The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents SuperTape Volume 4
I’m LOVING doing all these Coliseum Videos on the Network, in case you haven’t figured it out by now.
Released May 23, 1991, a mere four months after the last SuperTape.
Your hosts are Sean Mooney & Lord Alfred Hayes, and we get a “Presented in the most complete form possible” warning for this one. Did someone tear the original SuperTape or something? The gag here is that Sean Mooney gets sent by a Coliseum Video executive to deliver the master tape for SuperTape Volume 4, in a rental van with a cooler of sodas for the road trip. And Lord Alfred is the driver/tour guide. And he doesn’t let Sean take the sodas with them because there’s no food or drink allowed in the official Coliseum Video van. And you know it’s official because there’s a piece of paper taped to the side with “Coliseum Video” written on it. Also we’re deep into some Inception shit if Sean Mooney is transporting the master tape of the TAPE WE’RE WATCHING RIGHT NOW with him on it!
Intercontinental title: Mr. Perfect v. Texas Tornado
So we kick it off with a dark match from Wrestling Challenge, with the belt thankfully back around the waist of Curt Hennig where it (probably) won’t be sold for drug money. Kerry attacks to start and Perfect clotheslines him to the floor and hits him with knees to keep him out there, but Kerry hauls him out and hits him with a discus punch on the floor as Perfect takes some wacky bumps off that. Back in, Perfect gets thrown over the top immediately, but Von Erich hauls him back in and goes to work on the arm and then hits him with a discus punch to the gut out of the corner. He goes to a Boston crab and Perfect quickly makes the ropes. So Kerry whips him into the corner and Perfect takes a ridiculous front flip bump off it, completely defying physics. Perfect gets a cheapshot in the corner and comes back with a sleeper. Kerry fights out of that, so Perfect hits him with chops in the corner and then dodges a blind charge, as Kerry hits the post. Perfect undoes a turnbuckle, which has never worked out well for him in his entire career, and Kerry sends him to the floor and then tries a tornado punch and hits the post by mistake. Back in, Perfect runs him into the exposed steel, although Kerry over-shoots the bump and hits the post instead. Whatever, same thing. That gets two and NOW YOU’RE GONNA SEE A PERFECTPLEX, but it only gets two. Kerry comes back with the IRON CLAW, but Perfect bumps the ref to escape and Kerry gets the tornado punch for two. Another pair of tornado punches, but the ref calls for the bell at 7:43 and disqualifies Perfect for no particular reason I can figure out. I guess Kerry was somewhat more lucid here than the other match with Perfect from Toronto last time, but that’s not exactly a high bar to clear. And clearly Perfect was holding him by the hand and doing a bunch of the same spots. Really though there was a bunch of stuff that went absolutely nowhere, like punching the post and undoing the turnbuckle, but it’s still good enough for a point by not being the worst Von Erich match ever or anything. 1 for 1.
Tito Santana v. Koko B. Ware
This is a bit of a WTF matchup. Wonder what the story was here? We’re in MSG for this one. They trade hammerlocks and Bobby Heenan is on commentary with Mooney here, burying both guys right away just because he doesn’t like them. Tito gets a shoulderblock and Koko gets a hiptoss, but Tito takes him down with an armdrag and they’re at an impasse. But then the hairpulling accusations and shoving starts and Earl Hebner is very disappointed in them both. So Koko SLUGS Tito and goes after him with a headbutt and clothesline, because he was a heel in Memphis and knows how to do it. I’m kind of sad we never got to see this in the WWF, actually. He tosses Tito and slugs him off the apron, and then runs him into the post and puts the boots to his shoulder for good measure. I like this Koko! Back in, they slug it out and Tito tries a monkey flip, but Koko blocks with an atomic drop and puts Tito down again with an elbow for two. Koko with a nerve pinch and a SNEER to keep Tito down off that. See, I like this, they’re not doing the goody-two shoes scientific stuff, Koko just bit the bullet and went heel on him. Koko puts the boots to Tito again and he’s showing fisticuffsmanship, and he goes to the top but misses a flying fistdrop. Tito makes the FIERY LATIN COMEBACK and gets a bunch of CM Punk’s patented bodyslams, but Koko begs off and Tito offers no quarter. Atomic drop and flying forearm finish at 10:13. This was a GREAT match and they missed the boat by not trying a Koko heel turn at some point. 2 for 2.
From the Mat to the Mike: We take a look at highlights of the wrestling careers of commentators like Gorilla Monsoon, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Mean Gene (well the one match he did), and Randy Savage. This was a fun little segment. 3 for 3.
Fan Favorite match: Undertaker v. Tugboat
Who would actually write into Coliseum Video and request a TUGBOAT match? Stamps are expensive, I thought. Here’s a rarity for you: An Undertaker match from the short period where he was managed by Brother Love. This is a dark match from Wrestling Challenge and it would have to be late 1990 if Brother Love is there. And yeah it appears to be December 12 1990 to be exact from West Palm Beach. Tugboat actually dominates Taker with back elbows and the crowd actually boos that, but he misses an elbowdrop and Taker puts the boots to him and chokes him out on the ropes. Taker slugs away, but Tugboat makes a babyface comeback that NO ONE wants to see, until Taker cuts him off with the ropewalk, only for Tugboat to reverse him down. Tugboat powerslams him and seems to hurt himself in the process, and that’s on brand for him, but Taker puts his head down and Tugboat kicks him down. But then Tugger misses a blind charge and Taker goes up with a ropewalk into an elbowdrop to finish at 5:40. This was a weird, totally different style of Undertaker match as he was working out the kinks and it felt more like a Mean Mark WCW match. Also FUCK OFF to Tugboat for gobbling up the fucking UNDERTAKER all over the place. I can’t believe I’m saying that in defense of Undertaker of all people but this should have been a complete and total squash and Tugboat was out there getting his shit in against the unstoppable zombie destroyer monster heel when everyone else had eaten the tombstone in a minute up until that point. 3 for 4.
Shawn Michaels v. Crush
Dark match from a Wrestling Challenge show in Savannah. Just to clarify here, this is Rocker Shawn Michaels v. Demolition Crush with Mr. Fuji, not HBK v. Kona Crush from 1993 or whatever. So let’s not get our hopes up too high. Crush beats on him to start, but misses a charge and hits the corner, and Shawn hits him with a superkick. Shawn puts him down with a shoulder tackle for one, but Crush sends him to the floor on the kickout and beats on him outside. Back in, Shawn gets a rana and goes to a facelock, but Crush escapes with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Crush goes to work with a bodyscissors on the mat as Alfred declares that it’s a wrestling clinic that any aspiring wrestlers could attend. Well Crush could certainly teach one on haircare, but I don’t think he would have had much of a future as a wrestling trainer. Shawn fights out, so Crush puts him down with a backbreaker and goes up with a flying knee that misses. Shawn clips the knee to come back and slugs away, but Fuj the Stooge runs interference, so Marty uses the tried and true legal precedent of Goose v. Gander and comes off the top with a missile dropkick on Crush, putting Shawn on top for the pin at 7:21. Reasonably fun match with a clean-ish finish, so that’s worth a point. 4 for 5.
The Legion of Doom v. The Orient Express & Mr. Fuji
Superstars dark match here from January 7 1991 in Huntsville. Now, I don’t remember specifically seeing it, but apparently this matchup also featured on a house show in Edmonton in February of that year which I’m 99% sure I would have attended because I was a huge wrestling nerd in grade 10 at that point and what else am I gonna be doing, going on a date with a girl? YEAH RIGHT. Yeah I don’t know how I ended up being married for 16 years either, it’s a mystery to me too if we’re being honest. Anyway, this is the Kato & Tanaka version of the team, which thankfully they didn’t call the New Orient Express because (1), that dooms every tag team who receives that designation, and (2), it sounds like a Chinese food buffet restaurant. Fuji throws his salt and the racist Alabamians immediately accuse him of saving some of it as a weapon. I’m not surprised. Kato starts with Animal and gets thrown around the ring, as Animal no-sells all of his offense and powerslams him. Tanaka comes in and they mess him up as well, launch him into the air, and send him to the floor. So Fuji rallies the two English-speaking heels with Japanese words of wisdom, and that seems to motivate Tanaka. But then Hawk destroys him as well after hissing like a cat, so maybe he was experimenting with DNA cross-sequencing to get high in 1991. The Express regroups on the floor, but Animal presses Kato into the ring and then Hawk clotheslines Kato back to the floor and Animal clotheslines him out there for good measure. Back to Tanaka and Animal continues not selling shit, and cuts Tanaka off with a clothesline. Finally Fuji throws the alleged salt in Animal’s face to get some heat on the LOD, but it literally lasts for one move before Animal makes the hot tag to Hawk and he runs amok and they completely decimate Kato and put him out of his misery with the Doomsday Device at 8:00. The Express literally got ONE MOVE on the LOD here in the entire match, two if you count Fuji throwing salt in Animal’s face. Also, to be fair, there’s a serious argument to made that the Road Warriors were more Japanese than the Orient Express given all the time they spent there. 4 for 6.
Gourmet Cooking Tips with the Bushwhackers. I’m sure you can picture all the hilarity here. I gave it a good minute and a half before fast forwarding through the rest.
Profile on the Big Bossman with three big matches from recent months.
Big Bossman v. Earthquake
We are back at the T’ronna show from September of 1990 that featured the Perfect-Tornado abomination on SuperTape 3. Big stall to start from Quake and then Bossman joins in the walking and pointing himself. Amazingly, Jimmy Hart is missing his megaphone here, as Mooney speculates that it was confiscated at the border. Bossman works a headlock once they actually lock up and slugs Earthquake into the corner. So we get more stalling off that and Quake gets a slam, but he misses an elbow and Bossman chases Jimmy Hart around the ring for some reason. Back in, Quake misses a charge and Bossman rolls him up for two. But then Quake thumbs him in the throat and clotheslines him to take over. Quake sits on him in the corner for the big heat spot, which tells you what you’re getting into with this one. So Big Bossman reminds me of what NXT 2.0 is like, in that Bossman in his original version was an NXT gimmick: He was originally an evil prison guard who preaches law and order but cheats all the time. And that didn’t work until they actually found a CHARACTER for Ray Traylor, which is why none of the parade of geeks in NXT is currently making an impact outside of Bron Breakker, who doesn’t have a gimmick and is a natural character on his own. Anyway, Quake slowly manhandles Bossman for the “heat”, but Bossman comes back with multiple clotheslines and ties Quake in the ropes as a result. But then Dino Bravo comes out and provides distraction, allowing Quake to drop an elbow and pin Bossman at 9:24, because DINO BRAVO IS THE WORST. He didn’t even do anything! He was just standing there! Was Bossman investigating him for illegal cigarette trade in Ontario or something? This was ATROCIOUS. 4 for 7.
Big Bossman v. Bobby Heenan
Wrestling Challenge dark match here from West Palm Beach again on December 12, with Heenan subbing for Rick Rude after Rude’s departure as per usual for the time period. So Bobby offers apologizes to Bossman’s lovely mother and all mothers everywhere, in case he offended anyone. Surprisingly, this doesn’t work. Even a present of a Hulk Hogan wrestling buddy doesn’t appease Bossman, so Bobby tries attacking. And Bossman beats on him with the nightstick and pins him at 0:30. This prompts Haku to attack as well, but Bossman handcuffs the heels together, and then Mr. Perfect also attacks and Bossman fights HIM off too. Barely even qualified as a match. 4 for 8.
Big Bossman v. The Barbarian
Back to Toronto for what I’m assuming is October or November of 1990. This was another featured matchup on the Edmonton house show that I probably attended in February of 1991, so it’s no wonder I don’t remember anything about it. Bossman beats on Barbarian and knocks him out of the ring after some stalling, putting him on the floor with a big boot. Back in, Barbarian slugs away on Bossman, but he takes a clothesline and bumps to the floor off that. Back in, Barbarian rakes the eyes and tries his own big boot, but Bossman catches it and takes him down. Sadly, he misses a blind charge and hits the post, and Barbarian takes over with a clothesline to put Bossman on the floor to slow down this action packed encounter a bit more. Man this tape was so promising to start. That Koko-Tito match really gave me hope for the future and now I’m sitting here watching Big Bossman sleepwalk through house show matches in Toronto with hosses. Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans, as John Lennon said. He was probably thinking of this tape when he wrote that song. Back in, Barbarian with a backbreaker for two and he puts the boots to Bossman and clubs on the back with the clubbing forearms before going to the bearhug. I’ve repeatedly learned that if you’re getting forcibly hugged by a large man in furry underwear, you need to examine some of your life choices. If I had a nickel, you know? Bossman breaks free with a headbutt and Barbarian misses his usual middle rope elbowdrop, and Bossman makes the comeback and slugs Barbarian down for two. Stungun gets two. Bossman goes to the top and gets a bodypress, but Barbarian rolls through for two. Bossman tries a piledriver, but Barbarian backdrops out and does his muscle pose, at which point Bossman pins him with a sunset flip at 11:18. This was so paint-by-numbers that it could have been laid out by DDP backstage beforehand. 4 for 9.
WWF title: Ultimate Warrior v. Sgt. Slaughter
Not the Rumble match, but a Superstars dark match from Huntsville two weeks prior, presumably for them to practice. This was also their first ever match! Slaughter slugs away in the corner to start and puts the boots to Warrior, but Warrior chases him over the top and Slaughter’s chin gets caught on the ropes in a funny spot. Back in, Warrior gives him some slams and whips Sarge into the corner for the patented Slaughter bump. Back in, Warrior beats on him with chops, but misses his own charge and hits the post, and he also bumps to the floor. Slaughter wore it better. Warrior does a weird sell where he collapses on the timekeeper’s table and kind of pulls it on top of himself, but Sarge shoves him back in the ring and chokes him out in the corner. Slaughter gets an elbow in the corner as the crowd is pretty indifferent to the match, which is much different than the nuclear heat that Slaughter brought to the Rumble match and the sense of impending doom and horror from that crowd surrounding the match. Warrior comes back with a slingshot into the corner as Slaughter bumps some more and the heat machine approves, but they both try a clothesline and collide for the double down. Slaughter tries a slam and Warrior falls on top for two. Slaughter with a neckbreaker for two. Backbreaker gets two. Slaughter works on the back and drops elbows for two and Warrior looks completely blown up here, what a shock. Slaughter goes to the camel clutch, but Warrior is in the ropes and Slaughter thinks he’s won the match. Because he’s an idiot apparently. Warrior makes the comeback while Sarge celebrates, does his usual shit, and we’re out of here and time to beat the traffic at 9:30. I didn’t think Warrior ever got to beat him, in fact, but there you go, clean pin for the Warrior two weeks before they pulled the plug on his title reign. This was a complete snooze as a match, though. 4 for 10.
Most of the bad on this one was more boring than outright terrible, so I’d call it a very generous “passable”, but really only the Koko-Tito match is worth your time and maybe Shawn-Crush if you’re into watching HBK honing his craft early on.