Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Madness Behind the Mania

The Good
A panel discussion about the first WrestleMania featuring the controversial Iron Sheik, the intense Paul Orndorff, the laid back Bob Orton Jr., John Cena Sr. and a "historian" called Jackyl. Our host is Dan Morrati who is very personable and quite knowledgeable, so he generally does a good job. There is some time introducing the three stars' backgrounds, which is fine. The meat of this is talking about the national expansion, the strategies Vince McMahon used, the role of Hulk Hogan and a match-by-match breakdown of the card. This did have some great insight from all parties and a few funny exchanges as well. Mr. Wonderful mentioning to Sheik that he couldn't whoop anybody because he has two hip replacements was pretty comical. I also was curious to hear something different from Sheik on Brian Blair because Orndorff was perhaps his best friend in the business, but not much came of that segment. Overall, this was an okay product.

The Bad
The Iron Sheik returns to the place that helped him launch a new career - "Maloney Wrestling Federation!" This outfit does some decent shoot interviews and this panel discussion is alright. You know what you're getting with the Sheik, although he was on his best behavior, so perhaps he will disappoint some fans here. Orndorff and Orton are very good, but the panel format limits them rather than helps them. John Cena Sr. is briefly there and is about half in promo-delivering mode, so that's a negative. This "historian" Jackyl is alright, but does not push the discussion. Panels are best when you get the panelist to feed off one another and that does not really happen. They go around and answer questions and that's that.

The Rating: ***1/2

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