Approx time period covered: 1994
Host: Ted DiBiase
1) Lex Luger DCO Tatanka (w/ Ted DiBiase) [10/19/94]. A 16-minute stinker. Not a good way to kick off this video. The only good thing about the 1994 Luger-Tatanka feud was that the whole premise was Vince’s way of “proving” that he was innocent of steroid distribution charges all along. You see, just like that nasty Federal Government accused Vince of distributing steroids, that nasty Tatanka accused poor Lex Luger of selling out to DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation. When the smoke cleared, Lex was innocent all along, and his accusers were revealed as having their own agenda. Vince actually hoped that people would remember this angle and give him the benefit of the doubt should he ever again be accused of wrongdoing. I’m serious. (Chris)
2) World champion Bret Hart & Davey Boy Smith beat Owen Hart & Jim Neidhart with a Double-Nasty finish [10/19/94]. This is more like it. The Brothers Hart were both in their prime and the New Age In-Laws (Bulldog & Anvil) both played their roles well. DN finish saw Bulldog eventually pin Owen with a small package. Why Owen did the job instead of Neidhart, I know not. A good-not-great match. (David)
Special Feature: “The Perfect Prank with Doink & Dink.” The “Perfect” prank? Maybe they meant the time Curt Hennig and Warrior were hiding under the ring, and Hennig took a dump in a bucket, causing Warrior to vomit? Alas, no. This waste of time was a skit with Doink (Apollo) and Dink running around the WWF studios tormenting production monkeys with Super-Soakers, “Kick Me” signs, and just acting like jackasses in general. Billy Silverman was right, the WWF has a hostile work environment.
3) IC champion Razor Ramon (w/ Ranger Danger) pinned Jeff Jarrett in a re-started match to retain the title [10/19/94]. You’re probably wondering what’s up with that “Ranger Danger” thing. As mentioned above, this was the time period when Vince McMahon was acquitted of steroid distribution charges. Vince beat the rap, but the national scandal took its toll on the WWF and business was in the toilet. So the WWF was forced to do ass-kissing things like picking fans out of the crowd to guest-ring-announce or, in this case, guest-manage. Ranger Danger was a short, fat, dumpy, ugly guy in a park ranger outfit. Basically, he looked like a Muppet suffering from Down’s Syndrome. The funniest moment of the tape occurred when Jarrett smacked the hat off Ranger’s head. Razor then flicked his toothpick in Jarrett’s face, prompting Gorilla Monsoon to indignantly shout “Serves him right!” As for the match itself (and the RR-JJ feud in general), Razor and Jarrett had a weird chemistry together that clicked to usually produce decent matches, and this was no exception. Jarrett actually won the match via CO, but upon realizing that he wouldn’t win the title, “Double-J” demanded the match be restarted. Razor then ran back in the ring, immediately hit the Razor’s Edge and pinned Jarrett. Stupid bumpkin. Ranger Danger hasn’t been heard from since. (David)
4) The Bushwhackers beat Well Dunn (w/ Harvey Wippleman) with another Double-Nasty finish [11/7/94]. Rubbish. This was when Luke & Butch were doing a “Hongi” gimmick, which was like a New Zealand version of an Eskimo kiss. Like the ‘Whackers weren’t stupid enough. Well Dunn was a disappointment in the WWF because these guys weren’t half-bad when they were running around territories as The Southern Rockers. Anyway, the match was terrible and the worst bout of the video, hands down. (Chris)
5) Tatanka & Tag champions Shawn Michaels & Diesel beat Lex Luger & The Smoking Gunns [9/27/94]. Weird match. Good when HBK and the Gunns were in, okay when Tatanka was in, time stood still when Luger and Nash were in. Finish saw future DXer Michaels pin future DXer Billy. Nothing special, nor worth mentioning any further. (Mike)
6) World champion Bret Hart pinned Owen Hart in a lumberjack match to retain the title [8/17/94]. Best match of the tape, needless to say. The Bret-Owen feud was the diamond in the rough that was the 1994 WWF. There was a cool mark-out false finish as Owen pinned Bret with help from Neidhart. Owen was handed the belt, his music played, and the heel lumberjacks lifted him on their shoulders with the belt, but the ref saw the replay of Neidhart interfering on the video wall, so he restarted the match. Neidhart’s second interference attempt backfired, allowing Bret to roll up Owen for the pin. Not on the level of their WM10 classic, but a very good match in its own right. Bret vs. Owen was one of my favorite feuds ever. (Kerry)
Special feature: “Strategy Tips” with Todd Pettengill. This was one of those never-ending segments where Pettingzoo would drone on while giving us tips on how to succeed at our favorite SNES or Sega Genesis games. Um, I don’t want to play video games with Todd Pettengill.
7) Women’s champion Alundra Blayze pinned Bull Nakano (w/ Luna Vachon) to retain the title [10/18/94]. Another good match. On top of everything else, 1994 was also the year Vince teased that he would really make a go of a women’s division and brought in the once and future Madusa to push to the moon as his top star. For all the crap I give Vince, he did the right thing in bringing over Bull Nakano as the first serious threat to Blayze’s strap. Blayze vs. Nakano was another buried treasure on WWF shows in 1994, delivering consistently good matches all around the proverbial horn. Trivbit: Blayze vs. Nakano was the first WWF Women’s title match on a Summerslam PPV (8/94). As you’d expect, they both delivered a good outing here, which makes it all the more ironic that Alundra/Madusa would ultimately appear on WCW Monday Nitro as a surprise and throw her WWF belt in a garbage can. (David)
8) Bob Backlund won a 20-man battle royal [8/15/94]. Oh man…what a load of WrestleCrap in this one. Adam Bomb, Mabel, Kwang, Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, and so on. I’m not a big fan of battle royals to begin with, because I feel that if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all. (Also, I’ve even called a couple in my limited announcing career and they’re a huge pain in the ass.) Anyway, this yawner came down to Backlund and The 1-2-3 Kid. Backlund stretched Kid with the chicken wing, tossed him out, and that was that. Backlund was phenomenal as a psycho heel, but that doesn’t change the fact that this was a by-the-numbers BR, and a poor way to end the video. (Chris)
1994 was a strange year for the WWF. There were plenty of stupid gimmicks like Sparky Plugg and Kwang running around, but there were also three of the best workers in WWF history in their collective prime (Bret, Owen, and Shawn). This tape was a good example of both the best (two Bret-Owen matches) and the worst (two Luger-Tatanka matches) the WWF had to offer in 1994. Bottom line: There was plenty of worthwhile action in 1994, but it took a little finding. As for WBB, the Bret-Owen lumberjack match alone is worth the rental. Blayze-Nakano is quite good too, and the Razor-Jarrett and Bret/Davey-Owen/Neidhart matches are decent, as well. DiBiase was a fun host and a welcome change from the Craig DeGeorge/Sean Mooney stuffed shirts. There are worse ways to spend a couple hours than watching WBB.
This Observer’s Thumb…………..is slightly up.
All match dates courtesy of www.prowrestlinghistory.com
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
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