Tuesday, February 27, 2018

WWE Home Video Classics: Wrestlefest '93

The WWE Network has uploaded nearly 40 Coliseum Home Video releases from the late 80's and early 90's. Elliot is here to help you wade through the riches and see what is worth watching.


Wrestlefest '93 opens with Mean Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan driving down a lonely freeway. Heenan is riding shotgun and being a terrible map-reader. Okerlund notices that their car is overheating and the engine is dying. So they pull to the side of the road, and they begin arguing about how to fix the car.

As the matches on this videotape unfold, we periodically revisit Okerlund and Heenan. Heenan is under the hood and getting grease on his face. He doesn't know how to fix the car, but of course he won't admit that, so he just yells at Okerlund. Eventually, he figures out the problem: there is a hamster in the engine. Just... a hamster. That's it.

Oh, and the video ends with the guys hitchhiking and getting someone to stop for them, but Okerlund gets in the car and it takes off before Heenan can get in.

I adore anything involving Heenan, and Okerlund is usually fun, but this was just flat out interminable. They put in no effort to actually be funny or to come up with a funny situation. Not even their improvised dialogue connects very well, and then the payoff to the whole car thing is a slap to the face. Why a hamster? That makes no sense. Hamsters aren't even funny.


Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes handle the bulk of these matches. Sean Mooney permanently sounds like a bemused man who has just wandered into the recording studio, having never seen wrestling and not really knowing how to react to it. He extends this curious, childish wonder to other aspects of the world, which results in this delightful exchange:

Mooney: Do you really think Papa Shango can turn someone into a zombie? Is there any truth to being the living dead?

Lord Alfred: I don't doubt it. I mean, it's been going on for years, and no one has disproven it yet. 

Lord Alfred seems to have an open mind about everything.

Also, being a British man, he clues us in on what's going on across the pond:

Lord Alfred: In Europe, they regard The Undertaker as a sex symbol! What could they be DOING over there that we don't know about??

Dude, I have no idea, but now I'm imagining early 90's Undertaker in a Mark Wahlberg-ish Guess Jeans ad, and I am positive the early 90's ladies would have been way into that.

Perhaps the most racially troubling, or just confusing, moment of commentary comes when Lord Alfred says Virgil has a good chance of withstanding a Shawn Michaels chinlock because "he has a very big jaw." However, that does explain why Hulk Hogan just couldn't seem to get the better of Jay Leno.


Bret Hart vs. Kamala - Bear with me on this, but Kamala actually works kind of hard here! He does a spinkick, a leapfrog, AND a monkey flip. Where else will you see that?

Mr. Perfect vs. Ric Flair - This is their "Loser Leaves Town" match from one of the very first episodes of Monday Night RAW. I have no idea why they included a high-profile TV match on this tape when everything else is house show stuff, but I will not complain about seeing two excellent performers go at it.


Everything else. The wrestling on this tape is mostly a bland waste of time. But just to clarify:

Money Inc. vs. The Nasty Boys - Way too long and boring.

Papa Shango vs. Crush - It ends with an awful DQ in which Shango shoots some sparklers into Crush's face.

Rick Martel vs. Big Boss Man - No thanks.

Earthquake vs. Repo Man - Oh, absolutely not.

Shawn Michaels vs. Virgil - Shawn wins with a side slam, back when they thought that would be a good finish.

Undertaker vs. Berzerker - Slow Dead Man version of Taker against a screaming idiot.

IRS vs. Jim Duggan - I'll be honest, I didn't even bother with this one.

Razor Ramon vs. El Matador - Only worth it for Lord Alfred finding about 100 different ways to roll his tongue when he says "Ramon."

Owen Hart, Koko B. Ware, and El Matador vs. The Nasty Boys and Repo Man - Skip to the end when the babyfaces win by DQ, they all hug, but then Koko starts hopping up and down in a circle for no reason, which forces Owen and Tito to do the same even though it makes them all look like tiny children.