Written by: Matt Peddycord
WWF WrestleFest ’91
There’s nothing like a good ol’ 2 hour WWF Coliseum Home Video. For me, it’s like stepping back into your childhood when wrestling was much more enjoyable. Your host for this one is the “Man of Leisure” Macho Man Randy Savage! When this video was released, it would be four months after losing a retirement match to the Warrior at WrestleMania and regaining the love of his life, the late Miss Elizabeth who would soon become Mrs. Elizabeth at the following SummerSlam. They cut to Savage taking a nap by the pool IN HIS WRESTLING GEAR having a possible recurring flashback of the final moments of his WrestleMania match. He awakes and starts talking to the camera like he didn’t know they had been there all along and begins to go insane immediately by sharing with us that he’s disappointed that he didn’t get to wrestle the Macho Man during his great career. Blah, blah, blah. Alright, let’s get on with this, Randy!
Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Ultimate Warrior – “Fan Favorite” Match
The announcers for this tape are Sean Mooney and the late-great Lord Alfred Hayes. Earthquake attacks Warrior from behind to start. Warrior begins to hulk up immediately and unsuccessfully tries to take Earthquake down with a bunch of shoulderblocks. However, Warrior does put him down with a flying shoulderblock. They both go out to the floor to regroup as Jimmy Hart distracts Warrior long enough for Earthquake to nail him from behind. Earthquake rams Warrior spine-first into the ring before re-entering to do more damage. Earthquake pounds on the Warrior’s back and then squashes him in the corner. Now it’s bear hug time! After about 90 seconds of that, Earthquake releases the hold and delivers an elbow drop. Earthquake hits the EARTHQUAKE SPLASH, but Warrior kicks out at two. Warrior shakes the ropes and re-energizes and hits a pair of clotheslines. Warrior slams him and splashes him for the three-count. (5:38) This was your typical Warrior match. CRAP
The Mountie (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Big Bossman – “Manager Cam” Match
When I say “Manager Cam” match, I mean they have Jimmy Hart miked with no commentators and most of the match, they have the camera focused on whatever Jimmy is doing. This match is pretty impossible to rate or transcribe for you, so I’ll just say that Bossman wins at about 6:30 with the BOSSMAN SLAM. After the match, Mountie uses a cattle prod on the Bossman. [NR]
Power and Glory (w/Slick) vs. The Rockers
After much stalling, Roma takes Michaels into the corner but then he fights out with a headscissors. Hercules and Roma both eat double-crescent kicks from the Rockers that send them out to the floor to regroup with Slick. Jannetty tags in and gets blindsided by Roma. Jannetty plays Ricky Morton for a while with some brief comebacks. Hercules delivers a clothesline that causes Jannetty to whip out the 360-degree spin sell for 1, 2, NO! Roma tags in and hits a nice running elbow drop, but he hesitates a pin-attempt for two. Jannetty fights out of a chinlock and tries a sunset flip, but Roma won’t go down and he misses a punch. Roma ducks a clothesline and delivers one of his own to put Jannetty back down. Herc tags in and tosses Jannetty out to Roma and Slick. Back in, Herc hits a suplex for 1, 2, NO! Roma tags in and nails Jannetty with a double-ax from the top. Roma whips Jannetty into the farside and follows in with a back elbow. He whips Jannetty again into the corner and this time he misses a charge. HOT TAG TO MICHAELS! Flying back elbow for Roma! Swinging neckbreaker! Jannetty comes in to help once Hercules enters into the ring and he gets an atomic drop/clothesline combo from the Rockers. After a double-hiptoss on Roma, the Rockers ascend to the top, but Slick is there to grab hold of Michaels’ leg to foil their attack. Jannetty comes by and chases Slick away, but forgets about the ten-count from the referee and gets counted out for the Power & Glory victory. (12:04) While still watchable, it had a pretty terrible conclusion. Post-match, Slick gets his tail BEAT real good. *½
Ted DiBiase vs. Kerry Von Erich
This match was taped a couple weeks after the Royal Rumble where Virgil stood up for himself against DiBiase thus ending their over three-year relationship. Von Erich calls Virgil out to be in his corner to get under DiBiase’s skin. DiBiase gets out of the ring to verbally abuse Virgil and then gets turned around in a right hand by Von Erich. Back in, DiBiase begs off Kerry’s attack and drives a knee to the gut. DiBiase chops away in the corner, but Von Erich no-sells and drives DiBiase’s head to the buckle a whole bunch before rolling him up for two. DiBiase goes out for a breather, but Virgil is right there to throw him back in the ring. As DiBiase grabs at Virgil, Von Erich comes up from behind with a rollup for another two. DiBiase goes out after Virgil, but Von Erich is there to stop him. They fight around ringside once again, but it ends with a TORNADO PUNCH from Von Erich. Like an IDIOT, Von Erich misses a TORNADO PUNCH up against the ringpost. Hand, meet steel. DiBiase slams Von Erich’s wrist into the steel steps a couple times before tossing him back into the ring. Von Erich tries to fight back with a punch, but of course that’s a dumb idea. DiBiase hits a reverse elbow and then goes over to yell at Virgil some more. DiBiase hits a clothesline and hits his famous fist drops. Von Erich takes a walk out on the floor to get his wrist back in shape, but then gets caught on the apron by DiBiase. He tries to slam Von Erich back into the ring, but Virgil trips up DiBiase and Von Erich falls on top for the three-count. (6:26) There was too much DiBiase/Virgil arguing going on for this to be any good. ½*
British Bulldog vs. Haku
They go through a nice little wrestling sequence to start which ends with Bulldog delivering a standing dropkick to send Haku out to the floor. Back in, Bulldog remains in control with a pair of armdrags. Haku gets in a few chops in the corner but then runs straight into a sleeper. Haku flips Bulldog off of him but takes a drop toe hold into an armbar. Bulldog cross-corner whips Haku and tries for a monkey flip, but Haku counters it into an inverted atomic drop. Haku follows that up with a NASTY piledriver! Holy CRAP! Haku covers for 1, 2, NO! Haku follows that up with a surfboard-type hold while yanking on his hair! Once the ref breaks that up, Haku whips Bulldog into the ropes and hooks on a sleeper of his own. Bulldog drops down onto the canvas as the ref checks to see if he’s still with us. His arm drops twice, but not three times as Bulldog gets back on his feet and elbows out and nails Haku with a crossbody block for two. Haku gets back on top however, and goes back to a chinlock position. Bulldog elbows out again and avoids a Haku dropkick. Bulldog whips Haku into the ropes for a MONSTER back drop! He follows up with a back elbow and a clothesline for 1, 2, NO! Davey Boy ducks low off a whip and comes back after a headbutt with a crucifix to roll up Haku for the three-count! (7:52) Nice little match from these two. **½
Macho decides on the best way to get into the relaxation mode is play a little pool. Pool always makes me aggravated, but that’s because I suck at it. Macho keeps on saying billiards, which is just something the MACHO man should never say in my opinion.
Let’s go to the Barber Shop with the Booty Man! I mean, Zodiac! I mean, the Disciple! I mean, the Man With No Name! I mean, Brother Bruti! I mean, Brutus Beefcake. Yeah, him. On this edition, he’s got some grooming tips for us all. His pants are more cut up than usual which makes me almost uncomfortable. In his barbers chair is some poor sap named Bob who has a mustache and a mullet. Beefcake hates commercial products, so he pulls out his trusty Tupperware full of 1,000 year-old mud from the Dead Sea to pour on Bob’s face. “So let’s get started…” Let’s not! Fast-forward………………
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. “The Model” Rick Martel
This is “good guy” Greg Valentine after recently dumping Jimmy Hart and feuding with the Hart Family. I’ve never seen a crowd who actually CHEERED Valentine so much that it caused his opponent to be completely distracted. They trade arm locks once they finally do make contact with Martel immediately going for the ropes. Valentine shoves Martel out to the floor to kill more time. Back in, Valentine hooks on a headlock and holds on tightly as Martel tries to push him off into the ropes. Martel finally shoves Valentine off of him into the corner, but then charges knee-first into the buckle. Valentine goes right after the leg and tries for the FIGURE-FOUR, but Martel kicks him in the face. Valentine comes right back at him with an elbow to the back of the head and returns to destroying his hurt leg. Martel gets all ANGSTY and starts choking on Valentine and then throws him out to the floor. Martel follows him out after shaking the feeling back in his leg and slams Valentine’s back into the apron. Back in, Martel goes after the obvious weakened body part. Abdominal stretch follows a barrage of elbows and double sledges to the back. The crowd gets Valentine back into this thing as he counters out with a hip toss. Martel comes off the middle-buckle and gets nailed in the gut. Valentine pounds away on Martel as he begs off into the corner. Valentine delivers an atomic drop and clotheslines Martel out to the floor. Valentine goes out after him and they brawl on the outside for the double-countout. (8:37) Post-match, Martel shoves Valentine into the ringpost and throws him back into the ring. Valentine avoids getting sprayed in the face with Arrogance and puts Martel in the FIGURE-FOUR much to the delight of the crowd. **¼
Koko B. Ware vs. The Warlord (w/Slick)
Hey look, its Kanye West’s crazy, bird-loving uncle Koko B. Ware! Warlord begins to overpower Koko to start, but then Koko uses the hit and run strategy. He makes the mistake of going out to the floor as he runs though and comes back in to a good beating from Warlord. Koko tries a comeback, but then takes a backdrop over the top rope and out to the floor! Koko tries a sunset flip back in, but Warlord nails him in the face. It’s bearhug time! Warlord eventually tires of the hold and tosses Koko to the mat. He misses an elbow drop to set up a Koko comeback. Warlord misses a charge in the corner and gets rolled up for 1, 2, NO! Koko comes off the top rope with a missile dropkick and covers 1, 2, NO! Warlord ducks a clothesline but then shoves Koko into the ropes to slow things down. Warlord finishes him off with a running powerslam for the three-count. (6:39) The bear hug almost killed this one from being any fun. ½*
Meanwhile, Macho is still thinking about his match with the Warrior by watching it on tape! Mach, you’re never going to get over that loss if you don’t stop this foolishness!
The Hart Foundation vs. Legion of Doom – “Tag Team Match of the Month”
This match was taped two weeks before WrestleMania VII where the Hart Foundation lost their tag belts to the Nasties and aired on an April edition of WWE programming. This match is also on the Road Warriors DVD and I LOVED it. Anvil and Animal start out. Anvil hits some stiff forearm shots, and they clothesline each other. Bret slips out of a Hawk military press but takes a backdrop out to the floor. Back in, Bret reverses a backdrop to a neckbreaker for two and tags in Neidhart. Bret heels it up with a knee to Hawk’s back when the ref isn’t looking. Hawk plays Ricky Morton as the Harts double-team him to death. Bret grabs a front facelock, and Hawk does the “inch your way to your corner” spot. Neidhart distracts the ref so that he doesn’t see the tag and then double-team real good. They redo the spot, this time with Neidhart holding the front facelock. Bret runs over and kicks Animal off the apron just as LOD were about to make the tag. Animal chases Bret around the ring, but the referee stops him. The Harts take the opportunity to hit the Hart Attack on Hawk. Cover 1, 2, NO! Neidhart tries to whip Bret into Hawk, but Hawk ducks out of the way and makes the HOT TAG to Animal. Animal takes out both Harts and the LOD sets Bret up for the Doomsday Device, but Neidhart is there for the save. Bret slingshots Neidhart into Animal and the Harts take over again. Neidhart tries a Rocket Launcher on Bret to send him into Animal, but Animal catches him for a powerslam. Hawk trips Neidhart up from the outside and Animal gets the pin. (12:24) Tag-team wrestling in the WWF would pretty much suck once the Hart Foundation ended. There wouldn’t be another MOTYC tag match in the WWF until 1994 with Bret/Owen vs. Rick & Scott Steiner. ****
Marty Jannetty vs. Pat Tanaka (w/ Mr. Fuji)
These two had just had a MOTYC at the Royal Rumble two months earlier with their respective tag-team partners prior to this match at MSG. Tanaka starts off with a barrage of karate kicks on Jannetty. Tanaka gets thrown into the ropes off a headlock and gets punched down and retreats to the floor to regroup. They do the same thing again off a Jannetty headlock with Jannetty getting the upperhand once again. Jannetty doesn’t let him rest for too long as he comes down on Tanaka with a pescado. Back in, Tanaka tries to untie the top turnbuckle pad while the ref is busy with Fuji and Jannetty, but he can’t seem to get it loose. They do a staredown which results in Tanaka taking a superkick to the face. Tanaka begs off in the corner and then pulls Jannetty face-first to the buckle when he isn’t looking and begins to go to work. Jannetty reverses a cross-corner whip but then misses a splash and crashes out on the floor for a nice bump. Back in, Tanaka controls until he runs into a boot out of the corner and takes a faceslam from the middle rope. Jannetty covers for 1, 2, NO! Tanaka gets his foot on the bottom rope. Tanaka trips up Jannetty and tries a rollup using the ropes, but the ref sees it and breaks up the pin. As Tanaka argues with the ref, Jannetty comes up from behind with another rollup for two. Tanaka pops up and surprises Jannetty with a superkick! Tanaka hits his D-Von Dudley-esque spinning back elbow REAL good on Jannetty. Instead of doing the Testify dance, he just covers for 1, 2, NO! Jannetty gets chopped out to the floor with Fuji. Jannetty slides in underneath Tanaka and whips him into the ropes, but makes a big mistake by ducking low too soon. Tanaka calls for the finish and goes for a Tombstone piledriver, but Jannetty reverses it into one of his own and gets the three-count. (10:53) Man, that was an “Owen Hart’s SummerSlam ’97 Tombstone Piledriver Special” too. **½
Macho tells us goodbye when he receives a phone call from Elizabeth. How old are you Savage, 13? You guys getting all dressed up to talk on the phone now?
Final Thoughts: You can get this factory sealed on Amazon.com for under $10 so that’s a bargain in itself. But if you’ve already got the Road Warriors DVD, I don’t really see anything else on here that’s must-see. The first half for me wasn’t much fun, but the second half was pretty great so I’ll go with thumbs in the middle on WrestleFest ’91.