Sunday, 21 April 2013

Book Review: The Hardcore Truth - The Bob Holly Story

Book Review: The Hardcore Truth – The Bob Holly Story

American wrestler Bob Holly first popped up on your reviewers radar when he one of the company's mid-card stars and your reviewer was a mere fan with mere dreams of having his own wrestling column (we both have come a long way since then). Holly back then was one of the WWE (then WWF's) newest stars, he was then portraying a character called Thurman 'Sparky' Plugg and to a degree was living the dream, as this car racing incarnation somewhat echoed his own life.

Plugg soon became a thing of the past and Holly went through various in-ring persona's. Some worked better than others, but to his credit Bob still went out there each night and performed to the best of his ability. It was his rejuvenation as a hardcore brawler that saw him finally find career fulfilment and main even wrestling honours.

I first encountered Holly's co-writer Ross Williams a few years back when I was working on piece on Ireland's most famous wrestler Dave 'Fit' Finlay. Williams was a wonderful person to work with back then and we have since became good friends. However whilst I knew of his career in business, acting and as a wrestler, I was quite excited to hear he was embarking on one as a writer too.

So now a few years down the line I am very proud to be one of a few select UK reviewers to be able to critique this fine look at the life of Bob Holly, written by Bob Howard (aka Bob Holly) and of course Ross Williams.

'The Hardcore Truth' is a very well told account of how a hard-working man from Califronia was able to overcome the odds in one of the worlds biggest wrestling organisations and come out of it relatively unscathed.

Howard's early wrestling career was a tough one. He worked hard and kept his head down, as most young grapplers do and he still encountered much politics.

What is refreshing here is that unlike many wrestler biographies this is a book that does not dwell on any bad times. Here we get a warts and all take on Holly's life in the WWE and beyond and it is a wonderfully entertaining and informative one.

The backstage tales of wrestles egos, tantrums, storyline madness and much more make this a book no serious wrestling fan can be without.

I don't want to ruin your reading pleasure, but lets just say that this is one of those rare things, it is a book you cannot put down when you start reading.

Williams and Holly/Howard have worked very closely here. Their images of life in the WWE are unbelievable and yet we now know they are true. The quotes and stories are superbly told too. This is a unique look at the life and career of someone who gave 16 years of his life to an organisation and whilst he found found fame and fortune, he was still left adrift by them.

Bob Holly will always be the hardcore wrestler I remember him as. He was always entertaining, gave his all and most of all he believed in what he did.

I for one would love to see Bob find a place in some wrestling organisations backstage team someday soon. He would be a wonderful trainer/backstage producer. I also wish Ross all the best in his future writing career too.

The Hardcore Truth – The Bob Holly Story, is available from ECW Press now.

By Phil Allely

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

DVD Review: TNA – Turning Point 2012

DVD Review: TNA – Turning Point 2012

TNA's Turning Point DVD was another fine offering from the company. We have already reviewed the live PPV, but now you can own this show on DVD too.

Turning Point 2012 saw the Aces & Eights storyline picking up speed and it also presented us with a number of above par match-ups. Jeff Hardy versus Austin Aries for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship was a riveting and intense brawl. It was also fought under 'Ladder Match' rules.

Devon's battle with Kurt Angle was reasonable and of course helped move the Aces along too. Yes Kurt should be slowing down, but he can still move when he wants to. Devon still has a lot to offer TNA too.

The number 1 contender encounter (for a shot at the World Title) gave Bobby Roode, AJ Styles and James Storm the chance to hog the limelight and showcase their style, talents and adaptability.

Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez were on fine form in their match against Kazarian and Daniels. As far as Tag Team Title matches go this was well above our expectations. Chavo and Hernandez especially looked well as a unit.

Elsewhere Joseph Park took on D.O.C. Rob Van Dam defended his X Division Championship, Tara and Jessie fended off the mighty combo of ODB and Eric Young in a fun mixed tag scrap, and Samoa Joe faced his former tag team partner, with his TV belt at stake.

On the extras front we get the Before The Bell Turning Point special, music video and some post-match interviews.

TNA: Turning Point is available now. On two disc DVD.

RRP £14.99
By Phil Allely

Sunday, 14 April 2013

WWE DVD Review: Royal Rumble 2013

The Royal Rumble has always been a highlight of the WWE's Pay-Per-View calendar. The main event featuring 30 wrestlers battling it out for a shot at main eventing WrestleMania that year, has always been a piece of must-see grapple action. This year the company began the 'Road to WrestleMania' with not only a top notch Rumble encounter, but a highly anticipated and exciting WWE Championship Title match too.

That match saw WWE legend The Rock return to the fold once again. This time he had the intention of dethroning the companies longest (modern era) reigning champ CM Punk. This match is worth the price of the disc alone. Punk and Rock gelled well and once again the Hollywood movie star proved that he can indeed still kick it in the squared circle. The result is of course well-known by now, but the match is a hugely enjoyable affair all round.

The Rumble saw some excellent encounters. There were a few nostalgic appearances by former stars and some innovative and edge-of-the-seat action. Kofi Kingston pulled off yet another innovative return to the ring as well.

The rest of the card saw Alberto Del Rio defend his World Title against Big Show in a highly rated Last Man Standing match-up. Team Hell No battle Team Rhodes Scholars for the WWE Tag Team gold and Antonio Cesaro in a United States Title defence, facing The Miz.

Royal Rumble 2013 was a very impressive show. The main event and Rumble itself both sowed the seeds for what the 2013 WrestelMania card may feature. The matches here were for the main above par and everyone involved seemed to have their work boots on. Rock especially deserves credit for pulling off yet another top notch bout. His years of acting and non-wrestling do not seem to have slowed him down a bit.

It is always good to see a former wrestler return to the ring in as good a condition as he was when he left. We are often presented with beaten down former legends and we can never really believe they can pull of a title win. Rock is of course a very different story.

Alberto Del Rio and Big Show's scrap was memorable too. Show and ADR certainly seem to work well together.

The rest of the card delivered as well. We highly recommend this new WWE release.

Royal Rumble 2013 is available now on DVD.
RRP £17.99 (DVD, £19.99 (Blu-ray).
By Phil Allely

TNA Live Show Review: One Night Only - X-travaganza

TNA Live Show Review: One Night Only - X-travaganza

TNA kicked off their new set of one-night-only special events by showcasing the much-lamented and missed stars of their famed X Division. Stars old and new joined in the action and for the most part the show impressed us here at Sun Sport.
When Impact Wrestling announced that they would be reducing their Pay-Per-View output to four a year many thought it would be a wise move. This decision could after all help storylines develop and make the remaining events all the more special. To fill in the gaps the company explained they would hold a number of themed one-off PPV's.
The aptly title X-travagana was a fun show that perfectly highlighted the fast-paced division we all know and love. There may have been a few blips here and there, but for the main this was a peek into one of TNA's early success stories. The always dazzling X Division.

The event also highlighted some of the divisions best moments, craziest moves, top matches and a gave look at the always inventive Ultimate X Match. This was a wonderful introduction for newer fans and a welcome glimpse into the past for more loyal fans.

One pet peeve for many (myself included) was the lack of a six-sided ring. That would have been the icing on the cake here.

The Main Event saw former X Division Champ Samoa Joe take on more recent title holder Austin Aries and was the perfect way to round proceedings off. Seeing big man Joe on form and matching the lighter Aries move for move was inspiring stuff. The ending where Aries reversed a 'Muscle Buster' into a roll-up did seem a bit flat though.

Elsewhere Christian Yorke won the slightly confusing Xscape match. If you take away the convoluted rules this was an exciting encounter that showcased the fast-paced style and skill set we all remember the 'X' stars for. York outlasted the risk-taking collection of Matt Bentley, Alex Silva, Lance Dorado, Sam Shaw, Puma and Jimmy Rave.

The Ultimate X battle featured Kenny King, Rubix, Zema Ion and Mason Andrews. It may have been a slow-burner, but when it got going this was a veritable feast of high spots and risky moves. King picked up the win in a nice twist on the finish, snatching the X out of someone else hands before he hit the floor.

Bad Influence took on Petey Williams & Sonjay Dutt in a tag team match that had its high points, but never fully lived up to its expectations. The returning Dutt and Williams were paired up nicely and blended well with the more polished combo of Daniels and Kazarian.  Both teams hit some nice double team moves and nailed some near falls.
 The unpopular win went to Daniels/Kaz, however Williams got some revenge for his team by nailing a very nice looking post match Canadian Destroyer.

The Kid kash/Doug Williams Vs Anthony Nese & Rashad Cameron tag match seemd to be merely a time filler and never really caught fans attention.  It went a bit too long and had no real build up either. The talents of Williams/Kash seemed wasted here.

Rob Van Dam had one of his last TNA matches, taking on former foe Jerry Lynn in Lynn’s final match (as part of his retirement tour). The pace was slow and sluggish throughout and failed to catch fire. The nostalgia aspect did work in parts, Van Dam picked up the win and the locker room came out to give Lynn a proper send off. This was a pale shadow of some of the classics the pair have had over the years.

The Chavo Guerrero and Robbie E match was a pretty throwaway affair that underutilised Guererro and also featured Joseph Park as referee.

One Night Only – Xtravaganza was a successful show that certainly hit more than it missed. It could have easily been cut down to a two hour show though (removing the dull matches). The six-sided ring would have added t the nostalgia factor too.  It was nice to see some old faces back in the company too. Roll on the next themed One Night Only show.
BY Phil Allely

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Mickie James to release new single - Somebody's Gonna Pay

AOL “The Boot” to debut Mickie James’ new video,
Somebody’s Gonna Pay”
TNA Impact Wrestling star’s cameo-studded new video, showcases her take-no-prisoners new single.
What should music fans expect when Mickie James’ new video, “Somebody’s Gonna Pay,” debuts at AOL music site The Boot? Let’s just say they’ll find the ending . . . smashing. The video will be available at

The music video, directed by Blake Judd and featuring Mickie's fellow wrestling personalities Trish Stratus and Nick Aldis(TNA Wrestling’s Magnus), is for the debut single from her upcoming self-titled album on eOne Music.
The single can currently be found at iTunes:

This is my first video, so it was wonderful to have so many of my friends join me in front of the camera,” said James. “And the fact that Trish and Nick took time out of their schedules to take part in it made it something very special.”

I wanted to create a video that would really showcase this song for my fans – and Blake did a brilliant job helping me bring that to life,” James added.

Mickie and I have connected with audiences all over the world with our performances in the wresting ring, so it was an honour to be able to connect with her once again for this music video,” said Stratus.
I have no doubt Mickie's fans will feel the same passion and magnetic energy she delivers in this video that they have felt for years from her in-ring performances."

I had a blast making the video for 'Somebody's Gonna Pay' - it has everything that Mickie brings to her music: passion, femininity and some serious attitude,” said Aldis.

Get ready to be singing this song all day because it's seriously catchy!"

The Jamie Hartford-penned song – a hard-hitting country rocker - is now available at iTunes.

The album Somebody’s Gonna Pay is scheduled for release on May 7.

With the release of the single “Somebody’s Gonna Pay,” Mickie James is creating a new path for herself.

An entertainer and athlete since childhood, the TNA Impact Wrestling superstar - a multi-time world champion - has spent the last decade as part of some of the biggest pro wrestling organizations in the world. And now, she’s taking that same drive, desire and talent to the music world.

"There are ton of parallels as far as your confidence and your ability to be able to tell a story, both within wrestling and within music," said the performer.

"With wrestling, you're running on raw passion and adrenaline. With music, your emotions are more present and your heart goes more into it.

With her down-home charm and high-intensity performances, the Virginia native has connected with crowds all over the world, both through television/live events in the ring, and with recent performances opening for artists such as Gretchen Wilson, Randy Houser and Montgomery Gentry. Fans also saw Mickie, along with Kellie Pickler and “Cowboy” Kenny Bartram, in her labelmate Bucky Covington/Shooter Jennings’ video “Drinking Side of Country.”

Follow Mickie James on Twitter, Facebook and at

By Phil Allely

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

WWE DVD Review: For All Mankind - The Life and Career Of Mick Foley

As wrestling fan for nearly three decades (scary I know) I feel I  have pretty much seen it all and watched it all in the industry. I was fortunate enough to become a fan at a time when Ted Turner's WCW were on the rise, The UK scene still had a TV outlet and the WWE (then WWF) were on the brink of world domination.

During these years I was able to see many of my heroes perform live. This was a time when the WWE, WCW and UK promotions toured one to two times a year and we got to see some of the companies top stars perform for a very reasonable fee.

I over a short time saw Sting lose the WCW World Title, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart perform live in a small hometown ring and even got to meet WWF superstar Rowdy Roddy Piper in person too. He was a pop star back then (don't ask).

You may wonder where I am going here? Well the answer is that whilst much of the wrestling industry at that time was about the performers physique and character, there were the odd few who defied the rule and broke the mould.

I am of course talking about such guys as Vader, The Fabulous Freebirds and others who stood out for not being musclebound cartoon-ish characters.

Mick Foley was one such wrestler. Mick is not a man who has the conventional build of a grappler. Yet this is a man who as brightened up every company he has worked for and also netted himself a nice selection of title belts along the way.

Foley's secret to his success is one that many will not follow. He found out early on in his career that he was not only able to receive an absurd amount of punishment, but he made it look easy. Mick was (and still is) that rare breed of wrestler who would willingly bleed, take un-protected blows to the head with weapons and accept some of the worst beatings imaginable.

Although he started out as the crazed Cactus Jack Mick over the years has fought as himself, Mankind and the party loving Dude Love. Each of which have proved their worth in some way or another.

Mick has always been a wrestler I look up to and I very rarely saw him work a match that I felt short-changed by. Of course to many fans he is the guy who Undertaker famously threw off the Hell In A Cell Cage (which has been seen on many WWE DVDs since). But this is a man who has done so much more.

The worry sometimes with wrestling profile DVDs is that sometimes they can repeat their previous selves (Foley to date has at least five DVDs about him on the market). What is nice here is that even with Mick's previous DVD outings we do have some new material here.

Foley now seems to be happy with his place in life and wrestling. The documentary section here is well made and covers his career perfectly. We get to learn about his early days and the struggles (gambles) he undertook to achieve his dreams. We also get to learn about his trips to Japan, his big breaks and the pivotal moments in his professional life as a wrestler.

This is a man who very literally has given his body, blood, sweat and tears for his profession.

So what can you expect to see here across these three discs? First up disc on is a fine documentary. Mick is wonderfully nice and witty in his pieces and each talking head (from WWE staff old and new) adds to the piece perfectly. Of course we don't get to see anything from any current TNA staff (but that is to be expected). Even the most diehard Foley fan will find something new here.

His charity work for example has not really been touched upon before. It really does endear you to the man.

Discs 2 and 3 house over 15 matches, taking in most of his career and many companies he has worked for. There are also a few nice alternate commentaries by Foley and former ECW commentator Joey Styles (this includes the infamous Hell In A Cell with Undertaker). There are many new to DVD matches, some from WCW, ECW, early WWF footage and much more. We also get to see Foley in Tag action, him battle Sting, being brutalised by The British Bulldogs and a graphic scrap between Cactus Jack and The Sandman. This last one is fought under barbed wire rope rules and leaves nothing to the imagination.

For All Mankind: The Life and Career of Mick Foley is available from April 22nd 2013.

Visit for more details.
RRP: £24.99 (DVD), £34.99 (Blur-ray)

By Phil Allely

Monday, 8 April 2013

Exclusive Interview TNA's Miss Tessmacher and Phil Allely

Miss Tessmacher: At the Hogan/Bully Ray wedding I wasn't wearing underwear!
By Phil Allely

TNA Knockout Brooke Tessamacher (real name Brooke Adams) has come a long way in the world of wrestling. This young lady started off by dancing on WWE programming and acting as a secretary to Eric Biscoff in its rival company TNA. However she wanted more and opted to move into active competition in the TNA Knockouts division. Quickly winning not only the tag team gold, but Knockouts Division belts in short succession. Brooke has since become a shining star of the TNA ladies roster. Phil Allely caught up with her recently to chat about her career to date and her future plans.

'I loved being a part of the recent UK/Ireland tour. I did feel annoyed to miss out on a Guinness when I was in Dublin though, we all meant to do that. It was such a nice experience, even though a few of us caught the cold along the way. The fans were awesome. I have to be on the next one too.'

'I must admit even though I started out in a tag (with Tara) I am a singles wrestler at heart. I do prefer that. Winning the titles was wonderful and I will never forget the experience. I do also owe a great deal to Tara (and the other girls) for helping me out at the start. I feel I am better by myself and working a match like that. Of course sometimes having a partner out there is good. But the way I think about it is there can only ever be one TNA Knockout's Champion and I want to be her.'

'The challenge now is to keep up your momentum and climb back up that ladder. We (TNA) have such a lot of talented girls and I have only a few hundred matches (at most) compared to their thousands. It makes you stay on top of your game and work harder to know that.'

'I watch every Knockouts match I can and some of the guys ones too. I take mental notes and use that knowledge where I can. I learn something new every time and it helps me as a wrestler.'

'In TNA right now the biggest Diva is Robbie E. He goes through more fake tan and hair spray than any of us girls ever will. I do think Robbie T is right to move away and step out for himself now though.'

'I loved being a part of the Brooke Hogan/Bully Ray wedding, but what you won't know is that whilst I love dressing up and being beautiful on screen. It took me back to my beauty pageant days, but I was also a little bit under dressed that day.'

'When it all kicked of and people got hit Hulk Hogan fell near me. He landed on my dress and I could not move. I had no undergarments on and I am sure the front row had a reat view. I was in these huge heels and my dress was riding up. It was a live recording so all I could do was wriggle and hope Hulk would move a bit. Luckily the cameras never caught it. I do worry some one will put it out online some day though.'

'I don't know what the future may hold. I do think I'd like to try acting though. Maybe I can get some sexy roles like Carmen Electra does. After I take some acting classes and work hard I'd like to be in a position to do things like Trish Stratus. She has been able to juggle acting with her other business ventures.'

You can watch Miss Tessmacher each week on TNA Impact Wrestling on Challenge TV here in the UK.

WWE DVD- Pre-order WrestleMania 29 and get an exclusive Dog tag

WWEDVD are delighted to announce that if you pre-order Wrestlemania 29 now on DVD or Blu-Ray from you will receive an exclusive FREE WM29 Dog Tag and will be automatically entered into a competition to win an ultra rare signed WM29 chair.
Just click to pre-order Wrestlemania 29 which will be released on 3 Disc DVD , 2 Disc Blu-Ray and Digital Download formats on Monday 10th June. Your DVD will come in a special Limited Edition Dog Tag Pack, while the Blu-Ray will have the Dog Tag bagged and inside the Blu-Ray case. The Blu-Ray release will also contain at least 2 hours of Exclusive Extras not avaliable elsewhere. Just head over to the following link:
Please note that Dog Tag stocks are limited so get your order in early!