Thursday, 21 May 2015

The History Of The WWE Championship

Image Source: Amazon
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Running Time: 561 Minutes
Certificate: 18
Number Of Discs: 3
Studio: Clear Vision Ltd/Silver Vision
Released: November 13 2006

This 3-disc DVD is a selection of matches for the WWE Title ranging from the 1970s to the mid-2000s, as chosen by the fans on As it was released in 2006, it does not cover most of the last decade; viewing it from a 2006 standpoint, then, I can confirm that this is an exceptional wrestling DVD, and I will now go into more depth.

Disc one covers the 1970s and 1980s (no 1960s matches were apparently available to use). The early bouts cover the title reigns of Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales and Superstar Billy Graham, and are more notable from a historic perspective than for match quality. Bob Backlund becomes the WWWF/WWF Champion and loses the title to the Iron Sheik under controversial-by-1983-standards circumstances.

Then Hulk Hogan dethrones Sheik, and the matches most familiar with modern fans begin. We see his bouts with King Kong Bundy, Mr. Wonderful, Andre The Giant and Randy Savage. Again, these are more notable for their historic value (especially the WrestleMania III main event), but there are some genuinely entertaining moments, particularly the twin referee ending to the Andre rematch, and the Savage bout is a great end to disc one.

Disc two covers the 1990s, a decade in which the WWF completely transformed. The proof comes in the changing face of the company via the matches featured here, all of which deserve to be here: Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior (WM VI); Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart in a Steel Cage (SummerSlam 1994); Bret vs. Shawn Michaels under Iron Man rules (WM XII); Shawn vs. Mankind (IYH X) and Shawn vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin in a very important bout history-wise (WM XIV). The length of the Iron Man scrap means that there is less room for another match or two, but the disc is still of high quality.

The third and final disc covers the new millennium up to the time this DVD was released and is filled with superb or classic matches. Triple H vs. Cactus Jack is an all-time great Street Fight from Royal Rumble 2000. The three-way main event from SummerSlam of the same year is brilliant storytelling for the very entertaining love triangle involving HHH, Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle. The Austin-Rock headliner from WM X-Seven is one of my favourite matches ever and, as a complete package, arguably the best title bout of them all. Chris Jericho's win over Austin from Vengeance 2001 is less exciting but, as the moment in which Y2J became Undisputed Champ, it had to be here for historical reasons.

The three-way from Vengeance 2002 between The Undertaker (in his only appearance here, interestingly), Rock and Angle is phenomenal and is possibly the best triple threat match in WWE history. The Rock-Brock Lesnar bout from the following month's SummerSlam is an interesting inclusion and, at the time, seemed to propel Lesnar to becoming the face of WWE. Although awkward to watch today, Angle vs. Chris Benoit from Royal Rumble 2003 is a classic technical wrestling match. The last bout is an exciting 3-way from Vengeance 2005 between Jericho, Christian and recently crowned titleholder John Cena.

The DVD is completed with very brief highlights of almost every title change from its incarnation to mid-2006. If an updated version was released to go up to the modern day, my match suggestions would be Cena vs. Edge from Unforgiven 2003, Cena-HBK at WM 23, HHH-Jeff Hardy from No Mercy 2008, possibly a Cena-Orton or HHH-Orton scrap, Cena-CM Punk from Money In The Bank 2011, a bout from Punk's long title reign, Cena-Rock at WM 29, the 3-way from WM XXX ("Yes!") and the Cena-Lesnar-Seth Rollins clash from Royal Rumble 2015. As always, leave your thoughts in the Comments section below.

As stated, this is a brilliant wrestling DVD. Many hours of combat where almost every match is great or historic, with the title's key moments all captured here, and with the fans having picked the bouts to their satisfaction. The only snag in terms of buying this DVD is that you'll probably already own many of the matches featured here but, even if you do, I still highly recommend this DVD; to me, it is one of the top WWE DVDs ever.

Overall Rating: 9.5/10 - Classic

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