Right now this one is going to be a little different from my usual reviews. The main reason: THERE’S NO MATCHES! But fear not wrestling fans. Shocking as this will sound, there’s actually more to wrestling than just wrestling.
Title: TNA: The 50 Greatest Moments
Synopsis: The title says more than I ever could. But just to be clear this DVD is a countdown of TNA’s 50 greatest moments. At the beginning we also get a nice little music video highlighting the first four years of TNA Wrestling. The artwork too is very impressive, usually with TNA DVDs it’s Hit and Miss. Now this isn’t TNA Wrestling: Greatest Moments (2010). That’s a different DVD entirely and frankly that’s a good thing. The less said about that DVD the better! Keep in mind though this one is 4 years old so there’s no Hulk Hogan (except from the Jeff Jarrett guitar shot in Japan), Ric Flair, Eric Bischoff, Mr Anderson or RVD. In fact there’s not even Kurt Angle. Four years is a long time in professional wrestling.
Reasons to Buy this DVD:
Now obviously the lack of matches hurts this DVD. But this DVD wasn’t intended to showcase matches. This is simply a countdown show meant to look back at the greatest moments of TNA between 2002 and 2006. Many of those moments are actual matches but due to time restraints no matches could be shown in their entirety. They are shown in short clips which feature either key moments or memorable spots and either the entrances (Jeff Hardy’s debut) or aftermaths (Christian Cage’s World Title celebration). Would I like to have seen some matches? Of course I would. Who wouldn’t? But they had a format and they stuck with it so I can’t fault them. They deliver exactly what they promise on this one and that’s good enough for me.
Now I’m not going to give away the order of any of these moments (if you want to know you can find the complete list just about anywhere online), but I will say that most of the moments that are on here genuinely deserve to be included. To make this article easier on the eyes I’m now going to divide these moments into categories, rather than just one giant paragraph.
Highlights include TNA’s first ever show, the original Lockdown event, Jeff Hardy’s Swanton off the entrence ramp onto Abyss and their debut on Spike TV.
Obviously the crowning of their first NWA Heavyweight Champion and X Division Champion are major moments in TNA history. We also get World Heavyweight Title wins for AJ Styles, Christian Cage and Raven, to name but a few.
Christian Cage, Jeff Hardy, Raven and Team 3D are all highlighted, as are the returns of Sting and Kevin Nash.
Here we have Toby Keith, Chris Rock, the Tennessee Titans and other celebrities/athletes (those appearances will obviously have mixed reactions but you can’t expect TNA to ignore them on a DVD like this). On the wrestling side we see rare appearances from Macho Man Randy Savage, Jyushin Thunder Liger, Bobby the Brain Heenan, the Road Warriors, and Hulk Hogan.
Matches that made it on here (in highlight form remember) include the awesome three way between AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Samoa Joe from Unbreakable 2005, the epic Six Sides of Steel between America’s most Wanted and Triple X from Turning Point 2004 (and the first ever four sided cage match which also featured these two teams), the first ever Ultimate X match featuring Chris Sabin, Frankie Kazarian and Micheal “Matt Bentley” Shane from 2003, and the Barbed Wire Massacre between Abyss and Sabu from Turning Point 2005.
Now if you’ve read any of my previous reviews you’ll know that I never approve of the commentary on TNA DVDs because they’re always in character. Well there’s always a first time! Here and there we do get genuine comments from the TNA roster where heels and faces alike talk openly about the impact of Stings return, or TNA signing with Spike TV, or the very frank discussion of Chris Candido’s untimely death. Then again the rest of the DVD is kayfabed to the point of exhaustion but since I always complain about that in my other reviews, I’ll let them get away with it this time. And besides the countdown really would be a waste of time if we didn’t get some kind of explanation as to why certain moments are on here in the first place.
Reasons to Avoid this DVD:
I know I said there’s more to wrestling than wrestling and I understand they only had three hours and one disc to work with and the DVD is still very good, but it has to be said: this DVD needs matches!
Inevitably on a DVD like this some moments are thrown on either to stroke the ego of whoever they involve, or else just to make up the numbers. Some moments that didn’t deserve to be on here: The return of Senshi at Lockdown 2006 (before I watched this DVD I had forgotten all about that), Controversy in Canada (Jeff Jarrett winning the NWA Title at a house show), Roddy Piper humiliates Chris Rose (Not exactly Chris Rock) and most mind-boggling of all, the fire at Hard Justice 2006 (it’s certainly great that nobody was hurt, but why on earth would you want to remind fans of that dangerous blunder? Who wants to relive it? Why bring it up at all? And why was it not ranked at number 50?).
As WWE proved recently with their Top 50 Superstars of All Time DVD, top 50 lists are always going to be controversial – although at least that one had matches! Not all 50 moments deserve to be on here and I’m not entirely convinced that they’re ranked in the right order. Also in the last 4 years there have been many more moments that are worthy of inclusion so by todays’ standards the list has aged rapidly. But nonetheless this is a very entertaining DVD. Think of it as an entire disc worth of bonus features that you’d find on a regular TNA DVD. In 2006 it served as a great introduction for new fans who didn’t know what TNA was. In 2011 it’s a great trip down memory lane for longtime fans who want reminding of how much better TNA was in it’s early days. Not convinced? Well they tried following up this DVD with the Greatest Moments set released last year. Oh how times change.