November 13, 2008
Matt Peddycord

WWF Off the Top Rope
Released: 3/22/1995

We kick this VHS off with 16-Bit Video Game Strategy Tips with Todd Pettingell! I loved it when they did this. He offers codes for NBA Jam: Tournament Edition, True Lies and Warlock!

Your host is Ted DiBiase. As long as the WWF keeps paying, he’ll keep hosting.

Yokozuna (w/Mr. Fuji) vs. Adam Bomb (Monday Night Raw – 7/25/94)

JR and Savage are on commentary! No Jim Cornette tonight. Maybe he’s busy doing SMW things. Adam Bomb has recently dumped Harvey Wippleman to become a fan favorite, says JR. Yoko takes Adam Bomb lightly to start and pays for it with multiple clotheslines that put him on the floor. We take a commercial break and come back to see Yoko taking his time as he headbutts Adam Bomb down. It’s nerve hold time. The kids start chanting “Adam Bomb” to bring him to his feet. He elbows out, but runs into a clothesline. Yoko misses a buttalanche and HERE COMES ADAM BOMB! Clotheslines abound, including a DDT to take Yokozuna off his feet. Flying Clothesline connects and Yoko…goes…down! Here comes Harvey Wippleman and Kwang to distract Adam Bomb. Kwang trips him up, which brings Adam Bomb to the floor to beat him up until he’s counted out. Awwwww. (5:50) If you’ll recall, this little Adam Bomb/Kwang confrontation leads to the dark match at SummerSlam. Exciting stuff. Run-of-the-mill match if I do say so myself. And I do. **

Davey Boy Smith vs. Jim Neidhart (w/Owen Hart) (Monday Night Raw – 10/3/94)

Vince and Savage on commentary. To make this into a bigger deal than it is, this was Davey Boy Smith’s first match ever on Raw. Owen distracts Davey Boy long enough for Anvil to nail him from behind. DBS comes back and knocks Neidhart out of the ring. Neidhart takes a powder on the floor. They trade headlocks, ending with Davey Boy Smith clamping on an armbar. They take turns controlling a test of strength until DBS dropkicks Neidhart away. Neidhart rakes the face and then whips Smith from corner to corner. DBS punches out of a cobra clutch, but runs into an Anvil. Yeah, that would be kind of stupid. Davey Boy elbows out of a chinlock to try and make another comeback, but Owen pulls the top rope down as he comes off the ropes to send him flying out to the floor. Before the break, Bret Hart heads down to ringside even the odds. After the break, Neidhart starts taking liberties with Davey Boy Smith and chokes him in the ropes a bunch. He works a bearhug and the crowd gets behind Davey. Neidhart goes to the eyes again, but Davey Boy nails Anvil with a clothesline. Neidhart goes after Davey’s injured knee and then hammers Davey Boy down for a camel clutch. Neidhart gives up on the hold and decides to come off the middle rope. That proves to be a bad idea because he hits canvas to kick-start Davey Boy’s comeback. Hourglass Suplex gets two. That cues Bob Backlund. He distracts Bret long enough for Owen to hop in the ring and stomp Davey Boy for the DQ. (11:50) Once Bret sees what’s going on, Bret and Davey Boy attack and whip Neidhart and Owen into one another to clear them out of the ring. Neidhart wasn’t usually a good singles wrestler, but this wasn’t too bad. **¾

WWF World Champion Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (SummerSlam 1994)

From my SummerSlam 1994 review. I believe the entire Hart family is at ringside, including the British Bulldog who makes his return to the WWF and also Owen’s sole supporter brother-in-law Jim Neidhart. Owen grabs Bret as soon as he steps into the cage and starts pounding him down in the corner. Bret blocks a cage shot and drills Owen with a DDT. Both guys make the climb out, but neither are successful. Bret brings Owen back into the ring with a back suplex and hits a running bulldog. Bret and Owen take turns crawling to the door. When one pulls the other back, the other makes a run for the door. Awesome! Owen slams Bret off the top rope when he tries another escape. Bret brings Owen back in from the other side of the cage, but gets kicked down for a front missile dropkick. He takes a minute to do it, but he still kips up! Owen makes a leap for the cage and almost falls out, but Bret meets him at the top to trade blows. They come back down to the mat where Bret stops Owen from crawling out the cage, so Owen yanks Bret’s leg out from under him to crotch him in the ropes. How he didn’t pull a groin I have no idea. Bret grabs Owen and prevents another crawl out the door. He misses a flying elbow drop, but still manages to bring Owen back over the top of the cage by his hair. Owen stops Bret this time and gives him a version of a fireman’s carry slam. Bret stops Owen from another climb and blocks a cage shot to send Owen into the cage instead. Owen pulls Bret back in and gives a Back Superplex off the cage! He follows up with a Piledriver and starts to climb. Bret grabs him just in time though. Owen punches Bret down, but slips and crotches himself on the top rope. Bret all but climbs out of the cage as Owen pulls on his legs. When Owen tries the same, Bret pulls him back in and catapults Owen into the cage! Owen stops another Bret crawl to the door and whips him HARD into the corner. What makes that even better is the sound the cage makes when it rattles as Bret gets run into the turnbuckle. After Owen slips out of a slam, Bret runs Owen face-first into the cage. Whoops, looks like Bret hit his knee too as he slid into the cage. Nice bit of added continuity. As Bret climbs over the cage, Owen pulls him back in by his wrist and then by his hair! He gets Bret back in the ring and delivers his Spinning Heel Kick. They meet each other on the top rope to climb out until Bret takes a chance by kicking Owen’s arms free from the cage. Owen is still able to bring Bret back in the ring just in time. Double KO spot ensues. Bret meets Owen at the top corner of the cage and brings Owen back in with a SUPERPLEX! Incredible! Owen stops a crawl to the door and applies the SHARPSHOOTER! He screams out that he’s going to break Bret’s legs so that he’ll never be able to walk again. That is until Bret reverses the SHARPSHOOTER into one of his own. He holds on until it seems Owen is knocked out and starts another climb, but Owen pulls him in by his hair. Owen punches Bret and they both fall from the top rope. Now they both start to climb out and it becomes a race to see who can reach the floor first. They battle on the OTHER side of the cage, but Owen gets his leg caught in the cage wall. Bret smashes Owen’s face into the steel and that leaves Owen hanging on the cage! All Bret has to do is drop down and he does just that to retain his WWF title. (32:11) Absolutely the best cage match ever. They broke the stereotype that cage matches have had for twenty years before for being nothing more than bloody brawls and thought outside the box to give us a technical classic. I’ve heard people gripe on this match because they say there’s a lack of action, but they more than made up for that with a phenomenal psychological performance. What happens next is nothing short of a Four Horsemen attack. Neidhart jumps the rail and clotheslines the British Bulldog and his wife Diana from behind. Owen and Neidhart take Bret back into the ring, padlock the door, and beat the crap out of him while at the same time try to keep the Hart family at bay. The British Bulldog finally gets into the cage and scares Owen and Anvil away, but the damage has been done. *****

Lex Luger vs. Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase) (Albany, NY – 10/19/94)

This was filmed just for Coliseum Video. Gorilla Monsoon and Stan Lane are on commentary. Lots of stalling from Tatanka to begin with. He finally blindsides Luger with chops as the crowd chants “USA!” Well that would get a Native American pretty mad. Luger fires back and delivers the ten-count corner punches. Tatanka tries to escape that with an inverted atomic drop, but Luger doesn’t fall for it and levels Tatanka with a clothesline. Note to Tatanka: never try that with someone who has wrestled Ric Flair before. Tatanka begs off and yanks Luger out to the floor. Luger meets the steel steps before heading back into the ring. Tatanka starts choking Lex in the ropes. I’VE GOT UNTIL THE COUNT OF FIVE, REF! Tatanka follows up with a series of Jumping Elbow Drops, but Luger won’t stay down for the three-count. Luger tries to come out of a chinlock, but Tatanka keeps pulling Luger down by his hair. We fast forward a little bit to Luger making his big comeback. Running face slam! Clotheslines by Luger put Tatanka on the floor. Luger doesn’t wait around for Tatanka and goes out after him. Now Tatanka eats the steps, but still manages to pull Luger back to brawl some more for the double-countout. (10:00 shown) Luger gets back in the ring and dares Tatanka to finish this thing. There’s no restart, but Tatanka obliges anyway and charges for the ring! Powerslam by Lex! TORTURE RACK! It doesn’t win the match, but it made Luger feel a little better. Pretty dull match up until the Luger comeback. *½

Final Thoughts: Some fun matches and a ***** classic match make this an easy recommendation. Although feel free to push the stop button after the cage match unless you’re a Luger/Tatanka feud lover. Thumbs up for Off the Top Rope. I got this tape for like $2 at the local used multimedia store so it’s more than worth that. EDWARD MCKAYS, BEEOTCH!

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