I've been a singlet fan since I shot out of the birth canal circa 1977. So when I saw the WWE magazine on MediaPost Editor In Chief Joe Mandese's desk, I remembered sitting like a pretzel in front of the TV with twisty knobs in my Aunt Sharon's basement, watching Hulk Hogan's bright yellow moustache and goatee dripping with blood as he stalked around the ring punching his chest in triumph. Visions of Rowdy Roddy Piper's kilt flaring out as he jerked backwards onto the mat, clothes-lined by the bubbling-muscled arm of his opponent, slid through my brain on a slip 'n' slide of red spandex-clad perspiration. But the "I have to review this" clincher came in the form of what April's WWE mag offered as "The Stick Figure Smackdown." I'm a big fan of stick figures.
It's a popular assumption of non-wrestling fans (and possibly some old-school fans) that wrestling is fake, wrestlers and their fans are rednecks and dumber than a sandwich bag of hair, and that it's not a sport for those of the book learnin's. I'd like you to step into the ring with me and experience what I like to call "WWE Magazine will teach you..."
Anatomy. There are six branches of nerves that comprise the male scrotum. This is knowledge I was previously not privy to, but is now something I plan to share with the world, all because I read a caption in WWE.
Life Lessons. In the special "Jerk of the Month" section, which interviews a Superstar (the best ring toilers of WWE RAW, Smackdown, and ECW) "about his alleged crimes against humanity," I learned that the magazine didn't mean crimes like murder-suicide or genocide, it meant the persona's crimes -- like Vladimir Koslov (sporting a delicate pair of white manties) using his head as an unregistered deadly weapon. Referring to his slew of rivals, Koslov said (think Drago from "Rocky IV"), "While they argue, I plan attacks." I think Koslov should be the new Gary Vaynerchuk (of limitless -energy WineLibraryTV fame) or the Russian Oprah. Let everyone else wallow in their kerfuffle while you take care of business.
Humility. I have the utmost respect for anyone who can laugh at themselves genuinely and openly. It shows a subtle intelligence to realize that when you take yourself too seriously, no one takes you seriously at all. This is a tool Shawn Michaels of the DX group (D-Generation X, a tag teamthat once included infamous wrestlers like Triple H and Chyna) employed in his interview with the magazine: "Whenever I'm in DX, it's about being as stupid as I can possibly be." You know, I've met a few people who follow that credo... only they're not wrestlers.
Women. You're sitting at home and once again the little lady wants to watch "Grey's," some show about doctors jumping in the sack with doctors, scrubs-clad lovelorn fools, and fantastical death situations. All you care is that IT'S. NOT. WRESTLING. WWE mag promises to teach you feats of trickery -- like focusing on in-the-ring dramas and break-ups -- to get your woman to watch as much grappling as you. I'm going to try this out on my girlfriends who have an unhealthy obsession with "Grey's." I would really prefer them wrestling-obsessed. In fact, I think that would assist in their dating lives way more than "Grey's."
Exercise and team work. We can't all afford illegal drugs like some of the alleged steroid users in the wrestling industry. WWE mag knows this and supports a healthy lifestyle with fun little workouts like the tag team workout. Squats, bicep curls, reverse sit-ups, and the medicine ball toss round out this special workout that I inflicted on the bf. We don't have a medicine ball, so we made like wrestlers, filled up a growler from Whole Foods and threw that back and forth. Fun, healthy, and refreshing. My thighs still hurt from the squats, but I tell you what, my signature wrestling move, "The Flying Squirrel," has never looked better.
WWE mag is like a Smackdown itself -- each page is a cornea-humping blast of primary colors, pyrotechnics, bulging biceps, and sweat slicked man-briefs. The challenge to infuse smart writing, wide necked excitement, and testosterone-laced prose is a tough one indeed - daunting even to the likes of one of my other childhood wrestling faves, The Iron Sheik, but WWE managed to jump in the ring and knock it around. The magazine is PACKED with advertisements, game reviews, movie reviews (of "Obsessed," the reviewer writes: "Temp Lisa Sheridan is certainly one inkwell you want to keep your Bic Roller Ball far away from." Genius! ), advertisements, advertisements, advertisements, and order forms. If I was hurtin' for glittery championship belts and some tattered arm wraps, I wouldn't have to look far, but the drawback to that is, it's hard to tell where the commercial ends and the meat begins.
Published by: The WWE