WWE – Brothers Of Destruction – Greatest Matches (Cert 15)
1 Disc Blu-ray / DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 92 minutes approx
It’s a little difficult to not be a bit cynical towards the title of this release since the match quality here isn’t exactly likely to trouble the five star end of the ratings scale. Then again this undead sibling partnership hasn’t really teamed up on that many occasions either so there isn’t a deep catalogue to choose from either.
What we have here is basically a selection of long forgotten TV matches and two PPV matches from the odd occasions the “Brothers Of Destruction” actually got along with each other. Since there is probably less than a dozen or so instances of them as a team not included here, this is about a close to an anthology as you will get, so make the most of it.
The timing is also a little curious for this release as there is no discernible reason why this title should come out now – Taker is off rehabbing his injuries after Paul Heyman’s client BRRROCK LESNARRRR conquered his streak at Wrestlemania 30 while Kane is flitting between corporate monster/oversized accountant for The Authority. But whatever the reason it gives us a chance to delve into the archives and take a trip down memory lane and relive the days when Taker had hair and Kane wore a bodysuit, while facing a group of guys who have either since go on to become WWE legends or are currently plying their trade over in TNA.
A brief history for any newbies out there: Undertaker has been a stalwart in the WWE since his legendary debut at the Survivor Series in 1990 as the mystery partner on Ted DiBiase’s team. Formerly Mean Mark Callous in WCW it didn’t take long before those who were aware of his previous persona to forget about it as Mark Calaway devoted himself to his new character so deeply that he literally became, and still is, The Undertaker.
In 1997 Taker’s manager the late Paul Bearer revealed on RAW the shocking secret that Taker’s long thought deceased younger brother Kane was still alive! The story was that Taker as a child set fire to the family home and Kane was inside while their parents perished. Further to this, an “off camera” conversation with Jerry Lawler a few weeks later also saw Bearer brag that he was Kane’s father! At In Your House 18 – Bad Blood in October that year Kane first appeared interfering in the now classic first ever Hell In A Cell match with Taker vs Shawn Michaels.
This masked giant known as the Big Red Machine was actually Glen Jacobs, who had suffered with a number of Wrestlecrap worthy guises such as the evil dentist Isaac Yankem and the Fake Diesel. Just like Calaway did with Taker, Jacobs made this gimmick work and is still a vital part of the WWE to this day, some 17 years later, with both characters undergoing a number of aesthetic and personality changes over the years.
Interesting trivia note: when Undertaker first appeared in WWF with Brother Love as his manager he was briefly called Cain The Undertaker, but this was quickly dropped. Either someone in WWE creative had a very good memory or this was just an uncanny coincidence.
As mentioned above the brothers (or half brothers to more accurate) didn’t spend that much time as a team, since they were rarely on the same side of the heel/face divide or they were more often feuding with each other. Outside of some marquee six man tags or multi-man tag matches this pairing didn’t extend too often onto PPV so it the TV matches that feature heavily in this collection.
While the main feature starts with matches in 2001 and ends with their reunion in 2006, the Blu-ray versions goes even further back to their first mismatched teaming in 1998 just a few months after their big brutal feud of that year which took in the first ever Inferno Match! Thankfully the disastrous match from Unforgiven 2001 against Kronik has been omitted here, a bout so hideously sloppy and devoid of both psychology and selling that it makes the other matches here look like a classic from the Rock ’n’ Roll Express vs Midnight Express feud!
Maybe not the most essential release of late this is recommended for hardcore fans of the Deadman or the Big Red Machine – or both – with an interest in completing their memorabilia collections while for the rest of us it is a fun look back to the days of yore to witness again some forgotten gems from the mighty back catalogue of the WWE.
No Disqualification WWF Tag Title Match – Edge and Christian (c) vs Undertaker & Kane (SmackDown, 19 April 2001)
Tables Match – Undertaker & Kane vs. Dudley Boyz (Raw, 30 July 2001)
WCW Tag Title Match – Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire (c) vs Undertaker & Kane (SmackDown, 9 August 2001)
WWE & WCW Tag Title Unification Steel Cage Match – Undertaker & Kane (c) vs. Diamond Dallas Page & Kanyon (c) (SummerSlam 19 August 2001)
Undertaker & Kane vs. MVP & Mr. Kennedy (SmackDown, 15 December 2006)
Undertaker & Kane vs. Mark Henry & Big Daddy V (SmackDown, 1 February 2008)
Undertaker & Kane vs. The Miz & John Morrison (ECW, 15 April 2008)
Monday Night Raw 21st September 1998 – Undertaker & Kane vs. Steve Austin & Billy Gunn
Monday Night Raw 12th October 1998 – Undertaker & Kane vs. Steve Austin & The Rock
WWF Backlash PPV 29th April 2001 – WWF World, IC, & Tag Title Match: Undertaker & Kane (c) vs. Steve Austin & Triple H (c)
Monday Night Raw 22nd April 2013 – Undertaker & Team Hell No vs. The Shield
Rating – ***
Man In Black