What the World Was Watching: Saturday Night’s Main Event XXVI

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura handle commentary and they are taped from Austin, Texas.  To put over the Texas setting of the show, McMahon and Ventura open the show on horseback in the aisle.  The card was hyped as “The Tussle in Texas” and took place on April 23.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a crowd of 8,500 fans.

Read more

The Rockers vs. The Natural Disasters (and other Dream Matches!)

The Wrestling Insomniac: The Natural Disasters: Tag Team Champions?

Many more “Fat Guy Matches” await us today! Read on!

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! The main thing this time is a match I didn’t even realize had happened, as one team formed just as the other one was being split apart- the Natural Disasters against The Rockers!

And this time I have even more on those terrible indie-riffic tag guys, as the Land of Giants actually fight EACH OTHER (in Puerto Rico of all places), while the Puccio twins (“The Undertakers” on last week’s column) wrestle on a WWF House Show as “Double Trouble” against the Steiner Brothers! Then we see a random Saturday Night squash as Mike Enos takes on Mike Tolbert.

Also, a match that helps explains to the youngsters among you just WHY Dallas Page was one of the most hated wrestlers online in the late ’90s. This tends to shock newer fans and those who weren’t around back then, so take a look at a particularly notable match against Psychosis!

THE ROCKERS (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) vs. THE NATURAL DISASTERS (Earthquake & Typhoon, w/ Jimmy Hart):
(WWF TV, Oct. 20th 1991)
* It is extremely weird to me that these two teams overlapped- I identify them both so strongly with two different eras- the “Hogan Era” and the post-Hogan doldrums- that this just feels “wrong”. But there was indeed about a four-month period where this could have happened- the Rockers were on their way to splitting, while the Disasters were a fresh heel team set up to fight the Legion of Doom. Ironically, the Rockers, in their bright blue tasseled gear, were a “modern”-looking duo, which is why in retrospect they’re now the most dated-looking guys of the era.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – April 15, 1990

Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan do commentary for this show, kicking off a new round of television tapings from Syracuse, New York.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on April 3.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – April 8, 1990

With Tony Schiavone gone, Wrestling Challenge sees an announcing shakeup with Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan now calling the action.  They are commentating matches at the end of the taping cycle in San Francisco.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WrestleMania VI

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are in the booth and they are live from Toronto, Ontario, Canada in what will be Ventura’s last appearance calling a WWF pay-per-view.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a sellout crowd of 67,678, a new attendance record for the venue.  It drew a buyrate of 3.8 (an estimated 550,000 purchases).  This was a decline from the 5.9 buyrate of WrestleMania V, but this can be attributed to more homes getting pay-per-view access by 1990, thereby messing with the buyrate average.

Robert Goulet sings the Canadian National Anthem.  According to Bruce Prichard, Goulet was picked for this spot because he badly botched signing “The Star Spangled Banner” several years earlier and this was a chance for him to redeem himself in front of a live crowd.  The WWF put the lyrics on the Skydome’s video screen to ease Goulet’s nerves.  And if you watch his body language during the performance, he goes from a bad of nerves to a guy having the time of his life halfway through.  His wife, who watched backstage, cried her eyes out after he nailed the song.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – March 31, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are in the booth, and they remain taped from Sacramento, California.  On the eve of WrestleMania VI, Ventura is dressed in Ultimate Warrior face paint and t-shirt and a Hulk Hogan hat.  When McMahon asks for a prediction, Ventura says the bout is a tossup.

Read more

The Road Warriors vs. The Natural Disasters in Japan (and other Dream Matches!)

1991.12.12 SWS&WWF L.O.D VS Natural disasters① - YouTube

The height difference here is nuts. Like, Fred Ottman must always fight dudes of equal height because I completely forget sometimes that he DWARFS even men as big as Hawk.

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This time, I found an AMAZINGLY fun Hoss Match from Japan as the Natural Disasters go up against the Legion of Doom… with their “Iron Man” theme and incredible overness in Japan! That and Earthquake’s sumo credibility make for an incredibly fun bout.

And I found a great grab-bag of weird stuff for the column today: Did you know that when the Truth Commission split up, Bull Buchanan and the other guy were paired up for a couple of weeks as a team before being sent away and repackaged? Yup- come see “Armageddon” take on The Quebecers! Also my “Best of Roadblock” series continues as he’s set up against a pissed-off, lethal Giant! More of Jimmy Del Ray’s weird run as “Jimmy Graffiti” as he takes on Eddie Guerrero during Eddie’s early babyface push! And we cap off with Al Snow and a very young, green Kane as “Unabom” up against… Matt Hardy and Joey Abs? God SMW was weird.

WWF TAG TEAM TITLES:
THE LEGION OF DOOM (Hawk & Animal) vs. THE NATURAL DISASTERS (Earthquake & Typhoon, w/ Jimmy Hart):
(SWS/WWF in Japan, 12/12/1991)
* Okay, this is a fantastic one I saw split up in two on YouTube. The Road Warriors are of course famous in Japan and here come out to their old-school theme, “Iron Man”, and HOLY SHIT is that a massive game-changer to their act. Even with the cartoon WWF red & black spikes it’s a totally different effect, as awesome as their WWF music was- this was BORN to be a wrestling theme. Earthquake is of course known and respected in Japan as a former sumo (undefeated but quit over injuries and cultural rules and such)- he’s billed “Earthquake” John Tenta here. Right away I’m astounded as the two teams square up and even Typhoon is MUCH larger than either man. Like, Hawk & Animal ain’t small but Ottman has a couple inches on either one. This is in two parts on YouTube.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling “The Ultimate Challenge Special” – March 25, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan host tonight’s show, which aired on USA Network on March 25.  Instead of doing the show from the studio, though, they are on location from the Sparkles Nightclub in the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The matches on this broadcast were taped in San Francisco, California on March 7 as part of the Wrestling Challenge tapings that took place in the same location.

Heenan is anxious about being in CN Tower, telling Monsoon that the building is swaying.  They renew their gag about Heenan needing tickets for WrestleMania VI and when Monsoons says he has secured them, Heenan demands to know if they are in the front row.  Monsoon asks Heenan why he agreed to have the Colossal Connection face the Rockers a week before WrestleMania.  Heenan responds that he arranged the match because Andre the Giant wanted to send a message to the Hart Foundation.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – March 24, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura handle commentary duties, starting a new round of tapings in Sacramento, California.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on March 6 and attracted a crowd of 13,500, with 2,000 of those fans attending for free.  This week Ventura has his face painted like the Ultimate Warrior – a horrifying sight – and is wearing tassels because he is once again changing his prediction for the WrestleMania VI main event.

Read more

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

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

Read more

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

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon do commentary for today’s show, which concludes the tapings in Tucson, Arizona.

The broadcast starts by re-airing Demolition’s squash from Prime Time Wrestling.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – March 17, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are handling commentary and they are concluding the taping cycle in Phoenix, Arizona.  Ventura switches his WrestleMania VI pick back to Hulk Hogan, wearing off a Hogan shirt to start the broadcast.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – March 10, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura call the action and they are still in Phoenix, Arizona.  This week Ventura has an Ultimate Warrior t-shirt, changing his prediction on the WrestleMania VI main event after doing some research.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – March 5, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the studio for this evening’s broadcast.

Read more

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

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are in the booth and they start a new round of television tapings in Tucson, Arizona.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on February 14.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – March 3, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are in the booth, and they kick off a new round of tapings in Phoenix, Arizona.  These tapings took place on February 13.  Ventura is clad in Hulk Hogan merchandise because he predicts Hogan will win the WrestleMania VI main event.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – February 25, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are in the booth and they are concluding the tapings in Fort Myers, Florida.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – February 24, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura commentate today’s action, concluding the taping in Miami, Florida.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF The Main Event – February 23, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura do commentary and they are live from Detroit, Michigan.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a crowd of 21,000 fans.  The broadcast drew a rating of 12.8 (roughly 20.9 million viewers), an increase from the previous year’s telecast that pulled a 11.6 rating (19.9 million viewers) when the show was headlined by the Mega Powers facing the Twin Towers.

Gene Okerlund interviews Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri.  Savage says that he is happy that Mike Tyson pulled out as the referee because he found out that Tyson’s great grandmother is a Hulkamaniac so that made him biased.  Savage warns Buster Douglas to call it down the middle or royal authority will rain down on him.  Sherri closes by vowing that Hulk Hogan is not going to go into WrestleMania VI as world champion.

Read more

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

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

Read more