Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lanny Poffo [RF Video Shoot Interview]

The Good
I remember hearing a little about this interview with Lanny Poffo before listening to it. It was described as one of the best RF Shoots and I think I can agree with that. Lanny Poffo is a fantastic talker. He is eloquent, he is sincere and he has that great cadence to his voice. This is unlike any other shoot interview because Lanny is just a unique personality and he makes many of his peers seem strikingly redundant. How can you not be taken aback when a pro-wrestler is quoting Thomas Jefferson, the Gospel of Matthew and Tigger!? Lanny Poffo might not have had the type of career that makes him a "legend," but he is second-generation, brother to one of the biggest stars ever and worked in many companies with many big names. While he pulls no punches when burying people like Ole Anderson, Rick Rude and the Von Erichs, he also can give them their due. In the same token, he puts over Ric Flair, Grizzly Smith and Curt Hennig, but is able to explain their flaws as well. While I do not always agree with his viewpoints, he is certainly one who believes in them and himself and you cannot fault him for that.

The Bad
I suppose some people would find Lanny Poffo's interviewing style off-putting. He is not your typical pro-wrestler in terms of using salty language, coming across as bitter and such. He has a very distinct way of talking and explaining situations, which I'm sure some people would find obnoxious. The only knock I could make is that he gets sidetracked frequently, but luckily nothing seems to be left out. If you don't like it when interviewees go off on rants about anyone and everyone, then you might want to avoid this one. However, Lanny explains the difference between "objective" and "subjective," I realize that my view of this is "subjective" and I deem it to be amongst the best of the best.

The Rating: *****

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

King Kong Bundy [Pro-Wrestling Diaries Shoot Interview]

The Good
I have largely enjoyed Pro-Wrestling Diaries shoots and you could definitely make a case that this one was their best. King Kong Bundy, who worked on top in the WWF in their glory days of the 1980s, crossed paths with many legendary and not-so-legendary personalities. He is an extremely honest person, has a great sense of humor and excellent delivery (he has done some stand-up after all). While some might think he comes across as bitter, I think he comes across as pretty down-to-earth and straightforward. He has his pet peeves (poor tippers, stooges, bullies and selfish types) and he is willing to fling mud at anyone and everyone. However, he does not out and out bury many people. He admits if he had a personality clash with someone like Randy Savage or Andre the Giant, but typically he can give people credit if they were talented. While a lot of this is negative, it almost seems like a comedy act as he plays a nasty old Don Rickles. Bret Hart became very conceited, Honky Tonk Man ran out on bills, Ernie Ladd manipulated youngsters for his own benefit, Andre the Giant was petty and selfish, Bam Bam Bigelow had delusions of grandeur and so on. Many opinions are widely held - Nikolai Volkoff and Tony Garea were cheap to a fault; the Dynamite Kid, Bill Watts and Adrian Adnois were bullies; and Hulk Hogan's boys (Honky, Brutus, etc.) grew big egos and never sold the fact that Hogan brought them to the dance. This seemed to provide some unique perspectives as well as much of the same old stuff.

The Bad
I feel like overly negative shoot interviews are not necessarily everyone's preference, but many people who invest in them want some real meat to their shoots. King Kong Bundy provides that here. Of course, he has a number of guys who were "good guys" and even some them he points out their personality flaws. Many were "pricks" or "assholes" who abused their peers, fans or just everyday folks. Bundy seems to be a man of some moral fiber and he was bothered by some of the negative things he saw in the business whether it was drug abuse, attitude problems or some of things that rubbed him the wrong way that I previously mentioned. This was enjoyable, but realize that it is not all pats on the back and putting people over.

The Rating: ****1/2