WWE: History Of The WWE Championship
Written by: Tom Hopkins
This is the second WWE DVD review which came about from my renewed interest in these collections that WWE has put out to remember its storied past and provide great DVD sets showcasing wrestling I remember watching from the 80’s and 90’s. I just finished the World’s Greatest Wrestling Managers review but that was very light on actually wrestling matches. There is a note before I review the matches. In the past I reviewed it like any reviewer would, going move by move and rating it on the basis of the wrestling involved. Now, I won’t be listing it move by move but more in a general synopsis. I will still be rating it based on a 5-star scale, probably with some personal bias being thrown in. That’s really what it boils down to, is how much I enjoyed it. A classic baseball game changes based on who is viewing it, so it is with wrestling.
The Main Characters
–The WWE Title has been awarded since 1963 to the best wrestler. It’s had many incarnations, both in aesthetic look and the name of the promotion, from WWWF to WWF to WWE. It is still one of the most revered titles in wrestling.
These matches all took place over a span of 34 years, the first being in 1971 and ending in 2005. It all features the belt being contented and the location is wherever the match took place.
There is no film, per se, as it is just a collection of matches.
A brief video of the WWE starts this off and Jim Ross hosts the entire shindig. He starts with a brief history, and Buddy Rogers winning the first title on 04/29/63. He didn’t hold the title, that long when an upstart Bruno Sammartino beat him, in 48 seconds some 18 days later. Bruno would hold the belt a record length of 7 and a half years before he dropped it to Ivan Koloff on 01/18/71. It was during Koloff’s reign we get this first match of the collection, Koloff’s first defense.
1) Ivan Koloff vs. Pedro Morales
This is from February 8th, 1971 at good ol’ Madison Square Garden, a thirty-minute train-ride from where I am sitting right now. I guess there was no original commentary for it, so we have Ross calling the action. The video quality is grainy and a bit shaky. Morales was the US champion at the time. The match is a bit slow to start, with them dancing around and Koloff drawing heat from thecrowd with his continued bailing. The action picks up a bit when we get to the floor camera with Morales controlling offense with a baaack body drop and finally a side headlock. Koloff breaks free then grabs a rear headlock of his own. Morales breaks free and after a few minutes of stalling, we get a test of strength, which Morales wins. Morales tries a bodyslam but Koloff falls on him for the first near-pinfall of the match. Koloff follows up with a splash, that misses. Koloff is up to his feet first, slams Morales, then misses a kneedrop from the top rope. Morales heads up to the top and hits a crossbody but Koloff kicks out. Koloff hits Morales with a German suplex, but both competitor’s shoulders are on the mat. Morales kicks out at two but Koloff’s shoulders are still down, giving Morales the victory at 12:50. This was better than I expected, but was still a bit slow and plodding for it to be considered great. **1/2.
Morales would later lose the title to Stan Stasiak on almost two years later on 12/01/73, and Stan would drop it to Bruno 9 days later, making Bruno the first repeat champion. He won’t be the last. We get one of Bruno’s title defenses next.
2) Bruno Sammartino vs. Killer Kowalski
This is yet another MSG match, with this one dating back to 04/29/74. This one is joined in progress (with Vinnie Mac calling the action) with Kowalski firmly in control of things. Bruno fights back like a soccer player, kicking him in the leg. Kowalski takes over again, works Bruno over, then goes to the top. Bruno tosses him off and works Kowalski over in the corner. Kowalski fights back with his claw hold (grabbing Bruno’s stomach fat) but Bruno fights back again. The two take control for parts of the match but nothing too noteworthy. Kowalski kicks Bruno out of the ring a pair of times. Kowalski works over Bruno in the corner by biting him, and Bruno isn’t in good shape, getting bloodied in the process. Bruno starts Hulking up before there was a Hulk and the crowd erupts. They trade blows but the bell ends the match at 11:35. A bunch of wrestlers storm the ring to break up the fight and the official word is that this match is a draw, with no other reason given. I would’ve been pissed too if I was in the crowd.
3) Bruno Sammartino vs. Superstar Billy Graham
This was from Baltimore Maryland, April 30th, 1977. Vince McMahon is again calling the action. Graham is a lot different from the guys we’ve seen previously in the collection. The other guys were big but not very toned and very average looking. Graham was anything but, with his long blond hair and chiseled body. He would define the WWE superstar as we know it now, but, as his DVD says, was twenty years too soon. Bruno starts off working the arm which leads to a test of strength, which Graham wins. Bruno eventually breaks free, then loses another test of strength. Bruno trucks on, breaks free, then works the arm again. They battle back and forth but Bruno gets the better of it, getting Graham caught up in the ropes and then sent to the outside. Graham comes in and gets worked over handily. He looks busted open, too. Graham takes over briefly, with a bearhug, but Bruno is right back on him and counters with a bear hug of his own. Bruno works over Graham in the corner, to the point where the referee intervenes. Graham takes advantage of this by knocking down Bruno, covering him and using both feet on the ropes for leverage. The ref didn’t see it, and Graham gets the three count and the victory at 13:42. Another very slow match, but it moved well enough. **.
Graham was definitely a different champ, he would revolutionize the sport according to Ross. Graham would hold the title for almost a year, until this next match.
4) Superstar Billy Graham vs. Bob Backlund
This is from MSG 02/20/78. We have Craig DeGeorge, Bobby Heenan and Johnny Valentine as commentators, which is a very interesting mix. This is JIP with Graham in a bearhug. Backlund works an abdominal stretch, then an atomic drop for the pinfall at 3:14 (aired), though Graham’s foot was on the rope. I guess it counts. We have a new champion.
Backlund held the title for over 5 years, the second longest reign ever. He took on all comers, too, as evidenced by the next match.
5) Bob Backlund vs. Greg Valentine
This is a steel cage match from 01/16/82 and was fought in Philadelphia. This is the old-school fence type cage. This is clipped, as we follow the opening action with Valentine trying to escape. I would like to know what video this came from, as Heenan mentions Hogan as champ, and doesn’t badmouth him. We clip again to Valentine busted open. Hammer tries to escape but Backlund piledrives him and casually walks out the cage at about four minutes.
6) Bob Backlund vs. Sgt. Slaughter
This is from MSG 05/23/83 and is a grudge match between Slaughter and Backlund. Gorilla Monsoon calls the action and tells us that Backlund wants revenge after being destroyed by Slaughter with a swagger stick. Slaughter comes to the ring and is assaulted by Backlund. Backlund controls things for the first few minutes until Slaughter comes back with a clothesline. Slaughter works over Backlund and gets a pair of backbreakers for two. Slaughter hits a suplex for two, but a second one is blocked and Backlund gets one of his own and both guys are down. Backlund gets up first and gets a near-fall. Backlund hits the piledriver and covers for two. Slaughter fights back and drops Backlund on the ropes, then rams him in the corner. He charges but Backlund dodges, and Backlund has the crazy eyes. He works on the arm of Slaughter, then puts Slaughter in the chicken-wing crossface. Slaughter’s manager, Grand Wizard, hands Slaughter the swagger stick and he uses it. Slaughter is DQ’ed at 15:57. Slaughter charges Backlund but Backlund back body drops him and takes the stick. Slaughter bails before any real damage can be done. This was a fun match. **1/2.
They show Backlund dropping the title to Iron Sheik (on 12/26/83) when Backlund’s manager, Arnold Skaaland, threw in the towel. Sheik held the title a little over a month before he defended it at MSG on 01/23/84 against some nobody who hadn’t been in the WWF for a few years.
7) Iron Sheik vs. Hulk Hogan
I think I reviewed this on the Hulk Still Rules DVD set, and on the Hulk Coliseum Video from the 80’s, but let’s give it another go since I haven’t watched in 4 years and opinions change. Monsoon and Pat Patterson are our commentator’s here. The MSG crwod is absolutely amped. Hulk, paragon of fairness and playing by the rules, attacks Sheik when Sheik had his back turned, then chokes Sheik with his robe. He avoids the DQ and goes to work on Sheik. Hogan’s a house of fire and in firm control of the match. A big boot gets two, an elbow drop gets two, and a blind charge misses, giving Sheik some momentum. Sheik with a backbreaker for two, and some kicks to the ribs for good measure. He goes for the Boston Crab and it doesn’t look good for the Hulkster. Hulk powers out, but takes a side suplex for two. Sheik puts on the camel clutch but again Hogan powers out, backing into the turnbuckles and dropping Sheik. Hogan sees Sheik lying there and legdrops the prone champion. Hogan covers, the pinfall is counted, and Hogan is the new WWE champion at 5:36. This was a very short match, and didn’t feature a lot of wrestling or action, but it has a firm place in history for the WWE start of Hulkamania. *1/2.
So the era of Hulkamania has begun. It would basically end the whole territory business and within a year Wrestlemania would start, giving the WWE their big event of the year and start a legacy that is still going strong. If you’re not a fan of Hogan, skip the rest of this disc, as it is nothing but Hogan matches now. You’ve been warned!
8) Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy
This is from Wrestlemania II, and is a steel cage match. It took place on 4/5/86 and WMII was the crazy one that took place in three different locations, this one being in LA. Our announce team is Jesse Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes and Elvira. Showing how much the WWE wanted celebs at these events, Tommy Lasorda introduced the competitors. The WWE had done away with the fence steel cages and had replaced them with the big blue bars, making it easier for people to climb out. Hogan has his ribs taped, which will become an obvious target I am sure. They battle back and forth and Bundy makes an early attempt at walking out, only to be stopped by Hogan. Hogan takes control again and sends Bundy to the cages, opening a hole in his forehead. Hogan pounds at the open wound, then tries to bodyslam Bundy,but fails and Bundy falls on top of Hogan. Bundy makes his way to the door but Hogan again stops him, choking Bundy (sportsmanship!) with the tape that was around his ribs. Bundy whips Hogan to the corner, then splashes him, then another splash with Hogan lying on the mat. Bundy makes his way to the exit again, but Hogan makes the stop, again. Bundy pounds away but Hulk has the power and is in no-sell mode. Hogan powerslams Bundy, drops the leg, then saunters to the edge of the cage. He is about to go over when Heenan (Bundy’s manager) interferes. Bundy tries to stop Hogan but is knocked off to the mat, allowing Hogan to climb up and over the cage and retain the title at 10:20. Heenan gets his comeuppance at the end of the match, too. I must’ve seen this match about 30 times already in my life, through the different collections it was on that I watched as a kid, and it still has that enjoyment level for me. It’s not a great or classic match by any means, hell, it’s not even average, but I can watch it and be entertained and that is enough for **.
Hogan would go from feud to feud during these days, making tons of money around the nation working house shows with the heel he was programmed against at the time. The next big antagonist to Hulkamania was none other than Paul Orndorff, who turned on Hogan and joined Heenan’s family.
9) Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff
This comes from Saturday’s Night Main Event from 01/03/87 and McMahon and Venture are calling the action. It is another steel cage match for the Hulkster. Orndorff attacks Hogan upon his entrance to the ring and even uses the title belt to inflict some damage. Orndorff tries for a quick exit through the door but Hogan stops him. Orndorff puts Hogan back on the mat and climbs over the cage. Hogan leaps up and grabs his hair, pulling him back in, leading to a classic line from Ventura, “Hogan would not be champion right now if Orndorff were bald.” Hogan and Orndorff continue battling back and forth until Hogan tries to head for the door. Unfortunately, it was Heenan and evil referee Danny Davis who locked the door, preventing Hogan from escaping. They exchange blows and both end up getting their faces sent to the cage. They both revive and start climbing over the cage. They climb out on opposite ends, and both hit the floor at the same time. There are two refs, each claiming the other as the winner. Hogan gets kneed to the back by Orndorff and the official word is that the match is a tie, and the match must continue. They head back to the cage with Orndorff in offensive control, until Hulk hulks up. He sends Orndorff into the cage a few times then hits a backbreaker, and drops the leg. Hogan tries to escape from the top, but Heenan interferes and holds Hogan back. Orndorff uses that time to try and escape but Hogan blocks that. He gives Orndorff an atomic drop, sends Heenan to the cage, then escapes over the top at 11:54 to retain the title. There was very little actual wrestling here, but the tie was an interesting bit. *1/2.
10) Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant
This comes to us from Wrestlemania III, which took place in the Pontiac Dome on 03/29/87. A record 93,000 fans were in attendance for this main event match. Heenan accompanies Andre to the ring. Ventura and Monsoon handle announcing chores. You can’t help but get excited about this match, even 20 years later. They have an epic staredown to start and Hogan tries for the quick bodyslam but Andre falls on top of Hogan for a near-pinfall and Hogan’s back is injured. Andre works over the back of Hogan, slamming him a pair of times and even stepping on it. Hogan is worked over in the corner but after a while, Hogan escapes and regains the upper hand. He sends Andre’s head into the top turnbuckle 10 times, then charges but right into the big boot of Andre. Andre gets a bear-hug and after what seems like 10 minutes, Hogan breaks free and tries to put the Giant down. A few shoulderblocks don’t work and an Andre chop sends Hogan to the mat again. Andre hits a big boot (to the chest of Hogan) which send Hogan to the outside. Andre follows and tries to headbutt Hogan but misses and hits the post. Hogan rips up the blue mat to expost the concrete and tries to piledrive Hogan, but Andre back body drops him (very slooowly) onto the concrete. They go back inside and Hogan dodges a big boot from the ropes, then collides with Andre, sending the Giant down. Hogan is feeling it now and hulks up. Andre gets to his feet and is bodyslammed to a huge crowd reaction. Hogan drops the big boot and that’s enough for the victory at 12:00. There was not a lot of wrestling going on, a lot of loafing around, but the crowd reaction helped this match out and it is a historically significant match and probably one of the most viewed matches ever. Wrestling was marginal, but the event transcended the in-ring actions. *
Hogan and Andre continued their fued over the next year with it all culminating on my 6th birthday in 1988.
11) Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant
This is from The Main Event which aired on 2/5/88 and took place in Indianapolis. The WWE title is on the line with McMahon and Ventura calling the action. Andre has DiBiase and Virgil in his corner, and while Andre is conferring with them, Hogan attacks from behind and gives the big boot to both DiBiase and Virgil. Hogan pounds away at the Giant, but can’t knock him down. Hogan heads to the top but is thrown off. Andre goes for a splash but misses. Andre recovers first and chokes the Hulkster. Andre slams Hogan and works him over with headbutts and other standard offense. Andre continues with the choking but Hogan hulks up and fights back. He hits a clothesline from the second rope and sends Andre down. Hogan heads to the ropes but Virgil trips him, causing the referee to be distracted. Hogan hits the legdrop but there is no referee to count it. Andre hits Hogan from behind while he’s arguing with the referee. Andre headbutts Hogan, then hiptosses (or what can be considered a hip-toss) and covers Hogan. Hogan’s shoulder is up at one but the referee continues counting and we have a new champion at 7:46. Hogan is incensed, Andre is our new champ, and Andre shocks everyone by giving the title to Ted DiBiase. The match was very boring, ½*, and the title would be held up when it was discovered that the referee was crooked.
With the title held up, a tournement was held to decide the new champion. It was an epic four-hour event where Savage defeated DiBiase in the finals for the title (with the help of Hogan, of course). Since McMahon and Savage have some sort of real-life problems with each other, we won’t see that match here. Instead, rather than seeing any of the matches Savage had in his year-long reign, we zoom ahead to Wrestlemania V. Savage and Hogan were friends but the frienship turned sour when Hogan helped out Elizabeth and angering Savage. The feud culminated at Wrestlemania IV, almost a year after Savage won it, and in the same place.
12) Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. Hulk Hogan
Atlantic City was the home of Wrestlemania V, and it took place on 04/02/89. Elizabeth was in a neutral corner here and Ventura calls her a gold-digger. Monsoon is also calling this match. Ventura notes the challenger was not introduced first and it pisses him off a bit. Savage bails to start and major stalling before the first lock-up. Savage gets a side headlock but is knocked down and he bails again. He returns and this time can use the side headlock to his advantage. Savage bails again and Hogan chases him around the ring, so Savage pulls Elizabeth in front of him. They return to the ring and Hogan wrestles? He gets a drop toe-hold and works in a side headlock. Savage backdrops him but misses an elbow off the ropes. Savage comes back and hits a double axe-handle from the top rope for a two-count. Savage works an arm-bar in for good measure, but Hogan finally fights back and tosses Savage to the outside. They head back in and Hogan works on Savage with some elbow drops but gets a kick in the face when he telegraphs a back body drop. Savage gets two then slaps on a rear headlock, showing that Hogan has been cut open. Hogan tries to fight back but Savage still has the advantage, kneeing Hogan in the back and rolling him up for two. Savage works him over in the corner some more but Hogan revives and slams Savage’s head into the turnbuckle six times before following with some punches. He whips Savage to the corner and follows with a clothesline. Hogan bodyslams Savage over the tope to the outside prompting Elizabeth to help, and Savage swipes her away. Hogan follows outside and is about to slam Savage to the post when Elizabeth steps in front of him. Savage hops off then pushes Hogan into the same post. Savage sends Elizabeth away to the back, then hits a double axe-handle from the top rope to the outside, ramming Hogan’s throat into the barricade. Savage starts working on the throat of Hogan, bodyslams him, hits a kneedrop for two, then chokes the Hulkster, knocking him out. Savage heads to the top and hits his famous flying elbow drop from the top rope. He covers, but only gets a two. A revived Hogan kicks out and there’s no stopping him now! Punch, punch, punch, big boot and a leg drop ends it at 17:53 and we have a new WWE champion, Hulk Hogan. The conclusion was never in doubt, and Savage and Hogan worked a very good match together, telling a compelling story (Savage’s savagery) and Hogan taking a beating for most of the match before finally winning. ***1/4.
This ends Disc One, as this disc brought us from the beginning of the WWE title right up to the height of the Hogan era, an era that really integrated wrestling into the mainstream.
—Disc Two— (3:12:41)
Disc One ended with the 80’s, so Disc Two is all about the 90’s of WWE title reigns. Hogan held the belt after defeating Savage at Wrestlemania V and would hold it the ensuing year until Wrestlemania VI, when a new competitor would arrive on the scene.
1) Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior
This is from Toronto and is the main event of Wrestlemania VI, held on 04/01/90. Monsoon and Ventura call the action. The crowd is split between Hogan and Warrior. Warrior was the IC champ at the time, too. They jaw to start then engage in a shoving match before locking up, with Warrior tossing aside Hogan. Hogan returns the favor on the next lock-up. Warrior wants a test of strength and Hogan obliges. Warrior gets the upper hand but Hogan makes the comeback. Hogan knocks him over and drops the elbow for one. Shoulderblocks don’t go anywhere so they criss cross and Hogan gets the slam, but Warrior is right up. They criss cross again and Warrior gets a slam, which Hogan sells. Warrior clotheslines Hogan to the outside and Hogan’s knee is hurt. Warrior brings Hogan back inside and works the knee over a bit, but Hogan takes control. He sends Warrior to the corner, follows with ten punches, slams Warrior, drops two elbows and covers for two. Hogan tries a small package but it only gets a two. Hulkster works over Warrior in the corner, then clotheslines Warrior for two. Backbreaker also gets two. Hogan works in the reverse chinlock and Warrior is out. Hogan knees him in the back, and hits a side suplex for two. Warrior is completely blown up now, and Hogan has to dead lift the Warrior. Hogan puts Warrior in another reverse chinlock, but Warrior elbows out of it. Warrior off the ropes and both guys hit each other with a clothesline and they are both out. Both men get up, and revive, and Hogan’s blows have no affect on Warrior. Warrior clotheslines Hogan a few times, sends him to the turnbuckles, and suplexes him for two. Warrior bearhugs Hogan (what about the knee?) but Hogan resists and breaks free. Warrior goes off the ropes, misses Hogan, and knocks out the referee. Warrior goes to the top for a pair of double axe-handles, but misses a flying press of the ropes. Hogan covers, but there is no ref. Hogan tries to revive the ref and Warrior casually suplexes him and gets his own over. Hebner eventually revives but Hogan kicks out at a slow two count. Hogan rolls up Warrior but Hebner is still slow and weak and we only get a two. Hogan clotheslines Warrior to the outside but Warrior takes control outside and slams Hogan into the steel post. Back inside, Warrior clotheslines the Hulkster down, then actually bodypresses Hulk, the splashes him. He covers, but Hogan is up at two and he is full of energy. Hogan is up and ready. He tosses Warrrior to the ropes, big boot, but the leg drop misses! Warrior follows with a splash and Warrior is your new WWE champion at 22:51. This was quite an incredible match, with Hogan actually carrying most of the action. At the time, it would be the best WWE Wrestlemania Main Even ****. Hogan presents the belt to Warrior and they embrace. Hogan leaves the ring as Warrior celebrates.
Warrior would carry the title for just a the rest of 1990, but would lose it to Sgt. Slaughter at Royal Rumble 1991 (01/19/91). Slaughter had turned on the US and, as this was in the middle of the Gulf War, had sided with Iran. Slaughter held the title until Wrestlemania VII (3/24/91), when Hogan would show up, being the Real American, and reclaim the title. He would hold the title until November, where he would lose it to Undertaker (11/27/91) in a controversy laden match. Hogan would win it back a week later (12/03/91) but that was a match with its own controversial finish. The title was declared vacant on 12/14/91, with the winner of the 1992 Royal Rumble being declared the new champion. Flair would win it that day (01/19/92) and he would hold onto the title untile Wrestlemania VIII (04/05/92), where Savage would reclaim the title, in a fact completely glossed over by Jim Ross. Savage would lose the title to Flair three months later (07/01/92) and Flair would hold onto the belt until one fateful day in a Saskatchewan House Show where Bret Hart was given the title (10/12/92). Bret would keep the title until Wrestlemania IX (04/04/93), where the new Japanese behemoth, Yokozuna, would win. For some reason, he issued a challenge that day to any WWE star and out comes Hogan. Hogan defeated the beast and would win the title yet again. Hogan would later give it back to Yokozuna at King of the Ring (6/13/93) and Yoko would carry it to Wrestlemania X. He successfully defended it against Lex Luger, but Bret Hard would come out on top that day (03/20/94) and win for the second time. Bret also fought his brother at that Wrestlemania in that opening match, and their feud would continue to Summerslam.
2) Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart
Summerslam 1994 (08/29/94) held in would showcase this match of brother vs. brother. Vinnie Mac and Lawler are calling the action here and Owen attacks Bret as soon as Bret comes into the ring. Owen is in firm control in the first few moments of the match until Bret responds with an atomic drop and a clothesline. He can’t capitalize on it, and Owen chokes Bret with his shirt. Owen tries to send Bret to the cage but Bret stops that, then DDT’s Owen. They exchange blows but Owen falls over and Bret leg drops him. He tries to exit over the top but Owen stops him. Owen with an enzugiri and he tries to escape. Bret stops him then hits a side suplex while Owen is on the top rope. Bret tries to go through the door but Owen prevents. They battle back and forth until Bret gets a bulldog and again tries to go through door. Owen pulls him back and then tries to leap over Bret through the door, in a spot they repeat three more times. Bret makes his way over the cage but Owen tosses him to the mat. Owen takes advantage of this and gets over the top of the cage, but Bret catches him before he can drop to the outside. They slug it out on the top turnbuckle, but Bret gets knocked down first. Owen sends Bret down then tries to escape over the top again. Bret stops him and again they are battling at the top of the cage. They both get sent down, and Owen tries for a piledriver which is reversed. Double shoulderblock knocks both men down. Owen tries to crawl out but Bret makes sure he doesn’t. He drops the forearm on Owen and tries to go over the top, only to be pulled back in by Owen. Bret is dropped between the ropes, and Owen tries crawling out the door again. Bret pulls him back in and head butts him between the groin. Bret misses an elbow drop from the second rope and Owen makes his way over the cage but Bret brings him back and chucks him to the ground. He makes his way over the top but Owen catches him before he can get too far. Owen tries to make his escape now, but Bret prevents it again. Owen tries to send Bret to the cage but Bret blocks it and its Owen eating cage. Bret gets over the top of the cage but Owen pulls him back in, and hitting a side suplex from the second rope. Owen piledrives his brother and starts the slow climb over the cage. Bret stops him, but Owen pounds him off. Owen loses his balance and falls down, too. Bret tries to go out through the door but Owen stops him. Bret pounds away at his brother relentlessly then comes oh so close to exiting. Owen returns the punches and makes a move of his own, but Bret stops then slingshots him to the cage. Bret goes through the door again but Owen lunges to bring him back in. When they both get up, Owen flips over Bret then tries to run him to the ropes. Bret ducks and Owen’s head hits the steel, but so does Bret’s knee, hurting his knee. Bret tries to climb out on one leg but Owen brings him back in. Owen tries to escape over the top now, but Bret stops him. They battle on the top and Bret kicks him off. Bret tries over the top again but Owen hauls him back in. Owen hits a flying forearm and both men are down. Owen heads up and over but Bret catches him, and suplexes him from the top of the cage! Back in 1994, that was a spot that wasn’t that common. Both men are out, but Bret revives first and crawls towards the door. Owen catches him, then puts Bret in the Sharpshooter! Bret grabs Owen’s leg, then reverses the hold! Bret makes for the top but Owen catches him and both men fall back into the ring. Owen is up first and makes his escape, but Bret catches up. Both men end up on the out side of the cage, but Owen’s foot gets caught in the ring, allowing Bret to jump down to retain the title at about 32:27. This match didn’t feel like 32 minutes long and is definitely great. I felt there was a bit too much repitition though, to get the full monty, but it was very entertaining and a great match. ****1/2.
Bret would hold the title for the rest of the summer and into the fall before losing it to a newly returned Bob Backlund at Survivor Series (11/23/94). Backlund would only hold the title for 3 days and was squashed in an 8-second match by Diesal. Big Daddy Cool would hold the title a little under a year before losing it at the next Survivor Series to Bret Hart (11/19/95). The Diesal reign is completely neglected by Ross, too. Bret would carry the title into 1996 and into Wrestlemania.
3) Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
This is from Wrestlemania XII, which took place on 03/31/96 in California. This is an Iron Man match, meaning a 60-minute match. Whoever gets the most pinfalls in the hour time limit would be the champion. Shawn has Jose Lothario in his section. Earl Hebner explains the rules to both competitors, and to the whole crowd. Lock-up to start, and into the corner for a clean break. Lawler claims that the person who wins the first decision will win the match, and we didn’t know how truthful those words would become. They work in some wrasslin moves with Michaels and Hart reversing each other’s moves. Hart locks on a side headlock about 3 minutes in. The two of them trade off two-counts on pinning combinations, but no decisions yet. They have a quick 20-second reversal sequence which is pretty cool (the ECW fans would pop for it). Michaels breaks out at the 7-minute match and hits a pair of arm drags and he goes into his resthold, the armbar. They work another reversal sequence, which leads back to Michaels armbar. Hart frees himself and works over Michaels in the corner, but Shawn reverses. Michaels is sent to the turnbuckle and Hart charges, but Michaels catches him and sends him to the outside with a, “Mexican maneuver,” according to McMahon. What he did was put him in a head scissor and flipped him to the outside. They lock up and Michaels works over the arm again. Hart tries to send Michaels outside but he holds onto the ropes and pulls himself back in. Hart sends him to the ropes and knees him down, then puts in his hold du jour, the headlock. Michaels breaks free and works over the arm of Hart. Hart breaks free and gets sent to the ropes but catches a leaping Shawn Michaels. He sidewalk slams him and goes for the Sharpshooter but Shawn scurries to the ropes. Hart clotheslines Michaels to the outside, but gets sent by Michaels to the post. Hart lands on the timekeeper and Michaels goes for sweet chin music. Hart moves and Michaels kicks the poor timekeeper. Michaels looks at him allowing Hart to take control again. He bings Shawn back inside for a reverse chinlock at about 16:00 in. He continues with it while the timekeeper is wheeled to the back on a stretcher. Michaels breaks free and dropkicks Hart, then slaps on the armbar. They get to their feet and Hart backs Michaels into the corner. He repeatedly forearms him and tries to send him to the opposite corner, but Michaels reverses and sends him to the turnbuckles, leading Hart to dive through the turnbuckles and hit his shoulder on the ring post. Michaels with a shoulder breaker, then a double axe-handle from the second rope, followed with a hammerlock slam, but doesn’t try to cover. Michaels works over the shoulder again, and Hart just can’t capitalize on his escape attempts. He finally gets loose at the 28 minute mark and drops Michaels throat on the rope. He slingshots him to the turnbuckle and Michaels head hits off the top post. He covers but only for a two count. Michaels takes control momentarily but misses a splash in the corner. Hart hits an atomic drop and a clothesline but only gets a two. Hart with a bulldog and he goes to the top rope. Michaels recovers but Hart catches him before he can be thrown off. Hart knees him in the back of the head, causing Michaels to hit Hebner. Michaels recovers quickly and slams Hart but only for two. Hart recovers quickly and piledrives Michaels for two. We’re now over halfway done, as 31 minutes have elapsed. Hart goes to the top but this time Michaels catches him and tosses him off. He hits a backbreaker but only gets a two count. Hart tries for sweet chin music but Hart bails to the outside. So Michaels splashes Hart from the top turnbuckle to the outside. They lay out there for a while before Hart is thrown back in. Michaels to the top and hits a cross body, but Hart reverses into a small package for two. Michaels with a small package for two. Michaels with a perfect plex for two. Michaels grabs a sleeper hold 35 minutes in. Hart breaks free but he’s too tired and Michaels kicks him, sends him to the corner, but misses a charge and is flipped to the outside. Michaels is about to be counted out but Hart goes outside and breaks the count. He picks up Shawn and slams his back to the post. Bret sends him back in and works over the back, to really set up the Sharpshooter. We’re 40 minutes in, with no decision rendered yet. Hart sends Michaels to the corner and he does his flip over it, allowing Hart to hit a side suplex from the top for two. Hart with a camel clutch of sorts. Michaels fights out and sunset flips Hart for two. Michaels back is in bad shape and Bret takes over again. Side Russian leg-sweep gets a two. Hart sends Michael to the outside and as Shawn goes out, he knocks down Lothario. Hart follows to the outside and whips him to the turnbuckle/chairs, sending Michaels and Lothario down again. We’re 3 quarters done now, and a belly to belly suplex for Hart gets two. Michaels tries to fight back but its in vain. Hart tries for a suplex but Michaels flips over and rolls up Hart for two. Hart kicks out, and Michaels is sent to the outside. Michaels is outside and Hart dives through the second and third rope onto Michaels. Hart heads back in, waiting for Michaels to be counted out. The fans finally show some life now, cheering for Shawn to get back into the ring. Bret is pissed Lothario is still there and breaks the count by arguing. Michaels gets to the apron and Hart tries to suplex him in. Michaels reverses but Hart reverses that and gets a German suplex for two. A slugfest ensues, won by Bret, and he puts the camel clutch back on with only 10 minutes remaining, now 9, now 8, and Michaels breaks free. Double clothesline knocks both men out. Hart’s up first and he sets Michaels up to the top. Hart hits the superplex. He sets up Michaels for the Sharpshooter but Michaels blocks with kicks to the face. Hart with a Boston Crab at the 54 minute mark, but Michaels makes it to the ropes. Hart with a backbreaker, but an elbow from the second rope finds Michaels boot and both men are down again. They get up simultaneously, and Michaels dropkicks Hart into the corner. He flings Hart to the opposite corner and Hart goes in chest first. Michaels with a flying forearm, and he’s pumped. He hits an elbow off the ropes, then a double axe-handle from the top for two. A Michaels suplex leads to flying elbow drop and Michaels covers for two. Hart with a gut wrench suplex into a powerbomb and Michaels goes to the top again. A moonsault gets two with only 105 second remaining. Michaels gets a frankensteiner roll-up but only for two. Michaels with a scoop slam and we are down to one-minute remaining. Michaels goes to the top again, tries for a missile dropkick but Hart reverses it into the Sharpshooter with 35 seconds left. Michaels won’t quit and time expires at the 60-minute mark. Michaels never quit and since there was no decision, Hebner gives the title back to Hart. Monsoon comes to the ring and confer with Hebner and a decision is made, there must be a decision rendered, and the match will continue under sudden death rules. Hart is not too pleased (Bret screwed Bret). So Bret goes right back to work on the back of Michaels. Shawn is sent to the corner but flips over a chargin Bret and hits the sweet chin music. Hart is up first, however, but Michaels hops right up and hits another Sweet Chin Music. He falls on top of Hart and covers for three. Your new world champion, Shawn Michaels. The match ran about 61:52 and was pretty good. It wasn’t littered with rest-holds that didn’t make sense and the match had an ebb and flow. The lack of decisions during the 60-minutes was one drawback as the egos of both men hurt the match quality. Witness the Rock/HHH Iron Man match as an example. Still, this was a great main event. ****1/2.
Shawn would challenge all-comers to the title, and instead of showing him lose the belt to Sid, or losing his smile, they air a match already on the Mick Foley DVD.
4) Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind
This is from IYH Mind Games, which aired live on PPV on 09/22/96. Lawler, McMahon, Ross, and Mr. Perfect called the action, in a really loaded announcing team and table. Mankind had only been in the WWE a short time and was really making his mark. Bearer was his manager at the time as Mankind feuded with Undertaker and Michaels was in a feud with Vader. I have reviewed this match already (so far there are two repeats and I only have about 4 WWE DVD’s as of this review) and I watched it recently when I rewatcehd the Foley DVD, but I will give it another go. Mankind is brought to the ring in a casket and accompanied by Paul Bearer, and Jose is still in Shawn’s corner. Lock up leads to a Mankind elbow and he works on Shawn’s back. McMahon with a patented call of Baaack body drop and Mankind sends Michaels to the outside with a Cactus clothesline. Mankind picks up the mat to expose the concrete but gets dropkicked down by Michaels, who follows with a splash from the top rope, then slams Mankind’s head to the concret. Back in, Michaels hits a double axe-handle, then works Mankind over with punches. He slams Mankind and goes to the top. A flying elbow drop hits and he starts cueing up the band. Mankind gets up, hears it, then runs from the ring. After getting comforted by the urn, Mankind heads back in. Shawn gets most of the offense, but Mankind reverses being sent to the turnbuckle. Shawn jumps on it, waiting for Mankind to charge, but Mankind didn’t and it looked like a blown spot. Mankind takes down Michaels and the two start brawling. Mankind sends Michaels to the outside, and starts setting up the table but Michaels comes back and suplexes Mankind onto the freaking steel steps. Mankind’s knee just smashes into the steps in a really cool spot. Michaels starts working on the knee of Mankind, including a figure four and a single-leg Boston crab. Mankind fights out but is rolled up by Michaels for two. Michaels tries for a hurricanrana but Mankind just drops his throat on the ropes. While Michaels is out, Mankind takes a pencil to his knee to get feeling back. Mankind tosses Michaels to the outside and rests a bit. Michaels comes back in and Mankind throws him in the corner, when while Michaels is seated he runs full speed into Michaels with his knee. The two slug it out, Michaels sends Mankind to the corner but misses a blind charge and gets tied upside down, leading Mankind to elbow drop him a pair of times. He follows with a legdrop, then kicks Michaels to the outside. Michaels sits up against the chairs and Mankind charges with the knee, but Shawn ducks out of the way. Michaels follows with a drop toe hold into the same steps and they head back to the apron. Michaels tries to suplex Mankind in but can’t. Mankind tries to block and Shawn ends up on the apron, too. Mankind charges but Michaels heads back in and Mankind’s head hits the ringpost. Michaels with a powerslam but only a two count. Michaels sends Foley through the ropes but Mankind’s head gets stuck between the ropes. Michaels goes over to work him over but Mankind puts on the Mandible Claw! They both end up outside and Mankind is sent to the steel barricade so Michaels can escape the Mandible Claw. Michaels picks up a chair and Mankind punches him, but right into the chair. Michaels takes the chair to Mankind a few times, then works over the fingers of Mankind. Michaels charges but Mankind back body drops him over the top to the outside. Mankind follows and hits an elbow from the apron. Mankind breaks the count then gets a swinging neckbreaker on the concrete. Michaels goes back in but Mankind drops him on the ropes. Double-art DDT and Mankind covers for two. Piledriver also gets two. Mankind with a pinning combination but that two only gets a two. Mankind is now pissed. Mankind throws some chairs into the ring and Hebner tries to get rid of them. Mankind opens the casket and tries to put Michaels into it. Michaels fights back and hits a flying forearm. Michaels is all energy now. He slams Mankind, then goes upstairs for a body press for two. He goes up again but Mankind falls on the rope and Michaels is crotched. Mankind heads to the outside and to the turnbuckle and tries a side suplex to the table. Michaels reverses it to a splash and Mankind goes through the table. Both men are down on the outside, but Michaels makes it back to the ring first. Mankind is back in with a chair and he goes to the top. Michaels leaps off the chair that is there in the ring and hits sweet chin music into the chair. Michaels covers but Vader runs in and we get a DQ finish at 26:24. The match was just awesome before the DQ. Michaels sends Vader running, Bearer gets involved, Sid runs out to bring Vader back, Mankind wants to put Michaels into the casket but when they open it, Undertaker is there who fights off Mankind. The match was really entertaining before the cheap ending, and it hurts the overall match, couple that with the blown spot and you come close, but not quite perfect. ****1/2. I think I gave this five-stars before but I don’t know if a match with no decision can be five-star worthy, its almost like going to a hockey playoff game and it ending with a tie.
Like I said before, Michael;s would hold this title until dropping it to Psycho Sid at Survivor Series (11/17/96). Sid kept the title warm for Michael’s before Michael’s won it back at 1997’s Royal Rumble (01/19/97). Michael’s would go on to lose his smile and forfeit the belt on the 02/13/97 edition of Raw. Sid won some sort of tournement for the title, or some four-way match on 02/17/97 (memories not clear on that and I’m too lazy to check Wikipedia right now). He would keep it until 03/23/97, which was Wrestlemania XIII, to Undertaker in a match that wasn’t even the main event (hint, LT)! Taker held it until Summerslam of 97 (08/03/97) when Michaels was the guest referee and he accidentally helped Bret win back the title. Bret held it until Survivor Series 1997 (11/09/97), which had a bit of a controversial finish. You may have heard what happened. Michael’s won it from Bret that night (though the reign is not printed in the timeline provided as an insert) and would hold it until one of the biggest main events in WWE history. JR briefly goes over the title changes in the span between the previous match and now, and JR introduces us to Stone Cold Steve Austin.
5) Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin
This is Wrestlemania XIV, held on 03/29/98 with JR and Lawler calling the match. No introductions shown, and Tyson is at ringside representing DX. Michaels dances around the ring so Austin flips him off. Michaels ducks a pair of lock-up attempts with a jab, and Michaels runs when Austin presses. Austin catches up and clotheslines him and sends Michaels into the turnbuckles, then pulls him in by the seat of his pants when he tries to escape. Austin works him over and a bare-assed Michaels is sent via back-body drop to the outside. When Austin follows, HHH attacks. HHH and Chyna are ordered to the locker room and Michaels is none too pleased, but he hits a double axe handle from the top rope to the outside on Austin. Austin goes back to HHH as he’s exiting and attacks him. Michaels responds by hitting Austin with a symbol from the drum kit of the band who played there. They fight outside the ring and Austin is sent to a dumpster. They head back to the ring but a Michaels double axe handle is blocked by Austin, who sends Michaels into the turnbuckles. Austin with an inverted atomic drop for two. They spar back and forth and Austin drops Michaels throat onto the ropes for two. He tries for the Stunner but Michaels bails to the apron. Austin knocks him off the apron onto the desk of JR and Lawler. They head back in and Austin with an FU elbow for two. Austin works on a side headlock which Michels breaks. Michaels wraps Austin’s legs around the post but Austin pulls back and Michaels eats post. Austin works him over outside but misses a clothesline and is sent over the steel barricade. Michaels hits Austin with the bell and they head back in. Michaels works him over, and sends him to the corner. Michaels with a snapmare and he’s showing the back pain. Michaels flips off the crowd but is too busy doing that and Austin jumps on him, pounds his face, and tosses him outside. This time Michaels responds by taking Austin’s knee and slamming it into the post. They head back in and Michaels works on the knee. Austin counters with a cradle for two but Michaels is right back in control. Austin hobbles to the outside and Michael’s baseball slide kicks Austin. Tyson sends Austin back in and Austin is not happy. He jaws with Tyson and Michaels chop blocks him. Michaels locks on the figure four and cheats by using the ropes. Austin manages to reverse it, and Michaels grabs the ropes to break. Austin fights back and catapults Michaels to the top turnbuckle and rolls him up for two. Michaels works in a sleeper, but Austing backs him into the turnbuckles to break. Unfortunately, the ref was behind Michaels and the ref is out. Austin sends Michaels to the turnbuckles and stomps on Michaels in the corner. Austin with a back body drop, but a clothesline off the ropes is ducked by Michaels, who follows with a flying forearm. Michaels kips up and heads to the top. He hits an elbow drop and Michaels starts tuning up the band. Michaels misses sweet chin music and Austin tries for the Stunner. Michaels escapes and tries for sweet chin music which is reversed, again, and this time the Stunner hits. There’s no ref but Tyson comes in and counts the three. Austin is your new WWE champion at 20:04, and a new era in the WWE would begin. Tyson decks Michaels after Michaels punches him. This wasn’t a classic match, as the bad back of Michaels and the bad neck of Austin made it more into a brawl than anything else, with a lot of resting going on. Still, it was a slightly above average match. ***1/4.
—Disc Three— (3:11:04)
So Austin won the title at Wrestlemania XIV, and a lot of things happened between then and the next match. Austin would hold onto the title until 06/28/98 (King of the Ring first blood match), when he lost it to Kane. As of now, that was Kane’s only title reign and it lasted all of a day, until Steve won it back the next night on Raw. Austin would keep the belt until 09/27/98, when he was pinned at a PPV by both Taker and Kane, causing the title to be held up. A tournement on Survivor Series (11/15/98) saw Rock defeat Mankind for the vacant title. Rock held the title into the new year, until losing it to Mankind at a 01/04/99 Raw. Mankind wouldn’t hold it for long, losing it to Rock in a bloody Royal Rumble match on 01/24/99. Rocky would lose it back to Mick on 01/31/99, an episode of Heat that aired during half-time of Super Bowl Sunday, with a crazy angle showing how fake it was when Rock was being pinned. The Rock/Mankind hot potato continued when Mick lost the title back to Rock in a Raw ladder match on 02/15/99. Rock held that title until losing it to Austin at Wrestlemania XV (03/28/99). Austin would keep the title until 05/23/99, when Undertaker won the belt at Over The Edge, an event more remembered for the event where Owen Hart fell to his death. Undertaker would hold onto the title until 06/28/99 when Austin won back the belt on an episode of Raw. Ahh, the ratings war causing all these free matches where the championship is decided. Austin kept the title until 08/22/99, where Mankind would win in a triple threat match (also including HHH). Austin didn’t want to drop the title to HHH, so Mankind got the honor, and he would hold the title about 23 hours before losing it to HHH on the next night’s Raw. HHH would lose the title on one of the first Smackdowns, on 09/16/99, to Vince McMahon of all people. Vince would vacate the title at Raw and and a 6-pack challenge saw six competitors vie for the title, which went to HHH on 09/26/99. HHH kept it until Survivor Series (11/14/99) when Big Show defeated HHH and Rock in a triple threat match for his first title. HHH would win it back on the first Raw of 2000 (01/03/00) and thus, as we enter Royal Rumble 2000, HHH was champion defending his title against Cactus Jack.
1) HHH vs. Cactus Jack
This is from MSG, the 2000 edition of Royal Rumble (01/23/00), and is another entry from the Mick Foley Greatest Hits DVD. It’s one of my favorite matches of all time so I don’t mind. This is a Street Fight, meaning no DQ and anything goes. Ross and Lawler call this gruesome match. Cactus jaws at HHH and HHH is actually a bit unnerved by it. Cactus starts off with some rights and HHH is sent to the turnbuckle. HHH reciprocates but Cactus turns him around and pummels him in the corner. HHH bails to the outside and Cactus follows with a swinging neckbreaker. Cactus reenters the ring and as HHH does he eats a legdrop. Cactus heads back outside to work on HHH but HHH grabs the ring bell and nails Cactus with it. HHH tosses a chair into the ring and goads Cactus into the squared circle. Cactus eats a chair shot and HHH boasts. Cactus is up quickly and takes the chair and places it on HHH. He legdrops him and gets a two-count. They head to the outside where HHH takes over. He charges Cactus but he’s backdropped over the barricade. They brawl in the stands (in the sea of humanity, which Lawler questions the humanity part). They end up at the entry way and HHH is sent to the bricks. Cactus sets up some pallets and suplexes HHH on them. Cactus hits him with a trashcan then throws him into the steel entry way. They head back to the ring and HHH has a nasty gash on his calf. As they head back, HHH side suplexes Cactus onto the trash can. They make it to the steel chairs and Cactus charges his knee into HHH’s face. HHH is chucked back into the ring as Cactus goes underneath the ring to take out a barbed-wire 2×4. Cactus tries to use it but Cactus gets a low blow from HHH. HHH picks up the barbed wire and smacks it into the chest and back of Cactus. The barbed wire is all thrown out of shape now, and HHH tries to use it again. It’s blocked and the ref takes the barbed wire and puts it under the Spanish announce table. While they do that, Cactus hits a double arm DDT. The ref finally comes in and counts the two-count. Cactus looks for the barbed wire and finds it under the Spanish announce table. So Cactus finds it (but it is a fresh one now), HHH charges and hits the ref, and Cactus smacks the barbed wire into HHH’s face. He drops it on HHH’s face again, and HHH is now busted open, and Cactus covers for two. Cactus uses the barb wire again, and grinds it on HHH’s face. They head outside and to the announce table. Cactus tries for a piledriver, but HHH reverses it to a back body drop, breaking the table in half. They head back inside, and HHH works over Cactus in the corner. He tries for a Pedigree but Cactus counters with a slingshot into the turnbuckle, followed with a bulldog to the barb wire for two. Cactus clothesline sends both men outside. Cactus charges but is hiptossed into the steps, with his knee going right onto the steps. HHH sends Cactus again to the steps, then chop blocks his knee. Back inside, HHH again takes out the knee then uses the 2×4 on the knee. HHH heads outside and grabs something from the Fink. He takes whatever the object is out of the bag, and they are handcuffs. He handcuffs Cactus, in a call back to the Royal Rumble the year before when Rock used them on Mankind. HHH goads Cactus and punches him in the face, then brings the steel step into the ring. HHH charges with the steps but Cactus drop toe holds him and HHH’s face eats steps. HHH charges and hits a boot, then Cactus head butts HHH in the family jewels. HHH recovers with a clothesline, then uses a steel chair to send Cactus outside. HHH follows with the chair and Cactus urges him to use it. As HHH is about to use it, Rock comes running out and knocks HHH down with a chair, then sends in a cop to unhook the handcuffs. They head to the Spanish announce table and Cactus piledrives HHH onto the table, which doesn’t give. Cactus sends HHH back to the ring then goes underneath the ring for a bag of goodies. Cactus dumps the contents out, and its full of thumb tacks. Cactus knocks HHH back and HHH is close to the tacks. Cactus charges and HHH back body drops him onto the tacks. HHH kicks Cactus and pedigrees him. Cover but Cactus kicks out. Cactus is up but HHH pedigrees him on the thumb tacks and that’s good enough for the three-count. HHH retains at 27:12. This was the match for me of the 2000’s, and the pure brutality between the two was something to behold. Great match. *****.
HHH would hold the title through Wrestlemania (becoming the first heel to walk out of the big one with the title) before losing it to Rock at the next PPV (Backlash, 04/30/00) before HHH won it back in an awesome Iron Man match at Fully Loaded (05/21/00). The Rock took the title back at King of the Ring (06/25/00). This leads us to the next match. There was an issue at the time with HHH’s wife, Stephanie, paying too much attention to Kurt Angle, and that’s how Kurt was involved in this match.
2) The Rock vs. HHH vs. Kurt Angle
This is the Summerslam (08/27/00) main event. Now I remember this match. I think Angle gets concussed here. Lawler and Ross are making the call. Angle is introduced first and starts his great mic work. He doesn’t apologize for kissing Stephanie. HHH is out next, and he doesn’t wait for Rock. HHH clotheslines the Olympic hero, then kicks him down in the corner. Angle returns with a clothesline. They head to the outside, where nothing much of note happens, then back inside, then outside again. HHH brings Angle to the Spanish table and sets up Angle for a pedigree, but while HHH jumps, the table gives and Angle hits head first and he is clearly knocked out. HHH is concerned and Hebner sees that Angle is jusy gone. HHH works on and gets the sledgehammer when Rock comes down. Rock wallops the Game, then clotheslines him down. Samoan drop follows, and they head outside. HHH takes over and the head back to the ring. HHH works him over in the corner. HHH looks at Angle being wheeled away on a stretcher and Rock hits him from behind. He charges but is dumped to the outside. HHH chases Angle to the back and wheels him back to the ring. Rock follows and knocks down HHH, then slingshots him to the steel decorations, then follows with a clothesline. Stephanie shows up at ringside and helps bring Angle to the back. HHH takes over in the ring and hits Rock with a high knee for two. HHH tels Steph to get the belt and she does, but she hits HHH with it by mistake. Rock covers for two then grabs Steph by the hair. HHH counters with a low blow. Steph heads to the back, they fight a bit, and HHH grabs the sledgehammer. HHH rams it to the gut of Rock. HHH starts working the ribs of Rock, but Rock fights back, only to be the recipient of a facebuster for two. HHH goes outside and rams Rock’s back to the ringpost. Back in and Rock tries fighting back with a swinging neckbreaker. HHH is up first and goes to the top, but Rock hops up and superplexes the game. We go to the back and Steph asks Angle to help HHH. Rock covers but only gets a two. Steph brings Angle to ringside and Angle trips up the Rock causing HHH to hit the pedigree. He covers but Angle pulls HHH out, then covers. Rock kicks out at two. Angle’s belly to belly overhead release suplex also gets two. Rock counters with one of his own, then DDT’s Angle for two. HHH goes to the ring apron but Angle knocks him off, allowing Rock to hit a Rock Bottom. He covers but HHH pulls Rock out of the ring. HHH gets the hammer, Angle stops him from using it, Steph gets in the ring to give the hammer to HHH when Angle gets in front of her. HHH tries to punch Angle but he ducks and the game hits his wife. Angle knocks out HHH with the hammer, then covers. The pin is broken by the Rock, who tosses Angle outside. He drops the people’s elbow on HHH and gets the pinfall victory at 23:39. The match was a bit of a mess and I definitely liked it a lot more 8 years ago. There wasn’t too much that would make this great, though it was definitely a good one. ***1/2. Looking back on this, it seems Angle was never supposed to be a part of the match. He was to be pedigreed and taken to the back anyway, so the concussion really didn’t change the match. He came out at the end (with a freakin concussion!) and I think he was out there just to bring Stephanie to ringside.
So, for the second match we see the champion retain instead of an actual title change. Rock retained until No Mercy (10/22/00) where Kurt Angle defeated the brahma bull for his first title. He would keep it thorugh the new year before losing it back to Rock at No Way Out (02/25/01). Rock would keep the title until facing a familiar foe at Wrestlemania X-7.
3) The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
This is the second time the two men faced off at Wrestlemania, with Austin beating Rock two years ago. Here we are, at Wrestlemania X-7 (04/01/01) with the rematch. Ross and Paul Heyman call the action. This is no DQ, which was just announced. Austin takes control early with a Thesz press and his usual assortment of punches. Rock comes back with a swinging neckbreaker. Both men try for their finisher but fail. Austin sends Rock to the outside. They brawl outside, even going to the stands, but not much of note happens. They head back inside and Austin stomps a prone Rock, then chokes him using the ropes. He charges while Rock is on the ropes and covers for two. Rock is seated on the top rope, and Austin suplexes him from the second rope and covers for two. Austin exposes the turnbuckle, but it doesn’t come into play as Rock tosses Austin for two. Rock comes back and clotheslines Austin to the outside, and pounds his head into the timekeeper’s bell. Austin comes back with the ringbell to Rock’s face. Rock’s cut open now and Austin bashes his face to the table. Rock lies on the table, and it collapses. They head back in and Austin just pummels away. Rock fights back but telegraphs a back body drop and Austin with a swinging neckbreaker for two. Austin chokes Rock in the corner until the referee breaks, which he didn’t need to since it was no DQ. Rock comes back with a clothesline, then another, then he slams Austin’s head into the exposed turnbuckle, then brings in the ring bell and nails him with it, cutting him open, and covering for two. Rock pummels the challenger, heads outside, and elbows him on the apron. Austin fights back and drops Rock on the barricade. Austin slingshots the champ into the ringpost, then uses a monitor to smash the champs head in. Back in the ring, Austin covers for two. Austin tries for the Stunner but Rock counters into a Sharpshooter. Austin makes the ropes but when he gets up Rock tries again. Austin counters this time and gets one of his own, which Rock kicks out of eventually, but Austin puts it right on again. Rock makes the ropes and Austin breaks the hold, then puts Rock in the Million Dollar Dream. Rock is out, but revives before he’s out cold. Austin can’t believe he hasn’t won yet. He is figuring out what to do next when Rock surprises everyone, and Austin, by hitting a Stunner on him. Rock covers, but only gets two. Vince McMahon comes out to ringside as both men get up on their feet. Slugfest leads to an Austin sidewalk slam for two. Rock comes back with a spinebuster and hits the People’s Elbow. He covers but McMahon pulls Rock off of Austin. Rock chases McMahon and Rock ends up right in the arms of an Austin Rock Bottom. Cover but only a two count. Ref is bumped, and Austin asks McMahon to bring a chair in. Austin holds up Rock so McMahon can lay him out, and Austin covers, but there is no ref. McMahon throws Hebner in but Rock manages to kick out yet again. Austin tries a chair shot but Rock counters with a Rock Bottom. McMahon interferes with the ref, so Rock brings him into the ring and smacks him down a bit. Rock walks right into a Stunner but kicks out again! I thought that was it. Austin can’t believe it, so he takes a chair and just destroys Rock with a chair shot. Another cover, and another two count. Austin just drives the chair into Rock’s ribs and back and finally that’s enough to finish it at 28:07. Austin and McMahon shake hands at the end of the match. The first half of the match was uninteresting, but it really picked up from there. One of the most exciting conclusions to a Wrestlemania in terms of pinfall chances. ****.
Stone Cold won big that day and held the titl until losing it to Angle in his hometown of Pittsburgh at Unforgiven (09/23/01). Angle would lose it back to Austin a few weeks later on the 10/08/01 edition of Raw. This was around the time that WCW was bought by McMahon and now there were two belts running around WWE, the WCW title and the WWE title. So a tournement was held at Vengeance (12/09/01) with four competitors. Austin defeated Angle and Jericho defeated Rock to set up the bout for the Undisputed title.
4) Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Chris Jericho
This was at the afformentioned 2001 Vengeance and is immediately after Jericho fought (and defeated) Rock. Angle comes out (being the sore loser he is) and smacks Austin with a chair, but Rock follows with a Rock Bottom on Jericho. The bell rings with both men knocked out. Jericho recovers first and works Austin over in the corner. The ref make him break and Austin charges out of the corner, taking Jericho down. Austin works Jericho over in the corner now. Austin sends Jericho to the outside, and does the usual assortment of punches and kicks. Austin takes off the protective pad, uncovering the concrete, but he can’t capitalize as Jericho fights back. He tries to suples Austin from the table onto the concrete but Austin escapes. Jericho tries for the Walls of Jericho on the table but Austin spins him out and Jericho lands on the floor. Austin suplexes Jericho on the concrete, then they head back in. Austin sends Jericho to the corner but a blind charge misses and Austin’s shoulder hits the ring post. Jericho tries to capitalize but Austin fights back, slingshots Jericho to the turnbuckle, then takes him down for two. Jericho is right back and works on the arm. Hold is broken and Jericho suplexes Austin. He heads to the top but a double axe-handle is met with an Austin right. Austin with a back body drop but Jericho reverses and rolls him up, then puts on the Walls of Jericho. Austin makes the ropes so Jericho stomps him in the back. Austin reverses an attempt to send him to the ropes, then ducks a flying forearm. The forearm hits Hebner and he’s out. Austin fights back but Jericho gets a lowblow and a Stunner. McMahon comes down with another referee, and the ref (Nick Patrick) urges Jericho to pin Austin. Ric Flair comes out and pulls the referee out and knocks him out, leading McMahon to throw Flair around. Austin sees McMahon and so he goes out and stomps him down. Austin back in gets a Thesz press, an FU elbow, and chops Jericho in the corner. A charge hits a Jericho boot. Jericho tries for a dropkick from the top but Austin catches him in the Wall of Jericho, causing Jericho to tap, but there’s no ref! Booker T comes in and lays outAustin with the belt. Jericho covers as Hebner is thrown back in by McMahon and Jericho gets the three count and becomes the Undisputed WWE Champion at 13:38. Match was short since Jericho fought it right after fighting Rock, and there was a lot of resting going on, and a real screwy ending to the match. Can’t go too high on it, ***1/2.
To the surprise of many people, Jericho was actually given a shot with the title. He would keep the title until Wrestlemania X8 (03/17/08) when HHH would regain the title for a fifth time. He would lose the title a month later to Hulk Hogan at Backlash (04/21/02) to try and cash in on the Hulk’s surge in popularity. That popularity faded quickly and a month later (05/19/02), Undertaker won the belt at Judgment Day. Taker would hold it for a few months before defending it at the Vengeance PPV on 07/21/02.
5) Undertaker vs. The Rock vs. Kurt Angle
This was in the midst of the Dead Man Walking stage for Undertaker, and he is riding to the ring on a motorcycle. Ross and Lawler are calling this match. The three circle around for a while trying to figure out what to do. Rock and Taker stare each other down and Angle is mad he’s not involved. So Taker and Rock knock Angle out of the ring and Taker works over Rock in the corner. Rock comes back with a spinebuster, and dumps Taker to the outside with a clothesline. Angle comes back to the ring and hits a German suplex on Rock, then works him over in the corner with chops. Angle with a pair of overhead release suplexes but a third attempt leads to a Rock DDT for two. They brawl on the outside and Angle takes down Rock with a clotheline, and Taker responds with one of his own on Angle. Taker brings Rock back into the ring and a sidewalk slam gets two. Taker is distracted by Angle and walks into a Rock chokeslam, but a pinfall is broken up by Angle. Angle works over Rock but Rock responds with an Angle lock, which Angle kicks out of and Rock Bottoms Rock. He covers but Taker legdrops him to break the count. Taker works over Angle in the corner then puts Angle in the Olympic Slam and another cover is broken up by the Rock. Taker takes down Rock, who kips up and knocks Taker down. Angle is up and charges but is sent to the outside. Rock a sidewalk slam follows with a People’s Elbow on Taker. Angle pulls out Rock, drops him on the table, then covers Taker for two. They exchange blows in the corner, and Taker wins it out, clotheslining the Olympic hero. He tries to send Angle to the opposite corner but its reverse. Angle follows with a charge but Taker misses and Angle’s shoulder hits the ringpost. Taker and Angle brawl on the outside, where Rock rejoins the festivities, spitting water in the face of Taker. Taker drops Rock on the table, knocking him out again. Taker brings a bloodied Angle to the apron, then legdrops him. Back in and Taker does the ropewalk of death. He covers but Rock breaks that up. Rock mocks the Undertaker but drops his head and Rock gets DDT’t. Cover gets two. Taker readies himself for the chokeslam, but Angle has a chair outside. Taker has Rock in his grips but Angle charges and Taker punches him. Angle goes back and forth between getting slugged by Rock and Taker. Rock tries for the Rock Bottom but Taker blocks and goes for the chokeslam. Rock low blows him, and Rock falls into the ref, allowing Angle to hit Taker with the chair, then hit the Olympic Slam on Rock. Angle goes to cover Taker, but Taker kicks out, so Angle goes to cover Rock, and that, too, gets a two. Angle tries for something on Rock but its reversed and Rock puts Angle in the Sharpshooter. Taker kicks Rock out of the hold before Angle can tap. Taker tries for the Last Ride, and hits it. He covers, but Angle breaks the count by pulling Taker off and locking him in the ankle lock. You know the match is close to over when JR has no voice left. Taker gets out of it, and tries for a Last Ride but Angle puts on a triangle choke hold. Taker pulls him up and tries to break but Angle won’t release the hold. Taker is about to have his arm drop for the third time but Rock breaks the hold. Angle is not too happy and puts the ankle lock on Rock. Rock reverses it to a pinfall combination for two. Angle charges Rock but eats a Taker chokeslam. Taker walks right into a Rock Bottom but Taker somehow kicks out at two. Angle rolls up Rock, who kicks out then gets a big boot by Taker. Angle with an Olympic Slam and he is pumped, so pumped he doesn’t see Rock. Rock Rock Bottoms Angle and he gets the three count for his seventh title at 19:35. This was a fun match, with loads of finishers and near-falls, though having three people could sometimes break the flow of the match. ***3/4.
The Rock won the title for a record seventh time that night, and he would keep it for only a month before defending it at Summerslam.
6) The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar
This is from 08/25/02 and took place at Summerslam at Nassau Coliseum. It figures the Long Islanders would boo the Rock. Tazz and Cole are calling the match. Heyman leads Brock to ringside. Rock charges right to the ring and they exchange blows, leading to a belly to belly release suplex for two. Lesnar with a pair of backbreakers for two. Lesnar just destroys Rock and knees him to the outside, leading to a Heyman cheapshot. Brock follows outside and continues his assault on Rock. They head back in and Rock tries to fight back, but the tide is turned when Heyman trips up Rock. Brock controls with a powerslam and continues pounding the ribs of Rock. He dives his elbow to the ribs of Rock in the corner, then tries again and hits his shoulder in the post. Both men are out and both kip up. Rock tries to knock down Brock with a clothesline and finally does after the third. DDT for Rock gets two. Rock tries for a Sharpshooter, but has to knock Heyman down before he can put it on. Heyman distracts the ref so Rock breaks the hold, and Rock brings Heyman to the ring. He tries to Rock Bottom him but Lesnar elbows Rock in the back. Brock picks up the chair Heyman threw in the ring, and slams them into the ribs of Rock. Rock is back up and walks into a bearhug. Rock is almost out but he fights back and punches his way out of the hold. Brock again with the battering ram elbows but Rock explodes out of the corner with a clothesline and dumps Brock to the outside. Rock readies the table but Heyman sticks his nose in Rock’s business and gets punched as a result. Brock gets sent to the ringpost via slingshot, and Rock puts Heyman through the table with a Rock Bottom. Rock sends Brock back to the ring and readies a Rock Bottom, which he connects with. Rock covers but Brock kicks out at two. Rock is stunned and doesn’t realize he’s walking into a Brock Lesnar Rock Bottom, which he does. Brock gets a two count. Both men are out but Rock is up first. Spinebuster leads to a People’s Elbow, but Brock is up and knocks Rock down. Brock tries for an F5 but Rock counters. Rock tries for a Rock Bottom but Brock counters into an F5. This time it hits, and Brock covers for the three count and his first ever title at 15:51. That was a little short, and Brock really had almost all the offense. I guess Taker didn’t want to drop it to Brock and so Rock was the transition champ. This was the arrival of Brock Lesnar. ***1/2.
Big Brock would hold the title for two PPV’s, and would hold it while it became the Smackdown championship thanks to the brand split. HHH would be given his own title on Raw. Brock would drop the title to Big Show at Survivor Series (11/17/02, in MSG), who then lost it to Angle at Armageddon (12/15/02).
7) Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit
This is from Royal Rumble, 01/19/03. Lock-up to start and Benoit goes for a quick Sharpshooter, so Angle bails. Lock up again and Angle sends Benoit to the ropes to break. He tries for a hiptoss but Benoit pushes him down. Angle counters with a sleeper which Benoit counters with an arm drag. Benoit goes for the Sharpshooter again but Angle makes the ropes. Angle sends Benoit through the turnbuckles, hitting his shoulder on the ring post. Angle suplex gets two. Angle starts with the chopping but Benoit gets the better of that fight. Benoit just destroys him with chops, but Angle counters with a boot to the gut, then drops Benoit’s stomach on the rope. Angle heads over and Benoit drops his neck on the ropes. They battle it out on the apron, and Benoit DDT’s Angle onto the apron. Back in and Benoit covers for two. Benoit goes for the flying head butt but misses. Angle goes for the Angle Slam but Benoit reverses it to a Sharpshooter. Angle makes it to the ropes to break the hold. Suplex for Benoit gets two. Benoit walks into an overhead release belly to belly suplex. Benoit is sent to the outside and Angle drops him on the barricade. Back in, and Angle with a big clothesline for two. Angle with a rear chinlock but Benoit fights out of it with an armdrag, but Angle with another belly to belly. Angle with another suplex for two and another rear chinlock. Benoit elbows out of it, ducks a clothesline attempt, then both men are out when they clothesline each other. They both get up at the seven count and a slugfest ensues, won by Benout. He knocks down Angle with some forearms, then goes for his rolling Germans. Angle reverses after the second then rolls for one of his own. Benoit reverses and finishes with a third. Benoit heads to the top (after blowing snot burgers at Angle), but Angle hops up with his overhead release suplex from the second rope. Angle covers for two. Benoit counters the Angle Slam into a crossface. Angle breaks out and so Benoit puts him in an Ankle Lock. Angle reverses into an Ankle Lock of his own, which Benoit counters into the crossface. Angle rolls him up in the crossface for two. Angle charges and eats another crossface. Angle gets up (while still in the crossface) and hits the Angle Slam and both men are out. Angle is up first and covers Benoit for two. Angle goes for the Angle Slam but Benoit rolls him up for two. Benoit tries for the rolling suplexes again, which Angle reverses to one of his own, which is then turned into a release German Suplex from Benoit! Benoit to the top, and all the way across the ring with a flying headbutt. Benoit covers, but only gets a two. Benoit tries for a crossface but Angle rolls through, picks up Benoit like a powerbomb then drops him backwards onto the turnbuckles. He connects with another Angle Slam but Benoit still kicks out. Angle tries to pick up Angle but Benoit puts Angle in yet another crossface. Angle reverses it into an Ankle Lock, which Benoit tries to break. He kicks off Angle twice but Angle won’t let go, and Benoit has no choice but to tap out at 19:49. I gave this ****3/4 when I first reviewed it way back in 2004, and my thoughts on it still stand. It is a near-perfect match with only a little bit of drag in the middle that keep this from being perfect.
This is the third match on this DVD alone where the title was successfully defended and not actually lost. Anyway, Angle held the title until losing it to Brock at Wrestlemania (where Brock totally screwed up a spot, 03/30/02), and that’s where I really stopped watching. The rest of the title changes are ones I have never seen. Brock and Angle traded the title again, with Angle winning on 07/27/03 and Brock winning it back on 09/16/03 (at Vengeance and an episode of Smackdown respectively). Brock lost it to Eddie Guerrero on 02/15/04, at No Way Out. Guerrero would lose it to John Bradshaw Leyfield in at Great American Bash on 06/27/04 in a move I still don’t understand. Bradshaw lost it to John Cena at Wrestlemania 21 on 04/03/05, and that’s where this last match comes in.
8) John Cena vs. Chris Jericho vs. Christian
This is the only match I haven’t seen from this disc. This is from Vengeance (06/25/05). JR, Lawler, and Coach are announcing this, and Coach now works for my local MSG sports show. Cena and Jericho jaw at each other and Jericho smacks Cena, so Cena takes him down. Christian and Jericho double-team Cena, until Jericho pushes Christian away. They push each other away a bit, until Cena is down, and Jericho takes out Christian. Jericho comes off the ropes but Christians manager pulls Jericho to the outside. Cena comes at Christian with a power hip toss, then stomps at him in the corner. Christian’s man friend knocks down Cena, and so Hebner throws him to the back. Christian protests and Cena goes for an FU, but can’t hit it so Cena chucks him to the outside. Cena walks into a Jericho flying forearm from the top for two. Jericho with a suplex, then a dropkick for two. Jericho sends Cena to the corner, then charges. He runs into Cena’s OG shoes, and Cena pummels Jericho in the corner. Jericho reverses being sent to the turnbuckles and follows with a bulldog. He dropkicks Cena off the mat onto the floor and Y2J’s the only guy in the ring now. He goes outside and sends Cena to the barricade. Jericho sets up the announce table, then tries to suplex him onto the table. Cena reverses it into a DDT. Christian revives and tosses Cena back in, then covers for two. Christian with a rear chinlock, but Cena elbows out and shoulderblocks Christian down. Cena off the ropes but Jericho pulls him out and sends him to the steps. Christian baseball slides Jericho, and brings him back inside. He goes for a knee which Jericho rolls out of and tries for the Walls. Cena gets up to the apron and Chrisian kicks off Jericho, sending Cena flying, and Jericho falls into Christian who rolls him up for two. Christian goes to the top but Jericho recovers in time. He goes for a superplex but Cena is up in time and gets underneath Jericho. He powerbombs Jericho off, which leads to a Jericho suplexing Christian in a cool spot. Cena covers Jericho who kicks out, so Cena covers Christian, who also kicks out. Cena gives clotheslines to everyone, slams Jericho, then drop toe holds Christian onto Jericho. We get a double five-knuckle shuffle. Cena rolls up Jericho for two, then Christian stops it and rolls up Cena for two, so Jericho rolls both up for two. Christian and Cena knock down Jericho, then double clothesline puts them both out. Jericho is up first and heads to the top. Cena hits the rope and crotches Jericho. He sends Christian into the turnbuckle, knocking off Jericho to the outside. He rolls up Christian for two. Cena tries for the FU but Christian counters into his finisher (forgot the name), which Cena kicks out of. Chrstian goes for the belt, allowing his manager to run in and hit Cena. Christian covers for two. Cena dumpes Christian to the outside, Jericho comes back in and puts Cena in the Walls of Jericho. Christian makes the apron so Jericho breaks the hold, then hits his sprindboard dropkick to knock off Christian. He goes right back to the Walls. Christian comes back in and rolls up Jericho for two. Christian tries for a finisher but is kicked off by Jericho right into the arms of Cena. He puts Christian up for an FU, spins him around so Christian kicks Jericho in the face and to the outside, and an FU finishes it at 15:23 to successfully retain the title. Not a terrible match, and the ending was fun, but there wasn’t much meat between the two buns so to say. ***1/2.
So Cena retains (again with this DVD!) but the story of the belt doesn’t end there. Edge won it on 01/08/06 at New Year’s Revolution, but lost is back to Cena on 01/29/06 at Royal Rumble. Rob Van Dam was given a run with the title after he won it from Cena at One Night Stand on 06/11/06. The run didn’t last long and Edge won it back on an episode of Raw on 07/03/06. Cena would pick up his third title reign upon winning it at Unforgiven (09/17/06) but would have to vacate the title a year later when he suffered a torn pectoral tendon on Raw. He vacated the title on 10/2/07, and Vince McMahon awarded the title to Randy Orton at No Mercy (10/7/07). Somehow, HHH won the title from Orton that same day, then Orton won it back that same day. HHH would have to wait until Backlash (04/27/08) before regaining the title for a 7th-time, and as of this review, that’s where we stand.
You can’t really call it a movie, more a collection of matches that tracks the WWE title. One of the problems I had with this was that there were too many matches where the WWE title did not change hands, we couldn’t really track the belt going from one’s hands to another. I can understand the Hulk stuff (he had the title four years), and even the early stuff since some footage may not even exist. Overall, by my count, 12 matches were shown where the title did not, in fact, change hands, and that’s a bit too much. I wouldn’t call this a definitive collection due to the lack of actual switches, of which the last two discs shouldn’t have. I can understand not having WM matches on here since you can get the complete collection of that elsewhere, and some choices were surprising (The Mind Games match and the Royal Rumble 2000 and 2003 matches) since they were included elsewhere. If I had to make it I would’ve included the two Iron Man matches (Fully Loaded 2000, and the Smackdown one with Brock/Angle) and perhaps take out one of the Hogan defenses. If they had the Flair/Hart match where Hart won, well, that would be unbelievable. I think there are more minuses than plus for this collection, but maybe that is the critic in me talking. It’s like seeing a video about the Yankee’s championship reigns and instead of showing the World Series victories putting a regular season game in, I want to see the title changing hands. I hope the IC title DVD doesn’t make the same mistake. On the plus side, the match quality was very good, with a lot of matches clocking in at over *** (13 total), and many of those being over **** and approaching (and in one case reaching) perfection. So the final tally is in, I want more matches where the title changes hands, but it may have been a lowering of quality, a trade-off I would be willing to accept for the history.
The matches are usually the extras on the DVD collection, but since it tells the story of the feature, the only extra included is on disc one.
1) WWE Title Timeline (20:19)
This gives you a title timeline, featuring all the title changes in the belts history. There is a still screen showing all the different title changes for the first few titles, followed by clips of all subsequent title changes. This is a fun, quick walk, through the history of the WWE title. Some of the more recent ones (post-Guerrero) I have no memories of since I didn’t watch the product, but I feel like I didn’t miss much. You can view this either as a play all (which I did), or you can click on the decade and it gives you a timeline with title changes by every year. It is really cool.
Audio and video range, of course, since the older stuff is not as well maintained as newer stuff. Still, this is all from the WWE archives so even the 1971 footage looks better than some of the old sports footage from the same time.
C) Packaging / Liner Notes
This is in a nice fold-open DVD case where each case is on top of each other. You fold it over to get the next disc and opposite the disc (when open) is the match listing for the disc associated with it. There is a nice booklet with all the title holders, as well as when they held it. I think a few of the dates are missing (there’s a Shawn Michaels title reign they don’t mention) and some of the dates seem off but I could be wrong, since there were tournements for the vacant title at times. It is a nice reference.
D) Easter Eggs
Surprisingly, the only WWE DVD probably ever without any.
The usual WWE promos start off this collection (WWE 24/7, still not available in my area, WWE Home Video, the McMahon DVD, Dusty Rhodes DVD, and the don’t try this at home PSA). I had my problems with the main program, and there was only one extra to speak of (which was admittedly very cool), so I can’t really go out and say this is a must-have collection. I got it on E-Bay for very cheap (less than a buck for the collection itself) and for that it is worth it, but anything even close to the suggested retail price isn’t worth it. The older matches weren’t classics or must-haves by any stretch of the imagination and all the recent stuff you can get on DVD releases of Pay-Per-Views that are somewhat available (especially considering the Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble, and soon to be released Summerslam Anthologies). I have to go with mildly recommended for this. It really could’ve been a lot better.
Star Rating Scale
0——No value whatsoever
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