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Cast

Cast overview:
Christopher Daniels ...
 Chris
Jon Heidenreich ...
Drzan McBee ...
 Drzan
Mikey Henderson ...
 Mikey
...
 Himself (as Dr. Gregory Vanvakaris)
Tom Howard ...
 Himself (2002)
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2 February 2002 (USA)  »

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Where they started
30 January 2009 | by (Coventry) – See all my reviews

This is an independently made documentary following the fortunes of Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) run by Rick Bassman (who does several short pieces to camera about each of the wrestlers) and some of its workers at the time. Made by shooting from October 2000 until May 2001 many of the UPW roster are featured but the director does eventually decide to focus on Christopher Daniels, Mikey Henderson, Jon Heidenreich and Drzan McBee.

This is a good purchase for fans of WWE or TNA as a few of the wrestlers featured will eventually go on to be stars in those federations (in fact Rob Van Dam and Samoa Joe are both featured in the opening few minutes, you will also get to see John Cena as "The Prototype" at the very start of his wrestling career).

McBee is the 1st person to be featured and came from a Cheerleading background with no previous wrestling knowledge or ability, I assume she thought she'd get by on her large fake breasts and blonde hair and fake tan. Watching her learn to bump is as painful to watch as it must have been for her to do.

Heidenreich is next featured coming from an amateur football background closely followed by Henderson who it states has been wrestling "since the age of 12".

To me the best known of these featured wrestlers is Chris Daniels who went on to be very successful with ROH and TNA. We get to see him working with RVD (who was hugely famous with ECW and WWE) and hear him worry about being able to work due to his age (which is ironic as from all the wrestlers featured apart from Cena & Joe, Chris Daniels is the only one currently still actively wrestling).

Heidenreichs life away from wrestling is a job as a bouncer (Jon would go on to work in WWE but never really get a proper big shot), Bassman expresses some concerns about McBee (because she's not ripped) and we get to see how UPW work with WWE and we also get to see WWE talent scout Bruce Prichard (who may be better known to WWE fans as Brother Love) expressing an interest in Heidenreich.

Henderson gets to work against Juventud Guerrero (you even get to see them practising their match backstage) and Henderson also talks about the risks of injuries and the dangers they face in every match.

Watching the wrestlers train we meet Nathan Jones (former WWE Superstar now turned film actor), we also get to see how training effects their family lives and Daniels visits kids doing backyard wrestling and comments on how senseless their dedication to violence is.

Heidenreich gets his WWE developmental contract and when he talks about the promo class we see Frankie Kazarian (now working as Suicide in TNA) and you get to see how god awful Heidenreich actually is at cutting a promo. You also see him briefly appearing in the TV show 18 Wheels of Justice (fighting against former WWE worker Andrew "Test" Martin).

Daniels gets his 1st professional shot working for WCW and McBee gets her 1st UPW shot working as a mere bell ringer (showing either how slowly she'd progressed as a wrestler or how little faith UPW had in her as a potential wrestler) and Heidenreich's relationship with his girlfriend breaks up due to the long distance issues of him being away at wrestling training.

Daniels flubs (screws up) his 1st match on WCW Nitro against Mike Modest when he goes to springboard off the ropes and slips falling onto his head (but still finishes the match) in the opening 30 seconds of the match. Despite this mistake he is still offered a job at WCW and it seems like misfortune is catching as Heidenreich is involved in a car crash then breaks his hand in a practise match shortly before he is supposed to debut in his 1st proper UPW house match.

When the house show happens Bassman shows more of their WWE connections by introducing Percy Pringle (better known as Paul Bearer), Daniels has his last UPW match and Heidenreich has his 1st. McBee gets to work her 1st match (although not wrestling she interferes in a match between WWE Divas Victoria & Molly Holly) and Heidenreich has the pleasure of jobbing (losing) in his 1st professional match, Daniels loses his title (to a then upcoming Samoa Joe) allowing him to pursue his career in WCW.

As for what happened next? Heidenreich did eventually move up to WWE and got a very short push from them before being released after 3 years. He is now working for the Alabama Wrestling Federation. Daniels was only given a 90 contract by WCW and due to his injury and WCW being bought out by WWE he never got to work another match for them. He spent 5 years working for ROH and is now working for TNA. Henderson never progressed further than UPW and McBee died in 2003 due to complications following surgery.


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