Wednesday, October 26, 2011

DVD Review - WWE's Greatest Rivalries: Shawn vs. Bret

Aaah my most highly anticipated WWE DVD release since 'The History of Wrestlemania' was released yesterday and yup, of course I got it on its first day available! Well worth it too - these two men sit down for the first time in the same room with Jim Ross (the only guy really who should ever handle an interview of this magnitude) to discuss not just Montreal (if there's one thing these two men were ever in agreement about, it was that the Screw Job shouldn't be what defines either of their careers), but their nearly-parallel careers from tag team wrestling in the 1980s and very early 1990s, to their early singles successes and defining Intercontinental Champions in the early-to-mid 1990s, to their rise to the pinnacle of WWE success as world champions in the early-90s (Bret) and mid-90s (Shawn), redefining what it meant to succeed in what was traditionally a big man's world.

Both men are candid, albeit fair - you still get the sense this incident was more defining and painful for Bret, and perhaps that's only right, given he was the one ultimately who got hurt by the fallout of his and Shawn's feud. But both express regret, while at the same time maintaining the other made mistakes too - which is the God's honest truth. Both of these men have had a long journey with lots of demons along the road, and to see them at such peace, in such a place that they could, not just share a ring and hug for a few minutes, but sit down and speak in depth and at length, about some of the most torturous issues, shows just how far they've come.

And I want to give Shawn credit too - I always felt their rivalry came more from Bret's end. And while I sided with Bret in a lot of ways, I felt it was more personal for him - that while Shawn was a jerk at that time in his career, he was a jerk to everyone, and Bret took it as directed at himself. Even post-Montreal, I felt it was Bret's cross to bear, that Shawn had long since moved on and refused to be defined by it. But to hear Shawn talk about how he wanted nothing more than for Bret to like and respect him - to see that his petulance really came to the surface when he felt that wasn't happening - and that perhaps not so much from thinking he was wrong, but on his journey as a Christian to right past hurts - this had bothered him too, perhaps more than I had realized ... I gained a new respect for him. The contrast I always see between them is still there - Bret's a bit darker, more jaded, less happy and at peace, while Shawn, when uncomfortable is more likely to crack a joke and try to minimize a bit than really deal with the meat and potatoes of things - I still think this was the most peaceful, and honest, I've ever seen either of them.

This video is a must-have for any wrestling fan, dealing honestly with an era-defining feud. My only recommendation is, don't watch it expecting 2 hours of 'All Montreal, Nothin' but Montreal' ... that comes up, and features prominently to be sure, but it's about so much more than that, from two veterans with a very unique view of the business in their era ... and of each other. Again, a very recommended addition to your wrestling DVD library.


blog analyzer
HammerMill Copy Paper