The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems–06.27.19

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems and Other Stuff – 06.27.19

Just a couple of quickies for the Hidden Gems today, so there should be time to explore some other stuff I’ve been meaning to get to.

Texas Royalty (11.03.90)

Terry Funk v. Jerry Lawler

This is from the Texas version of USWA, during a tournament for the USWA title that previously featured with another Lawler match against young Undertaker on some other release. Funk attacks him before he makes it into the ring and runs him into the stairs, then beats on him with some STIFF punches at ringside. Like, he tagged him with a hell of a shot right in the face. And then called him a dirty stinking pig for good measure! Lawler is just dead on the announce desk and then when he pulls himself up, Funk runs by and just wallops him again. Funk just keeps punching him in the face and chokes him out with the wrist tape. Lawler crawls to the apron and Funk clotheslines him into the railing again and just won’t let him into the ring. Funk chases the photographers around and then steals a TV cable and chokes out Lawler as he finally gets into the ring. Funk with a neckbreaker as we take a break and Funk continues to call Lawler a pig. Back with Funk deciding that he’s had enough of the ref and gives him a piledriver, then goes back to beating on Lawler. A second ref comes in and Funk gives him a piledriver as well, and then adds one for Lawler. This brings out Eddie Gilbert to personally count the pin, but Lawler kicks out at two. So Funk does another piledriver and Gilbert does a fast count this time, but Lawler is out at two again, and the heels just double-team him with a stuff piledriver as the original ref finally wakes up and calls for the DQ at 7:18. And then the heels give him another stuff piledriver to make sure he’s got no chance of winning the title in the finals. Spoiler: It didn’t work. This was wild and brutal but unfortunately the match didn’t really go anywhere. Definitely worth checking out though. ***

Father Knows Best

Back to 1971, with rare footage from the Amarillo NWA TV show, as Dory Funk Sr. presents a workout with sons Terry and Dory Jr. So Terry demonstrates a bunch of takedowns on Dory Jr. and gets too worked up on the way to trying the deadly spinning toe hold on his brother. So his dad steps in and schools him with a hammerlock takedown and then gives his son the spinning toe hold to teach him a lesson. So Sr. goads the kids into slamming each other, which leads to Terry trying it on his dad for a funny bit to end the segment.

OK, now for a couple of matches someone sent me a while back that I’ve been meaning to check out.

OTT World title: WALTER v. Will Ospreay (10.13.18)

This is from OTT in Ireland and available for free on YouTube. Really great video package to set it up beforehand as well. Ospreay goes for the takedown and gets stuffed, and WALTER goes for a half-crab before Ospreay wriggles free. WALTER clobbers him with a clothesline and then blocks a monkey flip by just stomping him with malice. Ospreay gets his own takedown and slugs away on the mat, then tries a springboard and gets walloped down again. Will bails to regroup and WALTER twists him back in the ring, but Ospreay comes back with a handspring to put WALTER on the floor and follows with a SPACE FLYING TIGER DROP. Back in with a springboard forearm for two. The crowd urges him “Fuck him up, Ospreay” and he obliges with Yes kicks, but WALTER blocks the OzCutter with a chop to the back for two. WALTER with a Quake splash (OUCH!) and he throws elbows to take over again. Ospreay comes back for a chop battle, so WALTER gets pissed off and hangs him in the corner for another nasty chop before stomping his face down to the floor. Why would you annoy this giant angry Austrian monster?! WALTER beats on him with forearms on the ropes, but Ospreay gets all fired up…and then WALTER just chops him down for two. Ospreay keeps getting up and WALTER offers up his chest, but then he’s like “Oh? That’s all you’ve got?” and boots Ospreay down again. Ospreay goes with an enzuigiri and running double stomp instead, into a shooting star press and somersault senton for two. Cutter is blocked again, but Ospreay keeps coming with a springboard missile dropkick to the back of the head. He hits a Rainmaker, but WALTER just ignores him and hits a tombstone. He tries his own rainmaker, but Ospreay reverses into his own and maintains wrist control, finally putting WALTER down. He adds a penalty kick and goes up for a shooting star, which misses, and WALTER just DESTROYS him with a dropkick that sends him flying out of the ring like a ragdoll.

To the floor, and WALTER powerbombs Ospreay onto the stage in a complete dick move. He tries to follow with a powerbomb off the stage, but Ospreay fights out and follows with a running somersault dive off the stage instead. Back in, WALTER catches him with a sleeper, but Ospreay hangs on the ropes and follows with a shooting star to bring him in. Then another shooting star from the top, but a third one hits knees and WALTER hooks him in the choke. Ospreay fights up, but WALTER catches him again and puts him back in the choke. Will makes the ropes, so WALTER traps the arms and hits a german suplex to put him down again. So then WALTER actually decides to go aerial, but he takes forever and Ospreay cuts him off before hitting a crazy handspring kick. He tries a top rope rana, but WALTER catches him and just powerbombs the everloving shit out of him for two. Right into the choke from WALTER, but Ospreay fights out with the old school arm drops, so WALTER hits an Emerald Frosion and apparently gets the pin. Ospreay is in the ropes, so THIS MATCH MUST CONTINUE. WALTER wants none of that and decks the ref, but Ospreay gets the head kick and then just destroys WALTER with kicks into the OzCutter for two. He tries Storm Zero, but WALTER fights out and hits the lariat for two. The crowd is just insane for Ospreay as WALTER pounds him down with chops, but Will blocks a lariat with STORM ZERO for two. And then he goes up and tries a moonsault, but WALTER clips the knees from behind and trips him up, then clobbers him down and goes up himself! Flying splash gets the pin to retain at 26:50. Just an incredible Sting / Vader formula match and another classic in Ospreay’s playbook. *****

WrestleCircus Sideshow Championship: Orange Cassidy v. Gentleman Jervis (05.12.19)

Yup, time for some Orange Cassidy, baby. This is from WrestleCircus: Encore last month. I’m just really into Orange Cassidy right now, because the character of “great wrestler who just doesn’t care about doing stuff” is such an amazingly unique one. Jervis is the World’s Sweetest Man and a noted purveyor of hugs, so this is a stark contrast to the hard-hitting OTT match I just watched. Jervis is unable to lock up with the lightning quick Cassidy, who puts his hands into his pockets and will not be moved. So Jervis takes him down by the ear, which dislodges the glasses, so Jervis gives them back in a show of sportsmanship that draws the first “Holy shit” chant of the match of many, I’m sure. But then they realize it’s Jervis and amend it to “Holy poop”. Jervis tries a drop toehold but can’t break the iron leg grip of Cassidy. So we get the Orange Cassidy version of a criss-cross into a shoulder tackle, which leads to Orange actually getting a cradle for two. Jervis tries a german suplex, but Cassidy goes right back into the pockets and wriggles free, then brutalizes him with the leg kicks while Jervis begs for mercy. So then Jervis catches him and gently rocks him to sleep in a bit you may have seen going around Facebook, which gets two. Cassidy manages to reverse into a crucifix in his sleep, but that only gets two, so Jervis quietly sneaks out and finds a pillow and blanket, which seems to be an unbreakable pinning combination. Sadly, the referee sneezes at two, waking up Cassidy and he pops up and makes the comeback. Jervis still gets a spinning headscissors and bunny hops into a double stomp on the pillow, but that only gets two. Jervis goes up and misses a flying stomp, but gets a small package for two. Orange with a crucifix for two, but Jervis reverses a rollup and gets the surprise pin at 9:36 to win the title. They’ve broken the scale again! ********

No, I’m kidding. But this was a lot of fun and sometimes that’s enough.

So quite the eclectic mix this week!