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flyonthewall2983

Dark Side of the Ring: Viceland docu-series

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On Cornette's podcast this week they did an interview with the series creator. It's a good listen in general, very informative about the creative process on the show and he hints that there are some brand new secrets about Montreal revealed in that episode.

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I saw the Brody and Savage/Liz episodes back in the summer at a private screening here in Brooklyn and hopefully should have screeners of everything else soon. Brody has little new for those who know the story but will probably be genuinely shocking to those who don't, and the new stuff definitely puts it all in a new light. Savage/Liz fills in the details on the dissolution of their marriage, with Linda Hogan in particular giving a fantastic interview that the episode leans heavily on, plus there's a lot of stuff about the weird Kayfabe blurring of the marriage.

But I'm most looking forward to Gino (lots of new reporting including his mom being interviewed and outright saying it's a murder) and Moolah (the balanced accounting of the facts we've all wanted). And I'm curious what the new Montreal stuff is. 

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On 4/1/2019 at 9:25 AM, Bix said:

Savage/Liz fills in the details on the dissolution of their marriage, with Linda Hogan in particular giving a fantastic interview that the episode leans heavily on, plus there's a lot of stuff about the weird Kayfabe blurring of the marriage.

Wasn't she accused by Randy of being kinda responsible for Liz straying away from him ?

On 4/1/2019 at 9:25 AM, Bix said:

But I'm most looking forward to Gino (lots of new reporting including his mom being interviewed and outright saying it's a murder) and Moolah (the balanced accounting of the facts we've all wanted). 

Yeah, could be fascinating.

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1 hour ago, El-P said:

Wasn't she accused by Randy of being kinda responsible for Liz straying away from him ?

The way I recall it, he thought it was Linda's fault that Liz grew to realize there was a life outside basically being kept prisoner by Randy's paranoid side.

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17 hours ago, sek69 said:

The way I recall it, he thought it was Linda's fault that Liz grew to realize there was a life outside basically being kept prisoner by Randy's paranoid side.

Pretty much. Whatever you wanna say about Linda on other topics, you can tell she loved Liz dearly as a friend and she comes off completely credible in the doc.

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Just learned they shot four more episodes, including episodes on Benoit and Dino Bravo. They'll air depending on how well this does in the ratings. This is a perfect network for this kind of show so I doubt it'll be an issue.

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2 minutes ago, flyonthewall2983 said:

including episodes on Benoit and Dino Bravo.

Well, they sure want the dirt...

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In Dino Bravo's case, it's interesting because while pretty much everyone knew his mob ties (being the nephew of Montreal mafia godfather Vic Cotroni), it's never been clear as to who murdered him. So, personally, I'm interested to know more about this, since I was 10-11 years old when that happened.

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56 minutes ago, SirEdger said:

In Dino Bravo's case, it's interesting because while pretty much everyone knew his mob ties (being the nephew of Montreal mafia godfather Vic Cotroni), it's never been clear as to who murdered him.

Yes, it is definitely an interesting case. It's not like Dino has been a much talked about subject either, really.

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10 hours ago, flyonthewall2983 said:

Just learned they shot four more episodes, including episodes on Benoit and Dino Bravo. They'll air depending on how well this does in the ratings. This is a perfect network for this kind of show so I doubt it'll be an issue.

AFAIK, they shot some stuff for the other episodes on their list but I don't think they have full episodes. One of the reasons Bravo didn't make that cut was that it didn't seem like they had enough for a full episode at that juncture.

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Just finished watching it, I was struck at how much his son looked like what I imagine Brody would have looked like had he not gone into wrestling and had been just a regular guy. I remember (I think it was) Meltzer talking about how hearing how heartbreaking Tony Atlas's story was as the only eyewitness, and it certainly was.  It was a nice touch after closing on how bullshit the trial was, to end on a mention that Invader advertises he's available for children's parties on Facebook.

 

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Just finished the Bruiser Brody one, nothing new but really well done. I want to see the Dino Bravo, I feel like that is the one that the most new information could come out, given the right interviews. 

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Even though I've seen the Savio Vega, Dutch Mantell and Tony Atlas Shoot Interviews where they discuss the murder, read the Brody book by Barbara Goodish and Larry Matysik, and seen the "Wrestling's Last Rebel" documentary done by Highspots, I still found this Brody episode really interesting.  They got a ton of good footage that wasn't available to Highspots, and interviews with Abdullah (who appears to be full of shit, as usual) and Brody's son, which I think is a first. I've never seen him speak about this anywhere else. It's too bad they didn't get Savio Vega for this episode, because in recent years he's had some interesting information about the murder. Specifically, Vega has some interesting insights into what happened afterward - stuff that people who only spoke English couldn't know about Gonzales.

One thing I found interesting was the discussion of Gonzales's motives.  I've heard so many stories over the years about why Gonzales did it.  Some claim it was revenge for Brody roughing him up in the WWWF.  Some claim Gonzales was in the middle of a mental breakdown due to the death of his daughter.  Some believe that Colon and Jovica bullied him into it, because Brody wasn't listening to Gonzales as the booker - he was changing finishes, refusing to comply with the dress code, and being disrespectful.  Savio Vega's story seems to back that theory up. Hell, some people actually believe it was self defense...that Brody and Gonzales were fighting in the shower, and Gonzales really did stab Brody in self defense. 

One popular theory I keep hearing is that WWC traditionally held back money from the wrestler's pay to cover "taxes" and Brody didn't want them to do that.  He was insisting on paying his own taxes and wanted his money back, and Colon and Jovica weren't happy about that. In the political vein, what I'd never heard before this episode is the story about Brody buying out Gorilla Monsoon's shares in WWC, this was the first time I've ever heard about that.  That certainly adds a new angle to this story, because I am sure the last thing Colon, Jovica and Gonzales wanted was Brody owning a piece of Puerto Rico. 

This episode was very well done.

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They were doing a ton of advertising of this series at Wrestlemania weekend.  There was a big billboard as I went to Met Life Stadium with Brody's face on it.  There was one of those banner planes flying most of the day promoting it.  Someone said that either the NXT or MSG show there someone showing Gino Hernandez highlight promoting that show.

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The Gino Hernandez episode is the one that interests me the most. Gave the Brody one a watch, absolutely no new information in it.

20 hours ago, The Thread Killer said:

Even though I've seen the Savio Vega, Dutch Mantell and Tony Atlas Shoot Interviews where they discuss the murder, read the Brody book by Barbara Goodish and Larry Matysik, and seen the "Wrestling's Last Rebel" documentary done by Highspots, I still found this Brody episode really interesting.  They got a ton of good footage that wasn't available to Highspots, and interviews with Abdullah (who appears to be full of shit, as usual) and Brody's son, which I think is a first. I've never seen him speak about this anywhere else. It's too bad they didn't get Savio Vega for this episode, because in recent years he's had some interesting information about the murder. Specifically, Vega has some interesting insights into what happened afterward - stuff that people who only spoke English couldn't know about Gonzales.

Weirdly, I actually thought Abdullah was being genuine for the most part. Dutch continues to be Sgt. Schultz about the whole situation, and there's always some details about Atlas' more recent versions of what happened that make me not take at face value everything he says. There's some other stuff out there in Spanish beyond what Savio says and/or speculates on (by his own account he was last on the scene after the whole fracas went down), which doesn't line up entirely with Savio's account (but then again, no versions line up with each other be it in English, Spanish or whatever other language). Hard not to be cynical when the people talking only really started doing so once the get paid to do shoots era started.

Still, this remains a horrible incident and there will never be a straight answer of what happened.

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5 minutes ago, El Boricua said:

...there's always some details about Atlas' more recent versions of what happened that make me not take at face value everything he says.

Yeah, you could tell that Atlas was really trying to use this episode as a chance to make himself out to be a hero.  I found the part where he complained that he needed to talk about the murder right away, because he was bursting at the seams to tell his story to be a bit much.  I'd buy that if he hadn't talked about the murder in a bunch of shoot interviews, it's not like this was the first time he ever told his side of the story.  You have to wonder if the story doesn't get a little more detailed with each telling.

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I liked that that they had a ton of footage on the show and not just pictures like most of these stories.  They even had some WWWF and WWE footage which I don't know how they got the rights to that.  Makes me a little more hopeful for the Savage one since I was wondering if the only footage we would get is Memphis and the Poffo territory footage.   I understand that Viceland is more of premium channel so there are fewer restrictions on the content but was surprised how much of the bloody footage from Puerto Rico they show.  Some footage of fire matches and the Invader #2 "puking blood" angle was something to see .  Also not sure how accurate the years were in these videos but 90% of the people watching it wasn't going to know anyway.  I think the only thing I wished they talked about how Invader #1 was still pushed and used as a face  but that is just me

Have a feeling that besides maybe the Bravo and Moolah one we are going to hear the phrase "nothing we didn't already know" a ton of times.  But still a damn good episode and produced very well not like some Highspots documentary

 

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Meltzer has said that the true idea man for Montreal will reveal himself. Dave had posted on Wrestling Classics some years ago that he could tell the full story once the guy died, but he's apparently chosen to tell the story himself. So that's kind of significant.

 

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The deal with the rights to footage is basically this: Documentaries fall under fair use, but for a long time, nobody really wanted to buck WWE in that area. (And there was probably a lack of knowledge of the law, as well.) DDP's Jake documentary opened the floodgates, so with VICE being such VICE, they had no hesitation to use WWE-owned footage.

As for Tony Atlas, while I do think there are some elements that he may have polished up, the gist of his version has always been the same. 

I have screeners now for every episode, but Mania week got on the way of watching. Need to get on that...

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On 4/8/2019 at 10:00 PM, The Thread Killer said:

Yeah, you could tell that Atlas was really trying to use this episode as a chance to make himself out to be a hero.  I found the part where he complained that he needed to talk about the murder right away, because he was bursting at the seams to tell his story to be a bit much.  I'd buy that if he hadn't talked about the murder in a bunch of shoot interviews, it's not like this was the first time he ever told his side of the story.  You have to wonder if the story doesn't get a little more detailed with each telling.

That part was one I found over the top and absolutely felt like it was played up for the cameras for the reasons you mention. To be fair, Atlas has been consistent on several elements throughout his different accounts through the years (or as Bix notes the gist of his version has been the same) and these elements tend to be consistent with other people's account of what happened. But consistent doesn't necessarily equate with accurate or reliable, particularly when one part of his account is clearly and verifiably false. This may be due to Atlas conflating something that happened at a different time or something that he added at some point to the telling that he's retold so many times that he believes it to be true, but knowing that he's been mentioning this since the 2005 Mooneyham interview (at least to my knowledge or what I've been able to find, I don't think he had included this detail in his account before) and that it is just flat out wrong does give me pause in taking everything at face value.

The parts that line up with other people's accounts are more credible to me, but it's a little harder for me on the parts that are just from his account (particularly with the polishing up throughout the years). If you watch or read his accounts throughout the years (at least since he stopped not wanting to talk about it), he does have a tendency to polish up the account as the years have passed with details he doesn't mention before (here it is the banging on the operating room doors, before this in more recent accounts it's the spending the night on the beach which he mentions here as well).

As with all accounts, it's those inconsistencies that make it hard to wade through everything and know what's true, what's speculation and what's just bull. An example is the whole Abdullah calling the meeting part. Atlas has for years said Abdullah called the meeting, and I don't know if this is the first time someone actually asked Abdullah about it, but Abdullah says he didn't.  Most people are saying Abdullah is lying or full of it, but I actually believe Abdullah may be telling the truth. Why would he call the meting if he owns a stake in the territory and is good friends with Carlos? The only reason that makes sense would be for damage control, but I don't think he'd be spearheading any meeting that results in going to the cops. Also, both Abdullah and Barbara Goodish state that they encountered each other in the airport. How does that timeline work if he's calling for and is at that meeting but also leaving town and runs into Barbara at the airport? And Dutch in his 2000 written account does say there was a meeting that afternoon and he lists the people that were there. Abdullah isn't one of them. But since Atlas has been claiming this for years, it's believed Abdullah is lying now even though I'm not sure if anyone has asked Abdullah before about calling the meeting (and if you take Dutch's account into consideration, that one would back up Abdullah not being at the meeting).

15 hours ago, PeteF3 said:

Meltzer has said that the true idea man for Montreal will reveal himself. Dave had posted on Wrestling Classics some years ago that he could tell the full story once the guy died, but he's apparently chosen to tell the story himself. So that's kind of significant.

 

That is significant. I think the popular suspect has been Jim Cornette, but I guess we'll finally find out.

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We do need to keep in mind that this was a seriously traumatic incident for everyone in that babyface locker room, especially Tony. Even with wrestlers, over 30 years it's not like it's impossible that the details have shifted in their minds a bit.

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52 minutes ago, El Boricua said:

That is significant. I think the popular suspect has been Jim Cornette, but I guess we'll finally find out.

Hasn't Bruce already referred to Corny as more of less the guy behind the idea already, at least indirectly ? 

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Cornette has said in various shoot interviews that he had brought up the idea of a double-cross (albeit with someone like Shamrock) early on when things were starting to get more acrimonious with Bret, so it would be a little surprising to hear that he had a more involved role in it after that. Cornette has never seemed shy about his involvement with anything else - why spend years downplaying his role here?

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