Category Archives: Wrestling Media

New To The WWE Network: Mr. Fuji Collection

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      WWE reported on their website earlier today that WWE Network Collections released a package celebrating the career of the late Hall of Famer Mr. Fuji (real name Harry Fujiwara) featuring his various incarnations over the years.

      The collection is slated to contain both singles and tag team matches featuring Bruno Sammartino, Professor Toru Tanaka and Mr. Saito; Mr. Fuji’s time as a manager for the behemoth world champion, Yokozuna; and many of his hilarious promos and skits with Don Muraco.

      Mr. Fuji had several runs within WWE back when it was still WWWF and later WWF. He won numerous awards, accolades, and championships all over the world with various promotions. He was put into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007. It was reported on August 28th, 2016 that he died in his home state of Tennessee. The Mr. Fuji Collection can be viewed on the WWE Network app under the SHOWS section. Check it out now!


Article by Jamie Curtis Baker20140601_175649
@MrNotWell

Should You Watch It: Holy Foley!

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      We don’t talk a whole lot about Mick Foley on here. We love the guy, he just doesn’t really make waves very often. He did speak out against the Brooklyn audiences last week and of course he is ever present on each and every episode of Monday Night Raw, even going so far as being ringside in the main event this week. since the brand split. But doing his own solo thing outside of stand-up comedy, writing, or something involving Santa Claus, he is pretty low key. That’s why when we heard about Holy Foley! on the WWE Network, we got genuinely excited. My wife and I saw the Foley Family and an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap a few years back and it was intriguing. Now they get their own TV show? We just had to check this out!

      This article will cover the first season’s opening episode titled “The Bombshell” and providing feedback as to whether or not you should give it a viewing.

      The opening is pretty cool, showing highlights of Foley’s career. He then says, “I’ve traded in Mr. Socko for a mini-van in suburbia.” And of course, as soon as the show starts, Mick is singing Christmas carols. Foley is driving to a book signing in New York. We are then introduced to Mick and Colette’s only daughter, Noelle, at a photo shoot.

      Mick gets home and we meet his autistic son, Mickey and his boisterous son Hughie. Noelle lets Mick know she needs to tell her parents something. Mick thinks Noelle is pregnant by her unemployed clown boyfriend, Frank. We then meet the eldest son, Dewey, as he talks to Mick in his creepy Christmas room about being a writer.

      Later at the family dinner, Noelle finally breaks her big news. The “bombshell” has already been ruined for months with all the Holy Foley! trailers. Noelle Foley wants to follow in her dad’s footsteps and become a professional wrestler. And she has already started training unbeknownst to the family. Mick rages away from the dinner table, or as much as he can rage with his limply hobble walk.

      This isn’t so much a reality show as it is a biography of Mick Foley, interlaced with his current life and his wrestling career. But that’s certainly not a bad thing. If you’ve ever read Have a Nice Day, you know Foley’s life is a fascinating one. The run time is about 28 minutes. It goes by fast, as the show is fun. But if we’re fairly critiquing it, it lacks substance. It’s just hastily spliced together moments in Mick’s life. There’s no coherency. But it beats Total Divas. Yes, my wife made me watch that. I probably won’t really get into this series because I am skeptical about the commitment of Noelle to be a wrestler, let alone care enough to follow her early beginnings. However, for the casual wrestling fan and certainly anyone who tunes in regularly to Total Divas, you should check this out. I laughed several times and it was interesting. Just not my cup of TV. I don’t really watch reality TV all that often unless it’s a cooking show. Hey, Chef Mick Foley, you’ve been chopped.

      Have you tuned in to Holy Foley! on the WWE Network? What did you think about it? Let us know in the comments below. The first five episodes are out on the WWE Network under the Originals section for your binge watching pleasure. At least give the first episode I run through to support a wrestling legend.

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      Speaking of support, we are short on our Go Fund Me donations. Please contribute if you can.


Article by Jamie Curtis Baker20140601_175649
@MrNotWell

Episode 127 of The Ross Report

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      For those of you who are fans of listening to podcasts of the pro-wrestling variety, The Ross Report recently put out a great episode featuring Jim Ross talking to Terri Runnels for the better part of an hour. It’s a delightful conversation and a must listen for any Attitude Era or WCW Monday Night Wars enthusiasts. Runnels talks about her time with WWF and WCW, as well as working for CNN. She discusses her tumultuous marriage with Goldust (Dustin Runnels) and his father Dusty Rhodes (Virgil Runnels Jr.) and their falling out in the late 90’s.

      Later, she talks about the volatile Brian Pillman and her very close friendship with Big Bossman (Ray Traylor Jr.) as they traveled the road together. Terri and JR discuss the passing of Chyna, aka Joan Laurer, and her changing personality over the years due to drugs. For hardcore nostalgia fans, Terri goes into detail about the creation of the Marlena character and taking the concept to Vince McMahon.

      It’s a really easy listen and she tells many great stories. I recommend it to all. Please check it out on iTunes or wherever you download your podcasts.


Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo
@MrNotWell

King of the Mountain Podcast

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      The Face To Heel family listens to many wrestling themed podcasts. The Steve Austin Show and The Ross Report are highly recommended. Colt Cobana and Chris Jericho also have fairly decent episodes, depending on who the guest is. And although they are all good in their own way, there’s one very big flaw that plagues most of them: little to no coverage or support is given to TNA’s Impact Wrestling product. They might come up in conversation, but nobody really puts effort into it. Throughout the industry, TNA has for some odd reason become the whipping boy, a place where hopes and dreams go to die. Sure, it has some quality memes and GIF’s that are fun entertainment. But what podcasts won’t tell you is that TNA, for all intents and purposes, is getting better. Now is the time to start taking them seriously again. Enter the newly christened King of the Mountain podcast, a show devoted entirely to none other than giving you a full discussion about all things TNA.

      The shows intro is hilarious, with sound bites from Eli Drake being himself. YEAH! DUMMY! The first episode covers the June 21st episode, and includes such topics as Trevor Lee’s ring gear, an in-depth discussion about female wrestlers, AJ Styles, and a complete breakdown of every minute during TNA’s weekly broadcast. The second episode follows the June 28th broadcast. The third episode is where things really get good, discussing the glorious Final Deletion of Jeff Hardy for more than an hour. It brought back lots of wonderful memories as this was one of the best wrestling angles I’ve seen all year. The boys say Matt and Jeff have set the bar now, and you cannot argue with the facts. A fourth episode reviews the rest of the July 5th broadcast; and the fifth episode covers the July 12th broadcast, and now we’re all caught up. The fifth episode also introduces the idea of an ultimate wrestling roster. Each host will create their dream wrestling roster and fans will get to vote on which one is the best.

      The show started off being hosted by BQ (an air force veteran) and Will. Kyle from The Daily Impact on Instagram joins them on the second episode, and the show only gets better with a trio. Each episode is anywhere between one to two hours, with the first episode running a little over 90 minutes. It’s clear from the start that they know their stuff. They talk like industry experts and the ideas being thrown around are solid. It’s not all TNA praise, though. They dissect and give their thoughts on anything that runs too long, doesn’t sell right, or just flat out doesn’t make sense. There’s no punches pulled in their coverage, but everything is kept professional and user-friendly. You don’t have to follow the dirt sheets to get what they are sending out into the airwaves. Each episode of the KOTM podcast breaks down every segment, match and promo during airtime, revealing things you might have missed or overlooked while watching.

      I spent Monday and Tuesday at work powering through the first five episodes and I can put the F2H stamp of approval on this podcast. Subscribe now and catch up on the first five episodes. King of the Mountain podcast helps legitimize TNA Impact Wrestling. They made me feel proud to be a TNA fan, as opposed to keeping it to myself to avoid snickers and jeers of the hardcore WWE marks who’s only wrestling knowledge comes from Attitude Era catchphrases. KOTM is the real deal featuring real wrestling fans. It’s an easy listen and a good source for complete TNA coverage.

      Sadly, there is no new episode of TNA on tonight. They moved to Thursday because of WWE’s gamble that anybody is interested in watching a live Smackdown. But, you can get caught up on the last few weeks of broadcasts prior to this Thursday’s new episode by checking out the King of the Mountain podcast. It doesn’t matter what platform you use, they got you covered. Check out all their links below to get their episodes on any device, and be sure to tune in each week as they drop a new episode.

King of the Mountain PodBean

King of the Mountain iTunes

King of the Mountain SoundCloud

KOTM Radio – YouTube

KOTM Twitter


Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo

@MrNotWell

Should You Watch It: Table For 3

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      I’ve been wanting to check this program out on the WWE Network for some time. Finally getting around to it today. The concept is simple. Take three WWE Superstars, Divas, or Legends and have them sit down to have dinner together. Roll the cameras and let them talk about life in pro wrestling. I decided to start with the episode titled Brass Ring, featuring Dean Ambrose, Cesaro and Kevin Owens.

      Cesaro and Kevin Owens come out in button down shirts, but Ambrose sports a t-shirt. He immediately comments saying, “As long as I can still wear t-shirts, I’ll be alright.” Kevin Owens talks about his feud with John Cena and how his kids love Cena. They discuss taking food from fans and eating leftover, stale concessions at the end of shows. They talk about using the amount of physical abuse they’re willing to take as a bargaining chip for how much they got paid for independent shows.

      Believe it or not, both Cesaro and Ambrose used to have long hair, and Ambrose makes fun of having a ponytail at one time. Ambrose also talks about wrestling in Puerto Rico, with fans throwing batteries and ice at the wrestlers they don’t like as they performed in baseball stadiums. Owens talks about traveling with longtime friend, Sami Zayn.

      Final Verdict: The idea is solid, but on this particular episode the knife and forks scratching on plates is distracting, and Ambrose talks with his mouth full several times. So I can see certain episodes being off putting, especially if the wrestler isn’t well spoken or if English is their second language. But this is more “inside baseball” stuff from WWE Network and it’s entertaining. There’s nothing better than hearing old school wrestling stories. These guys have life experiences and tales to keep you hooked to the TV, with the added benefit of having a new trio on Table For 3 each episode. Check this one out.


Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo

@MrNotWell

 

The Genius of Mauro Ranallo

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      Friday night, NXT took over Dallas, TX. It was an epic night featuring Shinsuke Nakamura’s debut, a bloody match between Samoa Joe and Finn Balor, and an NXT Women’s Championship title change. During the preshow of NXT Takeover, Mauro Ranallo joined Renee Young and Lita to discuss the upcoming program and the superstars involved.

      While this was going on, a friend of mine on Twitter commented that it was a disappointment that Mauro wouldn’t be doing commentary for the actual show. We both received a tweet reply from someone saying Mauro’s commentary “sounds fake and forced.” This instantly pissed me off because I know who and what Mauro Ranallo is and to say something so ignorant is a great example of someone talking about a topic they knew nothing about. I wanted to pen this article in defense of Mauro.

      Mauro Ranallo is not fake, or forced, or anything short of amazing. He has done commentary for football, hockey, combat sports including wrestling, boxing, mixed martial arts, and kickboxing. He has worked for Showtime, PFC, NJPW, and most recently signing with WWE. He’s been working since the age of 16. It’s not a job for him, it’s a lifestyle.

      Mauro Ranallo slid into Smackdown commentary and outshined everyone else across the board. He knows wrestling. He knows all the moves and their real names. He does his research. He knows the talent. There are no half measures for Mauro. The reason it seems like he is trying too hard on commentary is because everyone else around him is sitting at the kids’ table and he’s a living encyclopedia of wrestling knowledge.

      Jerry Lawler is a pun fueled hack that was carried through The Attitude Era by Jim Ross and has been carried through the PG Era because the fans love him. Michael Cole oversells and is mostly hated by everyone. JBL is great, but he often gets caught up in a match and will go lengths of time without speaking because he’s just enjoying being a fan. Renee Young and Corey Graves with NXT do an okay job,  but they are often hesitant and have brain stutters. And don’t even get me started on the sinking hole that is Byron Saxton.

      When it comes to hall of fame quality commentators, there’s only two in my mind. Jim Ross and Mauro Ranallo. As WWE fans, we’ve been so used to watered down commentary since JR left that we forgot what a real play-by-play is like. The product got dumb downed for years and when someone comes along to elevate it, we react with fear and ignorance. But mark my words, Mauro is destined to reach the Raw commentary team and live pay-per-views. He is a quality caliber player. So don’t come onto my Twitter timeline talking shit about someone with years of experience under his belt who quite frankly knows exactly what he’s doing. This isn’t amateur hour. Mauro is the epitome of professionalism.

      Hopefully we see Mauro Ranallo calling some shots tonight and adding his expertise to the six hours of WrestleMania. He probably won’t make the main show, but we may see him during the preshow. One things for sure: the sooner he moves up in the ranks, the better for WWE, their commentary, and the wrestlers.


Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo

@MrNotWell

 

Should You Watch It: WWE List

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      I went with Shocking Title Changes for the review on this one as it had a picture of Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman on it which has to mean good things. The premise of this show is basically a sort of top ten gimmick. The production value on List is way over the top, with words and images constant on the screen, featuring a giant scrolling bar at the bottom with Tweets from the WWE Universe. The guy doing the voice over isn’t great, sounding campy and a little bit of a goofball.

      First on the list is Lesnar taking the titles from John Cena after suplexing him sixteen times into hell. Next up is Goldberg’s insane winning streak, cemented by winning the title from Hollywood Hulk Hogan. The fans actually threw trash in the ring after this one. Then they show Jeff Hardy taking the Intercontinental Championship title from Triple H, after Hardy attacked Stephanie McMahon. With a run-in chair shot from Matt Hardy, Hardy takes the gold. A surprise entrant on this list is The Ninth Wonder of the World, Chyna, taking the IC title from Jeff Jarrett, becoming the first and only woman in history to do so. The list is topped off with The Miz cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Randy Orton.

      Final Verdict: In typical WWE fashion, they took a decent concept and presented it in such a convuluted way that you can’t really get behind it (glares at Roman Reigns.) This show had potential, but the production and host just makes it less interesting. It’s almost as if they don’t want us to take it seriously. Fun is fun, but being silly throughout kills the enjoyment of seeing old footage of wrestling matches. You can probably find better top ten lists on YouTube. Skip this one.


Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo

@MrNotWell

 

Should You Watch It: Swerved

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      Pilot episode entitled “I Thought I Was Dead” will be reviewed today for WWE Network’s original program, Swerved. This is a prank show, run by Jeff Tremaine, the main genius and producer of the Jackass TV series and movies. The first stunt is a shock stool, a tool already utilized in one of the Jackass films. Dolph Ziggler “hosts” and is in on the prank, which seems like the perfect guy to do it. His first victim is Zack Ryder, who gets jolted and jumps up screaming, “What the fuck was that?!” multiple times. After he is shocked a second time, he asks, “Is this a joke or what?” After a third time, he does the segment standing and finally figures out that it’s a trick stool.

      Renee Young does a segment where Hornswaggle pops out of a kitchen tray and scares Booker T. She finds it hilarious, but it doesn’t come across well. They cut back to Ziggler and he pulls the same stunt on Tom Phillips. Then they do a WrestleMania red carpet poop microphone which is exactly what it sounds like. Darren Young is the first victim. They also get Santino, Bo Dallas, and Christian. It’s pretty juvenile stuff. Throughout the episode, brief snippets of fans answering questions is shown which doesn’t really add anything to the program. Renee Young runs the same gag on Xavier Woods and Natalya. The joke is reversed when Renee Young and Xavier Woods dump salsa and nacho cheese on Hornswaggle.

      Final Verdict: Your kids might love this one. But I grew up with Tom Green and Johnny Knoxville, and lived through nine years of Ashton Kutcher on Punk’d. These sort of weak antics don’t really make me laugh. It might be better if they just did different stunts the whole episode, but the same three pranks over and over again for twenty minutes loses my interest fast. I’d recommend skipping this show. Thankfully they put this program out of its misery and stopped producing new episodes.


Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo

@MrNotWell

Should You Watch It: Superstar Ink

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      This was a show I didn’t even know existed until I went skimming through the WWE Network. The concept seems cool: get the lowdown on what sort of tattoos WWE Superstars have and their meaning. Today I’m reviewing the episode featuring Seth Rollins.

      The show is hosted by Corey Graves, who has a collage of tattoos himself. It’s only about four minutes long, which I guess really is all you need. How long can you talk about your body art? Corey Graves and Seth Rollins discuss growing up together and the bands they listened to.

      Seth Rollins has a burning page on his wrist that says “forever.” He says it’s a reminder of when he was 16 and that moment in time. He has a Bushido, or way of the Samurai code, tattooed down his spine that has seven symbols which stand for integrity, respect, courage, honor, compassion, honesty, and loyalty. Not so sure the last one fits him as he did cheat on his fiancee, but who am I to judge?

      Interesting show. Brief and simple. As a person with ink himself, I am very interested in the back story behind people’s tattoos. Currently the show has Wade Barrett, Big Show, Kofi Kingston, and Roman Reigns. Check it out if this is your cup of tea.


Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo

@MrNotWell

Should You Watch It: Legends with JBL

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      John “Bradshaw” Layfield is well known among wrestling fans. A former world champion and now a hilarious color commentator for WWE, JBL is personable, funny, and has great interview skills. Because of this WWE gave him a show on WWE Network called Legends with JBL. Should you watch it? We discuss below.

      If you listen to the Stone Cold Steve Austin podcast, this show is a similar format to that. A one on one interview Q&A. The set is a little nicer, and in the first episode both men are wearing suits, but it’s basically the same thing.

      The first episode features Eric Bischoff, that old nemesis with WCW during the Monday Night Wars, detailing how he grew up, got into the business and eventually went on to become one of the biggest people in wrestling history.

      A video is shown of Bischoff trying out for WWE as an announcer trying to sell a broom. Needless to say, he didn’t get the job. Old photos and videos are shown throughout as Bischoff talks about Vince McMahon taking over the territories through the eighties and how everyone thought he was “killing the business.” He discusses his time with AWA as an announcer, the woes of Ted Turner and the fall of WCW. The interview is split into two parts so you have to watch episode two to get the full story.

      JBL does a fantastic job throwing out questions and there is a cool pop-up feature at the bottom explaining things that fans may not know about. The show is about fifty minutes which may be risky because sometimes too much of JBL is a bad thing. However, he’s toned down from his commentary antics and spends more time listening than talking. Overall, if you have the time and someone you’re interested in is on, this show is a fantastic program. Scroll through and checkout who’s on and see if there’s anyone to tickle your fancy. This is “inside baseball” stuff so if you want the lowdown and what really happened throughout the history of wrestling, this one will be worth it.


Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo

@MrNotWell