Thursday, 25 August 2011

DVD Review The Greatest Cage Matches of All Time

WWE DVD Review: The Greatest Cage Matches Of All Time

By Phil Allely

You have to hand it to the WWE they certainly do know how to compile a best of compilation better than most wrestling organisations. The advantage they have of course is that they own the majority of the best match footage form the sports glory days and now they are happily embracing this rich heritage and showcasing them on DVD.

This triple disc set brings together a collection of fair to excellent cage matches from the WWE, NWA, AWA, WCCW and WCW, all of which have not only the curiosity factor, but make for rewarding viewing.

So for those unaware of this particular match style here’s a brief rundown of what to expect in this box set. Cage matches were usually the final match in a feud for wrestlers. These matches were always heavily hyped and often headlined live events, pay-per-views and of course sold-out arenas. The interesting thing was that the imposing cages themselves varied too and the performers often relied on blading to intensify what were at times dull bouts.

The matches on offer here range from the late 1970s and bring us right up to 2009. Those earlier matches are a bit sluggish at times, but the atmosphere and electricity in the air more than make up for the fast-paced action we see these days.

The good news is that in this set for every slow match (let’s simply say Bob Backlund and Lex Luger) there are at least five worthwhile cage scraps to savour. Highlights include a nice Ric Flair versus Kerry Von Erich blood bath from 1982, a hard-hitting tag team brawl pitting Ivan and Nikita Koloff against the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, a superb Road Warriors and Fabulous Freebirds war and some modern classics featuring Steve Austin, Mankind, Triple H, Edge, Chris Jericho and The Rock.

What’s nice about this set is that many of the matches featured are indeed rare ones, they have yet to appear on DVD and the cage gimmick enhances the in-ring action well. These days the blood-letting may have stopped in the WWE, but you don’t need to see the claret flow if the combatants can tell their story well and construct a wild, violent and believable match we can all buy into. That is what this box set best displays, the bouts here all tell stories, they wind up feuds, tie up loose ends and in some cases they take a key player to the next chapter in their career.

The Greatest Cage Matches of All Time is a nicely produced three disc offering that should keep everyone interested until the final match of disc three. The only drawback is that like any other stipulation heavy release there are only so many cage matches you can watch in one sitting, so break your viewing up to get the full impact of the content here.

The Greatest Cage Matches of All Time is available now form and all good retailers.

RRP £29.99

Cert 15

Runtime 8hrs 8mins

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