Doesn’t it feel like forever since we had a good ol’ WWE documentary DVD? Well, the drought has ended with two docs back-to-back in “Diamond Dallas Page – Positively Living” and WWE 24’s newest offering (and as I type still DVD exclusive) – “WrestleMania Monday”.
The DDP biography, which I’m about to get hands-on with, officially released on DVD and Blu-ray today to fans in the UK and will follow next Tuesday to fans in the United States.
We all remember those incredible WWE documentary DVDs, and now, for whatever reason, they’re seemingly not quite what they used to be. The current style has become rather formulaic at best – with each bio following a Superstar in their hometown discussing their career while walking around, visiting their childhood homes, their parents, etc. With only a limited overview of the individual’s career the feature can fall short of getting to the real meat of any issue which, sadly, leaves you wondering if a quick read of a Wikipedia page might be more thorough!
Can things turn around with the story of Diamond Dallas Page? That story, told by WWE here, is one of hard work paying off and anything being possible, so long as you keep a positive attitude.
To give a quick rundown for those completely unfamiliar with DDP or those who missed our previous coverage, the newly-produced documentary follows Dallas (who really shouldn’t have made it in the wrestling business after beginning his pro-wrestling journey at such an advanced age) and his hard work to rise through the ranks to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Then, following his in-ring career, he developed a yoga system, which has gone on to help a number of wrestling personalities (including some fallen stars) as well as the general public.
The “reward” and culmination of it all came just this year with an invitation into WWE’s Hall of Fame, a moment captured in this very documentary.
And all of this means those unfamiliar with DDP’s career will probably enjoy it as the feature gives a great insight into who Dallas was/is. However, given that the subject is mostly likely to appeal to the more long-term and hardcore fans, I think the set will fall short of satisfying that group.
The documentary itself clocks in at a little over an hour and eight minutes and of course the quality of the footage within is impeccable – including the old archive material. Interviewed for the set are a number of notable personalities from DDP’s career including: Eric Bischoff, Scott Hall, Triple H, Booker T and Mick Foley, along with members of Dallas’ family: wife, mom and even ex-wife Kimberly. Those interviewed are fine for what has been produced, however if they were to get a little more in-depth and adventurous individuals such as: J.J. Dillon, Jim Ross and even archive footage with Dusty Rhodes (if any exists) would add another perspective to the piece.
The bio clearly does have its high spots though. I really enjoyed the sections where Dallas discussed his WrestleMania VI appearance and his WWE tryout (we get to see a little footage from this tryout which was a nice touch) – and of course any time DDP talked about Dusty and his influence; it’s a real shame that Dusty couldn’t be involved here as I think he could have added more than we know. Finally, the chapter towards the end of the documentary when Dallas gets the Hall of Fame call from Triple H is an awesome moment. Granted, the jaded wrestling fan in me said “I wonder if this is really 100% legit?”, and to that I don’t have an answer right now.
Don’t get it twisted; the documentary is fine for the reasons you’ve heard and it’s certainly not unwatchable nor is it bad, however as a long-term fan I really didn’t feel like I got too much from it. As DVD collectors we’ll always compare the new stuff to the bigguns of the past, and it certainly doesn’t stand against Bret Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin or even Chris Jericho.
I do feel if this were a WWE Network exclusive offering included as my standard subscription, I would be a little more positive about it (pardon the pun), but naturally once it becomes something where I have to dig into my pockets to get on board, my expectations are raised higher.
So, if I’m to sum up this one in DDP terms, I think that it falls short of the self-high five that WWE DVD documentaries are known to achieve, and it’s probably more of a self-high two-point-five!
Luckily it’s not just the main feature on offer here and the set as a whole is just about saved by the addition of 6 hours (7 hours on Blu-ray) of extra content that serves to extend the documentary and compile nearly 30 matches and moments, the vast majority from the WCW archive.
Delving into those matches, they’re about as good as you can get when looking at DDP’s career; they cover pretty much all of his career milestones: including his earliest TV match (teaming with Scott Hall), his first PPV match (Starrcade ’91), first World Title win, on top of his famous matches with Randy Savage and World Title match against Goldberg. Sure, there are probably a few which could be switched for some unreleased content (which is always nice to see), but on the whole it’s really not a bad match list. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Get your copy of WWE’s new “DDP – Positively Living” DVD or Blu-ray…
– UK/Europe: RIGHT NOW! Grab the Diamond Dallas Page DVD here on Amazon.co.uk.
– USA: NEXT TUESDAY! Pre-order the new Diamond Dallas Page DVD here on Amazon.com.
– Australia: April 19th. Your pre-order opportunities just went live over at Madman.com.au.