WWE: John Cena 'Word Life DVD my review

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Casey Trowbridg, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

    Apr 22, 2003
    Likes Received:
    WWE: John Cena, Word Life
    Released: 3/02/2004
    Number of discs: 1
    Running Time: 3 hours

    In the summer of 2002, John Cena made his debut with World Wrestling Entertainment. He didn’t do much of note at least right away, but he would find himself in Main Events less than a year in to his run with the company. It was due in large part to him showcasing his talent for freestyle rapping and that allowed his career to take off.
    John Cena wasn’t the first person I thought of when it came to a DVD release, and he wasn’t the person I considered most worthy. That was before I even looked at the disc, so if you want to know if my thoughts have changed you’ll just have to keep reading.

    The Feature:
    I’m going to say right now that I don’t know a lot about John Cena and this DVD was my first real exposure to his freestyles and feuds. One thing became quickly apparent from the opening of the feature, however. This is not a look at Cena’s life or anything like that, it is a compilation of a number of his freestyles from the past year or so since he began doing them on Smackdown.
    I hadn’t ever caught any of his freestyles before not being able to watch Smackdown, and so I wasn’t sure when it started that I would enjoy this all that much. However, I found myself being captivated by the man’s talent for freestyles; I found them all very entertaining.
    This is the most important thing I can say about this feature. If you enjoy Cena’s freestyles that you see on Smackdown, you will absolutely love this. The feature is basically new clips of Cena which serve as introductions to a number of freestyles that took place in various feuds. We get to see him freestyle about Brock Lezner, Undertaker Vince McMahon and many others. You will also find battle rap segments where Cena had freestyle contests against Kurt Angle, Big Show, Rikishi, Spanky and Funaki. See his rap from Wrestlemania XIX, as well as his rap from the Smackdown that took place in Iraq.
    If however, you are looking for a history of his short WWE career, then you’ll have to look somewhere else. The feature basically is a chronicle of some of his feuds through the use of freestyle clips. We do get to follow Cena around his hometown and the recording studio in the clips that introduce each section, but other than that there isn’t any substance that will appeal to anyone that doesn’t much care for the freestyles.
    As for me, I really enjoyed the freestyles. It took a little while for me to really get in to this, but eventually I got hooked and the feature got my whole attention whereas at the beginning I was basically letting it play in the background.

    1st Rap, Brock, Undertaker, Wrestlemania, Battle Raps, The McMahons, Freestyle, Iraq

    As for a rating, this is the tough part. I’ve decided to give 2 different ratings to this feature. I’ll give it 1 rating for its informational content, and another for its entertainment value.

    Entertainment 8/10
    Information: 1/10

    The feature is primarily made up of Cena’s freestyles so your enjoyment level will depend on how much you like or dislike that aspect of his character.

    Whereas the Feature concentrates on the freestyles the extras section actually contains the payoffs to a number of these in the form of matches.

    *John Cena vs. Chris Benoit, Smackdown - Tournament Final 4/17/2003 (13:54)
    This match determined the top contender to Brock Lezner’s title at Backlash 2003. I enjoyed this match but I enjoy any match with liberal use of the knife edge chop. It’s not really the quantity of the chops, but the quality and these were vicious.

    *John Cena vs. Brock Lezner, WWE title, Backlash 2003 04/27/2003 (15:11)
    Before the match we get a video package setting it up which is nice for anyone that might have missed out on the feud.
    A random thought while watching this match, the way Michael Cole does commentary reminds me of Vince McMahon’s commentary. I’m not sure that’s a good thing though.

    *John Cena vs. Undertaker, Smackdown 8/7/2003 (21:21)
    This is a rematch resulting from their match at Vengeance. This match is a classic reason why I’m no big fan of Undertaker. He basically beats the piss out of Cena for 85% of this match and then loses by flukish circumstances and we’re supposed to believe that he’s a good company man for putting Cena over.

    *John Cena vs. Eddie Guerrero, United States title, Smackdown 8/28/2003 (15:08)
    A fun match that the fans were in to being that it was in Eddie Guerrero’s hometown. I don’t care for the DQ finish but as it was a Smackdown match my gripe is a minor one. Cena does a beat down after the match getting even more heel heat.

    *John Cena vs. Kurt Angle, No Mercy 2003 10/19/2003 (18:25)
    My first observation about this match, the crowd going back and forth half chanting “Lets go Cena,” and the other “Lets go Angle,” is pretty cool. I loved this match! Plenty of near falls and I dug the finishing sequence of moves.

    *John Cena Before they were Superstars segment.
    Now we get a little more info on Cena’s background growing up, it covers his childhood through college and how he got in to wrestling. This is a great segment that makes up for the lack of this kind of stuff in the main feature!

    *Confidential segment, Outside the Ropes with Josh Matthews 11/22/2003
    Asks Cena 10 questions related to rap and his influences and favorites and stuff. Nice piece but only worth checking out maybe once.

    *Behind the scenes of his YJ Stinger commercial from confidential 11/22/2003
    I found this segment to be painful not because of Cena but for the guys that had no business talking like Cena that were talking like him.

    *Cena and Eddie Guerrero from Singapore 12/11/2003
    A few hours later and already I’ve forgotten about this.

    *Cena’s battle rap from Baghdad
    Very nice to see Cena and the whole WWE entertaining the troops, the guy he raps against isn’t that good though.

    *Behind the scenes of his Smackdown magazine photo shoot from Confidential 11/22/2003
    Not much of note here, watch once.

    Extras Rating 7/10, what’s here is really good and is really as good as it’s going to get for someone that has spent as little time in the WWE as John Cena. I give the WWE credit they sure do know how to load a disc up with extras.
    None of the extras are as memorable as those found on the Monday Night Wars disc, and there’s no real classic matches like there is on the Stone Cold Truth or Ric Flair disc. Really this is due to the fact that all of this is more current and so it can’t be expected to be like those other discs. The Angle match is probably the highlight though.

    Easter Eggs
    On the "Main Menu," select "The Chapters" and right click. You will be treated to a freestyle by Cena about Wrestlemania XX.
    On the first "Extras" page, choose "Main Menu" and left click. You will be treated to a funny segment with Funaki and Cena from Smackdown where Funaki tries,
    yet fails, to do a battle rap with Cena.
    On the second "Extras" page, choose "Behind the Scenes: YJ Stringer Ad" and right click. You will be treated to the actual YJ Stinger ad.

    Final Thoughts:
    I really enjoyed this DVD. Like Cena himself said in the main feature, this is the first of many DVDs to come, and I’ve got a feeling that he’s right.
    When I buy a wrestling DVD, I ask myself if it has any replay ability, and in this case it absolutely does because I really love Cena’s freestyles and his match with Angle from No Mercy is a fine match.
    If you’re a hardcore Cena fan then you already have this disc. If your on the fence, and not sure that you care much for the freestyling but would like to get more familiar with Cena and some of his matches then you might want to consider this as the extras are very well done. I’m going to give this a mild recommendation because I’m sure as time passes better DVDs will come along for Mr. Cena, although really this one is pretty entertaining.

    If you love Cena, you’ve already got it. If you’re not sure give it a rent.
  2. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

    Apr 22, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Guys, as for what might come next I expect to be reviewing the Ring of Honor the Era of Honor begins DVD as soon as my friend purchases it for me.

    However, I was curious if there was anything in my collection you guys were interested in reading about so I thought I’d list them off.

    Wrestling DVDS
    ECW: Barely Legal
    ECW: Deep Impact
    ECW: Extreme Evolution
    ECW: Hardcore History
    ECW: Heatwave 1998
    FMW: Crash and Burn
    FMW: King of the Deathmatch
    FMW: Total Carnage
    NWA:TNA: Best of the X-Division
    UFC: UFC Hits Volume 1
    Wrestling Gold: The Wrestling Gold Collection volumes 1-5
    WWE: ‘Cause Stone Cold said So
    WWE: Bloodbath, Wrestling’s Most Incredible Cage Matches
    WWE: From the Vault, Shawn Michaels
    WWE: Hardy Boyz, Leap of Faith
    WWE: Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Hulk Still Rules
    WWE: Mick Foley, Hard Knocks and Cheap Pops
    WWE: Mick Foley’s Greatest Hits, and Misses
    WWE: No Mercy 2001
    WWE: No Mercy 2002
    WWE: NWO, Back in Black
    WWE: Rey Mysterio, 619
    WWE: Royal Rumble 2001
    WWE: Royal Rumble 2002
    WWE: Stone Cold Steve Austin, What?
    WWE: Summerslam 2001
    WWE: Survivor Series 2001
    WWE: HHH, That Damn Good
    WWE: HHH, The Game
    WWE: The Rock, The People’s Champ
    WWE: The Rock, Just Bring It Collector’s Edition
    WWE: Undertaker, This is my Yard
    WWE: The Ultimate Ric Flair Collection
    WWE: Wrestlemania 2000
    WWE: Wrestlemania X7
    WWE: Wrestlemania X8
    WWE: Wrestlemania XIX

    So if anyone has a request, let me know. As another aside, all of my reviews have been positive so far, but I can guarantee you that there are a few DVDs on this list that would get ripped in to for being horrible, if you like that sort of thing.
  3. TedT

    TedT Second Unit

    Aug 13, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Once again, thanks for the review. I'll pass on this one though. Not a big Cena fan.

    I'd love to hear your opinion of ROH. I think you'll be blown away!
  4. Bryan Ri

    Bryan Ri Screenwriter

    Jan 31, 2004
    Likes Received:
    NYC Area
    Real Name:
    Great review Casey; John Cena is a guy who is still growing on me, so maybe I'll give this a rent. How was the HBK DVD, and the new Foley DVD?

  5. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

    Apr 22, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Oddly enough Bryan, I haven't really gotten in to the HBK DVD all that in depth.

    The Foley DVD rules though, lots of good matches, and Foley as hoast is stellar.

    He hit a little too close to home at the beginning of the DVD though when he said that if your watching this, your probably dateless. He then thanks the audience for making dating sacrafices to watch the DVD. Definitely worth a purchase. That's the quicky version of it.
  6. Derek Faber

    Derek Faber Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 13, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Foley rules. I like his intro to his previous dvd where he hopes that you're buying the dvd and not borrowing it from a friend.
  7. Scott Hamilton

    Scott Hamilton Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2003
    Likes Received:
    I think this is the worst WWF / WWE they have made. I know this because I own a copy of every DVD they have released.

    John doing his freestyle is it a worth a DVD? How many other wrestlers could have a way better DVD.

    A re-release of Chris Jericho - Break Down The Walls with extras would be much better.
  8. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

    Apr 22, 2003
    Likes Received:
    I thought it was too soon for this DVD, but I don't think this is the worst one they've ever done.

    The NWO DVD was so full of WWE Bullshit, and left out so much that it easily pisses me off more than this one. HHH the game is also very very boring, and the only reason I bought that DVD was for the Flair/Steamboat match that is an extra, which is now on the Flair set.

Share This Page