Review and Recommendation
Rating: While current WWE programming is TV-PG, this DVD set is TV-14 LV.
The Documentary: I was very entertained during this 2-hour documentary. It followed Dwayne's life from his grandfather's legacy in the business all the way up to his birthday party back in May which was held on Monday Night RAW. That means that his return to the ring at Survivor Series is not covered in the documentary. Even more shocking than that exclusion was the editorial choice not to go in-depth about his family tree. While his grandfather and father are mentioned on this DVD, his relationship to the Wild Samoan family tree is not mentioned on this set even though it was mentioned many times throughout his career.
Despite these issues, I was able to watch this documentary in one sitting and found myself wanting more. It focused on all parts of his career evenly and seemed to move at just the right pace. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Warren Sapp was interviewed during this piece. Warren was the player who took Dwayne's starting job at the University of Miami. If you ever wondered where the Rock got his cocky attitude and swagger that propelled him to the top as a heel, Warren explains that he got it from "The U". For those of you that like the Rock playing the cocky bad guy, I suggest checking out the documentary ESPN made a few years ago about the team, which was called The U, to see exactly where he got that character from.
The Promos: The 3-disc set concludes with four of his non-wrestling promos/skits from his more recent history. I really wish the company would have created a fourth disc, similar to what they did with the recent Steve Austin set, that contained nothing but his classic promos. Just seeing some of clips for them in the main documentary really wet my appetite to see these classics in their entirety.
Length of the DVD: The back of the box says "approx running time: 7.5 hours."
Overall Recommendation: This is a great trip down memory lane and is definitely worth adding to your DVD collection. However, this is also the fifth DVD set released about the Rock. The first three were released in an era where the WWE didn't take full advantage of the DVD format and those discs pale in comparison to the two most recent ones. This set makes a great compliment to The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment. If you only wanted to buy one set about the Rock, I would recommend buying that one instead of this one. However, this is the Rock we are talking about and there aren't many wrestlers more worthy of taking up the shelf space of two DVD sets in wrestling library than he is.
If you decide to buy this set on DVD, I recommend buying it at FYE or Suncoast Video. They are running a promotion where the DVD set is packaged together with the 2-disc DVD version of WrestleMania XXVII.
As far as buying this on DVD or Blu-ray goes, it has to be noted that all of the matches were filmed before the WWE started filming in HD so picture quality isn't much of an issue for this set. While the interviews for the documentary are in HD, most of the clips shown during it aren't so again, picture quality shouldn't be that big of a deal. The Blu-ray set features some bonus matches which are listed below. I have to admit that my review is based off watching the DVD, but there is nothing on the Blu-ray set that makes me regret not having it instead. My recommendation would be to save a few bucks and pick the DVD set over the Blu-ray version of it.
Matches on This DVD Set
- Survivor Series '96: Elimination Match - Rocky Maivia, Marc Mero, Barry Windham & Jake Roberts vs. Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, Goldust, Crush & Jerry Lawler
- SummerSlam '98: Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship - The Rock vs. Triple H (The Ladder Match)
- Breakdown '98: Cage Match - The Rock vs. Mankind vs. Ken Shamrock
- Royal Rumble '99: “I Quit” Match for the WWE Championship - The Rock vs. Mankind
- Backlash '99: No Holds Barred Match for the WWE Championship - The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (The Legacy of Stone Cold Steve Austin)
- SummerSlam 2000: Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship - The Rock vs. Kurt Angle vs. Triple H (The History of the WWE Championship; Triple H: That Damn Good)
- RAW 12/18/2000: World Tag Team Championship Match - The Rock & Undertaker vs. Edge & Christian
- RAW 7/29/02: The Rock vs. Ric Flair
- SummerSlam 2002: WWE Undisputed Championship Match - The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar (Brock Lesnar: Here Comes the Pain; The History of the WWE Championship)
- No Way Out 2003: The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan
- RAW 2/24/03: The Rock Returns to Raw
- RAW 4/21/03: The Rock Concert II
- RAW 2/14/11: The WrestleMania Guest Host
- WrestleMania XXVII: The People's WrestleMania
- RAW 4/4/11: The Rock challenges John Cena for WrestleMania XXVIII
- RAW 5/2/11: The Rock's Birthday Celebration
- Survivor Series 2011: The Rock & John Cena vs. Awesome Truth
- People’s Elbow
- Toy Chest
- The Rock Thanks New York City