GUEST BOOKER WITH DUTCH MANTELL DVD REVIEW
By Alan Wojcik on 12/9/2010 10:00 AM
January 2010 was supposed to change things for the better in TNA Wrestling. Previous months saw TNA President Dixie Carter hold a press conference at Madison Square Garden where it was announced the legend of Hulk Hogan and the former WCW creative mind Eric Bischoff were joining the promotion. TNA founder Jeff Jarrett ran into some personal issues that took him off TV and away from Orlando. In addition the promotion was moving from their Thursday night slot on Spike TV to go head-to-head with the WWE and its perennial Monday Night Raw show. In the process TNA’s creative team was shaken up and Dutch Mantell was given his release. The next few months saw TNA fall flat on their face and have to rethink things. Guest Booker host Sean Oliver and his crew decided to allow TNA to hit the reset button, but do it with Mr. Mantell in charge of the creative direction.
In the booking topic Mantell give his creative philosophy that brought him success in Memphis & Puerto Rico plus how the experience of being a wrestler helped shape his writing style. Mantell said after he picked his “team to send on the field,” he used to listen to the live crowd to gauge what was successful and what went into the trash bin. Mr. Mantell says the old territorial days (where 32 existed in the US) were great for a wrestler so they wouldn’t burn out their character in one promotion. The topic moves to the horrible night that Frank “Bruiser Brody” Goodish was stabbed to death in Puerto Rico. Mantell was Goodish’s travel partner in Puerto Rico and was there in the locker room moments before the stabbing.
Dutch moves onto how Jeff Jarrett got him to join TNA Wrestling during its weekly PPV days in Nashville, TN while he was still booking in Puerto Rico. The stories of the creative process with Jeff and Vince Russo are worth the price of admission. Sean does address Dixie Carter’s comments that were made on her YouShoot DVD on how she handled the “fire Russo” live event chants and Dutch’s answer is priceless. Dutch also addresses the white hot personal issues between Jim Cornette and Russo plus what he expected when Hogan/Bischoff were signed by the promotion. If you were expecting an answer to why he was let go you will not be finding it here but he does feel he might have been a scapegoat for certain things.
This is an excellent DVD except the overall product is called Guest Booker and Mr. Mantell spends roughly 30-40 minutes doing the actual booking. Now before you send me hate mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) I would have enjoyed this DVD if it was just Dutch speaking about his time as part of TNA creative. This DVD unfortunately followed the same road as Mike Graham’s appearance on the Guest Booker series. However Dutch is far more entertaining and more experience as a booker than Mr. Graham. I was kind of hoping this would have followed the Gabe Sapolsky DVD where he opened his ROH booking notebook to show what he had planned before his departure. You can find his book “The World According to Dutch” on www.amazon.com. Log onto his Facebook page for news on his new book “Tales From a Dirt Road.”
The next releases listed on www.kayfabecommentaries.com are Ring Roast III with Jim Cornette, YouShoot with the Iron Sheik and Timeline History of the WWE 2001 with Lisa “Ivory” Moretti. If you sent in questions for the two Jim Cornette YouShoot DVD’s but didn’t get it asked by Sean Oliver, send it to email@example.com before Monday December 13th. We will be pre-taping an interview with Mr. Cornette that will air on December 14th edition of Online World of Wrestling Radio.