Wrestling’s Greatest Factions (or “Greatest Wrestling Factions”, depending on if you go with the opening title or the DVD/Blu-ray cover art) provides an overview of some of the greatest factions in wrestling history, though much of the list does come from WWE’s own faction history.
In total the DVD feature runs for a little over 7 hours, 4 minutes and features 20 factions and an accompanying match for each faction.
Each of the factions featured are given a segment running around five minutes and each segment has a number of personalities who discuss the faction, its members, and their memorable angles/moments. These segments have a very similar vibe to the ones featured on the WWE Network series “Countdown”, in fact the segment on The Dungeon of Doom is incredibly similar to the one featured on the WWE Countdown: Biggest Blunders episode.
There are so many WWE Superstars, Legends and other personalities which are featured in the segments, including: Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, AJ Lee, Curt Hawkins, William Regal, Hornswoggle, Daniel Bryan, Justin Roberts, CM Punk and a whole, whole lot more.
The DVD features no actual host, which may upset a few Renee Young or Josh Mathews fans, but don’t cry for too long as both Josh and Renee both have the opportunity to discuss the factions. Instead of a physical host the DVD/Blu-Ray has a video package intro and outro.
Now let’s move on to the Faction choices. Once you get past the top factions (the ones that no one can justifiably argue with) such as: The Four Horsemen, DX and the nWo, we get to…. the other factions.
I’m sure at least a few fans had issues with some of the factions selected; in fact it doesn’t seem that WWE can produce a list without someone not being upset. It’s almost like the folks in Titan Tower just love to leave out a favorite or two just to get us talking. However, I think in this particular instance there is really only a handful of factions which you could argue should have been included, such as: Devastation Inc., The Army of Darkness, The Corporate-Ministry, The Alliance, Varsity Club, The New Blood and Millionaires Club, but I’m not sure anyone would consider any of these “the greatest faction in wrestling history”.
If you’ve forgotten exactly which matches are included, check out the full WWE Greatest Wrestling Factions DVD match listing. Personally, I found the match selection on this set to be very good. The set managed to achieve a good mix of previously released PPV matches along with a wide selection of forgotten and obscure television bouts to highlight the factions.
I won’t go through each and every match featured, but here are a few personal highlights:
Corporate Royal Rumble Match (RAW, January 1999)
This often forgotten match saw The Corporation and D-Generation X fight it out in a mini-Royal Rumble to establish who would be the #30 entrant into the 1999 Royal Rumble match. I’m a fan of the Rumble so it’s cool to see one of the non-PPV Rumble matches make it onto a DVD. The feud is between The Corporation and D-Generation X, a feud which would continue through the first half of 1999 (in slightly varying forms).
DX vs. Nation (Over the Edge, May 1998)
This particular encounter came as DX was just beginning to rise as baby faces and kick off their feud with the Nation. The feud would kick into high gear a few months later with the Street Fight and ultimately culminate with the Ladder Match between Triple H and The Rock. However, it was cool to go back and relive this often forgotten PPV encounter between the two factions.
Corporate Gauntlet (RAW, February 1999)
This is a somewhat rare occasion that Mr. McMahon really got the upper hand on the Texas Rattlesnake. Airing just one night prior to the famed St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Steel Cage Match, Stone Cold Steve Austin would have to run the Corporate Gauntlet in front of a record breaking crowd in Toronto’s SkyDome. The match culminates in one of the most iconic scenes of the Attitude Era, which makes it even more surprising that this is the first time that this entire segment has ever been included in full on a WWE DVD.
The Horsemen vs. Sting, Lex Luger & Barry Windham (Main Event, April 1988)
Just a few days after the very first Clash of the Champions, the very first edition of NWA Main Event saw The Horsemen take on their opponents from that evening in an incredibly hot six-man tag team match. The Spartanburg crowd were simply incredible for this match and quite frankly how into the match they were is a sight to behold, sadly this is something we will likely never see in WWE in 2014, but was in fact common place for Jim Crockett Promotions crowds.
Perhaps the most disappointing matches to be featured on this release were the two War Games Matches (1995 & 1998), personally I have never been a fan of these two matches and their inclusion here was especially disappointing as they were both released on the War Games compilation less than a year ago. In my opinion much better choices could have been made to represent the nWo and even the Dungeon of Doom.
The Blu-ray version features the three additional factions, two modern day factions and one (I’m going to try and write this with a straight face) classic faction in the Spirit Squad. The Blu-ray follows the exact format of the main DVD with a feature package discussing each faction and then a match. The total run time for the Blu-ray extras is a tad over 67 minutes, which is a little disappointing; we could have had one more faction.
However, the inclusion of the newer factions was great for the Blu-ray, as maybe they haven’t quite reached the status of “greatest” quite yet. The matches to spotlight these factions are the Wyatt Family taking on Daniel Bryan in a three-on-one handicap match from TLC 2013, the Spirit Squad capturing the World Tag Team Titles the night after WrestleMania 22, and The Shield’s first official match up at TLC in 2012.
Overall, I felt the set is a great look at 23 of wrestling’s greatest factions and on the whole you can’t really argue too much with the vast majority of selections here.
I enjoyed the fact that this set doesn’t follow a set timeline and the matches aren’t in chronological order, which is reminiscent of Allied Powers and Highest Flyers, which are two of my favorite sets to put on in the background – it’s almost like setting your iPod playlist on shuffle, but with wrestling matches.
In my opinion this DVD set works well in the “WWE Network environment” simply because of matches featured. The mix here is great bearing in mind that the WWE Network has all of the WWE, WCW and ECW PPV events, and I don’t think anyone could justifiably think “I can just watch these matches on the WWE Network”, something which wasn’t achieved with the WCW PPV Matches set and to a lesser degree the upcoming Great American Bash release. I would absolutely recommend this DVD/Blu-ray. The faction segments aren’t really going to provide you with a wealth of new knowledge but they certainly aren’t painful to get through.
Also don’t forget this week’s edition of WWE Countdown on the WWE Network will be ranking the Top 10 Factions, so check out it out on Tuesday at 10PM EST.
Get your WWE “Greatest Factions” DVD/Blu-ray…
– UK/Europe: Available now over at WWEDVD.co.uk.
– Australia: Releasing June 4th through WWEDVD.com.au.