WWE // 2010 // 540 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 12th, 2010
That's some sweet chin music.
Big-shot wrestling legend Shawn Michaels takes a seat for a massive, nine-hour interview and career retrospective. Of course it's not just nine straight hours of Michaels talking -- the bulk of the runtime is devoted to some of his most famous matches, shown in their entirety.
There's a lot here. A lot. And it should go without saying that if you're a Shawn Michaels fan, this set should be of great interest. The interview is genuinely interesting and not totally airbrushed by WWE for controversial discussion topics. Michaels riffs on Hulk Hogan in unflattering terms and gets emotional over his bout with a retiring Ric Flair. Also, there's not a whole lot of effort to whitewash the scripted nature of the WWE profession (which it appears the company has more or less embraced I suppose). On the other end, there's not much time devoted to some of the more controversial aspects of Michaels' career, the Montreal Screw-Job for example (thank you Wikipedia!) or his challenges with his rehabilitation.
The interview flirts with getting personal; Michaels talking a bit about how awesome his kids are and the same stock footage of his family walking in slow motion used over and over. But in another interview with Michaels I tracked down (thank you YouTube!), the guy divulges quite the story about how he met his wife and his eventual dramatic conversion to Christianity. If you read between the lines you can pick up on this last bit, but it's obvious the WWE isn't terribly concerned with this particular segment of his life.
What will get the most rewatchability, I reckon, is the wrestling. There are some high-quality matches included here, chosen to display the best of Michaels -- and there is plenty, because even though I'm not a wrestling guy, it's obvious he knows his way around a squared circle. Lots of variety here, including early matches with a 19 year-old Shawn Michaels getting smacked around by One-Man Gang, Kurt Angle, Triple H (at a tribute to the troops event), Ric Flair, Mankind, the British Bulldog, and a truly epic bout with The Undertaker at WrestleMania.
The only thing to take issue with are the pedestrian technical merits (full frame and 2.0 stereo) and complete lack of extras on Shawn Michaels: My Journey. Then again, this is nine hours of content.
Don't be heartbroken: Not Guilty.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 540 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated