Friday, January 31, 2014

Wrestling and Pop Culture Feb 2011

Feb 1, 2011 –

Monday Night Raw- WWE rolls out a mysterious video with a house shrouded in darkness in a rainstorm. Speculation begins immediately. People want WCW Franchise and multi-time champion Sting to come into the WWE to compete at Wrestlemania , get put into the Hall of Fame and to be a part of DVD box set.2/21/2011- who is in the house? Is it Sting? Why is it raining? WWE hype machine has us anticipating something, someone?


Feb 5 , 2011 – Paul Bearer storyline father of Kane and manger to the Undertaker was released by WWE. This brings the total to 3. 3 talents have been released from WWE that I saw live at Smackdown in November of 2010, MVP, Kaval and now Paul Bearer.

Feb 8, 2011 – Medallion Press releases The Road Warriors: Danger, Death, and the Rush of Wrestling by Joe “Animal” Laurinaitis.


The Road Warriors :The Life and Death of the Most Dominant Tag Team in Wrestling History (2005 WWE)

This is a great 2 disc compilation of the biggest matches of the most dominant tag-team in sports entertainment. This features a well made documentary and several matches, moments and promos from their legendary career – here from Road Warrior Animal , their manager Paul Ellering , Jim Ross ,Michael P.S. Hayes and more. Well worth owning. A


“The Road Warriors changed the wrestling business forever, just like the British Bulldogs.” – Bull Pain

ROH Presents Straight Shootin’ Series with Paul Ellering 12.1.04

This disc includes a shoot interview with the manger of the Legion of Doom/ The Road Warriors Paul Ellering. The sit down dialog covers his singles career and start in the business from training at the Verne Gagne camp with Bob Backlund and The Iron Shiek to working several territories, refusing to job, accepting the king’s crown in Memphis and more. The meat of the program covers his run as the manager for one of the most dominating tag teams in wrestling history. This can be a little dry –but I enjoyed spending time listening to one of the most intelligent folks to participate in the grappling game. The last 18 minutes of the DVD includes some ROH match footage with performers like Doug Williams, John Walters and Homicide. This is a good supplement to the WWE 2005 Road Warriors DVD- think of it as audio footnotes. B




WWE Biggest Knuckle Heads! (2010 WWE)

Oh those wacky sports entertainers. This set of goofy  moments is hosted by Josh Matthews and the Big Show. Things start off with a forced bit of comedy in some HD TV truck and then a montage with production music of Santino.- then we get the Santino mankini dance . Up next more zaniness with a Hornswoggle montage- leaping leprechauns – this is backed up with Chavo Guerrero having an arm tied behind his back while he rassles Hornswoggle-. After 13 minutes of eyemelting sports entertainment – they include a classic segment from Monday Nitro – the 1004 holds list by Monday Night Jericho.

  Then they play some decent moments from the WWF Monday Night attitude era with the Showster and some Head Cheese( I miss that tag team).

   A 5 star classic is next up – as the Stooges grapple the Mean Street Posse-worth it for the entrance of Brisco and Patterson alone. The crowd pops for the double submission finish like it was a main event- a fun segment. “He’s single fellas”- JR after Pat Patterson does a pose-down Hulkster style. This is followed by a funny sound-bite from the Brahma Bull and the Buschwackers.

  Then we get Dx reunion taking on the Spirit Squad. This is followed up with the Excess segment about the battle of the billionaires..

  A  60 minute DVD with no extras- seriously- in 2010- the main feature has enough funny to get a pass- if this were a videotape- but a 60 minute DVD that promises 90 minutes on the back is lame. There is plenty of funny moments they could have used- the classic musical chairs segment from Raw with Space Mountain, Tajiri, The Coach ,Stacey Keibler and others or the Shockmaster segment or how about the confrontation between Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon on Larry King –hilarious. This was initially released in conjunction with the un-watchable Big Show comedy Knucklehead as a Wal*Mart exclusive- I picked this up on sale at an FYE- I still paid too much-  this is not horrible- but not worth a slot in your collection. D+



Feb 11, 2011 –   Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned from office due to the wave of  protests.

Feb 13 , 2011

Jeff Hardy regains the TNA Championship by beating Mr. Anderson at the Against All Odds PPV.


Feb 14, 2011

Vince McMahon reveals that the guest host of Wrestlemania will be Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. The Rock then proceeded to cut a 20 minute promo- highlighted by Rock calling John Cena a big fat bowl of fruity pebbles, because John Cena has sold several bright colored t-shirts over the last few years. It was the Rock’s first appearance on Raw in 7 years, The Rock had really distanced himself from WWE, only showing up to induct his father and grandfather into the WWE Hall of Fame. Rock was very funny during the induction ceremony spending most of his speech cutting promos on guys like John Cena and Santino Marella and a little bit of his time actually discussing the inductees.

Dwayne Johnson also known as the Rock and wrestled as Flex Kavana(in his early career) is the most well known wrestler who parlayed his wrestling career into a successful acting career. His most recent movie Fast Five had the biggest opening for any movie in the month of April pulling in more than 80 million on opening weekend. In the 2000s I managed a video store and subjected myself to several of his movies. I enjoyed (for what they were) The Rundown (2003) and Walking Tall (2004) – enough to finish watching them – but not enough to own them- Walking Tall has a commentary track by  The Rock and if you are a fan of his you might enjoy that extra – but neither movie is really worth seeking out. I could not finish Be Cool – the sequel to Get Shorty- The Rock is seen in this movie in an afro and playing a homosexual- neither fact bothers me- I admit I tried watching the movie to see The Rock in it- since I did not care for Get Shorty. After that point I did not watch movies simply because the Rock was in the movie- but he was enjoyable in The Other Guys. In 1999 The Rock was a guest star on Star Trek Voyager in an episode where he played the Champion who fought Seven of Nine(Jeri Ryan) in a televised gladiator type match – The episode is known Tsunkatse and is available on DVD.



Southland Tales – (April 20,2008)

I watched the latest DVD release featuring Dwayne Johnson(formerly the Rock)- an interesting post apocalyptic story set in the near future where America is still reeling from a nuclear terrorist attack and has put the country under martial law.The cast list is virtual where are they now mix of SNL alum(Jon Lovitz,Cheri O'Terri,Nora Dunn),Wallace Shawn,Sarah Michelle Gellar(Buffy as a porn star),Christopher Lambert ,Will Sasso, John Laroquette, Justin Timberlake and others. The plot is little convoluted- something about Fluid Karma, revelations, extortion and time travel and the movie is rather long- 2 hours and 21 minutes.It is a definite odd movie with some random dance sequences, parody commercials and a floating van. If you like head-trip movies like The Wall or sci-fi stuff you may enjoy this one- but if you are looking for a typical action flick this will probably annoy you. The DVD has a 30 minute featurette and a 10 minute cartoon as extras. I liked the movie- but I tend to like stuff that is a little out of the norm. C+


“I was one of the first people to interview The Rock, back story on that, The Rock – Dwayne Johnson – the movie star – his dad – I did some wrestling shows locally for his dad Rocky “Soulman” Johnson and I knew his grandmother Lia Miavia who ran shows in Hawaii.

They were doing this show and they asked me to have The Rock on my public access show and I said “No, We have the Black Shadow on!  I don’t have time. “

They said “just give him 5 minutes.”

I gave him 5 minutes and I’m kicking myself now thinking I could have had the Rock for a lot longer. But of course back then you don’t know that.”

- Shannon Rose talking about an interview that almost did not happen with The Rock before Dwayne Johnson became the Rock or even Flex Kavana




Get Smart

Wanted to see Hellboy II today but the free passes I had did not include movies in their first 2 weeks- so I opted to watch Get Smart instead- the price was right. I did not hate the movie and Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway did a good job as the leads. What made the movie fun was the ensemble cast with funny quips from Alan Arkin,  Terry Crewes, Patrick Wharburton and Dwayne Johnson. Terrance Stamp was excellent as always as the villain. Former WWE champion Dalip Singh(The Great Kahli) is also in the movie as a killer for Kaos- he kind of reminded me of Jaws from Moonraker- the first confrontation with him was even a parachute fight. This is mindless slapstick fun- nothing memorable nor did it forever tarnish the vague memories I have of the old show. Worth Netflixxing or a matinée if you are looking for some lowbrow shenagins. The highlight(maybe lowlight) was seeing a preview for the remake of Deathrace 2000. C+ 



My thoughts on the Rock returning from 2008 (at this point he had not returned and it looked like he was doing everything he could to distance himself from WWE and wrestling)

June 8, 2008


Currently on the cover of this week's Entertainment Weekly- Dwayne Johnson- fine the Rock is dead- sure I miss him- but I prefer to think of the good stuff- then have his career watered down with appearances that tarnish his appeal- sure Stone Cold was the man during the attitude era- but nowadays his appearances tend to bore me- cuz you know the person in charge or Vince will get stunned. Either way congrats to Dwayne Johnson on his new career-sure it would be nice to see The Rock vs. Cena or Kennedy or making fun of CM Punk & the Miz- but if he has another way to make a living that does not put him at risk of being paralyzed or have him perform as a shell of himself  for years and years past his prime like the recently retired Nature Boy(and Flair still had some good matches-but not like his stuff in the NWA or even in WCW in the 90s).Dwayne Johnson does not owe me or Vince or anyone a return to wrestling- and if he feels that he needs to have a new image to further his career- well that is his business-not mine- I mean I would have skipped The Gameplan or Doom no matter what he calls himself. Others have tried to escape to Hollywood- how many times did Piper retire? and come back? and it looks like Y2J is back for awhile and about to turn heel.Sure the WWF helped make Rock- but Dwayne did as much for them- think on this- how many other folks have been pushed or pushed to the moon and did not pan out- how many folks added as much as he did- he was the total package- looks, heritage and great promos- sure his in-ring ability was not the best- but he had a great way of working the crowd- watch his match with Hogan @ WM 18 or his loss to Brock @ Summer Slam- that was a great passing the torch moment- the Rock made those matches the huge events with his persona- why destroy that persona with crappy 15 minute promos twice a year during Raw that get the huge pop to start with - but descend into a catchphrase blackhole for 14 minutes and then a Rock Bottom or People's Elbow to Santino or Adamle. If Dwayne Johnson is done with wrestling- then so long- if he comes back full time I am for that also-but if he is just going to do cutesy promos - why bother.




Feb 15 , 2011 – The Libyan civil war starts with the rebels wanting the ouster of Muammar al-Qaddafi.

Feb 16, 2011- Chris Jericho releases the fun and informative Undisputed his second foray in the literature world. This autobiography covers his entrance into the WWF, his time away and his return to WWE- this is well worth picking up.

Feb 18 , 2011 – Edge is stripped of the World Heavyweight Championship for using the spear by his former wife Vikki Guerrero ( storyline wife btw) and she awards the title to Dolph Ziggler. Edge regains the title from Dolph that same night during the 600th episode of Smackdown

WWE Elimination Chamber 2011 – 2/20/11


This typical WWE PPV DVD seems to have been released with little or no fan-fare- of course- this was released during the road to Mania- so they stayed on point. I found this DVD simply because I was checking out the new releases on DVD @ Best Buy. Although the event featured a Raw and a Smackdown Elimination Chamber- the emotional highlight of the night was Jerry Lawler vs Miz championship-from the excellent 3 minute video package before the match to the contest itself. I would wait for this to play on WWE Classics on Demand(WWE posted this event on July 22 on Classics) or get a used copy.  This is nothing essential – just a decent PPV.   B-


The PPV drew 199,000 buys down 86,000 from 2010.


Unknown is the weekend box office leader.







Feb 21, 2011

 The big reveal – the house in the rain is the domicile of the Undertaker, when he hits the arena he is followed by into the ring by Triple H – they point and gesture at each other and the Wrestlemania sign – not a single word is uttered but the WWE universe is transfixed for the entire segment.


Feb 22, 2011

WWE releases Big Show: A Giant’s World on DVD and instant streaming- I only saw the “documentary” portion of the disc on Netflix streaming- it was cool learning about what Big Show has to deal with on a daily basis and learning parts of his story. If you can stream this on Netflix – it might be your best option unless you are a huge fan of Big Show.




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