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  #1  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:49 AM
pshanbhag92 pshanbhag92 is offline
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Default Professional Wrestling History DVDs

It is very difficult for someone to learn about pro-wrestling history. There is only so much one can read on the internet and even the best matches of the 60s and 70s do not appeal to fans who started watching pro-wrestling in or after the 80s.

I personally have been following professional wrestling since 1996. And I fairly well know what happened after the very first WrestleMania. Anything before that I feel fascinating about. I want to know more about what happened in the 50s and 60s, what happened in each territory, who the top stars were and all that. I'm always eager to know more about wrestlers like Bruno Sammartino, Lou Thesz, Billy Graham and Dusty Rhodes to wrestlers like Frank Gotch, George Hackenschmidt and Ed "The Strangler" Lewis.

One way to know/learn more about these legends of pro-wrestling is by documentaries on them. I have been searching for such documentaries, but in vain. So, I thought of making this thread where we can suggest documentaries to each other that cover the history of pro-wrestling and help one another know something new about the business we all love. Especially non-WWE DVDs, cause almost everyone knows about and have seen WWE DVDs.

Here are some WWE DVDs I have seen that have help me (since I started watching in 1996) know more about the past of pro-wrestling.

1. 20 Years Too Soon: The "Superstar" Billy Graham Story
2. American Dream: The Dusty Rhodes Story

These 2 documentaries really helped me understand more about these two individuals and the nature of the business in general back in those days.

3. The Spectacular Legacy of the AWA
4. The Triumph & Tragedy of World Class Championship Wrestling
5. The World's Greatest Wrestling Managers
6. The History of the World Heavyweight Championship

Are four more DVDs that really widened my knowledge on pro-wrestling history.


As for a non WWE DVD, "The Unreal History of Professional Wrestling" is probably one of the best pro-wrestling related DVDs I have ever seen and the only non-WWE DVD that I have found which shows pro-wrestling history.


I'm going to conclude by asking all of you to name some DVDs/documentaries which you know about that will help others learn something new anout pro-wrestling history.
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2012, 01:05 PM
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Not a documentary in exact terms, but check out The Wrestler, no not Mickey Rourke, but Ed Asner and Verne Gagne from back in 1974. I've watched it and for the life of me can't figure out how Verne was not run out of professional wrestling for exposing such secrets. Maybe that's why he continued to run his own promotion and not work for anyone else.

I know you only mentioned DVDs, but you should really take a look at some of the biographies/autobiographies such as Harley Race and Tony Atlas. The one I'm trying to finish right now is Bill Watts. If you wanted to know how organizations were run prior to Wrestlemania, these three books will be spot on.
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:44 PM
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If you enjoyed WWE's look at World Class Championship Wrestling, I reccommend "Heroes of World Class: The Story of the Von Erichs and the Rise and Fall of World Class Championship Wrestling". It blows the WWE DVD out of the water!

Another DVD I reccommend is "Andy Kaufman: I'm From Hollywood!". While not the type of documentary you'd expect (bordering a comedy), it is really incredible to see the man work with Jerry Lawler. In my opinion, it was the King's best work.

While movie like documentaries are few and far between, if you want to view and listen to history, check out shoot interviews from the men themselves at Highspots and RF Video. Sometimes it's hard to sit through hours of a guy sitting in a chair talking. But if you're interested enough in the subject matter (like I am), it's a really good way to learn.
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  #4  
Old 11-15-2012, 04:19 PM
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I liked Memphis Heat - The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin covered a wide variety of the territory. I would love to see dvd's on Harley Race and Nick Bockwinkle, 2 guys I really love from what little I have seen of them
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:52 PM
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All of the "History of [Name Here] Championship" DVDs are great. Lots of good matches while tracing the lineage of the belts.

"The Rise and Fall of ECW" and "The Rise and Fall of WCW" do a great job in painting a picture of what was really going on in these promotions. The stories of those who were there are really in-depth and personal.

I have never watched the "History of WCCW" DVD, but I hear it's fantastic.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:17 PM
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Try reading books. You don't get the matches on tv, but you get a very rich description of how life was on the road. Ribs and funny stories, tons of negative talk about promoters, a better understanding of the territory system, understanding on how all the territories were gobbled up and then swallowed as the "machine" ran over the business.

If I had to suggest my 5 favorite dvd's, they would be
1. Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin'
2. A & E's The Unreal Story of Pro Wrestling
3. WWE'S story version of The Best of the Clash of the Champions
4. Almost any Ric Flair Shoot Interview
5. ROH Presents Straight Shootin' Series with Jim Cornette and Bobby Heenan Vol 3
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:07 AM
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you need to be careful of WWE released dvd sets, they have a tendency to recreate history at times, . I have found reading books over WWE released dvds are a real eye opener to the history and inner workings of the pro wrestling industry.
Majorly, wrestlers a marks for themselves, egos run wild so alot of things can be taken with a grain of salt. But reading books of the calibre of Chris Jericho, Terry Funk, Harley Race, Arn Anderson, Cowboy Bill Watts and Bret Hart help get a clear picture when these guys stories align alot regarding history. Note these books are all NON WWE RELEASES.

In saying that, WWE did produce solid offerings for the history of AWA and World Classs. Why they havent done the same for a Memphis release is astounding, considerring Jerry Lawler would own all of the footage that WWE does not have in ntheir extensive library.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:14 PM
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I really enjoy the History of "The World Heavyweight Championship" because it proved me right after years of telling the IWC that dispite the history list on the website WWE does indeed consider the WCW and WHC World titles as one and the same. Hell they even held onto WCW's (false) claim that the titles linage dates back to 2005 (which is actually the linage of the NWA World title). So for all of those who doubted me... NAH, NAH - 'TOLD YOU SO!
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Boss View Post
I really enjoy the History of "The World Heavyweight Championship" because it proved me right after years of telling the IWC that dispite the history list on the website WWE does indeed consider the WCW and WHC World titles as one and the same. Hell they even held onto WCW's (false) claim that the titles linage dates back to 2005 (which is actually the linage of the NWA World title). So for all of those who doubted me... NAH, NAH - 'TOLD YOU SO!
2005???? Um hardly, considering the World Title commenced in 2002.

WWE have a tendancy to recreate their own history. The title commenced in 2002, has nothing to do with the WCW Title, WWE only used that to sell a dvd.
That belt given to Triple H had been redundant ever since Jericho unified the WCW and WWE Title in late 2001.
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2012, 07:33 PM
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I would recommend Flair's book, I believe it was co written by Mark Madden who writes somewhat negative articles on the main page, but he really does know his stuff. The reason though that I wanted to post was to mention both of Chris Jericho's books. They are some of the best books I have read on wrestling, and any subject for that matter. They seem honest, and he really doesn't hold anything back. I agree with The Barber to that WWE tends to rewrite history in their dvds. I enjoy them none the less, but they are not always accurate. If you are a wrestling fan and want to know about the industry read both of Jericho's books.
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