Saturday, April 21, 2012

RF Video's "Behind Closed Doors" with JJ Dillon

The Good
JJ Dillon has always been a favorite of mine (in this capacity, not so much as a manager) because he is very insightful, very straightforward and has some good stories to share. As someone who worked all over the place, including with the Funks and Eddie Graham as well as the assistant booker to Dusty Rhodes in the mid-80s and as one of Vince McMahon's right-hand men as the Head of Talent Relations, JJ Dillon certainly has psychology to share. They spend a far amount of time going over his career, but it is the nuts and bolts of booking, working angles and such that makes this good. Talking about getting a break as a different type of heels up in the Maritimes, talking about his approach to interviews, talking about the Florida standard of big events, talking about simply why angles worked makes this excellent. This is quite an extensive shoot at roughly three-hours in length, but the thoroughness in his anecdotes are all parts of the lesson.

The Bad
Since I enjoy listening to JJ Dillon, I feel like I've heard some many of his stories already. While that does not totally kill the enjoyment, it is perhaps not as good as hearing his material fresh. He is certainly an acquired taste as he is not particularly bitter, humorous or crass. JJ Dillon has nice things to say about most everyone and even when he has an issue (such as with Abdullah the Butcher, Mick Foley or Dusty Rhodes), he can put it into perspective. That is probably a healthier attitude, but if you want over-the-top, you won't get it here. While contextualizing is important, I felt too much time was spent on the career of JJ Dillon. What made Jake Roberts' and Bret Hart's "Behind Closed Doors" shoots excellent was they really dug into the psychology, whereas this one, Paul Orndorff's, Stan Hansen's and many others seems like a regular old RF Video shoot under another name.

The Rating:  ****1/2

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Demolition [RF Video Shoot Interview]

The Good
Tandem shoots can be really good if the two have good chemistry, one does not do all the talking and they do not get off on the individual's careers. RF Video had previous interviewed both of these guys who had significant careers before partnering up, so they kept those pre-Demolition question to a minimum. These two clearly have great respect for one another and believed in their gimmick and how over it was. I felt like Rob dealt with the Road Warrior clones issue well and these two made a great case for their legacy. Bill Eadie came in first with Randy Colley and he explains why Randy didn't work, why he did and why he thought the gimmick would get over. They talk about the various teams they worked, their runs as heels and babyfaces and how they avoided getting caught up in the WWF's drug and party culture. The most interesting part of this was talking about their potential feud with the Legion of Doom, which never really happened. Ax's health woes, Crush's presence and the LOD's super-push saw the thing shortchanged and they seem a little upset by it all.

The Bad
The major bone of contention here is whether or not Demolition was WWF's second-rate answer to Road Warriors or if they were something unique. Sure, there are similarities - the makeup, the likeness to the Lord Humongous character (from the Road Warrior sequel), the balls-to-the-wall brawling style and monster heel approach. Demolition though was comprised of a highly polished heel and one coming into his prime, they worked longer matches, were known for their cardio and were revered by their peers. Demolition seem highly dismissive of the comments, which is a bit much, but then they get into how WWF fans saw the LOD as Demolition clones…which I can't buy at all. There are differences and there are similarities, but let's not get ridiculous. I liked the narrow focus on just their run together as Demolition, but since I have not yet heard their individual shoots, I was left wanting to hear more about the amazing run of the Masked Superstar in the years prior.

The Rating:  ****