Monday Nitro – October 21, 1996

Monday Nitro #58
Date: October 21, 1996
Location: Mankato Civic Center, Mankato, Minnesota
Attendance: 4,034
Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko

Reviewed by Tommmy Hall

It’s FINALLY the last show before Halloween Havoc which took forever to get to. The main event tonight is Benoit vs. Savage which should be good, although it probably won’t be up to their capabilities due to the whole Liz thing from last week. This should be a better show than last week’s which was nothing all that interesting. Let’s get to it.

We open with talking about Savage and the Liz tape from last week. Larry reiterates that WCW needs a leader.

Chris Jericho vs. Bobby Eaton

Should be good. Tony says Sting is here and has a match scheduled with JL. Syxx and NWO Sting are here. After a break we’re ready to go. Patrick is referee and is still hurt. Jericho speeds things up to start and hits a dropkick and shoulder block to control early. Eaton comes back with a bad powerslam for no cover. Jericho hits the springboard dropkick to put Eaton outside. If Jericho wasn’t so pale I’d think he was the Cheetah Kid from last week.

Eaton works on the arm back in the ring. They slug it out and this match probably needs to end soon. They’re just not clicking out there. Jericho sends him into the post and they hit the floor. The Canadian’s elbow hits the post but Eaton misses a shot and stumbles up the aisle. Back in and Eaton hooks a swinging neckbreaker for no cover. A top rope kneedrop mostly hits for two. Jericho hits something like a jumping superkick and then a missile dropkick for the pin.

Rating: D+. Really surprising here as the match didn’t click at all for the most part. The ending was a lot better but other than that they looked totally out of sync. Jericho would get a lot better and I don’t think Eaton would be around much longer after this. Jericho would get Syxx on Sunday.

Jericho says that in six days he’ll get the first win over the NWO. He actually would, but it wouldn’t be until World War 3.

Video on Mysterio and how awesome he is.

Dean Malenko vs. Jimmy Graffiti

Graffiti is more commonly known as Jimmy Del Ray of the Heavenly Bodies. Graffiti takes over early and looks pretty stupid in his shirt with the word Graffiti on it and jean shorts. A Batista Bomb gets two for Graffiti as does a superkick. Malenko comes back and knocks him to the floor where he lands on the top of his head. Fake Sting is watching this and filming it. This prompts Tony and Larry to discuss if Rey has joined the NWO.

Dean hits a clothesline in the corner and a suplex but the Cloverleaf is broken up. Graffiti gets in his bit of jobber offense and they both go to the floor off a Malenko cross body. Back in and Graffiti tries something resembling a dropkick but gets caught in a powerbomb kind of move. The Cloverleaf ends this clean. It gets the Power Pin of the Week which is a sponsorship thing despite it not being a pin.

Rating: C-. Just a long squash here as Graffiti was never any threat to Deano Machino. I really don’t know why they brought in Del Ray of all people but he was fine for a jobber role I suppose. Dean would get the title back from Rey on Sunday before losing it to Ultimo Dragon at Starrcade.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Craig Pittman

We get a montage of Diamond Cutters before the match. Teddy is with Pittman here. He really didn’t have a good group of guys around this time. Teddy and Patrick get in an argument about 2 seconds after the bell rings. Page rams Pittman into Long to take over quickly. This has all the makings of a squash. Page pancakes him down for two. Pittman kicks out and shoves Page onto Patrick, injuring the referee’s back to a big pop. Out to the floor for a bit where Pittman works on the arm. Code Red (cross armbreaker) goes on but Teddy distracts the referee for no apparent reason. Diamond Cutter ends this.

After the too short to rate match, Teddy is accused of being NWO. He yells at Patrick and Patrick says it was Teddy’s fault, which is true.

Tony talks to Nick who says he didn’t hear Page give up. He’s accused of being the NWO referee again and he says it’s Randy Anderson again.

We look back at two weeks ago where Flair was attacked to write him off TV for his legit shoulder injury. We also see Jarrett challenging the Giant for Havoc.

Ron Studd vs. Jeff Jarrett

Flair comes out to watch this match. He gets in the ring before it starts and tells Jarrett to strut. The fans aren’t all that thrilled. Flair struts and gets cheered, so they do it again. Ric shakes Jarrett’s hand and that’s that. The match actually starts now and Studd is a giant. Jarrett manages a suplex and a bad figure four ends this.

Jarrett says it’s time for WCW to band together to take out the NWO. Also Giant won’t be able to chokeslam him. Flair comes up and says that he’ll be back to get his revenge for his injury.

Hour #2 begins. The announcers talk as usual.

Lex Luger vs. Roadblock

Roadblock weighs about 400lbs. He goes right after Luger and that doesn’t work all that well for him. A clothesline sends Roadblock to the floor and he’s rammed into various metal things. Back in Luger slams him but can’t hit the jumping elbow. In an inset interview, Anderson says that time is running out on Lex and he’ll make him quit Sunday. A kneedrop gets two for Roadblock. Luger starts Hulking Up and calls for the Rack but drops the big guy twice. The third time works and Roadblock insta-taps.

Rating: D+. Just a basic power match for a hero to show off like Luger did here. Roadblock was another huge guy that did practically nothing while the other guys would beat him up and it was supposed to be impressive. I think Luger would beat Anderson on Sunday in one of Anderson’s last big time matches.

Buy the NWO Shirt!

Lee Marshall is in Phoenix and Nitro is there next week. Why did they keep doing that? I still don’t get it.

Harlem Heat vs. American Males

Eric talks about the Braves beating New York tonight, which he says needs to become a tradition. It’s a jab at Vince so Heenan cracks up. Eric says this is non title but Patrick holds up the titles anyway. More WWF jabs as Riggs vs. Ray starts us off. Power vs. speed here with the power team taking over, hitting a World’s Strongest Slam to put Riggs down. Bagwell comes in and we talk about Savage a bit.

Marcus throws Stevie over the top but it’s momentum or whatever despite Bagwell THROWING HIM OVER THE ROPES. We take a break and come back with Booker getting worked over by Bagwell. Booker powerbombs him down and the Outsiders are here. The NWO wants Nitro apparently. Stevie pounds away and since that’s the extent of his offense it’s back to Booker. The Hangover misses and here’s Riggs again. Everything breaks down and Riggs goes after the Heat’s managers, allowing the Harlem Side Kick to end him.

Rating: D. This was really boring as the Heat seemed completely uninterested. The Males would be split up next month as Bagwell would turn heel for the first of about 8,000 times. This wasn’t much of a match and it wasn’t very good, primarily due to Booker having to do all of the work for his team.

Faces of Fear vs. Fantastics

The Fantastics? REALLY? They brought these guys out of mothballs? Don’t get me wrong: they were my favorite 80s NWA tag team so I’m not complaining, but this is late 1996. This falls under the category of Greg Valentine. This would be their only WCW match too. Fulton chops away at Meng and he’s like dude….no. The announcers talk about Savage some more and they’re not sure if he’s here, despite him being scheduled for the main event.

A double dropkick puts Meng on one knee and the announcers say that the Fantastics have no chance in this. Eric keeps telling us the Braves score because that’s required for some reason. Fulton tries to fight back and Eric laughs when he punches and kicks. A piledriver kills him dead but Fulton makes the save. The double headbutt hits and Eric is all happy because Sting might be here. Hot tag brings in Rogers and he gets in some offense but his cross body gets caught and a big boot from Meng ends this.

Rating: D-. I love the Fantastics, but I have NO idea what they were thinking bringing them in here. They looked old and pale and the Faces of Fear destroyed them. It was a total squash and Eric was burying them on commentary. It’s not like they were a regular team either. This was their only match in WCW and I think Rogers would go to ECW for awhile. I don’t get this one at all.

Remember that Liz video that Eric was afraid messed Savage up? Let’s watch it again, because that’ll get Randy’s head straight right? Liz still loves him is the point of this. Eric says he has more footage for later.

JL vs. Sting

And it’s the NWO Sting. The whole NWO comes out to watch. A few fans are fooled for a bit but it becomes clear what’s going on pretty quickly. The NWO comes out of the crowd sans Hogan. Total squash and the Deathlock looks to end it in like a minute, but the REAL Sting comes out. He’s in all black and has white facepaint. The match is thrown out.

Sting debuts the Death Drop and he destroys the Fake Sting. The NWO lets this happen so everyone thinks Sting is NWO. He hooks the Deathlock and the NWO comes in. DiBiase offers him a spot on the team and the whole team tries to tempt him. Eric is WAY too intense about this. I get that it’s supposed to be serious but he gets all melodramatic about it.

Hall asks a legit question: what does Sting have to show for carrying the WCW banner this whole time? Sting talks about the Fake Sting and says the real version may or may not be in their price range. The only thing for sure about him is that nothing’s for sure. He leaves and you can hear the money being printed from here.

Chris Benoit vs. Randy Savage

Eric has left to try to flag down Savage. Here’s Savage but he’s all in black and they’re “street clothes”. I’m not sure what street people walk down looking like that but I don’t think I want to be there. Eric apologizes and rolls some tape. It’s from the 3 Ninjas movie set with Hogan hosting things for lack of a better term. Hogan talks to the director and says he has a lot of things he needs to do and that it can’t go over budget.

The NWO takes over production of the film. Giant is the new director, Hogan is producing and Liz has a cameo. Hogan makes Liz say she loves Randy. Hogan is in a wig here and it’s really not working for him. This is really bad. Hogan sends Liz to his trailer with Giant escorting her. Hogan comes into the trailer and yells at her. He and Giant talk a bit more to end this.

Back in the arena Savage isn’t sure what to do. There’s no match of course. Savage says it just occurred to him how fragile friendships and relationships can be. Business and marriages can be fragile too. Life is also fragile and with that Savage leaves. Eric calls him back…and that’s it.

Overall Rating: D-. Really weak show here, which is the second in a row. Havoc sucked and the Savage vs. Hogan match was a big reason why. It wound up being a comedy match and Savage was just fine after the last two weeks of him being all mopey and depressed. This built up the PPV a bit but overall, there wasn’t much here. At least we don’t have to hear the words Slim Jim’s every 8 seconds now.

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Monday Nitro – October 21, 1996

Monday Nitro #58
Date: October 21, 1996
Location: Mankato Civic Center, Mankato, Minnesota
Attendance: 4,034
Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko

Reviewed by Tommmy Hall

It’s FINALLY the last show before Halloween Havoc which took forever to get to. The main event tonight is Benoit vs. Savage which should be good, although it probably won’t be up to their capabilities due to the whole Liz thing from last week. This should be a better show than last week’s which was nothing all that interesting. Let’s get to it.

We open with talking about Savage and the Liz tape from last week. Larry reiterates that WCW needs a leader.

Chris Jericho vs. Bobby Eaton

Should be good. Tony says Sting is here and has a match scheduled with JL. Syxx and NWO Sting are here. After a break we’re ready to go. Patrick is referee and is still hurt. Jericho speeds things up to start and hits a dropkick and shoulder block to control early. Eaton comes back with a bad powerslam for no cover. Jericho hits the springboard dropkick to put Eaton outside. If Jericho wasn’t so pale I’d think he was the Cheetah Kid from last week.

Eaton works on the arm back in the ring. They slug it out and this match probably needs to end soon. They’re just not clicking out there. Jericho sends him into the post and they hit the floor. The Canadian’s elbow hits the post but Eaton misses a shot and stumbles up the aisle. Back in and Eaton hooks a swinging neckbreaker for no cover. A top rope kneedrop mostly hits for two. Jericho hits something like a jumping superkick and then a missile dropkick for the pin.

Rating: D+. Really surprising here as the match didn’t click at all for the most part. The ending was a lot better but other than that they looked totally out of sync. Jericho would get a lot better and I don’t think Eaton would be around much longer after this. Jericho would get Syxx on Sunday.

Jericho says that in six days he’ll get the first win over the NWO. He actually would, but it wouldn’t be until World War 3.

Video on Mysterio and how awesome he is.

Dean Malenko vs. Jimmy Graffiti

Graffiti is more commonly known as Jimmy Del Ray of the Heavenly Bodies. Graffiti takes over early and looks pretty stupid in his shirt with the word Graffiti on it and jean shorts. A Batista Bomb gets two for Graffiti as does a superkick. Malenko comes back and knocks him to the floor where he lands on the top of his head. Fake Sting is watching this and filming it. This prompts Tony and Larry to discuss if Rey has joined the NWO.

Dean hits a clothesline in the corner and a suplex but the Cloverleaf is broken up. Graffiti gets in his bit of jobber offense and they both go to the floor off a Malenko cross body. Back in and Graffiti tries something resembling a dropkick but gets caught in a powerbomb kind of move. The Cloverleaf ends this clean. It gets the Power Pin of the Week which is a sponsorship thing despite it not being a pin.

Rating: C-. Just a long squash here as Graffiti was never any threat to Deano Machino. I really don’t know why they brought in Del Ray of all people but he was fine for a jobber role I suppose. Dean would get the title back from Rey on Sunday before losing it to Ultimo Dragon at Starrcade.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Craig Pittman

We get a montage of Diamond Cutters before the match. Teddy is with Pittman here. He really didn’t have a good group of guys around this time. Teddy and Patrick get in an argument about 2 seconds after the bell rings. Page rams Pittman into Long to take over quickly. This has all the makings of a squash. Page pancakes him down for two. Pittman kicks out and shoves Page onto Patrick, injuring the referee’s back to a big pop. Out to the floor for a bit where Pittman works on the arm. Code Red (cross armbreaker) goes on but Teddy distracts the referee for no apparent reason. Diamond Cutter ends this.

After the too short to rate match, Teddy is accused of being NWO. He yells at Patrick and Patrick says it was Teddy’s fault, which is true.

Tony talks to Nick who says he didn’t hear Page give up. He’s accused of being the NWO referee again and he says it’s Randy Anderson again.

We look back at two weeks ago where Flair was attacked to write him off TV for his legit shoulder injury. We also see Jarrett challenging the Giant for Havoc.

Ron Studd vs. Jeff Jarrett

Flair comes out to watch this match. He gets in the ring before it starts and tells Jarrett to strut. The fans aren’t all that thrilled. Flair struts and gets cheered, so they do it again. Ric shakes Jarrett’s hand and that’s that. The match actually starts now and Studd is a giant. Jarrett manages a suplex and a bad figure four ends this.

Jarrett says it’s time for WCW to band together to take out the NWO. Also Giant won’t be able to chokeslam him. Flair comes up and says that he’ll be back to get his revenge for his injury.

Hour #2 begins. The announcers talk as usual.

Lex Luger vs. Roadblock

Roadblock weighs about 400lbs. He goes right after Luger and that doesn’t work all that well for him. A clothesline sends Roadblock to the floor and he’s rammed into various metal things. Back in Luger slams him but can’t hit the jumping elbow. In an inset interview, Anderson says that time is running out on Lex and he’ll make him quit Sunday. A kneedrop gets two for Roadblock. Luger starts Hulking Up and calls for the Rack but drops the big guy twice. The third time works and Roadblock insta-taps.

Rating: D+. Just a basic power match for a hero to show off like Luger did here. Roadblock was another huge guy that did practically nothing while the other guys would beat him up and it was supposed to be impressive. I think Luger would beat Anderson on Sunday in one of Anderson’s last big time matches.

Buy the NWO Shirt!

Lee Marshall is in Phoenix and Nitro is there next week. Why did they keep doing that? I still don’t get it.

Harlem Heat vs. American Males

Eric talks about the Braves beating New York tonight, which he says needs to become a tradition. It’s a jab at Vince so Heenan cracks up. Eric says this is non title but Patrick holds up the titles anyway. More WWF jabs as Riggs vs. Ray starts us off. Power vs. speed here with the power team taking over, hitting a World’s Strongest Slam to put Riggs down. Bagwell comes in and we talk about Savage a bit.

Marcus throws Stevie over the top but it’s momentum or whatever despite Bagwell THROWING HIM OVER THE ROPES. We take a break and come back with Booker getting worked over by Bagwell. Booker powerbombs him down and the Outsiders are here. The NWO wants Nitro apparently. Stevie pounds away and since that’s the extent of his offense it’s back to Booker. The Hangover misses and here’s Riggs again. Everything breaks down and Riggs goes after the Heat’s managers, allowing the Harlem Side Kick to end him.

Rating: D. This was really boring as the Heat seemed completely uninterested. The Males would be split up next month as Bagwell would turn heel for the first of about 8,000 times. This wasn’t much of a match and it wasn’t very good, primarily due to Booker having to do all of the work for his team.

Faces of Fear vs. Fantastics

The Fantastics? REALLY? They brought these guys out of mothballs? Don’t get me wrong: they were my favorite 80s NWA tag team so I’m not complaining, but this is late 1996. This falls under the category of Greg Valentine. This would be their only WCW match too. Fulton chops away at Meng and he’s like dude….no. The announcers talk about Savage some more and they’re not sure if he’s here, despite him being scheduled for the main event.

A double dropkick puts Meng on one knee and the announcers say that the Fantastics have no chance in this. Eric keeps telling us the Braves score because that’s required for some reason. Fulton tries to fight back and Eric laughs when he punches and kicks. A piledriver kills him dead but Fulton makes the save. The double headbutt hits and Eric is all happy because Sting might be here. Hot tag brings in Rogers and he gets in some offense but his cross body gets caught and a big boot from Meng ends this.

Rating: D-. I love the Fantastics, but I have NO idea what they were thinking bringing them in here. They looked old and pale and the Faces of Fear destroyed them. It was a total squash and Eric was burying them on commentary. It’s not like they were a regular team either. This was their only match in WCW and I think Rogers would go to ECW for awhile. I don’t get this one at all.

Remember that Liz video that Eric was afraid messed Savage up? Let’s watch it again, because that’ll get Randy’s head straight right? Liz still loves him is the point of this. Eric says he has more footage for later.

JL vs. Sting

And it’s the NWO Sting. The whole NWO comes out to watch. A few fans are fooled for a bit but it becomes clear what’s going on pretty quickly. The NWO comes out of the crowd sans Hogan. Total squash and the Deathlock looks to end it in like a minute, but the REAL Sting comes out. He’s in all black and has white facepaint. The match is thrown out.

Sting debuts the Death Drop and he destroys the Fake Sting. The NWO lets this happen so everyone thinks Sting is NWO. He hooks the Deathlock and the NWO comes in. DiBiase offers him a spot on the team and the whole team tries to tempt him. Eric is WAY too intense about this. I get that it’s supposed to be serious but he gets all melodramatic about it.

Hall asks a legit question: what does Sting have to show for carrying the WCW banner this whole time? Sting talks about the Fake Sting and says the real version may or may not be in their price range. The only thing for sure about him is that nothing’s for sure. He leaves and you can hear the money being printed from here.

Chris Benoit vs. Randy Savage

Eric has left to try to flag down Savage. Here’s Savage but he’s all in black and they’re “street clothes”. I’m not sure what street people walk down looking like that but I don’t think I want to be there. Eric apologizes and rolls some tape. It’s from the 3 Ninjas movie set with Hogan hosting things for lack of a better term. Hogan talks to the director and says he has a lot of things he needs to do and that it can’t go over budget.

The NWO takes over production of the film. Giant is the new director, Hogan is producing and Liz has a cameo. Hogan makes Liz say she loves Randy. Hogan is in a wig here and it’s really not working for him. This is really bad. Hogan sends Liz to his trailer with Giant escorting her. Hogan comes into the trailer and yells at her. He and Giant talk a bit more to end this.

Back in the arena Savage isn’t sure what to do. There’s no match of course. Savage says it just occurred to him how fragile friendships and relationships can be. Business and marriages can be fragile too. Life is also fragile and with that Savage leaves. Eric calls him back…and that’s it.

Overall Rating: D-. Really weak show here, which is the second in a row. Havoc sucked and the Savage vs. Hogan match was a big reason why. It wound up being a comedy match and Savage was just fine after the last two weeks of him being all mopey and depressed. This built up the PPV a bit but overall, there wasn’t much here. At least we don’t have to hear the words Slim Jim’s every 8 seconds now.

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NXT – March 14, 2012

NXT
Date: March 14, 2012
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Josh Matthews, William Regal

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

With this show, half of NXT has been in this season. I can’t believe that. I mean, it feels like we’ve been at that point for years and years. Anyway, Regal is in his second week in power now and hopefully something changes because last week was the same thing as we’ve always had. Tonight’s big match is a mixed tag with Bateman/Kaitlyn vs. Maxine/Curtis. Let’s get to it.

Striker and Regal are in the ring to open the show. Regal is the Official Match Coordinator. Tonight is all tag matches.

Titus O’Neil/Darren Young vs. Usos

The heels make fun of the Siva Tao on their way to the ring. Titus gets beaten down in the corner almost immediately. The Usos double team and use some nice coordination for a corner splash for two on O’Neil. Darren comes in and walks into an uppercut from Jey. Young gets launched over the top in the corner and Jimmy hits a cross body off the apron. Jey takes out Titus and we’re almost in squash territory here.

We take a break and come back with Jimmy and Darren slugging it out, won by Darren. Back to Titus who rams Jimmy into the corner and it’s right back to Darren. The heels double team well enough to send Jimmy into the apron and out to the floor. The beating continues for awhile until Jimmy gets something like a superkick up in the corner to take Young down. There’s the double tag to bring in Titus and Jey. The place erupted for the tag and then just kind of stopped caring. They’ve been hot so far though. Samoan Drop takes down Titus and the Superfly Splash gets the pin at 8:05.

Rating: C. Not bad and I’m sure it won’t lead anywhere for the Usos. They’ve been dominant on this show forever but can’t get a title run because we need to see Kofi and whatever partner he has this week beat the champions but not be able to get the titles. The match was fine though.

Percy Watson and Alex Riley talk about basketball in the back. They have a tag match later tonight. Reks and Hawkins come in and Regal pops up (this was earlier in the day apparently) to make the tag match. If Reks/Hawkins lose, they’re doing Regal’s laundry.

Curt Hawkins/Tyler Reks vs. Alex Riley/Percy Watson

Watson starts with Reks but gets caught in the wrong corner. The double teaming allows Reks to take over and Watson is in trouble early. A knee drop gets two. Off to Hawkins and the chinlock. This is a really dull match. Unlike the previous one which built up a hot tag, this has been Reks and Hawkins in control from the star with nothing interesting at all. Watson comes back with a belly to belly throw and there’s the tag to Riley with no pop from the crowd this time. Riley is now the Rare Breed. Oh boy. Riley takes Hawkins down but a distraction from Reks allows Hawkins to slam him off and hit a top rope elbow for the pin at 5:05.

Rating: D. Like I said during the match, this wasn’t interesting at all. Reks and Hawkins are the villains of the show I guess but they’re not doing anything interesting. Granted that’s probably because they lose half of the time and haven’t done anything but be annoying so far. Hopefully Riley and Watson don’t team together that often as they’re not that interesting.

Maxine is leaving a note for Striker when Kaitlyn runs in and rams into her. She’s playing tag with Bateman apparently. Someone canceled Kaitlyn’s flight again but Maxine says she doesn’t know anything about that. Bateman comes in as does Curtis who apparently wants a fourway. In the ring that is. Apparently there really was a game of tag going on.

Here’s Michael McGillicutty in street clothes. On the way to the ring we see a recap of his feud with Kidd. McGillicutty gets on the fans for being pathetic and demands respect. Kidd talking about hanging out with Bret Hart is lame too. No rematch either. Here’s Tyson to talk about how he’s been with the Harts since he was 16. McGillicutty says that no matter what he does, Kidd will never be a Hart. Kidd hits him with the mic and they go to the floor. Tyson tries for a Sharpshooter but Michael runs away. McGillicutty agrees to the rematch.

Raw ReBound makes sure the main event isn’t that long.

Kaitlyn/Derrick Bateman vs. Maxine/Johnny Curtis

Regal says Bateman was raised by nuns. No joke there, just a statement of fact. The girls start and Maxine gets taken down a lot. Apparently that was Regal’s office they were in rather than Striker’s. Maxine is frustrated and we take a break. Back with the guys in there and Curtis taking him to the mat by the leg. Curtis keeps looking at Kaitlyn and dancing for her which results in a Bateman rollup for two. Regal works in an Exotic Adrian Street reference for you old time fans. Kaitlyn slaps Curtis and the falling bulldog gets the pin at 3:32. Since a good bit of that was on a commercial no rating, but this was nothing.

Kaitlyn hugs Bateman’s mom as she leaves.

Bateman says that Maxine can go with whomever she wants, be it Curtis or Regal. Regal: “Wait what?” Bateman says tag, you’re it to Kaitlyn and kisses her to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. So that’s NXT for the week. It ran about 45 minutes, there were three tag matches which weren’t very good, there’s a new couple which we pretty much knew would happen and I won’t think about this show again until next week. That’s all NXT is anymore: 45 minutes of subpar wrestling that I don’t think about after I watch it. Why is this just now a revelation?

Results
Usos b. Titus O’Neil/Darren Young – Superfly Splash to O’Neil
Curt Hawkins/Tyler Reks b. Alex Riley/Percy Watson – Top Rope Elbow to Watson
Derrick Bateman/Kaitlyn b. Maxine/Johnny Curtis – Sweetness to Curtis

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NXT – March 14, 2012

NXT
Date: March 14, 2012
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Josh Matthews, William Regal

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

With this show, half of NXT has been in this season. I can’t believe that. I mean, it feels like we’ve been at that point for years and years. Anyway, Regal is in his second week in power now and hopefully something changes because last week was the same thing as we’ve always had. Tonight’s big match is a mixed tag with Bateman/Kaitlyn vs. Maxine/Curtis. Let’s get to it.

Striker and Regal are in the ring to open the show. Regal is the Official Match Coordinator. Tonight is all tag matches.

Titus O’Neil/Darren Young vs. Usos

The heels make fun of the Siva Tao on their way to the ring. Titus gets beaten down in the corner almost immediately. The Usos double team and use some nice coordination for a corner splash for two on O’Neil. Darren comes in and walks into an uppercut from Jey. Young gets launched over the top in the corner and Jimmy hits a cross body off the apron. Jey takes out Titus and we’re almost in squash territory here.

We take a break and come back with Jimmy and Darren slugging it out, won by Darren. Back to Titus who rams Jimmy into the corner and it’s right back to Darren. The heels double team well enough to send Jimmy into the apron and out to the floor. The beating continues for awhile until Jimmy gets something like a superkick up in the corner to take Young down. There’s the double tag to bring in Titus and Jey. The place erupted for the tag and then just kind of stopped caring. They’ve been hot so far though. Samoan Drop takes down Titus and the Superfly Splash gets the pin at 8:05.

Rating: C. Not bad and I’m sure it won’t lead anywhere for the Usos. They’ve been dominant on this show forever but can’t get a title run because we need to see Kofi and whatever partner he has this week beat the champions but not be able to get the titles. The match was fine though.

Percy Watson and Alex Riley talk about basketball in the back. They have a tag match later tonight. Reks and Hawkins come in and Regal pops up (this was earlier in the day apparently) to make the tag match. If Reks/Hawkins lose, they’re doing Regal’s laundry.

Curt Hawkins/Tyler Reks vs. Alex Riley/Percy Watson

Watson starts with Reks but gets caught in the wrong corner. The double teaming allows Reks to take over and Watson is in trouble early. A knee drop gets two. Off to Hawkins and the chinlock. This is a really dull match. Unlike the previous one which built up a hot tag, this has been Reks and Hawkins in control from the star with nothing interesting at all. Watson comes back with a belly to belly throw and there’s the tag to Riley with no pop from the crowd this time. Riley is now the Rare Breed. Oh boy. Riley takes Hawkins down but a distraction from Reks allows Hawkins to slam him off and hit a top rope elbow for the pin at 5:05.

Rating: D. Like I said during the match, this wasn’t interesting at all. Reks and Hawkins are the villains of the show I guess but they’re not doing anything interesting. Granted that’s probably because they lose half of the time and haven’t done anything but be annoying so far. Hopefully Riley and Watson don’t team together that often as they’re not that interesting.

Maxine is leaving a note for Striker when Kaitlyn runs in and rams into her. She’s playing tag with Bateman apparently. Someone canceled Kaitlyn’s flight again but Maxine says she doesn’t know anything about that. Bateman comes in as does Curtis who apparently wants a fourway. In the ring that is. Apparently there really was a game of tag going on.

Here’s Michael McGillicutty in street clothes. On the way to the ring we see a recap of his feud with Kidd. McGillicutty gets on the fans for being pathetic and demands respect. Kidd talking about hanging out with Bret Hart is lame too. No rematch either. Here’s Tyson to talk about how he’s been with the Harts since he was 16. McGillicutty says that no matter what he does, Kidd will never be a Hart. Kidd hits him with the mic and they go to the floor. Tyson tries for a Sharpshooter but Michael runs away. McGillicutty agrees to the rematch.

Raw ReBound makes sure the main event isn’t that long.

Kaitlyn/Derrick Bateman vs. Maxine/Johnny Curtis

Regal says Bateman was raised by nuns. No joke there, just a statement of fact. The girls start and Maxine gets taken down a lot. Apparently that was Regal’s office they were in rather than Striker’s. Maxine is frustrated and we take a break. Back with the guys in there and Curtis taking him to the mat by the leg. Curtis keeps looking at Kaitlyn and dancing for her which results in a Bateman rollup for two. Regal works in an Exotic Adrian Street reference for you old time fans. Kaitlyn slaps Curtis and the falling bulldog gets the pin at 3:32. Since a good bit of that was on a commercial no rating, but this was nothing.

Kaitlyn hugs Bateman’s mom as she leaves.

Bateman says that Maxine can go with whomever she wants, be it Curtis or Regal. Regal: “Wait what?” Bateman says tag, you’re it to Kaitlyn and kisses her to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. So that’s NXT for the week. It ran about 45 minutes, there were three tag matches which weren’t very good, there’s a new couple which we pretty much knew would happen and I won’t think about this show again until next week. That’s all NXT is anymore: 45 minutes of subpar wrestling that I don’t think about after I watch it. Why is this just now a revelation?

Results
Usos b. Titus O’Neil/Darren Young – Superfly Splash to O’Neil
Curt Hawkins/Tyler Reks b. Alex Riley/Percy Watson – Top Rope Elbow to Watson
Derrick Bateman/Kaitlyn b. Maxine/Johnny Curtis – Sweetness to Curtis

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Wrestlemania Challenge: Wrestlemania VIII

The good and bad of the older Wrestlemanias is that the chances of seeing the same match on a PPV 3-4 down the road was slim so it’s harder to compare a Wrestlemania match to a TV match.

Unfortunately Wrestlemania VIII left me with few alternatives. I just did a Savage match so I didn’t want to do Savage-Flair, and if I did which one of their millions (and millions) of WCW matches would I choose. Thought about doing Shawn Michaels – Tito Santana but I couldn’t find a second match of them plus I’m doing both ladder matches for Wrestlemania X.

So I just had to bite my tongue and work with what I had.

And in case you were worried, you won’t get two separate Hogan vs. Sid rants.

Wrestlemania Challenge: Wrestlemania VIII
From The Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana
Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Bret Hart

Yes this isn’t their only encounter. Piper won his first and only WWF singles title at the 1992 Royal Rumble when he defeated The Mountie and received a massive pop. Bret Hart held the title for much of the second half of 1991 until he got screwed (you don’t say?) out of the title by The Mountie and has worked his way back into earning another title shot.

Piper was weighing about 170 pounds for this match as doing the pre-match interview the belt barely fit him even though he had a rolled up leather strap stuck inside of it. Was there a promised cruiserweight title in his future or something? A little lockup and Piper with an armdrag and on second lock up Hart returns the favor (I’m not going to mention it often but Gorilla and Heenan were on fire for this match…and most of this card). They do some amateur stuff that Bret gets the best of and Piper spits at him. Hmmm. They try a little test of strength here, Piper with an armbar but Hart reverses it so Piper goes to the eyes but Hart won’t let go. Piper punches away but Hart won’t let go. Piper sends Hart into the buckle but Hart won’t let go and finally he wrestles Piper to the ground. Piper finally gets out of the hold with an irish whip but Hart hits a drop kick. He fakes a shoulder injury and small packages Piper for two so Piper rightfully slaps him for being a lying cheating little bitch. All right we’re properly warmed up now as Hart tries a high cross body that sends both guys to the floor. Piper holds the ropes open for Hart as the crowd applauds his sportsmanship. Hart decides to check his boots to make sure they are tied and Piper uppercuts him (Good. Protect yourself at all times dumbass. Didn’t Stu teach you that in the dungeon?). Piper lays in some punches and delivers a big bulldog as Hart is busted open. The move gets two. Piper goes to biting and then hits a massive kneelift for two. Piper sets too early and Hart gets a sunset flip for two but Piper rallies back with a punching combo that gets two. Hart battles back and hits a flying forearm that sends Piper tumbling to the floor. He comes back in the ring and a double clothesline knocks both men out.

Piper recovers first and heads to the top but Hart was playing possum again and cuts Roddy off with a facebuster. Inverted atomic drop and a beautiful suplex gets a near fall. Russian legsweep gets two. Classic side breaker and Hart goes for the sharpshooter but Piper blocks it so Hart hits a front elbow drop. Hart climbs to the middle rope and goes for another front elbow but eats boot instead (Crowd is clearly 50-50 at this point). They slug it out n their knees and both men get to their feet but Hart gets the headbutt. Headlock and Piper shoots Hart into the official and clotheslines Hart over the top. Piper follows Hart to the floor and rams him into the steel steps. Piper grabs the ringside bell and the crowd is in HORROR. Heenan continues his hot streak (USE IT! USE IT! WAFFLE HIM WITH IT! Remember the old saying ‘what the hell use the bell’). Piper thinks better of him, however, and goes for the sleeper instead so Hart climbs the ropes and gets a rollover for the pinfall. Piper admits he was outsmarted and does the right thing – awards the belt to the Hitman.

(Hart def. Piper, pinfall, ***1/2, tremendous storytelling and highly entertaining. Wasn’t super long or anything but Piper was working pretty damn stiff.)

And the Challenger

WCW Monday Nitro
February 8, 1999
Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

U.S. Heavyweight Championship: Bret Hart vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

WCW President Ric Flair forced his nemesis at the time, Hart, to defend the title again Piper. Hart claimed a groin injury during a skit on MadTV which everyone knew was fake. There was also something going on with Will Sasso and whatever. Anyway Hart is your heel and Piper is the face in this encounter.

Piper slaps Hart to start and they brawl along the outside with Piper getting the best of the action and he sends Hart back in the ring and gives him a bell ringer. Piper corners Hart and punches but Hart goes to the eyes and slugs Piper back a few times. Piper goes back on the offensive with a heel trip and wants to stomp Hart in the “injured” groin but Hart goes to the ropes and buys some time. Hart stalls for a few minutes and then they slug it back out in the ring until Piper gets the old eye poke in. Hart goes for the choke as the crowd starts cheering for something non-related. Hart acts as if Piper kicked him low (he didn’t) and the WCW trainer (??) comes in the ring to check on Hart as Schiavone protests the fake injury. Piper turns his back and Hart jumps him and works him over in the corner.

Commercial.

We’re back and Hart is choking Piper on the ropes. Russian legsweep and Hart holds the leg and delivers a headbutt to the mid-section. Hart gives Piper and eye burn on the top ropes and hammers away at the challenger in the corner. Side backbreaker gets a two count. Hart clotheslines Piper to the floor and he follows him out. Hart sends Piper to the safety rail and then chokes him out with the television cable. While the referee checks on Piper, Hart runs over and attacks Will Sasso, who was sitting at ringside. Piper sends Hart into the steel steps and back in the ring. Kneelift from Piper and a suplex gets two. Back suplex gets another two count. They slug it out some more and Piper gets the sleeper. Hart backs Piper into the corner where the official was, knocking out the official. Double clothesline sends both men down and gives Hart time to get some knuckle dusters. He whacks Piper with them and goes to revive the official but Sasso pulls the official back long enough for Piper to get a rollup for three!

(Piper def. Hart, pinfall, *1/2, lots of kicking, punching and Will Sasso. No need to track this one down unless you want the full collection of what these two guys have done.)

The Match: Obviously much changed in the nearly seven years between encounters. Bret was trying to establish himself in 1992 and Piper was still pretty healthy. By 1999 Hart wasn’t motivated and Piper was working with a repaired hip. Also this was a Nitro match rather than the major PPV of the year so neither guy was expected to be on their ‘A’ game. Major Edge: Wrestlemania

The Storyline: The Wrestlemania storyline was simple and effective – former champion didn’t get immediate rematch and wanted an opportunity to get the belt back. The fact that Piper and Hart were friends added a twist but the premise was still the same. I have no clue what the WCW storyline was and why Will Sasso needed to be involved. Major Edge: Wrestlemania

Intangibles: Both matches featured title changes on clean pinfalls. You’ll be hard pressed to find many Piper matches better than his Wrestlemania match against Hart. He had quite an encounter with Jack Brisco back in the day and I loved the stuff with Snuka (no Tamina jokes, sorry) but in the interest of fairness there’s no need to compare the effort of a Wrestlemania match with that of a TV match.

Verdict: Wrestlemania by a landslide, even graded on a curve.

Wrestlemania Challenge: Wrestlemania VIII

The good and bad of the older Wrestlemanias is that the chances of seeing the same match on a PPV 3-4 down the road was slim so it’s harder to compare a Wrestlemania match to a TV match.

Unfortunately Wrestlemania VIII left me with few alternatives. I just did a Savage match so I didn’t want to do Savage-Flair, and if I did which one of their millions (and millions) of WCW matches would I choose. Thought about doing Shawn Michaels – Tito Santana but I couldn’t find a second match of them plus I’m doing both ladder matches for Wrestlemania X.

So I just had to bite my tongue and work with what I had.

And in case you were worried, you won’t get two separate Hogan vs. Sid rants.

Wrestlemania Challenge: Wrestlemania VIII
From The Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana
Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Bret Hart

Yes this isn’t their only encounter. Piper won his first and only WWF singles title at the 1992 Royal Rumble when he defeated The Mountie and received a massive pop. Bret Hart held the title for much of the second half of 1991 until he got screwed (you don’t say?) out of the title by The Mountie and has worked his way back into earning another title shot.

Piper was weighing about 170 pounds for this match as doing the pre-match interview the belt barely fit him even though he had a rolled up leather strap stuck inside of it. Was there a promised cruiserweight title in his future or something? A little lockup and Piper with an armdrag and on second lock up Hart returns the favor (I’m not going to mention it often but Gorilla and Heenan were on fire for this match…and most of this card). They do some amateur stuff that Bret gets the best of and Piper spits at him. Hmmm. They try a little test of strength here, Piper with an armbar but Hart reverses it so Piper goes to the eyes but Hart won’t let go. Piper punches away but Hart won’t let go. Piper sends Hart into the buckle but Hart won’t let go and finally he wrestles Piper to the ground. Piper finally gets out of the hold with an irish whip but Hart hits a drop kick. He fakes a shoulder injury and small packages Piper for two so Piper rightfully slaps him for being a lying cheating little bitch. All right we’re properly warmed up now as Hart tries a high cross body that sends both guys to the floor. Piper holds the ropes open for Hart as the crowd applauds his sportsmanship. Hart decides to check his boots to make sure they are tied and Piper uppercuts him (Good. Protect yourself at all times dumbass. Didn’t Stu teach you that in the dungeon?). Piper lays in some punches and delivers a big bulldog as Hart is busted open. The move gets two. Piper goes to biting and then hits a massive kneelift for two. Piper sets too early and Hart gets a sunset flip for two but Piper rallies back with a punching combo that gets two. Hart battles back and hits a flying forearm that sends Piper tumbling to the floor. He comes back in the ring and a double clothesline knocks both men out.

Piper recovers first and heads to the top but Hart was playing possum again and cuts Roddy off with a facebuster. Inverted atomic drop and a beautiful suplex gets a near fall. Russian legsweep gets two. Classic side breaker and Hart goes for the sharpshooter but Piper blocks it so Hart hits a front elbow drop. Hart climbs to the middle rope and goes for another front elbow but eats boot instead (Crowd is clearly 50-50 at this point). They slug it out n their knees and both men get to their feet but Hart gets the headbutt. Headlock and Piper shoots Hart into the official and clotheslines Hart over the top. Piper follows Hart to the floor and rams him into the steel steps. Piper grabs the ringside bell and the crowd is in HORROR. Heenan continues his hot streak (USE IT! USE IT! WAFFLE HIM WITH IT! Remember the old saying ‘what the hell use the bell’). Piper thinks better of him, however, and goes for the sleeper instead so Hart climbs the ropes and gets a rollover for the pinfall. Piper admits he was outsmarted and does the right thing – awards the belt to the Hitman.

(Hart def. Piper, pinfall, ***1/2, tremendous storytelling and highly entertaining. Wasn’t super long or anything but Piper was working pretty damn stiff.)

And the Challenger

WCW Monday Nitro
February 8, 1999
Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

U.S. Heavyweight Championship: Bret Hart vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

WCW President Ric Flair forced his nemesis at the time, Hart, to defend the title again Piper. Hart claimed a groin injury during a skit on MadTV which everyone knew was fake. There was also something going on with Will Sasso and whatever. Anyway Hart is your heel and Piper is the face in this encounter.

Piper slaps Hart to start and they brawl along the outside with Piper getting the best of the action and he sends Hart back in the ring and gives him a bell ringer. Piper corners Hart and punches but Hart goes to the eyes and slugs Piper back a few times. Piper goes back on the offensive with a heel trip and wants to stomp Hart in the “injured” groin but Hart goes to the ropes and buys some time. Hart stalls for a few minutes and then they slug it back out in the ring until Piper gets the old eye poke in. Hart goes for the choke as the crowd starts cheering for something non-related. Hart acts as if Piper kicked him low (he didn’t) and the WCW trainer (??) comes in the ring to check on Hart as Schiavone protests the fake injury. Piper turns his back and Hart jumps him and works him over in the corner.

Commercial.

We’re back and Hart is choking Piper on the ropes. Russian legsweep and Hart holds the leg and delivers a headbutt to the mid-section. Hart gives Piper and eye burn on the top ropes and hammers away at the challenger in the corner. Side backbreaker gets a two count. Hart clotheslines Piper to the floor and he follows him out. Hart sends Piper to the safety rail and then chokes him out with the television cable. While the referee checks on Piper, Hart runs over and attacks Will Sasso, who was sitting at ringside. Piper sends Hart into the steel steps and back in the ring. Kneelift from Piper and a suplex gets two. Back suplex gets another two count. They slug it out some more and Piper gets the sleeper. Hart backs Piper into the corner where the official was, knocking out the official. Double clothesline sends both men down and gives Hart time to get some knuckle dusters. He whacks Piper with them and goes to revive the official but Sasso pulls the official back long enough for Piper to get a rollup for three!

(Piper def. Hart, pinfall, *1/2, lots of kicking, punching and Will Sasso. No need to track this one down unless you want the full collection of what these two guys have done.)

The Match: Obviously much changed in the nearly seven years between encounters. Bret was trying to establish himself in 1992 and Piper was still pretty healthy. By 1999 Hart wasn’t motivated and Piper was working with a repaired hip. Also this was a Nitro match rather than the major PPV of the year so neither guy was expected to be on their ‘A’ game. Major Edge: Wrestlemania

The Storyline: The Wrestlemania storyline was simple and effective – former champion didn’t get immediate rematch and wanted an opportunity to get the belt back. The fact that Piper and Hart were friends added a twist but the premise was still the same. I have no clue what the WCW storyline was and why Will Sasso needed to be involved. Major Edge: Wrestlemania

Intangibles: Both matches featured title changes on clean pinfalls. You’ll be hard pressed to find many Piper matches better than his Wrestlemania match against Hart. He had quite an encounter with Jack Brisco back in the day and I loved the stuff with Snuka (no Tamina jokes, sorry) but in the interest of fairness there’s no need to compare the effort of a Wrestlemania match with that of a TV match.

Verdict: Wrestlemania by a landslide, even graded on a curve.

Titles and Injuries

Two questions for you Scott.

1. In a time when the company’s main title rarely changed hands, why is it that twice in the early/mid 90s, the World Heavyweight Championship changed hands at house shows (Bret Hart and Diesel respectively)? I’m not merely asking why those people, more why not on a Raw or PPV?

2. Curious as to what you thought were the most significant injuries in wrestling history in regard to their impact on the company or another wrestling? Austin being out for much of 2000 allowed The Rock to elevate even higher, HHH missing 2001 was odd for the Invasion, but perhaps allowed Angle to get more respect.

 

1.  Generally when they suddenly do World title changes (or title changes in general) at a house show, it’s because they want to boost house show business by making it seem like ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN at a show.

2.  The biggest by far was Steve Austin’s neck injury in 1997.  Not even just because it forced him to reinvent his style, but it forced them to reinvent the entire style of the PROMOTION.  Austin was the one who started the garbagy main event brawling style that defined them for years afterwards.  Further, because he couldn’t work and they wanted him on TV anyway, he had to go out and do 20 minute interviews and crazy backstage stuff to disguise his health problems.  Yeah, Bret and Shawn did monologuing with each other to further their fake/real feud before then, but Austin was the pioneer of the time-filling promo segment where he had no specific feud but just went out and talked trash to get himself over even more.  Again, that’s now part of the accepted template for WWE, and it was something that didn’t even exist until Austin was forced to create it.

 

Titles and Injuries

Two questions for you Scott.

1. In a time when the company’s main title rarely changed hands, why is it that twice in the early/mid 90s, the World Heavyweight Championship changed hands at house shows (Bret Hart and Diesel respectively)? I’m not merely asking why those people, more why not on a Raw or PPV?

2. Curious as to what you thought were the most significant injuries in wrestling history in regard to their impact on the company or another wrestling? Austin being out for much of 2000 allowed The Rock to elevate even higher, HHH missing 2001 was odd for the Invasion, but perhaps allowed Angle to get more respect.

 

1.  Generally when they suddenly do World title changes (or title changes in general) at a house show, it’s because they want to boost house show business by making it seem like ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN at a show.

2.  The biggest by far was Steve Austin’s neck injury in 1997.  Not even just because it forced him to reinvent his style, but it forced them to reinvent the entire style of the PROMOTION.  Austin was the one who started the garbagy main event brawling style that defined them for years afterwards.  Further, because he couldn’t work and they wanted him on TV anyway, he had to go out and do 20 minute interviews and crazy backstage stuff to disguise his health problems.  Yeah, Bret and Shawn did monologuing with each other to further their fake/real feud before then, but Austin was the pioneer of the time-filling promo segment where he had no specific feud but just went out and talked trash to get himself over even more.  Again, that’s now part of the accepted template for WWE, and it was something that didn’t even exist until Austin was forced to create it.

 

Titles and Injuries

Two questions for you Scott.

1. In a time when the company’s main title rarely changed hands, why is it that twice in the early/mid 90s, the World Heavyweight Championship changed hands at house shows (Bret Hart and Diesel respectively)? I’m not merely asking why those people, more why not on a Raw or PPV?

2. Curious as to what you thought were the most significant injuries in wrestling history in regard to their impact on the company or another wrestling? Austin being out for much of 2000 allowed The Rock to elevate even higher, HHH missing 2001 was odd for the Invasion, but perhaps allowed Angle to get more respect.

 

1.  Generally when they suddenly do World title changes (or title changes in general) at a house show, it’s because they want to boost house show business by making it seem like ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN at a show.

2.  The biggest by far was Steve Austin’s neck injury in 1997.  Not even just because it forced him to reinvent his style, but it forced them to reinvent the entire style of the PROMOTION.  Austin was the one who started the garbagy main event brawling style that defined them for years afterwards.  Further, because he couldn’t work and they wanted him on TV anyway, he had to go out and do 20 minute interviews and crazy backstage stuff to disguise his health problems.  Yeah, Bret and Shawn did monologuing with each other to further their fake/real feud before then, but Austin was the pioneer of the time-filling promo segment where he had no specific feud but just went out and talked trash to get himself over even more.  Again, that’s now part of the accepted template for WWE, and it was something that didn’t even exist until Austin was forced to create it.

 

Titles and Injuries

Two questions for you Scott.

1. In a time when the company’s main title rarely changed hands, why is it that twice in the early/mid 90s, the World Heavyweight Championship changed hands at house shows (Bret Hart and Diesel respectively)? I’m not merely asking why those people, more why not on a Raw or PPV?

2. Curious as to what you thought were the most significant injuries in wrestling history in regard to their impact on the company or another wrestling? Austin being out for much of 2000 allowed The Rock to elevate even higher, HHH missing 2001 was odd for the Invasion, but perhaps allowed Angle to get more respect.

 

1.  Generally when they suddenly do World title changes (or title changes in general) at a house show, it’s because they want to boost house show business by making it seem like ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN at a show.

2.  The biggest by far was Steve Austin’s neck injury in 1997.  Not even just because it forced him to reinvent his style, but it forced them to reinvent the entire style of the PROMOTION.  Austin was the one who started the garbagy main event brawling style that defined them for years afterwards.  Further, because he couldn’t work and they wanted him on TV anyway, he had to go out and do 20 minute interviews and crazy backstage stuff to disguise his health problems.  Yeah, Bret and Shawn did monologuing with each other to further their fake/real feud before then, but Austin was the pioneer of the time-filling promo segment where he had no specific feud but just went out and talked trash to get himself over even more.  Again, that’s now part of the accepted template for WWE, and it was something that didn’t even exist until Austin was forced to create it.

 

Titles and Injuries

Two questions for you Scott.

1. In a time when the company’s main title rarely changed hands, why is it that twice in the early/mid 90s, the World Heavyweight Championship changed hands at house shows (Bret Hart and Diesel respectively)? I’m not merely asking why those people, more why not on a Raw or PPV?

2. Curious as to what you thought were the most significant injuries in wrestling history in regard to their impact on the company or another wrestling? Austin being out for much of 2000 allowed The Rock to elevate even higher, HHH missing 2001 was odd for the Invasion, but perhaps allowed Angle to get more respect.

 

1.  Generally when they suddenly do World title changes (or title changes in general) at a house show, it’s because they want to boost house show business by making it seem like ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN at a show.

2.  The biggest by far was Steve Austin’s neck injury in 1997.  Not even just because it forced him to reinvent his style, but it forced them to reinvent the entire style of the PROMOTION.  Austin was the one who started the garbagy main event brawling style that defined them for years afterwards.  Further, because he couldn’t work and they wanted him on TV anyway, he had to go out and do 20 minute interviews and crazy backstage stuff to disguise his health problems.  Yeah, Bret and Shawn did monologuing with each other to further their fake/real feud before then, but Austin was the pioneer of the time-filling promo segment where he had no specific feud but just went out and talked trash to get himself over even more.  Again, that’s now part of the accepted template for WWE, and it was something that didn’t even exist until Austin was forced to create it.

 

Titles and Injuries

Two questions for you Scott.

1. In a time when the company’s main title rarely changed hands, why is it that twice in the early/mid 90s, the World Heavyweight Championship changed hands at house shows (Bret Hart and Diesel respectively)? I’m not merely asking why those people, more why not on a Raw or PPV?

2. Curious as to what you thought were the most significant injuries in wrestling history in regard to their impact on the company or another wrestling? Austin being out for much of 2000 allowed The Rock to elevate even higher, HHH missing 2001 was odd for the Invasion, but perhaps allowed Angle to get more respect.

 

1.  Generally when they suddenly do World title changes (or title changes in general) at a house show, it’s because they want to boost house show business by making it seem like ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN at a show.

2.  The biggest by far was Steve Austin’s neck injury in 1997.  Not even just because it forced him to reinvent his style, but it forced them to reinvent the entire style of the PROMOTION.  Austin was the one who started the garbagy main event brawling style that defined them for years afterwards.  Further, because he couldn’t work and they wanted him on TV anyway, he had to go out and do 20 minute interviews and crazy backstage stuff to disguise his health problems.  Yeah, Bret and Shawn did monologuing with each other to further their fake/real feud before then, but Austin was the pioneer of the time-filling promo segment where he had no specific feud but just went out and talked trash to get himself over even more.  Again, that’s now part of the accepted template for WWE, and it was something that didn’t even exist until Austin was forced to create it.

 

Titles and Injuries

Two questions for you Scott.

1. In a time when the company’s main title rarely changed hands, why is it that twice in the early/mid 90s, the World Heavyweight Championship changed hands at house shows (Bret Hart and Diesel respectively)? I’m not merely asking why those people, more why not on a Raw or PPV?

2. Curious as to what you thought were the most significant injuries in wrestling history in regard to their impact on the company or another wrestling? Austin being out for much of 2000 allowed The Rock to elevate even higher, HHH missing 2001 was odd for the Invasion, but perhaps allowed Angle to get more respect.

 

1.  Generally when they suddenly do World title changes (or title changes in general) at a house show, it’s because they want to boost house show business by making it seem like ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN at a show.

2.  The biggest by far was Steve Austin’s neck injury in 1997.  Not even just because it forced him to reinvent his style, but it forced them to reinvent the entire style of the PROMOTION.  Austin was the one who started the garbagy main event brawling style that defined them for years afterwards.  Further, because he couldn’t work and they wanted him on TV anyway, he had to go out and do 20 minute interviews and crazy backstage stuff to disguise his health problems.  Yeah, Bret and Shawn did monologuing with each other to further their fake/real feud before then, but Austin was the pioneer of the time-filling promo segment where he had no specific feud but just went out and talked trash to get himself over even more.  Again, that’s now part of the accepted template for WWE, and it was something that didn’t even exist until Austin was forced to create it.

 

Wrestlemania Challenge: Wrestlemania VII

I had to revamp my Wrestlemania project because I was going to struggle to get through the matches. I knew I had to do the mixed tag in Wrestlemania VI and then the retirement match in Wrestlemania VII and thinking about all the dead participants got to me.

So after a few days I have decided to go a different direction and put some of Wrestlemania’s greatest (or worst) matches up against matches featuring the same opponents from different cards and deciding which match was better.

It’s a bit of a knockoff of John Petrie’s Slobberknocker Central from the late 90s as I was a big fan of what Petrie did.

It’s a bit of a read but nothing crazy like…um….posting three separate rants from the same card in one post. Who would do something silly like that???

Wrestlemania Challenge: Wrestlemania VII
From the L.A. Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California
Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

“Career-Ending Match”: The Ultimate Warrior vs. “Macho King” Randy Savage

Needless to say this stipulation didn’t amount to much as Savage was in the WWF World title match for Wrestlemania VIII. The storyline isn’t too out-of-bounds. Warrior was the world champion, Savage wanted a title shot and pissed on Warrior’s foot for a while but Warrior wouldn’t relent. So Savage took matters into his own hand and costs Warrior his title at Royal Rumble 1991 (once again doing Hogan’s dirty work, he never did learn). In preparation for this match Warrior ended Brother Love’s career (although he also returned sporadically).

Before the match Heenan brings attention to a special observer in the crowd – Miss Elizabeth, looking as classy and beautiful as she always did. Warrior actually takes a casual stroll to the ring this time as compared to running like an idiot and blowing himself up (I’m guessing Savage recommended he conserve energy). This match definitely set the standards for tassels and streamers in ones ring gear. Warrior’s cloak is full of them and you know the Macho King is second to none with the ring gear complete with the cowboy hat (which he made cool 15 years before sorority girls in the south wore them at every college football game). Savage is of course accompanied by Queen Sherri while Warrior has the voices in his head (who have since left him for Randy Orton). Sherri’s outfit manages to be tacky and sexy at the same time.

They actually stall for about 5-6 minutes to kind of build the importance of this match and while watching this as a teenager you had a feeling they were going to try to get to a special level. I love Elizabeth’s emotional looks too as she’s obviously there for Savage because she loves him but she can’t bring herself to root for him because of the way he always treated her.

Anyway we lock up and Warrior shoves the King down quickly. So Savage removes his shirt. Nice touch. Savage goes on the offensive quick with some cheap moves but a shoulder block sends him to the floor. Sherri distracts Warrior to give Savage an opening but Warrior ends that with a clothesline and a standing choke. Inverted atomic drop from the Warrior and then an atomic drop and back to another choke as Sherri tries to interfere. Warrior thwarts that and ties Savage up in the ropes where he can beat him up some more. Warrior with a shot to the gut but he sets too early and Savage hits him with the boot and the flying clothesline. Savage goes to the top but Warrior catches him, sets him down and slaps him! Fuck man! Savage is PISSED, goes to the floor and tosses a steel chair in the ring. That distracts Warrior long enough for Savage to jump him but Warrior just overpowers the king and stays on the attack. Corner whip for Savage and Warrior follows in to stomp a mudhole in the king and walk it dry. Warrior repeatedly knocks Savage down with one punch but misses a blind charge and tumbles to the floor. Sherri roughs him up on the floor and Savage comes off of the top with the flying axehandle. Sherri continues to beat Warrior up on the floor but Warrior shoves her down and stalks until Savage makes the save and sends Warrior to the post. Sherri comes back for more and hits a kneelift.

Back in the ring and Savage with a slam and the knee drop for two. Savage goes for a reverse neckbreaker but Warrior backslides him for two and we reset. Savage spits on Warrior and runs as Sherri tries to distract him again. It doesn’t work, however and Warrior hits a clothesline but misses the flying shoulderblock. Savage gets a two count and goes to the rest hold to make sure Warrior still has gas left in the tank and build heat for the finish. After a minute or so Warrior breaks the hold but the double clothesline floors both men. Sherri continues to bring the awesome as she tries to revive Savage and then distracts the referee when Warrior gets Savage in an inside cradle. He gets two and bitches to the ref so Savage hits a high knee that sends Warrior into the ref and knocks him out. Savage holds Warrior for Sherri to hit him with her shoe but Warrior moves and she knocks out the king. Warrior is totally perturbed and chases Sherri around but that gives Savage time to roll up Warrior for two (I think he had a handful of tights too, if he didn’t he should have). Warrior goes back on the offensive but Savage sends him into the buckle and adds a hangman slam. Savage with the top rope hangman and back in the ring with a scoop slam for two. Savage goes to the top and hits the big elbow. But this is a retirement match so he hits a second. And well Warrior is a tough opponent so he hits a third. And well because the move is so awesome he hits a fourth. And because nothing should end on four Savage hits a fifth elbow….and gets a two count (still amazingly that finisher wasn’t buried, shows you how awesome Savage was). Warrior is slightly re-energized by the recent events and comes back with punches and three running clotheslines. Press slam time and the big splash gets…two???!?!?! (What the fuck, who does Savage think he is? Hogan?). By the way I was going absolutely apeshit at this point and professing my love for Savage (I was a huge Sherri mark at the time, sue me).

Warrior is shocked that his move didn’t work and he looks up to the top of the L.A. Sports Arena wondering how this happened. He threatens to leave the ring but we wouldn’t be so lucky. Thankfully Savage helps to make up his mind with another cheap shot. Savage drapes Warrior over the railing and goes to the top but Warrior fights Sherri off and catches Savage as he comes to the floor. Warrior has had a change of heart and decides to stick around. Three massive flying shoulderblocks later Warrior sticks his foot on Savage’s chest and gets the dramatic three count to end a wonderful match.

(Warrior def. Savage, pinfall, ****1/4, a great match, a greater storyline though. Savage took Warrior to another level even though Warrior had issues chaining moves together. The dramatics come post-match when Sherri goes mad on Savage and beats the hell out of him until Elizabeth makes the save and they reconcile. It was a beautiful and I’ll admit I might have cried too. Ok, I absolutely lost it when he held the ropes for her. In hindsight it just hammers home how great Sherri was. She was an awesome heel manager and she always took her lumps in the end and sold for everyone from Elizabeth to Sapphire. It’s still a beautiful ending in a lot of ways but given what the future would hold it just doesn’t grip me like it used to. I come away from it missing Sherri…missing Elizabeth…missing Savage and wishing they were all here to talk about it 20 years later. I guess I’m glad Savage had that moment – probably his Wrestlemania moment.)

And the Challenger: Summerslam 1992

Recorded August 29, 1992, aired August 31, 1992 from Wembley Stadium in London, England

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

You wonder why the WWE can’t hold another Summerslam or Wrestlemania or any of their big PPV annuals overseas? Blame the internet.

WWF Championship Match: Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior

This is the lesser known of their two encounters but it may have been the better match. We shall see. The big storyline (and there’s a YouTube Channel that has the full buildup to this match – it was very very good) is which side will Mr. Perfect be on. Of course Perfect was Flair’s advisor and the answer is simple. But we still got sucked in because we watch this to begin with.

The crowd is HOT. I mean lava-esque as the two beloved faces square off. They try a handshake but that doesn’t go well and a good thing too because the crowd wants to see a FIGHT. Savage does this hilarious pre-match stretch routine so Warrior tries it and trips on the ropes. Funny (still is). Finally after a three-minute stall we lockup (what is with these guys and their stalling). Nothing happens. Second lockup and Warrior powers him down. Third lock…nope Savage with a kick to the gut and the flying clotheslines. Then a nasty clothesline to the back of the head for an almost one count. Savage to the top and Warrior catches him on the way down. Big atomic drop grounds Savage. Inverted atomic drop follows as Warrior decided to focus on Savage’s source of Macho. Big clothesline gets two. Warrior gets two shoulderblocks but misses the elbow. Savage goes for the ground and pound and gets the double knee drop for two. Chinlock time as Warrior is probably spent from the fast pace. Nope Warrior with a facebuster and then a face-first slam to the mat for a two count. Warrior sends Savage to the buckle and drops him with a superman punch. A second superman punch drops Savage again. A third and fourth superman punch follow (superman punches are just attempted knockout blows…they of a strong grapple punch instead of just a regular punch). Warrior whips Savage to the other buckle and follows in with ten kicks to the stomach. Short-armed clothesline gets two. Savage tried to go for a leverage move and send Warrior in the buckle but Warrior botches the move so Savage just tries it again and it works. I think he was hoping the editing crew would bail him out. Savage clotheslines Warrior over the top and gets booed?!?!? Crowd is 65-35 for Warrior.

Savage brings Warrior back in for two. Savage goes to the top and hits the double axe but Warrior no sells. Second one does the trick, however, and gets two. Savage goes to the top for a high cross body – a move he’s never had success at – and Warrior catches him in the air and hits a beautiful backbreaker for two. Warrior whips Savage to one corner and then the other. Another superman punch and Savage sells these things great. Warrior whips him to the buckle again and yet again and again. Bearhug but he uses it as an attack move instead of a rest hold – he just grabbed him, squeezed him and dropped him – it got two. Sidewalk slam by Warrior gets two. Look at the moveset there. Savage surprises Warrior with a small package for two. Savage catches Warrior set too early and gives him a swinging neckbreaker and gets two. Savage with the top-rope neck clothesline that gets two. Savage goes for a vertical suplex but the pounding done to his back takes its toll. Warrior pounds on the back with forearms but he’s selling his own neck injury. Big vertical suplex by Warrior gets two. Savage gets to the ropes and Warrior charges but Savage ducks and Warriors goes flying to the outside. Savage goes to the top and hits the double axe. Savage interrupts the count, however, and continues the assault on the outside. Savage sends Warrior into the ring steps – a deadly move in 1992 – and interrupts the count again. Savage sends Warrior into the ring post and at this point he only needs to hit a piledriver to kill him. Savage, however, ignores my wishes and pounds away some more. Back in the ring and a cover gets two as Flair (in wrestling gear) and Perfect stroll to the ring.

Savage finally goes for a piledriver but Warrior reverses it, which Savage transitions into a sunset flip for two. Warrior is up first and hits the clothesline for two. Warrior with a big body slam and he’s still selling the neck injury. Wow. Warrior’s tumbling splash hits knees and Savage’s cover gets two. Double clothesline as the crowd is now pre-occupied with Perfect and Flair. Warrior recovers first and gets two and then Savage covers for two. That must have been a hell of a kickout. Savage goes to the ropes and Perfect trips him. Hmmm. That settles it, Warrior is the sell out. Savage turns his back and Warrior recovers and hits a superman punch but now he’s getting booed. Man they should have just pulled the trigger on this turn. Double choke slam by Warrior. The old reversal corner whip takes out the referee. Body slam by Warrior and he goes to the top and hits the double axe (he gets cheered again). Referee is woozy but gets two. Warrior bitches to the official and Savage uses the distraction to hit the Warrior with a high knee that takes the referee out for good. Piledriver by Savage but he’s got no official. So he goes to check on him and Perfect comes in the ring to revive Warrior…uhh no he holds him so Flair can wallop him with the brass knucks…So Savage is the sell out? Makes sense, they were probably doubling up on Elizabeth anyway (not funny Princess). Bodyslam by Savage and it’s time for the big elbow so we can end this sucker. Elbow hits, Savage GRABS THE TIGHTS too and it only gets two!!! C’mon man (you’re telling me a piledriver, brass knucks, the big elbow and grabbing the tights doesn’t do it? That’s like the heel diamond move set)!

Anyway Warrior starts no-selling because if that doesn’t kill him what will. Clothesline city, we go to London and Liverpool and Manchester (Princess trying too hard to be clever there). Super duper shoulderblock and the crowd is damn near 100% behind the power of the Warrior now. Big press slam and Perfect tries to trip Warrior but Warrior escapes only to run into a chair shot from Flair on the other side. Savage opts not to cover and is starting to wonder what’s going on here. Fuck that man, hit the elbow and let’s get to the pubs (Can I just be a huge Savage mark? Can I? Like a fiend I can. Truly he was my original Shawn Michaels). Savage takes a kick at Perfect but figures it’s time to hit the elbow and be done. Just do it Randy. Trust me. Quit thinking about it…Don’t do…too late he jumps after Flair but Flair is way too smart for that and catches him with a chair, forcing the countout. Then Perfect and Flair goes absolutely apeshit on Savage’s leg. Good god, that was about as emphatic a beatdown as I’ve ever seen in two minutes. Warrior makes the save and chases the bad guys back to the dressing room. Post match sees the good guys make nice with each other. Great match, the lack of a finish and the whole third-party stuff brings it down but I will say this was as good a match as their first encounter.

(Warrior def. Savage, countout, ****1/2. For what its worth, Savage lost the title a week later to Flair. The big blowoff was supposed to be Savage/Warrior vs. Flair/Perfect at Survivor Series but somehow Razor Ramon got involved, Warrior flipped out and everything changed or something like that. But as a one-time affair this was great.)

The Verdict:

Match: I am probably in the minority here but I think the Summerslam match is better and had it had a finish it would have been very close to perfect. As a match goes it’s ****3/4 or maybe ***** but I subtracted for the closing (which probably had to be done to keep with continuity whether I liked it or not). The Wrestlemania match is very good but once Savage didn’t win with the five elbow drops it wasn’t going to happen. They tried to trick us by having Savage kick out of the press slam but still Savage’s percentage of winning that match after Warrior kicked out of the quintuple elbow drop was less than 5%: Clear Edge: Summerslam

Storyline: Both storylines were great. In the Wrestlemania match Warrior was out for revenge and wanted to take the one thing that meant the most to Savage – his career. Savage tweaking the Warrior and baiting him into the match was great stuff too, as was the shock value of causing Warrior to lose to Sgt. Slaughter at Royal Rumble 1991. The Summerslam storyline was part of a triangle with Flair and the “Fair to Flair” stuff was also well done and well executed as it led to an eventual title change. Edge: Wrestlemania

Intangibles: Obviously it’s hard to beat the reconciliation with Elizabeth so it’s not worth discussing. I will say the Summerslam crowd of 80,000 Britons would win out any other time. Major Edge: Wrestlemania.

Decision: Man this is a toughie. I’m going to go with the Wrestlemania match barely and mainly because the surrounding issues, the storyline and the post-match drama edge out the higher quality Summerslam match.

Wrestlemania Challenge: Wrestlemania VII

I had to revamp my Wrestlemania project because I was going to struggle to get through the matches. I knew I had to do the mixed tag in Wrestlemania VI and then the retirement match in Wrestlemania VII and thinking about all the dead participants got to me.

So after a few days I have decided to go a different direction and put some of Wrestlemania’s greatest (or worst) matches up against matches featuring the same opponents from different cards and deciding which match was better.

It’s a bit of a knockoff of John Petrie’s Slobberknocker Central from the late 90s as I was a big fan of what Petrie did.

It’s a bit of a read but nothing crazy like…um….posting three separate rants from the same card in one post. Who would do something silly like that???

Wrestlemania Challenge: Wrestlemania VII
From the L.A. Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California
Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

“Career-Ending Match”: The Ultimate Warrior vs. “Macho King” Randy Savage

Needless to say this stipulation didn’t amount to much as Savage was in the WWF World title match for Wrestlemania VIII. The storyline isn’t too out-of-bounds. Warrior was the world champion, Savage wanted a title shot and pissed on Warrior’s foot for a while but Warrior wouldn’t relent. So Savage took matters into his own hand and costs Warrior his title at Royal Rumble 1991 (once again doing Hogan’s dirty work, he never did learn). In preparation for this match Warrior ended Brother Love’s career (although he also returned sporadically).

Before the match Heenan brings attention to a special observer in the crowd – Miss Elizabeth, looking as classy and beautiful as she always did. Warrior actually takes a casual stroll to the ring this time as compared to running like an idiot and blowing himself up (I’m guessing Savage recommended he conserve energy). This match definitely set the standards for tassels and streamers in ones ring gear. Warrior’s cloak is full of them and you know the Macho King is second to none with the ring gear complete with the cowboy hat (which he made cool 15 years before sorority girls in the south wore them at every college football game). Savage is of course accompanied by Queen Sherri while Warrior has the voices in his head (who have since left him for Randy Orton). Sherri’s outfit manages to be tacky and sexy at the same time.

They actually stall for about 5-6 minutes to kind of build the importance of this match and while watching this as a teenager you had a feeling they were going to try to get to a special level. I love Elizabeth’s emotional looks too as she’s obviously there for Savage because she loves him but she can’t bring herself to root for him because of the way he always treated her.

Anyway we lock up and Warrior shoves the King down quickly. So Savage removes his shirt. Nice touch. Savage goes on the offensive quick with some cheap moves but a shoulder block sends him to the floor. Sherri distracts Warrior to give Savage an opening but Warrior ends that with a clothesline and a standing choke. Inverted atomic drop from the Warrior and then an atomic drop and back to another choke as Sherri tries to interfere. Warrior thwarts that and ties Savage up in the ropes where he can beat him up some more. Warrior with a shot to the gut but he sets too early and Savage hits him with the boot and the flying clothesline. Savage goes to the top but Warrior catches him, sets him down and slaps him! Fuck man! Savage is PISSED, goes to the floor and tosses a steel chair in the ring. That distracts Warrior long enough for Savage to jump him but Warrior just overpowers the king and stays on the attack. Corner whip for Savage and Warrior follows in to stomp a mudhole in the king and walk it dry. Warrior repeatedly knocks Savage down with one punch but misses a blind charge and tumbles to the floor. Sherri roughs him up on the floor and Savage comes off of the top with the flying axehandle. Sherri continues to beat Warrior up on the floor but Warrior shoves her down and stalks until Savage makes the save and sends Warrior to the post. Sherri comes back for more and hits a kneelift.

Back in the ring and Savage with a slam and the knee drop for two. Savage goes for a reverse neckbreaker but Warrior backslides him for two and we reset. Savage spits on Warrior and runs as Sherri tries to distract him again. It doesn’t work, however and Warrior hits a clothesline but misses the flying shoulderblock. Savage gets a two count and goes to the rest hold to make sure Warrior still has gas left in the tank and build heat for the finish. After a minute or so Warrior breaks the hold but the double clothesline floors both men. Sherri continues to bring the awesome as she tries to revive Savage and then distracts the referee when Warrior gets Savage in an inside cradle. He gets two and bitches to the ref so Savage hits a high knee that sends Warrior into the ref and knocks him out. Savage holds Warrior for Sherri to hit him with her shoe but Warrior moves and she knocks out the king. Warrior is totally perturbed and chases Sherri around but that gives Savage time to roll up Warrior for two (I think he had a handful of tights too, if he didn’t he should have). Warrior goes back on the offensive but Savage sends him into the buckle and adds a hangman slam. Savage with the top rope hangman and back in the ring with a scoop slam for two. Savage goes to the top and hits the big elbow. But this is a retirement match so he hits a second. And well Warrior is a tough opponent so he hits a third. And well because the move is so awesome he hits a fourth. And because nothing should end on four Savage hits a fifth elbow….and gets a two count (still amazingly that finisher wasn’t buried, shows you how awesome Savage was). Warrior is slightly re-energized by the recent events and comes back with punches and three running clotheslines. Press slam time and the big splash gets…two???!?!?! (What the fuck, who does Savage think he is? Hogan?). By the way I was going absolutely apeshit at this point and professing my love for Savage (I was a huge Sherri mark at the time, sue me).

Warrior is shocked that his move didn’t work and he looks up to the top of the L.A. Sports Arena wondering how this happened. He threatens to leave the ring but we wouldn’t be so lucky. Thankfully Savage helps to make up his mind with another cheap shot. Savage drapes Warrior over the railing and goes to the top but Warrior fights Sherri off and catches Savage as he comes to the floor. Warrior has had a change of heart and decides to stick around. Three massive flying shoulderblocks later Warrior sticks his foot on Savage’s chest and gets the dramatic three count to end a wonderful match.

(Warrior def. Savage, pinfall, ****1/4, a great match, a greater storyline though. Savage took Warrior to another level even though Warrior had issues chaining moves together. The dramatics come post-match when Sherri goes mad on Savage and beats the hell out of him until Elizabeth makes the save and they reconcile. It was a beautiful and I’ll admit I might have cried too. Ok, I absolutely lost it when he held the ropes for her. In hindsight it just hammers home how great Sherri was. She was an awesome heel manager and she always took her lumps in the end and sold for everyone from Elizabeth to Sapphire. It’s still a beautiful ending in a lot of ways but given what the future would hold it just doesn’t grip me like it used to. I come away from it missing Sherri…missing Elizabeth…missing Savage and wishing they were all here to talk about it 20 years later. I guess I’m glad Savage had that moment – probably his Wrestlemania moment.)

And the Challenger: Summerslam 1992

Recorded August 29, 1992, aired August 31, 1992 from Wembley Stadium in London, England

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

You wonder why the WWE can’t hold another Summerslam or Wrestlemania or any of their big PPV annuals overseas? Blame the internet.

WWF Championship Match: Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior

This is the lesser known of their two encounters but it may have been the better match. We shall see. The big storyline (and there’s a YouTube Channel that has the full buildup to this match – it was very very good) is which side will Mr. Perfect be on. Of course Perfect was Flair’s advisor and the answer is simple. But we still got sucked in because we watch this to begin with.

The crowd is HOT. I mean lava-esque as the two beloved faces square off. They try a handshake but that doesn’t go well and a good thing too because the crowd wants to see a FIGHT. Savage does this hilarious pre-match stretch routine so Warrior tries it and trips on the ropes. Funny (still is). Finally after a three-minute stall we lockup (what is with these guys and their stalling). Nothing happens. Second lockup and Warrior powers him down. Third lock…nope Savage with a kick to the gut and the flying clotheslines. Then a nasty clothesline to the back of the head for an almost one count. Savage to the top and Warrior catches him on the way down. Big atomic drop grounds Savage. Inverted atomic drop follows as Warrior decided to focus on Savage’s source of Macho. Big clothesline gets two. Warrior gets two shoulderblocks but misses the elbow. Savage goes for the ground and pound and gets the double knee drop for two. Chinlock time as Warrior is probably spent from the fast pace. Nope Warrior with a facebuster and then a face-first slam to the mat for a two count. Warrior sends Savage to the buckle and drops him with a superman punch. A second superman punch drops Savage again. A third and fourth superman punch follow (superman punches are just attempted knockout blows…they of a strong grapple punch instead of just a regular punch). Warrior whips Savage to the other buckle and follows in with ten kicks to the stomach. Short-armed clothesline gets two. Savage tried to go for a leverage move and send Warrior in the buckle but Warrior botches the move so Savage just tries it again and it works. I think he was hoping the editing crew would bail him out. Savage clotheslines Warrior over the top and gets booed?!?!? Crowd is 65-35 for Warrior.

Savage brings Warrior back in for two. Savage goes to the top and hits the double axe but Warrior no sells. Second one does the trick, however, and gets two. Savage goes to the top for a high cross body – a move he’s never had success at – and Warrior catches him in the air and hits a beautiful backbreaker for two. Warrior whips Savage to one corner and then the other. Another superman punch and Savage sells these things great. Warrior whips him to the buckle again and yet again and again. Bearhug but he uses it as an attack move instead of a rest hold – he just grabbed him, squeezed him and dropped him – it got two. Sidewalk slam by Warrior gets two. Look at the moveset there. Savage surprises Warrior with a small package for two. Savage catches Warrior set too early and gives him a swinging neckbreaker and gets two. Savage with the top-rope neck clothesline that gets two. Savage goes for a vertical suplex but the pounding done to his back takes its toll. Warrior pounds on the back with forearms but he’s selling his own neck injury. Big vertical suplex by Warrior gets two. Savage gets to the ropes and Warrior charges but Savage ducks and Warriors goes flying to the outside. Savage goes to the top and hits the double axe. Savage interrupts the count, however, and continues the assault on the outside. Savage sends Warrior into the ring steps – a deadly move in 1992 – and interrupts the count again. Savage sends Warrior into the ring post and at this point he only needs to hit a piledriver to kill him. Savage, however, ignores my wishes and pounds away some more. Back in the ring and a cover gets two as Flair (in wrestling gear) and Perfect stroll to the ring.

Savage finally goes for a piledriver but Warrior reverses it, which Savage transitions into a sunset flip for two. Warrior is up first and hits the clothesline for two. Warrior with a big body slam and he’s still selling the neck injury. Wow. Warrior’s tumbling splash hits knees and Savage’s cover gets two. Double clothesline as the crowd is now pre-occupied with Perfect and Flair. Warrior recovers first and gets two and then Savage covers for two. That must have been a hell of a kickout. Savage goes to the ropes and Perfect trips him. Hmmm. That settles it, Warrior is the sell out. Savage turns his back and Warrior recovers and hits a superman punch but now he’s getting booed. Man they should have just pulled the trigger on this turn. Double choke slam by Warrior. The old reversal corner whip takes out the referee. Body slam by Warrior and he goes to the top and hits the double axe (he gets cheered again). Referee is woozy but gets two. Warrior bitches to the official and Savage uses the distraction to hit the Warrior with a high knee that takes the referee out for good. Piledriver by Savage but he’s got no official. So he goes to check on him and Perfect comes in the ring to revive Warrior…uhh no he holds him so Flair can wallop him with the brass knucks…So Savage is the sell out? Makes sense, they were probably doubling up on Elizabeth anyway (not funny Princess). Bodyslam by Savage and it’s time for the big elbow so we can end this sucker. Elbow hits, Savage GRABS THE TIGHTS too and it only gets two!!! C’mon man (you’re telling me a piledriver, brass knucks, the big elbow and grabbing the tights doesn’t do it? That’s like the heel diamond move set)!

Anyway Warrior starts no-selling because if that doesn’t kill him what will. Clothesline city, we go to London and Liverpool and Manchester (Princess trying too hard to be clever there). Super duper shoulderblock and the crowd is damn near 100% behind the power of the Warrior now. Big press slam and Perfect tries to trip Warrior but Warrior escapes only to run into a chair shot from Flair on the other side. Savage opts not to cover and is starting to wonder what’s going on here. Fuck that man, hit the elbow and let’s get to the pubs (Can I just be a huge Savage mark? Can I? Like a fiend I can. Truly he was my original Shawn Michaels). Savage takes a kick at Perfect but figures it’s time to hit the elbow and be done. Just do it Randy. Trust me. Quit thinking about it…Don’t do…too late he jumps after Flair but Flair is way too smart for that and catches him with a chair, forcing the countout. Then Perfect and Flair goes absolutely apeshit on Savage’s leg. Good god, that was about as emphatic a beatdown as I’ve ever seen in two minutes. Warrior makes the save and chases the bad guys back to the dressing room. Post match sees the good guys make nice with each other. Great match, the lack of a finish and the whole third-party stuff brings it down but I will say this was as good a match as their first encounter.

(Warrior def. Savage, countout, ****1/2. For what its worth, Savage lost the title a week later to Flair. The big blowoff was supposed to be Savage/Warrior vs. Flair/Perfect at Survivor Series but somehow Razor Ramon got involved, Warrior flipped out and everything changed or something like that. But as a one-time affair this was great.)

The Verdict:

Match: I am probably in the minority here but I think the Summerslam match is better and had it had a finish it would have been very close to perfect. As a match goes it’s ****3/4 or maybe ***** but I subtracted for the closing (which probably had to be done to keep with continuity whether I liked it or not). The Wrestlemania match is very good but once Savage didn’t win with the five elbow drops it wasn’t going to happen. They tried to trick us by having Savage kick out of the press slam but still Savage’s percentage of winning that match after Warrior kicked out of the quintuple elbow drop was less than 5%: Clear Edge: Summerslam

Storyline: Both storylines were great. In the Wrestlemania match Warrior was out for revenge and wanted to take the one thing that meant the most to Savage – his career. Savage tweaking the Warrior and baiting him into the match was great stuff too, as was the shock value of causing Warrior to lose to Sgt. Slaughter at Royal Rumble 1991. The Summerslam storyline was part of a triangle with Flair and the “Fair to Flair” stuff was also well done and well executed as it led to an eventual title change. Edge: Wrestlemania

Intangibles: Obviously it’s hard to beat the reconciliation with Elizabeth so it’s not worth discussing. I will say the Summerslam crowd of 80,000 Britons would win out any other time. Major Edge: Wrestlemania.

Decision: Man this is a toughie. I’m going to go with the Wrestlemania match barely and mainly because the surrounding issues, the storyline and the post-match drama edge out the higher quality Summerslam match.