Tuesday, February 23, 2010

This is My Yard
Director: Kevin Dunn
Distributor: WWF Home Video
Released: 9/01

Featured Talent
Kurt Angle, Brooklyn Brawler, Edge, Howard Finkel, Matt Hardy, Paul Heyman, Hardcore Holly, Chris Jericho, Kane, Lita, Diamond Dallas Page, Pat Patterson, Jim Ross, The Undertaker, X-Pac

The Good
The Undertaker is probably the best character the WWF ever created. While Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock were arguably bigger stars and stronger draws, they were not the type of "character" that Mark Calloway has created and portrayed. This is a decent bio before the WWF/WWE really began putting a lot of effort into their documentaries. The Undertaker was just wrapping up a decade in the WWF and this look back was nostalgic, but foward looking. He talks about his time in WCW, his entrance into the WWF, his learning under Jake Roberts and the original dimensions of his character. Then it delves into how The Undertaker character had tranformed over the years, focusing largely on the original and the Ministry version. Since he was the "American Bad Ass" character when this was released, it mainly focuses on that, which is close to his true self. His tattoos and bikes are covered, which is very "WWF Confidential," but fine documentary filler as they always have. The comments by his peers about how he is a lockeroom leader and how hard he works is one of the strengths of this documentary. That is the aspect of The Undertaker that is not exactly displayed on TV (although it is widely known), so having it explained is appropriate. 

The Bad
By jumping right to "Mean" Mark, this documentary leaves out his time in Texas, the Spoiler and his development in Memphis, which are all more pivotal and important than his short stint in the New Skyscrapers. The WWF did not own the rights to World Class or the USWA at that point, so those omissions are understandable. The story jumps around a bit and certainly focuses too much on the character he had when this was produced. His forgettable feuds in 2000-2001 with Kurt Angle, Triple H and Steve Austin are overplayed and make this look weird a few years after the fact. His rivalries with Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and various freaks and giants should have gotten more time. The presense of a masked Kane, semi-kayfabing, is really lame. The over-the-top nature of their feud and the fact they are kayfabe brothers really made this weird in spots. As strange as that was, featuring Sara (his now ex-wife), really dates this documentary. Perhaps the most disappointing was the lack of star power being interviewed on this. The WWE will definitely do a documentary in the future and hopefully they can use pieces from this to generate a more deserving product. 

The Rating: ***1/2

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