Saturday, August 27, 2011

DVD Review: Greatest Superstars of the 21st Century

I apologize in advance for the spoilers!

On a water-logged night (thanks to Hurricane Irene), I had the pleasure of watchine WWE Home Video's Greatest Superstars of the 21st Century.  Overall, I give this video a five star rating.  Personally, this was one of the most anticipated home videos of the year (followed by the Randy Savage DVD). I can honestly say that I pre judged this video going in.  I thought it would just pay homage to the superstars we already know (Stone Cole, The Rock, HHH, etc.), and further push over the budding stars (Cena), and totally leave out prominent names who may have left the company for "greener" pastures.  However, I felt the WWE did a good job of including some of the superstars who made an impact other than the obvious ones.   The video highlights 20 superstars who stood out and had an impact in and out of the ring.  Without ruiing the video too much for those of you who have not watched it yet, I would like to mention some of the Superstars who stood out and I was glad they recognized:

KURT ANGLE:  What can you say about "The Wrestling Machine"?  I did not think they would include Kurt because of the circumstances behind his departure and the fact he is a prominent TNA personality.  Angle's run in WWE was epic.  Some of his best stuff was when he was paired with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt angle at Wrestlemania 22 is still one of the best Wrestlemania matches ever. Seeing him age Ric Flairishly on TNA is hurting me. Kurt has one of the lengthier segments on the video.  (Damn, I miss Team ECK)

CHRIS JERICHO:  Chris is one of my all time favorite wrestlers.  He is the first superstar profiled on the video.  He had to be included because of the timing of his WWE debut (2000) to usher in the new millennium of WWE...literally.  Eric Bischoff and WCW totally slept on this guy in the 90's.  So happy he got his due.

BOOKER T:  I'm glad he's included because I doubted WWE would consider him one of the top 20 of the 21st Century.   But, fans like us...we have always known.  Sorry for doubting you, WWE. 

EDGE:  Hands down a top performer of the 21st century.  'Nuff said!

EDDIE GUERRO:  Seeing Eddie's segment really brought back a lot of good memories.  I was a fan of his when he was in WCW, and seeing old Radicalz footage gave me goosebumps.  Long live Latino Heat!

WWE DIVAS:  Trish stratus and Lita set the bar high.  Mickie James and Victoria got NO love!  This segment had a very pleasant Melina commentary...miss her...and an Alicia Fox commentary as well...sigh...

The video is highly enjoyable.  It brought back a plethora of memories of great WWE bits and story lines (EVOLUTION) and some great promos (The Rock).  I highly suggest scooping this one up or watch it on Netflix.

Some Superstars left out:  Goldberg, Chris Benoit, RVD, Mick Foley (maybe he's too 90's), Mickie James, The Dudleys... 

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Time at SummerSlam Weekend

Greetings ladies and gents!  Allow me to introduce you to myself...I mean...allow myself to introduce myself to (aw, crap, you know what I mean).  My name is Brian Beckwith aka B. Skillz (my former radio name).  You can call me B. Skillz (b_skillz on twitter).  I was invited by my new BFF to blog here on Wrestle Axxess.  Let me tell you, I'm EXTREMELY excited to be doing this.  I look forward to interacting with fellow wrestling fans and aficionados.  I am also truly excited about the Wrestle Axxess website; coming to an IP address near you.  As for what I want to bring to the table; I will provide mostly commentary and have topic questions.  If you're lucky, I'll rant.

Anyway, if you don't mind, I'd like to tell you a lil' about me.  I'm a writer, sports fan, and long time wrestling fan (over 26 years).  I'm a big time NY JETS, and NY KNICKS fan, but I am a fan of all sports, and I think I watch at least 15hrs of ESPN daily (sad, but true).  And let me tell you, I'm not a MARK.  I'm a fan, but at this stage in the game, I am a fan of the business, the behind the scenes goings on, style, technique, and story.  Ok, wait...I think I mis-spoke...I think all fans are part mark.  I totally get geeked up for live events and even more excited when I meet the wrestling superstars.  But, here's what I won't do...embarrass myself (well, except for that whole Kaitlyn incident, but I digress).

This past weekend, I had the greatest experience when I attended SummerSlam.  The whole weekend was incredible.  I must say, the WWE knows how to treat its fans.  As usual, the wrestlers themselves were very nice and laid back.  As far as the PPV is concerned it was one of the best I've seen in years.   all of the matches were excellent.  Surprisingly, I was really impressed with the Divas match more than anything (that is no disrespect to the Divas at all).  Here's why I was impressed:  I marveled at the skill of both women , Beth Phoenix and Kelly Kelly.  I took notice of Beth Phoenix in particular.  You never hear anyone refer to any Diva as a "ring General"; but, let me tell you, Beth Phoenix is.  I noticed how she talked Kelly Kelly through the match, taking control of the action and made sure the moves were being executed.  What she did was put her hand over her mouth and communicated, kinda like a quarterback.  The end result, great match!

Favorite Superstar I met:  Ezekiel Jackson  

Favorite Superstar moment:  See Danny's blog (damn you, Drew McIntyre)

New Favorite WWE Diva: Naomi

Mark Moment: When I screamed like a little girl and nearly broke a dude's shoulder when Big Sexy walked through the crowd next to me. (shame)

Before I go, I would like to say that, yes, I know Naomi is in FCW, but I do believe I have found my answer to Trish Stratus.  Also, I do believe that CM Punk is the hottest thing going right now.  What do you think?  I do believe that he has elevated his game to where he belongs as a main event mainstay.

Anyway, please feel free to provide some feed back, and to make some suggestions on things you wish to discuss.  Until next time, don't be a stranger and stay away from danger.

Follow me on Twitter @b_skillz

Saturday, August 20, 2011

08/20/11 WWE Power Rankings


1. CM Punk
-Hey, he may have lost the title, but Raw was still centered around him. Wrestling is still revolving around Punk.

2. Randy Orton
-Coming off a huge win and an amazing match at Summerslam, how could you not?

3. John Cena
-John closed the show in typical John Cena fashion....Outshining the opposition.

4. Alberto Del Rio
-Here is the WWE Champ finally! He cashed in after Nash cashed out. But you already knew that!

5. Mark Henry
-Mark has been on a tear lately taking out the biggest Superstars, and we are scared for anyone in his path!

6. Sheamus
-The one man to give Henry a run for his money lately, but a ringside barricade derailed Sheamus at Summer Slam.

7. Christian
-While he went in to Summer Slam the champion, he not only lost, but Orton put a hurting on him that kept him off of Smackdown this week as well!

8. Cody Rhodes
-The newly crowned Intercontinental Champion has not only beaten Big Zeke once, but defended it successfully also.

9. Kelly Kelly
-She pulled off an incredible upset at Summer Slam defeating Beth Phoenix...She was the champion going in!

10. Wade Barrett
-The bare knuckle brawler has beaten Mr. MITB, Daniel Bryan in 2 consecutive matches, gotta count for something.

11. The Miz
-He asked, he received, and he lost his match at Summer Slam.

12. Daniel Bryan
-It has been a tough week for the Money in The Bank holder on Smackdown falling 2 times to Wade Barrett.

13. Beth Phoenix
-Beth will be relentless until she becomes the new Divas champion and takes out Kelly Kelly.

14. Alex Riley
-Well, he was pretty high up on the list, but Vicki managed to drop him down a few spots with her interference costing him the match against Swagger.

15. John Morrison
-JoMo still a little in Slow Mo after neck surgery, but picks up an impressive win over R-Truth on Raw.

16. R-Truth
- Truth and Little Jimmy have both fallen after a rough week of losses.

17. Rey Mysterio
-Rey fought a war with Del Rio on Raw, but lost, and then got his butt kicked afterwards.

18. Kofi Kingston
-Kofi and Evan Bourne have formed a very fun high flying tag team and knocked off the Champs!

19. Natalya
-The other member of DOD put up a losing effort on Smackdown this week as well.

20. Justin Gabriel
-If you read WWE Magazine this month, you were expecting the performance he put on for us on Smackdown, and what a great one it was!

Well folks that rounds out our Top 20 for this week, stay tuned next week and see who is in the line up!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WWE Summer Slam Axxess 2011 Experience

Summer Slam Axxess at LA Live in Los Angeles, CA
So I had the privilege of going to WWE's Summer Slam over the past weekend in Los Angeles, California. I must say, the atmosphere was incredible, it even beat out Wrestlemania's Axxess. Perhaps it was because it was outdoors so it felt more free, the wrestlers all seemed to be in a lot better moods than they were in Atlanta. Maybe LA has that effect on people, I really don't know.

Our morning started really early on Friday as my girlfriend and I woke up about 4am to get ready and head to the airport in route to Houston, TX and then on to The City of Angels. WWE put us up in the Wilshire Grand hotel as part of their travel package, and the hotel was awesome! We met a real cool guy named Brian, who is also a screenwriter, you guys should definitely check him out @b_skillz on Twitter. Anyway, first day we did all the tourist type of stuff that didn't have anything to do with wrestling except for the fact that if we happened to arrive a day early we would have had the chance to meet CM Punk at Hot Topic.

Day 2 starts early in the morning as we get to have a private autograph session with Christian and Alberto Del Rio in the Ballroom of the Wilshire Grand. Besides Christian looking like he had a few too many drinks the night before, it was really cool, both guys were extremely nice and cordial allowing pictures and multiple autographs. Christian even let you hold his belt! Following that session we attended the first Summerslam Axxess at 11am PST. The weather was tremendous, if you live in California, please message me on Twitter @FanaticCEO and let me know if it is like that year round because it was incredible.

Ok, back on track now. 

The Bellas were at the first table for autographs and I'm fairly certain that they had the longest line of both sessions that day, so needless to say, they do their job very well because lots of people wanted to meet them. We stopped with Kofi Kingston and got a picture, got some autographs from Beth Phoenix, Alicia Fox, Ezekial Jackson. We got a Q&A session from then WWE Champion CM Punk which is also on our UStream Channel located HERE! I apologize for the low quality as I had my 4G service turned off to save my phones battery. My bad, I know for next time now. The Roster for WWE 12 was also revealed, and you could play the game at the tent they had set up for it on either Xbox 360 or PS3, and I must say, this game is GREAT!

The second session in my opinion was a lot better as the lines were a heck of a lot shorter to make it through photo and autograph booths. Again everyone that was there signing and taking pictures was so nice and just seemed like that were happy to be there. We made it through every single autograph table and photo booth in the 4 hours that the session ran and also got to catch some of Alberto Del Rios Q&A in the ring. By this point I was completely fried (as in sun burnt) since there was no humidity out in California, I didn't notice. I am used to being in Florida where you sweat your ass off just thinking about going outside in the summer.

Roxy and Big Zeke....That's a lot of teeth
This last part I am going to comment on wasn't part of Axxess itself but it started 30 mins prior to the last Axxess session on Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm PST. This was the Pre-Event Hospitality Party that the WWE included for the first time, or atleast I am assuming it was the first time since there were focus groups asking us questions all the time if we enjoyed certain aspects of it. First of all we got a fully catered buffet from the WWE. Like high end stuff too, prime rib, scallops, sea bass, it was delicious. Now I knew that were we going to get to meet the wrestlers and stuff, but I wasn't sure how personal it would be.

So, I am sitting at the table with my girlfriend, Roxy and Brian, as I take a bite of my prime rib I get a hand on my shoulder and hear "oh wow, what ya eating?" and turn around to see it's Ted DiBiase Jr, and yes I almost pissed myself. There were so many wrestlers just hanging out and mingling with us it was indescribable and this really made the trip a lone. Little did we know that Summer Slam would be the amazing show that it was, but if it was a stinker this party was insane. Matt Striker put his arm around Roxy and told me that she isn't my girlfriend anymore and hung out and talked with us about how we were enjoying LA and stuff. Drew McIntyre was probably my favorite out of them all simply because of this picture below of Brian's WWE Championship Belt that he bought.

Drew McIntyre's Signature
Yep, that's right. He signed the name plate and then did this.
Brian with Drew McIntyre and his title....Who's title though?

Me with Drew McIntyre

 If you are ever contemplating on attending a WWE event, they sure treat their fans like royalty, just make sure you buy your tickets from WWE when they go on sale, otherwise you are going to get completely ripped off buying them from a third party.

Well, it's now Wednesday morning and I am still in shock and awe from my experience in Los Angeles, so I am going to have to leave it at that.

@FanaticCEO - my Personal Twitter

Monday, August 8, 2011

Raw 08-08-11: The Final Build Up for Summerslam

Well, usually the WWE does this to us and gives us a pretty lackluster episode of Raw trying to tie up loose ends to feuds heading into a PPV, and they didn't steer away from their typical direction.

The show opened with Triple H talking. Is anyone else already getting tired of him being the figure head and being on TV week in and week out? He gives himself some plugs about how he is casting the shadow over the WWE because he is the new man in charge. Hunter has inserted himself into the WWE Championship as he is now the special guest referee.

John Cena and Jack Swagger have the first match of the night. Welcome Jack Swagger, this is an actual match! I am not sure if he forgot what that was like since he has been demoted to doing absolutely nothing on Monday Night Raw since he was Michael Cole's whipping boy leading up into Wrestlemania.

Not much energy in the crowd tonight, not sure if it was a result from a slowly running show or what. CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio put on a decent match, it was kind of rushed and you already knew Punk was going to pick up the victory heading into the Main Event of Summerslam this Sunday. R-Truth and John Morrison had a match that was a very short one as well.

Eve Torres wrestled another match in slow motion, this time making Beth Phoenix look bad. Beth wins and cuts a little promo about how the Divas division will change and then Kelly Kelly comes down looking like the girl from the trailer park trying to be attractive and hits Beth with the belt in the back of the head.

Once again CM Punk cuts a great promo during the beginning of the contract signing. Punk takes some more personal shots at Triple H and then shows a video of The Rock going off on John Cena, calling him a "transvestite Wonder Woman" Good lord, The Rock destroyed John Cena with that video. Let me repeat that, The Rock DESTROYED John Cena in that video. CM Punk continues right where The Rock left off with his video, and then he goes off on The Rock as well. Cena interrupts him and gets booed out of the building.

I will attach a video to this because I really can't describe CM Punk's promo anymore, it was another speechless moment, and if he keeps this up he really will be the next Stone Cold Steve Austin.

The entire ending of the show with the contract signing segment was amazing and made the entire show for me. While the rest of it didn't do a whole lot as far as entertainment is concerned but the end of the show was absolutely tremendous and I haven't seen a build up this big since The Rock and Stone Cold days.

Looking forward to Summerslam, for those who will be there I will see you there! For those who aren't I will have exclusive photos, videos and blogs about the weekends festivities!

Adios for now my friends!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

WWE's Recent Releases

Here we take a look at the recent releases that the WWE has made to their roster and give some insight.

Chris Masters

The masterpiece doesn't really come as a shock as the WWE in my opinion has never really used him correctly. Especially the 2nd time around. He came back and was fresh and very much improved, and they turned him into an amusement park with his pectoral muscle dancing gimmick. Chris Masters is the guy that Vince has been known to love for many years, he is big and extremely cut up as far as muscles go. He was very green during his first run in 2005, however he was in the Main Event at New Years Revolution in the Elimination Chamber, after that he kind of fell flat, was released and then brough back. I can see TNA using him appropriately as they have done with Matt Morgan. He could be a big asset to the company, while he won't be the face of it he could be a very solid uppercard tier wrestler. Atleast Chris is very optimistic about his release and is looking forward to moving on to see what lies in the future.

Gail Kim

Well, she wasn't released, she quit. Quite a big difference. However, I strongly believe that the WWE only brought her back for one reason and one reason only. To get her out of TNA. Gail Kim had amazing matches and was always receiving credit for being one of the top women's wrestlers in the world, let alone just the Knockout division. I was very hopeful that WWE would have rolled with Gail Kim and Kharma reviving their feud from TNA, however Kharma's pregnancy put that on hold, and now with her no longer being with the WWE it is completely nixed. Gail even eliminated herself during last weeks Diva Battle Royal to see if anyone noticed, and she was right. They didn't. I could see her going back to TNA as she has said on her Twitter account that "she doesn't need their money and that she is free" referencing WWE. I could see her going back to be a Knockout as she loved her time there and just wanted to get a little more money and was probably told she would be used correctly. Gail could get a job in any wrestling promotion she really wants to as she has that much talent and ability.


Well this is a hit or miss as far as surprises go. Rumor's have been swirling since Wrestlemania and all of the backstage drama between her, John Morrison and Trish Stratus. I really don't know if any other company would be interested in picking her up because, while she is talented she is constantly in hot water with management, that could just be because of the people she was working with. Who am I to say? Melina is a very solid wrestler and has great charisma, however she is going about her release completely wrong especially with her social networking accounts on Twitter and Facebook. I again could see TNA picking up her only because of name recognition, however they picked up the Hardys for name recognition and they haven't really panned out for them and have been viewed more in a negative light. While Melina doesn't have any drug related problems like they do, her backstage attitude is viewed negatively, and for a company whose backstage morale isn't that high with TNA, I am not sure if they would take the chance.

DH Smith

Not shocked one bit. Unfortunately, I was a huge fan of his father, but when he is consistantly compared to him he was never able to break out of that shadow. He has a great look and good in ring ability, however the writing was on the wall for him as soon as they broke up the Hart Dynasty. He has stated that he is going to Japan, so hopefully he can have an MVP like success over there as I believe he can be a stand out star as well.

Valdimir Kozlov

I have been hoping and praying for this man to be released for quite some time. Not because I don't like him, but because this guy deserves a lot better than being another comedic act in the WWE. Did I really have to witness him in a dance off when I was at Raw in Miami in June of 2010? This is the same guy that was unbeatable when he debuted, he even beat Triple H! Kozlov was on the posted for No Way Out in 2009 as well! He was in the hunt to wrestle Undertaker at Wrestlemania 25. I'm glad that Shawn Michaels wrestled him and gave us one of the best matches I have ever laid eyes on, however my point is. This guy was receiving a Goldberg like push. Granted he is limited in the ring, he didn't need to be anything other a big monster and a bully like he was. Valdimir in my eyes and in terms of character took the same path that they put Kane on. Although his was a lot quicker to the demise of his gimmick. He doesn't really seem to fit into TNA, as they are done with signing every single released person from WWE he probably won't end up there. Perhaps he could go to Japan, but even his MMA skills have been made into such a mockery that I hate to say it, but his career as a wrestler may very well be done.

Hopefully I won't be doing anymore of these, but stay tuned and we will keep you guys updated!

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