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Philadelphia Spectrum – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – August 27, 1990

Vince McMahon and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper will be calling the action tonight. “Mean” Gene Okerlund and Sean Mooney are on hand for backstage interviews.

MATCH #1: The Rockers vs. Power & Glory

McMahon declares that this match will be a hum-dinger. Well I’m sold. Hercules and Paul Roma don’t even get a proper entrance. Before the Rockers can even enter the ring, Roma attacks Jannetty and Hercules attacks Michaels with his steel chain! Michaels is hurt outside the ring, leaving his partner Jannetty to fight both men off on his own. He does a great job for a bit but then the numbers advantage takes hold. In fact, with manager Slick distracting the referee, it’s more like three-on-one. Michaels keeps trying to get on the apron but Power and Glory keep knocks knocking him right back down. Piper’s voice is really irritating to listen to on commentary. Jannetty gets a few hope spots in but looks slightly lost without his partner. He manages to hit Roma with a flying fist drop off the top rope, but Hercules breaks it up. Power and Glory disregard the five-second rule (not the food on the floor one) and double-team poor Jannetty. Hercules hits Jannetty with a superplex and Roma follows with a splash off the top rope and gets the pin with just a foot on the chest at 6:01. I believe Michaels was injured before this match, and they really made the most of the injury, making Power & Glory look really good as a team right out of the gate. Of course by WrestleMania VII they were jobbing to the Legion of Doom in less than a minute, but whatever.
Rating: *¼

MATCH #2: Intercontinental Championship Match – Mr. Perfect vs. Texas Tornado

Brutus Beefcake was slated to challenge Perfect for the title here, but the infamous parasailing accident derailed that idea, so the Texas Tornado took his place. Tornado immediately asserts his power advantage and Perfect takes a powder. Back in the ring Perfect hits an armdrag and a hiptoss. Heenan wipes the sweat off his brow. They lock up and Perfect backs Tornado into the corner for a chop. Tornado fires back with a flurry of offense culminating in a clothesline that sends Perfect back to the floor. Now Tornado goes to work on the arm, but Perfect fires back with a forearm to the side of the head. Perfect snap mares Tornado down and hits the neck snap. He locks on the Sleeper and Tornado makes it to the ropes. Perfect gets over confident and slaps Tornado in the face. Tornado grabs Perfect and catapults him into the top turnbuckle. He locks Perfect in the Iron Claw and then hits the Twisting Tornado Punch to get the win and the title at 5:14. Obviously they didn’t get a ton of time to work with here but what they gave us was fine for like a Superstars main event or something.
Rating: *½

MATCH #3: Sensation Queen Sherri vs. Sapphire

Howard Finkel announces Sapphire and her music plays, but she doesn’t come out. No one seems to know what’s going on, so they stop her music and then start it again. WWE Officials give Sapphire 30 seconds to get down to the ring or risk forfeiture of the match, and when Sapphire doesn’t show up Sherri is declared the winner via forfeit. Is there anyone who is upset that they didn’t do the match?
Rating: N/A

MATCH #4: Tito Santana vs. Warlord

Warlord is accompanied by the Doctor of Style, Slick. Santana is one of my all time favorite wrestlers. Even so, Warlord shows his impressive power right away. Santana comes back with a fast-paced flurry of offense that sends Warlord briefly to the floor. Back in the ring Santana goes to work on the arm. Warlord comes back with a bodyslam but misses an elbow drop. Santana gets a quick cover but Warlord kicks out hard, sending Santana to the floor. Warlord goes out to the floor and rams Santana’s back into the ring post. The big man goes to work on Santana’s back inside the ring. Warlord tries a charge in the corner but Santana gets a boot up and then blasts out of the corner with a clothesline for two. Santana fires off a series of punches and then hits the patented Flying Forearm but Warlord gets his foot on the bottom rope at two. He argues with the referee and then goes for a monkey flip and Warlord flips him back to the mat. Warlord picks Santana up for a running powerslam to get the pin at 5:29. I know they were trying to push Warlord as a singles wrestler at this point, but I would have rather seen the originally scheduled match of Santana versus Rick Martel. Hopefully they would have gotten more than five minutes.
Rating: *

MATCH #5: Two out of Three Falls World Tag Team Championship Match – Demolition vs. Hart Foundation

Demolition was a three-man team at this point, as Crush had been added to Ax and Smash. They could defend the titles under Freebird Rules, so Crush and Smash are representing the team tonight. Smash and Bret Hart start the match for their teams. Crush tries to interfere illegally and the Harts thwart them with their own double-teaming. Hart takes Smash down with an armdrag. McMahon says it’s hard to tell Demolition apart, which is just ludicrous, and I even thought so as a kid. Jim Neidhart tags in and the challengers work over the arm. Smash comes back with a bodyslam and then makes the tag. Crush hits a bodyslam of his own but then misses a knee drop. Hart tries to take the big man down but it doesn’t work and Crush hits another bodyslam. Boy was he ever limited. Crush charges into the corner and runs into Hart’s boot. Hart gets a quick schoolboy rollup for two. Smash and Neidhart get tagged in and the crowd pops, so Neidhart puts on a headlock. Demolition uses some dastardly tactics to take advantage of the Anvil. That doesn’t last long and once again tags are made. Hart clotheslines Smash and hits Crush with a dropkick. He foils both champions to the delight of the crowd. Neidhart and Crush battle on the floor while Hart gets a close near-fall on Smash in the ring. Hart hits Smash with a backbreaker and the second-rope elbow drop, but Crush breaks up the cover. McMahon is aghast! Demolition then is able to hit Hart with the Decapitation Elbow and they take the first fall at 6:20.

Anvil argues with the referee, allowing Demolition to double-team Hart to start the second fall. The champs tag in and out and work over the weakened Hart. The Hitman ducks a boot and fires back with a clothesline on Smash and both men are down. Crush tries to assist Smash but the referee blocks it and Hart makes the tag. Neidhart is on fire. He smashes Smash with a big powerslam but it only gets two. The challengers hit Smash with the Hart Attack but Crush stops the pin by picking up the referee, which gives the second fall to the Hart Foundation at 3:48 (total match time 10:08).

A bell rings as Crush knocks Hart to the floor, and while Smash and Crush distract the referee, Ax comes out and hides underneath the ring. Moments later the bell rings again, so I think the timekeeper is confused. Hart comes back in the ring with a sunset flip for two and appears to be fully recovered now. Neidhart gets in on the action too, as they double-team Smash but can’t put him away. The referee gets distracted and Smash trades places with Ax from under the ring. Ax goes right to work on Hart, leveling him with a clothesline. I mean for crying out loud, Ax has short hair and Smash has long hair, and they have very different face paint. The match completely breaks down and all three members of Demolition are able to maneuver the referee so that they can all work over the challengers. The Legion of Doom isn’t fooled though, as they come out to pull Ax from under the ring and knock Crush off the top rope. Amidst all the confusion, Neidhart hits Crush with a slingshot shoulderblock right in front of Hart on all fours, and Crush tumbles over into a schoolboy rollup and the Hart Foundation wins the tag team titles for the second time at 4:08 (total match time 14:16). I used to love this mach as a kid but it doesn’t age real well with the Demolition “confusion” silliness, and how did the Hart Foundation not get disqualified when the Legion of Doom interfered on their behalf. It was an enjoyable tag team match for the most part (Crush was pretty bad at this point) but the extra-curricular activities dragged it down a bit.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #6: Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Bad News Brown (Special Referee: Big Boss Man)

Brown doesn’t wait for Boss Man to even make it to the ring before he attacks. Roberts goes for a quick DDT but Brown slips to the floor to avoid it. Back in the ring Roberts goes after the arm and Brown comes back with a hiptoss. Brown works Roberts over and gets a near-fall after a legdrop. He argues with the referee and Roberts recovers, delivering a boot to the midsection and once again going for the DVD but Brown once again slips to the floor. This time Roberts follows him out and Brown grabs a chair and drives it into Roberts’s midsection. Boss Man goes out to the floor to herd Brown back inside, but Brown grabs Roberts and throws him back in as well. Brown whips Roberts into the turnbuckle and slowly wears him down. He goes up for a fist drop off the second rope but Roberts moves out of the way. Roberts comes back with a knee lift and a series of jabs. He hits the short-arm clothesline and signals for the DDT. This time Brown counters it with a back body drop. They go back to the floor and Brown once again hits Roberts with a chair and this time Boss Man disqualifies him at 4:45. Well that made Brown look great and Roberts look terrible. After the match Brown tries to squash Damien but Boss Man comes to the rescue so Brown beats him up too. Then Roberts comes back and runs him off. What an odd match in every way.
Rating: ½*

MATCH #7: Nikolai Volkoff & “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Orient Express

Earlier tonight Sgt. Slaughter was on the Brother Love show and he declared war on Nikolai Volkoff. Duggan and Volkoff sing a duet of “God Bless America” before the match. Yikes. Sato and Tanaka attack right away but Duggan and Volkoff come back with simultaneous atomic drops and then knock the Express to the floor. Volkoff and Tanaka start the match proper, while Duggan and Sato try to figure out which corners to stand in. Sato illegally interferes and the Express double-teams Volkoff in their half of the ring. Tanaka tries a splash but Volkoff moves and makes the hot tag. Dugan is all over both Sato and Tanaka, knocking both of them down with a dual clothesline. He continues throwing clotheslines and it turns into a pier-six brawl. Volkoff knocks Sato to the floor and Duggan hits Tanaka with the Tree Point Stance Clothesline to get the pin at 3:22. Well that was certainly short.
Rating: ¾*

MATCH #8: Dusty Rhodes vs. “Macho King” Randy Savage

Before the match, Ted DiBiase announces that he has purchased sweet Sapphire. So along with Virgil, DiBiase only buys black people? That’s racist. Rhodes walks up the aisle after DiBiase, so Savage attacks him from behind. Back in the ring Savage hits a double axe handle off the top rope. Sherri gets her licks in from the floor too. Rhodes fires back with elbows and jabs, knocking Savage down to the canvas. He dropkicks Savage to the floor and goes out after him. Savage uses Sherri as a shield, and then Sherri hands Savage a foreign object before distracting Rhodes in the ring. Savage levels Rhodes with the loaded purse and gets the pin at 2:16. That was a nothing match used to set up DiBiase versus Rhodes.
Rating: ¼*

MATCH #9: Hulk Hogan vs. Earthquake

Earthquake is accompanied by Jimmy Hart and Dino Bravo while Hogan is accompanied by the Big Boss Man. Speaking of the Boss Man he gets a HUGE pop for his entrance. They circle each other to start, seemingly in no hurry to start. Earthquake shows off his superior power early on. Hogan comes back by trying a headlock but Quake escapes and shoulderblocks Hogan down, so the Hulkster takes a powder. Back in the ring Quake continues to control the action, using his girth to wear Hogan down. Finally Hogan unloads a series of punches to take Quake down for the first time. Quake bails, and Hogan joins him out there and Bravo and Boss Man get involved as well. All four men get in the ring and Hogan and Boss Man hit double big boots on both Bravo and Quake. The referee sends Boss Man to the floor, allowing Bravo and Quake to double bodyslam Hogan. Quake follows up with an elbow drop for two. He goes up top and hits a forearm to the back! He then locks on a Boston Crab, further wearing down Hogan’s back. Hogan reaches the ropes and once again goes to the floor. Quake distracts the referee, allowing Bravo to bodyslam Hogan on the floor. Back in the ring Quake tries another elbow drop but misses. Hogan tries a bodyslam and Quake falls back on him for a two-count. Quake locks on a bearhug. Hogan punches his way out and tries to shoulderblock the gargantuan man down. He tries a flying body press but Quake catches him and hits a huge powerslam. Quake puts a foot on the chest for a two-count, and then the Tremors begin. He hits the Earthquake Splash, and then another one! But Hogan kicks out at two! He’s Hulking Up! Hogan hits the punches and the big boot, and then a bodyslam! He hits the Legdrop but Bravo is distracting the referee. Hart gets in the ring and Hogan throws him at Quake, and they both go down to the floor. Boss Man and Bravo join in the fracas as well. Quake holds Hogan for Hart to hit him with the megaphone, but Hogan moves! Hogan then bodyslams Earthquake on a table! And he did it in Philadelphia of all places. He gets back in the ring to win the match by countout at 13:11. Since there was another main event to go and this feud was to continue, that was actually a fine finish. The match wasn’t terrible, and the crowd reaction was great as usual for Hogan at this time.
Rating: **

MATCH #10: Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship – Ultimate Warrior vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude

This one will be under pinfall or escape rules. Rude goes to the top of the cage to taunt Warrior during his entrance, and Warrior meets him up there to start the match! Warrior wins a slugfest and knocks Rude all the way down to the mat. He comes off the top rope with a double axe handle. Piper says this is Warrior’s first cage match. The champion is all over the challenger, whipping him repeatedly into the cage. Rude moves out of the way of a charge, and the Warrior crashes into the cage. He tries to escape but Warrior isn’t worn down enough yet. Looks like Rude has been busted open. Even so, Rude is fully in control now. Warrior tries to fight back but Rude keeps knocking him back down. Rude goes for the Rude Awakening but Warrior powers his way out of it! Warrior hits a clothesline but eats knees on a splash attempt. Rude tries the Rude Awakening again and this time he hits it! He could win the match here but he goes to the top of the cage and hits a fist to the head instead. He foolishly goes for another one and Warrior gets a fist to the gut this time. Warrior tries to climb out the door but Heenan slams it on his head. Rude covers but only gets two! He goes for the door but Warrior grabs onto his ankle. Heenan pulls on Rude from the other side, so Warrior pulls Rude’s tights down for the requisite butt shot. Imagine WWE doing that today. Warrior pulls Heenan in to the cage and hits a right hand and an atomic drop to send the Brain back outside. Rude levels Warrior with a clothesline, but Warrior is Hulking Up. Warrior hits a series of clotheslines to take Rude down. He follows up with the Gorilla Press Slam and then climbs up and over the top to get the win at 10:03. This wasn’t too bad, but Rude didn’t seem like a main event guy and Warrior was still in Hogan’s shadow so it was a little bit flat.
Rating: **¼×120.jpg

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A2Z Analysiz: WWF SummerSlam 1989 (Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage) Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:00:29 +0000 summerslam 88-92

For an easy to navigate archive of my WWE reviews, please visit World Wrestling Reviews!

Meadowlands Arena – East Rutherford, New Jersey – August 28, 1989

Tony Schiavone and Jesse “the Body” Ventura are in the broadcast location tonight. “Mean” Gene Okerlund will be handling the backstage interviews.

MATCH #1: Hart Foundation vs. Brain Busters

The Busters are the World Tag Team Champions at this point but the titles are not on the line here since the match was signed before they won the belts. The champions don’t even have entrance music, but they do have Bobby Heenan in their corner. Tully Blanchard and Bret Hart start the match and the Hitman goes right after Blanchard’s arm. Blanchard slithers over and makes a tag and Hart is able to subdue Arn Anderson with arm holds as well. Jim Neidhart tags in and he continues what his partner started. The Foundation is dismantling Anderson. Even when Blanchard comes in, Hart and Neidhart dominate. In fact, the Busters kind of look like ineffective jobbers as the longest shine of all time continues. Blanchard rolls to the floor and runs away from Hart, and he’s able to slide in the ring and finally make the tag. Anderson tries a Vader Bomb but Hart puts the knees up and it turns into a brawl and the Busters get tossed to the floor. The champions have gotten no offense and we’re almost 10 minutes in. Finally the Busters use some dirty tricks to take control on Neidhart. They work him over for several minutes until Anderson and Neidhart crack heads and both men are down. Anderson stops Neidhart from making the tag, and Hart interferes from the apron, driving a knee into Anderson’s back! Blanchard gets tagged in and Neidhart makes the tag as well! Hart is on fire, throwing both Busters around. All four men are in the ring briefly, until Neidhart and Anderson spill to the floor. In the ring Hart hits Blanchard with an inverted atomic drop. The Foundation executes the Anvil slingshot. Heenan distracts the referee as Neidhart powerslams Hart onto Blanchard. Anderson sneaks in the ring and nails Hart with a double axe handle off the second rope and Blanchard makes the pin at 15:57. Really, a double axe handle? Even in 1989 that seems weak. I’ve seen this match get tons of praise, and yeah it’s fun but the shine goes on FOREVER and the Hart Foundation really make the Brain Busters look like jobbers for most of the match.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Dusty Rhodes vs. Honky Tonk Man

Man is accompanied by Jimmy Hart. Rhodes was feuding with Big Boss Man at this time, while Honky Tonk Man was putting everybody and their mother over. The American Dram starts the match with some dancing, much to Man’s chagrin. They lock up and Rhodes overpowers the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of all-time. Rhodes motions for a big elbow, so Man rolls to the floor to regroup. It doesn’t do much good, as Rhodes goes right on offense and unloads with mounted punches in the corner. Hart interferes from the floor and Rhodes chases him into the ring. In the confusion Hart was able to slip Man the megaphone and he clobbers Rhodes with it but it only gets two! Now Man goes to work with his boring offense. Rhodes escapes a chinlock and bounces off the ropes but Man buries a knee into his midsection. Man goes back to the chinlock. Once again Rhodes fights out and he tries an elbow drop but misses and Man gets a two-count, and then locks on the chinlock again. For the third time, Rhodes powers up and drives Man into the corner. They trade shots in the corner and Rhodes has the upper hand in this battle. Rhodes is Flip Flop and Flyin’ all over the place. Man cleverly uses Rhodes to take out the referee and he asks Hart for his guitar. Hart goes to hit Rhodes but be ducks and the guitar gets smashed over Man’s head instead. Rhodes drops an elbow and gets the pin at 9:41. That was pretty dull and plodding. It seemed even longer than it was.
Rating: ¾*

MATCH #3: Mr. Perfect vs. Red Rooster

Perfect tries to intimidate the Rooster, but how could a guy with that haircut be intimidated? They tie up and Perfect gets the early advantage and (rightfully) mocks his opponent. Rooster comes back with a slap to the face. The pace quickens and Rooster goes for a slam, only to have Perfect fall on top of him for a two-count. Perfect hits a standing dropkick and Rooster rolls to the floor. Unfortunately he legitimately injured himself and back in the ring Perfect slugs away. Rooster throws Perfect outside for a brawl and Perfect beats him down. Back in the ring Perfect lands the Perfect-Plex to get the pin at 3:22. It’s too bad they had to cut that short due to injury, as that could have gotten good.
Rating: *

MATCH #4: Six-Man Tag Match – The Rockers & Tito Santana vs. The Rougeau Brothers & Rick Martel

Slick and Jimmy Hart accompany Martel and the Rougeaus to the ring. Santana and Jacques start the match. It doesn’t take long for Santana and the Rockers to use some high flying triple team moves to send their opponents powdering to the floor. When the dust settles Jacques is in the ring with Marty Jannetty. The French-Canadian Trio takes advantage of Jannetty and goes to work on him. Jannetty comes back with a move I didn’t see because the camera was on Slick, and he makes the tag to Santana. Martel quickly bails to avoid fighting his former partner. Santana goes to work on Raymond, but Jacques interferes from the floor to reclaim the advantage. They work Santana over and keep him isolated. Santana is a master of selling and hope spots, to be honest. After several minutes of abuse Santana finally makes the hot tag to Shawn Michaels. I believe this is the first time Michaels has been tagged into the match. He’s on fire, taking Martel down with a vertical suplex and landing a fist drop off the top rope. He then tags Jannetty and picks him up and drops him down on Martel for a two-count. The match turns into a pier-six brawl and Santana sends Martel to the floor with a flying forearm. The referee gets distracted and Hart interferes briefly. Jannetty traps Jacques in an O’Connor Roll but Martel sneaks in and delivers a shot to the throat and he pins Jannetty for the win at 14:58. That was a terrific six-man tag team match with Santana playing face-in-peril to perfection.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #5: Intercontinental Championship Match – Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior

Rude starts off cautiously, and with good reason because Warrior quickly unloads on him and clotheslines him to the apron. The champ tries to come back in with a sunset flip but Warrior blocks it with a punch. Warrior then picks Rude up in a Gorilla Slam and dumps him to the floor! He follows him out and slams Rude into the apron and then the timekeeper’s table. Warrior hits Rude with the title belt, which should be a disqualification. In one of Jesse Ventura’s finest moments, he calls this out and Schiavone defends it by saying it’s okay because they’re outside the ring. Ventura retorts: “What are you gonna tell me Schiavone, you can shoot somebody outside the ring as long as it’s outside the ring? You know, you’re even dumber than Monsoon!” He continues the outrage as Warrior throws Rude back in the ring and then hurls him right back outside. Back in the ring Warrior goes up top and hits a double axe handle for two. Warrior continues to work on Rude, whipping him into the buckles and slamming him down to the mat. He hits a vertical suplex for another two-count. He follows up with an inverted atomic drop and then mocks Rude’s hip gyration. He then picks Rude up and simply drops him on his ass, like a Bubba Bomb but without the Full Nelson. The challenger goes up top again and this time Rude crotches him. Now Rude takes control of the Warrior, landing a vertical suplex for two. Rude goes to work on Warrior’s back, which is a smart move. He goes for the Rude Awakening but Warrior powers out! Unfortunately for Warrior, he misses a clothesline and Rude hops on his back with a sleeper. Warrior powers up and hits a chinbreaker to break the hold, and then runs the ropes and both men collide, taking the referee down with them. Rude is first to his feet and unloads with roundhouse right hands but Warrior shrugs them off and hits him with a back drop. Warrior hits a series of clotheslines and a powerslam but there’s no referee to count. He picks Rude up and drills him with a piledriver. Referee Joey Marella recovers and crawls over to make the count but Rude gets his foot on the bottom rope! Warrior hits a running powerslam and goes for the big splash but Rude gets his knees up. Now Rude hits a modified piledriver that honestly looked pretty dangerous but it only gets two. Rude goes up top and hits a fist drop as the fans go nuts. Warrior kicks out at two, as we learn that the fans’ reaction is for “Rowdy” Roddy Piper making his way to ringside. Rude hits a traditional piledriver but it only gets two! He then argues with Piper and gets mooned for his trouble. He climbs up to the second rope and Warrior pulls him down with a belly-to-back suplex. Warrior then hits a running shoulderblock. He follows up with the Gorilla Press Slam and Splash to the Back for the pin and his second Intercontinental Championship at 16:02. That was easily Warrior’s best match to that point, and the only thing I would have changed about it was Piper coming out; Warrior didn’t need any help. But as far as the match, Warrior was on top of his game and Rude was the perfect opponent for him.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #6: Six-Man Tag Match – Andre the Giant & The Twin Towers vs. Jim Duggan & Demolition

The Towers and Andre are probably the biggest three-man tag team of all-time. They’re accompanied by their managers Slick and Bobby Heenan. King Hacksaw has his face painted (like an American flag) to match his partners. He starts the match with Akeem and takes the first advantage, immediately knocking Akeem off his feet and then tagging in Ax, who quickly tags in Smash. They’re wisely exploiting their speed and quickness advantage early on, keeping the fresh man in the ring. Akeem comes back with a shot to Ax’s throat and then makes the tag to his partner. Boss Man comes in but Ax recovers and takes him over to their corner. Smash tags in and Boss Man backs him into a corner. That doesn’t last long, as Smash comes back and makes the tag to the King. The Towers have gotten almost no offense so far, and the Giant hasn’t even tagged in. Ax comes in and Boss Man drives him over to his team’s corner, and then the Giant tags in. Andre squashes Ax with his massive girth. Boss Man tags back in and Ax is in trouble here. Akeem comes in and tries to squash Ax in the corner but he moves and Smash gets the tag. Smash slams both Towers to a thunderous pop, but then Andre cuts him down. Boss Man and Ax tumble to the floor, while the other four fight in the ring. Akeem hits Smash with a splash off the second rope, but the referee is distracted by Andre, allowing Duggan to hit Akeem with the 2×4 and roll Smash on top to get the pin at 7:26. That was wisely kept short and it was actually quite fun while it lasted.
Rating: **½

MATCH #7: Hercules vs. Greg Valentine

For some reason Rugged Ronnie Garvin is the special guest ring announcer. He insults Valentine a lot on his way down to the ring and the crowd seems to agree. Valentine goes after Garvin, allowing Hercules to take the early advantage. Hercules gets a close near-fall so Valentine takes a quick powder. Back in the ring Valentine again goes after Garvin, so Hercules rolls him up for two. Valentine goes outside to argue with Garvin some more, so Hercules goes on the attack. This time when they get back in the ring Valentine takes Hercules off guard and starts going to work on the leg, and throwing some elbows in as well. Valentine goes up top and goes for a double axe handle but Hercules gets a fist into the midsection. Hercules unloads with punches but drops his head and Valentine forearms him. Valentine tries a suplex but Hercules reverses it to one of his own. Hercules backs Valentine into the corner and Valentine scoops the legs and uses the ropes for leverage to get the pin at 3:05. Garvin announces Hercules as the winner, and then after conferring with the referee announces that Hercules won by disqualification. Valentine attacks Garvin and then continues to brawl with Hercules. Garvin gets back in the ring and takes Valentine out with a right hand. So who’s the real winner? It looks like the referee took Garvin’s word for it and Hercules won the match. As for the match itself, it was just fodder for the Valentine versus Garvin feud, which would lead to a pretty good match between the two at the 1990 Royal Rumble in Orlando.
Rating: ¼*

MATCH #8: Ted DiBiase vs. Jimmy Snuka

DiBiase tries to attack before the bell but Snuka was ready for it and he headbutts the Million Dollar Man to the floor. Virgil distracts Snuka, but once again Snuka is able to thwart it and hits DiBiase with an atomic drop to once again send him to the floor. Back in the ring DiBiase locks on a headlock, but Snuka escapes and tries the dual leap frog, but he doesn’t jump high enough and lands on DiBiase’s head. Ventura smartly explains how that works to Snuka’s advantage. DiBiase comes back with a boot to the gut and works Snuka over in the corner. Snuka comes back by reversing a whip and hitting a back body drop. He locks on a headlock and then takes DiBiase down with a shoulderblock. He charges again but DiBiase catches him and hits a Stun Gun. He hits a vertical suplex for two. He follows up with a couple of bodyslams and then goes for the backwards elbow off the second rope but Snuka moves out of the way and is a hut afire now. Snuka hits a bodyslam and then a headbutt off the second rope. He then goes up to the top rope for the Superfly but Virgil distracts him and Snuka gives chase on the floor. DiBiase joins him out there and hits an axe handle off the apron. He then throws Snuka into the ring post and slides back into the ring for a countout victory at 6:26. Snuka attacks both DiBiase and Virgil after the bell, and hits the Superfly on Virgil. There was no heat to this match and they never really got anything going. I’m also not sure why DiBiase had to win by countout.
Rating: ½*

MATCH #9: Randy Savage & Zeus vs. Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake

Savage and Zeus are accompanied by Sensation Sherri, while Hogan and Beefcake are graced by Ms. Elizabeth’s presence in their corner. All four men start in the ring and Beefcake and Savage quickly take it to the floor, leaving Hogan and Zeus in the ring. Hogan can’t take Zeus down so he goes to the eyes, but when he tries a bodyslam Zeus hammers him down and chokes him. Beefcake comes to the rescue but he gets trapped in a bearhug. Whatever Hogan and Beefcake try it doesn’t hurt Zeus at all. With Hogan worn down, Savage comes in and takes his shots as well. Hogan powers up out of a sleeper and takes Savage down with a couple of shoulderblocks. He bounces into the ropes and Zeus kicks him in the back to reclaim the advantage. Zeus locks on a bearhug. Eventually he forces Hogan down to the mat in a very gay looking pinning situation. Finally after over five minutes of abuse Hogan makes the hot tag. Beefcake traps Savage in the Sleeper, but the Macho Man escapes. Savage makes a tag and Beefcake immediately rakes the eyes and locks Zeus in the Sleeper! The referee gets distracted with Hogan and Savage sneaks in the ring to blast Beefcake with Sherri’s purse. Savage comes in and covers for two. Hogan illegally interferes to break up several pin covers. Savage and Zeus weather Hogan’s interference and work Beefcake over in their half of the ring. After several minutes Beefcake makes the hot tag and Hogan is throwing Savage around the ring. Hogan hits Savage with the big boot, sending him to the floor. He pulls Savage back in the ring with a suplex but Sherri pulls his leg and Savage falls on top for a two-count. Savage comes back with a clothesline and tags the Human Wrecking Machine. Before leaving the ring he goes up top and hits the Elbow Drop but Hogan just Hulks up and Atomic Drops Savage to the floor. Now Zeus comes in to face his arch rival. Hogan staggers him with a series of right hands and Zeus is down on one knee. Sherri tries to interfere and Elizabeth dumps her into the ring! The referee is distracted and Savage goes up top with the purse, but Beefcake knocks him down. Hogan gets control of the purse and levels Zeus with it. He’s then able to bodyslam the big man. Hogan finishes Zeus off with the Leg Drop for the pin at 15:10. Sure, Zeus was a terrible wrestler but as a kid he scared the crap out of me and that’s what they were going for. The match was a fun main event that sent the crowd home happy. Savage did the bulk of the work for his team so it worked out. This is very reminiscent of the first SummerSlam main event, or WrestleMania.
Rating: ***×120.jpg

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.07.94 Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:03:03 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.07.94

My friend sent me a Destiny beta code.  No idea if it’s something I’ll care about, but yay for free stuff and yay for finally getting something interesting for my Xbox One!

Live from Bushkill, PA.  Is that literally a high school gym?  Good lord.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and the empty hole in my soul once occupied by Randy Savage.  Also, Jerry Lawler, beginning a run that would last for 20 years, give or take.

Bret Hart & British Bulldog v. Owen Hart & Jim Neidhart. 

The brawl is on to start and the babyfaces clean house, as really Bret and Bulldog were a dream team from the 80s that never happened.  UNTIL NOW.  The heels regroup and Bret beats on the Anvil in the corner, but he walks into a bearhug and bites his way out.  Bulldog comes in and dominates Owen with a clothesline and backdrop out of the corner, and a delayed suplex gets two.  Nice to see Davey looking motivated for once.  Owen hits him with a leg lariat to take over, and Neidhart goes to the chinlock and gets a knee to the gut for two.  One guess who the weak link in this match is.  Back to Owen for another chinlock, and he elbows Bulldog down for two.  Neidhart with a gut wrench for two.  And we take a break with nothing in particular happening.  Back with the OWENZUIGIRI on Bulldog for two, and they annoy Bret enough to draw him in before hitting Bulldog with the Hart Attack for two.  Owen with a crossbody, rolled through by Bulldog for two, but Owen cuts off the tag again.  Vince notes what a big deal it is that Bret is the only two time WWF champion, Intercontinental champion and tag champion at that point.  To put this in perspective with respect to how ridiculous things are today, The Miz is only one more WWE title away from not only doing that but also multiple US titles as well.  We take another break and return with Bulldog FINALLY fighting off the heels and making the hot tag to Bret, and man is he pissed.  IT’S A DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER!  There’s the Vince we love.  Bulldog on Anvil gets two.  Middle rope elbow gets two.  Owen gets a cheapshot from the apron and Anvil goes for the powerslam, but Bulldog dropkicks them over and puts Bret on top.  Owen then comes off the top with an elbow to put Anvil on top for two.  The heels double-team Bret, but he clotheslines Anvil while Bulldog gets rid of Owen, and the Sharpshooter finishes Neidhart at 20:13.  Classic 80s tag action.  ***1/2

Survivor Series Report!  Don’t be the guy who stole last year’s show on home video and ended up in jail!  Especially not for Survivor Series 93.

Bam Bam Bigelow v. Tyron Knox

Keeping with the cartoonish gimmick theme of this era, Knox is a black guy introduced from Charlotte, North Carolina.  YEAH RIGHT.  Sign in the crowd:  “Vince for Senate”.  Well, they were close.  Bigelow tosses the mythical “Black person who lives in North Carolina” around the ring and chokes away, then adds some stomps as well.  Dropkick and enzuigiri finish at 4:40.  Really lethargic squash from Bigelow.

Vince McMahon announces that Randy Savage didn’t sign his new contract, and he wishes him the best in his future endeavors, giving him a really heartfelt goodbye.  Holy cow would THAT tune change later.

The King’s Court with 1-2-3 Kid.  Bob Backlund quickly runs in to cut off Kid’s promo, but gets chased off again by Bret Hart.

Doink the Clown v. Pat Tanaka

Oo, the quality jobbers this week.  Pat’s into his black pajamas phase, like he woke up one morning and decided to stop trying with his gear.  Doink works the arm, but Tanaka takes him down with a vicious legdrag and goes to work on it.  Doink comes back with a backdrop suplex and finishes with the whoopee cushion at 3:10.  Given how depleted the roster was, why would you not find something for Tanaka to do?  Presumably he worked cheap and was a better worker than 60% of the guys on TV at that point.

Next week:  1-2-3 Kid v. Bob Backlund, and the debut of ALDO MONTOYA!


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A2Z Analysiz: WWF SummerSlam 1988 (Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage) Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:00:41 +0000 summerslam 88-92

For an easy to navigate archive of my WWE reviews, please visit World Wrestling Reviews!

Madison Square Garden – New York City, New York – August 29, 1988

MATCH #1: Rougeau Brothers vs. The British Bulldogs

Jacques and Raymond Rougeau look for handshakes from Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid but don’t get them. Smith and Jacques start the match and Smith overpowers him easily. He forces Jacques into the Rougeau corner, allowing Raymond to get the tag. They wrestle into the corner and Smith goes for a clean break so Raymond pops him in the mouth. Raymond tries a monkey flip but Smith lands on his feet and knocks him down. Kid gets tagged in and he knocks Raymond down with a shoulderblock, and then goes to work on the arm. Raymond tries another monkey flip and Kid headbutts him and resumes the arm work. Matilda is quite the well-trained bulldog, just hanging out and being awesome at ringside. Smith gets tagged back in and the Bulldogs continue to dominate. The Bulldogs make quick tags in and out and keep Raymond on the mat. Jacques manages to trip Smith running off the ropes, allowing Raymond to finally make the tag to his brother. The well-rested Jacques immediately goes to work on Smith’s left leg. After several minutes of abuse Smith is able to hit Raymond with a monkey flip and make the tag to Kid. The crowd pops huge for the tag, as Kid unleashes the snap suplex and a headbutt for two. Kid hits a belly-to-back suplex but Raymond gets his foot on the bottom rope. He throws Raymond to the floor and Smith throws him into the steel barricade. Jacques comes over to check on his brother but the beating continues. Smith hits the Running Powerslam and this time Jacques breaks up the cover. The Rougeaus use some illegal double-teaming to take advantage of the Kid. They work him over in their half of the ring, keeping him isolated from the much larger Smith. I’m really impressed with the Rougeaus’ tag team work, manipulating the referee in order to take cheap shots. Kid eventually makes a sadly anti-climactic tag to Smith, who immediately misses a dropkick. Smith comes back with a gorilla press slam and inadvertently drops Jacques’s crotch on the top rope. Raymond and Kid jump in the ring and the Bulldogs throw both men around. The Bulldogs hit Raymond with a mini Rocket Launcher but the bell rings at 19:03 before the referee even begins his count. Apparently the match had a 19 minute and three second time-limit, so the match is a draw. The Rougeau Brothers were awesome, and this was a really good match. If that last hot tag to Smith hadn’t been so anti-climactic and the match had a real finish it would have been even better.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #2: Bad News Brown vs. Ken Patera

Brown wastes no time, attacking Patera as soon as he enters the ring. He hits a body slam and an elbow drop to the face. Patera fires back with a clothesline out of the corner. He beats Brown down and hits a bodyslam of his own. He misses a big elbow drop though. Brown goes back to work on the Olympic Strongman, choking him on the ring apron. He tries a back body drop and Patera kicks him in the chest. Patera fires away with elbows and a takeover into a cover for one. He hits a clothesline and this time connects with the elbow drop for a two-count. He follows up with a backbreaker for another two, once again neglecting to hook the leg. A small package gets just a one-count. Patera locks on the Bear Hug. Brown escapes by going to the eyes, so Patera tries the Full Nelson and Brown blocks it. Patera hits a forearm off the second rope to the back of the neck and once again tries the Full Nelson. Brown runs to the ropes to avoid the hold. Patera tries a back body drop but Brown clubs him in the back of the neck. Both men rise and Patera goes for an Irish whip and Brown was supposed to reverse it but they blow it. Patera then executes the Irish whip and charges in, but Brown moves and Patera’s shoulder cracks into the ring post. Brown hits the Ghetto Blaster to get the pin at 6:38. The match was pretty dull but it made Bad News Brown look good so at least it served a purpose.
Rating: *

MATCH #3: “Ravishing” Rick Rude vs. Junkyard Dog

Rude attacks before the bell but Dog comes back with a back body drop and a couple of headbutts, sending Rude fleeing to the floor. Back in the ring Dog hits a punch to the gut and one to the face. Dog tries another headbutt but misses, and Rude hits a clothesline. Rude goes up top and nails him with a double axe handle. He takes Dog down to the mat with a chinlock. Dog powers up and breaks the hold with elbow to the midsection. He whips Rude into the turnbuckle but then runs right into a boot and Rude is back in control with the chinlock. For some reason Rude switches strategy and goes to work on the arm. Rude tries to drop down on the arm but gets hit in the balls instead. Dog unloads with offense, including a big headbutt. He gets distracted by Heenan and Rude hits a Side Russian Legsweep (called a reverse neckbreaker by Monsoon). Rude goes up top and pulls his tights down to reveal Cheryl Roberts’s face on them! He also manages to hit a fist drop. Jake Roberts comes out to defend the honor of his wife and Dog gets disqualified at 5:31. That was a nothing match used to further a feud only involving one of the participants. For as over as he was Junkyard Dog was just not much in the ring.
Rating: ¾*

MATCH #4: The Bolsheviks vs. The Powers of Pain

“The Doctor of Style” Slick is managing the Bolsheviks at this point, while the Powers of Pain are accompanied by The Baron (Baron Von Raschke). Warlord and Barbarian charge the ring and go right after their opponents. The referee has trouble controlling the action, as the Powers seem to pretty much do whatever they want. Volkoff and Zhukov are not small men either, but they’re getting manhandled here. Finally some order is restored and Barbarian is in the ring with Zhukov. Barbarian hits a back elbow for two. Zhukov tries to fire back but Barbarian will have none of it, and Warlord does pretty much the same. Warlord hits a powerslam, which Monsoon calls a “gut wrench suplex, belly-to-belly job” but the referee gets distracted and can’t make a count. Slick distracts Warlord and Volkoff illegally goes to work on him. The Bolsheviks use double-teams to keep Warlord isolated in their half of the ring. Finally Warlord comes back and makes the hot tag. Barbarian is a house afire, throwing both Bolsheviks around. He drills Zhukov with a big boot, and gives one to Volkoff as well. Warlord gets tagged in and they hit a double flying tackle. They finish Zhukov with a Warlord powerslam followed up by a Barbarian diving headbutt for the pin at 7:20. That had a solid structure but the Powers of Pain were so green at this point.
Rating: *¼

MATCH #5: Intercontinental Championship Match – Honky Tonk Man vs. Ultimate Warrior

Honky’s opponent was supposed to be Brutus Beefcake, but Outlaw Ron Bass carved up his forehead, so it’s mystery opponent time. The Ultimate Warrior comes running out from Parts Unknown, slams Honky, and delivers a shoulder block, a clothesline, and a big splash. He gets the pin and ends the longest Intercontinental Title reign of all-time in just 0:31. It obviously wasn’t much of a match but is a prime example of ending a title reign in the perfect way.
Rating: ½*

MATCH #6: Don Muraco vs. Dino Bravo

This is a rematch from the tournament at WrestleMania IV. They start slowly, both men trying to assert their power. Muraco gets the first knockdown with a shoulderblock, and then he blocks a monkey flip with a kick to the face. He hits a hiptoss, a bodyslam, and an armdrag, and then Bravo takes a powder. Back in the ring Muraco goes after Bravo’s arm. I wonder why no one mentions that Muraco is a former two-time Intercontinental Champion. Muraco is simply dominant here. Bravo comes back and works Muraco over in the corner. He hits an inverted atomic drop and is very proud of himself. An elbow drop gets two. Muraco comes back with a Side Russian Legsweep, which Monsoon once again calls a reverse neckbreaker. Everyone does monkey flips and Side Russian Legsweeps in 1988 apparently. Bravo gets up first and misses an elbow drop. They both get up and trade punches and Muraco wins that battle. Muraco hits a back body drop, and then takes a shot at Frenchie Martin. He goes for a bodyslam but Bravo reverses it and hits the Side Suplex for the pin at 5:31. Bravo got almost no offense in throughout the entire match until the finish.
Rating: ¼*

MATCH #7: World Tag Team Championship Match – Hart Foundation vs. Demolition

Demolition won the titles from Strike Force back at WrestleMania IV. They’re accompanied by their manager Mr. Fuji, as well as the Foundation’s former manager Jimmy Hart. Bret Hart and Ax start the match. Ax immediately hammers Hart to the mat. He scoops him up and slams him, but then misses an elbow drop. Hart unloads with some big right hands and an O’Connor Roll for two. Smash gets tagged in and Hart armdrags him a couple of times and makes the tag to the Anvil. Neidhart continues the arm work, and throws in some elbow and punches for good measure. Ax kicks Neidhart in the back of the neck from the apron, and now Demolition takes control. Neidhart avoids a back body drop and makes the tag to Hart. Everyone looks a little bit off their game tonight. Hart hits a dropkick on Smash, but then gets thrown shoulder-first into the ring post. The champions are ruthless in going to work on Hart’s arm. After several minutes of abuse Hart is able to make the tag, but the referee doesn’t see it so he can’t allow it. Smash whips Hart into the corner and then runs into a boot. This time the referee sees the tag, and Neidhart is a house afire. The foundation is in firm control. Neidhart hits a big powerslam but Smash kicks out at two. The match turns into a big brawl and Fuji jumps up on the apron. Both Neidhart and the referee get distracted by Fuji, and Ax blasts Hart with the megaphone and Smash drapes his arm over for the pin and a successful title defense at 10:49. That started out a little bit rough but they got it together by the end. These were both great teams.
Rating: ***

MATCH #8: Big Boss Man vs. Koko B. Ware

One time I had Chinese food with Koko B. Ware. Slick distracts Ware, and Man immediately goes to work. Man tosses Ware to the floor and gloats about it. Back in the ring Ware unloads with a few punches and a dropkick, which ties Man up in the ropes. Ware has the advantage briefly but Man gets out of the ropes and the match pretty much starts over. Man reclaims control and squashes Ware in the corner. He hits a clothesline but picks Ware up at the count of two from a cover. He drapes Ware across the second rope and brings his weight crashing down on him. He hits a bodyslam and then goes up to the top rope but misses (sort of) a splash (sort of). They decide to go with “Boss Man made contact on the splash” and Man whips Ware into the turnbuckle. Ware avoids a charge and hits a series of right hands. He goes up top and blasts Man with a Missile Dropkick and a big splash for two. Man comes back by (sort of) dumping Ware to the apron. Back in the ring Man hits the Boss Man Slam (called “that patented side move of his”) for the win at 5:56. That was fun enough for a big man versus little man squash, but Big Boss Man would become a much better worker later on.
Rating: **

MATCH #9: Hercules vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

For as much as they’ve put over the Jake Roberts versus Rick Rude feud, I have to wonder why they didn’t just run that match. Bobby Heenan is conspicuous by his absence, as Hercules is a member of the family. Roberts tries an early DDT and Hercules wisely takes a powder. Back in the ring Roberts blocks a series of punches and hits a bodyslam. Roberts locks on a headlock, and is able to hang on when Hercules tries to back suplex his way out of it. Hercules reaches the ropes to break the hold, and then drops Roberts with a headbutt to the midsection. He drops a couple of elbows and then locks on the reverse chinlock. That doesn’t last too long, and Hercules follows up with a clothesline for two. Hercules then goes back to the reverse chinlock, which according to Monsoon no one has ever beaten anyone with. Roberts breaks the hold but quickly gets elbowed to the floor. Hercules hits a couple of forearms to the chest, and then Roberts catches him and pulls him to the floor. Roberts tries to pull him in the ring but Hercules snaps his neck off the top rope and goes right back to the reverse chinlock, but this time Roberts hits a jawbreaker to break it. Now Roberts unleashes a series of punches and hits the short-arm clothesline, but when he goes for the DDT Hercules backdrops him. Roberts tries a knee lift but Hercules moves and he crashes into the turnbuckle. Hercules does this little dance before elbow drops that I find hilarious. Roberts slips out of a bodyslam attempt and hits the DDT! That’s enough for the three-count at 10:09. For anyone who complains that Randy Orton uses too many chinlocks, try sitting through a Hercules match.
Rating: *½

MATCH #10: The Mega Bucks: “Million Dollar” Man Ted DiBiase & Andre the Giant vs. The Mega Powers: Hulk Hogan & “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Hogan lets the Champ Savage start with Andre the Giant. That lasts about 10 seconds before DiBiase tags in. DiBiase says he wants Hogan. Savage obliges, and the Mega-Powers ping-pong DiBiase, despite Ventura’s protests. Hogan hits a clothesline and then makes the tag to Savage. The Powers are making quick tags and wearing DiBiase down. Hogan drops three elbows on DiBiase and then tries to take a cheap shot at Giant, but that backfires as Giant catches him and delivers a headbutt. What a great spot, someone needs to steal that. Giant and Savage both enter the ring illegally, and in the chaos the Bucks take over. Ventura mostly stays out of Giant’s way as he works on Hogan, taking him down a nerve hold. Of course Giant uses his singlet strap to choke Hogan. Hogan is being isolated in the Bucks’ half of the ring. DiBiase wears Hogan down with a reverse chinlock. Hogan escapes the hold and both men clothesline each other. They get back to their feet and Hogan makes the tag. Savage is a house afire, sending DiBiase into the lights with a back body drop. He clotheslines DiBiase’s neck off the top rope, and then hits the double axe handle. He charges at DiBiase in the corner but the Million Dollar Man moves. Savage stays in control hitting a high cross body for two. DiBiase comes back with a hard clothesline and then tags the big man. Giant takes Savage down in the corner and squashes him. DiBiase is back in and he hits a vertical suplex for two. He goes for the falling elbow off the second rope but Savage moves. The Champ makes the hot tag to Hogan, and he’s all fired up. Hogan suplexes DiBiase. Giant comes in illegally and gets met with a hard clothesline. Savage goes to the top rope presumably for the elbow, but Giant gets a boot in his face. Meanwhile Hogan has DiBiase in the sleeper. Giant breaks that hold with the patented headbutts, and then he throws Hogan to the floor. Both Powers are on the floor and Ms. Elizabeth gets on the ring apron. Ventura tries to get her off the apron, but she won’t go. Heenan and Virgil get on the apron as well. Then, in one of the greatest moments in SummerSlam history, Elizabeth takes off the bottom of her dress to scandalously show off her legs. All the men in the ring are distracted by the sights, allowing Hogan and Savage to get back in the ring and dump Giant to the floor. Hogan bodyslams DiBiase and then Savage hits the big elbow. Then Hogan puts the finishing touch on with a Legdrop for the pin at 14:49. That was very reminiscent of the main event of the first WrestleMania, but better. Solid structure, great heat, and an awesome finish make this the perfect main event for the first SummerSlam.
Rating: ***¼×120.jpg

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.10.94 Thu, 10 Jul 2014 05:21:45 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.10.94

Taped from Utica, NY

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage.

It’s a special HOLIDAY edition of RAW.  Apparently it’s “Columbus Day”.  Apparently this is a real thing that Americans celebrate.  But then we get “Victoria Day” as a holiday up here, so who am I to judge?

Bam Bam Bigelow v. Lex Luger

Luger gets distracted by Dibiase’s parade of scrubs and Bigelow attacks and overpowers Lex.  Luger slugs back FOR ‘MURICA and Bigelow bails, so Luger brings him back in and goes to the vicious armbar that is featured on the thumbnail for this episode.  So that goes on for a while, until Bigelow comes back with a powerslam for two, but the diving headbutt misses.  And it’s back to that armbar.  And now King Kong Bundy joins us at ringside to really add to the marketability of the worst stable in wrestling history and we take a break.  We return with Adam Bomb and Mabel coming out to even the odds, and this like the Survivor Series match from my tequila-and-pizza fueled nightmares.  So now Bigelow goes to the chinlock as Vince clarifies that the Corporation is attempting to rid the WWF of Lex Luger.  Well Ted Turner’s chequebook certainly accomplished that goal for them the next year.  So Bigelow chokes away on the ropes and Luger finally makes the comeback as his steroid cycle kicks in.  Bigelow collides with Tatanka and Luger cradles for the pin at 14:47.  Bigelow and Tatanka argue over that, although that specific story thread wouldn’t get pulled on for months.  This Corporation was just the dirt worst bunch of losers.  *

Mr. Bob Backlund guests on the Heartbreak Hotel, and Bob’s not so sure that he’d want Shawn Michaels in his generation.

Mabel v. Reno Riggins

I have to wonder who got the honor of writing all of Vince’s topical banter about sports and pop culture for these taped shows, given that we know he’s about as savvy to the world outside of the bubble as I am.  Riggins actually controls after a missed elbow, but Mabel quickly squashes him with the legdrop at 2:00.

Meanwhile, Randy Savage is at a parade either for or against Cooley’s Anemia.  Either way, it’s very important to give them money.  I think the people behind that disease need better PR because I’ve never heard of it.

Owen Hart v. John Crystal

Owen works on the arm and chokes him out after a dropkick while Vince plays “What’s in the news this week?” and makes jokes so lame that Bret would be forced to give them 1/10.  Crystal briefly comes back, but walks into a suplex and the Sharpshooter at 3:39.

King Kong Bundy v. Mike Khoury

Bundy quickly beats him down and drops a knee for two while Vince talks current movie releases with Savage.  Can we just fast-forward through this entire month?  Avalanche finishes at 2:49 and they screw up the five-count gag by playing his music too soon.  I am kind of curious why Bundy never migrated to WCW during the Hogan era, actually.

The King’s Court with Queezy the midget, which is Lawler’s first step in his war of the midgets against Doink.  Kill me now.

The New Headshrinkers v. JS Storm & Cory Student

Barbarian throws Student around and no-sells all of Storm’s jobber offense, then finishes with the big boot at 1:50.  They probably should have just gone right to the repackage of Fatu and saved everyone the boredom.  Also, Fatu is concerned because Sionne is too violent or something.  Later, the storyline would hit another gear when Fatu starting getting booked as being too stupid to figure out how to wrestle in boots.  So the best is yet to come.

The Pulse

This show was only 45 minutes long and felt like a three-hour RAW.  And it’s only getting WORSE as the year grinds to a finish!  But at least we’ve got Jeff Jarrett v. Doink to look forward to next week.

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My Thoughts: WWE RAW 7.7.14 (John Cena, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns) Tue, 08 Jul 2014 14:44:41 +0000 WWE Raw Header - 2014


#1~ Before you get too comfortable, did you know there’s a new Wallpaper of the Week featuring Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt? You should download it quick!

#2~ I never thought the silent but deadly Roman Reigns would open an addition of Raw with a promo, definitely not this early in his singles’ run. But damn if he didn’t pull it off. Our friend over on the WWE Creative Humor Twitter wrote about the segment that was just supposed to be funny but oddly enough it’s also a bit true. He wrote,

It’s sad but true; in this PG-era of the WWE, the guidelines only allow for a certain amount of leeway when it comes to promos and controversial words. Last week, John Cena got the nod and tonight, they gave the crowd-friendly line to Roman Reigns for an easy pop. It’s not much but it’s something for a guy who hasn’t been in the main event for very long.

#3~ It’s a shame that Dean Ambrose versus Randy Orton will only be remembered for the botched spot. In a normal situation, I would have expected Orton to throw a fit except it absolutely was Orton’s spot. I can almost guarantee that Ambrose was supposed to jump off the top rope and into a Orton dropkick. Except Orton took his sweet ass time getting up and turning around. Either way it’ll end up being Ambrose’s fault somehow. Who would have ever thought that Ambrose would be the bit player coming out of The Shield’s breakup?

#4~ One of my favorite memories of 90s WWF was the running storyline of Jerry Lawler & his absolute hatred of the Hart family. From Helen & Stu to Bret & sometimes Owen, “The King” couldn’t despise the Harts more than anyone on earth leading to all sorts of matches including the infamous Kiss My Foot match which eventually led to the debut of Lawler’s personal dentist, Dr. Issac Yankem (aka Glenn Jacobs – aka Kane). It would have been awesome to see King tease at least SOME hatred for the Harts, at least for me.

#5~ This Fandango/Layla/Summer Rae thing is still going? First I thought it was over after that “match” at the pay-per-view. Then I thought it was done when Dolph Ziggler and Summer basically had “PG sex” in the ring last week. But now not only is there a Fandango/Ziggler feud but Summer Rae is STILL trying to seduce Fandango away from Layla? I’d be OK with a Ziggler/Fandango feud (especially if the IC title was involved) but the choice between Layla and Summer is just ridiculous. Layla is stacked and is a former Miami Heat dancer. Summer pretended to be a dancer for Fandango when his first dancer didn’t want to leave college for a career in wrestling. I think you get where my allegiance lies.

#6~ I appreciate the fact that The Miz is trying something new with his character. I appreciate the new transition into his theme music and the Top Gun glasses. But so far that’s all I’ve seen. The music is the same. The promos are the same. The jacket and ring gear is the same. And most importantly, his ring work is the same. If you’re going to try to revamp your career, you NEED to add more than glasses & the beginning of The Rock’s old entrance video to your own. That’s like adding pin-striping to a ’94 Chevy Malibu & asking 30k for it. The Miz has a long way to go to ask fair market value for his presence.

#7~ Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt is going to be good. Really good. But please let them build, let them tell a story. Give them more TV time than just a promo spot after a throwaway match. Let them write their own material and be held accountable of whether or not if they’re successful. It worked with Jericho & Shawn Michaels in their modern-day classic rivalry in 2008. Take a chance again and watch the magic happen.

#8~ Kofi Kingston starts winning when he starts talking about a heel turn – OK fine. But he starts beating Cesaro, a guy who just wrestling for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, cleanly and weakly? The way Cesaro was moving up the card, I could clearly see him facing Brock Lesnar in a battle of the “Paul Heyman Guys” in the near future. Now I’m just hoping he doesn’t fall off the map completely and regain ANY momentum he had going into and out of WrestleMania 30.

#9~ Seth Rollins and John Cena had pretty good chemistry in the ring, even though they didn’t have it in the earlier backstage segment. The idea that Rollins has to remind the audience every week that he can cash in at anytime is absurd. The Money In The Bank contract has been around for almost 10 years, the “WWE Universe” knows how it works and Rollins will cash in when it’s most advantageous for him. Stop shoving it down our throats and tell the story you want to tell. Of course if that story is how much Roman Reigns and John Cena like each other, I’d rather they not.×120-2013.jpg×250-raw-2013.jpg

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WWE50 A New York Times Best Seller Tue, 01 Jul 2014 15:56:39 +0000 WWE50, the latest WWE Encyclopedia covering the 50 year history of the company, has made the New York Times Best Seller List under the “Sports” category at #15. This achievement makes it the 24th title published by the WWE to make the most prestigious list of best-selling books in the United States.

In the book you can find detailed accounts of:

· WWE’s split from the National Wrestling Alliance

· The sale of WWE to Vince McMahon by his father

· WWE’s national expansion and the perilous risks involved

· The legal and financial strife that nearly crippled WWE in the 90′s

· Innovations of WrestleMania, Raw, SmackDown, Survivor Series and more

· Triumph in the Monday Night Wars

· Taking WWE public×120.jpg×250.jpg

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.03.94 Sun, 29 Jun 2014 05:47:23 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.03.94

I notice that they’re now adding Total Divas to the Network’s archives.  You know that the next step is the Marine movies and all the direct-to-DVD features where HHH plays a convict trying to go straight.  Don’t fight it, there’s no point.  Although really, they have all this stuff in their vaults and the rights to air it, so why not?

Taped from Utica, NY

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

The British Bulldog v. Jim Neidhart

It makes me feel incredibly old that I vividly remember this era, and now I’m watching their kids compete.  Anvil clobbers Bulldog from behind and Owen clarifies that he’s got muscles, but no brains.  Bulldog overpowers Anvil to put him on the floor, thus confirming that analysis.  Back in, Bulldog with a hiptoss and armbar.  Kind of weird that they never went with a straight Bulldog v. Owen feud at this point, because it would have made more sense.  Anvil cheats to escape a test of strength and Bulldog goes to work on the leg, but Anvil sends him into the corner and goes to the chinlock.  Owen gets a chinlock and we take a break.  Back with more excitement as Bret Hart joins us at ringside, teasing a future ****+ tag match on the Action Zone, while Neidhart continues putting me to sleep with restholds.  Christ man, I’m taking allergy medication tonight, I’m fighting it off with caffeine as it is!  Neidhart goes to a camel clutch and Vince McMahon feels this might be the killing blow for Davey Boy, but instead Neidhart stupidly goes up and misses something ridiculous.  Bulldog makes the comeback with a delayed suplex for two while Backlund comes out to mess with Bret Hart, and Owen runs in for the DQ at 15:13.  Everyone brawls and Vince declares it a DONNYBROOK.  They should totally have a jobber named “Donny Brook” as a rib.  *1/2

Meanwhile, a kid is really upset about the World Series being cancelled by those greedy baseball players going on strike, but luckily Randy Savage is there to console him.  A month before he too sells out and jumps to WCW, like everyone else in the promotion with any star power.  Also, I bet more kids were upset when Vince used to false advertise guys on house shows for weeks when he knew they were injured.

Doink the Clown v. Barry Horowitz

Doink is now firmly into the ugly tights phase.  Barry gets his shit in, but Doink quickly finishes with the Whoopie Cushion, complete with overdubbed fart noise at 2:20.

Meanwhile, Undertaker (the real one) is looking for Yokozuna.

The King’s Court, featuring the aforementioned Yokozuna.  He’s afraid of caskets, you see, so people shouldn’t mention it.

The Action Zone debuts at the end of the month, and in typical insecure WWF fashion they make fun of football analysis shows for being boring and promise “No talking” on this one.  Which held true for about a month before it turned into yet another recap and interview show, of course.

Alundra Blayze & Heidi Lee Morgan v. Bull Nakano & Luna Vachon

Morgan quickly gets caught in the heel corner, and Luna splashes her for two.  Morgan fights back with a victory roll on Nakano and slugs Luna down, and it’s the presumed hot tag to Blayze.  She gets a bodypress on both heels, but Nakano suplexes both babyfaces at the same time and punches Blayze in the throat.  Effective.  Luna comes in with a missile dropkick that hits Bull by mistake and Blazye finishes her with the german suplex at 5:00.  I think that pretty much blew off the Luna character for good.  *1/2

King Kong Bundy returns next week.

Mr. Bob Backlund v. Gary Scott

Backlund allows the jobber to get his back, and then calmly outwrestles him and finishes with the Crossface Chickenwing at 2:30.

Next week:  Bam Bam Bigelow v. Lex Luger!  King Kong Bundy returns! 


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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 08.22.94 Tue, 17 Jun 2014 03:11:51 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 08.22.94

So this is a taped repackage of the Sunday Night Slam show from the night before, with commentary redone.  I assume it’s still from Lowell, Massachusetts like last week.

Your hosts are Vince & Macho in the studio and Jim Ross & Gorilla Monsoon on commentary.

Lex Luger v. Crush

Finally, the TV blowoff of the house show feud that had been boring audiences around the country!  Watching the buildup for Summerslam 94 makes me wonder why the hell I even ordered it at the time.  Luger works an ALL AMERICAN headlock to start and the crowd is going crazy even though everyone on screen is sitting down and looking bored.  Not to mention there are literally dozens of empty seats visible in the low sections.  Crush pounds away and tries a piledriver, but Lex powers out and puts him onto the floor with an ALL AMERICAN shoulderblock.  Back in, Crush goes to work on the back and gets a backbreaker for two.  They slug it out and Crush goes to a camel clutch and pounds on the back for two.  This makes soccer look exciting and high-stakes by way of comparison.  And now it’s the bearhug as Ted Dibiase joins us and we take a break.  Back with Luger getting a small package for two, but Crush keeps slowly pounding on the back before they finally collide for the double KO.  Luger comes back with clotheslines and a DDT for two, but Crush kicks him in the back to put him down again.  Dibiase offers to buy Crush, but gets chased off (huh?) and Lex finishes with the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DEATH at 15:08.  That was a weird finish.  I bet if Dibiase had said the money was for guns or drugs Crush would have been happy to take it.  Or maybe he just thought there was cops in the front row?  Was that supposed to start a babyface turn for Crush or something?  *1/2

Meanwhile, Savage gets the DNA results back and learns that Lex Luger has sold out, according to SCIENCE.  I wonder if they just gave him a bag of coke and a sheet of paper and let him cut loose with this stuff.

Meanwhile, we get a recap of the Owen v. Bret feud thus far.

Earlier this week, (probably earlier this MONTH judging by the taping blocks at the time) Bret gives his side of the story on Superstars.  Headline:  Jim Neidhart is FAT and also STUPID.  That’s just mean.  Why cost yourself potential buys from the fat and stupid portion of your audience?  Had to be at least 40% or so judging by the explosion of the internet at the time.

Meanwhile, Leslie Nielsen gets Domino’s Pizza delivered by the Undertaker as we’re hitting new lows for the week.

Diesel v. Typhoon

Typhoon chases Diesel out of the ring after a splash, and he gets some advice from Shawn. That advice:  “If you feel like you’re going to have to job the title, fake a knee injury and vacate it instead.”  Back in, Diesel with a fairly impressive running shoulderblock and an elbow for two.  Diesel holds a neck vice while Shawn engages in intellectual discourse with the front row.  Good thing he wasn’t on the other side of the ring or he’d only have empty seats to taunt.  Seriously, they couldn’t have moved some people over for TV?  That’s WCW-level embarrassing.  Typhoon pounds away in the corner and gets a corner splash, but Diesel finishes with a running clothesline out of nowhere at 8:00.  And to think they put the World title on this guy three months later!  DUD

Meanwhile, Razor Ramon and Walter Payton practice their stereo toothpick throwing.

Next week:  The fallout from Summerslam, not that this boring show did anything to make me want to see it again.

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 08.08.94 Wed, 04 Jun 2014 03:40:58 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 08.08.94

Taped from Youngstown, OH

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

“The Undertaker” v. Butch Banks

Good jobber name.  At this point Vince’s commentary track is “You’ll only see Undertaker v. Undertaker one time!” because they had already realized how lame and ice-cold the feud was and decided to kill it after Summerslam.  Undertaker does as little as possible for a crowd that could not give a shit, and a chokeslam finishes at 2:00.  I think it was pretty clear even to the marks that this wasn’t the same guy.

Meanwhile, Leslie Nielsen continues his search for the real Undertaker.

Lex Luger v. Chad Miller

I’m in the same camp as others on the blog, who wonder why they didn’t pull the trigger on the Luger heel turn when they clearly needed top level heels and had nothing for months.  Luger works on a hammerlock for a while, but Miller stomps on his leg to get his shit in, which riles Luger up enough to finish with the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DEATH at 3:00.

Summerslam Report with Todd, as he runs down the entire card with three weeks still to go!  When does that ever happen today?

Doink the Clown & Tatanka v. IRS & Bam Bam Bigelow

Apparently the IRS/Bigelow team was going to get the tag titles from the Headshrinkers at Summerslam before Vince called an audible and switched them to Shawn & Diesel a couple of days before the PPV.  Never got the timing of that one.  It would have helped the Corporation a hell of a lot more than Shawn & Diesel, who were only getting the belts so they could split up.  Tatanka controls IRS by the tie and the bayfaces work him over, but Bigelow comes in and Doink outsmarts him and drops an elbow for two.  Tatanka hits some clotheslines for two, but Bigelow dumps him and we take a break.  Back with IRS chinlocking Tatanka, and Bigelow comes in for the collision to put both guys out.  Tatanka makes the…hot…?…tag to Doink, who runs wild for roughly 10 seconds before Bigelow clocks him with the enzuigiri and IRS finishes him with the Write-Off at 12:00.  This was like every boring Coliseum video dark match exclusive that Sean Mooney ever shilled for.  **  Luger and Tatanka have more words afterwards due to a wacky misunderstanding with Luger stealing Dibiase’s cash.

The King’s Court with Owen & Bruce Hart.  Owen talks about beating Bret in cage matches back in the Dungeon, but this time it’s for the title.  Also, his entire family is behind him now, which brings out Bruce to make a fiery comeback on him.  Owen is a disgrace to the Hart family, it seems, and they’re all disgusted by his actions and they all hate Neidhart too.  And then Bruce finally puts out the motivation they had been missing for weeks, as he accuses Neidhart of being jealous of Bret for carrying the Hart Foundation for years.  THANK YOU!  Someone should have said that long ago.  Great job from Bruce, although they abruptly cut away from the segment for some reason.

Bob Backlund v. Kevin Krueger

Bob was still refining the Mr. Bob character at this point.  Backlund controls the jobber on the mat and works the arm, and Vince feels like Backlund is not above cheating.  Harsh words from a guy who just escaped 20 years in federal prison for steroid distribution.  Bob finishes with the crossface chickenwing at 4:00 out of nowhere.  Bob snapping and staring at his hands was a great touch that he managed to turn into a World title run.

Next week:  Owen Hart v. 1-2-3 Kid!   We’re getting closer to the point where my family bought a giant C-Band satellite dish and I was able to watch these live on USA, actually.

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.25.94 Sun, 01 Jun 2014 05:14:47 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.25.94

I’ve got six Clashes left, and the only one I’ve actually seen before is the infamous “reviving elbow” one, so that’ll take me a little while to catch up.  Just in case you were checking every day and waiting.

Taped from Bushkill, PA

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Randy Savage

Nikolai Volkoff v. Tatanka

At stake here is a $10,000 bet that Tatanka made with Dibiase, although apparently the result leaked on Reddit so he’ll only make like $5 on it.  Volkoff chokes him out in the corner and on the ropes and on a plane and in a train, Sam I Am.   And then we switch to the stomping, before Tatanka mounts a comeback with a dropkick to put Volkoff on the floor.  Back in, Volkoff retains control with, yes, you guessed it, more stomping.  Tatanka comes back with chops and finishes with a small package at 6:13.  WEAK SAUCE.  ½*  Randy Savage demands that Dibiase pay out the 10 grand, and Tatanka throws out a challenge to Lex Luger, who comes out and does not deny any involvement with Dibiase.

The Headshrinkers v. Barry Hardy & some other geek

Samu hits the guy with a DDT from the middle rope and the Shrinkers double-team him in the corner as the announcers continue talking up a Heavenly Bodies feud that never materialized.  Despite being babyface champions for a couple of months now, the Shrinkers are still totally acting like heels.  Fatu finishes with the flying splash at 3:48.

Jim Neidhart v. Jim Powers

I have no idea how Powers even can move with that physique.  Neidhart throws him around the ring while Owen rants to the camera, and a backdrop suplex gets two.  Powerslam and a camel clutch that looks like it was supposed to be a dragon sleeper of some kind finishes at 3:00.  Why bother giving Neidhart squashes?  He was just there as Owen’s heavy anyway.

Alundra Blayze joins us to discuss her open challenge, and she’s finished with Luna Vachon.  I didn’t even know she had started with her.  She’s more concerned with Bull Nakano next week, but Luna storms out and claims responsibility for bringing her in to challenge.

Meanwhile, a mobster has a stereotypical Italian restaurant owner whacked because he really wants to watch RAW.  Apparently the Tatanka v. Volkoff and Headshrinkers matches didn’t cover the spectrum of offending ALL the minorities watching and they wanted to cover their bases.

Yokozuna v. Adam Bomb

This is fresh off Bomb’s babyface turn, and what better way to launch a new career than by getting squashed by Yokozuna?  Bomb manages to overpower Yoko and put him on the floor, and we take a break.  I will take the opportunity to once again note that “Adam Bomb” is a great cheesy gimmick name and was kind of wasted of Bryan Clark.  Back with Yoko beating him down to take over and going to the Vulcan nerve pinch, but Bomb fights out of it and dodges a corner splash.  Bomb comes back with a DDT and goes up with the flying clothesline, but Kwang trips him up and Bomb gets distracted and counted out at 10:25.  There are some shit finishes tonight.  Match was a lot better than I would have guessed going in, though.  **  I don’t recall if I ever had the honor of sitting through Kwang v. Adam Bomb at a house show around this time, but it seems like something that would have happened to me.

Duke Droese v. Dwayne Gill

They’re STILL going on about how inappropriate it is to use garbage cans and what a bad person Lawler is for doing so.  Droese gets a press slam and suplex, and a powerslam.  The TRASH COMPACTOR finishes at 2:30.

Next week:  Alundra Blayze v. Bull Nakano and Shawn Michaels v Razor Ramon!  That can’t possibly suck.



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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.18.94 Wed, 28 May 2014 04:17:29 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.18.94

Taped from Bushkill, PA.

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Randy Savage

Intercontinental title:  Diesel v. Lex Luger

One of the advantages of the squash era is that you’d frequently get cool matches like this where they’ve never really interacted before and thus it’s a totally fresh matchup.  The backstory with the Luger deal is pretty intriguing, as they’re establishing that he’s so desperate to be the champion that he might have signed with Dibiase to accomplish it.  Sadface of the week:  Joey Marella referees this match, two weeks after dying in a horrific car accident.  I’m guessing that would make this his final appearance.  Kind of puts them in a weird position because if they pay tribute to him, they have to admit that this show was taped two weeks before.  So how does that work if last week’s show was “live”?  Clearly it was taped before Marella died on July 4.  Diesel overpowers Luger and pounds away on the back, but Luger comes back with a powerslam for two.  Lex slugs him to the floor and Diesel stops for advice from Shawn.  That advice?  “Find Jesus and marry a hot dancer if you want to revive your career again.”  Back in, Diesel puts Lex on the floor via a big boot and slams him out there, and we take a break.  Back with Snake Eyes (a rare case where the WCW name for a move carried over and became the “generic” one) and Nash chokes him out on the ropes.  That gets two, and we hit the chinlock.  Luger fights out, but walks into a big boot, and Diesel drops the elbow for two.  Big Kev with the sleeper, but Luger powers out, so Diesel runs him into the corner and goes back to it.  Nice little counter there.  Shawn goes over to the timekeeper and tells him to RING THE BELL, but obviously you can’t just go over to the timekeeper and tell him to do that!  When has THAT ever worked?  Luger fights out and makes the comeback with a DDT for two, and goes up with a flying clothesline for two.  Blind charge hits boot and the ref gets bumped, so Shawn runs in and superkicks Luger so that Diesel can get two.  They slug it out and Razor Ramon joins us to get rid of Shawn, and it’s a donnybrook at 18:09.  It wasn’t Hart-Kid or anything, but Nash was working hard and it was a good basic power match that was a nice change of pace from last week.  ***1/4  And of course, Luger blows it again in a title match.

Mabel v. Austin Steele

Mabel whips Steele around and he actually does a Flair Flip, but that gets him nowhere.  Steele does all the goofy Flair spots (begging off, yelling in pain during the knucklelock) and even a Flair Flop before the Bossman slam finishes at 2:20.  Dude, you’re no Flair.  You’re barely even Buddy Landell.

Summerslam Report with Todd, as he announces Hart v. Hart in the cage match.

Owen Hart v. Reno Riggins

Reno actually holds his own on the mat as they exchange hammerlocks, so a frustrated Owen stomps him down and sends him into the corner.  Reno escapes a chinlock and slugs away, but Owen puts him down with a belly to belly and finishes with the Sharpshooter at 3:00.

Thurman Plugg (His Friends Call Him Sparky) v. George South

It’s the quality Crockett jobbers this week!  Sparky with the headlock to control, and he takes South down with a flying headscissors, but South gets some offense in the corner before running into an elbow.  Plugg goes up with a bodypress to finish at 3:00.

Todd Pettingill recaps the Undertaker story so far, which still makes no sense.

Bam Bam Bigelow v. Gary Sabbaugh

The Stallion fires away in the corner as JR brings up his World Spaghetti Eating Champion status, but Bigelow is unimpressed by pasta consumption and beats him down.  Back elbow gets two.  Bammer misses a charge and Sabbaugh throws clotheslines, but walks into a powerslam and Bigelow finishes with a cobra sleeper into a bulldog at 3:00.

Ted Dibiase has a shocking announcement this weekend, which draws out Tatanka to accuse Luger of selling out.  Dibiase thinks he’s just jealous, and offers him $10,000 if he can beat Volkoff next week.  Hope the Reddit guy doesn’t wreck the odds on that one.

Good squashes this week from a series of professional jobbers, plus the main event was solid.  A surprising highlight of the year thus far.

Next week:  Adam Bomb v. Yokozuna and Tatanka v. Nikolai Volkoff!  Both of those sound awful!  Just awful!  

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 06.27.94 Sun, 25 May 2014 22:38:22 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 06.27.94

Taped from White Plains, NY

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Randy Savage

Jerry Lawler is forced to apologize to Duke Droese for attacking him with the garbage can last week.  Truly that’s the worst thing you can do to a person.  So apparently Lawler was actually kind of shooting and wasn’t supposed to use the garbage can last week, and USA freaked out about it and made him apologize.  No wonder the gun incident nearly took them off the network two years later.

Bam Bam Bigelow v. Mabel

Bigelow quickly attacks and manages to throw Mabel around, then pounds away until Mabel just kind of decides to stop selling.  Mabel blocks a charge with a big boot and follows with the legdrop, but he stops to go after Luna and ends up missing an elbow.  However, Bigelow accidentally whips Mabel into his lovely fiancée and knocks her out cold on the floor, and they both go brawling out there until Mabel beats the count at 3:35.  Shit match, shit finish.  DUD  Luna did take a nice bump into the railing, I guess.  And then Ted Dibiase continues his spending spree, coming out to make peace between the couple and eventually buying off Bigelow.

Meanwhile, Dibiase re-introduces The Undertaker on Superstars, who is now mysteriously 6 inches shorter than when he left.

IRS v. Rich Myers

Myers tries a headlock and gets suplexed, and Irwin goes to the abdominal stretch, as he is wont to do.  Legdrop and chinlock, and he finishes with an STF at 2:35.

The King’s Court with Jim Neidhart.  Apparently Anvil is bitter at giving advice to Bret all these years and getting NOTHING in return.  So he saved the title for Bret, in order to make sure that Owen gets his fair shot at the title later.  Owen Hart joins us with his super-cheesy King outfit and dollar store scepter, and he’s gonna win the title from Bret.  Gorilla is really counter-productive here, yelling over Owen’s interview that he’s a liar and just got lucky when he beat Bret and won the Kingship.  What’s the point of cutting down your top heel?

The Headshrinkers v. The Executioners

I’m assuming this is just Gill & Hardy in yet another identity.  They do have cool matching black outfits, at least!  Samu beats on Executioner #4 (who has “Agony” on his tights) and Fatu catapults him under the rope and gets a short clothesline for two.  Samu gets a DDT out of the corner and poor Agony continues getting pounded, and the Shrinkers keep picking him up at two.  Fatu finishes with the flying splash at 4:52.  Pain never even tagged in!

Meanwhile, in the locker room, Dibiase makes Bigelow an offer he can’t refuse.

Kwang v. Mike Moraldo

Kwang with a spinkick and he’s blowing the deadly red mist everywhere while slowly pounding away.  Leg lariat in the corner and a back kick gets two.  Moraldo randomly gets a comeback, but Kwang uses yet another spinkick to finish at 3:34.  Harvey is proud of his Kwang, notes Gorilla.  Good to know.

The New Generation!  Guys like Hulk Hogan and Iron Sheik are OLD, but guys like Roddy Piper and Nikolai Volkoff are NEW.  You might want to take notes here.

Lex Luger v. Unnamed Jobber

Ted Dibiase peers out from the curtain ominously while Luger beats on the guy and the announcers start to try out the “Rebel” nickname for Luger that flopped spectacularly.  Torture rack finishes at 3:00.

Next week:  Tatanka v. Jeff Jarrett in the most mid-90s WWF match possible, plus Undertaker returns to RAW with different tattoos.


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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 06.20.94 Sun, 25 May 2014 03:39:57 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 06.20.14

Sadly, the Network is skipping the COUNTDOWN TO THE CROWNING.  So this would place us at the night after King of the Ring.

Live from White Plains, NY, in an arena that at least looks slightly less embarrassing than the last set of tapings.

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Randy Savage.   I miss Vinnie Mac already because this gonna be a fucking trainwreck.

Diesel v. Mark Thomas

So Vince is off getting grilled over steroid distribution and they put Steroid McSteroid out there as a jobber?  Dude’s built like Scott Steiner and you can practically see his testicles receding into his scrotum.  The jobber gets a couple of shots in and then Diesel tosses him and Shawn beats on him outside.  Sideslam, Snake Eyes and we go to a neck vice as this live show is really kicking off with a bang!  Big Kev finishes with the Poochiebomb at 4:00.  Shawn actually LEAVES HIM HANGING on a high five and Diesel is forced to do the “smoothing his hair” move to compensate before they repeat the spot and get it right.  Poor guy.

King of the Ring report with Todd!  He lays out the Jim Neidhart heel turn (and why didn’t we just get the Hart Foundation v. Shawn & Diesel?)

The 1-2-3 Kid v. Nikolai Volkoff

Winner of this gets a title shot at Bret Hart to possibly make this the most random #1 contender match ever.  Funny bit with Volkoff being announced as hailing from the “servant’s quarters” of Dibiase’s summer residence.  Volkoff overpowers the Kid and puts him down with a sort of spinkick.  Gorilla:  “I bet Dibiase literally bought and paid for this shot at the title.”  Savage:  “No kidding, how did you figure THAT out?”  Gorilla was not good at this point.  No wonder they got JR back.  Kid fights back with kicks and has his comeback cut off by a butterfly suplex that gets two.  Kid with a rollup for two and finally he’s had enough of selling and fires back with a series of kicks for two.  How could they be talking about the New Generation while Volkoff was out there lumbering around stuck in 1982?  Volkoff with a backbreaker for two, but he picks the Kid up for some reason.  Kid appears to blow out his knee on a missed leapfrog, and Volkoff takes too long to put him away and gets pinned at 6:08.  *1/2  The Kid was FAKING, you see.  Seriously, it was 1994, Sean Waltman should NOT have been fighting from underneath Nikolai Volkoff.  The Dibiase crew does a beatdown, but Virgil saves in an interesting bit of storyline that never went anywhere, much like everything else with this deal.  They could have had Virgil trying to liberate Volkoff or maybe turning on him and going back to bodyguarding Dibiase again or something.

Yokozuna v. Nick Barbery

Coming back from commercial, Gorilla sums up the show:  “We’re live and you haven’t missed a thing!”  How true.  Yoko slowly beats on the dude while Gorilla points out that Typhoon is returning to get revenge for Earthquake.  And don’t forget Bam Bam v. Mabel next week!  Belly to belly and legdrop finish at 2:23.

Typhoon v. The Black Phantom

Were we REALLY supposed to buy Typhoon as a serious threat only a few months after Shockmaster?  When you’re so terrible that even WCW doesn’t want you, you suck.  Typhoon tosses the mysterious masked jobber around with suplexes before finishing with the big splash at 2:33.

The King’s Court with Duke Droese, as Lawler makes reference to Ace Ventura because Droese is smelly.  And we never even get an interview, as Lawler continually insults him until he walks off, causing Lawler to attack him with his OWN GARBAGE CAN.  The layers of dramatic irony are…oh, wait, it’s a commercial break, never mind, I don’t care anymore.

The Heavenly Bodies v. Russ Greenberg & Jim Powers

And we get ANOTHER pair of super-roided jobbers!  Also, I have the same Looney Toons tie as Jim Cornette.  So yeah, the Bodies have wings on their robes now, because WCW.  Powers holds his own while Cornette is just killing it on commentary, hyping a tag title match against the Headshrinkers that I don’t think ever happened.  Powers gets a small package on Dr. Tom and then makes the error of tagging in Greenberg, and he promptly gets killed while Cornette reinforces that the Headshrinkers are STUPID.  How stupid are they?  Well, he’s got about 15 examples and they’re all funny, but the point is that they’re STUPID.  Cornette almost made this god-awful show worth watching all by himself.  Del Ray finishes with the moonsault at 4:00.

Gorilla apologizes profusely for the garbage cans that were used as a weapon earlier, and the Powers That Be have issued a statement CONDEMNING Lawler for using them.  Objects will only be used for the thing they were designed to do on this show from now on!  Well that was bizarre.

Meanwhile, Ted Dibiase wants to manage Lex Luger.  Well that was random.

Next week:  Bam Bam Bigelow v. Mabel!  And the messed-up dating is back!   BE THERE! 

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.30.94 Sat, 24 May 2014 03:42:03 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.30.94

I feel like once we get through King of the Ring, things will pick up somewhat, because at least I know Bret Hart v. 1-2-3 Kid is coming soon.

Taped from Youngstown, OH

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

King of the Ring Qualifier:  Tatanka v. Crush

This was advertised as Jimmy Del Ray last week, but now it’s Crush basically just because.  Tatanka has Jay Strongbow as his second, so he’s a shoo-in here.  Use the great spirit of Don Corleone!  Test of strength to start as Vince declares that Crush is attempting to do what NO ONE has done before – win the Kingship in the tournament and also win the tag titles in the same night!  Considering last year was the first King of the Ring show in accepted WWF canon, that’s not exactly a meaningful goal.  Crush gets a cheapshot on the floor to take over and pounds Tatanka in the corner, but he gets caught with a middle rope clothesline for two.  The racial stereotypes on the floor threaten to get into a senior’s slapfight and we take a break.  Back with Tatanka escaping a bearhug and making the comeback with the FLYING CHOP OF DOOM for two, and a neckbreaker gets two.  More ridiculous “action” from the managers outside leads to a sort of brawl on the floor for the double countout at 11:08.   So neither guy moves on, unless Jack Tunney should SHOCKINGLY make a ruling on this one.  *

King of the Ring Report with Todd, who is just as disgusted as we are that we don’t know who the eighth guy in the tournament is gonna be.  SOMEONE CALL JACK TUNNEY, FOR FUCK’S SAKE!

Vince and Macho discuss this hot-button issue, and Vince wants to go with some sort of complicated video-replay and points system scheme, while Macho just thinks they should wrestle again.

Meanwhile, Ted Dibiase hangs out at a funeral home and claims to have made contact with the Undertaker.

The 1-2-3 Kid v. George South

They’re just hauling out all the quality jobbers the past few weeks.  We actually take a break before the commencement of this squash.  Kid puts him down with kicks, survives the jobber offense, and finishes with a rolling cradle at 2:30.

The King’s Court with Bret Hart, as Jerry Lawler makes fun of his parents and then ambushes him by bringing out Shawn & Diesel.  Bret gets powerbombed as a result.

The Smoking Gunns v. Reno Riggins & Austin Steele

Billy gets a crucifix on Riggins for two, but Bart misses an elbow and it’s over to Austin Steele.  Billy comes in with a bulldog on Steele as we learn that Jack Tunney has MADE A DECISION.  I’m literally on the edge of my seat.  Gunns finish with the Sidewinder at 3:39.

Todd Pettingill finally has an update on the Jack Tunney situation, and the answer is that they’re gonna wrestle again, NEXT WEEK, in a lumberjack match.  Apparently names like Nikolai Volkoff and IRS will be at ringside!  I literally cannot wait.

Jeff Jarrett v. Chris Hamerick

Hamerick takes JJ down with an armbar, but Jarrett claims his hair was pulled and the ref believes him and forces a break.  Really?  I question the quality of the fake refereeing this week.  Jarrett takes over with a cheapshot and gets a slingshot suplex while the announcers talk about auto racing.  Hamerick comes back with a dropkick, but misses a charge by a mile and Jarrett finishes with the figure-four at 4:00 while the crowd chants “We Want Doink.” No, you really don’t.

Next week: Crush v. Tatanka in a lumberjack match! Hopefully they’ll deliver this match! Oh, also, Jerry Lawler basically promises that Roddy Piper will be on the show next week as his guest, and they definitely did not deliver on that.


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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 06.06.94 Sat, 24 May 2014 03:39:50 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 06.06.94

As requested, here’s the link for this show:

Taped from Youngstown, OH

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

Weird thing of the week:  I switched to the XBone for my WWE Network viewing tonight, and it presents the RAW archives in chronological order rather than reverse order like the PS3 does.  Just one of those odd choices developers make, I guess.  The other weird thing is that colors are very bright and almost blown out on the Xbox, which makes the neon bodysuit era a nightmare to watch.

Lumberjack King of the Ring Qualifier:  Tatanka v. Crush

Crush quickly beats on Tatanka and tosses him, and the heels toss him back in for two.  Crush pounds away and goes to a chinlock in record time, before getting serious with a bodyslam.  A knee misses and the fake crowd goes crazy!  They can edit out music but can’t edit out their god-awful canned heat from 20 years ago?  Tatanka dropkicks him out and gets two as we take a break.  Back with Tatanka holding an armbar as Vince is still going on about how Crush can win multiple stuff in the same night.  He hasn’t even qualified yet!  Geez, I hope Vince’s penchant for excitedly overpromising stuff doesn’t come back to bite him years later.  So now it’s Crush with the armbar as the lumberjacks are far more interested in the match than the crowd is.  Crush is just armbarring the shit out of Tatanka and in fact appears to be going for a kimura, but Tatanka is as bored of this match as I am and decides to make the comeback for the hell out of it  The CHOP OF DOOM gets two, but Crush puts him down with an atomic drop for two.  And then, yes, it’s ARMBAR TIME.  And not just any armbar, but the kind of armbar where both guys lay on the mat like journeymen from 1909.  So again Tatanka makes the comeback and we TAKE ANOTHER FUCKING BREAK?!  Tatanka fights back with chops, but Crush puts him down for a fistdrop that gets two. And now Crush with the facelock, before tossing Tatanka out for a beating from the heels.  Back in, that gets two for Crush.  And then Crush goes back to the facelock AGAIN.  Vince notes that it’s a “romp ‘em stomp ‘em” match, and I’m not 100% sure if that translates as good or bad in his mind.  Crush with a suplex for two, but Tatanka tosses him into the babyfaces and he promptly KICKS THEIR ASSES.  That’s kind of hilarious.  So with the good guys unable to beat on the heel with a 10 on 1 advantage, Lex Luger runs out from the dressing room, knocks Crush out with the loaded forearm, and Tatanka gets the pin at 25:00.  Yes, with commercials, they gave this nearly half an hour!  So it was incredibly boring, made the babyfaces look like pussies, and Tatanka only won because Lex Luger cheated on his behalf.  Awesome.  *1/2

King of the Ring Report with another video sent in by Roddy Piper in lieu of actually appearing on the show.

Bam Bam Bigelow v. John Paul

Bigelow misses a splash and Paul goes to the arm as the announcers continue burying the Flintstones movie for the second week in a row for some reason.  A quick check reveals that Flintstones had a domestic gross of $140M and a worldwide of $350M (which would equate to about $700M today), which means that it made more profit than all of the WWE movie releases, COMBINED.    So retroactively suck it, 1994 Vince.  Bammer wins with a senton at 2:30.

Earlier today, WWF wrestlers have a tug of war with the army to celebrate the 50th anniversary of D-Day.  And they don’t even do the job for them!

The King’s Court with “Roddy Piper”.  Yeah, it’s the kid who does the Piper impression, and Vince is SHOCKED at the bait-and-switch here.  This is almost as bad as promising tripled TV rights fees to Wall Street!  The kid does a funny impression for a 30 second bit, but this goes WAY too long, as “Piper” is supposedly a girlish coward.

Razor Ramon v. Keith Davis

“Keith” looks suspiciously like a 17 year old Jeff Hardy.  With a Vanilla Ice haircut!  In fact I’m 99% sure that’s him.  Ramon just destroys the young Willow and gives him no offense, finishing with a backdrop suplex and Razor’s Edge at 4:00.  That was quite the squash.

Next week:  The Quebecers get a rematch for the tag titles in their last WWF match for a long time!  Also, Ted Dibiase promises that the Undertaker will be on Superstars this weekend.×250.jpg×120.jpg

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.16.94 Wed, 21 May 2014 03:02:09 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.16.94

So we’re at week three of a taping cycle of 1994 mid-year RAW while Vince is distracted by the steroid trials.  And the main event is a sumo match.  There are few situations that create worse TV than that.

Taped from Burlington, VT.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage.

King of the Ring Qualifier:  Bam Bam Bigelow v. Thurman Plugg (His Friends Call Him Sparky)

Bigelow shoves him to the floor immediately, but Plugg dropkicks him out in return.  Back in, Plugg charges (ahem) and gets caught in a powerslam for two.  They slug it out in the corner and Sparky shows some fire, but Bigelow elbows him down.  Blind charge misses and Plugg fights back again, but Bigelow puts him down with the enzuigiri for two.  Bigelow with a headbutt for two.  He slowly pounds away while Vince continues making bad racecar puns.  They’re only witty when I’m doing them!  Plugg comes back with a flying bodypress for two while Savage finally calls out Vince’s faulty counting.  Small package gets two.  Luna trips him up, however, and Bigelow extinguishes Sparky with the slingshot splash at 6:29.  Not much going on here.  **

King of the Ring Report with Todd Pettingill, as we’re all anxiously awaiting Jerry Lawler v. Roddy Piper, which was actually set up by Lawler insulting sick children at a hospital.  I’m still waiting on Brock to F5 a Make-A-Wish kid to set up his rematch with John Cena.

Diesel v. Mike Moraldo

Big Kev tosses the poor guy out of the ring by the throat and puts him down with a big boot.  Sideslam, Snake Eyes, Poochiebomb at 3:00.

Meanwhile, more shaky testimony about people seeing the Undertaker.

The King’s Court with Ted Dibiase and Nikolai Volkoff, as Volkoff is broke and now works for Dibiase.  What a stupid storyline this was.  And it didn’t even lead to anything!  So Dibiase makes him put on new trunks that say “Property of the Million Dollar Man” on his ass, and there’s a thread that no one wants to pick at.  Why would they even bother giving 48 year old Volkoff TV time at this point?  Of note on commentary, Vince talks about Volkoff’s power-lifting career, and compares it to then-current American sensation Mark Henry.

Owen Hart v. Tony Roy

Owen gets a fistdrop off the middle rope and gutwrench suplex, and the Sharpshooter finishes at 2:18.  Of note:  Randy Savage reading promo copy while the camera angle reveals that they’re not even at ringside for the match!

Meanwhile, Duke Droese is literally sleeping in a dumpster.  Jesus, and they wondered why this goof didn’t get over?

Sumo Match:  Yokozuna v. Earthquake

A sign hanging on the balcony reads “Owen Won’t Fall”.  Boy, that was an unfortunate choice of words.  We get endless stalling as they keep prepping the ceremonial salt, before finally locking up and fighting near the apron.  We get some extended hugging and Quake finally shoves him out at 6:00.  So that was about as terrible as anticipated.

Next week:  Owen Hart v. Earthquake in the King of the Ring Qualifier!  Uh, I don’t actually remember that match happening, so I’m thinking this week was it for Earthquake’s WWF run.

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.09.94 Tue, 20 May 2014 06:16:35 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.09.94

Apparently we’re back to proper dating now, so yay!

Taped from the Burlington Coat Factory, VT.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

King of the Ring Qualifier:  Razor Ramon v. Kwang

So to recap, we have a guy from the US playing a Cuban, facing off against a guy from the Caribbean playing a vaguely Asian martial artist.  Wrestling, kids.  They trade armbars and Ramon fights off the deadly chops of Kwang and clotheslines him to the floor.  Kwang refuses to stay down and necksnaps Ramon to take over, then blows his green mist for psychological effect.  On the bright side, at least it would match Ramon’s tights.  Kwang works him over in the corner, but misses a charge and allows Ramon to work on the arm in exciting fashion.  Kwang comes back with a leg lariat RIGHT IN THE MUSH.  And indeed, it’s a see-saw matchup, back and forth, so you know it’s a good one.  Ramon appears to be bleeding from the mouth off that lariat, so Vince promises they’ll go to a wide angle if it worsens.  Due to the children watching, you know.  Geez, if they went to a wide shot you’d be able to see that the arena only holds a little under 3000 people.  They slug it out and we take a break.  Back with Ramon making the comeback via chokeslam for two.  They continue to slug it out and Ramon catches him with a Razor’s Edge attempt, but Kwang’s ass causes him to fall over.  So having messed up the finish once, Ramon tries it again, and this time finishes at 15:02.  **1/2

King of the Ring Report:  Todd Pettingill gives a pre-taped interview with Roddy Piper, where he accepts Jerry Lawler’s challenge in exchange for proceeds being donated to charity.  Todd quickly clarifies that it’s a PORTION of the proceeds.  How would they even determine that?

Crush v. Raymond Roy

Vince goes on this whole deal about how Crush must be drug-free because he’s got such a good body.  Striking a nerve there, Vince?  Also, the irony of course is even more striking given Crush’s later jail time and death.  Crush puts him down with a superkick and backbreaker and pounds on the back.  Press slam and the HEART PUNCH finish at 3:33.

Duke Droese is coming soon.  Right after he’s finished with a giant pile of garbage.

Meanwhile, on Superstars, Jerry Lawler and Doink seemingly team up and humiliate Dink, but it turns out to be Jeff Jarrett, in one of the earliest examples of the Vince Russo trope of guys dressing up like other guys, five years before it became a thing.

Doink the Clown v. Mike Terrace

Doink and his pet midget frustrate the jobber with some wacky clown shenanigans and he finishes with the Whoopie Cushion at 3:00.

The King’s Court with Yokozuna, as we get a neat little Earthquake video detailing his sumo history, which naturally leads to Jim Cornette accepting his challenge next with a Sumo Match.  That sounds like…something.

Meanwhile, more people claim to have seen the Undertaker.

Mabel v. Mike Bell

Bell attacks to start and gets chopped in response.  Mabel puts him down for a big fat legdrop, and the Bossman slam finishes at 2:25.

Earthquake officially accepts the “WWF Style Sumo Match” for next week.

Next week:  Did we mention the Sumo Match?

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.03.94 Mon, 19 May 2014 04:45:57 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.03.94

Taped from Burlington, VT.  Apparently no live show this cycle, as this show was taped the week before according to the title history.  A quick check of the WON reveals that Vince was busy with the steroid trial and had to move the taping cycle up a week and skip the live show.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

WWF tag team titles:  The Quebecers v. The Headshrinkers

Despite weeks of hype, there’s still no clear issue and no reason why the Shrinkers are even supposed to be babyfaces in the first place.  Fatu overpowers Pierre and it’s quickly a pier-six brawl as the Headshrinkers clean house.  Like really, who would look at the scary Samoan crazy heels and think they would make good faces?  The Quebecers try to walk out on the match, so we get the “If the Quebecers don’t return to the ring, they will lose the title” gag, which draws them back in.  And then we take a break.  No wonder Hebner got fired, making up the rules as went along like that.  Only Vince gets to do that!  Back with Samu working on Pierre’s arm and a sideslam gets two.  Sadly, the momentum switches due to nefarious tactics from the heels and Fatu is samoan-in-peril as we take ANOTHER break.  Back with the action accelerating, apparently, and Pierre gets backdropped to the floor and Samu gets the hot tag.  He charges and gets his head tied in the ropes.  Vince is convinced that Jacques can finish with a piledriver, but the Quebecers go for the double-team finish instead and Samu moves.  The ref somehow misses the obvious tag to Fatu, and the Quebecers have some communication issues and split up, leading to Jacques getting pinned by Fatu’s flying splash at 20:14 to give them the titles.  This was long and bland.  **1/2  And they kept the belts for FOUR MONTHS!  How dead was the tag division in 94?

Todd Pettingill briefs us on King of the Ring, with highlights like ART DONOVAN.  Tickets are going fast!  Yeah, I’m sure.

Tatanka v. Derek Domino

I wonder if that jobber is any relation to Layla?  Chief Jay Strongbow cuts a promo on Tatanka’s behalf, talking about “his people” while sounding like he should be taking pizza orders in Brooklyn.  We get a phone interview with IRS while Tatanka destroys the guy, survives a flurry of jobber offense, and finishes with his usual array of chops and the Papoose To Go at 5:07.

The King’s Court with Diesel, who is now Intercontinental champion and challenges Bret Hart.

Meanwhile, the Undertaker is being seen all over the place!

Yokozuna v. Mike Davis & Scott Taylor

Yoko lays them both out with Rock Bottoms and tosses one of the schmoes, then tosses Davis and finishes the future Scotty 2 Hotty with a double-stacked jobber sandwich at 4:14.  Macho hopes things get better for the jobbers later on.  Well, for one of them.  Earthquake makes the save and challenges Yokozuna to a match.  Goodie.

Next week:  Razor Ramon faces future best friend Kwang in a King of the Ring qualifier!  Hopefully it sucks less than this week’s show, but I’m not holding my breath!

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.26.94 Tue, 13 May 2014 18:32:05 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.26.94

Taped from Utica, NY

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage.  Reading Dave Meltzer’s hatred of Savage on color in the Observers from this time is kind of funny, as he just buries Savage’s commentary job and calls him the worst of all-time.

Razor Ramon v. Jeff Jarrett

Vince was JUST talking about how Ramon is putting the title up here, and then it’s announced as non-title.  Not that it matters much given that he had already lost the title weeks earlier, but geez.  Also, this weekend, Ramon puts the title on the line against Diesel on Superstars, and in fact loses it there.  Ramon flicks his toothpick at JJ, which Savage notes isn’t such a good idea because it’s the 90s and sharing toothpicks is dangerous.  Especially from Scott Hall.  Jarrett works on the arm, but gets caught in the blockbuster slam and bails.  Back in, Ramon slugs away and Vince is all MIXING IT UP IN A ROUGHHOUSE FASHION.  I wonder if he wooed Linda with those words of passion?  Jarrett gets a back elbow to take over and drops a fist for two.  Savage is still having flashbacks to the Double Feature earlier in the match.  Jarrett with the chinlock and he cuts off a ccomeback as we take a break.  Back with a sunset flip from Razor that gets two, but Jarrett jumps on him with a sleeper.  Ramon fights out of that and makes the comeback with his fisticuffsmanship, but Jarrett tosses him and it’s the highest praise Vince can bestow, the See-Saw Matchup.  Shawn comes down to further taunt Ramon and gets his ass beat, and Ramon makes the comeback on Jarrett in the ring.  Shawn gets involved again and gets beat up again to the delight of Vince, but now Diesel runs in for the DQ at 13:40 and the beatdown commences while Jarrett disappears back to Nashville.  Jarrett had his working boots on tonight.  ***1/4

Bam Bam Bigelow v. Tony DeVito

Bigelow beats on him and chokes away while we get a rare phone interview with Jack Tunney, who announces that next week will see the tag title match all the kids have been clamoring for.  Bigelow quickly finishes with the enzuigiri at 2:00.

The Heavenly Bodies v. John Paul & Jason Headings

The Bodies double-team John Paul as Vince claims that last week’s RAW was the highest rated episode of the show.  Also, Mr. Perfect no-showed a match with Luger, and so he’s been fired.  So there you go.  According to the WON from the time, he needed foot surgery but quit anyway.  The Steiners also quit at this point, as did the Quebecers.  Rough week for Titan.  Headings comes in with some dropkicks on Dr. Tom, but he walks into a Veg-O-Matic and gets tormented in the heel corner.  More double-teams on Headings and Del Ray finishes with a moonsault at 5:00.

The King’s Court with Nikolai Volkoff, who is now broke, although not so broke that he can’t afford front row tickets to RAW weeks on end.

1-2-3 Kid v. Duane Gill

The clash of future light heavyweight champions!  Gill actually attacks and gets a clothesline to take over, then tosses Kid.  Kid comes back in with a springboard clothesline and throws kicks in the corner, but then finishes with a leg lariat at 3:08.

Meanwhile, at a deli in Noo Yawk, some guy tells us about how Undertaker came in and ordered a sandwich.

Owen Hart v. Rich Myers

I recall Myers usually being billed as Sonny Myers for some reason.  Owen slaps him around and catches him with a boot out of the corner, and a dropkick. Gut wrench suplex and we hit the chinlock as Vince pays his respects to Richard Nixon.  Yeah, he would.  Sharpshooter finishes at 3:21.

Captain Lou and Johnny Polo get into an argument to end the show, with Randy Savage stepping in on behalf of Albano.

Next week:  Finally the goddamned Quebecers v. Headshrinkers match so they’ll shut the hell up about it already!

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The SmarK Rant for WWF Smackdown – 02.01.01 Sun, 27 Apr 2014 21:11:49 +0000 The SmarK Rant for WWF Smackdown – 02.01.01

It’s SMACKDOWN XTREME.  The Network is picking some really random stuff for their “classic” selections.  When I saw the description was initially thinking this was the deal with Tazz and HHH, but nope.

Taped from Columbus, OH

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler

WWF tag titles, table match:  The Dudley Boyz v. The Hardy Boyz

The canned heat is way, way, way over the top here, sounding more like a sustaining static than any kind of real reaction.  Brawl to start and man is D-Von looking fit here.  The Dudz quickly hit the Wazzup drop on Matt, back when it was a fresh and hip reference.  Tables are gotten by D-Von, but Bubba goes up and Jeff brings him down with a rana.  Jeff tries to put D-Von through with a swanton, but Bubba trips him up and tries to finish with a superplex.  This gives us a pretty brilliant spot where Matt puts himself through the table to break it, thus preventing Bubba from putting Jeff through it.  And now a ladder gets involved, giving us a trainwreck spot that nearly goes horribly wrong as Matt and D-Von fall off the ladder into a table…and it doesn’t break.  That looked SCARY bad.  Bubba and Jeff quickly brawl up the ramp to shift the focus, and Bubba puts Jeff through a pair of tables with a Bubba Bomb off the ramp at 7:28.  I’m assuming Matt and D-Von were bring taken out on a stretcher while this was happening because we didn’t see them again.  Fun car crash to start the show, which actually led to TLC 2 at Wrestlemania.  ***1/4

Meanwhile, Steve Austin watches the video package of him getting tricked by HHH and he’s too disgusted to finish his beer.

WWF Women’s title:  Ivory v. Lita v. Jacqueline

Lita and Jackie attack to start, but they quickly turn on each other.  Lita with a Twist of Fate on Ivory and she goes up with the Litasault, but Ivory steals the pin at 2:00 to retain.  In retrospect, the fans were dying for Lita to be the one to end that RTC bullshit with Ivory, and having Chyna be the one was kind of ridiculous.  Nothing to the match.  ½*

Meanwhile, Austin gets some revenge by using Stephanie’s private bathroom and clogging it up.

Edge & Christian v. Kaientai

Funaki sadly has a painful rash, so Kaientai buys the APA.  I had mostly forgotten about the English overdubbing gimmick.

Edge & Christian v. The APA

Bradshaw no-sells Edge’s offense and boots him down for two, but Christian gets a missile dropkick and Edge takes over.  Some poor bastard in the background got paid off to hold up an XFL sign.  Hot tag Faarooq and he powerslams Christian for two.  Christian goes low on him and gets a DDT, but Funaki sacrifices himself to save Faarooq, allowing him to hit Christian with a spinebuster for the pin at 3:47.  **

Meanwhile, Vince is ranting to security geeks about his problems, but William Regal interrupts with a very important phone call.

Meanwhile, the XFL premieres this Saturday, which now reveals the horrifying reason behind the “XTreme” version of the show.

Meanwhile, Big Show interrupts a Billy Gunn interview and threatens the Coach.

Meanwhile, Trish is taking a bath and seems to be Vince’s phone call.

Intercontinental title:  Chris Jericho v. Tazz

Tazz throws him around with a suplex and dumps him with a clothesline, and they brawl on the floor.  Back in, Tazz with another suplex and he hits the chinlock, but Jericho gets a rollup for two.  Enzuigiri and hiptoss as Jericho makes the comeback, and the flying forearm gets two.  Tazzmission, but Jericho goes to the nuts and finishes clean with the Lionsault at 4:23.  Good little match, all action.  **1/2

Meanwhile, Vince tries to leave to presumably go see Trish, but Stephanie really has a great idea about putting HHH in the title match tonight.  Vince is in such a hurry that he okays it and then runs off.  “Something’s come up…or is about to.”  Vince’s delivery makes the bit as usual.  It’s kind of astonishing how bad Stephanie’s acting used to be.

Speaking of bad, The Kat comes out promising full frontal nudity for the Xtreme Smackdown, but the RTC is luckily there to prevent it.  Jerry Lawler was insufferable on commentary here.  And Steven Richards raises a good point, as there really are children in the audience!  It’s also super-ironic that years later, WWE themselves would become even more stringent censors of their own product.

Tough Enough is coming, so send in your terrible video today!

Big Show v. Billy Gunn

Gunn attacks and gets nowhere, walking into a belly to belly.  Show tosses him around to show that indeed, he still is strong, and he slowly pounds away and cuts off a comeback with a sideslam.  Elbow misses and Gunn gets a bulldog for two, but the chokeslam finishes at 5:01.  And that was it for Gunn’s singles pushes, in fact.  DUD

Meanwhile, Austin stops by to wish HHH good luck tonight, and accidentally spills his beer all over him.

Meanwhile, Kurt Angle isn’t surprised that they’re trying to screw him over tonight, and in fact he feels that they should have just booked him in a SHARK TANK match, where the object is to wrestle live sharks and pin the shark while it’s trying to eat you.

First Blood:  Kane & Undertaker v. Rikishi & Haku

If they were a team today, they’d be HAKUSHI.  Oddly, “Rollin’” is fully intact for Taker’s entrance, which is weird because I think it’s been cut out of almost every other instance.  But then Fred Durst probably needs the money anyway.  The brothers takes turns beating up Rikshi on the floor, and Taker brings him into the ring for the ropewalk while Kane brawls with Haku outside.  They switch off and Taker is unable to bust Rikishi open on the stairs, so Rikishi grabs a chair and Kane saves.  The Islanders double-team Kane in the ring, but Taker just CRUSHES Haku with an unprotected chairshot on the floor.  Holy shit.  In the ring, Kane chokeslams Rikishi and Haku is gushing blood to give the faces the win at 6:20.  Kane drops the stairs on Rikshi to bust him open as well and the brawl is on.  This all seems like it should have been going somewhere, but I don’t think it did.  And what happened to Haku, anyway?  He just vanished before Wrestlemania.  Anyway, this was a fun and brutal brawl, which thankfully was kept short and didn’t overstay itself.  **1/2  The pacing on these 2000-2001 shows is just GREAT.

WWF World title:  Kurt Angle v. The Rock v. HHH

Rock and HHH brawl to start and Rock DDTs him for two.  Angle keeps getting tossed out by Rock, and KICK WHAM PEDIGREE gets two on Rock.  And then HHH tosses Angle out again as Steve Austin joins us as an impartial observer.  Angle with the Angle Slam on HHH for two off that.  HHH slugs Rock down and gets a suplex for two, but goes up and gets slammed off.  Angle with a backdrop suplex on Rock, and Austin gives a cold beverage to HHH as a peace offering.  I don’t see that working.  Rock with a Scorpion King Deathlock on Angle, but HHH breaks it up with a DDT, which gets two.  HHH with the high knee on Rock and a neckbreaker for two.  Angle comes back with a belly to belly on HHH, but he walks into Rock Bottom.  Steph distracts the ref, so Rock hits HHH with the spinebuster, but Angle gets the Angle Slam for two.  Ref bumped now, and HHH wants to Pedigree Angle for Austin’s benefit, but Angle goes low and pins him with Austin making the count at 10:00.  I don’t think that would hold up very well in court if challenged.  ***1/4

The Pulse

Super fun, well-paced show with lots of interesting storylines up and down the show and only one dead spot in the Billy Gunn match.  Plus it was setting up one of the all-time great PPVs in No Way Out 2001.  Definitely check this one out when you’re surfing the Network.×120.jpg

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Wrestling Is An Artform – Ultimate Warrior Tribute Edition Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:26:57 +0000 ultimate_warrior_wallpaper_by_kuren247-d7e63kc

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve included the “Wrestling Is An Artform” feature but the outpouring of creativity after the Ultimate Warrior’s passing has produced some of the best wrestling based artwork that I’ve ever seen! Therefore, in honor of the late Ultimate Warrior, here is some of the best work I’ve encountered over the past week.

UW Tribute (1) UW Tribute (2) UW Tribute (2) UW Tribute (3) UW Tribute (3) UW Tribute (4) UW Tribute (4) UW Tribute (5) UW Tribute (5) UW Tribute (6) UW Tribute (7) UW Tribute (8) UW Tribute (9) UW Tribute (10) UW Tribute (11) UW Tribute (12) UW Tribute (13) UW Tribute (14) UW Tribute (15) UW Tribute (16) UW Tribute (17) UW Tribute (18) UW Tribute (19) UW Tribute (20) UW Tribute (21) UW Tribute (22) UW Tribute (23) UW Tribute (24) UW Tribute (25) UW Tribute (26) UW Tribute (27) UW Tribute (28) UW Tribute (29) UW Tribute (30) UW Tribute (31) UW Tribute (32) UW Tribute (33) UW Tribute (34) UW Tribute (35) UW Tribute (36)×120-2013.jpg

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The Ultimate Warrior Memorial Rasslin’ Roundtable Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:00:37 +0000 Welcome to the Ultimate Warrior Memorial Rasslin’ Roundtable.  Today some of our wrestling writers have come together to honor and remember the late great professional wrestler Ultimate Warrior.  Now without any further delays…


Martin Shaw


I’ve talked at great lengths about Warrior, the man and the character, but I’ve never really gone into his matches in any sort of detail…

Lots of people will say Warrior vs Hogan because of how huge it was when they were a kid and whatnot, but that kick-out right after the 3 count always sticks out. I never thought of Randy Orton as a Warrior fan, but I’m pretty sure WrestleMania VI was the inspiration for all those rest-holds he uses.

The matches with Rick Rude were all good. Rude’s someone who’s name you don’t see flying around very often, so you should probably check out his stuff with Warrior, then maybe his feud with Jake “The Snake” Roberts… I’d like to see him in the Hall of Fame at some point (and, if they ever actually get a hall, all those custom painted tights).

Ultimate Warrior vs Hunter Hearst Helmsley at WrestleMania XII is really fun, if you like to hate on HHH.

Ultimate Warrior vs Andre The Giant at MSG (some time in 1989) is fantastic. Warrior is like New Jack in this one. He runs down, hits some lariats, lands the splash, gets a three count and runs off – all while his music plays. Andre’s reaction to this is superb.

I think Ultimate Warrior vs Macho King Randy Savage (W/Sherri) from WrestleMania VII might be my favourite Warrior match of all time. Nobody really brings it up when they talk about the top Savage matches, but I chalk that up to Savage having very few bad matches during his WWF run.

You could make a highlight reel for Warrior using these 30mins alone. I don’t mean that as a bad thing, either. This is like the culmination of every previous Warrior match. It combined everything Warrior was good at with Savage’s fantastic heel work, and then added 4 extra elbows. Five elbows, people, FIVE! (three wasn’t enough, etc.).




My man Martin Shaw said Pulse was doing a roundtable about memories of The Ultimate Warrior from fans of his. I thought I’d share my five favorite Ultimate Warrior matches.


5) Ultimate Warrior vs. Honky Tonk Man


This is the first Ultimate Warrior match I ever saw. It’s one of the best debuts I think they have ever done in WWE even though it wasn’t his official debut. He had a few squash matches, but this was the first match where the entire character was worked out and shown to the world. The best part was the confusion on Honky Tonk Man’s face after the match.


4) Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude (Cage Match)


For people who aren’t impressed with Warrior’s wrestling ability should watch any match from the Warrior/Rude feud. This cage match was my favorite though. Warrior credits Rude with teaching him a few things as the feud went on, and it shows throughout Warrior’s career.


3) Ultimate Warrior vs. Ric Flair


This was from some house show I saw on Youtube. Try to look for it if you can. It’s hilarious. Warrior refuses to sell anything for Flair. However, Flair has Mr. Perfect at ringside with him. Anytime Perfect would touch Warrior, he would pretend he was attacked with a baseball bat. But anytime Flair touched him…nothing. It’s kind of a mess, but it’s still incredibly entertaining.


2) Ultimate Warrior vs. Goldust


This one was from Warrior’s WWE comeback. It isn’t talked about much, but it’s one of the funniest matches ever. I don’t want to give away the entire match, but it ends with Warrior wearing Goldust’s wig while smoking a cigar in the middle of the ring. You have to look for this if you haven’t seen it.


1) Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage at WM7


The best match in WWE/F history. This is the match every young wrestler who enters WWE should watch to learn what the WWE style is all about. It has everything. EVERYTHING. It doesn’t get any better than this. I’m probably understating it.


Johnny Rosado


The Warrior vs Hogan Wrestlemania 6 Double Title Match was my first Wrestlemania. He captured my heart and imagination with that match.




One of my personal favorite Ultimate Warrior moments was when he was on WCW Monday Night Nitro in 1998 playing mind games with Hollywood Hulk Hogan. He was taunting Hogan from the “inside” of a dressing room mirror.

Hulk could see Warrior. The audience could see Warrior. Tony Schiavone and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan could see Warrior. Eric Bischoff seemed to be the only one who couldn’t see our trenchcoated, face-painted hero from the late 80’s.

Perhaps this was hidden genius on Warrior’s part (he oversaw this portion of the storyline); the fans and the announcers really enjoyed seeing Hollywood come to grips with Immortal vs. Ultimate being a forever struggle — while Bischoff didn’t really have a place on the Hogan/Warrior stage no matter how much he thought he did.

I enjoyed it because it was a silly storyline and since most of my heroes migrated there, I became a WCW kid. The two guys that I had wrestling buddies and action figures of were set to square off once again. Also, Warrior still looked jacked. I could tell Hogan’s skin was starting to sag and silkify, but Warrior didn’t look too damaged from the tanning bed or the gym.

This had my young mind ready to enjoy another colorful, fast paced match in which Hogan was the clear-cut bad guy.

Intense, upbeat and just the right amount of insane, I will always remember Warrior’s pro-wrestling career with fondness. Yes, even the WCW stuff.


Matthew Harrak


I began watching his new DVD last week leading up to WrestleMania XXX and of course, the Ultimate Warrior’s WWE Hall Of Fame induction. I don’t have the words yet to describe how Warrior’s sudden death is effecting anyone who’s ever been a wrestling fan. I’m not going to lie and say I grew up an Ultimate Warrior fan. I was more interested in the Intercontinental title and Mr. Perfect, Bret Hart, Roddy Piper, Randy Savage and Shawn Michaels, to name a few. They were the guys I could relate to since I wasn’t a 6 ft 2, 275 lb body builder and I never would be. But I saw the appeal of Warrior. He was flashy, highly energized and would plow over the competition. He was Goldberg before Goldberg ever thought about wrestling (and with a more colorful ensemble). I found it odd that the Warrior chose now to mend fences with the WWE. First it was the video game. Then the DVD. The Hall of Fame. And finally him announcing he signed a new contract with the WWE. All of this was in a 12 month span. I don’t know if Warrior or his family knew something everyone else didn’t and I don’t care to speculate on it. What I will say is that in the past three days, and especially on this DVD, Warrior appeared to be a man who had made peace with himself, God and did all he could to mend fences with past adversaries. It’s devastating that his family lost a husband and a father and we all lost one of the biggest characters in wrestling history. The only irony or maybe divine intervention is that he made it through this past week and definitely left us on a high note. Rest in peace, Jim Hellwig.


Rhett Davis

Growing up at the tail-end of the Attitude era, I didn’t grow up watching The Ultimate Warrior.  I only knew of him as the guy who beat Hogan at WrestleMania 6 as a sort of passing-of-the-torch moment that didn’t actually pass the torch.  The next year it wasn’t Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter for the belt; it was Hogan vs. Slaughter.  WrestleMania 8 didn’t even have The Ultimate Warrior on the card, but he did return here to help out Hulk.  Any way you look at it, the ball was passed to Warrior, but it didn’t stay that way for long.  Despite all of that, in that day and age people were either Hulk fans or Warrior fans and to be on the same level as Hulk in terms of popularity is incredulous.

Although Ultimate Warrior wasn’t known as much for his matches, there was no denying that he had a certain aura about him.  That aura seemed to stem from three different parts.  The first being his fanatical promos such as the one from WrestleMania 6 about Hulk Hogan being the pilot of his plane and turning the control into a nosedive to turn himself into ‘total self-destruction’ and be close to Parts Unknown.  Yes, you read that statement correctly.  Ultimate Warrior had a certain way of words when he spoke.  It’s very confusing, scary, and exciting all at the same time.  When you watched Warrior do the promo mentioned above, Warrior fans were pumped to see Warrior force Hogan to turn that plane into a nosedive… whatever that meant!

The second piece of Warrior’s aura is simply his entrance.  From the fantastic theme song to his non-stop movement until he entered the ring, the mere emergence of The Ultimate Warrior evoked some sort of emotion from you.  The beat hits and out runs The Ultimate Warrior at full speed with his arm pumping into the air.  He jumps on the apron and runs along it.  He pumps the ropes until they appear as mere noodles being shaken.  It’s an amazing entrance that would make nearly any opponent think twice about the entity he’s facing.  Warrior probably has one of the greatest entrances of all time.  It’s completely original and doesn’t require a lot of special effects (although there was some thrown in there from time to time).

The third piece of Warrior’s interesting aura is simply his appearance.  He had a huge head of hair befitting of the 80’s, tassels on his upper arm and knees, and face paint all in very colorful styles.  Not to mention the guy was 6’2”, 275 pounds, and JACKED.  If his promos and entrance didn’t impress you, then his physique and unique look definitely had to tell you that The Ultimate Warrior was something special.

As a fan that went back to watch some of his older material, the Randy Savage match at WrestleMania 7 and his work with Rick Rude will always be my favorite moments of Ultimate Warrior.  Not to mention the squash that ended the longest Intercontinental Championship streak of all time of The Honky Tonk Man.

Whether it’s his matches, his promos, his look, or his entrance, The Ultimate Warrior will be forever remembered in the hearts and minds of WWF/E fans.


Thank you for reading and tell us how The Ultimate Warrior affected you and the most vivid memories that you have of him.×120.jpg×250.jpg

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DVD Review: Ultimate Warrior – “The Ultimate Collection” Wed, 09 Apr 2014 21:11:01 +0000 Ultimate Warrior - The Ultimate Collection Cover Art



(Editor’s Note: I watched this DVD last week leading up to WrestleMania XXX and of course, the Ultimate Warrior’s WWE Hall Of Fame induction. I don’t have the words yet to describe how Warrior’s sudden death is effecting anyone who’s ever been a wrestling fan. I’m not going to lie and say I grew up an Ultimate Warrior fan. I was more interested in the Intercontinental title and Mr. Perfect, Bret Hart, Roddy Piper and Shawn Michaels, to name a few. They were the guys I could relate to since I wasn’t a 6 ft 2, 275 lb body builder and I never would be. But I saw the appeal of Warrior. He was flashy, highly energized and would plow over the competition. He was Goldberg before Goldberg ever thought about wrestling (and with a more colorful ensemble.) I found it odd that the Warrior chose now to mend fences with the WWE. First it was the video game. Then the DVD. The Hall of Fame. And finally him announcing he signed a new contract with the WWE. All of this was in a 12 month span. I don’t know if Warrior or his family knew something everyone else didn’t and I don’t care to speculate on it. What I will say is that in the past three days and especially on this DVD, Warrior appeared to be a man who had made peace with himself, God and did all he could to mend fences with past adversaries. It’s devastating that his family lost a husband and a father and we all lost one of the biggest characters in wrestling history. The only irony or maybe divine intervention is that he made it through this past week and definitely left us on a high note. Rest in peace, Jim Hellwig.) 

Not being a big Ultimate Warrior fan, I wasn’t too sure how I was going to enjoy watching this documentary. Most, if not all, wrestling fans have seen or heard of the “Self-Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior” DVD & I was curious to see what this documentary showed. I think it’s safe to say that we’ll never get a truly unbiased version of the Ultimate Warrior’s career. But this is his side of the story.

Warrior (yes, the man is billed as “Warrior” instead of the past Jim Hellwig) opens up the DVD speaking directly to the audience about how in the past two decades, “they” have tried to erase the memory of the Warrior. Say that the Ultimate Warrior never had any good matches. But his recent access to the WWE video library proves otherwise. This was definitely an interesting/captivating way to open the DVD and obviously, completely the opposite of how the “Self-Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior” DVD opened.

The documentary begins where the Warrior begins, in the UWF with Sting as part of the Bladerunners. Warrior admits plainly that he always wanted to be a bodybuilder but eventually made his way into the ring. Warrior talks about how the Road Warriors really influenced their look and ring style & while Sting and he didn’t get along too well, they made it work for the time being.

“We split because me and Steve had two different personalities. Steve wanted to be told what to do where I had a mind of my own. I headed to WCCW where the Dingo Warrior began.”

The quality of the UWF footage is incredibly clear, on the Blu-Ray version at least. The DVD format is similar to recent releases with matches worked into the documentary. I honestly prefer to have the matches on a separate disk and watch the documentary as a whole but that’s just my preference.

An interesting note is that only the Warrior is interviewed for this DVD so it’s only his opinion of his career. I’m sure this is the WWE’s way of making amends by allowing him to tell his own side of the story but it’s strange to watch a career retrospective where the star featured is the only one interviewed. Then again, the WWE recently did the same thing with the “Mr. WrestleMania/Shawn Michaels” retrospective and I wasn’t a fan of that either. Yes we get to hear great stories from the men featured but I would love to hear from the opponents that are also featured in the documentary.

A treat for me (and probably any other old school fans) were Warrior’s first two WWE matches featuring him against the ever-lovable jobbers Barry Horowitz and The Brooklyn Brawler. Warrior is very complementary about how the jobbers really made the superstars of that era and how many older veterans helped him along. He didn’t name the veterans specifically except for Harley Race.

Getting into the Warrior’s “real” WWF run is when the documentary picked up. This was the era of taped Madison Square Garden and Boston Garden matches & it’s been awhile since I’ve seen any footage of the Ultimate Warrior’s matches in these two venues. There was a highlight of a match at Boston Garden between the Ultimate Warrior as the Intercontinental Champion and “Macho Man” Randy Savage as the WWF Champion when Savage was in the middle of the Hulk Hogan/Miss Elizabeth love triangle. It was a nice look at the chemistry between the two athletes before their most famous match at WrestleMania 7.

A comment that Warrior made that really stuck with me was when he compared himself to Bret “The Hitman” Hart in that he (Warrior) never cared about if he had a championship or not but Hart was really into it because of the way he was raised. Warrior said that he had no problem with that or with people who thought that way but it did seem like a backhanded compliment.

Warrior goes on to talk about his feud with the late Andre the Giant and on how very highly he thought of him. He said Andre helped the Ultimate Warrior character look stronger and more dangerous by the things Andre allowed in the match because “if Andre didn’t want to do something, you didn’t do it.” He continued by saying that Andre really enjoyed the business and was a pleasure to be around as long as you love the business as well. He didn’t have much patience for people who were just in it for the money or fame and didn’t enjoy what they were doing. This lead into a great match between Andre and Warrior at MSG for the IC title. This is the awesome moment where Andre gets caught calling the Warrior crazy and mocks him by shaking the ropes. Warrior enters and hits a clothesline a bunch of times, hits him with the big splash and wins before the Warrior’s music stops playing. Andre gets on the mic and berates the referee about how the bell never rung. It truly is a gem of a match if you love Andre the Giant. Of course, a more competitive match followed this on the DVD where the two-faced off again for the IC championship on Saturday Night’s Main Event in a stellar match.

Before they move to Hulk Hogan versus the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania 6, included is another MSG diamond in the rough where the Ultimate Warrior ends Mr. Perfect’s undefeated streak; a piece a trivia I don’t think I knew.

OK, it’s WrestleMania 6 time and with it comes the Ultimate Warrior’s infamous “Hulk Ho-Gan” promo & beginning the journey to WrestleMania 6. When out of character, he makes an interesting point by saying that Hogan’s past WrestleMania feuds were with former friends turned heel while the Ultimate Warrior would be remaining a babyface. It might have been only WrestleMania 6 but that is still novel today.

Following the match with Hogan, Warrior admits to not being able to relish the moment but always thinking about what was going to be next. He was never complacent in one role, even if that role was as the WWF Champion. This led to a probably never before seen match between Warrior and Ted DiBiase in Tokyo. It was interesting to see how a Japanese crowd reacted to the Warrior’s energy compared the usual rabid reaction from the fans.

Disc 1 ends right near the end of his WWF title reign and with the first match in his feud with the heel Sargent Slaughter while disc 2 opens with Warrior explaining that the story going forward would be for Randy Savage to cause him to drop the title to Slaughter at the Royal Rumble and this would lead to the Savage/Warrior retirement match at WrestleMania 7. Unfortunately the Slaughter/Warrior match is only shown in highlight form but included is a MSG cage match between the Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage with Sensational Sherri only a few days after the Warrior dropped the belt.

After his match at WrestleMania 7, Warrior really liked the idea of being one of the first to work with The Undertaker and loved working with him. The ignition of the feud was the Funeral Parlor segment where The Undertaker locked The Ultimate Warrior in a casket. They stayed with the segment as officials tried to pry open the casket. Once open, they showed officials performing CPR on Warrior as Vince McMahon, Roddy Piper and Randy Savage are on commentary questioning if Warrior is still alive. You’d never see that on today’s WWE TV and it would probably be even a little edgy for the Attitude Era.

There wasn’t much discussion about why or how Warrior left the WWF except for his reasoning of just being worn out and how he wanted to try out some other things that didn’t include wrestling. It was a very short and superficial segment of the documentary that I think a lot of people would have liked to learn much more about.

Upon his return at WrestleMania 8, Warrior goes in-depth about the “Ultimate Manics” of he and Randy Savage & how they were supposed to face Razor Ramon and Ric Flair at Survivor Series expect Warrior left before the match happened and Mr. Perfect took his place. Again Warrior never lets on why he left again except for the same reasons as before.

Obviously the shortest part of the documentary was Warrior’s brief WCW run and how Hogan was instrumental into bringing him in for a short-term deal to work only with Hogan. Though they had a great beginning of the feud & debut, the creative team had too many things going on and “Warrior couldn’t do it all by himself.”

“They used Turner’s checkbook to buy me to come back and lose a match to Hogan… If I would have known, I never would have come back.”

The DVD runs well over 8 hours long. I would suggest picking up the Blu-Ray version where there are exclusive features like bonus matches such as Ultimate Warrior vs Sgt Slaughter in the Tokyo Dome and segments like the WrestleMania 6 & 7 contract signings. If you were an Ultimate Warrior fan or just want to hear his side of his story, this collection will satisfy. Even for the casual fan, this collection truly allows Warrior to repute the statements made by many on the “Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior” DVD and he does so eloquently & without malice. I definitely recommend picking this title up if you’re into the classics.


Warrior RIP×120-2013.jpg

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The Iron Sheik Official Documentary Trailer Released (Video) Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:40:14 +0000 Check out the official trailer for The Iron Sheik documentary, which was released via Iron Sheik’s YouTube page:

While no release date was announced, I am totally on board with checking out this film whenever it is released.×250.jpg×120.jpg

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