WWE Unreleased 1986-1995 DVD: All I Could Ever Ask For

WWE Unreleased 1986-1995 DVD
Hosts: Sean Mooney, Charly Caruso

This isn’t something I do very often but every now and then I see a collection like this that is so far up my alley that I can’t help it. The name of the set sums it up as well as possible: it’s a nearly nine hour collection of dark matches and other unreleased material from 1986-1995, which could include some incredibly interesting stuff. Let’s get to it.

Caruso welcomes us to the set and adds a grand total of nothing. Wait this is just an intro for the set? Do all DVDs think I’m stupid enough to not be able to hit PLAY?

Note that there won’t be commentary on most of these matches as they’re mainly dark matches which were taped just in case of something like this.

Another note: the front of the DVD says 1986-1995 but the back says 1985-1996. Come on people. That’s not a knock on them. I just want to get on with the show.

Disc 1

We open with a shot of the WWE tape vault. I…..hang on I need a minute here. It’s just so darn beautiful. Seriously, I’d pay good money to be allowed to just look through that place, let alone touch/look at anything.

Caruso goes through the room (With a box labeled Boston 87-88. Good grief that makes me all tingly. Just imagine the stuff they have hidden in there. It must be enough to fill….probably a three disc set just on 1986-1995 alone. Well played WWE.) and finds a wild Sean Mooney. Sean introduces our first match by explaining the Machines, saying the identity are still a mystery to this day. Oh yeah I’m going to love the heck out of this.

Machines vs. Bobby Heenan/Big John Studd/King Kong Bundy
Date: September 16, 1986
Location: Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Attendance: 7,000

Dark match at the end of a Superstars taping. So the Machines are this “Japanese” team of masked men, consisting of Big Machine (Blackjack Mulligan), Super Machine (Bill Eadie, better known as Ax from Demolition) and usually a random third partner, in this case Hulk Machine (Sterling Golden). They wrestled almost exclusively against Heenan and company with the third partner being the high point of the whole thing.

It’s a brawl to start and Hulk slams Studd to clear the ring (which would earn him $15,000 thanks to a challenge laid out by Studd and Heenan). Bundy and Super officially get things going and it’s so strange to watch this with no commentary. Studd comes in for a big elbow but gets dropped by three straight clotheslines. Hulk chases Heenan away and it’s off to Big vs. Bundy.

That goes badly for Bundy and it gets even worse when Hulk comes in for the showdown. I mean, it’s not like there’s any history here as Hulk Machine is a newcomer around here. A slam drops Bundy and another drops Studd (including another slam for another $15,000) and it’s back to Super for a slam of his own with Heenan failing to make a save. Big finally charges into a boot in the corner and Heenan actually comes in for some forearms in the corner.

As you might expect, that earns him a heck of a bump over the corner and a quick tag (with Heenan laying face first on the apron) to Bundy. A bearhug keeps Big in trouble and Studd even adds a top rope forearm to the back. Heenan’s cheap shots draw Hulk in so Studd can choke away in the corner. You would think wrestlers would get that through their head one day but it hasn’t happened yet. Bundy’s Avalanche crushes Big in the corner but Bundy celebrates too long, allowing Hulk to switch places. Heenan comes in and it’s the big boot for the pin at 9:35. The pin was on Heenan in case you’re kind of stupid.

Rating: C. Oh yeah I’m going to have a good time with this. That ending was perfect for something like this as the fans get to see Heenan take a quick beating while Hulk (whatever his last name is) gets to look good. These six man tags are perfectly fine and a great way to send the fans home happy. Fun match and that’s all something like this is supposed to be.

Hulk pulls the mask up to reveal…..eh some Scooby Doo villain.

Randy Savage vs. Pedro Morales
Date: October 28, 1986
Location: Broome County Arena, Binghamton, New York
Attendance: 6,400

Savage’s Intercontinental Title isn’t on the line. This is a dark match at a Superstars taping and apparently the first time the Superstars banners hung in the rafters. We hit the stall button to start as Savage hits the floor to yell at fans until Pedro sends him into the barricade. Back in and a should gives Pedro one but Savage bails again. A shot to the throat drops Savage again as Morales certainly isn’t your standard good guy with this offense. Savage works on the arm but gets flipped over for his efforts.

That means the third time to the floor where Savage has to yell at Liz to stay in the corner. Back in and we go further into Memphis as Savage uses a phantom foreign object to rake the eyes. Pedro is back with some flowers (for Liz) to the face but Savage throws him hard out to the floor. Savage is right after him with a top rope ax handle and Pedro is in trouble in a hurry. Back in a Savage dives into a left hand as this is starting to drag. Pedro slugs away but gets tripped, allowing Savage to throw his feet on the ropes for the pin at 7:47. It would have been nice if Morales was actually trying to kick out.

Rating: D. Ok so they’re not all going to be winners. This was slow paced and not much of an improvement over the norm for Pedro at this point. He was WAY past his prime and you could tell that Savage was having to slow things down to let him keep up. Still though, a slowed down Savage was still better than almost anyone else. Bad match though.

Paul Orndorff/Harley Race vs. Roddy Piper/Hulk Hogan
Date: December 9, 1986
Location: Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, ArizonaAttendance: 15,200

I’m not sure on the date here as the DVD says December 9, but every other source I can find says December 10 (in Tuscon, Arizona). Also, the December 9 show is listed as a Superstars taping and you can see the Wrestling Challenge (December 10) banners in the rafters. Then again it’s not that hard to make a mistake with something like this. Also it’s not like it matters because HOGAN AND PIPER ARE ON THE SAME TEAM???? I’m not sure I know how to handle something like this.

It’s a brawl to start with Hogan and Piper (gulp) clearing the ring. Thankfully they do look at each other rather uncertainly until Orndorff jumps Piper to start things off. Hogan headbutts Paul and Piper throws him into Hulk’s boot before it’s off to Race. The fans are rather pleased at the idea of Hogan beating Harley up but also like Piper coming back in to work on the arm.

A hammerlock slam keeps Race in trouble and Hogan drops the arm over the rope. Piper comes back in and kicks away at Race’s shoulder but gets taken into the corner for some headbutts. Orndorff comes in for a top rope elbow but Piper sunset flips him for two more. Race misses the falling headbutt though and it’s Hulk (not Machine of course) time. The big boot drops Race but there’s no count. Back up and the legdrop looks to finish but Heenan comes in for the DQ at 6:23.

Rating: C. What am I even supposed to say about this? A match like this would be a blast and there’s nothing wrong with that, though I’m not sure why Hogan couldn’t get a pin here. This would be like Cena and Punk five years ago and those matches were fun too. That being said, has Harley Race ever not looked like he was in his early 60s? He’s 43 here and looks the same as he always did. I’m not sure if that’s good or not but it’s always been the case.

Hogan and Piper even do a big handshake after the match. I don’t know where my life is anywhere.

Dingo Warrior vs. Jose Estrada
Date: June 23, 1987
Location: Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 10,555

I’m sorry what now? This is the Dingo (as in Ultimate) Warrior’s third match with the company, having debuted less than a week ago. He looks the same but is billed from Queens, New York and even starts with a leapfrog into an armdrag. Dang it someone get my medicine. I mean, it leads into a bad armbar but sweet goodness what have I stumbled into?

Estrada rakes the eyes and slugs away at the face and ribs to shocking success. We hit the neck crank and a chinlock (with a near fall actually) as this isn’t exactly the kind of match you would EVER expect from Warrior. One of the worst chinlocks I’ve ever seen (note the gap between the arm and Warrior’s chin) brings Warrior back to life. A gorilla press brings the fans back the same way but it’s back to the armbar as Warrior clearly has no idea how to string stuff together.

Back up and Estrada misses a charge….and is armdragged into an armbar for the THIRD time in about four minutes. Since it was just an armbar (or a lot of armbars), Estrada is back up and choking in the corner until Warrior makes the most standard comeback ever. An atomic drop sets up a Randy Savage style clothesline to put Estrada away at 6:13.

Rating: F+. That’s partially just for my head spinning at Warrior being announced from Queens. This was TERRIBLE as Warrior looked like he had no idea what he was doing out there, meaning the version we got was the IMPROVED version. It’s like he had all of two month’s worth of training and was given this weird gimmick (As Vince said: “What is a dingo warrior?”) because he was in great shape. Absolutely terrible match, but not even the fun kind of terrible. It certainly felt like something special though and that’s the entire point of this set so well done on that front.

Back in the vault, Charly and Sean talk about the Mega Powers. Charly talks about them forming on Saturday Night’s Main Event and Sean asks if she remembers the time when Hogan came out to save Savage from a 3-1 beatdown at the hands of Honky Tonk Man and the Hart Foundation. Ok so they’re talking about THE EXACT SAME NIGHT but points for trying something.

Mega Powers vs. Hart Foundation/Honky Tonk Man
Date: January 5, 1988
Location: Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Attendance: 8,500

No bell for this one as we start with Hogan and Neidhart (what an odd visual) shoving each other. Hogan avoids a charge and hits a running clothesline in the corner. He grabs Neidhart by the beard (THAT’S TOO FAR!) and hands it off to Savage for the elbows to the head. Neidhart takes Savage into the corner but Bret comes in and gets armbarred right back down. Bret’s hard clothesline takes over though and he gets two off the backbreaker. Honky Tonk misses the fist drop though and the hot tag brings in Hogan. House is cleaned in a hurry and the legdrop finishes Honky Tonk at 5:17.

Rating: D+. I would question how much there could be from a match where the Mega Powers barely broke a sweat but IT’S THE MEGA POWERS. It would have been weirder had this been a competitive match, even if the heel team was as talented as this one was. Hogan and Savage are one of those legendary teams and there’s no reason that this should have been anything but quick and mostly one sided.

Hogan gets Savage to pose and Randy looks almost confused by the fans’ reactions.

Owen Hart vs. Barry Horowitz
Date: March 8, 1988
Location: Viking Hall, Bristol, Tennessee

This is Owen’s tryout match. I watched these two in a match from later in the year when Owen was the Blue Angel so there’s a lot of potential here. Owen flips out of a wristlock to start and does that springboard into a hiptoss of his. Back up and Owen moonsaults over him, followed by a running dropkick into the corner. A middle rope knee gets a slow two as Owen is just crazy ahead of his time here.

An armbar slows things down but Barry is back up with a knee to the ribs and some choking. Barry drops a standing legdrop for two more but Owen backflips up and scores with a suicide dive (unheard of at this point). A slingshot stomp to the face (unheard of today too) has Barry in more trouble and a spinning high crossbody gets two back inside. Owen hits his belly to belly and a CRAZY long Swan Dive (I’ve never even seen Benoit hit one that far) for the pin at 5:45.

Rating: C+. It’s a bit sloppy at times but WOW this was amazing stuff for 1988. Considering that we were in the era where a high crossbody was a big deal, Owen hitting those crazy dives and slingshots was almost unthinkable. This belonged in a cruiserweight match on Nitro or something and he’s doing it before Wrestlemania IV. Owen would be hired pretty soon after this and that really shouldn’t be a surprised whatsoever.

WWF World Title: Andre the Giant vs. Randy Savage
Date: April 21, 1988
Location: New Haven Coliseum, New Haven, Connecticut
Attendance: 12,000

Andre is challenging of course and seems to crack Heenan up during the entrances. Another dark match main event and another match that I saw recently on the same show as Owen vs. Horowitz. For some reason Heenan goes after Liz, earning him a very early chase. Back in and Savage gets thrown down off a lockup before Andre hammers away in the corner. Andre sits on him for good measure as the fans chant for Hogan. They settle for Andre cranking on the arms instead as Liz gets on the apron. Andre goes after her though and that’s enough for Savage to use a chair for the DQ at 3:21.

Rating: F. This was a glorified segment and really didn’t need to be here. They’ve had good matches before (like the one I mentioned) so they would have been better off just cutting this one. There’s only so much you can do with Andre but Savage has proven that he’s capable of hanging in there with him so this felt more like a time issue than anything else.

Tag Team Titles; Demolition vs. Powers of Pain
Date: June 21, 1988
Location: Civic Center, Glenn’s Falls, New York
Attendance: 6,000

Demolition is defending. This is supposed to be a dream match but I’m really not seeing it. The Powers are substituting for Strike Force and therefore have Tito Santana in their corner. It’s a brawl to start while the music is still playing and Demolition is knocked outside. Ax wants time out and I NEED Monsoon to say there are no time outs in the sport of professional wrestling.

We pause for a good bit until Demolition is ready to go with Ax and Warlord starting it off. Actually hang on for some more stalling as the brawl is the only contact two minutes in. The staring continues as the other two get in as well. Three minutes in now and STILL no lock up. They lock up at a ridiculous three minutes and forty two seconds in (Larry Zbyszko is somewhere calling them amateurs) and it’s Ax losing a battle of the shoulder blocks.

Even more stalling leads to Ax getting in some forearms, only to be knocked out to the floor. Barbarian and Smash come in for some stalling but a test of strength is denied. Barbarian FINALLY picks up the pace with some right hands and a running headbutt as everything breaks down. The champs are sent into each other and manager Mr. Fuji gets decked. That’s enough for Demolition, who walks out for the countout at 7:15.

Rating: F-. Holy sweet merciful chicken sandwiches with meatballs and a cold Sprite this was a waste of time. I’m still not sure who looked at the Powers of Pain and thought they should be faces (though the same could be said about Demolition) but egads this was horrible. Thankfully they were turned heel in a few months but this was easily the worst thing on the set so far. Why did this even warrant inclusion?

Back to the vault where they’ve both found a tape to watch. Sean has Wrestlemania V (please, I’ve suffered enough) but Charly has a tape from April 4, 1989 (two days after Wrestlemania V). She wants to watch the whole thing while Sean wants to know why these weren’t Coliseum Video exclusives.

Andre the Giant vs. Big John Studd
Date: April 4, 1989
Location: Civic Center, Glenn’s Falls, New York

The WEASEL chants are out in strong form tonight. Andre chokes him into the corner to start but Studd slugs away without much effort. We’re in the bearhug less than a minute in as I’m longing for Wrestlemania I. Some shots to the ribs almost put Andre down but a headbutt staggers Studd.

We hit the standing nerve hold as this is firmly in slow motion so far (not exactly shocking). More slugging leads to Andre choking with the singlet until he goes head first into Studd’s knee. I’m guessing that’s what they were going for at Wrestlemania when Andre suddenly went down despite Jake Roberts not really hitting him. Studd hammers away until Heenan comes in for the DQ at 7:46.

Rating: D-. Well what else were you expecting here? There was almost no way this was going to be good but you kind of have to know that’s the case coming in. Studd wouldn’t be around much longer and really, I’m not sure what else people were expecting him to do other than a weak feud with Andre. Terrible match here but Andre was a shell of the shell that he was earlier in the 80s.

Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior
Date: April 4, 1989
Location: Civic Center, Glenn’s Falls, New York

Same show as the previous match and Savage already has Sherri with him. Savage jumps Warrior (looking weird in black boots) but gets knocked to the floor and punched in the face for his efforts. Warrior gorilla presses him back in and ties Savage in the Tree of Woe (a spot you don’t often see in this era) for some stomping. A charge misses though and Warrior gets kneed out to the floor in a heap.

Back in and we hit the chinlock as the fans are all over Sherri. A double ax gives Savage two but Warrior punches him into the corner. Cue new Intercontinental Champion Rick Rude to annoy Warrior (possibly by holding the title upside down) as Warrior gets two off an atomic drop. The Warrior Splash hits knees (possibly because Warrior aimed for them) but it’s time to shake the ropes. The real comeback is on but Warrior goes after Rude and it’s a countout at 7:10.

Rating: C-. After everything else we’ve been sitting through, this was a minor miracle. Warrior was nowhere near capable of going toe to toe with Savage (then again almost no one ever was) so Randy was helping him along here. Both guys are protected by the finish too and this was about as good as Warrior was going to get in this circumstance around this time.

Warrior comes back with the stolen Intercontinental Title to clean house.

Ted DiBiase vs. Dusty Rhodes
Date: June 6, 1989
Location: Dane County Coliseum, Madison, Wisconsin

Dusty has been in the company for all of a week at this point. Before the match, DiBiase offers Dusty money so that he won’t have his career ended like Jake the Snake (Jake was out with a back injury attributed to DiBiase in a move you don’t see enough anymore). Dusty punches him in the face though and Ted (looking weird with no wrist tape) drops the money, which Dusty gives to the fans (though a lot of it falls on the floor).

Back in and Dusty punches him out to the floor again, only to have an atomic drop send Ted outside for a third time. If nothing else that gives us DiBiase’s great fall over the top, which I’ve always been a huge fan of. Dusty rams Ted and Virgil’s heads together and it’s time to dance, drawing a VERY solid reaction from the northern crowd.

DiBiase takes him down and hits a middle rope elbow, followed by those sweet falling punches. Dusty won’t stand for this being sent into the corner jazz but DiBiase elbows him down into a chinlock instead. Back up and Dusty punches him out of the air, followed by an elbow out to the floor. A suplex brings Ted back in but Virgil trips Dusty to give DiBiase the pin at 10:00.

Rating: C+. This was interesting in a couple of ways. First of all, it shows how big a star Dusty really was. Having not been a regular north of the Carolinas for YEARS, he came off like a total star here with the fans treating him like a huge deal. It shows you that star power and charisma (which Dusty had in spades) will always shine through, which is a great lesson to learn. Also, assuming what I’ve seen elsewhere is true, the loss was to show that Rhodes was willing to put people over, which was a major fear for the WWF roster. Thankfully he was smart enough to just be a talent, which still had a lot of value.

Finally, and easily my favorite, I love watching DiBiase move in a ring. I know he’s best known for his talking and character work but there was a certain smoothness to him in the ring that few others have. Any flip or landing looked perfect and it was a signature style of his that I don’t remember anyone else having. I always liked it and DiBiase looked like a really skilled guy out there, which is overlooked far too often.

Dusty cleans house post match to some hearty applause.

King Duggan/Hillbilly Jim vs. Haku/Andre the Giant
Date: July 19, 1989
Location: Memorial Auditorium, Utica, New York

What a gloriously odd combination. Duggan took the King’s Crown from Haku about two months prior. No contact for the first minute. Make that a minute and a half. Two minutes now as we establish that Duggan’s 2×4 and Hillbilly’s horseshoe are on the floor. They FINALLY start slugging it out over two minutes in with Duggan hammering Andre and Hillbilly choking Haku in the corner.

The USA chants get stronger and stronger as the good guys take over, only to have Andre impose his Andreness on Duggan to take over. Andre crushes Duggan in the corner and it’s off to Haku to work on the neck. A dropkick misses though and Duggan slugs away before ramming Haku and Andre’s heads together for a double knockdown. Hillbilly comes in for two off a shoulder but gets caught with something that looked low.

Andre charges into a pair of knees in the corner but Duggan gets punched down without much effort. Haku tries a sunset flip but lands on Duggan’s back, seemingly injuring Jim’s knee in the process. It’s quickly off to Hillbilly, who gets caught by a certain French giant. Andre holds the arms but Hillbilly avoids Haku’s superkick (ala Wrestlemania VI), allowing Duggan to hit a pair of three point clotheslines for the pin on Haku at 9:12.

Rating: C-. Well that was….something. I love these random matches that you might see on an old Coliseum Video and this is a great example of why. There’s no reason for this match to be taking place but here it is, in all its glory. The Jim’s were fine for a midcard team like this though I don’t think they ever teamed on TV. Fine enough, though they did just beat a team who would be Tag Team Champions by the end of the year.

Charly and Sean are going through a box labeled 89-90 tryouts. We see Sean’s tryout tape (from 1988 but close enough) and it’s nothing special whatsoever.

Bryan Adams vs. Barry Horowitz
Date: August 9, 1989
Location: Selland Arena, Fresno, California
Attendance: 9,000

Crush looks weird here with a beard and worse hair than usual, though you can tell he’s a powerhouse. Barry gets shoved outside to start, followed by a dropkick to put him out there again. Back in and Barry bounces off of him before getting caught in a bearhug. Barry slips out and gets in some offense, including a gutwrench suplex for two with Adams powering out on the kickout. A delayed vertical suplex (which he made look easy) plants Horowitz and a Tombstone is good for the pin at 5:34.

Rating: D. You can see two things here. First of all, it’s EASY to see why Adams kept a job for so long as he looked like a monster with a great build and general presence to him. However, the other thing you can see is how lame he was in the ring. There was almost nothing noteworthy about his abilities and that’s only going to get you so far. Of course this is the WWF and the look alone is going to get you a few feet in the door.

Earthquake Evans vs. Paul Roma
Date: September 20, 1989
Location: Louisville Gardens, Louisville, Kentucky

This is the debut for the Earthquake name as he had actually wrestled two dark matches under the name John Tenta back in March. He’s a lumberjack here (what an odd look) and has Slick in his corner. Roma is kind of a jerk (but don’t worry because Bret Hart said he could have been the greatest jerk of all time) but Crank It Up was such a sweet theme song.

Evans, in a lumberjack shirt and black pants, shoves him down without much effort and shrugs off some right hands. Roma actually does take him down with an armdrag into an armbar but his crossbody is countered into a backbreaker. A bearhug doesn’t go very far so Earthquake slowly works him over in the corner. Earthquake misses a charge though and Roma scores with three straight middle/top rope forearms to the head. A VERY high dropkick actually puts the big man down but Roma misses a crossbody. Earthquake drops a big elbow for the pin at 6:57.

Rating: D-. Really slow here but you could see the potential in Earthquake. Once they got him out of the lumberjack look and made him look like a monster instead of a guy filling in time during the off season, things would get a lot better. He was headlining Summerslam against Hogan less than a year later so they certainly did something right. Not a good match of course as it needed to be cut in half and with far less offense from Roma.

Powers of Pain vs. Rockers
Date: January 22, 1990
Location: Miami Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 15,063

This is the day after the Royal Rumble and I’m not sure why this warrants inclusion. Shawn and Barbarian start things off and you can imagine how far Shawn is pushed away off the lockup. Everything breaks down in a hurry and it’s double superkicks and clotheslines to put the Powers on the floor. We settle down (and change corners for some reason) to Marty vs. Warlord with Jannetty having to keep things fast. A blind tag…..doesn’t keep Shawn in very long as it’s almost immediately back to Marty.

Maybe Shawn should have stayed in as a good looking powerbomb plants Jannetty for two. One heck of a launch into a face first crash gives Warlord the same and Barbarian boots him outside. The Powers trade places and Shawn is about to deck the ref (I mean, it’s a Hebner so maybe the threat stuck all the way to Montreal). Marty shrugs off some right hands but dives into a good looking powerslam. Barbarian misses a middle rope elbow though and the hot tag brings in Shawn. Everything breaks down again until Fuji trips Shawn for the DQ at 7:54.

Rating: C. Pretty standard power vs. speed match and there’s always room for something like that. Marty played a good Ricky Morton here, which he often did over the team’s run. The Powers of Pain would split soon as there was just no need for them with Demolition and the soon to arrive Legion of Doom.

The beating continues post match with Marty taking something like a super Hart Attack. With Shawn down, HULK HOGAN of all people makes the save. Well that’s why this was included and I can certainly understand why. Other than nearly killing the Rockers when he was looking for Randy Savage at Main Event II, I couldn’t imagine Hogan lowering himself to their level at this point.

Tag Team Titles: Colossal Connection vs. Demolition
Date: January 23, 1990
Location: Civic Center, Fort Myers, Florida
Attendance: 5,000

Andre and Haku are defending in what must be an early Wrestlemania dry run. On a side note, assuming what I’ve seen is true, this is the same show where Scott Hall made his company debut yet we’re seeing this instead. How odd indeed. Or maybe that wasn’t filmed, which is always a possibility. Haku and Smash start things off with Smash getting pummeled in the corner (not quite clubberin but it’s close).

The ax handles get Smash out of trouble and a tag with the referee not paying the slightest bit of attention brings Ax in. We’re in an early chinlock from Ax, followed by a neck crank from Smash. Haku finally fights up and brings in the much bigger man to stand on Smash’s chest. Smash does manage to get in a shot to the ribs though and Demolition manages to hammer Andre down.

Andre opts to grab Ax’s face to take over though and the champs get him down in the corner. We hit the choke with the singlet, followed by the worst looking shoulders in the corner I’ve ever seen. I mean Andre’s shoulders are a good foot from Ax’s ribs, though thankfully he’s barely selling them. Haku charges into an elbow and the hot tag brings in Smash (quite the reaction too) as everything breaks down. A double clothesline drops Andre and Demolition stupidly hits him with the titles for the DQ at 8:04.

Rating: D. Demolition looked really dumb here and that’s not exactly their style. That’s something you would expect more out of a Hogan match and I mean that as a rather strong insult. The Connection not being the most thrilling team in the world didn’t help things either and Andre was looking especially lumbering out there.

Intercontinental Title: Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage
Date: January 23, 1990
Location: Civic Center, Fort Myers, Florida
Attendance: 5,000

Savage (now the King) is challenging of course but FAR more interesting is the fact that this is raw footage, meaning there’s one angle for the entire match (only from the hard camera), complete with a time counter on the bottom of the screen. That certainly makes this feel unique, which is the entire point of something like this.

Sherri’s early distraction lets Savage knee Warrior to the floor but again the high crossbody is pulled out of the air. Warrior stomps away in the Tree of Woe, followed by a backslide of all things for two. A backdrop gives us Savage’s sweet looking bump to the floor but Sherri gets in some eye raking for a breather. Savage is right back with a top rope ax handle for two, only to miss a crossbody and fall out to the floor.

Warrior can’t even get back up though and it’s the big elbow for two. The loaded purse gets the same and NOW the kickout gets a good reaction. Warrior Warriors Up and some clotheslines have Savage tied up in the ropes. A missed charge sends Warrior to the floor though with Savage following for the double countout at 8:14 (even though Warrior was ON HIS FEET IN THE RING when the referee counted ten).

Rating: B-. They were really starting to figure each other out at this point and that made for much better matches. I know Warrior wasn’t exactly an in-ring star but to go from where he was in 1987 to where he is here is absolutely remarkable. He was a lumbering oaf back in the day and now he’s a lumbering oaf having some snappy matches. Things would get even better in about fourteen months when these two had a masterpiece at Wrestlemania VII but for the time, this was very surprisingly good stuff.

Disc 2

Sean and Charly talk about how fun this has been with Sean mentioning Alfred Hayes’ God Save the Queen party back in the day. They drop a tape (giving us a shot of an Ultimate Warrior Wrestling Buddy for some serious points) as Charly asks Sean why he’s here. Sean ducks the question and pulls out Wrestlemania VI. Charly says she was in daycare during that show and we see a clip of Mary Tyler Moore at Wrestlemania. Sean: “After that, I really felt like I made it after all.”. Charly: “I don’t get it.”. I don’t care how well she’s rocking the jeans she has on in this thing. That is unacceptable.

Earthquake vs. Hulk Hogan
Date: April 3, 1990
Location: Onondoga War Memorial, Syracuse, New York

Two days after Wrestlemania VI here so Hogan is actually on a losing streak. Earthquake (now in his signature gear) jumps Hogan to little avail as some right hands have the big man in trouble. Some running shots can’t drop Earthquake but a jumping knee gets him half down.

Hogan makes the mistake of going after Jimmy Hart though, allowing Earthquake to post him and take over. Some splashes in the corner and a backbreaker have Hart rather elated and a bearhug looks to make it even worse. It also makes me a bit sleepy as it stays on for a very long time, though it’s hard to complain about a dark match like this. The Earthquake gets two and Hogan makes the comeback to finish with the usual at 7:36.

Rating: C. It’s really pretty easy to see why these two made so much money together. Earthquake was big enough to look like a credible monster and you know Hogan knows EXACTLY what to do with someone like that. Throw in Earthquake putting him on the shelf for most of the summer and this was made of money. We weren’t quite there yet but there was a lot of gas left in Hogan’s tank, especially for something like this.

Posing ensues.

Big Boss Man vs. Ted DiBiase
Date: April 3, 1990
Location: Onondoga War Memorial, Syracuse, New York

Same show as the previous match and a match that was set up at Wrestlemania. DiBiase jumps him at the bell but gets kicked in the face for his efforts. The fast punches in the corner (Boss Man was great at those) look to set up a running splash but Virgil trips him up. Ted knocks Boss Man outside where the most livid kids I’ve ever seen yell at DiBiase with reckless abandon. Seriously, they impressed me.

Back in and the falling punch gives Ted two. It works so well that they do it again and Boss Man does his drunken selling (not a bad thing). A double clothesline puts both guys down, followed by Boss Man punching him out of the air. DiBiase gets backdropped to give us a good looking flip and a spinebuster draws Virgil in for the DQ at 4:13.

Rating: D+. No time to do much here but it’s more than anything we got on TV out of this. You would think this would be another layup of a match with Boss Man being able to play a blue collar guy against DiBiase’s money but for some reason it seemed to be a one off idea that was dropped without too much followup. Nothing to this one but it was fun for a bit.

The double teaming is on post match but Boss Man fights back and handcuffs Virgil.

Rick Rude/Mr. Perfect vs. Ultimate Warrior/Kerry Von Erich
Date: August 8, 1990
Location: Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Attendance: 15,000

These would both be matches in about two and a half weeks at Summerslam. Warrior only has his cheek painted here and it’s a really weird look. The stall button is stuck again as a minute goes by before the heels get in the ring. Perfect gets in after about a minute and a half. Warrior and Perfect start but it’s quickly off to Von Erich for some hard right hands in the corner.

The fans are WAY into Kerry here, which really isn’t surprising given his crazy levels of charisma. The villains are sent outside and rammed into each other, meaning it’s time for a meeting. Back in and more right hands rock Perfect, including one to turn him inside out. Rude comes in and gets to face Warrior, meaning it’s time to hit the backpedal in a hurry.

It’s back to Von Erich for the Tornado Punch (seemingly not yet a finisher) and more right hands until Perfect knees him in the back. The necksnap keeps Tornado in trouble and it’s time to work on the leg, including a toehold on the phantom foot, which HAS to be a rib. Rude gets in some right hands and it’s straight back to Perfect for a chinlock.

You can hear Heenan’s instructions very plainly here and it actually adds a lot to the match, especially due to the lack of commentary. They don’t listen very well though and it’s Perfect dropkicking Rude by mistake, setting up the hot tag to Warrior. House is cleaned in a hurry and the Warrior Splash ends Perfect at 11:51.

Rating: C+. If there is a more fun match based on the participants involved alone, I can’t wait to see it. This was a ton of fun with the fans loving what they were seeing and Warrior having the manic energy to really carry things. Von Erich was a fresh addition too and when you have a perfect heel team like Rude and Perfect, what more can you ask for?

Legion of Doom vs. Demolition
Date: October 30, 1990
Location: Allen County Coliseum, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis

Well this works. For some reason they never actually had this one on TV, which makes little sense given how perfect it could have been. At least do it on a big house show and air it on Prime Time or something. Demolition is wrestling in masks here and has more sinister music, making them look like a bunch of generic jobbers.

LOD starts in on Crush’s arm until Animal throws him over the top. Smash (I think) gets in a cheap shot on the floor though and it’s Crush taking over back inside. The Decapitator is broken up and it’s back to Hawk to clean house with his variety of clotheslines. The top rope version pins Smash at 2:28. Well that was nothing.

War Eagle vs. Dale Wolfe
Date: January 8, 1991
Location: UTC Arena, Chattanooga, Tennessee

It’s another one with the time counter on the screen. War Eagle is better known as Tatanka and for some reason he comes out to the old Young Stallions’ song Crank It Up, which doesn’t fit whatsoever with the war dance around the ring. What does fit is his crazy awesome physique which is up there with Lex Luger’s.

Wolfe bails to the floor to start before coming back in, only to get armdragged outside again. That means a walk up the aisle until Wolfe comes back in to get his arm cranked. Wolfe fights back and grabs a chinlock, which goes as well as you would expect. We hit the war dance before some chops, followed by the Samoan drop to give Eagle the pin (with the camera zooming in on the crowd during the count for no apparent reason) at 4:56.

Rating: D-. Pretty bad match here as Eagle didn’t have the fire in his comeback but it’s easy to see why they kept at it with him based on the physique alone. For some reason it took him the better part of forever to get onto the actual shows but once he got there, he had a very nice midcard career for himself.

Charly finds Rick Martel’s “Yes I Am A Model” button on top of a tape of a blindfold match from two months before Wrestlemania VII. We recap the story of Martel blinding Jake Roberts with his Arrogance cologne to set up their match at Wrestlemania, which saw them both wearing hoods (including a hole you could see through).

Jake Roberts vs. Rick Martel
Date: January 29, 1991
Location: Savannah Civic Center, Savannah, Georgia

This is a blindfold match and seems to be a practice match for their disaster at Wrestlemania VII. The bell rings before they put the blindfolds on so we get a good bit of stalling. After a minute of waiting to put them on, the bell rings again because this whole time thing is confusing.

Just like at Wrestlemania, Jake uses the crowd to help him find Martel and we get some early stumbling around without any significant contact. Martel gets him down and chokes away, only to miss a backdrop attempt as Jake runs by him. Things reset again and Martel goes to the floor for no apparent reason. A touch of the snake bag freaks Rick out but he finally manages to pull Jake outside for a ram into the apron.

That works fine….and then Martel loses him. Instead he finds a chair and pokes at nothing with it, eventually backing into and hitting the post with said chair (same spot from Wrestlemania). Speaking of Wrestlemania, can we watch that instead? It’s actually better than this mess.

Martel finally gets back in as we’re somehow SEVEN MINUTES into this. They bump into each other with Martel getting in some right hands and a slam before missing an elbow drop (see also: Wrestlemania VII). Martel finally gives up and takes the hood off to knock Roberts into the ropes. Arrogance is loaded up but Martel gets caught with the DDT for the pin at 8:44.

Rating: F. It was stupid at Wrestlemania and this was even worse without Bobby Heenan making a mockery of the thing (Heenan: “Excuse me. MARTEL! HE’S ON THE FLOOR!”). This wasn’t even a match as Jake hit a single move the whole time and Martel might have hit seven (if you count three right hands as three). This would have been a better inclusion if we hadn’t seen it before in a somehow better version.

Ted DiBiase vs. Sid Justice
Date: July 8, 1991
Location: Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Attendance: 8,500

What in the holy sweet name of donuts and red Gatorade is this? Actually this would be Sid’s WWF in-ring debut as he had left WCW less than two months earlier. Sherri offers an early distraction so DiBiase can get in a cheap shot, only to get dropped by a chokeslam. The screeching is on early as Sid knocks him outside and an atomic drop does it again, this time with one of those great DiBiase bumps.

DiBiase tries to brawl on the floor and is quickly posted as you might expect. Sherri offers a distraction though, allowing Ted to get in a loaded purse shot…which doesn’t even drop Sid off his feet. Some right hands give DiBiase two with the power kickout scaring the heck out of Sherri. That falling middle rope elbow misses though (as always) and Sid scores with a Stinger Splash. The powerbomb ends Ted at 5:41.

Rating: D. Here’s the thing that got Sid so over: sure he’s horrible in the ring and no he can’t work a match to save his life but he has that pure, raw charisma and fans are going to gravitate to that every single time. That’s what he did here and the fans were into him, even in a promotion he had never worked in before. That’s impressive and the match worked as a result. Well that and having DiBiase in there too.

Undertaker vs. Ultimate Warrior
Date: August 19, 1991
Location: War Memorial, Rochester, New York

Casket match, which was a brand new concept at the time. Back in April, Undertaker had sealed Warrior inside a casket, which eventually lead to Jake Roberts teaming up with Undertaker. The Warrior vs. Roberts feud never happened as Warrior was released from the company about a week after this, but the build was excellent and gave us Undertaker’s face turn soon after this.

Warrior slugs away on the floor to start and knocks Undertaker into the steps, which barely registers any response. They get inside where Warrior is cut off with a clothesline and a running boot in the corner. A slam has no effect on Undertaker so Warrior tries his running clotheslines instead.

Undertaker uppercuts him down and hits the safest Tombstone of all time to knock Warrior lukewarm. Choking won’t get Warrior in the casket as it revives him instead. How exactly did that guy work anyway? Undertaker finally gets him in but, after waiting the better part of thirty seconds with his hand on the lid, can’t shut the thing. Instead, Warrior steals the urn and clocks Undertaker, setting up the win at 5:39.

Rating: D+. There’s a reason this idea has been around for so many years. It might not be the most complicated thing in the world but it’s a perfect way to keep someone protected while also giving the winner a victory. Undertaker would of course be fine as losing a dark match isn’t going to hurt anyone. Bad match of course, but the fans were WAY into the near finishes.

Warrior leaves and Undertaker pops out of the casket, making the zombie look feel all the stronger.

Ric Flair vs. Roddy Piper
Date: October 1, 1991
Location: Huntington Civic Center, Huntington, West Virginia

Another dark match at a Prime Time taping with the time code included. They had been trading insults on TV in recent weeks so the crowd should be hot here. Flair even has the uncensored Big Gold Belt to really make it feel different. Piper wastes no time in hammering away in the corner and raking Flair’s eyes on the top rope ala Arn Anderson.

They head outside with Flair getting the better of it (that’s an odd one) before losing a chop off back inside. Ric goes to the eyes though (that’s more like it) and now the chops work a bit better. It’s already off to the leg with some kicks and the cannonball but Piper does his best Sting impression when he no sells the chops in the corner. Flair gets slammed off the top (such a stupid Nature Boy) but a classic low blow brings Piper down again. It’s chair time but the ref gets bumped, meaning there’s no count off Piper’s small package.

In the most ridiculous visual I’ve seen in a long time, a second referee comes in, bypasses Piper covering Flair to check on the down referee, and then JUMPS UP to count a pin on Piper when Flair rolls him up at 5:54. There’s no bell though and Piper beats Flair up some more, only to have the referee take the chair away. Flair grabs another rollup to pin Piper again at 6:52. Geez was Piper in trouble or something?

Rating: C. The wrestling worked just fine, which was all you could have expected given how many times these two have fought each other. Their stuff about nine years earlier was excellent and there was no reason to believe this would have been anything else. The ending was ridiculous though and I have no idea why they jobbed Piper twice (more than he had done in most years) in less than a minute. At least tell me the referee was fired for being that biased.

Post match Piper stays on Flair, hitting a few weak chair shots.

Back to Charly and Sean, including a box labeled No Holds Barred: Alt Ending. I laughed. Anyway, Charly finds a taped labeled Mr. Madness, which is a house show only character that Randy Savage did after losing his career at Wrestlemania VII. In other words, it’s the original Juan Cena. This is fallout from the Savage/Liz wedding reception where Jake and Undertaker interrupted with a cobra because they’re real villains.

Mr. Madness vs. Jake Roberts
Date: November 12, 1991
Location: Springfield Civic Center, Springfield, Massachusetts
Attendance: 8,500

Dig that Trust Me entrance music for Jake! Unfortunately Mr. Madness isn’t a costume or anything and is just the same old Savage. You know, because that’s a huge problem. But really, not even a mask or a different outfit or anything. Kind of disappointing really. Savage is all over him to start and elbows Jake (wearing a snake handler’s glove) in the throat, only to get kneed in the ribs.

Some choking on the ropes sets up the snap left hands. The DDT is broken up but Savage is sent outside as the beating continues. Jake gets posted though and Savage hits the top rope ax handle. Savage chairs him down and even though there’s no bell, we’ll say it’s a DQ at 4:32.

Rating: D. Nothing to see here and I was actually disappointed by having Mr. Madness just be the same old Savage. If it’s just a house show, just say that it’s a trial period or something. I don’t get the idea here but it’s not like it really matters. What does matter is how the match was nothing as Savage showed far less fire than usual and got beaten up for a long time before snapping at the end. It makes sense, but their match less than a month later at This Tuesday in Texas was great.

More chair shots send Jake bailing before he can pull out the snake.

WWF World Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair
Date: November 12, 1991
Location: Springfield Civic Center, Springfield, Massachusetts
Attendance: 8,500

Same show as before with Hogan defending, but more importantly this includes the FAKE Big Gold Belt, which is exactly what it sounds like. They were still doing the Real World Champion deal but had lost the NWA World Title so this was something they had made. It was never on TV (the blurred belt was often a Tag Team Title, which looked ridiculous in person) and to the best of my knowledge, there’s only one actual photo of the thing. Oddly enough it looks like a cross between the Big Gold Belt and the AWA World Title, which is quite the visual. Flair also has Mr. Perfect with him.

The crowd is RABID for Hogan here and we hit the early stall button. The only contact in the first two minutes is Flair shoving Hogan away. A second shove gets us to two and a half minutes and Flair won’t lock up. More walking around and WOOing ensues until Hogan draws a line on the mat. Flair crosses it with a headlock and Hogan actually goes down to one knee. A shoulder puts Flair down and it’s time to slow down again, this time with Hogan getting the headlock.

Hogan clotheslines him to the floor and the fans are going nuts for their hero. Back in and Flair says he’s been there twenty four times (not even he could think he has that many World Titles so I’m not sure what that means) but a poke to the eye puts Hogan in trouble. Hogan no sells the chops and fires off right hands in the corner, followed by biting the forehead. In the words of Gorilla Monsoon, perhaps hungry.

The Flair Flip sets up a clothesline off the apron and that’s enough for a walk up the aisle. Ever the champion, Hogan won’t let that happen and drags Flair back inside and is promptly snapmared down for a knee to the head. Flair whips him into the corner but Hogan drops to the mat for some reason (like you would on a regular running the ropes spot), meaning Flair has to jump over him to hit the buckle.

Hogan trips him up from behind and rakes the face to complete a rather strange (yet effective) sequence. Perfect offers a distraction though and it’s time to go after the knee. A good crotching against the post keeps Hogan in trouble and the knee is kicked again. The Figure Four is broken up but since Flair never learns, Hogan breaks it up a second time.

Speaking of never learns, Flair, top rope, slam. Hogan yells at the referee though, allowing Perfect to slip in the foreign object for the knockout shot. The Hulking Up is on but Flair bails outside after the big boot. Hogan follows and gets poked in the eye for his efforts but is still able to send Flair into the steps for the countout win at 14:54.

Rating: B. Heck of a match here but it’s a great example of why Hogan vs. Flair never worked in the WWF. Simply put: no one is going to buy Flair as a threat to win the title. Hogan doesn’t get pinned and he’s never going to give up in the Figure Four, so why should I buy that Flair is going to take the title? Flair was a great character and knows how to get people to care about him, but it was still a culture clash with Flair not being able to do his style of a match (meaning he would need at least half an hour) and never being a real threat. It was a good idea on paper, but practically this was never going to work.

Posing ensues.

And now, a Piper’s Pit from Toledo, Ohio on April 7, 1992 with Piper fresh off losing the Intercontinental Title. Piper brings up losing the title and praises Bret as a great champion. He was about to leave and go mess with his Jetski but the company wanted him back for some Pits. The company is going through some scandals at the moment (whoa) and it’s time to get something positive going.

Tonight, the Pit is going to be based on audience participation. Therefore, whenever the fans think the person is lying, they need to make a barking noise. The first guest: the Brooklyn Brawler with Piper asking fans for questions. First up is why doesn’t Brawler take a bath? Brawler says he’s a millionaire. Piper asks what that’s going to do with taking a bath but Brawler says he’s going TO BE a millionaire.

Brawler won’t look at Piper but eventually says he’ll be the next World Heavyweight Champion. Piper: “I ain’t never seen you win a match.” He’ll do it by not doing what Piper did at Wrestlemania so Brawler grabs the bell (which Piper refused to use against Hart, and if you don’t that, you shouldn’t be here). Violence is threatened so Piper pokes him in the eye and clocks Brawler with the bell instead.

Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog
Date: June 30, 1992
Location: Broome County Arena, Binghamton, New York
Attendance: 4,000

Bret’s Intercontinental Title isn’t on the line and I’m assuming this is a practice match for Summerslam. Well in theory it’s non-title as the title is held up before the match and nothing is said. There’s always a chance that this might have been planned for a home video release and then changed so maybe the announcement would be dubbed in later. A headlock and shoulder block go badly for Bret as he gets knocked all the way outside.

Back in and Bret takes him down with a headlock for a change before a small package gets two. It’s an interesting style here as they’re moving very fast in bursts and then slowing it back down. The movement is very crisp though, as you might expect. Bulldog escapes the headlock and grabs a hammerlock to start in on the arm. Back up and it’s Bret cranking on the arm until Bulldog rolls away (that must be a family thing) and snaps on the armbar all over again. Bret fights up and gets in an atomic drop, followed by the chinlock.

Now it’s Bulldog getting up and trying the crucifix, only to get dropped hard on his back instead. A backslid gets two on Bret and the fans are WAY into these near falls. The middle rope elbow connects and Bulldog has a broken nose. The threat of a Sharpshooter has Bulldog scurrying for the ropes and an enziguri of all things puts Bret on his face. There’s the delayed vertical for two but Bret is right back up with a sleeper to slow things down. Bulldog fights up and it’s a double hiptoss to put both guys on the floor. Bulldog gets back in first but Bret jumps over him and grabs a German suplex for the pin at 14:20.

Rating: B. They weren’t quite up to the Summerslam level but that’s not exactly a fair comparison. These two definitely had chemistry together and it’s almost strange to see Bret get a clean pin on him. It’s also interesting that their famous match is so much different than this one. That shows how talented they are as they had two good matches with different structures while most people can’t even have one of them.

Papa Shango/Kamala vs. Bret Hart/Ultimate Warrior
Date: October 13, 1992
Location: Argidome, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

I’d give good money to hear either of these teams just having a conversation about anything. Bret literally won the WWF Title the day before and Warrior is in his weird singlet look here. Warrior and Kamala start with the guy with the painted moons on his stomach (Meaning Kamala. You know, that might actually need some clarification in this case as you never know with Warrior.) bails in fear. Instead he’ll try Bret and has to bail to the ropes to get out of an armbar.

For some reason Bret agrees to a test of strength (Ugandans are known for their Greco Roman Knuckle Locks) and then stomps on Kamala’s bare foot to show off some intelligence. Kamala hands it off to the guy with boots as I continue to be astounded that he’s the future Godfather. Some shoulders give Bret a breather but Kamala hits him in the throat to cut him off again. Shango charges into a knee though and it’s back to Warrior for three clotheslines on Shango, a slam to Kamala and the splash to pin Shango at 7:09.

Rating: D. This would have been bad even by house show main event standards, which is about as low as you can get at this point. Maybe Bret was still jazzed from winning the title or something but this one wasn’t working for me. Then again, what were you expecting with these combinations?

Undertaker vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Date: January 26, 1993
Location: Convention Center, Fresno, California

There’s a timer at the bottom (though a different kind than the previous versions), the quality seems a lot lower and neither guy has an entrance. It’s also hard cam only again, which is always a weird way to watch wrestling. Bigelow waits over a minute before throwing the first punch and gets choked in the corner as a result. You can’t waste time around here like that.

Old School connects but the jumping clothesline misses and Undertaker falls out to the floor. They head outside….and we lose them because we only have the hard cam. Back in and Undertaker misses a charge in the corner, allowing Bigelow to hit a clothesline to the back of the head. A headbutt keeps Undertaker down but the top rope version misses, allowing Undertaker to finish with a chokeslam at 5:25. The fans RUN for the exits as the show is over in a funny visual.

Rating: D. Another weak one here but this wasn’t supposed to be anything other than sending a big name out there to end the long taping session. Undertaker vs. Bigelow is a match that could have been good under the right circumstances and that’s not the case in a five minute match where we couldn’t see part of it. Not good, but that’s not their fault.

A very excited Charly starts making Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle puns because she’s just that awesome. What you are about to see is real and a MAJOR reason why I wanted to see this set.

Toxic Turtles vs. Tommy Stevenson/Ron Preston
Date: March 9, 1993
Location: Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, Georgia
Attendance: 8,000

That would be Tom and Terry Turtle (Barry Hardy/Duane Gill respectively) and it’s EXACTLY what it sounds like. This lasted one night only for any two of the 19 obvious reasons you’ve thought of so far. The ring announcer makes sure to announce that the jobbers weigh 488lbs combined rather than saying one of the average sized guys weighs that on his own. For absolutely no apparent reason, the Turtles are from Terrytown, Texas. The costumes are TMNT costumes almost to perfection, even down to the masks.

Since you can’t see their faces, we’ll say Raphael starts with Preston and it’s a lot of rolling around while the fans are SILENT. Like even the kids aren’t responding, mainly because TMNT was WAY past its peak at this point. Donatello comes in for a double dropkick and a near fall but gets stuck on his shell and needs assistance getting up. These guys are like the anti-Hunchbacks.

Preston gets his arm worked over and the booing begins. Raphael comes back in for some chops to the head and a headbutt, followed by a slingshot hilo for the pin at 2:19. Stevenson was never in the match and it was crazy weird, but the Turtles fought with honor, and that’s all that matters. This was everything I expected and worse, but my goodness what a cool thing to see, just due to hearing about it for years.

Disc 3

To show you this show’s sense of humor and for you who will get this joke, this disc starts with Sean throwing away a box labeled T. Magee because there’s nothing in it. Again, I laughed. Next up is a box labeled 1993 Post WM 9. This next one might be a little scary.

Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez
Date: April 5, 1993
Location: America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Attendance: 7,000

Well yeah it is scary. This is the day after Wrestlemania IX so that box is quite accurate. Also another one with the timer and hard cam only. Again: it’s so strange to have the music playing but not cutting to the entrance, meaning the first time you see Undertaker is as he gets on the apron.

Gonzalez jumps him from behind to start and sends Undertaker into a few buckles. A clothesline sends Undertaker outside and the camera shifts to the side so we can see the brawl. Back in and Gonzalez kicks him in the chest, followed by a clothesline to the floor. Undertaker comes right back with headbutts and uppercuts but Gonzalez steals the urn and clocks Undertaker for the DQ at 3:28.

Rating: F. Yeah there’s really defending Gonzalez as he really is one of the worst of all time. Part of the problem is he’s just so big and there’s not much that can be done with him. When Undertaker can’t do anything with you, you’re to the point where there’s nothing that can be done. This was somehow worse than Wrestlemania, which I didn’t think was possible.

Undertaker sits up and fights Gonzalez to the back. Somehow this kept going until Summerslam.

Smoking Gunns vs. Barry Horowitz/Reno Riggins
Date: April 5, 1993
Location: America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Attendance: 7,000

Same show as the previous match and The Gunns are Kip Winchester (Billy) and Brett Colt (Bart). The Gunns are making their debut here and are virtually the same, save for a few (mostly cosmetic) changes. It’s even the same gear and entrance costumes. The female fans seem VERY pleased when the Gunns take their shirts off.

Billy and Barry start as we’re on the wide shot from the hard camera again. A hiptoss takes Barry down to start and we’re in an early armbar. Bart does the same as to Reno as they’re certainly not shying away from the early arm work. A double Russian legsweep gets two but the referee isn’t pleased with the cheating, allowing Barry and Reno (sounds like a bad Vegas act) to choke Bart in the corner.

Reno grabs an abdominal stretch as the Gunns are giving up a lot more than I would have expected here. A back elbow gives Barry two and it’s back to Reno for a chinlock. Back up and Bart shoulders him down, allowing the hot tag off to Billy. Everything breaks down and Billy cleans house with some dropkicks. A powerslam sets up the top rope bulldog to give Billy the pin at 9:41.

Rating: C-. Not half bad here as the Gunns were clearly good enough to get a job in the near future as a result. The Gunns were actually a pretty good team for their time, even though they were a pretty standard gimmick. That being said, the division was hardly worth anything in the first place so any good team (and the Gunns were one) was going to do well.

Intercontinental Title: Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect
Date: April 6, 1993
Location: Tuscon Convention Center, Tuscon, Arizona

Shawn is defending and the camera doesn’t move again. Perfect wastes no time in slugging away and the fans are right there with him. The running knee lifts knock Shawn into the corner and there’s a whip to send Shawn out to the floor. They brawl on the outside and it’s kind of hard to see what’s going on as they’re opposite the camera.

Back in with Shawn choking on the ropes until a hard right hand knocks him away. Shawn drops him again though and we hit the chinlock. The fans deem it perfect so at least they appreciate good chinlockery. I’m sure Shawn would agree too. Perfect fights up and slams Shawn down by the hair, followed by a toss across the phone by said hair. That’s followed by a crotching against the post and a hard shot to the head gives Perfect two.

The ref gets bumped and Shawn brings in the title, only to have it knocked away. There’s the PerfectPlex and a second referee comes in to count the pin at 6:05. As ring announcer Mike McGuirk declares Perfect “the new champion of the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Title”, the first ref waves it off because of the bump and Shawn retains via DQ.

Rating: C. Totally standard match here but the fans were entirely into the whole thing. They probably did this in every city and there’s nothing wrong with that as it gives the fans something fun and it’s not like there’s a ton of ways to know what’s going on at the moment, at least not to the masses. Also, better chemistry here than they had at Summerslam.

Skippy Taylor vs. Tazmaniac
Date: May 5, 1993
Location: Exposition Building, Portland, Maine
Attendance: 2,700

Now this is interesting as we have Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Taz when Taz was basically a caveman. Scotty is from Maine and would likely just be a local job guy at this point. Tazmaniac wristlocks him into a suplex but Taylor flips over his back into a dropkick. A hard headbutt puts Skippy (yes Skippy) down and it’s a Tazplex followed by a chinlock. Back up and Scotty (who is oddly the bigger guy here) gets suplexed again and we hit a neck crank. A sunset flip gives Taylor two and Taz goes up (Huh?), only to dive into a right hand to the ribs. Not that it matters as an overhead belly to belly gives Taz the pin at 3:30.

Rating: D. What were you expecting from a caveman character? Taylor was as generic of a wrestler as you could have asked for at this point and yet he still looked better than Taz. What are you expecting to get out of a caveman? Nothing match of course and I’m not surprised that neither guy was hired at this point, though Taylor likely wasn’t a candidate for a job anyway.

Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna
Date: May 5, 1993
Location: Exposition Center, Portland, Maine
Attendance: 2,700

Same show as before (but not a hard camera match for some reason) and the final match of the show. Bret gets a strong reaction as you might have guessed. We get the long delay for Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji’s ritual and you can hear Bret call him fat. Bret even jumps him during the salt throwing and alternates between shots to the head and stomach. See, he’s versatile. A clothesline takes Bret down though and it’s time to slow things up.

Choking on the ropes wakes Bret up a bit but his comeback earns him a right hand to the throat. A trip to the floor sees Bret going into the steps and the big leg crushes him again back inside. The brilliant fans chant USA to cheer on the Canadian….and it seems to work as Bret avoids the corner charges. A middle rope bulldog gives Bret two and a regular version drops the big man again. Bret gets the Sharpshooter but Fuji comes in for the DQ at 5:26.

Rating: D+. They weren’t trying here but a lot of that was due to the amount of time they had. It’s not like these two are going to have a great match in the first place and cutting it down to less than five minutes counting everything with the salt didn’t do it any favors. Yokozuna would get better after crushing Hogan in about a month.

Post match Owen Hart comes in for the save but gets beaten down until Bret makes the save with a chair.

Money Inc. vs. Mega Maniacs
Date: June 14, 1993
Location: Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 3,700

Hogan/Beefcake of course in another Wrestlemania IX rematch. This is the day after King of the Ring 1993 and Money Inc.’s second match of the night after losing the Tag Team Titles to the Steiners earlier in the night (which they would win back two days later, only to lose them for good to the Steiners again three days later). Sgt. Slaughter is guest referee and you can see the Coliseum Video logos, meaning this was likely originally intended for home release but didn’t make it for whatever reason.

Money Inc. jumps them during the entrances and get cleared out in as short of a fashion as you would guess. Hogan poses and egads it’s still weird to see him this small in the WWF. More long form stalling ensues (definitely a thing back then and a lost art today) with Slaughter doing a weapons check as we’re finally ready to go two minutes plus after the bell. Hogan and DiBiase finally start….and we get a second bell. Egads why is this so complicated?

DiBiase forearms him in the back to start but Slaughter shoves Ted out of the corner when Hogan is on the ropes. How physical of him. Hogan uses the distraction to poke DiBiase in the eye (because Bobby Heenan was right about him being a no good cheater) and it’s off to Beefcake for some chops in the corner. IRS wants time out until DiBiase goes back in, walking right into an armdrag.

Ted suggests a hair pull and demonstrates it on Slaughter, but the fans (and Hogan) say it didn’t happen. Beefcake gets another armdrag and DiBiase says he did it again. Therefore Slaughter demonstrates the armdrag on DiBiase before tripping him down to give Beefcake two. Everything breaks down and it’s Hogan clotheslining IRS so Beefcake can hit him in the throat. Slaughter of course yells, so Hogan gets in a cheap shot. Hogan and Beefcake are making a snappy heel team here.

An IRS distraction finally lets DiBiase get in a few cheap shots and Slaughter cuts Hogan off from making a save. We’re firmly in the formula now, including IRS sweating profusely despite not doing much yet. DiBiase grabs a chinlock and now we get in an argument with Slaughter over the lack of a tag. Therefore, IRS has to let go of his chinlock so DiBiase can get in his own.

It’s back to IRS for more chinlockery as this is just dying in a hurry. Beefcake is up at the third arm drop and suplexes his way to freedom, allowing the hot tag to Hogan. Everything breaks down and IRS grabs the briefcase, which Hogan uses to clock DiBiase in the head. Slaughter then clocks both members of Money Inc….and disqualifies them at 12:21?

Rating: D-. What in the world was that supposed to be? Were they taking the night off (from that rigorous Hogan formula) and wanted to do something more “fun”? This might have worked if you cut off four minutes and REALLY toned down the Slaughter stuff (he came off as the star of the match) but as it was, total misfire here and really boring for the most part. Then again it’s not like the Wrestlemania match was anything good either.

Posing ensues, as is the custom.

Lex Luger vs. Ludvig Borga
Date: October 20, 1993
Location: Burlington Civic Center, Burlington, Vermont
Attendance: 2,500

Another Coliseum Video match and my goodness the fans have cooled on Luger since his Summerslam loss. Like he’s just a guy now. The USA chants begin and of course annoy Borga but just makes me think Jim Duggan could get an even stronger response at this point (impressive since he was gone from the company).

Borga powers him down to start and let’s stand around a bit. A shove sends Luger into the corner and we’re somehow almost three minutes into this. Luger shouts about Finland as Borga almost gets in a fight with a fan, who takes his shirt off.

The fans are rather pleased (no clue why) so Luger calms them down with a headlock. Well you wouldn’t want to get them too fired up. We stall some more and it’s time for a USA chant, followed by a wristlock from Luger. A shoulder and crossbody put Borga down for a second and it’s right back to the wristlock.

Lex charges into a boot in the corner though and Borga punches him down. But wait, let’s yell at the shirtless guy some more. At this point it’s clear why this didn’t make Coliseum Video and we’re all better for that. Of course it’s off to the chinlock before a clothesline gets two on Lex. Luger’s rollup gets the same but he comes back with the forearm for the pin at 11:13.

Rating: F. It’s kind of amazing how terrible Luger could be when he wasn’t motivated, which is made worse by how rarely he actually was motivated. This was terrible and one of the worst matches on the set so far. Then again that’s not surprising as this was a very dark era for the company and it wasn’t about to get any better.

Randy Savage vs. Crush
Date: February 1, 1994
Location: Westchester County Civic Center, White Plains, New York
Attendance: 3,000

The time clock is back. This is part of a big feud as Crush turned on Savage and cost him him announcer’s job, sending Savage over the edge (took about six inches of pushing) and into a rage for revenge. Savage jumps him on the floor to start and posts his head for good measure. They get inside with Savage going for the elbow way too early but getting distracted by Mr. Fuji anyway.

Savage grabs a chair instead but the referee yelling at him allows Crush to get in his first big shot. Suddenly we go to a very wide shot (blood maybe)…and then zoom back in like usual. Is the director drunk or something? Crush knocks him down and poses a bit, allowing Savage to grab a hiptoss. The ax handle sends Crush rolling outside and he sends Savage into the barricade.

Back in we hit the bearhug as the USA chants begin. At least there’s a Japanese flag to go with the Hawaiian villain. Some shots to the back keep Savage down and it’s off to a bow and arrow hold of all things. Not exactly what you would expect from Crush but it’s not a match people are supposed to see. A slow motion tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gives Crush two but Savage finally sends him into the buckle for a breather. Crush’s suplex is reversed so he goes for the salt, only to have it knocked into his face. Now the elbow can give Savage the pin at 8:54.

Rating: C-. Not bad at all here as Savage could sell perfectly and Crush could work the back more than well enough. The anger was there to start but kind of died near the end, though at least there was a story and some intensity. I’ve always liked this feud and while this was a far cry from their Wrestlemania match (which I liked as well), it was an improvement over what we’ve been seeing.

WWF World Title: Bret Hart vs. Jim Neidhart
Date: October 21, 1994
Location: Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Attendance: 16,843

Bret is defending (in case you’re REALLY slow) as Neidhart returned earlier in the year to back Bret up, only to turn on him and side with Owen. I’ve seen these two have a title match from MSG in the same month and wasn’t incredibly impressed but maybe the Canadian air will help things out. Bret gets a hero’s reaction (of course) but Neidhart jumps him during the entrance.

Without even taking the jacket off, Bret comes back with a clothesline and the Sharpshooter, only to have Jeff Jarrett of all people run in for the beatdown. I believe the fans chant for Razor as we seem destined for a tag match but instead, this one begins (the bell never rang to start it) as Bret is mostly done. So yeah, Bret is getting screwed in a WWF World Title match in Montreal THREE YEARS EARLIER. Egads man stay in Calgary.

Bret avoids an early charge and hammers away before grabbing the beard. They head outside where Anvil forearms a post and Bret shoves Jarrett, who is still at ringside in a chair, over. Back in and Bret does the chest first buckle bump (well duh) and we hit a cobra clutch, which was actually called the Anvilizer. I have no idea why he called it that, what it means, or when in the world he ever used a sleeper to win a match but Neidhart could be a strange guy.

Neidhart lets it go and pounds him down as we’re into a pretty standard wheelhouse now. It’s off to the bearhug but Bret is out in a hurry, only to get kneed in the ribs for his efforts. The running powerslam (now that should be the Anvilizer) gets two and it’s back to the floor, hopefully with less forearming the post. That goes nowhere so Bret pulls him back in for a bulldog. The Russian legsweep gets two and Jarrett is rather pleased. Neidhart blocks the middle rope elbow though and catches Bret on top with the slam. For some reason Neidhart decides to try a top rope splash and the miss sets up the rollup to retain at 6:35.

Rating: C. They were smart to keep this short as I’m not sure how much longer Neidhart could have gone in a singles match. He’s very one dimensional (nothing wrong with that as there’s always a place for a power guy like Neidhart) and that’s not the best choice to go in a long match. Thankfully Bret is right there to keep things together, even with the rather pesky Jarrett interference, which didn’t mean anything in the end.

Sean is on a ladder with Charly saying this isn’t the safest thing in the world. Sean: “Try interviewing Andre the Giant after Bobby the Brain Heenan told him that I said he wasn’t a real giant.” He’s found some unseen ladder matches and Charly doesn’t buy it because everyone has seen the same ladder matches.

.and now here’s Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon from Wrestlemania X, but Charly stops the tape because that’s already been on a bunch of home releases. Ok that was funny.

Intercontinental Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. British Bulldog
Date: May 16, 1995
Location: O’Neil Center, Danbury, Connecticut
Attendance: 1,800

Jeff is defending, though oddly enough he would lose the title to Razor in a ladder match at a house show, only to get it back in another ladder match three days later. These were mentioned on Raw and would really make for a better entry here, assuming they were filmed. I’ve seen the one from three days before this via fan cam so they were very common around this time.

The camera work is much lower level than usual with a lot of moving over to other things rather than cuts. Jeff hammers away to start but gets caught in the (only slightly) delayed vertical suplex. That earns Bulldog a throw to the floor where Roadie gets in a clothesline as I wonder why Luger, who came to the ring with Bulldog, didn’t stick around. Of course just after I finish saying that, here’s Luger to punch Roadie in the face and chase him to the back. Bulldog gets in another suplex and the go outside (and off camera) until Bulldog brings in the first ladder.

Jeff makes a save and hits him in the ribs with the ladder before starting the climb. In one of the rare smart moves you’ll see in a ladder match, Jeff sees Bulldog coming and jumps down to kick him instead of being shoved over. Of course he’s shoved over a few seconds later but at least he did it right once. A ladder shot to the ribs puts Jeff down and Bulldog makes a very shaky climb, only to have it cut off as well. Bulldog whips him into the ladder again and goes up but gets dropkicked down. That’s enough for Jarrett to retain at 7:15.

Rating: C. Perfectly acceptable ladder match here, especially for a dark match at a Superstars taping. They didn’t have a ton of time but this was the paint by numbers version as it’s not like they had a ton of big match ladder matches to draw from at this point. Bulldog was fine for a quick challenger like this, though I’m kid of surprised that Jeff won clean.

Post match Bulldog goes after Jeff like a sore loser but Roadie comes in to chop block him. Luger makes the save.

Intercontinental Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Razor Ramon
Date: June 5, 1995
Location: Struthers High School, Struthers, Ohio
Attendance: 1,450

From a Raw taping and Jeff is defending in another ladder match. Hang on a second as Jeff says the belt is too high. The belt is lowered a bit, which would seem to make it easier for the taller Razor to retrieve. They slug it out to start with Razor of course getting the better of it until he ducks his head and gets caught in a swinging neckbreaker. Razor goes outside and grabs the ladder, which is quickly baseball slid (Slided? Sliden?) into his ribs.

Even in a short match like this, that’s way too early to go up so Razor gets back in for the save. Again though, Jeff is smart enough to come down and hit him in the ribs with the ladder. The ladder is dropped onto Razor but he makes another save. You may be noticing a pattern emerging here. This time it’s Jarrett catching Razor on top and shoving the ladder over to put both guys down.

The Razor’s Edge is broken up with Jeff backdropping him over the top, which of course means a banged up knee. The knee is fine enough to make another save though and they’re both down again. Jeff gets sent into the ladder in the corner a few times but one more shove down allowing him to retain the title at 10:23.

Rating: C+. This was much more the standard ladder match with a little more time to make it better. Jarrett and Ramon had some good chemistry together and it made for a better match as a result. It’s interesting that the matches are rather different with this one being more like a standard ladder match while the first was a match that happened to involve a ladder. Both were good though as Jarrett is a talented performer, as long as you keep him away from the main event scene.

Post match Razor gives him the Edge and picks up the title, only to drop it on the unconscious Jarrett.

Charly and Sean find a box of New Generation tapes and, after suggesting that Mooney lives in the vault (works for me), we have a tape of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart as partners. Charly: “How does that sound?” Sean: “It sounds like it would be a heart break, kid.” Charly’s face tells you everything you need to know here.

Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart vs. Hakushi/Jerry Lawler
Date: July 26, 1995
Location: Kiel Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Attendance: 10,500

Another Coliseum Video match. This happened a handful of other times but is still one of those things you never can imagine seeing. The villains jump them to start and the ropes seem a bit loose. Hakushi sends Bret into the corner to start and hits a cartwheel elbow. It’s off to Lawler for some choking before Hakushi comes back in for a knee drop. The threat of a Shawn (sporting a bit of a beard here) right hand scares Lawler away and it’s off to choking in the corner.

Hakushi’s Bronco Buster keeps Bret in trouble as this is one sided so far. Choking ensues on the ropes and then in the corner to continue the riveting pace. Shawn FINALLY does something by chasing after Hakushi and hitting him in the head. I mean, it would be better if he were legal so Bret pulls Lawler face first into the post. Bret finally avoids a charge and brings in Shawn to clean house. The top rope ax handle gets two and the elbow drop is good for the same as everything breaks down. The Sharpshooter puts Hakushi away at 11:41.

Rating: D-. This was terrible, which says a lot given how much chemistry Bret had with both of them. There’s not much he can do though in a choking special like this as no one seemed all that interested in working hard here. Shawn especially looked bored out of his mind and barely did anything until the very end.

WWF World Title: Diesel vs. Yokozuna
Date: July 26, 1995
Location: Kiel Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Attendance: 10,500

Same show as before with Diesel defending in a cage. Diesel slugs away to start but gets dropped by a hard shot to the chest. Yokozuna misses the big elbow though and it’s time to lay down for a long time. Back up and Diesel hits a headbutt to drop the monster but falls down as well for the second double knockdown in less than three minutes. Diesel goes up first, only to get crotched on the top.

The big splash misses and let’s lay down again! Diesel catches him going out with a good crotching of his own, followed by right hands on the mat. That’s still not enough to get out though and Diesel goes into the cage. The big leg misses as Yokozuna is really bad at this leaving his feet thing. After sending Diesel into the cage again, Yokozuna decides to climb, freaking Jim Cornette out in the process.

That works as well as you would expect as Diesel sends him into the cage and knocks the big man down. Diesel is caged as well though and it’s ANOTHER double knockdown. Geez people come up with something new. They both go for an exit at the same time and it’s Diesel getting over the top before Yokozuna can make it through the door to retain at 11:20.

Rating: F. Egads what a mess of a match. They were out there for less than twelve minutes and somehow managed to have FOUR double knockdown spots. How do you even do that? This wasn’t going to be a good idea as Yokozuna was just too big at this point and there wasn’t anything that almost anyone could do with him.

Sean and Charly wrap it up while teasing a sequel. Post copyright notice, we see Sean going to a makeshift bed in the warehouse, complete with Ultimate Warrior Wrestling Buddy.

Overall Rating: A. Oh come on like I’m going to do anything but love this. This was all about changing things up and offering a bunch of stuff that you actually haven’t seen before, which is a lot better than seeing the same matches over and over again. They even make fun of that trope with the Shawn vs. Razor ladder match. It starts to run out of steam near the end but egads the amount of stuff they must have in that vault.

There better be a sequel to this as they could probably make half a dozen of these things without getting repetitive. That’s the beauty of having archives dating back nearly fifty years. They could easily do one of these for multiple eras and they would all be must buys. This was one of the most entertaining sets I’ve seen, just for the amount of times it made my eyebrows go up at what I was seeing. If you’re a fan of this time period, go out of your way to find this as it’s a straight blast.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the 2018 Updated Version of the History of the WWE Championship in e-book or paperback. Check out the information here:

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