Friday, April 9, 2010

Mark Lewin [Highspots Shoot Interview]

The Good
When Mark Lewin seemed to magically appear after relative obscurity, I was intrigued about this man who is one of pro-wrestling's most unique and well-traveled individuals.  When I learned he was doing shoot interviews, I was overjoyed.  This really delivers the goods as Highspots appears to have hired an interview who does solid research, builds a rapport with the interviewee, conducts a flowing interview and makes almost everyone else seem second- or third-rate.  As great as the interviewer was, Mark Lewin was just the man I'd like to have in that hot seat.  His amazing career was covered in sufficient detail (for a two-hour shoot), he touched on psychology, booking, character development and even heavier topics like substance abuse and personality flaws were not left untouched.  Mark Lewin seems to be fairly open, but is certainly calculating in his responses.  It is funny because he looks remarkably like Johnny Powers nowadays (although both had very different looks during their careers), but the gum-smacking Lewin seems so much more laid back, honest and humble than JP (whose career I feel Lewin's is superior to in most ways).  This is one of those must-see/hear shoot interviews that happen every once and while.

The Bad
Two-hours was just simply not long enough.  If undercarders from the Monday Night Wars can get four-hours, how can Mark Lewin not get more time!  Actually, I suspect he'll be subject of several (guest booker, anyone?) and I cannot wait.  Mark Lewin's thirty-year career was so unbelievable and the surface is only scratched here.  His early career seems well covered, although a two-hour interview about just the "Golden Age" would work for me.  The part about Australia was what I was most looking forward to as a highlight, but it was not delved into as deeply as it might have been.  His notable runs in Florida, Detroit and Georgia are only briefly covered and others (San Antonio, New Zealand and San Francisco) are hardly mentioned if not left out completely.  I don't want to beat up on this too much because what is there is gold, but I'd take a Ric Flair-like marathon shoot interview with Mark Lewin anytime!

The Rating: ****3/4

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Brickhouse Brown Shoot Interview

The Good
Drugs, rats and mud-slinging - what more could you want?  Brickhouse Brown holds very little back (he eludes to a pending autobiography) and seemingly no one is immune.  Some could surely celebrate his honesty and it makes for a shoot interview that you don't want to turn off.  From Texas to Tennessee and Mid-South to Mid-Atlantic, Brickhouse Brown worked throughout the Southern territories and he has many experiences to share.  This is unique shoot and one worth at least a single listen-through even for all its obvious issues.

The Bad
I saw this originally being compared to the Iron Shiek, Jamie Dundee and Billy Jack Haynes crowd of shoot interviews, which intrigued me. Brickhouse Brown is every bit as vulgur, arrogant and, at times, as wretchedly beat down by the business as those three.  Obviously, there are holes in his reflections and lofty claims about his own ability and importance.  While one could pick those apart, it seems that the over-the-top nature of this shoot interview is its selling point and without that (fabrications and all) it would be forgettable.

The Rating: ****