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WWE 50-year history DVD a must for fans

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WWE's new DVD which chronicles the 50 year history of the company and business.

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Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, 6:42 p.m.

If you want to educate yourself or anyone else in an efficient way on the history of the professional wrestling business, WWE's new DVD titled “The History of WWE, 50 Years of Sports Entertainment” is your number one resource.

It features three discs of history.

The first disc is comprised of the biography narrated story of the business; the other two discs are complete with historical matches and moments.

The biography starts off unlike any other WWE production. It begins with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon pulling into his parking spot at WWE's headquarters in Stamford, CT. The cameras follow McMahon all through the building, up the elevator and leave him as he enters his office. McMahon never once addresses the camera, just goes about his routine. This would be the last original video shot for this DVD that we would see of McMahon.

McMahon never once appeared as one of the interviews telling the story of WWE. Some clips of past DVDs and interviews McMahon's done over the years were used at times. However, Stephanie McMahon, Linda McMahon, Triple H and so many others recorded original interviews for this project, but not Vince.

The lack of Vince McMahon is my one complaint. This isn't surprising as he is known to stay backstage and doesn't want his name mentioned during the Hall of Fame ceremony WWE has every year before WrestleMania. However, I feel his voice needs to be on this DVD. While his close family members and colleagues offer great insight, to hear it from him directly would have added to the story.

Even an hour into the biography, we hear a familiar voice in an unusual tone. The Undertaker, dressed in a hoodie, chimed in on much of the WWE's story in a rare appearance of him speaking out of character.

The in-depth nature of the content and the running time made me think WWE produced this biography piece with the intent to have it potentially aired on television. The biography is exactly two hours in length. It truly is a good text book to educate someone on how a small regional rasslin' company known as WWWF became the global entertainment juggernaut known as WWE.

The feature is broken up into 25 chapters, which include Bruno Sammartino, Hulkamania, the first WrestleMania, Monday Night Wars and the Hall of Fame.

Two chapters easily the most controversial were WWE's steroid trial with the federal government in 1992 and the tragedy in May 1999 when Owen Hart died in Kansas City during WWE's pay-per-view. It means a lot for WWE to acknowledge these two dark but very significant points in the company's timeline. If they weren't included, it would be a knock on the legitimacy of this DVD history project.

The biggest incident not included was the horrific events in 2007 concerning wrestler Chris Benoit's murder-suicide of his family and himself. Since then, WWE has not spoken his name or produced anything that contains video of him. This DVD project held true to that policy.

I don't blame WWE for not touching on the incident. There isn't anything new that can be offered. I would imagine for the vast majority of the people interviewed for the project who knew Benoit, they realize how terrible the situation was and wish they could only remember the positive memories. Including the Benoit chapter only would have generated negative public relations. Smart move by WWE.

The other two discs are filled with historical moments and matches such as Sammartino's amazing title run ending, the first match ever on Monday Night RAW in 1993 between Koko B. Ware and Yokozuna, the first Royal Rumble match in 1988, the Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mike Tyson fight that broke out on television, the purchase of WCW and so much more.

When I was done watching the DVD, I had a hard time thinking of any better production WWE could put out in the future. The three discs contained such critical information, moments and entertainment that I can't imagine getting so much out of any other DVD.

If you're an old-school wrestling fan who has tuned out, you should buy this DVD. Perhaps it will get you interested in today's product. Perhaps it will at least allow you to understand why WWE's product is the way it is (they address the change from the raunchy days of the Attitude Era to the transition to family friendly entertainment). If nothing else, it will at least be a trip down memory lane.

If you're a die-hard wrestling fan who never tuned out, this is a no brainer for you to own.

If you're a new fan who just began watching in the past decade or less, you absolutely should buy this to see the transition of the business. This DVD isn't just the history on WWE, it takes you through the days of regional territory wrestling and its demise.

All in all, there is nobody who can't get something out of this 50-year collection.

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