November 8, 2010
Fearless honesty dominates Kendrick & London shoot DVD
By MARSHALL WARD - SLAM! Wrestling
"The sun is not actually hot," Kendrick shares a nugget of wisdom, opening his first of many beers that he and London consume over the four-hour long shoot. "It's photons interacting with the matter," he tells London, listening intently. "The sun is f------ cold!"
Traveling through time and space with London and Kendrick is indeed an adventure, and one of the most well crafted shoot interview DVDs released by Highspots.com. The use of greenscreen for an assortment of images behind London and Kendrick throughout the shoot is innovative makes for some great comedy, despite London's face getting repeatedly cut off every time he turns his head.
But these minor flaws, along with the distracting sound of clinking beer bottles at the feet of London and Kendrick can be overlooked as they share intriguing insight into the inner workings of every promotion they worked for -- from top independent promotions to WWE -- delivered with fearless honesty.
On the subject of Vince McMahon: "I'll be happy when he's dead," says London. "When he dies there will be rainbows with Lucky Charms falling all over the place.
"He doesn't have a very good grasp on his audience. He's very closed-minded. He's just another f------ guy," says London shaking his head. "I just think it's really disgusting how people would lay down and give up all their power to this guy who just seems like a rotten person -- just a nasty human being."
Kendrick, though not as malicious, has no regrets getting fired from WWE: "I don't want to spend another day in WWE -- not for any amount of money," says Kendrick. "I'm glad it's done. I'd rather work at Home Depot."
And if watching two wrestlers burn every bridge in WWE is your idea of entertainment, then it only gets better as London and Kendrick share in great detail their disgust for politicking, while mocking everyone from Shane and Stephanie McMahon to Triple H and The Undertaker.
On the subject of the Undertaker being burned in the pyro accident earlier this year at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view: "How awesome was that!" exclaimed Kendrick, nearly spitting out a mouthful of beer. Kendrick leaps out of his chair to comically mimic the Undertaker's trench coat catching on fire. "I was in heaven, man!"
A strange story follows about an Australian tour where the Undertaker held something called 'Wrestler's Court' in a hotel lobby to supposedly discipline one of the Divas. "Undertaker acted as Judge Judy at four in the morning," London recalls as Kendrick bursts out laughing.
London adds, "I'm not a fan of people who put 'Deadman' on their license plate. I'm not a fan of people who wear their own merchandise."
Clearly though, London and Kendrick are fans of each other as they put one another over throughout the shoot. Bringing up a match that London had against Jeff Hardy in Mexico, Kendrick beams with wide-eyed enthusiasm, "That match was f------ incredible! It was amazing! That match was f------ unreal!"
They also give plenty of credit to those they admire, like Jeff Hardy: "He's got some kind of magic," says Kendrick. London concurs, "Definitely a cool f------ guy."
On the subject of Matt Hardy, Kendrick and London don't see eye-to-eye, which makes for an intriguing discussion between two friends as they share their different experiences. "I love 'em! They're awesome!" says Kendrick of Hardy. London on the other hand shares a lengthy story of bad blood and miscommunication between him and Hardy, over romantic relations with Ashley Massaro. "Such a foul person," London says of Matt Hardy, who he once admired.
Never are London and Kendrick more berating than when they bring up Deuce, who they refer to as 'Douche' and agree, "is the worst wrestler ever." "What a c--ksucker!" says London. Kendrick chimes in, "This motherf----- wouldn't bump. He's a f------ piece of s---, living off the laurels of his dad (Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka)."
"Whoah! My dad's a hooker killer," London quips.
They spare no words for Joey Mercury either when asked about MNM. "He's a piece of s---," says Kendrick, matter-of-factly. "Nitro was cool, super nice guy but he's got no spine. He lets other guys bang his girlfriend," says Kendrick as an images of Melina and Batista comes up on the screen behind them.
"Joey was bangin' Alexis Laree (Mickie James)," Kendrick adds as pornographic images of a younger Mickie James fill the screen. "Who hasn't seen those pictures!" London says with a laugh.
Highlights of the interview include London and Kendrick shedding light on their journey through various promotions, including Zero One. "I love those goofy g----!" says Kendrick of his experiences in Japan. "They like rape! They smoke on buses with the windows up."
Stories involving Japanese women, and condoms that don't fit, follows as London shares personal insight: "They don't shave their pubes out there," says London, going into far more detail than necessary.
Juxtaposed with lengthy tales of international tours are brief segments where London and Kendrick opine on such topics as lasagne, horror movies, discontinued breakfast cereals, urinating on the band Air Supply, condemned criminals being used as lab rats, and outer space. "The moon is a space station. It's hollow," says Kendrick, showing London a copy of the book, Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA.
The interviewer consistently does a solid job getting them back on the topic of wrestling, time and again, as Kendrick and London drink two six-packs between them while sharing a joint. Revisiting their time in WWE multiple times throughout the shoot, London comes across as more bitter than Kendrick. "Dreams ruined," says London of his time in WWE. Kendrick adds, "I'm not going to say it's an evil company. It just wasn't the right place for me."
London explains that his, "introduction to the ass kissing bulls---" began when he arrived in the developmental territory, OVW. "If you brought (Rip Rogers) a protein energy bar you could sit out of training that day," says London, his face full of confused expression. "What kind of faggots are you training here?"
Kendrick shares his experiences in developmental as well, though praising the work and mentorship of Tracey Smothers, William Regal, and Bobby Eaton.
In great detail, London and Kendrick speak about the challenges they faced in WWE, from the moment they toured the head office building. Kendrick vividly remembers asking Shane McMahon about the role tag teams play in WWE: "Not since L.O.D. have I cared about a f------ tag team," Kendrick repeats what Shane McMahon told him.
Kendrick adds, "It's a TV show, and that's it. There's a list of 15 wrestlers that the company revolves around, and we're not part of the main cast."
"It's a vampire of a company," London responds.
And though Kendrick and London recognize they fulfilled their dreams, making it to the top and winning tag team championships, they both express their frustrations with the political games that topically weave a thread through the entire shoot.
One name after another is brought up as the interview begins to wind down, as London and Kendrick sing high praises for some of the top stars in WWE, while lambasting others, including writers and agents. "Mike Rotundo lied to our face. He's a coward," says London.
But it's during the segment, where the interviewer asks about Chris Benoit, that Kendrick seems almost complacent: "S--- happens," says Kendrick, referring to the Benoit family tragedy. "I really hope I don't kill my wife -- but s--- happens, man."
London follows with a story about Benoit and some sexually perverse behaviour in a Hooters restaurant late one night. "We knew he was crazy," says London of Benoit. "We used to say he was tri-polar."
Kendrick adds, "We looked up to him professionally." London: "I think the business drove him nuts."
In closing, London and Kendrick agreed they'd be nuts to ever return to WWE. "A gazillion dollars is our price," says Kendrick, whose last run in WWE was in the heel role of The Brian Kendrick.
A few more popular names are thrown at them by the interviewer as Kendrick declares, "Santino (Marella) is the funniest motherf----- on the planet!"
As Kendrick and London polish off the last two beers, the interviewer asks them to sum up their experiences in wrestling.
Ending just a strangely as the whole adventure began, Kendrick launches into conspiracy theories around 9/11, and how, "it was a work." London takes one last swig of beer and listens to his best friend. "Man, it was f------ holograms," states Kendrick. "Thanks for asking!"
And with that, Kendrick and London conclude four hours of jaw-dropping tales and insight on everything from the psychology of ladder matches to lasagne recipes to a day in the life of a WWE superstar.
Outrageously entertaining, Highspots delivers an honest and enlightening shoot interview like no other, and the first for Brian Kendrick and Paul London. Let's hope there's more to come of this dynamic duo's excellent adventures.
Marshall Ward is a visual artist and weekly columnist with the Waterloo Chronicle. Email is welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.