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The History of the World Heavyweight Championship


MikeCampbell
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Disc 1: Documentary & NWA Matches

Chapters:

* Origins of Wrestling

* "An American Hero" Frank Gotch

* Ed "Strangler" Lewis

* National Wrestling Alliance

* Lou Thesz

* Buddy Rogers

* New Breed of Champions

* 1970s World Champions

* A Flair for the Gold

* Crockett's World Champion

* NWA to WCW

* WCW Withdraws From NWA

* Revolving WCW Champions

* The Undisputed Championship

* World Championship Returns

* Legacy Lives

 

Matches:

* Chicago 1961 - 2 out of 3 Falls: Pat O'Connor vs. Buddy Rogers

* Florida 2/11/69 - Gene Kiniski vs. Dory Funk Jr.

* Florida 12/10/75 - Jack Brisco vs. Terry Funk

* Florida 8/21/79 - Harley Race vs. Dusty Rhodes

* AWA SuperClash - Ric Flair vs. Magnum TA

* Great American Bash '90 - Ric Flair vs. Sting

 

 

Disc 2 – WCW

* Clash of Champions XIV - Ric Flair vs. Scott Steiner

* Great American Bash '91 - Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham

* Baltimore 8/2/92 - Vader vs. Ron Simmons

* WCW Saturday Night 10/16/93 - Vader vs. Ricky Steamboat

* Halloween Havoc '94 - Career vs. Career Steel Cage Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair

* SuperBrawl VIII - Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan

* Nitro 7/6/98 - Hollywood Hogan vs. Goldberg

* Bash at the Beach '00 - Jeff Jarrett vs. Booker T

* No Mercy '01 - The Rock vs. Chris Jericho

 

Disc 3 - WWE

* Unforgiven '02 - Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam

* Taboo Tuesday '04 - Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels

* No Way Out '06 - Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker

* SmackDown 4/7/06 - Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton

* Armageddon '07 - Batista vs. Undertaker vs. Edge

* Survivor Series '08 - John Cena vs. Chris Jericho

* Extreme Rules '09 - Ladder Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Edge

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Only the last few seconds were shown, and it was on the Terry film room, which showed HIS title win, so that may have confused you.

 

I'm a little more confused now. :P Dory's title win was shown, right? that's what I meant, and I don't thin there will be much more than what was shown on this doc disc.

 

I'm also thinking that the Rhodes title win over Race will be his second one, from Atlanta in June of 1981, not the 1979 one. Just a guess, though.

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Guest Iron Chad

I'm pretty sure more clips were shown elsewhere, either on a Film Room for Dory, the NWA Title or the HOF piece on the Funks. Clips from the build and the last couple of minutes to the finish where Kiniski keeps breaking out of the spinning toehold and Dory finally gets it. They also showed a complete Florida TV match with Dory as champ against a Florida JTTS I can't recall, and his post championship promo with Dory and Sr. where it looked like Dory's cowboy hat was three sizes too small. The clips together were still no more than 5 minutes.

 

I'd wish it would be complete, but it'll probably be limited to whatever film clips were shown on TV after the match.

 

The O'Connor/Rogers match has aired several times on ESPN Classic when they used to run classic wrestling on Saturday mornings. It is complete assuming they have the same Chicago footage.

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I'm also thinking that the Rhodes title win over Race will be his second one, from Atlanta in June of 1981, not the 1979 one. Just a guess, though.

If it was the one from '81, wouldn't it say it was from '81? I'm pretty sure this list comes directly from WWE, or at least their DVD distributor.

 

You'd think so, but the WWE screws up dates on their releases all the time. It's not even always their fault--the stuff was often labelled wrong even before Vince got his hands on it.

 

The "most famous" example I can think of is the Snuka-Backlund cage match on the Cage match dvd, which is (and had been previously) labelled as being from May 1980 (It's a 1982 match). There are others. The AWA stuff is notorious for having the wrong dates on their material. On the recent Hogan HOF, they got the Hogan-Duncum AWA match date wrong, for example.

 

The 1979 win/loss by Rhodes and Race is much more compelling overall than the June 1981 switch, so I hope the date is right. But I have my doubts.

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I can understand getting AWA dates wrong because that stuff isn't well documented and I think the tape staff has commented that some of their catalogs were poorly labeled. It boggles my mind though that mistakes like the Snuka/Backlund date slips through when it can be easily checked through Wikipedia or Cawthon.

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I can understand getting AWA dates wrong because that stuff isn't well documented and I think the tape staff has commented that some of their catalogs were poorly labeled. It boggles my mind though that mistakes like the Snuka/Backlund date slips through when it can be easily checked through Wikipedia or Cawthon.

Used to drive me crazy but not anymore, just because there are far better resources for dates and venues through the results guys around the internet. As you stated, I can easily check it myself.

 

It's less frustrating expecting a mistake (potentially like that Rhodes 1979 switch) and then to be surprised that the date is actually right when it does come out.

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If they were just going to show clips, you'd think they'd toss them into the appropriate sections of the documentary instead of making them full-fledged extra matches.

 

I say "you'd think", of course, but still you'd wonder why they just show clips of those if they're not going to show any extra clips of any of Thesz's matches or Caddock/Stecher (yeah, no Stecher chapter, I figure the WWE is still going off of the Toots Mondt version of wrestling history, but still) or even something like Lewis/Shikat. There are a bunch of historical fragments out there. I would wonder why they would choose those if that's all they were going to be, especially if they're showing them after O'Connor/Rogers, which will almost definitely be in full.

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According to a former WWE production assistant who was interviewed on a podcast or two, they're specifically discouraged from checking dates online.

Yeah, because we wouldn't want to get the information right or anything.

 

Still, even with that edict, they can't use books? I know there's an MSG results book available somewhere.

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If they were just going to show clips, you'd think they'd toss them into the appropriate sections of the documentary instead of making them full-fledged extra matches.

 

I say "you'd think", of course, but still you'd wonder why they just show clips of those if they're not going to show any extra clips of any of Thesz's matches or Caddock/Stecher (yeah, no Stecher chapter, I figure the WWE is still going off of the Toots Mondt version of wrestling history, but still) or even something like Lewis/Shikat. There are a bunch of historical fragments out there. I would wonder why they would choose those if that's all they were going to be, especially if they're showing them after O'Connor/Rogers, which will almost definitely be in full.

You presume two things here: One, that the WWE cares enough to produce an accurate version of the history of the NWA title, and two, that the WWE is interested in anything but making some money off this release.

 

If 1000 people buy this dvd set, maybe 50 of them will notice or have any idea of what might be missing from the doc or what matches are skimmed over that are important.

 

They are not catering to those 50 people (All of whom I would assume post here, lol) in any way, shape or form.

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You presume two things here: One, that the WWE cares enough to produce an accurate version of the history of the NWA title, and two, that the WWE is interested in anything but making some money off this release.

 

If 1000 people buy this dvd set, maybe 50 of them will notice or have any idea of what might be missing from the doc or what matches are skimmed over that are important.

 

They are not catering to those 50 people (All of whom I would assume post here, lol) in any way, shape or form.

You're missing my point.

 

Post isn't about WWE presenting an inaccurate view of wrestling history. Like I said, I assume they are going off of the Toots Mondt version of history. I take that for granted going into it. Have absolutely no expectations that Stecher or Londos are going to be portrayed as being as important as they were. It's a given they will go from Gotch to Lewis to Thesz with no stops in between.

 

Not about history. About matches and whether or not they'll be in full.

 

Bix said...

 

I'm just happy to see them releasing Dory's title win.

You said...

 

Clips of that were already shown on one of the 24/7 film rooms, IIRC.

 

I doubt we'll get much more than what they showed there.

I said...

 

If they were just going to show clips, you'd think they'd toss them into the appropriate sections of the documentary instead of making them full-fledged extra matches.

 

I say "you'd think", of course, but still you'd wonder why they just show clips of those if they're not going to show any extra clips of any of Thesz's matches or Caddock/Stecher (yeah, no Stecher chapter, I figure the WWE is still going off of the Toots Mondt version of wrestling history, but still) or even something like Lewis/Shikat. There are a bunch of historical fragments out there. I would wonder why they would choose those if that's all they were going to be, especially if they're showing them after O'Connor/Rogers, which will almost definitely be in full.

"No Stecher chapter" is a throwaway line. No reason to expect WWE to recognize Stecher's place in history. But if all they have of some of the matches that they've included as extras is clips, I wonder why you would bother to include them as extra matches at all. Not about an accurate portrayal of history. About how WWE has traditionally laid out their DVDs. Extras are full matches and usually some of the surrounding angles and interviews. If all they have are clips, why are they throwing them in a section typically reserved for full matches? Why not show the clips at the appropriate moment in the documentary? Especially if you're going to show those clips after O'Connor/Rogers, which will almost certainly be in full. I mention Stecher/Caddock not because I expect the WWE to pay these men anything more than lip service (would be shocked if the documentary mentions Caddock at all), but because it's a match that, while not in full, is more than just clips, and if you needed an actual match to fill space in the section typically reserved for actual matches, that seems like a pretty good way to go. If you don't want to use that because those guys aren't such prominent figures in the narrative, you can use Lewis/Shikat. Again, we have more than just clips of that one. I wouldn't expect them to point out that Lewis was past his prime at this point, that Mondt had brought him into New York because he had idiotically driven Londos out, or that Lewis' subsequent run there bombed. But if you need a full(er) match for your section typically devoted to full matches, it's there. There are also plenty of Lou Thesz matches that exist in full, and again, if all you have are clips of certain matches, why include those in the section of the DVD typically dedicated to full matches when there are plenty of full Thesz matches you could include instead?

 

I'm not asking for Steve Yohe to thoroughly fact check this thing. I'm asking why they would veer from the standard formula for their historical DVDs when they don't have to, and wondering if they're really even going to do that in the first place.

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The Florida house show footage is all clipped because it's 16mm film. Terry's win shown on 24/7 was the entire film (which isn't the entire match) featured as a full segment. Dory's was just the last 5-10 seconds as part of a montage. I've never seen more footage of Dory's win.

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You're missing my point.

Certainly wouldn't be the first time I've done that. :)

 

 

"No Stecher chapter" is a throwaway line. No reason to expect WWE to recognize Stecher's place in history. But if all they have of some of the matches that they've included as extras is clips, I wonder why you would bother to include them as extra matches at all. Not about an accurate portrayal of history. About how WWE has traditionally laid out their DVDs. Extras are full matches and usually some of the surrounding angles and interviews. If all they have are clips, why are they throwing them in a section typically reserved for full matches? Why not show the clips at the appropriate moment in the documentary?

I think they will certainly follow the pattern you have laid out in your post here, but I can see the doc using a very small portion of the Dory win (say, 5 seconds? Dory celebrating with the belt, something like that) and then other footage to highlight Dory's reign, if they choose to do that.

 

The whole film will be in the match section, but it will still be short. I'm a footage buff so I hope I'm dead wrong, but I don't think so. I also would think that using all of what they have available still qualifies them as holding to their pattern of historical dvd releases.

 

Let's look at the Rhodes-Race footage that is supposed to be there. The 1979 film (both Rhodes' win and loss) is the standard clipped-up Florida film. Great inclusion, but so much of it revolves around the Funk interfering angle that it doesn't seem to fit a "historical" dvd release. Rhodes' 1981 win over Race does, as it is the bridge from the Race era to the Flair era. Two versions of 1981 exist: 1 is Florida-style film (not exactly but if you've ever seen Omni clips on the early 1980-81 Georgia footage, it's film from a ringside camera), the other is the standard Omni pro-shot camera that they filmed clips off of (Tony Atlas vs. Flair on the HOF for Atlas is an example of this). It's possible the whole match exists from that stationary camera, but I have my doubts. Based on this, I see the bout listed as 1979 actually being the 1981 bout when we get to actually see it.

In either case, I will be very surprised if the whole bout is made available.

 

I make these presumptions not so much on what I expect the WWE to do, but on what I think the WWE is working with in terms of footage. the amount of Florida and Atlanta Omni footage I have and have watched doesn't lend to the idea that whole matches are readily available from that era.

 

I also think it's not a losing proposition for WWE to include those shortened pieces, as any fans that are curious about that era of the title (and may perhaps remember reading about it or even watching the angles on TV) will likely mark out that any footage of those matches exist. I marked out huge when I first saw the Rocky Raymond film of Bruno getting pinned by Koloff for the WWWF title, for example.

 

Hopefully I got where you were going this time. :)

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Hopefully I got where you were going this time. :)

Yeah, that's more like it. That would make a bit more sense to me. Also, another thing that I haven't really given due consideration to is available space - i.e. would they rather include two or three clipped up matches or one full Thesz match if they only had so much space to work with. I can see, for various reasons, why they would choose the former.

 

I would have expected a lot of folks here, SLL in particular, would be feeling a certain way at this set pretty much only existing to cement the current WWE history of the Raw title = NWA/WCW title.

I'm not Karl Stern. I really don't mind. World Title = WCW/NWA/Pre-NWA World Title has been canon for 7 years now. It's been cemented for a while, and I don't have a problem with it. I just didn't get the layout of matches on a DVD is all.

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