RADICAN'S TAKE RADICAN'S DVD REVIEW SERIES: "Breaking Kayfabe with Sean Waltman" - in-depth exploration of addiction, suicide, family relationships
Jun 25, 2012 - 12:58:36 PM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
RADICAN’S DVD REVIEW SERIES
“BREAKING KAYFABE” w/ SEAN WALTMAN
BY SEAN RADICAN, TORCH COLUMNIST
The new “Breaking Kayfabe” series is an attempt by Kayfabe Commentaries to redefine the shoot interview. More than that, it’s an attempt to conduct an interview where people watching get to know the subject beyond what they are known for in wrestling. For years, the typical shoot interview has featured a static camera shot with an interviewer asking one question after another without stepping back and exploring the big follow up questions that everyone at home wants to be asked.
“Breaking Kayfabe” with Sean Waltman succeeds on a level that I haven’t seen before from a shoot interview in terms of the person conducting the interview explores the personal life of the subject and gets the answers people want on difficult topics.
Sean Waltman knows right away that this interview is going to tackle some heavy topics, as he indicates to host Sean Oliver that he knows this is going to be different from the edition of “YouShoot” that Waltman filmed with Oliver several years back.
Where the “YouShoot” series is mostly fun and games, “Breaking Kayfabe” succeeds at delivering a serious interview with fantastic production values. The set is lit in blue with Oliver and Waltman sitting across from each other on a set that looks very much like your typical talk show.
Oliver challenges Waltman right away by listing the buzz words associated with him in recent years such as addiction, pornography, and suicide. You can tell that Waltman must have a certain level of comfort with Oliver to tackle these subjects head-on. At times, it’s hard to watch Waltman discuss the topics he’s become associated with.
Addiction isn’t something that just goes away and during the early stages of the interview, Waltman talks about his arrest last December for PCS. Oliver asks good questions and Waltman discusses why he started using pain pills again. It’s interesting to hear Waltman talk about where his issues with pain pills started. He claims he never took a pain pill until he started wrestling in WWE at the age of 19. Waltman refers to how hard the ring was back then and mentions that he, Billy Gunn, and Nash would often spit up blood backstage after bumping around in the ring.
The topic of Chyna is brought up and it’s chilling to watch Waltman talk about how she has surrounded herself with enablers. When asked how Chyna’s story will end, Waltman says, “I don’t want to sound so cold, but I assume death.”
Another topic Waltman topics about is being sexually abused as a child. As Oliver questions him on the topic, Waltman reveals that all of the memories of a family friend abusing him surfaced because his children were in the same area as the person that molested him.
Waltman also talks in-depth about the cycle that began with his father being absent and kept away from him by his mother because he was a drug dealer. He talks openly as to how he and the mother of his son started out right and he was a good dad. Waltman didn’t plan on having all of these issues. It’s gut-wrenching to hear Waltman discuss his own past and what has happened now with his relationship with his children.
Oliver questions Waltman about his relationship with his children now and Waltman openly discusses the pain he’s put his children through. It’s really sad how Waltman’s actions have hurt his children. When Oliver asks him about the long-term effect of his action on his children, Waltman says, “How f---ed up do you think they are, Sean?”
Waltman further explores his relationship with his children thanks to some good questions from Oliver, who offers up that there’s still time to repair their relationship to which Waltman says, “There’s not too many more shopping days before Christmas.”
One of the most difficult topics that Waltman and Oliver cover is his suicide attempt. Oliver questions whether addiction contributed to his suicide attempts. Waltman says that addiction plays a part in many suicide attempts, but he feels that his numerous concussions suffered while wrestling could have contributed to his attempt the most. It’s hard to hear Waltman talk about his suicide attempt and discuss how it was a “split-second” decision after he hit his ex-girlfriend.
The last part of the interview tackles some more light-hearted topics, which is a nice departure from the heavy material covered during most of the interview. Waltman reveals that he doesn’t own an iPod and still listens to CD’s, which brings up an interesting Curt Henning story.
Oliver also questions Waltman in-depth about the Montreal screw job being a work. Waltman says he doesn’t blame Oliver for thinking it was a work. Interestingly enough, Waltman says he didn’t want his friends to lie to him when Oliver probes Waltman about Shawn Michaels and Triple H’s role in the screw job.
This was a really good interview overall. Oliver and Waltman explored Waltman’s personal life and issues with addiction and depression in-depth. This is one of the first shoot interviews I’ve seen where I feel I really got to know what led the subject down a path of destruction. The grind of wrestling, the compulsion to take pain pills to keep going night after night in WWE, and eventually addiction taking over Waltman’s life are all explored in-depth in a candid manner here. The debut edition of “Breaking Kayfabe” can only be considered a must-buy release.
You can purchase “Breaking Kayfabe” with Sean Waltman at KayfabeCommentaries.com
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