From the WWE Network: The CRUNCH Classic

Jim Neidhart sets a new low mark for the worst match you’ll see this week.

Hosted by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.  Even in 1992, Piper was doing the same schtick he’d scream about every promo he cut from 2001 onward about fighting Mr. T, the coconut incident with Snuka and kicking Cyndi Lauper in MSG.

Intercontinental champion the Mountie vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

Piper wants us all to see his big title win, so here we go…. Piper tosses his kilt over the Mountie’s head and gets in a free cheap shot.  The Mountie bails out quickly. Piper charges right after him and downs him with another shot.  The Mountie uses Jimmy Hart as a shield and cracks Piper to gain control.

The Mountie gets too cute with leap frogs and flips, so Piper drops a fist on his face. Piper drags the Mountie to his feet and simply pokes him in the eye in a funny spot. Piper misses a dropkick, opening the Mountie up to assault him once more.

The men go back and forth a bit with both men trying to toss the other out of the ring.  Piper is distracted by Hart, allowing the Mountie to try and sneak attack him. Piper side steps him and the heels collide. The Mountie backs into a sleeper and passes out to give Hot Rod the title win.  Piper gets the shock stick from Hart and gives the Mountie a taste of his own medicine.

The crowd heat until the finish was surprisingly subdued. Piper’s celebration is awesome as he conveys pure joy and exhilaration.

Big Bossman and Virgil vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase and IRS

This is one of the handful of pre-Money Inc matches the heels teamed up for as Vince tested out the idea. The arena this Wrestling Challenge dark match is taking place from is rather small. The WWF’s glory days are just about over.  🙁

Bossman easily wipes out IRS to start. Virgil and Dibiase face off next, with Virgil whooping his former employer for a bit, until he runs into a boot. The heels spend the next several minutes battering our hero.

Finally Virgil successfully reverses a suplex on IRS and the Bossman makes the tag. Bossman quickly tags Virgil back in, which seems like a terrible idea.  A donnybrook breaks out. Sherri climbs up on the ring and tries to whack Virgil with her shoe, but hits IRS instead. Virgil cradles him for the surprising win.

IRS is very upset with Sherri. After he and Ted trade shoves and harsh words, Sherri produces money to buy off IRS’s loyalty.

A vignette “24 hours with Jimmy Hart” airs.  There is some potential for comedy here, but it’s rather bland. The Mountie wants Hart to “take care of my stick” (kinky).  Money Inc need limos and want some press. The Nasty Boys do something dastardly in their hotel room (off camera). It is revealed Hart sleeps with a banana in his bed. It ends with Hart being locked out of his own room. Meh.

Jim Neidhart and Owen Hart vs. The Nasty Boys

I doubt anyone would have guessed that the two fat party boys would prove to outlive an athlete like Owen Hart, and a powerful bull in Neidhart.

The crowd welcomes the faces in a lukewarm manner. Knobbs and the Anvil trade shoves and punches. The Nasties sell big for Neidhart’s shoulder blocks. They flee to the floor. Neidhart propels Owen down on them for a double crossbody.

Cheating leads to Owen being trapped as the face in peril. Clubberin’ commences. After several minutes of that, the Nasties double-teaming is broken up by Owen launching Neidhart from the ring apron into both Nasties.  Even that high spot did not garner a pop from the crowd. Sags just shoves the ref for the lamest ending possible.

A dead crowd crowd didn’t help make this average match feel like anything remotely worth watching.

Roddy Piper vs. “Adorable” Adrian Adonis

Piper wants to see the big moment where he fought Adrian Adonis in front of “93,000” fans or whatever number you are comfortable believing. Piper uses his belt to whip his corpulent opponent.  Jimmy Hart gets choked with it for good measure. Adonis gets the belt and gives Piper some serious retribution.

Adonis gets to show off his athleticism as Piper flings him over the top turnbuckle and to the floor. Piper drags Adonis and Hart in the ring, then tosses Hart into Adonis, leading to both men flopping over the top rope. When they get back in, Hart gets tossed once more into Adonis. The crowd eats this all up.

Hart cheats desperately, hitting Piper with Adonis’ atomizer, and eventually spraying it in Piper’s eyes to set up Adonis trapping Piper in a sleeper. Adonis lets it go as he thinks he won. Hart and Adonis celebrate as Piper is awoken by Brutus Beefcake.  Piper attacks the heels, and Adonis is put out by the sleeper. Beefcake struggles to cut Adonis’ hair afterward as the thickness and sweat is a bad combo for using an electric razor.

Adonis wakes up and freaks out, taking several more pratfalls as he charges at the faces.

A supremely fun match no matter how often I see it.

“British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith vs. The Undertaker

Taker goes right into choking. Bulldog clotheslines him to the floor. The Bulldog tries to drag him back in the ring, but Taker dumps him throat first on the ropes. More choking, with Taker doing creepy heavy breathing. A fan has a casio keyboard or something at ringside and plays a funeral dirge several times.

Taker stalks his prey like a zombie. They botch the flying clothesline, with the men colliding more like a shoulder block move.  Taker moves on to face smothering to wear down the Bulldog.

Bulldog fails to slam Taker several times, but eventually succeeds in scooping him up with a powerslam. Bearer distracts the ref, allowing Taker to grab the urn and knock out the Bulldog for the win.  Taker tries to get the body bag, but the Bulldog arises and clotheslines Taker out of the ring.

This whole thing was a big blah. It’s kind of fun to see the early Zombie Taker aspects of the gimmick in full force, but the matches tend to suck.

Kerry Von Erich vs. “the Model” Rick Martel

Lord Alfred Hayes and Sean Mooney call the action.  I think they have fun at Von Erich’s expense as they go out of the way to mention Kerry always wearing his boots and later use the phrase “fleet of foot” to describe him. I find it hard to not think this was referencing his prosthetic limb.

Martel is pretty well dominated by the Texas Tornado in the opening minutes. Kerry misses a charge to allow Martel to briefly take over. That does not go on for long as Martel winds up trapped in the claw. Martel manages to get to the ropes. Martel has had enough and uses his atomizer to earn a DQ. This was just a match to eat up some time.

Jake the Snake cuts a promo on how awesome snakes are. We see Macho Man being bitten by a cobra on TV. They re-air a previous segment of Roberts showing off a variety of snakes. By the time this VHS hit the stores, Jake was out of the company.

Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart vs. Skinner

We are blessed with a second Anvil match!  I say that in jest now, but in the early 90’s he was among my very favorite wrestlers. Skinner doesn’t want to see Anvil either, so he runs away. Neidhart chases after him. Skinner comes back down to ringside and neither the announcers or myself can determine why Skinner went back to the Gorilla position.

If this was taking place in 1987, a Fabulous Ones vs. Hart Foundation match would have been off the charts.  Here Steve Keirn is collecting a paycheck as a Duck Dynasty cosplayer and Neidhart is rocking Hammer pants.

The match drags on, as even the announcers mention nothing is happening. Skinner accidentally swallows his chew in what is suppose to be a high spot. Neidhart defaces Skinner’s spittoon by spitting in it. Skinner grabs it and walks off. Mooney mentions once again that there has been no action.

Neidhart locks on a headlock. Skinner doesn’t fight the move, but sits on his knees and casually waves the ref over to complain about a hair pull. Zero effort to sell the move. Skinner finally gets out and runs away again.

Skinner gets his taxidermy gator foot and cheap shots Neidhart. Skinner chokes the big man as the excitement peaks for this match. More choking. A chinlock ups the work rate. The men go to the floor and throw punches. Danny Davis counts the men out, but Mike McGuirk declares it a time limit draw.

THIS WAS AN ABOMINATION.10 minutes of stalling and non-action.  This was so wretched that I have to assume there is a backstage story behind it. Skinner was pretty new at this point, so he should have been motivated to put on a show. Why would the WWF decide to air this horrid thing for mass consumption?

Our main event:
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Sgt. Slaughter vs. the Natural Disasters

I like a good Hoss (bah gawd) match, but after that last encounter my tolerance has vanished. Duggan and Sarge mime that they think slamming the fat men is their path to victory.  Sarge mocks Quake’s belly…that’s rich since Sarge is rocking a large, soft stomach himself.

Typhoon misses a corner splash on Duggan. Quake comes in and uses his blubber to smash Hacksaw. Typhoon bear hugs Duggan after sitting on his back. Quake hits a back breaker and gives Duggan his own bear hug. Typhoon comes back in and uses another bear hug. My God that man has children!

Quake misses a corner splash to finally set up the “dead crowd” tag…it doesn’t deserve to be labeled a “hot” tag.  Sarge tries to fire up the crowd, but they are comatose.  With a lack of things to possibly do to a giant fat man, Sarge tries a sleeper on Typhoon. Quake breaks that up. Sarge is squashed by both men in the corner. The heels try and use the megaphone, so Duggan charges in with the 2×4 to earn the DQ.

Another absolute dud of a match.

Final thoughts:  Burn every copy of this tape you can find.  Then find the master footage at the WWE Network HQ and delete it.  The fun Piper stuff can be found elsewhere.

 

 

 

Written by Andrew Lutzke

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