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