Dark Side of the Ring co-creators Evan Husney and Jason Eisener were recent guests on the Wrestling Inc. Daily to discuss the addition of MLW on VICE TV, and how they possibly foresee some collaboration with the promotion somewhere down the line now that they are both on the same network. They also talk about shooting pro-wrestling cinematically, something that they believe FMW perfected. Highlights are below.
Husney on Court Bauer reaching out to VICE about getting MLW on the network:
Court Bauer, he’s awesome. I’ve talked to him many times about this. He had reached out to me, I think, when season two was airing. He reached out to me and and sort of had the idea of ‘wrestling is getting big on this network. What do you think?’ And obviously, because we did the Von Erich story, I knew Ross and Marshall Von Erich from the episode, and them being such a huge part of MLW, I thought it was a cool idea because Vice, the way the network launched originally to where what it’s kind of evolved into, it seems like now Vice TV, as a network, is open to a lot more different types of storytelling.
Husney on bringing a more cinematic lens to the way pro-wrestling is shot:
And obviously, they’ve really caught an audience with wrestling through the show. And it’s kind of like, why not? And if there is a way to innovate with MLW and to do something different, hey, if they want us to maybe look at some different lighting tweaks or camera tweaks, we can kind of bring a more cinematic lens to wrestling because that for me, as a whole, is the thing that makes wrestling really hard for me to watch today because I think the in-ring talent is great. I think there’s a lot of awesome talent across the board. I mean, go watch a WALTER match and get back to me, but I think the thing that I would love to do with the wrestling business in it of itself is just give a reboot to that lighting and the way wrestling matches are shot. I think there’s a lot of room here to do something new, and that would be fun if we were able to collabs on something.
Eisener talks about how so much of wrestling today is telegraphed through the camera operators movements:
That’s something Evan and I, as wrestling fans, we’ve always talked about, especially the aesthetics of wrestling. Like Evan, I have a hard time watching a lot of it today just because you turn on wrestling and so much of it is telegraphed through the camera operators movements. They’re just trying to heighten every single thing that’s done, and it’s like, ‘Come on!’
Eisener says one of the best promotions to capture wrestling cinematically was Atsushi Onita’s FMW:
And that’s not the way to do it, and if I can just tie it back to one of our season three episodes as a perfect segue, the master of cinematic, bringing cinema to wrestling and creating the emotions of cinema in wrestling is Mr. [Atsushi] Onita. And I’m so happy that we’ve been able to highlight that with our FMW episode because during lockdown, the only wrestling I was watching was going back to the FMW matches. Are you kidding me? This is what I’ve been missing out on in life, and it’s just unbelievable. When you go back and you really watch the very first exploding ring match with Terry Funk and Onita, and you see it’s not just about the match that’s awesome and the payoff. It’s about epilogue, and it’s about let’s hold on these guys as they’re arm in arm crying as moody Japanese guitar solo music is playing with smoke in the background. And we’re holding on that, and we’re following them all the way like these guys are fallen war comrades. I mean, that tells a frickin story, and the way they’re capturing that and the way they’re shooting that is like, ‘Yes, let’s do it! That’s the way we need to do it!’ We need to take the ‘cinematic matches’ like The Undertaker thing that happened at WrestleMania, and we need to bring that in front of a crowd. How can we take that concept and bring it in front of an audience and then make that work?
Husney on pitching these ideas to Court Bauer and the possibility of a collaboration:
We’ve talked about itIt’s funny because I’ve talked to him about FMW, and I’ve been like, ‘Yeah man, we got the smoke, and the fog and the da da da.’ I have mentioned it a few times to him. I don’t know if he thinks I’m totally out of my mind or if he thinks that it would be cool. But hey, I think obviously being on the same network, there’s got to be some possibility of collaboration. If my schedule frees up, we can do a Halloween themed PPV.