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The Viceland Wrestling Documentaries


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Benoit and Owen as bookends definitely made the most sense. They're the two stories that the surface details are best known to the public at large who might go "I remember that. Huh, I wonder how it happened" and watch the show.

The Bravo one has me the most intrigued, because I only know a tiny bit about it.

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That Owen episode will be ridiculously hard to watch. I got called the day after by a friend telling me what happened, and remember sitting at the kitchen table breaking down crying with my parents consoling me, not really getting what was going on. My personal worst celebrity death. 

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35 minutes ago, christopher.annino said:

What I mean by how New Jack was working everyone was the way he was describing the things that we're going through his head, and the things he was saying or supposedly said. Some of that, if not much of it, is potentially complete bullshit. We will never know if he truly went out there to maim Mass Transit - it makes a much better story for his character to say that was the purpose, to say that Heyman told him to do whatever he wanted. He comes off as totally believable but he's the same dude we saw in Beyond The Ring looking to break into Hollywood.

 

We're looking at this the exact same way, just describing it differently.  It was an opportunity for him to tell the real story behind his outrageous actions, but he choose to tell the most entertaining story instead of the realest story.  In the words of the late, great, poet philosopher Pimp C, "Oz ain't prison and The Wire ain't dope."  He had the chance to tell us the real story, but it was overwhelmingly obvious that a man who went out of his way to be "real" gave us the made for TV version.

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I didn't know there was this much clamor for Jack to say what actually went on. I thought it was always dismissed as "New Jack goes rogue part XI". Moreover, I think that time period in wrestling is always thought of as "Yeah, most of this shit would never fly today." (see: Flair, Ric)

With that said, to me as a combat sports fan, I think it's like when the boxing journalists got mad ESPN were doing a 30 for 30 on the No Mas fight and the hook was Duran and Leonard meeting face to face so Duran can explain why he quit in the second fight. Any boxing journalist with a hard on for the sport is going to bitch and bemoan that we will never know the real reason that Duran quit. Duran has given a thousand different excuses a thousand different times the prior 35 years. However, you forget those docs are mostly made for casual fans who don't know most of the story or may not know ANY of the story. So any person watching the 30 for 30 will come away with the same conclusion most hardcore boxing fans have: even Duran doesn't know. So if anything, the documentary is a fair account of what happened and the aftermath for casuals. No more, no less.

Turning back to Dark Side of the Ring....if New Jack has been working people for this long, why would I expect it to change?

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27 minutes ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

With that said, to me as a combat sports fan, I think it's like when the boxing journalists got mad ESPN were doing a 30 for 30 on the No Mas fight and the hook was Duran and Leonard meeting face to face so Duran can explain why he quit in the second fight. Any boxing journalist with a hard on for the sport is going to bitch and bemoan that we will never know the real reason that Duran quit. Duran has given a thousand different excuses a thousand different times the prior 35 years. However, you forget those docs are mostly made for casual fans who don't know most of the story or may not know ANY of the story. So any person watching the 30 for 30 will come away with the same conclusion most hardcore boxing fans have: even Duran doesn't know. So if anything, the documentary is a fair account of what happened and the aftermath for casuals. No more, no less.

 

A little off topic, but it is tragic that "No Mas" is the thing that Roberto Duran is most remembered for, because he was about as good of a boxer who ever lived.  He was 72-1 going into that fight, and had been a professional for twelve years.  He's one of the most dominant champions of all time, but quitting that fight will always be the first thing on his resume.  

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I enjoyed BFA, but New Jack is correct, his was better.

Also, I will gladly start a go fund me to raise enough money to hire a honeymoon suite for Cornette and Russo to spend the night in so that they can make out, or whatever it is they need to do, and get this stupid dumb infatuation they have for each other out of their systems.

I don’t need to hear about their “feud” in a Documentary ever again. I’m almost scared to click on the Sasuke documentary for fear we get Cornette and Russo as talking heads somehow turning Sasuke’s WWF appearances into Cornette v Russo.

Edited by Ultimo Necro
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Like 99.7% of it takes place in Japan. A bit of it is in Spanish though, because Mrs Sasuke is Mexican.

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2 hours ago, supremebve said:

A little off topic, but it is tragic that "No Mas" is the thing that Roberto Duran is most remembered for, because he was about as good of a boxer who ever lived.  He was 72-1 going into that fight, and had been a professional for twelve years.  He's one of the most dominant champions of all time, but quitting that fight will always be the first thing on his resume.  

Most boxing historians have him top 5 pound-for-pound of all time (although that might have changed since everyone started being list crazy ten or fifteen years ago). However, when you have a far reaching fight like that and that's what happens...that is indeed part of your legacy. 

I mean look at Sonny Liston. He is most known for the Ali fights and the controversy surrounding those fights. Prior to that, Sonny Liston was one of the most feared boxers of all time and it was definitely a rep he earned cause he was knocking dudes unconscious with jabs.

Michael Spinks was a hell of a fighter (especially as a light heavyweight). What is he most remembered for? The Tyson fight and the lead up to it w/ the shenanigans over the titles and that tournament.

The whole Coming to America bit about Rocky Marciano stems largely from the fact that Marciano's popularity was in the age where people are just starting to get TVs in their homes. He was to boxing what Gorgeous George was to professional wrestling. Marciano vs. Joe Louis was a giant fight. However, it wasn't for the world heavyweight title. Let me explain and see if you can keep up:

A past his prime Louis came out of retirement in 1950 and lost the linear heavyweight title to former light heavyweight contender and stalwart Ezzard Charles, who had already won the vacant title in his first meeting against Jersey Joe Walcott of their quadrilogy/tetralogy in 1949. Charles would beat Walcott again the second fight only to lose it to Walcott in the third fight in 1951 in Walcott's fifth attempt at winning the title (two losses to Louis on top of the two to Charles), which allowed Walcott to become the oldest to win the heavyweight title. That record would stand until George Foreman beat Michael Moorer in 1994 for a version of the heavyweight title. Meanwhile, Louis was basically taking fights due to his IRS problems (he owed half a million and even more as time went on) in addition to some type of weird alimony agreement with his ex-wife. Then, he fought Marciano in what was a humongous matchup in October 1951 between the (aging) American hero and the hot, rising star three months after Walcott wrestled the title away from Charles. Walcott beat Charles again in the fourth fight, and then lost it to Marciano in 1952. Marciano only defended the title six times (compared to Louis who still holds the title defense record of twenty five) in three years (September 1952 to September 1955) before retiring in April 1956. That would give way to Floyd Patterson becoming the youngest HW champ at the age of 21 (Tyson would break that record, which is ironic because both were trained by Cus D'Amato) against the real life Forrest Gump of boxing and perennial badass Archie Moore for the title Marciano vacated upon his retirement. Patterson would lose it to Ingemar Johansson and regain it back before losing it to Liston in September 1962 in an utter one sided drubbing. Then, you pretty much know the rest from there.

However, for most people who don't follow boxing or just know bits and pieces, most people assume Joe Louis was champ for a long time (he indeed was seeing as he beat the "Cinderella Man" James J. Braddock for the title in 1937 and held the title for 12 years before his first retirement) and then Marciano beat Louis for the title (incorrect). Moreover, the popularity of Muhammad Ali would make that whole fifteen year time period between Marciano's rise to prominence and Ali beating Liston hazy as hell. There were a bunch of great fighters in that time period, but as time passed, things greatly overshadowed that. Larry Holmes' legacy is hurt by the fact he came after Ali and right before Mike Tyson, who became boxing's biggest star in the advent of PPV. Holmes is second to only Joe Louis in terms of consecutive title defenses (IIRC 19 to Joe's 25). If George Foreman didn't come back and basically take a circuitous route to win a form of the heavyweight title from Michael Moorer with that legendary KO, he would have been best known for the Rumble in the Jungle and then sadly fading into obscurity not too long afterwards (forgetting the Lyle fight which I would recommend to any non boxing fan to watch) before having an even sadder "comeback". At best, people probably think of Howard Cosell's infamous knockdown call in the first Frazier-Foreman fight.

Not a whole lot you can do about it.

 

Edited by Elsalvajeloco
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2 hours ago, supremebve said:

A little off topic, but it is tragic that "No Mas" is the thing that Roberto Duran is most remembered for, because he was about as good of a boxer who ever lived.  He was 72-1 going into that fight, and had been a professional for twelve years.  He's one of the most dominant champions of all time, but quitting that fight will always be the first thing on his resume.  

Second would be the faceplant as a result of Hearns' right hook. He was my dad's favourite and I really should go back and watch his prime stuff. 

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Loved the part in the BFA with Russo cackling watching JBL get knocked out, then doing a serious voice about “what we know now about concussions” and he wouldn’t ever do It again if he had a chance.  He is working even harder than New Jack!

 

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While we're talking about Brawl For All, apparently Vince wanted to do another one in 2010 with the original NXT cast.

We got robbed of Daniel Bryan in a shoot fight against Heath Slater.

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7 minutes ago, caley said:

Loved the part in the BFA with Russo cackling watching JBL get knocked out, then doing a serious voice about “what we know now about concussions” and he wouldn’t ever do It again if he had a chance.  He is working even harder than New Jack!

 

He probably watches that clip on a loop, while looking like Kevin McDonald, when he was growing his beard out and eating bean sprouts.

Edited by PetrolCB
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4 hours ago, Casey said:

While we're talking about Brawl For All, apparently Vince wanted to do another one in 2010 with the original NXT cast.

We got robbed of Daniel Bryan in a shoot fight against Heath Slater.

There is also the Million $ Tough Enough season shoot Angle vs. Puder (and another guy before Puder).

Edited by Robert s
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4 hours ago, Peck said:

It's not like any of us would have a different reaction watching JBL get knocked silly.

Do you think he just happened to pick the internet's least favourite wrestler/personality as the target of his "wrath"?  It's such a clearly bullshit story that he reverse-engineered to suit the narrative and make him look like a hero to his internet following.  He knew Ross and Cornette would bury him as being the author of something Viceland was going to call one of the dumbest ideas of all-time, so he said to himself "How can I come out looking like less of an asshole?" and turned it into him creating/pitching an ENTIRE storyline just to see a guy who is almost universally hated online (Where Russo now makes most of his wrestling-related money) knocked out.  There is NO way that story is true.  I mean, maybe he hoped it would be a byproduct of his idea but there is no way a guy who loves to "pull back the curtain" like Russo wouldn't be the the guy who comes up with "What if we have a tournament, but the guys are REALLY fighting?!" 

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For a guy who says he doesn’t want to talk about wrestling, it’s sad to see what Vince Russo puts himself through for us. Hopefully next season the producers spare him that burden. 

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15 hours ago, PetrolCB said:

Doc as the Dean? Why not just bring in Doc Dean?

I just meant spot on the card, but you're right, there is a certain quality to having him do the Dean gimmick whilst doing his stupid little jogging on the spot thing.

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I'm not saying Russo is being honest, but this certainly wasn't the first time he claimed it was invented just to shut up JBL. He's told that story for years.

Also, a year or so after the tournament, the WWF magazine (or maybe RAW magazine) ran an article on Brawl For All that credited Bradshaw as having the original idea, albeit not in quite the same way (something about wanting a tournament of all the big dudes in WWF beating each other up) that could easily be a kayfabe version of the story Russo tells.

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A good test would be to figure out exactly when he started pointing the finger at Bradshaw. As I've harped on before, the rabid anti-Bradshaw sentiment really didn't exist prior to 2004.

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For what it is worth - Meltzer spends like 30 minutes recapping the episode on the radio show from last night/this morning. (If you don't have a subscription, I am sure someone will put clips up somewhere)

I am obviously gonna have paraphrase since Dave (as per usual) has like 4 different thoughts running at once

But basically - he says that he is sure that in Russo's mind it was to have someone beat on JBL but everything was approved by Vince McMahon (good ideas get through, bad ideas don't - again good and bad being relative terms). And the reason Vince wanted to do it was because they were behind in the ratings and Vince thought having real fights and the unpredictability of it would help. (It didn't)

Dave said that he can't imagine JBL would think that in that locker room he was the toughest man in the room.

He thought it was stupid that Cornette spent the last part just railing on Russo when Cornette knows it was the other Vince's fault (Though while not said, I think Dave also acknowledges that this is one of Cornette's troupes now)

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2 hours ago, RIPPA said:

And the reason Vince wanted to do it was because they were behind in the ratings and Vince thought having real fights and the unpredictability of it would help. (It didn't)

It has never worked in pro boxing or MMA, so it wouldn't work in pro wrestling. 

Ask any combat sports promoter who has tried to hedge their bets on an up and coming golden boy who is great against tomato cans and then gets smashed to pieces during his first title shot, or who beats a paper champion and is later bulldogged by a serious competitor during his first title defense.

Butterbean did not get the memo that he should roll over for Bart Gunn.

Edited by J.T.
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