DVD Review: The History of the Hardcore Championship 24:7

hardcore-championship-dvd

Certificate: 18
Running Time: 431mins (7hrs 11mins)
Discs: 3

Disc 1 Chapters

  • This is Hardcore
  • A Hardcore Journey to WWE
  • The Birth of the Hardcore Championship – RAW • November 2, 1998
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Mankind v Ken Shamrock – RAW • November 9, 1998
  • Ladder Match for the Hardcore Championship: Mankind v Big Boss Man – RAW • November 30, 1998
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Al Snow v Road Dogg – RAW • January 4, 1999
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Al Snow v Bob Holly – St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: In Your House • February 14, 1999
  • Creative Spaces
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Bob Holly v Steve Blackman – RAW • February 15, 1999
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Bob Holly v Bart Gunn – RAW • February 22, 1999
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Big Bossman v Al Snow – SummerSlam • August 22, 1999
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Al Snow v Steve Blackman – Jakked • October 9, 1999
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Test v Gangrel – SmackDown • January 27, 2000
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Test v Crash Holly – SmackDown • February 24, 2000
  • Sparky Plugg’s Hardcore Makeover
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Crash Holly v Tazz – SmackDown • March 2, 2000
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Crash v Mean Street Posse – RAW • March 13, 2000
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Crash v Head Bangers – SmackDown • March 16, 2000
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Hardcore Holly v Crash – RAW • April 3, 2000
  • Triple Threat Match for the Hardcore Championship: Tazz v Perry Saturn v Crash – RAW • April 17, 2000
  • Hardcore Goes 24/7
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Crash v Mean Street Posse – SmackDown • April 20, 2000
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Crash v Dean Malenko – SmackDown • May 4, 2000
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Crash v Gerald Brisco – SmackDown • May 18, 2000

Disc 2 Chapters

  • The Lethal Weapon
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Steve Blackman v X-Pac – SmackDown • July 27, 2000
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Shane McMahon v Steve Blackman – SummerSlam • August 27, 2000
  • Triple Threat Match for the Hardcore Championship: Steve Blackman v Edge v Christian – RAW • October 2, 2000
  • Triple Threat Match for the Hardcore Championship: Steve Blackman v Raven v Hardcore Holly – RAW • December 25, 2000
  • What About Raven?
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Raven v Crash – RAW • January 29, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Raven v The Big Show – No Way Out • February 25, 2001
  • Triple Threat Match for the Hardcore Championship: The Big Show v The Rock v Kurt Angle – RAW • February 26, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Chris Jericho v Raven – SmackDown • March 22, 2001
  • Hardcore on the Grandest Stage
  • Triple Threat Match for the Hardcore Championship: Raven v Kane v The Big Show – WrestleMania X-Seven • April 1, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Kane v Steven Richards – RAW • April 16, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Kane v Rhyno – SmackDown • April 19, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Raven v Rhyno – Backlash • April 29, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: The Big Show v Chris Jericho – RAW • May 28, 2001

Disc 3 Chapters

  • ECW Invades the Hardcore Division
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Test v Rhyno – RAW • June 25, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Jeff Hardy v Mike Awesome – SmackDown • July 12, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Jeff Hardy v Rob Van Dam – Invasion • July 22, 2001
  • One of a Kind Champion
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Rob Van Dam v Tajiri – RAW • July 30, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Rob Van Dam v Kurt Angle – RAW • September 10, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: The Rock v Rob Van Dam – SmackDown • October 25, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Rob Van Dam v The Undertaker – Vengeance • December 9, 2001
  • The Aura of The Undertaker
  • Hardcore Championship Match: The Undertaker v Jeff Hardy – RAW • December 17, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: The Undertaker v Tajiri – SmackDown • December 27, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: The Undertaker v Maven – SmackDown • February 5, 2002
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Bubba Ray Dudley v Raven – RAW • April 15, 2002
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Booker T v Steven Richards – Insurrextion • May 4, 2002
  • The Return of 24/7
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Steven Richards v Terri – RAW • May 27, 2002
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Bradshaw v Jeff Hardy – RAW • July 29, 2002
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Tommy Dreamer v Bradshaw – RAW • August 5, 2002
  • Intercontinental Championship and Hardcore Championship Unification Match: Rob Van Dam v Tommy Dreamer – RAW • August 26, 2002
  • The End of an Era

“Since its inception in 1998, the WWE Hardcore Championship has been sought after by some of WWE’s toughest and most unpredictable competitors. From deranged champions like MANKIND, RAVEN and AL SNOW to fighting champions like ROB VAN DAM, UNDERTAKER, TOMMY DREAMER and HARDCORE HOLLY, to unsung heroes like “THE LETHAL WEAPON” STEVE BLACKMAN and CRASH HOLLY, this set takes a comprehensive look at the greatest WWE HARDCORE CHAMPIONSHIP matches in history. It’s unpredictable… it’s wild… it’s HARDCORE!”

The above is the official blurb on the WWE DVD website for this collection and it pretty much sums up what the three discs will contain and who the main attractions for the division were during what many consider the be the greatest period in the history of pro-wrestling (and a small period after too).

Presented in a round-table format, we have Mick Foley, Rob Van Dam and Raven linking the various eras together (in a way that screams Table for 3) and chatting about what the title meant to them personally and the evolution from it being a joke at the expense of Mankind in the very beginning, to giving adrift characters like Bob Holly an identity and direction, through the goofier times of the 24/7 era with Crash and on to the more serious battles when RVD and Undertaker held the belt.

The main strength of the release (other than the Rob, Raven and Mick) is seeing how it grew and became respected within the company (even if it was for a short time) and while it is mostly remembered for low-card wrestlers having quick matches, The History of the Hardcore Championship reminds you that genuine and future main-event talent competed for the belt, including (but not limited to) The Rock, Kurt Angle, Kane, Undertaker, Edge, Christian, Road Dogg, Big Show, Booker T and Jeff Hardy.

As with any collection that focuses on a particular match type (e.g. ladder, cage, HiaC, etc), watching the entire thing in one sitting (unless you’re reviewing it, natch) is not advised as you will easily burn out on the similar tropes, spots and repeat appearances of certain individuals.

Instead, take it in 30-40min chunks to really get the most out of it. Especially so that while you can reminisce about certain moments you forgot about (Gerald Brisco’s amazing reaction to pinning a sleeping Crash Holly being one), you also enjoy the Hardcore Championship Matches that are truly exceptional bouts.

For me, these would be -:

  • Al Snow v Road Dogg – RAW • January 4, 1999
  • Al Snow v Bob Holly – St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: In Your House • February 14, 1999
  • Steve Blackman v X-Pac – SmackDown • July 27, 2000
  • Shane McMahon v Steve Blackman – SummerSlam • August 27, 2000
  • The Big Show v The Rock v Kurt Angle – RAW • February 26, 2001
  • Raven v Kane v The Big Show – WrestleMania X-Seven • April 1, 2001
  • Raven v Rhyno – Backlash • April 29, 2001
  • Jeff Hardy v Rob Van Dam – Invasion • July 22, 2001
  • The Rock v Rob Van Dam – SmackDown • October 25, 2001
  • Rob Van Dam v The Undertaker – Vengeance • December 9, 2001
  • The Undertaker v Jeff Hardy – RAW • December 17, 2001
  • The Undertaker v Tajiri – SmackDown • December 27, 2001
  • Rob Van Dam v Tommy Dreamer – RAW • August 26, 2002

That’s 13 complete matches that are the prime example of why the Hardcore Title was more than the goofy segments with Crash and 24/7 (although anything that gets the Mean Street Posse a royalty cheque is worth sitting through) and featured genuinely hard-fought bouts between guys who treated it as more than just an excuse for a few weapons shots and sixteen title changes per night.

For a title that was around for less than four years (which itself was one of those revelations you, as a long-time fan, would be aware of, but never really took on board it was so short-lived overall), it certainly left its mark and this is a genuine must-buy for fans of the era as well as those who missed out of and want to catch up on what all the fuss is about.

Of course, the majority of the match content is available on the WWE Network (for only £9.99), but unlike PPV events, a collection like this saves you having to trawl for them all and remove the possibility that you would miss out on something because you either forgot it took place or never even knew it happened.

Special mention to Foley, RVD and Raven as they were great together and an actual Table for 3 or, even better, a return of the Legends of Wrestling round-table discussions they used to do with these three, Tommy Dreamer and chaired by Jim Ross would be a wonderful idea (if you’re reading this, WWE spies).

Blu-Ray owners will also receive the following extras -:

  • Hardcore Championship Match: Al Snow v Big Bossman – SmackDown • August 26, 1999
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Crash v Mark Henry – RAW • February 28, 2000
  • Six-Man Match for the Hardcore Championship: Matt Hardy v Jeff Hardy v Crash Holly v Hardcore Holly v Tazz v Perry Saturn – Backlash • April 30, 2000
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Steve Blackman v Test – RAW • August 21, 2000
  • Hardcore Championship Invitational: Steve Blackman v Crash v Test v Perry Saturn v Sho Funaki v Al Snow – Unforgiven • September 24, 2000
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Rob Van Dam v Kurt Angle – RAW • August 13, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Chris Jericho v Rob Van Dam – Unforgiven • September 23, 2001
  • Hardcore Championship Match: The Undertaker v The Big Show – SmackDown • January 3, 2002
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Goldust v Rob Van Dam – SmackDown • March 7, 2002
  • Hardcore Championship Match: Bubba Ray Dudley v Booker T – RAW • April 8, 2002

Points: 9/10

Tags

  • Boxmaster

    In recent years I’ve picked up the dvds over bluray just because the bonus content were average at best. so are the extra matches on this worth picking up for or shall I just grab the dvd instead?

    • Henry Higgins III

      Because of the relatively small list, I’d recommend the DVD and using the Network to catch up on any of the Blu-Ray exclusives you fancy checking out.

      From those, if you haven’t seen them, I’d say you’re worth looking up -:

      Six-Man Match for the Hardcore Championship: Matt Hardy v Jeff Hardy v Crash Holly v Hardcore Holly v Tazz v Perry Saturn – Backlash • April 30, 2000

      Hardcore Championship Invitational: Steve Blackman v Crash v Test v Perry Saturn v Sho Funaki v Al Snow – Unforgiven • September 24, 2000

      Hardcore Championship Match: Rob Van Dam v Kurt Angle – RAW • August 13, 2001

      Hardcore Championship Match: Chris Jericho v Rob Van Dam – Unforgiven • September 23, 2001

      • Boxmaster

        i think I’ve seen rvd vs kurt angle on youtube … it’s the one where a bunch of guys interfere at the end and one of the hardy boyz makes the pin on rvd and wins the title, right?

  • paidimartinez

    Kane was my favourite hardcore champ

    • McGraw

      Rhyno was mine.

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