RADICAN'S TAKE RADICAN'S BLACK FRIDAY BUYERS GUIDE (part 1) - A look at must-have releases from ROH, CHIKARA, and more!
Nov 23, 2012 - 12:10:18 AM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
RADICAN’S BLACK FRIDAY BUYER’S GUIDE: PART 1
If you’re going to be shopping for the best that independent wrestling had to offer this year, here’s a look at some of the must-buy releases. I will group all of my top picks by company and then place my shoot interview recommendations in a separate category.
RING OF HONOR
-The Briscoes: Since Day 1: This compilation of matches and interview clips features a selection of matches from the Briscoes early years in ROH on the first disc and moves into the time period from 2006-2008 when they began to establish themselves as one of the best tag teams in wrestling.
In-between matches, Jay and Mark Briscoe give their thoughts on the particular match or feud being featured. A lot of their comments are kayfabed, but these two are so funny that it doesn’t really hurt this release.
You can read my The Briscoes: Since Day 1 review HERE
-Davey Richards: The Hunt For Glory: This is another best-of collection chronicling Richard’s path to the ROH World Championship from 2010-2011. This is one of ROH’s best match collection/interview releases that they’ve put out thus far. Richards is candid talking about his personal problems, his philosophy on wrestling, and gives a lot of insight into who he is as a performer.
Richards also tells a lot of good stories about the matches included on this release and takes the viewer inside the ring by giving his thoughts on each particular match and talking about certain spots and sequences in great detail. Richards also gives his thoughts on feuding with Edwards and why he didn’t want to take the strap away from him at “Best in the World 2011.” I would highly recommend this release for the quality of matches included and the stories behind the matches as told by Richards.
You can read my Davey Richards: The Hunt For Glory review HERE
-Showdown in the Sun: Day 2: This show was hampered by some technical issues when it aired live on iPPV, but the DVD version of this release includes the show in its entirety. The crown jewel of this collection is ROH World Hvt. Champion Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin in a match that will likely go down as my MOTY.
Richards and Elgin set the crowd on-fire engaging in an all-out back and forth war that set the crowd on fire during WrestleMania weekend. This was Elgin’s breakout performance and since this match he’s gone on to have numerous classics in ROH and PWG. This show is a must for this match alone.
You can read my Showdown in the Sun: Day 2 review HERE
You can purchase these releases and view ROH’s current sale at ROHWrestling.com.
-CHIKARASAURUS REX: How to Hatch a Dinosaur: This was an excellent show from top to bottom. CHIKARA runs iPPVs so infrequently and they did a good job of finishing up some of their bigger storylines on this show as well as launching some new ones to carry them through the second half of 2012.
Icarus vs. Gran Akuma is a must-see ladder match with big storyline implications. The rest of the card flows nicely with several really good matches including a very good 2/3 Falls main event match featuring Johnny Gargano & Chuck Taylor defending their tag titles against the Young Bucks.
You can read my Showdown in the Sun: Day 2 review HERE
-King of Trios 2012: Nights 1,2, & 3: One of my favorite times of the year is when CHIKARA runs their King of Trios weekend putting together an incredible mix of homegrown talent, top independent starts, Joshi talent, and old school WWF and ECW trios.
Night one of King of Trios had a great atmosphere, but was lacking in match quality. The show still gets an overall thumbs up, but if you’re looking to save some money, by all indications night 1 is the most skippable show. I would recommend getting all three nights to see the tournament play out in its entirety, as the sum of the parts is great than one individual show when it comes to this three day tournament.
I haven’t seen night 3 yet, but Night 2 was a very good all-around show featuring some fantastic matches. If you like good storytelling, you will enjoy the weekend-long feud between the Spectral Envoy and The Batiri, which has been really well executed. Team ROH is a blast to watch and the trio of The Young Bucks & Mike Bennett make for a really entertaining heel faction in the tournament.
You can read my King of Trios: Night 1 review HERE
You can read my King of Trios: Night 2 review HERE
SmartMarkVideo.com’s Black Friday sale ends just before midnight Eastern tonight, so if you’re thinking of getting any of the CHIKARA releases, make sure you pick them up today.
-Interviews with a Hero: The Chris Hero Story (Deluxe Edition): Smart Mark Video hit a home run with this in-depth interview/match collection release. This six DVD collection features Hero’s first interview with Smart Mark from 2003 and a brand new interview filmed in 2011 shortly before he went to WWE conducted by former DGUSA announcer Rob Naylor.
This release is an exhaustive look at Hero’s entire career and covers all of the independent promotions he has worked in included CHIKARA, IWA-MS, PWG, and ROH. Hero gives his in-depth thoughts on his big matches throughout the years from launching his name into the spotlight by feuding with C.M. Punk on the independent scene to struggling to get into ROH. This is a must-have look if you’re a fan of Hero or independent wrestling given how many different promotions he’s worked in over the years.
You can read my Interviews with a Hero: The Chris Hero Story (Deluxe Edition) review HERE
This release is also available at SmartMarkVideo.com.
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