Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Coliseum Video Thanksgiving: Rampage '92

ER: In what has become somewhat of a Thanksgiving tradition, my friend Josh is over on a brisk Thanksgiving day, the heater in the house is turned up, and Josh brought a bag of Coliseum Videos with him (as well as TWO full pies. I'm looking at YOU Pear Cardamom). We randomly grabbed one, and the choice was the EXTREMELY great looking on paper Rampage '92. We pop it into the VCR, and it turns out Rampage '92 has an Old West theme! Sean Mooney is in a old west town like he's in Mad Dog McCree and he shoots a man! Some bronco buster talks trash to Mooney and Mooney just turns around and shoots him! Twice! This tape is going to be great.

Razor Ramon vs. The Undertaker

ER: The fans are weirdly not into this one, but it's really fun and low-key awesome. The slugfest spots all look good but get no reaction, and the two seem to noticeably ramp things up to win the crowd over. Taker takes a bunch of big bumps, missing a high leap elbow, dropping hard on his tailbone for a legdrop, takes a lariat to the floor, and in the coolest moment of the match gets absolutely launched off the top when going for the rope walk. Ramon evens breaks out a chair - stealing it from a security guard! - and bashes Undertaker in the kidneys! And that wasn't a DQ I guess! Gorilla really puts over Taker eating a chairshot to the kidneys, and this is SUPER important because it actually makes Razor Ramon's abdominal stretch make sense!! Ramon goes for a chokeslam which is some nice hubris, only to get reversed, then Taker goes to chokeslam him again and Ramon does a cool escape by using the ropes. And then he just says fuck it and walks out and gets counted out. He knew when to fold 'em, and I respect that.

Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart

ER: I can't get super excited a match between these two, they've matched up a lot, but this is a very fun version of their touring match. When these two weren't such total cocks to each other and were generous in the ring with each other, they really did match up nice. Bret is insanely crisp in this match, every strike, every shoulderblock, every elbow, every clothesline, they all looked amazing. Shawn doesn't bump theatrically here, he bumps HARD. There are two different ridiculously fast and hard bumps, one off a simple shoulderblock, the other off a gorgeous diving lariat to the back of his head, and the two were just like chocolate and peanut butter, perfect complementary parts. Sherri is at ringside and an absolute treasure, cutting promos constantly, looking like a wrestling character in a John Waters movie. This was basically the best era of Michaels, before too much ego took over. He was a really fun heel and made for a fun act with Sherri. And I liked his big heavy bumps, liked his strikes thrown with dickhead aggression, does cool running knees, nice backslide, just a good pro wrestler. He was a like a tighter John Tatum, easily the best iteration of him. I thought this match-up was played out when it started, but they really were satisfying opponents, and this was one of the tighter matches I've seen from them.

40 Man Battle Royal

ER: This is just beautiful. And this is an entirely DIFFERENT battle royal than the infamous Berzerker 40 man. This is worth it just for the entrances, as everyone comes out single file and at LEAST 15 people in this are total pasty nobodies. Some of the nobodies (Rick Johnson? Dublin Destroyer?) actually have decent looks and builds but went absolutely nowhere to my knowledge. There are future names like Glen Ruth, and what's cool is that we don't get exclusively jobbers getting eliminated early. In the other 40 man the opening was so great, with Kerry Von Erich just hiptossing every single jobber to the floor immediately, while Berzerker stomped them all in the head. Well in this 40 man, a lot of the jobbers stay in really long! Guys like Jerry Sags and IRS get eliminated before half of the nobodies, and I thought that was pretty awesome. There are plenty of great moments, like Knobbs trying an honest to god shoot takedown of Bret, and Bret completely stuffing it and dropping a full force knee to Knobbs' chest. I swear to you. Glen Ruth and Duane Gill make the final 10, and they pair off in a way that says "Maybe nobody will notice us if we just punch each other". The final 4 is brilliant, as it's British Bulldog, Bret Hart, and THE BEVERLY BROTHERS! Obviously they don't win, but they both get to eliminate Bret! Bulldog smokes them, icing the cake by press slamming Beau into Blake, and it rules. The format of this battle royal was so good, such a unique look with 40 guys shoved into the ring at the same time

Rick Martel vs. Tatanka

ER: The match itself is simple, the chops looked good, it was somewhat dull, but it always amazes me how into Tatanka everyone was. There was some of the power of just WWF telling this guy is someone worth rooting for, but fans also really took to Tatanka. And yet he was never given any kind of title run. Fans were way into him though, and that's cool.

The Beverly Brothers/The Genius vs. Legion of Doom/Paul Ellering

ER: This is an honest shock to me, as I had NO idea that Paul Ellering worked any taped WWF matches, and no idea The Genius was still working taped matches in 1992. I'm blown away right now. Ellering looks in great shape and is just wearing black trunks and boots, but The Genius is wearing a FULL black body suit with neon yellow GENIUS written multiple times down the leg, and a gigantic superhero G on the front of the suit. He looks like he's wearing LA Park's gear, but with GENIUS instead of bones. I have NEVER seen this version of The Genius. I can barely even focus on the match because The Genius is just standing there in a dayglo bodysuit. But what I am able to see of the match, is obviously super fun. The Beverlys and LOD both get to throw big powerslams, and Mike Enos is a tremendous stooge the entire match. You'd think that with Genius on his team, that Genius would be handling stooge duty, but no! Here's Blake Beverly getting shot into the ropes by Hawk, Blake holding onto the rope to stop his momentum before posing to the fans, and then getting leveled by Hawk. At another point Hawk is chopping Beau in the corner, and Blake charges at Hawk from the apron to break it up, Hawk chops him, and Blake just takes a huge banana peel back bump from the apron to the floor. It looked incredible. Animal is our fun hot tag, sending Beau flying with a backdrop, tossing a nice dropkick at Blake, dropping them both with a DDT, big clothesline, another powerslam, and then LOD uses the Rocket Launcher as their finish!!! Genius gets the Doomsday Device post match, but they win with the Rocket Launcher!!

Tito Santana/Virgil vs. Money Inc.

ER: Dibiase comes out wearing the all white Million Dollar Man suit and he looks downright resplendent. His all white trunks/kneepads/boots look amazing. Tito and Virgil get separate entrances and I'm not sure why that is so funny to me. And Dibiase is a real star in this one. He avoids Virgil, so Virgil has to do a blind tag cheat to get in the ring at the same time as him, and when he is finally forced in with Virgil he works real tough, nice punch combos and a big boot to Virgil's stomach, but is also generous with bumps. He and IRS are great cheaters, cutting Tito off from Virgil, and it's just a great formula. Tito is obviously going to be a great FIP, and Money Inc. are giving leverage assists to each other from the apron, constantly keeping Tito from making the tag. The crowd is hot for Virgil's eventual hot tag but it's kind of flubbed (he throws a couple of off balance lariats and gets a little crossed on the ropes) but the crowd is still into it. The match does not end great but it easily had the strongest build of any match on the tape. I don't think I've seen as much end of career Dibiase and this was a real nice showing for him.

Repo Man vs. Randy Savage

ER: This one is pretty active, even if 90% of the action seems to be axe handles. These two kind of walk around ringside and in the ring exchanging axe handles, and it's not super interesting but it's not bad either. This was World Champ Savage, and babyface Savage always gave up a ton of offense in matches. So here we get Repo controlling things with chokes and a nice flying lariat, nice side suplex, a real look at the Repo Man's offensive game. You knew Macho Man was coming back right in the final 30 seconds, but the elbow he hits is gorgeous.

The Berzerker/Papa Shango vs. The Undertaker/Ultimate Warrior

ER: I really really liked this. It was pretty much just what you would want from this match. It was a fast 8 minutes, which meant that nobody got exposed (anybody know what is considered the best Shango/Kama/Godfather match? I can't recall ever seeing a match with him and thinking "now THAT'S a keeper", but they must exist, right?), and everybody could go go go, and they did. Berzerker/Warrior was a genuinely fun match up, and Warrior busted ass in this, as did Berzerker (I guess I had assumed that would happen though). Berzerker bumped all around for Warrior as if he was Savage or Flair, and Warrior ate a big boot really nicely. I mean Warrior looked pretty bad throughout, and he looked so much smaller than Berzerker that it looked weird that he was shoving Berzerker around. But his energy was there and that's important in a match like this. Shango and Taker were more background characters but the money was in the Warrior/Berzerker showdowns. Another match where you can say with no argument that Berzerker worked harder than anybody else in the ring, really a super generous opponent, took his requisite 3 bumps to the floor. Considering all four of these guys weren't considered "workrate legends" during this time, this match was a blast.

ER: This has easily become one of my more anticipated wrestling traditions, and it helps that we've randomly chosen good tapes. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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