Pure Wrestling Nostalgia!!!
Mr. JKW | Honolulu, Hawai'i | 06/30/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wrestling Gold Collection 1: Busted Open, part I of a V part series, collects vintage wrestling matches from the 1970's and 1980's. This particular volume contains 11 matches. Along with the matches this volume also contains two biographical sketches, one for Shawn Michaels, a modern day legend, and one for Dave Meltzer, the noted wrestling journalist who hosts this video series.Though the collection is referred to as "Wrestling Gold" perhaps a better name for it would have been "The Best of Southwest Championship Wrestling" which is where it seems all of these matches were pulled from.Here's a rundown of the matches featured on this volume:1. Sheri Martel vs. Judy Martin: SCW women's match. Sheri Martel may be better known to contemporary fans as "Sensational Sheri," "Queen Sheri" (from the WWF) or "Sistah Sheri" (from WCW). It's a decent match given this time period. 3 ½ stars.2. Shawn Michaels vs. Ken Johnson: From Texas All-Star Wrestling. This is Shawn Michaels rookie season and it shows (tons of baby fat, and no where near as cocky as his later incarnation). Not a bad effort but it is obvious Michaels was VERY green. It's an interesting look for any Heartbreak Kid fan. 3 stars.3. Tully Blanchard and Gino Hernandez vs. the Grapplers: For the SCW tag team titles. Blanchard went on to achieve greater fame as a cornerstone member of the 4 Horsemen (along with Flair, Anderson and Windham) in the late 80's. Hernandez was a Texas legend. Overall, this is a great old-school tag match with a great twist at the end. 4 stars.4. Tully Blanchard vs. Gino Hernandez: SCW Grudge Match. No commentary in this one so it was a little hard to follow along. Decent match though. 3 stars.5. Cowboy Bob Orton Jr. vs. Adrian Adonis: For the Heavyweight Title. Special guest ring announcer is the legendary Lou Thesz (thought by many as the greatest champion of all-time). Both of these men went on to achieve greater fame in the mid 1980's WWF. Great scientific wrestling match. Again, no commentary on this one. 4 stars.6. Bruiser Brody vs. Abdullah the Butcher: Loooooooong before ECW (a good twenty plus years or so), these two brutal brawlers "pioneered" the popular hardcore style that ECW made famous. Here is an example of one of there legendary brawls, joined in progress. 4 stars.7. Larry Zbysko vs. Scott Casey: SWC vs. Georgia match. Match joined in progress. Zbysko (the Living Legend, known to many contemporary fans as the former WCW Nitro announcer) is representing Georgia and Scott Casey is representing SWC. Decent match. All-star post match brawl with Eric Embry, Tully Blanchard and Stan Hansen. 3 ½ stars.8. Jerry "The King" Lawler vs. Bob Sweetan: Dubbed as a SWC "Piledriver vs. Piledriver" match. Lawler is of course a living legend in this business, known by most contemporary fans as the former "pervert WWF Raw announcer." This is actually your typical Lawler match, more mouth than action, believe me. DUD.9. Terry Funk and Ivan Putski vs. Tully Blanchard and Gino Hernandez: SCW tag team title match. Terry Funk (boy does he look YOUNG in here) is of course the living hardcore legend who is STILL at it today. Ivan Putski was one of the top stars back in the 70's (POLISH POWER!!!). This is an okay match. Big post-match brawl featuring Ricky Morton (of Rock N' Roll Express fame) and Ken Lucas. 2 3/4 stars.10. Dick Slater vs. The Mongolian Stomper, Guest Ref Bob Sweetan: SCW Cage Match. Really slooooow start but it picks up halfway through. Okay match. Big post-match beatdown afterwards. 3 stars.11. Bruiser Brody vs. Nick Bockwinkle, Guest Ref Lou Thesz: AWA Heavyweight Title match. Match joined in progress. Great old school match between defending champ Bockwinkle, the scientific genius vs. the challenger, old-school brawler, Brody. Bobby "The Brain" Heenan is Bockwinkle's manager. 4 stars.Overall, this is a pretty decent DVD. Here's my rundown:Good: Seeing all the old-school superstarsBad: Only TWO biographies??? If they really wanted to immortalize the older legends of the sport it should have been THEIR biographies on the CD (ALL of them) as opposed to a contemporary star like Shawn Michaels or Dave Meltzer (the guy who promotes this DVD series), who comes off as simply "patting himself on the back."Ugly: The commentary by Cornette and Meltzer is overrated but okay. They do an OKAY job of introducing the matches and placing them in context of the feuds and time, BUT they neglect to mention important details such as the DATES of these contests. It's something they should mention, plus it should have ALSO been noted on the box.Uglier: Some of the matches without commentary were pretty difficult to follow like the Blanchard vs. Hernandez match. Also, I really didn't like the "match joined in progress" bit we got with several of these matches. It almost feels like we've been "partially gypped." Downright Pitiful: The countless shameless plugs on the DVD for Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, website and Internet radio show. (It's plugged at the end of the DVD and also under the special features).Overall, this is a great DVD if you are into old school style wrestling matches. The matches are more mat-based with little high-spots and the matches are a lot longer. If you are a wrestling nostalgist THIS IS FOR YOU. If you're a more recent fan (late 1990's onward) this may not be for you if you are more accustomed to seeing fast-paced, high-impact matches. Summed up though, I'd definitely say to give this a watch. You'll see many of the older stars of today back in their prime or when they first started out. Also, you'll get to see some of the legends that older fans like to reminisce about.Despite the noted problems, Recommended Viewing (for nostalgia)"