Slammed!

 

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DVD Review: Slammed!

A couple weeks ago I found myself reading the Figure Four Weekly~! and read about a movie called Slammed! that came out in 2001. At first, I was in shock. I mean, c’mon, a movie about wrestling that I had never seen? For God’s sake, I saw Beyond the Mat in the theater! I’ve seen movies such as Sting: Moment of Truth, 1 Night in China, and Walking Tall just because wrestlers are in them. And yet I never even heard of Slammed! ? Scandalous! I subscribe to three wrestling dirtsheets, read countless wrestling websites and talk to people “in the business” daily, and I’m still out of the loop?!

But it got worse.

Not only was Slammed! about wrestling, but it starred a veritable Who’s Who of ‘80s and ‘90s TV stars that I grew up watching. There was that kid who played Jimmy Olsen on Lois and Clark, the older brother from Home Improvement, Cody from Step by Step, J. Peterman from Seinfeld, and last, but not least, the nerd sister from Charles in Charge. Somehow this went under my radar. I know what you are thinking. INCONCEIVABLE!

I immediately went online to Amazon.com and ordered the movie. I used the Torch gold card and even chose “express shipping.” Yes, while I would incur the wrath of Wade Keller, but I could not… I would not deprive the wrestling community of an in-depth review of what can best be described as “a poor man’s Ready to Rumble” for a day longer.

On to the DVD!

Slammed! takes place on the wildly popular “back bar” circuit of pro-wrestling. I never heard of this either, but I guess, like Tatooine and Metropolis, some places can exist thanks to the magic of Hollywood. Derek (played by Justin Whalin, the kid from the Dungeons & Dragons movie and Lois and Clark) is a wannabe wrestler, while his best friend Jeff (played by Zachary Ty Bryan from Home Improvement) wants to be his manager. Apparently back bar wrestling is supposed to be “shoot wrestling,” even though the guys are doing moonsaults and piledrivers. Whatever.

Derek and Jeff were ringside watching a match between Switchblade (the lead heel in the film) and The Eradicator (played by former WWE star Aaron “Jesus” Aguilera). Switchblade’s gimmick is that he rips off his shirt using a switchblade, and The Eradicator is a low rent Kane. I did like that Eradicator’s spiked hair was colored to look like flames. Derek and Jeff watched the match and ragged on it by saying things like, “this is pure Stone Cold Steve Austin,” and “how ‘90s can you get?!” The finish of the match came when Switchblade went to the top rope, winked at The Eradicator, and came off with a Phoenix Splash. During this we met Derek and Jeff’s friend, TJ, who filmed all of Switchblade’s matches because he’s paid twenty bucks per match by Switchblade. As if any indie wrestler could afford that. I guess Slammed! is more science fiction than comedy. Now, all of the wrestling took place in the back of a bar called “Champs” that Derek and Jeff bussed tables at. Tony “Tiny” Lister, former WWE wrestler Zeus and WCW wrestler the Z-Gangster, played a cook at Champs as well. To show you the level of writing in this movie, a running theme throughout the film was the bar’s owner, “Champ,” wanting to send away for a mail order bride while “Tiny” Lister would be caught jerking off to the pictures in the catalogs. Something tells me that Kevin Smith wasn’t brought in for a rewrite of the script.

Jeff and Derek


Josie "that girl from Charles In Charge" Davis


Fifi, one of the silicon enhanced Buckle Girls

Everyone will be glad to know there is a ton of GRATUITOUS NUDITY throughout the movie, and if you are a big fan of fake, silicon enhanced breasts, then this is your movie. Early on, we get a shot of the waitresses of Champs, who double as the Nitro Girls-like “Buckle Girls” in the wrestling ring, having a conversation in the back room as all of them took off their tops. I dubbed this scene Coyote Ugly Stupid. Back in the bar, Switchblade had come back into the picture as his alter ego Rick, who was a stuck up jerk. To get back at Rick treating them like dirt, Derek and Jeff got “Tiny” Lister to make Rick a burrito literally made out of dog shit. From this point on, another running gag throughout the movie was Rick’s breath. Derek had a crush on Rick’s girlfriend, who was revealed to be Shane (played by the nerd sister from Charles in Charge although, now she looks much more like Kirsten Dunst) and before long Jeff challenged Rick to a match to win the heart of Shane. Now, even though Derek had never wrestled a match before, Derek claimed he would get Jeff to the top because he’s “the Vince McMahon of back bar.”

The Eradicator, played by Aaron "Jesus" Aguilera


Jeff's dad, played by the the guy who was
J. Peterman on Seinfeld

Next up, we got to meet Jeff’s parents, where we find out they were leaving for the weekend, so you know what that means, PARTY! Jeff’s dad (played by Seinfeld’s J. Peterman) had a man to man talk with Jeff before he left, concerned about his son having a woman over while they were gone. Considering Jeff’s room was filled with nothing but wrestling posters and action figures, I think the parents could safely assume no woman has ever been near that room in the first place. Meanwhile, we were introduced to Derek’s family in the form of his uncle Mac (played by the neighbor from That ‘70s Show.) Mac owned a rundown junkyard and who should want to take it over but Rick (Switchblade)? As the Church Lady would say, “How conveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenient!

After getting verbally humiliated by Rick, Derek headed over to Jeff’s house ready to kill someone. While there, TJ pulls out the Deus Ex Machina, a flyer that promised a weeks worth of training from The Slammer (played by “Cody” from the Step by Step TV show and the Kickboxer movies.) Jeff hatched up a plan to switch all the names in the contest with entry forms that have Derek’s name on them, but on the night of the drawing, Jeff screwed up and puts the entries in the wrong box. Thankfully, the winning ticket was drawn during a wet t-shirt contest - with even more GRATUITOUS NUDITY - and Jeff was able to get one of the Buckle Girls to palm an entry with Derek’s name on it. You see, the winner of the wet t-shirt contest got $50 (paging Jim Cornette) and the right to pull the name of the contest winner. Believe it or not, the entire contest was a scam as The Slammer is so down on his luck, he uses the contest in order to find places to crash at for a week. Maybe this is more like real indie wrestling than I thought.

Win a week with The Slammer!
 

Wet t-shirt contest!!!

In a moment straight out of Three’s Company, Jeff caught The Slammer stretching and assumed The Slammer’s a homosexual. This led to Jeff being disgusted by Slammer’s training of Derek, thinking all the wrestling techniques were just sexual advances. Well, if you think about it, the Lou Thesz Press and the piledriver certainly look quite gay. The Slammer admitted to Derek and Jeff that he never went to “The Arena” (which was like the WWE to the back bar’s ROH I guess) because it was “staged.” The Slammer was all about keepin’ it real. Champ, the bar owner, convinced The Slammer to have one more match because he fills up the bar, and Slammer agreed to it. Before the match, Derek and Jeff bumped in Sylvester Terkay (a/k/a The Predator in MMA fighting), who was dressed like a nerd. Seriously, this was straight out of the end of Revenge of the Nerds II when Ogre put on the nerd glasses and pocket protector. Terkay played “The Goon,” and he wanted to see Slammer before the match because he wants, “to get on the same page with The Slammer.” Neither Derek or Jeff found this out of the ordinary.

The Goon, played by MMA fighter The Predator
 

Champ and The Slammer!

While Slammer and The Goon (who now looked more like Bruiser Brody) had their match in the ring, TJ was outside videotaping Rick (Switchblade) having sex with a Buckle Girl. This was to set up Shane seeing the tape and dumping Rick on the spot. Slammer beat The Goon with a mighty dropkick and a party at Jeff’s house was made to celebrate. Meanwhile, the police busted Champ for having an “unsanctioned” match and gave him a ticket, which meant no more back bar wrestling matches. UH OH! The Goon also saw Rick paying off The Eradicator. Cue foreshadowing music.

Houston, we have puppies! I repeat, we have puppies!

While at Jeff’s house we got even more GRATUITOUS NUDITY! Hey, I’m not complaining. Jeff finally got some alone time with a Buckle Girl he had been pining after, Gina, and promptly spilled food on her shirt. So they did what every other person would do in that situation, take off their shirts and wash them. Gina, in only a bra, and Jeff, shirtless, finally had their first kiss. AWWWWWWWWWWWW. Derek and Shane also got time alone, and it was revealed that Derek has had a crush on Shane since the 8th grade. I believe that was the same year in school that the writers put together this story. The Eradicator arrived and quickly started trouble, along with kicking the ass of The Goon. The Slammer got a hot tag and gave The Eradicator a spinebuster thorough a coffee table that would have made Arn Anderson proud. The next morning, Jeff’s parents came home to find the house destroyed, but luckily the father was a huge fan of The Slammer and the mom became a huge fan after seeing The Slammer naked in the shower. Oh man, you ever see Rodney Dangerfield in the movie Back to School? Remember when he opens the shower and tells the girl, “I didn’t see anything!” The opens it up again and says, “you’re perfect!”? God that was great.

Since Champs, the bar, couldn’t be used for wrestling, it was decided to hold the match between Rick and Derek at Mac’s junkyard. The stakes were even raised. If Rick won, the junkyard became his and if Derek won, all of the junkyard’s debts would be erased. In a hard hitting moment, The Slammer admitted to Derek and Jeff that his match against The Goon had been a work. Jeff couldn’t believe it. The Slammer said that after a separated shoulder, several knee operations and countless concussions that a legit shoot match just wasn’t in the cards for him. The Slammer also regrets not selling out to “The Arena” earlier in his career. Out of nowhere came Luscious Lucy, The Slammer’s old manager (played by one of the girls in that Pamela Anderson series V.I.P., the cute one with the short black hair). Lucy did go to “The Arena” and became a big star. She came back to help because, well, I have no idea why. We were then treated to a montage of the boys training and getting the junkyard set up for wrestling. Even crazy ol’ Mac was getting into the spirit of things. VIVA LA HOLLYWOOD!

Luscious Lola and The Slammer!
 

Derek puts an ankle lock on Switchblade!

Time for the big night. There’s an undercard match between a girl dressed as Catwoman against another girl dressed like school girl Britney Spears in the Hit Me Baby, One More Time video. You have to watch the deleted scenes to find out why this match is even taking place. Jeff’s mom showed up to watch the show, dressed in hat, sunglasses and trench coat. Seriously, she looked just like Madonna as The Blank in the Dick Tracy movie. The Eradicator also showed up, and was going to sneak into the show without paying until crazy ol’ uncle Mac pulled a gun out and threatened to shoot him dead. I wonder if Frank Goodman of USA Pro ever thought of that one?

TIME FOR THE BIG MATCH!!!

Switchblade dominated Derek to start the match, even hitting a moonsault. Derek was able to make a comeback after Switchblade literally tripped over his own two feet. I’d say that was absurd, but I think I saw AngelDust do that in several ROH matches back in 2003. The Eradicator came in for a run-in, but Slammer made the save with an axe handle off the top rope. Slammer then dropkicked The Eradicator to the outside where Luscious Lola finished him off with a chair shot. IT’S WRESTLEMANIA XX!!!! Back in the ring, Derek hit Switchblade with a tilt-a-whirl powerslam and got the three count! (6:52) YAAAAAY!

After the match, Switchblade said that the deal was off, and he was taking over the junkyard. Shane told him that they made enough money from the match to pay off all the junkyard’s tax bill so he can SUCK IT! Well, she didn’t say the last part, but she should have. Switchblade then has to realize he lost the match, lost the junkyard AND has to watch Derek make-out with his girlfriend. Sucks to be him.

Derek wins the match... and the girl!

The end.

Bonus Features: Commentary- There is a commentary track with the director of the movie, two producers, and the two guys who played Derek and Jeff. I thought it was pretty funny that even the producers goofed on the fact the girls couldn’t dance in the beginning of the film. Justin Whalin said that when he was shooting Lois & Clark he met Slammer while he was doing Step by Step and that Slammer wasn’t nearly as ripped back then. I was actually watching NYPD Blue this past season and Sasha made a guest appearance in one episode and he is twice as big as he is in Slammed! Sasha must have read Triple H’s book. Surprisingly, everyone loved the shit burrito gag. So much that they actually argued that they were afraid they wouldn’t be able to top it for the rest of the movie. Okay, that’s enough of this.

Sneak Peeks: There were previews of two movies, including a mockumentary, Superguy, that looked really interesting. The other, Creature Unknown, looked like your standard C- budget horror film.

There is eight and half minutes of bloopers, which just has everyone blowing lines and another eight minute featurette called It’s Slammin’ Time! This was a making-of type dealie that really didn’t explain much of how they made the movie at all. There is a segment on the girls talking about fake tits though, and one even says, “if they shake, they ain’t fake.’

Overall Thoughts: To tell you the truth, I enjoyed Slammed! more than Ready to Rumble, but that’s not saying much. It is the definition of “B-movie,” but reminded me of those old NBC made for TV movies that would be jam packed with TV stars. Click Here to purchase the disc or head on over to Amazon and check out all the other DVDs they have to offer.

Special thanks to Mike Roe of the LOUNGE and Torch Japan’s Keith Lipinski for their help with this review.



Copyright © 2005 Derek Burgan. All rights reserved.