01st Oct2013

‘WWE Legends of Mid South Wrestling’ Blu-ray Review

by Chris Cummings

LEGENDS_OF_MSW

WWE has access to a vast library of professional wrestling’s past, with promotions like AWA, Stampede, ECW, WCW and many more. This release is the WWE’s delving into the history of Mid South Wrestling, a territorial promotion based in Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Mid South is often referred to by old time fans and performers as one of the most influential leagues in wrestling’s history. Promoted by Bill Watts through the end of the 70’s and the first half of the 80’s, Mid South featured names like Ted DiBiase, The Junkyard Dog, Andre the Giant, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Magnum TA and “Dr Death” Steve Williams. Where as other wrestling promotions had slow and traditional in-ring work or cartoon style performances, Mid South featured a more realistic and exciting style of wrestling that featured characters that appeared more believable.

This release is laid out really nicely, with the documentary style intermixed with relevant matches. We see talking heads of people who worked for the territory, telling stories of their experiences there and what the company meant to them personally as well as their careers. Bill Watts talks about the company and is open and forthcoming with his remarks which add a much needed voice to the set. Jim Ross also provides plenty of interesting opinions and tales throughout. It’s also worth noting that Jake “The Snake” Roberts in his current sober and drug-free state is one of the interviewees and it is really lovely to see the legendary performer talking clearly about his wrestling career.

Each notable feud from Mid South history is laid out with excellent sound bytes and clips of the preceding events to each match. There are some great tag team contests here too, with legendary teams such as The Midnight Express, The Rock ‘n Roll Express and The Fabulous Freebirds offering some excellent stuff.

Some of the highlights of the set include; a bloody coal miner’s glove match between Ted DiBiase and Jim Duggan with newly recorded commentary from Jim Ross. A Mid South Tag Team Championship match that is a real spectacle, with the late Matt (Doink) Bourne and Ted DiBiase vs. Tony Atlas and Andre the Giant. A great “Ghetto Street Fight” between Junkyard Dog and Butch Reed. An early look at Shawn Michaels in a match against Ted DiBiase, plus much, much more.

I am a big fan of these sets. They not only provide a well edited compilation of wrestling for existing fans, but also a history lesson for newer fans of the professional wrestling genre. These are important releases that if they don’t continue to produce would result in the death of the history of many North American promotions of the past. This is no exception, it’s well put together and features some brilliant matches and genuinely interesting stories from a variety of wrestling legends.

The blu-ray release features no less than eight exclusive matches (including a few from when Mid South Wrestling became the UWF) as well as more stories from a variety of former Mid South talents.

Legends of Mid South Wrestling is available on DVD (3 DVD) and Blu-ray (2 BD) and is out now from WWE Home Video/FremantleMedia.

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