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« | Home | »

Frank Shamrock: Bound by Blood is a must-see documentary for all the right reasons

By Zach Arnold | October 11, 2013

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Watch the Frank Shamrock: Bound By Blood documentary online

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.

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.”

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.

Topics: Japan, MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 30 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

30 Responses to “Frank Shamrock: Bound by Blood is a must-see documentary for all the right reasons”

  1. Chris says:

    Didnt see it yet, I recorded it and will watch it but from reading that it sounds like Ken is doing this to set up a fight and one more payday in Bellator.

    Seems like Ken isnt in a good financial place and needs either money or the spotlight.

    Frank seems like he is in a good place after fighting and is doing other things.

    Do you think this was done with the sole purpose of publicity for this tv show and a payday for Ken or was this really the two brothers looking for closure? Cause it seems like it was done for financial gain and not personal reasons.

    But it sounds good so I will check it out.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    It is sad to see Pro Wrestlers stay too long past their prime.

    It is ten times worse in MMA because the fights are real. Some of these guys just can’t leave the spotlight behind.

    These guys basically still looking for more fights is a special kind of sad.

    *********

    Anybody see Rebney say that he will let Askren go if he gets an immediate title shot. I know he thinks he is being sly…. But the message he is sending to fighters and camps out there is simple:

    He will mess with anybody who tries to leave and make their life a living hell.

    That will certainly help sign good fighters. No wonder all they can get now is UFC rejects.

    • nottheface says:

      honestly, in this specific case, how is he messing with Askren? It seems more likely that he is trying to do some sort of face saving maneuver where he can lose Askren but point to the fact that the Bellator title holder is viewed as legitimate enough that he’s immediately contending for the UFC belt.

      The question that should be asked is why haven’t the UFC contacted Askren at all when Ben’s made it clear he doesn’t want to sit out the matching period, that he would like to take an offer from them now? It’s not as if Bellator can trick anyone now that the courts have made it clear how they’ll judge potential earnings versus guaranteed.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        The UFC just isn’t going to play the game. And who can blame them after the Eddie Alvarez fiasco. They are doing the smart thing here and just not getting involved in Bellator’s poor antics.

        For Bellator…. It’s like an ex-boyfriend saying: I will give you back the sex tape if we break up on exactly my terms. If Bellator wants him, then make him an offer. If they don’t want him, let him go.

        They are playing games and Askren is caught in the middle.

        They have said they aren’t interested in him but won’t free him of the matching period. And now they will free a fighter they “aren’t interested in”, if it is under terms that the UFC wouldn’t even agree to in the first place.

        It’s Rebney garbage….

        • nottheface says:

          But Askren hasn’t even asked to be freed from the matching clause. If Askren doesn’t want them to wait and is willing to risk Bellator matching it then why are they waiting?

        • 45 Huddle says:

          This has nothing to do with the UFC here. This has everything to do with Bellator screwing around their champion. The UFC is not obligated to make an offer to any fighter. They have no relationship with Askren.

          On the other hand, Bellator is saying the following:

          1) They are not interested in a signing back their champion, but they won’t release him from his contract.

          2) They will release him from his contract only if he gets a title shot in another organization in which they have nothing to do with.

          This is purely in Bellator’s court of playing bad with their champion.

        • Nottheface says:

          Again, how in this specific case are they screwing Askren over? Correct me if I’m wrong, they’ve never said they weren’t interested in resigning Askren, that’s was a misquote repeated on the Internet. Nor has Askren said he doesn’t want Bellator bidding for him either. What Rebney and Bellator have said is they’ll exercise their matching rights if they think they can match. They’re just waiting to see the UFC’s offer to make that decision. Now that the UFC knows how the courts will view ppv options what can Bellator do to fool them? if the UFC offers guaranteed money than Bellator would really have to match, meaning Askren isn’t going to be screwed out of money like Alvarez was. In fact a signing bonus is exactly what Bellator had to offer Huerta to make sure the UFC wouldn’t match back in 2010.

          If the UFC is interested in Askren and Askren wants them to make an offer now instead of waiting out the matching period then why are they ignoring his wishes?

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Man you are dense.

          Take off your UFC Hatred Glasses for a second and take them out of the equation. They have no relationship with Ben Askren right now.

          So look at what Bellator has done.

          1. Bellator has a dominant champion.

          2. They have not offered him a new contract, despite his old contract being done with fights.

          3. They have insulted him in public by calling him “one-dimensional”.

          4. They have said they will only release him from his contract if another organization does something they don’t do. And that is take a fighter from an organization they do not own, and give him a direct title shot. Not to mention Askren has beaten Jay Hieron as his best win, which doesn’t even make him close to earning a UFC title shot. So the only way they will release him from a contract that has no more fights left…. Is if he gets something that has 0% chance of happening.

          So without even looking at the UFC’s side of the equation (which is tiny)…. Bellator is screwing with Ben Askren.

        • nottheface says:

          OK I’m dense. So help me out and answer my question which I’ll ask for a third time: if the UFC is interested in Askren and he doesn’t want them to wait out the matching period, why don’t they make an offer? Forget all about evil douchebag Rebney, and just answer why the UFC doesn’t want to make an offer.

          Also, why would Rebney make an offer first when he has matching right? That’s the point of matching right to match what someone else offers. And I don’t know why the UFC would have such a problem with offering Askren a title fight when they said they intended to give Alvarez a title shot for his first fight and Alvarez wasn’t ranked as high nor did he even hold the belt.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          1) The UFC has matching rights for it’s fighters and this is how they deal with it. They typically try to make a new deal before the old contract runs out. Or they cut them/don’t sign them and let them go off without a hitch. They don’t put them in limbo. They could have screwed with Cheick Kongo. They did not. They could have done this to Quinton Jackson. They did not. They just make a clean cut. Bellator does not. HUGE DIFFERENCE.

          2) A problem offering Askren a title fight? His best win is Jay Hieron, who he barely beat, and can’t win in the UFC. And everybody knows they just offered Alvarez a title shot to mess with Bellator in court. So Askren getting a title shot is a joke. He needs to fight a few good wrestlers in the UFC first to see if he can survive their striking. Which he won’t, and he will get wrecked.

          3) You can’t just forget about Rebney being a bad guy. Because until the UFC makes an offer to Askren, they HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS DISCUSSION!! They are not required to make any offer to any fighter. The only issue right now is how Rebney is screwing with Askren. Your line of thinking is: Well, Rebney wouldn’t screw with Askren if the UFC just made him an offer. That is insane.

          4) And to answer your question. And this is hypothetical land, since the UFC is not in the Ben Askren business right now. Dana White saw what Bellator did to Eddie Alvarez. He saw that Bellator did not really match $ for $. It was so bad that White finally said Alvarez should just sign back with Bellator because he is screwed.

          So if Dana White wants to see Ben Askren get a GOOD OFFER…. And not get screwed…. The ONLY course of action is to not offer him a contract until he is an unrestricted free agent. Giving him an offer before this could actually hurt Askren more then help him, just like it did with Eddie Alvarez.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          And I bet if you ask Eddie Alvarez…. I bet he wishes the UFC never made him an offer until he was an unrestricted free agent. It would have made his life so much easier.

          The UFC has learned, and they are not playing that game.

          And don’t tell me they should change their contract structure to sign these guys. That would be insane. To change how they guarantee money for a guy like Ben Askren. That would be stupid.

        • edub says:

          “Man you are dense”

          Coming from the guy who is getting pwned.

          “The UFC has matching rights for it’s fighters and this is how they deal with it. They typically try to make a new deal before the old contract runs out.”

          Because they know they are by far the biggest promotion in MMA, and for another fighter to get a bigger/better deal somewhere else they are probably going to have to price themselves out.

          “A problem offering Askren a title fight? His best win is Jay Hieron, who he barely beat, and can’t win in the UFC. And everybody knows they just offered Alvarez a title shot to mess with Bellator in court.”

          So basically, you’re mad that Bjorn is trolling the UFC into making the same ridiculous offer of a title shot to a person that has no argument of being the #1 contender. Faux outrage, fitting.

          “Because until the UFC makes an offer to Askren, they HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS DISCUSSION!!”

          Loud noises!! Capital letters! OMG!

          The UFC is, again, by far the biggest promotion in MMA. A promotion that Askren openly speaks about joining. Claiming they have nothing to do with this discussion is ignorant and/or stupid.

          “The only issue right now is how Rebney is screwing with Askren. Your line of thinking is: Well, Rebney wouldn’t screw with Askren if the UFC just made him an offer. That is insane.”

          And your line of thinking: The UFC has nothing to do with this discussion…

          “And to answer your question. And this is hypothetical land, since the UFC is not in the Ben Askren business right now. Dana White saw what Bellator did to Eddie Alvarez. He saw that Bellator did not really match $ for $. It was so bad that White finally said Alvarez should just sign back with Bellator because he is screwed.”

          Hahaha. Yea, Dana did that out of the goodness of his heart. Sure, whatever needs to help you think you won a disagreement (which you clearly didn’t, again).

          “And I bet if you ask Eddie Alvarez…. I bet he wishes the UFC never made him an offer until he was an unrestricted free agent. It would have made his life so much easier.”

          Which would have taken even longer than when he actually fights next. Which would have been the same since the title shot was obviously to fuck with Bjorn, right? And Eddie would have waited on even though the time is what is rumored to have had him sign back with Bellator anyway, right?

          If they want to offer him Lombard money, go ahead. Bellator wouldn’t be able to match that.

          Oh, and for good measure: Man you are dense.

          “Take off your UFC Hatred Glasses for a second and take them out of the equation. They have no relationship with Ben Askren right now.”

          Get of your UFC sponsored perch, claiming they aren’t part of an equation in one of the biggest free agents possible landing spots is utterly retarded.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        And if you look at what the Bellator 99 event payouts are…. You can easily see how poorly they pay fighters. They just don’t have the money to pay guys what the UFC does. But it hasn’t stopped them from screwing over fighters.

  3. Chuck says:

    Great documentary. Almost as good as Smashing Machine or Rites Of Passage. I thought it would be “semi-documentary, semi-fluff piece”, like the Joe Warren documentary. Nope! This was damn good!

    The one thing about it? When they were talking about Ken Shamrock’s WWF excursion they showed his TNA footage, specifically when he won the NWA Heavyweight title on the first NWA-TNA show. Mentioned nothing of TNA (hey, it was an okay show back then!) but showed the footage anyway. Awesome seeing the Vale Tudo Japan and Pancrase footage.

    Those close-ups of Frank? Ugh! That dude is UGLY!! Well, maybe because of the nose, but damn! Overall, two thumbs up.

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    Zach,

    Another important news story right now is…

    I looked back at the ratings for UFC Live Telecasts and The Ultimate Figher… All the way back to the start of 2010. The longest period I could find where MMA did not have a show that hit 1 Million viewers was August 4, 2012 to October 5, 2012. Two Months and 1 Day.

    The last event to get over 1 Million viewers was August 17th. The next event isn’t until October 19th… So it will break that record. And it might go on for much longer.

    The countdown is on…. how long is the sport of MMA going to go without a show getting 1 Million viewers.

    I understand the UFC is trying to build an audience on FS1, but at some point if they continue a streak of lower numbers, it has to hurt their business.

  5. Diaz's cashed bowl says:

    Its good of Rebney to do that, even though Dana says they’re bad guys, bad guys.
    He is clearly saying “Hey, we CAN match the ufc dollar deals, but we can’t match a title shot with GSP. You make that offer and bellator abides”.

    There is no one on the back burner lurking around waiting for GSP in the ufc right now at 170. He has cleaned it out. But Askren really put the hurt on the last few guys finishing them, while GSP took his time playing it safe for the most part.

    funky vs Nick would also be great if funky beats GSP

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Ben Askren has not beaten a Top 20 fighter. So I don’t care if GSP has cleaned out the division…. Askren still hasn’t earned a shot, not even close.

      • bundt says:

        Yeah better make sure the integrity of those WW title shots stays in tact. Wouldn’t want askren to soil the ground that Dan hardy, Jake Shields and Nick Diaz have stood on

        • Diaz's cashed bowl says:

          I don’t like the roundabout way that champions from other orgs FINALLY get ufc title shots. Shields, Crocop, Diaz, Lombard etc… giving them one or two fights before getting a shot is a bit insulting, and takes the heat away from the inevitable confrontation with the champ, or takes it away entirely in the case of crocop.
          A lot of people, myself included wanted to see crocop Couture, it would have been huge.
          Dan got 2 instant title shots as ex pride champ, then earned another title shot against Silva, but then got dropped then became champion of SF and ko’d Fedor then had to wait in line again, losing all the heat from beating Fedor and Shogun.
          While shields who beat Dan(who was the #1 contender in the UFC at the time of his release) didn’t get a title shot in the ufc.
          its got to be frustrating as a fighter.

  6. Diaz's cashed bowl says:

    ok funky is 12-0 ranked #6 he’s beaten 3 top 20 guys(at the time of their fight) imo. Do you think Maia, Mcdonald, Condit can stop the takedown? no way. Hendricks might make it a close fight if he keeps it on the feet for a few rounds, but its all funky on the ground.

  7. 45 Huddle says:

    Bellator PPV has only sold 1,700 tickets so far.

    This is an event I would not buy on PPV, but would probably go to live (assuming the tickets weren’t too expensive).

    Not a good sign for the potential PPV Buyrate….

    • Zach Arnold says:

      Where did you get the 1,700 number? I’ve had people on the ground swear over 4,000 tickets were sold and that they would get around 8,000 at Long Beach.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        John Morgan from MMa Junkie… A reliable source…. Reported this on Twitter.

        And other people are saying that some of the undercard fighters are being forced to sell tickets to the event. Not a good sign at all.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          And according to Morgan, they have another 2,000 tickets on consignment.

          Which is close to that 4,000 number you are talking about.

          Those 2,000 tickets were probably handed over to the fighters and don’t count until they are sold.

          When they have to resort to those type of tactics for their most stacked card ever, it means the PPV Buys could be bad.

          ***********

          Should be interesting to see what the ratings for GLORY were. If it becomes a ratings success, I could easily see SpikeTV dumping Bellator and just making a kickboxing push.

  8. Diaz's cashed bowl says:

    Have you tried that trader joe’s orange cream soda?

  9. Manapua says:

    The Shamrock special crushed UFC Primetime in viewership.

  10. Zack says:

    It was good but it should’ve been longer. Would’ve been nice to hear about his pre-Cung/Diaz losses. They made a big deal about beating Bas but didn’t mention he lost to him the next two times they fought.

    • Diaz's cashed bowl says:

      I like how Ken carefully navigates from guilt tripping… “you disrespected your Dad, let him die without closure ” to convincing Frank to fight because its what Bob wanted. …to settle things.
      When its clear frank isn’t interested, Ken shifts his tactics to the MONEY!! Using the same argument desperate slutty teenage girls often use when they get into prostitution.

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