Arts & Entertainment » Culture

Fiz - 4.5.06

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Wrestling? Twist my arm.

Jake "The Snake" Roberts --- an'80s vintage WWF baddie --- has seen better days. How do I know? I saw him on Wrestlevision.

Wrestlevision is a locally produced show devoted to Western New York wrestling. It combines wrestling matches, comedy sketches (often parodies of TV shows like Cheaters or Live with Regis and Kelly filmed in the same nondescript office space) and interviews, and is corralled by host Scotty Bender and a variety of co-hosts.

It was during Wrestlevision's televised trip to Philly that I saw Jake The Snake. Sporting sweaty, thinning hair, sweatpants, and cowboy boots, he jumped into the ring, berated a young wrestler in face paint, and then clotheslined the punk. Later, he gave an addled interview.

Wrestlevision covers federations all over Western New York, including Rochester's NWA Upstate and Roc City Wrestling. Watch as the wrestlers take over rented community halls across Upstate, causing audiences to jump out of their folding chairs.

The wrestlers earn it. In one Empire State Wrestling match in Wheatfield, J-Man and Jonny Puma exploded out of the ring, took down a Christmas tree, and then moved their way to the bar, where they threw in some makeshift moves involving a soda gun.

The shows offer a goofy, wholesome reverence to the sport. From Bender's earnestness to co-host Ivan the Impaler'snerdily intense interviews to the wrestlers' playacting, it's all gold.

Wrestlevision is on WBGT-TV UPN 18, Sundays at 3 p.m. and Tuesdays at 1 a.m. The next new episode --- the 75th --- airs Sunday, April 9. www.wrestlevision.com.

--- Erica Curtis


Ring around the caller

The cellular phone provides the human race with many things: dependable communication during emergencies; a reliable time source for those too cheap/lazy to wear a watch; and perhaps most importantly, unlimited entertainment value thanks to the plethora of options on the ringtone market.

If your Cingular phone still sounds off with cheery, cascading chimes or your Sprint phone blares that tinny, chirpy alarm, it's time to get with the revolution. Scads of sites like www.jamster.com offer tons of songs available for downloading, some free, but most requiring a credit card. An unassuming friend of mine gets laughs every time she receives a call and the dulcet strains of Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'" drift from her speaker. My brother has assigned different tones for each caller, selecting the Super Mario Bros. theme for my video game-addicted brethren. Even my parents --- practical Luddites who fear even using the toaster --- have Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" and Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman" on their phones.

Currently the most popular downloads include Sean Paul's inescapable reggaeton anthem "Temperature" and T-Pain's "I'm N Luv (Wit a Stripper)." But if you've been waiting in line at the grocery store or the movie theater in the past few weeks, chances are you already knew that.

--- Eric Rezsnyak

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