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The Viceland Wrestling Documentaries


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I watched the Nick Gage and New Jack episodes back to back last night. Found the Gage one interesting but the New Jack one was nuts. I'd seen all the footage before but not in a while. I'm shocked it was Gage that actually died (for 7 minutes) and not anyone New Jack faced. I had not seen much of New Jack in SMW so that was also a trip. 

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Just now, Cobra Commander said:

good idea by Scorpio to realize that he shouldn't murder Road Warrior Hawk while in North Korea

Given what happened in the future, the idea that the person who stopped him was Benoit was a shocker

Not sure if 2004 Chris Benoit would have had the same thoughts

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Most of the American guys were NJ guys, so New Japan really picked some of the more insane American wrestlers possible for this trip

Although if they had brought Sabu over, i'm guessing that things would have gone badly. If they had brought the Sheik with Sabu, then we would have found out that Sheik got flashpaper through North Korean customs

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That episode was the perfectly placed palette cleanser after the previous ones. No less interesting or anything like that. It really reinforces my belief how badly I want to see a Dark Side episode on WWE in Saudi Arabia, since it's a lot like history repeating itself here. Not to mention, you have the audacity of Vince McMahon ditching half of his roster in Saudi Arabia and leaving them there to fend for themselves.

Bischoff seems to have no shame about the incident. But I guess he's a pretty shameless bastard.

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Edward Said would've had a field day with this one (they literally had 1950s Martian movie music complete with theremin) so the politics stuff was always going to piss me off but Scorpio made it worthwhile, as did hearing about Ali at the temple, and seeing Inoki. 

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18 hours ago, Cobra Commander said:

good idea by Scorpio to realize that he shouldn't murder Road Warrior Hawk while in North Korea

I am not sure if I believe some of Scorpio's story, especially considering his only two witnesses are dead. The episode had some further sketchy information, like Inoki being responsible for Japanese hostages in Iraq getting released (the timing of the release was a lucky coincidence for Inoki), Rikidozan being killed by the Yakuza for being Korean (I have heard the "for being Korean" part for the first time, even the "killed by the Yakuza" is a bit misleading) and some Bischoff boasting.

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didn't Rikidozan actually die because he was stubborn and ignored doctors orders? I guess he was indirectly killed by the Yakuza, but he would have survived if he just listened to the professionals. They also ignored Rikidozan's own connections to gangs and organized crime, who beat the man who stabbed him so bad he himself ended up in the hospital. I guess at the end of the day it's more convenient for the story to just simplify it by saying he was stabbed because he was Korean, since that ties into the overall theme of the episode.

I also really doubt North Koreans in the early 90s had any idea who Rikidozan was, that he was a wrestler, or that a North Korean had connections to a Japanese professional wrestling legend, BUT - you can also never downplay how quickly and effective propaganda can be spread and digested, especially in a totalitarian country.

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16 minutes ago, Casey said:

didn't Rikidozan actually die because he was stubborn and ignored doctors orders? I guess he was indirectly killed by the Yakuza, but he would have survived if he just listened to the professionals. They also ignored Rikidozan's own connections to gangs and organized crime, who beat the man who stabbed him so bad he himself ended up in the hospital. I guess at the end of the day it's more convenient for the story to just simplify it by saying he was stabbed because he was Korean, since that ties into the overall theme of the episode.

In the end he was stabbed by a member of a Yakuza gang, but the "term killed by the Yakuza" somehow implies that a boss gave the order to have him killed. I am also aware that such rumors were flying around as well, but with what is certain, Inoki's "Rikidozan was killed by a thug" comes much closer to the truth than "he was killed by the Yakuza".

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I haven't watched the episode yet, but do they mention Kensuke Sasaki and Akira Hokuto hooking up and then Sasaki proposing to her the morning after?  Because I swear Meltzer always mentions that whenever he talks about the North Korea shows.

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33 minutes ago, dogwelder said:

I haven't watched the episode yet, but do they mention Kensuke Sasaki and Akira Hokuto hooking up and then Sasaki proposing to her the morning after?  Because I swear Meltzer always mentions that whenever he talks about the North Korea shows.

No. The only mention of the joshi (they show a brief clip of Nakano) is that the North Korean women were probably freaked out by displays of aggression and power by the Japanese women.

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2 hours ago, Robert s said:

I am not sure if I believe some of Scorpio's story, especially considering his only two witnesses are dead. The episode had some further sketchy information, like Inoki being responsible for Japanese hostages in Iraq getting released (the timing of the release was a lucky coincidence for Inoki), Rikidozan being killed by the Yakuza for being Korean (I have heard the "for being Korean" part for the first time, even the "killed by the Yakuza" is a bit misleading) and some Bischoff boasting.

Just a guess that they were describing how Rikidozan was viewed in North Korea (where it is taught that he was killed because he was Korean) but weren't clear on that.

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11 minutes ago, Curt McGirt said:

Scorp did seem like he was embellishing a bit, but otherwise it seemed all true. Wish Flair would have spoke up... I mean they got INOKI FFS. How and when is that ever gonna happen again?

They probably didn't bother with Flair here, considering what may happen when the Plane Ride From Hell episode airs.

Edited by PetrolCB
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10 hours ago, odessasteps said:

Didn't know Dan Haggerty had been a wrestler. ?

His dad Don was, and Dan Haggerty wrestled bears in exhibitions and was a member of the Calufilower Alley Club. Buy my 'zine.

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11 hours ago, sabremike said:

Just a guess that they were describing how Rikidozan was viewed in North Korea (where it is taught that he was killed because he was Korean) but weren't clear on that.

I thought it was pretty clear. I mean they even say according to North Korean legend, his final words were declaring his allegiance to North Korea.

Anyway, as for Bischoff, I thought the 83 weeks episode about Collison in Korea was great (he told the story about Norton calling his wife and of course the late night run story). In that he didn't come off as someone who had no shame. Part of that is editing (cause you have to have a positive ending I guess) and it also being Bischoff. Also, he LOVES Muhammad Ali. He always regales people with story Ali meeting Garett and gets super emotional talking about it. However, he clearly knows it was a crazy ass situation. The 83 Weeks version is way less upbeat.

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12 hours ago, Casey said:

No. The only mention of the joshi (they show a brief clip of Nakano) is that the North Korean women were probably freaked out by displays of aggression and power by the Japanese women.

You got to be forthright, Casey. Not only was it Bull Nakano, but the clip was Toyota taking that crazy Marty Jannetty/Rikishi inside out 360 bump on her neck off a clothesline she always did. If you never saw that before, you would be pretty freaked out because you just saw someone die.

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There was also a brief shot of Nakano in full gimmick having to smile pleasantly and give flowers to a child or whatever which was lol

I didn't realise the apparent full extent of Scorpio's plan to murder Hawk with chopsticks, I thought him feeling the need to repeatedly emphasise that he was tougher than a guy who's been dead for 17 years was a bit of an eye-roller tbh. I'm sure Hawk was often a nightmare to deal with, but he almost came out of it looking better than Scorpio from Scorpio's own account

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18 hours ago, Robert s said:

I am not sure if I believe some of Scorpio's story, especially considering his only two witnesses are dead. The episode had some further sketchy information, like Inoki being responsible for Japanese hostages in Iraq getting released (the timing of the release was a lucky coincidence for Inoki), Rikidozan being killed by the Yakuza for being Korean (I have heard the "for being Korean" part for the first time, even the "killed by the Yakuza" is a bit misleading) and some Bischoff boasting.

If y'all're talking about Scorp fighting Hawk, it was confirmed by Scott Norton and Scott Steiner in the oral history that SI did of this whole trip a few years ago. 

Scorp: 

Quote

We see Ric Flair outside standing by the door doing the Ric Flair thing—brushing the hair, checking the Rolex, trying to make sure that everything was right. Hawk had been riding with him for one or two days and then he felt like he wanted to be one of the boys again on the bus. So when he had seen Ric Flair, he was like, ‘Oh, Ric looks like he’s waiting for somebody, maybe he’s looking for me and wants me to ride with him.’ Me being the smartass I be, I said, ‘F--- that p----, let him ride by himself.’ And he said, ‘What’d you say?’ I said, ‘You heard me. I guess [Hawk] didn’t like that and got offended and called me an [expletive] and next thing you know I was whooping his a-- on the bus.

Norton:

Quote

Scorp was the one that provoked that situation. He was saying stuff about Flair and Hawk defended Flair. When Hawk started in the business, Flair had Mike’s back. Flair helped him a ton. This is a loyal dude. But Mike was wrong too. I wish it had never happened. It was embarrassing. It was one of my best friends. I felt bad that Mike did that. But again, I understood that you could only take so much.

Steiner:

Quote

Scorpio did a number, man. I don’t know what Hawk was thinking. He grabbed Scorpio, both hands on his chest, and Scorpio started punching. Hawk kept his hands on his chest. S---, he punched him like 10 times. The bus stopped. You could tell the Japanese representative was kind of freaked out, because the North Korean guy was in there too and they’re wondering what the hell was going on.

Caveat: I haven't seen this ep yet, so I don't know how much Scorp might have embellished said story, which might be your objection. 

Edited by SirSmellingtonofCascadia
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28 minutes ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

If y'all're talking about Scorp fighting Hawk, it was confirmed by Scott Norton and Scott Steiner in the oral history that SI did of this whole trip a few years ago. 

Scorp: 

Norton:

Steiner:

Caveat: I haven't seen this ep yet, so I don't know how much Scorp might have embellished said story, which might be your objection. 

Scorpio claimed that he made a shiv out of two chopsticks and planned to stab Hawk with them and only did not do it, because Benoit talked him down. Furthermore, he claimed that he confronted Hawk at the banquet at the last night (with the shiv ready to be used) and Hawk was all "sorry, I am just going crazy after a week without roids, drugs and alcohol".

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