The British Bulldogs vs. The Fantastics (and other Dream Matches!)

So if you’re anything like me, you get up every once in a while and go “I really feel like watching a bunch of High Voltage matches!”. I could make a whole column out of that, but aaaaahhhhh here’s a rarity from All Japan, featuring a WWF-era tag team and a Southern Wrasslin’-era tag team in a rare Dream Match! Then you can see High Voltage take on such luminaries as Scott Norton, the Villanos, and Ice Train! Also, see Ted DiBiase wind down his solo career as Sid Justice enters the WWF!

As always, WWE-owned matches are non-kosher to post on the Blog.

TSUYOSHI KIKUCHI & THE BRITISH BULLDOGS (Davey-Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid) vs. MASANOBU FUCHI & THE FANTASTICS (Bobby Fulton & Tommy Rogers):
(All Japan Pro Wrestling, fancam match, 27.01.1990)
* Here’s a pretty bizarre six-man from All Japan, WAY on the tail end of the Bulldogs’s run- except for Davey, everyone’s a Junior Heavyweight. The Bulldogs & Fantastics were notable teams who usually wrestled in different companies, making this a true rarity. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them wrestle as a team short of one of those WWF tag team DVD sets, but they’re a pair of undersized dudes in baby blue trunks with stripper-bowties around their necks- Fulton has the long blonde pretty-boy hair, while Rogers is more clean-cut. I’m unfamiliar with Fuchi but he’s the dominant Junior of ’80s-90s All Japan. Kikuchi was a top-rate Junior-sized guy with a Rising Sun on his ass here. The Bulldogs are in red tights tonight, and are damn near finished as a team.

Kikuchi & Fulton chain-wrestle for a minute, then Kikuchi impresses the fans by avoiding a double-team and taking out both guys with a quick dropkick/headlock-takeover combo. Rogers skins the cat back in but gets clotheslined over, then sends Kikuchi into the guardrail. Fuchi works a cross-armbreaker, but Davey’s in and he press-slams him (with REPS!), but the Fantastics trade off on him and Dynamite hits a headbutt on Fulton. Aw, his suplex has lost its “snap” by this point. Fantastics/Fuchi work Davey’s arm, but he just powers Fuchi into the delayed suplex. Fuchi bails and Fulton tries to jump Davey, so he just press-slams the f----- onto Fuchi on the outside! Hah! And now Rogers onto Fulton! Dynamite clotheslines one on the other side of the guardrail, but they yank Davey out and kick his ass for a while. Fuchi enzuigiris him but he escapes and now Kikuchi’s getting double-teamed by the Fantastics. Everyone trades off for a while, trying stuff and bailing, but Dynamite just beats the s--- out of Fuchi. Backdrop hold gets two. Kikuchi missile dropkicks Fuchi, but Fulton drags him out and garrotes him over the guardrail, and Fuchi piledrives him.

Rogers dropkick & powerslam get two and he looks really good out here. Dyno headbutts him and Davey misses two clotheslines and catches him, but Fultron dropkicks them over, then they double-dropkick him out, do the same to Dyno, and they strut! The boys are over! There’s a brawl outside (a fan gets in the way of the camera), and Tommy hits a big German- Dynamite lands a big elbow on his gut to break the bridge. Kikuchi Perfect Plex gets two. Neckbreaker, but Fulton runs in. Davey hits a double-arm suplex on Fulton for two. They trade off again and Dyno does a forward flip off Fuchi’s enzuigiri and gets dumped, and Fulton KILLS him with a chair (Dyno spins around and flat-faces the bump). But he just kicks out from a backdrop and escapes so that goes nowhere. Davey hits the Running Powerslam on Rogers and presses Kikuchi onto him, but the others run in. Dyno clothesline & Davey gutwrench on Fulton- Kikuchi Perfect Plex gets two. Dynamite hits a Tombstone on Rogers for two- Fuchi saves. Dyno does an elbowdrop to the same reaction, and tags in to Kikuchi, who leaps onto Rogers for a victory roll, but Rogers just kneels down Owen-style and gets the pin as his team runs interference (24:25)!

Interesting match! Well-wrestled at with some great spots, but it kinda meandered in points as guys either just decided to chain-wrestle again, and guys would often just quickly get out of a move and tag out, meaning that there was never any set momentum nor heat segments of any value- like that bit where Dynamite gets murdered with chairshots and should be drawing heat, but instead he just kicks out and makes the tag. Dynamite was still in the ring the least, but was still doing a bunch of stuff in a row rather than hit a move and bail immediately like in the other AJPW match I saw. But there’s fun stuff like Davey-Boy press-slamming both Fantastics out of the ring, the chair stuff, and more, and everyone’s stuff looked GREAT- Kikuchi has impressed me before, but Tommy Rogers’s stuff looks smooth as silk.

Rating: ***1/2 (some very good wrestling, but a lot of it felt like “let’s fill space” rather than a match with a real story- guys just tried moves and did tags until somebody did a move and won)

* From an “Unreleased” DVD set (so there’s no commentary), it’s a floundering Ted DiBiase facing Sid Justice, who at this point has no theme music or crowd reactions. Sid looks like a million bucks, wearing red tonight, and gets yanked off the apron by “French Maid” Sherri (that look doesn’t suck), leading to Ted axehandling him from behind.

Sid completely no-sells DiBiase’s attack, and reverses punches with a series of clotheslines that bring him over the top! Atomic drop sends him over AGAIN as Ted is just getting nothing, and Sid even reverses a beating outside the ring once Ted drags him out. Sid hits a back body drop and poses, but Ted smacks him with the loaded purse and finally takes the lead. Some fairly meticulous brawling leads to a clothesline for two, and three of those sweet Falling Punches get the same. Ted hits a vertical suplex but takes WAY too long with a back elbow off the second rope and misses, so Sid punches him, hits a jumping avalanche in the corner… then misses a big charge! Ted hits an axehandle off the second rope, but Sid barely sells it and reverses a whip- kick to the gut and he finishes him with a Kneeling Powerbomb at (5:17)! Wow- they jobbed out Ted FAST here!

The best kind of Sid match- short, quick, and to the point. Ted was rapidly falling down and reading for “Money Inc.” at this point, and Sid was the new “Big Push” guy, so the result makes sense. The action was super-basic, as Sid couldn’t move particularly well even back then, though his moves were fine- he just sold like he had a metal rod from ankle to skullcap, barely stumbling around. Ted’s stuff looked good and he bumped like a maniac to put Sid over, so full props there.

Rating: *3/4 (perfectly fine, but short- weaker Powerbomb to finish, too- possibly making it safer for Ted)

FIRE & ICE (Scott Norton & Ice Train) vs. HIGH VOLTAGE (Ruckus & Kaos):
(WCW Saturday Night, 15.06.1996)
* Very early in High Voltage’s run, as they’d debuted shortly before, with “Ruckus” & Kaos. And this is Fire & Ice, a short-lived tag team with big New Japan guy Scott Norton and a black dude with a similar “stocky powerhouse” physique in Ice Train, who never meant anything to the business despite having ridiculously-huge arms. Voltage are in pink singlets, while Norton’s in red & black and Train’s in blue & white- I always dug that latter combination.

Norton hits a Samoan drop immediately, and bodyblocks Kaos down, but a blind tag to Ruckus sees him come off the top with a shoulderblock, bringing Norton down. He almost sells it for two seconds before popping up and catching a springboarding Kaos with a powerslam. Ice Train & Ruckus go next, with Train being a total amateur doing simple power moves and then doing a goofy “bird-man” dance after EVERY SINGLE ONE, like he just learned to wrestle yesterday. He no-sells Ruckus’s punches with a shaky “I’m gonna go nuts” look, clotheslines him, and sets up the finish. Release gutwrench suplex and the Shoulderbreaker/Flying Splash combination wins at (2:40). Just a quick, nothing match, with the powerhouses selling all of one move before it was time to hit some simple, basic offense and get an easy win over the rookies.

Rating: 1/2* (jobber squash personified)

HIGH VOLTAGE (Rage & Kaos) vs. LOS VILLANOS (Villano IV & V):
(WCW Saturday Night, 25.07.1998)
* Here’s one of two Voltage/Villanos matches on Saturday Night within a two-week span. Why THIS match? It’s never explained! This is just filler! The Villanos are in black as usual, while the roid-monsters are in white singlets, making them look even MORE like Steiner wannabes!

Kaos works the arm, and Rage catches a Villano and hits his overhead belly-to-belly. A brief comeback is immediately cut off with arm stuff, but the Villanos manage an assisted missile dropkick for two- Rage saves. Kaos comes back with a powerslam from a charge, and Rage hits a running powerslam (stopping to hammer him into the corner first). They do a double-team with a half-crab and the wimpiest legdrop off the second rope ever, Kaos SUPER-carefully coming off and guiding his jump by holding onto the top rope. Villano makes the save and they double-team Kaos into a hotshot on the rope- standing senton gets two. Kaos powers through a double-clothesline and hits a jumping one of his own, and Voltage hits stereo overhead belly-to-bellies! Springboard Doomsday Device Cross-Body gets the three (4:04).

Actually not a bad little abridged match, as Voltage hits a bunch of cool moves on their smaller opponents, who make them look good. Overhead belly-to-bellies abound, and a Doomsday finisher… the Steiners had JUST split up and you could see these dudes kind of taking their shot.

Rating: ** (perfectly okay short bout with some good stuff)

HIGH VOLTAGE (Rage & Kaos) vs. LOS VILLANOS (Villano IV & V):
(WCW Saturday Night, 08.08.1998)
* And now, two weeks later, we see the same match! The Villanos have red masks this time, while High Voltage are in neon green.

A Villano does arm stuff to control Rage, but he powers out and a double-team sees Kaos do a slingshot legdrop for two. A shot from the apron sees Kaos double-teamed, however, but he comes back with a knee and they hit some generic stuff. Butterfly suplex for one and an overhead belly-to-belly for another, and Rage hits a clothesline. He misses the next and they throw shots at him, but he catches one with a press slam into a powerslam… but they do the “Twin Switch” behind his back. The fresh Villano rolls up Rage off the ropes, but Kaos saves, dumps him, and they just beat up the other one, hitting a Springboard Doomsday Device (with Kaos doing the jumping this time) for three (4:25). LOL the Villanos suck so bad that all their “Twin Switch” can get them is a roll-up- these guys were JOBBER CITY.

Rating: * (actually worse than the last match- mostly plodding brawling and go-nowhere submissions)