My signed Socko and Mankind Blu Ray
For All Mankind Blu Ray Review
This documentary has been long overdue. I've never really read any of Foley's books, but I suspect that most of the stuff talked about here was featured in his books. There were a nice mix of talking heads like wrestlers that you rarely see in these segments such as Vader, Mike Rotundo and Terry Funk. The modern day superstars were good too, especially the ones who witnessed the HIAC bump. They even included others such as a childhood friend of his, Dee Snider from Twisted Sister and even his daughter. Most aspects of his career are well covered, from his WCW days to his ECW days, his Mankind days to his Dude Love days. All the way up to his stand-up routine. Foley himself is very interesting to listen to the whole way through this documentary. Overall a fantastic feature that Foley has deserved for a long time. 9/10.
Disc 1 Matches:
Jack Foley & Les Thornton vs The British Bulldogs
Here we have Foley's very first match in the WWE. Strange to think that he had his first match here when there had only been two Wrestlemanias. He looks pretty damn skinny. Short match, but it is a jobber match. Mick did suffer some injuries from some stiff shots from Dynamite Kid. 1/2* This match also comes with alternate commentary.
Cactus Jack & Gary Young vs Scott Steiner & Billy Travis
At the start of his career, Mick dreaded the thought of having to face off against any of the Steiners, since they were known for being very stiff competitors. Steiner did deliver the most offense in this bout. That was until the finish when he took a shoe to the head. Really short match and it was ok while it lasted. Too short to mean anything. *
Cactus Jack vs Brickhouse Brown
I'm not sure who Brickhouse Brown is. He does remind me of Rocky Johnson though. Not a lot of action involved in this contest, but it's still pretty entertaining. The time limit expires to end the match. Not bad. **
Cactus Jack vs Keith Hart
Foley said he picked this match for the set because he wanted to show that he could dish out a beating instead of just taking one. This was basically just a squash match, but it was a fun one. Foley's flying elbow was especially impressive. That wins the match for Foley. 3/4*
Cactus Jack vs Sting : Submit or Surrender
From Power Hour 1991. These two had an awesome match at Beach Blast, so there's a good chance that this'll be awesome. Sting was Foley's first real high profile feud in wrestling. I think this is basically like a submission match, except that there's also ten counts. It started off with a really fast pace, but it really slowed down in the middle. Cactus passes out while in the scorpion deathlock to end it. **3/4
Cactus Jack vs Van Hammer : Falls Count Anywhere
From Clash of the Champions XVIII. Van Hammer was a heavy metal wrestler. Kinda like Y2J before he came around. Sunset flip from the apron was pretty cool. Foley took a few bumps here, like falling off the rampway. Unfortunately there is a commercial break. Pretty fun match as Jack pins Hammer to win. **1/2
Cactus Jack vs Sandman : Barbed Wire Match
I always thought that Sabu and Terry Funk had the only Barbed Wire match, since Paul Heyman thought that the match was way too brutal to show again. This wasn't as bad as that match, but it still had its brutal moments, like Jack taking a front suplex on the wire. Quite the spectacle. Jack wins with a DDT. ***
The next match features alternate commentary from Mick and Joey Styles.
Cactus Jack vs Shane Douglas
Foley came in saying that he was too drunk to wrestle. Pretty funny stuff. It's weird to see Foley wrestling with jeans on. Really doesn't suit him. The additional commentary is very entertaining to listen to. Pretty fun brawl here. Typical of ECW. ***
Mankind vs Rocky Maivia
Very early match between these two and they obviously went onto bigger and better things. Rocky was still in his really annoying babyface phase. Mankind didn't get a lot of offense in. The fans never really seemed interested. Mandible claw wins the match for Mankind. **
Mankind vs Hunter Hearst Helmsley
From Canadian Stampede. These two have had so many good matches together, and this is another one of their critically acclaimed contests. The crowd was certainly fired up for this one. Great choice for the opener of the show. Unfortunately the match ends in a double countout. It was a lot of fun while it lasted though. ***1/2. Both guys continue to brawl after the match, which might be why it is mostly remembered.
Disc 2 :
Dude Love vs Rocky Maivia
I never knew that Mick fought the Rock as anyone other than Mankind. At this time, Rock had stolen the IC Title from Stone Cold, so he wasn't officially the champ. This wasn't their best match together, since they didn't get a lot of time to work and the fact that it ended in DQ. *1/4
Undertaker vs Mankind : Hell in a Cell
This is the first match that I've seen the match unblurred since 1999. The match that made me a wrestling fan. The image of Mankind being thrown off the cell and then through the cell will stand the test of time as one of wrestling's most enduring images. Possibly the most brutal match of all time thanks to just two spots. Don't forget about the thumb tacks that came later. Incredible. ****1/2. The alternate commentary makes it worth watching the match for the millionth time.
Mankind & Kane vs The New Age Outlaws
The tag team titles are on the line. I had totally forgotton that Mankind and Kane were once tag champs. Shawn Michaels was also on commentary for this bout. Mankind and Kane would go onto have their own HIAC match a month later. Overbooked match, which was usual in this period. Kane hits the tombstone to win the titles. *1/2
Mankind vs The Rock
From Rock Bottom. At the PPV before this one (Survivor Series), The Rock had turned on the fans and screwed Mankind out of the WWE Championship. Mankind wanted redemption. Mankind took a nasty fall to the outside. Not the worst match they've had on PPV, but not the best either. Overbooked. The nearfall was pretty awesome though. Mankind wins the match, but Vince reverses the decision to keep Rock the champ. **3/4
Mankind & The Rock vs Triple H & Shane McMahon
The only match featuring the Rock N Sock Connection on the DVD set. HHH had only been in his first WWE Championship reign for just over a week at this time. Tag titles are on the line. Short match but pretty fun. Billy Gunn interferes to help Rock N Sock retain. **
Mankind vs Al Snow : Hardcore Match
Foley likes to make fun of Snow, but I'm pretty sure they're actually good friends. I would hope so anyway. Basically just your typical attitude era brawl. Always loved that bowling ball shot though. Snow is pinned to end the match. *3/4
Triple H vs Cactus Jack : Hell in a Cell
If Cactus loses this match, his career must end. I don't think this is the five star classic match everyone calls it, but it's still an awesome match. Cactus falling through the cell will be an image that will live on forever. The stuff with the barbed wire bat was pretty damn cool as well. HHH wins with a pedigree. Foley started his career with Cactus Jack, and he ended it with Cactus Jack. ****1/4
Blu Ray Exclusives :
Sting's Birthday Cake
No Ear Surgery
Barbie (This is his promo leading to his fantastic match with Randy Orton at Backlash. Amazing promo.)
Relevancy with CM Punk
These are all worth a watch.
Also included in the Blu Ray Exclusives is a huge list of additional stories. These are definitely worth watching and are just about worth the price of the set!
8.5/10. Well the match selection was a little disappointing, but you still get a lot of rare ones, and some great alternate commentary on 3 of them. What really makes this set great is the documentary. It's easily one of the WWE's better features. The blu ray exclusives are fantastic as well, with some promos like the one with CM Punk or the one leading to Backlash 2004. The extra stories told are also an incredible addition. No doubt about it, this set is worth your money.