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   Fri, October 10, 2003



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Fans make DVD picks
By JON WALDMAN - SLAM! WRESTLING


The people have spoken.

Just over a week ago, SLAM! readers were asked to voice their opinions on what non-PPV matches they would like to see on a future WWE DVD release. Well, the results are in, so let's take a look at what you, the people, want to see.

Many fans that wrote in expressed an interest in seeing old-time matches, from the "golden age" of wrestling. These matches, as many noted, are hard to find, and there is an audience for them.

Jason Bangor is an example of such a fan. He explains that he'd be willing to open up his wallet for some classic 80s wrestling. "Honestly if we could go back to the archive reel and review some of the WWF-E World Championship matches like Bruno dropping the belt to Superstar or maybe Backlund beating Superstar would be awesome for old time fans," he says. "I would surely purchase DVDs that had more old time wrestling in them. "I haven't bought a wrestling video for years and I think that the WWE should recognize the fact that us old timers probably would shell out a few bucks for some heritage."

Bangor is hardly alone in his thoughts. Another reader, J Hillstead, says that he enjoyed the good old days as well. While opening his remarks with a request for Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn, Hillstead noted that his other preference would be for one of the greatest factions in all of professional wrestling. "The only other matches that would be worth watching are the Saturday am TBS NWA matches," he says. "I remember some great programs involving The Nature Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen, you know with Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and whoever else. Those were the days! Memories...of fantastic wrestling of Ric Flair and the old NCW!"

That is not to say, however, that the "modern era" didn't have it's own requests. Of these matches, the majority were bouts that many wrestling fans probably don't remember even occurring. Andrew Barron has one such request, which was a bout between Bret Hart and the 1-2-3 Kid from RAW. Barron explains that, "the match was VERY back-and-forth and I actually thought a few times that "the Kid" was going to pull off the major upset. It was a relatively long match that was able to build from a slow beginning to near frenetic at times with many near pin-falls. It was just basically a very entertaining match between the best mat technician in the business (Hart) and a highly underrated talent that wasn't used to his full potential."

One match, however, is very well known, and has surprisingly not been released yet. The match was the half-hour classic match that took place on October 4, 1999's edition of WCW Monday Nitro between Bret Hart and Chris Benoit. The match, which was billed as the Owen Hart Memorial match, has been called by some observers as Benoit's best North American match, and was easily Hart's top bout in his WCW career. Says reader Lee DeWald, "This contest was a credit to both men, especially Hart. He'd just returned to active wrestling a few weeks before, and this was his first singles match on television. There was no ring rust; at 42 years old, the Hitman could still deliver the goods."

The most requested match, however, was one that did not even originate on North American soil. Several readers wanted to see the finals from the European Title inaugural tournament, pitting Owen Hart against his brother-in-law, Davey Boy Smith. The match took place during a European tour in the late 1990s, and was only available in North America via WWF syndicate programming such as WWF Mania.

Fans such as Derrick Brewer noted that with the passing of the two superstars, making this classic available would be a great way to pay tribute to Hart and Smith, "Not only was it a classic match but it would also be a way of honoring two of wrestling's best," he says.

Other matches fans said they'd love to see again include Kerry Von Erich vs. Jerry Lawler in their title vs. title match, Tito Santana vs. Greg Valentine in a Steel Cage and Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair from 1991

Is there a match that you would like to see again? We want to know. Send us your thoughts on what non-PPV matches you would like to see, and they will be posted in a future article on SLAM! Wrestling.

Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! Wrestling since 2000. For more articles about WWE DVDs by Jon, please browse SLAM!'s archives