After years of painstaking work, interviews conducted all across the world and various battles to make it a reality, Bloodstained Memoirs has finally come to life on DVD. While originally finished in 2009 and being released via official streaming video, this is the first time it has been released on DVD. The set was released on October 17.
Director David Sinnott and his crew interviewed ten wrestlers in various spots across the globe, include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Japan to get their candid thoughts on their lives, careers and the pro wrestling industry in general. From 2005 until it finished production in 2009, this labor of love features interviews from a varied and eclectic group of wrestlers, including The Ultimo Dragon, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Christian Cage, Superfly Jimmy Snuka, Nora â€œMolly Hollyâ€ Greenwald, Chris Jericho, â€œThe Great Mutaâ€ Keji Mutoh, Rob Van Dam, Mick Foley and Christy Hemme, whoâ€™s entire interview feature is included in the extras section. And Al Snow wrapped it all up in nice little introductory packages preceding each segment.
Originally the film was conceived to be a work/shoot film name Sex and Violence, but apparently the interviews while producing the initial concept proved to be more interesting, and that concept was scrapped in favor of the mini-shoot interviews that were instead compiled. The only teaser that was released for Sex and Violence, which includes a scripted dramatic scene with long-time wrestling journeyman Joe E. Legend, is included as an extra on this DVD.
The men and women interviewed provided a nice cross-section of wrestlers, spanning generations, promotions, success rate and countries. While no new ground was broken in any of the interviews, all were entertaining in their own right.
In fact a personal highlight was that of Keji Mutoh. While the whole interview had to relayed with subtitles, it ended up being one of the most engaging and entertaining of the set. And naturally Rowdy Roddy Piper had a fantastic bit, as he is one of the naturally charismatic and entertaining interviews in pro wrestling history. Christy Hemmeâ€™s piece was also surprisingly fun, entertaining and informative and it was a shame it was relegated to the extras section.
Foleyâ€™s bit was pretty disappointing as it mostly footage of him at a book signing for â€œThe Hardcore Diaries,â€ his third autobiography. Jerichoâ€™s also left something to be desired as the interview was taken during his post 2005 hiatus from WWE and was in full Fozzy band mode. In fact the interview was taken at a Fozzy show and thus the majority of the interview was about his music career, rather than his wrestling career.
As a lifelong wrestling fan it is always enjoyable to watch a documentary set like this. Any new pro wrestling knowledge that is unearthed is a good day. However it was disappointing that the DVD had no real narrative thread. It was just one interview into another, with only Al Snowâ€™s well-done introductions to serve as a transition in between. Knowing little about the project before receiving the DVD, there was an expectation of a story being told as opposed to completely separate and stand alone shoot interviews.
That being said, what is put together here is pretty phenomenal. Casual fans may be lost on some of the stories and background told in the interviews, but long-time and hardcore pro wrestling fans will eat this up.