From the WWE Network: Invasion of the Body Slammers

Monster heels abound as we see several HOSS fights. Plus a few technical classics with Bret Hart, HBK, Mr. Perfect and Ric Flair!

From Coliseum Home Videos

Slick promises Lord Alfred Hayes he is going to teach Kamala how to bowl. Well, Kamala does have the body type of a stereotypical beer swilling bowling league member. He offers Kamala shoes, causing the big man to run in fear.

Earthquake vs. Yokozuna

Jim Ross makes his home video debut here (IIRC) as he joins Bobby Heenan and Randy Savage on the call.  I am legit excited for this match.

Yoko tries to do his sumo poses, so Quake leaps up and down on the mat and unnerves the sumo warrior.  The big men test one another’s girth, with Quake trying clotheslines and shoulder blocks that fail to down Yoko.  Yoko catches Quake with an elbow and takes command. Yoko drops a leg drop, but allows Quake to his feet. Fuji distracts Quake and Yoko corner splashes him. Yoko delivers the banzai drop for the shockingly easy win.

Quake was headed out of the WWF at this point.  He and Typhoon spent December putting over the Headshrinkers around the circuit, then Quake went to Japan for the WAR promotion. He came back to work the Royal Rumble and did jobs for the new monster heels Bam Bam Bigelow and Yoko, before leaving once again.

The Nasty Boys vs. The Beverly Brothers

JR tries to play up the tag team rankings and the importance of this match.  Heenan delivers fine comedy on these wrestler’s identities as Saggs hacks away at both “brothers”. Blake gets a face full of armpit from the Boys, prompting the heels to double up on Knobbs. A woman in the front row grabs her head in horror over Knobbs almost being pinned.  I wish I was that emotionally invested in wrestling yet, much less in a match this trivial.

Saggs makes the hot tag and whips both of the heels with slams and punches. A four-way brawl breaks out. The ref is shoved and he ends up disqualifying both teams. The Nasties clear the ring. The commentary carried this by the book match into the “fun” category.

Kamala is given a bowling ball that has his symbols painted on it.

The Undertaker vs. Razor Ramon

A rematch from our last CHV review. Macho Man talks about being friends with the Undertaker, even though he’s spooky.  I picture Taker’s off time involving building coffins and riding in a hearse, not having beers with Savage.

Razor bails out right away, allowing Taker to stalk him. Taker shakes off some strikes, then delivers the ropewalk forearm.  Razor tries more strikes, and knocks Taker over the top rope, but Taker no sells all of it and chokes his foe.

Ramon lifts Taker up and drops him nut first on the ropes. That wounds the Taker enough to stay down as Razor batters him with elbow after elbow. Paul Bearer tries to use the urn to inspire the Taker, but Razor grabs the urn and cracks Taker with it. Bearer gets the urn back in time to bring his charge back to life. Taker delivers a vicious chokeslam to Razor, prompting the “Bad Guy” to head to the locker room. This was a good fight between “big men.” Taker makes an excellent monster babyface.

Typhoon vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Another hoss fight, although Fred Ottman is no Quake in the workrate category. Bigelow uses a bear hug and headlock to try and weaken his large opponent. Bigelow tries a crossbody, but Typhoon catches him and delivers a powerslam in an impressive spot. Bigelow rolls to the floor to save himself.

Bigelow is slammed once he returns to the ring. Typhoon misses an elbow, and Bigelow misses a diving headbutt as these two work a shockingly quick pace. Bigelow suplexes Typhoon. They sit in a headlock to rest for a bit.

Bigelow goes for a slam, but Typhoon lands on him. Bigelow is downed, and Typhoon goes for the splash, then stops, picks Bigelow up and tries to deliver a corner splash instead. Bigelow catches him coming in, then drops the diving headbutt for the win. Holy cow that finish made Typhoon look about as bad as humanly possible. This was much better than you’d expect.

REPO CAM

A year and a half after he debuted, and a year plus since he had any semblance of a push, we get a vignette of Repo Man doing his thing. He accosts a man filming his family on vacation, threatening to repossess the camera if the man doesn’t agree to follow him around and film his adventures.

Repo pulls a man (I believe it was Bill Alfonso) out of his car and drives off. He repos a kid’s bike, driving off on the bike. He goes to a video store, threatening to repo their stuff if they do no play a VHS of the “Best of the Repo Man” in the store. Next up he kicks in a car window and hot wires a vehicle to repo it. He steals the camera to end this painfully long bit. Barry Darsow was ALL IN on trying to get the gimmick over, though.

Intercontinental champion Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Shawn Michaels

Macho Man puts over how great it is to see “normal sized” athletes competing in a high level. This is also a “rematch” from the previous CHV release.

The two men exchange technical holds to feel one another out. HBK suffers an arm injury, giving the Hitman a body part to focus on. Hart controls things for a bit, before Shawn is able to catch him with a knee to the bread basket to begin his heat segment.

Sherri gets her licks in here as well as she takes a cheap shot at Hart’s throat when he finds himself laying too close to the edge of the ring.  Michaels delivers the superkick and celebrates as he can taste the victory. He attempts a teardrop suplex, his finisher at this point, but Hart is able to block it.

Hart boots HBK in the face and catches him with a flying clothesline. Hart plays possum to lure Michaels into a reverse atomic drop. The Hitman drops the elbow from the second rope. The men fall to the floor in a heap as they tease a double count-out. Shawn gets in the ring, but Hart is grabbed by Sherri. Michaels uses the distraction to knock Hart into the guard rail. Hart is counted out. HBK celebrates with the title and Sherri is SHOCKED that count outs do not mean a new champ is crowned.  HBK sheepishly goes to hand the title to the ref, then decks him.  That was awesome.  Hart runs in and beats HBK into retreat to end the segment on a hot and fan friendly note. This was another fine match between two of the best of their era.

Kamala vs. Doink the Clown 

Doink has a present with him. He distracts Kamala with it, then cheap shots him. He delivers a double leg and cranks on Kamala’s arm. Kamala gets up several times, but Doink scores several more double legs, finishing with arm locks each time.

Kamala smacks down the clown with a side kick, causing a grown ass man at ringside to jump to his feet and cheer. Doink is sent to the floor, and Kamala gives chase. Doink distracts Kamala with a present again, then sneaks in the ring to win via count-out. Doink is destroyed by Kamala afterward to make sure no one gets over. Trash, but Doink’s schtick was entertaining.

The Undertaker vs. Papa Shango

Shango grabs Taker by the throat as they stare down. Taker no sells that and delivers the ropewalk forearm. Taker is knocked over the top rope to the floor. This is feeling a lot like the Razor match in structure.

Shango uses his EVIL STAFF to spray fireworks in Taker’s face, allowing him to hit the Dead man with a gentle chair shot and a less gentle whip into the stairs. Shango tries to use slams to keep Taker down, and then drops elbow after elbow…like the Razor match.

Taker zombie’s up, chokeslams Shango and drops him with the Tombstone for the win. Meh. Next…

Battle Royal: Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Tatanka, Bob Backlund, Owen Hart, Koko B. Ware, Skinner, Typhoon, Berzerker, Kamala, Kim Chee, Terry Taylor, Damien Demento, Tito Santana, and Iron Mike Sharpe

The men all start on the floor, then roll in when the bell rings. That is a unique little twist. There are actually quite a few good workers in here. Koko becomes the first victim as he takes a big back drop from HBK.  Everyone pairs off with nothing particularly notable happening other than sporadic eliminations. Owen flops out off the Berzerker’s back. Skinner shakes his ass like he’s still a Fabulous One and is dumped.

Kim Chee helps Typhoon dump Kamala, so Kamala chases his former handler into the crowd. We see more action, then Kamala and Kim Chee appear on the arena balcony as their chase continues.

Tatanka, El Matador, Razor and HBK are the final four.  Tito and Razor pair off, as do HBK and Tatanka. Razor is downed, allowing the faces to double up on HBK as he bounces around the ring, and is finally dumped! So we get a rare scene of a heel being outnumbered at the end of a battle royal.

Suddenly, Giant Gonzales (in a bodysuit that looks worse than I remember) ambles down as tosses out the faces.  Razor is the winner by default after that. This was nothing special.

Tatanka vs. Repo Man

Repo should have repossessed some steroids. Repo uses hand thrusts to counter Tatanka’s chops. Tatanka hits a crossbody so lousy the announcers have to admit it was blown. Repo screams comments as he is trapped in an armbar, making the rest hold a bit more entertaining. Repo uses an armbar of his own to amp up the excitement. Tatanka tries to start his War Dance but Repo yanks him back to the mat.

Tatanka fights out but when he tries a diving chop, he sells the impact more than his opponent. Even the announcers are confused. Tatanka fires up and scores a flying chop for a near fall that makes the fans rush the rails. They tease Repo making back some ground, but Tatanka downs him with the fall away slam and wins it. Bleh.

Kamala throws the bowling ball the wrong direction.

Mr. Perfect vs. Ric Flair

Or Rick Flair according to the on screen graphic.

This is an interesting choice as Flair was off TV in January of ’93 and this tape came out months later. JR was still in WCW when Flair left the WWF but here he is calling Flair’s WWF matches. JR throws Heenan for a loop as Ross makes a veiled reference to the AWA and how Heenan and Flair knew one another from the start.

Perfect is all fired up to show up the man who he seconded for a year who the real man is. The men exchange chops and take big bumps to put the other over strong. As Hennig bumps all over for Flair, Savage and Heenan have a very meta argument as Heenan says Flair was “jobbed” out of the world title. Macho replies “Jobbbbbbbed??” in that classic (bewildered) Macho Man voice. They then argue over the Macho Man/Flair feud. Savage delivers a line about not deserving to lose the title when he did that one could interpret as his actual frustrations in being removed from the top of the card and regulated to announcing.

Flair tries a top rope move, and Perfect has enough sense to sell an injury and collapse to the floor so he doesn’t look like a goof standing there waiting for his slam spot. Flair catches Perfect with a knee breaker, then locks in the figure-four. Flair uses the ropes for leverage. The crowd is largely (and disappointingly) dead other than a few old ladies who can be seen standing and screaming at this villainy.

Perfect escapes. The men exchange chops and fists, thrilling some of the men in the front row. Flair drops his head at the wrong moment and Perfect catches Flair with a Perfect plex for the win! The Granny who was giving Flair guff earlier is on her feet celebrating. That makes me smile. Good match!

Kamala bowls a strike. What an epic story.

Final thoughts: The commentary team made this a fun tape.  Plus we got hosses, technical work and a battle royal.  I can’t complain.

 

 

Written by Andrew Lutzke

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