Dark Side of the Ring – Entertainment at its darkest
I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks watching Dark Side of the Ring. It’s a documentary series from Vice TV about… you’ve guessed it, the dark side of wrestling. You might think that I’m a huge fan of wrestling as I wrote a review on the documentary Andre the Giant? Or sports in general but nothing could be further from the truth. I do find it interesting to know about these things though. I’m not planning to be a walking dictionary on the subject but there are some interesting stories here. What makes it even more interesting is that it’s not necessarily the stories that the big wrestling companies want to be told. I am also interested in the dark nature of man and the strange and mysterious.
This series tells the story of murders and death and tries not to shy away from controversy. Some of the episodes focus on pure wrestling as most of us might know it, but with a twist. Others on more extreme or obscure events. Some guy got the idea to do it for real to see who the strongest fighter really was. Most of us know by now that wrestling is a scripted event. But some of the stories in here, about deathmatches and other extreme events, seem to go a bit beyond that. There are also very different opinions displayed here. Some of the interviewees might find events hilarious and a great success whilst others deem it to be the mote horrible idea ever in the history of the business.
For me, who only knows a few names in the business like Hulk Hogan, Jake the Snake, and Jesse Ventura there’s a lot of new faces. Many of the episodes deal with stories that are very old though. If they’re truthful and not deceiving they’re also dealing with legendary people and events many times. As I said, I don’t have the core knowledge to see through if it’s legimatate legendary status to these stories but it sounds so to me. I guess that if you’re already a die-hard fan of wrestling you might know many of these things already but you might find it interesting to see the involved parties talk about it.
There are some big names involved in the business that doesn’t appear though, at least not yet. Other than archive footage of course. It’s impossible to ignore some characters altogether. Anyway. I found this to be interesting even though I fell asleep many times and needed to watch episodes over and over again to get the full picture. But as a documentary series, I don’t feel it’s fair to rate it, so I won’t. You can just use this series as a base to form your own opinion on who’s an asshole in the business and who’s not.