For those who don't know, Mike Lano is a legendary figure in the business, for all the wrong reasons.
Lano's legitimate credits include taking photographs at CAC which were used in Molinaro's Top 100 book.
Lano's more dubious credits include booking Cornette into Japan without Corny's knowledge or consent, embarrassing the Stevens estate by hawking poor quality "Tribute" videos under Ray's widow's name, and fabricating an interview with Jenna Jameson which cost him his folder in the AOL Grandstand.
"Fanboy Oddity" Mike Lano is also a fixture in Bruce Mitchell's year end quiz in the Pro Wrestling Torch.
Lano is getting up in years and he's been complaining about M.S. for years (no one actually believes him), so it's time to start thinking about a replacement.
Who is the strangest, more dishonest, most shamelessly self-promoting fanboy on the fringes of the business?
Here are some of my personal contenders:
1) Shannon Rose - Shannon talks about how he got started in the business back in the eighties when he got to meet Hulk Hogan courtesy of the "Make a Wish" Foundation for terminally ill children. Following that humble, Bobby Bradyesque beginning, Shannon branched out into anything remotely close to the business, from Dory Dojo to news websites to his own fanboy radio show, recently cancelled.
Shannon has the desire and the dishonesty, but he may not be smart enough to be the next Mike Lano. We'll have to see how he recovers from the loss of his radio show.
2) Zach Arnold - Zach's beginnings are a mystery to me and I hope it stays that way. Something to do with Victor Quinones, so DON'T EVEN GO THERE! Zach is one of the few people who can claim to have worked for both Dave Meltzer and Dave Scherer. In fact he would have worked for Wade Keller, too, but Wade wouldn't even respond to his e-mails. Zach's current fixation is left wing politicians, but he still finds time to discuss the Yakuza (Japanese mafia) and Inoki's factories in Brazil.
Zach has the desire in spades, but his dishonesty is accidental rather than purposeful and he lacks Lano's sauve, veteran porno star charm.
3) Blake Norton - Blake seems like a nice guy, albeit a bit of a dork and a huge mark for the business. He really doesn't appear to have the outright contempt for humanity of a Mike Lano, but then maybe that's just a more subtle work on his part. Rather than copy Lano's seedy style of working everyone to try to climb the latter, Blake portrays himself as more of a victim of circumstance, the accidental fanboy.
Blake doesn't seem malevolent and uncaring like Lano, but he is amassing the same strange sort of "renaissance fanboy" resume which makes me wonder if deep forces aren't driving his agenda. I guess we'll know for sure if he starts trying to bed valets and other women at CAC conventions.
So who do you think will be the next Mike Lano?
"I dropped some cream in Miss Mocha's cup." - Mike Lano
You seem to be dead-on about Shannon Rose. One of the wrestling radio shows I used to work for (work as in do recaps for free) had Shannon on a lot. Rose was insane, spouting opinions so off-center that tons of listeners got pissed at him (myself included). The hosts would rag on him constantly after he would get off the phone, but Shannon did take it in stride (perhaps because he was too dumb to realize that everybody hated him).
So yeah, I would vote for Shannon, even though he does seem to lie out of ignorance rather than malevolence.
: embarrassing the Stevens estate by hawking poor : quality "Tribute" videos under Ray's widow's name,
Apparently the poor quality "tribute" video was of Buddy Rogers. Lano embarrassed himself at Stevens' funeral by eulogizing Stevens' with what observers regarded to be worked tales of his times with Stevens.
I've loved Grut for years, but since fall it's been clear he just doesn't have the time and/or effort to put into his column anymore. I hope that his 'retirement' will result in him coming back refreshed and ready to fire Lance Storm.