Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|WWE Summerslam - The Complete Anthology Vol 2 1993-1997|
The Superstars of WWE come together for the Biggest Party of the Summer at SummerSlam. Some of WWE's most memorable moments have come on the SummerSlam stage. The WWE's signature event of the summer has seen a number of me... more »
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WWE Marketting Comes Around
R.A. McKenzie | New York | 12/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In August 2008, the WWE released the first 20 SUMMERSLAM PPVs. While a very good collection, most collectors probably didn't want to dish out all that money. And that styrofoam cooler sucked!
Thankfully --- and not to say, "I told you so." (LOL) --- the first 20 are being released into their four separate volumes. I'll try to repeat myself too much from my "SUMMERSLAM ANTHOLOGY" review; so, let's get to it:
---With Hulk Hogan gone from the WWF, Lex Luger was our new American hero. In the Lex Express, he bus-toured the country to get fans rallied for his eventual showdown with WWF champion Yokozuna. What better way to get our Fourth of July spirit going than in August, right? The main event turned out to be an acceptable match, and the countout finish actually made some sense, as Luger's powerful running forearm knocks the champ out of the ring, too dazed to reenter.
The rest of the card features some neat moments. Ted DiBiase's last PPV match was against Razor Ramon in the opener. Nothing classic, but a crisp showing from both men helps us remember why both were two of the best at some point in time. Bret Hart's rivalry with Jerry Lawler had begun after Lawler attacked "Hitman" at his KING OF THE RING ceremony. To tick fans off even more, Lawler somehow made Bret compete against Doink The Clown in an impromtu match, before getting in the ring to start the advertised contest. Also, 1-2-3 Kid (aka "X-Pac") made his PPV debut against Irwin R. Schyster; I always thought both wrestlers were very entertaining performers, as seen here.
The Undertaker and Giant Gonzalez concluded their heavily-disliked rivalry in a Rest-In-Peace Match. I thought their WM IX match was watchable, so I kinda got into this one too.
The best match on the PPV is unquestionably the IC Title Match between Mr. Perfect and Shawn Michaels (the champion). I forgot how terrific this was until I revisited it on Curt Hennig's 2-disc set. Simply put, it's amazing, and even with the countout finish, it's a marvelous piece of work.
The other three matches are a Tag Titles Match w/ The Steiner Brothers (not bad), Marty Jannetty versus Ludvig Borga (UGH!), and a 6-Man Tag Team Match (a solid match).
Overall, the 1993 event isn't too bad. It was probably the worst SUMMERSLAM at the time, but considering some of the ones that followed, this one's worth a look.
---This SUMMERSLAM, held in Chicago's United Center, is mostly remembered for two things: the incredible rivalry between Bret Hart and Owen Hart continuing with their classic Steel Cage Match, and a bizarre unpopular "Undertaker versus Undertaker" main event.
The latter was very new territory for the WWF, as they took Undertaker's supernatural character to a whole new level. For the first time in history, a superstar had overcome a "death" of sorts to resurrect into a new force to be reckoned with. Ted DiBiase's promos leading up to the match were well done; after all, this PPV showcased some of his most successful managing duties. Unfortunately, the main event was a plodding "Dead Man" match, with only the entrances and closing Tombstone Pildrivers worth noting.
Thankfully, the match before was another outstanding show between two of the best technicians to grace a wrestling ring. Owen Hart & Bret Hart competed in their riskiest match together, and must've had incredible trust to perform some of the high-risk Cage spots that they did. Throw in the rest of the Hart Family in shambles over this brotherly feud, and you have a classic among classics.
The rest of the '94 SUMMERSLAM is pretty good too. My favorite of the undercard is Razor Ramon challenging Diesel for the Intercontinental Title. You can see subtle teases for the Diesel/HBK feud that occurred months later. The opener is also pretty entertaining; The Headshrinkers take on Bam Bam Bigelow & Irwin R. Schyster (part of the Million Dollar stable).
Ted DiBiase also successfully managed to turn a minor grudge between Tatanka and Lex Luger into a flatout betrayal. The match wasn't very good, but Tatanka's heel turn, stuffing dollar bills into Luger's mouth, was pretty cool.
Also surprising was how well Jeff Jarrett managed to keep up with Mabel (aka "Viscera" aka "Big Daddy V"). The Men On A Mission was a stupid tag team with an even worse music video, but Jarrett's skills as a performer managed to keep the whole thing from stinking up the arena. Finally, the Women's Title Match between Bull Nakano & Alundra Blayze is pretty solid too. Probably one of the better WWF Women's matches from the mid-90s.
The 1994 SUMMERSLAM is a pretty solid event. If you wanna see the Steel Cage Match on DVD without buying that subpar BLOODBATH set that came out back in 2004, then this is the way to go. Besides, the rest of it's good for at least one viewing.
Oh, did I mention that Leslie Nielsen and George Kennedy were acting as their NAKED GUN spoof cops, trying to "solve the mystery of the Undertaker?" Almost as corny as that Bill Clinton impersonator.
---Okay, so VOLUME 2 isn't a complete success. This is quite possibly the worst SUMMERSLAM of all time, and there've been some miserable ones.
Chances are you know about the Ladder Match where Shawn Michaels & Razor Ramon rematched for the IC TItle. It's a very good match, but not only does it pale in comparison to the WRESTLEMANIA X classic, it's also on the excellent LADDER MATCH 3-disc set.
But what's on the rest of the card?
The main event pits WWF champion Diesel against King Mabel. Although it's neat to see Diesel as an underdog, Mabel's 1995 KING OF THE RING victory did nothing but tick off fans who were cheering for every other tournament competitor. Anybody else still ticked that Savio Vega lost?
The opener is quite good; Hakushi versus 1-2-3 Kid should get Cruiserweight fans pumped. It's not a classic, but definitely a crowd-energizer. The Casket Match between Undertaker and Kama is okay, but I was never a big fan of Kama (or "Godfather" for that matter). Bret Hart and Isaac Yankem (aka "Kane") actually had a decent match together. I would compare to Bret's matches against Diesel, as opposed to someone less talented like Sid.
Barry Horowitz won a match! If you're unfamiliar with Horowitz, then this won't make much sense. His match wasn't very good either, but that pinfall sure got a loud reaction. Another noticable response was when Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Bob Holly with the Pedigree. I guess WWF fans hadn't seen anything like it back in 1995. Truth be told, I probably wouldn't have either at the time.
Do you have a case of insomnia? Then the Women's Title Match or Smoking Gunns match should cure you, 60% of the time, every time!......Sorry, just felt like saying that.
The 1995 SUMMERSLAM gives your mind too many opportunities to wander. I don't have much to say because there wasn't much to look at. I might've been too harsh with this card in my ANTHOLOGY review, but I'm amazed I managed to type this much about it. Take that as your guideline.
---Shawn Michaels was indeed a new face for the WWF. His run as the champion was definitely one of the most successful of the 90s. He had great matches, with a variety of opponents, and his eventual loss was a good way to go out. The main event is Shawn Michaels against Vader, in a seemingly endless feud with Jim Cornette's bunch of villains. Although it's tough to believe that HBK could actually defeat Vader, the back-and-forth pace keeps us engaged.
Jim Cornette's two other players -- Owen Hart and British Bulldog -- had good matches on their own. The opener showcased the underrated Savio Vega and Owen in a remarkable curtain jerker. And Bulldog faced Sycho Sid in a match that was much more entertaining than it should've been for some how dislikes Sid's career in general.
The match that sticks out in my mind the most is the Boiler Room Brawl between Mankind and The Undertaker. Man, these two put on matches & storylines that did nothing but make a lot of money. For those of us who didn't Mankind was actually Mick Foley, we fans just couldn't wrap our heads around this insane individual. And even with all of the gigantic opponents thrown his way, Undertaker had never faced a more challenging foe. This SUMMERSLAM encounter is still an entertaining match, but for the 30 minutes it lasts, we expect something more hardcore. The weapons spots feel a bit soft, which took me out of the experience. The shocking betrayal at the end is still a WWF gem, and the sheer length of the fight is pretty exhausting.
Sadly, this is also the night where Jake Roberts was forced to participate in an embarassing angle with Jerry Lawler. The storyline made light of Roberts' substance abuse problems, and the match is pretty poor anyway.
The round out the undercard is an Fourway Elimination Match for the Tag Team Titles, and a decent contest between Goldust & Marc Mero.
Just like most of VOLUME 2, the 1996 SUMMERSLAM is an entertaining event. Is it a must-see event? No, but very few wrestling PPVs are.
---I always hold this event very dear to me because this was the first PPV I paid for in my own house. Before, I had always watched PPVs at other friends' places. But even without that nostalgic touch, this 1997 event is another well-executed PPV.
To star things off, Mankind and Hunter Hearst Helmsley conclude their rivalry with an excellent Steel Cage Match. The feud had lasted for a couple months, and this was the perfect way to not only put on a great physical display, but also to make Mankind's babyface push more complete. That top-of-the-Cage dive is still a breathtaker!
There are two tag contests on the card, neither of them very good. The Godwinns just turned heel (who cares?), and somehow managed to cheat their way to a victory over The Legion of Doom. And the "gang warfare" approach was represented when Los Boricuas (Savio Vega's gang) took on The Disciples of Apocalypse (Crush's gang), while The Nation of Domination (their former faction) interfered towards the end. The NOD angles were okay for storylines, but very few of these 12+ wrestlers could put on good shows.
But the real stars of SUMMERSLAM 1997 are the anti-American Hart Foundation, an angle that actually had me sympathize with the bitter Canadians rather than the likes of 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin. The power of this angle cannot be explained in one review, so I'll just skip to the matches.
Each Hart Foundation Match had a stipulation. Brian Pillman was forced to wear a gold dress after losing to Goldust. The British Bulldog avoided eating dog food & losing his European Title because Ken Shamrock got himself disqualified and lost it (once again!). 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin avoided kissing Owen Hart's backside because he won the Intercontinental Title. Everyone remembers this match for the crippling piledriver that Austin took, but the match itself is an impressive outing between two wrestlers at the top of their game.
The main event is nice historical document. Bret Hart challenged Undertaker for the WWF Championship, and agreed to never wrestle in the USA if he didn't win. As if the stakes weren't high enough, Shawn Michaels was appointed as the guest referee. The match itself is my favorite of the Taker/Hitman contests, even though I'm not a big fan of their matches together. However, I enjoyed the in-ring storytelling quite a bit this time. Michaels does an excellent job as the inexperienced referee. Now, the finish where HBK accidentally costs Taker the title might've been predicted by longtime fans. What they couldn't predict was how classic the Taker/HBK rivalry became in the days to come. On this very night, Shawn Michaels became a great heel in the span of a single chairshot.
This 1997 event is probably my favorite of the bunch. It's got just enough Attitude for those who consider it to be the pinnacle of the WWF, but also some old-school competition and storylines for those of us who were late to the party. This was New Jersey's first PPV in quite some time. The WWF couldn't have picked a better way to reintroduce their product.
WHAT'S ALREADY BEEN ON DVD?
* 1993 - Mr. Perfect v. Shawn Michaels (LIFE & TIMES OF MR. PERFECT)
* 1994 - Bret/Owen Steel Cage Match (BLOODBATH)
* 1995 - HBK/Razor Ladder Match (LADDER MATCH DVD)
* 1996 - Jerry Lawler v. Jake Roberts (PICK YOUR POISON)
* 1997 - HHH/Mankind Steel Cage Match (BLOODBATH)
* 1997 - Owen Hart v. Stone Cold (THE LEGACY OF STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN)
* 1997 - Bret Hart v. Undertaker (TOMBSTONE)
---The only real complaints I have against this set are that some of the best matches are already on DVD, and that none of these five PPVs are must-see events. But if you choose to spend the money, it'll be a good way to kill 15 hours. I've always wanted these four SUMMERSLAM volumes over the WRESTLEMANIA or ROYAL RUMBLE events, because the former is often too epic to take in one sitting & the latter always has a battle royal. But each of the SUMMERSLAM PPVs have enough variety of talent & wrestling, but with more focus on the ring than the spectacle. If that's the way you like your pro wrestling, than VOLUME 2 is a job well-done."
From The "Lex Express" To "Hart & Soul"
D.P. | California | 01/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the second volume of the SummerSlam Anthology that was already released. These were the periods where WWE was moving on past the "Hulkamania" era into in the "New Generation" period with early signs of the "Attitude Era" starting to appear towards the end.
1993 - This SummerSlam was similar to WrestleMania VII in that it had an "All American" theme here as the main event was based around "Made In The U.S.A." Lex Luger, complete with his "Lex Express" tour bus, recieving a title shot against WWE Champion Yokozuna. This is one of those SummerSlam's where it was the undercard that saved the event here as you saw matches such as Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect, the last inring appearence of Ted Dibiase vs. Razor Ramon, Bret Hart doing double duty against Doink The Clown & Jerry Lawler, and Undertaker taking on Giant Gonzales in a "Rest In Peace" match.
1994 - "So Hot It's Scary" as this SummerSlam revolved around the return of Undertaker (now dressed in black & purple) managed by Paul Bearer against an imposter Undertaker led by Ted Dibiase...and to make this angle even more interesting, WWE brought in Leslie Nielson & George Kennedy from the "Naked Gun" films to have a bunch of comedic segments trying to solve the mystery of "two Undertakers." This PPV also featured the classic steel cage match against Bret & Owen Hart that Bret described it best as "we made people forget that a steel cage match is a bloody masscre" that had the entire Hart family involved afterwards. Other matches include the battle of the future Outsiders/nWo founders in Intercontinental Champion Diesel in one of his best performances against Razor Ramon, Tatanka vs. Lex Luger in a match over who sold out to Ted Dibiase, Womens Champion Alundra Blaze vs. Bull Nakano, and I.R.S. & Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Headshrinkers.
1995 - This SummerSlam was called "Face The Heat" but it was more like WWE had to face the music as this perfectly reflects how bad of shape the WWE was weather it was talent or creative direction as this was without a doubt the worst one of all time. The main event featured WWE Champion Diesel vs. King Mabel in a match that's only memorable for Lex Luger's final appearence before jumping ship to WCW days later. The only highlights of this SummerSlam was the second "lost classic" ladder match between Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon along with the Undertaker casket match vs. Kama. Besides that, your subject to matches like Skip vs. the jobber who finally caught a break in Barry Horowitz, Bret Hart vs. the evil dentist Issac Yankem, Bertha Faye (with her polka dot gimmick with Harvey Whippleman that would make Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire throw up) winning the Womens Championship from Alundra Blaze in 4 mins., and the future Triple H vs. Bob Holly.
1996 - "Opposites Attack" was the theme here as WWE rebounded from last year's disaster with a better edition here headlined by Shawn Michaels defending the WWE Championship against Vader. Also on this card was the first ever Boiler Room Brawl which was very unique for the time as it was Undertaker vs. Mankind fighting from a boiler room all the way to the ring resulting to one of the most shocking twist in WWE history at that time. Other matches include Owen Hart vs. Savio Vega, Sycho Sid vs. British Bulldog, Goldust vs. Marc Mero, WWE Tag Team Champions Smokin' Gunns vs. New Rockers vs. Body Donnas vs. Godwinns, and Jerry Lawler vs. Jake Roberts.
1997 - "Hart & Soul" was the tagline for this SummerSlam reflecting the main event featuring WWE Champion Undertaker vs. Bret Hart with the stipulations of Shawn Michaels being the guest referee along with the fact that if Bret Hart never wrestilng in the United States if he didn't win the title. Eventhough that was the main event, this SummerSlam will always be remembered for the Intercontinental Title match between Owen Hart & Steve Austin where Austin took a piledriver that started a series of neck problems that would eventually lead to his retirement. Other matches include the steel cage match between Mankind vs. Triple H, European Champion British Bulldog vs. Ken Shamrock with Bulldog eating a can of dog food if he loses, Brian Pillman vs. Goldust with Pillman having to wear a dress on RAW if he loses, Legion Of Doom vs. Godwinns, and Los Boricuas vs. D.O.A. with the Nation Of Domination making an appearence.
In the end, this series was like the similar series in that these weren't classic SummerSlam events but they all have classic matches but this set gets 4 stars instead of 5 strickly because of how awful the '95 edition was to where the awesome ladder match just couldn't save that show."