The SmarK Rant for WWE Unreleased (Part One)
Hey, I finally got this one, and it’s LONG. So since 90 minutes is about my comfort zone these days, we’ll do this in shorter chunks, Coliseum Video style.
Hosted by Charly Caruso and Sean Mooney, in a wacky throwback to the old Coliseum Videos. Fitting, I suppose.
King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd & Bobby Heenan v. Super, Big & Hulk Machine (09.16.86)
This looks like a dark match from a Superstars taping. The identity of Hulk Machine remains a mystery to this day, but he was fired from the Machines for making racist comments, so draw your own conclusions. Hulk immediately slams Studd, but the heels go to work on Big Machine regardless. Big takes Bundy down and stomps him to take over, and Hulk comes in and slams Bundy and Studd for good measure. Hulk uses his martial arts, being Japanese and all, and pokes Studd in the eyes, and Super Machine comes in and slams him as well. Man, the Machines are up like $45,000 in this match. Finally Super runs into an elbow in the corner and the heels take over. Bobby gets about 2 seconds of offense and then gets flung over the top rope before tagging out again. Bundy works on Super with a bearhug and the crowd is just jacked for this, and over to Studd for more bearhuggery. Bundy with the Avalanche, and Bobby Heenan tags in to celebrate before his guaranteed big win. And then Hulk switches in behind the ref’s back and plays dead, and the crowd goes INSANE, as Hulk quickly finishes Bobby with the lariat at 9:39. That was a great finish. 1 for 1.
Pedro Morales v. Randy Savage (10.28.86)
This is a dark match from Wrestling Challenge, during Savage’s IC title reign. I always loved the detail of how Savage would make sure to kiss the belt before handing it over. Pedro works a headlock after a long stall session from Macho. Savage works the arm and gets nowhere with that, so he concludes that the issue is Elizabeth’s placement outside the ring and stops to reposition her. Pedro slugs on him, so Savage immediately goes Memphis and finds an object in his tights, using that to take over. Next up, a bouquet of flowers from ringside, which he shoves in Pedro’s face before launching him over the top rope. Back in, Pedro blocks the double axehandle to make the comeback and slugs away in the corner, but Savage takes him down and pins him with his feet on the ropes at 7:43. Nothing to this one. 1 for 2.
Paul Orndorff & Harley Race v. Hulk Hogan & Roddy Piper (12.09.86)
Another Superstars dark match and one that I’d have killed to see as a kid. The faces double-team Race in the corner to start and work the arm, but sadly Piper gets caught in the heel corner and choked out with the tag rope. Piper comes back with a sunset flip on Orndorff, but he gets redirected into the heel corner with an atomic drop, and Piper is all in with the goofy selling, but Race misses a diving headbutt and Piper makes a dramatic hot tag to Hogan. Big boot on Race, but the ref is distracted getting Piper out, and Heenan runs in for the DQ at 5:47 after the legdrop. C’mon, Hogan and Piper as a tag team in early 1987 against the Heenan Family? That’s an easy point. 2 for 3. So much fun. Hogan and Piper do the Megapower handshake to seal the deal afterwards.
The Dingo Warrior v. Jose Estrada (06.23.87)
Oh man, it’s the Warrior’s tryout match! He takes Estrada down with a clumsy armdrag, but Jose takes him down and works a nerve hold. Warrior quickly escapes and gives him a press slam and goes back to the arm, as this match somehow gets more awful. Estrada stomps away in the corner, but Warrior makes the comeback and finishes with a clothesline at 6:21. I remain astonished that this guy got a job. 2 for 4.
Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage v. The Hart Foundation & Honky Tonk Man (01.05.88)
Hey, we read about this one in the Observer Flashback from the time and now here it is. The Megapowers work on Anvil’s arm to start, but Savage quickly gets caught in the wrong corner and triple-teamed. The faces come back with a double boot on Bret Hart, but Bret hits Savage with the hooking clothesline and Macho is YOUR Megapower-in-peril. Savage comes back on Honky, but misses a blind charge and then makes the hot tag to Hulk anyway. Legdrop finishes Honky at 5:12. It’s the debut of the Megapowers, how can you not give it a point? I’m not a MONSTER. 3 for 5.
Barry Horowitz v. Owen Hart (03.08.88)
DAMN. This is the most batshit crazy collection of stuff ever committed to DVD and I’m LOVING it. So yeah, this is a famous tryout match from Wrestling Challenge in 1988. Owen does the acrobatic armbar escape on Barry, and follows with the suplex and flying knee out of the corner for two. Owen with another flip into a hiptoss and he goes to work on the arm. Barry catches him with a superkick and takes over with a butterfly suplex for two. Owen flips out of an armbar, dropkicks him to the floor, and follows with a suicide dive. Then he suplexes Barry on the floor and slingshots out with a legdrop on him for good measure. Back in, a moonsault press gets two. Belly to belly and Owen goes back up again, flying ¾ of the way across the ring with a headbutt to finish at 5:44. WOW! No wonder both promotions were fighting over him after that. 4 for 6.
WWF title: Randy Savage v. Andre the Giant (04.21.88)
Andre overpowers Macho to start and chokes him out in the corner right away, then uses the Giant Ass to smother him. Andre chokes away and gets the big headbutt, but Liz provides a distraction and Savage grabs a chair for the DQ at 3:21. I’ve seen WAY better from this pairing. 4 for 7.
WWF tag team titles: Demolition v. The Powers of Pain (06.21.88)
So this was very early into the Powers’ run, when they were babyfaces managed by Tito Santana because reasons. Demolition runs away to start as we go 3:00 with basically no contact made while they all glower at each other. Ax is unable to shoulderblock Warlord down, which marks the only highspot after 5:00 of this excitement. Barbarian comes in and puts Smash down with a big boot for two, and it’s BONZO GONZO, as Demolition runs away at 7:12. Really, really, really bad. 4 for 8.
Andre the Giant v. Big John Studd (04.04.89)
So we’re right after Wrestlemania V now, with one of Studd’s last appearances. Studd chops away to start, but Andre grabs him for a choke and that drags on for a while. Studd makes the comeback and Heenan runs in for the DQ at 4:51. 4 for 9.
Next time: We finish off the first disc with the rest of 1989!