Friday, February 11, 2011

Dan Severn [RF Video Shoot Interview]

The Good
I first heard Dan Severn on a Figure-Four Daily and was totally blown away. Since he played and often came across as a no-frills athlete that was almost devoid of personality, it seemed unimaginable that he would be an entertaining interview. Despite his amazing life in amateur wrestling and even in the early days of mixed martial arts, you just don't know if you'll be pulled in by Dan Severn. However, he is a helluva a talker. Although he's not particularly funny here, he tells some good stories and can certainly get himself and his legitimacy over. He does give long answers and goes off on other things, but that is generally a good thing in lengthy shoot interviews. Giving him three hours and a lot of room worked for me. Although the negatives of this were grossly obvious, the positives were there and Dan Severn is someone I enjoy listening to.

The Bad
I know I complain about RF Video's incompetence all the time, but it is glaring at times and seriously detracts from the quality of an interview. I've heard Dan Severn with Bryan Alvarez (who is an excellent interviewer) and his experiences as an amateur wrestler, pro-wrestler and mixed martial artist are all fascinating, but he's a talker. If the interviewer does not reel him in, Severn will go off on long-winded stories and a lot can be missed. Some interviewees are like that and it's not really a negative, unless the interviewer is not doing their job. That was a detractor here. Then there is the issue of research. People knock Gary Cubeta for not doing his homework, but I always think that he has had reliable researchers and his show is free!! Not knowing who Dan fought when he came back to the UFC (Pedro Rizzo), mispronouncing Royce Gracie's name and thinking he (not Keith Hackney) beat Manny Yarborough are just a few standout examples of the incompetence displayed here. In case you did not know Dan Severn is one of the most successful and decorated amateur wrestlers and he could do an easy three hours on his amateur career, but it would be better if someone knew and could help clarify for pro-wrestling fans what his legacy is. He mentions many things in passing like being the original Sunkist Kid, but it goes unexplored and unexplained. This could have been so much better than it was, but that's how it goes. Dan Severn is not someone who dishes a lot of dirt because he's both not that kind of guy and he really isolates himself. He had nice things to say about a lot of people, but generally not much detailed or juicy information. Knowing that and expecting that, I was not disappointed like some people might be.

The Rating: ***3/4

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