WWE boasts an excellent team of video geeks who work tirelessly to put together promos, recaps and tron videos each week; a group of individuals who have most likely lost some pigmentation, due to a lack of sunlight in their darkened workspace in Titan Towers. So to appreciate their work, and make for an easy entry on my behalf, here is a list of five of my favourite intro packages for PPVs:
WWF Invasion 2001
Stock footage of former presidents. Nuclear bombs being dropped. The sound of rapid gun-fire. Not overblown for a wrestling PPV at all. I’m a sucker for the first two months of this storyline, even if it did descend into a bit of a mess by the end compared to what it have been. All that cool jumping-over-barricades….makes me wish I was tall enough to do the same (sad-face).
WWF St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
Though I don’t really enjoy rewatching Austin/McMahon footage due to overplay over the years, this intro package – to a PPV featuring a Steel Cage match between the two – is brilliantly tongue-in-cheek. A wonderful demonstration of how wrestling can be dramatic and silly at the same time.
WWF Summerslam 1997
A video focusing on a theme prevalent in wrestling at this time, where no longer was the good guy necessarily the hero. The New Generation era on PPV saw this voice-over guy get a lot of coverage in video packages, though he splits opinion among fans now. I always imagine the reaction of these external voice actors who are presented these scripts; staring at a page of hyperbole, to go over the top of Shawn Michaels grinding in short-shorts.
WWF Wrestlemania 18
This was the first Wrestlemania following the demise of WCW and ECW. It felt like over the previous year, the talent-pool had bloated like a Boden model after three bowls of pasta; old and new faces all now under one banner. Most notably, the original three members of the NWO were back in the company, with Hogan meeting Rock in a match of a lifetime on this show. You also had Ric Flair meeting the Undertaker in the first year where the streak suddenly became a “thing”, and Triple H returning from injury to win the title in a fairytale ending to a an almost year-long journey. The show deserved an intro of epic proportions (to make up for the terrible excuse of a stage setup) and that’s exactly what this is.
WWF Survivor Series 2001
It makes sense to finish with this, seeing as we began with the intro for the beginning of this Invasion storyline, when things were a bit more optimistic. By this point, the storyline had dwindled and dragged to a limp ending, with talent swapping sides weekly, and nothing making much sense. If anything can be enjoyed here, it’s the healthy talent pool on display (minus Shane, though I always liked his jerseys). The storyline going in was ‘Winner Takes All’ with the WWF supposedly at risk of being put out of business. Unlikely, though an intro featuring landmark moments from the company’s history, the “The End’ Doors rip-off song, and Paul Heyman spouting a prayer in Latin, is almost enough to make up for the lack of tension.