Shawn Stasiak: DETERMINED
Description: When I found out that Shawn Stasiak had a DVD documentary coming out I wasn't really sure what to expect. What in the world would this man have to offer to the average pro-wrestling fan of today? After watching this DVD produced by MuscularGalore.com, I had the ignorance goggles knocked right off my face and I discovered that there is far more to Planet Stasiak than meets the eye. What an interesting guy! This three-hour documentary is part shoot interview, part history lesson, part instructional video, but 100% inspirational.
The first portion of the video focuses on his early life, talking about his legendary father, Stan "The Man" Stasiak - a former WWWF World champion. Shawn Stasiak took the camera crew to visit the building that housed the old Portland wrestling television program (which is now a church). They also visited the site of the old Dallas Sportatorium and talked with former wrestling personalities Skandor Akbar and Johnny Mantel about the influence Stan "The Man" Stasiak had on the world of professional wrestling. Viewers also got to experience a phone conversation between Shawn and the legendary Kevin von Erich.
Shawn Stasiak talked extensively about his time as professional wrestler, starting with the unique methods he used to prepare for his desired career. Shawn talked candidly about getting his start in the WWE, his thoughts on the "MEAT" character, the controversial incident that led to his abrupt release, finding solace at the WCW Power Plant and working for World Championship Wrestling. This isn't an expose on the business, but he doesn't kiss any butt either. Shawn only talked about his experiences and respectfully refrains from bashing people. He instead centers on the people who positively influenced him along the way. Very refreshing if you ask me.
A good segment of this video was dedicated to Shawn Stasiak's health and fitness philosophies. Stasiak has parlayed a life-long devotion to physical fitness into a perfectly sculpted body that would be the envy of anybody (male or female). The topic of steroids was not addressed, so you can make up your own mind on that one, but he "appears" to be all-natural. We get to watch as Shawn goes through his daily work-out routine, explaining what motivates him and how important it is to listen to your body. If watching a sweaty guy pump iron for extended period's of time makes you uncomfortable you may prefer to use the fast-forward button - but you would miss some notable commentary between sets.
After he was released from the WWE for the second time in September of 2002, he made the instantaneous decision to make an immediate career change. Stasiak enrolled in college and began studying to become a doctor of chiropractic. Shawn evaluated this decision and talked about his practice, using an X-ray of his own damaged neck as an example. This is a guy who spent approximately five full-time years in the business - imagine the condition of guys who have been in it longer. Back when I was wearing my ignorance goggles, I didn't perceive Shawn Stasiak to be all that intelligent, but I was sorely mistaken.
Obviously they could not use any WWE/WCW footage for this project, so Shawn Stasiak visited a Texas-based promotion called PCW for a rare wrestling appearance. The footage from his match with local babyface Mace Malone in included on this documentary. The most interesting part of this segment is his backstage preparation before and after the match.
The DVD concludes with a thirty minute visit to California for a philosophical discussion with legendary free-thinker Rob Van Dam about spirituality - not religion, but personal spirituality. Watching and listening to the free-minded beliefs of these two ambassadors of peace really stimulated a lot of feelings within my own mind. A 10-minute bonus piece features a bizarre story of an unbelievable "coincidence" that directly affected the production of the DVD. You will be amazed and inspired by this true story all at the same time.
As I sit here trying to construct an appropriate manner to wrap up this review, I am trying to find the right words to convey that this DVD is probably nothing like you imagine. You probably don't know the real Shawn Stasiak, so here's your chance to change that.
Reviewed by Brad Dykens on November 24, 2007.