eXTReMe Tracker Canadian BullBLOG: 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004

Friday, July 30, 2004

Lots of new ITR merchandise!!!

The kids at BulldogZone have gone insane, adding lots of new items to the already-impressive lineup. Now you can enjoy buttons, tiles, posters, new T-shirt designs and MUCH MUCH MORE (well, not much more than that -- that's pretty much everything).

Visit now and don't forget to take your credit card. Operators are standing by!!!

Latest ITR (LFaN2)

Last year, the Canadian Bulldog (don't pretend you don't know who he is) lost his watch at a SD! taping. He THOUGHT he might have handed it to Brian "Spanky" Kendrick... so what to do? Well, e-mail Spanky and ask him about it, of course! Is Spanky a no-good, watch-stealing jerk? Or is this a case of misplaced blame? Spanky himself responded in great detail to Bulldog's e-mail! Bulldog also coaxed personal responses out of the Honkeytonk Man, George "the Animal" Steele, and others, and even got into a MAJOR flame war with the minions of Playboy Buddy Rose (or is that "The Million Dollar Blob"?). Enjoy ALL the Letters From A Nut and the responses in a new Inside The Ropes.

ITR (Online Onslaught)
ITR (The W)

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Benoit DVD

I just picked up "Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story" earlier today, and I haven't been able to put it down since.

While giving the thumbs up here may sound like a foregone conclusion to anyone who's already a Benoit fan, I'd even recommend this to minor Benoit fans who just want to see a really entertaining story.

The 90-minute "story" on the disc is much, much better than a lot of the previous efforts (Triple H's or Stone Cold's discs, for example). While there's clearly a lot of WWE revisionist history going on, it's still quite the compelling, feelgood story.

Then there are the 4 hours of extras. Obviously, I haven't watched them all yet, but what I've seen so far is just incredible. The Owen Hart "tribute match" between Benoit and Hart lives up to the hype (I'd never seen it before when it was on TV), as does the ECW and Japan stuff. Plus it has two of my favorite matches of the modern era (vs. Kurt Angle at Royal Rumble 2003, and the Triple Threat match at WMXX), so how can you go wrong?

Anyways, for my two cents, one of the best wrestling DVD's I've picked up in a while.

Monday, July 26, 2004

New Video Review

Experience... King Kong Bundy: The Missing Matches


Bulldog's Bi-Monthly Media Review

Kind of a bland weekend, so I looked at a couple of items I'd been trying to for a couple of weeks now...

Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 2 (DVD)
I can't tell you how highly I think of this program. Because of our sub-par Canadian broadcasting networks, I hadn't even HEARD of this show until maybe six months ago. They do show it on a pay-TV station here, but I don't subscribe to it. So I rented season one on DVD a couple of months back and was just BLOWN AWAY by the quality of humor here. They've started showing it on network television here now, but beginning with season three (!!!).

I'm only about half way through watching the season two DVD, and the episodes are even better than anything I'd seen in the first season - and that's saying something.

Although there are ZERO extras on this disc, I'd still recommend it for anyone who hasn't seen CYE yet...

Bleachers by John Grisham

I think after I read "Skipping Christmas", I will have read all of Grisham's work. I have to say, this one is my least favorite.

This is partly because I've never been a football fan, and on this side of the border, high school ball games are not the sacreligious event they are in the States. So right off the bat, I had that bias. But more importantly -- it was WAAAAAAY too short. By the time I was even starting to get into it, it was done.

Grisham is an excellent storyteller. Even his non-legal books (A Painted House, for example) show his skills off quite nicely. But this one... just didn't do it for me. It wasn't necessarily awful -- it just didn't grab me the way most of his others have.

Legends of Wrestling: Showdown for PS2

I probably have, or have played, every wrestling-related game for PS and PS2 over the years. For the life of me, I can't understand why this series -- which has so much promise and so much going for it right off the bat -- always fails to disappoint.

Like the first 2 'legends' games, Akklaim has an incredible roster of old-timers. This is the best one yet, adding Jake the Snake, Dusty Rhodes, Ultimate Warrior, DDP and a bunch of other guys, plus keeping the original roster.

First, what I liked about the game: they have multiple arenas, including TWO from right here in Toronto. The graphics are definitely better than the first two, and more importantly, the gameplay is better. Not a TON better, but a far cry from the first version, where all you could basically do is punch and throw objects.

Now onto the bad: it's almost impossible to aim for your opponent, especially when there are more than two people in the ring. You have to press buttons numerous times just to get up off the mat, exit the cage door, avoid elimination in a battle royale, etc. The entrances are still a joke, when you compare what the SmackDown folks have been able to pull off. And the create-a-wrestler function is still a huge joke. This time, they allow you to alter wrestlers on the roster (which is a good thing), but if you can't change Abdullah the Butcher's pants to shorts, for example, it's not really create-a-wrestler, but more a case of, let's play dress-up with the wrestler.

Overall, it was worth the three-day rental, but not much more. When the price inevitably drops down to $10 for a used copy, I'll add it to my collection. But it's certainly not at all competitive with the SmackDown series, which is a huge problem.


Friday, July 23, 2004

Latest Johnny ITR News

Just so you know what the kid has been up to lately....

The Gym Story

So, I'm opening my monthly Visa bill and notice it's a bit higher than normal. I go through each item and notice membership dues for my gym. Which is fine except... I quit the gym when I moved homes back in February!!!

How on earth this is the first time I noticed that they were still charging me is beyond me. So I called them (calmly) to explain the situation. They refer me to a woman in their accounts department and I explain my dilemna. She tells me that she can't access my file right now because it's after hours (6:45 p.m.). I sort of say "oookay", not condescending or anything, I just responded.

Then this woman LOSES IT on me! She gets all angry because the system is shut down, and it shuts down at 6 p.m. EVERY DAY, and if I don't BELIEVE HER, that's my problem! I quickly back down and just say I believe her.

She calms down a bit and says she can call me tomorrow afternoon. So I repeat to her: tomorrow afternoon, okay. She then gets angry again, saying that's the earliest she can get back to me because she starts at 12 p.m. every day and has other things to do, blah blah blah. I'm totally fine with this and tell her so. "It's fine; I just wanted to know when you'd get back to me." I even try to be overly friendly as we finish our discussion.

The next morning at about 10, she calls back and says she has my file. It was their fault, much apologies, etc. I say it's fine (and really, I haven't once expressed anger over this; was probably an error) and thank her. Then she launches into: "See, I told you I'd call you back. We're not trying to screw anyone here." I say I agree with her.

Then (what an idiot I am) I ask her for the balance that will be credited to my Visa. She gets upset and says she's JUST closed my file, and now she has to reaccess it. This was forty-five seconds earlier. A bit of a huff, and then she tells me the amount. "You quit the gym at a really weird time," she says. I would think most people sign up for a gym early on in the year, so not sure why February would be all that weird. But fine. Whatever.

As I'm thanking her (just wanted to get off the phone, really), she asks why I left the gym in the first place. I'm tempted to say because of the bureacracy in getting a charge reversed, but instead, I just tell her the truth -- I'm no longer close to that location, and if I put myself son to bed at 9 p.m., and they close at 11 p.m., AND they're a 25-minute drive away, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

Her response? "Okay" (click). That was it! She hung up on me!

Weird, weird, weird... 

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Classic Piper Promo

.... is available here at X-E.com (you may have to scroll down a bit, or maybe the link will take you directly there. I'm not sure.) Either way, it's worth your time to check out why Piper RULED back in the day.
And while I'm at it, if you've never seen X Entertainment before, check it out. An incredible site full of retro toys, commercials, reviews, etc. One of my favorite sites on the Web.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Latest ITR

Over the past few weeks, the Canadian Bulldog has been a Man Inspired. Specifically, inspired to bombard any wrestler (present or past) unfortunate enough to maintain an online presence with inane e-mails! And some of 'em, well, some of 'em responded. Bulldog's requests of such luminaries as the Bushwhackers (a wife swapping angle?!?), Jake the Snake Roberts (a reality TV show?!?), and Tatanka (time share real estate?!?) alone would be hilarious. But it gets really good when the guys mail back. Bulldog even got an EXCLUSIVE and PERSONAL response from Bill Goldberg, which you can check out in the new Inside the Ropes.

ITR (Online Onslaught)


Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Just finished reading Ric Flair's book "To Be The Man" (a full week after I wrote a column about it. Hmm...). Not bad at all.

Do I agree with a lot of what he said about Foley, Hart and Savage? Not really. But after 30 plus years in the industry, I think the guy's certainly entitled to his opinion. I'll say this: Flair pulls no punches when he talks about who he likes and dislikes. Especially Bischoff. Ouch!

Even though it's a quick read, a lot of the book drags on with feud by feud accounts of what happened in his career, especially starting from his first WWF run in 1991. I'm sure that will be interesting to a lot of people, but for me, I knew all of that already. He does add a bit of commentary to this period of his life, so it's only a minor criticism.

What I like is the dedication and space he gives to his family life, and that he's not afraid to criticize himself for the lesser priority he put on them during the heyday of his career. Sure, he doesn't get into the juicy details of who he was with, but if the guy's family is reading, can you really blame him?

Like Foley's book, the story has a natural beginning and end, which is a nice touch. Same as the peer comments from Ken Patera, Bobby Heenan, Chris Jericho and of all people, George South.

Would I have liked to see the book be a bit longer? Absolutely. But the fact that he was able to cover most of the big moments of his career in fewer pages isn't the end of the world, either. I'm just glad we got to hear from this legend on the printed page.

Here's a quick ranking of which wrestling biographies (that I've read) are my favorites -- I'm sure I'm missing a couple as well.

1. Have A Nice Day -- Mick Foley (arguably my favorite book in any genre; I've read it and re-read it dozens of times.)
2. Foley Is Good -- Mick Foley
3. It's Good To Be King... Sometimes -- Jerry Lawler
4. To Be The Man -- Ric Flair
5. Pure Dynamite -- Dynamite Kid Tom Billington
6. Tributes -- Dave Meltzer (kind of a bio book, so it's technically still on the list. And it's a terrific read.)
7. Bobby The Brain -- Bobby Heenan
8. In The Pit With Piper -- Roddy Piper (for comedic value alone, worth picking up).
9. Broken Harts -- Martha Hart (a little short on the wrestling content, but understandably so).
10. Hollywood Hulk Hogan -- Hulk Hogan

Other ones I've read in bookstores, little bits at a time: The Hardy Boyz, The Rock, Lita, Freddie Blassie, Steve Austin, Missy Hyatt (had any of them been more than just 'okay', I probably would have bought them).

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Vengeance Thoughts

Kind of an odd card. Nothing terrible, but nothing great, either. Not that giving us unexpected finishes is necessarily a bad thing, it's just that I'm puzzled as to how they'll book SummerSlam, only a month away.

Tajiri and Rhyno Vs. Cade and Coach was harmless enough as an unscheduled opener. One question: who exactly was Coach EXPECTING to face as Tajiri's partner? I mean, who else was left on the roster? I'm glad that this 'search for Rhyno's partner' storyline has received some closure, and that two former members of the ECW 'Network' stable (at least I think they were both in the stable...) can make a run at La Resistance.

Jericho Vs. Batista was okay, though the fact that Batista got the (tainted) victory kind of surprised me...

Eugene and Flair Vs. La Rez was hilarious, exactly what the doctor ordered. I even called the "Eugene walks a few feet than falls on his face" spot seconds before it happened -- if only the camera had properly captured the moment. Even though I was pulling for the Odd Couple to come out on top, I can appreciate that they desperately need some REAL tag teams in there.

Matt Hardy Vs. Kane made sense to me. Keep the storyline alive a bit longer. Sure, why not? Decent match-up.

Edge Vs. Randy Orton went far too long for my liking, although the final five minutes or so were tremendous. I figured Edge would come out on top, but winning the belt was kind of a surprise to me. I was thinking SummerSlam was going to be HHH Vs. Edge, with Edge being the challenger. Guess not. Also, Randy Orton was going for quite the streak as I-C Champion. Seems silly for him to reliquish it now...

Victoria Vs. Molly Holly. Uhhh, yeah...

Benoit Vs. HHH - the decision surprised me, to say the least. I thought Trips deserved the title now, and really, who else can Benoit face now? I'll say this about the reappearance of Eugene: I REALLY think it's time for the guy to be seen a little less, especially in the main event picture. Yes, I understand what they were going for here, but the comedy sideshow really felt out of place here. I mean, what's next? A Eugene biography? The DVD? An All-Eugene PPV? I like the character, I really do, but I think the time has come to start toning it down. I doubt they'll listen.

Well, I only went 2 for 5 in my predictions this time round, which has to be an all-time low (the Rhyno and Victoria matches weren't on the card as of press time). Hopefully, the rest of my Online Onslaught team fared a little better in our battle against WrestleLine.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Latest ITR

The old axiom posits that to Be the Man, You Gotta Beat the Man... but upon the release of "The Man" Ric Flair's auto-biography, it might be more fitting to say To Know the Man, You Gotta Read About the Man. And while I'm sure literally DOZENS will make use of the handy preceding link to plop down their money for Flair's book, the fact is that OO isn't here to make pennies off of Amazon referrals. And why would you pay for what we'll GIVE YOU for free?!? The Canadian Bulldog has put together quite possibly his finest "Inside the Ropes" yet: an exclusive, comprehensive, and fully illustrated Ric Flair Retrospective.

ITR (Online Onslaught)


Thursday, July 08, 2004

If I Can Be Serious For A Minute....

I don't know why, but I thought it would be funny to start e-mailing wrestlers with dumb questions (in full CB character), just to see if any of them would respond. My first victim is Lance Storm, who runs an EXCELLENT Q & A section on his website (if you haven't seen it before - seriously - it's worth checking out). Anyways, this is what I wrote:

Lance, it's the Canadian Bulldog here (don't pretend you don't know who I am!). My question for your Q & A column is this:

How come you stole the name "Q & A" from MY column, Inside The Ropes? We're both Canadian; why can't we think 100 % alike? You know?

Also, how come Vince MacMahon and Eric Bischov forced you to retire? Was it because (they think) you are boring?

Your # 1 fan EVER,

Canadian Bulldog

Now do I think Storm will actually respond? Probably not. But figured it was just the cost of a (virtual) stamp, so why not?

Any other wrestler e-mails you guys out there think may be worthwhile?

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Bulldog's Bimonthly Media Review

Here are some things that I've seen (or heard) over the past few days that I wanted to share a few thoughts on:

(1) Spider-Man 2
What a fantastic film! I wasn't a big fan of the first one (though I didn't dislike it, either), but 2 clearly blows 1 away.
Some fantastic storyline development that takes its cue from the first couple of Batman movies, plus some real conflict among the main characters.
My only question is... how are they going to play out SM3 knowing that he's run out of (real) villians to fight, and half the freaking world knows his secret identity now? Still, a minor complaint for a fun, enjoyable film.

(2) Fahrenheit 9/11
This was almost exactly what I figured it would be. Was it well-written, researched and entertaining? Absolutely. Did it teach me things about terrorism, the Bush family and the U.S. government I didn't already know? A few things, sure.
But my problem was that the film was anti-Republican as hell, which is fine if that's what you want to produce. But Moore is touting this film as "the truth", and it's just not complete.
Look, I'm not saying whether the U.S. should have or shouldn't have invaded Iraq; that's not a debate for me to have today. I'm saying that if you're talking about themes such as freedom of expression, then you need to support that by having ALL points of view heard, not just the convenient ones.
That said, I still enjoyed it overall. It did drag a little bit and roughly 2 hours.

The Cure - The Cure
I am a HUGE Cure fan, and have been since I first heard the Head on the Door album in 1985(ish). Their last few albums have been, uh, lacking, either because they're uninspired or just way too commercial (Friday I'm In Love. Nuff said.).
So this CD was a welcome surprise. While they don't "go back to their roots" or anything, Robert Smith & Co. busy out some original and powerful tunes. I especially enjoyed the hard, gritty "Us And Them" track. Of course, it will never be a single off the album, but that's fine by me. The Cure is one of those bands who gets ruined whenever they get too mainstream...


Friday, July 02, 2004

Latest ITR

There's a man we all know, who just happens to be a best selling author... and wouldn't you know it? The Canadian Bulldog has once again worked his magic to secure an EXCLUSIVE interview. Enjoy that, and also get obituaries, sonograms, and a whole lot more!

ITR (Online Onslaught)