WWE: Steve Austin - The Stone Cold Truth, My thoughts

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Casey Trowbridg, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

    Apr 22, 2003
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    WWE: Steve Austin, the Stone Cold Truth
    Region 1
    Released 02/10/2004
    Number of discs: 1
    List Price: $24.95
    Full frame 1.33:1
    Packaging: single keep case

    The WWE has been putting out a lot of DVDs in recent months, and as they’ve been announced I’ve been excited for a number of them. This was not 1 that I was excited for at all, or even going to buy. I already own the Stone Cold Steve Austin: What? DVD and figured that was about all I really needed. Then I saw a listing that made this go from not interested to a must own instantly. I’ll get to that when it comes up, but what about the rest of the DVD?

    The Feature:
    Perhaps nobody in wrestling has been documented as much as Steve Austin. There are already a number of DVDs on the market that feature Austin in some manner, so they had to take a unique approach with this one. I believe that this documentary feature originally aired on UPN late last year, but I don’t have an exact air date.
    This is more than just a wrestling documentary; this actually goes in to the family life of Steve Austin. We get comments from his parents, his siblings, his daughters and his X-wife. We get to see Austin in his element outside of the ring, driving around at high speeds with his dog Sam among other things. This is a side of Austin that probably hasn’t been seen before, and is really well done. That’s not to say that they ignore the wrestling that would be foolish we get a healthy amount of that also.

    Wrestlemania XIX, Bring it On, Down home with the Rattlesnake, Paying Dues, WCW & The Hollywood Blondes, Austin's Truck and Sam the dog, ECW to Stone Cold Steve Austin, Now is the Time, Singing with Stone Cold, Getting Personal - Family Life, Summerslam 1997 & Owen Hart, The Look, For the Love of the Business, Survivor Series 2003
    First as I did with the Monday Night Wars DVD, I’ll talk about the things that I liked. There is a lot to like about the documentary. The comments about Austin growing up from those that were around him are pretty interesting, and actually we get more of them in the extras so it really doesn’t lack in this area.
    Wrestling wise, I liked the segment on Austin’s time in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). He really wasn’t there for very long, but they covered his time well. We even got comments from Mick Foley on Austin’s ECW days, as well as the first time Mick saw Steve Austin the wrestler. From the clips they showed, you could just tell that Austin was going to be a huge star one day.
    The segment about his introduction to the WWF was interesting. They showed clips of him as the ring master, and for the life of me I still don’t know what Vince McMahon was thinking to give this guy a manager off of his ECW performance. We also get to hear about how Austin’s X-wife played a key role in his getting the name Stone Cold. It’s a good thing she stumbled upon it, because some of the names that the WWF was proposing were just awful, horrible names. For those that have read Foley’s book “Have a Nice Day” remember where he talked about how he almost got stuck with “The Mutilator” as a name? Well, that would’ve been better than some of the names Austin says were proposed by the Federation.
    We got to hear Austin’s comments on Owen Hart, and the match that nearly left Austin paralyzed at Summerslam 1997. We get to see clips of the tombstone piledriver and get Austin’s memories of what was going through his head at the time. He talked about the way he looked at Owen before that match, and why he was very upset with him after the match, basically for not bothering to check and see how Austin was doing. Then they showed Jim Ross making the announcement that Owen Hart had passed away during the Over the Edge 1999 Pay per View. I had not seen this footage before as for obvious reasons that Pay per View never was released on home video. I can’t even describe this, but after watching that little segment my whole tone changed for a moment as I thought of Owen Hart.
    Now, I'll discuss the things I didn't care for very much. The major thing was that they really glossed over his time in WCW, and in Dallas before it. They talked about the Hollywood Blonds which was the high point of Steve Austin’s WCW stint, but there was no mention of the other hot angle he had in World Championship Wrestling which was as a member of the Dangerous Alliance. That angle produced one of the best Wargames matches ever, and 1 of the top matches in the history of WCW. Track down a copy of The Dangerous Alliance vs. Sting’s Squadron from Wrestlewar 1992 if you’ve never seen it, definitely worth viewing.
    See, if it weren’t for the bonus material expanding on some of the other things in this feature there would be a lot more things that I don’t like. But as it is a lot of what I wanted more of, I get in the bonus section. Yet, I’ve just got to say it, and I’m sure Austin would agree. We really didn’t need all of those clips to reinforce that the man just can’t sing. He’s a horrible singer, he’s worse than I am and that is no small feet. I’m glad his brother slapped some sense in to him and told him that he sucked, but the clips of him singing are entertaining for how bad they are.
    I wish they would’ve touched more on the Bret Hart feud than they did. I know that they didn’t because it’s been done on other video releases, but it would’ve been nice. Other than those minor complaints this documentary was very well done and I don’t usually say this about these things but it is one of the few I would probably view a second time.
    A couple of minor things I want to note. It is a bit funny to me to hear from Austin’s daughters, because they both have British accents. You listen to him and you listen to them and it just sounds odd when you consider that he is actually their father. This is actually something Austin references so I’m not picking on them. It is also hard to believe when I think about it that the shy kid that his family talks about turned in to Stone Cold Steve Austin.
    Feature rating: 9/10

    This DVD contains a wealth of bonus material, and all of it is a perfect compliment to the main feature.

    *TV Title Match: Stunning Steve Austin vs. Beautiful Bobby Eaton (06/03/91, WCW Worldwide, Austin wins the title)
    This was an ok match, getting to hear Gordon Soley and Tony Schiavone on commentary again made it extra special for me.
    *A Flair for the Gold with the Hollywood Blondes (05/15/93, WCW Saturday Night)
    This was an awesome segment, Pillman and Austin were making fun of Flair’s age back in 1993 and he’s still active today. Pillman asking Flair for an autograph for his great Grandmother was really funny and the Blonds talking about Flair and Arn being in the famous 4 Horsemen backfield of Notre Dame just really good stuff from all involved.
    *Hollywood Blondes vs. Arn Anderson & Ric Flair (06/17/93, Clash of the Champions XXIII)
    This is the reason I bought this DVD, and it delivered. This match was pure awesomeness from all 4 guys. This is tag team wrestling at its best, and 1 of the better tag team matches I’ve ever seen. Oh, and the chops in this match are so hard they make Chris Benoit look like Billy Gunn by comparison. I just love love love this match, if I never watch the documentary feature again, I guarantee multiple viewings of this match. It’s an easy **** match and if it hadn’t been for the way it ended it could’ve been *****. If you don’t want to buy this DVD because you don’t like Austin, rent this DVD and go straight to this match, it’s worth it, trust me.
    Note: Originally this match was commentated by Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura, but for this release Jesse’s commentary was removed entirely. This was done for legal reasons; basically they’d rather remove Jesse from the commentary than pay him for the use of his likeness. It all stems from a lawsuit he filed against the WWF and eventually won. It’s a long story, worth going in to greater detail later.

    *Mick Foley talks about Austin ECW
    I’ve got to agree with Mick, ECW is where the Stone Cold character began
    *as "Hulk Hogan" (ECW Debut, 09/16/95)
    *on Mikey Whipwreck & Sandman (09/23/95, Middletown, N.Y.)
    *on being held down by WCW (10/10/95)
    *on Eric Bischoff and being fired on "Beulah's Box" (10/31/95)
    *at the end of his time at ECW (12/19/95)
    All of these promos are pretty cutting edge stuff especially for 1995, and definitely showed the potential stardom that was inside of Austin. I really liked Monday Nyquil, and Austin as Hogan
    *ECW Championship Match: Steve Austin vs. Mikey Whipwreck (11/18/95, November to Remember)
    I’m not the biggest fan of ECW, but this match tells an interesting story.

    *Ringmaster vs. Scott Taylor (01/20/96, WWE debut, Superstars)
    I can’t believe Vince thought this was a good idea…
    *Intercontinental Title Match: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Owen Hart (08/03/97, Summerslam, Austin wins title)
    A terrific match with an anticlimactic ending for obvious reasons.
    *Stone Cold Beer Bash (05/05/03, RAW, with Bill Goldberg & Eric Bischoff, includes 10 minutes from after RAW went off the air)
    *Stone Cold & Lilian Garcia sing "America the Beautiful' (05/26/03, RAW)
    *Stone Cold toasts a beer on Vince McMahon's birthday (08/24/03, Summerslam)
    *Stone Cold drinks beer, rides chair down ramp (11/03/03, after RAW went off the air). Austin takes a chair from the announcers and rolls down the entrance
    Decent enough segments, but more matches would’ve been appreciated.

    Family Stories
    Stone Cold: Tells a story about the Edna Jail
    Brother Kevin: Snapping Turtle, Selling water in a plastic bag
    Sister Jenny & Brother Kevin: Steve being shy when he was young
    Brothers Scott & Kevin: About being timid on a horse
    Father Ken: Steve's encounter with a rattlesnake
    Daughter Stephanie: Message for her dad
    I really liked the snapping turtle story, and would’ve been just as freaked by the Rattlesnake

    Moments (comments by the Austin Family)
    *Wins first Championship (03/29/98, Wrestlemania XIV)
    *Drives a Zamboni into the arena (09/28/98, RAW)
    *Surprises Mr. McMahon in the hospital (10/5/98, RAW)
    *Pours concrete in Mr. McMahon's Corvette (10/12/98, RAW)
    *Stone Cold Beer Truck (03/22/98, RAW)
    You get to here what Austin’s family thinks of some of his more famous moments in the WWE, worth watching once.
    Extras rating: 9.5/10, I would’ve liked another WWE match but what was here rules.

    Easter Eggs
    On the "Extras" menu, go to WCW and highlight "Flair for the Gold". Press the right arrow. Portion of "Flair for the Old" segment from WCW will then play.
    This is a segment where Brian Pillman is dressed up as Ric Flair and Steve Austin is interviewing him when Arn Anderson steps in and punches Austin. 06/07/93
    WCW Main Event)
    On the "Extras" menu, go to WCW and highlight "Stunning Steve Austin vs. Beautiful Bobby Eaton". Press the left arrow. A piece plays where Austin, dressed
    as a photographer, attacks Arn Anderson during an Arn Anderson vs. Brian Pillman match. 06/14/93, WCW Main Event
    Go to the "Extras" menu, go to WWE, and highlight "Stone Cold drinks beer, rides chair down ramp". Press the right arrow. The segment "Whataburger" will
    then play. Michael Cole interviews Stone Cold Steve Austin in classic "What" over five minute interview. (01/14/02)
    Go to the "Chapters" menu, highlight "Austin's Truck & Sam the Dog" and press the right arrow. Steve Austin's brother tells a story about Austin's car
    will then play.

    Final Thoughts:
    All I can say is wow. I bought this DVD for 1 reason and 1 reason only the Flair/Arn vs. Hollywood Blonds tag match and it was definitely worth it. Yet, having viewed the DVD completely I can say that even if that tag match were not on this release it would still be worth the purchase. The documentary was well done and informative, and it was not necessary for them to rewrite history so they didn’t. The extras are top notch and besides the 2 really good matches, the tag match and the Intercontinental match, perhaps the best part is the ECW footage. Stuff like those promos wasn’t even dreamed of by the big 2 back in 1995, you’ll just have to trust me that for its time Extreme Championship Wrestling was revolutionary. It changed the way both companies looked at the wrestling industry.
    For those that like the style of the Flair and Foley sets better I can almost guarantee you that one of those will eventually come around for Steve Austin. I can’t guarantee that some of this material will be double dipped but this will definitely not be the last Austin DVD released.

    Instead of the conclusion, for Steve Austin we have… The Bottom line:
    I can’t recommend this disc enough. If you’re not a big Austin fan to begin with then it will be hard for me to convince you that this is worth a rental. I’m not the biggest Steve Austin fan in the world, but I just loved this release. If you are a Ric Flair fan, he’s featured prominently in the extras so you might want to consider this a rental for that reason.
    If however, you are the type that might be compelled to purchase a DVD like this because it contains some awesome matches than do yourself a favor and pick this up. I bought it for 1 match but ended up liking the whole thing. You can do a lot worse given that you can find this online for less than $19.

    Highest recommendation
  2. TedT

    TedT Second Unit

    Aug 13, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Wow. You're a great reviewer Casey. Please keep it up! And if you go pro on this, let us know!

    You've convinced me to get this. Wasn't planning to (since I got all the other Stone Cold DVDs), but you've convinced me.
  3. Steve_Knutzen

    Steve_Knutzen Screenwriter

    Feb 17, 2002
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    Great review Casey. I wasn't too hyped to get this but the glowing review you gave is making me want to get it. WWE been putting out gold from their vaults as of late. Here's to hoping they keep it up.
  4. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

    Apr 22, 2003
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    Guys, thanks for the feedback...of course I'll keep this up if you want me to, I'm thinking maybe hitting an older title next though so we'll see.

    If you do get this let me know if you find it worthwhile, I'll be curious.
  5. TedT

    TedT Second Unit

    Aug 13, 2002
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    Well chances are we already have the older titles, so I don't know if it'd be worth your time to do that. You should review a Ring Of Honor DVD for those that don't know about that promotion. I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on that stuff. Myself, I love it.
  6. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

    Apr 22, 2003
    Likes Received:
    I was thinking maybe the Wrestling Gold titles, as a possibility.

    Ring of Honor is a possibility also, but those are only now being made available on a large retail scale so it could be awhile. I intend to check them out when I can find them. I might do the Foley disc, and Cena and Angle when they come out of course I have to purchase these in order to review them.

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