The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents German Fan Favorites II
This was a random request from a reader because he thought I might enjoy it. So weird that they’re still missing huge chunks of the Coliseum Video catalog on the Network and chose to put a random compilation released for the European market on there. Also where’s German Fan Favorites part 1?
Released October 24 1994
Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon, who really loves the German fans.
Steel cage match: Shawn Michaels v. Bret Hart
This is some kind of dark match from a Superstars taping, and it appears to be December 1993 in Utica NY. Shawn attacks Bret on the way into the ring, and I’m delighted to hear that it’s Johnny Polo on commentary with Gorilla. Shawn chokes him out in the corner with the Nash boot while Polo has a wacky stream of consciousness run about baseball player Don Sutton, but Bret catapults Shawn into the cage and they’re both down. Shawn runs him into the cage and they slug it out, but Shawn basically tackles him and sends him into the cage again before crawling for the door. Polo calls this the “weenie way to win” but Bret makes the save anyway. Bret then dives over him and crawls for the door, but Shawn pulls him back, and they repeat that sequence like Bret and Owen did at Summerslam months later. Shawn finally hauls Bret back in and runs him into the cage, then goes for the climb, but Bret grabs him by the hair to stop him and they fight on the top rope.
Bret boots him down, but Shawn yanks on the leg on the way down and crotches Bret in the process. Bret’s got a groin pull, the likes of which you wouldn’t believe! Shawn goes for the door again, but decides to go through the ropes first and Bret crotches him in return. “Well, that’ll teach ya” notes Gorilla dismissively. Gorilla and Polo sound like they’re having a lot of fun together. Shawn is up first and puts Bret down with the superkick, but they head to the top rope again and Bret punts Shawn to the mat, with Shawn going FLYING off the cage and taking a face first bump. Bret goes over the top, but Shawn dives up the cage and yanks him back down by the hair. Another funny running joke on commentary is Polo treating Gorilla like he’s an actual gorilla who can talk and happens to look like a human being. Shawn with a sleeper, but Bret slams him into the cage to break and they head to the top again and slug it out up there. Shawn makes it over the top, but Bret follows him down and Shawn gets hung in the Tree of Woe, allowing Bret to jump down and win at 11:42. A very fun cage match with some great bumps from both guys. ****
Intercontinental title: Razor Ramon v. Diesel
From Superstars. Razor fights off Diesel’s attack and chases him to the floor to start, but Diesel necks him on the top rope and beats on him with elbows in the corner to set up the sideslam for two. Snake Eyes follows and we’re clipped through a break, to Diesel dropping an elbow for two. Diesel with a neck vice and Razor fights out with an electric chair, which gets two. Razor with the elevated bulldog for two. Slam gets two. Shawn gets involved and Razor sends him flying off the apron, but Shawn undoes a turnbuckle while Razor deals with Diesel. So Diesel runs Razor into the exposed steel, hits the powerbomb, and wins the title at 5:39 shown. Shawn and Razor were doing everything in their power to turn Diesel into a star here. ***.
Lex Luger v. Jeff Jarrett
It’s a Coliseum Video exclusive featuring the RENEGADE and the REBEL, and they’re both the same guy! Stan Lane had a lot of lame names for Lex. Stan notes that if they gave out awards for running your mouth, Jeff would win for sure. They do give those awards, it’s the “Best Promos” in the Observer Awards. Gorilla and Stan have a funny conversation burying Jerry Jarrett as Gorilla asks Stan if he ever had to listen to Jeff’s father talk his ear off before. “Yeah, one or two times” quips Stan. Lex overpowers him to start and Jarrett complains about hair-pulling and various other gripes, but then gets a cheapshot in the corner and beats on Lex with shoulders. Lex reverses out with a hiptoss and the crowd chants for the USA, which offends JJ for some reason. So Jarrett goes to work on the arm and beats on that, but Lex hits him with a press slam. So Jarrett hides in the corner and uses the referee as a shield, then suckers Lex into a blind charge and hits him with a flying clothesline to take over. Jarrett puts the boots to Lex and goes up with a flying fistdrop for two.
Jarrett puts him down with a back elbow and goes up with a double axehandle while Gorilla complains that Lex isn’t showing any fire. So Jarrett goes up with another axehandle and stops to strut, but then tries a THIRD axehandle and of course that one fails. Lex misses another blind charge, so Jarrett puts him down with a back suplex for two and Gorilla is like “YOU’RE KIND OF SUCKING, LEX!” while JJ keeps cutting off Luger’s comeback. Jarrett with the sleeper and Luger is fading, and Jarrett gets two. “It’s not a pinning combination!” complains Gorilla. “What if he goes to sleep?” asks Stan. “Well, I guess,” Gorilla concedes. Lex finally fights out and runs Jarrett into the corner to break, and a backslide gets two. Jarrett tries a suplex and Lex reverses to his own and makes the comeback. Jarrett blocks a rollup, but stops to point to his head to indicate intelligence, and that’s the fatal flaw for any heel. Lex slugs him down and hits the powerslam, which sets up the Human Torture Rack to finish at 13:15. Even Gorilla spent the whole match dogging on Lex’s lack of effort here, but Jeff Jarrett was determined to drag a good match out of him or die trying. ***1/4. This flirted with being great at times but man Luger was just so not feeling like doing ANYTHING here.
Tatanka v. Crush
This is a lumberjack match from RAW to determine the last entrant to the King of the Ring tournament in 1994. Haven’t watched in a long time so let’s review it again. Vince and Randy Savage discuss last night’s basketball match so they can let everyone know how LIVE and NOT TAPED this show is. All the lumberjacks threaten to brawl, but Crush beats on Tatanka in the corner to start and violence is averted. Tatanka fights back with chops but Crush tosses him to the heel side and they all swarm him and send him back in for two. Crush drops a knee and goes to a chinlock, but Tatanka fights him off and backdrops him to the floor, allowing the faces to send him back in. We cut through a break and Tatanka works the arm. Crush reverses and holds an armbar on the mat. Randy wonders where Lex Luger is, and Vince clarifies that he’s off doing “something red white and blue”. Making America Great Again?
Crush goes to a lengthy hold on the mat, kind of lazily going for a kimura, but Tatanka fights out and clotheslines him for two. Chop gets two. Crush puts him down with an atomic drop for two and goes back to the arm again, which Randy declares “is at a fever pitch” while they lay on the mat doing nothing. Tatanka gets all distracted by IRS, but Crush superkicks him for two. And it’s back to another hold on the mat, which Savage declares “wild and wooly complete metal insanity” while they lay there. Tatanka fights out of that and gets a slam for two, and we cut through another break. Crush has another hold and goes up with an elbow for two. Crush with ANOTHER hold and all the lumberjacks brawl while the heels beat on Tatanka, and Crush gets two off that. And then Crush grabs ANOTHER hold as I have no idea why they booked it to go this insanely long, but Tanaka fights out with chops as Vince declares it a ROMP ‘EM STOMP ‘EM AFFAIR. Crush suplexes him and drops the leg, brother, for two. So Tatanka sends Crush to the babyface side and the lumberjacks all attack, but Crush fights them off, so Lex Luger heads down and knocks Crush out with the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DOOM and throws Crush back into the ring, allowing Tatanka to pin him at 17:00 shown here but nearly 30:00 on the original broadcast with commercials. What a bore this was. *1/2.
Undertaker v. Bam Bam Bigelow
Dark match from a Superstars taping here, with Gorilla Monsoon and Jim Ross on commentary. Taker slugs away in the corner to start, but Bigelow fights back on him, so Taker gets a drop toehold to take him down and chase him out of the ring. Back in, Taker with the ropewalk, but he misses a clothesline and lands on the floor. They slug it out there and Bigelow runs him into the stairs to take over. Back in, Bigelow drops headbutts on him, but Taker sits up. Bigelow with another headbutt to put him down again, but Taker sits up again, so Bigelow goes up with the diving headbutt and Taker sits up again. So Bam Bam has had enough and decides to walk out on the match, but Tatanka shows up and chases him back into the ring, where Taker chokeslams him for the pin at 7:00. This probably should have been way better than it was. *
WWF title: Yokozuna v. Bret Hart
So this is the main event of Wrestlemania X. I guess that for you modern fans, Bret would be the Cody Rhodes of this situation, having lost to Yokozuna at Wrestlemania 9 so that he could have some hard times and really earn the title rematch. Yoko attacks at the bell and chops Bret down, but Bret fights back and misses a dropkick. Yoko chokes him on the ropes, but misses the big splash and Bret makes a comeback. Yoko kind of sweeps the leg, but Bret slugs away and gets two. Cornette interferes and Roddy Piper takes him out, which seems a bit out of line for a referee. Yoko beats Bret down again and chokes him down, then drops the Hulkbuster legdrop on him. Bret gets tossed and Piper counts really fast, but Bret beats it back in. Yoko continues to choke him out in the corner, but he misses the blind charge and Bret comes back with the bulldog for two. Bret goes up with the middle rope elbow for two. Clothesline gets two. Bret goes up and Yoko catches him with the belly to belly to set up the Banzai drop, but Yoko falls off the ropes for unexplored reasons and Bret pins him at 10:30 to regain the title. Lame finish, match was pretty decent after taking a little while to get going. **3/4. Vince notes that “we’re witnessing the blastoff of the next decade in the World Wrestling Federation”. Although actually it would only be the next three years, at which point they found the REAL next guy and new era.
WWF tag team titles: The Quebecers v. The Headshrinkers
From RAW of course, the payoff of the Lou Albano comeback storyline as he challenged the Quebecers and promised to find a team to beat them. Vince, always hip to the youth of today, brings up teams like the Yukon Lumberjacks as evidence of Albano’s former tag team managerial prowess. Man if I had a nickel for every time someone brought up the Yukon Lumberjacks when I was in school…I’d have a nickel. And I think that’s because the school’s janitor was part of the team in the 70s. The Quebecers try to overpower the Headshrinkers and don’t get very far with that, so Jacques rakes Samu’s eyes instead. Samu puts him down with a headbutt and gets two, and Pierre makes the save and lands on his own partner in the process. It’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA and the Shrinkers clear the ring, so the Quebecers decide to walk out. But the referee declares that they’ll lose the title if they continue with this course of action, so THIS MATCH MUST CONTINUE through a break. Since when can the referee just make that decision? We should have known that Earl Hebner would go rogue with lousy refereeing like that.
The Shrinkers double-team Pierre, but Jacques hits Fatu with a knee from the apron and Fatu does the 180 sell off Pierre’s clothesline to put the champs back in control. Jacques slams Pierre onto Fatu for two, and a high-low gets two. Jacques backdrops Pierre onto Fatu for two. They choke him out on the ropes and Fatu backdrops Pierre onto the floor to set up the hot tag to Samu, and he runs wild with backdrops before charging and getting his head tied up in the ropes. Jacques hauls him out and piledrives him, which sets up the cannonball from Pierre, but that misses and Afa takes out Johnny Polo. Fatu gets the hot tag, but the ref misses it, so Samu makes his own comeback and Pierre gets pissed off and turns on Jacques, allowing Fatu to come in and finish him off with the flying splash to win the tag team titles at 12:21 shown here. I just never bought the Headshrinkers as a babyface team, but the tag division was so dead at this point it’s not like there were a lot of better choices, I guess. **1/2.
Intercontinental title: Diesel v. Lex Luger
And we wrap up the tape with this match from RAW in July of 1994, which was the same tapings as the Bret Hart v. Sean Waltman match that I wish they would have put on here instead. Joey Marella makes his final appearance on RAW here, having died in a car accident two weeks before this was taped, which put them in kind of an impossible situation, sadly. Diesel wins the power battle to start and bullies him to the floor off the lockup battle, and Shawn lays in the badmouth when he’s down there. Attaboy, Shawn. Remember to call him a choker! Lex comes back in with a sunset flip for two as even JR reminds us that Luger hasn’t exactly made the most of his title opportunities in the WWF. Diesel smashes Lex with elbows in the corner and uses the Nash choke, but Lex comes back with a powerslam for two and slugs Diesel to the floor. Back in the ring, Lex slugs away on him, but puts his head down and Diesel tries the powerbomb. Lex backdrops out of that, but charges and lands on the floor, allowing Diesel to take over with a slam out there. CAREFUL YOU DON’T GET COUNTED OUT THERE, LEX!
Back from a break and Diesel drops him with Snake Eyes for two and chokes him out on the ropes. Interesting how quickly “Snake Eyes” became the generic name for that move, whereas it took years for “Diamond Cutter” to kind of pass into the public domain, for example. Diesel goes to a chinlock while Shawn does his own running commentary at ringside, but Lex fights out of that until walking into a big boot to put him down again. Diesel drops the elbow for two off that. Diesel with a sleeper,b but Lex fights out of that and tries to run Diesel into the corner to break. But Diesel just releases the hold and runs Luger into the turnbuckles instead, and reapplies the hold. Shawn demands that the timekeeper RING THE BELL, but we all know that the timekeeper would never illegitimately ring the bell in a title match involving Shawn Michaels. Luger fights out of the sleeper and hits Diesel with forearms, and a DDT gets two. Lex goes up with the flying clothesline for two, but the ref is bumped, allowing Shawn to run in and hit Lex with the superkick in an awesomely timed spot. That gets two. Lex fights back and they slug it out while Razor heads down and takes care of Shawn, and everyone runs in for the double DQ at 13:38 shown here. Not exactly a classic but they worked together well and it was a pretty good match. ***1/4.
Gorilla guarantees us that there will a German Fan Favorites III, no question in his mind! Spoiler: There wasn’t.
I really enjoyed this one, with a nice mix of good matches I hadn’t seen before (or in a long while) and a few important title changes as well. Give this one a look on the Network!