REVIEW: 7 Levels of Hate
After writing the piece last week on Billy Corgan buying the National Wrestling Alliance, I really got into a NWA kick. In the past, I have written about the Jim Cornette and Jeff Jarrett led “invasion” in 1998 on WWF television. However, I wanted to do more. I wanted to watch the 7 Levels of Hate documentary based around Colt Cabana, Adam Pearce, and the World’s Heavyweight Championship.
The first time I heard about the 7 Levels of Hate was, coincidentally, at the end of it all. The Wrestling Observer website showed a link of an incident after the final level at Warzone Wrestling in Australia in October 2012. Inside the steel caged ring, both “Scrap Iron” and “Boom Boom” laid down some true verbiage about the happenings within the NWA and the World’s title. At the end of the spiel, both men dropped the title on the canvas and proceeded to leave the ring. The title, after seven grueling matches for the right to be champion, was vacant.
What in the world brought this on? Two world class independent journeymen with cult followings doing something on the levels of Shane Douglas disparaging the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship in the ECW Arena in 1994? In my mind, something was wrong.
In truth, the NWA was in an ownership transition, and the company was in complete disarray.
I wanted to so badly buy the DVD on Monday. However, NO ONE WAS SELLING IT. I could not find it anywhere, from RF Video to Highspots. I thought I was flush out of luck. Desperate, I wrote a tweet on Sunday, asking a simple question:
“Does anybody know where I could get the 7 Levels of Hate DVD with @ColtCabana & @ScrapDaddyAP? Can't seem to find it anywhere online.”
I was just looking for a fan or two to help spread some help my way. Instead, both Colt and “Scrap Iron” messaged me separately, instantly allowing myself to geek out. After both men directed me to DigitalColt.com, Colt Cabana’s video/audio downloadable merchandise page, I immediately went and made the purchase for a digital download. Direct contact, from both men separate from one another, allowed this purchase to happen. That is as grassroots as it gets.
Monday night, instead of watching Raw following my second job, I sat down in Harder House and watched 7 Levels of Hate. After two hours, I sat in disbelief. I sat in awe. I sat in frustration. Most of all, I sat intrigued.
7 LEVELS OF HATE IS A MUST WATCH DOCUMENTARY.
PHOTO CREDIT: STLDWrestling.com
It is a must see on a few different levels. First, you have to take it from a positive viewpoint. The vision of the 7 Levels of Hate series showcased what could happen if wrestlers and wrestling companies worked together. First off, the great friendship between Pearce and Cabana from their teenage years easily led to this great angle to play out. Using the NWA Hollywood platform to establish their storytelling, Cabana and Pearce TWICE developed strong, long term planning to help elevate the NWA World’s Heavyweight title, the Alliance, the LA television market, and, most importantly, themselves.
Dave Marquez’s Championship Wrestling From Hollywood, two matches from Sheldon Goldberg’s New England Championship Wrestling, Steel Domain Wrestling, Chris Gough’s Metro Pro Wrestling in Kansas City, the West Coast Wrestling Connection in Oregon, and Warzone Wrestling in Berwick, Australia hosted the series of matches. To me, seeing these companies come together in the name of, and in spite of, the NWA, is inspiring. Especially during these days, where pro wrestling needs unity between promotions to thrive and survive, the hard work of “Scrap Iron” and “Boom Boom” highlighted the teamwork of these companies on an international level. Even in 2012, that is what’s needed in this day and age of professional wrestling.
The main negative of this documentary was the National Wrestling Alliance itself. Although it showcased both the Executive Director reigns of Bob Trobich and R. Bruce Tharpe, the absolute chaos of the NWA ran wild. Even in the 2000s, when the corporation wasn’t relevant, the politics were absolutely insane. From the Sheik politicking his way towards the NWA World’s Heavyweight title six weeks after Cabana’s win in April 2011 to the whole drama of Mr. Tharpe buying the company via a lawsuit in 2012, this showcases the ineptness of what has been happening with this company since the early 1990s.
If you want to even go into the life of the NWA after this documentary came out, the title’s relevancy is non existent. Rob Conway has held the title twice, two title changes transpired in Japan (Hiryoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima), and the title has mainly resided in Texas with Jax Dane and Tim Storm taking the title around the Lone Star State. The NWA has never been as low as it is now. The level of disrespect Cabana, Pearce, and Mr. Marquez received during the early 20teens and the fallout post-7 Levels of Hate is incredible. It really makes you think about “What could have been…” as it comes to what would have happened with the NWA with Colt Cabana as champion. I’m legitimately happy Billy Corgan made the purchase of NWA assets after the negativity of the games the previous regimes played during this time.
Creativity, watching business interject themselves with creativity really brings me back to the piece I wrote two months ago: Art and Commerce Doesn’t Mix in Wrestling. You have to watch to understand my feelings. Absolutely frustrating is a perfect way to describe the NWA’s insertion into nearly ruining the passion behind the 7 Levels of Hate.
The final viewpoint is on the performers themselves. Colt Cabana and Adam Pearce really sold me, as a viewer, on the importance of their rivalry from NWA Championship Wrestling From Hollywood. I didn’t know the ratings NWA Hollywood was receiving and being on broadcast television in Los Angeles. Cabana and Pearce’s feud was the crown jewel of that program, and just watching the promos and characters being given throughout this documentary was invigorating. In a wrestling scene where promos and multi-layered characters are slowly fading away, both men really emphasized the art of old school development inside and outside of the ring. I came away being bigger fans of “Boom Boom” and “Scrap Iron”.
Also, seeing that Pearce produced and edited this entire production is a big thumbs up. Knowing of his history producing Ring of Honor television on HDNet, Pearce really showcased and edited a great story with 7 Levels of Hate. I know that he is a part of WWE now, but I’d personally love to see another documentary project from him. I thought it was well put together.
Guys and gals, if you love learning about the behind-the-scenes of storytelling, politics in wrestling, and creativity of two well-versed performers, 7 Levels of Hate is a documentary for you. http://DigitalColt.com is where you can get a digital download for $10 of this awesome flick. Please check it out and support independent creativity and wrestling. This is a must watch.