Sunday, December 16, 2018

Wacky Wrestling VHS Boxes #11

So, I meant to post this the day of Survivor Series back in November, however, I was stuck in my blog "doldrum" so to speak during that time. So instead, this will be a month late and tonight is the annual "WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs" event (and honestly one of my favorites of the year). What better way to talk about that, than talking about some old wrestling tapes.

Survivor Series 1988
Scan credit: Canadian Collection

The Survivor Series started off in 1987 as a new pay-per-view event designed to piggyback off the success of WrestleMania III and the Andre the Giant vs. Hulk Hogan match that headlined it. It was also run in opposition to the first NWA/JCP pay-per-view event, Starrcade 1987. The 1988 version of the event featured the Mega Powers co-captaining a team against a team co-captained by the Big Boss Man and Akeem, collectively known as the Twin Towers. The most notable thing to come out of this show was the big tag team double turn of the Powers of Pain and Demolition, with Mr. Fuji turning on Demolition and joining up with the Powers of Pain to be their new manager. This led into a match at WrestleMania V between the two with Fuji teaming with the Powers of Pain to challenge Demolition for the tag titles.

I recently watched this event all the way through for the first time and it was an ok show, nothing too insane but provided a good base for some of the event going into WrestleMania 5 the upcoming spring. The VHS covers for the early Survivor Series shows weren't all that impressive either, with this one just showing Hogan and Savage on the front. One other thing I always found interesting was that Coliseum Video labeled the Survivor Series starting with this one as the "2nd Annual" Survivor Series. That would get confusing a bit down the line in the early 90s when it was the "5th Annual" and "6th Annual" on the spine.

WWF Terminators (1996)

Scan credit: Canadian Collection

In the mid-90s, WWF compilation tapes like this seemed to be really hard to find. The only tapes that seemed to be found in video stores and retail stores were the pay-per-view tapes from the "big five". If memory serves me right, tapes like these, were mail order only through the WWF Magazine. This particular tape is a whole lot of matches from early 1996 and includes the infamous football themed "Raw Bowl" match where wrestlers fought in football jerseys. 

While I always liked the tapes of the pay-per-view events, getting to see some of these more rare compilation tapes is a treat for me. I was able to acquire a DVD copy of this tape via someone on a wrestling message board about ten years ago. The first half of the tape is lots of stuff from Raw tapings in early 1996 but my favorite part was the second half with random matches taped before Superstars tapings and a couple really odd matches with Ringmaster (aka Steve Austin) against Fatu and Jake "The Snake" Roberts against Tatanka. This is something I would try to recommend to watch if you can find it.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1995

Scan credit: The Canadian Collection

WCW always had their hits and misses but one thing they always knew how to do right was Halloween. Take for example this box for the 1995 edition of Halloween Havoc. This box just screams "halloween". You've got Hulk Hogan smashing a jack-o-lantern with his bare hands and a funky looking background to boot. On the back The Giant is striking his best "mummy" pose and the match listing is bordered in some type of mystery ooze. 

The event itself wasn't really anything to write home about and is known for the infamous Monster Truck Match between Hulk Hogan and The Giant which culminated in Hogan throwing Giant off the roof of the arena. The actual match between the two occurred shortly thereafter and featured the debut of the Yeti, who proceeded to accomplish absolutely nothing. It's really no stretch to say that the box of this tape may actually be better than the event itself. 

WWF Survivor Series 1991

Scan credit: The Canadian Collection

Whenever I see this cover, I always think it has to do with Halloween but it doesn't. The 1991 Survivor Series tagline was "The Gravest Challenge" as the main event featured Hulk Hogan defending the WWF Title against the Undertaker. The box just has a spooky feel to it with the tombstone in the background, the dark leaves, etc. It's one of those boxes where the artwork just absolutely grabs you and that was the case for a number of VHS boxes during this time. Whoever was in charge of the artwork was on the top of their game!

This event holds the distinction of being the first Survivor Series to have a WWF Championship match. The match itself set off a chain reaction of things, starting with Ric Flair interference in the match which lead to a Hogan/Undertaker rematch a week later at a special Tuesday night pay-per-view. That match, and the chaos in it, led to the title being vacated and being given to the winner of the 1992 Royal Rumble match (which is a classic). That was such a fun time period and probably the peak of that whole early 90s era.

So theres another batch of old wrestling video tape boxes. I'm going to try to get another round of these out for Royal Rumble but since that's only about six weeks away, I may just hold off until WrestleMania weekend.


  1. Can't believe I went all day and didn't see this. Another great write up on some cool VHS boxes. Totally agree with you that the Halloween Havoc box is better than the event and I had never heard of that Terminators compilation. I might just have to seek that out.

  2. Mid to late 80's was the peak of my WWF fandom. Seeing those Survivor Series matchups brought back some great memories.