8 Ups & 4 Downs From Beyond The Mat

Busting open Beyond the Mat, the pioneering WWE documentary, 21 years later.

Beyond the Mat
Imagine Entertainment

Just about every single documentary on the WWE Network, and lord knows there's a heck of a lot of them, will have candid behind-the-scenes footage and other slices of locker-room life. Peeling back the layers of kayfabe, and delving behind the spectacle of pro wrestling, is an expected aspect of the sport in modern times - and fans positively gorge on it. Some might even say it's taken for granted.

This was NOT the case back in 1999.

In 1999, observing footage of any wrestler in a real-life setting was a rarity. Beyond the Mat was therefore nothing short of a mind-blowing product. Filmmaker Barry W. Blaustein, didn't just open a door to the lifestyle, but also gave potent examples of wrestling's highs and lows. For that reason, his movie turned out to be one of the most harrowing and memorable documentations of the sport, matched only by a few, even after two decades.

Yet in terms of content, has Beyond the Mat stood the test of time, and how can all of its accomplishments be viewed in retrospect? Here's a rundown of how the film succeeds, and how it fails...


Writer, proud father and also chimp. Plus I talk music at Everythingisnoise.net