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1998 WrestleMania VHS Releases


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I noticed that on the VHS box set of WrestleMania the WWF released in 1998 that all the commercial music is left in ("Easy Lover," "Sirius," "Who's Zoomin' Who?," etc.) Was this just some huge oversight by WWF Legal or was there a long-term contract for this stuff? I have an original home video of WrestleMania I and there is absolutely no commercial music on it.

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Is this the "Collection" catalog set or the "Legacy" retail set from later?

 

I'm not sure if anyone knows whether they cleared the music or not. Given that these were released at such a low price, it seems more like an oversight. Also, I dunno about the Collection set, but the Legacy set (and maybe the Toys 'R' Us exclusive Raw Attitude Vols. 1 & 2 and Wrestlemania XIV & XV Highlights videos) are the worst-made VHS tapes I've ever seen. The tape is ridiculously thin, and thus the picture quality may start below home video par (even for EP mode videos) and develop tracking faults after just one viewing (or even before being watched in the case of the Raw Attitude Vol. 2 that I got from Highspots).

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The set I'm referring to has the grey boxes. I guess that would be the legacy set? It appears to be every WrestleMania in their original form as opposed to the edited Coliseum Video releases, yet the introduction to WM III with the cheesy talk-show music is missing and they edit out Hogan's post-match posing.

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Two possible explanations:

 

1. A standard music royalties deal could have given the company the specific right to use the music on VHS releases. DVD might not be covered under those agreements.

 

2. When Napster became a huge news item, it really became a wakeup call to the recording industry that made them aware of how much their royalties were worth. Married With Children doesn't even use the original Sinatra theme on dvd, and the Muppet Show has been a long time coming due to how many music clearances they need for each season.

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Said songs were dubbed over on the Coliseum Video releases (well, most of them; "Sirius" might've been om WM3 but I know that all of the WM1 songs were left as is) so there wouldn't have been any agreement until the boxed sets. Nowadays I figure that including the music was an oversight from a new video department staff that was unfamiliar with dubbing over commercial music. I don't think that they would've gone to all of that trouble for budget VHS releases, especially WM1 with commercial songs on it. The record companies were sticklers about home video back then, too. Not as big as they are now, but they definitely would have charged WWE more than they would have wanted to pay, especially for "Easy Lover," "Born in the USA," "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," and maybe even "Eye of the Tiger" by '98.

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Said songs were dubbed over on the Coliseum Video releases (well, most of them; "Sirius" might've been om WM3 but I know that all of the WM1 songs were left as is) so there wouldn't have been any agreement until the boxed sets. Nowadays I figure that including the music was an oversight from a new video department staff that was unfamiliar with dubbing over commercial music. I don't think that they would've gone to all of that trouble for budget VHS releases, especially WM1 with commercial songs on it. The record companies were sticklers about home video back then, too. Not as big as they are now, but they definitely would have charged WWE more than they would have wanted to pay, especially for "Easy Lover," "Born in the USA," "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," and maybe even "Eye of the Tiger" by '98.

As I recall, the first WM3 release was heavily edited to cut out most of the entrances, so the music wasn't an issue. Keep in mind that the first Wrestlemania was shorter in length than the third one, so the third was cut down on the tape for time constraints.

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Sorry, Bix, misunderstood your earlier comment about the music being left as-is on the WM video.

 

The larger question is why did WWE edit out the snazzy-jazzy intro to WrestleMania III? The card immediately opens with the panoramic view of the Silverdome. Also, Hogan's post-match posing is cut out. There also seem to be a few clippings here and there in between matches.

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