A Look Back At The Steve Austin ‘Hell Yeah’ WWE DVD – 15 Years Later!

October 29, 2014 by Mark D

WWF Hell Yeah DVD - 15th Anniversary Review

Here in the WrestlingDVDNews.com “universe” we have a very special anniversary this week. Not only is it my birthday week but this week also marks the 15th anniversary of the very first WWE DVD releases: WrestleMania XV and Hell Yeah! To honor this milestone, today I am going to take a look back at “Hell Yeah: Stone Cold’s Saga Continues”.

WWF Hell Yeah DVD - 15th Anniversary Review Much has changed with the WWE DVD offerings over the past fifteen years, not only in how the DVDs features and extras are put together, but also the number of discs we are given. Imagine the outrage if, for example, Daniel Bryan was given the single disc treatment like Stone Cold was given here – you can almost hear the keyboards typing up complaints!

But 15 years ago coming from the dark ages of video tapes (remember those kids?) us wrestling fans were still trying to get our heads around the fact that we didn’t have to rewind these DVDs before we started watching.

WWE Steve Austin: Hell Yeah 15th Anniversary

It should be noted that in addition to this fancy new DVD, Hell Yeah was also released on VHS. Typically the WWE VHS releases would have a run time of approximately 1 to 2 hours. So comparing the VHS to the DVD, the Hell Yeah DVD was PACKED with special features; hell you might even say it deserved the moniker of “special extended attitude edition”!

WWE Steve Austin: Hell Yeah 15th Anniversary

The main feature on Hell Yeah runs for a touch over 1 hour and 5 minutes and features Stone Cold Steve Austin discussing his meteoric rise in WWE from WrestleMania XIV through to the fallout of WrestleMania XV. The feature jumps back and forth between video clips of Steve Austin’s matches and their builds from 1998/99, plus it follows Stone Cold Steve Austin discussing his career as he prepares for a show and then after the show in his pickup truck on the way to the next town.

The matches spotlighted are: the WrestleMania XIV match versus Shawn Michaels, the First Blood Match with Kane at King of the Ring, SummerSlam versus The Undertaker, BreakDown, Judgement Day 1998, WrestleMania XV and Backlash 1999. Additionally his feud with Mr. McMahon is given a fair amount of screen time, plus discussion of the events leading to WrestleMania XV. Many of the videos which are presented are either music highlight packages of the matches (a couple of which even feature The Hardy Boyz theme song!) and also the PPV opening videos – which 15 years later still comes over as really lazy.

WWE Steve Austin: Hell Yeah 15th Anniversary: Steve Austin Bloody King of the Ring 1998

In addition to the matches and feuds highlighted, Steve Austin also discusses some of the vehicular mayhem which he has caused such as with the Zamboni, cement mixer, the “limo-nator” and of course the beer truck. A cool thing which we are given is shots of Mr. McMahon’s cement filled Corvette which was stored in the parking garage of Titan Tower (I’m not sure if it’s still there today).

WWE Steve Austin: Hell Yeah 15th Anniversary : Beer Truck

Other stories which Steve tells us include: being knocked out at SummerSlam 98, the story behind the origin and design of the Smoking Skull WWE Championship Belt, his acting roles such as working on Nash Bridges and being with the WWE Racecar team.

WWE Steve Austin: Hell Yeah 15th Anniversary

I don’t know that the main feature stands up as all that great in 2014, simply based off the quality of the productions which we have had in the past 15 years, however it’s still nice for a little piece of nostalgia to go back and see the evolution of WWE Home Video.

In terms of the special features, we don’t have a series of matches as extras like today. Actually a little more thought has gone into the extras than simply throwing a few matches together. The extras are split into three groups:

Rattlesnake Rules: Clips of famous Steve Austin moments such as throwing the Intercontinental Championship off the bridge and “Bedpan McMahon” – moments which we have definitely seen before, but equally moments which are essential Stone Cold viewing.

WWE Steve Austin: Hell Yeah 15th Anniversary : Mr McMahon

Say What, Jackass?: This is a series of 30 second to 2 minute interview clips with various WWE Superstars and personalities discussing Steve Austin, his career and some personal stories of The Texas Rattlesnake.

WWE Steve Austin: Hell Yeah 15th Anniversary : Jim Ross

The Book of Austin: A collection of miscellaneous extras which range from classic clips (like King of the Ring 1996), a very cool “Pulp Fiction” (Pulp Austin) video montage (complete with the “Misirlou” song) and a written biography of Steve Austin which you read through using your remote (remember when lots of DVDs had these?)

WWE Steve Austin: Hell Yeah 15th Anniversary : Pulp Austin

WWE Steve Austin: Hell Yeah 15th Anniversary : Biography

The story segments are cool as are a few of the other extras. It’s really nice to see these type of extras on a DVD set. All too often nowadays the extras are a little phoned in and lazy, but here when the DVD media was new it was nice to see WWE go the extra mile to create some cool, cool, fresh and unique content.

Again, if this set were released today, I’m actually not too sure what the reaction would be. While it does fall way, way short of some of the documentary features we have been given over the past 15 years, it has to rank quite highly as a single disc feature – it is far and away much better than any of the single disc WWE DVD releases which we have been given in the past several years, and Hell Yeah does clearly has its basis in the “Coliseum Video” era of releases.

WWE Steve Austin: Hell Yeah 15th Anniversary : Stone Cold

It would be nice to see WWE look to utilizing this format again for some of the modern day stars. Now all the DVD sets are focused on really big and historic names. It was common place in the 1980s, 1990s and into the 2000s to have VHS releases looking at less high profile superstars or those with relatively short WWE careers, superstars like: Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Demolition, Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle. It would be really quite nice if WWE would give some love to the less high profile superstars of today with a single disc DVD release with wraparound segments not dissimilar to how Hell Yeah is presented.

Growing up with these “Coliseum Video” style releases – I actually really enjoyed looking back at Hell Yeah, it’s honestly a DVD set that I haven’t looked at in years, and anytime you get to jump in the DeLorean and head back to 1999 is cool with me. So the next time you’re wondering what WWE DVD to re-watch, why not throw a little love Hell Yeah’s way and pay homage to the DVD that got us where we are today? After all, you probably wouldn’t be reading this site right now had it not been for Hell Yeah.

So, folks get your cold one ready, on 3 – 1..2…3….. “Happy Birthday Hell Yeah… Happy Birthday Hell Yeah… Happy 15th Birthday Hell Yeah… Happpppppy Birthday to youuuuuuuuu!!!!!!”

 
Not got a copy of Hell Yeah? Pick one up on eBay…
 




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6 Comments left on this article...

  1. Isrs4life says:

    I had the vhs version back in the day of austins and I did like it and I also had eve of distruction
    on vhs as well.

  2. Vintage Simon says:

    It’s so unfair that DVDs get these extra features… what about us VHS collectors? Waaaahhhh!

  3. Scott says:

    I like the fact that these old tapes and DVDs often had recaps of feuds or even the moments that led up to matches. I still remember how excited I was when I first watched the first Austin VHS “Cause Stone Cold Said So”. Just the best moments from his early WWF career uncensored with his in character voiceover. Great stuff!

  4. LP1 says:

    Excellent recap. I love that DVD. Back then it was normal for top guys to get a new release every year. It was like new chapters every year being added to the story. They did the same thing with the Hulkamania VHS series in the 80’s.

    Speaking of VHS, there’s another major anniversary coming up. This March(2015) will be the 30th anniversary of WWF’s very first Coliseum Video releases. “Bloopers, Bleeps and Bodyslams”, “Best Of The WWF Vol. 1” and “Hulkamania” were the first 3 tapes all released on the same day. Man, I feel old.

  5. Jeff Copeland says:

    ohh this is memory for me buying this at walgreens when they did sell vhs i bought this along with austin vs mcmahon wcw uncensored 1999 unforgiven 01 on dvd vengeance 2001 hulk still rules 02 king of the ring 98 when it was part of that 98 set. man i miss vhs days 🙁 D= but dvd has been slacking last few years which is sad and bluray well <.< the most sad part is stores like best buy and walmart use to have wwe dvds and best buy wise tna dvds all the time and now your lucky to find 4 or 5 which is ehhh

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