The SmarK Rant for WWE Unreleased 1986-1995 (Part 5)
Let’s finish this one off and move on with our lives. For those following the saga of my collection of crap, I bought a PS4 for cheap and that’s what I’m using as my Blu-Ray player now because the interface is WAY easier to deal with than Xbox One for playing discs. I had to jump through hoops to get the WWE Network on it, but now I’m all set to go and it’s great.
Picking up with disc three…
Still hosted by Charly & Sean. Mooney gets the all-time great troll during the introduction for this disc, grabbing a box marked “T. Magee” and then commenting that it’s empty and throwing it away. YOU HART-LESS BASTARDS!
Undertaker v. Giant Gonzalez (04.05.93)
Another raw footage hard cam match here. Giant chases Undertaker out of the ring and runs him into the stairs, then back in for an alleged big boot, since raising his foot in the air is outside of his normal moveset. I mean, even Kevin Nash can do that! Taker no-sells a clothesline to the floor and fights back, but Giant knocks out Paul Bearer, steals the urn, and puts Taker out for the DQ at 3:08. Taker then pops up and they battle to the dressing room, to continue this thrilling feud another day. 0 for 1.
Kip Winchester & Brett Colt v. Barry Horowitz & Reno Riggins (04.05.93)
Another notable tryout! Winchester and Colt are of course the rodeo cowboys who would be repackaged into the Smoking Gunns, and they’re in their eventual gear here already. Another hard cam special, with cuts to the entrances, so it’s a weird hybrid match. Maybe they were using this one to test the cameras that night? Clearly Kip is Billy and Brett is Bart. They take turns working on the arm of Reno and hit a double-team legsweep, but the heels get a cheapshot on Brett and choke him out in their corner. Horowitz with a northern lights suplex for two and Riggins gets a back elbow for two and goes to an abdominal stretch. I’m amazed this is a real tag match with heat segment and everything. Anyway, hot tag Winchester and he finishes Riggins with a top rope bulldog at 8:53. It was fine and obviously the Gunns got a job out of it. 1 for 2.
Intercontinental title: Shawn Michaels v. Mr. Perfect (04.06.93)
Onto the next night of tapings now, with another hard cam match. Perfect chases Shawn out of the ring and they brawl on the floor, but Shawn necksnaps him on the way in and chokes him out on the ropes. Shawn runs him into the turnbuckles and grabs a chinlock, but Perfect comes back with an atomic drop and a questionable kick to the thighs in the corner. Shawn does a Flair Flip and Perfect gets two, but the ref is bumped. Shawn grabs the belt for some shenanigans, but Perfect hits the Perfectplex and a second ref comes in for the pin and Perfect is the new champion at 5:49! Or as Mike McGuirk puts it, “New champion of the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental title!” Sadly, the first ref revives and reverses the decision. The two refs argue and we get a funny spot where Shawn steps in and they both shove him away, as Shawn takes a clownish bump off that while protesting. Of course, nothing ever came of this. Super basic match from these two. 1 for 3.
The Tazmaniac v. Skippy Taylor (05.05.93)
Taz is from the “dojos of Tasmania” according to McGuirk. I can immediately see why he didn’t get a job, since he looks small even next to “Skippy” Taylor. Taz survives the flurry of offense from Taylor and goes to a chinlock, then cuts off a comeback with a suplex and goes to another chinlock. Taylor comes back with a sunset flip for two, but Taz goes up and Taylor catches him on the way down. Taz finishes him off with a belly to belly, however. Scotty 2 Hotty was the one who looked like the better prospect here, honestly. 1 for 4. It’s just all the more amazing that Heyman was able to take the stupid caveman character and craft the whole “Path of Rage” thing from it out of nothing.
Bret Hart v. Yokozuna (05.05.93)
Yoko attacks Bret and chokes him out on the ropes, and they head to the floor as Yoko hits him with a DIXIE CUP OF DEATH. Man, this is shot like an indy promotion or something, it’s really weird. Back in, Yoko puts him down for the legdrop, but misses a charge and Bret comes back with the bulldog for two. Another bulldog sets up the Sharpshooter, but Bret stops to beat up Mr. Fuji and it’s a DQ at 5:10. This was reasonably energetic. 2 for 5. Yoko does a beatdown with the flag, but Owen Hart runs in for the save in a scene you wouldn’t see much of after that. And then he gets beat up like a geek as well and Bret has to bail him out. I really wish they would explored Bret and Owen as a team more before the breakup, because they could have been GREAT.
Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake v. Money Inc. (06.14.93)
So this was one of Hogan’s last appearances with the company, and might even be the last time he appeared in the US before going to WCW. There’s also a big Coliseum Video logo on the screen during the entrances, so clearly we know what this was designated for. The super-high video quality compared to the rest of the disc thus far is another giveaway. Sgt. Slaughter is YOUR special troubleshooting referee, by the way. Hulk clears the ring and then we get the big stall as Sarge checks everyone for weapons and gives instructions. Sarge was in his awkward post-wrestler phase where he basically looked like someone’s dad instead of a star. Finally Sarge starts the match (again) and Dibiase chops Hogan in the corner, but gets pinballed by the babyfaces and bails. Yeah, I’d run away from the, uh, awesome offense of Brutus Beefcake too. So…terrifying? More stalling as Beefcake clowns around and Dibiase demonstrates the hairpulling he was subjected to on Slaughter. And then we get an extended argument about the alleged hairpulling as this turns into a bad Arn Anderson match before our eyes. And then we get MIDGET SCHTICK to top it off, with Slaughter tripping up Dibiase and Beefcake rolling him up for two. Like seriously, Money Inc. were still supposed to be tag team champion caliber at this point, and they’re doing a comedy match? Beefcake gets hit with a cheapshot and gets the heat, such as it is. Hogan’s entrance had a big pop but the crowd is just totally dead for this. And Dibiase hits the chinlock, as does IRS. Thankfully we get to the hot tag and Hulk hits Dibiase with the briefcase, and then Sarge hits them with the briefcase as well and calls for the DQ on them, after he hit them with the briefcase himself mind you, at 11:06. WHO BOOKED THIS CRAP? 2 for 6.
Lex Luger v. Ludvig Borga (10.20.93)
Another aborted Coliseum Video match. Luger’s reaction is pretty pathetic only two months removed from Summerslam. He’s now an “American Original”, which is like, whatever. The steam was basically gone from the Lex Express at this point and this shitty feud didn’t help at all. Big stall to start as the crowd establishes that we’re in the USA for this match. And then we stall and stall and stall as some dude at ringside is taking his shirt off and challenging Borga and we stall and stall and stall. Finally Luger grabs a headlock but Borga wasn’t done with his stalling yet so let’s do more of that! So next, Lex works on the arm and he holds it and holds it and holds it but Borga escapes. But Lex is not yet done with that particular hold, so we go back to it. Finally he misses a charge and Borga takes over with a PUNCH. This makes the shirtless guy at ringside REALLY angry, because as we already established, we’re in the USA and Borga is not from the USA. And we don’t put up with people not from the USA here in the USA. Build a wall around Scandinavia or Norwegia or wherever this guy comes from! Borga goes to the chinlock, but not a good American chinlock, but rather a bad FOREIGN chinlock, wrapping his arm around the neck of Luger like foreigners squeezing the lifeblood out of hard-working Americans with their welfare cheating. Luger fights back, like Trump repealing Obamacare, using ALL AMERICAN punches, and rolls him up for two. Borga hits him with a cheapshot, like immigrants sneaking over the border, but Luger finishes him with the steel forearm for the pin at 12:33. GOD BLESS AMERICA! 2 for 7.
Randy Savage v. Crush (02.01.94)
Macho attacks him on the floor to start and slugs him down in the ring for two. He goes up and Fuji hits him with the flag to distract him, allowing Crush to take over with an atomic drop. He goes for the Head Crush, but Savage rakes the eyes to escape and comes back with a hiptoss and double axehandle. Crush bumps to the floor off that, but sends Savage into the post for two. He goes to the bearhug and works on the back, with a backbreaker for two. Savage fights back with a rollup for two, but Crush puts him down with a headbutt and grabs some salt from Fuj the Stooge. Savage kicks it back in his face and finishes with the elbow at 9:10. Fine little match. 3 for 8.
Tomorrow, we return with the last half of disc 3, as the Hart Foundation EXPLODES and we get a tag team combination that you probably never thought could happen in this lifetime.