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The Viceland Wrestling Documentaries


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16 minutes ago, Log said:

in defense of Dark Side, they do tend to try to show something positive or uplifting that came from the tragedy. The Benoit episodes, which were probably the most bleak, ended with his Nancy’s sister reuniting with her nephew. Owen’s episode showed that his kids have, by all appearances, grown into good people. I honestly don’t know how they can do that for something like the Grizzly Smith episode, but that show’s not 100% doom and gloom. 

Sure, but that's just the same old tried and true shit that TV news has pulled forever.  Sometimes you do it inside a story, where it's 90% doom and gloom and then end the story with how this thing isn't as bad as we just spent a whole package telling you it was.  Sometimes it's the whole newscast, where you get three murders, a rape, arson, and all manner of man against man atrocities, then end with a story about pet adoption.  Finishing a horrible story with a token uplifting bit is right out of the cynical TV producer playbook.

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14 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

Sure, but that's just the same old tried and true shit that TV news has pulled forever.  Sometimes you do it inside a story, where it's 90% doom and gloom and then end the story with how this thing isn't as bad as we just spent a whole package telling you it was.  Sometimes it's the whole newscast, where you get three murders, a rape, arson, and all manner of man against man atrocities, then end with a story about pet adoption.  Finishing a horrible story with a token uplifting bit is right out of the cynical TV producer playbook.

Yep, that's called the "kicker".  I did 15+ years in tv news.  I don't think the Dark Side endings are quite the same thing.  The Benoit episode made Nancy the focus.  Then it wrapped up with how her family was currently doing.  The Snuka episode focused on the victim.  That is one thing that sets this series apart from a lot of true crime shows.  I get uncomfortable with how much those shows glorify the killers.  It seems like this series has taken an effort to focus on the victims and tell their stories.  I had to knock on the doors on many, many victims and families of victims of horrible crimes.  What I'd tell them is that I'd rather see a story about the person that was lost or wronged and see the positives about them than see a story about someone who did something awful.  Maybe that's how I justified it to myself, or maybe it was true?  I can honestly say as fact that it did help some people deal with a tragedy by telling others about the person they loved, that they weren't just some body found or a statistic in the city's homicide numbers.  I think this show does that to an extent.  That may be why they've had such good luck getting interviews with people who usually don't do them?

I mean, at the end of the day it is Dark Side of the Ring.  They put it right out there in the title. 

I do agree with you, though, that it would be nice to have a show celebrating pro wrestling.  I mean, WWE has their docs, but most of them are so full of BS that it takes away from actual good stories.  

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Love that Conrad snuck in a "THAT'S GREAT SHIT, PAL!" on Confidential tonight. Even Jason and Evan were like WTF?  lol

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On 4/14/2021 at 4:56 PM, thee Reverend Axl Future said:

Not for nothing, I would be all over a show that spotlights a particular wrestler, era, promotion, feud or whatnot and just waxes enthusiastic about it. A bunch of old workers and historians and celebrity fans just gushing & kvelling and explaining why *such&such* is ssooo great, with references for further study. 

jeez, if only there was a company that owned decades' worth of old wrestling footage AND had former wrestlers under some sort of "Legends" deal. It'd be too much to ask if they also had tv/dvd production experience as well.

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1 hour ago, TheVileOne said:

Isn't that what A&E is going to be doing with the WWE biographies?

I will give them a shot, but based on past WWE-sponsored efforts, I might desire a bit more objectivity & varied voices and less tendency to rewrite history, as well as less obvious subjects. I used to enjoy the WWE Classics roundtable a lot (a lifetime ago, it seems, pre-Network) and the Dinner For Three gimmick to a lesser extent. Let's get Ken Burns involved! Forget your Civil War, Jazz or Baseball - I want KJ's take on thee Kevin Sullivan/Dusty Rhodes feud, Mick Foley and thee NWA National Television Championship!

- RAF

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47 minutes ago, thee Reverend Axl Future said:

Let's get Ken Burns involved!

Man, a Ken Burns wrestling series would be awesome. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Luna Vachon one could be good although not sure what is considered Dark except for basically every she did with Kevin Sullivan in Florida 

Not sure about Kanyon.  I guess exposing how homophobic wrestling was?

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6 minutes ago, hammerva said:

The Luna Vachon one could be good although not sure what is considered Dark except for basically every she did with Kevin Sullivan in Florida

More then likely, her abusive relationship with Dick Slater and struggles with bipolar-ism.

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5 minutes ago, hammerva said:

The Luna Vachon one could be good although not sure what is considered Dark except for basically every she did with Kevin Sullivan in Florida 

Not sure about Kanyon.  I guess exposing how homophobic wrestling was?

Pretty much

this is what's in the press release, which also notes next week begins the first 6 episodes and then the second half of the season will air in "late summer"

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In the subsequent weekly, one-hour episodes, the third season of Dark Side of the Ring will dive into a new slate of wrestling stories including:
Collision in Korea, where, in one of the most bizarre acts of political theatre ever, professional wrestlers were deployed to North Korea faced a terrifying ordeal that had them fighting for their lives;
The self-proclaimed king of deathmatch wrestling Nick Gage;
The divisive force in and outside of the ring known as Ultimate Warrior;
The Grizzly Smith story, which will detail how Jake “The Snake” and his siblings have struggled to reconcile their past after surviving horrific abuse at the hands of their father and the mysterious abduction of their sister;
and The Dynamite Kid, whose riveting, self-sacrificing style earned him global fame but violent confrontations outside the ring would destroy his family, his body and his legacy.

The second half of the season, which will kick off in late summer, will continue to explore some of the darkest stories from the golden age of professional wrestling, which will notably include:
The Steroid Trials, where, in the mid 1990’s, wrestling titan Vince McMahon was accused of a plot to provide his wrestlers with performance enhancing drugs. With a guilty verdict threatening to force the WWF to consider running their business from a prison cell, McMahon assembled a powerhouse legal team to dismantle the prosecution’s case.
Other gripping installments will cover the story of FMW, created by Japan’s Atsushi Onita, which featured spectacular matches and gratuitous gore but took a dark turn in the hands of Onita’s protégé;
The groundbreaking talent known as Luna Vachon, who faced immense personal loss and battled addiction while making her mark in wrestling history;
The Plane Ride From Hell, the infamous party onboard a private 757 charter high above the North Atlantic that spiralled dangerously out of control, forcing the WWE to reprimand some of its biggest stars;
XPW, which merged Rob Black’s passions for porn and wrestling, but a fallout with a young wrestling upstart started a chain of events that led to a jealous rage and a terrifying amputation;
and, in a wrestling world that celebrated machismo and used gay stereotypes to label characters as quirky or immoral, the incredible story of Chris Kanyon, who kept his own sexuality a closely guarded secret for decades.

 

 

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The Plane Ride from Hell will only be as good as the people who they interview.  If they can get Flair and maybe Dustin Rhodes to talk about it then it could be a doozy

 

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That one will at least be lighthearted. The Dynamite, Smith family and XPW ones are gonna be on a triple level of darkness. 

I'm interested who they got for the Steroid Trials one, and also if the whole Mel Philips/Pat Patterson debacle gets mentioned as well there. I suppose that could be its own episode to itself there though.

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On 4/15/2021 at 6:38 AM, Log said:

I honestly don’t know how they can do that for something like the Grizzly Smith episode, but that show’s not 100% doom and gloom. 

Show Jake clean and sober, enjoying a healthy relationship with his kids and grandkids

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10 hours ago, TheVileOne said:

It might take some years, but I will want a documentary about WWE in Saudi Arabia. 

That was the first thing I thought of when I read the description of Collision in Korea: "in one of the most bizarre acts of political theatre ever, professional wrestlers were deployed to North Korea faced a terrifying ordeal that had them fighting for their lives"

Some things never change!

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On 4/27/2021 at 6:29 PM, BrianS81177 said:

Show Jake clean and sober, enjoying a healthy relationship with his kids and grandkids

The DDP Yoga feature that showed him getting clean was pretty uplifting.

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Meltzer:

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The first hour of the two-hour Brian Pillman documentary is up right now. Kim Wood is absolutely amazing in this. One person is so full of s*** it's unbelievable. Any guesses who?

 

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