Follow live coverage of WrestleMania XXV on TBLWrestling.com and XHeadlines.com. So far, Mickey Rourke knocked down Chris Jericho and JBL quit professional wrestling after getting beat by Rey Mysterio after a 21 second match. What a way to end a wrestling career…
Tomorrow night, World Wrestling Entertainment will hold its 25th annual WrestleMania event. This year the event is headlined by Triple H vs. Randy Orton, Edge vs. John Cena vs. The Big Show, and Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker. Frankly, none of the matches are overly exciting since they’ve all been done before in one iteration or another. Just think back a few years ago to when Triple H unceremoniously booted Randy Orton out of Evolution or go back about a decade to when Shawn Michaels took on The Undertaker in the Hell in a Cell match at In Your House. As for the triple threat main event, all of these men have faced each other before but I guess the addition of the triple threat makes it somewhat interesting.
I don’t want to sound like I’m hating on WrestleMania XXV since I’m sure all of the guys in these matches will put on tremendous performances. However, it’s just not the type of event that I’m looking to spend $50 on to watch. Plus, I won’t be around tomorrow night since I have to run out to a meeting to make a quick award presentation.
For those of you who are wrestling fans, you’ll want to run over to TBLWrestling.com and XHeadlines.com for the very latest information on WrestleMania XXV as well as the best in wrestling news and rumors. All I know is that The Undertaker’s undefeated streak better stay intact. Enjoy!
Yesterday I was proud to unleash a new TBLWrestling.com for all of our great wrestling fans out there. The new site is based off of the same WordPress script that this blog uses and we hope it will encourage greater fan interaction with our staff. Please feel free to head over to the new TBLWrestling.com and let us know what you think about it!
Did you know that I own two wrestling websites which are operated by two magnificent webmasters with little interference by me? Creating wrestling websites is how I got my start in the online world and I’m glad that both of my current webmasters and master of the game. The other day I was browsing on one of my websites and noticed a post about Total Nonstop Action coming to New Jersey. Being a fan of the product, I had to click on it to see what was going on.
Total Nonstop Action is the alternative brand of professional wrestling to the worldwide leader, World Wrestling Entertainment. The production value isn’t as good (they tape from the same location every other week and produce two weeks’ worth of shows from one setting) and the weekly television show is sometimes burdensome to watch, but the action in the ring is amazing. They have a guy named AJ Styles who does the most ridiculous stuff that I’ve ever seen. See for yourself:
Pretty amazing stuff, huh?
TNA will be in New Jersey at Convention Hall in Asbury Park on Friday, August 8th and at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton for their annual “Hard Justice” pay per view on Sunday, August 10th. Lucky me – I bought tickets for each show. 🙂
The other day I went out and bought WWE’s new DVD set, Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen. I normally don’t buy these things when they come out because you can generally get them in the $5 or $10 bin in a year and a half or so, but this one was intriguing. I wanted to see how they would handle the creation of the Four Horsemen up through the final incarnation that was a disaster in WCW (though, oddly enough, it had guys like Benoit and Malenko involved).
After watching the DVD, one of the things that comes right out at you is the thoroughness of the sit-down interviews. All of the Horsemen except Steve McMichael, Lex Luger, Sid Vicious, Sting, and Ole Anderson are interviewed during the DVD. That’s pretty amazing considering that these weren’t the main guys (except Ole, that is). You get to hear the story of the Horsemen right from Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Chris Benoit, JJ Dillon, and Dean Malenko. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that JJ Dillon’s interviews were exceptional. This man is a true wrestling proponent and someone that should find himself in the Hall of Fame soon. If not for his excellence as a manager, then at least for his dedication to the sport.
It would do no good to go over the minutia of the DVD here, but I will say that this is one of the more candid WWE DVDs that I’ve ever seen. Paul Roma is interviewed and he comes right out and said that he shouldn’t have been a Horsemen…which is funny only because Flair’s interview is interspersed with Roma’s in that Flair (and the rest of the Horsemen) were saying how Paul Roma was not a good fit for the group and that he was just the completely wrong person for the job. Then you have Roma’s take that the “idea” of the Horsemen was becoming an ego trip for Flair and Anderson and the gang – it’s a good bit of shoot-style video.
I will say that I didn’t like how much storylines played a part in the one-on-one interviews. It was weird – they would sometimes set up the next part of the DVD by talking about the storyline and then gradually move into the backstage/real life discussion. It was odd at times.
Eric Bischoff had a good, frank discussion about his lawsuit against Ric Flair and – to the DVD author’s credit – the Flair interviews against Bischoff are included either in the extras or as a part of the main story. You have to admire the passion that Flair showed in those interviews on NITRO where he looked like he wanted to rip Bischoff’s head off of his shoulders. Though most of us knew that it was real at the time, Flair tells us straight up in the DVD that he would have killed Bischoff if he had the chance on the night that he returned in Greenville.
All in all, this is a great look at the premier “gang” in professional wrestling. I suggest watching the DVD, though I’m unsure that you should purchase it. If you can rent it for a few bucks at Blockbuster or if you’re willing to wait until the price drops from $20 to $10, then go for it. You won’t be disappointed.
Eric Bischoff is a guy that I’ve always been a fan of in the wrestling business. His brash, in-your-face, “up yours” style is one that I admire and one that I’ve employed successfully over the last decade of my life from college to the workplace to my small business to even my volunteer work! So naturally, when I heard that he had finally written his biography and focused it around business end of the wrestling industry, I knew that it was a book that I had to pick up and read.
And I’m glad that I did. This book reaffirms all of the things that I like about Eric Bischoff. He talks (in detail) about how he viewed the wrestling business in a completely different way than how the old veterans of the business viewed it. He calls wrestling the “purest form of marketing.” And you know what? I agree with him 100%. He’s right. Wrestling is as basic as it gets in terms of entertainment. Two wrestlers are in a ring and they have to sell a “product” or, in other words, their feud. If it works, they get the cheers of the audience; if it fails, they get the jeers.
The other thing that I really liked about this book was that Bischoff had a chance to put the record straight on many issues and he hits the internet “dirt sheets” pretty hard. Most of this criticism is deserved since his basic premise is that the dirt sheet writers were not just pro-WWE, rather they were anti-WCW and even more anti-Eric Bischoff. And why were they anti-Eric Bischoff? Well, for the same reason that many of the old school wrestlers were against him – he was an outsider to the industry and he took a much different approach to running a wrestling company than they were used to seeing.
And that’s a great way to sum up this book. It’s Eric Bischoff’s tale of being an outsider to the wrestling world and then, in a matter of only a few years, finding himself rising from an entrepreneurial third-string announcer to the head of the biggest wrestling company on the planet. Not many people liked his rise to power, but many of these same haters made a lot of money from his out-of-the-box ideas. Bischoff also tells the real story of the corporate suits who killed WCW. He pulls no punches when he talks about how guys like Vince Russo had no chance of helping WCW and how the people who were making decisions for AOL Time Warner were completely unrealistic in terms of the wrestling industry. It was nice to finally read this all from Bischoff’s point of view.
This was a man who brought professional television writers to the wrestling world to help stretch storylines over the course of two to three months (a practice now used heavily by WWE). This was a man who saved untold hundreds of thousands of dollars by moving WCW’s syndication to a sound stage in Florida (a practice now used by TNA). He was the first to go live week in and week out, he was the first to break the wrestling business down to its 4 core “wheels” of revenue, he was the first to shun the “inside” fans and dirt sheet writers (though not the last)…
Eric Bischoff has made a remarkable contribution to what we watch each week on RAW, Smackdown!, Impact!, and ECW. This just cannot be denied. A lot of what is out there on the internet about Eric Bischoff just isn’t true (even his birthday isn’t properly reported online). For the objective reader, this book finally puts a lot of the bullshit to a halt and gives Bischoff the credit he deserves for restructuring the wrestling industry.
Before I give my recommendation for the book, I have to say that the biggest problem I had with the book was the spelling and grammar errors. I don’t see how the publisher could have let this book go to print when there were punctuation errors, misspelled words all over the book, improper grammar used… Hell, they even labeled a picture of “Sensational Sherri” incorrectly as “Missy Hyatt!” That’s just basic stuff that made what should have been a nice, smooth read a pain in ass sometimes.
I highly recommend Controversy Creates Cash for the fan of professional wrestling. For those of you who aren’t wrestling fans, I wouldn’t bother with the book unless you’re one of these entrepreneurial types who looks at the world of business a little bit differently. You may enjoy this book for its look at the business side of professional wrestling.
This is a great read for fans of professional wrestling. The story of Superstar Billy Graham is one that tells the tale of the wrestling world from the 1960s through the early 1980s – a time overlooked by many of today’s wrestling fans. Did you ever wonder how those black and white grappling-fests that you see starting off WWE programs transformed into the entertainment phenomenon that we watch each Monday night? Well, the transformation was one that was carried, in large part, on the backs of the wrestlers themselves. And of those wrestlers who changed the industry, Superstar Billy Graham might have been the most influential.
Any guy who can say that he’s influenced Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Jesse Ventura, and Dusty Rhodes (among others) is someone who deserves a second look. Any guy who can say he influenced these luminaries AND was the professional wrestler who brought the business into the “entertainment” era is someone of legend. Billy Graham is that – a true living legend in the wrestling business.
Looking at him now, one might say, “Eh, he looks like a mix between Ventura and Hogan.” You may say this because his look is very reminiscent of what Ventura looked like in his heyday and because Graham might be pointing at his “22-inch pythons, brother!” Well, hell, that sounds like Hulk Hogan, doesn’t it?
Nope – that’s Hulk Hogan borrowing material from the original and Ventura admittedly dressing like the Superstar.
That is the story of Billy Graham – he was “the first.” He was the first to break kayfabe outside of the ring. He was the first to be a muscle-head at heart and still win over wrestling fans. He was among the first to get the “Austin Heel Heat” where he was so good at being bad, the fans loved him for it. He was the first one to ignite the microphone throwing out raps that were literally taken from the boxing world’s Muhammad Ali.
Superstar Billy Graham was even the first one to bring a major lawsuit against Vince McMahon, Jr. which prompted the federal steroid investigation against the promoter. Billy Graham has done it all.
This book is a great chronicle of his life and times as a professional wrestler both in and out of the ring. It follows him from birth through his time as an evangelical preacher then to his time as a bouncer and ultimately to his time as the first “superstar” in professional wrestling. The Superstar is very candid about his drug use and how it almost killed him just as he’s very candid about the ladies in his life and how he missed out on some special moments with his young children. To their credit, they speak openly in this book about how his divorce from their mother hurt them. Again – this book pulls no punches in telling Billy Graham’s real-life story.
I enjoyed reading about Superstar’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame and the story about him coming back to a WWE locker room for the first time in a decade is also touching. It must also be noted that Vince and company give away some of their thought processes towards the end of the book in terms of how Vince views the WWE Hall of Fame and how Jean Paul Levesque views himself as a member of the McMahon clan. Interesting stuff…
Much like his DVD, this is a book for true wrestling fans. It’s not a long read, but it is a very interesting one. I give Tangled Ropes the highest of recommendations – go for it!
World Wrestling Entertainment named this DVD incorrectly. This is not the story of the Ultimate Warrior’s self-destruction, it’s a story of his absolute insanity. Now, I know that the Warrior is on the conservative speaking circuit (the low-budget conservative speaking circuit, that is) and that he maintains a freakish online presence with rambling, incoherent blog posts, but this DVD tells you the story of the way he completely neglected the push and the rub that he was getting in the wrestling business.
By far, my favorite part of the DVD was the story of how Andre the Giant almost knocked out the Warrior during a match. For those of you that don’t know, Andre the Giant was a legitimate “tough guy” wrestler who could easily smash anyone that was in the ring with him. He told the Warrior time and time again that he wanted to do a “spot” during the match, but that he wanted to do it his way. And after the Warrior did it his OWN way for two matches in a row, the Giant took matters into his own hands. In the third match, the Warrior came off the ropes looking to clothesline Andre and all Andre did was put his bowling ball-like fist out and smashed the Warrior right in the head.
The Warrior did the spot Andre’s way from that point on. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
The other thing that is really funny about this DVD is the way TNA’s Christian (a WWE wrestler at the time of the taping) and WWE’s Edge and Chris Jericho go over some of their favorite Ultimate Warrior promos. First of all, their memory of these promos is uncanny. And second – it is absolutely hilarious to hear them say things that make you think to yourself, “the Warrior would never say that,” only to have the tape of the Warrior saying it from almost two decades earlier.
I was glad that they went over the Warrior’s time in WCW because that’s what really sealed the deal on his tenure in professional wrestling. I was also glad that they covered the now deceased “Renegade” and how he was a cheap Warrior rip-off (though Bischoff claims otherwise). Looking back at Warrior’s time in WCW shows you just how crazy the guy was; his first promo upon debuting made little to no sense at all!
Hulk Hogan has a few good lines where he says that both he and Bischoff knew in the ring that night that the Warrior was an exhausted commodity.
For the wrestling fans who remember the Ultimate Warrior, I suggest seeing this DVD. It gets a little long in some places and thus it could easily be a half an hour shorter in length, but the story told about the Warrior’s maniacal ways in the wrestling world is worth the time watching this DVD. For those of you who are NOT wrestling fans – don’t bother seeing this one as it will probably make little sense to you.
Over the Christmas break, I managed to watch a few DVDs. One of these was 20 Years Too Soon, The Superstar Billy Graham Story. For those of you that don’t know, Superstar Billy Graham is a wrestler who was WWWF (predecessor to today’s WWE) champion in the late 1970’s and the man who sued Vince McMahon in the early 1990’s an caused him to be put under a federal investigation for steroids.
This DVD was a biography/archive of the Superstar’s wrestling career. I enjoyed the stories that he told of getting into the business and the way that the other wrestlers who were interviewed showed their adoration for the Superstar. Many of the greatest names in professional wrestling history cite the Superstar as their inspiration to enter the wrestling business. Men from Hulk Hogan to Ric Flair to Dusty Rhodes to Governor Jesse Ventura – all of them give Graham proper praise on this DVD.
The DVD gets very interesting when Vince McMahon and Billy Graham each recount their involvement in the lawsuit that Graham brought against McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation. Both sides tell their story, from Billy’s belief that he was thrown aside by the company he helped to build to Vince saying that many wrestlers don’t want to hear the honest truth of, “You’ve got nothing left to offer,” before they get fired.
The story does have a happy ending, though. Before going under the knife for a liver transplant, Superstar got a phone call from McMahon saying how the entire WWE was behind him. This buried the hatchet between the two and led to an eventual visit by Graham to a WWE PPV event in Phoenix. And, rightfully so, this led to Superstar Billy Graham’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
For the wrestling fan, I think this DVD is a must-see. I’m in the process of reading the autobiography that goes along with the DVD, so I’ll be able to post a review of that soon enough. However, if you’ve got a few bucks laying around or a Blockbuster rental and you don’t know what to get, go for this DVD.
Yes, this is a book review. I know that WWE’s “The Marine” is coming out in theatres very shortly, but this book absolutely sucked. According to the cover of the book, the “novelization” was performed by Rudy Josephs. WWE, if you’re reading, fire this man immediately! The book was poorly written – and I mean POORLY written. From simple grammatical mistakes to unchained conversations to a wholly unattractive writing style, there was very little about Josephs’ novelization that makes you want to read the book. On top of that, the story was shallow, the characters are even less appealing, and the dialogue is gummy and cliche at best.
I refuse to denigrate my blog with actual excerpts from this “novel” but if you must know what the dialogue is like, it’s constantly self-defeating. Let me explain what self-defeating reads like: “The boy walked into the house, but he knew that there was more to this place than the front door. As he entered the kitchen, he felt that something was watching him – and it wasn’t good. He began to panic as he walked forward, knowing that each step could be his last. Then he was startled by a crash upstairs – could that be the last noise he ever heard?”
Get the picture? It’s a CHORE to read this novel – they give you one line, then completely pull back from it at the end of the sentence! Imagine nearly 300 pages of this rubish!!!
If the folks who wrote this movie are the ones who are writing WWE’s current television product, then a lot of things are starting to make sense!
I can’t even begin to name anything good about this book. There are plot holes all over the place, no attention paid to the smaller points in the storyline, and no consideration given to the interaction between the main characters and the secondary characters.
Quite frankly, I wasted a ton of time reading this book and chances are that I’ll never read another WWE novel again. Some of their biographies are excellent (Mick Foley’s for instance), but in terms of writing fiction – these guys need to stick to the ring.
I highly do NOT recommend wasting the time or money on this book. Stay away.