A while ago, I was asked to review this DVD, and I finally got around to this weekend (I apologize for the delay). It’s the first DVD I’ve ever reviewed from MVD Entertainment Group, so I already knew I wouldn’t be looking at a top-of-the-line WWE production this time around, and that’s fine. However, I’ve gotta say I’m a bit disappointed regardless.
[adinserter block=”1″]Overall, the concept is good. It’s a collection of matches from the “territory days” of pro wrestling, featuring matches from promotions not yet currently owned by WWE, such as ICW, CWA and NAWA. A lot of stars got their start in these promotions, stars many of you are familiar with, with quite a few of them being current Hall of Famers for WWE. So, it’s kind of cool to see a lot of these stars, such as Rick Rude, Jim Neidhart and Lanny Poffo, to name a few, working matches that took place prior to them really taking off as stars in the sport. The stars featured here are great (although some of them are very odd choices), but the matches really bring the DVD down.
Each of the promotions featured here lasted years, so there’s probably a relatively large library for each with great matches available. Instead of that, though, nearly every match is a squash, with some of them ending in less than 2 or 3 minutes. Even the ones that aren’t squashes tend to feature guys on the losing end that never did much in the sport (to my knowledge, anyway), and even the winners in some of these matches never went onto too much fame. I can guarantee most fans outside of Canada have never heard of the Love Brothers or Kim Duk, for example. One really strange choice features David Von Erich in what appears to be a completely empty arena. It isn’t until the match is over that you actually start to see fans emerge from various places in the arena. During the match, you can’t see anyone in the crowd, nor hear anyone. While I seriously doubt the promotion was going for that, it comes off as ridiculously bush-league, despite featuring a Von Erich.
There is one feature on the DVD that I really like, and that is during the matches, various pieces of trivia pop up on the screen about the match contestants in question. While some of the trivia is interesting, most of it is just filler, like how many times so-and-so won the such-and-such championship. Aside from that, a lot of the trivia is stuff that’s really obvious to most fans, such as Ivan Koloff being the man that ended Bruno Sammartino’s historic first run as WWWF Champion. Plus, it doesn’t appear that a proofreader was assigned to this DVD, as there are loads of spelling and grammatical errors in the trivia, not to mention some things that I know for a fact aren’t facts. One wrestler (I forget his name) is listed as the only legally blind wrestler in history, even though it’s fairly common knowledge that Stan Hansen is legally blind and was throughout much of his career, for example.
As for the presentation of the DVD, it’s obviously run by a small company with a small budget. That in and of itself wouldn’t be bad, but some of the tapes used here are so old there are constant tracking problems, not to mention loads of audio issues. The commentary for each match ranges in volume, from perfectly normal audio levels, then overly loud, then too quiet, then completely non-existent. There is an 8-man match on this DVD featuring Rude, Neidhart and several others that features absolutely zero sound whatsoever, making hard to pay attention to.
[adinserter block=”2″]I like the concept here, and I think a lot of old school wrestling fans will find some enjoyment thanks to a large amount of content (27 matches at just over 3 hours run-time), but it’s really hard for me to get behind this DVD overall. The quality of the production and the quality of the matches presented here really bring the whole idea down. If the company that made this by chance owns the libraries of these promotions, I strongly suggest looking further into their catalogues for future releases. A few squash matches on a DVD is fine, especially if those matches are the debuts of guys who later went on to be major players, but a DVD loaded with them is not my cup of tea.
Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:
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