The SmarK 24/7 Rant for WWF Global Warfare ’93
– I don’t even remember if I’ve done this one in a Coliseum rant, but it’s on and I’ve got a couple of hours free because it’s my birthday, so let’s do it. This one fits into the rather nebulous “Destination Worldwide” theme for September.
– Hosted by Jimmy Hart. He admits to writing all the theme music for the guys on the tape, which is the first time I can remember them actually acknowledging his role with the company before the days when kayfabe was shattered.
Intercontinental title: Shawn Michaels v. Crush
From Sheffield, England. This is actually a repeat of another tape called UK Rampage 93, except with different commentary team. I’ll refrain from my usual jokes about Crush’s day-glo outfit and mullet out of respect for the dead. Crush grabs a headlock and then blocks a leapfrog with a bearhug, but Shawn goes to the eyes to escape. Shawn uses his speed, but walks into a backbreaker and takes a powder. Crush is dumb enough to chase and gets caught coming back in, but he uses MULLET POWER and no-sells. OK, I’m human, sue me. Press slam for Shawn and he follows with a clothesline to dump him. It’s really kinda cool to watch Shawn manoeuvre himself around the ring so that Crush actually looks like he knows what he’s doing. Back in, Crush charges and misses, and Shawn knees him to the floor and introduces him to the steel railing. And the post. No blood is evident, because it’s 93 and Vince was still paranoid about that sort of thing. Because I mean, you can smash a guy’s head into a steel ringpost, but as long as he doesn’t BLEED, it’s still family entertainment! Back in, Shawn hits him with a pair of double sledges off the top, and a DDT for two. Shawn goes to the chinlock, but Crush fights up and clotheslines him. Big boot and delayed vertical suplex follow, and a legdrop sends Shawn out of the ring again. Shawn decides to grab the belt and take a hike at 8:51. Geez, Crush never even tried a pin, why would Shawn run? OK-ish thanks entirely to Shawn. **
Yokozuna v. Hacksaw Duggan
From Paris. Two matches, two dead people. I don’t see how Duggan wearing an American flag in France is supposed to make him a babyface, but it seems to work. In fact, he even gets them to chant “USA”. I have no words. He attacks Yoko to start and grabs the board, but that just gives Yoko a chance to lay him out. Yokozuna is wearing a weird black leotard instead of his usual outfit here. Duggan slugs back, but Yoko elbows him down and chokes him out on the ropes. Duggan fights back but Yoko casually chops him down and drops the Hulkbuster legdrop. And now it’s the bearhug. Even Bobby actually being on a roll with his funny lines (“He hit Duggan right between the eyes. And that’s hard, because they’re moving in different directions.”) can’t make this one entertaining. Duggan slugs out, but Yoko pounds him down again and goes back to the bearhug. Yoko squeezes him until he looks even dumber than usual, but Duggan slugs out yet again and manages to dodge a blind charge. He finally gets him down with a clothesline and sets up with the clothesline, but Fuji trips him and the Banzai Butt Splash finishes at 7:30. Duggan knows how to time the hope spots, but this was just a lot of punching and walking around. *1/4
WWF tag titles: Money Inc v. The Steiners
From Barcelona, Spain. The arena looks like an airplane hanger. This must be the same show that produced the Bam Bam v. Bret match on the Bret Hart DVD. The Steiners attack to start and toss them. As we start proper, Dibiase pounds Rick down and grabs a headlock, taking him down for two. Rick comes back with a belly to belly for two, and the Steiners work him over in the corner. The camera, I should note, is locked in the hard camera position and they’re not using any handhelds for this, which is like watching a match on Nitro where someone is bleeding. You don’t realize how good the directors are until you’re forced to watch a static angle like this. The Steiners trade off on Dibiase’s arm as the commentary team talks in diplomatic terms about how dead the crowd is. And then the camera pans over to the crowd and stays there for a couple of minutes for no discernable reason. Even Bobby starts complaining about it. Why would they include this match with that camera work? Finally we’ve got someone on the hard camera and a handheld at ringside for a more normal looking shoot, as IRS bails and Scott chases him and grabs him by the tie, necksnapping him with it for two. Dibiase trips up Scott and IRS hits him from behind and beats on him on the floor to take over. Back in, IRS drops an elbow for two. Dibiase apparently flies in from the heavens with an axehandle to get two, as the announcers are just burying the camera work here. It’s actually more entertaining than this dull match. Money Inc trades off in the corner with kicky punchy stuff and Dibiase gets two before going to the sleeper. Scott sends him into the turnbuckle to break and makes the hot tag to Rick, although the crowd doesn’t seem to care. Steinerlines finally wake up the crowd and it’s BONZO GONZO. Dibiase tries to piledrive Rick, but Scott clotheslines him for two. Rick powerslams Dibiase and tosses IRS, and Scott hits the Frankensteiner for two, but IRS hits him with the belt to draw the DQ at 10:21. The Steiners would win the belts shortly after this. This was typical lazy Steiners and lazier Money Inc, as they went out and did the minimum kicking and punching. ** Not that I’m thinking it’s realistic for the Steiners to go out and suplex the shit out of every opponent they face, but everyone just looked bored and lethargic here.
Mr. Perfect v. Headshrinker Samu
Another retread from the UK Rampage show, but at least it was a good match. While the last match was lacking anyone dead, we’re back in form here with the late Curt Hennig. Samu powers him into the corner off the lockup, as this is one of those matches where Curt is going to make the other guy look like a star by bumping until he’s dead. Perfect grabs a headlock and they criss-cross into a missed bodypress by Samu, and Perfect gets his own for two. Dropkick and armdrags send Samu crawling out of the ring. Back in, Samu wants the test of strength, but Perfect is smart enough to decline. Another criss-cross and Samu catches him with a clothesline, giving us another dramatic bump, and he slugs away in the corner. Samu tosses him, showing why Perfect could never win the Royal Rumble: He just can’t resist getting thrown over the top during any match he’s in. Samu beats on him outside, and then necksnaps him on the apron, but misses a charge in the corner. Perfect goes to work on the knee with a spinning toehold, but Samu goes to the eye to break and Perfect takes another bump to the floor. Yes, off a THUMB TO THE EYE. Now there’s a guy who loves his artform. Back in, Samu bits him, but Perfect fights back until a superkick puts him down again and gets two. This is why I love Hennig: Samu’s this useless midcard tag team wrestler, and Curt just goes out there and sells every little thing that he does like he’s getting mauled by a grizzly bear or something, even though he’s the big star and the guy going over in the end. Why? Because if you’re a big star and you go out and squash some midcarder, who have you beat? Nobody. But if you go out and give him everything before pinning him, you’ve given the fans a much better match and made yourself look all the better. Anyway, back in the ring, Samu goes low with a headbutt , but Perfect fights back with a chop before taking another shot to the eyes. They slug it out and now Samu goes down, but only to hit Hennig in the junk. He rams Perfect into the turnbuckles and Hennig does his great shaky leg selling of it, but comes back with a small package for two. And the fans are into it, because he’s taken such a beating that it’s a surprise when he comes back like that. He takes another trip to the floor, but this time he drags Samu down and wraps his leg around the post. Samu comes back with a slam and goes up, but misses the flying splash, and now you’re gonna see a Perfectplex, at 13:32. Fantastic effort and I enjoyed it even more than the first time I saw it. ***
Bam Bam Bigelow v. Bret Hart
From Barcelona, and this was the match on the Bret Hart DVD that Bret wanted in place of the King of the Ring match. And yeah, another dead participant. Bammer overpowers him to start, and Bret takes five. Bam Bam pounds the back, but Bret comes back and works the arm. Bammer goes back to the back, but Bret gets a crossbody for two. Bret wins a slugfest and elbows him out, but follows with a dive off the apron and gets caught. Bret, post, post, Bret. Perhaps not satisfied with the quality of the original introduction, Bigelow does it again. Back in, Bret gets sent into the corner and Bigelow goes to the back, leading to a bearhug. Bret reverses to a headlock, so Bigelow backdrops out of it. He adds headbutts to the back, and into a body vice. Bret reverses out of that and gets a backdrop suplex of his own, but Bam Bam hits him with the double-underhook backbreaker. Flying headbutt misses and Bret pummels him in the corner to come back. Legsweep gets two. Clothesline gets two. Bulldog sets up the Sharpshooter, but Bam Bam fights up with another bearhug. Bret tries another backdrop, but Bam Bam falls on top for two. Bret comes back with the victory roll for the pin at 11:56. Not much different than the King of the Ring finals, actually. ***
Doink the Clown v. Crush
Back to Paris. Doink tries the sneak attack but gets beaten up in the corner and bails. Crush follows with a clubbing blow off the apron, and Doink runs away and does the sneak attack again. And it still doesn’t work. Crush gets the atomic drop and chokes him down, and a backbreaker follows. Crush puts a headscissor on him and goes to the bearhug, into a belly to belly. He goes up, but misses a kneedrop, and Doink goes to work on it. He stomps on it in the corner, but Crush fights back, until Doink takes him down with a kneecrusher. Doink goes up and lands on Crush’s foot, and Crush makes the comeback after not really selling anything in the first place. Backbreaker, but Doink goes to the eyes, which Crush no-sells. He boots Doink out of the ring and applies the head vice on the apron, but that’s illegal and the ref forces the break. Doink calls it a day at 8:14. Crush had no interest in giving anything to Doink here, and Doink didn’t have much interest in bumping for him either. *
Scott Steiner v. IRS
From Milan. I’m disappointed that IRS didn’t go for the cheap heat by telling the crowd that their hero Al Capone was a convicted tax cheat or something. They trade hammerlocks to start and IRS goes to the ropes when that goes badly for him. Scott pulls him away by the leg, but IRS gets an enzuigiri and Scott bails. Back in, he comes back with a powerslam for two. He goes to a headlock and they do some nice simple stuff off that until IRS breaks with a knee to the gut. Scott quickly takes him down with a cradle for two, however, and a backslide for two. IRS bails before any glimmer of the old Mike Rotundo can show through the layers of gimmick, and he stalls before heading back in. Steiner grabs a headlock until IRS takes him down with a drop toehold, but Scott reverses to a hammerlock again and then clotheslines him for two. IRS bails again and stalls. Back in, Scott tries the headlock again, but gets tossed to allow Irwin to take over. Back in, Scott elbows him in the gut to come back, and whips IRS into the corner, only to run into a boot. Irwin gets the cheap pin, but the ref waves it off. Scott comes back with a sunset flip for the real pin at 9:53. Weak finish, decent enough match. **1/2
Undertaker v. Yokozuna
I would assume this is the main event. Still in Milan for this. Big stall and staredown to start, as the match finally starts 2:30 after the bell. Undertaker quickly gets a DDT, but misses an elbow and Yoko clotheslines him to the floor. They brawl on the floor and Yoko takes over there. Back in, UT no-sells and chokes him out in the corner, but walks into an elbow in the corner. Yoko follows with the Hulkbuster, but UT sits up. Clothesline puts him down again and Yoko stops to celebrate, but UT sits up again. Yoko hits him with the salt bucket to draw a DQ at 5:21. Uh, yeah. At least it was short. DUD
Typically bad early 90s lame-o finishes aside, this was a very watchable tape, albeit with nothing to make you go out of your way to see it or anything. I’d recommend giving it a look if you’ve got a couple of hours to kill.