“Nature Boy” Review and Part Two of Wrestlers + MC’s

Woooooooooooooo! Killer Mike with the intro. Pleasure to be with you, family! Beautiful day in the Lou. ATrain in the other room – he’s jumping on the Prone Bone Dome Pod later today. Hitting the Blues game tonight with him and our boy BWak + a fourth party to be named later. Mizzou tomorrow. Taste of STL Sunday mixed with some videos dropping around the clock. Round things out on Monday with “Thor: Ragwhatever” and ideally an instant review via the Prone Bone Dome. Content wheels are churning on the ATrain freight train to the funny, and the pussies are gettin’ done from the caboose plenty!

On Tuesday, I hit you with the first half of my Wrestler/MC comparison opus – part two is coming. First, I want to give my review of “Nature Boy,” which for the most part, I loved. It was solid. The animation worked into was incorporated seamlessly (meaning super intelligently), and Flair’s story really fuels a documentary in the style I appreciate. Before I dive into the good and/or great, let’s talk the bad. My issues with it were this:

  • The Director’s Lame, Borderline Idiotic Interview Questions
  • The Inclusion of Michelle Beadle + a Few Others
  • Not Enough Four Horseman Material + Colleague Testimonials

The director of this documentary was lost in a lot of ways when it came to the subject matter. He nailed the film making part – the aforementioned animation and the flow of the film in particular – but he wasn’t a wrestling fan. There’s just no way. I didn’t learn all that much about Flair in this flick. I simply got a solid rendition of what I already knew with a few colorful antidotes that enhanced what I already knew. Who did Flair respect the most from his time in the ring? Who did he fear from a lack of ability standpoint? Who does he think is the future? What is the future of the business as a whole? Is he still an active alcoholic? Those are just a few low hanging fruit questions this schmuck missed. Disappointing.

Right when I saw Beadle giving perspective I groaned + cursed at the screen. I don’t need her take on Flair. I really don’t. Dave Meltzer’s take would work. Or how about some more from Tully Blanchard, Steamboat, HHH, or HBK? Shit, even Cena! I would’ve loved some Cena in this flick. Beadle is the woman in the room I probably dislike the most no matter what the occasion – party, watching a game, eating a meal, whatever. Go away, Beadle.

To piggyback off the above sentiment, there were guys not in this documentary who needed to be in it. Stonecold, Hitman, Goldberg, Scott Hall, Orton, and Batista. I hated how they just glossed over the Evolution days and didn’t mention Flair as a HUGE reason why Batista is a massive crossover star + Orton has helped carry the WWE for years. Evolution was THE SHIT.

So yeah, the documentary missed the mark a bit. But it was still really, really good. I want to frame some of that animated work from it and toss it up in the dome. Snoop did a testimonial and basically validated this piece and my blog from Tuesday, crediting Flair with cultivating several MC’s style.

My favorite parts of the documentary were the following:

  • Steamboat talking about training at Verne Gagne’s w/Flair + the footage of their matches together. Highlight of the film by far. Captivating, uniquely formed content.
  • The animated portion told by Animal from Road Warriors/LOD + Sting about Flair wiggling his cock at them after changing into his robe in the bathroom. Hilarious.
  • The emotion behind his daughter Ashley/Charlotte taking his son Reid’s dreams to the ultimate heights. Flair truly does care about his family, and you can see his remorse oozing from his face via tears and undeniably pained expressions.

Overall Grade: B+

Now for part two of wrestlers and their MC equivalents. You know what it is, I’m just going to bring the pain. Speaking of pain being brought…

Booker T is Method Man.

King Book and the Ticallion Stallion. Sympatico in spades. Booker T was part of a criminally underrated and really progressive Tag Team (Harlem Heat) – Method Man and Redman are monstrous super duo (Stevie Ray is nowhere near Redman – we’ll get to him). Booker T had style in the ring few could match – his ability to break dance, his power, his finisher (the axe kick is fucking GNARLY), and his steadily improving mic skills made him so damn cool. Method Man is the second coolest man alive (behind only Michael Jordan). When the WWE bought WCW, Booker was the biggest success story. They pushed him harder than everyone except Jericho (who was WWE’s style from the get), and he was the first Black WWE champion. Method Man was the forward facing member of Wu Tang – getting the only solo joint on 36 Chambers + the first solo album from the best Hip Hop faction of all time. Let’s go to the tape.

That Meth verse to open “Fast Shadow” is the axe kick of verses. Game, set, match – Iron Lung.

Mick Foley is Redman.

Legends pioneers. Multiple allegiances + a bedrock solo career. Grimy, relentless talents who are beloved by those in the know and casual fans alike. Their place in the hierarchy is cemented via their body of work. Period. Both are top ten in their respective crafts due to quality, innovation, and longevity. Neither one was ever the best, but they were always among the best, and that means a ton to ya boy. My favorite work from each:

Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase is Ludacris.

Two dudes who constantly get forgotten in the respective golden eras of the fields. Both of whom have moved into successful second lives – DiBiase as a spiritual leader and Luda as a borderline moviestar. Each one relied on cheaper methods to enhance their characters – DiBiase was a tried and true heel in his Million Dollar Man gimmick, while Luda used huge thumping beats and above average lyrical acumen to separate himself from his southern peers. And both men flaunted their loot while in their primes – DiBiase with a bit more villainy, but both of them were absolutely hysterical at their apex.

Randy Orton is Kendrick Lamar.

Two dudes who I expected to be the torch bearers for the forms of wrestling / Hip Hop that I love the most. Both started insanely strong with some of the best tutelage in the business. Absurdly solid debuts. Sustained excellence at young ages. And then…fell off a cliff. Lost sight of what made them great because of greed / emotional issues / bad guidance. And now, in my opinion, each has the opportunity to reshape their legacies. But they need to channel the past, and stop trying to be as stupid as the present in both their industries.

Part three tomorrow. Enjoy life, family. I certainly do.

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