The SmarK Rant for WWE Unreleased 1986-1995 (Part 4)
OK, let’s finish off the second disc, as we learn the mysterious identity of MR. MADNESS.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts v. Mr. Madness (11.12.91)
“Mr. Madness” never made it to TV and was only a house show deal, so this set continues to be crazy awesome. What is NOT crazy awesome? The disguise of Mr. Madness, which is literally just Randy Savage wrestling as himself and using the same entrance music. Like, he couldn’t even wear a MASK? Savage attacks and hits Jake with the double axehandle right away, but Jake goes low and tosses him for a typically dramatic bump over the top rope. Back in, Jake chokes him out to take over, but Savage escapes the DDT and the ref actually avoids getting bumped on a triple-reverse whip! Good for you, Joey Marella! They fight to the floor and Savage sends him into the post and back in for another axehandle, but he gets all riled up and grabs a chair for the DQ at 4:43. No bell ever rang, but he was whacking the guy with the chair pretty good so I’m just assuming. Huge disappointment here, as I was hoping for some kind of wacky luchador costume or whatever. 0 for 1.
WWF title: Fake World champion Hulk Hogan v. Real World champion Ric Flair (11.12.91)
From the same show, Perfect immediately blows my mind by holding up the elusive Fake Big Gold Belt! Like, as if this set couldn’t get any crazier! That was the belt that the WWF created after they lost the legal rights to the NWA World title belt, and it never even made TV and there’s literally only one photo of it! Flair plays some mindgames to start and manages to evade Hulk while Wooing for the first 5:00, until Hulk literally draws a (pretend) line in the sand and dares Flair to cross it. So Ric grabs a headlock and Hulk powers out of it and clotheslines him to the floor. Flair stops for some advice from Perfect, and since there’s no commentary, we can clearly hear that advice: “If you’re on a plane with Brock Lesnar and you’re high on coke and drunk off your ass, for the love of god don’t challenge him to a fight!” That’s some pretty specific advice, I guess. Flair tries some chops and Hulk no-sells them and sends Flair flying back into the corner, which gives us a Flair Flop. Flair Flip and Mr. Perfect calls time so they can talk it over. Hogan, clearly not recognizing the rules of “calling time”, chases him back into the ring, so Flair drops a knee to take over. You gotta be fair to Flair. Hulk makes the comeback and goes after helpless invalid Mr. Perfect, which allows Flair to clip the knee from behind fair and square. Hogan gets posted and Flair uses a chair on the knee, which is totally legal because the ref doesn’t see it. Back in, NOW WE GO TO SCHOOL and Perfect is even nice enough to put Hulk’s foot on the rope while Flair smashes the knee, and he even holds it there to make sure the ref sees it! What a nice guy. Hulk fights off the figure-four a couple of times, so Flair allegedly gets a foreign object from Perfect, nails Hogan with it, and gets two. Hulk makes the comeback, probably because he’s on PCP or something, and Flair escapes after the big boot. They fight on the floor and Hulk runs back in the ring like the yellow coward he is to “win” the match by countout at 15:00. But Flair got the moral victory, and that counts for something. Also, this was a great match. But Hogan sucks. 1 for 2.
Piper’s Pit (04.07.92)
So yeah, when Piper returned to win the IC title, they also tried to resurrect Piper’s Pit, although they only did a couple and then dropped the idea again. The first guest (after Piper admits that the WWF is going through some scandals at that point) is Brooklyn Brawler. And he’s going to be the next World heavyweight champion, and his plan is to do the opposite of what Piper did at Wrestlemania. To demonstrate, he goes to grab the bell from ringside, but Piper of course steals it and knocks him out with it. If you want to hear Brawler cut an extended promo, this is your heaven. 1 for 3.
British Bulldog v. Bret Hart (06.30.92)
This isn’t introduced or listed as a title match, but the referee holds the IC belt up before the match, so who knows. It’s also pristine video quality, so it’s likely that this was intended for a Coliseum Video release and just never got used for whatever reason. Bulldog works a headlock and shoulderblocks him to the floor, and then works the arm for a few minutes in the ring before Bret decides to go heel and hits him with a cheapshot to take over. Forearms and a legdrop get two and we hit the chinlock, but Bulldog fights out. So Bret hits him with a piledriver for two. Bret with a suplex for two, but Bulldog gets a backslide for two. Bret comes back with the middle rope elbow for two and tries the Sharpshooter, but Bulldog makes the ropes and comes back with an enzuigiri. Slingshot into the corner is followed by a clothesline for two. Delayed suplex gets two, but Bret gets the sleeper and Bulldog runs him into the corner to break. And then they tumble to the floor, and Bulldog suplexes him back in, which allows Bret to land on his feet and hit a surprise german suplex for the pin at 14:00. Huh, thought they were gonna wuss out and do the double countout finish. Turned into a hell of a match. 2 for 4.
Papa Shango & Kamala v. Bret Hart & Ultimate Warrior (10.13.92)
I feel like Shango & Kamala is one of those “Why didn’t someone team them up before?” genius ideas that sadly didn’t get explored past this match. This is in fact from Regina, Saskatchewan, the night after Bret won the title from Flair. Bret and Kamala do the test of strength in what seems like an ill-considered move for Bret, but he wisely just stomps on the bare feet to win that one. Shango comes in and chokes away in the corner, and the heels actually do some double-teaming of sorts. Yay teamwork! If even the cannibals and voodoo practitioners can get along, there’s hope for Trump and Kim Jong Un yet. Shango misses a blind charge and it’s hot tag Warrior as he seems eager to finish up and get the fuck out of Regina (and really, I can 100% relate), and the big splash finishes at 6:26. Like, if we had Uber in this province, Warrior would have called one about 2:00 into the match and ran off to catch it at the conclusion. 2 for 5.
Undertaker v. Bam Bam Bigelow (01.24.93)
Another hard-cam special, as Taker chokes out Bam Bam in the corner and goes to the ropewalk, but Bigelow dumps him and they brawl on the floor. Back in, Bigelow slugs away, but Taker fires back until he misses a charge and gets laid out. Bigelow drops headbutts on him and goes up for the big one, but Taker does the zombie situp to escape and finishes with a chokeslam at 4:57. This definitely felt like a “Thanks for coming, see you next time, Scranton!” dark match main event. 2 for 6.
The Toxic Turtles v. Tommy Stevenson & Ron Preston
Yes, they really did stick Duane Gill and Barry Hardy in turtle costumes and tried to make people cheer for them. It did not work. The high-concept spot of the match sees one of the Turtles trying a pin, but when he rolls off onto his back, he can’t get up. BECAUSE HE’S A TURTLE. Shockingly, SHOCKINGLY I tells ya, the crowd completely turns on the match moments into it. Thankfully it only goes 2:00 before one of the Turtles slingshots in with a senton for the pin, and then they were never heard from again. So yeah, this was everything promised and then less. 2 for 7.
Well, they can’t all be winners.