#WS919 – WWF Wrestling’s Fan Favorite Matches

Lee Maughan:

 

The Ultimate Warrior vs. Earthquake
And we start rather auspiciously with Sean Mooney on commentary declaring this match as exclusive to WrestleFest ’91, so if you bought that tape at full retail value specifically believing it to be the only place to get a copy of this particular bout then, hey, sucks to be you. Although if you did buy WrestleFest ’91 just for the privilege of seeing The Ultimate Warrior vs. Earthquake then you probably already know it sucks to be you, right? In fairness, both guys were still positioned pretty close to the top of the card at this point despite Warrior having dropped the WWF title to Sgt. Slaughter at the Royal Rumble one month prior and Earthquake having all but concluded his main event program with Hulk Hogan. The match itself isn’t all that bad, although the fact they found time to work in a significantly long bearhug for a match that went less than 6-minutes, should tell you all you need to know about the technical prowess of both wrestlers. Still, at least it played into the story of the match somewhat, with Earthquake trying to wear Warrior down after a fast start only for Warrior to somehow find that second wind (I know, I’m just as surprised about these startling developments as you, dear reader) to fight back, even kicking out of Earthquake’s big sit-down splash finisher (I know, I’m just as surprised about these startling developments as you, dear reader) and completely no-selling it (I know, I’m just as surprised about these startling developments as you, dear reader) to finally polish off his obese nemesis with three clotheslines, a body slam and a big splash. Simple, basic match that was perfectly okay given someone had the common sense not to book them to go 12-15 minutes.
Final Rating:

 

Macho Man Randy Savage vs. The Berzerker
Man, how lazy were Coliseum Video getting at this point? It’s another match, and it’s yet another incident in which Mooney proclaims this match to be “exclusive” to a tape that isn’t this one, in this case the 1992 Battle of the WWF Superstars. The lack of quality control with that is really astounding for a promotion as micro-managed as the WWF. And there’s no dicking about here, as Berzerker’s manager Mr. Fuji trips Savage from the outside with his cane, completely bypassing any shine and going directly into the heat. I mean, it’s not like you really need the shine segment when the heat is going to be the bulk of the match anyway, so you might as well get right down to it but I can’t really say The Berzerker was the most interesting to guy to watch work over someone, and it’s not like he had a particularly great grasp of psychology anyway. I know his gimmick was to dump guys over the top and win by count out, but here he dumps Savage down on the arena floor then immediately jumps out after him, not to administer any further punishment, but just to roll him back into the ring. Eventually, Berzerker misses a knee drop to give Savage a little hope spot, but Savage winds up running into a big boot, and Berzerker goes for a body slam, off which the referee takes a bump after Savage’s feet weekly kick him in the face. A ref bump! In this match! I don’t really mind referee bumps because this is pro wrestling after all, and if referee’s can get legitimately knocked out by stray right hooks in boxing then it stands to reason that sooner or later one would take a whack in a professional wrestling match, but I still think you should use them only sparingly, and certainly not in meaningless little throwaway matches like this. And the purpose of it all is so Savage can clonk Berzerker over the head with Fuji’s cane before dropping the big elbow for the win. Couldn’t Fuji have just jumped up on the ring apron to distract the referee like he did in every other match anyway and then tossed his cane to Berzerker, only for Savage steal it away from him? And then Savage doesn’t even stick around to celebrate and immediately power walks his way to the back. I told you he wasn’t dicking around! Match was even shorter than Warrior-Earthquake, believe it or not.
Final Rating:

 

The Legion of Doom & The Undertaker vs. The Beverly Brothers & The Mountie
“The Undertaker’s teaming with three obnoxious sissies,
That some prefer to call the LOD.
The Brothers Beverly and I have found them quite repulsive,
And The Genius knows the Mountie will agree!”

This is the only match on this tape that’s actually a video exclusive, as it was never commercially released anywhere else. It’s kind of sad how one-sided the teams are given the “Holy shit” feel of pairing up The Undertaker with The Legion of Doom, but that’s just another example of how in the WWF, the gimmick would often override the talent. Jacques Rougeau was a very capable talent as a tag team wrestler, either alongside his brother Raymond in The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers, or with Pierre Oulette as The Quebecers. As The Mountie however, he was a joke of an Intercontinental champion, and after his loss to The Big Bossman at SummerSlam ’91 and his subsequent stint “in jail”, he was nothing more than a comedic mid-card fool. The Beverly Brothers meanwhile had been just awesome show-off ass-kickers in the AWA as The Destruction Crew, reduced in McMahon-land to playing effeminate, spoiled brats, killing off any tough guy credibility they once had. Whenever I see a line-up like this, it makes me weep (figuratively speaking, of course) at how awesome a full-on Road Warriors vs. Destruction Crew series could have played out. Instead, the closest we got were forgone conclusions like this. Admittedly, the heel team does eventually drag some heat kicking and screaming out of the fans by acting like complete cowards, bumping around and generally having the shit kicked out of them by Undertaker and LOD. But at no point does it ever feel like they’re a threat, even when Hawk takes his awesome running shoulderblock into the ringpost bump that turns the tide in favour of the Beverlys. That of course leads to Hawk, not particularly renowned for his great selling, getting worked over for a few minutes. Hawk isn’t exactly Ricky Steamboat-like when it comes to showing any fire either, as he puts up absolutely no resistance whatsoever as he takes a series of backbreakers, punches, double axe handles and chokes from the treacherous trio. In fact, it’s Blake Beverly missing a top rope splash that leads to Hawk getting the hot tag to Animal, and what do you know? Hawk’s as fresh as a daisy just seconds later, as he and Animal drop Beau Beverly with the Doomsday Device to pick up the win. And what was the point of having The Undertaker out there? Besides choking out The Mountie early on, he hardly got involved. Still, the match was pretty decent overall, if not without it’s obvious faults.
Final Rating: **¼

 

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Bret Hart (c) vs. Skinner
Speaking of opponents with a lack of credibility, here comes Skinner, Intercontinental title contender at This Tuesday In Texas, fresh off his team’s humiliating whitewash loss just a few days earlier at the Survivor Series. Seriously, in kayfabed terms, what did Skinner ever do to earn this title shot? Not only that but for as decent a worker as Steve Keirn was during his Fabulous Ones heyday (and just try to imagine this slob Skinner as any kind of teeny boopper heartthrob, it’s nigh on impossible), he seemed absolutely intent on playing his character to the hilt, which apparently meant being a “scuffler” instead of a wrestler. Indeed, he spends most of his time on offence choking, stomping or chin locking Bret, rather than wrestling him in a traditional sense. At one point Bret even makes it clear that Skinner needs to work on his shoulder to build heat, but Skinner instead goes after a leg. I mean, if he is sticking staunchly to his character there by acting completely clueless, fair play, but he’s doing it to the detriment of the match Bret’s trying to build. Eventually, this all leads to Skinner going after the Gatorbreaker (inverted DDT) but Bret immediately goes to his sequence of big moves (I know some people give Bret slack for being repetitive and predictable with that, but from a psychological standpoint, it does make sense that he’d hit into high gear down the home stretch and go to all his biggest and best moves to try and kill off his opponent), and a slick sequence of counters ends up with Bret in position to lock on the Sharpshooter for the submission win. Bret did everything he could to carry this but Skinner just wasn’t up to the task of a 15-minute pay-per-view match at all.
Final Rating: **¼

 

The Natural Disasters vs. The Nasty Boys
And we end where we began, with Earthquake, because one appearance from him per tape clearly isn’t enough. And this is one of those odd cases Coliseum Video usually avoided whereby the first of his two matches on this release came during his heel run as a singles competitor, but this match comes after a rather rushed babyface turn for he and Typhoon after The Legion of Doom had briefly quit the promotion in February of 1992, only to return in time for WrestleMania VIII. Anyway, this is another repeat, coming as it does from the WrestleFest ’92 release, though I’m sure if you’ve seen it once, you’ll have no desire to ever see it again. Basically, Typhoon takes a few shots to his ample gut before dropping Knobbs with a clothesline (sold horrendously by Knobbs) and squashing Sags in the corner with a running splash, and that’s it for his participation in the match. Seriously. The Nasties end up working over Earthquake for a few minutes with the usual sloppy-as-shit brawling they were renowned for, before Earthquake makes his own comeback on both opponents and drops an elbow on Sags for the pin in the sort of 5-minute match that felt like it dragged on for an ice age. If this was really the “Tag Team Match of the Month” as the pre-match graphic indicated it was, I dread to think how bad the rest of that month’s pickings must have been.
Final Rating: ½*

 

We finish up back in the studio with Mooney, who promises more Coliseum releases just like this one will follow if fans continue to keep writing in. With those kind of threats, I can’t imagine the mailbox at Titan Tower saw much action after that.

 

Summary: What a largely pointless and slapdash tape this was, with four of the five matches coming from previous releases, and the only new footage being the six-man tag, and the best matches clocking in by my reckoning at just a shade above average. Not recommended at all unless you’re really into the novelty of seeing the LOD team up with The Undertaker, or you’re a massive Earthquake fan. And really, who isn’t? Besides everybody.
Verdict: 32

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