eXTReMe Tracker Canadian BullBLOG: 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004

Friday, November 26, 2004

Latest ITR

Some Kind of Monster

Maybe you thought Canadian Bulldog was joking around last week about Cookie Monster's wrestling career. Maybe you think you know everything there is to know about the Sesame Street denizen. "He's blue, he likes cookies, he'd never wrestle. At least, not for TNA." Well, guess again, Pedro! Although you'd be right in guessing that a star of CMon's stature doesn't belong in TNA (in fact, he's already walked out on the company after only one show), the truth is that there is whole lot more to the Blue One's history in pro wrestling. Bulldog covers his entire 30-year career in an ItR Special Edition, "Cheating Death, Stealing Cookies: the Cookie Monster Story."

ITR (Online Onslaught)
ITR (The W)

Video Game Idea

I was thinking of this one while playing SmackDown vs Raw last night (now that I've unlocked a lot of the stuff, I'm getting a bit more comfortable with the game and its capabilities). WWE has the chance to sabotage the entire Legends of Wrestling game series in-house, and come up with a game that could have a great cult following. They apparently are able to use most of their old names in toys, DVD's and even some of their games. So here's what I'm thinking:

WWE Saturday Night's Main Event

The idea being stars from the 80's - 90's era where the company had some of its first mainstream success.

Roster (I just picked 32 wrestlers; unsure if that's how many are on the current game)

Hulk Hogan
Ultimate Warrior
Macho Man Randy Savage (although... that one may be tricky)
Andre the Giant
Ravishing Rick Rude
Junkyard Dog
King Kong Bundy
Big John Studd
Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff
Superfly Jimmy Snuka
Rowdy Roddy Piper
Cowboy Bob Orton
The Honky Tonk Man
Jake The Snake Roberts
Ricky The Dragon Steamboat
Big Boss Man
Brutus The Barber Beefcake
Magnificent Muraco
Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
Iron Sheik
Nikolai Volkoff
Hillbilly Jim
Koko B. Ware
George The Animal Steele
The Hart Foundation (Bret Hitman Hart and Jim The Anvil Neidhart)
The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty)
The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid)
Demolition (Smash and Crush - for legal reasons)

Current Wrestlers (instead of the six legends they have on each game now)

Triple H
The Undertaker
Randy Orton
John Cena
Chris Benoit
Eddie Guerrero


Saturday Night's Main Event
Superstars of Wrestling
Prime Time Wrestling
WrestleMania (Three, ideally)
Survivor Series
Royal Rumble


Vince McMahon
Jesse Ventura (if he's available to do some voiceover work)
Mean Gene Okerlund (for backstage interviews)

I'm not sure if they could get away with using the block WWF logo, but even if they use the block-style WWE one that John Cena has on his shirts, who cares? The storylines and matches could remain somewhat similar (although the old big blue style steel cage would be sweet).

Any thoughts?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Useless Link(s) of the Day

Have you ever rented a DVD and thought "Wow, the only thing that would have made that film better would be if cartoon rabbits re-enacted the whole thing in under thirty seconds?" If so, have I got some links for you:

The Shining
Freddy vs Jason


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Useless Link of the Day

Automatic complaint letter generator


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I am pathetic....

You know, when I add it all up, World Wrestling Entertainment (and wrestling in general) really does eat up quite a bit of the ol' Bulldog's paycheck. To wit, some recent purchases (all figures in Canadian dollars):

SmackDown vs Raw videogame $70
Adam Copeland on Edge book $30
Scott Keith book $25
Survivor Series (now, normally I don't pay for PPV's, but I had to this month) $15
Ticket for Toronto Raw taping in January (VERY good seats, mind you) $75

Fact that I didn't absolutely LOVE any of these items Priceless

For useless purchases, there's cash, and for everything else, there's Vince McMahon.

Useless Link of the Day



Monday, November 22, 2004

Useless Link of the Day

Really bored? Try http://www.mirimgs.com/webcam/paint.html
Then if you're still awake: http://www.sudftw.com/paintcam.htm


Book Review - Adam Copeland on Edge

I was quite excited to read this book for several reasons. First, Edge studied radio broadcasting at the same college where I studied journalism (and, in fact, once he began appearing on WWF TV, I recognized him instantly from wandering the hallways), so it was as close to a "local boy makes good" story as I was going to get. I also remember when he won the Toronto Star contest for free wrestling lessons at Ron Hutchison's gym. Second, I felt his book would be different in that he hasn't lived through the lengthy careers that Lawler, Flair and Foley had at the time of their stories. Plus, Adam Copeland is roughly my age and grew up in (roughly) the same area of the world, so that was a bonus.

The good points: As an author, Copeland doesn't fall into that annoying habit some wrestling books have of explaining every minor detail from scratch. In other words, you really have to have been following wrestling since, say, 1998, to appreciate many of his antecdotes. He says early on that he hopes the book can be enjoyed by wrestling fans and non-wrestling fans alike. Well, if I wasn't a wrestling fan, I'd probably walk away from this book underwhelmed, but that certainly wasn't a problem for me, personally.

Edge's storytelling style is fun. While not a Foley level of humor, he manages to poke some fun at himself, the business and some of his colleagues while rarely offending anyone. Whereas Flair's book was often quite negative, you get the opposite feeling after reading Edge's book. Not that either style isn't effective; its just different.

In fact, Edge's positive outlook is really something that fuels the whole book. He has a tremendous, warm relationship with his family and his friends, particularly his mother, and used it throughout his life to offset near-poverty and tough times. This shines through in his prose.

And like Foley, Edge wrote the book himself, which deserves a lot of credit. He could have just as easily dictated his life story into a tape recorder, but chose instead to make it a hands-on project. Full credit for that.

Now the negative aspects: For one, I don't like the book's habit of having large, pull-out quotes on virtually every page. I mean, there are some quotes you can bring attention to, but there certainly wasn't enough here to warrant a pull-out quote on every single page!

Secondly, there's just far too much detail on some of Edge's lesser-known work between 2001-2003. You have to be a pretty loyal Edgehead to want to know intimate details on his mini-feud with Chris Jericho on SmackDown, for example. It's almost if he's saying "I had a program with this guy, then this guy, then I tagged up with him, then I fought another guy..." although he puts it far more eloquently.

I don't know -- I'd almost rather he had used the tried-and-true WWE writing method of quotes from other wrestlers (Christian, Foley, Angle, whomever) if he needed to fill space. I do realize that unlike Flair, Lawler, etc., he doesn't have as much material to work with; I just wish there would have been a better way to get to 250-odd pages.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it, if you like Edge and wrestling in general. Not the best wrestling bio out there (Foley still rules that universe), but it's not a bad read, either.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

To whom it may concern....

....you know who you are. Thank you VERY MUCH for the e-mail last night. It's given me what I think will be an AWESOME idea for this week's ITR.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Latest ITR

Just in time for the Holiday Season, we've got an Exclusive Insider Look at the slew of hot new wrestling merchandise that you'll all be putting on your Xmas lists! The Canadian Bulldog has the full reports on stuff like the new WWE RAW vs. SD! videogame (including how you can pull off some secret finishing moves!), the new ECW DVD, and of course, lots of details about Edge's brand new auto-biography. And if you think that's enough column for this week, well, YOU'RE WRONG! Bulldog ALSO takes a look at the recent TNA/WWE flare-up (including a huge new hire by TNA) and has lots, lots more in the very latest edition of Inside the Ropes.

ITR (Online Onslaught)
ITR (The W)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Book Review - Wrong Way: The Fall of Conrad Black

Okay, okay, I know that for the most part, most people reading this may not find this type of book their cup of tea. But I found it fascinating and thought I'd share.

Conrad Black, for those of you who don't know, was the Canadian born press baron who later became a member of the U.K. House of Lords and is currently under SEC investigation. This book basically follows the last two to three years of his career, the pitfalls he endured, and some of his more controversial plans to save face.

It's amazing that, in this day and age, someone can act (allegedly) as arrogant as Black while running a publicly-traded company and still attract major investors. Yet he did, and the charm he displays in wooing these bigwigs is nothing short of remarkable.

What I like particularly like about this book is how the authors capture the drama and boardroom politics in a way that you won't see following this story in the daily papers. You also get after-the-fact comments from some of the key players in the company's internal investigation.

Is this book for everyone? Well, no. But if you're a fan of intriguing tales about corporate America (or corporate Canada, for that matter), this one's for you. An excellent read.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Survivor Series Thoughts

I was surprisingly pleased with the way this one turned out. Even though I didn't predict the right matches, doesn't mean it wasn't the right series of decisions. And I do applaud where they're going in a lot of these directions:

Spike Dudley vs Chavo Guerrero Vs. Billy Kidman vs Rey Mysterio

This was fantastic. All four guys worked their asses off, not that I suspected anything less. Anyways, remarkably good choice for an opener.

Shelton Benjamin Vs. Christian

Add Christian to the list of guys who have gone out of their way to make Benjamin look fantastic. Not that Benjamin didn't shine on his own; but Christian going all-out made the whole match even better. For once, I agree with JR that something HUGE is in the cards for Shelton Benjamin.

Team Guerrero Vs. Team Angle

Cena was remarkably over here, and I liked how they advanced the Carlito issue without having the two of them actually face off again. Having Show, etc. come out on top was certainly the right way to go here.

Undertaker Vs. Heidenreich

Surprisingly good, and it kept my interest, unlike most of Taker's recent matches. Heidenreich is not only good at playing his character, but he also held his own in the match. Not great or anything, but better than I thought it would be.

Trish Stratus Vs. Lita

I like the way this played out. They allowed Lita to (finally) get her revenge, while still keeping the feud alive. And call me crazy, but I think the gimmick of Stone Cold Lita might just work going forward, if they do it right. Trish, of course, was hilarious in selling the nose.

Booker T Vs. JBL

Ok, here's the one decision I disagree with. Why on earth are they so AGAINST giving Booker the belt? It would have been the right decision here, even with the whole "JBL quitting" stipulation. I mean, he could have wormed his way out of the pledge, saying Booker cheated or something, or even gone on to Raw. I'm not saying I dislike JBL, or even JBL as champion (to a degree), but enough is enough here.


Again, I would have been happier had Triple H won in the end, but it doesn't really matter. A fantastic bout from beginning to end, with everyone doing a great job at keeping things exciting.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

SmackDown Vs. Raw: Initial Thoughts

To be perfectly fair, I've only been playing this game for a couple of hours, so my opinion may certainly change. But so far, I'm seriously underwhelmed.

The graphics seem to be a slight improvement over Here Comes The Pain, with the audience looking far more realistic. Still, the wrestlers seem to be slightly more cartoonish than in the last version of the game, if that makes sense. Some of the characters (Booker T and Big Show, for example) look tremendously accurate, while others (Shawn Michaels and Roddy Piper come to mind) are more cartoonish-looking than before. There also seems to be less competitors than before (insert your own roster cuts joke here), and I'm SHOCKED that there's no Eugene. I mean, he certainly was around when this game was being created. I mean... they have Randy Orton's lame-ass Maven ripoff theme song, which debuted after SummerSlam... why not Eugene as a playable character?

The season mode, or what I've seen of it so far, is intriguing. So far (as Big Show) I've stolen Torrie Wilson away from Rene Dupree (and apparently slept with her); defeated Booker T for the U.S. title, and am now feuding with The Undertaker. So on that front, it's better than previous storyline modes. Oh, and got to unlock Bret Hart, which was a bonus.

I am not a huge fan of the commentaries (JR and Lawler or Cole and Tazz), just because I know it's going to get repetitive after a while. But thankfully you can turn that off. And as a warning, the Royal Rumble takes FOREVER to complete.

I guess my main beef so far is that it doesn't seem like there any huge improvements over HCTP or previous generations. Maybe that will change with time (for example, I haven't started to create anyone yet, which is where I've spent most of my time in the past). But so far I'm not thrilled or anything...

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Latest ITR

World Wrestling Entertainment has sure been busy the past few weeks. They've fired practically half their roster, and fans are left wondering "Why?" in many cases. And don't buy that "cost cutting move" BS that some websites are reporting. From Nidia's Dress Code Violations to the Flamboyant Gayness of Rico and Pat Patterson, there were Perfectly Good Reasons why everybody got axed. And how does Steve Austin figure in? Well, I figure I'll let the Canadian Bulldog explain that for you. He's got the full REVIEW of the recent random firings, not to mention a PREVIEW of Sunday's Survivor Series (and MORE!) in Inside the Ropes.

Inside The Ropes (Online Onslaught)
Inside The Ropes (The W)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Useless Link of the Day

Staring contest.


Monday, November 08, 2004

Disgusting Soft Drinks (Part 2)

Last month, I questioned who in their right mind, would want to drink cinnamon and spice Pepsi. But today, the Jones Soda Co.'s announcement makes the Pepsi one seem downright normal:

SEATTLE--(CCNMatthews - Nov 8, 2004) -

Jones Soda Co. (the "Company" or "Jones Soda" or"Jones") (OTC:JSDA) (TSX VENTURE:JSD), announces today its limitededition holiday pack of five new seasonal flavors which includes: Green BeanCasserole Soda, Mashed Potato & Butter Soda, Fruitcake Soda, Cranberry Sodaand Turkey & Gravy Soda.

"Our holiday pack takes the work, worries and cost out of preparing a turkey dinner, so our consumers can spend more time with their loved ones. Weeven included utensils," says Peter van Stolk, President & C.E.O."We realized consumers are concerned about the 2,000 calories that eachfull holiday meal contains. That's why we made our sodas zero calories andzero carbs. Now, you can enjoy all the mashed potatoes and butter without worrying about the carbs."

Uh.... I'll stick with water, thanks.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Rejected DVD's

Gotta give a ton of credit here to OO's own Angstboy for coming up with this hilarious feature. A must read!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Latest ITR

It's an OOld School Thursday! This week, the Canadian Bulldog pulls a Classic Column out of his archives, one from July of 2001. It was an exhilarating time to be a wrestling fan... Shane McMahon had purchased WCW, and was set to lead it against his dad's WWF. And that was just ONE of the many Can't Miss, Surefire Prospects fans were waiting to enjoy! There's no way the WWF could screw up the inVasion! And don't even get me started on how totally MONEY the XFL is gonna be! You won't believe how amazingly prescient the Canadian Bulldog is in an Inside the Ropes Retro Edition.

ITR (Online Onslaught)
ITR (The W)

The roster cuts

So nine people in three days has to be a record, but I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing.

Let's just examine for a second how many people have quit, been fired or finished their WWE contracts during 2004 (so far):

- Stone Cold Steve Austin
- Bill Goldberg
- Brock Lesnar
- Ultimo Dragon
- Terri Runnels
- Ernest Miller
- Sean O' Haire
- Billy Gunn
- Test
- Kanyon
- Jacquelyn
- Jazz
- A-Train
- Bryan Kendrick
- Zack Gowen
- Johnny Stamboli
- Chuck Palumbo
- Rodney Mack
- Nidia
- Rikishi
- Pat Patterson
- Sable
- Jamie Noble
- Ron Simmons
- Goldust
- Scott Steiner
- Sakoda
- Chavo Classic
- Gail Kim

I count 29 people, many of which were significant inasmuch as they had at least some TV time devoted to them this year. World Wrestling Entertainment Corp. had about $78 million in expenses last year (the fiscal year that ended April 30), compared with taking in $375 million in revenue. Not that that's a horrible ratio or anything, but the cuts will definitely help them going forward, especially if the outlook for this business is as bleak as it seems.

Are there people there who I would have liked to see on the roster? Absolutely, although most of them left on their own accord or didn't re-sign with the company, and would have been used in either limited or non-wrestling roles anyways. Keep the cash reserves available for guys who are actually wrestling full-time so that they have more incentive to do their best. Not to mention that if WWE wanted to scour the indies and TNA and pick up the top two dozen wrestlers for television purposes, they could do that now with little regard for how it would affect costs. I'd rather see them go after people with a future in the business.

And the beauty of this all is? Let's say they decide that firing Gail Kim or Jamie Noble or WHOMEVER was the worst mistake they've ever made? You think they'll have much of a problem picking them up a year from now? With very few exceptions, I seriously doubt it.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Pondering something...

A close friend suggested to me recently that I should create some sort of book with all my Letters From A Nut (though the name would obviously have to change...), and I'm seriously starting to think about the logistics of it.

Obviously, I'm not talking about shopping it to a publisher or anything (again, legally that wouldn't be a fun process), but more a self-published job, which would actually be fairly cheap to compose. And I'd probably just market it through my wildly successful merchandise store.

Really, it would be more an investment in time, because I'd want to make sure everything is complete and reads well -- I've got roughly 200 letters, and I figure only 40 or so have been published at OO. Now, I am planning to do another one or two LFAN columns by year end (talk about planning ahead!), but that would still leave tons of unpublished/unanswered letters, plus the ones that have been published and some follow-up responses. If I were to warrant a guess, there's got to be at least 75 typewritten pages of material.

That said -- would there be any interest in a product like this? Should I even bother? Any advice? I defer the matter to YOU, the four or five people who read this blog...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Wrestling's One-Ring Circus

I picked this book up over the weekend, thus marking the first (and apparently only, based on recent events) time I've ever purchased something with Test on the front cover. I wanted to give a mini-review of the book here, given that I haven't seen many out there yet, and that I think Scott Keith gets ragged on, unfairly, by a lot of people .

First -- understand that I do enjoy reading Scott's rants, and that's kind of an important disclaimer here. Do I agree with every last thing he says? Of course not; but hopefully none of you out there allow someone else to decide what you think of something anyways. It's one person's view, and it doesn't make yours any more or less valid. So sure, sometimes I will completely disagree with his thoughts on a match or card, but c'est la vie.

As I said, though, that's an important thing to note because if you really detest his rants in the first place, this probably isn't the book for you. However, if you appreciate his style of match reviews, the healthy cynicism and humor, then it's definitely worth a look.

This is NOT one those books that tries to explain wrestling to you as though you've never watched it before; I like that fact a lot. It saves time and energy presuming that I already know things like "Hey, wait a minute, Vince McMahon really runs the company?" and such.

The story starts pretty much where his last book left off, at the beginning of 2001, and runs until the end of last year (or thereabouts). While that's not nearly as comprehensive as Tonight... In This Very Ring, it does actually cover a lot of ground. Those three years were such a terrible time for the business, that I'd forgotten a good chunk of storylines from that era (either that or the memory-loss is kicking in early). For example, he gets into the InVasion angle, nWo, Hulkamania '02, Austin quitting, Billy and Chuck's wedding, Raw X, HHH gaining power, the return of Shawn Michaels, Eric Bischoff, HLA, wrestlers dropping like flies, etc. Scott analyzes what went wrong, the logic behind the mistakes and what the company could have done to improve on its product.

(In hindsight, WWE has come a lot further this year than people give them credit for. Triple H has loosened his hold over the belt, albeit temporarily; the company has put other people than the usual crowd in the main event, even if we don't like all of their choices; and they've dropped a lot of the SHOCK antics that they were trying to get over just a couple of short years ago. Reading a book like this really helps to put it in perspective.)

A major criticism from the first book was that it was too dependent on republished match reviews. That situation is rectified this time; the reviews are certainly still there, but there's far more original analysis in between them. There aren't a ton of factoids I hadn't already read on the Internet at some point or another, but there's a nice compilation nonetheless.

The only thing I wasn't crazy about in the book was the photography. While I can appreciate that you have to have graphics in a book like this (and I can't imagine WWE folks were willing to pose for portraits, given the topic), the photos look like something I could have snapped myself at a house show. No offense meant to the photographer at all - it's just that the photos take away from the book's overall image. At the same time, I'm not sure what anyone could have done to improve that.

Overall, I would recommend the book -- provided, as I said, you like Scott's writing style and can handle some debate about the product. It's a fun nostalgia piece (even though it's odd to think of last year as "nostalgia") and will be worth looking back at a few years from now to see if Vince McMahon will repeat many of the mistakes he made from 2001-03.

Spoiler Alert: He will.


Monday, November 01, 2004

FMW note

I've reviewed two FMW DVD's for OO and here on my own site. One constant in both reviews was the criticism of the two American announcers, and in particular, the awful, juvenile comments they had when calling matches.

Yesterday, I heard from John Watanabe, the less offensive of the two FMW commentators, and pointed out to me that in the first series of DVD's, there were Hollywood scriptwriters telling them what to say. So THAT explains it.

Anyways, John encouraged me to give their second set of discs a try, in which he teams up with LAW's Dan Lovranski. So I will, one day down the road, as I do have a second series DVD somewhere in my to-do list.

Just wanted to point the Hollywood thing out...