I’ve often said that I find the history WWE Blu-Ray releases the best, so when one was released celebrating the US Championship I was obviously looking forward to it. Although we often see people like John Cena dominating the belt these days it has one of the more interesting histories of any of the belts. WWE – The US Championship: A Legacy of Greatness reveals just how varied this history is.
The fact that WWE now has a huge library of footage from all kinds of wrestling federations from the past allows them to pull out some real gems. These include matches that aren’t even complete, and don’t feature commentary. This is the case of Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat with Andre the Giant as guest referee. Filmed in 1978 in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling it is a nice addition for the history loving wrestling fan, especially those who love Andre. It should be noted that this is the only match included that feels more like a highlight reel from the match, though this doesn’t dampen the excitement of it.
What I liked about this release is the fact that the first Blu-Ray features so many matches that are pre-WWE. These include some I’ve already seen on other releases such as the Tully Blanchard vs. Magnum TA “I Quit” match in a Steel Cage. This is still a nice addition though as the brutality on show reveals that “hard-core” matches have nothing on some of the viciousness of the past. A true classic match, it never gets old for those who love some old school brutality.
On top of that match we also have some that I’ve not seen before such as Greg The Hammer” Valentine vs Roddy Piper, Magnum TA vs. Nikita Koloff and Lex Luger vs. Dusty Rhodes. The Lex Luger one is particularly interesting because of the connection to the Four Horsemen. These are the types of matches you get to see on the first Blu-ray, and Sting fans need not worry, he makes an appearance too.
Onto the second WWE – the US Championship: A Legacy of Greatness Blu-Ray and we get to see the WCW years, which again include Sting but also people like “Stunning” Steve Austin. Austin’s match against The Great Muta is a highlight of the release, showing off how good Muta was. This match made me wonder if the WWE could release a Muta set, but I’d guess this is something you would really want to look to Japan to release (and they probably already have).
Moving through the WCW years it will come as no surprise that the NWO influence and mob mentality of the fights somewhat get in the way of the matches. I will say though that Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero is a good one, as is Dean Malenko vs. Chris Jericho. I was also happy to see Lance Storm vs. Mike Awesome, as I was quite a Lance Storm fan back in his ECW and WCW days.
When we get to the WWE years it is nice to see that there isn’t too much of a focus on Cena, but he does feature in a few of the matches. This is to be expected as he did play a big part in its WWE history. There are some gems hidden here though, including Cesaro vs. Tyson Kidd and Daniel Bryan vs. John Morrison vs. The Miz. This one particularly reminds me how good Morrison is, and how crazy WWE were for losing him. At least Lucha Underground got lucky there. There is even a Kurt Angle match hidden away in these, featuring his battle with the Undertaker.
In the Blu-Ray extras matches are included ranging from classic matches to more WWE matches. These include Dean Ambrose vs. Adrian Neville, and Cena vs. Cesaro with Kevin Owens at ringside giving commentary. It’s a shame that none of the Owens fights are included, but we’ll have plenty of his classics included in future releases.
For fans of wrestling WWE – The US Championship: A Legacy of Greatness is a good release because of the variety of wrestlers on show. Fans of wrestling history will probably get even more out of the release as there is plenty of past matches to see, some that I don’t think have been shown on past releases. If you are looking for some fun and entertaining matches though this is a very good release, especially with the focus being on wrestling and not the silly story lines.
WWE – The US Championship: A Legacy of Greatness is available on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK now.