By Zach Arnold | October 11, 2013
The bad news is that Spike TV didn’t give the documentary a real promotional push. The good news is that they at least got a TNA audience lead-in. I think a lot of fans were more than happy to wash out the sour taste left in their mouths by Dixie Carter to see a real icon in combat sports.
Loretta Hunt (Sports Illustrated): Frank Shamrock documentary stirs ghosts still haunting former UFC champion
The story was simple — after all of the bad blood between Ken & Frank Shamrock, the two were finally going to meet to have a one-on-one sit down to hash out their differences. In the process, we learned all about Frank’s background in Redding and Susanville, California. Drinking alcohol at age 7. Heading to juvenile hall after threatening his sister. Going to Susanville after being adopted by Bob Shamrock.
Then came the beatdown by Ken at the Lion’s Den gym. Six months of training, Frank was sent to Pancrase to fight Bas Rutten in Tokyo (December 1994 at Ryogoku Kokugikan). He won that fight. Talk about a flashback to my early days of writing about that scene. Ken ended up moving to WWE and TNA in the late 90s, which left Frank to oversee Lion’s Den and he wasn’t comfortable with Ken having him run the gyms the way Ken wanted them ran. So, he left. Ken claimed Frank was jealous and that all Frank had to do was ask for his blessing to party ways. Instead, he “ran away.” Frank claimed that Bob Shamrock told him that if he and Ken didn’t get along that there would be no more relationship.
When it came to fighting, “Frank was a scientist whereas Ken was a brute.” Footage of Frank’s fight with Enson Inoue at Vale Tudo Japan ‘97 was shown. Then the mention of Frank’s fight against Kevin Jackson and then the encounter with Tito Ortiz to win the UFC belt. Henry Holmes, Frank’s business manager, had a cameo where he talked about Frank retiring and giving up the UFC belt in order to get out of the onerous contracts at the time.
Also the Frank Shamrock as "MMA's first real free agent" thing? He fought twice in six years after leaving UFC
— Sean Ross Sapp (@SeanRossSapp) October 11, 2013
There was the K-1 fight against Elvis Sinosic. Then the teaser about Frank fighting Ken with Bob Shamrock picking Ken to win the fight because he’s too strong for Frank. Bas Rutten loved the idea of the two brothers fighting each other. Maurice Smith felt Frank would have won.
A review of Frank’s history in Strikeforce was covered – from mentions of the Cesar Gracie & Renzo Gracie bouts to Frank becoming the local San Jose hero. “San Jose was quickly becoming my town and HP Pavilion was my house.” Then came the pictures of Frank vs. Phil Baroni and finally Frank “passing the torch” to Nick Diaz. Several interview clips of Nick Diaz talking about Frank Shamrock was interesting to watch. The crazy cameo(s) from Mickey Rourke talking about the pain of watching Frank get beat up by Nick Diaz was oddly compelling.
Then came the death of Bob Shamrock. Tonya, Ken’s wife, called Frank and told him that Bob wanted to see him in the hospital before he died. Frank didn’t appear at the hospital or the funeral. Ken was super pissed that Frank didn’t go to the funeral. Frank explained why he did what he did: “I didn’t know what to do. I really regret not calling him.”
Before Frank traveled to Las Vegas to meet with Ken, he went back to his old stomping grounds in Redding to find his older blood brother, Perry, who happens to be homeless. Perry had written him a year earlier asking for money. Frank found him under a highway overpass where there were a couple of chairs, a sofa, and a tent. Perry hadn’t communicated with anyone in over two years, the last time he had a laptop. He was surprised that Frank was able to locate him. Frank promised to help him, hugged Perry, and left in his car. After the meeting, Frank cried and said “I need to help him get out of there.”
Then came the build-up to the meeting between the two brothers. Ken asked, “What did my dad do to him that caused Frank to not go to his funeral?”, and stated, “My Dad gave him everything and he spit on him.”
In a Las Vegas gym, Ken sat in one folding chair and the other folding chair was set up for Frank to face him eye-to-eye once he sat down. Frank took off his shoes and extended his hand to Ken for a handshake. They shook hands. About six minutes of the reunion was shown on television. There was a lot of nervous tension. Frank started talking. It quickly degenerated into a rough back-and-forth. After Frank thanked Ken for being his mentor, Ken stepped in.
“I’m a little confused.”
He wondered why he ran away from Bob Shamrock and the Lion’s Den. Frank was upset about the beating Ken gave him when he first stepped foot at Lion’s Den. Ken responded to Frank’s feelings by stating, “This is (about) your own insecurity, man.” Ken said that anyone who survived the initiation beating at Lion’s Den was respected by all the team members.
When Frank tried to justify not showing up to Bob Shamrock’s funeral as a sign of respect, Ken had none of it.
“I don’t buy that (reason). You were a coward. … You let him die with no closure.”
— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) October 11, 2013
Then came time to discuss whether or not the two brothers should fight each other. Ken wanted to fight Frank. Frank didn’t seem so into the idea. As they were arguing back-and-forth, Frank made his position clear.
“I’m not a fighter, I”m a human being.”
Ken justified his behavior towards others by stating, “I beat the hell out of everybody. I yelled at everybody.” Ken prodded Frank by telling him that Bob asked for him on his death bed in the hospital. Ken claimed that Bob told him the only way the two brothers would repair their relationship was if they had a fight. Ken said he would accept Frank’s decision either way on the matter now that the topic was out in the open for discussion. Frank cemented his opinion about not wanting to fight now.
“We have to beat each other up to get closure? I don’t want to get hurt any more.”
The two brothers hugged each other. Frank was crying and Ken was smiling. And the two parted ways.