Friday, October 1, 2010

Best DVD Eeeeeeeever???

DVD Review: Breaking The Code: Behind The Walls Of Chris Jericho

So finally after an almost 20 year career in wrestling and about a 10 year association with World Wrestling Entertainment, the WWE has released a dvd on man you may know as 'Your Role Model', 'The King of the World', 'The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla', 'The Man of 1004 Holds', 'The Best In The World At What He Does', 'Lionheart', 'Y2J'... Jack Action ahem, i mean Chris Jericho.

The beards, the hairstyles, the awful shiny shirts, its all here. But is it the best dvd in the world of dvd's? Ever?...

The 3 dvd set includes a biography detailing his entire career so far. From his start in Canada to wrestling in Mexico, Japan and other places worldwide. His ECW run before being signed to WCW and then moving onto the World Wrestling Federation with his famous 'Countdown To The Millennium' debut. 
The bonus features on the first disc include some fantastic and entertaining skits & vignettes. With 2 other discs dedicated to a collection of Jericho's favorite matches, apparently hand picked by the man himself, with some featuring alternate commentary as an added bonus. 

I've been a huge fan of Jericho for years now, a Jerichoholic, and have been waiting for a WWE produced Jericho dvd pretty much since i watched the original Jericho VHS tape released 10 years ago. 
When i heard about this 3 disc set i was obviously pretty excited and after seeing the match listing and dvd contents the wait seemed to have been worth it...

the inside cover. Just so you know what to expect when you open the case. :)

Whilst obviously not as thorough as his autobiography 'A Lions Tale' the documentary is still a very good watch. The biography does a good job of covering his career while moving along at a pace which never drags on and features many highlights from his years wrestling. The WCW chapters are a particular favorite, the humor and confidence which he showed in those days easily translates to the superstar he became.

The range people interviewed for their opinions and memories of Jericho are very appropriate. From his hometown friends and family to co-workers & old foes. 
These include clips from his old training & tag team partner Lance Storm (although these are from a previously released WWE dvd.) 

Current WWE stars who have history with Chris Jericho  have recorded their comments especially for the release though and they nicely cover his career. His early days in Mexico are spoken about by Chavo Guerrero & Rey Mysterio. Edge & Christian talk about working with him during his time in Canadian territories. Joey Styles discusses his ECW days. And his career in WCW is covered by his rival for most holds known, Dean Malenko along with Rey Mysterio again, Bill Goldberg (although his footage is from 'The Rise & fall of WCW' dvd) and ex boss Eric Bischoff. 
Michael Hayes & Arn Anderson talk about Jericho's character and evolution in his WWE years.

Other stars interviewed for the program are The Miz, Big Show, John Cena, Jericho's NXT season 1 rookie Wade Barrett and the Twitter sensation Matt Hardy (i think it's Matt who speaks on here anyway not MATTHEW). 
Bret Hart and Vince McMahon even say a few words.

While the supporting interviews are fine it could have been even better if former rivals such as Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Stone Cold, Undertaker, and especially The Rock would have shared their thoughts on Chris Jericho.

His own childhood heroes who he actually went on to work with would have also been a nice addition. Comments form Ricky Steamboat, Shawn Michaels & Roddy Piper would have all added another interesting perspective to the show.

The inclusion of Bischoff is a nice touch but this again leads to thinking comments from his other former promoters like Paul Heyman & Jim Cornette would have been really interesting.

Those minor omissions aside, it's Jericho's story and being the more than capable speaker he is, he does a good job keeping it rolling as he discusses his long and well travelled career. Only his time in Japan seems to be glossed over, which might be due to time constraints or possibly because of some of those moments were with a certain indivual who is now unmentionable by the WWE...

Obviously, since Vince McMahon & the WWE never wants to mention his name again, Chris Benoit, is not feautured at all. Which is a shame considering the classic matches and long history Jericho had with the man.

You won't see any pics like this in Jericho's dvd. Shame really considering the truly great matches Jericho had with Benoit.

A nice thing about this dvd release, is the honestly on Jericho's part, although he doesn't go as far as discussing any backstage politics he may have encountered he does mention his frustrations and disappointments throughout his career. 

Along with admitting his frustration at the lack of a satisfactory end to his feud with Goldberg in WCW and chance to prove himself as a money drawing talent, he also admits to not being happy with some of his time with the WWE. 

These knocks are cool to hear because of WWE's usual revisonist history of making themselves seem perfect while every other company is a mess.
Specifically, Jericho admits to frustration almost immediately after his WWF debut where he was left off ppvs. The unsatisfying collaboration between himself & Stephanie which could have been so much better. And also about the disappointment of what should have been the dream scenario of his first WrestleMania main event defending the undisputed title against Triple H in his home country but having to do the impossible and follow Hulk Hogan versus The Rock.
Vince also suggests at the disappointment he felt with Jericho's first title win, while Jericho flat out admits that at times he felt he didn't live up to the hype. Triple H and Stephanie could have really offered some interesting input on these situations if they had been featured in the DVD but sadly neither are included.
Jericho & Edge also talk about the stuttering comeback he made in 2008 where he didn't really hit his stride again till he updated his character, interestingly thanks to the amazing Coen brothers film 'No Country For Old Men'.

Another cool and funny aspect of the dvd is getting to see the changing style of Jericho over the years, from his early high school mullet, to the pineapple type hairstyle he sported throughout WCW and onto his WWF debut before the WWE years and his amazing array of beards and shiny shirts! 

So even with the issues i had with the documentary portion of the dvd, i still found it to be very interesting and entertaining piece. One thing about the disc that is flawless might just be the special features. The extras on disc one are brilliant and include some great skits from his WCW days in full, such as "The Man of 1004 Holds", "Conspiracy Victim" and the Spinal Tap influenced "Hello, Lexington!" which i loved when i first saw it and still do to this day. 
There's also some funny footage from after Raw tapings with "Chris Jericho vs. The Old Man" definitely worth checking out. The stories about Paul Heyman and one from Joey Styles are also highly entertaining.
Perhaps best of all are the must see, unintentionally hilarious Thrill Seekers Vignettes. Both are masterpieces. 

The other 2 discs feature a collection of Jericho's matches. While Jericho introduces the second disc, he has no further comments onto why any of the matches were added. 
There's some good stuff here but there is also alot of stuff missing. None of his matches from Mexico are here, and only one each from his time in Japan & ECW plus there is only one bout against The Rock included and also just one against Kurt Angle, with whom he had many great match ups. 
There are no 'Money In The Bank' matches nor is it even mentioned, which is surprising considering Jericho "came up with the idea". 
Nor are there any TLC, Hell In A Cell or Elimination Chamber matches. However the fact that they are included on other WWE dvd releases might explain their omissions. 
None of his WWE tag team matches are featured which is a shame as he was very entertaining winning the tag team titles alongside Christian, Edge, Big Show, The Rock & Chris Benoit. And obviously none of Jericho's classic battles with Chris Benoit are to be found anywhere on here either. 
I would expect a future WWE release covering some of his other matches as they still have plenty of material to work with.

Best DVD eveeeeeeeer??? Not quite. But this is still a damn good dvd and a must buy for newer wrestling fans who are just getting into Chris Jericho. 

Jerichoholics, you're gonna get this anyway and if you've read his book it's nice to have some video to go along with the stories. If you still have a VHS player it is worth hunting down the old school 'Break Down The Walls' VHS and combining the releases so you really get a true Jericho experience (Benoit feud included). 

Still i enjoyed the DVD a lot and would recommend it for the extras on disc 1 and the WCW look back in the biography alone. 
So everything else is a bonus. Go get it

Maybe not the best wrestling dvd ever, but its still pretty darn good.

If you wanna see his WWE matches with Benoit its worth tracking down this VHS. Tis very good.

For a true all encompassing look at Jericho's career his autobiography 'A Lion's Tale' is a great read.

Even more Jericho biography coming soon. Be sure to check out 'Undisputed'

As a bit of a bonus check some of the awfulness i mentioned earlier. 
Below you can have a look back at some of the dubious styles Jericho has rocked with his hair, facial fuzz and clothing...

i think every wrestler has to have had one at some point. Gotta love the mullet.

The dvd has some hilarious pictures of a young Jericho looking like a lady during his run as Corazón de León in Mexico. I couldn't find a good pic though so here's him and Lance Storm seeking Thrills.

Early on in his WCW career the bleached blonde and super bland babyface 'Lion Heart' Chris Jericho. Yawn.

The Bed Head look is, quite frankly, brilliant. Great stuff.

Him & Ralphus. Great hair, great t-shirt & my favorite Jericho tights of all time. What more do you want?!

A personnal favorite and regular of his WCW years as well as featured style in his WWF debut, the Pineapple look also known as the Garden Fountain.

See i told you he loves that 'Do'. Loves shiny shirts too for some reason.

He loses the pineapple but gains another flashy shirt. Oh well.

The Man of 1004 Holds and also possibly 1004 facial hair styles. A nice bushy beard to go along with one of his many IC title wins

Just in case you thought i was kidding about his love of shirts that are shiny, here's another. Where does he get them???

Clean shaven and fresh faced as he finally wins his first World championship for reals after beating The Rock.

As the first undisputed Champion of all time, he started sporting a red pony tail. I don't know why.

nope, winning the titles didn't end his love of shiny stuff. Here he goes agian with another shirt even Jerry Lawler wouldn't wear.

Hornswoggle is obviously a Jerichoholic, Jericho proves to be a Role Model again by starting a trend of horrendous beards soon to be followed by mischievous leprechauns

This is a great look. Moongoose McQueen lead singer of Fozzy. Yessir.

During the dvd he bashes one of Shawn Michaels hairstyles...did he forget he once had this on his head?

here to save us, and now mullet free. Still had a love for those pesky sparkly clothing items though

Finally Jericho loses the sparkles and takes Barney's advice. Suit up!!!

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