Wrestling Road Diaries stars three talented wrestlers in the American independent wrestling scene – Colt Cabana, Bryan Danielson and Sal Rinauro. We’re invited on their two-week journey to get a personal look into their life as professional wrestlers. The viewers are exposed to the behind the scenes antics at the Ring of Honor television tapings, and follow the guys as they travel from state to state wrestling in various other wrestling promotions.
Coming into watching this DVD, I really had no idea what to expect. I did not want to distort my perception by expecting certain things. I watched this DVD as a fan of wrestling, and upon completion I am now completely engulfed in this whole other world. I have a new perspective on the wrestling industry as a whole. It has expanded by knowledge and given me more to think about in terms of what I personally enjoy about watching wrestling.
Wrestling Road Diaries is like something we have never seen before. We have the opportunity to get to know the guys on a more personal level. They share with us their thoughts on wrestling, the travelling, the different companies, and friends. We can see the close bond that Sal, Colt and Bryan share.
Past wrestling books and documentaries have focused on the gritty side of the wrestling industry, playing out the old Hollywood story of dying before your time. Where is the joy in hearing about all this heartbreak, the lies? For years people idolised wrestlers to find out their deep, dark secrets long after their time in the ring is up.
These are men to look up to. Respectful, dedicated, successful, humble and they’re not trouble makers. Have you ever heard of them being arrested to drug or alcohol offences? And you won’t because they made the decision not to partake in that culture.
This DVD has been a long time in the making. Filmed back in 2009, it begins with Colt returning to the Indy scene after being future endeavoured by the WWE, and Bryan just being offered a WWE contract. Even when he is faced with what could be some serious medical issues, Bryan still seems to keep it together; taking it one day at a time, and hoping for a positive outcome. They love what they’re doing and it’s their passion which keeps them going.
Whether they’re wrestling in front of less than 50 people or a crowd of thousands, they truly do put their bodies on the line. They got into this business to entertain. They want the crowd to leave satisfied, yet begging for more.
Wrestling Road Diaries evokes questions such as: What do you define as success in wrestling? What do you define as success in life?
We’re conditioned as children that life must follow a certain formula: finish high school, get a college degree, have a 9-5 job, buy a home and have a family. Many give up on their childhood dreams because they’re afraid of failure, or perhaps too materialistic to suffer for their passion; but not these guys. They’re businessmen, salesmen, athletes, teachers, entertainers, their own advertising team, self-made men. There’s so much more to being a successful wrestler than meets the eye.
Many think the wrestling lifestyle is glamorous. No one day is ever the same for these wrestlers. It is a gruelling life to live, and at times unorganised and spontaneous, but that seems to be part of the attraction for them. There is the excitement of doing something new, and not being stuck behind a desk five days a week. There is freedom. It’s an almost gypsy-like lifestyle that they get to lead. Travelling around, seeing their homeland and countries abroad. Interacting with people and being able to bring entertainment and joy to their lives.
I commend them and other wrestlers for having the determination and drive to make something of themselves. It is a long and difficult road, but with wrestling pumping through your veins, it all seems worth it in the end. They’re not bitter about past incidents, but more so positive about what’s to come next. The wrestling business needs more guys like this, guys who are and have always been so infatuated with wrestling. Those who have put their blood sweat and tears into their training and development into becoming the amazing athletes that they are today.
This documentary shows off the close connection that these guys share; their passion, their quirky habits, and their ever playful nature. They have the utmost respect for each other and the business. You very rarely hear them say a bad word. They have such a positive mental attitude that everyone could benefit from adopting in their own lives. Who else can say that they have been able to travel the country every week, with their closest friends?
It is heart-warming to see how they help each other out, offering them a place to stay with no expectations of being paid. There’s no shame in sharing a hotel room with three other grown men, it’s just a normal part of their lives. These guys are not simply characters acting out a story before us. They’re real people with hopes, dreams, fears, responsibilities just like the rest of us, but they go about their lives like no other I have ever seen.
I didn’t want the DVD to end. I was captivated from start to finish. I could listen for hours about their stories from the road. That is what has drawn to me Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling pod cast; being given the opportunity to hear both the positive and negative about the wrestling world, and how wrestlers took various paths in order to become the wrestlers and the people that they are today. These guys have lived. They have life experiences others would never dream of having.
Wrestling Road Diaries really drives home the point of supporting local independent wrestlers and wrestling promotions, whether it is by attending a show, helping to promote it, or with buying merchandise. It is us fans who are giving these guys the opportunity to live their dreams; something everyone should have the chance to do.
Wrestling Road Diaries will be one of those wrestling documentaries that are talked about for years to come. It joins the ranks of The Backyard and Beyond the Mat for DVDs every die-hard wrestling fan needs to see sometime in their lives. However, this documentary isn’t just for wrestling fans. It’s a lifestyle documentary following people in an unconventional profession, living their dream. What’s more inspiring than that?
How do you measure success? By the amount of money you make? By achieving the goals you set for yourself? Or is it measured by your happiness?
Buy your copy of Wrestling Road Diaries here.
Filming of Wrestling Road Diaries 2 will commence in two weeks. Follow Colt Cabana, Cliff Compton and Luke Gallows for more details.