This past Monday, WWE.com released their DVDs/Blu-ray schedule for 2013. As somebody that likes a lot of WWE DVDs, I thought it would be a good idea to look at their 2013 releases and pick out the ones I'm looking forward to the most.
Here's the listing of the DVDs with the dates given.
WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2012 01/15/13
Best of Raw & SmackDown 2012 01/29/13
The Best of Nitro Volume 2 02/12/13
Royal Rumble 2013 02/26/13
Bret Hart Unreleased Matches 03/05/13
Elimination Chamber 2013 03/19/13
Mick Foley Biography 04/16/13
The Best of In Your House 04/30/13
WrestleMania 29 05/14/13
Top 25 Rivalries 05/28/13
Extreme Rules 2013 06/18/13
TBD PPV 07/16/13
ECW Unreleased Vol. 2 07/30/13
Money In The Bank 2013 08/13/13
Best of MSG 08/27/13
Best of War Games 09/10/13
SummerSlam 2013 09/17/13
Top 20 Divas Countdown 09/24/13
Triple H Biography 10/08/13
Night of Champions 2013 10/15/13
Money In The Bank Anthology 10/29/13
Over the Limit 2013 11/05/13
History of WWE 11/19/13
Hell in a Cell 2013 11/26/13
Raw 20th Anniversary Box Set 12/03/13
Survivor Series 2013 12/24/13
Best WWE PPV's 12/31/13
All titles and release dates are subject to change.
The "TBD PPV" refers to the name of a pay-per-view that will replace Over The Limit, I assume.
None of the releases that are PPVs will make my top ten here. I am looking for the DVDs that they will put together that are Best ofs, lists and things like that.
The two that were very close that didn't make the cut are the "Top 20 Divas Countdown" and "ECW Unreleased" titles. Both are compelling to me, but we're only looking for the top 10 here.
As a regular DVD viewer (Netflix in Canada isn't very good, otherwise I would use it like my American friends do), I've enjoyed a majority of the releases that WWE has put out over the years. The 2013 schedule looks interesting to me.
Let's see what makes the top 10.
10. The Best of In Your House - 04/30/13
If you weren't watching WWE programming in the 1990s then you are probably wondering what "In Your House" is. Its history goes from May 1995 with the first In Your House all the way to April 1999 when the Backlash PPV used the In Your House label for the last time.
There are a number of quality In Your House matches they could pick from. I can think of Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel (Good Friends, Better Enemies from April 1996), the 10-man tag that main-evented Canadian Stampede in Calgary featuring Bret Hart and Steve Austin on opposite sides (July 1997) and Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind (Mind Games from September 1996).
While I'll be the first to admit that the mid-'90s wasn't a great time to be a WWE fan due to some of the silly gimmicks that were on the roster, they can definitely put together a three-set DVD featuring a lot of excellent matches.
It will be interesting to see what makes the cut.
9. The Best of Nitro Volume 2 - 02/12/13
I got the Best of WCW Monday Nitro when it came out in 2011. I thought the selection of matches were very good. They included a lot of matches from the early days of Nitro in 1995-96 and even some of the better matches in the last years of 2000-01. It's important to cover all the years of Nitro and they did that very well.
Hopefully on this second volume they include more of the excellent midcard matches featuring the cruiserweight wrestlers. I thought they had had a good selection on the first volume, but there's nothing wrong with including more. For a lot of people, Nitro's appeal was their cruiserweight division. It's important to feature that.
I also think more segments should be on this one. The first volume featured mostly matches. Nitro had wrestling that was memorable, but hopefully they include more of the segments that made Nitro memorable too.
By memorable Nitro segments I absolutely do not mean anything involving Vince Russo. Please, no!
8. Best of MSG - 08/27/13
Madison Square Garden is billed as the "world's most famous arena" for a reason. In the world of WWE, it's the most important building as well. The building has existed since 1968 and WWE has been doing shows there for over 40 years.
The number of matches that WWE could pick from range from house shows to television to PPVs. They can pick Bruno Sammartino matches, matches from WrestleMania I, X or XX, a lot of awesome PPVs held there like Royal Rumble 2000 and memorable Raw moments like when Triple H gave Hornswoggle a Pedigree. Okay, so maybe that one won't make the disc.
Due to the sheer volume of content WWE has built up from performing in MSG for the past four decades, there's no doubt that they could easily fill up a three-set DVD that is worth your money.
Just a hunch, but I'm guessing the real main event of WrestleMania XX won't be on this DVD. I think that's a safe bet.
7. Goldberg - 06/25/13
Simple enough title, huh? That's what Bill Goldberg was all about. Keeping it simple. He had a shaved head, a goatee, black tights and black boots. The most extravagant thing he did was his entrance and that wasn't even him since it was all about the fireworks going off.
I'm interested to see if there would be a documentary portion here. Would Goldberg be a part of it considering he has kept his distance from WWE since leaving in 2004? I'm not so sure about that.
In terms of matches, Goldberg didn't have many great ones. It was more about the memorable moments, like beating Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Title in Atlanta's Georgia Dome in 1998. There was also Kevin Nash beating him for the WCW World Title at Starrcade 1998, which lasted for a short time because he just dropped it to Hogan again.
There's no denying that Goldberg was a huge star for WCW during a time when they needed one. When he went to WWE in 2003, though, the impact wasn't the same.
I'm intrigued to see how WWE will tell his story ten years later. Will they be kind or will they take their shots?
6. Bret Hart Unreleased Matches - 03/05/13
I like to consider myself a wrestling historian, especially for the wrestlers that I consider among my favorites. Bret Hart is among my favorites. I've seen a lot of his matches that a lot of people would consider rare, so it will be interesting to see what they pick to include on this DVD.
I would imagine, based on the title of the disc, that the matches are most likely going to be house show matches that were recorded and also matches on the old weekend shows in the 1990s like Action Zone, Shotgun Saturday Night and others.
Hart's history as an active wrestler in WWE was from 1984 to 1997. Over those 14 years, there are likely dozens of great matches that most fans have never seen.
I have little doubt that this will be an awesome collection much like his first WWE DVD release was.
5. Top 25 Rivalries - 05/28/13
The best rivalry ever? In song.
I'm not a huge fan of the list DVDs that WWE likes to put out, but there's no denying that they are great for creating discussions. Wrestling fans love to argue the order of lists. I'm sure some are going to argue about this list of DVDs that I've done. That's just how it is.
If you look at the history of the wrestling business, not just WWE, there are hundreds of rivalries that you could include on a list like this. Will WWE be fair to NWA/WCW rivalries such as Ric Flair vs. Sting and ECW ones such as Raven vs. Tommy Dreamer, which to me was one of those underrated great rivalries that lasted many years?
When you look at just WWE history there are so many great ones to pick from. I can think of so many wonderful rivalries over the years. I think Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels will be in the top three. Hulk Hogan's feud with Andre The Giant has to be very high too. What about Austin vs. Vince McMahon? It was the owner versus employee rivalry that drew so many fans that it helped WWE put an end to WCW.
The top rivalry? I would guess that Steve Austin vs. The Rock is number one. Three major WrestleMania matches together. Two of the biggest stars ever. It has to be number one. Right?
4. Best of War Games - 09/10/13
This was a NWA/WCW staple from 1987 to 1997. A War Games match involved two rings being side by side with a giant steel cage that covers both of them. The match would be either four-on-four or five-on-five depending on how many men were booked for it. Two men would start the match. They would wrestle for five minutes. Two minutes later the next man would come in until every competitor was in the ring at the same time.
Most War Games matches ended up as bloody brawls with multiple men on both teams being busted open. My two favorite War Games matches would have to be from WrestleWar 1991 (Flair, Windham, Zbyszko & Sid vs. Sting, Pillman & Steiner Brothers) and WrestleWar 1992 (Sting, Koloff, Dustin Rhodes, Steamboat & Windham vs. Arn Anderson, Eaton, Austin, Rude & Zbyszko).
The 1991 version saw Brian Pillman being knocked unconscious due to a Sid powerbomb that saw Pillman's head hit the top of the cage. In the 1992 match, the heel stable led by Paul Heyman (The Dangerous Alliance) couldn’t handle Sting's Squadron thanks to the Stinger making Eaton tap to an armbar.
It's a shame that WWE has never utilized the War Games concept because it's something that fans really enjoyed in NWA/WCW. While there wouldn't be any blood in these matches today due to the PG rating, they would offer up something different for fans who are looking for a concept that would be new to the majority of them.
Since a War Games return appears unlikely, at least this DVD set will showcase some of the best of these classic matchups.
3. Triple H Biography - 10/08/13
If I worked at WWE this would be my favorite because I'm skilled at sucking up to people. Since I don't work there (yet?), this falls in third place on my list.
I like Triple H. Sure, I've been known to throw a jab at him and I applaud him for marrying the daughter of his boss, but I really have liked watching his career evolve over the last two decades. I remember him in WCW as Jean Paul Levesque. I remember his early WWE years when he had that painful "snobby rich guy" gimmick.
Once 1997 came, things started to change for him. He became a degenerate with Shawn Michaels. Two years later in 1999 he was a main eventer. In 2000 he had one of the best years of anybody in the history of WWE. Throughout the 2000s, he dominated the main event scene and had a lot of memorable matches with every big name in the business.
Now in his early 40s, his career is winding down. He only wrestles a few times per year. His last two matches with Undertaker at WrestleManias XXVII & XXVII were two of the best matches I've ever seen in person. I'm okay with him becoming a "suit guy" because it has allowed other wrestlers to get the spotlight that once belonged to him.
Surprisingly, they haven't released a career DVD on him to date. If the film portion is anything like other career DVD releases then I would expect nearly two hours of talk about his career, which would make for an enjoyable viewing in my opinion. Add in two discs of great matches in his career and it's definitely a DVD that I'd be interested in viewing.
2. Mick Foley Biography - 04/16/13
Is it an accident that Mick Foley's biography will be released a couple of weeks after WrestleMania XXIX? No. I think this is more confirmation that he will be the main inductee at the 2013 Hall of Fame ceremony. It's smart marketing to say that a Foley DVD will be released soon after his HOF induction.
I think Mick Foley's first two autobiographies, Have a Nice Day and Foley is Good, are among the best wrestling books ever. He was one of the first wrestlers to write an autobiography. He was the first one in WWE to do it, which led dozens of others to follow him. His story would make an interesting movie with skilled actors in various roles, so for them to tell the proper Foley story on DVD is a wonderful decision.
Foley is also one of the few wrestlers that spent his career in WCW and ECW before his most successful run in WWE. It will allow fans to get a better understanding of what it was like to work for all three companies during those crucial years in the 1990s and his rise in WWE as a main eventer.
I'm excited about this DVD. His 2003 "Mick Foley's Greatest Hits and Misses" DVD was good, but that was 10 years ago and the format for these biography discs have changed for the better.
There are so many great matches and segments that could be included on it. When it comes out I'm sure wrestling fans all over will…wait for it…have a nice day. Come on now. It's Foley. I had to end it with a cheap pop!
Why Foley over Triple H? I like him more, but I am a fan of both. Still, there's one DVD ahead of them.
1. History of WWE - 11/19/13
This title tops the list for me. I think WWE's documentary-style features on their DVDs are the best part of their releases, so I'm very much looking forward to seeing how they tell the story on how the company itself came about. The "History of WWE" is an all-encompassing title that could cover so much ground.
I hope there is a lot of discussion about the days before the WrestleMania era because a lot of that stuff is already known by a lot of us. I want to hear more about how they built up the brand. It would be fantastic to hear Vince McMahon tell some of those stories for the first time ever because he's kept a lot of things close to the vest, so to speak.
The evolution of WWE over the last 29 years, which covers the WrestleMania era, is very interesting to me on its own. How do you summarize everything in two hours, which is what I'd expect the film part of the DVD to be?
It will also be interesting to see what matches they select. In the entire history of WWE do they pick the ones that they consider to be the best matches or the historical matches that mean a lot in terms of the success of the company? The content selection for this title will lead to many great debates, I'm sure.
There are a lot of great selections on the WWE DVD/Blu-ray market in 2013. Nothing can top the History of WWE for me.
Agree? Disagree? What's your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook TJRWrestling.com on Facebook