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By Arda Ocal | September 11, 2012
Last night I was at the Bell Centre in Montreal when Jerry Lawler suffered a heart attack. It was both uncomfortable and concerning. After Lawler had already competed in a tag-team contest on Raw, he was performing his usual commentary duties with Michael Cole. During a tag-team match between the Prime Time Players and Daniel Bryan/Kane, I looked over to the broadcast table and saw Jerry Lawler hunched over, beginning to shake. It looked like he was choking. Then, suddenly, he collapsed from his chair.
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By Arda Ocal | September 10, 2013
I have a confession to make. I know this is The Baltimore Sun, but I actually live in Toronto. Yes, I know I'm letting several of you down by saying this. Kevin Eck, who currently works for WWE and started this column, lived in Baltimore. I do not. Luckily, with the advent of television and the Internet, I'm able to be at the helm of this blog. The reason I bring this up is because Raw was in Toronto on Monday, and I was there. Jerry Lawler doesn't call Toronto "Bizarro World" for no reason -- the crowd is always expected to be lively, bordering on self-indulgent, much like a "Raw after WrestleMania" crowd.
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By Adam Testa and The Baltimore Sun | September 24, 2012
Two weeks ago, Jerry "The King" Lawler suffered a heart attack on live television. In the time since, websites have reported and speculated on Lawler's condition and the events surrounding the incident, which played out on live television. On tonight's episode of Raw, fans had the chance to hear from The King himself, who shared some shocking details about his condition immediately after awakening at the hospital. Lawler did not even remember being part of a tag team match on that episode, let alone the events that followed.
SPORTS
By Arda Ocal | August 27, 2013
A new comic book based on pro wrestling is seeking funding via Kickstarter . The project, entitled "Headlocked: The Last Territory," will be about a man (Mike Hartmann) trying to achieve his dream of becoming a pro wrestler. I recently caught up with one of the comic's creators, Michael Kingston, to talk about the project. Tell me about "Headlocked" In one sentence, it's a wrestling cable drama in a comic book. Headlocked is the story of Mike Hartmann, a college theater major that unexpectedly falls in love with professional wrestling, and his journey through the underbelly of the wrestling business as he tries to get to the bright lights and the big stage of the WFW. It's one part coming-of-age-story and one part examination of the craft of wrestling through the eyes of a performance artist.
SPORTS
By Arda Ocal | September 10, 2013
I have a confession to make. I know this is The Baltimore Sun, but I actually live in Toronto. Yes, I know I'm letting several of you down by saying this. Kevin Eck, who currently works for WWE and started this column, lived in Baltimore. I do not. Luckily, with the advent of television and the Internet, I'm able to be at the helm of this blog. The reason I bring this up is because Raw was in Toronto on Monday, and I was there. Jerry Lawler doesn't call Toronto "Bizarro World" for no reason -- the crowd is always expected to be lively, bordering on self-indulgent, much like a "Raw after WrestleMania" crowd.
SPORTS
By Arda Ocal | November 15, 2012
During a phone interview with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin today promoting WWE '13 and Redneck Island on CMT, I asked “The Rattlesnake” for his thoughts on the controversial moment on Monday night's Raw involving Paul Heyman faking a heart attack (in case you missed it, detailed info can be found in my Raw recap here ). Austin, the most popular superstar from WWE's Attitude Era -- an Era that prided itself on  pushing the envelope and creating controversial situations that would have fans talking -- had an interesting response: "I believe in pushing the envelope in an aggressive fashion.
SPORTS
By Arda Ocal | August 27, 2013
A new comic book based on pro wrestling is seeking funding via Kickstarter . The project, entitled "Headlocked: The Last Territory," will be about a man (Mike Hartmann) trying to achieve his dream of becoming a pro wrestler. I recently caught up with one of the comic's creators, Michael Kingston, to talk about the project. Tell me about "Headlocked" In one sentence, it's a wrestling cable drama in a comic book. Headlocked is the story of Mike Hartmann, a college theater major that unexpectedly falls in love with professional wrestling, and his journey through the underbelly of the wrestling business as he tries to get to the bright lights and the big stage of the WFW. It's one part coming-of-age-story and one part examination of the craft of wrestling through the eyes of a performance artist.
NEWS
May 25, 2011
Israel is on a slippery slope to its own destruction. The tragedy is that it doesn't realize it. The sides have been talking for decades, and more talking with no results will just further inflame the region, alienate Israel's best allies and generate further intifadas that will sap Israel's vitality. Eventually it will find itself alone and vulnerable. President Obama is a friend who this last week proposed a plan of action that, in the end, will secure Israel. There is no reason why a land swap around the 1967 borders could not produce two sovereign nations whose borders are monitored by international peacekeepers.
NEWS
September 11, 2013
The debate on Syria is much too limited ("Syrian rebels ready to strike if U.S. does," Sept. 6). It should not be about military effectiveness, national interest, or building coalitions. The more relevant question is why, after 6,000 years of civilization with extraordinary advances in technology, human rights, education, health and quality of life, when another nation acts badly the best we can come up with is to drop explosives on him? Really? We are back to the Stone Age and only the sophistication of the weapons has changed.
NEWS
May 2, 2014
There is a surreal feeling that comes from reading the media commentary of the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma ("Fresh execution questions," May 1). It is sort of like listening to a discussion about rape in which it is assumed that rape is OK as long as one does it politely. It has always been a mystery how the Supreme Court was able to deem state sanctioned murder neither cruel nor unusual so long as it is done humanely. Thank goodness our state had the wisdom to emerge from the dark ages and ban capital punishment in favor of life without parole.
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By Arda Ocal | November 15, 2012
During a phone interview with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin today promoting WWE '13 and Redneck Island on CMT, I asked “The Rattlesnake” for his thoughts on the controversial moment on Monday night's Raw involving Paul Heyman faking a heart attack (in case you missed it, detailed info can be found in my Raw recap here ). Austin, the most popular superstar from WWE's Attitude Era -- an Era that prided itself on  pushing the envelope and creating controversial situations that would have fans talking -- had an interesting response: "I believe in pushing the envelope in an aggressive fashion.
SPORTS
By Adam Testa and The Baltimore Sun | September 24, 2012
Two weeks ago, Jerry "The King" Lawler suffered a heart attack on live television. In the time since, websites have reported and speculated on Lawler's condition and the events surrounding the incident, which played out on live television. On tonight's episode of Raw, fans had the chance to hear from The King himself, who shared some shocking details about his condition immediately after awakening at the hospital. Lawler did not even remember being part of a tag team match on that episode, let alone the events that followed.
SPORTS
By Arda Ocal | September 11, 2012
Last night I was at the Bell Centre in Montreal when Jerry Lawler suffered a heart attack. It was both uncomfortable and concerning. After Lawler had already competed in a tag-team contest on Raw, he was performing his usual commentary duties with Michael Cole. During a tag-team match between the Prime Time Players and Daniel Bryan/Kane, I looked over to the broadcast table and saw Jerry Lawler hunched over, beginning to shake. It looked like he was choking. Then, suddenly, he collapsed from his chair.
NEWS
March 14, 2012
As a psychologist who has spent more than a year in the Middle East, I have been following with great interest the commentary following the massacre in Afghanistan by the U.S. soldier last Saturday ("Killings of 16 appall Afghans," March 12). Almost all of the opinions expressed by leaders, pundits and talk show listeners betray a fundamental cultural myopia. They seek to find the pathology in the individual and not in the wider society. We think that the soldier must suffer combat fatigue from multiple deployments or suffer from post traumatic stress disorder or another mental illness and rush to declare the incident an isolated one of a rogue soldier.
NEWS
September 12, 2011
As one of the more than 1,200 people arrested outside the White House during the recent tar sands action protesting plans to build a crude oil pipeline from Canada through the American heartland, I'm always amused by the Republican claim that climate change is just a theory, or worse, a hoax. Unless we all get PhDs in climate science, we have to accept the opinion of experts in the field who overwhelmingly endorse global climate change as both a reality and as something influenced by human activity.
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