Archive for the ‘Wrestling News’ Category

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DVD Review : Knockout starring Stone Cold Steve Austin

April 19, 2011

Reviewed by : Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

Stone Cold Steve Austin has been back in the squard circle rather frequently thus far in 2011. Currently hosting the reincarnation of the Tough Enough reality show series, and coming off of his guest referee spot at Wrestlemania, now Austin is stepping into the boxing ring for his latest acting gig, a straight to DVD release entitled “Knockout”

In the film Austin plays a former pro boxer turned school janitor named Dan Barnes. The film begins with the lead character, Matthew Miller (played by Daniel Magder) on his way to his first day at his new public school in a new city. Having spent years in private school, Miller arrives in a suit and finds it hard to fit in, attracting the attention of the resident school bullies, most notably, the school’s boxing champ Hector Torres. Miller, meanwhile, has had an interest in boxing for years as his grandfather was once a successful boxer, but never had he thought about participating in the sport as his somewhat overprotective mother has held him close through the years following a battle with leukemia as a child. Cue Stone Cold’s character, who as the school janitor steps in during a bullying incident between Matthew and the afformentioned Torres. With the encouragement and tutelage of Austin’s character, Matthew trains and gets his chance to face Torres in the annual box off for a chance to make the school boxing team.

About 30 minutes into the film I found it hard to kick the feeling that I had seen this film before, then it dawned on me, this is WWE Films “Legendary” but with boxing instead of amateur wrestling and Steve Austin instead of John Cena. The surrounding story might be slightly different, but at its core they are identical movies. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on what you personally thought of Legendary.  For those you didn’t see it, what this basically boils down to is your typical inspirational family drama with a happy ending.

Like many of the straight to DVD films Austin has done since leaving WWE films, he is given a tailor made character to play so that it accentuates his acting positives and hides the negatives.

Ive always been a big fan of Austin’s and because of this I did enjoy the film. Although I found the fact that Knockout is very similar to Legendary to be somewhat amusing considering that Austin had chosen to depart WWE films many years ago to chase his own career path, but has ended up doing the exact same films under various different banners. Then again he probably would not of gotten his spot in The Expendables without being independent, but I digress.

The DVD version of Knockout offers little in terms of DVD extras. A digital copy option is included as well as the film’s trailer, but nothing in terms of behind the scenes footage or featurettes. Ultimately I would call this a “Rent It”, but if you’re a big fan of Austin adding it to your collection wont hurt.

Knockout starring Stone Cold Steve Austin hits the streets on DVD and Blu Ray, April 26th with the suggested retail price of $29.99, It will also be available via Video on Demand, For more information check out Phase 4 Films official webpage for the film via http://phase4films.com/detail.aspx?projectId=295806ed-6e2b-422f-bedf-37dc9a13bd1c

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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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DVD Review : You Shoot With The Iron Sheik

January 15, 2011

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

If you’ve ever seen one of Kayfabe Commentaries’ You Shoot DVDs, then you know that featuring The Iron Sheik as the lead participant of the fan directed shoot interview could be the recipe for the alcohol induced insanity that we’ve all come to know and love from Sheiky baby”. However Kayfabe Commentaries specializes in offering something different with their shoot DVD releases. A couple of years back they offered up the investigative special “Rebuilding The Sheik” which gave us an inside look at the Iron Sheik’s life behind the character that has become known for its over the top drug addicted actions, and Kayfabe Commentaries You Shoot with The Iron Sheik DVD continues along that path as we get a much more somber and truth spewing Sheiky with just the right amount of entertainment to keep you laughing along the way.

A two and a half shoot interview with the Iron Sheik may often touch on alot of the same old things, but for once I found myself actually hearing and for that matter seeing things I had never seen before. For example, did you know that The Iron Sheik had a massive erection during his match with Hulk Hogan in Madison Square Garden in 1984? Ok that might of been talked about before, but for the first time on video Sheiky is forced to watch the footage and you get to see his reaction while host Sean Oliver giggles away at the sight of Sheik giving Hulk Hogan the camel clutch with a raging erection. It’s a sight thats hard not to laugh at. (Pun Intended)

Did you also know that Sheiky was once the spokesman for Toyota Motor Vehicles? If anything when Sean Oliver plays that commercial for Sheiky you realize how different of an era in professional wrestling we are in.

You may also not be aware that Sheiky once got his fellow WWF wrestlers to cut promos backstage for him for use in a court case as character witnesses where he was being sued for assault in Connecticut.

These are just some of the examples of a new twist in this installment of the You Shoot DVD series as Kayfabe Commentaries has finally figured out a legal way to feature footage they dont own the rights to on screen (God Bless You Tube by the way), and the best part is you are seeing Sheikys reaction to it.

Beyond that, this is still You Shoot, where the fans call the shots. The afformentioned videos were referenced to by fans, and beyond that we also get a wide array of the typical Sheiky related questions, but as eluded to, instead of getting Sheik’s rant filled insanity, he generally responds calmly and informatively, a nice break from the normal Sheik DVD. Some examples of this is when Sheik discusses the offer he had to break Hulk Hogan’s leg in their title match, Sheiky doesnt start screaming about Hulk Hogan being a homosexual or piece of excrement, instead we find out who exactly was making the offer and how much we was really being offered as it was not just Verne Gagne who was in on this all along.

We also get the hands down worst chapter on the DVD (just kidding Eric!) as super agent Eric Simms joins Sheik to answer questions from the fans that revolve around Sheiks relationship with his agent. We get to hear Sheik’s honest thoughts on Simms as his agent, and Simms thoughts on guys like Dan Mirade and their treatment of his client. Although informative, be prepared as you willl get annoyed by Eric Simms long winded answers!

Fans of the “crazy” Iron Sheik need not worry, you still get some of your classic Sheiky fix in this DVD, this includes moments such as whenasked who is a worse jew, his agent Eric Simms or the bible character Judas, Shiek responds by asking if Judas was the one who picked him up at the airport!

Sheiky also plays the typical you shoot games of what a dick, the ho bag, and whats in the bag and wraps up with an offer of sex from a hot “rat”, which seemingly gets his “Hogan erection” moving.

Overall 2011 has started off on the right foot for the Kayfabe Commentaries crew as they offer up a new and highly entertaining twist on a Iron Sheik DVD shoot interview. I found myself laughing out loud throughout, and the 15 minutes covering those 3 afformentioned videos easily made the DVD worth watching.

You Shoot with The Iron Sheik is now available from Kayfabe Commentaries, For more info or to order your own copy head on over to http://www.kayfabecommentaries.com

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DVD Review : Guest Booker With Dutch Mantell – Exposing TNA

November 26, 2010

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

A year ago the wrestling world was abuzz over the announcement that Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff were going to TNA to shake up the company and bring it to the next level. A year later we all saw how that has turned out, as the Monday night wars part 2 was somewhat of a failed experiment,  the re-launch button was nearly pressed again a few months later  when Paul Heyman was in negotiations to take over the company, and now Dixie Carter’s mom, Janice has been put in charge of approving all new spending,. To say the least its been a rollercoaster year for TNA.

One of the individuals who had been with TNA for years, but found himself on the outside following the takeover by the Hogan-Bischoff regime is Dutch Mantell and now he is given his chance by Kayfabe Commentaries to show us how he would of booked the new TNA roster if he had been in charge during the latest installment of the Guest Booker DVD series.

As with previous installments of the Guest Booker series, this installment serves up more than just the guest booking purpose as it takes a look at the TNA booking structure prior to the Hogan/Bischoff regime and If you’ve been a fan of TNA at any time in recent years then you’ve probably found yourself scratching your head asking why something just happened or how they came up with such an idea, which is why this DVD is such an interesting watch.

Starting with the early days of TNA’s booking by committee, Mantell shares his frustration with getting some logic into the booking process and how the booking process often ended up being a court room more than anything as it was rare the individuals all agreed and everyone was throwing in their small ideas along the way. Mantell explains why the lack of a sole director in charge of TNA’s creative caused what is an exceptional roster to not be used correctly. However he does not come off as one of those disgruntled former employees which can often be the case in some of these DVD shoot interviews, in fact he is fairly politically correct in his comments and opinions.

Mantell also shoots from the hip when it comes to him being blamed for angles that drew “Fire Russo” chants, something that had been implied in Dixie Carter’s You Shoot DVD earlier this year, Mantell calls that pure BS and implores Russo to own up to the piss poor angles he is responsible for such as the Abyss/Sting Last Rites match that drew a big Fire Russo chant.

When it comes to his expectations for Hogan and Bischoff, Mantell expected a “hell of a lot more”, which is something I think many of us shared over the past 12 months, but could Mantell do better? Well that’s what the Guest Booker portion of the DVD attempts to show.

Mantell admits that being faced with such an inflated roster of  50 to 60 guys is a tough task as it’s a recipe for exactly what happened in TNA this year, too much to get over in such a small period of time. At the same time he would find it hard to send people home as it’s a time where your trying to make sure that you want the roster to be behind you, and thus its one of the reasons creative in TNA has always been overwhelmed and stretched.

Mantell  then goes on to explain his vision of January 4th, which would have had Abyss with Jim Mitchell,who he had taken time to rebuild as a monster for the month leading up to the January 4th event and have him confront Hogan to start a major angle.

Mantell then share his plans for RVD, Jeff Hardy, Mr Anderson and Desmond Wolfe, however amongst the flaws is the fact that they don’t take into consideration that RVD was not accepting to a TNA spot until March.

One of the things Mantell preaches throughout his vision is the slow build and reveal of the new arrivals to the roster as opposed to blowing the load every few seconds.

Along the way he explains some of the flaws in what happened in reality, and how Jim Cornette would often point these type of flaws out in TNA’s product while he was still there, which eventually led to his hatred for Vince Russo exploding.

Overall this is an interesting watch for any TNA fan, especially those have been frustrated over the years with some of the booking decisions, so if you have a TNA fan on your holiday gift giving list you may consider this installment of the Guest Booker.

Guest Booker with Dutch Mantell – Exposing TNA is now available on DVD from Kayfabe Commentaries, for more information or to order your own copy check out www.kayfabecommentaries.com, and to check out my previous DVD reviews check out www.wrestlingdvdreviews.vze.com

 

 

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DVD Review : TNA Hardcore Justice

November 9, 2010

Reviewed by : Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

Closure is a great thing to have. It’s a statement that rings true with everyone. When it comes to ECW, fans and wrestlers thought that 2005 and 2006 was going to be their closure, but as we would see from 2006 to 2009, closure was never achieved, instead it was a revival in order to murder a legacy once again, so when TNA announce they would be holding Hardcore Justice earlier this year, the question was whether or not this would be the closure so many were looking for. In the end, the guys may have been a bit older, a bit slower, and restricted by some legal worries but in the end they said they achieved their closure, and now you can decide whether or not you have your closure as TNA has released a special 2 Disc DVD set of Hardcore Justice.

Tommy Dreamer is quoted on the back cover of this DVD as saying “ This is it for an event like this, and it’s the perfect send off we never thought we’d receive” and while the reviews for the event were mixed amongst fans and critics, if Tommy’s statement is the truth then it’s hard for me to criticize some of the negatives of this event because what I may have found horrible, they used as their closure, and im glad they seemingly got it.  One thing’s for sure, this event was nostalgic, which nowadays garners much attention and appreciation and thus this does become a memorable event of 2010.

The first disc contains the event as a whole including what became a memorable main event not only because of the circumstances leading up to it, but what ended up happening. Jerry Lynn was scheduled to face Rob Van Dam in the main event but suffered an injury leading up to the show and was forced to pull out, RVD would choose to face Sabu. Over the years Sabu has done everything to his body that you can think of and in recent years has been paying the price as his body broke down and limited him in the ring. Despite this he and Rob Van Dam pull off a classic (all things considered that is) main event matchup and if this were to be the final “ECW” type of event that was the proper way to send it off into the sunset.

The event also featured the final chapter in a long lived ECW feud between Tommy Dreamer and Raven, as well as an Old School Philadeplhia street fight between Team 3d and the team of Axl Rotten &Balls Mahoney, while this tag match was sloppy as hell (Team 3D’s words in fact) it was certainly nostalgic, and a post match appearance by the gangstas was a nice surprise as I would not of expected New Jack to be allowed into the state of Flordia again following incidents in prior years, not to mention heat he had with Team 3D. All in all there was some good stuff and some bad stuff, also a very weird choice of lighting for the show, I wouldn’t necessarily consider this closure for myself as a fan of the extreme genre, but it was certainly better than “WWEcw” from 06 to 09.

The second disc is what makes this DVD worth the purchase as its 90 minutes of bonus features not seen on TV or PPV. This includes a 30 minute post show Q&A session with Mick Foley and Tommy Dreamer , a 30 Minute documentary featuring interviews with the stars of the show before during and after the event talking about what the show meant to them, as well as 20 minutes of interviews not used in the afformentioned documentary. It wraps up with a music video and old school photo gallery all of which is a nice nostalgic touch.

For the current Black Friday Sale price on ShopTNA’s website of 12.99, this is worth the purchase, especially for the second disc.

Hardcore Justice is now available on DVD from TNA Home Video. For more info or to order your own copy check out ShopTNA.com

 

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DVD Review : Hunt To Kill starring Stone Cold Steve Austin

October 29, 2010

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

Coming off his role in the box office smash hit The Expendables, Steve Austin is looking to continue his transition into the acting world with the straight to DVD release of the action thriller “Hunt to Kill”

This is the 3rd straight to DVD release which stars Austin in the leading role, the prior two being Damage and The Stranger, and much like the previous releases, this film takes a familiar route to an enjoyable yet somewhat “by the book” film.

Austin plays the role of US border patrol agent Jim Rhodes who is not only trying to get over the loss of his murdered partner but is also trying to raise his teenage daughter as a single father, which as you may guess  with any girl of that age, is rebellious to the bone. This ends up getting both her and her father in some major trouble as Austin’s daughter is taken hostage by a group of criminals and when Austin’s character walks in on the kidnapping, he is forced into assisting the group in hunting down one of their former colleagues who is hiding out from them in the mountainous woods of Montana, a place that Austin knows very well having worked there on a daily basis.

As they embark on the hunt through the mountains, the movie begins to follow the typical storyline  playout of the bad guys turning on eachother, and Austin’s character taking advantage of this to begin outsmarting them in a survival of the baddest type of situation.

I couldn’t help but have a bit of a déjà vu feeling while watching the movie, That being said it is far from being a bad movie, in fact I enjoyed it very much as would any other Austin fan or fan of the action thriller genre. The timing and playout of the story is well done, and the climax is fast paced enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, but it was hard to kick the fact that I felt I had seen this before.  Perhaps that’s the downfall of some movies in this day and age, where everything has been done before and even slight twists on the outline of what a thriller is supposed to be, still comes off as by the book.

Austin does play his role perfectly, perhaps because it’s designed for him as who wouldn’t portray Austin as a rugged, tough as nails guy who can kick your butt, but also the lead villain played by Gil Bellows serves as a bad guy whose performance compliments Austin’s role greatly.

DVD Bonus features for the standard DVD release of Hunt to Kill include audio commentary with Director Keoni Waxman and actor Michael Eklund, as well as a behind the scenes of Hunt To Kill featurette.

Having been a fan of Austin for many years, im glad to see that his acting career is coming along nicely, not every retired wrestling star gets this chance in the movie mainstream and starts to succeed, Austin is quickly establishing his own movie career, which may not get to the level The Rock has, but will certainly be a respectable one.

Hun to Kill is out on DVD and Blu Ray November 9th from Anchor Bay Entertainment, For more information check out www.hunttokill-themovie.com or Anchor Bay’s page for the film at  http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com/details.asp?projectId=%7B417E187A-97F4-49F6-9004-9DA300885997%7D

 

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Book Review : Countdown To Lockdown : A Hardcore Journal By Mick Foley

September 11, 2010

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

The hardcore legend Mick Foley is back with his fourth book of memoirs entitled Countdown to Lockdown : A Hardcore Journal, hitting bookshelves this October. This time around Foley looks at the weeks leading up to his in ring debut with TNA at their Lockdown PPV in April 2009, but  alsotouches on a wide variety of important topics along the way as well.

Written in a similar format to his last book “The Hardcore Diaries”, Mick tells us the story of what was mostly self inflicted pressure that he dealt with In preparing for his in ring return against Sting at last year’s Lockdown. Foley has often set the bar high when it comes to what he hopes to get out of a program. I recall watching Beyond The Mat seeing Foley get stitched up following a brutal I quit match with The Rock at The Royal Rumble 99 while he questioned and hoped that the match had come off well enough ensuring the fans got their money’s worth, I realized it then, and reading Countdown to Lockdown made me realize it again, Mick Foley cares, If only everyone was like him nowadays, perhaps the wrestling world wouldn’t be in the slump it seems to be in.

Putting my state of the wrestling business rant aside, Foley’s story is told via a series of diary entries which gives you a interestling look into TNA’s backstage world, dealing with Vince Russo’s creative ideas, the budgetary issues that sometimes throw wrenches into the products direction and having Dixie Carter as a boss.

While Foley’s “Countdown To Lockdown” is a intriguing story in itself, there is plenty of other meaty subjects he has to touch on. This includes his departure from the WWE, The Chris Benoit Tragedy, Steroid Use in Pro Wrestling and Kurt Angle’s overly sensitive personality amongst many other topics.

Keeping with Foley’s writing tradition, he avoids any major burial of those he has disagreed with over the last few years. While his final days with the WWE and the weeks of problems he had with Vince McMahon yelling expletives in his ear while attempting to announce the weekly Smackdown matchups is covered, he decides not to provide the specifics of what was said, and offers only a small insight into some of the rules announcers in the WWE have to deal with, Apparently Vince hates pronouns so I hope he doesn’t read this review!

Meanwhile one of the chapters I found most capturing is one entitled “Kurt Angle, The Sensitive Olympian” Foley tells a story of a day where he and Kurt crossed paths with UFC star Mark Coleman, a former amateur wrestling rival of Kurts. Over the last few years we’ve heard many stories of Kurt’s mental and physical shape, and have also heard of the tough times he has dealt with in his personal life with the ending of his marriage.  The story told by Foley is from around the time Angle’s marriage was coming to an end, he was visibly upset, but would proceed to breakdown after Mark Coleman had a slight botch in memory saying he beat Angle at a championship meet in 1992, Foley tried to talk some sense into Angle but there was no stopping his breakdown, a saddening story to read, and makes one hope that Kurt is doing better nowadays.

Add in a touching appeal to the young up and coming wrestlers in the business to not go down the abusive road that so many in the past have and you have yet another great read from the hardcore legend.  I’d definitely recommend checking it out when it hits bookshelves in October.

Countdown To Lockdown : A Hardcore Journal will be available as of October 1st from Grand Central Publishing with a suggested retail price of $26.99. To get your hands on a copy check out your favorite online retailer or head on out to your local book store.