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Friday, January 2, 2009

Alan Wojcik Reviews Ring Roast Of The Iron Sheik DVD

The concept of the roast goes back decades to the Hollywood stars like Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Buddy Hackett & Don Rickles where they would gather for a dinner and throw comedic insults at their honoree. Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Club does one for their Man of the Year usually dressing them in drag (once given to "Macho Man" Randy Savage.) Well the people who run Kayfabe Commentaries decided to add the roast to professional wrestling. They chose former WWF World Heavyweight & Tag Team champion The Iron Sheik (AKA Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri) as their initial honoree on October 10, 2008. With so much controversy surrounding what happened that evening (and I will get to that in a moment) www.kayfabecommentaries.com released it as Ring Roast I. The event was emceed by wrestling journalist legend Bill Apter. Here is the list of people that took the stage to roast the Sheik: wrestlers King Kong Bundy, King Kaluha, Tom Brandi, Don Muraco, Nikolai Volkoff, Brian Blair, Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissy, Bob Backlund plus comics Don Jamieson, Jimmy Graham, Mike Maher (also a wrestling manager,) Mike Morse and lastly the Sheik’s advisor Eric Simms.

I will not roast the Iron Sheik, believe me everyone on this DVD does a good job of it. I have never been a fan of the Sheik as a wrestler and as a person. My dislike for him dates back to a 1987 arrest on the side of the Garden State Parkway when he broke kayfabe in a huge way, being busted for drugs with his good guy counterpart "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan. As someone who has covered wrestling for years I know the kayfabe word doesn’t mean much anymore; but in the era the Sheik worked in, kayfabe was gospel. Since I am not an Iron Sheik follower I have no idea why the Sheik dislikes former Killer Bee & Hillsborough County (FL) Commissioner Blair. Someone told me it stems from the Sheik’s time on the Howard Stern show which is only on satellite radio. Seems he is a bitter person and is taking it out on his former WWF colleagues. I am sure the loss of a child in a violent way scars you forever. Now that I have talked about the Sheik, let’s address the star jerk on this DVD, comedian Jimmy Graham. During his roasting time he takes pot shots at the late Adrian Adonis and Owen Hart. The latter got him a near beatdown from the very intoxicated Scott Hall who charges from the audience. While Hall was in the wrong for his actions I don’t think making fun of a wrestler who fell to his death is good comedy. While I understand it’s a roast there has to be a decency line in the proverbial sand you don’t cross. Graham does it though thankfully producer Sean Oliver deletes it from the main feature.

The second disc holds some pre-roast footage, the entire Scott Hall saga and the aftermath of the Blair-Sheik confrontation. Both incidents show Sean Oliver has a career waiting in contract negotaions and mediation. The DVD is a good item for someone who got a gift card and can’t think of something to buy. Log onto www.kayfabecommentaries.com for this and other DVD’s. plus you can check out an on-demand item with former WWE office member Rene Goulet.