Hey Scott – wanted to offer some commentary up on this really good piece at WWEDVDNews.com:
The WrestleMania re-releases are out now BUT 1-14 are the exact same discs that were in the WM Anthology from 2005. This is a shame for 14 as it is the last WM that still has blurring (The Silvervision Tagged Classic set that had WM XIV remains the only unblurred DVD + had the DX band's opening number in it) but not surprising given how cheap these are ($10-$15 retail now – i'm sure they'll be $5 post Mania).
The real interesting DVD is WrestleMania XV – which is not the Anthology release and IS unblurred. This is the only one they actually did anything with before re-releasing but there's a big downside as detailed in the link. They went back and edited out the choking – and I'm not talking about Big Bossman's hanging. They cut it out of the title match and in other places, replacing it with b-camera footage from the event. Fortunately XV was released in '99 on DVD (their first) and that is still out there for collectors.
The big deal for me here is the PG editing of matches and how it will impact future releases. I mean, the title match has been on other sets in the last couple years – without those edits. Is this a PG thing for only these Mania sets or will future liberties be taken with past Attitude Era matches?
More importantly, I can finally get DVD copies of 11-14 to complete my set without shelling out for the Anthology set? SWEET.
This also raises the question of what happens to matches like Wargames or the bloody NWA brawls if the Network ever comes to pass (BWAAHAHAHAHAHHA!) because obviously they're not gonna be airing that stuff for the kidz to watch on free TV, and otherwise we'll be left waiting for random DVD releases later. The editing is really a troubling thing for me, even though I grew up in the era of Koko v. Martel at Wrestlemania VI getting cut down to a minute long in order to fit the show onto a 2:40 tape. This is supposed to be the digital age now, where everything is preserved by the last company standing and history is somewhat respected, and now they're altering matches so that people aren't choking other people anymore. Either do it all or nothing — if you don't want to release it with the matches and presentation intact, then don't release it at all.