A few days ago we took a look at the DVD/Blu ray releases for 2011. This article is going to take a look at rumors and idea concepts for 2012. Not much has been officially announced for 2012 yet, so we’re going to break this into two parts. The first half will be what has been announced, has been rumored for 2011 and didn’t happen, and projects that has supposedly been given the green light but not been announced yet. The second half will be some ideas WWE could use in 2012 not only to boost sales, but also push talent.
On The Slate for 2012
So far the only release known for 2012 is a new Edge collection. This set will include a documentary and unaired photage from Edge appreciation night on Smackdown last September. No official date has been given yet, but it is expected to have an early 2012 release sometime in the first quarter.
With nothing else announced yet who knows what else is on the horizon, but there are a couple of releases that we’re initially discussed for 2011 that I think we will see in 2012. First off a Million Dollar Man set was originally scheduled for Summer 2012. This was never released but it is known that interviews and a documentary have already been filmed so I’m pretty sure we see this set sooner or later and my guess is it will happen in 2012.
The set that we didn’t see in 2011 that I am most disappointed about is the Jerry “The King” Lawler set. Lawler has been an announcer on Raw for over 15 years but his in ring work in WWE has been sporadic, but he has wrestled for many of the promotions that WWE owns the video libraries of. There is also enough matches with him wrestling in WWE and against wrestlers who were big in WWE to fill a 3 disc set especially if you add a documentary. I think the main reason this release has been postponed is because of Lawler having a big presence this year with his feud with Miz and Cole and having more in ring time than the past few years. Plenty of his 2011 matches and moments would make it on a DVD/Blu Ray set. I hope this set hits stores in 2012, the only downside is while WWE does own AWA and WCW libraries and some Mephis stuff a lot of the Memphis stuff is tied up in legal issues or the proper owner isn’t even known though I’m sure if Vince really wanted it he could get it. If they announce a 3 DVD/2 Blu ray set of The King I’ll reserve mine the day it’s announced.
Other rumored sets for last year include a Gorgeous George DVD which we will probably see whenever the movie they are making about him is released, so I’m thinking 2013. Greg Valentine said in an interview that he made a deal this year for a future DVD release I’m thinking this may be part of a follow up to their best of the 80′s release a few years back, or maybe a follow up to their tag team DVD Allied Powers. While a Greg “the Hammer” Valentine solo set would be something I’d buy especially if they include a bunch of NWA and Mid-Atlantic matches, but I’m not sure how big of a seller it’d be with the causal DVD buying audience.
Late in 2012 WWE announced that they were working on a DVD series called greatest rivalries. Originally the first in this series was going to be Austin vs. Rock, but was later changed into two releases, Shawn vs. Bret and the upcoming Stone Cold: Bottom Line set. I hope to see this series continue hopefully with Undertaker/ Mankind as the next installment. Here are some ideas I’d like to see WWE do in the coming year.
The Spotlight series – This would be a quarterly series of single disc releases. The point of these would be to feature a particular wrestler or tag team who may not have enough big matches to deserve a 3 disc set, or a wrestler who has been around for awhile and inline for a push and the company wants to remind the fans why he is relevant and a contender. WWE has toyed around with single disc releases in the past but mainly they were transfers of old VHS tapes to DVD during DVDs early days. More recent they did a release similiar to this idea with a John Morrison release about 2 years ago, and about a year ago they produced a single disk Kofi Kingston DVD but never sold it. It aired for a month on PPV and then was given away for free as a bonus in one of the issues of the UK version of WWE magazine. Another key point in getting people to buy these single disc releases and get behind these characters would be a low price point. I’d say $9.99, or $14.99 tops as stores would sale price it at $9.99. The key to these would be to make them relevant to who your trying to push at the time. To give an example of what they could do you could do Winter:Sheamus, Spring: Dolph Ziggler, Summer:Beth Phoenix/Natalya Fall: Cody Rhodes.
The Legacy series – This would be sort or a reprinting of previous titles but in a new format. This series would be a blu ray exclusive and before people complain about that there is a reason for it. This series would focus on wrestlers who have had multiple DVD releases, at least two multi disk releases. It would take the best of a wrestler’s dvd releases and put those matches on blu ray discs in HD quality. On average you can fit about 2 DVDs worth of stuff on 1 blu ray so you could fit plenty on a 3 blu ray set. This would include a documentary if there was one on either of the previous sets, and could possible include a new interview and a couple bonus matches. I’d limit this to 2-3 a year as it’d be a little pricer than your usual set, but would also be an upgrade in quality for people who wnat to upgrade their stuff to blu ray. You could even produce a limited amount and make them collectors items. If I was planning it I’d start with Undertaker as the first release as he has plenty of dvd releases to pull stuff from and I’d time it for release two weeks before Wrestlemania. I’d follow it up Shawn Micheals as the Summer release, and then either John Cena or Hulk Hogan as your holiday release depending if Hogan is still in TNA or not.
Embrace the competition – For over a year there has been rumors of Dana White and Brock Lesnar having meetings with WWE higher ups. Originally it was thought to be about cross promoting Brock’s book but that didn’t happen. More recent rumors are that it was about merchandising mainly a new action figure and putting Brock in the WWE ’12 video game. A DVD/Blu Ray release would be huge. In the past when this has been discussed Vince has supposedly shot down the idea. WWE and UFC supposedly don’t see each other as competition, but when it comes down to it they are, but why not embrace it. A Brock Lesnar release would sell well with the fans who remember his time as champ, but may also get some sales from curious MMA fans who want to see his wrestling work. It’s not very likely but if UFC and WWE could work together to release a DVD/Blu ray set the featured both Brock’s big wrestling matches but also his big UFC fights it would probably be a huge seller. Even if they made it a compilation of some sort with WWE and UFC matches featuring Brock Lesnar, Dan Severn, and Ken Shamrock. WWE may not want to promote someone working for another company, and I can see them not putting out a best of Sting or Kurt Angle while they work for TNA, but this could be in their best interest. Brock probably only has a handful of UFC fights left and I don’t think any of us would be surprised if a few years down the road he makes a limited return to WWE for a couple big pay days. This DVD set would keep Brock fresh in peoples minds and introduce him to the younger audience. The only down side is you’d really need Brock to make a couple WWE appearances to hype this release even if he didn’t have a match, he could be the special ref for a big match or something.
As always let me know what you think of the above ideas and stay tuned for the final part of this trilogy later this week where I will discuss my personal wishlist of DVD/Blu ray’s I’d like to see WWE put out in 2012.