A haphazard documentary, followed by two discs of matches that could have been chosen much better is hardly a way to salute a company that did so much for the wrestling industry. Instead, it barely serves as a way to introduce new fans to the brand that forced the WWE to up its game.
It’s not that this documentary is bad, it’s the fact that it spends way too much time making general comments about wrestlers who can’t defend themselves that makes it mediocre. Guys like Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall are ripped limb from limb and have no way of defending themselves. Unlike the “The Rise and Fall of ECW” DVD that was released nearly five years ago, many of WCW’s wrestlers are in another promotion and aren’t able to contribute their say into the documentary. Also, many of the interviews from guys like Hollywood Hogan, Diamond Dallas Page and Eric Bischoff are dated and have appeared on other documentaries. While he has worn out his welcome in the industry, it would have been amazing to hear what Vince Russo thought about his tenure with the company and what led to him to do some of the wacky things with the brand.
This is the main reason why dedicated fans will find this DVD passable.
Making things even worse is the fact that there are a plethora of other wrestlers and officials who aren’t involved in the sport anymore who weren’t given an opportunity to share their thoughts either. Why couldn’t the WWE put some real time and energy into this documentary and give the fans what they wanted? On the whole, despite being a blast from the past, it lacks any real depth and reveals no new information on the Monday Night War or the company.
“The Rise and Fall of ECW” this is not.
As far as the matches included on the second and third discs go, while they do a serviceable job of showing the time line of the company, the majority of them are either tag team or cruiserweight battles. Sure the company made its mark in both of those divisions, but there is no mention of several great heavyweight feuds between Macho Man Randy Savage and DDP and Sting and Hogan. There are also no matches that show the feud between the two nWo factions and nothing showing the battles between the nWo and the final incarnation of the Four Horsemen. Even the cruiserweight matches they pick feel flat as there is not one match featuring Ultimo Dragon, Shane Helms or Billy Kidman. There’s not one Chris Benoit match on the disc either.
Because of that, the true fans of this company may want to dig out their old, dust-covered VHS copies of “Nitro” and “Thunder.”
When a company is so good that it forces you to become stronger than ever before, the least you can do is give them a proper burial when they meet their demise. The WWE had a golden opportunity to give wrestling fans what they wanted and have failed miserably, creating a collection that serves as a reminder of how much better the business was when “World’s Crappiest Wrestling” was around and kicking back.