The SmarK Rant for WWE Unreleased 1986-1996 (Part 3)
OK, continuing on with the wacky adventures of Sean Mooney and Charly Caruso.
Earthquake v. Hulk Hogan (04.03.90)
So this is two days after Wrestlemania, and it would be the first time Tenta went just by “Earthquake” instead of “Canadian Earthquake”, so there’s a bit of trivia for you right there. Quake attacks to start and quickly pounds Hogan, but misses the elbow and Hulk makes a comeback with a corner clothesline. It takes two more clotheslines and a high knee to put Quake onto his knees, but Hulk stops to go after poor defenseless Jimmy Hart, and Quake sends him into the post as a result. Good, he had it coming for that show of poor sportsmanship. Quake with the backbreaker and a lengthy bearhug, but the butt splash only gets two and it’s HULK UP time. The bodyslam and legdrop finish clean at 7:36. Both guys were working hard, nothing to complain about here. 1 for 1.
Big Bossman v. Ted Dibiase (04.03.90)
This is from the same Challenge taping as the Hogan match. And this is sweet, because we never actually got this blowoff on TV after the angle at Wrestlemania. Does anyone find it odd that Bossman transitioned as a character from a specific prison guard persona to a more general police-style character? No? Just me? OK then. Bossman quickly goes after Dibiase, but Virgil trips him up and Dibiase goes to work on the floor. The lack of commentary gives us some PRIMO interaction with the fans, like a little kid who jumps out of his seat and screams “SHUT UP, YOU JERK!” at Dibiase. You tell him, kid. I actually talked with Dibiase when he was doing the church circuit after his WCW stint, and he said he specifically loved when he inspired that kind of reaction from people. Back in the ring, Ted drops three fists and gets two, but Bossman comes back for a double KO off a clothesline and gets all fired up. Atomic drop and now his shirt his actually ripped open, which is not a good look for him. Spinebuster gets two and Virgil runs in for the DQ at 4:07. Short but energetic. 2 for 2. Poor Virgil gets handcuffed and beaten up, so at least Bossman got his revenge.
Rick Rude & Mr. Perfect v. Ultimate Warrior & Kerry Von Erich (08.09.90)
What in the ever loving fuck is up with Rude’s generic music here? I just don’t even understand their music-scrubbing rules sometimes. Anyway, if there’s a more perfect tag team match from 1990, I have no idea what it could possibly be. I mean, seriously, Warrior and Kerry could be brothers, and of course Rude and Hennig go together like peanut butter and jelly. Also, I feel like the babyface team could be the punchline of a joke or something, like “What has one brain and three feet?” Anyway, have I mentioned how much I love this set and how I hope that they put out a sequel, because god knows there’s gotta be hundreds of hours of batshit crazy dark matches they could draw from. This company makes me so angry and frustrated much of the time, but then they’re like “Here, have a 9 hour DVD filled with 45 unreleased matches with no commentary from the exact time everyone is nostalgic for” and I’m like “Oh…OK, I’ll take you back.” After 3 minutes of stalling from the heels, the babyfaces immediately clean house and Perfect is taking bumps on the floor. Back in the ring, Kerry clobbers Perfect for two while Warrior paces back and forth on the apron like someone who just had 15 Red Bulls. I always thought that was a hilarious touch for his character, because he was 100% kinetic energy and being in a tag match would have been hell for him. And indeed, Warrior tags in and lays waste to the heels. Kerry comes in with a delayed suplex on Rude for two, but walks into a knee from Perfect and he’s face in peril. I’d call him busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, but that’s a bit on-the-nose, I’d say. Speaking of which, Perfect takes him down and works a spinning toehold, and that’s GOTTA be a rib. In fact that’s exactly the kind of thing he’d do. Kerry escapes with an iron claw in a nice touch, but the heels cut off the ring again and Hennig holds him in a chinlock. Rude chokes him out with the tag rope, but Perfect dropkicks his partner by mistake and it’s HOT TAG Warrior and Perfect is just flying all over the ring. Big splash finishes at 11:52. What’s not to love here? Perfect put a man with one leg in a spinning toehold! 3 for 3. On the other hand, everyone in the match is now dead.
Demolition v. The Legion of Doom (10.30.90)
This is the super-wacky period when Demolition had new music and wore full masks, which no one seems to remember anymore. The LOD works on Crush (at least I think that’s who it is, because it’s so INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT to tell them apart, Vince!) but Animal gets laid out by Smash on the floor and Crush comes in with a flying knee to take over. They set up for Decapitation and Hawk breaks it up right away, then hits Ax with a flying clothesline to finish at 2:23. Well that was brisk. 3 for 4. I’m tempted to give it a point just for proving that Masked Demolition was a thing that existed, but I wouldn’t want to break the system.
War Eagle v. Dale Wolfe (01.09.91)
This is one of the numerous, NUMEROUS tryout matches and repackagings of Chris “Tatanka” Chavis, more than a year before he got hired for good. And he is RIPPED here, shredded like mozza, and it’s no wonder they kept trying to give him a job. Also, he’s using “Crank It Up” as his theme, which doesn’t really fit with the native American theme, but this isn’t an exact science. Mr. Eagle spends the first couple of minutes chasing Wolfe around the ring while doing a permanent pee-pee dance that I guess is supposed to indicate how fiercely tribal that he is. Eagle works the arm, then makes a comeback and finishes with the samoan drop at 4:59. Pretty dull stuff. 3 for 5.
Blindfold match: Rick Martel v. Jake Roberts (01.29.91)
Another one presented in Squish-O-Vision for some reason. I’m assuming this was the rehearsal for Wrestlemania VII. And if so, they should have rehearsed more. Anyway, this is more of the same, but with even less contact made, as they stumble around the ring and end up on the floor. Back in, Jake does the bit where he points around the ring to echo-locate Martel, and Rick finally gets frustrated and pulls his hood off, but still manages to walk into a DDT and get pinned at 10:13. That’s actually a better finish than the one at Wrestlemania, so I’m not sure why they changed it, unless they were worried about betraying the integrity of the artform or insulting people’s intelligence.
Yeah, I know. 3 for 6.
Ted Dibiase v. Sid Justice (07.09.91)
OH MAN. This set keeps giving like Santa on Christmas morning. So of course this was fresh off Sid quitting WCW, and he quickly clobbers Dibiase with clotheslines and sends him flying out of the ring. Sid sends him into the post, and back in for a backdrop, but Dibiase uses Sherri’s purse to take over. He gets a clothesline for two as Sid does his “dead body” sell but then kicks out at two and tosses Dibiase into the air like it’s a midget match. Dibiase goes up and misses the elbow, allowing Sid to make the comeback with a corner splash and the powerbomb at 5:22. Sid looked like shit here but got over like crazy. 3 for 7, but it’s still so goddamn fascinating to watch.
Casket Match: Undertaker v. Ultimate Warrior (08.19.91)
This is the blowoff I’m assuming we were supposed to get around Survivor Series, before Warrior got fired. Warrior charges in and Taker clotheslines him and chokes him out in the corner, so Warrior comes back with a slam and the clotheslines, but Taker calmly absorbs it all and slugs him down again. Tombstone and rolls Warrior into the casket as the crowd is LOSING THEIR SHIT about this, but Warrior hulks up in the casket and prevents the lid from closing. He grabs the urn, whacks Taker with it, and rolls him into the casket for the win at 5:44. Nothing as a match, but the concept got over like gangbusters. 4 for 8.
Ric Flair v. Roddy Piper (10.01.91)
WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THE AWESOMENESS OF THIS SET?!? This is even before the Hogan matches, so Flair is still sporting the good ol’ Big Gold Belt at this point, which is great. Piper tells Flair up front that he’s here to kick butt, and then does so, proving himself to be a man of his word. Piper chokes him out with his t-shirt and Flair bails, so Piper runs him into the post. Back in, Flair tries the chops and Piper no-sells them, giving us a Flair Flip before Ric finally goes to the eyes and then kicks him in the knee to take over. Piper trying to sell his knee while feigning blindness is a thing of beauty. Flair with the kneecrusher and NOW WE GO TO SCHOOL, but Piper makes the comeback and slugs away in the corner before slamming Ric off the top. Neckbreaker, but Flair goes low and grabs a chair as the ref is bumped. Piper gets a small package with no one to count, but Flair rolls him up and a second referee counts the pin at 6:23. Piper protests as the first ref wakes up, so Flair rolls him up AGAIN and pins him for real at 7:00. That finish was some weak, weak sauce, but the match got over in a big way. 5 for 9.
And we’ll stop there and return next time with MR. MADNESS! And the segment that everyone has been losing their minds about since this set was announced.