From the WWE Network: Invasion ’92

The Nature Boy tangles with Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels…Plus Mooney in Space!

We open with a remarkably low quality CGI of space. Sean Mooney and two random geeks are in green shirts doing a Star Trek parody.  The budget cuts here for the WWF are obvious!  This leads to a message getting through the space vortex…a fan requests…HULK HOGAN VERSUS TYPHOON!??  Dear god! Bah Gawd! Augh!

Hulk Hogan vs. Typhoon

The WWF had the cajones to release this same match on the “”Immortal” Hulk Hogan: His Greatest Matches” VHS which was released in this same general time frame.  At least these two have a history as buddies before Tugboat’s heel turn. This is a dark match from a Wrestling Challenge taping. The Hulk magic is dying as the arena they are battling in is small by WWF standards.  I still mark out for Hogan’s entrance in this trash match, apparently because I will never shake that love for him I developed as a toddler.

Typhoon tosses Hogan around via the power of blubber. Hogan shoves the big man and laces into him with punches. Hogan rakes Typhoon’s eyes and seems to scream something about their friendship. Jimmy Hart runs interference to give the fatty a chance for some clubberin’. Mooney reminds us of how beloved Hogan is everywhere, now, then, and forever.

Hogan is locked in a bearhug for a bit. Typhoon tries to crush Hogan with a corner splash, but that sparks the Hulk up. Big boot. Leg drop. Good night at 5:50. This was as paint by numbers of a Hogan match as humanly possible.  We didn’t even get a big slam spot.

A “Wooo!” alarm goes off back at the W.W.F Enterprise space ship. We get a Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect promo. That leads to Mooney showing us a clip of the Royal Rumble ’92 where Sid dumped Hogan out from behind, leading to Hogan pulling Sid to the floor and allowing Flair to win the World title. This is the version with the altered audio to cover for the fans booing Hogan for being a poor sport.

Intercontinental champion Bret “the Hitman” Hart vs. “Real World’s Champ” Ric Flair

Oddly, after showing us the Rumble finish, we then see a Flair match where he is still lugging around the fake World title.  Hart controls the early minutes with a headlock. Flair avoids a Sharpshooter attempt and shoves Earl Hebner. Hebner shoves him back. Somewhere, Tommy Young is smiling.

The men battle over an overhead wristlock before Flair lays in some chops and a knee drop. Hart is chucked into the turnbuckle so he can do his sternum bump. A battered Hitman manages to win a slugfest, but walks into a sleeper. Hart slams him into a turnbuckle to escape, leading to a Flair flop.

Flair rebounds right away, dropping Hart with a knee breaker and locking on the figure-four. Hart fights out and lowers the strap like he’s vintage Jerry Lawler. He unleashes blows on Flair in and out of the ring. Flair jumps right to his feet after being blasted with a number of fists. Hart punches him back down. Hart moves on to the Sharpshooter, but Mr. Perfect aides Flair in getting to the ropes.

Hart and Perfect exchange words, allowing Flair to get the jump on him. Hart shows his mastery of moves by reversing out of several attempts by Flair to go on the offensive. An uppercut sends Flair to the floor. Flair tries a pile driver on the floor, but Hart back drops him. Mr. Perfect yanks Hart down as both competitors try to get in the ring. The announcers miss it completely. Flair wins via count-out at just past the 19-minute mark.

Both of these men spoke out about not having the top of the line matches one would think possible from this pairing, and this lived up to that line of thinking as it was very disjointed.

Shawn Michaels vs. “Real World’s Champion” Ric Flair

Michaels is still a Rocker here. He should be as motivated as anyone to put on a good showing in there with a big time star. Shawn indeed uses his speed and agility to control things early on. Flair is slapped to take some starch out of his swagger. The men trade chops. Michaels ends up tossing Flair into the corner, where Flair flips over and to the floor. Mr. Perfect distracts Shawn, but Flair’s attempt at a sneak attack is foiled by Michaels’ intuition.

Perfect interferes again, but Flair cannot stop Michaels determined effort as he unloads on Flair with fists. Flair catches Michaels charging into the corner, but Flair follows that up by climbing to the top, where he is quickly slammed off. Michaels obviously tells Flair he wants to do another spot as Flair pops up and walks into a super kick. Michaels drops a fist from the top rope, but Flair kicks out.

Michaels tries a plancha on to Flair on the floor, but eats cement. Marty Jannetty comes down and rolls the unconscious Shawn into the ring. The unresponsive Michaels is pinned without incident at 10:14. We cut away before we see the Rockers argue once Shawn wakes up, which was part of their splitting up angle.

This was better than the Hart match by far, with Michaels taking a lot of the offense and pushing the pace on Flair.

We cut back to the star ship just to see Flair “Woo!” on the space monitor. The clip lasts maybe 5 seconds. The brevity made it funny.

WWF World tag champions Hawk and Animal (The Legion of Doom) vs. The Beverly Brothers

The Beverly Brothers are actually one of the things I suffer a “Mandela Effect” from as Beau and Blake were named the opposite way as far as I remember 28 years ago. The Brothers stall, and prove to have the right idea as Blake (Mike Enos) is chucked to the floor with ease when a lock up is tried. Animal has no problem battering both heels with little effort.

Hawk comes in and scares Beau with a growl. He tosses Beau around with ease until missing a charge and crashing to the floor. Hawk eats a bit offense before knocking heads with Blake. Hawk teases the hot tag, but Beau tags in first. They hit a double clothesline spot, allowing Hawk to make the tag. A brief four-way brawl breaks out before Blake is hit with the Doomsday Device for the win at 8:58. Nothing special here.

El Matador vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase

The gimmick here is there is no announcers, but Sherri is mic’d up. Sherri asks if Tito’s fuzzy gimmick is alive. Dibiase thinks it’s a bull’s tail, Sherri implies it’s a furry vagina. She says Santana never beat any bulls, but maybe a “moo-cow”. They actually cut away from the action and give Sherri the spotlight.

Santana lays in blows as Sherri begs him to not hurt her “Teddy Bear”. El Matador sends Dibiase to the floor. Santana knocks Sherri and Dibiase’s heads together, with Sherri selling with a Flair flop to the cement floor.

Martel overplays her special gimmick here, literally never giving things a second to breathe. This leads to some rambling as she transitions from thought to thought. She chokes Santana on the ropes, which looked like it was close to a sex act as she shoved her woman parts into his face as she throttled our hero.

Santana makes a comeback, blasting Dibiase with a flying forearm. Sherri puts her charge’s foot on the ropes to save him. Santana threatens her. Dibiase tries to attack, but the men brawl until both are counted out at just past the 8-minute mark.  I hate to say it, but there didn’t feel like there was much to this match, even without the Sherri gimmick overwhelming the bout.

The Nasty Boys invade a small video store. They are upset over not having any tapes of themselves to rent. They beat up the owner, gag him and put a plastic bag over his head. We may have just witnessed a snuff film.

Big Boss Man vs. Hercules

We are in the “Will job for food” portion of Herc’s WWF run, although he still has Slick with him at this point. Bossman out smarts Hercules early on, setting up an opening for him to slam Hercules over and over again. They botch a clothesline spot near the ropes, forcing a heady reset by the Bossman, who uppercuts Herc, then sends him HIGH in the air and to the floor via a backdrop.

Bossman crotches himself on the ropes while trying to jump on Hercules, opening him up for some clubberin’. Slick gets some choking in as wise fans head to the concessions in the background.  Bossman rallies with a big boot, and a slightly awkward splash. Bossman doesn’t even stay on for a cover attempt. Herc is side slammed for the pin at 7:35. Meh. This was a match.

Million Dollar Champion Virgil vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase

The special ref is the Macho Man of all people. He comes down in a black and white striped bodysuit.

Not only did Savage and Dibiase have a long feud, but now Ted’s running around with Savage’s ex-Queen. I will have to question his impartialness.

Dibiase tries to sneak attack Virgil, but Virgil dumps Dibiase to the floor. Virgil takes his belt and poses. The champ controls the early segment before Dibiase tosses him to the floor and drives him into the steel. The announcers point out that Virgil blocked the impact with his hands. KAYFABE.

The challenger rakes Virgil’s eyes. Macho Man does nothing. Dibiase delivers a suplex, but Macho’s count is slow. Dibiase and Savage have words over Dibiase repeatedly pulling Virgil up during pin attempts. Even Sherri yells at him for not taking the win and getting the belt back. Dibiase cheap shots Savage and throws him to the floor. He then locks Virgil in the Million Dollar Dream.

Savage recovers and delivers a flying double axe handle down on Dibiase’s head. The battered Virgil makes the cover to win at 7:12.  This was just odd booking. Virgil came across looking terrible as he needed the ref to save his title, Dibiase was a moron for not taking the win and outright attacking the ref, plus Savage and Dibiase had no future against one another, so the angle was pointless.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. The Undertaker and Jake “the Snake” Roberts

This has some serious potential to be a fun brawl. Undertaker and Duggan try to start, but Macho Man wants to murder Jake. Duggan is trapped and choked in the corner. Duggan fights back with a series of punches, and knocks Taker to the floor via a clothesline. Duggan cuts Taker off from reentry. Taker catches him on the second effort and drops Hacksaw’s throat across the ropes. Bearer reacts with an evil cackle right into the camera that was so over the top it was hilarious!

The Snake thinks Duggan is prone, so he tags in. Macho Man quickly gets in and attacks Roberts. Roberts bails out and Undertaker is back in to maul our hero. He grabs Savage by the face and smothers him to the mat. Taker misses an elbow, allowing Savage to tag off to Duggan.

Duggan’s hot tag lasts a few seconds as Taker blasts him to the mat. Roberts tries a DDT, but Macho Man runs in. Savage grabs a chair and whacks the Snake for the DQ at 7:10. Duggan grabs his 2×4 to help scare off the heels. Savage decides he wants more of the Snake and runs to the back.

This kind of felt like the start of a match, but they skipped the meat and potatoes and went right to a finish.  A premature ejaculation of a wrestling match.

We finish with Mooney and Al Hayes stranded on a CGI planet.

Final thoughts: This was certainly an upgrade from most of the WWF VHS releases, as they wisely gave Flair a fourth of the tape to entertain us.  There was a fair share of boring and bad stuff as well. I suppose the novelty of Shawn Michaels and Flair facing off is worth checking out for sure though.

 

 

 

Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.