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WWE discs tough to review
By TJ MADIGAN -- Calgary Sun


Any writer will tell you it's more fun to type up a negative review than a positive one.

Maybe it's a cynical journalist thing. Maybe it's just human nature. Whatever the reason, it's easier to articulate how miserable a movie, book or sports event is than to comb through a thesaurus and find enough synonyms for 'really good' to fill a 700 word column.

This leads to the problem with reviewing WWE DVDs. They're generally good. Really good. Some even fall into 'awesome' territory. Which makes watching them an absolute pleasure but leaves reviewing them feeling a bit like participating in an infomercial.

So bear with me as I talk through the latest releases from WWE's DVD division, starting with Wrestlemania 21, the three-disc set centered around WWE's Super Bowl-esque event from last month.

The pay-per-view itself was a phenomenal show, which means the DVD release was likely to be a classic, even before the bonus features were tagged on.

The marquee matches were a bit of a downer, as both Triple H and John Layfield showed they had absolutely no clue how to make their opponents over as stars but the rest of the card was definitely worth writing home about.

Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels and the Money In The Bank ladder match are worth the price of the disc alone and there were fun segments with Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin to really make the disc a must-have.

Extra features include the Wrestlemania movie trailers, blooper reels and the full Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Viva Las Divas is a totally different kind animal. In many ways, the DVD is exactly what you'd expect -- hot girls in bikinis writhing around on the beach, supplemented by personality pieces to give the illusion the feature is more than just soft-core entertainment for teenage boys who haven't progressed to Playboy yet.

But I'll be darned if the magic doesn't work, just a little. Some of the wrestlers -- Trish Stratus, Victoria and Jackie Gayda, in particular -- come off as talented, intelligent women who just happen to be extremely beautiful. And nearly naked.

Of course, most the remaining divas come off as ditzy bimbos with big boobs and a single brain cell between them, so I guess there's something for everyone.

The real gem on this disc is hidden deep in the bonus features, a spoof of the infamous Monday Night Football skit with Terrell Owens and Desperate Housewives star Nicolette Sheridan, which sparked a tempest in a teacup at ABC last year. The WWE version features Vince McMahon, Trish Stratus and Shelton Benjamin hamming it up like never before.

Finally, there's One Million Dollar Tough Enough, the DVD that follows the mini-reality series that made Daniel Puder a WWE superstar.

Daniel who, you ask?

That should give you an idea of the great a job WWE bosses did of promoting Puder after the show, not to mention the creative license they take with their liberal use of the term superstar.

But for 15 minutes or so, Puder's name was a buzz word in wrestling circles and this DVD chronicles his rise to almost-stardom.

Other WWE DVDs worth watching include The Rise and Fall of ECW, The Eddie Guerrero Story and Chris Benoit: Hard Knocks.


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