PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
By Derek Burgan, Torch Media Guy
Torch DVD Review
Before I even begin my review of the wrestling part of this DVD, I must report on what is undoubtedly the Greatest Bonus Feature of All Time. Yes, that is a grandiose statement to make, but I assure you, Dear Reader, it is true. It is a short mini-film, not unlike something you would see on atom films or ifilm and it stars none other than current WWE superstar Jon Heidenreich.
Yes, that Jon Heidenreich.
The title of the film is “Bruce Laundree” and it started off with an unassuming Asian man walking into a local Laundromat to wash his clothes. All the washers were filled, leading the Asian to finally walk over and empty one when it finished.. While the Asian is removing the clothes and placing them on top of the neighboring washing machine, a gigantic SUV pulled up outside. A man got out of the SUV and waked to the Laundromat with menacing music. This was none other than HEIDENREICH, who was animatedly upset while yelling into a cell phone.
Sucka be touching Heidenreich's clothes!
As Heidenreich walked into the front door, one of his socks fell from the top of his stack of clothes to the floor. Oh it’s f---ing on now! Heidenreich proceeds to go absolutely insane and beat the hell out of the Asian. Heidenreich even dunked the Asian’s head into the soapy water. While all this was going on, most of the customers in the laundromat had a “seen it all before” reaction and went back to reading their magazines. The Asian grabbed a handful of Tide detergent and blinded Heidenreich. Mr. Fuji would have been proud. The Asian got a couple offensive moves in, but Heidenreich came back with a flurry, including several backbreakers. After a severe beat down, Heideneich tossed the Asian out of the laundromat and onto the curb. This is when the movie went from good to great.
The sock hitting the floor
Heidenreich stuffing an Asian guy's head into washing machine
Tide to the face!
Asian man leaving the laundromat the hard way
The Asian felt his lip and noticed he was bleeding. Heidenreich then turned around to see the Asian appearing, shirtless, out of one of the washing machines in what looked like a surreal game of Whack-A-Mole! The Asian now had scars a la Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. Heidenreich had a “WTF?” face before charging the Asian, only to be headbutted back. The Asian then disappeared back into the washer! Heidenreich looked into the washer and it was mysteriously empty. Heidenreich then looked into all the washers, but they were all empty. Heidenreich then noticed the Asian was SPINNING AROUND IN THE DRYER. This has to be seen to be believed. Even better, the Asian was spinning around in order to build up static electricity as he came out of the dryer with the newfound powers of Raiden.
Oh it's ON now!
How can you not laugh at this?!
Asian guy, fully charged with static electricity!
The Asian dude shot an electric charge at Heidenreich, but, GET THIS, Heidenreich grabbed a sheet of Bounce fabric softener and used it as a shield! Heidenreich then ripped off his shirt and Hulk’d up. Heidenreich charged, but was quickly karate kicked backwards. The Asian then hit Heidenreich with a flurry of rapid fire chops to the throat and chest until knocking him back with a roundhouse kick. Out of nowhere, the Asian then pulled out his own underwear in a move straight out of Zoolander. The Asian then whipped the underwear around like it was a pair of nunchucks before putting the underwear over Heidenreich’s head and giving him a shot to the heart. This punch sent Heidenreich flying back twenty feet and knocking the clod out. GENIUS!
Hansel would be proud
Heidenreich down for the count
On to the DVD!
I’m going to try to review this DVD in a different style than my usual reviews, so be prepared. When you’re done, be sure to voice your opinion “YAY” or “NAY” on whether or not you enjoy the new format.
Now then, after finishing up this DVD, I was more than a little confused. First, this is obviously two different shows edited together to give the impression of one show. Why? I have no idea. I did some research and found out the original Overload show had a match with none other than Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, who aren’t on this DVD at all. I have to assume that both Hall and Nash wouldn’t sign a waiver to be on the DVD, otherwise UPW has lost their minds. Even weirder is that the commentary team talks about Hall and Nash during the other matches. The DVD was also edited so that the matches were apparently put in random order, because the first match on the DVD (Frankie Kazarian versus Jerry Lynn versus Evan Karagias) was talked about by the commentary team as being the “Main Event” while also discussing several things that happened on the show earlier that night. That is one of the oddest things I have ever seen on a wrestling DVD, and keep in mind I’ve watched Totally Tool Wrestling and Fusion.
That said, the actual wrestling matches on this DVD were good. The opening match with Frankie Kazarian versus Jerry Lynn versus Evan Karagias wasn’t as good as you’d think it would have been though. This was for Frankie’s title, and ended up with Kazarian against Lynn once Karagias was eliminated from the match. It picked up after Karagias left, but still wasn’t what I expected from a guy like Kazarian, who routinely tears down the house over in PWG. I was impressed by how much money UPW spends on their shows, as it almost has a PPV like feel and the crowd is huge for an indie show. Kazarian ended up pinning Evan after Karagias was nailed with a Cradle Driver by Jerry Lynn. Nearing the twenty minute mark, Kazarian hit Lynn with the Flatliner for the pin.
Frankie "The Future" Kazarian
The second match had ”Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce (w/Big Swag and Double D) versus Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. There’s only so much the seemingly 100 year old Snuka can do now, but the match wasn’t as bad as you would think. They kept it short with Snuka hitting a Superfly splash off the top for the win. Speaking of Snuka, you gotta see Jimmy in this short film. It’s a ‘lost tape,’ from the awesome HBO show “Entourage,” in which Jimmy Snuka, Diamond Dallas Page, Jake “the Snake” Roberts and, of all people, Nikolai Volkoff, reenact a scene from the show. Incredible!
Match three was a tag match with Kid Viscious & Tony Stradlin versus The Miz & Lil’ Nate. Yes, this is Mike “The Miz” from MTV’s Real World, Road Rules, and all that other unwatchable shit, fame. If you can’t believe it, Lil’ Nate looks kinda like a mini-me version of Jonny Fairplay, with a bigger ‘fro. Stradlin wrestles out of NWA Wildside. Match went about six minutes and Miz actually hit a twisting reverse DDT, called “the Mizard of Oz.” The finish came after Lil’ Nate got onto Miz’s shoulders and did a splash. Reminded me of some of the moves Jimmy Jacobs and BJ Whitmer do together in Ring of Honor. Not a great match, but nothing horrible either.
The fourth match started off with “the voice of UFC” Bruce Buffer doing the announcing. Ken Shamrock versus The Predator never really got a chance to get going as Shamrock shot a promo on another UFC fighter, Tank Abbott, before the match. Well, Abbot was in the building and completely drunk, so he charged the ring. It took forever for security to get Abbott under control and you could tell the crowd was more into watching that than the match. I did like Shamrock’s comment of “I’ll slap you sober!” The Predator had a great Bruiser Brody gimmick, down to the swinging chain and huge boots. Decent match, which had Shamrock constantly trying to apply the ankle-lock, but Predator would always reach the ropes to break the hold. Eventually Predator went for his chain, and when the ref grabbed the chain, the Predator knocked out the ref. Shamrock then began choking out Predator with the chain and even applied a Dragon Sleeper! This was actually pretty cool. The ref came over to make Shamrock release the hold, but Shamrock just wrapped the ref up into the chains and continued. Wild! This caused a DQ finish at a little past the ten minute mark. Fun stuff.
I noticed during Shamrock/Predator that there were at least five photographers at ringside for this match, including that girl Mary Kate who does all of ROH’s pictures. My question is this, where the f--- do all these photos go?! It’s not as if there is this booming wresting magazine business that covers indies. I don’t understand it at all, and it’s not like this is the only wrestling show I’ve seen that has an extraordinary amount of people taking pictures.
The Predator, since this match has been focusing on MMA fighting for K-1 instead of pro wrestling, however he is a guest on the internationally acclaimed Puroresu Power Hour this week.
The Miz and L'il Nate
Fifth match was some Lucha action, with Konnan & Psicosis & Juventud Guerrera versus The University. The University was three of UPW’s students: Andrew Hellman, Shawn Riddick, and Antonio Mastreano. Okay match, but I did a big “WTF!” when Juvi-Juice did a 450 splash onto Riddick, but Riddick kicked out. Juvi then covered Riddick again and got the pin. Match was nowhere good as I expected, as I’m a huge fan of all the Lucha guys, but to be fair, they were wrestling students.
Then came LIGHTWEIGHT LUNACY. The rules for this match were like the Royal Rumble. Two men would start, and every two minutes another man would enter. Wrestlers were eliminated by a pin, submission or thrown over the top rope. When the match gets down to the last four men it becomes a ladder match for a UPW contract. Lots of high flying cruiserweight action, not unlike an ROH Scramble Match, starring a bunch of guys I’ve never heard of. There were multiple ladders used once it came down to the final four and Andrew Hellman ended up winning. Good spotfest match.
Time for a women’s match as Erica Porter fought Valentina (w/Big Swag). Nothing that great, and the finish came as Valentina used a roll-up with her feet on the ropes to beat Porter after a quick match and become the new women’s champion. Big Swag called out Joanie “Chyna” Laurer, who had been sitting up on a stage watching the match. Chyna walked to the ring and went face to face with Valentina. Chyna ended up punching out Valentina and giving a low blow to Big Swag. The announcer almost made me do a spittake when he said “someone hit Chyna in the nuts, maybe she’ll sing better!” ZING!
Hardcore Inc. (Hardkore Kidd & Alcatraz w/El Jefe) versus The Ballard Brothers in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match followed the ladies and had a fantastic brawl. The UPW tag titles were also suspended above the ring as an extra stipulation. Good hardcore match with the Ballards, who just have a bland, horrible look, but aren’t that bad in the ring, ending up taking the straps. Both Kidd and Alcatraz have a tremendous look and I wouldn’t be surprised seeing them in the big leagues.
There was an oddly edited segment featuring, I think, the angles that led up to Adam Pearce fighting Diamond Dallas Page. Both Van Der Pyle and Pearce shot long promos in the ring with clips of Pearce in the ring put in-between. It all ended up with the Adam Pearce (w/Van Der Pyle) versus DDP match, which was decent. DDP called himself the “three time, three time, three time WCW champion” as the heel commentator called DDP a “Booker T imitator.” DDP won with the Diamond Cutter. After the match DDP gave Van Der Pyle a Diamond Cutter and stood on the manager for an added insult. It was a match to please the crowd with some star power and it did just that.
The final match on the show was Rikishi & Skulu versus The Outlaws. The Outlaws remind me of the Old Smoking Gunns, except one was wearing a weird fur coat. Apparently they are gay cowboys. Skulu was announced as hailing from the Island of Samoa and reminded me of one of the Wild Samoans from back in the day. Rikishi came out to his old WWE music and shot a promo trying to get the crowd to chant “you suck!” at The Outlaws. Skulu took all the heat during the match until a hot tag to Rikishi. The ‘Kish then got to hit all his signature spots, including a Rikishi Driver leading to the pin. After the match one of The Outlaws took a Stinkface, then Rikishi, Skulu and the referee did the old Too Cool dance.
Diamond Dallas Page
DDP stands on Van Der Pyle
BONUS FEATURES: This DVD is actually packed to the gills with extras, always a big plus in my book. Besides the aforementioned mini-film with Jon Heidenreich, look at all the goodies that are on this disc:
In the Pit w/Piper: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper shot a Piper’s Pit segment in the middle of a ring, but there was no audience. Piper called UPW a “farm team” for the WWE and brought out his guest, the Hardcore Kidd. The Kidd actually had a cup of coffee in the WWE as Carlito Cool’s bodyguard Jesus. I remember reading at the time that Jesus was working with a shoulder that was barely hanging onto his arm, but he was afraid to get surgery because he might lose his job. Well, he got the surgery and soon after lost his job while recovering. WELCOME TO WRESTLING! You might also remember the Hardcore Kidd in his Academy Award winning performance in the movie Slammed!
Piper talked about promo skills being 60-65% of what is needed to make it in the WWE today. Piper brought up lines he would use in promos like, “Ric Flair needs two women because when Flair falls asleep, the girls have someone to talk to.” OH! Piper challenged Kidd to shoot a promo on him, and Kidd reluctantly agreed. After Kidds promo, which was done well, Piper took the microphone and shot a promo on Kidd. Eventually Kidd bailed from the ring. This segment took about fifteen minutes.
Roddy Piper and the Hardcore Kidd
Ad for Ultimate University: A nice ad for UPW’s training program that puts over the fact that 20 wrestlers have come through their doors and gone on to the WWE, including: Victoria, John Cena, Luther Reigns and Heidenreich. It was pretty cool seeing such early footage of Cena, who looked completely different than he does today.
Mike “The Miz” (from MTV’s Real World and possibly the only person better at being an Attention Whore than Jonny Fairplay) and Sawy (the lead dancer for UPW) were at bar putting over how easy it is to get drunk or something. This lead to a video on UPW’s dancing Nitro Girls, except these girls are collectively called “Powerbomb.” The video includes one routine of the girls at a show and interviews with some of the dancers. Not too bad.
“Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce and his manager, Van Der Pyle, did a whacky skit to promote Pearce’s upcoming match with Diamond Dallas Page. Pearce is okay from what I’ve seen, but I can’t get enough of Van Der Pyle. Like Kenny Bolin in OVW, I have no idea why Pyle hasn’t gotten a job in the Big Leagues yet. Pearce had Page’s “Positively Page” book with him and went to take a dump. Cue the Austin Powers-like sound effects as Pearce sat on the toilet. Pearce was outraged that the toilet only had “one ply toilet paper.” In maybe the line of the DVD, Van Der Pyle yelled in, “you use two, two and a half ply at least!” That’s gold. Pearce then ripped up pages of DDP’s book to wipe his ass. Funny stuff.
Joanie Laurer sings: You think I’m making this up don’t you? Seriously, this was a segment that had Chyna onstage, with her brother Tobey and some other hanger-on. I used to think Tobey was mentally challenged, but I think he’s just drunk all the time. Laurer sang a little ditty called “Holiday.” While the song didn’t start off too bad, the longer Laurer went on the worse it got. This became torturous and I began having a One Night in Chyna flashback. This was also the song that Laurer sang on the Howard Stern show and was ridiculed mercilessly over.
Joanie Laurer SINGING!
Time for another Whacky Skit, as Hardkore Inc (Hardcore Kidd, Alcartraz, and El Jefe) went to a local hardware store to load up on weapons for their upcoming match against the Ballard Brothers. This had horrible acting, but was actually pretty funny, especially a Benny Hill-like segment that had all the guys criss crossing the aisles. It ended with the Ballards showing up outside and the two teams getting into a little street fight. El Jefe was able to rip some wires out of the Ballards care, so the brothers were stuck there watching Hardcore Inc. take off.
There were also two bonus matches. Konnan & Psichosis versus Ricky Reyes & Puma and Frankie Kazarian versus Mikey Henderson. I was most surprised to hear the announcer say “Cheese and Rice!” during the Konnan match, as this is something my girlfriend says instead of “Jesus Christ!” as well. My girlfriend also says “Sugar!” instead of “Shit!” It’s very aggravating and I don’t know why.
Overall Thoughts: I’ve got mixed feelings on this DVD. While the wrestling on the main DVD wasn’t bad, it wasn’t so good that I could give a solid recommendation to the show just based on that. However, UPW outdid themselves in the DVD extras, and I think everyone needs to see that crazy Jon Heidenreich movie. There was a solid mix of big names (DDP, Rikishi, Piper, Laurer), indie standouts (Adam Pearce, Frankie Kazarian, Hardcore Kidd), and local wrestlers to make this a solid indie show. The Ken Shamrock match with the Predator turned into a spectacle thanks to Tank Abbott, but I did like seeing the Predator’s gimmick and I’m shocked he hasn’t been used by the WWE or TNA yet. If you are interested in buying Overload you can head on over to UPW’s store and while there, check out their other DVDs.
For more information on Ultimate Pro Wrestling, including their training program, be sure to check out UPW.com!
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**