Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Hosts: Sean Mooney, Lord Alfred Hayes
Commentators: Sean Mooney, Lord Alfred Hayes
Now this is more my speed. I’ve been doing a lot more indy level stuff lately so let’s take a major step away and go with something I grew up on with a Coliseum Video. This sounds like a bunch of international matches and I’m not sure what to expect from that. These tapes can be from one extreme to the other so it could a lot of ways. Let’s get to it.
Sean Mooney, dressed up like a Star Trek officer (in theory at least as I’ve never seen a single thing from Star Trek), welcomes us to the show and we’ve got a fan request.
From December 2, 1991 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Hulk Hogan vs. Typhoon
Someone smack this fan in the face. Typhoon has Jimmy Hart with him and Hogan still gets a very strong reaction, even though we’re pretty close to the end of Hulkamania’s first run. Mooney bills Hogan as 6’9, which is the biggest I’ve ever heard him described. Hogan circles him to start but gets shoved into the corner, which shocks him all over again. A big shove sends Typhoon into the corner and we hit the posing, as this seems to be a bit of the greatest hits.
Right hands in the corner keep Typhoon in trouble and more in the middle make things even worse. Hart takes a right hand of his own but Typhoon gets in a shot from behind. The announcers talk about how these two used to be friends, with Mooney saying that Hogan isn’t at fault for being so popular. Yeah, totally not his fault and it never has been all the other times this has happened. The bearhug goes on, Hogan is near death, the splash hits in the corner, Hogan kicks out at two, the usual connects and the legdrop finishes at 5:52.
Rating: D. I could watch Hogan fight off monsters almost all day (you need a break for lunch and tap dancing) but Typhoon really wasn’t doing it for me. What exactly was I supposed to buy into here? Even Earthquake would have been a better option here, and Hogan more than dispatched him over a year ago. Hogan’s act was running thin here, but a lot of that is due to a lack of opponents.
Back on the ship’s deck (just go with it), WWF Champion Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect beam in a signal and talk about how there is no one on any planet who could give them a challenge.
We see a clip of Flair winning the 1992 Royal Rumble to win the title, giving us some classic Heenan.
From November 13, 1991 in New Haven, Connecticut.
Intercontinental Title: Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair
Bret is defending, though Flair has the Big Gold Belt. Thankfully a graphic says that this is from before the 1992 Rumble to explain why Flair isn’t champion. Now is that so hard to explain? The bell rings and Bret goes outside to give the glasses to a fan so we have no contact for nearly two minutes. Bret grabs some headlock takeovers and it works so well that he does it again, followed by another to reverse a belly to back suplex.
The announcers use this time to debate if there are other wrestling titles beside the WWF Titles. Back up for good this time with Flair slapping Bret and getting punched down with a single right hand. Bret already goes for the leg but Flair slips out and yells at the referee, who shoves him right back. A fight over a top wristlock goes to Ric so Bret nips up and Flair bails into the corner. Some hair pulls take Bret down so he nips up a few more times and punches Flair down for the Flop.
Flair is right back with the chops in the corner but let’s talk about what would happen if Flair ever fought Hulk Hogan. Bret doesn’t take kindly to being ignored and clotheslines the heck out of Flair, who begs off in classic style. A rollup with feet on the ropes gives Flair two (and includes a SHUT UP to a fan for pointing it out) and another whip gets the same, complete with the same cheating. Bret escapes a sleeper by ramming Flair face first into the buckle so Flair starts in on the leg, including the fastest Figure Four I’ve ever seen him put on.
The rope is grabbed because Flair is in full on cheating mode tonight until Bret turns it over for the break. Bret gets fed up with the chops and there’s the Flair Flip over the corner for the crash to the floor. A ram into the barricade has Flair begging off and Bret hammers away, which screams for blood but it’s not happening at this point.
Perfect breaks up a Sharpshooter and distracts Bret from putting it on again. Flair sends him to the floor before going with a rather late headlock takeover, which Bret flips over into the bridging backslide for two. They fight outside again and Perfect pulls Hart off the apron so Flair can win by countout at 19:11.
Rating: B+. You knew you weren’t getting a clean fall in a match like this and that shouldn’t be the case. Hart going move for move with Flair was very quality stuff and there was almost no way it wasn’t going to work this well. Bret was clearly one of the best in the world at this point and giving him someone that was an actual test made for a great match with Bret wanting to prove that he could hang with someone as established as Flair. This felt like an even match, which is both impressive and not that surprising for a weird combination.
From December 2, 1991 in Corpus Christi, Texas, the same show as Hogan vs. Typhoon.
Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair
Shawn is still a Rocker at this point but the announcers know they’re in for something special. Michaels starts fast with a hiptoss into a headlock takeover as the pace slows in a hurry. A missed charge in the corner lets Shawn get two off a top rope spinning sunset flip and it’s right back to the headlock. You think Shawn might be trying to show off a bit here? A slap sends Flair outside and Shawn knocks him back down upon re-entry.
Shawn’s suplex makes Flair beg off and it’s a thumb to the eye to finally give him a real breather. That’s it for the offense at the moment though as Shawn knocks him to the floor and hits a backdrop before stopping to glare at Perfect. A sunset flip is broken up with a right hand but Flair Flops anyway. Perfect finally helps things out and it’s time to start in on the knee. Since Flair can’t get anything going here, Flair gets slammed off the top and a high crossbody gives Shawn two.
A dive hits the barricade though and Shawn seems to have died from the impact. Perfect goes after him so here’s Marty Jannetty to FINALLY even things up a bit. Thanks for being out here for the last ten minutes dude. Shawn is still down as the announcers point out that Marty hasn’t been here, furthering the issues between the team. What used to be Shawn is thrown back in and pinned with feet on the ropes at 10:14. That almost had to be a legitimate injury as the match just stopped cold out of nowhere.
Rating: B-. This was starting to rock (pun intended) and then the ending crippled it, which again makes me think that there was an actual injury there. You just don’t stop a hot match like this out of nowhere and you know these two could have gone on for hours. What we got was very good, but the lack of an ending hurt things a lot.
From December 2, 1991 in Corpus Christi, Texas. This show is getting more play than Wrestlemania.
Tag Team Titles: Legion of Doom vs. Beverly Brothers
The Beverlies are challenging of course with the Genius in their corner. They take their sweet time with the stalling, waiting about two minutes before any significant contact. Fair enough as it’s not like the Beverlies have any real chance once this gets going. Blake gets shoved all the way to the floor and we stall even more.
Back in and Blake forearms Animal in the back and gets thrown across the ring again, this time for a consultation with Beau. It’s Beau coming in for an exchange of powerslams, which goes even worse than you might expect. A very hard clothesline sends the Beverlies outside and Genius offers some advice (“Get a famous brother!”). They get back in with Beau getting to face Hawk and actually trying his luck with right hands.
That earns him a dropkick to the floor and a neckbreaker back inside as the LOD doesn’t seem interested in being on defense here. You know, for a change. Hawk goes shoulder first into the post and the Brothers finally take over for a bit…by going after the back instead of the shoulder. No wonder these nitwits never went anywhere. Beau runs into Hawk in the corner and a double clothesline allows the hot tag to Animal. They botch a backdrop (yes a backdrop, with Blake seeming to jump straight up instead of going forward) as everything breaks down. The Doomsday Device finishes Blake at 8:58.
Rating: D. Oh come on like this should have been ANYTHING else. Who was going to buy the Beverlies as any kind of a threat to the LOD and the titles. There’s nothing to say about this one, though it’s always kind of fun to see the LOD completely not caring and just beating people up because they don’t have to do anything else.
Hayes repairs the ship and we go warp speed to….Sensational Sherri’s Manager Cam.
From January 8, 1992 in Fort Myers, Florida.
Ted DiBiase vs. Tito Santana
Well if I just have to….but Sherri is mic’d up here to make sure we don’t get to properly enjoy things. Sherri: “He ain’t no matador! He didn’t kill no bull! It was a moo cow!” There’s no regular commentary here as it’s just Sherri shouting, which isn’t exactly a camera. Sherri shouts about Tito slapping her Teddy Bear so shoving him into the corner makes her even angrier.
DiBiase hides in the corner as Sherri yelling at the referee has already gone beyond annoying and into migraine inducing. Some lame brawling on the floor is followed by Tito taking it back inside and throwing him outside for a crash. Back in and Sherri grabs Tito’s leg but swears she didn’t do anything to Taco Bell. Sherri gets in a cheap shot on the floor as this is far more boring of a match than these two should be allowed to have.
The villains take turns choking on the ropes and Ted gets two off an elbow. A second one missed though and Tito makes his comeback, sending Sherri into a panic over Teddy Bear getting hurt. Tito has FINALLY had enough of Sherri and goes after her, allowing Ted to follow him out for the double countout at 8:07. That’s almost identical to the finish of DiBiase and Brutus Beefcake at Wrestlemania V.
Rating: D. These are two of my all time favorites and I couldn’t have been more disappointed. This was ENTIRELY about Sherri being mic’d up and that gimmick got really annoying in about ten seconds (they lost me at moo cow). Just let these two have a great fifteen minute match and stop trying to reinvent….well the wheel was useful so we’ll call this reinventing My Mother The Car knee socks.
And now, the Nasty Boys go to a video store, which just happens to be full of Coliseum Videos. Oh be still my beating childhood (the fronts of those tapes are burned into my memory forever). The Nastys aren’t happy with the selection and beat up the manager (who appeared to be longtime WWE director Kerwin Silfies). They take over the store and yell at a guy coming in for ballet tapes. So for once, this really ain’t ballet.
Now normally that would lead to a Nasty Boys match.
From October 1, 1991 in Huntington, West Virginia.
Hercules vs. Big Boss Man
Not quite the Nasty Boys and Gorilla Monsoon replaces Mooney for commentary here. Hercules has Slick in his corner and the dancing is strong during the entrances. An exchange of shoulders goes to Hercules but Boss Man grabs a rollup while Hercules is posing. Boss Man blocks a slam (A guy named HERCULES can’t slam someone?), slides outside to punch Slick, and backdrops Hercules to the floor.
Since it’s the early 90s, we get a double noggin knocker, followed by the running crotch attack to the back. A second attempt misses and an atomic drop stays on the, ahem, damage to give Hercules two. They slug it out with Hercules getting the better of it but Boss Man sends him into the corner a few times to break things up. The Boss Man Slam finishes out of nowhere at 7:35.
Rating: D-. This was AWFUL with both guys looking exhausted after about two minutes. At the end of the day though, Hercules not even being able to slam Boss Man (who was still big but far from huge at this point) summed up everything you needed to know about the show. Terrible match here and I’d be scared to see what was rejected from this tape.
From September 1, 1991 in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada.
Million Dollar Title: Ted DiBiase vs. Virgil
Ted is actually challenging here and has Sherri (thankfully quiet here) with him as Randy Savage is guest referee. Now why do I think that the rather intricate history between the various combinations of these people won’t be mentioned very often? Virgil starts fast with right hands and clotheslines to send Ted outside and he gets to pose with the title. I smell a customized photo for sale! Back in and DiBiase gets slammed a few times, sending him right back to the floor.
DiBiase gets in a shot to the face to take over and sends Virgil outside, meaning it’s a ram into the steps. A suplex gives Ted two more and it’s time for an argument with Savage, who still has the hat on like a real referee should. Another cover gets another two as he pulls Virgil up. DiBiase throws him very far off a backdrop but picks it up again. Savage yells at him again so DiBiase sends him outside and grabs the Million Dollar Dream on Virgil. That’s broken up with a top rope ax handle from Savage and Virgil gets the pin to retain at 7:12.
Rating: D. What do you want from a Virgil match? This was the extent of the story that you can do with him and I’m not sure why anyone is surprised that he didn’t last. The more disappointing part here was no mention of Savage vs. DiBiase or Savage and Sherri, both of which are interesting stories. But at least they got in and out in a hurry, which is the best thing you can do with a match like this.
Mooney and Hayes beam down to a planet for a quick discussion of the weather and an introduction to our main event.
From December 4, 1991 in Austin, Texas.
Jake Roberts/Undertaker vs. Randy Savage/Jim Duggan
The announcers recap Roberts ruining Savage and Elizabeth’s wedding reception as Savage goes after Jake. It’s the other two starting though with Undertaker zombie choking Duggan in the corner and then staring down at the Urn in that creepy way only he can pull off. A missed charge lets Duggan clotheslines him over the top with Undertaker landing on his feet in a spot that always looks cool.
The Stunner over the ropes gets Undertaker out of trouble and it’s off to Roberts who gives up a hot tag to Savage pretty quickly. Savage hammers away and nails the top rope ax handle but it’s back to Undertaker, who scares Hebner half to death in a funny bit. The smother to Savage’s face keeps him in trouble but a missed elbow allows the hot tag to Duggan. The villains cut him off in almost no time though but Savage has finally had it and chairs both of them for the DQ at 7:10.
Rating: D+. The energy was there and I can understand why they went with the finish they chose here, but egads it wasn’t much of a match. Duggan was kind of a random choice here but at least it was the more serious version than the goofy guy who felt out of place. Savage vs. Roberts was still white hot, though it never quite got the blowoff that it deserved.
Mooney and Hayes are stranded on the planet and abandoned by their annoyed crew to wrap things up.
Overall Rating: D+. The two Flair matches are the only things that you need to see her eon an otherwise boring effort. That’s always the case with these things though as you never know what you’re going to get. It was a bad time for the company too and while Wrestlemania would help things, the rest of 1992 wasn’t exactly great. Things were transitioning at this point and unfortunately they were going in the wrong direction.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2000 Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Part 1.
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