Re: Official DVD/Match/Show Discussion Thread
WWE: The History of the World Heavyweight Championship (3 Disc)
Disc One : Documentary/NWA Matches
We start this DVD off with a good and concise documentary about the WHC that to it's credit, mainly focuses on the earlier days of the NWA/WCW , rather than focusing on the WHC of the WWE Era. Major props to WWE for not putting over their current product first, and respecting the tradition of who came before them. If there was ever a documentary that focused on pre-WWWF wrestling that was produced by WWE Home Video, it's this one, as we get a look not only into the pre WWWF NWA champions such as Gotch and Ed Lewis, but we get insight into how wrestling transitioned from a pure shoot sport into a work of entertainment. That's the first time that's EVER been covered on WWE Home Video.
We get tons of insight into the tradition rich NWA and how it was formed, whilst covering great wrestlers such as Pat O' Connor and Buddy Rogers, then we move on to the Harley Race's and Jack Briscoes of the world. We then move on to a BIG segment dedicated to whom many believe to be the greatest WHC of all time, Ric Flair (and this segment is deservedly so). After Flair, we move on to the whole WCW title controversy and how the title lost it's credibility in the dying days of WCW, citing undeserving world champions such as Scott Steiner, Jeff Jarrett, and David Arquette amongst others.
The last fifth of this documentary focuses on the WWE portion of the belt, specifically highlighting everyone who has held the belt since. Triple H is really the only world champion that gets talked about for quite a while, and of course the HHH mark in me loves that. In the end this is a very concise documentary that runs a little less than an hour. I'm going to rate it for what it is, and that is a quick but very informative history lesson on one of the most prestigious belts of all time .
Buddy Rogers vs Pat O Connor 1961 : *** 3/4
Gene Kiniski vs Dory Funk Jr 1969 : ** 3/4 (Clipped)
Jack Brisco vs Terry Funk 1975 : *** (Clipped)
Dusty Rhodes vs Harley Race 1979: *** (Clipped)
Ric Flair vs Magnum T.A. Superclash 85 : ****
Ric Flair vs Sting Great American Bash 1990: *** 3/4
Nothing but quality on this disc match wise. We get a few matches showcasing the early NWA days, including a FANTASTIC match from 1961 that still holds up 51 years later (an amazing feat), and some damn near classic matches from the master himself, NAITCHHH. The clipped matches kind of drove me insane because these looked like matches that were potentially **** quality, but we only got to see a little portion of them. Really a precursor to what is the true meat and potatoes of this set, the disc 2 and 3 matches.
Disc 2 : WCW
Ric Flair vs Scott Steiner COTC XIV : *** 1/2
Lex Luger vs Barry Windham Cage Match Great American Bash 1991 : ** 1/2
Vader vs Ron Simmons 1992 : *** 1/2
Vader vs Ricky Steamboat WCW Saturday Night 1993 : *** 3/4
Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair Cage Halloween Havoc 1995 : ****
Hulk Hogan vs Sting Superbrawl 1998 : ** 3/4
Hulk Hogan vs Goldberg Nitro 1998 : **
Booker T vs Jeff Jarrett Bash at the Beach 2000 : *** 1/2
The Rock vs Chris Jericho No Mercy 2001 : **** 1/4
Right here we get some REALLY quality matches that I never ever thought would be released on WWE DVD. EVERY single match on this disc is either great or has VAST historical significance. We get some really good exclusive gems that you won't see on any other set, such as the two Vader matches, the Flair-Steiner encounter, and of course the fantastic match between Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair from HH 94. Apart from that we get a severely underrated Sting-Hogan encounter, and even a classic Rock-Jericho encounter. One of the most consistent discs I've seen from the WWE, as I watched it from start to finish without stopping once. Fantastic.
Disc 3 : WWE
Triple H vs Rob Van Dam Unforgiven 2002 : ****
Triple H vs Shawn Michaels Taboo Tuesday 2004 : *** 1/2
The Undertaker vs Kurt Angle No Way out 2006 : **** 3/4
Rey Mysterio vs Randy Orton Smackdown 2006 : *** 1/2
The Undertaker vs Edge vs Batista Armageddon 2007 : *** 1/2
John Cena vs Chris Jericho Survivor Series 2008 : ***
Edge vs Jeff Hardy Ladder Match Extreme Rules 2009 : *** 1/2
Speaking of consistency, not a single match on this disc is under ***, and we also get a forgotten **** gem from HHH and RVD, and my 2006 hands down match of the year from Undertaker and Kurt Angle. This disc does a great job showing off all of the best champions from the WWE era, including HHH, Edge, John Cena, HBK, Rey Mysterio, The Undertaker, Batista, Jericho, etc. The only NON WHC featured on this disc is RVD, and since his match has both historical significance and is a legitimate near classic, I loved it. Just a great consistent mix of Champions putting on some fantastic matches.
This DVD is a model of consistency. While only one of these matches is an all time classic in my eyes (Taker-Angle), out of 22 matches, EIGHTEEN are ***+ , whilst the other four are full of historical significance. The documentary is a great change of pace from other ones, as it focuses on the grassroots of wrestling in a very concise matter.
We get a mix of matches from some VERY talented performers on this one, with a majority of this matches being near classics, and rare exclusive gems that won't make it onto any other DVDs. If you're a fan of WCW or the NWA, this is obviously a must buy, and even a fan of the current product is encouraged to go out and get this one for it's consistently great match selection.
This is the type of DVD that you can watch twice, it just flows so smoothly and offers something for every wrestling fan. This DVD reminded me of how many classic gems there are in the world, and why no matter how much wrestling we watch, there's still great material out there for us to discover and review. Alongside the other 2 "history of" sets, this is a must buy.
On a side note, I've abandoned doing big writeups for matches on 3 disc sets, as I find it very tedious sometimes. I like to sit down for 3 hours and just watch an entire disc, and for me to do a review it means doing it just after I see it, meaning that I'd have to watch a disc and spend an hour-two hours writing up reviews and all that, which is way too much time. How I review things is going to go like this: For shows, I'm going to do a full write-up as I enjoy those writeups very very much and find them to be a much easier write than the 3 discs, which will be a documentary rating alongside my star ratings and thoughts on every disc. If anyone has a particular question about my specific thoughts on a match from a 3 disc DVD, feel free to ask. Also, I'm going to be doing first take reviews after every PPV before I do the REAL review when I rewatch it on DVD, as I enjoy doing those also.
Just a thank you to everyone on this particular thread for all the intelligent wrestling discussion. I feel this is the greatest damn thread in the world for talking matches, and there's no wrestling opinions that I respect more than the likes of King Cal , Obis , Brye , Clique, Yeah1993, Jackevans187, HOL, Starbuck and MANY MANY others on this site(Top of my head, sorry if I left somebody out). I respect your opinions and look to them before I look to the likes of Meltzer and Alvarez for opinions on matches, wrestlers, etc. It's been a pleasure to post reviews for you guys, and I look forward to posting many in the future. I know we don't see eye to eye on alot of things (most having to do with Triple H, The Rock, or The Undertaker for some reason :P ), but it's been great (with the exception of Rock316AE, who gave me negative rep for saying that Rock's performance wasn't up to par with Cena's at WM 28), again this might be weird because it's an internet forum and we're supposed to be stereotypical smark trolls, but thank you.
"He's not the biggest. He was never the strongest. He was never the fastest. He was overlooked. He went in the sixth round. So with that being said, all of the intangibles that a quarterback is supposed to have, they overlooked it with him because it was burning from inside of him" - Ray Lewis on Tom Brady