Once upon a time (just over 20 years ago), VHS was still the most popular way to watch home videos. Before DVD and long before the Internet, VCRs were used to entertain wrestling fans and businesses used them. WWE was at the forefront as Coliseum Home Video releases would litter stores like Blockbuster. From mainline PPVs to compilation sets, fans have loved bringing the action home with them.

Related: 10 Things About WWE (Coliseum) Home Video You Didn’t Know

Today, many events are readily available on the internet, but many still have a soft spot for those old bands. Some are actually important in paving the way for the sets that people take for granted now. While WWE was dominating, WCW had some good outings themselves that were not only fun but also meaningful. These are ten VHS sets any wrestling fan would want in their collection as a reminder of how fun it was to browse through a video store.

ten Wrestling bloopers, bleeps and bodyslams


struggles-bloopers-beeps-and-bodyslams

This is where it all started. WWE’s very first VHS release was an unusual collection, mostly of skits from the former Tuesday Night Titans show. So you have wrestlers and managers giving love advice, Andre the Giant singing, Hulk Hogan doing protein shakes, road trips and a Paul Orndorff/Tony Atlas posedown.

However, he also has Cyndi Lauper on Piper’s Pit, which started the “Rock n Wrestling Connection” era and more. More importantly, it started the popularity of WWE sets which continues today.

9 The big event


The big event

Overlooked among WWE’s big shows, this 1986 event lived up to its name with a huge crowd of over 61,000 fans filling the exhibition stadium in Toronto. They were treated to a great show with Ricky Steamboat defeating Jake Roberts, the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers versus the Dream Team, and a short but fun Harley Race versus Pedro Morales match.

Related: WWE’s Best PPV Of Every Year From The 1980s

The main event was a fantasy war between Hulk Hogan and Paul Orndorff. Never released on DVD and taking years to reach online, this VHS tape was a rare piece of history for a prime time in WWE.

THE SPORTSTER VIDEO OF THE DAY

8 History of the WWE Heavyweight Championship


WWF Championship History DVD

With WWE accused of rewriting their history, this set from 1987 was a wonderful tribute to their past. It collects notable battles of Pedro Morales winning the title in 1971.

Title changes for Stan Stasiak, Bruno Sammartino, Billy Graham, Bob Backlund and Iron Sheik follow with some strong title defenses. There’s obviously a lot about Hogan, but it’s an amazing look at the company’s history that would later be used for the DVD era.


seven Best of Starrcade 1983-87


Ric Flair at Cropped Starrcade

WCW was generally behind WWE in terms of major VHS releases. However, this massive four-hour set was one of their best efforts. As the title suggests, it brings together the best matches from Starrcade’s first five shows in their entirety, which means some of Crockett’s best matches of all time.

Related: Ric Flair’s 5 Best (& 5 Worst) WCW Starrcade Matches

Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Magnum TA, the Road Warriors, the Midnight Express and more are all on display in classic battles that still shine on DVD. Before WWE switched to Starrcade DVDs, this was the best way to fully enjoy original shows.


6 Hulkamania: The Best of Hulk Hogan


cover-vhs-hulkamania

It was another historic story for wrestling as it was the first strip centered on a single star. Released as Hogan took off in 1985, the obvious choice is for him to win the WWE Title from Iron Sheik.

It’s then on to title defenses against Greg Valentine, Dave Schultz, and two games with Big John Studd, one in a cage. There are also interviews and clips showing Hogan’s great power. This paved the way for not only multiple videos of Hogan alone, but also dozens of other stars to open the door to wrestling biosets.

5 WWF Smack Em Whack Em


Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair 1992

Before the advent of DVD or the Internet, this tape was the only way for fans to enjoy one of the greatest moments in WWE history: Bret Hart defeating Ric Flair for the WWE Title in 1992. Not only that, but it also boasts WWE’s first-ever ladder match as Bret defends the IC title against a young Shawn Michaels.

Related: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels: 10 Things Most Fans Don’t Realize About Their Rivalry

Those alone make this tape a staple even amidst some mediocre fights and sketches of Alfred Hayes with the Bushwhackers. For fans in 1993, having this tape felt like a piece of wrestling history.

4 Monday Night RAW: The Best Cuts


Razor Ramon Vs 1-2-3 Kid 10000 Dollars Cropped

Before the advent of DVD, putting together compilation sets was tricky. But WWE has done a terrific job with this set pulling together highlights from the groundbreaking show’s first year.

While a few omissions (the Mr. Perfect/Ric Flair battle), we get the big ones: 1-2-3 Kid upsetting Razor Ramon; Marty Jannetty and later Ramon winning the Intercontinental title; Crushing the turning heel; a fun Bobby Heenan comedy and more. It’s a great reminder of why this show took off and makes for a great first collection of RAW moments.


3 Wrestle Mania I


Pat Patterson referees the first main event of WrestleMania

Vince McMahon has retold a few whoppers over the years, but one of his biggest was promoting the first Wrestlemania with the line that “if you miss it, there won’t be any footage aired until you are old and grey.” Just months after the show’s success, WWE released a big VHS set, their first on-tape PPV event.

Related: 8 Times Wrestlemania Main Event Was The Show’s Worst Match

It was remarkable to show the epic event in its entirety and began to provide “behind the scenes” touches to make it better. Its success put Coliseum Video on the map and launched WWE’s hit video game series.


2 Ringmasters: the great American party


Great American Party 1985

Just beating WrestleMania to the stores was this strip’s first major non-WWE event. This brings together highlights from 1985’s Great American Bash, which at the time was a series of shows rather than a big PPV.

Although some fights are edited out, there are still some good ones like Dusty Rhodes vs. Tully Blanchard and the Road Warriors vs. Russians. Ric Flair’s full main event against Nikita Koloff was a big deal and showed how WWE isn’t the only one who can produce good VHS sets.

1 lords of the ring


lords of the ring vhs

It’s historic as the very first wrestling VHS tape. Produced by Pro Wrestling Illustrated, this is a collection of the smaller but still impressive matches. There’s Kerry Von Erich beating Ric Flair for the NWA World Title, as well as Flair regaining the belt in a rematch weeks later.

Also included are portions of the Piper-Valentine and Flair/Race Starrcade ’83 fights; highlights from the Jerry Lawler/Andy Kaufman feud; and other fights. It all combined into a great intro to wrestling for many fans that still holds up.


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