Archive for the ‘WWE Smackdown’ Category

h1

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.

Advertisements
h1

DVD Review : You Shoot With Maria Kanellis

July 31, 2010

Reviewed by  Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

Maria’s release from the WWE was one of the more surprising firings in 2010, It would set a trend that would later see Mickie James released while sending a firm message from the WWE to its talent…If you think your going to take your fame and roll it into success outside of the ring then you better give us complete control over it otherwise take a hike. Now a free woman, Maria made one of her first post WWE stops in the hot seat known as the You Shoot, which as you probably know by now has established itself as the no holds barred shoot interview for the fans.  As Maria reveals in this interview, she considers chances like this “Wrestling Therapy”,or in other words her chance to blow off some steam and move on from the WWE. With an admission like that it should be a give in that she is a great candidate for the You Shoot seat.

Despite the fact that she had just recently been released by the WWE, throughout the interview Maria does not come off as intentionally bitter, or intentionally timid in her responses to the questions, she comes off honest and to the point, which is somewhat refreshing for a recently released WWE star in a shoot interview format.

As the interview goes along you learn that Maria  may have played a bit of a ditz on WWE television, but in reality she is the complete opposite. A down to earth, smart woman who could of helped the WWE so much but because she’s  a woman, the limitations held her and other divas back. This is evident when she shares her thoughts on a variety of topics, such as how the divas have been used at recent wrestlemanias, why the guest host idea was overkill, why the divas are not marketed properly and why the WWE drops the ball on using opportunities like her musical project to create bigger prescence in the mainstream culture.

Meanwhile the marquee You Shoot games are featured, including Maria revealing whose racks are real and whose are fake in the Divas lockerroom, Discussing which male roster members were the biggest dicks and Maria playing the Guess the wrestling playboy playmate game.

Although Maria may have gotten into the wrestling world through what many wrestling fans and critics consider a joke (the diva search) After watching this interview Maria showed that if your willing to work hard at it you can become a good mind and a decent worker. This installment of the You Shoot series may not of been crazy and over the top (with the exception of the disturbing video submissions from the Off The Mark Crew) But this installment was great for the honest and playful nature of Maria.

Oh and for the pervs out there who probably don’t care about how honest Maria is or what happened during her run in the WWE, Maria drops a line in the shoot saying “Sometimes I like to play with myself” For that line alone Im sure you’ll be satisfied.

You Shoot with Maria Kanellis is now available from Kayfabe Commentaries, For more information or to order your own copy check out www.kayfabecommentaries.com

h1

DVD Review : John Morrison – Rockstar

February 27, 2010

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

John Morrison is the self proclaimed Shaman of Sexy, Guru of Greatness and Your Friday Night Delight, but more importantly he is one of the quickest rising stars in the WWE today. The proof of that can be demonstrated on many levels, but one of them is the fact that he allready has his very own DVD release entitled Rockstar which is out now from WWE Home Video.

Running just over two and a half hours in length, Rockstar offers a mix of documentary like clips with in ring action. In total Eight matches from WWE television are offered up, starting with Morrison vs CM Punk on a September 2007 edition of ECW. One of the immediate let downs is that instead of using the full arena footage of the matchups, they use the TV feed which means it fades in and out of black during the matchups offered on this DVD. The other matchups include Miz & Morrison vs DX from Raw’s 800th show, Morrison vs Evan Bourne from April 2009 on ECW, Morrison vs Jericho from Superstars in June 2009, Morrison vs Edge from Smackdown in June 2009, and finally Morrison vs Hardy IC Title match in September 2009.

Documentary wise this release also leaves much to be desires. Don’t expect Morrison’s days in Tough Enough to be covered, nor his days as Johnny Nitro. Instead expect a lot of 5 minute markish segments.

Morrison intro’s the DVD saying he is going to give you a glimpse into his life, which is probably the best way to put it, a glimpse into his life. The first segment can be entitled the best of the dirt sheet, which was a weekly webisodic entry on WWE.com where he and The Miz made fun of fellow wrestlers. Not one full episode is featured, and it jumps around playing 10 second clips of random episodes.

Next up is “Straight from the palace of wisdom” where Morrison takes time to answer 10 markish questions submitted to WWE.com for him. From there, Morrison shows you where he trains as a Parkour expert, and later puts it into action where he runs around empty arenas doing the moves. Morrison then takes time to explain how he came up with his unique aerial attack, taking time along the way to tell you when he first used the moves in question. Next up is a segment where Morrison takes time to learn how a surfboard is made. I kid you not, then he puts the board into action and goes surfing. The documentary closes out with a Thank you for coming segment.

This DVD release will remind you more of the old school character home video releases as opposed to some of the great indepth DVD releases we have become accustomed to from the WWE. I honestly feel that the WWE didn’t really try with this release, and have barely tried with many of their DVD releases this past year. Only a couple have offered up more than fluff while many including this one were half assed, which could partly explain why sales were down 32% in 2009.

Perhaps I had too high of an expectation for this DVD, I realize that Morrison hasn’t been around that long, but so much more could have been done with this DVD. No interviews with other stars, no discussion of any part of his career, not even discussion of the matches being shown for that matter.

I was hoping that they would start off 2010 on the right foot and head back to putting out solid DVD sets like they were in 2005-2008. Sets being worked on for release later this year show more promise such as the Hart Family DVD and a Ricky Steamboat DVD, however John Morrison Rockstar does not live up to WWE’s normal DVD package standard. Matches included this DVD check in at about 2 hours and 40 minutes, perfect for the WWE’s PPV airings of DVD’s they release and unless you’re a hardcore JoMo fan that is prob the best place to watch it, on PPV.

John Morrison – Rockstar is now available from WWE Home Video, For more information or to order your own copy check out www.wweshopzone.com

h1

Film Review : Damage starring Stone Cold Steve Austin

October 14, 2009

austin

Film / DVD Review : Damage starring Stone Cold Steve Austin

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

This past April, Stone Cold Steve Austin was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, capping off a career that left a huge imprint on the world of professional wrestling. Now with his wrestling career behind him, Austin is attempting to launch a new full time career in the acting world.

Austin’s first foray into the movie business was with the WWE when they produced The Condemned in 2007. The film received a mixed reaction and it did not fare well in the box office,  Personally I think the film should of done a bit better than it did, but then again I’m a self admitted Austin mark, Although I have heard others say that about every WWE Film which was released in theaters,so  perhaps it’s a stigma, people see the name WWE Films and they think to themselves this is going to be  some cheesy film made by a bunch of wrestlers. Whether you think The Condemned was a good movie or not, Steve Austin has never been one to quit that easily, so Austin worked out his departure from WWE Films and has set off on his own path, and the first film to be released on that new path is an action flick entitled Damage which wont open in theaters in North America until January, however it has been released on DVD in the United Kingdom.

The film stars Austin as John Brickner, a prison inmate serving  7 years for manslaughter. Brickner apparently choked a man to death and plead guilty.  No, this isn’t The Condemned all over again as 4 and a half years later Austin is granted parole and a new leash on life where he plans to seek redemption for his past acts, This is where The Condemned comparison’s end.

Once out of prison, Brickner stats to put his life back together. Finding a job at the local construction site, he gets little respect and little money.  Soon enough he falls into a second job as a bouncer at the local bar when he stands up for the lead female character Frankie, who is a smoking hot waitress who gets little respect from the patrons of the bar. Brickner’s imposing physique and obvious skill for fighting catches the eye of Frankie (played by Laura Vandervoort)  Soon enough Frankie and friend Reno (played by Walton Goggins) attempt to recruit Brickner into a underground fighting league with promise of major money making potential. Initally Austin’s character shrugs it off as he is attempting to turn over a new leaf. However when the widow of the man Brickner killed contacts him with a way for him to pay his debt to her and her family he quickly finds himself in a situation where he needs money and fast, so  into the underground Brickner heads and allows Austin to do what he does best… Whup some butt!

The film itself is not a blockbuster but plays into Austin’s strengths of being a serious / strong character who can fight. Throughout the movie however you do get a sprinkle of other shades of Austin, the actor. Some moments are comedic, others dramatic. Austin does not come off as a superstar, but shows some potential considering this is only his second film.

The movie could of gone down the road of just being all about the fights but it does not sell itself out completely to that theme, instead It opens up just enough to have a story around the actual fight scenes and makes for an enjoyable film.

In regards to the fight scenes they are action packed and action film fans get their dose so to speak as the blood does spill in a variety of different fight scenarios as Austin climbs the ladder of the underground fight scene.

Overall I enjoyed this film for what it is, An independent action film that attempts to tell a story while also giving the action marks what they came for. I think it is slightly better then The Condemned movie because of the fact that it provides more depth around the main subject than the condemned did. I am somewhat surprised that the film has been released on DVD in one part of the world months before it is slated to hit theaters in another. In this day and age that can and will hurt box office business whether it be because of downloads or those paying for duty and shipping fees to have it right away. I think the film is worthy of checking out on DVD but might be a pass when it comes to theatrical viewing but im not a movie industry expert so ill leave that up to them.

Austin is scheduled for a role in The Expendables next summer which stars Sylvester Stallone, he also has a role in a action thriller entitled The Stranger in which an FBI agent is on the chase for a important material witness in a ongoing investigation. Both these roles could be huge steps for Austin’s film career, meanwhile Damage is film that should be regarded as a learning step for Austin as he begins to expand his acting abilities

h1

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

August 21, 2009

booker

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

h1

DVD Review : AMY VS JOY

August 14, 2009

amyvsjoy1

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

The WWE Diva search served a conduit for many models and actresses to get a spot on the WWE roster. Two of those who profited from this were Joy Giovanni and Amy Weber. Although they did not win the competition they did end up with prominent roles on WWE TV. Weber would score a prominent role in JBL’s cabinet on Smackdown, while Joy debuted as a “massage therapist” and would align herself with the Big Show who happened to be feuding with JBL at the time. Thus the two girls found themselves on opposite camps, and Throughout their respective runs in the WWE they feuded both on air and reportedly off air, and thus to settle the score once and for all, Big Vision put together one of their latest DVD projects entitled Amy vs Joy.

Running just over 49 minutes in length, the DVD offers up a decent balance of profile interviews & promo buildup, sexy photo shoots, training footage, and actual confrontation footage. The program is hosted by Nikki Padilla. Fellow WWE alum Daniel Puder also appears as he helps Giovanni train for the matchup.

DVD Extras include some trailers and bonus matches from other female wrestling DVDs put out under the Big Vision banner such as Wrestling Vixxens : The New Era, as well as the old school GLOW footage.

The question is are you such a fan of the WWE Divas that at one time or another you found yourself saying “I wish they could get more television time allowing them to build up a feud with a bit more depth than “I want your title” Well if you ever said that or ever wished for a feature compiling an entire feud between two divas  then Big Vision Entertainment has put out the perfect DVD for you. If you don’t fall into that category then this can be hit or miss, and if your that curious, the website offers a Video On Demand service so you could save a few bucks in comparison to the DVD and still enjoy the beautiful sight of Weber and Giovanni  in bikini’s.

AMY VS JOY is now available on DVD and Video On Demand from Big Vision Entertainment. For more information or to order your own copy/viewing head on over  to www.amyvsjoy.com and to read my previous reviews check out http://www.wrestlingdvdreview.com

h1

DVD Review : Timeline – The history of the WWE : 2000

August 13, 2009

timeline

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

The year 2000 was quite the busy one for the WWE. It would turn out to be the final full year of the Monday Night Wars, and the company was in the midst of an expansion that would see the opening of its own restaurant, the launch of its very own radio show, and even an announcement of plans for what would turn out to be a short lived football league.

Meanwhile on the wrestling side of things, Triple H, The Rock, Steve Austin and The McMahon’s were ruling the top spots, but one midcarder who was on the rise and would see himself involved with some of those big names by year’s end was none other than Rikishi.  So who better to host the latest installment of the Timeline DVD series from Kayfabe Commentaries than the big samoan himself as he and Sean Oliver take you on a ride of the history of the WWE in the year 2000.

Rikishi is quite the laid back character who is openly honest with his opinions throughout the DVD while not coming off as someone who is bitter because they find themselves on the outside looking in. When tackling subjects such as his run as the IC champion that year, or his questionable heel turn, the ever changing hardcore championship, or Triple H’s spot in the company, Kishi comes off as genuine as opposed to kayfabey or crybaby. This is always a welcome breath of fresh air on DVD shoot interviews.

The big samoan also touches on Too Cool, the origin of the stinkface, what he thinks of Johnny Ace, jokes about Pat Patterson, and shares his thoughts and memories on the death of fellow samoan family member Yokozuna. He also shares a very interesting story on how he helped former WWE Diva Victoria get her start in the business.

Topics that don’t directly involve Rikishi that are discussed include : The Radicals jumping ship to WWE, Taz winning the ECW title while under WWE contract,  the XFL, and even Goldberg / Gillberg!

It’s hard to believe that nearly a decade has passed since the events discussed in this DVD. The Timeline series is a welcome walk down memory lane and Rikishi turned out to be a great host. If you haven’t picked up the first installment with the Honky Tonk Man covering 1987, Id recommend getting both as this series will eventually be a very cool collection to have.

Timeline – The history of the WWE : 2000 is available now from Kayfabe Commentaries. For more information or to order your own copy head on over to www.kayfabecommentaries.com