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Beyond the Mat – Pro Wrestling Documentary

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At first, this behind-the-scenes documentary about professional wrestling seems as if it will be an unabashed fan’s whitewash of the increasingly bizarre and popular world of “sports entertainment,” as it is known. But director Barry Blaustein (a Saturday Night Live veteran who has cowritten many of Eddie Murphy’s films) goes much deeper than you’d expect in a film that is at once entertaining and disturbing. By focusing on a trio of wrestlers who give him surprising access, Blaustein uncovers human stories that can be wrenching in their stark honesty. That’s particularly true of one-time superstar Jake “the Snake” Roberts, whose career has fallen on hard times because of a crack habit; Roberts brings Blaustein along for his first encounter in several years with his grown, estranged daughter. Blaustein also goes into the lives of Terry Funk and Mick “Mankind” Foley in ways that are both revealing and, at times, upsetting. More than just a fan’s appreciation, this is that rare documentary that shows you sides of a familiar subject you never knew existed. –

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20 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t think people should be too harsh on Mrs Foley. As someone whose watched wrestling live a lot, bumps and chair shots seem much more violent watching close up. So knowing it’s scripted is a bit of a cop out. Also, the rock was not meant to hit him that many times, that hard! So Mrs Foley and children would’ve been very unprepared to see that. Combined with my first point; of course they would’ve been traumatised, with Mrs Foley being non-the-wiser. :/

  2. Terry funks friend is a sad piece of shit. What a baby. He's such a glory sucker. I bet if someone would have told him never mind you can't ref he would have cried. Three a reason you wasnt in a main event dude

  3. Love how pro wrestling and the WWF at the time had a more grittier feel. Even the gorilla position felt more gritty, love how important it was to everyone to get their character over, instead of going over flippy floppy high spots. Damn I miss the Attitude Era

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