Wrestling Gold: The Collection

January 28, 2012 9 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

These days, wrestling fans can tune in to see their favorite performers several times per week, thanks to the national television broadcasts. But when wrestling was more of a regional sport, unless you lived in the area, it was unlikely you’d ever see the matches. I mean the big name players too, not just the second rate battlers or those in training to become stars. The events were sometimes taped and shown in that specific region, but outside of those fans and horrific duped tapes, it was impossible to see the events for yourself. But now, VCI and Kit Parker Films have released a series of five discs and of course, each is loaded with classic matches. I knew some good ones would be found on these discs, but I was stunned by how good some were, as well as some of the names represented. You’ll see Jerry “The King” Lawler, Rick Rude, The Sheik, Terry Funk, Abdullah the Butcher, and countless other superstars, all in terrific matches. You can even enable audio comments from former WWF manager Jim Cornette and wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer, should you not opt for the original comments, if there are some. You can also purchase the below five discs as solo releases, but I think the complete collection is a wiser option. Below is a list of which matches you’ll find on which disc, quite a lineup indeed.

Disc One (Busted Open)
1. Sherri Martel vs. Judy Martin
2. Shawn Michaels vs. Ken Johnson
3. Gino Hernandez & Tully Blanchard vs. The Grapplers
4. Gino Hernandez vs. Tully Blanchard
5. Bob Orton, Jr. vs. Adrian Adonis
6. Bruiser Brody vs. Abdullah the Butcher
7. Larry Zybisco vs. Scott Casey
8. Jerry Lawler vs. Bob Sweetan
9. Terry Funk & Ivan Putski vs. Gino Hernandez & Tully Blanchard
10. Dick Slater vs. Mongolian Stomper (Cage Match)
11. Bruiser Brody vs. Nick Bockwinkel

Disc Two (The Maim Event)
1. The Rock & Roll Express vs. Randy Savage & Lanny Poffo
2. Nick Bockwinkel vs. Manny Fernandez
3. The Sheik vs. Mark Lewin
4. David & Kerry Von Erich vs. Gene Yates & Killer Karl Krupp
5. The Fabulous Ones vs. PYT Express
6. The Road Warriors vs. Austin Idol & Jerry Lawler
7. Randy Savage vs. Jerry Lawler (Cage Match)
8. The Samoans vs. Ted DiBiase & Bob Roop
9. Bruno Sammartino & Dick the Bruiser vs. Ernie Ladd & Baron Von Raschke
10. Tully Blanchard vs. Manny Fernandez
11. Rick Rude vs. Jerry Lawler
12. The Crusher, Dick the Bruiser & The Little Bruiser vs. Blackjack
Mulligan, Blackjack Lanza, and Bobby Heenan

Disc Three (We Like To Hurt People)
1. Tommy Rich & Eddie Gilbert vs. Phil Hickerson & The Spoiler (Tennessee Street Fight)
2. The Rock & Roll Express vs. Randy Savage & Lanny Poffo
3. Dick Slater vs. Dory Funk, Jr.
4. The Sheik vs. Tiger Jeet Singh (Cage Match)
5. The Fabulous Blondes vs. Al Perez & Manny Fernandez
6. Terry Funk vs. Harley Race
7. Pepper Gomez vs. The Bounty Hunter
8. Austin Idol vs. Jim Neidhart
9. Junkyard Dog vs. Butch Reed
10. Rick Rude, Jim Neidhart, Ox Baker & The Japanese Assassin vs. Robert Reed, Tiger Mask, Keith Eric & Mad Dog
11. King Kong Bundy vs. Jerry Lawler
12. Terry Funk vs. Mark Lewin
13. Tommy Rich vs. Massao Ito
14. Jerry Lawler vs. Kamala
15. Ray Stevens, Blackjack Mulligan & Baron Von Raschke vs. The Crusher, Dick the Bruiser & Sailor Art Thomas

Disc Four (No More Mr. Nice Guy)
1. Randy Savage vs. Rick Rude
2. The Sheik vs. Andre the Giant
3. Pampero Firpo vs. Jeff Doney
4. Bruiser Brody & Scott Casey vs. Kelly Kiniski & The Spoiler
5. King Kong Bundy & Rick Rude vs. Jerry Lawler & Randy Savage
6. Chief Jay Strongbow vs. Bulldog Don Kent (Shark Cage Match)
7. Randy Savage vs. Austin Idol
8. Terrible Ted the Wrestling Bear vs. Gene DuBois
9. Terry Funk & Ivan Putski vs. Gino Hernandez & Tully Blanchard
10. Tommy Rich vs. Rick Rude
11. Jerry Lawler vs. Nick Bockwinkel
12. Randy Savage vs. Austin Idol
13. Bobby Heenan vs. Cowboy Bob Ellis

Disc Five (Beat Me If You Can)
1. Nick Bockwinkel vs. Terry Allen (aka Magnum TA)
2. Ivan Putski vs. Eddie Mansfield
3. Tito Santana vs. Kelly Kiniski
4. The Sheik vs. Tom Jones
5. Bobo Brazil vs. Michael Angelo
6. Chief Wahoo McDaniel vs. Tully Blanchard
7. Eddie Gilbert vs. Jerry Lawler
8. The Sheik vs. Tiger Jeet Singh (Mud Match)
9. Austin Idol vs. Massao Ito
10. Tully Blanchard & Gino Hernandez vs. Scott Casey & Terry Allen (aka Magnum TA)
11. Terry Taylor vs. Sabu
12. Chief Wahoo McDaniel, Tommy Rogers & Marty Janetty vs. Ted Oates & The Grapplers

Video: How does it look?

All of the matches are presented in full frame transfers, as intended. I found the image quality to be quite good, but keep in mind that these matches have some years behind them and as such, don’t like as good as current WWF material. The events were taped with low end cameras and it shows, as the image is not too sharp or refined, but when compared to most wrestling elements from around the same time, the video level is way above the watermark. The prints do look soft yes, but minimal grain or debris is evident, which is good news. The colors look a little dull, but solid enough and contrast remains well balanced. The images here aren’t pristine, to be sure, but all things considered, fans should be thrilled and I know that I was.

Audio: How does it sound?

Not much to discuss here, as the audio is acceptable and should please fans, but offers little beyond the basics. The materials have mostly aged well enough, but you can tell these are older matches, as the dynamic range is very limited. Even so, the crowd noise is on the mark and the in-ring audio is in full effect, so no worries on those fronts. The slams and slaps might not sound as impact driven as today’s stuff, but for the purposes of this material, I doubt anyone will be let down. Not all the matches have announcers present to provide comments, but when they are there, the vocals are clean and never hard to understand.

Supplements: What are the extras?

In addition to the normal audio tracks, you can enable special commentary from wrestling experts Dave Meltzer and Jim Cornette. Both men know their stuff and provide solid comments, but they do sometimes focus on more general topics, as opposed to the match in front of them. Even so, their comments are most welcome and since some matches have no other announcers, it helps keep things brisk & entertaining at all times.

Disc Scores