Welcome to my latest DVD review, today it is the turn of Two Falls To A Finish, a documentary released by Adam Gill who has edited for companies such as Pitch International, Universal, Channel 4 and BT Sport in the past. Synopsis :
In 1988 ITV Sport Chairman Greg Dyke axed British Professional Wrestling. The loss of national television exposure after thirty three years would change the business forever. Providing a fascinating insight into sixty years of highs, lows, trials and tribulations within the world of British Professional Wrestling, Two Falls to a Finish features candid interviews with some of Pro Wrestlings finest minds and practitioners, including Marty Jones, Danny ‘Boy’ Collins, Brian Dixon, Hulk Hogan, Robbie Brookside, Doug Williams, Alex Shane, Zack Sabre Jr, Rampage Brown and more. Today I will give a run through and my thoughts on the documentary, this has just been released on DVD (http://www.figurefourfilms.com/two-falls-to-a-finish.html) and I would like to thank Adam for sending me a copy for review!
First of all, I would like to say how good it is that the likes of Jay Lethal and Hulk Hogan as well as personalities such as Greg Lambert and Jim Smallman and of course British Wrestlers of the past and present as normally with a lot of documentaries it focuses on the World of Sport aspect and not so much the present day in British Wrestling which is thriving. We get the story of before the rise of World of Sport when TV came on with the Lord Mount-evans rules introduced, we get Brookside and also Actor and Broadcaster Ted Robbins giving their views about it. Mick McManus and Jackie Pallo were talked about including about 1962 and 1963 Fa Cup Final Weekends and of course they are the household names but it became major when World of Sport Wrestling came about which made everyone stop until 1970’s when the British Wrestling industry had to be revived by Max Crabtree who was known as a genius by Robbie Brookside. Kendo Nagasaki who Sloan said was a consomate professional and Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks were talked about who like McManus and Pallo in their day were the heroes and household names, Blondie Barrett and P.N News shot into the documentary to give their views on the latter men. The Heel vs Babyface rivalry between Mark “Rollerball” Rocco and Marty Jones which according to Marty saw them absolutely knock the crap out of each other at the time was covered briefly before Dave “Fit” Finlay was discussed who of course is known to most people as the ex- WWE star. Brian Dixon who of course is known as being the figurehead of All Star took all the stars from Joint Promotions and Big Daddy was the biggest name in British Wrestling according to Robbie Brookside was made the face which went into the big match between Daddy and Haystacks which got 18 million people tuning in which is colossus for Wrestling in the UK. It then leads into Greg Dyke cancelling WoS but keeping Wrestling sporadically in different times on Saturdays but it was cancelled all together when Football was brought in; we get the views of Brookside and Collins talking of their dismay of Dyke taking away their platform and how he made the decision on behalf of millions of people. People still came to shows and watch the S4C version Reslo booked by Welsh Wrestling’s Orig Williams who you could say is Wales answer to Brian Dixon but they expected more new stars which is when we hear about the famous Brookside documentary he made for the BBC’s Video Diaries series which Alex Shane called gripping and that he said had watched 25 to 30 times, Brookside said how proud he is and that he gets people coming up to him saying how good it is even today, it was a cry for help and in the 90’s it slipped down even more with Williams and Sloan talking about their experiences in the scene in the 90’s but McMahon was doing big business in the states which led to big business in the UK for tribute shows, Zak and Roy Knight talked about how you needed to have the respect from the likes of Skull Murphy and Andre Baker caused a stir as a result as you could now pay to learn to become a wrestler, UWA which was the resurgence of British Wrestling in a way hosted the likes of a young Jonny Storm and Alex Shane fresh out of Hammerlock but that soon went under. Alex Shane talked about FWA’s Revival show which everyone wanted to go to which included Jody Fleisch winning the King of England tournament and then he took over from Wrestlingstore owner Mark Sloan, he brought over ECW stars Balls Mahoney and Jerry Lynn as well as AJ Styles for the big show at the York Hall which included extreme risk taking which was never seen before. Frontiers of Honor followed which made loads of American stars want to come over and work for FWA and the fact that they set the bar high they had to set it higher by doing lots of out of this world stuff. This part was really informative and the best part I would say are the interviews which inform everyone from the point of view of them at the time.
A Stoke team including the likes of Allmark and Dynamite were brought in by Brian Dixon and on the other end The Wrestling Channel was introduced in 2004 with FWA being the exclusive supplier of Wrestling which branched out onto a talk show with the stars of FWA, this led to a watered down version of the FWA as there had to be a build up to a big show, Uprising 3 was then hosted at the Coventry Skydome which was a flop in terms that they didn’t sell out like expected which effectively ended FWA but the likes of Aviv Maayan, Pac, Mark Haskins and Martin Stone were starting to become the big UK stars and IPW:UK then RQW started running on TWC only breaking even which then followed up with the big co promoted show with Alex Shane which ended TWC. World of Sport though was the biggest show on there which introduced younger people to the older product; FWA and 1PW were the two big companies and I like how they then discuss 1PW as it is a subject I always like documentaries going into more depth about and so it is a welcome addition to this documentary as it does fall under the banner of Sixty Years of British Pro Wrestling and the same about Progress Wrestling and Infinite Promotions being covered in a section which included interviews with Jimmy Havoc, Rampage Brown, Zack Sabre Jr, The UK Hooligans, Chuck Taylor, Nathan Cruz, Andy Quildan (Rev Pro), Ben Auld (Southside), Ciaran O’Connell and Zack Gibson (Infinite Promotions) which is great to see and I am glad to see my local promotion Southside being covered as well, finally talents are covered with Robbie X, Mark Andrews, El Ligero, Marty Scurll, Jimmy Havoc, Grado, Sha Samuels, Will Ospreay, Dave Mastiff, Nathan Cruz, Zack Gibson, Noam Dar all covered in a good light which is good to see, British BootCamp was covered as well with Hogan interviewed which was a nice touch which segwayed into BWC and BB2 as well as the on demands and how American’s want to come over here to work for the likes of All Star.
The extras on this DVD included in ring footage between Steve Grey and Mal Sanders from International Showdown which is a quality match considering the age of the two men and extended chats with Alex Shane about Revival and Uprising, Jim Smallman about Progress and also Marty Scurll on Bootcamp, Zack Gibson on British Pro Wrestling Style and Marty Jones on becoming a Pro Wrestler, this adds to the rating as you get this extended footage so you can know more than the snippets in the documentary as well as a full match win win.
Rating 10/10 – I think this is one of the best British Wrestling documentaries I have seen and really portrays British Wrestling in a good light by adding the present day instead of just WOS and the demise of it, it has portrayed the rise and fall and resurgance of the British Wrestling product. This has been worth the wait for release and I urge anyone to get this DVD if they can and it is well worth the £10. This sets the bar high for anyone wanting to make a British Wrestling documentary that’s for sure.
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