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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

DVD Review: Ring Roasts 1 – A Comedic Tribute To The Iron Sheik

Courtesy of Main Event Radio's Steven Wilson:

During the last few years no old school wrestler has enjoyed as much of a resurgence in popularity than the Iron Sheik. Using his wild out of control antics that blur the line of work and shoot he has been able to gain a whole new generation of fans, including myself. I have been marking out at every piece of audio or video that I could find starring the Iron Sheik, but my mark out level for those clips could not even match the level I experienced when I heard that Sheiky Baby was going to be the guest of honour at his very own comedic roast. What better way to get back at the man who has talked crap about everyone then to hire his friends and foes alike and line them up to take him down comedy style. The result is not only guaranteed to be hilarious, but as those who were there live saw, it quickly led to controversy as well, put it all together and the result is a truly epic wrestling dvd release.

KC’s Sean Oliver opens the DVD introducing the dais as well as the roastmoaster who is none other than well known wrestling journalist Bill Apter, who stumbles onto the screen in a waiter’s outfit, apparently he like many in these tough economic times needs a part time job to pay the bills (I guess subscriptions to 1wrestling.com’s website are down!)

Its then time for the roasting to begin, Comedian Mike Morse is first up. Morse has made numerous appearances on the Howard Stern show over the years, he is able to hit a couple of zingers, his best line comes in the form of telling King Kong Bundy that he looks like a whale’s dick or a crazy glue combination of Lex Luthor, Telly Suvalos and Mr Clean, Speaking of Bundy, he was up next, highlights include “Jesus Christ Bill (Apter), clean the dandruff off of your suit, before Don Muraco tries to snort it”, “Rene Goulet, You look incredible for a fn corpse”. Although Bundy did not really go after Sheik, thus slightly missing the point of being on the dais of the roast. Don Muraco remains in the same boat, and only takes a short shot at Sheik and then puts over all his friends from the past. Comedian and wrestling manager Ryan Maher then steps up and gets the roast rolling again, being a wrestling fan/manager helped immensely as he was able to rip on everyone present and highlights include ripping on B Brian Blair’s Masked Confusion Gimmick which caused Mass Confusion amongst the fans wondering why the hell he and Brunzell had a job in the first place, And On King Kong Bundy’s singlet it made you look like a giant penis breaking out of a black condom”. Maher rips into the sheik as well, sharing some stores and remembering when he would watch Sheik as a kid “I would look at you in thee ring and was scared, but then I would see those curly toed boots and think to myself that I want to see you bake cookies with the rest of the kiebler elves” You then get Tom Brandi and King Kahlua tag team to roast the Sheik sharing some of their favorite Sheik stories. Sheik “General” Adnan Al Kaissy goes down the same route recounting a story of himself, Sheik and Sgt Slaughter on the freeway where Sheik was busy rolling some gimmick and the police pulled up beside them and Sheik seemingly did not care. explaining how a little gimmick never hut nobody.

It was then time for, as Bill Apter put it, “the confrontation 25 years in the making” as Mr. Bob Backlund stepped up to the mic but this “confrontation” would pale in comparison to what was to come. Backlund mainly puts over Sheik in calm Backlund fashion, that is until someone in the crowd interrupts him and he goes off on them in wacko Backlund fashion. Nikolai Volkoff steps up, tells some stories and is somewhat hard to understand but gets a couple of good laughs. The much hated Eric Simms and BOMBS hard, he has a couple of decent jokes, but the crowd gives him nothing but dead silence and insults, partly thanks to Scott Hall’s disturbance off camera.

Then there was Roundboy Jimmy Graham who is able to deliver a pounding but he is of course the man who stirred up a whole brew of trouble when he dropped the “your career is dropping faster than Owen Hart” In the main feature his line and the scuffle is left out instead reserved for a feature on the second Disc, this decision makes for a weird edit as you can tell something before Don Jameson’s set happens but its not acknowledged until you watch the supplemental feature, nontheless by now we’ve all seen or heard about the fan cam clips of Scott Hall flipping out and causing a scene, and although I can see how and why someone who worked with and considered Owen Hart a friend could of taken offense to what was said, on the other hand this is a comedic roast, which traditionally holds nothing back, which is why I as a person who was a fan of Owen Hart did not take major offense to what was said. One thing I have heard from those close to Owen Hart often say was that he was known to be a kidder and could laugh at himself, In relation to that, Artie Lange, co host of the Howard Stern show was the guest of honor for one of Stern’s roasts since moving to Sirius Satellite Radio. For those not aware, many years ago Lange’s father fell off a roof he was working on and became a paraplegic because of it, and would later die due to complications related to that. I bring this up to point out that when Lange was roasted, he faced a barrage of jokes about his father and the accident that eventually caused his death, and Lange took it all in stride laughing his butt off, as did everyone around him, no one flipped out, no one took offense. One could say that they are a bunch of mentally ill people, but if there is one thing to be noticed in this roast, it’s the difference in how the actual comedians and wrestlers approached and delivered their roasts. The comediens approached it as they would any roast, while the wrestlers seemingly approached it as more of a rib type of celebration, both of which entertaining and both of which worthy of being presented, but for those who took offense id suggest that you needed to recognize and respect the comedian’s approach.

B. Brian Blair main events the dais. He spends time thanking his fans and putting over some friends and colleagues in the room, and then moves to the Iron Sheik. Firstly he clears up that he is not homosexual, and that he has respect for Sheik. Blair explains how he came to find out about Sheiks rants, and his reactions to them, and then takes some homosexual shots at Sheiky Baby, but for the most part comes off as a “humbled man”, or perhaps as bit of a scared individual as it seems like he didn’t want to say anything to controversial since he was in the middle of an election campaign.

Sheik gets the Ring Roast award and is given the open mic, he thanks everyone and expresses his respect for everyone present, but in true Sheiky fashion couldn’t go out without ranting on Blair and we finally get the face to face encounter between the two, and Sheik slaps Blair right in the face! An unbelievable ending to a great production running over an hour and forty minutes.

The second disc contains three featurettes running about 30 minutes in length, the first being the pre show backstage behind the scenes. The second being looking at the Scott Hall incident which shows you how much of a disturbance Hall was to the show. Perhaps he was just practicing for TNA’s Turning Point PPV and the upcoming Royal Rumble. Sean Oliver even offers him a spot on the show but Hall turns him down instead choosin to do it from the crowd, as a whole it’s a scene needed to be seen to be believed, Halls line of the night is “F you and everyone that looks like you” Finally the third featurette looks at the B Brian Blair confrontation, and you get to see Blair’s reaction to it.

Ring Roasts 1 – A Comedic tribute to the Iron Sheik is now available on DVD from Kayfabe Commentaries. For more information head on over to www..kayfabecommentaries.com, and to read my previous DVD reviews check out www.wrestlingdvdreviews.vze.com