Various Artists

WWE Originals

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WWE Originals features the sports entertainment behemoth's most popular personalities performing original music tailored to their particular quirks and characteristics. Beginning with an amusing skit featuring indefatigable hard ass Stone Cold Steve Austin (which continues throughout the album), Originals also features Trish Stratus -- 2003 "WWE Babe of the Year" -- cooing her way through the soft-focus piano pop of "I Just Want You," and D-Von and Bubba Ray Dudley -- known to millions as the tag-team duo Dudley Boyz -- doubling up on the sneering rap-rock rumble of "We've Had Enough." Trish isn't the only "WWE Diva" to step into the recording ring. It turns out Lita's tantalizingly tough exterior just masks the need for a little TLC, and turnbuckle bombshell Stacy Keibler is a club kid at heart. Elsewhere, John Cena's "Basic Thugonomics" is exactly what it sounds like, and Rey Mysterio celebrates his heritage in "Crossing Borders." WWE Originals' most unlikely frontman is probably ex-Headshrinker and current Phat Man Rikishi. Reinventing his enormous self as a slow-jam crooner for the, ahem, cheeky "Put a Little A** on It," the keeper of "the stink face" finishing move emulates Rosey "It's All Right to Cry" Grier in the '70s classic Free to Be...You and Me. For the most part, the wrestlers and divas appearing let their larger-than-life personas carry them. This is fortunate, for as the tepid dance-pop of Keibler's "Why Can't We Just Dance" or Kurt Angle's strange hip-hop ditty "I Don't Suck (Really)" (featuring the clunking rhyme "Anything you can do I can do better/Even when I rap/I rap more better") prove, they often can't carry a tune. Nevertheless, the WWE's rabid fan base should eat Originals up. [Initial pressings included a bonus DVD with behind-the-scenes recording session footage.]

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