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Welcome To The Vault! In This Edition, Harry Simon Goes Back To Yesteryear To Bring Us WWF Supertape 1!



Approx running time: 2 hrs

Approx time period covered: 1989-1990

Released: 1990

Host: Sean Mooney


Sean Mooney opened the tape with a chilling look at what was to come.

1) Curt Hennig (w/ The Genius) b Ronnie Garvin [12/12/89].
  Weird.  It’s the first WWF match on the first WWF Supertape, and we have a former AWA World champion versus a former NWA World champion.  Anyhoo, this was Hennig in his prime, so as you’d expect, the match was decent.  Garvin was wearing his “Hammer-jammer” shinguard for this match.  At this time, Garvin was feuding with Greg Valentine, so he started wearing a shinguard of his own to counter Valentine’s “Hartbreaker” shinguard (which ostensibly made Valentine’s figure-four more devastating).  Same deal as the Bob Orton-Paul Orndorff dueling casts in 1986.  Hennig unsuccessfully tried to avoid Garvin’s fists before slowing things down with a long side headlock.  Garvin punched his way to a comeback and flattened “Mr. Perfect” with a Garvin stomp.  Garvin went for his finisher at the time, which Tony Schiavone called “a reverse figure-four leglock.”  You’d think calling all those Sting matches would have taught Tony that the scorpion deathlock is called “the scorpion deathlock.”  Hennig drew upon his inner Drunken Master and realized that the counter to the attempted reverse figure-four scorpion deathlock was a poke in the eye.  Hennig had a brief offensive flurry, but was out-chopped and out-punched by Garvin.  Garvin locked in a sleeper for a loud pop (!), which led to a strange spot where the ref dropped Hennig’s arm twice, but Garvin let go of the sleeper and tried to pin Hennig (who got a foot on the rope).  Even Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes goofed on Garvin for that move.  Garvin’s offense continued including a creative spot where Garvin took Hennig in a corner and banged his head into all three turnbuckles (top, middle, bottom), ending with him slamming Hennig’s head into the mat as the fans counted to 10.  After a collision, Garvin small-packaged Hennig, but Hennig grabbed a handful of trunks and reversed it for the pin.  Solid match with both guys looking good.  (David)


Special feature: Manager Profile on Bobby Heenan.  Basically, just a promo, but “The Brain” cut a great one running down all the major angles and players at the time (circa 1990).  Heenan is the greatest manager of all time.  Period.


Special feature: WWF Profile on The Bushwhackers.  Lame skit with Gene Okerlund and a camera crew fumbling with maps driving around a desert looking for the ‘Whackers.  Wait a minute, if we’re looking at footage of a camera crew and Gene getting out of an SUV, who’s shooting THAT?!  Anyway, Gene and company find a run-down shack out in the middle of nowhere and, naturally, are greeted by Luke and Butch.  Gene complains about the dilapidated Whacker Shack, which, as you can imagine, segues into a BW-Bolsheviks match.  Luke and Butch correctly summarized the Bolsheviks as “those bloody Reds who was running down our bloody friends, the Americans, and calling them bloody Yanks!”  Quick, name one time the Bolshies called Americans, “bloody Yanks.”  It didn’t happen.  This was just more foul-mouthed anti-communist propaganda from Vince McMahon.  Bah!  As Gene throws to the match, we learn that Luke and Butch are cooking up “Bushwhacker Buzzard” for Gene’s dining pleasure.  Oh, hell.


2) The Bushwhackers b The Bolsheviks [12/30/88].  This was from MSG, and the announcers claimed it was the WWF debut of the BW.  Announcer Ron Tronguard called Luke “Butch” and vice versa.  No wonder the Bushwhackers’ whole eight-year run in the WWF sucked!  They were cursed by that evil gypsy man Ron Tronguard from day one!  This match was what you’d expect (i.e., “BAD”).  Finish saw Boris Zhukov mistakenly hit the worst clothesline in the history of the world on Nikolai Volkoff, allowing Luke and Butch to hit the battering-ram/double-gutbuster combo on Bore-us for the pin.  Tronguard called the Bolsheviks “former WWF Tag Team champions,” which is painfully incorrect.  It takes a special kind of announcer to suck so bad that he gets the lion’s share of the abuse when a Bushwhackers-Bolsheviks match is reviewed.  Ron Tronguard is very, very special.  (Chris)


Back to the Whacker Shack.  Gene samples buzzard as Butch and Luke lick each other and just generally act like asses.


3) The Bushwhackers b Bad News Brown & The Brooklyn Brawler [5/17/89].  This match actually told an amusing story.  Brawler was getting the steph beat out of him, so a disgusted BNB tagged in and took over on Butch.  With Butch on the ropes, Brawler greedily tagged back in…and was quickly throttled.  This was the formula of the match, as BNB would beat down a ‘Whacker, and Brawler would want in the ring to “finish him off.”  Naturally, Brawler would get dominated soon enough, which outraged BNB.  BNB turned around and started arguing with fans at ringside while Brawler was destroyed and pinned after the gutbuster.  BNB was truly one of the best heels of his day and ahead of his time by about 10 years.  This tape didn’t show it, but after the match, BNB further decimated Brawler and left him laying.  Good comedy squash.  (David)


Gene puts over the buzzard, then talks about Mr. Fuji in a segue so funny, you’d almost think they planned it.  Gene is already a drooling, twitching buzzard addict by the time Luke and Butch get to talking about The Powers Of Pain.  Sad when it happens to someone you know.


4) The Bushwhackers b The Powers Of Pain (w/ Mr. Fuji) by DQ [11/?/89].  Make it stop.  Please, God, make it stop.  The POP played the bullies, with Luke and Butch outsmarting them (!) with tactics like biting them on the butt and poking them in the eyes.  What a lousy couple of role models!  Warlord locked Luke in that homo-erotic bouncing bearhug of his, and I am instantly reminded that my therapist’s number is on speed-dial for just such an emergency.  The BW eventually took over with the battering ram, which prompted Fuji to do a waddle-in and hit Luke with his cane for the DQ.  Crapola.  (Chris)


It’s the final shack segment and Gene is now dressed like a Bushwhacker, swinging his arms and talking like one of them.  Gene’s camera crew does some crisis intervention and pulls Gene out of there to bring him back to civilization for de-programming.  Gene was so impressed with eating buzzard that the experience inspired him to open a chain of buzzard restaurants called “Mean Gene’s Burgers” in the late-90s.


Special feature: “The Call Of The Action with Lord Alfred Hayes.”  I love these segments, in the way that I’m hooked on WrestleCrap.  “Call Of The Action” clips are when Lord Al watches a series of wrestling moves from a squash match, then excitedly calls most of the moves by the wrong name.  This outing is something of a letdown as Lord Al reviews squashes with The Rockers and Jimmy Snuka and he only really blows three moves.  Behold:




“Human Cannonball”

“Rocket Launcher”

“Face Breaker”


“Mid-Section Blow”



5) Rick Rude b Tito Santana [2/11/89].  Rude was simply awesome as the cocky heel, doing the hip-swivel while winning an initial test of strength and later displaying the best-ever-in-the-biz sell of a crotch shot.  Rude never missed a chance to strike a pose, which had Tito doing the slow burn.  Rude worked over Tito’s back for most of the match until Tito took over with a brief offensive flurry highlighted by a figure-four (which got a LOUD pop from the Boston Garden fans).  Rude made the ropes and rolled outside.  Tito threw Rude back in and tried an outside-in sunset flip, but Rude dropped to his knees and grabbed the ropes for leverage to pin Tito.  Good match with both guys getting over in character.  (David)


6) Jake Roberts b Ted DiBiase (w/ Virgil) [4/24/89].  The Jake-DiBiase WWF feud spanned 1989 through 1990, and it had some of the best promos and psychology anywhere in the biz at the time.  That said, there’s such a thing as too much psychology, as this one had WAY too much stalling before it finally got going.  Good ol’ Lord Alfred was on another planet, talking about the photographers at ringside.  “Look at that Asiatic gentleman there,” mused Al.  “Where do you think he’s from?  Spain?”  Schiavone rightly ignored His Lordship.  Typical late-80s WWF, as Jake’s offense was constantly stymied by Virgil.  DiBiase got the million-dollar dream, but Jake did that unique spot where his long leg “slithered” over and made the ropes.  Jake came back with the short-arm clothesline, but Virgil grabbed his leg when he went for the DDT.  Jake slid out of a bodyslam attempt and tried a reverse rollup, but DiBiase blocked it and gloated to the fans.  While DiBiase preened, Jake grabbed his trunks for a moon shot and schoolboyed him for the pin.  Despite Jake being one of the top faces in the company at this time, both announcers called it an “upset.”  Maybe they rented the Jake The Snake Coliseum Video. DiBiase and Virgil doubled on Jake, who made his own comeback and ran off the heels.  Not good, not bad.  A disappointment, considering who was involved.  (Mike)


Special feature: “Fans Across The World.”  Mooney welcomed Schiavone to the studio for this awful segment.  There’s an old saying in the wrestling business: “If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.  If a job isn’t worth doing at all, give it to Tony Schiavone.”  This was three minutes of hell as we met several ugly WWF fans who marked out for themselves and contributed nothing of value.  Not to be cruel, but I swear this looked like one of those commercials for the Special Olympics.  Fans were asked a variety of brain-ticklers, such as “What’s on your mind about the WWF?” and “What do you like about The Ultimate Warrior?”


7) Tugboat Thomas b Iron Mike Sharpe [1/2/90].  Making movies, making songs, and fighting ‘round the world!  This was Tugger’s WWF debut, as he tooted his way into a nation’s heart by squashing IMS.  All joking aside, there was a seriously impressive spot as Tugger leapt up for an amazing standing dropkick that hit IMS right in the mush.  Tugger put IMS away with an avalanche and a big splash.  Good debut squash for the WrestleCrap icon.  (David)


8) Cage match: World champion Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake b Randy Savage & Zeus (w/ Sherri) [“No Holds Barred: The Match, The Movie” PPV special; 12/12/89].  This was part of a PPV special coupled with the movie airing in late-1989.  Now if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to take a moment to kvetch about those lazy WWF bastards for not re-doing or editing the original commentary on matches like this.  When this match aired on PPV, the word had recently come down that some cable companies were refusing to carry future WWF PPVs.  As you would imagine, Vince and Jesse whined about it off and on throughout the match.  Now in this case, I totally agreed with the WWF’s position because this was a no-brainer censorship issue.  But my point is this “hot topic” stuff looks SO bush-league when you’re watching the tape 13 years after the controversy that hardly anyone even remembers.  It wouldn’t have hurt anything to simply cut out the comments pertaining to the controversy when the match was thrown on this video.  Okay, on to the match.  Sherri slammed the cage door on Hogan to open the match, allowing the heels to double on Bruti.  Hogan climbed into the cage just in time to stop Zeus from breaking Beefcake’s neck.  Great, Hulk.  Where were you when the poor guy went parasailing?  Spot of the match was Savage taking a high backdrop into the cage.  Savage was DA MAN in 1989.  Sherri met Savage at the top of the cage, allowing Beefcake to do the “noggin-knocker” spot.  Beefcake put the sleeper on Zeus, but Savage broke it up and the heels took over and eventually tried to escape the cage.  Hogan suplexed Zeus back in, while Savage and Beefcake rammed each other’s head into the cage at the same time in a ridiculous cred-killing spot.  Sherri slammed the door into the ref at ringside and passed a chain to Savage.  Why they’re doing ref bumps in a no-DQ cage match, I don’t know.  Savage wrapped the chain around his fist and leapt off the top of the cage, but Beefcake caught him with a Mid-Section Blow (TM Lord Alfred’s Call Of The Action).  The brothers Boulder took over as Beefcake escaped the cage with a climb and pulled Savage out of the cage, leaving Hogan vs. Zeus one-on-one.  Like I really needed another reason to hate Ed Leslie.  Hogan finally pinned Zeus to end their awful feud after no less than three legdrops.  Gee, he only needed one to beat Andre at Wrestlemania 3.  Savage made this thing, and Sherri was more entertaining (and a better worker) than the other three guys.  (David)


Overall over-analysis:


I guess whoever was in charge of numbering the “Best Of The WWF” videos couldn’t count past 20, so Supertape was the successor to the throne as the WWF’s top “anthology” series.  Not a good debut video, as there were a few okay-to-good matches, but no great matches.  The Bushwhackers profile was a complete waste of time, as was talking to the fans.  Sadly, this did set the tone for future Supertapes, as the few solid matches would be overshadowed by other nonsense.  Oh yeah, and Lord Al is a putz.  Gordon Solie was spinning in his grave 10 years before he actually died.


Grade: C-




Match dates courtesy of www.prowrestlinghistory.com

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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).