The first volume of the SummerSlam Anthology features the events from 1988 - 1992. The star of this set is Randy Savage as he is in a title match, two tag team main events, and even found the time to get married. However, the MVP of this set is Bret Hart as four of the five matches he is in on this set ('89-'92) happened to be my favorite matches of each of those events.
The first thing I always wonder about in sets like this is how much editing has been done to the events. Thankfully, this volume is not too bad in accurately portraying the events that took place.
Four Editing Notes
- The musical issues that marred the first volume of the WrestleMania Anthology have been taken care of for the most part. The only notable musical edit I noticed was for Ricky Steamboat's theme in one match.
- Thankfully, the intermission clock has been edited off of the set. For those unfamiliar with the clock, the WWE used to have an intermission during their early PPV events.
- The first attempted Rick Rude interview at SummerSlam '89 has been edited off the DVD. That interview featured the SummerSlam sign fall and Mean Gene cursing.
- When an announcer says WWF, there is an edit of the F.
How many of these matches are available elsewhere?
When the complete anthology was released last summer, I made a list of every SummerSlam match that was available on a non-SummerSlam DVD
. According to my calculations, only 10 of the matches are available on DVD and two of them were on limited-edition DVDs only. Quite a few of the biggest matches during this era have never been released on DVD before. Some of those matches include the MegaPowers vs. The Megabucks, two Hart Foundation vs. Demoltion matches, and the wedding of Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth.
How do these matches hold up over time?
SummerSlam was a strange event in the early days. With the PPV business being so new and the live events being so important, the early events didn't feature the matches that fans would see in the arenas at the time. The biggest example of this is in 1988 when one of the main event feuds on the house show circuit was Rick Rude vs. Jake Roberts. While the two men wind up interacting with each other on the show, they do not have a match against each other.
The one big thing I noticed was how much better tag team wrestling was during this era. One of the highlights of this set for me is watching the Hart Foundation, Demolition, the British Bulldogs, and the Rougeau Brothers. After watching their matches on this set, I can't wait for the upcoming WWE DVD Allied Powers: The World's Greatest Tag Teams.
I really liked this DVD set. Fans of old-school tag team wrestling and the waning days of the Hulkamania era will enjoy this stroll down memory lane. For a complete listing of all the matches on this DVD set, make sure to check out the SummerSlam section of the site
If you decide to buy this set, make sure that when you open it up that the package is facing up. Each disc comes in a sleeve and can easily slide out of its protective area if the package is not held properly.