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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » WWE - the History Of the WWE Championship
WWE - the History Of the WWE Championship
World Wrestling Entertainment // Unrated // September 5, 2006
List Price: $34.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Crichton | posted November 8, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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WWE's the History Of the Championship is an almost comprehensive look at the various wrestlers that have held the WWE Championship title. While i'm only familiar with some of the champs on this set, after reading the illustrated timeline on the DVD's insert, I realize that it's not as comprehensive as it should be - and i'm not just referring to matches. For one thing, Buddy Rogers, the very first "Nature Boy" and the first WWWF Champ, barely gets a mention on this set. In fact, it's almost one of those "blink and you'll miss it" type things. Now, I realize that Hulk Hogan is responsible for the WWF/E's hot streak during the 80's, but it's a shame that a whopping seven[!] of the twenty-five matches on this set are his and six of those are on the recently released Hulk Hogan - the Ultimate Anthology. Surely, the space on the DVD could've been used to showcase some of the wrestlers whose matches are not included on this set and will probably never have their own DVD sets.

Those qualms aside, this was a pretty entertaining set. Hosted by Jim Ross, he also does commentary for a third of the matches. Vince McMahon, Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby "the Brain" Heenan and Jesse "the Body" Ventura are also on hand calling the matches - as well as Elvira. Yes, "Mistress Of the Night" Elvira. Most of the matches on the set, including the 60 minute "Iron Man" match between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, are complete and start once the wrestler make his way to the ring. However, there are three joined in progress - two of Backlund's and Owen vs. Bret's. JR does a good job hosting and is very informative, though he tends to gloss over some events. On disc two, he takes a quick second to tells us the names of the various champions of the '96-'98 period, but mentions that Shawn eventually became champ through "grit...and determination". In hindsight, i'm guessing that Vince figured fans who buy this set would already be familiar with the notorious Montreal "screwjob" incident that resulted in Shawn reclaiming the title.

Here are the matches featured on disc One [2hr 56m]:

  • WWWF Championship Match [Ivan Koloff vs. Pedro Morales - Madison Square Garden 2/8/71] - Jim Ross is the commentator.

  • WWWF Championship Match [Bruno Sammartino vs. Killer Kowalski - Madison Square Garden 4/29/74]
  • - Vince McMahon is the commentator.

  • WWWF Championship Match [Bruno Sammartino vs. "Superstar" Billy Graham - Baltimore, MD 4/30/77] - Vince McMahon is the commentator.

  • WWWF Championship Match ["Superstar" Billy Graham vs. Bob Backlund - Madison Square Garden 2/20/78] - Craig DeGeorge, Bobby Heenan and Johnny Valentine commentate. This match is joined in progress.

  • WWE Championship Match [Bob Backlund vs. Greg Valentine - Philadelphia, PA 1/16/82] - Craig DeGeorge, Bobby Heenan and Johnny Valentine commentate. Like Backlund's previous match, this one is joined in progress.

  • WWE Championship Match [Bob Backlund vs. Sgt. Slaughter - Madison Square Garden 5/23/83] - Gorilla Monsoon is the commentator.

  • WWE Championship Match [Iron Sheik vs. Hulk Hogan - Madison Square Garden 1/23/84] - Gorilla Monsoon & Pat Patterson commentate.

  • Steel Cage Match For the WWE Championship [Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy - WrestleMania 2 4/5/86] - Lord Alfred Hayes, Jesse Ventura and ... Elvira commentate?

  • Steel Cage Match For the WWE Championship [Hulk Hogan vs. "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff - Saturday Night's Main Event 1/3/87] - Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura commentate.

  • WWE Championship Match [Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant - WrestleMania III 3/28/87] - Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura commentate.

  • WWE Championship Match [Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant - the Main Event 2/5/88] - Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura commentate.

  • WWE Championship Match [Randy "Macho Man" Savage vs. Hulk Hogan - WrestleMania V 4/2/89] - Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura commentate.

Disc Two [3h 12min]:

  • WWE Championship Match [Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior - WrestleMania VI 4/1/90] - Gorilla & Jesse Ventura commentate.

  • Steel Cage Match For the WWE Championship [Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart - SummerSlam 8/29/84] - Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler commentate. This match is joined in progress (or at least as soon as Bret enters the cage).

  • Iron Man Match For the WWE Championship [Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels WrestleMania XII 3/31/96] - Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler commentate. This is the entire 60 minute match.

  • WWE Championship Match [Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind - In Your House: Mind Games 9/22/96] - Jim Ross, Vince McMahon & Curt Hennig commentate.

  • WWE Championship Match [Shawn Michaels vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin - WrestleMania XIV 3/29/98] - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler commentate. This match also features Mike Tyson.

Disc Three [3hr 11m]:

  • Street Fight For the WWE Championship [Triple H vs. Cactus Jack - Royal Rumble 1/23/00] - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler commentate. Though this isn't the only match that features it, for some reason the burring really annoyed me during this match.

  • Triple Threat Match For the WWE Championship [the Rock vs. Triple H vs. Kurt Angle - SummerSlam 8/27/00] - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler commentate.

  • WWE Championship Match [the Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin - WrestleMania X-7 4/1/01] - Jim Ross & Paul Heyman commentate.

  • Undisputed WWE Championship Match [Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Chris Jericho - Vengeance 12/9/01] - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler commentate.

  • Triple Threat Match For the Undisputed WWE Championship [the Rock vs. Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle 7/21/02] - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler commentate.

  • Undisputed WWE Championship Match [the Rock vs. Brock Lesnar - SummerSlam 8/25/02] - Michael Cole & Tazz commentate.

  • WWE Championship Match [Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit - Royal Rumble 1/19/03] - Michael Cole & Tazz commentate.

  • Triple Threat Match For the WWE Championship [John Cena vs. Chris Jericho vs. Christian - Vengeance 6/26/05] - Jim Ross, Jonathan Coachman & Jerry Lawler commentate.

Video: Due to the varying sources, the History Of the WWE Championship's picture varied in quality. Most of the early footage wasn't as sharp as the later matches, but that was to be expected. Regardless, this was a pretty impressive presentation in the WWE's standard full frame 1.33:1 ratio.

Audio: As is the usual WWE standard, the History Of the WWE Championship was presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound that was crystal clear.

Packaging: Though it looks pretty classy from the outside, the inside is pretty poorly executed. For those that have the 3-disc WrestleMania XX, imagine those clear plastic trays one on top of the other with a piece of scotch tape holding them together. As I said though, this would've been a pretty nice package if it were sturdier. Well, at least it's not a single amaray case with one hub that has the discs stacked on top of each other like 'taker's set.

Conclusion: I have to be quite honest when I say that, to this day, I don't understand what the significance of statistics regarding the various WWE belts. While there is athleticism on display during the matches, the outcome is predetermined and since it depends on the individual's standing in the company and, bottom line, Vince McMahon, it's a mystery to me why any of this matters. However, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching almost all of these matches. There were some matches I had never seen (during the "attitude" era) and some I had seen a LONG time ago (most of the 80's stuff), but to have an (almost) comprehensive collection of "championship" matches is something every WWE fan is going to want for their collection. As I said in the beginning, it's a shame that not all champions are represented on this set - Buddy Rogers, Diesel, Sycho Sid, to name a few - but the amount of matches in this set, especially the early stuff, makes this a Highly Recommended set. I just hope that future WWE sets like this aren't in packaging that's about as sturdy as something a kindergarten art class would put together.

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