ECW on Sci-Fi #29 12/26/2006 & #30 01/07/2007

It’s the last ECW of 2006 and…it’s a Best Of. Oh. Styles and Tazz present highlights of Cena vs. RVD, RVD vs. Show, Extreme Strip Poker (what?), Extreme Elimination Chamber, Lashley winning the title and the three-way from last week. At the end, Tazz gives Joey a Christmas present.

Styles: ”Are you sure? It says ”Michael Cole” on the label…and it’s ticking?”

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A VERY PG CHRISTMAS: What If

So with PSN being wonky yesterday, I couldn’t get into the WWE Network to review the first of many PPVs for your pleasure.  New schedule, then:

Today: a WHAT IF.
Tomorrow: a TNA PPV.
Sunday: WrestleMania Recall.
Monday: Raw in DC.
Tuesday: A wild card PPV.
Wednesday: BoDWF News Report with Wade Michael Meltzer.

Here is today’s What If:

What if Brutus Beefcake never went parasailing on July 4, 1990?

On that day, Beefcake was involved in a horrific crash that by all rights should have cost him his career and nearly killed him.  He required a very long reconstruction surgery to his skull, and he didn’t take a bump or wrestle a match until 2 1/2 years later.  At the time, he and Mr. Perfect were embroiled in a hot feud, one that seemed ready to culminate at SummerSlam 1990 with the Intercontinental Title on the line.

Now, on the surface this seems a rather easy answer: he wins the I-C title from Mr. Perfect, they turn him heel and test him against Hogan in 1991 or later, and he cruises as one of the Hogan Clique members from there.  In fact, his WCW career is likely unchanged.  HOWEVER…

The bigger issue is who gets their push delayed as a result of Beefcake still being around.  In 1990, Kerry Von Erich was signed hastily by Vince as a replacement Barber (and for his value to the Texas market).  His WWF career seemed doomed from the start, since he was inevitably compared with Ultimate Warrior and came up short in the charisma department.  If Vince doesn’t need him, does the NWA/WCW take a chance on him?  And if so, what happens to him?

But then there’s Bret Hart.  Vince had been willing and trying to pull the trigger on a Bret singles run for some time, and you can see in Royal Rumbles that Bret’s stamina is a valuable asset — he had long runs in 1988, 1990, and 1991.  However, does he get that chance if Hogan’s brother Bruti is still active?  Or does Vince have to delay Bret’s rise until 1992-93 — which in turn puts his World title reigns on the back burner for a year or two?

Gentlemen, discuss: WHAT IF?

BoD Christmas Eve Night Thread

  1. No sporting events I can find tonight, and I’m sure everyone can figure out what’s on the the Network tonight if you have it. Science Channel is showing every episode of Mythbusters in order if that’s your thing, outside of that it seems to be the usual holiday fare. Talk about whatever the hell you want, unlike Princess I want to to keep things as dirty and nasty as possible. You know how how I roll…
  2. Merry Christmas, and stay safe out there.

OVW Christmas Chaos January 31st, 2001

January 31, 2001
Your host is Jim Cornette
The show was supposed to be held on December 13th, 2000 but was cancelled due to a snow storm. It was held the following month at the Louisville Gardens and drew 5,000 fans.

Minnesota Stretching Crew vs. “Smooth” Johnny Spade & Sly Scraper
For those of you who do not know, the stretching crew consists of Brock Lesnar and Shelton Benjamin. Lesnar was sporting a singlet here. Scraper was better known as Sylvester Terkay. Spade was a skinny cruiserweight who acted cocky and facially resembled Kid Kash. He was wrestling in OVW as recently as seven months ago. Lesnar and Benjamin were rookies at the time too. Spade starts off by spitting at Benjamin then gets backed into the corner. Spade scapes and tags Scraper, who works the arm of Benjamin. After a minute, Benjamin shows off his athleticism to escape then climbs on Scraper’s shoulder but they completely botch a rana, with Scraper seemingly having no clue on how to take the move. Benjamin kills him with a super kick, busting Scraper open in the process, then tags Lesnar, who drops an elbow. Lesnar knocks Spade off of the apron after getting hit but walks right into a spinning heel kick. Spade tags and gets two off of an elbow smash. Lesnar tosses him off then kips up and catches him with a press slam. He hits him with a belly-to-belly suplex then tags Benjamin. They knock Scraper out of the ring and Lesnar follows him outside. Scraper then pulls down the top rope on Benjamin and he falls to the floor. Spade holds Benjamin in place as Scraper comes off of the top with a headbutt to the groin. He then hits a pumphandle suplex before he picks up Spade, who splashes Benjamin. Brock breaks up the count then Spade goes to work on Shelton. Both men collide attempting crossbody blocks and are down on the mat. Both men tag and Brock runs wild. He hits Scraper with a tilt-a-whirl slam then he tags Benjaimn and they hit a double uranage. Spade breaks up the pin with a top rope leg drop. He rakes the eyes of Benjamin, who lands on his feet after a monkey flip attempt. Spade taunts the crowd then walks into a vicious super kick. Scraper breaks up the cover but Benjamin lands on his feet after a backdrop and hits a knee smash and is momentum carries him to the corner as Spade backdrops him to the floor. Brock then climbs up top and hits a shooting star press halfway across the ring. Holy shit was that beautiful. Spade breaks that up at 2.9999 but Brock catches him and hits a backbreaker then Shelton comes off of the top with a 450 splash for the win (8:02) **1/4.
Thoughts: Sloppy at times but Lesnar and Shelton were just oozing potential here. Some awesome stuff from those two. Scraper was very slow and cumbersome in the ring and did not look too good at all. Spade was competent but very much the definition of an “indy” guy with a bad look and average physique.
Slick Robbie D. vs. Randy Orton
Robbie D. passed away about a year after this match when he committed suicide shortly after being arrested due to sleeping with an underage female. He had a lot of other trouble with the law too. Here, he was billed as having a 48’ inch vertical leap. Orton was also a rookie, as was the referee for the match, Donna Derring. Robbie takes him down with a shoulder block then stomps away before taunting Orton with a dance. That might have gotten over on the main roster, actually. Orton comes back with a hiptoss and a dropkick before going to work on the arm. Orton stops short on a leapfrog and hits a sweet wheelbarrow slingshot suplex for two. He should do that today as a signature spot. Robbie leaps right to the top and comes back with a sunset flip, getting two. Super kick gets two then he argues with the ref. Robbie hits a slam then follows that with a leg drop, getting two. He sends Orton over the top rope with a dropkick then follows out with an beautiful tope that cleared the top rope. He rolls Orton inside and heads up top but plays to the crowd and that allows Orton to get up and cut him off. Orton climbs up and hits a superplex as both men are down. Orton gets up first and fires away. He hits a backdrop and a clothesline before getting a nearfall with a T-Bone Suplex. He tries for his finisher, the full nelson slam, but Robbie escapes then quickly after that, Orton hits the move for the win (7:19) **1/2.
Thoughts: Both guys looked very impressive. Even as a rookie, you could see the potential in Orton. He sold like a champ when he had to and seemed to be in the right spots. Robbie was a freakish athlete and had not only wrestled in Memphis before signing a developmental deal but also acted as a stuntman in Hollywood. He held his demons in check, he probably would have gotten to the main roster.
UFC Rules Match
“Ironman” Rob Conway vs. Ron “H2O” Waterman
The rules are the match is won when you make your opponent submit or tap out. Waterman was a former UFC competitor prior to signing a developmental deal. He had a great look but never made it to the main roster. Conway stalls for a minute then they lockup and go right through the ropes. Conway is limping around the ring as Waterman tosses him back inside. Conway fights back and hammers away in the corner. Waterman comes back with a few suplexes before putting him in a Boston Crab. Conway fights out and ducks outside before going back and landing a few shots. Waterman catches him with an inverted atomic drop before taking down Conway with a poor excuse of a clothesline. He hits a back suplex but eats boot on a charge and Conway takes control. He works on the injured arm of Waterman for a minute. Waterman comes back and hits a backdrop. Conway rolls outside and ducks a clothesline, as Waterman hits the post with his injured arm. In the ring, Conway puts on an armbar and Waterman refuses to tap out then Waterman becomes unconscious as the ref rings the bell (7:10) ¾*.
Thoughts: The match was slow and plodding and there were barely any submission holds applied, making the UFC stipulations ridiculous. Waterman performed poorly in the ring, just looking slightly better than Scraper did.
The Suicide Blondes (Rip Rogers & Jason Lee & Derrick King) vs. Sean Casey & Chris Michaels & Phil Phair
The stipulations of this match were that if the Blondes lost, they would have their head’s shaved in the middle of the ring and if Phair’s team lost, he would have to kiss the ass of every member of the opposing team. Phair comes out with a neck brace and states that he hurt is neck by slipping on gravy in Kenny Bolin’s dressing room and introduces his replacement partner, “Nature Boy” Buddy Landell. Lee starts off the match by beating on Casey. The blondes use quick tags as Michaels tags and catches King with a slam. He heads up top but King cuts him off then takes him off with a hurricarana. He tries a float over in the corner but Michaels catches him with an Alabama Slam. Landell tags and chops down King. He catches him off of a crossbody attempt and hits a backbreaker before tagging Casey. King gets double-teamed by Casey & Michaels as the pace remains fast. King comes back with a facebuster as both men are down. King makes the tag to Lee and he goes wild. He hits a moonsault on Casey but Landell breaks that up as the match breaks down. Lee goes after Phair on the ring then Rogers hits Phair with a noogie punch and they all cover him for the pin (4:41) *1/4. After the match, Phair kisses everyone’s ass in PG fashion.
Thoughts: Quick match that had some decent action. Lee & King were guys that kicked around the southeast indies for a while. Casey was under a developmental deal at this time and had worked as a jobber on “Sunday Night Heat” and “Shotgun Saturday Night” but never got called up to the WWE. Michaels was almost 40 years old at the time and oddly enough, wrestled in the Suicide Blondes in ECW, when it was known as “Eastern Championship Wrestling” along with Johnny Hot Body and Chris Candido. Landell looked huge, he wore what looked like a prison jumpsuit, but could still go in the ring and his punches looked fantastic. After this, he wrestled a few matches for NWA-TNA during the first few months of the company with Rick Michaels.
Ten Count Match
The Damaja vs. Russ McCollough
McCullough was billed as 7’0 and looked similar to Kevin Nash. He carried a New York Jets helmet to the ring as he allegedly played for them. The Damaja was better known as Danny Basham. McCullough beats on Basham before tossing him outside. He then knocks him off of the apron before Damaja comes back in and hammers away. He uses his quickness but McCullough overpowers him. He picks him up but Damaja counters that into a DDT and McCullough gets up at the 6 count. Damaja fires away in the corner but gets shoved away. McCullough hits a powerslam then drops the leg as Damaja gets up at 8. McCullough knocks him back down but Damaja fights back until McCullough hits him with a powerbomb and Damaja gets up at nine, only for McCullough to clothesline him back down. He tries for another powerbomb but Damaja escapes then hits a flying headscissors. He hits a rana and heads up top and connects with a missile dropkick that has McCullough get up at 8. Damaja hits a corner splash then hits the Brain Damaja (sitout chokeslam) as McCullough just beats the ten count. McCullough kicks Damaja in the groin then hits him with his helmet as Damaja cannot get up at the ten count (6:16) ¼*.
Thoughts: The worst match of the night, IMO. McCullough was awful and the Damaja was dull and together, they had a boring match with a crappy ending. McCullough was another big guy who had the look the WWE loves but was awful in the ring with shitty ring presence and never made it to the main roster. Who knows what happened to him.
Hardcore Match
Flash & Trailer Park Trash vs. Rico Constantino & Mr. Black w/ Kenny Bolin
Rico was ripped and sported long hair, looking like a star. How the WWE thought bringing him up as a homosexual stylist was a good idea I will never know. Flash wrestled as Kobain in TNA for a match as part of the Disciples of the New Church. Mr. Black was a fat guy and I do not know much about Trash. Anyway, the Flash & Trash combo bring a ton of weapons to the ring then use trashcan lids on their opponents. The camera shows Mr. Black hitting Trash with weapons outside of the ring. The camera work is awful here as the arena is dark enough as it is and having them brawl outside means you can barely see anything. Trash brings a bowling ball into the ring and rolls it into the nuts of Mr. Black. Flash sets up Rico on a table outside of the ring and puts him through it with a springboard leg drop. Trash hits Mr. Black with a DDT then lays a door across of the ring and guardrail. He tries to suplex Mr. Black but gets shoved and falls through the door. In the ring, Rico rolls away from a moonsault by Flash then we have Black hanging Trash over the ropes. Black then hits Flash with a frying pan as Trash brings a tire into the ring. Rico puts the tire around Trash’s neck then hits him with a super kick. He goes outside and beats on Flash with a cane before choking him out. Mr. Black smashes a mailbox over Trash’s head as Black catches Flash with a side slam. Rico slams Flash on a chair as Mr. Black climbs up top but Trash comes in and tosses him off. Trash now goes after Rico as Flash whiplashes Black off of a chair for the win (9:42) *1/2.
Thoughts: The production values were horrendous. The clipping was more noticeable than ever in this match too. Rico stood out far and above anyone else in this match though and just looked great in everything he did. The match was a basic hardcore match but performed competently at least.
Mark Henry vs. Big Show
Henry was a heel here, being led to the ring by a guy pretending to the Randy Savage that was tossing Slim Jim’s to the crowd. Henry gets in Show’s face then they have a shoving match. Show takes him down with a drop toehold then a big boot that showed a ton of light. He whips Henry into the corner then punches away before knocking him down with elbow smashes. Show had quite the gut at this point in his career. He no sells a few clotheslines from Henry then connects with a super kick! Show knocks down the Macho Man impersonator from the apron but that allows Henry to attack him from behind. He yells that it is football season before booting Show in the ribs. Show shoves Henry into the Macho Man guy’s briefcase then gets the win with the chokeslam (2:56) ½*. After the match, Bolin runs in and Show nails him with a punch but Henry gets up and hits Show with a belly-to-belly suplex and attacks the ribs. He hits a few splashes
Thoughts: I think this was done to write off the Big Show from the OVW storylines as he returned to the WWF at the Royal Rumble just before this show took place. He was in OVW at this time to lose weight and improve his cardio. Henry was also sent to OVW around this time for the same reason. The match wasn’t much at all.
The Hardy Boyz & Lita vs. Disciples of Synn
This version of the Disciples were Damian, Payne, and Synn (The current wife of Jim Cornette). The crowd goes crazy for the Hardy’s and Lita. Damian and Matt start off the match. Matt hits a discus punch and a clothesline to start. Payne tags and they double-team Matt for a bit until Synn tags in and slaps Matt a few times. Matt rolls her up as the crowd chants for Lita and the crowd goes nuts as she tags but Synn escapes and tags Damian. Jeff tags and he and Matt double-team him for a bit. Jeff connects with a flying forearm and that gets two. Jeff gets clotheslined by Payne behind the ref’s back as the Disciples neutralize him in the corner. Damian gets two off of a spinebuster. Payne tags and chokes out Jeff before ripping his head off with a clothesline. They continue to work over Jeff as the crowd chants for him to make the tag. Jeff counters a tilt a whirl with a facebuster on Payne then kicks him off before tagging Matt. He runs wild as the crowd is eating this up. He takes them down with a double clothesline then hits Payne with a leg drop off of the second rope that Damian breaks up. Matt and Payne clothesline each other as the crowd tags for Lita. Synn tags first but misses an elbow drop. Matt tags Lita and she hits a hurricarana on Lita but Payne kills her with a clothesline as she made her way toward Synn. Lita gets roughed up by Synn but she is able to slam her off of the top rope. She takes her down with a spear then slams her head off the mat. Lita heads up top and hits the moonsault but Damian breaks up the pin. As the Hardy’s deal with him, Payne hits Lita with the Sky High then calls for a table. Damian brings in the table and they set Lita up as he goes up top for a leg drop but Jeff knocks him off the top rope and Matt takes out Payne. He and Lita hit Synn with a double DDT then put her on the table as Jeff hits the Swanton for the win (11:40) **1/2.
Thoughts: Decent match. Payne and Damian were competent in the ring at least. Payne, who also wrestled as B.J. Payne, kicked around OVW for a few more years. I have no idea what happened to Damian though. He looked like a backyard wrestler to be honest but better than half of the OVW guys in the ring anyway.
OVW Heavyweight Championship Match
Chris Benoit vs. “Mr. Wrestling” Nick Dinsmore (Champion)
Benoit makes himself a heel by cutting a promo on the crowd before the match. It was surprisingly good too. He goes to work on the arm until Dinsmore reverses. Benoit then works a headlock then a test of strength. They then have a pinfall reversal sequence that looked pretty good. Dinsmore hits an arm drag and connects with a dropkick. Benoit takes a breather then puts on an armbar before switching to a surfboard. Dinsmore backs him into the corner and escapes with a mule kick. He takes Benoit down with a dropkick, who rolls outside for a bit then comes back in and works the leg but Dinsmore reverses. They have a nice Irish whip sequence that ends with Benoit booting Dinsmore before suplexing him onto the ropes. Benoit gets up and taunts the crowd, who boos him. He is doing a good job as a heel here. He lays into Dinsmore with chops in the corner then takes him halfway across the ring with a hiptoss. He sends Dinsmore outside with a baseball slide then follows him out and roughs him up. Back inside, Benoit gets two off of a snap suplex. Dinsmore surprises Benoit with a small package and that pisses of Benoit, who lays into him even harder with chops. He works a side headlock until Dinsmore escapes. He gets another rollup for a near fall but Benoit comes back with a clothesline. He whips Dinsmore into the corner then tries it again but Dinsmore ducks and gets another nearfall with a rollup then Benoit hits him with another clothesline. He stomps away on Dinsmore until Dinsmore takes him down with a leg screw. Benoit takes him back down with a drop toehold but Dinsmore comes back with a sunset flip. Benoit takes him back down with a clothesline and heads up top but Dinsmore cuts him off and chops away before hitting a superplex as both men are down. Dinsmore fires away then puts his foot up as Benoit charges at him. He hits a backdrop and a clothesline, setting him up for a super kick. Benoit blocks the move but Dinsmore comes right back and hits him with the move. He heads up top and connects with a missile dropkick, which was the set up for his finisher, the German suplex. He hits the move but Rico runs in and breaks up the pin for the DQ (15:14) ***1/2. Rico kicks the shit out of Dinsmore until Benoit gets pissed at Rico for costing him the match then punches him in the head.
Thoughts: Good match. It was a bit one-sided but the match was laid out well, with Benoit taking Dinsmore lightly and letting him hang around until he almost lost the match. Dinsmore was good in the ring and it’s a shame that he is no longer wrestling on television today.
Jim Ross comes into the ring to interview Steve Austin. He sucks up to the crowd for a bit then says how OVW has the WWF superstars of the future. The crowd explodes when Austin enters the ring. JR asks him about becoming the WWF Champion at WrestleMania X-7 as Austin says that he is coming back and will kick HHH’s ass. Someone tosses him a beer as he runs down Vince McMahon until JR asks him about Rico Constantino. Austin does not like him as Rico and Bolin come down to the ring. Rico tells Austin that he was an American Gladiator and demands that he looks at him when he speaks, which causes Austin to call him a jackass. Rico goes on for a minute and tells Austin that he will kick his “hiney” when he comes up to the WWF and shortly after that, he eats a Stone Cold Stunner. Austin then pours a beer all over him before getting in his face and flipping him off.
A hype video for the Leviathan (Batista) airs, followed by a video for Kane. Leviathan was undefeated in OVW at this point.
Leviathan w/ Synn vs. Kane
After a staredown, they trade punches. Kane tosses Leviathan in the corner and hammers away. He ducks his head for a backdrop attempt and gets tossed down. Kane ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own in an awkward spot. He hits a side slam but Leviathan fights out of a chokeslam and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. He clotheslines Kane to the floor and follows him out. Kane fights back and rams his head off of the guardrail but Leviathan fights right back. Back inside, Kane gets beat down until Kane comes back with a DDT. He charges but Leviathan catches him with a spinebuster. After an obvious edit, Kane is slugging away in the corner. Leviathan slams Kane but misses an elbow drop and they have a slugfest. Big boot by Kane and he heads up top for a clothesline but Leviathan fights off a tombstone attempt and shoves Kane into the ref. Kane hits a chokeslam but the ref is still out as Synn runs in and whips Kane, who gets right up and corners her. The Disciples run in and the numbers game catches up with Kane until the Hardy’s and Lita run in to even the score. Austin then runs in and stares down Leviathan. He flips him off and ducks a clothesline before hitting him with the Stunner. Kane is up and looks around as Leviathan is up walking around but Kane catches him with a choke slam and grabs the ref and he counts to three (7:09) *1/2.
Thoughts: This was heavily edited but what was shown was alright. Batista was still green in the ring but had a good presence, unlike other guys like McCullough or Waterman. This was fun and a good way to send the crowd home happy.
Final Thoughts: The show suffered during the middle but overall it was okay. Just looking at the card it shows how stacked developmental was at this time. You had Lesnar, Orton, Batista, Benjamin, Conway, Dinsmore, and Rico. Slick Robbie D. looked to have worlds of potential too but his personal life go in the way of that. Hell, even the Damaja made the main roster. Also, it was sad to see how the WWE could not figure out a way to make Conway and Rico appear bigger on television. They made them look like jerkoffs. I think Cena debuted in OVW very shortly after this show. Looking at the NXT roster today, they pale in comparison to this roster in 2001. There is no one there today who is impressive as Lesnar, Benjamin, Orton, or Conway. This was part of the golden age of OVW too. If you want to see guys before they became stars, then check out their matches otherwise I would give the rest of this a pass.

PG WEEK: Retro PPV Rant for Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a
good retro rant! So, now the question: what’s my favorite retro
(non-WrestleMania) PPV? Well, it’s one that has a format that
desperately needs to come back. And it’s one they could do now,
because with the Network in place, they can afford to experiment on
major shows the way they used to. Ladies and gentlemen, I speak of:

Survivor Series 1990.
And now, through the glory that is
YouTube, I give you a full-on recap of that show. All wrestler ages
are as of the day of the show, and they and match times are from
Wikipedia. Why include wrestler ages? Because I want to. It’s kind
of fun to see who was in their prime, who hadn’t gotten there, and
who was past it.
Live from… hey, cool, this version
has the Countdown to Survivor Series attached! Let’s do that too!
Live from the Control Center of the
World Wrestling Federation.
Your host is Sean Mooney (31).
Mooney goes over the rules: it’s five
eight-man elimination tag team matches. In this case, the hook at
the end is that if you win, you earn a ticket to the main event of
the evening, known as the GRAND FINALE MATCH OF SURVIVAL. Win there,
and… you’re awesome, I dunno, Vince hadn’t thought this far ahead.
There will be five matches tonight, as
Mooney runs down the card. In addition to those and the GFMOS, we
are told that the giant turkey egg that Vince bought sometime in 1990
is going to hatch (probably) during the show.
The nice thing about this Countdown
show is that it reviews some of the major points along the way. And
we start by looking at The Warriors (Ultimate Warrior, Texas Tornado,
Legion of Doom) against the Perfect Team (Mr. Perfect, Demolition
Trio).
We see clips of the LOD squashing the
Orient Express as Mr. Fuji waves on to the locker room for some
reason. That reason being to call Demolition out. This leads to a
massive beating by all six men on the LOD. It should be noted that
this was during the Masked Demolition phase, when Demolition would
attempt the switcheroo on the referee. It didn’t last, largely
because Ax was near the end of his career, and largely because Ax and
Crush (the two who would switch out) are nowhere near similar in body
size.
Clips follow of Texas Tornado against
Smash in a non-title match, as Tornado was Intercontinental Champion
at the time. Mr. Perfect saunters to the ring, and Tornado
intercepts him and holds both off until Ax and Crush make it a
4-on-1. LOD and Warrior make the save. The great part about this is
Heenan acting like he’s going to do something about it on commentary,
then constantly changing his mind when one of the faces runs in. As
if he was ever going to DO anything.
First, comments from the Perfect Team,
as Perfect is confident because he has Demolition with him. Ax
promises it’ll short and ugly. Crush quotes 80s movies lore to build
up the Warriors, but says they’re not perfect. Smash asks for
Perfect to leave the LOD to Demolition. Perfect follows by saying
it’ll be a perfect night.
Over to the Warriors now, as Ultimate
Warrior says he’s found the gameplan for his opponents: NOTHING.
Tornado talks about how they’re the four most powerful men in the
sport. Animal says his team is focused on Survivor Series. Hawk
promises to make the Perfect Team very unperfect. “Good for us,
bad for you; what a rush!” Warrior paces around his teammates the
whole time because he’s Warrior.
Our next look-in is with the Alliance
(Nikolai Volkoff, Tito Santana, and the Bushwackers) against the
Mercenaries (Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zhukov, and the Orient Express).
We see highlights from Saturday Night’s Main Event as Slaughter beats
Koko B. Ware with the ATOMIC NOOGIE OF DEATH before waving the Iraqi
flag… and Volkoff is in the interview area with the US flag,
leading to a wave-off.
Canned interview time, first with the
Alliance. Butch is excited to go into battle, especially since
they’ll be fighting under the US flag. Luke calls it a proud moment.
(Aren’t they from New Zealand? For real?) Volkoff speaks directly
to Slaughter, saying only his team will survive. Santana sums up
that they will make sure the American flag will fly high at the end
of the night.
Zhukov and Tanaka get the floor next,
and each one says they serve “another flag” but trust their
leader. Slaughter summarizes: as mercenaries, they all serve
different flags, but they will be united in battle to destroy the
Alliance. And Slaughter says the best thing is you’ll get to order
it! Destroy! And that’s an order.
Mooney reminds us to order now. Man,
where’s my phone…
It’s time to look at the Dream Team
(Dusty Rhodes, Koko Ware, and the Hart Foundation) against the
Million Dollar Team (Ted DiBiase, ???, Honky Tonk Man, and Greg
Valentine). This all started when DiBiase bought Sapphire’s loyalty
from Dusty Rhodes’ side. It got really bad when Rhodes was blowing
off his feud with Randy Savage. DiBiase and Virgil tried to buy
Dustin Rhodes’ ringside seat, but had to settle for sitting next to
him. Naturally, during the course of the match, a fight broke out at
ringside, and DiBiase and Virgil got the better of that. Dusty
abandoned the match to protect Dustin, giving Savage the win. But as
it turns out, Dusty lives on loyalty, and he proved it when he saved
the Hart Foundation during a title defense against Rhythm’n’Blues
(Honky and Valentine’s team name) on a Superstars episode.
The Million Dollar Team speaks first –
still without their mystery partner. Honky Tonk Man promises this is
their last song. DiBiase says that money talks and the rest takes a
walk. He’s paid all his teammates very well (including the surprise
partner). He says Dusty Rhodes will be humiliated on the show. Greg
Valentine calls the name “Dream Team” appropriate, since they’re
dreaming if they think they can win.
Bret Hart leads off for the Dream Team,
and says the opposition isn’t tough enough. Koko says it’s put up or
shut up time. Neidhart says they don’t care who the mystery partner
is. Rhodes says his team is loaded, with guns cocked, and their
opponents are in for a good butt-kickin. Yeah baby!
Now, before we get to Hulk Hogan, we
have one OTHER match to talk about. It’s the Vipers (Jake Roberts,
Jimmy Snuka, Shawn Michaels, and Marty Jannetty) against the
Visionaries (Rick Martel, Warlord, Hercules, and Paul Roma). This
all began on the Brother Love Show, when Roberts was being
interviewed by Brother Love while Rick Martel was attempting to
clandestinely spray the snake with his cologne. Every time Roberts
turned around, Martel backed off, but Jake had had enough and dove
after Martel, who sprayed Roberts square in his left eye. (Side
note: this attack was so bad even Martel showed remorse at the time,
and Big Boss Man raced in from gorilla position to check on Jake.
Yes, this is kayfabe, I know.) Anyway, Roberts’ next appearance on
the Brother Love Show came with mocking from Brother Love, and
Roberts promised “an eye for an eye”. Martel came out to accept
the challenge, by which we mean mock Roberts’ blindness. Roberts was
so furious he attacked the first person he could get his hands on.
Fortunately, it was Brother Love.
Mooney informs us that Roberts is not
100%.
The Vipers speak first. Shawn is ready
to strike at the Visionaries, and says they’ll go down. Marty says
the team has a gameplan, and that it comes down to winning, which
they will do. Roberts says it’s hell for the Visionaries because
they must attempt to do the impossible and beat the Vipers, whose
confidence is at an all-time high. Snuka says nothing.
Martel speaks for his team and calls
the Vipers “the blind leading the blind”. Warlord says the
Visionaries will squash the Vipers. Roma says the team all came
together because they are the greatest athletes. Hercules says that
if the young girls are crying and you have nothing to be thankful
for, don’t blame them because only the strong survive, which they
clearly are.
And now, the last match: the
Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Big Boss Man, Tugboat, and Jim Duggan)
against the Natural Disasters (Earthquake, Dino Bravo, Haku, and
Barbarian). Haku, although this isn’t mentioned in the show, is
replacing the fired Rick Rude. This is essentially Hogan and friends
against Quake and friends, as the captains have the main issue ever
since Quake crushed Hogan’s ribs on the Brother Love Show. However,
there is a side issue: Big Boss Man has made a vendetta against the
Heenan Family, since Heenan has relentlessly dissed Boss Man’ mama.
The Natural Disasters are first. Quake
calls his team the biggest, strongest, and meanest, and promises they
will all go to the Grand Finale. Bravo gets even more specific,
saying they’ll eliminate the teammates first (Duggan, Tugboat, Boss
Man), and when Hogan’s 1-on-4, Hulkamania will die. SURVIVE!
SURVIVE!
The Hulkamaniacs talk. Duggan is
excited, and the hair is on end. He promises a long night for the
Disasters. Tugboat says they’ll unleash the full power of
Hulkamania. Boss Man says it’s about heart, soul, and justice, and
they will win. Hogan says he’s been outnumbered forever, but now the
sides are even, and so the Natural Disasters will look like a
disaster. Whatcha gonna do?
Mooney recaps the card quickly and
promises the Grand Finale and the turkey egg hatching. We begin in 3
minutes! Quick! Call your cable operator!
…okay, I called mine; they assured me
the event was 20 years ago and I’m a little late. Guess I’ll have to
settle for the YouTube airing.
The PG Era Rant for Survivor Series
1990.
From Hartford, CT. Original airdate:
Thanksgiving, November 22, 1990.
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon (53) and
Rowdy Roddy Piper (36), as Piper informs us this is the first ever
WWF Pay-Per-View shown on the Armed Forces Network so that the troops
in Desert Shield can partake. He promises to charge Saddam Hussein
double the price. Man, $60 for a WWF show! What a jerk!
MATCH ONE: Mr. Perfect (32), Ax (42),
Smash (31), and Crush (26) vs. Ultimate Warrior (31), Hawk (33),
Animal (30), and Texas Tornado (30).
Okay, just so you know and can’t unsee
it: the face team is one giant inside joke. Of COURSE they’re the
Warriors; it’s Ultimate Warrior, Modern Day Warrior, and Road
Warriors. Now that that’s out of the way, the Warriors get time
backstage to cut a promo before their match. Hawk isn’t sure what to
think other than he’ll take it to the opponents. Animal promises the
team won’t quit. Tornado says it’s time to show what they can do.
And then Warrior… this deserves transcription, and transcription
deserves Capslock of course…
“WANTING NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING
CLOSE TO PERFECTNESS, I’VE ASKED ALL THE SKELETONS THAT HAVE ALREADY
MADE THE SACRIFICE TO FOLLOW ME AND THESE THREE WARRIORS, THE LEGION
OF DOOM AND THE TEXAS TORNADO, INTO THIS BATTLE! WHETHER TO WALK
FURTHER THAN ALL THE REST OR TO STAY BEHIND AND MAKE THE SACRIFICE,
it makes no difference mr perfect and demolition, FOR AS THE ULTIMATE
WARRIOR I SURROUND US IN THIS FORCE FIELD, AND WE HAVE BECOME ONE.
WE HAVE FORMED A BOND LIKE NO OTHER, AND NO ONE CAN BREAK WHAT WE
HAVE CREATED. THERE IS NO POISON, NO CREATION, AND NO MEDICINE TO
CURE WHAT WE HAVE! YOU, MR. PERFECT AND DEMOLITION, WILL NOT
SURVIVE!”
As always, his promos are poetry. By
which I mean Allen Ginsburg.
Piper is so intense on commentary that
Gorilla begins to question if Piper’s going to last the night.
Everyone mills about to start, faking in and out as to who’s
starting. Finally, Animal ends the tension and attacks Smash, going
ground-and-pound before that was a thing. He clubs Smash in the back
and throws him into the corner as all four faces get shots in. He
ducks down, though, and Smash smacks his head. Smash with a suplex
for two. He calls for a boot, and Perfect and Crush oblige. Perfect
in next, and he works over Animal in the ropes. Smash returns,
working the ribs, but a whip is reversed and Animal gets a powerslam.
Perfect races in, and he gets two atomic drops from the LOD, ducks a
claw from Tornado, and is clotheslined by Warrior before being
dumped. Tornado punches away on Smash but gets pulled into the wrong
corner and Ax takes over. Tornado throws him into a neutral corner
and gets the Iron Claw on him, and this allows Warrior to get two
shoulder tackles and the Ultimate Splash to eliminate Ax at 3:23.
The heels race in en masse and each get slammed by Warrior in turn
before Crush runs over Warrior. He stomps Warrior down and punches
away before bringing in Smash. Smash slams Warrior, and Crush
returns with a flying kneedrop. It gets two. Crush works over
Warrior in the corner, but a blind charge eats the boot and everyone
tags out. It’s Hawk and Perfect now, and Perfect’s punches are
blocked as Hawk throws him into the corner. Botch alert: Perfect
forgets the momentum swing spot and tries to reverse Hawk’s corner
whip, so when Hawk doesn’t comply, Perfect stumbles into the opposite
corner. They repeat the spot, and this time, Hawk charges and eats
the post. Smash in now, and he teases Animal before pounding away on
Hawk and switching off with Crush. Crush clubs down Hawk and slams
him. Perfect back in, and he works over Hawk in a neutral corner
with left hands. Smash returns, but Hawk fires away. Smash with a
drop toe hold to keep control, but Hawk with a flying tackle to gain
control, followed by a fistdrop. The announcers say he needs to tag,
but Hawk stays in, clotheslining Smash and getting the diving lariat.
Crush saves, Animal goes after him, and they won’t leave on the
ref’s instructions. Smash shoves the ref and Hawk kicks at him, and
that earns all four men a DQ at 7:36. Kind of a cheap way to thin
the herd, if you ask me, especially since Ax’s health issues meant
they never had a real blowoff. Both teams argue the ruling but to no
avail. So it’s Warrior/Tornado against Perfect, and everyone
regroups. Warrior uses the Vulcan Mind Meld to convince Tornado to
let him start, but Perfect demands Tornado, so Warrior emphatically
tags out. Perfect jumps Tornado (Piper: “Smart on Perfect’s
part!”), but it backfires when Tornado reverses into a Discus Punch
(Piper: Not so smart on
Perfect’s part.”). Tornado throws him across the ring, and Perfect
goes to converse with Heenan. Warrior declares the huddle time over
with a noggin-knocker and tosses Heenan into the front row because
that’s how he rolls. Gorilla: “It’s open season on weasels!”
Perfect uses the melee to remove a turnbuckle pad, but Tornado
catches him only to spear the post just as Hawk did. Perfect with
right hands and a kneelift, but he appears to be limping a little.
Tornado wins a slugfest, but Perfect goes to the eyes and slams him
headfirst into the exposed buckle (which Piper only now notices).
Perfectplex ends Tornado’s night at 11:02, and it’s one-on-one.
Warrior charges in with a Stinger Splash, but it airballs into the
exposed buckle. Perfectplex gets two, much to Heenan’s amazement.
Perfect slugs away and stays on Warrior, adding knee smashes and a
standing dropkick for two. Heenan is arguing with the outside ref
over the count. Perfect pulls Warrior to his knees and chops him
back down. A big clothesline off of a whip gets two, with Warrior
throwing Perfect off him and onto the ref (totally accidental).
Perfect rakes the eyes of Warrior with his kneepad, choking him on
the bottom rope. Warrior finally blocks a roundhouse right and gets
one of his own as he pumps up. Perfect goes flying on punches,
clothesline combos, and a shoulder tackle and Ultimate Splash end the
match at 14:20. Piper (trying to keep track of results): “I LOST
MY PENCIL! SOMEONE GET ME A PENCIL!” Warrior beats up Heenan in
accordance with Main Event Face Rules of 1990. **1/4
Kind of a cheap cop-out in the middle, but the Perfect/Warrior bit
makes me want to see them do a 10-minute match. Not sure why Tornado
got so little.
We
go backstage to Sean Mooney, who’s with the Million Dollar Team and
Jimmy Hart, who is ready to survive. Mooney notes the mystery
partner is still not there, but DiBiase assures us he’ll be there.
He promises a very big surprise. Koko is another bird that’ll be
stuffed on Thanksgiving, while the Hart Foundation will visit
Heartbreak Hotel. And Dusty Rhodes, the common man, will be begging
the rich man for mercy he won’t receive.
MATCH
TWO: Dusty Rhodes (45), Koko B. Ware (33), Bret Hart (33), and Jim
Neidhart (35) vs. Ted DiBiase (36), Honky Tonk Man (37), Greg
Valentine (39), and…
Either
you know who the mystery partner is or you don’t, but if you somehow
don’t, let Ted DiBiase school you:
“Like
I’ve said a million times before: Everybody’s got a price for the
Million Dollar Man. So without further ado, let me introduce to you
right now my mystery partner: led to the ring by his manager, Brother
Love, weighing in at 320 pounds, from Death Valley, I give you THE
UNDERTAKER.”
Yes,
if it isn’t the greatest mystery partner payoff in wrestling history,
it’s definitely in the top three. The only ones that come close are
Ricky Steamboat as Dustin Rhodes’s partner against Anderson and
Zbyszko in 1992 and Hulk Hogan as the third man in 1996. And
honestly, Steamboat’s only there because it led to a five-star tag
match. It’s this or Hogan, folks. It should be noted that
Undertaker is only 25 at this point, meaning that as a 26 year old he
was already WWF Champion (he’d win the belt exactly one year in).
And yeah, Paul Bearer wasn’t always his manager, though to be fair,
he was introduced shortly after and was by his side by Taker’s first
Mania match. And while most complete unknowns would draw either
indifference or residual heat, the crowd is watching this giant of a
man very nervously. Gorilla: “There’s only supposed to be 4
members on a team; this guy makes 4½, maybe 5!” Bret volunteers
to figure this guy out first, but he gets clubbed down before running
into a chokeslam. Neidhart tries his luck and runs into a scoop
slam. Koko is in next, but Taker just sidesteps him and Koko splats
into the ropes. One Tombstone later and Koko’s out at 1:39. Bret
returns and tries punching down Taker, who just calmly tags in
Valentine. Piper is openly cheering for Bret, which is no surprise.
So Dusty comes in to duel with Valentine. Valentine forces Dusty
into the corner but loses a chopfest and gets elbowed down. Neidhart
in, and he attacks the arm, clubbing away at it. Bret keeps working
the arm and sends Valentine into the corner. A blind charge hits the
knee, however, and in comes Honky to kick away at the gut. Honky
gets elbowed after stalling too much, but catches Bret with a knee.
He stops to taunt, so Bret tags Neidhart in behind his back. Honky,
as a result, runs into an Anvil powerslam and is sent packing at
4:16. DiBiase races in and attacks Anvil in the corner, but a whip
is reversed and Anvil clotheslines DiBiase down. A big slam, and
Dusty enters. DiBiase races to a neutral corner and eats ten elbows
in countalong. Dusty with a dropkick (!!) and he brings Neidhart
back in. A double back elbow gets two. Suplex gets two. Anvil
flattens DiBiase with a shoulderblock, but Virgil trips Neidhart and
DiBiase clotheslines him for the pin at 5:49. Bret races in and
punches away, adding a headbutt. DiBiase begs off (from a tag team
wrestler?) and gets sent into the corner. Then into Dusty’s elbow,
and there’s the tag. Dusty does flip, flop, and fly on DiBiase, who
recovers by raking the eyes. A clothesline from DiBiase and Taker is
brought in. He gets a leaping stomp on Dusty, adding a roundhouse
right. Bret comes in, and he gets sent into Valentine’s boot as they
tag. Taker chokes Bret for a count of four, Valentine adds elbows,
and DiBiase comes in only to get hit with some right hands. An
inverted atomic drop allows Dusty to get in, and they double-team him
with chops. Dusty elbows DiBiase into… the wrong corner, and Taker
tags himself in. He smashes down Dusty and adds a big knee to the
gut. He goes up, takes two steps across the top rope, and drops an
axhandle for the pin at 8:26. Dusty is dumped right by Brother Love
as Bret attacks Undertaker. Meanwhile, Brother Love adds some cheap
shots on the outside, which just wakes Dusty up and gets him to
corner the Brother. Undertaker sees this and attacks Dusty, fighting
him halfway down the aisle… and, because he was still legal,
getting counted out at 9:17. He kinda had to be, since it’s his
debut and all. Meanwhile, back in the ring, Valentine has Bret down
and out and goes for the figure-four, but Bret reverses to a cradle
to pin him at 9:57, leaving us with DiBiase vs. Bret. Piper is going
nuts on commentary, putting Bret over hard. Bret meets a frustrated
DiBiase and atomic drops him to the outside, following with a
slingshot plancha. DiBiase rakes the eyes on the outside, but Bret
throws DiBiase off into the post, then into the steps. Back in the
ring (Piper: “A six count! Get in the ring!”), and Bret has
Sharpshooter position, but that move doesn’t exist yet, so he just
stomps the gut. At least, it doesn’t exist in his arsenal yet.
DiBiase and Bret fight in the corner now, with Bret landing European
uppercuts but being sent across the ring chest-first by a Hammer
Throw. DiBiase gets two. DiBiase backs Bret into the corner and
works him over, adding chops, but he puts his head down and gets hit
with a backslide for two. Bret with a headlock, and on the
criss-cross, Bret trips and tweaks his knee… actually, no, he faked
it and gets a cradle for two. Virgil protests on the apron, so Bret
goes to take care of him and gets caught. DiBiase’s running knee
hits Virgil, however, and Bret with a schoolboy for two. Bret
follows with a backbreaker, then a second rope elbowdrop. That also
gets two. Crowd is into it. Piper’s going nuts. Bret ducks a
clothesline and gets a crossbody, but DiBiase rolls through and hangs
on for the win to advance at 13:54. Bret mouths a bad word, but he
gets the loser’s ovation in the ring. And well deserved, as this was
a fantastically booked Survivor Series match that made Bret Hart a
future star while allowing DiBiase to retain his heat. It introduced
a new monster heel and kept him strong, and everyone played their
notes perfectly. ****
Gene
Okerlund (just shy of 48) interviews the Vipers in the shower room
(for Damien’s sake). Roberts speaks for his team of survivors.
Shawn survived having his knee snapped by Power and Glory. Marty,
the tag specialist survived on his own. Snuka has the scars of time
written on his face, and of course he’s a survivor. And Roberts?
Well, his eye tells the whole story. They’re not lambs to the
slaughter; and don’t think you’re picking cherries, because Damien
will fall out of the tree.
MATCH
THREE: Rick Martel (34), The Warlord (28), Hercules (34), and Paul
Roma (30) vs. Jake Roberts (35), Jimmy Snuka (47), Shawn Michaels
(25), and Marty Jannetty (30)
Yeah,
Snuka was old even then. Piper (about Warlord): “On the hoof, 330
[pounds], baby! No fat. Except in the bean.” Gorilla: “The
bean?” Piper: “Between the ears, we got about, oh, 90-95% fat.”
Roberts is still “blind” in his left eye. Snuka was the
original Phenom, with Undertaker inheriting the moniker after beating
Snuka at WrestleMania VII. Marty and Warlord start. Marty ducks
Warlord and does sticking and moving, slapping Warlord on the back,
which just angers him. Warlord throws Marty around, but Marty runs
circles and goes for dropkicks that are brushed aside. Marty keeps
moving away from Warlord’s stomps then slides every which way, taking
out Roma and Martel as he does. The Rockers with a dropkick/sunset
flip combo for two. Warlord corners Shawn in the wrong corner and
tags in Martel, but Shawn sends him into a neutral turnbuckle. Shawn
reverses and armdrag and lands a dropkick and monkey flip before
bringing Jake in. Martel races to tag in Roma and leaves. Roma
works Jake’s back, and a high leapfrog just leaves him open. Jake
holds the arm and brings Snuka in, who headbutts Roma but gets his
eyes raked. It’s no-sold, so Roma brings Hercules in. Hercules
bowls over Snuka but runs into a Fiji Chop, making him bring in
Warlord. A standoff leads to Snuka running the ropes only to get
slammed. Snuka with a dropkick as he recovers, and he brings Marty
back in. Warlord goes CLUBBERIN on Marty and adds a bearhug, but
Marty escapes and lands a second-rope standing elbow. Warlord
catches the second try into a powerslam, though, and pins Marty at
5:03. Shawn enters and punches away, seemingly getting caught but
adjusting and getting a rana before bringing Jake in. Jake with the
short punches, but out of the corner a clothesline does nothing.
Warlord eats boot on a blind charge, and Jake gets the short
clothesline. Shawn gets two off of it, but gets kicked out out of
the ring. Roma enters and jumps Shawn. He kicks away at the
external occipetal protuberance, and then the head. Warlord in, and
he gives Shawn a HYOOGE back body drop (Piper acts like an airline
pilot to call it). It gets two for Hercules. Hercules adds a nasty
clothesline, which Shawn spins to sell. Martel in, and he drops a
knee for two. Martel clubs away in the corner and gets a rib breaker
for two. Roma enters next, and he clubs away on Shawn and throws him
into the corner for the flip corner bump Shawn does. Martel gets two
off of it. Martel goes on offense, but he too hits the post on a
charge, and it’s hot tag Snuka. He corners Martel and stomps and
kicks away. A back bodry drop by Snuka and Martel’s in trouble. A
flying coco butt gets two. Martel whips Snuka, who gets a reverse
bodypress, but Martel rolls through (with the tights) to eliminate
him at 9:28. In comes Jake, who corners Martel, but his dive to get
him allows Martel to tag in Hercules and everyone calls time. Shawn
fires up the crowd in the corner as Hercules and Jake jockey for
position. Hercules rams shoulders to the gut, but he puts his head
down and gets hit with a kneelift. DDT try, but Hercules escapes.
Jake is frustrated while Slick calls a huddle. Martel has an idea,
and the idea is to get on Jake’s blind side and nail him with a
clothesline from the apron. They get on his good side, but the plan
works anyway. Piper nearly curses Martel out. Gorilla points out it
WAS his good side. Roma in, and he clubs away on Jake, adding
stomps. Bodyslam sets up a flying fistdrop, but Jake rolls away.
Roma’s too busy going “Ow! My hand!” that he doesn’t stop the tag
to Shawn. Shawn with a leaping back elbow on Roma, then a suplex off
of a duck-down by Roma. Second-rope Heartbreak elbow gets two.
Atomic drop to Roma, who tags Hercules, which means when Shawn levels
him on the rebound, Hercules comes in and drops an elbow on Shawn.
Hercules pounds away on Shawn, giving him a lariat. Hercules with a
military press slam and he casually tags Martel in. Martel punches
down Shawn, then Hercules comes back and punches Shawn into the
corner. He knows it’s the end, so he sets Shawn up, tags Roma, and
it’s the PowerPlex (a superplex by Hercules into a big splash off the
top rope by Roma – someone NEEDS to make that a tag finisher) to
eliminate Shawn at 15:40. So it’s 4 on 1 now, and things look REAL
bad, but the crowd encourages Jake on. Jake calls them all on, and
Hercules tags in. Hercules kicks Jake during a test of strength,
then brings in Warlord. Warlord clubs away, throws Jake across the
ring, and locks in a bearhug. Jake fights out and knocks Roma off
the apron, and while Roma protests to the ref, Jake nails the DDT on
Warlord. Martel sees the ref is distracted and goes for his cologne,
but Jake avoids another eye shot and unleashes Damian. Jake and
Damian chase Martel out of the building, which is bad because Martel
isn’t the legal man and Jake is. Jake is counted out at 17:42, and
all four opponents advance. **3/4
I know this was effectively a squash and all, but at the same time,
the Rockers kept things interesting, Roma and Martel’s athleticism
(and arrogant attitude) played very well as heels, and the story of
Martel avoiding Jake carried the match. Don’t let the clean sweep
fool you – this is still a fun match.
The
Royal Rumble is on January 19, 1991. Don’t miss it. I admit that
message would’ve meant more back then.
Piper’s
so tired he needs a towel.
We
go backstage to the Hulkamaniacs. Hogan says each Hulkamaniac serves
a purpose on the team towards survival in this time of chaos. Duggan
and his 2×4 is a weapon. Tugboat is as strong as a battleship. And
things can get out of hand, but Boss Man will enforce the rules.
Boss Man says he’s survived all his life, and tonight, he’ll get his
hands on Heenan. Tugboat agrees he’s like a battleship – loaded
and ready. Duggan says it’s time for excitement. The blood’s
pumping hard. Oh, and he has yellow ribbons on his 2×4. As Hogan
explains, it’s for the troops in the Middle East (in 1990, yellow
ribbons became a symbol for supporting the troops), and when the
match is over, they volunteer to go serve in Desert Shield. I kinda
wish President Bush called Vince’s bluff on that one.
MATCH
FOUR: Earthquake (27), Dino Bravo (42), Haku (31), and Barbarian (32)
vs. Hulk Hogan (37), Big Boss Man (27), Tugboat (34), and Jim Duggan
(36)
Piper:
“Well, first off, this ain’t no beauty contest. We can say that
right now.” Piper, who has been slanting toward the faces all
night, openly admits he’ll stay neutral in this match because he’s
not a fan of any of the wrestlers. This kinda makes sense, since I
couldn’t see Piper ever
being a Hogan cheerleader. Boss Man is already sweating heavily just
getting to the ring. Piper: “What are they yelling? I can’t
understand them.” Gorilla: “Hogan.” Piper: “Hogan.”
(pause) “That may be the dumbest question I’ve ever asked.”
Duggan and Haku start. It’s a full-on slugfest, which Haku wins, but
a bodypress try is ducked. Duggan clotheslines Haku all over the
place, adding a back elbow and standing clothesline. An elbowdrop
misses, and Bravo comes in. He adds an inverted atomic drop on
Duggan and tags Barbarian. The Faces of Fear work over Duggan, but
Boss Man tags himself in. He punches away and knocks down Haku, who
reverses a whip and gets a dropkick. But Boss Man reverses and gets
the Scrapbuster to send Haku packing at 3:15. Barbarian quickly in,
but he eats a boot and elbowsmash. Heenan jumps on the apron and
pays for it, but Barbarian can’t take advantage until he reverses a
hiptoss to a suplex. Barbarian knocks Boss Man down and goes up, but
the ropewalk elbow misses. Duggan in, and he gives Barbarian a huge
back body drop. Barbarian tags Bravo in, and he clubs away, bringing
in Quake for a double clothesline. Earthquake corners Duggan and
squashes him until Duggan escapes and tries a slam, but yeah, no.
Duggan recovers and staggers Quake with shoulder blocks, but Jimmy
Hart lowers the top rope and Duggan spills out. Duggan chases Hart
and grabs his 2×4 for justice, but Hart races into the ring and
Duggan beats up Quake with it for the DQ at 6:12. Duggan regrets his
actions, but leaves, and Hogan enters and attacks Quake. The heels
race in and are slammed, and that leaves Quake. Despite Piper’s
protests, he succeeds in slamming Quake. Piper: “All right, that’s
the first time I’ve been wrong since ’54.” Hogan with the corner
Axe Bomber, and he goes for ten punches. Piper questions why he
didn’t try to pin Quake after the slam. Case in point: Quake pulls
Hogan off the corner and powerslams him. Bravo in with a running
elbowdrop or two, and he tells his team what to do, but that allows
Hogan to small package Bravo and pin him at 7:59. Hogan wisely tags
Boss Man in to face Quake. Quake reverses a whip but misses the
charge, and Boss Man goes up (!), only to be caught by Quake (!!!).
Hogan pushes the pile over, getting two for Boss Man. Quake no-sells
some shoulderblocks, and Barbarian kicks Boss Man in the back,
allowing Quake to get a slam and series of elbows for the pin at
9:08. Hogan races in and attacks Quake, getting the big boot and
lariat. He knocks over Barbarian and sends Quake into Tugboat’s
boot. Another Axe Bomber and Hogan tries another slam, but Quake
clubs out of it. Hogan tries again, and Quake falls on top for two.
Piper is surprised Hogan would make that mistake. Quake tries a
traditional big splash but misses, and Hogan brings in Tugboat for
the first time in the match. Piper notes they were saving Tugboat
for a situation like this, and Tugboat indeed comes in and attacks
Quake. He staggers Quake to the ropes, and Hogan pulls Quake out of
the ring. Everyone follows, and Quake shoves Hogan into the post.
Anyway, during the melee, the legal men (Quake and Tugboat) are
counted out at 11:33, leaving Hogan against Barbarian. Barbarian
takes advantage of Hogan’s bad back and clubs him down, throwing him
in. He slams his fist into Hogan’s back repeatedly and dumps him to
the outside. Hogan returns and gets stomped. Barbarian gets a
piledriver… almost, as Hogan’s head slid out as the announcers
note. It gets two anyway. Hogan buys some time with a double
clothesline, but Barbarian naturally is up first. Barbarian with the
Kick of Fear to Hogan and he goes up top, landing his diving
clothesline finisher for… well, two. Hulk up, yadda yadda yadda
Legdrop, it’s over at 14:49. Decent power match. *3/4
Hogan gets the honor of beating up Heenan, as per the rule cited
earlier.
We
cut to the interview stage, where Okerlund will interview Randy
Savage (just turned 38). Gorilla says it’s an intermission, but we
see the interview anyway. Savage is on the sedan carried by four
jobbers. Okerlund and Savage discuss a recent Brother Love show,
where Warrior was accosted by Queen Sherri asking for a title shot.
Warrior refused to answer, so Sherri slapped Warrior, hoping to get
him mad enough to attack her and open the door for Savage to
counter-attack. As it turns out, Warrior kept his cool (Savage: “The
Ultimate Chicken!”). This would lead to Savage smashing Warrior
with a scepter at Royal Rumble to get the belt on Sgt. Slaughter.
This in turn would lead to the retirement match, the greatest
career-on-the-line match in WWF history (although I’m willing to hear
arguments for Shawn/Taker II). Anyway, Savage calls himself the
greatest superstar ever, the past and future, and the man who owns
the WWF Title that Warrior has. Savage says he may retire as
champion after beating Warrior, since he’ll have nothing left to
prove. He promises that everyone will realize his greatness when he
meets Warrior.
MATCH
FIVE: Nikolai Volkoff (43), Tito Santana (37), Luke Williams (43),
and Butch Miller (46) vs. Sgt. Slaughter (42), Boris Zhukov (30),
Akio Sato (37), and Pat Tanaka (29)
Not
exactly a cavalcade of star power here, eh? Mean Gene catches up
with Slaughter, who cuts a promo taunting the troops over
Thanksgiving dinner being K-rations for them. He then promises he’ll
show what an Iraqi soldier is made of in the ring. The heels are all
wearing facepaint in sarge’s camo pattern. Piper is absolutely ANGRY
at Sgt. Slaughter. Butch punches away at Zhukov’s gut to start, and
the Bushwackers get a double clothesline. Tito enters, and it’s a
quick Flying Jalapeno to dispose of him at 48 seconds. Sato attacks
Santana early, adding a low jumping kick. Sato with Booker T’s arm
wrench kick and Tanaka’s in, but miscommunication disposes of Sato.
Butch runs over Tanaka, and he and Luke get the Battering Ram on Sato
to pin him at 1:46. Tanaka chops down Butch, but a Santino headbutt
misses and Santana lands another Flying Jalapeno to end his night at
2:13. Slaughter’s already 1-on-4, and Volkoff demands a chance to
punch him down. Volkoff with a whip and big boot, then a leaping
boot, but a second big kick is caught and Slaughter bowls him over.
Slaughter with elbowdrops as everyone chants USA for the Lithuanian,
Mexican, and two New Zealanders. A kneeling elbowsmash by Slaughter
keeps Volkoff down, and Sarge slowly wears down Volkoff. A series of
chops to the gut Big Show style stagger Volkoff, then Slaughter sends
Volkoff into the turnbuckle battering ram style. Sarge works a slow
pace on Volkoff, getting a dropkick (who knew) and spitting on him.
A snapmare and elbowdrop end Nikolai’s night at 5:25. Butch enters,
and the Bushwackers double-team Sarge with a double slam and double
clothesline. It gets ONE. Luke with a back elbow, but he goes up
top and hits the knees coming off. A gutbuster ends Luke at 6:30.
Butch charges in, but he gets Hammer Thrown and clotheslined down for
the pin at 6:53. So it’s Slaughter/Santana now, and Slaughter loses
count to celebrate allowing Santana to get him from behind. Back
body drop on Sarge, and a top rope forearm gets two. Santana with
repeated gut kicks, but Sarge blocks a monkey flip and Santana lands
hard. A swinging neckbreaker by Sarge gets two. Sarge with a rib
breaker for two. Tito fires off with rights from a kneeling
position, but gets cut off and Sarge gets a suplex for two. Sarge
tries to work the arm, but Tito escapes only to get bumped into the
ref. Fortunately, there’s two refs in these matches. Santana with
another Flying Jalapeno, but General Adnan slams the Iraqi flagpole
into Santana’s back. Referee #2 saw it and tells Referee #1, so when
Sarge applies the Camel Clutch, it’s all for naught because he’s been
disqualified at 10:52. Well, that was a downer of a match. 1/2*
I understand you need to keep Slaughter from losing cleanly AND
build him up AND make sure he doesn’t cross with Hogan or Warrior,
but is this the best you could do?
Sean
Mooney interviews the heel side in the finale. Martel brags about
surviving intact, living up to his “vision”. It’s about unity
and teamwork, and now that they have DiBiase’s resources, they are
destined to win. DiBiase has promised the Visionaries a hefty bonus
to them to make sure they survive. Tito Santana may be great, but
he’s in the right place at the wrong time. As for Hogan and
Warrior… well, heck, they just fought at WrestleMania VI, do you
really think they can be a team? And that’s why DiBiase’s team will
win.
Tomorrow
night, Warrior vs DiBiase for the WWF Title on Friday Night’s Main
Event!
Oh
geez, do I have to review this next bit? Oh, all right. Okerlund is
next to the big egg and speculates as to what could be in there. A
rabbit? Balloons? The Playmate of the Month? IF ONLY. No, what’s
in there instead is… the Gobbledy Gooker. The crowd boos it
heavily as they realize what a letdown THAT is. Then, in ten minutes
no human being will ever get back, he and Okerlund dance in the ring.
This happened. People paid money to see it. Fun fact: the Gobbledy
Gooker is the uncle of the Swagger Soaring Eagle. Piper offers to
make him the Survivor Series’ official mascot. Man, he’s taking this
show harder than I thought!
Sean
Mooney interviews the face side and asks if they’re worried about
being outnumbered. Hogan points out that the crowd’s on their side,
so really, the opponents are outnumbered. Hogan puts over Warrior’s
intensity and meteoric rise, then puts over Santana’s experience as
an original superstar in the WWF, there since Day 1. So officially,
WWF history begins in 1983. Santana gives a generic pumped up promo
promising to survive. Warrior continues the theme that the crowd is
on their side. “YOU, Power and Glory, are a reminder that we feed
off such things.” That’s a good line. Warrior tries to name each
wrestler’s fanbase (Hulkamania, Warrior Wildness), but realizes
Santana’s never had a nickname for his fanbase and makes one up
(Arriba-derci). Hogan finishes up with his catchphrase as everyone’s
ready to go.
GRAND
FINALE MATCH OF SURVIVAL: Rick Martel, Warlord, Hercules, Paul Roma,
and Ted DiBiase vs. Hulk Hogan, Tito Santana, and Ultimate Warrior
This
is basically the closest that half the people in this match will get
to calling themselves main eventers. I think Santana’s here as a
lifetime achievement award. To be fair, Martel may be for the same
reason, though he was a former AWA Champion. The other Visionaries
are just filler. And to prove my point, Hogan slugs Warlord after a
cheap shot on Santana, and Tito recovers with the Flying Jalapeno to
eliminate Warlord in 28 seconds. Roma races in and attacks Tito,
getting a powerslam and bringing in DiBiase. DiBiase with a kneedrop
and suplex on Santana for two. Santana ducks a clothesline and gets
one of his own. He follows with a corner whip and back body drop.
Flying Jalapeno airballs, though, and DiBiase gets the Stun Gun to
pin Tito at 1:51. Hogan in, and he can’t be bought. Hogan with
rights in the corner, and a running boot in the opposite corner.
Hogan puts his head down, and DiBiase kicks him and knocks him down,
handing him off to Hercules. Hercules pounds Hogan’s back, adding a
standing lariat and bringing in Roma. Roma with a single axhandle
off the top rope for two. Roma clubs Hogan’s back some before Martel
comes in and continues working the back. Axhandles to the kidney
area keep Martel in control before bringing Hercules back in.
Hercules with a dozen or so right hands, backing Hogan into a corner.
One final right hand drops Hogan to one knee. Hercules then slams
Hogan’s head into the buckle over and over before bringing DiBiase
in. DiBiase with an axhandle off the second rope for two. DiBiase
does his fistdrops on Hogan, getting two for that. Hercules back in
with right hands to Hogan and he puts him in the corner. It’s
PowerPlex time, and Roma’s splash gets two. Roma thinks it’s three
and gloats, but he turns straight into an Axe Bomber and is pinned by
Hogan at 5:57. Martel races in and keeps the advantage on Hogan, but
puts his head down and Hogan kicks him. Hot tag Warrior, who kicks
Martel in the gut eleventy million times. Hammer throw and back drop
follow, and Warrior clears the corner. This gives Martel only a
temporary advantage, as Warrior slams Martel and facejams him. Hogan
back in, and it’s the punches and big boot. Hogan clotheslines
Martel out of the ring, and Martel says nuts to this and leaves at
7:17. DiBiase is understandably upset by this, and now it’s Hogan
and Warrior, working together, against DiBiase and Hercules. Hogan
overpowers DiBiase, getting a corner clothesline as DiBiase begs off.
Alley Oop corner bomb by Hogan, and DiBiase eats the usual and is
gone at 8:30. Hercules doesn’t stand a chance, and he gets slammed
by Hogan and tackled and splashed by Warrior to end the night at
9:07. Hogan counts along with the ref for fun. Hogan and Warrior
survive. *1/4
Eh, this was a harmless house show style main event used to show the
Hogan/Warrior issue is dead and buried.
FINAL
THOUGHTS:
Maybe
it’s nostalgia running wild here, but the concept of the Grand Finale
Match of Survival isn’t the worst in the world. It just needs a
reward at the end. Perhaps a title match at TLC or something would
be the order of the day, and if the Champ wins it, he gets the night
off. The final match added a nice wrinkle and allowed different
people to say they’ve main evented. As for the matches themselves,
they ranged from a waste of time to an underrated classic.
Still,
this is a must-watch in parts, if only for the historical impact of
seeing Undertaker’s debut. DiBiase and Bret have a fantastic
mini-match that carries their match, and Warrior and Hogan cutting
two promos on the night is always fun in a throwback way. Plus, the
seeds were sown for Warrior/Savage, and Hogan and DiBiase may have
FINALLY gotten their finish.
STATS:
MATCH
TIME: 80:44 in only six matches (thirty-eight decisions, 29% of them
being countout or DQ)
BEST
MATCH: Dream Team vs Million Dollar Team
WORST
MATCH: Alliance vs Mercenaries
NIGHT
MVP: Hulk Hogan (with four pinfalls)
FINAL
SCORE: Well, I love it, but objectively, it’s about a 6.5. The
Dusty/DiBiase tag match is must-watch for just about every reason,
but the Gobbledy Gooker and the Slaughter match bring it down.
Still, definitely worth finding on YouTube like I did.
See
you tomorrow as PG Week continues with a few thousand words on then
and now in off-screen scandal.

PG WEEK: A Very Raw Christmas 2013

Yes, folks, it’s PG Week here on
Scott’s Blog of Doom. With Scott on vacation all week, he’s handed
the keys to me (I volunteered). Every day from today to December
30th, I’ll be providing you with new content: recaps,
retro rants, audience participation, everything. Sit back, relax,
and enjoy, as we open PG Week with a look at a Very Raw Christmas!
Welcome aboard!

When last we left our heroes, they had
come within inches of the brass ring. Although in a non-title match,
the proof remained that Daniel Bryan could hang with the best of the
best… and were it not for a DQ, he would’ve won. But the show
ended with Orton standing tall over not just Bryan, but John Cena.
With Christmas around the corner, who will enter the holidays with
something to cheer for, and can it be us?
The USA Network ad focuses on the Santa
Fight. The allegedly live look-in does as well.
The PG Era Rant for Raw, aired December
23, 2013.
Almost Live from Stone Cold Steve, TX.  This will be important later.
Your hosts are Ebenezer Scrooge and
Hermie the Elf. Herr Drosselmeyer has the night off.
Mark “Good Santa” Henry and Damien
“Bad Santa” Sandow read Twas the Raw Before Christmas.
And what would Christmas be without HHH
opening the show? He’s joined by Stephanie McMahon, Kane, and an
elf. Kane is handing out candy canes to the aiselway fans. He even
shoves it into the chest of a Daniel Bryan “fan”. HHH talks
about what a special time of year it is, and he says they’ve sent
Superstars to volunteer. But Stephanie makes it clear they would
rather be here in the WWE. They wish us a Merry Christmas with a
great show. And yes, they ham up the Santa Fight, complete with
ominous music. Stephanie: “YAY!” Also, we’ll get Rhodeses/Bryan
v. Wyatts in a 6-man tag. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! With our MAIN
EVENT ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY, it’s Langston/Cena/Punk v. Shield. I
get the feeling we’ll be light on angle advancement tonight. HHH
wishes us a Merry Christmas… and just as I’m looking forward to a
short segment, here comes Randy Orton. Did I mention Stephanie and
HHH are wearing Santa hats? Stephanie looks girl-next-door cute in
hers. Orton wishes us a Happy Holidays, and the crowd doesn’t buy
it. Orton thanks the Authority for their support in his quest to be
WWE World Champion. And yeah, he won on his own, but they inspired
him. Orton’s in a giving mood, so he’s going to give the Authority a
Christmas gift. But what do you give to the McMahon who has
everything? Himself. Really. Orton assumes he has the night off,
and we get a group hug. But Kane has something to say: Merry
Christmas to all and to all a good night. And he punctuates it by
setting the corners on fire. Welcome to the WWE.
Tonight, six-on-six women’s action in a
Jingle Belles match. JoJo is missing from the Total Divas side,
which makes it look like she’s in trouble.
It’s PG Week on the Blog of Doom, and I
will use this time to announce that on Saturday, I will do a recap of
NBC’s Tribute to the Troops!
Natalya, Eva Marie, Brie Bella, Nikki
Bella, Cameron, and Naomi v. Vickie Guerrero, Alicia Fox, Aksana,
Kaitlyn, Summer Rae, and Tamina Snuka. Manthief is at commentary.
For the record, AJ isn’t in it because she’s the champ and she’s
scouting. Tamina slams Nikki to start, only to get a tilt-a-whirl.
Kaitlyn jumps in and misses a charge, but catches Eva Marie and slams
her down. Summer Rae walks into a knee smash, and enter Naomi with a
snapmare. She misses a dropkick, but Summer Rae knocks her down and
Alicia Fox enters only to get caught with a rana. Enter Cameron, and
the Funks have a double suplex and bootylicious legdrop combo. Brie
gets caught in a Northern Lights suplex for two. And here comes
Vickie to slap Brie and leave. Yup. Aksana in, and Brie cradles her
for two. Natalya enters next as AJ mocks every single Diva. Nice.
A rollup gets one, but Aksana kicks Natalya and does a DDT/elbow drop
combo for two. And now everybody races in for on reason. This
allows Natalya to get a discus clothesline USING BRIE, then it turns
into CRACKING THE WHIP on all the heels. This may well be the best
and worst comedy spot ever. Having knocked them all down, the Total
Divas take a bow. Everybody leaves, and Natalya gets the
Sharpshooter for the tapout at 3:49. AJ: “Yay! Natalya finally
won something! Good for her!” Last I checked, Natalya has a
winning record in decisions against AJ. The Total Divas do a
not-so-coordinated dance to celebrate. Eh, it’s Christmas. 3/4*
Of note: Michael Cole wasn’t paying close enough attention during the
match and accidentally called Summer Rae “Rosa Mendes”. He then
covered for it by saying it was because he wanted to use Feliz
Navidad. AJ rightly let him have it for that mistake.
Your
Do You Know is about Santa. Hey, if you’re gonna go theme, go
all-out.
Curtis
Axel v. Sin Cara. The transformation is complete: Hunico is the Sin
Cara in Sin Cara’s TitanTron. Sin Cara does the Superstars promo
bilingually. Axel gets a headlock to start, twisting to an armlock
and a slap to the back. Round Two, and Sin Cara returns the favor
and does an armdrag. Tilt-a-whirl headscissors follows, but Axel
trips Cara on a quebrada attempt. Axel shoulderblocks Cara to the
floor and follows, throwing him into the post back-first. Back in,
Axel with an elbowdrop and front facelock as JBL keeps saying Cara
has something to hide. After all, masks mean bad people, right?
Cara fights to his feet but gets slugged down as Cole namedrops
Vampiro Americano. Cara with a bizarre pinning combo for one. Axel
with a dropkick for one. Axel facewashes Cara and taunts the crowd
before going back to the gutwrench. JBL endorses child labor on
commentary (I think) as Cara fights back up only to get slugged down.
A series of reversals sends Axel to the ground, and Cara follows
with a somersault plancha. Back in, Cara with a bodypress for two.
Another headscissors, and Cara does the Tajiri elbowsmash for two.
Axel with a Northern Lariat to avoid the finish and get a two-count.
Cara with the Angle Slam and he goes up, and the Senton Bomb ends it
at 5:22. *1/4 On a
related note, I think Cole and JBL have had eggnog before recording
commentary.
We
recap last Friday’s 3-on-2 handicap match, which sets up tonight’s
six-man. Speaking of, here on PG Week on the Blog, on Friday I will
review one of my favorite SmackDowns – the Mexico SmackDown,
featuring Lucha De Apuesta and a shockingly good Show/ADR match!
Backstage,
we replay Bad Santa’s announcement that he wishes to cancel
Christmas. Because tonight, we have a Battle for Christmas.
Next
week’s Raw is being hosted by Big Show as Baby New Year. I mean, at
least it’s not Ken Jeong in the back of a trunk, but on the
disturbing meter, it’s up there, right?
Batista
is due back: 1/20/14!
Earlier
today, Bad News Barrett was working for the Salvation Army. No, it’s
not a setup for a joke. It’s just Wade doing good things.
We
look back at the Wyatt Family torturing Daniel Bryan. It’s a
collection of crazy things Bray said, following up with the notes
that Bray and Bryan could work together and be stronger than ever.
We follow this up with Bryan fighting all three Wyatts but falling.
Then, on SmackDown, the Rhodes Brothers lost to the Wyatt Family with
help from Bray, after which they tortured Cody some until Daniel
Bryan stormed in to make the save. Then, the Wyatts used their
numbers to take Bryan out of the main event. It appears Wyatt has
finished trying to recruit Bryan and will now destroy him instead.
Rhodes
Brothers and Daniel Bryan v. Wyatt Family. Goldust has a new shirt.
Crowd opens by chanting for Bryan. Wyatt’s shirt has seven tick
marks on it. Cody and Rowan start. Sign guy sign: “IF YOU CAN
READ THIS YOU’RE NOT A WYATT”. Rowan pounds down Cody to start,
but a blind charge hits boot and Cody dropkicks the knee. The
Rhodeses double-team and get one off of it. Rowan powers Goldust
into the corner, but Goldust wins a slugfest and they put him in the
corner. Bryan tags in and kicks away, adding knees until Rowan
shoves him away. Cody tags himself in, and he and Goldust
double-team Rowan. Goldust with a headlock, but he’s in the wrong
corner and Harper tags in. A long eyerake follows, and Harper bashes
Goldust in the corner. A blind charge is two steps slow, and Goldust
uppercuts Harper but can’t snapmare him. He lifts his boot so Cody
can tag it, and Cody takes over on Harper with a dropkick. Bryan in,
and he gets kicked repeatedly in the legs. Harper stops it with a
right hand and works him over in the corner. A big boot is once
again slow, and Bryan puts Harper in the Tree of Woe and begins
kicking like crazy, ending with a baseball slide. Bryan demands
Bray, and he gets the crowd to encourage it, but Harper stays the
legal man as we go to break. When we return, Rowan drops an elbow on
Cody for one. Cole informs us Bray and Bryan didn’t face off.
Harper tags in and taunts Goldust before hitting a charging elbow on
Cody. Harper with the Gator Roll as Cody is busted open from the
elbow. Harper with a headbutt, but Cody steals Ted DiBiase’s
follow-on lariat to knock over Harper. Goldust in, and he bowls
Harper over and nails the kneeling uppercut and inverted atomic drop.
Ten-punch countalong follows, complete with taunt between 9 and 10,
and Goldust stops a blind charge and gets a rana before getting
booted down. Harper brings Bray in now, and he laughs at Bryan
before dropping elbows on Goldust. Bray works Goldust over in the
corner as Cody gets stitched up. Bray blows a kiss at Goldust and
lands an avalanche before doing the inverted look. Harper tags in
and drops an elbow on Goldust on the second rope. Harper steps on
Goldust’s throat, but he misses a drop before clearing the face apron
to keep Goldust in. Rowan clubs away on Goldust as the ref is
pre-occupied with Bryan. Big splash by Rowan gets two. Rowan puts a
neck crank on Goldust and works his gut, but misses a blind charge
only to catch Goldust and keep him cornered as JBL mocks Tony Romo.
Rowan with the IRON CLAW on Goldust, throwing him across the ring for
two. Harper in, but he throws Goldust into the Wyatt corner, and he
beats everyone up with a facejam on Harper. It’s a long crawl to the
corners, and it’s Rowan and Bryan. Bryan’s immediately dropkicks
Bray and goes to town on Rowan with kicks to the leg. He follows
with the cross-corner dropkick, twice, before working on Rowan in the
corner until he’s thrown down. Bryan sticks and moves with a
dropkick to the leg, and now it’s the YES Kicks. Including the
roundhouse! Must be a special night. Bryan goes up, and it’s the
Ram Jam to Rowan. Wyatt charges in, and Bryan punches him and chases
only to be steamrolled by Rowan on the outside. The Wyatts taunt the
Rhodeses as we go to break AGAIN. We’re back for Act 3 as Bryan
elbows out of Harper’s grasp only to get hit with a knee to the gut.
Harper guillotines Bryan in the ropes as we look at the set-up the
Wyatts did just before the break. Bray tags in and headbutts Bryan
before taunting him and boxing him in the corner. This just annoys
Bryan, and he gets fired up only to be floored with a right hand.
Bray goes ground-and-pound now, then drags Bryan into the corner and
tags in Harper, who does a Tope Atomico (!!!) for two. (That’s
Eddie’s flip senton over the ropes.) Rowan in, and he slams Bryan
and adds a diving forearm. Rowan goes back to the neck crank, but
Bryan twitches out of it and blocks a charge, getting a Tornado DDT.
Bray directs traffic, but it’s hot tag Cody, who gets a springboard
dropkick on Harper and a jumping knee. Cody with the Brisco rollup
for two and the sliding uppercut. Disaster Kick hits Rowan, and
Harper eats buckle and moonsault press, Bray saves. Goldust is sent
out, but Bryan leaps in with a missile dropkick on Bray and a tope
suicida as the fight gets personal. Rowan pulls Bryan off and into
the barricade, and Goldust with a flip senton on Rowan. WHERE DO
THEY LEARN THIS STUFF? Harper sent to the apron, but Bray tags
himself in. Harper eats Disaster Kick, and Bray follows with Sister
Abigail’s Kiss to win at 22:28. Goldust races in to help, and Harper
sends him out. Bryan eats stairs courtesy of Rowan as the crowd
chants NO. It’s a 3-on-1 on Bryan, and Bray has Bryan dragged to the
middle of the ring. He taunts Bryan and says it doesn’t have to be
this way. “I could’ve given you the world!” The Wyatts stand
tall as we go black, and when we return, they’re lounging in the
aisle. Given enough time, just about anyone in WWE can put on a good
match. ***3/4
Tomorrow,
PG Week continues on the Blog as I will give you a special What If.
It isn’t about a booking decision; it’s about life or death.
And
now, we have Good Santa being informed of Bad Santa’s intentions and
vowing to stop it. The Force of ham is strong in this one.
Meanwhile,
the WWE sent each Cy Young winner a replica WWE Title belt.
Back
in the streets, Bad News Barrett is still working the kettle and
bell. Barrett is saying all proceeds go to charity. I can only
assume that’s the name of Wade Barrett’s escort.
CHRISTMAS
CAROL SINGING CONTEST! Yeah, why not. R-Truth and Xavier Woods are
up first. Woods does a decent “O Holy Night”, with R-Truth
providing Diddy-esque remix comments. Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre
are next; they butcher a rock version of Jingle Bells. You know, it
takes talent to sing this badly. JBL: “Was Jillian busy?” Team
#3 is Santino Marella and Great Khali. They do “Deck the Halls”,
with Khali doing the fa-la-la’s… not well, mind you. Although
Santino’s falsetto singing isn’t the worst I’ve heard. The Cobra is
wearing reindeer antlers, too. Your winners: Santino/Khali. Yes,
really. 3MB are sore losers and attack, but Truth and Woods cut them
off and it’s a mass jobber beating. Santino apologizes for the
fight, and in order to make up for it: a four-man Wish You a Merry
Christmas. Khali doesn’t know the words. You get the feeling Vince
knows nobody is watching?
Up
next, a Christmas Present on a Pole Match between Fandango and Dolph
Ziggler. Yeah, Vince knows.
As
I’ve said several times, it’s PG Week on the Blog, and I’m going to
close it on Sunday with a special WrestleMania Rewind! You, the
fans, get to decide which WrestleMania I recap! Feel free to discuss
what sort of torture to put me through in the comments!
Pole
Match: Fandango v. Dolph Ziggler. The candy cane pole has a present
on it; first to claim it wins the match and, presumably, the gift.
Were they giving out Santa hats to the first five rows, or did they
all co-ordinate? All the big names are here: We Hate Cena Guy, Sign
Guy, Brock Lesnar Fan… it’s like a greatest hits in the crowd. We
then learn that the prize is an I-C title match. Wisely, both men
race to the corner and try to get up to the pole, but neither one
succeeds. Fandango punches Ziggler as we get into the match proper.
Cole: “I’d like to see [JBL] scramble up a pole.” Dolph with a
dropkick and he climbs, but Fandango stops it. Fandango works on
Dolph in the corner, then follows with a back elbow. He climbs, but
Dolph yanks him off the corner. Dolph with a big right, but Fandango
fires in a knee only to get Hammer Thrown away from the pole. Dolph
is all alone and climbs, but Fandango catches him for a powerbomb
only to get sunset flipped and Rocker Dropped. Cole more or less
admits they gave away Santa hats. Good for them. Dolph is climbing
again, but Summer Rae trips him (I think) and Fandango charges Dolph,
sending both to the outside. No, on replay, Dolph just slipped to
buy time. Fandango is higher up, but Dolph follows him and they’re
both on the top rope. Fandango goes down, but bounces back up with a
rope-assisted roundhouse kick. Fandango then climbs OVER Dolph to
the top, but Dolph recovers and makes a soprano out of him. Dolph
goes up and has his hand on it before Fandango stops him and sends
him off the ropes into the steps. And with that, Fandango will face
Langston next week. Time of the match: 4:43. It’s a pole match;
they’re kind of all the same. 1/2*
Coming
up later: Cena, Punk, Langston v. Ambrose, Rollins, Reigns.
I’ve
never plugged a commercial before (so far as I can remember), but for
our military I’ll make an exception: www.HireHeroesUSA.org.
Prime
Time Players v. The Usos. Darren gets mad that Titus O’Neil does all
the talking, then immediately addresses “Houston”. They’re not
in Houston. Darren is pouting over his mistake. Titus says they
want three things: a win, a title shot, and a superdance. O’Neil and
Jey start, and Titus with a tackle and bark. Jey with a headlock,
but Titus shoves him off and catches him with a flapjack. Young in,
and Titus suplexes him onto Jey. It doesn’t even get one. Young to
the headlock, and he catches Jey with an elbow, but Jey gets a
hiptoss as the Austin crowd lets us know where we are. Jimmy with a
hiptoss of his own and he works the arm. Crowd starts a Houston
Sucks chant as Jimmy gets a flying back elbow for one. Another
armdrag follows, and back to the arm. Jey back in, and he drops an
axhandle on the arm and covers for one. Back to the arm with a
chickenwing as Jey yells “This ain’t Houston!” He’s never going
to live this down, is he? Jimmy in, and Young gets beaten up with a
pair of double elbows for one. Back to the armbar as JBL and Cole
speculate on the University of Texas coaching job. Young with a
Northern Lights out of nowhere for two. He slugs away on Jimmy and
gets a roaring elbow and Greco-Roman throw. Jey tags himself in with
a cradle for one and superkick-throat thrust combo. Samoan Drop
follows, then a hip check on Young. Titus saves, but Jey low bridges
Titus and Young gets superkicked again. Jimmy puts on a Rudolph nose
and flies with a Superfly Splash for the win at 4:52. Not so much a
match as a sheer mockery of Darren Young. *3/4
Titus helps Young up, and everyone makes nice after the match with
the Millions of Dollars dance. Titus has to help Young do it like
Young’s a ragdoll. I got nothing.
We
get a Tale of the Tape on Good Santa and Bad Santa. That will be
next. Cole is marking out for Good Santa, and JBL is cheering for
Bad Santa.
Hey,
the Rock has earned ALL the money in 2013. WWE wins! Sort of. You
know, assuming Dwayne cares about his first job.
Mark
“Good Santa” Henry v. Damien “Bad Santa” Sandow. I’m calling
them Henry and Sandow and you can’t stop me. Both men are introduced
as Santa. Sandow comes to the ring with a giant lump of coal. And
yes, they’re both dressed as Santa. Let’s just say this won’t be a
scientific classic. Sandow charges, but gets slugged down by Henry.
Henry grabs a ginormous present in the corner… and it’s a toilet
bowl. Sandow attacks and gets headbutted. And from there, Sandow
gets the SWIRLIE OF DEATH in the corner. Sandow bails and grabs a
nearby gift – a fire extinguisher. He holds Henry at bay, but
can’t figure out how to operate it. So Henry shows him… about the
way you’d expect. Sandow crawls to the entrance as JBL and Cole
debate whether Santa’s suit is fireproof or Santa himself is. They
fight on the entranceway, where Sandow finds a kendo cane and
destroys Henry AND the decorations at the top. Henry blocks and
headbutts, breaking the stick in half and throwing Sandow down the
aisle. Henry sends Sandow into a tree and pounds him with a present.
Back in, Sandow jumps Henry and pounds away. He gets the
extinguisher, but again doesn’t know the next step. Henry kicks him
down and uses it instead. World’s Strongest Slam (which Cole
re-christens the Sleigh Ride for this occasion) finishes as Christmas
is saved at 3:17. Honestly, they should’ve given this more time like
Orton/Otunga. Henry finds some sleigh bells in a present as JBL
calls Santa a thief because those gifts are for kids, doggone it!
Henry then finds cupcakes and throws them into Sandow’s face for fun.
Eh, it’s a comedy match, what do you want? *
Renee
Young gets to interview CM Punk. She asks about Punk’s plan, and for
once he has one. It’s the middle of the holiday season, and the
Shield’s trying to ruin it. So Punk asks for help – yes, the loner
asked for help. And he asked SANTA for help. And now that Santa
saved Christmas, he gave Punk the gift of John Cena and Big E
Langston. Langston appears and says his gift is a beating for the
Shield. Cena is a little too excited about the Christmas season.
Cena found the Shield’s list, and tonight they’ll give them their
gifts. Reigns needs Big E to knock his teeth in, Rollins needs an
Attitude Adjustment, and Ambrose needs to Go 2 Sleep. Langston:
“Believe in that!”
Well,
since Christmas is saved, I’ll have a Christmas gift for you on the
Blog as part of PG Week on Wednesday as I recap my favorite nostalgia
PPV of all time! No hints, other than it’s not a WrestleMania, so
you can choose whichever one you want for Sunday.
We
the People v. Los Matadores. Zeb Colter wants us to remember one
thing during Christmas: Santa’s an illegal immigrant, sneaking across
our border and taking our jobs. But at least Santa’s only around for
one night every year. And by the way, don’t say “Feliz Navidad”;
it’s “Merry Christmas”. As always, I’m calling them Epico and
Primo. El Torito is white this week. Cole compares him to the
Abominable Snowmonster from Rankin/Bass. Crowd chants that OU stinks
as Cesaro works on Primo with uppercuts. Primo vaults over the
corner and lands on his feet, then flips some more before getting
headscissors. Twice. Cesaro misses a blind charge, but Primo gets
caught and it’s the GIANT SWING OF DOOM. We get to 22 and a half and
Primo has to bail. Even Epico is getting sympathy dizziness. The
two switch off, and Epico is thrown in, cradling Cesaro until Swagger
saves. Epico thwarts a double-team and dives onto Cesaro as Primo
gets a senton cradle for two. Swagger flips Primo, who does a
headstand rana on Swagger followed by the Boss Man Straddle. Up top,
as Epico cuts off Cesaro only to get sent into the barricade. Primo
argues with Cesaro, and Torito gores Cesaro. Primo then gets a
diving crossbody on Swagger for the pin at 3:19. NOSOTROS EL PUEBLO!
*1/4
And
if that translation’s wrong, blame Babelfish.
Another
look at last Friday’s main event to set up tonight’s main event.
Batista:
still coming.
Kofi
Kingston v. Ryback. Someone wanna clean up the entrance? Ryback
opens with a hiptoss and taunt, but Kofi kicks away and takes over.
Kofi works a headlock, but runs into Ryback. Ryback catches Kofi,
but Kofi lands on his feet and gets a dropkick. Corner forearm and
running dropkick and Ryback bails. He argues with the referee, and
Kofi sends him to the floor instead. Ryback looks to leave and is
intercepted by a Kofi somersault plancha. Back in, Ryback sends Kofi
back out. He goes to the outside as the crowd chants Goldberg, and
Kofi’s head hits the apron. Back in, a Hammer Throw to Kofi leads to
stomping. Ryback chops Kofi in the corner as JBL plugs everything he
can think of. Bearhug by Ryback to Kofi as the announcers discuss
what the wrestlers are getting for Christmas. Kofi elbows out but
runs into a stalling suplex. Ryback gets two off of it. To the
second rope, but he dives into Kofi’s feet. Ryback eats elbow on a
blind charge, then a springboard dropkick for two. Soccer kicks to
Ryback follow, then the Boom Drop. He calls for Trouble in Paradise,
but Ryback knows it and hides in the corner only to get pendulum
kicked. Crossbody by Kofi gets two. Kofi vaults onto Ryback, but
Ryback gets a faceplant on the top rope and Meathook. “Happy
Holidays. Get up!” Ryback gets Shell Shock for the win at 5:45.
Man, Ryback’s really fallen into a slump in his in-ring work – he
was BAD on offense. 1/2*
There’s
a main event tonight that you want to watch!
Thursday
on PG Week, I’ll have a little essay about recent off-screen WWE
antics, comparing them to times past and wondering whether hypocrisy
is involved.
Vince
McMahon and a few expendable superstars went to Afghanistan this
week, apparently returning “earlier today”. So R-Truth raced all
the way to the arena to take part in the sing-off? Sorry, I can’t
resist.
So
now the payoff: Bad News Barrett is at ringside to let us know that
he’s gathered money for charity. Thousands of dollars, in fact. But
the bad news: he’s not working for any charity, so the money is all
his. Cole: “Bah Humbug!”
The
Shield reports from an undisclosed location and says Punk has three
thorns in his side. Ambrose says Punk’s pain gives them pleasure.
Rollins then questions Cena and Punk being allies. And why are they
trying, since the outcome is always the same. Reigns lets us know
that Langston’s the big target and in over his head. Tonight, they
will rip everything apart.
PG
Week on the Blog will end next Monday with the final Raw of 2013,
live from Richmond! SmackDown will be pre-taped in DC, my backyard.
I’m very tempted to go, but I couldn’t tell you about it because I
don’t do spoilers. Big Show sold separately.
Main
event: CM Punk, Big E Langston, and John Cena v. Shield. Punk raises
the roof for Langston. Cena gives a kid in the front row a
T-Shirt… which would be more awesome except it appears Santino gave
the same kid a Cobra. Ambrose looks to start against Cena as the
crowd gets their duelling chant on. Cena with a headlock on Ambrose,
adding a shoulder tackle. Rollins tags in to test his luck. He
kicks Cena down, but Cena pounds away and gets a cross-corner whip
into… his comeback? Yup, tackles and spinning slam, but Rollins
rolls out before the Shuffle can get started. Shield call a huddle
before returning. Reigns tags in now and stares down Cena. A
shoving match breaks out, and Cena lands some punches only to run
into a Samoan Drop for two. Reigns corners Cena and stomps away
before tagging in Rollins as we go to break. We return with Rollins
pounding Cena in a neutral corner, but Cena reverses a whip just to
get caught with an elbow and Buff Blockbuster for two. Ambrose in,
and he punches down Cena and gets a Power Drive Elbow for two.
Headbutts and right hands follow. Cena tries to fight out of it, but
gets caught in a sleeper. It’s on for a very long time, as the crowd
gets into it, and Punk tags in DURING THE SLEEPER. Leg lariat to
Ambrose, and Punk follows with a tope suicida. Reigns is knocked
over for good measure, and Punk with a twisting neckbreaker to set up
the corner knee and short-arm lariat. He goes up top, knocking
Rollins off the apron before he can get there, and that allows
Ambrose to send him to the floor. Ambrose with a suplex on the
floor, and he rolls in, begs off to the ref, and rolls back out.
It’s the little things, really. Back in, it gets two. Rollins tags
in and kicks Punk in the back. Rollins points to his black eye (“You
did this to me”) before trying to return the favor. Rollins with a
Hammer Throw, as Cena begs for a tag only to get Rollins’ attention.
Rollins keeps kicking at Punk, stomping him down and taunting the
crowd. Punk sends Rollins into the HBK Corner Flip to get to the
corner, but Ambrose cuts him off with a front chancery. Punk gets to
his knees and tries to get the tag anyway, but Ambrose stops it and
throws him into the corner instead. Reigns tags in and headbutts an
exposed Punk. Reigns shoves around Punk, but it allows Punk to get a
flurry of offense only for him to run into a bearhug. Punk elbows
out… only for Reigns to turn it into a spinebuster for two.
Leaping elbowdrop gets two. Rollins tags in, and he hooks a
bodyscissors. Cena leads a Let’s Go Punk chant as Punk elbows out of
Rollins’s grip. Rollins charges but gets back suplexed, and now it’s
time for a hot tag. Ambrose knocks Cena off the apron to prevent it,
which allows Langston to distract the referee and Reigns to steamroll
Cena. Ambrose (somehow the legal man) stands over a prone Punk, then
looks at Langston all alone in the corner. Ambrose pulls Punk up
only to get a roundhouse kick to make him dizzy. Reigns cuts off the
hot tag (BARELY), but his blind charge airballs and NOW Langston
FINALLY gets the hot tag. Langston destroys Rollins and Reigns,
sending the latter out of the ring and hitting the former with a
Greco-Roman throw. Ambrose misses Langston and hits Rollins, and
Langston gets the Ultimate Splash on both men. The STRAPS ARE DOWN,
but Rollins tags in Ambrose. Ambrose runs into the Big Ending, but
Rollins dropkicks Ambrose on top, Cena saves. Rollins dives into an
AA, but Reigns spears Cena to stop it. Punk off the top to knock
down Reigns as Rollins and Punk are dumped. Ambrose taunts, but
Langston scoops him up for the Big Ending, but the Shield all attack
en masse for the DQ at 16:00 or so. They set up the Triplebomb, but
Cena pulls Reigns away and throws him into the barricade. Langston
bowls over Ambrose and Rollins, who get AA/GTS in stereo. Play ALL
the face music (Cena, then Punk, then Big E) to end as we all
celebrate. ***1/4
FINAL
THOUGHTS:
This
was basically a house show, since I think Vince was betting on this
show being poorly watched due to the holidays. If that’s the case, I
can’t hold anything against anyone. There was no angle advancement
tonight, and the matches didn’t really matter that much. The only
real thing you need to know is Fandango and Langston will meet next
week in an I-C title match.
So if
you didn’t watch tonight, you didn’t miss anything, and we all knew
you wouldn’t miss anything. On the other hand, I had fun watching,
so does that count for something?
STATS:
MATCH
TIME: 69:35 over nine matches
BEST
MATCH: The Wyatt six-man
WORST
MATCH: Kofi/Ryback
NIGHT
MVP: Fandango
FINAL
SCORE: N/A. No need to rate this one, since it’s basically a house
show. If you get a chance to find the whole show on YouTube and have
a few hours to spare, enjoy. Otherwise, catch what you want.
Stay
tuned all week as I fill the Blog with content! I’ll be back
tomorrow with a What If as we begin PG Week! Merry Christmas,
everyone!

Review: A Christmas Story 2

A Christmas Story 2 Review by James Fabiano Still getting over the post-Christmas letdown?  This movie won’t help… My name’s James Fabiano, I’m a longtime reader of the blog, as well as an occasional contributor to comments threads.  This is the first time I’ve attempted to write something for the site.  I have written wrestling and movie reviews for other sites way back when, but have kind of laid off for a couple of years.  But… it takes a special kind of movie to bring me out of retirement. OK, we all know the story of “A Christmas Story” by now.  Not just the plot of the movie, but the story of the movie itself.  You know, holiday movie based on Jean Shepherd’s “slice of 1930s Americana” (as TV Guide used to put it in its movie listings) comes out in 1983, doesn’t exactly set the world on fire.  Then said movie hits cable and home video, and builds a following until it becomes a full-fledged Christmas icon and has its own 24-hour marathon Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Not to mention tons and tons of merchandising, and with that said, what happened 29 years later was probably more inevitable than Mrs. Parker asking Ralphie what he wanted for Christmas.  Sure there were films before then that were based on Shep’s writing, but none took the direct approach that Warner Premiere did when it made the direct to DVD “official” sequel, “A Christmas Story 2.”  Yes, without using any Jean Shepherd material, nor Jean Shepherd still here to offer any input or role.  Everyone who knows me knows that I am a rabid fan of the original ACS, and I have been so way before the hype.  From the beginning pretty much…when I was 6 I laughed at the commercials and the slide scene with Ralphie and Santa, and I vaguely remember being taken to the theater to see it.  I’d always watch it on HBO, from which grew my love for the “Oh fudge!” story arc.  From there, I followed it wherever it was running, and bought the VHS and later DVD.  I hope to one day take a trip to Cleveland to visit the Christmas Story House as well.  So I guess I was compelled either way to give this sequel a look, no matter the potential for a train wreck.  (Don’t worry, I used Netflix, I didn’t buy it)  (WARNING: Spoilers will appear from this point on!!!!) SYNOPSIS It’s six years since the original ACS, Ralphie is now 15 years old and has a new Christmas wish: a new car.  However, unlike his quest for the Red Ryder BB gun, this one takes a backseat to other wacky holiday time antics.  For you see, the car is actually the means to another end, as Ralphie wants to impress dream girl Drucilla (Drucilla?  But I thought Esther Jane was “Ralph’s” love interest in the Shepherd stories!  And it’s not like she didn’t cameo in ACS1).  And both plot points are further overshadowed when Ralphie takes the car for a test drive and ends up wrecking it.  Now he must earn $85 to pay for the damage, can he do it, with the help of his ever-present friends Flick and Schwartz?  Meanwhile, kid brother Randy lives out Buck Rogers fantasies, the Old Man is still battling the furnace and has developed a sudden frugality as well as an interest in ice fishing, and we get some appearances by familiar places, things, and jokes.  OBSERVATIONS – Pretty unspectacular opening credits, with everything from the Warner Premiere logo (CLG Wiki addition!!) and up appearing amidst snowfall on a black background.  The music is nondescript (more on that later), and they use a generic “comedic” red font.  Compare to the MGM lion roaring, followed by those chimes, building up to Paul Zaza’s “Deck the Halls” heralding the words “A film based on the works of Jean Shepherd” and finally, the music peaking as the title card comes up.  – Speaking of which, they could have done worse than re-use Zaza’s music, or try better in recreating it.  The music we are stuck with is generally generic and borders on sitcom quality at times.  – Here’s Cleveland Street, but it looks almost too polished.  And the background of factories, which look like cutouts, makes it look more like a model.  – Nat Mauldin is our narrator, and I am wondering now if they could have at least gotten the person from the Cingular commercial from a few years back… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60MdEMK4VZY …at least he made an attempt to sound like Shep.  Mauldin sounds more like Adam West rattling off familiar Shepherdisms (he hits “There it is…Cleveland Street!” and “the Battle of the Lamp” within seconds of the movie’s start) along with other Shepherd-style metaphors.  – Randy’s still here and is more talkative, being presented as a couple years older.  As mentioned before, he is obsessed with Buck Rogers and pretends to shoot the milkman, bragging to his mother that he really got “the son of a bitch.”  Cursing little kids are FUNNY!  Now, did you like the moment when Ralphie blurted out that phrase after being duped by Little Orphan Annie?  Good, because it is used 2-3 times within the next 20 minutes alone.  Maybe more in general.  See, the thing about ACS1’s cursing was that it was used sparingly and not to worry, most of the adult jokes would fly over youngsters’ heads (thinking of the “Oh! A blue ball!” line).   ACS2, unlike Ralphie’s mom at the dinner table, was NOT more subtle. There’s this, and later on, we revisit the evil Santa, who uses every word except the obscentiy itself to imply that his wife is a whore. The further beauty of ACS1’s “obscenity” was that it was either mixed in gibberish or “unintentional.”  I still say Flick’s cries of “Stuck?” with his impeded tongue was one of the best getting crap past the radar moments ever. And it’s never altered on any of the TV viewings!  – Mrs. Parker of course warns Randy about getting the soap…hey, I get that reference!  Regardless, he gets wrapped up again for the winter weather (I get that too!) and lets out another S.O.B. bomb.  – Now, we see Ralphie finally, and well, it’s like an older person dressed up as 9-year-old Peter Billingsley for Halloween.  Or the Hanna-Barbera version of drawing “aged” characters…think Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm in the ’70s.  And speaking of the Flintstones… – There’s the Old Man, played by Daniel Stern.  Now, I think the casting department considered this “clever,” because he was the narrator/adult version of a younger character on a hit TV show, and hey, A Christmas Story had one of those too, so huzzah!  Anyway, Wrestlecrap’s R.D. Reynolds hit the nail right on the head when he compares this incarnation of the Old Man to Fred Flintstone…he is just too gruff and blustery.  And we SEE him in the furnace, way to kill the mystery!  Similarly, Stern also does Darrin McGavin’s “gibberish cursing” both off AND on camera.  He even does gibberish singing at one point.  It worked when it was unseen because, as I said, it adds to the mystery and chaos of what could possibly be going on down there.  Here, it just makes Stern look more like a cartoon character. This should be no surprise, considering that Brian Levant directed both Flintstones movies and some of the Scooby-Doo TV movies.  Actually, further research on Levant shows that he also directed or worked on: several *’80s* Happy Days episodes, The New Leave It To Beaver, and the sequels to Problem Child.  Need I say more?  – Mrs. Parker, according to the narration, “still collects bacon grease like it was gold dust.”  First, an obsession with Dustin Rhodes is generally unhealthy.  Second of all, I do not remember her doing this at all in the first movie.  I guess since she was mostly the straight person to everyone else’s wackiness, they had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to give her some kind of quirk too.  And she looks YOUNGER than Melinda Dillon.  – Another problem I had with this movie was that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSwSzoFaEcA The narration carried most of the first movie, after all.  I guess since everyone is older, especially the kids, they would naturally talk more.  But still, it’s really jarring. – Older he may be, teenage Ralphie still has the fantasy sequences he did as a 9-year-old.  The most interesting one involves a Nazi soldier holding Drucilla captive and Ralphie coming to the rescue, but still, never once is the car involved.  That shows what the REAL goal of Ralphie’s is.  Other sequences are no “soap poisoning” or “Ralph : A++++++++++++”.  They try to kind of have a nod to the latter in a dream sequence where Ralphie is the employee of the month at Higbee’s, though.  – So Ralphie’s dream car gets wrecked when a model reindeer impales it in slow motion, giving the writers an excuse to revisit the “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge” line, pretty much delivered the same way.  A word on the “dream car” angle, if I may.  Could they have picked a more cliched plot for this movie?  And on top of that, the protagonist must also earn money to make up for damages?  I’m sure Bob Clark wouldn’t settle for having A Christmas Story driven by such sitcom-quality plots.  Then again, he DID come up with Baby Geniuses… – Was it me, or does someone refer to the Old Man as “Hank” at one point?  They want to totally demystify him and his escapades, don’t they? – Anyway, Ralphie, Flick, and Schwartz do a number of odd jobs in Higbee’s (wow, they mentioned something else from the first movie, let’s give a big cheer!) to earn money.  Amongst their adventures: gift-wrapping, during which they accidentally wrap up someone’s baby (infanthood trauma is also FUNNY!) and are abandoned by their co-worker, a lush older woman (drunk ladies are funny too!); Ralphie trying to master removing the bra from a mannequin; mishaps while offering perfume samples; Ralphie dressed up as a reindeer and getting slugged for standing up to someone who tried to steal money or some such thing; and the boys serving as the elves for another Evil Santa, in which Ralphie gives a passionate speech about phony Santas, and Flick and Schwartz (who, by the way, are hard to keep track of because they are so generic) get in a giant candy cane duel.  As R.D. said, if you’re going to rip off “Santa With Muscles,” you’re one sorry movie.  Though Levant may have been ripping off his own “Jingle All The Way,” as that too contained a fight breaking out at a mall Santa’s kiosk.  Oh, and said Santa is actually Gary Chalk.  Now that’s just Prime.  – A further word or two about the Evil Santa.  We touched upon him earlier and he totally fails compared to the (say it with me) SUBTLETY of the Santa in the first movie.  The point of Santa there was not only to show how it seemed everyone was against Ralphie’s quest for the rifle, but also to depict the childhood fear of mall Santas, no matter what they do or don’t do.  Yes, the ACS1 Santa makes snarky comments to his elves, but generally doesn’t say or do anything nasty to the children, well, until Ralphie’s face meets his boot.  This, on the other hand, is what the ACS2 version does to literally every kid who visits him.  And for a nitpick, there’s no neat slide, nor elves that remind me of my uncle (“Hey, kid, the store’s closing!”).  – Oh, also, in the montage of jobs the protagonists do, Flick gets his tongue stuck to something again.  It’s a pneumatic tube for sending messages this time, and almost takes his whole mouth with it.  First, it’s even less visually appealing than the original gag.  Second, Flick WILLINGLY sticks his tongue into the tube this time.  What’s up with that?  Is he a masochist? (Marianne Faithfull’s uncle originated that word, by the way!)  Did something about the original incident turn him on, and now he must stick his tongue to everything?  It would have been funnier if Scott Schwartz was still playing Flick, cause he DID end up in a profession involving tongues and poles for a while… – Back to the Old Man, who as mentioned before, is taking up ice fishing because he didn’t want to pay 40 cents a pound for a Christmas turkey.  The Old Man I knew would try his darndest to haggle a cheaper price, he wouldn’t just throw his hands up and quit like that.  After all, “the Old Man loved bargaining as much as an Arab trader, and he was twice as shrewd!”  – Randy, meanwhile, is brought along on the fishing trips, but comes to dread them.  Leading to a confusing bit where he bites into a hard candy bar and hurts his tooth, and now must go to the “scary” dentist.  I thought he did it on purpose to get out of the fishing trip, but it turns out he dreads the dentist just as much as the trip.  And for good reason…the dentist turns out to really be a brute that never used Novocain.  No it’s not a dream sequence.   – So, Ralphie, Flick, and Schwartz have come up a dollar short of the $85.  They desperately look for something to sell (referencing the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin), when Schwartz reveals that he still has his lucky dollar from Hannukah.  Cause instead of figuring it out from his name, the movie has to spell it out for us that he’s Jewish this time.  Not sure if Shep ever intended him to be so.  The boys get in a struggle, during which they “triple dog dare” each other to go at it, and where they try to get Schwartz to “say uncle.”  Yay, they said “triple dog dare!”  Woo, yay, I remember that from the first movie!  Oh, and Flick and Ralphie end up pantsing Schwartz in the effort to get the dollar. – Out of nowhere, however, Ralphie has a coming-of-age moment and that leads him to use the money for homeless people he saw by the store earlier…as well as a certain familiar gift for the Old Man.  He takes the homeless people to the Chop Suey Palace, which is pretty much useless now since political correctness took away the possibility of revisiting that joke.  But I guess it’ll remind people to buy a ceramic model of the restaurant to complete their Christmas Story collection.  – Despite his spending spree, Ralphie is let off his debt to the car dealer.  And then Christmas morning comes, and a teen Ralphie still races Randy down the stairs to get at the presents.   The Parkers still play Santa, and Aunt Clara has sent another package.  Only it’s not for Ralphie, it’s for Randy this time.  Hilarity ensues, as does an ‘80s/‘90s photography montage (with flashes and Polaroid graphics).  When the family thinks they’re done, Ralphie tricks the Old Man into thinking a rat got into the kitchen, leading him on a trail that ends with him finding Ralphie’s gift for him: a new Leg Lamp.  Just like a horror movie villain, nothing can kill good merchandising.  Mrs. Parker, however, acts like she DID see someone rise from the dead. – Now, I know they have to push the Leg Lamp, both as an icon of the ACS universe and as something you can buy in various forms.  But I think a better scenario would have been this: another story arc in the movie has the Old Man finally getting a new furnace.  Wouldn’t it have been great if Ralphie was the one to get it, making a down payment with some of the money?  True, he probably didn’t have enough, but ACS2 hasn’t exactly been springing for realism.  That would have been a good callback to the Old Man’s reply when 9-year-old Ralphie said that he bet he didn’t know what he’d get him for Christmas.  – Not to be outdone, Ralphie gets his car.  He talks the Old Man into allowing him a test drive, but while he’s checking it out, the car almost rolls away and crashes again.  I actually expected this, and I honestly found this a GOOD nod to the original, because you wonder if something is going to go wrong with Ralphie’s gift without them blatantly recreating the scene.  But disaster is averted, and what’s more, Drucilla is a car expert and is interested in Ralphie and his gift.  So Ralphie gets the girl, and they literally ride off into the sunset, end of movie.  I was surprised they didn’t spring for a “The End” graphic given that finish.  FINAL THOUGHTS Well I didn’t expect much going in, so I wasn’t disappointed.  Basically it was a glorified ad for the first movie, as you could see a lot of the stuff they did done better there.  And like Ralphie sticking Red Ryder sales pitches into Look magazine, it couldn’t hurt to keep the movie’s universe’s people, places, and things fresh in viewers’ mind for when they wanted to do some holiday shopping.  Outside of that, this was a cheap, 90-minute sitcom that is of course unworthy of the ACS name, and unneeded without any Shepherd writing to warrant its existence.  P.S. : Now I wonder…were “A Summer Story” and “Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss” really bad as well, or did we just not like them because they weren’t “A Christmas Story”?

Christmas in Wrestling

Hi Scott,

As the Christmas Season is getting close, a quick question for you and the BoD, of all the Christmas themed shows, wrestlers, matches and moments we've had through the years. Which were you favourites?
 
Personally i always love the WWE's backstage Christmas Parties, paticularly the 2001 one where they had 2 parties a face & a heel one.

The only ones that even come to mind for me are Shawn Michaels laying down for HHH in 97 to give him the European title, and then Steve Austin beating up Santa Claus in 98.