Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Legacy of Stone Cold Steve Austin

Director: Kevin Dunn
Distributor: WWE Home Video
Released: 2/08
Featured Talent
Steve Austin...that's it.

The Good
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin is one of the greatest pro-wrestlers that the sport has ever seen. He was a transformative character whose legacy cannot be understated. While people were acting like him before, wrestling like him before and being the anti-hero/top babyface before, he put it all together in a way that with the WWF machine behind...magic happened. This disc, like the Ric Flair and The Undertaker collections, tries to tell Steve Austin's story through his matches. Some people's wrestling, like Austin's, are probably more interesting than a standard WWE documentary would be. Steve Williams' life story could certain play well in a well-done documentary, but past efforts by the WWE and even A&E have not exactly probed deeply. This collection features 20 matches that are largely excellent, some great and some only good. There are six matches that are probably **** or better and another four or five that are close. The addition of TV matches and Clash of the Champions matches were good and all but two were worthwhile. A few matches that were surprising to see, but were certainly not unwelcome were the strap match with Savio Vega, a `97 match with Shawn Michaels and the lesser known but excellent Bret Hart match. The match quality on this is exeptional.

The Bad
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin is a legend. That said, this three disc "legacy" collection is gross disappointment. It has no documentary, no special commentary, no easter eggs even (!), just Austin giving input on some of the matches and angles throughout his career. The WWE has released numerous Stone Cold videos, but this could have been so much more. It basically runs through his career and contains 20 matches and a lot of clips and comments in between each. It left out some of his best matches and included some of the most unnecessary. The ECW stuff seems overblown in terms of the impact in his career and seeing he and Chris Adams or even some Dangerous Alliance era stuff would be preferrable. The Owen Hart match where he broke his neck was important, but does not make the cut. The two Kane matches were totally unwanted. The Triple H match with the car-crane BS was just bad for workers of that caliber. The Eddy Guerrero squash was stupid and only the fact that the two legendary Austin-Beonit matches could not be included seems to justify its inclusion. Although another DVD or two of matches that were omitted could be made, a few that jump out for WWF matches are: his KOTR battle with Marc Mero, a heel-versus-heel match he and Hunter had at an In Your House in late `96 and one they had at No Mercy `99.

The Extras
The extras on this were like the matches - a mixed bag. A "match", Austin-Yokozuna is pointless, a bit about McMahon is fine, the Redneck Triatholon is what it is, but the Austin angle with Terry Funk is tremendous. That last bit gets a huge thumbs up.

The Rating: ***1/4

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