Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bad News Allen [RF Video Shoot Interview]

The Good
There a some things to consider when evaluating a shoot interview. One, is the person involved still alive (or still in their right mind)? Two, has the person done other shoot interviews before (even if they were brief radio interviews)? Three, are there any details about the time, location or circumstances involving this shoot that would substantially harm its quality? The first two questions are usually easier to answer, but that third question is often not. Bad News Allen, who I'd heard previously on WOL on Eyada, struck me as someone who would probably great every time out. He had an amazing career, he was funny storyteller, he was a no-nonsense bad ass and his judo background was fascinating as well. In any event, RF Video sat down with him and now that he has passed, the interview is a significant historical source. Allen has hilarious anecdotes, he shoots on people who he didn't like, he seems honest and thoughtful in his reflections and few have the kind of insight into New Japan that he had. Bad News was with the company for a long time as it was on its ascent and he talked about having Akira Maeda as a kohei (pupil), watching Fujinami come up, having issues with Andre the Giant, Dusty Rhodes and a few others. Allen also talked briefly about his stint with UWFi, which is curious. There are other experiences in his career that were interesting - working the unstable Randy Savage, feuding with Bret Hart, being "lied to" by Vince McMahon and his recollections of Dynamite Kid and Jacques Rougeau. This was just a top notch shoot and it was entirely because of the interviewee.

The Bad
Obviously, the New Japan stuff is gold for many fans. RF got into it some, but really did not push the interview in that direction as much as it could've been and probably should've been. Allen had great stories from his time there and interesting opinions on business and personalities, so that area should've been mined thoroughly. Does hearing about his short run in Florida, his inability to get into WCW or his time on the Canadian indies really need much time? Though that chronology is paramount in RF Video shoots, it is really a travesty here and took a little of the shine off one of the great shoot interviews.

The Rating: ****3/4

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