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For the week of March 9, 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!

First, an apology for every idiot out there – like me – who uses Internet Explorer as their browser and read WEI on the Observer site. If you heard a loud screaming off in the distance last Tuesday, it was right before my head exploded. I have no idea how it happened, why it happened, or why it only happened on the IE browser. Do yourself a favor and download this free Mozilla Firefox browser and rid yourself of this problem, along with a ton of crappy pop-up ads that probably attack you from other sites. I swear to God that one day I'm going to have an aneurysm from these stupid columns.

New MMA action figures to be released: Every month I travel to Ye Olde Comic Book Shoppe to pick up miscellaneous comics and the newest issue of Previews, which lets me know what is going to be released three months from now. In the toy section of Previews was World of MMA Champions UFC: Series 1 which will feature, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, and Matt Hughes. They are in the "super deformed" scale, which is becoming a big rage in the toy industry right now with Star Wars' Galactic Heroes and the Marvel figures leading the way. I'm not the biggest fan of MMA, but these little guys are cool and I may just pick up a couple, especially after becoming a fan of Tito Ortiz thanks to Celebrity Apprentice. WEI Score: + 1

VH1 green lights BROOKE KNOWS BEST for 10 episodes: As if the writer's strike wasn't bad enough to deal with, VH1 has announced the Hogan Knows Best spin-off, Brooke Knows Best. VH1 is doing incredible ratings right now, and I have to admit that I'm a sucker for several of their shows including Celebrity Fit Camp, Best Week Ever, and Celebrity Rehab. All that said, Brooke Knows Best should quickly become the most unwatchable show on TV featuring the most grating hot-girl-who-isn't-all-that-hot star imaginable. I think we've all had it UP TO HERE with Hogan family members on TV, so let's hope this is the end of it until Nick is seen on Cops or Linda on Flavor of Love season 6. WEI Score: - 5

Ring of Honor flip flops on putting "rape" angle on DVD: Thousands, Hundreds, Dozens, Several arrogant writers members of the wrestling community this week were thrown for loop when ROH booker Gabe Sapolsky pulled a 180 and decided that he was going to put the Larry Sweeny/Bobby Dempsey/Allison Danger "rape" angle on DVD after all (see last week's WEI for more information on this subject.) Gabe wrote: "Well, I was a little hasty in pulling "The Larry Sweeney Show Starring Larry Sweeney" from the 6th Anniversary Show DVD (mostly due to my lovely & beautiful wife yelling at me over it). After putting together the DVD last night, I felt that this segment needed to go on so you could judge it for yourself.

I stand by my apology and once again apologize if you were offended. Our goal in ROH is not to be controversial or offensive like some promotions. Our goal is to give you an enjoyable wrestling product. I still maintain that you will not see anything like this from ROH again."

If you're wondering how Gabe can still be apologizing even after deciding to put the segment onto a DVD, well, you're not the only one. Most would assume you would either apologize for what happened and then keep it from airing, or don't apologize, tell people they are talking out of their asses, and put the angle on DVD. To do both is, to me, sending mixed signals. I'm sure when the DVD finally arrives most people will be thinking, "I wasted how much time thinking about this thing?" but we'll see if it's as bad as some arrogant writers reputable writers keep telling us it is. WEI Score: - 12

***Speaking of ROH, a blast from the past has been put into the archive at TheWrestlingFan website. Check out the guest editorial "I'm sorry, but I just can't be friends with someone who didn't give Joe vs. Kobashi five stars." I think you'll enjoy it.

***And since we're talking about ROH, the following news note was put up by Bryan Alvarez on F4Wonline.com: Ring Of Honor will have a special fanfest as part of Orlando Jai-Alai on Saturday, March 29th from noon to 3pm. Admission is FREE!!! There will also be free prizes. You can meet ROH stars and get their autographs (there is a fee for autographs). You also get free Jai-Alai Jerseys (while supplies last) with the purchase of any autographed photo. There will be two autograph sessions (12pm-1pm and 1pm-2pm) and then there will be a special "Hit The Wall" contest with the ROH stars. See ROH's best try their hand at the Jai-Alai sport. We already know that they are the best in the squared circle, but how will they do at Jai-Alai? The "Hit The Wall" contest will take place between the games from 2pm-3pm. The location of this ROH fanfest is: Orlando Jai-Alai, 6405 S US Highway 17/92, Fern Park FL. 32730

Now, I'll be in Orlando and going to both of ROH's shows (with front row tix for both, natch), but you couldn't PAY ME to go to a fan fest at a Jai-Alai event. What? Were all the mini-golf courses booked up?! I also love that there is a "fee for autographs." I would actually pay just to hear Jimmy Jacobs say, with a straight face, that he's charging $10 for Polaroids. And now that I think about it, if I can whip one of those Jai-Alai balls at the MORONS who set up the ROH seats, it just may be worth going. I've been to about ten live ROH events and have had problems with the seats at every single f---ing one of them. Stay tuned for an update on this one.

***Damian Demento had a banner week. First you have to check out his YouTube Shoot Interview, which is just tremendous. I don't know what the percentage is for work/shoot, but the interplay between Demento and the interviewer is beyond fantastic. I was literally laughing out loud after a while, which is something I rarely do for anything involving wrestling. When the interviewer asked, "do you know who the current president is?" I just about lost it and had to hit pause for a couples seconds to regain my composure. Stop what you are doing and check this out RIGHT NOW.

In related Demento news, RD Reynolds of WrestleCrap.com released his own YouTube shoot on Damian Demento!

***In the Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery Dept , check out the Dr. Who Enjoyment Index. Personally I can't enjoy Dr. Who at all, as I watched some episodes when I was way too young on PBS and it freaked me the hell out.

New Heyman Hustle video: Don't even bother watching the newest Heyman Hustle video. I did find it interesting that Heyman's cameraman for this bullshit is none other than Ron Buffone, a man who was recognized at the original One Night Stand for the work he did for the original ECW. WEI Score: - 2

***The UK Sun's wrestling cartoon still stinks. This one spotlight's one of the Highlanders. British humor is either fantastically great (UK's The Office, Extras, Coupling, Fawlty Towers) or absolutely horrible (pretty much everything else, and don't you even dare try to tell me Mr. Bean is funny), this goes into the latter category. One British show I have to get every week is actually a podcast. Movies You Should See is a terrific roundtable in which they analyze and discuss good movies and often go off into tangents that WEI lovers will enjoy. Add them to your iTunes sub list.

***Have you seen the DestroySites.com page? Good stuff.

***I meant to link to this week's ago, but you gotta watch this Spongebob voice actors overdub classic movies. This is the legit voice actors from Spongebob Squarepants doing true-to-script dubbing over some classic movies such as Casablanca and The Godfather among others. Awesome, AWESOME stuff.

CHIKARA holds successful three day Trios tournament: We talked about Chikara a bit last week, and I was glad to see there recent three day/28 team Trios Tournament was a success, even setting the company's own attendance record for the final show. Team Mexico beat BLK OUT to win the tourney that featured a lot of interesting teams comprised of some of indy wrestling's best such as El Generico, Larry Sweeney, Mike Quackenbush, Delirious, Cheech and Cloudy (remember them from ROH? Dear lord), Eddie Kingston, Ruckus, and even guys from Kaiju Big Battel~! Sounds like an awesome time was had by all and this will be DVD to look out for when it is released. WEI Score + 1

***I just found out on Friday morning that TNA had a PPV this Sunday. And I'm someone that watches Impact every week. That can't be a good sign.

***Are you in the mood for a laugh? Recently PWTorture and the Corey Baird Players presented their first radio drama for wrestling fans. It's about nine minutes long and is a BRILLIANT parody of TNA booking. You will be shocked, shocked after listening that Mike Tenay, Don West, and BG James are all voiced by the same man. This is audio satire at it's best and you can put it on your iPod after a quick download from either MediaFire or MegaUpload. If you've ever watched an episode of TNA's Impact, you are going to completely mark out for this.

***For one of the most amazing finishes in wrestling, check out the end of the Marufuji/Sugiura vs. Briscoes match from NOAH. The clip is less than a minute long and is absolutely incredible. Bring the Briscoes into WWE now!

***For those of you keeping track at home, my newest F4W~! Online affiliate sale email arrived this past Wednesday. After two plus years of receiving these monthly notices I have - to date - been sent a grand total of zero dollars and zero cents by our Benevolent Emperor Bryan Alvarez.

***Here comes another ringing endorsement! Everyone's reading WEI, including all the top wrestling scribes. Recently even Bruce Mitchell of the PWTorch had these glowing words, which I have taken completely out of context: "Oh, and speaking of … Derek, I read your WEI plugarama. Way to go… everyone was talking about it."

How can I be anything but inspired after that! You can CLICK HERE to see Bruce's comments in context, as well as my response.

FIVE THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT…JOE GAGNE!
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 Quentin Tarantino film is Pulp Fiction? It 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 Joe Gagne. Joe is well known across the IWC for his incredible Joe vs. The World podcast. A who's who list of guests have appeared on Joe's show, I mean just check out that archive! Rob Naylor. Justin Shapiro. CRZ. Some guy named Mike Sempervive. Mat Foy. Bryan Alvarezy. Dean Rasmussen. Keith Lipinski. Vincent Verhei. The Cubs Fan. Just a few of the big names. Of course I was never invited onto Joe's show, but I'm sure that was just some sort of "clerical error" like WWE had with the Rock's contract. Personally I was shocked to find out recently that Joe is from my old stomping grounds in the great North East as I thought his strong accent came straight from the south side of Chicago.

Without further ado, here are FIVE THINGS you didn’t know about Joe Gagne, straight from Joe himself:

1. Obligatory non-fake fighting tidbit: First record ever bought? David Lee Roth's bottomlessly awful Skyscraper. And by record, I literally mean vinyl. Second album: INXS Kick, a very cool release that I would have no problem admitting was my first. My other vinyl excursions included White Lion's Pride (I stand by this purchase and will fight you if you disagree) and KISS' Crazy Nights (a laughable non-makeup era effort). I eagerly await my inbox flooding with angry e-mails from Diamond Dave fans and members of the KISS Army.

2. No relation to Verne or Greg.

3. Wrestling merchandise currently in my work area include (and all of these were gifts, mind you): a framed photo of Ricky Steamboat and Hulk Hogan posing at a mid-'80s Boston Garden show, a Chris Benoit action figure (oops), and not one but two Iron Sheik figures: one of him as Col Mustafa, the other one being the classic huge rubber LJN figure (you know what I'm talking about, the big ones you could brain your friends with and give them a concussion). Despite these facts, I not only have a paying job but am engaged to be married.

4. Speaking of the Sheik, he scared the crap out of me as a kid. Hard to believe, given his recent, um, internet fame. I was at a SmackDown house show a few years back with a friend and his young son, who was petrified of Linda "Shaniqua" Miles. This young man also theorized that it was a good thing wrestlers didn't have guns, otherwise they 0could take over the world. To be fair, he may not be wrong.

5. Wrestling dreams (as in sleep, not aspirations, thank God) I've had include being arrested by the police while Cryme Tyme walked by, and the duo ignoring my pleas for help. Jerks. I'm glad they got canned! Also, I was at a party with Larry Sweeney when Vin Gerard showed up and hit Larry with a chair. I've little idea what these could mean, other than I think about wrestling too much.

Thanks Joe! Remember to check out Joe's Joe vs. The World podcast archive, which also has links to current audio shows he's been a guest on. Check out past FIVE THINGS from 411 Mania's Jeff Small, Justin Shapiro and myself.

Reviews of note:
Shoot Interview with Tammy Sytch DVD
Irv Muchnick's Wrestling Babylon book
ROH: Chi-Town Struggle DVD
Unscarred: The life of "Sick" Nick Mondo

COMICS~! With a new Hulk movie coming out this year (June 13th, with the first teaser coming this Wednesday at 9:56PM on seven stations, including VH1, MTV and Spike TV), it is time to recommend a recent tale featuring the green goliath. Planet Hulk is hands down my favorite non-Peter David Hulk story that led directly into one of this past year's great events, World War Hulk. Planet Hulk tells the story of Hulk being jettisoned into space by the Illuminati (Reed Richards, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Black Bolt, and Namor) to ostensibly keep him out of trouble. Hulk was being sent to a peaceful planet, where he could live out the rest of his life without trouble. Unfortunately, Hulk's ship went off course and crash landed on the planet of Sakaar, where he is enslaved and forced to battle, Gladiator-style, for the evil Emperor of the planet. Yeah, yeah, it certainly sounds like a lame rip-off of Russell Crowe's Gladiator movie, and in a lesser hands, it would have been, but Greg Pak hits a huge homerun and makes the Hulk a player again. The ending leads fantastically in World War Hulk and you get the feeling that the SHIT IS GONNA GO DOWN, YO! There is people you can piss off, but the Hulk ain't one of them. A great read.

CLICK HERE to get your Planet Hulk hardcover (I believe the trade comes out in April), and do yourself a favor and check out Jeph Loeb's recent Hulk series. I was really impressed by the first two issues, and I've never been a fan of artist Ed McGuinness' work before. I can't believe that they did it, but Marvel has gone and made both Iron Man and Hulk solid books right as their movies hit the big screen this summer.

DVD~! This past year both Robot Chicken and Family Guy offered up a Star Wars parody episode. I'm a huge fan of Robot Chicken and a so-so fan of Family Guy (I'm sure I'd love it more if I watched it more), so you can imagine my surprise when I realized that Family Guy's parody BLEW THE DOORS OFF of Robot Chicken's entry. So much that I picked up the BLUE HARVEST Special Edition DVD, which comes with a t-shirt, trading cards (based on the old Star Wars cards I used to collect) and whole second disc full of goodies. Blue Harvest is filled with great Star Wars bits, including muzak in the Death Star elevator and a brilliant use of the John Williams orchestra, that can now be watched over and over. Personally I found the small bit with Han Solo taking a discarded couch out of the trash compactor to one of the funniest moments of anything I had seen in 2007. I just couldn't stop laughing. Officially approved by George Lucas (in fact the bonus disc has an interview with him), Blue Harvest has everything you could ask for, including all the famous music from the movie.

If you are a Star Wars fan, you out it to yourself to see this parody. So CLICK HERE to get your copy, and don't worry if you're not a Family Guy fan, that will only add to the experience.

DID YOU SEE THIS?! This is a wonderful little video of a kid going batshit insane over his MySpace account. Just a brutal watch, but you have to last to the very end for a picture-perfect ending. Seriously, it's worth the wait.

Last week's Wrestling Enjoyment Index: 71
This week's net change: - 20
Current enjoyment level: 51

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, mgwood, everyone at PWTorture, 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 unearthing of funny business in the shocking death of Crush. An investigative expose~!

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.).