The Smark Rant for WWE Network Old School–Madison Square Garden 10.20.86

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School – MSG 10.20.86

– Your hosts are Gorilla and Mean Gene and Lord Alfred. Oh, it’s gonna be a long 140 minutes.

Brutus Beefcake v. B. Brian Blair.

Holy alliterative names, Batman. First allusions from the announcers here with regards to Brutus being the black sheep of the Dream Team. Lockup to start and Blair gives us the clean break before they trade hammerlocks. Blair takes Beef down with the armbar and hangs on even after Beefcake makes the ropes. But to fair, Beefcake tried to cheat, so he deserved it. Beefcake tries to counter out, but Blair rolls him up for two. They do the test of strength and Beefcake tries to cheat again, so Blair hits him with a backdrop suplex for two and Brutus runs away. Back in, they fight for the lockup in the corner and this time Beefcake cheats successfully, poking him in the eye to take over and then pounding away. Ah, classic Ed Leslie offense, I see. He got way better as a babyface because he could concentrate of having the shit kicked out of him instead of his lame offense. Punch punch punch choke choke choke and he drops an elbow for two. He goes to a camel clutch and follows with an atomic drop for two. Back to the camel clutch (hey, at least it’s not just a chinlock, I’ll give him that), but Blair uses a nice double-leg takedown to counter out, and he makes the comeback. He puts Beefcake down with a forearm and gives him the dirty tactics right back, before following with an atomic drop and a lariat. Elbowdrop gets two. High cross gets two, but Beefcake rolls through and grabs the tights at 10:15 to finish. That was pretty good for pre-turn Beefcake, actually, with few slow spots. ***

Moondog Rex v. Tama

OK, more wacky tag team singles matches. Rex grabs the headlock to start, but Tama does the Rock double-leapfrog and chops him down. Rex tries ramming his head into the turnbuckle and that goes nowhere good for him, because Samoans have hard heads, you see. It’s genetic. Tama hits the chinlock and gets a bodypress for two, then back to the chinlock. Tama wins a slugfest and Rex gets tangled in the ropes, prompting Gene to note “He’s fair game here!” Geez, nice sportsmanship, asshole. Tama charges and Rex moves, which Gene calls “What we in the business call the bait and switch.” Hey, I’ll take unintentional comedy, I guess. Rex takes over and pounds away on the apron, into a bearhug in the ring. Tama fights out and then walks into a clothesline, and Rex gets two. Back to the bearhug, but Tama rings the ears and makes the comeback. They slug it out in the corner and Rex goes down, allowing Tama to finish with the big splash at 8:15. Total cookie cutter 80s WWF punch and kick midcard match, but not BAD or anything. **

King Kong Bundy v. Super Machine

Tag team night on American Idol continues. Super Machine of course = Demolition Ax, or the Masked Superstar depending on how old school you are. Machine gets a cross body for two to start, surprising Bundy. Bundy slugs back and elbows him down, but misses the big fat elbow and Machine fights back again. Another cross body is caught, however, and Bundy splats him down and gets two. Bundy goes to the chinlock, but Machine gets all fired up and clotheslines him…but Bundy casually Avalanches him and that’s all she wrote at 3:11. No screwing around there. Eadie was all fired up, but it wasn’t to be tonight. *

Dynamite Kid v. Jim Neidhart

Kid dodges Neidhart’s attack in the corner to start, so Anvil wants the test of strength. Kid’s all bluster so he accepts, then slugs out and gets a cross body for two. Is it cross body night or something? Every match now has had one or more. Neidhart bails and complains a bit, and back in Dynamite grabs a headlock and they throw shoulderblocks at each other, which allows Kid to sucker him into a drop toehold. Neidhart quickly pounds him down, however, and drops him by the hair before tossing him. That “pick him up by the hair and drop him” spot is a great DK trademark that I’m shocked no one has stolen in the 20 years since. Back in, Anvil goes to work on the back (smart move in Kid’s case), but misses a splash off the second rope. Really, who was he kidding there? Kid fires back with a hardcore missile dropkick and a running clothesline, but he misses a charge and gets himself tied in the ropes. Anvil goes in for the kill, but Kid was just ACTING and he gets the rollup and pin at 5:49. Oh come on, it ended just as it was getting fun. **1/2

The Iron Sheik v. Jacques Rougeau

Hmm, former joke WWF champion against future joke Intercontinental champion. It’s a tossup. Sheik has Volkoff with him at ringside, which probably gives away the finish right now. C’mon, why couldn’t this have been Sheik v. Blair? Or even Brunzell? Think of the material I would have had to work with! Sheik attacks to start and chokes him down with a towel, but Jacques comes back with…wait for it…WAIT FOR IT… A CROSS BODY! Is this a rib on me or something? Because I’ve seen better. Jacques gets a buttdrop and Sheik bails, perhaps in shame because that was so lame on Jacques’ part, and he’s so stunned by the lameness that Jacques is able to get a dropkick and grab the headlock. Sheik leapfrogs him, but Rougeau gets a hiptoss and it’s back to the headlock again. Atomic drop follows and Jacques gets the kneedrop for two, but Sheik uses the POINTY TOED BOOT OF DEATH and puts him on the floor. I read on Wikipedia that he loads those boots. You learn something new every day. Sheik gets a backdrop and spits on him. Lay off him, man, he’s not even American. Abdominal stretch and Gorilla is all over him for his poor execution. Good for you, Gorilla, call him out. Did Gorilla ever get the satisfaction of seeing someone hook the other leg before he died? Gut wrench suplex gets two, but Jacques blocks another suplex attempt and reverses it for two. Sheik dumps him and stops to make friends with the jovial, fun-loving New Yorkers in the front row, but Jacques fights back in with a sunset flip for the upset pin at 7:30. Score one for the future joke IC champion! I can’t hate on it, I had fun recapping it. **1/2

– Roddy Piper RETURNS with a Piper’s Pit. He’s still the biggest son of a bitch in wrestling, and he’s tired of turning on the TV and seeing some fag doing the Flower Shop. Oh my. He notes that the last time he was in the Garden was for Wrestlemania 1 (really? That doesn’t sound right) and to commemorate it, his guests tonight are Paul Orndorff and his new manager Bobby Heenan. Oh, this has potential. Bobby brings up the Red Sox 2-0 series lead against the Mets, but Piper turned out to be right about that one. Kind of funny knowing what would lie ahead in Game 6. After Piper and Heenan trade more words, Orndorff does his entrance, using Hogan’s music, which is just so awesome. Piper quickly gets in his face and mocks him for doing the job at Wrestlemania, and it’s a great war of words as they argue over who “Real American” belongs to and how much of a backstabber Paul is. Too bad the stars never aligned for them to have a big PPV feud because there’s some awesome chemistry here. Heenan claims there’s a hundred people who can trust Orndorff enough to be his tag team partner, but then draws a blank when Piper calls him on it. Ha! Bobby: “Mr. Wonderful does 98% of the wrestling in the ring for his team!” Piper: “And 100% of the losing!” Oh man, this is classic. Piper pretends to fall asleep in the corner while Heenan and Orndorff try to think of a tag team partner (“I’ve got a great idea!” “Is that the first one you’ve had, Bobby?”) but Heenan puts Harley Race out as his man. Then drops the microphone when Piper goes for it. OH, BURN. So it’s Piper’s turn to pick a partner, and you can see this one coming down main street. So Piper grabs a guy from the crowd and asks his opinion on who the partner should be, and really what other choice is there but Hulk Hogan? That’s probably the next main event, though. This was totally worth watching the show for by itself, and that’s probably a pretty good tag match when it happens, too.

Jim Brunzell v. Mike Rotundo.

This is turning into quite the off-the-wall show. They trade headlocks on the mat and Rotundo hangs on that tightly, but they fight over a hiptoss and into the ropes. Back to the headlock as they exchange on the mat. Alfred notes that neither man has really proven themselves as a singles wrestler at this point in their career. Really? Mike Rotundo hasn’t proven himself as a singles wrestler yet? REALLY? I know they ignore past history and such, but gimme a break. They trade atomic drops and get nowhere, so they back off and start again. Brunzell with a legdrop and rollup for two, then he rings the ears and a snapmare gets two. He goes for a sunset flip, but Rotundo punches him in the face to block and gets two. Whoops, guess we have our heel. Brunzell with a small package for two and he fires away with uppercuts, and into the abdominal stretch. And again, Gorilla is personally offended by the sloppy execution. Rotundo reverses, but Brunzell gets a sleeper and they trade atomic drops before Brunzell crashes into him with a body press attempt that Rotundo tries to reverse into the airplane spin, but they both tumble out for the double countout at 9:08. Didn’t really go anywhere…it needed someone to put their feet on the ropes or something. ** Rotundo was back in Florida on top again pretty soon after this anyway.

Davey Boy Smith v. Greg Valentine.

Gorilla is surprised that Hammer didn’t kick the dog on the way down. Sounds more like Randy Orton’s speed, actually. Hammer tries to kick Davey Boy instead and gets caught and slugged down, and Davey starts to work on the arm. Hammer reverses to his own armbar and Davey flips out of it and gets his own, but Hammer escapes with a backbreaker for two. He pounds the back and gets two, then goes to a bearhug, but Smith reverses to his own to far more effect. Hammer elbows out of that and drops the headbutt for two. They fight for the knucklelock on the mat and Valentine pounds away to win that battle, then tosses him. Back in, a shoulderbreaker gets two, and a suplex gets two. Figure-four is reversed to a small package by Davey, and that gets two, but Hammer goes back to the leg again, and this time trips him up with an anklelock. Davey shocks me by reversing a Sharpshooter of all things, although the announcers don’t know what to make of it. Valentine makes the ropes and Davey gets a suplex for two. Powerslam gets two, but the foot is on the ropes. They fight on the floor and a chase leads to Hammer catching him on the way in, and he drops the Hammer. Figure-four, but Davey quickly makes the ropes. Hammer slaps him around for that and they slug it out on the mat, which leads to Davey getting a dropkick and Hammer coming back with a rollup and the ropes for the pin at 13:03. What, no body press? Match of the night by far. ***1/2

Moondog Spot v. SD Jones

Hey now, no fair breaking up the tag team mojo. Unless SD is Mike Rotundo’s current tag team partner due to Spivey’s injury, which come to think of it might be correct. So I’ll give them a pass this time. They fight over the lockup to start as the announcers discuss the scar on SD’s back. Gorilla notes that you generally get those sorts of scars when you’re running away from a fight, which is a pretty funny remark. SD works on the arm and gets a slam, and Spot backs off. Back to the armbar and it turns into a chase, which allows Spot to blindside him with a clothesline and drop a knee. He boots Jones down for two and hits the chinlock, then catches him with a knee to the head for two. Back to the chinlock, but Spot’s attempts to punch him in the head go badly. Because black people have hard heads, you see. It’s genetic. Spot tosses him instead and pounds away on the apron. Back in, Jones blocks a suplex and reverses to his own, but Spot puts him down with a kneelift and chokes him out on the ropes. They slug it out and the crowd is losing patience with it, as am I. Jones fights back and threatens a headbutt, but takes forever and gets kneed by Spot as a result. They collide and Spot ends up in the ropes, but comes back with a knee out of the corner. He misses an elbow off the middle rope and Jones puts it out of our misery with the headbutt at 9:30. Yikes. 1/2*

Haku v. Nikolai Volkoff.

OK, this show is getting pretty long. Haku dropkicks him to interrupt the anthem and slugs away in the corner, but Volkoff clocks him with a forearm and drops a knee for two. Haku chops back, but Volkoff clotheslines him and stomps him to the floor. Haku posts him to come back and starts working on the leg in the ring. Volkoff slugs back and puts him down with a knee, then a rollup gets two. Haku fights back with more chops and a rollup for the pin at 4:49. What a trainwreck. 1/2*

Raymond Rougeau v. Bret Hart

Ray sends him running to start, and Bret is all about the stalling. Raymond gets a monkey flip and Bret bails again, but gets a cheapshot to the back to take over and pounds away. They exchange headlocks in horribly dull fashion and Raymond gets a piledriver for two. This is just dragging like molasses for some reason. Rougeau with a blind charge and he outsmarts Bret by grabbing the foot, but Bret rolls him up for the pin at 8:32. Well, Montreal would get revenge for that one later. *

All Tag Team Battle Royale!

The Moondogs are out right away. Bunch of laying around on the ropes and punching from there as there’s a million guys out there, basically everyone on the card from tonight plus John Studd and the Strongbows for some reason. SD confirms my theory by getting tossed out in the madness, and Mike Rotundo is out with him, so they’re a team. Super Machine dumps the Sheik, so that’s it for him and Volkoff. Bret and Dynamite do a double suicide bump over the top, so the Harts and Bulldogs are done. Somewhere here the Strongbows are gone but really who gives a crap? Punch punch punch and Brutus dumps the Bees via Jim Brunzell. Studd dumps the Rougeaus and the Machines get rid of Beefcake and Valentine, then Bundy dumps Big Machine to get them out. So we’ve got Studd & Bundy v. Islanders to finish. They all slug it out and Bundy squashes Tama with the Avalanche, but then hits his own partner and puts him out to give the win to the Islanders at 10:20. Come to think of it, Studd vanished from the promotion pretty much right after that, so I guess he was pretty pissed.

– Well, this was an interesting concept show, but with all the cheap finishes there wasn’t much to it in total. The Piper’s Pit was absolutely awesome, however, and well worth checking out.