WWE DVD/Blu-ray Sets That Should've Been Made by Now

Imaan JalaliFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2012

WWE DVD/Blu-ray Sets That Should've Been Made by Now

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    If one peruses the WWE video market, he or she would be surprised to find that several wrestlers, who are deserving of having their historic careers chronicled for posterity, don't yet have a DVD/Blu-ray to their name.

    The Ultimate Warrior notwithstanding, the performers who've been stamped with the DVD seal of approval have been celebrated by their peers for their outstanding resumes.

    In fact, some of them—like Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Undertaker, The Rock, Edge, Bret Hart and so on—have had (or will have) more than one two/three-disc set highlighting their most famous matches.

    It's a shame, however, that, instead of spreading the wealth and taking full advantage of its library, the WWE continually focuses its resources on the same group of names.

    Not counting performers who are under contract with another wrestling company (i.e., Kurt Angle and Sting), or are deceased (i.e., Rick Rude and The British Bulldog), there are eight living legends who deserve a documentary and a slate of their best bouts on DVD/Blu-ray.

    Also, it goes without saying that the legends need to not only sign off on their involvement with such a project (unlike Bruno Sammartino, who wants nothing to do with the WWE), but be physically able to participate in the making of it (sadly, unlike Scott Hall).

    Let's begin.

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Vader

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    As the most underrated big man in wrestling history, Vader's curriculum vitae should be spotlighted on DVD/Blu-ray for the newest generation of fans.

    At 6'5" and 450 lbs., "The Mastodon" had incredible agility for his size, which was exemplified by his patented moonsault and "The Vader Bomb" off the top and middle ropes, respectively.

    His forearm strikes, swinging blows and chest smashes rocked the brains of Sting, Mick Foley and Ric Flair, to name a few.

    In some ways, he was the forerunner to Kane—an enigmatic beast who donned a red leather mask and punished his opponents, smash-mouth style.

    In addition, some of his matches—notably his series of encounters with Sting and Cactus Jack—have to be seen to be believed.

    As stellar as his work in the USA was, though, his spectacular run in Japan, including his violent brawls with Stan Hansen, solidified his reputation.

Jerry 'The King' Lawler

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    While today's fans know Jerry Lawler as a fixture of the Raw announcing booth, "The King" had quite the storied career before he ever stepped foot into the WWF/E in December 1992.

    Being Memphis' pride and joy, Lawler has been involved in storylines and matches with wrestling's biggest names—from Nick Bockwinkel to Bret Hart.

    Besides his famous bouts with Curt Hennig and Kerry Von Erich, which have already been released on DVD, Lawler cut his teeth feuding with the likes of Jackie Fargo, Randy Savage and Austin Idol.

    Not to mention, who could forget Lawler's surreal angle with Andy Kaufman?

    How about exceedingly rare matches against former NWA champions like Ric Flair and Jack Brisco?

    By all accounts, the Memphis Wrestling footage of such bouts exists; however, there seems to be issues regarding the ownership of the library which could be to blame for no Jerry Lawler DVD.

    Once those problems are eventually hashed out, current fans will be surprised to see another side of Lawler they never knew existed.

John 'Bradshaw' Layfield

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    In modern times, there is one brilliant run in particular that has gone under the radar.

    In 2003-04, after toiling in the tag-team ranks as one-half of the APA, Bradshaw reinvented himself in dramatic fashion.

    He went from having long black hair, black eyeliner and long tights to having a cropped mane, suit,  cowboy hat and limousine to drive him everywhere.

    His transformation was rewarded with a 280-day WWE title reign atop the SmackDown brand in 2004. It is arguably, despite lukewarm ratings, one of the most awe-inspiring but overlooked runs in the company's history.

    For instance, not only were his promos top-notch, but his fundamental approach in the ring meshed well with the styles of Eddie Guerrero and John Cena, for instance.

    The right thing to do is to re-release his best interviews and matches during that time period so that they receive the recognition they deserve.

    Combined with an eloquent documentary, a JBL DVD/Blu-ray has all the ingredients to be a hit.

The Iron Sheik

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    Given The Iron Sheik's resurgence in the last few years, it's surprising that the WWE has not capitalized on his YouTube notoriety by dedicating a DVD/Blu-ray to him.

    While his matches as both a singles and tag-team competitor (with Nikolai Volkoff) are underrated and worth reliving, the main reason to own an Iron Sheik set is for the documentary alone.

    His sharp-tongued comments, total disregard for political correctness and recollection of road stories would add invaluable replay value to a retrospective piece.

    Ideally, it should be an unprecedented four-hour documentary and be offered in both uncensored and censored form so as not to alienate the WWE's target, under-14 audience.

    The only "must" to any documentary, though, is that it must have subtitles—which would oddly mark the first time any WWE DVD has had them!

Booker T

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    Now a full-time SmackDown color commentator, Booker T will go down as arguably the most successful black athlete in wrestling history.

    From his endless tag-team championships in WCW, to his six-time reign as world heavyweight champion, Booker T's in-ring prowess has wowed fans across the world.

    More than just his athleticism in the squared circle, though, is his infectious charisma that has provided us with memorable promos and scintillating "Spinaroonie" displays.

    A career retrospective should cover his time in Harlem Heat and evolution as a singles star, culminating with the ceremony that crowned him King Booker.

    Though the biggest selling point of his DVD/Blu-ray, ironically enough, would perhaps be his hysterical adventures with the bizarre Goldust.

    "Can You Dig It, Sucka?"

Diamond Dallas Page

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    Whereas The Rock has been the people's champion in the WWF/E, Diamond Dallas Page carved his legacy by filling a similar role in WCW.

    DDP had a bond with the wrestling masses that was both genuine and palpable.

    When he erupted from the sea of fans to raise his arms and flash the "Diamond Cutter" hand sign, everyone else followed suit in unison.

    It was a sight to behold—and that was before he entered the ring.

    Overall, as one of WCW's staple superstars, his resume as a ring workhorse and microphone savvy are indisputable.

    And although his 1997-99 run and war with Randy Savage are what he's mostly remembered for, the unpolished beginnings of his character and battles with Johnny B. Badd, for example, would also be worth revisiting.

    Not to mention, as he showed as host of the WCW Nitro DVD, his insights as the sole subject of a documentary would make for engrossing viewing.

Terry Funk

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    Still going strong at 67 years of age, Terry Funk can claim to have wrestled in six decades.

    From his debut in 1965, Funk has wrestled all over the world, having won the NWA title in 1975 and the ECW championship 22 years later.

    Over the years, his interviews have consistently smacked of a hard-nosed reality that is missing in the 2012 wrestling scene.

    Moreover, his talents inside the ring have produced classic technical contests, brawls and high-flying affairs with a spectrum of individuals across different continents and time zones.

    The footage that would comprise a hypothetical Funk DVD would be the most eclectic ever, featuring unseen gems in the NWA, Japan, WCW, ECW, WWF and more.

    Additionally, his unparalleled knowledge of the business would make for a riveting documentary covering his 47-year odyssey and counting.

'The Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase

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    Of all of the wrestlers who have established their identities in Vince McMahon's domain, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase stands out, to this day, as the WWF's quintessential heel during the late 1980's.

    Yet, for some unknown reason, despite being enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame, Ted DiBiase has not been substantially featured on a DVD/Blu-ray release.

    Curiously, while a DiBiase DVD has been seemingly scheduled to come out in the past, it has unfortunately not come to fruition.

    One would assume a primary reason for this is that, according to Jim Ross, the WWE does not own the Mid-South Wrestling footage—the region where DiBiase had some of his best moments and contests.

    Still, his rivalries and bouts with Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage et al. in the WWF—along with the vignettes/interviews underscoring his character—would more than suffice.

    That said, hopefully the WWE, like in the case of the Memphis library, can procure the rights to all necessary footage so that the wrestlers, who deserve to be honored on DVD/Blu-ray, get their just due.

    Follow me on Twitter @ImaanJK