the end of 2013, Dusty Rhodes will retire.
and hand and are done right, there’s really not much else I’d rather be
watching. This documentary is perhaps the shining example of a documentary done
right. They go over all the high points, we hear from every major player, and
you’re never left wondering “well, what about such and such.” It rings in
around an hour and a half, but it flies by. Every morning when I start my day,
I fire up the laptop, and put something on the TV. For the first four days
after I bought this set, the documentary was the first thing I’d put on because
it was that good. Plus, we get to hear from Paul Roma; that’s reason enough,
being Tully talking about a college kid they met while on tour who showed them
a Rolex that he spent his life-savings on so he could be like the Horsemen. JJ’s
pre-War Games match is awesome as well, total classic heel work here.
Italian Stallion & Rocky King – NWA, June 22, 1985
it’s their cousin Ole. I’d love it if the WWE or TNA did a show with a small
studio audience inside a TV studio like the old JCP shows. It would definitely
be a different look and feel compared to today’s programming. As for the match,
I was expecting a squash, and got quite the opposite. In typical Flair/Horsemen
fashion, they went in with some nobodies, but did their damnedest to make the
guys look good even when losing. It’s truly a lost art. There’s nothing really
too great to speak for in this match, just an average JCP bout.
Championship – The Great American Bash – July 5, 1986
that they roll out the red carpet for him, as small touches like that give a
match a big time feel, and let you know this guy is the CHAMPION. This was set
up after the big attack on the R&R by the Four Horsemen in the locker-room,
where they busted up Ricky’s face and rubbed it into the locker room floor.
Ricky’s wearing the face-mask, which soon makes for great heel-fodder, as Flair
begins to dissect Ricky’s bandages, and parades around with the mask on. Morton
is selling on a Mr. Perfect level here tonight, but it’s believable due to how
much a broken nose hurts, plus it really ramps up the sympathy. This match is
classic Flair and NWA in the mid- to late-1980s. I was really getting into it
near the end, and would have liked to see it go on for a little while longer,
as Morton looks like he was just settling into some extremely violent behavior.
NWA TV Title – Starrcade ’86 – November 27, 1986
and on the other…I can’t make it out, but it looks like “slut”. He’s playing
some odd head games. Before the match starts, Tully tries to get away with wearing
wrestling head gear, which they say no way to. I love heel tactics like that.
Dillon tries to mouth off to Dusty, which only gets him a Bionic Elbow for his
troubles, splitting him open. Great stuff so far, but this is how Dusty’s
matches always go for me; great beginning, and the rest is terrible. Geez,
Tully stalled for so long, and the match took so long to get started I thought
perhaps I accidentally paused the DVD. The beginning of this match is where all
the entertainment is, and thankfully it didn’t go for 20 minutes. Tully
basically avoids Rhodes for the entire match until they trade a few blows, the
ref is knocked out, Tully bleeds, but then gets fixed up by JJ and busts open
Rhodes with a roll of quarters just as the ref comes to.
The ref believes Rhodes to be the first one bleeding and awards the match
& title to Tully at 8:39 | *1/4
Nikita Koloff & Paul Ellering – War Games – The Great American Bash – July
Dillon looks like a Harlem Globetrotter in his wrestling attire. Dusty &
Arn start off. Soon, after both men are busted open, Barry Windham joins in and
quickly applies the worst finisher of all time, The Claw. Dr. Death soon comes
to his rescue, clearing the ring with double-clotheslines and 3-point stance
tackles. Ric soon comes in and evens things up with a low-blow on Dr. Death
before sending him face first into the cage. Luger evens things up by bringing
with him his Crab Flex Pose. He’s soon followed by Tully, then Nikita. Paul
& JJ are the last two before The Match Beyond. Once it gets to that point,
the match ends pretty quickly. Look, I know I’m gonna take a lot of heat for
this, but I just don’t see the big deal with War Games. I was hoping this match
would change my opinion, but it didn’t. I found this to be a pretty mediocre
match, where there’s too much going on to focus on anything, no real technical
wrestling to be found with no decent hardcore to take its place. Every War
Games I’ve seen is the same, and they always fail to catch my attention.
Dusty locks JJ in the Figure-Four, getting the submission at 21:08 | ***
– NWA Tag-Team Championship – The Great American Bash – July 10, 1988
the business, simply because of his TERRIBLE accent. He sounds like the Russian
bootleg version of Batman Begins. Crowd is absolutely on fire for Sting &
Nikki, they’re getting Austin-in-his-prime style of pops for moves as simple as
clotheslines. Anderson is in first, and can’t get a lick of momentum on either
Nikita or Sting as they keep him down until he’s able to get Tully in there.
This match is booked in a very odd manner, because the faces are working like
complete heels. They have all the momentum, turning each tag between AA &
TB into a hot tag, they’re cutting the ring in half, and doing things like
smacking their hands together while the ref’s back is turned so he thinks a tag
happened. Over all, the match certainly isn’t terrible, but it’s not nearly as
great as I expected. I believe this is the show where they were each paid $2,000
and JJ made $3,000, so obviously they were on there way out and phoning it in.
Luger – NWA Tag-Team Championship – Clash of the Champions – March 27, 1988
having the gull to want to challenge Ric Flair for the WHC. Much like the
previous match, crowd is absolutely white-hot. I can say with ease that this
has to be one of the fastest paced matches I’ve ever seen. All four guys work
at such a quick pace that they cram a 20 minute match into 10 minutes,
maintaining the hard-hitting nature all four are known for, and never being sloppy.
Crowd was standing the whole time, and all four guys gave ’em a show.
Luger to get the pin at 9:33 | ***3/4
Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan’s career. Here, Ric has a great storyline with great
history, and is ready to offer up a great match. Hogan? Well, it’s War Games
against The Dungeon of Doom. There are few things better than when Ric is on
his knees, hand raised in surrender, giving out a “Noooohohoh…” This match so
far has been classic Anderson family tactics, as Arn has been focusing entirely
on Ric’s left arm. He eventually gets the momentum on his side by heading outside
and trading suplexes and back-body drops. From that point on, no one really
gets the advantage for too long, it’s great stuff as they trade comebacks. Of
course the match had to end like it did, but still some great stuff. Of course,
people were expecting more, I believe, and I think had it gone into a few more
matches we would have seen that classic. Oh well, Flair begging Sting for help
then turning on him is just as good.
Arn nails Ric with the DDT at 23:05 | ***3/4
then introduces Tully, and the Andersons. Everyone has a belt, but the party is
interrupted by Dusty, TA, and Dusty’s perm. Just before the Horsemen enter the
ring, the Road Warriors show up, causing The Elite to back-off and cry foul.
Cornette, who for some reason is dressed like a Cuban pimp. God, he looks odd.
Ole Anderson starts off by saying Dusty is going to retire in 1986. Really,
Ole? Is he gonna retire? Should I go down to the bank and bet on it? Is he
gonna retire in 1986? You’ve never said that before. I imagine you’ll never say
it again. Anyway, the rest of the Horsemen get their speeches in, and Flair
ends it by saying the Horsemen have it all, plus they’re the studs of
he’s about to tell Clark Griswald to go f--- his mother. Ole has one of his
awesome shirts on, the Evil, Mean, & Nasty one. Ole starts off by
saying…now, sit down, because here it comes; he’s gonna retire in 1986! Did
you know that? Did Flair bet him $50,000 that Ole couldn’t say that 10,000
times in 1986 or something? Flair says that each member of the Horsemen put in
$10,000 to get Dillon a ring. Pretty nice little number, too. Hey, he should
take that ring down to a booky, and bet on Dusty’s retirement!
the Horsemen get together, it’s a special occasion. Arn is pissed, because he’s
naked. He’s got no title. Flair gets on the mic and gives one of my favorite
promos “If Arn wants to slap Road Warrior Hawk [smack] HE DOES IT!” as Arn is
mimicking all of his descriptions, awesome stuff. Also, if you’re a female and
want to know where you stand, well, take a ride on the Horsemen.
time. Tully is in his NY Giants sweatshirt again. Flair gives the usual.
X, February 6, 1990
Kip Winger. Ole says that Sting is no longer a Horseman. He’s really got a
presence about himself, as he tells Sting “shut your mouth…now, calm down,
there’s three of us, and one of you”. I love that. He’s being kicked out
because he wanted to face Ric for the title. I think it’s because of the
rat-tail, personally. Ole keeps talking about how they’ve held off from beating
the s--- out of him a few times, and you know it’s coming here, you know it.
Flair finally cocks back and levels him, as the Horsemen hold him, allowing
Flair to scream in his face. Great stuff.
beginning of the end of the World. He says that WCW is their World. How
appropriate, really. The rest of them get their speak on, as Flair keeps on
beating the hell out of The Bootyman. Naturally, this angle went nowhere, as
Hogan beat up Booty at Hog Wild. It would have been nice to see Horsemen vs.
nWo in a place booked where the nWo didn’t run the backstage. Arn’s use of
Connery’s quote from The Untouchables is a nice great.
not as great as the one coming up.
Everyone knows this one.
No shock that this is another great promo from Arn.
fine set, really. I think we were short-changed with just two discs though.
There’s a million more matches, moments, and promos that we could have seen.
However, the first disc is awesome, and one of my al-time favorites. The
documentary is almost 2 hours, covers everything in detail, and leaves you
wishing you could have been part of it all. The loyalty, camaraderie and
respect for each as well as the business really shines through. Best of all, we
get to hear from Paul Roma! It really makes you wish there were more official
releases where wrestlers would talk s--- about one another, it’s hilarious. In
the end, this is a set I’d make sure to grab if my house were on fire, if for
the documentary alone. It’s only $6, brand new on amazon, you can’t beat it.
4-1/4 Head-Butts out of 5.
Thanks to my editor, Steven Ferrari. There was a time once when I was out scouting on the remote ice planet known as Hoth. Well, as luck would have it, I was captured by a monster and my Ton-Ton was killed. So, after I escape the monster’s cave, I collapse in the blizzard. Steve shows up, his Ton-Ton dies, he cuts it open with my light-saber, and shoves me inside to keep me from freezing to death.
For any and all things Caliber, follow the links…
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser – Recently updated with 12 Reasons Why Die Hard Is The Best Christmas Film Ever, Man Movie Encyclopedia – American Ninja, and a ton of great stuff from the last 3 years. Throws all other websites right out the window for having no ticket.
WCW In 2000 – Recently updated with a Monday Nitro that features the 6th and 7th title change in 22 days.
The Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol.1 – My book. Has an average rating of 5 stars, endorsed by Scott Keith & Maddox, and even fellow Bod’ers themselves have given it the thumbs up.
Caliber’s acoustic hip-hop – I thought I’d include this for the hell of it. I’m a musician as well, who created a style of music that’s mostly acoustic hip-hop. I also have some songs where I just straight up sing. Honestly, it’s pretty good stuff, I think you’ll be surprised.
[email protected] – mailbag, or requests, just let me know there. Or the comments section if you prefer.
– Caliber Winfield