It’s hard to think of the year 2008 as wrestling history. Yet that’s the chance we have with today’s technologies — we can start logging information from people who lived it right now. One day 2008 will be the good old days, so why not research it and offer a WWE Timeline DVD?
This time Brian Myers — formerly known as Curt Hawkins — is in the hot seat and he doesn’t disappoint.
My only issue with this release from Kayfabe Commentaries is that the questions are sometimes way above his knowledge level, but I guess you need to throw a few surprise questions just in case you discover something new and interesting. Nevertheless, this release delivers all the way.
It’s refreshing to hear someone who is obviously a fan and still can’t believe he went to work for WWE and lived through these incredible stories. He just loved it, and there’s no bitterness, just plain fun.
We get the behind the scenes of the creation of the Edgeheads and the Familia. It’s quite the wake-up call to learn that Zack Ryder and Myers came up with the idea and just had to muster the courage to bring it up to Michael Hayes and Edge, just hoping that it would get picked up. As history showed, it did, and it was probably the highlight of Myers’ career. As far as I am concerned, they dropped the ball on both after that run.
I was amazed to learn how simple and yet how special just the selection of a theme song can be. But nothing was more surprising than to learn how the tests for WWE’s Wellness Policy are done. According to Myers it’s mortifying. I won’t spoil it, but I agree.
One of the most interesting analyses he made is that the brand extension is really missing from current WWE. It used to create drama within their own cast of characters, Smackdown vs. Raw, when they finally met for the first time. The annual draft, for example, was an exciting night where even the talents were kept in the dark (Myers is very funny remembering that) about their ultimate destination. I agree that it made both Smackdown and Raw different and I believe different is always good.
Bryan Myers loves wrestling and he is very insightful about it. He knows and understands that his business is a work: “It’s not like football, the best is not always playing because it’s entertainment.” At the same time, he calls wrestlers liars who say they are not belt marks; Myers stresses that getting a championship means the company is behind you as a performer.
That would lead us to the night he became tag team champion. Ryder and Myers treated it off camera like it was a big deal, especially since he won it in his hometown. The story is pretty much what you can imagine, with drunken strangers getting their pictures taken with the belts. Yet showing a shrewd understanding of wrestling, Myers also knows than when your time is up with the championship, it becomes your job to make the next star.
There are also fantastic stories about actor Freddie Prinze Jr. coming in as a writer and how a positive change he was with acting class for the talents something I think should be done on a permanent basis in NXT. According to Myers, Prinze was a fan coming from the entertainment world, the perfect match. According to Myers, Prinze was never given enough leeway to change the business even if he had the ideas to do it.
I can’t recommend this release strongly enough. It’s very entertaining, and leaves you wanting more at the end. Contrary to Myers’ take on the business, this not a DVD full of highs and lows, only high.
I will leave you with my favorite story. After a cage match where Ryder and Myers wrestled Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels, they were both left alone in the dressing room drenched in Ric Flair’s blood. They were the last one to leave the building because they just could not believe what their life had become. As Myers says, you need to be a fan to understand why they didn’t want to shower and why they didn’t want that moment to ever end.