The Power Rangers have re-emerged as a force to be reckoned with once again. With the new reboot movie hitting theaters now, the world is gaga for all things mighty and morphin. But nearly 25 years ago, the original live-action Mighty Morphin Power Rangers introduced many kids to martial arts IRL, probably for the very first time. (At least those who hadn’t met the Ninja Turtles.)
In Power Rangers, the sunny California town of Angel Grove gets a rude awakening when Rita Repulsa and her monster army wreck havoc for the very first time. Her attack prompts Zordon to summon five ordinary teenagers to become the next generation of Power Rangers and save the world. While the Rangers were armed with weapons, superpowers, and big machines called Zords, they still had to depend on their own skills to survive. And a few of them just happened to be martial arts experts.
The show’s action was designed to be as relatively non-violent as possible, but it still managed to amaze due to the legit skill demonstrated by its cast like Austin St. John, Johnny Yong Bosch, Steve Cardenas, and Jason David Frank, all of whom were experienced, martial artists. Here are just five of the best fights from the original Power Rangers.
15. Red Ranger vs. King Sphynx and Goldar
Though lifted from the original Japanese — Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger — Jason’s first major fight was a two-on-one battle against King Sphynx and Goldar. It’s a classic medieval bout with some neat swordplay.
14. Jason vs. Green Ranger
When Tommy, as the evil Green Ranger, trapped Jason in Goldar’s pocket dimension, they had a no-nonsense one-on-one battle. Actor Jason David Frank was actually suited up and performed the stunts in this scene in one of the rare cases of the show’s cast being their actual Power Ranger.
13. Power Rangers vs. Masked Rider
When the Power Rangers arrived on the alien planet Edenoi in Season 3, they encountered its mythical guardian, the Masked Rider. Though they eventually teamed up, it’s their initial clash that is endlessly rewatchable.
12. Power Rangers vs. Mutant Rangers
When Goldar was tasked with creating his own evil team, he created the Mutant Rangers. Made up of the best Putty Patrollers — the evil golem army of Rita Repulsa — five were selected. No candidate could be found for the Red Ranger, so a monster with enough bravado was selected: Commander Crayfish.
11. Alien Rangers vs. Hydro Hog
While the Power Rangers were out of commission late into the show’s third season, the Alien Rangers of the water planet Aquitar were summoned to take their place. In the ten-episode mini-series Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers, their worst nemesis was the Hydro Hog, who could soak up all the precious water the Alien Rangers needed to survive.
10. Blue Ranger vs. Madam Woe
One of the first monsters to target the Blue Ranger exclusively, the nerdy Billy (David Yost) fought for love as he battled Madam Woe to protect a girl at school he had his eyes on. What will you do for love? For the Blue Ranger, it was fight, fight, fight!
9. Power Rangers vs. Terror Toad
The Terror Toad, a large demonic frog who can eat his victims, lived up to his name. What was just a normal monster of the week turned into a nightmare when he ate the Yellow Ranger first, demonstrating what he’s really capable of. At the end of the day, it all came down to Kimberly and just one lucky shot in what might be one of the most violent fights in the original series.
8. Black Ranger vs. Knasty Knight
On his birthday, Zack the Black Ranger challenges the Knasty Knight alone. It doesn’t go well, and he quickly needs the help of his friends to save the day. The fight with the Knasty Knight is a rare occassion where all the Rangers make use of their weapons, but the Knasty Knight has a way of ruining their strategy.
7. Red Ranger vs. Lizzinator
While not fueled by any personal vendetta, the Red Ranger fighting a lizard with an awful Schwarzenegger impression is a sight to behold.
6. Power Rangers vs. Zedd’s Z-Putties
The Season 2 premiere of Power Rangers — which aired on primetime — featured the Rangers confronting their new enemy Lord Zedd for the first time. To show his strength, Zedd sent down his upgraded “Z-Putties,” which took some time for the Rangers to figure out how to beat.
5. Power Rangers vs. Cyclopsis
One of the best Megazord battles of all time, the two-part episode “Doomsday” was a mecha vs. mecha feast. Goldar’s special Zord, Cyclopsis, was a fearsome war machine that actually defeated the Power Rangers, but not for long.
4. White Ranger vs. Lord Zedd
While not an actually impressive fight, the White Ranger’s one and only physical confrontation with Lord Zedd was the only time the Power Rangers actually got close to their biggest enemy. The White Ranger was lucky to get out the way he did.
3. Rocky, Adam, and Aisha’s Debut
In Season 2, new faces came to the team in Rocky (Steve Cardenas), Aisha (Karan Ashley), and Adam (Jonny Yong Bosch), who were selected after helping some of the Power Rangers fend off putties when they needed help. They had a lot to prove in their first battle — enough to convince fans they can carry the mantle as the new Red, Yellow, and Black Rangers — and they more than succeeded.
2. White Ranger vs. Green Ranger
When Rita and Zedd summon the Wizard of Deception, they get more than they bargained for when he resurrects Tommy’s old Green Ranger form to become his own spectre. Tommy, now as the heroic White Ranger, goes one-on-one against his old self in a battle for the ages.
1. Power Rangers vs. Green Ranger
Witness the definitive fight in Power Rangers history: The evil Green Ranger defeating the good, wholesome Power Rangers for the first time. No monster from Rita’s army had ever come close to squashing the Rangers like this before, and few have left a similar impression. For a generation, this changed Power Rangers from an addictive TV show into something more.
Saban’s Power Rangers is in theaters now.Photos via Netflix