Shameless plug over.
Now, if you remember back in November, I launched an ongoing series called "Wacky Wrestling VHS Tapes" which will look at and feature random wrestling VHS tapes in my collections. Every time one of the tentpole WWE events airs (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series), one of these posts will be up.
The January tradition known as the Royal Rumble is upon us. It's one of those events that just seems to spark nostalgia upon past and present wrestling fans who can't help but talk about their memories of the event as a youth. This year, the nostalgia is really coming hard as the 1992 Royal Rumble keeps getting brought up as it was the only previous time where the WWE (then WWF) World Title was on the line in the match.
Unfortunately, I don't own any Royal Rumble tapes in my collection. However, since the Rumble match is all about the random draw, here are four random tapes from my collection for your enjoyment.
Crunch Classic (1992)
Here's a tape that sort of has a tie-in to the Royal Rumble as it features Roddy Piper hosting the tape and conveniently the match from the 1992 Royal Rumble where he won the Intercontinental Title from the Mountie. As you can tell, this box has seen better days as the front of it is all beat up and the back sports some handwritten branding informing me where it came from ... in the case, apparently it came from someplace called Food Country
In the late 80's and up through the mid 90's, the WWF issued tapes like this that were nothing but compilations of random matches that were filmed at house shows around the country or filmed before the marathon TV taping sessions they used to do. Case in point, this tape. Just look at the line-up of random stuff ... Jim Neidhart vs. Skinner, Jim Duggan & Sgt. Slaughter vs. The Natural Disasters, and a bunch of other randomness.
Free For All (1997)
This is one of a handful of tapes that were released over the years by independent video companies but still carried the Coliseum Video name but were not included in the Coliseum Video lineage. This particular tape chronicles the first year of the Free For All, which was the live pre-show that the WWF used to do before the pay-per-view on the preview channel.
There's a lot of stuff crammed into this 60-minute tape from the Body Donnas vs. Godwinns match on the WrestleMania 12 pre-show to a minis tag team match from the 1997 Royal Rumble pre-show (hey look, another Rumble tie-in!). Probably the most famous match here is the Steve Austin vs. Yokozuna match that ended in about 90 seconds after Yokozuna fell off the ropes, as you can see on the front cover.
Rampage '92 (1992)
Continuing with the Royal Rumble/battle royal theme, this tape has a big 40-man battle royal on it that featured a bunch of stars thrown in with a bunch of no-name guys. For me, that was the main reason I picked this tape up on Ebay a few years ago. Not only that, but it was sealed!! Less than 10 bucks for an old Coliseum tape that's still factory sealed? Yes, please!
As I mentioned with Crunch Classic, these types of tapes were issued on occasion in between releases of pay-per-view tapes. Looking at the back of the box, it lists perhaps one of the strangest tag team matches I think I've ever heard of ... Ultimate Warrior and Undertaker against Papa Shango and Berzerker. That for me is just enough to fire up the VCR and pop this in.
I have to admit, this is the second copy of this tape I've gotten. In the late 90s, I was at the CD store in the local mall and was looking over their VHS and DVD section. Mixed in with a but of current tapes, was this. It was sitting all alone on a shelf near the bottom and looked forlorn and forgotten about. Luckily, I was able to convince my mom to buy it for me and I brought it home and watched it all the way through. Eventually, I watched this tape so much that I wore it out and I eventually had to throw it out as it wouldn't play anymore.
I'd been searching for a copy of it ever since and was shocked to find it thrown in with a bunch of tapes that a friend of mine gave me that a friend of his didn't want. I've watched it since and it still holds up today. The tag match with Bret Hart and British Bulldog against Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart is great but the true gem of this tape is the Shawn Michaels and Diesel vs. Razor Ramon and 1-2-3 Kid tag team match which is one of the best tag team matches that you will ever see ... period. I encourage you to look it up on YouTube if you haven't seen it before. Trust me, you'll thank me later.
Hope you enjoyed this entry in the Wacky Wrestling VHS Tapes series. The next entry in this series will be coming up on WrestleMania Sunday and should be fun!