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   Mon, October 25, 2004



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Mania good, Michaels bad on DVD
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
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  • Order WWE - The History of WrestleMania DVD
  • In their infinite ambition to seize as much of the DVD market as possible, WWE has re-released two videos from their DVD archives.

    The first special, The History of Wrestlemania I-IX takes a look at everyone's favourite annual wrestling event, Wrestlemania. The first nine 'Manias are covered here, and it's a very interesting watch.

    The show is hosted by a much younger-looking Vincent Kennedy McMahon, who sits in an empty studio amongst posters and other memorabilia from Wrestlemania I through Wrestlemania IX. At various times in the recording, other personalities such as Gorilla Monsoon and Randy "Macho Man" Savage are brought in to lend their insight into the 'Manias.

    Each 'Mania has a couple highlighted matches, with most of them being very predictable showings, such as Randy Savage vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat from WM III and Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior from WM VI.

    The clips from these matches are various lengths, but not complete. Given that the disc is promoted as a highlight DVD, it's perfectly acceptable for this format. Some of the matches are voiced-over, likely due to the legalities surrounding Jesse Ventura's commentary. What we get in place of the regular broadcast, however, is some great conversation between two of the greatest play-by-play men in the history of the biz, Monsoon and Jim Ross.

    This DVD is a very cool look at 'Mania's early history, and is worth at least a rental.

    I only wish I could give the same recommendation for the second re-release, Shawn Michaels: Boyhood Dream.

    This recording comes to us from 1996, when Michaels was arguably at his prime. Dok Hendrix hosts the DVD, so that should already be an alert to the crappiness of the compilation.

    The DVD is composed of highlighted matches from HBK, including bouts against Bret Hart, Mankind and Vader. Well, really it's a crime to call them matches, because we get another clip job here. The difference between 'Mania and HBK, however, is that the 'Mania DVD is marketed more as a documentary than an actual match-by-match compilation.

    Let's face it - this is pure, unadulterated laziness from WWE. Why they couldn't have taken the time to go through the archives and pluck the original, full-length version of the matches is beyond me. It's not like they'd have to go through the process of blurring out the old WWF logos, because the scratch logo had yet to be introduced, and the old-school and "tilted" WWF insignias seem to be usable without any dispute from the panda people (no, not the TNA owners).

    Shawn Michaels: Boyhood Dream is totally not worth your money. If you want to get compilation of great HBK matches, then just go buy the From The Vault two-discer which was released last year.



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  • Order WWE - The History of WrestleMania DVD
  • Order Shawn Michaels: A Boyhood Dream DVD

    Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000. Be sure to check him out on Sportsology's Ringside Wrapup radio show.