Archive for the ‘WCW’ Category

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Book Review : How To Become The World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps

January 25, 2011

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

In the opening foreward of Chris Jericho’s new book “Undisputed : How To Become The World Champion In 1,372 Easy Steps”  Mick Foley writes about how back in 2007 when Jericho’s first autobiography “A Lion’s Tale” was released, Foley found himself not only enthralled in the story Jericho was telling but worried that he was about to lose his title as the wrestling star with the best autobiography out there.

While Foley has never defeated Jericho in a wrestling ring (a point Jericho makes sure to point out numerous times throughout this book) Mick refuses to relinquish his title in the author’s squared circle but not before putting him over big time and basically admitting that if someone is the next Mick Foley in the wrestling author ranks, its Chris Jericho. If anything that is all you need to know before deciding whether or not to pick up Jericho’s new autobiography as Jericho delivers another awesome read.

Picking up where A Lion’s Tale left off, Y2J takes you through his WWE career to date beginning with the infamous debut segment on Raw where he interrupted The Rock turning out to be one of the most unique debuts in recent memory. Despite this fact, Jericho’s early days in the WWE were no different than many before him as he recalls the massive heat he developed backstage as he tried to adjust to the WWE way of doing things.

Jericho’s story is both intriguing and hilarious at the same time. Coming from WCW to the WWE was a major transition for Chris. In the first few weeks and months of his WWE career he managed to piss off  locker room leaders like The Undertaker and Triple H, developed a reputation of being green as grass and nearly had his “Walls of Jericho” finisher named “The Salad Shooter” of all things.  Yes that’s right, WWE’s creative team offered up some of the dumbest names one can think of, and Jericho includes the original email to prove it.

Reading the stories of Jericho’s interactions with boss Vince McMahon is a fascinating look inside the WWE that we rarely get. Any wrestling fan has heard the things the so called dirt sheets has had to say about McMahon and his rapport with his staff, but having it come straight from the mouth of someone who has spent a lot of time working for him and someone without an agenda of being bitter over a release or sucking up in hopes of a push, makes much of this book a truly awesome read.

Coming in at nearly 450 pages the book covers a lot but doesn’t seem anywhere near that long as its quite the pager turner. Amongst what will be the most talked about chapters is the one simply entitled Benoit.  It may be nearing 4 years since the tragic events of June 2007 but reading this chapter about Jericho’s interactions with Benoit in the weeks leading up to the tragedy and his reaction is truly captivating. Although Jericho doesn’t intend to offer up any sort of new information on the tragedy he indirectly does so when describing how hard it was for him to interact with Benoit during his final years due to Benoit’s anti social nature.  Much like he did during the few media appearances Jericho made during the media blitz that covered the tragedy, Jericho does what I consider the best job in telling the world how and what to separate when thinking of Chris Benoit the man versus Chris Benoit the murderer.

The other important aspect of this book is Jericho’s decision to chase yet another dream with the formation of his band Fozzy. The chapters about the adventures of Fozzy are sprinkled throughout the book and are just as interesting as the wrestling related chapters as you learn a lot about how the recording industry truly works and how hard it was for Fozzy to even get to the point they are today.

Overall, Undisputed is yet another great book from Chris Jericho. It’s honest, its entertaining and it’s insightful, I highly recommend it , and to Mick Foley I’d say watch out, Jericho could quickly become the “undisputed” wrestling author champion of the world.

Chris Jericho’s “Undisputed : How To Become The World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps” will be available February 16th in book stores everywhere.

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Book Review : Rope Opera – How WCW Killed Vince Russo

February 6, 2010


If you speak to someone who has worked with Vince Russo over the last few years, particularly someone who had worked with him before his time in TNA, your likely to hear about how he is changed man. I’ve been told this by some of his peers who I have spoken to, but I had nothing to take their word by, nor to disbelieve their word by. I’ve never met Vince Russo but like many of you I have heard or read some nasty things about him. Much of this negativity stems from his days in WCW, while some of it is a result of his time in TNA (which is often jokingly referred to as WCW as well)

I like many of you have certainly criticized some of his writing over the years, and while its easy to have an opinion on what you like or dislike on a wrestling program, I’ve found it funny that some take it to a personal level.  Chances are no one reading this knows Vince Russo on a truly personal level. The opening pages of his new book “Rope Opera – How WCW Killed Vince Russo” puts the personal side of Vince Russo into perspective as two of his children talk about Vince Russo the man, not the wrestling writer. From there on, over the next 260 pages Russo takes you on a explanation of his personal life, while at the same time dishing the inside story on the roller coaster ride that has been his professional life in the world of wrestling.

Written over a three year period, Rope Opera is presented in a uniquely “Russo” way. As you read the first few chapters, its easy to notice that unlike most books, it is not presented in chronological order. In one chapter you will be reading about Russo’s childhood or his home life, while in the next you’ll be hearing about how he felt walking into the building the first Nitro he worked for WCW. Which can be quickly followed up by a chapter pondering how and why wrestling fans let the product consume their life. To say the least this is not your typical wrestling autobiography, and as Russo openly admits, he wanted it that way in hopes that he could not only give you the details that a wrestling fan wants to know about his career but at the same time trying to get a message across about his views on life, god, and other topics he finds important.

With that being said I’m sure some will take negatively to the book much like some take negatively to his wrestling television writing. I for one am not looking to be preached to and as I began reading this book I was worried that this would turn out to be more preach than wrestling. Nothing against that type of book, it’s just not my cup of tea, However I think that Russo finds a good balance as the chapters or paragraphs he peppers in to discuss a topic apart from wrestling are kept somewhat short and to the point avoiding the loss of my attention. If your one who really cant stand any discussion apart from the wrestling topics then your likely to be annoyed enough to skip a chapter here and there. However I feel obliged to point out that it’s the personal chapters which will help you understand How WCW Killed Vince Russo

When it comes to the wrestling topics, the story begins in late 1999 as Russo slips into Titan Towers for the last time to empty out his office before flying down to meet with WCW officials and take the reigns of what was a sinking ship. Similar to his first book, Russo is not afraid to speak openly about the topics at hand. At times he names names, but other times holds back but even when he holds back he still provides the meat and potatoes of the story without burying anyone six feet deep.

The chapter that I’m sure everyone wants to hear about is amongst the ones I enjoyed the most and that is the infamous Bash at the beach 2000 incident. Russo states that it’s the question he is asked most and for 10 years now he has refused to truthfully answer it. I debated about how much I would reveal in this review, since it is one of the bigger selling points of the book, but Russo lays out the entire incident as he saw it go down, explains what was real, what was fake, and how the defamantion of character lawsuit ended up coming about.

Almost equally as intriguing is the chapter on David Arquette. Talk about Vince Russo’s career to any one of his critics and chances are Arquette “reign “ as world champion will be amongst the first things to come up. Russo has been bashed for it for a decade now, but surprisingly he doesn’t regret it, his argument? If people are still talking about it all these years later it must have been a hell of a storyline irregardless of how dumb it may have been to have Arquette as champ. That isn’t suprising to hear, instead the more interesting thing is the admission that eventhough he gave it the stamp of approval, he has been taking heat for something he didn’t even come up with, so who’s to blame? Tony Shiavone!

Russo’s entire TNA run is also covered, from the intial call, to his obsession with the S.E.X. angle, and his initial departure from the company it’s all discussed. His return and working with Dixie Carter vs Jeff Jarrett, and wrapping it all up with the chapter about the announcement of Hulk Hogan coming to TNA, it’s all there.

The book closes with a short diary entry dated November 5th 2009, Russo is getting along with Eric Bischoff, and is about to meet with Hulk Hogan for the first time. Russo hopes he can make this work, because if he does, it will be the greatest accomplishment of his personal life, note that its not his professional life, but rather his personal life.

In the book Vince Russo says he felt like he owed something to ECW Press. They let him write what he wanted how we wanted when he released his first book, Forgiven. In return he felt like he owed them this “wrestling” book so they could make the money they didn’t necessarily make off Forgiven, That being said I don’t consider this to be a throwaway, put a bunch of stories on paper and get people to mark out book.

Every story has two sides to it. We’ve pretty much all heard one side of the story when it comes to Vince Russo, and If you’ve been on that one sided bandwagon, then I think you should at least hear the other side out. It might change your mind, It might not, but from what I can tell Russo has pleaded his case and tried to teach you a thing or two along the way, and he did so as openly and honestly as he could, thus id recommend checking this out.

Rope Opera – How WCW Killed Vince Russo is now available from ECW Press. For more information or to order your own copy check outhttp://www.ecwpress.com/books/rope_opera

To read my previous reviews check out the reviews section of MainEventRadio.com, and you can always follow me on twitter via @WrestlingReview

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DVD Review : The Rise & Fall of WCW

August 28, 2009

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Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

When the Rise And Fall of WCW DVD was announced it quickly became the most anticipated wrestling DVD release of the year for a multitude of reasons. Many hoped it would be as high in quality as the rise and fall of ECW while others looked forward to it to see how WWE would rewrite and criticize WCW’s history. With the final product now available I can say that neither hope or expectation came true, instead we’ve got another fluffed up DVD production that at best glosses over the history of World Championship Wrestling.

As has become the norm with major WWE DVD releases nowadays, this is a 3 Disc set featuring a documentary portion on Disc One, with the 2 other discs packed full of matches.

The documentary runs just over an hour and forty five minutes, with the first half hour looking at the early days of WCW, more specifically how WCW came to be. From Jim Crockett promotions to Georgia Championship Wrestling to Mid Atlantic Wrestling and finally WCW under the guise of Ted Turner, each era is covered with a decent degree of detail. Some historical accuracies are evident in chapters covering topics such as Black Saturday where Vince McMahon made a deal to get WWF programming on TBS while at the same time getting the crockett’s kicked off.

It’s from there on in that the DVD goes into gloss over mode. The biggest problem this DVD faced was the fact that numerous DVD’s had been released in the past that touched on the rise and fall of WCW, most notably the Monday Night Wars DVD. Although that DVD shared the spotlight with the WWF’s actions at the time it still provided for a decent picture of the situation and war between the two companies which in many ways is the meat of WCW’s life story. The WWE can consider itself lucky that they produced that DVD, because had they not, many of the interview footage for this DVD would not of been available.  Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, Ted Turner and others sided against participating in this DVD and thus a wide array of canned footage is used.

Unfortunately for the viewers of this DVD, its possibly because of the fact that the prior DVD’s had been released that the final two thirds of this DVD does nothing more than touch on major subjects with little to no details. From the revoving door of WCW presidents to the hiring of Eric Bischoff and the signing of Hulk Hogan to the creation of the N.W.O, to its rise in popularity, goes by in minutes. You get no feel for just how big it got, how much of a problem it became, the major feuds they entered into, or even mention the fact that it eventually split into two groups.

The same thing can be said about other stars mentioned in this DVD, even including Goldberg, who does get a major spotlight put on him but little to no explanation of major milestones his character reached, the feuds he entered in or the impact it had on the company.

Moving onto the “Fall of WCW” chapters you are met with what is probably the biggest letdown. If you wanted to know what caused the downfall of WCW and details of how bad the backstage was at the time your more likely to find the information on a series of shoot interviews and independent documentaries, but the WWE can boast that they have the footage. Showing scenes such as Nash ending Goldberg’s streak just to lay down to Hogan soon after, as well as Vince Russo’s shoot on Hulk Hogan at the Bash at the Beach 2000 PPV and David Arquette winning the WCW championship you get to see some of the examples of the downfall of WCW but with little to no explanation.

Participants in the DVD include Jim Ross, Kevin Sullivan (who never acknowledges he was a booker or talks about his opinions of the fall) Chris Jericho, The Big Show and Goldberg. The Crockett / NWA era is covered by the likes of Jim Croclett JR, Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair and Mike Graham. Sprinkled throughout the DVD is Vince McMahon, who is never negative or critical of WCW, but keeps his thoughts extremely short acknowledging they were competition but almost sounding sarcastic when he does admit it.

This documentary had the potential of being a smash hit, However due to the lack of willing participants,  the lack of intensive detail, and the lack of some historical accuracies it does not live up to what it could have been.  The DVD is far from unwatchable. Much like the greatest stars of the 90’s DVD, you can sit down and reminisce a bit but your unlikely to learn anything new. In otherwords it is not the definitive word on the rise and fall of WCW despite the fact that it carries the title.

If something makes this DVD worth the money it’s the multitude of matches from the WCW video library. There is 20 matches in all, and while some are more worthy than others, they don’t repeat certain big matches such as Goldberg vs Hogan which were released on previous DVD releases.

The Rise & Fall of WCW is now available on DVD from World Wrestling Entertainment. You can pick it up wherever WWE DVD’s are sold or via any major internet retailer. For more information check out www.wwe.com and to read my previous DVD reviews here on www.wrestlingdvdreview.com

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DVD Review : Guest Booker with Jim Cornette – Rebooking The Invasion Angle

August 21, 2009

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Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

If there was one angle that will forever be begging for a re-do it would have to be WWE’s Invasion angle in the early 2000’s. Kayfabe Commentaries Guest Booker series was designed for this type of fantasy booking, However rebooking the invasion angle could not be left to any simple talent who has dabbled in a booking committee or been given the book because of who they are related to. Instead only one man could truly tackle this topic and do it the way it should have been done, and that man happens to be one of the most requested guests for the Guest Booker series, none other than Jim Cornette. Now we all get the chance to hear not only Cornette’s uncensored rants against the WWE but we also get to hear how he would of booked the invasion angle in the latest installment of the critically acclaimed series.

The DVD’s back cover informs the fans that “this is the big one” and indeed it is. Spanning 3 hours and 2 discs, this is classic Cornette and a classic angle to re book. There is no arguing that the WWE drop the ball with the Invasion angle and Jim Cornette lets it be known loud and clear.

The DVD begins with a chapter entitled “Background” In this Cornette discusses a wide variety of topics including the differences between Wrestling booking & Wrestling writing , which bookers influenced him in his career as well as what everyday business was like in Jim Crocket Promotions. Cornette also brushes over what is wrong with the business today, As you would expect Cornette gives an impression that he could go on for hours about that subject but instead only partakes in a few specific rants. Including what should happen when “creative has nothing” for a talent.

The most interesting topic discussed in the opening chapters of the DVD is how and why Ohio Valley Wrestling was established as an official developmental territory of the WWE. Cornette talks about the differences between Jim Ross and John Laurinaitis as the head of talent relations and how much of a headache it was to deal with Laurinaitis who treated OVW like a piece of crap.

From there they discuss the Invasion and what went wrong. Host Sean Oliver joking says good night and makes a motion as if he was going to walk off at this point as he knew proposing this question would open a whole new can of worms for Cornette to rant on. The expected arguments are made by Cornette and although he makes a thousand points he does so in a quick fashion which doesn’t affect the flow of the DVD at all.

If you look back to statements made around the time WWE acquired WCW, it was suggested that the WWE and WCW would both continue to exist as separate entities owned by the same company. In real life that would not turn out to be the case as Vince McMahon would never allow another company to be viewed as equal to his, but the separate and equal brands is the basis of Cornette’s booking vision as we embark on the Re-booking chapters of the program.

Establishing separate brands which not only run their own feuds on a weekly basis, but also creates an on going war between the two with certain crossover storylines that slowly but surely gets more and more heated while lasting for an extended run, culminating at Wrestlemania the next year with a 16 match interpromotional war between WCW and WWE where the company who wins the most matches get to keep their job Host Sean Oliver like many of you who will watch this DVD sits back in awe of Cornette’s work of art as he brushes it stroke by stroke.

I wont divulge the card as the “fantasy” spoiler would be pointless, but just to say that Im sure some of us could come up with some dream matches that Cornette does not come up in this DVD, But his work of art compared to the piece of crap that the WWE put out will leave you scratching your head as to why the WWE didn’t put the booking power into Cornette’s hands at the time.

This is hands down the best installment of the Guest Booker series to date, and is up there as one of the best releases put out by Kayfabe Commentaries to date. As you would expect Cornette holds nothing back when criticizing what he believes was wrong and is still wrong with the WWE, and shows a enthusiasm for the scene he’s setting that has never before been seen in this DVD series. Host Sean Oliver even admits at the end of the episode that any future Guest Bookers have a lot to live up to. This is an absolute must watch. I cant say much more than that.

Guest Booker with Jim Cornette – Rebooking The Invasion Angle is available on DVD from Kayfabe Commentaries, For more information or to order your own copy head on over to www.kayfabecommentaries.com and to check out my previous DVD reviews head on over to http://www.wrestlingdvdreview.com

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TNA DVD Review : Jeff Jarrett King Of The Mountain

April 7, 2009

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Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

It’s been literally years in the making, having been postponed many times before, but now TNA is ready to unleash a massive 4 disc DVD set focusing on the  career of it’s founder,the King of the Mountain Jeff Jarrett. Running over 11 hours featuring 25+ matches and segments from the TNA video library as well as an in depth documentary and old school 1980’s Memphis wrestling footage, fans now have a source to learn about the life and career of Jeff Jarrett.

Following what has become TNA’s standard DVD presentation, the main feature is presented with a mix of documentary chapters and full matchups. Looking at the documentary portion, It begins with Jeff Jarrett’s days as a basketball star who had a passion for the sport of professional wrestling. Being a son and grandson of wrestling promoters, Jeff recounts growing up with wrestling legends in his life who would pass through the Memphis territory including stories of the early day Sting, Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage. Jarrett explains the  Memphis wrestling scene at the time and what would lead to his first match. The early part of his career is covered fairly well including footage of the time that TNA acquired for the DVD. Interviews with the likes of Dutch Mantell, Sting, Scott Steiner, Jim Cornette and others offer insight of the time.

Moving away from the Memphis territory, Jarrett talks about Vince McMahon’s revolution of the wrestling industry with the move from territory to national, which leads to chapters on his career in WCW and the WWF. For the most part his time in these companies is only  touched on via the major events, ie his debut as a fake singer, his departure from the WWF and taking part in the WCW/NWo angle, his return to the WWF, the problems he had there and his eventual hold up of the company before his match with Chyna for the IC title. The documentary then moves onto the end of WCW and the effect it had on the stars and staff at the time, including touching on the incident from Bash at the Beach 2000 where Russo cut a shoot promo on Hulk Hogan who’s creative control card was causing too many problems in the company. Closing out his time in these companies is the death of Owen Hart. Jarrett tells the story of that night and reflects on his true friend’s passing. Mick Foley and Jim Cornette also share thoughts in what is truly a touching chapter of the DVD.

As was touched on in the History of TNA Year 1 DVD, The summer of no worries is discussed, which was the time after WCW closed and everyone who didn’t take or wasn’t offered the WWE’s buyout at the time sat at home collecting paychecks, which eventually led to the idea and creation of TNA. The ups and downs of the business  of that first year is discussed, including what Jeff viewed as an insult when people said that they were nothing but a independent wrestling company. Meanwhile stars who were in the WWE at the time such as Angle, Booker and Foley share their thoughts on the opinions of those who were in the WWE at the time as to whether or not they thought the company could get off the ground.

Another highly emotional chapter looks at the final months of the life of Jill Jarrett. Jeff shows unbelievable strength discussing the time period, as does those who lived alongside Jarrett throughout it. You get a feel for just how much of a fighter Jill was, and how much of an impact it had on the company at the time.

The documentary portion rounds up with reflections on how big TNA has become, and thoughts on the future of the company as well as the future of Jarrett’s career.

The only odd thing in the documentary portion continues to be the on occasion random placement of a topic, For example the chapter about Owen Harts passing comes after the end of WCW chapter, Also on a couple of occasions a chapter about TNA’s growth or potential is thrown in out of place. This is the last step TNA needs to correct to finally complete a move to a solid documentary presentation on their DVD’s.

Match lineup consists of three 2002 matchups which are the battle royal to crown the first NWA TNA champion, vs Scott Hall from July, and vs Ron Killings in November. 2003 Matchups see Jarrett team with the Road Warriors to take on Triple X and Vince Russo in January, as well as teaming with Sting vs AJ Styles and Sean Waltman from February, and vs Raven in April of that year. 2004 matchups include the king of the mountain from June, The ladder match with Jeff Hardy from July, and the Monty Brown matchup from December. 2005 Matchups are against Kevin Nash in February, and April’s Lethal Lockdown. 2006 has June’s King of the mountain, September’s Fan Revenge matchup against Samoa Joe, and October’s world title match against Sting from Bound For Glory. 2007 matchups are VS Robert Roode at Sacrifice and the Lethal Lockdown. While 2008 is represented by Jarrett’s matchup against Kurt Angle at Bound For Glory. Also featured on the DVD are segments such as the attack of the tennesse titans from the early days of TNA, the attack on Hulk Hogan and the Jill Jarrett tribute.

Extras consist of classic 1980’s Memphis wrestling footage including Jarrett’s first on camera appearance as a referee, as well as his television debut against Tony Faulk, and 1987/88 bouts against Hector Guerrero, Jerry Lawler and in tag action with Bill Dundee against Cactus Jack and Gary Young. These are complete matchups uncut from original footage.

As eluded to, this DVD has been a long time coming. In this day and age very few big name stars from the 80’s and 90’s don’t have at least 1 dvd dedicated to them or their career, and if they don’t then one is on the horizon very soon. TNA had a lot to live up to with this DVD and they generally deliver. The classic Memphis footage is a very nice touch as its not only peppered throughout the DVD but is also featured uncut as extras. Meanwhile there could be a debate as to whether or not more could have been put into the chapters focusing in on Jarrett’s time in the WWF and WCW. In one way I could understand that TNA would not want to spend time on their DVD talking in depth about what Jarrett did in other companies, but at the same time I would be interested to hear more about his thoughts on the feuds he had, the road stories from the time and relationships with those he worked with. Ultimately this is a minor complaint as the massive amount of footage and documentary spread out over 4 discs is easily worth the 29.99$ price tag (which is also up for pre order for 21$ via amazon)

Jeff Jarrett : King Of The Mountain will be available on DVD on April 14th. For more information or to order your own copy check out www.jeffjarrettdvd.com  

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DVD Review : Ringside With Vader

March 27, 2009

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Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

Before Kayfabe Commentaries blew up in 2007 with its innovative line of DVD’s, it was initially known for its audio commentary tracks which featured wrestling legends recording their thoughts and memories from some of their career’s milestone matchups. These commentaries were meant to be listened to while watching the matchups in question. The only problem with that is Vince McMahon wont give up the rights to any footage for independent DVD’s and thus you’d need to find the match in question yourself and then play the tracks over it to get the full effect. Always trying to figure out a way to deliver a innovative new product, the KC crew now offer up the new “Ringside” series which enables you to go into the ring with the wrestling legends. The first participant in the series is the man they call Vader.

As mentioned off the top, Vince McMahon enjoys the monopoly he has on the wrestling footage of the world and thus this DVD is not a best of Vader DVD with alternate commentary, instead we have a specialized shoot interview where Vader sits down with host Sean Oliver and discuss the build, execution and backstage happenings surrounding some of Vader’s biggest matchups. The footage of these matches do play in the background serving as a memory aid for Vader to recall and discuss certain aspects of the matchups.  This fact may draw some criticism from those who are drawn to the title with the idea of acquiring the classic footage, instead your acquiring a solid shoot interview.

The matchups in question spans a decade of Vader’s career touching on his time in Japan, the AWA, WCW, and the WWF. We begin in 1986 in the AWA where Vader was known as Baby Bull and was taking on Bruiser Brody. Vader discusses how he got into the business and his time workingin the AWA and how this time there played a major influence on his career. He also gives an insight on what the AWA-WWE competition was like at the time.

 Big Van Vader debuts in Japan next and takes on Japanese legend Antonio Inoki in 1987. He discusses the origins of the Vader gimmick and the reactions of the Japanese fans.

Third match on the card is Big Van Vader against Hashimoto from 1989 in Tokyo, Japan where he would capture the IWGP title in  a tournament final. Vader discusses about the heat between he and Hashimoto at the time, and the stiff Japanese wrestling style he had to endure to win the tournament.

Fourth match pits Vader against Stan Hansen at the 1990 AJPW/NJPW Super Fight in the Tokyo Dome. Vader discusses how this match cost him more money they he made because of surgeries as a result of it including the one to put his eyeball back in his socket!, He also reveals how and why he got out of the WWF at the time to head back over to Japan for this match.

Fifth match is the clash between Vader and Sting from WCW’s Great American Bash in 1992. Vader discusses how he got into WCW , how well he worked with Sting, what it meant to win the WCW title and also compares the US crowds to the Japanese crowds.

The sixth bout is a handicap affair as Vader takes on Joe Thurman and TA Macoy on a episode of WCW worldwide in 1992. This is the match where Vader broke Thurman’s back while working way to stiff on the kid. Vader discusses the incident in depth, expresses sorrow and is informed by Oliver that not only is Thurman ok now but is also a police office in Georgia.

Seventh match on the card is one of the most infamous matches of Vader’s career, that being the battle between he and Cactus Jack from Munich, Germany in 1994. This match is known for being the match where Mick Foley lost his ear. Vader discusses this incident and also discusses the long drawn European tours and the effect it had on the boys, including how it let to the fight between Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson where Anderson ended up stabbed with a pair of scissors.

Eight match is probably amongst the most widely seen matches of Vader’s career, that being his Summerslam 1996 matchup with Shawn Michaels. Vader discusses the creative differences and incidents that caused him to leave WCW and how it led to him being brought into the WWF. He also offers insight onto Shawn Michaels frame of mind at the time, as it is widely known that Michaels was quite full of himself at the time. Vader also discusses whether or not he was supposed to win the title that night and what would eventually lead to his departure from the WWF.

The match lineup rounds out with a 1994 shoot style fight between Vader and Nobuhiko Takada from Budokan Hall in Japan. Vader discusses how this match came about as he was under contract to WCW at the time, he also gives insight into how much of this fight was a shoot and how much was a work, and much like many wrestlers nowadays Vader discusses whether he could have been a successful MMA fighter.

Sean Oliver’s strength as a host has always been his visible interest in the questions he asks, and the research that was put into them, but the obvious question that I need to address is beyond the shoot interview is the fact that they are watching and at times referencing a match that you can’t see overly distracting? The overall answer is no. The more specific answer would be that at times for 5 to 10 seconds when something specific is referenced that you cant see you may be left saying to yourself man I wish I could see the footage, a prime example of this is when Vader performs a drop kick against Hashimoto, but luckily the flow of the interview is maintained well enough that every time you start to think that, you also begin to forget it because your listening to a new story from Vader. Therefore I’d recommend giving the title a spin and seeing for yourself if it’s your cup of tea, chances are you’ll enjoy it as almost everything put out by Kayfabe Commentaries nowadays is praised by wrestling fans across the board.

Ringside with Vader is now available on DVD from Kayfabe Commentaries. For more information or to order your own copy check out www.kayfabecommentaries.com


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Book Review : WWE Encyclopedia : The Definitive Guide to World Wrestling Entertainment

March 17, 2009

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Reviewed by : Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

The title of the book is a claim that is sure to leave many skeptical. In order to be the definitive guide to a company with 45+ years of history you need to work endlessly to make sure you don’t leave anything out. Vince McMahon’s forward to the book proclaims it to be the “first ever official documented history of the WWE”, Throughout the years we’ve all heard about superstars and events going down in the history books and now we have an officially recognized WWE history book, and quite frankly it’s an extremely impressive one.

Authored by former WWE employees Brian Sheilds and Kevin Sullivan (no not the taskmaster) and coming in at over 350 full colored pages, profiling nearly a 1000 superstars and utilizing over 1500 images from the WWE and PWI archives, the WWE encyclopedia is packed with more than enough information for you to become an expert on the who’s who and the what’s what of the WWE.

As with any encyclopedia, the book runs from A to Z. The majority of entries are the profiles of the superstars of the WWE. This includes the obvious big names such as Stone Cold, John Cena, Taker and Michaels, but also includes the names you possibly never heard of or tried to forget such as the Battle Kat, Mystery Man and Friar Furgeson, It even includes those you probably didn’t even expect to be in the book. I speak of course of the names WWE chooses to forget sometimes, the most obvious being Chris Benoit who is recognized with a half page bio with no mention of the 2007 tragedy. Those who have crossed Vince McMahon, those who have sued him and those that are currently working against him in TNA are all recognized as well, which to me was a sign that for once the WWE was not going to censor a product because of a grudge they have with someone, which scores it bonus points in heading towards the goal of being the definitive guide.

A title history for every single WWE title is featured in the book. From little known titles such as the Woman’s Tag Team Championship or the World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship to the most obvious WWE Championship, every single champion is recognized. The one odd thing is that the WWE officially recognized the entire US title history while in WCW but did not recognize the World Heavyweight championships history prior to their adopting of it in 2002

Pay Per Views and Television is also recognized. A complete history of Wrestlemania caps off the book, while other PPV’s include a recap of the main events of said shows. 30 years of WWE television is also documented with a short explanation of each show. Spotlghts on WWE merchandise, Video Games, Fan signs and superstars in themovies are also included.

The book has a suggested retail price of 45$ American but is available via Amazon for 30$, The book is hardcovered and sports large 12 by 9 pages. I was legitimately impressed with the presentation of the book and its wealth of information, For those wondering for the most part the book is kayfabed. No real names, identities of masked superstars or post WWE career information is included, but nonetheless this book is a must for any true WWE fan and can be a reference tool for those who write or speak about the company as you can certainly learn a lot about the company’s history. Is it the definitive guide to the history of the WWE? It’s pretty darn close, I would definitely consider this the definitive guide to the kayfabe side of the WWE, while the definitive guide to the business side of the company and how it evolved through the years could easily fill another book, and or has been covered in an array of other books over the years.

The WWE Encyclopedia is available now, You can order it via amazon via http://www.amazon.com/WWE-Encyclopedia-DK-Publishing/dp/075664190X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237312553&sr=8-1 or check out the publishers official website via http://us.dk.com/ . To read my previous book and dvd reviews head on over to wrestlingdvdreviews.vze.com or add the myspace via myspace.com/wrestlingdvdreviews