Vintage VHS Review #4 – WWF Wrestling’s Greatest Champions

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Hello and welcome. Today we’re looking at the fourth VHS tape of my collection titled WWF Wrestling’s Greatest Champions.

WWF Wrestling’s Greatest Champions

Released in 1992 with a run time of 45 minutes, it includes matches featuring The Ultimate Warrior, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, The Hart Foundation, Mr. Perfect and Hulk Hogan. You can find previous entries in this series linked below:

On the back of the case we see: Earl Hebner raising the arms of The Hart Foundation in victory, a small picture of Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect, and the description: “See The Greatest WWF Superstars Of All Time!!!  Follow Their Rise To The Pinnacle Of Success – A WWF Championship!”  On the front, is a big picture of Randy Savage & Miss Elizabeth with the WWF Championship.

There are two versions of the case between the US/UK versions, and not much is different aside from the UK case having a WWF Sovereign Series logo. The tapes are noticeably different though, as the US version uses a red flap, while the UK version is blue. At the beginning of the tape, a piracy warning tells us it can only considered genuine if there is a coloured flap. As you may have guessed from the way I spell colour, I have the UK version.


Compared to others I have reviewed, this tape features the most amount of clips. We do get the majority of a few matches, although they include time jumps to the interesting parts. Lord Alfred Hayes is the host, introducing us to the collection from the “Hall of Champions”. Always the consummate professional, Hayes serves as a go-between from wrestler to wrestler; smoothly lining us up for the next set of clips.



The Ultimate Warrior

We open proceedings with The Ultimate Warrior’s story going in to WrestleMania VI. On Main Event, February 23, 1990, Dino Bravo challenged Warrior for the Intercontinental Championship. Earthquake interfered, prompting Hulk Hogan to come out and make the save. This sparked a friendly rivalry between them.

Two weeks later, Warrior saves Hogan from Earthquake, and the two have a comical standoff. This leads in to Wrestlemania VI, where the two biggest babyface stars would challenge for both the World Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championships. With the crowd going wild from start to finish, this classic is a welcome addition (albeit cut down) to the tape. WWE may never have characters so incredibly larger than life again.



Randy Savage

Alfred Hayes mentions Randy Savage being very successful, but it was having Miss Elizabeth in his corner which helped him reach the top. Macho Man’s story takes us to WrestleMania IV, on the journey to the tournament finals for a chance to claim the WWF Championship. Although the PPV is long (4 hours), the editors did a solid job of piecing these matches together. The first round was against Butch Reed, which we don’t get much of before Savage drops the elbow.

In the second round, Randy is a little cheeky. A surprise roll up catches out Greg Valentine, as he thinks about locking in the Figure Four. They do not waste much time with the One Man Gang semi-final match, which I always found ridiculous anyways (the fact OMG got himself DQ’d.. ). We get a decent amount of time with the Final against Ted DiBiase though. With a little help from the Hulkster (& steel chair), Miss Elizabeth, and a flying elbow drop, Randy Savage lives his dream as WWF Champion. Oddly enough, the story does not end there, as there’s an unedited version of the WWF Championship match with Andre The Giant on September 29th, 1988.

What we don’t see on WWE.com’s video is Savage taking advantage of Andre being tied up in the ropes. He uses the full five count several times. Randy stops the referee from freeing Andre, even pushing him around aggressively. This happens over several minutes, so the match posted on WWE.com quickly gets to Andre grabbing Elizabeth’s foot to force the Double Countout. What we don’t see on the tape however, is Andre’s post match badgering of the referee and taunting of the audience with the WWF title on his shoulder. Enjoyed this little collection .. it catches the prime of the “Macho Man” and I’m digging it .. Ohhhh Yeeeaah!


The Hart Foundation

Moving on from the “colourful stuff from Savage”. Next up is the path of The Hart Foundation to the WWF World Tag Team Championships and beyond. The first clip takes us all the way back to early ’87, when crooked referee Danny Davis fast counted a title match between the Hart Foundation and The British Bulldogs. Didn’t even get to see Dynamite Kid in action, due to only catching the end as he’s laid out (on the outside) covering his face.


And there’s a match with Demolition. Looked like the Harts could lose, but interference from LOD provided enough distraction to claim the win. More recently to the tapes release, the longest match is an encounter with the team Power and Glory (Hercules & Paul Roma, managed by Slick) in December 1990. And it was a good match, but sadly I’ve looked around and cannot find it anywhere! Only thing I could find is a short promo .. so at least we can take one rare match from this. You want to know who won? Ok, well just between you and me? Hart Foundation retained with a roll up. While we can’t see it, at least WWF Wrestling’s Greatest Champions sports at least one exclusive.

Mr. Perfect

You don’t find many tributes to Curt Hennig before his death, so this part was particularly interesting to me. Hayes sold him as having an amazing run with the Intercontinental Championship. We open with the end to his match with ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka on Superstars, where he cheated by using the ropes to gain the pin fall. Next up, we see the first time Mr. Perfect won the Intercontinental title. Thanks to a little interference from his manager Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, he defeated Tito Santana with a roll up in the IC Championship tournament final.


The third and fourth matches look at his rivalry with The Texas Tornado (AKA Kerry Von Erich). At SummerSlam 1990, Tornado defeated Perfect clean with the Tornado Punch (which Hennig sold beautifully!) to win the title. Fast forward to late November the same year, and we see Perfect getting a rematch. Again, we have to thank Heenan & Ted DiBiase for getting involved, helping Perfect to reclaim the title with the Perfectplex. Afterwards, the heels made sure they used the time to brag about it at Tornado’s expense.

The feature-length match sees Mr. Perfect facing The British Bulldog for the Intercontinental Championship. This is another rare match which is difficult to find, and seems to only be in this collection, as well as Rampage ’91. Not going to spoil it for those who would like to enjoy it, as this encounter features two of the greatest IC Champions of all time. Both men passed far too young. I was pretty happy to see five of Mr. Perfect’s matches included in this collection.



Hulk Hogan

And of course, what collection from the early 90’s would be complete without the ‘Immortal’ Hulk Hogan? We already looked at a tape dedicated to the legend, but this one touches on a match many will not have seen. There’s not much time left on the tape, so we’re not getting clips of anything leading up to this encounter between two of wrestling’s biggest names.

Again, this is a super rare match which took a while, but I eventually managed to find it. The Undertaker goes in to this undefeated on an episode of Superstars from Worchester, MA. July 29th 1991. The Undertaker wastes no time getting on the offensive, and I don’t really want to say much more .. in case you guys want to watch it! It’s not a 5-star Meltzer classic, but it still provides good entertainment. I’m glad I got to see a young Undertaker in action, a few months before his match with Hogan at Survivor Series later the same year.

Cheerio!

Not much left for Lord Alfred Hayes to say, other than to thank us for watching the video, and cheerio! What a cool guy. And there’s not much I can say either. While this collection treated us to footage from seventeen matches, many of ’em only showed the ending or best bits. And if you think about it, going back to a time when the internet wasn’t anywhere near entering people’s homes, this was the only way to relive classics.

And decades later, some are either impossible to find, or require serious digging around. This is why VHS tapes still hold some value, because not everything gets uploaded. And it’s also why I enjoy reviewing them, because it’s never clear what we’ll stumble across. Have you ever seen or own WWF Wrestling’s Greatest Champions? Before yesterday I had not seen it, and totally feel better for doing so. The weakest point was probably the choice of matches for The Hart Foundation.

I’m running out of retail copies to review .. so when we’re done? I may have to bust out my old recordings of an unedited, late Attitude Era. That will be alotta fun I’m sure. We know how WWE likes to revise its history. It’s possible we could find some gems that will never be shown on the WWE Network. And with that said, I bid you farewell and cheerio! It’s been a pleasure sharing it with you.

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