#52107-3 – Super Slams
Arnold Furious: This tape sounds like a jobber TV show. Stan Lane informs us that “some” matches were taped exclusively for this tape. In doing so he’s standing in front of a pale blue background with “Super Slams” written on it. It does not scream production value. It screams “we don’t have a studio, so we taped this in a corridor”. Which, given the financial state of the WWF circa 1995, might well be true.
Bret Hart & Razor Ramon vs. Jeff Jarrett & Hakushi
We’re in Lowell, Massachusetts for what looks, sounds and feels like a house show. It must be around the time of the first In Your House, as they’re mixing up two singles feuds from that show. Ramon/Jarrett ran longer but Hart/Hakushi was a short-lived affair, the basic cause being Jerry Lawler’s big mouth. He accused Bret of being racist towards the Japs in order to bait Hakushi into challenging the Hitman. I was hoping to see a lot of Bret-Jarrett in this match seeing as they never ran a feud and I wanted to see how good it could have been, but Jarrett instead does a cowardice deal opposite Razor, which I’ve seen many times over. Hakushi and Bret seem to be planning out the basics of their IYH match, which is more fluid than they are here. Roadie is out here in Jarrett’s corner, Shinja in Hakushi’s and the heels run a numbers game on Hart. Bret is better at drawing sympathy than Ramon so he’s a good choice for the heat. The heels are smart with cutting the ring off and running formula. The hot tag sees Razor throwing his predictable but excellent right hands. They botch the diving bulldog spot with Razor somehow landing on top of Jarrett’s back. They pull the old “flipping the pins” spot, which is the second time in as many tapes I’ve seen Bret win a tag match the same way. It’s a decent match but had a blatant house show vibe to it and the lack of effort was noticeable. But sometimes formula can craft a watchable match without there needing to be much effort, which is why it has been retained for so very, very long.
Final Rating: **½
The Undertaker vs. Tatanka
Tatanka doesn’t have the range of selling and facial expressions to work Taker. He gets more jollies from arguing with the fans. There’s something about Tatanka’s inability to work heel. It was painful at times, watching him stroll through a bunch of boring, generic heel stuff. He opts for stalling here and spends most of the match walking around ringside. Maybe he’d been watching a CWA comp before the match with a load of heel Lawler on it? When he’s not stalling he throws those awful overhand punches that only shitty workers use. I always found him passable as a babyface, but in matches like this you can see how utterly clueless he was as a heel. Tatanka thankfully starts with the power moves to give Taker something to actually do the zombie sit up from, including the Papoose-to-Go. They run an embarrassing elbow drop miss with zombie sit up, which Gorilla mocks. Yet another silly Undertaker spot. Chokeslam finishes. Yep, Tatanka didn’t even merit a Tombstone. The match wasn’t long enough to be boring and when Tatanka was popping moves off he didn’t suck. As much.
Final Rating: *½
The Allied Powers vs. The Blu Brothers
The Blus are the Harris Brothers, so they suck. The only good thing about them is their manager; ‘Dirty’ Dutch Mantel, renamed Uncle Zebekiah. The Allied Powers are the short lived team of Lex Luger and Davey Boy Smith, which could have been a hot ticket IF either of them gave a shit about it. But they don’t. Luger is pretty much waiting for his contract to expire and Bulldog isn’t thrilled to find his hot return to the WWF consisting of being dumped in a shit tag division. The crowd are less than impressed at being presented with this opener. The Blus work some boring heat on Davey and switch without tags, because they’re identical. Luger gets the hot tag and goes straight onto autopilot. It was shit like this that derailed Luger’s career. If he can’t get motivated at WrestleMania, then he won’t get motivated for anything. Davey tags in blind and sunset flips one of the Blus for the win. Let’s say Eli. Considering the weak tag division, the Allied Powers should have run roughshod over it. They did next to nothing and faded away and Bulldog did very little until his summer heel turn.
Final Rating: ½*
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Jeff Jarrett (c) vs. Adam Bomb
Roadie is taking care of the belt. Spit-shine Tommy we used to call him. I’m just kidding Roadie, you’ve really made it now in the WWF. You’re really a star. Now go get your fuckin’ shinebox! Jarrett pulls his usual Memphis routine of stalling, begging off and celebrating the tiniest achievement. Much like I celebrate every 10G of gamerscore on Xbox 360, by strutting across the room. Bomb has an extensive array of clubberin’, which would have suited him better in previous WWF eras. The whole Hulkamania period would have been great for him, but by 1995 he’s out of date. He’s just a big limited lug and Jarrett works circles around him at half-speed. You can see Jarrett’s processes in action. “What’s this being recorded for? Super Slams? What the fuck is Super Slams!? I’m going to the chinlock, fellas. Enjoy recording it. As a special bonus I’ll angle my ass towards the hard-cam.” We call that the money shot. Bomb’s biggest issues stem from how non-threatening he is. When he’s lumbering across the ring to hit a clothesline he looks like it might hurt someone but not intentionally. It’s like watching Lenny from Of Mice and Men wrestle. He spies Roadie and runs after him. “Gee, a bunny George. Lemme pet ‘im”. Bomb heads up top and Roadie shoves him off for Jarrett to pin. That’s the finish? Eesh. I guess Jarrett showed me. Both guys looked like they’d rather be playing Gin Rummy or doing blow off a strippers ass. Hey, who wouldn’t? I guess it depends on the stripper…
Final Rating: *
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart
This is from Raw, right before WrestleMania XI, so Jim Ross is on commentary. It’s no DQ and no count-out and would be a blood feud if they allowed bleeding back in ’95. Bret absolutely whales on Owen and treats him like a bitch. It’s ok when big brother does it but I hate how many people got to treat Owen like a bitch in 1995. It killed his ability to do business at the top end. The crowd still hated him but just never believed he had a shot at beating anyone anymore. Bret is all about showcasing his brawling skills in this one, which would be yet another awesome match in the Hart brothers’ collective locker. Let’s see, they’ve mastered the cage match, the technical masterpiece and conquered tag wrestling, now it’s time to add the violent brawl in there too. As Bret smacks his face off the ring steps I’m thinking he probably considered sneaking a bladejob into this match too, but Vince might start getting suspicious so he saves the blood for big PPV matches. Owen eats an exposed turnbuckle. Tasty. Again, you can tell it’s the cartoon era because there’s no juice. Bret sets up the Sharpshooter with a piledriver, but Owen jabs him in the eyes and whips Bret into the exposed buckle. Owen tries to follow with a missile dropkick but Bret catches him, slingshots him into the exposed buckle, which is getting a tonne of action in this bout, and finishes with the Sharpshooter. The idea behind Owen quitting so fast was due to his tag title shot at WrestleMania six days later. He didn’t want to go into that match with an injury. Because of Owen’s reluctance to battle for survival, the match is a step down from their classics. But it’s a very different match from the brothers Hart, and therefore it’s worth a gander.
Final Rating: ***½
Summary: Super Slams is a short throwaway tape with only five matches on it. Bret-Owen is worth seeing but that’s about it. The host Stan Lane seems quite indifferent to the action and tends to act like one of the VJ’s the WWF moved on to. This could have been Josh Matthews with some “off-the-chain” action or one of the other pretty boys the WWE have since hired to present recap shows. That’s what this felt like; a recap show of a bigger event that nobody cared about. Seriously, four out of the five matches are worked by people who aren’t particularly bothered about how the match comes off. It’s only the last one that delivers and it’s a good TV match, but since when was that a selling point for a tape?