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War Poets - Hot and Cold American Relationships Tags: war poets american relationships word life production new quality feature entertainment

War Poets are back with their newest EP – Hot and Cold: American Relationships, released by Rock The Cause Records, a non-profit record label based in their hometown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rock The Cause is dedicated to creating community involvement through concerts, workshops and music releases, and over the past 8 years Rock the Cause has helped to create thousands of new volunteers as well as financial support for organizations like Children’s Cancer Research Fund, MusiCares and others.

Hot and Cold: American Relationships, comes out on November 4, 2014 with a portion of proceeds going to work to find a cure for Cystic-Fibrosis.

“I really wanted to be on this label,” Says Rex Haberman, War Poets lead singer. “Their ethos and the difference they make for community is in perfect alignment with our mission as artists.”

War Poets draw on Americana, pop, and rock to achieve an aesthetic that’s refined but rootsy. The group has a unique band structure built around a core duo of Haberman as the primary singer-songwriter and guitarist, and bassist-vocalist, and contributing songwriter, Jenny Case as the musical director. The two keep an ongoing artistic dialogue with creative advisor Matt Kirkwold who also contributes songs to War Poets. Previous to War Poets, Haberman had recorded and released three albums, and Case has led her own band, and played in many cover bands. Currently, she is the executive director of She Rock She Rock Foundation.

When forming War Poets, Haberman made a socially conscious decision to build the band around a female singer-bassist. “I have a strong opinion about the status of women in music because I find it a really male-dominated world,” he reveals. When he expressed the idea of forging a female/male artistic alliance to creative advisor Matt Kirkwold (Haberman and Kirkwold have been friends and collaborators for 15 years) Kirkwold suggested Case. “We work together like we’re on a mission,” Haberman explains. “Jenny has high standards. She’s a perfectionist in the studio and really pushes the band’s performances. She’s super talented and highly professional.” The two also have complimentary voices with Case’s angelic and schooled vocals providing a sweet counterpoint to Haberman’s plaintive and impassioned vocal stylings. Rounding out the ranks as a full-band collective is a fluid mix of some of the Midwest’s finest musicians and songwriters.

The video for band’s first single, “Close Enough,” from War Poets’ debut full length, Dulce et Decorum Est, has wracked up a 250,000 views. It was a heartwarming statement on marriage equality dedicated to the memory of the historical NYC Stonewall uprisings, and the track became an anthem for many same-sex marriage supporters. War Poets’ music is played nationally on both AAA and college radio formats. In 2014 War Poets played Red Gorilla Music Festival during SXSW. The group has worked with such iconic producers as Grammy winner Kevin Bowe (Etta James, Jonny Lang) and five-time Grammy winner Joe Baldridge (Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson).

The group’s second album was boldly titled American Police State, evoking the red button topics shared within its irresistible pop-rock songs covered topics ranging from income inequality, Native American rights, and gun violence. “What is a gun really for? It’s for killing people,” Haberman affirms. “I realize I have strong opinions on gun violence, but we’re musicians, not politicians. We put our views out there by singing so people can think about this.”

Continuing the theme of exploring contemporary issues in our society, and their resulting struggles, "Hot and Cold: American Relationships" is the second in the "American" trilogy War Poets will release in 2014/15. These songs delve into the highs and lows of interpersonal relationships, whether it be about finding the right companion, talking beyond the point of understanding, or trusting the ones who are closest to you, because at the end of the day, they are all who's left.

Matthew Henson - Co-Discover of North Pole
Category: Black Men Rock!
Tags: matthew henson north american word life production new quality entertainment featured blog

Matthew Henson was an African American explorer best known as the co-discoverer of the North Pole with Robert Edwin Peary in 1909.

Famed African-American explorer Matthew Henson was born in Charles County, Maryland, on August 8, 1866. Explorer Robert Edwin Peary hired Henson as his valet for expeditions. For over two decades, they explored the Arctic, and on April 6, 1909, Peary, Henson and the rest of their team made history, becoming the first people to reach the North Pole—or at least they claimed to have. Henson died in New York City on March 9, 1955.

American explorer Matthew Alexander Henson was born on August 8, 1866, in Charles County, Maryland. The son of two freeborn black sharecroppers, Henson lost his mother at an early age. When Henson was 4 years old, his father moved the family to Washington, D.C., in search for work opportunities. His father died there, leaving Henson and his siblings in the care of relatives.

Henson ran away from home at age 11, and was taken in by a woman who lived near his home. At age 12, he left to work as a cabin boy on a ship. Over the next six years and under the mentorship of Captain Childs, Henson learned literacy and navigation skills.

After Captain Childs died, Henson returned to Washington, D.C. and worked as a store clerk for a furrier. It was there that he met Robert Edwin Peary, an explorer and officer in the U.S. Navy Corps of Civil Engineers. On the recommendation of the store owner, Peary hired Henson as his valet for his travel expeditions.

Career as an Explorer

In 1891, Henson joined Peary on a Greenland expedition. While there, Henson embraced the local Eskimo culture, learning the language and the natives' Arctic survival skills. At the trip's end, in 1893, Henson remained the sole member of Peary's entourage—the rest of the team had abandoned the mission.

Their next trip to Greenland came in 1895, this time with a goal of charting the entire ice cap. The journey almost ended in tragedy, with Peary's team on the brink of starvation; members of the team managed to survive by eating all but one of their sled dogs. Over the next two years, the explorers returned to Greenland to collect three meteorites found during prior explorations, ultimately selling them to the American Museum of Natural History and using the proceeds to help fund their future expeditions.

Over the next several years, Peary and Henson would make multiple attempts to reach the North Pole. Their 1902 attempt proved tragic, with six Eskimo team members perishing due to a lack of food and supplies. They made more progress during their 1906 trip: Backed by President Theodore Roosevelt and armed with a then state-of-the-art vessel that had the ability to cut through ice, the team was able to sail within 174 miles of the North Pole. Melted ice blocking the sea path thwarted the mission’s completion.

The team's final attempt to reach the North Pole took place in 1908. Henson proved an invaluable team member, building sledges and training others on sled-handling. Of Henson, expedition member Donald Macmillan once noted, "With years of experience equal to that of Peary himself, he was indispensable."

The expedition continued into the following year (1909). While other team members turned back, Peary and the ever-loyal Henson trudged on. Peary knew that the mission's success depended on his trusty companion, stating at the time, "Henson must go all the way. I can't make it there without him." On April 6, 1909, Peary, Henson, four Eskimos and 40 dogs (the trip had begun with 24 men, 19 sledges and 133 dogs) finally reached the North Pole—or at least they claimed to have.

Source: Biography.com   

Classic Hip Hop Legends - Eric B and Rakim
Category: Classic Hip Hop
Tags: eric b rakim paid full word life production classic hip hop legend new qulaity

They never had a mainstream hit of their own, but during rap's so-called golden age in the late '80s, Eric B. & Rakim were almost universally recognized as the premier DJ/MC team in all of hip-hop. Not only was their chemistry superb, but individually, each represented the absolute state of the art in their respective skills. Eric B. was a hugely influential DJ and beatmaker whose taste for hard-hitting James Brown samples touched off a stampede through the Godfather of Soul's back catalog that continues up to the present day. Rakim, meanwhile, still tops fan polls as the greatest MC of all time. He crafted his rhymes like poetry, filling his lines with elaborate metaphors and complex internal rhymes, and he played with the beat like a jazzman, earning a reputation as the smoothest-flowing MC ever to pick up a mic. His articulation was clear, his delivery seemingly effortless, and his influence on subsequent MCs incalculable. Together, their peerless technique on the microphone and turntables upped the ante for all who followed them, and their advancement of hip-hop as an art form has been acknowledged by everyone from Gang Starr to the Wu-Tang Clan to Eminem. While certain elements of their sound might come off as slightly dated today, it's also immediately clear how much of a hand Eric B. & Rakim had in leading hip-hop into the modern age.

Eric B. was born Eric Barrier in 1965 in Elmhurst, Queens; his future partner, William Griffin, Jr., was born in 1968 and also hailed from the suburbs of New York, specifically Wyandanch, Long Island. At age 16, Griffin converted to Islam and adopted the name Rakim Allah. Barrier played trumpet and guitar early on, but switched to the turntables in high school, and eventually landed a job as the mobile DJ for radio station WBLS. It was there that he met Rakim, and the two officially formed a partnership in 1985. Their first single -- "Eric B. Is President" (an ode to Barrier's DJ skills) b/w "My Melody" -- was released on the tiny Harlem-based indie label Zakia. It was a street-level sensation during the summer of 1986, and the duo was picked up by the larger 4th & Broadway imprint. The equally monumental singles "I Ain't No Joke" and "I Know You Got Soul" sampled James Brown and his cohort Bobby Byrd, respectively, and their utter funkiness began to revolutionize the sound of hip-hop. Moreover, Rakim's line "pump up the volume" on the latter track was in turn sampled itself, becoming the basis for M/A/R/R/S' hit of the same name.

Paid in Full

In 1987, 4th & Broadway issued the duo's full-length debut, Paid in Full; accompanied by a mighty underground buzz, the record climbed into the Top Ten on the R&B LP charts (as would all of their subsequent albums). Additionally, the British DJ duo Coldcut remixed the title cut into a bona fide U.K. smash. The exposure helped make "Paid in Full"'s drum track one of the most sampled beats this side of James Brown's "Funky Drummer"; it provided the foundation for Milli Vanilli's "Girl You Know It's True," among many other, more credible hits. On the heels of Paid in Full, Eric B. & Rakim signed with MCA subsidiary Uni and consolidated their reputation with another landmark hip-hop album, 1988's Follow the Leader. The title cut took its place among the classic singles already in their canon, and Jody Watley soon tapped the duo for a guest spot on her 1989 single "Friends," which brought them into the pop Top Ten for the first and only time.

 

Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em

The 1990 follow-up Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em proved relatively disappointing from a creative standpoint, although 1992's slightly jazzier Don't Sweat the Technique was a more consistent affair that bolstered their legacy. As it turned out, the record also completed that legacy. The duo's contract with MCA was almost up, and they had discussed the possibility of each recording a solo album. Unfortunately, the resulting tension over the future of their partnership ultimately destroyed it. In the aftermath of the breakup, various legal issues prevented both parties from starting their solo careers for quite some time. The only recording to appear was Rakim's first solo cut, "Heat It Up," which was featured on the soundtrack of the 1993 film Gunmen. Finally, in 1995, Eric B. issued his self-titled solo debut on his own 95th Street label. Rakim, meanwhile, signed with Universal and delivered a pair of acclaimed comeback albums, 1997's The 18th Letter and 1999's The Master.

Source: AllMusic

Ricky the dragon Steamboat - One of the greatest wrestlers of all time Tags: ricky steamboat greatest wrestler all time word life production new quality featured artist

Richard Henry Blood (born February 28, 1953), better known by his ring name Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, is an active (as of 2013) American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE traveling around the world doing personal appearances and live event autograph sessions and does appear in the ring from time to time to promote his trademark name "Ricky The Dragon Steamboat". He is best known for his work with the American Wrestling Association (AWA), the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

In the NWA and WCW, he was a one-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, a four-time United States Heavyweight Champion, a four-time World Television Champion, a twelve-time World Tag Team Champion (eight-time under the WCW banner, one-time (though unofficial) under the NWA banner, and three-time under the Mid-Atlantic banner), and a two-time Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion. In the WWF/E, Steamboat was a one-time Intercontinental Champion and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.

While little is known about Steamboat's personal life, it is a known fact that he went to high school in New York and graduated in 1971 from Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport, Florida. He was a two-time New York State Wrestling qualifier.

Early years (1976–1977)

Blood debuted in 1976 as a babyface in the American Wrestling Association (AWA). He took the name Sam Steamboat, Jr. from older Hawaiian wrestler Sam Steamboat and he also wrestled for a time under his real given name before settling on the name Ricky Steamboat (or, alternatively, Rick Steamboat), by which he would be known for the remainder of his career. He went from the AWA to Championship Wrestling from Florida and from there to Georgia Championship Wrestling.

National Wrestling Alliance / Jim Crockett Promotions (1977–1985)

In 1977, Blood, now renaming himself to Ricky Steamboat, entered the National Wrestling Alliance-sanctioned Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) (which ran under the concurrent brand names "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" and "Wide World Wrestling"—later "World Wide Wrestling"—as well as airing syndicated TV programs under those respective names), where he would remain for the next eight years of his career. Steamboat, who had been brought in by JCP booker George Scott on the recommendation of Wahoo McDaniel, was initially billed as a babyface protege of Wahoo, and barely spoke above whispers in interviews. Matching him with his brash young counterpart, Ric Flair, was a natural fit. Steamboat stepped up to the plate during an interview on the syndicated Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling when Flair, the then-Mid-Atlantic television champion, began goading the youngster. Steamboat knocked Flair out with a backhand chop to set up a match between the two. Steamboat's star making performance came when he pinned Flair after a double thrust off the top rope to win the NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Championship at WRAL studios in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Over the next eight years in JCP, Steamboat captured the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship three times and the NWA World Tag Team Championship six times (once with Paul Jones and five times with Jay Youngblood). He also held the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship singles crown twice and wore the NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship straps four times (three times with Paul Jones, once with Jay Youngblood). He also won the NWA World Television Championship title a second time (which by that point had changed to the NWA World Television title).

Fans in the Mid-Atlantic territory to this day talk about classic Steamboat moments: the day Flair dragged his face around the television studio, causing facial scarring, and Steamboat retaliating the following week by ripping Flair's expensive suit to shreds; when longtime tag team partner Paul Jones turned heel on Steamboat at the end of a two-ring battle royal; Steamboat and Youngblood painting yellow streaks down the backs of Paul Jones and Baron Von Raschke in order to embarrass them into defending the World Tag Team titles against the two; Steamboat and Youngblood's top drawing feud with Sgt. Slaughter and Don Kernodle; Steamboat and Youngblood being turned on by their friends Jack and Jerry Brisco; Steamboat in a shocking (and surprisingly emotional) feud against former mentor Wahoo McDaniel; and his last great series in the territory, feuding with Tully Blanchard over the NWA TV title. After having creative differences with JCP booker Dusty Rhodes, Steamboat left the NWA.

In 1985, Steamboat was offered a contract by Vince McMahon and he joined the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Shortly after his debut, Steamboat was given the gimmick of a babyface nicknamed "The Dragon"; Steamboat's jacket-and-trunks attire was replaced by a keikogi and long tights. His father was Hawaiian, and Steamboat's mother is Japanese American, hence his Asian features which were crucial for his "Dragon" gimmick. Steamboat kept the nickname and gimmick for the remainder of his career.

He made his pay-per-view debut at the inaugural WrestleMania where he defeated Matt Borne. On the September 14, 1985 edition of Championship Wrestling, Steamboat defeated Mr. Fuji but after his victory, he was attacked by Don "The Magnificent" Muraco pitting Steamboat in a feud against fellow Hawaiians Muraco and Fuji. On the November 2 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, he defeated Fuji in a Kung Fu Challenge. On the January 4, 1986 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, his intense feud with Muraco ended after he and Junkyard Dog beat Muraco and Fuji in a tag team match.

After a victory over Hercules at WrestleMania 2, Steamboat began his next feud with Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Their feud began when Roberts attacked him before their match on the May 3 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, which did not occur due to Roberts assaulting Steamboat. They battled each other in a Snake Pit match at The Big Event, which Steamboat won. Their feud finally ended on the October 4 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, when Steamboat defeated Roberts in their Snake Pit rematch. Following the match, Roberts continued to attack Steamboat and was about to place his snake Damien on him, but Steamboat took his komodo dragon out of his bag and scared Roberts from the ring.

For his match with Roberts on the May 3, 1986 (taped May 1, 1986) edition of Saturday Night's Main Event at the Providence Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island, a spot was booked where Roberts would attack Steamboat before the match and hit him with his finisher the "DDT" on the concrete floor. Roberts was initially reluctant to do this due to his fear that Steamboat would not be able to stop his head hitting the concrete floor, which in those days was not covered with protective mats. Only after assurances by Steamboat that he would protect himself did Roberts agreed to it. Unfortunately Roberts' fears came true and Steamboat was legitimately knocked out when his forehead hit the concrete. Roberts later described the sound as like a watermelon bursting.

Intercontinental Champion and departure (1987–1988)

On the November 22, 1986 edition of Superstars, Steamboat got a shot at the Intercontinental Championship against Randy Savage. Steamboat lost the match by count-out but after the match, Savage continued to assault him and injured Steamboat's larynx (kayfabe) with the ring bell, beginning an angle between the two. On the January 3, 1987 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, Steamboat returned from his injury and prevented Savage from attacking George Steele like he had done to Steamboat six weeks prior. At WrestleMania III, Steamboat was booked to defeat Savage for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. The highly influential match was considered an instant classic by both fans and critics and was named 1987's Match of the Year by both Pro Wrestling Illustrated and the Wrestling Observer.

Several weeks after winning the Intercontinental Championship, Steamboat asked WWF owner Vince McMahon for some time off to be with his wife Bonnie, who was expecting the birth of their first son, Richard, Jr. This did not sit well with WWF management as he had been groomed to become a long-term Intercontinental Champion. The decision was made by WWF management to punish Steamboat by stripping him of the title. After a successful title defense against Hercules on the May 2 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, he dropped the belt to The Honky Tonk Man on the June 13 edition of Superstars; his son was born a month later. Steamboat came back in time for the Survivor Series in November 1987. WWF Management was still bitter over his impromptu sabbatical from his first WWF run, however, and he was not pushed or given any meaningful feuds (Steamboat himself has implied in interviews that he was being punished for 'one-upping' the Hogan-Andre main event at WrestleMania III). After defeating Rick Rude by disqualification at 1988 Royal Rumble, Steamboat was entered into the tournament for the vacant WWF Championship at WrestleMania IV in March 1988. On WWF television prior to the match Steamboat appeared in a vignette where he stated that he hoped Randy Savage would win his first round match, thus setting up a rematch of last year's Wrestlemania match and "one more classic confrontation". However Steamboat would lose to his first round opponent Greg "The Hammer" Valentine Although television segments were shot immediately after WrestleMania IV that made it appear that The Dragon would be facing Valentine in a series of matches, Steamboat announced his retirement shortly thereafter.

Return to the NWA / World Championship Wrestling (1989)

Steamboat made his comeback to wrestling in January 1989 and returned to the NWA (specifically, NWA affiliate World Championship Wrestling) on the January 21, 1989 edition of World Championship Wrestling (it would later become the name of the promotion) as a surprise tag team partner of "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert against NWA World Champion, Ric Flair and Barry Windham in a tag team match that saw Steamboat pin Flair. This earned him a shot at the title at Chi-Town Rumble where Steamboat was booked to defeat Flair in the main event for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. He was also the last NWA World Champion to defend the belt in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) in a match against Tiger Mask II. After Steamboat retained the NWA title against Flair in a controversial ending on the April 2 edition of Clash of the Champions, Flair and Steamboat would then face each other in their final rematch at the first-ever WrestleWar in May, where Steamboat dropped the title back to Flair. All three of Steamboat's matches with Flair were given 5-star ratings from Wrestling Observer Newsletter publisher Dave Meltzer.

After losing the title and with Flair now a babyface after being attacked by Terry Funk, Steamboat would remain the number one contender to the NWA World Title, a fact that irked fellow babyface U.S. Champion Lex Luger. This dispute culminated in Luger attacking Steamboat on the June 14 edition of Clash of the Champions, thus turning heel. Luger stood over the fallen Steamboat and arrogantly said, "There's your number one contender!" Steamboat then demanded a no disqualification match against Luger at The Great American Bash for the title, but just before the bell Luger demanded the clause be dropped or there would not be a match. Steamboat lost the match by disqualification after hitting Luger with a chair. However, due to a contract dispute, this would be Steamboat's last match of note in WCW in 1989.

New Japan Pro Wrestling and return to WWF (1990–1991)

 

After losing the NWA title, Ricky again ventured into semi-retirement in late 1989. In 1990, he toured with New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he faced high-profile stars like Hiroshi Hase and The Great Muta.

In 1991, Steamboat, now billed simply as The Dragon, began making a return to the WWF; he was soon promoted with a series of vignettes on various editions of Superstars which saw The Dragon breathing fire. Despite his previous success in the WWF as a one-time Intercontinental Champion, Steamboat was treated as a brand-new wrestler, save for then-commentator Randy Savage making reference to their WrestleMania III match in passing during one of his matches.

Steamboat made his WWF in-ring redebut on the March 30 edition of Superstars, defeating the Brooklyn Brawler with his signature diving crossbody. On subsequent episodes of Superstars and Wrestling Challenge, Steamboat would go on to win numerous squash matches. He would also be victorious on televised Madison Square Garden events, defeating the likes of Haku, Demolition Smash, Paul Roma, Col. Mustafa, Pat Tanaka, and the The Warlord.

Steamboat's only pay per view appearance during his second WWF tenure was at SummerSlam. Teaming with Kerry Von Erich and Davey Boy Smith against the Warlord, Hercules, and Paul Roma, Steamboat got the victory for his team by pinning Roma.

The Dragon was undefeated on television during his 1991 run and lost only one match, a house show bout against Skinner. The day after his dark match loss, Steamboat gave his notice to WWF management and then quit the company shortly thereafter. He had been booked for the Survivor Series, teaming with Jim Neidhart (who would be replaced by Sgt. Slaughter due to injury), Jim Duggan, and Kerry Von Erich against Col. Mustafa, Skinner, The Berzerker, and Big Bully Busick (who would be replaced by Hercules after Busick left the WWF), but left before the event and was replaced by Tito Santana. It is rumored that Steamboat was booked to be squashed by The Undertaker on Superstars to build Undertaker for his impending WWF Championship match against Hulk Hogan and that Steamboat chose to quit the WWF rather than lose to Undertaker. Undertaker instead squashed Kerry Von Erich on Wrestling Challenge weeks prior to Survivor Series.

Return to WCW (1991–1994)

World Tag Team Champion (1991–1992)

On the November 19 edition of Clash of the Champions, Steamboat returned to World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as the surprise tag team partner of Dustin Rhodes, substituting for an injured Barry Windham. Steamboat and Rhodes defeated the Enforcers (Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko) to win the World Tag Team Championship, Steamboat's first World Tag Team Title under the WCW banner.They lost the titles to Arn Anderson and his new partner Bobby Eaton at a live event in January 1992. Steamboat began feuding with the Dangerous Alliance at this point, facing them in a critically acclaimed WarGames match at WrestleWar, which received a 5-star rating from Dave Meltzer. He unsuccessfully challenged Dangerous Alliance member and United States Heavyweight Champion Rick Rude for the title at SuperBrawl II. Their rivalry culminated in a non-title Iron Man Challenge at Beach Blast, which Steamboat won.

World Television Champion (1992–1993)

On the September 2, 1992 edition of Clash of the Champions, Steamboat defeated "Stunning" Steve Austin to win his first Television Championship under the WCW banner. He lost the title to Scott Steiner at a television taping on September 29. He however, won both his first NWA World Tag Team Championship (unrecognized by NWA) and his second WCW World Tag Team Title with Shane Douglas (NWA and WCW titles were unified) on the November 18 edition of Clash of the Champions by defeating Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes. On the March 27, 1993 edition of Power Hour, they lost the NWA and WCW titles to the Hollywood Blonds (Brian Pillman and Steve Austin). On the August 18 edition of Clash of the Champions, he defeated Paul Orndorff to win his second and final WCW World Television Championship. In September 1993, at Fall Brawl, Steamboat's TV title reign was ended when he lost to Lord Steven Regal. At Starrcade, the two fought in a rematch for the title which resulted in a time-limit draw.

United States Heavyweight Champion, retirement and departure (1994)

Heading into 1994, Steamboat engaged in one last feud over the World Heavyweight Championship with longtime rival Ric Flair, which culminated in a match at Spring Stampede where the title was briefly held up due to both men's shoulders being pinned at the same time. On the April 23 edition of Saturday Night, Flair defeated Steamboat to reclaim possession of the title. Their final singles match was on Main Event in July which ended on a disqualification when Steve Austin interfered. Steamboat and Flair's last encounter was in a tag team match on the July 31 edition of Main Event where Steamboat teamed with Sting against Ric Flair and Steve Austin.

He then feuded with US Champion "Stunning" Steve Austin and earned a US title shot at Bash at the Beach but lost. On the August 28 edition of Clash of the Champions, he got a rematch against Austin where Steamboat hurt his back, but managed to pin Austin for the United States Heavyweight Championship. However, he had to give up the belt due to the injury at Fall Brawl; he was replaced by "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan. In September 1994, Steamboat was fired by WCW President Eric Bischoff via Federal Express package (while injured), thus ending a nearly two decade relationship with the Crockett/Turner wrestling organization.

Retirement (1994–2005)

Steamboat mentored CM Punk in Ring of Honor

After an eight-year retirement, Steamboat played an important role in the genesis of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), where he was the referee of the first Gauntlet for the Gold for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. He was also the referee for the four-way double-elimination match to crown the first holder of the TNA X Division Championship. He has also made appearances for Ring of Honor where he refereed the first defense of the ROH Pure Wrestling Championship. In 2004, he engaged in a series of confrontations with CM Punk over Punk's arrogance in matches Steamboat refereed and then became CM Punk's inspiration to become the better person Steamboat knew he could be. The latter part of 2004 saw Steamboat feud with Mick Foley over which style of wrestling was superior, pure wrestling or hardcore wrestling. The two of them had many confrontations and managed teams to face one another, but never had a match against each other. Steamboat's last ROH appearance was at Final Battle 2004 where he and Foley finally made peace.

Return to WWE (2005–present)

In early 2005, Steamboat returned to World Wrestling Entertainment as a road agent and was introduced as a WWE Legend on the "Homecoming" edition of Raw in October 2005. In early 2006, Ricky Steamboat told WWE management that he would like to come out of retirement at WrestleMania 22 and work a match with Ric Flair, but the idea was nixed. Ricky Steamboat has been the special referee in main event matches between John Cena, Triple H, and/or Edge at WWE house shows. In 2006 at the Raw SummerSlam Tour in Sydney, Australia, he was a referee for a match between Cena and Edge for the WWE Championship. He also refereed another title match in July 2007 between John Cena and Randy Orton in Anaheim, California. On April 1, 2007, he made an appearance at WrestleMania 23 while various other legends were having a small dance party in the background. He also briefly appeared at the Vengeance: Night of Champions pay-per-view, being recognized as a former Intercontinental Champion. He made another appearance on WWE television during Ric Flair's farewell on the March 31, 2008 edition of Raw.

Hall of Fame and return to the ring

Steamboat with fellow WWE Hall of Famers Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka before their match against Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXV.

He appeared on the February 23 edition of Monday Night Raw, after being named one of the members of the 2009 WWE Hall of Fame class. However, Steamboat was attacked by Chris Jericho, who began to feud with the Hall of Famers.

On the March 16 episode of Raw, he united with fellow Hall of Famers, now-babyface, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, and Jimmy Snuka attacked Jericho. In his first match in nearly 15 years, Steamboat returned to the ring alongside Piper and Snuka to take on Jericho at WrestleMania XXV on April 5, 2009. While both Snuka and Piper were swiftly eliminated, Steamboat held his own against Jericho, performing his legendary diving crossbody and even a plancha, although Jericho would eventually go onto win the match.

On the April 6 episode of Raw, Steamboat competed in a 10-man tag team match with John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy, and CM Punk defeating Edge, Big Show, Matt Hardy, Kane, and his WrestleMania XXV opponent, Chris Jericho. Steamboat's in-ring performance was so exceptional that the crowd began chanting "You've still got it!". Following the match, Cena, Hardy, Mysterio, and Punk left the ring and allowed Steamboat to take one final bow to the crowd.

Steamboat on WWE RAW on June 28, 2010 before being attacked by Nexus.

On the April 20 episode of Raw, Steamboat made a surprise appearance to thank Jericho. Jericho said Steamboat came only because he could not leave the spotlight, then challenged Steamboat to a match at Backlash, which Steamboat accepted. At Backlash, Steamboat lost after submitting to the Walls of Jericho.

On August 15, 2009, Steamboat wrestled for the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico where he teamed with his son Ricky Steamboat, Jr. to defeat Hiram Tua and Orlando Colón (nephew of Carlos Colón and cousin of Carlito and Eddie Colón).

On June 28, 2010, he returned to WWE Raw to promote his new DVD only to be attacked and injured by the Nexus. On WWE's website the following day, it was announced that in storyline, Steamboat suffered injuries from the attack. However, on July 1 WWE's website announced that the prior night, Steamboat felt legitimate pain in his neck and shoulders and as a result, was now legitimately hospitalized. This caused WWE to take down any storyline information related to that attack.

On October 19, it was announced that Ricky Steamboat was going to be featured in the WWE '12 video game.

On December 17, 2012, during the WWE Raw, Ricky Steamboat appeared alongside Jim Ross and Gene Okerlund to announce the winner of the Slammy Award for Match of the Year. Steamboat works for WWE as a trainer for NXT

In early 2013 a feud seemed to be in the work between Steamboat and Wade Barrett, however nothing came of the angle and it was quietly dissolved.

Steamboat and other WWE Legends appeared at WrestleMania XXX in a segment backstage.

Personal life

Steamboat is of mixed ancestry, having been born to an English father and a Japanese mother.

In 1978, while wrestling, Steamboat dabbled in bodybuilding, along with fellow wrestler Tony Atlas. He would win the Mr. North Carolina competition that year.

Steamboat has a son Richard Jr. (born July 7, 1987), who is also a professional wrestler, by his second wife Bonnie. Steamboat also has a brother, Vic Steamboat, who is a retired professional wrestler.

First African American Baseball Player - Jackie Robinson Tags: african america baseball player jackie robinson word life production new quality entertainment featured blog

Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919 to a family of sharecroppers. His mother, Mallie Robinson, single-handedly raised Jackie and her four other children. They were the only black family on their block, and the prejudice they encountered only strengthened their bond. From this humble beginning would grow the first baseball player to break Major League Baseball's color barrier that segregated the sport for more than 50 years.

Jackie at UCLAGrowing up in a large, single-parent family, Jackie excelled early at all sports and learned to make his own way in life. At UCLA, Jackie became the first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track. In 1941, he was named to the All-American football team. Due to financial difficulties, he was forced to leave college, and eventually decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. After two years in the army, he had progressed to second lieutenant. Jackie's army career was cut short when he was court-martialed in relation to his objections with incidents of racial discrimination. In the end, Jackie left the Army with an honorable discharge.

In 1945, Jackie played one season in the Negro Baseball League, traveling all over the Midwest with the Kansas City Monarchs. But greater challenges and achievements were in store for him. In 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey approached Jackie about joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Major Leagues had not had an African-American player since 1889, when baseball became segregated. When Jackie first donned a Brooklyn Dodger uniform, he pioneered the integration of professional athletics in America. By breaking the color barrier in baseball, the nation's preeminent sport, he courageously challenged the deeply rooted custom of racial segregation in both the North and the South.

Jackie sliding into home plateAt the end of Robinson's rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he had become National League Rookie of the Year with 12 homers, a league-leading 29 steals, and a .297 average. In 1949, he was selected as the NL's Most Valuable player of the Year and also won the batting title with a .342 average that same year. As a result of his great success, Jackie was eventually inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

 

Jackie married Rachel Isum, a nursing student he met at UCLA, in 1946. As an African-American baseball player, Jackie was on display for the whole country to judge. Rachel and their three children, Jackie Jr., Sharon and David, provided Jackie with the emotional support and sense of purpose essential for bearing the pressure during the early years of baseball.

Jackie Robinson stampJackie Robinson's life and legacy will be remembered as one of the most important in American history. In 1997, the world celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Jackie's breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier. In doing so, we honored the man who stood defiantly against those who would work against racial equality and acknowledged the profound influence of one man's life on the American culture. On the date of Robinson's historic debut, all Major League teams across the nation celebrated this milestone. Also that year, The United States Post Office honored Robinson by making him the subject of a commemorative postage stamp. On Tuesday, April 15 President Bill Clinton paid tribute to Jackie at Shea Stadium in New York in a special ceremony.

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