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Coliseum Video: Inside the WWF (1994)
by Scrooge McSuck
- I'm pretty sure I've done this tape before, but again, it was a LONG time ago, and it's a tape I've always wanted to revisit if the opprotunity came up. Although the title suggests an inside look at the World Wrestling Federaion, 99% of these wrap-arounds are just superstars threatening the camera for invading their privacy, or over-hearing their strategy.
- Gorilla Monsoon is our host, from the All-American Wrestling studio, with pictures of Bret Hart and Razor Ramon, and what looks like quality replicas of their WWF and Intercontinental Championship belts.
The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Crush (w/ Mr. Fuji):
Taped on November 30th, 1993, from the Civic Center in Springfield, MA. Gorilla and Johnny Polo are calling the action for this one. This match has gotten a decent reputation around the internet, not for the match itself (it's going to suck), but Polo's outrageous, over the top commentary. It brought back fond memories of Bobby Heenan, the long-time partner of Monsoon on WWF broadcasts. I never understood turning Crush heel. Maybe it was punishment for saying he was going to shoot and try to slam Yokozuna at the Turn Lex Luger Face Show™. Crush attacks from behind, but is quickly taken down with a DDT. Crush knocks Undertaker out of the ring with a clothesline, but gets hung up across the top rope, going for more. Undertaker works the arm, then goes to school (before it was old school) from the top rope. Undertaker goes for a fyling clothesline, but Crush ducks, and knocks Undertaker out of the ring with a reverse thrust kick. Crush with a chair, but the padding takes away the effect. Things drag, as Polo takes a shot at Joey Marella being the worst referee in the WWF. Undertaker's sit up inspires Polo to explain you need to pin him fast, because it takes him at least 3-4 seconds to start sitting up. Undertaker starts to no-sell and goozles Crush in the corner. Whip across the ring, Crush lays Undertaker out with a back breaker, prompting Polo to count along with the sit up. Crush with a gorilla press slam, and damn that's impressive on the Undertaker. Crush goes for the tombstone, but Undertaker reverses, and hits the finisher instead, for the three count at 7:02. Not as bad as it could have been, and the oddball commentary really makes it worth sitting through.
Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty vs. Shawn Michaels & Diesel:
Taped on July 27th, 1993 from the Crete Civic Center in Plattsburgh, NY (you've never been?). Stan Lane and Ted Dibiase are calling the action for this one. Michaels is starting to show signs of weight gain (not the good kind) and this is Diesel's first match since signing with the WWF. Jannetty and Michaels start, and that was one of the few highlights, ring work wise, in the WWF in 1993. Lockup, and Jannetty with an arm drag. Diesel tags in, and I'm waiting for something to happen. Diesel throws Jannetty down a few times, then tosses him across the ring on a waist-lock attempt. Ramon tags in, and Diesel works him over with the usual. Michaels tags in, but gets caught coming off the top rope. Jannetty tags in, and connects with a flying clothesline for a two count. Jannetty with a side headlock, and a takeover. Criss-cross sequence ends with Jannetty going back to the headlock. Diesel yanks Jannetty down from the apron, then comes in and connects with a gut-wrench slam. Michaels gets a few cheap shots in, then Diesel with a back breaker submission hold. Irish whip, and Diesel slaps on a bearhug. What was I smoking when I thought this was a GOOD match? Jannetty escapes, but a boot to the face puts him down, fast. Michaels tags in, and quickly tastes canvas. Jannetty with a bulldog from the second rope, and Ramon finally gets the hot tag. Ramon with the fall-away slam on Michaels. Jannetty with a dropkick to intercept Diesel, then a super-kick/chokeslam combination on Michaels finishes him off at 11:32. I didn't expect a clean job, but then again, look who made the pin. Completely dull garbage. I should hit myself for suggesting this was a decent match.
- Johnny Polo is on location to give us, the fans, a tour of the WWF Headquarters. Johnny Polo claims to have a security card, but it's revealed it's stolen. Polo's grand tour: There's a plant! Polo enters a restricted area as we go back to the ring for some more WWF action.
Tatanka vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Luna Vachon):
Taped on September 1st, 1993, from the Civic Center in Sagniaw, MI. The Tatanka/Bigelow program never really came to a true conclussion, I don't feel. Yes, Tatanka got the winning fall on Bigelow at SummerSlam in a 6-Man Tag, but by then, their program was pretty cooled off, since it kicked off a couple of weeks after WrestleMania IX. Tatanka nails Bigelow with a suicide dive before the bell, and hammers away. Into the ring, and Bigelow stomps away. Irish whip, and Bigelow with a shoulder block, then repeat. Tatanka ducks a clothesline, comes off the ropes with a dropkick, and a cross body press gets a two count. Whip to the corner is reversed, but Bigelow runs into an elbow. Tatanka with a trio of clotheslines, complete with over-sell, for a two count. Tatanka drills Bigelow with a DDT, then comes off the top rope, missing a cross body. Bigelow with a pair of headbutts for a two count. Bigelow with a dropkick for another two count as Polo talks about Ed "Strangler" Lewis. Tatanka gets dumped out, and plays dead for a while. Luna gets a few shots in behind the referee's back. Back inside (finally), and Bigelow misses a charge. Tatanka unloads, but Bigelow with an unusual form of a dropkick to hault the comeback. Whip to the corner, and Bigelow's charge actually makes contact. Bigelow eats boot on his next attempt, but has enough to block a sunset flip attempt with a butt drop. Bigelow comes off the ropes with a jumping headbutt, and covers for a two count. Bigelow slaps on a chinlock as Polo and Monsoon bickering has once again highlighted a boring match. Tatanka fights free and chops away. It's War Dance Time™! bigelow ends it with an enziguri (I loved that spot as a kid, too). Bigelow mocks the dance while Tatanka plays dead again. Tatanka dances again, and chops some more. The action spills outside, and Tatanka with the Samoan Drop on the arena floor. Tatanka rolls back in, and wins by Count-Out at 12:52. Not as bad of a match as I made it sound a moment ago, but still on the boring side. Afterwards, Luna creates a distraction, allowing Bigelow a post-match beatdown. Bigelow attempts another haircut, but Tatanka comes to before it could happen, and cleans house.
- Monsoon introduces a "behind the scenes video" of All-American Wrestling. About as entertaining as you would expect it to be. OOOOH! Lights! Cameras! Production rooms!
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Adam Bomb (w/ Johnny Polo):
Taped on August 31st, 1993, from Grand Rapids, MI, with Lane and Dibiase back in the broadcast booth. Bomb was rather new at this point, and Bret was in the middle of a program with Jerry Lawler, which escalated the day before at the 1993 edition of SummerSlam. Lockup, and Bomb easily overpowers the hitman. Bret with a waistlock, but Bomb uses his strength again to escape. Bomb with a snapmare and a shoulder block. Bret takes Bomb over with a pair of arm drags, then knocks him out of the ring with a clothesline. Bomb pulls Bret out of the ring, and punches the ring post for his efforts. Back inside, and Bret stomps the hand. Irish whip, and Bomb takes Hart over with a powerslam. Whip to the corner, and Bret with only about 75% of his usual dramatic over-sell. I just noticed Bill Alfonso has been referee for 3 of the 4 matches, so far featured on this tape. USELESS OBVERSATIONS RULE! You know, Adam Bomb could've been a credible monster heel, had the WWF given him someone to squash with credibility, and not saddling him with Harvey Wippleman, manager of other "winners" like Well Dunn at the time. Bomb slaps on a chinlock, as the camera gets a nice shot of his radioactive eyes. Bret fights free, but a rake of the eyes haults his momentum. Whip to the corner, Bret boots Bomb coming in, then comes off the second turnbuckle with a bulldog for a two count. Bret with an inverted atomic drop and hart attack clothesline for another two count. Bret with a fist to the midsection, followed by a Russian leg sweep for a two count. Bret to the second rope, but he misses the elbow drop. Bomb with a choke lift and slam. I remember doing that all the time in WCW Wrestling on the NES. Bomb heads to the top rope... IT'S A TRAP! Bret pops up and slams him off. Bret quickly applies the Sharpshooter, and it's all over but the shouting at 11:39. Another match that was okay, but dragged, mostly when Bomb took control. The "big move, stall, big move, stall, rest" offense really gets old.
- Inside Look with EARTHQUAKE! What is he doing on Coliseum Video? Even Johnny Polo makes fun about it. Johnny Polo is back for more tours of the WWF Headquarters. He takes us to the video library, and proceeds to crush Michael Cole's uncle between several of the 15-foot tall shelves. It's off camera, but we hear the screaming from a distance.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Doink (the Clown):
Taped on June 14th, 1993, from the Convention Center in Columbus, OH. I'm pretty sure this was right after King of the Ring, so I guessed June 13th marked the beginning of Yoko-Mania. Savage and Doink did a dumb little angle on Raw that lead to the Macho Midget (funny enough played by the future Dink, Tiger Jackson). Other than that, Savage was mostly inactive to the television audience. Joey Marella is the referee, and Polo goes back to harrassing him to cheese off Gorilla. Odd choice to use a Heel Doink match, when the tape was released in the Spring of 1994 (and the commentary openly mentioned WrestleMania X). Lockup, and Savage avoids a sucker punch. Savage attacks from behind (awesome) and sends Doink running. Savage avoids a charge to the corner, as we get a game of cat-and-mouse. Polo: Savage's fuse is shorter than Sky Low-Low. They trade blows until Savage takes Doink over with a back drop. Savage follows him outside, and introduces Doink to the steps. Savage tries again, but tastes the post instead. That's what happens when you get greedy. Monsoon and Polo talk about Mike McGuirk ("why does she have a guys name?" "it's a long story...") while Savage takes a beating outside the ring. Back inside, and Doink hammers away, then changes it up with stomping. If this were 2010, I'm sure Doink's character would be compared to the Joker in the Dark Knight, or something. Savage with a false comeback, and Doink plants him with a slam. Doink to the top rope, and he misses the Whoopie Cushion. Savage knocks Doink out of the ring with a clothesline, then comes off the top with an axehandle smash. We get a Doink switch-a-roo (hey, it's Steve Keirn!), and "Doink" easily takes control. Suddenly, the original Doink hooks Savage's ankle, and he gets counted out at 9:18. But wait! Savage attacks the Fresh Doink, and reveals the Original Doink, and it's a reverse decision for Randy Savage! Match was pretty boring with a dumb finish.
- Gorilla Monsoon informs us that John Arnold, the Video Archives guy, did NOT get squashed, and was saved at the last minute. That goosebump inducing scream says otherwise. We get an Inside Look at Savage and Ramon, who were unaware of the camera RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR FACE.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Razor Ramon © vs. Ludvig Borga:
Taped on December 14th, 1993, from the Auditorium in Lowell, MA. Ramon is lacking his gold chains (or Mr. T starter kit, to quote Ted Dibiase). We get some trash talking, then a shoving match. Lockup, and Borga throws Ramon over the top rope. Most impressive. Lockup #2, and Borga continues to over-power the Bad Guy. Borga with a body blow and choke lift, then holds it up with one hand. Borga with a side headlock, followed by a shoulder block. Borga punks Ramon out, and demands a test-of-strength. I'm lovin' it! Ramon fights back but takes a knee to the midsection for being too much of a babyface. Ramon returns the favor on the second comeback, and takes Borga over. Ramon with a clothesline, sending Borga out of the ring for a breather. Borga attacks from the apron, but gets brought back in with a suplex, and Ramon covers for a one count. Borga regains control with clubberin' blows, then lays Ramon out with a clothesline. Ramon with another comeback attempt, but he's put down with a slam. Borga comes off the ropes with a twisting elbow drop, but misses a second, jumping version. Irish whip, and Borga comes off the ropes with a diving clothesline. Borga to the top rope, and he comes off with a big clothesline. Borga covers and gets three, but the referee sees the foot on the ropes and restarts it. Borga quickly connects with a side suplex, and covers for a two count. Whip to the corner, and Borga misses a charge. Ramon with a back suplex, but that only gets two. Ramon ducks a clothesline and sets Borga up on the top turnbuckle. Ramon follows up, and takes Borga down with a big back suplex. Ramon signals for the end, but the referee gets wiped out. In comes Shawn Michaels to KO with Ramon with the belt, and Borga covers for the three count and Intercontinental Title at 10:09. BUT WAIT! Another referee comes out to refute the decision, and the match is awarded to Ramon by REVERSE DECISION! Lame. Yes, they did this finish ALL the time, including at Royal Rumble '94, with I.R.S. filling in the challengers spot. To the surprise of everyone, this was actually a good match.
- Johnny Polo is finishing his tour, interrupting Lord Alfred Hayes' documentary on the Battle of Waterloo. Lord Alfred Hayes is a stick in the mud, while Johnny Polo makes fun of his footwear and his alleged claims of going jogging with President Bill Clinton.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Shawn Michaels © (w/ Diesel) vs. "Made in the USA" Lex Luger:
Taped from the same show that featured the Bret Hart/Adam Bomb exclusive. This was right around the time Michaels was "suspended", which I'm still not sure what the real excuse was, but a failed drug test (steriods in 1993?) seems to be the most popular rumor. Lockup, and Luger shoves Michaels back to the corner. Luger grabs a side headlock, and cranks it up like his name was Jimmy Powers. Irish whip, and Luger bulldozes Michaels out of the ring with a shoulder block. Michaels attempts to work the arm, but Luger quickly counters to do the same. Luger with a slam, and Michaels over-sells his way to the outside, again. Luger gets distracted by Diesel, allowing Michaels to lay him out with axehandles. Michaels continues to pound away, then comes of the ropes with a diving elbow for a two count, before slapping on a chinlock. Luger escapes with elbows, but a reverse thrust kick puts him down for a two count. That move would make Stan Lane proud, I'm sure. Michaels calls for a piledriver, but Luger counters with a back drop. Whip to the corner, and Michaels eats boot on a charge attempt, then posts himself going back for more. Luger lays him out with a clothesline, then connects with a back elbow. Irish whip and a powerslam for a two count. Luger punts Michaels over the top rope, to the floor. Michasels says fuck it, and takes a walk, giving Luger the victory by Count-Out at 9:05. Diesel attempts a sneak attack, but Luger KO's him with the loaded forearm. Another subpar match, and another stupid finish, although to be fair, Luger at this point was above the IC Title level, so it's okay, I guess.
WWF Championship, Steel Cage Match:
Yokozuna © (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. Bret "Hitman" Hart:
Finale of the tape, from the December 15th, 1993 show held at the Civic Center in Augusta, ME, with Monsoon and Johnny Polo back on commentary. Yokozuna takes his sweet time entering the ring. Bret attacks at the bell with roundhouse rights, but Yokozuna slams him down. Yokozuna comes off the ropes, missing that stupid elbow drop he never hits. Bret tries escaping, but we all know it's not going to happen. Yokozuna slams him off the top rope, but misses a leg drop. Bret with a headbutt and dropkick, ramming Yokozuna into the cage in the process. Yokozuna lays Bret out with a headbutt, but gets tripped up going for the door. Yokozuna goes low, and Polo points out it's not a cheap shot if it's a No DQ match. Yokozuna goes for the door, but Bret uses the rope between the legs of Yoko' to keep him from making an exit. Bret climbs the cage, but Yoko' keeps him from escaping, again. I'm sorry, but it seems impossible that Yokozuna could stop Bret from leaving, especially when he's as far up and over as he just was. Johnny Polo quotes the Repo Man while both men play dead (Bret) or winded (Yoko). Yokozuna lays into Hart, and makes an unsuccessful attempt to escape. Bret bites as Monsoon points out the "fight fire with fire" mentality. Yoko' no-sells some punches and lays Bret out with a clothesline. My God, he's either sucking major wind or taking too long calling spots. I'll go with the former. Whip to the corner, and Yokozuna misses the butt crush. Bret to the second turnbuckle, and he taks Yokozuna down with a bulldog.
Bret climbs, but Fuji pokes him down with the flag pole. Yokozuna puts Bret down with a chop, but misses a Banzai Drop, unaware that Bret rolled away. Fuji keeps the cage door closed long enough for Yokozuna to keep Bret from escaping. They play dead for a while, but I think Yokozuna's is more authentic than Bret's pretending to be winded. Bret comes to first and slams Yokozuna into the canvas, then goes for another escape, but Yokozuna grabs the leg. Bret kicks Yokozuna off and tries again, but still no success. Yokozuna is successful in crotching him across the top rope, though. Yoko' goes for the door and grabs the salt bucket. Yokozuna with a scoop slam, and this time a splash misses. Yokozuna's hair-bun is almost undone, as if it really matters. Bret blocks being rammed into the cage, then takes Yokozuna down with a blown bulldog (Yoko fell back as Bret went forward). Bret with a Hart attack clothesline, and this match has to end soon, because Yokozuna is sucking the air from the people in first 5 rows. Yoko grabs the bucket, but Bret blocks, grabs it himself, and nails Yoko over the head, causing Yoko to have a seizure as an attempt to sell it. Bret covers... and Danny Davis comes in to count two? Polo compares Davis to Shemp of the Three Stooges. Bret KO's Yoko' again with the bucket, but he lands right in front of the cage door. Bret tries climbing, but Fuji conveniently has a chair with him, then climbs up to toss salt in Hart's face! Nice of Danny Davis to allow this. Fuji does it again, just for the hell of it. Talk about over-kill, or I should say, over-salting. Bret starts clmbing AGAIN, and finally, Yokozuna scrapes himself off the canvas, and escapes to retain the title at 19:30. I thought that one would never end... Yokozuna is not someone you can book in a cage match. Whoever his opponent is has to wrestle himself, basically, thanks to Yoko's limitations in the ring because of his massive size.
Final Thoughts: For some reason, I remember liking this tape a lot more. This time it seemed like an incredible chore to sit through. We've got two different matches from Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, and all four matches were in the range of "bad" to "boring as hell." The highlight of the tape is Johnny Polo, cracking awful jokes the entire time, and the best match on the tape is a **-ish match between Ramon and Borga. That's nowhere near enough to recommend this one.
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