Available to rent/buy on itunes, Vudu, PSN and Zune.
With the Rock stepping back into the ring at Wrestlemania 28 to face the WWE's poster boy, John Cena, the WWE have released a brand new home video based on one of the most popular superstars in wrestling history, the Rock. This digital edition features the 2 hour documentary from the DVD set which features exclusive interviews with the Rock, Vince McMahon, his family and other WWE superstars.
The documentary kicks off with a nice montage clip explaining the Rock's family heritage with clips and photos from his childhood, most of which has been covered in the past but having some fresh interviews with his family members (including ex-wife) are a great addition. Pat Patterson explains how he helped break the Rock into the WWE and how the Rock's father helped train him. Vince McMahon and Jim Ross tell the story about how great they thought he was which was why he was given such as strong push when he joined the roster including his debut at Madison Square Garden and winning the Intercontinental championship just months after debuting.
We learn how the Rock dealt with being booed by the fans as he tried to be the blue chipper and a proper old fashion good guy, before moving onto his heel turn by joining the Nation of Domination. From there he continued to improve and become extremely entertaining as he grew in confidence. Triple H and the Rock continued to feud while pushing one another to be better while at the same time pushing one another up the "ladder" into the main event level and finally winning the WWF World Champion at the Survivor Series to become the youngest world champion ever.
This initial run at the top of the company was simply fantastic and we get to see lots of clips of the Rock in action and his amazing promos as he had fantastic rivalries with Mick Foley and Steve Austin, leading into Wrestlemania XV. As the Rock became more and more popular with the fans, he slowly started became a fan favourite.
The documentary quickly runs through his initial pre-Hollywood WWE career including his time as the Rock 'n' Sock connection and his rivalry with the Game Triple H.
As The Rock became more and more popular, he became mainstream and appeared everywhere, eclipsing Stone Cold, from here the Rock started to spread his wings and doing more work outside of the ring, including his acting role in the Mummy Returns.
However, while he was still gaining experience in Hollywood with movies like the Scorpion King and the Rundown, The Rock was still a major part of the WWE as he feuded with Steve Austin, ECW/WCW, Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle and Hulk Hogan with clips and comments about his amazing Wrestlemania matches. Rock opens up saying how he felt he had done everything he could have done and thought wrestling Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania X8 was a dream and reminded him of how special that moment was. John Cena explains how that match at Hogan/Rock was special because of the crowd and while its not technically fantastic, its a special moment and since I was there in attendance, I would say that is my all time favourite match.
But as the Rock turned his attention more and more towards Hollywood and spent less time in the ring, the fans started to turn on him once again as the Rock keeps coming and going. Once again the Rock used the fans reaction to change character to once again become a heel by becoming "Hollywood" Rock. However he still stayed entertaining and appealed to his core audience.
Unlike the previous Rock home video, this documentary is much more broad as it successfully brings together the Rock's entire wrestling career into a nice little package. It is also great to see the Rock actually sat down to do this interview for this documentary as I hadn't expected to see as much footage from him due to his hectic schedule.
But at the same time, I enjoyed the last portion of the home video a little more since it wasn't included on the "Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment". It's also interesting that during his 7 year absence from the WWE until he returned to host Wrestlemania 27, that whole part of his Hollywood career is completely skipped which shows that this isn't a Rock movie reel.
We get to see clips from the Rock's recent appearances on RAW including his Birthday show with many of the top superstars talking about how great he is (well they aren't likely to say he isn't.) I did love that they included the "Coming Home" montage video as that is extremely well made and a good way to close the documentary.
It is also great to hear what other fellow Attitude era superstars think about the Rock and they haven't got the usual mid-carders like Santino talking about the Rock as we would much rather hear from guys like Steve Austin, CM Punk, Triple H, Mick Foley, Chris Jericho and obviously from the Rock himself.
I had expected to see much more emphasis placed on the his Hollywood life, but thankfully they kept that to a minimum which makes this seem much more palatable.
It's very noticeable, not just from this documentary but from his recent WWE experiences, the Rock loves the feeling he gets when he has a microphone in his hands and a capacity crowd at his fingertips. However I do think that since he returned to the WWE, he hasn't really help give anybody a rub except for John Cena.
While the majority of his earlier promos and greatest moments are included on the other Rock home video, this is much more fluid and easier to watch in one sitting. And because of how they have edited this promo's and moments together, they don't feel like I've seen most of these moments dozens of times, which is hard to do.
One of the biggest problems I've got with this documentary is that this feels like its a big cash in on his Wrestlemania appearance and I think this video should have been delayed until after Wrestlemania 28 to include his proper return to the ring (not including his Survivor Series return).
Production value's wise, this is a very crisp and well made documentary, the 2 hours just flew by and all the interviews look and sound excellent which sends out the message that this title wasn't just a quick money making video.
Overall: A Epic Journey is a fantastic way for new fans to catch up with all of the Rock's best moments and why he is so great in one handy little package while at the same time, reminding his long running fans a trip down memory lane. Just don't expect to see anything that new or fresh but if your a fan of the Rock, you'll love it.