The few years have seen WWE’s DVD output generally increase in quality to quite a high degree, with the likes of CM Punk: Best In The World and Edge: You Think You Know Me really standing out (alongside the older Rise and Fall of ECW) as collections that break the fourth wall of the ‘sport’ to shed some light on the entertainment.
Unfortunately, it’s clear very early on that this isn’t the case with the Greatest Wrestling Factions DVD collection.
Rather than doing what the title says this seems to be WWE’s best attempt to cram in as many factions, or stables, into one collection as possible, with short intro segments drawing largely on clearly scripted interviews with current ‘Superstars’ and ‘Divas’ and largely acting to confirm that all of WWE’s ideas were far superior to anyone else’s, whether the accompanying match demonstrates this or not.
We do get some good stuff, seeing some of DX’s antics, the nWo’s moments and stuff from The Four Horsemen, Evolution and The Heenan Family all demonstrating why these factions had a major impact on pro-wrestling. Alongside this the bWo offer some light relief and here come across as one of the most entertaining things pro-wrestling has ever seen.
Unfortunately alongside these we get some smaller, less historically important, factions being treated like wrestling royalty, why The Oddities are here I have no idea as they come across purely as WWE trying far too hard and, while The Brood started the careers of a couple of the last decades big names in Edge and Christian, as a faction they were short-lived and left little to remember by save a cool entrance.
This is where the main issue with the set comes to the fore, it gives as much time to the likes of the bWo and the Oddities as it does to The Four Horsemen and the nWo which really serves little purpose other than to discredit the likes of Flair, Nash and Hall.
The other problem comes with the interviews, rather than being shot specifically for this collection they often seem to be culled from other interviews and largely base themselves within the ‘storylines’ of pro-wrestling which in this day and age seems at best naïve and at worst just makes for mostly dull soundbites.
The exceptions to this, predictably, are where the likes of Paul Heyman, Tommy Dreamer and CM Punk talk, but even these sections are edited in such a way as to often make the original ECW look like a bunch of foolish amateurs and make Vince McMahon come across as a real life evil genius (as is the intent of his ‘Mr McMahon’ in-ring character).
While some of the matches of this collection are good others seem to have been chosen simply because they needed a match to show – again The Oddities highlight is, apparently, a match again glorified jobber Too Much on Shotgun Saturday Night and some just feel like matches not good enough for past collections, such as the near non-sensical three-way, every man for himself nWo vs nWo vs WCW War Games Match which others just feel like great wrestlers second-rate matches.
So, in the end, unless you’re a completist or have the strange desire to see more of The Oddities or the frankly painful Dungeon of Doom, than this set really is not worth it.