The Coliseum Video Rant XI: Cure For The Common Nitro


Good lord, how do Americans sit and watch all three hours of Nitro

without gnawing their own arm off? I tried to do so this afternoon and

ended up being so bored by the horrible Judy Bagwell segment that I had

no choice but to hit the local video store and initiate….

The Netcop Coliseum Video Rant XI: Cure for the Common Nitro.

Video #1: Invasion ’92.

– This one has got a “Star Trek” theme going that is better left unsaid.

– Opening match: Hulk Hogan v. Typhoon. And wasn’t the world just

waiting for this one. Thankfully it’s not a title match because people

with real talent had the belt. The pop for Hulkie is getting pretty

minimal by this point. Sadly, I’m dubbing so I can’t have special

bonding time with my best friend, the FF button. We’ve shared some

great times together, he and I. Sniff. Ottman has trouble even running

into the turnbuckles properly. Hogan is working so loose that he’s

barely making contact. Hogan hits Typhoon with about a dozen punches,

but he won’t go down. Jimmy Hart interferes and Typhoon takes control

with a bearhug. Hulk escapes and hulks up, then finishes it with the

usual. That’s it. That’s the entire match. The really sad thing is

that they stretched it TO TEN FUCKING MINUTES! 0 for 1.

– Profile on Ric Flair. We start with the Royal Rumble (overdubbed

version) as Flair wins the World title and the fans “boo” when Hogan is

knocked out.

– Intercontinental title match: Bret Hart v. Ric Flair. Flair is

carting around the “bogus belt” here, namely a colored-in version of the

NWA World title, which would make another appearance in 1994 in WCW

after Flair beat Hogan by countout on the Clash of Champions. Hart

controls with a series of headlocks to start. Hammerlock reversal

series and back to the headlocks. Flair gets into a frustrated shoving

match with Earl Hebner. Battle over a wristlock and then Ric takes

over. Mooney and Lord Alfred note that people have been wondering about

what would happen if Flair met Hogan for years now. Well, maybe not on

WWF TV, but the thought was correct. Hart reverses a whip and takes

over. 10 PUNCHES OF DEATH! Oops, only gets 7 before an atomic drop.

Kneedrop and the feet-on-the-ropes pinfall attempt. Hart does the

chest-first-charge-into-the-corner spot. Flair is having a jaw session

with some fans in the front row. They trade punches and Flair gets the

sleeper, but Hart jawjacks him on the top turnbuckle. Hart comeback,

but Flair gets the knee-to-kneedrop and figure-four! Flair cheats like

nuts, of course. Flair tries to suplex Hart off the apron but gets

suplexed in. Flair with chops but Bret pulls down the strap and unloads

on Flair. Flair flips out and they fight a bit outside. Funny bit as

Bret pounds on Flair, who keeps getting up for more and getting knocked

down again. Backbreaker and Sharpshooter, but Perfect pulls him into

the ropes. Another backbreaker and another Sharpshooter, but now

Perfect is on the apron, allowing Flair toss Hart out. Hart comes in

behind Flair with a rollup for two. Series of pinfall reversals

follows, with about 8 two counts resulting. Flair bails, Hart follows,

and Perfect decks him as Flair gets in for the countout win. Damn, I

was hoping for a pinfall. Still, this was as close as we were gonna get

to a clean win here. 1 for 2 and probably about ****1/4 or so. How can

you top that?

– Ric Flair v. Shawn Michaels. Yes, I think this will do. Shawn is

still a Rocker here and the video distortion of the belt is in effect

for Flair. Flair hits on the female ring announcer whose name escapes

me. They exchange some shoulderblocks and Shawn gets a two off a flying

sunset flip from the top. Flair with some chops and then Shawn goes

nuts on Flair with a series of his own offense. Michaels is drawing

some serious face heat here and it just reinforces the intelligence of

the decision to push him as a single. Michaels mouths off Perfect

outside the ring, which leads to him getting tripped up a couple of

minutes later. Michaels comes back quickly with a superkick and a

fistdrop off the top for two. Michaels tosses Flair, but misses a

pescado and eats railing. Jannetty runs out to assist Shawn up, and the

announcers note that Marty wasn’t there at the beginning and maybe

there’s some dissention. Flair tosses Shawn in and pins him with his

legs across the ropes. I guess Shawn was pretty badly injured. Still,

two great matches in a row! 2 for 3.

– WWF World tag title match: The Legion of Doom v. The Beverly

Brothers. Oh, well, it was good while it lasted. Stall stall stall.

The Beverlys were last seen in WCW under their real names, Wayne Bloom

and Mike Enos. LOD gets control, Beverlys bail and stall, repeat a few

times. Beverlys cheat and take control for a while. Hawk makes the hot

tag, allowing Animal to f*ck up a simple backdrop, and a pier-six

erupts. Beverlys make a tactical error and the LOD hits the Doomsday

Device for the pin. Yawn. 2 for 4.

– Ted Dibiase v. Tito Santana. Sherri is miked here, lucky us. She’s

looking exceptionally fat and ugly, too. A few minutes of listening to

her talk reveals why no one else lets her anymore. The match is pretty

sad as the guys go through the motions. Way too long to boot. Santana

makes the fiery Mexican comeback and hits El Pace With Extra Piquante

Sauce but Dibiase rolls out and a double countout follows. Well, that

was about as nondescript a match as they come. 2 for 5.

– The Nasty Boys invade a video store, whose shelves have helpfully been

stocked with WWF videos. But there’s no Nasty Boy videos so they beat

up the manager. As enthralling as it sounds. They take over the store

and harrass a guy looking for ballet videos.

– Big Bossman v. Hercules. We’re definitely on a Raven-like downward

spiral here. Bossman tries, bless his heart, and Hercules even takes a

nice bump over the top rope. Bossman misses the running-rope-straddle,

allowing Hercules to take over. Depressing from there as Herc slowly

works him over until the superman comeback begins. Bossman slam out of

nowhere for the pin. 2 for 6. Gorilla helpfully reminds me that the

ring announcer’s name (the one I forgot earlier) is Mike McGuirk.

– Million Dollar Title match: Virgil v. Ted Dibiase. Randy Savage is

the special referee, lord knows why. Virgil wallops Dibiase with his

generic offense for a bit, but Dibiase quickly takes over. Savage slow

counts a Dibiase cover, prompting a discussion. Another two count and

another finger-shaking conversation is had. The problem with Virgil was

that he could sell like a champ, but he had never been on offense enough

as the lackey to know what to do once on it. Dibiase pops Savage after

another discussion and tosses him out of the ring. Dibiase with the

Dream on Virgil, but Savage drills Dibiase with a double-axehandle off

the top and then counts the pin for Virgil. Bleh. 2 for 7.

– Jake Roberts & Undertaker v. Randy Savage & Jim Duggan. The gradual

evolution of the Undertaker is quite the thing to look back upon. This

was 1991, when he had only a couple of tattoos and not much of a

fanbase. And this isn’t much of a match. Some stuff happens, some more

stuff happens, Jake tries the DDT on Duggan but Savage goes nuts with a

chair for the DQ. Next match. 2 for 8.

Bottom Line #1: Worth a rental for the Flair matches, the rest is FF


Best of the WWF Volume 15.

– Opening match: Tito Santana v. Haku. The most fascinating thing

about this match is the commentary team: Bruce Pritchard (without any

characters), Johnny V. and ring announcer Mike McGuirk. I shit you not.

Got hot start as Santana works him over. Rick Martel and Tama are in

the corner of their respective man. It’s utterly disorienting to hear

Bruce speaking in a normal voice, without the Brother Love accent. Mike

McGuirk is just annoying — I have no idea what Lex Luger saw in her.

Heenan cheats and allows Haku to take over with a series of suplexes,

but Santana makes the comeback and hits the Flying Jalapeno. The

partners get involved and it’s a big ol’ double DQ. Good enough for

what it was. 1 for 1.

– WWF tag team title match: The Hart Foundation v. Strike Force. I

still have nightmares about this match today. For those who don’t know,

the Harts cheated like nuts and won the titles from the Bulldogs in

January of 1987, but by the end of the year the Harts were so over that

people weren’t ever expecting them to lose. Thus, a face turn was

becoming necessary (and Demolition was ready for their mega-run as

champions), hence Santana and Martel were the designated transitional

patsies. No one expected them to win here. The pretty boys double team

Bret to start. Santana gets caught in the wrong corner and the Harts go

to work. This was a Superstars main event so everything is rather

compressed for TV. Strike Force is crazy over, lord knows why. The

Harts double-team like nuts while Martel’s temper keeps the ref in the

other corner. Santana gets rammed into the railing a couple of times

for good measure, which gets a two count. Jesse Ventura (the character)

hates both members of Strike Force with a passion so he’s in top form as

a heel announcer. This is actually a long match for Superstars. Bret

gets a whip reversed and takes his chest-first turnbuckle run bump.

Santana gets the hot tag to Martel, who destroys Neidhart to the delight

of the crowd. Martel with a cross-body for two. Santana cleans house

on Bret and Strike Force double-slams Anvil, and Martel applies the

Boston Crab for the submission and the World titles. One of the loudest

pops I’ve ever heard, seriously. I was such a huge Hart Foundation mark

at this point — I think I cried myself to sleep that night. *sniff*

Oddly, in the era of two PPVs a year, Strike Force were considered

transitional champs, despite a title reign of OVER FIVE MONTHS! 2 for


– Bam Bam Bigelow v. King Kong Bundy. This was during Bigelow’s monster

push in 87 when he first entered the WWF. Bammer is lean and clean

shaven here. Bigelow showcase as he ducks Bundy’s power stuff and

cartwheels a lot. For some reason it takes Bobby Heenan a few minutes

to make it to ringside. Bundy controls with some power moves, but

misses a splash and Bigelow hits his own for a fast three. I can’t give

it a point in good conscience. 2 for 3. Shane MacMahon is the referee,

btw, although his name is never mentioned by the announcers.

– WWF Women’s Tag title: The Glamour Girls v. The Jumping Bomb Angels.

This is from the first Royal Rumble, the one on the USA network in 1988.

Vince doesn’t know the names of the Angels. Well, at least he knows

Kaientai’s names. I think. Kind of a shame that the Angels didn’t have

anyone, say, 15 years younger to work with than Kai and Martin. This is

still a terrific match that’s roughly 8 years ahead of what even the men

were trying. The Angels put all sorts of leglocks on Kai, but she

manages a tag and then the Glamour Girls do some North American stuff to

cheat, and Martin hits a powerbomb variant (Martin brings her opponent

into the air, but instead of dropping down she tosses her over her

shoulder!) for the first fall. The Angels use some gorgeous

double-teaming to take control quickly in the second fall, and Noriyo

reverses a crucifix into a sunset flip for the pin. Third fall is

clipped a bit, and we join the Angels kicking some ass. Sukie with a

Tiger Driver and Noriyo follows her in with a kneedrop off the top. The

announcers are just totally behind. Bridged butterfly suplex for two.

Good god, was this really 1988? The assault continues, but Sukie misses

a senton off the top. Ref gets distracted and the Angels hit a double

dropkick off the top rope to win the tag team titles. Fantastic match

for the time. It blows my mind to think of what could have been if they

had a better set of opponents. 3 for 4.

– Mr Fuji & Tiger Chung Lee v. The Samoans. This is from the very early

80s, during the final days of Vincent J. McMahon’s empire. The Evil

Japanese play hide the salt to stall for time. I don’t really want to

get into the details, but basically the Samoans (Afa and Sika) ended up

spawning everyone from the Samoan Gangsta Party through Yokozuna.

They’re like a fat, talentless Hart clan. Tiger Chung makes a tactical

error, causing Fuji to walk out on him and leave him to be slaughtered

by the Samoans. Who knows why they picked this one. 3 for 5. Fuji

returns to choke out Lee, but he rolls out of the ring and grabs his

Kendo stick (Singapore cane) and chases him off. Boy, the crowd loves

that cane. You’d think it was Phila…oh, wait, it is.

– WWF Women’s title match: Fabulous Moolah v. Sherri Martell. Moolah

has been champion roughly 20 years at this point. That’s not hyperbole.

Martell is way thin and wearing zero makeup. It’s kind of weird. Most

people forget that Sherri is a very competant wrestler in her own right.

This match is typical US women’s wrestling. Man, Sherri went to shit

once she retired in 1989. You have to wonder what Moolah did to earn a

20 year title reign. Then you have to think about ANYTHING ELSE! This

match sucks, btw. Moolah does the usual heel stuff to beat on Sherri,

even though Sherri was supposed to be the heel here. Martell comes back

and slingshots Moolah across the ring a couple of times. Blatant clip

job as we cut to the crowd and then back in with Moolah in control. She

slams Martell back in from the apron, but Sherri reverses to a rollup

for the pin and the title. Moolah would never regain the belt. 3 for


– WWF Junior heavyweight title: Tatsumi Fujinami v. Ted Adams. Whoa.

This would be the 1984 equivalent of Rey Mysterio v. Juventud Guerrera.

Fujinami breaks an armbar by headscissoring Adams. Fujinami has the

crowd oo-ing and aaa-ing with a series of Malenko-ish pinfall attempts.

Adams with a slam but a top rope splash misses. Fujinami pulls out a

dragon screw legwhip, something never seen in the US before at this

point. Adams works on the arm. Total old school here. Fujinami comes

back with a running chop but Adams takes him down with a fireman’s carry

to regain the advantage. They trade leglock reversals. Fujinami with a

european uppercut and a dropkick that nearly knocks Adams out of his

boots. Airplane spin from the Dragon. Fujinami finishes the dizzied

Adams with a german suplex. 4 for 7.

– Demolition v. George Steele & Billy Jack Haynes. From that to this.

Ken Patera is hanging around ringside. If I recall correctly, Haynes

and Patera had an issue with Demolition in the Demos’ early days, but

Patera messed up his arm and Steele is subbing. Don Muraco is doing

color here and sucks. The match is nothing at all. Kick, punch, choke,

rest, cheat. Haynes is the house of fire but Steele has the referee

tied up and Smash nails Haynes with the cane for the pin. 4 for 8.

The Bottom Line: Hey, .500 is a better average than most shows these

days. A pleasant surprise out of this tape, to say the least.