Wrestling Reality tackles real life in the ring
TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
Think Survivor, with a dash of Trailer Park Boys. Throw in some talented and charismatic wrestlers and you have Wrestling Reality, a dynamic series which debuts Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. (EST) on The Fight Network. Wrestling Reality tears down wrestling's shroud of secrecy and gives viewers an honest, sometimes startling dose of real life.
Take it from Rick Doyle, whose Trash Canyon character is at the centre of things.
"I'm a married guy with two children," the 5-foot-9, 192-pound Nova Scotian said. "I have a house and a mortgage. I'm a regular guy. But this isn't always a pretty business ... there are steroids, drug abuse and adultery and we tackled that. It's PG. It's reality.
"Things happen on the show that I'm not really proud of. I got really drunk (on one episode). But that's what the editors found compelling."
Wrestling Reality was an idea hatched by Doyle and Peter Smith (Brody Steele), but getting it on the air proved to be a difficult battle.
"Neither one of us knew anything about TV, nothing more than how to change the channel," said Doyle, who runs a small vending machine business. "The Trailer Park Boys is produced out of Halifax and we knew John Dunsworth (Mr. Lahey) and his daughter (Sarah)."
Encouragement from the Trailer Park father-daughter duo pushed the project forward.
"We found a production company, actually a guy who had shot wedding videos, and we told him we wanted him to tape what went on the locker room," Doyle said.
After many rejections, the idea was pitched to The Fight Network, which bought into the idea, but the show needed funding.
New Brunswick Films liked the concept and suggested award-winning film-maker Greg Jennings, who, while not a wrestling fan, jumped on board.
"Greg put a different spin on it," Doyle said. "He said people wanted to learn about people. You can expose wrestling moves all you want, but people get tired of it. But he wanted to get across, why would somebody drive two hours to work a wrestling show for $50?"
What's so great about Wrestling Reality is the passion of the crew, a group that includes characters such as Wildman Gary Williams, Kowboy Mike Hughes and Krysta Lynn Scott.
Doyle says while there are some wonderfully talented wrestlers on the show, he still has a lot to learn.
"I'm a good entertainer, but I'm not that great a wrestler," Doyle said. "If it'd been my choice, I wouldn't even be on camera in Season 1. But I have a passion for the sport. I'm either going to fall flat on the face or get good."
Shot on a six-day tour of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in May, there are six 30-minute episodes (followed by a one-hour wrestling show and a half-hour interview show).
MOOLAH A LEGEND: Lillian Ellison, who, as The Fabulous Moolah, provided so many thrills for so many fans, died last Friday in Columbia, S.C. She was 84. Moolah, who spent more than 50 years in the wrestling business, will be remembered by some for her comedy bits with sidekick Mae Young, but she was a superstar and a pioneer in her heyday.
AROUND THE RING: WWE axed Chris Masters on Thursday ... WWE.com won't start shipping Save_Us T-shirts until Nov. 19. Hmmm, Survivor Series is Nov. 18. Let the Chris Jericho rumours begin, again ... Sting's mystery partner at tomorrow night's TNA Genesis pay-per-view could be King Booker.
November 5, 2007: Review: Wrestling Reality shows pain and passion
September 25, 2007: Wrestling Reality takes viewers behind the curtains