The Unhinged, Cat-Breeding Wrestler Who Makes Joe Exotic Look Tame


Personality-driven docuseries like Tiger King, The Way Down, and Bad Vegan are, to a large extent, the offspring of early-2000s freak-show reality TV, and that relationship is once again highlighted by Dangerous Breed: Crime. Cons. Cats. The three-part nonfiction venture (Nov. 22 on Peacock) was born out of Frederick Kroetsch’s decade-long attempt to turn amateur pro wrestler Teddy Hart into a small-screen star. While that effort went for naught, it did give Kroetsch access to a wild individual who bred Persian cats, engaged in polyamory, smoked tons of weed, and was charged with sexual assault—all before his wrestling-trainee girlfriend Samantha Fiddler went missing shortly after entering his orbit. It’s a tabloid-y tale of sex, drugs, and violence, and one that Kroetsch rightfully views as an indictment of himself and the tawdry genre that helped facilitate its horrors.

Samantha’s disappearance, which remains unsolved to this day, is the central focus of Dangerous Breed: Crime. Cons. Cats., although it can only be understood within the context of Kroetsch’s 2012 decision—as a fledgling Edmonton filmmaker in search of a gripping story—to check out the local amateur independent wrestling scene. That’s where he met Hart, a member of a legendary wrestling clan that included Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, and Davey Boy Smith, aka “The British Bulldog.” The first time Kroetsch visited Hart, he knew he had a potential ratings bonanza on his hands, given that the athlete resided in a house decorated with marijuana posters and populated by Hart’s partner Faye and girlfriend Michelle, as well as by anywhere from 50 to 100 Persian cats that he bred, sold, and juggled. With a blunt always in hand, Hart was a train wreck who was tailor-made for trash TV.

Though he hailed from pro wrestling royalty, Hart was on the skids by the time Kroetsch hooked up with him, thanks to a history of being a difficult, unmanageable loose cannon. Dangerous Breed: Crime. Cons. Cats. establishes his in-ring skills and manic, narcissistic demeanor through a combination of archival clips from his wrestling past and from Kroetsch’s initial reality-TV footage, upon which the director frequently comments in hindsight.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Source: The Daily Beast

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