This listing is for Wrestling Superstars of Yesteryear DVD.
Actors: Curt Hennig, The Fabulous Freebirds, Nick Bockwinkle, Jerry Lawler & Others
Format: Color, NTSC
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR - Not Rated
DVD Release Date: July 1, 2003
Run Time: 56 minutes
The masters of mayhem from days gone by take to the squared circle in some of the greatest matches ever filmed! Thrill to the body slams, pinfalls, hits and hell-raising on this actionpacked non-stop trip down wrestling’s memory lane! From bruisers and brutes, the loved and the loathed, this one’s got it all!
"Superstars of Yesteryear" showcases many of the former stars of the past (many no longer with us). This DVD is actually part of the 8-disc set "Classic Superstars of Wrestling" DVDs which was put out by Delta Entertainment. As the name implies, this particular DVD focuses on matches by former stars. The matches were pulled from smaller promotions featuring the wrestlers in various stages of their careers (pre-prime, prime, past-prime). The result is a mixed bag of matches featuring some awesome matches and some decent matches. The video and audio quality varies throughout the tape (god-awful for the Bockwinkle vs. Hennig portion) but the overall presentation by Delta is well done as each match is preceded by an intro by show host Brian Webster. As an added bonus, present-day interviews are conducted with some of the featured stars.
THE MATCHES and CONTENTS:
1. Present day interview with Nick Bockwinkle where he talks about his admiration of Curt Hennig.
2. Match 1: Nick Bockwinkle (champ) vs. Curt Hennig for the AWA World Heavyweight Title: This was from Superclash II in 1987. Bockwinkle was the long-time AWA champ with Hennig a young up-and-comer (and pretty darn buff too) at the time. Hennig of course later went on to greater fame as Mr. Perfect in the WWF. He unfortunately passed away earlier this year. Great technical match. 4 stars
3. Match 2: Cowboy Bob Orton vs. Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. Match from the mid-90s. Both men of course gained fame in the 80s WWF. Orton is of course father of current WWE star Randy Orton and Neidhart was the long-time partner of Canadian legend Bret "Hitman" Hart. Standard match. Both men were way past their primes at this point. 1 star.
4. Match 3: The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael P.S. Hayes and Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy) vs. "Dr. Death" Steve Williams and Ted DiBiase. From the UWF in the mid-80s. Awesome tag-team brawl match that unfortunately was clipped before the finish!!! A young Jim Ross and Bruce Pritchard (Brother Love) provide commentary. The Freebirds, of course, were a legendary heel stable throughout the South in the 80s. Both Gordy and Dr. Death went on to legendary status in Japan and DiBiase, of course, went on to infamy as the Million Dollar Man in the late 80s/early 90s WWF. Gordy unfortunately passed away a few years back. At this point, all four men were either at or near their primes. The match looked about 4 stars as a brawl before it got cut off.
5. Match 4: "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert vs. "The Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant. From the USWA in the late 80s/early 90s. Match wasn't big on work rate but was pretty fun with tons of mind games and heel psychology on the parts of both men. Both wrestlers were of course "name" wrestlers throughout the South. Gilbert went on to great fame as a booker/wrestler till his untimely death in the mid-80s. Gilbert was still in his prime here with Valiant a little past his. 2.5 stars.
6. Present-day interview with Jimmy Valiant where he plugs his NYC wrestling school and museum.
7. Match 5: "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka vs. The Kodiak Bear. Match was from the late 90s. Standard jobber match between the legendary Superfly and the Bear. Snuka was way past his prime at this point. 1 star.
8. Match 6: Junkyard Dog vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler (champ) for the USWA Heavyweight Title. From the late 80s/early 90s. Lawler was in full heel mode here. Standard heel Lawler brawl with tons of stalling, foreign objects and trash-talking. JYD was of course the 80s legend from the South who went on to big-time fame in the 80s WWE. He passed away in the late 90s. JYD was a little past his prime at this point but Lawler was still in his heel prime. Small on work rate but big on fun. 2 stars.
Overall, not a bad deal here. While the match quality (along with video and audio quality) vary, you do get a nice mix of matches and sampling of some of the work by these old-time stars. Here's my breakdown of the matches.
Best: Bockwinkle vs. Hennig, Freebirds vs. Williams/DiBiase
Good: Gilberts vs. Valiant, JYD vs. Lawler
Just Okay: Orton vs. Neidhart, Snuka vs. Bear
Overall, the DVD features a nice mixed bag of matches. What makes it great for me is seeing again a lot of the stars I grew up watching, many of whom are no longer with us (Hennig, Gordy, Gilbert and JYD). For it's cheap price you actually get a good deal here as the DVD was put together fairly well. The lack of DVD features is made up for in a feature package consisting of 6 matches (4 worth watching) and 2 interviews.
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