Saturday 30 October 2010

WWE Highest Flyers - Disc 2 DVD Review By Shaun Nichols

Chris Jericho vs. Ultimo Dragon ****
1-2-3 Kid vs. Hakushi ***1/2
John Morrison vs. Tyson Kidd ***1/4
Edge & Christian vs. Dudley Boys vs. Hardy Boys ****1/2
Super Crazy vs. Tajiri vs. Little Guido ***1/4
Brian Pillman vs. Alex Wright ***3/4
Great Muta vs. Sting ***
Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn ***1/4
Hardy Boys vs. Kaientai **

Disc 2 starts with Chris Jericho defending the WCW Cruiserweight title at Bash at the Beach 1997, this is your typical babyface vs babyface match with Dragon especially being in excellent form. Jericho keeps himself in the match with a number of springboard moves. Mike Tenay on commentary discusses Jericho's previous matches with Dragon for the WAR promotion a few years earlier. Match really does pick up in the last few minutes and the fans react pretty big when Jericho successfully retains.
Moving over to the WWF and a look at the 1-2-3 Kid and then his match at Summerslam 1995 against Hakushi, I was a big fan of Hakushi when he signed with the WWF in 1994 and although he was never allowed to do his full repertoire due to infringing on other wrestlers gimmicks most noticably his awesome rope walking spot which made Undertaker look like an amateur. So I'm thrilled to see a rare Hakushi match on a WWE compilation. Match is unlike anything else in the promotion at this time because they were definitely behind the times when it came to high flying fast paced action. Hakushi wins after catching the Kid with a powerbomb after the Kid was using a springboard.
Next comes John Morrison and shockingly a second Superstars match on this compilation, this is from July 2009 so Tyson is playing heel with the rest of the Hart Dynasty running interference for him. This again is pretty standard fare and seems like a missed opprtunity to find a better match for Morrison who athletically is very gifted though this match also indicates that he's not particularly over with the fans.
Moving onto to the tag teams we get a decent video highlighting among others the Rock 'n' Roll Express, the Killer Bees and the Rockers. The match we get to showcase tag team wrestling is the ladder match from Wrestlemania 16. This is chock full of frankly insane dives, carefully orchestrated ladder and table spots that builds and builds to more dangerous spots. What's really interesting to note is that Edge is rarely involved in the major highspots of the match. Jeff Hardy and Bubba Dudley are easily the craziest people involved. With Hardy writing himself in history with his ridiculous senton off a very high ladder onto Dudley who was laid on a table. Fans live went mad for this and I really enjoyed it for what it is a slice of car crash wrestling. Which took ladder matches to the next stage in regards to what reckless moves the fans would see.
Up next is the insane luchadore Super Crazy and the match is the three way from ECW One Night Stand in 2005, we also see the full range of FBI members including JT Smith while the Sinister Minister and Mikey Whipwreck are supporting Tajiri. Loads of stiff kicks and reversals until Crazy lands the first big move with a moonsault from the balcony with all members of the FBI acting as his safety net. While this is going on Mikey hits Guido with a Whippersnapper and Tajiri gets the pin. Crazy back in the ring secures victory with another moonsault. Fans really liked this and I think this is partly down to nostalgia of seeing everyone including as I said Smith who hadn't been a part of ECW since the mid 1990's.
Brian Pillman's match with Alex Wright is very strange, a lot of it is very good. Some parts are horrible including Pillman's attempt at a crossbow which Wright equalised using a dreadful attempt at a surfboard. Bobby Heenan helps tremendously on commentary basically burying not only both wrestlers, his co-commentator Tony Schiavone and the fans in attendance. Wright wins when he blocks a Pillman sunset flip for the surprise pinfall.
Shock of the compilation is next when NJPW's Great Muta is next to be featured. The match against Sting comes from the WCW Japan Supershow in March 1991. Within the first 30 seconds we get Muta's patented handspring elbow and an attempted moonsault. Muta though is gimmick over the wrestler though he's still entertaining to watch. Sting goes someway in matching him in the ring as well. Unfortunately we get a cheap finish when Muta uses the dreaded mist and then a crossbody for the win. Sting immediately attacks him afterwards to get his heat back.
When you think of RVD vs. Jerry Lynn, which match are you thinking of? Either of the two ECW PPV matches? No, before there was WWE Superstars there was Sunday Night Heat and this is where we go to from August 2001 in a pretty decent ten minute match. I can't lie they should have picked a different RVD match although at least this doesn't have the legendary RVD posing or Bill Alfonso and his whistle. Match features everything you would expect including the impressive five star frog splash from RVD for the win.
This discs extra is a 4 minute TV match from Sunday Night Heat on the pre-game show of Breakdown 1998 PPV, this is about as good as you can get for a match with such a short time frame and it's always really fun to see Men's Teoih wrestling.
The second disc is also very entertaining with the standout match being the ladder match from Wrestlemania 16 but there is nothing on this disc that could be considered even average. Match choices could always be better, with Disc 2's RVD match being the one that should have been replaced with something else. If they wanted RVD vs. Lynn there were far better options available. Disc 3 features among others Shawn Michaels, Jeff Hardy, Taka Michinoku and saving the best until last Rey Mysterio.


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