I don't think there is a wrestling fan alive who didn't enjoy ECW. The counter culture phenomenon founded in 1992 by Tod Gordon and booked by (then also owned by) Paul Heyman. It was the alternative to the cartoon style that the then WWF and WCW had become. With story lines that used realism along with blood, shock, and awe, it was the company that changed the landscape of professional wrestling.
It was a short lived run, that ended when the company went under in 2001 but the memories people have live on. I for one will never forget watching WWF around the time of Survivor Series and watching Bret Hart cut a promo against his opponent at the PPV, Diesel. He gave the standard television interview and stated, "Im going to get you, you big dummy" yes fighting words for the ages. It was after the show ended I popped in a tape of the last ECW TV show, which was getting ready for there big show, The November To Remember. I saw a Guns n Roses November Rain video inter cut with all the angles leading up to the show, wrestlers saying how they were going to crucify there opponents, everything that an adult, of teenager would find exciting.
There were no count outs, no disqualifications, fans brought weapons for wrestlers to use. Matches often spilled into the crowds, and sometimes into the streets, or in one case a hockey arena with a game going on. Dives off of balcony's, glass matches, barb wire battles, and possibly the best assortment of characters you will ever see in a wrestling promotion.
Yes, I like everyone else from that time have a soft spot for ECW. The good folks at Highspots realized this and have created a show entitled Legend of the Extreme. Now in its second season, the new episode just went up on to watch on their network. The show takes you behind the scenes of the promotion and is hosted by ECW Historian Mike Johnson. The new episode is about Characters of ECW, and the guests include, The Blue Meanie, Shane Douglas, and the always entertaining New Jack.
This episode, of the documentary series is an absolute blast to watch to say the least. The entire series is great but the fact that all three of these men had such different characters made it one of the most entertain episodes to date. I cant give you a transcript, or give everything away for that matter, but it should come as no shock when I say that New Jack stole the show.
The Blue Meanie discusses how Nova, Stevie Richards, and himself were the comedy characters of the show, and at one time even did a parody of the Jackson 5. Meanie mentioned how he wanted New Jack to be mad about it and tell them not to do it, but to his chagrin was told to do it a Jack wanted to see it.
Shane, who was the face of ECW for most of its conception as "The Franchise" told a great story how all the boys in the back were marks (fans) of the others guys characters and would always be in the back watching from behind the curtain, and would often give the boys standing ovations when they came through. The comrodery of ECW was always legendary, but hearing about the bonding and brotherly love these guys had for not only each other, but the promotion as well is always amazing to hear.
And then there is New Jack, the most colorful of all ECW Characters, because if you listen to him, he was just being himself. He reflects on getting over and diving, but the highlight of the whole show is the story he tells about the USWA Owner Jerry Jarrett speaking with him to think of a name that "People like Jack use in the hood" to name a new wrestler. He decided on calling the guy "Homeboy", yes that is the name some poor guy got saddled with.
If you were, or still are a fan this is a must watch series. You can watch it on the Highspots Network. The subscription only runs 9.99 a month and the amount of shows on there is mind blowing to say the least. its a must own service for any wrestling fans.
As I consider my reviews based on a film critic I am call this a documentary review and giving it a high recommendation.
overall 3.5 out of 5 stars (Sorry I wanted it to be long)
Check it out. For more information, or to subscribe to the Highspots Network click HERE!
"Bombshell!! Super Shoot!!" These are the words that ring out multiple times from the mouth of Billy Jack Haynes during his shoot interview video entitled "Billy Jack Haynes: a conspiracy theory'
Now first off, a couple things. For those unaware a wrestling shoot interview is when the Wrestler in question answers questions as himself, not in character. They are usually very entertaining, especially if your interested in the inner workings of the Wrestling business. Second thing as you know I do reviews as if I was watching a film. So with it only involving 2 people, and the props that Billy Brought I will look at it as if it were Breakfast at Tiffany's on drugs. Also I don't want to give to much away so I will primarily cover the topics he discusses.
This was filmed back in 2006 but I never got around to ordering the DVD so needless to say when it got added to the Highspots The other day I was anxious to finally watch it. In fact if you are a fan of shoot interviews and round tables Highspots Network has over 400 up for streaming now and they continually add more and more, thus making it a must have service for wrestling fans.
Bill is either the greatest actor, or worker if you will of all times, or he's just bat shit crazy, or possibly both. He apologizes for being high on methadone durring his first interview and even pulls out a methadone pamphlet for some reason.
Billy explains this may be the last time you see him, as there has already been an attempt on his life. For proof of this he pulls out a picture of himself beaten half to death. He wondered why he's local paper in Oregon didn't cover it, but he found out they are owned by a corporation in New York, where Vince McMahon operates out of. Thus assuming Vince had it covered up?
Billy talks in detail about how Vincent Kennedy McMahon should have his middle name changed to Killer and goes in to list all the people that Vince killed over the years. He also has pictures of all of them. Sadley, I must point out that 90% of these people were not working for the WWE when they died.
Billy keeps yelling "Bombshell" and begs us to get the children out of the room as this is to heavy for them. Because his final topic is the Benoit Murder Suicide. Yes this is a theory that, well, is definitely different than all the others.
So based on the intensity of Billy, and the fact he truely believes what he's saying makes him either the greatest method actor (worker) in the business or just nuts. But because of the entertainment this provides, and no not all in a make fun of way I actually rate this high. You actually believe that Billy is speaking directly to you. It's almost as if you are in the room talking to him.
Now before I give this a rating I have to say that review aside this is actually sad at times. Billy, pulls no punches and if you have seen other interviews with him you know he had a traumatic life. He is a straight shooter who will admit he is a sociopath, as well as an addict. I was always entertained by Billy from his Portland run to WWF he was a tremendous talent in the ring. He's suffered numerous concussions and other injury's for our entertainment so I wish him nothing but the best in life
With that said I give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars
To watch this great shoot and more subscribe to the Highspots Wrestling network HERE
AAW is without a doubt the hottest Indy promotion out there in my opinion. Its so good I don’t even look at it as an Indy. To me it’s a major company with a talent line up that any promoter would die for. Based out of Illinois AAW shows bring a crowd of regulars and rabid fans that I haven’t bared witness to since the early days of ECW. Shows are ran monthly (on occasion twice monthly) and AAW even offers season ticket passes to there shows. Something that all independent companies should look into. They have amazing production values and the work rate from the wrestlers is second to none. They also have the story lines I like, because you know my reviews focus on the entire event as if it were a movie, and not the individual match star system that is faulty beyond belief when it comes to reviewing shows.
Going through the Highspots Network AAW is on there with 57 events up to stream. I have fallen a bit behind lately over the last few months, but Defining Moment is now up for streaming. Here is the card
Berwyn Eagles Club - Berwyn, IL
1. Connor Braxton vs. PACO
2. Jeff Cobb vs. Joey Janela
3. The A Team (Davey Vega, Mat Fitchett, & ACH) vs. Team Tremendous (Dan Barry & Bill Carr) & Colt Cabana
4. Shane Strickland vs. Matt Riddle
5. Trevor Lee vs. Keith Lee vs. AR Fox
6. AAW Heritage Championship: Brian Cage vs. Penta El Zero M (c)
7. AAW Tag Team Championship: Oi4K (Jake & Dave Crist) vs. Zachary Wentz & Dezmond Xavier (c)
8. Zema Ion vs. Cody
9. Title vs. Mask: Rey Fenix vs. Sami Callihan (c)
The story on this show centers around one match. That is the main event Fenix vs Callihan, which is the culmination of a year long feud. Yes one entire year has been building towards this match. Callighan had lost his Heavyweight championship to Fenix’s brother Pentagon. Callighan has friends though in OI4K and during a tag match in which he teamed with Jake Crist he pinned Pentagon who was teaming with Fenix to win the title back. After this he began to wrestle Fenix and on one night stole his sacred luchador mask. Pentagon ran down to cover his brothers face, and now another chapter of the feud had begun. Callighan would wear the mask he stole around his neck taunting Fenix every chance he got. Finally after run ins, jumping’s, rematches, tag matches, everything you can think of Fenix put his mask on the line against Callighans title at Defining Moment 2017. Would he win the title he has been chasing or would Callighan be able to unmask Fenix for the world to see? I’ll tell you but first lets talk about the rest of what we saw.
With a hot crowd as always we were treated to a nice balance of comedy, brawling, high flying, and even chain wrestling. Conn Braxton and PACO put on a great opener that brought the crowd to life early. Jeff Cobb and Joey Janela were putting on a hard hitting match with Cobb dominating. AR Fox came out to distract Cobb midway through to help further there storyline that began a month prior. The A Team (Davey Vega, Mat Fitchett, & ACH) vs. Team Tremendous (Dan Barry & Bill Carr) & Colt Cabana were up next for what was the comedy match of the night. Colt Cabana can do comedy wrestling like no one else. And what really sets him apart is his amazing athleticism and psychology. Trevor Lee, who can now be seen on Impact Wrestling was out next to face Keith Lee, and probably one of the most amazing wrestlers I have seen, AR Fox. Fox put on an absolute clinic of high flying death defying moves, and Lee, and Lee were both on fire as well. The crowd had a great time during this one.
Cage vs Pentagon was up next and was a great showcase for Pentagon. He hit all high kicks and signature moves, and Cage is definitely the best big man in the game right now. Cage who is probably close to 300lbs of solid muscle pulls off standing back flips and can bump for Pentagon like hes superman. Fantastic quick match Up next were OI4K AKA Jake and Dave Crist who took on the tag champs Zackery Wentz and Desmond Xavier. This was a fantastic match featuring plenty of brawling and high flying. OI4K is quiet possibly the best tag team in the world right now. I am so glad they are on Impact wresting so they can show off their skills to a larger audience on national tv. Up next is the co main event with Cody taking on Zema Ion. Cody may be the big star but its Zema who stole the show. He gave Cody the best match hes ever had in my opinion, and any company would benefit from booking him.
And then we go to our main event. Callihan and Fenix. A year in the making. And it was amazing. If this were a movie it would be one of the best fight scenes ever. These two amazing athletes pulled of moves and counter moves that have never been scene before. High Flying, brawling, in and outside the ring these two busted their asses for and to the delight of the crowd. This is definitely a match of the year candidate. The drama and excitement was second to none. The crowd practically comes to life in your house as you watch this they were so rabid for it. Callighan proved that he is quiet possibly the hardest worker out there today. From false finishes to a bit of old fashioned heel cheating Fenix pulled out a win from thin air in what was definitely a tremendous feel good moment.
From the great story, to the extremely high production levels AAW once again delivered a winner with Defining Moment 2017. The DVD/ Blu-ray are available from Highspots, its offered on VOD as well. If you subscribe to the Highspots Network its currently up for your streaming pleasure. I cannot recommend this one enough fans. To Subscribe to the Highspots Network click HERE for AAW Official Page click HERE
Overall 4 out of 5 stars!
I love watching documentary’s about Professional Wrestling. I find it fascinating to see all the things that go on behind the scenes. I love hearing about how certain guys don’t want to work with one another, how some plan out matches in advance, who was difficult, road story’s, everything. One of my favorite features on the Highspots Network is the massive amount of shoot interviews they have up regarding this topic. They also have a good line of Documentary’s about various territory’s (wrestling promotions), and have recently added a new one the did about Frank Donald Goodish aka Bruiser Brody entitled Wrestling’s Last Rebel: Bruiser Brody!
For a quick background Bruiser Brody is considered an “Outlaw Wrestler” he wasn’t someone you would see on the same wrestling television show for long periods of time. He would stay with companies for a short time, although his Texas run did last longer than all the others. He would be brought in by local promoters for shows as he had a large enough fan base that they would draw a big house (lots of people, more gate money) with him on the card. He worked everywhere, even having matches in WWWE (now know as WWE) He had a brawling style that was second to none. Playing the role of the madman he would beat his opponents senseless in the ring. It was a hardcore style before hardcore was cool so to speak. He was even voted Brawler of the year 3 years running by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. From USA to Japan he caver a niche out for himself and became a major star, which considering he was not featured on national tv on a weekly basis is an amazing accomplishment.
Brody however was hard to deal with. He had a bad reputation with promoters. He would hold them up for money, i.e. refusing to go do his match unless he was paid more. He was loved by lots of other wrestlers, but hated by many as well. He would not “Sell” (make the other wrestlers moves look good) for opponents if he didn’t like them, he would refuse to do jobs (lose), he was even know to be a bully/abusive in the ring with wrestlers he did not like. This last particular one played a role out in his untimely death in 1988 when he was stabbed in a shower in San Juan Puerto Rico and eventually bleed to death.
A man was in mentioned in almost all wrestling shoot interviews in one way or another has never really had a dvd or biography devoted to him. I assume its because of all the massive library’s of footage from various promotions you would need to go through to piece it together. Well after all these years Highspots Wrestling, the only place you need for your wrestling collecting needs in my opinion have managed to do just that. Narrated by his widow Barba Smith, this massive documentary covers everything from Brody’s High School and College Football aspirations to his work all over the world, and even his death. Tons of wrestlers and promoters are interviewed and spliced in commenting on each and every chapter of the mans life as we basically go on a journey through the life of Bruiser Brody, seeing not ony Brody the wrestler, but Frank Goodish the man as well.
I cannot begin to imagine how many painstaking hours were put into the editing of this documentary. The amount of interviews and clips are almost mind blowing. I cannot praise the editor enough for going through and making this. I also cant praise Highspots enough. Sure I like the documentary’s that WWE puts out, but there basically a one sided or worked story. Highspots is a third party so they are able to be as open and as objective as possible. And it shows. Not every interview you see will praise Brody, as I stated there were many out there who hated him. You get to see all of this. Nothing is sugar coated, which always makes for a more compelling story.
Even if your not a fan of Bruser Brody, or if your new to the crazy world of Professional Wrestling this is definitely something you should watch. You will get to see how the territory promotions were all ran, and the hundreds of areas to make a living of off pro wrestling was around before the days of WWE becoming the conglomerate that it is today. Compelling and facintating, this is a fantastic documentary and a great addition to any wrestling collection. You can watch it on the Highspots Streaming Network, or you can purchase the DVD through there website. The DVD does contain bonus discs of matches.
The Highspots Wrestling Network is your home for all things wrestling! Stream your heart out with the best videos in independent wrestling today! Full events featuring PWG, NEW, PWX, WSU, CZW, $5 Wrestling & more, shoot interviews and series featuring The Kevin Steen Show, Old School w/ Steve Corino, Best Friends w/ Chuck and Trent?, documentaries, matches, women's wrestling & more.
CLICK HERE FOR HIGHSPOTS WRESTLING NETWORK
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
Saturday afternoon I got the itch to watch wrestling, at the same time however I got the itch to watch a Grindhouse movie. But something with a cool DIY punk rock feel. Sort of like Dead End Drive In. I logged into my Highspots Network account and came across Rockstar Pro. I am familiar with the company as my friend Aarron Williams, The Baddest Man On The Planet works for them, however I have never really sat down to watch a big show. I chose "Smoke Em If Ya Got Em" and sat back to see what looked like a fun show.
The show opens with a cool little video package. Then cuts right to the arena and I have to say this is truly a punk rock arena. The building is all curtained off in black, and I mean everything. Rails, ring, back drop, you name it. A lone celling light right above the curtains is the only real source of light that I could see. The crowd was hyped to say the least and they enjoyed every minute of the show.
And what a show it was. I have to say, I loved the To Sick For This World Match. It was a great beginning and an amazing way to kick things off. Zachary Wentz and Clayton Jackson worked their asses off. The dastardly Wentz even ran over and kissed Jackson's mom when he was down. Now that is the mark of a real bad guy.
The pace slowed down a bit so we could enjoy matches featuring comedy, high flying and even some really great chain Wrestling. Still having fun I was able to catch my breath before The Dayton Street Fight that saw "Legendary" Larry D vs "the Pitbull" Ganger. These two absolutely destroyed each other. And in true classic street fight form a hacksaw was even used. Yes a real hacksaw.
After a while we settled in for the main event. A passing of the torch so to speak as two former ECW Icons came to help out a Rockstar Member. The match consisted of The Franchise Shane Douglas, The Sandman & "Pro Athlete" Jon Murray vs the Foundation ("True Grit" Bruce Grey, "Street Rat" Sid Fabulous & "Bruiser" Patrick)! To say the match was great is an understatement. The sandman's entrance alone was enough to make me feel nostalgic for old school ECW.
I will be watching more Rockstar shows in the future. They actually run weekly shows at the home in Dayton Ohio. They run a regular weekly show every Wednesday night, they stream on the own network as well as YouTube. Highspots Network is where I watched this big show. They even have there own training center. Heavily active on social media they do a great job of putting themselves out there.
But now for the review as if it were a movie. The show was paced great just like a standard action film. The crowd was definitely into everything. They actually gave the show a Rocky Horror Picture Show type vibe which added to my enjoyment. The wrestlers all performed great. I dig the whole blacked out gritty look as well as the simple lighting elements. This is a company that truely has a Grindhouse feel. My only real issue is the same I've had with other shows. The announcing volume level is too high. It needs to drop just a bit to bring up the crowd. I dug the show and I'll definitely watch more. The Highspots Network has lots of there shows up, and for my money that's the wrestling network to have.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars
Before I start this review, I want to say how much I actually hate typical wrestling reviews. The "star" system is, if you really look at it a very unfair way to rate matches. Sure I could give Ricochet vs Will Osprey the ever sought after 5 star rating, but that's because I'm a Lucha fan. I enjoy lucha style matches that consist of mostly high spots, or flippy moves if you will. But what if you hate that type of wrestling? Would you give it 5 Stars? No you would give it none. The Shawn Michaels vs Bret Hart Iron Man match is regarded as one of the best of all times. I find it boring as all hell.
Now another thing I dislike about the current review style is the criticism of the athletes. I'm not a trained pro wrestler and let's be honest neither are 99% of the other arm chair critics out there. How can any of us say that "AJ Styles wasn't laying his forearm shots in stiff enough"? I'm not trained to that so who am I to judge.
Now when it comes to pro wrestling what makes for any enjoyable show? For me it's not only the matches, but let's be honest. They storylines, the production values, the announcing, the crowd, all of that plays a factor. You could be at home watching an amazing fight but if the announcing and crowd is bad the experience you can have watching at home can really be bad. What if the match is great but the lighting is so poor you can see? Worse yet the camera angles are bad causing you to miss action. All of that can play a part.
Now when I go to a show or watch on TV I suspend all disbelief and watch it like I would a movie. And as I have been reviewing movies for a long time I figured I would transition the movie style reviews into wrestling. I picked a good show to start with it's from an indy company known as Pro Wrestling Revolver. It's their Halloween themed show entitled, Tales From The Ring.
Pro Wrestling Revolver is the brainchild of wrestler Sami Callighan. It's marketed as "For our Generation by our Generation" which breaks down to a more hard hitting death defying style than you would see on say a WWE program. The shows feature big names on the Indy circut to say the least. The events are held in the Midwest, in fact most are just a few hours away from me. Now I can tell you Midwest fans are serious about their Pro Wrestling. Crowds are always hot live no matter what's going on. This particular show has an entire Tales From The Crypt vibe, as you can tell from the promo real above. Here is the line up of the card
1. Brian Cage vs Shigehiro Irie
2. BATTLE OF THE SEXES: Jessicka Havok vs MJF
3. OPEN INVITE SCRAMBLE CHAMPIONSHIP:
Palmer vs Tessa Blanchard, Manscout Jake Manning, Gary Jay, Jordan LenX, Johnny Ruckus, Myron Reed, Cole Radrick, Curt Stallion, Paco Gonzales, Dave Crist, Clayton Gainz, Ace Austin
4. Ricochet vs Jason Cade
5. IOWA DEATHMATCH: RSP vs Alex Colon
6. AR Fox vsDAGA
7. Matt Riddle vs Jeff Cobb
8. FKA Jack Swagger vsSami Callihan
9. TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER MATCH: BESTies in the World vs Worlds Cutest Tag Team, Chimera, Zero Gravity, & Alienated Youth
As you can see it's pretty diverse which is something a lot of shows are lacking. High flying, hardcore violence, chain Wrestling, comedy, drama, everything you need.
Cage vs Irie is a great big man vs big man opener as these big guys can really move. To see Cage do standing flips is pretty amazing as he has to be closing in on 300lbs. I really enjoyed watching Jessicka Havok. If you follow her on Twitter you can see she is a really fun loving young lady who enjoys superheroes and playing video games, something she broadcasts on twitch tv. But when she beomes the Havok Death Machine decked out in steampunk gear she shows why, in my opinion, that she is the top woman's wrestler in the world today. Graceful yet brutal, enchanting yet horrifying. The fact she is not on national television is truely a crime.
The scramble match offers high flying comedy. With countless flips, and twists and turns, to even the use of the Force from Star wars you will definitely ooh and ahh while laughing. The Ricochet and AR Fox matches will leave you breathless when you see the high flying and fast chain Wrestling that is a sight to marvel. I can't wait for the two of them to match up against each other down the road on one of these shows. The Deathmatch is a brutal spectacle to say the least. An orgy of blood and gore that any horror fan would love to watch.
Callighan and Swagger put on an amazing spectacle blending 80s wrestling action but adding violence of the new millennium into the mix. A giant brawl through the crowd and in the ring will certainly leave you hoping for a rematch, as will Cobb vs Riddle, as they combine Olympic wrestling and mma. Then we settle in for the big ladder match which is the equivalent of watching a human stunt show that ends with broken bodies.
This show is paced like a Hong Kong action film. Slowing down at spots for you to catch your breath but almost immediately bringing you back to the edge of your seats. The announcing team works great together and the crowd is into everything. I wish the audio of the announcing team was a bit lower so you could hear the crowd more but it won't bring the level of excitement down at all.
I watched it on the Highspots Streaming network, a service wrestling fans should really get it. The Highspots Wrestling Network allows you to stream Full events featuring PWG, NEW, PWX, WSU, CZW, $5 Wrestling & more, shoot interviews and series featuring The Kevin Steen Show, Old School w/ Steve Corino, Best Friends w/ Chuck and Trent?, documentaries, matches, women's wrestling & more, for only 9.99 a month. The show is also up for pre order on DVD from Highspots as well.
Great action, great comedy, great production values, this is definitely a company to watch, and this is a great show to watch. So if this were a movie I would rate it as a 4 out of 5. Go check it out today. You will feel like your in the crowd watching
Click Here for Highspots Link