It is the most anticipated yearly event in Sports Entertainment, an annual pop culture touch point. For more than 25 years, WrestleMania has hosted the biggest matches, the biggest stars, and the biggest celebrities. Now for the first time ever, the story of WrestleMania is told from its early beginnings through the week-long spectacular it has become, routinely drawing fans from all 50 states and around the world. This documentary feature includes new and insightful interviews from the superstars and creative forces behind the event.

Studio: Vivendi Entertainment
Year: 2011
Release Date: March 15, 2011
Run time: 540 minutes
Rating: NR

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Disc Spec: 2 BD
Region: 1

The True Story of WrestleMania has been one of the most anticipated releases for the first quarter of the new year. While I enjoyed the Main Feature on Disc 1 (Running Time 2hrs1min12sec) after all is said and done we still don;t have a definitive look at WrestleMania. Things start off really good discussing the territories and a young, aggressive Vince McMahon wanting to expand his fathers company into the mainstream of America. I & II are discussed in great detail and even has insight from the Warner Theater owner that was one of the participating theaters to show via closed captioning the early WrestleManias. They really put over Hulk Hogan and it was nice to see them show their appreciation and realize that from the very first stages that the biggest event of the year would not have lasted without Hulk or vice versa. The documentary runs in linear fashion from I-III but then flips to XXIII to discuss Donald Trumps involvement in the Hair vs. Hair Match then goes back into IV and V hailing from Trump at Atlantic City. From that point on things run non linear which hurts the presentation overall.

What is one of the most glaring flaws is the complete glossing over several years of shows with nary a discussion of the matches that I’m sure fans would have appreciated more insight and feelings. Make no mistake this is the WWE version of history as they still insist that III held 93,173 patrons and VII was moved to a smaller venue due to security concerns during the Iraq war, when it was really because of poor ticket sales and waning interest. They are quite frank though with the fact that the preview matches at house shows between Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair just weren’t catching on with fans after years of build up and that was the main reason for making two main events at VIII, with “Macho Man” Randy Savage taking Hogans spot against Flair.

The absolute highlight is an all too brief fly on the wall look at WrestleMania IX including a dancing Vince at the Gorilla position when Shawn Michaels heads out for his match. It is a candid peek behind the curtain for what is regarded among the worst WrestleManias ever. There are quick little clips of behind the scenes footage from other years but usually there is no audio as there is narration or an interviewee speaking. There are interview segments from Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, HHH, John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Sheamus, The Big Show, Ricky “The Dragon: Steamboat, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Gene Okerlund, Stu Staks – Pro Wreslting Illustrated Publisher, Jerry “The King” Lawlwer, The Rock, William “Refrigerator” Perry, Dick Ebersol, Howard Finkel, Jerry Brisco, Donald Trump, Sgt. Slaughter, and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase. I would say this is a definite recommend to fans still but just go in not expecting an extremely open look that we were hoping for.

DISC ONE:

Hulk Hogan & Mr. T vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper & Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff
WrestleMania, 31st March, 1985

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage vs. Ricky ‘the Dragon’ Steamboat
WrestleMania III, 29th March, 1987

WWE Championship Match
Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant
WrestleMania III, 29th March, 1987

Retirement Match
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage
WrestleMania VII, 24th March, 1991

Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels
WrestleMania X, 20th March, 1994

DISC TWO:

WWE Championship Match
Shawn Michaels vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
WrestleMania XIV, 29th March, 1998

WWE Tag Team Championship – Triangle Ladder Match
The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge / Christian
WrestleMania 2000, 2nd April, 2000

Street Fight
Shane McMahon vs. Vince McMahon
WrestleMania X-Seven, 1st April, 2001

The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan
WrestleMania X-8, 17th March, 2002

WWE Championship Match
Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar
WrestleMania XIX, 30th March, 2003

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Triple H
WrestleMania 22, 2nd April, 2006

Blu-ray Exclusive Content

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
CM Punk vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Jericho vs. Carlito vs. MVP vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. John Morrison
WrestleMania XXIV, 30th March, 2008

The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
WrestleMania XXV, 5th April, 2009

WWE Championship Match
Batista vs. John Cena
WrestleMania XXVI, 28th March, 2010

Movie Quality: 8.5/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 1:78:1 aspect ratio. The main feature includes newly shot interview segments that are interspersed with a ton of vintage footage that has been stretched to fill the screen. Despite not using original aspect for the 80′s and 90′s footage the quality is still very good. The new and recent scenes are abound with crisp, bold colors and strong black levels. Detail was good on clothing textures and close up shots of the rings or crowd. Vintage footage was a little soft in some spots but was always pleasing with nice color saturation coming from some of the more colorful individuals and style choices of those days.
Print Quality: 9/10

The audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. I can not complain one bit about the audio and how well the PPV sounds with a good surround setup. My one complaint is that this should have been in DTS-HD MA as all high definition releases should be. Entrance music is what stood out very well. The commentary came through the center with no issues sounding clean and clear.
Print Quality: 9/10

Special Features

  • Gene Okerlund Interviews Liberace
  • Underestimating the crowd at WrestleMania IX
  • Bobby Heenan’s Wild Ride
  • Rey Mysterio on His WrestleMania Outfits
  • John Cena on Making an Entrance
  • Edge on Facing the Undertaker at WrestleMania
  • Bret Hart on his Return to WrestleMania
  • “My Favourite WrestleMania Moment”

Special Features: 8/10

Final Thoughts

It would’ve been better served as the story of the first ten (maybe even five) WrestleManias, too, as trying to cram commentary on twenty five different events resulted in a monotonous pace and forced ignorance of several legendary moments in the show’s dazzling history.
Overall Rating: 8.5/10