Friday, July 30, 2010

Canon Video Challenge: Wrestlers and their names

Confusing title, isn't it? Well, let me explain. Today I'm going to do a video challenge where I take a name of a wrestler, search for that wrestler on Google Video, and then take the number of characters in their name and watch whatever number video that is. For example, if I type in Hulk Hogan, I would watch the ninth video down because the name 'Hulk Hogan' has nine characters. Got it? Well, even if you don't, I'm going to get started anyway.

1. Tony Atlas - Tony Atlas in Piper's Pit

Roddy Piper is doing his interview segment, and he runs Tony Atlas down for not having the guts to show up to the pit. But hold on a minute, because here comes Atlas, wearing half of a shirt. In case you are wondering, it's the top half. Piper sits Atlas down, and his bodyguard Bob Orton Jr. comes onto the set. Piper asks if Atlas got his big arms from eating soul food, and Atlas admits that yes, he likes to eat fried chicken and chitlins and pigs feet. Of course, Piper starts to scoff at Atlas's admission, and naturally Tony takes umbrage and starts getting up in Piper's face, which gets the attention of Orton. Piper says something along the lines of 'you're not so tough now, are you Tony?' But Tony gets the last dig in when he asks which of the Piper-Orton duo wears the skirt around the house. Piper gets one last comment in about watermelons or something and we go to break. Well, that was rather politically incorrect. The WWE certainly couldn't get away with that today. I don't know what to rate the segment, but I'll give Atlas's half shirt a .5 out of 5.

2. Jon Moxley - - Jon Moxley wins FIP World Heavyweight Title 

Moxley's a wrestler on the indie circuit who has been getting some hype due to his wrestling and his promo skills. I've only seen Moxley once before this, at a Dragon Gate USA PPV. He said something, but the audio was just awful and I couldn't really make out what he was saying, so to be honest, I have no opinion on Moxley either way. This video shows highlights of Moxley winning the FIP (Full Impact Pro) Title. Moxley is shown putting a cross-face chicken wing on some wrestler I don't recognize, than exchanging moves in the title match against Roderick Strong. Afterwards, Moxley delivers a promo about his title win from the backstage area. After calling for some Cervezas, Moxley compares himself to Tiger Woods, "not just because he likes the skanks" but because he's a clutch performer that gets the job done, like Tiger Woods used to be. Moxley compares himself to other former FIP Champions like Daniel "Tie Choker" Bryan, CM Punk, and Homicide, and says that he will have a bigger impact on the sport than all of those other champions, promising to use the belt to "make a scar on the face of the wrestling industry." Moxley says that he will start making his mark with his appearance at Dragon Gate USA's next show on May 7, in Windsor, Ontario. Well, good for him. Moxley promises to take on all comers who don't like the sight of him holding the FIP belt, and that's where the video ends. I must say that compared to other indy wrestlers, Moxley's a rather good promo man, although he's probably done better ones than this. I'll give it a 3.2 out of 5.

3. Shane Douglas - Bill Goldberg vs. Shane Douglas, WCW Nitro, 9/4/00

Hey, this might be interesting. Douglas comes out with Torrie Wilson, and both he and Torrie run down Dallas before Goldberg's music interrupts Shane's sure to be legendary diatribe about how much Dallas sucks. Goldberg is accompanied by WCW's security force on his way to the ring. I never understood why they did that, especially with a guy pushed to be able to beat 10 men at once like Goldberg. Some three minutes after his music hit, Goldberg is in the ring and the match begins. Goldberg dominates at the beginning, putting Douglas in a leg submission hold that forced Douglas to the ropes. To the outside, Goldberg continues his control of the match until Douglas ducks a punch and Goldberg ends up slamming his arm against a ring post. Douglas goes to work on the arm, but all of that effort gets nullified a minute later when Goldberg slams Douglas down from a standing position using only his bad arm. Goldberg hits a short-arm clothesline and sets Douglas up for a spear, which brings out the Natural Born Thrillers. Despite the 6 on 1 odds, Goldberg goes through the NBTs as if they were wet tissue. Douglas gets some brass knuckles, but Goldberg spears Douglas down before the knucks could be used. Jackhammer, and Goldberg wins with ease, overcoming seven on one odds. Well wasn't that special? I'll give it 1 out of 5 just because it was short.

Bill Goldberg vs. Shane Douglas
Uploaded by Stinger1981. - Discover the latest sports and extreme videos.

4. Bunkhouse Buck - Sting and Dustin Rhodes vs. Bunkhouse Buck and Arn Anderson WCW Main Event 11/6/1994

Anderson and Buck are accompanied by Col. Robert Parker and Meng, making this perhaps the most awesome foursome in the history of wrestling. Sting and Dustin both are wearing ugly jackets, which must be the driving force behind their friendship. Sting's ribs are taped, which might come into play later in the match. Arn and Dustin start, Arn gets a few blows in but Dustin is able to take control of the match with a clothesline off the top rope. Sting and Buck are tagged in, and Sting gorilla presses the 245lb Bunkhouse over his head. Sting and Dustin remain in control with quick tags and high impact blows. At one point Arn tries to go for Sting's ribs, but Sting is able to fend him off with a series of kicks and punches. The commentators keep hyping the upcoming main event of the Clash, which has Sting teaming with Hulk Hogan and Dave Sullivan against Kevin Sullivan, Avalanche, and Earthquake. At one point Tony Schiavone calls it the biggest six man tag match in the history of national Television. That is a bold-faced lie. Back to the match, Dustin remains in control of the match until Buck catches him with a knee to the back. At this point, Arn and Buck keep Dustin isolated in their corner, punishing the youngster with some less than legal tactics. Bunkhose whips Dustin in, but Buck ducks too early and takes a boot in the face from Rhodes, which gives him time to tag in Sting. Sting fires away on both men, sending Arn to the outside. Col. Parker gets on the apron, but that backfires, as Sting whips Buck into Parker, knocking the Colonel onto Meng and Buck for a loop. Sting delivers a cross body block off the top rope, and there's the match. Quick little tag match that was quite enjoyable. I'll give it a 3 out of 5.

Sting & Dustin Rhodes vs. Arn Anderson & Bunkhouse Buck
Uploaded by Stinger1981. - Discover the latest sports and extreme videos.

Well, I could go on, but I think I'll end it here for now. Perhaps I will do something like this another time. Until then, thanks for reading, and if you have any comments about this or other posts, or ideas for future reviews, than feel free to share them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oh Brother!: Ten Athletes with Far More Successful Brothers

Marc Brown once wrote: "Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero". Well, what happens when you're brother is a superhero? Imagine, if you will, if you were the brother of the President of the United States. On one hand, it'd be awesome to be the president's brother, you'd probably get some special perks and maybe even your very own secret service agent. Plus, being the sibling of a president probably helps when you are trying to pick up the ladies. But on the other hand, there's always going to be a slight tinge of jealously deep in the back of your mind about your brother's success. You would have to ask yourself at one point, how could he be the President, and I ended up a failed restaurateur, or an alcoholic farmer, or a mechanic, or whatever. Well, these ten men below know what it's like to be in the shadow of a more famous brother. Some of these men chose to follow their older brothers into their respective fields, while others had to sit back and watch as their younger brothers became big time starts while they toiled in relative obscurity. So, without further adieu, here's a list of ten athletes whose careers fell short of their brothers'.

10. Paul Messier - Paul Messier was drafted in the third round of the 1978 NHL Draft by the Colorado Rockies (now New Jersey Devils). His brother, Mark, was drafted in the third round by the Edmonton Oilers. Paul, a center, hurt his shoulder and only played nine games for the Rockies in 1980 without scoring a point before moving on to play for a variety of minor league teams in the U.S., Canada, and West Germany. Mark, meanwhile, became a hockey legend, finishing his career second all-time in points and winning six Stanley Cups. However, being the brother of a legend hasn't been all bad for Paul, as, according to Wikipedia, Paul spends his days in the Bahamas running a restaurant owned by Mark.

9. Michael Garciaparra - Where as Michael's big brother Nomar is a two-time former batting champion and married to former soccer superstar Mia Hamm, Michael has been slumming it in the minor leagues ever since being drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2001. A shortstop when he was drafted, Michael was a below-average defensive player and has not hit enough to pick up the slack. Currently, Michael is in the Houston Astros' organization, playing for their Triple-A affiliate. At 27, it's unlikely that Michael will reach Nomar's level of success, and he may not even get to the Major Leagues.

8. Eric Angle - Eric is the older brother of professional wrestler and Olympic Gold Medalist wrestler Kurt Angle. Both Eric and Kurt participated in Amateur Wrestling, but obviously, Kurt was much more successful in that field. When Kurt signed with the WWF, Eric followed in his footsteps and went to the WWF's training facility to become a pro wrestler. Although Eric had a few moments in the WWF, usually disguised as his brother Kurt, injuries curtailed his career and Eric retired in 2003. Kurt, meanwhile has become one of pro wrestling's bigger names, though perhaps Eric was better off, as at least he didn't do this:

7. Derrick Gervin - Derrick's older brother George had a cool nickname "The Iceman" and led the NBA in scoring four times. Derrick, meanwhile, was a good player at UT-San Antonio, where he recently had his number retired. However, after being drafted in 1985 by the Philadelphia 76ers, he failed to make the club, and played all around Europe and in the CBA before the New Jersey Nets gave him a shot in 1989-90, where he played two seasons with the club. According to the 1991-92 Basketball Almanac, Gervin was the type of player who could score in a hurry when his shot was falling, but was likely to give up more points than he scored on the defensive end and couldn't, or wouldn't pass. In 77 career games, Gervin averaged 8.8 points, although he did once light up the Atlanta Hawks for 34, proving once again that the Hawks suck.

6. Larry Yount - The older brother of Hall of Famer and two-time MVP Robin Yount. Larry has perhaps the shortest career in Major League Baseball history. In 1971, Yount was a young pitcher for the Houston Astros when, on September 15, he was called upon to relieve. However, during warmups, Yount hurt his elbow and therefore was unable to pitch, and was replaced with another reliever. Try as he might, Yount never got another chance to pitch in the Major Leagues before retiring from baseball in 1976 and going into real estate. Robin, meanwhile, played a mere 2,856 games in the big leagues, while Larry never even got to throw a pitch in the one game he appeared in.

5. Dan McGwire - Dan's brother Mark was kind of a big deal in baseball, where he hit over 500 home runs including 70 in 1998. Dan's sport was not baseball, but rather football, where in 1989 and 1990 he was a big-time college quarterback for San Diego State. In the 1991 NFL Draft, the Seahawks had their choice of either McGwire or Brett Favre to become their quarterback of the future. According to's Mike Sando, then head coach Chuck Knox wanted the team to select Favre, but instead ownership decided to pick the 6'7" McGwire. McGwire may have been tall, in fact he was the tallest quarterback in NFL history, but the Seahawks might have been better off if they had Mark behind center. In his five year career, McGwire was either hurt or ineffective, and only threw two touchdown passes in his career. However, at least Dan didn't sell out his brother Mark to make money on a tell-all book, as their other brother Jay has done recently.

4. Brent Gretzky- When you're brother is called "The Great One" and has more NHL records than McDonalds has hamburgers, there's going to be a bit of pressure on you when you decide to follow in his footsteps and play hockey. Brent didn't quite have the career of his older brother, as he scored four points over two seasons for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brent was too small (160 lbs) and too slow a skater to last in the NHL. Instead, Brent has crafted a long career in hockey's minor leagues, playing for such teams as the Ashville Smoke, Fort Wayne Komets, and the Motor City Mechanics. Well, I guess it goes to show that not everyone is meant for greatness.

3. Brett Lindros - Brett's older brother Eric was considered hockey's next big thing in 1994, so the New York Islanders decided that they should get the next best thing and drafted Lindros 9th overall in that year's NHL Draft. Brett had the size of his older brother, and played hockey with an ornery edge. Unfortunately for Brett, he didn't have the skill of Eric and had an alarming habit of suffering concussions. After four concussions in a six month span, Brett was forced to retire from hockey at the age of 20 after a mere 51 games played in the NHL. It's hard to say whether Brett would have developed into a top notch player, as he did have the size but only scored 2 goals in his 51 games. Eric, meanwhile, would win the Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player in 1995, and had a solid career that unfortunately, was also derailed in part due to concussions.

2. Craig Griffey - Craig's brother is Ken Griffey Jr., only one of the best players in recent baseball history. His father is Ken Griffey Sr. a solid ballplayer in his own right. So the Seattle Mariners, who in 1991 employed both Ken Griffeys, decided to take a flyer on Craig in the 42nd round of the 1991 MLB Draft. Was it a pick based on nepotism? Absolutely. However, it was the 42nd round and you're not likely to find a future star by that point, so there's no real harm in giving Craig a shot and hoping you get lucky. The Mariners did not strike paydirt on this pick, as he never made it past Triple-A, and only played three games at that level. In six years in the minors, Craig hit .224 with a .291 slugging percentage. He could steal a base if he managed to actually get on, but that was about it.

1. Ozzie Canseco - Ozzie's probably my favorite of the not-so-famous brothers. Not only did he follow his identical twin Jose into major league baseball, he also followed him into the world of steriods, and even reality TV, as he once appeared on an episode of The Surreal Life impersonating Jose in front of other washed up celebrities. Ozzie actually started out as a pitcher in the New York Yankees organization before the Oakland Athletics decided to movie Ozzie to Jose's position in right field and see if they could make "Double Trouble" for opposing pitchers. That worked about as well as you would expect, as Ozzie would provide fans of minor league baseball a cool breeze from his constant swings and misses. He could hit it a far way if he made contact, but he didn't make contact nearly enough. Over a span of three seasons, Ozzie played 24 games for both the Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals, hitting .200 and failing to hit a home run. Ozzie's had some legal troubles over the years. In 2001, he and Jose got into a fight with some tourists at a Miami night club, an incident which led to Ozzie receiving 18 months probation. In 2003, Ozzie was sentenced to four months in jail after being charged with illegal possession of anabolic steroids. It remains to be seen if Ozzie will follow his brother Jose into mixed martial arts. Personally, I hope so, as you can never get enough of Ozzie Canseco.

Honorable Mention: Marcus Vick, Chris Von Erich, Eric Moss, Craig Bradshaw, Jordan Palmer, Billy Ripken, Wayne Primeau, Byron Sanders, Chris Gwynn, Wilton Guerrero, Fedor Fedorov, Steve Kariya, Vic Howe, Alain Lemieux, Rocky Trottier, Steven Larkin, Mike Maddux, Henry Mathewson, Rich Murray, Butts Wagner, Tommie Aaron, Mike Glavine, Darren Flutie, Jack Thorpe, Ed Mikan.

Well, thanks for reading. I'm sure I've missed a couple of not-so-famous brothers, so feel free to correct me if you think of one. If you have any thoughts about this posts, or ideas for future reviews or posts, than share them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an email at

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Canon Video Game Review: Circus Caper (NES)

Before I start this review of a game I am sure is totally awesome, I would like to first do a mini restaurant review of Quincy's Family Steakhouse of Toccoa, GA, which I dined at yesterday. I went there with a few friends, and since I didn't really know what I wanted, I ordered the buffet which is served there. From my experiences with this establishment, there are some days where that's a good decision and some days where it's not such a good decision. Yesterday was a bit of mixed bag. Although I did like the fresh lettuce in the salad bar and was pleased by the macaroni, it seemed as if some of the food I had eaten had been out there for a while, like the fried chicken, for one. Also, the marinara sauce I topped by spaghetti with was rather bland. However, they were about to close, so I'm sure I did not catch them at an optimal time when it comes to food quality. However, it wasn't too bad, even though it was a little expensive (about 13 bucks a head). I'll give it a 5.5 out of 10, and I would be willing to give it a more thorough review in the future.

Now to the main event of the evening, where I talk about a little game for the Nintendo Entertainment System called Circus Caper. Circus Caper was distributed in 1990 by ToHo Co. Ltd., a company more known for making a whole lot of movies featuring Godzilla. This was ToHo's first foray into the video game industry, and they would only make a few more games before going back to movies, so what does that tell you? Let's take a look at the cover of this game, courtesy of the site

I have no idea what's going on here, but that is one demented looking clown. In this game, you control a boy named Tim. See, Tim and his sister Judy wanted to go and see the circus, but they didn't have any money. However, a clown at the front gate gives them a chance to win tickets by rolling dice and getting the right number. Well, they do, but the clown says that there's only room for one person to enter. Judy is given the ticket, and Tim is left sitting outside waiting for the end of the circus. Or maybe he goes off to get something to eat or something, who knows? Once Tim returns to pick his sister up, without their parents for some reason. Tim is unable to locate Judy. Instead he finds a creep of a man who calls himself Mr. Magic. Mr. Magic informs Tim that Judy is now in his custody. Well, doesn't that beat all. Tim decides not to take this news lying down, saying "Shucks! You can't have her!" So Tim does what any good brother would do, and goes into the deep dark circus in hopes of rescuing his sister. Now, if you are saying to yourself, "what a creepy plot this is for a game". I'd say you are absolutely right. I wouldn't be surprised that kids playing this game were scared of going to circus in fear of being abducted by some creep named Mr. Magic. Boy, I bet Ringling Bros. were not happy about this game's release. Well, they would be if anybody played it.

The gameplay of Circus Caper sucks, to be blunt about it. Tim has to fight off clowns and things that look like clown faces with wings and elephants and the key to any good circus, crocodiles. Tim attacks with all the speed of a phone booth, leaving yourself open to lose hit points in hand-to-hand combat. Once Tim vanquishes his enemies, the enemies drop items. Some of which can recover hit points, while others are weapons to be used, like a hammer and a soccer ball, which can then be thrown at the enemies. For some reason, some of the clowns Tim fights will stand on their heads and fight you for no good reason. I think that was just lazy programming on somebody's part. There is also a mini game you can play when you enter a door that can be found once every 10 feet or so. In this mini game, you and a bear (huh?) must jump over flames coming at you and avoid getting burned. The good news is that in between regular gameplay and the minigame, Tim has developed the hang time of Michael Jordan. The bad news is that after a few seconds, the flames decide not to mess around and start moving at the speed of sound. Sadly, Tim does not keep his new found hangtime in the regular game, because it really would have helped me.

I must say I didn't get very far in this game. For one, there's a point very early in the first level where Tim must navigate over water by jumping on the crocodiles while they have their mouths closed. If the croc's mouth opens, Tim gets bitten and falls into the water, where he dies because nobody on a Nintendo platform game ever learned how to swim. You get about half a second before the croc's mouth opens, and I really struggled with the timing. There is an item which allows you to put a brick to stand on anywhere you put. But since the controls seemingly respond whenever they damn well please I never could line up the brick in just the right spot. After about nine times of failing to clear this jump that a plumber could make in his sleep, I finally got through to the other side, where more upside down clowns and flying clown faces were there to swarm upon me. There are six levels on this game, and I only got to play one, because I suck and this game did not hold my interest at all. The graphics are merely ok for this time period, but the animation leaves a lot to be desired, as Tim's fist is somehow bigger than his torso. The soundtrack sounds like a mutant hybrid of typical circus music and an 80s cartoon theme song, but it wasn't too annoying, so I'll give it a pass.

After trying out Circus Caper, I can safely say that I never want to play this game again. I'm just going to assume that Tim was able to rescue Judy by roundhouse kicking Mr. Magic in the groin 19 times. Either that, or Judy started to identify with her captors and while dressed up in clown makeup, turned on Tim and piledrove him. Either way, I just don't care. I'm going to give this game a 1.3 out of 10, because it probably isn't the worst game I've ever played, but it still sucks nonetheless. Thanks for reading, and if you have any comments about this post, or ideas for future posts, than let me know about them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at Now, here's a video of some other poor sap playing this game:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Canon Movie Review: Johnny Handsome

Yesterday, the names of actors Mickey Rourke and Morgan Freeman entered frequently into a conversation I was having with my sister. I'm not exactly sure why, since we were not talking about movies at all, but that's what happened. So today, I was in the mood to see a movie or two, so I decided to go to the and find movies that link Mickey Rourke to Morgan Freeman. Luckily, both men starred in a 1989 film called Johnny Handsome, Rourke starred as the titular character John "Johnny Handsome" Sedley, while Freeman plays police detective Lt. A.Z. Drones. I wonder just how many films has Freeman played a police detective or some sort of investigator? Got to be at least eight. Johnny Handsome also stars Ellen Barkin, Forest Whitaker, Elizabeth McGovern, and Lance Henriksen. The movie was directed by Walter Hill, who also directed 48 Hrs. and The Warriors.

Set in New Orelans, a disfigured crook named John Sedley (Rourke) joins forces with his friend Mikey (Scott Wilson as well as Rafe Garrett (Henriksen) and his partner Sunny Boyd (Barkin) on a robbery of a rare coin store. The robbery goes bad once Rafe and Sunny turn on Mikey, shooting him in cold blood and leaving Johnny Handsome to take the rap. While on a work release program, Sedley is nearly killed by two prisoners paid off by Rafe to finish him. As Sedley is recovering from his wounds, Dr. Steven Fisher (Whitaker) wants to fix Sedley's face, and believes that with a new face and a new identity, Sedley will be able to change his life. Sedley gets a new name (John Mitchell) and reports of his death are put in the newspaper so no one outside of Fisher and Det. Graves, who handles Johnny Handsome's cases. While Mitchell gets a job at a shipyard and starts a relationship with a secrutary named Donna (McGovern), it's Graves's belief that it's only a matter of time before Johnny Handsome goes back to his old ways and seeks revenge for his friend Mikey. A few notes about this movie:

- At the beginning of the movie, Rourke talks as if he has a bunch of marbles in his mouth, due to the extreme disfigurement of his face. It makes it hard to understand what he's saying, but it is a nice touch of realism. Also, after he has the reconstructive surgery on his face, instead of just instantly talking like a normal person, they show Rourke learning to use his new face to talk properly. 

- According to, Al Pacino was originally cast as Johnny Handsome, and even helped the producers rewrite the script at one point. But after a few rewrites, Pacino dropped out because he felt the movie would not be a success due to the script's "B-Movie qualities" Two things here, first of all, with all of the lackluster movies Pacino has starred in recently (Any Given Sunday, Gigli, 88 Minutes, etc.), it's funny to see that he chose not to do this movie due to a poor script. Secondly, although Pacino is one of my favorite actors ever, I'm not exactly sure that he could have played the part any better than Rourke did. Rourke just did an excellent job here, from the beginning of the movie where he was a disfigured crook, to the process of the surgery and rehabilitation, all the way to the end. Even though he's kind of a scumbag,  Rourke really makes you feel for Selbey/Mitchell, and you're hoping throughout the movie that he takes advantage of his new found fortune. If this part were in the hands of most other actors, it either would end up being unintentionally comedic or they would make the character look unsympathetic, but Rourke had a tough task and pulled it off. His performance was easily the best part of the movie.

- That's not to say that Morgan Freeman did a bad job as Lt. A.Z. Drones. In fact, he did his typically stellar job, even though his character had little depth whatsoever and we find out little about him other than the fact that he's the only person that thinks Johnny Handsome will revert to his old ways. Forest Whitaker also turned in a decent performance as Dr. Steven Foster, although it was a little odd to see him with a full beard.

- Although I wouldn't exactly put Johnny Handsome in the film noir category, it did seem as if Hill tried to include some film noir elements in this film. For one, most of the movie seems to take place in the shadows and the darkness, particulalry the climatic scene. The protaganist is a down-on-his-luck criminal with major issues. The soundtrack sounds as if it came straight out of a noir film from the 1940s, and overall, the film has a pessimistic view of life. I'm sure someone more familiar with the film noir could explain it better than I can, but that was the impression I got from this film.

- One thing I wasn't particularly keen on was the portrayal of the main villains Rafe and Sunny. Barkin was just way over the top as Sunny Byrd, to the point where it was hard to take anything she did or say seriously. Meanwhile it seemed like Henriksen was trying too hard to be this super tough guy, yet Rafe looks kind of ridicolous with his penchant of wearing sleeveless shirts at all times. It was kind of hard to see Rafe as a huge threat when Sunny seemed to be calling most of the shots and due to the fact that, well, he looked like an idiot. As far as Elizabeth McGovern's performance as Donna, well, I have no complaints about that. I thought she did well given the material given her.

- This seems a bit odd to me, but Johnny Handsome had three Oscar Nominated Best Actors (Rourke, Freeman, and Whitaker) as well as Barkin, who at one point was one of the most well-known actresses in Hollywood, and was directed by a then big-name director in Hill, yet this movie seems to have fallen through the cracks somewhat. Go figure.

Overall, this movie wasn't too bad, although the script could have been better and there were a couple of plot holes. Plus, although Rourke and Freeman were excellent, the rest of the acting was either unspectacular or just not that good. However, I liked more about this film than I disliked, so I'll give it a 5.9 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any thoughts about this or other posts, or ideas for future posts, than let us know them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Canon Magazine Review: Pro Wrestling Illustrated, January 1998

Some might say that I've got a bunch of junk in my room. To be honest, I'd be hard pressed to disagree with them. I have boxes and boxes of magazines, baseball cards, books, and who knows what else. It's gotten bad enough that I don't have enough room to put anything else in there at the moment. So why am I telling you and what does this have to do with a wrestling magazine, you ask? Well, I've decided to look back at some of the stuff I've accumulated over the years and review them from time to time. Up first is the January 1998 issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated, a magazine that covered wrestling as if it were real, and which featured Chris Jericho, Buff Bagwell, and the immortal Alex Wright on the cover with the heading "The Real New World Order: WCW's Hot Young Studs" That headline makes the magazine sound a bit like a porno rag, but nevertheless I will press on and turn the cover, which you can see right here, courtesy of

We start with my favorite part of any magazine, the reader letters. Uggh, this is always death. One man condemns Ken Shamrock for his actions at Summerslam 97, where he attacked the British Bulldogs and a bunch of WWF Referees. Another person is disgusted by wrestling audiences throwing trash into the ring, which, during the height of the nWo days, happened quite a lot. Nowadays, you hardly see anyone throw stuff from the crowd, but every once in a while, a fan will get rowdy and throw something to show their disapproval.

Up next are a few columns by some of the writers of PWI. In Ringside with Bill Apter, the then recent death of Fritz Von Erich is touched upon. We also learn that Reckless Youth beat American Kickboxer for the IWA Lightweight Title, and Akira Hokuto had to vacate the WCW Women's title due to chest pains. Clearly, the pressure of being WCW Women's champion was just too much for Hokuto to handle. In other columns, Stu Saks calls Hollywood Hogan a gutless wimp for submitting to Lex Luger's torture rack, Dave Lenker says that Arn Anderson should get back involved with the Four Horsemen after the events of Fall Brawl 97, which you can read about just below this post, and he also has a note about the then recent in-ring death of Joshi worker Plum Mariko, who died at the young age of 29 after taking a Liger Bomb on her head. Well, that sucks.

Now we get to the meat of the magazine, the feature articles. The first article is about The Giant, and how his focus on beating up nWo members may be hurting his career because, well, they really didn't decide on a reason. At one point they say he's being to passive, and then two paragraphs later they say he's be too reckless and aggressive. I guess this type of thing happens a lot when you have to try and make sense of wrestling storylines. Up next is an 'interview' with Shane Douglas, although from what I've heard over the years, the interview is actually a work of fiction. Douglas had recently won the ECW Title at Hardcore Heaven 97, so a lot of the story deals with that victory. At one point, Douglas, or whoever it is, says that he'll hold the ECW when he's 53, if he so chooses. I am willing to bet 9 million dollars that won't happen in 2017, when Douglas turns 53. Shawn Michaels and his recent attitude change is the subject of the next article. Not long after this issue went to press, Michaels would use his new attitude and form DeGeneration X with Triple-H, Chyna, and Rick Rude, but at this point nobody was sure of exactly what was coming other than a heel turn from HBK.

Next is the cover story, which talks about how Jericho, Wright, Bagwell, and Stevie Richards are the future stars of WCW. First of all, I think Richards had about five matches in WCW before he left/was fired, so I would qualify that as a misfire. Second of all, of the four, only Jericho really became a superstar, even if Buff had his moments. It's kind of hard to believe there was a time that Alex Wright was considered a future main-eventer, but by golly, there was. In fact, there's still time, as Wright is only 35, so come on WWE. Sign up Alex Wright, match him up against John Cena, and watch the cash flow in like wine. Surely Wright would be a better champion than that Sheamus character you've got holding the belt now. After that, the last feature article deals with Ahmed Johnson, which means I will skip it. Actually, it talks about how Ahmed Johnson feels regret over joining the Nation of Domination for the three weeks he was a part of that group, and how his decision may have led to Rocky Maivia joining the N.O.D. Then again, the Rock established himself as a big time star after joining the Nation, so maybe he should be thinking Ahmed for leading him on the path to superstardom.

Finally, there a couple of columns and features towards the end of the magazine. In the WWF vs. WCW section, the recent announcement of WCW adding a new prime-time show is discussed. That show turned out to be WCW Thunder, which was the best show in the history of television, if you discount all the other TV shows that have ever existed. In "The Steel Cage", Dave Rosenbaum argues that Curt Hennig's joining of the nWo is a good thing, because it will lead to Hennig and Ric Flair having a long feud full of great matches. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but the Hennig-Flair feud lasted a couple of months and kind of fizzled out without any memorable matches. In "Win Lose or Draw" Andy Rodriguez writes about Vader's recent face turn and his teaming with the Patriot against the anti-American Hart Foundation. Vader kind of sucked during this time, and he always was much better as a heel, so that wasn't exactly a time full of fond memories of the Man They (who're they?) Call Vader. Also, there are some recent results of wrestling cards around the country, as well as rankings of the top contenders in PWI's mind for all of the big companies. According to their rankings, Jeff Jarrett was the number one contender to the WCW World Title, even though he had been exclusively been wrestling in the middle of the card against guys like Mongo McMichael. I fail to see the logic behind that choice. Also, Phil LaFon was ranked no. 2 in the ECW Top Ten. I have no idea why, considering LaFon barely spent any time in ECW, but if I spent my time questioning the ratings of a magazine that writes about wrestling as if it's a real sport, than I think it would be a colossal waste of time. At the end, there's a "Wrestling Enquirer" section, which discusses the dismissal of ECW's Tod Gordon, who supposedly was trying to send a bunch of the ECW wrestlers to WCW behind Paul Heyman's back or something. Also, Tommy Dreamer's appearance in the USWA and Ricky Morton's appearances in FMW were discussed. Wait a minute, Ricky Morton was in FMW? I wonder if any video exists of this awesome occurrence.

Overall, this magazine wasn't a bad way to waste 20 minutes of time, even though some of the ideas discussed seem kind of ridiculous today. I'll give it a 6 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading a review of me reading, and if you have any thoughts about this or other posts, or ideas for future reviews, than share them either by leaving a comment or by e-mail at  Here's a video of The Giant chokeslamming Eric Bischoff for you, because I couldn't find any FMW Ricky Morton footage, yet.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Canon Wrestling Review: WCW Fall Brawl 1997

I should have done this yesterday, but I'm too lazy, and Hell's Kitchen was on, and other stuff, so I apologize for not updating The Canon Review yesterday. Anyway, the reason this review came about is that one of my friends said the other day that they attended this show, and Canon Review reader Ben W., who was also there at the time, suggested I go back and watch this show. Well, that's good enough for me, so let's start this show. Fall Brawl 1997 took place in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and is probably most known for the War Games main event, which takes place in two rings surrounded by a cage, between the Four Horsemen and the new World order, where somebody gets a door slammed on their face. Who is it? Well, read on to find out.

The three idiots at the broadcast position tonight are Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, and Bobby Heenan. Bobby has decided to wear a red sports jacket with a matching bow tie for reasons unknown. Up first is Eddy Guerrero wrestling Chris Jericho for Jericho's WCW Cruiserweight Title. Guerrero comes out, and the on-screen text introduces him as Harlem Heat. Last I checked, Guerrero was not two people, or black. No wonder this company went out of buisness. I half expected Jericho to be introduced as The Public Enemy, but at least they got his name right. Mike Tenay announces that Jericho is taking a tour of Japan after this match, which kind of gives away the winner of the match. We start off with an exchange of holds and chops, with neither man getting the advantage. Jericho seems to be concentrating on Guerrero's left arm, using a series of arm drags and arm bars to neutralize his opponent. The crowd chants something during the middle of the match, I tried three times to hear what it was, but I couldn't quite decipher it. A hotshot by Jericho leads into the Lionsault, and that gets a two count. Jericho remains in control, but Eddie counters a standing armbar with a jawjacker using the top rope. As Eddy stomps away at Jericho, he gets an "Eddy Sucks" chant. Surfboard by Eddy, he lets Jericho out, only to back suplex him down and put him in the Surfboard hold again. Jericho is really selling the move, as Heenan points out that it looks like Jericho has a "bitter beer face" Jericho gets out, but Eddy beats him down. Eddy does his trademark slingshot senton, which gets a two count. Undaunted, Eddy puts Jericho in his father's old finisher, the Gory Special. Heenan and Tony claim to have never seen the move while Tenay does a good job explaining the significance of Eddy using that hold. Of the three, Tenay was probably the least annoying commentator at this time, of course he's just awful in TNA now, but still.

Jericho counters the Gory Special with one of his own, than throws Eddy down off of his shoulders. Brawling ensues, Eddy gets Jericho in the corner and starts walking the ropes, but Jericho crotches him on the top rope, and pulls up and down on the rope to increase Guerrero's agony. Jericho has Guerrero in a powerbomb position on the apron, and decides to throw Eddy over his shoulders throat first on the top rope. However, Eddy comes staggering down on the outside and runs into Jericho, bumping him into the steel guardrail, so both men are down. Back in, Jericho hits a huge German Suplex, launching Guerrero high in the air. Cover, but Eddy gets his foot on the bottom rope. Jericho goes for another powerbomb, but Eddy escapes, and then catches Jericho with a Uranage suplex, slamming Jericho hard to the mat. Guerrero charges from the corner, but Jericho hits a quick powerslam, which nearly gets a three count. Jericho gets another two count with a spinning wheel kick, and follows that with a pancake manuever. Magistral attempted by Jericho but countered sloppily by Guerrero, that gets a two count. Jericho gets Eddy in the powerbomb position, and powerbombs him twice, holding on after each one. Instead of attempting a third powerbomb, Jericho puts Eddy on the top turnbuckle and attempts a superplex, but Eddy shifts his weight and lands on top of Jericho. With his opponent down, Eddy climbs the turnbuckle, and hits his finisher, the Frog Splash, which gives Eddy the three count and the victory. Match started out kind of slow, but the two really worked hard and had the crowd into the match. Most of the moves executed were done perfectly and the last five to eight minutes or so were just brilliant. Overall, I'll give the match a 3.8 out of 5.

Larry Zbyszko has joined the commentary team, which can not be a good thing. Over at the table, the webmaster is conducting a live chat with Jeff Jarrett, who is wrestling Dean Malenko later tonight. Up next is Harlem Heat (w/ Jacquelyn) vs. The Steiner Brothers (w/ Ted DiBiase) in the 830th match these two teams have had. The Heat comes out, which makes these two white guys so happy they high-five each other and start raising the roof. Apparently, the teams felt the presence of Zbyszko, so they decided to pay tribute to him by stalling for five minutes before starting the match. Scott Steiner and Stevie Ray start off with some brawling tactics. Stevie catches Scott with a boot out of the corner, and than whips Scott off the rope and side slams him down. Stevie puts Scott in the corner, but eats a boot of his own, and takes a belly-to-belly suplex. Stevie decides to leave and stall some more before Booker T gets tagged in. Full Nelson on Scott, and Booker lets him out to vertical suplex Scott down. Booker goes to the top, but gets caught by Scott and takes an overhead belly-to-belly. Gorilla Press by Scott on Booker, and Rick Steiner intercepts an oncoming Stevie Ray with a Steinerline. Harlem Heat recovers on the outside while Rick decides now would be a good time to chew on the bottom rope.

We finally get back to action, and Rick gets a two count on Booker after a body slam and elbow drop. The third boot to the face out of the corner in this match is used by Booker, who follows up with a spin kick. Brawling tactics by the Heat ensue, but Rick counters an attempted leapfrog by Booker by catching him and slamming him down. Tag to Scott, he starts to attack Booker, but a distraction by Stevie Ray allows Booker T to thrust kick Scott and sends him to the outside, where Stevie goes to beat up on him. Scott gets back in and whipped off the ropes by Booker, who decks Scott with a flying forearm. Booker goes for a spin kick, but Scott takes a step back and catches Booker, delivering a back suplex. HOT TAG to Rick, who cleans house and hits the top-rope bulldog on Stevie, but Booker breaks it up. Stevie gets back up, hoists Rick on his shoulders while Booker scales the top turnbuckle. Booker missle dropkicks Rick off of Stevie's shoulders in a move Heenan calls the Heatseeker, but Rick gets out at two. Booker gets sent to the outside, Scott catches Stevie Ray from behind and the two Stiener give Stevie a combination Steinerline-German Suplex manuever, and the match abruptly ends after that move gets the three count. The match had a few good moments, but they were too few and far in between. I'll give it a 1.94 out of 5.

Ultimo Dragon comes out to wrestle Television Champion Alex Wright. Mike Tenay is back, so now we have four men doing the job that two can do. Some people in the crowd dance, but most accuse Wright of choosing to live an alternative lifestyle by way of chant. Wright starts off by dancing a lot, so Ultimo gives him a dropkick and Wright bails to the outside to catch his breath. Some holds and counterholds are exchanged by the two men, until Dragon gets control by giving the champ a series of kicks. Wright gets back control with the stun gun (the former finisher of Steve Austin, not a taser). Wright gets a series of two counts after a jumping side kick and a back suplex, and in between those manuever he puts the Dragon in a series of chinlocks. Dragon reverses an Irish whip and cross body blocks Wright, than delivers a series of stiff kicks to his opponent's back. Dragon tries a spinning wheel kick, but Wright holds on to the rope, and goes on the attack with another chinlock. Wright gets up, knees Dragon in the stomach, than uses yet another chinlock. These chinlocks may not be putting Ultimo Dragon to sleep, but it's putting me to sleep. Back up, Dragon is sent into the ropes and attempts a Sunset Flip on Wright, but Alex punches him down and then rather unwisely decides to dance, giving Dragon the opportunity to roll Wright up and get a two count. Both men climb to the top, Wright is thrown down, but has the presence of mind to get the feet up when Dragon dives off the top rope, sending Ultimo to the mat. Wright uses a back heel kick and a snap suplex to floor his opponent, than goes up to the top, only for Dragon to counter his dive by getting the feet up. Dragon goes on the offensive with a series of kicks that send Wright to the outside, following up with his trademark Asai Moonsault which nearly takes the cameraman down along with Wright.

Back in, Dragon with a huracanrana, than both wrestlers just lie on the ground for a few seconds before exchanging knife-edge chops from their knees. Dragon gets the advantage after a short dropkick. Dragon goes up top, but Wright crotches him on the turnbuckle, than dropkicks Dragon to the outside of the ring. Wright with a suicide dive, which the announcers are quite surprised at considering Wright usually doesn't do those types of maneuvers. Back in, the two jockey for position, but Ultimo gets the advantage, and does a release Tiger Suplex on Wright which draws a two count. Dragon follows up with a Dragon Suplex with a bridge, but that also only gets two. Dragon picks Wright up and sets him on the top turnbuckle. The two fight on the top before Dragon flips over Wright's back, lands on his feet and powerbombs his opponent. Wright once again kicks out. Dragon is undaunted, and slams Wright down to set up for a moonsault, which connects and draws yet another two count.  Dragon tries for another Huracanrana, but Wright rolls through and puts Dragon on his back for a two count. Wright is down, and Dragon tries a top rope attack, but Wright gets up in time and catches Dragon mid-air with a dropkick for another near-fall. Both men perform a series of roll-ups for three more two counts, and Dragon dropkicks Wright into the corner and hoists him on the turnbuckle. Dragon then does a turnaround huracanrana on Wright off the top and follows with his finisher, the Dragon Sleeper, but Wright is able to get to the ropes. Dragon once again tries for the Dragon Sleeper, but Wright counters with a jawbreaker, and then uses his finisher, the German Suplex, to finally defeat the Ultimo Dragon and retain his TV Title. Good match that really didn't get going until it was about 12 minutes in, and had some awkward moments. Nevertheless, I'll give it a 3.05 out of 5.

Mean Gene Okerlund is shown in the back shilling the WCW hotline when the nWo comes running by. Gene goes to see what's going on, and finds one of the 4 Horsemen, Curt Hennig, lying on the floor. Will Hennig be ok for the main event? Time will tell. In the meantime we have a number one contenders match for Steve McMichael's United States Title pitting Jeff Jarrett against Dean Malenko. Mike Tenay has left again, so we're back to three announcers. The action has moved from the first ring to the second ring for this match for some reason. Jarrett sends his manager, Debra McMichael, to the back so there won't be any distractions in the match. Match starts, Jarrett uses a hip toss and then does his trademark strut. Back to action, the two exchange before Jarrett gets sent down hard with a Malenko shoulder block. The two exchange some basic wrestling maneuvers before Malenko takes advantage with some punches. Back down to the mat, Malenko gets the advantage with a dropkick, and Jarrett goes to the outside to catch his breath. Back in, Jarrett gets the advantage with a side headlock, but Malenko is able to whip Jarrett off the ropes and starts peppering him with punches before Jarrett ducks and uses a sleeper hold. Malenko gets to the ropes. Jarrett goes for a vertical suplex on Malenko, but Malenko blocks, lifts Jarrett up and sets him on the top turnbuckle, than Superplexes Jarrett down. Both men are down but get up at the same time. Malneko is back on the attack with a dropkick and a German Suplex, than puts Jarrett in his submission finisher, the Texas Cloverleaf. Jarrett gets to the ropes, but Debra comes back from the, well, back.

Malenko clotheslines Jarrett so hard that both men go flying over the top rope. While Jarrett is talking with Debra, Malenko uses the time to come back in the ring and uses the baseball slide kick to send Jarrett into the guardrail. Malenko starts to go to work on Jarrett near the guardrails before the two go back in, where Malenko gets a two count after a dropkick. The announcers, particularly Zybzsko, are grilling Malenko due to his lack of emotion in the ring, saying it makes him a worse wrestler or something, I don't know. Malenko whips Jarrett into a corner and charges, but Jarrett catches him with a back elbow and all of a sudden starts to work over Malenko's legs to set him up for the Figure-Four. While Jarrett is pulling on Malenko's leg from outside the ring, Malenko kicks him off, than as Jarrett gets on the apron, Malenko sets him up for a suplex. But Jarrett counters with a cross-body, and gets a two count. Malenko with a sleeperhold, but Jarrett gets out and than back suplexes Malenko down near the corner. Jarrett climbs the ropes and dives, but Malenko gets a leg up. However, Jarrett catches the leg and goes for the Figure-Four, and Malenko counters with an inside cradle to get two. A series of holds get two counts for each men, and as the two are countering each other's moves, Malenko does a leapfrog but lands awkwardly on his ankle. Jarrett attacks by clipping the leg and slapping the Figure-Four on Malenko, who has no choice but to give up. Jarrett now gets a U.S. Title shot at Halloween Havoc. However, he left WCW a few weeks later and was in the WWF by the time Halloween Havoc aired. Regardless, this was another good match. I'll say it's a 2.8 out of 5.

The nWo War Games team of Buff Bagwell, Konnan, Syxx, and Kevin Nash do a promo concerning tonight's main event. They promise to put an end to the Four Horsemen tonight, Zbyszko proclaims that the nWo makes him sick. Up next is a tag team match between the Faces of Fear (Meng and Barbarian) and the team of Wrath and Mortis. Why they decided to match up two heel tag teams together is anybody's guess. The Faces of Fear have matching red pants on tonight, a change up from their normal black pants. This is just a brawl early on, as the two teams just beat on each other and use clotheslines and body slams to beat each other down. Mortis comes in, gets backdropped by Meng into Barbarian, who catches and then powerbombs him. Wrath breaks up the count. Barbarian and Meng continue to dominate Mortis until Barbarian gets on the top rope, only for Wrath and Mortis' manager, James Vandenberg, to shake the top rope and crotching Barbarian in the process. While Meng chases Vandenberg, Barbarian recovers and dives off the top, only to be countered with a raised boot from Mortis. Wrath comes in with a pump kick, and the two nearly pin Barbarian after a powerbomb-neckbreaker combo move before Meng breaks up the count.

Wrath is tagged in and uses more punches and kicks to stifle his foe the Barbarian, then uses a backbreaker and an elbow drop to down Barbarian. Cover, but Barbarian gets his foot on the rope. Mortis is tagged in, and uses a variation of the Rocker Dropper where he comes in and drives a fully standing Barbarian down to the mat with his leg hooked around Barbarian's neck. That gets two. Wrath is tagged back in, and uses a top rope clothesline to send Barbarian to the outside, where Mortis dumps some stairs on him while he is down. Back in the ring. Barbarian is set up on the top rope. Meanwhile, Mortis is sitting on Wrath's shoulders, and they perform an Ultra Superplex on Barbarian, which really pops the crowd and the announcers. But Mortis is still down, and that allows Barbarian to get the Hot Tag to Meng, which gets the loudest reaction of the night up to this point. Meng is just clobbering people left and right, superkicking Mortis and pounding away on Wrath. Powerslam on Wrath gets a two before Mortis breaks it up.Mortis is in but gets slammed down by Meng, who climbs the top rope and delivers a picture perfect splash on Mortis. Wrath comes in to break up the count. Barbarian comes in but is disposed of by Wrath. Meanwhile, Vandenberg is on the apron but gets caught in the Tongan Death Grip by Meng. Mortis tries to break it up, but gets a Tongan Death Grip of his own. Wrath comes back in from behind, and delivers a Death Penalty (Rock Bottom) to Meng, which gets the victory for Wrath and Mortis. There wasn't a lot of finesse in this match, just a lot of hard-hitting action. Still, it was quite entertaining, so I'll give it a 3.139 out of 5.

Mean Gene is in the back with an interview with three of the Horsemen, Benoit and McMichael say a bunch of boring stuff before Flair fires up the crowd with his interview. Basically, the point was that they will go on without Hennig, making it a 4 vs. 3 match. Scott Norton comes out for his match against The Giant. The two waste no time as they exchange blows before heading outside the ring to continue battle. Giant picks Norton up on his shoulder, but Norton slips out and throws him into the ring post. Norton tries to suplex the Giant, but takes a suplex of his own instead. Norton gets in the ring first, and clotheslines the Giant back out just as he was stepping into the ring. Back in, the two exchange blows, but Norton goes downstairs, than catches Giant with a Stun Gun. Norton gets Giant in a corner and delivers some heavy blows to him. Finally, Norton gets Giant out of the corner and back suplexes him, but that gets two. Norton argues with the ref, but the Giant grabs a rope and then kips up. Not bad for a 7 foot 450 pound man. Giant with a big boot and a dropkick sends Norton down, and he calls for the Choke Slam. Giant grabs Norton by the throat, lifts him up, and slams him down, getting a three count. Short match which wasn't too bad, but not that good either. I'll give it a 1.5 out of 5. During the replay, Heenan calls Scott Norton Ed Norton. I don't know if he made a mistake or was just referencing the old Honeymooners character, but that's what he called him.

Next is a rematch from last month's Clash of the Champions featuring the nWo team of Randy Savage and Scott Hall against WCW's Diamond Dallas Page and Lex Luger, who have had some issues over the past few weeks. Schiavone makes the claim that Luger has the most recognizable upper body in sports. Um, OK. A test of strength between Hall and Luger starts off the match, and Hall loses. Zbyszko states that Hall is one of the most overrated wrestlers in the business, pulling no punches for their ongoing feud. Luger starts delivering clothesline to both Hall and Savage, and while Hall escapes to the outside, Luger Gorilla Press slams Savage over the top rope onto Hall. Tag into DDP, and he and Hall start going at it. Page gets the advantage with a series of punches and an atomic drop, all of which Hall oversells to comedic proportions. Page with a pancake piledriver on Hall and decks Savage off of the apron. That proves to be a bad idea, as Savage gets angry and trips DDP coming off the rope.

The nWo start double teaming Page, and Hall nearly gets a three count after a powerslam. Savage and Hall have Page trapped in the corner, but DDP escapes only for Savage to catch up and hold him from tagging out to Luger. Hall uses this opportunity to take advantage by slugging Luger on the apron and stomping him down in between the two rings, leaving Luger stuck there. While Luger's stuck, Savage and Hall take turns throwing Page from one ring to another, and while Savage is choking Page with a ring rope, Hall decides to deck the referee for no good reason. Another ref comes out, only to meet the same result. That brings out an enraged Zbyszko, who gets on the ring apron to jaw with Hall. Meanwhile Luger is finally getting up, and after Zbyszko shoves Hall, Luger rolls him up from behind and Zbyszko administers the three count, which is apparently good enough to make this a victory for Luger and Page. Schiavone claims that that moment where Zbyszko counted Hall down is a moment we will never forget. Well until five minutes ago, I had completly forgotten about it. This match was little more than a setup for a future angle, and nobody brought their A game, per se. I'll give it a 1.1 out of 5 and hope to never have to see it again.

Before the main event, Gene shills the Hotline once more. Michael Buffer is out, doing his thing. He comes up with a great line in introducing the match, which goes as follows: "Two teams, one cage. (long dramatic pause), It's time to set the stage, for the rage, of the WAR GAMES~!" Well, I liked it. The rules of War Games are this, there are two teams of four, the match starts with a five minute period of one on one action, there's a coin flip, and whoever wins gets to send their next man in, the losing them sends the next man in after two minutes, and after every two minutes, the teams alternate putting people in the match until everybody is in. At which time, the match can only end by submission or surrender. The two teams are matched up mainly due to a parody that the nWo did of former horseman Arn Anderson's retirement speech, which you can see right after I'm done writing. The cage is lowered, and the nWo team is out first. According to Buffer, this unit of the nWo want to be called the "Now Ready for Prime Time Players". I'm thinking Nash came up with that one. Anyway, Kevin Nash, Buff Bagwell, Syxx and Konnan represent the nWo. The Horsemen team come out, but Curt Hennig is conspicuous by his absence, so Ric Flair, Chris Benoit, and Steve "Mongo" McMichael have to go without him.  Bagwell and Benoit will start this match. Benoit dominates early and bounces Bagwell against the cage a couple of times before missing a swan dive headbutt off the top rope. Buff takes this opportunity to mug for the camera and throws Benoit against the cage. Both men get up, Benoit charges at Buff but gets backdropped into the cage wall, nearly landing head first on the mat. Buff stomps on Benoit some. The nWo wins the cointoss, but Benoit is starting to regain control of the match. Konnan comes in and tries to dive onto Benoit, but gets kicked on the way down. Benoit with a snap suplex on Konnan and a bodyslam on Bagwell. Once both men are up, Benoit sends them flying into the cage. The numbers prove to be too much, as Bagwell catches Benoit with a kick to the gut and Konnan DDTs him down to the mat. Bagwell takes this time to again mug for the camera.

The three men take the fight to the other ring but never mind that shit, HERE COMES MONGO! He makes his presence felt by delivering clotheslines and bodyslams to both of his opponents. Three point stance into football tackle by Mongo onto Konnan. YEAH! The two Horsemen are in control but here comes Syxx. But Benoit sees him coming and catches him with a brutal clothesline. The Horsemen continue to take the fight to the opponent, and Mongo picks Syxx up and slams him against the roof of the cage. Benoit with the Crippler Crossface on Syxx, and Bagwell breaks it up quickly, much to my delight. I'm not going to get into why that delighted me, but if you know much about Chris Benoit than you might know why. Benoit gets up and throws Syxx into the cage, but that is ignored by the announcers because Curt Hennig has come from the back with his arm in a sling. Flair enters the ring with knife-edge chops for everyone. The Horsemen spend the next two minutes dominating the nWo until Kevin Nash comes in. Nash goes after Flair, whips him into the ropes and sidewalk slams him down. Benoit comes over, but Nash picks him up and slams him back first against the cage. While Mongo is still fighting Konnan, Nash catches him with a big boot and all three Horsemen are down. Buff once again takes this time to mug for the camera. You know, Bagwell knew where the cameras were more than any other wrestler I've ever seen. In a way I almost admire that, but at the same time it gets annoying rather quickly. Syxx is rubbing Flair's face into the cage, but the camera focuses on Hennig. There's some brawling going on between the two teams, and Flair has Syxx in the Figure Four when Hennig comes in. He takes off the sling to reveal two pairs of handcuffs, much to the delight of the crowd. The crowd turns on Hennig about ten seconds later when he hits his teammates Mongo and Benoit with the cuffs and goes right after Flair. Benoit and Mongo are being handcuffed to the cage while the rest of the nWo take turns stomping on Flair. Nash gets a mic and asks if Benoit and Mongo want to surrender, but they refuse. Flair continues to take a beating while Bagwell takes the mic and asks Benoit if he wants to quit, and gets spit on for his efforts. Jacknife powerbomb by Nash onto Flair, and Mongo and Benoit both continue refusing surrender. Finally, Hennig drags Flair and positions his head near the cage door, and Nash threatens that unless the Horsemen quit, Hennig is going to slam the door into Flair's head. Mongo surrenders, but Hennig's such an evil guy that he slams the door in Flair's face anyway. To be honest, it didn't look quite as bad as the announcers were making it out to be, but it still looked painful enough. The nWo wins, Nash proclaims that the Horsemen are dead and Schiavone calls this the most sickening night of his life. Flair would come back a month later and feud with Hennig, so I guess it wasn't that bad. The match was decent enough but the ending kind of sucked the life out of the crowd and really made the Horsemen look like idiots. Plus, even at the time, you could see Hennig's turn coming a mile away. I'll give it a 2.40 out of 5.

Overall, despite the down note it ended it, WCW Fall Brawl 1997 wasn't a bad pay-per-view. Three were three rather good matches and two others that were decent as well. The worst match was the nWo-Page and Luger match, but even that served its purpose. I'll give the show en masse a 6.5 out of 10, as it was three hours of good wrestling action. Well, thanks for reading this monstrosity of a post, and if you have any thoughts about Fall Brawl 97, feel free to leave a comment. Also, if you have ideas for future reviews, than send them me via e-mail at I leave you with the nWo mocking the Horsemen on Nitro:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Canon Review Presents: Commercials with Big-Name Actors Before they were Big

Sorry for the long title, but I'm not very good with titles. Today we look at a few commercial of huge stars before they were too big to star in commercials like these. Well, we've all got to start somewhere. Personally, I'm going to start right about now.

Commercial 1: Steve Carell for Brown's Chicken

In this commercial, Steve Carell plays a manager for a Brown's Chicken fast food restaurant. Brown's Chicken is a buisness primarily located in the Chicago area, and honestly, until now, I had never heard of it. Anyway, Carell is putting up the words "Cholesterol Free Cooking" on a sign and is advertising that Brown's has no extra cholesterol in their cooking oil and batter. Well, the wind starts to pick up and the letters in Cholesterol and Cooking blow away, leaving just the word free on the sign. Naturally, that draws a crowd to the location, which Carell seems not too pleased about. I guess it was supposed to be funny, but it just didn't resonate with me. It is interesting that this commercial is at least 15 years old, and Carell looks like he's hardly aged since then. I'll give it a 2 out of 5, as at least the commercial got its point across and wasn't too annoying.

Commercial 2: Adam Sandler for Mastercard

This looks to be from the late 1980s, but I'm not sure exactly what year it was produced. Anyway, Sandler's character is a young man looking to buy his first apartment. When he sees who his neighbor is, Sandler takes the place and asks the lady to dinner. But before he can set up the dinner, Sandler has to furnish his apartment, so he uses his Mastercard to buy all sorts of crap. The commercial ends with the date and a toast to the new apartment. Sandler's hair is a little longer than what you may be used to seeing, but you can definitely tell it's him. Surprisingly, Sandler is rather low-key in this ad, but I don't think the commercial called for someone to yell and sing songs or anything like that. I'll give it a 2 out of 5, as it was a middle of the road ad that neither offended nor entertained.

Commercial 3: Brad Pitt for Pringles

This commercial was made in 1989 and answers the long-time question, does Brad Pitt like Pringles? Apparently he and his cohorts love the chips because they stop their car when they find out they ran out of Pringles. So, instead of driving to the store and getting more, they decide to seek out other people that have Pringles so they can mooch off of them. Luckily in this parallel universe this commercial seems to take place in, Pringles is the preferred food of hot young women in bikinis, and they seem to have lots of cans available. Everyone eats a bunch of Pringles and live happily ever after, at least until Pitt and his cohorts take off with the Pringles and the hot ladies have to seek out other people driving by with cans of Pringles, which they soon find, by the way. And the cycle continues until the end of time, or at least until Pringles comes out with cheddar flavored Pringles. Also, there's an annoying jingle at the end that calls Pringles the fever reliever. I'll have to remember that the next time I get a fever. What a bunch of tripe this is, and for all you Brad Pitt fans out there, he's in the ad for about 6 or 7 seconds, but you can spot him pretty easily. Still, this sucks, so I'll give it a .9 out of 5.

Commercial 4: Jason Alexander for the McDonalds McBLT

I've talked about this before elsewhere, but dang it, I want to talk about it again. This commercial is definitely from the 1980s, as you have a bunch of people singing nonsense and a burger that comes in a big-ass Styrofoam case. We start with Jason Alexander asking some random people if they want a better lettuce and tomato burger instead of all the crap that don't quite make it. He then asks some other people if they want a burger which is hot but the lettuce and tomato stay cool. Well, McDonalds has the answer for you with the McDLT. It's not really different from any other burger, but it comes in a special two bun carrying case, one side has the meat, while the other side has the lettuce and tomato. All you have to do after that is decide when to put the two buns together and enjoy. This is such a monumentous occasion that Alexander and a bunch of the town people decide to break into song to celebrate this wonder of hamburger science. All the while you can almost see poor Mr. Alexander start to lose his hair during the progression of this commercial. Maybe it's me, but it seems as if he had a little less hair at the end than at the beginning. Well, you can see for yourself soon enough. All I know is that this commercial sucks and the McDLT doesn't exist anymore, because nobody wanted to carry their burgers in a briefcase. I'm giving this a 1 out of 5, because now the jingle's stuck in my head.

There are much, much more commercials featuring celebrities before they were famous, but I think it's best that I stop here for now, so thanks for reading. Remember, if you have any thoughts about this or other posts, or ideas for future posts, than you can let me hear about them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Canon Review of Two Episodes of The A-Team

You know what I'm in the mood for? Some explosives being fired, some heavy artillery being used, and yet I don't want to see anyone worse for the wear. So I'm going to watch some A-Team episodes, where the bad guys can't hit the side of an aircraft carrier and B.A. Baracus complains about Murdock. Let's waste no more time and jump right in, fool!

Episode 1: Knights of the Road (Season 3: Episode 20)

We start in the town of Arriba, New Mexico. Incidentally, I don't think that the town actually exists, but whatever. Arriba is supposedly three miles away from the Mexican border. A tow truck form Corson Towing comes to pick up a wrecked car, but two other tow trucks from a rival company (Tyler Towing, who just happen to drive all black trucks because they're evil) show up, rough up the father and daughter some (mainly the father) and break their windows out with a wrench before taking their car. The two drive back to their junkyards, rueing about the father's lack of success in finding the A-Team, when they spot a black van parked in their garage. Lo and behold, it's the A-Team, Murdock and all. Face tries to saddle up to the daughter, but gets shot down, causing Murdock some concern for whatever reason. Meanwhile, Murdock falls in love with the idea of being a tow-truck driver, or a "Knight of the Road". Well, that's Murdock for you. One thing you notice is that Mr. T reads most of his lines with all the passion of a person buying fungus cream. Luckily, the producers also realize this and give him very few lines. Even though the show is remembered for featuring Mr. T, in actuality, he was really the character with the least lines, and most of the episodes focused on Hannibal and Murdock instead, who were played by more capable actors. Tangent over.

So the A-Team get to work, building a heavily protected tow-truck and when the Tyler company goes to intercept another job, the A-Team respond with force. This angers Tyler and his Mexican business partner, who wants to take over Corson because it will help his drug-trafficking business due to the fact that Corson is somehow granted diplomatic immunity to tow cars out of Mexico and Tyler the buffoon is not. Meanwhile, the A-Team keeps causing trouble for Tyler, even at one point taking a car off of their tow truck while two of their workers are eating lunch. After bugging their trucks, Hannibal learns of a secret pickup by Tyler Towing, so he has Murdock hide under the hood of the car somehow and the A-Team attempts to follow the car. But they run into a snag when the car crosses the Mexican border and the A-Team, due to their fugitive status, cannot go through the border checkpoint due to the likelihood that they would be arrested on the spot. Now Murdock's all alone in Mexico, and for some odd reason, the theme from 2001: A Space Oddysey plays when he exits the car and enters Tyler business partner's, who we learn is named Zuniga, mansion. Meanwhile, the rest of the A-Team catch up to Tyler and his men and stop them from delivering a package of cocaine into the states. To find out Murdock's whereabouts, the three trap them in their own car, have B.A. control the car crusher, and nearly crush the car into a cube with them inside before finally, Tyler gives them the information they wanted to hear. For some reason, Hannibal decides they need a bigger truck, so B.A gets to work and we get a montage of the team fixing up an old 12-ton tow truck. The three break into to Mexico like so many others break out of Mexico, by cutting down a fence with wire cutters and just driving through.

They drive up to Zuniga's house and everyobdy starts shooting their automatic rifles and a lot of bullets hit the ground. You know, for a team of highly trained soilders, the A-Team never seem to actually be able to shoot their enemies. However, the pure force of the A-Team's weaponry proves to be too much for the drug cartel's bodyguards, and Zuniga and Tyler and turned in to the police. But WAITAMINUTE! it turns out that Zuniga's the chief of police, and Face, Hannibal and B.A. are sent to jail. However, here comes Murdock with the 12-ton tow truck, and he uses the truck's hooks to break the prison walls down and free the A-Team. Well, that cheeses off Zuniga and Tyler, so they head to Corson's garage for a final showdown. The A-Team prepares by building up the 12-ton truck into some sort of Optimus Prime looking contraption that can drive through steel and gives the A-Team protection to fire their weapons at their enemies. When Tyler, Zuniga, and his army of armed goons arrive, the A-Team is ready, and we've got a whole bunch of shooting going on. Of course, this is the A-Team, so the worst thing that happens is that cars get flipped by grenades and everyone is knocked out temporarily, but ultimately survive. Afterwords, the criminals are sent to jail, Face gets the girl, and Murdock wants to keep an old grill of a car, so for some reason B.A. uses a giant magnet to pick Murdock up and leave him hanging because that's just what he does. Mindless fun, although the guest actors weren't too bad, the storyline seemed kind of weak, and their were some plot holes. I'll give it a 6.1 out of 10.

Episode 2: Purr-Dee Poison, Season 2, Episode 17

The show starts with a Reverend walking into a bar that sells moonshine. He takes out a shotgun and says "let us pray" before firing a shot into the bar's moonshine supply. That seemed a bit unnecessary. After all, there were a few people at the bar drinking, but they didn't seem too bad off, and all of a sudden this guy comes in and acts like he's some sort of holy avenger. A bit drastic, no? Naturally, this does not make the moonshine still proprietor very happy, so he and his goons pay the reverend a visit and rough him up a bit. Well, Rev. Taylor happened to know Face while both were serving in Vietnam, so he calls up the A-Team to help stop this moonshine, which has killed and blinded a good number of the reverend's parishioners. The A-Team calls in their assistant Tawnia, and they gain access to a speakeasy controlled by the moonshine empire led by a Charles Drew. They take over the place and stop the shipment of moonshine by blowing up one truck, than getting into the van and stopping the other truck with the help of some nitrous oxide Murdoch stole from a local dentist. Once they empty the truck of any people, Face shoots about 195 holes into the side of it, sending moonshine everywhere. 

Back to the Reverend's community center, and B.A. seems to have a thing for the reverend's daughter. Unlike the suave Face, B.A. acts like a young kid around his first crush whenever the two are on screen together. Nice to see that in between yelling at Murdock and bashing doors down, that B.A. has a bit of a sensitive side. Anyway, Drew and his thugs pay a visit to the center, and words are exchanged between Hannibal and Drew. This allows Murdoch to install a camera on Drew's truck, which the team uses to scout out the location of the moonshine still. The team goes on the offensive, avoiding all the traps and cameras, and are unwittingly assisted by the two laziest security guards in the history of television, who refuse to leave their post despite hearing multiple noises and seeing the camera go out. The two constantly looked for excuses not to leave their room. Personally, I was impressed with their lack of motivation. Just as the A-Team is about to take control of the compound, the lead goon comes back with Tawnia and Reverend Taylor's daughter, putting the A-Team in a bit of a bind as they have to release their weapons in order to prevent harm on the two women.

Eventually, the A-Team and the others are locked in a barn, and the goons forget the most important rule when imprisoning the A-Team. Never, under any circumstances, no matter how secure the building, leave them unsupervised. With a bunch of fertilizer, an old tractor, and some pipes, the A-Team get the tractor working and build some homemade rocket launchers. They break out of the barn and unleash fury on their overmatched enemies, blowing up a lot of buildings and the moonshine still, and all the bad guys get sent off to jail. At the end, the reverend thanks Hannibal and the A-Team, while B.A. says his goodbyes to the reverend's daughter. Lots of crazy explosions in this episode, including an intense one at the end that completely obliterates a log cabin. It was awesome. The story wasn't too bad, although I find it hard to believe that the A-Team could build such contraptions in what couldn't have been more than an hour. I'll give it a 6.8 out of 10.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future reviews or thoughts about this review, than let me know about them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fun with YouTube Recommendations: July 17, 2010

First of all, sorry for the lack of activity lately around here, as things have been a bit wacky the last few days. Hopefully, I will get back to a more consistent schedule at The Canon Review in the upcoming days. For now, to ease myself back into posting, I decided to watch a few videos that YouTube has recommended for me to watch based on previous videos I had viewed before. So, let's see what the machine has for me to watch today.

Video 1: 1987 NBA Draft - 12 - Tyrone Bogues, Wake Forest 

First we get an interview with then Boston Celtics president Red Auerbach, one of basketball's most legendary figures. He agrees with San Antonio's selection of Navy center David Robinson with the first pick, a pick that was heavily criticized at the time due to Robinson having to serve a two-year commitment in the Navy and therefore, not being able to play right away. Looking back, the Spurs made the right pick. Auerbach also is surprised that so many guards were taken this early, and wondered how the Indiana Pacers fanbase would react to the team selecting Reggie Miller over local favorite Steve Alford. Of course, Miller had a hall-of-fame career with the Pacers, so I think the fans ended up satisfied with the picks. After the interview, the Washington Bullets turn their selection in the while the announcers speculate just who will be picked or if the trick will be traded. Commissioner David Stern announces that the Bullets selected point guard Tyrone Bouges with the 12th pick in the draft, which gets a mixed reaction from the announcers, but the crowd seems to like it. Bouges, nicknamed Muggsy, is a 5'3" guard from Wake Forest who the announcers say was projected to be a second-round selection. I think the Bullets may have reached here, but anytime you can team up the shortest (Bouges) and tallest player (Manute Bol) in NBA History, you've got to do it. Plus, Bouges is from the Washington D.C. area, so at least the fanbase will be happy. We get a highlight package of Bouges from his Wake Forest days, and the anaylsts seemed to think he had a good chance of becoming a decent NBA player. Also, we get an interview from Bouges himself, who expresses his excitement about playing for the Bullets. Well, Bouges only played one year for the Bullets before the Charlotte Hornets took him in the 1989 expansion draft. After that, Bouges settled in as the Hornets point guard for the next nine years, and currently ranks 16th all-time in assists in NBA history. So while the Bullets didn't get much out of the pick, it wasn't a bad pick, and the mistake the Bullets made was getting rid of Bouges too early.

Video 2: Eternal Champions Commercial
Remember the Sega Genesis game Eternal Champions? Well, Eternal Champions was Sega's attempt to cash in on the fighting game craze of the early 90s caused by Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II. It wasn't quite as good as those other two games, nor was it as popular, but overall it wasn't too bad. This commercial, however, is just awful. Apparently, playing Eternal Champions is such an intense experience that it will twist your face into all sorts of grotesque positions. Um, ok. After seeing that commercial, I don't exactly want to play Eternal Champions right now.

Video 3: Raw 15: Shane McMahon on Nitro

I guess this clip is from some DVD or something, because it includes interviews from a couple of guys in between showing Shane McMahon showing up on the last edition of WCW Nitro. Edge was shocked, SHOCKED by this turn of events. Anyway, the video's basically a clip of Shane McMahon showing up and saying he "bought" WCW, and that's how one of the biggest companies in wrestling history ended, with Shane freakin' McMahon on the screen. Whoopee. I'm not going to go into what happened after this clip, because it would just make me angry.

Video 4: TNA Impact 7/15/10 Part 10/10 (HQ)

Ok, this wasn't on my recommendations page but dang it, I wanted to watch it and comment on it anyway. In their never ending quest to make themselves relevant on the wrestling scene, TNA has decided that now is the time for yet another ECW invasion. First of all, they tried this sort of thing like seven years ago and nobody cared about it then. Second, the WWE did it already five years ago, and since they own all of the ECW copyrights and had a more talented group of wrestlers available, they were able to make a success out of it with One Night Stand. Of course, that led to the ill-fated ECW brand a year later, but still it was a huge success at the time. Now it's been almost ten years since ECW had their last show, most of the wrestlers involved are either broken-down, retired, or dead, and TNA decides that now is the perfect time to stage an ECW invasion. So they bring in Tommy Dreamer, Stevie Richards, and Raven, team Rhyno up with them, and have all of them beat up on security and other TNA wrestlers. Of course, it doesn't look very extreme, and seems more like a standstill than a full-out beatdown, but whatever. Then you have the president of TNA get a mic and say, hold on a minute, I invited these guys. Why? exactly, were these people invited to beat up the roster, well tune in to Impact next week to find out. Look, I was as big a fan of ECW as anyone else, but this whole angle stinks, and just seems like another desperate attempt by TNA to get some people to watch their crappy show. Instead of relying on wrestlers successful a decade ago and tired and recycled ideas, TNA should, try something, anything, that's an original idea, but their braintrust is all stuck in the 1990s and even the rumors of Paul Heyman taking over the book won't change that mindset. Enjoy the video!

Well, thanks for reading, and I hope to have something else up over the next 12 hours or so. Until then, if you have any thoughts about this or other posts, than feel free to leave a comment. And if you ideas for future reviews, than send them to me at