Stampede Wrestling – March 25, 1988

A quick review tonight from the Stampede collection, with an episode running 35 minutes and doubtless having a bit cut out. Jason’s on the still for the episode, so let’s see if Luke is angry.

Jason the Terrible vs. Kerry Brown

Joined in progress with Ed Whalen and Makhan Singh on the mic, with Brown sending the babyface Jason over the top rope and onto the ringside table with the bell on it. Ed speculates that he might’ve taken a legitimately nasty tumble. He comes back in with a reddish stain on his overalls, so I don’t know whether he cut his hip on one of the bolts or a sharp edge. Brown at this point is part of the Midnight Cowboys with Rip Rogers, so in pink resembles Adrian Adonis. Back in, Brown gets a clothesline and a nice flying elbowdrop. He goes uncomfortably deep into his tights for a foreign object to go to the throat with. Jason reverses a suplex, but misses an impressive diving headbutt. Brown holds a rear chinlock for a while. Another flying elbowdrop for two, and back to the chinlock fifteen minutes in (joined at ten). Brown drops a kneedrop and removes the hockey mask (but not the mask underneath) and lowers the kneepad to go for an even stiffer one, but Jason blocks with a forearm and starts the comeback. Flying clothesline from Jason for two. Gourdbuster and slam sets up Brown for a senton (!), but Kerry moves at the twenty minutes mark. Elbow gets two. Bulldog and slam, but Jason meets him going up and superplexes him off and gets the flying headbutt to finish. Jason is a pretty awesome worker and it’s for shame that injuries stopped him going further, but the match was mostly in neutral except for the impressive flying moves.

Interview: Ed speaks to Owen Hart in the ring ahead of defending his title against Makhan. Owen didn’t lack confidence as a speaker, but just didn’t have anything unique to say. Turning on his brother took him from phenomenal wrestler to one of the all time greatest.

Chris Benoit vs. Great Gama Singh

Approaching five minutes in, Gama gets some knees to the belly, but Voldemort fights back with kicks. Gama is a very smooth wrestler, but his bald spot is incredibly distracting (as written by a slaphead himself). Chris goes for dropkicks like the Dynamite Kid, which had me almost typing Dyno, but misses one and gets piledriven. His leg lands on the rope, causing a break. Benoit rolls through a flying crossbody off the top for two. He goes flying on a back body drop and then runs into the Cobra Clutch. Benoit escapes but gets a knee to the jaw on a corner charge, then Gama almost drops him when he tries a backbreaker. I have to note how annoying, in a “Go away!” way, heel manager the Weasel is. Benoit, who I’m starting to realise is pretty green at this point, makes his comeback with dropkicks and an awkward clothesline. There’s either too much of Gama dominating or taking a walk. Benoit suplexes Gama in from the outside, but the Weasel sweeps the leg to put him on top. Wayne Hart comes out and breaks up the pinfall, and Benoit rolls up Gama while he’s bitching at him. Well, now I know what Benoit was like before he’d properly learnt the business.

Interview: Ed interviews Chris in the ring after his victory. Well, we know he was never a good talker, but here he never looks at the camera once and sounds like English is his second language. Not good.

Owen Hart vs. Makhan Singh

Joined in progress as Owen ties Singh in the ropes and drops elbows off the top onto him and gets some chops, earning him a yellow card for not letting him out. Vokkan Singh trips Owen, so he posts him to get him out of his hair. After a few minutes of dominating Singh, Owen takes a charge at him and gets pancaked on a press. It’s weird how Owen’s 218 pounds and Singh is about 350, but with Owen being a bit taller he looks on par with him. It’s not a big man vs. small man match. Approaching ten minutes, Singh gets a legdrop for two. He goes to the second rope for a splash, which by rights was three, but only gets two. Owen fights out of a bearhug, but Makhan sets him up in the corner for the Karachi Crunch (avalanche). Owen meets him coming with a flying forearm and then gets him up for a suplex. He goes for a flying dropkick, but it hits the referee instead, wiping him out. Singh tosses him outside, where Johnny Smith nails him with a DDT on the floor. Back in, Singh gets the Crunch, seemingly to finish. He lifts him up for a powerslam, and Jason comes in with a headbutt to put Owen on top for the pinfall victory. Karachi Vice try to get revenge on them after the match, but the babyfaces fight them off. Owen and Mike Shaw had pretty legendary matches in Stampede, and this is one of many very good ones.

Interview: Ed talks to Singh and Johnny Smith at ringside after the match. They challenge “Omar” and Jason to a match next week, but request that Ed doesn’t show it because all the kids will cry when they tear their heads off. Johnny’s going to pretend he’s back in England playing football with how much he’s going to kick their heads in.

Interview: Owen, with Jason’s bloodied mask, talk about how it’ll be a street fight on Good Friday. Much more fired up this time. Ed signs off with the crowd and doing his hand gestures.

The Bottom Line: It’s not hard to see why Calgary was such a wrestling factory, even if Benoit was a work in progress at the time. Even if he’d had a modified gimmick, I would’ve loved to have seen Jason in the WWF as a monster heel of some sort. Back again soon, hopefully with the British Bulldogs.