Description: With the failure of almost every WWE PPV to be worth buying on DVD, it seems that owner Vince McMahon has realised that the real money is in the documentaries. Success of the Bret Hart, Ric Flair and Roadwarriors sets have proven that he can take his gigantic film library, splice it all together, insert a few new interviews, comments and extra matches and there is your product. This is cheap, easy and for the most part, a success. Now, it is time for Vince himself to come under the spotlight in his very own 2-Disk DVD McMahon.
The main meat of the set is a two hour documentary on the man himself. We get to view almost every aspect of his life. How he became an announcer, how he took the WWF national, breaking all the territory boundaries. This is all so brief and really should have been looked at in more detail at just how greatly he affected the business. The fact he drove so many companies out of business is mentioned in a blink of the eye and Vince seems almost smug about the fact that he was able to do it. We jump through time with the birth of Hulkamania, Wrestlemania (which again should have had more disk time to show us how much of a risk this was), the rise of WWF, the steroid trial that almost brought him down and the astronomical rise of WCW that was even closer to shutting the WWF down for good.
We get to see how his family have made an impact in the business including spending far too long on discussing Triple H and Stephanie's relationship and of course his purchase of WCW declaring himself the sole owner of the wrestling market. (That is until TNA get their act together!) Other aspects that are looked at are the Montreal Screw job, Rise of Stonecold, Vince's in-ring ability and some of the more outrageous things he has been involved in such as the Kiss My Ass Club and making out with the Divas. The worst of his career is not ignored with the disastrous XFL almost praised as a brave move and the awful, awful Katie Vick-necrophilia angle, which Vince still thinks is a great idea.
The DVD is filled with old footage with newly filmed comments by so many people from Triple H to Dusty Rhodes to Eric Bischoff to Stephanie McMahon.
They all try to be as honest as they can with The Rock calling Vince an 'idiot' for the whole Katie Vick story and most of the roster mocking his lack on in-ring ability. Including John Cena who really shouldn't!
Though a great DVD, I have a problem with WWE 'Behind the Scenes' DVDs. The problem is this: Kayfabe. This is the word wrestlers use to describe pretending wrestling is real. I will assume that this isn't a shock to anyone. Now, before the outrage I will state two facts:
1.) Outcomes are decided before the match.
2.) The violence and blood is real.
Every wrestlers hates when they are called 'fakers' when they put their bodies at risk diving from ladders, cages and tables. Let's face facts, if you punch someone in the face it's going to hurt, if you hit them in the stomach with a barbed-wire bat it's going to hurt. The skill is to perform all this without causing any permanent damage. Mick Foley once said that he hated being compared to a stuntman as unlike a stuntman who get numerous takes, is able to shoot from several angles and can use all sorts of tricks to make it look real, he doesn't. Wrestlers do not cheat like stuntmen, throwing fake punches or concealing blood packets. The blood is real, the bruising is real.
Now, with these DVDs there is a point when WWE need to decide whether to tell us the true story or the kayfabe story. E.g. The Undertaker DVD Tombstone, ignores the real person Mark Calloway and concentrates on telling the story of the character as if he was real. This is unlike the Dusty Rhodes DVD which tells the story of the real man. This DVD is a mixture of both. At times you are unsure whether they are talking about Vince McMahon the owner of WWE, or Mr McMahon the evil billionaire. Even those commenting seem unsure which is which. This makes it very difficult to watch as you hear comments like, 'I don't know if Vince would do this, but Mr McMahon would' and causes a lot of confusion and scratched heads come the end.
Just like the DX DVD the extras are fabulous. The first disk consists of a number of deleted scenes obviously not good enough to be in the feature.
These include a poignant tale of how Vince helped William Regal recover from drug addiction and some goofy stories from Triple H, Stephanie and Linda.
Also included is Vince's hilarious musical performance at the Slammys and his training video for the Royal Rumble. This is one of the true highlights of the disk, seeing him chasing after a chicken in the snow is a sight to behold and I am glad I can enjoy it once again.
As well as all this we are given nine full matches. Compared to many sets it really feels that they picked the very best of Vince McMahon for the disk.
(Though this isn't hard) Of them all only one match (vs Stephanie) is terrible, though for me this is watchable simply due to the cleavage-bulging outfit Stephanie wears. (Don't say it. I know I need help!) One thing with these matches is if you want to really enjoy them (and newer fans may not be aware of the outcomes of some) I would recommend watching them first as most of them are featured with their results revealed in the main documentary. I do however, wish they had also included one vignette for each match so that those who were not aware of the Austin/McMahon or Flair/McMahon feud would have a little more of a back story to the psychology and reasoning behind the match.
Matches: Marked out of Five.
Mr. McMahon vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (Raw - 13/04/98) ***
A great match that never actually happens. I won't spoil it, but the set-up to the match is just great. Stonecold and Vince have such a great chemistry and this is Austin at his most defiant and Vince at his most pompous.
Mr. McMahon vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (Steel Cage Match - St. Valentine's Day Massacre - 14/02/99) ****
This is a wonderful match. The McMahon and Austin feud really had to end in a cage and this is the best match that they had during this time. But this match is a must-watch for the bump of all bumps. Forget Foley off the Cell, this is just outrageous!
Mr. McMahon & Shane McMahon vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (Handicap ladder Match - King of the Ring - 27/06/99) ***
If the Three Stooges had been asked to create a wrestling match this would be it. Comedy, comedy, everywhere. A great ending and just some great moments.
Mr. McMahon vs. Triple H (No Holds Barred Match - Armageddon - 12/12/99) **
This match was ok, though goes on a little long for what it is. Triple H beats his future father-in-law to a bloody pulp.
Mr. McMahon vs. Shane McMahon (Street Fight - Wrestlemania X7 - 01/04/01)
Best match on the disk. Some of the best spots I have ever seen. Shane is almost on RVD's level in term of crazy stunts. When you consider both are not professionals you have to admire what they are actually able to do in the ring. A great story that went along with it and a great pay off.
Mr. McMahon vs. Ric Flair (Street Fight - Royal Rumble - 20/01/02) **
Flair and McMahon are both crossing the 50 year level by this point. This tries to be technical, but can't escape the fact that Vince doesn't know how to wrestle. However, Flair proves the claim that he could have a match with a broom and make it work.
Mr. McMahon vs. Hulk Hogan (Street Fight - Wrestlemania XIX - 30/03/03) ***
Wonderful! Hulkamania running wild. Return of Piper! Both participants are able to drench this match in emotions and boy does it work. Not a technical match, but both compliment each other and make this great to watch.
Mr. McMahon vs. Stephanie McMahon (I Quit Match - No Mercy - 19/10/03) *
A very bad match. Unlike most 'I Quit' matches that are technically wonderful due to the participants, this isn't. Actually, that is me just being kind. The only people who will watch this are the ones who have an unhealthy lusting for Stephanie (Guilty!) and those who like the idea of seeing Stephanie whining voice being silenced. (So that's everyone else
Mr. McMahon vs. Undertaker (Buried Alive Match - Survivor Series - 16/11/03)
As with all matches Vince is part of, this match is very awkward with Taker doing most of the work. This has one of the greatest endings and is a great way to end the set.
For those new to wrestling this is a great overview, not just of Vince McMahon, but of the WWE as a company. We are brought almost completely up to date with his recent feud with Shawn Michaels. Though this does make me wish their awesome Wrestlemania match had been on here. However, that is nothing to complain about. Unlike lots of other WWE releases that seem to rest on one good match; this has a lot of great elements and enough extra matches to make the purchase of McMahon worthwhile. What's that you say? You don't want to buy it. Well then.... Screw you! YOU'REEE FIRRREEEDDDD!!!!!
Reviewed by David Simpson on September 10, 2006.
Description: Just who is Vincent Kennedy McMahon?
To some, he is the sports-entertainment innovator and visionary corporate leader of a multimillion dollar company. To others, he is evil personified, the manipulative sadistic boss of a corral of WWE Superstars who takes great personal pleasure in making others suffer.
This 2-disc set is a complete look at the blurred reality between Vince McMahon, Chairman of WWE, and Mr. McMahon, TV's "boss from hell," including candid comments from WWE Superstars and other members of the McMahon family.
Well if you're expecting a documentary on Vince McMahon's life from childhood to present, then this isn't what you're going to get. Unlike previous WWE releases based upon certain individuals (Chris Benoit, Bret Hart, Jake Roberts) this DVD actual does exactly what the title suggests. That is it compares Vincent K. McMahon with the Mr. McMahon character he's plays on WWE television.
I would've hoped this DVD would get into the early life of Vince. It didn't dive into any of the topics that most fans would think could come up regarding a DVD based upon Vince McMahon. Such topics I would've wanted to see are the relationship with Hogan in the 80s & 90s. Vince dealing with Stu & buying Stampede Wrestling. Vince and his family's relationship with the likes of Andre The Giant, Classy Freddie Blassie. Perhaps a mention of the sex scandals with him and the former female ring announcer during the 80s. The Barry Orton, Pat Patterson, Terry Gibbs scandal also during that decade. If there would've been a mention of Vince and Hogan during the drug indictment trial.
This DVD doesn't even get into it hard with the territorial struggle that Vince McMahon pretty much has taken over. The disc does show a nice landscape of promoters and Vince suggests that the promoters he tried to buy out pretty much laughed at him. I'm sure this might have added in some way to aggressive nature of the business practices Vince has shown.
As I started to watch this DVD after looking for the chapter titles, I came to realize that this was going to blow right over the late 70s, 80s, & early 90s of Vince's career and go right into the Vince McMahon vs Steve Austin era. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was great television at that time. However, I believe this was covered in previous WWE releases such as Stone Cold Said So, Austin 3:16, and of course, Austin vs McMahon.
There have been so many deaths in the wrestling business and Vince McMahon being the boss of many of the prominent performers, one would guess that the subject of Owen Hart or Brian Pillman would come up, but instead I guess they (the powers that be) felt that they had too much Owen death coverage on the Benoit & Bret Hart DVDs. Plus the upcoming Brian Pillman DVD should deal more with his WWE career.
I'm sure most fans who do purchase this DVD will wonder why Austin (who is under a WWE contract... even though he was filming in New Zealand and Hulk Hogan... who of course around the time of production of this DVD was in and out of the company did not appear since they are pretty much the most notable Superstars Vince has ever produced)
So, if you're looking for a DVD that again covers the Austin vs McMahon era, a brief mention of the XFL fiasco, a brief mention of the one of MANY bad storylines that had been approved, "Katie Vick"....a mini shoot from Big Show about Bret Hart "needing to get over it", more of the McMahon's on WWE television, and a little about the behind the scene of Triple H & Stephanie's relationship prior to their marriage then this is the double disc DVD for you.
I am glad I bought this DVD (for under $20 US new at Walmart!). However it wasn't what I was expected when they promoted it during WWE programming prior to its release.
Rating: I give this DVD a 6/10 Worth buying, but most fans will hope they put out a DVD more on the life of Vince McMahon and not one comparing his real life to his character on TV.
Reviewed by DFA James on September 10, 2006.
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