By Mike Mooneyham
Aug. 27, 2006
Kick off your shoes, pull up an easy chair and get ready to enjoy a couple of hours with one of pro wrestling’s more entertaining characters.
You can do just that with a new DVD that covers the wrestling career of the legendary Burrhead Jones.
The video, aptly titled “Burrhead Jones: Never Be A Cotton Pickin’ Nuther,” is the next best thing to personally shooting the breeze with an original character that sadly is becoming all too rare – in the wrestling business or otherwise.
The easygoing, affable Jones leaves very few subjects concerning his career uncovered, and longtime wrestling pundit Andy McDaniel does a good job keeping the down-home, rambling Jones on track in talking about his time in the ring.
Jones discusses in full detail his journey through the wrestling world as a black man battling the odds in a business that mirrored a segregated society. It was a life of one-night stands, going up and down the road, making six bucks and spending four, a life of spilling blood on canvases and breaking bones in smoke-filled arenas and dingy union halls.But, as he’ll readily tell you, he enjoyed every minute of it. And that’s a shoot.
Jones, who lived in the Moncks Corner area for the past 15 years, left the Lowcountry for New York City last month to be closer to his children.
“I’m back in the Big Apple, but there’s nothing like the Lowcountry,” Jones said from his new home Thursday. “The Lowcountry is where I was born and raised. I miss my homeys and I’ll be back to visit. The Burrhead will return.”
The shoot interview DVD sells for $14.95 and can be purchased through the Highspots.com Web site. The site also offers interviews with other Mid-Atlantic greats such as Blackjack Mulligan and Paul Jones.
– ECW Press’s latest wrestling offering, “Between the Ropes: Wrestling’s Greatest Triumphs and Failures” by Brian Fritz and Christopher Murray, is a good one.
Fritz hosts the popular “Between the Ropes” wrestling talk show based in Orlando, and includes highlights of his many interviews over the past few years in the book.
One of the funniest parts of the read focused on the interviews that never panned out. And at the top of that list was an interview with former WWE star George “The Animal” Steele. To say the interview didn’t go smoothly would be a major understatement. The interview never saw the light of day.
“There was absolutely no way we could put this on the radio. Just to make sure I wouldn’t have a lapse in judgment, I immediately erased the interview from the tape,” wrote Fritz. “Too bad I can’t erase the memory.”
The only thing worse than the Steele interview, Fritz would later joke, was the actual Heroes of Wrestling pay-per-view the green-tongued grappler was on the show to promote. It was universally panned as the worst major wrestling event of all time, which covers a lot of ground, and featured several Worst Match of the Year candidates, including the 62-year-old Steele’s showdown with the 51-year-old Greg Valentine.
The radio show, however, has featured a lot more hits than misses, and that’s reflected throughout the 302-page book ($19.95).
– WWE’s latest DVD release, simply titled “McMahon,” is a cleverly done expose of the career of WWE owner Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
The six-hour, two-disc set (WWE Home Video, $29.95) examines the creation of one of the most interesting characters in wrestling history – McMahon himself.
It’s a blunt portrait that’s entertaining and disturbing. One of the more revealing parts of the DVD is when daughter Stephanie McMahon Levesque mentions a storyline proposed by her dad that was so outrageous that even she refused to do it. And that’s covering a lot of ground, because there’s not much that hasn’t been done in WWE.
This one, however, exceeded the seemingly limitless boundaries of acceptable taste in WWE. McMahon proposed a storyline involving an “incest” angle where he would be the father of Steph’s baby. Fortunately she rejected that idea, and yet another one that would have had brother Shane as the father.
One might get the impression that there’s little difference between the shrewd, calculating businessman Vince McMahon, the visionary corporate leader of a multimillion-dollar company, and his manipulative, sadistic “Mr. McMahon” ring alter ego and on-air persona. The reality is often blurred.
“How much of that was Vince McMahon and how much was Mr. McMahon?” even the world’s most notorious boss wonders after a clip of his raucous showdown with sportscaster Bob Costas is shown. “Sometimes even I don’t know.”
One of the more memorable quotes in the extensive documentary comes from Greg Gagne, who recalls how McMahon “stole” Hulk Hogan from his father, Verne, in the old Gagne-owned AWA and ultimately ran him out of business.
“He took our income, took our lives from us, took everything from us … he … was bad,” Gagne says. It might be noted that Gagne, who now works for WWE, overlooks the fact that Hogan was under no contract at the time and that the AWA continued to run for a number of years following Hogan’s jump to the then World Wrestling Federation.
– Citadel Broadcasting’s Greg Pitt passes along this little gem:
“You hear about this new Hulk Hogan grill? The description of the grill at Amazon.com says Hulk Hogan’s Grill is like the man himself, way overpriced and works poorly.”
– Brooke Hogan was unable to accompany her dad to last Sunday night’s Summer Slam pay-per-view due to the Teen Choice Awards that same evening. Brooke won this year’s choice grill award at the celebrity-studded event. The award honored the trend of wearing the so-called ornamental metal decorations across one’s front teeth.
– WWE superstar Kurt Angle has been fired.
The company’s Web site announced late Friday that the former Olympic gold medalist was granted an early release on his contract “due to personal issues.”
– Former WWE star Chris Jericho will compete on Celebrity Duets at 8 p.m. Tuesday on Fox. The show, co-produced by “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell, pairs recording stars with celebrities not known for their singing. Each week the celebrities will team up with a different recording industry legend to perform.
The host is Wayne Brady. The judges include wild rocker Little Richard, serious music producer David Foster and singer and doll-seller Marie Osmond. Judges will eliminate the first of eight celebs on the two-hour premiere. Then, after each Thursday performance, starting Sept. 7, viewers vote for their favorite celeb. Lowest vote-getters are eliminated on Friday starting Sept. 8. The winning celeb gets $100,000 for charity.
Joining Jericho – dubbed “the Ayatollah of Rock N’ Rolla” – in the celeb category are “Xena”‘s Lucy Lawless, actor Cheech Marin, gymnast Carly Patterson, actor Alfonso Ribeiro, “Queer Eye”‘s Jai Rodriguez, actor Hal Sparks and actress Lea Thompson. The legends signed for duets include Clint Black, Michael Bolton, Belinda Carlisle, Taylor Dayne, Dennis DeYoung, Peter Frampton, Macy Gray, James Ingram, Wynonna Judd, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Patti Labelle, Kenny Loggins, Richard Marx, Brian McKnight, Aaron Neville, Smokey Robinson, Randy Travis, Dionne Warwick, Michelle Williams and Lee Ann Womack.
– ECW guru Paul Heyman had an interesting take on working with WWE owner Vince McMahon in a recent interview in the Poughkepsie Journal.
Said Heyman: “It’s an interesting clash of two eccentric personalities with two totally different takes on the business, but who respect each other’s visions. Familiarity breeds contempt. I think Vince got too familiar with me.”
– The ECW December To Dismember pay-per-view on Dec. 3 will be held at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center in Augusta, Ga. The first ECW PPV held in Georgia was the “WrestlePalooza ’98: On Enemy Turf” at the Cobb County Civic Center.