#WF116 – Bashed In The USA

James Dixon: We get a respite from Sean Mooney and Alfred Hayes, as Mr. Perfect presents the tape. Any optimism is quickly destroyed as Perfect talks about his love of stamp collecting, and says he will be on a quest to find the perfect stamp. What the fuck is going on?

 

Razor Ramon vs. The Big Bossman
We start off in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and this comes from December 1992. Bill Alfonso is the referee for the match. This was towards the end of Bossman’s first WWF run, and in three months time he was gone. WCW then made a real mess of him, and he worked under a few different gimmicks, none of them particularly over, before coming back to the WWF during the Attitude era. This could be ok, because both guys are good when motivated, but they stall a lot early on, and many minutes pass before there is any contact. Come on guys, do something. ANYTHING. Remember what I said about them being motivated? Scratch that, because they aren’t. Finally, a headlock! Rejoice. Bossman makes it unpleasant by grabbing Razor’s tights and exposing his ass cheek. Are they just ribbing here or what? They go to a test of strength, which Razor gets the better of, giving Bossman a few kicks as he tries to fight out. They have gone from doing nothing to doing… nothing while holding hands. This is a disaster. If they can’t be bothered to work a proper match, then I can’t be bothered to review it. Razor wins with his feet on the ropes, and they did about a minute at best of wrestling or movement in the duration of this 8-minute match. Atrocious. What an embarrassment.
Final Rating: -**

 

Rick Martel & Money Inc. vs. Tatanka & High Energy
This is from June 1992 in Cornwall, Ontario. Many Coliseum Video matches have been taken from this card, as were a couple on Rampage ‘92 as well. For this to have any chance of being decent, it needs to be all Owen and DiBiase. The rest are not abysmal, just pretty boring. I am hoping that with six guys in there, this will be fast paced and full of fire and energy. High energy, if you will. DiBiase and Owen start things off, and a few armdrags takes Hart down. I have three issues. 1. Hayes and Gorilla just talk nonsense over the opening exchanges, getting in some digs at a Coliseum representative who is in the crowd. Actually, he probably deserves it, so that one can slide. 2. Hayes called Owen Hart formidable. Owen Hart is a lot of things, but formidable is not one of them. 3. They claim Bret Hart is the reigning WWF champion, but this match is from June 1992 when Savage was the champ, so that makes it obvious that the commentary has been plastered on. None of these things are particularly important, but they sure are annoying. A brawl between all six guys is won by the babyface team, and when the dust settles we go to Martel against Tatanka. These two feuded extensively throughout 1992, having matches at WrestleMania VIII and Survivor Series ’92 on PPV and loads of TV matches as well, all of which were drab. Alfred Hayes sounds like C-3PO when he takes a moment to compliment IRS’s braces. Aye, and the rest… Tatanka takes the heat for an extended period, as they work this like standard tag team formula, and nothing ruins a six man quite like working standard tag formula. The slow offence is inexcusable with so many guys involved. Hart gets the hot tag from Tatanka, and hits a backdrop. Things break down into another brawl, and back in the ring IRS covers Koko for the win. Koko barely even got into the ring other than to be the fall guy. Poor match again. What a bad tape so far.
Final Rating: ¼*

 

Perfect still can’t find the stamp he wants, and complains about the service in the store he is in. He implies that the female attendant was in the back playing with herself. A profile on Shawn Michaels follows. Michaels is this tape’s defibrillator.

 

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Kamala
Of all the people to put Michaels against, they go with the absolute worst possible option in Kamala. Heel Kamala would have been bad, but giant retarded baby(face) Kamala is appalling in the ring. As Furious said many, many tapes ago; the freak show guys and the workers should be kept apart. I guess the problem there is that the WWF in 1993 featured a lot of the former and was very thin on the latter. Still, you could have thrown a stone into the crowd and come up with a better opponent for Michaels than Kamala. The ‘Ugandan Giant’ is too powerful for Michaels and throws him around, before he misses a charge and gets caught with a top rope forearm. “He has a very subtle mix of primitive and extremely skilful” says Alfred Hayes. Only he is NOT talking about Kamala, he means Shawn Michaels! Kamala isn’t on the defensive for long, and picks up Michaels for a slam, but he throws him outside of the ring instead of in it, getting “confused”. They brawl on the outside and it ends in a double count out. This was just Michaels bumping all over the place for Kamala, pretty much for the entire match. Because of that and the fact it only went 5-minutes, this was surprisingly watchable, and rather tragically it is the best match on the tape so far.
Final Rating:

 

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Skinner
We go back to Green Bay, and this takes place on the same card as the opening match. This is a curious one because they are both heels! Who knows what they were playing at with this booking. Skinner is a decent worker, but he has a crappy gimmick and it ruins him somewhat. He is also very short. Nevertheless, he starts well with punches and appears to be playing the babyface role, but the crowd is pretty quiet for this, unsure about how to react. A swinging neckbreaker from Skinner and he chokes Michaels over the ropes, before hitting a nice shoulder breaker for two. A back elbow sends Michaels out of the ring, and this has been all Skinner so far. Well it was, until Michaels sent Skinner into the post. Just like the last match, Shawn is bumping all over the place for his vastly inferior opponent, making him look significantly better. He really was a great guy for the less talented members of the roster to work, because he could make anyone seem like a threat. He has made Skinner look like a realistic title contender here. Shawn hits a superkick and wins it in under 5-minutes, which is actually a shame because that was ok.
Final Rating:

 

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Virgil
The final match of the Michaels profile comes from Louisville, Kentucky in October 1992. Why have they put these matches in reverse order timeline wise? Coliseum just don’t make any sense. I have seen some half decent matches between Virgil and Michaels, so hopefully this one will be ok. It needs to be; this tape has been another woeful 1993 release so far. The first few minutes are fast and furious, with Virgil impressing and the crowd getting right behind him. Virgil has the best of the match until Michaels cuts him off with a superkick. This is the problem with putting the matches out of sequence, because that move defeated Skinner as Michaels had just started using it as his finish, but here it is just used to cut Virgil off. Still, the pace has been very good, and the exchanges smooth and exciting. You probably couldn’t pick three more random opponents for Michaels, but he has made all of the matches passable and in this case, actually pretty good. Virgil comes back with a boot in the corner and a burning clothesline, before unleashing a number of well placed punches for a two count. A flying clothesline from the middle rope gets another near fall, but Virgil misses a charge and Michaels hits the teardrop suplex to win it. Another short one at around 7-minutes, but it was great fun! Virgil probably could have been more than the career rib that he was, because he could go. Sure, he was in there with Michaels, but Virgil more than kept up with him. Impressive stuff and finally a good match!
Final Rating: ***

 

40-Man Battle Royal
They loved doing 40-man battle royals in 1992, even though they had the shallowest roster in years. Like the one on Rampage 92, this is full of jobbers. Some of the less than notable participants include Reno Riggins, Chuck Casey, Dale Wolfe, Mark Spears and Colonel Mustafa (yes, in mid-92, he was still around). Savage on commentary just flat out calls him ‘the Iron Sheik’. The two biggest guys in the ring, Earthquake and Typhoon, are quite incredibly eliminated first. I am not complaining, just saying. As fun as the visual is, not much happens other than the eliminations, there just isn’t the room. Hawk and Sags eliminate each other and then have a brawl on the outside, in probably the most exciting part of this so far. You know what is strange? When I see a battle royal on match listings, I am always pleased and look forward to it, but I can’t really figure out why. They are ALWAYS dull and obviously samey, but I like them regardless. Animal and Knobbs mirror Hawk and Sags and eliminate each other, and they too have a little brawl. Michaels and Hart eliminate each other and then THEY start to brawl on the outside too. Is that the unwritten rule or something? How these guys are out when Barry Horowitz is still in there is beyond me. Oh no, there he goes. As we thin out to about ten guys, the action improves a little and guys have a bit of room to throw some spots in. DiBiase and Virgil eliminate each other and rather surprisingly, they don’t brawl. Tom Stone (whoever the hell HE is) nearly makes the final four! He just misses out, and your final four is IRS, Tatanka and The Beverly Brothers. Sweet Jesus. Why were the Beverlys always allowed to last until the final four in these things? They did the same thing at Rampage 92 as well. Tatanka quickly dispatches all three guys, as his big push continues. Good fun, eventually.
Final Rating: **

 

Bret Hart Art
Bret tells us how he likes to draw cartoons in the locker room. This turns into Hartbeat as Tony Hart, sorry, Bret Hart, draws a few naff sketches of The Undertaker, Yokozuna and Money Inc. This is all very quaint and all, but why exactly is it on here? Bret offers life advice to kids, saying everyone has a gift. Yeah, yours is in the ring pal, not drawing!

 

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Bret Hart (c) vs. Rick Martel
This is the forth IC title match of the tape, and seeing as though Bret is the champion, it means we are back in June 1992. This is from the now notorious set of shows in Ontario, where a number of matches were plucked for Coliseum use. This one looks good on paper, but I have said that about this match-up before and it was a bit of a letdown. They do some nice feeling out stuff to begin with, as Martel cartwheels out of Bret’s early offense before getting clotheslined to the outside. Martel gets a few shots in of his own back inside, but Bret moves out of the way of a charge and Martel goes shoulder-first into the post. Bret goes to the arm, working the injured shoulder. Pretty good so far, but they did something similar in a different match, and the psychology ended up going nowhere. Hopefully Martel won’t just forget about the arm injury. Martel catches a body press and clotheslines Bret on the ropes, before going to a chinlock. Bret fights out and hits a sunset flip for two, but Martel gets right back on top with a gutwrench suplex and a backbreaker. He tries a slingshot from the apron, but Bret gets his knees up to buy some time. Martel recovers first and goes for a suplex, but Bret slips out and goes into the five moves sequence and catches a few near falls.  This has certainly been energetic, but the arm hasn’t come into play at all, which is a shame. The ref gets briefly knocked down, and Martel clocks Bret with his atomizer before locking on the Boston crab. Shawn Michaels turns up at ringside, and starts punching away at Bret. Martel thinks he has won the match and the title, but he doesn’t realise he has been disqualified. Martel and Michaels have an altercation, which eventually sets up their match at SummerSlam 92. That was pretty good and Martel looked more motivated than he usually did in this period. Slightly better than their match at UK Rampage ‘92, but only just.
Final Rating: **¾

 

The Natural Disasters vs. The Beverly Brothers
Aww, man! What have I done to deserve this? My feelings on Typhoon are pretty clear, and the Beverly Brothers are mid-level slugs, as I have said many times before. These had a dreadful match at SummerSlam ‘92 that seemed to last forever, and I was quite happy that I would never see it again. This actually comes from before that, taking place in June 1992 from Binghamton, New York. Typhoon has increased his repertoire to include the “tit thrust”, which looks as devastating as it sounds. He has also started adding his head shaking sell to his delivery of moves, doing it after a slam and a clothesline. It serves to make it look like he is selling doing his own moves, because the effort of you know, moving, has taken it out of him. They are working some of the same spots as they used at SummerSlam as well. I guess I am seeing that match again! Typhoon looks like he is going to be sick all over the front row when the Beverlys choke him on the ropes. Typhoon sells a chinlock by getting into doggy style position. Sexy. The fat bastard looks like he is about to cry when he misses a splash in the corner. Finally Earthquake is in there, and he looks like Steamboat compared to Typhoon. The match ends up on the outside and they all brawl, but Earthquake throws Blake into the ring just before the ten and thus the Beverlys win on a count out. As good as you might expect. It is so comical watching Typhoon try to sell, wrestle and indeed just get through a match without falling down, that this was a notch above a DUD.
Final Rating: ¼*

 

Yokozuna vs. The Undertaker
The last match of the tape comes from March 1993, a few weeks before Zuna wins his first WWF title from Bret Hart at WrestleMania. I have nightmares about this match-up; I have seen Royal Rumble 94. After being treated to the fun commentary team of Jim Ross, Randy Savage and Bobby Heenan, we are back to the delightful Alfred Hayes. He asks Gorilla what Yokozuna and Fuji keep in the salt bucket. Seriously. I sure hope this is short… Yoko unloads with big chops to the head to start, but Taker responds straight away with a DDT, then misses an elbow and gets clotheslined to the outside. Hayes thinks it would be an upset if Taker beat Yoko. Taker, the former WWF champion who rarely loses and has been a staple of the company for a couple of years now, against a guy who has been around for four months. I guess Yoko was unbeaten at this point though, but still. Yoko takes Taker out at ringside with the steps and drops a legdrop inside, but Taker sits up. Zuna uses the salt bucket and we have a DQ. Post match, Zuna goes for the Banzai Drop, but Taker sits up out of the way and sends Zuna down with a flying clothesline. then he hits the worst chokeslam ever. It was worse than any Hogan ever took from him, including the one in 2002. 4-minutes, so another short match, which is what I was hoping for. It was literally just the heat and the finish.
Final Rating: ¼*

 

Summary: A very bad offering, featuring two slightly above average matches. A tape where over half of the matches feature Shawn Michaels or Bret Hart, should be considerably more. But alas, Michaels is given poor opponents and just does what he can with them and Hart-Martel promises a lot but delivers only half of it. The other bout they were in was a battle royal. The atrocity at the start between Bossman and Razor started things out on a bad road, and it never recovered. Thumbs down.
Verdict: 23

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