Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
flyonthewall2983

Andre The Giant HBO doc

Recommended Posts

Yes it is. Simmons had the director and his film guy talk about the movie on his podcast this morning. I'm halfway through the interview and I get the feeling I should have waited until I saw it, so a word of warning if you planned on listening to this soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy shit the footage just 10 minutes in is amazing. From everywhere. Granted they are talking about 70's territory wrestling and maybe 50% of it is from the 80's but nitpicking

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was well done but not ultimately that different from the carny doc WWE would have made in house. The early footage was the best stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Andre thing is sort of a thing where you can think "why haven't they gone more in depth" before it, then after a documentary, you realize that new ground really wasn't covered.

 

Not sure if it's possible to really cover new ground with the people around to talk about Andre. Both because of the people available and what else is there really left to cover?

 

And in a way, if the uncovered things were negative about him, I'm not sure there'd really be an audience for "the guy who was a mythic hero in your childhood was actually bad", and that's a thing that has popped up for quite a few people in the last 5 years.

 

Also, Shoemaker sorta comes off as the faux-historian types that show up on shows like Mysteries at the Museum. His timeline on the Andre ankle injury and the Vince expansion was bullshit.

 

I'm not sure if Hogan's WM3 account is technically bullshit if he believed it. Vince is fascinating for reasons, and his claims of banishing bad memories/experiences is interesting when you consider certain things he has mentioned about his life growing up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vince is fascinating for reasons, and his claims of banishing bad memories/experiences is interesting when you consider certain things he has mentioned about his life growing up.

 

I found that part of the documentary fascinating too, and I totally believe that about Vince McMahon. Bruce Prichard talked about that exact thing on one of his podcasts, how Vince has the ability to basically banish somebody from his mind once they have had a falling out. With Prichard it was discussed in the context of the Hebner brothers, but also as it pertained to Bruce himself. Vince can apparently legitimately love you, but once you have a falling out that can't be fixed, you're basically "dead to him" and he doesn't speak of you again - and apparently he does a pretty good job of banishing you from his thoughts.

 

It seemed pretty clear to me that Vince and Andre didn't end on good terms so Vince tries to not even think about it. I once knew somebody who could do the same thing, and it's a scary personality trait, to be honest. I'm sure it comes in handy for Vince as a businessman, but still. I'm not sure how mentally healthy that is. You have to think at some point, feelings of sadness and regret are going to catch up to you, whether you want them to or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isn't obscure trivia by any means, but Andre's last US TV appearance was on the Clash 20 in Atlanta. So, if there were bad feelings, it got to that point of Andre helping out someone he had worked with a bunch before (Watts) even while Watts was the competition to Vince.

 

Then again, Hogan wasn't sure if Andre was gonna job to him, so I could see Vince accidentally exaggerating animosity too.

 

Vince's whole system really does make HHH seem like a Peace Prize candidate for his ability to bring people that had been at odds with Vince back aboard.

 

Then again, it's Vince and he can be contradictory, and some people have (jokingly?) said that being at odds with Vince somehow helped you get another shot with him.

 

I think the Flair 30 for 30 was better than the Andre doc. But there was a lot more to work with in regards to Flair, compared to Andre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a pretty good interview that explains they had a lot more (Stephanie, Japan, the title win/referee/DiBiase angle, etc.) but cut a lot out for pacing.

http://www.espn.com/wwe/story/_/id/23098974/wwe-digging-origins-journey-making-hbo-andre-giant-documentary-producer-bill-simmons

 

I'd love a special edition Blu-ray with all of that footage included as extras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm now more curious than ever about the rumor that Andre slapped Vince around when he got mad at him.

 

Vince is a dodgy fucker. He denied remembering things, but then remembered plenty of stuff when pressed---for example how andre accused vince of exploiting and using him. It reminded me of how Vince presented Taker losing to Brock, but after Austin keep nailing him with follow-ups, the picture became a lot clearer, when at first Vince was giving a different impression.

 

I enjoyed the doc. The timeline definitely got fuzzy and misleading at points. I was hoping we'd get some more Wepner related stuff, and there wasn't anything there, despite how Simmons loves Rocky III. I hope they come out with deleted scenes and more stuff because clearly they trimmed it down to keep it brisk for the casual fans. I was surprised the info about Andre's multiple growth spurts through his life and not comparing his shoe sizes throughout his life didn't make it in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it's a sign of the post-death reputation boost for the Warrior that he didn't get mentioned in their section about people Andre disliked. Although they would either need to recycle Heenan footage (or have somebody else tell the story) as an example of Andre punching Warrior in the mouth in reaction to how Warrior worked Andre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was good. The biggest surprise to me was how good Hulk came across. Usually he makes me roll my eyes. This time he seemed more genuine. His Savage and Andre impersonations were definitely a highlight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vince is a dodgy fucker. He denied remembering things, but then remembered plenty of stuff when pressed---for example how andre accused vince of exploiting and using him. It reminded me of how Vince presented Taker losing to Brock, but after Austin keep nailing him with follow-ups, the picture became a lot clearer, when at first Vince was giving a different impression.

 

The part where he says he immediately puts away negative things, is symptomatic of his childhood trauma from the abuse he endured from his mother and step-father. Somehow it's helped him as a businessman in this regard too, bringing back people who made him money before but left on sour notes (Warrior, and maybe even Brock too).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was good. The biggest surprise to me was how good Hulk came across. Usually he makes me roll my eyes. This time he seemed more genuine. His Savage and Andre impersonations were definitely a highlight.

I've read some people who grumbled over Hogan getting a short biopiece in this documentary in the leadup to WM3. But it wasn't like the Bartman 30 for 30 that talked about Bill Buckner.

 

But yeah, Hogan's probably a bit like a political boss, only in Wrestling. If you roll with him, everything is great, and if your interests conflicted with his interests, you were gonna hate him for that. At least until you were able to make some money with him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The stuff with Hogan saying he was afraid that Andre wouldnt put him over at WMIII was pretty hokey. Did we really need to build fake retrospective drama around a match thats famous enough on its own terms?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just happy that Hogan didn't claim to have torn every muscle in his back slamming Andre in this documentary. But he probably should have figured out that things were gonna go smoothly once things started happening as were 'laid out' on the 'legal pad'.

 

It is sorta disappointing they couldn't find a way to at least mention Andre winning the title in front of the largest TV audience for wrestling ever (at least in the USA) and causing various kids, including one of my cousins, to cry about Hogan losing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The stuff with Hogan saying he was afraid that Andre wouldnt put him over at WMIII was pretty hokey. Did we really need to build fake retrospective drama around a match thats famous enough on its own terms?

Highlight of the whole thing was Hogan writing out the match spot for spot on the legal pad. Classic Hogan bullshit that I’ll always love.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great documentary, although I would've liked to see them acknowledge the Main Event title win and leaving WM6 as a babyface back in Canada. Hulk, Vince, Mean Gene and Lawler were great. Flair made me laugh a bit, but not sure he interacted enough with Andre to really be needed in there. Sad that Heenan isn't around to give his input. I remember him saying when he heard Andre call the bodyslam for the finish, he closed his eyes or turned away because he was afraid Andre wouldn't be able to do it in his condition, then he heard the response and knew they got it done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just happy that Hogan didn't claim to have torn every muscle in his back slamming Andre in this documentary. But he probably should have figured out that things were gonna go smoothly once things started happening as were 'laid out' on the 'legal pad'.

 

It is sorta disappointing they couldn't find a way to at least mention Andre winning the title in front of the largest TV audience for wrestling ever (at least in the USA) and causing various kids, including one of my cousins, to cry about Hogan losing.

 

Pulling 33 million viewers is something of a feat that should been mentioned.

 

I dont think any other match has pulled that in terms of viewership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The stuff with Hogan saying he was afraid that Andre wouldnt put him over at WMIII was pretty hokey. Did we really need to build fake retrospective drama around a match thats famous enough on its own terms?

 

I guess if Vince and Hogan were both willing to both imply there were headgames going on it's worth passing on? I'm skeptical too. I'm very curious about what the follow-up footage with Vince was and what he said, because like I said, Vince could be a dodgy fucker. But it seems like whenever he's pressed and you've got the goods, he'll clarify, or he'll end up in a situation where he contradicts and then either has to cave or you've got the answer you want.

 

I'd agree that the pre-WM4 stuff is important. But I can see how it muddes a clean 90 min doc. If they had this doc 2 hours, maybe that would've been the right move, second guessing. Then, in those extra 30, you get the story of how Vince parlayed WM3 into helping to lethally wound JCP with Survivor Series 1987 vs. Starrcade w/ Andre's return and the WM4 match--which was heavily centered on Andre vs. Hogan II. But then you're left having to have a narrator explain a number of thigs like Hogan leaving to film a movie and Savage ending up with the title, which might confuse casuals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The stuff with Hogan saying he was afraid that Andre wouldnt put him over at WMIII was pretty hokey. Did we really need to build fake retrospective drama around a match thats famous enough on its own terms?

Highlight of the whole thing was Hogan writing out the match spot for spot on the legal pad. Classic Hogan bullshit that I’ll always love.

 

 

It would've been great if they ran a forensic analysis on that thing and it turned out to be purely frabicrated bullshit, which I coudln't help but think it was. Still, if it wasn't, it's great that people deride Steamboat/Savage if Hogan/Andre was essentially the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good documentary. I didn't learn all that much new stuff from it, but told Andre's story in a humanizing light. This tugged at my heartstrings a handful of times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The stuff with Hogan saying he was afraid that Andre wouldnt put him over at WMIII was pretty hokey. Did we really need to build fake retrospective drama around a match thats famous enough on its own terms?

 

Highlight of the whole thing was Hogan writing out the match spot for spot on the legal pad. Classic Hogan bullshit that I’ll always love.

It would've been great if they ran a forensic analysis on that thing and it turned out to be purely frabicrated bullshit, which I coudln't help but think it was. Still, if it wasn't, it's great that people deride Steamboat/Savage if Hogan/Andre was essentially the same thing.

Oh yeah, he definitely wrote that out the day before the interview.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I listened to the podcast with Simmons and the director, and it left me frustrated. The guy is an astute filmmaker and has a wonderful grasp of the human story of Andre. But he is an idiot about wrestling. He made a huge point of acting as a myth buster, but he had no idea that Vince and Hogan worked the shit out of him. No idea at all. I know it doesnt really matter, but it left a weird taste in my mouth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×