So here's the deal - I have a ton of DVDs that have been sitting on my rack for weeks.... months.... in some cases, years.... and it's about time I reviewed them. My vow to you stupid marks is that I will conquer about a dozen DVD collections this month, both here and on my Complete and Utter Bulldog audio show on ClubWWI.com. Thus, the powers-that-be have declared:
Previously reviewed on the Rack:
It can be argued that the most "potentially" valuable acquisition to TNA in its brief history was Kurt Angle (though Hulk Hogan also makes a strong argument, he was never going to be a full-time wrestler). That's not to say they've used him (or anyone else) well during his time with the company - but Angle had very big upside potential.
A documentary-style DVD is exactly the type of thing TNA needs to do to ensure full return on its investment, especially because the former Olympic gold medalist never had one in WWE (he did have a video and book, but both pale in comparison by today's standards).
One thing I don't like about TNA's biographical DVD's is that they play some of the documentary and interrupt it with matches in between. So, for example, they would show a video of his TNA debut and then go to a segment about Angle's childhood. Certainly not the end of the world, but not really my preference.
The DVD draws upon a surprising number of "outside" voices to tell Angle's story. They interviewed his entire family, including his mother who -- and this may just be me -- appears incredibly nervous, as though she's being held at gunpoint to say nice things about her kid. In addition, all of the top TNA stars from that era (Mick Foley, Dixie Carter, Christian Cage, Jeff Jarrett) give commentary, as does.... Bruno Sammartino. Obviously, Sammartino is mostly a fan of Angle's amateur background, but it's still a coup to include the guy in your DVD set when WWE clearly can't.
Most of the first disc is dedicated towards Angle's series of matches with Samoa Joe. While it was a great series, it sets up more as a reminder for how TNA hotshotted the rivalry instead of letting it build more organically. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but this was one of the few "dream" matches that TNA could have forced people to pay up for given enough build. Instead, it ended up characterizing Angle's first few months in the promotion.
And not to go on too much of a tangent here.... but why the HELL would Angle go over in the first match of the series? Don't forget that Joe was still undefeated at this point, and had a monster vibe about him. Pinning Angle (or even better, making him submit) would not only have been huge for Joe's career, but the rematch would have been guaranteed money (and, of course, you'd put Angle over in that one).
Anyways.... the non-Joe matches are perfectly fine for this collection, including a bout against Jay Lethal, a pair of matches with Sting and a King of the Mountain match. Sure, it's not the complete retrospective on Angle's career that fans want to see, but remember that WWE owns 70 to 80 percent of his best match footage.
The rest of the documentary covers several topics, including the death of his amateur coach Dave Schultz, winning the Olympic gold medal (with a broken freaking neck!), his release from WWE, signing with TNA, and more. None of it is earth-shattering, although it's interesting to see him replaying his fallout with Vince McMahon after a couple of years changed his perspective.
Overall, is this DVD worth your time? Given that it was released some three years ago, you can probably pick it for a deep discount -- at which point I'd be inclined to recommend it.
Canadian Bulldog has been writing about professional wrestling since 2003, and became a WWI Superstar at
World Wrestling Insanity
in January 2006. Need more Bulldog? Check out his "Complete and Utter Bulldog" podcast at
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