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King Pitcos

Undertaker - The Last Ride

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20 hours ago, Merzbow said:

Bret just posted this awesome photo.
 

 

Taker looks like a bloke I went to college with who would only bang on about Primus and Mr Bungle. 

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Finally got hold of all of these to finish it. It's a complex series to review. It's not bad, or anywhere near. But it's not as good as I'd hoped, for a few reasons. The self-doubt is really repetitive. It's the running theme through five episodes and it's gripping to start with but gets old really quick. It is interesting that everytime he has a bad match, he feels the need to prove himself and then when he has a good match, he fancies another one. It's just not interesting for five episodes.

I fucking hated how much they used that Cole commentary after the Cena match screaming that he's better than ever. Just the least credible commentary ever that when you put it amongst this footage of him admitting he's nearly done, it's ludicrous.

That bit where Vince pretended to choke up was hilariously bad.

Loads of it was really, really good too. The footage is obviously brilliant. Taker hanging about backstage is great to see and his interaction with the guys, young and old is ace. There's tons of clips and bits that make it all worth while. I wanted more of that. Maybe that's another series, a complete career retrospective, but I'd love to have seen more clips, heard more stories, had more variation. It's all there, just not enough of it.

The talking heads are some of the best they've had. Everyone who's anynone is there and lots of them are great. Michelle is really, really good too. Their whole relationship is just lovely, which I never imagined I'd say in a million years. It's the best bit of the whole thing.

There's a lot of honesty about it. It's befuddled at times. Like in ep 1 where they skip over the issues in the Reigns match but then that's the narrative for ep 2. Or playing Cole's ludicrous commentary amidst this journey of self doubt. But overall, you have to give them credit for not hiding from the terrible, terrible matches and not fluffing over it.

It's an incredible peek behind the curtain. I can see why plenty of people really like it. They really show you plenty of what goes on.

Taker hanging backstage in his bandana and green t-shirt was such a cool look. Fuck, an American Badass 2020 run building his self doubt into the story would have been amazing.

Episode 3 was atrocious. I don't know how they put that together amidst the rest. Hideously dull given the subject.

Episode 5 was superb though. It made the rest even more unnecessary because it was so good on it's own. The last 10-15 mins is just great.

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Absolutely tremendous summary there @tiger_rick. I said early on I felt that the "do I still have it?" seemed to get hammed right up almost immediately and it made the overall enjoyment much less for me. I know The Last Dance was incredible but this felt almost too staged in comparison in true WWE style.

Great footage, great personalities providing insight and commentary but several sections felt staged/acted out. 

Still thoroughly enjoyed it and seeing 'Mark' and his training, recovery, normality was very interesting. Great final episode, a wee bit of an anti climax but I think that was inevitable not having the last match in front of 80,000 people.

I absolutely do not want to see him wrestle another match but as a fan there's a massive "what if" surrounding how good Taker/AJ would have been as a traditional match. 

 

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I imagine making the series was incredibly difficult. With something like The Last Dance, at least they had a finite story they could focus on. With the Taker series they clearly thought it would be a good idea to start documenting stuff without really having an end game. Maybe Taker should've held the footage hostage for years too.

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I’d love to see him go out with a match with Sting. In the cinematic match thing we are in just now, they could easily do something which supports both their legacies and give the fans something that we’ve always wanted.

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On 6/28/2020 at 3:31 PM, Dazz said:

I’d love to see him go out with a match with Sting. In the cinematic match thing we are in just now, they could easily do something which supports both their legacies and give the fans something that we’ve always wanted.

I honestly couldn't see it being able to have a decent build with neither wanting to be a heel (i'm guessing). It would have been an ok Mania spectacle at some point way behind us but now even a cinematic type thing would be terribly boring to get to. I genuinely think unless it's against AJ in-front of a big crowd then leave him be. But if they do want to do another cinematic match you could have wonderfully wacky stuff with an "Undertaker and friends" type vibe where him, Kane and Sting or something go on a series of cheesy misadventures to finally rid wrestling of all its horrible monsters who are being brought back to life by Bray Wyatt. Hell I would even use guys in green screen suits to CGI in those that have passed like Vader, Andre, Earthquake, Cheetum, Katie Vick the list goes on.

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Rick's review is pretty spot on. I thought it was good but it started to become a bit of a self-parody midway through.

The last episode is brilliant because you suddenly sense The Undertaker has completely let his guard down and has come to terms with giving up on The Undertaker gimmick. He's actually quite funny in the last episode, taking the piss out of himself etc. The bit where they're in the locker room and he's talking and he gets so relaxed he talks about the eyeliner story is a great bit of documentary film making - it has such a flow to it, as you sense 'Taker is slowly letting you in. The last 15 minutes were a wee bit overproduced for my tastes but it definitely had it's moments.

I think a great docu-series could have been made if the footage got into the hands of an independent production. Less of the overblown slo-mo WWE crap, more chats in the locker room, or Vince and Taker's odd relationship.

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47 minutes ago, ColinBollocks said:

Rick's review is pretty spot on. I thought it was good but it started to become a bit of a self-parody midway through.

I guess it's down to what story they wanted to tell. I think 'self-parody' might be a bit harsh. Yes, he flip flops a lot and gets stuck in a cycle of retiring and not and then being shit and then having to come back etc, and it does get a bit repetitive but that was the real situation of what he was going through. Tough to make that interesting in some ways, but I'm glad we actually got a better understanding of the struggles he was going through over the years and why he didn't retire etc.

An independent production would be interesting but they'd need to come at it from a different angle. This story has been told. Reminds me of The Amazing Johnathan Documentary where multiple filmmakers were making documentaries at the same time. It's always down to what story you want to tell, and this documentary was about Taker's final journey and I think they captured that as well as they could with all the moving pieces etc. There's still plenty for someone else to delve into though and I hope that happens one day.

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They told the right story. It's clearly the only one worth telling. It just didn't need telling 5 times. I think the solution was obvious, it needed more background and some of the fluff cutting. I think it was @BomberPat who tweeted that if you had a drink every time HHH through out his "chasing the dragon" line, you'd be dead of alcohol poisoning and it's right. There was too much repetition across the five episodes.

Stand by the third one being abysmal. They could have put that in the bin and no-one would have missed anything.

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That's it. WWE production can be very good, but they have certain tropes they fall back into all the time which are naff - like Rick mentioning the slo-mo stuff with Cole shouting rubbish over the top of it. I also think someone with a good mind for this sort of thing would have done a far better job breaking the undeniable "same as it ever was" pattern throughout.

In the Jordan docuseries, for example, they realise that final season alone isn't interesting enough for a great series, so they add stories from the past which tie into a present story, or even focus on specific players. Tied together it creates a more fuller picture and makes it such a dynamic watch with every episode offering something different,

All fluff talk, of course, because #ReleaseTheEdelmanCut isn't happening.

Edited by ColinBollocks

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It's baffling how much play they give that Cole line. They're presenting a documentary with one of their legends admitting he just doesn't have it any more and you're playing commentary over and over of Credibility Cole screaming that he's better than ever. What a load of nonsense.

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Thank fuck for this thread because I gave up in the middle of episode three and wouldn’t have continued if I hadn’t read the reviews for episode four and five.

Echo what everyone else had said. The same story didn’t need to be told five times. It would’ve been far more enjoyable if a few episodes had just been a deep dive into his thoughts and experiences playing the character. The stuff where you’d see him rehearsing the old skits was absolutely fascinating. I would’ve loved more of that rather than a rinse and repeat of him chasing the final send off over and over again.

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It's possible part of the diverse reactions was people watching it as scheduled (over the course of a couple of months) vs people binge watching it. The fat/repetition would definitely stand out more if you watched the episodes in short succession.

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Taker came off as a pathetic mess by the end. A bit like Flair banging on about how his confidence was shot in the years leading to his retirement. I get the story they wanted to tell but I always wanted to remember Taker as the badass who had the confidence, the cool factor and the ability... We are met with an aging hero who constantly chases the last big moment, conning himself into thinking he isn't the parody he is terrified of becoming. In no other industry could you  put out as much shit as he did near the end and nobody have the balls to tell you to hang it up. People clearly respect his legacy and him as a human being but at the same time daren't tell him when he is over the hill. Surely that is more disrespectful; being dishonest with another person? HHH, Michaels or Austin could easily have pulled him to one side and told him he looked like a broken down old man who couldn't go anymore? 

I hope this is the end for him. He had a brilliant career, the best gimmick ever. He was my idol growing up (along with Bret Hart) and its sad that I actually want him to retire to stop the pain! I remember in 1997 being worried he would retire! 20 years later and he still can't let go. 

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Assuming he had control over the content/release, I wonder how much of him deliberately dropping the character and looking more vulnerable was a way to make it harder for himself to go back on retirement later on.

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