Masters of the Ring

 

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Derek reviews "Masters of the Ring" on DVD

Big thanks to Niolan Entertainment (www.Niolan.com) for sending this DVD. We’ll also send a shout-out to Bob Barnett who is the guy who actually shot all the footage used on the disc. To start off, I was literally amazed at the box cover art for this DVD. The front cover has pics of Eddie Guerrero and Christ Benoit in a blue tint with a full color Jushin Liger flying through the air below them. The back cover has a listing of every match along with a couple screenshots. All Indy Wrestling DVD producers should look to this box cover for what they should be doing if they want to attract customers to their product.

(1) Vampiro vs. Pirata Morgan (w/Super Crazy). Super Crazy was wearing a nWo shirt (Editor’s Note: How many times do I have to tell you to stop writing “nWo”?! It’s NWO damn it!!!) which is weird because wasn’t he in the lWo? (Editor’s Note: Derek, you’re confusing Super Crazy with El Dandy again. Super Crazy was in ECW. Although that still doesn’t explain the NWO shirt…) Even weirder was seeing Vampiro with no face paint. That’s like the Hurricane without the mask! Pirata Morgan wears an eye patch and to take the cake on the weirdness scale his skull on the back of his wrestling gear has an eye patch as well. Seriously, would a skeleton need an eye patch? More importantly, why do I think of stupid questions like that when watching wrestling?

The Mexican crowd had a TON of kids in it which was great when they started a chant for Vampiro yelling “Vam-PEE-Ro! Vam-PEE-Ro!!” Seriously, this was great. Vince McMahon wishes he had this many kids going to his shows right now. A lot of fighting in the crowd and Vampiro actually took one hell of a chair shot when he did a plancha outside the ring. Super Crazy interfered about 1000 times during the match, usually right in front of the ref so I must consult Torch Lucha Libre Rule Guy Keith Lipinski if this is part of what they do down there because Pirata was never disqualified. After Vampiro did the job SOME GUY ran into the ring to protest and Barnett himself tells me it was the son of a guy running for a local office down there.

(2) Eddie Guerrero & The Love Machine Art Barr vs. Santo & Octagon in a “ Double Hair vs. Mask” match. Holy Shit, at first I thought this Santo guy is the one who stars in this crazy DVD box set I see every time I go into Best Buy that it kills me not to buy. I was wrong though because apparently that guy is dead. This guy is El Hijo Del Santo, the son of the other guy. This match is from the famous When Worlds Collide PPV that was jointly run by AAA, ICW and WCW. This is actually the first time I have ever seen Art Barr besides his run as The Juicer in WCW. Wow, this guy had off the charts charisma. Eddie meanwhile had one of the Top 5 Mullets of All Time going here. The crowd was going absolutely crazy here and Eddie and Art totally stole the show. Interestingly, after this show who was the one to get the call up to the Big Show? None other than Eddie and Art’s corner man Louie Spiccoli who was gassed up beyond belief. Crowd went absolutely apeshit when the babyfaces won in this 2/3 falls match.

(3) Terry Funk vs. Doug Gilbert. This was billed as a “hardcore dog collar match” but they were chained by the wrist and it was one of those matches where you have to tag all four corners of the ring in succession. Terry put over Doug Gilbert’s dad and brother before the match. This quickly became a wild brawl that went OUTSIDE the building before coming back in with a busted open Gilbert. After a ref bump Frank A. Gotch rose from the dead to make a run in. Wait, I’m being told that’s Doug Gilbert’s dad. Well either way the guy was older than dirt. Who should make the save but Dory Funk! Where’s JIMMY JACK?! Doug hit a low blow and went on to hit the four corners for the win as the crowd chanted “Bullshit!” as they all marks for Funk. Wild indy brawl.

(4) Konnan vs. Perro Aguayo in a Steel Cage match. This is another match from the When Worlds Collide PPV and we even got to see the cage lowered with FIREWORKS! Konnan was in the greatest shape of his life here and I can’t believe this is the same guy I just saw on TNA and ROH’s Revenge on the Prophecy. Louie Spiccoli and a newly shaved Eddie Guerrero came down to cheer on Konnan. You just can’t believe how odd Latino Heat looks with all his hair gone. Man I would have loved to have been to this show live because the crowd was out of control! Eddie and Louie got taken out by Cien Caras and a couple other guys as it became a giant schmoz. Perro Aguayo got the big win much to the crowd’s delight. Not the greatest match in terms of workrate, but quite the spectacle.

(5) Chris Benoit vs. Too Cold Scorpio. Man, Scorpio is everywhere lately. He was just on an Ring of Honor card, is doing a Straight Shootin’ video with them and now this. Benoit of course currently has the Greatest Wrestling DVD Ever Made. Barnett tells me this was at an Indy show shortly after the When Worlds Collide show. With a huge brick wall as the background it looked like a bizarre improve comedy show. Even though the crowd seemed to have a total of 20 people, both guys tore it up in the ring. I’ve always wondered how Indy shows like this make money. How do they afford to bring in guys like Chris Benoit? In recent issues of the Torch I’ve read about guys like A.J. Styles and Steve Corino showing up on cards with barely anybody at them and I know sure as hell they aren’t working for free.

(6) Jushin Liger vs The Great Sasuke I remember Sasuke from a WWE run he had in the late 90’s during one of Vince’s half-assed attempts at pushing cruiserweights. Maybe he should change his gimmick to The Slightly Above Average Sasuke. I think I last saw Liger getting hit with a tequila bottle thanks to Vince Russo’s booking back in ‘99. Welcome to WCW! Give me a break, you can’t tell me Jushin Liger doesn’t have the greatest gimmick in the history of wrestling. He even blows away the Undertaker. Even with a costume that looks like it was from the old Japanese Ultraman shows he displays more charisma than guys without a mask. We won’t even mention that he is a talented worker that is damn exciting to watch. WHY IS THIS GUY NOT BEING USED BY AMERICAN PROMOTIONS?! For god sakes they will bring in Kenzo F---ing Suzuki but not Liger? Something wrong there. Liger wins with the Liger bomb.

Footage of Konnan & Rey Mysterio Jr. during a CRAZY fan riot. Rey Mysterio was holding the mask of some Mexican wrestler and I’m pretty sure it was Psicosis. All of a sudden the fans just started going INSANE and started throwing stuff into the ring, including chairs! Konnan and Rey eventually fled to the back while holding chairs over their heads. I haven’t seen too many incidents like this and it was scary because people were throwing chairs but weren’t strong enough to make it all the way to the ring so who knows how many people got hurt..

(7) Rey Mysterio Jr. & Ultimo Dragon vs. Psicosis & Heavy Metal. Yes, THAT Ultimo Dragon. One of the things I found unintentionally funny on this DVD was that before the match it would list who was coming up and certain names would be MUCH bigger than others. I mean Rey and Ultimo definitely had the top billing here. I think Psicosis was the guy on his team without a mask because I don’t remember him being that jacked. I mean Heavy Metal just made Rey Rey and Ultimo look like dwarfs. Overall a very good match that had a ton of spots with guys hitting moves from inside the ring onto their opponents on the floor. Ultimo Dragon showed a personality that I never once saw on all his WWE appearances combined, but I guess I should consider myself lucky since the guy wasn’t even supposed to wrestle again after WCW botched his arm surgery.

(8) Sabu (w/Damien) vs. Al Snow vs. “Surprise Wrestler” Oh my gosh does Al Snow look young in this match. The ref in this match looks, I-shit-you-not, like former Torch scribe and current Ric Flair book editor Mark Madden if he had lost a couple pounds. I was convinced it was Madden until Barnett informed me it was some guy named Dan Farren. Watching this match you will find out two things about Sabu. The first is how fast he can draw you into his matches. This guy was doing crazy maneuvers WAY before everyone else in wrestling. Yeah, he misses some spots but don’t tell me they don’t miss spots in TNA X-Division matches or Scramble matches in Ring of Honor. The second thing you’ll quickly realize is that Sabu is insane. It’s one thing to do innovative maneuvers to pop a crowd, but he just does some absolutely crazy and dangerous spots in a match that not many people saw. Years of doing this have just destroyed Sabu’s body to the point that when wrestling hit its boom period he wasn’t able parlay that into a HUGE contract between WCW and WWE. Of course the reports of him being a total head-case backstage might have been an obstacle as well.

Anyhoo, this was a really good match which was joined at the end by TERRY FUNK. The crowd was so into Terry it was crazy. This all leads to a must see scene of Funk outside the building and under a truck. It would be impossible to explain the circumstances that led to Terry being under the truck, but trust me when I tell you the guy was hilarious. I really wish I had seen The Funker in his prime, he must have been one hell of a show.

Overall Thoughts: I really enjoyed this DVD and it was amazing to see a different perspective of the When Worlds Collide PPV. It was raw and powerful, not unlike the ECW Fan Cams I used to buy back in the ‘90s. It’s loaded with stars and in some cases, as with Eddie Guerrero and Al Snow, it's like seeing those shows on VH1 where they show pictures from years ago of current movie stars. Click Here to purchase the disc or copy and paste this address into your web browser:  http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1373158&skuId=6372114&type=product



Copyright © 2005 Derek Burgan. All rights reserved.