Over the past few months, I have noted on several occasions that the WWE Home Video division has vastly improved. While that is a compliment, it also means that a lot of their prior work was not that good. In the case of Steve Austin, the company has made multiple DVDs about him that could have been much better. Did the WWE finally produce a great Austin DVD set?
It took many tries, but the WWE finally made a DVD as great as Steve Austin's career. Clocking in at close to 9 hours, this DVD features some of the greatest action in WWE history and many classic matches that are available on DVD for the first time. Of course when looking at a career like Austin's, there will always be something left out because of the length of his career. However, in order for that stuff to be put on that means some great stuff from this DVD must be taken off. In the case of this DVD set, there isn't much that can be taken off.
The first curious decision I noticed on this DVD is that there is no biography. I'm glad that there isn't one on here because there are already several DVDs on the market that tell his story. If by some chance you don't know his story, this DVD set follows his career in such a way that you will learn all the key points due to interviews with Steve between matches.
Perhaps the only problem with this DVD is that some of the matches can be found on other DVD sets. Even if you own every WWE DVD, there is still enough new footage on this DVD to make it a worthwhile purchase. In addition, no prior DVD has more than one match from it represented on this DVD.
Overall Recommendation: Highest Recommendation. This DVD belongs in the DVD collection of every wrestling fan.
What's on the DVD?
Matches on Disc One
- Slamboree ’93: Steel Cage Match: w/Brian Pillman vs Dos Hombres - (Brian Pillman DVD) This match just proves that regardless of how ridiculous a promoter tried to make Ricky Steamboat look, real talent will always find a way to shine through.
- Clash of Champions 25: vs. Brian Pillman - The Jesse Ventura edit is in full force here. What makes the silence even more ridiculous is that we can see Ventura talking.
- Clash of Champions 28: vs Ricky Steamboat - Thankfully, Hulk was released from the hospital in time to make his match later in the night and Sting’s private jet arrived at the arena just in time to save Hulk Hogan from a brutal beat down. Since the commentators of this match refused to talk about this match then why should I bother describing the incredible action that was going on in the ring either?
- ECW ’95: Austin vs. Sandman vs Mikey Whipwreck - I was pleasantly surprised to see footage of Woman here. She was a vital part of one of my favorite gimmicks, Sandman’s Popeye impression, which is shown during this match. Watching this made me curious as to whether “he who shall not be named” would be included on this DVD. We’ll have to wait until disc 3 to find out the answer to that.
- Beware of Dog 2: vs. Savio Vega in a Caribbean Strap Match - I still can’t believe that these guys were able to do this match a few nights earlier in a dark arena.
- Survivor Series ’96: vs. Bret Hart - I have been to many great events over the years and have seen many famous matches in person. I rank this as the best match I’ve ever seen live.
Matches on Disc 2
- Cold Day in Hell: vs. The Undertaker – Austin’s feud with the Hart Foundation is one of my favorite feuds ever. The Hart Foundation takes center stage during this match. My one gripe during this section of the DVD is that we never got to see the incident where Austin injured Bret’s knee.
- RAW ’97: w/Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart & The British Bulldogs – (Monday Night War DVD) This is one of the better matches in the history of Monday Night RAW.
- King of the Ring ’97: vs. Shawn Michaels – Of all the things I’ve seen Shawn do during a match, his actions at the beginning of this match could be the best thing he has ever done during his career. I know that wrestlers have to be prepared for anything to happen but I don’t think anyone was prepared for what happened at the beginning of this match.
- RAW ’97: w/Dude Love vs. Owen Hart & The British Bulldog – This is one of the most fun segments in WWE history.
- SummerSlam ’97: vs. Owen Hart – (Stone Cold Truth DVD) I saw this one live and couldn’t figure what was going on at the end of this match. When I got home and saw the tape of it, I cringed when I saw what happened to Austin’s neck.
- Unforgiven ’98: vs. Dude Love – The is the first of many attempts to recreate the Montreal Screwjob.
- King of the Ring ’98: First Blood Match vs. Kane – I forgot that Mankind made an appearance during this match. I can’t believe he was even able to walk after the beating he took earlier in the night during the infamous Hell in a Cell match against the Undertaker.
- RAW ’98: vs. Kane – Not only do we get to relive the career of Steve Austin in this DVD set, we also get to see the entire WWE Championship reign of Kane.