Genre: Wrestling Documentary
Year Released: 2018
Distributor: Beyond Gorilla
Running Time: 13 minutes
Rating/Recommended Audience: 15+
Related Films/Series: N/A
For Fans Of: Beyond the Ropes, The British Wrestler, Tales of Masked Men, Road Back to Malice, British Fight Club series
-This film is streaming on YouTube.
-Music Fan Bonus: All of you punk rock fans and (real) hardcore music fans should be able to recognize some of the logos featured on Eddie Dennis’s ring gear. Some of them include Bad Religion, MC5. Gorilla Biscuits, Black Flag, and Dead Kennedys to name a few.
-At the time of this review, Eddie Dennis has won titles across several independent federations. He’s a former TXW Champion, One to Watch Trophy Champion in South Coast Wrestling, King of Chaos and Knights of Chaos (tag team) Champion in Pro Wrestling Chaos, Progress Tag Team Champion (inaugural and longest reigning tag champ with former tag partner Mark Andrews). In Attack! Pro Wrestling, he’s a four-time 24:7 Champion and a current two-time Attack! Champion.
-There are cameos of other indie wrestlers such as Chuck Mambo, TK Cooper, and Connor Mills.
-Eddie Dennis was trained by Canadian wrestler/manager/booker Scott D’Amore. Some of his trainees include Rhyno, Bobby Roode, Kushida, The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley), and Eric Young among many more wrestlers.
-The Defend Indy Wrestling clothing company is featured with Eddie Dennis wearing a hat during one of the interview scenes. That is a company that he co-founded with current WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne and Mark Andrews. Yes, the name is obviously a parody of the “defend pop punk” slogan from Man Overboard. I’ll spare the pop punk and Jarrod Alonge jokes here.
-Speaking of Mark Andrews and their former tag team FSU (which could mean either Friends Stay United or F*** S*** Up, depending on what you may have heard), their theme song for most of their tenure was “Party Hard” by Andrew W. K.
I never thought this would happen again, but it has happened once more on Iridium Eye. I’m dealing with the third pro wrestling documentary featured on this blog and the second once involving the United Kingdom at large. Instead of Mexico with Tales of Masked Men or Northern Ireland with Beyond the Ropes, I’m tackling an English documentary featuring a Welsh wrestler who’s been making some waves in the UK scene and recently made a come-up by being hired with a very certain major company.
As one can surmise from the title and the above information, this deals with “The Pride of Wales” Eddie Dennis hailing all the way from Ammanford although billed from Swansea.
Eddie Dennis: A 5 Year Old’s Dream deals with the aforementioned wrestler talking about his career even if it was at an inopportune moment. Before this documentary was filmed, Dennis was injured and couldn’t wrestle again for half a year after tearing his pectoral muscle during a match. Even though this Welshman had been honing his craft over a decade, it wasn’t his main job. Eddie Dennis used to be a head teacher at an elementary boarding school and got his Bachelor’s in math some time ago. On the weekdays, he would teach the kids while wrestling on the weekends. He got tired of teaching and decided to make pro wrestling his main career as he chased his dream to make a living doing what he was a fan of since he was five years old, hence the title.
I’ve been hearing about this wrestler over the past year from some of my friends who are knee-deep into the independent and international wrestling scenes, so I thought I would check out some of his matches and promos first and it lead me to this documentary. A 5 Year Old’s Dream certainly was an inspiring glimpse into the career and life of Eddie Dennis. Being a teacher is something I would never expect a wrestler to be at some point in their lives and it even shows with how intelligent and articulate he was. It could certainly break stereotypes that most people in that field are just specimens of dumb muscle. Besides that, the production is crisp and clean with the editing and camera work. One nice touch was showing fast scenes of a demo wrestling match when Eddie Dennis and fellow Progress roster-mate Chuck Mambo explain why they liked their jobs while talking about how it compares or contrasts with other forms of entertainment. It also started out unique by beginning with Dennis writing a blog post about him leaving his teaching job. I did find his story to be positive showing that anyone could work hard even when the chips are stacked against someone like how he mentioned he worried about his mortgage and how his teaching job paid a lot more than his matches.
While inspiring, A 5 Year Old’s Dream does botch a few things. The interviews are certainly high-caliber, but I wish there was more footage from his past matches instead of quick montages or the scene from his match where Eddie got injured. It would’ve made more sense, so people not so familiar with him can see his in-ring style or anything of that nature. I also understand that he just got signed earlier this year to the WWE’s NXT UK system (their UK-based off-shoot of their developmental federation), but there was an obvious WWE bias that permeated even before the ending scene. Yes, it’s the biggest wrestling company on the planet, but couldn’t they just mention other major feds even in passing such as New Japan Pro Wrestling, Impact, or even AAA? Just saying. Doing more research on Eddie Dennis, I was surprised they didn’t mention his tenure in Attack! Pro Wrestling (which his friends such as Pete Dunne and Mark Andrews founded) or Progress especially given his track record as a tag champion in that company or even how those cameos mentioned in the Fun Facts section involved current wrestlers in that promotion. This documentary certainly didn’t need to be half an hour or even an hour long, but I wished they would’ve mentioned his work in those feds.
Eddie Dennis: A 5 Year Old’s Dream was a good watch despite some of my qualms. This former teacher-turned pro wrestler had such a unique and inspirational story that I believe even non-fans of this form of entertainment can actually enjoy with this short watch. The production vales are certainly top-notch and could rival a Hollywood production in both the brief action scenes and the interviews. It is a low point when certain parts of Eddie Dennis’s career aren’t mentioned or how there was a WWE slant given his current employment status. This is one documentary that should be watched at some point regardless. If you’re a fan of the UK wrestling scene, then you certainly can’t pass this up.
Eddie, I hope you succeed as a wrestler and become a world champion. Keep at it.
Adjustable Point System:
Add 1-2 points if you’re an Eddie Dennis fan.
Add 1 point if you like independent wrestling.
Subtract 1-2 points if you want more in-ring action in your wresting documentaries.
-Great production values and techniques
-Eddie Dennis’s story is intriguing as it is inspirational
-Unique perspective on pro wrestling as a form of entertainment
-Lack of details during Dennis’s time in the indie feds
-Blatant pro-WWE bias
-Not much footage of his matches shown.
Final Score: 7/10 points
Content Warning: Eddie Dennis: A 5 Year Old’s Dream might be best for people in their mid-teens and up to watch. There’s the footage shown of the match where Dennis gets his pecs ripped and the aftermath isn’t pretty. There’s also language that gets very strong with Chuck Mambo talking and the ending scene involves loud chants of the crowd shouting “EDDIE! EDDIE! EDDIE F***ING DENNIS!” over and over.
All photos used under US “Fair Use” laws. Eddie Dennis: A 5 Year Old’s Dream is property of Beyond Gorilla. The screenshot is from YouTube and is property of Beyond Gorilla.