Welcome everyone to my first DVD review for Camel Clutch Blog. In the first installment of “The Tape Library” (the first of I hope are many), I will walk you through the WWE’s latest collection DVD, The Greatest Cage Matches of All Time.
This DVD features cage matches from various promotions like WCW and AWA, as well as others. I will take you through each match on each disc, take a brief glimpse at the bonus features, and give my opinion on how great or not-so-great these cage matches actually are. And now, without further ado, welcome to the jungle, ba. by (don’t worry; you’re not gonna die).
Before we get too far, let me just say the first disc of this collection has WAY too many commercials, including the ever present “Don’t Try This At Home” message featuring a five-year old who sounds like Rey Mysterio. Oh, that’s right. That IS Rey Mysterio talking.
DISC 1 (Special Features: NONE)
In the opening video of the DVD, we see clips of several matches that will be featured. Rest assured, despite WWE’s PG rating, this DVD has got plenty of bloodshed. The host of the DVD is Josh Mathews. I’m not going to recap each of his segments, as if you’ve seen one of these WWE collections, you know that the host is there simply to set up the match (and share some not-so-witty banter if there’s a co-host).
MATCH 1-WWF Championship: WWF Champion Bob Backlund vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Pat Patterson
(9/24/79, Madison Square Garden-New York City, NY; Commentator: Vince McMahon)
This was back when escaping the cage was the only option in the WWF cage matches. On a side note, I’m all for cage matches being fought in any way, but choose ONE option over the other. Either make it “escape the cage” or “pin/submission”. Quit doing both in every match, WWE. Anyway, this match was fairly slow-paced with a lot of focus being on Patterson trying to escape the cage. Backlund escapes the door via sliding down the stairs on his back to retain the title and continue what would become a historic 5-year run with the title.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Bob Backlund. Considering the time period and the wrestlers, though, that’s to be expected. Overall, not a terrible cage match, though, with both men winding up bloodied (although Backlund got the worst of it).
(5/19/80, Madison Square Garden-New York City, NY; Commentator: Vince McMahon)
We get another “escape the cage” once again featuring Backlund. Snuka dominated most of the match, as Backlund was an expert at playing the “babyface champion in peril” role. Honestly, this match was more remembered for the missed Superfly Splash at the end more than anything else (although Snuka’s connected splash on the Magnificent Muraco 3 years later would be even more rememberd). As soon as Snuka missed the splash, Backlund crawled out the door to retain the belt.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Bob Backlund. Again, not a bad match, but it hasn’t stood the test of time as well as others, that is for sure.
MATCH 3-Larry Zbyszko vs. Bruno Sammartino
(8/9/80, Shea Stadium-New York City, NY; Commentators: Josh Mathews and Matt Striker)
Okay, I realize the historical value of this match, but it should not be featured on here. The audio and visual quality is atrocious, and since there was no commentary for the match, we are “treated” to Mathews and Striker dubbing in commentary. I can’t stand Larry Z, and this is the feud that not only got him the “Living Legend” nickname he stole from Sammartino, but lead to him attempting to sue Chris Jericho over it (he failed miserably, BTW). This match is really boring, and because of the fact that it took place in the cavernous Shea Stadium, you can’t even hear the crowd reactions. The end sees Bruno very, very casually just walking out of the cage to win. Probably the weakest cage finish I’ve ever seen.
WINNER: Bruno Sammartino. Overall, this match is pretty overrated. Bruno was slowing down at this point after a legendary career, while Larry Z, despite what Striker would tell you, went onto a career of mediocrity, complete with plenty of self-delusion. I’ve always found him to be incredibly overrated, but at least his wrestling was better than his commentary (although the same can be said for Bruno).
MATCH 4-NWA World Championship: NWA World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich (Special Enforcer Referee: Michael “PS” Hayes)
(WCCW Christmas Star Wars-12/25/82, Reunion Arena-Dallas, TX; Commentator: Bill Mercer)
I could be wrong about the commentator, as it’s never specified on the DVD. We get the first non-WWF/E match of the DVD with Flair still at a respectable time in his career, and a pre-drug problem Kerry Von Erich. During the match, Flair gets busted open pretty good, and on more than one occasion, appears to be gigging himself even deeper. This is Flair we’re talking about, so anything’s possible. During the match, these two made you believe they truly hated each other, which is key to a successful feud, with Flair getting the hell kicked out of him practically the entire match. Finish sees Flair winning on a technicality after Von Erich was deemed unable to continue by the ref due to repeated headshots.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Ric Flair. Aside from the B.S. finish, this match was beautifully done. It featured plenty of blood, but still stayed a fairly technical affair overall. Plenty of drama, and the crowd was into it from bell-to-bell. It’s sad to see what happened to both men after a match like this, especially Von Erich (RIP). On a side note, David Von Erich (RIP) came into cut a promo, but half the promo was edited out of the tape, so I’m not exactly sure what was said or the point of it.
MATCH 5-NWA World Tag Team Championship: NWA World Tag Team Champions Nikita Koloff and “The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff (w/Krusher Kruschev) vs. The Rock and Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, w/Don Kernodle)
(NWA Starrcade ’85: The Gathering-11/28/85, Greensboro Coliseum-Greensboro, NC; Commentators: Bob Caudle and Tony Schiavone)
We get our second outing from the NWA, this time in the form of a tag team match-and featuring a still-credible Tony Schaivone on commentary and a very young Earl Hebner as the ref. I was never a big fan of the Express, but their impact on tag team wrestling can’t be denied, and they put in an awesome showing against the Russians (who were actually Canadian and French Canadian, respectively). Koloff and Gibson wound up busted open early in the match. This match was relatively short with Ricky Morton getting a blind tag and a roll-up on Nikita Koloff for the the win.
WINNERS AND NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Rock and Roll Express. While this was by no means a bad match, I think it was far too short and featured a little too limited action to be considered one of the greatest cage matches of all time. I think it was put on here more because of the fact that the Express were about the hottest team in the world at the time, and the crowd went ballistic when they got the pin.
MATCH 6-The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) vs. The Freebirds (Michael “PS” Hayes and “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin)
(AWA Wrestlerock-4/20/86, Hubert H. Humphrey MetroDome-Minneapolis, MN; Commentators: ??)
Again, I’m not sure of the commentators here as they are never listed, and I didn’t watch AWA back in the day so you’ll have to forgive. This match was mainly a brawl from beginning to end, with Animal pinning Garving after Hayes missed a brass knuckles shot.
WINNERS: The Road Warriors. I’m not really sure why this match is on here. It was terribly short (7:18) and far from the best performance by either otherwise stellar teams. Like I said, it was just a brawl the entire time, with the Freebirds getting little to no offense in.
MATCH 7-Abdullah the Butcher (w/Gary Hart) vs. Bruiser Brody (Special Referee: Fritz Von Erich)
(WCCW Cotton Bowl Extravaganza-10/12/86, Cotton Bowl-Dallas, TX; Commentator: ??)
Again, I apologize for not knowing the commentator. Like AWA, I didn’t watch WCCW as a kid (I don’t think it was available where I lived, anyway). I kind of miss these shorter cages they used in days gone by. We get plenty of blood (what else in a match featuring these two?), including Abby’s world-famous fork as a weapon. Brody gets the pin after Von Erich hits Abby in the face after getting his fork taken away.
WINNER: Bruiser Brody. What the hell is with these short matches? This one was only slightly longer than the last one, and far from a great cage match. Post match sees Von Erich stabbing both Abby and Hart with the fork. Couldn’t let anyone else have the spotlight in his company, after all.
MATCH 8-AWA World Tag Team Championship: AWA World Tag Team Champions “Playboy” Buddy Rose and “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers (w/Sherri Martel) vs. The Midnight Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels) (Special Referee: Billy Robinson)
(AWA Brawl in St. Paul-12-25-86; Civic Center-St. Paul, MN; Commentators: ??)
I had always heard a lot about this match so I’m excited to finally see it. Even back then, you could see that Michaels was destined for bigger things. The Rockers were always an awesome team in every company they worked, and they definitely did not disappoint on this night. At one point, Michaels gets busted open and just starts gushing blood. Marty makes a hot tag towards the end and ends up pinning Somers off a top rope cross body to win the match and the titles.
WINNERS AND NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Midnight Rockers. Even in AWA’s dying days, they could put together a gem like this match when they wanted. Despite the mediocrity of Somers and Rose, everything in this match just clicked, and it’s well worth watching.
MATCH 9-Andre the Giant (w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan”) vs. Hulk Hogan
(WWF Wrestlefest-7/31/1988; Milwaukee County Stadium-Milwaukee, WI; Commentators: Sean Mooney, Lord Alfred Hayes and “Superstar” Billy Graham)
Now we get our first look at the infamous “Blue cage of death”. Seriously, from every report I’ve heard, this was one of the most brutal wrestling cages ever constructed. Considering those involved and the time period, I’m not expecting much here. Surprisingly, we actually get some blood from Hulk in this match. Andre winds up doing his favorite “tied up in the ropes” spot (see “The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior” for a further explanation), which allows Hogan to escape over the top of the cage.
WINNER: Hulk Hogan. Was it an okay match? Not bad, all things considering. Deserving of a “greatest” DVD? Not even close.
DISC 2 (Special Features: NONE)
The DVD opens up with the EXACT same highlight video as disc 1. Why even bother putting it on here? Josh Mathews is still the host for the cut-away segments (which, surprisingly, have been few and far between thus far).
MATCH 10-NWA World Championship: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/Woman) vs. NWA United States Champion “The Total Package” Lex Luger
NWA/WCW Capital Combat-5/19/90; DC Armory-Washington, DC; Commentators: Jim Ross and Bob Caudle)
This match used the “Thunderdome” cage WCW occasionally broke out for what they considered big matches. Basically, think a cage similar to Hell in a Cell in that there’s space around the ring aprons, but it’s lacking a ceiling. Man, Flair had a killer ‘do back in the day. Prior to the match starting, Mathews makes a point about how Flair used cage matches to define his career, and he’s absolutely right. Flair’s most famous matches against his greatest opponents almost always took place in a cage (at least in the 70’s and 80’s), and they rarely failed to disappoint. Despite the time period and the ridiculousness of the size of this cage, Flair did not disappoint here, either. We get appearances from Barry Windham, Sid Vicious, Arn & Ole Anderson, Sting and El Gigante who Ross and Caudle-God bless ‘em-try their damnedest to sell the late Gigante as a force to be reckoned with. Eventually Ole manages to get the cage raised, allowing Windham to sneak in and attack Luger, leading to a DQ.
WINNER BY DISQUALIFICATION: Lex Luger. This match was really good until the cheap finish. Seriously, a DQ in a cage match? No matter how many times I see it, it always confuses me. Unfortunately, as good as Luger was during this period (and trust me, he was DAMN good in the late 80’s and early 90’s), this was just one more example of Luger being a choke artist in big matches.
MATCH 11-WWF Championship: WWF Champion The Ultimate Warrior vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude (w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)
(WWF Summerslam-8/27/90; The Spectrum-Philadelphia, PA; Commentators: Vince McMahon and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper)
This match was better than it had any right to be, mainly due to the efforts of Rude. Warrior was sporting the blue strap at this point, which I believe was between the black one and the white one (Warrior had a tendency to customize the straps, not only because he could, but because he lost belts all the time. Seriously). I never realized this was a pin/escape the cage match, probably because I was so used to all WWF cage matches being of the escape variety. While the backstory of this match made sense in that Rude was one only a few that had ever beaten Warrior, it was still hard to buy him as the top contender due to Warrior repeatedly destroying him in rematches after said loss. For whatever reason, Piper was trying to be a heel on commentary, despite being a face. We actually get a rare highspot from Rude when he climbs to the top of the cage and connects with a punch. Warrior winds up winning after climbing out of the cage following a the face-first gorilla press slam.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: The Ultimate Warrior. Like I said, this match was better than it had any right to be, and you can really thank Rick Rude for that. However, it was still far from great. I’m beginning to think this DVD should have been called “The Most Mediocre Cage Matches of All Time”
MATCH 12-“Macho King” Randy Savage (w/Sensational Queen Sherri) vs. The Ultimate Warrior
(WWF Live Event-1/21/91; Madison Square Garden-New York City, NY; Commentators: Sean Mooney and Brother Love)
This was just a couple of months before their great “Retirement Match” at Wrestlemania VII. Warrior and Savage always had good matches, thanks to how meticulous Savage was in going over ever spot of every match until it was perfect. For whatever stupid reason, despite this being a cage match where pinfalls count, the referee only gets in the ring during a fall, and stays outside the rest of the time. Savage and Warrior struggle with each other on the cage wall (Warrior on the inside) until Sherri comes in and strangles Warrior with her shirt, leading Savage to fall off the side of the cage and win the match.
WINNER: Randy Savage. I was actually quite surprised to see Savage win this match, since Warrior rarely ever lost any kind of match. Overall, this match was okay, but outside of Sherri being stripped down to nearly nothing (which was actually quite common back in the day) and Warrior stuffing Sherri’s skirt into his trunks in a very weird (and homoerotic) moment, there was nothing all that memorable here.
MATCH 13-WWF Intercontinental Championship: WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels (w/Diesel) vs. Marty Jannetty
(WWF Live Event-8/17/93; White Plains, NY; Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon and Johnny Polo)
Not sure which arena this took place in. Sorry. Oh, and I’m so glad that that the team of Monsoon and Polo didn’t last. No chemistry whatsoever. Speaking of ECW alumni, I also spot Bill Alfonso refereeing here. Anyway, Shawn and Marty always had good chemistry, whether it was as a team or as opponents. Even their 1993 Royal Rumble match, despite all its criticisms, was pretty enjoyable. This cage match is a lot more technical than I expected, but it’s still very good. The end sees Shawn crawl through the door as Marty was making his way over the top of the cage (after fighting off Diesel).
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Shawn Michaels. The finish was a little cheap, but considering Shawn’s uber-heel status at the time, it was to be expected. The match itself was solid, however, and showed that, despite Marty’s problems, he could still deliver when needed.
MATCH 14-Hunter Hearst-Helmsley vs. Mankind
(WWF Summerslam 1997: Hart and Soul-8/3/97; Continental Arena-East Rutherford, NJ; Commentators: Jerry “The King” Lawler, Jim Ross and Vince McMahon)
When it comes to these DVDs, I usually skip over the matches I’ve seen several times, with this being one of those matches. Having said that, Mick Foley (Mankind) and the future Triple H always delivered in their matches with each other, without exception, and this cage match is excellent. To this day, Foley still says the door shot he takes from Chyna in this match is one of the worst pains he’s ever experienced in a wrestling match, and just seeing it is painful enough. Eventually, Foley climbs the cage and, in a pseudo tribute to Snuka, dives off the top of the cage with an elbow drop before climbing back up and escaping.
WINNER: Mankind. Like I said, excellent match. This was just before Helmsley began referring to himself as “Triple H”, and before Foley began known as a wrestling comedic genius. These two would go onto have many more great matches, including the infamous Hell in a Cell from 2000.
MATCH 15-“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Mr. McMahon
(WWF St. Valentine’s Day Massacre-2/14/99; The Pyramid-Memphis, TN; Commentators: Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler)
Again, I’ve seen this match many times. Austin was in his prime at the time, and would go onto headline Wrestlemania for the second year in a row after this match. As for McMahon, say what you will about him or his wrestling ability, but the man was never afraid to put his own ass on the line for big matches, and he ended up taking a serious beating from Austin in this match, not only winding up with a gusher on his head, but he wound up injured after taking a fall off the side of the cage through the announce table, landing spine first on the edge of the table. This match also saw the debut of Paul Wight- better known as the Big Show-who came up through the ring canvas and hurled Austin through the cage wall, accidentally giving Austin the victory.
WINNER: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Not the greatest of cage matches when you consider McMahon wasn’t a full-time wrestler, but Austin was at his best, and still made McMahon look like he had a chance at winning. It’s because of matches like this that helped define Austin/McMahon as THE feud of the late ‘90s.
MATCH 16-WWF Championship: WWF Champion Triple H vs. The Rock
(WWF Rebellion-10/2/99; National Indoor Arena-Birmingham, United Kingdom; Commentators: Jim Ross and Dok Hendrix)
Much like Foley/Triple H, The Rock and “The Game” always had good matches. Most fans didn’t see this match because it was aired exclusively on PPV in the UK. Never understood that strategy, but whatever. It’s interesting to see Triple H here, as he had yet to become so injury prone. He was somewhat svelt at the time and was probably at his peak, performarnce-wise.In an odd spot, Triple H wound up getting a chair, but had refee Earl Hebner take it away, despite it being made clear at the beginning of the match that there were no rules. Rock wound up escaping the cage through the door, but Hebner had been knocked down by Triple H. In a rare moment from the Rock, he winds up delivering an elbow off the side of the cage through the announcers table. The British Bulldog, who was feuding with both Rock and Triple H at the time as well, winds up throwing the Rock back into the cage as he tried to escape. Shane McMahon, who was working as a face, tries to come down to help the Rock, but eats the running powerslam on the floor. Bulldog wound up taking out Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson as well. Bulldog winds up keeping Rock in the ring as Chyna helps Triple H climb down the side to retain the title.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Triple H. After the match, Vince (who was also a face at the time) wound up locking Bulldog in the cage to take a beating from the Rock.
Aside from everyone and their brother running down and making the finish a mess, this one was overall pretty good. Triple H ended up bloodied, but it was pretty much a guarantee that he or Rock or both would wind up bloody, as it was pretty standard fare in their matches with each other.
DISC 3 (Special Features: None)
No surprise, we get the same highlight video YET AGAIN to start the disc off.
MATCH 17-Tag Team Title Unification Match: WCW World Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von, w/Stacey Keibler) vs. WWF World Tag Team Champions The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff,
(WWF Survivor Series 2001-11/18/01; Greensboro Coliseum-Greensboro, NC; Commentators: Jim Ross and Paul Heyman)
Ah, back when the then-WWF still had an awesome tag team division, Bubba Ray wasn’t a tank and neither of the Hardys were total nutcases. Another match I’ve seen numerous times on various DVDs as well as the PPV itself. Both teams were incredible in their prime, and that talent was on full display here. This match is mainly remembered for Jeff’s missed Swanton Bomb off the top of the cage through a table, but featured a lot of great action throughout. The Dudleyz won the match after said missed Swanton, which allowed Bubba to get the pin and score the WWF tag team titles.
WINNERS AND UNDISPUTED TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Dudley Boyz. This was just one of numerous great matches these two teams had, and I can’t stress how good both teams were back in the day. It’s sad to see what three of these four men have become.
MATCH 18-Edge vs. Chris Jericho
(WWE Smackdown-7/25/02; Location: ??; Commentators: Michael Cole and Tazz)
It’s never announced where this match took place, so I’m not sure. I really miss both of these guys in the ring. This match is truly excellent. It’s sad we don’t get great TV cage matches like this anymore. Tons of action with few slow points, and the two competitors just beat the hell out of each other. In one of the highlights, Jericho hits a wicked bulldog off the top rope. Towards the end, both guys wind up nearly escaping, but Edge climbs down before Jericho escapes the cage.
WINNER: Edge. After the match, the Un-Americans (Christian, Lance Storm and Test) attack. A young John Cena runs into help, as does Rey Mysterio, who I believe made his WWE debut that night. Can’t say enough good things about this match. Everything just clicked, thanks to two very awesome workers.
MATCH 19-Chris Jericho vs. Christian (w/Trish Stratus and Tyson Tomko)
(WWE Monday Night RAW-5/10/04; Location: ??; Commentators: Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross)
Christian was at his absolute best at this point, playing a sleazebag character (similar to his character now). Again, it’s Jericho and Christian, so don’t expect anything less than great. Lots of good spots here, including Jericho taking a back drop into the cage, and Christian appearing to get hard-way busted open. Jericho ends up winning via submission with the Walls of Jericho, meanwhile Christian’s face is a total mess.
WINNER: Chris Jericho. Not as good as the match with Edge, but still pretty damn good.
MATCH 20-Randy Orton vs. Ric Flair
(WWE Taboo Tuesday-10/19/04; Bradley Center-Milwaukee, WI; Commentators: Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross)
This was during Orton’s horrifically failed first run as a face, and when Flair was still respectable. I actually enjoyed Orton’s work at this point in his career, and this match didn’t disappoint (Really glad Taboo Tuesday/Cyber Sunday is gone, though). Orton ended up busted open very, very early in the. I had forgotten how good of a bleeder Orton was. Flair ends up busted open relatively soon after that (no surprise). Orton ends up hitting the RKO out of nowhere to get the win.
WINNER: Randy Orton. The finish was kind of weak, and a lot of fans in the crowd didn’t really seem to catch it. Nonetheless, a solid match, and both guys were just covered in blood. If you’re going to make a cage match bloody, you might as well go full-bore with it, right?
MATCH 21-Edge (w/Lita) vs. Matt Hardy
(WWE Unforgiven-9/18/05; Ford Center-Oklahoma City, OK; Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross)
This would be the only time Matt wound up on the winning end of his feud with Edge, and his career never truly recovered. Meanwhile, Edge skyrocketed to the top thanks to this feud. Hardy winds up getting the crap kicked out of him for the better part of the entire match. It’s too bad Matt Hardy pretty much gave up on himself and everyone else after this match, as he put in, by far, the best performance I’ve ever seen him give in a singles match. Hardy manages to get on the top of the cage and hits a guillotine legdrop onto a very bloody Edge to get the pinfall.
WINNER: Matt Hardy. Like I said, probably Hardy’s last great singles performance. I don’t know what the hell happened to him between here and now, but it was nice to see Hardy for the wrestler he once was, even if just for a few minutes.
MATCH 22-WWE Championship: WWE Champion John Cena vs. Edge (w/Lita)
(WWE Monday Night RAW-10/2/06; Topeka, KS; Commentators: Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross)
At this point in the WWE, Cena wasn’t the corporate tool we all know and hate (at least, not to the same extent as today), and to be fair, his series of matches with Edge was overall a pretty decent series. Having said that, I just had a very hard time getting into this match. In all honesty, I have a very hard time getting into any John Cena match. It wasn’t a horrible match by any means, but far from great. Edge almost wins when Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade start to pull him out the door, but they are cut off by DX. Shawn Michaels superkicks the door into Edge’s head, and Cena finishes things off with the FU.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: John Cena. Again, not a bad match, but definitely not deserving of being on this DVD collection.
MATCH 23-World Championship: World Champion Batista vs. Chris Jericho
(WWE Monday Night RAW-11/3/08; Tampa, FL; Commentators: Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler)
Jericho was THE heel in wrestling during this time. He was just perfect at getting under people’s skins and pissing them off while still being one of the best wrestlers in the world. He made Batista look like a million bucks in this match, selling the hell out of everything. Actually, they came up with some creative spots, including Jericho nearly escaping over the wall, but Batista catching him through the door on the way down. The finish was also pretty unique, and one I’ve never seen before. Jericho manages to grab a hook off the cable holding the ring up and punches Batista in the head with it a few times before sliding out to the other side and making it to the floor to win the match.
WINNER AND NEW WORLD CHAMPION: Chris Jericho. I’m no fan of Batista, but he and Jericho had surprisingly good chemistry here, and like I said, they even managed to come up with some very unique spots together. Definitely worth a watch.
(WWE Friday Night Smackdown!-8/28/09; Location: ??; Commentators: Todd Grisham and Jim Ross)
This would be Jeff’s final match with WWE, before moving onto the “greener” pastures of TNA. I am by no means a Jeff Hardy fan, but I will admit he left it all in this match, putting in a great performance with Punk. These two had really good chemistry in their matches, and the straight edge vs. personal demons aspect of the feud was perfect since it was based on real life. Punk starts to make his way out of the ring over the wall, but Hardy catches him at the top. Punk answers with some punches, causing Hardy to fall and crotch himself on the top rope. At this point, it’s academic, and Punk easily drops to the floor for the victory.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: CM Punk. This was Punk’s best reign as world champion, and a great example of why he is one of the best in the world. Watching this makes me even sadder to see him to leave after this Sunday’s “Money In The Bank” PPV. I feel like he has so much left to offer the WWE, and they have let his potential go to waste.
Overall, I have to say this DVD was on the disappointing side. While there are some good matches here, for every one, there’s 2-4 that are sup-par to terrible. How some of these matches made the cut for this DVD is beyond me.
Also, I’m disappointed that ECW didn’t have so much as one cage match on here. While the company didn’t have the best cage matches ever, there were some decent ones like Raven/Tommy Dreamer that could have easily replaced some of the less-than-stellar matches on here. Worse yet, there were no special features of any kind on this DVD-no interviews, no bonus matches, no promos, nothing. It’s far from the worst DVD the WWE has put out, and it’s far from the worst wrestling DVD available. However, it’s also not all that good.
If you’re a diehard cage match fan, you will probably get some enjoyment out of this. However, I honestly recommend that, if you have a choice, get WWE’s “Bloodbath: Wrestling’s Most Incredible Steel Cage Matches”. Some of the same matches are featured, but overall, it features a better lineup (including one of the best cage matches of all time, Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart from Summerslam 1994). If you are adamant about owning this DVD, though, whether you’re a collector, a cage match fan, or just curious about it, I recommend buying it on sale rather than paying full price. You can probably find it reasonably priced on e-Bay.
Well, that does it for my first DVD review. Overall, I give “The Greatest Cage Matches of All Time” 2.5/5 stars. Not terrible, but nothing I’d recommend going out of your way to get a hold of. I hope you enjoyed the review, and I also hope I’ll be back soon to do it again.
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