Blu Ray Review: Falls Count Anywhere

 

 

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Review:

Presented by the amiable and always entertaining Mick Foley, this set kicks off in style with the former Cactus Jack explaining to us in his own silly style just what the term ‘Falls Count Anywhere’ will encompass in this DVD. He also tells us he is wearing casual dress slacks, and as such is a corporate sell-out, which is adorable (this isn’t the last we hear of his discomfort in wearing this garment) and it is moments like this that help this release give the fun (and often brutal) feeling that it has obviously set out to deliver.

Mick Foley presents a Cactus Jack Match. BANG! BANG!

Much like the UFC “Ultimate Knockouts” series, which is pure beer, pizza and buddy viewing, I think this was the intended audience for this set too. It really does have that dip in and out, frenetic pace which works so well as Saturday Night viewing as these gimmick matches are often appealing to non-fans and never super-serious feud enders. They always have the dangerous yet fun factor so the presentation is perfect.

To say it is a fun disc set is in no way to suggest it is a thrown-together compilation. It is VERY well-researched and compiled. We begin with a long forgotten 1981 “Alley Fight” between Sgt. Slaughter and Pat Patterson. As usual the picture is 4:6 with the blurred borders, but it’s not distracting at all, actually a lot of the archive footage is shown this way and it’s not a problem. This match is old, but it stands up well next to the other matches and is a cool insight into how the match-style has progressed. I love when the WWE feature rarely seen matches on Home Video Releases, it’s such a great way to use their extensive archives as this footage is unavailable in any other DVD. The same can be said for the fun mixed person Atlanta Street Fight from Starrcade 1985, which is up next.

The Referee’s face tells the story.

After that we head straight into the Nineties, and are treated to an eclectic mix of WWE, WCW and ECW and the running order is fabulous. Not only is it served up chronologically but it’s also the madness of the Attitude Era and the pressure of the Monday Night Wars but also the threat of an upstart company doing things better (ECW) that mean the competition and realism is stepped up and the result is some fantastically crazy and brutal matches. Bam Bam Bigelow vs Taz is excellent, but even the pre-Attitude Era Crush vs Macho Man from Wrestlemania X is really enjoyable, and a lot cleverer than I recalled. Great bout.

Randy Savage, an innovator in many ways

There is honestly no match on this selection that isn’t worthy of it’s place and every match is so much different than the last. The Shane vs Vince Street fight is so engaging and along with his ‘Love her or leave her streetfight’ shows what a daredevil Shane McMahon really was.  The Divas are even represented with an amusing encounter between Mickie James and Melina. I think every base is covered here, and it is an absolute delight.

Even the Boss gets Brutal.

The set features a great deal of Smackdown and Raw matches too which goes along with my view on the old matches, it is exactly the correct usage of the WWE Library to showcase not only matches that are unavailable elsewhere, but also to show just how good their TV Matches are and can be. There’s not a single wasted moment on this Boxset and the segues with Mick Foley are just the icing on the cake. I cannot see how this could possibly be improved upon and I am so thrilled by WWE’s strong output recently, that for at least the third time in as many months I will give this Blu-Ray top marks, which is something I will never do lightly. The added BR features really add to an already packed release and feature some great and memorable encounters. I cannot wait to see what World Wrestling Entertainment has to spoil me with next.

10/10

Content:

Disc 1:

The Names May Vary

Alley Fight
Pat Patterson vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Madison Square Garden – 4th May, 1981

Atlanta Street Fight
Jimmy Valiant & Ms. Atlanta Lively vs. Midnight Express
Starrcade – 28th November, 1985

Street Fight for the NWA Tag Team Championship
Doom vs. Barry Windham & Arn Anderson
Starrcade – 16th December, 1990

A Fresh Face

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Sting vs. Cactus Jack
Beach Blast – 20th June, 1992

Falls Count Anywhere Match
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Crush
WrestleMania X – 20th March, 1994

Windy City Mayhem

Chicago Street Fight
Booker T & Sting vs. The Road Warriors
Uncensored – 24th March, 1996

Chicago Street Fight
Ahmed Johnson & The Legion of Doom vs. Faarooq, Savio Vega & Crush
WrestleMania 13 – 23rd March, 1997

Street Fight
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret “Hit Man” Hart
Raw – 21st April, 1997

Disc 2:

Multiple Personalities

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Cactus Jack vs. Triple H
Raw – 22nd September, 1997

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Tazz vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Heatwave – 2nd August, 1998

A Brand New Title

Hardcore Championship Match
Al Snow vs. Hardcore Holly
St. Valentine’s Day Massacre – 14th February, 1999

Fully Loaded Strap Match
The Rock vs. Triple H
Fully Loaded – 25th July, 1999

Love Her or Leave Her Greenwich Street Fight
Test vs. Shane McMahon
SummerSlam – 22nd August, 1999

Dictators on a Power Trip

WWE Championship Match
Big Show vs. Kane
Raw – 20th December, 1999

Hardcore Championship Match
Crash Holly vs. The Headbangers
SmackDown – 16th March, 2000

Street Fight
Mr. McMahon vs. Shane McMahon
Raw – 29th October, 2001

Street Fight
‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Mr. McMahon
Royal Rumble – 20th January, 2002

Disc 3:

Greatest Comeback Story

Unsanctioned Street Fight
Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H
SummerSlam – 25th August, 2002

Street Fight for the World Heavyweight Championship
Triple H vs. Kevin Nash
Insurrextion – 7th June, 2003

Inside the Divas’ Locker Room

Falls Count Anywhere Match for the WWE Women’s Championship
Melina vs. Mickie James
Raw – 5th March, 2007

Street Fight
Triple H vs. Umaga
Cyber Sunday – 28th October, 2007

Street Fight
John Cena vs. Umaga
Raw – 16th June, 2008

New Stars on the Rise

Submissions Count Anywhere Match
D-Generation X vs. Legacy
Breaking Point – 13th September, 2009

Street Fight
Rey Mysterio vs. Batista
SmackDown – 11th December, 2009

Street Fight
Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes
SmackDown – 4th November, 2011

A Little Tidying Up

Blu-ray Exclusive Content

Boiler Room Brawl
Mankind vs. Santa Claus
Raw – 20th December, 1999

Street Fight
Triple H vs. Sheamus
Extreme Rules – 25th April, 2010

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes
Extreme Rules – 1st May, 2011

Street Fight
Randy Orton vs. Kane
SmackDown – 22nd July, 2011

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