I finished the Greatest Stars of the 80s today.
First, I finished off disc 2. The first match I watched on it was Kerry Von Erich vs. Jerry Lawler to unify the AWA and WCCW World titles. Hell of a match, here. Lawler is great as a heel and Von Erich is a great as a babyface. Even better is that it uses the same finish as the Rhodes/Flair-match from yesterday, but it's done EFFECTIVELY. See, Von Erich is such a bloody mess that you might think his face is genuinely red - so when the ref calls it for blood, you feel like the ref is legitimately saving Kerry's life! Great match.
Next is Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat from WrestleWar. This would be their initial encounter for this trilogy, where Ricky wins the title. I don't think I need to say whole lot about this one, all three are legit *****-matches. Everything is perfect here down to the near-fall finishes. Even better, the keen eye will see Dave Meltzer in the front row having a bit of a spasm for one near-fall. Another great match.
Next is Ric Flair vs. Jay Youngblood. This match is like watching Kofi Kingston vs. Chris Jericho. You're given a hint that, with time, Youngblood could be a major deal. Sadly, Youngblood passed before his time. The match is brief and goes to a time-limit, but it's a good enough to make you want to see more.
The extras on disc 2 are great as well. Some really good promos from Lawler, Rhodes, Flair, etc. Excellent stuff.
With that out of the way I popped in disc 3.
The wrestlers covered were Jimmy Snuka, Bob Orton, Paul Orndorff, the Iron Sheik, and Hulk Hogan. So Snuka and Hogan I get. But this set doesn't include: Randy Savage, the Ultimate Warrior, Andre the Giant, Rick Rude, Ted Dibiase, Nick Bockwinkle, Kerry Von Erich... I mean, Bob Orton over those guys? I love Arn Anderson, but over those guys? At the very least, they need to do a second set one of these days to incorporate them. Probably not going to happen, though. The profiles were good, at least.
The matches, on the other hand? What a horrid set.
First you got Bob Backlund vs. Jimmy Snuka in a cage, which probably ended up being the best match on the disc. Backlund escaped the cage after Snuka missed the Superfly off the top. Kind of weird to see Snuka here as a heel when he's played up as such a wonderful face during the profile. Why not Snuka/Muraco or Snuka/Piper?
Next is Bob Backlund vs. the Iron Sheik. This is the match where Sheik wins the world title. It's a boring display, with Sheik just using submissions most of the time. Backlund is game and shows a lot of the stuff that would later influence one American Dragon, but Sheik is Sheik and that's really it, isn't it?
Next is Paul Orndorff vs. Salvatore Bellomo. Essentially it was a 14-minute squash. Boring as hell. Why not Orndorff vs. Hogan in the cage? Wouldn't that make more sense? This match, ugh.
Next is Iron Sheik vs. Hulk Hogan. Blink and you'll miss Hogan winning his first World championship. It's noteworthy for that alone, but the match is as passable as they get.
Next is Bob Orton vs. Jimmy Snuka and I'm completely dumbfounded at this point. The match is a bore, although I can't help but wonder if I'm more unhappy with the selection of it than anything.
Finally Hulk Hogan vs. Roddy Piper caps off the DVD from the War to Settle the Score. As a match, it's nothing, but as an angle it's one of the best ever. Orndorff ends up ganging up with Piper on Hogan and hell breaks loose. Cyndi Lauper gets on the apron to protest, and when Orndorff/Piper try to attack - Mr. T saves the day! Bedlam ensues and this sets up the first WrestleMania.
The extras on this disc are great as well, with the notable exception of the Tony Atlas/Paul Orndorff-posedown.
Match of the Day goes to Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat.
"Hogan is trying to get Yokozuna into WCW. Remember, he still has a win he needs to get back" - The Wrestling Observer Newsletter: December 08, 1997