A first from WWE as they give a DVD release to one of the most highly regarded shows from WWE.COM; the Legends Roundtable. Jim Ross is our host as he chairs the discussion while he, Jerry Lawler, Michael Hayes, Mick Foley and Eric Bischoff give their opinions on the biggest pains in the ass when it comes to the wrestling business. All the comments are very candid and completely out of character. For those looking to preserve kayfabe, this is NOT the DVD for you, but for those of us who enjoy hearing about the inner workings and the true-life thoughts of those within the business, this is a fantastic little treat.
Running Time: 168mins (including extras)
- Roundtable discussion on heatseekers within the wrestling industry.
- The Freebirds WWE Debut: The Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy & Buddy Roberts) w/ Cyndi Lauper & David Wolff v Ron Shaw, Rene Goulet & Charlie Fulton – Philadelphia (04/08/84)
- NWA World Tag Team Championship Match: Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard w/ J.J. Dillon v Lex Luger & Barry Windham – Clash of the Champions (27/03/88)
- Loser Leaves the NWA Match: Jim Cornette’s Midnight Express v Paul Heyman’s Midnight Express – Chi-Town Rumble (20/02/89)
- United States Heavyweight Championship Match: Lex Luger v Michael Hayes – WrestleWar (07/05/89)
- WCW United States Heavyweight Championship Match:Scott Hall v Goldberg – Monday Nitro (06/07/98)
- Scott Hall v Kevin Nash – Halloween Havoc (25/10/98)
- Steel Cage Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Vince Russo v Booker T – WCW Nitro (25/09/2000)
- Boxing Match: Buff Bagwell v Roddy Piper – Bash at the Beach (01/07/1999)
For around an hour, all five men tell stories from their days dealing and working with some of the biggest egos in wrestling. The running time flies by as funny tales (Buff getting his mother to call in sick for him), poignant tales and “no way, that can’t be true” tales are regaled for our entertainment. Gentle mocking of each other is interspersed with debates over the good and bad points of guys like Bill Goldberg, Scott Hall, Vince Russo, Bill Watts, Missy Hyatt, Paul Heyman, Lex Luger, Vince McMahon and the panel themselves.
All four men are humble enough to admit when they’ve perhaps been difficult in the past and discuss where they went wrong, while, during the discussions, we cut to various short segments of the subject being talked about in action (an in-ring promo by Paul Heyman from ECW in 1998 is especially memorable).
At one hour in length, this is nowhere near long enough and this could easily have ran into double figures without repeating a story.
For the extras portion of the disc, you get eight complete matches (some of which also have the pre-match hype included too) of varying quality. The best of these are the bouts between Bill Goldberg and Scott Hall, the battle of the Midnight Expresses and the NWA World Tag Team Title Match. The worst match on the “card” is the Boxing Match between Roddy Piper (who fought Mr. T in a worked boxing bout at WrestleMania II thirteen years earlier) and Buff Bagwell. One gets the feeling this match was put here because it stinks and because it’s Bagwell.
A really enjoyable release, I hope this is the first of many DVD releases for the Legends Roundtable discussions/debates. All four guests are great value and Jim Ross is a genial host who lets the conversation run when it needs to, but also reigns it in to avoid things going too off-topic.
Eric Bischoff is surprisingly candid over his own failings and the stories from the five men are always captivating, entertaining and without any hint of protecting their own reputations. Jerry Lawler picking Michael Hayes from the time he was booking the Memphis territory or Jim Ross explaining why he still harbours anger over the Ed Ferrara as Oklahoma skits from Nitro when Vince Russo took over are two of the many great tales of backstage angst and out-of-control egos that make this an essential purchase.
They could easily have went on for another six hours and not repeated a single story and I hope that this is not a one-off and more discussions on heatseekers follow in the coming months. Add that to the eight matches on show and you have a really good value release, especially if you can pick it up at Silvervision.co.uk for £10.99.