As much as I’ve bitched about WWE recently, I have to give their video department a heck of a lot of credit. Think about it – how many ***** DVDs has this company released in the past couple of years? We’ve been graced by awesome DVD sets that have covered the careers of Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, Ric Flair, and just this past month, Chris Benoit. Even the Hogan disc was fascinating to watch. In short, while things may be a bit shaky still each week on Raw and Smackdown, WWE home videos are awesome no matter what you’re in the mood to watch.
But it didn’t used to be that way.
No, it didn’t used to be that way at all. Anyone who watched the WWF in the early-mid 90’s and lived to tell the tale can relate the horrors that awaited them in any video store foolish enough to carry wrestling tapes. While today we can watch classic matches featuring Chris Benoit in every wrestling promotion known to man, in the old days (and boy do I love saying that, like 87 or something) we were “treated” to two hour schlockfests featuring negative star classics like Tugboat vs. Skinner. As if that wasn’t terrifying enough, the tapes would also include hahalarious skits like Sean Mooney pretending to be Captain Kirk or The Berserker giving tips on how to throw a formal dinner party, stuff so bizarre and atrociously bad that you were begging for Tugboat vs. Skinner, Round Two.
And it wasn’t just one tape like this – these stupid things came out every month! No kidding, every time you went to the store, there’d be a new abomination waiting for you courtesy of our friends in Connecticut. Truly, if WrestleCrap ever existed in VHS format, it was in the form of these tapes.
Which makes it somewhat shocking, I suppose, that I’ve never bothered to actually review one of these things all the way through, instead choosing to pick and choose items from them.
Today, I charge headlong into the septic tank that is early 90’s WWF Home Video with a release entitled Bloopers, Bleeps, and Bodyslams, supposedly documenting the most hysterical moments in the WWF. And what, you might ask, is the big selling point on the back of the case?
God bless Lord Alfred, but at the same time, God help us all.
|The video starts off with a nerdy family watching WWF TV. Yes, they used to have quite the different target demo. I somehow doubt that the nerdy dad would watch WWE TV these days with a ten-year old girl. |
No, today I’m sure this poor man is divorced, his wife no doubt having left him after catching him punching the clown as Stacy Keibler flashed her ass one night to the crowd on Raw. And I bet he did it all on that same ugly sofa while wearing that stupid looking hat.
Anyway, they’re watching a promo for the upcoming King of the Ring video release. The ad, which would, in theory, encourage fans to rent or even buy this new tape, features such WWF legends as Adam Bomb and Mabel.
Now that would have been a riot – could you imagine MABEL winning that thing?
|And then WHAM! |
Or I mean, WEEE DOGGIES!
It’s HILLBILLY JIM, who is gregarious enough to interrupt his workout so that he might be our HOST for this here hootenanny. Jim does his best to shill the next two hours by repeating the phrase “Hard Hitting, Side Splitting” about thirty five times in a a thirty-six second span. Talk about a hard sell.
|So it’s off to the first match we go, Kona Crush against Razor Ramon. You’d think this would suck, and you’d be right. |
The match is so boring, in fact, that the commentary crew of Gorilla Monsoon and Johnny Polo (Raven doing an incredibly underappreciated spoiled rich kid gimmick) kill time debating the merits of Fuji Vice. I am not making that up. While Gorilla claims the show was abysmal, Polo claims it was Emmy material. He then somehow segues into a discussion on enemas.
I’d make a joke here, but honestly, what on earth could I write that would top that?
Razor wins with a schoolboy.
|Back to the gym we go, as Hillbilly does some reps on a universal machine. And here I thought he got jacked by molesting dogs. |
Jim stops just long enough to mention that he has even more great matches just like the last one in store for us.
You know the sad part?
I’d rather watch HILLBILLY JIM LIFT WEIGHTS than see more “action” like that.
|Up next is another classic, featuring the Steiner Brothers versus the Headshrinkers in a battle for the WWF Tag Team belts. |
Despite the knowledge that I still had almost TWO HOURS of pure, unadulterated scheisse in front of me, I couldn’t help but pause the tape for fifteen minutes just staring at Scott Steiner, and convincing myself that, yes, this was the same man who would later be known to the world as Big Poppa Pump.
|Much to the delight of the crowd, the Steiners win…with a schoolboy. I think I’m sensing a trend.|
|And then it’s time for what you’ve all been waiting for – WWF BLOOPERS! Now before you get too excited, let it be known that these are simply outtakes of announcers mispronouncing words, and then asking to restart the tape. |
These segments take up approximately twenty minutes of the tape, despite the fact that the comedy level contained therein of this ranges somewhere between the Mama’s Family episode where Lola freeze dries her cat and the Who’s The Boss where Sam gets her first training bra.
Still, twenty minutes of this is twenty minutes I’m not subjected to horrible matches. I’m starting to think that maybe this tape isn’t so bad after all…and then, I see this:
Yes – Hillbilly Jim, spread eagle for your viewing pleasure.
Time to call my therapist.
|Fortunately, the director decides to pan up from Hillbilly’s barely concealed gonads long enough that he can hype the next match. And that chop can mean only one thing, kids…|
|That’s right – a match with newly signed WWE Superstar TATANKA (BUFFALO)! |
Hmmmm…maybe staring at Hillybilly Jim’s crotch wasn’t so bad after all.
In addition to Tatanka (Buffalo), we get even more bad matches featuring the likes of Dink, IRS, and a very coked up Marty Jannetty.
Oh, and yet another Crush match.
If you ever watned to know just how thin the WWF talent roster was in 1994, consider this – for a two-hour video, they had TWO Brian Adams matches.
|Following these epic bouts, it’s back to the bloopers as we see Todd Pettengill fight with a reel-to-reel tape machine. |
Finding zero amusement with that, I decided to instead make an animated GIF of Todd doing the pee-pee dance.
|Hee hee hee…look at him! |
He’s going to urinate right in his Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey clown pants!
|The main event of the tape is a Randy Savage-Jerry Lawler showdown, which Savage wins with…yep, you guessed it…a schoolboy.|
|The tape mercifully reaches its conclusion as Hillbilly does some jogging on a treadmill. |
You know, I learned more about fitness from the short snippets of Hillbilly’s workout regimen on this tape than I did from Warrior and Chyna’s workouts combined.
And that’s pretty much it. I can’t believe I survived it, actually, but I lived to tell the tale. I was just thinking that maybe I could review another one of these abominations, and then I remembered this:
Thanks, but no.
Hillbilly Jim: “Well, hello folks, and welcome! This is Hillbilly Jim, I’m so glad you came by to see me! I’m your host for Bloopers, Bleeps, and Bodyslams. We’ve got some hilarious side splitting…wooo!…hootie hootie…laughing bloopers, you won’t believe it!”