Several months ago, I played with the idea of documenting my son's road to becoming a professional wrestler. The amateur shows were as high octane lunacy as anything I'd seen on television, the fans were equally absurd, and I knew I had something when one show was policed by Elvis Security. No kidding. Security was dressed up as Elvis.
But, I couldn't get the material I wanted because back-stage secrets are heavily guarded and nobody wants the rest of us to know moves are staged (duh) and the outcome is pre-determined. Not even at the amateur level were wrestlers willing to spill the beans and let me film them preparing, training, etc. Those wrestlers who know that fans know that it's all fake also know that talking about it is a career ender for them if I don't do the story their fairy tale way and from their enhanced angle.
I wouldn't do that. Hence, no story. No documentary.
Fast forward to last week. After doing the amateur thing for only a few shows, my son got an invitation to "try-out" with a big show. He was ecstatic. This show was one step away from being called up to the WWE. It's like playing on a farm team for the Yankees. He was deliriously happy to be chasing his dream.
Cue shoe drop. Or, flying drop kick.
The "try-out" was staged. The whole thing was a fake. They needed amateur wrestlers to create audition scenes for the wrestlers ALREADY in the professional federation since they had no footage of their existing wrestlers' ACTUAL auditions. So, they invited guys from small amateur federations under the guise of an audition to be part of something great -- this documentary.
I don't know what all the rules of integrity are in documentary making but this stunt smacks of the same phony baloney theatrics that makes this form of wrestling such an entertainment hyperbole. If that's the case, the fake auditions are probably to be expected as the kind of dramatic play-acting typical at wrestling events.
But if this documentary is passing off the auditions as factually accurate, well as Gomer Pyle would say, "shame, shame, shame."