From The Vault: Shawn Michaels was simply one of the most outstanding DVDs that WWE had ever released. Chronicling five of the Heartbreak Kid's greatest matches, featuring exclusive interviews with the man himself, with so many extra segments, pay-per-view vignettes, a smattering of Shawn's childhood and beginnings from `Before They Were Superstars' among other real gems, you had one of the best wrestling releases ever.
Five years later, one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) of all time is honoured yet again. This time with a 3-Disc set that is a proper biography and look back on Michaels' career. And before you ask `is this on a par with From the Vault?', I will answer with a definitive `yes'.
Heartbreak and Triumph is yet another high-quality life-story. It's very similar to the stories of Eddie Guerrero and Bret Hart, in that it's a tale that's full of struggle, unforgettable career moments, hard times, honesty, complicated issues and light at the end of the tunnel. So you have the basic ingredients for a really captivating tale. And the fact that the centre of it all is one of the most phenomenal (and controversial) stars in wrestling's history...can only add more fuel to the fire.
They're some absolutely great highlights throughout the main program. These consist of Shawn's beginnings, the formation of the Midnight Rockers with Marty Jannetty, his Intercontinental Championship reigns, the Boyhood Dream that lead him to the WWE title, the formation of the Clique and D-Generation X, and of course, being the pioneer of the Ladder Match and Hell in a Cell. But the moments that stand out above everything else are Shawn's struggles throughout his career and in real life.
This documentary doesn't pull that many punches regarding certain things. It's no secret that Shawn's reputation was once that of an arrogant individual, so none of the interviewees bother to hide that. His struggles as WWE Champion in 1996 during WCW's dominance, the reputation of the Clique and very controversial curtain call, his drug problems, real-life hospitalization, D-X breaking all kinds of taboos and intense animosity with Bret Hart all remind us what HBK was truly like behind-the-scenes.
And then of course, there's the Montreal Screwjob from Survivor Series 1997. After watching the Bret Hart story so many times, it's very interesting for Shawn to give his side of the story. I completely understand Shawn's reasons (and Vince and Triple H's for that matter) why he did what he did. And on one level, I do agree with them. But what I don't agree with, is how they all overlook the exact details of Bret's leaving, his loyalty to the company and his reasons for not wanting to drop the belt to HBK. I also dislike how Triple H and Gerald Brisco try and make out that Bret Hart was the bad guy at the heart of it all, even though everyone's entitled to their own opinion regarding the whole sordid affair.
Shawn Michaels is a person you can actually sympathise, though. His devastating back injury which lead to the end of his era and a forced early retirement is truly heartbreaking to watch. The fact that his drug problems hadn't gone away either, really makes you feel sorry for him. To hear Shawn tell of his depression, falling out with HHH and impending self-destruction is so frighteningly real. That's when you discover that Shawn really is a good man at heart and it's thankful and heart-warming to relive the tale of his finding religion. His miraculous comeback at SummerSlam 2002 is a moment of true happiness, as his redemption and evolution into a better person had come full circle.
The documentary closes with the most important career moments from his comeback, such as his epic WrestleMania classics with Chris Jericho and John Cena, his program and real-life heat with Hulk Hogan, bizarre feud with Vince McMahon and the rebirth of D-Generation X. Heartbreak and Triumph ends on a high note, too. A once-arrogant yet phenomenally talented man broken down and rebuilt as the same awesome athlete, but also as a man who's changed so much for the better, is the moral of the story. And it's one that is so inspirational, and makes me prouder than ever to be a fan of Shawn Michaels.
Like the main program, none of the special features disappoint. There are some awesome deleted scenes, a hilarious Larry King segment from the Showstopper's feud with Hulk Hogan, his `Tell Me A Lie' music video, a 1994 Heartbreak Hotel segment, some great extra stories and a couple of nice Easter Eggs to boot.
All the extra matches occupy the spaces of discs 2 and 3. And none of the matches on From The Vault are included here, which is excellent as it not only preserves the value of From The Vault, but also allows us to be treated to some of the Heartbreak Kid's other classic matches. These include some awesome Rockers matches, his 1995 Royal Rumble victory, forgotten IC title classics, and godlike half-hour/hour long encounters with the likes of the British Bulldog, Kurt Angle, Triple H and John Cena. Though I really would've loved to have seen his casket match with the Undertaker, his second ladder match with Razor Ramon, his SummerSlam `96 bout against Vader, battles with Sycho Sid and WrestleMania 19 encounter with Chris Jericho, I can't complain. Each match included here is staggeringly high in quality and none of them disappoint.
In closing, Heartbreak and Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story is truly essential. All fans of HBK will lap it up. Make sure you have a space on your shelves to slide this next to From The Vault. This is not only the perfect compliment to that release, but an excellent addition to your wrestling DVD collection on its own.
Before I watched this DVD, I could have written everything I knew about Shawn Michaels on the back of a postage stamp. I missed Shawn's first stint in the WWE so never knew much about his background. I was always interested to know more though because I enjoy his athletic and high-flying wrestling style.
The documentary on Disc 1 is 2 hrs, 2 mins long and does an excellent job of discussing the key moments in Shawn's personal and professional life. I was actually surprised by how honest it was. It showed that Shawn could be arrogant and selfish, and wasn't always liked by others. Shawn was also honest about how drug problems and pain affected his life. The overall picture of Shawn, by the mid to late 90s, was a man who was successful in the ring but unhappy outside of it, and was on a path of self-destruction. The DVD then shows how Shawn turned his life around and returned to WWE. At first, although he got married and had a child, he was still using drugs...but through developing a stronger Christian faith he was able to give up drugs and become a happier person who is also nicer to the people around him. It was brilliant to watch a wrestling story where there is actually a happy ending!
The documentary is enhanced by comments from Michaels' family, people he used to work with, Vince McMahon and other wrestlers - particularly Triple H, Chris Jericho and Marty Jannetty. The documentary is very emotional, a real feel good story by the end, and it gives the impression that Shawn has learnt a lot from his past mistakes. The Extras on Disc 1 include some deleted scenes from the documentary, a really good `Tell me a Lie' tribute video, and a funny promo where Shawn dresses up as Hulk Hogan.
Other reviewers will probably outline the matches on Discs 2 and 3 better than I could - but I do think it is a great range of old and new matches. My faves are probably the Royal Rumble 1995, and the newer matches against Triple H, John Cena (filmed in London, which is nice for us UK viewiers!) and Kurt Angle. I am particularly happy that WWE mainly chose matches that weren't available on other DVDs and they didn't include any Wrestlemania matches either, because most fans already have those on DVD.
Overall, this DVD is highly recommended for all WWE fans, including people like me who didn't have any knowledge of Shawn Michaels before the 2000s.
on 11 December 2013
Unfortunately, this multi-disc set seems slightly dated now seeing as the last 2/3 years of Shawn's career are missed due to this being released in 2008. Nonetheless, this is a classy production full of emotion, honesty and history.
Shawn, his parents, his wife Rebecca and many fellow superstars past and present are interviewed, such as Triple H, Marty Jannetty, Vince McMahon, Ted DiBiase Senior and Chris Jericho. Key figures such as Kevin Nash and Scott Hall are missed due to their involvement with TNA at the time of filming the interviews which is a shame as they would have added even more to this.
Starting with Shawn's early aspirations to be a wrestler, then his partnership with Jannetty before detailing his early heel run in the 90's and then winning the WWF title at Wrestlemania 12, there is strong emphasis on his 1st retirement and personal problems before moving on to his fine comeback and the cementing of his legacy, such as winning the World Title at Survivor Series 2002 and his 'Mania epics with Jericho, McMahon and Cena. Honest accounts of his arrogance, his ego, his ability, his new-found religious beliefs and his real-life feuds with such figures as Vince McMahon, Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan are given, as is the story of how his friendship with Paul Levesque was saved from ruins.
There are tears and laughs along the way and the production of the main piece ensures its quality. WWE always provide quality with their video productions, whether for promos during TV and PPVs or DVD packages such as this, and they certainly don't disappoint with Heartbreak and Triumph.
on 3 January 2008
Shawn Michaels is one of the best, if not the best, wrestlers in the history of wrestling. He is everything that people say he is. He is the type of wrestler who can make any match look good and take any wrestler (not even the best one) and make them shine. Without a doubt, one of my top three favorite wrestlers of all time and quite possibly the best of all time. As much as Shawn loves the spotlight, his life was not all that shining. This DVD set chronicles the start, rise and fall of Michaels' career to his incredible comeback story. It also features some of HBK's rear classic matches, even some that have never been released on DVD or anywhere else before this. NOW, all of these matches are worth viewing more than once.
Matches: Billy Jack Haynes vs. Shawn Michaels. This was HBK's first match and while it is very short, it is nice to see Shawn when he was starting out. I am giving this 10/10 because it was cool seeing Shawn in his first televised match.
The Midnight Rockers vs. Buddy Rose & Doug Somers-AWA Tag Team Championship Match. This is not the bloodbath match from "From The Vault" but it is the one where the Rockers win the Tag titles. 8/10
The Midnight Rockers vs. Super Ninja & Ninja Go. The Rockers's first title defense and never a dull moment from them. Great aural offence by both teams in this one. 9.5/10
The Rockers vs. The Brainbusters. This was the early time of Michaels' career in WWE. This is a solid contest and shows the great improvement of the Rockers. A great spot that see's HBK and Marty Jannetty both do the super kick to The Brianbusters at the same time which is just so cool to see. 10/10
The Rockers vs. The Hart Foundation-WWF Tag Team Championship(2 out of 3 falls). This is the forgotten match that was never aired where the Rockers win the tag titles. I enjoyed this match but the top rope malfunctioned kept the match and the decision from staying. This is a Hard hitting battle and is and was impossible to find before this DVD realese. 9.5/10
The Rockers vs. Orient Express. This was the opener of the Royal Rumble from 1991 and the match that stole the show. 10/10
Shawn Michaels vs. The British Bulldog-WWF Intercontinental Championship Match. This was the first time that HBK won a singles title and this is a nice fast-paced contest that is surely another forgotten battle. 9.5/10
1995 Royal Rumble Match where Shawn Michaels enters #1 and wins the Rumble. I was happy to see this one and this is a true highlight of HBK's career as he became the first man to go coast to coast in Rumble history. 9/10
Shawn Michaels vs. Jeff Jarrett-WWF Intercontinental Championship Match. This is a forgotten classic. One of the greatest Intercontinental Championship Matches of all time that people might have forgotten about. One of Michaels' and Jarrett's best matches in WWE history. 10/10
Shawn Michaels vs. The British Bulldog-WWF Championship Match. This match was the main event of the King of the Ring 1996. A good storyline, solid in-ring storytelling resulting in another solid but forgotten contest. 10/10
Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H-World Heavyweight Championship Match. This is from RAW on December 29 of 2003 and what a match it was. The only disappointment about this match is the ending. 10/10
The Rockers vs. La Resistance. The Rockers Reunion and even though the match does not last that long, it was great to see Michaels and Jannetty team up together after so many years of not working together. 8/10
Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle. The WrestleMania 21 rematch from Vengeance 2005. Another classic delivered by Angle and Michaels that is just as good as their first encounter. 10/10
Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena. Another WrestleMania rematch, this time from WrestleMania 23. However, this one heavily made up and topped their WrestleMania match. The best HBK/Cena encounter from their brief rivalry during the year, as these two went close to an hour. One of the longest Bell to Bell matches that we don't see often anymore. 10/10 Cena's best match
Although, some fans want to see some other of Shawn's classic matches (like the one with Chris Jericho at WM XIX or Hell In a Cell with Triple H, The Rockers' match at WM VII), I liked the fact that most of the matches on here are some of the rear classic matches that are very difficult to find. Shawn Michaels just might be the BEST and I dare anyone to tell me or that man himself that he is not.
A Must Have for all true wrestling fans.
Some might argue with my opinion that Shawn Michaels is the greatest in-ring performer of the last 25 years (if not ever in the WW(F)E) although few, regardless of their personal bias, would seriously argue that at the very least he doesn't deserve to make the short-list. He also happens to be one of the most colourful AND controversial figures ever seen in the WWE. This entertaining box set proves as much.
The documentary is certainly encompassing of his whole career and whilst those amongst you who've read his book will know all the stories here, it's entertaining to see them on the TV screen and get the comments of others who were around at the time. It's certainly candid as well and as such isn't one of those WWE releases that whitewashes the negative side of a wrestler's character. My only gripe is that the boring DX feud with the McMahons gets far too much time, but then I'm sure there are some observers who would love it,
The matches (which avoid any previously seen on the fantastic From The Vaults DVD) are mostly good, with a few exceptions (The '95 Rumble, for instance, is boring and is devoid of star-power). The Rockers/Orient Express match from 1991 stands the test of time, as do their matches with the Brainbusters and The Hart Foundation, and there are quality singles matches alongside the likes of Jeff Jarrett, Davey Boy Smith and Triple H. Again the only gripes are minor, but it's fair to say that the matches herein against John Cena and Kurt Angle are good but not as good as the Wrestlemania matches that inspired them.
Overall this is a fantastic set, but not quite perfect. Although there may be many good reasons for the match choices (not wanting to repeat what was already available, picking matches Shawn won rather than those he lost) being as they are there is no denying that this isn't the definitive "best of" it could have been. Still, anyone who's followed the WW(F)E whilst Shawn has been there is sure to enjoy this collection.
on 24 July 2016
This is the proper 'Shawn Michaels story' DVD. It tells you all the behind the curtain stories including his battle with drugs, the birth of DX, the fake collapse in the ring against Owen Hart and the Montreal screw job against Bret Hart.
on 27 March 2008
As a lifelong fan of HBK I raced out to buy this DVD on the day of release, and I am glad I did!!!! The HBK book of the same name was a good read, but the DVD covers all bases, Shawn talks about how he developed a love for wrestling, how he got into the business and how he became the star he is today.
Shawn talks openly about his addiction to painkillers and how he overcame those problems. He discusses his faith and how that plays a pivotal role in the man he is today. There is additional commentary from Shawns parents, childhood friends and peers (notably Chris Jericho who admits that HBK was a role model for Jerichos own career).
The 3 disc set compiles one disc focusing on his career and two discs focusing on matches that Shawn feels are stand out matches in his career.
Overall this is a great DVD and a definate must for HBK fans. Those who are only just getting into wrestling would also benefit from this DVD to see HBK in his heyday but also see some greats in action who are no longer with us (Davy Boy Smith, etc).
on 11 March 2011
I have lots of wrestling DVD'S but this one beats them all, Shawn has always been the one i have watched since a young age and never fails to amaze not just the fans but everyone behind the curtain of the WWE.
The first disk is a 2 hour full length documentary on Shawn's life everything from where he was born to his struggles with drugs and depression. Shawn isn't the only one been Interviewed, the likes of Triple H, Vince McMahon, Chris Jericho, Marty Jennety and more give their opinions on matches and Shawn himself. The documentary is captivating from start to finish; as we learn about how he met is Nitro girl wife and his love for his first born son Cameron. We also experiences his high's and low's with his entertaining but yet tough start as the rockers to his fight with Triple H in the locker room. One thing that most people are interested in is the night Shawn and Vince screwed Brett hart in 1997, well there is more to it than what we first thought as Triple H also had a say in the matter and as the full story is told Brett wasn't the one screwed but just someone who didn't want to help the business. There is so much pulled in to just this 2 hour documentary that it's worth getting just for this.
Now on to disk 2 and 3 -
On these Disks are some of the best matches in Shawn's career from his early start with the rockers to his amazing and classic royal rumble win after he enters at no.1 and wins.
Other matches Include British bulldog, his championship match with Triple H and his Hell in a cell with the undertaker (Outstanding match), There are also stunning matches with Kurt Angle and Jeff Jerret.
All in all a fantastic addition to Shawn's career.
on 18 September 2014
Great matches, great character. I love the documentary, seeing how it all started, and even seeing his first ever match. Great dvd.
on 30 September 2014
wwe--shawn michaels story -heartbreak and triumph [dvd] was of good quality very good for all wrestling fans good value for money