Wednesday, January 28, 2009

'Legends of Wrestling' is a great look back, by Mark Satrang, Pro Wrestling Examiner - 27th January 2009

Today, January 27, 2009, World Wrestling Entertainment released another fantastic DVD set, this one entitled “Legends of Wrestling.”

The 3-disc boxed set features a series of roundtable discussions from long-time wrestling personalities and Hall of Famers in their own right, talking about other legends and important moments in wrestling history. The format features a moderator and four long-time wrestling personalities sitting roundtable style giving their uncensored thoughts on the subjects at hand. The discussion is truly unscripted and unfiltered, as these panelists have known and worked with these discussion subjects for a long time, and all have their own unique thoughts, whether good or bad. It’s a good thing there is a moderator to keep the subject on task or else the charismatic panel would take the discussion somewhere completely off subject.

The first disc features a panel discussion on former World Heavyweight Champions Sgt. Slaughter and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. In addition to the discussion a series of matches from both men’s careers are included as extras on the disc.

The second disc follows the same format with a roundtable discussion on Jerry “The King” Lawler and Junkyard Dog, two men who were big stars in their own right in World Wrestling Entertainment, but were also very successful in the “old days” of the territory system.

The third disc is the most interesting of the boxed set, as the roundtable discusses “Heatseekers” in wrestling, which essentially was a talk about controversial or unpopular people and characters in wrestling history. The extras features matches from a variety of “heatseekers,” including the Fabulous Freebirds, Scott Hall, Vince Russo, Buff Bagwell and others. The roundtable talk is definitely the most entertaining of the three discs.

As an extra bonus, Best Buy is also selling three separate DVDs with more roundtable discussions and match extras. One highlights former WWE Champions Andre the Giant & the Iron Sheik, a second is about another pair of former WWE Champions in Hulk Hogan & Bob Backlund and the third and final disc discusses the always wild and controversial characters of Rowdy Roddy Piper and Terry Funk.

These roundtable discussions are absolutely fascinating for a wrestling history nerd like myself. It’s great to be able to “pull back the curtain” and see what these industry greats think of their peers good or bad. And much like having a conversation with any “old-timer,” a lot of funny stories come out the discussion. A lot of the panelists are good friends and you can see that camaraderie come out while they talk with each other.

The match extras are an absolutely great bonus for the DVDs, but the discussions are definitely the highlight of the discs. This is only six of the Legends roundtables as more have been recorded and distributed via WWE 24/7, and I’m sure if this set does well we can be sure to see more released on DVD in the near future.

For a fan old-school wrestling or just wants to learn about wrestling from those who lived it this is right up your alley. The actual quality of the match extras are hit or miss, but the roundtable discussions are absolutely fantastic and worth the “price of admission.” (Credit: Pro Wrestling Examiner)

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