Shawn Michaels vs. The New Rockers (and other Dream Matches!)

Well That Didn't Work: The New Rockers | Ring the Damn Bell

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This week, I have Shawn Michaels taking on both members of the New Rockers, but in separate matches! This is during the year he became WWF Champion for the first time, so it was a pretty big deal. And both Marty Jannetty & Al Snow were good workers, so the matches are pretty good! And then we get a lucha-rules match from late-stage WCW where Rey Mysterio & Eddie Guerrero team up against Blitzkrieg & La Parka for a shockingly great short match! Also since I showed Al’s run as Shinobi a couple weeks ago, here’s part of his run as Avatar! And finally, some of the mightiest of the Rick Fuller Division go up against each other, as the dreaded huge JTTSs of Roadblock and RON STUDD are in our final bout!

SHAWN MICHAELS (w/ Jose Lothario) vs. LEIF CASSIDY:
(WWF RAW, March 25th 1996)
* So naturally, with Marty Jannetty returning to the WWF and forming the New Rockers, it was only fitting that at some point his old partner Shawn would end up wrestling one or the other. Shawn, introducing Jose for possibly the first time in front of fans, was on the road to the Iron Man Match at this point. Humorously, Leif is such a dork he’s seen marking out for both Shawn and Jose, then aggressively shakes Shawn’s hand to start. Shawn’s in red and Leif’s in a black singlet with a neon “X” across it.

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What the World Was Watching: The Wrestling Summit (Special Column)

As noted in prior columns, this show was a joint effort by the WWF, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and All Japan Pro Wrestling.  The WWF was looking to expand its global presence while New Japan and All Japan felt threatened by Akira Maeda’s shoot-like Universal Wrestling Federation, which drew a 50,000 person crowd to the Tokyo Dome for a big show in November 1989.  To counter them, New Japan and All Japan worked together on a supershow at the Tokyo Dome on February 10.  Then, they built on that effort by partnering with the WWF for another big card in Tokyo on April 13 that was named The Wrestling Summit.  According tothehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a crowd of 53,742.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – March 19, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the studio for tonight’s broadcast.  Heenan tries to open the broadcast and makes it all about him.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – February 19, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are hosting tonight’s broadcast.  Heenan announces that Mike Tyson will not referee the WWF title match between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage on The Main Event.  Monsoon follows up by saying that Buster Douglas will take Tyson’s place.  Heenan is discouraged by this news because he hoped to referee the bout.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – February 18, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are doing commentary and they are taped from Fort Myers, Florida.

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WWF WrestleFest ’88 (Savage vs. DiBiase & Hogan vs. Andre)

Arcade Longplay [244] WWF Wrestlefest - YouTube

No, not THIS WrestleFest. But damn, that game was awesome.

WWF WRESTLEFEST ’88:
(July 31, 1988, Milwaukee Coliseum)
* So while looking for more Dream Matches, I found this interesting card. It’s been covered on the Blog in the distant past, but it seems fun. This was one of those times Vince “My philosophy is help yourself; don’t hurt the other guy” McMahon deliberately booked a super-show specifically to hurt the other guy, as Great American Bash tour was kicking off in Milwaukee the next night, so Vince is like “HEY HAVE A STADIUM SHOW WITH ALL MY BIGGEST STARS!” putting the hot World Title program and Hogan/Andre in a goddamn Steel Cage in the Main Event slots. The obvious reason being to make the WWF look awesome and the NWA look like shit, and to make fans spend money and hype on this show instead of that one. And I guess it worked.

This show is kind of scattered around the ‘net, as they didn’t quite air the whole thing at once- the openers were taped for regular TV shows and the Title Match is on DailyMotion, so this is scattered between YouTube and DM. But it’s an interesting time for the company, as things are hot as hell 3+ years after the Hogan Era began and the Mega Powers era is in full swing. Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes, Sean Mooney & Superstar Billy Graham, which is an, um, odd assortment of B & C-Team announcers.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – February 4, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are in the booth and they are concluding the tapings in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Rockers energetic squash from Prime Time Wrestling kicks off the broadcast.

For the Special Report segment a recap of the Brother Love Show at The Royal Rumble airs.

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Bret vs. Misawa, Savage vs. Tenryu & Hogan vs. Hansen (and other Dream Matches!)

 

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Hogan & Hansen: Main Event in the making!

WWF/AJPW/NJPW WRESTLING SUMMIT:
(Tokyo Dome, April 13th, 1990)

* This is a pretty wild and wacky card, full of the kind of “Dream Matches” you’ll never see again- I’m really shocked it’s not more famous. I mean, it’s a triple-show with All Japan, New Japan, AND the WWF all at once! In the Tokyo Dome! Apparently highlights were aired on Japanese TV, but complexities with the rights led to the full event never being shown in its entirety (which might be why it’s so obscure). The biggest matches are Hulk Hogan vs. Stan Hansen, Macho Man vs. Genichiro Tenryu, and the Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted DiBiase. The WON awards declared this the “Best Major Wrestling Show” of 1990!

“TL;DR” Version: So come see Bret Hart vs. Mitsuharu Misawa in the most disappointing Dream Match of all time! Hogan with his “Japan working boots” (where he’s more “Unstoppable Monster” than the Technically-Gifted Powerhouse I was led to believe he was) on against Stan Hansen in one of his greatest matches ever! Macho King & Queen Sherri doing their schtick against a stoic top-tier Japanese legend in a befuddled Tenryu! Grumpy ol’ Jumbo Tsuruta dealing with hard-working heels in Martel & Perfect!

The show had two dark matches- Dan Kroffat, Doug Furnas & Joe Malenko beat Samson Fuyuki, Tatsumi Kitahara & Toshiaki Kawada in (11:56), and Jushin Liger beat Akira Nogami in (8:37). An extremely shaky fancam of the latter exists- it’s mostly hold-trading. They trade corner moves and Liger hits a surfboard and a rock-the-cradle. They trade flash-pins and Nogami hits a very good plancha and German Suplex for two, but Liger dropkicks him coming off the top and hits a Tope Con Hilo to the floor! He misses a roundhouse kick but gets a powerslam and finishes with a Moonsault Press. Looks **1/2-ish but holy god am I not gonna go move-for-move with such a shaky vid.

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Mike Reviews – WWF Monday Night Raw 17th March 1997

Hello You!

Seeing as we’re approaching WrestleMania later in the month, I decided to go back and review the go-home show for WrestleMania 13, seeing as it features quite a famous show closing moment. Mania 13 isn’t always well regarded, but it’s got a couple of good matches buried in amongst the early 97 malaise, along with an excellent match between Bret Hart and Steve Austin. I’ve actually reviewed it before and you can read what I thought if you like by clicking right HERE.

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Honky Tonk Man & The Hart Foundation vs. Bruno Sammartino, Tito Santana & Jake Roberts (and other Dream Matches!)

Randy Savage vs Bruno Sammartino (WWF, 1-3-1987) | Tape Machines Are Rolling

Bruno was a scary grandpa in 1987- he still looked more dangerous than many of the roided-up wrestlers.

Welcome to more Dream Matches! This time, I found a super-unusual bout from 1987 with latter-era Bruno shoring up a six-man match against some of the nastiest heels in town, and a look at Baby AJ Styles as an indie nobody in WCW, teaming with Air Paris against Jamie Noble & Evan Karagias! Also, did you know that one half of Well Dunn once fought MANTAUR? This all-time Dream Match was for the lucky 26 fans who watched USWA in 1997, and will be reviewed for you here in this very column! Also watch the death of the Big Bully Busick gimmick, and Bill Goldberg demolish one half of the Master Blasters (no, not that one).

ELIMINATION TAG MATCH:
THE HONKY TONK MAN & THE HART FOUNDATION (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart, w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. BRUNO SAMMARTINO, TITO SANTANA & JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS:
(WWF TV, Sept. 1987)
* Hahah, now THAT’s a random six-man! Honky’s the most hated heel in the business with his IC Title, and the Harts are also the champs, while they’re up against the Living Legend (Bruno, not Larry), Tito near his peak, and Jake on his way up. Bruno & Tito are in blue, Jake & Honky in red, and the Harts in pink & black. The Harts start shit, but Jake clears the ring with Damien immediately. This is from one of those “Scott’s Wrestling Collection” sets on YouTube.

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SummerSlam Showdown 1991 (Dragon/Tornado/Bulldog vs. All Three Orient Express)

“You know the Texas Tornado’s the only guy I know who can hide his own Easter eggs?”.
-Bobby Heenan on Kerry Von Erich

WWF SUMMERSLAM SPECTACULAR 1991:
* Did you ever know that the Orient Express once had ALL THREE members fighting in a match at the same time? I sure didn’t! Yet here it is tonight! I’m oddly more excited for that than anything else on here- another prelude to a big PPV, in this case being SummerSlam ’91. Also up: Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter for the WWF Title! Hawk vs. Brian Knobbs! Bret Hart vs. The Barbarian! Virgil versus a mystery man of Ted DiBiase’s choosing!

Vince makes a timely Annette Funnicello reference (who in their target audience would get THAT?) and Bobby Heenan’s in a ridiculous early ’90s “beach bum” get-up. Some douchebag fan has a whistle and they blow that sucker REPEATEDLY at certain points during the show.

WCW vs WWF: The Nasty Boys | WrestleZone Forums

The Nasty Boys: The Rocksteady & Bebop of the wrestling industry.

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Bret Hart & The Ultimate Warrior vs. Kamala & Papa Shango (and other Dream Matches!)

UNRELEASED Tag Match, Ultimate Warrior & Bret Hitman Hart Vs Papa Shango & Kamala 13th Oct 1992 - YouTube

Ugh, it’s SINGLET Warrior- that’s always death.

It’s time for more Dream Matches! Including the weirdest “final bout of the House Show” tag match ever! The ultimate battle of WCW Saturday Night: Hole In One versus LIGHTNING FOOT! An odd and very rare Heel vs. Heel Tag Title match on RAW! And a very interesting match featuring 1992 Sean Waltman & Jerry Lynn in a bout featuring a ton of Luchadors!

As always, WWE-owned clips are non-kosher to post here, but they’re all on YouTube.

THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR & BRET “HITMAN” HART vs. PAPA SHANGO & KAMALA (w/ Dr. Harvey Whippleman & Kim Chee):
(WWF Unreleased, Oct. 13th, 1992)
* Oh man, this is weird. Ultimate Warrior (in his “Brick Wall Singlet” era, no less!), just about done with the company, is teaming with the single WWF wrestler least like him against a guy they both have an issue with- Papa Shango possibly “cursed” the Hitman and he lost the IC Title, while he made the Warrior bleed black and puke his guts out on TV in one of the most bizarre, amazing, fantastic angles of 1992… before everyone was kind of just done with that gimmick. And Kamala’s teaming with him because he needs an extra guy, I guess (I mean, voodoo has its roots in African religions, but I doubt the booking team knew that). They’re clearly going with an “Undertaker” vibe with Shango, doing close-ups of “disturbed”, frightened children, but it’s just not taking- the gimmick’s too out there. Who would have guessed that the secret to Charles Wright was to make this 6’6″, 300-lb. tattooed guy a smiling babyface instead?

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NXT UK – August 20, 2020

NXT UK
Date: August 20, 2020
Host: Andy Shepard

We’re back to something a lot more interesting than Greatest Hits here as we have Superstar Picks. In other words, it’s time to crack open the WWE video vault and see what we can find involving UK wrestlers. This is what they have been needing to do for a long time now as they are long past the point of good stuff for Greatest Hits from NXT UK. Let’s get to it.

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NXT UK – June 11, 2020

NXT UK
Date: June 11, 2020
Host: Andy Shepard

It’s another Superstar Picks edition this week and that is one of the most entertaining things you can get on these shows. They offer a great look inside the WWE vault, which is something you don’t get to do often enough on television. Giving it the British slant makes things even more interesting. Let’s get to it.

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Mike Reviews: WWF In Your House 6

There’s no particular reason for this one, but seeing as this show happened in the month of February and comes in at just under two hours, I thought I might as well review it. I’ve set some time aside next week to work on Six of the Best for WCW SuperBrawl, so keep a look out for that to be up before February comes to a close.

Without further ado though, let’s take a look at In Your House 6!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 07-26-1993

Taped from New York, NY

Airdate: July 26, 1993 (taped 7/19)

Attendance: 1,200 (sold out)

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Will Bigelow even the score or will Bret earn a second straight victory over the Beast from the East? What’s up with Doink and Savage? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF King of the Ring ’93

Live from Dayton, OH

Airdate: June 13, 1993

Attendance: 8,000 (7,000 paid)

Hosted by Jim Ross, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Who will become the 1993 King of the Ring? Will Yokozuna regain the WWF title or will Hogan keep his “toy”? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 05-24-1993

Taped from New York, NY

Airdate: May 24, 1993 (taped 5/17)

Attendance: 1,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Will either Doink or Perfect qualify for the tournament? What does Ramon have up his sleeve? Could he be calling for a strike? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 4-19-1993

Taped from Poughkeepsie, NY

Airdate: April 19, 1993 (taped 4/12)

Attendance: 3.500

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Rob Bartlett

Can the Beverlies upset the champs? Will Ramon get by Virgil? Does Bartlett survive the episode? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF WrestleMania IX

Live from Las Vegas, NV

Airdate: April 4, 1993

Attendance:  15,045 (14,000 paid)

Hosted by Jim Ross, “Macho Man” Randy Savage & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Will Bret retain the WWF title against Yokozuna? How will Hogan affect WrestleMania this year? How does this show compare to previous WrestleManias? Let’s find out!

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