on 11 May 2011
i give this latest wwe dvd release four stars due to wrestlefest 1988 as the one from 1990 is a letdown with some poor endings in most of the matches. only the ones of the hart foundation against the powers of pain and the ultimate warrior and jake roberts vs ted dibiase and akeem are worth viewing in my opinion.
wrestlefest '88 on the other hand has some great moments and it helps that it was a live event. i think the commentators could have done a better job - where are goriila moonson and jess ventura when you need them - but this doesn't spoil the quality of the matches.
my particular favourites are ones such as hulk hogan against andre the giant in a steel cage, plus demolition vs. the british bulldogs, bret hart vs. bad news brown, the ultimate warrior vs. bobby heenan and jake roberts vs. rick rude. they are all contain moments of tension and excitement but also humour.
i certainly hope that there will be more wwe dvds such as this one.
on 23 April 2011
Another entry in Silver Vision's Tagged Classics series, this DVD release features two of their old VHS Wrestlefest releases from the Hulk Hogan era. And the first show on this double feature is indeed an interesting one; unlike the subsequent Wrestlefest compilation tapes from 1990 to 1995, the inaugural release in the series was a specially recorded event held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in front of a live crowd, and shot exclusively for release on Coliseum Home Video, the WWF / WWE's US distribution arm.
It is because of the previously unseen / untelevised / non-pay-per-view aspect of the show that makes this title an absolute must-have for collection completists out there, even if the action is only passable.
The event was held shortly before Summerslam 1988, so it is somewhat disappointing that the reigning WWF Champion at the time, Randy Savage, is nowhere to be seen. Savage won the title earlier that year at Wrestlemania IV and so naturally is conspicuous by his absence, as is the man Savage outlasted in the Championship tournament final at said event, the `Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase. For long-time fans though, many of the old favourites do appear to wheel out their familiar routines.
In a match for the Intercontinental title, The Honky Tonk Man and `Hacksaw' Jim Duggan face off in a singles bout. Anyone who has ever seen a `Honky' or `Hacksaw' match from back here should know what to expect as regards both the quality of the action and the match result, especially if you know your championship histories. The Powers of Pain work an incredibly stiff match with the Bolsheviks, whilst Superstar Billy Graham, handling the commentary with the nondescript Sean Mooney and the annoying `Lord' Alfred Hayes, oddly greets every close-up of the massively muscled Warlord and Barbarian with lusty relish. Things get better when Jake Roberts and Rick Rude give a veritable masterclass in wrestling psychology and intangibles, the likes of which today's current crop of WWE superstars could watch and learn a lot from (but won't), whilst the legendary duos of Demolition and the British Bulldogs contest a polished Tag Team Title bout before a main event that sees Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant plod around for ten minutes inside a Steel Cage.
Granted, there's some dead weight along the way with a few other matches which add nothing to the show, but in amongst the dross you'll see an early Bret Hart singles contest against Bad News Brown which was this reviewer's favourite match on the card. Far from a five-star classic, it is nevertheless an all-action little bout with the added bonus of a relatively clean finish, a rarity in terms of the Bad News Brown matches from this era.
The 1990 edition of Wrestlefest, meanwhile, uses the formula familiar to fans from back in the day as Sean Mooney anchors a collection of thrown-together bouts and promos from late 1989 to early 1990, intermingled with a series of magazine features like `Match of the Month' and `Call of the Action'. The likes of Randy Savage's bout with Rowdy Roddy Piper, the Hart Foundation against the Rockers, Hulk Hogan taking on Mr Perfect, and a match pitting Jake Roberts and the Ultimate Warrior against Ted DiBiase and Akeem offer nothing other than nostalgia, as sadly most of the contests follow the common trend for compilation tapes in those days, that being a plethora of disqualification or count-out finishes. However, the main selling point of this Tagged Classics release is the chance to of see the 1988 original, a complete, rarely-seen card of action from a time when there were only four pay-per-view supercards a year; if that appeals to you then give it a shot.
on 25 February 2011
If you are a fan of the WWF golden age, and the legends of the squared circle I'm sure you'll want to buy this DVD. Although I can't find a real problem with the action & superstars on show, it is plain to see that this was a 'made-for-video' event, and the outcomes had no impact on the main storylines of the time, it is very much a filmed 'dark match'
My primary disappointment is the commentary team of; Shaun Moody, Lord Hayes & Superstar Bill Graham, as it highlights the fantastic job done by Gorilla, Vince, Jesse, & Bobby the brain in terms of bringing even poor matches to life.
Overall I'm glad I brought it but I miss the banter of Gorilla & Bobby or Jesse, much as I have done on any of the PPV events where two of them were not the main hosts.
One final plus is the fact that the DVD is a strght VHS transfer (not in terms of quality, but content) meaning it bypasses the need to edit out every mention of the words WWF, and all the walk on music will be as used on the night.