Thursday, 12 July 2007

101 Reasons Not To Be A Professional Wrestler - DVD Review

So you think you know everything there is to know about professional wrestling. You’ve spent years watching television, reader insider sheets and numerous websites. Well, you’re about to get a surprise.
Directed by Michael Moody, 101 Reasons Not To Be A Pro Wrestler is the most hyped wrestling documentary since Beyond The Mat. It’s a no frills, warts and all look into the world of professional wrestling, with stars such as New Jack, Diamond Dallas Page, Vampiro, Joanie Laurer and more giving us their forthright views on the industry where they made their names.

If you’re expecting top notch production values ala Beyond The Mat, then give this DVD a wide berth. This is strictly a handheld
camera affair here, with interviews conducted in car parks, bars, living rooms and backstage. A technical masterpiece this is not.

But where this DVD does succeed is in the way Moody gets his subjects to talk openly about the wrestling business. These men
and women earned a living from professional wrestling, had plenty of happy times, and a ton of BS to put up with as well, from
the deaths of friends and loved ones to backstage politics to the personal sacrifices they had to make for the sake of their careers.

For me, the revelation of this DVD is New Jack. New Jack is one of those wrestlers I’ve never really taken to, one of those wrestlers I’ve never really been a big fan of. But I developed a deep respect for the man as the DVD progressed. Jack didn’t hold anything back, and came across as a man truly passionate about the way he made his living. It’s a shame that a couple of the other wrestlers in the piece, Sean O’Haire, I’m looking in your direction, didn’t show the same amount of passion as New Jack did.

If you’re looking for wrestling action in this production, well, there isn’t any. We see New Jack taking on Gypsy Joe, a guy who looks like he’s in his seventies. The match is brutal to say the least, and the referee calls a halt to proceedings, saying that the match has become too brutal. This doesn’t sit well with one fan, who is heard questioning the ref’s decision. This was meant to be a hardcore match after all. We also see New Jack, along with Vampiro and the former Major Gunns, Tylene Buck, film a commercial for a backyard wrestling video. The drama here comes from Vampiro’s concerns about power bombing Jack through a table and a fence while he is suffering from a broken leg.

Lasting almost three hours, this DVD isn’t one you can watch if you’ve just a few minutes to spare, and with another two hours in the extras department, there’s certainly a ton of stuff to see here.

101 Reasons Not To Be A Professional Wrestler is certainly interesting to watch, and is an interesting insight into the way that some people within the wrestling business perceive their surroundings. It will certainly change the way that some diehard wrestling fans look at the business.