Released right before a pay-per-view where The Shield took on Evolution to determine which faction is the most dominant, the WWE released Greatest Wrestling Factions, a Blu-ray that examines the best factions in the history of wrestling. Unlike some other “Greatest of” releases, this one doesn’t spend too much time on each faction, but that allows the WWE to hit on almost every faction in the sport that matters.
Each faction gets a bit of history, as told by current and past wrestling superstars. The stories are a remembrance of each group, and the entire compilation remains respectful, no matter how poorly the faction in questioned might be remembered. After that, each faction has one match shown. The matches are rarely the best ever for that faction, and in some cases the faction loses its highlighted match, which is a very questionable decision. However, as a whole, the set is entertaining.
The Blu-ray release includes the story of 20 factions, and they are listed in a slightly random order. The only thing that can be said is that it is bookended by Degeneration X as the first faction spoken up and concluded with The Four Horsemen, so maybe that says something about how the WWE views those two as the best ever. The Blu-ray edition also contains bonus features that include three more factions – The Wyatt Family, Spirit Squad and The Shield. This means if fans want to see those three, they have to pony up for the Blu-ray version.
The set starts off with DX, and for the purposes of this set, that includes Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Chyna, X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws. Nothing is really mentioned about the later years with Triple H and HBK pulling it back out. The match involved is against The Corporation as a mini-Royal Rumble styled match and ended with Chyna eliminating Vince McMahon to win.
The Heenan Family was next and this was a nice look at how many fantastic superstars that Bobby Heenan actually managed. The match was not very good, with Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy teaming with Heenan to face Big Machine, Super Machine and Capt. Lou Albano. The Heenan Family won by DQ when Giant Machine interfered.
Right to Censor was next, followed by The Fabulous Freebirds. I was very happy to see The Freebirds on here, although the match they were in was one they lost – an elimination styled match that Kevin Von Erich won. It was nice to see the Von Erich boys in action, since they weren’t listed as a faction.
The Nexus was next, with the general thought that they could have done so much more if the WWE stuck with them. The match was the elimination match where Chris Jericho and Edge walked out on their team and Justin Gabriel actually pinned John Cena.
After that was The Dangerous Alliance, Paul Heyman’s awesome group in WCW. That included Steve Austin, Rick Rude, Beautiful Bobby Eaton, Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko. The match included saw Austin and Eaton beat Sting and Buff Bagwell, and it is always nice to see a pre-WWE Steve Austin wrestle.
The Hart Foundation was next with Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman. The match was the awesome flag match in Canada where the Harts were heroes and Steve Austin, Mick Foley and Undertaker were booed loudly.
The nWo was next, and smartly the Blu-ray only mentioned Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. The match was a very poor choice because they chose one from way after the nWo should have died – the War Games match with WCW vs. nWo vs. Wolf Pack nWo.
The Brood was next and everyone who talked absolutely loved them. They even had the Edge comments about how cool is was to be a part of that, especially with the entrance. The Million Dollar Corporation was next, which was just Ted DiBiase’s version of the Heenan Family.
The Nation of Domination was next and they paid more attention to the period after The Rock joined than the awesome group it was in the start. They also never mentioned DOA or Los Bouriquas, which was strange since that was a major feud for the three factions. They did include a match with DX as the chosen sample here.
The Blue World Order got a spot, which was awesome, and an original ECW match between Stevie Richards and Axl Rotten was included. The Blu-ray’s first disc ended with a look at The Corporation and included the gauntlet match with Steve Austin having to face every member of the Corporation one at a time.
The second disc in the Greatest Wrestling Factions set started with a look at Evolution. They also went into detail about how the group eventually imploded. The Oddities got a spot, with only a minor look at Don Callis and the match was a horrible one against Too Much (this was Too Cool as villains).
The Triple Threat was also included, which shocked me since Shane Douglas and the WWE pretty much hate each other. However, it was a nice addition and look at Douglas, Chris Candito and Bam Bam Bigelow. The match wasn’t bad either, with Douglas and Bigelow fighting Rob Van Dam and Sabu.
Legacy was next and the match they featured was the six man match that ended with Randy Orton winning the world title from Triple H. After that, the Blu-ray took a look at the Dungeon of Doom, which was where some of the speakers actually started to poke a little fun at the faction.
The Staight Edge Society was next and CM Punk actually talked about how he was trying to portray a Jesus-type character with Serena as his Mary and Luke and Joseph purposively named after apostles. The match was one where his faction lost in a 3-on-1 with The Big Show, another questionable addition.
The final faction on the regular set was The Four Horsemen. They only talked about the Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and JJ Dillon and pretty much ignored the other members. The match was after Lex Luger left and before Barry Windham joined and saw Flair, Anderson and Blanchard beat Sting, Luger and Windham.
The first Blu-ray bonus feature looked at The Wyatt Family. The match they included was the 3-on-1 against Daniel Bryan that they won. The second was a look at the Spirit Squad and the match was where Mikey and Kenny won the tag team titles from Big Show and Kane. The final faction was The Shield and the match was their WWE debut when they beat Ryback, Kane and Daniel Bryan.
At the end of the day, there is nothing to complain about. Every faction in wrestling that ever mattered (that the WWE holds the rights to) was mentioned here, save one or two. Honestly, the one I miss the most was Devastation Incorporated from the Mid South and World Class.
The matches ranged from poor to great, with more positive than negative matches. Greatest Wrestling Factions is just another great release by the WWE and is really worth the purchase if anyone loves wrestling history.