Monday Nitro – July 20, 1998

Monday
Nitro #146
Date:
July 20, 1998
Location:
E-Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
There
isn’t much of a main story at the moment other than the Wolfpack is
done feuding with comedy heels and is going after the Black and White
again. We’re moving closer to Road Wild but the show hasn’t even
been mentioned yet. It would appear that we’ll be getting Hogan vs.
Page and Goldberg vs. Hennig, even though we already saw that match.
Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Hall attacking Nash during the big brawl with
the NWOs.
Opening
sequence.
Nitro
Girls.
Here’s
Hall to get things going. There’s no point for a survey tonight
because Salt Lake City is here to see the NWO. The fans don’t seem
to agree but Hall ignores them and goes into a Gilligan’s Island
metaphor. Apparently Hall is tired of laying on the top bunk and
doing all the work while Skipper Nash lays on his back. Nash can’t
lead the Wolfpack since he isn’t even a man, unlike Hogan. A Too
Sweet takes us out.
Tonight
it’s going to be Hart vs. Page for the vacant US Title, even though
Hart hasn’t exactly beaten anyone of note in WCW.
We
go back to Nitro last week for a look at all the Black and White
drama, from Hogan challenging Hall to the match itself to Page
running in and getting beaten down to the Nash stuff.
Stevie
Ray vs. Johnny Boone
Boone
is a jobber who would become a referee. Stevie doesn’t have the belt
tonight because he left it with Booker and his attorney. Total
squash with Ray kicking Boone around like the jobber that he is. Cue
Chavo Guerrero with his Lone Ranger mask and the TV Title as Stevie
Slap Jacks Boone for the pin.
We
look back at Hogan shoving Bagwell out of the wheelchair last week.
Back
from a break and we get an extended version of Hogan and Bagwell.
Here’s
Rick Steiner to talk about what happened to Bagwell last week. When
Gene says talk about Bagwell, Rick goes into a challenge to Scott
Steiner for Road Wild. Here’s Buff in a wheelchair and Rick
immediately apologizes for what happened last week. Rick apologizes
for Bagwell’s injury and says there was no bad intent at all.
Bagwell
says he was mad at Rick to begin with but the injury has changed him.
He loves every single fan and forgives Rick for what happened. They
hug but here’s Scott Steiner with a chair to Rick’s back. Buff pops
up and takes the chair to blast Rick as well. He takes off the neck
brace and his shirt, revealing a Black and White shirt. Buff is
another guy that could have been a big deal with his look and story
with the injury but they just threw him back into the NWO to get lost
in the shuffle.
Back
from a break with more talking but at least it’s Jericho. He talks
about the mental anguish he’s suffered at Malenko’s hands, such as
being attacked and tormented over the memory of his dead father (who
appeared on Thunder a few weeks before). Jericho offers Dean a title
shot next week, but it’s Malenko’s last shot. If he loses, Dean can
just go back to Harry’s Burgers in Tampa and give up on wrestling.
Hall
pops up at the announce table and throws a toothpick in Larry’s face.
He talks about hanging with Hollywood and learning a lot about the
movies. Hall doesn’t want to see Nash’s performance in the sequel to
Terms of Endearment, referring to the sitdown interview with Tenay
that we saw on Thunder.
We
see a parking spot out back labeled “star of the show” but the
car in front of it is wrecked with with windows all cracked and
shattered.
Steve
McMichael vs. Sick Boy
Hey
look a match. Tony tells us that the wrecked car is a reference to
Jay Leno, who always drives a different car to the Tonight Show.
Tony: “That’s all it could be.” Lodi and Sick Boy jump Mongo on
the floor and a clothesline gets two for Sick Boy. Mongo comes right
back with a three point clothesline and the tombstone for the pin in
about a minute.
We
look back at Arn Anderson telling Malenko to let the Horsemen be over
from Thunder.
Nitro
Party winner.
Time
for Bischoff’s talk show, which is now called NWO Night Cap. The
bandleader intros the show again and at least Liz looks good in a
leather dress. Bischoff has a full set now which looks a lot like
the Tonight Show set. The entrances take nearly two minutes before
Bischoff makes some bad jokes about the heat wave, stomach ailments,
Secret Service testimony, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and chickens.
These
are all accompanied by Eric complimenting himself and the band
laughing hysterically. Tony FREAKS OUT because apparently these
jokes are ripped off from the Tonight Show. Eric makes fun of Leno’s
chin and talks about Leno being a disgrace to bikers. This ate up
seven and a half minutes.
Hour
#2 begins. To recap, WCW used their unopposed hour for three and a
half minutes of wrestling, about ten minutes of recaps, a challenge
for a Cruiserweight Title match, and Bischoff’s talk show.
We
see Nash’s sitdown interview from Thunder. The tape cuts out in the
middle and we cut to the production truck with Hall leaving. Nash
walks up and a fight breaks out. They head outside but the Black and
White comes out of a trailer to beat Nash down. The Wolfpack runs in
to help and the huge brawl is on. Enough of that though as we need
to go back to the announcers.
Hart
shows up at the announcers’ table and wants Page right now. We cut
to the back where Konnan is screaming for help and standing over
Page’s writhing body. The trainer comes to check on Page as Bret
heads to the ring. JJ Dillon comes out as well and says the match
will have to be later.
Yuji
Nagata vs. Saturn
Saturn
takes him over with a quick northern lights suplex for two followed
by a quickly broken armbar. Some kicks in the corner drop Nagata but
he comes right back with a release northern lights suplex. Yuji goes
after the leg, only to get caught in a German suplex. We’ve had a
tag title match made for later: Nash/Sting defending against
Giant/Hall. Nagata misses a running knee in the corner and gets
suplexed down for two. Sonny Onoo gets on the apron as Raven runs in
with the Even Flow to Saturn, allowing Nagata to put on the Nagata
Lock for the pin since Saturn can’t tap out.
Rating:
D. This was just there to
announce the tag match and announce the tag title match. Nagata
continues to be one of the least interesting guys you’ll see in this
company throughout its entire run so thankfully this is his last
appearance with the company. He just never gave us a reason to care
about him in the year or so he was around.
Post
match the Flock comes in to lay out the Flock until Kanyon makes the
save. Kidman gets a sick looking middle rope piledriver. Saturn
gets up and hits a Death Valley Driver on Kanyon for his unwanted
help.
We
look at Bret costing Rick Martel a match last week and attacking
Mysterio and Guerrera on Thunder.
Nitro
Girls.
Heenan
is on commentary now.
Tag
Titles: Giant/Scott Hall vs. Sting/Kevin Nash
Nash
and Sting are defending. The Outsiders get us going as Tony talks
about Jay Leno. Hall backs into the corner and tags in Giant for the
big lockup with Giant sending Nash into the corner for a clothesline.
Nash pounds back on Giant and everything breaks down with the
Wolfpack quickly cleaning house. Back in and Sting clotheslines Hall
down as we take a break.
We
come back to see Giant on the floor before coming in for a tag from
Hall. Giant gets in Sting’s face but gets slapped, enraging him
enough that he misses a charge into the corner. A Stinger Splash
hits a boot though and Giant takes over again. Giant can’t hit a
clothesline but Sting’s cross body literally bounces off the big man.
Back to Hall for some right hands and a two count followed by an
abdominal stretch. The Black and White finally gets caught cheating,
which doesn’t change anything but Sting hiptosses out of the hold
anyway.
A
hot tag brings in Nash to clean house for real and finally get his
hands on Hall. Scott escapes Snake Eyes but gets his head kicked off
as everything breaks down again. Sting hits Giant low and bulldogs
him down before getting the hot tag from Nash. Hall is almost in the
Scorpion but here’s Bret Hart to break it up. The distraction lets
Scott hit the Outsider’s Edge for the pin and the titles.
Rating:
C-. The match was nothing of
note but at least Bret is FINALLY doing something. The bad thing to
come out of this though is we get to deal with the Leno promotion.
It’s going to dominate the next few weeks of commentary but there’s
nothing that can be done about it. Nash and Sting losing the titles
is a good thing though as they never made sense as champions in the
first place.
The
announcers recap the show so far. Tony: “I think Diamond Dallas
Page was attacked by Bret Hart.” Insert your own joke about
stating the obvious. We get a clip of the events from earlier.
Alex
Wright/Disco Inferno vs. Masahiro Chono/Great Muta
Tony
makes up for the obvious statement earlier by calling Wright and
Disco the Dancing Dodos. Wright gets jumped from behind to start but
comes back with a spinwheel kick to take Chono down. Disco comes in
and stomps him in the corner, only to walk into the Mafia Kick. Off
to Muta for some strikes to the face but he gets caught in a swinging
neckbreaker for two. Muta comes right back with the dragon screw leg
whip and a leg bar for the submission on Disco.
Post
match Scott Norton comes out to destroy the dancers even more.
Hour
#3 begins.
The
Nitro Girls dance but the trainer comes out and takes Kimberly away
due to something in the back.
Tokyo
Magnum vs. Ultimo Dragon
Tokyo,
usually the dancing idiot, comes out to traditional slow Japanese
style music. Dragon jumps him to start and takes Magnum into the
corner for the rapid fire kicks. The announcers talk about how the
teacher is beating up the student as he kicks Magnum in the back.
Magnum slams him off the top but dives into a dropkick, setting up a
brainbuster and the Dragon Sleeper. Basically a squash in Dragon’s
last WCW match.
We
look at the ending to the tag title match which shows Bret telling
Sting that the Scorpion is his hold.
Jim
Powers vs. Scott Norton
Norton
drives him into the corner to start and powerslams Jim down for no
cover. He chokes Powers in the corner, misses a charge, catches Jim
in a Samoan drop and powerbombs him down for the pin.
Video
on Hogan’s evil deeds since he joined the NWO.
Here’s
the Black and White en masse with something to say. Hogan brags
about the new tag team champions and asks for a round of applause for
their victory. He also admires the dedication of Scott Steiner and
Buff Bagwell as they help in the NWO conquering wrestling. That
brings him to Goldberg….but first let’s praise Muta and Chono.
Instead of talking about the world title, Hogan talks about Bischoff
being the funniest man in television and how Eric is going to take
over late night. Bret is going to take the US Title tonight and Page
will know how awesome Hogan is and that’s about it.
We
look back at the end of the tag match main event of Thunder where
Hennig and Hall beat DDP and Konnan. Apparently this is supposed to
make us care about the next match.
Eddie
Guerrero vs. Konnan
Konnan
has Antoine Carr of the Utah Jazz with him. Eddie takes him down to
start and the fans think he sucks. Konnan comes right back by
LAUNCHING Eddie into the air for a huge crash. A gorilla press slam
has about the same result so Eddie goes to the floor to yell at Carr.
Back in and they run the ropes a few times until Konnan monkey flips
him into the ropes for two. An X-Factor gets the same on Eddie as
this is one sided so far. Cue Chavo dressed like Konnan and shouting
his catchphrases with the distraction allowing Eddie to suplex Konnan
down. Eddie grabs Chavo’s stick horse and that’s a DQ despite a lack
of contact.
Rating:
D+. This was more of an angle
than a match but Eddie’s insane height on the throws makes up for it.
Chavo vs. Eddie doesn’t seem to have an end in sight and that could
become an issue soon. I’m not sure where they can go with it now but
it’s not a problem yet.
Lex
Luger vs. Curt Hennig
Luger
shoves him into the corner and pops the pecs a bit. Hennig has
already lasted longer than last week so we’re on the right track. A
hip toss sends Hennig out to the floor but he snaps Luger throat
first across the rope to take over. Hennig goes after the ribs to
keep Luger in trouble and snaps the neck for two. Some choking on
the ropes leads to a sleeper on Luger to put Lex down. A belly to
back suplex breaks the hold and Luger hits his atomic drops and
clotheslines. The referee gets bumped in the corner but Rude comes
in and gets a Rack. The distraction lets Curt hit the PerfectPlex
for the pin (with Rude holding the foot).
Rating:
D+. Total paint by numbers
match here which doesn’t really accomplish anything. The Wolfpack
civil war doesn’t do anything for me anymore as it just keeps going
without actually having an end in sight. That’s the mantra for all
of WCW at this point: there’s no idea to this but it fills in time.
US
Title: Bret Hart vs. Diamond Dallas Page
The
title is vacant coming in. There’s no DDP to start though as we’re
running out of time. After a few moments, here’s a very bandaged
Page with no music and a bad limp to try to make this work. Bret
goes right after the bad leg to take Page down before working over
the bad ribs. The Russian legsweep takes Page down and there’s the
Sharpshooter but Page is right next to the rope. A second attempt
goes on and Page gives up to give Hart the title. This wasn’t a
match.
Page
is taken out on a stretcher as the NWO comes to the ring to celebrate
to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D. This show is a good
example of what’s wrong with WCW around this time. Where were
Goldberg and the world title? Who is the next challenger for the
belt? I have no idea, because none of that matters when Hollywood
Hogan has something going on. That’s what happened when Sting won
the title and it’s happening again here. It’s just them going from
one Hogan story to another as he fights celebrity after celebrity.
That might have made them some money in the short term but it’s
speeding towards a cliff in the long term.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Cena as a heel

Aside from a turn making no sense from a business stand point, I also don't think it makes sense from the stand point that a heel Cena was actually pretty terrible to be honest. Mind you I'm old school and prefer my heels making me want to legitimately hate them, not repeating their catch phrases or laughing at their raps. I just always felt Cena never had it in him to be a real true heel. If it didn't work 10 years ago why would anyone think it would work today?

Interested in your thoughts on this.

He's not turning heel.  Although you are objectively wrong if you think that the Doctor of Thuganomics wasn't awesome.  Cena's promo work on Monday and in previous times shows that if he wanted to be a true heel, he would RULE.  Hell, look up a clip of his OCD behavior with Nikki on Total Divas, where he's apparently a condescending dick.  That character, the corporate musclehead stooge super-jock who never let go of the high school pecking order, would be PERFECT for him.

The Ultimate Warrior in the HOF

Hey Scott, there's news out today of the WWE releasing a three disc DVD, two disc blu-ray, set about the Ultimate Warrior, with the Warrior possibly being interviewed and involved in the set. The set comes out in April 2014. This news, along with the thawing of relations between Warrior and Vince McMahon, make it seem like there's a good possibility that Warrior goes in the HOF in 2014. This got me thinking, with all the Authority stuff and Triple H self-aggrandizement that is happening, wouldn't it be great if the Warrior ran out and attacked Triple H at Wrestlemania 30 during whatever match HHH is in, followed by the Warrior no-selling the pedigree, just like at Wrestlemania 12, then beating the hell out of HHH, causing HHH to be pinned by whoever his opponent is? I think that would be a great cap to the "HHH is the greatest ever" angle, and an excellent little easter egg for long time fans. What do you think?

After careful consideration, I'm gonna have to go with "No."

A+ Match of the Day

Happy Hump Day Blog O’Doomers, we’re going to take it to the extreme today as we continue with TLC week. I still can’t find a clean video of Raven/Richards vs. The Pitbulls, the only ***** match in the history over ECW according to Scott.

So I decided to go another direction and find something that was still pretty damn fun. So let’s go back to 2006 and ECW’s One Night Stand for the wildest six-person intergender match I can remember. Edge, Mick Foley and Lita (cattle prod not included) vs. Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk and Beulah!

Enjoy.

QOTD

I’ve gotten handfuls of QOTD emails.  I’ll post as they come, probably one or two a week.  Will do it until the suggestions stop coming in, it stops drawing page hits and or comments, or I get burned out on scanning emails.  Send suggestions to [email protected]

Today’s suggestion was short and sweet. Was simply from “a fan of the blog.”

“What are some character traits or habits people have, that annoy or piss you off?   Are there some things people say that you absolutely despise like “bro or yo dude?”

2 Question

Hi Scott, enjoy your stuff

I was wondering since you mainly commented on the post-match promo from Hogan, what did you think of the quality of the Bash at the Beach '96 main event? I'm thinking like ***1/2 but that probably is a little high.

Also, other than possibly HBK, do you think Gold Dust's current return is the only time a wrestler has returned and has been seemingly a better wrestler?

Thanks!

Yeah, I was too busy losing my mind at the time, but ***1/4 or so sounds about right to me.  

As for the second one, Randy Savage was certainly a SMARTER worker when he returned in 1991, although that was not exactly a lengthy absence.  I'd say Brock Lesnar is 100% more effective as a worker in his limited role.  Goldust is certainly one of the most unique cases, in that he's managed to totally reinvent himself in the role that we keep wishing all the old guys would take on — the mentor using his old school training to build up his younger brother.  

Greatest Randy Orton vs. John Cena Match?

First of all, I loved the ending to Raw this week. It was a balls-to-the-wall ending that planted the seeds and foreshadowed things to possibly come. That said, I am not excited for this unification match. The unification of the titles is something  fans have looked forward to seeing for years, and the build just hasn’t come close to living up to the hype. It feels like just another PPV main event, to be honest.

Anywho, what is the greatest Orton and Cena match in your opinions?  Personally, I have to go with their “I Quit Match” from Breaking Point 2009.

Road-agents and wrestlers sometimes put a lot thought into the match and surprise me with their creativity. That is what happened on this night: They structured out a masterpiece that displayed a strategical plan and in-ring characterizations (two things that lack in modern wrestling imo.)

Orton channeled something you’d see straight out of a horror movie, torturing Cena with painful devices and triggered his already injured head. Through the power of facial expressions and body language, he made it clear that his character was trying to do more than just win the match; it was trying to end Cena’s career.
But as compelling as a character’s strengths are, its weaknesses are even more compelling. And, Orton’s weaknesses were exposed by Cena, even in a vulnerable situation, as Orton became too concerned with toying with Cena rather than finishing him off. That led to Orton receiving his comeuppance by hoisting on his own petard.
This was a very well structured brawl, with good psychology and storytelling. Cena’s comeback being too abrupt, Orton tapping out a wee too quickly, and the lack of color are the only things holding this down from being a 5-star classic.

TCW Wrestling – Episode 13-46 Review

First things first, here’s where to find the show on TV in your area:

http://www.tcwwrestling.com/tvinfo.shtml

Here’s the show itself, if you feel like playing along:

From the Vicksburg Civic Auditorium in Vicksburg, MS. Your hosts in the ring are Matt Rhodes and Brian Thompson. They run down this week’s card: the FORMER TCW Tag Team Champions, Genetic Perfection are in action. The International Championship is on the line when the champion, Titan, defends against Scott Phoenix! But the main event, as has been building for the last few weeks, is TCW Heavyweight Champion Tim Storm putting it all on the line against #1 Contender, Lance Hoyt! Let’s get crazy!

Roll the opening video.

We kick things off backstage as Jason Jones is there with the current tag team champions, The Hounds of Hell, Cerebus and Roosevet. Jones asks the team about the whereabouts of Genetic Perfection’s manager, Rich Rude, as they abducted him several weeks back. Roosevelt states that they took Rude out of the equation. Cerebus chimes in stating that this feud with Genetic Perfection has been a war, and in a war you take out the control center, which was Rich Rude. GP is lost without Rude, and if they want to see him again, they will forfeit their rematch.

Match #1 – Genetic Perfection (Alan Steel and Michael Barry) vs. Jeremy Awesome & Nathan Aulridge – Steel starts the match with Awesome, but quickly finds himself in the wrong corner. A double team whip to the corner leads to Steel going up and over a charging Aulridge, and then miscommunication between Awesome and Aulridge sends Aulridge to the floor, and then Steel hits a flying back elbow from the middle to take Awesome down. That gets a 2. Tag to Barry. He takes over with an armbar takedown. Tag back to Steel, and Auldridge meets his foot in the corner. Axhandle from the top. Steel off the ropes and he gets a knee to the back from Awesome, and the a clothesline from Auldridge puts him down. Tag to Awesome. Double team boots in the corner as the ref is distacted, and we take a break. Back from break as Steel hits a spinebuster to attempt the comeback. Both Steel and Aulridge down. Both men crawling or the tag, and there it is! Hot tag to Michael Barry. Awesome also in now. A series of back elbows takes Awesome down. Fireman’s carry for Barry, and he takes an interfering Auldridge down with his partner’s own feet. Steel in to superkick Aulridge out of the ring. Barry hits the Saturday Night Special (F5)! Steel to the top, and Barry assists with a Rocket Launcher to Aulridge. That should do it! 1…2…3! (4:14)

WINNERS: Genetic Perfection. ** – Nothing special here; just a standard tag team squash with some token offense from the other team.

Cut to Genetic Perfection on the stick. They say that Rich Rude is family, and you do not abandon family, no matter what. Surprisingly, they accept the terms of The Hounds and forfeit their title rematch. With that done, they demand the return of Rude NOW! Rude is then brought out on a wheelchair, bound and gagged, and dumped at ringside by The Hounds. Genetic Perfection tend to Rude, and are upset, but we take a break.

When we come back, Titan is searching for Lily and can’t find her. Instead, he finds a note. Then we get INSIDE TITAN’S HEAD as he reads Lily’s note in there. She writes that if Titan were a real man, he would have gotten the job done. She can’t be with a man who has perfomance issues, and it’s over between them. Titan then weeps, for he is sad.

Jason Jones backstage with Vordell Walker, and asks him for his thoughts on his match last week with Sigmon. Walker says that he came to TCW to be the heavyweight champion but can’t seem to shake Sigmon, a thorn in his side. Jones reports to Walker that Col. Parker has announced a match between Walker and Sigmon in two weeks, and no more double pin cop outs, because it will be a submission match! Walker says that it’s right up his alley, and Sigmon will be the loser when he taps out. Walker slaps the shit out of himself, because that dude is intense.

Match #2 – Titan (c) vs. Scott Phoenix – TCW International Championship.

Staredown in the middle of the ring, as Titan just towers over Phoenix. Phoenix doesn’t back down, and tells Titan to bring it. Lockup to start, and Titan powers Phoenix to the mat, but Phoenix rolls out of the ring. Back in and Phoenix is whipped to the corner HARD! We take a break. When we come back, Titan is slapping Phoenix in the chest. Whip to the corner, but the charge meets boot. Dropkick from Phoenix slumps Titan in the corner. A charge from Phoenix, but Titan catches him in a bearhug. Phoenix tries to elbow out, but Titan rams him into the corner. Titan now standing on the throat in the corner. Titan with a shot to the body. A second fist to the body. In the middle of the ring, Titan with a huge chop to put Phoenix down. Phoenix comes off the ropes but Titan picks him up and slams him down. A bodyslam by Titan, but an elbowdrop misses. Phoenix with kicks, comes off the ropes and Titan grabs him by the throat, but Phoenix gets out of it. Dropkick staggers Titan. Phoenix Rising (Disaster Kick) hits, but Titan is still standing, but wobbling. Phoenix to the top but Titan catches him. Going for the running powerslam, but Phoenix slides out and shoves Titan to the corner. Phoenix Rising hits again and Titan is down! The cover…1…2…3! New champ! (6:57)

WINNER: And NEW TCW International Champion, Scott Phoenix. ** – This was your more run-of-the-mill little man vs. big man match. The power moves by Titan matched with the speed and agility of Scott Phoenix. It wasn’t horrible, and it certainly had more time to be better. But a secondary title changing hands was treated as a big deal, which it should. Something this company gets right: treating it’s titles as a goal to be attained.

After a quick recap of the title change and the upcoming main event, we head to the ring where Col. Parker is mediating a contract signing for a lumberjack match between John Saxon and Steve Anthony. Anthony takes the mic and says he has nothing to prove by beating Saxon. His career is taking off, and Saxon’s is on life support. “What” chants can be heard even in TCW. Always stupid, if you ask me. Anthony wants to thank Col. Parker for letting him be the one to finally put Saxon out of wrestling. Anthony guarantees Saxon will not sign for the match. Parker says he has known Saxon for 20 years and has never seen him speechless. Some good trash talking here by Anthony, as he gets across the point that Saxon is near the end of his career and is just delaying the inevitable. Anthony tells him to just get up and leave because he’s done. Saxon stands up and finally speaks, saying that he just wants to say one thing. RIGHT HAND TO ANTHONY! There goes the table! They brawl around the ring, with Saxon tearing the threads off Anthony. Saxon clears him out of the ring, and we take a break!

Good segment there, with Anthony dialing up the overconfidence and Saxon shutting him up by kicking his ass.

Match #3 – Tim Storm (c) vs. Lance Hoyt – TCW Heavyweight Championship.

Hoyt is already in the ring, as his entrance was cut. I don’t know if that bodes well for him or not. Jawjacking to stat. Lock up, and they break. Test of strength now. Hoyt powers Storm down to almost a knee, but Storm let’s go. Another lock up and they’re in the corner. Hoyt with rights and forearms. Storm goes to the eyes. Lock up, knees from Storm, and backs Hoyt into the corner. Whip is reversed, but Storm charges out with a clothesline, no sold by Hoyt. Hoyt takes him to the corner, whip is reversed but Hoyt charges out with a clothesline. Hoyt shoves Storm to the ropes and a big boot puts Storm out. On the floor, Hoyt takes Storm’s head to the stairs. Now to the guardrail. Hoyt back in the ring breaking the count. Storm lingers on the floor while the referee counts. Now back in, and Hoyt meets him with knees. To the buckle, whip and Storm hits the corner hard. Cover gets a 2 count for Hoyt. Storm manages to take control, and takes Hoyt down with a uranage sweep, and that gets 2 for Storm. Storm mounts Hoyt for some rights and choking. Rear headlock with a grapevine for Storm. Hoyt with elbows, but Storm forearms him down. Off the ropes, and Storm’s big boot is no sold, and Hoyt hits a clothesline. The cover gets a 1. Storm kicks the knee a few times to put Hoyt down. Storm working the leg now. Storm rolls Hoyt to the apron and wraps his leg around the bottom rope. Now they’re to the floor, where Hoyt’s head gets the stairs. Some kicks to Hoyt on the floor, and Storm is back in the ring, while the referee starts his count. Hoyt rolls in, dodges a Storm kick, but Storm stays on him. Whip off the ropes is reversed and Hoyt hits a flying shoulderblock! Hoyt making the comeback, hits a clothesline to take Storm down. The cover gets 2. Hoyt going for the chokeslam but Storm gets out and hits a Cross Rhodes! 1…2…kick out! Storm hits a powerbomb! 1…2…kick out! Storm off the ropes, but Hoyt hits him with The Perfect Storm (spinning Boss Man slam)! 1….2…kick out! That was one of Storm’s own moves. In the corner, whip is reversed into the referee and he is down. Hoyt hits the Scorpion Deathdrop! But there’s no referee. And now The Empire is out, in the form of both Greg Anthony and Steve Anthony. Hoyt fires Greg off the top and knocks Steve off the apron. Matt Riviera is out, hands Storm the title BELT, and Storm goes to hit Hoyt, but Hoyt gets the big boot! Hoyt with the BELT now and he nails Storm! He goes for the cover, but the referee is down. Here’s a second ref. 1…2…3? It looks like a botched count. But they’re calling Hoyt the new champ! (13:40). The first ref comes to and waves it off, stating that he saw Hoyt use the belt. He is reversing the decision and awarding the match to Tim Storm by DQ. Storm is still the champ!

THE WINNER: Tim Storm, by disqualification, an STILL your TCW Heavyweight Champion. **1/2 – this was a pretty good power match between two big guys. But once again, the screwjob finish rears it’s head and takes away from what was a surprisingly decent match.

This show had a little more “sports entertainment” than last week’s show, but it still breezed by and I thought it was enjoyable. We had another title change, and they set the stage for the next few weeks with the lumberjack signing, and the submission match announcement. This southern company likes the old Dusty finishes with double pins and reversed decisions, however. Still, I implore you guys to just sit down with a few of these shows, and you will be surprised by how much you will like it. Until next week!

WWF Championship Wrestling July 6th, 1985

July 6th, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
Tonight’s main event will be Ricky Steamboat vs. Don Muraco. Plus, the television in-ring debut of Uncle Elmer. Also making his TV debut is the “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Plus “Piper’s Pit” with Terry Funk and matches involving King Kong Bundy and the British Bulldogs.

British Bulldogs vs. Barry O. & Dave Barbie
Dynamite takes down Barry a few times before hitting a snap suplex. Barry accidentally hits Barbie when Dynamite ducked a punch then tags Davey. Vince puts over the Bulldogs recent tour of Japan as Barbie is working over Davey. He misses an elbow drop then Davey hits a slam. Dynamite tags and takes his head off with a clothesline then hits a back suplex. Barbie gets hit with a double shoulder block then Dynamite locks on a sleeper. Barry breaks that with an elbow smash from the middle rope. The match breaks down and Barry gets knocked out of the ring. Barbie gets knocked down and Davey launches Dynamite halfway across the ring, who uses a diving headbutt for the win (4:27).
Thoughts: Dynamite looked incredible in the ring and was put over strong on commentary. His movement was on a whole other level from the rest of the company. Once the Bulldogs returned from Japan, they started to get a push.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s subject is Roddy Piper and how he runs his mouth. We are shown a clip of “Piper’s Pit” from the first “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”
Sal Gee vs. King Kong Bundy w/Jimmy Hart
Bundy brushes off Gee with ease. He roughs him up in the corner as Hart agitates the fans. He drops a knee but pulls up Gee at two. Bundy chops Gee as Vince plugs the “Manager of the Year” award. Bundy then hits the Avalanche before putting Gee away with an elbow drop, insisting the referee for the five count (2:34).
Thoughts: About what you would expect to happen here. Bundy was in neutral at this point, as he was only squashing lower card talent and not involved in any feuds.
Freddie Miller runs down the card for the “King of the Ring” tournament. Greg Valentine and Jimmy Hart then come out, with Valentine doing all of the talking. He doesn’t care about winning a trophy. Valentine cut a decent enough heel promo.
A.J. Petruzzi vs. Uncle Elmer w/Hillbilly Jim
Elmer spends a few minutes with the fans before entering the ring. He is carrying a cowbell with him. The camera focuses on the injured leg of Jim. The match starts with Petruzzi bouncing off of Elmer a few times, much to the delight of Jim. He shoves Petruzzi in the corner before bouncing Petruzzi off of him a few times. He hits a few slams then hits a leg drop for the win (1:46). After the match, he and Jim dance in the ring as Vince is happy as can be.
Thoughts: Elmer was really bad in the ring. He did get over a bit here and Vince was strongly pushing him on commentary. It wouldn’t last though. The real reason for him was to keep the injured Hillbilly Jim on TV.
Freddie Miller is with the Iron Sheik. Not much of an interview and Sheik wasn’t as crazy as usual so that was disappointing.
Jose Luis Rivera & Paul Roma vs. Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake w/Jimmy Hart & Johnny Valiant
Valentine suplexes Rivera then works the arm. Vince alerts us that Terry Funk was fined $5,000 after beating up Mel Phillips last week. Rivera fights back against Beefcake then tags Roma, who gets backed into the opposing corner. Valentine fights off both men  until Rivera gets the upper hand. He hits a dropkick but Valentine makes a blind tag and Beefcake nails Rivera with a jumping knee smash for the win (2:51).
Thoughts: Match was forgettable but the team of Valentine & Beefcake were starting to gel.
Piper’s Pit with guest Terry Funk. Piper asks Funk why he is looking at him with envy and he says that he is jealous of Hogan, JYD, and even Piper himself because they make more money than him. We see the replay of Funk assaulting Phillips as Funk says that you do not put on a cowboy’s hat then puts over his toughness. Funk is then on his knees and says that he wants to be remembered for taking out JYD and killing rock ‘n’ roll. Funk was great here and the crowd already hates him.
Aldo Marino vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Savage hits an arm drag then taunts the crowd. Marino hits an arm drag of his own then we are shown all of the heel managers at ringside, scouting Savage. Marino gets a sunset flip but Savage comes back with a clothesline. The crowd starts a “weasel” chant as Savage tosses Marino to the floor. He follows him out with a double axe handle from the top rope. Back in the ring, he slams Marino then puts him away with two flying elbow drops (2:45). All of the managers come into the ring to congratulate Savage, who decides to inflict some more punishment onto Marino, which further impresses the managers.
Thoughts: Great TV debut for Savage. The angle of Savage being the hottest free agent was a great choice for his debut too. It made him feel that much more special.  
Ricky Steamboat gives us a PSA about quit smoking cigarettes so we can breathe “good, clean air.”
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Don Muraco w/Mr. Fuji
This is the first time on TV in which Steamboat was referred to as “The Dragon.” Steamboat sends Muraco to the corner with his martial arts poses. He then catches Muraco with some chops then an enziguiri. Muraco gets his knees up on a splash attempt then headbutts Steamboat in the groin from the second rope. They fight over a bridge and that ends in a standoff. Steamboat works the arm as Vince announces that next week the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff will defend their Tag Team titles against Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham. Muraco hits Steamboat with a Samoan drop then beats on him in the corner. Steamboat fights back then ends up on the apron. Steamboat fights back and hits a top rope chop. Both men spill outside and Muraco rams Steamboat into the guardrail. Steamboat hits Muraco with an atomic drop, who ends up colliding with Fuji, then rolls inside just beating the ten count for the win (4:58).
Thoughts: Fun match, which certainly seems to be setting up for a feud between the two.
Freddie Miller is now with Nikolai Volkoff, who will be facing Hulk Hogan for the World Heavyweight Championship at the King of the Ring. Volkoff says he hates Hogan for having the belt, which belongs to him. He then takes off his shirt and starts putting over his physique.
Next week, the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff will defend the Tag Team Titles against Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo. In action will be Paul Orndorff, Missing Link, George Steele, Pedro Morales, and Terry Funk. Plus, “Piper’s Pit” with “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
Final Thoughts: Good show this week. The main event was good and we had the TV debut of Randy Savage and the manager angle. Plus, Terry Funk did well on “Piper’s Pit” and next week, the Tag Team Titles are on the line. The WWF feels a lot more exciting now, with the new talents and feuds.

Yearly Review: WWF September 1989

The Million Dollar Man and the mighty Zeus are still coming after Hulkamania.

WWF World Championship Scene: (currently held by: Hulk Hogan)
At SNME #23, which was taped on September 21st but aired on October 14th, WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan defeated long time rival Ted DiBiase with a small package. DiBiase accidentally hit Zeus with a clothesline during the bout leading to the finish. Jake Roberts came out to ringside during the bout and chased Virgil to the backstage area after Virgil stole his snake bag. Zeus ended up attacking Hogan after the match by twisting Hogan’s neck before DiBiase put the Million Dollar Dream on Hogan. Roberts returned to the ring and scared Zeus and DiBiase away with his snake.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Scene: (currently held by: the Ultimate Warrior)

Warrior continued to feud with Andre the Giant over the championship. On most of the house shows Warrior was able to beat Andre in under a minute. They competed in competitive bout at a MSG show on September 30th where Warrior retained the championship by disqualification. After the match, Warrior beat Andre down with championship until Andre was knocked off his feet.
WWF World Tag Team Championships Scene: (currently held by: Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard) 
The Brain Busters continued to defend the tag team championships against former champions Demolition on the house show market. They would retain the championships each time despite losing to Demolition by disqualification. There weren’t any other developments in this feud.

Other Happenings: 

– During the September 21st taping of WWF Superstars the Genius revealed that Mr. Perfect was his new protégé. This taping also featured Perfect’s first appearance with theme music.
– The new king of the WWF Randy Savage pinned Jimmy Snuka at SNME #23 after hitting Snuka with Sherri’s loaded purse. Snuka got some level of revenge by scaring Sherri Martel from the ring after knocking Savage to the floor.
– Rick Martel and Tito Santana wrestled to a double disqualification at SNME #23 when their partners for Survivor Series got involved in the match.
– Roddy Piper continued to get under the Heenan Family’s skin when he pinned Haku at SNME #23. Piper and Rick Rude would have several matches on the house show market including a double count-out match at MSG which was Piper’s first MSG match in nearly three years.
– The Bushwhackers embarrassed the Rougeau Brothers and Jimmy Hart at SNME #23 when they defeated the Rougeaus and stripped Jimmy Hart to his boxers.
– Jimmy Snuka and Honky Tonk Man continued their feud from a couple months ago with a match at the September 30th MSG show which saw Snuka beat Honk Tonk Man after a four and half year absence from MSG.
Ratings:
SNME #23:
 9.5

Bob’s Opinion: 
The feud between Hogan and DiBiase continued though it’s pretty clear that DiBiase is never going to get the championship. At least DiBiase is given a few strong moments even if it included the help of Zeus. Also am a fan of Jake Roberts helping Hogan and getting a spotlight in a main event caliber feud.

I know that Andre was on his last legs in terms of health and in-ring ability, but to have him lose to Warrior in under a minute had to have pissed off some people. I would’ve loved to have seen Andre live even if he could hardly move. Getting a minute or less of a match with Andre jobbing couldn’t have been all that satisfying.

Savage continuing to be involved in lower level feuds is rather depressing. I guess the main event guys can’t always have top level feuds even when they are out of the main event scene. Though, that doesn’t exactly apply to Hogan, ever.

The feud between Piper/Rude is a great feud to have on the undercard. I’ve watched a few of their matches on the house show circuit at the time and they put on some good matches. Their cage match a few months later is an enjoyable one as well. I never really considered to be all that great in the ring, but considering I have mostly watched his stuff from ’94 onward I’m clearly missing his more memorable stuff.

It’s a shame to see the Rougeau Brothers, a promising heel tag team, lose to the Bushwhackers and made out to be fools.

I had for some reason lost all the sign in stuff for the blog here, but it’s good to back!

What are your memories of the WWF at the time? Please share them! Thanks!

Also, check out my blog Wrestling Recaps and if you enjoy the series support the blog by liking it on Facebook
Thanks for reading and for your support!