Welcome to the first instalment of That Sounds A Bit Mental, a not-that-regular series of articles in which I take a look at the very best (worst) from the world of music.
If you have any albums you’d like to recommend for That Sounds A Bit Mental – and I’m talking novelty pish where every track’s a cringe here, not “Nickelback lol” – let me know in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org pronto.
WWE WrestleMania 31 kicks off in two weeks’ time, so I thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at one of the company’s oddest ideas, from back in the days when it was still the WWF.
WWF Wrestlemania: The Album was executive produced by Simon Cowell(!), with songs produced and composed by Mike Stock and Pete Waterman (of Stock, Aitken and Waterman songwriting fame)
With such musical heavyweights in charge of the album, you’d think this would have resulted in some solid pop hits based on the wrestling superstars of the time.
Instead, the resulting 12 tracks (ten if you bought the US version) were an odd combination of cheesy music and various WWF superstars talking over it. Not singing, mind: talking.
Starring: Voices of Frank Welker, Matthew Lillard, Vince McMahon, John Cena, Triple H, Michael Cole, Kane, Brodus Clay, The Miz, Santino Marella, AJ Lee
“Sin Cara believes the spirit of the beast has been stirred by Wrestlemania itself, which is why the monster is risen from the grave to have its revenge. But fear not. It is now Sin Cara’s honour and duty to continue his great great great grandfather’s legacy and protect WWE City at any cost.” (John Cena, Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery)
Some crossovers make complete sense. The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones was the perfect fish-out-of-water scenario times two, while Freddy Vs Jason was the natural clash of two of horror’s biggest icons. Ditto Alien Vs Predator with sci-fi, and Mario & Sonic in gaming.
But sometimes you get a crossover that seemingly resulted from two darts being randomly thrown at a massive list of pop culture names and licences.
Starring: Mick Foley, Jake Roberts, Terry Funk, Vince McMahon
“My mother was 13 years old when I was born. Why? Because my dad raped a little girl that was in a room asleep. My dad was going out with my mother’s mother. There you go. There’s some bones for Jake the Snake.” (Jake Roberts, Beyond The Mat)
I know professional wrestling isn’t “real” – I know the results are predetermined, I know the storylines are set months in advance and I know winning a championship belt is nothing more than a backstage reward for your in-ring ability and the way you connect with the crowd. So does Barry Blaustein, the documentary filmmaker who spent a few years making Beyond The Mat. But that doesn’t mean the athletes involved (and they are athletes – they might have already picked a winner but it still hurts) don’t often go through both physical and mental hell to bring an entertaining show to the public. This film aims to expose that torment. Continue reading “Beyond The Mat (1999)”→