There are shoot interviews, and there is Big Vision's Ultimate Insiders series. I've gushed over earlier editions featuring Matt & Jeff Hardy and Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara because of the incredible production values that Big Vision puts into each release. We're talking multiple cameras, pop-up video facts, and loaded with bonus features. Big Vision took shoot interviews to the next level and the great news is that this latest edition of the Ultimate Insiders series, featuring the original hardcore gangsta himself, continues the tradition of outstanding post production and Big Vision even added a great twist which I'll get to later in the review. Being one of the most interviewed men in wrestling, Big Vision is going to have to go all out to make this release worthwhile to people who have bought New Jack shoots in the past.
New to the series is host Keith Lipinski, replacing PWTorch's Wade Keller. A wrestling historian best known for his audio show on www.f4wonline.com, Lipinski was also involved as a writer, talent scout and – most importantly - timekeeper in the Wrestling Society X promotion and has been involved in several other DVD projects including Best of Japan DVDs. Keith brings a scary encyclopedia-like knowledge of wrestling to table along with adding a bit of his trademark humor to the proceedings.
The DVD actually begins with a bit of humor as New Jack starts off having this white substance on his face and acting like he was wired. I'll be completely honest. I wanted to scream watching this. I like comedy as much as anyone, especially bad comedy (you're talking to a guy who has no problem watching the Star Wars Holiday Special or Roger Corman's Fantastic Four movie) but this fell completely on it's face and I'm flabbergasted that Big Vision didn't realize this during the shoot or in post production. It reminded me of the times in the past when Jeff Jarrett would go on camera wearing one of the most god awful outfits you've ever seen and you just wonder why none of his friends asked him if he's completely lost his mind. Thankfully, nothing like that occurred again and I actually found myself laughing out loud soon thereafter when New Jack put on a pair of reading glasses (ala Homer Simpson.)
Keith delved into New Jack's history and we found out that Jack was originally from Georgia, but took on the South Central, LA gimmick because of how topical that area was in the '90s. Jack said that he wasn't a fan of wrestling growing up and all of a sudden the DVD cut to another shoot interview with New Jack. I believe this was from the original shoot Jack did with RF Video back from 1996. This was that little twist I talked about earlier as several times during the Ultimate Insiders DVD it aired clips of other New Jack shoots to elaborate on what Jack was saying, or – like in this case – catch Jack when he was giving us the run around. This is where Lipinski was invaluable to the shoot as he has probably watched every Jack shoot ever filmed and knew exactly what Jack has said in the past. A brilliant tweak on the shoot interview formula as you get a sort of historical perspective during the shoot.
The pop-up factoids were fast and furious to start the DVD (they tapered off around the half-way point) and one of my favorites came during a section when Lipinski and Jack were talking about a time in Jack's life when he worked as a bounty hunter. The on-screen graphic read: "Other famous bounty hunters include Dog and Boba Fett." I was totally marking out on the Boba Fett reference and then Jack went into a huge rant that ripped Dog's show on A&E. Thank God that Jack did this shoot before the recent news of Dog dropping the N-word. Anyway, not long after that Lipinski had the temerity to ask Jack what he was in prison for and Jack snipped, "none of your fucking business." This was said in a tone that got across that, at least in this case, New Jack was not screwing around. Minutes later Jack and Lipinski would be laughing again, as the entire interview was less formal than previous Ultimate Insiders and more like two friends having a conversation. The two guys had a good rapport going throughout the DVD, something Jack has never really had in his previous shoots. Although this camaraderie had its bad points as there were times I was hoping Keith would steer Jack back on topic after Jack would go off on a long tangent.
As a person who has watched much watched every New Jack shoot in existence, even the ones by the oft-reviled Michael Moody, I think it's fair to say this shoot covers ground that many (if not all) of the others haven't. Previous shoots had Jack outright refusing to talk about stuff in his past, but he's pretty open here. Has New Jack actually matured? Because of this, Doin' Time with New Jack is probably the perfect shoot for anyone who has never seen a Jack shoot before. And considering that enough time has passed that Jack can now look back with a new perspective, the DVD certainly should appeal to those viewers like me who have watched them all.
"Some white dude." – New Jack answering the question, "Who was your first match against?"
This DVD features a New Jack many people haven't seen before as a lot of his rage is gone and he actually has good things to say about guys he has buried in the past such as Paul Heyman. Unfortunately, Hardbody Harrison is not one of the people who were spared Jack's wrath. Lipinski got Jack to open up on all his early appearances in USWA, and Smokey Mountain Wrestling. I found it especially interesting to listen to Jack talk about his phone calls with Jim Cornette going over what Jack was going to do in SMW as well as his account of the infamous riot. This also lead to one of those video flashbacks after New Jack told a story about how Cornette came up with the idea of having D-Lo Brown as a security guard for Jack. The flashback had Jack completely running down poor. D-Lo.
"They hated black people up there." – New Jack explaining the fans of Smokey Mountain Wrestling.
Jack talked a lot about his experiences in ECW as well as XPW, the promotion that tried so hard to be the new ECW. In a fantastic visual moment, the screen showed an outline of New Jack and pointed out all the various injuries that he sustained throughout his career. This included a cracked skull, broken wrist, smashed toe and, I-shit-you-not, pole through testicle. Thankfully Jack went into graphic detail on the testicular incident and I was cringing the entire time.
I thought New Jack brought an interesting view when the subject of the recent amount of deaths in wrestling was brought up, as he discussed how some wrestlers – such as Mike Awesome – find it impossible to be out of the public spotlight. Jack talked about how hard it can be for some guys to handle being a nobody, becoming a somebody, and then going back to being a nobody again. "It's hard to go from (working in front of) 55,000 to 500," said Jack in a fantastic line. Lipinski got Jack to talk about the drug culture of ECW and exactly what, if anything, Paul Heyman did about it.
"It don't exist!" – New Jack on WWE's Wellness Policy, shortly before comparing it to Santa Claus.
Lipinski asked Jack about the Beyond the Mat movie (and Jack even talked about what he would say in his famous audition if it happened today), Hardcore Homecoming, MCW's John Collins, TNA, the infamous Vic Grimes incident that lead to XPW's Free Fall event (a match which is thankfully included in full in the bonus section), ECW's Living Dangerously PPV, and a ton of other stories that haven't been told before. Jack even talked about the insane events that went down at the Pro Wrestling Xplosion show in which New Jack went batshit insane after a woman at the concession stand gave him a 7Up instead of a Sprite. He went through the entire events of the day and I was laughing my ass off. Another thing that actually had me laughing throughout the shoot was an F-bomb count by Big Vision, complete with "DING~!" every time New Jack cursed.
You'll hear about Paul Heyman on the witness stand and dropping the N-word. You'll get to listen to the worst sperm bank joke ever told, and if you are like me, you're going to laugh like a school girl after New Jack tells it. You'll see New Jack go completely off on Jimmy Snuka. A ton of great stuff packaged with the smoothest production values this side of WWE.
GUEST REVIEWS~! Before we get to my final thoughts, I have to add in full disclosure that Keith Lipinski is a friend of mine. I don't want to be accused of being BIASED, so I went around to various well known personalities to get their thoughts on this much-talked-about DVD. So don't just take my word, see what they have to say…
Dave Meltzer, editor of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter: You know, over, like, the last three decades, I have forgotten more about pro wrestling and its wrestlers than most people will ever know. Know what I mean? I mean, I’m just saying I know a lot, right? So when New Jack finally joins the ranks of men who die before their time, I won’t need to use this particular DVD as a research tool, you know? This is not because the interview and antics aren’t very interesting. Host Keith Lipinski (a frequent contributor to the Observer, who - much like the rest of you - lives to have his name listed in the special thanks section. Yes, I'm looking at you Dr. Lucha Steve Sims, Mike Sempervive, and Kyle Wolf), sweating just slightly less than Jerry Lawler in a junior high school, does an admirable job in trying to keep New Jack on track, while noticeably looking for a quick escape pattern if the abrasive, Heineken-drinking, former gangsta began to pummel him with fists. I noticed when a shot was taken at legitimate newsletters such as mine, and I said, like, what’s going on, you know? A pop-up factoid read: “Dirtsheets often offer backstage information and gossip about wrestlers and often involved in wrestling.” At first I was like, this sucks, you know, but I quickly changed my mind.
They had to have meant someone else as the Observer is now in its 25th year of being the leading insider publication on professional wrestling, you know? Well, so long as there is nothing happening in mixed martial arts that week and, knock on wood, the death of any Roller Derby stars. It is subscribed to by literally thousands of the most informed wrestling fans, and the biggest names in the history of the industry spend hours upon hours a week staring at it and wonder exactly why I can’t at least double-space the 1,689,453 to 3,106,812 words that I cram onto 9 pieces of paper in text so small that many would find it easier to read a street sign while orbiting the moon. As the only person with enough knowledge of the subject, I have awarded the Observer the best pro wrestling publication in the world award several years running, and many issues are roughly triple the size of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Bret Hart’s unedited Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling combined and, if printed in common font, would equal 54 encyclopedias stacked on top of each other, topped off with a San Jose Sharks media guide.
Miss Teen South Carolina: I personally believe that we as U.S. Americans have the right from God to be a person out there in our nation doing it is what they are doing. And that includes anyone, per se, that may even want to make themselves look all icky and crazy by having scars on their forehead, or worse, having sideburns like that. And why I believe that you can look like that in America is because, such as, you can do many things here that I wouldn’t do like sniffing cocaine, or going to a ghetto. But that’s why I believe we can all be free as people in America’s United States, although you should not be allowed to throw people off of scaffolds and knowingly intend to do it, as there are U.S. laws that governor that, and also Mexican people that try and come to here. And that’s why America is the greatest country in the United States.
Wade Keller, editor Pro Wrestling Torch: Many people have e-mailed me asking why I did not serve as the distinguished interviewer on this DVD since my well received previous Big Vision releases that included the Hardys, Vince Russo, and Ed Ferrara. The reason is quite simple actually. I had prior engagements that took far more precedence, along with the fact that I don’t believe it was a project that could have benefited me, or how my subscribers view me. Unlike what Bryan Alvarez's immature message board is trying to spread, this has nothing to do with New Jack saying that if he couldn’t get to pay a receipt to Torch Columnist Bruce Mitchell for the Mass Transit coverage, he’d have to settle for me as the recipient of a barbed wire enema via toilet plunger. I also felt as though there was nothing New Jack was doing that warranted a sit-down discussion that could possibly interfere with the five-minute segment I do each week on the local AM sports radio station and the new fighting column I’m penning for a weekly mailer that will be distributed inside the Penny Saver coupon package for the Eden Prairie area. I began that on the heels of the enormous success of MMATORCH.com and, if I may toot my own horn, the wildly popular MMATORCH.com forums in which our posters don't waste everyone's time cracking "jokes" and instead deeply analyze subjects such as whether Chris Jericho not showing up on Raw was very disappointing, mildly disappointing, or pretty disappointing. It may not be a "Dethtour," but it's far more rewarding.
Because of all that insignificance, I felt as though Keith Lipinski (who used to contribute to the Torch and, for the record, is not an actual doctor) would be the perfect substitution. New Jack boo-boo facing questions Keith asked, outright refusing a response at one point during the interview, was tough to watch. If Lipinski would have held on to his Torch Style Guide to Interviews that I graciously gave him years ago, he could have set Jack in his place from the start. Shenanigans – such as New Jack with white powder around his nostrils – are no way for a respected journalist to ever open an interview. I also would not have accepted being called gay, although Keith needs to learn that jokes about bodily secretions are something that hacks like Derek Burgan repeatedly resort to, and have no place in a unrated DVD about a violent, misogynistic, drug using child abandoning, wrestler. And yes, New Jack, I - along with the rest of society that doesn't frequent The Board on F4Wonline.com - certainly consider it a form of rape if you place your penis on a woman’s forehead if she didn’t consent to it. Now I must excuse myself, as I find myself getting emotional and slipping from the high journalistic standards that the Torch has been known for since 1987. And to be fair, I gave the DVD a + ¾ of a star due to the fact that it finally ended. – *** ¼
Iron Sheik, semi-lucid talk show host: Mr. David Burran, you ass me about Mister New Jack. Very good question. I say he is a no-good son-of-a-bitch. We are at show in great wressling town of Lynchburg in South Virginga and I ass this man can he get the Sheik the medisone, A-to-the-Z. And this black son-of-a-bitch tell the Sheik that he not my boy and I get the medisone myself, you see. I say, you jabroni, I’ve been champion of the world three time, Olympic champion, and he tell Sheik he no care. He has no respeck like the real black brothers have for the Sheik. I no do the A-to-the-Z like this jabroni does when he wrestle. This is why Mr. MacMan call the real shootear to go to the Madison Square Garden, where I defeat Mr. Bob Backlund, great amateur champion from Minnesota. That night Tony Atlas, Mr. New-S-Say, get Shieky baby the real medisone, and that other jew bastard can go fuck himself…
(Editor’s Note: We’re going to stop this right here, as we’re going to invoke our “Warrior Warrior Clause” that allows us to truncate our guest editorials. You didn’t miss much. After soiling himself, twice, Shiek proceeded to smoke a pack of Newports, in between cans of Piels Light. After a 30-minute rant, in which he asked for cocaine eight times while blasting “jew bastards,” we discovered that Sheik believed he had been shooting on the Junkyard Dog.)
Vince Russo, TNA booker: Bro, after watching this DVD, I gotta ask, bro; why has no one pushed the pole tearing through the testicle bag story before? Seriously, if I would have known that when Jack was here - and he was getting more over than he ever had since being in ECW by hanging out with Shark Boy in the baby pool. A lot of people don’t realize what was going on there. They missed that genius of Jack, I mean; he was wearing inflatable swimmies on his arms. Here’s the bad ass street thug, and he’s in a baby pool with another grown man! That's what I bring to the table.
It was just like Goldust, bro. Way before its time. When he was here, and I had known about his balls, bro, I could have put a rocket on his ass and taken him to that other level. It’s like where I’ve gotten Shawn Michaels and Austin and Robert Roode, bro. And let me tell you something else, bro, and I don’t want to disparage anyone since I found God, bro, but Dr. Keith proves my point about sheet writers. They think they know what works, bro, but they just don’t understand a thing. Seriously, bro, you’re handed New Jack at Church’s chicken as he sings Carol Burnett, and you don’t keep with the continuity of the DVD and ask him to do a Michigan J. Frog imitation? What’s up with that? I mean these are the things that other people don’t think of, bro, and I do. Which is why I do what I do in this business, and they do what you do, bro.
Ole Anderson: Listening to this piece of garbage try and present himself like he was any sort of real professional wrestler instead of just a glorified thug, was a lot like listening to that little punk Meltzer act like he knows anything at all about professional wrestling. I ran the country’s most viewed territory, and was the most dominant tag team wrestler of all-time alongside of Gene, and we aren’t voted into the Observer Hall of Fame – but an average wrestler who acted like a goofball, and played that homo cowboy in that unwatchable movie Be Cool, is? Not that I care about that stupid list, but that's not right. Anyway, listening to this fucking guy complaining about making only $500 a night? I’m amazed that anyone pays him anything, but in my day we wrestled every single night, twice on Sunday, worked every holiday, and you earned every fucking penny you got. If he or any of these other clowns today had any work ethic, they’d be making over $100,000 a year too, which is more than enough God damn money to live. Shit, I’d suck cock all day for over $100,000, let alone hit somebody in the head with a chair. Now, if excuse me, I’m leaving and you can go shit in your hat.
jonnymudd, F4WOnline message board poster: Please introduce me to one Alan Rogowski. PLEASE~!
Jonny Mudd – loves Polish sausage almost as much as the Saturn TNA story.
pikachu, F4WOnline.com message board troll: Complete shit. New Jack sucks. And Dr. Keith sucks more than any human being on the planet. What a douchebag. No matter how hard he tries he’s never going to mean anything in the business. What does he do? He gets guests like Steve Austin and Brock Lesnar, who just end up outshining him on his own show. Runs around like a goof with press credentials, when he could just as easily sit at home like I do and make losers like the Mexican do my work. What’s the big deal about getting a shitty wrestling show onto MTV? WWE had one on there before you did. And why would any man waste time at ROH shows trying to sniff Becky Bayless’ female parts when they could be score every time watching my collection of shotacon? And Keith, hosting this crap doesn’t impress me, either. In the time you wasted driving around South Central with New Jack, I downloaded three bukkake comps, jerked off five times to pictures of necro anime, and trolled twelve different message boards. Look at how I’m driving you away from the website with my gimmick in the forums. It’s just too easy to make fun of you. I’ve accomplished more than you ever have, and had the luxury to do it from the comfort of my own room.
Frank A. Gotch, World’s Champion Wreftler and editor of the Flying Mare Newsletter: Good day, fine readers! It is I, Frank Gotch, your great and humble purveyor over the world of the manly arts. I’d like to say that I am here to discuss my old dojo boy Young Alvarez’ upcoming re-match against the fruity fellow who fancies feathered boas, and wears darkened spectacles well after the gloaming. This time I hope he will use all he has learn’d from my book of Life-Mat Battles and Instructions on How to Wrestle to make that ninny scream ‘uncle’ with a proper half nelson and crotch hold, and bring home the Collar-and-Elbow championship that bears my name. Unfortunately, I am instead here to warn all of you of potentially tragic consequences that will result from letting an angry Negro run wild.
This Mr. Jack is a disgusting and vulgar excuse of a man the likes of which have not been seen since that interstate white woman sodomiser Jack Johnson sullied the sport of the sweet science. If given half the chance, I’d say this Jack fellow steals a lass of alabaster sheathing, himself! That type of unnatural debauchery can’t be allowed in society, let alone in the honorable sport of kings. Someone needs to put a stop to this, and with today’s American man being of such feeble stock, I shall take it upon myself to tame this Mr. Jack. Young Alvarez, take note of how my 129-years-young frame is as fit as my mind is cunning. The virtuous thrashing I’ll give that colored fellow will be only rivaled by the time I remov’d the conceit of Yankee Rogers by throwing him with vigor twice in ’08. Call me a maroon again? Not surely! So Mr. Jack, take heed, as a surprise awaits you, courtesy of Frank Alvin Gotch. Huzzah~!
BONUS FEATURES: The second disc of this set includes seven complete matches, including the XPW Free Fall match against Vic Grimes mentioned above. This has to be seen to be believed as Grimes was tossed off a scaffold onto a ton of tables and almost went straight to the concrete floor. Just an amazing spot. Also included are matches against guys such as Raven, Messiah, Homeless Jimmy (one of my favorite wrestling names ever) and Kronus. If you are a New Jack fan, or a fan of hardcore insane matches, you'll love this stuff. As a special bonus, the camera crew followed Keith and New Jack on a car ride through South Central. This ran about ninety minutes and was highlighted by the boys stopping by Church's Chicken and Jack explaining exactly how you are supposed to eat chicken~!
OVERALL THOUGHTS: If you love New Jack, and who doesn't, than this is a DVD worth checking out, whether this is the first time you've seen Jack talk, or the tenth. This is what happens when you put one of wrestling's most quotable personalities with the cream of the crop production team. Big Vision took it to another level with this one and where else are you going to find a DVD that has an interviewer quoting Wikipedia? In fact, how many shoots have you seen a person receive a text during the shoot, and stop to read the text? Trust me, this is one you'll never forget. CLICK HERE to get your copy of Doin' Time with New Jack delivered to your door. Or head on over to www.BigVisionEntertainment.com for more information.
Guest Booker with Gabe Sapolsky DVD
Roddy Piper in HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN DVD
Irv Muchnick's Wrestling Babylon book
The legendary IWA-Japan King of the Death Match tournament featuring Mick Foley and Terry Funk
DVDs: Guest Booker with JJ Dillon, Instant Classic: The Best of Christian Cage, Wrestling Society X: The Complete First and Last Season, XPW TV: The Complete First Season, Before They Were Stars: Samoa Joe, Shoot Interview with Scott Hall, Shoot Interview with The Sandman, Rey Mysterio: Biggest Little Man.
Books: Brody: The Triumph and Tragedy of Wrestling's Rebel, , Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. James Hold's Remember the Aloe, Moe.
COMIC BOOKS~! Headlocked, Scarface: The Devil in Disguise.
Derek Burgan can be seen wasting everyone's time with wrestling DVD and comic book reviews over at Wrestling Observer and the world famous Wrestling Enjoyment Index at Figure Four Weekly online~! Don't forget about his Opinion Pieces at World Wrestling Insanity and goofiness at WrestleCrap as well. Whew! Derek can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).