The Coliseum Video Rant XXVI: British Invasion!
– Amazingly, I haven’t dipped into the Coliseum pool since September of 2002, but thanks to a reader who had two British-themed Coliseum videos to send me, we continue the find tradition of crappy wrestling from the 80s and early 90s again.
For those who don’t know how these work, I forgo star ratings and instead assign points to the matches Ã¢â‚¬â€œ since it’s all low-grade crap anyway, with an exceedingly generous eye everything is divided into “worksÃ¢â‚¬Â and “doesn’t workÃ¢â‚¬Â, and the reasons can be anything, because it’s MY review. So if it works, it’s a point, and if it doesn’t, it’s no points. If it needs to be dumbed down any further, let me know, and I’ll stop the review and let you catch up with the complexities of the system.
And away we go
Tape #1: WWF Grudge Matches!
There’s been others with the same title, but this one features Sean Mooney and Alfred Hayes in England, so it’s different. In any country, Mooney is a tool.
– Randy Savage v. Papa Shango. Savage is dumb enough to go for a test of strength, and gets taken into the corner for some choking. This was shortly after Savage lost the title to Flair, according to the commentary. Savage fires away with punches, but gets dropped with a right. Papa Shango is one of the few cases where switching your gimmick TO a flamboyant pimp was a step up in the dignity department. Shango uses his voodoo powers to, uh, stomp away and choke Savage down. And it’s a VOODOO BEARHUG OF DEATH. It’s much the same as a regular bearhug, but SCARIER. Shango slugs away and uses the Nash choke in the corner, then unleashes the VOODOO BODYSLAM OF DOOM and drops an elbow. Gorilla is amazed at how big a part voodoo plays in the 20th century. So am I, Gorilla. Shango goes up and misses an elbow, after waiting so long that Macho could have mailed him a postcard up there, and Savage gets two. High knee puts Shango on the floor and Savage follows with the axehandle. Back in, he goes up and finishes with the elbow at 5:36. Well, that was pretty much as cookie-cutter of a Savage match as you’ll see on tape. 0 for 1.
– Terry Taylor v. Tito Santana. With a nickname like “TerrificÃ¢â‚¬Â, how could Taylor NOT be a babyface? He’s terrific! You can take him home to mom and dad! And where the “grudgeÃ¢â‚¬Â in this grudge match comes in remains to be seen, unless there’s some deep-seated grudge between matadors and roosters or something. Maybe Santana got tired of fighting bulls and decided to give poultry a try. They fight over a lockup to start and get into a shoving match. Ooooh, it’s GRUDGERIFFIC! Taylor’s dander is up and the feathers are flying! Taylor goes to the headlock, but gets armdragged and hiptossed, and bails. Terrifically. He’s kind of like the lower-card version of Curt Hennig. He’s not PERFECT, but he’s pretty terrific. Santana works the arm, but Taylor makes the ropes. Santana goes back to the wristlock, as I ponder the eternal question: Does putting a bull’s head on hot pink boots make you any less gay? Backslide gets two. Back to the arm. They criss-cross and Santana gets a cross-body for two, but Taylor leverages him into the corner to take over. He drives some knees into Santana and gets the jawbreaker, for two. Backbreaker gets two. Taylor goes to an abdominal stretch, and Mooney makes fun of him for being lazy. To the chinlock, but Santana fights out, only to fall victim to the dreaded thumb to the eye. He comes back with an inside cradle for two, but Taylor chokes him down. Mooney then tops himself by making up a story about mixed up bags in the locker room leading to a shoving match between the two. Maybe if it was Dynamite Kid and Jacques Rougeau, I’d care. Back to the chinlock, and it’s not even so terrific. You gotta live the gimmick, Terry! Tito comes back, but gets tossed, then sunset flips back in for two. Taylor takes him down with a clothesline for two. Santana puts his head down and Taylor gets a neckbreaker for two. He goes up and indicates that it’s over, but irony strikes again, as he hits knee on the way down and Santana makes the comeback. Backdrop and atomic drop set up the flying jalapeno, and Taylor is dazed. Inverted atomic drop sets up El Pace With Extra Picante, but it’s a 10:00 draw at 10:20. The timekeeper was definitely not so terrific. The match was Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling, however. 1 for 2.
– The Beverly Brothers v. Big Bossman & Virgil. We’re really stretching the grudge match deal now. Beau starts with Virgil and slugs away, but Virgil gets an atomic drop and a dropkick. Blake comes in and gets dumped. Blake wants Bossman, for no adequately explored reason, when in fact logic would dictate that Virgil is the better choice. Bossman wins a lockup battle, but Blake gets in his face, so he slugs away and catches him with a spinebuster. POLICE BRUTALITY! Rollup gets two. He works on the arm and trades off with Virgil, and Beau comes in again. Beau blocks a rollup and gets a clothesline to take over, and Virgil gets worked over in the Beverly corner. Blake gets a neckbreaker for two. Double-teaming as Beau switches in, and he gets a butterfly suplex for two. Blake does some cheating and powerslams him for two. They guillotine him on the top rope and Virgil hits the floor, but Bossman helps him back in again. Beau tries a headbutt, but according to the rules of wrestling, all black people have hard heads, so that backfires. Hot tag Bossman and he cleans house on Blake with his usual stuff, to the delight of the heat machine. Big splash gets two. Big boot gets two. It’s BONZO GONZO and Poffo tosses the nightstick in, but the ref sees Bossman catching it and disqualifies the Beverlies at 8:42. This was going okay before the terrible finish, but not enough for a point. 1 for 3.
– A weird vignette sees Bobby Heenan sending a cameraman into Sean Mooney’s honeymoon suite, and then kidnapping his wife and replacing her with the cameraman. Stupid but funny.
– Intercontinental title: Shawn Michaels v. Bob Backlund. Man, talk about your clash of personalities here. Shawn eschews a handshake, and then takes Backlund down with a pair of armdrags to start. Shawn slams him and waits him out in the corner. Backlund fires back with the exact same series, and then gets a backslide for two, as Shawn bails hurriedly. Back in, Shawn hides in the ropes, and now he wants the handshake. Boy, THAT sure means a lot coming from him. They go to the lockup and Shawn gets a full-nelson to subdue Backlund. Backlund does a nice reversal to get his own version, and pulls Shawn away from the ropes. Shawn fights out and tries the same reversal, but Backlund counters him. Shawn pokes him in the eyes instead. No counter for that. Shawn slugs away to take over, and he goes to a front facelock, but Bob takes him down. Shawn drops an elbow on him and goes back to the facelock. That goes on for a while. Backlund finally powers out and gets a dropkick and neckbreaker for two. Butterfly suplex gets two. Shawn tries to escape, but Backlund goes for a piledriver, and Shawn backdrops out of it and takes a walk at 9:34. Slow match, bad finish. 1 for 4.
– Repo Man v. Bret Hart. They fight over a go-behind, but Repo makes the ropes. Bret takes him down, but Repo gets a rollup for two. They exchange wristlocks and Bret overpowers him, and gets a backslide for two. Rollup gets two. Clothesline gets two, and Repo bails. Back in, Bret catches his foot and takes him down, then stomps him and goes back to the arm. Repo pokes him in the eye and blocks a charge with a boot, and apparently he’s on offense now. He does the standard stomp-and-choke heel stuff, but Bret gets a sunset flip for two. Repo does more stomping in the corner, but Bret fights back, so Repo tosses him. Back in, backdrop suplex gets two. Bret comes back with a suplex, into the inverted atomic drop and clothesline for two. Rollup gets two. Russian legsweep gets two. He blocks a rollup attempt from Repo and they do a double-reverse of a small package, leaving Bret on top for the pin at 8:30. Bret was dogging it, but it was a neat finish, so I’ll cut him a break. 2 for 5.
– The Natural Disasters & High Energy v. The Beverly Brothers & Money Inc. Isn’t there a federal law against more than one Beverly Brothers match per tape? Big brawl to start, as the jobber teams fight on the floor while the Disasters pound on Money Inc. This was a “fan favoriteÃ¢â‚¬Â match, which means that someone supposedly REQUESTED it. Wrap your mind around that one. The Bevs try their luck, and they get squashed in the corner, too. Owen and Koko spring in with monkey flips out of the corner, and then dropkick Money Inc out of the ring. The match starts proper as Owen goes with Dibiase, and gets overpowered. Criss-cross into a dropkick from Owen, and he brings Koko in with a headbutt. A double-cheapshot from IRS & Blake puts Koko in peril and Beau comes in with a butterfly suplex, and the Bevs work on the back and Blake gets two. He hits the chinlock and gets a powerslam. Beau comes in for the Broken Arrow, and that gets two. IRS chokes away and gets the abdominal stretch, and switches off with Dibiase. Then with Blake. Koko hiptosses out, but Dibiase cuts off a tag. He drops an elbow for two. Koko gets a neckbreaker and crawls for the hot tag, but now Beau cuts him off. Legdrop gets two. Koko gets whipped into the corner and IRS comes in with an elbow for two. False tag and it’s a beatdown in the heel corner. Blake gets a neckbreaker, but Koko comes back with a clothesline and makes the hot tag to Typhoon. He cleans house with clotheslines and it’s a pier-eight brawl! High Energy double-dropkicks Beau into a Typhoon splash, and the Earthquake buttdrop finishes, and they even let Koko have the pin at 9:33. Nice touch. Nothing exciting, but Koko taking a beating was good enough for a point. 3 for 6.
– Rick Martel v. Crush. Martel goes for a facelock to start, but Crush powers him out to the apron and slingshots him back in. Martel bails. Back in, Martel tries a rollup, but Crush blocks it. I should note that Crush has EXTREME mulletude, with about Ã‚Â½ inch in the front and 12 in the back. Tino would be PROUD. Martel keeps stalling, so Crush clotheslines him and Martel bails again. Feel the excitement. Back in, Crush works the arm, but misses a charge and gets rammed into the mat. Martel chokes away in the corner and goes to the chinlock. Crush powers out and goes to a bearhug, so Martel escapes and pounds on the back. Crush responds with a backbreaker and a legdrop, into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Press slam and Martel runs away at 7:31. This is like the graveyard of bad finishes or something, with TWO “heels run awayÃ¢â‚¬Â finishes on the same tape, for pete’s sake! 3 for 7.
– Tito Santana v. The Berzerker. Clerks has given me a whole new perspective on Berzerker. Berzerker wins a lockup battle, then goes to a headlock and overpowers Tito. Tito comes back with a hiptoss, so it’s a Nash choke in the corner. Nash is like the patron saint of bad wrestlers or something. Have you ever seen anyone GOOD do that move? Santana forearms him down, and Berzerker gets advice from Fuji. The advice is apparently “headbutt him in the groinÃ¢â‚¬Â, and he takes full advantage of that advice. Boot out of the corner and Tito gets tossed. Berzerker pounds him on the apron, but Tito fights back in with a sunset flip, which is blocked. Berzerker misses a dropkick, however, and Tito comes back and gets into a slugfest, which doesn’t quite work. Berzerker hits the chinlock. Tito fights out and gets powered down again. Big boot misses, but a powerslam gets two. Berzerker ties him up in the ropes, but misses a charge and gets crotched on the top rope. Tito comes back with some dropkicks and a kneelift, but Fuji hooks the leg and it’s ANOTHER cheap DQ finish at 7:30. 3 for 8. No one gets any more points until I see a pinfall!
– Papa Shango v. Marty Jannetty. Shango quickly goes to the choke in the corner and pounds away, but Marty dodges him and goes to the wristlock. Shango backdrops him out of the corner, however. No truth to the rumor that Jannetty tried to drink the black ooze that came out of the jobbers’ feet. Shango hits the chinlock and whips Marty around, but runs into a boot in the corner. Marty slugs back and Shawn Michaels wanders out. Marty doesn’t take the bait, backdropping Shango and dropkicking him, then clotheslining him to the floor and following with a plancha. Marty then attacks Shawn with a rana by the entrance, and it’s yes another cheap countout finish at 5:25. Not that this was on the way to a point or anything, but it gets nothing anyway. 3 for 9.
– Another vignette features a day in the life of Repo Man. Make your own jokes. Sadly, Bill Alfonso’s Cadillac gets repossessed. No wonder he became so bitter. This goes on way, WAY, too long, and it’s accompanied by the original Repo Man vignettes. .
– Kamala v. Typhoon. Oh god, I’ve wandered into the fifth circle of hell again. They fight over a shoulderblock and get nowhere. Kamala tries a slam, with no luck either. Typhoon has no such luck either, so he uses a dropkick instead, but misses a corner splash. Kamala kicks him down and steps on him, and choking follows. He uses the Ugandan chops and gets a corner splash, and even gives him a prototype of the Stinkface in the corner! Another corner splash misses by a mile, and Typhoon comes back with a clothesline and a rollup for the pin at 4:38. This gets nothing and likes it. 3 for 10.
– IRS v. Virgil. Irwin attacks to start, but gets clotheslined and bails. Back in, he works the arm, but Virgil reverses and hangs on through a slam. He goes to the headlock and hiptosses IRS, who bails again. Back in, IRS rams him into the turnbuckles a few times and pounds away, and Big Bossman runs in for the DQ for no reason at 4:56. Uh, yeah. 3 for 11.
– Blake Beverly v. Tatanka. Oh, GOD, end this tape! Tatanka gets a hiptoss and a slam to start, then dumps him off a clothesline. Back in, they criss-cross and Blake bails, but Tatanka drags him back in by the hair and rams him into the turnbuckles. Blake drops him on the top rope to come back and gets a neckbreaker for two. He hits the chinlock, which Tatanka escapes easily, and Tatanka fires off some chops before getting caught with a powerslam. Blake goes up and misses whatever by a mile, and Tatanka makes the big comeback. Backdrop and clothesline set up the big chops, and he goes up with the flying version. Blake misses a charge and the Papoose Drop finishes at 4:42. Why even bother wasting tape with this? 3 for 12.
– WWF title: Ric Flair v. Undertaker. Yeah, 10 years before Wrestlemania X-8, they actually wrestled. THANKFULLY this is the last match on the tape. I’m a little foggy on when this would have been, since Flair is announced as the “new WWF championÃ¢â‚¬Â, which would put it close to Royal Rumble, but Taker is obviously the face, which would put it closer to Wrestlemania 8. Taker overpowers him to start and gets a press slam (now THERE’S something you don’t see anymore from him), and Flair backs off. Gorilla notes that the World title had never changed hands in Landover to that point, and in fact the only time it WOULD change was three years later, when Bret Hart beat Diesel for it in 1995. Flair does a Flip to the floor, but Taker misses his clothesline back in the ring and Perfect adds a cheapshot. Flair attacks UT on the floor and Perfect adds his own shots, but Taker heads back in the ring and feels the power of the ballshot. He no-sells even that, and then no-sells a backdrop suplex from Flair, and even shrugs off an eyepoke. An EYEPOKE! Flair tries to suplex him from the apron, but Taker suplexes him back in and goes after Perfect. This results in brass knux being passed to Flair, and this is enough to put Taker down for a figure-four, but he no-sells that with a zombie situp and chokeslams Flair for two. Perfect pulls the ref out to break it up, and they fight on the floor. Back in, Flair tries a chop, which is no-sold, and Taker gives him the flying clothesline, so Perfect decides to drop the subtle act and chairshots him for the DQ at 7:35. UT gets the moral victory with a tombstone. 3 for 13.
Bottom Line #1: Send this one back to Britain. They can keep it.
– Tape #2: WWF UK Rampage 93
– This would be a show from Sheffield Arena in 1993 (duh), and was, I believe, one of the first UK-only PPVs. The setup is very much like a live PPV, so we’ll just switch back to star ratings again.
– Your hosts are Jim Ross, Bobby Heenan & Lord Al Hayes
– Opening match: Headshrinker Fatu v. Brian Knobbs. Fatu is of course better known as Rikishi these days, 100 pounds and 10 years later. Or is that Brian Knobbs? No, definitely Fatu. Nothing like a Knobbs singles match to really get a PPV rocking! Major league stall-job eats up the first 2:00 of the match. Fatu attacks to start, but gets hit with a corner clothesline and backdropped. Crowd is really, really hot. Fatu bails and confers with Afa, and apparently the advice is “Go for a test of strength and waste more timeÃ¢â‚¬Â, because that’s what he wants. Knobbs goes to the headlock instead and overpowers Fatu, and it’s more stalling. Knobbs goes back to the headlock and gets an imaginary trip from Afa, which allows Fatu to take over with a superkick. They slug it out and Fatu gets a clothesline and pounds him down with the dreaded “martial arts thrustsÃ¢â‚¬Â and rakes the eyes. I wasn’t aware that “stall fuÃ¢â‚¬Â was a recognized art. He goes for a piledriver, but Knobbs reverses it and the crowd pops like it was Flair-Steamboat or something. That’s a hot crowd. Fatu dumps him and Afa gets the obligatory cheapshot in, and Fatu clubs him from the apron and gets a slam on the floor. Back in, it’s chinlock time! Knobbs breaks free and punts him to come back, and slugs away. Clothesline, and Fatu does his usual 0.75 Jannetty sell of it, and he pounds away in the corner. Blind charge hits boot, however, and Fatu gets the tainted victory at 9:43. Extra points to Bobby Heenan for spending about a minute desperately trying to get in a lame joke about the fans being able to count to 10. Okay, not really. Ã‚Â¼* This would be 0 for 1.
– Sidenote: If anyone ever brought one of those obnoxious air-horns with them to a show I was attending, I’d be tempted to feed it to them.
– Doink the Clown v. Kamala. It’s 93, so it’s still cool evil Doink played by Matt Borne. Gee, I wonder if he can outsmart Kamala? Could be tough. Kamala shoves him down to start (after a funny bit with the ref searching Doink and finding a billy-club hidden in his tights), but Doink takes him down and stomps away. He goes to an armbar, but Kamala chops out, so Doink takes him down again with a double-leg and stomps him into another armbar. Kamala powers out of it and chops away on him, setting up a corner splash, but Doink takes a powder under the ring. He pops out the other side and ambushes him, and gets a double axehandle back in the ring. He keeps working on the arm (didn’t he get the memo about this being 1993 and good wrestling not being welcome?) but Kamala catches him coming off the top and splashes him but of course can’t remember to roll him over. If Kamala knew any submissions, he’d be World champion. Doink gets a rollup for the pin at 5:52. For god knows what reason, Doink was TRYING here to get a good match out of Kamala. No wonder he quit. Ã‚Â¾* I’d probably give it a point for Doink’s efforts, though, so it’s 1 for 2.
– Headshrinker Samu v. Curt Hennig. England really seems to love Mr. Perfect. Samu powers him into the corner to start and Perfect is so jazzed that he seems ready to start bumping off shoulderblocks. Hennig grabs a headlock and they criss-cross , but Hennig ducks a cross-body and gets his own for one. Armdrag and dropkick and he stares him out of the ring. Great opening sequence. Samu stalls for a bit and then heads back in for the test of strength, which Perfect wisely avoids. Another criss-cross, but this time Samu is only him, and catches him with a clothesline for Hennig’s first bump of the match. He pounds away in the corner and throws some nice chops before headbutting him down, then tosses him, which allows Hennig to take one of his crazy bumps. They brawl on the floor and Hennig meets the stairs, and gets necksnapped on the way back in. Samu chops him down again, but misses a charge and rams his own knee into the turnbuckle. Perfect goes for the knee and gets a spinning toehold, but Samu kicks him in the face to break. That’ll work. Hennig bumps to the floor again and gets nailed by Afa. Back in, they slug it out, which is won easily with a superkick by Samu, and that gets two. Hennig fights back with chops, but gets poked in the eyes and pounded down. Another bump to the floor (and people wonder why his back was shot) and he walks it off before heading back in, but Samu takes him down and headbutts him low with the ref distracted. He drops another headbutt, for two. Samu resorts to biting and raking the back, but they exchange more chops, and Perfect loses again. He keeps coming, however, finally winning a slugfest until Samu drops, but he gets rammed into the turnbuckle to turn the tide again. He sneaks in with a small package for two, however, but Samu thumbs him in the eye to go back on offense, and tosses him again. Back in, Samu goes up, but misses the flying splash, and the Perfectplex finishes at 13:33. Man, Curt was determined to go out there and get his ass kicked until he broke two stars, and that’s exactly what he did. **1/2 Good effort from Samu, too. 2 for 3.
– Damien Demento v. Bob Backlund. I’m pretty sure I saw this matchup on a house show card here in Edmonton later that year. Damien pounds away to start but Bob gets a backslide for two. A forearm shot puts Demento on the floor, and he stops to have a conversation with the voices in his head, which makes him only slightly more normal than Ultimate Warrior at the time. Ironically, Backlund would take that gimmick and become a main eventer again in 1994. Back in, he gets a hiptoss and some devastating bodyslams. He goes to a chinlock and that goes on for a while. Backlund fights out and armdrags him, and gets a sunset flip for two. Damien bails and catches Bob with a cheapshot, then heads back in and pounds on him a bit. Legdrop gets two. Back to the chinlock and he half-heartedly works on the back, but Backlund mercifully rolls him up for the pin at 7:56. This one had ME talking to the voices in my head. DUD 2 for 4
– Brooklyn Brawler v. Typhoon. Oh, man, lucky Brits, getting this kind of main event action. JR thinks Typhoon is the favorite here. No shit, dude. Brawler dodges him for a bit, but finally goes for a lockup and gets tossed. Back in, Typhoon keeps overpowering him and gets a big boot and a dropkick to send him back out again. Back in, Typhoon misses an elbow and Brawler lays in the boots and chokes him out. That gets two. Brawler hits the chinlock and that goes on long enough to wear another hole in his shirt. Typhoon fights out, but gets stomped down again. Brawler goes for a slam, which goes about as well as you’d expect, and a corner splash and powerslam kill him dead at 8:41. Who in their right mind books Fred Ottman v. Steve Lombardi to go that long? Ã‚Â¼* 2 for 5.
– Intercontinental title: Shawn Michaels v. Crush. Shawn tries a slam, but gets powered down. This is during the era where Crush dressed like a reject from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Crush grabs a headlock and squeezes, then goes to a bearhug, but Shawn pokes him in the eyes to break. A backbreaker puts Shawn on the floor, however. Back in, Shawn slugs away, but Crush no-sells a clothesline and presses him. Clothesline puts Shawn back on the floor, as he seems to be trying to win the Bump Battle against Hennig or something. Back in, Crush tosses him around, but Shawn dodges a charge and knees him out of the ring. Shawn sends him into the post and hammers away on the neck back in. He drops an elbow off the middle rope, but Crush won’t stay down. DDT gets two. Shawn hits the chinlock and goes for the superkick, but Crush catches the foot and clotheslines him down. Big boot and Shawn bumps all over the place, and Crush gets a suplex and legdrop. Shawn wisely takes a break and grabs the title, and it’s a countout at 8:51. He did that finish a lot in 1993. Shawn tried against all odds to get a good match out of Crush, but couldn’t get over the hump. *1/2 2 for 6.
– Lex Luger v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Yes, this is really our main event. Yokozuna is at ringside to survey things, and they’ve spent the whole show pounding home that Mr. Perfect is watching Lex Luger, so expect a DQ finish. Luger powers him into the corner, but gets clotheslined a few times. Duggan slugs him down, but gets clotheslined himself. Oh, the irony. Luger hits the chinlock, but the power of 10,000 Brits chanting “USAÃ¢â‚¬Â while blissfully unaware of the irony propels him to escape. Luger elbows him down for two. Duggan slugs back, but runs into a knee. Luger goes back to the chinlock, but Duggan fights out again and slugs away in the corner. Luger tosses him, however, and Yokozuna sits on him and tosses him back in, and Luger uses the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DEATH, but as predicted, Mr. Perfect runs in for the DQ at 6:42. It turns into the obligatory four-man brawl, with Luger and Yoko teaming up on Perfect. Oh, the irony. Oh, the suck. Oh, my head after 90 minutes of hearing those damn air-horns. Ã‚Â¼* 2 for 7.
The Bottom Line #2:
Definitely not a show you want to go out of your way to get or anything, unless you REALLY need to see a good match between Hennig and Samu, because the rest from that point on is god-awful stuff. The atmosphere was good, but the wrestling couldn’t keep up with it.
The Bottom Bottom Line:
Well, two losers this time around, but that’s the chance you take. Until next time