The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents WrestleFest ‘91
I really enjoy these so let’s fill in another gap from the original Coliseum Video rant series. I’ve actually done 90, 93 and 94, so I’ve got 91 and 92 left to complete the set. Never seen this one and I have no idea what’s on it, so we’re going in blind.
Released July 25 1991.
Hosted by Macho King, MAN OF LEISURE. He’s lounging by the pool, having painful flashbacks to Wrestlemania VII, but HE’S NOT ASLEEP. Just resting. Maybe asleep for a second. The only regret of the Macho King was not wrestling against Macho MAN, who was the greatest in WWF history, but Ultimate Warrior was pretty good. This is already a thumbs up tape.
Fan Favorite match: Ultimate Warrior v. Earthquake
This is a dark match from a Challenge taping in Fort Myers, FL on 02.19.91 as these two had a surprising lack of interaction over their WWF careers. They only ever had 3 singles matches! Talk about a potential top feud that they left on the table. Quake attacks at the bell and Warrior quickly hulks up and fires back with shoulderblocks to put him down. Quake bails to regroup and suckers Warrior into an attack to take over, and back in for some punishment in the corner. He uses BOTH clubbing forearms and stomps, but is unable to put Warrior down, so he tries more stomps. The math checks out! Warrior actually sells the back for a bit, so Quake goes to a bearhug. He drops an elbow and the crowd is SHRIEKING in horror at the idea that Warrior might lose, but the Quake splash only gets two and Warrior makes the comeback with the help of a canned heat machine. I mean, the real reaction was decent but you can immediately tell the dull white noise roar. And Warrior slams him and puts him away with the splash at 5:39. See, this is what Warrior should have been doing as World champion. 1 for 1.
Macho King is so excited by that Fan Favorite match that he’s thirsty for iced tea, YEAH.
MANAGER CAM with Jimmy Hart. So the gimmick here is that we get a Mountie-Bossman match from the Challenge tapings, but they have Jimmy miked in place of normal commentary and the camera follows Jimmy around instead of the match.
Big Bossman v. The Mountie
Bossman quickly beats on him and hits him with a spinebuster, then chases Hart around ringside and steals the jacket. Jimmy: “You should have disqualified him, he took my jacket and choked him with it you idiot!” I see the relationship between Jimmy and Danny Davis has deteriorated. Mountie bails for some moral support from Jimmy, but Bossman attacks them. Back in the ring, Bossman chokes away while Jimmy adds advice for his man: “You’ve gotta get off the ropes! Referee, quit picking your nose and do something!” This is way more fun than it has any right to be. Bossman slugs Mountie down in the corner, but he misses a blind charge and now Jimmy is going full on with the motivational speech. “Go work on his leg! Sucker him when he comes over here!” And indeed, Mountie does just that, taking out the leg and wrapping it up in the ropes before putting the boots to him. Bossman takes a swing and falls down, and Jimmy jumps all over him. “What do you think about that, you big hick?” Mountie stops to let us know that he’s the Mountie, but of course he walks into the Bossman slam and gets pinned at 6:33. So Jimmy runs into the ring and gives Mountie the shock stick, telling him that he’ll sucker Bossman over and Mountie can zap him. And that’s what happens! Jimmy declares this to be as good as a win. Granted you need a manager who never ever shuts up like Jimmy to make this work, but this was TREMENDOUSLY entertaining and something totally different for them. 2 for 2.
The Rockers v. Power & Glory
This is a dark match from a Superstars taping in Omaha according to Mooney, although Cagematch confusingly lists the match as being on a Prime Time Wrestling show from Las Vegas on 04.15.91. This is confusing because the site ALSO lists the Rockers as working a Superstars taping on 04.15.91, in Omaha mind you, but against the Nasty Boys. HOW CAN THEY BE IN TWO PLACES AT ONCE? P&G spend too much time posing and the Rockers double-team Roma to get the shine, but Marty gets caught in the heel corner and Roma works him over and dropkicks him to the apron. Marty slides back in with a backdrop and clothesline for two and he goes to a chinlock, but Roma works him over in the corner and Herc comes in for a double-team behind the ref’s back. Herc hits Marty with the clothesline for the 360 sell and that gets two. Press slam and Roma comes in to drop an elbow for two. We hit the chinlock again and the heels switch off and then take Marty to the floor and slam him out there. Back in with a suplex from Hercules that gets two. Roma with a running elbow in the corner, but another one misses and it’s HOT TAG Shawn Michaels. Crowd was ready for that one. He slugs away on Roma and gets the back elbow and neckbreaker for two. Herc makes the save and it’s BONZO GONZO, but the Rockers clean house and get a double slam on Roma to set up the flying fistdrops. But Slick trips up Shawn, which distracts Marty further, and the Rockers are counted out like geeks at 12:01. Good enough for a point but not top tier for either team. 3 for 3.
Back at the palatial estate of the Macho King, he’s gonna go play some pool, but first let’s watch another match.
Ted Dibiase v. Kerry Von Erich
Dibiase calls Kerry a “Cadillac body with a Volkswagen brain” in his pre-match promo. I love shoot comments that aren’t supposed to be shoot comments. Also of minor note, he actually calls him “Kerry Von Erich” and not the usual “Texas Tornado” branding. This looks like a dark match from Superstars in Orlando FL on 02.18.91 if my math is correct. So don’t expect much from Kerry here at this point in his career. Kerry calls out Virgil to second him at ringside, sounding like Derek Zoolander in the process. Virgil should have stuck with Dibiase, at least his bills would get paid. Actually I guess given Dibiase’s recent legal problems, that’s not a guarantee either. I bet Kerry would be down for some Olive Garden, though. So it’s a wash. Ted talks some shit to Virgil on the floor and Kerry runs him into the stairs to start the match, and back in the ring for some shots to the turnbuckle, although thankfully the crowd is able to assist Kerry with counting past ten. I’d say he’d have to take off his shoes and socks, but…you know. They fight on the floor and Kerry mostly wins that battle, but he accidentally confuses Dibiase with the post and punches the wrong thing. Dibiase works on the hand by smashing it into the stairs, and the announcers note that Kerry might be numb from punching the post and it might not have hurt. Yeah. That’s why he was numb and unable to feel any pain tonight. That’s the ticket. Back in, Dibiase puts him down with a clothesline and drops the fist, so Kerry bails to regroup. Ted tries to suplex him back in, but Virgil trips up Dibiase and Kerry falls on top for the pin at 4:14. I cannot award such cheating with a point, plus the stuff with the hand didn’t go anywhere anyway. 3 for 4.
Haku v. The British Bulldog
Back to Fort Myers on 02.19.91 for the Challenge taping. Poor Haku was “In the ring to my right” at this point, on his way out of the promotion by the end of the year. I’m always surprised that Vince just couldn’t figure out anything more to do with the guy, and WCW could. Haku goes for the headlock and Bulldog escapes and dropkicks him to the floor, and back in for some slams from Bulldog as Haku claims various hairpulls. Bulldog with a sleeper as Haku misses a charge, and Bulldog then takes him down and works the arm to keep him off guard. Bulldog tries a monkey flip and Haku puts him down with an atomic drop and a pretty nice piledriver for two. Haku gets his own sleeper but Bulldog powers out and gets a crossbody for two. Haku quickly puts the boots to him again and goes to a chinlock, but Bulldog powers out again and they slug it out until Haku misses a dropkick. Davey with the backdrop and a clothesline for two, and a crucifix gets the pin at 7:55. Good match! 4 for 5.
Back at the pool room, Macho King talks like a champion and plays some “billiards” because he’s CLASSY, YEAH.
Grooming Tips with Brutus Beefcake. Some poor goober gets a mud treatment at the Barber Shop and then Beefcake cracks an egg on his head. Moving on.
Greg Valentine v. Rick Martel
I can honestly say I’ve never seen this particular matchup before nor have ever wanted to. We’re in Biloxi for a dark match from Challenge on 03.18.91. In a totally geeky note, I’m pretty sure the “hammer strike” sound effect from Valentine’s entrance music is the same one that Adult Swim now uses for their stingers. For reference, Hammer was freshly turned babyface and it SO did not work. Hammer goes for a hammerlock and Martel makes the ropes, so Greg chases him to the floor. Back in, Valentine grabs a headlock, but Martel escapes that, so Valentine SWEEPS THE LEG and goes to work on it. Valentine works the leg some more, but Martel comes back with some choking and he tosses Valentine. Back in, the Model goes up with a double axehandle and goes to an abdominal stretch, but he’s not hooking the leg properly and obviously Valentine can escape easily. He makes the comeback, and Valentine making a babyface comeback remains so bizarre. They fight to the floor and slug it out for a double countout at 8:11. Your life will not be any less enriched by skipping this one. 4 for 6.
Koko B. Ware v. The Warlord
Another Challenge taping but I can’t find the date or place. I’m assuming it’s probably the same February 91 timeframe though. Warlord sends him into the corner and chokes him out, but Koko rakes the eyes and runs away as Mooney confirms that it’s the Fort Myers tapings again. Back in, Warlord beats on Koko with the clubbing forearms, but Koko rakes the eyes again until Warlord backdrops him over the top rope. Koko fights back with a sunset flip but Warlord stuffs it and goes to work on him again. Warlord with a bearhug and that goes on for a while, but he misses an elbow and Koko makes the comeback with a rollup for two. Koko goes up with a missile dropkick for two, but he walks into a powerslam and turn out the lights, the party’s over at 6:40. Just your basic “big man is big and little man is little” WWF formula match. Warlord never did many jobs but didn’t win anything notable, either, but this was good enough. 5 for 7.
Meanwhile, Macho Man watches the Warrior match again, looking for lessons to learn.
Tag Team Match of the Month: The Legion of Doom v. The Hart Foundation
Where did THIS come from? Well, the Challenge taping in Biloxi on 03.18.91, but you know what I mean. The Harts would actually have been tag team champions at this point, but they don’t have the belts here because they were scheduled to have dropped them by the time this came out. In fact by the time this tape was released, the Harts were done as a team. I’m sure you can guess the non-finish without even checking the results. Anvil and Animal trade clotheslines and neither really goes down, so they trade shoulderblocks instead and Animal wins that one. Hawk comes in and tries to work the arm, but Bret breaks it up and beats on him to take over. Hawk blocks a rollup and backdrops Bret to the floor, but Bret gets a neckbreaker back in the ring and that gets two. Hawk tries a headlock on Anvil, but Bret gets the classic knee from the apron to go heel, because the Harts were World champions and at the height of their popularity but they still knew how to do business. The Harts go to work on Hawk in the corner and Bret gets the backbreaker for two. Anvil comes in with a slam for two and Bret comes in with a cheapshot behind the ref’s back and drops the middle rope elbow for two. Bret goes to the facelock to cut off the ring and we get a false tag, which allows the Harts to do some more classic double-teaming in the corner. That gets two for Bret. Anvil goes to a chinlock, but Hawk slams out of it, so Anvil goes to a facelock to cut off the ring again. So Bret suckers Animal in and then hides behind the ref in an amazing heel spot, and the Harts hit the Hart Attack on Hawk while the ref sends Animal out. Bret continues working on Hawk in the corner, but this time the double-team backfires and it’s HOT TAG Animal. He runs the Harts into each other and that sets up the Doomsday Device on Bret, but Anvil trips up Hawk and Bret rolls up Animal for two. Bret slingshots Anvil into the ring for a shoulderblock on Animal, but Animal catches Bret with the powerslam and pins him at 12:22 in a surprise clean finish. I guess Cagematch had the wrong finish? This was definitely a hidden gem and is well worth searching out. 6 for 8.
Marty Jannetty v. Pat Tanaka
Hey, it’s an MSG match, which makes a nice break from all the Superstars dark matches. So it’s the MSG show from 03.15.91 to be exact. Apparently there was a match on the same show between Kato and Shawn Michaels that earned Shawn his first **** match in the Observer. Tanaka gets a superkick right away and goes to work on Marty in the corner before going to a headlock and cranking on that. Marty escapes that and chases him to the floor. Marty dives on Tanaka and we get some stalling while Tanaka loosens a turnbuckle, and that thing does NOT want to come free to Fuji really has to stretch out the conversation with Marty. So we get some trashtalk from Tanaka and Marty hits him with a back elbow and superkick and unfortunately they overdub the fake crowd noise here along with Mooney and Hayes on commentary. Ugh, just leave it alone. Marty misses a blind charge and goes flying to the floor off that. I’m assuming the botched turnbuckle spot was supposed to relate to that bump. Back in, Tanaka goes low with a headbutt to the groinal area to take over and slugs away. Tanaka misses a charge and Marty fights back with a bulldog off the middle rope, and that gets two. Tanaka takes him down and puts his feet on the ropes, but the ref sees it and Marty rolls him up for two. Tanaka with a superkick and the deadly double chop for two. Marty bumps to the floor off a chop, but Tanaka attacks him on the apron and Marty slides back in. Tanaka beats him down again and tries a tombstone, but Marty reverses to his own and actually hits him with the Owen Hart version that nearly killed Steve Austin for the pin at 11:00. And that one looked SCARY, compacting Tanaka’s neck at a bad angle. Obviously he was OK but YIKES. They took a while but it was a good match, albeit a super odd way to close out the tape. 7 for 9.
This was a really good compilation of a lot of different type of stuff, and I really enjoyed it. Thumbs up!