The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – 09.13.18
It’s more females featured this week, although the content dump is once again pretty thin so I’ll have to supplement with something else. We’ll see what we can find!
Legend of the Phoenix
OVW Women’s title: Beth Phoenix v. Katie Lea v. ODB (10.14.06)
I didn’t realize ODB was in the WWE developmental system, actually. Really odd to see her with “normal” gear and normal sized boobs, too. Katie Lea went on to a bizarre incest storyline on the main roster with Paul Burchill that thankfully went nowhere. ODB and Katie double-team Beth with a double hiptoss, but ODB quickly turns on Lea. Katie gets a small package for two, but Phoenix saves. ODB tries a piledriver on Lea, but Katie rolls her up for two. Beth attacks Katie again, but ODB saves and goes for Lea again with a fallaway slam, but Beth swoops in with a two off that. ODB beats on her in the corner and gets a facebuster for two, and we take a break. Back with ODB holding a bearhug on Katie, but Beth steals another two count off that. ODB hangs Lea in the Tree of Woe and sends Beth into her with a drop toehold, but she stops to play the celebratory trumpet and gets caught with a sleeper by Lea. And then Beth gets a sleeper on Lea for the dreaded TRIPLE SLEEPER, which is perhaps one of the stupidest spots in wrestling history. I just hate it so much for whatever reason. Beth escapes and grabs a chair from outside while the ref is distracted by an exposed turnbuckle, but Lea gets two on ODB in the meantime. ODB goes up and everyone fights in the corner in a sloppy sequence, and that of course sets up the Tower of Doom spot. Beth gets two on Lea off that. Lea sends Beth into the post to get rid of her and hits a samoan drop on ODB for two, but Beth grabs the title belt and nails Lea for two. And then Serena Deeb runs in for the DQ at 10:53. This was kind of a mess, with all three looking super-green and unsure of how to pace the match. 0 for 1.
Thinking On Your Feet (06.08.12)
So this is Renee Paquette (Young)’s audition tape, as the director gives her a pet grooming tool and tells her to sell people on it in two minutes. Which she does. I dunno, an interesting curiosity, I guess. 0 for 2.
Forging a Path
Kaitlyn v. Rosa Mendes (01.16.11)
From FCW and this is gonna be a trainwreck. Rosa kind of shoves her into the ropes and gets two, but tries a slam and Kaitlyn falls on top for two. Rosa with a suplex for two and goes to a chinlock. Kaitlyn escapes that deadly predicament, but charges and gently hits the post, almost managing to miss the corner. Rosa chokes her out in the corner, but Kaitlyn escapes with an electric chair and makes the comeback. A slam gets two and the flatliner finishes at 4:35. This was as terrible as predicted. 0 for 3.
Yeah, this was a lot of nothing, so let’s check out the Collections and see what we’ve got.
So we spin the wheel of randomness and get…Jeff Jarrett: Ain’t He Great! Well, let’s see if there’s anything cool or rare in here.
I Just Loved It
Jeff talks about his grandmother selling wrestling tickets in the 40s and learning the business from his father.
Challenging a King
Unified World title: Jerry Lawler v. Jeff Jarrett (05.06.90)
From USWA (Texas version), so Lawler is a heel. Lawler offers him the chance to crawl on his hands and knees and beg for mercy, but shockingly Jarrett declines that offer. Jerry stays away and struts for a bit and offers JJ another chance to quit, but again the offer is politely declined. So Lawler struts away from him again and cuts a THIRD promo about what a punk Jarrett is, as we’re 4:00 into the match with barely a lockup thus far. Jarrett finally gets a dropkick and Lawler runs away and regroups with Ronnie Gossett, but Jarrett runs Lawler into his own manager, hoisted by his own petard. And we take a break and hopefully something happens during the commercial. Back with, you guessed it, Jerry Lawler walking around the ring and complaining while trying to hide a chain in his tights. Finally he decks Jarrett with the chain to take over and then pantomimes slamming Jarrett to sell the story to the ref in a funny bit. Gossett gets some cheapshots in and slips the chain back to Lawler for some choking. And then Lawler fabricates a story about a nervehold to sell the story to the ref this time. You have to admire his dedication to the lie. Lawler gets another shot with the chain and chokes Jarrett out, then mockingly uses the Von Erich Claw on him to really get the Sportatorium crowd all riled up. Jarrett makes the comeback and they collide for the double-down. JJ comes back and slugs away on Lawler, with a dropkick for two. Snap suplex, but Gossett takes the ref and Jarrett goes after him like a moron. Lawler gets the chain yet again, but Jarrett steals it, knocks out Lawler, and apparently gets the pin and the title at 11:31. At which point the referee sees the chain on his hand and declares Lawler the winner by DQ instead. This was very, very Memphis, even though it was in Texas. 1 for 4. And then it’s BEDLAM and MADNESS as the heels all storm the ring and lay out Jarrett. Interesting point as the announcer mentions that this is the last match on the show, so everyone has gone home and there’s no one to save Jarrett. Finally Billy Travis makes the save and chases off the heels.
Money on a Pole
$10,000 Battle Royal (12.15.90)
More from the Texas USWA days, as there’s $10,000 in a bag on the pole in the corner, and the first person to climb and grab the money wins. We’ve got Jeff Jarrett of course, and Eddie Gilbert, Doug Gilbert, Jeff Gaylord, Chris Champion, Brickhouse Brown, Chris Champion, Jamie Dundee, Nightmare Danny Davis, Todd Morton (the SPITTING IMAGE of Ricky) Dirty White Boy, Bill Dundee, and others. So we take a break after a bunch of people try to climb the pole, and return with only a few left. Chris Champion gets pinned by Eddie Gilbert’s brass knuckles, leaving Jarrett against the Gilberts. Eddie of course hits his poor idiot brother with the knuckles and Jarrett pins Doug, then climbs up the pole and claims the money at 7:07 to win the match. Just a battle royal. 1 for 5.
Just What the Doctor Ordered
GWF Southern Heavyweight title: Jeff Jarrett v. Dr. Tom Prichard (04.15.91)
So now we’re apparently into the Global era, and this is a street fight. I thought that GWF didn’t launch until later in 1991, though, so I’m confused by the description here. Notably, Global never had a Southern heavyweight title, so this must still be USWA and the designation is because of the weirdness with the ownership of the footage or something. Dr. Tom immediately takes off his boot and beats Jarrett down and out to the floor. Back in, Prichard hits him with his own title belt and beats on him in the corner, but Jarrett finds the bell hammer and makes a comeback. Prichard finds a chain in his tights, but the referee takes it away and Jarrett finds his OWN chain and beats on Tom with it. But then Prichard finds a THIRD chain and puts Jarrett down with it. We take a break and return with Dr. Tom still using the chain and hiding it from the ref. It’s a STREET FIGHT! Why is the referee stopping them from street fighting? Next, Tom steals Jeff’s own weight belt and whips him with it, but Jarrett gets Prichard’s boot and hits him with it for two. The accessories are flying now, boy! Jarrett goes after evil manager Tojo Yamamoto and steals his kendo stick, going to work on Prichard with that for two, and then regaining his weight belt and using that. Prichard goes for another chain, but Jarrett rolls him up for the pin at 11:00 to retain the title. Tom doesn’t take it well and hangs Jarrett with a dog collar chain to take out his frustrations. Pretty entertaining, but basic, match. 2 for 6.
A Model Competitor
Rick Martel v. Jeff Jarrett (10.28.92)
Yup, it’s Jarrett’s dark match tryout from 1992, complete with time code on the hard camera. It must be somewhere on the Tennessee circuit because the crowd clearly knows and loves Jarrett already. Martel gets a cheapshot on the ropes and runs away to start, then grabs a headlock and demonstrates his jumping jack ability. Martel pounds on him in the corner and chokes him out, but Jarrett rolls him up for two and goes to the armbar. He tries a monkey flip and Martel blocks that and slams him to take over, then goes to work on the back. Jarrett fights back with an atomic drop and clothesline, and a dropkick gets two. Martel misses a charge and hits the post, and Jeff gets a DDT for the pin at 6:20. Huh. Really entertaining match, and Jarrett got over huge as a fired up babyface and you’d watch this and think he was going to be a star in that role, so of course they brought him in as a heel. 3 for 7.
Double J, Ha Ha Ha
Jarrett talks about the death of the territories, how he almost went to WCW in 1990, and then the vignettes that introduced him as JJ.
Greatness Spelled Out
Next up, all 12 original vignettes that built up his debut. First up, Jarrett complains about “fat boy” Garth Brooks getting the big push in country music when a local boy like himself can’t get a record deal. So he’s gonna use the likes of Randy Savage and Bret Hart to springboard to a music career and end up in the Country Music Hall of Fame. That’s some questionable logic. I will say, I appreciate the catchphrase because at least I’ll always know it’s spelled Jeff Jarrett. I still have trouble remembering all the A’s and O’s in Faarooq’s name.
Vignette #2 sees Jarrett complaining about supposed country stars who can’t actually sing (oh, the irony) and also he’ll take on the Undertaker or the Steiner Brothers.
Vignette #3 and he’s at Tootsie’s Lounge on the soapbox about corrupt politics in country music, like Soapbox Willie and Billy Ray Cyrus. Also, he’ll slap Razor Ramon around and 1-2-3 Kid. The man knows how to segue.
Vignette #4 and we’re at the Grand Ole Opry, still going on about the corrupt music business, which is dead and buried, just like Undertaker. Also, we’re gonna rename the WWF into the “Double J F”. Well that certainly would have prevented any legal entanglements with the Fund.
Vignette #5 and we’re off to the recording studio (with a cameo from Miss Texas, aka Jacqueline) as JJ tells off the substandard guitar player and threatens to play it himself.
Vignette #6 and Jarrett introduces Buddy Lee’s cousin RP Lee (played by Ronnie Gossett in a role that was just a one week joke) as they storm into Buddy’s offices looking for a record deal.
Vignette #7 and Jarrett is campaigning against Nashville selling out and merchandising itself. They should call it T-SHIRT CITY instead of Music City! Sick burn, JJ.
Strutting Into WWE
Jeff Jarrett v. Chris Duffy (12.18.93)
So after all that, Jarrett finally makes his debut on Superstars, wearing a bizarrely garish people and orange outfit. Duffy gets some brief offense with a hiptoss and slam, but he misses an elbow and Jarrett runs his face in the mat while challenging Undertaker, Bret Hart and Randy Savage simultaneously. DDT finishes at 1:49. Shouldn’t that be “The Double J-T” or something like that? 3 for 8.
We’ll skip over all the usual PPV and RAW matches and move to 1999 for quite the rarity to finish up…
Meeting the Future Head On
WWF tag team titles: Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart v. The Hardy Boyz (03.20.99)
This is from Shotgun Saturday Night, a couple of months after they won the titles. Matt misses an elbow and Jarrett dropkicks him. Matt gets a small package for two and the Hardyz get a double suplex, but Jeff misses a charge and it’s over to Owen. He stomps Jeff down while the announcers discuss how no one likes the Public Enemy and wants them gone. Meanwhile, Jeff hits the springboard moonsault for two and clotheslines Owen to the floor, then follows with a dive while Cole hypes up Steve Austin v. Big Show for RAW in the match that immediately destroyed Big Show as a potential tippy top guy for years. Owen comes back with a missile dropkick and Jarrett comes in with a fistdrop for two on Jeff and takes him down with the armbar. Jeff comes back with a dropkick on both guys and makes the hot tag to Matt, who hits a neckbreaker on Jarrett before Jeff comes in with the Whisper in the Wind on Owen. Owen dumps Jeff, however, the Stroke finishes Matt at 5:10. Everyone just meshed fantastically well here and this was a great TV match. 4 for 9.
So yeah, the Jarrett stuff was actually some real Hidden Gems this week, especially that Shotgun match at the end and a surprisingly good tryout against Rick Martel. Give it a look sometime!