The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – 05.28.18
More new stuff added this week! So let’s do this chronologically again.
Davey Boy Smith v. Dynamite Kid (10.29.82)
We’re back in Stampede Wrestling, from a broadcast where Ed Whalen was not doing commentary. Joined with Kid beating on Smith and getting a backbreaker for two. Kid headbutts him down and pounds on Davey, but Smith comes back with a monkey flip and an impressive press slam for two. Hey, Stampede is coming to Saskatoon on November 8! Sadly I was only 8 years old at the time, plus I lived in Vancouver. But otherwise I would have been there. Davey with a small package for two, and a powerslam for two. Backbreaker gets two, and a piledriver sets up a diving headbutt, which misses. He tries another powerslam and gets two, but then decides to pick up Kid and hit another one for two. He picks up Kid AGAIN and I feel like this is going to backfire on him. And indeed, the ref gets bumped by Kid, as Davey goes up and misses another flying headbutt. Kid hangs him in the Tree of Woe and drops an elbow RIGHT ON HIS GODDAMN BALLS, and that is clearly enough for the pin at 5:41. Holy shit, he hit him so hard in the nuts that Harry Smith is probably still sore from it. 1 for 1. Dynamite cuts a hell of a heel promo afterwards as well.
“The Hammer Pays the Piper”
Greg Valentine v. Roddy Piper (07.09.83)
This is some kind of house show footage from Mid-Atlantic, with Greg Valentine as US champion but not defending here. No commentary, but there’s multiple camera angles, so I’m not sure what it’s about. The heat here is amazing even before the match starts, and I’m kind of surprised they never crossed paths once they got to the WWF together. Greg immediately talks a walk, but they slug it out and Piper beats the hell out of him in the corner and sends him running away for good reason. Back in, Hammer throws forearms to put Piper down in the corner, but Roddy fights back and sends him fleeing into the crowd again. This is some awesomely old school “old ladies yelling at the heel” type of crowd heat here. Back in, Greg wants another boxing match, so Piper destroys him and follows him with a high knee, but Greg gets a cheapshot to the ribs and follows with a backbreaker to take over. Piper necks him on the top rope, however, and sticks a thumb in his eye to end that burst of offense. Valentine returns the favor and throws some forearms in the corner to regain the offense, and kicks Piper in the head to block a backdrop. Well that’s effective. They head to the floor and Hammer runs him into the post and chokes him on it, but Piper fights back from the apron. Back in, Hammer stupidly tries another boxing match and Piper beats his ass and follows with a kneelift as Hammer takes a face-first bump right out of the ring, and Piper sends him into the post to the delight of the old ladies in the front row. Back in, Valentine is busted open, so Piper slugs away on the cut with a smile and then comes off the middle rope with another punch. Valentine goes for the injured ear, so Piper grabs the hair and they tussle on the mat that way until Piper makes another comeback and fires away on Hammer with punches that put him on the floor again. Back outside and now Piper grabs the rope that serves as a barricade and he chokes out Hammer with that as the crowd goes crazy for it, and that’s a DQ at 13:44, obviously. So he tries to hang Valentine until a parade of guys pull him off and Hammer is able to escape with his windpipe intact. This time. This was GREAT, a legit **** match where they did nothing but punch each other and it was still fantastic because they’re great pro wrestlers. 2 for 2.
“Meet the Lugar”
Rick Rude v. Frankie Lane (10.16.84)
From Florida TV, as Lane works Rude’s arm while Percy Pringle and his new find known only as “The Lugar” watch from ringside. Rude quickly takes over and pounds Lane with elbows before going to a chinlock and hitting a fistdrop off the middle rope for two. Lane gets another comeback, but Rude finishes him with the DDT in 4:30. So Pringle cuts a promo and introduces a video of The Lugar working out. They didn’t even trust him to talk at this point, so there wasn’t much to this besides the novelty of Luger’s debut. 2 for 3.
“The Natural Legacy” (09.08.88)
Dusty Rhodes introduces his 18 year old son Dustin on Florida TV, who looks terrified to be on TV at this point. A quick promo from Dusty, who promises great things for his son. Another cool curiosity, but nothing to it as a promo. 2 for 4.
“A Lesson from Funk University” (02.23.89)
More from Florida, as Oliver Humperdink is trying to find someone to deal with this Dustin Rhodes kid, and decided that Terry Funk was sick and twisted enough to do the deed. So Terry sends in a video from Texas, introducing a new word to our vocabulary: A “Dusty”, which is a 150 pound frame with 50 pounds of added fat, 50 pounds of added obesity, and 50 pounds of hot air, giving you a 300 pound blob. So Terry demonstrates how to deal with Dusties by taking a chainsaw to a wooden representation of Dusty. And apparently if you breed that 300 pound blob to a slutty overbearing bar-maid, you get a “Dustin”. This was…quite the deal. I’ll give it a point in case Terry decides to chase me down with a chainsaw. 3 for 5.
“At Ease, Yoko!”
Sgt. Slaughter v. Kokina Maximus (04.29.90)
We’re in the thick of the Team Challenge Series in the AWA here, and Kokina is looking positively svelte at this point in his career. Greg Gagne on commentary stresses that the winner of the Series gets ONE MILLION DOLLARS, so this is very important. Geez, no wonder Verne went out of business if he was giving out those kinds of payoffs. Amazingly, both of these guys went on to be WWF champion after this. Whole lot of nothing to start as neither guy goes down for a shoulderblock and Kokina stalls and yells at the crowd. I know what you’re thinking, “What crowd?” Kokina pounds on Sarge for a bit, but Slaughter gives him the old wind-up Popeye punch and sends him flying out of the ring. Wrestling Physics 101: Windmilling your arm before delivering a punch results in a 100-200% increase in force. It’s just science. Slaughter slugs away in the corner and dodges a Kokina avalanche, but the Slaughter Cannon only gets two because Adnan runs in for the DQ at 6:45. 3 for 6.
Kokina v. Rod Neal
This is a dark match tryout for Kokina from 1992 at a Superstars taping, tacked onto the end of the previous segment like a hidden track on a CD. He’s already getting fatter, too. He throws the jobber around and elbows him down, then follows with some slams and chokes him out before putting him down with a superkick and finishing with a Rock Bottom and big splash at 2:30. A very impressive squash, actually. 4 for 7.
And we’ll pick it up again in a couple of days!