James Dixon: You have got to be kidding me? We are reviewing a tape that is primarily tips on how to play a near 20-year-old video game? What a shameful cash cow release this was! And to have the cheek to put it as part of the Collectors Series too. Disgraceful! Why are we even covering this? Surely we can skip this one?
Todd Pettengill presents, which is just marvellous isn’t it, and he goes on about how great the game is. Apparently it was inspired by Monday Night Raw. It looks more like a direct follow-up of Super WrestleMania to me. Footage in the background shows Bret Hart delivering a stalling atomic drop to Yokozuna. At least it was realistic!
We look at the attributes of some of the wrestlers, and Bret Hart has 3/10 for stamina. Idiotic! Pettengill shows us how to change the attributes to make “Yokozuna as quick as the 1-2-3 Kid”. Is this one of the tape’s secrets? Apparently, each wrestler is assigned SUPER HUMAN MEGA MOVES which are not in the manual. I reckon they intended it that way just so they could release this tape. Vince McMahon has no conscience, any dollar is a good dollar, no matter where it comes from. We then get some advice from Todd that takes advantage of a glitch, where if you hit a dropkick straight away, you can pin your opponent. Ok then, what the hell is the point of the rest of this tape, or indeed the game itself, if I can just do that?
Razor Ramon tells us how to do the Fallaway Slam. Apparently you press ‘A’ on the SNES and ‘C’ on the Mega Drive. Well holy shit, I never would have cracked that code. Next, Razor shows us how to do a PINFALL. It seems EVERY SINGLE BUTTON will achieve that. I am certain I would have stumbled across that myself. Razor’s “mega move” is the “Backflip Elbow Drop”. Yeah, I am sure it is.
Doink offers little insight, other than telling us not to swing steel chairs around. Sage advice in any situation.
Pettengill advises beating up the ref and cheating to win. I always knew he was a real-life heel.
We get some ACTUAL wrestling now, albeit briefly, as Razor Ramon pins Rick Martel to win his first Intercontinental title, following the Razors Edge. Razor posing with the title lasts about ten times longer than the in-ring footage we got.
A stoned and bored 1-2-3 Kid tells us how to hit a dropkick. As before, it is a single button affair, and again, I think even the dumbest kid could have worked that one out on his own. This tape is a real rip-off.
Luna Vachon, seemingly fresh from having eaten some children, frightens the life out of me. The way she says SEGA will genuinely give you nightmares. I suddenly feel compelled to play Raw and hit Luna’s SUPER HUMAN MEGA MOVE if I want to live.
The Toddster tells us to press ‘B’ to throw someone out of a Royal Rumble. Right. “Don’t ever run in a Royal Rumble” says Todd. Is that like not running with scissors?
Bret Hart can’t save THIS tape, and he sounds confused and weary as he describes his moves. I don’t even know what they were, I stopped listening. We cut to the superb match between Bret Hart and the 1-2-3 Kid from Raw, though it is heavily clipped. We get more than the single move the Razor match gave us though, which is welcome. This is the home straight of an epic match, which really made 1-2-3 Kid. He was over already, but this showed he could hang with the WWF champion. It is a superb example of how to do a babyface vs. babyface match and similarly, a wonderful demonstration of how to get someone over by beating them. The full match is probably around ****½ and is an often forgotten all-time classic.
Yokozuna is too badass to give video game tips, so Pettengill does the honours for him. Diesel is not too badass, and tells us to keep clobbering the opponent until their energy is gone. His real in-ring work was pretty similar, though the sprite version of him is probably more energetic and has more than five moves.
The Undertaker is next, but he doesn’t give any tips, instead Paul Bearer does the honours. Listening to Bearer warbling about atomic drops and describing what buttons to press, is almost an out of body hallucinogenic experience. Taker can’t take anymore and jumps in. The Undertaker saying “Super Nintendo” is equally trippy.
Lex Luger vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
An actual match! From the start and everything! Not a great choice by any means, but at least it is real people rather than sprites. I would have rather seen Kid-Hart in full, but you take what you can get. They do this at quite a pace, with the story of the match being Luger’s fight against the numbers game, as the Million Dollar Corporation are at ringside. Adam Bomb and Mabel come down to even things up. What a dreadful roster they had in 1994. Luger rolls Bigelow up for the win after Bam Bam accidentally hits Tatanka. It was short but highly energetic. I probably enjoyed it more than I usually would, purely because it is the only actual full match on this tape.
Final Rating: **
Shawn Michaels closes out the tape with his tips, and Todd Pettengill tells viewers to “beware of being double teamed”. Indeed! The shameless huckster then says that even MORE hints and tips are available on another tape. What a disgusting ploy. I mean, you would think all the hints and tips you would ever need would be available on a tape dedicated to exactly that.
Summary: There is no good reason to own this whatsoever. It is a tape of wrestlers talking about how to do moves on a one-dimensional video game from two decades ago, and thus is absolutely worthless. You would be better off spending your money on a book extolling the virtues of pyramid schemes. This entire content could have been published in WWF Magazine on one page. Take it from me, it is an absolute miss.