The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents WWF Mania: The Video
I have no idea what the hell this is, exactly, but it’s from 1994 and the catalog number is WF134, so I’m assuming it’s something to do with the Mania show at the time. I guess it’s a bunch of random RAW matches? Whatever, it’s an hour and I probably haven’t watched the matches in forever anyway.
Your host is Johnny Polo in the usual Todd Pettengill studio set.
Lex Luger v. Rick Martel
This is from RAW, shortly after Wrestlemania X on the March 28 episode, but taped on March 21. Martel gets a cheapshot and beats on Lex in the corner to start, but Luger fires back with a hiptoss and clotheslines to chase him out of the ring. Back in the ring, Luger sends him into the corner and takes him down with a headlock while Cornette jokes that next year Wrestlemania will sell out in one minute because Ted Dibiase buys all the seats. Might have to try that this year if they don’t pick up ticket sales. Luger works a headlock while Vince plays WHAT’S IN THE NEWS to show that this episode is totally not taped, nope. As usual, Vince praises Lex as a “tremendous mesomorph” while Cornette wonders what the man’s religion has to do with anything. Martel bails to the apron and escape the headlock, so Lex slingshots him back in and goes back to the headlock again. Martel escapes that, but Lex clotheslines him to the floor and we cut for a commercial break and return with them fighting on the floor. Back in, Martel catches him with a choke while the camera accidentally pans past the announce desk at ringside where Vince and Cornette are decidedly not saying anything despite us hearing their voices on TV. WHAT BLACK MAGIC VOODOO IS THIS? Martel goes to a chinlock as Vince can’t wait until Luger gets a chance to face Mr. Perfect and prove his superiority. Yeah but he’s Mr. PERFECT. You can’t prove superiority over him, that’s his whole gimmick! Martel drops knees on Luger’s head and goes back to the chinlock before switching to more choking. The tight camera shot reveals the secret of wrestling behind Martel’s choking: He’s not actually making contact while he does it. I know, I know, I just blew your mind. Luger fights out and tries a dropkick, but that misses and Martel puts the boots to him until Lex gets a backslide for two. Martel tries a suplex and Lex reverses to his own, but then Martel blocks a rollup. However, he makes the fatal heel error of Pointing To His Head To Indicate Intelligence, and Lex makes the comeback. He hits the powerslam with FREIGHT TRAIN MOMENTUM according to Vince, and the torture rack finishes at 11:44. Vince notes that somehow, somewhere, someday, Lex Luger will arrive at his destiny in the WWF. And then choke. This was perfectly good. 1 for 1.
Owen Hart v. Mike Freeman
Wait, is this literally just an episode of RAW? We get a weird POV shot from behind the back of Ted Dibiase in the front row, as he counts money and does a promo that sounds like it was redone in post-production after the fact. This is from the same show as the Luger match, March 28. Owen throws the jobber around by the hair while Vince rages about PPVs where you never get your money’s worth. Well, these days you sure can’t say you don’t get your 7-8 hours of action when you order Wrestlemania. Owen boots the guy down while Vince and Cornette continue playing WHAT’S IN THE NEWS. Owen with a back elbow and he blocks a blind charge, then follows with a bulldog and finishes with the Sharpshooter at 5:10. 1 for 2.
The Quebecers v. The Bushwhackers
So now we go back a week to the March 21 show, which was the live portion of the taping. The Bushwhackers bite the Quebecers’ asses and march around the ring, and then double-team Jacques in the ring. Johnny Polo tries to interfere and that backfires while Vince apologizes for the lack of 10 man tag at Wrestlemania due to time issues. Thankfully he learned his lesson about false advertising and never did it again. Jacques gets caught in the Whacker corner and headlocked, and Butch goes to work on him. Luke with a chinlock while Vince drops some hot info: They’re from NEW ZEALAND. Wait a minute, that’s the same country that fucking JAY WHITE comes from! I knew there was a reason why I didn’t like those two morons. I bet they probably trained him. We cut for a commercial break and return with Luke getting double-teamed in the corner as Jacques slams Pierre onto him for two. Vince points out that the WWF Hotline is still open for results if you want to give it a call. Or, and I’m just spitballing here, you could save your money because the internet was a thing in 1994. They slowly double-team Luke while the crowd is dead, and Jacques backdrops Pierre onto Luke for two. Quebecers with a double clothesline for two as this match is just dying and running insanely long for a damn BUSHWHACKER match. Hot tag Butch and they take forever making the comeback, and then go after Polo and that backfires and allows Jacques to pin Butch at 9:28. Pretty awful. 1 for 3.
Tatanka v. Chris Hamrick
Still on the March 21 live show. Tatanka chops the jobber and whips him into the corner, and then Hamrick takes his trademark bump through the ropes and hits the floor for a big pop. It even gets a replay! I liked the 1-2-3 Kid match version better. Back in, Tatanka with a suplex and some chops before going to an armbar. He makes the comeback with more chops and the Wig Wam Bomb to finish at 4:45. 1 for 4.
Jeff Jarrett v. Koko B. Ware
Another one from March 21 as this is an incredibly lazy compilation basically made up of two 1994 RAW episodes and I’m kind of regretting wasting my time and your time reviewing it. Mostly my time, if I’m being honest. I mean, you’re sitting at work reading a wrestling blog, how valuable can your time possibly be? I’m just saying. Jarrett takes him down with some armdrags, but Koko fights him off and does his puffy pants dance while Jarrett complains about hair-pulling. Koko misses a charge like a geek and Jarrett takes over with a back elbow and dropkick. Jarrett with a slam, but he goes up and misses a fistdrop. You know, these guys are both Memphis veterans and they could have a ripping great match in their sleep if they cut loose, but instead they’re putting ME to sleep. Jarrett hits his DDT and pins him at 5:00. 1 for 5.
Tatanka, the Smoking Gunns, The 1-2-3 Kid & Sparky Plugg v. Jeff Jarrett, IRS, The Headshrinkers & Rick Martel
Yes, it’s the long-awaited 10 man that was bumped off Wrestlemania! From the April 4 RAW, of course. Samu beats on Billy Gunn with chops to start, but Billy backslides him for two. Headshrinkers double-team Billy with the headbutt and Fatu gets a backbreaker. Jarrett with a sideslam, but Billy takes him down with a headscissors or WHATAMANEUVER as Vince calls it. Tatanka comes in and gets a hiptoss, and Bart comes in with a rollup for two before hitting a dropkick and going to the armbar. Jarrett gets a snap suplex to take over and iRS comes in as we take a break. Back with Thurman Plugg (His Friends Call Him Sparky) getting beat up in the heel corner by Martel, but he comes back with a bodypress for two. I’ve heard his enemies call him Butt. They’re pretty mean. And juvenile. Cheapshot in the corner turns the tide and IRS comes in, but he misses an elbow and brings in the Kid. He gets an enzuigiri and springboard clothesline for two, and a flying bodypress for two. This triggers a brawl as it’s A PIER SIX BRAWL, and Kid hits IRS with a leg lariat and no ref. Blind charge misses and IRS rolls him up for the pin at 7:40. This was OK? I guess? 2 for 6.
Yokozuna v. Scott Powers
And one last match from April 4 as poor Gorilla keeps trying his setup line of “Yokozuna looks a little bit leaner this week” and Vince won’t feed him the straight line so he can presumably finish with “Because he’s missing 10 pounds of gold after Wrestlemania!” Vince and Gorilla were not a good match on commentary. Banzai drop finishes at 2:25 to wrap up this tape. 2 for 7.
I mean…I guess I’ve seen worse because there’s at least a couple of good matches on here. But I have no idea who the intended audience for this would have been. I guess wrestling nerds like me digging through random collections of videos on a Thursday night looking for something new to watch. Serves me right, I guess.