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INSIDE THE ROPES    
Magazine Madness 

August 31, 2006

by PyroFalkon    
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

I guess Rick and Bulldog still aren't talking to each other. Because I got an e-mail from Rick last week telling me I should go ahead and give Inside the Ropes another go if I felt like it! I can’t say I’m surprised, especially after receiving tons of positive feedback on my last column, such as this message… 
 

"I'll read your stuff over Bulldog's lame attempts at humor any day of the week.  Usually I just breeze over his junk whenever it comes up (and many times I won't even click the link), but now that it looks like ItR is in better hands, I'd be more willing to check it out.  Keep up the good work."
   

Thanks, budpaul! I endeavor to please. 

So I’m at work the other day, and a co-worker has a present for me. Nothing exceptionally cool, just the latest issue of WWE Magazine, the one with sexy Trish Stratus on the cover. (And by “sexy,” I mean “usually not, but is in that pose, giving me a reason to care about her, damnit.”)

Now, I’m not one to fall head-over-heels gushing about a magazine. But it was still a minor gift from a co-worker, so I accepted it. And who knows, thought I, maybe there was something of value in those glossy pages.

It’s been years since I last picked up a WWE Magazine, and obviously the format is much different than I remember it. It’s paced like a top-level cruiserweight match: everything is confined to short bursts to give you much information in a short period of time. That gives more overall content, but less quality in said content.

And much of the content, I could do without. (Scarface: The World is Yours for the Xbox, PS2, and PC only got two Hillbilly Jims out of five! It must SUCK!) Seriously, I don’t know if WWE wants its magazine to be the next MTV or what, but it seems like they want to be a do-all be-all when it comes to “pop” “culture.” Music reviews, movie reviews… bah, where’s my wrestling news?

Luckily, those wrestling reviews are in there, and that’s when I finally realized the value of the magazine. See, in between the crap about Rocky action figures and tests of whatever the hell a Toshiba Gigabeat S is, there’s some pretty good stuff in here. Most of it is in-character, such as Matt Striker being an ass as the WWE Magazine crew try to find out whether he is “a jerk.” Then there’s Trish Stratus’s interview, which seems far more plausible to really be her words than something relating to a Playboy bunny.

There’s also some out-of-character stuff in there as well, and that’s what really shines. This issue showed a more sensitive side of Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who we find out fought through cancer in order to make his comeback. (Also attached to that article is a picture of Hacksaw in full ring attire and carrying the 2-by-4, but he’s also got some groceries in his other arm. Heh.) Also is an exposé on Beth Phoenix’s broken jaw, complete with X-rays… Man, I hope she gets back soon.

Probably the most interesting article in the whole thing is one of the shortest, where the editors ask Bob Holly a series of questions about his injury. It’s nothing that we haven’t seen from Rick, but it’s still pretty cool to hear about it in Holly’s own words.

Smarks have complained that WWE uses its website and magazines as just “part of the show,” extensions of the characters and personalities we only see on-screen. After checking out this latest issue, I don’t see what the major problem is. After being sharp enough to separate the crap that is movie reviews from the quality pieces like Ken Kennedy’s interview, I really think there is both an audience and a purpose for it. Even if it is filtered first, isn’t best to find out, for example, that there is truth to the fact that Randy Orton had to pay $17,000 in fines for his backstage shenanigans? And even better, to hear that fact from the company itself?

The Byte This! recapper in me wishes that they went more of an insider route to all their tools, from the mag to the site. But even so, if WWE Magazine continues to give its stars this kind of treatment, I might just pick up a subscription after all.

E-MAIL PYROFALKON    
BROWSE THE ITR ARCHIVES

CANADIAN BULLDOG  is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.


  
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