The Only Review of The Epic Journey of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Blu-Ray You'll Ever Need
Patterson footage. JFK. 9/11. These are all topics for conspiracy. Although they'll probably never been broken open for the positive truth, there is one recent conspiracy we can put to rest. Who is Marion Cobretti? Handsome superstar reviewer to the stars? You bet. But in reality, it's me, Caliber Winfield. I've always loved to write about wrestling, but since I already run a wrestling site, I wanted to keep my main website a little light on it. So, I emailed Scott and asked if I could have another shot at writing for Blog of Doom. It's honestly the best site for wrestling, and I like being able to say I write for it. Plain and simple. I told him that I understand how the game goes, that not everyone is going to love my style, thus I shouldn't bring it where it isn't wanted. So, I toned myself down, and wrote like I would for a professional website. I also suggested I go by a different name, so people would at least give me a chance, and not just disregard me based on my past issues with the site. He liked the idea, and we were off and running. Well, after about 6 or 7 reviews, things seem to be going fine. Some people don't like my ratings, but over-rall the response was good. So, I felt it was time to no longer be Richard Bachman, and just let everyone know it's Caliber. Alright, let's get on with it.
I went with blu-ray this time, because I wanted to see the Survivor Series match-up. That was the only bonus I was interested in. The others include Rock challenging John Cena for WM28, and The Rock's birthday bash. They have The Rock vs Triple H from Raw 5.25.1998 listed, but it's not on the disc.
Some guys like to go chapter by chapter, and give you the blow by blow. Not me. I'll tell you that it's a great piece, covers The Rock's entire career and all high points. From playing for Miami, to starting with the WWE, leading the Nation, and becoming the guy who ran with the flag in 2000. My own memories of The Rock are fond. I started watching wrestling in 1995, I was 11. So I was 14 when The Rock hit it big. EVERYONE at my school thought he was the coolest guy on the planet. They were wearing their sideburns just like him, and spouting his catch phrases. I knew a guy who worked at the local video game store, and he loved wrestling. He got the same Brahma Bull tattoo as The Rock, except it was the cartoonish one, not the cool one. Legend has it that guy broke up with this girlfriend because she called him during Raw, which was a big no-no. Man, wrestling was huge in 1998-1999. I had the classic Brahma Bull shirt, with the phrase "layin' the smackdown" on the back. Well, I had a friend who's mom had a friend who saw it once, and SWORE up and down that he was referring to heroine. Of course he was. So, yeah, The Rock was a huge deal when I was younger, and I even recall sitting in my friend's basement in 2001 and saying to him that I thought The Rock was perhaps the most popular man in the world at the time. Of course, I still want to see John Cena beat the hell out of Rocky at WrestleMania 28. I'm with team Jacob.
Elimination Tag-Team Match - Survivor Series - November 17th, 1996
Rocky Maivia, Marc Mero, Barry Windham, Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, Goldust, Crush, Jerry Lawler
Survivor Series 1996 is a dark horse when people talk about awesome PPVs. You've got the historic moment of The Rock's first match, along with one of the greatest matches of all time with Bret Hart vs Stone Cold Steve Austin, and topped off with Psycho Sid's best outting, winning the WWE Title from Shawn Michaels. The match here, doesn't have a lot going for it. It goes much longer than it needs to, doesn't have any real prime players or hot moments. Not to mention The Rock's hair is insanely stupid. I'm shocked he wasn't still rocking that 'are-you-kidding' mustache from his college days. Not to much of a recommendation here outside of the history.
The Rock hits a shoulder breaker and snags the pin at 23:44 to be the soul survivor.
Intercontinental Title Ladder Match - SummerSlam - August 30th, 1998
The Rock [C] vs HHH
This was the first time I'd ever seen a live band preform a wrestler's theme song, and at the time thought it was awesome. Of course, I also believed the rumor that the lead-singer was Triple H's younger brother. The guy brings it with the vocals live, but the guitar is extremely under-whelming. Oh well, at least the guy knows the lyrics to the song he's singing, unlike metal-god, Lemmy. I believe this to be one of the Top 5 ladder matches of all time. They're not trying to pop the crowd with crazy spots. They're bringing them in with the brutality, and desire both men have to win the match. It's fantastic. Most ladder matches these days unfortunately fall to that stupid thought of "if one is good, a thousand is better". I always enjoyed when a ladder match had 2 parts. The first was both men fighting over who got the ladder first, and once it came into play, who was able to climb it. It's a brutal match, and one of those awesome cases where the bout turns into a war. Has anyone else noticed that The Rock kind of bleeds weird? His blood always looks like it's just red water. Sure, I know sweat gets involved, but Rock's blood always looks like this. I don't just an observation.
Triple H grabs the strap in 26:01
Triple Threat Cage Match - Breakdown - September 27th, 1998
The Rock vs Ken Shamrock vs Mankind
This winner of the match becomes thenumber one contender for the WWE title. See, it's matches like this I wish they'd include with superstar DVDs, because I'd never heard of this match and it was exciting to see something I hadn't seen since I first ordered the PPV. This was during the time when Rock was having fantastic chemistry with all of his opponents, be it Triple H, Stone Cold, or my personal favorite, Mankind. These two couldn't put together a bad match at this point, and Ken Shamrock is lucky enough to be involved. The cage is a hybrid, where it has the top the cages currently have, but it's still the blue steel. This was during the time when Rock was getting over like crazy, and you can tell as Mankind & Shamrock are soundly booed while they double team The Rock. He executes a double People's Elbow on both of them when the tide turns, and the crowd loves the hell out of that. At one point, Shamrock tries to escape via the door, and while being drug back in he brings along with him a chair. It proves to be a fatal mistake, as Mankind winds up and cracks him with it. Knowing what we know now, it's really hard to watch these chair shots, because the guys were going full bore.
The Rock pins Shamrock while Mankind tries to escape by climbing out at 18:47
I Quit Match for the WWE Championship - The Royal Rumble - January 24th, 1999
Mankind [C] vs The Rock
Mick Foley's all time favorite match is Ric Flair v Terry Funk in their famous I Quit bout. He wanted his to be as remembered as their's, and in someways it has, but for the wrong reasons. The match itself is pretty good. They go full tilt on each other, using everything from ring-bells, tables, chairs & electrical equipment. Plus, the comments they make when asked if they give up practically make the match, such as The Rock saying he's going to kick Mankind's fat ass. The armless comeback he makes is great, and one of the things that helps this match be more than the last 5 minutes. Touching back on what I mentioned about the previous paragraph, it's hard to watch unprotected chair shots, and this is probably the most infamous series of chair shots ever. Mankind takes 10, count'em 10, unprotected chair shots in a row. During the documentary, The Rock said he was in the moment, and swung for the fences on each swing. To be honest, that's really unprofessional, stupid, selfish, and asinine. I can understand getting lost in the moment, but they'd discussed doing 3-4 shots. Not 10. The Rock never even came back to check on Mick afterwards, either. I think some where down the line he did apologize when he found out how upset Mick was, but I could be wrong. I really think it would have been a lot cooler, and added a lot more to the match if they'd gone with Mick's wife pleading for him to quit. That would have amped the drama, and done a lot more for the match.
A tape plays of Mankind saying "I quit" nabs The Rock his 2nd WWE Title at 21:46
No Holds Barred Match for the WWE Championship - Backlash - April 25th, 1999
Stone Cold Steve Austin [C] vs. The Rock
This match starts off with Stone Cold being so ready to get at The Rock that he just runs to the ring and throws the belt aside. I miss that kind of passion. Where the guys are really selling their anger. Great stuff. This is your a-typical sort of match from The Attitude Era, with a ton of brawling, use of props, and a McMahon abusing their power. Not as great as their match from WrestleMania 15, but it does offer some of it's own moments. Such as The Rock grabbing a camera man's, well, camera, and filming the crowd and Stone Cold's prone body on the announce table. As he pans around to film the crowd, he comes back and we get a POV of Stone Cold, ready to drop The Rock with a stunner. It's a tad ridiculous, but far more awesome than anything.
Stone Cold hits the stunner, then nails The Rock with the title belt and gets the pin at 17:07
Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship - SummerSlam - August 27th, 2000
The Rock [C] vs. Kurt Angle vs Triple H
They had this match on the History of the WWE Championship DVD, and although it's good, I don't think it warrants a double dip. I understand they try to mix-up different ways of doing a triple threat, but when you're just going to wipe out one of them before it even starts, why make it a triple threat? They could have just made it no holds barred, and used Kurt for the interference. I really miss the goofy-heel Kurt Angle, one of the greater heels of all time, I believe. He was dangerous, without the threat of raping someone's wife. Stephanie I think, at least at this point, is easily the worst actress of any WWE on-air talent. Wow is she bad. Oh well, she'll always get a pass from me because of that one time Smackdown came back from commercial with her bent over her desk. Good times. Triple H at one point and asks Steph to grab the belt so she can wallop The Rock. She walks over to the time keeper, and just slaps him for no reason. I've always liked that sort of stuff, because it's just subtle things to throw in to further establish a person's character.
The Rock hits the People's Elbow on Triple H, scores the pin and retains his Championship in 20:09
WWE Tag-Team Championship - Raw - December 18th, 2000
Edge & Christian [C] vs The Rock & The Undertaker
Honestly, there's nothing special about this match. It's a lot of basic formula, and although Edge & Christian were a great team, there's no way they could take down The Rock & The Undertaker.
The Rock hits the People's Elbow for the pin and the straps in about 10 minutes
Raw - July 29th, 2002
The Rock vs Ric Flair
They're in Flair Country here, so I'll assume that's why they're having this match. This was before Flair got back into his groove, so this isn't anything too spectacular. I really wish they would have included the 2 on 3 tag-match from WrestleMania 20. That's one hell of a match, and has more historic value to it than this one. The only high points in this match is The Rock causing Flair's chest to bleed with his chops, and once again showing that he has the worst Sharpshooter ever in his arsenal.
Rock hits the Rock Bottom & scores the pin at 7:23
WWE Undisputed Championship - SummerSlam - August 25th, 2002
The Rock [C] vs. Brock Lesnar
Without a doubt, the Undisputed title is the best looking belt they've ever had. This was at the height of the backlash against The Rock. Of course, once Rock came back, he created the greatest heel character of all time with Movie Star Rock. I could have watched him all damn day. This match is the main event to one of, if not thee, greatest PPV of all time. Brock Lesnar won the King of the Ring this year, and thus earned his shot. It's a total power match, and The Rock does his absolute best to help Lesnar look like a million bucks. Of course, he also cements his reputation for executing the absolute worst Sharpshooter in history. For this match, he's basically crossed Lesnar's shins, then sat on the back of his legs. Seriously, Lesnar isn't even lifted off the mat. At least The Rock makes up for it by yelling "fuck you!" to the crowd showering him with boos. A great match, and worthy inclusion.
Lesnar hits the F5, scores the pin and his first WWE Championship at 16:01
No Way Out - February 23rd, 2003
The Rock vs Hulk Hogan
The story here is that Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan didn't like each other very much. Hogan wanted a match with McMahon, he accepted, but then said instead Hogan would be facing Vince's represenitive, the returning Rock, who hadn't been seen since SummerSlam 2002. I have to admit, I was stoked to see this match was on here. I absolutely love their Wrestlemania X8 match, but never seen the rematch. I should have known that lightening wouldn't strike twice. I'm sure the match is just about as technically pleasing as their first encounter, but the atmosphere isn't 1/10th as great. Although, they can safely say they were the best main event of the night, beating out HHH vs Steiner II.
A chairshot & Rock Bottom on the Hulkster got Rock his 2nd victory over Hollywood at 12:20
Never Before, Never Again - Survivor Series - November 20th, 2011
The Rock & John Cena vs. Awesome Truth
The buyrate for Survivor Series isn't the fault of The Rock, or The Miz. It was the absolutely inane booking. The Miz isn't much of a threat. The biggest feud he had during his title run was with a retired, 61 year old announcer. R-Truth was mid-card at best until he went heel, went crazy, and had one match against John Cena. R-Truth isn't much of a threat. Together? Sure, after a year or two they could build up a rep, but right now? Not really. Honestly, John Cena vs Awesome Truth would be about even, although they might need a third person to really even things out. But John Cena AND The Rock? That's absolutely ridiculous. I truly believe the only two teams I would buy as threats to The Rock & Cena are The Mega-Powers, and The Outsiders when they first appeared on Nitro. So, with all this, why on Earth would I buy a PPV to see these two fight when the outcome is so obvious? Either way, it's a decent enough match, but not a home run. Oh, and perhaps The Brain Busters, I'd buy them as competition.
The Rock hits The Miz with the People's Elbow to score the pin at 21:35
That does it for the matches, here are some of the other features;
The Rock Returns to Raw - 2.24.03
This is the night after No Way Out, and the start of The Rock's feud with Stone Cold for WM19
The Rock Concert II - 4.21.03
Obviously you know what this is
The Wrestlemania Guest Host - 2.24.11
I was happy to see this on the set, because it was a fantastic moment. Nobody saw this coming, and in this day and age, that's a really hard thing to accomplish.
The People's Wrestlemania - 4.03.11
Just a recap of his disappointing 'host' of Wrestlemania
The Rock Challenges John Cena for Wrestlemania 28 - Raw - April 4th, 2011
Worth it for the history.
The Rock's Birthday Celebration - Raw - May 2nd, 2011
Nothing too note worthy with this.
Final Word: A great documentary always makes a set worth the purchase, and this is no exception. We get a great 2 hour look at The Great One's career, hitting all the important points. After that, we get a collection of The Rock's matches that range from obscure, important, and if nothing else, great. There's a few omissions that are missing that would have been nice. The aforementioned Rock n Sock vs Evolution from WMXX, the Iron Man match between The Rock & Triple H, and one of his matches with Jericho while Y2J was the champion and they were in Japan. Other than that, this is a fantastic set, and if you supplement it with The Rock's 3 disc DVD from a few years back, then there's really not much more you could want, as you'd have The Rock's entire career at your finger-tips. Now, if you're curious as to whether the blu-ray is worth the few extra dollars, I'd ask you if you really want the Survivor Series match, because that's the only real exclusive worth mentioning. Either way, with or without the bonuses, this set is a steady ****1/2
- Caliber Winfield
websites: Str8 Gangster No Chaser [scrublife.wordpress.com] home of the Man Movie Encyclopedia and other articles that I can say, without being bias, are incredible.
WCW In 2000 [wcwin2000.wordpress.com] - along with Sebastian Howard, we're recapping the worst year in pro-wrestling ever. It's how I learned there's an 8th layer of hell.
facebook: feel free to ad me, and you can read my random complaints about things I see on TV. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1740750327
Post a Comment