Thursday, January 31, 2008

Are the Kids doing something New?

OK, so before I take a little hiatus from "Sean's Space," I had to pass this along and get some readers' response...

Did you hear the New Kids on the Block are going to reunite???

Yeah, as my fav teacher of all time pointed out earlier today when I e-mailed her about it, this is strictly a rumor, but sometimes in life, ya need something to get ya through the day, right? This does the trick for me.

Anyway ... this week's issue of "People" magazine has a story that finally all five New Kids — that would be Joe McIntyre, Danny Wood, Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight and Jonathan Knight — are going to reunite, 14 years after their last CD!

Here's the news flash, direct from the "People" Web site:
After months of speculation and rumor, the Kids are coming back. A well-placed source tells PEOPLE exclusively that New Kids On The Block are indeed getting back together.

I know ... are you psyched or what???

Of course, Danny has since come out and said that there's been no talks between the Kids and that there are no plans to reunite. (Sucks, right?) But ... that could just be a smokescreen sent out to quell the excitement until the Kids release the news themselves! (Or at least that's the way I choose to think of it.)

I know, given my musical taste (which I've written about here before), from Barry Manilow and Clay Aiken to Hannah Montana and Jamie Lynn Spears' sister, you're probably like, Really, Sean? You're a New Kids fan??? That's a shock, right? (I swear, if I ever lose my iPod, someone's going to pick it up, see the music on it and be like, "Aw, some 12-year-old girl lost her iPod!")

But yes, I was (am?) a total New Kids on the Block fan! I had all their CDs (as you can see from the pics here). I taped all their TV appearances. I wore the T-shirts. I had the action figures (they're NOT dolls!). I watched the short-lived Saturday morning cartoon.

My biggest regret in life, though? I've never seen them live. Any of 'em! They came to Poughkeepsie with Tiffany back in the summer of '89 and I missed both shows. (They actually started off the tour opening for Tiffany but by the time the tour was over, she was opening for them!) Then, when Joey (as he now likes to be called) performed at one of the first K-Fest concerts, I missed it 'cause I was living in Vermont.

The closest I ever came was seeing Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch at the Civic Center in '92 ... now that's $36 I'll never see again!

So, after lo these many years, to have even a glimmer of hope that they'll get back together, I was all over that "like stink on a monkey," as Cosmo Kramer once said.

I swear, whenever I see one of the New Kids in their post-New Kids life (like Donnie in "The Sixth Sense" or the "Saw" series, or Joey on "Dancing with the Stars"), I always make a point to tell whoever I'm sitting next to, He was a New Kid! It's kinda embarrassing if I'm at the movies by myself, squeezing in a matinee before work, and tell that to the person next to me. But hey, it's vital information.

So, please, for me ... cross your fingers ... say a prayer ... send good thoughts out into the atmosphere, positive vibes that the New Kids will get back together. I know I'm not the only out there who wants to see them reunite. And if the Spice Girls can get back together, why not the New Kids???

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Netflix or Blockbuster? You decide...

The question was posed by someone who knows me just about as well as anyone, and knows my affinity for renting DVDs:

Why did you choose instead of Netflix?

I explained that my whole experience of getting DVDs delivered to my mailbox began as a Netflix member, signing up for the service almost as soon as I first heard about it — like, five years ago or so. I loved it: You go online, tell them what movies you want to watch, and voila ... they send them to you in the mail.

For someone as lazy as I — and believe me, I'm lazy — this was like a dream come true!

Then came along...

The same idea as Netflix, likewise mails you DVDs, but ... they also give you in-store rentals when you bring back each DVD they send you. It's like getting twice as much for your money.

It's just good economics! I promptly signed up and have been a Blockbuster boy ever since.

Having sucked me in, though, has found it necessary to raise my monthly fee several times the past few years, but it's still a pretty good deal.

Of course, if you don't want hassle of a monthly fee, there's always Redbox, which is actually a pretty cool option.

Located at your local Stop & Shop, Redbox kiosks (they're actual red boxes!) allow you to rent DVDs for $1 a night. You selecte the movie you want, swipe your credit card and (again) voila ... your DVD pops out. Bring it back before 9 p.m. the nexy night, and it's just $1.

If only they could deliver Goobers and Dr. Pepper to your mailbox!

T for two ... or at least two Ts

As I was walking to the Poughkeepsie Journal just now, I couldn't help but take a gander at the marquee at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center.

From time to time, I like to take a peek and see what's coming to town — it's a good way to keep abreast on the acts heading to Po-town, providing fodder for both "Sean's Space" entries if not future work assignments.

Among the listing for such acts as B.B. King and "Sesame Street Live," I couldn't help but notice something about that Bret Michaels concert on Feb. 22nd, the one I wrote about here earlier this month. Something just didn't seem right...

Yup, they put two Ts in Bret's name!

As a Sean, I know what it's like to have your named spelled incorrectly, having received mail sent to "Shaun" or "Shawn" on numerous occasions, not to mention the occasional "Shane." And my last name? Don't even get me started!

Now, growing up listening to Poison and now being an avid watcher of both "Rock of Love" and "Rock of Love 2," I was sure he spells it with just one T. But, being the paranoid, I was afraid I'd written it incorrectly in my previous "Sean's Space" entry and updates on the Poughkeepsie Journal's Web site.

Speaking of Bret, I'm still hammering out the details with his people and the concert's promoter to get Bret on the phone before the show to interview him for a story plugging the gig. Just as I did with Clay Aiken and Taylor Hicks, I'll be looking for fans to submit questions for me to ask Bret on your behalf.

Stay tuned for details...

Monday, January 28, 2008

We went "Forward to the Past"

(I was going for the exact opposite of "Back to the Future." You'll soon see why...)

Being in my early 30s, I missed the whole Beatles craze. (Yoko had already broken up the guys by the time I was born.) Last Friday night, though, I got the next best thing.

For right before our eyes, at the Paramount Theatre in Middletown, my GF and I watched 1964: The Tribute bring the Fab Four alive!

Now in their 24th year and having been touted by Rolling Stone magazine as the best Beatles tribute band in the world, the guys from 1964: The Tribute sounded just like the young Beatles, belting out everything from "Love Me Do" to "Help!" to "She Loves You." It was just like traveling back to the '60s.

But, since they're not affiliated with The Beatles nor Apple Records, I figured I'd illustrate this entry with these bobbleheads that don't really look like the real guys.

From the moment we entered the theatre and they boys were on stage performing their soundcheck, they totally in character: British accents, calling each other "Paul" and "George," and stuff. They never broke character the entire night. It was pretty cool!

They had everything down pat: from the way John Lennon used to bend his knees while playing every note to the way Paul McCartney used to (and still does) bob his head when he sings. They even did that Beatles bow in unison after every song. And, from our seats in the very last row of the theatre, they looked just like Paul, John, George and Ringo.

And the best part? Unlike a real Beatles concert back in the day, there weren't young girls screaming their heads off, drowning out the music on stage! We actually got to appreciate the music.

In short, these guys really rocked and everyone had a good time. They've played Middletown before and said they'll likely return next year. If they do, be sure to check 'em out ... we'll probably be there again!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

They wrote the book on autographs

So I've unwittingly begun a new collection: signed books.

My most recent addition can be seen here at right, Donald Trump's "Think Like A Billionaire."

As has already been expounded upon, I've been a big fan of The Donald for years, dating back to middle school. So when I came across this hand-signed book on QVC's Web site, I had to pounce.

The first time I saw it, this beauty went for $18 and change, down from its original QVC price of $21.67 ... I got it for "Limited Quantity Price" of $12.12, plus shipping and handling. Score!

Seriously, how could I possibly pass this one up? I couldn't!

Now, over the years, I've built up a nice collection of athletes' autographs, with at least a few hundred of jocks' signatures, mostly of baseball players. From Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, to Michael Jordan and Cal Ripken Jr., I've made a concerted effort with that collection.

Literally, I have at least 100 signed baseballs, not to mention another couple hundred certified autographed baseball cards. But books? This one just happened by chance.

Sure, when QVC likewise hawked an autographed copy of Barry Williams' tale of "Growing Up Brady" back in 1999, I had to snatch that one up. (C'mon! It's my favorite live-action show of all time!)

Who else has Greg Brady's autograph?! Not many, right?

Then, over the years, I would interview athletes (like former NY Knick Walt "Clyde" Frazier" or former NY Yankee Jim Bouton or even Mick Foley of World Wrestling Entertainment fame, seen here at right) and I'd come away with a signature.

Don't get me wrong, I always buy the book ... no freebies here! Gotta maintain that journalistic integrity.

Then I'd attend a writers' convention and meet famous authors, all peddling their wears in the makeshirt bookstore.

Here, for example, is the copy of "The Perfect Storm" that Sebastian Junger signed for me after I plunked down my money. (He was a pretty cool guy, btw.)

And so on ... and so on ... and ...

So, yeah, now I have this growing collection of signed books. I've actually read all but a few of them, too. (Ya know, don't want to bend the pages or corners, thus diminishing the value!) Don't really know where I'm going with this ... just thought I'd share.

Just to throw in one last photo, here's the autograph from my copy of "The Rock Says..." signed by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. (Though I don' t know whether to file this one under "Athlete" or "Movie Star." I mean, pro wrestling isn't a genuine athletic competition. And did you see "The Game Plan?" Hmmm....)

For those of you interested in all types of books, be they signed or unsigned, check out the Poughkeesie Journal's "Get Lit" blog and check out what Alice and Jackie have to say. Tell them Sean sent ya!

It's THEIR town

You have to go out and rent this movie!

It's called "OT: Our Town" and there are several things that make it good viewing material.

First, it's based around my favorite book of all time, Thorton Wilder's "Our Town," which was written in the 1930s and is widely regarded as the most performed American play in history. I first watched that movie in high school, and I've been hooked ever since, either reading or watching it at least once a year.

Second is the story behind this 77-minute documentary: Students at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif. try to stage "Our Town," the first play at the school in 20 years. They adapt the play to fit both the current times and their inner-city surroundings, proving that everywhere is someone's Grover's Corners.

I rented it from and watched it the same night it arrived in my mailbox, and I was glued to the TV set the whole time. Overcoming both a lack of funds (they put on the play in a cafeteria) and a lack of interest (basketball, not drama, is seemingly the main concern at the school), these kids worked tirelessly for more than a month to put on the show.

Now I could tell ya how it ends, but that would ruin if for you when you rent it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The PRICE will be RIGHT here

This post is mostly for my mom, but here's the heads-up for everyone else: Poughkeepsie native Dave Price will make a triumphant return to the Queen City!

A 1983 graduate of Poughkeepsie High School, Price will be the guest speaker at the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union's annual meeting on April 9th. Here's a shot, snapped by Journal photographer Darryl Bautista, of Dave speaking at last April's Poughkeepsie Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

For the uninitiated, Dave Price moved on to become a weather man on WCBS TV's morning news program before being promoted to CBS's "The Early Show," where he's been seen from coast-to-coast. He also auditioned to fill Bob Barker's role as host of "The Price Is Right" when Bob left.

Here's a recent pic of "The Early Show's" cast ... that's Dave all the way to the left.

I actually met and interviewed Dave back in April of 2001, when he was still with WCBS. We were both at Yankee Stadium for Opening Day -- I was coverng my first-ever MLB game, he was doing the noontime weather from the ballpark. He was a very nice guy, and he has fond memories of Poughkeepsie and nice things to say about his hometown.

Believe it or not, my mom is a huge fan of Dave's, even meeting him a few years ago when the Hudson Valley Renegades gave away bobbleheads of him. Here's Dave in his bobblin' glory.

I actually just checked in with Mom (she and Dad are both planning on attending April's meeting ... say "Hi!" to them if you see them) and she likewise said Dave was very nice when she met him. When she told him she was my mom and that he and I had spoken at Yankee Stadium, he said he remembered. (I was like, Well, of course, Mom! What else is he going to say? but she was happy. And really, isn't that all that matters?!)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bret brings "Rock of Love" to town

The lead singer of '80s hair band Poison, Bret Michaels is coming to Poughkeepsie.

Bret, seen here on the cover of Poison's 1986 breakout release, "Look What the Cat Dragged In" (he's the one in the upper, left-hand corner), will play the Mid-Hudson Civic Center on Friday night, Feb. 22nd at 8 p.m.

I'm not gonna lie: My friends and I were totally into groups like Poison, Def Leppard, Van Halen, Europe and Whitesnake back in the day. (We're talking junior high here ,folks ... remember what you listened to when you were that age!) I even have Whitesnake listed as my favorite band in my eighth-grade yearbook!

And I'm probably sharing too much here, but I actually watched Bret's newest incarnation, his VH1 Celebreality show, "Rock of Love," though I've missed the start of the new season, "Rock of Love 2." Out some of the crappy celeb-based reality shows out there, his "Bachelor"-esque series isn't that bad.

(Luckily, 44-year-old Bret has toned down his image a little since this album cover was shot.)

Tickets are $36.50 and go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Like father, like daughter (and "American Idol" stuff, too)

OK, so I'm a few weeks late on this, but here goes...

I just read in "NFL Report" magazine that reigning "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks (seen here) is going to sing the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3 in Arizona.

She's a perfect fit for two reasons:

First, the "NFL Report" tells me, Jordin grew up in Phoenix and she currently lives in Glendale, Ariz.

Secondly, her dad is former cornerback Phillippi Sparks (seen here on an Upper Deck football card), a 10-year NFL veteran who starred at Arizona State before going pro.

As for this season of "AI," I did not watch last night's season premiere, nor do I plan on watching until the final 12 are announced. I just can't bear to watch all these painful auditions which only serve to embarrass those who really think they can sing but can't, or give a national audience to attention-seekers who yearn for someone to ackowledge them.

Hence, no "Idol" entries here til we get to Hollywood and the voting begins. Sorry! :(

The best of both worlds

No, I'm not talking about "The Best of Both Worlds," the theme song to the "Hannah Montana" television series.

Instead, I'm talking about the new "Family Guy: Blue Harvest" release on DVD!

Having dropped just yesterday, the DVD brings together two of my loves: "Star Wars" and "Family Guy."

For those who missed its initial run as this year's season premiere of "Family Guy" back in September, "Blue Harvest" re-tells the "Episode IV: A New Hope" story, with the Griffins & Co. playing all the key roles (Chris as Luke Skywalker, Peter as Han Solo, Lois as Princess Leia, Stewie as Darth Vader, etc.).

Now, the list price for the DVD of this 48-minute episode was $22.97, which seemed pretty steep. But for just a few bucks more, I grabbed the collector's edition package (seen here), which includes a T-shirt, an "Art of Family Guy Presents: Blue Harvest" book that's 20 pages and a dozen "Blue Harvest" trading cards that resemble the old-school "Star Wars" cards released in the '70s.

Really, it was just good economics!

And, having done a little digging, I found an Easter Egg on the DVD that teases a sequel to "Blue Harvest," called "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side" that we'll have to look for.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"La la, la la la la, la la la la la!"

Gotta give my GF the credit for finding this one:

The Smurfs, those cute little blue guys we used to all collect and watch on Saturday mornings on NBC, turn 50 years old this year. Fifty! That's five decades to you and me!

For the USA Today's story on the golden anniversary, go here!

When I heard they were turning 50, I had just one response ...

Holy Smurf!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

You can't escape The Donald

So, as I sat down to eat my Alpine Chicken Sammie at Quiznos just now, my faithful Dr. Pepper by my side, it found me:

The comb-over!!!

Yes, there, affixed to the table off which I was about to eat my Sunday brunch, was a big sticker featuring Donald Trump telling me to "Watch for Quiznos on the new season of 'The Celebrity Apprentice.' "

Not that I'm complaining; I've been a big fan of The Donald since I was a kid.

I swear, I was the only seventh-grader at St. Martin de Porres Elementary School who read "Trump: The Art of the Deal." Heck, I've even bought the Trump board game, as you can see here. I was also glued to the TV for the first couple seasons of "The Apprentice." Between the New York City locales and the unabashed capitalism and the backstrabbing, I couldn't get enough.

That being said, I've yet to see any of "The Celebrity Apprentice" so far this season. My GF, however, did tell me that this past week's episode was "shocking" (her word) following an incident between Gene Simmons and Ivanka Trump, Donald's daughter.

So ... what have I been missing???

Saturday, January 12, 2008

One final WWE thought

Just in case you can't get enough of the World Wrestling pandemonium, here's one last post regarding last Saturday's shows in Poughkeepsie.

Three years ago this month, my friend Danielle B., and I went to see the WWE at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. Being a veteran of past cards at the MHCC, I knew what to expect.

Danielle, though, went into the experience as a clean slate, a lump a clay ready to be molded by the WWE Superstars.

What did Danielle think?

You can read her take on her first (and to date, only) WWE live event by going here:

Stop by Danielle's site (as always, tell her Sean sent ya!), read her thoughts and tell us what ya think!

(BTW ... that's not Danielle over on the left. That's another shot of WWE Diva Ashley Massaro, fresh of her stint on "Survivor: China.")

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

How "frickin' sweet" is this?!

Thanks to the good folks at eBay and my winning bid, I am now the proud owner of this: an official Subway/"Family Guy" T-shirt, the very same one worn by sub store employees from coast to coast, adorned with patriarch Peter Griffin!

In case carrying around my memories of working at McDonald's in high school wasn't enough, now I can walk look like I'm a Subway sandwich artist, too!

It's ironic, since I've given up fast food as a new year's resolution I haven't eaten McDonald's since the end of 2004, btw! I am, though, still allowing myself to eat Subway and Quiznos, 'cause as we all know, those two aren't "fast food" ... that's good food served quickly!

For the record, 12 percent of Americans have worked at McDonald's at one time in their life. That's roughly one in 8 of us. C'mon ... raise your hand. Who else?

I'll tell ya why I like Hannah Montana...

...because she sings!

I don't mean she bounces around on stage with a mic in her hand or wrapped around her head and pretends to sing, while really lip-syncing to a CD. There's no Britney Spears action going on here, my friends. No, no...

Hannah (and when I say "Hannah," I mean Miley Cyrus)really sings. The words actually come out of her mouth. A novel concept, huh?

First I saw Miley/Hannah on "Oprah" back in autumn, and she was singin' her lil' heart out. Then, atop one of the buildings in Times Square, she belted out a few songs for "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" to ring out 2007 and ring in 2008. Both times, she actually sung!

Seeing how one of my new year's resolutions is to make my 2008 Britney-free, I'm now turning my musical allegiance to Miley, whose songs are so much more uplifting and positive. Not only that, I've spent like $200 to see Britney twice in concert, and I swear she only sang a total of 3 or 4 songs combined in those two shows.

Not to mention, the "Hannah Montana" show on the Disney Channel is just a fun little, 30-minute distraction from the real world.

Yes, this is the dichotomy that is Sean: I watch "Hannah Montana" on ABC Saturday mornings, and then watch "Meet the Press" on NBC Sunday mornings.

Welcome to my world!

(And no, I'm not going to Miley's concert in Albany tonight. I've got to draw the line somewhere!) (Yup, missing the Jonas Brothers, too.)

Ah, the memories!

Let me preface this by saying: I know it's scripted. I know the decisions are predetermined. I know it's not an actual sports competition.

That being said, Saturday's World Wrestling Entertainment matinee at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center brought back a lot of fond memories of my days as a young pro wrestling fan growing up in Poughkeepsie.

First, a little background...

So back in the day, when Sean was a cute third-grader in 1983, all the guys in my class learned of the wonders of professional wrestling. Back then, the World Wrestling Federation ran just one hour of pre-recorded television a week, Saturday mornings on Channel 9 out of New Jersey.

The WWF, we learned, taped four weeks' worth of shows at our very own Mid-Hudson Civic Center (it's close to the company's home base of Stamford, Conn.) once a month. Beginning in 1984, our parents took us almost religiously every month and we got hooked ... until high school ... when wrestling was so uncool!

Well, wrestling has come a long way since the '80s.

Sure, it's still one half athleticism, one half theater (I like to think of it as choreographed gymnastics with a morale: good over evil), but between the lighting and the hulked-up Superstars (that's what they call them) and their histrionics, World Wrestling Entertainment offers just that for its live events: good, fun entertainment.

On TV each week, in front of tens of thousands of fans, the Superstars are mostly playing to the cameras -- trying to pull in the millions of viewers across the country and advance storylines. In smaller arenas like our very own MHCC, though, the gang totally plays to the crowd, making each of those in attendance part of the show.

They try to make each of those in attendance feel their pain, making each grunt louder than the next, reaching even the cheap seats in the bleachers.

The antagonists (you might know them as "heels") get on the mic (they call that "cutting a promo") and complain about what a dump insert your city here is, and how undesirable residents of insert your city here are. But the good guys ("babyfaces" or "just "faces" for short) look for encouragement from the masses, even starting patriotic "U-S-A!" chants.

In short, if you pay for a WWE ticket, you're going to be part of the action.

Oh, and the girls! Seriously, guys, let me tell ya...

Back when we used to go to the WWF tapings back in the '80s, there was one woman around the ring: Miss Elizabeth, the valet (and real-life wife) of "Macho Man" Randy Savage. She was mostly eye candy, standing outside the ring and cheering on her (macho) man.

Today's WWE Divas (that's what they call them) are more active, mixing it up in the ring as much as the guys. Look! Now they even sing!

This is Jillian Hall (real name: Jillian Fletcher), who thinks she's ready for "American Idol," but who is a really bad singer, as her off-key lyrics and the script tell us.

And when they actually wrestle in the ring, the Divas are just as rough -- if not polished at their craft -- as the guys.

Jillian the songbird here sqaured off against Maria Kanellis following her beautiful solo and, while they missed several "spots" (that's wrestling-speak for "moves"), they gave their all in search of that elusive victory.

Don't believe me? Here's another shot of Maria following her match with Jillian. Does she look like someone who participated in a "fake" sport?

Of course, she's rumored to be appearing in Playboy later this year, so maybe she was just warming up. Perhaps she goes for a geek with an Austin 3:16 T-shirt, a Syracuse U. baseball cap and a camera! I'm just sayin'. But I digress...

Seriously, though, while not the little Hulkamaniac I used to be, I really enjoyed my Saturday afternoon among the WWE fans and Superstars, and I'm not embarrassed to say it.

It was a fun time, just like any other tour (be it Clay Aiken, Bo Bice or Taylor Hicks) that rumbles into town. Sure, the "competition" wasn't real, but you tell Triple H here that what he does is "fake." The passion -- that of both the performers and their fans -- and Superstars' athleticism are definitely for real.

If nothing else, now in my early 30s, I've come to appreciate what these guys do -- the traveling, the performing -- close to 300 days a year, from Portland to Poughkeepsie.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The "Idol" is now idle

Just read how Taylor Hicks, he who won Season Five of "American Idol," is now without a record label. No, he's "Gonna Move" on to a new record label for his next CD.

Here's an actual photograph of Taylor waving good-bye to J Records! (No ... it's really a pic I snapped when Taylor was here in town back in August.)

You can click here to read the USA Today's short story about Taylor and his current contract situation.

Really, it's not hard to believe because, though no fault of his own, Taylor doesn't really get a lot of mainstream airplay. I mean, before they announced last spring that he'd be coming to Poughkeepsie in August, I'd never heard any of his songs on local radio stations.

Even when local radio was plugging his concert, they didn't play any of his music. This, despite the loyal following he has -- devoted fans from whom I often when I was covering Taylor's appearance her in town.

Given that his earlier, pre-"Idol" CDs received acclaim from his first fans, it might actually be better if he goes "out on his own" for his next release.

If this pic on the left is any indication (let alone the fan support he enjoys across the country), it looks like Taylor Hicks will surely survive this current career transition.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Stay tuned for the main event...

Don't worry, WWE fans: More "Sean's Space" musings about Saturday afternoon's "Raw" brand matinee are on the way!

Just like this empty ring, "Sean's Space" will also soon be filled with World Wrestling Entertainment excitement.

With a few days off from work, I'll be back later in the week with more pictures and anecdotes from Saturday's 2 p.m. show, as well as some fans' thoughts on that night's evening card.

In the meantime, keeping with the pop culture mandate of "Sean's Space," here's a shot of WWE Diva Ashley Massaro, who you might remember as the second tribe member voted off the most recent season of "Survivor."

While she didn't wrestle Saturday here in Poughkeepsie, Ashley did make her second WWE appearance since returning from the CBS reality show. (She made her official return Friday night at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

WWE still puts on a great show!

About 24 years after attending my first live World Wrestling Federation event at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, I can honestly say the now-World Wrestling Entertainment still provides its fans with a fun day of sports entertainment.

And lest you think it's just hulked-up guys in skimpy clothes rolling around with each other, look! They have hot chicks in skimpy clothing rolling around with each other, too!

Believe it or not, Maria here actually won the match! (Well ... she "won," if you know what I mean.) You can imagine what the other one looked like.

For those of you keeping track at home, here are the results from today's 2 p.m. matinee so you can jot them down in your official all-time WWE record book...

William Regal def. D.H. Smith
Brian Kendrick & Super Crazy def. Charlie Haas & Nick Nemeth
WWE Divas match: Maria def. Jillian Hall, followed by Beth Phoenix beat-down of Maria
Special appearance by WWE Diva Ashley Massaro
Atlas Debone def. Santino Morella
Snitsky def. some jobber
Royal Rumble-qualifying match: Hardcore Holly def. Trevor Murdoch
Main event: Triple H & Jeff Hardy def. Randy Orton (World Champion) & Mr. Kennedy

So, that "competition" aside, it was nice to see the WWE Superstars really give the Civic Center crowd, which is much smaller than their usual crowds by comparison, them a lot of attention and time. The Superstars showed their gratitude by playing to the crowd in between moves making the crowd of 3,000 or so feel like part of the show -- something they can't always do in the bigger venues like Madison Square Garden.

Triple H (or is it HHH? I always get that confused!) and Jeff Hardy taking a victory lap around the ring following the main event, giving us each high-fives on their way back to the curtain.

In short, the WWE still knows how to entertain its fans and it was a great afternoon of live sports entertainment. If you're headed to the 7:30 p.m. show, drop me a line at and tell me how it went. If you've got results after the show, send them along, too.

I'll have more thoughts on the WWE experience later, so keep coming back to "Sean's Space." And for the latest in the world of pro wrestling, check out Phil Strum's "Under the Ring" blog and tell him Sean sent ya!

Hey, hey! The gang's all here!

Heading out to do a little Saturday morning grocery shopping, I walked outside my front door to see that World Wrestling Entertainment has made it to Poughkeepsie!

Uncle Vince & the boys parked their tractor trailer behind the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, probably the same big rig that brought the WWE to White Plains' Westchester County Center last night

And at 9:36 a.m., as I drove around the Civic Center toward the post office on Market Street, I spied a half-dozen frozen fans already waiting for the Superstars to come out and greet them.

Not to burst any bubbles, but if I were a WWE Superstar like Triple H or Umaga, having just worked my first show of 2008 in White Plains last night following a nice break, I'd have spent the night at a hotel down there and then just driven up the Taconic State Parkway today around noon, making the 45-minute trip and arriving in plenty of time for today's matinee, which begins at 2 p.m. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, hope to see you for today's 2 p.m. first bell!

And as always, for the latest in sports entertainment, check out Phil Strum's "Under the Ring" blog. Tell him Sean sent ya!