eXTReMe Tracker Canadian BullBLOG: 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Play It Again, Sam

Last night was the final time I'll ever be inside the flagship Sam The Record Man store in downtown Toronto.

The store, a Toronto landmark if there ever was one, is closing its doors today for the final time after 46 years. The neon records that hang atop the storefront are as much a part of Toronto's history as the CN Tower or Eaton Centre, at least to me. I remember buying some of my first cassettes down there, and vividly recall lining up outside the store on many a boxing day to pick up deals. A friend of my father's routinely went on boxing day and purchased, quite literally, a year's worth of music in one fell swoop as part of a yearly routine. A few years back, I remember Sam's being the only place I could find Sesame Street cassettes (instead of CD's) for my son. In fact, he was just telling me yesterday how one of those cassettes broke just recently.

Hell, even today (well, up until today), stopping into Sam's was a regular part of my CD/DVD shopping trip whenever I'm in the Yonge and Dundas area (along with the flagship stores for Sunrise, HMV, and a store called BMV Books that sells used DVD's). It's sad in many ways that the Sam's era (and really, the non-chain music store era) is officially over in Toronto now.

What was the second-to-last day like in there? Well, it was packed with people, which would have been a great sign had only there been regularly-priced merchandise to move. Instead it was the remnants of the (fairly sizeable) store that were being sold at 50 percent off. CD's and cassettes that no one wanted in the first place, a random offering of DVD's that were (even at half off) pricey, and a dusty collection of old VHS tapes that made it look like someone's gigantic garage sale.

I had to buy SOMETHING there during my final trip, so I finally settled on four VHS tapes of cartoons for my son. Hell, the four of them set me back about $9 -- I only wish I could have found a replacement Sesame Street tape for him. Still, I'm glad I was able to give back something to a store that's meant so much to Torontonians for so long.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007


It's taken me two days to actually write this, and I'm still not sure I'm going to have a lot to say besides the glaringly obvious.

Chris Benoit, the wrestler, was fantastic, and I still maintain that there will be few better. Will I watch his matches ever again? Definitely. Will I think less of him each time I watch said matches? I have no idea.

As much as it saddens me that Chris Benoit is no longer with us, what's more maddening is what he did in his final hours. It's beyond my comprehension to understand what would lead someone to kill people, let alone your wife and child.

Hearing how he smothered to his son Daniel really hurt, in part because it is just such a fucked-up concept and in part because my own son is almost the same age. I saw my son last night, gave him a big hug, and just thanked my lucky stars that I have such a wonderful child. Not that the two events are in any way inter-related, I'm just saying this is what I've been going through.

And this is not to say Nancy's death isn't just as dreadful; it is. As "Woman", she was one of my first wrestling "crushes" way back when, along with Miss Elizabeth (how sad is that that both of them died so young?) and certainly she was a great manager and performer. Again, I have no idea how someone can do something like this.

Wrestling is no doubt going to be the target of this tragedy and its drug policies. Is that fair? I'm certainly not the one to say that it is or isn't, but in my opinion, I can't see how this situation should be on Vince McMahon's hands.

Even if their drug policy is a sham (debatable), how many other steroid junkies and abusive personalities are there/were there in WWE that never did anything this horrible? Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Randy Savage, The British Bulldogs -- all of these people have admitted to steroid use, and yet, I've never heard murder among any terrible things their "roid rage" may have triggered. I'm not saying their drug policies shouldn't be closely examined (there's no downside in giving it more scrutiny); I just wonder how you can blame steroids or pain pills on what is allegedly pre-meditated murder.

And to me, it all comes back to the wrestlers. They've lost yet another friend, another leader and, in the ring at least, champion. How many more tragedies are they going to have to endure?

R.I.P. Chris, Nancy and Daniel Benoit. Regardless of what I think of Chris, I still pray and hope they have peace in their lives.

(By the way, I wrote a separate piece on whether the media is sensationalizing this tragedy over the WWI message boards. Another reason to join up if you haven't already! And yes, I realize the irony in that last statement.)


Monday, June 25, 2007

I can't believe it....


I'll have more to say later. I'm just in shock. I can't believe it.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Vengeance Thoughts

I REALLY liked how everything tied into the common "Night of Champions" theme, and bringing in everyone from Rick Martel to Magnum T.A. was a nice touch. Strangely enough, WWE just put out its "Champions" magazine special and didn't see fit to plug it even once. Still, A for effort -- they're going to have do something every month to distinguish the tri-branded PPV's if they want support for them.

The Hardy Boyz vs. Cade and Murdoch was another in an excellent series between these guys, and while I imagine this was the last one (being that, you know, Matt doesn't even wrestle on Raw), I hope that's not the case. The theme of Matt and Jeff breaking the rules was a new twist on their matches, and it definitely worked. More and more, I'm starting to see Matt as the next Bret Hart (particularly in his match against William Regal the other week); he just needs the right opportunity now.

Chavo Guerrero vs. Jimmy Wang Yang was a nice little give-and-take contest. Nothing overly fancy, but it still worked, and JBL's excellent commentary really helped keep the bout in perspective. Although tying the WWE Cruiserweight title to Brian Pillman in WCW DOES seem like a bit of a stretch.

I missed the ring introductions for the ECW Title Match (popcorn run), so I missed exactly what happened with Benoit. You can imagine my disappointment when I saw Johnny Fucking Nitro in there instead. Still, hopefully the "personal issue" with Benoit isn't anything too serious. The match itself was pretty terrible; at least give me a heated contest, given how much Taz had put over the title beforehand. Or have Nitro cheat to win, giving him a bit of an edge until he loses the belt to Benoit. By the way, am I the only one who sees the irony in someone named "Nitro" holding the ECW title? Probably not.

Santino Morella vs. Umaga never really had any chance to develop, though you've got to love the fans cheering for Umaga to go back and squash the guy afterwards.

MVP vs. Ric Flair was perfectly acceptable, and for the record, I'm in the camp of letting Flair do his thing out there for as long as he's willing to. Even at his age, he's still capable of giving the rub to guys like MVP. No, it wasn't a terrific match, but it's still another match MVP can point to on his way up.

Deuce and Domino vs., as JBL called them, The Coffin Dodgers, was quite awful, but at least it was unexpected. I guess. And while I'm all for kayfabing certain things, even in this day and age, would it have really hurt anyone to acknowledge that you had, for the first time ever, father and son fighting each other on PPV? Offhand, I can't even think of another time that's happened (though it probably has). Still, Snuka can't even take a leapfrog anymore, maybe he should go back to the nursing home, brudda.

Edge vs. Batista was easily match of the night for me, and unlike their first two encounters, this one kept things really interesting. Particularly after Teddy Long re-started the match, you started to think Batista had a shot. The false finishes were great, and of course, Edge outsmarted Big Dave to keep his belt in the end. Earlier today, I'd predicted on The W message board that Flair would turn on Batista. Maybe it will be the other way around now? Just a thought....

Candice vs. Melina was the very definition of "meh". Neither of these ladies can touch what Trish (or even Mickie or Lita or Victoria) can do in the ring and it shows, even IF Candice has stepped up her game in recent months.

I was falling asleep towards the end of the Cena Squashes Everyone Else main event, not because it was boring, but because I was getting legitimately tired (I have no idea how I'm typing this now, in fact). Don't get wrong - I love Booker, Foley is one of my all-time faves, and Cena never seems to get his just due from people online. But they were really going through the motions here.

My biggest problem was that I'm once again wondering where they go from here. You could have Orton pin Foley instead, leading to an interesting SummerSlam program. Now, I'm not sure where they're going to go.

Overall, I went 7 for 9 tonight in my predictions (I picked Benoit to win the ECW Title and Orton to win the World title), so it wasn't like it was a shocking event, but could have used a little more enthusiasm.


Welcome to THE POUND!!!

That's right -- thanks to some political lobbying, pleading and a few um, sexual favors, I now have my very own forum at the World Wrestling Insanity message board. Check it out here (under "Canadian Bulldog's Pound") and if you haven't already joined the message board, I'd highly encourage you to. Should be a blast!


Friday, June 22, 2007

Latest "Breaking News"

WWE House Show Allegedly Features MegaPowers Reunion, Khali Ladder Match, Austin vs. Edge


Film Review (s) - "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Ocean's Thirteen"

(No, I didn't see these together, but I just realized now I forgot to critique "Ocean's" -- saw that one the other week)

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

I actually REALLY dug the first two films, so I left the theater this time utterly shocked at how bad this was. Honestly, I was really surprised how much the quality had dropped off by.

This was, essentially, two and a half hours of betrayals by the main characters. Tons of swerves. New allegiances that would be broken literally minutes later. And then more betrayals. None of it made much sense. This was the Vince Russo of Hollywood films.

Now... I now that "pirates turning on each other" was a key theme in the first two films. And that's fine, I don't have a problem with that. But in those cases, it was built up fairly well to the point where you'd say "Oh, wow, I can't believe he did that." In this installment, not so much.

At one point, I had fallen asleep (combination of being tired before I hit the theater, and complete boredom at how this was panning out) and awoke during a fairly anticipated scene -- I won't spoil it for anyone, I'll just say that it was the ONE thing I'd heard about this movie a good year ago. And even that development wasn't enough to get this film back on track. It was like "Oh, gee, another twist. What-ever."

I'd love to tell you here a little bit about what this movie was about, but damned if I know. Seriously! I could put little bits together, but most of it was over my head, plain and simple. That's fine if you're watching some fancy art-house film, but not for a fucking Disney movie, you know?

This is not to say that Johnny Depp wasn't great again in his role as Captain Jack. He was. The story just sucked ass, and did so for a good two and half hours.

I can't recommend avoiding this film enough, even if you DID like the first two. Honestly, I haven't seen a film in the theater this bad since probably "Envy" a couple of years ago. At least "Envy" wasn't a big-scale Hollywood blockbuster.

Ocean's Thirteen

Much like POTC, I enjoyed the first two installments of the Ocean's films. However, this one didn't tell a ridiculous story and kept fairly faithful to its predecessors.

The premise behind 13 is that financier Reuben (Elliot Gould) has been hospitalized after being screwed by rival Willie Bank (Al Pacino) and so Danny (George Clooney) and his gang exact revenge. The scheme isn't overly complicated (take note, POTC!) and you have to be impressed by how slickly everything comes together in the end.

I find it impressive that such a talented cast have stayed together (sans Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones this time) and Pacino mixes in nicely (that said, Ellen Barkin didn't do much for me as Bank's main crony). The only disadvantage is that some of the smaller characters don't get as much screen time this time around (Don Cheadle's Basher, for example), but it doesn't really take away that much from the presentation.

Was this the best film in the trilogy? Probably not - maybe it was even the weakest of the three, simply because you walked into this one knowing what Ocean's team is capable of pulling off. And yet, I'd take this any day over a certain other movie that I've covered off here....


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Latest "Breaking News"

Law & Order To Base Episode On McMahon Incident


Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Earlier today, I recorded a new song on my audio show "Complete and Utter Bulldog" (see Club WWI for full details). Here, then, are the lyrics to my tribute to Mr. McMahon:

Goodbye, Vinnie Mac
Though I never knew you at all
I had your DVD
And LJN wrestling doll

Watched you on the shows
When you'd, shout out with glee
How anything can happen, in

And it seems to me like you lived your life,
Like an asshole in the wind
Never caring 'bout your workers
Once they got pinned

And I wanted to work for you
But you never did!
You went and hired Viscera
And Crush and Sycho Sid

Goodbye, Vinnie Mac
Your ideas they always hit the mark
At least till "Austin"
Then they kind of jumped the shark

You screwed up "Katie Vick"
And then, "Billy and Chuck"
It led us to believe
That you didn't give a fuck

And it seems to be like you lived your life
Like an asshole in the wind
Never caring 'bout your workers
Once they got pinned

And I wanted to work for you
But you never did!
Instead you hired Viscera
And Crush and Sycho Sid

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Friday, June 15, 2007

R.I.P. Sensational Sherri


Wow, kind of puts the whole "Vince dies" thing in perspective, doesn't it? Hopefully, they won't sacrifice a proper tribute to Sherri next week simply because it conflicts with the ficticious tribute they'll no doubt be doing for Vince.

Anyways... I saw a shoot interview tape featuring Sherri about two years ago (thanks to kind of a trade I did with Derek Burgan), and her perspective on the business was quite interesting; even her rough times didn't come across as being her all that bitter. In several biographies (Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair), I've read about how she was an exceptional worker and in many ways a pioneer for the current crop of "WWE Divas". Even as a manager, she was infinitely more interesting at ringside than, say, Mr. Fuji.

And then on top of that, you had her honored a year, year and a half ago at the Hall of Fame ceremonies, and she seemed so happy to be there and a part of the business once again.

49 is so young to go; condolences to her entire family.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007


After the events of last night, I had no choice but to publish this very special editorial. My "Breaking News" column scheduled for this week may or may not follow. I'm not sure. What's important is that SOMEONE in the so-called "wrestling media" tackled this important issue:

Vince Didn't Screw Vince; YOU Screwed Vince


Monday, June 11, 2007

Best Raw Ever, Worst Ending Ever

Sorry to double up on the "EVER"s, but it was appropriate here.

Honestly, this had to be the best Raw in recent memory, if not of all time (the ECW-WCW double-turn one comes pretty damn close, though, in my eyes, as does the first Austin vs. McMahon match). You had a number of really good matches (Edge-Cena and Carlito-Punk stealing the show, though), you had a decent battle royale that wasn't overly telegraphed, you had every match meaning something, you had some interesting trades (though Raw, predictably, made out like the proverbial bandit), you had SHNITSKY getting over, of all people, you had the prerecorded comments from Jesse Ventura, Bobby Heenan, Steve Austin and BRET FUCKING HART (how long is it till he return to PPV now?), you had the live comments from Mick Foley and Rowdy Roddy Piper, you had Krystal.... I mean, what wasn't to love?

Oh, that's right, the ending of the show. Is that a Sopranos tie-in or something (I haven't watched or heard about the final episode, but everyone was saying today it sucked major ass)? Are they actually writing off Mr. McMahon? Or will he end up unscathed in a few months time?

Anyways, it was a dumb, dumb ending, but didn't really affect my love for this show.


Friday, June 08, 2007

DVD Review - "The Most Powerful Families In Wrestling"

WWE has done some incredible things with its insanely huge wrestling video library. This unfortunately, isn't one of them.

Don't get me wrong -- I wasn't expecting this to be of the same quality of some of their biographies (think the ones on Benoit, McMahon, Piper, Road Warriors, Piper, etc.), but I was expecting more than recycled clips from other DVD's, which is what 60 to 70 % of this seemed to be. Not cool.

Speaking of which, Carlito may have been the worst possible host for this thing. Sure, he's a second-generation wrestler and a popular guy, but could not make this thing interesting. He was clearly reading lines from a script, which doesn't suit his character at all. Oddly enough, the section on him and his father has some more candid interviews with Carlito and that part works fine.

Basically, the concept is that they look at wrestling families and what made them important. The usual WWE DVD crew (Eric Bischoff, Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, Road Warrior Animal, Brooklyn Brawler, Mean Gene, Gerry Brisco, etc.) comment at various points. The one thing I like is that they use clips from Chris Jericho, Lance Storm, Rikishi, and of all people, Christian, and identify them as "former WWE superstars". Weird.

Some of the families have an important history in wrestling (think the Harts, the Funks, the Ortons, the Anoai's, the Von Erichs, the Guerreros, the Rougeaus, and yes, even the McMahons), but when you get to the Snuka family (Jimmy and his son, Deuce of Deuce and Domino fame) and the Lawlers (Jerry and Brian Christopher), you know they're kind of stretching for material.

One part that IS kind of interesting is how they out "fake" families in wrestling, including the Koloffs, the Bushwhackers, the Andersons, Edge & Christian, etc. Nice that they can poke fun at themselves.

The match selection is marginal at best, and to be perfectly honest, I haven't even watched the entire way through. There really aren't a lot of matches I hadn't either seen before or was all that interesting in seeing. Why not Bret vs. Owen Hart, or something that was at least a highly-regarded match, instead of the Hart Family vs. Shawn Michaels' Knights, which sucked ass?

Overall, I can't really recommend this, and its honestly one of the more disappointing showings in recent memory.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Latest TWS

The True Wrestling Story Of Jake "The Snake" Roberts


Monday, June 04, 2007

May FitnessBlog

In May, I worked out a total of.... 19 times. Not my best performance so far this year, but when I consider that two of these were 2K runs in my running class, it probably all evens out.