Welcome to the SNOWED-IN edition of the Wrath of Tito. Last night, I planned on returning to my campus at Ohio University, which is a 2 hour drive from my house. Instead, I'm stuck here at home because several feet of snow decided to come down from the heavens. Hell, I'm writing this column to delay the inevitable of shovelling, but I know doom is coming. I shovelled yesterday and took a foot off my driveway and sidewalks, and looking out there today, it's even worse than yesterday.
I actually intended on writing today, anyway. I recently purchased the Best of Backyard Wrestling 5 from my local Suncoast video, who FINALLY had it. The story goes that Backyard Inc. pulled it off shelves to edit the video more, which is why the video was next-to-rare to find out there. I mean, I was searching last November at every online video outlet for it. I was unsuccessful. It's out now and I'll give you the lowdown on the whole video, especially comparing it to the previous 4 videos.
For Valentine's Day, my hero, Mrs. Tito, bought me the Roddy Piper biography. I HOPE to jump into that book, but then again, I'm very behind on reading Jerry Lawler's book, so who knows? But what I do know is that graduate school is KILLING ME this quarter, to the point where I can't leisurely read a book. Geesh! Well, I guess that's what I should expect from professor's teaching graduate material, but still. I'm Mr. Freakin' Tito, let me read my wrasslin' books!
By the way, I might add that the Back to the Future DVD trilogy is FANTASTIC and well worth going out of your way and buying. The movie looks great on the DVD transfer and the special features are damn good.
OZ has one more episode before finally closing its jailcell forever. Oz is a show about prisoners in an extremely violent jail environment, and especially with this season, prisoners are getting killed left and right. When the show is over, it might be worth the WWE's time to snatch several of the Oz writers for their own show. No, I don't want prison sex in the WWE, but what Oz offers is something the WWE forgets how to do: character development. Any guy could come in on Oz and the writers build them up greatly. MOST of their prison feuds are well prepared and have good payoffs, although there are some that are questionable. The majority of them have been great. The last episode, ever, is this Sunday at 9 and it will be a 100 minute show to finish things off.
I want to send my congradulations to Stephanie McMahon and Triple H on their engagement. Sure, I hate how their political influence is ruining the WWE, but in this business, many wrestlers can't keep good relationships with women, unless the wife is very, and I mean VERY, understanding. Here, we have two people in the business who fell in love and things should work out great for them. I'm happy for them.
Just looking around at everyone's message boards, everyone is declaring this "Armageddon", so to speak. I don't think so. As boyfriend and girlfriend, they were able to screw around with things in the WWE. What can they do when they are married what they haven't done before they were engaged? That's my point. While I don't see any short run problems, what people should look at is the LONG TERM:
-Triple H will stay at the top for many years to come.
-Now, Vince will NEVER question Triple H's star ability.
-With the marriage, it will give a full excuse to Triple H getting creative power over everyone in the WWE.
And that's where we are definitely headed, unless Triple H becomes generous and lets faces beat him cleanly, OR if Triple H loses several pounds of muscle, takes care of his knee problems, and returns to 2000 form to back up his political power with great performances.
This is to say that Triple H won't be a booker who will put over wrestlers, unlike Tommy Dreamer, who was recently named to the WWE creative team. Congrats to him. Dreamer has a LONG record of putting over wrestlers, and he doesn't seem to be someone who would use booking power to chance that idea. For Dreamer, he appears to be a man who has great respect for the WRESTLING in the business, so in that aspect, he could help improve things. But you never know... You must admire the man, though. After probably getting underpaid in ECW, he landed a job in the WWE. Then, he married Beulah McGillicutty(sp?), a former Penthouse Pet and ECW valet. Now, he'll get paid more to double as a wrestler and a creative team member. For a guy who took one hell of a beating in ECW, which many said would leave him crippled for life, he's doing well for himself in 2003.
I've been anxious to review Best of Backyard 5 since I received it Thursday, so on to my DVD review~!
With Volume 5, there seems to be a sense of repetition throughout the video, with some new stuff to the series. You can clearly see an ECW influence over the wrestlers. CLEARLY, that, or many backyard feds watched the previous 4 videos and noticed what was making the videos: tables and light bulbs. And man, have those lightbulbs become very ineffective to raise an eyebrow. Hell, in the opening bout of this video, these idiots set up around 30-40 lightbulbs in the shape of a table and 2 wrestlers went through them as the finishing spot. Throughout the video, people are cracking each other with those lightbulbs. I remember when that was new...
Then, we get plenty of table dives again, as if the previous 4 weren't loaded with those already. I love how everyone has money to fork out for plywood or lots of light bulbs, but you'll rarely see anybody have an ACTUAL table to dive through. Everyone either uses chairs to hold up plywood or saddlehorses. It's sad, and in a match between Chaos and Wild Thing (whom I'll get to later), they wrestled in an actual wrestling ring for a change, in front of a crowd of people. You'd figure that by wrestling in a real ring, they'd buy real tables, right? Wrong! They set up a piece of plywood with 2 steel chairs. That was their table. Nothing says "bush league" like that. And with those table dives for the whole video, why does everyone have to imitate the Froggy Splash. Can't you just do a regular splash?
With Chaos, who is heavily featured in Volumes 3 and 4, he was wrestling a equal of sorts in Wild Thing throughout the video. You can clearly see how ugly backyard wrestling has made Chaos. Sure, he's had his moment in the sun by now being on 3 videos, but he has many scars all over his face for the many hardcore brawls he's had. His bouts with the Wild Thing weren't anything new that he didn't do on the last video, and I'm sure if you watched a match without Backyard Inc. editing, you'd probably see many blown spots between these two.
Also on the video, it appears that a dorm wrestling federation submitted their footage. But to what good? It was always this fat guy attacking this smaller guy with the same weapons and the same moves. It was a one sided beatdown. Was that really worth adding to this video?
Now sure, I sound negative in the beginning here, but Backyard Inc. was repetitive in many aspects. HARDCORE wrestling or namely ECW is dead and it has been dead since late 2000. We've witnessed many wrestlers going through tables and getting hit with every weapon imaginable. Move on, it's that simple. Now, I'll list several of the positives of this video.
The GIMMICKS. I continue to laugh at Masked Mike Jackson, who is a Michael Jackson imitator under a blue mask. The guy plays the role perfectly and makes you laugh throughout. In this video, he reunited with the "Jackson 5", which were 5 other masked wrestlers (one of them used a Moutain Dew box as a mask), and they stood around Masked Mike Jackson for a fake circle jerk. Then, Mike was "injured" in a match and rushed to the hospital in a truck, which wrecked. MMJ died right there. Also on the great gimmick list was Jesus H. Christ. He walked around with a big wooden cross, either getting crucified or crucifying others. The Andersons were pretty funny too. I love seeing creativity with these gimmicks, which is something the video series should push if it ever goes to Volume 6.
The video did features some interesting wrestling, too. The segment Luke Hadley vs. Mother Nature was very entertaining, as these guys would wrestle in the woods. I'm talking jumping off trees, doing spots where old and rotten trees would fall on opponents, and tossing guys over hills. Best segment on the video! Another one was a good inside wrestling federation. These guys had a fed in what looked to be an apartment, and they filled it with many of their friends. Sure, it crowded the ring, but it provided for one hot crowd. They even featured a brutal women's tag team match, which didn't hold back on the violence at all. I'm forgetting other stuff, but overall, I liked the wrestling on the video, despite several nitpicks.
We have several BONUS features. The inside federation with the hot crowd had a full match between their Grandpa gimmick and someone else. Not bad. They had a feature where you could preview the Backyard Babes videos, by showing separate clips of the women getting naked. Great for the most part, although several of the women looked like they were straight out of the hospital from getting their boobs enlarged. We're talking seeing scars on the side or nipples swelling like they shouldn't. Otherwise, a nice feature. You can see the previews of the many videos that Backyard Inc. or their new parent company offers. We also have an EASTER EGG, which many people seem to get off on. The trick is to aim the cursor at the trash can, and you'll see "Corky the Retard" trying to say something. Corky was a newly created gimmick for one of the federations featured in the video.
LAST WORD: While this video had many entertaining moments, it also had a sense of being stale on many other aspects of the video. Too much tables and lightbulbs, and not enough creativity. The more unique each video is, the better it would sell. That's why Volume 2 did great in the Billboards after Volume 1: it was different from the first video. I'll give this video a [ C ] (C) for positives and negatives cancelling each other out, making an average score. If Volume 6 comes out, get unique with it, especially with the large volume of tapes Backyard Inc. probably receives. Go with new ways of backyard wrestling, feature the gimmicks, and don't overkill on the lightbulbs and bush-league tables. That simple.
Check out the Valley Wrestling Federation and Willygoat Xtreme Wrestling. Two great backyard feds!
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KOLTERSHOCK!!! - A site that you shouldn't view with small children present!
X-Entertainment.com - One of the most entertaining pages on the net!
@See you whenever....
Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.