Monday, March 29, 2010

On DVD: WWE History of the Intercontinental Championship (2008)

I was given this as a Christmas present, but I only got around to playing this DVD set in the last week. Appropriate, considering the present state of WWE and the general neglect of the Intercontinental title.

As host Todd Grisham (Friday Night Smackdown) explains, the IC championship was the fusion of the North American & South American championships. As most fans know, however, the tournament to crown the first IC champ never really took place. In truth, the company decided to entrust Pat Patterson as the first champion in a boardroom decision.

The first match features Patterson against a then-babyface Ted DiBiase, whom Patterson defeated to win the North American title in the first place. Patterson out-cheated DiBiase to retain, but, inexplicably, Patterson would return as a babyface himself in the very next match, helping break up a post-match brawl between Pedro Morales and Olympic strongman Ken Patera. Patterson would later move to the broadcast booth, and then to the front office before being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in the late 90's.

There are some classic matches in the 3-disc package, some of which I'd already seen, including the legendary Wrestlemania 3 match between "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Rick Steamboat, Steamboat's subsequent screwjob loss to the Honky Tonk Man, and Honky's later dismantling at the hands of the Ultimate Warrior at Summerslam over a year later.

The upside: Lots of memories came rushing back, mostly because I'd seen some of these bouts, including the majority of the matches on disc 3, before.

The downside: No commentaries from former champions, which would've enhanced the product. Also, in the course of the two Bret Hart matches on disc 2, a Russian Legsweep is miscalled as a neckbreaker. Coincidentally, Vince McMahon was the play-by-play man in one of those bouts. Grisham looked like such a tool in the course of this presentation. A number of past champions, including the late Kerry Von Erich, were left out, save for a token picture included in the fold-out attached to the back cover.

I have been hesitant to invest in WWE DVDs in the past myself, and I see no reason to change that after this. Grade---B.

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