Thursday, November 20, 2014

NHO Podcast Episode #1 - Survivor Series Preview, Diesel, TNA, and more!

It's the debut edition of the Never Hand Over Podcast! In this episode, hosts Adam and Brian chat about the 11/17 Raw, Bellator and UFC from 11/15, preview the upcoming Survivor Series PPV, play a game of "If not Diesel, then who", discuss Lucha Underground, what happens if TNA goes six feet underground, and preview upcoming episodes.

The show is also available for download in .MP3 format

Feedback is appreciated, or follow us on Twitter @neverhandover

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bobby Roode vs. MVP

Bobby Roode vs. MVP - TNA iMPACT! 11/5/14 - 3

I'm not sure anymore what to believe in regards to TNA's impending fate but if you buy the current rumor this'll be one of the last-ever televised main events (or, at least on Spike, who knows?). Anybody else find it a little strange Roode wasn't even booked on their equivalency to WrestleMania (Bound for Glory) last month? Roode's just not that likable to be a face "ace" champion -- not even remotely warm or personable in fact. Bobby's bump into the steel ring steps was a tenth as gnarly as Gail Kim's earlier in the show. I'm hoping for a run-in from Stephan Bonnar's masked associate, not to promote Bellator's big show on the 15th, just to make this less milquetoast. Saw an MVP versus CM Punk bout off an '08 SmackDown! the other day that smoked this like RVD's water bong filled with Paul Heyman's Kool-Aid. Roode Bomb finishes this. I guess he's finally settled on that as a finish? A fireman's carry neckbreaker slam? Now that doesn't say ace champion to me. That says JAPW midcard finish. MVP threw a couple decent downward elbows in a transition but this was farcical. Guess I'm going to go run this match in Fire Pro now or finish watching Alexander Nevsky.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

2001: A WCW Odyssey - WCW Sin

The first PPV of 2001. Scott Steiner defends in a four way against Sid, Jeff Jarrett, and a mystery opponent, Goldberg’s career is on the line in a tag match against Lex Luger and Buff Bagwell, plus lots more!

1. Shane Helms vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. - 6

We open up with the cruiserweight title on the line. Some feeling out to start and then it started to really pick up. Scott Hudson on commentary really oversells a headscissor take over by asking if Chavo lost an ear or is still conscious. Chavo kept things pretty grounded and brought some subtle aggressiveness by throwing some hard crossfaces and smashing Helms face with a forearm on a pin attempt. Helms got a good nearfall off a German suplex, to which Hudson said Chavo got folded up “like a pair of pleated pants.” Both guys hit huge cross body blocks from the top rope to the floor, Helms got a nearfall on a super sunset flip from the top rope. Really good ending sequence with Helms reversing a tornado DDT, a counter exchange, and then Chavo getting the win with a brainbuster. Really good match to kick off the show and there was more good stuff that I didn’t even cover. Neither guy really got an advantage throughout the match and it was a constant back and forth.

2. Big Vito vs. Reno - 6

The story here is a grudge match between two brothers and it’s a giant brawl from the start. Reno just dominates with punching and kicking and Vito comes back with a vicious clothesline. Huge superplex from the top rope just rocked the earth with its impact. These two have just absolutely destroyed each other thus far with hard hitting blows and it came across and a complete hate-filled, hard hitting fight. Vito hit a mafia kick that just wrecked Reno’s night. Reno controlled the majority of the match but Vito came back with a big double underhook suplex and a top rope elbow which got him a good nearfall. These two were just worn out a gassed by the end and it was very visable. Reno got the win off a Roll of the Dice. This was a fun match with these guys going full bore into each other for seven minutes.

3. The Jung Dragons (Kaz Hayashi & Jimmy Yang) vs. Evan Karagias & Jamie Noble - 6

Lots of history between the Dragons and the former Three Count. Noble was once the masked man of the Dragons while Karagias was formerly a part of Three Count. Plus, this is an unadvertised bonus match! The flying started early with the Draongs hitting a big double Asai moonsault. Kaz Hayashi tried a dive from the top rope and was met with a dropkick in mid-air by Karagias. All four of these guys work really well together and even the random pairing of Karagias and Noble works really well. Kaz just absolutely KO’ed Noble with a brutal kick to the face. If this was UFC, the kick was so brutal that the ref would’ve called it off. There was a nice cool down section right in the middle but for the most part this was nothing but action from start to finish. Yang got a big nearfall off a sit-out powerbom from the top rope. Hudson reference Karagias using a “firebird splash” for a nearfall. Yang completely over shot Noble on what looked like it could’ve been the finish but quickly countered into an inside cradle. Quite the fun little match and so far I’ll say this show is 3 for 3.

4. Mike Sanders vs. The Cat - 3

This is probably the 15th match for the commissionership in the last three months. Before we even begin, there’s a bunch of useless talking. Sanders has decided to wrestle in a sleeveless “Natural Born Thrillers” shirt. I think that all Sanders knows how to do is basic offense as he did a lot of punching, clubbing blows to the back, and generic heel stuff. The sunset flip he attempted looked really awkward. Theres some intereference from Jindrak and Stasiak who are then jumped by Kronik. Kronik then blatany jumps in the ring and gives Sanders a double powerbomb that Cat follows up with a giant kick for the win. Not a whole lot notable here, more story than match, but it was entertaining.

5. Penalty Box Match: Rey Mysterio Jr., Billy Kidman, & Konnan vs. Lance Storm, Elix Skipper, & Mike Awesome - 4

Jim Duggan is the special referee here based on the fact he turned on Team Canada late in 2000. The stipulation is that if someone breaks a rule, then they are thrown in the penalty box. Tony calls Konnan’s shades “like something out of Mad Max” as he looks like he just came off the street cruising around in his low rider. Duggan explains the rules and we’re off. Awesome and Skipper are the first in the penalty box for bumping the referee and interference, respectively. So far, while the action has been good, it feels like the penalty box stipulation is hampering this. Skipper hit a few nice offensive moves while in with Konnan including a walking top rope dropkick and dodging a clothesline Matrix style. The scrap between the ladies on the outside felt really forced. Kidman and Storm had a nice exchange with Kidman getting a nearfall on a sit-out powerbomb. Awesome has spent more time in the penalty box than actually wrestling, but in the mean time he managed to destroy Mysterio with a sick Awesome Bomb. Storm got a tap-out from Kidman to pick up the win. As was mentioned earlier, this was really hampered by the stipulation and the special referee. There were numerous times were Duggan would stop the action mid-stream to issue a penalty, which in turn would kill the momentum. Not a whole lot here that was interesting.

6. Hardcore Match: Terry Funk vs. Crowbar vs. Meng - 4

Funk just shows up in the most random places at the most random times, including here in the dying days of WCW. We start off with a brawl between Crowbar and Terry Funk that wandered into the restroom. Meng brings an element of toughness and brutality to the match whereas if it was Crowbar and Funk, it may have just been a meandering brawl. Big spot of the match was Crowbar jumping off the first row of bleachers with a leg drop and putting Funk through a table. Funk found a random snow shovel and started pummeling Meng and Crowbar and then slammed Crowbar through a length of guardrail. Holy shit, did I just see Meng jump off the top rope with a splash? You’re damn right I did and it completely flattened Crowbar. First bit of this match, Meng seemed as a afterthought but once the action eventually made it back to the ring, Meng was more of a focus of the match. Ending was odd with Crowbar hitting Funk with a chair and then Meng getting the pin. Wasn’t much of a hardcore match and felt sort of aimless at times. A historical sidenote though, the appears to have been the last televised defense of the WCW Hardcore Title as the next week after this show, Meng re-debuted in the WWF as Haku in the Royal Rumble.

7. Sean O’Haire & Chuck Palumbo vs. Kevin Nash & Diamond Dallas Page - 4

Before the match, Mike Sanders tries a power play to switch out competitors in the match as he sees fit. However, Ric Flair comes out and pretty much tells him and the rest of the Thrillers to fuck off and not to interfere. DDP and Palumbo start this off and Page gets a really close nearfall off a urinage that Schiavone incorrectly called a “chokeslam”. Really enjoyed seeing Nash and O’Haire tie it up. Nash hit a stiff big boot but O’Haire got the momentum back by doing an insane parkour style move running up the turnbuckles, backflipping over Nash from the top rope, and drilling him with a side kick. Palumbo drilled DDP with a stiff elbow as Page was charging into the corner. O’Haire and Palumbo did a good job of double teaming and isolating Page. Palumbo goes for a tombstone of all things and is reversed by Page. Nash comes in and just completely destroys the Thrillers. What the fuck is Lex Luger doing out here? Then, there’s a Buff Bagwell run-in dressed as some sort of auto mechanic who KO’s Nash with a wrench. Thanks to all this bullshit, O’Haire is able to hit the Seanton Bomb for the win and gain the tag titles. Some decent stuff here and O’Haire probably looked the best out of everyone involved. Felt sort of bland in the middle as the crowd was pretty dead and only popped when Nash got tagged in. Probably could’ve done without the run ins at the end though.

8. First Blood Chain Ladder Match: Shane Douglas vs. Gen. Rection - 4

This is for the U.S. Title and what a completely horrible stipulation. You can use the ladder to get the chain that hangs above the ring but if you’re bleeding, you lose. The was just a basic brawl, nothing notable in the first part. Rection tried to bust open Douglas by repeatedly hammering hit in the head. Rection went for a moonsault and Tony theorized on commentary that Rection was going to try to jump from the turnbuckle to the middle of the ring to get the chain. Somehow, I don’t think that would be possible. Early on, felt like they were really pre-occupied with the first blood stipulation. Smart move by Douglas to work over the General’s knees to try to prevent him from climbing to reach the chain. Lame ending with Rection retreiving the chain, a ref bump, and Douglas pulling a chain out of his boot and hitting Rection with it to barely make him bleed. This probably would have been better without the wacky stipulation but it was decent.

9. No DQ Match: Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell vs. Goldberg & DeWayne Bruce - 4

In the pre-match video package, it was still never explained how or why Goldberg is teaming with the head trainer of the Power Plant and a guy who last appeared on pay-per-view six years prior as a member of jobber tag team The State Patrol in a battle royal. The stipulation here is that if Golberg’s team loses, then Goldberg must retire. Goldberg has the biggest and best reaction thus far of anybody on the show tonight. Luger gets completely mauled by Goldberg in the opening as Bagwell looks absolutely terrified on the apron. Bruce gets the tag and is nearly immediately worked over by Luger and Bagwell. Sorry to say that Bruce didn’t show any fire at all. Goldberg gets the hot tag, destroys Luger and Bagwell, and get maced by a fan. What the hell? Luger introduces a chair, lays in a few choice shots, and a sloppy looking super Blockbuster allows Luger and Bagwell to get the win. Not a great match, especially when Bruce was in and the only person who actually seemed to care was Goldberg. The crowd at the end though was in complete shock when Goldberg lost as they expected him to mop the floor with these two buffoons. Sort of a comparable reaction to when Brock Lesnar beat Undertaker at WrestleMania.

10. Four Corners Match: Jeff Jarrett vs. Sid Vicious vs. Scott Steiner vs. Mystery Man - 3

Flair comes out before the match and says the Mystery Man will show up when he feels like it. Well, alright then. I supposed it’ll be a three way match. This was essentially a handicap match as Steiner and Jarrett double teamed him. Sid’s double suplex on both guys looked absolutely awful as he dropped them both right on their heads. We get a cut scene to the back where Flair gets the Mystery Man and this is the point where Sid’s leg break happens as once they cut back to the arena, Sid is down and barely moving. A quick finish once the Mystery Man shows up as Steiner pins Sid and the Mystery Man unmasks as Road Warrior Animal. Well, that was not quite who one would expect under that goofy costume

Overall, I’d say this was a pretty good show. While not great, it’s certainly one of the better offerings that WCW put out during its dying days. The first three bouts were really good but then things started to sort of fall off the cliff. The Penalty Box Match was not good, neither was the main event. Everything else was watchable but not notable.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

AWA Championship Wrestling 7/22/86

Venturing back to the 80’s with some AWA on ESPN. This should be fun … hopefully.

1. Larry Zbyszko vs. Chad "Babyface" Bardo - 3

This looks like it was filmed at a high school gym somwhere. Not sure who this Bardo character is but I’m guessing he’s probably just a local dude they found on the frozen tundra of Minnesota somewhere and offered him a ten bucks and a hot meal if he would get beat up by Zbyszko. Zbyszko takes his time picking apart Bardo with two piledrivers and taps him out with a stump puller. Pretty basic squash.

2. Curt Hennig vs. Don Fargo - 4

Don Fargo is an old outcast from the peak of the territories and looks like he’s been through the wars. He’d be more apt for an appearance in Game of Thrones instead of here taking on Curt Hennig. Not sure what’s so special about this match as Curt’s dad, Larry “The Ax” Hennig is doing guest commentary and Curt is being put over big. Loving Fargo’s selling of everything as he’s so animated and has a lot of good facials. Fargo met his doom after a brutal forearm smash and a big second-rope dropkick. Hennig looked fine but the world needs more Don Fargo.

3. Boris Zhukov vs. Tim Patterson - 2

In the next match, Boris Zhukov attacked right at the bell and just destroyed this poor sap. Zhukov used the hammerlock frequently and worked over Patterson’s shoulder pretty much the whole match. Horrible looking kneedrop ends this mercifully. Another basic squash that went a bit too long and felt really bland

4. Midnight Rockers vs. Rick Renslow & Pete Sanchez - 3

The opponents here for the Rockers are really thick dudes. Rick Renslow looks like a guy you’d find hanging out at a seedy biker bar after hours throwing back Budweisers. Wait, I’ve heard of Pete Sanchez, wasn’t he the guy that wrestled Flair in his first MSG match back in 1976? Michaels had to really work for a powerslam late in the match with Sanchez really didn’t want to go up for. The Rockers looked crisp and definitely made Sanchez & Renslow work for their nights pay.

5. Stan Hansen vs. Jerry Blackwell - 5

The backstory to this one is that Hansen was the champion at the time and this was his last defense before refusing to defend the title the next night in Denver. Blackwell just opened up on Hansen with some big punches to the face and split open Hansen within the first two minutes of the match. Blackwell just seemed content to throw punches and not much else and seemed winded within the first few minutes. Hansen dropped Blackwell with a big boot to the head after he attempted a charge to the corner. Big bearhug from Blackwell slowed this down to a stop. Ref bump followed and Hansen went crazy just killing Blackwell and two referees with a cowboy boot. I was hoping for a match where two big dudes just laid into each other and unfortunately, this was not what happened here.

6. Brad Rheingans vs. Ali Khan - 3

Rheingans, for all of his amateur credits, comes across on TV as one of the most bland and vanilla guys possible. I’ve seen milk cartons with more personality. Khan is nothing but a crazed lunatic. Some decent looking mat work from Rheingans after the first few minutes was nothing but stalling from Khan but thus far not much to really see here. Well, shit, the referee gets knocked down for no apparent reason. I’m not going to even try to figure that out. Match breaks down into chaos and apparently Khan got disqualified. What for? Not sure as it’s never explained.

Overall, an OK episode with the only real notable thing big thing being the Hansen/Blackwell match. The Hennig match was fun just because of Fargo’s invovlement but everything else was pretty bland.

Friday, October 24, 2014

2001: A WCW Odyssey - WCW Thunder 1/10/01

It’s the final stop before the Sin PPV!

1. Kwee Wee & Big Vito vs. Sean O’Haire & Chuck Palumbo - 3

This was set up on Nitro by way of Vito and Kwee Wee interfering in the wacky Minnesota Massacre match and fighting off the Thrillers. Palumbo comes out swinging with some punches in the corner as Tony and Stevie talk about “yak problems” and the vast difference in hair styles between Vito and Kwee Wee on commentary. Palumbo hits, as Tony calls it, a “forklift belly-to-belly” suplex. O’Haire was a top prospect at one time but didn’t show much here. Kwee Wee gets the hot tag and goes absolutely apeshit throwing punches and hitting Thesz presses and DDTs. Reno comes down and beats up Johnny the Bull for no apparent reason. A sick Seanton Bomb finishes this off.

2. Rey Mysterio Jr. & Billy Kidman vs. Lance Storm & Elix Skipper - 4

More of the ongoing Filthy Animals against Team Canada feud. Jim Duggan is doing commentary in a Cosby sweater to help promote the Penalty Box match at Sin that features him as the special referee. Nice double spinebuster early on by Kidman and Mysterio. Storm comes in and squares off with Kidman which culminates in a huge top-rope superplex that was both unexpected and awesome. Storm really is the glue that holds this mess together. A lot of this was Storm against Kidman, which I’m not complaining about. Skipper got a nearfall on a full-nelson dragon suplex. Duggan is really annoying, yelling “penalty box” whenever Storm and Skipper cheat. Lots of craziness at the end with all four guys brawling, Tygress and Major Gunns getting into a “yak fight” according to Stevie Ray, and Mike Awesome and Konnan fight just because. Storm catches Mysterio in the middle of a springboard off the ropes and finishes him off with a half crab.

3. Shane Douglas, Shawn Stasiak, & Mark Jindrak vs. Gen. Rection, Kevin Nash, & Diamond Dallas Page - 4

Nash and DDP are subbing for Lt. Loco and Sgt. A-Wall after they were jumped in the trainers room by the Thrillers and a bottle of ether. Not sure about you but I’d consider Nash and DDP quite the upgrade. Douglas does his typical pre-match promo of bile and filth. Rection, DDP, and Nash storm the ring and we’re off. Douglas barely got in the match until Rection was beaten down and let Stasiak and Jindrak do most of the heaving lifting. Rection fights back and the remainder of the Thrillers run down. Meanwhile, Douglas tries to get the win by using the old chain in the boot trick but is trumped by Rection and gets KO’ed as Rection get the pin. I was hoping for a fun six-man tag but instead we got a match with a bunch of guys on cruise until the end with the big brawl.

4. Don Harris vs. Meng - 2

This started off hot with a big brawl. Meng tried a running big splash, got thwarted, and then hit a ton of big clotheslines in the corner which looked like they gave Don some serious whiplash. We get the switcheroo from the Harris Brothers but that didn’t help as Meng gets the win with the Tongan Death Grip. Wish there was more to this besides brawling but it just felt like something put in to kill time.

5. Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell vs. Kronik - 3

Another match that was set up on Nitro when Bagwell and Luger interfered in Kronik’s match against Goldberg and Sarge. So now we’ve got this match which featured Kronik charging the ring and trading punches with Luger and Bagwell. Luger looks like he'd rather be anywhere else but here. Halfway through, we get a cutaway backstage with Goldberg showing up in his car and running into the arena. Kronik’s punching, especially from Bryan Clark, is really bad. Adams hit a wild gorilla press into a gutbuster. Meanwhile, Goldberg casually jogs into the arena, as if he were out on his morning exercise, and spears Adams leading to a DQ.

6. Sid Vicious vs. Scott Steiner - 2

This is a rematch from Starrcade and Sid spews an incoherent, babbling promo beforehand where he says “there’s only two things I care about and that I’m gonna see that who’s the man that wins the WCW title” or some such nonsense. I should note also that this was Sid’s final singles match before his accident at the pay-per-view (which is the next review in this series). A slugfest starts this off which spills to the outside. Sid gets a couple shots in with a DDT and a big boot. Mystery Man interferes in his ridiculous get up and ruins the fun with some awful shots to Sid’s back. Steiner looked to be on cruise control and nobody bought the fact that even though this was for the title, that they would dare do a title switch four days before the pay-per-view.

Up next, the first PPV of the year … WCW Sin!!

2001: A WCW Odyssey Master List

Monday, October 20, 2014

2001: A WCW Odyssey - WCW Monday Nitro 1/8/01

It’s the first Nitro of 2001 and the final Nitro before the Sin pay-per-view!

1. Shannon Moore vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. - 4

This was originally supposed to be non-title but Chavo decided to put the Cruiserweight Title on the line here against Moore so that way if Moore won, then it would be a Chavo vs. Moore rematch on the PPV. Moore rushed out of the gate with some fiery offense, leading you to believe that he may have a chance, albeit a slim one, to win the title. This was a nifty little match with Chavo playing a good heel. Moore hit a nice springboard fameasser followed by a glorious botch trying to do some high risk move in the corner. The brainbuster at the end from Chavo was all kinds of nasty and pretty much ruined Moore’s night.

2. The Cat vs. Ron Harris - 2

Before the match, Cat just had to run his mouth about the Harris Brothers. This immediately led him to getting double teamed when the match started. Cat’s karate moves didn’t phase Harris at all and amounted to exactly squat. The referee was completely incompetent, allowing the Harris’ to do an illegal switcheroo and double team Cat right in front of him. Quick match, nothing exciting.

3. Lance Storm vs. Billy Kidman - 5

This is yet another continuation of the Filthy Animals vs. Team Canada feud that feels like it’s never ending. For a TV match though, this was good. The action kept up at a decent pace. Storm hit a nice forward roll and then dropped Kidman sternum first on the ropes. Kidman countered a Storm jump off the top rope with a sick dropkick that caught Storm in mid-air and then got a really close nearfall off of a Lo-Down. For some reason, a chair was thrown in 90 seconds in. Not sure why as it didn’t really come into play until the last bit of the match when Storm took a header into it. The finish had Kidman getting the win with the Kid Crusher. Worst part of the match was the brawl on the outside with all of the Animals and Team Canada that seemed to just inexplicably stop since the match in the ring was in the final stretch. Probably the best match I’ve seen from this project thus far.

4. Shane Douglas vs. Sid Vicious - 3

Sid and his jean shorts look really old. First move that Sid did in this match was a clothesline and it was awful, therefore that meant that pretty much the rest of the match that’s all the offense he threw. Douglas did his best to make this watchable but Sid is just so stiff and rigid that there wasn’t much he could do. Douglas got finished off with a powerbome and Sid showed no expression whatsoever though this whole thing while going through the motions.

5. Kronik vs. Goldberg & DeWayne Bruce - 3

I wish someone would actually take the time to explain how Bruce wound up getting involved with Goldberg. Does he have a deep, dark secret on him or something and is therefore forcing him to kill his career by teaming up in bad matches on national television? Anyway, we had a lame brawl on the outside with Goldberg taking one of the worst leg trips into the railing I’ve ever seen. Bruce is just brutal to watch. For all the hype he has for being this hard-ass at the Power Plant, he’s showed absolutely nothing the two matches of his I’ve seen. Kronik nearly got the upset with the High Times move but Goldberg fought back with a series of kicks, a spear, and a jackhammer to win.

6. Minnesota Massacre Match: Kevin Nash & Diamond Dallas Page vs. Mike Sanders, Sean O’Haire, & Chuck Palumbo - 3

This was a mess. Earlier in the show, Commissioner Mike Sanders announced this match and explained the rules, which seemed very complicated and that it would involve “randomly selected opponents” for the Thrillers (himself, O’Haire, and Palumbo). Then, later, a disembodied HAND reached in a suit coat that supposedly belonged to Sanders and swapped out the envelope that had the “randomly selected opponents” with a different one. Finally, to the match, and it turned out the that the MYSTERY HAND made Kevin Nash and DDP the “randomly selected opponents” for the Thrillers. The match itself then started and no one seemed to know what the rules were. On commentary, Schiavone kept saying it was “last man standing” so I guess that works. O’Haire and Palumbo both tried to kick DDP at the same time but collied with each other and fell to the mat in a heap in an unintential moment of hilarity. So much punching from all participants that it wasn’t even funny. DDP hit a Diamond Cutter and Nash hit a powerbomb for the win in what was essentially a handicap match.

7. Scott Steiner vs. Jeff Jarrett - 3

Before the match started there was a LOT of talking. So much, in fact, that when the bell actually rang to start the match there was only five minutes left in the show. They had a match that was decent but in no way memorable. A brawl on the outside culminated in a low blow on Steiner. Then, we get a random run-in from Sid, who seemed to be moving faster than he was in his earlier match, and the Mystery Man in his black and white bumblebee outfit. All four brawled and the show ended.

Not much of a go-home show for the PPV.

Next up: Thunder, the actual last stop before Sin!

2001: A WCW Odyssey Master List

Thursday, October 16, 2014

WWF Wrestlefest '95

This tape is part of the rare and hard to find “500 series” released in by Coliseum Video in 1995 and 1996. This particular series is the rarest of the rare, the holy grail as far as collecting Coliseum Video WWF tapes goes. These ten tapes were mail order only and couldn’t be bought in stores. This is one of the cheaper tapes in the series, that can currently be found for about $70 on Ebay while most of the others will set you back over $150 or more. Let’s see if there are any rare gems on this rare old VHS tape.

1. The Undertaker vs. Jean-Pierre LaFitte - 2

This appears to have been filmed in what looks like the gym at the local YMCA darkened to look like an underground fight club. LaFitte was a well known pirate. He dominated the high seas in the 1700s by attacking American and British ships, peddling knock-off Oakley shades on a street corner in Boston, and then hocking bootleg DVDs in Baltimore. Years later, he made his way to the WWF. If you don’t remember this, don’t feel bad, most people don’t. He was around for about six months and his biggest feud was with Bret Hart over a leather jacket. Welcome to 1995 WWF. Both guys pretty much stuck to the basics here and seemed to be in cruise control. Match wasn’t long, maybe about 6-8 minutes and looked like it was filmed in a gym somewhere. Crowd wasn’t into this at all either, I’ve seen more livelier crowds at funerals. Taker polished off Pierre with a chokeslam and people yawned.

2. Owen Hart, Yokozuna, & Hakushi vs. Bret Hart, Savio Vega, & Razor Ramon - 5

Six of the marquee guys of mid-1995 in this match. Action starts between Yokozuna and Razor as Gorilla Monsoon drones about how Yokozuna was weighed in an airplane hangar in Singapore for this match in West Virginia. What? Some good action between Razor and Owen highlighted by a stiff looking heel kick from Owen. Bret and Hakushi had a nice exchange as well that saw Bret absolutely plant Hakushi with a DDT. Haven’t seen a whole lot of Yokozuna yet, except to come in and just beat down people. He was pretty much working the Andre the Giant role the whole match, coming in as needed to lay a quick beatdown to quell some offense from the opponents. Savio did this horrible looking and telegraphed dive off of Yokozuna in the corner onto Hakushi, who was way out of position. Wait a second, did I just see this match end on a clothesline of all things? Yep, I sure did. This was a fun little match with some pretty good action but nothing worth going out of your way to see.

3. Shawn Michaels vs. Dr. Tom Prichard - 4

Here's a random match from an episode of Superstars that has since fallen somewhere into the ether. Michaels seems to be in complete showboat mode thus far and doesn’t look to be taking anything seriously. Prichard and his entourage consisting of Jim Cornette and Jimmy Del Ray seem to be in no mood for Michaels’ high foolishness. Quite honestly, neither am I. Prichard worked the first bit of the match as a punching bag and foil for Michaels, with Jimmy Del Ray getting the most offense in. No, seriously. The illegal guy in the match, got the most offense in for the heels. Prichard though, after the interference, kept things moving by working over Michaels’ back. Ending seemed rushed with Michaels making a quick comeback and finishing off Prichard with the Sweet Chin Music.

4. Jerry "The King" Lawler vs. Adam Bomb - 5

On paper, this sounded like an interesting match and turned out to be a true study of how to be an effective heel and a one-man show. Lawler ran this whole match by using basic psychology and doing some really good selling of Bomb’s big-man offense. The most offense he got in the whole match was when Bomb took a big fall to the outside and Lawler shoved his head into the steps. Lawler was so good in this match that I forgot he had an opponent and it seemed like he was just wrestling himself. Even the end with Lawler getting the pin by putting his feet on the ropes fit it perfectly with the flow of everything.

5. Bob Holly & Alundra Blayze vs. Hakushi & Bull Nakano - 3

Let's pause a moment before we even go to the match. The host of this tape, Stephanie Wiand introduces this match and calls this a “Sadie Hawkins mixer” in the most cheesy way possible. What the hell did she even mean by that? Anyway, the women start this one off highlighted by Bull flinging Alundra across the ring by her hair numerous times. Holly and Hakushi managed to screw up a simple Irish Whip. Nicely done, gentlemen. Monsoon calls this “a main event in any arena across the entire world”. Well, OK. Not sure I’d plunk down a twenty to see this match top the card. Action breaks down and Holly and Alundra do a double dive spot. Blayze hoists up Bull in a German suplex to get the pin. The women were pretty much the shining stars of this match, otherwise, this was not good at all.

6. Bret Hart vs. Jimmy Del Ray - 4

Bret Hart and Jimmy Del Ray looked like it could have been from the same Supertars taping that the Shawn Michaels/Tom Prichard match from earlier was, maybe even the same episode. Bret controlled the majority of the match with an assortment of technical stuff. Really liked the takedown he had after catching a spinning kick from Del Ray. Del Ray tried a moonsault, I give him a 9 for form but a zero for landing it as he missed completely. Bret’s comeback with the leg sweep, the elbow, and everything else led to him quickly polishing off Del Ray. Basic TV match here, nothing more, nothing less.

7. British Bulldog & Lex Luger vs. Jeff Jarrett & The Roadie - 3

The commentators keep referring to Roadie as “Road Dogg”. They must’ve been able to see into the future. This match has been going nowhere fast, watching Jarrett strut, Luger work a hammerlock, and Roadie doing the most action of anyone thus far. Bulldog seemed to be an afterthought except for pretty much the beginning and getting a hot … well, lukewarm tag to clear the ring as Stan Lane put it on commentary “like a lawn mower”. Again, nothing here worth checking out a second time. A colossal mess of a brawl led to Luger and Bulldog getting the win in a match that accomplished absolutely nothing.

8. Men on a Mission vs. Smoking Gunns - 4

The Smoking Gunns rush the ring and this starts out with more fire in the first 30 seconds that anything else on this tape combined. Not sure when this match was filmed but it appears to be before Mabel won King of the Ring. If there’s one thing that I love about wrestling, it’s seeing big dudes like Mabel, Vader, and Yokozuna just completely wreck shop and ruin peoples lives, and that’s exactly what Mabel did. Mabel did some sort of back suplex looking move that looked completely nasty and had to destroy Bart Gunn’s back and probably made his night absolutely miserable. Billy got a hot tag after what seemed like an eternity (seriously, I've seen epic ten-part documentary films from Ken Burns that were shorter than Bart's face in peril segment) and managed to get a pin with a small package.

9. Jeff Jarrett vs. Razor Ramon - 4

Finally, the last match on the tape and it's for the Intercontinental Title. Has there ever been a title change on a match filmed exclusively for Coliseum Video? I doubt it. First five minutes of this was stalling from Jarrett and Roadie with Razor cutting a promo. Finally, the action starts and the pace stays pretty quick. Crowd is pretty hot from the get-go as well. That shark cage Roadie is in doesn’t look sturdy at all. There’s a ref bump and Roadie sends down a mystery object on a rope from the cage that Razor tries to use and is unsucessful. A vicious Razor’s Edge on Jarrett led to a lame double count-out finish as Jarrett scurries away and Roadie gets a post-match beatdown. I’m guessing this same match was done around the circuit numerous time with the same finish.