WWF Intercontinental Championship
The Texas Tornado (c) vs. Mr. Perfect
I must have seen this match about thirty times on these tapes, and none of them have been much good. This is exclusive to this tape, from the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Canada in September 1990. The Maple Leaf Gardens has a really unique look to it. That is one thing I miss from wrestling, because in later years every arena looked the same. You could never identify where the WWE was from just looking at the arena like you could in the 80s and 90s. Everything became so homogenized, even with classics like MSG and Boston Garden. There is not really a shine here to speak of, and I don’t think I have ever seen a Perfect match start so slowly. He just holds a sleeper for a good two or three minutes. Tornado fights out but ends up in the sleeper again, this time with Perfect taking it to the mat. It is tedious. Hayes thinks it’s a wrestling clinic. It’s not. All we are seeing is two guys phoning it in. Tornado bleeds from the nose, FROM A SLEEPER! Perfect eventually hits the rolling neck snap and catches a near fall from a cradle. However, he misses a dropkick when Tornado keeps hold of the ropes and he flurries with some punches. He hits the Tornado Punch, knocking Perfect out of the ring. Tornado follows him outside and gets thrown into the post, with Perfect beating the count to win the match. That was dire. None of the usual big bumping from Perfect and they spent the majority of the match in rest holds. One of the least entertaining Perfect matches you will ever see.
Final Rating: ¼*
Superfly Jimmy Snuka vs. The Barbarian
We are at the same venue, but from a few months earlier in June 1990. Snuka is wearing all-black, which is a change. He actually looks a little better. They do literally nothing other than walk around, and in Snuka’s case bark, for the first three minutes. This tape could have been called “Half-Assed House Show Matches”. My god DO SOMETHING please! Stalling and stalling some more here. Snuka looks more wild than ever today too, his eyes are crazy! Barbarian finally takes over, and beats on Snuka with punches, stomps and a clothesline. They end up outside and Snuka eats the ring post in an exact repeat of a spot in the first match. Snuka makes it back into the ring with a sunset flip, but Barbarian drops down and goes for a pin of his own before we go to a Barbarian bearhug. Holy shit, this is boring. They have been so slow and lazy that they are flirting with negative stars now. Mooney calls it an “exhausting encounter” and he is absolutely right, but he probably means it in a different way than I do. Snuka comes back with a headbutt and gives Barbarian double chops to the neck in the corner. A headbutt from the top to a standing Barbarian knocks him down, but he takes an inordinate amount of time going for the cover. Snuka has got to be on something here, he is not at the races at all. Barbarian takes the victory by rolling up Snuka with his feet on the ropes, then he simply leaves. That was appalling. The lack of effort was insulting.
Final Rating: -*
Earthquake vs. Tugboat
I might cry. I don’t even care where this is from or when, I just don’t give a damn. This has the potential to be even worse than that last atrocity! Tugboat matches automatically start on negative stars anyway because he is the worst wrestler there has ever been. What a gormless, moronic looking goon. Every time he hits a move he looks like he is proud of himself for being able to pull it off without botching it. His attire is among the worst I have ever seen as well. He even sells his OWN headlock, by grimacing and gurning. You can stop posing as well Quake; those arms are bingo wings, not muscles. Tell you what though, he has an incredible dropkick on him for a fat mofo, it is mightily impressive. Tugboat’s dropkick is not. He has some of the worst punches you will ever see. Faker than Cena. Oh look, a DQ. Awful nonsense, but it stays away from the negatives because of the kickass dropkick.
Final Rating: DUD
The Legion of Doom & The Ultimate Warrior vs. Demolition
This is September 1990 from MSG. Two months later they would do this match at Survivor Series, with Texas Tornado and Mr. Perfect making up the rest of the numbers. There is a funny moment as Warrior does his usual charge to the ring, and he absolutely annihilates a photographer, he just runs through him and sends him flying about five feet. Brilliant! Animal starts things off with Smash, and gets the better of him with a powerslam. Hawk in with Crush next, and he shrugs off his offense before hitting a dropkick and a flying tackle. Hawk is apparently in one of those moods where he can’t be bothered selling. Warrior comes in for the first time and wipes out Demolition single-handedly, before Ax cuts him off. Quick double and triple teams from Demolition take us into the first heat section of the match. Yes, Ax did of course take over after Warrior missed the big splash. For those keeping count, that is EVERY time so far. Everything breaks down, and Warrior gets a tag to Animal, who briefly takes out all of Demolition. Animal ends up down and Crush locks on a bearhug centre ring, but Animal reverses it into one of his own, before the rest of Demolition get involved. More heat on Animal, as Demolition cut the ring in half. This is a typical overly long MSG match and it has also been very slow and dull like the rest of the matches so far, with far too many rest holds for a six man! What a woeful start to this tape. Animal gets a desperation clothesline and finally makes the hot tag to Warrior, who goes crazy and wipes everyone out. Flying tack from Warrior to Smash, and the splash ends it. Wow a clean win. And that is about the only thing I can say about this match that is positive. So, so boring.
Final Rating: ¼*
The Legion of Doom vs. Demolition
We are in Syracuse, New York for this, two months later in November 1990. Demolition are Crush and Smash for this match, which I really hope is better than the last one. I don’t consider Crush and Smash to be the real Demolition, and I really dislike Demolition’s heel music. A brawl breaks out early on, which the LOD get the better off when Hawk clotheslines Smash and Animal hits a belly-to-belly suplex on Crush. Demolition bail, but this has already seen more action than there was in the last match. Though, LOD won’t even sell for Demolition, they have had complete control here. Fuji trips Hawk, which leads to the usual cane spot on the outside of the ring. Demolition control the bout now, and Crush puts on a bearhug. The rest holds continue when Smash gets in the ring, as he cranks on the neck vice. Demolition were really boring while in control of matches as heels, it is just rest holds one after the other. They were capable of really good matches though, but by late 1990 they were very much close to finished. This has been strictly formula and not done in a particularly interesting way. A Demolition Decapitation attempt is broken up by Animal. The announcers don’t even mention that it’s their finisher, and then Alfred Hayes buries Crush, by saying how shit an elbow drop he does is. Hawk gets a clothesline and Animal gets the hot tag, wiping out Demolition on his own with a double clotheslines and powerslam. Fuji’s involvement brings the advantage back to Demolition, and Crush hits a knee drop from the second rope. Back suplex from Smash, who then takes an age setting up a piledriver while Hawk and Crush brawl outside the ring. Smash was pissed off with Hawk for being out of position. You could hear him screaming “come on!” to Hawk, who then climbed the ropes and hit a clothesline for an LOD win. The match was better than the six man it followed, but still a massive letdown.
Final Rating: *
Call of the Action
Highlights of the future “Franchise” Shane Douglas, who easily beats masked jobber The Black Demon. Hayes has a crush on him, saying he has bright blue eyes and rugged good looks that beguile the women. They beguile you too pal. The nonsense Hayes talks during these segments is unparalleled. He gets far too excited, SHOUTING into the mike as he calls moves incorrectly. Fun to see Douglas during his brief WWF run, but a tiresome segment.
Marty Jannetty vs. Paul Roma
This is from the same show as the six man tag earlier on the tape. I have made my feelings about Roma perfectly clear on many occasions. However, these two are evenly matched in size so it could be ok, as long as Jannetty can be bothered. Alfred Hayes insists on calling Hercules “Power”. He really winds me up. Jannetty has been out of the ring for ages here, they are just stalling and stalling some more, which suggests to me another overly long MSG match. After a brief shine, we go to a long heat segment, much of which is Roma showboating, with the odd move in between. What a tosser. While he was a dick as a face, he is a complete waste of time as a heel and dull to watch. This chinlock has lasted FORVER, this whole match has. A comeback attempt from Jannetty is thwarted, this time with a clothesline, so we go back to the chinlock again. Roma doesn’t even attempt to increase the pressure or do ANYTHING to make this hold interesting. I can feel the stars decreasing the longer he holds the move on. The lazy shit is just laying there doing nothing at all. I am coming to dread MSG shows because of how unspeakably long the shitty undercard matches are. Jannetty comes back with a suplex, and then takes charge of the match as he rallies on Roma. Herc eventually has seen enough, and he holds Jannetty’s leg while Roma pins him for the three. Tedious match, because half of it was rest holds. I have no time for Roma. I don’t blame Jannetty at all for not wanting to put much effort in. I mean, what is the point when you are in there with “Romeo”?
Final Rating: DUD
Ted DiBiase vs. The Big Bossman
Oh hell, a fan favourite match, as if this tape could get any worse. It doesn’t matter who is in the ring, the fan favourites curse is sure to make it unwatchable. This is from August 1990 in Providence, Rhode Island, and right away Bossman’s buttons are undone, which of course means he must be blown up already. My theories hold water dammit! DiBiase goes to leave because Bossman is wielding his nightstick. He protests to the ref that he didn’t sign a contract for the match to get beaten with a stick. He has a point. A lot of stalling here, I would love to see some workrate on display somewhere on this tape…DiBiase finally gets in the ring and Bossman takes him apart with a flurry of shots and a reverse atomic drop. DiBiase rolls out of the ring to compose himself, but Bossman follows him and continues the onslaught outside the ring, slamming his head into the ring and the steps. He then takes his belt off and chokes and whips DiBiase, which must surely be classed as unreasonable police brutality! DiBiase hasn’t got a move in yet, but he gets his chance when Bossman misses a splash, then he picks up the nightstick in the corner and waffles Bossman in the stomach with it while the ref is distracted by Virgil. Great selling and bumping from Bossman, typified by the way he takes a whip to the ring post. It’s one of the best bumps of the move I have seen. Bossman had a very unique and interesting way of taking stuff, he was an underrated talent at his peak. DiBiase returns the favour from earlier by throwing Bossman into the steps, and continues to pound on him in the ring. A double axe handle from the middle rope takes Bossman down, but DiBiase waits to capitalise. The beating continues, and a clothesline eventually sends Bossman to the mat, but he flurries with a number of quick punches to the stomach. Despite this is a fan favourites match and it has been good! Bossman is really on today, and DiBiase looks motivated. A bearhug from DiBiase slows Bossman and the match pace, but he fights out and a double clothesline sends both of them down. DiBiase goes for the axe handle from the middle again, but Bossman catches him with a gut punch and takes him down. Bossman fires up and takes DiBiase out, but then brings in Virgil and wipes him out with a big boot. Bossman beats on both guys as the bell rings. It’s a shitty DQ win for Ted DiBiase, which doesn’t make any sense. I think he is disqualified for bringing Virgil into the ring, but it’s just nonsense. A poor end to a good little match, which surpassed my low expectations. The best thing on the tape so far.
Final Rating: **½
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Mr. Perfect (c) vs. Jake Roberts
So a rare title shot for Roberts, this coming from Utica, New York in August 1990. They are two upper mid-tier guys who rarely interacted on TV, but I think there will be a styles clash. Either the sound levels are all wrong or the crowd really can’t be bothered with this, which is strange. Roberts survives an early Perfect onslaught and then pounds him with about a dozen short knee drops to the arm, a limb that Jake then controls with an armbar. A looooong armbar. This has been primarily on the mat so far. They briefly exchange holds before Jake returns to the armbar, and each time Perfect tries to escape, he receives an elbow to the face. He leaves the ring to confer with Heenan, but Jake drags him back in and goes right back to the hold. Perfect loses his cool, and receives a backdrop over the rope. Outside the ring, Perfect finally gets a foothold by sending Roberts into the post. For a moment there I assumed Danny Davis was refereeing, because Jake had been outside the ring for so long without a count out occurring. The rules are out the window. Perfect turns the tables by working on Jake’s arm, putting on a hammerlock with his leg and then the traditional variation with his hands. It’s another long and slightly tiresome rest hold, because they are not going anywhere with it. I love mat wrestling when it is done right and for a purpose, but this is just arm locks to eat the time, as neither guy has any moves that would be especially affected by them. Perfect essentially cuddles Roberts with a move Hayes calls the “sugar sack” which he claims has a devastating effect. Yeah it does, it leads to snuggling. A resurgence from Roberts from the corner with a boot and a series of punches leads to Perfect spinning 360. Jake signals for the DDT but Heenan comes in and makes the save, leading to a DQ. Perfect and Heenan threaten to Perfectplex Jake onto Damien, but Jake blocks and hits the DDT. He then targets Heenan, who bails quickly and saves Perfect from the snake. Not the best of Perfect, and this has been a bad tape for him. They did far too many rest holds and not a great deal else, and it was blighted by another non-finish. A match typical of the whole tape unfortunately.
Final Rating: *¼
Summary: Well, that stood out, in fact it all stood out as being really bad, right from the first match. One of the weakest tapes overall that we have covered, with little if anything to get excited over. Usually there is a hidden gem or at least a strong encounter that stops the tape from being utterly worthless, but that is sadly not the case here. Poor match choices from Video Control, makes this a definite miss. Avoid Supertape III, it is complete crap.