WWE: The True Story of WrestleMania
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It is the most anticipated yearly event in Sports Entertainment, an annual pop culture touch point. For more than 25 years, WrestleMania has hosted the biggest matches, the biggest stars, and the biggest celebrities. Now for the first time ever, the story of WrestleMania is told from its early beginnings through the week-long spectacular it has become, routinely drawing fans from all 50 states and around the world. This documentary feature includes new and insightful interviews from the superstars and creative forces behind the event.
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We start obviously with the build-up to the very first Wrestlemania, how Vince McMahon took a territory based wrestling system and that his dad wouldn't have approved of him doing this. Also how Vince turned his company into a national powerhouse firstly the brith of Hulkamania, bringing MTV stars thus the Rock "N" Roll Connection was born also other celebrities that helped make WWE seem so much bigger than other wrestling companies. Also how Mr. T was involved in the first two. How it was such a massive gamble to put the first one on and if it failed it would be the end of the company and of the wrestlers who were on the card.
The success of the first one lead to Vince trying to top Jim Crockett's 2 location based Starrcade by putting Wrestlemania 2 in three different time zones, which even Vince himself admits was a bit too much to do at that time. Of course the third one in Detroit is discussed, the main event of Hogan/Andre, mainly how Hogan was scared that Andre may not want to wrestle the match the right way. The massive attendance of 93,173 is talked about also which even I doubt that number to this day.
Footage of Wrestlemania 23 from Detroit is shown that featured the "Hair vs. Hair" Match between Vince & Trump and how their friendship made it better to do the match. How IV & V were both held in the Trump Plaza which was a unique setting after the huge crowd at number III.
The rest of this jumps back from the past to the near present and offers new interviews and insight from wrestlers and backstage people which while maybe nothing entirely new as far as information are always good to hear. Hearing from Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan and many others were very good interviews and added to the big feel of this documentary.
-Wrestlemania, Hulk Hogan & Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff: The very first main event that of course wasn't a great match but it had fantstic energy from all involved and also from the crowd. Special referee Pat Patterson had his hands full and Jimmy Snuka and Bob Orton both got involved at the end where Orton accidentaly knocked out Orndorff and Hogan makes the cover for the win. 8/10.
-Wrestlemania III, Intercontinental Championship Match, Randy Savage (Champion) vs. Ricky Steamboat: Hogan/Andre may have brought the fans into the arena but this match was the best on the card. Both men just went all out and had the crowd on the edge of their seats the whole time. Tons of near falls, high impact moves and a good ending as Steamboat rolls up Savage for the 3 count to win the I.C. title. 10/10.
-Wrestlemania III, WWE Championship Match, Hulk Hogan (Champion) vs. Andre The Giant: The main event that had everyone glued to the ring or the screen. Not a great technical bout as Andre was near the end of his career and Hogan who was always very entertaining was limited in the ring. Hogan ended up bringing the crowd to its feet when he slammed Andre, hit the leg drop and made the cover to end Andre's undefeated streak. 8/10.
-Wrestlemania VII, Retirement Match, Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior: Easily Warrior's greatest match as Savage helped make him look fantastic in the ring. It was a great back and forth contest where the fans seemed to have no idea who would win and with a few close close near falls it was certainly tension filled. After Savage hit 5 elbow drops with Warrior kicking out, Savage gets knocked around after this, shoulder blocked out of the ring a couple of times. Warrior pulls Randy into the ring and covers him with one foot for the win. 9/10. The aftermath where the reunion of Miss Elizabeth and Savage happened was very emotional to the point it brought tears to the eyes of many in the crowd.
-Wrestlemania X, Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship, Razor Ramon (Champion) vs. Shawn Michaels: Pretty hard hitting match for back then. The first few minutes of the match have some good wrestling holds but then some brawling occurs on the outside before the ladder is brought into play by Shawn. Lots of uses of the ladder by both men, though Michaels uses it first on Razor, even throwing it at him a couple of times. Shawn also hit a splash on Razor from the top of the ladder in a very nice high spot. Razor also throws the ladder at Shawn while he's against the ring post, then throws it at Michaels again. Just when Shawn looked like he'd win, Razor pushed the ladder over and Shawn fell into the ropes and got his foot caught in the ropes. Razor then climbed the ladder and retrieved the two belts to become the undisputed I.C. Champion in about 19 minutes. 11/10.
-Wrestlemania XIV, WWE Championship Match, Shawn Michaels (Champion) vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin: Despite having a very bad back that would shelve him for 4 years Shawn Michaels went out and helped make Austin the new main event in WWE, even though he was already well established with the fans. It was a good hard hitting match, where you could see that Shawn was really really hurting but it was a very good match. Austin ends up hitting the stunner and making the cover to win his first WWE championship. 9/10. Side Note: Knowing how bad his injury was I have no idea on all honesty how Michaels was able to put on the performance he did.
-Wrestlemania 2000, Triangle Ladder Match for the Tag Team Championship, The Dudley Boyz (Champions) vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz: What was the precussor to the TLC match was a very good under card contest that helped make and showcase three tag teams. Jeff Hardy takes a massive dive from a ladder through a table and Matt was thrown from a ladder through a table that shattered like a busted open window. Edge & Christian grab the titles to win the match. 10/10.
-Wrestlemania X7, Street Fight, Vince McMahon vs. Shane McMahon: Just a few days prior Shane had bought WCW from right under his dad's nose, which lead to a pretty bad Invasion storyline shortly after this event. As for this match it was the usual Vince match as he took a beating, dished one out and there were maybe 5 wrestling moves in the whole match, with mostly just brawling. Its actually a pretty good match that see Shane hit the coast to coast on his dad and makes the cover to win the match. 9/10.
-Wrestlemania X8, Icon vs. Icon, The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan: Should've been the main event as both guys had the crowd in the palm of their hand. The crowd reaction did make this match seem a whole lot better than it honestly was, not that it was terrible or even average but its not an all time classic in my opinion. Hogan gets such a huge reaction that The Rock has to heel on the crowd, no matter what the announcers said it was not a mixed response. After hulking up and hitting the leg drop for 2, Hogan misses a second leg drop, Rock hits his third Rock Bottom and the People's Elbow for the win. 9/10, a couple of extra points for the crowd's constant energy.
-Wrestlemania XIX, WWE Championship Match, Kurt Angle (Champion) vs. Brock Lesnar: Great main event, great wrestling, just great everything. Plenty of submission moves are used by both men and each one almost has the other beat on numerous occasions. Loved the fact that Angle went totally gung-ho during the match, despite the fact that he needed neck surgery. Lesnar goes for a shooting star press and doesn't quite get the distance to hit Angle and Lesnar seems to jack his neck really, really, really bad, then Angle goes for the cover but Brock kicks out and somehow hits an F-5 on Angle, the third of the match for the win, to become the WWE champion for the second time. 11/10. On a side note, being from Washington, this PPV was in Seattle, Wa., and when I saw this live on PPV I honestly thought as did the crowd that Lesnar had broken his neck and after the match he didn't look like he knew where he was.
-Wrestlemania 22, WWE Championship Match, John Cena (Champion) vs. Triple H: Great entrances by both men and this was a good main event. The crowd was soundly behind Triple H and it showed everytime he hit a move on Cena they cheered. Cena tried hard but he's not the best wrestler and Triple H made him look like a million bucks. Cena ends up making Triple H tap out to the STFU to retain his title. 9/10.
Blu-ray Exclusive Matches and Extras
-Wrestlemania XXIV, Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Chris Jericho vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. John Morrison vs. Carlito vs. CM Punk vs. MVP vs. Mr. Kennedy: This was supposed to include Jeff Hardy but he stupidly got suspended for drug use so he was out (nice job since it appeared he was slotted to win this). Anyways as for the match itself it had the usual high spots including Morrison hitting a moonsault to the outside while holding a ladder. Every guy got their spots in and Shelton took a nasty bump off one ladder through another ladder set up on the outside. Matt Hardy does make a shocking appearance preventing MVP (who injured him months back) from winning. CM Punk pulls Jericho's legs into the rungs of the ladder and climbs to retrieve the briefcase. 9/10.
-Wrestlemania 25, Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker: Whatever I say will pale in comparison to the match itself. From the entrances for both men, to the the numerous close falls, to Taker's dive over the top rope and landing on his head, to Michaels kicking out of a Tombstone and being the one man you felt could end the undefeated streak and he almost did. It goes for 30 minutes of high impact action, Taker hits a second Tombstone and finally keeps Michaels down for three. 11/10.
-Wrestlemania 26, WWE Championship Match, Batista (Champion) vs. John Cena: Despite only one other main event clash (Summerslam '08, I'm ignoring Batista's run in after the Elimination Chamber match a month before this), these two worked quite well and actually put on some decent wrestling in this contest. Sure Batista was more power than anything and he used that well but this told a story of Batista beating down Cena who just didn't quit and was finally able to lock on the STFU and Batista taps out so Cena wins. 9/10.
-Gene Okerlund Interviews Liberace: Cool time capsule here.
-Underestimating the crowd at Wrestlemania IX: Great piece where we find out how some of the staff had to become ticket takers so the crowd go into the show on time.
-Bobby Heenan's Wild Ride: Funny stuff with Bobby riding a camel into the stadium at Wrestlemania IX.
-Rey Mysterio on His Wrestlemania Outfits: Cool stuff hearing about what inspires him to wear whatever outfit at the biggest show of the year.
-John Cena on Making His Entrance: Nice piece about the different and grand entrances Cena has made at every Wrestlemania he's wrestled in.
-Edge on Facing The Undertaker at Wrestlemania: Great stuff here as Edge talks about how big it felt to be in his first Wrestlemania main event.
-Bret Hart on His Return To Wrestlemania: Loved hearing this especially since most people including Bret thought it would never happen.
-"My Favorite Wrestlemania Moment": Good piece as various superstars talk about what stands out for them from all the Wrestlemania's.
It may not be the most informative and deep documentary like it could've been, but it is a good look at the biggest PPV of them all, Wrestlemania. The matches while on other DVD's obviously are also good but they could've added one or two more on each disc and maybe some deleted scenes on the first disc. But like I said its a good set, the Blu-ray extras makes this a good purchase as well.
My only gripe, if any, would be to spend a little more time on WrestleManias that didn't get as much highlight on this documentary as others did. Other than that it was a very well, put together Blu Ray set, with many extras such as WrestleMania matches and moments. I recommend to anyone who is a current WWE fan or who enjoys the "old school" goodness such as myself.
Infancy. The business had not yet been sold as Entertainment.
Add Liberace, MR. T., Cyndi Lauper, Piper storyline & how it all materialized.
Pure Genius all the planets aligned for this Event. It was a Pop Culture Phenomenon.
The Mystique of the business, chracther's was at a fever pitch. The Irresistible force meets the E-Moveable object which was going to prevail. You just did not know.
There was No Internet, No Television Special, No Shhot Interview shows, No Podcast.
No way to get the inside scope you had to attend the event.
What a day at the Waterbury Palace theater 4,500 strong
watching on a Drive in like screen the crowd came unglued when Piper & T. locked up.
This documentary captures the excitement, the historical significance
of the greatest Sports spectacle ever.
5 ☆☆☆☆☆ you will enjoy the behind the scenes info, rare interviews. Truly one of the better WWWF/WWF/WWE Rassilin documentaries!
The True Story of Wrestlemania is an extremely well crafted and polished documentary that does the legacy and history of Wrestlemania proud, this is a must for any WWE fan. Buy it or rent it, just watch it.