Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bill Melby


After a year hiatus, I am feeling the itch to do some research on various topics, so I have decided to continue work on the site. I will probably focus on doing obscure stuff for a bit since I just got a new PC and I have not been able to run DVDs properly yet. Please let me know what you think. I am starting with a bio on Bill Melby.


Bill started as a bodybuilder and became a pro wrestler later. He won the 1948 Mr. Pacific Coast competition and placed third in the 1949 Mr. America. By the start of the 50's, many bodybuilders were ushered into wrestling including Melby and Bob McCune. Melby is famous for teaming with Billy Darnell and winning tag titles including the Illinois/Wisconsin NWA tag belts a couple times. Melby worked all over the country including California, Oregon, Utah, Washington, New York, Colorado, and Illinois, among many other states.

Melby played a huge part in the three match main event in Roy Shire's big jump into the San Francisco Cow Palace, in 1960, which drew 16,553 people with several thousand turned away. The full main event listing featured Melby v. Mitsu Arakawa, Don Leo Johnathan v. Argentina Rocca, and Ray Stevens v. “Cowboy” Bob Ellis.


Melby is perhaps most well-known for the angle leading up to the 1960 match with Arakawa. Arakawa was born in Hawaii but he worked a Japanese gimmick, using the Stomach Claw as his finishing hold. His opponents would fall victim to the Claw and end up having to be stretchered out after repeated Claws. Finally, Melby had enough as he came out and told Arakawa to stop the misuse of the Claw or Melby would intercede. Arakawa failed to stop and Melby kept his word and made the save. Arakawa got the upper hand and put on the Claw only for Melby to no-sell the move. Melby's gimmick was that his abs were very strong, too strong for the Claw even. Melby made his comeback and Arakawa backed off and ran from the ring, setting up their match. Following the first Cow Palace success, Shire promoted his second Palace card involving a US Title match with Ray Stevens beating Melby.

Melby worked with several big names including Verne Gagne, Hans Schmidt, Ray Stevens, and Angelo Poffo, just to name a few. Some of his career highlights include teaming with Johnny Barend to win the NWA International Television Tag Team Title against Tom Rice and The Great Bolo on February 7, 1955 in Hollywood, CA. He and Angelo Poffo traded the NWA Midwest Title in 1957. Also, he won the Texas Heavyweight Title beating Crusher Duggan/Boris Malenko, in Houston on November 15, 1957. He then lost it to Johnny Valentine on January 21, 1958 in Dallas but he continued to defend it in Idaho and Utah until 1959. Shire and Melby feuded for a bit in 1958 over several matches, including a Texas Deathmatch. Other highlights include winning the Western States Title in 1959 and twice winning the Northwest Tri-State Tag Title in 1958 and 1959, with The Blue Avenger and Kit Fox respectively.
 
Melby (right) with bodybuilder Steve Reeves

By 1966, Melby had retired and started a career building apartment buildings.

Friday, December 6, 2013

WWWF August 28, 1978-Madison Square Garden


Stan Stasiak v. Dominic Denucci:Ref-Gil Roman

This was a great match. Both guys were on equal footing the entire time as Stasiak relied on strikes and Denucci relied on submissions and counters. Denucci worked the arm with a shoulder breaker but Stasiak hit a kidney punch and tried a heart punch but was stopped. Denucci did a version of a Japanese arm drag and kept working on the arm and wrist. Out of a wrist lock, Stan nipped up and reversed into his own wrist lock. Subsequently, Denucci nipped up but was yanked back down. Later, Stasiak hit a dropkick that sent Denucci out to the apron.
 
 Stan moved in for the kill and was on Denucci pretty bad with strikes and stomps and even an eyerake. Stasiak missed another heart punch but got in a full nelson. Denucci tried to roll out of it, failed, but just reversed it with a go-behind. Stasiak tried the same thing and was very slow in his roll and caught a fist, as a result. Stasiak got back on him with some chokes that the ref tried to break up and even got into Stasiak's face. This gave Denucci a chance to get up and they traded right hands. Stasiak stopped him but only for a little while as Denucci began fighting back hard with thrust chops and then an abdominal stretch. They both ran at each other, collided, and fell but they got up. Stan missed a standing heart punch, then he punched the mat when he missed on a lying Denucci. Then, Denucci went after the wrapped up hand of Stasiak and ripped the bandages off and he stomped his hand. Denucci then hit his own heart punch and Stasiak sold like a crazy person. He even hit a second punch and then, Stasiak got his own in but Denucci shook it off completely. The idea that Vince had tried getting across early in the match was that many people thought Stan was taping some type of object in his hand. The fact that his heart punch had no effect without the bandages, proved that. Denucci was on him more and Stasika got caught up in the ropes. Shortly thereafter, the bell was rung as the time limit had expired and it was a draw.

 
Both wrestlers fought on some house shows after this match, including a couple draws. This was close to Stasiak's end with Vince Sr. By spring 1979, he was done in New York and went to wrestle as a face in the Oregon area until 1984. His last match in New York was on February 19, 1979 at MSG in a tag match with Peter Maivia against WWWF Tag Champs Tony Garea and Larry Zbyszko. While in Oregon, he wrestled Matt Borne numerous times. They wrestled in a mixed tag match with Borne and Princess Victoria against Stan and Velvet McIntyre on July 20, 1981 in Seaside, Oregon. In Portland, on August 8, he teamed with Velvet again to wrestle Brett Sawyer and Princess Victoria. When he returned to Oregon in 1979, he beat Roddy Piper to win his sixth Northwest Heavyweight Championship. He would go on to win the Northwest Tag Team Titles with Dutch Savage, Buddy Rose, and Billy Jack Haynes. He retired in 1984 but did some color commentary work and passed away on June 19, 1997.

Haystacks Calhoun v. Baron Mikel Scicluna-Ref:???

I was not expecting much and did not get much. Baron tried to make Haystacks look good by selling and giving him offense but it did not help. Haystacks splashed him in the corner and Baron escaped to the apron. Baron got the advantage with some kicks but they both started trading right hands and Baron was sent down and went back onto the apron. Like a minor tidal wave, Haystacks caught him coming in with a bearhug that was eventually stopped with one eye poke. Baron had Calhoun in the corner but that did not last long as Baron ended up tangled in the ropes. Calhoun sat on the middle rope to prevent him from escaping too soon. The crowd was into this, to an extent and Haystacks gave him an eye poke. Baron was free and got Calhoun down and delivered stomps and chokes. Calhoun fought back with an elbow and some kicks. Wisely, Baron ran and put on a waist lock to the big man. Not a smart move. Baron got bumped back, elbowed, and hit with a big running splash and lost.
 
S.D. Jones v. Victor Rivera w/Fred Blassie “The Hollywood Fashion Plate”-Ref:???

Rivera suckered Jones to start with as Jones was running at him and got tossed outside. Rivera would not let him back in despite repeated attempts. Finally, Jones hit some shoulder blocks and got back inside. Rivera begged off and like an idiot, Jones followed him and got suckered and thrown back outside. Rivera was still relentless in stopping Jones and he even went on the apron to hammer some sense into Jones. Maybe he will learn to be more careful as Rivera is asking for mercy. Rivera bit him and it fired Jones up. He charged into the ring, nailing a headbutt and a hip toss and Rivera escaped outside. Now, Jones would not let Rivera back inside. Of course, right after he got back in, Rivera suckered him in again and even delivered a low-blow right in front of the referee. Jones was not very bright, maybe that is why he never won many titles in New York. Rivera put on a nerve hold with some disguised chokes. Rivera kept stopping a couple hope spots by Jones. S.D. Finally got fired up again and got out of the nerve hold. He gave Rivera a headbutt and two back drops but he missed a dive in the corner and hit his shoulder. Then, Rivera gave him a suplex and pinned him. This was a serviceable match with good heat. I really like Jones' fire and his comeback was nice. Rivera got heat on him pretty good. Jones debuted with the McMahons on April 25, 1974, in Trenton, NJ, against Nikolai Volkoff. He wrestled mostly in the Northeast and rarely won matches.

Finish


Ivan Koloff w/Capt. Lou v. Bob Backlund w/Arnold Skaaland:Ref-John Stanley
 

What a match, just great. This was the battle of the headscissors for both fighters featuring a ton of good mat work. Bob tried some hip tosses early but blocked. Ivan was too strong for him but Bob nailed a headscissors and got him down. He had it on pretty tight as Ivan tried twisting out but could not. Eventually, Ivan got his back on top of Bob and tried pinning him while in a waist lock. Backlund kept bridging out and he finally flipped him over, put him in the corner, and kicked him away. They were back on equal footing and this had good heat real early. Both competitors tried a test of strength but Bob lost control. He got out and put on a wrist lock that was countered into a ground headscissors for Ivan. Bob almost got out quickly but Ivan pulled his hair and got him back in. Bob did a handstand to get out but ate a mule kick and followed up with a drop kick and a flying headscissors take down.
 
Ivan was stuck but rolled Bob into a pinning situation. He kept using the tights and ref Stanley finally noticed and broke the hold up. Ivan hit a furious combination of knee drops and a slam but missed a second attempt and got caught in a roll-up. Bob grabbed a headlock and took him down but got his hair pulled and trapped into another headscissors. Bob was stuck but almost got out. Ivan noticed this, broke the hold, and nailed a series of kicks and stomps. Bob started fighting back and got Ivan's leg and kicked him down, working on his right hamstring. Bob was working on that leg quite a bit. Ivan began fighting out of an ankle lock and Bob landed on the apron and was suplexed back in. Ivan put him in a key lock/wrist lock and Bob tried rolling out. Eventually, Bob rolled to a standing position and used a Gotch suplex to pull him up, put him on the corner rope, and slap him. Highlight of the match, by far. Ivan was shocked and mad and he ran right into a back drop.
 
Backlund went after the leg again but got kicked around quickly. Ivan hit a backbreaker but Bob grabbed another headlock. He was then sent into the ropes and they both collided as Bob went crashing to the floor. Backlund was suplexed back in and hit with another backbreaker. Ivan went to the top and missed a flying knee drop but he persevered and sent Bob back outside. Ivan went back to the top as Bob was on the floor and actually hit a flying foot stomp towards the apron.
 He did not go all the way to the floor. By this point, Backlund was cut and Stanley wanted the doctor to check him out. However, Bob kept fighting and they traded blows back-and-forth. Backlund hit a drop kick and a back drop but the ref still called for the bell. Bob was furious and put Koloff int the atomic drop. Howard Finkel gave the word that Stanley had stopped the match due to Backlund being unable to continue and Ivan got the victory.
 
Their re-match was on September 25 and Backlund won clean, in MSG. Koloff beat Backlund on October 2 with a similar finish, in Boston and on the fifth, in Pittsburgh. They went on to wrestle numerous other times in 1978 including a cage match in Baltimore on December 30. Koloff was done with the territory by 1980 but he did wrestle Bob one more time on a JCP show on March 29, 1981. He returned to New York in 1983 and had another fight with Backlund on April 23, 1983, in Los Angeles and April 25, at MSG. Of all places, they last wrestled for the WWF/WWWF Title in East Liverpool, OH on November 19, 1983.





Ivan Koloff's final WWF match was at Madison Square Garden, on December 26, 1983, losing to Tito Santana. Bob Backlund's final WWF match until the 90's was against Salvatore Bellomo in Philadelphia, PA, on August 4, 1984.

“Crazy” Luke Graham v. Peter Maivia:Ref-Jack Lotz

Boring and dull match. Maivia comedy early on and he controlled the offense early, as well. Graham got the heat on Maivia with a combo nerve-wrist lock but the crowd did not care much when Maivia fought back and was on top. Maivia put on a bearhug and Graham teased getting an object from his tights. Graham broke it with a shot to the throat and started destroying Maivia with strikes and double-axe handles. Eventually, Maivia fired back and even choked Graham on the mat and almost got disqualified for it. Couple that with an earlier eye rake and Maivia was cheating hard here for a babyface. As Maivia was being admonished by Jack Lotz, Graham got an object from his tights and later, nailed Maivia with it in the throat. He tried some more shots but the ref saw the object and called for the bell with a disqualification of Graham.

 
Luke Graham, along with Tarzan Tyler were the first WWE Tag Team champions in 1971. He also held the United States Tag Team titles with Dr. Jerry Graham for almost a year from 1964-1965.

Dusty Rhodes v. “Superstar” Billy Graham:Ref-Jay Strongbow-Texas Bullrope Match

These guys had to answer an eight-count or they would lose. The story was that Strongbow kept trying to break up Graham's offense in the corner, even though there were no disqualifications. At first, Graham did not want to be tied to the rope but Dusty hit him with the cowbell and got tied. Lots of stalling from Graham by trying to escape and getting pulled back in. Graham's facial expressions, as usual, were very good. Dusty missed a flying elbow in the corner and Graham got some offense in. Graham grabbed the cowbell and nailed Dusty with it and threw him to the floor. He dragged Rhodes back in and Dusty was bleeding heavily. Graham started choking him and Strongbow tried to break it up. Graham followed up with a bearhug but Rhodes fought out with an elbow to the head. Graham went to the top-rope but got yanked down, as Dusty was fired up and ready to fight. He dug the cowbell into Graham's forehead causing him to start bleeding. Again, Dusty missed in the corner and Graham pounced with knees. Strongbow started pulling on Graham to get him out of the corner and they started arguing. This allowed Dusty to hit a cowbell shot to the face that sent Graham to the floor and he could not answer the eight-count.




This match reminded me how under-rated Graham was. His facials were excellent and his bumping for Rhodes was top-notch. Rhodes and Graham wrestled in Boston on January 16 to 10,400 and again on March 6. Andre reffed their next encounter in Boston on March 27 to a blood stoppage, which was common for their feud. Their first match at Madison Square Garden on July 24 ended with Graham winning after Dusty hit the referee, which led into this match in August that Vince referred to as the rubber match on commentary. Their last big match was on November 18 in Philadelphia to 15,249. Graham's last match in this time frame was on November 23 against Andre in Nashua, NH, of all places.

The Fabulous Moolah v. Vicki Williams:Ref-Jack Lotz-NWA Women's Championship

Pretty solid match here. Williams got a lot of action and kept fighting. The fighting was non-stop through the whole match. Williams bumped really well for Moolah's offense. They exchanged quick snap mares and Moolah begged off a little on the apron. Williams got a slam in and started working on Moolah's left arm, stretching it out. Moolah got a rope break and got some hard kicks in but Williams held her own. Moolah put on a key lock on the mat and Williams kept trying to reverse it with a cover but was always yanked out of it by her hair. Williams got rammed into the corner hard and Moolah came running at her on the third one. Williams used a good roll-up for a two-count. Williams hit a monkey flip and tried to pin Moolah on top her but Moolah reversed it into another pin and won the match.

 
Vicki Williams worked a lot putting over Moolah throughout the 70's. She also won the NWA World Women's Championship with Joyce Grable twice on opposite ends of the 70's. Their feud was actually mentioned in a Sports Illustrated piece about Moolah from 1974. Williams was also involved in a small feud with Roddy Piper over the place of women in wrestling. Williams wanted to prove that women were as tough as men at pro wrestling but Piper did not agree. They did a series of angles where Piper attacked her. Ron Starr did not like this and confronted Piper about it. He grabbed Piper and held him so that Williams could slap him. These angles led to a tag team match with Piper and Judy Martin losing to Starr and Williams on April 24, 1979.
Yukon Lumberjacks (Eric and Pierre)/Spiros Arion v. Andre The Giant/Dino Bravo/Tony Garea:Ref-Jack Lotz

Arion

Not much here. Garea worked over all three of his opponents early on but got caught and thrown into the corner. The heels ganged up on him and Jack Lotz disqualified them for the first fall.
Garea and Eric started the second fall but Bravo finally got in there with Arion. They did a criss-cross that ended with a Bravo hip toss. Pierre got in and went to work on Bravo with a back breaker but it could not keep Bravo from making a tag to Andre. Andre, acting as the executioner for a heel tag team and a former WWWF prodigy, gave Pierre an atomic drop, big boot, and then, a splash for the win. The heel were treated like losers, especially considering the Lumberjacks were WWWF Tag Team Champions at this time.


After having read Mad Dogs, Midgets, and Screwjobs, I went into this match with hopes of seeing Dino Bravo in action. It was disappointing to not see very much of him in this match. Prior to reading the wonderful book by Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hebert, I only knew Bravo from his heel WWF run, alongside Frenchy Martin, and later, Earthquake. Bravo is number five on the list of all-time draws in Montreal. He was seen by some journalists as a possible successor to Bruno Sammartino, as a babyface. Bravo owned shares in International Wrestling, a major Montreal organization, before leaving for the WWF as Vince expanded into Montreal in 1985-1986. He worked with numerous greats in the territory, including Nick Bockwinkel, Rick Martel, Hulk Hogan, and Billy Robinson. On April 8, 1985, Martel and Bravo beat the Road Warriors by DQ in the Forum. In total, he was International Heavyweight Champion six times and International Tag Team Champion once with Tony Parisi. Parisi was a former WWWF/WWF Tag Team Champion with Louis Cerdan/Gino Brito and WWWF US Tag Team Champion with Johnny Valentine and Spiros Arion. Gino Brito was also a partner in International Wrestling. Bravo was the last great draw for the Montreal territory before the WWF took over. In 1985, the WWF even gave him the distinction as Canadian Champion, due to his being International Heavyweight Champion, at the time.
 
That is all for now.  Please contact me if you have any questions.  I am taking requests so if there is anything you are dying to know about anything pro wrestling, email me at stevesgraps@yahoo.com and I will answer it for you.  Also, please check out the rest of my posts here and at Voices of Wrestling

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The History of the WWE DVD Review

Being that in 2013, the WWE is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, it is fitting for the company to release a historical retrospective on the company. Thousands of wrestlers have worked for the company, performing even more matches over those fifty years, not including the Capitol time period. The WWE has many stories to re-live from its history and they shed light on most of them in this DVD package. One might expect a bit of a biased perspective coming from the WWE concerning the history of its own company, especially considering previous DVD biographies. This set is no different but that does not detract too much from the quality of this documentary. The bio fails to mention many of the failures of the WWE over the years though. That withstanding, using plenty of past wrestling footage and many interviews from wrestlers from many generations, the WWE has delivered a very enjoyable retrospective on the last fifty years of the company.

The documentary goes in chronological order for the topics, without deviating too much. It started with talk of the history of the McMahon family starting with Jess as a boxing promoter, followed by Vince Sr. being part of the NWA and then branching out to start the company that the WWE is today. This showed a few newspaper clippings talking about Jess and Vince Sr. with some historical pictures thrown in. Championship Wrestling from Washington was shown and the Dumont Network television deal was referenced. Personally, the beginning of this bio was my favorite as it showed plenty of great vintage footage that you will not see on a commercially released DVD set.

The next transition was to Bruno Sammartino and his defeat of Buddy Rogers in May 1963. Out of the whole feature, they spent more time on Bruno than any other wrestler. Many interviews from wrestlers of his era were shown, including Capt. Lou Albano, Arnold Skaaland, Ivan Koloff, and Stan Hansen, among others. Bruno was also interviewed for this set, and he told a story about how he drove a Rolls-Royce and because of that, everyone who saw him thought he and wrestling were larger than life. He spent a total of eleven years as the champ in the territory and sold-out Madison Square Garden nearly two-hundred times. That number being the usual exaggerated number they have been using this year, from the actual one-hundred and thirty or so sell-outs, if my numbers are correct (going by a September 2006 Wrestling Observer Newsletter issue). This was a perfect segue to talk of Madison Square Garden and its history with the company.

MSG was touted as being the most important venue in the world. Sgt. Slaughter mentioned that as a wrestler, one could not wait to be good enough to wrestle at MSG and for the WWE. New York was mentioned as being the biggest territory and that wrestlers made the most money in the territory. This was often true, depending on the era especially from 1984 until onward, excluding when WCW was doing better business than the company. The next piece of history was Bruno's loss of the WWWF Championship in 1977.

Bruno said that when he would go to the newsstand during his career, he would look at the wrestling magazines and see his picture on most of them. By April 1977, his career as a full-time wrestler was ending and his loss that month of the WWWF Title signified a change in the company. The bio failed to go into too much detail on the change besides showing little footage of Superstar Billy Graham. At least, a little more footage of Bob Backlund was shown and he was interviewed. They did not mention his long reign as champion. One major oversight, as well, was not referencing Graham at all. At this point, I realize that Billy Graham is not in the WWE's good graces but he remains an important figure in the history of the WWE. He certainly laid the foundation for Hulk Hogan's babyface character in the early 1980's and his career, in general.

Next up was a short piece on Andre The Giant and then television syndication. The documentary featured very little on Andre, which was surprising. They did go on to talk about him a little more later in the feature though. Sgt. Slaughter told a story about telling Vince Sr. he wanted use a tape of the Marine Corps Hymn for his entrance when he came to the territory. At first, Vince did not understand why he wanted him to play the tape but after Sarge told him it was for his entrance, he understood why. This transitioned into the WWE getting more star publicity and they showed the angle with Gorilla Monsoon giving the airplane spin to Muhammed Ali. After this was talk of the national expansion and Vince Jr. buying the company in 1982. It was said to be a breath of fresh air for the wrestling business. The WWE was mentioned as having a better show than other territories and competitors, and better ratings. Of course, that was not always the case when looking at history. Hulk Hogan was the big star of the expansion period and he was everywhere in the media. It was said that Hulk would not be Hulk without the WWE and vice-versa. He, along with ventures with MTV, helped launch WrestleMania in 1985.

WrestleMania was mentioned as being a big risk and they showed some footage of Hulk and Mr. T taping a segment, working out on the beach, which was interesting. S.D. Jones was even shown talking about WrestleMania. Dick Ebersol talked about the birth of Saturday Night's Main Event and how it did better ratings than Saturday Night Live, at times. Throughout the feature, Ebersol was shown numerous times, along with Basil Devito. Sadly, no sign of attorney Jerry McDevitt in the bio. Slaughter was back telling a story about meeting President Nixon on an airplane and Nixon saying he watched him sing the Pledge of Allegiance twice and how he made everyone in the room sing it on the spot that day. Merchandising was expanding, showing footage of Piledriver. Basil Devito then mentioned WrestleMania III and how he initially asked Vince how to do the seating for it and how the NBA did 40,000 fans in the Pontiac Silverdome for their All-Star Game. However, Vince wanted to break the attendance record. The ongoing theme of the documentary was how great and smart Vince McMahon is. The 93,000 attendance number was brought up and this segued into a piece on pay-per-view expansion and more shows.

The next transition was the steroid trial for Vince McMahon. Essentially, the bio skipped 1988-1992. There was lots of great footage for this though but it certainly gave one the impression that steroids were only being used for injury/health recovery in the business. Roddy Piper mentioned that he had to use them to rehab his body from his wrestling schedule, in order to feed his family. It was never really alluded to the fact that a certain image needed to be maintained, through the help of steroids, in order to get the best position on the show and with the company. Still, this segment is one of the best parts of the documentary. Steroid testing had depleted Vince's roster and he needed to make new stars, as a result.

The debut of Monday Night Raw and the subsequent heavy competition from World Championship Wrestling was referred to next. Vince had to create new stars like Bret Hart since WCW had signed away all his old talent. Plenty of great interviews were shown including Lex Luger, Eric Bischoff, and Vince Russo. Vince could not afford Bret Hart's contract and this led to the 1997 Montreal Screwjob. It was never really talked about how bad business had gotten for the company, up to that point. This led to the creation of the Mr. McMahon character and the ushering in of the Attitude Era and how wrestling being talked about everywhere. They talked about some of the biggest stars, specifically Steve Austin, The Rock, and Triple H.

Another interesting piece was on the death of Owen Hart in 1999. Jim Ross had some interesting things to say about being at ringside when Owen fell and how he had to make the call on-air about his death. Linda McMahon mentioned how she called Martha Hart to tell her she would try to help her in any way possible. Footage of the Raw episode the night after his death were shown. The debut of Smackdown, the company going public in 1999, and the WCW buy-out in 2001 were talked about but not in great length. Also, the brand split between Raw and Smackdown was referred to and how everyone got more television time, as a result. This led to the PG Era for the company and a small piece on John Cena and the charitable work of the WWE, in the past.

The spotlight was on WrestleMania returning to big venues in 2001 and the Hall of Fame. They talked a little more about Andre here and how he was the first Hall of Fame inductee. The creation of the WWE Film Studio was next up and subsequently, the transition to HD for the company. Also briefly talked about were the WWE's social media presence, the WWE Performance Center in Florida, and how Vince never stops. No one can create a star like him and he is the mastermind behind everything. The segments after Owen Hart's death were just modern pieces on how the WWE is so great and all the endeavors they have tried in the last few years.

As mentioned previously, the amount of wrestlers interviewed is vast. They interviewed almost anyone you can imagine including wrestlers, some celebrities, and a couple fans. Other notable interviews not previously mentioned include Mad Dog Vachon, Ernie Ladd, Jake Roberts, and both Blackjacks.

The WWE was made to look invincible, most of the time, as they apparently could do no wrong. This bio featured no mentions of the WBF, XFL, business declines, or WWF New York. Also, as mentioned, this does not go into Superstar Billy Graham, besides showing some decent footage on him. Macho Man Randy Savage was never mentioned and only shown in footage a handful of times. Not much was shown on the Ultimate Warrior either but he was more of a memorable character more than an important factor in the company's history in any way.

Overall, this piece is certainly worth checking out, if not for all the footage and interviews alone. It has some behind-the-scenes footage but I would have liked to have seen more, since what we got is pretty interesting. Most of the matches on the second and third discs of the set have been on previous DVD sets, although the February 25, 2013 John Cena/C.M. Punk match is featured, which is new. This is a very enjoyable and thorough documentary on the WWE. It has some revisionist history and omissions, along with lots of Vince praise but that is to be expected, I suppose. I would recommend this set, as it is one of the best bios the WWE has done yet.

Steve Viglio
http://stevegraps.blogspot.com