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Welcome To The Vault! In This Edition, Harry Simon Goes Back To Yesteryear To Bring Us WWF Invasion'92!

WWF INVASION '92

Approx running time: 1 hr 45 min

Time period covered:  Nov. 91 – Jan. 92

Released: 1992

Hosts: Commander Mooney & First Officer Lord Alfred Hayes

 

Oh Christ.  I can already tell that I’ve got a winner on my hands.  Sean Mooney is now “Commander Mooney,” captain of the “WWF Starcruiser,” a spaceship shaped like the WWF logo.  Mooney and his crew wore puke-green shirts with WWF logos on the left teet.  Leave it to the WWF to make the world’s only bad Star Trek parody.  Mooney’s acting was beyond pitiful and somehow even worse than when he was “First Lieutenant Mooney” back on Battle Of The WWF Superstars 1990.  One of the crew named “Torg” sported alien makeup.  Why the hell would you go to the expense and effort of such a thing for a one-shot throwaway gimmick?  Way to bleed green, Vince.  And we haven’t even met First Officer Hayes yet.

 

1) Hulk Hogan b Typhoon (w/ Jimmy Hart) at 5:51 with the Hogan finish at [12/2/91].  Aw, tragic.  It seems like it was only yesterday when happy-go-lucky Tugboat was whoring “Hulk Hogan friendship bracelets” while Hulkster was out filming Suburban Commando to recuperate from an injury caused by Earthquake.    Mooney actually mentioned that Hulk and Ty were best buddies as “The Lug n’ Tug Connection.”  Before we start with the Mooney love, the rules were different for Hogan.  You were SUPPOSED to mention his history to build his matches.  Okay, let me try.  Orndorff, Andre, Savage, Tugphoon, Sid, Brother Butcher Bruti…why can’t Hogan keep a friend?  The guy must be a total dickhole.  Mooney cocked up the story, though.  Mooney said Typhoon was jealous of the attention Hogan got around the world.  Not so.  When they ran the angle where he turned, the explanation was that he was a one-man “get well” campaign for Hogan when Hogan was on the shelf, yet when Quake injured Tugger, Hogan couldn’t even be bothered to mention it.  Ya know, Ty has a valid point there.  I guess that’s why they rewrote history.  Typhoon mocked Hogan’s posing, which did make me smile.  Other than that, it was by-the-numbers Hogan, except it clocked in a little shorter than usual.  My guess is that this match was dovetailed on one of those marathon five-hour TV tapings, and they didn’t want to kill the crowd with a longer match.  Still though, this was not good.  (Chris)

 

Commander Mooney and his crew were perplexed by a phantom “Whooooo”-ing.  No one could figure out what it was until they put it on the screen.  So they mastered intergalactic travel, but they don’t recognize the most famous catchphrase of all time?  Sigh.  Anyway, the mystery was solved when World champion Ric Flair and Curt Hennig appeared “on screen.”  Credit where it’s due, The Minnesota Blonds cut a spirited promo.  Mr. P said there’s “No signs of intelligent life around the WWF,” while Flair said, “Forget about Orion’s belt!  This is the only belt that matters!”

 

Next was a clip of Flair winning the classic 1992 Royal Rumble to claim the vacant WWF World title.  Before you get too excited, this was the remixed commentary and dubbed-in crowd heat because they didn’t want to show the fact that the Albany crowd popped huge for Hogan’s elimination.  Don’t worry, dear reader, I taped the RR92 PPV live and the difference is night and day.

 

Hogan’s elimination – Original live PPV version:

 

(Sid eliminates Hogan to a huge pop.)

 

Gorilla: “And look at – From behind!  Oh, Justice got rid of Hulk!”

 

Brain: “Uh oh, I don’t like the looks of things now!  There are no friends!  There are no friends!  Only enemies!”

 

Gorilla: “Boy, is (Hulk) upset!  He said, ‘You’ve stolen my belt!’”

 

(Hogan grabs Sid’s hand, allowing Flair to dispatch Sid and win the whole shebang.)

 

Gorilla: “And look at this!  Hulkster holding on!  Trying to pull him out!  It’s Flair from behind!  Flair did it!”

 

Brain: “YES!  YES!  YES!!  I TOLD YOU, I TOLD YOU!!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!!  I TOLD YOU, MONSOON!!  I TOLD YOU!!”  (Note: I may have missed a “yes” or two, but you get the point.)

 

Gorilla: “Flair did it!  I don’t believe it!”

 

Brain: “HE DID IT!  HE DID IT!! I KNEW HE’D DO IT!  I KNEW HE’D DO IT!!  ALL YOU HUMANOIDS!!”

 

Gorilla: “What a man, Ric Flair!”

 

Hogan’s elimination – Invasion ’92 re-dubbed version:

 

(Really, really obvious dubbed-in boos when Hogan was pitched.)

 

Gorilla: “From behind, look at this!  I don’t believe it!  Snuck up like a thief in the night from behind and dumped the Hulkster out of there!  Holy mackerel!”

 

(Even more obvious “Hogan” chants dubbed-in at this point.)

 

Brain: “Listen to this, Monsoon!  He’s calling him ‘Big Boy!’  He’s rubbing it in, too!  I like Sid Justice!  I like his style!  COME ON, RIC!!”

 

Gorilla: “He said ‘Every man for himself!’  Yes, but be a man and face the guy!  At least turn around and let him look in your face when you dump somebody out!”

 

(With Hogan holding Sid’s hand, Flair eliminates Sid from behind, THE EXACT SAME WAY SID DUMPED HOGAN.  From here, the live reaction picks up.  Flair got a big pop.  But the way it was portrayed here, it was made to look like fans popped more for Sid’s elimination than Flair’s win.)

 

Gorilla: “Look at this, it’s Flair dumping big Sid out of there!  I don’t believe it!”

 

Brain: “YES!  YES!  YES!  WHOOOOOO!!”

 

Gorilla: “It is official!  I can’t believe for over one hour!  Ric Flair has now become the new World Wrestling Federation champion!”

 

Brain: “I told you!  I told you!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  He did it!”

 

Gorilla: “What a display of guts by that guy! (Flair)”

 

Brain: “And what a great move by Sid Justice, outsmarting that big dummy, Hulk Hogan!”

 

Gorilla: “What a creep Sid Justice turned out to be!”

 

Leave it Hoganomics to try and ruin one of the greatest moments in WWWFE history.  Rather than put over Flair (your new World champion, btw) after one of the single greatest performances in PPV history, they decided to retcon everything (a comic book term for “re-write history”) and shift focus to the Hogan-Sid feud.  Assheads.  The same dubbed-in propaganda aired on the 2/8/92 Saturday Night’s Main Event, the show where Sid turned on Hogan in a tag match against Flair & The Undertaker.  See, Sid had apologized for his conduct and that putz Hogan accepted it despite having the exact same scam pulled on him by Orndorff and Savage in similar situations.  (Not to mention Andre and Typhoon, who just got sick of being around the guy.)

 

2) Ric Flair (w/ Curt Hennig) b IC champion Bret Hart via CO at 19:18 so Bret retained the title [11/13/91].  Business just picked up.  Ring announcer Howard Finkel made a rare goof during Flair’s intro, first calling Hennig the “financial consultant,” then catching himself and saying “executive consultant.”  This allowed Mooney and Lord Al to goof on the goof.  When Mooney and Lord Al tool on you, you should honor your ancestors by committing suicide immediately.  An annoying graphic popped up that said “RECORDED PRIOR TO ROYAL RUMBLE ’92.”  Um, I think we could have figured that out ourselves, guys.  Then again, I’m the one who’s always bitching about continuity, so I guess it was okay.  Ah, I’m just bitter.  Hey, why did Bret always wait until after the bell rang to leave the ring and give his sunglasses to a kid at ringside?  And how come he was never counted out?  And why didn’t anyone ever jump him from behind while he was doing it?  There are no easy answers.  Lord Al made a disturbing allegation about Hitman by saying, “(Bret) is a very generous person and he takes a genuine interest in young people.”  Insert Michael Jackson joke here.  Anyway, these two didn’t put on a clinic, but it was a very good well-worked match with tons of great psychology.  Flair shoved Bret, so Bret slapped him.  That got Bret over for not backing down from the legend.  Flair did the best sell of a drop-toehold I’ve ever seen.  It looked like Bret tore his damn leg in half for a moment.  Flair and referee Dave Hebner did the old Flair-Tommy Young shoving match spot, which caused Bret to break character for a second and crack a big smile.  Great back and forth, bridged by Flair’s famous “Dirtiest Player In The Game” figure-four.  Bret’s real comeback started after Nature Boy took the Flair flip to the outside.  Bret locked in the sharpshooter, but Flair made the ropes.  Bret went for it again, but Hennig distracted Bret.  Bret hit a reverse rollup for a nice near-fall.  Bret got another nice “TWOOOOOOO” with a bridging backslide.  Flair took a nice bump over the top off a forearm uppercut.  The two slugged it out at ringside, with Bret backdropping out of a piledriver attempt.  Both guys crawled up to the apron, but Hennig yanked Bret off the apron so Flair could beat the count.  Mooney royally screwed the pooch by missing the call entirely (“Bret slipped off the apron”).  No mention was made that Bret retained the gold due to the CO finish, which had to be confusing as hell for a newbie not familiar with the whole “title can only change hands via pinfall or submission” malarkey.  Why would Mr. P screw his guy out of a potential title win?  Um, I think you need a new executive consultant, Naitch.  At this point, Flair was undefeated in the WWF.  Thus, the intrigue was that we’d either see a new IC champ or the end of Flair’s streak.  Instead we got a screwjob finish (Kinda like HBK vs. Tatanka at WM9, except much, much better).  Great match in its own right, but considering the talent, they probably could have done better.  Actually, given the low standards of WWF TV taping matches in 1991, the likely reason this match was as good as it was was because of the legendary work ethics of both Bret and Flair.  The only real knock against it was the lousy commentary from Mooney and Lord Al.  (Kerry)

 

There is no God.  Now First Officer Lord Alfred Hayes is trying to repair to starcruiser, a la Trek’s Scotty.  But that’s not all.  FOLAH is using a horrible Scottish accent while doing so.  As usual, Mooney shows all the charisma of a dead skunk.  Possibly less.

 

3) Flair (w/ Hennig) b Shawn Michaels at 10:11 [12/2/91].  It’s somehow fitting that the greatest wrestler of all time would face two of the greatest workers of all time on a WWF tape that revolved around Sean Mooney piloting a starcruiser.  This was during the time when they would digitize Flair’s “real world championship” because Flair brought his classic “turkey plate” NWA belt with him and it turned into a big legal mess between McMahon and Crockett over who actually owned the belt.  Really weird opening banter between Mooney and Lord Al as Mooney explained the storyline reason for the censorship (i.e., Flair didn’t win his “title” in the WWF, so President Jack Tunney refused to recognize it and ordered it digitized).  Um, why couldn’t Tunney have just ordered Flair to stop carrying the damn thing around with him in the first place?  How the hell did Tunney get elected, anyway?  So after taking in Mooney’s exposition, Lord Al said, “Oh, well I suppose they have their reasons for that.”  This was followed by an awkward nine seconds of dead air from the broadcast booth.  Then Lord Al suddenly did a 180 and shilled, “Yes, I must agree with Jack Tunney, don’t you?  The World Wrestling Federation championship is the – THE! – most incredible honor that anybody could possibly hold and it’s the only one to recognize!”  Ordinarily, I’d crack some joke about the dead air being the best call in the history of the Mooney/Lord Al broadcast team, but in this case, the truth is funnier.  Obviously, someone got into Lord Al’s headset and explained to him the importance of not pulling a Mark Madden and making a lawsuit worse.  Just like SummerSlam 96, when Jerry Lawler was making fun of Jake Roberts for being a drunk.  Jake’s storyline buddy Mark Henry was doing color commentary at ringside to build for the following month’s Lawler-Henry match.  Henry broke character and was laughing at Lawler’s zingers, so Vince angrily went off headset and had to explain to Mizark that he wasn’t supposed to pop for the heel maliciously ripping on his babyface ally.  Anyway, this match told a great story in that Flair had the experience, but Michaels was a star on the rise, and he wouldn’t back down from Flair a bit.  First highspot was Michaels hitting a twisting sunset flip off the top for a near-fall.  Even the schmucky announcers marked out for the crispness of the move.  It was obvious that Shawn saw this as his breakout match, so he turned it up a notch.  Michaels suplexed Flair back in the ring, leading to Flair’s “begging” spot.  The crowd ate it up.  When the brawl moved outside (Flair flip, naturally), there was another odd Lord Al moment when he said, “Michaels must be very, very careful here!  Flair is on his feet already!”  In a moment of introspection, His Lordship then immediately countered himself by asking to no one in particular, “Why am I worried about him?  He doesn’t need my concern.”  Lord Al, you heartless prick!  I kid, I kid.  Dementia is sad when it happens to old people.  Funny, but sad nonetheless.  Hennig tripped Michaels, allowing Flair to start a comeback.  It didn’t last long, though.  Michaels hit the superkick and top-rope fistdrop for a near-fall.  Michaels clotheslined Flair over the top and went for a pescado, but Hennig yanked Flair out of the way, so Michaels went headfirst into the guardrail, getting KOed.  Marty Jannetty ran down to ringside and heaved his lifeless partner back in the ring, where Flair easily pinned him (but put his feet on the ropes for good measure).  Great save, Party Marty.  That was part of the slow build to the Rockers split.  This was a very good match, and IMO, much better than their “legends dream match” at Bad Blood 2003.  (Kerry)

 

The Flair portion of the tape concluded with a close-up of Flair on the starcruiser’s screen, giving a parting “Whoo,” that rocked the crew back in their seats.  Okay, that was cool.

 

4) Tag champions The Legion Of Doom b The Beverly Brothers (w/ The Genius) to retain at 8:59 [12/2/91].

A poem from The Genius:

We are finally facing The Legion Of Doom

A shot we so humbly deserve

So bring on those ignorant muscle-head geeks

And we’ll see if they have any nerve

Loud “LOD” chants throughout the match.  Goddamn, they were over.  Poor Enos & Bloom were the opposite of over.  They were good workers and had good chemistry together, but the pointless Beverly gimmick killed ‘em deader than dead.  What the hell were the Beverly Brothers supposed to be, anyway?  Rich heels?  Blond heels?  Rich, blond heels?  Homosexuals?  Anyway, this was a decent match, as the teams worked well together.  The LOD’s timing was on and the Bevs were good “bump bitches” for them.  Hawk was cut off and sold a beating for maybe a minute (a new personal record for him) before hot-tagging Animal.  In the end, Blake fell to the Doomsday Device.  (David)

 

FOLAH repaired the starcruiser with his handy space vibrator and lousy accent.  The suspense was underwhelming.  I love me some Red Dwarf, but this was no Red Dwarf.

 

5) Ted DiBiase (w/ Sensational Sherri) DCO Tito Santana at 8:07 [1/8/92].  This was the “Manager Cam” gimmick, where they put a mic on the manager at ringside (Sherri, in this case).  These matches aired without commentary, and considering the commentators for this tape were Mooney and Lord Al, that’s a good thing.  The bell hasn’t even rung yet and I’m already sick of Sherri calling DiBiase, “Teddy Bear.”  Sherri commented on Santana’s cape-waving by saying, “He looks like he’s getting ready for a fight with a bull or something.”  Nice to see the subtle nuances of the “El Matador” gimmick weren’t lost on Sherri.  I wonder how she would school us on the Val Venis gimmick.  “It looks like he enjoys having unprotected sexual encounters with women he barely knows, or something!”  Sherri opened by yelling, “Come on, Teddy Bear!  Get Taco Bell!”  Either she was going for racial heat or she was hungry.  I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt because her cleavage was impressive.  Santana atomic-dropped DiBiase over the top, leading to a noggin-knocker spot.  Sherri then tripped Santana, leading to DiBiase’s offensive flurry.  Sherri again called Tito, “Taco Bell.”  Sherri just turned peculiar at this point, yelling, “Get him Teddy Bear!  Show everybody just how much of a bull he is!  He ain’t no bull!  He can kiss my hind leg and everything!  He can kiss my butt, he ain’t no bull!”  Great, there goes Lord Al’s Slammy Award for “Least Coherent Superstar” on this tape.  Sherri then hit and choked Santana, saying, “A woman’s work is never done!”  Okay, that was kinda funny.  Tito made his comeback, leading to a flying forearm, but Sherri put DiBiase’s foot under the ropes.  Santana left the ring to confront Sherri, who begged off, saying, “I didn’t do nothing!  I like you a lot!”  Okay, that was kinda funny, Part II.  DiBiase followed him out where they brawled to a DCO.  Sherri then accidentally hit DiBiase with her high heel and ran like a scalded dog.  The “Manager Cam” gimmick was fun because it showed that a good manager worked just as hard in a match as a wrestler back when managers ruled the earth.  As a match, this was extremely disappointing considering Ted and Tito were two of the better workers around.  (Chris)

 

Commander Mooney was walking around just to show that his starcruiser had sliding doors.  Nobody likes a showoff, Sean.  Actually, nobody likes you, anyway.

 

Special Feature: “Nasty Boys Video Store Invasion.”  Some old balding guy with a pony tail was at a hole-in-the-wall video store, perusing through a shelf loaded with Coliseum Videos.  The Nastys stormed the store and lived out my dream, throwing down the Coliseums in disgust.  I never thought I’d say this, but GOD BLESS YOU, NASTY BOYS!!  Pony Tail marked out, saying he was a huge fan of theirs.  Obviously, this was before Vince learned what a “demographic” was, and that it was a better idea to portray WWF fans as young, attractive people.  The video store manager (the same guy who played Needles The Tailor in ***INSERT LINK*** Battle Of The WWF Superstars 1992) objected to the carnage.  Pony Tail stooged off the manager, saying he never ordered any of the Nastys’ videos.  I demand to know which video store this is, so I can get a membership immediately.  The Nastys punked out the manager and drowned him in silly string.  That wasn’t so much nasty as it was just kind of annoying.  The Annoying Boys kidnapped the manager and ordered “3,500” copies of their video Nasty Boys Forever.  For a second, I was actually worked into thinking that such a video really existed, due for a future release.  I sat through Jake.  I sat through George.  BUT NO FUCKING WAY AM I SITTING THROUGH A TAPE OF NOTHING BUT NASTY BOY MATCHES!!  A man has his limits.  Anyway, this shit – wait, I mean “skit.”  No, I was right the first time – ended with a guy walking in and asking for ballet videos.  The Annoying Boys made icky faces at him and pelted him with video boxes.  Knobs & Sags were every bit as good actors as they were workers.  That’s not a compliment.

 

6) Big Bossman b Hercules (w/ Slick) at 7:34 [10/1/91].  No mention of the fact that Slick was BBM’s former manager.  They did one strange spot where Herc couldn’t slam BBM, leading Monsoon to say, “(Herc) didn’t have the leverage he needed for that bodyslam or powerslam.  Whatever he was going to try and do.”  Hey, Herc might have been going for a Northern Lights Bomb.  You never know.  This was followed with a HORRIBLE botched clothesline that was so bad it made me wonder how the hell this ever made it to video.  Finish out of nowhere saw Bossman reverse a whip and pin Herc clean with the Bossman slam.  Weird to see a babyface not named “Hogan” beat a non-jobber clean with his finisher in the early 90s.  Herc must have been in the doghouse for something.  Lousy match.  (Chris)

 

7) Million-Dollar champion Virgil b DiBiase (w/ Sherri) to retain at 7:11.  Randy Savage was special referee [9/10/91].  No mention of the fact that Sherri was Savage’s former manager.  Did Virgil ever defend the MD title against anyone other than DiBiase?  I hated that damn thing.  I was actually relived when they started up with the European and Hardcore “hot potato” championships in the 90s, if only because it meant no more pseudo championships like the MD title or the King’s crown.  The bell rang to start the match despite Macho Ref not calling for it.  Oops.  Now remember, DiBiase was part of an elite group of heels in the late-80s/early-90s that I call “The Forklift Horsemen.”  TFH were relied upon to get decent-to-good matches out of the babyface stiffs that plagued the company during this era (Hogan, Warrior, etc).  Aside from DiBiase and Savage, their ranks also included Hennig and Rick Rude.  That said, even DiBiase couldn’t make Virgil look like a wrestler, try as he might.  DiBiase was on offense for 90% of this thing, just beating the HELL out of Virg.  DiBiase kept picking up Virg at the two-count to keep dishing out punishment.  Savage took DiBiase to task for this (What did he care?).  DiBiase blindsided Macho Ref, punching him and throwing him out of the ring.  Even Mooney pointed out that DiBiase couldn’t regain his belt with the ref outside the ring.  Stupid booking that made DiBiase look like the world’s dumbest millionaire.  DiBiase slapped on the Million-Dollar Dream, but Savage re-entered the ring by hitting DiBiase in the back of the head with a sledge off the top rope.  Virgil crawled on top of DiBiase and Macho Ref counted the pin.  Great, so your champion is a human punching bag who can’t win matches on his own.  That would have been a great finish if Savage/Virgil were heels while DiBiase was the face, but it was the other way around so the finish was just…stupid.  Even DiBiase couldn’t save this stinker.  For those of you playing along at home, that’s TWO lousy DiBiase matches on one tape.  Looks like Teddy Bear was stricken by the Coliseum Curse this time out.  (Chris)

 

Commander Mooney and FOLAH beamed down to a planet in the middle of some kind of galactic storm.  Even the Gods Of The Cosmos hated these guys.

 

8) Jake Roberts & The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) b Randy Savage & Jim Duggan by DQ at 7:10 [12/4/91].  Mooney opened this match by mentioning the history between Savage and Roberts, yet forgot the history between Savage and Duggan having a big feud over the King’s crown in 1989 (Told ya I hated those damn things).  See, Roberts interrupted the wedding reception of Savage and Elizabeth by giving them the “gift” of a cobra.  This led to their marriage breaking up and Elizabeth shacking up with Lex Luger, a guy so fucking stupid he didn’t know enough not to take the food out of a woman’s mouth so she wouldn’t choke to death on it.  So vicariously, Jake Roberts killed Elizabeth.  Can’t blame Savage for wanting his pound of flesh, really.  Story of this match was that Savage wanted a piece of Roberts, who played the chickensnake.  Savage got the hot tag and “finally” got him some of the Snakeman at four minutes into the match.  The hell?  Remember the six-man tag at Wrestlemania III, where they perfectly milked the sight of Tito Santana and The British Bulldogs getting their hands on Danny Davis?  That’s how these kind of matches should be booked.  Weird finish as Jake went for a DDT on Duggan, but Savage clotheslined him off of Hacksaw.  UT brought the urn into the ring, so Savage grabbed a chair and jabbed Roberts with it for the DQ.  Not good at all.  It concluded with the funny visual of Savage running after the heels swinging a chair over his head, only to carefully lower it so as not to smack the giant WWF logo above the entranceway.  (Chris)

 

Final “Commander Mooney” skit saw CM ask to be beamed up, but Torg and the other crewman ditched him, flying off into deep space.  We left this tape with CM and FOLAH stranded on a hostile planet.  Nice cathartic finish, guys, but it’s too late to say you’re sorry.

 

Overall over-analysis: Take away the Flair matches, and you have bupkiss.  Even DiBiase couldn’t have a good match on this stinker.  The “Commander Mooney” theme was arguably the lamest idea in Coliseum history, and that covers quite a lot of ground.  Worth a rent for the Flair matches, but don’t bother with the rest of it.

 

Grade: C-

 

-HS-

 

(Match dates courtesy of www.prowrestlinghistory.com)

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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

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.).