“Bang 3:16”

WWE kicked off their new network original show “WWE Rivalries” this week with a bang (get it?). Considering the show is based off the biggest and best rivalries in wrestling history; it seemed fitting to start with arguably the greatest feud ever. The rigid “No BS” Stone Cold Steve Austin versus the owner of WWE “Corporate 4 Lyf”, Vince McMahon. There is a fairly good chance that if you are a wrestling fan, you know about this two year long feud. There is no doubt that the Austin v McMahon feud significantly helped the WWE birth a new era in their company. Now with that being said, the Austin and McMahon rivalry has been over saturated by the WWE for almost twenty years. It’s been featured on all most every WWE produced DVD, YouTube even when Classic On Demand when it was around. But WWE was smart to spice things up with this debut episode, creating a whole new preception on what went down between Austin and McMahon. They gave us a documentary that explained both what we saw on screen in the late 90s, and what was going on backstage at the time.

A major part of why I loved this episode is because of the depth they went into for both Austin and Vince before even touching on the feud. For example, they explained Vince’s somewhat “low profile” in the 80s despite him being the owner of the company and how he gradually slipped into the character of “Mr. McMahon”. On the other hand, they went over Steve Austin’s rise from being a wrestler with generic gear to a full blown superstar after a dispute with McMahon backstage.

Although the core of the rivalry is nothing we haven’t seen before, they did a great job of time-lining the feud and explaining significant moments within it.

Another aspect of the show that I loved was the interviews. It was easy to tell that some were tapped years ago and used for other documentaries and DVDs but surprisingly there was some tapped just for this show. There was a lot of new interview segments with Vince McMahon telling an in-depth story of his times in the ring with Austin. I actually learnt something about Vince that I didn’t know about before because of those interviews.

The combination of the in-depth analysis to both men’s careers prior to their feud and the interviews by many talents that were involved gave this debut episode of WWE “Rivalries” a shiny new cost of paint despite it being the same material we’ve seen over and over. Honestly, I’ll be looking forward to the second part of this feud next week when they focus more on their feud from 2000 and onwards.


+ Brilliant in-depth look at the feud

+ Interviews that added new perceptive


– Same footage we’ve been before

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.