The SmarK Rant for WWE Unreleased 86-95–Part 6

The SmarK Rant for WWE Unreleased 1986-1995 (Part 6)

OK, last one! We last left off in 1994, and now we pick things up in October, as Jim Neidhart returns to WWF TV to turn on former partner Bret Hart…and then that’s the last we heard of it.

Until now!

WWF title: Bret Hart v. Jim Neidhart (10.21.94)

Funny to hear both guys using slightly different versions of the same theme song. This is from a house show somewhere, and the ring announcer announces in French, so I’m assuming it’s in Spain, or perhaps Portugal. Anvil attacks and Bret very quickly sends him into the corner and gets the Sharpshooter, but Jeff Jarrett runs in to break it up and attacks Bret for what I presume is an immediate DQ. The referees all swarm in and pull Jarrett off, and yet amazingly this match is allowed to continue. So Anvil charges again, misses again, and Bret beats the hell out of him, and gets a crossbody for two. They head to the floor and it’s ADVANTAGE ANVIL, until he misses Bret and punches the ringpost like an idiot. Bret with a sunset flip back in the ring for two. Finally Neidhart gets his s--- together and sends Bret into the corner for the turnbuckle bump, his one weakness. Maybe only weakness? Besides being too modest, of course. Anvil goes to the sleeper, which swear to god had a name: The ANVILIZER. Bret shrugs it off, but Neidhart pounds him down while Jarrett cheers Jim on at ringside. Talk about downgrading. Anvil pounds away and chokes Bret down, and the powerslam gets two. Back to the floor and this time Neidhart is SUCCESSFUL in sending Bret into the post, so good on him. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. Back in, Bret’s had enough of selling for this guy and makes the comeback with a bulldog for two. Legsweep gets two. Small package gets two. Bret goes up and lands on Neidhart’s foot, and Jim puts him on the top rope and slams him off for a nice bump from Bret. Neidhair goes airborne and I don’t even NEED to tell you how that ends up, and Bret rolls him up for the pin to retain at 10:48. Bret knew exactly how to handle Neidhart, almost literally walking him through the match like a big dumb ape, and it was a lot of fun. 1 for 1.

Intercontinental title, ladder match: Jeff Jarrett v. British Bulldog (05.16.95)

Yes, it’s UNSEEN LADDER MATCHES. We get a funny bit where the tape starts out as Shawn v. Razor and Charly cuts in with “Sean, this match has literally been on every WWE home video ever, you put in the wrong tape!” I really like how relaxed and funny the intro bits for this set are, I should mention. I had no idea this match even existed, so that’s definitely in the spirit of this DVD. Jarrett attacks in the corner and slugs Bulldog down, but falls victim to a delayed suplex before chasing Bulldog out of the ring. Roadie gets a cheapshot on him out there, as Lex Luger is conspicuous by his absence from Bulldog’s corner, despite being introduced as being there. This, by the way, is another hard cam match, although it’s a much higher quality one, without the time count. Jarrett chokes away and finally Luger heads down to get rid of Roadie, so better late than never, I suppose. Bulldog comes back and they botch a clothesline over the top somehow, but Bulldog grabs the ladder for our first attempt. Jarrett cuts him off and climbs himself, but Bulldog takes him down and runs the ladder into him. They both climb and slug it out on top, and both guys go down, but Bulldog makes the comeback and runs Jarrett into the ladder a few times. Bulldog presses him and climbs, but Jarrett dropkicks him off the ladder and grabs the belt to win clean at 9:10. Simple and well worked. 2 for 2.

Intercontinental title, ladder match: Jeff Jarrett v. Razor Ramon (06.05.95)

This is a dark match from a RAW taping at the time, although I would have to turn in my wrestling nerd card if I didn’t point out that they actually did house show swaps of the title in Quebec two weeks before this in ladder matches that remain unreleased. I’m not even 100% sure they were ever acknowledged on TV, in fact, outside of Vince casually mentioning it on commentary during RAW that week. Ramon quickly goes on offense, but Jarrett dumps him and goes for the ladder, then baseball slides it into Ramon. Jarrett gets the first climb, then drops a fist on Razor instead and smashes the ladder into his back. Jarrett climbs and Razor pushes him off, then comes back with a blockbuster slam. Razor climbs and gets shoved off, but he tries a Razor’s Edge and they both tumble to the floor as a result. Back in, they both do the slow climb at the same time and slug it out, but both fall off. Razor whips Jarrett into the ladder a few times and Jarrett goes flying out of the ring, which leaves Ramon with a clear path. Sadly, he takes too long setting up the ladder, allowing Jarrett to push him over and crotch him on the top rope, then claim the title at 10:00 to retain. Another short and effective ladder match. 3 for 3.

Bret Hart & Shawn Michaels v. Jerry Lawler & Hakushi (07.26.95)

Yup, Bret and Shawn as a tag team, not a fever dream, not an imaginary story. The Coliseum banner is hoisted for this one, but apparently didn’t make the cut. Given the shoddy quality of what was being pumped out by the home video division at that point, that’s kind of surprising. Bret quickly gets double-teamed in the heel corner and they work him over with the usual stuff. Lawler with a piledriver for two. Hakushi stomps him down in the corner and Lawler chokes him out. Hakushi with a pump splash for two and more choking in the corner, which prompts Shawn to throw a tantrum in his corner and kick the steps in anger. Bret rolls Hakushi up for two, but the heels engage in more shenanigans, and it’s HOT tag Shawn. Everyone fights and Bret comes back in and finishes Hakushi with the Sharpshooter at 10:50. Bret and Shawn had ZERO interaction here, aside from one quick hug at the end. Like, no double-teams or anything, just Bret immediately getting the heat while Shawn remained on the apron for the entire match. 3 for 4.

WWF title, cage match: Diesel v. Yokozuna (07.26.95)

Well, we’ve been spared Kevin Nash up until this point, so I guess one won’t kill the set. They slug it out and immediately collide for the double down, then trade headbutts and both go down again. This is like Nash’s dream match. Now I want to see Nash v. Reigns in a match where they battle to see who can lay in the corner for longest while still being counted as an active participant in the match. Diesel climbs the cage and gets brought down on his big daddy jewels, but Yoko misses a splash. Yoko goes for the door, so Diesel kicks him in the nuts to stop him and climbs, and Fuji hits HIM in the nuts with the flag. If we were rating this one with a star for every nutshot it’d be the best Nash match ever! They fight for the door and then Yoko takes over and slowly pounds on him and this is REALLY dull stuff. And finally Diesel makes his comeback, they collide again, and Diesel climbs out over the top to retain at 12:00. A very flat end to one of the greatest DVD compilations WWE ever produced. 3 for 5.

Overall, ignore the ratings and snark, this is a must-buy for everyone. Just the sheer volume of crazy stuff and rarities justifies the $20 it costs 10 times over. It was a pleasure to review and hopefully Sean Mooney returns for volume 2 so we can finally get that damn Magee match.