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Coliseum Video Presents - The Ultimate Warrior! (1989 Release)

by Scrooge McSuck

- Can't blame Coliseum Video and the WWF with this choice. Sure, putting 90-minutes of Warrior matches on a tape might seem like a cruel task for anyone to sit through, but you have to figure this guy was practically a license to print money in 1989. Other than the Hulkamania series, the WWF and Coliseum Video had slowly phased out tapes devoted to a particular person or team, and this might as well have been one of the last before the "throw everything we can on a tape" attitude from 1993-94 when everyone, including Razor Ramon, was getting the treatment.

- Warrior is our host, popping up to give random comments now and then about... stuff. Honestly, trying to transcribe Warrior is like trying to teach a monkey calculus. It's possible, but what's the fucking point?

The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hercules:

From the February 7th, 1988 episode of Wrestling Challenge. Please let this be the only match between these two featured on this tape... This was the match that kicked of their program that ran through the spring and put people to sleep early every night. They go face-to-face and taunt each other with posing. Hercules wants a tug-of-war with his chain, and Warrior is dumb enough to go through with it. After a little bit, the chain ends up snapping in half. Hercules clotheslines Warrior with the remains on the chain, and chokes him out to draw the Disqualification at 1:57. Hercules continues the assault until the Jobber Patrol (including Steve Lombardi) help pull them apart. Warrior pops up to completely no-sell the beating and continue things in the aisle. And there you have the reasoning behind their match at WrestleMania IV. Okay for advancing a storyline on television, but recycling it for a video that cost $60 to own? No thanks.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
The Honkytonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Mystery Opponent... Ultimate Warrior:

Pulled from SummerSlam '88, from Madison Square Garden, on August 29th, 1988. I think everyone is familiar with this one. Honkytonk Man has reigned as Champion for well over a year at this point, holding onto the title through lame victories and cheap defeats. His originally scheduled opponent, Brutus Beefcake, was "brutally" attacked the weekend of the show by Ron Bass, taking him out of action. Instead of canceling, Honky offered to defend the title against anyone, and wouldn't allow anyone to tell him who his opponent was. It ends up being the Ultimate Warrior, who storms the ring, lays into Honky with his signature clotheslines, and finishes him off with the big splash at around the 30-second mark. Honky's reign as the longest length of time with the belt ended in the shortest title defense in history. The man didn't even get his jumpsuit off! Not much of a match, but an all-time classic moment, and all three minutes of this isn't something I'll complain about. It defined Warrior's launch to the top of the card, and is like including Hogan/Iron Sheik on all the Hogan sets.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
The Ultimate Warrior vs. The Honkytonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart):

Pulled from the January 7th, 1989 episode of Saturday Night's Main Event. Yes, they actually milked this for rematches for four months. Something that pisses me off: Vince and Ventura talking about how Honky would become the first man to repeat as Intercontinental Champion. First, it's been done. Twice. Second, one of those men, Tito Santana, WAS ON THE SAME BROADCAST. Warrior pounds away on Honky outside the ring, then brings him in with a press slam. Warrior rams Honky and Jimmy together, then continues to beat him to a pulp. Whip to the ropes, Warrior with an elbow, followed by choking and more punches. Whip to the corner, and Warrior follows in with a shoulder tackle. Whip to the opposite corner, and this time Warrior misses the charge. Honky works Warrior over with the mega phone while Jimmy Hart creates a distraction. Honky continues to do the bare minimum of offense until Warrior starts going through his no-sell reaction. Warrior with a slam, but he misses an elbow. Warrior sends Honky to the buckle, lays him out with a clothesline, but meets the knees on a splash attempt. Honky covers for two. He goes for a clothesline, but actually hurts himself in the process. Wuss. Warrior comes off the ropes, and the diving shoulder tackle is all it takes to get the three count at 4:48. Really? No slam and splash? Got to give them credit for having Honky avoid it, but he still looked like a scrub. This finally put an end to the never-ending saga of their matches, with Warrior having a solid record of 174-0 where a pinfall or submission occured.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart):

Taped on February 3rd, 1989 from Milwaukee, WI, the same taping as the Mega Powers EXPLODING! This match was actually featured on an episode of Prime Time Wrestling as part of "Coliseum Corner", hyping the new video releases. Warrior controls to start, then goes after Jimmy Hart, probably for the fact he's Jimmy Hart, so why not? Valentine attacks from behind, but it's no sold. Warrior continues to create havoc until Valentine whacks him with the Hart Breaker (his shin guard). He drops an elbow for a one count (oooh!), and continues to control with elbows. Warrior comes back with a slam, but he misses an elbow drop. Valentine drops an elbow of his own for two. Valentine takes Warrior over with a snapmare, then heads to the top rope. Unlike Ric Flair, he's allowed to hit a move from there, and lands a sledge across the back of the neck. Warrior mounts another comeback with a face buster (and an ugly one, too, by the way). Warrior with a clothesline, followed by the diving shoulder tackle. Jimmy Hart whacks Warrior with the shin guard, but it has no effect on him. Warrior press slams Hart into Valentine, then clotheslines him with the shin guard for the three count at 3:45. Another lame finish in a series of them, it seems. Not awful or anything, but what's the point of all these meaningless matches?

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
The Ultimate Warrior vs. King Haku:

Pulled from the January 29th, 1989 card held at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in Los Angeles, CA. Haku cheap shots Warrior from behind, and works him over in the corner. Whip to the corner, and Haku charges into a boot from Warrior. Warrior with a body press(!) for a two count. Haku rakes the eyes, but a shoulder block does nothing. Criss-cross, and Warrior with a hip toss. He misses an elbow drop, and Haku responds by missing a leg drop. Warrior with an atomic drop, followed by some wild chops. Whip to the corner, and Warrior misses a charge. He did that spot way too much, and we're only half way through this tape. Haku stomps away, takes him over with a snapmare, and slaps on the EVIL Tongan Death Grip! Warrior fights back to his feet and rams him back into the buckle. Warrior with mounted punches, but Haku counters with an inverted atomic drop. Haku with a shoulder breaker, but while that may be enough to defeat a common mortal in the realm of the universe, the Warrior's cosmos and destrucity is too strong of a will, thus only recieving a count of two. Haku works over the neck some more, and it's back to the Tongan grip. Warrior escapes again, this time with elbows to the midsection. Warrior puts Haku down with a shoulder block, then follows up with a slam. Warrior goes for the splash, but he meets the knees. Ugh... Haku back to the neck. Scoop slam, and this time his splash meets the Warrior's knees. Warrior starts shaking the ropes, which means it's time for the big finish: Clothesline, shoulder tackle, suplex, and the big splash finishes things off at 7:16. Felt long, even though it was kept reasonably short. Warrior did a better job carrying this one than Haku. Put that in your journals.

Title For Title: The Ultimate Warrior vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage:

Taped on February 15th, 1989, from Binghamton, NY. Warrior and Savage had been working Title for Title matches around the house show circuit for a few weeks after the 2nd Main Event Special, but obviously there had to be bullshit finishes to preserve both of their reigns. Savage attacks to start, but Warrior fends him off with a huge right. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Warrior sends Savage to the floor following a shoulder tackle. Warrior follows, and sends him back into the ring with a press slam. Savage rolls to the floor, then back into the ring to catch a cheap upperhand on the Warrior for being dumb enough to follow. Whip to the ropes, and Savage with a boot to the face. He comes off the top with a cross body press, but Warrior catches and sets hims up in the Tree of Woe for some punishment. Savage tries another sneak attack, but Warrior's finally wise to the formula, and cleans his clock. Whip to the corner, and Warrior misses a charge (of course). Savage with a running high knee sends Warrior to the floor, then follows him out with a double axehandle from the top rope. Savage rams him into a chair at ringside before taking things back in the ring. He continues to control with choking, and somehow gets a two count from it. Savage goes to a chinlock, but quickly releases and drops a knee across the chest for another two count. Savage alternates between chinlocks and pin attempts, but Warrior won't stay down. Warrior finally escapes with elbows to the midsection, but Savage wipes him out with a lunging clothesline for a two count. Savage with a double axehandle for two. He goes for a suplex, but Warrior counters with one of his own for two. Suddenly, Rick Rude comes to ringside, as Warrior rams Savage to the buckle. He tries to create a distraction by, gasp, POSING, but Warrior ignores him. Warrior with an atomic drop for two. He argues with the referee, so Savage rolls him up for two. Warrior lays him out, but splashes the knees. Savage dishes out some punishment, but Warrior starts shaking the ropes. He levels Savage with rights and clotheslines, then unwisely goes after Rick Rude on the floor. Savage surprises Warrior with a double axehandle, then rolls back in the ring to beat the count and pick up the cheap victory at 8:19. Was going well until the cop-out finish, but it's understandable, since it was billed as Title for Title, and you can't do a title change.

- It's time for the Super Posedown Challenge, from the 1989 Royal Rumble, the first of the Rumbles to be aired on Pay-Per-View. Instead of using both men to give more depth to the Rumble match, they're stuck in a special Posedown, hosted by Mean Gene Okerlund. Heres how it works: Rick Rude poses, the fans boo. Warrior poses, the fans cheer. Rude clearly has more technique and experience doing this, while Warrior looks like a goober, but the fans are marks, so they cheer Warrior blindly, until Rude whacks him with a piece of workout equipment, and chokes him out, which leads us to...

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
The Ultimate Warrior vs. "Ravishing" Rick Rude (w/ Bobby Heenan):

Pulled from WrestleMania V, and my God, how many PPV matches and incidents are we going to revisit on this tape? WrestleMania V as a whole sucked, but my review was so generic, I might as well give this another go, for posterity. For backstory, read the previous paragraph. Rude tries for a sneak attack, but he drives a knee into the championship belt, proving that muscles don't equal brains. Warrior throws Rude from corner to corner a few times, then slaps on a bearhug. Rude gets desperate early, coming off the top rope with a body press, but Warrior kicks out at one, and tries to make Rude part of the canvas with several slams. Warrior continues to go to work on the back of Rude (psychology... from Warrior?!), then goes back to the bearhug. Whip to the ropes, Warrior takes Rude over with a back drop, but a splash meets the knees, a common trend we've seen on all these matches. Rude pounds away, drives a series of boots to the midsection, and connects with a swank piledriver for a two count. Rude with a jaw breaker, but he's too hurt to properly execute his hip gyration. Whip to the ropes, and Rude with a clothesline for two. He conncts with a Russian leg sweep for another two count. Rude with a modified surfboard, but Warrior manages to escape. He comes off the ropes for a shoulder tackle, then rams Rude face-first into the canvas. Warrior with a sloppy back breaker, followed by a clothesline. Whip to the corner, and Warrior rams him with a shoulder tackle. Warrior charges again, but meets the buckle, instead. Rude goes for the Rude Awakening, but Warrior manages to break free and lays him out with a clothesline. The action spills to the floor, Warrior tries to bring Rude back in with a suplex, but Heenan sweeps the leg and hooks it, allowing Rude to land on top for a three count and the Intercontinental Title at 9:41. Warrior's first (of only TWO) pinfall losses in the WWF (televised, of course). Afterwards, Warrior beats up poor Heenan and drops him in a pretty sloppy spot to show children it's OK to be a sore loser. Match was nothing to write home about. They would have better chemistry in time for the big rematch at SummerSlam.

- In one of the most unusual ways to finish off a tape, we get bits and pieces of not one, but two rematches between Warrior and Rick Rude. The first coming from the April 22nd card held at the Boston Garden, and the other from the May 8th show at the Meadowlands Arena. Instead of putting the entire, near 20-minute "Posedown", they could've clipped that down and included at least one of these matches in full. I could do a "Special Extended Edition", but I'm too lazy to watch another two matches between the two. In both cases, Warrior won by Count-Out. Spoilers!

Final Thoughts: That was a little tougher to get through than I would've imagined, just because every match seemed to follow the same Warrior formula of "sneak attack, completely squash, heel takes control after a missed charge to the corner, Warrior misses splash, finish 30-seconds later." Nothing was outright bad as far as the actual matches go, with only the match against Savage standing out as being worth checking out, but the Super Posedown killed any momentum the video was trying to have, and then ending it with a few minutes from two different matches, without showing a finish for even one of them? Take a pass, even Warrior fans would find it hard to get through all 90 minutes.

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