Brothers of Destruction is the latest in WWE’s series of documentaries celebrating The Undertaker’s legendary 30-year career, and it will perhaps be the most nostalgic and captivating one of the month. The story of Undertaker and Kane is perhaps the finest example of professional wrestling’s ability to tap into the absurd, farfetched, and mythical realm of storylines, but do so with glorious success. Not only did it convince many young children (including this former child) that Undertaker (Mark Calaway) and Kane (Glenn Jacobs) were, in fact, long lost brothers for the longest time, they also created two monsters that the fans almost never tired of seeing cross paths. Be it as foes or as allies. The storyline was large-scale theatre, and as H. L. Mencken once said, “theatre, when all is said and done, is not life in miniature, but life enormously magnified, life hideously exaggerated,” and in many ways, that perfectly describes The Undertaker and Kane saga.
The thought of theatre may have crept in the WWE’s mind when putting the documentary together, as it plays off of that theatre analogy (intentionally or unintentionally) with Undertaker sitting opposite Kane on a stage in a theatre hall. The setting adds an undeniable charm, and it sets it apart from most WWE documentaries, which is a feat in itself at this point. Undertaker’s The Last Ride took a very intimate observational documentary approach, and this one simply follows an open conversation between these two monstrous figures of WWE.
Also, to avoid the visual presentation and format getting stale, WWE slip in great footage of matches and moments, including some rare footage, as Taker and Kane discuss different events. However, what sticks out is the use of music, such as when Undertaker and Kane discuss the drama of Kane’s debut at Badd Blood 97. To add to the two subjects’ vivid descriptions, there is dramatic music that almost recreates that feeling of 97 and beautifully enhances the words and story being told.
A worry with these sit-down interview-style documentaries, particularly the WWE ones, is that the participants won’t explore a lot of topics, and their conversations will almost be a regurgitation of stories that we’ve heard before. Fortunately, that’s not the case here, and Undertaker and Kane’s conversation is free-flowing, honest, and has great depth, which also crosses into commenting on each other’s individual milestone moments, e.g. Taker’s thoughts on Kane removing his mask in 2003. Plus, there’s a wonderful comedic rapport between the two, and they don’t shy away from joking around with one another, and that will surely bring a smile to long time fans (nostalgia, my friend).
One of the main downsides, if not the only downside of WWE’s latest documentary, is its runtime. Although there is a lot to be found in the 47 minutes, it still feels too short to encapsulate a 23-year story. In the final ten-fifteen minutes, the two discuss a lot of recent topics, and it does feel like some topics are glossed over and that we’re missing detail in the stories. However, considering the overload of Undertaker related content, which also touches on similar subjects to this one, perhaps WWE can be excused for cutting it a tad short.
In the end, though, Brothers of Destruction is a great journey down memory lane and a truly wonderful reminder of what these two were able to create, which was two longstanding monster characters that constantly crossed paths and almost never failed to capture the attention of the fanbase. Their TV storyline truly was a theatre epic. It was loud, extravagant, and memorable, and Brothers of Destruction captures that with a refreshing and nostalgic 47 minutes.
Brothers of Destruction is now available on the WWE Network.
All images courtesy of WWE