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For the week of February 24, 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!

WWE sued over Gangrel license: Way back in 1998, when it was still awesome to be a wrestling fan, WWE paid White Wolf games a bit of money to license the Gangrel name and character. White Wolf produces such items as Vampire: The Masquerade, a role playing game which is like Dungeons & Dragons for those types of kids who get beat up by nerds that play Dungeons & Dragons. The license went for five years, and without renewing the license WWE had Gangrel appear on TV in 2005 and 2006 along with appearances in Ohio Valley Wrestling and Deep South. Here is a copy of the complaint. Now I'm not Jerry McDevitt, but I don't see much wiggle room here as WWE clearly violated the agreement, not unlike the one they made with the World Wildlife Fund, and we all know how that one turned out. Meanwhile, David Heath, the man who portrayed Gangrel, is all but out of wrestling and has embarked on his new career, directing porn films. Seriously. WEI Score: - 2

Speaking of Gangrel though, how great was his act when he debuted back in the day? The rising from underneath the stage in a ring of fire? The cool music? The blood bath? The Brood with Edge and Christian? The New Brood with the Hardy Boyz (which also thankfully saved us from Michael Hayes squeezing himself into shirts three sizes too small)? I loved it all.

Lindsay Lohan confuses Honda Center for Promises Rehab: This past Monday, oft troubled starlet Lindsay Lohan was in Anaheim, CA to visit the RAW show. Star of increasingly unwatchable movies, such as Herbie: Fully Loaded and Georgia Rules, Lohan was backstage to take pictures with guys like John Cena, JBL, and Floyd Maywhether and possibly learn the intricacies of obtaining pain pill prescriptions from various mark doctors around the country. I was going too give this one a big negative, but then LiLo - as she is nauseatingly known – went ahead and did an incredible photo shoot that shut down the New York magazine website. Check on that slideshow for some fantastic pictures, and this is coming from someone who hasn't found Lohan attractive since she did The Parent Trap. What can I say? I'm just not into redheads… except for maybe the Little Mermaid. WEI Score: + 1

***You gotta listen to the TNAddicts audio show that is actually approved by TNA. These guys just made my day as they talk about TNA and Impact like it has all the mystery and nuance of writing that shows such as LOST and Heroes contain. I can only compare it like this: imagine you walked into a funeral home and found yourself captivated by the most heartfelt, emotional, and gripping eulogy you ever heard… and then you find out it was delivered by some nutjob talking about his stuffed animal.

"You gave me a phone call, and I nearly swerved off the road when you told me to that the World X Cup is returning to TNA." – Like I could even make up a line that funny. These two guys are my new heroes. Hearing them talk about Abyss taking off his mask with all the gravitas someone would usually reserve for talking about the catastrophic loss of life during the invasion of Normandy is just fantastic. HUZZAH to TNA! Seriously though, I can't believe the opportunity TNA had for producing a great podcast that could get across the good points of the company without having to resort to something like this. I listen to a lot of podcasts, way too many in fact, some about wrestling, some about pro sports, and other miscellaneous subjects such as movies, Disney parks, Harry Potter, and things like that. There is a reason why some podcasts are tremendously popular while most others are unlistenable. TNA can easily be ahead of this curve and showcase a cutting edge podcast that would have both fans and possibly even haters raving about. Instead we get this. Where's the innovation? Where's the creativity?

Face Off 2: When World's Collide DVD: Honky Tonk Man. The Iron Sheik. New Jack. Three of the most controversial men in wrestling. Three of the most hilarious men in wrestling. What happens when you sit all three down in a room? I'm sure you'll be shocked when I say it becomes pure chaos. This is less a shoot interview and more of an organized train wreck of epic proportions ending with an I shit you not moment of the entire crew getting kicked out of the hotel room by the manager because of complaints from other rooms. Unbelievable. New Jack goes on his tirades, at one point grilling Paul Heyman, and Sheiky baby is in the background hilariously saying "Amen" during Jack's diatribe. If you can't enjoy this disc, you probably can't enjoy anything and spend most your time at various message boards complaining about John Cena's moveset anyway.

One chapter particularly noteworthy is where the guys are asked about Chris Benoit and you will see New Jack GO OFF, including Jack ranting on the WWE wellness policy. Because the entire shoot is uncontrolled to a degree, there are times when the guys talk over each other and make you want to scream, but the charisma and interactions between all three men easily overcome that negative. It actually makes for a fun watch at times, such as one point where you have Eric Simms talking loudly on a phone telling New Jack's friends how to get to the hotel, Honky Talk talking about how this is "real" compared to that "Hulk Hogan bullshit," and New Jack popping up from behind the couch like some sort of deranged Whack A Mole game. Seriously. Honky Tonk shines again and this guy could be in anything and I'd watch. How can you not love HTM, Sheiky and New Jack tearing into Dusty Rhodes? After the guys get kicked out of the room the DVD has some small bonus bits, including an ultra serious Jim Neidhart with Sheik during a radio interview and a surreal moment with Iron Sheik out with the guys from the Howard Stern show.

CLICK HERE to get your copy of RF Video's Face Off 2: When World's Collide. WEI Score: + 1

***An oldie but still a goodie, here's a clip of Mike Tenay and Don West caught reading from a script during a TNA show.

My Side of the Story: Greg Valentine/Tito Santana DVD: First of all, this DVD release from Kayfabe Commentaries gets major props for being one of the only wrestling DVDs in existence to include a booklet. Not just a small ad, like you'll find in WWE DVDs, but a sixteen page booklet that covers trivia and stats for the entire feud between Greg Valentine and Tito Santana. This is something I've been railing on for years and I'm glad to see someone finally doing something, and doing it right. I've always been a huge fan of the well done liner notes in CDs and the mainstream DVDs that come with nice little booklets. Jesus, at worst you can use the booklet as a mini-catalog of other DVDs the company offers. It seems like a no-brainer to me, but apparently the bean counters disagree as so few companies offer anything like this.

The concept of My Side of the Story is getting two wrestlers who were involved in a famous feud to sit down and give their unique perspective on what worked, what didn't work, and what they remember most about everything that happened during that time period. I remember growing up and being captivated by the feud between Santana and Valentine, largely because it happened during the '84-'85 era of WWF, when I had just became a fan and was enthralled by these larger than life characters. This DVD covered ground on their feud that I had not heard before, in part because at the time I hadn't heard of the Observer or had access to anything like the Internet. They discussed Tito Santana's real life leg surgery and how they used that as part of their program. They talked about why they didn't have a match against each other at WrestleMania along with the booking of their feud throughout the entire year-plus run where they worked primarily against each other. A very intriguing concept that is only marred by the fact that neither Tito or Greg were that different with their recollections. Both seemed to be on the same page for the most part and this type of DVD would be best used to give guys who have grievances with each other to air their beef. Not that it would happen, but this is tailor made for a Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels, or Shane Douglas/Scott Hall type of deal. Hell, I'd love to have a Teddy Hart/Gabe Sapolsky My Side of the Story with them giving their side of Teddy in Ring of Honor. Or a Kevin Sullivan/Vince Russo (or Ed Ferrera) dealie where they discuss the booking of WCW and all the turmoil. A lot of options are open in the future and I'm excited to see where the guys from KayfabeCommentaries take it this concept.

CLICK HERE to get your copy of My Side of the Story featuring Tito Santana and Greg Valentine. If you are a longtime WWE(F) fan, then this will be right up your alley and would probably appeal to any wrestling fan that would like to learn more about how feuds used to booked before Crash TV. WEI Score: + 1

***Check out Rumble Radio's recent interview with "The Franchise" Shane Douglas. It's available via mp3 download from the link. Interesting discussion, especially with Shane detailing where the Dean Douglas character was originally designed to go.

Between the Ropes goes PREMIUM: Brian Fritz and the boys behind the Between the Ropes audio show have finally upgraded and taken their site to the next level. It features MMA and pro wrestling blogging, news updates, a message board, and an archive of their radio broadcast that includes some 400 shows. We're talking some big guests too, such as Vince McMahon, Ric Flair, Randy Couture, and Randy Jackson. Fritz has recently been heard on the Wrestling Observer Live show as one of the revolving co-hosts along with permanent mainstay Bryan Alvarez. Certainly worth checking out, especially if you are a big fan of wrestling audio. BetweenTheRopes.com this week features an interview with Ken Shamrock that talks about his upcoming fight in March against Robert Berry. WEI Score: + 1

***Sean Carless made a video response to his pledge last week to never goof on Triple H again if WWE kept him out of the main event of WrestleMania. More inspired insanity that'll you'll pop for. It had me right out of the gate using Star Wars music and a Hindenburg pic with OHHH the HHHumanity on it. Carless is consistently putting the smartest parodies wrestling has ever seen and this is no exception. You can also check out the finished piece that parodied WWE's recent "tagline" poll, including some solid reader submissions.

G.L.O.W.'s Greatest TV Moments DVD - A while back I reviewed the first volume of Big Vision's G.L.O.W. series and it was a wonderful trip down memory lane. I was such a big fan of G.L.O.W. in the '80s, mostly because porn was a lot harder to get than it is now. In fact, I think the first person I ever had a crush on was G.L.O.W. wrestler Hollywood. That crush continued for years until the great Britney Spears …Baby One More Time video aired on MTV in 1999 which, "changed my life forever," as Homer Simpson would say.

G.L.O.W. is the greatest wrestling camp classic of all time, even blowing away some of my other favorites such as the Dirk Benedict movie Bodyslam (with Roddy Piper, Lou Albano, and Charles Nelson Reily among others) and Hulk Hogan Rock 'N Wrestling cartoon. It was a mix of the most god awful skits you can imagine mixed with girl's wrestling. And trust me, SHIMMER this ain't. That's not to say G.L.O.W. didn't have its charm, as each wrestler had a goofy gimmick that they played up to the hilt (including another one of my favorites, Dementia, a lunatic from a psychiatric hospital) and the skits were part of the so bad they're good category instead of the Vince Russo so bad they make you want to scream variety. It's titillating, goofy fun of the highest order.

This recent collection has the first three best-of G.L.O.W. DVDs and at a great deal, as you should be able find it for less than twenty bucks (like by CLICKING HERE. It's not something I would recommend to everybody, but if you are in the mood for a fun time, and especially if you grew up watching G.L.O.W. like I did, then this is a great guilty pleasure that you can relive again. Maybe Big Vision can get the rights Bodyslam or the Hogan cartoon and I can zoom right back to 1986 all over again. WEI Score: +1

***Here is a G.L.O.W. Tribute Page to learn more about the company and its crazy menagerie of wrestlers.

***Have any of you tried out the Amazon Kindle? It’s an interesting little reading device that I have heard lots of good things about, but don't actually know anyone who has tried one. If you have one and can comment positive or negative about it, send me an email, because this is something I think I may try out soon.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated hands out it's year end awards: Talking about G.L.O.W. brings me back to another thing I couldn't live without in the '80s, Pro Wrestling Illustrated. At the time, it was really the only way I knew about anything in wrestling as I hadn't heard of the dirt sheets yet. Later it would be the first place where I could actually see pictures of this "ECW" I was hearing so much about. I loved PWI so much I even subscribed to their low rent, poorly produced PWI Weekly, which was a poor man's Observer and that's still too high of praise for it. The one issue of the year I always loved the most was the year end awards issue. They would have full page pics of the guys, with some even holding their cheap plaques. The next page would have a full run down of why they won the award and then gave the three runners-up. Sounds kinda lame now, but in the eyes of me as a 12 year old, it was the greatest thing ever printed by man.

If you head to your local supermarket, you can pick up the new issue of PWI that has this year's award winners, including Hornswoggle winning rookie of the year. Other winners include: HBK vs. Cena on RAW (match of the year), Jeff Hardy (comeback of the year), Candice Michelle (most improved), John Cena (most popular), Randy Orton (most hated), Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle (feud of the year), and John Cena again for Wrestler of the Year. As a person desensitized to wrestling thanks to the Internet, I find PWI for the most part unreadable, but if you have a young wrestling fan in your life you should head out and pick them up this magazine. Believe me, it will make their day. WEI Score: + 1

***The debut episode of the Heyman Hustle is now up and running. Guest starring Jonny Fairplay, other Survivor goofs, some NYC whackjobs, Jesse Ventura, and Spider-Man (seriously) (no, seriously). Not the worst thing you’ll ever see, but also not quite the “revolution” that Heyman promised it would be. Heyman has earned the opportunity for me to let this keep going and see if it improves, so we'll check it out next week and see if he starts bringing the goods.

***Heyman also commented on the Benoit situation for the first time in this interesting blog, in which Heyman talks about Benoit "descending into madness." A good read, an echoes the statements made by many who seem to have no answer for why someone they knew could commit such a heinous and unthinkable act.

***And in case you were still wondering, the Sun's wrestling comic strip sucked an egg again this week. The target? Jim "the anvil" Neidhart's daughter. Is a smart, funny, wrestling based editorial comic strip IMPOSSIBLE TO PRODUCE? It would appear so.

***Last week I explained the diplomatic way one must go about in communicating with wrestling's Two Towers in San Jose, CA and Lynnwood, WA. This week I will attempt to explain even something I don't understand, the Figure Four Affiliate Program. You see, a couple years ago F4Wonline set up an Affiliate Program, where you would place a link on your site or whatever and if someone subscribed, you would get a percentage. As a loyal F4W Empire soldier, I of course immediately placed a link on Gumgod.com, the least updated website in wrestling history. Every month for about the last two years I have been getting emails from the Affiliate Program that I have made a sale and computes my percentage. The emails are unreadable and the accounting program is no doubt the same one Paramount used to prove they made no money on the Eddie Murphy Coming to America blockbuster.

To date I have received a grand total of zero dollars and zero cents from the Affiliate Program, leading to me to believe my funds have been diverted, Superman III style, to the Vincent Verhei Pizza Fund. The Emperor Alvarez denies this, and claims the Affiliate Program has been shut down for months, but every couple of weeks – like clockwork – I get my emails showing another sale. Welcome to the world of wrestling~!

FIVE THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT…JUSTIN SHAPIRO!
Since this is the debut for FIVE THINGS in WEI, I guess we should explain it, even though it's pretty damn self-explanatory. We are going to scour the Internets looking for all the IWC superstars that you have enjoyed reading over the years and find out some things that almost nobody knows about them. For example, we all know Dave Meltzer likes smooshing a banana into a woman's head, but did you know that Dave's favorite member of the Super Friends is Apache Chief? He probably isn't, as I just made that up and it's doubtful that Robot Dave has watched anything that didn't involve hairless men hitting each other in over two decades, but it certainly would be a neat little insight into his world, wouldn't it?

Our first entrant for FIVE THINGS is Justin Shapiro. Known worldwide for his work recapping for the Observer website and is often referred to as, "a poor man's CRZ or a rich man's Todd Martin." Shapiro is also a frequent guest on Joe Gagne's well remembered Joe vs. The World podcast. IMMEDIATELY check out episodes 24 and 52 where Joe and Justin discuss the legendary WWE films The Marine and The Condemned, respectively. Currently you can catch Shapiro's genius over at the Wrestling Fan with his Retro Heat reviews. Without further ado, here are FIVE THINGS you didn’t know about Justin Shapiro, straight from Justin himself:

1. When internet-wrestling-funnyman Derek Burgan kindly invited me to participate in this project, he also included a teaser link for this week's piece pointing to the filename "wei_lohan1.jpg." When I read this, I was horrifiedly expecting to find a Photoshop of Linz dressed up as Nancy Daus-Sullivan-Benoit in a recreation of that Hustler pictorial. But that's not the Fact. This is:

My two favorite matches ever are probably Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit vs. Steve Austin & Triple H from Raw in May 2001, and Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit from No Mercy 2002. Yeah. Still, the larger lesson in all of this is that no unspeakable tragedy can diminish a star rating.

Oddly, in the WWE.com listing of my all-time favorite matches, 1 and 2 are down as Rock vs. Chris Jericho from No Mercy '01 and Rock vs. Austin from WrestleMania 17.

2. I haven't actually written about This Industry with any regularity since October 2005, when Sunday Night Heat ended its televised run. Since then, I live on only through questionnaires solicited by the writers of other, more existing wrestling columns, as well as occasional fill-in Raw reporting for the No. 1 insider pro wrestling publication in the world's ........... website, an inexplicable cult status among a small handful of Great British subscribers to the Figure-Four Weekly website, and, of course, my life-defining work as a regular correspondent for award-winning podcast Joe Versus The World. Suck it, the World.

I would've happily lived out the rest of my years having monthly recorded telephone conversations with Joe, a host who truly possessed the most. Then his purported fiancÚ ruined everything and Yoko'd the whole enterprise, bringing down the show. I hope she Yoko's the enterprise of their marriage by dying of a heart attack at a young age! HE WAS MINE BEFORE HE WAS YOURS, MRS. JOE.

I sincerely apologize.

3. With the line between worker, MMA fighter, and internet wrestling reporter blurrier than ever, I feel obligated to discuss my own athletic background. My most crowning achievement was probably pitching a shutout in gym class floor hockey in February 1998 -- paying off my team (the blue pinnies) electing to use the nimble Shapiro in net in lieu of what had become the popular strategy of putting the two fattiest fatties between the pipes.

I can also run a 5K in like 23 minutes, which may or may not be some kind of record. I'm looking this up and ..... yes, it may not be. Still, I think we'll all agree that that is astoundingly fast. When I was training for a race in June of 2003, I was slightly inspired by that well-done Kurt Angle comeback video package set to Coldplay. In retrospect, it's hard to think of a more awful athletic role model than Kurt Angle. I finished the race, but my fingertips went numb and I was divorced before I even got my free t-shirt and banana.

4. I've got more degrees than a thermometer, which at one time prompted the facetious/obnoxious tagline that Todd Martin and I were the most educated 1-2 punch in all of wrestling recapping. For all the learning institutions at which I learned and instituted, though, never once was I lucky enough to have been attending one of the schools at which Dave Meltzer lectured.

However, on the first day of a class in a high level English course at a respected liberal arts college, when everyone was asked to introduce themselves and name their favorite writer. As a seminar-style conferencing-table full of would-be literary scholars was playing a perverse game of obscure author oneupsmanship, I decided to go even deeper into the canon and offer, "ah, probably Meltzer, you know, Dave Meltzer, been reading a lot of Meltzer." All listened, paused, and -- of course -- nodded in fake recognition of the San Jose, Calif.-based editor.

Then again, it is the size of a small book.

5. My classmate's sister allegedly made out with none other than Justin Roberts himself. In a club. Jealous?

Apparently, his namedropping pick-up line is, "Does the name Mark Yeaton ring a bell?"

***Thanks Justin! Listeners to F4Wonline's massive amount of audio know that Justin and I are forever linked in an inextricable way. Before I go on, I have to confess I have no idea where the world "inextricable" came from and I can't believe I spelled it right. I must be channeling a real author at this point, so look out PULITZER~! Anyway, both Justin and myself have been the proud recipients of emails from Nelson Frazier, who you may know as Big Daddy V. Mr. Frazier was quite unhappy that both Justin and I had the temerity to call him "fat." That's right, because neither Justin or I have ever stepped into a wrestling ring, we couldn't fathom what the word "fat" meant and how it couldn’t possibly apply to Big Daddy V. Believe it or not kids, being a wrestling writer isn't as glamorous as it seems.

I figured since Justin kicked FIVE THINGS off, I'll also throw in my own FIVE THINGS and next week we'll move on to our next IWC celebrity.

1. While many know my favorite movie is Jaws (have seen it well over a hundred times, own multiple DVD versions of it - including buying a bootlegged video of the laserdisc version at WizardWorld in Chicago – wear Jaws shirts, have movie props, the great McFarlane toy, etc, etc, etc. However, I am, for the most part, deathly afraid of the ocean. I pretty much will not go in it above my waist and will never go into a boat headed into the ocean. As you can imagine, this is a big obstacle in going on a cruise that my girlfriend has been on me about for years. This came about certainly from seeing Jaws at way too young an age (ten years old, seeing above an AIRCRAFT CARRIER in San Diego as my mom was in the Navy at the time). And to compound the problem, I keep taking vacations at places built around beaches (Aruba, Hawaii, Coronado, CA). I also have an irrational fear of spiders, also because of watching a TV movie about tarantulas taking over a town when I was way too young to be watching that kind of stuff. I'm a vegetarian, member of PeTA, and do everything I can to help any type of animal, to the point of catching flies that may come into my house and release them outdoors, but to paraphrase Lt. Frank Drebin in Naked Gun, if I see a spider I kill it, that's my policy.

2. I used to be an avid video gamer. From the first time I played Pitfall on the Atari 2600 as a kid until I finally gave up after getting the Sega Dreamcast near the new Millenium, I was a gotta have it for every game system imaginable. Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, TurboGraphix, Sega CD, the 3DO, every system you could possibly think of. The only thing I didn't get was Neo Geo, but I was even contemplating that but the idea of importing Japanese games was even too crazy for me to do. Besides the home consoles, I used to spend an inordinate time at the local arcade in Manchester, NH playing the various forms of Street Fighter, Gauntlet, X-Men, Paperboy, and my all time favorite Cyberball. I couldn't get enough. I don't know what happened, but when video games finally went to the next level with the introduction of Playstation, my interest completely died. I hadn't played a video game in years until this past Thanksgiving when a family member brought over his Nintendo Wii to my house and I have to admit, I gotta a little of the gaming bug back. I'm now looking forward to picking up a Wii one day and get my gaming groove back on.

3. While I don't drink much soda, my drink of choice is Diet Pepsi. However, I will only drink it from 24oz bottles and 1 liter bottles. That's it. I will outright refuse drinking it from any other source. That means any cans, two liter bottles, at a restaurant, or even the 16oz bottles. I have no reason for this other than that I am apparently insane.

4. While many people in wrestling have written to me over the years about my reviews and WEI, such as Big Daddy V that I mentioned above, the most famous was Eric Bischoff. The Bisch was a big fan of the A Few Good Men parody I did that substituted Wade Keller and The Hurricane in for Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson. Fresh off his glowing words, I sent Bischoff an early version of my Glengarry Glenn Ross parody that used a TNA booking meeting in place of the famous "motivational" scene with Alec Baldwin. Bischoff completely buried the piece and I found that fame is quite fleeting after all.

5. While I love wrestling, it wouldn’t place into my top five favorite hobbies. I much more enjoy comic books, movies, real books (mostly fiction: favorite writers include Jeffrey Deaver, Stephen Hunter, and John Grisham), pro football, and theme parks (especially Disney) over wrestling. Star Wars used to be way above wrestling, but the prequels greatly diminished my affection for it. They didn't make me hate Star Wars, but I'm certainly not rabid about it anymore. It's like a girlfriend that cheats on you. No matter how much you love her and say you can work it out, it will never be the same again.

WWE.com unveils exclusive t-shirt for The Miz: Here's the ad copy - If you ask self-proclaimed chick magnet The Miz,all the ladies want him and all the guys want to be him. And, quite frankly, it's hard to argue otherwise. Embrace the Chick Magnet within and get the new The Miz Chick Magnet T-Shirt today. Hoorah! Dear lord, as good as the Cena shirt was last week, this is just as bad and I can't fathom why WWE ruins most of their shirts with the godawful "slogans" on the back. Who the f--- would wear this shirt out in public?! Who is the f---ing demographic for this shirt? Social retards completely devoid of any fashion sense?! WEI Score: - 5

***I talked last week about the insanity on the ROH message boards, and this week another thread got LOCKED~! This thread dealt with, of all things, wrestling historian Keith Lipinski, who is always seen front row at every ROH show in Chicago. It also lets me tell the story of the time I flew to Chicago for WrestleMania 22, and went to both ROH shows that weekend as well.

Keith and I were front row enjoying the action during the Better Than Our Best show, when Keith decided to go to the bathroom because he knew intermission was coming up and he wanted to beat the lines. Unfortunately, this was when Gabe booked the angle of Chris Hero and Necro Butcher coming to the ring unannounced and attacking BJ Whitmer. With Keith gone, Hero and and Necro were part of a red hot angle, culminating with them being run off by Adam Pearce and the ROH security goofs. Pearce then checked on Whitmer back in the ring and yelled out, "Is there a doctor in the house?! Keep in mind this is in Chicago, where Keith seems to know everybody, and all of a sudden a loud, "DOCTOR KEITH! DOCTOR KEITH" chant started, with one section of the crowd pointing directly at me, right where Keith should have been. To say I've never seen anything as surreal in wrestling before or since would be an understatement, but the capper was finally seeing Keith during intermission and telling him the story. At first Keith doubted it, but we were over near his buddy Adam Summers (co-host of the F4Wonline Adam & Mike Show) and Adam confirmed it. The look on Keith's face is one I will never, ever forget. And to top it off, Gabe Sapolsky cut that moment off the DVD, so we'll have to wait years until an ROH Uncensored 2 is released for Keith to get that monkey off his back.

This year Keith is flying down here to Florida and once again going with me to WrestleMania and the two ROH shows in Orlando. We'll see what hijinx and shenanigans happen this time.

That's it for this week Dear Reader, I avoided talking about the Lionel Tate stuff because, as a former Domino's Pizza delivery boy, anyone related in a pizza related robbery gets an instantaneous minus 1000 points and we're feeling too good for that.

Reviews of note:
On the Road with the Honky Tonk Man DVD
Forever Hardcore (documentary on ECW) DVD
Shoot Interview with Team 3-D DVD
"Bodyslams" by Gary Michael Cappetta

COMICS~! New Avengers Vol.1 - Even though I’m a relatively big fan of Brian Michael Bendis, especially his appearances on the T, I scoffed when New Avengers was announced as a new title a few years ago. At the time I had not read Avengers: Disassembled or House of M and figured it was just another attempt by the Mighty Marvel Hype Machine to start yet another unreadable Avengers title. After hearing so many good things over the last few years I decided to break down and order New Avengers Vol. 1, the hardcover that collects the first ten issues of the series.

And I’ll be goddamned if I wasn’t wrong…again. New Avengers was a TREMENDOUS read. I couldn’t put it down. Broken up into two main arcs, the first covers the team being put together and a maximum-security prison break from The Raft, the second gives the back story of the mysterious character The Sentry. Bendis excels at many things, but what might be his strongest trait is the ability to write spot-on dialogue. I found myself laughing out loud several times at things Spider-Man had said, something I haven’t done in a long, long time. Bendis also nails Luke Cage, Captain America, and Iron Man. He just “gets” these characters like few others. And did I mention the art by David Finch? F---ing awesome. Just awesome stuff.

CLICK HERE to pick up your copy of New Avengers Vol.1. You might as well order Vol. 2 while you’re at it, otherwise you’ll be like me and dying for more as soon as you finish the book.

DVD~! SUNSHINE - This one probably went under your radar last year, but Sunshine is a terrific science fiction film that won’t turn off the people in your life that don’t like stuff like Star Wars (such as my g/f). Directed by Danny Boyle (who also did 28 Days Later), Sunshine is about a small crew who are sent into space to re-ignite the sun after a dark mass has extinguished it. A surprisingly great cast led by Cilian Murphy (Scarecrow in Batman Begins) and Chris Evans (Fantastic Four) put together a refreshing take on your standard disaster film. Though the budget wasn’t at Michael Bay level, the special effects are extraordinary and have some very innovative things going on throughout the movie. Lots of legitimate suspense arrives from unconventional ways that you just don’t get in your standard sci-fi film. I haven’t been this impressed by a sci-fi film since Joss Whedon’s Serenity in 2005. If there is one complaint, it is that the third act is wildly different than the two that led up to it. Personally, I didn’t mind it at all and thought I picked up on seeds that were sown for it earlier in the movie. The DVD also comes loaded with a bunch of great special features, including a good amount of deleted scenes and some short films by Boyle.

CLICK HERE to get Sunshine delivered to your door, and at 33% off to boot!

DID YOU SEE THIS?! An ad for Strip 'N Shine hair remover featuring none other than Stacy Keibler. I'm sure no one is shocked that Stacy being added to the My Life with Brian, or whatever that unwatchable show was called, did nothing for the ratings and ended up getting cancelled. I always liked Stacy though, and hopefully the former Mrs. Hancock will show up on a show I'll actually watch.

Last week's Wrestling Enjoyment Index: 53
This week's net change: + 8
Current enjoyment level: 61

PERMA-LINKS:
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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!
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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.
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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, Keith Lipinski, Chris Schneider and Ian Hamilton. Of course none of this would be possible without the talented hands of The Wrestling Fan’s Sean Carless. Check out Sean's classic satire on Discounted WWE x-mas merchandise, featuring the John Lauranitis t-shirt!

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.).