Dark Side of the Ring is a captivating documentary series that explores the world of pro-wrestling and its tragic underbelly. Whether or not you know the difference between a Stone Cold Stunner and a Tombstone Piledriver, there’s plenty of real-life drama in each episode to get you hooked.
The first three seasons pack in larger-than-life characters, scandals, spandex and heartbreak – it’s the ultimate deep dive into pro-wrestling. But there’s so much more to these stories, which is why series co-creators, Evan Husney and Jason Eisner, and wrestling insider, Conrad Thompson, reunite for Dark Side of the Ring Confidential.
If you’ve got enough questions to fill a cage match, they’ve got answers.
Dark Side of the Ring Confidential uses a talk show format to revisit key moments from the doco series and add greater context to the highs and lows of each story as well as new details that have come to light.
Husney and Eisner talk through their experiences making the show and explain how they got so many former wrestlers and employees to talk candidly about their experiences, which led to hours and hours of footage that never made the initial episodes.
“… there were so many amazing Dark Side of the Ring moments left on the cutting room floor,” Husney and Eisner told Deadline. “We’re extremely excited to now be able to share bonus footage and behind-the-scenes stories …”
The panel circles back to the infamous Montreal Screw Job, the shocking Life and Crimes of New Jack and a deep dive into the conspiracy theories about the death of wrestler Gino Hernandez. There’s also a touching tribute to the late Owen Hart with brand new interviews with Mick Foley, D’Lo Brown and The Blue Meanie. One of the highlights is seeing people who didn’t participate in the initial series drop in to tell their side of the story.
The episode that spotlights tag team The Road Warriors, Hawk and Animal, features a new wrestling legends roundtable, which is poignant because it’s the last interview Animal, also known as Joseph Laurinaitis, gave before he passed away in mid-2020.
The most fascinating part of Dark Side of the Ring Confidential is learning about how it’s a challenge to make a doco series about pro-wrestling. The WWE, formerly the WWF, and its owner Vince McMahon control nearly every facet of their brand, which includes television footage and in some special cases the wrestlers themselves. Often, wrestlers and employees from past and present are reluctant to talk to journalists or filmmakers about their experiences without the approval of the WWE.
“We do encounter a lot of hesitancy, or sometimes people who just outright turn us down, because of relationship concerns they have with the WWE,” Husney told Paste Magazine. “It’s something that we encounter with a majority of, if not every, episode.”
But corporate interference is not a huge problem for Husney and Eisner because they are hardcore fans who relish the opportunity to go beyond the WWE and its rival WCW. Hearing their own personal stories and how they’ve encountered different wrestling figures while the cameras aren’t rolling is a lot of fun and it’s hard not to get suplexed by their passion.
If you never wanted Dark Side of the Ring to end, Dark Side of the Ring Confidential is the ideal chaser.
Want even more wrestling action? SBS On Demand has WWE Legends (Vince McMahon approved), which looks at the most memorable superstars to grace the ring like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Macho Man Randy Savage, Booker T and The Ultimate Warrior.
Dark Side of the Ring Confidential premieres at 10.20pm, Sunday 10 October on SBS VICELAND. It is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Dark Side of the Ring seasons 1–3 are also now streaming at SBS On Demand.