Wrestling Gold: ‘Blood, Brawls and Grudges’
Producers: Kit Parker Films, VCI Entertainment.
DVD Features: Commentary by Jim Cornette and Dave Meltzer; Biographies by Bryan Alvarez. DVD-5, Motion Menu, Scene Selection, Dolby Digital Mono, Macrovision, NTSC – Region 0.
Time: 131 minutes.
Price: $19.99 U.S. or special offer of 4 Wrestling Gold DVDs for the price of only 3.
When I was a kid the covers of wrestling magazines were not for the weak of heart. More often than not, the editors would plaster bloody, gory kissers in full colour on their front covers. The ghastly photos of Ric Flair, Harley Race or Bruiser Brody wearing crimson masks after Texas Death or Steel Cage matches would greet unsuspecting buyers browsing the newsstands. Those covers were a hit with young punks like myself. Parents though were disgusted by them. Those covers particularly irked my mom who surreptitiously heaved stacks and stacks of those mags down our apartment’s garbage chute.
Grapplers digging tacks and broken glass out of their bodies or hitting each other with flaming baseball bats or steel chairs just wasn’t part of the scene then. The loopy Japanese death matches, insane hardcore ECW bouts and bloodsoaked tributes to Mick Foley and other crazies on video tape or DVD these days just shows you how much times have changed. When it comes to gruesome or deranged antics, modern wrestling fans have seen it all…and then some.
Taking that into account, Wrestling Gold’s latest DVD release — “Blood, Brawls and Grudges” — just doesn’t live up expectations. Don’t let the title or the photo of Terry Funk sitting in a bloody heap on the cover fool you. By today’s standards, the DVD’s content is rather tame.
About the only bout which could make you wince…ever so slightly…is a dust-up between Tracy Smothers, Dirty White Boy and The Heavenly Bodies. Smothers takes a savage shellacking and someone gets brutally piledriven through a ringside table. While such mischief may have rocked fans then, this kind of bout is common place nowadays. None of what transpires is really shocking other than the fact that someone at Smoky Mountain Wrestling saddled DWB with one of the lamest monikers of all time. Being named after a crappy song by Foreigner had to have REALLY sucked. Though I guess “Test” isn’t much better.
Another bout which fails to deliver is the Al Snow and Ricky Morton cage match. It is so subdued that even my grandmother could watch it without closing her eyes. Even the “surprise” ending involving Unabom (WWE’s Kane) has been done a million times since that it really doesn’t have any impact on the viewer.
If the almost harmless content wasn’t bad enough, the biggest letdown of ‘Blood, Brawls and Grudges’ is that there is hardly any commentary at all by Jim Cornette or Dave Meltzer. Any fan of the original “Wrestling Gold” series, which relied so heavily on the witty and informative thoughts of Cornette and Meltzer, will feel as if they have been visited by The Repo Man once the end credits roll.
1. ‘Beautiful’ Bobby Eaton, ‘Sweet’ Stan Lane and Dr. Tom Prichard versus The Rock ‘n Roll Express and Arn Anderson.
2. Rock n’ Roll Express and Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage versus Brian Lee, Chris Candido and Bruiser Bedlam.
3. The Steiner Brothers versus The Heavenly Bodies
4. Cactus Jack, Tracy Smothers versus Chris Candido, Boo Bradley
5. Al Snow versus Ricky Morton (Steel Cage Match)
6. Tracy Smothers and Dirty White Boy versus The Heavenly Bodies
7. Tommy ‘Wildfire’ Rich and Terry Gordy versus The Mongolian Stomper and Boo Bradley
8. Jim Cornette versus Butch Cassidy
9. Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk versus Scott and Steve Armstrong
10. Rock n’ Roll Express versus The Gangstas