A2Z Analysiz: WWE – The Best of Intercontinental Championship

DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005

This is a re-release of an old Coliseum Video. We start with a brief highlight video, featuring many people that have nothing to do with the Intercontinental Title. Gorilla Monsoon is the host of this particular program, and he wastes little time in getting to the action.

MATCH #1: Intercontinental Title Match – Shawn Michaels vs. Crush, Sheffield, England, 4.11.93

Commentator Randy Savage puts Crush over as the Number One Contender, but the week before this at WrestleMania IX he lost to Doink the Clown. Crush easily overpowers the champion in the early going. He hits a hard backbreaker and Michaels rolls to the floor. Back in the ring Crush stays in control for a bit, until Michaels avoids a charge in the corner and hits a knee that sends Crush to the floor. Michaels follows him out and slams his head on the guardrail. He breaks the count and then comes back out and pushes him head-first into the ring post. Back in the ring the champion stays in control and hits a series of axe handles, and an elbow off the second rope. Crush just won’t stay down, so Michaels hits a DDT, which only gets two. Michaels then puts on a reverse chin lock. Crush makes the comeback and throws the champion around. He hits a suplex and a legdrop, but then allows Michaels to roll to the floor. He grabs his belt and purposely gets counted out at 8:51. I was never a big fan of Crush, and he sold almost nothing for the Intercontinental Champion. Shawn didn’t seem particularly motivated here either. Crush drags Michaels back to the ring and puts on the head crusher thing, and thinks he wins the title. What a goof.
Rating: *½

MATCH #2: Intercontinental Title Match – Bret Hart vs. Skinner, Prime Time Wrestling, 8.24.92

Skinner blows an early leapfrog attempt and Savage calls him on it. Even so Skinner is able to toss Hart to the floor, and follows him out. He hits Hart with his alligator claw a couple of times and then wraps it around his neck. He steps on Hart’s throat and then locks on an abdominal stretch. I just realized that Jim Ross is on commentary but I thought he didn’t make his debut until WrestleMania IX? Hart finally comes back with a sunset flip but Skinner kicks out at two and hits a shoulder-breaker. He goes up top, but Hart was playing possum. He takes control now, only to run into a boot in the corner. Skinner then tries working on the legs, including going for the same thing Mr. Perfect tried at SummerSlam ‘91. Hart simply grabs the leg and puts on the Sharpshooter and Skinner immediately taps out at 6:16. That was a pretty typical TV match for the time, and Bret was obviously phoning it in.
Rating: *¼

Gorilla Monsoon is back to hype the remaining matches on the DVD we have already purchased. They all involve Shawn Michaels.

MATCH #3: Intercontinental Title Match – Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty, Raw, 7.19.93

Jannetty stupidly turns his back and Michaels attacks, gaining the early advantage. The challenger fights back with a couple of quick pinning combinations for near falls. He’s able to dump Michaels to the floor, and the champion is in no hurry to get back into the ring. He does come in, and they continue to go hold-for-hold, with Jannetty looking a little bit sharper in the early going here. He backs Michaels into the corner and the referee takes an errant shot. That gives Michaels a very brief advantage but Jannetty is soon back on his high-energy offense. He slows it down by going after the arm. Michaels fights back and hits a back elbow, and then tries charging into the corner. Jannetty puts his boots up in the corner at a charging Michaels, and then hits a clothesline off the second rope. He goes up top and Michaels moves, but Jannetty lands on his feet. He hits a DDT and apparently pins Michaels to win the title at 5:08. However, Michaels had his feet on the ropes, and when Bobby Heenan shows the referee the video proof, he restarts the match.

Jannetty is in control and he puts on a sleeper hold. Michaels fights out with a back suplex. He dumps Jannetty to the floor and follows him out just to bring him back in. They run into each other and Michaels winds up on the arena floor. Diesel helps him get back to the ring and we cut to commercial. We come back to Jannetty still being in control, but Michaels hits a double axe handle off the top rope for a two-count. He puts on a reverse chinlock and Jannetty powers his way out, only to get hit with a knee to the gut, and then goes right back to the chin lock. It’s more of a front face lock really. Jannetty powers out of the hold and crotches Michaels on the top rope. Michaels is in trouble now, as Jannetty hits punches and a flying back elbow for two. He tries a back body drop which Michaels blocks to try a piledriver. Jannetty gets a rana out of that for two. He whips Michaels to the corner and misses a charge. Michaels tries a cross-body block and Jannetty reverses it for a near-fall of his own. He follows up with the Rocker Dropper for a close two-count. Michaels then gets trapped in the ropes, but is able to move when Jannetty charges and he goes flying to the floor. Diesel sets the unconscious Jannetty in the ring and Michaels gets the pin. I hear the uncut version of this match is about 23 minutes, but this version ran less than 15 minutes with the two segments, so it’s definitely clipped. Even so it was really good stuff for TV.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #4: Intercontinental Title Match – Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect, SummerSlam, 8.30.93

This is a bit of an infamous match. McMahon tries to sell this as some kind of “mentor versus student” match, but there’s really nothing to base that conclusion on. Shawn gets the first takedown and gloats about it. Perfect responds with one of his own. Shawn puts on a headlock and uses the hair to maintain the advantage. They have a nice wrestling sequence that ends with Perfect awkwardly clotheslining Shawn and then going to work on the arm. Shawn escapes and tries an elbow drop and Perfect moves out of the way and they’re both back to their feet. They trade more maneuvers and counter each other, and once again ends with Perfect hitting a clothesline and going back to the arm. Shawn gets out of it and tries going to the top rope but Perfect armdrags him down and goes back to the armbar. Shawn escapes and tries a dropkick, but Perfect catches him and catapults him over the top rope and to the floor. Diesel distracts Perfect and Shawn hits a Superkick. Shawn hits an ax handle off the apron and rolls Perfect into the ring and works on the back. Mr. Perfect fights back and nails Shawn in the face with a nice dropkick. He hits a back body drop, a knee lift, and an inverted atomic drop for a near-fall. Moments later he hits the Perfect-Plex but Diesel pulls him out to the floor to break up the count. Perfect slugs away on Diesel and nails Shawn coming off the apron. He throws Shawn back in the ring right on top of the referee, distracting him long enough for Diesel to throw Perfect into the ring post and he gets counted out at 11:18. The finish seems unnecessarily screwy, but this match isn’t nearly as bad as it’s made out to be. Sure, with the caliber of these two guys I can see why expectations were high, and it certainly didn’t meet them but it’s not bad at all. Shawn and Diesel lay Perfect out after the match, and then gloat about it to Todd Pettengill on their way to the back. Perfect wakes up and gives chase.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #5: Intercontinental Title Match – Shawn Michaels vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Raw, 5.3.93

Michaels avoids Duggan in the early going, while the crowd chants “USA” in support of the challenger. Vince McMahon on commentary is certain that Duggan will win the title tonight. They finally lock up after several minutes of stalling by the champion. Duggan hits a couple of clotheslines and Michaels powders again. Back in the ring Michaels tries a boot to the gut but Duggan catches it, spins Michaels around, and delivers a series of punches. Michaels once again powders. This time he tries to escape all the way to the back, but Duggan carries him back to the ring and we go to commercial.

We come back and Michaels is in control, dropping a series of elbows. Duggan fights back with what he does best: punches and a shoulderblock. Michaels hits a knee to the gut and resumes control. He sends Duggan to the floor and follows him out with an axe handle off the apron. Back in the ring Michaels puts on the chinlock. Duggan fires up and elbows his way out of the hold. He goes back to punching, and hits some mounted punches in the corner. He hits a big body slam and sets up for the Three Point Stance and hits it. Michaels rolls to the floor and tries walking to the back again and Duggan chases after him. He clotheslines Michaels over the guardrail and takes the countout victory at 11:17. Michaels was stalling at a Larry Zbyszko-like level, and it was fun up to a certain point. Duggan did what he was good at, so the match was better than I thought it would be.
Rating: **½

Gorilla thanks us for watching. No Gorilla, thank YOU.

The Pulse: This is another one from the WWE bargain bin, and it’s certainly a worthy purchase for the seven or eight bucks I paid for it. The last three matches are decent to very good, and as far as I know is the only official release of the Michaels vs. Jannetty match, which was voted PWI’s Match of the Year in 1993. That alone makes this worth picking up.

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