Wrestling News Media: Wrestling Legends Update, WWE, Australia, Movies and more, by Greg Tingle - 19th June 2011
Steve Austin Roddy Piper Chris Jericho Hulk Hogan Mick Foley Bruno Sammartino Vince McMahon Miz John Cena The Rock Mickey Rourke Jim Ross John Seru Wrestling Wrestling Legends WWE
In this writer's opinion, pro wrestling aka sports entertainment is hot again. Not quite yet at WWE Attitude levels, but getting close in some fashions.
Why? How about compelling storylines and character's in the WWE, the brand getting back some of their attitude (more hardcore and adult themes), developing talent, and let's face it - more of true legends on the broadcast like "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
The legends back on WWE television helps get the new talent over.
Then there's the elevation of R-Truth Alex Riley, former student of Miz, "Big" Andy Leavine aka "Silent Rage" (who yet had to show he truly brings it)... but the slap by McMahon and the stunner by Austin on Raw a few years ago sure helped get him over, but can Andy maintain the rage? Time will tell.
R-Truth, opponent of John Cena in less than 24 hours is on fire and over in a big way. Anti establishment all round bad ass is what helped get Austin over big time, going back to the King Of The Ring ceremony when he uttered the words Austin 3:16 said that I just whipped your ass. Some comparison can be drawn between R-Truth and The Gangstars in the old Extreme Championship Wrestling, and not just because they are the same colour. It's about the attitude, the out of control charisma, and ability to back in up in the ring. The world loves a rebel, and R-Truth delivers. He's attacking the corporate champion and ripping on WWE merchandise and the conspiracy towards him is hard not to love, if you're into more mature storylines. Randy Orton is on fire and CM Punk is one of the most entertaining superstars, in and out of the ring. Now all we need is for R-Truth to win the strap, and we will have a hell of a meaningful wrestling feud. It's R-Truth VS The World, and we're loving it.
The WWE powers that be do appear to be listening.
It's also compelling to hear that Mick Foley aka "Mankind", "Cactus Jack" and Dude Love", may be soon returning to the WWE, after a decent run in TNA. In addition, TNA's Hulk Hogan also frequently mentioning by name Steve Austin (Hogan wants a match), and Roddy Piper is apparently interested in doing a Piper's Pit with Hogan VS Austin and Hogan VS Ultimate Warrior.
FCW, the feeder promotion for the WWE continues to develop the next generation of wrestling superstars and TNA continues to keep up the good fight, with Hogan publicly getting behind Matt Morgan.
A number of wrestling insiders are saying that WWE needs to keep going with the more hardcore and mature storylines, and that they might also do well to further embrace some more UFC concepts.
Jim Ross, living legend of the wrestling announcer variety, continues to deliver great insight into the world of pro wrestling, mixed martial arts (and BBQ sauce).
Australian fans - don't forget the WWE comes back down to Australia for WWE Live, starting in Sydney on 1st July at Acer Arena.
Let's now take a look at some specific individuals and further probe some of the world's hottest pro wrestling news...
Ross on Steve Austin and Roddy Piper: "(Austin and Piper) were the two highlights for this old schooler on Monday's Raw. They both know how to fully command an audience and still have 'it.' Austin can be so intense that it bleeds through the TV screen. His Clint Eastwood-esque delivered line to CM Punk...."punk" was golden. @CMPunk and Austin have excellent on screen chemistry and back in the day they would have had a helluva run. Nothing but money."
Ross on R-Truth: "R-Truth' s professional career has never been more elevated. He fits the role that he's in well and it would not shock me to see, by hook or crook, R-Truth upset John Cena this Sunday on PPV to win the WWE Title. Long shot? Perhaps....but stranger things have occurred on a WWE PPV and no one can argue that a Truth title win wouldn't 're-shuffle the deck.'"
Ross on The Miz: "(The Miz) is so easy to dislike which is a marketable necessity for any villain. Guys that can talk as well as Miz, who I Tweeted reminded me of a male Kardashian, are essentially Teflon coated. Essentially no matter what occurs in the ring, more often than not, they are right back to where they need to be when provided the opportunity to speak."
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper
Rowdy Roddy Piper recently shared his thoughts on the Warrior vs. Hogan situation; here are the Twitter highlights: "Warrior made some comments I heard that Hogan may sue over. Sex and Wrestling, Warrior talking of Hogan. Hogan talking about Macho. This is not a time to be funny or reckless. I take it very serious! There's a honor a man has to carry with him. I have seen a lot. There's a line that I won't cross for any $ value. I have to catch a plane in 4 hrs. Going to Battle. I will try an address H/W over the weekend.1st. Warriors interviews. Warrior was not making interviews to be analyzed. They were made for the PG audience at the time. For kids! You have to look at the presentation Warrior did a good job presenting. Yes he could have layered it, parents and children could enjoy together. His merchandise. His way. Taking negative about another man's family? YOU CAN DIE FROM THAT!! Nothing to do with business...A thought. Take both Hogan and Warrior together or apart. Do a Shoot Piper's Pit!!! Then again fools rush in were wise men never tread!!"
A Roddy Piper vs. Terry Funk singles match is officially advertised for the 2011 Gathering of the Juggalos event, which takes place August 11-14 at Cave in Rock, Illinois. For more information, visit JuggaloGathering.com
(PETERBOROUGH) Chris Jericho has struggled with critics throughout his career, both in the wrestling ring and on stage. Jericho spent two decades climbing the ranks of sports entertainment, passing off the skeptics who labeled him not good enough, too small etc to become one of the most celebrated stars in World Wrestling Entertainment history, including being crowned the first-ever undisputed champion. Now the lead vocalist of Fozzy, playing venues like the Historic Red Dog, is defying the disbelievers who first slammed the heavy metal group as simply "the band with the wrestler." "There were a lot of people who stayed away from us, thinking it was just a novelty," says Jericho. "But I just didn't wake up one day and say, 'Let's start a band.' This was something I've been doing since I was 12. The passion is there, the belief is there and the knowledge is there. "I think people can sense that. That's why we are building momentum. Once people can realize it's real, they'll get behind you." Fozzy's recent Peterborough stop is a visit between two huge concerts in Toronto and Brantford before a major summer tour in Europe alongside metal stalwarts Metallica, Slayer, Slipknot, Anthrax and Motorhead. "You get a different vibe when you play a smaller club than in bigger places," says Jericho. "It's a little sweatier; more energy and a little more rock and roll. We love that." Fozzy Osbourne, a cover band formed in 1999 by Rich Ward of Stuck Mojo, evolved into Fozzy. Jericho joined in 2000, accompanied with characters such as Moongoose McQueen and a satirical storyline. They had signed a 20-year contract to stay in Japan only to discover many famous artists in the U.S. had ripped off their music. The group's high-energy sound led to a record deal and two albums of cover songs, Fozzy (2000) and Happenstance (2002), paying tribute to the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Motley Crue and Black Sabbath. The second album also included five original songs. "It was a fun side project and suddenly we got offered a record deal just to play covers. We were kind of confused with that but like any self-respecting musician, we took the money and did it," quips Jericho. In 2005, the comical shtick was dropped as was the cover song focus. All That Remains was an album of entirely new music, as was Chasing The Grail, which was released in 2010 to rave reviews and loads of radio time. "The gimmick can only last so long if the music isn't there," says Jericho, who composes the lyrics while Ward writes the music and plays lead guitar alongside guitarist Sean Delson, drummer Frank Fontsere and guitarist Billy Grey. "We're a very heavy band but with a lot of melodies." But from groove-driven metal compositions, such as Under Blackened Skies and Martyr No More to the epic 14-minute prog-metal tune Wormwood, Jericho finds inspiration from the unlikeliest of bands: The Beatles. "They are my favourite band of all time. There are a lot of harmonies and melodies in our vocals and much of that comes from listening to them." The Winnipeg-raised Jericho (his real name is Chris Irvine, the son of former NHLer Ted Irvine) admits he always chased two childhood dreams. "Wrestling just kind of took off first before the music did," he says. "But now that the music is starting to catch up, it's very gratifying and rewarding because we've been working hard on it." Jericho left the WWE in September after his contract expired. It's his second departure after a two-year hiatus in 2005 during which he said he was disheartened with wrestling. But he remains a busy entertainer. He has written two New York Times best-selling books chronicling his wrestling career and is working on a third book. And there's been numerous TV appearances include competing on ABC's Dancing With The Stars. But wrestling fans are clamouring to know when, or if, Y2J will ever step inside the ring again. "That's a big question and I really don't know. "When I left in September, I had no plans of coming back and had no plans of not coming back and I still feel the same way. I love them both but right now my main focus is on Fozzy because of all the great stuff we have going on. "I still like watching wrestling and I keep track of it very diligently and know exactly what's going on in all aspects of it. I'm still enjoying it as a fan." Fans of Jericho share his passion for music and wrestling. "We have fans from all aspects -- your Chris Jericho fans and your die-hard Fozzy fans. "And there will be the people who will come check out Chris Jericho 'the wrestler guy' and see what we're about. "I always like to say the only people that don't like our band are the ones who have never heard it." Something tells us that Jericho is way too good to stay away from the wrestling ring forever, and when the WWE needs him to spark new energy into the show, he will be there. Perhaps the most rounded sports entertainer ever - that's Chris Jericho.
John "Vulcan" Seru
One of the biggest superstars of the Australian pro wrestling scene of all time. Today Seru runs the Muscle Mania gym in South West Sydney. Seru recently told Media Man on Randy "Macho Man" Savage that he was one of the very best pro wrestlers ever and that the industry had lost a great one. Savage was the best 'Oh Yeah'!
WWE Films Wrestles With Gorgeous George - 27th April 2011
EXCLUSIVE: In an age where books routinely get tiny movie options and languish in development, one could do worse than make a deal with wrestling mogul Vince McMahon's WWE Studios. In a mid-6 figure outright buy, WWE acquired the 2008 John Capouya book Gorgeous George: The Outrageous Bad-Boy Wrestler Who Created American Popular Culture. Not only was the deal brokered by Justin Manask generous for the author, but WWE Films has committed to a 2011 start date for a film about a journeyman wrestler who remade himself into a preening, vamping villain and became a national TV star at a time when there was little on the boob tube but wrestling and Milton Berle. WWE Films set John Posey to write the script for a film that will be the last of nine features WWE will generate in less than two years. The fourth, Killing Karma, is shooting now.
While early WWE films were schlocky action showcases for its spandex stars, WWE Films head Mike Pavone said the company has morphed into a family film factor with better scripts that draw actors like Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Patricia Clarkson, Danny Glover and Parker Posey to work alongside ring fixtures like Triple H, The Big Show and John Cena. Each film costs around $7 million after rebates for location shoots in Louisiana and Pavone said they save about $1 million for each film by never really wrapping production. Crews get a couple weeks rest after each film completes its 20-25 day shoot, and then the next one gets going.
A Gorgeous George film was McMahon’s idea, an exception to his unwritten rule not to make pictures about wrestlers. Pavone said George’s flamboyant persona not only set the tone for future stars like Hulk Hogan and The Rock, but also helped Bob Dylan come out of his shell and influenced the likes of Muhammad Ali, James Brown, and Liberace.
“George Wagner was a good wrestler who couldn’t get over the top until he developed this character that people loved to hate,” Pavone said. “He had this effeminate, aristocratic persona that he and his wife Betty created from whole cloth, down to the robes and platinum blonde hairstyle his wife copied from Betty Grable. George realized that they don’t come to see the good guy win, they come to see the bad guy lose. He paraded as this effeminate man in the 40s and 50s in Texas and the South, with 12,000 people screaming and throwing things.” Wagner, who made his entrance to Pomp and Circumstance, rubbed elbows outside the ring with Hollywood stars, and made as much--$100,000 per year--as Joe DiMaggio. His fortunes flagged, though, and George stayed too long in the ring. His final payday: a humiliating match, pre-arranged for him to lose and have his signature blond locks shaved in the ring by his opponent, Dick the Destroyer.
Pavone said McMahon is committed to fully finance the Gorgeous George pic as well as the other eight WWE Films. It's a bold play, because McMahon won't know if the film program works until the pics start getting released in September. Samuel Goldwyn distributes the first few, and WWE Films will handle the marketing.
“We’ve been making these movies in a vacuum, confident that our model will prove itself,” Pavone said. (Credit: Deadline.com)
Hulk Hogan is still 'The Main Event', By Jon Robinson...
Every birthday from about 8 years on, I begged and pleaded with my parents for the same present: tickets to see the WWF live at the Cow Palace. My aunt was actually a regular at wrestling matches from the days of Gorgeous George and once almost got kicked out of the arena for throwing her high heels at some heel who was hitting her favorite fighter with a foreign object every time the referee turned his back. Funniest thing about this is my aunt was the most uptight, old-money, stuck-in-her-old-ways woman I knew. She was someone who might throw a fit if someone spilled soda or even sat on her all-white couch that for some reason was never sat on (why someone would feature furniture you couldn't sit on, I'll never know), but I could never imagine her throwing a shoe.
But that's what the wild and wacky world of professional wrestling is all about. It's more than just the soap opera for men it's so commonly referred to as. It's more like a rock concert of kung fu fighting acrobats complete with fireworks and the occasional dead man, masked man and/or midget. It's a place where good battles evil between the ropes while bringing the thousands in attendance along for the next chapter.
And that showmanship that helps drive the action is what the new video game, "Hulk Hogan's Main Event" is all about. Because wrestling is more than just men in tights rolling around and getting sweaty (not that there's anything wrong with that), Hogan is using the power of Kinect to bring gamers into the ring with him while teaching them the taunts, poses and posturing that made him a worldwide phenomenon.
I caught up with Hogan inside video game publisher Majesco's booth at E3 to talk wrestling, showmanship and his time inside the ring, from his days rocking a mask to his nights as "Hollywood." Here's what one of the most influential wrestlers in the history of the business had to say.
Jon Robinson: I'm about to play your game for the first time. What's your advice on how I can become the next Hulk Hogan?
Hulk Hogan: You're very lucky because instead of looking for a coach, you have now found the greatest coach of all time. I don't know too much, but I do know a lot about wrestling, and in "Hulk Hogan's Main Event" I'm your coach, brother. I teach you the moves, get you all excited, and then it's up to you to get the crowd booing or cheering and get them ramped up. The whole entertainment aspect gets you rolling right into the ring, and then you get to turn the moves up and either do some scientific wrestling or cheat like the bad guys. And what's cool is, you can't sit on the couch for this one. Since it's on Kinect, you actually have to get up, get moving and move your bum around.
Jon Robinson: You are one of the best showmen professional wrestling has ever seen. How did you learn to get the crowd so moved during your matches?
Hulk Hogan: I played music for about 10 years before I ever got into the wrestling business, so I was used to being on stage and being in front of people. I really wasn't a great singer, so we had a couple of guys who would sing, but in between songs, I would grab the mike and talk to the crowd, so I got over any shyness I had in the music business before I ever got into wrestling. Then when I got into wrestling, it was all about that scientific stuff and rolling around on the ground and putting each other in arm locks and leg locks, but the first time I ever looked out into the crowd -- I was wearing a mask back then, and they called me The Super Destroyer -- the reaction from the crowd was a lot louder than I got for the actual wrestling. So the reaction from the crowd made the wrestling easier for me, and I worked that in my whole career. Most of the time when I wrestled, the crowd wasn't just cheering, they were standing up and cheering or carrying on, and that's what's cool about this game, it really plays up that entertainment aspect. As soon as you enter the arena and walk down that ramp, it's up to you to get the crowd going, and that parlays right into the fact that now you're on your feet and doing the wrestling moves using Kinect. It really takes you from wanting to be a wrestler to putting you right on the spot and in the spot.
Jon Robinson: So, how did you go from some strange dude in a mask to arguably the most popular wrestler of all time?
Hulk Hogan: That transmutation or transformation took quite a while. I started wrestling 35 years ago, and I had a pretty intense attitude back then when I was young and injury free. The wrestling promoters back then had me start under a mask because they were hoping that one day I might turn into something. When you start out in the wrestling business, you make a lot of mistakes, tripping over your own feet and looking like a fool. The Super Destroyer mask was really to protect me because I was so big and back then I was one of the few guys who actually looked like I trained. A lot of the guys I was wrestling had big arms, but they also had big stomachs. So under the mask, I could learn my way while everyone beat me. Then this whole transformation started happening, but becoming Hulk Hogan took quite a few years. I quit wrestling a few times, then I was Terry Boulder, then the promoter starter calling me Sterling Golden, then I was Terry "The Hulk" Boulder, then I was Terry Hogan, then I became Hulk Hogan. It actually took me eight or nine years before I was able to put it all together. That's why it's so hard for these young wrestlers who all think they should be in the main event. There's a lot more to it than just having a scientific match. You have to put the whole thing together.
Jon Robinson: What do you think of your persona living on in all of these video games like "Main Event" and "WWE All-Stars"?
Hulk Hogan: It's crazy. WWE owns my intellectual properties and all of my old footage, so Vince McMahon is repackaging all of that old stuff. It's a great compliment, though, because at the end of the day, I'm so grateful to anybody who contributed or helped me become who I am today. A large part of my career and a large part of my life, I'm very grateful to Vince McMahon Sr., Vince's father. I'm also very grateful to Vince McMahon because he and I were best friends and business partners. I was an employee, and we went down a lot of twisty roads together. Even right now, if I was to call him and tell him, "Hey, Vince, I need help," I guarantee Vince would be there for me. So I am very grateful for the fact that I have "Hulk Hogan's Main Event" coming out and that I'm on the cover of "WWE All-Stars." It's kind of like Hulk Hogan has found his niche, not only in Americana but in the video game world. It didn't have to be this way. The fans could've totally forgotten about me, but the fact that the fans have been so loyal, I'm still in the game. Right now, I'm with Impact Wrestling, formerly TNA, and, after two years of back surgeries, I'm working there creatively and helping out, but you never know, I might just slide back into the ring someday. It's not like I could take any crazy bumps, but then again, I never did. [laughs] I have to be really careful with my back.
Jon Robinson: When you think back to your favorite matches, do you have one moment that stands out as your personal favorite?
Hulk Hogan: I'm torn between my match with Andre the Giant and my match with The Rock. Andre was huge, and it was a defining moment for me because Andre passed the torch when I body slammed him. That was a huge deal, and I'm not trying to downplay it, but then later on in my career, when I finally returned to WWE after all those years of working for Ted Turner, Vince told me, "Hey, if you're coming back, then you better bring it." So when I went back, I was the ultimate bad guy, and when they put me in the match against The Rock, the fans were supposed to boo me out of the building. But it was a defining moment because the fans cheered me so loud and they booed The Rock. The fans were letting everyone know that they loved Hulk Hogan so much, that they were so loyal to Hulk Hogan, that nobody was going to tell them who to boo and who to cheer. It was like the fans slapped me in the face and told me, "Don't you know who you are? You're Hulk Hogan!" It was a huge moment in my career.
Jon Robinson: After so many years of drinking your milk and eating your vitamins, was it fun flipping it on everyone and doing the "Hollywood" character?
Hulk Hogan: I talked to Ted Turner about it before we did it, and I told him, "We're either going to ruin this business, or we're going to capture lightning in a bottle and it's going to be the greatest thing that ever happened." When I turned into a bad guy, the ratings shot up, the numbers went through the roof, and for two and a half years, we were able to beat WWE in the ratings.
Jon Robinson: One of the guys you fought with and against for years in both WCW and WWE was Randy Savage. What are some of the memories you have of him?
Hulk Hogan: Randy and I were stuck together like glue for about 15 years. We did everything together -- we traveled together, we worked out every day together -- and then we went on to have some great matches. I know this sounds horrible, but we made a lot of money together, and then we had this huge falling out that to this day, I still don't know why he got mad. He went through a lot with his divorce from Elizabeth and stuff, but we just started talking again a few months before he died. I don't do many independent wrestling shows, but I finally did one and [Randy's brother] Lanny was there, and he was telling me how tough it was after their dad passed away, but his dad was really happy that Randy and I had started talking again. But then Lanny was really worried about his mom, so they were going to throw a big barbecue at his mom's house with Randy and I, and that was supposed to be the next weekend, but Randy died in the middle of the week. Out of all the guys who have died, that one hit me the hardest. I've known a lot of guys, I've walked into hotel rooms where there have been bad situations, but that one was a tough one.
Jon Robinson: You talked about your back problems earlier, but I was just curious if there's somebody out there you'd like to have that one last match with?
Hulk Hogan: Well, if there is that one last huge match that really, really meant something to the fans, that would have to be against "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. I can see him already making appearances back on TV, and he's already starting to get full of himself. I heard him say for a while that his back and his neck were too messed up to wrestle, but from what I've been seeing lately, I think he's getting geared up to do something, and I'd like to be a part of it.
Jon Robinson: How about in Impact Wrestling? Do you see a guy in Impact who might have the ability to carry that brand to another level?
Hulk Hogan: I've really tried to be optimistic when looking at the talent that is there, and I've already tried to give the football to a couple of guys who are there, and they are just so off into that: "TNA Wrestling, this is TNA Wrestling, I have a five-star match every week." But that's not the big picture. I think the one guy I really need to focus on is Matt Morgan. There are a couple of things that need to be fixed, and one of the main things is his interviews. When Scott Steiner looks at you and calls you a punk and says you look like a tiny turd in a toilet bowl, you need to come back and say something about how you can look over the top of Steiner's head. Instead, he's out there talking about how he respects Steiner as an athlete. His whole rap needs to change. I think if we sit down and really dial Matt Morgan in, he can be somebody who can really turn things around and lead Impact Wrestling to the promised land. (Credit: ESPN)
Bob Marella (aka Gorilla Monsoon) To Be Inducted Into Wrestling Hall of Fame...
Waterloo, Iowa – Bob Marella, a 1959 Ithaca graduate who rose to fame in professional wrestling as Gorilla Monsoon, will be inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. Marella will enter the hall of fame, which is located at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, July 23.
Marella, a member of Ithaca's Hall of Fame, was the wrestling program's first all-American, placing second at the 1959 NCAA Championships. Wrestling in the heavyweight class (which was then called the unlimited weight class), Marella upset the second and third seeds (from Northern Colorado and Iowa State, respectively), before dopping a 2-0 overtime decision to a wrestler from Oklahoma State in the title bout. Marella, who was nicknamed "Tiny" during his collegiate career, also starred in track & field as a Bomber.
Induction into the professional wrestling hall of fame includes a substantial impact on professional wrestling, general respect within the profession, and a strong amateur background.
“Bob helped raise money for the first mat that I bought at Ithaca,” said John Murray, Ithaca's head wrestling coach from 1980 to 1995. “He was probably the alumnus who had the greatest impact on our program through money he raised and the awareness he brought to the program.”
Monsoon had a distinguished professional wrestling career that included many titles, including the WWWF (now WWE) United States Tag Team title. He was also known for his successful career as a commentator for the WWE. Monsoon died on Oct. 6, 1999.
The Rock And John Cena
Wrestling News Media: The Rock VS John Cena At WWE WrestleMania, by Greg Tingle
The Rock's return to pro wrestling er... sports entertainment, or whatever it is now, has little to do with wrestling as such.
The booking The Rock vs. John Cena at WrestleMania 28 twelve months in advance has strong merit, but will both competitors be as hot then, as they are now... probably.
This is one of the smartest moves ever by WWE head honcho Vince McMahon, as it plugs right back into mainstream entertainment, with a hot main event which has star power and money written all over it, plus news media is going to have it as a media darling to boot. I don't see Rock or Cena "stuffing up" with real life situations that would stop the match, and hopefully both will remain injury free.
What's were doing here is getting Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the living legend himself, and putting him in the squared circles with one of the most popular pre-teen megastars ever. This is the pop culture main event of the decade, if not century!
Wrestling fans will go for this big, and spend, plus it should be a decent match to keep the loyal fan base happy too. Most mainstream news media companies should cover it also, and the buzz and coverage leading up is already there, so just imagine. Bigger than the MTV Hulk Hogan VS "Rowdy" Roddy Piper 'War To Settle The Score', Andre The Giant at WrestleMania III, and perhaps even up there with the very first WrestleMania back in 1985 which came from sports and entertainment mecca in New York - Madison Square Garden.
The Rock VS John Cena at WrestleMania is tipped to break all sorts of records and have mega success written all over it. As The Rock would say, Just Bring It!
Stay tuned to Media Man, Wrestling News Media and our friends at Google News as the saga continues.
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