WRESTLING DVD REVIEWS
Thomas J. Rude
Corey Macklin Presents Classic Memphis Wrestling: Jerry Lawler Vs. Andy Kaufman
After a decade of not watching professional wrestling, the two things that got me back into watching it are: Georgia Championship Wrestling on the Superstation and Andy Kaufman wrestling Jerry “The King” Lawler.
The late Corey Maclin complied all the available footage for this anthology and it shows all the promos and matches right up to Kaufman’s death in chronological order. As I stated earlier when I reviewed “I’m From Hollywood”, I thought this was a one and done deal but the feud lasted a little over two years. Kaufman, usually teaming up with Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart, taunted Lawler through videos and bringing in wrestlers like Ken Patera to put Lawler “in the hospital”.
The best part for me is the Andy Kaufman promos. As a child, Kaufman grew up on wrestling, especially the WWWF (now known as WWE). He loved to watch Buddy Rogers, the WWWF Champion at the time, and how Rogers would not say a word yet was able to get the crowd so riled up and hating him and still had them coming back. In reality, Andy Kaufman model his on stage routine after Rogers’ heel personae. You hated him but you came back to see what will happen.
Some of the video has degraded due to age and there are a couple of technical glitches while Memphis wrestling was being broadcast. However, that shouldn’t distract from viewing one of the greatest wrestling angles.
I hope Andy will read this.
RECOMMENDATION: Great to show novice or casual wrestling fans or up-and-coming workers on how to work an angle.
Extras: Interviews with Lance Russell, Jimmy Hart, Bill Apter, Jerry Lawler; Ken Patera Promo on taking up Kaufman’s challenge; Jerry Lawler Vs. Buddy Landel with Andy at ringside.
Running Time: 2 hours plus.
Best Match: No match per se but the best segment is Andy offering helpful hints to the citizens of Memphis.
Quality of Wrestling: Great Memphis style wrestling. Nuff said!
Link to Purchase: http://astore.amazon.com/pwincom-20/detail/B001K7YXKK
YouTube Clip: Lance Russell’s overview of the feud: http://youtu.be/QtCQuDtBiZA
The Best of Ox Baker
I personally bought this DVD from the man himself, Ox Baker, at this year’s Mid-Atlantic Fan Fest held in Charlotte, North Carolina. I have met Mr. Baker before and it’s always a pleasure to shake the man’s hand. Along with the DVD, which he signed, I bought a t-shirt and an 8x10 personally autographed from him.
Now for the DVD: This is a homemade DVD for lack of a better term that runs an hour long. It’s a sampling of some of Ox’s wrestling and acting career from the 1970s to the 21st Century. The source looks like it came from an old videotape that someone edited together by using two VCRs and RCA cables. Some of the old matches from his territory days and AWA are incomplete and the later footage just shows Ox as a manager.
The DVD even include his fight scene against Kurt Russell from “Escape From New York” and his promo from the cult wrestling film, “I Like to Hurt People”.
Normally, I wouldn’t review DIY discs like this but all the money goes to Mr. Baker so I happy with it.
Running Time: One hour plus.
Best Match: Steve Corino (with Ox Baker in his corner) vs. Scott Steiner.
Quality of Wrestling: When there are complete matches, there’s good in-ring action.
Link to Purchase: No link. You can check eBay or buy it directly from Mr. Baker at various fan fests or meet & greets.
YouTube Clip: The infamous Cleveland Riot: http://youtu.be/zsadSDbSPdg
Shine Wrestling Presents: Shine 1
I enjoy watching Shimmer DVDs and I was fortunate enough to go to one of their tapings in Berwyn (Insert Svengoolie joke here), Illinois. Shine is a sister promotion or spin-off of Shimmer and they’re off to a great start with their first iPPV and DVD.
Shine 1 was held on 20 July 2012 at the Orpheum in Ybor city, Florida. Eight matches are featured and the wrestlers are far superior than any Diva match on WWE. There are some recognizable woman grapplers in the show such as Reby Sky, Veda Scott, Taylor Made, Christina Von Eerie, Sara Del Rey and ECW original, Jazz.
Scream queen Daffney is the ring announcer and does an adequate job even though her index cards are somewhat a distraction. She still looks good though.
Shine 12 iPPV is in the books and Shine 13 will be held in September. I have Shine 2 & 3 and I’m looking to pick up the rest of the already released discs.
Thank you ladies for putting on one Hell of a first show.
Extras: Jazz receives the 2012 Legacy Award, Shine 1 promo sport, The Ladies of Shine invade daytime TV.
Running Time: Two hours plus.
Best Match: Jazz vs. Sara Del Rey.
Quality of Wrestling: This is the want women’s wrestling should be, not that “Total Divas” stuff & such.
Link to Purchase: http://www.shinewrestling.com
YouTube Clip: Shine 1 DVD Trailer: http://youtu.be/eM57jOYuSeA
Jim Cornette: The Early Years Volume One (Two-Disc Set)
Everybody knows who Jim Cornette is. People know him as a manager, booker, promoter, and all around raconteur. What most casual wrestling fans don’t know is that Mr. Cornette was a wrestling fan who wrote and edited his own fanzine plus took photographs of the events. The promoters were so impressed with his work that they made him an official photographer. His photos were even published in wrestling magazines. Long story short, he appeared on the air on WMC-TV during a broadcast of Memphis Wrestling.
This is a collection of Memphis Wrestling TV that shows in chronological order the evolution of “Jimmy Cornette”. It starts off with is debut announcing he wants to manage wrestlers and he wants Jerry “The King” Lawler as his first client. Jerry basically laughs the kid out of the building, thus starting his heel run.
The video is in chronological order covering promos, the Saturday morning programs, and live Mid-South Coliseum footage. You also see the great stars of Memphis such as Lawler, Bill Dundee, Jesse Barr, Sherri Martel, Velvet McIntyre, Dutch Mantell and many, many more.
There is a booklet included with the DVDs that includes a introduction by Mr. Cornette and a detail information on each match.
RECOMMENDATION: A must get for the Jim Cornette and Memphis Wrestling fans.
Chapters: 32 (Disc One), 16 (Disc Two).
Running Time: 5-hours plus.
Best Match: Bill Dundee vs. Bobby Eaton (Wrestling photographer “Jimmy Cornette” makes his on air debut.)
Quality of Wrestling: Video of Memphis’ live studio shows and Mid-South Coliseum, you can’t beat that!
Link to Purchase: www.jimcornette.com
YouTube Clip: The debut of “Jimmy Cornette”: http://youtu.be/79XB5PzMe74 (The quality is superior on the DVD.)
Please mail all DVDs to: Wrestling DVD Review, c/o 11569 Boyne Blvd, Allendale, MI 49401.