Wednesday 27 September 2017

WWE Presents WWF: 1997 Dawn Of The Attitude DVD Review By Keagan Barnes

Panel: Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, The Godfather, Ron Simmons and Kane.
Going into this DVD I had mixed feelings. I wasn't sure if the lack of bigger stars would have an effect on this feature. There was no Stone Cold, there was no Rock and there was no Triple H. As time passed and as I was getting more invested, I can tell you that the star power didn't matter at all. If anything it just made it more interesting. 'Dawn Of The Attitude' was a joy to watch from start to finish and I found it to be very insightful. 
We start things off with the superstars describing the wrestling industry at the time. 1997 was a big year for WWE. Times were changing, the ratings war was in full swing and superstars were given an opportunity to use their personalities as their in ring persona. This gave a lot of stars the chance to shine. 1997 was a much simpler time in the wrestling business. You'd never have to worry about your character looking 'weak'. Wins and Losses never mattered and you wouldn't have to deal with hate on twitter. 
Slightly controversial topics included talks about Sunny and Chyna. 
The Guys: 
Shawn Michaels: Shawn recalls 1997 being a good year for him, his degenerate persona really helped him turn his negative backstage attitude into positive for the WWE. The first meeting of the Raw is War era was Vince telling the guys to put more of themselves into their characters. He remembers Vince being stubborn, the attitudes backstage were positive towards the war because all of the guys knew that WWE would be the last one standing.
Shawn was a very positive part of this DVD. He'll make you laugh, he'll intrigue you and you won't get bored of anything talks about. Definitely put in to be the leader of the table, Shawn shows that he certainly doesn't lack in charisma and makes for a good watch. 
Mick Foley: Mick never imagined himself playing Mankind. As a youngster, he always wanted to be the chick magnet. Bruce Prichard himself saw tapes of the promos Mick did as an 18 year old and this led to Mick's series of interviews with Jim Ross which he describes as really opening up his character.
Think you know all of the backstage groups? You probably don't know about this one! (If you do, well played) 'The Nerd Kliq' was a group of only 3 men. Kane, Mick Foley and Al Snow. The guys would chill out watching documentaries and reading books which completely contrasts with what was previously stated about personas. Looking back to 1997, you would never be able to guess that Mankind and Kane were avid readers.
Mick was definitely a huge part of WWE in 1997 as he is in this feature. He had rather interesting stories and takes and he just added to the natural feeling this interview gave off. None of the guys at the table were uncomfortable and I think Mick played a big part in that. 
Ron Simmons: Simmons gives us information on how he arrived in WWE. Vince would ask him a question, he'd answer bluntly with no beating around the bush. He said whenever he'd have an issue with race he'd tell the truth. Mick turns this into a light hearted joke asking if Ron asked Vince what was on his mind when Vince gave him The Sultan's helmet. This attitude of Ron's lead to the Nation of Domination's Farooq. 
Ron made his presence felt for sure. I was unsure about Ron being in this, heading in but by the end I was glad he was. He definitely contributed to discussions well.
The Godfather: The first thing The Godfather talks about was being in the background of the Nation of Domination as The Rock was being built up to become the megastar he is today. "Me and D'Lo were just there to take stunners and that's when I knew something had to change". Mick and Godfather recall the creation of his character and tell the story of how it came to be. 
Oh The Godfather is great in this. I've always found Charles Wright an interesting man to read about/listen to. Everyone frequently talks about the three faces of Foley but no one really talks about the four faces of Mr Charles Wright. I felt the same about Charles as I did about Ron coming in and once again, I'm glad he was in it.
Kane: 1997 was a good year for Kane. He mentions how the fact that the wrestling aspect of WWE in 1997 took a backdrop to the character aspect was a big help to his career. Kane is such a down to earth guy and this DVD made it apparent. 
Kane didn't really talk much throughout this feature which is made evident by my lack of notes on him. This is probably to do with the fact that Kane debuted in October of 1997 and may not have had as much to say as the other guys did. He was still a very welcome addition to the panel and I don't think he was out of place whatsoever.
Disc 2:
Disc 2 is focused on matches and segments from the first half of 1997. There are some nice little gems on here and I'm going to list the 5 you should definitely check out.
Matches and Segments:
  1. Bret Hart vs Mankind - Shotgun Saturday Night, January 25th 1997. 
  2. European Championship: Owen Hart vs British Bulldog - RAW, March 3rd 1997.
  3. Jim Ross interviews Mick Foley - RAW, May 1997.
  4. WWF Championship: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret Hart - Wrestlemania 13, March 23rd 1997.
  5. Street Fight - Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret Hart - RAW, April 23rd 1997.
This disc is my favourite of the pair, solid matches throughout even though I'd already seen a few it was great to rewatch.
Disc 3:
Disc 3 is focused on matches and segments from the second half of 1997. Similar to disc 2, disc 3 has some nice little gems on it. Here's 5 you should definitely check out.
Matches and Segments:
  1. Flag Match - The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart, Owen Hart & The British Bulldog) vs Steve Austin, Dude Love & The Undertaker - RAW, July 21 1997
  2. European Championship: Shawn Michaels vs The British Bulldog - One Night Only, September 20 1997
  3. Stone Cold Stuns McMahon - RAW, September 22nd 1997
  4. WWE Championship Match: Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels - Survivor Series, November 9th 1997
  5. European Championship: Shawn Michaels vs Triple H - RAW, December 22 1997.
All in all I found this DVD to be fantastic. If you like shoot interviews then this is definitely the DVD set for you. 'Dawn Of The Attitude' really pulls back the curtain and gives you insight to how WWE was back then. My initial doubts were proven to be stupid and I believe if it was a table of a different 5 guys it may not have been as interesting. I can't recommend this DVD enough and the fact that there is another 2 discs of just matches makes this even better value for money. 
Buy or Not to Buy: Buy! 
You can PRE-ORDER it on DVD or Blu-Ray (which comes with extras) right now over at
Rating: 8/10

Wednesday 6 September 2017

Nathan K. Major Gives Some Thoughts On Chris Jericho's New Book – No Is A Four Letter Word

I pre-ordered this book way back in January while browsing and randomly coming across it, I didn’t even know Jericho was working on a fourth book, and up to this past week forgot all about it, until it landed on my kindle for my reading pleasure.

For those new to the Friends of Jericho, this is, as I mentioned, his fourth book, going in I was expected another volume of his consistency excellent memoirs, while there are a fair share of great stories from Chris’ time in the squared circle and music, what I read was entirely different.

You see, this book sells itself as a ‘self help’ book, a concept I’ve always been against, if you needed to read someone’s book, that isn’t self-help, that’s help, but I digress. Thankfully this book shares the same humour as Y2J’s previous entries (which means cheesy jokes and 80’s references galore, natch) and he leads into each ‘principle’ with a witty name and the story behind it, then segueing into an anecdote or two.

This being Jericho, the stories he tells are amazing, dropping more names than a clumsy name tag factory employee (god, that was awful) he tells tales of times with the usual suspects wrestling wise, as well as stories concerning Metallica and Lemmy, to name but a few.

One prevailing lesson Jericho tries to get across is he did everything he put his mind to, to the best of his abilities and this book is intended to inspire others to do the same.

Throughout the book he drops a few none-too-subtle hints at another book in the future, which in all likelihood will be a return to his memoirs, he still has stories of a certain list to tell after all…

In summary, there’s plenty here to enjoy for fans of wrestling and music for the stories alone, and maybe a lesson to pick up along the way, it serves up a healthy dollop of the gift of Jericho. READ IT IN MAAAAAAAAAAN.