WWE is really good at this.
Another WWE documentary, another must-watch. I was an avid pro wrestling DVD collector ahead of the WWE Network era, and while the joy of a price tag outweighed the somber realization that the DVD market was likely slowing down, I was concerned about the future of WWE documentaries. The company helped spearhead a renewed interest in sports documentary features, and I have fond memories of purchasing the superstar features in the mid 2000s. Those concerns have subsequently been eliminated in the digital age.
The story of Shawn Michaels and Diesel probably wasn't ever going to get a DVD release. Their brief, three year history isn't something that was high on that priorty list. WWE having the ability to tell these one-hour stories in this Peacock and WWE Network age has been a true benefit of the service, and WWE Untold: Two Dudes with Attitudes is something that had a siginifcant effect on a particular era, and now gets its roses as a feature.
WWE's utilization of unseen footage continues to be a strong suit. Outtakes from a bygone era aren't something that are plentiful in that regard and help balance the serious nature of the story. From quick glimpses of Vince McMahon setting up shots, to more advanced looks at Diesel's MSG world title win, there was a lot of material that even the most dedicated fans haven't come across before. We often hear that WWE loves reasons to utilize that candid footage. One of my favorites was a look at Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash discussing whether or not Shawn should call him "Kevin" during a promo, to add a little more realism to it. That was preceded by the weird touch of WWE always having their wrestlers do talk show appearances in gear, and let me tell ya, Shawn Michaels in his full get-up next to Regis looked out of place.
The quick catch-up on how Kevin Nash and Shawn Michaels got into the industry and a brief look at their careers without leaning too heavily into or completely ignoring the past was a good touch.
I've watched dozens of Kevin Nash out-of-character interviews over the last 15 years. He's a staple of them, and always entertains. WWE was able to approach a comfortable level with Nash that adds some more gravity to the looks he's previously given in the past.
There is a bit of revisionist history in Shawn Michaels remembering that they'd get "great heat" for having all the titles in the fall of 1995. Diesel was pretty solidly a babyface world champion at the time with Shawn Michaels next in line, taking on dastardly heels in Yokozuna, British Bulldog and a missing Owen Hart at the time. Outside of that, the documentary seems pretty accurate based on other recountings. Michaels admitted that the heat he was more concerned with was from the locker room, and he thrived off of it. As a child, seeing the visual of all the titles was impressive, but even as a ten year old, I thought it was lame to immediately retcon the situation. Bruce Prichard seemed to agree within the documentary.
WWE has also utilized David Shoemaker on the show as a talking head, a great call. I wasn't quite sure how the feature would wrap up considering the transition between Michaels and Nash as 'the guy' of WWE did come full circle, but it didn't abruptly cut off after "Good Friends, Better Enemies." I'll let you see how yourself. The contrasting personalities of the two met in the middle for their love of the wrestling business, and reflected in their friendship.
If it seems like I rave over WWE's documentary productions a lot, it's because they're good. Almost all of them. I can probably count on one hand out of over 150 I've seen that I didn't think were outstanding. This isn't reaching that hand.
WWE Untold: Two Dudes with Attitudes will be available on Peacock domestically in the United States, and the WWE Network internationally Sunday, May 2.