From the WWE Network: Supertape I

Hogan and Zeus blow their feud off inside of a cage! Also: Too much Bushwacking.

Courtesy of the WWE Network

They dub over whatever the original music for this tape was, which is particularly annoying because doing so drowned out the intro segment with Sean Mooney in order to remove the music. Mooney threatens us with a special look into the Bushwackers.

“Rugged” Ronnie Garvin vs. “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig

Two years earlier and this is the AWA vs. NWA World champion.

Tony Schiavone and “Lord” Alfred Hayes call the action. This is from a “Wrestling Challenge” taping and the crowd is suitably dead, probably from having sat through 3 hours of squash matches already. They recorded promos specifically for this tape, calling out the fan who requested this match. It appears they are using cue cards as Lanny Poffo is pretty clearly reading something that is off camera as Perfect talks.

Garvin is wearing the “Hammer Jammer” on his leg, so he’s not quite a total bum here yet. Garvin gets the early shine as he uses his “Hands of Stone” to rock Mr. Perfect into some big bumps in and out of the ring. Perfect gets a bit of offense, but Garvin uses his roughhouse tactics to keep Perfect reeling. A “Garvin stomp” rattles Perfect, then Garvin attempts the Scorpion Death Lock, but Perfect rakes his eyes.

Perfect fails to keep control, with Garvin coming back with more fists and then a sleeper. The ropes save Hennig. Several fans leapt to their feet as they thought we were on the verge of an upset.

Garvin smashes Hennig’s head down the turnbuckles. Then both men collide in the middle of the ring on a shoulder block. Garvin attempts a small package, but Perfect reverses things with the tights and steals the win. This was fine, with Hennig basically playing the role as touring NWA World champ making the babyface look like he was dominant and oh so close to winning before falling just short of the victory.

Bobby Heenan is given a chance to crack wise on most of the top talent for a minute.

Profile: The Bushwackers… “Mean” Gene and a driver travel the outback to a shack that serves as the Bushwackers home. Okerlund asks them about their WWF debut, and we are taken to the match with the Bolsheviks.

Bushwackers vs. Boris Zhukov and Nikolai Volkoff

Rod Trongard, Hillbilly Jim and “Lord” Alfred Hayes call the action. I was hoping for only highlights, but no dice. The Wackers jump the Commies at the start and send them to the floor. Luke and Butch chase them down for more thwacking. Back in the ring we run through some comedy spots as the heels run into one another and the Bushwackers run them down. A double clothesline spot may have been blown, but with the unusual action, it’s hard to say.

The heels get a little heat, but the Wackers bite and claw their way back. Luke does eventually get cornered and suffers an extensive beating. Volkoff throws a series of good looking strikes. Butch gets sick of seeing his partner beaten on and charges in to attack everyone, including punching his cousin Luke. A four-way brawl breaks out and the Wackers nail the battering ram and stomach breaker on Zhukov for the win. The match was bad, as you’d imagine, but the comedy bits were fun at least.

“Mean” Gene eats…something from the Wackers grill. I hope it doesn’t turn out to be the dog that was running around earlier.

The Bushwackers vs. Bad News Brown and the Brooklyn Brawler

Brown must have been thrilled seeing this on the booking sheet. Tony Schiavone and Hayes call this one. Brown orders the Brawler to start. Brawler is bitten and rocked with a double clothesline in short order.

Brown tags in and no sells Butch’s punches due to being African-American, thus he has a hard head. Brown wrecks Luke, then lets Brawler in to do the dirty work. The Wackers quickly regain control, leading Brown to order Brawler to let him back into action. Brown again dominates before sending the Brawler back in to botch things up. Brown spends like a minute arguing with a fan, only to turn around to find the Brawler being pinned. He comes in upset. Well, that one’s on you, Bad News. This was okay for what it was….

“Mean” Gene loves the meat from the grill…the Wackers eat it from his hands.

The Bushwackers vs. Warlord and Barbarian

Is there anyway this isn’t a train wreck? Gorilla Monsoon and Hayes call the action. Butch can’t budge the Barbarian, so Luke sneaks in and helps trip him. The Bushwackers celebrate as the announcers try and figure out what ethnicity the Barbarian is.

Luke stares down the Warlord and tries to figure out an avenue to attack him with. Punches don’t work, and the Warlord scoops him up into a bear hug. Butch ends up giving it a go, but he quickly fails as well and finds himself at the mercy of the Powers of Pain and even Mr. Fuji. This goes on for several minutes until Luke finally makes a tag. The Wackers hit both heels with the battering ram. This draws in Fuji for the DQ. AUGH, this was ugly and dull.

“Mean” Gene has now transformed into a Bushwacker. The cameramen kidnap Gene to save him from this life of insanity.

“Lord” Alfred Hayes takes us to some highlights, enlightening us to what the moves are called. Vince McMahon’s WHATAMANUEVER is not featured.

Tito Santana vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude

Troungard and Hayes call this bout. Rude challenges Santana to a pose down, then a test of strength. This goes poorly for Santana at first, but he ultimately fires up and reverses his fortune. This culminates with Rude’s fingers being stomped on.

Rude locks on a headlock, but at least Santana fights from the bottom to attempt escape, making it less of a rest hold and more part of the technique involved in moving towards victory. Santana breaks out and sends Rude from pillar to post. Tito moves in for a chinlock, jumping on Rude’s back several times to soften him up. Rude catches on and spins, causing Santana to be crotched on his knee. Rude dumps Tito’s nuts on his knee again to keep him down.

Santana takes abuse for the next several minutes, with Tito getting just enough offense in from time to time to tease that he may be ready to make a comeback. Santana goes low to avenge Rude’s earlier stunt and he locks on the figure-four. Rude makes it to the ropes quickly. Santana attempts a sunset flip, but Rude grabs the ropes and scores a tainted win. Solid enough affair, with Tito showing his babyface heart, only to get screwed out of a late comeback by the conniving heel.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase

Schiavone and Hayes are on the call. The announcers debate why Dibiase doesn’t just let Roberts have the MILLION dollar belt, and buy a new one. Hayes points out that, well, it’s A MILLION DOLLARS. Score one for his Lordship.

Dibiase works several early spots to put over his fear of being near Damien in the bag. Jake secures the early grappling victories, perhaps due to Dibiase’s psychological issues with the snake. Dibiase heads to the floor to give Virgil instructions. Roberts knocks them together. The Snakeman continues to harass Virgil, which allows Dibiase to get the jump on him.

Dibiase and Roberts spend the next several minutes fighting in a headlock. The crowd does not do the “wave” like what went down at Wrestlemania 6 during this same move. Roberts escapes just long enough to be ensnared in the Million Dollar Dream. The Snake has to use the ropes to avoid suffering a loss.

Roberts makes his comeback attempt, quickly delivering a short clothesline. However, he failed to score the DDT due to Dibiase grabbing the ropes and Virgil hooking on Roberts’ boot. Dibiase gloats but ends up rolled up for the pin. Virgil and Dibiase stomp Roberts out of the ring. Dibiase poses with his gold belt, but Roberts grabs his bag and sends the heels running. Virgil is caught but Dibiase saves him before Roberts can put Damien on him.

This match was probably a little disappointing considering the participants. They worked a smart, safe match and the crowd was engaged for the ending. They got a lot out of doing little.

Tugboat vs. “Iron” Mike Sharpe

This is Tugboat’s debut. He’s still “Tugboat Thomas” here. The Apter mags actually reported on “Big Steel Man” aka Fred Ottman signing with the WWF and being aligned with Slick, so they clearly must have heard about his early tryout matches or something and went with it.

Tugboat scores a drop kick and a splash to dispose of Sharpe in short order. It is really otherwise unnotable. The WWF had a habit of adding new faces to their VHS releases, so this fit that mold.

Hulk Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. “Macho King” Randy Savage and Zeus

The promos from the heels building this match up are worth seeking out on youtube. Sherri slams the door on Hogan and he falls by the side of the ring as Beefcake is double teamed inside the cage. Sherri locks the cage and Jesse Ventura plays it up like Hogan can’t get in the ring. Hogan climbs over seconds later and quickly takes down both heels. Zeus is tossed in the steel and takes a bump. I am surprised he sold so early in the encounter.

The faces run wild until Zeus blocks the Mega Barbers from ramming him into the cage and slams their heads on the steel instead. Savage tries to escape, but Beefcake catches him on the top. Sherri climbs up and is rammed head to head with her charge. Beefcake saves Hogan from Zeus’ neck twister. Savage gets his bearings and drops a double axe handle on Beefcake.

All four men end up on the mat after some duel big moves. Sherri begs Earl Hebner to open the door. She then knocks him out and the door opens. She grabs the chain, walks down the stairs and then climbs up the cage to hand Savage the chain. That’s hilarious since not only was she standing in an open door, but the cage bars are huge and she could have just handed him the chain through them.

Savage climbs to the top of the cage and attempts to use the chain as he leaps towards Beefcake, but the Barber smacks him the bread basket. Zeus takes down Hogan after a failed slam. Beefcake and Savage scale the cage as Hogan “Hulks up”. Savage falls from the cage side to the ring as Hogan unloads on Zeus. He dumps Zeus with a clothesline and slam. Beefcake escapes elsewhere.

Savage comes up bloody and escapes out the door. Beefcake rams him into the cage for good measure and then rejoins Hogan in the cage. Hogan waves him off, drops a series of leg drops on Zeus and calls in the ref to count the pin. Ventura is shocked that Hogan has won again. McMahon all but says Zeus is not getting booked anymore.

This was non-stop action, and it was highly entertaining in it’s chaotic brevity. Savage, of course, had to do the workload for everyone, but the layout was satisfying.

Final thoughts: I’m glad the cage match was on here, as I’ve been wanting to see it for 29 years now. If you have any enemies, play the Bushwackers portion over and over on a loop for them.

 

 

 

 

Written by Andrew Lutzke

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

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