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WWE Unreleased: Never Before Seen Matches 1986-1995
by Scrooge McSuck
- Picking things up with Disc #2, an we've entered the 90's. Sean Mooney and Charly Caruso are still lurking around the secret basement of the "Event Center" to stumble across rare gems for our viewing pleasure and to deliver a poorly written script. For instance, Mooney asks where she was for WrestleMania VI, and Charly responded with "getting picked up from day care" and played it off like she'd be too young to even know what he's talking about. SHE JUST SAID SHE REMEMBERED THE MEGA POWERS FORMING WHEN SHE WAS 3 MONTHS OLD. Did NOBODY proofread their f*cking dialogue?! On a lighter side of things, Mooney fondly recalls Lord Alfred Haye's "God Save the Queen" party. I wonder if it was as whacky and zany as Randy Savage's Bachelor Party on Prime-Time Wrestling.
Hulk Hogan vs. Earthquake (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Taped on April 3rd, 1990, from Syracuse, NY. I half-expected it to be Glen Falls, but that was the taping on April 4th. Hogan gets ambushed coming into the ring by both Quake and Hart, but Hebner pulls Hart off before he could get thrown over the top rope. Hogan rolls away from an elbow drop and decides this moment is the perfect time to tear the shirt off. He unloads with rights and follows Quake into the corner with a clothesline. Hogan with a clothesline, elbow, and running high knee to drop Earthquake to one knee. Quake saves Hart from possible dismemberment, sending Hogan into the post. Back inside, Earthquake squashes Hogan in the corner and connects with a back breaker. Hogan tries his best to fight out of a bear-hug (one so dull it appears a complete section of fans are passing out from boredom), but his comeback is cut short trying to do a shoulder tackle. Quake hits the Vertical Splash, but Hogan kicks out at two, and you know the routine. He plants Quake with a slam and drops the leg for three at 7:34. * I must've zoned out on the bear-hug, because I enjoyed this a little more on the first viewing.
The Big Boss Man vs. "Million $ Man" Ted Dibiase (w/ Virgil)
Also taped on April 3rd, 1990. It was refusing to accept a bribe from Dibiase that turned the Boss Man babyface, believe it or not. Dibiase attacks Boss Man on his way into the ring, but the tide is quickly turned. Boss Man with a whip to the corner, followed by a back drop. Virgil trips him up, allowing Dibiase to knock him through the ropes, and into the security railing. One over-zealous kid is having a field day yelling at Virgil. Back inside, Dibiase with chops and a second rope axe-handle for two. Whip and Dibiase with a clothesline. He plants Boss Man with a slam and drops a series of fist drops for another two-count. Boss Man ducks under a clothesline and there's a malfunction at the junction that leaves both men laid out. Boss Man counters an axe-handle attempt with a fist to the midsection, followed by an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline. Whip and Boss Man with a spine-buster, but Virgil runs in for the Disqualification at 4:14. Post-match, Boss Man clears the ring with his nightstick. ** Short, but all action. The pacing came across like it could've been intended for syndication.
The Ultimate Warrior & The Texas Tornado vs. Mr. Perfect & "Ravishing" Rick Rude (w/ Bobby Heenan)
Taped on August 8th, 1990, from Providence, RI, and one of those whacky matches that we all wanted to see. I'm saddened to hear Rude's entrance music dubbed over with some generic crap, but he makes up for it by calling the fans "Rhode Island Rugrats." Stalling to start. Perfect ambushed Tornado tagging in, but the tables are quickly turned, and he takes a spectacular bump over the ropes to sell the Discus Punch. Rude runs in, but Perfect accidentally pulls the ropes down on him (see also: 1990 Royal Rumble). Tornado brings Perfect back in with a slingshot, tosses him over the top, and Warrior puts the cherry on top in the form of a double noggin knocker. Perfect with a clothesline and discus punch for two. He seriously devalued that move, doing it approximately 80 times per match. Warrior catches Rude with atomic drop, wiping Perfect out in the process. He throws Rude into the corner and slams him face-first to the canvas. Rude puts the breaks on being sent to the Tornado, but ends up running into a clothesline from Warrior. Tornado with a suplex for two. Perfect with a knee from the apron, allowing Rude to take over. Perfect with a float-over neck snap. Rude pounds on the back and applies a bear-hug. Tornado fights free, but Perfect cuts the ring in half and works a spinning toe hold. Heenan heckles the referee ("I'm trying to help you... you need a lot of help!") while Tornado continues to have trouble mounting any offense. Perfect accidentally hits Rude with a dropkick and its hot tag time. Warrior runs through Perfect with clotheslines before finishing with the diving shoulder spear and splash at 11:55. **1/4 Dragged a little in the middle, but if you ignore the non-contact for the opening moments, this was perfectly fine.
The Legion of Doom vs. Demolition
Taped on October 30th, 1990, from Ft. Wayne, IN (the same taping as the phantom title switch between the Rockers and Hart Foundation). Demolition is into their bondage masks era that lasted all of six weeks, and they have new, generic music. In a bit of a surprise, CRUSH AND AX work the match, with Smash on the floor (I can tell by the tattoo on arm). Except for one instance (a squash the weekend of SummerSlam), it's always Ax and Smash or Smash and Crush. Hawk catches Ax coming with a clothesline. Animal does the same to Crush, a bit delayed on the attack, and they work the arm. Hawk meets the post on a charge, but Animal comes in to pick up where he left off, tossing Crush over the top rope. Ax comes around the corner to ram Hawk into the post again, while Crush takes control in the ring. He connects with a back breaker and flying knee drop. Whip and Demolition with a double clothesline. They go for the Decapitation, but Hawk makes the save. Hawk with the hot tag, hitting Ax with a diving shoulder tackle. Whip to the corner, Animal charges in with a clothesline, and Hawk comes off the top with another clothesline for three at 2:25. Could you tell Ax was at his last TV taping, the way Demolition were mauled in under three minutes?
War Eagle vs. Dale Wolfe
Taped on January 8th, 1991, from Chattanooga, TN. War Eagle is Chris Chavis, better known as Tatanka, and this is another tryout match. He uses "Crank it Up", a song whored out to so many under-card wrestlers that I've lost count. Tatanka lightly jogs around the ring in perfect timing with the music, so give him points for rhythm. Wolfe quickly bails after witnessing the mighty ability of War Eagle running the ropes. Crisscross and he takes Wolfe over with a pair of arm drags. Another crisscross, and this time War Eagle adds a dropkick to his arsenal. It's interesting watching him work the arm, while watching everyone on the camera side of the crowd engaging in conversation, not looking at the ring. Wolfe takes control as we get a mild Atlanta Braves chant. War Eagle starts doing his dance around the ring and comes back with chops before finishing with the Samoan Drop (Papoose-to-Go) at 4:59. ˝* To be honest, the lack of crowd interest makes these tryout matches a chore to sit through.
- Sean Mooney has Charly Caruso in awe over the fact that Jake Roberts and Rick Martel had a blindfold match that wasn't at WrestleMania VII. They also discover the "Yes, I Am a Model" over-sized pin that Martel used to wear, and Mooney paints a picture of how his Arrogance cologne smelled. In short, it was awful.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. "The Model" Rick Martel
Taped on January 29th, 1991, from Savannah, GA, and again, it's a Blindfold Match, where both men wear hoods and have to find their way around, basically turning the match into a modified game of Marco Polo with the crowd participation, leaving Martel to die, and cheering Roberts whenever he's pointing at Martel or within physical reach. Martel flails around, and both come close to contact, just barely missing each other. They finally bump into each other, but Martel runs into the ropes as they make a mad dash. Martel trips over Roberts' body, allowing Roberts to get a few shots in. Martel with choking, but an Irish whip doesn't go as well as he had hoped for. Martel leaves the ring and wanders around for a while, and thankfully this spot was left out at Mania VII, and except for touching the snake bag, feels unnecessary and long. Martel pulls Roberts out, then feels around some more and grabs a chair. After another longer than expected sequence, he backs into the post and smacks it with the chair, hurting his hands. Hebner tries to guide both men into the ring with the match dying on the floor. They make contact in the ring, with Martel pounding away with rights and planting him with a slam. He winds up for an elbow, but misses it by a few seconds. Martel eventually has enough of the hood and removes it for an unfair advantage, trapping Roberts in the ropes. He goes for the arrogance can, but the referee restrains him, buying Roberts time to recover, and finishes Martel with the DDT at 10:39. For whatever reason, the referee saves Martel from getting the Damien treatment. This was like the Director's Cut of the match at WrestleMania, with more spots that didn't work too well, and the spots that did being slightly extended. No rating, but I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as their match at WrestleMania.
Sid Justice vs. "Million $ Man" Ted Dibiase (w/ Sensational Sherri)
Taped on July 8th, 1991, from Calgary, Alberta. Even though he made appearances at other tapings, this is Sid's first match for the WWF. He's introduced from "any place he wants to be." That sound even lamer than "Anywhere He Darn Well Pleases". Dibiase attacks from behind, but Sid shrugs it off. Whip to the ropes and Sid with a series of clotheslines, sending Dibiase out of the ring. Sid brings him back in with a slingshot and sends him back out with an atomic drop. Dibiase pulls him to the floor, only to be sent into the ring post. Back inside, Sid with a whip and back drop. Dibiase takes control, surprisingly laying Sid out with a clothesline. He drops a series of fist drops for two. Dibiase with a suplex for another two-count. He plants Sid with a slam, but misses the falling second rope elbow. Sid with a whip to the corner and a diving shoulder tackle. Dibiase side-steps a charge and comes off the second rope with an axe-handle. Whip is reversed, Sid with a boot to the midsection, and finishes with a Powerbomb at 5:27. *1/2 This was all Ted Dibiase making Sid look like a million bucks.
The Ultimate Warrior vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)
Taped on August 19th, 1991, from Rochester, NY, and it's a Casket Match. You should know the rules, but if you don't, the first man to put his opponent in the casket and shut the lid wins. Warrior pulls Undertaker to the floor and slams him face-first into the steps. Whip to the corner and Undertaker comes right back with a clothesline. Undertaker in the corner with choking. Warrior rallies with boots to the midsection, followed by a slam. He comes off the ropes with clotheslines, but Taker pops up immediately every time. Undertaker counters a back drop attempt with an uppercut to the throat. Undertaker connects with the Tombstone Piledriver and rolls Warrior into the casket after a long spot of choking him out. Warrior won't let the lid shut down on him, though, wrestles the urn from Paul Bearer, KO's Undertaker with it, and closes the lid on him at 5:49. * Even by Casket/Coffin Match standards, this was pretty weak, but the crowd was hot, so there's that.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. Ric Flair
Taped on October 1st, 1991, from Huntington, WV. Flair flashes his Big Gold Belt to remind everyone he's the REAL World's Champion. Piper bum rushes Flair and mounts him in the corner. Flair's inverted atomic drop fails and Piper lays him out with a clothesline. Flair bails, but Piper quickly follows and rams him into the railing and ring post. The referee with an unintended assist, blocking a punch from Piper, allowing Flair to get a knee to the midsection. He targets the left knee of Piper and connects with an atomic drop. Piper no-sells the chops in the corner and pounds away with a flurry of rights and lefts. Flair climbs the ropes and easily gets slammed down. Flair with a low blow out of view of the referee. Piper goes for a bulldog, but the referee gets wiped out in the process. He takes Flair over with a small package, but there's no count. Another referee comes in as Flair school boys Piper for three at 6:22. Piper continues the match, laying Flair out with a knee lift. Flair rakes the eyes and grabs a chair, but Piper avoids the attack, grabs the chair himself. The referee prevents the attack and Flair school boys Piper FOR A SECOND TIME, at 7:18. Piper attacks some more and smashes him across the arm with the chair. That was an odd finish. *1/2 Not much to the match, unfortunately.
- Sean Mooney lets us in on the mysterious "Mr. Madness." In short, it's Randy Savage... and that's all. No mask or disguise of any kind. We get a brief history lesson on Savage's career-ending match at WrestleMania VII, Jake Roberts crashed the wedding reception following SummerSlam, and Savage used the "Mr. Madness" guise to skirt the stipulations that kept him out of the ring.
Mr. Madness vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Taped on November 12th, 1991, from Springfield, MA. Savage works the match with his shirt on, and you can tell the extreme loss of muscle tone he had... it shouldn't come as much of a surprise why that's the case. Roberts tries to attack, but Savage sees it coming, sends him to the corner, and drops him with an elbow. Savage from the top with a double axe-handle. The referee gets in the way, allowing Roberts to drive his shoulder into the midsection and toss Savage over the top rope. Roberts with an inverted atomic drop and choking across the middle rope. Roberts with a short-arm clothesline, but the DDT is countered with Savage driving him back into the corner. Savage gets tossed out of the ring again, only to get sent into the post. Back inside, Savage comes off the top with the double axe-handle. Roberts goes for the snake, so Savage grabs a chair and clobbers him with it for the Disqualification at an unofficial 5:00. * Basic stuff without much substance.
Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair (w/ Mr. Perfect)
Also taped on November 12th, 1991. Flair still has the big gold belt, but this should be around the time where WCW finally got their crap together and made a legal move to prevent it being presented on TV. They take their time making first contact. Flair with a shove to get the ball rolling. Flair avoids a lock-up and struts. It's not much, but he does have a small percentage of the fans on his side enjoying his antics. Hogan draws the proverbial line and challenges Flair to cross it. Flair with a side headlock, but Hogan drops him with a shoulder tackle and mocks Flair's strutting to a surprisingly less than favorable response. Hogan with a headlock and another shoulder tackle. Crisscross, Hogan blocks a hip toss and counters with a clothesline, sending Flair out of the ring. Hogan's knuckle-lock domination is broken with a thumb to the eye. Whip to the ropes and Hogan runs right through a chop. He drops Flair with another clothesline and pounds away in the corner. Hogan gives Flair a thumb to the eye, sends him to the apron, and knocks him to the floor. He teases walking out, but Hogan gives chase. Back inside, Flair with a snap mare and knee drop. Hogan no-sells the strikes in the corner and Flair begs him off. Whip reversal and Flair misses a charge. Hogan trips him up and rakes the eyes with his boot. Perfect with the distraction, allowing Flair to target the knee. He straddles Hogan on the post and smashes the knee with a chair. Flair drops a knee across the leg and stomps away at the knee resting across the bottom rope. Hogan kicks off a Figure-Four attempt, sending Flair into the turnbuckle. Flair makes the mistake of going to the top rope, only to get slammed off. Perfect passes a foreign object into the ring and Flair KO's Hulk with it, but he still kicks out for the Hulk Up™. Flair's clothesline has absolutely no effect. Hogan with rights and a big boot, but Perfect pulled Flair to safety on the floor. Hogan follows, rams him into the steps, and beats the count back in the ring at 14:51. ***1/4 Unlike the watered-down mess that was the Piper match, THIS felt more like Flair in his natural environment.
- Taped on April 7th, 1992 from Toledo, OH, it's a special edition of Piper's Pit. Roddy Piper wouldn't make a TV appearance between WrestleMania VIII and SummerSlam '92, so this should be interesting. He wastes little time signaling this is not meant for television, talking about the controversy in the media, including Mike Tyson in jail, Buster Douglas drunk driving, and half the WWF in a scandal. Then he goes on a rant about Geraldo Rivera being proud of his heritage, but using a more "American" assumed name when he broke in. "I don't need a job, so I'm just here for fin!" He encourages the crowd to "hoot" whenever his guest lies, then brings out the Brooklyn Brawler. A fan wants to know why he doesn't shower, and the Brawler responds that he's a millionaire. Then he claims to be the next World Heavyweight Champion, and Piper rightfully points out he's never seen him win a match. He talks trash about Mania 8 and Piper losing his nerve, so Piper lays him out with the ring bell.
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. The British Bulldog
Taped on June 30th, 1992, from Binghamton, NY. I had no clue these two ever wrestled during this era, besides SummerSlam, but to be fair, 1992 is the one year out of a wide range that I never got into for reasons too deep to get into here. They shake hands before locking up. Bulldog with a side headlock and shoulder tackle, sending Bret out of the ring. Bret with a side headlock takeover. Bret escapes a press slam and cradles the Bulldog for two. Bulldog slips out of another headlock and works the arm through a series of counters. Bulldog with a crucifix cradle for two, then back to the arm-bar. Bret attempts to escape with an arm drag, but Bulldog rolls through with the hold. Whip to the ropes and Bret drives a knee into the midsection to scattered jeers. Then he stomps down on the midsection to get a little bit more. Bret with an inverted atomic drop and a leg drop for two. Bulldog tries the crucifix again, but this time Bret slams down on him to counter and follows with a piledriver for two. Snap suplex for two. Bulldog counters an uppercut with a back slide for two. Bret with a back breaker and second rope elbow for two. He goes for the Sharpshooter, but Bulldog reaches for the ropes before it can be applied. Bret catches the boot, but Bulldog surprises him with an enzuigiri. Crisscross and Bulldog slingshots Bret into the turnbuckle. Whip across the ring, and Bulldog with a clothesline for two. Delayed suplex for two. Bret counters the Powerslam with a sleeper. Bulldog manages to fight to his feet and ram Bret back into the corner. Whip to the ropes and a series of hip throw counters takes both men over the top rope. Bulldog tries to bring Bret back in with a suplex, but Bret counters with a German Suplex for three at 13:57. ***1/2 Started off slow, but gradually picked up to be a surprisingly good match (I say that because of the tendency of Bret phoning it in for dark matches).
Bret "Hitman" Hart & The Ultimate Warrior vs. Papa Shango & Kamala (w/ Kim-Chee & Harvey Wippleman)
Taped on October 13th, 1992, from Regina, Saskatchewan, one day after Bret won the WWF Title. Seriously, who books THIS match, beyond geeks playing with their Hasbro figures? Bret and Kamala start. Ideally, neither heel is a good enough worker for this be worth anything. Bret's waist-lock is countered, but Kamala misses a charge to the corner. Bret refuses to accept a test-of-strength. Hearing Kim-Chee yell without the audio sweetening and commentary makes it plain as day that Steve Lombardi is under the mask. Bret heels it up, stomping the foot. Shango tags in and pounds on Hart with rights. Kamala gets tagged in and drops Bret with a double choke lift. Bret comes off the ropes with shoulder tackles, but Kamala quickly cuts him down with a double chop to the throat. Shango meets a boot charging into the corner, then misses completely. Warrior with the hot tag, hitting Shango with clotheslines and planting Kamala with a slam. Warrior with the diving should spear to Shango, and the Splash finishes at 6:29. DUD This was the definition of nothing until Warrior's hot tag took it home.
The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Taped on January 26th, 1993, from Fresno, CA, and the quality here is one of the worst of all the matches selected. No entrances shown, except for the very end of Undertaker's disrobing. Only the hard camera is recording, by the way. Bigelow with rights, but Undertaker no-sells and retaliates with boots to the midsection. Whip is reversed, but Bigelow meets a boot charging into the corner. Undertaker grabs the arm and connects with the rope-walk clothesline. Bigelow ducks under the diving clothesline and boots Undertaker out of the ring. He follows Taker out, planting him on the floor with a slam and whips him into the ring steps. Back inside, Bigelow with more rights. Taker comes back with strikes of his own, but meets the turnbuckle charging into the corner. Bigelow with a clothesline to the back of the head and a slam. He drops a series of headbutts to keep Taker from sitting up. He goes to the top, but the diving headbutt misses, and Undertaker finishes with the Choke-Slam at 5:05. *1/2 OK for what it was. Hard to do much with the Undertaker in this era, so keeping it short helps.
- Sean Mooney and Charly Caruso talk about... Oh God, no...
The Toxic Turtles vs. Tommy Stevenson & Ron Preston
Taped on March 9th, 1993, from Augusta, GA. I can't believe they dug this one out of the depths of hell! "Tom and Terry" are just two guys in pathetic looking Ninja Turtle costumes. I'll call Tommy the Red Turtle and Terry the Purple Turtle to keep my own sanity. Tommy flips around to avoid a lock-up. Whip to the ropes and the Toxic Turtles hit a double dropkick for two. Terry ends up on his back, so Tommy has to help push him over to get back up. The crowd is NOT impressed with this, and you can hear nothing but jeers as the travesty continues. Whip and Tommy with a spinning heel kick for two. Tommy gets a slingshot senton for three at 2:05. This match died a death that thankfully didn't make it to television. How did Vince McMahon let this cartoon crap get anywhere near his ring? Yes, we've seen some DUMB gimmicks, but this is low-level Memphis gimmicks that usually wound up with a cease and desist order. No rating, but I was tempted to give it a fabled MINUS FIVE STARS.
Final Thoughts: Well, we definitely ended Disc 2 on a sour note. I want to hope the whole point was to make fun of things, like the Jim Herd "Hunchback" idea where they would weeble-wobble on their backs, but this somehow got a casual audience in 1993 to boo everything about it. With that aside, there's a decent blend of curious gems (Sid's debut, Mr. Madness, the blindfold match) and good matches (Hogan/Flair, Bret/Bulldog). Some of the choices that seemed like a good idea on paper didn't pan out, but the good news is most matches come in at under 10-minutes.
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