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  February 4, 1999



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Ventura video lacks substance
By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM! Wrestling


Ventura I think Jesse's best quality is his straight-forwardness, saying what he thinks, believing what he thinks and his ability to get along with people. - former wrestler, commentator and WWF President, Gorilla Monsoon.

Well, I was managing wrestlers here for Vince McMahon Sr. and lo and behold...I met this f-----g goof, Jesse Ventura. - "Classy" Freddie Blassie, former WWF manager.

Who would have thunk that a man who once wore a feather boa, dyed his hair more colours than the rainbow and body slammed people for a living would one day be the Governor of Minnesota? Come to think of it, it's no great shock. Hell, an actor who starred opposite a monkey in Bedtime For Bonzo became President of the United States for gosh sakes.

And you thought the world of professional wrestling was nutty, huh?

Capitalizing on Governor Jesse Ventura's stunning win in last year's primaries, the World Wrestling Federation has dug deep into their vaults and produced 'Jesse "The Body" Ventura, The Mouth. The Myth. The Legend.', another offering in their new line of specially-priced home videos. Clocking in at 45-plus minutes, the cassette barely scratches the surface of Ventura's career as a flamboyant, powerhouse wrestler in the squared circle and as an acid-tongued commentator.

Any long-time wrestling fan will notice that the gaps in The Body's life story on the tape are large enough to fly Air Force One through. His days as a Navy SEAL are glossed over. There's no mention of his movie career (Predator, The Running Man), his jump to Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling or his broadcasting work thereafter. The Body's election victory is discussed in detail but curiously there's no footage of the campaign itself. A still shot of a Time Magazine cover is the closest we come to seeing Jesse in all his political glory .

An installment of A&E's Biographies this is not.

Fans in search of Ventura's greatest matches to add to their own collection better look elsewhere. Though the WWF has enough video at their disposal to issue a Ventura boxed set, there isn't one complete bell-to-bell bout on the entire tape just snippets edited into slick music video packages. Other than a slap-dash interview segment, viewers aren't informed about the pivotal moment in Ventura's career, his teaming with Adrian Adonis as the notorious East-West Connection tag team. That critical omission alone illustrates the thoughtlessness that went into this video's production.

So, there's no in-depth biographical information and no matches. What's left to watch? Enlightening shoot commentary by Gorilla Monsoon and "Classy" Freddie Blassie as each discusses their thoughts on Ventura, the man. Monsoon has a positive view of Ventura describing him as honorable, genuine and loyal. Blassie - Ventura's former WWF manager - characterizes the Minnesota governor as a pain in the keester to work and an arrogant son of a gun. This clash of perspectives is intriguing.

In comparison to the WWF's insightful Three Faces Of Foley release, 'Jesse "The Body" Ventura, The Mouth. The Myth. The Legend' falls short of its true potential. Flashbacks of Jesse's rock video shot in the eighties and the conclusion of his arm wrestling match against Ivan "Polish Power" Putski are good for a few cheap laughs though.

"Jesse "The Body" Ventura, The Mouth. The Myth. The Legend.' is available in stores February 23rd.


Multimedia

  • Clip From "Jesse "The Body" Ventura, The Mouth. The Myth. The Legend.': Ventura clobbers Ivan Putski during their arm wrestling competition. - (2 MB).

    More on Jesse Ventura




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