Two Falls To A Finish Mar 19, 2015 17:50:45 GMT -6
Post by The Ultimate Nullifier on Mar 19, 2015 17:50:45 GMT -6
'TWO FALLS TO A FINISH' - NEW DOCUMENTARY LOOKS AT RISE, DEMISE AND AFTERLIFE OF THE BRITISH WRESTLING SCENE
The American wrestling scene has had a number of documentaries focusing on different facets, time period and territories within the genre of professional wrestling, but it's British counterparts have, for whatever reason, yet to truly receive that sort of love and analysis in documentary form.
A great new documentary, "Two Falls To A Finish" seeks to change all that. The 60 minute film, director by Adam Gill and released by Figure Four Films for online purchase this week, brings a great overview to the origins, television heights, top stars, televised demise and what crawled out of the ashes of that death for the British wrestling scene.
I found the film extremely well done and a fun viewing to the point. There is the most in-depth chronological telling of the British scene's history. My only criticism, if there was one, was wishing that some of the subjects discussed could have been featured in greater detail, something that likely wasn't a possibility due to the running time of the film.
As great as it was to see mentions of Giant Haystacks and Dave Finley (just giving two names as examples), a deeper discussion of why they were important to the era and the scene would make the viewing even more accessible to viewers unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the "World of Sport" era. I love my wrestling history, so while 60 minutes is certainly adequate, the film left me wanting more on the subject.
That said, Gill does a remarkable job at educating the audience as to the origins of the British scene, the creation of the "World of Sport" series, how quickly it became a massive hit for that audience, challengers to the series' throne and similar to the death of WCW in the United States, how one man's decision, ITV Sport Chairman Greg Dyke, pretty much took what was a popular series and destroyed it in one fell swoop.
While the outside influences of WWF programming were also infringing on the British presentation of wrestling (which the film details), the aftermath of that nuclear bomb of cancellation is also dealt as how the loss of TV for the wrestlers is covered, as is the evolution of the post-ITV independent wrestling scene, good and bad.
The selection of interviews are very good as well as longtime All Star Wrestling promoter Brian Dixon, British legend turned WWE trainer Robby Brookside, long-time British great Danny Boy Collins (how he never made it Stateside was always a mystery to me) as well as current personalities like former TNA star Doug Williams, Zack Sabre Jr. and Wrestletalk's Alex Shane are all featured, giving their takes on the past and present of what remains a pretty unique slice of pro wrestling history. I would have loved to have seen some additional talents featured, but obviously you can't showcase everyone ever.
In many ways, the film is a great primer to give you detail and an understanding over what was so unique and different about the British wrestling scene when it was in it's most pure form, rounds systems where the winner indeed won "two falls to a finish." It's also a reminder to fans today to appreciate what you like today, because even if the wrestling you love has a strong product and even popular among the masses, there's no guarantee that means there isn't something or someone more powerful that could bring it to a screeching halt on a whim.
For awhile, this happened to pro wrestling in the United Kingdom. It's still fighting it's way out, thanks to a lot of hard working independent talents, but it's not all the way there yet...but like any good underdog, you never know when they might score the upset...and this film gives you hope they are on the verge of a victory. Here's to hoping that can one day happen, but until then, "Two Falls To A Finish" shows what they are fighting to regain and how special that time period was.
Two Falls to A Finish is available for £6.99 (closer to $10) via video on-demand at www.britishwrestling.tv. The purchase also includes over 60 minutes of extras, including complete matches and extended interviews.