The Undertaker vs. The Goon (and other Dream Matches!)

Also a weirdo mishmash of Giant Kimala II & Headhunters vs. Johnny Ace, Johnny Smith and a Virtua Fighter character!

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This time we start off with The Goon’s biggest challenge, as he faces the Undertaker during his feud with Vader! Also the time All Japan ran Johnny Ace/Johnny Smith/Wolf Hawkfield vs. a Kamala knockoff and the Headhunters! If you haven’t had enough Wrath from last week’s column, here he is in the “Post-Nash” part of his career, wrestling an Olympic bobsledder! Also a request from Maffew, as Mabel & Doink the Clown wrestle Bam Bam Bigelow & Jeff Jarrett on a Fancam house show!

As always, WWF stuff isn’t okay to post on the blog, but is readily available on YouTube.

(WWF, 1997)
* Yes, they really pit these two legends against each other on FREE TV. Can you believe that? I do find it hilarious how much like a 1990s hockey player Bill Irwin actually looked, what with that big hockey hair and his silhouette. I mean, props. Gorilla Monsoon on commentary suggests he needs to be “Ostracized from the World Wrestling Federation”. The canned heat here is ridiculous, keeping things at a long drone at the exact same volume- they’re not even trying.

Amazingly, the Goon DROPS THE GLOVES and charges Taker in the corner, but Taker hears him coming (even with those padded boots!) and dodges, lights him up with punches, and flattens him with a chokeslam. Tombstone and we’re done at (0:53)- Taker wins without even taking a move! Oh, come on! I’ve seen even jobbers get SOMETHING. What a waste of a main event gimmick that is The Goon. Jim Cornette gets on the mic afterwards and taunts Taker with the fact that Vader will put him in a body bag “and carry you out of the Alamodome like the piece of GARBAGE that you are!”. The lights go out, and Cornette keeps talking shit like a good heel, ranting and raving, until of course the lights come on and Taker is right behind him. Cornette fills his pants with shit at the sight, gets dragged into the ring (“Y’know he’s got another free hand there- he could grab JR, too!”- Monsoon), and Taker actually hits the TOMBSTONE, absolutely killing him as the show signs off. Okay, THAT’S terrific- Cornette getting his will never get old.

Rating: DUD (two-move match!)

(WWF, 1997)
* Okay, so shamefully, I missed that there was ANOTHER copy of this match on YouTube, and it was longer! Not sure why they’d make such an obvious top-tier guy like The Goon out to be a loser who jobs in a minute, but this should apparently be more competitive! Jim Ross & Jim Cornette are commentating this one!

Amazingly, the Goon DROPS THE GLOVES and charges Taker in the corner, but Taker hears him coming (even with those padded boots!) and dodges, lights him up with punches, and wipes him out with a clothesline. Another puts the Goon on the floor, but when Taker goes to bring him in, the Goon poke-checks him in the throat with the stick! Excellent. But we come back with the Goon selling in the corner, but when Taker whips him into the corner, the ref gets squashed! While Taker just stands there staring at the ref, the Goon goes for his hockey stick- Cross-Check! Multiple slashes to the back of the neck! But Taker just STANDS THERE, taking all of it, grabs teh stick, wipes the Goon out with it, then hits the Chokeslam & Tombstone to finish (2:28). Okay, that was much better.

Rating: *1/2 (still a total squash, but multiple counts of hitting a guy with a hockey stick warms my Canadian heart)

(All Japan, July 27 1998)
* Oh jesus. This is in fact another guy doing the “Kamala” gimmick, looking like he wrestled almost entirely for All Japan during the 1990s. He generally played racial caricatures and Kamala rip-offs everywhere, acting as the Botswana Beast in World Class and stuff- I’ve never seen him before. The Headhunters are known from Puerto Rico & IWA Japan and are “blood & guts” wrestlers who look like Mini-Abdullahs but fight like Mini-Vaders. Johnny Smith is the sometime replacement of Dynamite Kid in the British Bulldogs. Johnny Ace you know from WWF, but he was a pretty good big guy in All Japan, doing stuff with the Ace Crusher (cutter), which he invented, and was an upper-midcarder type. Wolf Hawkfield is another big American dude, actually named after the Virtua Fighter wrestling character of all things. He’s “Jungle” Jim Steele, who in fact spent much of his career in All Japan, sticking around after the NOAH exodus, though he never really got a big push- he went to New Japan in 2002-04 and retired in 2008.

The Headhunters are in gold & black, Kimala’s a very obese black guy in the Kamala leopard-print loincloth, Ace is a well-manicured blond dude in black trunks, Smith a dumpy guy with a jobber’s physique and blue tights, and Wolf is a muscular guy with long red tights and Native facepaint on.

Kimala & Ace start us off, with Ace doing All Japan strikes while Kimala shrieks in a high pitch and throws chops, then does a cartoon bump missing an avalanche and flat-backs from a lariat. But the Headhunters beat Ace down, take out his partners, and then hit three Avalanches in the corner! Fuck yes! Even in Japan, they know you don’t put three fat guys on one team without doing that spot! Smith breaks up the pin and everyone kinda meanders around with a brawl. Kimala comes off the top with a FLYING CLOTHESLINE (ugly as hell, but still)- Wolf saves from the pin, but gets caught in a drop-toehold/legdrop by the Hunters. Kimala misses a rolling senton (!!), but a Headhunter gets a running splash for two. Double-shoulderblock keeps Ace down, and then they hit a goddamn POWERPLEX (flying headbutt instead of a splash), but Ace is saved again. His partners fight the heels on the floor, and Ace barely manages to avoid a Headhunter Moonsault, hitting a desperation Ace Crusher to cover his exit.

Wolf flies off the top with a shoulderblock and pounds away on the heels, looking very “indie” but otherwise okay, but he’s quickly distracted and they beat him down. Kimala actually hits a shotgun dropkick, and a legdrop gets two. Avalanche misses and a bad backdrop from Wolf leads to Smith entering the match- Missile dropkick to Kimala, then a kip-up and monkey flip for a Headhunter! Suplex gets two on Kimala, but he lands on Smith from a bodyslam attempt and tags out. Headhunter splash off Bret’s Rope gets two, but the faces hit the ring and land a corner lariat into Wolf’s powerslam and Smith’s flying elbow for two. Everyone fights again and Smith hits a DDT for two, then dodges a shot and hits a… German Suplex! And he manages to hold the bridge (just barely) for the three (8:54)- the white guys win!!

Very oddly-constructed match, with Ace wrestling the entire first half by himself while the heels teed off on him, then the others took over. The moveset makes it sound great, but there was a lot of standing around between big spots, so I don’t think they planned it very well. And it was weird how the white guys just kept having to interfere and save from pins, then triple-team to take the advantage, with the 300+ pound heels pinballing around for them. Odder still was Ace starting, then Wolf being in, then Smith taking over… with no other tags. Like each guy had their own segment and that was that. Good bumping from the heels, though- a Headhunter getting up for a German is no mean feat.

Rating: **1/4 (perfectly acceptable tag match- odd match construction, but some great moves and good bumping)

(Fancam WWF House Show, August 25th 1994)
* A request from Maffew I totally missed, here’s a weirdo random tag match! Double J and Bam Bam do a funny bit with competing dance moves (Bigelow’s cartwheel) when the lights flicker for Jarrett’s standard strut. Mabel’s in gold, Doink’s in the usual, Bam Bam’s in the usual, and Jarrett’s in bright orange. Sadly, the fancam footage garbles a lof of sounds, so Oscar’s rap is a jumbled mess, as opposed to his usual flawless diction.

Jarrett eats an atomic drop from Doink immediately, and Dink adds an ass-bite in the corner- psychology! The big men get tagged in, giving us our FAT MAN STAND-OFF, Bam Bam winning with an eyepoke and enzuigiri for two. Mabel comes back with punches and his rolling spinkick for the same. He hits a shoulderblock but misses a big splash, but comes out of a corner whip with a big clothesline! The faces hit a double-elbow, but Bam Bam punches Doink- they try their own double-team, but Doink ducks under them and hits a double-clothesline- Bam Bam’s only staggered, so Doink pushes him over a bent-over Jarrett! Doink stops to laugh at them, so they recover and just bowl him over on the second try. Okay, that sequence was pretty funny.

Jarrett dumps Doink for a beatdown while distracting the ref by getting into it with Mabel. They slow it down with double-teams and punches until the fans chant for a comeback. Doink gets one with a suplex reversal and double-KO spot, and Jarrett accidentally knocks him right into Mabel for the hot tag. Mabel clotheslines JJ and elbows Bigelow out, then catches Jarrett on a cross-body and slams him. Avalanche in the corner! Flat-face bump from Jarrett! But Bammer actually snuck in a tag so he’s legal… when Mabel sets Jarrett up for the finish, Bam Bam sneaks in and hits a running clothesline for the surprise three (5:40). The fuck is this- Survivor Series?

Huh, actually not bad. Nobody was working TOO hard, but they also didn’t screw anything up, and kept it short and sweet with little resting. It got pretty methodical with the heat sequence on Doink, but otherwise alright. The finish was very clever (I missed the tag because of the fancam, but you see Hebner do the big, theatrical “he tagged” motion), albeit weaksauce- I guess a surprise move nets you +5 to damage in wrestling, but still- it’s MABEL. No wonder his Main Event run didn’t work out.

Rating: **1/2 (I’ve seen a LOT worse from house show matches between guys who needn’t have tried so hard)

(WCW Thunder, Dec. 3 1998)
* So if you’re not up on your WCW Saturday Night jobbers, and shame the fuck on you if you’re not, Chip Minton was a two-time Olympic bobsledder who went on to become a WCW wrestler who never got out of the prelims, being a Power Plant Template wrestler for the most part. He currently does motivational speaking, looking only slightly weird and not full-bore crazy/druggie like most, so yay! Wrath was in the midst of his low-key Goldberg-esque push of murdering jobbers at this point until a spectacularly ill-timed loss to Kevin Nash (and then Disco Inferno via cheating) halted his momentum and he never got it back. Wrath is in a bitching green & yellow singlet (dude had AMAZING gear) and Minton’s in a black one.

Minton tries some basic, mistimed stuff that Wrath shoves off, then gets beaten up outside the ring. Wraths suplexes him out there and hits a slingshot elbow for one (?? really?). He does a unique choke in the corner (pinning Minton there with his leg), but whips him to the ropes and takes a sunset flip for one. Minton gets choked repeatedly but hits some stiff shoulders to the gut, then ultimately gets kicked a few times and shoulderblocked down, and Wrath casually hits the Meltdown (pumphandle powerslam) for the win (3:57).

Pretty ugly win for Wrath as he tries in vain to get his momentum back- Chip’s stuff looked hard-hitting (and was probably stiff as hell- bobsledders have to be STRONG), but the timing was off, as he’s throwing shit simultaneously with Wrath instead of back-and-forth. Classic “green rookie” mistakes.

Rating: 3/4* (pretty weak jobber match that took a bit too long, probably with choking to cover for Wrath giving Chip instructions)