Judge Patrick Bromley wants to hang out with Red Rooster at Red Lobster.
Our reviews of WWE: Survivor Series Anthology, Volume 2 (1992-1996) (published January 28th, 2010), WWE: Survivor Series 2008 (published January 21st, 2009), WWE: Survivor Series 2009 (published February 18th, 2010), and WWE: Survivor Series 2011 (published January 15th, 2012) are also available.
A Thanksgiving tradition!
Now here's a wrestling DVD set made just for me. When I was 10 years old, I got way into the WWF; my love affair lasted roughly from WrestleMania 2 to 6. Once I saw Ultimate Warrior defeat Hulk Hogan for the Heavyweight title, I knew the tides of wrestling had changed. The old heroes' day had passed, and fans were demanding a new kind of icon: an incoherent lunatic who somehow seemed tougher and edgier than Hulk "Say Your Prayers and Take Your Vitamins" Hogan. My tenure as a WWF fan had run its course, but for a while I was as into the squared circle action as anyone. And Survivor Series was my favorite event.
The concept is simple enough: tag team matches with four or five wrestlers on a team, only the eliminations are individual. Each wrestler can be eliminated by pinfall, submission, disqualification or count-out and must leave the match immediately, but the rest of the members continue on from there. Theoretically, you could wind up with a match of five against one, and the WWF was always good about exploring just about any possibility and combination. In its first years, the event was always held on Thanksgiving night (I have no idea if it still is), and I can remember saving up my money to order it on Pay-Per-View; we would finish up dinner, and Mom and Dad would excuse themselves so the rest of us could watch three hours of wrestling. One year, I was even lucky enough to attend a Survivor Series (it was number III, held at Chicago's Rosemont Horizon) and it was the highlight of my twelfth year of life. It was my one and only opportunity to see "Rowdy" Roddy Piper in person, and the man did not disappoint.
Here are the matches included on Survivor Series Anthology, Volume 1 (1987-1991):
Disc One: 1987
Disc Two: 1988
Disc Three: 1989
Disc Four: 1990
Disc Five: 1991
For the most part, my enjoyment of the collection came down to nostalgia: seeing all the wrestlers I used to love, laughing at the particularly lame ones (like The Red Rooster, a mullet-ed guy who spiked up a mohawk and dyed it red; was this the best he could do?) and watching as wrestlers flipped sides every year and changed their entire personas (One Man Gang was suddenly Akeem another year; one of the Rougeau Brothers went from being a good guy to a bad guy to being The Mountie, whose only gimmick was that he was French Canadian—and we HATED him for it). The package put together for Survivor Series, Volume 1 is a nice one, including all five events (spread out over five discs) in their entirety—including interviews, promos and any back-story clips that might help inform certain grudges being played out. The trouble is that the package is so specific: you've got to really be into these particular five years in WWF history, and you've got to be a fan of this particular event—anyone who isn't will likely find the whole thing repetitive (as its basically the same kind of match over and over again). Luckily, I fit that bill to a T and, as such, I had a blast with this trip down a bruised and battered memory lane.
From a technical standpoint, the Survivor Series Anthology, Volume 1 isn't all that impressive. The events are presented in their original full frame format and look like 20-year-old video, which is exactly what they are. More an issue of bad source than bad transfer, the matches are soft and somewhat dull, and the 2.0 audio soundtrack is acceptable but not much else. None of that really matters, though, as it shouldn't get in the way of your enjoyment. You'll still be able to tell who's suplexing who. There are no extras included, which is too bad; some retrospective pieces or modern-day interviews might have been nice. I guess we'll just have to make due with nearly 15 hours of Survivor Series action.
Not guilty, but strictly for the fans.
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