Thursday, July 1, 2010

Smarkass Reviews: Batista: I Walk Alone (Disc 1)

Not exactly high on my list of WWE DVD sets to get, but Michelle and I were in Blockbuster today and they had this three-disc set for $10 used plus 30% off as part of a sale. It's hard to pass up this sort of set for seven bucks. I don't have anything against Batista really. I liked him when I got back into wrestling in 2007, but he's the sort of the guy who you tire of quickly in the ring. He's pretty limited in what he does and it gets a little stale after a while despite it being exciting/entertaning when you first see it. He's definitely got that special quality and the ability to work with different guys. Even after I grew tired with him, he would still get me interested in seeing him wrestle from time to time like his short feud with Rey Mysterio at the end of 2009. This set was done at the beginning of the fall in 2009, which kind of sucks only because it's less than a year later and he's no longer with the WWE.

The first disc of the set is devoted to a documentary feature on Batista and I always enjoy these. The first 20-30 minutes are about his life before he got into wrestling with the rest detailing his career with some personal stuff thrown in. It's well done for the most part. They do go a bit overboard in trying to cover up Batista's negatives, even when detailing his personal problems with his ex-wife and the mother of his two daughters. They all gloss over some of the backstage problems he had that I know of and whatever I don't know about. It's very much about making him look like a great guy -- and you can't blame them for that. You're not going to get a documentary full of negative interviews about a guy still working for the company as Batista was at the time. That wouldn't make any sense. Still, I would have liked something to round things out a little more.

I don't have a lot of detailed thoughts on the first disc, so I'll just throw out some random stuff:

* I was really surprised when Batista's mom showed up on the screen. I don't know what I expected when I thought about what his mom would look like, but that wasn't it. Nothing negative meant by that, it was just surprising.

* Triple H is right in noting that, at that time, Batista was the success story of Evolution. Randy Orton may have gotten a world belt before big Dave, but Batista's time post-Evolution had him as a bigger star. Though, I think, on the whole, Orton will have the bigger career. It's a short-term vs. long-term thing.

* You'd think they couldn't discuss the break-up of his marriage without discussing Batista's rampant cheating on his wife, but they did.

* Everyone says 'wrestling' and 'wrestlers' except for Batista who, being a good company man, says 'sports entertainment' and 'sports entertainers.' That amused me.

* Dammit, I want an Evolution DVD set. I really wish the WWE had done one around the time that Randy Orton, Triple H, and Batista were all mixed up in the same feud. That would have been fantastic.

* The stuff about Batista having a hard time when he got drafted to Smackdown while world champ was interesting since I never thought about that: the two brands were separate, almost like two different camps of guys, so a new guy coming in as the top guy right away would cause some problems.

* Fuck, I wanted to see Booker T present his views of Batista. Obviously wasn't going to happen, but it would have been fun.

* The WWE made Batista buy a suit for his on-screen character as Deacon Batista? That surprises me for some reason.

Despite the bias, this, like most of the WWE documentary discs, is worth watching. You get a decent look at a guy's career in 90 minutes with some fun interviews. Since the documentary is only 90 minutes and the bonus interview segments only like 10-15 minutes, I would have liked to see some matches on this disc, too, to allow for some more on the last two. The first match on the second disc, an OVW match, would have worked better here, acting more as a bonus feature than part of his official career. But that's not a big deal. The next two discs will get write-ups after I finish each of them.

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