Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Fit Finlays

Director: n/a
Distributor: OJO Productions / The Broadcast Authority of Ireland
Released: 10/10
Featured Talent

Dave "Fit" Finlay, Dave Finlay Sr., Evelyn Finlay, Mel Finlay, Wendy Finlay, Eddie "Kung Fu" Hamill, Johnny "Rasputin" Howard, Drew McDonald, Orig Williams

The Good
For a fairly straightforward one-hour documentary, this is a real gem.  From the home videos of a young Fit Finlay rolling on amateur mats and footage working small shows in his hometown to his success in Germany and stuff with his dad, this really sheds some light on the amazing career of Fit Finlay.  While it is kind of brief and lacks depth, his run in WCW and return in the WWE are detailed and pushed as real career heights.  The vagueness aside, his return to the ring after nearly losing his leg in a match is incredible.  There are some human elements to this involving his faith and family and they are fine additions.  The scene with Dave Sr. and Rapsutin sharing tales in the garage is such a classic moment and it seems like a glimpse into any old-timer reunion gathering.  The mini-tribute to Welsh icon Orig Williams is a touching one as well.  This is a rare doc that focuses on often overlooked places and people, so it is definitely worth it for the pro-wrestling historian.

The Bad
This is not the most provocative doc you'll come across, so if you want sex, drugs and rock n' roll look elsewhere.  This seems like one of those patriotic portraits of someone who has achieved success on a big stage.  In all fairness, Fit Finlay has never really been a top guy outside of Europe.  He was an amazing worker, a top-notch heel and had an incredible return to the ring after a lengthy absence.  This documentary might try to bolster his international success to a misleading degree, but any pro-wrestling documentary blows up the subject to an extent.  While there is no shortage of great clips that are probably not in public circulation, the lack of World of Sport footage seems to really hinder the story.  I also was surprised by the lack of Princess Paula in this as she was so key to his heel act for years.  This was very good for what it was and a fun lil' watch.

The Rating: ***1/2

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