And it’s time for more Dream Matches- this one actually featuring a GOOD match! Sabu vs. The Lightning Kid! LIGHTNING FOOT in the WWF! And a weird 2007 6-Man Tag with DOINK of all people in a WWF ring with Kane & Eugene as partners. Ric Flair versus a jobber luchador, and one of the laziest Indie Show matches you will ever witness.
A reminder that WWF-owned videos are not kosher to post here- these are all on YouTube, however.
SABU (w/ Oliver Humperdink) vs. THE LIGHTNING KID:
(NWA Grandslam ’93)
* Yes, this is one of the famous indie tape-trader dreams, featuring Sean Waltman (pre-1-2-3 Kid) versus SABU. Sabu, in pink Prince of Persia pants, goes after the announcer before the match to play off his “crazy person” gimmick, while the Kid, in his WWF gear with “L. Kid” printed on his ass, looks like a 14-year old.
Sabu keeps going for the leg, and scores some shots, then wins a slugfest after Kid misses a spinkick, but Kid ducks under a fist and hits a HUGE one on the follow-through. Remember this was state-of-the-art shit for 1993 in the US. And Sabu gives it proper credit, selling like death and taking a breather outside the ring to recover. Kid hits more shots and they trade stuff on the mat, but Sabu boots him and hits a slingshot legdrop for two. The Kid hits a pop-up dropkick out of a criss-cross and hits another spinkick, but Sabu bails and then avoids a kick in the corner, sending the Kid right onto his head. Kid boots him from the mat, but misses a charge and hits the floor, Sabu following with a TOPE CON HILO, bouncing him off the apron, then hitting an Asai Moonsault Suicida into the fans! This is probably what drove tape-traders bonkers. “The Walking Hemisphere” Humperdink adds a shot into the post outside, Kid blading (and a sharp-eyed YouTube commenter caught him putting the gig into the ring apron at 8:42).
A bloody Kid tries to get back in, but Sabu hits a SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB to the floor, just wrecking the poor fucker. Sabu hits a spinkick, his “backwards roll off the top rope” moonsault and gets off at “1” to inflict more punishment, but Kid makes him pay by putting up the knees on a Moonsault! Kid gets the ten punches in the corner, corner kicks, the step-kick, and goes up- but Sabu hits the Super Frankensteiner! He avoids the count and tries another, but Kid goes for a Powerbomb reversal, they slip, and it turns into a SUPER GANSO BOMB, Sabu going on the back of his neck from the top rope! Sick bump, there. Kid with the Superspeed Legdrops for two but is staggering, and misses a Senton Bomb in a big way. Sabu goes up, but gets dropkicked off the top, but cleverly avoids a dive, Kid settling for a Pescado. HUGE Cannonball Suicida to the floor and no wonder these dudes are crippled today. Sabu drags the ref into the way of a dropkick and the two slug it out, but the ref calls for the bell at (14:07). Aw, too bad. The heels tear into the kid, beat up the ref, and more, but “Gentleman” Jerry Lynn comes in with a chair to chase them off.
This was all kinds of interesting, as you see two guys doing offense that was simply NOT seen in America at that time- both were a bit green so were more into the “Look at the cool shit we can do!” mindset, but they were careful to intersperse simple things like headlocks and criss-crosses, then hit one cool move and let it REST for a minute, rather than just blasting out another huge move. And reversals came naturally- shots from the mat, technical stuff, etc. So it wasn’t a spotfest and it wasn’t also spot-rest-spot. And I liked how Sabu was doing stupid shit, but like… IN CHARACTER. He was too homidical & genocidal to just go for pins, so he just keeps trying nastier shit and that keeps costing him. Putting character flaws into the psychology of a “high spots” match is clever. And they’d done enough work to justify the “Only High Spots” finale as well, as they’d have to sell the damage, and only THEN could they hit their move. So this wasn’t just “Indie Flip & Flop” or anything- everything felt justified and earned.
Rating: **** (great showcase of two guys being suicidal nutjobs with well-earned highspots and explosive 1993 offense- only Joshi was typically as crazy at this point. The only thing holding it back was the cheap finish)
The man, the myth, the guy from 500 Goldberg victories.
KAMA “THE SUPREME FIGHTING MACHINE” (w/ “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase) vs. “LIGHTNING FOOT” JERRY FLYNN:
* yes, it’s LIGHTNING FOOT Jerry Flynn as a WWF jobber taking on Kama doing a UFC-inspired gimmick, just being a grimacing guy who no observable charisma. Who would have guessed that this huge tattooed guy was better off as a happy smiling babyface? The Creatures of the Night place a black wreath at ringside to taunt Kama during his Undertaker feud, and I laugh as LIGHTNING FOOT is in tiny black trunks.
Kama tries some shitty “slightly lifts his leg” kicks and LIGHTNING FOOT lives up to his name, actually throwing some good kicks into the air. Kama ducks under the ropes to avoid them, then clotheslines him in the back of the head when he turns around for no reason. Monsoon & Stan Lane give him shit on commentary for that boner of a move, and Kama does a gut-punch and the worst-looking neckbreaker I’ve ever seen, just lazily twisting the neck and making LIGHTNING FOOT do all the work. However, he pops right back with a really impressive storm of kicks that actually knock Kama to the mat, but Kama hits a knee and a kidney-punch to put him down, and finishes with a weak back kick at (1:46).
Wow, I was here to snark on ol’ LIGHTNING FOOT, but his kicks actually looked really good, while Kama was this lumbering ox of a guy hitting unconvincing slow kicks and easily won with a random shot, as he had no legit finisher at the time. I forgot how bad Charles Wright was at this time.
Rating: 1/2* (just for some good LIGHTNING FOOT action)
KANE, EUGENE & DOINK THE CLOWN vs. KEVIN THORN, UMAGA & VISCERA:
(Saturday Night’s Main Event, 02.06.2007)
* Okay, here’s a match that was recommended to me- a truly bizarre one, and I’m pretty sure I was not watching at all by this point, having been chased away by Triple-H. It’s unmasked Kane teaming up with Eugene (who had by this point been de-pushed after getting overexposed- he’s now wearing an all-blue outfit I don’t remember seeing) and someone in the Doink outfit up against Kevin Thorn (a failed “would-be star” from this time period- the classic Tall/Muscular Template used as the sole recruiting tool by Johnny Ace as head of talent relations), Umaga (Jamal from Three Minute Warning, but almost single-handedly making Hoss/Monster wrestling cool again), and Viscera (now reimagined as a comedic “Love Machine” in grey pajamas).
Doink does nothing but stall against the serious “Vampire” Thorn, pointing at him so the crowd can boo. Thorn finally slugs him down, but Kane turns the tide and Eugene takes over. Umaga tags in and beats Eugene’s ass as the crowd is just SILENT for this- holy shit was this a bad era for the company. Eugene boxes with Viscera, but takes a HUGE spinning Boss Man Slam and we take a break. Back with Umaga using a nervehold as this just gets more exciting. Umaga hits a Samoan drop & they keep on him, but Umaga finally lands dick-first on Eugene’s knees and Kane unloads on the baddies- side slam & flying thrust on Thorn gets two- Umaga breaks it up and kills Kane’s partners. Umaga goes out to kill Eugene as Viscera readies an Avalanche, but stops to fuck the air for a bit and thus MISSES, so Kane hits a very short Chokeslam (Vis more or less just does a basic back bump) for the pin (8:35).
Holllllllllly crap do I not like this era of wrestling. Everyone was doing the “Just Punching” variety of wrestling, hitting intermittent chinlocks nad other restholds in an 8-minute 6-Man Tag match (like, WHO IS TIRED?). Kane’s buddies were just fodder and Eugene took the heat, and the heels abandoned Viscera to do his “Giant JTTS” thing, losing after one move.
Rating: * (bleh)
RIC FLAIR vs. LIZMARK, JR.:
* Another bizarre match, if only for Ric Flair working on the show populated by the Mike Tolberts & Gamblers of the world. And against Lizmark, the forgotten luchador! Flair actually gets a hero’s welcome from the 55 people in attendance, who are probably used to bottom-tier guys. Flair’s in black trunks and looks, well… flabby and kinda old. I mean, he was way past his prime at this point.
Flair controls with arm stuff, Lizmark doing some kip-ups to try and get something going, but Flair gets him in the corner with a chop & some punches. Lizmark backflips out of the corner, but Flair just levels him with a huge chop. Flair pounds away as Heenan theorizes that Lizmark hasn’t gotten any offense because he’s too in awe of the Nature Boy. Flair goes to the leg, but Lizmark chinlocks him from there, but Flair gets a hammerlock and pounds on the leg. He twists the ankle around, but Lizmark slugs away and hits the back body-drop and some dropkicks, but Flair avoids the third and struts. Big chop, delayed vertical suplex and Figure-Four Leglock end it at (5:28). Basic Jobber Squash, if a bit extended- Flair hardly gave him ANYTHING, and put him away with only a few moves.
Rating: *1/2 (fine enough jobber match- minimum effort and pretty basic work from both)
HERCULES HERNANDEZ vs. TYPHOON
(Some House Show, Late ’90s)
* Oh man, this is just sad. Both guys in the latter string of their careers, Herc with his hair badly thinning, a bloated belly, and blue tights coming down to “Welcome to the Jungle” and a Gold’s Gym shirt, and Typhoon in his WWF gear coming down to “Back in Black”. I wonder how many times these two songs are used for cheesy indie shows? The crowd is… not populous. Like they’re social distancing and it’s 1998 or something.
LOL they just stand there and talk shit while the cameraman gets mad at some kids for jumping on the stands and “making the camera shake around”. Dude, Citizen Kane this ain’t- settle down. Typhoon wins a pair of lockups. Typhoon does the “should I shake his hand?” bit, and opts for a shoulderblock. Herc bails and they do the Greco-Roman Stand Around And Stretch into a test of strength as the blistering pace hits Manami Toyota levels, Typhoon now being a jerk to Herc and kneeing him. Turnbuckle smashes and a dry-humping in the corner from Typhoon, then a camel clutch with his leg over the ropes (is that legal?).
Typhoon slugs away, humps away, bites the face and hits a weak backbreaker as this is really one-sided. Oh good- a two-minute chinlock spot! Lets me settle down from the lightning pace so far and check my spelling! Herc comes back with right hands, but runs into a light kick to the tummy that is apparently lethal because he’s just DONE. Typhoon hits something vaguely like a Stretch Plum, but then it’s more hump & punch action and Typhoon takes a clothesline! They fight in the corner and Typhoon goes for the eyes, but he misses an Avalanche and that’s it- Herc pins him at (11:58)! Yes, a BANANA PEEL FINISH after Typhoon took almost no damage all match.
Man, I’ve seen lazier matches, but I can’t remember when. Both guys did almost NOTHING, and Herc let Typhoon eat him alive. I almost feel bad rating this, because it’s obviously two washed-up guys working for little money in front of 60 people. So we get 11 minutes of posing, taunting, restholds and a handful of moves until Hercules scores a lucky pin off of a missed Avalanche of all things.
Rating: DUD (OH GOD NO)