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Coliseum Video Presents: WrestleFest '92'
by Scrooge McSuck
Released July 27th, 1992, it's time to peer through the window of one of my least favorite periods of the pre-Attitude Era. Without spoiling it for myself, I'm assuming most of the matches featured were taped in the Spring, but we'll probably dip as far back as the Fall of ‘91 to pad things out. "Mean" Gene Okerlund and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan are our hosts from the tennis court. On Rampage ‘91, they did some hilarious stuff on the golf course, so this is a sad attempt at recreating that.
Virgil vs. Shawn Michaels (w/ Sensational Sherri):
Taped on March 23rd, 1992 from Madison Square Garden, less than two weeks before WrestleMania VIII. This show would mark the last time the MSG Network broadcast the WWF from the Garden, with a one-off presentation in 1997 being the lone exception. Virgil is rocking a nose-guard, selling an injury at the hands of the vicious Sid Justice. Lockup to the corner, Michaels tries landing a sucker punch but he hurts his hand on Virgil's protective gear. Virgil dares him to do it again, so Shawn slaps him and bails out. Virgil gives chase as Mooney gives a ridiculous cover for why we see Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan at ringside. Virgil avoids a charge and rolls Michaels up for a two-count. Michaels forces Virgil into the corner and throws a series of rights and lefts. Virgil fires off a pair of clotheslines, but goes to the well once too often and gets thrown through the ropes. Back inside, Michaels lifts up the nose-guard and lands a right hand on the nose. Michaels keeps targeting the nose, drawing the ire of referee Danny Davis. Virgil fights out of a chin-lock, only to meet a boot in the corner. Whip to the ropes, Virgil blocks a hip toss and takes Michaels over with a back-slide for two. Michaels pops up and hits a clothesline for two. He sends Virgil to the turnbuckle, knocking the guard clean off his face. Whip to the ropes and Virgil counters a back body-drop, slamming Michaels face-first to the canvas. Virgil with a pair of atomic drops, followed by a clothesline and dropkick. Virgil hits his world's worst Russian leg sweep for two. Whip to the corner, Virgil misses a knee and Michaels finishes with the tear-drop suplex at 12:13. This was mostly boring stuff, like a day off effort. *½
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Money Inc. (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Bushwhackers:
Taped on April 7th, 1992 from Toledo, OH, and featured on the April 13th episode of Prime-Time. Money Inc. attacks from behind, whipping the Bushwhackers together. Their attempt at a battering ram backfires, and the Bushwhackers go to their trusted offense of biting. Dibiase takes control on Butch with a choke hold. Whip to the corner, Butch gets a knee up and takes I.R.S. down with a bulldog. Double noggin-knocker, followed by a Battering ram to both men to clear the ring. Lord Alfred has a ball witnessing Luke's taunting. Dibiase with a knee from the apron to take Luke down. Irwin drops an elbow for two. He slaps on the abdominal stretch, and yes, Dibiase adds a hand for extra leverage. Whip and Luke sells a double elbow on a two-second delay. Irwin with a leg drop for two. Luke with an awkward punt to Dibiase and hot tags Butch. He hits both with clotheslines. Battering Ram to I.R.S. gets two. Hart hops in, but Butch cuts him off. Irwin from behind with a knee, and an elbow finishes at 10:34. Money Inc. has been in quite the slump over the last week or so with two terrible performances. ½*
The British Bulldog vs. "The Model" Rick Martel:
Taped on March 10th, 1992 from Biloxi, MS. This one was featured on the budget title dedicated to Davey Boy Smith, so you know what that means. Lockup and Martel with a pair of knees to the midsection. Whip to the corner and Martel hot dogs after avoiding a bull(dog) charge. Bulldog hangs on with a side headlock, with Martel loudly complaining of a phantom hair pull. Martel climbs over the top rope to the apron, forcing the break. Bulldog brings Martel back in with a slingshot and goes to work on the left arm. Bulldog blocks a hip toss and continues to punish the arm. Whip and Martel casually sidesteps Bulldog, sending him through the ropes. Back inside, Martel starts to work on the back. Could he be setting up for the Boston Crab? Obviously. Bulldog reverses a whip to the corner but meets a knee charging in. Bulldog comes right back with an atomic drop and clotheslines. Martel powders out, but Bulldog follows. Back inside, Martel sits down on a sunset flip with some assistance from the ropes. The referee sees it, kicks the hands away, and Bulldog finishes with the sunset flip for three at 5:23. This was some minimal effort stuff. *
Bret Hart Profile, which is just the closing minutes of his matches against Mr. Perfect at SummerSlam and against Skinner at "This Tuesday in Texas". We're 45-minutes into this tape, and the final 3-minutes of a PPV match has been the highlight.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Bret "Hitman" Hart (c) vs. The Barbarian:
Taped on November 12th, 1991 from Springfield, MA, and featured on the December 9th episode of Prime-Time. The levels of recycling on this tape is ridiculous. Lockup to the corner and Bret with a shove. Crisscross and Barbarian sends Bret flying out of the ring with a shoulder tackle. Bret keeps trying, but Barbarian doesn't budge. Barbarian counters a body press with a slam, but misses an elbow. Bret with a takeover, working the arm. Bret escapes a bear-hug with Greco-Roman biting and goes back to the arm. Bret with another dive, and this time he gets dropped across the top rope. You'd think when it didn't work the first two times, you'd give up. Barbarian takes it to the floor, ramming Harts back into the post. Bret with the chest-first bump to the turnbuckle. Barbarian back breaker for two. Sean Mooney saying Hart is on auto-pilot can be taken out of context for something else. Barbarian controls with a bear-hug. Whip to the corner and Bret gets a boot up on the charge. He connects with an inverted atomic drop and clothesline for two. Back breaker and second rope elbow drop for two. Russian leg sweep for two. Bret with the sunset flip from the apron for two. Barbarian with a delayed suplex for two. He goes for another, but Bret cradles him for three at 12:29. Ive seen better between these two. Still waiting on one good match. *½
The Natural Disasters vs. The Nasty Boys (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Taped on March 10th from Biloxi, MS, and advertised as the Tag Team Match of the Month. This is low-key one of the worst periods for the tag team division as far as quality entertainment goes. Natural Disasters as the #1, Bushwhackers still slumming around, and the LOD in cruise control as they try to get over a ventriloquist dummy. SIGN ME UP FOR MORE. Typhoon and Sags start. We somehow miss Sags taking a cheap shot, as Typhoon is already selling something. Typhoon blocks a slam and whiffs a clothesline. This crowd doesn't care. Whip to the corner and Typhoon hits a semi-avalanche. Even Mooney notes it wasn't full force. SEAN MOONEY CALLED SOMEONE OUT FOR WORKING SOFT. Earthquake and Knobbs in now. Quake wins a shoving match and sends Knobbs to the corner. Quake with a slam, followed by an elbow drop. Sags with a shot from the apron, and that is enough for the former Hulk Hogan nemesis to be incapacitated. BABYFACE EARTHQUAKE DOES NOT WORK. You know what does work? BABYFACE NASTY BOYS. I know, I know, but trust me, they can work well under either circumstances. Quake fights his way out of the corner, only to get tripped up to prevent a tag. Sags tries a sunset flip and you know where that is going. The Disasters give Knobbs the fat man sandwich and an elbow drop finishes Sags at 6:31. AN ELBOW DROP. Can't even give us the butt drop?! This was the definition of "lazy dark match." *
WWF Championship Match:
"Macho Man" Randy Savage (c) vs. Irwin R. Schyster (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Taped on April 8th, 1992 from Kalamazoo, MI, and featured on the April 27th episode of Prime-Time. Lockup and Savage grabs a side headlock, followed by a shoulder tackle. Crisscross, Savage with a hip toss and clothesline, sending I.R.S. to the outside for a breather. Savage blocks a cheap shot and sends Irwin over the top rope with an atomic drop. Savage follows him out and knocks him into Hart. Back inside, Savage comes off the top with a double axe-handle for two. Hart with a distraction, allowing I.R.S. to attack Savage from behind and drop a leg across the midsection. I.R.S. tosses him to the outside and sends him into the steps. Savage with a sunset flip for two, but I.R.S. remains in control. He slaps on an abdominal stretch, and yes, he uses the ropes for leverage. Savage escapes with a hip toss in a comically bad spot and school boys him for two. Irwin cuts off a comeback with a knee to the midsection. We slow things down with a chin-lock, with more usage of the ropes. I.R.S. goes to the top rope, but Savage gives him a boot to the face on the way down. Whip to the corner and Savage with an elbow. I.R.S. avoids something in the ropes and hits a diving clothesline for two. Savage throws Irwin into Hart and the briefcase on the apron and finishes with the Flying Elbow at 11:18. The term dull as dishwater almost always applies to an I.R.S. match. *½
"El Matador" Tito Santana vs. Repo Man:
From the same taping as the previous match, and featured on the April 20th episode of Prime-Time. Lockup into the ropes and Repo with a cheap shot. Whip to the ropes and Santana with a shoulder tackle. Repo Man with more cheap shots in the corner. Santana with a hip toss, dropkick, and arm drag. Santana with an atomic drop and diving body press for two. Rolling school boy for two. Repo uses the tights to throw Santana into the turnbuckle, then takes him down with a back suplex for two. Whip to the corner and Repo with a clothesline for two. Slam and leg drop for another two-count. Snap mare into a cover for two. Repo with a modified cross arm-breaker. Santana comes back with a sunset flip for two. Whip to the corner, Santana ducks a clothesline and connects with his own. Santana with a flurry of strikes, whip to the ropes, and an elbow. Santana with a dropkick to the top of Repos head from a bent position, and the flying forearm sends Repo out of the ring. Repo grabs the tow rope and hits Santana with the hook for the Disqualification at 7:34. Post-match, Repo chokes Santana, wrapping him around the post. Santana does his best to impersonate George Wells at WrestleMania 2. This was perfectly fine, but Repo Man doesn't seem like someone who needs protection. **
The Legion of Doom (w/ Paul Ellering) & The Natural Disasters vs. Money Inc. & The Nasty Boys (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Taped on April 28th, 1992 from Niagara Falls, NY. "This is low-key one of the worst periods for the tag team division as far as quality entertainment goes. Natural Disasters as the #1, Bushwhackers still slumming around, and the LOD in cruise control as they try to get over a ventriloquist dummy. SIGN ME UP FOR MORE." I hate my life. To be fair, Rocco hasn't debuted yet. Lord Alfred says the LOD missed the boat by trying to satisfy their fans instead of looking out for their best interests. Hawk and Dibiase start. Lockup and Hawk shoves him into the corner. Dibiase goes for a top wrist-lock but Hawk counters. Dibiase with a knee to the midsection, followed by chops. Hawk reverses a whip across the ring and hits everyone walking with clotheslines. All eight men end up in the ring and the babyface team quickly clean house. I.R.S. tries his luck with Hawk and doesn't fare much better. Hawk doesn't sell a shot from the apron, so I.R.S. whacks him across the back of the head. IS HAWK GOING TO WORK THE ENTIRE MATCH UNTIL THE HOT TAG? The heels take turns working him over. Dibiase and Hawk with some miscommunication on a swinging neck breaker. Hawk fights out of a chin-lock but runs into a knee. Hawk and Dibiase with a clothesline double-down, finally allowing Hawk to tag in Animal. He runs wild with dropkicks and clotheslines. Typhoon plants Knobbs with a slam but the Earthquake splash is interrupted. Heck breaks loose and Quake sits down on a Sags sunset flip attempt for three at 7:58. Dibiase tried having a match with Hawk, so it wasn't the worst match ever. ½*
Final Thoughts: Unless you are a die-hard fan of the I.R.S. character (featured in THREE MATCHES ON ONE TAPE!), nothing to go out of your way to see on this tape. Just a bunch of bad or mediocre matches with mid-level talent from one of the worst periods in company history.
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