Written by: Tom Hopkins
The Main Characters
–This profiles the families in wrestling history: The Ortons, Guerrero’s, McMahon’s, Von Erich’s, Gagne’s, and more.
These families are generations old, dating back to the beginning of the WWWF, AWA, and wrestling as sports entertainment as a whole.
The Film (2:20:33)
This is all about the famous families wrestling history, and a brief montage shows us the highlights of the families featured ins this feature. Carlito hosts this, and he’s a guy who rose to fame when I didn’t watch. I am familiar with the name, but not much else. They talk about the close ties in wrestling families, and how it seems that its easier to get into the business if you’re familiar with the name, and sons of wrestlers can catch onto the business more easily. Of course, to be successful, you need the skill. Just being around the business you would learn so much, through dinner conversations, or going to matches and shows. The disadvantages is that you have a lot to live up to, big shoes to fill so to speak.
The first family we profile are the Ortons, who have three generations of wrestlers, starting with Bob Orton Sr. He was a wrestler and his son, Bob Orton, got interested. Of course, Bob’s son, Randy got into it as well. They include a 2002 interview with Orton Sr, and he talks about Bob’s introduction to wrestling and learning the craft. Piper retells the story of telling Orton to make mistakes since he was so good in the ring, something he also said in Wrestling Stars of the 80’s. Bob was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, which I think is interesting since he’s best known as a sidekick. Randy talks about growing up around wrestling, and there’s even pictures of young Randy with Andre the Giant. Randy got his start at OVW and later headed to the big leagues, the WWE. Orton says he will have kids and there will be a fourth generation. They say they are one of the most prestigious families in wrestling history, a sentiment I don’t exactly agree with (see: McMahon).
Up next is quite a large family, the Guerreros. Gory was the father of the whole clan, and he put Mexican wrestling on the map, and he was known for his bleeding, hence the name Gory. He became a promoter in both Mexico and El Paso and they were just immersed in the business. They had a ring in the backyard for cryin’ out loud! Gory’s brothers were Chavo Sr., Hector and Mando and they were all wrestler’s as well. Chavo’s son is the Chavo we know today in the WWE, and he tagged with Gory’s son, Eddie to win the tag titles, and Eddie would go on to win the WWE title in 2004. Unfortunately, personas demons would get the better of Guerrero, and Eddie passed away in November, 2005, and he is fondly remembered to this day.
Up next is the family that revolutionized wrestling, and despite any criticism (most of which is warranted), this is the family when it comes to the rasslin’ business. It started with Vince McMahon Sr., whose great grandfather had a successful bar and sent his kids to school. So Vince’s grandfather went into the promotion business, with boxing, under Tex Rickard (who started the NY Rangers). Jess McMahon was disowned, ironically, and his son, Vince Sr, would follow in his footsteps. Vince Jr is actually emotional when talking about his father (and saying he didn’t spend enough time with his father) and not meeting him until 12, due to a divorce. Vince would make matches, craving the attention of his father, and he loved the business from the get-go. Jr was given control of a Bangor, Maine promotion and he succeeded, and he eventually bought the promotion from his father and Vince brought it national, taking over many other territories in the process, overcoming any threats from other promotion leaders. Shane and Stephanie were around the ring all the time, and Steph recounts a story when she first met George Steele. Shane, Steph and Linda would become involved in the storylines and Shane even wrestled. Shane and Steph didn’t have to go into the business, they all decided to go in on their own. They show HHH a lot, and Steph talks about her relationship with HHH quite frankly. Vince encourages his kids to do their own thing, since that’s what he did.
They show a little segment on father and son combinations in wrestling, and the downside of the son and having to fight out of the fathers’ shadows. They mention the Sammartino’s, the Putski’s, the Rhodes, the Flair’s (and Ric says he regrets bringing him in the way he did), the Snuka’s, and all are ones that suffered a bit. They talk about sons that changed their names (Barry Windham, Brian Christopher (Jerry’s son), and the Malenko’s originally changed their names, too). They talk briefly of the ones who did step out of their father’s shadow, like Curt Henning, Nick Bockwinkel, Greg Valentine, Tully Blanchard and Ted DiBiase.
Blackjack Mulligan was a big bruiser and his sons all got the bug to be in the business. Barry and Kendall Windham, and even Mike Rotundo is related. Blackjack had Barry when he was 17 and he played pro football before he wrestled but a broken leg ended his career, and he jumped to wrestling. He wanted Barry to be a boxer, but he got started by refereeing matches. Blackjack wasn’t happy about that decision. Barry teamed with Mike Rotundo and he ended up marrying Barry’s sister. Kendall got in the biz thanks to his brother, and they tagged together, too.
The Graham family were brothers, Jerry and Eddie. They split up and had their own promotions, with Eddie having a son who wrestled, and Crazy Luke came into the WWWF to cash in on the name. One of the most famous was Superstar Billy Graham, who started in the AWA. Mike was the son of Eddie, and Eddie was huge in the Florida promotion. This was a brief one.
The Anoa’i family is a great Samoan wrestling family, producing many wrestlers, starting with Afa and Sika. Yokozuna was the nephew of Afa and Sika, and he was a former WWE champ. Samu and Fatu were the sons of Afa and Sika and they were a tag team, and Fatu eventually became Rikishi. Umaga is another relative, and he’s another one I never watched wrestle since he was after the time I stopped. Rock is related to them as well, as his grandfather, Peter Maivia was related to the Anoa’i family.
The Gagne family is profiled next, and Verne was just a monster in the industry. Verne was a wrestler, and even wrestled in the Olympics. He was a wrestler that was doing commercials in the 50’s and ran his own promotion, the AWA and his own training camp which produced tons of wrestlers, including Flair, Steamboat and Henning. Verne also trained his son, Greg, who wrestled well in the AWA. Some may say he was pushed too much, but that’s an argument for another DVD.
Up next is one of the greatest, and most tragic, families, the Harts. It started with Stu, who immigrated to the US and later went to Canada, where he put wrestling on the map. He started up Stampede wrestling and trained a bunch of wrestlers in his dungeon. Bret was one of the best, and he tagged with his brother in law, Jim Neidhart. Bret had a memorable fight against British Bulldog, another brother in law to Bret. Bret also had a big feud with his brother, Owen, and they had a classic match at Wrestlemania X. The Hart Foundation reformed, but tragedy was on the way, Owen Hart fell to his death at a WWE PPV in 1999, Bret was unceremoniously dumped by the WWE in the famous screwjob in Montreal. Davey Boy “British Bulldog” Smith also passed, followed by the matriarch, Helen, and Stu in 2003. They don’t mention the screwjob here, though.
An interesting choice is next, the Vachon’s. There were the brothers, Paul and Mad Dog. Their sister was a wrestler, too. Mad Dog’s niece, Luna, became a prominent wrestler, and was an absolute psycho at ringside. This was a very short segment.
Up next are the Colon’s of which Carlito is a member. They were a Puerto Rican family and the father, Carlos is a legend in those parts. He started in NY, then moved to Puerto Rico and started his own promotion there. One of his biggest matches was when he defeated Ric Flair in the territory. Carlito’s big gimmick is spitting food in people’s faces. Interesting trademark. He is noted for his crazy fro, too. They spent a lot of time on this, for two wrestlers, one a relatively unknown in the US, and Carlito, who’s ego is very large (he’s one of the greatest wrestlers, a legend in the making according to him).
We follow that ego trip with another tragic, Kennedy-esque, family: The Von Erichs. Fritz Von Erich was a huge draw in Texas and his sons were huge stars, including Kerry, David, and Kevin. Of the family, Jim Ross tells us that Jackie, David, Kerry, Chris, and Mike, with Kevin being the only son left. What a sad story. He had five sons, and only one made it to their middle ages. Steve Austin says the Von Erich’s were a huge influence on him becoming a wrestler.
The Rougeau family are to Montreal, Quebec that the Harts were to Calgary. There was John and Jacques, the brothers, who gave way to brothers Jacques Jr. and Raymond. Jacques we remember in the WWE as the Mountie.
Following the Rougeau’s, we have the Funk’s, who Flair calls the greatest family in the wrestling biz. Dory and Terry were both NWA champs, the only brothers to accomplish that, and Dory Jr. ran a Western Texas territory. Dory and Terry were wildly different wrestlers, but made a great tag team. Terry would also become a hardcore wrestling legend, to boot. Both brothers still frequently talk to each other.
Up next is a fun little segment called, “Questionable Family Ties.” These are made up brothers, like the Valiant brothers, the Garvins, the Beverly Brothers, the Smoking Gunns, the Koloff’s, the Andersons, the Moondogs, the Bushwhackers, the Holly’s, Edge & Christian and the Dudley family.
We stop with the father/son duos and look at a pair of brothers, the Brisco’s. They are Jerry and Jack, and Jerry is still with the WWE. Ross calls them the best brother tag team, ever. Jerry would follow his brother to wrestling and Jack held the NWA title for a while. Jerry says the highlight was winning the title from Steamboat and Youngblood, one which is on this collection as an extra. Val Venis (he’s still around?) says they had to withstand some heckling due to their Native American background.
There’s one final family, and its quite an interesting one. It is the first 3-generation wrestling family, the Maivia/Johnson family. It started with High Chief Peter Maivia, the first Samoan wrestler. He had a huge tattoo on his body, showing he is the high chief. They show Peter’s wife, who is in her 80’s now and in good shape. Peter passed away in 1982, and wanted his wife to carry on, and she did, promoting wrestling in Hawaii. Peter’s daughter married Rocky Johnson, himself a famous wrestler and was a very prominent black athlete in his day. He was the first black WWE tag-team champions, and Rock (Rocky’s son) remembers it well. Rock wanted to wrestle and his dad trained him. So Rock called Pat and asked him to take a look, and he was given the name Rocky Maivia, which he didn’t like, and he was pushed too quickly. He changed his name just to the Rock and he then became one of the biggest stars in wrestling, ever.
The film takes a look at some 15 families in the wrestling industry, and it takes its time. For the main families, it isn’t rushed at all. The McMahon’s, the Maivia/Johnson’s, The Guerrero’s, the Hart’s, and the Gagne’s, all these segments were well-developed. I really gained new insights into some of these families, especially the McMahon’s. Some of the families didn’t need a whole chapter devoted to them (the Vachon’s and the Colon’s) but this is probably the closest the WWE will get to an actual documentary. It was over 2 hours long, it is nowhere near as silly and fictitious as other features they’ve put out, and all the ego’s are in check here. It is actually an open and honest documentary and I enjoyed every minute of it.
1) “High Chief” Peter Maivia & Chief Jay Strongbow vs. Ali Baba & Baron Mike Scicluna (12:37)
This is from Championship Wrestling, 09/27/77, and was the main event. Peter sings with a ukulele before the match. Now I see where the Rock got it! Peter and Scicluna start, and Scicluna is tossed into his partner, and he tags in Baba. They exchange the standard offense, punches and kicks, until Peter takes control with a full nelson, where Strongbow messes him in the face corner. Strongbow is tagged in as Baba tags in Scicluna. Lock-up, and Scicluna takes a foreign object in his tights to gain an advantage, but the ref catches him. The heels choke Strongbow in the corner with the tag rope, but Strongbow makes the tag to Peter to returns the favor to Baba. Peter gets surfboard which turns to a pin for a one count. A pier-six ensues with all four men in the ring, which eventually leads to Baba working the arm of Maivia. Scicluna is tagged and Maivia fights back and makes the lukewarm tag to Strongbow. So the guy who was just beat on, Maivia, is tagged in, he gets worked over by the heels until Strongbow intervenes. Scicluna is dumped, Baba goes to the top and is tossed off by Maivia. They send Baba to the ropes and finish him off with a classic finisher, double elbows to the chest. Why don’t they use that now? Cover and Baba is done, the Chief’s are victorious at 10:32. This was long, drawn-out, and boring, but it was a different time back then I guess. *.
2) Curt Henning vs. Greg Gagne (8:04)
This is for the AWA Title, and is from AWA All-Star Wrestling 05/15/88. This is JIP with Henning holding onto an abdominal stretch. Henning is champ at this time. Gagne fights out of it, but Henning is still in control, stomping Gagne in the back. He hits a rib breaker for two, then a backbreaker for two. Henning with a Boston Crab, that Gagne powers out of. They do a little reversal sequence, then an Irish whip to the turnbuckles followed by a clothesline sends both men down. Henning is up first and he tosses Gagne outside. Henning follows and bodyslams the challenger. Henning goes back in to break the count, teases us by going to the top rope, then heads outside. They brawl, head back into the ring, and Gagne is in control. Dropkick for Gagne gets two. Gagne puts Henning on a sleeper which Papa Henning contests. He pulls the ref to the outside and argues with him, drawing Papa Gagne into the ring, knocking down Henning and allowing Gagne to cover for the victory at 6:23 (shown). The Gagne’s and Henning’s brawl. They are separated and Gagne is your new AWA Champion. From what was shown it was good, though how many times do you see the title change hands on a punch? **.
3) The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers vs. The Bushwhackers (15:26)
This comes from an MSG show, from 02/20/89. Ahh, everyone’s favorites, the Bushwhackers. The Rougeau’s come out to the song, All-American Boys. The Rougeau’s Pearl Harbor the Bushwhackers, but the Bushwhackers take control and the Rougeau’s go running. Jacques comes back in and hits Luke from behind. All four end up inside, and Luke has a cute spot where he puts the thumbs in the eyes of Jacques. The Rougeau’s go running again. Raymond and Butch end up in the ring, with Ray getting an abdominal stretch, drawing in Luke who bites Ray. Jacques comes in, and gets bitten by Butch. The Rougeau’s bail again, and are almost counted out. Luke and Jacques end up in the ring, and the Bushwhacker’s continue with their frenetic offense of punching and biting. Jacques gets a dropkick, then hugs his brother. Butch comes in and Jacques tries for another dropkick, but misses. Butch is cornered by the ref allowing the Rougeau’s to double-team Luke. Raymond ends up in the ring, and puts an abdominal stretch on Luke, Jacques comes in and works over Luke, and knocking Butch off the apron. The Rougeau’s do the classic heel act of distracting the ref while the face tags in, but the ref didn’t see it. Jacques dropkicks his brother by mistake, allowing Luke to get the hot tag to Butch. Butch cleans house, gets the dreaded double noggin-knocker. The Rougeau’s cheat to get an advantage, but that turns on them when Luke comes in, punches Jacques, and Butch covers for the pin and the win at 12:15. Okay, two matches in a row that ended with a punch. This was wayyyy tooooo loooong. Can the Bushwhackers have a good match? No. *. Weird that they would have a match where the family chronicled on the DVD loses.
4) Barry Windham & Kendall Windham vs. Michael Hayes & Lex Luthor (6:33)
This is from NWA World Championship Wrestling, 03/18/89. Hayes and Barry start this shindig, and this is in Hayes hometown of Atlanta at the Omni. I am actually watching Jenny McCarthy on Saturday’s Night Main Event right now I don’t know what is more boring right now, hearing Jenny talk or seeing nothing going on in the ring. Hayes tags in Luger, in his hometown, before he actually wrestles, and Luger gets a bigger pop. Luger and Barry jaw at each other, and Barry shoulderblocks Luger down, then catches a flying Luger and hits a backbreaker, which Luger no-sells. He military presses Barry and the crowd nearly explodes out of the sheer excitement. Barry retreats to his corner sez Jim Ross, though he really just crawled over there. Another lock-up, Barry with an atomic drop and Luger no-sells it again, leading to a clothesline for one. Barry goes to the apron but is suplexed in by the Total Package. Luger wants a test of strength, but gets a side headlock instead, and Michael Hayes is tagged in. We haven’t seen Kendall yet. Lock-up to the corner and Windham breaks cleanly. They repeat this, and Luger runs over and smacks Windham’s injured hand. Luger comes in, Hayes hits Luger from behind, leading to a Windham clothesline and Luger is covered (despite not being the legal man) and the ref counts to three and this is over at 5:13. Looks like Hayes is heel. There was no other Windham match they could’ve shown? This was Luger vs. Barry, with very little else. It was inoffensive, but wasn’t long enough to be worth anything. *1/2.
5) Deuce: Being Jimmy Snuka’s Son (3:35)
Deuce talks quite emotionally about being the son of Jimmy, and how Jimmy did everything with all his heart, whether it was sports or being a father. He always appreciated when fans come up saying how much they appreciated his father.
6) Jeff Hardy: Trampoline (0:30)
Jeff says his brother and himself got involved in wrestling when they got a trampoline. They made it their wrestling ring and had matches on it every week.
7) Chavo Guerrero Jr.: Family Gatherings (0:35)
Chavo said family gatherings were like a PPV, an opening match, a mid-card match and the main event.
8) Barry Windham: Teaming w/Dad (1:28)
Barry says his first match with his father was in the early 80’s against the Andersons. His father was pissed at Ole for keeping his son in the ring too long and beat him up.
Disc Two is nothing but extras.
1) Bob Orton Sr. & Bob Orton Jr. vs. Jeff Ports & Rocky Smith (7:29)
The Ortons were the Florida Tag Champions at the time, and the great Gordon Solie is calling the action. Bob Roop is also calling action and he mentions he was champs with Orton, so maybe Orton Sr. is taking his place. Rocky Smith starts with the Jr, and he takes Orton down, but Orton escapes. They do some decent amateur wrestling, and Rocky works the leg of Orton. Orton tags in his father, and Smith tags in Ports. Ports punches down Orton Sr for two. He hit his inner ear, throwing off his equilibrium. Orton Jr comes in, hits a dropkick, then a suplex right into a cover for two. Ports comes back with a snapmare, then facewashes him with hit boot. Orton takes control, but Ports rolls him up for two. Wholesale tags for both, and a kneelift and slam follows for Smith. Pier Six ensues, and Smith is dumped to the outside. Orton Jr. hits a piledriver for the win at 6:26, and this was a lot better than I expected. Orton Jr. never wrestled like this in the WWE, at least from what I remember, but he was pretty good. **1/2.
2) Kevin, David & Kerry Von Erich vs. Wild Bill Irwin, Pvt. F. Dusek, & Ten Gu (14:43)
This is a double-ring affair, two rings set up right next to each other. This comes from WCCW Star Wars on Christmas Day 1981. Watch as I completely screw up the Von Erich’s in this review. The faces are in one ring, the heels in the other. The fans are right up to the ring and they ask them to leave, and they actually do. What well-behaved fans. There are going to be a pair of wrestlers in each ring, and the other pair roving outside. Kerry and Wild Bill are in one ring, and Dusek and David are in the other. Kerry tags out of one ring and in comes Kevin. Ten Gu is in that ring now, too. This is confusing already. Kevin gets a head scissors and a rolling headlock simultaneously in a cool spot, and we end up with four guys in one ring and battle. Kerry dropkicks Ten Gu, then gets the sleeper. Gusek follows with a headlock on Kerry. There’s a bit of a blown spot as Dusek is going to the ropes as one of the Von Erichs is, and he hits him. Too bad the other guy was a few feet away. Kerry slingshots from one ring to the other in a splash that doesn’t quite work. This is just a mess. See this, this is me giving up trying to track two matches going on at the same time. Dusek is suplexed for two, Kerry works over Irwin in the corner, then a knee drop from the middle of the second rope gets two. In the other ring, Gusek and Gu double-team David. Irwin tries to suplex Kerry in from the outside, and he does. Dusek goes upstairs, but misses a kneedrop. Kerry works the knee while Kevin puts the Claw on Ten Gu. Irwin tries to break the hold by coming with a double axe-handle off the top, but he hits Ten Gu instead. Kevin pins Ten-Gu for the three and win at 10:53. This was one big clusterfuck, and it was actually too much going on for it to be entertaining. Wrestling at this time was about innovation, but this was one idea that is better left in the past. *.
3) Blackjack Mulligan & Blackjack Mulligan Jr. vs. Ricky Harris & Jim Nelson (10:09)
This comes to us from Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling on 01/13/82. Mulligan Jr. I think is Barry Windham. The Mulligan’s cut a promo before the match. Basically, Sr. won’t help unless Jr. asks for it. Sr. and Nelson start the match, with Sr. throwing him around a bit. Jr is tagged in and hits a dropkick, leading Nelson to tag in Harris, who is arm-dragged three times, the arm-drag hat trick. Sr. beats down on Harris, drags him to the corner to tag Nelson and Nelson refuses to tag. That’s a good spot. Harris takes control and tosses Sr to the outside, but he comes right back in and tosses around Harris. Jr is tagged in and Nelson is tagged in, too. Nelson looks like Crash Holly. Jr takes on both men with punches, slams the head of Harris into his father’s boot, is tagged in and hits a flying elbow, then Jr with a flying clothesline. Sr puts the claw on Harris, and that’s all she wrote at 5:23. This was a squash pure and simple. *1/2.
4) Gerry & Jack Brisco vs. Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood (16:27)
This is from NWA Starrcade, 11/24/83. It’s for the tag team titles, and it seems the Brisco’s are your tag champs at the time. Interesting note, the belt can change hands on a DQ for this match. Angelo Mosca is your special guest referee. I guess this isn’t the match that was alluded to on main program. Gordon is calling the action here. Jack and Ricky start things off with a lock-up. Steamboat goes for the chops early but Jack avoids them. Gerry comes in but is taken down, and he tags out quickly. Jack with an armbar, which Steamboat flips out of, then armdrags Jack. Gerry is tagged in and works Steamboat for awhile. Steamboat takes over again, and the challengers double-team Gerry in the corner. Youngblood is tagged in and takes Gerry down with a side headlock while the announcers mention the next match, Flair vs. Race for the title, in a “Flair for the Gold.” Youngblood with a couple of pinning combinations gets two. Steamboat is tagged in and chops the arm off the top rope. Youngblood does the same. The Brisco’s take right over and Jack comes in and drops Steamboat on the ropes. Jack is shoulderblocked down but back body drops Steamboat, then Jack with a double underhook suplex, and a roll-up gets two. Gerry with an arm-bar of sorts, but Steamboat stands up and powers him up off the mat and slams him down. Gerry tags out his brother, but Steamboat makes the hot tag and Youngblood cleans house. Youngblood tries for a suplex, which is blocked into a Jack suplex. That turned the tide real quickly. Gerry dives on Youngblood and covers, but Youngblood’s foot hits the ropes. Gerry with another suplex gets two. Small package gets two, and Gerry is pissed, pushes the ref, who pushes back. This allows Youngblood to make the tag to Steamboat who chops Gerry down. The challengers with a double-chop, then Steamboat lifts Youngblood into Gerry for a dropkick, and they double-teaming continues. Steamboat with a slam, then Steamer military presses Youngblood onto Gerry for the pin and win at 12:16. We have new tag team champions! The Brisco’s don’t like this and attack the referee, as well as Steamboat. They put the figure four on him, and then splash him. This was a good match, with a pretty decent finisher, and a good amount of wrestling. ***. This is another match where the featured performers lost by the way.
5) Los Guerreros vs. Mike Inos, Krusher Krugnoff & Tom Burton (9:06)
This is from AWA All Star Wrestling, 09/04/88. If I thought I would have a problem with the Von Erich’s, I think I will have an even bigger problem with Los Guerreros. Hector and Inos start, as Hector rolls around a bit, then he takes Inos down, and Mando sunset flips in. Chavo is in, then hits Inos with his but. Burton is in now, and Chavo comes flying, then Mando, and they are flying all over the place. Mando with an airplane spin, then a rollover splash by Chavo for two. Krugnoff comes in and he doesn’t fare much better. He gets some marginal offense in, eventually getting monkey flipped. Burton comes back in, and Mando flips him over for two. Hector is in, he flips around, and they work him over in the corner. Chavo picks up Burton like bearhug, then just tosses him on his head like a German suplex, and that gets a two. Chavo ends up in the heel corner, but he fights back and now its Hector against Krugnoff. Hector with a twisting splash gets two. Hector ends up in the heel corner now, and Mando comes into the ring. The ref breaks it up and Hector is still in the heel corner. He gets back body dropped, then tossed down, but Hector makes the hot tag to Mando. We have a pier six, with the Guerrero’s working over the heels. Krugnoff is alone in the ring, the Guerrero’s with a double underhook suplex, then a double Mexican surfboard, and Mando goes on the top rope for a splash from the top. Mando with a standing splash which is good enough for the pinfall and the victory at 8:31. This was highly entertaining and years ahead of its time. We wouldn’t see this in the WWE for another few years. It was a glorified squash, but damn if it wasn’t entertaining. ***.
6) Bret, Owen, Bruce & Keith Hart vs. Shawn Michaels & The Three Masked Knights (43:14)
If you are wondering why it is Shawn Michael’s with some Knights, you have a right to be confused. You see, it was supposed to be King Lawler against the Harts, since he was feuding with them at the time, but he was indicted over accusations of raping and sodomizing a young girl, but those claims were later shown to be false. So Lawler was out of the 1993 Survivor Series (11/24/93) and Michaels was a last-minute replacement. Ray Combs (former host of Family Feud, who committed suicide shortly after this) interviews the Harts, who have Stu alongside him. Todd Pettengill interviews Shawn before the match, too. I don’t know if we ever found out who the Knights were, but one popular myth was that one was Glen Jacob’s who would later become Kane. Combs does a terrible routine before the match. In fact, only Vince laughed at the jokes. Maybe Vince wrote the jokes? The Knights are introduced, and then the Harts, who have Stu in their corner and he’s wearing a Bruins jacket (this takes place in Boston). Bruce starts against Shawn and Bruce tosses Shawn into the Red Knight, then takes out the other Knights. Keith is tagged in and he works on Michaels’ arm. Shawn with a suplex attempt is reversed to a small package for two. Shawn with a slam and the Red Knight comes in so Keith tags in Owen. Owen with armdrags all around and a dropkick sends the Red Knight to tag in the Black Knight. He’s tossed around and tags in Blue Knight, who has to face off against Bret. Bret with a pair of atomic drops and a clotheslines gets two. Keith comes in and the fireman gets a fireman’s carry. He tags in Bruce, who goes off the ropes but takes a knee to the back from Michaels. Scoop slam and Michaels is tagged in. Backbreaker and elbows to the back follows. Red Knight is tagged in, and gets a double underhook suplex for two. Black Knight comes in and Bruce landslides him up for two. Shawn comes in, and sends Bruce outside. Back in with no damage done and Bruce comes back with a clothesline. Black Knight comes in as Bret is tagged in. Bret gets a pair of roll-ups for two, sideslam, elbow drop from the second rope, and a cover is broken up by Shawn. Owen is tagged in and Owen gets a spin kick and that pin is broken up by Blue Knight. Everyone comes in and it leads to a spot where the Harts are in the corner, and all toss the Knights to the middle and into each other. Owen Hart with a missile dropkick and the Black Knight is pinned and outta there at 10:49. Owen now works over the Red Knight as Bret comes in. Bret tags in Keith who works on the leg. Bruce comes in, then Bret, then Keith again. Keith goes for the Sharpshooter but Red Knight kicks him off into the turnbuckle. Snapmare but a knee drop misses. Keith with a figure four but Shawn comes in, drops and drops an elbow to break the hold. Blue Knight comes in, and the heels cheat by tripping up Keith and start working on his arm. Michaels comes in and continues the devastation. Red Knight comes in, and they continue working on the arm. Blue Knight comes in next, and slams Keith down on his arm. Shawn comes in but misses a dive and Bret is tagged in. Shawn quickly bails and Red Knight is tagged in. Bret catches him, drops him down, then puts him in the Sharpshooter and at 18:07, the Red Knight is gone. Blue Knight comes in and clotheslines Bret down, then tosses him to the outside. Bret is back in and is suplexed by Blue Knight. Shawn comes in and works over Bret even working in a sleeper. Blue Knight comes back in and drops a head butt to the abdomen for two. Bret comes back with a shoulderblock from the second rope and both guys are out. Bret makes the tag to Owen, gets a dropkick, then drops an elbow from the second rope. Michaels comes in again, and a double noggin knocker ensues. Michaels distracts Owen, and gets slugged by Stu. Somersault dive over the top from Owen follows, then the Blue Knight and Michaels are sent into each other. Flying bodypress hits Blue Knight and Owen covers, but moves in time for Shawn to drop the elbow on his teammate. Sharpshooter by Owen finishes the Blue Knight at 23:47. It’s the four Harts against Shawn, and isn’t good news for Shawn. He hesitates going into the ring, until he’s sent in forcibly by Bret. Bruce is tagged in and Michaels chokes him on the mat. Sweet Chin Music, but Bruce kicks out. This wasn’t Shawn’s finisher yet. Michaels gets kicked in the face going for a back body drop and Bret is tagged in. Bret slingshots Michaels to the corner, drops an elbow and gets a two count on the ensuing cover. Side Russian legsweep gets two. Backbreaker but Bret is kicked in the face. Owen is tagged in, and he hits an overhead toss on Michaels. Owen runs the ropes but inadvertently hits Bret, who is still holding his eyes on the apron, and Shawn schoolboys him for the three count to eliminate Owen at 27:16.Owen isn’t too pleased and yells at his brother who is on the outside, thus beginning his heel turn which would culminate in a series of matches at Wrestlemania X and Summerslam 1994. Bruce with a clothesline gets two. Keith comes in and gets an abdominal stretch, but Michaels hiptosses him over. Bret is tagged in and the end is near. He sends Michaels to the corner where he does the Shawn flop over the top. Bret sends Michaels again to the corner which leads to Michaels getting crotched. Bret goes for the Sharpshooter and Michaels decides enough is enough and turns tail and runs. He’s counted at 31:00, leading to a victory for the Harts. This was entirely too long, but it wasn’t the worst match I’ve seen today. There was a lot of dead time and rest holds which hurt the quality a lot, though. *1/4.
7) Dusty & Dustin Rhodes vs. Terry Funk & Bunkhouse Buck (10:28)
This comes to us from WCW’s Clash of the Champions, 08/28/94. This was very early in Dustin’s career. Pier six right away, as the Rhodes’ clear the ring. Buck and Dustin start, and Dustin gets a boot to the jaw. Funk and Buck double-team Dustin in the corner, but heel miscommunication leads to Buck clotheslining his partner, and Dustin sends Buck to the outside with a clothesline. Funk comes in, gets laid out on the ropes, and Dustin with an atomic drop sends Buck into Funk, who hurtles outside. Dusty is tagged in and the crowd is loving it. The Rhodes continue their assault on Buck and Funk, and Dustin powerslams Buck. He covers, but Funk pulls him off. Dustin goes to Funk, and Buck hits Dustin with his boot. Funk is tagged in, and Dustin is in trouble. Funk goes for a DDT but Dustin tosses him off. The ref misses a Rhodes tag, heel miscommunication leads to Funk getting a Buck boot to the head, and Dusty makes the tag for real. Dustin is outside and is sent to the ring post by Arn Anderson. Buck and Funk double-team Dusty inside, and they work on the arm of Dusty, trying to break it like they did to Dustin. Dusty makes the hot tag, and Dustin hits the lariat on both men. He then sends both into the elbow of Dusty. Dustin with a bulldog, but Arn Anderson comes in and we’re done at 7:23. That was a crap finish. This was every cheap heel heat trick in the book, and the whole thing was just one big cheap finish. Dusty goes after Meng, who no sells a chair shot leading to an angle we won’t be privy to on this disc. Couldn’t they show a clean match? Probably not, this was probably the only match they tagged together. Mess with a capital M. 1/2*.
8) Terry & Dory Funk vs. Public Enemy (20:03)
This is from ECW Hostile City Showdown, from 06/24/94, and I would gather this would be one of Dory’s last matches? Flyboy Rocko Rock and Grunge are the Public Enemy, and they are tag champs at the time. This wasn’t still Eastern Championship Wrestling, was it? Terry and Flyboy start, though it doesn’t amount to much. Dory is tagged in, they criss-cross and Dory with the “Funk elbow.” Flyboy tags in Grunge, and they repeat the criss cross spot. Dory’s had enough and in comes Terry. Terry tosses Grunge outside as Dory comes in. Dory uses the forearms and suplexes an apron bound Grunge back into the ring for a two count, broken by Flyboy. Grunge eats a double forearm after Terry is tagged in. Terry’s powerbomb gets two and again Grudge is sent outside. The Funks and PE brawl on the outside, as the PE toss chairs at the Funk’s to no effect. Chaos ensues in the ring with dueling chairs and we end up with Grunge and Terry inside the ring, and Flyboy and Dory outside. Joey Styles calls this Eastern Championship Wrestling so I guess we have the answer. PE double-teams Dory inside and they hit him with the weakest chair shot in wrestling history. More brawling on the outside as Grunge slams Dory for two, then two schoolboys for two. Flyboy comes in but misses a blind charge allowing Dory to schoolboy him for two. He’s thrown to the outside, and Grunge holds Dory as Flyboy somersaults over the top. Dory evades the deadly move and it Flyboy hits Grunge instead. Terry finally comes back from the crowd and he’s cut open. Dory with punches, then a spinning toe-hold, but he’s clotheslined down by Grunge for two. Paul E, and 911 show up to cause problems, and the ref is chokeslammed. Double clothesline and Paul E counts the pinfall. So the Funk’s come back and double-team them and Funk counts the three. They continue to brawl and I guess the whole thing’s over at 13:34. This was another mess. I know the Funk’s tagged together in the NWA, at least I think they did, and this was the best they could give us? An ECW match where Dory was too old to do anything and Terry doing the same match we’ve seen in ECW before? This was just bad. Terry hangs Flyboy by the legs at the end. ¼*.
9) Rocky Maivia vs. The Sultan (16:16)
This is from Wrestlemania 13 (03/23/97) and for those who don’t know, The Sultan is actually the wrestler we know as Rikishi. Sultan is led by Iron Sheik and Bob Backlund. Rock was hated by this point, being pushed down the throats of the fans, and they just turned on him. Rocky was the IC champ at the time, and this was his first WM. Shoving match to start, leading to blows, leading to Sultan sending Rocky to the corner. Rocky comes exploding out with a clothesline, then dropkicks Sultan. Sultan heads outside, pulls Rock out (as the fans chant, Rocky sucks). Rocky tries for a clothesline but Sultan ducks and Rocky hits his arm on the ring post. Sultan works over the arm, the clotheslines him down, then again, showing that the clothesline is the move du jour. The dreaded nerve hold is next, and I think that only ever worked for Spock. So far the most entertaining part of this is the Honky Tonk Man commentating and complaining about Rocky. Sultan goes to the top and “hits” a flying headbutt. I say hits in the loosest sense of the word. Rock tries for a sunset flips, but fails. Belly to belly for Sultan gets two. Another resthold, this time the reverse chinlock. Rocky fights back and a double clothesline leads to both men being knocked out. Rocky recovers first and covers for two. Rocky starts hulking up, which is something that didn’t last long. A Dropkick and a belly to belly suplex gets two. Rollover DDT sends Sultan down and the Rock to the outside. Rocky with a flying bodysplash but the ref is distracted by Sheik. Rocky confronts Sheik, Sultan sneaks up from behind, Rocky finds him but Rocky gets kicked anyway. Sultan covers for a two. Piledriver for Sheik also gets two. Sheik picks up Rocky, but Rocky schoolboys Sultan for the pin? Yeah, that finished it at 9:47. Sultan attacks Rocky afterwards and splashes Rocky from the top rope. Sheik with the camel clutch adds insult to injury. Rocky Johnson has seen enough and he comes flying in from ringside to save his son. That isn’t a way to get someone over, having daddy come and save you. Sultan attacks Rocky anyway, leading Rock to take out Sultan. This was not classic Rock by any means, he was still a long ways away from being great. Way too long, finish was out of nowhere, and it was generally uninteresting. *1/2. It wasn’t the best of matches but I can see why it would be included on a collection like this, as the father and son were together in the ring at the end.
10) Brian Christopher & Jerry Lawler vs. Ivan Putski & Scott Putski (6:45)
This is from Raw, 07/14/97. They don’t show the Lawler’s introduction. Ivan was a hall of famer already. Ivan sings for us before the match starts, and the Lawlers attack from behind. They double-team Scott and hit a double back body drop. The big mystery at the time was if Christopher was Lawler’s son. Scott cleans house, and Lawler inadvertently dropkicks his son. Scott takes over, but Christopher comes right back. They go back and forth, until Lawler pulls Scott’s leg out from under him after coming off the ropes. Lawler and Christopher work on Scott outside, then work him over on the inside. They cheat and do all the heel tag team stuff to double-team Scott. Lawler with a piledriver, and he covers, but Brian asks him to pin him instead. Christopher goes to the top but misses a legdrop from the top. Scott takes control, bodyslams Christopher, but a dual clothesline sends both men down. Christopher tags in Lawler, and Lawler holds up Scott. Brian goes for a mule kick but Scott ducks it and Brian hits Lawler instead. Pier six ensues, which leads to the young’uns being outside, and Ivan hits the Polish Hammer on Lawler for the pin and the victory at 4:56. This was inoffensive, though Scott was very slow in the ring. I think a knee injury did him in, though? Enjoyable for what it was, the heel gimmicks were enough to make me entertained. *1/2.
11) Eddie Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin (13:04)
This was around the time I stopped watching WWE, so I don’t know if I have seen this match. This is from Smackdown, 09/18/03. Haas and Benjamin are the tag champs at the time and the challengers come out in a low-rider. Eddie and Benjamin start, and they do some mat wrestling to start, with Eddie taking advantage and tagging in Chavo. Miscommunication leads to Eddie getting double-teamed in the corner. Eddie makes the tag to Chavo and the Guerrero’s clean house, leading to two somersault splashes to the outside on the tag champs. We go to commercial break with the Guerrero’s in control. The champs take advantage back quickly as Tazz and Cole talk about the Iron Man match coming up between Angle and Lesnar, a match I saw but don’t remember much of. Shelton with a snap suplex leads to a cover but Chavo breaks the count. Powerslam attempt by Benjamin leads to a Guerrero sunset flip, and a double clothesline takes both men out. Wholesale tag, and Chavo is right after Haas. Blind charge hits boots, Eddie tries to interfere and Chavo is mule kicked by Benjamin in the stomach which should’ve been the bicep. Haas and Benjamin start working on Chavo’s injured bicep. Hammerlock suplex gets two. Chavo tries to fight back and gets the tag, but Benjamin distracted the ref and so he didn’t see the tag. A nice leapfrog dropkick spot leads to Chavo making the hot tag. Guerrero with the rolling suplexes on Benjamin, but Haas comes back with a German suplex for two. Heel miscommunication leads to Benjamin kicking his teammate, and Eddie goes to the top for a headscissors, arm drag combo. Eddie goes to the top, but rolls out of his frog splash when Haas moves out of the way. He tosses Haas outside, and Haas is pissed. He gives his partner a chair, Haas distracts the ref and Benjamin tries to use the chair but Eddie dodges. Chavo comes in and dropkicks the chair into the knee of Benjamin and he’s out. Eddie and Chavo get a double back body drop that lands on his head. Chavo suplex, Eddie frog splash and that’s all she wrote. We have new tag team champs at 9:57. This was quite a match, as these two teams worked their asses off, you get a hot finish, some really decent spots, and an overall entertaining match. ***3/4.
12) Undertaker vs. Randy Orton (23:26)
This is from Summerslam 2005 (08/21/05) and I know I definitely didn’t see this one. I still get a kick out of hearing the bongs of Taker’s ring entrance. I guess he stopped being the American Badass and was the Deadman now. I think this was a rematch from Wrestlemania MXXI, a WM I haven’t seen. Orton bails to start, and when he gets back in he is slapped. Side headlock for Orton, but Taker pushes him down and covers for two. Taker with a side headlock of his own and Orton pushes him off, hiptosses him, clotheslines him, but Taker is up and hits a big boot for two. Taker with a key lock on Orton’s wrist, and he tries for the ropewalk, but Orton armdrags him off for two. Orton pounds on Taker in the corner, which Taker reciprocates. Orton eats another big boot for two. Taker ducks a clothesline and hits a flying clothesline fort two. Taker charges at Orton in the corner with a high knee, and works over Orton in the corner with punches. Taker takes a leisurely walk around the ring, tosses Orton to the other corner and tries another charge, which misses the mark. Orton with a DDT and he covers but Taker’s foot makes the rope. Orton is pissed and starts working on the leg of Taker and wrapping it in to the ringpost. Orton drops a knee for two to the face for two, and Taker starts fighting back but Orton takes out the knee again. Scoop slam for Orton gets two, then he goes to the spinning toe hold. Taker reverses it, kicks Orton in the knee, but again Orton takes out the knee to regain advantage. Orton uses the ropes for leverage to slam on Taker’s leg, but Taker counters that and sends Orton outside. Taker follows and sends him to the steps, then drapes Orton’s head on the apron and hits a legdrop. Taker back in and does the ropewalk with his bad leg. Taker drives Orton face first into the mat (like a Russian legsweep but with Orton facing the other way) for two, an d he goes for the Tombstone. Orton counters and dropkicks Taker. Orton is waiting for Taker and goes for the RKO, but Taker tosses him off. Taker tries for the tombstone but Orton reverses it, which is reversed by Taker. Orton reverses that into a nice looking neckbreaker which gets two. Orton goes upstairs, and his a flying crossbody which Taker rolls through. Taker with a chokeslam but some “fan” runs into the ring. Security takes him away (and Taker didn’t just deck the guy, showing it was a work) which allows Orton to recover and hit the RKO which finishes things at 17:18. Turns out that fan was none other than Bob Orton Jr. Well, at least it keeps the family theme going for this collection. In the grand scheme of things, Randy looked like a punk, but the finish is what made this a perfect fit for the collection. **1/2.
Footage ranges from 1976 right up to 2005. The earlier stuff is not as good as the newer stuff, as you’d imagine, but Vince McMahon always took good care of his footage and it shows here, especially with the WWE footage.
C) Packaging / Liner Notes
This is a double-disc set, so it’s a single DVD case. There’s only one page of liner notes here, the front is the same as the cover, and the back features the chapters and the extras, and tell us the date and event of the matches which I always like.
D) Easter Eggs
We’re shown the usual WWE commercials before we get to the main menu (WWE 24/7, WWE Home Video, Wrestlemania XXIII, and a new don’t try this at home, that doesn’t show Angle, but still has Benoit). The main program itself rocked, I really enjoyed it and it was one of the most honest productions WWE has put out. The matches on the other hand, well, they were sometimes tough to sit through. That being said, I can see why these matches were picked. There are probably very few matches which show the lineage of these families and these were probably the best they could do. Think about it, can you think of another Rock match where his father appeared, or another Hart match with all the brothers in it? The matches weren’t the best in terms of match quality, but it was a very good set of matches that showcase what the DVD is all about, and in that case, I can’t really hold it against them. There are probably some matches they could’ve used instead of these, like some better Brisco or Funk matches, but quality and even availability are an issue. I call this a solid set, and a recommended one at that.
9.0-9.5 Near Perfect, Highly Recommended
8.0-8.5 Really good disc, Recommended
7.0-7.5 Good DVD, Mildly recommended
6.0-6.5 Above Average DVD. Mildest of mild recommendations
5.0-5.5 Decent all around disc, but catch it on TV
4.0-4.5 Great Movie but horrible DVD
3.0-3.5 Horrible movie but great DVD
2.0-2.5 There’s at least some merit to this DVD, but not much.
1.0-1.5 Horrible DVD, don’t even bother
0.0-0.5 Worst DVD ever