The Netcop Rant for assorted WWF Videos, 1988-92
A word of explanation: I have just about everything ECW ever put out,
which means I get lots of people offering me weird stuff in order to
get it for themselves. One such offer was about 12 hours of WWF stuff
that I didn’t have, and since a) I enjoy watching older WWF stuff and b)
I’ll watch anything to begin with, I thought I’d run through four of the
tapes and relate just how bad some of this stuff was.
Don’t get me wrong, I love watching these sorts of things for nostalgia
reasons and to get a perspective on the present from the past, but these
things wouldn’t even make for a decent episode of Shotgun these days,
which shows just how high our collective standards are getting.
On with the shows.
Opening tape: WWF Fan Favorites.
– Circa 1991. The idea here is that everything is requested by
(fictional) WWF fans.
– Ultimate Warrior v. Earthquake. And we’re off and running with crap
right away. This is post-WWF title reign for Warrior. Warrior gives it
a go for the first, ah, 20 seconds or so, but Quake drags it down quick.
And I mean this puppy goes ALL the way down. Choke, choke, bearhug,
Quake splash, but Warrior makes the miracle comeback and pins him after
a clothesline and a splash. Canned heat is blatantly obvious. 0 for 1.
– Randy Savage v. Berzerker. Now who would request anything with the
Berzerker? Huss, huss. This is a WCW formula match for Savage: Get
beat up, make the comeback. Macho does take some impressive punishment,
however, before coming back. Ref gets bumped (lamely), but Fuji’s evil
salt throw backfires and Savage nails the elbow for the pin. Very quick
match, which is a-okay in my books when it involves John Nord. Nothing
terrible here. 1 for 2.
– The Mountie, Beau Beverly and Blake Beverly v. The Legion of Doom and
the Undertaker. Now this is the one that shoots down the whole
“suspension of disbelief” surrounding the idea that actual fans wrote in
for this stuff. Who would ever specifically request this six-man match?
The Mountie’s WHOMP ASS~! theme song gets me happy happy to start,
however (hey, I’m an Emeril Lagasse mark, too, got a problem?). The
Beverly Brothers are currently known as plain ol’ Wayne Bloom and Mike
Enos in WCW. The Mountie is Quebecer Jacques. “The Genius” Lanny
Poffo, the Beverly Brothers’ manager, is probably someone’s bitch in a
prison in Downer’s Grove, IL, and may be getting butt-f*cked as we
speak for being a convicted kiddie porn distributor. Anyway, onto the
match. It sucks. LOD doesn’t suck quite as badly as they do today.
See Beau run, run Beau run. Almost nothing happens for the first five
minutes, as a lockup is teased and then the heels run away. See Blake
run, run Blake run. See Scott rant, rant Scott rant. The Beverlys do
get a chance to eventually show off their stuff, but Hawk’s supreme lack
of talent kind of kills the effect. Animal tags in, pier-six brawl,
Doomsday Device, bammo. 1 for 3.
– Bret Hart v. Skinner. This is from “This Tuesday In Texas.” Wow,
maximum recycling here. Nothing spectacular here, but solid. I’ve seen
many times before, however, so I fast forward. Still, it’s worth a
look. Bret with the Sharpshooter. 2 for 4.
– Natural Disasters v. The Nasty Boys. We hits that there fast forward
and don’t stop until you see the whites of their eyes. Earthquake pins
a Nasty. 2 for 5.
The First Bottom Line: Eh. Nothing worth going out of your way to see
here. Nothing terribly insulting either. It’s just kinda there.
Tape #2: WWF High Flyers.
– Circa 1988. The idea here is, well, you figure it out.
– Virgil (w/ Ted Dibiase) v. Randy Savage. Oh, man, the nWo are
fighting and they’re not even scheduled to be forming for another 8
years! This is just after Wrestlemania IV, where Savage won the WWF
title for the first time. Virgil is built like a brick shithouse here.
Wow, what happened between 88 and 91 to send him into pudgy-ville?
Here’s another surprise: This match doesn’t suck. Virgil was an
accomplished indy wrestler named Soul Train Jones before entering the
WWF as Dibiase’s lackey, and it shows. Quick match as Dibiase
interferes constantly. Virgil almost nails a frog splash but Savage
moves and takes over. Meanwhile, Dibiase is offering Liz money for
something. You dirty old man. Savage clobbers him from behind, rolls
Virgil in after taking him out, elbowdrop, pin. Good match. 1 for 1.
– The Conquistadors v. The Rockers. The Conquistadors are longtime WWF
jobbers Jose LUIS Rivera (That’s how Fink always pronounced it) and Jose
Estrada. Michaels and Jannetty are still billed as the “Midnight
Rockers” on the marquee in the background. Starts really good, but the
Conquistadors slow it down way too much. Still, a good hot finish saves
it, as Michaels pins a Conquistador after a flying bodypress. 2 for 2,
but it’s a close call.
– Lelani Kei & Judy Martin v. The Jumping Bomb Angels. This is not the
Royal Rumble match, it’s a rematch from the Spectrum a few weeks later.
This is almost lucha-esque. Sukie Yamasaki even pulls out the Octopus,
a move not seen since Owen Hart used to do it in Stampede. Terrific
workrate in an era where it was non-existant. Noriyo cleans house on
Judy Martin after the hot tag, but then flubs a double-team. The
Glamour Girls go for the kill, but Noriyo reverses a slam into a rollup
out of nowhere for the pin. Really good match. 3 for 3.
– The Shadows v. The Young Stallions. Paul Roma and Jim Powers were a
very underappreciated team in the late 80s, and this is a case in point
for them. Don’t ask me who the Shadows are — probably just a couple of
jobbers, although I feel like I should know the bigger Shadow. This is
your standard house show opener, but everyone must have picked up a pair
of working boots at the door because it’s really quite good. Almost no
restholds to speak of, and it’s pretty long. Powers whips Shadow #2
into the corner as Roma comes off with a sunset flip for the win. 4 for
– Koko B. Ware & The Blue Blazer v. Danny Davis & Jose Estrada. Why oh
why is Jose Estrada in *two* matches on this tape? Danny Davis is the
current WWF referee of the same name. Blue Blazer is Owen Hart before
he f*cked up his knee. Pretty much a jobber v. jobber tryout match type
thing. The heels pound on the faces non-stop pretty much the entire
match, and it’s boring as hell. This is a *very* long match considering
that it basically features 3 jobbers and a JTTS. Blazer with a splash
off the top rope for the pin. 4 for 5.
Bottom Line #2: Well worth a look. This is the best of the bunch I
– Tape #3: WWF Macho Madness.
– From 1988, during the height of his title reign and before he turned
– Randy Savage v. Honky Tonk Man. This is a clipped version of the
Saturday Night’s Main Event match which marked the beginning of the
Megapowers. It’s from the latter half of 1987. Savage is just whipping
HTM like a dog and is on the verge of winning the I-C title when the
Hart Foundation suddenly decides to storm the ring and beat the hell out
of Savage. Liz tries to help, but Honky shoves her down and then hits
Savage with his guitar anyway. This is really shocking and hardcore
stuff for *1987*, people. Liz runs back to the dressing room the first
time of many, and drags Hulk Hogan out to make the save. The heels run
like weasels, and Savage threatens to hit Hogan, but changes his mind
and shakes his hand instead. The crowd goes APESHIT. I’m all verklempt
— talk amongst yourselves. 1 for 1.
– Randy Savage v. Honky Tonk Man. This is the rematch from MSG. Jimmy
Hart is locked in a cage at ringside. Peggy Sue is at ringside,
however, to ensure a screwjob. It’s Sherri Martell, btw. Extremely
quick match. Ref gets bumped maybe a minute into the Honky Tonk Man
beating, and HTM bops Savage with the belt. Ref wakes up, starts
counting Savage and then remembers what happened and DQ’s Honky. And
that’s that. 1 for 2.
– Randy Savage v. Ted Dibiase. This is from the SNME just before
Wrestlemania IV. And it’s clipped to the ending. Andre is destroying
Savage (leading to a Dibiase countout win), so Liz runs back and gets
Hulk, who cleans house with a chair. This sets up…
– Wrestlemania IV review segment:
– Randy Savage v. Butch Reed. Round one of the WWF title tournament.
Nothing match. Reed takes too long going to the top rope, Savage slams
him off and pins him after the elbow. 1 for 3.
– Randy Savage v. Greg Valentine. Quarterfinals of the tournament.
Savage throws everything at Valentine but he won’t go down. Finally
Valentine takes advantage of a missed move and tries the figure-four,
but Savage small-packages him for the pin to advance. 2 for 4.
– Randy Savage v. One Man Gang. Semi-finals of the tournament. Blah
match. Gang attacks with the cane, ref sees it, Savage wins by DQ. 2
– Randy Savage v. Ted Dibiase. Tournament final. Good match. Dibiase
has Savage in the Million Dollar Dream, but Andre tries to interfere,
which distracts the referee. Hulk Hogan uses the distraction to nail
Dibiase with a chair, Savage hits the elbow and gets the pin to win his
first World title. 3 for 6.
– Randy Savage v. One Man Gang. This is a clipped version of the SNME
rematch. Savage’s first big title defense, and nothing particularly
special. Slick’s interference backfires and Savage gets a clean pin
after the big elbow. 3 for 7.
– Randy Savage v. Ted Dibiase. From MSG, Savage’s second title defense
against Dibiase in that building. Dibiase breaks his nose and gushes
blood here. Ouch. Rod Trongard is the most annoying announcer on the
face of the earth. This is a terrific match, as the formula hadn’t
gotten stale yet and these two seem to enjoy working together. Virgil
rips off a turnbuckle and both guys ram each other’s heads into it
simultaneously. Savage rolls over for a pin attempt, but Virgil breaks
it up for the DQ. Still, good despite the screwjob. 4 for 8.
– Randy Savage v. Virgil. Same match as on the “High Flyers” tape. 5
– Randy Savage v. Ted Dibiase (cage match). From MSG again.
Standard bloodless WWF cage match. Mediocre wrestling in between.
During the finish, an idiot fan climbs the cage and gets yanked off hard
by security. Good. Serves the little shithead right. I only regret
that Virgil’s well-aimed kick to the head didn’t get to connect before
he fell off. Savage rams Dibiase and Virgil’s heads together as all
three on top, and drops down to retain the title. 6 for 10, but barely.
Fuck, we’ve had every variant except the Wrestlefest match now.
– Randy Savage v. Ted Dibiase (from Wrestlefest). Oh, of course. This
is the card in Milwaukee Stadium that featured Hulk v Andre in a cage
match. And it’s the FIFTH version of Savage/Dibiase on this tape alone.
It’s really tiresome by this point. Not to say it’s a bad match,
because it’s a very good match, but after two hours of Randy Savage you
can only take so much. Long match, too, clocking in at around 20
minutes. Savage with a small package to retain the title. 7 for 11.
– The interviews which built up to…
– The Megapowers v. The Megabucks (from Summerslam 88). Clipped, thank
god, because I’m losing my mind as we speak from watching this feud.
Liz of course removes her skirt, allowing Savage to drop an elbow on
Dibiase and Hogan to hit the legdrop for the pin. 7 for 12.
Bottom Line #3: If your favorite wrestler in 1988 was Randy Savage,
then f*cking RUN out and get a copy of this tape, because I guarantee
you’ll love it. It’s all Macho Man, all the time. For everyone else,
it’s definitely a recommended tape, if for nothing else than to see Ted
Dibiase at the height of his powers as a main-event draw.
– Tape #4: WWF World Tour 1992.
– Kerry Von Erich v. The Mountie. From Royal Albert Hall. Sucky match
as both guys phone it in. Armbar, headlock, etc. Mountie pins him with
his feet on the ropes. 0 for 1.
– Davey Boy Smith wins a 20 man battle royale. Clipped down to the last
three men. Typhoon knocks out Mountie by mistake, and then gets
backdropped out by Davey Boy. 0 for 2.
– Davey Boy Smith v. Irwin R. Shyster. Stall, stall, resthold. Much
like Davey Boy today. Powerslam, pin. Ugh. 0 for 3.
– Davey Boy Smith v. Earthquake. DBS has Andre the Giant with him, just
to annoy me more. Bearhugs a go-go, Andre nails Quake with his crutch,
Smith slams him and pins him. 0 for 4.
– The secret origin of…EL MATADOR! Ole!
– What, no Santana match to follow up on this?
– Roddy Piper v. The Barbarian. Can NOTHING save this tape? Yes,
Virginia, Piper is that bad. Piper wins, of course. 0 for 5.
– Davey Boy wins another sad battle royale. 0 for 6.
– Bret Hart v. Rick Martel. Hey, a match with potential! Oh, wait,
it’s the Model. Small package by Bret for the pin. 0 for 7.
– Randy Savage v. Shawn Michaels. YES! FINALLY! Something to talk
about. This is Shawn’s first shot at the WWF title in 1992, in Munich.
This is, I believe, also the one and only meeting between the two.
Savage comes to the ring visibly limping. Sherri takes some good bumps.
Shawn works the leg over like a mofo. Wicked psychology here, including
multiple leg submissions and figure-fours on Shawn’s part. Savage is
selling it like he’s been shot in the leg. Finally, Shawn tries
figure-four #3 or 4 and Savage pushes him into the ringpost. Shawn is
dazed, and Savage gives him the clothesline that causes Shawn to pull
out the ol’ spinning bump, and then he climbs to the top, hobbling all
the way, and nails the flying elbow to retain the title by the skin of
his teeth. Great, great, long match. 1 for 8 on the tape.
Bottom Line #4: Avoid this tape, but try to get a copy of Savage v.
Michaels. Maybe rent it, and then fast-forward to the end.
Overall: Hey, I can watch this stuff all day. And I usually do. 😉
More later if I feel like it.