Old-School Wrestling Classics on DVD
Mr. JKW | Honolulu, Hawai'i | 07/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wrestling Gold Collection 5: Beat Me If You Can, part 5 of 5, collects vintage wrestling matches from the 1970s and 1980s. This particular volume contains 12 matches.The biggest sell of this DVD series is the optional "Insider Commentary" from series hosts Jim Cornette (noted wrestling manager/promoter) and Dave Meltzer (noted wrestling journalist) which can be turned on in lieu of the original match audio. The insider commentary offers great insights into wrestling history, the superstars and the world of wrestling in general. Though called "Wrestling Gold" perhaps a better name for this particular volume would have been "The Best of Memphis and San Antonio Wrestling" which is where most of these matches were pulled from.1. Nick Bockwinkel (AWA champ) vs. Terry Allen (AKA Magnum TA): San Antonio, early 80s. Non-title match. Bockwinkel was a long-time champ and a top draw in the 70s. Magnum TA went on to become an NWA legend in the mid-1980s before a car accident cut his career short. Great scientific match between two top workers. 4 stars.2. Ivan Putski vs. Eddie Mansfield: From San Antonio. Putski was a top star in the 70s, particularly the Northeast and in Texas. DUD.3. Tito Santana vs. Kelly Kiniski: Tito Santana was a star in the 80s through early 90s WWF. Kiniski is the son of former NWA champ Gene Kiniski. Okay scientific match between two good workers. 3 ½ stars.4. The Sheik (w/ Abdullah Farouk, AKA The Grand Wizard) vs. Tom Jones: From Detroit, early 70s. Sheik was a legend throughout the business from the 50s-70s known for his brutal "hardcore" style. Squash match that demonstrates how "brutal" and Pitbull-like the Sheik was. "Whipper" Billy Watson run-in. DUD5. Bobo Brazil vs. Michael Angelo: From Michigan. Brazil, the first major Black superstar in the business, was a legend throughout the 50s and 60s, smashing most of the color barriers during the era. HOT crowd for Bobo. Okay match. 3 stars.6. Chief Wahoo McDaniel vs. Tully Blanchard: San Antonio, early 80s. Wahoo was a top star of the 60s and 70s. Blanchard was a charter member of the legendary Four Horsemen in the 1980s NWA. Back and forth brawl with a screw-job finish. 3 ½ stars.7. Eddie Gilbert vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler: Memphis, 1984. Known by contemporary fans as the former WWF Raw commentator, "The King" was a Memphis legend, main-eventing there for over 20 years. The late "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert was a big star throughout the South and the NWA during the 80s through early 90s, notable in contemporary times for his creative contributions to the early ECW. Sloooow-paced back and forth match with a Jimmy Hart and Rick Rude run-in at the end. 2 ¾ stars. 8. The Sheik vs. Tiger Jeet Singh: From Toronto, Hindu Mud Match. Singh, a star of the 60s and 70s, was one of the Sheik's biggest rivals and is also the father of WWF star Tiger Ali Singh. Intense down and dirty mud brawl. Hank James post-match run-in. 4 stars (for intensity).9. Austin Idol vs. Massao Ito (w/ The Bee Keeper): From Memphis, International Title match. Both were big Memphis stars. Short match, decent action. Lawler and Dutch Mantell post-match run-in. 2 ¾ stars.10. Tully Blanchard and Gino Hernandez vs. Scott Casey and Terry Allen (Magnum TA): Hernandez and Casey were both big stars in Texas. AWESOME old-school tag match. Lots of action. 4 ½ stars.11. Terry Taylor vs. Sabu: Memphis, 1981/82. This is NOT the Sabu of ECW fame. Taylor, following a stellar career throughout the South, Mid-West and Texas, pegged by many as a future top-star, became immortalized in the career-killing "Red Rooster" gimmick in the late 80s WWF. Tons of back and forth wrestling and martial arts action. Awesome stuff from Sabu. 4 ½ stars.12. Chief Wahoo McDaniel, Tommy Rogers and Marty Janetty vs. The Grapplers (Tony Anthony and Denton) and Ted Oates: From San Antonio. Janetty became one-half of the Rockers with Shawn Michaels. Rogers (NOT the Rogers of Fantastics fame) became Tommy Lane and had some success as one-half of the Rock N' Roll RPMs with Mike Davis. Oates and the Grapplers were stars throughout Texas. Anthony, after great success on the indy circuit, became TL Hopper in the mid 90s WWF. Awesome six-man action. 4 ½ stars.Wrestling wise, this is a decent DVD. Here's my rundown:Price of Admission: The "Insider Match Commentary." It's a fascinating insight into the stars and the business. You'll learn a GREAT deal about the history of the business and the stars that made it. Also, Cornette's anecdotes are PRICELESS.Awesome: Seeing the old-school superstars.Could Improve: The match intros. Cornette and Meltzer do a good job introducing the matches and placing them in context of the feuds and time, BUT they neglect to mention important details like the DATES of these contests. It's something they should mention AND put on the box. You'll have to listen with "Insider Commentary" to get this basic info, and even THEN may not get it!!!UGH!!!: This volume had waaaay too many screw-job (DQ, interference) match endings Overall, GREAT DVD if you are into old-school wrestling. Several of the matches in this volume are great (Taylor/Sabu, the tag and six-man tag matches)!!! You'll see many of the older stars back in their prime or as rookies and some of the legends. If you are a wrestling nostalgist THIS IS FOR YOU. Plus, you'll learn a great deal about wrestling history through the "Insider Commentary." It's a fascinating listen.Highly Recommended"