Exactly six minutes into Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon (2016), my 4-year-old son and fellow wrestling fanatic turned to me exasperated and asked, “Is there even going to be a wrestling match in this movie?” At that point, even I had to admit, it wasn’t looking good that we’d get any wrestling out of this WWE animated mystery. After all, it’s obvious from the start that this sequel to Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery (2014) finds the featured WWE superstars exclusively racing supercars instead of, you know, wrestling.
It’s a curious choice too because I’m not sure most kids who like WWE will appreciate turning up for a wrestling movie and finding no wrestling (apart from a street brawl between The Miz and the titular Speed Demon and a climactic tussle between the Undertaker and the Demon). Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot here to appeal to WWE fans where the superstar voice talent is concerned, but this substitution of racing for wrestling is quite perplexing. It totally misses the mark where the appeal of WWE is concerned, almost as though they’d had a racing script retrofitted to the WWE at the last minute. Eventually, my son warmed up to the change of sporting events—there is a racecar-driving monster in this, after all, and a monster’s all he ever asks for—but I spent the bulk of the movie wildly confused by the choice. (Equally confusing was the choice to have Michael Cole shout at one point: “Great Gobbledy Gooker!”) At least the big reveal at the end of the mystery is in keeping with WWE storytelling trends!
That said, there’s a lot of WWE talent on show here. We of course have Vince and Stephanie McMahon with Triple H representing The Authority. And they’re joined here by Taker, Paige, Sheamus, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Rusev and Lana, Goldust, Stardust, El Matadores, and finally, the late, great Dusty Rhodes in his last film role. The presence of those last three immediately dates this movie though. After all, Cody Rhodes (Stardust) is no longer with the company, El Matadores has been rebranded, and The American Dream is sadly no longer with us. Add to this the fact that you’ve got Kofi appearing sans the rest of the New Day and this roster is clearly more suited to late-June 2014 than August 2016! Still, it’s a real treat to hear something new from Dusty Rhodes so long after his passing, and to find him acting alongside his sons at that. Noticeably missing though is John Cena, who kids do so love!
Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon is now available on Digital HD, Blu-ray, and DVD. Special features on the home video release include a bonus episode of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!, an episode of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, and a featurette about the real world Scooby-Doo Monster Jam monster truck.