The SmarK Rant for Allied Powers: The World’s Greatest Tag Teams (Disc Three)
OK, time to wrap this bad boy up.
And we kick it off with the team so awesome they don’t need a clever name, Edge & Christian…
Tables Ladders & Chairs, WWF tag team titles: Edge & Christian v. The Dudley Boyz v. The Hardy Boyz
Ooooh, haven’t watched this one in a while! My favorite petty touch here is that when they do the medium-zoom of the tag team title hanging above the ring, they still make sure to blur out the WWF logo on the side-plate. Now that’s attention to legal details. And it’s instant chaos as the Hardyz charge the ring and everyone immediately throws chairs at each other, with Christian taking D-Von onto a chair a drop toehold. Edge brings a ladder in and misses a charge, running into it when Bubba moves. Bubba makes the first climb and gets yanked down by the Hardyz, and then the Dudleyz set up two ladders and climb, and Edge brings them BOTH down with a legsweep! Christian climbs and Bubba brings him down with a Bubba bomb. Next up, Jeff climbs and Edge pushes him off and onto another ladder, which catapults into Matt’s face, for a sick throwaway bump. E&C decimate people with chairs, but the Dudleyz set up a ladder and do the Wazzup on Edge off that. Which means it’s time to get the tables. Well, more of them. The pace here is absolutely insane and people who complain that indy guys are doing spotfests too fast should probably watch this and shut up. 3D on Christian through the table and the Dudz set up four tables in the aisle, but Edge destroys them with unprotected chairshots. JESUS. And then Matt lays out Edge and the Hardyz take turns diving off a ladder onto him. Matt sandwiches Edge in a ladder and then slams Christian onto the ladder and is it any wonder that all these guys suffered neck injuries and concussions? Jeff puts the Dudleyz onto tables on the floor and dives off the ladder with a swanton, but misses and puts himself through it. Matt climbs a giant ladder but everyone bunches up on it and slugs it out, and everyone gets knocked down and out. This leaves Bubba as last man standing and he climbs, but E&C push him over and through Chekhov’s tables in the aisle to kill him off. So that leaves Edge and Christian to climb alone, but now Lita runs down and pushes THEM over and out of the ring. So Matt climbs, but D-Von pushes HIM over and through another pair of tables on the floor. MATT HARDY IS BROKEN. And then Edge spears Lita on the floor for good measure, nearly smashing her head into a nearby ladder. Hopefully that doesn’t affect their relationship later. This leaves Jeff and D-Von in the ring and they climb for the belts and slug it out, but each one grabs a belt and they’re left hanging from the hooks with no ladder. So Edge TOSSES FUCKING LADDERS AT THEM to knock them off, grabs the big one again, and E&C climb to claim the belts and retain at 14:46. HOLY FUCK, THIS FUCKING MATCH. ***** Like, were the agenting notes on it “Go out and destroy everything at 100 miles an hour”? Because mission accomplished. Even King and JR give it an ovation afterwards.
OK, time to take it down a notch with the Rock N Roll Express.
NWA World tag team title: Ivan Koloff & Krusher Kruschev v. The Rock N Roll Express (07.09.85)
From Worldwide Wrestling! Nice deep cut here, and this is actually the Rock N Roll’s first ever shot at the titles, and a match I’ve never seen! Krusher beats on Ricky with a knee on the ropes and gets a press slam, but misses an elbow and it’s over to Robert. Ivan tries a sneak attack and Robert gets away from it and takes him down with a wristlock, and it’s a stalemate. The RNR double-team Ivan’s arm and Ricky gets a sunset flip out of the corner for two. The RNR stays on the arm, even as Ivan tries to take Ricky down by his beautiful mullet. Ivan tries to elbow out of the armbar and misses, but Krusher grabs Ricky in the corner and beats on him. Krusher with the press slam for two off that. Krusher wraps him up with a neck vice and it must be horrible in that arena because they’re all pouring sweat. Ricky escapes with a dropkick, but Krusher wraps him up on the mat again for two. Ivan with a neckbreaker on Ricky for two and we gotta take a break, but the tape machines are rolling. Back with Krusher choking Ricky out now, but Ricky fights back on Ivan and it’s HOT TAG Robert as the crowd goes nuts. Robert goes to work on Ivan’s leg now and the RNR double-team it, and we get the classic spot where they roll into a double punch on Krusher on the apron. So they try it again, but this time Krusher drops down to avoid them, so they turn around and hit IVAN instead, and then hit Krusher off the apron for good measure. Robert with a sunset flip on Ivan for two, and Ricky comes in and ties him up on the mat as the RNR is actually the team cutting off the ring in this case! Ivan finally fights him off and makes the tag to Comrade Smash, and Robert promptly charges and hits the post, allowing the dirty Russians to go to work on Robert. Ivan stomps him down and goes to a hammerlock on the mat and we take another break. Back with Ivan holding a hammerlock bearhug on Robert, and the Russians work him over in their filthy red corner. Robert escapes but he’s so messed up that he crawls to a neutral corner. Krusher misses a charge, but still tags Ivan, and they cut off the tag again. Ricky gets too excited and distracts the ref, allowing them to further work on Robert’s arm in the corner, and Ivan drops an elbow for two. Ivan goes up and misses a kneedrop, but Krusher cuts off the tag AGAIN and then puts him in an armbar while putting the badmouth on Ricky. And Ricky has once again had enough and charges in, but that allows the Russians to beat Robert down further. Ivan tries the knee from the top, but Robert yanks him down and makes the comeback, only for Krusher to cut him off again. Robert grabs the ropes to escape but still can’t get out of the corner, and finally just collapses off a double elbow. Probably from the heat, it’s like an 18 out of 10 on the Mike Rotundo sweatbox scale in there. Robert finally gets the knees up to block a splash on Ivan, and then Krusher punches Ricky off the apron at the last second to really irritate the crowd. But Robert keeps fighting and takes Krusher down for two, and then hits one last desperate clothesline as David Crockett is LOSING HIS FUCKING MIND. Ivan JUST cuts off the tag, but Robert takes him down, so Ivan chokes him out and then takes him over to the other corner again for more choking and a running knee to the back for two. Krusher holds him on the mat with an armbar, putting himself between Robert and Ricky to keep him from tagging. Back to the Russian corner and Ivan rolls him into a wristlock on the mat, and then beats him down for two. Ivan takes him down with the Russian Hammer choke for two and Krusher gets the atomic drop for two. Krusher physically puts himself in the middle again and punches Robert back towards the Russian corner, but Ivan comes in and collides for a double down. Krusher comes in first, however, and takes Robert down for two before going to the wristlock again. This match is giving new meaning to “Heat segment” since it must be 110 degrees in there. Finally, FINALLY, Robert hits a kneelift out of nowhere and collapses into the hot tag to Ricky, but he immediately goes up and Krusher nails him on the way down. Ricky gets a sunset flip on Ivan, but Ivan tosses him while Robert fights Krusher on the floor with Tommy Young out. The Russians double-team Robert, but Ricky dives in with a victory roll on Ivan and gets the pin and the tag team titles at 30:33 aired! HOLY SHITBALLS WHAT A MATCH! ****1/2 To say the crowd goes nuts is an extreme understatement. Just an incredible effort from everyone and one of the most amazing heat segments ever.
And then from that, we profile the New Age Outlaws.
WWF tag team title: The New Age Outlaws v. The Rock N Sock Connection (12.11.99)
From Armageddon 99. Mankind slugs it out with Mr. Ass to start, but Rock comes in and beats on Billy for two while JR has an aside about “getting bags put over your head” in Oklahoma. The fuck? Road Dogg comes in and tries the shaky knee on Mankind, but gets cut off by the Mandible Claw and the brawl is on. Everyone fights on the floor and Rock battles Mr. Ass in the crowd and hiptosses him back to ringside in a nice bump. So there’s at least one thing Gunn can do. Back in, the Outlaws suddenly cut off the Rock and work him over in the corner. Gunn gets a shitty cutter, which JR calls “kind of a modified neckbreaker type of maneuver.” It’s the ASSCRACKER! No? OK, carry on. Rock continues his run as face-in-peril and Jammes slugs him down for two and this is kind of dull. Rock slugs back, but Dogg tries the pumphandle slam and wastes too much time, allowing Rock to fight back again. The Outlaws cut him off again and Gunn drops a knee on him and goes to the chinlock. Rock fights out and makes the hot tag to Mick, but the ref gets bumped as he hits the DDT on Dogg. Oh no, now the Rock and Sock are robbed of the super-prestigious tag titles, whatever will they do? Mandible Sock on Dogg, but SHOCKINGLY Al Snow runs out and hits Mankind with the Head, which gets two. Rock saves and goes after Snow, running him into the helicopter stationed by the entrance, while the Outlaws hit Mankind with the bell and get two. Billy Gunn with the piledriver on Mick for two, but he fights out and makes another hot tag to the Rock. Rock Bottom on Billy, but Snow runs in a SECOND time and that’s a DQ at 16:30. What the fuck was the point of having two Snow run-ins? If you’re doing a DQ finish, just have him use Head for the DQ and be done with it. Last couple of minutes were good, but this was some paint-by-numbers stuff otherwise. *1/2
Next up, “Blockbuster tag teams”, which would be teams like the Rock N Sock Connection, Sting & Lex Luger, HHH and Shawn, Rated RKO, and the Mega Powers.
Edge & Randy Orton v. HHH & Shawn Michaels (11.05.06)
From Cyber Sunday 2006, which I believe is the only show from 2006 I’ve never reviewed. Add it to the list, I guess. I thought RKO were champions but apparently the Spirit Squad were champions for FIVE MONTHS in 2006 and the current champions at this point, dropping them to Flair & Piper at this very show, with RKO not winning it until a week after this. The gimmick for this one is that Eric Bischoff “won” the vote for special referee, which was probably skewed by them heavily telling people to vote for Eric earlier in the show. Although I seriously doubt “14 million people” voted, like they’re claiming. Shawn with a sunset flip on Edge for two after some chops, with Edge literally showing ass, and Shawn chops him down in the corner and gets another sunset flip for two. Shawn works the arm and HHH slugs away in the corner and follows with a corner clothesline. Over to Orton, and HHH gets a suplex on him and follows with a kneedrop. DX continues doubling on Orton, but he comes back with a dropkick on HHH and Edge gets two. RKO takes turns beating on HHH in the corner, but he comes back with a DDT on Edge and both are down. This one is kind of going nowhere thus far. Over to Shawn, who drops the flying elbow on Edge, but Orton trips him up on the superkick attempt and Edge gets two. They work Shawn over in the corner and Edge gets a dropkick for two and goes to a facelock on the mat, then cuts off the tag with a sunset flip for two. Orton with a chinlock to slow down this slow match a bit more. Shawn fights back but Orton takes him down with the neckbreaker. Edge comes in for the spear, but misses and hits Uncle Eric instead. That was probably his punishment for beating Vince in the fan vote. Even with no ref they still make the tags on both sides anyway, and HHH makes the comeback, running wild within the bounds dictated by the merchandising department. Edge cuts him off with a spear and Shawn dumps Edge and follows with a dive, but Orton hits HHH with the RKO and another ref comes in for two. Orton tries another one, but Shawn hits him with the superkick to block and HHH gets two, as Bischoff pulls out the replacement ref for some reason. I guess he’s a heel ref here, even though he just called it completely down the middle otherwise. And then Orton lays out HHH with a chair and hits an RKO onto it for the pin at 18:16. Apparently this was not a DQ. What is this, AEW, AM I RIGHT GUYS? Match was reasonably competent but nothing I’d ever watch again. **1/2
And now, although we don’t get a profile on the Allied Powers here on Allied Powers: The World’s Greatest Tag Teams, we DO get one on The World’s Greatest Tag Team at least.
Los Guerreros v. Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin (12.11.03)
From Smackdown. Eddie locks up with Haas to start and they slug it out. Benjamin comes in for a test of strength, which Eddie turns into a rana. Chavo comes in and stomps a mudhole as Eddie chokes him out with the tag rope, but Benjamin takes Eddie down with an armbar, which looked REALLY ugly. That must be where he injured it. Shelton tries to slam the hood on the arm, but Eddie fights him off, only to get sent into the post as we take a break. We return with Haas working on the arm and TWGTT switch off on it. Haas hammerlocks him, but Eddie slams him with the good arm, but can’t escape to his own corner. Chavo finally tags himself in and backdrops Haas, and sends Benjamin out with a headscissors. Springboard senton gets two. Sunset flip out of a press slam gets two. Chavo takes Haas down with an armbar, but Haas hammers out and some shenanigans from the heels turn the tide. Haas goes to work on Chavo’s injured knee, and Benjamin goes to a half-crab. Eddie pulls him over to the corner by cheating, and then irony strikes as the referee is distracted with Benjamin and doesn’t see it. Benjamin keeps on Chavo, but falls victim to a dropkick and Chavo is about to make the tag, but Benjamin yanks him off the apron. Chavo fights off the double-team and finally makes the tag, cleaning house with a hiptoss on Haas and Monkey-flip that sends the heels crashing together. One-armed backdrop suplex on Benjamin and Eddie goes up, but Haas cuts him off with a superplex. Everyone’s out now. Haas gets a clumsy hot-shot on Eddie to set up the Broken Arrow, but Chavo saves a pin. Chavo dumps Haas and follows with a pescado, leaving Eddie and Benjamin. Eddie blocks a suplex and gets the rolling verticals, stopping to backdrop Haas in mid-suplex, but Chavo tags himself in for the frog splash on Benjamin, which gets two. Haas dropkicks Chavo into Eddie, sending him off the apron, and the superkick looks to finish, but Eddie’s the legal man. Eddie, ever the inventive one, uses an air filter as a weapon and gets the pin on Benjamin at 16:01. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT? Usual good match, although an arm injury suffered by Eddie slowed it down somewhat. ***1/4
And now, a few words about the Crockett Cup!
1987 Crockett Cup Finals: Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff v. Tully Blanchard & Lex Luger (04.11.87)
Thankfully this is the full version because the one on home video was clipped to about 5 minutes. Magnum TA of course joins us at ringside for the most telegraphed babyface win ever. Even by Dusty’s standards. Dusty grabs a headlock on Tully to start and threatens him with the elbow, so Tully backs off and brings Lex in. He of course wants Nikita and flexes imposingly at him. Well, it was 1987 and that was one of his only highspots. That and yelling while missing an elbow. So Nikita wins a lockup battle and then does his own flexing, which granted looks kind of dumb with a neck brace on. They fight over a suplex and neither one gets anywhere with that, so they do the test of strength instead and Nikita wins that. Back to Tully, and Nikita sends him flying out of the ring with an atomic drop and then back in for a bearhug, but Luger hits him from behind to break it up. Tully pulls out the slingshot suplex, but Nikita lands on his feet, takes out JJ Dillon on the rebound, and then backs off after laying waste to the heels. He follows with his own suplex on Tully for two and takes him down with the Russian Hammer, then takes him to the floor with a Cactus Clothesline! At this point, JJ gets revenge by ripping off Nikita’s neck brace, and the Horsemen go to WORK on the neck back in the ring. Lex drops him on the top rope for two and Tully beats on him in the corner, then Luger follows with a vicious short clothesline for two. Lex drops knees on the neck and Tully gets two and goes to the chinlock. Nikita fights over towards Dusty, but the Horsemen cut him off and THEY BE CLUBBERING, TONY! Lex with the facelock to cut off the ring and Tully throws Nikita over the top rope behind the ref’s back, which allows JJ to hit Koloff with his shoe for good measure. Back in, Tully slingshots Nikita under the bottom rope to really hurt the neck, and that gets two. Tully goes up with an elbow from the middle, but Nikita hits him on the way down, and it’s HOT TAG BOOKERMAN. Elbows for everyone and he spears Tully, but charges and hits the floor. Oh damn, THAT’S why there was that earthquake on the eastern seaboard reported in 1987. Tully tries a piledriver back in the ring, but Dusty flies in from the top rope with a bodypress and gets the pin and the $1,000,000 at 17:30. In the Observer at the time, Dave noted that many people weren’t super happy with Dusty putting himself over yet again, but between Magnum TA and Mrs. Crockett they weren’t gonna give a fake cheque to a heel team and the Road Warriors had already won the year before. Really, what other choice was there? Hard work from everyone here. Except Dusty, but standing on the apron and getting the hot tag is literally the best use of him anyway. ***1/2
And finally, we close this awesome DVD set with the Road Warriors.
Money Inc. v. The Legion of Doom (08.31.92)
After all the buildup to this finale, this is an oddly low-key choice of a feature match for the Road Warriors. They weren’t even the Road Warriors here! Anyway, this is the PPV opener of Summerslam 92, of course. Dibiase is rocking the all white gear for this and throws chops on Hawk to start, but has to run away when that doesn’t work. Animal throws him back in and then Hawk clotheslines him right back out for an Animal clothesline, and back in he goes again. MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MINDS. These guys are worse than Brexit. Over to IRS and Hawk steps on the tie, but Irwin comes back with the sleeper and he really should have used the tie for extra heat. Hawk escapes, but the heels haul him out for a cheapshot and take over. IRS with elbow drops for two and he goes to the chinlock. Vince and Bobby are such an odd combination together, as Bobby is trying to feed Vince all these lines for jokes and Vince just no-sells everything and barrels on WITH AUTHORITY and no-sells all of it. Kind of weird because every other heel gets to score off Vince constantly on commentary. Hawk tries to fight back and Money Inc cuts him off in the corner, but Hawk basically just no-sells and hits IRS with an awkward clothesline to set up the hot tag, but the heels cut it off again. Another try and it’s a false tag behind the ref’s back, and IRS puts Hawk down with a clothesline this time, but finally it’s hot tag Animal. IRS gets dumped and a corner clothesline on Dibiase sets up the Doomsday Device, but IRS saves with a dropkick. Animal powerslams Dibiase instead and pins him at 12:00 for the win, however. This was decidedly an OK opener and nothing more. Hawk in particular looked completely bored despite the giant crowd and electric atmosphere. **1/2 I would have picked them winning the tag team titles from the Midnight Express (which STILL isn’t archived anywhere!) or maybe something from the Crockett Cup 86.
Anyway, it ended with a fizzle, but this was a hell of a DVD set that gave me lots of fun on a shitty weekend off where I was stuck inside the house. So thank you for that. And thank you for reading! Stay safe and be healthy.