WWF Intercontinental Championship
The Texas Tornado (c) vs. Mr. Perfect
This is also on the Wrestling Superheroes (In Action) tape. It comes from November 1990, though it aired on TV in December of that year, and is a rematch from SummerSlam ‘90. Vince McMahon, Roddy Piper and The Honky Tonk Man, are all on commentary. This was during Honky’s brief period where he was a TV announcer, and he quit about a month after this. Ted DiBiase is out as the special guest ring announcer. It seems he has paid off The Fink. Vince is incredulous about it, and Piper is pretty livid too. Perfect does a great sell on a lock-up of all things, because he is so great that he can make anything and anyone look good. It will be hard to make Tornado look good tonight though, what with that rather curious tassel/braid he appears to be wearing in his hair! How odd. Tornado flurries with punches and clotheslines Perfect to the outside, before reaching out and giving him and Heenan a double noggin-knocker Honky on commentary, is rightly annoyed that Tornado put his hands on Heenan. He has a point though; that was straight out of the Hogan babyface playbook. Heenan had done nothing to warrant that. Back inside and Perfect takes over by pulling the hair and connects with a knee to the gut. Perfect whips Tornado from the corner but he reverses and Perfect does a bizarre spin mid-run and then flips a gut punch, before getting both boots up the derail Tornado, who then goes shoulder-first into the post. DiBiase, who is still at ringside waiting to announce the winner, lamps him while the ref is distracted. Perfect connects with a beautiful standing dropkick and DiBiase rams Tornado into the ring post on the outside. Such simple and easy heat, but it has the crowd riled right up. DiBiase shows little remorse, sitting there smugly. The ref gets bumped and Perfect does a crazy over-the-top sell from getting his head smashed into the buckles. Tornado hits the Tornado Punch, but the ref is down and cannot make the count. Perfect, unusually for him, didn’t sell it by flipping and spinning all over the place, instead he took it as if it knocked him out and he collapsed like a falling tree. DiBiase comes in and drills Tornado in the back of the head with the IC title, then revives Perfect while Heenan wakes up the ref. Perfect hits the Perfectplex and holds it for AGES before the ref recovers and still counts the three, and Perfect regains the title, becoming a two-time Intercontinental champion. Short, but reasonably satisfying. Nothing with Perfect is ever bad though, and he tried hard to make the most of the time allotted here.
Final Rating: *¾
Rick Martel vs. Marty Jannetty
This match comes from October 1990, in Indianapolis and both of these guys are good workers and could really go when motivated. I hope they are both “feeling it” and are “on” today. They do a technical opening at first, and Martel thwarts Jannetty’s attempts to speed things up by leaving the ring before he gets chance. Hayes and Mooney talk about how Martel is the thinking man’s wrestler, which I think is a very good call. He proved that by bailing when Jannetty tried to speed things up, showing he has a strategy. His matches pre-92 were always fairly different too, he didn’t fall into routine too often. Jannetty takes over and controls the leg, slowing the pace of the match right down, and for a Jannetty match this has actually been fought at a fairly slow pace. This is a long segment with the leglock. They do keep working spots out of it, but they are fleeting. Martel’s attempts to come back are stopped by a Jannetty shin breaker, and Jannetty goes back to the leg again, with a couple of spinning toe holds, but Martel kicks him off and out of the ring. I have noticed that Martel more than nearly any other heel, was very generous to his opponents with how much offence they got. He was a guy who was good at getting people over, and he has done a great job of making Marty look credible here. His heat segment has been very short, and already Jannetty is mounting a comeback. He has controlled this match. Jannetty fires up and hits a modified bulldog off the top for two. He hits the ropes, but Martel scouts it and sends him to the outside. Jannetty attempts to slingshot in with a sunset flip, but Martel drops out of the way, and quickly capitalises to get the pin. The finish is a little strange and out of nowhere, but makes sense in that Jannetty dominated the match and Martel picked up the victory thanks to his quick thinking and ring savvy. Decent, but not great.
Final Rating: **¼
Rhythm & Blues vs. Hulk Hogan & Tugboat
Oh, hell! This took place on SNME in September 1990 from Toledo, Ohio. Hogan is more tanned than anyone in the world has ever been. This is a strange little match; you just wouldn’t expect these guys to be in there with each other. Rhythm & Blues didn’t last very long after this either, within 6-months they were broke up and Honky was out of the company. Hogan dominates R&B single-handedly, before bringing in Tugboat, who works over Valentine’s arm. Quick tags in and out from the faces, who continue to focus on the same appendage. Valentine goes to the eyes to escape and lays in some big chops. Honky comes in but gets caught in a bearhug by Tugboat, until Valentine breaks it up with a double axe handle to the back of the head. You know what, credit where it is due, this has actually been surprisingly entertaining so far. R&B take over on Tugboat, cutting him down with double team offence. They delay on a double elbow drop, and Tugboat moves, allowing the tag to Hogan. Why is Hogan sweating so damn much? He is literally dripping with sweat, he looks so shiny that the light is bouncing off him. It’s actually not human! Hogan dominates and has the match won, but Tugboat stops him to bring his attention to Earthquake and Dino Bravo coming to the ring, as officials struggle to hold them back. The action resumes with Tugboat in the ring, and he gives Valentine a big splash. But the ref becomes distracted, allowing Honky to nail Tugboat with his guitar and he gets counted out. Holy hell, Hogan DIDN’T win. Wow! Even the Bushwhackers could beat Rhythm & Blues. Tugboat was a weak link, mainly because he is an immobile ball of lard. Hogan is attacked after the match by Dino Bravo, Rhythm & Blues and Earthquake after the match, and they do a number on him before Tugboat cleans house with Honky’s guitar. Tugboat is so very cumbersome, like an Elephant ice-skating. There are audible boos for him; even the fans of 1990 recognised that he is a waste of space. The match was alright considering who was in it.
Final Rating: *¼
We get the second bizarre montage of the tape, called ‘Outrageous Hits’ which is basically just a compilation of guys hitting their moves on poor unsuspecting jobbers. It is all set to some crazy upbeat blippy-bloppy pop music, which is in time with the moves. A random interlude if there ever was one, but it was short and fun to watch.
The Big Bossman vs. The Barbarian
This also turns up on Supertape IV, as Coliseum more and more goes to matches they have already used on past releases. This is from January 1991, less than a week after the Royal Rumble. This took place in Ontario, Canada. These two met at the Rumble as well, which Bossman won. We join the match in progress, but very early on in the bout. Bossman was getting a push towards the Intercontinental title and battled Mr. Perfect for the belt at WrestleMania VII, though he was unsuccessful. Bobby Heenan is conspicuous by his absence in Barbarian’s corner. While these are both big guys, they were two of the better giants that WWF had in this size-obsessed era. I have seen both have some decent matches over the years, depending on the opponent. Their match at Rumble was actually rather good. The usual formula at the start, with the match slowing down once Barbarian takes control, and he locks on a bearhug. Bossman headbutts to escape, but a big boot wipes him out. Lord Alfred Hayes calls it a “karate blow”, but that’s because he is an utter goon. I have never seen a Hogan-esque big boot used in karate or any martial art. For the record, you can tell this has been going a long time and Bossman has taken a kicking, because his shirt is COMPLETELY unbuttoned. I can only assume if he went into the realms of 20-minute matches, he would probably wind up naked. Harrowing! Barbarian misses an elbow off the second rope and Bossman flurries, felling his opponent with an enzuigiri. A clothesline into the ropes gets a two for Bossman and then he hits a goddamn crossbody off the top! He is working like Marty Jannetty here! He then switches a back body drop attempt into a sunset flip! Bossman could really go; you would never see Tugboat doing any of this! The sunset flip is enough for the win, but he gets jumped by Barbarian and Haku after the contest. They beat down an exhausted Bossman, and Haku floors him with a savat kick. Slow in places, but it was given decent time to tell a story, just like their Rumble match was. Bossman looked good in there, and made the match with his frankly outrageous choice of moves. Enjoyable enough.
Final Rating: *¾
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted DiBiase
This is from October 1990 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and took place on The Main Event (IV), the WWF’s occasional Friday night special. “Get out of the waaaaaaaay!” bellows Vince on commentary as Warrior makes his way down the aisle. He is really marking out for him. DiBiase was one of those guys they used to put on with Warrior because they knew he could get a match out of him. They used to do the same thing with Rude. From what DiBiase said in later years, he hated working with him. Warrior dominates the start as you might expect, out-powering DiBiase and eventually clotheslining him to the outside, where he gives him and Virgil a noggin knocker. Back in the ring and Warrior comes off top with an axe handle, as DiBiase begs off. Some vicious chops from Warrior, but Ted gets the boot up on a charge and takes him down with a clothesline. Double axe from the middle and a piledriver gets two. It has been all-action here, without a break at all. Warrior is less sloppy than usual and DiBiase seems determined to carry him to something good. DiBiase slows things down with a side headlock, but Warrior fights to his feet. A DiBiase tackle rocks Warrior, and a clothesline takes him down. DiBiase makes the mistake of putting his head down and Warrior gets a near fall from a backslide, but DiBiase is right back on top of him with a suplex. This is one of the better Warrior matches I have seen, especially in a non-PPV environment. Incredible carry job from DiBiase here. DiBiase lays into Warrior with some big punches, but Warrior stops selling them. He reverses a suplex into one of his own, and they both collide with a crunching double shoulder block. It is an impressive collision; you could hear the impact. Warrior is starting to look pretty tired, he wasn’t used to long matches like this. Warrior connects with a gut punch as DiBiase comes off the second rope, then he starts to “Warrior Up”. A series of clotheslines floor DiBiase, and the big flying tackle looks to have it won for Warrior, but Virgil comes in and stops the count, leading to a Warrior DQ win. Warrior goes for Virgil after the match, but Randy Savage runs down and the attacks the champion with his sceptre. Savage is crazed, he comes across as completely vicious as he beats the living hell out of Warrior. In a cool spot, he jumps off the top rope onto Warrior, over a bunch of officials trying to stop him. Awesome post match angle, and a tour-de-force from DiBiase. The match was very good, primarily because DiBiase spent the majority on the offensive.
Final Rating: ***¼
Summary: A brisk pace to this indeed, clocking in at around an hour. The action moved quickly due to the lack of segues in between the bouts, and in some cases a lack of entrances. I was not expecting a lot from this having looked at the line-up, but it turned out to be a pretty fun tape. Even the bad was still perfectly watchable, and there were some really decent efforts from Perfect, Bossman and of course DiBiase. Fast and fun, this was a decent representation of the good stuff the WWF presented in 1990. Much better than some of the long-winded and generally quite awful PPV events from the same era. Worth a look.