Every time a new review disc drops through my letterbox I am excited, because WWE are on an unprecedented run in compilation DVD/BR sets. I am as unbiased and fair as possible but it feels like I am giving scores of nines and tens out to every other release recently, but every one deserves it and this is no different.
The top 25 Rivalries in WWE history could be fascinating but across the sport? That’s not just satisfying, it’s downright spoiling us. As I always say with “List Releases” the order or omission of people/feuds can cause annoyance, but as long as you choose to see it as “In no particular order” then it’s difficult to disagree with any or most of these inclusions. The number one rivalry is obvious to any longtime fan as it was what put WWE on the map as a world beater in the late 1990s but a lot of these feuds are NOT obvious and are actually surprising to see as you’d not think WWE would see them as important or as important as they perhaps were.
WWE’s homegrown rivalries take centre stage of course, it is produced by the company that featured them so it is biased in their favour, but each inclusion is given an in-depth discussion with footage and a talking head who gives insider information or memories from a fan perspective, which is a great touch.
Whereas most WWE releases will feature different talking heads discussing each subject, this one features a single participant for each feud. You have people like The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Vickie Guerrero speaking about feuds that didn’t feature them but were either important to their decision to become a wrestler (Miz) to feuds that featured family members so they have a unique part-fan/part-insider perspective, which is fascinating. Then some feature the performers themselves; Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Steve Austin, and some have people pivotal to the story, most notably, the notorious Vince Russo. I audibly gasped when he showed up in a new interview about the McMahon/Austin storyline.
The difference between hearing one person discuss a single feud as opposed to a number of people doing so is that nobody’s mind gets changed and no one contradicts another. It feels more personal to hear the full opinion of an individual, it’s extremely refreshing and I hope they employ this method in future.
The introduction and between-countdown parts feature Renee Young in a lab coat, with clipboard in the guise of a scientist, linking everything to chemistry. You see? Chemistry is the glue that holds all good feuds together! Which is a lot more endearing than you’d think, she’s very personable and sweet. She doesn’t aggravate like the sickly Matt Striker and is a change from the normally male-dominated area of presenting Wrestling DVDs.
The discs are dividing into the countdown on Disc One and then an absolute plethora of matches on discs two and three. The matches stand out and have seemingly been chosen on merit of importance to the feud and storytelling as well as match-quality. Which I feel is very sensible for this type of compilation.
I found the Top 25 List extremely informative, fun, interesting and exciting. The match listing is top notch and the style of presentation sits very comfortably with me too.
I can think of no other reason to give this release any less than top marks except that it only covers feuds that WWE have library access to, it doesn’t (couldn’t possibly) show any Indy/Japanese/British or Mexican stuff, so it’s not the definitive and comprehensive list that it’s title would suggest, although it was executed beautifully.
WWE has really set it’s benchmark for top quality documentary and factual releases and time and again it is excelling itself. I can’t say too much on the content as it will ruin the surprises which is one of the top reasons for watching these countdown shows, but the vast and varied array of talent, decades and promotions covered is mindblowing.
Keep up the good work WWE, your production and research values are world class.