The Coliseum Video Rant V


The Netcop BigAss Coliseum Rant V: Subtitles Suck!

[Warning: Only contains 33% new material]

The WWF “Tuesday Night Titans” video fell into my lap tonight, and I

thought I’d share my pain with you, RSPW readers, but I wanted to make

another 3-in-1 rant out of it, so I went back to DejaNews and dug up two

video reviews that I don’t have archived: The Hart Foundation & More

Saturday Night’s Main Event. Both are from the beginning of 1996, and

I was significantly more long-winded back then. I’ve edited out a lot

of the editorial comments, but the main portion remains the same. My

review style has changed since then, so if you’re thrown off just

remember that it was written 2 and a half years ago.

So enjoy the TNT video review, which will be followed by two retro Retro


Tape #1: WWF’s Explosive TNT Show

– This is a different kind of video, because there’s no wrestling, just

interviews and skits from the ill-conceived “Tuesday Night Titans” show

on USA from years back. The concept is that it’s a late-night style

talk show, hosted by Vince and co-hosted by Alfred Hayes, with nothing

but wrestlers as guests and skits in between.

Opening bit: FUJI VICE~! Explanation: One of the running gags on the

show was that Mr. Fuji and Don Muraco were constantly trying for an

acting career, and this was the masterpiece. So Fuji and Muraco are

playing vice cops on the beaches of Miami investigating a drug-related

murder. Fuji is Philip Michael Thomas and Muraco is Don Johnson. Now

here’s the brilliant part: Everyone plays it absolutely straight, with

Fuji maintaining his bad accent even while wearing a stylish suit. Fuji

and Muraco are horrible actors, of course, but that just adds to the

brilliance. This is the kind of understated camp that WCW wished they

could pull off in 1993. Widely considered the highmark for the TNT

show. 1 for 1.

– Bobby Heenan meets a weasel. You see, Vince brings out a kid with a

pet weasel to see if Heenan really does look like one. Heenan gets

indignant. 1 for 2.

– Clip of Hoss (Dory) Funk v. George Welles.

– Texas barbeque with the Funk family. Jimmy Hart bastes a roasting

chicken while Jimmy Jack paces like a madman. The payoff comes as

Alfred Hayes pisses off Jimmy Jack, and Dory dumps barbeque sauce on him

and strings him up from a nearby tree. Lord Alfred getting hung is good

enough for a point by me. 2 for 3.

– Cooking lessons with Captain Lou. He’s making Christmas cookies for

George Steele and is of course completely repulsive. He mixes

everything into a bowl haphazardly, and then dumps it over Alfred’s

head. Kind of dumb. 2 for 4.

– Clips of Nikolai Volkoff v. one of the Strongbows.

– This Is Your Life, Nikolai Volkoff. Of course, he’s still wearing his

one and only suit. First reminiscer: Freddie Blassie. He discovered

him in an Olympic gym in 1980. Sure. Second reminiscer: His sister

Olga. “Nikolai, remember when we went to Gorky Park and got sick on the

rides?” Funny line. She has the worst Russian accent ever, of course,

and is dressed like a 19th century peasant. She has a “baby picture” of

Nikolai, which is a picture of a baby with Nikolai’s head pasted on it.

Really funny. Nikolai has trouble keeping a straight face through the

verbal abuse as she accuses him of throwing away her ballet career in

order to sculpt animals out of leftover wood pieces. Obviously he had

no clue what was going to happen to him in this, but he manages to keep

up pretty well. 3 for 5.

– Clips of Adonis & Murdoch v. Atlas & Garea.

– Clips of Hulk Hogan v. “Adorable” Adrian to illustrate the change.

– Adrian Adonis gets a makeover. He hits on McMahon 10 years before

Goldust. Pretty pointless. 3 for 6.

– Clips of Don Muraco v. Hulk Hogan.

– Don Muraco gets a massage from two bikini-clad women. Muraco is

covered in oil and everyone is on the verge of losing it. Cute but

pointless. 3 for 7.

– Baffle the Brain. Hayes asks some wrestling trivia:

1) What city did Tito Santana win the I-C title from Valentine in?

2) What was the name of Lou Albano’s tag team partner, and the name of the


3) Who was Freddy Blassie’s only World champion, and who beat him for


4) Who was the only man (at the time) to win all three titles?

5) Name two managers on the inside of “The Wrestling Album”?

He gets the first four right, but misses the last one and then tries to

lie his way out of it. 4 for 8. This gets a point because I’d like to

see half of RSPW get those questions right. Don’t go sending me the

answers, I already know them. I leave it as an exercise for RSPW to get

these without using the PWI Almanac.

– Roddy Piper & Bob Orton, re: The Hillbillies. Clips of a six-man

featuring Orton, Piper and Ventura against the Hillbillies are shown.

The heels cheat to win of course. We come back to talk with Piper and

he does his Bruno Sammartino impersonation. He makes fun of Vince’s

hair for kicks. 5 for 8, but only because of Piper’s antics.

– Mr. Fuji and Don Muraco offer a retrospective of their acting

ventures. Clips include “Fuji General” (the soap opera bit with Muraco

as a cheating lowlife doctor), “Fuji Bandito” (the western bit with

Muraco as a grizzled gunslinger and Moolah as his little missy) and

“Fuji Chan” (the murder mystery bit with Fuji as a famous cliche-spewing

Chinese detective). The idea was that these were the tryout tapes that

were to be sent to studios in Hollywood to launch their acting careers,

and of course they’re the only ones who are oblivious to how bad their

acting is. Incredibly funny stuff. 6 for 8.

– Fuji and Muraco go to Hollywood. TV didn’t work, so now they’re

trying movies. But first they have to find an agent. So they show him

their stuff (from the above bullet) and get laughed out of the office.

Next up it’s the movie studio, but the security guard won’t let them in.

So they try another one and this time attempt to bribe the guard. That

doesn’t work, so they hit CBS where “Hulk Hogan’s Rock N Wrestling” is

being filmed and harass Mean Gene. So Gene relents and finally lets

them on TV, filming a scene with them where he reads a fan letter and

presents them with an attached gift: “Acting Lessons for Bad Actors”.

Not as strong as the actual bits, but Fuji and Muraco are a GREAT comic

team. 7 for 9.

– Ebineezer Piper. This would be Roddy Piper’s take on “A Christmas

Carol”. Christmas past: A young Roddy Piper (in kilt and tartan) steals

lunch money from classmates. Christmas present: Piper steals all the

Scotch tape from the Cratchetts (so they can’t wrap their presents, you

see). Christmas to come: Piper is dead. Or at least in WCW trying to be

cool while in his mid-40s. Piper fires one-liners at the ghosts the

whole time, and when Marley sums everything up for him, Piper beats him

up and goes back to sleep. Cute, but didn’t really click. 7 for 10.

– The Mating Game. A woman poses questions for Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart

and Jimmy Hart in a Dating Game spoof. Bret Hart isn’t particularly

charismatic here. All 3 come off sounding like idiots, of course. She

refuses to date any of them and storms off. So Vince brings out a

substitute, a homely woman with a huge mole on her upper lip. Neidhart

gets chosen. Bret and Jimmy leave him to the wolves. 7 for 11.

The Bottom Line #1: This is actually a fairly decent tape for what it

is: A tongue-in-cheek entertainment show that definitely cannot be

accused of taking itself seriously. If you want wrestling, skip it, but

if you were around back then, it’s worth a look just for the Fuji/Muraco


Tape #2: The Hart Foundation.

– Match #1: WWF Tag champs Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid v. Bret Hart

& Jim Neidhart. One of the definitive moments in WWF history. Dynamite

Kid is suffering from a cripping back injury (so bad Smith had to carry

him to the ring piggyback) and the Harts are ready for a title reign.

And they get one. Smith beats up the Harts single-handedly, but that

evil referee Danny Davis is too busy admonishing Dynamite for lying

around on the floor, and the Harts whale on Smith after an attack from

behind. One Hart Attack and Davis three-count later, and we have new

champions. An important match for several reasons. First, this was the

big turning point in the Danny Davis saga. Up to this point, it was all

subtle clues and innuendo. Now he had actually cost someone a title.

Second, this marked the end of the British Bulldogs. Sure, they were

still around until 1988, but it was an often-injured old man and a

steroid mutant masquerading as them. You can’t watch DBS in these

matches and DBS now and say it’s the same person. Third, the Hart

Foundation were no longer a joke. Up until now, they were basically

well-respected mid-carders who looked big and mean but always ended up

jobbing to the Killer Bees. Now they were WWF tag champions, and this

win pretty much launched the Legend of Bret Hart. 1 for 1.

– Match #2: Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart v. Jacques & Raymond Rougeau

(September 1986, MSG). This was back in the Harts’ days as mid-card

whipping boy tag team. Hey, Vince, remember when there were enough tag

teams to HAVE mid-card whipping boys? You know, as in, like, more than

TWO? But I digress. The Harts dress in BLUE for this match. An

astounding number of restholds for a Harts/Rougeaus match, considering

the great matches they used to put on. Maybe the producers just picked

a bad one. This is a standard pre-New Generation WWF formula tag team

match, and if you don’t what that involves, don’t even bother renting

this tape. :) Rougeaus win on an illegal sunset flip (wrong man in

ring). 2 for 2, but barely.

– Match #3: Bret Hart v. Ricky Steamboat. (?? 1986, Boston Garden).

Yes, we have a singles match between Hart and Steamboat, and damn it’s a

good one. This was, of course, back when Bret was just one half of a

pretty good tag team, and not, you know, BRET HART. Steamboat does all

the standard ArmDragon signature moves, but what really makes this one

stand out for me is the fact that Bret Hart is just Bret Hart, and not,

you know, BRET HART. No FIVE MOVES OF DOOM! to be seen. He does the

turnbuckle run a couple of times, but then he should be doing that every

match so no big deal. Gorilla Monsoon doesn’t even hint at saying

“Excellence of Execution.” Bret looks downright weird in all-black

tights, and much thinner than he does now. Slow to start, but the action

picks up soon enough. Jimmy Hart is hilarious on the outside (“Quit

picking your nose and COVER HIM!”) and it’s sad to watch him now.

Steamboat is calling this one in to start, but Bret seems to try very

hard to make it a good match and succeeds. Ref gets KO’d, Hart hits his

end of the Hart Attack clothesline, but of course no pin. Ref up, Hart

hits cross-body, and since it’s Steamboat it gets reversed for the pin.

3 for 3.

– Match #4: Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart & Honky Tonk Man v. Davey Boy

Smith & Tito Santana & Junkfood Dog. (December 1986, from Wrestling

Challenge.) Let’s see…we have JYD *and* HTM in the same match.

‘Nuff said. :( Faces get pin after whipping all three Harts into each

other. Bret does the job. 3 for 4.

– Scheme Gene does an “investigative report” of the secret Hart

Foundation HQ. Very….long….and….boring….sketch.

Must…..hit……fast….. forward….Ah. There we go. Basically,

Gene gets the runaround for waaaaaaaaay to long from about four

different bimbos (in his words, not mine) and acts like his WWF press

card actually means something. Uh-huh. His sexist remarks are really

quite sickening, actually. Finally, he bursts in on Jim Neidhart

playing with Hart Foundation action figures (beating up a Davey Boy

Smith figure.) He makes fun of them, but I would like to point out that

I had all three, plus about 30 more. Has meaningless coversation with

Harts while they get massaged by the “bimbos” (and I thought Bret was

happily married…) All-in-all, a totally pointless waste of 25 minutes

that could have been better spent with The Hart Foundation v. The Young

Stallions from Saturday Night’s Main Event. But then, that match hadn’t

happened yet when this was released… 3 for 5.

– Match #5: Tito Santana v. Tom “Rocky” Stone. Danny Davis comes

running out of the dressing room and tosses the ref out of the ring so

he can ref the match. Jack Tunney waddles down after him, and suspends

him for life…over the PA. Ouch. Ever heard of a phone, Jack? Tito,

now realizing Davis is no longer a ref, tries to relieve his frustration

by beating him up, but Jimmy Hart runs in to escort Davis back to the

dressing room. Big pop for the suspension. Evil ref angles are a dime

a dozen today, however. 3 for 6.

– Match #6: Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart v. Jim Powers & Jerry Allen. (WWF

Superstars, 1st appearance of Davis in goofy ref outfit) Okay, The

Harts squash Allen & Powers, then Davis cleans house. 3 for 7.

– Match #7: Hilites from the six-man at Wrestlemania III. Bulldogs &

Tito v. Harts & Davis. They have like, 14 people announcing this match

and when Smith nearly puts Davis through the mat with a piledriver, who

calls it? Mary Hart. MARY FRIGGIN’ HART. Isn’t that supposed to be

Monsoon’s job? Isn’t he supposed to know the names of these moves so

the celebrity guests don’t HAVE to take up the slack? Nasty looking

piledriver, btw. Whilst watching WM III on the big screen back in

Vancouver, I was totally marking out while Davey Boy beat the shit out

of Davis. Great cathartic moment. Of course, it was ruined when Davis

whacked him with the megaphone and scored the pin… 3 for 8.

– Match #8: WWF Tag title match: Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid

(champs) v. Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart. (November 1986, Boston Garden)

Darn fine match, but then it’s the Bulldogs v. The Hart Foundation so by

definition it must be. This is a really high impact match for the times

(back when a slam on a concrete was hardcore). Of course, when DBS is

prone on the floor, and Hart is standing at the ropes, you’re sitting

there just screaming “TOPE! TOPE!” but it’s 1987 WWF so it doesn’t

happen. Dynamite is injured at this point in time, so Davey Boy plays

Ricky Morton and gets the crap beat out of him by the heels for five

minutes or so. Dynamite does the hot tag, but the ref gets knocked out

soon after. And of course Bret covers Dynamite immediately after. The

ref drags himself over and counts 1……2…..but of course The Kid

kicks out juuuuuuuust before the three count. Smith recovers, rolls in,

rolls up the Anvil and gets the pin to retain the titles. 4 for 9.

Sidenote: One rule of the WWF formula tag matches was as follows:

Rule #14(b): The referee shall ignore who the legal man is following

the “Hot Tag” and count the pin on whomever is being pinned by whomever

is pinning them, so long as a title change shall not result, unless it’s

on pay-per-view in which case only the legal face may pin the legal

heel, while the illegal heel may pin whoever he damn well pleases.

Match #7: Harts v. Killer Bees (WWF Tag Title match). (February 1987,

MSG) Danny Davis lurks at ringside, and the Bees are wearing those

stupid tennis shoes. Oy vay. Nothing too notable here. If you’ve seen

one Harts-Bees match, you’ve seen ’em all. Davis shows his usefulness

by clocking B. Brian Blair, enabling Bret to roll him up for the pin.

5 for 10, because I like everyone involved.

The Bottom Line #2: Well, .500 isn’t bad. And it’s 90 minutes of one

of the best teams ever, so who can complain? Especially given the sad

state of, well, just about everyone on this tape, today. Might as well

give it a look.

Tape #3: More Saturday Night’s Main Event.

– We start out with a montage of interviews and funny lines from

previous Main Events. Some absolutely hilarious stuff here, mainly from

Jesse Ventura. Scheme Gene gets one good shot in, as the announcers are

talking about a neck injury received by Bobby Heenan, and Okerlund

replies “But then, who cares?” Plus a rather ironic moment with Vince

owning up to being from the South, and Ventura checking for a red neck.

Of course, we’d never see that bit today…

– First match: Brutus Beefcake v. “Outlaw” Ron Bass.

This is the hair v. hair match that resulted from the beating delivered

by Bass that kept Beefcake out of Summerslam ’88 and cost Honky Tonk Man

his title. You’d think that for a show aired at midnight they could have

a wee bit more mayhem than what we usually got. But such are the dreams

of fools like I. Crowd is NOT into this one at all, and it shows. It’s

canned heat central during this one, up until Beefcake makes the

inevitable comeback and hits the sleeper. 0 for 1. This was aired

after Royal Rumble 89, where Ron Bass showed up already bald.

– Second match: The Rockers v. The Brainbusters. Awesome. Shawn

Michaels is god, but then we know that now. Too bad it took most of us

so long to realize it, otherwise the Rockers might have had better

fortunes than they did during their tenure in the WWF. A minimum of

recycled Anderson stuff, with the exception of the spot where he goes

for a pump splash and his opponent lifts their knees, and some super

work from all involved. No spectacular Sabu-type stuff, just solid tag

team stuff. Well, there was one Shawn Michaels tope, but it was near

the end. Double-countout deducts 1/2 a star, though. ****1/2, and easy

1 for 2. *This* is why I wanted this tape, and it’s worth the 3 bucks to

rent it.

[Note from 1998 Scott: Why the FUCK didn’t I do better blow by blow for

this? AAARGH!]

– Third match: Terry (I refuse to call him by that *other* name)

Taylor v. Tito Santana. Bobby Heenan is miked for this one. Yep, it’s

the Taylor face turn match. Surprisingly entertaining match from two

good workers, though. The angle detracts from the match a lot, however,

since Taylor spends a good deal of time arguing with his soon-to-be

ex-manager. Heenan yells at Taylor, and Santana rolls him up for the

pin. After the match, Taylor beats the shit out of Heenan. There’s a

definite “beat the shit out of helpless managers” trend that was running

through the WWF at this time, and the count for this tape is one so far,

with more to come. 1 for 3.

– Fourth match: Owen “Blue Blazer” Hart v. Ted Dibiase. Pretty blase

match from two super workers. Hey, kids, remember when Owen could throw

a dropkick? Seriously, though, this was from 1988 and he’s already

degenerating due to a groin injury and bum knee. Dibiase attacks Owen

after his moonsault into the ring, beats him up for five minutes, Owen

mounts a comeback, tries a cross-body and gets powerslammed (very

weakly) for the pin. That’s it. Basically a glorified squash. 1 for 4.

It seemed better the first time around, but then I was, like, 14 when I

first saw it.

– Fifth match: Randy Savage v. Andre The Giant. The match sucks, but

then it’s Andre so what else is new? And as if the match didn’t suck

enough by itself, Jake Roberts comes down to ringside to continue the

storyline about how much Andre is *yawn* afraid of snakes, and it’s a

very bad double-DQ. Oh, and Bobby Heenan gets beat up …again…

bringing the Helpless Manager count to 2. 1 for 5.

– Jim Powers v. Big Bossman. It’s a squash, with Bossman yelling for

Hogan all through the match. 1 for 6.

– Scenes of Bossman attacking Hogan on Brother Love show.

– Hogan interview. I’m sensing a disturbing theme here.

– Brother Love interviews Slick, and who should come down but…Hulk

Hogan. He mocks Love and Slick (what a comedian) then beats them up.

That brings our total to four helpless manager beatings.

Okay, now I’m not an advocate of beating up helpless managers, but if

you’re going to cream Brother Love, and god knows we all want to, do it

with finesse. Hogan simply handcuffed him to the top rope and

clotheslined him over the top rope, then posed. No style. Now, when

the Ultimate Warrior beat up the Lovemeister, *there* was style. He

dragged him to ringside by his ear, press-slammed him, and splashed him

into oblivion. Hogan’s was good, Warrior’s was better. Just an


– Hulk Hogan v. Akeem. Like we needed to see this. We can all play

along at home with this one. Big boot, tries legdrop, Bossman

interferes the DQ. 2-on-1, Elizabeth gets handcuffed (bringing our

total to five) and Savage makes the save. Paint-by-numbers angle. 1 for


And for the “grand finale” of the tape, we have…

– Hulk Hogan v. Big Bossman (cage match). Vince MacMahon was playing

this up as “one of the most brutal bouts in WWF history.” That big bad

Zeus attacks Hogan for the match, giving Bossman, well, no real

advantage. I mean, if he was fighting someone who actually *sold*

injuries, then sure, but as it is…

This match is of course notable for Hogan’s suplex off the top of the

cage, which really wasn’t that impressive when you consider the fact

that Bossman was doing all the work. And after the move, a move which

most wrestlers simply jump up and keep going after, Hogan and Bossman

literally laid “unconscious” for 2 minutes. Finally, after

waaaaaaaaaaay too long, Hogan gets smart and steals the cuffs, cuffing

Bossman to the ropes and beating up Slick. Brings the count to six. He

escapes, wins the match, goes back into the cage, and beats up Slick

again. We’ll count this as beating #7 because it’s basically two

seperate beatings. It’s a famous match and one of Hogan’s best, and the

one that suddenly made everyone say “Wait a sec…” about Big Bossman’s

talents, so I’ll make it 2 for 8.

The Bottom Line #3: Well, it’s 2 for 8, but it’s 2 very famous matches.

Rockers-Busters is well worth the rental, trust me. Everything else is

the usual crapola from the period where all the excesses of the 80s

collided with the new reality of the 90s and went KWANG! as the shit hit

the fan.