The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents Undertaker: He Buries Them Alive!
This keeps popping up on my suggested list on the WWE Network, so might as well give it a look. Plus, hey, it’s kind of Halloween themed!
Released March 21 1995
Your host is Ted Dibiase.
Undertaker v. “Undertaker”
Yup, we kick this one off with the main event of Summerslam 94. What a start. So of course Paul Bearer has a casket hauled out for the entrance, but it’s symbolically empty, and then the urn apparently has a flashlight in it due to magic powers or whatever. Brian Lee can barely even pull off the Undertaker’s resting stance, looking like a gawky redneck even just standing there. And then the staredown destroys whatever illusion is left when the real guy is 3 inches taller. So they slug it out and the crowd immediately dies. Taker puts Faker on the floor, so the fake one goes after Paul Bearer and Taker hauls him back into the ring with a suplex. Taker throws him out again and the crowd is just silent, as this experiment is a complete failure 2 minutes into the match. Faker necks him on the top rope and slugs away in the ring, but he can’t do the ropewalk. This is doubly disappointing because I had a joke ready about Brian Lee being an uneducated redneck and doing a ”Home school ropewalk” but now I can’t use it. So Taker does the real ropewalk, but Faker tries a stungun and they can’t pull that off properly and stumble around for a bit while randomly throwing punches. Taker misses a clothesline and falls to the floor as this somehow keeps getting worse and worse, with the completely silent crowd not helping things whatsoever. So they fight on the floor and Rednecktaker sends him into the post and puts the boots to him back in the ring. Wishtaker with a chokeslam and tombstone, but Undertaker sits up. So he tries another tombstone, but Taker hits the real thing NOT ONCE NOT TWICE BUT THRICE, thank god, and that’s the end of this nonsense for good at 9:05, as it was never explained or spoken of again. And something with Domino’s Pizza. By itself it was just a bad match, but as the focal point of a months-long storyline and main event of the second biggest PPV of the year, this was a complete disaster and one of the worst matches of all time. -****
Undertaker v. Kwang
From Monday Night RAW in 1994, which, fun fact, was the first ever episode of the show I was able to watch thanks to getting a C-Band dish and a grey market subscription to USA Network. Taker beats on Kwang in the corner to start and no-sells his deadly martial arts, then slams him before missing an elbow. Kwang superkicks him out to the floor, but Taker lands on his feet and necks Kwang on the top rope. Back in the ring, Taker beats on Kwang, but we take a break and return with Kwang in control now. He throws chops and hits Taker with a superkick and clothesline to the floor, but Taker lands on his feet again and goozles him on the way into the ring. So Kwang escapes with GREEN MIST, but Taker just spits it right back at him, which is pretty badass, and finishes with a chokeslam at 5:17 shown. That was a good finish and a decent match. **1/4
Casket match: Undertaker v. Yokozuna
From Survivor Series 94, with Taker seeking revenge for Royal Rumble and enlisting Chuck Norris, who was a cowboy of some sort at this point in his career, to help him. Yoko charges him right away and gets slugged to the apron and onto the casket as a result. Of course, we are all well aware of Yokozuna’s well documented and totally irrational fear of getting stuffed alive into a casket, so this freaks him out. Like, what a baby. Taker chases him back into the ring and follows with the ropewalk, but he walks into the samoan drop and immediately sits up. So Yoko puts him down with headbutts, retaining that portion of his Samoan genetic superpowers despite eschewing the rest for a career as a Japanese villain, but Taker fights back and necks him on the top rope to avoid the casket. Back in, Taker misses an elbow and sits up, so Yoko hits him with a Rock Bottom and then puts him down with a Hulkbuster legdrop. It appears to be casket time, but Taker blocks the lid and pulls Yoko in for a slugfest in there. The managers get involved and that goes badly for them, but it allows Yoko to take over in the ring. So we’re clipped to King Kong Bundy and some other heels coming out to attempt more shenanigans, but Chuck Norris just stares at them and they develop broken ribs as a result. This allows IRS to sneak in and attack Taker before throwing him in the casket and running away. Undertaker is sound asleep, perhaps having been forced to watch a “Best of IRS” Coliseum Video prototype, but Taker sits up before Yoko can (slowwwwwwwwwly) close the lid. This brings out Jeff Jarrett to challenge Norris as well, but Chuck superkicks him and Jeff wakes up in Oregon. Back in the ring, Taker makes the comeback with the clothesline and DDT, and then boots Yoko into the casket and closes the lid to win at 11:55. This was fine, exactly what people wanted out of it with a finish that paid off the storyline and popped the crowd huge. **1/2
Undertaker v. Jim Neidhart
This one is from WWF Superstars in November 94, leading up to Survivor Series. Anvil attacks to start, but Taker puts him down with a big boot and follows with the ropewalk. Taker with a short-arm clothesline, but he misses the flying clothesine and lands on his ass. Anvil takes over with a clothesline and follows with a powerslam for two. Anvil pounds away in the corner with the CLUBBING FOREARMS and a suplex for two. But then Paul Bearer goes to the dressing room and returns with the motivational casket, which has Owen Hart very offended at ringside. It’s not a casket match! He’s got a point. Anvil continues beating on Taker, but he makes the comeback with the flying clothesline and boots Anvil into the casket, which results in a countout win at 6:11. Well thankfully I wasn’t watching this one a couple of months ago because that would have been a bit creepy. *1/2
Casket match: Undertaker v. Jerry Lawler
And we finish with a Coliseum-exclusive casket match for reasons I don’t know. Maybe because they wanted to get as much value out of the prop that they could? Taker chases Lawler around ringside, so Jerry goes to the tights and finds the phantom foreign object, which has kids at ringside REALLY mad. So Lawler pounds on Taker in the corner, but Taker no-sells it and tries to throw Lawler in the casket. Lawler runs away from that and finds the object again to take over, hitting him a few times to put him down. He puts Taker in the casket, but can’t close the lid, and Taker heads back in and blocks the object this time, before missing an elbow. So Lawler goes low tries to get Taker into the casket again, but Taker casually tombstones him and throws him into the casket to win at 7:34. Well this was a match that existed. Gorilla calling Lawler and Paul Bearer fat and then burying the refs in charge of the casket by calling him “Heckle and Jeckle” was kind of funny, I guess. *
This one falls squarely into the “could be worse” category, just a quick summation of Undertaker’s 1994 that actually had a couple of matches I’ve never seen before.