LOST TREASURES OF PRO WRESTLING VOL. 1
By Joseph Santangelo
Hello my name is Joseph Santangelo and I just finished watching the Lost Treasures in Pro Wrestling DVD. When I first decided to purchase this DVD I was expecting some pretty good results. I mean with RF Videos reputation and this being one of the rare 4 disc sets that they ever put out, I figured that it should be a good DVD. I was right. This DVD goes over the lives and deaths of 14 of Pro Wrestling’s true “lost treasures”. On discs 1 and 2 the DVD takes us through past interviews that RF has conducted with people about the wrestlers that have died. This includes some of wrestling’s biggest names such as Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Mick Foley, Taz, and X-Pac to name a few. Disc’s 3 and 4 features several matches from each individual wrestler. Now I am not going to go over each individual match because quite frankly I don’t think this DVD is about watching great matches. Some of the highlights of Disc’s 3 and 4 were the Mike Awesome vs. Taz match, The Haas Brothers against Lo Ki and American Dragon, and Bam Bam Bigelow against Spike Dudley. Now onto the wrestler tribute reviews.
Chris Candido: First of all every tribute began with a little wrestler bio in the beginning going over each ones past accomplishments. This was one of the sadder wrestler tributes on the DVD. They mainly showed tributes from 2 sources giving tributes to No Gimmicks Need. One source was Tammy Sytch. Her tribute was very sad because she actually described how Chris’ last couple of days living went down. From the beginning of his last TNA tapings up until she was told by the doctors that he was gone, Tammy describes his final moments. The other main source was a combination of The Sandman in a room with Chris’ brother. This was of course very emotional as both men were very close with Chris. His section of the DVD also features comments from the obvious group of guys such as Raven, Mick Foley, and Balls Mahoney. This was especially sad because he was one of the few wrestlers who did not have a “dirty” death in my opinion.
Sherri Martel: This section mainly had comments from women talking about how Sherri paved the way for most other women in professional wrestling. Shawn Michaels talked about Sherri trying to protect him from a lot of the politics in Pro Wrestling and a lot of the older guys who were trying to mess around with him. It also has comments from Sherri Martel herself from her previous shoot interview with RF about her life and some of the mistakes that she has made.
Russ Hass: This was a very emotionally tribute as well. RF was able to get a lot of material for this piece because of the majority of the time that the Haas brothers had in wrestling before Russ died was in JAPW. This tribute had clips from the JAPW tribute show witch had a testimonial from Charlie Haas about his brother. It also had clips from a ECPW show where the WWE had sent Kevin Kelly to talk about Russ. Then a video from Kurt Angle talking about his relationship with Russ played and Kurt said that he knew that Charlie would live out his dream of being in the WWE for both of them. From Charlie Haas to Kurt Angle to Homicide to the JAPW staff, this was an overly emotionally tribute and made me feel tremendously bad where as before this DVD I had barely heard of Russ Haas.
Doug Gentry: This was by far the longest tribute on the DVD. For those of you who do not know, Doug Gentry was one of the original workers and founders of RF Video and of Ring of Honor. He passed away in January of 2007. I think that the most unknown people (at least to me) were presented on this tribute. Still the fact that I did not know many of these people attributing Doug did not make his portion of the DVD any less special. One of the most emotional parts of his tribute was when Rob Feinstien himself was interviewed about Doug. Rob mainly talked about Doug first came to RF video and Rob gave Doug a job for life because Doug Gentry dropped out of college. Then they showed clips from an interview that the entire RF video crew had done years ago where Doug talks about his love for wrestling.
Louie Spicolli: Ok let me start out by saying that I never had ever heard of Louie Spicolli before watching this part of the DVD. And unlike the Russ Haas and Doug Gentry parts of the DVD I did not feel that I knew that much about who this guy was after his tribute was over. Don’t get me wrong, he still had people giving him tributes but I do not think this tribute was a good as some of the others.
Mike Awesome: This part of the DVD was very informative for me. The main person who spoke about Mike was Corporal Kirshner. He described basically what happened between Mike and his wife and what may have cause Mike to take his own life. Now I do not feel as sorry for Mike as some of the other attributers in this DVD. From what I got from Kirshner, Mike put his hands on his wife after she told him that she was divorcing him. I do feel bad that she basically stole everything from Mike after he was sent to jail for trying to choke his wife, including his kids and his money. When Mike got out of jail he was supposed to go out with his friends but they went out to his house and found him dead. The end of the tribute saw Mike Awesome himself talking about himself and how much he loved his kids and that they mean everything to him. This made me very sad.
The Von Erich’s: Ok now I watched this DVD coming off watching the WWE’s version of a WCCW DVD. I have always felt that this has always been wrestling greatest tragedy (before Benoit). This tribute was unique because it dealt with the deaths of 5 different people (the four brothers and Fritz.) RF also had a massive amount of people to speak on the Von Erich’s. Of course the main person in this interview was Kevin Von Erich. What I got out of this portion of the DVD was how hard it has to be for Kevin that 1. His entire family is gone, 2. That his legacy in wrestling will be that he the only Von Eric that did not die. This tribute was full of emotion from many of the past employees of WCCW and the NWA.
Bam Bam Bigelow: Now onto disc 2. This was a pretty good section of the DVD as well. The biggest “star” that was interviewed besides Bam Bam himself was Taz. I think that the saddest part of this tribute was when they showed the interview with Bam Bam himself and they showed his son sitting next to him. Almost every single person interviewed had something nice to say about Bam Bam. This tribute was interesting but not a highlight of the DVD and it did not stick out very much.
Bad News Allen: This was my favorite section of the entire DVD. It was also the first part of the DVD were someone had something bad to say about the dead wrestler. Bret Hart was interviewed and said that Allen did not get the business. Bad News Allen was then showed saying that he did not like Bret either. His background in Judo was heavily talked about. It also talked about the match with Roddy Piper had with him at Wrestlemania. Piper kept saying that he wasn’t racist by painting himself black for the match but Allen seemed to be a little more offended. All in all this section was my favorite because it talked a lot about the life of Bad News instead of just giving tributes.
Hawk: The tribute to Hawk no this DVD was a little lackluster in my opinion. I feel that you could have had so many more people telling so many more stories about the lives of one of wrestling’s greatest tag team wrestlers. This portion of the DVD had a lot of commentary from Hawk himself about his life and the way that many things went down. It also features commentary from Jim Cornette about the time that he spent together with Hawk. Overall this tribute was ok but I would not buy the DVD if you are just getting it to see the Hawk tribute.
Eddie Guerrero: This tribute was surprisingly short. I thought that with Eddie Guerrero’s popularity that he would have one of the longer tributes but I was wrong. The main person interviewed about Eddie was Chyna. She always said that when she hung out it was always all about Chyna. She said that once Eddie was training her to do a bench press and she couldn’t get it but she was trying so hard. When she finally got it she flung him out of the ring and they all laughed. Then at the end of the Eddie Guerrero tribute’s from everyone else a past interview from Eddie himself was shown and he talked about how he made his mistakes but he owned up to them.
Curt Hennig: This was a good portion of the DVD. Curt had helped a lot of guys over the years with the psychology of the business. One of the main people that spoke on Curt was Scott Hall. For those who have seen the Scott Hall shoot interview that RF video did, you know it was very emotional. Although this was not the most emotional part of that DVD, it was very nice to see Scott and others as well talking so kindly about Mr. Perfect. The bio for this portion of the DVD was very well done to and was a fitting tribute to one of wrestling’s greats.
Davey Boy Smith: The life of the British Bulldog was greatly celebrated with this tribute. It is a shame that a man with so much life left to live was taken. You will get the usual comments from Bret and others with this tribute. I have been a British bulldog fan for my entire life and I always become sad when I hear about him and his death. It is just a shame that such a good person could have so many demons. Besides that there is not much else to say about this tribute. It was one of the better ones on this DVD.
Owen Hart: Possibly one of the most widespread tributes besides Chris Candido’s. This tribute had comments from everyone from Bret Hart to X-Pac to Billy Gunn to Jim Neidhart. The big message in this tribute was that they all think the show should have been stopped after Owen was killed. X-Pac says that if his match on the show would have been after Owen died, he would not have come out to wrestle. An interesting story was told by Roddy Piper about a conversation that was had with Vince Russo after he went to WCW about Owen Hart. I think that the biggest tributes that were down were from Jim Neidhart and Bret Hart. Jim says that his entire family has been torn apart by this incident and it has not gotten any better as the years have gone by. Bret Hart probably had the saddest message at the end of the DVD. Bret said that he and Owen always dreamed of growing up and living close to each other where their kids can grow up together. He said the worst part about this whole thing was that now all of his friends(Jim Neidhart excepted) are now dead and he has no one to reminisce with.
A sad note to end on but a great DVD. I would have to give this DVD an 8.5 out of 10 only because at times it was a little to depressing. A great tribute to 14 of pro wrestling’s lost treasures.
If you want to talk to me about my review and send comments on it, email me at [email protected]