Slammed: Inside Indie Wrestling (2011)
Program for National Geographic Channel/NatGeo that depicts both Ring of Honor tryouts (led by an uncharacteristically sedate Jim Cornette) and preparations for an indie show at a VFW Hall in Manville, New Jersey by the promotion National Wrestling Superstars. Probably most notable for featuring a pre-TNA Shiima Xion/Zema Ion/DJ Z and former WWF Superstar Danny Inferno, the episode focuses on the familiar contrast of the hardships of finding fame (Xion) and regaining fame (Inferno) but I thought there were a few smaller, but more interesting aspects. Xion’s specific experience as a Filipino-American wrestler, and the pressures his career placed on his widowed, immigrant Mom was a slice of life I wish had been investigated more. Where Xion and his Mom pulled heartstrings, the relationship between promoter and commissioner duo “Dapper Johnny Falco” (half Jon Taffer, half Ed O’Neill) and Gino Moore (mulleted, wearing a windbreaker and a Bluetooth headset) was just bizarre. I’m at a complete loss of whether they were “real” people, or characters played-up for the audience. As usual, the business end of the operation neither seemed to enjoy wrestling, nor be making any money, and seemed to be propelled forward only by a hefty dose of masochism and contempt. The promoter and/or booker roles are such an incongruous aspect of wrestling, it was interesting to see some light shone on the local guys trying to put on the patchwork bingo hall shows. It was not necessarily a flattering light, but interesting nonetheless.
Other notes: small cameo from Anderson & Gallows as the big shot who can’t operate a GPS and drive the perpetually suffering Dapper Johnny Falco one step closer to a stress and corned beef induced heart attack.