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Thread: WWE Hottest Matches Home Video Review

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    WWE Network WWE Hottest Matches Home Video Review

    Hottest Matches
    October 25, 1990

    Sean Mooney hosts this tape from the WWE studios. So much for getting skits. Mooney quickly hypes this tape with a superstar profile on Jake Roberts and a big tag match of The Macho King and Queen Sherri vs Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire, where there will be a surprise.

    Rick Martel vs Tito Santana
    From April 1990. This also aired on an April Ď90 edition of Primetime Wrestling. For Primetime Wrestling, a couple of weeks is really fast turn around. The fact that itís taking place just days after WM 6, kind of annoys me simply because it makes the decision to not run it at Mania even more baffling. After watching this match, itís even more disappointing since itís quite a good match. Had it been on WM 6, it would have easily been the second best match of the show. Going into the match, each member of the former Strike Force tandem had a different strategy. For Santana, it was going after the knee, working over it loads in the first half in order to eventually lock in his Figure Four. Credit to Martel for his selling because he got in some fun spots including jumping over Tito, only for his knee to buckle. Martelís strategy finally becomes clear after Santana tries to lock in the Figure Four, but Martel goes to the eyes. From there, everything The Model does is a cheating tactic. Heís going to the eyes, choking, sending Santana throat first against the ropes, and after Santana knocks Martel out of the ring with the Flying Forearm, Martel uses a referee distraction to spray Tito in the eyes with Arrogance. That final cheating tactic is enough to get Santana the victory. Really fun match and different enough from their Main Event 4 rematch that theyíre both worth watching. *** ľ

    Up next is a segment entitled, ďTracking the WWE Tag Team ChampionshipsĒ. Lord Alfred Hayes goes over what is necessary to be a great tag team while weíre shown clips starting with WM 4 with Strike Forceís title loss to Demolition. From there, we get footage of The Colossal Connection beating Demolition to win the titles on Superstars in late 1989. Then we witness Demolition winning the belts back from Andre and Haku at WM 6. Finally, Demolitionís time as the top tag team in the WWE officially comes to an end as weíre shown footage of The Hart Foundation beating them for the titles at Summerslam 1990. Interesting to see that the WWE chose to deliberately ignore The Brainbustersí title switches.

    The Orient Express w/Mr. Fuji vs The Rockers
    From June 1990. Since this is still the Sato version of Orient Express, itís a rematch of Wrestlemania 6, the lesser of the two Orient Express/Rockers PPV matches. This is dubbed the tag team match of the month. Itís a methodical match with so much of it just being the Orient Express slowly working over Jannetty. Marty ends up playing the face-in-peril twice. The first time, Sato and Tanaka kept sneaking in and out behind the refís back to keep working over Jannettyís arm. While Jannetty is able to eventually outsmart his opponents by leapfrogging over the one so that they run into each other, Shawnís brief time in the match just saw Marty tagging back in to once again get worked over. This time, Orient Express legally tag in and out as they both seem content with slapping on headlocks. Believe it or not, but where the match won me over was with the count-out finish. After Shawn finally got the hot tag...again, all four men got involved and Sato and Tanaka found themselves brawling with The Rockers on the outside before they were knocked on their asses. Rockers rolled back in before the ten count. The whole reason why I liked that is that Orient Express came into this match with the intent to cheat, not only by not tagging, but also using Fuji to use his cane on Marty. Yet, despite all of the cheating, The Rockers won by count-out, when they had lost at WM 6 by count-out thanks to Mr. Fujiís salt throwing skills. So basically itís Orient Express trying to use the same strategy twice, but Rockers learned from their previous match. Good for what it was, but itís difficult to care too much about this version of The Orient Express. ***

    Back in the WWE studio, Sean Mooney is starting to boil up as he announces the match requested by a fan - Dusty Rhodes vs Greg Valentine. Yeah, thatís total BS.

    Greg Valentine w/Jimmy Hart vs Dusty Rhodes
    From June 1989. This match had taken place prior to Dustyís return on TV, so heís still wrestling without the polka dots. Iím fairly sure this is a fairly rare match-up in that I canít imagine thereís many, if any, other Valentine/Rhodes matches. The most I can find is a few NWA matches from the Crocketts and St. Louis, but those were all just house shows. So if nothing else, this was unique. To be honest, the match, itself, could have been good had it just been more straightforward. Thereís a lot of stalling, playing to the crowd, and Dusty strutting or dancing or whatever the hell he calls it. Itís not all bad though, when Dusty is showing fire, heís really, really good at it. The Hammer did a lot of clubbering while Dusty attempted to lock in the Figure Four. The end of the match saw a bit of an angle as Dusty went to the top rope, but Jimmy Hart tried to interfere, only for referee, Ronnie Garvin, to rush out and prevent it. That allowed Rhodes to get the victory over Valentine and sorta continue the Hammer/Garvin program. One of these days, I really need to get around to reviewing the career match between Valentine and Garvin. In so many reviews over the years, Iíve referenced the fact that Garvin was a referee, announcer, or whatever due to being forced to end his career, for a period, without actually covering the match. The appeal of this was mostly just the uniqueness of seeing Valentine vs Rhodes more than anything else. **

    We kick off the Superstar Spotlight of Jake Roberts by being shown a quick highlights video before going to the first match.

    Akeem w/Slick vs Jake Roberts
    From June 1990. I find I often forget that Akeem was around for most of 1990, leaving shortly before Survivor Series. Itís an easy mistake to make since Akeem quickly got forgotten after his pair of losses to The Big Boss Man in April 1990 at WM 6 and on SNME. This was a pretty one sided matchup with Roberts dominating. Even though he was in full control for most of the match, The Snake just couldnít figure out how to successfully hit the DDT. Time after time, Akeem would manage to counter the DDT, whether with a back body drop, dropping to the mat, ect. By the end of the match, thereís 4-5 DDT attempts. Even though Iíve never been a fan of OMG/Akeem, I did like his selling here. At times, heís just HOWLING in pain, even during such simple holds as an arm lock. Akeem managed to get in a bit of offense after Slickís interference and Roberts sells well by acting as if heís utterly exhausted and unable to contend with Akeemís size. Akeemís offense would be short lived as Roberts would be back in charge and going back to DDT attempts. Finally, in a lame finish, Akeem gets counted out while Slick eats a DDT for daring to interfere twice in the match. Why are you protecting Akeem of all people? Perhaps itís because I had my expectations super low for this, but this was alright. ** ľ

    The Superstar Profile continues with a taped promo with Jake Roberts regarding Ted DiBiase. Roberts has now stolen the Million Dollar Title, but is keeping it safe in Damienís bag. Just to keep DiBiase and Virgil on guard, Roberts reminds them that if they dare to reach into the bag, they may not find Damien, they may find some other snake. A montage of Roberts showing off a bunch of different snakes, some venomous are shown. One such snake was actually Damienís big brother, Lucifer. This was the snake Roberts briefly had after Earthquake squashed Damien, but before Roberts turned heel and began coming out with a cobra. I hadnít realized that Lucifer was acknowledged before his official ďDebutĒ in May 1991.

    Ted DiBiase w/Virgil vs Jake Roberts
    From December 1989. Although WM 6 was all about The Ultimate Challenge with Warrior and Hogan, the match that had the longest build-up was actually Roberts vs DiBiase. They had started feuding back at WM 5, then Roberts would miss the entire summer of 1989 due to being hospitalized due to DiBiase injuring him, heíd return to TV just before Survivor Series where at the PPV DiBiase would eliminate Roberts, and Roberts would steal the Million Dollar Title. More would end up happening after this match, such as The Big Boss Manís face turn. Roberts and DiBiase tends to have one of two kinds of matches. Theyíre either really good like at WM 6 or theyíre really disappointing. This is the latter. DiBiase is a stalling machine in the opening minutes, constantly jumping to the outside. Once the action begins, thereís not much to it as DiBiase works over the surgically repaired neck by clubbing the back of Robertsí neck, playing to the crowd and eventually going after the neck again. This goes on for a long time before Roberts make a brief comeback, only for Virgil to interfere during a DDT attempt to draw the DQ. What better way to end a disappointing match than to have a lame finish? The one thing I did like about this match is that near the end, Roberts began firing a series of knee shots to the back of DiBiaseís neck, as an attempt of revenge for DiBiase injuring his neck. * Ĺ

    Haku w/Bobby Heenan vs Brutus Beefcake
    From August 1989. Oddly enough, I believe this is the first and only time these two worked a match taped for TV, despite being in the same company, both WWE and WCW, for so many years. Considering they were midcarders, often with opposite alignments, for nearly the entire time in WWE and WCW, youíd think that theyíd be common opponents. Like some big phoney, Haku is still wearing his King Haku tights despite losing the crown to Jim Duggan a few months ago. This match was pretty back and forth with neither guy able to gain the advantage. The camera keeps cutting back to Bobby Heenan as he seems to have some nefarious plan in motion. That plan never comes to fruition as The Brain instead just jumps into the ring for the DQ when Beefcake had Haku in the sleeper. Very average, but hardly good or bad. There was far more action in this than in DiBiase/Roberts and even though the match was limited based on the talent involved, they were putting in effort. **

    In a Managerís Profile, we look at Queen Sherri. She cuts a promo while we cut to a few cuts of her in action. To be honest, itís pretty uneventful. For something billed as something special, I expected more than just a normal promo.

    Ted DiBiase w/Virgil vs Shawn Michaels w/Marty Jannetty
    From April 1990. Awwwww yeah. With this match being taped for Primetime Wrestling, itís the first show from San Antonio that is being taped for TV. Naturally, being the hometown boy, Michaels is given a chance to get a major singles match against a major singles star, despite being firmly in a midcard tag team. The biggest appeal of this match is simply that itís a star with value working a competitive match against a guy who isnít in his league. This is something that DiBiase doesnít receive enough credit for. He did this several times, including against Bret Hart more than once, allowing one half of The Rockers to get in a good amount of offense. Itís pretty back and forth with neither man able to get the advantage for long. Despite both Virgil and Jannetty at ringside, the vast majority of the match is fairly clean. Every time Michaels gets in a cover, thereís a big question of if he can get the pinfall or not. Although this CHV is filled with non-finishes like count outs or DQs, Iím actually surprised that DiBiase didnít get the pinfall here. What ends up happening is that tension rises after Virgil trips Michaels up, causing Jannetty to enter the ring with Virgil entering immediately afterward. Despite the ring announcer initially ruling it a double count-out (Even though literally four men were in the ring at the sound of the bell), itís eventually corrected with a double DQ. For me, the legacy of this match is that itís the first time that the future HBK got to show off his talent as a singles star. I really donít understand why the WWE hadnít released this on DVD thus far. Ideally, Michaelsí upcoming Unreleased DVD will include it though. Not a blowaway match or anything, but itís a rare match of one half of The Rockers showing some major potential. Back in the day, this was the match to rent/buy this video tape. *** ľ

    Before the final match, weíre shown a taped video of a Superstar Workout with Power & Glory. Itís a few minutes of two sweaty shirtless guys pumping iron and complimenting each other. Thereís some clear homoerotic vibes going on. Frankly, I wished Slick had been there, cheering them on. That would have at least made the segment cheesy.

    Randy Savage and Queen Sherri w/Brother Love vs Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire w/Miss Elizabeth
    From June 1990. Another WM 6 rematch. As far as surprises go, is Brother Love and Elizabeth really much of a surprise? Brother Love was there at the start of the feud and Elizabeth was already revealed as a surprise for the Mania match. I actually enjoyed this more than the Mania match. For starters, the women were barely involved. They started the match and would finish it, but otherwise, it was unofficially just a Dusty/Savage match. Brother Love ends up being a big part of this match, often interfering to attack Dusty behind the refís back. Itís all of that cheating that ends up backfiring for the heels as Brother Love throws in Sherriís presumed loaded purse into the ring, but when the referee is distracted, Miss Elizabeth climbs into the ring and picks up the purse to knock Sherri out with it. That allows Sapphire to pin the former Womenís Champion to score the victory. Is this a good...eight months of Randy Savage? Maybe not, but itís still better than the Mania match due to more time with the men and the Brother Love interference. ** ľ

    We head back to Sean Mooney at the WWE Studio and shit has gotten so hot that a pile of papers has caught on fire. God almighty. Mooney wraps up the tape though with a hype for the next Coliseum Home Video - Hulkamania Forever. This tape focuses on Hogan in late 1989 until Summerslam 1990 with plenty of emphasis on the Earthquake feud. The weird thing is that the previous Hulk Hogan tape was called Hulkamania 4 and the next one would be called Hulkamania 6. Why isnít Hulkamania Forever just called Hulkamania 5 or at least Hulkamania 5: Hulkamania Forever?

    Right away, two Rockers era HBK matches is enough to get a thumbs up from me when it comes to a Coliseum Home Video. Both matches delivered particularly with the DiBiase one being Michaelsí first stand out singles match. In addition, the Santana/Martel match delivered well enough that Iím yet again reminded of how stupid it was that they didnít have a match together at Wrestlemania 6. Elsewhere, the tape is okay. The mixed tag match was better than their previous Mania match. Roberts/Akeem didnít suck like I expected it to. Thereís even a couple of rare match-ups such as Dusty/Valentine and Haku/Brutus. The first drawback is the fact that Sean Mooney hosts the show from the WWE Studio, preventing the tape from having its expected cheesy skits between the matches. Sure, sometimes those skits were god awful, but itís more interesting than just cutting back to a guy in a studio, progressively sweating more and more. The Roberts/DiBiase match was a total snoozer despite knowing that they are capable of having a good match. The Managerís Spotlight was a total waste and the Superstar Workout didnít do enough with the idea. But hey, the entire reason to watch this tape, Michaels vs DiBiase, is still the #1 reason to watch the tape in 2018 since the match was never released elsewhere (well..other than Primetime Wrestling), only now you can watch it on the WWE Network.

  2. #2
    Chikara Trainee

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    May 2018
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    Re: WWE Hottest Matches Home Video Review

    I've heard of this tape. Plan to watch it now after seeing your review.

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