Judge Ian Visser believes that this DVD collection is why the terrorists hate us.
It's the DVD that almost killed a marriage.
OK, my wife in now officially starting to get upset with me. To date my tenure here at DVD Verdict has largely been of benefit to my marriage. My wife and I share the product list each week so we can achieve a kind of Zen-like balance in our viewing habits; I get to enjoy obscure conspiracy theory DVDs while she watches Project Runway: The Complete Third Season. She's happy, I'm happy, etc. Bliss ensues.
But things have taken a bit of a turn lately, starting somewhere around the time the five-disk set of King of the Cage: Big Stars, Best Knockouts—The Evolution of Combat thumped into my mailbox. My lovely wife stood there, holding this massive collection of brutality and beatings in her hands. Her foot tapped, her eyebrow arched, and her tender lips hardened into thin lines. She didn't say anything, thank God, but the disapproval was apparent. Making the matter worse was the fact that I had requested the entire Gilmore Girls collection that week, and this was clearly not an acceptable substitute (curse you, Judge Boris!)
So now I bring Women's Extreme Wrestling, Vol. 6 into our home, and the results have not been pleasant. Dinner seems to arrive on the table chillier than usual, I get kicked in the spine more in the marital bed, and my nightly tea arrives considerably more bitter than it has before. The collection of Women's Extreme Wrestling, Vol. 6 sits atop our television set like some evil amulet, attracting scorn each time its presence is detected by my better half. Apparently, several hours of Amazonian warriors battling it out for supremacy is not the kind of material that warms my paramour's heart. As a result, this review will be short and fast, if only to get the collection (and myself) out of harm's way.
Facts of the Case
Women's wrestling has always existed on the outer edge of the sport. Growing up in the 1980s it was almost impossible to find, unless a match was included in a WWF event before the main event got started. There have been some noted (or notorious) female wrestlers such as the legendary Fabulous Moolah, but they have never really been taken seriously, relegated instead to playing as a freak show or comedy act. Women's matches usually got sandwiched in somewhere between the midget fights and the "jobber" warm-up bouts, and one suspects that the compensation for the participants was limited.
But as both society and wrestling have become more "extreme" in recent years, it seems that women's wrestling has become, if not entirely popular, then certainly more visible. Women-only leagues now exist, and the business certainly seems popular enough, with dozens of DVDs available to showcase these high-flying, hard-hitting women at work. It's a part of wrestling that is still almost unknown to me, so I sat down with Women's Extreme Wrestling, Vol. 6 to see how times have changed.
BCI Eclipse presents 260 minutes of action across 4 DVDs, featuring a bevy of today's most popular and outrageous female wrestlers. A collection of four pay-per-view events, the set features title matches, tag teams events, and various "hardcore" competitions. Some of the biggest names in WEW are on hand, including April Hunter, Talia Madison, Lollipop, Jazz, Francine, and Pussy Willow.
The four featured events are:
Return of the PWO
Is this collection enough to get a fan's heart racing, or will it be suplexed from the top rope? Ring the bell and let's find out!
Okay, this is not what I expected to see when I put these disks into my player. I didn't get athleticism, or tongue-in-cheek action, or even some "so-bad-its-good" fun. No, what Women's Extreme Wrestling, Vol. 6 had in store for me was a general feeling of dirtiness, a sense that you're watching something you would be ashamed to have your mother know you saw. It seems women's wrestling really hasn't come that far since I last saw it: it's still being used as a come-on to sell T & A.
It turns out that WEW (which alternatively stands for "Women's Erotic Wrestling," depending on the event) is not so much a fight-league as it is a portal for snagging customers into paying for soft-core pornography. A quick perusal of the WEW website features plenty of opportunities for "fans" to become paying members of the site, giving them access to solo and lesbian peepshows of the event's participants. Bios of various "athletes" reveal that a good number of them got their start in the adult-entertainment industry, which would explain the considerable lack of wrestling talent (more on that later).
WEW seems to put on only three or four shows per year, so it isn't what you would call a fan favorite. Indeed, the majority of the event's attendees (males, ages 18 to 45) seem almost non-plussed by the action going on in front of them, sitting with arms crossed over their beer bellies and only cheering when some flesh gets displayed. The skin of the show is largely comprised of between-match strip teases by various girls, again as a come-on to "see more" on the league's website. Nudity during the matches doesn't really occur, but there is still plenty of silicone peeking out from behind various scraps of cloth.
Is there any wrestling going on here? Well, barely. A handful of the girls are athletic and know how to deliver a dropkick, but the majority of them are on display more for their bits than their hits. The matches are over usually within a couple of minutes, and then the next parade of hoochies is led out to do battle. Almost all of these girls have some kind of gimmick, from the nurse or cheerleader to the bad-assed biker chick. Many of the girls also make delightful use of word the "ho," with wrestlers "Cle-Ho-Patra," "G.I. Ho," and "Nav-a-Ho" all doing their part to advance stereotypes of women and ethnic groups.
Amazingly, the presentation of Women's Extreme Wrestling, Vol. 6 is actually pretty good. Aside from some black levels that appear grainy, the color balance is decent and there is only limited artifacting and edge enhancement. The audio offering is nothing to rave about, but the standard 2-channel Dolby Digital is decent enough. There are no extras.
There's nothing here to appeal to anyone, unless you are a teenaged boy whose parents have taken away your internet connection and you're looking for some cheap beat-off material. Fans of wrestling will find nothing of interest, as the sporting element only serves as a delivery method for scantily-clad women to shake their goods. Do yourself a favor and avoid Women's Extreme Wrestling, Vol. 6 like a figure-four leg lock.
Ugh, that's all I can bear to say about this thing.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
Somewhere out there are women wrestlers who want to compete in a legitimate league to show what they can do; it's pathetic that the only venue for talented athletes is this kind of cheap skin show. Why are we only willing to tolerate pioneering women in sport if they look like supermodels? Why must they provide titillation as well as talent? Until the playing field gets leveled enough to accept women in all sports simply for their abilities, we still have a long way to go in society towards equality.
Soon Women's Extreme Wrestling, Vol. 6 will be banished to the hinterland that is the back row of my DVD collection and harmony will again be achieved in my matrimonial union. I'd suggest you prevent making the same mistake I did and avoid this cheap attempt at titillation at all costs.
Guilty. Women's Extreme Wrestling, Vol. 6 is pinned on the mat for a three-count.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: BCI Eclipse
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