Tissue-Paper and Crime Scene Photos
By Martin Ferguson
I should get a manager. Then I could have someone there, always ready to hand me any illegal objects I might need in warping your mind with my column. Maybe Kim Chee... nah, come to think of it, it wouldn't be worth having to deal with Pat Patterson dropping by constantly. In case you're wondering where I'm going with this, well, let's just get right into the first Tissue-Paper & Crime Scene Photos DVD review.
The World's Greatest Wrestling Managers
WWE has put out some awesome DVDs lately, such as the Bret Hart collection, but how is their latest documentry? Let's just get started, shall we?
Opening Segment: We get the usual opening shtick, with the incredibly stupid combination of the Rock saying "If ya smell..." then Vince doing his "You're fired!" line. Is that supposed to be some subliminal message to keep kids off cocaine or something? Anyway, who is our host for such a thing? Maybe Bobby Heenan, or Jimmy Hart? Possibly Paul Bearer or Lou Albano? Perhaps Joey Styles, do to his extensive knowledge of wrestling? Nope, it is TARD FUCKING GRISHAM. Damnit. After an introduction from Tard, we go into a segment of everyone from Heenan to Chris Masters talking about the greatest managers of the day. Guess who John Cena's favorite manager is? It's REVEREND SLICK! You can't write comedy like that. After a bunch of talking and clips, we head to our first manager.
Freddie Blassie: Odd choice for an opener. They make mention of his wrestling days, which looks to be a good sign for the rest of this DVD, and have numerous people talking about him. Mixed in with that's a bunch of clips of him managing people, though the only ones specifically referred to within the commentary are Nikolai Volkoff, Hulk Hogan, Iron Shiek, and... Muhammed Ali? Anyway, another blatant Hogan ass-kissing move; Hogan wasn't even slightly important while Blassie managed him. Very little is really said about his history or accomplishments, most of the talk just referring to how he went about drawing heat for those he managed. Disappointing segment.
Grand Wizard: I didn't really know much about this guy going in, and I still don't. This is quite possibly the least informative clip of the DVD, as all they really do is keep saying he was charismatic while showing clips of some promos. This dude kinda looked like Kevin Nash did that time he dressed up in a turban while the WCW Commissioner. Those were the days, back when the glass ceiling was unbreakable and the main-event scenes were dominated by the likes of Triple-H, Undertaker, Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner, and Sting. Oh, wait.
The Mouthpiece: This clip's about how important a manager is to help develop someone's skills on the stick. Oddly, the people talking about that in this segment include the likes of Ken Kennedy, Triple-H, and Chris Masters, none of whom have any experience at managing. At least unlike Masters, Kennedy and Hunter are good on the mike. Bill Alfonso is featured in this clip a bit (and they actually mention Sabu's gimmick of being silent), so I'm hoping he shows up on the DVD.
Sunny: With how Tammy Sycth looks now, I'm shocked by just how hot she was ten years ago. This piece does actually include a bit of solid info on Sunny, giving her the credit she deserves for being the start of the Divas that dominate the scene now. Damn you Sunny! Err, sorry. Anyway, they do make mention of her fall from grace, citing burnout and drugs as parts of it though still being rather vague. The only mention of Chris Candido besides within clips is by Tazz right at the beginning. Best clip so far, and it's not just because Sunny gives me more of an erection than Freddie Blassie (but not by much).
Jimmy Hart: Most of the commentary for this is done by Hart himself, and he rather thoroughly explains his attitude towards managing someone. A lot of his major projects are mentioned, but nothing is really explained about what he did for any of them. The story of the megaphone is also shared, and is incredibly anticlimactic (basically, Vince came up to him with a megaphone and told him to carry it around). Naturally, Hart does the standard Vince kiss-assing to close his section. Not as good as Sunny.
Tard Clip #1: This is an incredibly stupid segment that starts with Tard yelling at some guy with a megaphone, telling him to bring him a sandwich. From there, Grisham starts making numerous obvious references to female managers, then yells at you that he's talking about woman managers anyway. Idiot.
Female Managers: This is a section highlighting female managers, with everyone from Woman to Melina to Beulah to Sable to Trish mentioned. A lot of time is dedicated to Trips shilling Chyna, and there's quite a bit of self-promotion from Stratus as well. Pretty boring segment.
Paul Bearer: This chapter starts off talking about his days as Percy Pringle, and they streamline that into his managing the Undertaker. They actually mention that he's a certified mortician (between him, Brother Love, and Undertaker, you could have an entire funeral arranged! Lex, if you're reading this, you might want to get in contact with them) and Jerry Lawler, in a rare showing of sense, explains why Paul Bearer was so important to the Undertaker's early successes. No mention of Kane or Mankind whatsoever, oddly.
Arnold Skaaland: Most of the talk in the early part of this section is about Bruno Sammaratino and Bob Backlund moreso than Skaaland himself. Skaaland's opinions on management are shared, as is part of his induction into the Hall of Fame. They play up the throwing in the towel in the Shiek-Backlund match as a shoot, oddly.
Previous Wrestling Experience: This section has various people debating whether or not previous wrestling experiences helps in successful management. Odd that they'd even have to ask this question with people like Sunny, Paul Bearer, and Jimmy Hart on this DVD, but whatever. Kayfabe is also in-place for this section, stupidly. Look, everyone knows your product is fake. You don't have to have a fucking documentry be in kayfabe. None of the others have been, after all. You also don't have to have Vito wear a dress and Eugene act retarded in public. Even stupider, "Yes" WINS 5-4.
Sensational Sherri: Have you seen her Hall of Fame video? It's basically the same damn thing. Nothing new, besides a few extra clips of Shawn Michaels. Damn, I thought WWE was being lazy when they recycled clips from the Ultimate Ric Flair Collection for his spot on the Greatest Wrestling Stars of the 80's DVD. By the way, her voice back then grates my nerves to this day.
Jim Cornette: Most of the content consists of promos of his. Excellent stuff. Most of the comments from others comes from Teddy Long, though a few other people also get in some of their opinions on him. Oh yes, when I think one of the greatest promos who ever lived, I think a personified black stereotype who refereed a famous Ric Flair-Ricky Steamboat match. Considering the falling out he had with the E, this is kept very respectful with nothing bad said about Cornette except Lawler calling him spoiled both as a character and in real life.
Tard Clip #2: Tard is swinging a tennis racket. Damn you, you've insulted Cornette's legacy by having Tard imitate him! Somehow or another, this segues into Teddy Long and Bobby Heenan's guide to cheating.
The Art of Cheating: Oh yes, host a segment about the art of cheating with T'Lo, who a lot of people probably don't even associate with anything besides GMing Smackdown. This segment is very heavily keyfabed, and the three-step guide they give is so incredibly boring. Grand Wizard, you no longer have the worst chapter on the DVD.
Paul E. Dangerously: As it turns out, Paul Heyman is KEN-AH-DAY's personal favorite manager of all time. The vast majority of the clips in this segment focus on his time in the AWA. Damn dude, what did you do to gain that much weight over the years anyway? Maybe that explains what happened to the rest of the FBI. Anyway, they do make reference to his runs with Big Show, Brock Lesnar, and Kurt Angle, but no details are mentioned. In the "What the fuck did he say?" moment of the DVD, Joey Styles comes off looking like an idiot when he says Paul Heyman was the best manager ECW ever had. Um, no, Joey, you should know better.
Captain Lou Albano: Roughly half the clip focuses on how ugly Albano is and was. What the hell? Hey, WWE, while you're at it on that WWE Championship DVD you're working on, why not dedicate half of Kevin Nash's time talking about how much of a waste of space he's been since 1997? Actually, I don't doubt that that will happen. Anyway, they then segue into his promo skills, before making me laugh for the only time during this DVD as these words play: "Hey pizanos! It's the Super Mario Bros. Super Show!" Yes, they actually mention that, and have a clip of the theme song! Captain Lou, there are some things you can never escape from, dude.
Managers in Matches: There's some good commentary on a few of the more famous ones, though in typical WWE style they kiss the ass of GREG FUCKING GAGNE. Beulah vs. Bill Alfonso is mentioned as well, as is the match where Harvey Whippleman won the Women's title. Michael Cole claims it was his best interview and match called, which is apparently supposed to be a joke but he says it as though he's completely serious. It is odd seeing Arn Anderson talking about how most managers aren't solid wrestlers and showing clips of Milena and Daivari during that period, considering the talents in the ring of both. Actually, the way Arn talks in this, he comes across as a bit of an asshole.
Miss Elizabeth: Who is that guy with the huge forhead who shows up on all the company's DVDs anyway? He pisses me off. Anyway, most of the talking about this is incredibly vague and doesn't really mention anything about her, besides some of the differences between her and most valets of the day. They don't mention they were already married before the public marriage either, as this is also mainly kayfabed. No mention of Lex Luger, or the circumstances behind her death.
Bobby Heenan: Some good details on Heenan's beginnings, unlike most of the others on this DVD. Unlike Sherri, this is very different from his Hall of Fame video and is also mostly different from his Stars of the 80's video except toward the end, which is good to see. Not surprisingly, they pull the obligatory Hulk Hogan Asskiss during this, and mostly focus on his WWE career. Almost every bit of talking comes from Heenan, though there's also some from the Brookyln Brawler, Shelton Benjamin, Chris Masters, some guy named Bob Costas who only appears one time during the entire DVD, Pat Patterson, and a few others. However, most of the content in this is rather well-known information or is included on one of their other DVDs that mentions him, and it is the longest section, so the chapter drags quite a bit.
Tard Clip #3: Incredibly stupid segment with the megaphone gag (as in it makes me want to do just that) repeated, this time into a cell phone, as the DVD ends.
Extras: The extras have some good stuff. There's an interview with Freddie Blassie and Nikolai Volkoff, an interview with Jim Cornette, "Fuji Vice" (!), an interview with the Grand Wizard and Bobby Duncum, an interview with the Hart Foundation, a pair of Manager of the Year Award presentations, an interview with Paul Heyman, the Randy Savage-Miss Elizabeth wedding video, Sensational Sherri in the Funeral Parlor, an interview with Arnold Skaaland, Sunny singing "Happy Birthday", and three matches that feature managers within them. Very good stuff here, and my only complaint is the Ultimate Warrior Weasal Suit Match would've been a lot better inclusion than the Rambo Gagne match. At least, you know, Warrior was once actually over.
Overall: The extras are great, but the feature attraction sucks because 1), it's not detailed enough, and 2), there are a lot of great managers not included on here (which is odd, as the back has every manager with a section on this DVD listed and still says there are many more), with the only non-WWF manager included being Paul E. If you're really dying to see Fuji Vice, I recommend it, but the program is horrible. Overall, I give it two thumbs up... then down. In other words, I want to let Deflated Dave to powerbomb this DVD. Yes, you read that correctly.
Don't You Wish You Were Pimped?
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.).