Skip to main content

Documentaries

So hockey aside, I don't know how big a sports nut you are, but I thought I'd put this to you and the board.  I was on ESPN's website and looking over the upcoming 30 for 30 series.  Essentially the series in theory was to do 30 documentaries of events that happened sports in the 30 years of I guess what you can call The TV Era or the Boomer Era (1980-2010) produced and/or directed by known celebrity personalities.  Some were terrific (The Two Escobars, The U), some were surprisingly better than I thought (Pony Express, June 17, 1994) and some were big let downs (Silly Little Games, King's Ransom - Berg made the Gretzky Trade a complete bore).
So, my question for you and the board is:  if you were going to do 10 documentaries on wrestling, whether a bio, an event, a territory/promotion, and you had access to footage and contact with particular wrestling personalities past and present, and feel you could do it way better without WWE revisionist history, and not do something cliche or done to death, what would you like to see?
Off the top of my head I can think of:
The Superstar Billy Graham story
The Rise and Fall of Jim Crockett Promotions
The Murder of Bruiser Brody
The Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert Story
AJPW vs NJPW
Maybe everyone else can come up with more.

I'd combine the two already great World Class documentaries, strip away any of the biases involved, and do the ultimate no-bullshit telling of the story because it really is stranger than anything Hollywood could possibly dream up.  

Comments

  1. A doc about Benoit and Guerrero. And a doc about the end of WCW and the sale.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd like to see one on March 26, 2001, the night WWE took over WCW (on TV), with Shane McMahon appearing on Nitro, etc. I'd love to know what went on behind the scenes that weekend and Monday night.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Montreal Screwjob where everyone involved has taken truth serum.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'd like to see a good WCW one, if anything just to see how they justified keeping over 250 wrestlers on the payroll. Eric Bischoff should really write a book.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would go with the Bruno Samartino story. He was blackballed by Vince Sr, on top for 8 years, "left" for a couple years and was champ again for 3 more. Now him and Vince Jr are on the outs.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Hart family

    ReplyDelete
  7. While I'm not at all against the idea, I don't think I'd want to watch a Hart family doc. Seems like it would be really depressing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A good mockumentary would be Kane's life before the WWE.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'd like to see a doc about the casualties of the WCW sale; I'm referring to the WCW guys that WWE signed only to fire within a year. Those guys would give us some really good insight on the backstage politics and locker room attitudes at the end of WCW as well as the WWF/E plus those guys have been out of the business for so long that they would be completely honest about everything without having a company spin or an agenda.

    That would be a lot more interesting than the so-called WCW story that consisted of Gerald Brisco sucking up to Vince and Vince's cronies taking jabs at Ted Turner solely because Ted refused to be interviewed for the DVD.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Would there be a good wrestling doc that wouldn't be depressing in some way? Not being argumentative, just wondering out loud.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Not really, but this one would would be really bad. I mean, you got Owen, Montreal, Bret getting injured by Goldberg, the fucked-up hosebeast Hart sisters... the only thing that I can think of that would be more depressing is a Von Erich doc, or maybe a Benoit one. I was a huge Owen mark, and while I can (and do) still watch his matches, watching any video that talks about him dying or any of his interviews just puts me in a shitty mood.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This would be AWESOME! Seriously, I'm kind of mad right now that I didn't think of it first.

    ReplyDelete
  13. On a related note, the real story behind Black Saturday?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'd go for a Guerrero Family documentary, like the Hart Family one they put out a couple of years ago

    ReplyDelete
  15. A doc about the Berserker and the history of Vikings throwing people out of the battle arenas of their time.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Def. Benoit and Guerrero; the way their careers were connected and how much they meant to each other, from WMXX to their deaths, that make for a hell of a fascinating doc.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The Two Escobars and Catching Hell were damn terrific docs, btw. Most of 30 for 30 was great; at a time when SportsCenter and ESPN are losing their journalistic integrity by the day (talk about Tebow when he's a starter, not the backup), it's nice to see what their resources and projects can create when they put a full effort behind it (same with the outstanding reports on Outside the Lines as well)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love to see one on the history of Mexican wrestling.

    A think a life of Jessie Ventura would be fun since he's covered so many bases, wrestler, commentator, movies, politician.

    The rise and fall and PRIDE.

    ReplyDelete
  19. how to impale your opponent with a sword in three easy steps.

    huss huss huss

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ooooh, I like the Rise and Fall of PRIDE.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'd like to see a documentary made about the Gold Club in Atlanta and the various services offered to its athlete and wrestler patrons. Bischoff and Patrick Ewing in the same documentary!

    ReplyDelete
  22. To be fair, whilst I'm sure a sizable portion of the people left languishing at home as a result of WCW's hiring policies were due to the uselessness of Bischoff, I'm also certain that a lot of people who he hired he never had any intention of using - he just wanted to snap them up to prevent competitors from getting their hands on them.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This was the first thing I thought of.  I know Wrestling with Shadows kinda covered it, but I'd like to see one now that people have been more honest about their involvement.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'd love a documentary on the Savage/Hogan dynamic in the 80s, along the lines of the Bird/Magic documentary that HBO did.

    It even fits that too since Hogan was the Cali guy that was Hollywood and had everything in the WWF handed to him, while Savage was coming up in a rogue promotion in Memphis and had to outwork everyone to make it the top, a la Bird.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I would watch that but since he was an influence on Beniot can we throw the Dynamite Kid into that somehow.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'd like one about WCW at it's peak. Not exactly the way the Rise and Fall was presented, but focus only on WCW's time as #1 and how so many guys were living the high life because of it. Talk to main eventers, midcarders, the guys who were contract and being paid but never actually wrestled. Present is as "this is how good things were for a while". You can even get into the Gold Club, partying, anything to show the rewards of success at the time......which could easily lead into a second part about the fall of WCW as someone mentioned below focused on the people who's careers were essentially ended because of it.

     

    ReplyDelete
  27. This would be GOLD.

    ReplyDelete
  28. A complement to that is Black Saturday when Vince bought Georgia Championship Wrestling and what went on with that.

    ReplyDelete
  29. -Wrestling in the 70's.  We already have a ton of stuff covering 1980 and up.  I would really like to see docs focusing on the stuff that isn't well known.

    -Professional Wrestling:  From Sport to Spectacle.  Focusing on how wrestling became a work.

    -Puro:  The American Invasion of Pro Wrestling in Japan.  How pro wrestling evolved in Japan.

    -Lucha - Already mentioned.

    -A doc on wrestling in the UK and Europe.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I second the PRIDE idea.

    ReplyDelete
  31. -Lex Luger (post WCW Shutdown), just because of all he went through after WCW folded.
    -Modern one about Andy Kaufman and Lawler, with Lawler not Kayfabe
    -The Rise of an Independent, maybe the creation of ROH and how it all came together

    ReplyDelete
  32. Maybe a doc on a former big 3 star and how they get booked and travel from Indy to Indy and how they make ends meet.  Virgil comes to mind, maybe and this is not in a negative connotation Steve Corino or Colt.

    ReplyDelete
  33. A Hulk Hogan documentary along the lines of the Tyson one that came out a few years ago. Hogan narrating his life story with as much (or as little!?) bs as he wants with an unlimited budget would be the stuff of legends.

    ReplyDelete
  34.  I'm not sure how much left there is to find out about Montreal.  As far as I know, nobody's really disputed Meltzer's account.   Granted, it would be somewhat interesting to hear people talk about it years later and with the benefit of hindsight, but I don't think there would be any new revelations. 

    ReplyDelete
  35. I think the one that WWE put out a couple years ago was pretty accurate and free of WWE spin... but I agree that a no holds barred one would be better because it could go into how fucked up Bruce and the women are (plus the Diana/Davey boy relationship and whichever one married Anvil). And of course the family split after Owen died.

    I was watching Wrestling with Shadows the other day and if you think about it, that was right before bad things started happening to the family for years and years -- Montreal, Owen, Bret's injury, Bulldog dying, Bret's stroke and Stu and Helen dying... probably something I'm forgetting too.

    ReplyDelete
  36. The Hart/Michaels face to face DVD they put out is pretty much that, according to Meltzer... and we already know Vince's side of the story.

    ReplyDelete
  37. It sounds like that ECW doc that just got funded could be close to the Indy one you're describing.

    ReplyDelete
  38.  What did everyone think of "Beyond The Mat"?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Catching Hell and June 17, 1994 were my favorites. Catching Hell did a fantastic job of really making you feel for Steve Bartman.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I really liked it and if they ever did a sequel, I'd be interested.

    ReplyDelete
  41.  And who, off the top of your head, would you like to see in the sequel?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Disputed/Controversial title changes in the 60s and 70s?  I'm thinking the WWWF being formed because of the Lou Thesz/Buddy Rogers title change along with the Harley Race being the transitional champion between Funk Jr. and Brisco situation in 1973.  I'm sure there's others I'm forgetting.

    Actually, since I enjoyed Larry Matysik's books so much, I'd love one on Sam Muchnick and the history of St. Louis wrestling.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I feel for him anyway, if Moises didnt throw a hissy fit and just went back to his position it would not have been nearly as bad for Bartman.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Not a doc per se but a DVD set of guys who werent WWF guys but had matches in the WWF.  Kind of like the unreleased sets for Hogan and Bret but this would be a set of WWF matches by guys like Abdullah, Brodie, Hansen, etc.  Guys who didnt really have "runs" in WWF but swung by for a couple matches.  Maybe also going into stuff like DiBiase's first run pre Million Dollar Man, basically just stuff we wouldnt normally get.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I mean I already felt bad for him, but until I saw that movie I wasn't aware of the extent of the vitriol being thrown at him after it happened.

    ReplyDelete
  46. In reading all the ideas here, I think the one that intrigues me the most is interviewing the guys from the end of WCW who came over to WWE for a bit but were not major players.  Called it "Casualties of War."  Get their take on the end of WCW, on the invasion, particularly Bagwell/Booker T and UT/DDP, and of course their thoughts on integrating into the locker room.  Who made it difficult?  Who tried to reach out?  What was Vince's role?

    ReplyDelete
  47. The U was pretty epic also. I love the 30 for 30's. Hopefully they will do a wrestling one. Doesn't seem that far fetched.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Jake the Snake - still alive and... and Terry Funk too.

    Scott Hall, Chyna, Bret Hart, Iron Sheik (for laughs), etc

    ReplyDelete
  49.  Lol, interesting list.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Much better use than whatever the hell WWE films is doing now.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hi Scotty

    Have you seen the Documentary called "The Unreal Story of Pro Wrestling" - from memory that covers a lot of the history about how wrestling became a work and also some great stuff about the early post war years and stars such as
    Gorgeous George.

    Here is the Amazon link:
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Unreal-Story-Pro-Wrestling/dp/B00003OSSP

    ReplyDelete
  52.  That Rock vs. Mankind I Quit match still send chills up my spine.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Raven, Roddy Piper, and Colt Cabana are the first three that come to mind for some reason.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Yeah, to watch the fan footage of the crowd in that area slowly point him out and turn into a mob basically was surreal. It reminded me of that line from The Dark Knight, "When the chips are down, these civilized people, they'll eat each other." And there he was, just huddled in a mass of stoicism. To blame him for the loss -- and not the players who coughed up a 5-run lead with 5 outs to go -- is beyond asinine.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I would revisit Foley, Funk, and Roberts and then follow Abyss, Austin, and Scott Hall.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I've seen it, and it is excellent, but doesn't goes as in depth on the older stuff as I'd like...especially the 60's and 70's.  They have a good intro then it is like..."Not much happenend until Vince went national!"

    ReplyDelete
  57. I think Bill Simmons has said they did consider doing a 30 for 30 on Andre the Giant, but it didn't make the final cut.

    ReplyDelete
  58. They sill replay that on A&E every once in a while.

    ReplyDelete
  59.  I watched it live but I don't remember all of the details. Didn't the Cubs leave their starter in in the 8th and gave up something like 9 straight hits?

    ReplyDelete
  60. I think Bulldog left Diana for Anvils wife before he died. There's all kinds of dysfunction in the Hart Family. See, I'd like to see a documentary that acknowledges that. Wrestling with Shadows shows it but doesn't really classify it as anything abnormal. I'd like one that shines a light on the fact that an exceedingly large family who's lives revolve around and depend on wrestling doesn't turn out okay.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I've completely given up on ESPN and their Tebow dick riding. The obsession with Tiger and LeBron was bad enough, but that at least kind of made sense, those two are among the best all time at what they do. Tebow is fucking horrible, calling him a quarterback is like calling most of the Divas wrestlers.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Just being a Cubs fan is pretty asinine, IMO.

    ReplyDelete
  63.  A mockumentary on all the title changes which have taken place in Brazil might be fun. "On disk 1 the true story of the Intercontinental Title tournament". and so on.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Not quite the same, but did you see "The Most Powerful Families in Wrestling" that WWE released five years ago? Cool little documentary, and it has that swank Harts/Knights "Survivor Series '93" match.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Not da whole story, lad. WWE owns all da Andre footage, and dey wanted more control over da doc than ESPN wanted ta give, so it never got made.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Instead of a documentary that is just a bunch of talking heads, what about a movie based on it? Reenact what was actually going on?

    I mean, not a big-budget thing, nobody but hardcore wrestling fans would see it, but just some indy film?

    ReplyDelete
  67. Their shortstop also had an error that opened the floodgates and his ass probably would have been grass if not for Bartman.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I'm glad somebody else likes that match. I thought I was the only one.

    ReplyDelete
  69.  Yeah, that sounds like something the WWE would do....

    ReplyDelete
  70. I like the idea of a Hart Family documentary with a different take than Wrestling with Shadows or any of the WWE versions. Those versions would tell the story of a family growing up in wrestling. All the brothers being wrestlers, the sisters marrying wrestlers, the parents running a wrestling company, training wrestlers....I'd look at it as a family of dysfunctional people who's bizarre upbringing likely played a part in it. Stu Hart torturing people in the baseball isn't exactly normal. Interview people around Calgary to find out how the Harts are seen outside of the wrestling community. Are there any Harts who went out on their own and didn't get tied up in wrestling or the family drama?

    ReplyDelete
  71. Oh yeah i forgot about that match!

    ReplyDelete
  72.  Loved most of the 30 for 30 docs, especially Pony Excess, The Two Escobars, and The U. A few of them (aka, the hero-worship video on Marion Jones) were letdowns, but by and large, I really dug them, and I'm ecstatic they made more that are airing this fall/winter.

    ReplyDelete
  73. "Stu Hart torturing people in the baseball"


    Had no clue Stu was a beast at the bat???

    ReplyDelete
  74. Opps.

    I'll leave it - I'm sure he's stretched a few people out at the kids little league games to.

    ReplyDelete
  75. lol than he'd do infield practice and fungo a few liners at the kids heads...

    ReplyDelete
  76. I thought it was Andrea, Bruce Hart's wife.  Anvil's wife was Ellie, who exudes more evil person than anyone I've ever run across, even through a TV screen.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Not that Over: The True Story of HHH would be depressing but not for the same reasons as other wrestling documentaries

    ReplyDelete
  78. easy. let Vince once and for all tell us the reason why he basically tried to write Randy Savage out of the WWF/E's history.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Steve Corino was always an almost star and Colt Cabana's never really been given a chance.

    And Colt has a movie called the Wrestling Road Diaries about him and Bryan's journies.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Yeah it is easily my favorite wrestling documentary, but I agree with you, plus even in the 1980s it totally glosses over the NWA.  It'd be nice to give the full treatment to the 1960s and 1970s stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Made me never want to try crack. Not because I was scared of it but the high doesn't last that long so you have to keep refilling and lighting. WAY to much effort involved there.

    ReplyDelete
  82. So vince, did randy savage fuck your daughter when she was 14?

    I'd pay to see the answer for sure

    ReplyDelete
  83. The Unauthorised History Of The WWE- a no-holds-barred trawl through the fed's rise and fall and rise and fall etc. No WWE spin when it comes to Black Saturday, cutthroat tactics against Verne and Crockett, steroid trials etc.

    Moving away from the blindly obvious, I think a fly-on-the-wall doco following Ric Flair for a couple of months, similar to "Joan Rivers: A piece of work" in concept and execution, would be interesting.

    And I've always been interested in the infamous Muhummad Ali-Antonio Inoki fight. A doco on what really went down behind the scenes, as well as the fallout, would be fascinating. Actually, so would a similar doco on Superclash III.

    ReplyDelete
  84. You don't want to see his foul balls.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Yeah after that performance by cub fans I don't particularly care to see that team win a world series ever.

    ReplyDelete
  86. That was Mark Prior. He had a lot of talent but even at that early point in his career was starting to show warning signs of being injury prone. Unfortunately for him the Cubs manager at the time was Dusty Baker who has no idea how to use pitchers and left him out there to die when when all the warning signs were flashing. Dusty yanked him right before they blew the lead for good and insisted Prior take the 'game ball' since the Cubs were five outs away from going to their first World Series since 1945.

    That's a dumb move on any level, but doing it with the CUBS was astronomically stupid. They blew the lead, lost the game and dropped game seven and they haven't won a playoff game since.

    What made it so eerie was that the Red Sox had done the EXACT SAME THING the previous NIGHT. Three run lead, five outs to go, a pitcher that everyone but his manager knew was done, exact same result.

    What could have been the likely most watched World Series of all time, The Cubs riding a 95 year drought vs. the Sox riding an 85 year drought somehow turned into Marlins vs. Yankees.

    ESPN could do an another whole new 30 for 30 just on those two days alone.

    ReplyDelete
  87.  Oh I remember the Red Sox one. My dad and I are Red Sox fans and I recall my dad being semi-exciting that at least being a Cubs fan is just as bad. Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS was probably my most heartbreaking sports moment. I think the Marlins would've beat them to though.

    Even though they're good now I still pay little to no attention to the Reds so I was surprised earlier in the year to see Dusty Baker was their manager. I remember him being hired there but I assumed now that they were good he must have been fired. They didn't seem to think that much of him in Chicago, I remember watching one of the last Cub games of the year in 2004 and Chip Carey more or less said Baker didn't know what he was doing and the fans should start questioning how bad of a manager he is...Carey "left" after the season.

    ReplyDelete
  88.  Oh right, Alex Gonzalez? I think it was him, he used to play for the Blue Jays. If that was his name, I can't really remember.

    ReplyDelete
  89. I be thinkin' a better title would be "Fuckin Yer Way To Da Top: Triple H's Rise".

    ReplyDelete
  90. I certainly wouldn't call it a great match, but I loved Bobby Heenan and Ray Combs' commentary during that match, proof that a great commentator CAN make a boring match watchable while Michael Cole and Dave Prazak have proven that bad commentators can make great wrestling nearly unwatchable.

    ReplyDelete
  91. I wouldn't call it a great match, either, but I love just how much of an "oddball" entity it is - two guys that are only in the match due to being related to stars, against three masked jobbers. We've never had anything like it since then.

    It'd be like having a PPV now headlined by Cena and his brothers against Punk and three costumed guys from NXT.

    ReplyDelete
  92. That Pony Express 30 for 30 doc is one of the greatest things I've ever seen, sports or no sports. And a complete surprise too, having never heard anything about SMU before it.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment