#P117 – Best Of WWF Fan Favorites
Bret Hart vs. Repo Man
This, like a number of matches on this tape, comes from the WWF Wrestling Grudge Matches release that we covered in Volume #2. The premise of any of these being fan picked matches goes right out of the window straight away, because realistically who would ever want to see Repo Man wrestle at all? These two had many notable matches opposite each other when they were both in the tag division, with Repo Man of course being the former Demolition Smash. Bret was in a brief limbo between dropping the IC title to The British Bulldog at SummerSlam ’92 and winning the WWF title the next month from Ric Flair. Alfred Hayes thinks losing the IC title could make Bret a free spirit, unburdened with the responsibility of being champion. Wha..? He thinks Repo Man is a riot as well, just loves the gimmick. That’s because he is a moron. Bret schools Repo for a while and the difference in class is strikingly apparent. You can tell this is not a vintage Bret performance, because Gorilla and Hayes just spend the entire time putting over the SummerSlam match. Gorilla busts out the anatomy knowledge, as Repo delivers an apathy inducing heat. Repo Man’s matches on these tapes were always fast-forward material. Here he is in there with the very best in the company, if not the whole world at this point, yet it is still boring. Bret, thankfully, goes over with a small package. This was only any good when Bret was on the offensive.
Final Rating: *¾
Virgil vs. IRS
Also from WWF Wrestling Grudge Matches so anyone who owns that tape as well as this one, feels pretty ripped off right about now. Repo Man followed by IRS is not a great way to start, but it is fitting that these matches would take place under the notoriously shitty “fan favourites” banner. Hayes offers the wisdom that IRS doesn’t like the name “Irwin” and that is why he calls himself “IR”. That is not a typo. This is so boring that Mooney and Hayes stop commentating completely for about a minute, before discussing the rest of the card. They talk about Jake Roberts vs. Randy Savage and a tag match involving Sid Justice and Hulk Hogan. Both of those sound fun, far better than this anyway. If you have seen one IRS match you have seen them all of course, and this one ends with a shitty DQ finish when IRS uses his briefcase. I don’t especially care how it ended, I am just glad it is over.
Final Rating: ¼*
Bastion Booger vs. Marty Jannetty
This is a very rare Booger appearance on home video release, and the match comes from Monday Night Raw in August 1993. Booger’s gimmick is that he is a fat slob, and he falls out of the ring early on, so Jannetty nails him with an axe handle off the apron and then a slingshot tope. Jannetty is looking casual here, like the match is an inconvenience to him. Booger is just the shits, and everything he does looks so sloppy. The WWF really ruined a fairly decent worker with an awful gimmick with this, because Mike Shaw wasn’t this bad pre-WWF. Booger is still worlds better than Shaw’s brief stint as Friar Ferguson though; that was one of the worst characters I have ever seen. Oh, this is over already. Booger sat down on Jannetty, but he switched it into a sunset flip and got the three. Why did they even bother putting this on?
Final Rating: ¼*
Rick Martel vs. Crush
For the third time, we visit the Grudge Matches tape, and culling so much from one other release is surely bordering on consumer fraud. Martel is dressed like a yachtsman. I actually approve of him wearing different outfits, because if he is a model then he should be doing some, you know, modelling! Crush had great music and some amazing colourful singlets. It is easy to forget just how big he was, and he towers over Martel here. I actually didn’t mind his spell as “Kona” Crush, even though he was awful in the ring, he seemed like he was getting pretty over. The funniest thing about this is Hayes, trying to heel it up, calling Crush “not much of a wrestler” and Sean Mooney ripping into him and basically calling him an asshole for saying it. It is about time someone called him out! Martel can’t catch much in the way of a break due to the sheer size of Crush, so he settles for using cartwheels to counter the big man instead, and any blows he land only serve to annoy him. Crush catches Martel with a big backbreaker, a legdrop and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, then bench presses him with ease into a slam. The Model has had enough and walks off, for a lame Crush count-out win. The match was actually better than you might expect, because Martel was a willing bumper for Crush’s fairly impressive power moves. It was not good, but it didn’t make you want to rip your eyes out either, and for that I am thankful.
Final Rating: *¼
Money Inc. vs. The Bushwhackers
Oh come on Columbia! Give me a respite somewhere here, please! IRS manages to double up as he inexplicably frequently does, with his second appearance on the tape. I just don’t get it at all. Maybe he was Vince’s favourite gimmick because it was a way of sticking one to a government that was against him. This is all heat, which is a double edged sword because the positive is that we don’t have to see The Bushwhackers on offense, but the negative is that we do have to see Money Inc. on offense. The crowd don’t care, and they have no reason to either, as this is unspeakably boring. The Bushwhackers make the hot tag but a distraction from Jimmy Hart leads to IRS getting the win after a knee to the back. Dire.
Final Rating: ¼*
Repo Man vs. Tatanka
Another Repo Man match… swell. This is yet another double dip, also featuring on Invasion of the Bodyslammers. Is there a less appealing match than this? It is more cartoon nonsense and it hurts my head. Repo Man, wow, what a poor gimmick. Why is he dressed as the hamburgler? Why does he have tyre marks on his singlet? Repo Man was my least favourite wrestler as a kid, not because he was a good heel, but because I just thought he was utter dross. The match is actually surprisingly pretty decent and back-and-forth, with both targeting the arm, before Tatanka wins with the usual End of Trail. Both guys deserve a little more credit than I gave them. It was not great by any means, but it was alright.
Final Rating: *¾
Typhoon vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
This was actually a King of the Ring qualifier, never mind this fan favourites nonsense. Typhoon is the last thing this awful tape needed. Seriously, every time I see him do his idiotic head shaking I first cringe and then fill with rage. They make a mess of things early on because Typhoon is a step behind Bigelow and gets lost going into a lock-up. Yeah. Typhoon sticks to something he can do, and just holds Bam Bam’s arm. Bigelow gives him a back suplex in return, but Typhoon just gets up and no-sells it like he is freakin’ Kenta Kobashi. And that is the ONLY time anyone has ever likened Typhoon to him! Thinking about it, all of my least favourite WWF guys have featured on this tape, from IRS to Repo Man to The Bushwhackers and now Typhoon. This tape is my wrestling kryptonite. I feel weak, I really do. Bigelow realises he can’t do anything with Typhoon so just sits in a chinlock for a while. Typhoon misses a fat ass splash in the corner and Bam Bam impressively Samoan drops him before finishing things with the diving headbutt. Bigelow tried god bless him, but this was still not good.
Final Rating: ½*
The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzales
What a way to finish! This is available on The Undertaker – His Gravest Matches as well as German Fan Favorites, because it is so good it deserves multiple airings. Gonzalez is my secret guilty pleasure. He is utterly diabolically bad in the ring of course, but man, he was just so tall! Watching him do anything leaves me in awe at his sheer immensity. To this day, when I am measuring stuff up around the house, I use Gonzalez being “8-foot tall” as a reference point. Like, if I buy a new bed, I will wonder aloud how much of Gonzalez could fit in there. Do I have a problem? Gonzalez’s version of Sweet Chin Music is a thing of ugly. Check out the “snap” on the bump from Taker’s flying clothesline? Yikes. Gonzalez high tails it and Mr. Hughes comes in to give Taker a pounding, meaning we have a shitty DQ finish. The match in real terms was hideous, but I enjoyed it! For that, I am staying away from negative stars. Because Gonzalez is so tall.
Final Rating: DUD
Summary: Holy moley, what an abysmal excuse for a tape this was. It featured and showcased some of the all-time worst wrestlers in WWF history, and not one of the eight matches on offer managed to even break **. That means every single match was at very best slightly under “below average”. That is inexcusable. The fact that nearly half of the bouts were culled from a different release is a major rip-off too. Unbelievably hard to sit through and some of the worst wrestling you are likely to see. A definite avoid, as if it was ever even in doubt.