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True Story of Wrestlemania DVD


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#1 Bob Morris

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 08:44 PM

I have to say I was really impressed with the documentary part of the new True Story of Wrestlemania DVD. They did a good job of getting insight from a lot of people involved behind the scenes with WWF/E, quite a few wrestlers and several of the celebrities who have been involved. They talked to Donald Trump, William Perry, Bob Uecker, Mike Tyson and Pete Rose, among others, about their involvement, and also had some new quotes from Floyd Meriweather. Some of the highlights of the DVD: * Vince McMahon was pretty frank about what a big risk the first Wrestlemania really was. A direct quote from Vince: "If Wrestlemania 1 had not been successful, we would not be doing this interview." It was pretty amazing to see Vince be so candid about how the success of the company depended largely on Wrestlemani. * Basil DeVito had some good insights. He pretty much admits that Wrestlemania VII got moved to the LA Sports Arena because of slow ticket sales, that when WM2 aired, the closed circuit receiver in Pittsburgh failed and they aired WM2 for free on the city's independent station, and that he thought it was going to be a bad idea to bring in Mike Tyson for WM XIV because they couldn't afford it (and then mentions a later conversation with Vince about how WWF at the time needed to expand its audience). * On the subject of WM VII, they come as close as they will to admitting that having Sgt. Slaughter become the Iraqi turncoat was a bad idea. I suspect the footage of Sgt. Slaughter interviews are older material, but he goes into the phone threats somebody made to him, his family and Vince McMahon. * They showed the shot of the crowd at WMVI in which you can see a young Edge. * Chris Jericho had some interesting insights about the Florida Citrus Bowl being used as the site for WM XXIV and how it really wasn't a great-looking venue, but that the crews did a great job of making things look more attractive. * One of the interesting topics they covered was whether Wrestlemania is better held in a smaller venue compared to a larger venue, or an outdoor venue compared to an indoor venue. Several of the wrestlers (Edge, HHH, John Cena) mentioned the differences between how much they hear from the crowd in a smaller, indoor venue, compared to a larger venue or one that's outdoors... how the smaller venues are where the wrestlers in the ring can really hear the crowd, but in the larger or outdoor arenas, how they don't always hear the crowd being that loud despite the fact they often are. As far as the matches goes, the biggest disappointment is that they talk about how the first Undertaker-Shawn Michaels might be the best WM match ever and it's not one of the featured matches. I don't understand why they put the Vince-Shane street fight among the matches, and I was surprised they put Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle on there, given circumstances with both men. Overall, though, I thought it was a good DVD, despite the match selection not being the best in terms of match quality or importance to the card. They did include some no-brainers from both departments, but a couple don't really stand out, IMO.

#2 Al

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 09:09 PM

One of the real highlights is previously unaired backstage footage from Wrestlemania IX. Vince shows Luger how he wants his entrance to look. And of course they have a clip of Bret asking where all the girls are.

#3 Boondocks Kernoodle

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 09:18 PM

Worth noting is that Stu Saks is all over this DVD. I have no idea why.

#4 Guest_kidd_*

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 01:03 AM

WM 25 Taker/Michaels match is on the blu rya. Watched disc one of the blu ray the doc was good and i really enjoyed the behind the scenesat WM9 stuff. Watched the matches on disc 1 and the old stuff has been cleaned up really well and looks grea ton blu.

#5 rovert

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 06:29 AM

Not that I was expecting any different but did anyone guffaw at the 93,000 claim being brought up after all these years and wikipedia edits?


One of the real highlights is previously unaired backstage footage from Wrestlemania IX. Vince shows Luger how he wants his entrance to look. And of course they have a clip of Bret asking where all the girls are.


Hogan and Gonzalez shaking hands is pretty cool.

Wasnt expecting Vince to put Bam Bam over so strong for his performance with LT.

#6 Bix

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:00 AM

Honestly at this point I'm starting to believe the 93,173 claim more and more, because the "real" numbers that Dave has are all a bit too round. Would it really shock anyone if the internal records showed the smaller figure to screw someone over on money/taxes? Also, Wade Keller was using 78,000 before Dave, if my memory of how Dave found out is correct.

#7 Bob Morris

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 12:33 PM

Yes, the behind the scenes stuff at WM IX is another highlight. I forgot to mention that. I tend to agree the WWE's continued attendance claim may hold more legitimacy than others have argued. For all we know, WWF at the time may have claimed everyone who was in attendance, not just those that bought tickets for the event. Regardless, the number has been surpassed by other events, notably the 2010 NBA All-Star Game that drew more than 108,000 people.

#8 Jingus

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 01:37 PM

* Vince McMahon was pretty frank about what a big risk the first Wrestlemania really was. A direct quote from Vince: "If Wrestlemania 1 had not been successful, we would not be doing this interview." It was pretty amazing to see Vince be so candid about how the success of the company depended largely on Wrestlemania.

How true is this talking point? I've heard it forever as part of Official WWE History, but was it really that much of a risk? What would have been the specific consequences if it hadn't sold as well? The way the story's often phrased, it sounds less like an admission of vulnerability and more like Vince trying to retcon himself into a scrappy underdog who fought against the odds.

#9 Loss

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 01:57 PM

* Vince McMahon was pretty frank about what a big risk the first Wrestlemania really was. A direct quote from Vince: "If Wrestlemania 1 had not been successful, we would not be doing this interview." It was pretty amazing to see Vince be so candid about how the success of the company depended largely on Wrestlemania.

How true is this talking point? I've heard it forever as part of Official WWE History, but was it really that much of a risk? What would have been the specific consequences if it hadn't sold as well? The way the story's often phrased, it sounds less like an admission of vulnerability and more like Vince trying to retcon himself into a scrappy underdog who fought against the odds.


Dave has confirmed this many times. Vince was cash-starved at this point and had invested quite a bit in Mania.

#10 Jingus

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 02:14 PM

What were the extra expenses for this particular event? I imagine that having folks like Ali and Liberace come in probably cost them a chunk of change, but it's gotta be more than just that if the entire company's success rested on the shoulders of this one show. Was the closed-circuit process a costly procedure? That's one thing which nobody really ever explains in-depth; most of the older guys who were around for the first Mania seem to take it for granted that everyone knows how closed-circuit broadcasts work, in both technical and financial terms, but there's plenty of guys like me who have little idea of what exactly it entails.

#11 flyonthewall2983

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 02:19 PM

Ric Flair said in his shoot interview that it almost bankrupted him anyway, wouldn't go into why, but I wouldn't doubt it.

#12 CodySave

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 03:08 PM

Some of you may have already discovered this, but this is now available on Netflix's streaming service, as well the documentary part of a whole slew of other WWE DVD sets. Haven't finished it, but I love seeing all the clips of Vince directing the wrestlers and personalities before they film promos. I was surprised at how much they openly slam WM VIII as being a "bad Wrestlemania"? They briefly cover the change in booking from Flair vs. Hogan to Hogan vs. Sid and Savage vs. Flair, citing lack of interest from fans at house shows, but in a sense admit they handled this poorly. How was the event received at the time? Because, as a child, I remember this being one of my favorite Wrestlemania's to watch on video with some awesome matches.

#13 Bix

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 03:40 PM

What were the extra expenses for this particular event? I imagine that having folks like Ali and Liberace come in probably cost them a chunk of change, but it's gotta be more than just that if the entire company's success rested on the shoulders of this one show. Was the closed-circuit process a costly procedure? That's one thing which nobody really ever explains in-depth; most of the older guys who were around for the first Mania seem to take it for granted that everyone knows how closed-circuit broadcasts work, in both technical and financial terms, but there's plenty of guys like me who have little idea of what exactly it entails.

They had to rent tons of arenas and screens, pay for a live satellite link they'd be using for hours and hours, set up the tape delays (it started at 1 PM in every time zone, I guess to streamline advertising), etc. They may not have overseen it all directly, though, as there was some awful stuff like one large arena being stuck with a single 44 inch screen.

#14 Grimmas

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:46 PM

The amount of lies they keep claiming are still disappointing. WM2 was so crazy, because it was done from 3 arenas. Something like that would be hard to do even today? Wasn't Starrcade going from 2 arenas before then? Also the crap about moving wrestling from smoke filled bars to the big time is so annoying, when WM is at MSG, where the WWF had been running at since the 70's.

#15 Bix

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 05:18 PM

Starrcade did 2 arenas a few months before, but they also alternated matches, so the fans still had live matches constantly throughout the show. WM2 just had a single chunk of the show from each venue, which I doubt worked as well live. Also, as a relic of the previous year, in LA, the live event (and CCTV feed) started with the live matches followed by a playback of the previously recorded NY and Chicago footage.

#16 Victator

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 05:34 PM

Also wasn't the expansion costing a fortune? I do not get the hate for Wrestlemania 8 when 9 and 11 are right there.

#17 Al

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 05:57 PM

The amount of lies they keep claiming are still disappointing. WM2 was so crazy, because it was done from 3 arenas. Something like that would be hard to do even today? Wasn't Starrcade going from 2 arenas before then?

Also the crap about moving wrestling from smoke filled bars to the big time is so annoying, when WM is at MSG, where the WWF had been running at since the 70's.

Starrcade did two arenas in '85. I think the reason for doing three at Wrestlemania 2 is that they wanted to one-up Starrcade. There are elements of a good Wrestlemania card in there. If WWE ran Hogan/Bundy, Bulldogs/Dream Team, Funks/JYD-Santana and the battle royal among other matches at one arena (and scrapped Piper-Mr T), it would've been a much better card.

#18 Marty

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:31 AM

Honestly at this point I'm starting to believe the 93,173 claim more and more, because the "real" numbers that Dave has are all a bit too round. Would it really shock anyone if the internal records showed the smaller figure to screw someone over on money/taxes?

Also, Wade Keller was using 78,000 before Dave, if my memory of how Dave found out is correct.


78,000 seems low just by seeing everyone that was there that day. The Silverdome holds 80,000 for football. At the very worst, all the stands were nearly full and there was the large ringside attendance as well. Even if the WWF oversold the attendance that night, I'd estimate the actual figure would be well over 80,000 and probably in between the 85,000 to 90,000 range. The 93,173 claim doesn't seem all that bad in comparison to the 75,000 and 78,000 figures, IMO.

#19 Al

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 09:32 AM

And honestly, even drawing 78,000 for a wrestling show is still really f'n impressive. Has a non-WWE/Londos show ever topped 43,000 in the states?

#20 Matt D

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 09:50 AM

I've heard Slaughter say that if Savage hadn't had his Hand injury, they would have likely kept the belt on Warrior and Savage/Warrior would have been at the Rumble. I'm not sure how that skews WM VII plans as Hogan/Slaughter was apparently already set, but was to be non-title.




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