WWF/WWE-Wrestlemania: The Ragin' Climax (1999) (NTSC)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Featurette-Give Me The History (6)
|Year Of Production||1999|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
"Finally, The Rock has come to DVD"
Wrestlemania, the single biggest event in Sports Entertainment yearly, is something of a climax (as the title states) of the wrestling world. This DVD features the fifteenth time the event had been staged, back in 1999. It was one of, if not the biggest event ever staged in the wrestling world besides Wrestlemania XVI, which was also huge. It features what was the most eagerly awaited match ever, with hype overpowering the Hulk Hogan Vs. Ultimate Warrior match in one of the 80s Wrestlemanias.
Although I didn't like this Pay-Per-View as much as I liked the Royal Rumble for obvious reasons (The Rock of course), it was still Wrestlemania, and that meant it was a very big spectacle. But, I don't rate it that highly. It may be due to the fact that the WWF (especially during the last year) has become even more spectacular, coupled with the fact that a few dud matches made this event a little dull.
The matches are:
Triple Threat Match for the Hardcore Championship: Bad Ass Billy Gunn (champion) vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Al Snow. A good old hardcore match is always useful when starting a P.P.V. because nothing much can go wrong with them. No real scripting is used - just hit the other guy over the head with several different objects and then perform your special move on one of the objects, simple but effective.
Tag Team Title Match: Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett with Debra (champions) vs. D'Lo Brown & Test with Ivory. After being the last two participants of the battle royal during Heat (the pre-P.P.V. show), D'Lo and Test have to team up to take on the champions. Not the best match, though, and it has a very predictable outcome.
The Big Show: Paul Wight vs. Mankind: The winner of this match is the special guest referee for the main event. This is more of a plot twist in the storyline of the saga at that time than a match - it is only there to provide more intensity for the main event but is still good overall.
Hell In A Cell Match: Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man. As the name suggests, the two participants are locked into a cage which has been lowered over the ring. Again not the best of matches due to its limitations but the ending is a little surprising.
Brawl For All: Bart Gunn vs. Butterbean. Not actually a wrestling match but actually a boxing one with the rules slightly modified. This match is actually real as Butterbean is a world champion boxer, and it shows. The match has three one minute rounds, too bad it only lasts forty seconds.
Triple H vs. Kane: I don't have too much to say about this match. If you have read my other WWF DVD reviews you would probably know that Triple H isn't my favourite wrestler and Kane doesn't rate too highly either on my scale. The match itself isn't very good but has a excellent plot twist at the end. In fact, I will remember Wrestlemania XV more for the advances in storyline than the matches themselves.
Four-Corners Elimination Match for the Intercontinental Championship: Road Dogg (champion) vs. Val Venis vs. Ken Shamrock vs. Goldust. Finally an entertaining match! In this match, to win, three out of the four men have to be pinned or disqualified (by a count out etc.) and the sole survivor is crowned champion.
Women's Championship Match: Sable (champion) vs. Tori. Wrestlemania just wouldn't be complete without a women's match. This match just goes to show that people aren't watching the match for the women's wrestling skills.
European Championship Match: Shane McMahon (champion) vs. X-Pac. After a very long feud between the pair, the match between them finally occurs, but what quality of match can you expect when the actual owner of the WWF Vince McMahon's son is wrestling? A decent match actually with another huge plot twist unravelling at the end.
WWF Championship Match: The Rock vs. Stone Cold. For what was one of the most eagerly awaited matches in WWF history, this turns out to be only mildly stimulating. Maybe it was just the fact that I had already seen it or because there was no build up from watching the previous episodes of RAW is WAR. But maybe, just maybe, it was because (Ed. Plot spoiler censored.).
It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. Your display device will need to be able to handle a NTSC signal for this disc to play properly.
As per usual, this disc is up to the standards of WWF Entertainment. Sharpness is generally excellent showing great amounts of detail, at times, though, some edges are a little diffuse. Shadow detail is a little lacking due to the transfer being quite dark in nature. This is mainly because the transfer has been sourced from video.
Colour is, as always, rendered perfectly without any oversaturation or bleeding. The fireworks come out as vibrant as ever.
Aliasing is present rather constantly, but it is on very minor objects such as the WWF logo in the bottom left corner of the screen and also on the mesh fencing on the cell in the Hell In A Cell match.
This DVD is RSDL formatted. Due to the disc not being time encoded, I cannot tell you exactly when the layer change occurs, but it is sometime around the post-match replays of the Triple H vs. Kane battle.
The first two questions that popped into my mind when realising that this disc did indeed have a 5.1 mix were: Why? and How? Why would you want a 5.1 mix for wrestling? It's not like you have jets flying overhead and cars rushing by, and how would it be implemented? What would be contained in the surround channels?
After watching the disc in full, I now know both answers. Why? Because it's Wrestlemania and they decided to experiment. How? By mixing in a few fireworks and big hits into the surround channels. Although the new mix isn't bad and does add a little to the atmosphere of the event, it just isn't needed. To add to that, it isn't really a 5.1 mix, more so an upgraded 2.0 mix - listening to it with no centre or surrounds switched on still gave the same effect. "If it ain't broke, why fix it?".
Dialogue from the commentators is clear at all times and is easily understood. This may be due to the fact that it is mixed into the centre and the left and right channels quite obviously.
Surrounds are used mostly for fireworks and ambience from the crowd. The rear channels are also very monophonic with no imaging effects used. They seem to be simply the main L/R channels with added delays. Nice try from the WWF.
The subwoofer is used very sparingly, mainly for adding some guts to the theme music of the wrestlers.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is great with only minor faults exhibited.
The audio quality is a little experimentive but still quite passable.
The extras are plentiful and are of good quality content-wise.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-626D, using Component output|
|Display||Toshiba 34N9UXA. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Yamaha CX-600 Pre-Amp, Yamaha MX-600 Stereo Power Amp for Mains, Yamaha DSP-E300 for Center, Teac AS-M50 for Surrounds.|
|Speakers||Main Left and Right Acoustic Research AR12s, Center Yamaha NS-C70, Surround Left and Right JBL Control 1s|