Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. 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: Gene Okerlund, Bobby Heenan
Commentators: Sean Mooney, Lord Alfred Hayes, Gorilla Monsoon, Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan
It’s back to Coliseum Video and in this case we’re jumping to one of the weaker times the company has had. The good thing is that these tapes almost always have something worth seeing and there is always a hope that we could see the same thing here. There is no major theme here most of the time and that makes things more fun. Let’s get to it.
Opening sequence, featuring various stars of the era and yeah this was likely put together in late 1992.
Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan are on a road trip for the Coliseum Video headquarters, which I believe was a story that Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes did in a previous tape. The car breaks down but worry not because Heenan knows that he can fix it. After breaking the hood ornament, they get the hood open so Heenan can look around. But now, a match!
From Madison, Wisconsin, December 15, 1992.
Tag Team Titles: Money Inc. vs. Nasty Boys
Money Inc., with Jimmy Hart, is defending and IRS thinks the fans like the Nasty Boys because they ALL CHEAT ON THEIR TAXES! Sidenote: how did IRS and Repo Man not get together at some point? Shouldn’t that have been an obvious pairing? The brawl starts before the bell with the champs being knocked outside as Hayes starts making money jokes.
DiBiase and Sags start things off with DiBiase working on the arm. A hiptoss sets up a missed elbow drops and it’s Knobbs coming in to stay on the arm. The Nasties take turns on said arm but IRS is a good partner who breaks up the Pit Stop. IRS comes in and gets his arm cranked on as well but a drop toehold gets him out of trouble. Knobbs….wins a mat wrestle off (I’m as shocked as you are) and it’s time to work on IRS’ arm some more.
They head out to the floor with a distraction letting IRS drive Sags into the apron. Back in and the champs start taking over, including a bearhug of all things from DiBiase. A bite get Sags out of trouble but IRS makes the save and grabs a bearhug of his own. Sags manages to send the champs into each other and it’s Knobbs coming back in to clean house. Everything breaks down and the champs are knocked outside, which is enough for the two of them to walk out.
Hold on though as the referee says not so fast, because if they don’t answer the ten count, the titles change hands (that was a Money Inc. signature spot). Back in and DiBiase gets in a shot to Sags and grabs the Million Dollar Dream. That’s broken up as well and a faceplant is enough to bring Knobbs back in. Everything breaks down again and Sags drops his always bad top rope elbow onto IRS for two. Hart offers a distraction though and DiBiase’s belt shot retains the titles at 13:23.
Rating: C. This took some time to get going but they went with what was more or less a house show finish. That makes enough sense given the situation but it is still a bit more than a disappointing ending. The Nasty Boys were getting warm again at this point but I don’t know if they were hot enough to win the titles.
From Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, October 12, 1992.
Crush vs. Papa Shango
This is a different one. Shango jumps him from behind to start and the beating is on fast. A running crossbody in the corner hits Crush but he manages a quick backbreaker. Crush hits a superkick to put Shango on the floor as Sean talks about Crush moving a bunch of wood in a barn. The story doesn’t have quite the impact as Shango wins a test of strength and takes him down. Hayes’ advice: cheat.
Crush doesn’t go evil and fights up for the comeback, only to miss a splash in the corner. The beating is back on until Shango misses a jumping legdrop and now the real comeback can be on. A big boot knocks Shango outside and there’s a clothesline to do it again. That’s finally enough for Shango, who grabs his skull staff and shoots fireworks into Crush’s eyes for the DQ at 6:48.
Rating: D+. This wasn’t much of a power match and the ending didn’t make it any better. Crush was getting bigger and bigger at this point but he was still beneath Shango, so this wasn’t the worst decision. The ending didn’t make things much better though and this was a pretty lame match.
Crush looks mildly perturbed. Not hurt or anything, but annoyed.
From Hershey, Pennsylvania, September 1, 1992.
Big Boss Man vs. Rick Martel
Boss Man knocks him around to start and Martel accuses him of a hair pull. Then he does it again, with the referee, who was looking right at them, taking Martel’s word for it. With that not working, Boss Man MESSES WITH Martel’s hair, which is enough to earn him some knees in the corner. A hiptoss sends Martel outside though as this is one sided so far. Back in and Boss Man starts working on the arm before sending Martel into the corner over and over. With nothing else working, Martel grabs the atomizer, meaning Boss Man grabs the nightstick and that’s a double DQ at 6:10.
Rating: C-. This wasn’t great as Boss Man more or less squashed him until the lame ending. You really can’t have Rick Martel take the Boss Man Slam in late 1992? Boss Man was on a downward trajectory at this point but he should be able to get a win here. Also, back to back DQ finishes after a cheating ending isn’t quite the hot start to a tape.
Bobby and Gene are still looking at the engine, with the sun rapidly going down.
From Dayton, Ohio, November 24, 1992.
Earthquake vs. Repo Man
Earthquake sends him into the corner for a splash as Sean talks about how this is an exclusive for WrestleFest 1993. The fact that this match is also on Smack Em Whack Em makes me think I need to reevaluate my thoughts on Sean Mooney. Earthquake charges into a shot in the corner and gets ax handled down but the beating doesn’t last long. Back up and Earthquake runs him over, setting up the Earthquake for the pin at 4:22.
Rating: D+. Aside from my faith in Mooney being shattered, this was a pretty nothing match, with Earthquake shrugging off Repo Man’s basic offense and winning with the usual. There isn’t much that can be said for Repo Man in the ring, but he was so over the top as a character that it became memorable.
From Louisville, Kentucky, October 28, 1992.
Intercontinental Title: Virgil vs. Shawn Michaels
Michaels is defending in a match that appears on three different tapes. Shawn takes him down to start and gets in some taunting, which earns Hayes’ approval. Virgil fights back with an atomic drop into a dropkick for a fast two but a kick to the face cuts him off in a hurry. One heck of a dropkick drops Virgil again but commentary is too upset about Shawn chewing gum during a match. I mean….well yeah kind of.
Shawn grabs a chinlock for a bit, followed by a suplex to drop Virgil again. A faceplant gets Virgil out of trouble and he hits a clothesline to the back of the head. The rapid fire punches spin Shawn around for a delayed two and a middle rope clothesline gets the same. That’s a bit too much for Shawn, who grabs the Tear Drop suplex to retain at 7:07.
Rating: C. Completely watchable match as Virgil had a good comeback but wasn’t going to beat someone anywhere near as good as Shawn. That’s not a bad place to be either, as Shawn’s star was clearly on the rise at this point and few people were going to be able to give him a run for his money. Also, it’s nice to see a clean finish for a change.
From Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, June 1, 1992.
Undertaker vs. Berzerker
Paul Bearer and Mr. Fuji are the seconds. Hayes says that Undertaker is a sex symbol in Europe for your disturbing thought of the day. Berzerker jumps him to start and gets uppercutted right into the corner. Undertaker charges into a corner though and a running dropkick sends him to the floor. Brawling outside works fine for Undertaker but he misses the running clothesline back inside.
They head right back to the floor with Undertaker being sent into various steps and then the apron (the STEEL apron according to Hayes), setting up a big chair shot. Back in and Undertaker fights back, only to miss the big elbow. Berzerker goes outside again and chokes with a cord, setting up a running bulldog back inside. Undertaker gets laid against the ropes for some right hands but manages to backdrop him over the top.
That does nothing so Berzerker is right back in for a piledriver, which Undertaker no sells. Then he hits a piledriver, which Undertaker no sells. Then he hits a piledriver, which Undertaker….actually sells, allowing Berzerker to drop a knee. Fuji hands in the sword (because there’s a sword), but Undertaker takes it away, only to have Fuji grab the leg. That doesn’t work for Undertaker, who clotheslines him down and hits the Tombstone for the pin at 7:52.
Rating: C. This was the kind of match where they knew there was almost no one paying attention so they had a pretty goofy match. Undertaker popping up from the piledrivers was funny but the sword stuff was so goofy that it didn’t make much of a difference. At the same time, at least it wasn’t ANOTHER DQ finish.
Post match Fuji comes in, earning a Tombstone (the safest I’ve seen in a long time) of his own.
Heenan and Gene still don’t have any luck with the car, though they do have some extra parts.
From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, July 9, 1991.
Jim Duggan vs. IRS
Well this is kind of out of nowhere. Duggan goes personal/business by stomping IRS’ briefcase before knocking IRS down. Back up and a running shoulder drops IRS again as he’s a bit shaken to start. There’s a clothesline to do it again as this is totally one sided to start. An atomic drop and an elbow to the face put IRS on the floor, where he is tossed back in but then gets thrown outside again.
IRS FINALLY gets in a shot to the face and we hit the chinlock with a foot on the rope (or maybe IRS just got caught by mistake). This goes on far longer than it needs to until Duggan fights up and rams him into the corner ten times in a row. The three point clothesline sends IRS outside again but he pulls Duggan outside for the brawl and double countout at 8:02.
Rating: D-. This tape is getting terrible in a hurry as three of the seven matches have ended in either a countout or a DQ. Again: is it that hard to have one of these two lose with a pin? It’s a stand alone Coliseum Video and after doing one of the most boring matches you could imagine, they have that ending.
From Portland, Maine, July 21, 1992.
Nasty Boys/Repo Man vs. Tito Santana/High Energy
Jimmy Hart is here with the villains, despite managing AGAINST the Nasty Boys about an hour earlier. Knobbs kicks Koko into the corner to start but misses a dropkick, allowing Koko to hit a jumping elbow/hip attack. Repo and Tito come in with the latter cranking on an arm and handing it off to Owen. Sags comes in and blocks a hiptoss before Owen flips backwards and gets the hiptoss on the second try.
Knobbs low bridges Hart to the floor though and that means a BIG dive over the top, because that’s what Owen would do in this spot. Back in and the beating continues, with the villains getting to take turns this time. Repo grabs a neck crank and yells a lot before finally missing a charge. That’s enough for Santana to come back in for a dropkick and flying forearm to Sags as everything breaks down. The Nasties and Repo are sent into each other, allowing Santana to hit another flying forearm. Knobbs tries to bring in the hook and that’s enough for the DQ at 7:35.
Rating: C-. This got better in the end but I’m trying to get my head around the idea of another DQ finish. Did they really have nothing better to do with a show like this? The Nasties were about to turn face so wouldn’t a loss help them move in that direction? I can always go for a good six man, but that wasn’t quite what we got here.
From Erie, Pennsylvania, November 23, 1992.
Randy Savage vs. Terry Taylor
Note that it’s TERRIFIC Terry Taylor, not just Terry Taylor. They go with the grappling to start and Savage manages an armdrag into an armbar. Back up and they shove each other a few times, which you know won’t sit well with Savage. Taylor is sent outside but manages to punch Savage out of the air to break up the top rope ax handle. Back in and Taylor hits a backbreaker as Monsoon says youth is the only thing Taylor has going for him.
An atomic drop gives Savage two as we hear about Savage’s success in the company, which doesn’t make Monsoon sound biased at all. The sleeper is broken up rather quickly and Savage grabs a backslide for two, only to be neckbreakered back down. Something like a Vader Bomb hits raised knees though and Savage does the neck snap across the top. There’s the ax handle for two, setting up the slam and elbow to give Savage the pin at 9:44.
Rating: B-. By far the best match on the whole thing so far, which isn’t the highest bar to clear. Savage was well past his prime by this point but he was still good for a fine match against someone with Taylor’s skill. It’s amazing what happens when you have Taylor as just a guy in trunks instead of a wrestling rooster, but no one cared about someone named Terrific Terry Taylor and that was never going to change.
There’s a hamster in the car engine. That’s the big finish.
From Huntsville, Alabama, August 10, 1992.
Intercontinental Title: Bret Hart vs. Kamala
Kamala, with Harvey Wippleman and Kim Chee, is challenging. Commentary has no idea how Kamala is allowed to compete when he’s, you know, a savage. Bret works on the arm to start but a dropkick doesn’t actually drop him. With that not working, Bret goes back to the arm, sending Kamala to the rope (as you do in the dark jungle). Kamala wants a test of strength and Bret is way too smart for that, as he doesn’t go for it and eventually stomps on Kamala’s bare feet.
Some running shots stagger Kamala but he gets in a shot to the throat to take over. Back up and Bret charges into a bearhug before getting kicked in the face (Bret has a bad, bad history with superkicks). The chest claw goes on, then Bret fights up, then Bret gets knocked down, then the chest claw goes on again. Back up again and Bret ducks a leapfrog (ok that was cool) and grabs the Russian legsweep for two. The middle rope clothesline gets the same and the middle rope elbow connects, only to draw in Chee for the DQ (of course) at 10:04.
Rating: C. The chest claw aside, this could have been a lot worse. Bret knows how to make just about anything work and he did well enough here. Kamala was perfectly fine as a monster challenger who had no real chance and that is what we got here. Granted we also got….what, the fifth DQ on this thing? I was almost expecting it at this point.
Post match the beatdown is on but Kamala splashes Wippleman by mistake and gets knocked outside. Bret even steals Chee’s pith helmet.
From Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, October 13, 1992.
Razor Ramon vs. Tito Santana
Santana starts fast by hitting the flying forearm out to the floor before working on an armbar back inside. A dropkick and armdrag into an armbar have Ramon in more trouble but he manages a hot shot to take over. Some forearms to the back set up an abdominal stretch (it was a Razor signature even back then) but Santana reverses into one of his own. That’s broken up as well so Ramon tries a bearhug. Santana gets sent into the corner, where Razor’s pulls him out with the Razor’s Edge for the pin at 4:44.
Rating: C. I like both guys and it was nice to see Santana when he was still able to do a lot of good in the ring, though Ramon was on the rise and not about to lose anything for a good while. These two actually have a bit of a personal history too, as Santana came up with the Ramon name after Razor had picked Razor. If that isn’t enough to give you chemistry, nothing else can.
From New York City, New York, January 18, 1993.
Ric Flair vs. Mr. Perfect
This is from Raw and Loser Leaves The WWF, with Flair looking very Tommy Rich. Perfect is serious here and drives him into the corner to start as Heenan is losing it early on commentary. Flair gets slapped in the face and knocked out to the floor, leaving Perfect to seem rather cocky. Back in and they fight over arm control until Perfect gets him into the corner for some chops, setting up the Flair Flop.
As Vince and Heenan argue about driving too fast and rock music, Flair takes him into the corner and hammers away, only to have Perfect punch him right back down. Flair is so frustrated that he goes outside and grabs a chair as we’re cut (via commercial, which isn’t mentioned here) to Flair sending Perfect face first into the post and out to the floor HARD. Back in and Perfect, busted open, gets caught in a chinlock for two (yes a chinlock) but Flair’s feet are caught on the ropes.
Perfect slugs back and hammers away with right hands in the corner (Heenan: “THAT’S A CLOSED FIST!!!”) until an atomic drop slows him down. A suplex gives Perfect two but Flair is right back with a sleeper. That’s broken up after two arm breaks and Perfect grabs a sleeper of his own as Heenan is panicking over the time limit. Flair breaks it up with a belly to back and the Figure Four goes on, with Flair grabbing the rope as you knew he was going to do.
The referee finally catches Flair so it’s time to kick at the leg even more. Flair goes up top and gets slammed down as we take another break. Back again with Flair loading up the foreign object and nailing Perfect, setting up an elbow drop for two, as Perfect’s foot is on the rope. Flair might want to look next time, as the foot was on the rope before Flair even covered him.
The hard right hands to the cut set up the chop in the corner, which is enough to fire Perfect up. The comeback is on with Flair getting backdropped and going up top, only to get clotheslined out of the air for two more. Flair sweeps the leg and puts his feet on the rope for some near falls. That’s broken up so Flair ducks his head, setting up the PerfectPlex for the pin at 24:11.
Rating: A-. This is a classic and the first great match in Raw history. Flair was on his way out and made Perfect look like a star, as Perfect’s 1993 run of awesome begins. You often hear about Perfect being an amazing talent and this was the time when he felt like he could possibly break through to the main event. This is absolutely worth checking out if you haven’t seen it before and dang it was a welcome end to this never ending tape.
Gene and Bobby hitchhike as the sun is coming up. A car pulls up and Gene leaves Heenan by the side of the road, as apparently this is the first car to drive by in about twelve hours.
Overall Rating: C-. The main event helps it a lot, but e pluribus gads the rest of this thing (save for Savage vs. Taylor and maybe Bret vs. Kamala, there is not much else to see here. I know I harped on it a lot but MY GOODNESS what was the point of all the disqualifications? It’s a Best Of tape and you really can’t have a few more definitive pins? This was one of the weaker Coliseum Videos I can remember, but the main event does help boost things up a lot.
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