MY NEW DVD: A SELF CRITIQUE
It's AWESOME! Well, many parts of it really are! I had the pleasure of signing and handed out several hundred copies of this bad boy at yesterday's Fanfest in Cinci, always with the same request/suggestion: skip the matches, watch the documentary.
As a documentary, I really love this DVD. Clearly, alot of thought and work was put into this DVD by director Bryan Edwards. He had told me from the onset that his goal was to put toghether a product that could be enjoyed by fans and non-fans alike, and I could easily see this airing (without the matches) as a special on Spike somewhere down the road. I can see all the work that went into the editing, the music, the careful selection of interview clips. One of my pet complaints about WWE DVD's is that wrestlers are sometimes grabbed for comnents for the sake of conveniance, as opposed to careful consideration of what their viewpoint has to offer. So, if you happen to be a fan of random Steve Lombardi comments, you might want to take a pass on this one.
Instead, I think this DVD has commentay from people who really should be in it, offering valuable insight, from guys I've known for twenty years - Tommy Dreamer, Taz, Al Snow, Jeff Jarrett, to people who are in unique postions to talk about my recent work, both in and out of the ring - Dixie Carter, JB, Abyss and Matt Morgan. I think viewers will really enjoy Kurt Angle's somewhat contrarian views, which are not slams at all, but a genuine questioning if the hardcore path I chose was the right one. I think comments from Sting and the Nature Boy would have been valuable, but as comedian Stephen Wright once observed, "you can't have everything..where would you put it.
But ,if there's one thing that bothers me about most wrestling documentaries, it's the tendency to weave the matches in and out of the narrative, instead of giving them their own separate disk to be enjoyed (or not enjoyed) on their own. I spoke to a number of wrestlers about this subject, and they all seemed to be in agreement - that the matches are better left to their own disc, possibly with bonus commentary by the featured wrestler. Combine that with the fact that some of the matches on this DVD are not exactly mat classics, and you realize that I'm asking viewers to keep their remote handy throughout quite a bit of this three hour offering.
Not to say there isn't some good wrestling stuff here. I really like the cage match with Sting, the Monster's Ball with Abyss, the single's match with Kurt, and the bloody confrontation with Ric Flair. I think viewers will enjoy the stories behind the matches, as explained by me and JB, even if a few of the stories seem to be crying out for a little B-roll footage. The tag with me and Jeff Jarrett vs Kurt Angle worked really well as an angle, and would have been great in clips, but not as well as a complete match on a DVD. Honestly, my debut promo was fine, but I can't picture anyone needing to relive it, unless their cable, internet, and game system are down, and they just outright refuse to consider reading a book. Thankfully, the promo with Sting, where I interview myself is on the DVD, as are the two promos with Ric Flair - the buildup to our last match standing match, and the one that covers the pleasant topic of brain donation. I think these three make up the best promos of my TNA tenure, and are among the best of my entire career, and I'm proud to have them on this disc.
In the old days of record albums (anyone remember those?) in order to creat a lasting masterpiece, each song had to work within some larger theme to make for a great album side, and both sides had to compliment each other to make for a truly memorable viewing experience. Getting up and manually moving the phonograph needle from one song to the next could ruin the entire vibe of a party, or even the feeling of an extended make-out session. With new technology, a product need not be a winner from start to finish, in order to be memorable, or even great. An uneven CD can have songs skipped with the touch of a button, and in my mind, if you can find four or five songs to truly connect with, you have a winner on your hands. "Mick Foley: Hardcore Legend" is like one of these CD's. Press a button every now and then, and with just a little looking, I think you will find four or five things here you can really connect with.
For me, those things come right after ther matches, in the chapters about parenting, concussions, and charitable work. In fact, if I was aked to incluse five things in a time capsule, to show people 100 years from now what my life and career stood for, I would include the parenting and charity chapters, along with my first book, "Beyond the Mat" and the complete "Hell in a Cell" match. OK, I might throw in Al Snow's "Kennel From Hell" match, too - just to assure that I'll get the last laugh in the afterlife. Yes!
Maybe this disc isn't perfect. Maybe it's not the Sgt Pepper of wrestling DVD's. But it's pretty damn good.