History Of WWE DVD Review: Steroid Trial & Owen Tragedy Covered, Classic Matches, More
Overall, the two hour documentary is entertaining and never boring, although a lot of it is material that has been covered in other DVD collections. It does feature a lot of clips and archived interviews with Superstars from the past and present, as well as legends that are no longer with us. The Undertaker is featured several times speaking out of character, as is Paul Bearer. Some of the other legends interviewed include: George Skaaland, Hulk Hogan, JJ Dillon, Rocky Johnson, Ken Patera (who I didn't even recognize until I read the caption), Larry Zbysko, Jimmy Valiant, Chief Jay Strongbow, The Fabulous Moolah, George "The Animal" Steele, The Rock, Triple H, Gene Okerlund, Bruno Sammartino, Harley Race and many others.
The early history of the company is discussed, leading up to Vince Sr. splitting Capitol Championship Wrestling away from the NWA and starting the WWWF. Harley Race noted that a lot of people were unhappy with the rift. Buddy Rogers was crowned the organization's first World Champion, with Bruno Sammartino defeating him in 48 seconds to win the strap. Bruno talked about winning the title, while Mike Tyson and Triple H discussed Bruno's popularity at the time.
Next was the post-Bruno era with Bob Backlund winning the title and Andre the Giant becoming a mega-star. Ric Flair, Don Muraco and Ernie Ladd put over how popular Andre was. Ted Dibiase Sr. noted that Andre was a gentle giant, but that changed quickly if you got on his bad side.
Vince McMahon Jr. buying the company and going national was the next topic. Vince pretty much ending the territorial system was expectedly presented in a positive light, whereas later in the DVD, WCW raiding WWF talent in the 90s was presented with a negative tone. Gerald Brisco noted that he received death threats after selling Georgia Championship Wrestling to Vince. Linda McMahon credited the USA Network for helping WWE go national.
The Hulk Hogan era was discussed next. Hogan noted that his character helped make him a better person, and Freddie Blassie said that Vince and Hogan would not have gotten to where they have without each other. It would have been good here to hear more from Vince about Hogan's run.
From there, the first WrestleMania was profiled with The Rock recalling being so excited to watch it. Bret Hart said that he was worried that all this energy was going into this one show and wrestling would fade away after that. Linda McMahon noted that they found out that the night of the event that they broke even, and by the morning they were in the black.
Saturday Night's Main Event was featured next. NBC executive Dick Ebersole talked about bringing the show to NBC and replacing Saturday Night Live several times a year. Ebersole praised the talent, and noted that SNME would draw bigger ratings than SNL for five years. The Piledriver album was mentioned, which John Cena described as "odd" but fitting for the time. There was no mention of the first Wrestling Album. I was also surprised that there was no mention of the February 5, 1988 episode of The Main Event, which featured Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant and drew a 15.2 rating and 33 million viewers, which is still the most watched wrestling show in American pro wrestling history.
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