WWE DVD Review: Wrestling’s Greatest Factions

wwe-greatest-factions-dvd

Certificate: 15

Running Time: 9hrs 0mins (540mins)

Discs: 3

Disc 1

  • D-Generation X
  • Corporate Rumble for #30 Spot in Royal Rumble Match: D-Generation X v The Corporation – Raw (January 11th, 1999)
  • The Heenan Family
  • Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd v Big Machine, Super Machine & Captain Lou Albano – The Big Event (August 28th, 1986)
  • Right to Censor
  • Right to Censor v Too Cool & Rikishi – SummerSlam 2000 (August 27th, 2000)
  • The Fabulous Freebirds
  • 6-Man Tag Team Elimination Match: The Fabulous Freebirds v The Von Erichs (David & Kevin Von Erich) & “Iceman” King Parsons – World Class Championship Wrestling (May 13, 1983)
  • The Nexus
  • 10-Man Tag Team Elimination Match: The Nexus v John Cena Randy Orton Sheamus Chris Jericho & Edge – RAW (August 30th, 2010)
  • The Dangerous Alliance
  • “Stunning” Steve Austin & “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton v Sting & Marcus Bagwell – World Championship Wrestling (January 18th, 1992)
  • The Hart Foundation
  • Flag Match: Bret Hart, Owen Hart & The British Bulldog v Stone Cold Steve Austin, Dude Love & The Undertaker – RAW (July 21st, 1997)

Disc 2

  • nWo
  • War Games Match: Team WCW (Diamond Dallas Page, Roddy Piper & The Warrior) v Team Hollywood (“Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Stevie Ray & Bret Hart) v Team Wolfpac (Kevin Nash, Sting & Lex Luger) – Fall Brawl (September 13th, 1998)
  • The Brood
  • The Brood v J.O.B. Squad (Al Snow, Bob Holly & Scorpio) – Rock Bottom (December 13th, 1998)
  • Million Dollar Corporation
  • Survivor Series Elimination Match: Million Dollar Team (Tatanka, Bam Bam Bigelow, King Kong Bundy & The Heavenly Bodies) v Guts and Glory (Lex Luger, Adam Bomb, Mabel & The Smoking Gunns) – Survivor Series (November 23, 1994)
  • Nation of Domination
  • Owen Hart, Kama Mustafa & D-Lo Brown v Triple H & New Age Outlaws – Over the Edge (May 31st, 1998)
  • Blue World Order
  • Big Stevie Cool v Axl Rotten – Hardcore TV (January 7th, 1997)
  • The Corporation
  • Corporate Gauntlet Match: Stone Cold Steve Austin v The Corporation – RAW (February 13th, 1999)

Disc 3

  • Evolution
  • 6-Man Tag Team Elimination Match: Evolution (Triple H, Randy Orton & Ric Flair) v The Dudley Boyz (D-Von, Bubba Ray & Spike Dudley) – RAW (July 14th, 2003)
  • Oddities
  • Kurrgan & Golga v Too Much – Shotgun Saturday Night (October 17th, 1998)
  • The Triple Threat
  • Shane Douglas & Bam Bam Bigelow v Rob Van Dam & Sabu – CyberSlam (February 21st, 1998)
  • Legacy
  • Legacy v Triple H, Batista & Shane McMahon – Backlash (April 27th, 2009)
  • Dungeon of Doom
  • War Games Match: The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Lex Luger & Sting) v The Dungeon of Doom (Kamala the Ugandan Giant, The Zodiac, The Shark & Meng) – Fall Brawl (September 17th, 1995)
  • Straight Edge Society
  • 3-on-1 Handicap Match: CM Punk, Luke Gallows & Joey Mercury v The Big Show – SummerSlam (August 15th, 2010)
  • The Four Horsemen
  • Ric Flair, Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard v Barry Windham, Lex Luger & Sting – NWA Main Event (April 3rd, 1988)

With things hotting up in WWE between The Shield and Evolution (with The Wyatt Family in the mix too), it seems that now is as good a time as any for WWE to take a look back at the greatest factions in wrestling history.

Of course, as with most of WWE’s releases, you have to accept that non-US promotion groups are going to be overlooked, as well as some of the more indy-flavoured gangs from the likes of Ring of Honor and Chikara, even if you feel they have a place on this list ahead of some of the groups who did feature.

This means that there will be no place for -:

  •    Special K
  •     Age of the Fall
  •     The Prophecy
  •     The Carnage Crew
  •     Sweet ‘n’ Sour Inc
  •     The Osirian Portal
  •     Kings of Wrestling
  •     The Second City Saints
  •     The Rottweilers
  •     The Embassy

Also, as there will definitely be no TNA factions, you can also exclude -:

  •     Fortune
  •     Immortal
  •     3Live Kru
  •     Aces & Eights
  •     Sports Entertainment Xtreme
  •     L.A.X.
  •     Team Canada
  •     The Main Event Mafia
  •     Triple X

With all that being said, it was a surprise to see the following factions overlooked when you consider that The Oddities (!!!!) made it on the list -:

  •    The Ministry
  •     The Dudley Family
  •     Full Blooded Italians
  •     Kai En Tai
  •     Raven’s Flock (WCW version)
  •     The Varsity Club
  •     Jimmy Hart’s First Family
  •     The Natural Born Thrillers
  •     The Network (ECW)
  •     Misfits in Action
  •     Legion of Doom
  •     The Radicalz (although the Benoit connection means they were unlikely to make it)
  •     The Alliance
  •     Camp Cornette

Now that you’ve had a chance to see who is not on the list and will be going into both this review and your first viewing of the collection, you can overcome any disappointment you may have and enjoy this run through of 20 of the most famous groups in the history of pro-wrestling (that WWE own the video library for).

Taking the format of “introduce the group via a series of talking heads and then show a match featuring said group in action”, this will be familiar territory to veterans of WWE’s take on “Best of” sets.

Some of the talking heads are clearly from previous releases and in some hilarious continuity moments, people not only change their clothes, but their hairstyles and facial hair. Case in point, Daniel Bryan is talking about one group with short hair and a hint of a beard, while later on he’s gone full reta… goat-face.

CM Punk’s contribution to the Straight Edge Society chapter is lifted wholesale from his own biography release, but it’s good to see guys like Fandango, Justin Gabriel, Big E., Curt Hawkins and Hornswoggle earn some royalties and getting some face time on an international release.

The older matches suffer from the technical limitations of their time, so appear in a 4:3 ratio with ugly borders down the left and right side of the screen. While this can’t be helped, it is a bit irksome to go from full screen with the into part and then back to an obsolete aspect for the match itself. This is redeemed however by having the original commentary on pretty much all of the footage on show, even if some of the entrance themes have been (badly) overdubbed with Generic Public Domain Theme #12.

The set is 9hrs long, but the great thing about a countdown like this is that the time whizzes by. Plus, you can take a break and come back the following day without losing the momentum you get from watching a film or PPV. I mean, you watch half a movie and come back the next day, you lose the zone you found yourself in. With these types of releases, you can just come back in at the next chapter because the previous story has now been told.

The match content is pretty good across the board as well, which makes a welcome change and there will be something for everyone (even that one Dungeon of Doom fan) to sink their teeth into.

Overview

At the top of the review, I made mention of some factions that have been overlooked and the inclusion of The Oddities makes that a harder pill to swallow than it normally could have been.

Of course, this is essentially a list-based release and with any list you are going to find entries you feel don’t belong at the expense of those you feel have more of a right to be there. My own personal internet-rage is over the fact Raven’s Flock didn’t make the cut as, for me, this was a group with a great dynamic and a great run in both ECW and WCW. For them to miss out in favour of [EXPLETIVE DELETED] Kurrgan was almost enough for me to contact the good people at Fetch Publicity and ask if there was a disc missing.

There was not.

Fortunately for me, I could console myself with -:

– Bobby Heenan in his prime

– Andre the Giant in a mask (sssshhhhh… it’s a secret)

– Remembering how much heat Right to Censor genuinely had

– Goodfather brutally powerbombing Victoria through a table

– Michael Hayes doing the moonwalk

– Reliving the awesomeness that was the Nexus debut (as well as the incredible crowd reaction to the five-on-five face-off replete with shaking hard-cam)

– Paul E. Dangerously

– The Hart Foundation (1997 edition) in Canada

–  The Brood’s still-great-to-this-day entrance and theme

– An appearance by The J.O.B. Squad

– Big Stevie Cool nailing Santa with a Steviekick in Times Square

– The awesome image on a possessed McMahon getting in Austin’s face as “The Rattlesnake” was held in the corner

– Shane Douglas cutting promos in ECW

– Gorilla Monsoon on commentary

– The cheesiness of the Dungeon of Doom vignettes (seriously, if you haven’t seen them before, you will piss yourself laughing)

– CM Punk shaving the heads of his followers and his “One Nation, Under Punk” comment

– The Four Horsemen stylin’ and profilin’ like only they could

As for the matches, the bouts featuring Right to Censor, The Million $ Corporation, The Fabulous Freebirds, Nexus, The Brood, The Hart Foundation, The Nation of Domination and The Triple Threat (where Bam Bam nails the best version of Greetings From Asbury Park you will ever see) and The Four Horsemen are all excellent in their own way and for different reasons.

The other matches are watchable in their own right and this is a set that is well worth seeking out, especially if you get it from WWE DVD (in the UK) at the cheaper rate.

Blu-Ray customers also get the following additional content -:

  • Wyatt Family
  • The Wyatt Family v Daniel Bryan – TLC (December 15th, 2013)
  • Spirit Squad
  • Spirit Squad v Kane & Big Show – Raw (April 3rd, 2006)
  • The Shield
  • The Shield v Ryback & Team Hell No – TLC (December 16th, 2012)

Points: 8/10

Pre-Order It:

UK: DVD / Blu ray

USA: DVD / Blu ray

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