WWE owns nearly all of the historical footage available for American professional wrestling. It has been, and continues to be, debated by fans just how well WWE uses the footage they now own.
WWE has produced DVDs about other pro wrestling organizations, such as WCW, ECW, AWA and WCCW.
All of these compilations are worth watching because they present WWE’s view on these now defunct organizations. Each company was a competitor of WWE at one time or another.
This list takes a look at the style of the DVDs (documentaries with matches or narration between matches), the matches chosen and the historical value of the compilations to fans.
This DVD was highly anticipated because it bore the same name as the immensely popular Rise and Fall of ECW that came out previously.
Because many top WCW Superstars were not or could not be interviewed for the documentary section, it did not live up to the acclaim of the ECW release.
In particular, Sting was not interviewed because of his affiliation with TNA. This hurt the overall quality, because one of the top names from WCW could not be a part of it.
Detailing an entire history of WCW in a 90 minute documentary is pretty difficult as well. Nick Hartel of DVDtalk.com describes this portion of the compilation as a “‘Wikipedia’ documentary” where the winners (WWE) get to put their spin on the losers (WCW) of the Monday Night Wars.
This DVD set is worthwhile because of the seven-and-a-half hours of WCW matches and bonus features.
Some of the best matches include:
Ric Flair vs. Magnum T.A.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Dean Malenko
Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Even with a semi-flawed documentary, the bonus matches more than make this a release worth getting for any WCW fan.
This DVD is essential to any fan of pro wrestling history. The contribution of the American Wrestling Alliance to pro wrestling is legendary.
The AWA is responsible for introducing the world to many of the top pro wrestling superstars popular in the NWA/WCW and WWE in the '80s and '90s. WWE Hall of Famer Verne Gagne helped to introduce Hulk Hogan, Bobby Heenan, Gene Okerland, Ric Flair, Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty and more.
With such a rich history dating back to 1960, the Minnesota-based AWA is truly a remarkable addition to the WWE film library.
The documentary on this DVD collection runs 100 minutes in length. What makes this documentary worthwhile is that fact that so many involved with the AWA are in it. Verne Gagne, Greg Gagne, Nick Bockwinkel, Gene Okerland, Baron Van Raschke, Hulk Hogan and more comment on the AWA in the documentary.
The AWA folded in 1990, and the lead-up to its dissolution is told by those who were a part of it as well.
This DVD set also includes 13 bonus matches.
Some of the best are:
Pat Patterson & Ray Stevens vs. Billy Robinson & Frankie Hill
Verne Gagne vs. Nick Bockwinkel
Midnight Rockers vs. Buddy Rose & Doug Summers
Nick Bockwinkel vs. Curt Hennig
Yes, there is a Volume 1, but The Best of WCW Monday Nitro, Volume 2 includes some of the most interesting and often overlooked moments from WCW Monday Nitro.
Hosted by former WCW World Heavyweight Champion Diamond Dallas Page (DDP), this compilation features not only excellent matches, but also interview segments.
On the first volume, Page gave an incredible amount of information concerning Monday Nitro. The second volume shows a more personal side of Diamond Dallas Page as he discusses his favorite Nitro moments and relationships with other WCW Superstars.
Page gives insight into his relationship and on-screen feud with “Macho Man” Randy Savage. This feud really helped Page to become a top WCW contender. Personal moments like this gives this compilation something special besides a series of matches and segments alone.
With about nine hours of footage, the Blu-Ray contains additional matches not on the DVD set.
Some of the most notable matches include:
Hulk Hogan vs. Arn Anderson
Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs. Dean Malenko
Sting vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Shane Helms vs. Shannon Moore
The Von Erich family dynasty, through triumph and tragedy, is what Von Erich family patriarch Fritz Von Erich’s World Class Championship Wrestling is all about.
WCCW originated in Dallas, Texas and functioned as a pro wrestling organization for much of the mid to late 20th century. WCCW’s popularity reached its peak in the mid-'80s with the rise of the Von Erich family wrestling for the promotion.
The documentary portion of this double-DVD set runs nearly two hours and features interviews with key WCCW personalities. Unfortunately, many of the top WCCW Superstars are deceased.
The tragedy of this documentary is the story of the Von Erich family, who started WCCW and bore witness to five out of six Von Erich sons dying early in life. This is a fascinating documentary and it serves to tell the story of the Von Erich family and WCCW in a compelling way by those who lived through it.
Many fans are not even aware of World Class Championship Wrestling today, but it was extremely influential in helping to showcase future WWE Superstars and personalities such as the “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich, Michael Hayes, Ric Flair, Kamala, One Man Gang, Rick Rude, Mick Foley, Jake Roberts, Shawn Michael and more.
Of course, there are matches on this compilation as well. Some of the best are:
Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich
Fritz Von Erich, Mike Von Erich, David Von Erich vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
Iceman King Parsons vs. Buddy Roberts
Fantastics vs. Midnight Express
The Rise and Fall of ECW was the first DVD that WWE produced about another pro wrestling promotion, and it still stands as the measuring stick that other similar DVDs are measured against.
This DVD set features a three hour documentary discussing the history of Extreme Championship Wrestling. Many of the top original ECW Superstars were interviewed for this release, including Tazz, Paul Heyman, Tommy Dreamer, Mick Foley, Eddie Guerrero, Rob Van Dam, Stevie Richards, the Dudley Boys and more.
WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon and former WCW Executive Producer and President Eric Bischoff even give their perspective on ECW. This provides further insight into how ECW was viewed by their competition at the time.
By having many of the original ECW Superstars participate in the documentary, it gave The Rise and Fall of ECW an authoritative feel.
There are seven bonus matches on this double DVD set. The most notable include:
Raven & Stevie Richards vs. The Pitbulls
Rey Misterio, Jr. vs. Psicosis
2 Cold Scorpio vs. Sabu
Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn
What is your favorite WWE produced Blu-Ray or DVD about another organization?
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