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Beyond the Mat (1999)

R  |   |  Documentary, Biography, Sport  |  17 March 2000 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,355 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 79 user | 68 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

A heartfelt documentary focusing on the lives of professional wrestlers and how their sport is not fake.

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Title: Beyond the Mat (1999)

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barry W. Blaustein ...
Himself - Narrator
Vince McMahon ...
Himself
Jim Ross ...
Himself - Sr. VP of Talent
Jim Bell ...
Himself - Sr. VP of Merchandising
Darren Drozdov ...
Himself
Roland Alexander ...
Himself
Tony Jones ...
Himself - XPW Wrestler
...
Himself
...
Himself
Mick Foley ...
Himself
Danny Zucker ...
Himself - Childhood Friend
Dave Meltzer ...
Himself - Journalist
Jake Roberts ...
Himself
Ed Beckley ...
Himself - Promoter
...
Herself
Edit

Storyline

This documentary focuses on the lives of professional wrestlers Terry Funk, Mick Foley (Mankind), Jake Roberts (Jake the Snake) and Darren Drozdov (Droz). As the film progresses, the story of their lives unfolds, as we also learn how the wrestling industry is not the plastic-weapons fake-slap sideshow that many have perceived it as. We are shown how moves, although not actually injuring anyone, are not fake, and extreme training is required to be able to perform the stunts without being harmed. We are also treated to interviews with the family of Mick Foley and what it is like for them to know their father literally puts his life on the line every week and how it feels to have other children call their father a "fake". Vince McMahon, owner of World Wrestling Entertainment, also makes a few appearances, responding to criticism on various wrestling situations, including, once again, his real athletes, very real organization being called fake by sources such as USA Today and various news... Written by JoJo Mac

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's no script for what happens outside the ring. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violent content | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 March 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beyond the Mat: Unrated Director's Cut  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,532 (USA) (22 October 1999)

Gross:

$2,047,570 (USA) (12 May 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Former WWF mid card wrestler Koko B. Ware is briefly featured in the movie. In his scene he speaks about letting his trademark mascot, a bird named Franke "Fly Away". Sadly, three years after the completion of this film, Frankie the bird perished when the apartment building Koko was living in burnt to the ground. See more »

Quotes

Paul Heyman: Tonight, we have a chance to say, 'Yeah, you're right. We're too extreme. We're too wild. We're too out of control. We're too full of our own shit.' Or we have a chance to say, 'Hey, fuck you, you're wrong! Fuck you, we're right!' Because you have all made it to the dance. 'Cause believe me, this is the dance!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing dedication: This film is dedicated to my wife, Lorrie and our children, Kasey and Corey, who have stood by patiently with love and support as I blabbed about wrestling for the last five years. See more »

Connections

Features Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Lost Between Las Vegas & Mars
Written by Guy Thomas & Pascale Coulombe, Nicolas Maranda
Performed by COMA
Courtesy of Cherry Lane Music Publishing, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Normal but different
28 March 2000 | by (Houston, Texas) – See all my reviews

Love them or leave them - misfit politicians, wayward spouses, and yes, professional wrestlers. Perhaps no other spectacle involves personalities as much as professional wrestling and Barry Blaustein's insightful "Beyond the Mat' explores those who thrill us with their lust for mayhem. Men and women with self destructive appetites are drawn into this entertainment venue - those who make a profit like the billionaire promoter Vince McMahon are called smart and shrewd, those who are swallowed up by their maladaptive behavior like the pathetic Jake'the Snake' Roberts are simply called mad. "Beyond the Mat" doesn't uncover anything we don't already know - the loud-mouth, hyped interviews, the staged choreography of flying bodies and colliding men against steel, and the spurting blood sacrificed in the name of violence. What we do see are the showmen who strut their stuff inside the ring, more dedicated to their brotherhood and craft than you can imagine. The battle wearied Terry Funk is a throwback to the self-managed, up-close-and-personal hero that Blaustein and a good number of his generation grew up with. The much younger Mick 'Mankind' Foley is a creation of the media driven World Wrestling Federation, a syndication leap years away from the Amarillo, Texas of Terry Funk. The deeply hurting Jake the Snake has fought so many battles in his long and troubled life that his only solace is crack cocaine and fighting in the ring. But the blood that Funk and Mick and Jake spill is the same blood of wanton brutality. It is the spectacle of harm and harming others. And yet in a cruel and twisted way, "Beyond the Mat" reminds us that wrestlers are as normal as anyone, just different. 'Mankind' and 'The Rock' can talk pleasantries before a match, before each tries to pulverize the other in front of their stunned wives and children. Terry Funk, as a gesture of forgiveness, repeatedly begs an old nemesis to referee his supposedly final match - a match in which he knows he will lose and will get brains bashed in. "Beyond the Mat' is a well made chronicle of wrestlers who care less if they win or lose (the promoters see to that) but more on how they play the game.


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