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Dark Side of the Ring: Viceland docu-series

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I get the impression Rick Martel feels like maybe he said more than he should have in that shoot interview, and doesn't want to draw any more heat his and/or his family's way. 

4 hours ago, C.S. said:

Dino seemed like a cool guy. In every pic, he had a sly smile and a twinkle in his eye. It's a shame what happened.

I was thinking of how he reminded me of Big Pussy from the Sopranos,  big guy who was a family man but at the end of the day he was in the business he was in and there's normally only one exit plan. 

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So the Dr. D episode is interesting to just see the mindset of the old school rasslin guys both then and now. It's amazing how upset they were at Mr. T (who was one of the biggest stars at the the time) got put in the main event of Wrestlemania I. Like why would any promoter looking to make money pass on that just to make sure someone like Dr. D was on the card?

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I really liked the Dr D. episode, the best from this season behind the Benoit and Brawl For All episodes. I didn't know too much about the incident so it was quite eye opening. Dr D. is obviously a bit of headcase, but I felt bad that Vince screwed him over.  I don't get why John Stossel is still bitter about the slap though. I'd happily take a slap from Dr D. if it got me half a million in damages. Eddy Mansfield exposing the business for the benefit of the workers is something I could get behind, but there's something disingenuous about him which I can't' put my finger on. 

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Yeah, this episode was surprisingly good considering this subject has been talked about to death and there really isn't that much to tell, really. I feel like Mansfield is full of shit when he talks about doing that "for the boys", but his point stands about taking care of a business that doesn't take care of you. I kinda chuckled when the "to increase benefits" line was dropped by Jericho. Yeah. Vince fired Dr. D. and took no responsibility whatsoever, but when he saw fit himself would "expose" the business for his own financial gain. What else is new. The fact Corny refers to the old days of pro-wrestling as like being in the mafia echoes the Bravo episode in an odd way.

I thought Schultz came off really good and was the star of the show, while Stossel kinda came off like an asshole at points actually (the final "fuck you", although you wonder how much his this is actually him cutting a promo, the way he talked about his pain going away once he got paid). I'd be interested in knowing the historian's perspective on Mansfield though... Thus far S2 has been a whole lot better than S1. 

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I liked the Dr D episode and shockingly hulk has a complementary different recollection of an apparent incident that involved Mr T. Surely is a wrestler punched Mr T it would have been news. Any of the wrestling historians on this forum know if/when that LA show took place and if Dr D was on the card ? Maybe it's because I hate hogan and the person behind the character even more but I wouldn't believe hogan if he told me the sky was blue.

Eddie Mansfield is trying to rewrite history. I think David Shultz is a bit rough around the edges but I get the impression he's not a bad guy. He's a bit crazy but not a bad person IMO. 

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8 hours ago, Cornette's racket said:

I liked the Dr D episode and shockingly hulk has a complementary different recollection of an apparent incident that involved Mr T. Surely is a wrestler punched Mr T it would have been news. Any of the wrestling historians on this forum know if/when that LA show took place and if Dr D was on the card ? Maybe it's because I hate hogan and the person behind the character even more but I wouldn't believe hogan if he told me the sky was blue.

Eddie Mansfield is trying to rewrite history. I think David Shultz is a bit rough around the edges but I get the impression he's not a bad guy. He's a bit crazy but not a bad person IMO. 

Schultz was fired after the February 11, 1985 show in LA.  He didn't end up wrestling on the show, not sure he was ever scheduled.  But he wrestled JYD in San Diego the day before and is the only guy on that show that was replaced (by Wildman Jack Armstrong) on the LA show.  Haven't seen the episode yet though. 

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13 hours ago, El-P said:

Yeah, this episode was surprisingly good considering this subject has been talked about to death and there really isn't that much to tell, really. I feel like Mansfield is full of shit when he talks about doing that "for the boys", but his point stands about taking care of a business that doesn't take care of you. I kinda chuckled when the "to increase benefits" line was dropped by Jericho. Yeah. Vince fired Dr. D. and took no responsibility whatsoever, but when he saw fit himself would "expose" the business for his own financial gain. What else is new. The fact Corny refers to the old days of pro-wrestling as like being in the mafia echoes the Bravo episode in an odd way.

I thought Schultz came off really good and was the star of the show, while Stossel kinda came off like an asshole at points actually (the final "fuck you", although you wonder how much his this is actually him cutting a promo, the way he talked about his pain going away once he got paid). I'd be interested in knowing the historian's perspective on Mansfield though... Thus far S2 has been a whole lot better than S1. 

This is what makes me not feel too much sympathy for Stossel; he's a hypocrite of the highest order. He claimed he thought it was bullshit wrestling and wrestlers were portraying themselves as something they were not for a payday and a living but as soon as he gets the chance to play lingering ear injury he's suddenly in agony until he collects a payday. Fair play to him because there were no saints among them but it's a weasel move reminiscent of a heel manager rather than upstanding reporter.

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22 minutes ago, SPS said:

but as soon as he gets the chance to play lingering ear injury he's suddenly in agony until he collects a payday. Fair play to him because there were no saints among them but it's a weasel move reminiscent of a heel manager rather than upstanding reporter.

Long term selling.

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It’s seems like there’s one guy per episode that comes off as completely untrustworthy. I didn’t believe a word Mansfield said. He didn’t have FBI guys on the plane. No one planted coke on him.

I didn’t know anything about Schultz except for the Stossel incident. He was fun. And back in the day he looked just like Steve Austin in a wig made of ramen.

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I think a really good future episode could be built around that time Kenny Omega gave too much offense to a jobber, destroying his own career, exposing the business and ruining pro wrestling for everyone.

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I think it was kind of understated that all these old timey rasslin' guys thought exposing the business would bring everything crashing down and they'd all starve.....and then Vince just goes ahead and does it to get tax breaks and wrestling goes on to be way bigger than it ever was before years later. It's almost as like all of that worrying was just based on workers self conscious about being workers and/or promoters preying on that to keep the boys under their thumb. 

John Stossel kind of had both sides going, he absolutely did deserve to get paid because slapping the shit out of a reporter because he dared question the integrity of your fake fighting is bullshit. However it probably was lost on him that he ended up handling it exactly like a worker would. Even if it was more of a "fuck you" at some point, they kind of deserved it, y'know?

Dr. D came off best, for better or worse he is what he is and makes no excuses.  He came off way more honest than most guys of his era.

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The funniest thing to me about the whole Schultz thing, is that if Stossel was made aware of the Plan B video Bob Roop, Boris Malenko and others made, he could have had a story that was far worth more than him getting knocked on his self-righteous ass. 

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23 hours ago, gordi said:

I think a really good future episode could be built around that time Kenny Omega gave too much offense to a jobber, destroying his own career, exposing the business and ruining pro wrestling for everyone.

This made me laugh out loud. Well-played. :D 

I can imagine the episode in my head right now...

JIM CORNETTE: That son of a bitch Kenny Omega, that outlaw mudshow wrestler, he wrestled a 9-year-old girl, exposed the business, gave a jobber way too much offense. By doing that, he actively destroyed the credibility of me, all the boys, and everyone in every wrestling locker room ever.

KENNY OMEGA: AEW was a startup company at the time and we were wrestling in the middle of a pandemic. So what if I gave a young talented guy a little bit of the spotlight? 

ALAN ANGELS (JOBBER): I may not be Kenny Omega's best friend, but he's mine after what he did for me that night. I can still hear the roar of the crowd when I kicked out of the V-Trigger, man.

KENNY OMEGA: We had no fans in the arena, no money coming in, no guarantee our jobs would still exist in a year, so I was like... YOLO!!!

DAVE MELTZER: The match was fine. That V-Trigger kickout spot happened a lot at the Tokyo Dome in front of 50,000 fans.

RYAN SATIN: OKAY, BOOMER!

JAKE HAGER (NARRATOR): But that night - and that match - took a toll on Kenny Omega's career that can never be calculated.

(Grainy footage is shown of a washed-up and desperate Adam Sandler playing Kenny Omega in a re-enactment.)

KENNY OMEGA: First, everyone started kicking out of the V-Trigger. Then it was my finisher, the One-Winged Angel. Kip Sabian, Joey Janela, Marko Stunt all kicked out of the One-Winged Angel. Then Orange Cassidy kicked out - in slow motion. By the end of my run in AEW, little kids were coming out of the crowd and kicking out of my finisher. That's when I knew I was done. 

(The ominous Dark Side of the Ring logo is shown.)

8nPQcj6.gif

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I was struck by Stossel talking about a survey that indicated a third of the fans who attended wrestling events thought it was real. I doubt the actual percentage was anywhere near that high, but it was still a non-negligible number. If you think about it, maintaining kayfabe is tantamount to consumer fraud. If the only way wrestling can survive is by defrauding the public, then it deserves to die.

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1 hour ago, NintendoLogic said:

maintaining kayfabe is tantamount to consumer fraud

I'd argue they wanted to be conned.

I can't remember where I read it, but wrestling is now:

Promoters/wrestlers (to fans): We know you're "smart". We know you "know how it's done". But we're still going to trick you.

Fans: Go ahead. Maybe we like being tricked.

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On 4/30/2020 at 1:23 AM, sek69 said:

I think it was kind of understated that all these old timey rasslin' guys thought exposing the business would bring everything crashing down and they'd all starve.....and then Vince just goes ahead and does it to get tax breaks and wrestling goes on to be way bigger than it ever was before years later. It's almost as like all of that worrying was just based on workers self conscious about being workers and/or promoters preying on that to keep the boys under their thumb. 

 

I would also wager though that for many years the wrestling industry dodged multiple media bullets, as the mainstream news media's obsession with "is it fake?" and that more often than not being the slant whenever not covered by someone that "got it" (like George Michael in Baltimore), as long as that was the question the media was obsessed with, that would stop them from digging into the "real" meat that could have potentially destroyed individual territories and the industry in general (lack of pensions and medical protections, political wheelings and dealings promoters made with local government to keep their territories protected, tales of drugs and sex that would have been pretty sordid had anyone bothered to poke around even at a cursory level, etc.).

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I sometimes think the heavy focus on kayfabe in the old days was less about protecting the business and more about having iron-grip control over labor, but that's a point of view I need to flesh out way more before I present it. The idea being that in the end, wrestling has benefited in an institutional way from the average person thinking that because the combat isn't real, the people involved in it aren't real either.

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On 4/29/2020 at 11:49 AM, El-P said:

I feel like Mansfield is full of shit when he talks about doing that "for the boys", but his point stands about taking care of a business that doesn't take care of you.

(...)

I'd be interested in knowing the historian's perspective on Mansfield though... 

So, Meltz mentioned Mansfield was actually genuine in wanting to make things better, just awkward doing it by speaking like a pro-wrestler and doing stuff like showing the blade to mainstream medias who were only interested in the stupid "real vs fake" issue, which was a moot point anyway at this time (I don't believe for one second that a third of people watching pro-wrestling in the mid 80's thought it was real, sounds like complete bullshit to me, and surveys aren't reliable at all anyway).

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2 hours ago, El-P said:

So, Meltz mentioned Mansfield was actually genuine in wanting to make things better, just awkward doing it by speaking like a pro-wrestler and doing stuff like showing the blade to mainstream medias who were only interested in the stupid "real vs fake" issue, which was a moot point anyway at this time (I don't believe for one second that a third of people watching pro-wrestling in the mid 80's thought it was real, sounds like complete bullshit to me, and surveys aren't reliable at all anyway).

Regarding your last statement about not believing that 1/3rd of the people watching in the 80's believed it was real, I really think you are discounting the stupidity of white trash and rednecks here in the Good Old U.S. of A. who make up a very significant portion of the American fan base.

I ring announced for local indy feds here in West Virginia (one of the poorest states in the country) from 2012 to 2017 and the amount of people who would come up and talk to me about:

1) The things happening in the WWE

2) The things that happened on our show

and absolutely believed them to be at least somewhat true would astonish you. Like I've seriously had people get mad and yell at me for not running to the locker room and getting someone to come help the babyface who is getting jumped by multiple heels.

and even some of the ones who seem to know that things aren't totally on the up and up thanks to the internet, still want to hold some kind of belief that it's kinda real, so I would hear shit like "Daniel Bryan could legit whip Roman Reigns in wrassling cause he practices MMA and is a better wrassler, but Vince loves Roman, so he'll fire Daniel Bryan unless he lets Roman win."

So yeah, that still happens now, so 1/3 of the fanbase believing it 40 years ago.....I can totally buy that.

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