Welcome to a special edition of the Wrath of Tito. I just finished up the Hardy Boyz book, cramming it in whenever I could. I got addicted to it once they began wrestling, and couldn't put it down at times. Also, I decided to blow off some steam after class and I went and saw the "Rundown", starring the Rock. I'll review both in this very column.
Speaking of books, I went into 3 bookstores today, and nobody had the new "Lita" book. I won't pick that up. The Hardy Boys book covers a lot of Lita, so nah, I'll pass. Freddie Blassie? Fabulous Moolah? Nah, too oldschool. Jerry Lawler? I have it, and I've read several chapters... but man, it's too boring. I just can't get into it. I think I'll wait for Ric Flair and Steve Austin's books, to be honest. Flair's, especially, for I want to know his thoughts on WCW during the late 1980's and throughout the 1990's. I'm sure Austin's will get pretty nasty and I've heard most of his rants before. But Ric Flair has kept quiet about his wrestling career, and it should be a good one.
I love a good book, and it makes me so happy when a wrestling book is either interesting or an honest assessment by a wrestler. Mick Foley's first book will always be #1 in my mind, followed by DDP, Dynamite Kid, Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, and Bill Goldberg. The rest either lie, lose interest (i.e. going into character, such as the Rock), or are so dry and boring. Many of the WWE books are too filtered by the editors or ghost writers, such as Kurt Angle's book. I worried about the Hardy Boyz book with this fact, but it was nothing like that at all. I'll get into that later.
You know, people say I'm not a dedicated wrestling fan. You know what I tell them? I usually say that I've probably put more money into the WWE system than most fans have. Just look at my Multimedia Reviews, for it's fucking huge and I still own or have owned most of what you see there. My bookcase is overflowing with the thick paperback wrestling books. One day, I want to stack them up and take a digital picture for everyone to see. It's sick! After today, I will have reviewed 20 books. Besides the guys who get paid to write about wrestling for a living, I'd say I've added a positive outlook on wrestler books for free. Those books aren't cheap, and yeah, some of them were given to me for free. But still, it takes time for me to read a thick biography, and to say I don't care about wrestling is rather ignorant of one to say. I just don't care for the current McMahon view of how their product is displayed.
Look at all of those video tape reviews, too. The CD reviews. I have a whole rung in my CD collection just dedicated to WWE, WCW, or ECW discs. I'm very limited in my modern video games, but I've found ways to review those games, even if it meant begging someone to let me play their system. I'm providing a customer service for the WWE and I don't require any thanks for it. I enjoy doing it. I'm fascinated to learn more about the sport I've watch since I was young. The whole collection of media you see is a great deal of money, and that's where I'll tell anyone to shove it if they say I'm not a dedicated wrestling fan. I have the right to comment on ANYTHING in the WWE because I've put plenty of dollars into Vince McMahon's pocket.
I've said enough, so let's now have some fun reviewing some multimedia!
The movie, in general, resembled the Scorpion King performance, for the most part. The Rock was a badass character and didn't say as much, yet, for he's still new to the acting business. The fighting scenes were freakin' incredible for this movie, and the Rock was nearly Superman in all of them. Seann William Scott was alright, and Christopher Walken was a crazy version of Christopher Walken (especially with his stuff on the Tooth Fairy). The acting was decent and the plot wasn't bad. It's a crazy adventure, which overall, will keep you watching and won't bore you.
Is it a standout or innovative movie? Not really, aside from some pretty cool camera work. It was pushed as an action comedy, but Scott isn't very funny, which he usually is, and the movie in general only has a few laughs. The fight scenes are damn good, though. The Rock whips out some of the most interesting right scenes, especially when Rock starts fighting the "Rebels". The final fight is pretty good, too, especially when the Rock finally decides to pick up some guns. Let it be known that the Rock is nearly invincible in this movie, taking some very brutal falls and not breaking any bones. When Rock and Scott fall down the hill, which you see on the trailer, it would kill a normal man. Somewhat ridiculous.
Is it the big move for the Rock into the top action hero? Well, not just yet... he needs a few more movie attempts and one that just becomes a HUGE blockbuster for that to officially happen. But this movie IS entertaining and doesn't hurt the eyes. The Rock plays his role well, although he's very much immortal in his fighting and falls, which gives it an unbelieveable feel to the movie. The movie is good enough to warrant a grade of a [ B ] in my book, but it's not a movie I'll own on DVD when it comes out. Good but not great.
What's my stance on the Hardys. I was a big fan of them as a tag team. Once they were thrown into the toilet because the Road Agents didn't want to seriously push them as singles wrestlers, it burned me out on the guys, namely Jeff Hardy. Yes, I questioned his dedication and made some very rude comments (questioning his paint/looks, drug habits, and rumored homosexuality). I was a dick about that, and I admit it. Hearing Jeff address his critics was a good slap in the face for me. While I've always questioned Jeff's later dedication, I understood that the WWE management didn't care for him, letting HHH, Undertaker, Stone Cold, and others completely squash the poor guy. I've always liked Matt, and it was an honor, in my mind, to meet him back in November of last year. I was about the 6th person in line at a Columbus meet and greet for Torrie Wilson and Matt Hardy. Matt was extremely nice and I told him "great match", for I saw him in Wheeling, WV at a houseshow the previous night. I remember he was amazed that I attended both the Houseshow AND the Smackdown, since they were 2 and a half hours away. Little did he know that I travelled more than that, as I had to return to school, too, which was another 2 hours away. Matt was a very nice guy and it disappoints me when I see the WWE screwing with him, creatively.
The book is 263 pages long, and let me tell you, the Hardy Boyz held nothing back. You could hear their sarcastic and disappointing tone when they were discussing creative issues, titles switches, or their feelings regarding the Invasions. I LOVE the honesty, and I'm surprised that the WWE let them print it. Maybe that's why Jeff Hardy is gone and why Matt Hardy could be getting the shaft on Smackdown. Well, maybe not, but it's surprising to see that the WWE let them rip on their own promotion, and it's GOOD criticism. For instance, when they'd win the titles thanks to booking on the fly, they said something about winning the titles without any build up. Then, they bashed the WWE for making them lose the titles 2 weeks later, which hurts the credibility of the titles. Both guys said at length on how the Invasions were blown, which I figured was taboo for the WWE wrestlers.
Just hearing them, page by page, these guys eat, sleep, and live wrestling. It's just that Jeff was getting burned out by the WWE crap there at the end, which led to his downfall and exit from the WWE. I like reading the comments of Matt. He seems to be a big student of the game and he has incredible insight into the world of wrestling. Jeff seems to be in his own world, but Matt Hardy is a pure professional. It's a damn shame that the WWE shits on Matt so much on the Smackdown brand, wanting to push no-draws such as Albert. One of the criticisms the Hardys have had was about the creative end, as they somewhat wished they had creative control over their own characters. I mean, yeah, Matt Hardy uses some things he made up (Version 1.0 and Mattitude) while Jeff Hardy could paint himself up, but as far as storyline ideas, it was all up to a booking committee that seems to be involved with politics (which they mentioned in the book!).
I had problems, at first, with this book when I began reading it earlier this year. I'm sorry, but I'm bored about hearing stories about people growing up. Jerry Lawler's book has chapters upon chapters of that stuff, and it's torture. I decided to pick up the Hardys again, and I discovered that their growing up stories weren't as long. They actually began their wrestling stuff at an early age, for they were backyard wrestlers. I liked reading about that, since I have some close friends that are hardcore backyard wrestlers ( Willygoat Valley Wrestling ). They learned how to wrestle on their own, which goes against the argument that "you have to attend wrestling school to learn moves". They would go on to work as WWE job guys, wrestling independents, and then forming their own promotion, OMEGA. The WWE would later take them seriously and sign them to developmental contracts, and they would one day get their shot.
The Hardys are very real about their storylines and the wrestlers in the WWE. For instance, they were very descriptive on Bradshaw being the locker room leader (Undertaker)'s enforcer. Like I saw with with the Noble/Bradshaw vs. Bashams, Bradshaw is very wreckless as a "veteran" and seems to have no respect for younger wrestlers who threaten his spot. He worked stiff on the Hardys and ribbed them backstage. It was pretty great, though, when they'd talk about their matches. I never knew that Edge/Christian and the Hardys were arguing over the TLC match from Wrestlemania 17. Among other things, the Hardys also talked about about non-hyped matches, which is from the lazy booking crew who now books on the fly instead of caring, which they did in 1998 on quality. You know, the Hardys would arrive at a RAW or Smackdown and find out they'd be wrestling a ladder match or a TLC match.
Jeff Hardy goes at length regarding how burnt out he became with the WWE, and how he had more interest in making music than focusing on wrestling. It wasn't from drugs, he was just tired from many tough years on the road and from the beatings the WWE would make him take. Jeff, let me say this, is a different invidual. He talked about getting a doublewide on his father's land as his home, while Matt was building a mansion. Nothing wrong with that, but his way of thinking is interesting, for he claimed he doesn't need extra space, unlike Matt. Jeff likes to climb trees and hide off in wrestling arenas, alone, while writing his own form of music. Nothing wrong with that, but they say he lives in his own world, hence the muticolored hair and body paint when he wrestled. And hearing him explain it was interesting, but at the same time, informative.
LAST WORD: I LOVED this book. It was like a nice and long interview with the Hardy Boyz, and they weren't "WWE filtered" so to speak. I completely recommend it to any WWE fan or especially any Hardy Boyz fan. I'm giving this badboy an [ A ], a well deserved grade. Great book guys, and my apologies for some the nasty things I used to say about Jeff.
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@That's all for today's column. Just chill till the next episode....