Beyond The Mat is a gritty documentary produced mostly by Barry Blaustein about the pro wrestling lifestyle. In this documentary, Blaustein focuses on Vince McMahon, Terry Funk, Mick Foley, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, and New Jack. Here's a brief explanation of each of the five's story.

Vince McMahon is the head of the WWF. In Vince's segment, we see the birth of a star in Darren Drozdov, shortly before his debut in the WWF as "Puke", the wrestler who can vomit on demand. For those who care, shortly after the film, Drozdov was paralyzed from the neck down.

Terry Funk is a living legend of wrestling. In his late 50s, he still puts on the tights, still attacks people with steel chairs and barbed wire. Funk really cemented his status in Japan wrestling against Mick Foley in incredibly violent matches, and then came back to the US to help the upstart ECW promotion get off the ground. Terry is the main focus of the documentary, but not the only focus.

Mick Foley really became the superstar he is today due to Terry Funk. Mick's career is followed almost as heavily as Terry Funk's, from his matches with Funk to his two super-violent matches with The Rock. Mick's story focuses mostly on how his in-ring violence bothers his children, even to the point of filming his children crying as their daddy bleeds from an open head wound.

Jake "The Snake" Roberts is the token "washed-up" star in this film. Roberts was an icon of wrestling during the 1980s, but has now fallen prey to hard narcoticscrack and heroin. Roberts is filmed reuniting with his daughter, who he hadn't seen in years, and then shooting up hours later.

The last focused-on wrestler in this movie is New Jack, the legitimate street thug. With four justifiable homicides, New Jack has made a living being a violent person. In his segment, we see his attempt to enter the acting world. He's dismissed from the acting agency, though, with such memorable lines as "He might be Denzel's (Denzel Washington) best friend, but never a leading man."

Ultimately, this movie paints a bleak future for those who want to get into wrestling. Most who enter the business come out barely able to walk, and the rest find that no one wants to hire a wrestler for anything other than wrestling.

The Region-1 DVD version of this movie is in 1.33:1, and features commentary by Mick Foley, Terry Funk, and Barry Blaustein, but no alternate-language. The trailer is included, as are production, cast, and filmmaker notes. It's also NR, not rated, and you probably shouldn't let your kids watch it—there are some very violent scenes that are totally real, and very disturbing, including one scene of Terry Funk branding Cactus Jack (Mick Foley). But it is very well-put-together, and if you ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes of pro wrestling, this is your movie.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.