Posted on October 30th, 2007 by Stephen Lyon.
After the terrible pay-per-view that was ECW December to Dismember, WWE certainly had some making up to do, to get back into the good graces of their loyal pay-per-view and DVD buying fanbase. Thankfully, they did so with this show, and then some.
Posted on August 19th, 2007 by Stephen Lyon.
Right – no beating around the bush here. This is the worst WWE DVD release of 2006 and is definitely not recommended. It was the worst pay-per-view of the year by far, for a variety of reasons of which I’ll go into shortly.
Posted on June 25th, 2007 by Stephen Lyon.
This WWE release is one of the positive aspects to come out of WWE purchasing many different promotions’ tape libraries over the past few years. A historical review of the AWA promotion has long been overdue, and with the power of WWE television production behind the project, a fascinating documentary about the rise and fall of the promotion is the end result.
Posted on June 12th, 2007 by Stephen Lyon.
WWE Survivor Series 2006 was a rather uneventful pay-per-view. WWE brought back the ‘traditional’ five on five Survivor Series tag team matches, with three such matches featuring on this show. All six teams were largely thrown together, with the likes of DX & the Hardys teaming with CM Punk, five wrestlers who were rarely (if ever) associated with each other. The matches on this show were largely just ‘there’, being neither good or bad.
Posted on May 5th, 2007 by Stephen Lyon.
WWE Cyber Sunday was the annual ‘let’s pretend the fans are making the match ups’ show. In reality, many of the match choices are no brainers, and the tv shows themselves leading up to the event generally try to get the fans to vote for who WWE wants anyway, and more often than not they are successful.
Posted on April 30th, 2007 by Stephen Lyon.
WWE No Mercy 2006 on paper looked to be an average show ahead of time, but actually turned out to be one of the better pay-per-views of the year due to several strong matches.
Posted on April 6th, 2007 by Stephen Lyon.
Rowdy Roddy Piper is the latest WWE legend to be the focus of a three disc DVD tribute set from WWE. This set is definitely one of the more interesting ones, mainly because Piper was such an excellent performer, and also led an interesting life.
Posted on February 5th, 2007 by Stephen Lyon.
Brian Pillman led an amazing life, and this two-disc WWE DVD set pays fitting tribute to the man and his career.
Posted on January 16th, 2007 by Stephen Lyon.
WWE Unforgiven 2006 was a very good pay-per-view show, featuring an excellent main event. Held in front of a sold out crowd in Toronto, Canada, the show featured a TLC match, a Hell In A Cell match, and the final match of Trish Stratus’ six year wrestling career. It was a satisfying event that tied up many loose ends and proved to be the blow off for a couple of feuds.
Posted on January 13th, 2007 by Stephen Lyon.
One of the most anticipated WWE personality releases of 2006 was this release, dedicated to WWE Hall of Famer, Hulk Hogan. As with the recipients of previous years, Ric Flair in 2004 and Bret Hart in 2005, this blockbuster DVD set was specifically released in time for the 2006 holiday season, targeting Christmas shoppers everywhere. Unlike Hogan’s previous two disc DVD set, ‘Hulk Still Rules’, an adequate, if limited 2002 release that focused more on vignettes, skits and promos than actual match action, or Flair or Hart’s three disc sets containing multiple 5 star mat classics, Hogan’s latest DVD set out does them all in terms of size. A four disc effort, the biggest and longest WWE dvd release yet, containing a comprehensive collection of Hogan matches spanning 26 years and four different wrestling organisations, WWF/E, WCW, AWA and even the XWF.
Posted on December 4th, 2006 by Stephen Lyon.
Traditionally WWE’s second biggest pay-per-view event, this year’s event ended up being a slight thumbs up of a show (but not by much). This DVD release accurately reflects that. The shows opens with the Rey Mysterio vs Chavo Guerrero match. Whilst technically sound, the storyline wasn’t over with the live crowd, who actually cheered Chavo and booed Mysterio. It was a decent match, but nothing spectacular. Second match saw Big Show squash Sabu in an ECW title match. It kind of buried the ECW title to have the title match take place so early on the card. Not much of a match. Third match saw the big ‘Legend vs Legend Killer’ match, featuring Hulk Hogan vs Randy Orton. This feud was a complete flop. Originally it was supposed to centre around Orton hitting on Brooke Hogan, Hulk’s daughter. But a combination of Hulk getting cold feet on the idea and changing track, plus several bad segments on Raw involving an awful Hogan impersonator, and Hogan himself suffering a knee injury in the weeks leading up to the match led to this feud being aborted quickly. Hogan still got a big reaction coming out, and it was the usual Hogan match, for better or worse.
Posted on November 28th, 2006 by Stephen Lyon.
The latest in WWE DVD releases is the Smackdown brand’s PPV event from July this year, namely ‘Great American Bash’. The shorter, less-detailed version of this review is that this DVD is one to avoid, as the pay-per-view event was BAD. But hey, if you’re sticking around, let me tell you in more detail why it sucked. This event occurred right around the time that the ‘WWE Wellness’ drug testing policy results came out. Unfortunately for Smackdown, quite a few of their roster members either failed the test, or the test results brought up major health concerns regarding several prominent roster members, necessitating them being pulled from the card at the very last minute. As a result, Bobby Lashley vs Fit Finlay, The Undertaker vs Great Khali, Super Crazy vs Gregory Helms, and Batista vs Mark Henry – four matches all originally planned for this show – were pulled at the last minute, with Lashley, Khali, Crazy and Henry being replaced by William Regal, Big Show, Matt Hardy and Mr Kennedy respectively.
Posted on November 2nd, 2006 by Stephen Lyon.
The History of the WWE Championship is the latest of WWE’s DVD releases. This is an extremely detailed and well put together DVD set, split over three discs. Disc One focuses on WWF title matches from the 1970s and 1980s. Disc Two focuses on WWF title matches from the 1990s. Disc Three focuses on WWF title matches from the 2000s. The matches themselves are accessible individually via the chapter menus, or contained within a programme hosted by good ol’ JR himself, Jim Ross. Ross provides the links between the matches, adding some brief background information and context to them. It works really well, and he’s perfect in this role, as you believe he actually knows what he’s talking about, rather than a Todd Grisham-type, who you’d just know was reading an autocue. There isn’t much spin or rewriting of history, and the basis of the DVD set is just match after match. Conclusions can be drawn from watching the set, which I’ll get into later on. First of all, some thoughts on the matches featured, disc by disc.
Posted on October 4th, 2006 by Stephen Lyon.
ECW One Night Stand 2006 is the latest of WWE’s DVD releases. This was an entertaining pay-per-view event back in June, although watching it just a few months later, it already seems kind of dated. The ECW ppv show itself, brought back as a result of the original ECW Reunion show doing so well the previous year, occurred at a time when it had just been announced that WWE were also bringing back ECW as a full time brand, and would be debuting a new ECW tv show on the Sci-Fi Channel in the U.S. just a few days later. Of course, we all know what has ensued since. In short, the old ECW and the majority of its’ signature traits have been killed off. A combination of sharing its weekly taping with Raw and/or Smackdown, and the new ECW tv show itself following a set WWE-format has resulted in its uniqueness being lost. The few ‘ECW Originals’ who have remained (Sabu, Sandman, Balls Mahoney, Tommy Dreamer) have all been given WWE-esque tweaks. Sabu now speaks. Sandman has generic theme music. Balls Mahoney and Tommy Dreamer are side acts. Most of the guys getting the real pushes are existing WWE lower carders, shipped in from the other brands – Rene Dupree, Matt Striker, Hardcore Holly, Test. There are some bright spots, in that new guys such as CM Punk, Mike Knox and Kevin Thorn are getting significant pushes, as is Rob Van Dam. But the ECW Champion is Big Show. As hard as he’s been working as champion, he hardly signifies anything radically different about ECW, other than it’s just another WWE brand, and just another WWE-produced weekly tv show. The uniqueness has been eroded somewhat.
Posted on September 17th, 2006 by Stephen Lyon.
This is one of WWE’s most eagerly anticipated and intriguing DVD releases of the year, and it certainly doesn’t prove to be a let down. Love him or hate him, Vince McMahon Junior is the greatest wrestling promoter of the modern era, and is a fascinating subject to examine. There are so many sides to him, both public and private, that have intrigued people for decades. This ‘many sides’ theme is utilised by WWE themselves, in promoting this DVD set. The main feature of this DVD set is the standard documentary on the main subject – in this case, Vince McMahon – and this programme clocks in at just over 2 hours. It really is a strange hybrid of a production. Part autobiographical. Part refreshingly honest. Part an outright pack of lies. Part a defence of WWE, and everything it stands and strives for.
Posted on August 27th, 2006 by Stephen Lyon.
This pay-per-view event was a very pleasant surprise. After a dismal Raw-brand ‘Backlash’ pay-per-view, WWE rebounded strongly with an unexpected, excellent showing from the Smackdown brand’s ‘Judgment Day’. It was one of those shows where everything clicked, the matches were great and the angles were of significance. Some notes on the featured matches:
Posted on August 22nd, 2006 by Stephen Lyon.
The latest of WWE’s personality-based DVDs, ‘D-Generation X’, is actually a re-release of a 1998 video release of the same name. Produced around the time of the growing popularity of ‘WWF Attitude’, this release, and its stablemate, ‘Cause Stone Cold So’ (a Steve Austin profile in the same vein) were two releases that became hardcore fans’ favourites at the time. For many years, non- ppv WWF home videos had adopted the same mundane format – fill up a tape with as many ‘dark’ matches from WWF tv tapings, featuring name vs name matches being wrestled at half speed, as possible. These two releases broke the mould. They mirrored the WWF TV product at the time, and interspersed supposed ‘shoot’/reality based stuff featuring the personalities in question, with lots of in-ring clips and memorable skits, angles and interviews. They were the primitive forerunners of the WWE personality DVDs you see nowadays, produced at a time when the wrestling business wasn’t quite as open as it now is.
Posted on August 11th, 2006 by Stephen Lyon.
April was a busy month for WWE, with the company holding two pay-per-views – the excellent Wrestlemania 22 event…. and WWE Backlash. This show had a controversial build up, in that ‘God’ was billed as an active participant in an advertised pay-per-view match, tagging with Shawn Michaels to face Vince and Shane McMahon. What might have been viewed as ‘edgy’ booking half a decade or so earlier, was viewed by many as an insult to intelligence in this instance, and to others was seen as downright offensive. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler called the action on this show, foreshadowing JR’s permanent return to the Raw announce booth the following week.
Posted on August 5th, 2006 by Stephen Lyon.
This is the now standard annual Wrestlemania multi-disc release. The entire Wrestlemania 22 event is here, spread over two discs. I would imagine that most wrestling fans will have already seen this event, but if you are one of the few who haven’t, here’s a brief synopsis.
Posted on June 8th, 2006 by Stephen Lyon.
Chapters: 19 chapters, detailing Dusty Rhodes’ life and career. These are entitled: Son of a Plumber; College Days; Breaking into the Business; Texas Outlaws; The American Dream; Championship Wrestling From Florida; Superstar Billy Graham; The Road Schedule; Rhodisms; Ric Flair; The Booker; The Common Man; Follow In His Fathers Footsteps; WCW:The Businessman; Father & Son The Tag Team; Father & Son The Separation; Goldust; Father & Son The Resolution; The Legend.