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Announcer editing hurts this amazing DVD!
on September 27, 2006
First I want to get the negative aspects about this release out of the way.
The WWE has done it again! Jesse Ventura's commentary has been cut from arguably
Pillman's greatest match, the match from SuperBrawl II between Pillman and Jushin "Thunder" Liger.
For those that don't know the story, the WWE will edit out Jesse Ventura's commentary from matches
if they can, because in the 90s, Ventura successfully sued the WWE over back pay for his commentary
on old WWE vhs tapes. So, to get even (and save a buck) Vince will cut Ventura's commentary at every
chance he can, or exclude matches from DVD sets all together that contain commentary from Ventura.
Ever wonder why the Vader vs Flair match from Starrcade '94 was left off of Flair's DVD set? Ventura was
on commentary. Why did the matches on "The Greatest Wrestling Stars From the 80s" DVD set suck so bad?
Because Ventura did commentary on most of the better matches from that era, so they left them off. Plus, Ventura's commentary was cut from recent releases like: the Jake Roberts DVD and the Dusty Rhodes DVD.
The WWE only agrees to pay Ventura when it's absolutely necessary, like on the WrestleMania Anthology or The History of the WWE Championship.
This has to stop! Vince swallow your pride, do what's right and pay Ventura for use of his commentary. To edit what many believe to be Brian Pillman's greatest match is an insult to the fans and Pillman's memory. I know WWE is a publicly traded company, and they need to cut costs, but don't butcher history like this!
What's funny about this editing, is that they didn't even cut all of Ventura's commentary out!!!!!
Jesse, if you read this, sue the WWE again! Your voice is on this DVD release! During the Pillman vs Liger match from SuperBrawl, they failed to edit out where Ventura cries out "Uh-oh!". Get your money Jesse!
Now, with that out of the way, here's my review of the DVD....
This release is bitter sweet. Brian Pillman is a tragic figure in wrestling history. He had fought so hard to become the talk of the wrestling world and when he achieved it, the rug was pulled out from under him by a cruel twist of fate in a near fatal car accident. No joke, I was a fan back then and every wrestling fan, every promotion and the internet was talking about Pillman. If the accident had never happened, Pillman probably would have been the centerpiece of the Attitude era instead of Steve Austin, he was that hot. However, once he came back, and he returned too soon, he had lost all of his momentum and never reclaimed it. When he finally started taking off in WWE, with the assistant gimmick with the red hot Marlena, he died.
The documentary is very well done, and it reminded me of a lot of Loose Cannon moments I had forgot about. However, as with all WWE documentaries, history is re-written and/or people are protected from criticism. For example, Steve Austin and Jim Ross really place a lot of blame on the WCW booker who broke up the Hollywood Blondes when they were red hot, while never naming who was responsible for the decision. Well, that was Ric Flair. Another moment they tried to smooth over was to have Dusty Rhodes talk about how much he believed in Pillman and Austin. What?! Dusty held back Austin and NEVER believed he was anymore than a mid-card act, and he never gave Pillman any important role when he was booking! One sad moment on the DVD was to see Jim Ross, who I respect a great deal, try to down play Pillman's painkiller use by saying he died from a heart attack, as if to say the pills had no affect on Pillman, when we all know it was the abuse of the painkillers that lead to his heart attack. The same thing killed Eddie Guerrero, Louie Spicolli and tons more. So, you have to stomach moments like that.
On the upside, there are some great stories about Pillman on this DVD from friends and family. You'll learn what caused his voice to sound the way it did, his near death experiences early in his life, his remarkable football career and tons more. All the Loose Cannon moments are here, from the time he freaked out Bobby Heenan on live tv, fallout with WCW, his legendary appearances in ECW, his membership in the Hart Foundation to his controversial home videos with Marlena - they even show the memorable Marlena upskirt from Raw when she was forced to assist Pillman!
As for the matches, I already talked about the Liger match, but they also include the match between Pillman and Liger from the first episode of Nitro. Another classic match, making it's DVD debut, is the Hart Foundation vs Steve Austin's team from the Canadian Stampede from WWE In Your House '97. This is an amazing match that is worth the price of the DVD alone! You'll also see Pillman in a War Games match against the 4 Horseman where Sid Viscous nearly breaks Pillman's neck! You'll also see a rare "Thundercage" tag match pitting Pillman, Sting & Dustin Rhodes against Paul Orndorff, Steve Austin & Rick Rude. The Thundercage was a precursor to the Hell in a Cell, it just didn't have a roof. Plus there's a lot more. Unfortunately, there's only one Hollywood Blondes match, but it's one of their best, and you only get to see Pillman's ECW work during the documentary, but beyond that, it's hard to argue with the match choices on this DVD.
A must buy for any wrestling fan in general. You're going to be treated to one of the most unique careers in the history of the business.