James Dixon: Sean Mooney welcomes us to this compilation, which promises us non-stop explosive WWF action. He doesn’t mean barbed wire and bombs matches, I checked. This tape is known simply as Wrestling Superheroes in the States, but has “In Action” tacked on the end for the UK release. The two tapes are identical otherwise.
WWF Championship (Vacant)
Ted DiBiase vs. Macho Man Randy Savage
This is from WrestleMania IV in 1988. I question why this is even on here, because it also features on at least five other comp tapes, and has been overplayed to the point of becoming tiresome. We just reviewed it on literally the release prior to this! It can also be found on Macho Madness (VHS), Best of the WWF: WrestleMania, The Complete Randy Savage Collection (DVD) and quite bizarrely, Hulkamania 3. I still don’t quite get it. Steamboat-Savage I could understand being recycled over and over again, but this is not good enough to warrant it. It is more historically relevant than anything else, but by this tape’s release in late 1991, so much had happened since that it has become redundant and very out of date. It seems very much just thrown in for the sake of it. So the review, again: Savage has wrestled three times already and DiBiase has competed twice. Andre gets involved twice early on, tripping Savage and already the crowd is chanting for Hogan. He is taking Savage’s heat already, and he isn’t even the champion yet. DiBiase has the best of the early going thanks to Andre’s involvement, but Savage comes back with a hard right and a clothesline. It is back-and-forth, until Savage clotheslines DiBiase on the ropes and then knees him in the back to send him outside of the ring. Andre prevents a dive from the top, so Savage sends Elizabeth backstage with instructions. The crowd know what’s coming. It is almost like the WWF was predictable, or something. Lo and behold, here comes Hogan with Elizabeth, steaming in for some spotlight. DiBiase controls Savage in the ring, as Hogan takes a seat at ringside. Savage looks tired from his three previous matches. As I have said before, it is a shame they didn’t get to do this match both fresh on pay-per-view at least one time. Andre gets involved again, but Hogan confronts him over it. DiBiase still controls the bout, hitting a suplex and a gutwrench for two. Slam from DiBiase but he gets caught going up top with a press slam, only for Savage to miss the elbow, and then Hogan cheats. DiBiase has the Million Dollar Dream on, and Hogan comes in and waffles him with a chair. Disgraceful behaviour from the cheating orange bastard. Lee argues that it was a show-long storyline arc paying off because the same thing had happened to Hogan earlier in the night. I think Hogan would have done it anyway. Savage climbs the ropes and hits the big elbow to win the match and the vacant title, then celebrates with Hogan and Elizabeth, to the approval of the crowd. Ventura is right saying DiBiase was robbed. I really do not like that match, regardless of its historical significance, the action is slow and one-sided, and the Hogan involvement ruins it for me.
Final Rating: *¾
King of the WWF
King Haku (c) vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
This is from May 1989, a few months after WrestleMania V. The “King” title at the time was a defendable title, which Haku won from Harley Race. The Genius cuts a random promo in the corner of the screen about how Haku is going to win. I don’t know what he has to do with this. Because he is a king, Haku gets carried to the ring on a throne, and he looks concerned that he is going to fall off! The four guys carrying him don’t look especially impressed either. They have some big asses on them, those Tongans! Look at Duggan, he doesn’t have a care in the world. He just stands there gurning at the crowd, waving his 2×4 around like a bat. And what on earth is Bobby Heenan wearing!? It’s a purple pleather suit! That is horrendous. They lock-up to start and Haku takes over with a cheap shot. Duggan returns fire with a clothesline and no-one moves on the shoulder block. Duggan manages to botch a clothesline to the outside, and he tries to make up with it by doing some “wrestling” as he puts on an armbar. I never thought I would see the day. Haku goes to the eyes, but Duggan blocks getting his head rammed into the buckles, and gives Haku one of his own. I hope he won’t sell that! I hate inconsistent Samoan (Tongan) head selling. Haku looks to take control but misses a flip legdrop, and Duggan hits the Three-Point Stance to finish and become the NEW King of the WWF. That was brief! Thankfully, though, because the little they did do was uninspiring.
Final Rating: ¼*
Power and Glory & The Warlord vs. The Legion of Doom & The British Bulldog
So we skip ahead two years to 1991 for some six-man tag action. This has also featured before, turning up on Battle of the WWF Superstars. This is two WrestleMania VII matches condensed into one. There is a lot of bulk in there. Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes talk about how Davey has put on 35lbs of muscle since he was last in the WWF. No kidding, he looks like he has been inflated with a bicycle pump. 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
Rick Martel vs. Roddy Piper
We stay in 1991 for this next match, which I is taken from a Superstars taping in May. Both are solid and very charismatic characters, so this could be pretty good. Vince McMahon and Macho Man Randy Savage are on commentary and both are usually good for a laugh because they are so overblown and distinctive. Martel mocks Piper’s attire and shows off his body to the crowd. He is a very well put together guy and also frankly Hogan levels of orange tonight! Wow. He makes Piper look like Sheamus by comparison. Piper looks far from amused by Martel, and unloads with a flurry of punches and a wild clothesline to the outside. Double axe handle off the apron from Piper, but he hurts his already injured knee. It doesn’t bother him until he tries to leapfrog and it buckles underneath him. Martel targets it right away and Piper does a great sell job. Martel rips off Piper’s kneepad and then his protective bandages, attacking the leg some more. I always hate it when wrestlers uses bandages to try and protect an injury like that, because really, how is it going to do anything? I like that when Martel rips off the pad, Savage goes, “Ahhh haaaaa” as if he is really impressed with him. Maybe he forgot he was supposed to be a babyface now. Piper goes for a desperation suplex but his leg buckles again and Martel catches a near fall. The crowd is right behind Piper, who catches Martel with a gut punch as he comes off the top. He then atomic drops him crotch first over the top rope. Piper uses his bandage around Martel’s throat to drag him cock-first across the ropes, which is surely illegal, especially in 1991! The bandage is still around his neck as Piper biels him to the outside. Piper cracks him with a glass of water over the head, and gets away with it. Well, this referee is far more forgiving than the one in the six-man. Back in the ring and Martel swings and misses, leading to Piper catching him with a small package to win. Decent effort, but it was far too short again. It’s a shame because they were telling a nice story and Piper was selling the knee well. Another ten minutes and this could have been a really memorable encounter.
Final Rating: **½
WWF Intercontinental Championship
The Texas Tornado (c) vs. Mr. Perfect
The continuity shifts all over the place again as we go back in time. This is from November 1990, though it aired in December of that year, and is a rematch from SummerSlam ‘90. It also gets an airing on the Greatest Hits tape, which was only a few prior to this one. Coliseum are at it again with the lazy recycled match choices. It’s maddening! 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
Summary: This is more like a teaser video than a proper compilation tape, and it flies all over the place in terms of continuity and era as well. It feels very much like they decided they needed to put a tape out, so they picked some random matches and threw it together in half an hour. Both the IC title and WWF title changes are available extensively elsewhere. Too brief and unremarkable to be anything special and thus a waste of time.