Inside Pulse Wrestling » WWF http://wrestling.insidepulse.com Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:00:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Inside Pulse Wrestling no Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Inside Pulse Wrestling » WWF http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://wrestling.insidepulse.com The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.01.95 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/09/02/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-05-01-95/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/09/02/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-05-01-95/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 05:38:43 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=169688 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.01.95

Taped from Omaha, New Brunswick.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

A LENGTHY recap of the Diesel-Bam Bam deal from last week starts us out, covering the first 5 minutes of a 45 minute show.

The Allied Powers v. George Anderson & Tom Hagan

Hagan’s tights are…something else.  Think Al Snow as Leif Cassidy in 1997, but uglier.  Bulldog throws both jobbers around and Lex hits Anderson with clotheslines.  Bulldog dodges a charging jobber and powerslams him for the pin at 2:40.  For once Vince’s hype about the highest rated RAW ever in the previous week was actually accurate, by the way.

Meanwhile, on the Action Zone, JJ cheats to retain the title over Bob Holly, but another ref restarts the match and Holly apparently wins the title, albeit with Jarrett’s foot on the ropes.  So Jack Tunney holds up the title until next week.  Poor Jarrett couldn’t even get a win over Sparky Plugg as champion.

Bob Holly v. Butler Stevens

These are some spectacular NXT-riffic jobber names this week.  Also he appears to be wearing a garbage bag as gear.  Holly with a hiptoss and powerslam for two and holy shit this job guy is just the worst.  He barely knows how to bump properly and does overblown selling of everything.  Holly finishes with the flying bodypress at 2:40.

In Your House Report with Todd.  1-2-3 Kid has a broken neck (legit, which originally was thought to be career ending) so Ramon faces Jarrett & Roadie in a handicap match.

Mantaur v. Sonny Rogers

How about that Mantaur, you guys?  He’s apparently still employed at this point.  He throws Rogers around and hits a belly to belly and stomps away before finishing with a powerslam at 2:22.

Meanwhile, Man Mountain Rock annoys the guy from NYPD Blue.

Sid v. Razor Ramon

Sid clobbers Razor during the pyro and powerbombs him, which brings Diesel out to make the save.  As if they were gonna deliver this match anyway.  Oddly, they never did, because you’d think that would be a good semi-main on a PPV and it just never happened.

Adam Bomb v. Dave Sigfreid

Where are they FINDING these jobbers?  Sigfreid could not be any more 90s wrestler if he tried – unnaturally pumped up physique, male pattern baldness, mullet.  All that’s missing is a fanny pack and Zubaz.  The guy actually gets a flying bodypress, which Bomb rolls through for two, and Bomb works a headlock.  Clotheslines and a flying clothesline finish at 3:37.  Bomb is scheduled for a KOTR qualifier against Mabel at the PPV, which everyone assumed would be an easy win for him.  So yeah, THAT went horribly wrong.

Meanwhile, Hunter Hearst Helmsley lets us know how uncivilized we all are.

Men on a Mission v. Kevin Kruger & Bill Duke

Kruger is so lame that even Vince is making fun of his comeback attempts.  Mo works Duke over, but misses an elbow and Kruger is in with a bodypress for two.  The jobbers actually work Mo’s arm, but Mo takes Duke down with a vicious headlock and yells about corn huskers.  What a heel.  Mabel comes in to finish the guy with a suplex at 4:30.

Next week:  Owen Hart v. Bart Gunn!  Does that really even warrant an exclamation point?  Those of you complaining about tonight’s RAW count yourself lucky you didn’t have to sit through this instead.
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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.24.95 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/09/01/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-04-24-95/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/09/01/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-04-24-95/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 06:32:04 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=169644 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.24.95

Live from Omaha, NB

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler, who is now joining him “as always” so he’s the permanent host now.  For those who like to trace the bizarre paths of history, this show starts the unlikely rise to power of you-know-who.

The Smoking Gunns v. Barry Horowitz & The Brooklyn Brawler

Gunn dominates both jobbers with hiptosses and the Gunns work on Lombardi’s arm in their corner for a bit, then suddenly finish with the Sidewinder at 2:15.  Well that was out of nowhere.

Meanwhile, Bam Bam is sporting a black eye, and he’s going to take it out on Diesel.

Bertha Faye v. La Pantera Serena

Bertha has now been retooled into the weird neon-styled love interest of Wippleman instead of the Awesome Kong-like asskicker.  In the Observer at the time, Meltzer notes that the idea was blatantly ripped off from another promotion, but doesn’t specify where it comes from.  Bertha overpowers Serena and sidesteps a bodypress in one of the ugliest spots I’ve seen in a while.  Three legdrops and an avalanche set up the powerbomb and a press slam to finish at 4:00.  Long and pretty terrible squash as they just blew every simple thing they did, and the whole storyline was the absolute worst instincts of Vince McMahon on display.

In Your House Report, with Todd.  Nothing new of note here.

WWF World title:  Diesel v. Bam Bam Bigelow

The storyline here is that Bigelow wants to prove himself, so he challenges Diesel on his own to a title match.  They have a shoving match in the corner and Diesel pounds him down for two, then drops an elbow for two.  He works the arm, but Bigelow slams him to take over.  Diesel comes back with a clothesline for two and Bigelow bails, suckering Diesel out for a shot to the post.  That gets two and we hit the chinlock and take a break.  Back with Diesel escaping and making the comeback, but Bam Bam cuts him off and tries a suplex.  Diesel reverses that for two, but Bigelow gets his own for two.  Holy god this match is terrible.  Tatanka wanders out to ringside, apparently stunned that a World title match on TV could be this shitty and needing eyewitness verification, while Bigelow chokes away on the ropes.  Both guys look slow and clumsy and tired.  And we take ANOTHER BREAK.  Who booked Kevin Nash to go 20:00?  Back with Diesel making another comeback, but Tatanka trips up Bigelow by “mistake” and the Poochiebomb finishes at 18:53.  Apparently they were just back from a tour of Germany almost that day and were pretty jetlagged.  But FUCK ME this was bad.  *  And after the match, Dibiase finally fires him, and the Million Dollar beatdown commences.  Sid is now wearing blue tights for some reason, which totally ruins his look.  And then he nearly drops Bigelow on his head with a powerbomb, until Diesel makes the save because the powerbomb was so bad that even HE was offended by it.  The storyline is fine, but the execution is god-awful and we all know how badly Bigelow ended up.

Aldo Montoya v. The Black Phantom

Wait, this show isn’t done yet?  Wasn’t 20 minutes of Kevin Nash wrestling enough?  The Phantom bails and Montoya hits him with a dive and works on the arm in the ring.  The Phantom takes over with a slam for two, but Montoya makes the comeback with his…uh…Portuguese martial arts?  Bulldog or something finishes at 3:00.  Yeah, fight from underneath the BLACK PHANTOM, that’ll get you over.

Meanwhile, some new Lord Steven Regal ripoff gets ready to debut.  Never heard of the goof.  Hunter something or other.  Like this guy will ever amount to anything.

Next week:  Sid v. Razor Ramon!  It couldn’t possibly be any worse than this show was.  Most of these are just boring but this was actively awful for the entire thing.  But then if you had told me that the one random cameo from a castoff WCW guy here would end up changing the business forever, I certainly wouldn’t have believed you.  So this one has some history going for it, at the very least.
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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.17.95 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/30/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-04-17-95/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/30/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-04-17-95/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 05:25:28 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=169632 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.17.95

Happy 40th birthday to me!  Yeah, it makes me feel old, too.

Nitro is coming to the Network next week and I’m getting tempted to jump ship, but really I’m only four months behind at this point.  Any preference?  Keep sticking it out or do something different?

Taped from Poughkeepsie, NY

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler and the green screen.

Meanwhile, Ted Dibiase introduces Sid as the newest member of the team, which immediately drops Sid’s standing about 18 notches.  If you wanted to kill the guy’s momentum as a heel immediately, that was the perfect way to do it.  In fact, Vince goes so far as to note that Dibiase was pulling the strings on Sid’s turn the whole time.  BARF.

Duke Droese v. Jean Pierre Lafitte

Yeah, you know it’s 1995 because you’ve got a garbageman fighting a pirate.  Lafitte slugs away to start, but Duke gets a hiptoss and clotheslines him to the floor.  Back in for a kneedrop that gets two.  Blind charge misses and Patchy the Pirate gets a neckbreaker and goes up with a legdrop for two.  Lafitte pounds away and they can’t even get the canned heat excited for this, and we TAKE A BREAK?!?  Oh god.  Back with Metalbeard holding a chinlock, but they collide for a double count and Duke is up first with the comeback.  Powerslam and Duke goes up and misses a flying splash, allowing Paul Burchill to finish with the senton at 11:30.  What a thrilling debut.  *

Meanwhile, Mr. Bob Backlund is on the beach for spring break as they just won’t let the joke die.

Doink the Clown v. Roy Raymond

Raymond bails to the apron, but gets suplexed back in and Doink works the arm.  To the chinlock, and the Whoopie Cushion from both himself and Dink (complete with sound effects from both) finishes at 3:18.

In Your House Report with Todd.  These shows were another sign that Vince was getting nervy about WCW, as Bischoff expanded the PPV calendar to monthly shows and this was the WWF’s response.  This also marks the point where I moved into my own apartment for the first time and lost access to my giant satellite dish, thus leaving the USA network behind and not being able to afford PPV for a few months.  So as…uh…enticing as the Diesel v. Sid main event was, I didn’t see this show until years later.

WWF tag title:  Yokozuna & Owen Hart v. Bob Holly & 1-2-3 Kid

Kid works Owen’s arm to start and they have a kip-up battle before we get some double-teaming in the babyface corner.  Bob goes back to the arm, but Yoko comes in and pummels him down to take over.  Owen pulls Bob out and runs him into the post a few times, and the rather dull heat segment begins.  Bob with a backslide on Owen for two, but Yoko beats him down and goes to the nervehold.  Owen comes in and Bob gets a hope spot with a small package for two, and he counters an Owen superplex for two.  Owen cuts off the tag with the Owenzuigiri for two, and it’s back to the resting from Yoko.  Ditto for Owen, but Bob fights out and makes the hot tag to the Kid.  He hits Yoko with three enzuigiris and a leg lariat to drop him, then hits Owen with a suicide dive, but Yoko casually finishes him with a belly to belly at 15:31.  Picked up a bit with Kid’s phenomenal comeback, but the rest was a long chinlock.  **

Undertaker feels like drinking and driving is a bad idea.

Henry Godwinn v. Rich Myers

And now the lowpoint of the show, as Jerry Lawler gets into a phone argument with Cornfed, Duckman’s pig sidekick.  Well, I suppose they had the Muppets on RAW a couple of years ago.  Slop drop finishes at 2:00.

And then after that bullshit, they have the nerve to do one of their promos about how the WWF is “cultured” and people are just being jerks for looking down on them.

Next week:  Diesel v. Bam Bam Bigelow!  This show can suck it.
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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.10.95 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/28/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-04-10-95/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/28/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-04-10-95/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:02:55 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=169569 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.10.95

Let’s see how well the Network feed cooperates tonight.  It’s weird, too, because I watch these things at about 11:00PM Central time every night, or roughly “the middle of the fucking night” if you’re in a time zone that matters, so it’s not like the Network should be super-congested with people all trying to watch shitty 1995 RAW episodes all at once.

Also, positive thoughts and best wishes to Karl Stern.  No-sell that shit like John Cena, buddy.

Taped from Poughkeepsie, NY.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler and our good friend the green screen.

Tatanka v. Adam Bomb

Interesting how WCW hasn’t even debuted Nitro, but already the shows are already swinging away from all squashes and becoming more star v. star focused as of late.  Tatanka throws chops but gets overpowered and dropkicked, and a nice one too for a lunkhead like Bryan Clarke.  Thankfully he’s switched back to his heel red and black gear instead of the retina-raping day-glo neon blue and yellow abomination.  Tatanka throws more chops, but Bomb hits him with a jumping clothesline and we take a break.  Back with Tatanka doing his weak stomps to take over and we hit the chinlock.  When fucking BRYAN CLARKE is carrying the pace of the match you know you suck.  So Bomb makes the comeback and throws clotheslines like he’s an NXT babyface, but Tatanka bails to escape and they brawl on the floor for the double countout at 8:50.  LAME.  **

The Headshrinkers v. Mike Bell & Tony Devito

Apparently they’re flying Afa and Albano around again, so business must be picking up a bit.  We’re getting perilously close to MAKIN’ A DIFFERENCE Fatu but I don’t recall the exact repackage time.  Fatu superkicks Bell, but gets distracted by Devito and Bell gets his shots in.  Sionne hits Bell with a cheapshot while Vince shills DUCKMAN following the show.  I actually really loved that show and used to watch it after RAW every week, one of the few shitty USA shows I would stick around for.  Fatu finishes with a flying splash at 3:00.

Meanwhile, Jean Pierre Lafitte is a pirate or some shit.

Last week, Shawn Michaels says the wrong thing to Sid and gets powerbombed three times, and this time we get to see them all.  The first two were some spectacularly ugly powerbombs, with Shawn nearly flying over Sid’s head and landing on his shoulder.  No wonder he sold an injury angle for a couple of months.

Kama v. Scott Taylor

Kama now his melted down urn chain and Ted Dibiase with him.  Taylor gets a hiptoss in, but Kama proceeds to his boring “MMA” offense before finishing with a pump splash at 2:45.  You know, like all UFC fighters use.

Bret Hart, Bob Holly & 1-2-3 Kid v. Hakushi, Owen Hart & Yokozuna

Vince notes that RAW did its highest rating ever last week, which was a 3.5 according to the Observer.  So yes, even these horrible shows are doing better than today’s product.  And what happened with the Kid’s injury angle from a few weeks back?  It was never even mentioned again on RAW.  Yoko gets triple-teamed by the babyfaces and we take a break, returning with Kid getting levelled by an Owen leg lariat for two.  Yoko comes in for the nervehold, which drives me nuts because it’s a SIX-MAN.  If Yoko can’t do anything at this point, fine, but let the guys who can move carry the match instead of doing restholds for minutes at a time.  The gag with the team is supposed to be that Owen does the whole match and can’t win, then Yoko comes in and destroys the guy, and Owen steals the pin and takes all the credit.  It’s a pretty easy formula.  Kid continues to take a beating and we take another break.  Back with Kid coming back with a springboard bodypress for two, but Owen cuts off the tag and Yoko drops a leg on him.  Hakushi comes in with a nice dropkick and a backbreaker, but Kid catches him with a powerbomb and it’s hot tag Bret Hart.  Three clotheslines drop Yoko and he follows with the flying bulldog for two.  The other heels come in and Bret tees off on Hakushi in the corner, allowing Yoko to catch him from behind.  Owenzuigiri and kneedrop follow, but Bret makes a blind tag to Holly on the rebound and Bob rolls up Owen out of nowhere for the surprise pin at 15:00.  Kid getting the shit kicked out of him is always entertaining.  ***1/4

Vince and Jerry wrap things up in front of the green screen.  They’re totally at ringside, you guys!  Also, you should buy Wrestlemania if you like football players, because there’s quite a few of them, plus Salt N Pepa.  Also, I wanna say…wrestling?

Next week:  Bob Holly & the Kid challenge for the tag titles!

Another good show this week.

 
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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 03.20.95 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/24/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-03-20-95/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/24/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-03-20-95/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 03:36:30 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=169400 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 03.20.95

Taped from Stockton, CA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette

Razor Ramon v. Henry Godwinn

This is a weird match, especially so early in HOG’s run.  Danny Davis is wearing stripes for some reason instead of the standard blue shirts.  Maybe it’s the long sleeves that are so off-putting, I dunno.  Was this like one of those weeks where Vince suddenly decided that the color of referee shirts was making and/or breaking the product?  True story, he used to change up the ref shirts depending on what WCW was doing, so that they would always have the opposite. Test of strength leads to Godwinn putting Razor down with a clothesline and he pounds away.  Elbowdrop gets two and he runs Razor into the mat to cut off a comeback and chokes him down in various ways.  Vince shills the WWF Hotline and notes that “unlike OTHER hotlines…”, back when wrestling hotline competition was the only thing they were battling over.  No wonder Nitro pissed him off so badly, if the time that hotline billing begins brought out that kind of reaction.  We take a break and return with Razor making the comeback with a sloppy bulldog for two.  The ref actually counted three and Razor looked pissed.  This brings the Roadie out to run interference, and Godwinn hits Razor with a clothesline from behind.  However, now the Kid comes out and attacks Roadie, and Godwinn gets all distracted, allowing a Razor’s Edge at 8:00 to finish.  Kind of a cute twist on the distraction finish, although clearly they were giving up on Godwinn’s big heel push already.  *1/2

Meanwhile, Lex Luger faces Tatanka in a cage match on Sunday Night Slam, aka the Wrestlemania buildup show, plus Jeff Jarrett defends the IC title against Bob Backlund to pay off the contract hijacking from last week.

Fan Festival is also next week, and Vince actually has the gall to claim that “no one cares more about you the fan than the WWF!”  Long as you don’t cheer for the wrong guy, then they’ll never run TV there again.

Meanwhile on the Action Zone, Bam Bam demonstrates his football skillz on Doink, but more importantly NIKOLAI VOLKOFF IS ALIVE!  I was getting worried about him there.

Steve McMichael gets brought out to replace Jim Cornette on commentary.  Kind of surreal that he actually managed to springboard this minor gig into a wrestling career.  Well, “career”.

King Kong Bundy v. Raven Clarke & Adam Croomes

Both geeks try for a slam and get rammed together, as Vince is worried about seeing a potential DONNYBROOK at Wrestlemania. Perish the thought. Bundy pins one of the geeks with one foot at 2:45.  More importantly, Kama comes out to talk shit at Mongo and they get into a pretty good brawl at ringside.  Future US champion, ladies and gentlemen.

Wrestlemania Report with Todd.  Nothing new here.

WWF tag titles:  The Smoking Gunns v. The Heavenly Bodies

I think this is it for the Bodies, actually.  Billy gets a bulldog on Pritchard off a criss-cross and the Gunns clean house, and Bart adds a press-slam on the Doctor.  The Gunns double-team Del Ray in their corner and Bart controls with a headlock, leading to more double-teaming from the Gunns.  We take a break and return with Bart suddenly playing face-in-peril as Del Ray works on the back.  Kind of a dull heat sequence with Pritchard getting a suplex and Del Ray using a chinlock before going up and whiffing on a flying splash.  They clothesline each other and it’s hot tag Billy, as they quickly hit the body-vice into a neckbreaker.  The Bodies try the switch, but Del Ray only gets two after a DDT.  Billy backslides him for the pin to retain at 14:30, however.  That was a weird finish, as they did the Midnight Express heel finish (where Eaton would come off the top onto Ricky Morton and put Condrey on top behind the ref’s back) but instead of the standard switch where the other babyface would then do the same thing while the ref was dealing with the illegal heel, they just kept wrestling and did the lame backslide finish instead.  Pretty lethargic match, but it’s hard to screw up tag team wrestling.  **3/4

Next week:  Bret Hart v. Owen Hart, (one last) one last time!  
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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 03.13.95 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/24/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-03-13-95/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/24/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-03-13-95/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 06:52:55 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=169394 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 03.13.95

Be sure to check out my latest Sporting News column, covering my picks for who Brock Lesnar’s Wrestlemania opponent might be.  Spoiler:  Probably Roman Reigns.  Share on the social medias if you enjoy!

Live from Stockton, CA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette

The Blu Twins v. The Headshrinkers

This was advertised as Blus v. Kid & Holly in the opening, but Vince notes that Bob got stuck in a traffic jam and thus they’re a no-show.  Meltzer at the time notes that both guys were in fact there, so who knows what wacky reasoning was behind this.  My wife notes that the Blu’s hair is gorgeous, and I harsh her buzz by noting that they both started shaving their heads a year after this and they’ve been bald ever since.  Well, love hurts sometimes.  Sionne quickly gets double-teamed on the outside by the Blus and they beat on him for a bit, as we take a break.  Back with Jacob holding a chinlock until Sionne escapes, but they use TWIN MAGIC to retain control as Cornette blames the absence of Afa and Albano on the Headshrinkers’ struggles. In fact, the managers were specifically cut loose for this taping to save money.  Apparently they also cut the guy in charge of good finishes, because after Sionne makes the hot tag, they immediately fight to the back for the double countout at 10:00.  It’s the fucking Headshrinkers, why bother?  *

Meanwhile, LT will have a bunch of football players in his corner.  Some dork named Steve McMichael cuts a promo noting he’ll be here next week to confront Kama.  Whoever heard of this guy?

Bam Bam offers his response, as Kama has quietly joined the Million Dollar Team to somehow take his career down another notch.

Meanwhile, Ernie Ladd offers his analysis of the Bam Bam v. LT match, sounding like Morgan Freeman narrating a movie.  They should have put him on the broadcast team!  Every episode would sound like The Shawshank Redemption.  A quick check reveals that sadly Ladd died in 2007, which I didn’t even realize.

Jeff Jarrett v. Barry Horowitz

Barry gets PROMO TIME before the match, and of course this was leading somewhere eventually.  Barry with a backslide for two, and a small package for two as well.  JJ bails and trips him up to take over, then works the back, but Horowitz goes to the armbar and hangs on through a slam.  Finally Jarrett makes the ropes to escape the onslaught, but Barry uses a spinkick on him…and hurts his knee in the process.  Jarrett quickly finishes with the figure-four at 4:30.  See, give the guy some promo time before the match, tell a little story in the match, and suddenly you’ve at least got SOMETHING more interesting than the usual repetitive “get your shit in and get out under 3:00” squash to fill time.

Meanwhile, Bret Hart notes that Jerry Lawler is the disease, and his FISTS are the cure.  Obamacare, AM I RIGHT?

Wrestlemania Report with Todd.  The Gunns v. Owen & Partner match is announced here, and highlights of the MOM heel turn are shown, as they destroy the Gunns following a title match and then turn on Oscar to write him out of the WWF as well.  Also, the Allied Powers form for the first time for some reason to face the Blu Twins for some reason.  How did this show not do a million buys?!?

Bret Hart v. Jerry Lawler

Lawler has Bull Nakano in his corner, which was supposed to be leading towards a Blayze v. Nakano title match at Wrestlemania, and THAT didn’t happen for some reason.  A quick check reveals that “for some reason” was that Bull got fired for cocaine possession and dropped the title to Blayze the day after the show instead.  OK then.  Bret of course pummels Lawler from the start and hangs him in the corner for further beating all over the ring, as we see Mr. Backlund in the crowd and Hakushi watching from the aisle as we take a break.  Back with Lawler doing his southern heel cheating to take over, but they head to the floor and Bull grabs Bret’s leg for the countout at 8:30.  Just the usual super-easy goofy Bret v. Lawler match.  *1/2  And as usual Bret beats the hell out of Lawler after the match to get his heat back.  I really wish they hadn’t done the double countout earlier in the show because it really highlights how bad the finishes were.

Next week:  Razor Ramon v HOG and Smoking Gunns defend against the Heavenly Bodies! 

Jeff Jarrett joins us again, offering Barry Horowitz a title shot next week, but Mr. Backlund lays out Barry and signs the contract instead.  That’s quite the loaded show next time!

 

 
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HTC Action Figure Sale – Spread The Word! http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/22/htc-action-figure-sale-spread-the-word/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/22/htc-action-figure-sale-spread-the-word/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:02:20 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=169275 HTC Action Figure Sale 500x250

Hey HTC Readers,

HTC is in need of funds and since we don’t have a donation link (who would even think of clicking on that), we decided to offer up some of our classic figures at a discounted price. eBay has become a problem since their funds don’t clear for a month but I will have to post these on eBay come Sunday if they’re not bought up. Contact me with any questions at MHPulse@InsidePulse.com and I’d be happy to have a conversation. Everything will have to be paid through PayPal though and I’ll pay shipping.

Just let me know if you’re interested.

 

Dude Love – Jakks Classic Variant: $25

Dude Love - Variant

Jeff Hardy – Jakks Classic: $25

Jeff Hardy - Debut

CM Punk – Walmart Exclusive: $20

CM Punk - Walmart Exclusive

HHH – Jakks Classic: $35

Triple H - Debut

Hulk Hogan & Classy Freddie Blassie: $35

Hogan and Blassie - 30

Slam City Arena – $20

Slam City Arena

Sheamus vs The Ultimate Warrior Two-Pack: $45

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.27.95 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/22/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-02-27-95/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/22/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-02-27-95/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 07:09:42 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=169263 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.27.95

It’s RAW 100!  Where’s the nostalgia and celebrities?  But at least it’s a NEW OPENING!  And yet another graphical makeover, with a new font for the on-screen stuff.  I don’t even remember this variation of the show, in fact.   Kind of weird to think of how many revamps they had from 93-99 or so, whereas the HD Era has seen the exact same set and graphics going on six years now.

Taped from Macon, GA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette

Lex Luger v. Tatanka

Luger has Chief Jay Strongbow with him, inspiring fake Native Americans the world over!  Tatanka attacks and gets chased off, because he’s apparently a giant coward now.  Finally Tatanka returns with a cheapshot and some chops to take over, but if one person knows how to no-sell chops, it’s Lex Luger.  Luger slugs away until Tatanka dumps him.  Back in, Tatanka keeps throwing the chops and gets two.  We take a break and return with Tatanka still in control and throwing chops.  We go to the bearhug and Lex escapes that with the expert advice of Jay Strongbow (apparently, the key is to stick your hands in there to break the hold.  Duly noted) and Lex no-sells more chops to make the comeback.  Sleeper, which is apparently taught to him by Strongbow, and Tatanka breaks that easily.  Thanks, Chief. Tatanka goes after Strongbow and rips up the headdress, but the old man beats him up with chops and Lex continues the comeback as we take ANOTHER break.  I don’t know why Vince kept trotting out Strongbow as some kind of beloved legend, because I can tell you that even back in 1995 no one gave a shit about him or particularly remembered him with any fondness.  So back from the break and Tatanka tries to run, but Lex throws him back in for the REBEL RACK, at which point Tatanka runs away AGAIN, so Luger stomps away on him in frustration.  And then Tatanka runs away yet again and walks out on the match at 19:00.  Really?  Twenty minutes for this boring match and they couldn’t even book a finish?  *1/2  Apparently this was supposed to set up a strap match at Wrestlemania (so Tatanka can’t run away) but plans changed.

Owen Hart v. Larry Santo

Is Larry any relation to El?  And then literally as soon as I type that, Jim Cornette makes the same joke.  Great minds think alike, I guess.  Owen hits a leg lariat while Vince notes that he’s looking for a new tag team partner to challenge the Gunns, which is actually an angle that would pay off decently.  The original rumor was that they were going after Chris Benoit for the spot, but I don’t know if there was actually anything to that one.  In fact, according to the Observer at the time, the plan was Gunns dropping the titles to the heel-turned MOM, since they shot the angle to turn them around this time.  Owen with the legdrop and he goes up with a missile dropkick, and the Sharpshooter finishes at 3:45.

Lawrence Taylor appears live on tape to have a verbal showdown with Bigelow and build up their match.  He has no answer now, but there’s a press conference the next day and you can call the WWF hotline for live updates!  I can tell you that the mainstream media absolutely lambasted them over it and treated it like a total joke, which likely didn’t help the buyrate anyway.

Doink the Clown v. BOB COOK

Yes!  Hopefully he’ll throw that awesome left hand at some point in the match.  Doink is back in the butt-ugly gear again, sadly.  Doink controls with some midget-related shenanigans and an armbar, and finishes with the Whoopie Cushion at 3:00.

Kama v. Ken Raper

Kama throws some punches in the corner and a couple of nice spinkicks, but this UFC deal is absolutely not getting over.  Maybe if he carried a cross to the ring to completely rip off Kimo?  By the way, I really hope that “Raper” isn’t the guy’s gimmick name.  I mean, there’s edgy gimmicks, but yeesh.  Kama with a belly to belly and he finishes with an STF at 3:34.

Next week:  Shawn Michaels v. The British Bulldog in what turns out to be a pretty great match!
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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.20.95 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/20/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-02-20-95/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/20/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-02-20-95/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:59:00 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=169228 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.20.95

So after a week off for the dog show, this is kind of a big one.

Live from Macon, GA.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette

Bam Bam Bigelow v. Gary Sabaugh

Well obviously they’d use the Stallion in Georgia.  During Bam Bam’s entrance, we get cutaway promos from LT’s lawyers, who are now actively accusing the WWF itself of perpetuating the idea of a wrestling match and they DEMAND that it stops.  Look, no one ever accused Vince McMahon of promoting wrestling matches around this time, so I think they’re overstepping their bounds.  Bigelow pounds on Sabaugh in the corner while Cornette brings up the Stallion’s awesome spaghetti-eating record.  Sabaugh gets his token forearms in, but Bigelow chinlocks him down again and finishes with the diving headbutt at 3:50.

Adam Bomb v. Rip Rogers

Cornette must be getting all his friends some work tonight.  Rip manages to lose a shoving match, and man he looks weird without his beard.  Bomb gets a slam and dumps Rip with a dropkick, then follows with a dive as Rip is just selling his ass off, bumping all over the ring and looking like he wants a job.  Didn’t get one, but points for effort!  Bomb with a backdrop suplex and he finishes with the flying clothesline at 3:22.  Fucking Rip Rogers, man, awesome.

Meanwhile, Bret Hart is presented with “The Most Perfectly Cromulent Sports Entertainer” award by WWF magazine.

The King’s Court with Shawn Michaels.  OH YEAH.  21 year old Scott was watching this live and marking out right about now.    So as noted, Shawn is now a marked man due to his Rumble win, and he needs a new bodyguard…the big, the bad, the vicious…Sid!  Unfortunately that relationship didn’t end well for him, but this was a major get for the WWF. As much as we make fun of Sid, he was the biggest star floating around at this point and they were desperately in need of star power.  Sid gives the home run promo, saying that Shawn can trust him and he’ll lay waste to everyone in the company because he has no heart and no fear.  Just because he was terrible doesn’t mean he wasn’t awesome.

Jacob & Eli Blu v. Mark Starr & Leroy Howard

Frankly I’m shocked that the Bruise Brothers had never got a shot before this point.  So has it ever been established if Uncle Zeb = Zeb Colter in WWF canon, or are they supposed to be different people?  These are the things that keep me up at night.  The Blus double-team Howard and one of them drops knees on Starr while Cornette recounts the ages-old feud between the Appalachians and the Smoky Mountains.  Apparently in Cornette’s area, they cook things.  Good to know.  A spinebuster into a legdrop finishes at 4:15.  So yes, more hillbillies.  There was literally nothing wrong with the Bruise Brothers as a gimmick where they needed to turn them into idiot hillbillies.

Meanwhile, Diesel gets sent to an NBA event as they desperately try to make him cool and mainstream.  Desperately actually doesn’t even begin to describe it.

WWF World title:  Diesel v. Jeff Jarrett

Diesel throws knees and clotheslines him to the floor, but Jarrett comes in for some strutting and gets beat up further.  Jarrett bumps all over to make Diesel look like Hulk Hogan and we take a break with Diesel working the arm.  Back with Jarrett finally sending Diesel to the floor so that Roadie can hit a clothesline, and Jarrett runs him into the post behind the ref’s back to take over.  Back in with a swinging neckbreaker and he chokes away on the ropes, but goes up and gets caught.  Diesel comes back with the sideslam and follows with Snake Eyes.  Big boot and powerbomb finishes at 12:00.  Good stuff thanks to Jarrett putting him over huge.  ***

Next week:  Lawrence Taylor is here with a (taped) interview to respond to Bam Bam.  Plus Lex Luger v. Tatanka for the millionth time.  It’s RAW 100!
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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.06.95 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/20/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-02-06-95/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/20/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-02-06-95/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:02:10 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=169218 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.06.95

Hey, so as promised, Scott’s Blog of Doom Presents: Monday Night RAW Season Two, available NOW on the Kindle store for $2.99!  I work fast.  Sometimes.

Taped from Palmetto, FL, aka THE TAPING THAT NEVER ENDS.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Shawn Michaels for the last time.

Lex Luger & Men on a Mission v. Tatanka, IRS & King Kong Bundy

This is following from the Bundy v. Mabel “match” last week, so at least there’s some semblance of a storyline here.  Mabel and Bundy have their showdown of suck to start and Mabel knocks him down for two, but Mo comes in and gets beat up by the heels.  Because he’s just the worst.  Shifting him to a managerial role was really the best decision for everyone.  We take a break and return with Mabel getting a tag and taking over on Tatanka and even the heat machine can’t cover up the boredom of the crowd.  Luger gets a backslide on IRS for two and the faces work him over, but then Mo tags in and AGAIN is a crushing disappointment to his team.  Remember when you’d get squashes on Superstars where you’d have one semi-star like Brady Boone and then a total nobody pasty white nothing as a partner?  And Boone would do pretty good and then tag in the loser, who would completely tank the match and do the job?  Yeah, that’s Mo.  So that “heat” segment drags on for an inexplicably ridiculous length of time, and Vince is like “I’m not impressed with either threesome tonight, to be honest.”  Oh, TAG.  Finally, 14:00 in (FOURTEEN MINUTES!) it’s hot tag Luger and one or two kids can actually be seen running back to their seats from the shitter in excitement.  I bet one of them left mid-shit with the toilet paper hanging off his shoe and everything.  Sadly, their dreams are crushed when Tatanka sneaks in with a DDT behind the ref’s back and Bundy gets the pin at 15:37.  OK, why the fuck was Lex Luger doing the clean job with Jobbers On A Mission as partners?  So weird.  *

Man Mountain Rock does some word association to establish himself as a babyface.

We really ramp up the thrill ride with a prepared statement from LT’s lawyer, who accepts the WWF’s apology but stresses that Taylor doesn’t want to be a wrestler.

Man Mountain Rock v. Charlie Hunter

Poor Daryl has ugly tie-dye pajamas as gear and dreads, making him look like an escaped mental patient who got caught in a paint shaker explosion.  Not a good look.  The announcers stress the amateur credentials of Rock, because you-know-who is booking now.  As a hint, it rhymes with “Hoss”.  Rock with a slam and elbowdrop, and he finishes with a front suplex at 3:00.  Another debut, another gimmick dead in the water.  My thinking was that someone should have ripped off The Big Lebowski for him, but that movie didn’t come along until three years later.  But I think a laid-back stoner who constantly falls into bad situations might have been a better fit for him.

Meanwhile, Vince has a sitdown interview with Diesel, who has completely dropped the tough guy New York accent and now just talks with a normal voice and smiles a lot.  The talk about exciting stuff like being a role model and the demands of the championship.  Meanwhile, another 2 or 3 shows get cancelled for low advances.

Mantaur v. Leroy Howard

While I’m thinking about it, why did they bother changing “The Minotaur” to “Mantaur”?  Did someone actually feel that particular change would make a difference to his career or make people care more?  I feel like I should know Leroy from somewhere but he’s probably just a generic black guy jobber.  Leroy actually drops an elbow and goes up with a bodypress, but Mantaur catches him and stomps him down while Shawn questions which half of Mantaur is the bull part.  Vince moves on quickly past that one.  Mantaur cuts off the jobber again and pounds him down, then finishes with a pair of Avalanches and a belly to belly at 3:45.  He’s half man, half bear, half pig!

Razor Ramon v. Frankie Lancaster

Hey, old school jobber time with “The Thumper”.  He was actually part of a decent Rock N Roll ripoff team called the Heartbreakers with Wendell Cooley in the dying days of the various Crockett territories, and worked a lot in World Class as well.  Ramon works the arm and slugs him down after a brief flurry of offense, then finishes with the Razor’s Edge at 3:45.

Henry Godwinn v. Bill Weaver

HOG with his usual kicking and punching on the jobber and he finishes with the Slop Drop at 2:20.

Next week:  The dog show! 

Two weeks hence:  Diesel v. Jeff Jarrett, and Shawn Michaels introduces his new bodyguard!  And that’s one payoff that actually pays off.

As for this week…if you can’t love a show with Man Mountain Rock, Mantaur AND Henry Godwinn, then clearly you’re not Jim Ross enough.

 
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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 01.30.95 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/19/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-01-30-95/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/19/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-01-30-95/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 06:27:49 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=169215 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 01.30.95

They can’t add the search function or a proper timeline with chapter breaks or a decent schedule for adding shows, but you damn well know that they make sure to update the Network app with the new logo plastered everywhere on it the day after it debuts.  PRIORITIES.

Taped from Palmetto, FL

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Shawn Michaels, and I think the green screen is getting WORSE.

Over The Top Challenge:  Mabel v. King Kong Bundy

So pretty straightforward here, winner is the first one to throw the other guy over the top.  And since Bundy doesn’t do jobs, that makes the winner pretty obvious.  So they battle it out on the ropes and Bundy struggles to push Mabel over, then opts to Avalanche him instead, at which point the entire Corporation runs in and they all put Mabel out at 3:10.  I feel like perhaps this athletic contest might not have been waged entirely on the up-and-up.  DUD

Meanwhile, Bigelow gets another try at his apology to LT, as Vince psychoanalyzes him and if it wasn’t clear that this whole thing was an angle before, now it was.  Bigelow gets so annoyed by Vince’s nonsense that he tells him to shove his apology and instead challenges LT to a MATCH.  Vince is SHOCKED.  As a non-football fan at the time (and well, still today) having Taylor out there meant nothing to me and I barely knew him as a celebrity back then. I was far more excited about Diesel v. Shawn.

Hakushi v. Ricky Santana

Really weird to see Santana working a WWF show after spending his entire career as an NWA guy.  He gets a quick burst of offense, but Hakushi spinkicks him down while Shawn has to correct Vince on the pronunciation of “Shinja”.  Santana keeps slugging away in the corner, but Hakushi chops him down.  Santana fights back again, but Hakushi puts him down with a backdrop suplex and finishes with a flying shoulderblock and handspring splash at 4:00.  Funny note, as Shawn was busting on LT after the shoulderblock, noting that “he wouldn’t have the guts to do something like that.”  In fact, that was exactly the move that LT won the match with!

Aldo Montoya v. David Sierra

Holy cow, they’ve got BOTH of the Barrio Brothers working as jobbers?  There’s another perfectly good team they could have for cheap!  Sierra is better known by the name Fidel Sierra, aka The Cuban Assassin. Sierra gets some quick offense and goes up, but Montoya slams him off and finishes with a sloppy bulldog at 2:00.  Need I point out that this gimmick is DEATH?  And yet Paul Heyman practically had to beg Vince to pry him away during the 97 ECW invasion angle so he could repackage him as Justin Credible.

The King’s Court with Mr. Bob Backlund.  They really need a break from this Backlund deal. So now he’s decided that he will procure the chickenwing on anyone, and in order to release it the victim must say “I quit Mr. Bob Backlund”.  And to show that means anyone, he puts it on Lawler, who of course quits like a coward immediately.

WWF tag team titles:  The Smoking Gunns v. 1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly

Kid is on fire against Billy to start, throwing a leg lariat for two and sending him scurrying back to the corner.  Double dropkick on Bart gets two and they work him over in the corner, but Kid gets elbowed down by Billy for two.  And we take a break with Kid getting beat up in the Gunn corner.  Mind-blowing time:  Three years from this match, everyone would change gimmicks and swap partners, giving us Bob Holly & Bart Gunn as a team, and Billy Gunn & 1-2-3 Kid as part of another.  Really at this point would anyone believe that the business would be changed by the team of Smoking Gunn Billy, 1-2-3 Kid, The Roadie and Jean Paul Levesque?  Wrestling is weird.  Holly comes back with a small package on Bart for two while Shawn goes on a hilariously sarcastic rant about sportsmanship. Billy slugs Bob down in the corner and Bart slams him for two and goes to the chinlock.  They collide on a bodypress attempt and it’s hot tag Kid, as he comes off the top with a senton and wipes out, twitching and convulsing as they stop the match at 11:00.  Very weak compared to last week.  **1/2  I don’t even remember where they went with that one, but he was back in Razor’s corner for Wrestlemania in his dragon pajamas so it wasn’t anywhere notable.

Kama v. Jumbo Barretta

Jumbo certainly lives up to his name.  Kama legsweeps him down and adds an impressive slam, then slugs away in the corner with knees and finishes with a belly to belly and STF at 3:45.  And then we’re abruptly out after that.  This probably would have been a good time to debut him with a super-impressive squash, and this was the exact opposite of that.

Next week:  Lex Luger & MOM v. The Corporation!  That one has “fourth week of the taping” written all over it.
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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.28.94 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/05/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-11-28-94/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/05/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-11-28-94/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 05:09:54 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168867 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.28.94

Live from Poughkeepsie, NY.  Are there only three arenas they cycle through this year?

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

So big changes are afoot, as Bret Hart dropped the WWF title to Bob Backlund at Survivor Series, and Bob got crushed by Diesel three days later to kick off the lowest drawing era of the company in their history.  So good times!

Owen Hart v. John Paul

Paul’s longtime partner, George Ringo, is notably absent this evening.  Owen with a dropkick and leg lariat and this “arena” looks ridiculously empty on every shot but the standard hard camera.  Like if it was an indy like ROH it would be acceptable but this is supposed to be the #1 company.  It’s just embarrassing.  Owen with a couple of suplexes and he pounds away in the corner and follows with the Owenzuigiri and some choking.  Owen puts him away with the Sharpshooter at 4:00.

Survivor Series:  You won’t see it on the networks!  Well that’s no longer true.

Adam Bomb v. IRS

Who really thought that IRS would be a viable opponent for Undertaker?  Because now you know that he’s gonna go through Bomb to set him up for Taker.  This was supposed to be his big singles push and we got the same formulaic shit matches from him and boring promos.  Only in Vince’s mind are people being harassed by the IRS as tax cheats part of the cultural zeitgeist.  “Oh man, don’t you hate it when the government questions your corporate tax loopholes, dude?” Bomb manages to overpower Irwin to start, but he stops to gawk at Dibiase and gets tossed.  Back in, IRS with a back elbow for two and we hit the chinlock.  Just as things heat up, we take a break and return with the abdominal stretch and another chinlock.  Bomb makes the comeback with clotheslines, but he goes up and a mysterious druid trips him up so that IRS can get the cheap pin at 9:51.  Dull and heatless.  *

Bob Holly v. Tony Devito

Holly throws the dropkick and follows with a powerslam, but Devito comes back with a clothesline in the corner.  Back elbow gets two.  Devito pounds away in the corner, but a blind charge hits boot and Holly finishes with the flying clothesline at 2:48.

Meanwhile, Henry Godwinn is coming.  Just accept it.

Lex Luger v. Bert Centino

Luger with some hiptosses, but he misses an elbow and the jobber goes to work on the back.  That ends quickly as Luger puts him down with a clothesline and finishes with the REBEL RACK at 2:10.

Diesel is out with the WWF title for the first time, and he’s immediately playing the smiling babyface doofus and ditching everything that got him over in the first place.

The Heavenly Bodies v. Gary Scott & Buck Quartermaine

The jobbers actually do pretty well against Pritchard, but the Doctor suplexes Scott and the camera is mostly focused on Bob Backlund’s commentary job anyway.  He will procure the chicken wing on all of us!  Del Ray pins someone with something at 3:40.  Bob promises to procure the chicken wing on Vince before he retires and then storms off to end the show.

Next week:  Jeff Jarrett v. British Bulldog, which actually features an important debut!  Welcome to the Diesel Power era!  Ringside tickets are much cheaper in this era.
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The SmarK Rant for WWF Survivor Series 1994 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/04/the-smark-rant-for-wwf-survivor-series-1994/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/04/the-smark-rant-for-wwf-survivor-series-1994/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 04:36:05 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168840 The SmarK Rant for WWF Survivor Series 1994

Live from San Antonio, TX

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Gorilla Monsoon

The Teamsters (Diesel, Shawn Michaels, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart & Jeff Jarrett) v. The Bad Guys (Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, British Bulldog, Fatu & Sionne)

Well, the Teamsters ARE known for their laziness and greed, so it would fit that Nash would be captaining this team.  Interesting that only the team captains get entrance music this year.  The storyline was more that Shawn and Diesel were having a domestic squabble as tag champions than any real issue between Ramon and Diesel. Kind of weird what a non-issue Ramon was even though he was IC champion for another three months after this.  Owen starts with the Kid while Fatu is forced into wearing boots by THE MAN, and this is apparently an issue for him. Kid fights off both Harts but runs into an Anvil elbow in a weird spot, allowing the heels to take over. Kid spinkicks JJ out of the ring (giving us our first “right in the mush” of the evening) and Barbarian comes in with a press slam. Jarrett comes back with a flying clothesline for two.  Next up, it’s Owen v. Bulldog and they do the cool wristlock sequence, leading to Owen getting pummelled in the face corner and slammed. Bulldog with a sunset flip for two, but Owen lays him out with the enzuigiri and the New Foundation tries some double-teaming.  That backfires because Neidhart is useless, and Fatu comes in but has trouble with his footwear. What a stupid storyline that was. And really, wasn’t there ANY other Samoans available to replace Samu? They just had to give Barbarian another payday? Just use Fatu’s brother! Jarrett grabs a headlock on Ramon and quickly gets tossed for his troubles, and back in he gets double-teamed by Ramon & Kid. Razor tosses the Kid at him for a bodypress that gets two, but Jarrett comes back with an abdominal stretch to slow things down. Kid reverses, so Jarrett hiptosses him over the top rope in a cool spot missed by the camera. Back in with Fatu, who still can’t get his shit together, and Owen gets a leg lariat for two. Fatu comes back, finally acting like a human being months into his babyface run, but Diesel comes in and finishes him with the powerbomb at 13:30.  Kid tries next and flies in with a sunset flip off the top, but Diesel casually shrugs him off and another Poochiebomb ends the night at 14:14. Sionne in next and he slugs away, but he walks into ANOTHER powerbomb at 14:45. Bulldog comes in and gets booted to the floor and apparently gets counted out at 16:00. Razor tries a cradle on Diesel for two and the flying bulldog for two, but Diesel puts him down with a clothesline and now Shawn finally wants into the match. He had a legit broken hand at the time, which explains his not factoring into the match thus far. Razor keeps fighting against Diesel and manages to slam him, but can’t get the Razor’s Edge. Diesel finally gets the powerbomb and Shawn tags himself in for the big finish, but then demands that Diesel hold Ramon steady for the fateful superkick.  And of course Ramon moves and Diesel eats it. And now he’s had ENOUGH and turns babyface, fighting off his own team members and chasing Shawn back to the dressing room, giving Ramon the countout win over all five heels at 21:26.  Survivor: Razor Ramon.  Good action before the rapid-fire eliminations and storyline kicked in and killed the match dead, but man what a stupid finish.  And really none of the match went anywhere.  **1/4

Meanwhile, Shawn leaves the arena, dumps Diesel, and tosses the tag team titles on the ground on the way out.  Hopefully he’ll have better luck with his next bodyguard!

MIDGET MADNESS:  The Royal Family (Jerry Lawler, Cheezy, Queezy & Sleazy) v. Clowns R Us (Doink, Dink, Wink, Pink)

No midgets mixing with normals allowed in this match, which is how it should be. Doink quickly gets a clownzuigiri on Lawler, but Lawler’s attempt fails. And we get some midget comedy with everyone running over him on the mat. Doink with some slams and the clown midgets all try to pin Lawler with no luck.  Lawler actually sells getting a Burger King crown put on his head and we get an attempt at a chicken fight that goes badly. Finally Lawler uses his old standby, the phantom object, to take over.  Really, that’s a heel tactic that no one does anymore and it’s ridiculously easy heat.  Pantomime a foreign object in your hand, get a cheapshot with it, hide the “object” in your tights. Doink makes a quick comeback, but a bodypress is rolled through by Lawler for the pin at 10:45.  So basically Lawler is eliminated as well.  The clown midgets double-team Cheezy in the corner, but Wink gets caught in the heel side and Lawler holds him down for a pin at 13:32. Pink comes in and Lawler drops Cheezy onto him for the pin at 14:33. So Dink is alone and he holds his own and gets a flying bodypress for two on Sleazy, but they roll him over for the pin at 16:00 to finish this off.  Survivors:  Jerry Lawler and his pet midgets. Jerry Lawler is so proud of himself that he fires his own midgets, resulting in a 6-on-1 midget revolt against him.  Never trust a midget!  This was as horrible as you could imagine.

WWF title, submission match:  Bret Hart v. Mr. Bob Backlund

Bob runs away a few times to start, but Bret grabs a headlock and goes to work on the neck.  Going back and reading the Observers from this time and it’s hilarious how much Meltzer hated Backlund at the time.  I mean, he just buried the guy every chance he got.  He summed up Backlund even getting to his point as “a cute idea gone haywire” and noted that they were trying to appeal to completely the wrong audience with it.  So Bret works on a headlock while we get a shot of Bret’s she-devil wife Julie, and Bret reverses a crossface attempt into a suplex.  Back to the headlock, but Bret misses the middle rope elbow and Bob takes over.  Bret goes after Owen and nearly gets crossfaced, but fights it off and Bob goes to work on the arm.  This gives me the chance to think about the changes in wrestling over the years and how long people stick around. Bob’s original reign ended in 1983 and this was 1994, 11 years after that. Those were like two different worlds and Backlund was some sort of bizarre time-traveller from the past when he did this comeback run.  But think about today’s business, and how many guys from 11 years ago are still around and still in the same position.  Rock was already winding his career down in 2003 and he just came back and won the WWE title again last year! Hell, the last time I did a review of this show was 15 years ago!  No wonder the business is so stale. Anyway, Bret goes to a figure-four now, but Owen walks away from his towel just in case he’s tempted to use it. Backlund reverses the hold and then gets to the ropes to force a break, so Bret goes back to the leg again.  They slug it out and Bob gets a piledriver, but can’t get the crossface. Bret comes back with his own piledriver and a bulldog and it’s the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM, but Bulldog chases Owen around during the Sharpshooter, allowing Owen to sneak in and break the hold.  Bulldog stupidly charges on the floor and hits the stairs, knocking himself unconscious and thus removing the possibility of throwing in the towel. Bob finally gets his crossface and the crowd is freaking out, although Davey Boy may be legally dead at this point and no one seems to care.  So Bret is in the hold for NINE MINUTES, which gives me time to go make popcorn and feed my cat, while Owen has a babyface turn at ringside and tearfully talks Stu and Helen into throwing in the towel on Davey’s behalf. Meanwhile, Davey still hasn’t moved and probably has a fractured skull or something. Finally, Helen caves into Owen’s tears and throws in the towel, giving Backlund the WWF title again at 35:20. Backlund of course wouldn’t even make it to the next episode of Monday Night RAW with the belt.  The final 10 minutes were some cool mindgames on Owen’s part, but there was just too much nothing leading up to it.  AND WHAT ABOUT BULLDOG?!  **1/2

The Million Dollar Team (Tatanka, Bam Bam Bigelow, King Kong Bundy & The Heavenly Bodies) v. Guts & Glory (Lex Luger, Adam Bomb, Mabel & The Smoking Gunns)

Tatanka throws chops on Luger to start and gets a suplex, but Lex no-sells all of it and comes back with clotheslines.  Mabel tosses Dr. Tom around and flattens him with a bodypress at 4:08.  Del Ray comes in and walks into the Bossman slam, so we get the Bundy v. Mabel showdown.  That goes nowhere and it’ Mabel v. Bam Bam, and Mabel “hits” a leg lariat that misses by 2 feet and goes up. Bigelow slams him off in an impressive spot and goes up with a sunset flip, but Mabel sits on him and they both go tumbling to the floor for countout of Mabel at 7:30.  Del Ray superkicks Billy Gunn for two, but a backslide gets two.  Adam Bomb comes in and hits the slingshot clothesline on Bigelow, but Bundy gets a cheapshot and the Lunasault finishes at 9:19.  Del Ray works Luger over, but walks into the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DOOM and gets pinned at 11:10.  The Gunns double-team Tatanka, but he knocks off Bart with the Papoose To Go at 15:00.  Luger and Billy work Tatanka over, but Bundy comes in and drops an elbow on Billy to finish him at 17:40.  So Luger is alone 3-on-1, the world’s greatest choke artist against the most useless heel stable ever.  The heels work Luger over forever, but Luger cradles Tatanka for the pin at 23:32 before Bundy splashes and pins him at 23:40.  Survivors:  Bam Bam Bigelow & King Kong Bundy.  Pretty dull stuff.  **1/2

Meanwhile, Mr. Bob Backlund FEELS LIKE GOD.

Casket Match: Undertaker v. Yokozuna

Your special referee is Chuck Norris, long before he became an internet meme.  Taker chases Yoko around the ring and goes old school, but walks into the samoan drop.  Yoko tries for the casket, but Taker necksnaps him to escape.  Yoko comes back with a legdrop and they fight into the casket, but that goes nowhere.  Yoko tosses him and takes over with some choking, but Taker goes up with the flying clothesline and that seems to be it for Yoko.  The heels start coming out to re-enact Royal Rumble 94, but they didn’t count on CHUCK NORRIS being there this time.  This still gives IRS time to run in and put Taker in a sleeper and into the casket, but Undertaker arises and he’s pissed.  Clothesline and big boot puts Yoko in the casket, and Taker slams the lid shut at 15:24 to avenge himself.  It was what it was.  *

The Pulse

I know this tends to be a polarizing show to say the least.  I just found it really, really dull tonight and had no real connection to any of the elimination tag matches.  Your overall enjoyment will probably depend on what you get out of the Bret v. Backlund title match, so for me it’s a thumbs in the middle show.

 

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.21.94 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/31/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-11-21-94/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/31/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-11-21-94/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 05:10:34 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168683 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.21.94

Taped from the Fernwood Country Club in Bushkill yet again.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette and the worst green screen intro ever.  An HDTV is not kind to this sort of thing.

Razor Ramon v. Diesel

No wait, the Teamsters all jump Ramon and attack him during the entrance, so the match is apparently off.

Tatanka v. Chris Canyon

Canyon now has his trademark beard, but it still doesn’t help him as Tatanka chops him down and drops an elbow for two.  A clothesline gives us a 180 sell from Canyon as he’s obviously trying to make the most of this.  More chops, but Canyon comes back with a bodypress and a crucifix for two before Tatanka cuts him off.  Canyon keeps coming with a sunset flip for two, but Tatanka beats him down again and goes up to finish with a flying chop and Papoose to Go at 4:36.  I’m really surprised they didn’t give it a go with Canyon at this point, since he had a good look and they obviously liked him enough to give him some offense.

Adam Bomb v. Jason Ahrnedt 

Speaking of which, they could have repackaged Canyon into Adam Bomb’s wacky brother “Stink Bomb.”  Or he could be a Hollywood type, “Box Office Bomb”.  Maybe disgruntled postal carrier “Letter Bomb”?  This is all gold, people, GOLD.   Adam with the usual power stuff and clotheslines before finishing with the Meltdown at 2:25.  Jim Cornette is just on fire here on commentary.

Speaking of being on fire, Todd recaps the Jerry Lawler-Doink feud, because I wish everyone involved would die in a fire.  This leads to a King’s Court with the midget kings.  Sadly, no one can die in any fires, because the clown midgets “prank” them by squirting water guns from ringside.  OH THE HILARITY.  OH MY SIDES, THEY’RE SPLITTING.

Meanwhile, IRS recaps his war against dead tax cheats for the past month.  Now he’s actually digging up the corpse.  Fitting, because this feud died around the country.

IRS v. Matt Hardy

Hey, there’s someone who probably COULD use a good auditing.  IRS pounds on the poor young jobber and tosses him.  Poor kid is so stupid that he has “HV” on his tights instead of his own initials.  Maybe he was trying for “HPV”?  Back in, Irwin stomps away after the abdominal stretch and the Writeoff finishes at 3:00.  Well, this kid is no Keith Davis.

Razor Ramon v. Diesel

The entire roster of Survivor Series teams is at ringside so you can probably guess how this one ends.  Slugfest to start, and it’s interesting that just watching these shows you get no sense of how hot Diesel was getting or that there was even a breakup with Shawn brewing.  Just watching RAW it’s like “They’re the tag champions and everything is fine” and then suddenly one week, BAM, “Diesel is #1 babyface and WWF champion”.  Diesel with the sleeper and he dumps Ramon as we take a break.  Back with Ramon making the comeback, but Shawn trips him up and a donnybrook is teased.  Back in, Ramon with a corner clothesline, but Diesel puts him down with a sideslam for two.  Big boot gets two.  Diesel works on the back and Snake Eyes gets two.  Shawn continues to stir the pot, but Ramon makes the comeback as the heels start getting involved.  And inevitably, the bell is rung at 13:24.  Usual good match from the Outsiders, minus a finish.  ***

Next week:  Some crazy shit goes down after the PPV.
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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.14.94 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/26/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-11-14-94/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/26/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-11-14-94/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 03:57:44 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168486 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.14.94

Taped from Bushkill, PA.  The crowd on the hard camera side is already thinning out severely in week 2 of the tapings.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Ted Dibiase

For some reason, this episode had “technical difficulties” and thus we miss the entire Bob Backlund v. 1-2-3 Kid match, joining it only after Bob gets the submission with the chickenwing.  OK, conspiracy nuts, what’s the deal with the missing 10 minutes at the beginning of the show?  Was someone bleeding or wearing a Chris Benoit shirt or something?  Anyway, we pick it up with Backlund going nuts on the Kid and Bret Hart making the save before laying Bob out in the aisle and putting the Sharpshooter on him.

Mabel v. The Blue Phantom

Now, previously the Phantom was Black, so maybe he’s just telling more dirty jokes backstage?  Oscar’s rap is surprisingly coherent this week, as he recaps the members of Mabel’s Survivor Series team.  The Phantom gets some kicks in while Dibiase compares Mabel to Barney the Dinosaur, which is actually referencing a particularly mean rib that the other wrestlers would do to Mabel backstage.  Mabel splashes the Phantom at 2:00.

Survivor Series Report with Todd.  Nothing new here, although given how little I remember about this show I’ll probably redo it after the next RAW.

Jeff Jarrett v. Gary Sabaugh

What’s with the Stallion getting so much work on RAW here?  He actually gets a hiptoss and slam, but Jarrett chokes him down and gets a suplex for two.  Stallion with a sunset flip for two, but he misses a dropkick and Jarrett goes to work on the leg, finishing with the figure-four at 3:11.

Meanwhile, IRS cuts one last promo on the poor guy who is getting buried.  No, not Daniel Bryan.

The King’s Court with Owen & Bulldog.  Not as a team yet, of course.  They’re having a TOWEL-BEARER debate and WHAT THE FUCK is with Bulldog’s outfit?  Is he going to a cheerleading competition after the show?

The Portugese Man of War, Aldo Montoya debuts in a squash we don’t see for some reason (what the hell?) and Ted Dibiase tries to buy him for the Corporation, but he’s only for sale to Paul Heyman!

Alundra Blayze, dressed like a gangster moll, is headed to Tokyo to defend the Women’s title (which she would lose there, by the way) and we wrap it up.

So we ended up with FIVE MINUTES of wrestling after everything was cut out of this show.  Thanks, WWE Network!

Next week:  Razor Ramon v. Diesel!
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A2Z Analysiz: WWF SummerSlam 1991 (Hulk Hogan, Sgt. Slaughter) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/26/a2z-analysiz-wwf-summerslam-1991-hulk-hogan-sgt-slaughter/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/26/a2z-analysiz-wwf-summerslam-1991-hulk-hogan-sgt-slaughter/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 16:00:01 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168108 summerslam 88-92

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

Madison Square Garden – New York City, NY – Monday, August 26, 1991

Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Six-Man Tag Team Match – Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, British Bulldog & Texas Tornado vs. Power & Glory & Warlord

Paul Roma, Hercules, and Warlord have Slick in their corner, but they didn’t even get an entrance. Steamboat and Roma start the match and Roma actually takes first control. Roma gloats about it a little too much and Steamboat makes him pay for it with armdrags and a dropkick. Hercules tags in and Steamboat continues the advantage. Tornado tags in and keeps control on the babyface side. Warlord and Bulldog tag in and the crowd is juiced to see it. Bulldog knocks Warlord off his feet rather quickly and even hits a vertical suplex! That gets a two-count. Steamboat tags in and comes off the top rope with a chop to the head, but Warlord cuts him off with his superior power and Slick’s trio finally has control. Hercules, Roma, and Warlord isolate Steamboat and work him over for several minutes. Warlord takes forever up on the second rope and Steamboat is able to give him a boot to the kisser. Tornado gets the hot tag and MSG is going banana. Bulldog follows and the referee loses control, with all six men brawling in the ring. Amidst all the chaos, Steamboat is able to catch Roma with a high cross body block from the top rope to get the pin at 10:43. That was an ideal opener, with fun action and a trio of babyfaces the fans loved. It set the tone well for the rest of the night. Good stuff here.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Intercontinental Championship Match – Bret “Hit Man” Hart vs. Mr. Perfect

Perfect has been the Champion since 12.15.90, and this is his sixth major defense. I believe this is Bret’s first singles match on pay-per-view. Bret’s parents Stu and Helen are in the audience tonight. Perfect is accompanied by Coach, the third manager of his WWE career. Bret gets an early takedown and he looks confident. He gets a crucifix for two and then goes to the side headlock. Perfect tries to use the hair to escape, so Bret gives it right back to him. He gets a cross body block for two, and Perfect’s kick-out sends Bret to the floor. He gets right back in with a sunset flip for two and goes right back to the side headlock. Perfect escapes but Bret has a counter for everything he tries. He takes a powder and heads to the back but Bret goes out and grabs him, ripping his gear in the process. Perfect takes a cheap shot and finally goes on offense. He knocks Bret off the apron and he takes out a camera man on his way down. Back in the ring the champion stays in control. Perfect tries a sleeper and Bret fights out and tries a crucifix, but Perfect slams him down for two. He then hits the Perfect-Plex and Bret kicks out, and he’s the second person to do that after Hulk Hogan, but Heenan, Piper, and Monsoon try to sell it on commentary like he was the first. Bret unloads with a flurry of offense and several near falls but can’t put the champ away. He gets frustrated with the referee after one particularly close near fall, which gives Perfect the chance to score an O’Connor roll for two. They go to the floor and Bret whips Perfect off the ring post. Back in the ring Bret goes for the Sharpshooter and Coach gets up on the apron, and the distraction allows Perfect to kick Bret in the groin. He then drops a leg on the groin region. He tries a second one, but Bret grabs his leg and rolls him into the Sharpshooter and Perfect immediately submits to win his first singles title at 18:02. That match really holds up over time and was a passing of the torch kind of match. Bret would then go on to be even more successful in WWE than Mr. Perfect was.
Rating: ****½

MATCH #3: Natural Disasters vs. Bushwhackers

Luke and Butch have Andre the Giant in their corner. Andre is walking with canes now and looks especially rough. Earthquake and Typhoon of course have Jimmy Hart in their corner. They go after Andre before the bell and the Bushwhackers make them pay with a poke to the eyes. The match starts proper with Typhoon and Butch in the ring. Butch and Luke use their speed and unorthodox tactics (like butt biting) to control the early going. They use Earthquake as a battering ram to take out Typhoon, and then send Earthquake to the floor with a double clothesline. Back in the ring the Disasters use their size and strangth advantage to wear Butch down. Eventually Luke gets the tag and all hell breaks loose. Earthquake hits the vertical splash on Luke for the pin at 6:28. That was what you’d expect from these two teams. At least it wasn’t very long. After the match Earthquake and Typhoon go after Andre but the Legion of Doom come out to make the save.
Rating: ½*

MATCH #4: Million-Dollar Title Match – Virgil vs. Ted DiBiase

DiBiase has Sensational Sherri in his corner. Virgil attacks right away and he’s a house afire. He quickly clotheslines DiBiase to the floor and follows him out for some more punishment. Back in the ring it’s still all Virgil, and DiBiase gets sent to the floor again. Virgil tries a house show dive but DiBiase avoids it and finally has a minute to catch his breath. DiBiase is in full control now and wears Virgil out for several minutes. He misses a clothesline and Virgil locks on the Million Dollar Dream! Sherri comes in the ring and hits Virgil with her purse to draw the disqualification at 6:15. But wait! The referee has decided to kick Sherri out of the arena, and that the match will continue! That’s awesome. Virgil is energized by the restart and he is all over his former boss. The referee gets knocked out. DiBiase keeps Virgil down with a succession of suplexes and then a piledriver. He removes one of the turnbuckle pads and tries to ram Virgil’s face into the steel, but Virgil counters and bounces DiBiase’s face off the steel instead! The referee has recovered and Virgil crawls over to make the cover, score the pin, and win the Million Dollar Title at 13:11. That was a really well booked match that kept the crowd engaged at every turn. Probably Virgil’s best match ever.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #5: Jailhouse Match – Big Boss Man vs. The Mountie

The loser of this match will spend the night in jail. Mountie has his manager Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart in his corner. Boss Man strikes first with a series of punches. Mountie fires back with his own punches, but Boss Man punches harder. Boss Man lands a splash for two. He continues the abuse and keeps Mountie reeling. The Mouth of the South distracts Boss Man on the floor, allowing Mountie to knock Boss Man into the steel steps. Back in the ring Mountie goes to work. This goes on for a few minutes and Mountie hits a piledriver, which Boss Man sells in hilarious fashion. Hart distracts the referee and Mountie tries to use his cattle prod but Boss Man avoids it and lands an uppercut to the jaw. Boss Man hits another uppercut and the Boss Man Slam but Mountie somehow kicks out! Mountie sweeps Boss Man’s legs out from under him. He goes for another piledriver but Boss Man counters to an Alabama Slam to get the pin at 9:38. That was perfectly fine but was all just a means to an end to get the awesome bits with Mountie going to prison that they sprinkle throughout the rest of the show.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #6: World Tag Team Championship Match – The Nasty Boys vs. Legion of Doom

Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags have been the Champions since 3.24.91, and this is their fourth major defense. They have Jimmy Hart with them. This is a no countout, no disqualification match. Hawk and Animal don’t even wait for the bell or to take their shoulder pads off to attack. Sags and Hawk fight on the floor while Animal hits Knobbs with a powerbomb in the ring for a near-fall. The referee enforces the one man in the ring rule, which I always found silly in a no-DQ match, and that momentary distraction allows the Nasty Boys to take control. Knobbs and Sags focus on Hawk for several minutes and wear him down. Finally Hawk is able to get a boot up when Knobbs leaps off the second rope, and Animal gets the hot tag. Animal cleans house and hits Knobbs with a powerslam for two. All four men get in the ring and it’s mayhem. The Nasty Boys use Hart’s motorcycle helmet when the referee’s back is turned (isn’t this no-DQ?), but they still can’t put Animal away. Hawk recovers and grabs Hart’s helmet and hits Knobbs with it on the floor, and then goes to the ring to drill Sags with it. The LOD then hit the Doomsday Device to get the win and their first WWF Tag Team Titles at 7:46. There wasn’t much going on there, even with the no-DQ stipulation, which they never really used to any sort of affect. It was fine for the participants involved I suppose.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #7: Irwin R. Schyster vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine

Hammer starts off with a headlock and then knocks IRS down with a shoulderblock. This goes on for a bit so IRS takes a powder. Back in the ring Hammer gets a sunset flip for two and then hits a bodyslam, so IRS goes outside again. This time Hammer follows him out and beats on him some more. Back in the ring IRS catches Hammer with a boot and then puts on an abdominal stretch. IRS uses the ropes for extra leverage. Hammer hiptosses his way out of it, but IRS catches him with the Write-Off and then an elbow drop for two. IRS keeps the pressure on and goes up top but Hammer slams him down. Hammer unloads with a series of strikes and starts going after the leg. He puts on the Figure-Four Leglock and IRS is able to reach the ropes. Hammer misses an elbow drop but he keeps going after the leg. He tries the Figure-Four Leglock again but IRS is able to counter to an inside cradle to get the pin at 7:07. Just a little buffer match before the main event, seemed like something more fit for a main event of Superstars on the last half hour of Saturday Night’s Main Event.
Rating: *½

MATCH #8: Match Made in Hell – Hulk Hogan & Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Col. Mustafa & Gen. Adnan

Sid Justice is the special guest referee. Hogan is the current WWE Champion at this point. He starts the match with Slaughter and dominates, even taking time to take shots at Adnan and Mustafa. Warrior tags in and he continues the beating. After a few minutes Slaughter resorts to dirty tactics to take control of Hogan, and now the Triangle of Terror takes over. Mustafa locks on the Camel Clutch and Warrior comes in to break it up. Hogan gets beat on and triple-teamed for several minutes. Slaughter goes to the top rope and Warrior walks over and shoves him to the floor. Great spot. That allows Hogan to make the hot tag and Warrior is a house afire. Warrior accidentally runs into Justice, who of course doesn’t move. While Warrior and Justice stare at each other Slaughter takes the opportunity to reclaim control. Eventually Warrior ducks a clothesline and levels Slaughter with one of his own. Hogan gets the hot tag and he unloads on Slaughter. He hits the Big Boot and all hell breaks loose. Warrior chases Mustafa and Adnan to the back with a chair, leaving Hogan and Slaughter alone in the ring. Justice gets distracted by Warrior with the chair and doesn’t see Hogan throwing powder in Slaughter’s eyes. Hogan hits the Leg Drop and Justice counts really fast to give Hogan and Warrior the win at 12:43. That felt rushed and never really got going anywhere all that interesting, even with Sid out there.
Rating: **
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A2Z Analysiz: WWF SummerSlam 1990 (Ultimate Warrior, Rick Rude) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/25/a2z-analysiz-wwf-summerslam-1990-ultimate-warrior-rick-rude-3/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/25/a2z-analysiz-wwf-summerslam-1990-ultimate-warrior-rick-rude-3/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:00:04 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=167637 summerslam 88-92

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

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
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A2Z Analysiz: WWF SummerSlam 1989 (Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/24/a2z-analysiz-wwf-summerslam-1989-hulk-hogan-randy-savage-3/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/24/a2z-analysiz-wwf-summerslam-1989-hulk-hogan-randy-savage-3/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:00:29 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=167635 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: ***
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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.07.94 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/24/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-11-07-94/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/24/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-11-07-94/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:03:03 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168436 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) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/23/a2z-analysiz-wwf-summerslam-1988-hulk-hogan-randy-savage-2/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/23/a2z-analysiz-wwf-summerslam-1988-hulk-hogan-randy-savage-2/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:00:41 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=167630 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
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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.10.94 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/10/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-10-10-94/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/10/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-10-10-94/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 05:21:45 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168091 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) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/08/my-thoughts-wwe-raw-7-7-14-john-cena-seth-rollins-dean-ambrose-roman-reigns/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/08/my-thoughts-wwe-raw-7-7-14-john-cena-seth-rollins-dean-ambrose-roman-reigns/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 14:44:41 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168024 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.
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WWE50 A New York Times Best Seller http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/01/wwe50-a-new-york-times-best-seller/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/01/wwe50-a-new-york-times-best-seller/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 15:56:39 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=167944 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
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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.03.94 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/06/29/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-10-03-94/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/06/29/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-10-03-94/#comments Sun, 29 Jun 2014 05:47:23 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=167861 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 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/06/16/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-08-22-94/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/06/16/the-smark-rant-for-monday-night-raw-08-22-94/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 03:11:51 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=167726 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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