David Dexter reports that ‘Inside The Ropes’ recently featured Barry Blaustein, director of Beyond The Mat, as a guest this week. Here are some highlights:
Blaustein on Vince McMahon almost not letting him film the Royal Rumble 1999 event with Foley and The Rock: “Towards the end, wrestling took off during the making of the movie and I think Vince regretted letting me do this, because he didn’t have ownership of it. Originally Vince offered to fund the movie but I told him it’s a documentary and you can’t have the subject matter be the funder of the documentary. During the course of the filming the WWE took off and became very mainstream and at a certain point, one of the CEO’s…I was about to film the Royal Rumble match and I knew I needed that match. I told them like two months in advance that I’d be filming on this day and they said fine. The CEO called up and said “you’re not gonna be allowed to film, filming’s over” I said it was unfair, unfair and I finally got to Vince. I said “I know you too well. You’re becoming your character, you tell me in your heart you know this is the right thing to do and you’re not screwing me over. Wrestling’s riding high and all this stuff and everyone’s kissing your ass right now, but you know it goes up and it goes down and I was here when it was down and when it goes down again, I’ll still be here” So he agreed and said “Alright, but that’s it, this is the last day” I remember telling my crew, We gotta get everything cos we’ll never be allowed back here.”
Blaustein on a potential sequel: “They kept asking me to do Beyond The Mat 2 and I have extra footage. I just didn’t think it would be as good. As a wrestling fan, wrestling fans are always being ripped off by promoters and I didn’t wanna contribute to that. I felt an allegiance to other fans. I thought if I do anything else, I’d want it to be something worth people putting down their hard earned money for.
Blaustein on Jake Roberts being unhappy with the movie: “I told him the same thing I told everyone “This is a documentary about professional wrestling, showing these guys as real human beings” I said it would probably go direct to video because originally we thought it would go straight to video. But there was none of this that he claimed we were doing it for charity or an anti drug thing. I’ve never spoken with Jake since. I know he’s threatened me.”
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