Wrestlemania 20 DVD review

For those who may be unaware, Wrestlemania is THE event for professional wrestling. Much like the World Series to baseball or the Super Bowl to the NFL, each year every fan waits with anticipation for Vince McMahons big one. With the WWE continually improving their DVD product, this years event gets the presentation it deserves with the usual array of picture problems that bog down all of their discs. This years event was a mixed bag of good and bad, though certainly not the "greatest ever" as their marketing department would lead you to believe. Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg will undoubtedly end up being one of the worst matches in the history of the event. Still, the crowd was on fire for the majority of the event and the final triple threat match was an outstanding piece of athletism all around. A dozen matches span 2 discs with a running time of over 4 hours and a 3rd disc packs in some great features. Video quality, simply put, is dissapointing. The compression problems are far too noticeable and distracting to be ignored. Every one of the WWE pay-per-view event DVD's suffer from this issue and it really needs to be taken care of soon. It is better than some of their earlier discs, but there is no excuse for so many little flickering blocks making their way into the picture. The colors are bright and it does look better than the original broadcast, but the issues are impossible to ignore. The sound gets a full blown true 5.1 presentation this year unlike the faux 5.1 used in previous years. Pre-match graphics swirl all around the sound field in spectacular fashion. The immersion of thousands of fans packed into Madison Square Garden has never been better either. All of the commentary is front loaded (of course), but there are some great echo effects from the ring and stadium speakers. Kudos to the WWE for a great live event presentation. Extras begin on disc 2 and continue on the way to a packed disc 3. Things start with 2 WWE Confidential featurettes (which sadly has been cancelled as of this week) looking at the Rock & Sock Connection and the Press Confrence for the event. There are a bunch of pre and post match comments from various superstars and a "Byte This" segment with Eddie Gurrero. There are various TV promos that bombarded viewers during the weeks leading up to the event and an extra match featuring the Dudley Boyz taking on Lance Storm with Val Venis from Sunday Night Heat. Disc 3 has two 40+ minute features that aired on Spike TV and UPN the week of the event. "The Mania of Wrestlemania" is an outstanding look at the behind the scenes drama that took place before Wrestlemania 19, narrated by Jesse Ventura. Deleted scenes that were cut to fit it into the TV time are also included. They are just as good as the rest of the feature. The second featurette is the "10 Greatest Matches." Though the list is certainly up for debate (ALOT of debate), it's a great look back at the history of the event. Ric Flair hosts the show and pumps up his match that took place at WM XX. Also included is a Wrestlemania gallery that not only features still phots, but complete results and facts from all the previous events. The final extra is a trivia game with a stack of questions. Whether your right or wrong, you'll get a short clip of a WWE superstar telling you whether your right or wrong. Should you be wrong, they won't tell you the correct answer so you'll have to wait until it comes around again. As a final note, credit must be given for the excellent packaging this set resides in. The 3 discs are housed on hard plastic inside an extremely sturdy cardboard casing. When fully outstretched, the 3rd disc is actually upside down (oddly enough), but the insides feature a collage with a timeline of the previous Wrestlemanias. It's gorgeous to look at and the already flashy cover looks even better with thi detail. There are curretly 5 Wrestlemanias on DVD, starting with WM 15. Should they find a way to improve the video quality, it's time to have all 20 on DVD. This is exactly how these events should be presented, from the packaging to the extras. The only thing keeping this from a perfect score is that infuriating video problem. Regardless, this is a disc any self respecting wrestling fan needs to have in their collection.

Comments (2)

josh digeovanni:

you are on crack i have over 20 wrestling dvds. they all have great sound & quality. inculding wrestle mania 20

That's funny. I have like 20 wrestling DVD's too and they all have compression issues. Do you even know what those are? Do you know what to look for?

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