#WF089 – Mega Matches

James Dixon:

 

Tito Santana vs. Earthquake
This is from October 1990, a few months after Earthquake’s match at SummerSlam with Hulk Hogan. Sean Mooney and Alfred Hayes take their usual position in the announce booth, and this is a Coliseum Video exclusive. Lucky us, eh? You know, as much as Earthquake was pretty decent for a big guy and could move around well, I never ever bought him in a top line spot. I think when they pushed him against Hogan, it was too much. He should have been the guy that was used to put babyfaces over on their way up the card, not positioned as the top heel. I guess that was his only real main event program, but he shouldn’t have been in any, he just doesn’t look like a top guy. His physique was poor, not just because he was fat, but because he had no muscle definition at all. His gear was very midcard too, and baby blue doesn’t exactly inspire fear. I just don’t think he ever had that “x factor” about him. As expected, Quake controls much of this with power, but Tito keeps rallying and eventually hits the flying forearm to knock him down, but only gets a two. A powerslam and elbows from Quake set up the Vertical Splash, but Tugboat runs in and stops it. What the hell is the justification for this useless piece of shit coming out? Earthquake has done nothing wrong, he was just going to cleanly and fairly win the match. He comes in with a clothesline to block the splash, and it is to the stomach, just horrid. He is the worst WWF wrestler ever. Dino Bravo comes out to even things up and we have a brawl on our hands. Rhythm & Blues join the fray and combine to bodyslam Tugboat. Earthquake goes for the Vertical Splash on Tugboat, but Hacksaw Jim Duggan clears the heels out with his 2×4. What is this, Royal Rumble ’94? Wow, there is some talent in the ring here, eh? Why are four heels so scared of Duggan and a piece of wood? The finish and aftermath there were complete garbage.
Final Rating: *

 

Note to self: The Big Bossman does NOT like people talking about his momma!

 

Bobby Heenan vs. The Big Bossman
Heenan tries to weasel out of the match by apologising for his comments about Bossman’s mother. It doesn’t work, and we have another “Coliseum exclusive”. They are dishing us out some classics here… Actually, Bossman can work and Heenan sells great, so this could be worth watching. Heenan tries again to apologise, getting on his knees and appealing to Bossman, saying his mom is on the phone. Bossman doesn’t buy it and the match is on. Heenan attacks him with the mic, but it doesn’t work. Kick to the gut and a double axe to the back, and that is it. What a waste of time, the match was like 10 seconds. Mr. Perfect runs in and attacks Bossman, but gets caught with a big boot and thrown to the outside, as everyone continues to be involved in everyone else’s business on this tape. Rarely for something involving Heenan, it wasn’t entertaining at all.
Final Rating: DUD

 

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Sgt. Slaughter
This is a “fan favourites” match, but really, who in their right mind would want to see this? These two would go onto form a tag team when Slaughter turned babyface a year or so later, though they didn’t have a great deal of success as a team. Actually I am being too kind; they were terrible. I have made my feelings on Duggan known before. I would rather set my head on fire like Ghost Rider than watch Duggan wrestle. Duggan starts strong but a cheap shot with the flag from General Adnan allows Slaughter to take over. He fires back but gets cut off by Adnan again. He chases Slaughter’s manager to the back, but gets counted out. These matches are mercifully brief on this tape. Despite its brevity, there was still nothing redeeming about this. Afterwards, Duggan gets the Iraq flag and wipes his nose with it, then his arse, then stomps the shit out of it. Bit of a dickhead thing to do. See, I get why Duggan was so over; he appealed to the rednecks. They loved the xenophobic and blindly patriotic nature of his character. I am surprised he didn’t get ripped to shreds in Canada, especially when he used to start “USA” chants over there. Just one of the many reasons why I hate his work.
Final Rating: DUD

 

This tape had been appalling so far.

 

Bret Hart vs. The Barbarian
Ok, this is more like it. Bret is of course superb, and Barbarian is actually a pretty decent worker with the right opponent to bump for him. This comes from MSG, and Bret is the current co-holder of the tag titles. Jimmy Hart and Honky Tonk Man join Sean Mooney on commentary. It always strikes me that Barbarian and Warlord both looked so much bigger when the Powers of Pain disbanded. With their changes in appearance, they probably would have been good if they had been kept on and reunited in ’92, but with their modified personas. Powers of Pain vs. Natural Disasters could have been very interesting. If you like WrestleCrap I mean. Bret matches Barbarian move for move in a back-and-forth start, but they are really hampered by the decrepit old referee in charge of things. He takes ages to drop down and make the count, and he actually botches one too, because Barbarian kicked out but he still slapped the mat for three. I have not noticed him before, but he is especially awful here. You can see Bret getting pissed off with him. The match has been a lot of Bret on top, which for the time is maybe somewhat unexpected. Bret switches a pinfall attempt into a sunset flip and wins the match, clean. This was a time when Bret was being pushed towards a top singles spot, and they were testing how over he was on his own. The crowd responded to him well here, as they had being doing for years. Bret was really hot. They should have pushed him much sooner, though obviously it worked out ok. Shame that match was so short because it was shaping up ok, but there was not much to it really. Bret matches are generally better when they have time to develop and tell a story. It was more his brother Owen who had the unique ability to have 5-minute classics.
Final Rating:

 

The Bushwhackers vs. Rhythm & Blues
Warning, rant imminent: F*ck no. I am not watching the Bushwhackers wrestle. Oh yeah, biting their asses, nice one! Morons. I can’t take Valentine seriously with that absurd black hair either. He is biting him again, that is his hope spot! Lord Alfred Hayes calls the Bushwhackers “indestructible”! Why is the thinner one called Butch and not the fat one? Y’know, considering who was in Rhythm & Blues, two top former IC champions, the team should have been much better than they were. Oh, the Bushwhackers have got the guitars and are using them as weapons. Match over, thank god that was short. That was typical of any Bushwhackers match, just complete anti-wrestling nonsense. I have HATED this tape so far.
Final Rating: DUD

 

Sean Mooney promises a Coliseum Video exclusive that will rock our VCR! It had best be better than the other exclusives were.

 

Oh lord, it’s Dino Bravo.

 

Dino Bravo vs. Hulk Hogan
I don’t expect the workrate to improve much here. This was a few weeks before SummerSlam, where Hogan was up against Bravo’s friend Earthquake. Bossman is with Hogan, though I don’t know what he has to do with this. Once again, everyone gets involved in everyone else’s business. Small mercies though; it was originally going to be Tugboat alongside Hogan. Mooney says there has been quite a rivalry between Hogan and Bravo. I must have blinked and missed that one. They did have a house show run in 1990, in singles matches or Hogan teaming with Tugboat against Bravo and Earthquake, but they were hardly high-profile or indeed high calibre main events. Hayes asks why Bravo, the “world’s strongest man” has so far not been as strong as Hogan. The answer has got to be Python Powder. They trade arm wringers and Hogan is in complete control, using the ten punches in the corner and a big chop, but Earthquake grabs his leg and Bravo capitalises. What stand out here is the immense difference in colouring between Hogan and Bravo. Hogan’s skin colour is inhuman. Bravo is Sheamus white by comparison. Bravo is on top now, running a standard heat segment at a fairly slow pace. Earthquake interferes on the outside when the opportunity presents itself. Bearhug from Bravo as we crawl to a snail’s pace, much like with the rest of this tape. Hogan fights out of the bearhug but gets caught with a big sidewalk slam. Into the usual Hulking Up routine and Bravo’s shots no longer have an effect. Big boot, leg drop, and that is all she wrote. We inevitably break down again, and Bossman and Hogan play pinball with Quake. It’s another match with afters and another waste of time as well. Sean Mooney has been into the Rockers stash if he thinks that was a “tremendous match”.
Final Rating: ¾*

 

We go to Mudlick, Kentucky, home of Hillbilly Jim. Hillbilly Jim! If you could pick ONE wrestler to make this thing worse, it would be Hillbilly Jim.  Jim chops some wood in the snow and then introduces us to his granny, who is watching Hulk Hogan matches on a TV from the 70s. She makes Jim take his hat off inside. Yeah, manners you scruffy yokel! Maybe she should make him have a shave and get a haircut too. Jim lovingly serenades his gran/lover with his guitar. Well, we are in Kentucky… His dog looks stoned as well, or dead. What is this? Seriously, what is going on here and why am I being subjected to it? Jim demonstrates his training techniques with a large tyre. Then he practices wrestling moves on a dirty single mattress. Suddenly all becomes clear! Jim wrestles like someone who trained on a dirty mattress by himself. Now he is wrestling his dog, well, until his granny bollocks him. That was worse than anything.

 

The British Bulldog vs. Haku
On paper, it is probably the best match-up on the tape so far, so typically it is joined in progress! Jesus! This is from MSG in October 1990 and Bulldog had only just returned to the WWF that month, and he was actually in the middle of a house show run with Haku at the time. He is in control early on until Haku blocks a monkey flip with an inverted atomic drop. It is so nice to hear Gorilla Monsoon instead of Sean Mooney on commentary. This match already seems better just because of that alone. Bulldog comes back with some impressive quick pinfall attempts with an O’Connor roll and a crucifix, but Haku cuts him off again with a vicious and well executed piledriver. Haku is underrated. He managed to carry lugs like Warrior to semi-respectable showings, and he was always able to hang with the more talented guys as well. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves. This has peaks and valleys, with a few fast sequences followed by things slowing right down with chinlocks. Sleeper from Haku centre ring, but Davey Boy powers out, only for Haku to send him careening upside down into the corner, in a very nice bump. Davey is clearly trying to prove that he has still got it, especially with it being in New York at the Garden. Haku misses a chop and Bulldog catches him with a big back suplex before a shoulder tackle sends both men down, and then Bulldog calls for and locks on the Sharpshooter (!?) Erm… Excuse me!? Haku gets the ropes with a little help from Heenan, and then he kicks Bulldog in the head as he goes for a back body drop. Big head butts and a vicious chop send Bulldog down, and a shoulder breaker gets a two count. Dropkick from Haku misses and this time Davey gets the back body drop. A stalling vertical suplex gets a two count before Bulldog hits the running powerslam and wins the match. By far the best thing yet on the tape. It slowed a bit in the middle, but it got a decent amount of time and was back-and-forth. Like I said, Haku was underrated.
Final Rating: **½

 

Sean Mooney in the studio carries on a running gag that he has been doing all tape about how his clothes are getting bigger because this is Mega Matches. No, it doesn’t make much sense to me either. He is holding a giant crayon like he has seen it before and has repressed memories of it. There is a look of genuine fear in that mans eyes. Hold on… He is holding a giant crayon!? This is all just a rib isn’t it? Nonsense.

 

King of the WWF
Macho King Randy Savage (c) vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
We are in MSG again, but we go back in time a year to October 1989. Savage is the current “king” of the WWF, having beaten Duggan for the crown. Duggan. Duggan is wrestling again. I am starting to think this tape is some form of karmic retribution for something awful I did in a past life. Savage bumps around for Duggan in the early going, and Duggan just dominates. Sherri is the difference maker, and she pulls him out of the ring and then rams him into the post. She continues the assault, hitting him in the throat with her purse and kicking him. Duggan stays on the outside for a good few minutes and I am amazed that this isn’t a count out given the WWF’s love of doing that finish in the 80s when two top tier guys worked. When we finally get back inside, Savage carries on the beating, but his trademark double axe handle only gets a one count. Savage had very much lost his fire by this point. He would get it back, but after SummerSlam 89 he seemed to accept his new role as a midcard guy, and he phoned it in, often seeming very unmotivated. Savage was like Bret in that when he was on, he was untouchable, but when he couldn’t be arsed he was dull to watch. Duggan gets back into the match after catching Savage in the gut as he goes for another double axe, then he backdrops him out of the ring. Duggan hurls Savage over the barrier and into the crowd then hits him in the stomach with a steel chair, as this turns into a wild ECW style match. Big knee drop from Duggan, but Sherri distracts the ref long enough for Savage to escape as Duggan spits and loudly shouts “BULLSHIT!” at the ref’s failure to do his job right. What a role model! Sherri interferes again and puts Savage’s foot on the ropes and Duggan is getting annoyed with her. Savage catches him unawares in the corner and then goes up top, but he takes an age and misses the flying elbow. Big clotheslines from Duggan, four of them, and he sets up the Three Point Stance and connects, only for Savage to go tumbling out of the ring. Duggan’s two moves were the clothesline and shouting “Hooooooo” like a tourettes sufferer. Oh look, now the role model American xenophobe is dragging Sherri in by the hair and beating on her. The ref gets bumped in the commotion, and Duggan gets the visual win with a small package. Big atomic drop and another clothesline from Duggan and another visual win. Sherri slips something to Savage from her purse and he nails Duggan in the face with it. There is actually quite an audible “Sherri” chant from the smart MSG crowd, who appreciate her considerable efforts to get this match over. She has done a great job. She is easily the best valet of all time as far as her involvement in the matches and improving of them and her charge’s overall package and presentation. We get a huge near fall as the ref recovers and Duggan gets out at two, then Savage covers Duggan with a messy pin and has his feet on the ropes, which Sherri holds for leverage, to win it. That last part looked really awkward and sloppy. The finish was a letdown, because that turned into a really fun little match. It was actually pretty epic by the end. Despite Duggan’s considerable flaws as a technical performer, they used plenty of shortcuts and were helped by Sherri, and it dragged this to a shockingly good match.
Final Rating: ***

 

Steel Cage Match
Macho King Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior
We are in MSG for the fourth time this tape, and this is from January 1991, just after Warrior lost the WWF title to Sgt. Slaughter. Savage was of course responsible for that defeat. Savage generally has better matches with Warrior than anyone, so this could be pretty good. We start off with Warrior destroying Savage on the outside, and then he continues to dominate in the ring. Savage gets nothing at all until he throws Warrior into the cage, but it only buys him a bit of time before Warrior takes back over again. Savage uses a cheap shot to the eyes, and a double clotheslines takes them both down. They are already really overselling here. They have done very little but are working it as if they have been in there for thirty minutes. It’s standard “cage selling”. They haven’t really done anything at all though; this is very disjointed. The finish comes as Savage tries to escape, but Warrior catches him, only for Sherri to come into the cage and hold Warrior’s leg, allowing Savage to escape. Savage comes back for more, going for the double axe handle off the top of the cage, but Warrior blocks it and then unleashes on him and a number of referees who try to break it up. The Nasty Boys get involved as well, but they can’t hold him back either. It is chaos at the end again, just like every match has been. I am really disappointed with that, I was expecting a lot more from it.
Final Rating:

 

Summary: Thank god for the end of this tape. It dragged on for what seemed like an age, and was so very boring. Hacksaw Jim Duggan was involved in the best match, which rather tells you everything you need to know. While not the worst thing the WWF have ever put out, it is still not something that anyone should think about watching. A slog to sit through and constantly surpasses itself in being disappointing. Not recommended.
Verdict: 24

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