Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|WWE Survivor Series Anthology Vol 2 - 1992-1996|
Actors: Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Mark Calaway, Jim Harris, Jerry Sags
Director: Kevin Dunn
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Sports
The Superstars of Raw, SmackDown, and ECW all battle to be the ultimate survivors! For the 23rd consecutive year, the Superstars of WWE come together for Survivor Series. Its unique 5-on-5 elimination matches have always b... more »
Equally Strong As Volume 1
R.A. McKenzie | New York | 08/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have a tendency to ramble, so here's the short version:
Volume 2 of the "Survivor Series" Anthology is a very solid package. Even though it doesn't keep up the classic style seen in previous "SS" events, it shows a wave of innovation being brought into the annual November event.
...Still reading?...Alright then, hopefully this long review will help you out, or at least give you some debate ammunition.
---This event isn't mentioned very often, mainly because of what people don't like about it, rather than what's good about it. To be sure, there are a lot of stranges aspects to it. Reverend Slick opens the broadcast with a very cheesy sermon about celebration (I think). The Nightstick Match with Big Bossman and Nailz is equally corny, with those two guys staying in character way too much. Undertaker and Kamala had a pretty boring Coffin Match. And an excellent match with Tatanka and Rick Martel was slightly overshadowed by Doink The Clown's ringside antics.
But this event has two very good matches that I feel are often forgotten. One of the semi main events featured Ric Flair and Razor Ramon (led by Bobby Heenan) against Randy Savage and Mr. Perfect. In a quick but solid booking recovery move, Mr. Perfect was a last minute replacement for Ultimate Warrior. I thought Heenan and Curt Henning did a great job of making Perfect a good guy. Besides, the two-on-two match was exciting stuff, and surely much better than what Warrior would've brought to the table.
The main event pits IC champion Shawn Michaels against WWF champion Bret Hart in another great showing between these two. Both guys made each other look like a million bucks, and I believe this match further solidified Bret Hart as a "fighting champion" rather than an "entertainer".
I enjoyed this 1992 event more than most have. At the very least, the two semi main events are well worth your time.
---If you can believe it, I actually enjoyed the 1993 event too. The opening Elimination Match includes Randy Savage, Razor Ramon, IRS, Diesel, Rick Martel, 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty, and Adam Bomb... and all put on a good show. Surprisingly, Adam Bomb is one of the better-portrayed athletes in the contest.
The 2nd Elimination Match --- with The Hart Family versus Shawn Michaels & his Three Knights --- is quite strange. First off, I could've sworn that when I was a kid, this was advertised to be Jerry Lawler against The Hart Family. After all, "The King" and his "Knights" made more sense. Secondly, the host from "Family Feud" puts us through an excruciating 5-minute intro where he cracks lame jokes. As for the match itself, I liked it, but the crowd seemed very bored. Thankfully, it gave birth to one of my favorite feuds (Bret & Owen).
The main event is decent, with Lex Luger's All-American team (Undertaker weeks earlier revealed his trench coat had an American flag inside - LOL!) against Yokozuna's team of Ludvig Borga, Jacques Rougeau, and Crush?! Crush is a "Foreign Fanatic"? Actually, Crush replaced Pierre, but come on! You know, let's just move on. There's also a very good contest between The Heavenly Bodies and The Rock N Roll Express for the Smoky Mountain Wrestling Tag Titles --- which I don't understand why they're on WWF anyway.
I think the 1993 "Survivor Series" is worth a watch, but I probably won't revisit it again.
---This event has a lot going on in it. The opening Elimination Match showcases the Razor/Diesel/HBK triangular feud that ultimately led to Diesel and HBK finally splitting up soon after this match. The finish is kinda cheap, but at least Owen Hart was funny enough to play off how stupidly his team lost.
From there, a dumb-funny Elimination Match has Doink and three midget clowns against Jerry Lawler and three midget "knights". The funniest moment has got to be when Doink lifts a smaller clown, while Lawler has a smaller knight lift HIM into the air for a piggyback duel of sorts. Anyway, I thought this was even funnier than the 1993 Doink-themed festivities.
But after that is a classic that I'm glad will get to be on DVD finally: Bob Backlund challenges Bret Hart to a Submission Match for the WWF Championship. The twist is that the match won't officially end until either corner man (Owen Hart and British Bulldog) will throw in a towel to surrender for their wrestler. I won't give away the dramatic finish, but I promise that this match is much better than their "WrestleMania XI" rematch. Backlund and Hart wrestled a sensible, patient 35-minute matstyle contest, and I'm glad that newcomers will get to see the unique challenge the two men tackled with their hold-for-hold showdown.
After a passable Elimination Match between The Million Dollar Man's team and Lex Luger's random combo of five good guys, the main event is another rematch. Yokozuna squares off against Undertaker in their second Casket Match of 1994, with Chuck Norris as a Special Enforcer. The main event isn't too bad, but I prefer the "Royal Rumble" encounter over this. I think Norris was a pointless addition, but at least he got to thrust kick Jeff Jarrett. Didn't Jarrett know not to mess with man so fast that he could run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head?
(Sorry, couldn't resist)
The 1994 "Survivor Series" ends softly, but at least it started entertaining enough to make you wanna check out the rest.
---Considering the WWF didn't have a decent PPV since the January "Royal Rumble", I guess we should be grateful that this one didn't suck. The opener features "Underdogs" versus "Body Donnas", which was a fun Elimination Match to start the show, and a nice way to see underrated wrestlers from both teams get to shine. The only downside is how the way-past-its-time Million Dollar Corporation still made its way into the PPV.
The second match is a promising-but-short 4-on-4 Women's Elimination Match; I wish WWE would dig deeper into its women's division history, showing the likes of Alundra Blayze or The Glamour Girls. There is an Elimination Match where Undertaker leads "The Dark Side" against the likes of King Mabel and Hunter Hearst Helmsley in a disappointing but tolerable display.
The last Elimination Match is a strange combination of good guys and bad guys mixed within teams. Even weirder is seeing one teammate help an opponent gang up on another opponent. I actually think it's my least favorite match on the card, because the "Wild Card" concept confused the crowd more than it entertained. Talented individuals like Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels, British Bulldog, and Razor Ramon can only do so much with a faulty concept.
You probably already know about the main event, where Bret Hart challenged Diesel for the WWF Championship in a No Holds Barred Match. But in case you don't, it's easily one my favorite Diesel matches, and is worth watching if you don't already own Bret Hart's 3-disc set from WWE. The ending is shocking in a good way, and the psychology and hype shown throughout the PPV made it more intriguing.
1995 was a long, painful road for the World Wrestling Federation. But this event bought the company just enough time for their solid 1996 year, which of course led to the Attitude Era in the years to come.
Oh, there's also some tongue-in-cheek humor with "Mr. President". I totally forgot about that Bill Clinton impersonator until revisiting this DVD. Just wait till Bam Bam Bigelow makes his entrace.
---This Madison Square Garden PPV was the first "Survivor Series" I ever saw. Undertaker and Mankind continued their legendary rivalry with Paul Bearer suspended in a cage above the ring; the match was good, as always. Steve Austin and Bret Hart finally squared off in a solid contest; I don't love this match as much as their Submission Match, but many have called this its equal.
Rocky Maivia made his "debut" in an entertaining 4-on-4 Elimination Match. Equally good was the opening Elimination Match that showcased Owen Hart, British Bulldog, and the forgotten Doug Furnas & Phil Lafon; easily the best of the traditional Elimination Matches on this card.
And of course, the main event was the first I remember where we cheered for bad guy Sycho Sid to dethrone good guy Shawn Michaels of his WWF Championship. I was still bitter over HBK winning the belt from Bret Hart that I just needed someone to shut this pretty boy up, and watching Sid using everything to hurt Michaels (and manager Jose Lothario) was awesome. The match itself holds up very well, eclipsing their "Royal Rumble '97" rematch by a longshot.
Oh one more thing...I dare you not to laugh when Jim Ross pushes "Diesel" and "Razor Ramon" when they enter the arena...I dare you!
The 1996 "Survivor Series" is probably my favorite on this set.
1992 Survivor Series = 8.0 / 10 (very good)
1993 Survivor Series = 7.0 / 10 (decent from start to finish)
1994 Survivor Series = 7.0 / 10 (starts great, ends weak)
1995 Survivor Series = 6.5 / 10 (not bad, with a good main event)
1996 Survivor Series = 8.5 / 10 (excellent WWF presentation)
I'm sure most loyal WWE fans will prefer the classic, more traditional Volume 1 of the "Survivor Series" Anthology. And I don't blame them: That's an awesome set you grab too! But Volume 2 shows the WWF trying to put more spins on the Survivor Series concept. It didn't always work, but you get plenty of good action from the package. Complete your collection, and buy this one."