So in between writing my gruelling and extensively researched piece for Sporting News tonight, I also checked out some stuff on the Network because reasons. And it was a pretty good night!
First up, the Santino Royal Rumble special, which was pretty fun, as Santino is always entertaining hosting these kind of fluff pieces. Basically an extended version of the “by the numbers” video packages, with extra stuff like highlighting funny moments and showing all 39 of Kane’s eliminations and such. I’m of course a huge mark for the Rumble so this was a breezy 40 minutes. Also, Santino mispronouncing “John Cena” is never not funny. Thumbs up!
Second, I was digging through the “Beyond the Ring” section (basically the documentary portions of a bunch of home video releases) and decided to check out the “History of the World title” one from 2009. I actually have the DVD on my shelf to complete the set of “History of WWE title” and “History of IC title” ones (because the packaging looks the same and I’m a bit of an obsessive collector…shocking I know) but I’ve never sat down to watch it before. I actually really enjoy when they venture into the old-timey history stuff, moreso for the fascinating nostalgia than their ridiculous attempts to connect the Gotch-Hackenshmidt era to the modern big gold belt. But given they have hundreds of hours of the classic 70s NWA era that never get put to use and big names like Terry Funk and Harley Race who were in their prime, I’m shocked we don’t get more excuses to use that footage. It’s so cool to see stuff like the Funk brothers winning the title and Gene Kiniski still kayfabing 30 years later. Fun fact: My dad grew up in the same neighborhood as the Kiniskis and went to school with Kelly and Nick. So that stuff was all great, and then the documentary completely goes to hell once it gets to the NWA – WCW transition and loses all semblance of reality or a timeline that makes any sense. But the 1900-1980s history portion for the first 3/4 is all really great. I believe the DVD set has a hell of a matchlist as well, so check it out if you find it cheap like I did!