Dot Net DVD Review: Colt Cabana and Daniel Bryan's Wrestling Road Diaries
By Will Pruett
For those of you who have not heard of it, this is the documentary made by professional wrestler (and professional friend of C.M. Punk) Colt Cabana. It features the lives of himself, Daniel Bryan (called Bryan Danielson when the documentary was made) and Sal
Rinauro as they embark on a ten day run of bookings on the independent circuit.
The story in this movie tends to get lost in its length. It runs about two and a half hours and all of it feels like it runs at the same pace. With that said, it is all highly amusing. We see our heroes going through the trials and tribulations of the road. They find a fan’s house to sleep at. They deal with nagging injuries in a less than comfortable car. They also teach a workshop for up and coming wrestlers. All of these elements play together very well, but they are allowed to play for too long.
The personalities of the three men make this a road trip worth going on. Bryan is pretty businesslike, but also just as nerdy as Michael Cole likes to say he is. Sal is a loose cannon oddball that just about steals the movie with a Razor Scooter he finds as a show and subsequently rides into every show on.
The serendipitous journey of Daniel Bryan and Colt Cabana is also a key element. With Bryan about to enter WWE and Cabana having recently been released, we see fear and trepidation from both men. We also see moments of optimism from both as they discuss why they are better off in the future.
When placed up against other wrestling documentaries, it holds up really well. The movie has the gritty realism of Beyond the Mat, but does not categorize wrestling anywhere near as negatively. In fact, the message through the entire film is that even though this life is hard, it is totally worth it.
There are some great honest moments from Cabana and Bryan, particularly when they teach a wrestling workshop in one city. Bryan expresses frustration because he believes that none of these students will actually work hard enough to be good at this. Cabana is quite optimistic about it however, stating how much he would have appreciated help like this many years ago.
Sit-down interviews were one element I would have liked to see more of (at the disposal of other content, of course). The personal and private outlooks offered were really fantastic and enlightening. They were also few and far between.
As I said before, the biggest criticism of this documentary is its length. As a wrestling fan, I am used to three hour wrestling shows, not three hour movies. There are many moments in this where it just feels like it is overstaying its welcome in your DVD player. When the guys get lost, we actually see them get lost. They go through the careers of some of the players we meet as the film goes on, and that is not very necessary.
If this were edited down about thirty minutes shorter, it would be quite close to perfect. The highest compliment I can give this movie is that it allows you to experience what a real ten day period must feel like for a professional wrestler on the independent wrestling scene. That was the goal of this documentary and it achieves that with flying colors.
If you are a fan of any or all of the three wrestlers featured heavily, it is worth checking out. If you enjoy wrestling history and knowing the experience, it is worth checking out. If you want to see the superhuman feat of Daniel Bryan sneezing with his eyes open, it is worth checking out. Basically, if you like wrestling (and wrestlers) and have the time to spare, you should watch this documentary.
The DVD is on sale now for $20 at wrestlingroddiaries.com.
Have you seen this DVD? Want to discuss this review? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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