When the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) released a DVD retrospective of Hulk Hogan
entitled “Hulk Still Rules”, they accidentally opened a goldmine.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
For years, old school pro wrestling fans pined to see some of the classic battles they had grown up watching. The advent of DVDs becoming a more affordable and attractive medium only intensified these cravings. Not only did longtime fans want to see the old classics, they wanted to see them in crystal-clear DVD quality.
The Hulk Hogan project was a runaway success. The two-disc set culled the archives, with footage going back to almost the beginning of the Hulk’s 20-plus year career.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
The Road Warriors: The Life and Death of Wrestling’s Most Dominant Tag Team is the latest history offering from the WWE. It covers a tag team that revolutionized not only tag team wrestling, but the sport as a whole. They were the first to burst onto the scene with menacing face paint and physiques as well defined as their mohawks. Clad in leather and metal spikes, to call the Road Warriors the most intimidating team to come along in the 1980’s is a gross understatement.
The two-disc set takes advantage of WWE’s massive video archive, which has grown to include footage from the American Wrestling Association (AWA), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and Jim Crockett Promotions. This allows the DVD to include highlights of some of the Warriors’ earliest television appearances. In fact, the entire second disc contains nothing but classic matches from these archives.
The first disc is largely carried by a documentary-style retrospective of the teams rise to prominence, and their unfortunate ending.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½Sadly, Hawk (Michael Hegstrand) passed away in 2003, so all the first-hand accounts of their career as a team come from hisÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½partner Animal (Joe Laurinaitis). Animal proves that although he was known for screaming, yelling, grunting and groaning for the majority of 20 years, he is actually a well spoken, intelligent man. He not only tells his story well, but takes the viewers on a tour of various important landmarks in the history of the Road Warriors. These include The Gym in Minneapolis, MN where they built their huge physiques, and Gramma B’s, where the two worked as bouncers while learning their craft.
Others lending opinions and insights throughout the program include longtime manager Paul Ellering, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Jim Ross, John Laurinaitis (Animal’s brother), Barry Darsow (aka: The Repo Man), Michael Hayes, and even Animal’s own children.
The feature is incredibly well put together, as has become standard for these WWE produced programs. The story is well told, and vintage footage and photos are intertwined with the interviews to tell the story of the Road Warriors in a highly effective manner.
The extra features are too numerous to list. They include everything from classic interview segments to music videos to legendary encounters. Many matches appear in their original form, while othersÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½feature updated commentary by Animal and WWE play-by-play man Jim Ross.
The matches that will stand out most for die-hard fans include encounters with the Hart Foundation (Jim Neidhart and Bret “Hitman” Hart, Sting and Lex Luger, The Brisco Brothers (Jack and Jerry), and the 1986 Scaffold Match against Jim Cornette’s Midnight Express. The battle takes place on a 20 foot high scaffold above the ring for this one!Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
This DVD isÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½perfect for anyone who can admit to watching pro wrestling every Saturday morning during the 1980’s. For newer fans who may not know of the legacy of the Road Warriors, it is required viewing, although some of the older matches mayÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½appear a little boring when compared to today’s higher-risk style of wrestling. Be that as it may, we are reminded that one of the Road Warriors most famous catch phrases was that they “snacked on danger, and dined on death”.