Eve of Destruction [1991]

Early in 2000, a full-length documentary called Beyond the Mat stripped away the facade of professional wresting, intimately profiling some of the top names in the business and detailing the physical and mental hardships endured by the stars. Often brutal and depressing, it was the type of dirty laundry that people like WWF president Vince McMahon didn't want their audience to see. (McMahon unsuccessfully tried to get the film banned.) Eve of Destruction often feels like McMahon's tepid response to Beyond the Mat. The video looks back at some of the more infamous matches in recent years, interviewing the participants and coming across like a sappy VH1 Behind the Music rip-off. In fact, two of the matches featured in this video are profiled in far greater depth in Beyond the Mat. Both Hell in the Cell and Last Man Standing feature Mick "Mankind" Foley taking horrific beatings (during Hell in a Cell, against the Undertaker, he flies 20 feet off a cage and onto a table adjacent to ringside, while the result of a Last Man Standing match against the Rock leaves the man's face split open), but the accompanying interviews are self-congratulatory and over-hyped rather than probing. The whole video plays like a greatest-hits compilation, but fails to give fans an entire match in its entirety. At 45 minutes, it's a self-promotional scam, and for wrestling fans, a rip-off. --Dave McCoy

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