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Case Number 20425: Small Claims Court

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WWE: The Top 50 Superstars of All Time

WWE // 1975 // 540 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // December 31st, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge Patrick Naugle is quite proud of his singlet collection. Now he's moving on to Luchadores masks.

The Charge

Who will be #1?

The Case

Who's your favorite classic WWF/WWE wrestler? Is it The Rock? The world renowned Hulk Hogan? The eighth wonder of the world, the late Andre the Giant? If you're up for a debate as hard as Jake "The Snake" Roberts' TNT finishing move, you'll love the WWE's newly released Top 50 Superstars of All Time. Voted on by both past and present members of the elite WWE, Top 50 Superstars of All Time is sure to court controversy as it counts down not only the best but also the most influential body slammers of all time. Sit back and get ready to find out who made the list and why they're considered the best the ring has ever seen.

Oh pro-wrestling, how I love the nostalgia of thee. How often as a child did I pretend I was "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and try to body-slam my brother on the couch? Countless, that's how many. Countless. I can't recall a phase in my life that burned so brightly as the days when I was insane in the membrane for the WWF World Wrestling Federation. I recall my sister getting my brother and I tickets for our birthdays to go see one of those famous wrestling events at the Roosevelt Horizon in Chicago and it was a freakin' blast. As a 12 year old kid how do you not get roused over giant sweaty men with names like King Kong Bundy and Junkyard Dog throwing each other around a ring? Add to that a couple of hot dogs and a Coke and it was a night not to be forgotten.

So, yeah…I was a wrestling junkie. And then somewhere between junior high and the start of freshman year of high school I lost interest. Yet those memories still remain and whenever I see any of those wrestlers of yore—almost all of whom have retired from the profession—I still get a bit misty eyed. That's why WWE's Top 50 Superstars of All Time is such a fun watch: you can revisit some of your favorite wrestlers in short bursts. This program is not about what they're doing now, if they're still alive or what they think about their careers. This is essentially a list of famous pile-driving athletes (then and now) talking about what made certain wrestlers great. The list is certainly not absolute (what best-of list is?), but it does feature a lot of wrestlers fans past and present will admire. In fact, the good news is that you can be even older than I am and still get a kick out of this disc. "Superstar" Billy Graham is here. So is Jerry "The King" Lawler. The list even stretches WAY back to Burno Sammartino, "Classy" Freddie Blassie and Bob Backlund. Over five decades are represented and the list makes for a nice overview of the history of professional wrestling.

If this program has a failing it's that each wrestler's segment is too short (each clocks in at around 5-8 minutes each, if that). There were times I wanted to hear more about a particular athlete—especially past wrestlers whom I had little knowledge of before this DVD set—and it feels as if they skip past a lot of information for the sake of time. Yet as an overview of the sport, this set is a great place to start. The anecdotes are often amusing and unlike the sport's secret (shhh…don't tell the kids, but it's fake!), everything here from the interviews to the commentary feels genuine and honest.

I can easily recommend this set to fans of wrestling, both young and old. Even though the matches may be fixed they're still a lot of fun to watch. And the superstars who loomed so large over my childhood are still worthy of revisiting.

The transfer is presented in decent 1.33:1 full frame. I'm not sure as there's a whole lot to say about this image—it's flat and mostly uninspired, though it gets the job done. A lot of the footage shown is archival in nature, so naturally the colors and shapes aren't going to pop off the screen. Fans will be fine with what is presented, but don't expect it to overload your hi-def television set.

The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround in English. Much like the video transfer, you're going to get a soundtrack that gets the job done and little else, mainly due to the age of the footage presented. There are a few moments when the rear and side speakers were engaged, though those moments are few and far between. No alternate soundtracks or subtitles are included on this set.

The supplemental features are slim when it comes to the main feature program (i.e., you don't get squat). However, WWE has been good enough to include a set of two bonus discs with over 20 historical matches. Here's a rundown of the matches included on this set:

• NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Lou Thesz vs. Argentina Rocca
Buffalo, NY

• NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Jack Briscoe vs. Dory Funk Jr.
Championship Wrestling from Florida

• Women's Championship Match
The Fabulous Moolah vs. Susan Green
Madison Square Garden; June 16, 1975

• Gorilla Monsoon vs. Muhammad Ali
Philadelphia, PA; June 2, 1976

• NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Harley Race vs. Terry Funk
Championship Wrestling from Florida; February 6, 1977

• Boxing Match
Gorilla Monsoon vs. Andre The Giant
Puerto Rico; September 23, 1977

• WWE Championship Match
"Superstar" Billy Graham vs. "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes
Madison Square Garden; September 26, 1977

• WWE Championship Match
The Iron Sheik vs. Hulk Hogan
Madison Square Garden; December 28, 1984

• Six Man Tag Team Elimination Match
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper & Junkyard Dog vs. Randy "Macho Man" Savage, "The King" Harley Race & Adrian Adonis
Madison Square Garden; February 23, 1987

• AWA Heavyweight Championship
"Ravishing" Rick Rude vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
Madison Square Garden; December 26, 1987

• AWA Heavyweight Championship
Jerry "The King" Lawler vs. "Mr. Perfect" Curt Henning
August 13, 1988

• No Disqualification Match—Virgil Barred from Ringside
Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase
Madison Square Garden; December 28, 1989

• "Nature Boy" Ric Flair vs. Bret "Hit Man" Hart
Saskatoon, CN; October 12, 1992

• The Rock vs. Mankind
Halftime Heat; January 31, 1999

• Fatal 4-Way Match for the WWE Championship
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock vs. Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle
Smackdown; December 7, 2000

• Undertaker, Kane, Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, Edge & Christian
Raw; April 23, 2001

• Edge & Triple H vs. Kurt Angle & Chris Jericho
Smackdown; May 16, 2002

• Eddie Guerrero vs. Big Show
Smackdown; April 15, 2004

• Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton
WrestleMania 22; April 2, 2006

• John Cena & Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker & Batistia
No Way Out; February 18, 2007

• World Heavyweight Championship Match
Edge vs. Undertaker
WrestleMania XXIV; March 30, 2008

The Verdict

For under 20 dollars fans will get a good value out of this set, including hours of matches that they may have missed out on. The transfer and sound mix are decent, though it's the almost two dozen bonus matches that make this a must have for all you lifelong "wrestlemaniacs" out there.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 88

Perp Profile

Studio: WWE
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• None
Running Time: 540 Minutes
Release Year: 1975
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Sports
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Bonus Matches



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