WWF and Coliseum Video Presents: WrestleFest 1991
by Scrooge McSuck
- Might as well dust off a few more from the "Wrestlefest" series, or give it a try until I get really bored. That seems to happen a lot with me. Anyway, our host for this edition is the freshly "retired" Macho Man, Randy Savage, chilling out pool side. I'm no expert on "insider" information, but was Savage's '91 retirement his own choice, or was it forced upon him, like in 1993-94? I want to say the former, considering a LOT went to hell before they got him to take over Warrior and Sid's spot against Roberts. Remember, the program originally had Sid slated before an untimely injury canceled him out, too. No matter what, none of this matters, since nothing to do with Savage in a wrestling capacity is featured on this tape.
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Earthquake (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Taped on February 19th, 1991 in Ft. Myers, FL. A year earlier, Earthquake was a serious threat to main event babyfaces. Now (1991), he's barely picking up wins against a washed up Greg Valentine. This is an alleged "Fan Favorites" Match, where a fictional fan chooses the match he/she wants to see. Earthquake attacks before the bell, but Warrior no-sells and puts the Quake down following a diving shoulder block. Warrior goes after Hart, allowing 'Quake to regain control of the match. Back inside, Quake puts the boots to Warrior and rams him to the buckle. Earthquake continues working the back, as Warrior does his "best" to pretend he's in pain. Earthquake with some choking, then we get the most electrifying resthold in sports entertainment... a bearhug. Yippy. Earthquake drops elbows on Warrior and sets for the finish. The vertical splash connects, but Warrior kicks out at two! So much for that finishing move. Warrior goes through the usual, no-selling Quake, hitting clotheslines. Warrior with a slam, and the big splash finishes it at 5:37. Well, that sure was quick. Must have been one of those rushed "go home happy" matches for a bored taping audience. It was OK, but I can't really say much on a positive or negative.
- In one of the dumber Coliseum Video exclusives you could imagine, we get "Manager Cam" featuring Jimmy Hart. Basically, it's a dark match between the Big Boss Man and the Mountie. Instead of actual play-by-play, we instead have Jimmy Hart mic'ed for the entire match... and yes, that's pretty much it. A boring match with the ringside manager clearly audible. Too bad he didn't break kayfabe by calling out spots like they typically would do.
The Rockers vs. Power & Glory (w/ Slick):
(Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty vs. Hercules & Paul Roma)
Taped on April 15th, 1991, from Omaha, NE, and later broadcasted on the April 23rd episode of Prime Time Wrestling. Tidbit of no importance: This was from the same taping as the last episode of Saturday Night's Main Event to air on NBC. Michaels and Roma start. Lockup, and Michaels grabs a side headlock. They fight over a hammerlock until they end up in the ropes. Michaels goes to the arm again, and this time Roma escapes with a well placed elbow to the face. Michaels reverses a whip to the corner, then takes Roma down with a head scissors. Rockers with a double crescent kick, sending Roma to the floor to regroup. Back inside, Roma and Hercules take turns pounding away. Roma with a standing dropkick, sending Jannetty to the floor. Back inside, Jannetty wins a slugfest, then connects with a clothesline for two. Jannetty slaps on a chinlock, but then lets go to head after Slick, which is always a dumb move for a babyface. Roma with shoulders to the midsection, followed by some double team stomping. Irish whip, and they connect with a double elbow. Hercules tags in for the first time and connects with a clothesline (complete with over-sell). Hercules with a press slam, and Roma follows with an elbow drop for two. Roma slaps on a chinlock to kill some time. Jannetty attempts a sunset flip, but Roma blocks. Criss-cross, and Roma lays him out with a clothesline. Hercules comes in, only to send Jannetty to the outside. Back inside, Hercules with a suplex for two. Roma to the top, connecting with a chop to the head. Whip to the corner, and Roma follows in with an elbow. Whip across the ring, and this time Roma meets the buckle full speed. Michaels gets the hot tag and pounds away on Roma. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Michaels comes back with a swinging neck breaker. Michaels with an atomic drop on Hercules, followed by a clothesline, sending him to the floor. Rockers with some double team action on Roma, but the double-fist drop is interrupted by Slick. They BOTH go after Slick, chasing him around the ring until being counted-out at 12:05. Well, when you lose like that, you definitely deserve it for being morons. Afterwards, the Rockers clear the ring and celebrate with Slick's hat, like every other babyface in WWF history. Pretty boring, with everyone keeping it in low gear. You know you're in for a long night when Paul Roma is the most motivated of four people.
"Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich (w/ Virgil) vs. "Million $ Man" Ted Dibiase:
Taped on February 18th, 1991, from Orlando, FL. Hey, remember that program between Dibiase and Tornado, based on Dibiase calling Tornado a hick from Texas, and costing him the Intercontinental Title for standing up for himself? Well, forget it, this is more about VIRGIL and Ted Dibiase, on the road to WrestleMania VII. Tornado interrupts Dibiase's verbal lashing on Virgil with a roundhouse right. Tornado rams Dibiase into the apron and steps, then it's back in the ring. Dibiase begs him off, and drives a knee into the midsection. Tornado blocks being rammed into the buckle, and instead sends Dibiase into ten times (thank you crowd, for counting). School boy for a two count. Tornado with a clothesline, knocking Dibiase to the floor. Virgil tosses him back in, and Tornado with another roll up for two. Dibiase continues to allow Virgil to keep him distracted, but manages to avoid a discuss punch, which happened to connect with the ring post. You'd think he would stop doing that move, since he hit the post every match. Dibiase slams the hand against the steps, and takes it back in the ring for some more pounding. Tornado tries fighting back, but hurts his hand in the process. Whip to the ropes, and Dibiase connects with an elbow. Dibiase with a clothesline, followed by a fist drop. Dibiase knocks Tornado to the floor, tries to bring him back in with a suplex, but Virgil sweeps the leg, allowing Tornado to land on top for the fluke three count at 4:18. Short and watchable, but why give a babyface a victory meant for a heel... oh, because Virgil did it for Dibiase countless times, and now he's suffering from his own fate. I get it now!
The British Bulldog vs. Haku:
Taped on... I dunno. Can't find a date and I'm not wasting time looking further, but it looks like it's from the late Fall of 1990, when Davey Boy made his return to the company. Three years prior, this is half of the infamous(ly stupid) dognapping Matilda angle. Lockup, and we get a clean break. Bulldog with an armbar, and Haku counters with a wristlock. Bulldog with his typical nip-up reversal sequence, but he doesn't know how to block a thumb to the eyes, and Haku takes him over with a side headlock. Whip to the ropes, and Haku with a shoulder block. Criss-cross sequence ends with Bulldog knocking Haku to the floor following a dropkick. Back inside, Bulldog takes him over with an arm drag, followed by a scoop slam. Bulldog slaps on a sleeper hold, Haku escapes with a snapmare, but quickly gets taken to the canvas and Bulldog works the arm. Haku forces a break with a well-placed chop to the knee, then counters a monkey flip with an inverted atomic drop. Haku puts a stompin' hurt on the Bulldog and connects with a jumping piledriver for a two count. Haku uses Bulldog's hair-extensions as a form of punishment in a Camel Clutch. Whip to the ropes, and Haku applies his own sleeper hold. Bulldog escapes with elbows and goes for a sunset flip, but Haku blocks. Criss-cross ends with a double body press, with Bulldog landing on top for two. Haku goes back to working Bulldog over, and slaps on a chinlock. Bulldog fights back (again), and we slug it out. Whip to the ropes, and Haku misses a dropkick. Bulldog back drops Haku into the lights, and connects with a clothesline for two. Haku counters another back drop with a kick to the face. Whip to the ropes, and Bulldog surprises Haku with the crucifix combination for the three count at 7:53. That was watchable, but a bit boring. More proof Haku wasn't as awful as I used to believe. He got a decent match out of Davey Boy, well into the steroids era of his WWF career.
- Time for the token "stupid filler exclusively taped for Coliseum Video." It's Barber Shop Grooming Tips, with Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake. It comes down to this... Beefcake treats some poor bastard like an asshole, puts random crap all over his head, and considers it a good way to keep your face and hair in excellent condition. Some people are excellent at the talk show role and being comedians... Brutus Beefcake was not one of them.
Greg "The Hammer" Valentine vs. "The Model" Rick Martel:
Taped on March 12th, 1991, from Biloxi, MS. Lockup, and Martel grabs a headlock. They fight over a hammerlock until Martel grabs the ropes to force a break. Lockup, and Martel with a shove. Valentine returns the favor, sending Martel to the floor. Back inside, Valentine with a side headlock. Martel escapes by pounding away on the midsection, but misses a knee to the corner. Valentine sweeps the leg from under, and goes to work stretching out the leg. Valentine drops his weight across the knee, then slaps on a spinning toe hold. Martel escapes with a foot to the face, but Valentine remains in control of the action. Valentine with a series of knees across the leg, followed by an elbow drop. Martel finally escapes and sends Valentine to the floor to catch a breather. Martel follows, ramming him into the ring apron. Back inside, Martel with an axehandle from the second rope. He slaps on an abdominal stretch, and no, he doesn't use the ropes, thanks to poor ring placement. Valentine escapes with a hip toss. Martel heads to the middle rope, and takes a fist to the midsection for it. Valentine sends Martel into the buckle and lays into him with rights and lefts. He connects with an atomic drop and clothesline, sending Martel to the floor once again. Valentine follows, working Martel over with chops. They start exchanging blows until, wouldn't you know it, it's a Double Count-Out at 8:36. Really, they needed a bullshit finish to protect these two, in 1991? Didn't both men go on the JTTS Tour '91 after WrestleMania VII? Match was okay, but the lame finish hurts. Post-match, Martel tries to use his Arrogance on the Hammer, but it's avoided, and Valentine traps Martel in a Figure-Four. Too little, too late, though.
Koko B. Ware vs. The Warlord (w/ Slick):
Taped sometime in the Spring of 1991, with no actual date available for whatever reasons. I like Koko as much as the next guy, but in 1991, he had no business being included on a Coliseum Video. Too low on the JTTS pole to be considered anything more than a scrub, I'm afraid. That makes me wonder... when will Steve Lombardi get the nod from the WWE Hall of Fame? Lockup, and Warlord easily shoves Koko across rhe ring. Koko responds by getting the crowd to clap along with him. Take THAT, Warlord! Warlord over-powers him with a choke lift, and throws him back into the corner. Koko goes to the eyes, and unloads with roundhouse right. Warlord catches Koko with a knee to the midsection, and slowly works him over with the usual garbage he was known for. Koko goes to the eyes again (that's not very sportsman-like), follows up with jabs, and one more time to the eyes. Okay Hulk Hogan, we get the point. Ware bounces off the ropes, and takes a back drop to the floor for being a terrible cheater. Warlord keeps him on the floor for a while, so I grab a new Pepsi. It's THE Cola. Koko tries a sunset flip, but Warlord is too strong and counters with a punch to the face. Warlord sends him to the corner, then catches him in the ever-dangerous Bear-Hug! Smell the excitement! Warlord decides to let go, plants Koko with a slam, and bounces off the ropes, missing an elbow drop. Ware does his Birding-Up routine, mustering up the usual token Jobber offense. Warlord meets the buckle on a charge, and Koko with a school boy for two. He heads to the top rope, and a missile dropkick connects for another two count. Criss-cross, and Koko misses a blind dive, hanging himself up across the top rope in the process. He would think better not to do that, since he lost every match like that. Warlord finishes him off with a powerslam at 6:39. Typical low-level Prime Time Wrestling feature.
The Hart Foundation vs. The Legion of Doom:
(Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart vs. Hawk & Animal)
Taped on March 12th, 1991. The Foundation were the reigning Champions at the time, but they come to the ring without the belts, thanks to this being used after WrestleMania VII, and they were scheduled to job the belts. Neidhart and Animal start. Lockup, and Neidhart with the push off. Lockup #2, and this time Animal shows his strength off. Animal pounds away at the midsection, and Neidhart responds with forearms. They do the double shoulder block spot that doesn't budge anyone. Criss-cross, and a double clothesline takes both men down. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Animal puts the Anvil down with a diving shoulder tackle. Hawk tags in, and quickly(ish) goes to work on the arm. Bret gets the blind tag, and goes to work on the midsection. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Hawk goes for the press slam, but Bret slips free and goes for a roll up. Hawk blocks that, then sends Bret to the floor with a back drop. Hawk with a headbutt, then tosses Bret back into the ring. Whip to the ropes, and Bret catches Hawk with his head down with a swinging neck breaker. It's only good for two. Neidhart tags in, and gets trapped in a side headlock. Whip to the ropes to escape, and Bret rams a knee into the back of Hawk. Neidhart follows up with a clothesline, then tosses Hawk to the floor. Bret gets in the token cheap shots of the exchange, and tosses Hawk back in for further punishment.
Neidhart pounds away with forearms, then comes charging with a clothesline for a two count. Bret tags in, takes Hawk over with a snapmare, and drops an elbow. He connects with a back breaker for two. Bret with a front facelock, and no, it's not the false hot tag... yer. Neidhart with a scoop power slam for a two count. Bret with a snapmare and second rope elbow drop for another two count. Bret with another front facelock, and this time it is the false hot tag. they drag Hawk to the corner, and Bret sends Anvil into him with a shoulder tackle for two. Neidhart takes Hawk over with a snapmare, and slaps on a chinlock, using a knee to add preasure to the back. Whip to the ropes, and Hawk slams Neidhart face-first into the canvas. Neidhart recovers first, though, and goes back to the front facelock. Hawk powers his way back to his feet, but now Bret runs in to create a distraction, forcing Animal into chasing him around the ring. Back inside, the referee cuts off Animal, allowing the Foundation to hit the Hart Attack. Animal breaks up the pin attempt, knowing damn sure that's the end for anyone. Bret pounds away and connects with a reverse atomic drop. Bret takes him to the corner and pounds on the midsection some more, while Neidhart adds in some choking while the referee isn't looking. They go for the slingshot spot again, but this time Bret meets the buckle, and Hawk lays Neidhart out with a clothesline. Animal gets the super hot tag, hits Neidhart with an atomic drop, then puts Bret down with a shoulder tackle. The LOD take control, mopping the floor with everyone. They set up for the Doomsday Device, but Neidhart trips up Hawk, and Bret rolls Animal up for two! Bret with a back breaker, and he slingshots Neidhart into the ring with a shoulder block. Bret to the top, and Neidhart launches him, but Animal turns it into a powerslam, Hawk takes out Neidhart, and that's enough for the three count at 12:21. That was a very solid outing. One of the better Coliseum Video exclusives of the time, and a nice treat to see the Foundation get really into the role of acting like heels. Both teams make up with handshakes at the end, because good guys get along, I guess.
Marty Jannetty vs. Tanaka (w/ Mr. Fuji):
Final match on the tape, and we're pulling this from the March 15th, 1991 card held at Madison Square Garden. Yes, that show also featured a pretty good match between Shawn Michaels and Kato, but let's settle in for the match presented to us Some stalling to start. Tanaka with the cheap shot to kick things off, followed by chops. Tanaka with a headbutt, and he slaps on a headlock. Whip to the ropes, and he puts Jannetty down with a shoulder tackle. Criss-cross sequence ends with Jannetty sending Tanaka to the floor following a forearm. Back inside, it's Jannetty's turn to work the headlock and shoulder tackle spot, forcing Tanaka to retreat to the floor for another breather. Tanaka tries to sneakily remove one of the turnbuckles, but seems to have a little bit of trouble accomplishing the task. Damn knots! That's why I have velcro on everything. Jannetty pounds away and connects with a diving back elbow and the reverse crescent kick, before it meant anything. Tanaka tricks Jannetty into following him into the corner, and rams him into the somewhat-exposed buckle. Whip across the ring is reversed, and a Jannetty body press misses, causing him to spill to the floor, practically dead. Surprisingly, Mr. Fuji doesn't use this chance to get his token cane shot in. Back inside, Tanaka with a snapmare, followed by a headbutt across the midsection. He pounds away on the neck with thrust blows. Whip to the corner, and Tanaka meets a boot on the charge. Jannetty to the second rope, and he brings Tanaka down with a bulldog for two. Jannetty pounds away in the corner, but gets tripped up and covered for two. Even the feet on the ropes trick isn't working tonight. Jannetty with a roll up for two. Tanaka nails Jannetty with a crescent kick, then hits his twisting body press for a two count. They take it to the corner, and Tanaka sends Jannetty flying over the ropes with a chop. Calm down, Curt Hennig. Don't have to sell THAT much. Back inside, they do the criss-cross sequence until Tanaka scoops him up for a piledriver, but reverses and plants Tanaka with his own (way to steal Undertaker's finisher). That's easily enough for the three count at 10:52. Solid match, but a bit boring. I much would prefer a match between the actual teams than a singles match, but you take what you can get, sometimes.
Final Thoughts: Not too shabby for a Coliseum Video released around the Spring of 1991. There's the obvious must see match between the Hart Foundation and LOD, but there's little nuggets of decent action in Jannetty/Tanaka, Valentine/Martel, and Tornado/Dibiase. However, there's the fair share of negative stuff too, paint-by-numbers matches like Warrior/Earthquake and Rockers/Power & Glory. Don't get me started on the absolute waste of time on the Managers Cam and Barber Shop Tips segments. In all, it's a decent waste of two hours, but I can only really recommend watching the LOD/Harts match.
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