, he had his latest book, My Life, published. Johnson had previously written two books about himself and the game, 1983's Magic and 1989's Magic's Touch. He also appeared on television as a sports commentator. During the 1993-1994 basketball season, Johnson tried his hand at coaching with the Lakers. He then bought a small share of the team.

In 1996, staging a brief comeback, Johnson returned for a few months to the Lakers as a player. He finally retired for good that same year, leaving behind an impressive legacy. Over his long career, Johnson scored 17,707 points and made 10,141 assists, 6,559 rebounds and 1,824 steals. He also became the all-time leader in NBA assists per game, with an average of 11.2—a title that he continues to hold today. Johnson was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996, and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.

Just as he had dominated the courts, Johnson became a powerful force in business.

He created Magic Johnson Enterprises, which has a variety of holdings. Much of his efforts have focused on developing urban areas, bringing Starbucks coffee franchises and movie theaters into underserved communities. In 2008, he shared his secrets for success with the book 32 Ways to be a Champion in Business.

Recently, Johnson reteamed with Larry Bird to write the 2009 book When the Game Was Ours, which explores their rivalry,

their experiences on the court, and the sport they love. That same year, he was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

In addition to son Earvin, Johnson and his wife, Cookie, have a daughter named Elisa, whom they adopted in 1995. He also has a son, Andre, from a previous relationship.

© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved. http://www.biography.com/people/magic-johnson-9356150?page=1

Snitch starring Dwayne Johnson proves just how far one would go to save their child Tags: dwayne johnson snitch word life production feature blog movies television

Snitch is an American crime drama film directed by Ric Roman Waugh and starring Dwayne Johnson. The film was released in the United States on February 22, 2013. The film also stars Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon, Jon Bernthal, Benjamin Bratt and Michael Kenneth Williams.

John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson), owner of a construction company, receives a call from his ex-wife Sylvie Collins (Melina Kanakaredes). His estranged son Jason (Rafi Gavron) is being charged for distribution of narcotics; while Jason is not actually a dealer, his friend set him up in a sting operation to reduce his own sentence after being caught. Jason's charges carry a minimum of 10 years in prison. John feels responsible because he was not there for his son, and he becomes desperate as he realizes that Jason may be killed before he finishes his prison sentence.

Using his connections, John arranges several meetings with the local US Attorney Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon), who is running a very aggressive anti-drug campaign to bolster her chances for election to Congress. Joanne agrees to reduce Jason's sentence if John can inform on a drug dealer, but states that he'll receive little help from her and that the risk will be all his. Agent Cooper (Barry Pepper) leads a task force which will monitor any dealings John arranges to use as evidence for an arrest. John searches through his employee records and finds an employee on his payroll with two former distribution convictions. Daniel James (Jon Bernthal) is currently leading a clean life to avoid a third strike, as he now has a wife and young son to care for. John offers twenty-thousand dollars if Daniel will simply introduce him to a dealer. Daniel initially refuses but later agrees so that he can move to a safer apartment for his son, though he is unaware that John is acting as an informant.

Daniel introduces John to Malik, an extremely dangerous, high-ranking local drug dealer, who like Daniel has two strikes. Explaining that his business cannot stay afloat in the current economy without a supplement to its revenues, John offers to run nearly limitless amounts of drugs at almost zero risk in his freight trucks. Due to being a legitimate business, the trucks avoid suspicion and carry too much freight to be thoroughly searched. Malik agrees under the condition that John and Daniel drive the initial run themselves.

John and Agent Cooper arrange for several wire taps to be put in place to catch the transactions involved. John drives to the pickup point near the Mexican border. In the process, a rival gang ambushes the pickup, but John manages a daring escape, impressing cartel kingpin Juan Carlos "El Topo" Pintera (Benjamin Bratt), whose cartel successfully fights off the ambushers. John successfully completes his end of the deal, delivering the drugs to Malik while under surveillance by Agent Cooper. Malik mentions a meeting with cartel members higher than himself: Cooper, hoping to catch the higher priority targets, refuses to arrest Malik during the deal. Keeghan claims Cooper did the right thing and refuses to reduce Jason's sentence unless John cooperates in a second meeting. John, outraged, agrees only if Jason is released when the job is completed, rather than just a reduction in sentence. Around this time, Daniel finds out about the arrangement John made with the police and is furious, saying that the cartel will kill John, Daniel, and their families if the truth comes out. John and Daniel send their families into hiding.

John meets with Juan Carlos Pintera under much higher cartel security than he has seen so far. Juan wants John to run nearly $100 million in drug profits into Mexico, back to the cartel base of operations, and offers to make John a member of the cartel inner circle if he succeeds. John reports this back to Keeghan and Cooper.  Keeghan is ecstatic due to finding such a large target, but Cooper has a change of heart and tries to talk John out of doing the run, as he suspects the cartel will kill him afterwards.

John devises a plan to free himself and Daniel from both the government and the cartel. During the run, John is able to escape Cooper's surveillance. At the same time, Daniel raids Malik's house, killing Malik's guards and wounding Malik. Before dying, Malik reveals Juan Carlos's cell phone number to Daniel. John calls Cooper and has him track both his new cell phone and Juan Carlos's phone, effectively giving Cooper both the money and the kingpin at once. After a highway chase and shootout, caused by the cartel's realization that John is an informant, John escapes. Cartel members and the money are seized by Cooper's men. Juan Carlos is also captured; he is unwilling to get into a shootout with the police, as his young son is with him.

The movie ends with Jason being released the next day. John and his family go into the witness protection program. Daniel refuses to go into the program, saying he and his family will go into hiding on their own. As Daniel has lost his job, John leaves Daniel the large reward check that John was supposed to receive for the capture of Juan Carlos. The film concludes by citing statistics which show that certain first-time non-violent drug offenders receive longer prison sentences on average than those convicted of rape or manslaughter.

Snitch is directed by Ric Roman Waugh and written by Waugh and Justin Haythe. The project was first set up in 2004 by Guy East and Nigel Sinclair, partners at Spitfire Pictures. They were inspired by a Frontline documentary about how changes to the federal drug policy of the United States encouraged the incarcerated to snitch on their accomplices. Justin Haythe wrote the initial screenplay, and Waugh was hired to rewrite it. In March 2011, actor Dwayne Johnson was cast in the film's starring role.  Filming began in December 2011 in Bossier City, Louisiana,[4] and it concluded on January 19, 2012.

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