11/16/1998 11:08:52 PM
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets Review
an uncompromised insight into the business like no other film or
program done on the wrestling business.
AS I SEE IT
WRESTLING WITH THE TRUTH...
This weekend brings forth an anniversary. A year ago, one of the most
notorious double-crosses in the history of the business occurred, where
Bret Hart was apparently doublecrossed by Vince McMahon out of an
agreed-upon DQ finish in the main event at Survivor Series, with the WWF
Heavyweight Title being put on Shawn Michaels.
Now....Those of us in North America will be watching a filmed
documentary version of that incident, called "Wrestling with Shadows".
For those few who aren't aware of the film, a documentary film crew
followed Bret Hart for a year. It had been originally designed as a look
at Bret Hart and the history of the Hart wrestling family.
But the film turned out to have a dramatic ending that filmakers could
never have anticipated....an inside look at one of the most
controversial incidents in wrestling history; including film footage and
comments before and after Survivor Series from a wired for audio Bret
It should be noted that film director Paul Jay is not merely a
"wrestling insider" with a particular viewpoint to put forth or personal
ax to grind. In a review of the film, the November 10th Bagpipe Report
lists Jay's credentials as: executive-producer of CounterSpin, the main
nightly news debate show on CBC Newsworld in Canada, a maker of numerous
prize-winning documentary films and as the founder of HOT DOCS!, the
national documentary film festival in Canada.
The film itself was produced by The National Film Board of Canada,
Telefilm Canada, the A&E; Network in the United States, TV Ontario, CTV,
and the BBC. Its premiere was selected to open the prestigious Sheffield
documentary film festival in England on October 19th. This festival
celebrates the best documentary films from around the world.
So unlike the amateurish garbage aired on NBC recently "exposing the
business" that Fritz Capp and Dan Moreland have commented on via the
PWBTS newsboard, and their columns...this film is a legitimate
documentary on the wrestling business, produced by talented filmmakers,
and produced by reputable organizations.
Wrestling With Shadows tells the story of some sides of the business
that may surprise average fans, as well as aspects of the personalities
of members of the Hart family. The most notable of those is of the
legendary Stu Hart and his "Dungeon". A sadistic side is shown of Stu
Hart, as an audio tape is played of Hart stretching young trainees.
If readers think the Stu Hart we've seen on WWF TV is a frail old
man...think again. Especially when you watch 80 year old Stu Hart
stretching another trainee. He casually demonstrates, as if talking
about the weather "...moving the arm this way lets up on the pressure
while moving it back....causes the eyes to pop...see the vein right
there on the temple... see that?" All of this as the trainee's lips
start to turn blue from lack of oxygen.
Then there's the footage from Survivor Series. After seeing this part
of the film, one can understand why Vince McMahon finally had to
publicly admit that he lied to Bret Hart.....footage such as that of
McMahon confirming the original finish that Bret Hart wanted, with Pat
Patterson informing the Hart family of the same.....or the widely
reported Shawn Michaels denials of advance knowledge of the double-cross
in the locker room.....or Bret Hart's then-wife Julie screaming at Paul
(Hunter Hearst Helmsley) Levesque.
This is a film worth watching for any adult wrestling fan...it will give
you an uncompromised insight into the business like no other film or
program done on the wrestling business. If readers are interested in
other information on Wrestling With Shadows, you can find it online at
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