I believe that I have just seen the future of shoot interviews, and it is KayfabeCommentaries.com's new YouShoot series. I was hesitant when I first heard the idea months ago when the website solicited emails and video files from fans for an interview with Honky Tonk Man. This had disaster written all over it. Don't get me wrong, I love Krone Meltzer and those moron YouTube shooters as much as the next guy, but could you make an interesting DVD with guys like them?
The answer is a resounding YES. And the good news is that the people who sent in the questions weren't, for the most part, trying to get themselves over. Even better, some of their questions are things that no legitimate interviewer would ever ask. I mean c'mon, how can you not love a shoot DVD that has a chapter titled "rats and sex" or has a question involving FUCK/MARRY/KILL?
In the past, I've given my list of guys I could watch a thousand shoot DVDs with, and Honky Tonk Man is right at the top along with Jim Cornette, the Sandman, and New Jack. HTM is in rare form here, as he even starts off the DVD with a joke at the expense of the late Sherri Martel. As Michael Scott from The Office would say, "Buckle up, it's gonna be a bumpy one!" The DVD showed a split screen with the people who sent in the video files asking their question, and also printed the email questions on screen, complete with the absurd email shorthand that I thought only fifteen year old girls used. The rapport that the host, Sean Oliver, and HTM share is a strong one and the two seem to have a lot of fun answering all the questions. I don't know how you couldn't have fun listening to HTM go on an absolute tirade, like he does early and often here. You name the guy and HTM goes apeshit bananas on him, including guys you'd never even think of like Tony Garea, Jay Strongbow, and Jim Ross.
1. Hall of Fame
3. IC Title
4. Rats & Sex
6. Pain & Fear
7. Modern Wrestling
8. Jake & Guitars
9. The Sheets
I would be a disservice to everyone by just recapping what HTM says on each subject, but rest assured they are all worth going out of your way to watch. HTM answered a question on people who dress up as wrestlers and bring belts to shows, and talked about a guy, "who looked like a porn star… with AIDS," that used to show up as Hulk Hogan. There is a ton of Hulk Hogan and backstage WWE stuff during the course of the shoot. HTM talked about house show and PPV payoffs (including Bad News Allen going crazy after hearing what Roddy Piper got for their WM match), wrestlers having to pay for their own gimmicks, and what went down each time HTM came back to WWE, including how he feels Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross may have sabotaged him.
"Nothing against fags, everyone should have one now or then for a blowjob."
I realize we live in the Age of Political Correctness, but that line above is one that should make everyone laugh. HTM consistently provides an entertainment value almost unmatched in the world of shoots. HTM discusses his run as IC champion and how it compares to other IC champs as well as some heavyweight title holders. Kevin Nash is one of the guys who gets the smacketh layeth downed on him, Honky Style! There are several times throughout the DVD where I think HTM is blowing some smoke up our asses, such as saying it was his idea to lose to the Ultimate Warrior in less than thirty seconds in their famous WrestleMania IV match. I also loved HTM saying Hulk Hogan's kids were getting $150,000 per episode for Hogan Knows Best. I don't even think all the stars of Grey's Anatomy get 150K per episode, let alone a show on VH1. That's part of HTM's unique charm though. He'll just make up some stuff and have as much passion about it as stuff that everybody knows.
"There is no color barrier in wrestling."
Halfway through the DVD, the video files from the nutjobs show up and this really brings out the best in HTM. Honky will answer their question, but only after burying them first. I just couldn't get enough of this. HTM tells you where the best places for rats are (and the "fences" the boys build for their rats) as well as which wrestler could put a wristlock on his on penis. HTM discusses steroids in wrestling, how the WWE seamstresses got their jobs, and whether or not the guitar he used to smash over Jake Roberts' head was gimmicked. Yes, this is one shoot for the ages.
OVERALL THOUGHTS: With a running time well over two hours, you get a lot of bang for your buck here. KayfabeCommentaries definitely gets my Rookie of the Year award for the instant impact they have made in the wrestling DVD market. They combine high production values with innovative ideas and have put out one great release after another. I think that both the Guest Booker series and this YouShoot series have an incredible amount of potential down the road. A normal shoot interview is hamstrung by the fact that the host has to tap dance around sensitive subjects lest the interviewee get pissed off. The YouShoot series can just have an anonymous face ask the questions all of us want to hear. I've done a complete 180 on this release and now consider it one of my favorite DVDs of the year. I feel confident most readers will as well. CLICK HERE to get a copy of this DVD delivered to your door, or head on over to www.KayfabeCommentaries.com for more information.
DVDs: Guest Booker with JJ Dillon, 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.
Special thanks to Keith Lipinski for his help in this review. Check out Keith's weekly audio show that happens to feature Chris Jericho and Larry Sweeney this week. Talk about a pair that beats any three of a kind~!
Derek Burgan has been writing for the Wrestling Observer/Figure 4 Weekly~! family since October, 2005. He is also featured on WrestleCrap, The Wrestling Fan, and MySpace. If you have any questions, corrections, feedback, comments and ideas, he 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.).