The Coliseum Video Rant XXV: Of Snakes and Hitmen!
– I’m sure you can figure out the subject matter from the title.
Tape #1: Jake “The SnakeÃ¢â‚¬Â Roberts.
– Hosted by Craig DeGeorge & Johnny V.
– Jake Roberts v. Scotty McGee. This is pretty close to Jake’s WWF debut in late ’85. Jake slugs away and knocks the kid down. Gutbuster and Jake slaps him around a bit, and blocks a rollup. McGee gets a suplex and a gutwrench for two, and Jake bails. Back in, McGee gets a hiptoss and a kneedrop for two. McGee chokes him out on the bottom rope, but Jake goes for the snake. Doesn’t help, as McGee takes him down, but misses a kneedrop. The announcers talk about how both guys are second-generation, but never mention their fathers (Grizzly Smith and Jeff Portz, respectively). Jake short-arms him, and the DDT finishes at 4:00. Just a squash. 0 for 1.
– Jake Roberts v. Ricky Steamboat. This is from SNME. Jake wins the fashion faux-pas award, with neon green and purple tights. Jake attacks him right on the apron and DDTs him on the floor, and Steamboat is dead, to put it mildly. Jake gives him the snake treatment, giving Vince a chance to do his gagging voice, later to be reserved for disgust at the contents of the Godwinns’ slop bucket. No match. 0 for 2.
– From Tuesday Night Titans, Jake gives Gene an education on snakes, complete with live demonstration. It’s actually pretty interesting stuff, as Jake obviously knows the subject matter. Throw in some crack and he could teach a course. 1 for 3.
– Jake Roberts v. Ricky Steamboat. The rematch, and now we’re in Boston. Roberts blocks all of Ricky’s martial-arts stuff to start, which is kinda neat to see. Jake shoulderblocks him and slugs away, but Ricky chops back. They jockey for a test of strength, and then Jake goes for the arm with a hammerlock. Steamboat elbows out of it, but Jake puts the arms up again to block any chops. Into the test of strength, but that’s just an excuse for Jake to hit him with a cheapshot. Slam is reversed, but Jake blocks another chop. See, now that’s a smart heel. Jake brutalizes the arm and goes to an armbar, which Steamboat can’t reverse out of. Criss-cross and Jake bails to escape a chop. Jake used to be such a fascinating wrestler before the drugs destroyed him. Back in, they work off a headlock, and now Ricky gets his chops in with Jake off-guard. He bails again. Back in, they fight over a lockup, and criss-cross into more chops from Dragon. Jake bails again and Steamboat follows for more punishment. Back in, Ricky tries one last chop on the apron, but Jake ducks and Steamboat smashes his hand into the ringpost. Jake gives him more of the same, wrapping the arm around the post in vicious fashion and working on the arm. He actually stuck the arm between the ringpost and the little metal rod attached to it, and bent the hand backwards. Trust me, it looked painful. Back in, Jake works on the hand, but Dragon snapmares him and Jake casually grabs the hand and twists it. Jake stomps on the hand in sadistic manner, and Steamboat desperately tries to fight him off. Jake works him in the corner, but Steamboat fights back with kicks instead of chops. Jake keeps bending the arm around the ropes. Jake tosses him and necksnaps him on the top rope. The ref prevents him from using tape to choke Steamboat out, and Steamboat returns that necksnap to come back. They brawl out and Snake hits the railing and the table. Back in, Ricky drops the chops on a prone Roberts (still selling the hand injury) and unloads with high and low chops for two. He goes up for the flying chop, but the ref is bumped by Roberts and everyone is out. Short-arm, no ref. Gutbuster, no ref. JAKE’S BEEN SCREWED! Jake revives the ref in less-than-gentle manner, and Steamboat rolls him up at 17:18. Cheap finish, great match. 2 for 4. Jake DDTs him afterwards and gives him the snake. Ted Arcidi makes the save.
– Jake Roberts v. Junkyard Dog. These guys used to have some great matches in Mid-South. I sense that this will be less so, due to their combined drug habits being enough to finance Detroit’s slums for a year. JYD slugs him down and Jake hides in the corner. Dog works the arm and slugs Jake down at the same time, and works an armbar. That goes on a while. Jake gets a cheapshot, but tries a shoulderblock and gets nowhere. Dog hiptosses him and Jake backs off again. Jake tries a sneak-attack, but Dog headbutts him out of the ring. Dog chases, and gets caught coming in with a kneelift, and Jake takes over. He slugs him down for two and hits the chinlock. He uses the ropes and gets caught. Dog suddenly makes the comeback (BLACK MAN ON PCP!) and Jake runs away. Dog slams him a few times and Jake is staggering around like he’s drunk, according to Craig. I love shoot comments that aren’t supposed to be shoot comments. Jake bails and they slug it out on the floor, but Jake is counted out at 9:06. This gets nothing and likes it. 2 for 5.
– Jake Roberts v. King Kong Bundy. I guess Jake has turned face by this point. Jake has the badass black and white tights here. Bundy tries to overpower Jake, but can’t catch him. Jake shoulderblocks him in the corner and slugs him down, and Bundy is flustered. Stalling results. We do the test of strength, which is obviously a stupid move for Jake, and he gets powered down. Jake kicks out of it and Bundy is flustered again. Jake dodges a punch, more stalling follows. Jake tries a headlock, but gets slammed and elbowed for one. Bundy stomps him down and gets a reverse elbow for two. Bobby Heenan and Jimmy Hart verbally double-team Gorilla on color as Bundy hits the chinlock. Jake fights out and gets a kneelift, but Bundy escapes the DDT. Elbow misses, but Bundy escapes another DDT attempt and dumps Jake. Bundy follows, but Jake beats the count back in at 9:18. Hoo boy. 2 for 6.
– Jake Roberts v. King Kong Bundy. The rematch the world demanded! From SNME. Bundy hammers away to start, but Jake dodges him and grabs a headlock. Bundy gets flustered by the slippery Roberts, but grabs an armbar. Jake kicks out of it and they do the test of strength. Bundy pounds him down and works him over in the corner, and into a front facelock. Jake kneelifts him and slugs away, but goes for the snake, which gets kidnapped by Bobby. We go to commercial and return with the snake returned safely, but Bundy stomps him down and chokes away. Bundy overpowers him, but misses a charge and hits the turnbuckles. Jake makes the comeback and goes for the snake again for some reason, and when the ref stops him he attacks the poor guy and gets DQ’d at 6:06. LAME. 2 for 7.
– Jake Roberts v. The Honky Tonk Man. From Wrestlemania III. Here’s a re-review. Jake attacks to start and slugs away, and Honky bails off a kneelift. Jake chases and kicks his ass, and they head back in and out again for more of a beating. Back in for real, Jake hits knee on a blind charge and Honky stomps away. Jake short-arms him, but Honky slips out of a DDT. Jake follows and hits the post as a result, and even the moral support of Alice Cooper can’t get Jake back up again. Man, just imagine the conversations THOSE guys would have backstage once the subject turned to drinking stories. Back in, Honky drops a fist and works on the arm. Reverse elbow and he goes for the neckbreaker, but Jake escapes it. I can’t believe Honky used to use a neckbreaker as a finisher. Jake gets an atomic drop to come back and slugs Honky down, who bails to the ropes. Jake pounds him and goes for the DDT, but Honky rolls him up for the pin and uses the ropes at 7:16. This was good enough for a point. 3 for 8.
– Jake Roberts v. Kamala. Another crappy SNME special. Kamala attacks while Jake is tending to his snake, but Jake fights back and walks into a double chop. Kamala goes to a bearhug, but Jake stomps on the toes to break. Kamala chops him down again. Choking follows. Lots of it. Jake fights back, but gets slugged down again. Jake decides to bail and do a chase, and indeed catches him with a kneelift coming in. Another one off the middle turnbuckle and the crowd goes insane, but Kim Chee nails Jake behind the ref’s back and the big fat splash finishes at 4:21. This went nowhere. 3 for 9.
The Bottom Line #1: Sadly they focused more on face Jake than on awesome heel Jake, and it hurt the quality. Not worth getting unless you love Bundy and Kamala.
Tape #2: Best of Bret Hart.
– Hosted by Gorilla & Johnny Polo.
– Bret Hart v. Jerry Lawler. This is after Summerslam 93. Bret drags him into the ring by the hair to start and Jerry bails right back out again. Back in, Bret hammers away and Lawler bails again. I can see what the pace is going to be like here. Back in, Bret kicks the crap out of him and chokes him in the corner, but Lawler finds a phantom foreign object in his tights and puts Hart down with it. Fistdrop and Lawler chokes him out and slugs away. Choking follows. The “foreign objectÃ¢â‚¬Â cuts off a comeback and Lawler drops another fist. Part of the genius of Lawler is that he doesn’t even need an actual weapon Ã¢â‚¬â€œ just pantomiming a foreign object is enough to convince the fans that there’s something in his hand. More choking, and Lawler stops to cut a promo while choking him. Piledriver and Lawler thinks it’s over, but it only gets two. He wants another one, which Bret reverses. Backbreaker, elbow and legdrop from Bret, and he hammers away in the corner. Ref is bumped by accident, and Lawler crowns him (literally) for the pin at 8:32. Poor Bret. Another ref declares that the match must continue, however, and they call Lawler back. Bret gets his FIVE MOVES OF DOOM and a cradle finishes. Not enough to save it. 0 for 1.
– Bret Hart v. Shawn Michaels. Shawn is the bogus IC champion at this point. Bret ducks a punch to start and works on the arm, and Shawn misses a charge. Bret goes back to the arm and works it on the mat. Shawn tries to overpower him, but walks into a hiptoss and Bret goes back to the arm. Bret grabs a sleeper, but Shawn rams him into the corner to break and chokes away. Bret goes into the corner hard and Shawn hammers the back and hits the chinlock. Bret fights out and slingshots Shawn into the ringpost. Atomic drop and clothesline get two. Legsweep gets two. Backbreaker and elbow get two. Shawn sends him out and Diesel introduces him to the post, and Bret is out. Back in, Shawn piledrives him, but Owen Hart runs in for the DQ at 7:44. Strange finish. Lethargic match. 0 for 2.
– Video package shows Bret’s various title wins and happenings. We get clips of the IC title win in 1991, the ladder match with Michaels and the title win over Flair.
– Bret Hart v. IRS. IRS grabs the armbar to start, and Bret reverses. Stalling follows. Lots of it. They fight over a hammerlock and Bret grabs a headlock and they work off that for a bit. Gorilla actually makes a good point Ã¢â‚¬â€œ there shouldn’t be any danger of the heel rolling him over for a pin, because all he has to do is release the hold. IRS bails and stalls. Back in, more stalling. IRS hits him with a phantom object and goes to work on the leg. More stalling results. We’re getting close to 10:00 with absolutely nothing happening. Irwin hits the chinlock. Bret finally fights back and gets a legsweep for two. Small package for two. IRS dumps him, however, and Owen sneaks out to lay the badmouth on Bret. He tosses him back in for more punishment, and stands on the ring apron forever. Bret knocks him off, but IRS cradles, and Bret reverses for the pin at 13:19. Well, that’s 15 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back again. 0 for 3.
– Bret Hart v. Adam Bomb. Okay, now things should pick up! If Bryan Clarke can’t boost the workrate, no one can. Bomb overpowers Bret to start, but gets hiptossed. They brawl out, giving Bomb the upper hand, and a powerslam gets two back in the ring. Bomb chokes away and tosses Bret around. More choking gets two. Bret gets a sunset flip for two, but Bomb stomps him down again. Sideslam gets two. We hit the chinlock, but Bret escapes and Bomb hits boot on a charge. Bret gets two from that. Clothesline gets two. Legsweep gets two. Bret misses an elbow and gets choked down, but when Bomb goes up he gets slammed off, and Bret gets the Sharpshooter at 11:33. Well, that just kept going. 0 for 4.
– Bret Hart v. Kwang. Kwang = Savio Vega, for those who don’t know him. This would be your standard 1995 RAW main event. Bret works a hammerlock to start and armdrags Kwang around the ring. Kwang escapes and gets a spinkick to take over. He uses the Vulcan Nerve Grip, but Bret cradles for nothing due to the ref being distracted. Back to the nerve hold. He superkicks Bret into the corner and hammers away, but misses a leg lariat and Bret comes back. Legsweep gets two. Backbreaker sets up the elbow and the Sharpshooter at 7:48. Total long-distance phone call from Bret. 0 for 5.
– Highlights of the King of the Ring, as Bret beats Razor Ramon, Curt Hennig and Bam Bam Bigelow.
– Cage match: Bret Hart v. Shawn Michaels. Shawn pounds away and sends him into the cage, and hammers away in the corner. He can’t make it out the door, and Bret slingshots him into the cage. Bret slugs away as Johnny Polo campaigns for over-the-top only cage matches, because going out the door is for weenies. Bret tries to climb and gets caught by Shawn. They slug it out and Bret ends up eating cage. Shawn crawls for the door and gets caught by Bret. They do the sequence from Summerslam 94 where they dive over each other trying to get out. Bret meets the cage again and Shawn climbs, but Bret saves in the nick of time with the help of Shawn’s hair. Back in, Bret stomps him down and climbs, but can’t make it out and gets crotched as a result. Good one, too. Shawn crawls for the door, but Bret crotches him as he crawls between the ropes. Shawn chokes him down and superkicks him, but Bret recovers and they fight it out at the top of the cage. Bret kicks him in the face and Shawn takes a dramatic bump to the mat, and Bret climbs over, but Shawn dives for the save and drags Bret back in by the hair. Shawn with the sleeper, but Bret sends him into the cage and climbs. They fight on the top of the cage again and Shawn climbs down, but gets hits foot caught and Bret jumps down for the win at 11:36. Good enough for a point, but nothing spectacular. 1 for 6.
– Bret Hart v. Yokozuna. From Wrestlemania X, as Bret regains the WWF title. 1 for 7.
The Bottom Line #2: If you want a whole tape full of Bret Hart dogging it, this is the one for you. Lord knows I love Bret, but when he decided to slack off, no one could touch him. The cage match isn’t enough to redeem it.
The Bottom Bottom Line: A pair of losers this time around, and my Coliseum stash once again has run dry. When I get some more, the Coliseum Rants will return.