Beyond the Mat "Ringside Special Edition" DVD Review

Barry Blaustein's much adored documentary on professional wrestling gets re-released in a special edition this week. Though hardly without massive issues, any fan of the documentary itself may as well have this release. New features include a sit down dinner/interview with a cynical Jesse Ventura and much more light hearted Mick Foley. Clocking in at 16 minutes, it's criminally short, but still worth a look. The commentary with Terry Funk and Blaustein is still present from the original release as is a newly recorded one with Ventura and Foley. This is where the disc falls apart. The commentary is in the vein of Mystery Science Theater with the speakers overlapping the video, only in full color and right in your face. Each time these two make an appearance, the DVD needs to stop, load up the footage, and then continue. When their done, the same process occurs only removing the speakers. I'm sure a few cheaper/older models of DVD players will have some serious issues. Worse yet, you can't even skip to a scene to watch specific commentary sequences. You need to watch the entire thing. Video and sound quality are as expected for a documentary. Some of it is horrible, some of it is fantastic. The new sit down dinner/interview is crystal clear though. It's not the be-all-end-all edition, but it's a fair upgrade if you can live the with constant stoppages that come with the video commentary.


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