The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents Grudges Gripes and Grunts
Sounds like a Donald Trump rally speech.
Anyway, this is a tape that I’ve definitely seen before at some point in the past, but never reviewed. But a frequent reader wrote in to request it, so now is as good of a time as any. This one is from 1993, during the period when they were experimenting with weird names for the tapes like “Bashed in the USA” and “Invasion of the Bodyslammers”, just in case you really wanted to make sure people made fun of you for watching this wrestling crap.
Hosted by Randy Savage in the WWF Control Center, as he terrorizes the nerds running the video board while threatening everyone to have fun OR ELSE.
Intercontinental title: Shawn Michaels v. Hacksaw Duggan
From an early episode of RAW, redubbed with Jim Ross & Bobby Heenan on commentary in a mixture you sure didn’t hear often. Duggan fires imaginary bullets from the board while Shawn dodges them, showing the catlike reflexes he would be known for as champion. Shawn buys time outside the ring while JR runs down the football and college wrestling credentials of Duggan. Finally he attacks and Duggan puts him down with multiple clotheslines and chases him out of the ring again. Bobby goes into a quality run about Duggan’s football, asking JR what position he played (“Guard”) and then revealing that it meant Duggan sat on the end of the bench guarding the water bucket and tackling anyone who tried to steal it. Shawn necks him on the top rope and chokes him out while Bobby tries to get Jim to break up live on tape with dad jokes about Bill Fralic (“He lives in Jersey?”). Shawn with an axehandle off the top for two and he goes to a chinlock, and then drops elbows for two while JR plays Ed McMahon and feeds Bobby the straight lines, sounding like he’s having a ball being as deadpan as possible. Duggan fights back and walks into a knee, putting him on the floor, and Shawn drops another axehandle on him from the apron while Jim references the Yoko-Luger match from Summerslam, despite this match being taped all the way back in April. Duggan fights back and slugs away in the corner before slamming him to set up the three point stance. Shawn takes a bump to the floor off that and decides to take a walk, so Duggan chases him back to the ring and then clotheslines him into the front row for good measure. And Duggan beats the count at 11:25 as a result. Ended up as a perfectly acceptable wrestling match. **1/2 But Duggan isn’t satisfied with this result and stages a sit-in until he gets another shot at HBK. But we have to leave it as a mystery if he got it.
Ric Flair v. Tatanka
This appears to be from a Wrestling Challenge taping, sometime in late 1992. They fight for the wristlock and Tatanka wins that battle while Bobby Heenan is aghast at “Tarheelia” and wonders if people in North Carolina actually know how to speak English. Tatanka with a hiptoss, but Flair takes him to the corner for some chops and drops the knee on him. Tatanka fights back with his own chops and the backdrop out of the corner, and we get the Flair Flop as Tatanka plays Lex Luger. Tatanka slugs away in the corner and Flair drops him with an atomic drop and tosses him over the top rope. Bobby and JR continue to be on fire, as Bobby accuses Oklahomans of smelling bad and JR protests that “we used to bathe two or three times a week when I was growing up there.” Back in the ring, Flair works the arm and takes him down by the hair while Bobby clarifies that yes, the ladies are attracted to Flair. JR: “If you rob a bank and don’t get caught it’s still illegal!” Bobby: “Yeah but then you get to keep the money.” Flair meanwhile tosses him over the top again, but Tatanka comes in with a sunset flip for two. Tatanka with another chop and Flair counters by poking him in the eye, so Tatanka grabs a sleeper and Flair suplexes out of it. They trade more chops and Flair takes him down with the kneebreaker and NOW WE GO TO SCHOOL with the figure-four. Tatanka powers up and reverses it, so Flair lets go and bails to the floor to escape. Back in, Flair pounds him with another chop for two, but he goes up and Tatanka slams him off the top and then chops him down again for two. Tatanka makes the comeback with the chops and goes up for a flying chop, but Flair nails him on the way down and then tries a bodypress for some reason. This results in both guys tumbling over the top rope and to the floor, and it’s a double countout at 13:00. This brings out Mr. Perfect for a brawl with Flair, which helps to nail down the time period to after Survivor Series and before Royal Rumble. So we’ll say December 1992 to be safe. So this was basically Flair going out and working the Flair match with random broomstick Tatanka and it was really good. ***1/4 Never quite got great and the lack of a finish hurt it a lot, though.
The Beverly Brothers v. Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake
Another Challenge taping, which we can obviously narrow down to between Wrestlemania and King of the Ring in 1993. Brutus and his ridiculous fringed gauntlets do some strutting to annoy Beau, so Blake comes in and Hulk overpowers him while JR confuses “jet-skiing” and “parasailing” with regards to Beefcake’s accident and Bobby actually has to correct him. Hulk with an atomic drop to send Blake over the top, and the Ego-Maniacs double-team Beau and send him running out of the ring as well. Back to Beefcake and he evades Blake’s attempts to drop elbows on his face, and Hogan comes in and blatantly cheats. Finally the Beverlies cut off Beefcake and double-team him as Bobby recommends using a Philips screwdriver to dis-assemble his face. Wouldn’t they have at least used a Torx for security purposes? Beau comes off the top and lands on Beefcake’s foot and Hogan gets the hot tag and blatantly hits Beau with the megaphone behind the ref’s back for the pin at 7:00. No wonder he left, he was probably about to face justice from Jack Tunney and had to flee before indictments came down. Everyone was sleepwalking through this one and the faces looked like such dinosaurs while Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were dragging the WWF into the 90s kicking and screaming. *
Coliseum Video profile: Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon
Bam Bam and Luna take a cruise on a boat while Luna does a promo, and then Bam Bam tells us what he sees in Luna while she sunbathes on the deck. Apparently she gets off on him destroying opponents, and he digs it. Well that’s entirely too much information. I already feel like I know too much about her personal life and freaky vampire stuff with Gangrel as it is.
Papa Shango v. Mr. Perfect
Shango quickly chokes him out in the corner and tosses him to the floor. JR: “Perfect has had some problems with his back.” Bobby: “Yeah, it’s yellow.” Back in the ring, Perfect slugs back and dropkicks him over the top and they fight on the floor as Perfect lays in some chops out there. Back in the ring, Shango whips him into the corner and Perfect takes a wacky bump off that, so Shango goes to work on the back. Papa drops elbows on him while JR and Bobby discuss the never-seen Mama Shango. Shango with the chinlock and he puts Perfect down with a knee to the gut to cut off the comeback. Back to the chinlock as he uses the ropes and the camera angle reveals that the referee was clearly looking at it while he was doing it. Hopefully someday Earl Hebner will be exposed for his treachery. Not sure how that would happen, though. Perfect fights out and coms back with the necksnap before dropping an elbow for two. Shango runs him into the turnbuckles to cut him off again, but he misses a headbutt and NOW YOU’RE GONNA SEE A PERFECTPLEX at 8:00. Fine little match. **1/4
Undertaker v. Repo Man
Randy Savage continues to terrorize the employees before this match, making sure everyone knows that he’s betting on Undertaker. Repo tries for the sneak attack and gets choked out as a result, and Taker casually slams him before missing an elbow. Repo grabs his rope and hits Taker with the hook to take over, but Taker chokes him out again and tosses him out of the ring. Say what you will, but Repo’s silver gear from this time period was pretty slick. Repo hits him with a hubcap this time and that has no effect either, and Taker does the ropewalk and then finishes this geek with the tombstone at 4:20. A complete squash for Undertaker. Like he didn’t even sell the hubcap to the face. ¼*
The Beverly Brothers & Little Louie v. The Bushwhackers & Tiger Jackson
This was from the March to Wrestlemania IX “special”, and Tiger Jackson is the midget wrestler who was later repackaged into Dink the Clown. JR at the bell: “Well I guess it’s time to start this fiasco.” Gotta love Jim giving zero fucks. We get some biting from the Bushwhackers and assorted midget silliness, and Tiger slugs Louie down for two and involves Bill Alfonso in the midget shenanigans, thus preparing him for managing Taz years later. Blake comes in and the Bushwhackers double-team him and work his arm, but Blake takes the ref and Beau hits Luke with a cheapshot to take over. Beau with a backbreaker for two and he goes up with a double axehandle for two. But then it’s hot tag Butch and we’ve got a PIER FOUR AND A HALF BRAWL, as Tiger pins Louie with a flying bodypress at 10:00. ½*
The Steiner Brothers discuss their amateur background in Michigan and they actually sound natural and human for once talking about stuff that’s obviously important to them. And then they go over their moves and we get clips of the Frankensteiner and Rick’s assorted suplexes. The brothers messing around outside the arena and trying to take each other down is pretty fun.
WWF tag team title: Money Inc. v. The Natural Disasters
So I’ve never reviewed this match before, a dark match from Worcester MA on July 20 1992. The champs decide to take a walk right away, so Quake hauls Dibiase back into the ring and the Disasters clean house and hit them with splashes in the corners. Quake misses a blind charge and takes an impressive Slaughter bump over the top, and the heels work him over on the floor. Back in, Dibiase undoes the tag rope and chokes Quake out with that, and then IRS cuts off the tag and drops elbows on Quake for two. They chinlock Quake in the corner and switch off behind the ref’s back, but Quake fights them off and Dibiase cuts off the tag again. More double-teaming in the corner, but Quake clotheslines them both and makes the hot tag to Typhoon. Noggins are knocked and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, but IRS grabs the case and hits Dibiase by mistake. And then Quake drops the elbow and pins him to win the tag team titles at 9:50. I’m surprised they didn’t put this on Superstars, it was a totally acceptable tag team match. **1/2 This leads me to wonder why they haven’t bothered to ever leak the LOD-Money Inc title switch onto the Network now that both Warriors are dead and thus no longer care about it getting aired.
Randy Savage & Bret Hart v. Shawn Michaels & Ric Flair
Hey now this is a main event! Bret was IC champion and Savage was WWF champion, so I presume we’re at the same taping as the tag title switch we just saw. The babyfaces clear the ring to start, and we get some stylin’ and profilin’ from Flair, which annoys the generally demure and calm Savage. So they get into a shoving match and exchange slaps and now it’s on. The heels try to double-team Savage and he won’t go down, and hauls Shawn into the corner so Bret can take over. Bret works the arm, but Flair comes in and chops him down to take over. Savage gets the tag and slugs away on Flair, but Ric puts him down with an atomic drop. He’s unable to get the figure-four, as Savage fights him off each time, and Bret gets all distracted by the various managers at ringside and allows Shawn to get some cheapshots on Savage to take over again. Shawn with a high knee and he chokes Savage out on the ropes, and of course Sherri gets her abuse in as well. I bet she’s been holding a grudge since 1991! Women, am I right? They be shopping and holding grudges and stuff, fellas. Shawn chokes Savage out with the tag rope while Bret protests to the ref. Man, who would ever think that Earl Hebner could make such a big difference in a Shawn Michaels v. Bret Hart match? Totally unexpected! Shawn finally puts his head down and Savage boots him to escape, but Flair cuts off the tag and beats on Savage with chops in the corner, for two. Savage with a backslide for two, but Shawn cuts him off again and Savage gets a small package. But that hothead Bret Hart distracts the ref again, always complaining, and Flair pushes them over and Shawn gets two. Man, Bret’s so paranoid, always thinking that the referee is out to get him, or Shawn Michaels is out to get him. He should relax. Maybe take a nice vacation in Montreal or something. The heels cut off the ring again while Savage crawls for the tag (“Look at him, begging for help again, what a coward!” notes Bobby). Flair goes up and Savage slams him off and it’s HOT TAG Bret Hart, as he backdrops Flair out of the corner and we get stereo Flair Flips from Ric and Shawn. Bret with a suplex and backbreaker on Flair for two, and Savage rolls up Shawn for two, which wouldn’t be legal. Sherri takes the ref again, but Savage runs Shawn into her and rolls him up for the pin at 17:30 to end a show-saving tag team match, putting this one over the top to a thumbs up tape. ****
Not perfect but there was some real good stuff on this one, and Savage running around the control center all hopped up on something makes this an entertaining two hours and well worth checking out!