Thursday, September 19, 2013
The (Mid) South Will Rise Again!
Ever since WWE purchased the Mid-South Wrestling Library, fans have been clamoring for something to come of it. It didn't take a genius to figure out that the purchase was a smart buy. From Junkyard Dog to Ted DiBiase to Jim Duggan to Jake Roberts, so many wrestling stars of the '80s had some of their best years in the business as part of either Mid-South Wrestling or the Universal Wrestling Federation when the promotion changed names. Seeing as how WWE enjoys showcasing the stars of what many fans between the age of 30 to 40 years old consider to be the company's "glory years," this release practically built itself.
Although I'm not a home theater expert, to me this classic footage is particularly crystal clear in Blu-Ray format. Though the occasional imperfection from the source material cannot be helped, someone did an absolutely remarkable job restoring these tapes. Rumor says that the tapes were restored for the Watts family's own marketing of these matches before WWE purchased the library.
The segments and matches presented each revolve around a key player in Mid-South's history and often include stars such as Ric Flair, Andre the Giant, and Dusty Rhodes who passed through. In my estimation, the match listing is phenomenal. Despite collecting quite a bit of footage through the years, the only match I had previously owned was Andre, Dusty, and JYD taking on Ladd and The Wild Samoans. Six Hall of Famers in one match gives you just a hint of the star power involved here.
As is usually the case when comparing formats, the DVD packaging is a bit more attractive than the Blu-Ray version. The latter format, however, contains several bonus segments and matches. These extra features are absolutely worth picking up the Blu-Ray version for. Cantankerous old "get that WWE logo off of my classic wrestling!" fans will be happy to see that the company's logo is very small in the over all packaging design. In comparison, the classic Mid-South Wrestling logo is featured much more prominently as a whole.
For every reason mentioned above and more, go out and buy this one. WWE releases from their vast "vault" are always worth a purchase due to being able to get these gems in pristine quality, but this set goes above and beyond. Very rarely in viewing the discs was I not completely entertained. Going back to my earlier pondering, I think that it did have a lot to do with "The Cowboy" and "The Big Cat." Not only did they know how to build a promotion, but they knew how to build the talent to keep us enthralled. Thanks to WWE, we now get to treasure that greatness forevermore.