What's in a name?
Tue, 14 June 2005
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The WWE has recently been releasing quite a few DVDs which are just straight conversions of some of their old video cassettes. Theyâre mostly only an hour or two in length and nowhere near as extensive as their more modern DVD compilations. This is all fine and dandy for the American fans, as these DVDs sell for much cheaper prices over there (about half price). But we Aussies, for some reason, are expected to pay the same price of around $30 for them, as we would for something newer like The Rise and Fall of ECW DVD that runs for 6 hours. That makes them pretty crappy value really, but for hardcore fans, they are a neat little bit of nostalgia and if you have the bucks to spend (or like me, you're just an idiot when it comes to stuff like this), well why not... I guess.
To be perfectly frank, there are some pretty lame matches on this one, but there a couple of good ones too. I just found it all quite charming though, the nostalgia factor kicked in for me in a big way and that really helped make it all far more appealing.
The compilation is hosted by the late, great Gorilla Monsoon and just seeing him introduce this âcollectorâs editionâ as he put it, was enough to put a smile on my face. Each of these bouts is for the Intercontinental title (obviously) so that makes that particular portion of the DVDâs name accurate. The âbest offâ part, however, is a bit of a stretch. Anyway, letâs take a look at each of the matches included on the disc, which shouldnât take all that long because there are only five of them, and Iâll tell you my thoughts on âem all...or, more likely, I'll just crap on about whatever comes into my head.
IC Champ Shawn Michaels vs. Crush
Sheffield, England 4/11/1993
This DVD should probably just be called âSome of Shawn Michaelâs Intercontinental Title Boutsâ or something like that, because of the 5 matches on the disc, 3 of them star HBK. Thatâs not necessarily such a bad thing though, because his matches are usually well worth watching.
Both these guys are sporting shocking mullets, with Crush taking the slight edge in the âbattle of horrific hair stylesâ.
The commentary team during this one is Jim Ross, Bobby âthe Brainâ Heenan and Randy âMacho Manâ Savage. This line up leads to some pretty funny exchanges, with Heenan getting in some great gags, mostly at Randyâs expense.
Another notable addition to this match, for long time fans, is that the referee is Danny Davis. Davis played the role of âheel refâ during the late 80âs, who would allow (or even help) the bad guys to cheat. He was insanely âoverâ and hated by the fans at the time and he even ended up wrestling in a few matches himself. By this point though, all that stuff has been forgotten and heâs just back to being a regular referee.
This is a pretty entertaining match. Crush is in the role of âalmost indestructible, ultra strong big guyâ, which basically means he doesnât sell much of Shawnâs offence and Shawn in turn bounces his arse off for everything Crush does. Shawn makes Crush look like a million bucks here and for his part Crush is, at least, one strong dude. I wouldnât call this a classic by any means, but as a quality âbig guy vs. small guyâ clash it does the job. In case you wanted to know, Michaels lost via count-out, which means he still retained the belt.
IC Champ Bret âthe Hitmanâ Hart vs. Skinner
Prime Time Wrestling 8/24/1992
Iâm a big fan of Bretâs work, so Iâll watch anything with him in it. But this would not be one of my first choices! Skinner is Steve Keirn, from the influential tag team the Fabulous Ones and he was also one of several people to play the role of Doink the Clown, at one stage or another. The Skinner character is probably not one of Steveâs favourite career moments to look back on. Skinner isâŚwell, heâs shithouse is what he is. A swamp dwelling alligator hunter, or something along those ridiculous lines, he has dirty pants (seriously, that was a big part of the gimmick!) and is apparently thoroughly unpleasant. Nobody ever gave a damn about him and can you really blame them?
The same commentators as for the last match are on board for this baby. Heenan is in fine form again (just as usual for him really) but Savage gets in one of the funniest lines: âVery mediocre leap-frog right there.â, after Skinner botches the move and falls flat on his face. Bret just looks at him with an amused smirk on his face.
Thereâs another âsemi-famous refereeâ here too! This time it is Bill Alfonso, who ECW fans will recall as the skinny, whistle blowing goofball with the grating voice who managed the likes of RVD and Sabu.
As for the quality of the match itselfâŚ.it is another okay one, but nothing close to being outstanding (which is what the words "best of" would lead you to expect). Bret is great as usual (unless you ask Ric Flair) but they only work a short match and Skinner, although not a terrible wrestler is just not at all over with the crowd, so the level of intensity suffers as a result. It is a bit of fun, but thatâs about it. The Hitman wins it with the sharpshooter, after Skinner taps out almost instantly.
IC Champ Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty
This is a little more how I like it. These former tag partners, both excellent workers in their own right, square off here in a pretty sweet match.
Diesel (Kevin Nash) is in Shawnâs corner for this one. He looks quite hysterical; heâs wearing acid wash jeans that are tucked into his cowboy boots and a white leather jacket covered in shiny silver studs and he caps it all off with yet another mullet! The early 90âs sure were some stylish times. I am in no position to talk, in the early 90's I too rocked the mullet, complete with spikey hair on top.
On commentary we have J.R and Gorilla. It is a pity it isnât Gorilla and Heenan (one of the all time best duos) but you canât have everything.
The ref is Earl Hepner, so once again you could say heâs a well known one. Infamous would perhaps be a better description, though that really depends on your point of view. Regardless, Earl is a veteran referee and pretty well respected in his field. Mind you; that field is a rather odd one to begin with.
Michaels here (and each one of his 3 matches on the disc), while far from being fat, is in that slightly podgy mode he had for a few years, probably due to hisâŚâlifestyleâ at the time. But his work is no less impressive, so it doesnât really matter. Marty, on the other hand, looks to be in excellent shape, but he wasnât mister clean living then either (from most reports, including some of his own, he partied even harder than Shawn did), so he mustâve just been hitting the gym fairly hard. All of that is just an observation; it doesnât make much difference one way or the other. Iâll watch a Mick Foley match over a Lex Luger one any day of the week, which just goes to show that physical appearance doesnât automatically make a wrestlerâs matches more entertaining.
As I was saying, these two were always capable of putting on good matches and knew each other extremely well, making it easy for them to work as opponents. I wouldnât call this match an all time classic or anything, but it is certainly a good one. They keep up a solid pace throughout, plenty of flying about all over the ring and the crowd is well into it too. Michaelâs retains his title after a false finish where Jannetty got the 3 but the ref reverses the decision because Shawnâs foot was on the rope. Not too shabby at all, this is one of my two favourite matches on the DVD.
|Do you love me? I sure do. You should get this DVD. It has me on it! |
IC Champ Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig)
Hereâs my other favourite bout on this thing. Michaels and Hennig is an excellent combination. The late Mr. Hennig was not too far off his Perfect moniker when he was firing on all four cylinders. He had the right look, power, speed, technical prowess, could work a crowd and made his opponents look awesome as he always bumped like a madman.
Vince is on commentary with Heenan. Before he became Mr. McMahon on TV, Vince would never mention that he owned the company and just played the role of a mere commentator. And he sucked arse. âUn-be-lievable!â Is one of Vinceâs favourite things to say, so he says that over and over again. He also pretends to think there will be a 3 count nearly every time thereâs a pin attempt; âOne, two, he got him! No! Only 2!â This, of course, gets old really fast. But, because I grew up listening to him, I do get a nostalgic kick out his lame calls.
This is not the best match either of these dudes ever had and I always preferred Perfect as a heel. It is way shorter than Iâd hoped for too and the finish with Hennig being counted out while Diesel holds his leg didnât work for me. Even so, you wonât hear me complaining too much, because this is still entertaining stuff.
IC Champ Shawn Michaels vs. âHacksawâ Jim Duggan
The old Hacksaw. Man... that character just gives me the shits. He yells âHo!â for no reason about every five seconds, makes stupid faces and has the crowd constantly chanting âU.S.A!â even when his opponent is also American. On top of that he wrestles a punch, kick, clothesline style and that does very little for me. But the guy was always extremely popular with the crowd, so plenty of people obviously found the character appealing.
The commentary team is Vince, Heenan and Savage. This combination is a bit of a clash of styles at times, but they still come out with some funny stuff. Savage is pretty much always a laugh for me to listen to, just because he speaks in such a ridiculous way. He has that voice that sounds as though he is severely constipated and gargles with rocks and to add to that he pronounces his words in some really strange and silly ways.
Michaels tries hard to make this match an amusing one and he comes pretty close to succeeding, but in the end it just couldnât really hold my interest. It doesnât completely suck though and is only a short one to sit through. If you like Jim Duggan you will probably get far more out of this one than I did. Jim wins it by a count out, meaning he (thankfully, in my opinion) didnât get the title.
All told The Best of Intercontinental Championship is not really worth the full price. Having only five matches means the value just isnât there and when 3 of those 5 feature the same guy the lack of variety really stands out. If you love Shawn Michaels you should really just get his From the Vault DVD instead, as that one has some way better HBK action on offer. If you can find Best of Intercontinental cheaper, or you have plenty of money to throw around (you lucky bastard) then it is a very brief but quite amusing stroll down memory lane and a nice little dose of mullet powered mayhem. Otherwise, there's nothing here to really justify spending your 30 bucks on.
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Only one hour of action and no variety means it is not worth $30, or the words "Best of"