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For the week of February 17, 2008

To read last week’s edition of WEI, Click HERE!

The WEI is a weekly look at the events that have made an impact, both positive and negative, on the world of oiled up, hairless men that pretend to hit each other that we all so love to watch. The range goes from 0-100 with 0 being a world in which every PPV is like Heroes of Wrestling while a perfect score of 100 would be wrestling nirvana.

Remember, all links in WEI open up in a new browser window. So feel free to check stuff out, we'll be here when you get back!

TMZ “breaks” the news: Steph prego again! I love TMZ, especially their low-rent TV show that opens with a “production meeting” that is more worked than anything ever done in wrestling. TMZ also covers a lot of stuff in or involving wrestling and were especially on top of the Nick Hogan crap that went down last year. TMZ broke this “worldwide scoop” despite the fact that Bryan Alvarez had reported it in the latest issue of the Figure Four Weekly that previous Tuesday. I’m sure we’re all shocked that Harvey Levin isn’t a subscriber, although who knows, he could possibly be a lurker on The Board. What does this mean for the wrestling world? Who knows, and more importantly, who cares? I’m tired of Triple H and Stephanie stories, although at least this may take away from her time spent checking WWE writer’s emails and cell phone logs to see who is talking to the sheets. WEI Score: It’s a wash

***Have you seen the latest Jakks WWE stuff from Toy Fair 2008 over at WrestlingFigs? Tremendous coverage and there is some pretty cool stuff coming out. I personally love the “animated” style that can go right next to my Kevin Smith figures. And of course all wrestling action figure fans should be caught up on every single episode of the Curtain Jerkers, right?

Missy Hyatt starts up an art site? Missy Hyatt, she of the newly released YouShoot DVD (which would have made a great Valentine’s Day for that special lady in your life…Oh Christ, who am kidding?) recently opened a new website that spotlights her paintings. Seriously. Check it out at Missy Hyatt Art dot Com. I’ll be honest, this wasn’t what I was expecting. After Missy Hyatt’s Wrestling Vixxxens stuff and the like, I expected her art to be something like paint put on her boobs and then applied to a canvas. But color me surprised as the site has some samples of her work and several of them actually intrigue me. Hell, one I wouldn’t mind having in my house! Missy Hyatt, artiste, who’da thunk it? WEI Score: + 1

***Did you see the footage from the upcoming movie “The Wrestler” over at Ain’t It Cool? If not, Click HERE. The movie stars Mickey Rourke, off his amazing performance in Sin City and directed by the guy who did Requiem for a Dream and Pi. You’ll also get to see the biggest douchebags on the planet, CZW fans, and a clear example of why wrestling and, more specifically, wrestling fans are see as the lowest rung on the geek ladder by normal human beings.

Shoot Interview with The Sandman 2007 DVD - The guy has seemingly done over a thousand shoots, but like Jim Cornette, I just can’t get enough of the Sandman telling stories and this latest release from RF Video is as good as his best. This was recorded shortly after Sandman was released from the new and improved ECW, so you get stories that detail what it was like in the backstage environment of WWE from a shockingly candid and lucid Sandman. I’m talking one good story after another here as only Hak can tell him. One of my favorite parts of the entire interview has nothing to do with Sandman though, as its Sandman’s kid who steals the show as a wrestling uber genius. Imagine if Dave Meltzer and wrestling historian Keith Lipinski had a love child. That kid would remember half as much about wrestling as Sandman’s kid. All of us can remember the big angles and matches we have seen, but this kid can remember the most obscure Raw match from years ago. Just mesmerizing stuff. Awesome, awesome shoot. Sandman is in rare form and publicly talks about the alleged heat between him and Ricky Steamboat, what really went down on the African tour, and why he stayed in the ring so long the night in which Hornswoggle was revealed to be Vince McMahon’s son. Highly recommended. Click HERE to get this one. WEI Score: + 2

***Proof that there is a higher being? Kayfabe Commentaries just announced that The Sandman will be the next guy for YouShoot! Hallelujah!

The HEYMAN HUSTLE debuts! The UK Sun debuted The Heyman Hustle this week, a video feature in which former ECW cult leader Paul Heyman does what Heyman does best, try to shock people. For the first feature, Paul scored a coup by getting some sort of girl from Survivor, one that appeared in no less than Playboy, natch, to lock lips with another girl. It’s quick and that’s what I like about it. I’m looking forward to what Heyman brings to the table in future weeks. There’s also another great interview with the mad scientist of extreme posted at the Sun’s site. Check it out, although it does have the major bummer line of Heyman talking about why he’ll never do a shoot interview. DAMN IT! WEI Score: + 2

In a related note, I got an email this week from a WEI reader who wasn’t that happy that I promoted The Sun. Apparently the Sun wrote some sort of article that upset a great amount of people concerning the Hillsborough disaster, which was when 96 people died during a soccer game. The Sun’s headlines after the disaster were, shall we say, less than respectful. And I’m sure you’re shocked to learn it’s distributed by a company owned by Rupert Murdoch. If anyone would like to check out this reader’s passionate email condemning The Sun, email me and I’ll send it to you so that you can make your own informed opinion. As for myself, what can I say? I’m still a WWE fan and they have done things just as crass as the Sun, if not worse. And I still want to know what pictures the Sun must have on McMahon to get the incredible access that no one else in the world seems to get. Inconcievable!

Rebuilding the Sheik DVD - I’ve given major props to Kayfabe Commentaries for some of their brilliant ideas in the realm of wrestling DVDs. I’ve gushed over the YouShoot series and I think the My Side of the Story concept has some major potential (that’s not to say the first edition with Greg Valentine and Tito Santana isn’t cool, especially with Valentine looking like a real life cigar store Indian by this point). Out of nowhere comes another interesting DVD entitled Rebuilding the Sheik which is something I didn’t see coming at all. It’s actual a documentary of sorts which focuses on The Iron Sheik and his promoter, Eric Simms. Many of you right now are tuning off, probably thinking of all the shoots that Simms has stuck his big mouth in and tried to ruin. This DVD is so good that you don’t even want to strangle Eric Simms after it is finished, and if that doesn’t speak for how good it is, I don’t know does as Simms may actually be the single most annoying person in the history of professional wrestling, and imagine the ground that covers.

The DVD is a sobering look at the life of Sheiky baby and sets the record straight on what is, and what isn’t, a work. Many people on the message boards I visit have bitched about previous Sheik related DVDs, mostly feeling that the producers of the discs were taking advantage of Sheik. However, this feature puts across the idea that it is Sheik who is taking advantage of them, at least to the degree that he comes across as a person so-close-to-the-edge-he-may-fall, but in reality is in complete control of the situation. At the same time, it clearly shows the demons that Sheik battles on a daily basis and how that contributes to his “gimmick.” Host Sean Oliver guides the DVD through several interesting areas, such as the Dan Mirade incident, the Toronto meltdown, and some of his famous curse filled rants. The difference is that Sheik is now looking at those events with a new, more calmer perspective that is refreshing to watch. This is not your father’s shoot interview, as the cover proclaims it is more a journey of sorts into the mind of the Iron Sheik and what the man behind the rants is really like. Click HERE to get your copy. WEI Score: + 1

***Marvel Comics’ website recently featured an interview with Gregory Helms. Helms, a lifelong comic book fan, talks about the 30-40 books on his pull list a month (~!), Civil War, his favorite characters, how he got into wrestling, and a whole lot more. Good article, but he’ll always be Sugar Shane Helms, or the Hurricane, in my book. Although I just read in the Observer that Helms has been dating TNA Knockout Velvet Sky for years and the two live together, so now I hate him. ***I hope you saw the trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skrull. I can not WAIT!

Last Week’s WEI near-unreadable: I’m sure most of you reading WEI for the first time ever last week were probably thinking, is this Derek Burgan a complete moron or what? He couldn’t tie Pat McNeill’s shoes! Over on the F4W version, WEI was about as readable as Sanskrit and the Observer version wasn’t much better with all the weird spacing and half of it being in ALL BOLD. I have to take a page out of Gene Snitsky’s playbook and scream, “it’s not my fault!” Well, some of it was, but it’s stuff that’s not going to be fixed for you Dear Reader. Many people think that the Two Towers are located in Isengard and Mordor, but in reality they refer to the palatial Meltzer estate in Northern California and Bryan Alvarez’s condo in the backwoods of Washington (in a trivia note, the condo was once owned by fellow Washington native Ted Bundy). Trying to communicate with the Two Towers is not unlike trying to “herd cats,” a phrase I was recently taught by a powerful wrestling personality.

We can all forgive Dave. I mean let’s be honest, he’s the busiest guy on the planet, what with writing for yahoo.com, writing a book sized wrestling newsletter (or two) every week, texting Dwayne Johnson about how The Gameplan opened in Bangladesh, and doing various wrestling and mma audio shows. An email from me trying to correct some minor html mistake is kinda like Vince McMahon listening to Paul London complain about not being able to do the Shooting Star Press. Which is why my Doin’ Time with New Jack review is still in ALL BOLD and will continue to be in perpetuity, all because of one missed html character. Alvarez on the other hand lives in what he admits to be the smallest Wrestling Bubble this side of the TNA management offices in Nashville, TN. It’s not that Bryan hasn’t watched an episode of Seinfeld, he’s never even heard of Seinfeld. After sending a dozen emails to Bryan, each correcting something minor, I live in fear that a new DethTour will make a stop down here in Florida during WrestleMania to stretch me out. So I just let it go. (Actually, I don’t let it go, I just rant and rave to Keith Lipinski and anyone else who will listen to me, acting like some five year old kid.)

Rest assured, I’m doing everything in my power so that future WEI’s will not have the same mistakes, to give you, Dear Reader, the pleasurable experience you deserve each and every week. And whenever you see something that drives you up a wall, you can sleep easy knowing that the very same thing is making me lose my f---ing mind as well. WEI Score: - 10

*** Did you know The Rock made an appearance at Universal Studios? Unfortunately he wasn’t there to promote a Southland Tales thrill ride in which each passenger sits in a ride vehicle and forced to watch the movie until they jump out the back, leading to a 250 foot drop.

WWE puts up a poll for their new slogan: As a male in a highly coveted demographic, I’m used to following the pied piper anywhere as long as he’s singing a sweet song, or in this case, an awful tagline. Just Do It. Where’s the Beef?. Tastes Great, Less Filling. A Diamond is Forever. Priceless. Get the F out. Get It? The New Generation. These are all examples of brainwashing slogans that have had me lining up at the register, disposable cash in hand. WWE has recently put out a POLL that asks people to give their vote on which slogan would work best for the company. Some interesting stuff there, including a couple that at the very least they know TNA can’t use such as Let Us Entertain You. Head on over and cast your vote, but while you are thinking about it, also check out Sean Carless’ Slogan Poll parody over at the Wrestling Fan website. WEI – 1

***Have you seen the uncensored satellite feed of the famous Steve Austin/Brian Pillman gun angle on Raw from years ago? Interesting stuff, especially if you are interested in what really goes into making these skits and how much actual work gets done just for a couple minutes of airtime. Just click on Part One, Part Two, and Part Three to see it all. To me it was like seeing Alan Moore’s proposed pitch for Watchmen that I talked about last week. This is a part of the creative process that we never see and because entertaining because of it. Although I just realized I compared the written genius of Alan Moore to a crass angle during Crash TV, so clearly I’m losing my mind.

Jonny Fairplay rumored to be signing a new deal with TNA: This should surprise no one as it makes no sense business-wise whatsoever and adds absolutely nothing to the show. I wonder if Dixie Carter is going to like the new Knight Rider show on NBC and pay some money so that Jeremy Borash can drive around the Impact Zone in K.I.T.T. “Michael, I see low buyrates ahead…WEI Score: - 1

***Speaking of Fairplay, whatever happened to that frivolous lawsuit he filed last October against Danny Bonaduce?

***I need a new logo for WEI, so if you are a creative cat and want to submit a sample, send them to the email below. We’ll reward anything top notch appropriately.

***It’s really amazing that Gabe Sapolsky hasn’t pulled out every single hair in his head, especially seeing what goes on at the ROH.com message boards. Don’t believe me? Check out this thread, and when you are done, read this little bit of insanity.

***WWE.com continues to work the Maria doing Playboy dealie. I’m actually worried if this photoshoot actually does take place as our poor WEI graph may actually EXPLODE at that point.

***Well, this is a weird one. WWE.com put up a tribute to the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Thriller Album. It’s hard to imagine now, but when I was growing up, Michael Jackson was THE pop star. Think Britney Spears at her peak and then multiply by a factor of a hundred. MTV used to be so huge as well and I clearly remember wanted to see the debut of the Thriller video in the worst way, and it didn’t disappoint in the least. For it’s time, the video was amazing and had everyone under the age of 25 buzzing about it. Then we find out later that Michael Jackson was 100% batshit insane. Oh well, at least you can’t take that moment of time away from me. WEI Score: - 1

WWE releases their greatest t-shirt, EVER: Normally I’m not a big fan of WWE shirts, or wrestling shirts in general. In fact, I would say 99% of them are complete dog shit that people should be beaten for wearing out in public. Sure, I’ve bought a couple in my years of fandom. My bWo and Triple Threat shirts from ECW. A Tajiri “Spider-Man” and some Hurricane shirts from WWE. A couple New Blood shirts from WCW. And a Beulah t-shirt from ECW that we shall never discuss again. Up until this point every John Cena shirt has fallen into the “dogshit” category. All 1,945 of them. Then, out of nowhere comes this BRLLIANT SHIRT that evokes the old pro wrestling game on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. You spoiled young brats have probably never used a cartridge game in your life, not understanding the subtle nuance of how to correctly blow onto the circuit board in order to get the game to play one more time. Let me tell you something, this is nostalgia the way I like it, directed RIGHT AT ME. WEI Score: + 2 ***And finally, the Million Dollar Man’s son was another victim of the TAMPA CURSE. He faces a DUI charge after getting into an accident at 3:30a.m., blowing a .13 and slurring his speech. Not too unusual for a wrestler. Hell, that’s Kurt Angle when he wakes up in the morning. Maybe we’ll see Ted Jr. jump onto what the Honky Tonk Man calls the “Oh Brother” tour to raise money to pay the upcoming court costs and fines…

COMICS~! Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle: How can you not be jazzed by the upcoming Iron Man movie featuring Robert Downey Jr. That, along with the prominent role Iron Man played in the excellent Civil Wars series from Marvel has made Iron Man a main event player again. It’s time to read a classic Iron Man tale, one that dealt with an issue in comics that had never been done before: a bonafide alcoholic superhero. Groundbreaking stuff, approaching the level of Denny Green/Neal Adam’s stuff in Green Arrow/Green Lantern or the stuff in Amazing Spider-Man that made the absurd Comics Code revise itself. There’s a differing layer of quality in all three, with clearly the Neal Adams’ stuff being some of the best things done in comics ever, but the Iron Man story is still one worth reading. It has the standard superhero fare, but it’s the battle with the bottle that makes this book an involving read. One of my favorite comics of all time is Daredevil: Born Again, and this book shares a quality with that one in that the hero hits absolute bottom, and then falls some more, before struggling to come back to the man he once was. Wrestling could learn a lot from comics (or well written TV shows, or well written movies) in that the audience wants to believe in their heroes and ultimately triumph over evil. This is something that hasn’t change over time and will never change.

Click HERE to get a hold of Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle, and at 34% off to boot!

DVD of the week! The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters - My favorite documentary in years and in centers on two guys battling over the world record to, of all things, the video game Donkey Kong. The cast of characters in this movie are incredible, to the point that now Hollywood writer could have possibly written them as audiences would have found too unbelievable. On one side, Steve Wiebe, your general nice guy sadsack who has had all the rotten luck in the world. On the others side, Billy Mitchell, a guy who is such a natural heel you’d think he had spent his entire life in wrestling. In between there are Mitchell’s sycophants and others caught in the headlights of one of the most bizarre “battles” you will ever bear witness to. This film is seriously entertaining and by the end you will be amazed by everything that went down. I personally was shocked to find out that I had spent the majority of my life just an hour south of the Video Game Capitol of the World, as apparently legit video game records are all officially recorded at this white trash Disneyland called FunSpot in Weirs Beach, NH.

Check out this fantastic interview with Billy Mitchell by the Onion’s AV club that shows what a douchebag this guy can be even through the written word. And after reading that you’ll probably be thinking what I was, how can I get a copy of Mister Awesome’s book?! If you don’t know who Mister Awesome is, well, read that interview. Any enemy of Billy Mitchell is a friend of mine and that book sounds juicy!

WHAT?! You haven’t seen The King of Kong yet? Then Click HERE delivered to your door, and at a discount to boot!

DID YOU SEE THIS?! Our old buddy David Wills has a counterpart in England. It’s still real to them, dammit! All joking aside, I wished I liked anything half as much as this guy likes Warrior. Bully for him!


Last week's Wrestling Enjoyment Index: 57
This week's net change: - 4
Current enjoyment level: 53

PERMA-LINKS:
*
Orlando Attractions Magazine - If you are a theme park NUT like me, you owe it to yourself to sign up for this fantastic magazine that spotlights all the great stuff down here in Florida. Disney World. Universal. Sea World, and just a ton of other stuff. Top notch articles and brilliant photographs make this one of my favorite things to read. It also helps to have several wrestling tie-ins, since several wrestlers (Scotty 2 Hotty, Mick Foley among others) are theme park fanatics as well!
*
Scarface: The Devil in Disguise TPB - A collection of the superb four issue series from IDW publishing. Written by a wrestling fan and featuring the backstory of one of Hollywood’s most charismatic, not to mention controversial, characters: Tony Montana! If you enjoyed the movie, you’ll enjoy this.

* The Full Pint’s website - If you are a fan of beer, like me, than this is your one stop destination for all things beer. Reviews, news, and a ton of entertaining stuff will be found here. Check it out!

Special thanks to: Sensational” Scott Paris, wrestling historian extraordinaire Keith Lipinski, and Ian Hamilton, “Hollywood” Mike Roe, and Eric Fishlegs for their help brining WEI to life this week.

And of course no one of this would be possible without the talented hands of The Wrestling Fan’s Sean Carless, who has recently vowed to never make another Triple H parody again if WWE keeps The Game out of the main event slot at WrestleMania. There are some that say that this is an impossible promise, akin to Carrot Top vowing to never make a joke using props, but check out Sean’s Wrestling Fan site to read the vow and TAKE THE POLL~!


Billionaire philanthropist Derek Burgan, who fights crime when not writing DVD reviews, has been watching wrestling since he was ten years old. He even has a MySpace page. If you have any questions, corrections, feedback, or goofy ideas, Derek can be reached at: derek@gumgod.com.

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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

by Sean Carless

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.).