Reviewed by Joe Babinsack
It may be a kinder, gentler Honky Tonk Man, but he’s still king of the YouShoot mountain, still a vastly entertaining wrestler, still a man with brutal, quick honesty -- which in itself is well worth watching for two hours. From the opening that features a video of two cute chicks singing the “Cool, Cocky, Bad” entrance music to the ending laughs shared by Roy Wayne Farris and Sean Oliver, this DVD just keeps rolling.
Kayfabe Commentaries revisits its first YouShoot featured professional wrestler, because after four years, the subject matter has shifted a bit, and even though some of the same targets are brought up, the entertainment value of the only, the original Honky Tonk Man transcends mere words.
Whether its mockery or mimicry, whether it’s the ribald stories or the hilarious joking or the vastly experienced perspective of a guy working his – wow, is it really his fifth decade in the business – well, we’ve got THE GREATEST INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION of all time in the hot seat, even though he’s a complete master of dishing out the dirt, naming names and never holding back from a wry opinion or ducking any question thrown to him.
What I love about HTM is that he’s not about to pull punches.
About the most telling segments of the DVD are the ones where he laughs at stupid questions all the while highlighting the vast differences between a well trained, well experienced worker and the modern day sensibilities and lack of business sense of way too many in the industry today.
Thus Honky doesn’t merely scoff at a question tossed at him, decrying him for not doing a job for Randy Orton and the WWE.
Instead, he lambastes the questioner with some quaint concept called mathematics and the overwhelming logic that it means nothing to get paid to lose, when you’d sooner avoid that loss, get paid to win, and come back every month for ten straight months and collect more paydays.
There’s a historical understanding if you listen to Ferris and if you know of his career. It is documented that the WWF would have taken that strap off of the Honky Tonk Man long before his record setting IC Championship reign. But few men in history, it would seem, were as willing to say no as he was, and what was the ramification?
A record setting Intercontinental Championship reign?
When it was time to go, the WWF came knocking, asking for his Elvis inspired jumpsuits, but as HTM explains, he long before bought his own costumes so that they would be of top quality, and his investment of tens of thousands of dollars into the white, blue and black costumes still benefit him to tis day.
By the way, Honky told the WWF that he had the receipts and if they wanted them, they’d have to pay him for the costumes.
There’s a distinct swagger to the Honky Tonk Man, and even though one of the first video questions was about the difference between man and gimmick, between Ferris (who “walks to the mailbox with his shirt off, no shoes and a beer in his hand” or some such) and the professional wrestler, the blend of work and shoot of this guy has no delineation.
And, speaking of the videos, there’s still the nonsense, still a bare-assed Iron Sheik impersonation, still some overly boisterous attempts by internet junkies to get themselves over, but much like a less hyperbolic HTM, there’s a cutting back of the extremes here, and it makes the overall product all the more enjoyable.
Plus the graphics and DVD interaction screens are now awesome, the product placement clever, and most of all, the guest questioners are pretty darn good, even if Perry Saturn really didn’t have much of a question after all.
HTM doesn’t pull punches, and while I disagree with the “bagging” of Dave Meltzer, or the trashing of Bryan Alvarez, I’m almost always in complete agreement with him in terms of Hogan, Flair and so many others.
You’ve just got to see Honky do the “Whooo!” about fifty times to realize that “mockery is the sincerest form of mockery”, if I may quote Tony Kornheiser.
Sure, the Honky Tonk Man and drugs are “A to Z” and there’s not much I’d admire about that, but sometimes you just wonder where the work ends and the shooting begins and there’s nothing wrong with that.
With Chapters like Gimmicks, Sex, The Boys, Heat, Drugs, Health, Shooting and the various games all you YouShoot fans love and adore, there’s really no drag, no down cycle, no jump-cuts and no sense of stalling with this 140 minute DVD.
At this time, perhaps Honky’s prediction that Hogan will be done with TNA by August is already out there, but there are more than a few other insights provided, including some details on his reconciliation with Jerry Lawler and comments of Jerry’s kids (well, shouldn’t put it that way), as well as some confirmation that Savage and Hogan may have made amends before Randy’s tragic demise.
There’s a new game called “The Mug Shot Game” which was hilarious, plus a few more that I had to fast forward through when the wife was in the room, but in terms of entertainment value? You can’t beat YouShoot.
You’ve got your road stories, the various guys HTM has heat with (more on one in a sec), and a wide array of opinionated opinions spouted off by the king of all shoot video subjects.
That one awesome, classic HTM moment comes when discussing the possibility of heat between good ole JR and yours truly, The Honky Tonk Man. Apparently the two got together at the Cauliflower Alley Club, and Ross asks him, “Do we have heat?” and Honky responds, “Do we have heat?”
Well, words don’t describe the way THE HONKY TONK MAN can deliver it, or the following repeated question and question which displayed a comedic touch, a way of putting the questions back on the questioner and the ultimate ability of Roy Wayne Ferris to self-promote and keep himself in the news cycle on a yearly basis, as well as doing these kinds of shoot videos to keep up what seems to be a profitable career.
It’s more ironic than hypocritical that the Honky Tonk Man maintains a reputation while he can lambaste Hogan and Flair working like King Curtis and Mark Lewin late in their careers in the 1970’s.
And a viewing pleasure if you buy this DVD and find out for yourself how well he does do it.