'Superstars' DVD, one of the best
Studio: Sony Wonder
By JOHN POWELL --
At SLAM! Wrestling, one of our goals has always been to bring you closer to
your favorite stars. In doing so, we hope to make people realize that
wrestlers aren't like Spider-Man or Wolverine thrashing the crap out of
evil doers in Marvel Comics. WWF superstars are flesh and blood human
beings. They have wives, husbands, moms, dads and children at home who
wince and cringe when they do those amazing feats that thrill us so. Caught
up in the moment, we forget that sometimes...and we shouldn't. Before They
Were WWF Superstars is a thoughtful reminder of that fact.
One of the best WWF releases to ever hit store shelves, the DVD is an
informative glimpse into the lives of several of the federation's biggest
and brightest stars. Kurt Angle, Mighty Molly, Bradshaw, Spike Dudley,
Stacy Keibler, Billy Gunn, William Regal, The Hardy Boys, Lita, Edge and
Christian tell us their life stories and how they eventually came to join
the World Wrestling Federation's talent pool. The producers didn't stop
there though. They also interviewed their friends and family. From them, we
gain a new perspective of what type of people they are and what the
superstars were like before they became celebrities.
To add icing to the cake, we are also fortunate enough to witness snippets
from home movies, photos from the family albums and footage from the indie
feds as well as WCW and ECW. The last item is the one that stands out. For
once, the WWF doesn't re-write history or erase it entirely. Lita is shown
as ECW's Miss Congeniality. Spike joining the Dudleys in ECW and Stacy
Keibler's winning of a WCW Nitro Girl contest are included instead of being
glossed over as unimportant moments in their lives and careers. It is nice
to see the federation finally acknowledging their superstars'
accomplishments beyond the ring ropes of the WWF.
The two most engaging stories I found were those of William Regal and Edge,
Christian. Those who follow sports entertainment intimately are familiar
with Regal's true life story of joining a circus-like troop before hitting
the "big time" in WCW. In Before They Were WWF Superstars, Regal takes us
on a tour of Blackpool, England and the places where he first started
wrestling for a living. His rough and tumble origins as a 17-year-old
grappler are sure to have even those who love to hate his snotty character
on WWF television, respect the man for all he has endured to get to where
he is today.
Edge and Christian's narrative is sure to hit home with many viewers.
Growing up in Orangeville, Ontario, the two were die-hard fans as kids. On
a trip back to their school, we see where they used to hold their own WWF
wrestling cards as children. How they would use the stairs as the top rope,
a table from the lunch room as an announcing desk and concrete walls as
the ring ropes. It is a story that any lifelong fan can identify with as we
all pretty much did the same thing driving our teachers and parents insane
with worry. As with the Hardy Boys' biography earlier on the disk, there is
just something really special about watching someone defy the odds and live
out their childhood dreams.
For all of its neat little tid-bits and captivating accounts, Before They
Were WWF Superstars should be priority viewing as I can say from
experience, getting to know some of the WWF superstars as people can change
your perception of not only them but also the business as whole.
- Links to the separate profiles.
- Edge, Christian and Kurt Angle in a Christmas sing-a-long on Raw.
- William Regal's return to the WWF. Reading Hamlet on Raw.
- Bradshaw's story about wrestling a bear.
- Edge and Christian's scary story about driving across a frozen Canadian
- Christian's humorous tale about a collection agency hounding him.
- Kurt Angle's mom tells a story about her famous son.
- More of the interview with Spike Dudley.