Wrestling Memoirs, with Doug Basham
Reviewed by Brad Dykens
You might remember the Strong Style Productions team from their three-release DVD series about Allison Danger, including Straight Shootin’, Fight Hard, and The Lost Clips. Those DVD’s were excellent, but I did critisize them for not changing up the scenery throughout the multi-hour shoot interview. Viewers just looked at Allison Danger for more than five hours sitting on a couch with the same backdrop. To their credit, the crew took my advice and used it to create a visually stimulating video that did not make my eyes yawn like the Danger video did (don’t get me wrong the content was wonderful). I would give Strong Style Productions two thumbs up for taking my criticism and putting it towards improving their product.
Doug Basham has been around the wrestling business for 17 years and has become a top talent, but unfortunately that skill has not always translated into the employment that he deserves. Basham’s passion keeps him going, wrestling all over the world for promotions like OVW, WWE, TNA, and various other independents. I’ve always had respect for Basham’s in-ring abilities, but after watching this DVD I have a lot of respect for the real person behind the wrestler. I’m sure you will feel the same way after you get this DVD in your mailbox after ordering it from www.wrestlingentertainmentdvd.com
Disc number one contains a two hour shoot interview which covers Doug Basham’s career from beginning to subsequent end (he actually announces his own retirement). The topics discussed in this portion of the DVD include; his early days in pro-wrestling, Ohio Valley Wrestling, who helped him while working for the WWE, his long-time partner Danny Basham, the WWE tag team titles, competing at WrestleMania 20, going back to OVW, working with C.M. Punk in OVW, working with Elijah Burke and the Spirit Squad, first impressions of Randy Orton (not good!), JBL’s Cabinit, representing the WWE during a Tough Enough challenge, the Basham’s breaking up, WWE travel schedule, idolizing Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero, more about JBL (I bet you didn’t know Basham is JBL’s biggest fan!), working as Paul Heyman’s masked security team, an unfortunate story about getting fired by Johnny Ace, getting a call from Jim Cornette to work for TNA, serious injuries, life on the road, ribs (pranks), his full experience working for Total Nonstop Action, a scary injury he suffered on his last day on the job, the difference between WWE and TNA, the status of the independent circuit, how the business has changed, thoughts on the Benoit Tragedy, ideas on locker-room leaders, training opportunities, life after wrestling, and his own retirement. Basham makes it clear that he is offering his true opinions as a tribute to his career and moving on with his life.
Doug Basham also gets filmed on location, taking a good look at a collection of wrestling posters from over the years. They also caught Basham walking the streets of a random town in Ireland, in search of an authentic Irish Pub run by a descendent of President Barack Obama. Basham takes a free lesson from the bartender on how to properly pour a glass of Guinness. Next they showed Basham arriving at a building where he was scheduled to wrestle, then later they followed him as he prepared for his match, going through the rituals he has developed over his long career. Finally they filmed Basham after the match, including the interaction between he and his opponent in the locker-room. This is real insight into the life of a professional wrestler.
The second disc in this set contains some extras, including a series of outtakes, which could probably be descibed more accurately as “deleted scenes.” Basham talks about a run-in with Teddy Hart, the infamous wrestler’s court, diet and exercise, being one of the Undertaker’s creatures of the night, potential talent in training, wrestling schools, bad attitudes, road agent duties, the WWE developmental system (OVW vs. FCW), tips for independent wrestlers, the significance of titles in wrestling, the death of kayfabe, the business making a comeback, a game of word association, thoughts on Eric Angle, funny stories about Tajiri, the Boogeyman, attending the WWE Hall of Fame with girlfriend/TNA Knockout Gail Kim, TNA’s booking committee, Vince Russo killing WCW, hardest working women in wrestling (Gail Kim), Diva ribs (including the full story of what really happened with Amy Weber), his uncle Danny Davis promoting MMA, JBL funding OVW, the death of Andrew “Test” Martin, and a whole lot more…
Some more extras on disc number two include two matches from Irish Whip Wrestling home video; Doug Basham vs. Mandrake in a Best 2/3 Falls match, and Doug Basham vs. Balls Mahoney vs. Vic Viper in a triple threat match.. plus a series of promos, interviews, and backstage segments featuring Doug Basham on IWW DVD.
With nearly four hours of footage, this DVD offers a little extra bang for your buck. They kept it fresh by rotating locations throughout the interview, and shooting from unique vantage points.