Thursday, August 21, 2008

WWF Crunch Classic

1. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. The Mountie - Royal Rumble '92 - 4
2. Virgil and Big Boss Man vs. Money Inc. - 3
3. Nasty Boys vs. New Foundation - 4
4. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis - Hair vs. Hair Match - WrestleMania III - 3
5. The Undertaker vs. British Bulldog - 5
6. Texas Tornado vs. "Model" Rick Martel - 3
7. Skinner vs. Jim "Anvil" Neidhart - 3
8. Natural Diasters vs. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and Sgt. Slaughter - 2

Unlike an actual pay-per-view show or event, watching a commercial release like this compiling random matches has a different feel altogether. While you get some fun things, like Roddy Piper hosting, and segments like “24 Hours with Jimmy Hart” and a creepy piece with Jake Roberts discussing the finer things about utilizing snakes as pets, you also get a wildly uneven, disjointed collection of mostly forgettable bouts.

Piper and Mountie is from Royal Rumble ’92, I tossed it an extra point for it being Piper’s only major singles championship win, but the match, which is pretty short, isn’t anything special. Piper’s doing his wild, caustic brawling, his selling is equally abrasive as he spins and whirls and looks rather ridiculous. It rubs off on Mountie too, as while his punches aren’t bad, his selling is also off here, bouncing and stumbling around the ring like a cartoon version of himself. The following tag match is pretty uneventful, save for Boss Man’s crisp right hands connecting, and the small taste we get of the heels’ tactics. Some people pimp Virgil as being underrated, but he certainly didn’t prove that here, selling stomps to his back like he was doing pushups over a puddle of piss trying not to get wet.

I forgot how outrageous the New Foundation concept was, not a problem that Bret’s younger brother Owen is now Neidhart’s partner, but their apparel was pure ‘90’s cheese, as if the WWF costume designer got inspired by the Pizza Hut promotion for Back to the Future 2 and started mass-producing patterns in neon colors. They work well with the Nasty Boys, but a rotten DQ finish hurt this one’s overall appeal. Owen played the role of the face in peril until he got a hot tag to Jim who went overkill with the flying shoulderblocks. Piper and Adonis is a match that gets worse over time, like breasts, and it doesn’t help it wasn’t that good to begin with. Adonis’ flabby, pale skin is an eyesore, and his pink eye shadow only compliments his silver doller-sized nipples.

The Undertaker and Bulldog is a forgotten arena gem that I enjoyed more than anything else off this corruptible cassette. Undertaker’s doing his dead man character so he’s not selling anything, and Davey, bless him, is gassed from the performance enhancing drugs but tries keeping this interesting. Davey showcases some impressive power, even hitting his patented powerslam on his reanimated corpse opponent, but it’s a shot in the back with the urn that seals the deal and Undertaker gets the tainted victory. I was looking forward to Texas Tornado versus Martel, but again, personal demons seized all that made Kerry special and he came off here like a fledging, inebriated shadow of his former self. At one point, he whipped Martel into the buckles, but as Rick was trying to hop up in reversal as the sequence dictated, Kerry ran in too quickly and went face-first into Martel’s anus in a really awkward, but hilarious to me botch.

Skinner and Neidhart was just starting to get fun when it ended in a time-limit draw as they brawled on the floor. Most of the match was stalling, mostly consisting of teasing Skinner’s disgusting spit can, which rested ringside full of tobacco juice. Skinner threw some stiff shots, which Jim was happy to respond to, and also did some small goofy, cocky jigs whenever he’d do a simple spot like an arm drag that were a nice touch. The last match was a disappointment, on all fronts, and probably the hardest to sit through on the entire tape. Nothing ever really happened, as Typhoon was in the ring for the bulk of it, and Duggan was supposed to be getting worked over, but I never bought it and there was never any pay off either way so this was a dud. I’d rather see Duggan backstage whacking these guys’ bare asses with his 2X4 board in some sort of ritualistic fraternity-style test.

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