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"And on that day, that sunny day that you left me,
I wrapped up Japan, put Ishikawa behind me."

- "Chopper" by Randy Puma, from the album The Good Old Ishikawa Days.


Born on July 24, 1961 in Argentina to an American mother and Polish father, Randall Pumanszckowicz showed promise on school sports teams at an early age. He was always athletic, and became known for his temper tantrums when faced with defeat, a trait that followed him into his professional wrestling career. Pumanszckowicz was raised in a small village of multicultural ex-pats, 200 miles south of Mendoza, and as such never properly learned Spanish. He (like many children in the area) had trouble separating Argentina's native language from the more dominant tongues of their homes, and attended a specialized school at the age of 16 to correct this. Unfortunately, he was never fully able to grasp the concept of bilingualism, even after his three-and-a-half year stay.

It was at this school, the 384-student Mendoza Casas del Rey Institute of Bilingual Studies, that Randall found his calling in wrestling. The other students were only interested in soccer, and although Randall was adept at the more popular sport, he disliked it. The school wrestling club only had two members: Pumanszckowicz, and Alphonso Tillagstein. It was from Tillagstein that Randall learned the trade, and they became very good friends in later years.

In 1982, Randall Pumanszckowicz and Alphonso Tillagstein, both 21 years old, emigrated to New York City, where they found menial jobs at low pay. According to his memoir, Pumanszckowicz waited tables while Tillagstein (who simplified his name to Alfie Till at this point), worked in a small-time theatre doing odd jobs. Pumanszckowicz followed Till's example and became Randy Puma. Randy has stated that he was unaware of what a puma was at the time, but was not disappointed when he discovered the definition many years later.

The two young men were different in many respects, but wrestling was their shared passion, and their neighbours often complained about their late-night practice sessions, which were frequent and loud. Puma and Till began working the amateur New York circuit, thrilling audiences with tandem acrobatic performances and in-depth personas. Puma, ashamed of his childhood in a third-world country, fabricated an entirely new life story. He claimed to be from Oklahoma instead, and many times told associates he had played outside linebacker for the Oklahoma City Bombers of the USFL before coming to New York to wrestle.

An ankle injury began to plague Alfie Till in early 1983, leaving Randy Puma to fend for himself. He would refuse to take another partner, and indeed it seemed as if Till had been holding him back. They remained friends, but Puma's career took off on the day Till dropped out of wrestling. The next year, Randy Puma attempted the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Though relatively inexperienced in the pro ring, he had a 7-match streak of wins before losing to Ricky Steamboat in Yokosuka, Japan. Ricky Steamboat would win the title five years later.

The loss, rumoured to be Puma's very first since coming to America, hit the wrestler hard, and he remained in Japan making advertising appearances for Glico Cratz candy. He quit wrestling and went through a period of self-discovery, studying Zen Buddhism and bonsai cultivation, and later, Electrical Engineering. Alfie Till had become a well-known Broadway actor by this time, and after finishing up a worldwide tour in 1990, he joined his old friend in Ishikawa prefecture. Randy Puma was attending the Kanazawa Institute of Technology at the time, and would soon become engaged to Reiko Noto, cousin to seiyuu Mamiko Noto.

The close relationship enjoyed by the two Argentinian men quickly made Noto jealous, and came to a tragic end on March 31, 1992. Till and Puma had planned to take a scenic helicopter ride, and had just taken off when the helicopter controls malfunctioned. They were only twelve feet above the ground, but the impact of the vehicle falling from that height shattered the supports of the landing pad, and the helicopter and platform both fell from the building roof it had been built upon. Randy Puma emerged almost entirely unscathed, being the only occupant using his seatbelt. The pilot and Till were killed instantly.

The next day Reiko Noto confessed to tampering with the controls to sabotage the outing. She stated it was never her intention to hurt anyone, and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. She and Puma were never wed.

It was sometime during this year, at a fateful karaoke party hosted by his schoolmate Sammo Hung, that Puma discovered lounge singing. Instead of completing his degree, Puma turned once again to the entertainment industry, this time flexing his impressive vocal cords rather than his equally impressive biceps. In many interviews, he explained that he found singing to be therapeutic in his grief over the death of his longtime friend, and that it was done mostly for himself.

His musical growth continued in Japan over the course of the nineties, earning him the affectionate nickname "Mountain Lion Mic Man". In 2001 he returned to Argentina for two months in an attempt to reconnect with his heritage. He then retraced those twenty-year-old steps to New York, finding himself a newcomer once again. This time there were no big dreams of stardom. Perhaps they were sobered by the absence of his friend. Randy Puma has mostly kept to playing small clubs, though he has released a plethora of original material. His songwriting partner is none other than Sammo Hung, the talented young Chinese exchange student at Kanazawa Institute that got Puma singing in the first place. A chance reunion in 1999 brought the two together again, and they formed an unbeatable team that very day.

If you are ever in the New York area and want to check out Randy Puma, you may be out of luck. His shows are always announced three nights before, never earlier, and the small bars he plays in fill up fast. He has a devoted fanbase that competes for the seats every weekend. They call themselves the "Big Cat's Kittens."


Partial discography:


Fun Fact: Randy Puma's large collection of aviator sunglasses once belonged to journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Friends of the late writer have made remarks that the collection was stolen, though Puma maintains they were a gift. The connection between Thompson and Puma remains unclear, and it is unknown if they ever met.



References:

http://randypuma.net/fans/bio/2qk3922f843490d49034ues&
http://www.nyc.com/bars_clubs_music/lit_lounge.52410/search_terms="Randy%20Puma"/section_specific.aspx?from=3/29/2009
http://www.cygywrestling.com/titlehistories/nwaworldheavyweighttitle.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Kanazawa_Air_Tours_helicopter_accident
http://www.historyorb.com/countries/argentina
Everything Professional Wrestling Noding Coalition of DOOM
and http://ascorbic.net/catbox/archive/3235260/

“Singing is like wrestling and your audience is your opponent.” –Randy Puma from a 2001 interview



Some men try their entire lives to make something of their lives, and others become legends without applying any effort at all.

Randy Puma is perhaps one of the most celebrated and most misunderstood men of our time. He has made, produced, and developed more than sixty-three albums since his first record in 1995 and yet not much is known how this man could produce such an amazing discography despite rumors of brain damage from a fateful 1992 helicopter accident. Some people have gone so far to claim that the tragic accident is what unlocked the mind that gave up such ballads as “Those Damn Wheels (Just Like My Thoughts)” and “New York’s No Place For Fighting”.

The remarkable thing about Randy Puma is how versatile he is in his songs. In “Suavemente” he shows an intricate understanding of what songs a Spanish speaking audience would like and he blends his rich voice to traditional South American themes played as only his own personal band could manage, and yet he is equally at home in New York city singing “Love Be Found in this Big City Heart”. He is equally comfortable in front of large audiences as well as small and he is able to play the audience as if they were his own vocal chords. It is not unusual to get laid at a club where Randy is performing. His voice swoons ladies like no other voice can. Gay men like him too.

It is possible that such musical genius developed not from a helicopter crash or one too many knocks in the wrestling ring, but from his heritage. Born to an American mother and a Polish father in Argentina he was exposed to different cultures at a young age. His father, Randall Pumanszckowicz, was a war criminal fleeing from an embittered Europe where he turned several hundred of his own townsmen in so he could “Guard one of those Fancy Russian Prisons.” His mother, was a WAAC who, in a bizarre accident, was in a German bomber that was shot down over Poland. She met Randall Pumanszckowicz and they fled the country together. There is some debate on this point, but it seems that her and Randall’s love was based on their shared enjoyment of the goods she was caring around at the time: roughly four hundred kilos of Nazi gold wrapped in cocaine.

As a child, Randy Puma hated losing. Those of his teachers interviewed in Sergia Puellunta’s excellent documentary The Iron Vocal Chords state numerous times that Randy would often get into fights over association-football games, even though he never cared for the sport. “He just hated losing,” Marricia Chalvez, Randy’s first grade teacher recalls fondly. “If you gave him an F, he’d drop the paper, pick up his desk, and hit another child over the head with it. I learned not to give him F’s.”

Wrestling may have played a part in his unique style of music, or it might not have. Sergia Puellunta’s own notes and research suggests that it was the many bouts in the ring that was Randy’s soul passion until the Accident. But even during his wrestling career, Randy Puma was a philosophical man who was prone to long periods of depression that could only be cured by “dark muttering” and “sticky substances”.

The Accident, only mentioned in brief here, probably had a more profound influence on Randy. In the space of seconds he lost his best friend, his favorite pilot, his favorite helicopter, his favorite building, and his favorite wild Oak Tree. This influence is reflected in such songs as “Alphonso” where the unnamed boy mentioned in the song’s lyrics are clearly representative of Randy’s close friend. Never able to truly cope, the Accident is likely something that haunts Randy to this day.

While this is all speculation on the part of This Author, it is known that Randy Puma was introduced to singing by Sammo Hung sometime in 1992 and his first album was released in 1995. “Big Muscles, Bigger Heart” took the underground lounge scene by storm and by 1996 it was the best selling single in single’s clubs everywhere. The song is not as iconic or as moving as his later work but even at that early date his signature sound had been established and his crooning shook the lounge world.

Even more distinctive than his music, is perhaps, his image. He wears an all white suit a size too small to emphases his biceps. His hair is always combed back, and his nose, crooked from his wrestling days, sits at a jaunty angle to his eyes, which seem to glow under hot club lights.

Today his music is just as popular as it was in the early ‘90s, and while he may not be as well known as pop or rock artists, there isn’t a single person in the lounge scene who doesn’t know his name or cherish his work. Randy is known for being deliberately aloof yet very personable. In 2001 he gave a video interview to Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine, which is highly sought after by fans.

A short selection of his songs with lyrics.

From “Those Damn Wheels” (1997):

The Wheels on the bus
Go round and round
Just like my thoughts
When they are around yoooooooou!

"Come My Sweet Blonde" (1998)

When you ride on your Stallion
My Sweet Blonde
Be sure to come home to me.
Be Sure to Come! Hoooome.

Suavemente” (2001)

¡Entonces otra vez, mi señora, usted!
Usted tendrá que ver imitación.
¡Cuando toco su rodilla y canto esas palabras usted ha deseado para oír!
¡Derecho de mi corazón!
O Suavemente O O O. O Suavemente to yoooou usteeeeed!

That happened in Gatlinburg” (2005)

You would
have had to
have halved the
halves had you
have had to
have had done that


CST Approved.

Sighted the cited Sources so don’t kill me:

http://www.cygywrestling.com/titlehistories/nwaworldheavyweighttitle.html

http://www.cryingmulefromdonkeypunch.com/randypuma/catigoeryartfunk

http://www.juxtapoz.com/index.php?contenttask=blogcategory&id=144&interview1000

http://www.cornhusk.com/pumasong

The Iron Vocal Chords VHS © by VHS Recordings

Randy Puma: A History © 1999 by Sergia Puellunta (pages 5 and 784 especially)

"Give a man a fish, and I will steal that fish, and beat the living shit out of him with it." -Randy Puma

"Randy" Randy Puma was one of the meanest motherfuckers the world has ever seen. His patented "Randy Quad" move was so devastating that to this day, twenty three of his opponents still cannot walk. His legendary "Shit in a Pit" match at BRAWLBURQUERQUE '88 was so traumatizing, three fans dropped dead before the brawl was over, and fourteen more would eventually die from asphyxiation. Even his musical endeavors, such as "All I Wanna Do (Is You)" were so bad as to be used as torture at Guantanamo Bay. In fact, Mr. Puma has toured Camp X-Ray on several occasions, performing for those stationed there, and in return, being allowed to torture those accused of being operatives for Al-Qaeda.


The previous article is full of errors and omissions about Mr. Puma, going so far as to say that he never played professional football, and even whitewashing the true nature of his relationship with Alfie Till. This node is presented to set the record straight on Mr. Puma.


Although most sources concur that Randall Stanislaw Pumansczkowicz, Jr. was born in Argentina on July 24, reports conflict as to where and when he was born. While in his autobiography Singing For My Suplex Puma claims to have been born in 1961, his Argentinian passport states his birth to have taken place in 1957, and instead of being born in the village of Lonco Vaca, his birth certificate clearly states he was born on the other side of the country, near Bahia Blanca. His education is also suspect; while he states that he was not able to speak fluent Spanish or even "write good English" until his thirties, Puma is rumored to have been trained at the infamous School of the Americas. Legend has it that while holed up in the Panama Canal Zone, Puma started to lift weights, and took home fourth place in the 1978 Mr. Latin America bodybuilding competition. Some who claim to have witnessed this competition say that only four people took part, and Mr. Pumansczkwicz's frame carried a lot more bulk than the eventual winner, Alfredo Tillagstein. After the event, Puma befriended "Till", and eventually left Latin America for The Real America with Till. Figuring the best way to get an education would be through the American university system, the two enrolled at Beltrami College in Roosevelt Township, Minnesota.


As a twenty-four year old walk-on linebacker in 1981, Puma recored a mythical Upper Middle Midwest Conference record eighteen sacks in one game versus Border State, and finished with an outstanding seventy-one sacks in just twenty-three games. Unfortunately, Beltrami College lost its accrediation just after the Wolverines won the 1982 UMMC Title (in a game where Puma made thirteen sacks and forced eleven fumbles, leading to the only "double double" in college football history. His academic transcripts null and void, Puma tried out for the Philadelphia Eagles, but wound up in the upstart United States Football League. The Bronx Bombers signed Puma, but changed ownership and moved to Oklahoma City before play even began. As an Oklahoma City Bomber, Randy Puma averaged three sacks a game in 1983, and four sacks a game the next year. However, Puma didn't read the fine print of his two year, $4 million contract (which was to be paid over twenty years), and his extravagant lifestyle got the better of him. In desperate need of money, Puma agreed to try out for the Western Atlantic Wrestling Association (WAWA), and made his pro wrestling debut on his twenty-seventh birthday.


Puma's entry into professional wrestling was inauspicious to say the least. Working as a babyface, Randy never took time to practice nor did he follow any script. That being the case, he lost the majority of fights he was supposed to win, for breaking the limbs of your opponents and THEN bodyslamming them was not legalized in the WAWA until early 1985. This, the "Randy Puma Rule", was one of many innovations that came to what was now known as the World American Wrestling Association, thanks to the foresight of new owner Werner "Frenchy" Mamagorian, Jr. "Frenchy", or "Mammy" as Puma called him knew that Puma would be big, and retooled him as a bad-ass with a heart of gold, given to him by the spunky Nazi doctor Kid Mengele.


Other changes soon followed for Puma. He decided not to re-sign with the Bombers when they moved to Kansas City in 1985, and focused his career in wrestling. Also around this time, his partnership with Till was in full bloom, and Alfie encouraged him to come out of the closet, but the conservative climate of the 80's precluded such ideas, especially after the disastrous stint of The Iron Mincer. Puma's close ties to the star of the Broadway musical "Small Wonder" did raise some eyebrows, though. In 1987, Frenchy Mamagorian hired Audrey Chen, a swimsuit model of Hawaiian and Korean ancestry, to beard for Puma, and to appear as his manager, under the name Reiko Noto.


By 1988, Pumaphilia was at its peak, with Randy as the main face of WAWA's "Splatterday Night Live". Pay-Per-View events such as "RASS-A-CHUSETTS!", "PENNSYL-MANIA!!!" and "LAST MANGLE IN PARIS!!!!!" made Randy Puma a household name, and those households were buying Randy Puma Chewable Vitamins and THICK DICK beef jerky by the carload. He even started to act, making a one-off appearance in Till's "Small Wonder" musical as Lyle Alzado's understudy. The acting bug had bit, and Puma wanted to bite back and take its fuckin' head off.


Randy Puma was still contractually obligated to the WAWA, but Frenchy was willing to let him take some time off, provided that he fight NWA Ricky Steamboat for a WAWA/NWA title unification at BRAWLBUQUERQUE '88. Puma agreed, but on one condition: that the floor of the University Arena be filled with cow manure, and that none of the 18,000 plus on hand was to leave until a winner was decided. The bout, forever known in wrestling lore as "Shit In The Pit", lasted thirty-eight minutes without either fighter making any gains. However, by that time the odor was so overwhelming, and the ventilation was of such poor quality, that several fans lost consciousness. The fight continued with the doors opened, and thousands of fans ran out to the souvenir gas masks they merely assumed were for novelty purposes. Suddenly, in the third hour of action, Puma found the WAWA belt in the manure, and proceeded to beat Steamboat with it until he let go of his NWA belt. It was Randy Puma's finest hour and his "Fuck You" to the world of professional wrestling. But pro wrestling wasn't willing to let go until they fucked him back.


The fallout from this incident disproved the notion that any publicity is good publicity. The WAWA, in talks to be purchased by Ted Turner, was now on the verge of bankruptcy, and the state The Pit was in after the event cost the University of New Mexico their shot at hosting the 1990 NCAA Final Four. Puma lost all of his endorsement deals, and no new acting offers came up, except for a cameo in the direct to video sex comedy Summer School Vs. Ski Camp III. Frenchy Mamagorian blackballed him from performing any major gigs, and colluded with other wrestling organizations in order to make sure Puma never wrestled in the United States again. His last North American gig was at OTTAWAR '89, where he donned a fox costume and performed as The Furious Furry.


By now, you know the rest of the story. How Randy was forced into wrestling in Japan as Super Masked Fatass II, and how Audrey Chen legally changed her name to Reito Noko, blackmailed Puma into marriage, and forced him and Till into the helicopter ride to Hell. And who can forget his improbable second life as a lounge singer, brought upon by Sammo Hung, star of TV's Martial Law? In the end, it's really hard to believe that the same person responsible for Randy Puma Sings The Ethel Merman Disco Album and the hit syndicated series Finding Robert Graves was voted as The Most Dispicable Man In America by three separate magazines in the same year. Then again, to say otherwise would be to beckon Randy Puma out of his slumber, and even at fifty-two years old, you might still not live to hear his next album.

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