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For the week of March 2, 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!

Before we start, let me tell you something I've found out recently. Each Saturday I usually send a nearly finished draft of WEI to several members of my Circle Of Trust and ask for their opinions. What they like, what they don't like, and what should be changed. A common answer I've been given is that WEI is too long for their tastes. That's right, they say that I am giving you, Dear Reader, too much bang for your buck. At first I thought that concept was beyond crazy, but after hearing it several times, maybe it true. Let me know if you think WEI is way too long and if I get enough responses, hell, I'll mail this baby in each and every week.

ROH runs "rape" angle: This subject is great because so many are talking about it and most everyone is talking out of their ass because they haven't seen it. The ones who have seen it, the ROH fans in New York City, are the worst people to get an opinion from as they are possibly the biggest marks in wrestling and spend seemingly their entire lives thinking of ways to get themselves over. Okay, they are definitely second to CZW fans, but they are still pretty damn obnoxious. So message boards were lit up with discussion on the show and a couple of columns were written about it as well. One of those columns even brought the ire of Gabe Sapolsky himself, who wrote the Torch and said: " Six years and we make one mistake that we immediately apologized for and said would be dropped and would be territory never ventured to again. That isn't a bad track record and isn't worth two columns by arrogant writers who (1) said the angle was more than it was WHEN THEY DIDNT EVEN SEE IT and (2) ignored the fact we apologized and said it was dropped." Pretty harsh words them from El Gabe-O himself who must have been pulling out his hair this week after the crazy reaction. My take? I'll wait and see for myself, although I hope this isn't eventually cut from the DVD release as my hopes for ROH Uncensored Vol 2 are very small. WEI Score – 2

***In related news, three Duke Lacrosse players were announced to be joining the Age of the Fall.

In sort of related news, here's my review of ROH Uncensored vol 1 and as a very special bonus, my WrestleCrap induction for Eric "Towel Boy" Tuttle, which – to this day – remains the only Ring of Honor induction on the site.

***BREAKING NEWS: It has just come to my attention that this incident will not be on the DVD so you can just forget everything I wrote. I now will make a snap decision, flip a coin Anton Chigurh-style, and decide that… yes it was indeed a blatant example of the worst kind of rape. Heinous!

Hogan agrees to lay down for Dave Meltzer for a cool two large: This week on the Bubba the Love Sponge radio show, Hogan expressed legit shock over Floyd Mayweather's reported twenty million payday for WretleMania. Now, I haven't read the Observer yet, but that number sure sounds pretty absurd to me. It would be like reading Tobey Maguire was getting fifty million for Spider-Man 4, so my bullshit meter is ringing off the charts. Hogan said that he never received even two million for any of his WrestleMania appearances and said he would job to anyone in the company for 10% of Mayweather's take, and even threw Dave Meltzer's name in the hat. Who knew that Hogan burning a copy of the Wrestling Observer on Nitro back in the day was actually a slow build for a semi-main match? Bubba the Douchebag then went on to completely bury Dave, completely embarrassing himself, and showing even the people with Hogan-blinders on that he has his head firmly implanted up the Hulkster's ass. WEI Score: - 5

***I hope that a while back you were able to see Sarah Silverman's five star I'm f***ing Matt Damon video. Brilliant work. Her boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel gave his comeback this week with the even funnier I'm f***ing Ben Affleck video that has a ton of great guest stars including Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, and Robin Williams. Five star comedy and if you don't laugh at this, then stop reading WEI 'cause readers like you I don't need. Lastly there was a parody video made by Kevin Smith entitled I'm f***ing Seth Rogen featuring the red hot Elizabeth Banks. I am so in love with this girl it's scary. Watch all three. Then rewatch them again. That's comedy. Wrestling will give you all the arrogant writers talking out of their ass for ten lifetimes, these guys will make you laugh and at the end of the day that's what you really need.

***The second episode of the Heyman Hustle is up and it's pretty much as boring as the first. Guests include some goofs from the Jackass TV show, the naked cowboy (who claims he's the third biggest tourist attraction in NYC, so he'd be a great fit in wrestling since he has the exaggeration part already down), and former WWE diva and ECW star, Dawn Marie. The episode is based around the realization that the naked cowboy is not someone who is completely insane, but is actually a guy who is working everybody and having fun doing it. Save yourself some time and just look at the Dawn Marie pic.

***There is also a bonus Heyman article entitled How I hustled Vince McMahon with an awesome picture of a 15 year old Paul Heyman with Jesse "the Body" Ventura. The article details how Heyman "hustled" Vince McMahon Sr. for his first wrestling press pass. Nice little story.

***I never thought I'd say this, but poor Chris Masters…

WWE.com's new INDUSTRY NEWS section spotlights TNA, ROH, and Chikara: Talk about a shocker. This week WWE.com, oft seen as a bastion of kayfabe, started an "industry news" sub-section in their Inside WWE section. Among other things they discussed; T, TNA's March schedule, Ring of Honor's PPV, Chikara's King of the Trios Tournament, and will give credit to non-WWE websites including Jason Powell's Dot Net. INSANE! This is like the end of the movie The Naked Gun with Arabs and Jews kissing (not to mention mailmen and dogs). What's next? Is WEI going to be plastered all over WWE.com?

While nothing of this magnitude has happened before, WWE's site will occasionally drift over into breaking legit news, with the feeling that other sites (such as Wrestling Observer and F4Wonline) are stealing potential eyes from their constant stream of ads. I'm not sure why they feel this way, especially since the amount of hits they get dwarfs the other sites, but there can't be any other logical reason for doing something like this. Then again, this IS wrestling, and you can usually just throw logic out the door. I can't imagine this new directive will last very long, but it's great to see at least. Major props to WWE for having the chutzpah for this one. WEI Score: + 2

***Maria's PlayBoy is about to be released~!

***Here's a neat little comic strip that takes Garfield out of "Garfield" and makes it funnier. Who knew? I mean besides everyone reading that is. Reminds of that wonderful site that had people submit their own captions for Family Circus strips that were jaw droppingly funny. I should have put that one in My Favorites as I certainly can't remember the name of it. (If anyone's wondering, my favorite comic strips are Bizarro, Life in Hell, and Monty, both of which I haven't read for years. The fact that Monty hasn't had a collected version for over a decade makes me want to SCREAM. I will gladly give them my money for books and they won't take it. BASTARDS!

***Over at Lance Storm's website he reviewed Chris Jericho's book for his Book Marks (that's a play on words) reading club. Tremendous book that you all should have read by now and if you haven't, well pick it up NOW you goof! Anyway, there are other reviews besides Storm's and there is also a pretty big response from Y2J himself that discusses the title and time of release of his second book. This is a pre-order if there ever was one, especially if your name is KC O'Conner.

***We're getting close to WrestleMania, where I'll be in Orlando all weekend watching WAY too much wrestling. To get us ready we'll look at some past WrestleMania reviews including: my review for the WrestleMania III: Championship Edition DVD and Sean Carless' reviews for WrestleMania 19 and WrestleMania 20. Sean's reviews are chok full of his usual sharp writing and best-in-the-business photoshops. Do yourself a favor and check them out. And buy that WrestleMania III DVD so WWE will start putting out more like it!

FIVE THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT…JEFF SMALL!
What exactly is FIVE THINGS…? Well, even though it's pretty damn self-explanatory, it's like this: 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 cartoon dog is Hong Kong Phooey? 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?

This week's guest for FIVE THINGS is Jeff Small. Small is a contributing writer for pop culture hub 411 Mania dot com, which besides covering wrestling also features a ton of stuff on movies, TV, DVDs, video games, politics, and everything else under the sun. Now then, one of my favorite columns of yesteryear was when IWC celebrity Flea did his IWC 100, which were an in-depth look at wrestling's top 100 writers. Flea, who is currently serving over in Iraq (for the other side) hasn't done a new IWC 100 in years, which is certainly a downer for people such as myself who are starved to see their name in print. Thankfully Jeff Small recently vowed to do the IWC 50, but quickly realized the mammoth task ahead and instead listed his 15 favorite writers. Check out his column, which includes that list, BY CLICKING HERE. That's right, yours truly has made the list, and number nine to boot. While I am behind IWC heavyweights such as Lance Storm and Dave Meltzer, I am a few slots above other high profile names. So as Dunder Miflin's Michael Scott would say, Alvarez, you can SUCK ON THAT! Without further ado, here are FIVE THINGS you didn’t know about Jeff Small, straight from Jeff himself:

1. Let's get the obvious out of the way. Unlike my name states, I'm not Small. Seriously, I'm taller than you think. I guess the best way to describe me is that I am as tall as the Rock, have the boobs of Michelle McCool, and the thighs of Trevor Murdoch. I don't know how appealing that image is but it can't be any worse than Big Daddy V's current ring attire.

2. Having a Thursday News Report column at 411Mania has its perks. If you were to Google my name, I am 3rd in the Search Results. You must admit that's pretty darn impressive. I bet that bum who coaches track and field at Marshall or the loser who has a PhD in Audiology and Speech Sciences wishes they could get hits for posting pictures of Bobby Lashley's cheeseburger obsession.

3. While my friends got the memo in 2002 that wrestling was not cool anymore, my Inbox must have been full. Sadly, I sat through countless Test pushes, Heidenreich: Frozen Nazi Poet, the year 2005, and most recently, the Great Khali's imitation of a Magic Bullet. Worst part of it all: I didn't even have an avenue to filter out my aggression. And when I did finally receive one, I was stuck with Online Heat duty.

4. I am planning on voting for Barack Obama not because of his politics; rather, I am memorized by his voice. If you were to close your eyes and listen to him speak, he sounds just like the Rock. I can't wait until he tells that jabroni Osama bin Laden that his ass is getting checked into the Smackdown hotel. Or when he asks Hilary if she likes strudel.

5. I contributed to the downfall of the WWF New York restaurant. The summer before the restaurant closed, the local CBS affiliate was interviewing people on the streets of New York for a theme restaurant piece and lo and behold I was chosen. I gave some corny reason why I like WWF NY (I think I mentioned the food) and three months later, it closed down. What luck. If only I could attend a TNA show...

Thanks Jeff! Remember to check out Small's The Thursday Small For All each week at 411. Check out past FIVE THINGS from Justin Shapiro and myself.

***Damn it, SmackDown is going to MyNetwork TV and all of us are going to have to find that channel on our DVRs. Thankfully I'm taping the absurdly horrible, but still must watch TV, Paradise Hotel 2 on that channel.

Mini-Reviews:
Shoot Interview with Danny Doring DVD : This I wasn't expecting at all as I've never been what you could call a big fan of Danny Doring. In fact, for a large part of his career I didn't care for him at all. That said, this is a tremendous shoot for fans of the old ECW like myself, and has a ton of great stuff on the "new and improved" ECW as well, all told by someone who has no probably telling the people he doesn't like to go f*** themselves. Doring RIPS on a ton of people throughout the DVD, including (but not limited to) Mikey Whipwreck, Dean Malenko, Jasmine St. Claire, and especially Paul Heyman. Doring says that he and Heyman despise each other and gives plenty of dirt why.

Other things I loved in this shoot include: a Dennis Stamp Beyond the Mat reference, a world class Hulk (the TV show) reference that had me popping huge, comparing Sandman and Sabu in the new ECW to the old ECW, Amy "Lita" Dumas, the Hardcore Homecoming debacles, Taz stories, and more rat stories than you could ever want. I also found Doring's talk about his WWE release to be very interesting. I was shocked, SHOCKED at how much I enjoyed watching this shoot. Awesome road stories from a guy who literally worked his way up from the ring crew to the top of ECW (although that also shows the lack of depth of ECW near the end, but still). Doring remembers all the people that treated him like shit and has no problem calling them on the carpet. Don't skip on this one because of the name. CLICK HERE to get your copy of Danny's shoot DVD.

***RF Video also has a video parody of their upcoming Shoot Interview with George "The Animal" Steele that should please old fans of Steele. Goofy stuff.

Missy Hyatt YouShoot DVD: Last year I reviewed one of the best DVDs in the history of the media form, YouShoot with the Honky Tonk Man. An instant classic, Kayfabe Commentaries took the shoot interview concept and went so far outside the box that you couldn't see the box anymore. They got fans to send in emails and video files and got Honky to answer them. The result? The best wrestling DVD in 2007. Next on the YouShoot list? Missy Hyatt, the controversial vixen who also has had numerous fantastic appearances in such places as Dave Meltzer's old radio show. Can she possibly live up to the standard good ol' Honky set?

In a word? Yes.

In two words? F--- YES!

First of all, it only took one DVD before people realized they could start plugging their websites when they send in questions to KC. It's not nearly as obnoxious as you would think and is actually a great way for both the viewers to get noticed and for KC to sell DVDs as you know these guys are going to tell their friends they are on the DVD. Second of all, this disc has something the Honky disc didn't have, and that is the "WHAT A DICK!" game. Host Sean Oliver brought out the famous KC Dry Erase board (used in the Guest Booker series and had a list of wrestler's names on the right. A whole bunch of guys. Eric Bischoff. Road Warrior Hawk. Bill Fralic. Jason Hervey. Val Venis. Robert Fuller. Probably about twenty guys. On the left side of the board were photographs of various, I shit you not, penises. I swear to god they were real, or incredible fakes. Even better, once Missy talked about Virgil, Sean Oliver put up a picture of a big black penis. To top it off, in the best moment of the DVD, when Missy started talking about an uncircumcised penis, Sean Oliver put a picture of that on the board! Just incredible.

I actually have a funny story about seeing an uncircumcised penis, as we had a "nude model" in my art class once. For weeks I saw "nude model" on the schedule and was counting the days until class. I couldn't wait! The day of the class arrived, I walk into the room and see a guy standing in the middle of the room. I looked just like Little Ralphie Parker in A Christmas Story when he realized his secret code was just an ad for Ovaltine. Even worse, after the guy took off his clothes I remarked to the girl classmate next to me, "Something's wrong with his penis." She replied, "He's not circumcised." At that moment I think I threw up a little in my mouth. I should do a whole column just on my art class stories.

Anyway, just like Honky's YouShoot, Missy's is broken up into various chapters. They include: Gossip, Sex & Drugs, Conquests, Women & Boobs, Beefs, Territories, Modern Wrestling, and Miscellaneous. Clocking in with a run time over two hours, all the subjects get their due and you sill see and hear stuff on this DVD that you won't hear anywhere else. I knew I was going to be in for one hell of a ride when right off the bat Missy buries super agent Eric Simms ten feet under the ground by saying, "people think all Jews are bad if they look at him." The questions and video files from the fans range from good questions to goofy, but it is always priceless when host Sean Oliver has to ask something like the following: Who is the biggest piece of shit you've ever come across in wrestling? For some reason I just can't picture Wade Keller asking something like that in his next Torch Talk. And that's what makes YouShoot stand out from the crowd. The interaction between Missy and Sean is good and the questions provoke some seriously entertaining answers. All I can say is this, another triumph!

CLICK HERE to get your copy of YouShoot with Missy Hyatt and get ready, as THE SANDMAN is the next participant in this series.

***Don't forget to check out Missy's Art site (yes, art) and her new Missy Hyatt 24/7 site. You gotta support the people out there who making this god damn industry bearable to stay a fan of.

***In the new ROH Videowire, the wrestler Jigsaw unmasks. I hope the guy doesn't take this personally, but he needs to put the mask back on ASAP. Maybe they can do an angle ripping off the Fantastic Four and have Jigsaw get a small cut on his face. He would see himself as horribly disfigured and put the mask back on in shame, becoming a huge heel by destroying everyone to get "revenge." There's also some stuff on there with Nigel McGuinness, and Sunny, yest that Sunny, coming to the ring as Austin Aries was being confronted by the Age of the Fall.

***Item! This week's edition of TNA Impact drew a 1.1. More on this as the story develops…

***Irv Muchnick (author of Wrestling Babylon) wrote a good piece on the real story of WrestleMania. It is an open letter to the Orlando Sentinel as their coverage of WWE is about as hardhitting as Ziggy cartoon. Irv will find out fast that the Orlando Sentinel might be the worst "big" newspaper around and with the way they cower to Disney, it should surprise no one with their fluff on Vince McMahon.

Big Vision Entertainment's Best of CHIKARA DVD : This weekend had Chikara holding it's King of Trios tournament, and me being the Johnny Come Lately that I am, will look at one of their DVDs after the fact so that I can't plug the shows for you to go to. Oh well, I'm sure the tourney was great. As for the DVD, this is the steal of the year. For under ten bucks you can get a hold of the Best of Chikara DVD which has eight full matches with some incredible action. I think of Chikara as a goofy mix of ROH, Pro Wrestling Guerilla and Lucha Libre. They have a ton of great wrestlers and you'll see guys on this DVD like Chris Hero, Larry Sweeney, and Claudio Castagnoli. You'll also see the homegrown Chikara guys like Mike Quackenbush, Cross Bones, Los Ice Cream, and Gran Akuma.

Chikara skillfully mixes comedy with fast paced, hard hitting wrestling. This isn't some crap indy show you can see down the street. These guys can hang with the best of them (and often do in Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla) but also have some of the most goofy gimmicks you will ever see. This is a great introduction to Chikara as it has a low price point, very good to great matches (with some fantastic announcers at times as well), and will leave you wanting more. The DVD even comes with a free Chikara trading card and how can you not love that?! At this price, you can't afford not to try it. CLICK HERE to get your copy of The Best of Chikara delivered to your door.

***Did I mention that my FAVORITE thing about Chikara is that they often pay homage to classic comic book covers on their DVD boxes? Check out this awesome link on 4thletter.net that goes through many of them and shows you the comics they were based on. I totally marked out for this.

Reviews of note:
The Extreme Summit DVD (Too Cold Scorpio, Fonzie, Tod Gordon & Sandman)
Vince McMahon DVD
ROH/CZW Cage of Death
Best of CM Punk DVD

COMICS~! Evan Dorkin's Who's Laughing Now? - Evan Dorkin is without a doubt the funniest man in comics and Who's Laughing Now? is a tribute to his genius. Trust me, this book has well over a hundred pages of some of the funniest stuff you will ever read, including some of my favorite stuff from Generation Ecch! and Fisher-Price Theatre (famous books re-imagined with those little Fisher-Price toys we all had growing up). Dorkin writes in a pop-culture overload type of way that is just hilarious to see in so many varied situations, especially in his "Fun Strips" which are a scathingly hilarious parody of comic strips. This book has 19 (~!) pages of "Fun Strips" that will having you rolling. If you can't laugh at this, face it kiddo, you're dead.

Be sure to check out Evan Dorkin's website, and read his Big Mouth Types Again blog. You too will become one of the converted. And CLICK HERE to get your copy of Who's Laughing Now? I should also note that my favorite thing that Evan has ever done is his recurring Eltingville Comic Book, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Role-Playing Club strips. The funniest, most scathing look at all types of fandom that you will ever see. Comic fans, wrestling fans, the people that play Magic and D&D, Star Wars and Star Trek fans… everyone who has some sort of hobby gets completely ripped apart in Dorkin's strip. Comedy Central actually made an Eltingville pilot, which you can read about HERE. While not nearly as funny as the comic, it still has some fantastic stuff and is worth going out of your way to see. On YouTube it is broken into three parts and you can now watch Part One, Part Two, and Part Three, including the five star TRIVIA DUEL in part three. You can thank me later.

DVD~! Justice League: The New Frontier (2 Disc Set) - It's a comic book "twofer" this week as our DVD selection is also comic based as Darwyn Cooke's The New Frontier straight-to-DVD release has arrived. You know if I'm recommending something recent from DC Comics it has to be pretty damn good as the company as a whole has pretty much sucked ass for a while now (I did enjoy Identity Crisis but all this other Crisis bullshit since? Dear lord, how do you DC fans read this shit?) Enough with slagging DC, this DVD is also produced by Bruce Timm, he of the great Batman animated show. A true pureblood pedigree as Darwyn's original book is a classic look at DC's biggest names during the founding of the Justice League. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash. They are here, along with many others, all done in a very distinctive style that is somehow both retro and cool. This will be a solid addition to your collection and let's hope DC doesn't screw up the Judas Contract movie as I have high hopes for that one as well.

CLICK HERE to get your TWO DISC version of The New Frontier.

DID YOU SEE THIS?! Check out this wonderful Google graph comparing TNA and WWE.

Last week's Wrestling Enjoyment Index: 61
This week's net change: + 10
Current enjoyment level: 71

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, Keith Lipinski, and Ian Hamilton. Of course none of this would be possible without the talented hands of The Wrestling Fan’s Sean Carless (click on that link for a top notch Raw is Star Wars satire).

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.).