The Coliseum Video Rant

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

4.

– 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

got.

– Tape #3: WWF Macho Madness.

– From 1988, during the height of his title reign and before he turned

on Hogan.

– 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

for 5.

– 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

for 9.

– 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.