James Dixon: Clearly feeling he didn’t get enough mileage out of it the first time around, Sean Mooney is once again dressed up as an army general, complete with idiotic accent and spiel. He is hard work sometimes. He has gone a step further this time, he is on an actual army base. I’m surprised no-one shot him. I would have shot him.
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Mr. Perfect (c) vs. Roddy Piper
Mr. Perfect is always a good start, shame it is likely to go downhill from here, as we have seen many times in the past. We are in Orlando, Florida for this, and it is February 1991. This is also a Coliseum Video exclusive, and for once, a worthy one! The charisma of both guys and the bumping of Perfect could make this a cracker, if it gets time and isn’t hampered by a shitty finish or run-ins. Piper didn’t job and Perfect is IC champion so I doubt we’ll be so lucky. They trade insults and then punches to start, so Perfect tries to outwrestle Piper, but eats an elbow to the face. Piper repositions the referee onto the buckles so they can be left to fight, and they do, going toe-to-toe with punches. Piper gets the better of it, and Perfect bails again. They are milking this crowd for all it’s worth, but the early signs have been promising. The sheer force of character alone is enough for these guys to guarantee at least a half decent match without too much effort. This has been a total brawl so far. In a cute spot, Piper keeps hold of Perfect’s trunks while he is punching him, so he can’t fall down. Things get even more amusing as Piper removes Perfects tights completely, pinballing him as he tries not to trip. Great stuff. Perfect makes the best of it, and chokes Piper with the singlet, before a double clothesline takes them both down. Perfect is up first, and he puts his tights back on before laying into Piper with kicks. Standing dropkick from Perfect and then he removes a turnbuckle pad. Piper uses leverage to reverse a suplex and they go into a series of pinfall trades. Swinging neckbreaker from Piper gets two, and Perfect’s kick out causes Piper to land on the ref. Perfect takes advantage of this by ramming Piper into the exposed steel buckle, and Piper subsequently becomes deadweight as Perfect hits the Perfectplex. Piper still manages to kick out. Furious, Perfect tries to ram Piper into the steel again, but gets blocked, and Piper switches and does it to him. They have a wild brawl around ringside, that wouldn’t look out of place in the Attitude era. I am amazed that the ref has let them get away with this, he has been very liberal. Usually there would have been a DQ or a count out ages ago based on what we have seen. Suddenly the ref does decide to ring the bell as Perfect gets crotched on the exposed steel, and apparently Perfect has been counted out. That’s a wild decision! Where did he pluck that one from? Piper and Perfect continue brawling after the bell and Piper waffles Perfect with the IC belt, sending him flipping inside out. He poses with the title before throwing it back to Perfect. That was a super wild brawl, with little wrestling but plenty of action. Immense fun, despite the confusing and nonsensical finish.
Final Rating: ****
The Bushwhackers vs. The Nasty Boys
This is from Madison Square Garden in January 1991. The Nasty’s were in the midst of a push towards the tag titles, which they won a few months later at WrestleMania VII. I am less than thrilled that we have gone from the storming opener to the Bushwhackers. Like I said at the start, this tape could only go downhill after the opener. The Bushwhackers get the better of the early exchanges, and send the Nasties outside with double team moves. Back inside and Sags briefly gets some joy against Butch, but again double teams send the Nasties outside. It has been more action filled than the usual Bushwhackers nonsense, but it is still pretty dismal. Though, Sags does murder Luke, sending him flying out of the ring onto his face. Oh happy day. The Nasties work a heat on Butch following that, which ends when Sags misses an elbow in the corner. Butch comes in and he unloads on Knobbs with clotheslines. Both teams take turns breaking up pinfall attempts, until Sags hits a top rope elbow on Butch while the ref is distracted to get the winning pin. Good by Bushwhackers standards, pretty much awful by anyone else’s.
Final Rating: ½*
Bret Hart vs. The Barbarian
This match also appears on Mega Matches, and the review can be found there also. It is lazy from Coliseum, using a match that appeared just three tapes ago. 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: *¼
Jake Roberts vs. Kato
This is from the same show as the opening bout and it is a pretty crazy match-up actually. I mean, what is the point of this? Kato was just a tag team jobber. I foresee a clash of styles here. Jake goes to the arm to start, grounding Kato and preventing him from utilising his quickness. Jake thoroughly dominates Kato in the first few minutes, and his ring savvy and experience has shined through. Surely, we will get a third consecutive clean finish from this one. Kato should be easy pickings. Kato does finally gets a move in, putting up a knee as Roberts charges the corner. Jake ends up outside and Mr. Fuji nails him in the back with his cane. Tanaka gets a shot in while the ref is distracted as well. Back inside and Kato with a slam and an elbow for two, and then he goes to the chinlock. There is nothing wrong with this as such, but why bother? Does anyone think Kato has any chance of beating Jake? Jakes come back and goes for the DDT, but Tanaka interferes to prevent it. Moments later he does hit the DDT, and Tanaka comes in for the DQ. Oh jeez. Why the hell were they protecting KATO!? If there was ever a match that could and should have had a clean finish, it was this one. Insane booking.
Final Rating: ½*
No. No! No! No! What did I do to deserve this!? A superstar profile on Hacksaw Jim Duggan! It starts splendidly, with Duggan doing a “hall of fame” in a shed, showing off his old 2×4’s. I am absolutely dreading this.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Slaughter is the WWF champion at this point, and this comes from MSG in March 1991. Unlike later flag matches in the WWF, the idea of this was simply to win for the right to raise your country’s flag after the bout. Duggan is of course representing the USA and Slaughter, Iraq. Hulk Hogan accompanies Duggan to ringside, dressed head-to-toe in full camouflage gear. The sound system at MSG tonight is unbelievably bad; you can honestly barely make out the music at all. When Duggan stomps around the ring in his moronic way, he looks like he is yawning and stretching after a long nap. Talk about intensity! When he takes quick bumps in succession, he reminds me of the guy from Home Alone repeatedly slipping on the icy steps. They stick rigidly to tiresome formula, and go at it at a snail’s pace. Lord Alfred Hayes says about Adnan: “He is praying to Allah, whoever he may be”. It is one of the most ignorant things I have ever heard on a WWF tape, and believe me, that is saying something. The guys is as bumbling on commentary as Duggan is in the ring. How is it possible that he had a job for so long? Slaughter stays firmly in control, and he takes the chance to kick Hogan in the back of the head when his back is turned. Hogan retaliates by pushing him off the top rope when the ref isn’t looking. Hogan gets into it with Adnan, so Slaughter takes him out with a chair and then chokes him with a camera cable. Back inside and Slaughter locks on the camel clutch, but Hogan nails him with the 2×4 while the ref is distracted. This has become almost watchable because of the antics of Slaughter and Hogan, but nothing to do with Duggan at all, he has barely been seen for the last five minutes. If only every Duggan match had this little Duggan in it. Duggan goes for the cover, but Adnan gets in to prevent the fall and cause the DQ. Hogan tries to get involved but gets salt to the eyes, and Slaughter takes out both Hogan and Duggan with the 2×4 and the Iraq flag. He continues the relentless assault after the match, until a group of referees drag him away. It’s nice to see Hogan and Duggan both left laying on once. This match is a very odd choice to be part of a Duggan profile, because it was all about Hogan and Slaughter. It was also incredibly boring and far too long, clocking in at nearly 15-minutes. The only entertainment was found outside of the ring, away from the match itself.
Final Rating: ¼*
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Smash
Mercifully, this Duggan profile is only two matches, rather than the usual three, and this comes from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in April 1991. It’s another Coliseum exclusive and another weird match-up. Why are tag wrestlers working odd singles matches on this tape? I expect clobbering and little else here. Duggan does three weak-ass clotheslines and that is his repertoire exhausted, so he is knackered now. Oh sorry, he has punches too. What a great worker the man is. Smash exploits an opening to take over and Mr. Fuji chokes Duggan with the cane. Smash clubs away and then puts on the neck vice. He drops the leg for a two and goes back to the vice. God this is boring. Pointless and boring. There is such a tediously slow pace to this. The “Hoooo” chants from the crowd are half-assed at best; they are bored to tears too. Duggan comes back with punches and a clothesline, then hits a spinning slam and the Three Point Stance is enough for the win. So he did some clotheslines to set up his finisher: the clothesline. He is swell.
Final Rating: DUD
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Macho King Randy Savage
This is back in October 1990 from Fort Wayne, Indiana and Warrior is six months into his reign as WWF champion. If this is anywhere near as good as their WrestleMania VII match six months later, then this will be a belter. These two generally had pretty good chemistry. Warrior runs straight in with a clothesline and big punches, before chasing Savage outside of the ring and then dragging him back in. Hard into the buckles and more clotheslines from Warrior, gorilla press and the splash and this one is over! What the hell!? That was genuinely about 90-seconds long. What a complete rip-off that was. Why bother even putting that on this tape? Did the match get made seconds before or something? Warrior gave so little of a shit that he wasn’t even wearing face paint! Completely worthless and mind-boggling that it made the cut.
Final Rating: SQUASH (Not rated)
Ted DiBiase vs. Tugboat
Back to January 1991 now, from Savannah, Georgia. The Bushwhackers, two Duggan matches and now the worst of them all, Tugboat. Wow, the WWF was shit hot in 1991, huh? Even DiBiase won’t be able to carry this lug to anything remotely watchable. DiBiase can’t be arsed either, and rolls out of the ring to avoid Tugboat’s shitty offense. Hayes says Tugboat is not a ponderous wrestler. Does he see the same things that everyone else sees? Tugboat’s selling consists of shaking his head and little else, it is actually incredibly annoying. Seriously, it is after every single move. It’s like he has a twitch. Now Hayes is calling him “Steamboat”. Jesus, I wish this was DiBiase-Steamboat! Tugboat’s big move is putting DiBiase in the corner and slowly, gently leaning into him with his fat gut, but DiBiase rolls him up and gets the win. Shockingly bad. You will never see DiBiase give less of a shit than he did here.
Final Rating: DUD
Power and Glory & The Warlord vs. The Legion of Doom & The British Bulldog
This also appears on Wrestling Superheroes (In Action), because it is SO good, we get to watch it twice! I just don’t get why they do that; putting the same lame matches on a few different tapes. I think the commentary may be different on this one, though it is still Mooney and Hayes. Roma in with Hawk to start, and Power & Glory will be hoping this goes longer than the 59-seconds Mania match then had with the LOD. Roma doesn’t get anywhere until Hawk misses a clothesline off the top, which is a silly move to go for so early. Roma puts the boots in but Hawk connects with a standing dropkick. Hayes continuously refers to Roma as “Romeo”, which starts to grate after a while. He is the pits on commentary. You could always tell the WWF didn’t care about something when they let Mooney and Hayes commentate on it. I suppose they did at least talk about what was going on in the ring, which makes them better than any of the current crop in WWE right now. Roma hits a lovely dropkick of his own on Hawk, but he comes back with a neckbreaker because he gets bored of selling. Animal and Warlord come in and this could be quite the match-up. No-one moves on the shoulder block, then Animal makes a bit of a mess of a flying clothesline. Hercules in and he can’t move Animal with the shoulder block either. Bulldog in and he makes the mistake of putting his head down, and the heels work him over. Warlord connects with a bunch of elbow drops in a row. The pace of this has actually been pretty frantic considering the muscle in the ring. Bulldog goes for the running powerslam, but Roma grabs the leg and Warlord gets a two count. More double and triple teaming as they work the heat on Davey Boy, and the tags are frequent enough to keep it fairly entertaining. At one point Roma goes to tag in Hercules, but Herc is too blown up and tells him to tag in Warlord instead. All that punching must have been really tiring! I found that was pretty amusing. Warlord gets the full nelson and crowd react to it, knowing it could be the finish. We break down into a pier-sixer and we have the inevitable “Coliseum Video double-DQ”. Oh, come on, it’s not like they could have hurt Power & Glory any more at this point following the WrestleMania squash anyway; they might as well have just done a finish. Despite the disappointing finish, the match had a good pace to it and was surprisingly watchable with a decent flow, but it was nothing special and it was too short. Throwaway stuff.
Final Rating: *½
Summary: That was one of the worst Coliseum tapes we have seen. Watch the first match and then burn it, don’t suffer through the rest. Two Duggan matches would be bad enough, but to also have to sit through the Bushwhackers, Tugboat and two bouts that have featured elsewhere, is beyond a joke. A shining example of the very worst of the WWF, in a remarkably bad time period for the company. Avoid.