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The Most Electrifying DVD in Sports Entertainment

“The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment” is a nostalgic look at the career of The Rock. Unlike “The King of Kings” (a DVD set about Triple H), there are no interviews with The Rock, rather each match is introduced by a set of clips and a voice-over describing the Rock’s meteoric rise through the WWE ranks.

The first match features Rocky Maivia vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley for the latter’s Intercontinental Title in February of 1997. It’s always jarring to see how (relatively) thin both The Rock and Triple H were at one point. The match itself is pretty uneventful, as Helmsley calls most of the shots, only to lose on a roll-up. Even here, however, The Rock’s pure athleticism and charisma are evident. Three of their matches are on the set, and by the last (Backlash 2000) each man gained both muscle and in-ring ability, and put on a tremendous show.

By the time The Rock, ruler of the Nation of Domination, wrestles Owen Hart in April of 1998, he already has the People’s Elbow, the Rock Bottom, and some fantastic catchphrases (remember “Rudy Poo Candy Ass?”). During a fantastic Last Man Standing match against Mankind (where both men just beat each other senseless), The Rock actually serenades the Memphis crowd with a rendition of “Smackdown Hotel,” based on Elvis’s “Heartbreak Hotel.”

The set itself is fun, and, given the WWE’s recent ratings trouble, is a nice look back at a time when wrestling ruled Monday Nights. I don’t know the circumstances behind the creation of the DVD, but it is possible that The Rock didn’t want to sit down and be interviewed. That’s a shame, as it’d be nice to hear his thoughts on his feuds with Mankind, DX, Steve Austin, and others, rather than some voice-over. If you are looking to learn something new about The Rock, you'll probably be disappointed.

The matches, like most matches that make it to a DVD, tell a great story. It is safe to say that it was The Rock, along with Austin, who saved the WWE at a time when they were stuck in a creative and talent rut. Once they took the kid gloves off The Rock, and made him a cocky and personable heel, his natural personality and skills shone through. He had a brilliant career, being a 7-time champion, and then took off for Hollywood.

That being said, it is truly the nostalgia value of this set that makes it worthwhile. No lie, I was one of the millions…and millions…of The Rock’s fans, and watching this set made me forget for a moment about the current less-than-perfect state of professional wrestling. I got just as frustrated now when I heard Jerry Lawler pander to Vince McMahon’s Corporation as I did when I was in junior high, and I laughed just as hard now as I did then whenever The Rock did his ridiculous backflip every time he took a Stone Cold Stunner. For all intents and purposes, the main event scene in the WWE during the “Attitude Era” (which The Rock and Austin ushered in) was four men: The Rock, Austin, Triple H, and Mick Foley. The McMahons’ would ally with each of them, but it didn’t feel forced, and it certainly wasn’t boring. The matches were fresh, the turns were (for the most part) unexpected, and the crowds were incredibly hot. This DVD, while focusing on The Rock, does a good job of looking at the best time to be a wrestling fan, and, while not flawless, is well worth the cost.

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