During the mid 2000s, I was kind of obsessed with buying the Jakks WWE Classic Superstars line. Having regularly watched Extreme Championship wrestling since it’s debut (lets face it; I was an impressionable youth) It only seemed right that I would get the Sabu figure.
Sabu is dressed in his typical ring gear. His baggy MC Hammer style pants are made out of a sparkly/shiny cloth which really makes him stand out. The detailing is right, even down to his sash belt
They also painted on his various wrist and arm tapes which are a nice touch. Sabu also came with a vinyl white version of his typical headdress to complete the look. The action figure also came with a folding chair as an accessory, so you can have him hit all of his signature wrestling moves, from the Arabian Facebuster to the Triple Jump Moonsault to the rest of your unsuspecting action figures.
Jakks received a lot of criticism for how much they recycled parts of action figures and didn’t detail the figures enough. This figure proves to be the exception. Sabu has all his appropriate scarring on his chest and arms, showing the pains of wrestling in barbed wire rings.
Ultimately, this is one of my favorite action figures from this line. It looks really cool and serves as a nice nostalgia piece to the days when a glorified bingo hall in south Philadelphia was the epicenter of the wrestling universe.
One of the part of having a lot of time off during the holidays is that I finally have an opportunity to read and watch things that have been put off for a long time. One of these was Forever Hardcore, a documentary that looks back at the time when Extreme Championship Wrestling was running wild.
The film was done by Jeremy Borash, a longtime behind the scenes employee of WCW and TNA, who just happened to also be a super fan of the renegade wrestling company from South Philadelphia that went on to change the face of professional wrestling.
What separates this from the WWE produced The Rise and Fall of ECW is that this relies on interviews with people who were a part of the promotion at the time but never were able to parlay that success with the larger company. So in that sense, the stories that were told on this come across as a little more open. A lot of the stories I’ve read and heard before, but this documentary has the primaries going on the record about. There are some other stories that were new to me, like Shane Douglas and Francine never really getting along when they were outside of character.
Forever Hardcore was a decent enough documentary. There were a few things that I did frown upon though. The video quality wasn’t that slick, looking more along the lines of a student film or something made for hyper-local television. But in some ways, that keeps up with the spirit of the original ECW in that the presentation wasn’t what counted but the content you were experiencing. What was worse (and I’m sure was a huge challenge for Borash) about this was how they couldn’t use any video footage of ECW, thanks to it being the WWE’s. Random photography and indie wrestling helps fill the void, but doesn’t really illustrate the points being made.
The feeling I was left with was the story of how everyone involved with ECW believed in the product and the risks they took–both financially and physically–to support it. It ends with Terry Funk discussing being offered a contract to participate in the first WWE ECW tribute show. And pretty much sums up the experience of what it was like working for ECW with this quote:
“I said honey, I can’t do it. I want to go back to the guys that I love. The guys that I’ve been down the road. And that’s why I’m not a millionaire because I do the things I want to do instead of the things I should have done.”
Let’s face it; professional wrestling and comic books are very thematically similar. Pro wrestling is a lot like comics coming to life, filled with heroes and villains (clad in over the top costumes) battling for supremacy. Even their fanbases overlap; they’re both constantly criticized for liking something many disregard as something you should have given up by the time you turn seven.
Over the years, comics and wrestlers have crossed over many times. Some of today’s best grapplers, guys like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe and Shane Helms, are all devoted comic readers. Wrestlers like Rey Mysterio and Nova have worn many comic inspired outfits to the ring. ECW’s Raven and the Sandman spent the majority of the 1990s wearing t-shirts featuring art from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. Even Hulk Hogan’s name is a reference to a certain gamma powered monster…
Anyway, it’s no surprise that the professional wrestling world would be represented at Comic Con last week. Both WWE and Impact Wrestling were out in full force. But WWE took it one step further, expanding one of their angles (wrestling speak for “storyline”) during one of their panel presentations.
During the presentation, wrestler HHH (who now runs the WWE in story) gets interrupted by WWE champion CM Punk, who himself is an avid comic book fan.
In the WWE storyline, Punk won their championship on his last night wrestling for the company and is keeping the title high-jacked. The question is when—or will—he return to the WWE, and by having him harass it’s on-screen chairman only keeps this moving. It was a nice little way to make those in attendance feel like they’re part of the story.