Wednesday, September 13, 2017

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

As promised, I am back with my take on the sequel to last month’s movie I covered, National Treasure, with 2007’s National Treasure: Book of Secrets (trailer). Why would there be a sequel when the first movie had such a happy ending you ask? That is because all it takes is some simple lines of dialogue and a couple quick minutes of setup to erase all the happy endings in Hollywood and establish a new conflict to conquer in a sequel.

How far has the cast come after earning their share of the mammoth treasure haul from the first movie? Well, Benjamin Gates (Nicolas Cage) and Abigail (Diane Kruger) start the film fresh off a breakup. Riley (Justin Bartha) has his share of the treasure haul embezzled by a greedy accountant and Patrick Gates (Jon Voight) has his family’s legacy accused of treason by newcomer antagonist Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris). Recall how Gates had an ancestor in the last film that had direct ties with the founding fathers? Turns out there was another Gates ancestor who had ties to a legendary treasure left behind by John Wilkes Booth during his attempted escape from authorities after murdering President Lincoln. Wilkinson’s accusation leads the Gates family along with Riley and Abigail to track down Booth’s treasure and clear their family’s good name!

From here Book of Secrets follows the same beats as the previous film. Nicolas Cage once again uses his one-of-a-kind couth to deduce riddles and clues that take his party across the globe to DC, Paris, London and finally finishing off their quest at Mt. Rushmore. Props to the filmmakers for once again sprinkling nonstop history facts throughout the film that the history nut in me absolutely ate up. To complete the established formula of the first film, expect several WTF/yeah right moments/stunts throughout. The biggest eyebrow-raiser is when the Gates family concludes that in order to uncover the next clue that they have to kidnap the President of the United States (Bruce Greenwood). If that is not ridiculous enough, the way it all plays out is more laughably absurd, but in a hilariously entertaining way.

I will once again give props to Cage for nailing the over-the-top, yet affable Benjamin Gates persona. The rest of the supporting cast brings it too and all gel together for yet another fun treasure hunt film. Other random little bits I want to mention is a quick shoutout to a minor periphery character, Connor (Ty Burrell). He rocks in the couple of scenes he is in! I want to be a part of the annual White House Easter Egg hunt! Those bunnies look far more happier than the one in Mallrats. Like the previous film, Book of Secrets likes to show off the latest tech and gadgets they have available. For a movie filmed in 2006, the cast is shown throughout showing off the latest features of their fancy flip phones that are equipped with a camera so they can send pics to each other. My oh my, how far phones have come in a decade. I bet the President’s Secret Book really does exist, and if I somehow stumble across it I swear I will not be like Benjamin Gates and quickly brush past the JFK assassination chapter like he does when Riley points it out with his retort being the cliché “there’s no time” excuse!

The Book of Secrets BluRay is stacked with extra features just like the last one. If you are an extra feature junkie like me, then you have probably seen some movies include various forms of feature-length pop-up factoids. This BluRay has a really enhanced version of that called Book of History where there is a lot of interactive ‘fact or fiction’ history questions posed at you and the film keeps track of your score throughout. I would have stuck with it for the whole film if I did not already watch it a second time with the audio commentary with director Jon Turteltaub and actor Jon Voight. Like Turteltaub’s last commentary, he came prepared with tons of facts and insights from the production process and he peppers in many little history bits throughout. Voight is amusing to listen to because he only occasionally chimes in every few scenes with, ‘Wow, what a movie!’

After the feature-length extras, there are an ten additional extra features totaling just under an hour and a half. There are a ton of deleted scenes included, and a few of which I would have loved to see in the film, but Turteltaub is on hand here to justify why they all had to remain on the cutting room floor. Of the nine other extras, the two I would recommend checking out the most would be Secrets of a Sequel which is a quick breakdown with the cast and crew about going ‘bigger and better’ in terms of scope and quality with the sequel. The other must-see extra is Inside Library of Congress, where the filmmakers spread the love about how awesome this particular library is, and detail its history and how it acquires its many books among its archives. Very cool!

Fans of the first film and of other treasure hunting classics like Indiana Jones cannot go wrong with National Treasure: Book of Secrets. As stated above, the filmmakers stick with the same formula of the first film, but crank it up a notch by trekking around the world to international landmarks and even bigger stunts/theatrics thanks in part to a bigger budget. To top it off, if you happen to love your American history as much as I do then expect a free bonus mini-history lesson out of the film too!

Other Random Backlog Movie Blogs

3
12 Angry Men (1957)
12 Rounds 3: Lockdown
21 Jump Street
Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie
Atari: Game Over
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Batman: The Killing Joke
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
Bounty Hunters
Cabin in the Woods
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Christmas Eve
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Clint Eastwood 11-pack Special
The Condemned 2
Creed
Dirty Work
Faster
Fast and Furious I-VIII
Field of Dreams
Fight Club
The Fighter
For Love of the Game
Good Will Hunting
Gravity
Guardians of the Galaxy
Hercules: Reborn
Hitman
Ink
The Interrogation
Interstellar
Jobs
Man of Steel
Marine 3-5
Mortal Kombat
National Treasure
The Replacements
Rocky I-VII
Running Films Part 1
Running Films Part 2
San Andreas
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Steve Jobs
Source Code
Star Trek I-XIII
Take Me Home Tonight
TMNT
The Tooth Fairy 1 & 2
UHF
Veronica Mars
The War
Wild
The Wrestler (2008)
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Roseanne - Season 6

-Choo-choo! That’s right, the Roseanne blog train of 2017 is still chugging with this entry covering season six (s6 excerpt)! If you missed previous editions, click here to get caught up. The goal is to hopefully wrap up all nine seasons by the end of the year just before Roseanne makes its long awaited return to ABC after an absence of just over 20 years! Onto the job roll call…

-Roseanne (Roseanne Barr), Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) and Nancy (Sandra Bernhard) are still holding down the fort at their self-owned diner, The Lunchbox. However, the trio has enough of Roseanne & Jackie’s mom, Bev (Estelle Parsons) and talk her out of her ownership stake of the diner. Bev gets the last laugh though, as she sells her share to Roseanne’s former, antagonizing boss, Leon (Martin Mull). As I mentioned in prior blogs, I am a huge fan of Roseanne & Leon’s dynamic in season’s three and four, though now both are equal owners of the restaurant, but that does not change much of their awesome love/hate relationship that is a delight to indulge.

Dan (John Goodman) is running his own business though I am not quite sure what exactly it is. I recall towards the end of season five he picked up some work renovating houses that families move out of, so I am presuming he took that over and is now running it. The show does not really say, but there are a few episodes that have scenes of him at his office. He ends up hiring Mark (Glenn Quinn), who makes his return to the show several episodes into this season. Becky (now portrayed by Sarah Chalke) returns too and she picks up a job working at the Hooters knockoff, Bunz.

-So yeah, Becky and Mark are now back on the show. Before we get there though, as you recall at the end of season six Darlene (Sara Gilbert) decides to go to college in Chicago. Darlene moves there in the first episode of the season, but she is not taking a huge sabbatical from the show like Becky did, as Roseanne has episodes with Darlene phoning home semi-frequently, or Darlene visiting home every two or three episodes since she essentially lives a few hours away. Darlene is only absent from six or seven episodes this season. A few episodes into the season, David (Johnny Galecki) makes up a lie to move in with Darlene. That only lasts several episodes and the way it plays out is the awesome disaster I anticipated!

So for a few episodes it is just DJ (Michael Fishman) as the sole child living in the Conner household until Becky and Mark move back. I will not spoil the show’s explanation for it, as it seems the writers wanted a fresh mix of young’ns back in the Conner house and picked a random reason out of a hat. Regardless it is a blast to get Becky and Mark back in the mix. Sara Chalke is a fine replacement for Lecy Goranson. I recall watching the series as I grew up I was too naïve to realize she was replaced since a year and a half went by on the show without her. It seems the show does not want to overdo it on forcing Chalke in your face either as she is only a featured actor in a handful of episodes and is primarily in the background for most of her duration this season. Speaking of dialing it back, I am glad Darlene got dialed back more this season too, as the writers went overkill with the Darlene character in season five and she is a little less crass and not as reliant on cheesy-one liners as before.

-This is a big season for Jackie as she meets and hooks up with Dan’s coworker, Fred (Michael O’Keefe). Jackie winds up expecting after their one night stand, and watching the season unfold as Fred wanting to be supportive for Jackie, but Jackie trying to ignore Fred’s advances was fun to keep up with throughout the season and it led to an awesome payoff in the season finale. O’Keefe is a natural fit for the show and is perfect in portraying Fred. He won me over after just a couple of episodes with him.

-This season DJ finally gets to be more prominent for the first time throughout a season. He has several episodes with him in the forefront, and they are actually good! DJ joins a church group and constantly questions his family’s decisions, while in another episode the family finds out DJ has begun masturbation which culminates in Dan having a raucous heart-to-heart talk with his son! Finally, in a “special” episode Roseanne loses it and goes overboard punishing DJ and has an emotional scene with DJ apologizing for her actions in one of the most powerful scenes of the series by far.

-Speaking of “special” episodes, the show brought them full force this season with a two-parter involving Dan finding out that his mom is mentally disabled and has to move her into a mental hospital. These are the only two episodes this season that feature Crystal (Natalie West) and Dan’s father, Ed (Ned Beatty). Dan and Ed have a few intense/aggressive scenes which had a surprising resolution I did not see coming. Seeing the blowback from this and how it affected the whole family was very impactful to watch, and my hat is off to Barr and Goodman for delivering on some dramatic scenes to take in.

-On a lighter note, the writing for season six is easily my favorite for the entire series up until this point. Almost every episode has several moments where I found myself nodding along to another excellent line of dialogue. This is most apparent in the annual Thanksgiving/Halloween episodes both standing out as blowing away all other prior holiday shows from Roseanne. Instead of good-natured ‘spooky’ gags past Halloween shows relied on, this one is all about just trying to have the best prank, and the depths the family went to prank Roseanne this year and later on that show how Roseanne pranked Jackie had me losing it! Roseanne has constantly pushed the envelope each season with tackling controversial topics like homosexuality, child abuse, mental illness and they can add another one to the list with promoting pot as Dan and Roseanne rediscover their 20-year old stash in an unforgettable scene.

-Season six is the first of the DVDs to contain zero extra features so that will wrap up my take on this year of Roseane. This is a much-needed pick me up from the mixed results of season five, and ranks right up there as one of the best seasons of the show so far. Once again, I will give credit to the writers for delivering with a strong script throughout most of the season.

Past TV/Web Series Blogs

2013-14 TV Season Recap
2014-15 TV Season Recap
2015-16 TV Season Recap
2016-17 TV Season Recap
Adventures of Briscoe County Jr: The Complete Series
Angry Videogame Nerd Volumes 7-9
Mortal Kombat: Legacy - Season 1
OJ: Made in America: 30 for 30
RedvsBlue - Seasons 1-13
Roseanne – Seasons 1-9
Seinfeld Final Season
Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle
Superheroes: Pioneers of Television

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions

Younger and newer fans of pro wrestling, lend me your ears! I have to let you know how spoiled we are to have so many countless hours of top programming each week featuring marquee matchups/storyline angles. “The Monday Night Wars” between WWF/WCW in the second half of the 1990s changed that and forced both promotions’ marquee shows to consistently put on top matchups and rivalries each week. When I first started watching wrestling in the late 80s the bulk of weekly television put on by WCW and the then-WWF featured primarily squash matches and recaps from the latest big PPV and TV specials.

WWF and WCW only had four or five PPVs a year around this time and they usually featured several big matches with many weeks of television buildup. To help fill those three-four month gaps between PPVs, both WWF and WCW did four-five TV specials/mini-PPVs for free on cable a year during this timeframe. WWF had Saturday Night’s Main Event (SNME) and WCW had Clash of the Champions (CotC). Instead of several big PPV-quality matchups over the course of three hours ad-free, these specials were 90-120 minutes with ad breaks. SNME and CotC mostly featured one top matchup, supplemented by other matches featuring top stars, but usually in last minute thrown together meaningless tag matches. WWE released a best of SNME DVD-set in 2009, but today I am covering their Best of WCW Clash of the Champions (trailer)BluRay set they released in 2012.

Dusty Rhodes is the host of this DVD set, and he has a good introduction to the DVD explaining that WCW made CotC free and held the inaugural show to compete directly against Wrestlemania IV as a response to WWE forcing the first Survivor Series PPV to compete directly against WCW’s first PPV a few months earlier. It was a joy seeing Dusty again a couple years after his passing, and he is charismatic as ever, but the rest of his appearances in The Best of CotC are surprisingly lackluster as he sheds no context or insight about the matches he is setting up and merely says a variation of, “here is wrestler A and here is wrestler B, oh-boooyy.” I know I am splitting hairs nitpicking over Dusty’s intros but Diamond Dallas Page did an excellent job with them in the trilogy of Best of Nitro DVDs that I cannot help but feel a little dismayed at Dusty’s performance.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even though nearly all 27 matches contained in the Best of CotC (three of which are exclusive to BluRay) have top talent, only a small slice of the 27 bouts have clean finishes. If I recall correctly from watching these at the time I presumed the bookers did this to teach fans that they had to pay the big bucks for the PPV match that did not feature interference. At first I was increasingly agitated to see many excellent matches have run-ins for a quick DQ or tainted victory, but eventually I accepted it as par for the course by the end of the collection.

I want to highlight a few of my favorite matchups on this set. The first match is the main event from the first CotC, and it features one of the first televised matchups of Sting and Ric Flair as the two fought for the NWA World Title and went to a 45 minute time limit draw. The crowd is simply bonkers into Sting as the two put on a clinic in the ring and have several dramatic near falls in the final minutes. The infamous “I Quit” match between Flair and Terry Funk from 1989 is another epic match on this collection, and features a ton of hardcore action and brawling between the two before ECW popularized that style a few years later. Ricky Steamboat and Steve Austin (then with a full head of hair from his “Stunning” days) have an awesome match for the US title with tons of near falls and is one of the few great matches on here with a clean finish. My last top pick on here is a cruiserweight title match between Ultimo Dragon and Dean Malenko that features a good hybrid of Dean’s technical prowess and Dragon’s high-flying acrobatics. Those four matches are the feature bouts that have no cheap interference and left me wanting more.

As I alluded to earlier there are many good-to-great matches on here that unfortunately suffer with a awful finish. The Rock ‘n Roll Express and Midnight Express light up the crowd in one instance and Ric Flair carries a young Lex Luger in one of his best matches, but both contests feature cheap DQs. Sting and Flair put on another classic match on here from 1994, but a theme of the match is on Sherri Martel’s presence at ringside throughout, and sure enough she factors into the finish. Two more tag title matches that have a lot of great action with crowd’s engaged throughout, only to be letdown with a lame DQ were Arn Anderson and Ric Flair taking on the Hollywood Blonds and Harlem Heat defending their gold against the Steiners and Lex Luger & Sting. Of the three BluRay extras, only one stood out and that was Ric Flair & Barry Windham taking on the Midnight Express with all four guys being on top of their game and making formula tag team spots stand out in a class of their own to the delight of a rabidly hot crowd.

The matches in here span from 1988-1997. In 1998, WCW introduced Thunder as its second top-tier weekly show to supplement Nitro, and that brought an end to CotC. Seeing how WCW and its production values evolved over the decade was fascinating and they came a long way in that decade, especially in its final few years. While a majority of the matches have awesome wrestling and very engaged crowds, it is regrettably unfortunate to not recommend The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions because of the sheer amount of cruddy finishes. There are four or five standout matches tucked away within that I breakdown above, but you are better suited hunting those down on the WWE Network than shedding out the money for the DVD.

Past Wrestling Blogs

Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 2
Best of Monday Nitro Volume 3
Biggest Knuckleheads
Bobby The Brain Heenan
Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes Yes Yes
DDP: Positively Living
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
OMG Vol 3: Top 50 Incidents in ECW History
Owen: Hart of Gold
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
RoH Supercard of Honor X
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
Sting: Into the Light
Superstar Collection: Zach Ryder
TNA Lockdown 2005-2014
Top 50 Superstars of All Time
Tough Enough: Million Dollar Season
True Giants
Ultimate Fan Pack: Roman Reigns
Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe
Warrior Week on WWE Network
Wrestlemania 3: Championship Edition
Wrestlemania 28
Wrestlemania 29
Wrestlemania 30
Wrestlemania 31
Wrestlemania 32
The Wrestler (2008)
Wrestling Road Diaries Too
Wrestling Road Diaries Three: Funny Equals Money
Wrestlings Greatest Factions
WWE Network Original Specials First Half 2015
WWE Network Original Specials Second Half 2015
WWE Network Original Specials First Half 2016
WWE Network Original Specials Second Half 2016
WWE Network Original Specials First Half 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

National Treasure

In my high school and college days, history was always my favorite class. In elementary school I would learn the order of all the US Presidents and all the US capitols and in down time would look up presidential election results and population sizes on state atlases. For fun! Yup, I was that kid. I also like treasure hunter type films like Indiana Jones (which I plan on covering here down the line), so I was absolutely giddy when history and treasure hunting combined for 2004’s National Treasure (trailer).

National Treasure features Nicolas Cage as Benjamin Gates, who is a modern day treasure hunter spending most of his life chasing after a long lost family treasure that has ties all the way back to the original founding fathers of the country. The film kicks off with Gates, his assistant tech wiz, Riley (Justin Bartha) and his investor partner Ian (Sean Bean) finding a major clue to the family treasure they spent decades searching for. Their discovery contains a riddle that Cage does a masterful job hamming it up like only he can when he solves the riddle and deduces that the Declaration of Independence has a secret treasure map on it. Ian matter-of-factly states “ok, time to steal this sacred document” and of course Gates is not about that so Ian turns on him right there. Now, both men are off to steal the Declaration and set about a greater chase with Ian right on Ben’s tail to track down the sought-after family treasure.

The history fan in me is incredibly biased towards this movie. Gates is constantly spouting quick history anecdotes as him, Riley and Declaration expert Abigail (Diane Kruger) venture on their expedition across historical US cities such as Philadelphia, Boston and Washington DC. There is a big setup for the Declaration heist, and as far-fetched as the whole ordeal is, I still enjoyed the big heist scene. Cage is perfect as treasure hunter in over his head, and is awesome whenever he shows off his uncanny acting ability at solving riddles. Ian is a serviceable antagonist, and as expected is always one step behind Gates, but he has a few tricks up his sleeve later on in the film to keep the heroes constantly watching their back.

As much as I love this film I could see why others would dislike it. If you do not have an interest in US History, I can see how some would dismiss National Treasure with a ‘hard pass.’ Like other treasure hunter franchises such as Indiana Jones and Uncharted expect many ‘yeah right’ and ‘BS’ stunts/heroics throughout the film. If those kinds of stunts can ruin a film for you than there are a few eyebrow-raising scenes in National Treasure that will most likely infuriate you. Again, the history nut in me made it easy to justify these faults with some convenient lines of dialogue or other Hollywood tricks, but be forewarned, expect some ridiculous-ness.

The BluRay is stacked with extra features. There is 75 minutes of bonus material broken up into 10 parts. I would recommend cruising through the deleted scenes with director introductions as there are a few fun scenes I wished that would have made the cut with a unique strip club scene standing out the most! Of the many behind-the-scene features included the two I would recommend the most are Ciphers, Codes & Codebreakers and To Steal a National Treasure. The former is about how deciphering codes has evolved over time and the latter is about how the filmmakers researched breaking into the National Archives with its then severely-outdated security system.

There is also an entertaining commentary with director Jon Turtleaub and Justin Bartha worth checking out. It is one of the better commentary tracks I have endured as the duo are constantly self-deprecating and have a good rapport throughout. They react to criticism to the film, jest about how dated the film’s effects will look in several years and Jon recites old high school stories of Nicolas Cage. Finally, there is an interactive Declaration of Independence where you can use your BluRay remote to ‘decode’ various phrases from it to unlock mini-documentaries relating to Colonial life at the time of the document’s inception. If you are patient enough with it, there is a ton to unlock and check out!

13 years later National Treasure still holds up. The special effects are not as dated as Jon & Justin hint they might be, and it is a fun, by-the-numbers treasure hunt/chase film. Again, being at least a little bit of a fan of US History is recommended going into this, but if you are not you may be into this if all you are looking for is a good ‘ol fashion treasure hunting film. I plan on covering the sequel, Book of Secrets next month so please join me again in a few weeks for one more round with Cage and company!

Other Random Backlog Movie Blogs

3
12 Angry Men (1957)
12 Rounds 3: Lockdown
21 Jump Street
Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie
Atari: Game Over
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Batman: The Killing Joke
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
Bounty Hunters
Cabin in the Woods
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Christmas Eve
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Clint Eastwood 11-pack Special
The Condemned 2
Creed
Dirty Work
Faster
Fast and Furious I-VIII
Field of Dreams
Fight Club
The Fighter
For Love of the Game
Good Will Hunting
Gravity
Guardians of the Galaxy
Hercules: Reborn
Hitman
Ink
The Interrogation
Interstellar
Jobs
Man of Steel
Marine 3-5
Mortal Kombat
The Replacements
Rocky I-VII
Running Films Part 1
Running Films Part 2
San Andreas
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Steve Jobs
Source Code
Star Trek I-XIII
Take Me Home Tonight
TMNT
The Tooth Fairy 1 & 2
UHF
Veronica Mars
The War
Wild
The Wrestler (2008)
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Roseanne - Season 5

Time does not stop for the Roseanne marathon. Welcome to my blog covering season five of my all-time favorite sitcom (s5 excerpt). If you missed my past season write-ups, click here to consume the previous installments. As with my past editions, I will continue my format of bullet point highs and lows of the season:

-Like last season’s blog, I will kickstart this season’s list with a job status roll call. If you recall, the café in the mall Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) worked at last season closed down in the season four finale, so Roseanne starts off the season jobless. Also as I alluded to season four ended with Dan (John Goodman) not being optimistic about the future for the bike shop, and his worries prove true as the bike shop closes the in the first episode of season five. I loved the bike shop! I was sad to see it go, and the show goes to great lengths to make it feel rotten for a family investing it all and striking out. The first few episodes of the season are pretty depressing for the Connor family as the episodes have a despondent undertone for them as the Connors try to find work and make the most of what they have.

Things take an upswing a few episodes later as Roseanne, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), their mom Beverly (Estelle Parsons) and friend Nancy (Sandra Bernhard) open up their own diner, The Lunchbox. Now this is the restaurant I primarily associated the Conner family working at from what I recalled watching growing up. Things end up going well for the Conner ladies, while Dan struggles finding multiple new jobs throughout the season. I love the homey atmosphere of The Lunch Box. Leon (Martin Mull) is not their manager as I recalled, but he does make a cameo as a health inspector in one episode in a scene that he and Roseanne instantly pick up their love/hate relationship where they left off.

-The first few episodes of the season have a lot of heavy material. Aside from what I mentioned above of the bike shop closing down and the Conners falling on hard times, Becky (Lecy Goranson) and Mark (Glenn Quinn) elope and move to Minneapolis. There are a lot of intense verbal spats between Becky and her parents where the three really bring it in an explosive first two episodes that saw some of the best acting in the entire series by this point. Becky and Mark are only in the first three episodes this season. This is because Lecy took a break from the show to pursue college, and would explain Sarah Chalke filling in for Becky for the remainder of the series.

-The relationship between Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and David (Johnny Galecki) also escalates. I enjoyed the running gag this season that the two would never have sex. In the latter half of the season, a family blow-up causes David to be taken in and made an official part of the Conner family. This gets thumbs up for me as David seemed like an unofficial member of the family by this point anyways as he was always making himself at home. Darlene and David spend a good chunk of the season debating on leaving town for a writing school, and their relationship is put to the test in the final episodes of the season when only one of them gets accepted to the school.

-I was a fan of Roseanne’s new neighbors this season, The Tildens. The daughter Molly (Danielle Harris) is an awesome foil for Darlene this season. Charlotte (Mara Hobel) is the motherly older daughter filling in the mom role for the family since they are only raised by their father Ty (Wings Hauser). There is a fun episode where the Conners and Tildens all squeeze into Ty’s Winnebago for a cross-country road trip filled with nonstop family feuding that brought back countless memories of my family road trips. I was dismayed to find out when researching this blog that the Tildens were only featured in season five of Roseanne as I was a fan of all three by the end of the season.

-Roseanne’s and Dan’s friends are dialed back a lot this season. I was a little bummed by this as I was a big Crystal (Natalie West) fan and she only appears briefly in two or three episodes. DJ (Michael Fishman) is mostly in the background again this season and completely absent in a couple episodes. DJ primarily is only around to be the weird kid who chimes in with an awkward zinger or two an episode. He does have a couple fun scenes with a really young Joseph-Gordon Levitt in the season finale though.

-Other than a couple exception episodes, most of the middle third of this season is kind of a lull. To be honest, the crowd took it away from me with them suffering from cracking up way too much at every joke and one-liner regardless of how funny it actually was. This part of the season had a big reliance on one-liners and cheap jokes, and a good chunk of the middle episodes this season suffered because of it. I got the vibe from the crowd that Darlene’s new emo-character was the ‘hip/edgy’ character of the year as the audience triply reacted to all of her lines. This lead to what felt like all of Darlene’s lines becoming forgettable cheap laughs to give the audience their edgy-Darlene fix. It got to be insufferable halfway through the season, but thankfully Roseanne dialed it back a couple notches in the season’s final episodes.

-Other real quick tidbits to touch on are that I was surprised by the dark twist that transpires with Jackie her latest boyfriend, Fisher (Matt Roth) this season. Props to the show for touching on controversial issues in the early 90s. They also regularly feature a couple gay characters this season which was uncommon among most network sitcoms at the time. I like the 4th-wall breaking scenes where the actors portray themselves in quick little sketches during the end-credits, but I could not help but get the feeling season five jumped the shark on them with a few too many of them this season. I will give DJ props for keeping the Super Nintendo and Game Boy spirit alive in a couple moments again this season. Other notable celebrity cameos in season five include Tim Curry, Chris Farley, Bill Maher and Joan Collins to look forward to. There is only one extra feature on the DVD, but it is a goodie which is a five minute Q&A session with Roseanne Barr where she answers some of her most FAQs concerning the show lore and certain recurring gimmicks that made for a fun little bonus.

-That wraps it up for season five! It has a strong first few and final few episodes, but only a few worthwhile episodes in the middle which makes it a bit of a challenge to get through. Only five more months until the new season of Roseanne premieres on ABC this January! Get stoked!

Past TV/Web Series Blogs

2013-14 TV Season Recap
2014-15 TV Season Recap
2015-16 TV Season Recap
2016-17 TV Season Recap
Adventures of Briscoe County Jr: The Complete Series
Angry Videogame Nerd Volumes 7-9
Mortal Kombat: Legacy - Season 1
OJ: Made in America: 30 for 30
RedvsBlue - Seasons 1-13
Roseanne – Seasons 1-9
Seinfeld Final Season
Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle
Superheroes: Pioneers of Television

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

TNA Lockdown 2005

To commemorate the recent news of the highly-desired, long-overdue, better-late-than never, name change of TNA to GFW, I finally have my first TNA/GFW DVD review of the inaugural Lockdown PPV back in 2005. For those not familiar with TNA/GFW (Global Force Wrestling) , it has been around since 2002 a year after WCW was bought out by WWE. Essentially all in-and-out of the ring WCW talent that was not picked up by WWE came together with a number of indy wrestlers to form Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. TNA since has went on to acquire a lot of star indy wrestlers and a good chunk of wrestlers who ran their course or who got lost in the shuffle in WWE. TNA’s first two years on the air were kind of hard to track down since their shows were only available as weekly PPVs for $10 each week.

Lockdown took place in April 2005. TNA was just several weeks away from winding down their first year of their flagship TV show, iMpact! (I will now reference ‘iMpact!’ as ‘Impact’ for convenience sake) on FSN. I loved Impact in this era from 2004-07. It was then on at an oddball time of 4pm on Fridays on Fox Sports Net back then because TNA bit their teeth and took the only major cable deal they could get so they could get their foot in the door to more viewers and off weekly PPVs. Lockdown was TNA’s third or fourth traditional monthly PPV at this point. TNA had a roster size comparable to WWE at the time, but only an hour timeslot to work with for the first few years of iMpact so TNA branded the show ‘the one hour adrenaline rush.’ All matches had 10-minute time limits with a ‘Fox Box’ at the top of the screen to keep track of time and who was in the ring so that made it have a nice sports-like feel. Since TNA tried to cram so many wrestlers in each week, there were a lot of quick cuts during and immediately after matches to other backstage skirmishes or interviews so each piece of talent could get their camera time in each week. It was pure nonstop chaos each week, for better or worse.

In April 2005, good ‘ol Dusty Rhodes was the commissioner of TNA, and he was the mastermind behind the Lockdown concept where every match on the PPV would take place in a cage. It did not matter if it was the main event, a semi-main, the mid-card or opening acts, all matches would be in the ‘six sides of steel.’ For those unaware, TNA has primarily used a six-sided ring throughout its existence. I recall this lead to all kinds of crazy outcomes in matches to make them try and stand out from the rest of the cage matches on the card. Sometimes this lead to crazy spots and weaponry getting involved, or sometimes to outrageous gimmicks and interference that took away more from the bout than it added. It is because of the unique gimmick and unpredictable nature of a Lockdown PPV and the fact I never saw one before in its entirety I decided to kick off my venture to review every Lockdown PPV TNA/GFW has released on DVD from 2005-2014.

The first ever Lockdown match had unforeseen dire consequences. In what was supposed to be a no-frills tag encounter between Chris Candido & Lance Hoyt against Apollo & Sonny Siaki a freak botched landing in the opening minute lead to Candido legit breaking his leg and getting stretchered out mid-match. The wrestlers improvised and Siaki pinned Hoyt minutes later with a top rope splash. Several days later, a post-surgery blood clot led to the untimely passing of Chris Candido. They did tape one more episode of Impact before his passing where Candido was a manager for his tag team buddies, the Naturals, and Candido assisted them in winning the tag titles from America’s Most Wanted in the closing moments of Candido’s last on-screen moment being him celebrating the title change, immediately followed with an ‘in memory’ image of his passing. I vividly recall watching that moment back then and just being in a different headspace upon learning the news. Props to TNA for including that tag title match along with a couple other Candido moments in his TNA run as bonus features on this DVD.

Back on track, I am a big fan of Mr. Glorious and current NXT champion, Bobby Roode. Well, he was a TNA mainstay for over a decade and you can see him here representing the villainous Team Canada faction against Dustin Rhodes in a ‘2-out-of 3 falls, Prince of Darkness Deathmatch.’ This was a No DQ match where if a third fall were to transpire, it would happen with both wrestlers being blindfolded. Sure enough, there was a third fall and both Roode and Rhodes did their best to top the Jake Roberts/Rick Martel Wrestlemania VII classic. We are still several years away from the CTE/Concussion controversies leading to safety changes in football and wrestling, and this is first of several matches that made rampant use of unprotected chairshots to the head, and is how Dustin Rhodes won the match in the final fall. I have to admit, it was kind of shocking to see that kind of chairshot several years after both TNA/GFW and WWE has banned them.

The next match would be an annual Lockdown tradition, the ‘Xscape Match.’ It featured stars from the X-Division, which is essentially WCW’s cruiserweight division, but with no weight limit to make room for the occasional bigger competitor also capable of high-flying moves that most Cruiserweights are associated for. This match featured Matt Bentley, Sonjay Dutt, Chris Sabin and Shocker. It is a Fatal 4-Way Tag Elimination match, but when it comes down to the final two competitors, the rules change into a WWF-style ‘escape to win’ cage match. The finish here came down to Chris Sabin and Shocker in a photo-finish to escape, with Shocker’s feet barely touching the floor first in an entertaining high-flying affair start to finish.

The next bout saw Jeff Hardy take on Raven in a tables match in a bout that would be my match of the night. That is kind of surprising to say since both Hardy and Raven washed out of WWE at this point in their careers, but both found new success in TNA. Raven gets busted open, and Hardy misses a Swanton through a table off the top of the cage in my pick for spot of the night because of how effortless Hardy made that daring move seem. Raven would later stack four tables together, only to see them used against him as Hardy would drive Raven through them with a leg drop from the top of the cage to the delight of a raucous crowd for the victory.

The tag titles were up for grabs next with the team of America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm) defending their gold against Team Canada’s Eric Young & Petey Williams. I am smiling right now realizing how far all four of these guys would evolve throughout their TNA runs, but we will get there in forthcoming Lockdown reviews. For now, Young & Williams are evil Canadians, and AMW are good ‘ol butt-kickin’ cowboys. Match has a nice story with Storm getting jumped outside early on and Harris having to fend for himself 2-on-1 for awhile. There is a nice finish here with a failed powder-toss spot that lead to Petey Williams getting pinned following AMW delivering their ‘Death Sentence’ finisher. The X Division title was at stake next with Christopher Daniels defending against his former tag partner, Elix Skipper. The video package preceding it was a nice refresher of their rivalry and was a good reason for the hot crowd and intensity between the two in this match. Skipper got a nice splash off the top of the cage, but ultimately it was Daniels who got the win with his Angel’s Wings finisher in another good X division match.

The Lethal Lockdown followed, and it is essentially TNA’s version of War Games/Elimination Chamber with two teams of three squaring off. It starts one-on-one for five minutes, and then another competitor would enter every two minutes. After the final entrant is in, the team that scores the first fall is declared the winner. This match saw TNA champ, Jeff Jarrett teaming up with Monty Brown & Kip James (who was new to TNA at the time and fresh off renaming his character of ‘The Outlaw’ because of how close it resembled his old WWE Tag Team name) against Sean Waltman, Diamond Dallas Page and Kevin Nash. In a twisting shock, Nash was injured on match day, and got replaced last minute by BG James, aka The Road Dogg. I have no idea what was going through BG’s head, but on his way to the ring he brought a bedpan and clocked the cameraman with it for no apparent reason, and in the highlight of the night would proceed to clock the ref on the head with the bedpan. To top that, when most normal refs would be incapacitated indefinitely after a spot like that, this pudgy, scrawny TNA ref would get up and shake off the weapon attack within 60 seconds, just in time to make the surprise pinfall count when Sean Waltman would pull off a victory roll on Monty Brown that he botched mere seconds earlier. Brown would be the third person to bleed of the night so far. Like most War Games/Elimination Chamber style matches, this was another chaotic match that kept me on my toes to see who would come out next. Throw in the TNA-X-Factor of surprise weapon spots, and refs that no-sell and it made for a one-of-a-kind encounter TNA is only capable of delivering.

The main event saw AJ Styles face off against Abyss. For those unaware, Abyss is another TNA veteran still with the promotion today that I look forward to covering his unique evolution throughout the years with. I always considered him a hybrid of Mankind and Kane, and he always had a unique lust for weapon spots that usually went against him. For fans of AJ Styles today unfamiliar with his 12 years of TNA work, if you thought he is killer in the ring today, you should have seen him back in 2005 where he moved with the grace of a young Rey Mysterio and it seemed like AJ was capable of damn near anything in the ring. After brawling all over the arena for awhile, the two eventually clash in the ring where Abyss busts out the thumb tacks, but only to see them used against him when AJ would deliver a Styles Clash on top of them(!). AJ would follow that up with a sunset-flip off the top of the cage onto the tacks (!!) for the awesome finish to end the first Lockdown PPV.

Random final thoughts on the show: It was fun seeing Dusty with a couple of the TNA ‘Knockouts’ (TNA’s term for ‘Divas’) backstage as he drew names out of a hat to determine the order of the Lethal Lockdown entry. Shane Douglas was retired from wrestling at this point of his career and was the innocuous backstage interviewer which I did not mind him in. One constant in TNA’s history is there usually being a few botched camera angles on each show with them missing a key move/moment in a match, and sure enough that happened tonight.

I forgot to mention this took place at the Universal Studios lot in Orlando, FL where TNA has recorded a majority of their shows since 2004. It is the same arena where WCW use to tape their old syndicated Worldwide show for about a decade. I always thought TNA did an admirable job at getting the most out of that recording studio and making it come off with good production effects and clever camera angles to give it as close to a big-arena vibe as they could on their budget. Aside from a half hour of assorted Chris Candido extras, there is another half hour of extras on the DVD primarily consisting of quick preshow interviews and alternate camera angles of the primary spots of the night.

Thanks for sticking with me on this debut Lockdown blog. Apologies for the length, but I felt obligated to include a little TNA/GFW history at the beginning for those who are not that familiar with the promotion. Like I said at the beginning, TNA released these on DVD through 2014, but Lockdown specials after that moved to premiering on cable as Impact specials and thus have not been released on video. I will try and knock one of these out every several months, so stay tuned for the next installment later!

Past Wrestling Blogs

Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 2
Best of Monday Nitro Volume 3
Biggest Knuckleheads
Bobby The Brain Heenan
Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes Yes Yes
DDP: Positively Living
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
OMG Vol 3: Top 50 Incidents in ECW History
Owen: Hart of Gold
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
RoH Supercard of Honor X
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
Sting: Into the Light
Superstar Collection: Zach Ryder
Top 50 Superstars of All Time
Tough Enough: Million Dollar Season
True Giants
Ultimate Fan Pack: Roman Reigns
Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe
Warrior Week on WWE Network
Wrestlemania 3: Championship Edition
Wrestlemania 28
Wrestlemania 29
Wrestlemania 30
Wrestlemania 31
Wrestlemania 32
The Wrestler (2008)
Wrestling Road Diaries Too
Wrestling Road Diaries Three: Funny Equals Money
Wrestlings Greatest Factions
WWE Network Original Specials First Half 2015
WWE Network Original Specials Second Half 2015
WWE Network Original Specials First Half 2016
WWE Network Original Specials Second Half 2016
WWE Network Original Specials First Half 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

WWE Network Original Specials First Half 2017

I am posting this a little later than I wanted to, but I am finally here with my recap of original content for the WWE Network for the first half of 2017. I want to kick off this installment picking up where two new series that premiered last year left off and see how they have since progressed.

Holy Foley - WWE released the final five episodes of their version of The Osbournes in January of this year. The first five episodes reminded me why I detest most reality TV shows with so many painfully telegraphed family issues being pushed to the forefront. Once again, the focus is on Dewey breaking in as a WWE storyline writer and Noelle trying to make it as a wrestler, or as she likes to painfully call it in corporate WWE speak several times every episode ‘Superstar.’ Mick is also up to some hijinx in each episode in his post-wrestling career, and most are unfortunately insufferable to endure. A lot of the primary plot lines in this second batch of episodes are a chore to get through with only a sprinkling of genuine entertaining scenes like Noelle getting five star tutelage in promos from Enzo. If you are looking for a reality show fix on the WWE Network stay away from this and stick with some of the original Tough Enough seasons instead.

205 Live - When I last talked about 205 Live, it was only several episodes into its run and Neville just debuted on the 205 scene. Since then Neville has stole the show and is one of the few legit high marks of 205 Live as he has been the main draw of the show and its champion since January of this year. His three-PPV feud with Austin Aries was the promotion’s runaway best rivalry for the first half of 2017. I was bummed to see Aries ask for and was granted his release shortly after his feud with Neville wrapped up since Austin could have been a great mentor to newer talent.

The other feuds on 205 Live have been more lighthearted in nature, and since they rarely get spotlighted on PPV, they kind of drag on for two-to-three times longer than they should, for better or worse. On the last WWE Network blog I mentioned how Alexander and Noam Dar were vying for Alicia Fox’s affection, and that whole angle played out until just a couple weeks ago when Dar finally dumped Alicia after several months of the two being constantly hot and cold in their relationship. Drew Gulak and Mustafa Ali had a lengthy feud over Gulak protesting Ali’s high-flying style and Gulak promoting his grounded/technical style more. Their feud finally wrapped up with a PPV quality, 2-out-of-3-falls match this past week. These are just two examples of feuds with wrestlers that probably would not have been promoted as highly on RAW and Smackdown. 205 Live is missing something keeping it from being destination programming and must-see like the Cruiserweight Classic tournament last year. Hopefully they can work in those missing pieces this year, or else I fear the writing may be on the wall for the cruiserweight division.

Talking Smack - Wrestling fans reading this likely heard the news last week that WWE has cancelled the Smackdown Live post-talk show, Talking Smack as a weekly show which is horrible news. WWE did say it will stay on following Smackdown-branded PPVs however. Renee Young and Daniel Bryan have great chemistry and shined as hosts on the show. I loved seeing them interview talent who were sticking to their characters but did not have all their verbiage scripted out for them like they do on television which allowed the wrestlers to be more like an amped up version of themselves and get great practice at finding their voice for their on-screen personas. Speculation as to why WWE cancelled the show is because they had to wait an extra hour for 205 Live to finish before starting Talking Smack, and Shane McMahon not being as plugged in and engaged as a backup co-host while Daniel Bryan was away on Paternity Leave.

I loved watching Kevin Owens, The Miz, The Usos and Baron Corbin the most on Talking Smack. All four of them are great natural heels, especially Owens as he went the extra mile to mess with the hosts. A recent Talking Smack will also mark the only time that Eric Rowan was legit entertaining in his sole appearance on the program that had me cracking up at how unpredictable he was and how he was throwing Renee off her game. I will also give mad props to the Usos doing fantastic work as heels this past year, while also having some of the best segments on Talking Smack when they team up with Bryan for the most endearing improv rap sessions in pro wrestling history (just check out how affable Daniel is with his rap hat in those videos and you will know what I mean). Rest in peace, Talking Smack, at least it will still be on once a month.

Legends with JBL - Speaking of cancelled WWE Network shows, JBL’s shoot-interview series got cancelled this past February after it aired its final two installments with interviews for Stan Hansen and Jimmy Hart. Of those two I would recommend the Hansen interview because he has rarely done interviews with WWE before and he has a ton of classic stories from his career that will likely be new to those hearing from this legend for the first time. Just like before, JBL does his research and asks tons of good questions and follow-ups, so make sure to binge through his entire archive if you have not before.

Bring it to the Table - This is a new show that debuted this year that WWE runs around once a month. Radio personality, Peter Rosenberg is joined by Corey Graves and JBL as they breakdown the latest main event storylines and behind-the-scenes news in a ESPN PTI/Around the Horn format of time limit debates. It makes for an interesting show, as everyone is trying to be quick on their feet with their two cents and sometimes will get called out on the following show for sometimes biting off a little more than they could chew like Corey Graves was called out for when he gave his thoughts on Shane McMahon. Nothing will beat Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith debating sports in my book, but I will give WWE credit for trying something new and I will keep tuning into this since they occasionally dive into some insider news that would surprise me they would touch on.

WWE UK - WWE has premiered its UK division at the beginning of this year capitalizing on the hot UK wrestling scene from the past couple of years. They signed a lot of top UK talent and placed them in a 16-person tournament for the new WWE UK Title in Blackpool, England and had it transpire as a two-part special on the WWE Network. The atmosphere was something special as the UK fans always bring a unique dynamic to a wrestling show. Their singing and other soccer-style chants had me distracted and cringing for a good chunk of the first part of the special, but after the first round matches when most of the competition and matches amped up, the crowd also got serious and put their shenanigans to the side and got more engaged and their unique chants seemed more organic than distracting and helped made the gritty, strong UK style really pop.

Nigel McGuinness made his WWE debut announcing for the UK Championship tournament, and him and Michael Cole had a natural chemistry together, which was kind of surprising on two levels because I always thought of him as an average announcer at best before from his RoH commentary, but something must have gelled right with the two here because Cole especially stepped up his game and delivered easily his best commentary ever. Most of the matches in the tournament delivered with a unique rough, ‘smash-mouth’ style that is not that common on WWE TV, but if you were a fan of William Regal’s work then you will really love what the UK competitors bring to the ring. WWE only did the two-part special in January, and a follow up UK special in May for their UK division shows so far. From what I understand WWE is planning a weekly UK show for the Network and already has locked down dates to record their first several weeks worth of programming in the near future so be on the lookout for that premiering soon.

Miscellaneous - There were four installments of WWE 24 so far this year. The one highlighting Kurt Angle stands out the most as it is nearly an hour and covers most of the key highs and lows throughout his career. They even track down former head of TNA/GFW, Dixie Carter for her thoughts on Kurt. There is also a nice piece on Finn Balor focusing on his recovery from his brutal injury last year, and two 24 specials focused on Wrestlemania 32 weekend from Dallas in 2016. I will continue to promote Ride Along and Table for Three as entertaining and low-cost programming for WWE since it only involves placing a couple cameras around a dinner table/rent-a-car while the wrestlers talk shop and reminisce about their past. WWE pumps out about one installment a month for those two shows, and my favorite ones of 2017 so far have featured Jericho and Owens in one of their last car rides before their on-screen breakup and Maryse and Miz celebrating their anniversary in their car ride. Table for 3 has had a lot of good installments this year with the newest edition featuring a Nation of Domination reunion having a lot of good stories between Mark Henry, Godfather and Ron Simmons. WWE dug up Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly and Maryse as the trio stood up for their work during the controversial ‘Diva Search’ era of the women’s division. Also make sure to watch two explosive personalities collide as Michael Hayes does his best to keep the peace between Eric Bishoff and Jim Cornette.

Thanks for sticking with me through this. For the second half of 2017 I am anticipating WWE debuting its weekly UK show, as well as the 32-person Mae Young Classic tournament starting next month. WWE gave a sneak peak introducing all the competitors last week and after how well WWE produced the cruiserweight and UK tournaments this past year I have only high expectations that the women will step up and deliver just as effectively. Huzzzah for the WWE getting me excited about tournaments again, for the longest time WWE treated them as throw-away filler, with even the last few King of the Ring tournaments lacking the pomp and circumstance that the tournaments on the WWE Network manage to pull off. Join me again in several months to see how well they pulled it off!

Past Wrestling Blogs

Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 2
Best of Monday Nitro Volume 3
Biggest Knuckleheads
Bobby The Brain Heenan
Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes Yes Yes
DDP: Positively Living
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
OMG Vol 3: Top 50 Incidents in ECW History
Owen: Hart of Gold
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
RoH Supercard of Honor X
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
Sting: Into the Light
Superstar Collection: Zach Ryder
Top 50 Superstars of All Time
Tough Enough: Million Dollar Season
True Giants
Ultimate Fan Pack: Roman Reigns
Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe
Warrior Week on WWE Network
Wrestlemania 3: Championship Edition
Wrestlemania 28
Wrestlemania 29
Wrestlemania 30
Wrestlemania 31
Wrestlemania 32
The Wrestler (2008)
Wrestling Road Diaries Too
Wrestling Road Diaries Three: Funny Equals Money
Wrestlings Greatest Factions
WWE Network Original Specials First Half 2015
WWE Network Original Specials Second Half 2015
WWE Network Original Specials First Half 2016
WWE Network Original Specials Second Half 2016