Inside Pulse Wrestling » WWF Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:01:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.10.94 Thu, 10 Jul 2014 05:21:45 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.10.94

Taped from Utica, NY

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage.

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

Bam Bam Bigelow v. Lex Luger

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

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

Mabel v. Reno Riggins

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

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

Owen Hart v. John Crystal

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

King Kong Bundy v. Mike Khoury

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

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

The New Headshrinkers v. JS Storm & Cory Student

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

The Pulse

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the book you can find detailed accounts of:

· WWE’s split from the National Wrestling Alliance

· The sale of WWE to Vince McMahon by his father

· WWE’s national expansion and the perilous risks involved

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

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

· Triumph in the Monday Night Wars

· Taking WWE public×120.jpg×250.jpg

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

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

Taped from Utica, NY

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

The British Bulldog v. Jim Neidhart

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

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

Doink the Clown v. Barry Horowitz

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

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

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

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

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

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

King Kong Bundy returns next week.

Mr. Bob Backlund v. Gary Scott

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

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


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

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

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

Lex Luger v. Crush

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

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

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

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

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

Diesel v. Typhoon

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

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

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

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

Taped from Youngstown, OH

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

“The Undertaker” v. Butch Banks

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

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

Lex Luger v. Chad Miller

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Backlund v. Kevin Krueger

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

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

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

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

Taped from Bushkill, PA

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Randy Savage

Nikolai Volkoff v. Tatanka

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

The Headshrinkers v. Barry Hardy & some other geek

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

Jim Neidhart v. Jim Powers

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

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

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

Yokozuna v. Adam Bomb

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

Duke Droese v. Dwayne Gill

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

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



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

Taped from Bushkill, PA.

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Randy Savage

Intercontinental title:  Diesel v. Lex Luger

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

Mabel v. Austin Steele

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

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

Owen Hart v. Reno Riggins

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

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

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

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

Bam Bam Bigelow v. Gary Sabbaugh

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

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

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

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

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

Taped from White Plains, NY

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Randy Savage

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

Bam Bam Bigelow v. Mabel

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

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

IRS v. Rich Myers

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

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

The Headshrinkers v. The Executioners

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

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

Kwang v. Mike Moraldo

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

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

Lex Luger v. Unnamed Jobber

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

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


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

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

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

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

Diesel v. Mark Thomas

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

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

The 1-2-3 Kid v. Nikolai Volkoff

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

Yokozuna v. Nick Barbery

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

Typhoon v. The Black Phantom

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

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

The Heavenly Bodies v. Russ Greenberg & Jim Powers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taped from Youngstown, OH

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

King of the Ring Qualifier:  Tatanka v. Crush

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

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

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

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

The 1-2-3 Kid v. George South

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

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

The Smoking Gunns v. Reno Riggins & Austin Steele

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

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

Jeff Jarrett v. Chris Hamerick

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

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


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

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

Taped from Youngstown, OH

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

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

Lumberjack King of the Ring Qualifier:  Tatanka v. Crush

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

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

Bam Bam Bigelow v. John Paul

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

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

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

Razor Ramon v. Keith Davis

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

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

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

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

Taped from Burlington, VT.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage.

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

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

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

Diesel v. Mike Moraldo

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

Meanwhile, more shaky testimony about people seeing the Undertaker.

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

Owen Hart v. Tony Roy

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

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

Sumo Match:  Yokozuna v. Earthquake

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

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

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

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

Taped from the Burlington Coat Factory, VT.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

King of the Ring Qualifier:  Razor Ramon v. Kwang

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

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

Crush v. Raymond Roy

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

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

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

Doink the Clown v. Mike Terrace

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

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

Meanwhile, more people claim to have seen the Undertaker.

Mabel v. Mike Bell

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

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

Next week:  Did we mention the Sumo Match?

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

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

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

WWF tag team titles:  The Quebecers v. The Headshrinkers

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

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

Tatanka v. Derek Domino

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

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

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

Yokozuna v. Mike Davis & Scott Taylor

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

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

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

Taped from Utica, NY

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

Razor Ramon v. Jeff Jarrett

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

Bam Bam Bigelow v. Tony DeVito

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

The Heavenly Bodies v. John Paul & Jason Headings

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

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

1-2-3 Kid v. Duane Gill

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

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

Owen Hart v. Rich Myers

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

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

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

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

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

Taped from Columbus, OH

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edge & Christian v. Kaientai

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

Edge & Christian v. The APA

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

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

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

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

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

Intercontinental title:  Chris Jericho v. Tazz

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

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

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

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

Big Show v. Billy Gunn

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

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

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

First Blood:  Kane & Undertaker v. Rikishi & Haku

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

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

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

The Pulse

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

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

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

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

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


Martin Shaw


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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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


5) Ultimate Warrior vs. Honky Tonk Man


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


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


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


3) Ultimate Warrior vs. Ric Flair


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


2) Ultimate Warrior vs. Goldust


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


1) Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage at WM7


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


Johnny Rosado


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




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

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

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

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

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

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


Matthew Harrak


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


Rhett Davis

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Warrior RIP×120-2013.jpg

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

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

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The SmarK Rant for WWF Smackdown – 11.10.99 Mon, 17 Mar 2014 17:42:09 +0000 The SmarK Rant for WWF Smackdown – 11.10.99

Taped from Baltimore, MD

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler

So Vince Russo is a few months removed from the product, and this is the go-home show for Survivor Series 99, a fucking terrible show with a gigantic bait-and-switch main event.

Evil DX is out to start, as the Outlaws have resolved their differences and regained the tag titles for the last time (until 2014!).  We go back to RAW, with D-X basically cheesing Vince off with their hilarious “raping Stephanie” prank, but HHH reveals that they just hired an actress to portray the part of Steph.  So don’t worry, they just pretended to rape some skank.  Billy insinuates that the size of his dick “punctured her lung”.  This stuff was on prime time TV?  HHH promises to go through Rock and Austin (who, by the way, was known to be severely injured for a least a month before this) and retain the title, and then go through Vince next.  This brings out Vince to announce that tonight, in this very ring, it’s D-X v. Kane, Shane, Test & Rock in an elimination match, with Steve Austin as “guest enforcer”.   HHH notes that Test is bad in the sack, so he charges out and gets beat up.

Meanwhile, Kurt Angle debuts at Survivor Series!

Edge v. Hardcore Holly

Edge tries a rana and gets dropped on the top rope, and Bob chokes him out on the ropes.  Suplex and Holly goes up and lands on Edge’s boot, and Edge makes the comeback.  Fisherman’s suplex gets two.  Tornado DDT gets two.  Holly catches him with the DROPKICK OF DOOM and goes up, but Edge crotches him and brings him down with a superplex.  Holly does the Dynamite Kid reversal and gets the pin at 3:30, however.  Still a short match, but you can immediately tell how much more calm and easier-paced the show is.  *1/2

Meanwhile, The Governator arrives.

Meanwhile, Big Show preps for his father’s funeral.  Hopefully nothing hilarious happens to ruin it!

The Godfather & D-Lo Brown v. The Dudley Boyz

Very early in the Dudley run, obviously, as they were still wearing the dated tie-dye ECW look after jumping ship.  D-Lo gets worked over quickly and they do the future Wazzup , but Bubba misses the senton.  He gets a big boot for two as the crowd is just ice cold for the Dudleyz, which is kind of weird given how red hot they became leading up to winning the tag titles in 2000.  D-Lo with a powerbomb and it’s hot tag Godfather, as tries the Ho Train and gets cut off by Bubba.  The assorted Hos distract the ref, and the 3D finishes D-Lo at 3:53.  You could see that move starting to get over, and once they changed their look it was time for the next level.  ½*

Meanwhile, D-X are no fans of Arnold, and will be telling him so.

Val Venis v. British Bulldog

Val’s promo before the match rages against Al Snow for treating women like objects, when in fact Val’s gimmick is treating women like objects.  So Bulldog is a babyface here?  He’s got the Mean Street Posse as backup, but I never know with this time period.  Or maybe Snow was the heel at this period?  That sounds more correct, actually.  Anyway, while I muse about this, a big schmoz breaks out between the Survivor Series teams for the DQ at 1:00.  DUD  Watching Bulldog try to move around the ring was just sad.

Meanwhile, Rock meets up with Arnold.  And then in real life, Arnold really did pass the torch as the big action star of Hollywood.

Meanwhile, Big Bossman crashes the funeral, complete with bullhorn mounted on a police car.  And then in the final touch, he hooks up the casket and steals it, which gives us the visual of Show surfing on the casket trying to stop it.  Separated from the ridiculousness of the angle 15 years later, it’s pretty goddamned funny to see Bossman go so far over the top as a cartoon supervillain.  And you know what?  Show beat the shit out of him and pinned his team in less than a minute at the PPV to get his revenge and then won the World title, so FINE.  He was a bad person and he got 100% of his comeuppance.  You can put all the heat on the heels you want as long as there’s a payoff!

Hardcore title:  Big Bossman v. Faarooq

Faarooq quickly runs Bossman into the railing and hits him with a chair while jumping off the announce table.  Stairs to the head get two.  Sadly, Albert comes out and maces Faarooq, and Bossman pins to retain at 2:30.  DUD

Meanwhile, Chyna thinks that Jericho has “Va-Chyna Envy”.  See, because Jericho has a SMALL PENIS.  Wasn’t the Attitude Era so great?  Anyway, who let her talk?  During the break, however, Jericho storms in and assaults her with various feminine hygiene products.  So obviously it took them a while to shake off the Russo-ness.

Chris Jericho is here, and he’s not OK with feminism or women winning titles.

Grandmaster Sexay v. Jeff Hardy

Jeff baseball slides Sexay and follows with a senton to the floor, but back in Sexay gets a backdrop suplex.  This was actually the first time they started calling them “Sexay” and “Scotty 2 Hotty”, in fact.  Sexay with a northern lights suplex for two and he goes up, but Jeff goes low and brings him down with a rana for two.  Jeff to the top, but Scotty runs interference.  Jeff tosses him out of the ring but only gets two on Sexay thanks to Terri.  More shenanigans and Sexay hits the Stroke for the win at 3:31.  There was literally four or five people running around behind Teddy Long’s back at one point.  *

Meanwhile, Arnold thinks that Steve Austin should go see End of Days.  He would have been one of the few.

Vince McMahon is out to present Arnold with a WWF title belt to represent his status as “box office champion of the world”, which is kind of funny in that End of Days basically destroyed that reputation.

Meanwhile, D-X tries to attack Arnold, but it’s just some guy…and then they shrug and continue beating him up anyway.  Ha!

WWF Women’s title:  Ivory v. Tori

Ivory notes that Tori is into “smoked sausage” as we continue to learn valuable information about the penises of WWF superstars tonight.  All the women head to ringside to build up the “special one fall sudden death Survivor Series match” at the PPV.  So, you know, a match.  And of course it’s the big 8 person brawl.

HHH, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn & X-Pac v. Kane, Test, Shane McMahon & The Rock

Finally Rock’s music has been adjusted to the one he still uses today.  Odd how the change from “Do You Smell…” to “If You Smell…” could make such a huge difference.  Test is “injured” from earlier and so it’s 3-on-4.  Big brawl to start as X-Pac and Kane fight up the ramp and get counted out at 1:00.  HHH and the Outlaws beat on Shane as Arnold is SHOCKED at the violence while doing commentary.  He punched him right in the stomach!  That must hurt!  Gunn with a jackhammer on Shane for two and HHH slugs away, but Shane comes back with a spear on Dogg.  HHH cuts him off and pounds away in the corner, and Dogg slugs him down before Rock has finally had enough and puts him down with a clothesline.  But Billy Gunn sneaks in while the ref removes Rock, and hits Shane with the fameasser to eliminate him at 5:53.  So the Rock is alone, but Test makes a miraculous return, perhaps with the fast-healing powers of steroids, and chokes out Dogg in the corner for his big highspot.  Gunn hits him with a chair and gets DQ’d at 7:10, however.  Dogg and Test collide and it’s finally hot tag Rock.  Rock Bottom ends Dogg at 8:30.  Test comes back in and HHH goes low for two.  And then he finally just puts the ref out, and Austin hits HHH with a chair and puts Test on top for the pin at 10:10.  And then HHH goes after Arnold and gets his ass kicked, which I’m sure he was more than happy to do.  Like, HHH just sold like crazy for him there.  Anyway, the match was kind of junky, but fine.  **1/4  Really really weird booking, though, as they KNEW Austin wasn’t going to be there on Sunday, but they still put all this heat on the Rock/Austin/HHH feud anyway, and then had Test go over for the finish when they knew that wasn’t going to be the big swerve for it.  Like, if they really were going to pull the trigger on Test and give him the title at Survivor Series that would be one thing, but they had no intention of doing that.

The Pulse

So here’s what we learned:  Billy Gunn has a large penis, Chris Jericho has a small penis, and Kane has a “smoked sausage”.  Also, D-X thinks that rape is hilarious, and 1999 was really fucking awful until HHH suddenly became awesome in December and finally lived up to the push he had been getting for the past six months.×250.jpg

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A2Z Analysiz: WWF WrestleMania VIII (Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ric Flair) Mon, 17 Mar 2014 13:00:20 +0000 WrestleMania VIII

Hoosier Dome – Indianapolis, Indiana – Sunday, April 5, 1992

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan are on commentary.

MATCH #1: “El Matador” Tito Santana vs. Shawn Michaels with Sherri

Michaels had just recently broken away from Marty Jannetty and this is arguably his biggest singles match to date. Matador take sthe early advantage, frustrating the Heart Break Kid with a headlock. Michaels thinks he’s making a comeback but Matador clotheslines him to the floor. Back in the ring Matador goes back to the headlock. Every time Michaels tries to go on offense the veteran Matador is able to cut him off and ground him. Finally Michaels is able to sidestep a charging Matador and pitch him to the floor. Back in the ring Michaels takes control and slows the pace down. Matador tries to fight up but Michaels cuts him down with a superkick, which was not yet the end-all finisher it would become. Michaels goes for the Slingshot Suplex but Matador avoids it. Matador drills Michaels with the Flying forearm smash that sends Michaels all the way to the floor. He follows him out and rams his head into the steps. Matador comes back to the ring with a slingshot shoulder block. He unleashes a flurry of offense, culminating in El Paso de la Muerte. Michaels rolls to the floor to avoid getting pinned. Up on the apron Matador tries to bodyslam Michaels back in but Michaels hangs on to the top rope and then falls on top to score the pin at 10:38. That was a great choice for an opener, as Santana was the perfect foil for an up and coming heel like Michaels. I feel like this match gets overlooked but it’s quite solid.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Undertaker with Paul Bearer

Roberts starts of with some right hands but they seem to have no effect. One punch sends Undertaker to the floor but he lands on his feet and pulls Roberts out with him! Undertaker throws Roberts into the post. Back in the ring Roberts continues trying to wear Undertaker down but Undertaker seems completely indifferent to it. Undertaker chokes Roberts down but the referee is too intimidated to do much about it. The Dead Man hits a big elbow drop and the flying clothesline. Roberts is able to catch a quick DDT and Undertaker sits up! The Snake hits a second DDT, but he gets distracted going after Paul Bearer on the floor. Undertaker goes out after him and hits the Tombstone Piledriver! Back in the ring Undertaker makes the academic pin at 6:43. Roberts was gone right after this so it was a good way to use him, once again making Undertaker look great.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: Intercontinental Championship Match – “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Bret “Hit Man” Hart

Piper has been the Champion since 1.19.92, and this is his fourth major defense. They start with some chain wrestling, trying to keep it a nice contest in the early going. Piper tries a go-behind and Hart uses momentum to send him to the floor. That angers Piper, who gets back in the ring and spits at his challenger. Things calm down and Hart goes after the arm. Hart hits a nice dropkick but appears to injure his shoulder on the way down. It turns out he was playing possum though and he grabs an inside cradle for a near-fall. Piper is furious now and things get heated. Hart tries a cross body block but Piper catches him and they both tumble over the ropes to the floor. Piper gets back in the ring first and holds the ropes open for Hart to come back in. The Champ then points out that Hart’s boot is untied, and Piper takes the chance to sucker punch Hart in the face. Awesome. Piper wisely targets the injured area, hitting a bulldog for a two-count. The Champion continues the abuse but Hart is able to fight back and knock Piper to the floor with a flying forearm. Piper gets back in the ring and the two men clothesline each other. Oddly, Piper’s head is covering Hart but I guess since all four shoulders are down the referee counts no one? That just looked weird. Piper gets up first and goes to the top rope. Hart pops up and pulls Piper down face-first. He has his second wind now and he hits Piper with an inverted atomic drop and a snap suplex for two. A side Russian Legsweep gets another two-count. Hart hits the backbreaker and goes for the Sharpshooter. Piper blocks it but Hart drills him with a hard elbow smash. Hart goes to the second rope and goes for the elbow but Piper gets hit boot up. The referee gets bumped accidentally, and Piper knocks Hart to the floor. Piper grabs the ring bell and appears ready to hit Hart with it. The crowd disapproves, and Piper has a change of heart. Piper instead locks Hart in a Sleeper hold. Hart climbs up the turnbuckles and pushes off into a cradle to get the pin at 13:51! That may be Piper’s best match ever, and a quintessential face versus face matchup. They clearly respected each other but things still got heated and it added a lot of drama to the match. Great finish too.
Rating: ****¼

MATCH #4: Eight-Man Tag Team Match – The Mountie, Repo Man & The Nasty Boys vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Big Boss Man, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan & Virgil

Family Feud host Ray Combs did the introductions for this match, and insulted the heel team to the point that they went after him so he never got to announce the babyfaces. The match starts off as a big brawl and the good guys send the bad guys reeling. Duggan and Nasty Boy Jerry Sags start the match proper. That doesn’t go so well for Sags, who gets beat up by Duggan and then Slaughter. Brian Knobbs tags in and he doesn’t fare much better. The heel team finally gets a little bit of offense in on the Boss Man, but Repo an blows it by getting punched in the groin. Virgil tags in and gets a few moves in. The bad guys cut Virgil off and isolate him in their corner for a bit. Things break down and the referee loses control. The Nasty Boys try to hit Virgil with his nose guard but Virgil ducks and Sags hits Knobbs. That’s enough for Virgil to get the pin at 6:32. Not much of interest really happened here but it was a fine way to get more names on the card and it was a good buffer between Hart/Piper and Savage/Flair, so it works.
Rating: *½

MATCH #5: WWF Championship Match – Ric Flair with Mr. Perfect vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Flair has been the Champion since 1.19.92, and this is his second defense. Savage runs to the ring and the fight is on. The bell actually rings while both men are on the floor, which is just poor officiating. Perfect interferes early on, and Savage is looking like a very angry man. Savage dominates Flair in the early going, as he’s fighting for both the Title and the honor of his wife Elizabeth. Flair cuts off a charging Savage with a back drop over the top rope and to the floor. The fight continues on the floor, where Flair goes to work on Savage’s back. They make it back to the ring and Flair is dissecting his challenger. After several minutes of abuse Savage fights back with strikes. Savage hits a swinging neckbreaker and both men are down. Back on their feet Savage unloads with punches. Flair pokes him in the eyes and goes to the top rope but Savage slams him down. Savage continues unleashing the fury, clotheslining Flair to the floor. He follows with an axhandle from the top rope. Flair gets busted open as Savage continues the brutal beating both in and out of the ring. Savage goes up top and hits the Diving elbow drop but Perfect pulls him off the cover. A furious Savage goes after Perfect, and in the melee Perfect gives Flair a pair of brass knuckles. Flair decks Savage with the knux, but can only get a two-count! Perfect hits Savage in the knee with a chair from the floor, and Flair smells blood in the water. Elizabeth makes her way to ringside, as officials (including a young Shane McMahon) try to convince her to go back to the dressing room. Flair is viciously attacking Savage’s knee, setting up for the Figure-Four Leglock. He puts the hold on, but Savage will not give up. Savage turns it over and Flair is able to slip out, only to walk right into an inside cradle for a near-fall. Flair goes back to work on the knee and talks trash at Elizabeth. Savage blocks a punch and decks Flair, and then rolls him up with a handful of trunks to get the pin and win the title at 18:03. I love this feud and I love this match so hard. The hatred felt real as these two just tore into each other with the title and Elizabeth’s pride at stake. Flair tried to goad Savage into losing his cool, and he did a great job of that, but in the end Flair was just a little too cocky. Savage cheating to win on “The Dirtiest Player in the Game” is just sheer brilliance.
Rating: ****¾

MATCH #6: Tatanka vs. “The Model” Rick Martel

They lock up and Martel takes an early advantage, but Tatanka quickly fights back and sends Martel scurrying to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring Martel tries to wear Tatanka down but to no avail. Martel misses a charge in the corner and his shoulder makes contact with the ring post. Tatanka capitalizes on the injury and works the arm. Martel responds with a choke takedown. He hurls Tatanka over the top rope and to the floor. Martel joins Tatanka on the floor and delivers a few strikes before throwing him back in the ring. He goes up top and Tatanka shakes the ropes to knock him down. Tatanka is a house afire now, unleashing a slew of offensive maneuvers. Martel fights back briefly but Tatanka ducks a clothesline and hits a high cross body block to score the pin at 4:32. That was adequate for a post-intermission bout. Tatanka looked good in beating the veteran Martel clean.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #7: World Tag Team Championship Match – Money Inc. with Jimmy Hart vs. The Natural Disasters

Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster have been the Champions since 2.7.92, and this is their first major defense. Earthquake and DiBiase start the match. DiBiase and IRS tag each other several times before any contact is made. Earthquake uses his size and strength advantage early on, and the Champions look overmatched. The challengers send the Champs to the floor, where they regroup with their manager. Back in the ring IRS tries going after Earthquake’s arm but that goes nowhere. Typhoon tags in and he throws IRS around. Finally IRS avoids a charge in the corner and tags DiBiase. The Champions still can’t capitalize though, as the challengers are just too big. Typhoon charges at DiBiase against the ropes and DiBiase moves, causing Typhoon to tumble to the floor (sort of). Now the Champions have the advantage, and they work on keeping Typhoon on the mat. DiBiase and Typhoon clothesline each other and both men are down. Tags are made and Earthquake is a house afire. All four men get in the ring and the Disasters are dominating. The challengers send DiBiase to the floor. Typhoon hits IRS with the Splash and Earthquake goes for the Vertical splash, but Jimmy Hart pulls IRS to the floor. Money Inc. decides it’s not worth it and they take the countout loss at 8:38. So the Natural Disasters win the match but not the titles. This was okay enough given the participants, but it didn’t exactly make the Champions look good.
Rating: **

MATCH #8: “The Rocket” Owen Hart vs. Skinner

Hart enters the ring with a back flip off the top rope, and Skinner takes advantage by spitting tobacco in his eyes. Skinner stays on the attack, delivering a shoulderbreaker and a series of punches. He delivers a boot to the midsection and then hits the Gator Breaker, but it only gets two because of his nonchalant cover. Skinner tries to throw Hart over the top rope but Hart skins the cat and grabs an O’Connor Roll for the pin at 1:11. Not much going on there, but at least Owen went over.
Rating: ¾*

MATCH #9: Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice with Harvey Whippleman

Sid attacks Hogan right as he gets into the ring and Hogan sends the big man packing while his music continues to play. The bell rings while Sid is still on the floor. Poor officiating! Sid makes his way into the ring and immediately takes the advantage, wearing Hogan down. Hogan fights back with a series of right hands to send Sid back to the floor. Sid gets back in the ring and they engage in a test of strength, which goes very well for the maniacal one. Sid backs Hogan into the corner and tries a whip, but Hogan reverses it and levels Sid with a clothesline. Whippleman distracts Hogan, allowing Sid to hit a huge Chokeslam. Sid knocks Hogan to the floor and continues the abuse. They head back inside and Sid keeps Hogan on the mat. Sid hits a side suplex and calls for the Powerbomb. He hits a weak-ass Powerbomb and Hogan starts Hulking Up! Hogan hits the Big Boot and then slams Sid, taking him off his feet for the first time in the match. He hits the Legdrop but Sid kicks out! As a 10-year-old that blew my mind. Whippleman gets in the ring and does exactly nothing, drawing the disqualification for the worst finish in WrestleMania history at 12:27. The match wasn’t exactly much to get excited about either, with lots of rest holds and punches. This is definitely bottom five worst main events in the history of the Show of Shows.
Rating: *

Papa Shango ambles out, apparently having missed his cue. Sid and Shango attack Hogan until some familiar music hits. The Ultimate Warrior is back! Warrior looks slightly different, and thus the “it’s a different guy” rumors are born. Hogan and Warrior pose to end the show.×120.jpg

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HTC’s Wrestling Pulsecast – WrestleMania Trivia Fri, 14 Mar 2014 03:06:43 +0000 HTC Wrestling Pulsecast

Justin Czerwonka and Matthew Harrak battle it out, WrestleMania Trivia-style! The “Wrestling Wife” makes a guest appearance as Justin & Matt test each other’s pro-wrestling knowledge all in the hopes of bragging rights and a shiny new gold (Mattel) championship belt!×120-2013.jpg×250-wrestling-pulsecast.jpg

]]> 0 aj lee,batista,Bray Wyatt,cm punk,Cody Rhodes,Daniel Bryan,Hulk Hogan,Jeff Hardy,john cena,Kofi Kingston,Kurt Angle,Mark Henry With special guest host: the Wrestling Wife! ( Justin Czerwonka and Matthew Harrak battle it out, WrestleMania Trivia-style! The "Wrestling Wife" makes a guest appearance as Justin & Matt test each other's pro-wrestling knowledge all in the hopes of bragging rights and a shiny new gold (Mattel) championship belt! Inside Pulse Wrestling no 2:02:21
A2Z Analysiz: WWF WrestleMania III (Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant) Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:00:19 +0000 WrestleMania III

Pontiac Silverdome – Pontiac, Michigan – Sunday, March 29, 1987

Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura are on commentary.

MATCH #1: The Can-Am Connection vs. “The Magnificent” Don Muraco & “Cowboy” Bob Orton

Muraco and Orton have Mr. Fuji in their corner. Rick Martel and Muraco start the match. Muraco uses his brute strength and Martel uses his impressive agility to thwart him. Tom Zenk tags in and the Can-Am Connection uses impressive double-teams on both Muraco and Orton. Everything Muraco and Orton try the Can-Ams have an answer for. Finally Orton drives a knee into Zenk’s back from the apron to take control but it doesn’t last long. Zenk and Orton knock heads together and then tags are made. Martel is a house afire and sends Orton to the floor. Zenk goes down on all fours to trip Muraco up as Martel executes a cross body block to get the pin at 5:38. That was a perfect choice for an opener, as the babyfaces were flying all over the place and got the crowd right fired up, which is exactly the goal.
Rating: **½

MATCH #2: Full Nelson Challenge – Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules

Hercules has Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in his corner. The two powerhouses come face to face at the bell as things are already heated between them. Haynes takes an early advantage and hits an impressive press slam. He goes for the Full Nelson but Hercules avoids it. Haynes continues to unleash fury, but Hercules cuts him off with a hard clothesline. Hercules is fully in control now, working Haynes over. He hits a vertical suplex and picks Haynes up at two for some reason. Hercules continues to work the back in preparation for the Full Nelson. Moments later he puts on the Full Nelson but he cannot lock the fingers. Haynes fights his way out of it and then they clothesline each other. Back on their feet Haynes hits an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline. Haynes hits another clothesline and hits a legdrop (on a show with Hogan!) He goes to the second rope and delivers a fist drop. Haynes locks on the Full Nelson and Hercules is able to use momentum to pull Haynes to the floor with him. Out on the floor Haynes puts on the Full Nelson and the referee counts both men out at 7:53. That’s an odd finish for WrestleMania, but the match was pretty okay for two limited power guys.
Rating: **¼

Heenan attacks Haynes and distracts him long enough for Hercules to attack. Hercules hits Haynes with the chain, busting him open.

MATCH #3: King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook vs. Hillbilly Jim, Little Beaver & The Haiti Kid

The big guys must wrestle the big guys, and the little guys must wrestle the little guys. Haiti and Tokyo start the match with some classic midget wrestling. It doesn’t take long for Beaver and Littlebrook to get involved. The good guys control the early going, so Bundy tags in. Beaver and Haiti run around Bundy for a bit to frustrate him before making the tag. Jim comes in and takes Bundy down with a clothesline. He follows with a big elbow drop and covers, so Beaver and Haiti pile on for a two-count. Bundy kicks out anyway. He takes Jim down and goes to work on him. Beaver comes in to make the save and continues poking the bear. Finally Bundy gets fed up and scoops Beaver up and slams him down to the mat. Bundy follows with an elbow drop and the referee calls for the disqualification at 4:24. Tokyo and Littlebrook take umbrage with Bundy’s actions and the four midgets and Hillbilly Jim run Bundy off. That was hardly a classic but I like my WrestleMania cards with variety, and this certainly provided that.
Rating: **

MATCH #4: Junkyard Dog vs. Harley Race

Race is accompanied by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Fabulous Moolah. If JYD loses, he is required to bow to the King. Race tries to avoid JYD at first, and when JYD goes on the attack Heenan interferes to give his man the advantage. Race throws JYD to the floor and attempts a headbutt off the apron but JYD moves out of the way. That’s quite a spot for 1987. JYD brings Race back in the hard way and quickly knocks him back to the floor. Back in the ring JYD puts on an abdominal stretch, which Race breaks with a hiptoss. Race tries a headbutt, which is terrible strategy. JYD throws Race to the floor once again. Race comes back in and JYD unloads with some headbutts. Heenan distracts JYD, allowing Race to hit a belly-to-belly supelx for the pin at 3:23. JYD is now supposed to bow to the King. He does indeed bow, but then hits Race with the chair! JYD then puts on Race’s robe and leaves with it. That’s pretty poor sportsmanship on display by the JYD. As for the match, these are two Hall of Famers and deservedly so, but this was kept short for a reason.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #5: The Rougeau Brothers vs. The Dream Team

The Dream Team is Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake, accompanied by “Luscious” Johnny V and Dino Bravo. The Rougeau Brothers are of course Jacques and Raymond. Beefcake and Raymond start the match. It’s interesting to see the Rougeau Brothers as babyfaces, as I don’t think that lasted too long. They control the early part of the match with their impressive high flying and double-team maneuvers. Jacques misses a turn-around cross body block off the second rope and Valentine goes to work on him. Beefcake tags in as well and gets his shots in. Valentine comes back in and puts on the Figure-Four Leglock as Bobby Heenan invades the commentary booth. Heenan brags about being two for two, since Hercules didn’t lose and Harley Race won his match. He doesn’t count Bundy’s loss because “I don’t deal with midgets.” I love Heenan. Meanwhile, Raymond gets a hot tag and locks Valentine in a sleeper. Beefcake tries to break it up but he hits his own partner. The Rougeaus hit La Bombe de Rougeau and while Raymond has Valentine covered the referee gets distracted with Beefcake and Jacques brawling. Bravo takes the opportunity for a cheap shot and rolls Valentine on top for the win at 4:04. Valentine, Luscious Johnny, and Bravo leave Beefcake behind for some reason. The match was a solid four-minute affair, but was made infinitely more entertaining by Heenan’s brief foray into the booth. Jacques and Raymond were incredibly underrated.
Rating: *½

MATCH #6: Hair Match – “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis

Adonis has Jimmy Hart in his corner. This is Piper’s “last match” – win, lose, or draw. They immediately start to brawl and Piper uses his belt as a weapon, which somehow is not a disqualification. I guess the referee is going to be lenient here. Hart distracts the referee, allwoing Adonis to use the belt. Turnabout is fair play. Piper regains control and drags Adonis and Hart into the ring, and then throws them both back to the floor. Back in the ring Adonis cuts Piper off and goes to work. They head back to the floor and Adonis slams Piper’s head into the timekeeper’s table. Hart gets some cheap shots in where he can. Back in the ring Adonis wears Piper down and locks on Goodnight Irene. Hart and Adonis think that Piper is out and they prematurely celebrate. While the referee tries to tell them they haven’t won, Brutus Beefcake comes in the ring for some reason to revive Piper. Adonis tries to attack with a big pair of shears but Piper ducks and the shears bounce off the top rope and Adonis hits himself in the face! Piper then locks on the Sleeper and Adonis is out at 6:13. The crowd was insanely hot but the match was not so good. I don’t really understand Beefcake’s involvement. It is fun to see Piper as a babyface in the 80s though, so this match is not without its charms.
Rating: **½

After the match, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake is born, as Beefacke helps Piper shave Adonis’ head. I don’t recall if there was any sort of set up for Beefcake to help Piper, or to be a barber, but it reinvigorated his career and was his most successful gimmick by far, so it works. Adonis is embarrassed and hightails it to the back with Hart.

MATCH #7: Six-Man Tag Team Match – The Hart Foundation & Danny Davis vs. The British Bulldogs & Tito Santana

Danny Davis, Bret Hart, and Jim Neidhart are accompanied by Jimmy Hart. Hart and Neidhart are the current World Tag Team Champions, and this is Davis’ debut match. Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid have Matilda with them. Matilda goes after Hart, and the Bulldogs and Santana follow suit, beating up their opponents before the bell. The match officially starts with Santana and Hart, which is a great combination. Several tags ar emade as the feeling out process continues, and the Hart trio is able to isolate Santana in their part of the ring. Santana leapfrogs over Neidhart and makes the tag to Davey Boy, who is a house afire. More tags are made and momentum shifts back and forth some more, and we wind up with Dynamite getting worked over in the wrong half of the ring. Davis tags in and tries a splash but Dynamite gets his knees up. Santana tags in and he unleashes fury on Davis, the man who cost him the Intercontinental Title over a year ago. He goes for the Figure-Four Leglock and Neidhart breaks it up. Davey Boy tags in and continues to dismantle Davis. He hits a Tombstone Piledriver and a vertical suplex. Davey Boy then executes the Running Powerslam but Neidhart breaks it up. Santana comes to the rescue and then Dynamite and Hart get in the ring as well. With the referee distracted, Davis hits Davey Boy with the megaphone and gets the pin at 8:52. That was certainly plenty of fun, but it felt very short. And, how awesome would a straight up title match between the Hart Foundation and the British Bulldogs have been with 15 minutes in front of this crowd?
Rating: **¾

MATCH #8: “The Natural” Butch Reed vs. Koko B. Ware

Reed is accompanied by his manager, “The Doctor of Style” Slick. Koko starts off hot so Reed tries to slow him down by stalling. It doesn’t work though, as Koko dropkicks Reed to the floor. Back in the ring Koko goes for a back body drop and Reed clubs him across the back of the neck. Reed gets a little bit of offense in but Koko isn’t done yet, and he fires back. Koko tries a cross body block but Reed rolls him over and grabs the tights to score the pin at 3:39. That was adequate for the time given. The crowd was hot for Koko.
Rating: *½

Slick attacks after the bell for some reason, so Tito Santana comes out to make the save. Santana and Koko run both Reed and Slick back to the locker room. I don’t remember what Santana’s issue with Slick was.

MATCH #9: Intercontinental Championship Match – Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Savage has been the champion since 2.8.86. I’ve seen this match about a million times but I’ve never reviewed it. Steamboat cuts the best promo of his life before the match. Savage tries to stall early on, but Steamboat is undeterred, hitting a series of armdrags. He lifts Savage up by the throat and tosses the champion down. Savage gets Steamboat to chase him outside the ring and then hits an elbow when they get back in the ring. They trade control back and forth, both being aggressive with each other. Savage continually throws Steamboat to the floor, and the champion has finally gained a firm advantage. Back in the ring Savage hits an ax handle off the top rope and an elbow to the face for a two-count. Savage stays in control for a bit, until he charges at Steamboat up against the ropes, and Steamboat back drops him all the way to the floor. Ventura calls for a DQ, but that’s never bee against the rules in WWE as far as I’ve ever heard. Back in the ring Steamboat hits a chop to the head off the top rope and that gets two and the crowd is buying Steamboat right now. Steamboat throws some chops, which Ventura says are illegal since they’re in the eyes. How many rules is he going to make up tonight? Savage tries to bail but Steamboat is able to catch him with a series of pinning combinations for a bunch of near falls. The referee inadvertently gets bumped and Savage looks to take advantage. He hits the Macho Elbow but with no referee there is no count. He goes outside and grabs the ring bell, and that’s how this whole thing got started. George ‘The Animal’ Steele stops him from using it though. Savage tries a bodyslam but Steamboat rolls through to get the pin at 14:35. Like there’s any mystery what rating this match gets.
Rating: *****

MATCH #10: Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Honky Tonk Man

Honky has Jimmy Hart in his corner. Jake of course has Damien, as well as Alice Cooper. Honky isn’t even able to get in the ring before Jake goes after him. Jake is a house afire and he sends Honky to the floor. Honky wasn’t even able to get his Elvis jumpsuit off, but Jake is happy to help him with that. Back in the ring Jake charges into the corner and Honky gets his boot up. That gives Honky the advantage but Jake quickly cuts him off and hits the Short Clothesline. They head back to the floor and Honky is once again and to claim the advantage. Honky takes Jake back in the ring and works him over with his basic offensive attack. He tries the Shake Rattle N’ Roll Neckbreaker but Jake backdrops his way out of it. Jake hits an inverted atomic drop and follows up with punches. He hits another back body drop and more punches. Jake goes for the DDT but Honky avoids it. Hart grabs Jake’s leg, and Honky capitalizes with a rollup and a handful of top rope to get the pin at 7:05. That was pretty basic but they had a good feud going so the crowd was into it.
Rating: **

Honky bails to the back right away, leaving his manager to get double-teamed by Roberts and Cooper, who introduce Hart to Damien up close and personally. Hart quickly slips out under the bottom rope and Honky comes back to help Hart get away.

MATCH #11: The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff vs. The Killer Bees

Sheik and Volkoff have Slick in their corner. Volkoff tries to sing the Russian National Anthem, but Hacksaw Jim Duggan comes out and runs them both of with the 2×4. Hacksaw says this is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Sheik and Volkoff attack before the bell, as Duggan lurks around at ringside. The Bees use their double-team skills and their agility to send Volkoff and Sheik regrouping to the floor. Blair and Brunzell focus on the Sheik, keeping him in their half of the ring. The powerful Sheik and Volkoff are able to recover and now they work on Brunzell. After a few minutes Brunzell is able to catch Sheik with a high knee. Tag is made but the referee was tied up with Volkoff so he didn’t see it. Sheik goes to the second rope to gloat. Duggan chases Slick and Volkoff around the ring, and then he actually gets in the ring. Sheik has Blair locked in the Camel Clutch, so Duggan comes in the ring and waffles Sheik with the 2×4, getting the Bees disqualified at 5:39. The matchw as pretty pedestrian and the finish was stupid. It was a decent way to get Duggan on the big stage though.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #12: WWF Championship Match – Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant

Hogan has been the Champion since 1.23.84. Ventura is not exaggerating when he says “this is the biggest match in the history of professional wrestling.” Hogan and Andre have an epic stare down to start. They trade a few punches and Hogan tries an early slam but Andre falls back on him for a very close near-fall. Hogan has injured his back early on and Andre takes advantage. Andre has no trouble slamming Hogan, and he does so multiple times. He works the Champion over for several minutes, looking dominant. Hogan eventually fights back with a series of strikes and backs Andre into a corner. He charges in and eats nothing but boot. Andre then locks on a bearhug. After a while Hogan punches his way out of it. Hogan tries a few shoulderblocks but Andre slices him right back down. Andre boots Hogan to the floor and follows him out. He goes for a headbutt but he misses and hits the post! Hogan moves the ringside padding and foolishly attempts a piledriver. Andre reverses to a back body drop and Hogan takes the sissiest bump ever. Back in the ring Hogan ducks a boot and knocks Andre down with a clothesline! Hogan then hits the most famous bodyslam of all-time and follows with the Legdrop to get the pin and make history at 12:09. I know people dump on this match, and while it pales in comparison to Savage versus Steamboat, it’s really not that bad. Sure, Andre was not all that mobile but they worked a good David versus Goliath formula and the crowd heat was off the charts. It also is the biggest match of all time and that counts for something. I rather enjoy this match.
Rating: ***½

BONUS MATCH: Intercontinental Championship Match – “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. George “The Animal” Steele, Saturday Night’s Main Event, 1.3.87

Steele attacks right away and starts throwing Savage around. Savage quickly fights back and begins to methodically wear Steele down. He goes up top and some familiar music hits as Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat makes his way to ringside! Savage is distracted and Steele slams him off the top rope. Steele then hurls Savage over the top rope, almost wiping out The Fink! “The Animal” then grabs Ms. Elizabeth and carries her back to the locker room. Savage and Steamboat argue while officials try to corral Steamboat away from ringside. Time for a commercial break, and when we come back Steamboat is still trying to get at Savage. Finally Steele makes his way back to the ring (how did he not get counted out?) and rips apart one of the turnbuckles. He rubs it in Savage’s eyes and then goes after more turnbuckles. Steele goes for a bulldog but Savage shoves him off. Mometum continues to shift back and forth, so Steele bites Savage’s arm. Savage clotheslines Steele to the floor, and Steele gets back in the ring and throws Savage out. The referee gets into an argument with Steele and gets shoved down. Savage takes the opportunity to hit Steele with the ring bell and gets the pin at 8:07 (shown). Savage goes to the top rope but Steamboat makes the save and Savage bails. The match was not great, and it makes no sense how Steele was neither counted out nor disqualified. However, it put a great deal of heat on Savage versus Steamboat, which turned out to be one of the greatest matches of all-time so who’s complaining?
Rating: *¾

BONUS MATCH: Battle Royal – Andre The Giant, Ax, B. Brian Blair, Billy Jack Haynes, Blackjack Mulligan, Butch Reed, Haku, Hercules, Hillbilly Jim, Honky Tonk Man, Hulk Hogan, Jim Brunzell, Koko B. Ware, Lanny Poffo, Nikolai Volkoff, Paul Orndorff, Ron Bass, Sika, Smash, and Tama, Saturday Night’s Main Event, 3.14.87

Hogan and Andre stare each other down, so Orndorff takes the opportunity to attack Hogan to get the match underway. No matter, as Hogan is able to score the first elimination by dumping Honky Tonk out. Andre gets rid of Sika next. Haku goes next via the Giant. Andre headbutts Poffo, splitting him open before throwing him to the floor. Hogan is able to send Bass to the floor. Andre responds by throwing out Mulligan. Hogan tosses Volkoff. Andre dumps Blair. Finally Hogan and Andre come face-to-face, but the other participants quickly break that up. Hogan gets mad and dumps Orndorff out. Andre grabs Hogan and headbutts him before eliminating the WWF Champion! That’s awesome. The referees have to force Hogan to the back, even though he got eliminated fair and square, as we take a commercial. Back from the break Andre eliminates Brunzell. Then Hillbily, Koko, Demolition, Hercules, Butch Reed, Tama, and Haynes join together to eliminate Andre. Hercules gets rid of Tama, Hillbilly eliminates Ax, Smash eliminates Hillbilly, and Koko elimiantes Reed. We’re down to the Final Four: Hercules, Smash, Billy Jack Haynes, and Koko B. Ware. Plenty of brawling ensues. Hercules says goodbye to Koko, and Haynes gets rid of Smash. That leaves two heated rivals in the ring, and Heenan jumps up on the apron to distract Haynes, and it works. Hercules then sneaks up form behind and eliminate Haynes to get the win at 11:23 (shown). This was okay for a battle royal , but it quickly lost steam when Hogan and Andre were eliminated. Still, it was there to build heat on Hogan/Andre and to a lesser extent Hercules/Billy Jack Haynes and it worked.
Rating: **×250.jpg×120.jpg

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