So as I mentioned in a previous post, I recently got Mick Foley’s new DVD set ‘For All Mankind’ – I have now successfully navigated the whole of the two-hours plus documentary and skimmed through most of the matches. I said I may write a review, and guess what? You’re reading it. That’s pretty cool. I thought I’d briefly sum-up what I made of it, or as briefly as I can be. If you haven’t noticed, I tend to ramble. I’ll focus most of my attention on the documentary part, because that’s the main reason I get these things. I love getting an insight into the career of a wrestler, especially when it’s one of my greatest heroes. I loved the DVD for the most part, but I just felt there was a little something missing. I can’t really describe why, but it just didn’t seem to match up to some of the other WWE produced DVD documentaries.
What’s on? What’s missing?
First thing’s first. What’s actually on this box set? Well, the answer is a whole lot. As I said, the documentary is long and fascinating, albeit a bit rushed in the final stages. There is a huge selection of matches. Some of them are classics we have all seen a thousand times (e.g. THE cell match, the street fight with Hunter in the Garden and the infamous unprotected chair-shot fest with The Rock) Some have been dragged from the very depths of the archives.
I can’t complain too much about the selection of the subject matter and the matches, but I do have a couple of reservations. Due to the rushed nature of the post 2000s part of the film, they didn’t pay anywhere near enough attention to his 2006 run. This final period of his in-ring WWE career featured the epic feud he had with Ric Flair over the real life heat they had with each other. It also neglected to go into detail on the feud with Edge, the incredible Wrestlemania match, and the time they both teamed to face Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer at One Night Stand (all from the same run) I was also disappointed not to find the barbaric street fight with Funk from Japan on the matches disc. They also completely ignored Ring of Honor and TNA, but I actually agree with that. It’s not sensible to promote you’re competition and the runs he had in both were irrelevant and not memorable.
Foley The Innovator
The documentary does a great job of chronicling just how innovative and influential Mick was (and still is) in so many ways. His unique wrestling style, his technique in cutting promos and his ring psychology are what made him so much more than a “hardcore legend” or “glorified stuntman” – the guy was simply one of the best wrestlers of all time. He paved the way for many future superstars.They appreciate it. The fans appreciate it.
It also demonstrates how gifted a writer he is. He isn’t a New York Times bestseller because of Mr. Socko, that’s for sure. It’s through his writing (he wrote all 700 plus pages of his first autobiography himself by hand) that he has innovated once again and opened the door for the likes of The Rock, Chris Jericho and several others to write successful books themselves. Both in and outside the ring, he has been a trailblazer and that won’t ever be forgotten.
The honesty and the passion
Mick speaks very candidly about the highs and lows of a life and career in professional wrestling, not quite like anyone else before him. He even readily admits to having returned to the ring on several occasions in the later stages of his career purely for money. This would be true of many, but very few would have the balls to admit it. He has had an undying love for the business since a very early age. When it becomes about the money, it’s never quite as good. That’s how he sees it anyway. But he isn’t afraid to admit that bills must be paid.
The supporting cast
He is supported on commentary duty for the documentary by long time friends and colleagues from across the board. We hear from his childhood and school friends. Dee Snider (lead singer of heavy metal band Twisted Sister) even chimes in, having become friends with Mick a few years ago while doing charity work. He heaps praise onto the Long Island legend for inspiring him to do more charity work himself. And as for the wrestling guys! It’s a who’s who of talent from days gone by, wrestling masterminds and today’s biggest superstars: CM Punk, Vader (see image below), Paul Heyman, Jim Ross, Triple H and Terry Funk to name a few.
To conclude, I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the documentary and I was pleased to see some of my favourite Foley matches included on the box set. I do have a few reservations. The documentary side of things didn’t stir me up quite as much as I thought it would. It fell short of the ones for Chris Jericho, Edge and CM Punk in my opinion, which surprised me. Again, I can’t actually pinpoint why, but it just didn’t move me as much as I expected. Nonetheless, it was an excellent watch and certainly something to add to the roll call of things I stick on to watch every three or so months by force of habit. I’ve seen better WWE box sets, but this is still up there with the best!
I never actually give numbered ratings for stuff, but here goes: 8/10
What did you think of the DVD? of this post? of Mick Foley? Please leave a comment and let’s have a good old fashioned rasslin’ chat!
Peace and elbow grease.