Review: The Biography Channel’s program “The Unreal Story Of Pro Wrestling”

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While browsing through the old tube Tuesday night, I was going through the guide of channels and ended up noticing a program on The Biography Channel. It was called the “The Unreal Story of Pro Wrestling”. Being the fan that I am, I decided to watch to check it out and it was well worth it. It is a two hour documentary on how professional wrestling was started and how it has become today. This is a great documentary to see. There was a lot of information that I was not aware of like pro wrestling being started in the 1800’s, revolution of the sport when the TV era began with interviews from a bunch of past and present wrestlers.

There was a lot discussed in this documentary so I will only bring up a few certain topics. The first one would be how some of the rivalries influenced crowds starting in the 50’s up to the 70’s. While fans knew it was staged (IT’S STILL REAL TO ME DAMNIT!), they were still into it and treated it like an actual sporting event rather than entertainment. Fans were more into it than we as fans are now. Except for the NWO era, fans often trashed the ring when the bad guy would win. These interviews by wrestlers were of course done 15, 20 or even 25 years ago. Some of the interviews included Classie Freddie Blassie, Verne Gane and Lou Thesz.

Hulk Hogan was discussed on how he put pro wrestling on the map in the 80’s which became the second golden age of pro wrestling. We all are aware of what Hogan did for pro wrestling. What was surprising though is when Lou Thesz discussed Hogan and his effect. He said his charisma was through the roof but his ability was as good as some young kid’s grandmother. Couldn’t be farther from the truth. While most of us grew to love Hulk, looking back all of these years later, he had zero athleticism. But as always, if someone can put fans in the seats and make a lot of others tune in, they will be big.

Jerry Lawler was interviewed on the discussion of wrestling character and ability. As we have learned as fans today, usually the ones that can both wrestler and have character should go far in their careers while the wrestlers with only one ability or none at all, don’t really get far. Too bad that doesn’t work in today’s wrestling. These days, people who cannot wrestler nor act (Points finger at Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton, etc.) for some odd reason become main eventers. Shawn Michaels said in this documentary that along with the character/wrestling ability, us fans decide who they want as a face and heel.

With all the interviews that were done, the one thing I did find a bit humorous was when Gorilla Monsoon was interviewed, they said he was the WWE President. I think the Biography Channel needs to do more updated research…

Here are a couple things I found very interesting. Fabolous Moolah said she received her nickname because she defeated 13 women in one night. Lou Thesz vs. Verne Gagne wrestler six matches with each other in a span of a few months. Four of those matches lasted 90 minute WITHOUT one fall. Talk about endurance. If anybody wants to say that Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels went through hell wrestling a one-hour iron man match at WrestleMania 12, Thesz and Gagne would probably reply with “What a couple of wimps”.

Fun fact: When Ted Turner purchased WCW, he called Vince McMahon to announce that he was “getting into the wrasslin’ business”. McMahon said he replied with “Well I am in the entertainment industry. Big difference!”

One last fact that I found very interesting is the type of crowds that have attended wrestling events throughout time. One wrestling historian (Really. They exist) showed old footage of fans sitting in crowds starting from the 20’s all the way to the 60’s. Just about every one of the fans there were people dressed up in suits and dresses. In the 70’s and when wrestling started to be televised more often, the next generation of kids began to attend. As it stands today, adults to children in crowds are about half and half. The wrestling business profited greatly because of the expansion of fans to a new generation.

That’s it for now. There was a lot more but I basically just put the stuff that I thought was most important. Til next time.

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One Response to “Review: The Biography Channel’s program “The Unreal Story Of Pro Wrestling””

  1. chucky Says:

    Thanks Fro….I wish I had known it was on. I would have watched it myself.

SHOW DA FIRE AND PASSION, MY FRENDT!

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