REVIEW: WWE ‘The True Story of Royal Rumble’ DVD & Blu-Ray – When The Truth is Found to be LIES!?

December 30, 2016 by Mark D

WWE 'The True Story of Royal Rumble' DVD & Blu-ray - Logo

Now, if you guys and girls are getting a little sick and tired of being lied to, deceived, hoodwinked, bamboozled, hornswoggled (or just flat out bull-s***ted) about the origins of the Royal Rumble, then surely, “The True Story of Royal Rumble” DVD and Blu-ray is the one for you.

But does this set really give us the “True Story” at all?


3…2…1… Click here to get your copy of WWE’s new Rumble Story DVD, or here for the Blu-ray.


Just why is now the time for this “True Story”? Well, if I were to venture a guess it would be because next month the 30th annual Royal Rumble will come our way from the renowned Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. 30 years is a pretty big milestone, and since this is the first time in 20 years that WWE is taking the Rumble to a dome (this time maybe with a few less special “Coca-Cola” $5 tickets), a nice little documentary might be a great way to build the hype and anticipation.

Plus, ’tis the season for a BIG Home Video release – as we have seen in the past, this time of year gives us the biggest and most anticipated DVDs – cast your minds back to some of the titles that we’ve had at this time of year (here’s a little reminder of some of them): Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Randy Savage and hell, even WWE itself! So, with all this in mind, you’d think the company would be pulling out all of the stops with this one, making it a killer release…

WWE 'The True Story of Royal Rumble' DVD & Blu-ray - Main Menu

What we were presented with in “The True Story of Royal Rumble”, however, was a rather lackluster set. The 64-minute documentary isn’t up to the standard of some of the past winter releases, or even some of the WWE 24 specials on the WWE Network!

If you were thinking that you were going to be getting a documentary with a similar vibe to the 2011 “True Story of WrestleMania” release that’s unfortunately not the case here. Sure, that documentary had its own issues and it wasn’t an absolutely perfect offering, but the Rumble Story documentary sadly doesn’t come close to being as good in my opinion. However, it was something I had my reservations about when I first learned that it was planned for release at the end of 2016.

The biggest issue is that in all honestly the Royal Rumble doesn’t really have much of a “story”. It’s just a pay-per-view on the schedule (an important PPV granted, but a PPV nonetheless). The WrestleMania story when boiled down is essentially the story of WWE itself and their evolution (as evident by the fact that documentary used a theme to segue between older and newer Mania events). The Rumble however, other than how the event came to be in the first place, doesn’t really have much of a story – it has noteworthy moments but not a real story within – so, for me, the DVD failed to live up to what it was said to deliver (at least from the title).

WWE 'The True Story of Royal Rumble' DVD - Vince McMahon Interview
WWE 'The True Story of Royal Rumble' DVD - AJ Styles Backstage Interview before Debut

The method that WWE uses to tell the narrative is by following the day-long build up to (and through) the 2016 Royal Rumble PPV and using this as jumping off points into past Rumble moments. For example, the footage of AJ Styles making his first appearance links into looking at surprises from the past Rumble matches, and the great IC Championship Last Man Standing match (between Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens) links to looking at the Rumble’s other memorable championship ‘non-Rumble’ matches. There isn’t really anything wrong with this method, it’s just that the title tells the viewers they will be given THE TRUE STORY OF THE ROYAL RUMBLE. Had the documentary have been titled something else maybe I would have had less issues with it.

Now, on to the juiciest part of the Royal Rumble’s story, and something which is actually completely overlooked here is the “True Story” of how the Rumble match came to be. Other than a brief mention, the meat of the story is ignored. For those unaware the Royal Rumble was WWE’s attempt to kill off Jim Crockett Promotions second attempt at the PPV (The Bunkhouse Stampede) by presenting the Royal Rumble on free TV (headlined by the first showdown of Andre The Giant and Hulk Hogan since WrestleMania III with a contract signing for their famed match on The Main Event the following month). The reason WWE took the fight to Crockett on free TV was due to the fact that the cable companies vowed that there would not be rival wrestling events scheduled against each other after the Starrcade/Survivor Series incident just a few weeks prior.

WWE 'The True Story of Royal Rumble' DVD - Vince McMahon Injury, Royal Rumble 2005 Controversy
WWE 'The True Story of Royal Rumble' DVD - Documentary

Of course, for history sake, Crockett would respond himself just a couple of months later with his own free event on TBS – the first Clash of the Champions, which was put up against WrestleMania IV. It’s a shame that WWE chose not to tell us a unbiased version of this story – maybe one day they will give us the truth, but wasn’t this the perfect time?

As for the matches and extras featured in the DVD/Blu-ray: on the surface, I know many were scratching their heads looking through the content WWE decided to go with. However, after viewing the documentary, the match selections will make a lot more sense as they are all discussed and referenced within the main feature – so for this reason, in retrospect, I have much less of an issue with the matches chosen as they help to round out the set with context, plus many of them are pretty fun matches too – particularly: The Rockers/Orient Express and the 2007 Royal Rumble (with its nail-biting conclusion!). The Blu-ray special features are also a really fun watch with some forgotten Royal Rumble’s like the 2004 SmackDown Rumble to determine the #1 contender for Brock Lesnar’s WWE Championship at No Way Out and similarly the 2011 RAW Rumble to determine The Miz’s challenger for Elimination Chamber.

WWE 'The True Story of Royal Rumble' DVD - Extras & Special Features
WWE 'The True Story of Royal Rumble' DVD - Extras & Special Features

Overall, believe it or not, I didn’t hate this set. It’s certainly not a ‘bad’ release, but I do feel however that I was mis-sold a bill of goods as the story told isn’t the TRUE story – its WWE’s story.

Perhaps, in hindsight, a better way of presenting the main feature on the Royal Rumble would have been a countdown style release – something like: “The Top 30 Hits & Misses of the Royal Rumble”. If you can get over all of this, then I wouldn’t really have a problem in recommending this set, after all it is a nice accompaniment to check out before the 2017 event – but if you think my criticisms will bother you too, then it might be best to stay well clear of this one.

Even with the irony of lies surrounding the “True Story”, this is still a far better DVD compilation than some of the lazier releases of late (*cough* Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar *cough*).

WWE 'The True Story of Royal Rumble' DVD - Triple H Wins 2016 Royal Rumble Match
WWE 'The True Story of Royal Rumble' DVD - Triple H & Roman Reigns Backstage

Grab a copy of WWE’s “True Story of Royal Rumble” DVD or Blu-ray…

USA: NOW! Get your “Rumble Story” DVD or Blu-ray now here on

UK/Europe: NOW! Get your “Rumble Story” DVD or Blu-ray now here on

Australia: January 11th. Go pre-order your copy of the DVD over at

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11 Comments left on this article...

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  1. JC says:

    Thanks. Insightful review. However, the Royal Rumble has never been on “free TV,” and neither was the Clash of the Champions, as both were on pay cable.

  2. SCSA says:

    I guess it’s not perfect but it was something I had to have; The 1994 Rumble match on Blu-Ray

  3. RabidHeat says:

    It says a lot of the True Story of WrestleMania documentary was better than this, because when I watched that I thought it was the worst documentary they had done in years that glossed over so many important things. If this is worse that’s a truly sad indictment.

  4. captainplanet says:

    The way they do documentaries now – with some exceptions in mind – is so lazy and only serves to promote the modern product. This “follow us behind the scenes of this event” is nowhere near as interesting as a medium as a well-produced documentary with brand new sit-down studio interviews, infographics, and other tools to create a cohesive video. Save that for The Network, where it’s more fitting. There’s certainly elements of some of that here, but not like they used to do regularly do docs in the golden period of the mid-to-late ’00s.

  5. CMW says:

    Thank you for the review. I was going to buy it, mainly for the documentary and a few of the matches, but after your review, I decided not to buy it. Keep up the great work.

  6. SCSA says:

    I agree with all that’s said in this review & with most if the comments said by everyone. I was really desperate to get this set on Blu-Ray as soon as possible & yes, it did arrive 6 days earlier than the release date

    Although it was a very short & boring HBK interview given by Booker T & yes they should have added the HBK Vs Undertaker Casket match & yes they should also of have added an older Rumble match w/the Blu-Ray Extra Features! I was hoping for either the 1991, 1992, or 1993 Rumble match. Yet I’m glad that my favourite 1994 Rumble was in!

    Also I’m happy that they had showed & mentioned Chris Benoit, however it would have been better if guys like him & Shawn Michaels were given at least an hours Doc talking about their no1 entries & winning the Rumble match!

    My favourite chapters in the Documentary had to have been;

    The Prestige

    The Legacy chapter could have been better (talking about the winners).

    I found all the Special Features to be very boring including ‘Devil Hair’, ‘Flairs Return’ & all the others. The only ones I enjoyed were; ‘Mae Young’ & perhaps remembering the times of ‘Pamela Anderson’, but they should have added better things like interviews/talks given by Rumble winners after their match.

    As for the matches, I enjoyed all except for the; Punk Vs Rock & Charlotte Vs Becky.

    Also, they could have added better matches than the Tazz Vs Angle & Duke Vs Hunter, nevertheless they were okay matches to watch. (Same goes for the RAW & SMACKDOWN Blu-Ray extra matches).

  7. Joseph De Feo says:

    I didn’t believe that “The True Story Of The Royal Rumble” was that bad. Best documentary of 2016? No, I would lean towards Scott Hall on that one. I liked the Dudley Boyz & Eric Bischoff sets, too! The WrestleMania documentary was better than this! The tagline for next month is: Remember the Rumble. Nobody will remember how this was made.

  8. Ruthless.Attitude.Eras.4Life says:

    Great reading . I had to get this on Blue for my collection, since RR always had and always will be my no. 1 favorite WWF/WWE event..

    I really did not learn much more new than what I could learn from watching the Confidential segment on the extras on the RR 2003 DVD.

    Backstage segments never does any good other than take away the magic from the product imo, so for me (once again!) the Blue-extras is the Cream of the Crop.. the TV-rumble events, especially the 2004 SD event in full, is gold.

    Bonus info: the 2007 RR match: Benoit’s entrance, music and the acknowledgment commentaries about his win in 2004 are all intact (that includes JBL’s stupid false commentaries about Benoit being only the third man to enter as no. 1 and going Coast to Coast.)

    There is plenty of space, so could have had the only HD filmed RR event not to make it on Blue, finally release it on Blue: 2008 match…and dream scenario was for me that the whole 3 hours event got a release how it should be.

    • Ruthless.Attitude.Eras.4Life says:

      ….oooh, and btw, Mark’y Mark:

      cough while mentioning The Beast Incarnate?!? You know what happens, don’t you…

      You just made the List! After you been Deleted! 😉

      A happy New Year to everyone inside, outside and around WDN. 🙂

  9. Steve says:

    Completely agree with your review. Such a lazy ass release that really told us nothing new. There was more footage of last years event then anything else. I think the issue is the people producing probably have no clue themselves what went on 30 years ago and don’t do there do dillegence to find out.

  10. Richard says:

    I got this on Day 1 and while I didn’t hate it, it was rather disappointing. You are accurate in your description of this being simply “another PPV” rather than an evolving event like Wrestlemania.

    I feel WWE could have added more depth by explaining certain moments:

    – Hogan-Warrior faceoff in 1990. What was the plan, what changed?
    – Decision to crown Flair as WWE Champion in 1992.
    – Breaking down Casket match between HBK and Undertaker (1998).
    – Ric Flair vs Vince McMahon in 2002, the story behind it.
    – Filming West Side Story commercial for Rumble 05
    – The 2007 Rumble as the genesis of the Undertalker/HBK swan song.
    – John Cena remembers Umaga and their 2007 Last Man Standing match
    – Rare gem: Undertaker vs Rey Mysterio 2010
    – Edge on the arrival of Dolph Ziggler (2011)
    – Orton looks back at controversial 2014 WWE title match vs Cena
    – Heyman, Rollins and Cena on “An Instant Classic” in 2015

    I liked many of the interviews, and it was interesting to see the backstage reaction to how badly the crowd had turned on Roman Reigns in 2015.

    This wasn’t a bad release at all, but could have been much better.

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