Wednesday, February 08, 2012

WWE Brings Battleground to Evansville

By Jacob Bennett
Posted January 26, 2012 at 3 a.m.
Before Dolph Ziggler wrestles in a WWE Supershow on Saturday in Evansville — and before he gets his title shot at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view Sunday — we'll let him talk a little smack (OK, a lot of smack).
Then we'll tell you how he earned this opportunity.
"I think I'm in the best shape of my life, I think I look like a million bucks, I think if anyone were to represent this company as WWE champion, I don't think I can think of a better person who has been carved and cut out of stone to actually fit this bill," said Ziggler, who is listed at 6-feet tall and 213 pounds.
"I feel I'm the best wrestler right now in the WWE. I'm planning on beating CM Punk this Sunday, taking the WWE championship. And you know what? I'm going to make him give me his shirt that says 'Best in the World' afterwards, too."
Look past the boasts and you'll see a talented wrestler who works hard because he knows it all can be taken away. He wants to stick around and be the greatest WWE champion ever. First, however, he has to be a WWE champion.
He'll wrestle the hulking Sheamus in Evansville on Saturday for the Supershow, a special event scheduled to include John Cena versus Kane, and a special appearance by Chris Jericho. Those guys have been among wrestling's biggest names for years — Ziggler is making his bid to join them.
Ziggler — born Nick Nemeth — chose his career after catching a pro wrestling show at age 5. He was a star wrestler in high school in Lakewood, Ohio, and at Kent State University.
After making his WWE debut in 2005, he twice was sent back to the developmental league level while hoping the WWE would call again. After the second time, in 2006, he knew third chances were rare.
"I decided I'm going to go back to developmental school and I'm going to practice twice a day, twice as hard," he recalled.
"'If I get a chance, I'm going to show them I never should have been taken off the roster, and not only that, I should be the champion."
He returned to the WWE in 2008 and adopted the Dolph Ziggler name.
He has since earned Intercontinental and United States championships, important stepping stones to this WWE title shot.
"It's been a slow, gradual build that they've started to realize I'm one of their go-to guys," he said. "I'm going to continue to build on that and be their absolute go-to guy. I want this championship, and I want to hang on to it for a very long time."
He doesn't sound as confident about his scheduled matchup with Sheamus, the 6-foot-4, 267-pound "Celtic Warrior."
"That guy's crazy, man," Ziggler said. "It'll be a tuneup, or he'll soften me up. We've had a couple of matches before and he's come out on top, so I wouldn't mind getting back at him to get some confidence before the Rumble."
(Here's the link to the story on the Courier site but it looks like the page is down)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Zombie Guitarist Adds a Little Country to Heavy Rock

(Just found this online--kinda dug it)

Courier & Press staff writer 464-7434 or
Posted July 13, 2006 at midnight

It sounds funny coming from a guy who has played guitar with Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson and David Lee Roth, but John 5 says he didn't want to be a rock star.

He wanted to be a session musician, the guy who plays guitar in the studio for solo artists. He has backed up people such as k.d. Lang, Meatloaf, Salt-N-Pepa and Paul Stanley, but he became a full-fledged member of Manson's band in 1998.

His workmanlike ambitions could be why he enjoys recording with Zombie more than with Manson - Manson sometimes went into the studio at 2 a.m.; Zombie records from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"I've never been happier than I have with Rob," said John 5, who is from Michigan and whose real name is John Lowery. "It seems like a family. Everybody sits around and jokes. We totally respect Rob. It's chemistry. We have a great time."

They're bringing that chemistry to Roberts Stadium on Tuesday. Expect to see Zombie's patented B-movie horror rock, right after an opening set from the reunited original lineup of rap-rock/thrash pioneers Anthrax, who are playing together for the first time since 1992.

Zombie's solo hits include "Dragula" and "Living Dead Girl." He became famous with White Zombie and songs such as "More Human Than Human" and "Thunderkiss '65."

"It's going to be one of those shows; you'll hear a bunch of songs you'll know," John 5 said.

John 5 - so named because he was the fifth member added to Manson's band - has done a pair of solo instrumental albums.

The longtime country music fan said he tried to incorporate hybrid picking, scales and fingering not normally found in rock music.

"I think that's why people got into them a little bit," he said. "With heavy rock instrumental albums, to a person who doesn't play guitar, it starts to sound the same. (The country influence) was something different. It was a surprise."

John 5 turned down a record deal with another band to join Zombie's outfit. His band Loser was signed with Island/Def Jam Records and even recorded an album, which is now in limbo.

But he was a Zombie fan, and they clicked when they played together onstage at Ozz-fest 2005.

John 5 played on eight of 10 tracks on Zombie's "Educated Horses" album.

"I know I made the right choice," he said.

"I don't think I'll ever get tired of playing these songs."