Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label Scotty Riggs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scotty Riggs. Show all posts

Thursday, 18 July 2019

WCW Christmas Brawl (1996) Album - A Track by Track Review

WCW Christmas Brawl 1996 CD album review - track by track

In 1996, the superstars of WCW went to Germany for their Christmas Brawl 1996 tour. The four-date jaunt was almost entirely devoid of star power, featuring matches like Public Enemy vs. American Males (more of whom later) and Glacier vs. Mortis.

From an in-ring standpoint, the sole highlight looks to have been an Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit match, though for fans of Germany's own Alex Wright, perhaps the real highlight was seeing their fellow countryman in the main event, tagging with Lex Luger to face Harlem Heat.

Make no mistake about it, Das Wunderkind was sold as the star attraction of this tour, which explains why he not only headlined but also took pride of place on the cover of Christmas Brawl Theme Songs.

For the unfamiliar, Christmas Brawl was a collection of ten WCW themes penned by Jimmy Hart and JJ McGuire, the same virtuosos responsible for Hulk Hogan's Wrestling Boot Band.






The CD was only available on the tour itself or via mail order from Germany's World of Wrestling fan club, making it a pretty rare item back in the day.

Today, however, we have YouTube, which means copyright laws be damned, we get to go on a track-by-track treck through this forgotten treasure.

1: American Males 

"American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, "



If there's one theme on this album which really needs no introduction, it's this one.

The theme music for Scotty Riggs & Marcus Bagwell is as famous in the pro wrestling community as the It's Still Real to Me guy or El Dandy being a jam up guy.

And so it deserves to be.

OK, so American Males isn't exactly Stairway to Heaven, but it's a damn catchy song by all accounts and one of the most fun things to come out of the Hart/McGuire hit factory.

Sing it with me now!

American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males....

2: Disco Inferno - Disco Fever 

"Disco Fever, Disco Fever, Disco Fever, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah"



Hart & McGuire really didn't hold back when it came to showing off their lyrical prowess, did they?

Not unlike American Males, this one may not have been a masterpiece but was still a fun little number and did at least add a major component to the character of Disco Inferno.

Sure, the dancing fool was never positioned as a major star in World Championship Wrestling, but he was vastly underrated in the ring and even more underrated as an entertaining character.

His matches against Juventud Guerrera and Billy Kidman back at Halloween Havoc 1998 were some of his finest moments, and there were few people better at playing the deluded coward.

As for this track, it's every bit as enjoyable as Disco himself.

3: The Public Enemy - We Like to Party

"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, rock it like hell make it sound like heaven. // Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, come on everybody, let's have some fun!"



We Like to Party can't decide whether it wants to be Ini Kamoze's Here Comes the Hotstepper or Tag Team's Whoomp There it Is. It ends up being a hot mess of both, which might have worked if this were 1992 but otherwise just sounds dated and kind of cheesy.

This is especially true when you consider that The Public Enemy famously came from ECW. We Like to Party basically strips them of anything that might have been cool about TPE and turns them into the white version of Men on a Mission.

4: Jimmy Hart - We're Still Rocking

"We love those oldies but goodies"



To be honest, I'm not sure if The Mouth of the South ever actually used this as a theme song or if he just included it here as an exercise in self-indulgence.

This is basically an old-school rock 'n' roll song in which Hart pays tribute to the stars of the 1960s, including his own group, The Gentrys.

As songs go this one is fairly inoffensive, but it has that patented Jimmy Hart cheese about it that means you just know you're never going to hear it anywhere outside of the world of professional wrestling.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of The Colonel, but this rockin' little ode to the past does nothing for me.

5: Alex Wright - A Heartbeat Away 

Pull yourself together, girl // it's time to step up in the world, I'll help you get on your feet / and something something feel the heat!




American Males may be the most famous WCW theme to appear on this album, but it's arguable that Heartbeat Away is the one thing the album itself is best known for.

An effort to make Alex Wright a mainstream star, this bizarre track sees him rapping -badly- over the kind of Europop that had been popular in the region about five years earlier.

Honestly, it sounds a lot like Ace of Base, which would be fine in itself if the terrible production values didn't make it sound less like an Ace of Base hit single and more like something they left on their demo tape.

That's the weirdest thing about Heartbeat Away. Though some of the writing may be questionable, the production quality of Christmas Brawl has so far been incredibly high. Most of these songs sound very well produced, but this one sounds like Wright recorded his vocals on a Dictaphone and simply played them over the top of the music.

6: Nasty Boys - We're The Boys 

"Everybody talks but we know talk is cheap // If you mess with the boys we'll rearrange your teeth!"



OK, so it's a corny, mid-90s pro wrestling theme that you'd never admit to having on your Spotify playlist in a million years, but despite that, We're the Boys is a very fun song and actually one of the best things on the album.

Much like they did with almost every track on Hulk Rules, Hart & McGuire rework the basic structure they had for Owen Hart's WWF theme, adding a simple guitar riff while Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags rant and rave about how nasty they are.

 It's a joy to listen to... in private...without telling anybody ever.

7: Chris Jericho / Brian Pillman - California sun

"I like 'em hot, I like 'em cold // I like 'em young, I like 'em old // Blondes have more fun"



Speaking of recycled ideas from Hulk Rules. This song appeared on that album as Bad to the Bone, albeit with different lyrics.

Here, it crops up as a song called California Sun attributed to Chris Jericho, even though we all know it better as Blondes Have More Fun, Brian Pillman's song.

Pillman had already left WCW by this stage, so either there were plans for Jericho to use it, or Hart just wanted to get this song on the album and had to give it to a then-current WCW wrestler.

The song itself is, you know, OK, but it kind of sounds like the sort of thing that should be used for an early 90s sitcom about high school students, like if they did a Zach Morris spin-off, you could imagine this being the theme to it.

8: Diamond Dallas Page - Self High-Five 

"Load up on guns, bring your friends, it's fun to lose and to pretend "  "DDP, Tooo cool, etc, etc" 



Whether it was Rick Steiner's Welcome to the Jungle or Raven's Come As You Are, WCW were never shy about ever-so-slightly tweaking famous rock songs and passing them off as their own themes.

The most popular example of this, of course, is Diamond Dallas Page's version of the Nirvana classic, Smells Like Teen Spirit. 

In the age of the WWE Network, when Self High-Five has been dubbed over with something far more generic, there's a danger that this track will one day be forgotten about altogether.

Yet for those of us who lived through The Monday Night Wars this remains one of the most memorable themes of that era.

Hard, edgy and full of energy, there was nothing better for getting you absolutely fired up and ready to see DDP in action.

9: Konan - Konan's Theme 

"Aw yeah, and ya don't stop!"



Poor Konan. Whereas everyone else got a cool title for their theme song, he just got plain old Konan's Theme.

Still, there's nothing plain or old about this, it's actually a pretty good track and a surprise highlight of the album, featuring K-Dogg spitting his self-penned lyrics over a fairly solid hip hop number.

Like Heartbeat Away, the production values leave a lot to be desired here, but if you can overlook that, Konan's theme is good stuff.

10: Taskmaster - Taskmaster 

"haha! haha! mwahahaha! mwahahahahahahah!"



And so it finally comes down to this - two and a half minutes of maniacal laughter and creepy sounds that comes across like something you'd find playing in the background at a haunted house attraction.

It's an odd choice of track to include on this album since most of the others are actual songs whereas this is more atmospheric noise.

It's not bad, and it's perfectly suited for Taskmaster Kevin Sullivan and his Dungeon of Doom stable, but it's no American Males, that's for sure.




For a promotional merchandise item tied into a four-day tour headlined by Alex Wright, Christmas Brawl 1996 is a surprisingly good little release. OK, so a lot of the songs are kind of cheesy by today's standards, but this is an album that is was definitely of its time, and though it may not have aged well, it's still a lot of fun to listen to. 

I'm sorry, what I mean to say is...American Males, American Males, American...ah, you get it.


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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.