I know I say this quite often, but I’m a fan of pro wrestling. I get excited about it multiple times a week, and as a 24 year old, I’ve been suggested to seek personal help about it. I enjoy the athleticism of the sport, but also the acting portion as well, as I’ve coined “Athletic Acting,” something you obviously have to be skilled and talented at to do well.
WCW is a promotion that reached its peak in the mid 90’s, and when they were hot, they were H-O-T. They were absolutely obliterating their main competition (the WWF, now WWE), providing a quality in-ring product, edgy storylines, and “must see TV.” However, as fast as their star rose to prominence, it crashed and burned just as quickly.
The DVD does a phenomenal job describing the very early years, and how the promotion evolved over time. It doesn’t happen often, but I actually learned some things I didn’t know, and the DVD set obviously deserves top marks for that. However, this, as I pointed out earlier, is revisionist history. And it’s created from the perspective of the WWE, their now victorious rival.
And this is where the set, no matter how quality, fails. They speed up the timeline right when WCW was starting to get popular, and the demise of the promotion actually seems a bit more sudden than it actually was. While they took a lot of time chronicling the history of the promotion, they very quickly (and at times, somewhat recklessly) gloss over the more popular portion of WCW’s glorious history in favor of promoting themselves. I can’t say I was surprised, because to a degree I was expecting it, I was just a tad disappointed. I think it’s because the documentary was desired to run for under three hours, and it could/should have ran for double that.
Books have been written about WCW’s collapse, so the information is there. It just was decided that the information wasn’t important, and to a degree, some of it isn’t terribly important. Just for a fan, when you know these things happened, and the “History” set forgets to mention them, it leaves a little bit of a shit taste in your mouth. I’ll equate it to this. It would be like a history textbook highlighting the Bill Clinton administration in all its glory, and then skipping straight to the Obama administration. Sure, people want to forget what was in between, but it still happened. And the story deserves to be told.
So as major as that quibble is, it’s really not. The documentary is still very insightful and interesting, and it provided me with some knowledge I had yet to acquire. They got perspectives from people who experienced WCW first hand, and a lot of the perspectives, no matter how jaded, are still important to the history.
Now, while I love the documentary aspects to the WWE DVD releases, those usually aren’t the only reason people buy these sets. They buy them for the match collection, and I’ll tell you, this 3-disc set is STACKED.
There are matches that I’d never seen, with superstars like Big Van Vader, Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho, Sting, Rick Rude, Ricky Steamboat, Magnum TA, DDP, Goldberg, and of course, Mr. WCW himself, Ric Flair. The quality of the matches on this set is phenomenal, and it just makes a fan hope they continue to utilize the WCW media library that they have at their disposal in future releases, and get some of these fantastic matches into the hands of the fans who want them.
While the documentary is solid, it does leave just a little bit to be desired, but this set is worth the $20 price tag for the matches alone. Some of these are absolute classics, and can be watched again and again, making the set a steal for just $20. There is more than 9 hours of entertainment packed into these discs, and you get so much “BANG” for your buck it’s hard to be too disappointed when that final DVD ends.
Score: 8.0/10 (Great)