Inside Pulse Wrestling » WWF Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Tue, 16 Dec 2014 17:54:42 +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 – 01.15.96 Mon, 08 Dec 2014 05:08:30 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 01.15.96

Apparently additions resume this week, so we might as well go back to these again.  No idea why 01/01 and 01/08 were omitted and no one from the Network seems to be particularly helpful in that regard.  Oh 1996 WWF, why can’t I quit you?

Taped from somewhere at the end of a cycle.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

Marty Jannetty v. Owen Hart

They trade facelocks to start while Marty’s neon outfit threatens to crash the Network.  There’s not enough bandwidth in the world to contain that much ugly!  Marty with a powerslam for two and he works a headlock, but walks into a belly to belly suplex.  Vince and Jerry talking about the “classic confrontations” in the Rumble is laughable considering that the roster was so decimated at this point that they were using Dick Murdoch and Carlos Colon to pad out the match.  Owen with the chinlock and he pounds away in the corner, and a gut wrench gets two as we take a break.  Back with Marty making the comeback as the announcers are TALKIN’ SPORTZ!  See how hip and with it that Vince is?  Marty with a powerslam and he dumps Owen, but back in Owen finishes with a reverse cradle at 8:00.  So that was a whole lot of nothing.  **

Meanwhile, Todd has the Rumble report, and some jabroni named Vader is entered into it.  Also, some doofus named Ringmaster.

The Ringmaster v. Matt Hardy

So this is Austin’s WWF RAW debut, as the Million Dollar Champion and stuck in a midcard geek position right away.  Ringmaster works a headlock and follows with the Thesz Press before pounding Matt down and stomping away in the corner.   Front suplex gets two and he chokes away on the ropes, but Matt makes a brief comeback before walking into the stungun.  Million Dollar Dream finishes at 4:30.  Who would have ever, ever thought this loser gimmick would spawn the biggest star in history?

The Smoking Gunns v. The Spiders

We’re joined in progress for some reason with the Gunns finishing in 30 seconds with the Sidewinder.

BILLIONAIRE TED’S RASSLIN’ WAR ROOM.  Watch for the Vince Russo cameo.  Billionaire Ted wants to buy the WWF, but can only get their “disloyal hasbeens from the 80s”, which is RICH.  Especially Randy Savage, who was banished to the commentary desk and didn’t have any loyalty shown to him.  Things would only get more mean-spirited from here.

Goldust gets interviewed by Vince, who may or may not have an extra microphone in his pants.  Probably not.

The Undertaker v. Isaac Yankem

So this would take on a different slant in just a couple of years.  Taker attacks and slugs away in the corner, then no-sells a clothesline out of the corner and goes for the tombstone before Yankem bails to escape.  They slug it out on the floor and literally just stand there fighting for a choke before Taker sends him into the post.  Lawler tries to steal the urn/chain from Paul Bearer and gets chased off, as we take a break.  Back with Yankem in control with a bearhug, but Taker escapes with a suplex while Vince gives us a disclaimer about how Goldust does not represent the gay community, regardless of his alleged sexual preference.  When you have to literally do on-air apologies for your gimmicks, they’re probably not very good.  Yankem tries a tombstone, but Taker reverses out and finishes with his own at 7:30.  DUD

Meanwhile, Goldust cuts a promo about facing Bret Hart next week, but Razor Ramon attacks him for a pretty wild brawl to end the show.

The Pulse

You can definitely feel the tendrils of Vince Russo starting to slowly creep into the product with a more mature direction (like Sunny in the bathtub for literally no reason) but the product was still not really showing signs of life yet.topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250 topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120

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The SmarK Rant for the WWF Slammy Awards – 12.17.87 Thu, 04 Dec 2014 03:20:23 +0000 The SmarK Rant for the WWF Slammy Awards – 12.17.87

The 37th Annual awards to be specific!

Oh man, this is a very specific piece of my childhood here.  I honestly have no idea who would have aired in Canada at the time, unless it was on one of the local stations in a rebroadcast deal ala Saturday Night’s Main Event.

Taped from Atlantic City, NJ

Hosted by Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura & Mean Gene.

The entrance vignettes cut into the credits are worth the price of admission alone.  King Kong Bundy in his wrestling trunks and a top hat is awesome.  And really, Vince would kill to have the kind of star power on display here these days.  Hogan, Warrior, Savage, Honky Tonk, Dibiase, Rude, Roberts, Bigelow, The Hart Foundation, The Bulldogs, Demolition, Beefcake…pretty staggering actually.

So the conceit here is that this is an actual awards show, as opposed to whatever it became later.

Award #1: Best Performance By An Animal

Nominees are Damian, Frankie, Matilda and George Steele.  The winner of course is Steele and he gets lost on the way to the podium before Hillbilly Jim saves him.  And the poor prop turnbuckle doesn’t even survive the first award.

Song of the Year Nominee:  Honky Tonk Man sings his own theme song and does a pretty good job at it.  Clearly he’s not actually playing the guitar, but he’s still one up on Jeff Jarrett.  Also, the Hart Foundation provides backup dancing, so that’s awesome.  You have to be a terrible person not to love this a little bit.

Award #2: Woman of the Year

Nominees are Sherri, “Dolly Parton”, Fabulous Moolah, “Yoko Ono” and Elizabeth.  Obviously a couple of these are joke nominees.  Honky is pretty funny burying all the nominees (“Even the Million Dollar Man’s Moolah can’t buy the award for that battleaxe.”) and of course Liz wins.  Randy Savage immediately chases Honky off, and if there’s anything classier than a silver wrestling outfit with bib, I don’t know what that might be.

Hacksaw Duggan (with tuxudo shirt) presents Award #3: Best Ring Apparel. 

Nominees are Demolition, Randy Savage (pretty sure you can see a very young Jerry Seinfeld sitting behind him), King Harley Race, Honky Tonk Man and the Bulldogs.  The King wins the award (and Bobby has a bowtie on his neck brace), but Duggan refuses to show proper respect in presenting the award, and the BRAWL IS ON.  Thankfully Gorilla Monsoon is on hand to grab a headset and do play by play.  First stop:  The makeup room, as they batter each other with wigs and face powder and there’s a donkey and a bunch of chickens around.  THESE CHICKENS ARE RAW, YOU DONKEY!!!!  Meanwhile, they fight into the electrical room as we learn that Bam Bam Bigelow and Mean Gene have tied for the Best Head award.  Shit, I had money on that one.


Long before Chris Jericho made it a running joke in 2004, this was a real thing that happened.  Jake Roberts, Randy Savage and Brutus Beefcake “playing” the trumpets!  Vince doing choreographed dance moves with showgirls!  HULK HOGAN BASS SOLO!  Vince McMahon basically telling Jim Crockett and Verne Gagne that he’s going to destroy their territories…in MUSICAL FORM!

Meanwhile, in the back, the brawl continues while a llama wanders through.  We take a break and Heenan rescues Race and locks Hacksaw in the room, where he still lives to this day.  No, wait, he escapes and shoves a giant pile of cardboard boxes onto them, allowing them to continue into the dressing rooms.  Poor Bobby gets beat up by an old lady to end this segment.

Hulk Hogan presents Award #4: The Hulk Hogan Real American Award. 

If this was 1995 WCW he’d present it to himself.  But since we’ve got storylines to advance, instead it goes to Superstar Billy Graham.  For some reason Graham gets a knockoff of The Final Countdown as his music.

Meanwhile, the brawl moves into the catering room and Gorilla declares that they’ve “made a shambles of the 37th Annual Slammy Awards!”  Duggan puts poor Bobby into the carrot cake with an atomic drop, and Gorilla is upset that there will be no Christmas party this year as a result.

Jesse The Body presents the most prestigious award of the evening…the JESSE THE BODY AWARD. 

As if you even need to guess who wins this one.  Seriously, tell me you didn’t say it out loud as soon as I gave the name of the award.  Nominees are Rick Rude (duh), Butch Reed, Ultimate Warrior, Sherri, and Hercules.  And of course, Rick Rude is the only one who could possibly win.  Rude opts for a full-on stripping routine before Mean Gene saves things with a towel.  Rude steals the big-haired awards girl and leaves the towel.  This was kind of a weird bit for Rude because he was more goofy heel than hard-edged asshole like he would soon become.  But it was tremendous no less.

Sadly, the “Greatest Hits of 1987″ award is interrupted by Race and Duggan bursting through the video screen, but Finkel apologizes for the interruption and we continue.

Award #5:  Greatest Hits of the Year

Nominees are Andre the Giant, Strike Force, Honky Tonk Man, Bam Bam Bigelow and Hacksaw Duggan.  And Duggan wins to pay off the brawl.

Gorilla Monsoon presents Award #6:  Manager of the Year

Nominees are Slick (in a gold Flavor Flav tuxedo!), Jimmy Hart, Mr. Fuji, Bobby Heenan…and the winner is “None of the above”.  Now that’s a funny gag.  Everyone is outraged but Gorilla sends them all packing.

Song of the Year Nominee:  Piledriver. 

So this gives us Bigelow on saxophone and poor Ultimate Warrior dressed as a construction worker standing there with no idea what to do.

Mean Gene presents Award #6:  Best Personal Hygiene

Nominees are Sika, Hillbilly Jim, George Steele, The Bolsheviks and King Kong Bundy (giving us the first toilet joke of the night, kind of a shock actually).  The Russians win and trip on the way up the stage.

Song of the Year Nominee:  Jimmy Hart sings about Girls In Cars

This is another weird one because of course Strike Force had already stolen the song for themselves, even though Jimmy does a good version here.  Sadly, Strike Force steals all of his backup dancers and Jimmy gets kidnapped and presumably raped by the school bus lady.  Weak sauce.

Randy Savage presents Award #7:  Best Vocal Performance

Nominees are JYD’s growl, One Man Gang’s bellow, Hacksaw Duggan’s ho, Jimmy Hart’s megaphone and George Steele’s wail.  Duggan wins his second award of the night, running away with things.  I think this awards show might not be entirely on the level.

Song of the Year Nominee:  If You Only Knew

This is the one featuring everyone on the roster doing a group number.  The highlight is Virgil keep character by standing there scowling while everyone else does their bits and claps along.  Sadly, Sika eats the envelope that reveals who actually won Best Song, but I’d like to think it was Honky Tonk Man because his was awesome.  And we wrap it up, which is good because the show actually ran out of good ideas at the end of the Race-Duggan brawl.

The Pulse

There’s only about 40 minutes of good entertainment here, so stop after the giant brawl finishes, but otherwise it’s some hilarious classic cheese from the glory days of the WWF.  Highly recommended.

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Rabblecast Ep. 384 – The History of WWE’s Survivor Series Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:37:08 +0000 WWE’s upcoming Survivor Series 2014 event marks 27 years for WWE’s second longest running PPV. The guys take a look back at some of the earlier shows in Survivor Series history. The simultaneous debuts of both The Gobbledy Gooker and The Undertaker on the same show, the first ever WWE/WWF Casket match, the crazy teams and a whole lot more.

We are The Rabblecast!


Follow us on Twitter: @Rabblecast

Like, The Rabblecast Facebook Fan page!

Email us at:


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DVD Review: WWE Attitude Era Vol. 2 Sun, 16 Nov 2014 02:26:10 +0000 Attitude Era Vol 2 Review

Just in case you didn’t know what the Attitude Era was, WWE nicely kicks off this DVD with a bikini competition between Sunny, Sable, Marlena and the Funkettes. But it’s not just a clip of the competition but there’s an introduction by Sunny herself talking about how the WWF was changing from the uber-safe, bloomer-wearing, G-rated WWF to the more loose and thong-bearing Attitude Era.

One of the best segments including on Disc 1 is DX’s “invasion” of New York City. It’s a great pre-taped segment that aired on RAW in 1998. Unfortunately this is the edited version from the broadcast and not the unedited version that was released on VHS around this time but the segment still hold up and is still as funny today. This shows Road Dogg in his improvisational glory & Triple H as his typical sarcastic (& somewhat racist) self.

An interview with Jerry Lawler reveals that it was actually Road Dogg Jesse James who came up with the term “puppies”. While he says he’s not a perverted guy (*wink*), he does think that the lack of respect and glorification of the Divas really helped their success during the Attitude Era. This is followed, of course, by Sable’s unforgettable “hand print” bikini. Definitely not something you’d see on WWE TV today.

The Godfather tells exactly how his character was born. While the Nation of Domination was being used to build up The Rock, he and D-Lo Brown weren’t doing very much. So instead of coming to ringside every week in black tights, he started wearing his normal street attire – his “Godfather” hat, black vests, gold chains & jewelry. A fan shouted one night, “Godfather, you look like a pimp!” His wife heard about this and completely created the “Pimping ain’t easy!” Godfather character. She designed his ring attire, his vests and even made the glasses he used to wear. It’s incredible that someone’s wife would be the one to not only support but encourage their husband to portray a pimp and walk out with random hot women every week on worldwide television.

I’m not going to spoil anymore of the great stories on this DVD set but some include how Sexual Chocolate came to be (& who thought it would never work), how the superstars felt about getting a “bloodbath” and what it was made of plus how Trish Stratus’ WWE career could have been derailed well before it got off the ground. Some of the great matches featured on the set are the New Age Outlaws vs Chainsaw Charlie & Cactus Jack, a Casket Match between The Rock & The Undertaker, a European Championship match between Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle and Tazz, Eddie Guerrero vs Dean Malenko and The Rock & Lita versus Triple H & Trish Stratus.

The set includes a ton of good matches I’ve long forgotten and vignettes that could fill a full DVD set on its own! I’m normally not a fan of match compilation sets but Attitude Era Vol. Two is able to weave new stories from past performers, Attitude Era vignettes and interesting wrestling matches together in a way that you felt you were getting an entertaining history lesson into the WWE’s most popular era.topstory120x120-×120-2013.jpg|topstory120x120 topstory500x250-|topstory500x250

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 08.14.95 Thu, 16 Oct 2014 05:27:35 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 08.14.95

So we’re BACK, as three new episodes have finally been added and I’ve wrapped up Nitro for 1995, and now it’s back to RAW again for a while.  Ad roulette day 2:  Just a WWE logo again.  Double or nothing tomorrow!

God, after watching the refreshingly raw (OH THE IRONY!) and messy production of Nitro for a few weeks, switching back to the antiseptic and overly glossed WWF product is pretty jarring. Thankfully November would bring a bit of a kick in the ass to Vince’s dated production values thanks to a concussion angle, but that’s a long ways away yet.  For the moment, Gorilla Monsoon is the new WWF President and we’re building to Summerslam 95.

Live from Worcester, MA.  Nice looking smaller arena, actually.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Ted Dibiase

Doink the Clown v. Waylon Mercy

Of all people you’d think Doink would be the one not to fall for a fake handshake, and indeed he takes Mercy down with armdrags.  Mercy bails and lures Doink into a charge that goes badly, but Doink stomps away on him back in the ring.  Mercy with a lariat and he finishes with the CRAZY EYED SLEEPER at 3:03, complete with “Kill the Clown” chant from the smarky crowd and giant face pop.  ½*  Yeah, it was 1995, everyone thought they were ECW for some reason.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Hollywood, Goldust cuts his introductory promo.  And it’s LONG.  He really took a few months to fully nail down the character.  Meltzer pretty much called this one a career-killer in the Observer for the week.

Meanwhile, Henry Godwinn comes out against the format sheet and slops Ted Dibiase, thus ending his brief association with the Corporation.  So this gives us Dok Hendrix on commentary for the rest of the episode.

The Smoking Gunns v. Bill Garrett & Cody Wade

Garrett has some sort of train-related graphics airbrushed onto his ample tights, but before I can even question the reasoning behind one jobber having “Engine” and the other “Caboose” on their gear, the Gunns finish the skinny one with the Sidewinder at 1:30.   Would you REALLY want to be the guy who is the Caboose?

Meanwhile, Dean Douglas critiques Bret Hart and instead of anything meaningful he makes a bunch of semantic arguments about how Bret doesn’t hook a jobber’s leg and so he can’t really be “excellence” or some such.  So basically he’s the heel equivalent of the grammar Nazis on the internet.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley v. Jeff Hardy

Your future WWE title main event feud!  Someone on or YouTube (Hi guys!) should do a list of future main events that previously happened as squashes or at least in vastly different forms.  Jeffrey controls with a dropkick, but whiffs on the Whisper dive and gets stomped down in the corner.  Pedigree finishes at 2:00.

Summerslam Insider with Todd.

Henry Godwinn v. Russ Greenberg

So Godwinn is supposed to be a babyface now, but fans still don’t give a shit about him.  Choking, big bot, and Slop Drop finishes at 0:30.  And then the poor jobber gets slopped because it’s apparently HILARIOUS.

Meanwhile, Isaac Yankem drills some teeth, and apparently he’s going to do the same to Bret Hart or something.  I already miss Nitro.

Jerry Lawler v. Shawn Michaels

But first, Barry shills a sheet of WWF-branded Pogs while the Kid and Savio Vega pretend to play with them in the background.  And all of this is brought to you by Stridex!  So blame them.  Is it seriously any wonder that Nitro started destroying them in short order?  This match was actually the best-built thing they had going for weeks because both guys can talk and people care about them.  Shawn clowns around and dodges Lawler’s offense (“Here’s a whopper for ya!”) then escapes a piledriver and slugs away while Sid joins us at ringside.  This allows Lawler to take over and dump Shawn, and we take a break.  Back with Lawler in control via a suplex and a DDT, but he goes up and misses by a mile.  Shawn makes the comeback and drops the big elbow, and the superkick sends Sid running in for the DQ at 7:00 or so.  The Network was crashing like crazy tonight so my time might be off.  Sid proceeds with the beatdown, but Razor makes the save and gets into a big snit with Shawn over possession of the IC belt to wrap up the show.  **

Next week:  Undertaker v. Tatanka!

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.10.95 Wed, 10 Sep 2014 05:20:23 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.10.95

Taped from Danville, PA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

Oh my, the stuff I come across while scoping out the Observers for the week of these shows:

WWF is starting its own newsletter being put together by Vince Russo, who did a terrible newsletter of his own three years back which lasted all of a few issues.”

I don’t remember if that ever went anywhere, but Russo certainly did.

We get a very lengthy recap of the Sid-Diesel feud as Vince tries to somehow weave this thing into an actual storyline, again stressing how Sid is a coward who Diesel is trying to keep in the ring at IYH.  Because Sid powerbombed him…once?  Quite the feud.

The Roadie v. Jerry Flynn

The inexplicable Roadie push continues, although he would end up having a hell of a match with the Kid at IYH2.  Flynn works the arm and puts him down with a sidekick, but a blind charge hits boot and Roadie drops some elbows and hooks a half-crab.  Flynn escapes, but tries a leapfrog and gets slammed for the pin at 2:30.

Meanwhile, we recap Jarrett’s quest to be signed to a music contract, which goes badly.  Kind of weird to recycle an old vignette like that.  And then we get the Rip Taylor vignette, plus another “With My Baby Tonight” video.  Were they really short of material from this taping or something?  We’re 15 minutes into this show and literally 12 of them have been recaps or videos.


Oh my god, give it a rest with Savio Vega already.  He’s got fire and spunk!  And dancing.  He pounds away on Khoury in the corner and smiles a lot, then puts him down with a back elbow and finishes with a ¾ nelson at 1:55.

Meanwhile, another reminder that they were totally at the Special Olympics because they care.

Sid is out for an interview with Vince, along with his lumberjacks.

Meanwhile, on the Action Zone, HOROWITZ WINS.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley v. Matt Hardy

10 years later and this match would take on an entirely different slant.  Vince notes that “the internet chat lines” are burning up over King of the Ring and “we read you loud and clear”.  That’s the nicest thing I’ve ever heard anyone in the WWF ever say about the internet, but considering the show did one of the lowest buyrates in history it wasn’t just the internet geeks who were complaining about it.  He promises that the next PPV will be a “romp ‘em stomp ‘em” affair and would presumably not suck.  Well, one match was a classic, the rest was not, but it was still a hell of a show and one that I enjoyed immensely at the time.  Anyway, Hunter controls with a suplex and lots of bowing, but a blind charge misses and Matt tries a moonsault.  That also misses and the Pedigree finishes at 3:00.  Notable here:  Vince off-handedly announces that Jack Tunney has finally retired as President of the WWF, which was one of the many, MANY, cutbacks that were occurring at this point.

In Your House Report with Todd, as we get MORE filler.  I know this one is a necessarily evil, but this show has felt really thin thus far and it doesn’t help.

Tatanka & Henry Godwinn v. The Allied Powers

Luger slugs it out with Tatanka, but quickly gets caught in the heel corner as Henry’s Corporate tryout begins.  The heels double-team Lex and we take a break, returning with Lex still getting beat on. Godwinn with a back elbow for two.  Luger fights out of a chinlock and makes the hot tag to Bulldog, but he quickly gets cut off by a trip from Godwinn and Tatanka goes up.  Bulldog slams him off for the pin at 7:48, however.  Notable here is Vince suddenly going off on ECW by noting that WWF is wholesome self-regulated family entertainment, unlike “professional wrestling in general”, which presumably refers to the more violent ECW product that people were chanting for during his last PPV main event.

Meanwhile, Jerry Lawler hangs out with Isaac Yankem while he drills someone’s teeth.

Next week:  Shawn Michaels v. IRS!  Probably a bunch of other filler bullshit too judging by this taping thus far.  topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250 topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.22.95 Fri, 05 Sep 2014 06:10:17 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.22.95

What is the deal with the 98 era RAWs on the Network where the graphic has “Viewer discretion advised” plastered across it?  There’s two versions of each of those shows in the archives, and both are rated TV-14 with the ominous parental warning at the beginning.  Was there extra nudity and swearing or something?

Taped from Binghamton NY.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler.

Razor Ramon v. Mike Bell

So as Vince brings up on commentary, this was the week where they did the completely random Jarrett-Ramon IC title switch in Quebec, which I’m assuming was some sort of political deal relating to the nasty promotional war with the Rougeaus at the time.  Bell tries a hammerlock and gets rebuffed as apparently Ramon has qualified for the KOTR in between shows, beating Jacob Blu.  Yeah, that’s what the roster was like at this point.  Corner clothesline and blockbuster slam set up an STF, as Ramon tortures the poor jobber to amuse Savio Vega.  Chokeslam and Razor’s Edge finish at 4:15.

Bret Hart joins us at ringside and he wants Jerry Lawler in one last match so he can destroy him once and for all.  Lawler cowers and Bret calls him “lower than shit”, badgering him into picking whatever kind of match he wants to settle it.  No answer is forthcoming, because Lawler is the classic Memphis heel who talks big and then backs down.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley v. John Crystal

And so the reign of terror begins.  Crystal works on a hammerlock, but Hunter makes the ropes and slaps the guy around in the corner.  Leg lariat and he debuts the formal bow (one of the only moves he used to do effectively for a long time) and finishes with the Ace Crusher at 2:34.  Vince is pretty impressed!  Maybe he’ll fix him up with his daughter.

Mr. Backlund outlines his policies as President:  He would ban calculators and computers, and mandate that everyone read one great American novel per week.  NO SUMMER VACATIONS.  See, when they can edit him down into soundbites and contain the crazy, he’s hilarious.

The Allied Powers v. Bill Payne & Tony Devito

The Powers quickly double-team Payne and Bulldog finishes with a powerslam at 3:00.  They were really downplaying them as a team at this point due to Bulldog’s rampant legal troubles.  This was more of a backdrop for Vince messing with Lawler over the Bret Hart thing.

Kama v. Barry Horowitz

Horowitz manages to trick Kama to the floor, but gets beat on in the ring with Kama’s dazzling array of punches.  Half-crab finishes at 2:11.

Shawn Michaels v. King Kong Bundy

Really, in retrospect the result here was never in doubt.  I mean, were we really gonna see King King Kong Bundy?  That’s just SILLY.  Shawn slugs away in the corner and then jumps to the floor to clown with Dibiase in a funny spot, but Bundy whips him out of the ring.  Shawn is instantly the world’s greatest babyface in his first match back after his turn.  Bundy hammers him and follows with a backdrop, then goes to a bearhug, which Shawn tries to reverse into a sunset flip.  Bundy sits on him for two, however.  To the chinlock, but we take a break and return with Shawn hitting the superkick for the pin at 8:00.  Wow, Bundy lays down clean.  This was about as good as you were gonna get out of him.  **  Diesel and Bigelow come out to make amends afterwards, thus rekindling the bromance while Bigelow is the weirdo hanging out with them because they think he’s funny when he’s drunk.

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.15.95 Thu, 04 Sep 2014 05:28:01 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.15.95

Live from Binghamton, NY

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler.

Owen Hart & Yokozuna v. Nick Barberri & Bill Weaver

Yoko plasters both jobbers by himself and Owen adds a leg lariat and works on the arm of Barberri.  The jobber comes back with a hiptoss and they actually work Owen over in their corner a bit, but Yoko comes in and splats Weaver with a Rock Bottom for the pin at 3:00.

Last night:  Jerry Lawler cheats outrageously and beats Bret Hart at the first In Your House.

Man Mountain Rock v. Iron Mike Sharpe

Is this a squash or a main event from 1952?  Rock has thankfully ditched the cornrows and pajamas, but he’s still a lost cause.  He drops an elbow on Sharpe and finishes with the Painkiller (Fujiwara armbar) at 1:30.

Last night:  An 11 year old kid wins the house!  And then turns it around for a $30,000 profit as it turned out.

Meanwhile, Caribbean legend Savio Vega introduces himself to the world.  Thankfully his English would get better.

Meanwhile, Barry Didinsky shills some crappy t-shirts.  Well not “$9.99″ level crappy but certainly no sane human would wear a “Diesel v. Sid” shirt.

King of the Ring Qualifier:  Bob Holly v. Mantaur

Mantaur powers him out of the ring, but Holly comes back with dropkicks.  Mantaur with more devastating shoulderblocks and a powerslam for two, and he chokes away in the corner.  Sideslam and he stomps away as the crowd is just deathly silent for this.  Suplex gets two and he pounds on Bob in the corner, but a blind charge misses and Holly gets two.  Holly makes the comeback with a missile dropkick for two and a flying bodypress to finish at 5:31.  Just horrible.  DUD

Mr. Bob Backlund has a big announcement and Vince is pretty funny as the straight man (“Well, Mr. Backlund, for the benefit of those of us who are on THIS planet…”) and Bob rambles on for 5 minutes, reeling off crazy “historical” dates like JFK getting shot in December 1983 until Vince finally reins him in and Bob spits out that he’s running for President.  This trainwreck went absolutely nowhere.  Much like this show.

Bam Bam Bigelow v. IRS

Bigelow has new upbeat babyface music and elaborate flaming gear for his entrance.  This was SO not the way to get him over as a top babyface.  IRS runs away from Bigelow to start and we take a break after 2:00 of stalling.  Back with Bigelow in control, but he misses the diving headbutt and IRS comes back with clotheslines to take over.  And then it’s the abdominal stretch to really rev up the excitement and he pounds away before pulling off the turnbuckle, but Bigelow sends him into it for the pin at 5:00.  That’s a hell of a way to kick off Bigelow’s big run, selling the whole match for the most boring wrestler alive and then having to cheat to beat him.  ½*

Next week:  Shawn Michaels returns to face King Kong Bundy, as we get a video package about him to waste MORE airtime and wrap it up.    Holy balls was this a pathetic show, with two craptastic feature matches and a whole lot of recaps.  Hopefully King of the Ring will help to improve the quality.topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250 topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.08.95 Wed, 03 Sep 2014 01:37:27 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.08.95

Taped from Omaha Beach, Normandy

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler, with no green screen this time!

Jeff Jarrett v. Doink the Clown

Thankfully, Hollygate ’95 has been cleared up, and Jarrett emerged on the Action Zone as the Intercontinental champion, thus ending the one week reign of Abeyance.  They should put that guy in the Hall of Fame, as he’s a multiple time WWE champion and Intercontinental champion.  This is of course non-title, because DOINK.  Doink works the arm while Roadie polishes the belt, but a blind charge hits boot.  Sadly, Jarrett makes the cardinal error of pointing to his head to indicate intelligence, and Doink rolls him up for two as a result.  Never point to your head!  Jarrett takes over with a cheapshot and chokes him out on the ropes, but Doink comes back with a sunset flip for two.  Jarrett goes to a chinlock as we take a break, and return with Jarrett going to work on the leg, but Doink escapes with a clownzuigiri that sadly misses.  Back to the leg for Jarrett with a half-crab, but he gets caught cheating and is forced to break.  Onto the sleeper, but Jarrett puts his head down and Doink gets a DDT to come back.  Powerslam gets two.  Jarrett retreats to the corner and Dink bites his ass to allow Doink to get the Stump Puller (!) but Roadie comes in behind the ref’s back and clips Doink.  Figure-four finishes at 9:27.   Good little match!  **3/4 I’m wondering if this was Steve Lombardi instead of Ray Apollo, because he was a bit bulkier and wrestled a totally different style.

Meanwhile, the Bodydonnas introduce the world to SUNNY.  So that one ended up working out well for them.  Really, had it been 10 years later, they would have been perfect as the anti-vampire fundamentalists from True Blood.  Except they could have been “converting” ugly people.

Meanwhile, Bam Bam Bigelow reflects on stuff and has some really deep thoughts, man.  Vince really, really wanted fetch to happen, but it just wasn’t going to.  But next week, he starts going through the Million Dollar Team with IRS.

Sid joins us for an interview, as Ted Dibiase takes credit for suggesting Sid as a bodyguard to Shawn Michaels because he wanted this to happen all along. Sid is going to powerbomb Diesel through the mat and win the title on Sunday.  Not to argue with the man, but if he powerbombs Diesel through the mat, he can’t pin him, so his strategy is a bit iffy.

Hakushi v. Gary Scott

Hakushi puts the jobber down with a clothesline and throws chops, but Scott gets a bodypress for two.  Hakushi pounds him down again and follows with a front suplex, then finishes with a pretty awesome springboard splash at 2:30.  No wonder they turned him babyface.

In Your House Report with Todd.  Diesel cutting a serious babyface promo is kind of laughable.  Also, there will be NO REPLAY.  Until now, when you can watch it whenever you want for only $9.99 a month!

Bart Gunn v. Owen Hart

So yes, this is seriously the main event.  Bart works the arm for a while, but Fuji trips him up and Owen runs him into the post to take over.  Back in, Bart with a sunset flip for two, but the Owenzuigiri gets two.  We take a break and return with Owen in control.  Lawler notes that on Sunday he’ll give Bret “a bunch of piledrivers.”  Talk about telegraphing your strategy.  Bart comes back with a superplex, but now Cornette hooks the leg to block it.  Owen looks to finish, but Billy Gunn trips up Owen and he crotches himself.  Bart rolls him up for the pin at 8:30 off that.  This was fine.  **

Meanwhile, Todd and Stephanie check out the house that is being given away.  General Electric stove!  Real ceilings!  The fine print notes that the house has a value of $140,000.  My house is 600 square feet and a bazillion years old in the cheap part of the city and we still paid $170,000 for it.  Was the Orlando housing market in the toilet or was that place just a dump?

Next week:  IRS v. Bam Bam Bigelow starts out Bigelow’s quest to destroy Ted Dibiase!  Definitely a better show than the previous shows in the taping cycle.



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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.01.95 Tue, 02 Sep 2014 05:38:43 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.01.95

Taped from Omaha, New Brunswick.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

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

The Allied Powers v. George Anderson & Tom Hagan

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

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

Bob Holly v. Butler Stevens

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

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

Mantaur v. Sonny Rogers

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

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

Sid v. Razor Ramon

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

Adam Bomb v. Dave Sigfreid

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

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

Men on a Mission v. Kevin Kruger & Bill Duke

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

Next week:  Owen Hart v. Bart Gunn!  Does that really even warrant an exclamation point?  Those of you complaining about tonight’s RAW count yourself lucky you didn’t have to sit through this instead.topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250 topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.24.95 Mon, 01 Sep 2014 06:32:04 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.24.95

Live from Omaha, NB

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

The Smoking Gunns v. Barry Horowitz & The Brooklyn Brawler

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

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

Bertha Faye v. La Pantera Serena

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

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

WWF World title:  Diesel v. Bam Bam Bigelow

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

Aldo Montoya v. The Black Phantom

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

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

Next week:  Sid v. Razor Ramon!  It couldn’t possibly be any worse than this show was.  Most of these are just boring but this was actively awful for the entire thing.  But then if you had told me that the one random cameo from a castoff WCW guy here would end up changing the business forever, I certainly wouldn’t have believed you.  So this one has some history going for it, at the very least.topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250 topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.17.95 Sat, 30 Aug 2014 05:25:28 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.17.95

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

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

Taped from Poughkeepsie, NY

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

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

Duke Droese v. Jean Pierre Lafitte

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

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

Doink the Clown v. Roy Raymond

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

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

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

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

Undertaker feels like drinking and driving is a bad idea.

Henry Godwinn v. Rich Myers

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

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

Next week:  Diesel v. Bam Bam Bigelow!  This show can suck it.topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250 topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250 topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120 topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.10.95 Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:02:55 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.10.95

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

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

Taped from Poughkeepsie, NY.

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

Tatanka v. Adam Bomb

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

The Headshrinkers v. Mike Bell & Tony Devito

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

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

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

Kama v. Scott Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

Another good show this week.

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 03.20.95 Mon, 25 Aug 2014 03:36:30 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 03.20.95

Taped from Stockton, CA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette

Razor Ramon v. Henry Godwinn

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

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

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

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

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

King Kong Bundy v. Raven Clarke & Adam Croomes

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

Wrestlemania Report with Todd.  Nothing new here.

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

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

Next week:  Bret Hart v. Owen Hart, (one last) one last time!  topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250 topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 03.13.95 Sun, 24 Aug 2014 06:52:55 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 03.13.95

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

Live from Stockton, CA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette

The Blu Twins v. The Headshrinkers

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

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

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

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

Jeff Jarrett v. Barry Horowitz

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

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

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

Bret Hart v. Jerry Lawler

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

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

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


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HTC Action Figure Sale – Spread The Word! Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:02:20 +0000 HTC Action Figure Sale 500x250

Hey HTC Readers,

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

Just let me know if you’re interested.


Dude Love – Jakks Classic Variant: $25

Dude Love - Variant

Jeff Hardy – Jakks Classic: $25

Jeff Hardy - Debut

CM Punk – Walmart Exclusive: $20

CM Punk - Walmart Exclusive

HHH – Jakks Classic: $35

Triple H - Debut

Hulk Hogan & Classy Freddie Blassie: $35

Hogan and Blassie - 30

Slam City Arena – $20

Slam City Arena

Sheamus vs The Ultimate Warrior Two-Pack: $45

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.27.95 Fri, 22 Aug 2014 07:09:42 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.27.95

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

Taped from Macon, GA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette

Lex Luger v. Tatanka

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

Owen Hart v. Larry Santo

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

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

Doink the Clown v. BOB COOK

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

Kama v. Ken Raper

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

Next week:  Shawn Michaels v. The British Bulldog in what turns out to be a pretty great match!topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120 topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.20.95 Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:59:00 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.20.95

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

Live from Macon, GA.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette

Bam Bam Bigelow v. Gary Sabaugh

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

Adam Bomb v. Rip Rogers

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

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

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

Jacob & Eli Blu v. Mark Starr & Leroy Howard

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

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

WWF World title:  Diesel v. Jeff Jarrett

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

Next week:  Lawrence Taylor is here with a (taped) interview to respond to Bam Bam.  Plus Lex Luger v. Tatanka for the millionth time.  It’s RAW 100!topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250 topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.06.95 Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:02:10 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.06.95

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man Mountain Rock v. Charlie Hunter

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

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

Mantaur v. Leroy Howard

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

Razor Ramon v. Frankie Lancaster

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

Henry Godwinn v. Bill Weaver

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

Next week:  The dog show! 

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

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

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 01.30.95 Tue, 19 Aug 2014 06:27:49 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 01.30.95

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

Taped from Palmetto, FL

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

Over The Top Challenge:  Mabel v. King Kong Bundy

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

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

Hakushi v. Ricky Santana

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

Aldo Montoya v. David Sierra

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

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

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

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

Kama v. Jumbo Barretta

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

Next week:  Lex Luger & MOM v. The Corporation!  That one has “fourth week of the taping” written all over it.topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250 topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.28.94 Tue, 05 Aug 2014 05:09:54 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.28.94

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

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

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

Owen Hart v. John Paul

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

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

Adam Bomb v. IRS

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

Bob Holly v. Tony Devito

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

Meanwhile, Henry Godwinn is coming.  Just accept it.

Lex Luger v. Bert Centino

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

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

The Heavenly Bodies v. Gary Scott & Buck Quartermaine

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

Next week:  Jeff Jarrett v. British Bulldog, which actually features an important debut!  Welcome to the Diesel Power era!  Ringside tickets are much cheaper in this era.topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250 topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120

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The SmarK Rant for WWF Survivor Series 1994 Mon, 04 Aug 2014 04:36:05 +0000 The SmarK Rant for WWF Survivor Series 1994

Live from San Antonio, TX

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Gorilla Monsoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Mr. Bob Backlund FEELS LIKE GOD.

Casket Match: Undertaker v. Yokozuna

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

The Pulse

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


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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.21.94 Thu, 31 Jul 2014 05:10:34 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.21.94

Taped from the Fernwood Country Club in Bushkill yet again.

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

Razor Ramon v. Diesel

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

Tatanka v. Chris Canyon

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

Adam Bomb v. Jason Ahrnedt 

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

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

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

IRS v. Matt Hardy

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

Razor Ramon v. Diesel

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

Next week:  Some crazy shit goes down after the PPV.topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250 topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.14.94 Sun, 27 Jul 2014 03:57:44 +0000 The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.14.94

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

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Ted Dibiase

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

Mabel v. The Blue Phantom

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

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

Jeff Jarrett v. Gary Sabaugh

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next week:  Razor Ramon v. Diesel!topstory500x250-×250.jpg|topstory500x250 topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120

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A2Z Analysiz: WWF SummerSlam 1991 (Hulk Hogan, Sgt. Slaughter) Sat, 26 Jul 2014 16:00:01 +0000 summerslam 88-92

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MATCH #3: Natural Disasters vs. Bushwhackers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sid Justice is the special guest referee. Hogan is the current WWE Champion at this point. He starts the match with Slaughter and dominates, even taking time to take shots at Adnan and Mustafa. Warrior tags in and he continues the beating. After a few minutes Slaughter resorts to dirty tactics to take control of Hogan, and now the Triangle of Terror takes over. Mustafa locks on the Camel Clutch and Warrior comes in to break it up. Hogan gets beat on and triple-teamed for several minutes. Slaughter goes to the top rope and Warrior walks over and shoves him to the floor. Great spot. That allows Hogan to make the hot tag and Warrior is a house afire. Warrior accidentally runs into Justice, who of course doesn’t move. While Warrior and Justice stare at each other Slaughter takes the opportunity to reclaim control. Eventually Warrior ducks a clothesline and levels Slaughter with one of his own. Hogan gets the hot tag and he unloads on Slaughter. He hits the Big Boot and all hell breaks loose. Warrior chases Mustafa and Adnan to the back with a chair, leaving Hogan and Slaughter alone in the ring. Justice gets distracted by Warrior with the chair and doesn’t see Hogan throwing powder in Slaughter’s eyes. Hogan hits the Leg Drop and Justice counts really fast to give Hogan and Warrior the win at 12:43. That felt rushed and never really got going anywhere all that interesting, even with Sid out there.
Rating: **topstory120x120-×120.jpg|topstory120x120 topstory500x250-|topstory500x250

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