Saturday, August 6, 2016

Wrestling's Greatest Factions

Today’s wrestling themed blog goes hand-in-hand with the last one I covered, True Giants. As a matter of fact, it came out within a few weeks of it in 2014 and follows the exact same formula too. That release is called Wrestling’s Greatest Factions (trailer) and much like True Giants it covers a ton of ground on almost all of the noteworthy factions in pro wrestling history.

23 groups are featured in Wrestling’s Greatest Factions, three of which are exclusive to the BluRay. As previously mentioned, it follows the same design as True Giants with a short three-to-five minute documentary on a group, followed up by a match with the featured faction. The DVD is seven hours, while the BluRay clocks in at eight. I do not blame you if that sounds like too much to take in, and if that is the case then the WWE Network has you covered with its abbreviated two hour version that focuses on just several groups like Nexus, DX, Four Horsemen, Evolution, Hart Foundation and Straight Edge Society.

The same pros and cons also apply to Wrestling’s Greatest Factions. The mini-spotlights fly by before you know it, but at least the producers of these bios tried to cram as many tidbits in about each group within the time limits they are restrained to. I got the feeling these bios were not top priority with the interview subjects featured throughout for memories and recollections on a lot of these groups with Renee Young, Alex Riley, Justin Roberts and Curt Hawkins being among the most featured in the mini-documentaries.

For newer fans these mini-documentaries are a great way for a quick history lesson throughout the decades of wrestling on the many factions in the business. For hardcore wrestling fans that probably know of most of these groups, a reason to own this is because this will probably be the only home video release that puts out a documentary of any kind on factions featured in here that did not make it as big. Some of those groups are the PC-watch dog group, The Right to Censor, the affable male cheerleaders, The Spirit Squad and even the group that jammed out with the Insane Clown Posse on their way to the ring, The Oddities are featured here.

One last similarity with True Giants is that the good-to-bad match quality ratio in Wrestling’s Greatest Factions is not the greatest. Of the 23 matches on the BluRay I only marked down nine of them as being must-see. I am a fan of elimination tag matches if done right, especially the old-school Survivor Series matches, but there are quite a few on here since that is a specialty match with larger groups and they got monotonous rather quick. I am also not super big into the WCW War Games double-cage matches as they tend to drag out as the ring gets cluttered with more participants and there are two of those on here that you can save some time and skip right over. There is a match featuring Randy Orton’s faction, The Legacy that is so-so at best but I would have to say to stick with it because in its final moments it features one of the best near-falls that had me and nearly the entire crowd fooled.

Of the more positive matches though, it was a blast reliving the DX/Corporation mini-Royal Rumble as it transpired at the apex of the ‘Attitude Era’ and featured a hot crowd that was popping for everyone. A surprisingly good bout between the Brood and Al Snow’s short lived group, The Job Squad was a fun match with many standout moments. Evolution has a good six-person tag bout where they run rampant over the Dudleyz. Make sure to check out the Four Horsemen match of Arn/Tully/Flair against Luger/Windham/Sting. If you know your Horsemen history that selection stands out because at one point Luger, Windham and Sting were all members of the illustrious group, and this match took place with a crowd on fire and absolutely eating up every moment of the match that made it irresistible to get reeled into the action. The final match on the BluRay is the Shield’s debut match in the WWE at the TLC 2012 PPV in a TLC match against Daniel Bryan, Kane and Ryback. Kane and Ryback take some expected naps in this bout, but that is ok because this match has a great story that is all about Daniel Bryan delivering adrenaline-filled comebacks throughout that had the crowd on his side the entire time.

Despite its aforementioned shortcomings, I will give Wrestling’s Greatest Factions a mild recommendation. Again, for newer fans this is a great history lesson throughout wrestling. For more ardent fans like myself, I have to admit it was kind of fun reliving some brief memories of groups I have not thought of in many years. For newer fans who dug some of the more prominent featured groups like the Shield, Four Horsemen, DX and the nWo make sure to look through WWE’s home video library as they have put out dedicated releases to each of those groups.

Past Wrestling Blogs

Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 2
Biggest Knuckleheads
Bobby The Brain Heenan
Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes Yes Yes
Dusty Rhodes WWE Network Specials
ECW Unreleased: Vol 1
ECW Unreleased: Vol 2
ECW Unreleased: Vol 3
For All Mankind
Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection
Its Good to Be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story
Ladies and Gentlemen My Name is Paul Heyman
Legends of Mid South Wrestling
Macho Man: The Randy Savage Story
Memphis Heat
OMG Vol 2: Top 50 Incidents in WCW History
RoH Supercard of Honor V
RoH Supercard of Honor VI
RoH Supercard of Honor VII
RoH Supercard of Honor VIII
RoH Supercard of Honor IX
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
Sting: Into the Light
Superstar Collection: Zach Ryder
Top 50 Superstars of All Time
Tough Enough: Million Dollar Season
True Giants
Warrior Week on WWE Network
Wrestlemania 3: Championship Edition
Wrestlemania 28
Wrestlemania 29
Wrestlemania 30
Wrestlemania 31
The Wrestler (2008)
Wrestling Road Diaries Too
WWE Network Original Specials First Half 2015
WWE Network Original Specials Second Half 2015
WWE Network Original Specials First Half 2016

No comments:

Post a Comment