The SmarK Retro Rant for WWF In Your House: International Incident. – In retrospect, perhaps this wasn’t the best PPV title to pick out of the trunk. Well, what’s done is done. (I presume this was written around September 2001, then?) – Let’s go back to July 1996, as WCW was busy changing the world and Vince was farting around with Shawn Michaels, still trying to figure out how to get him over. (In the long run, Vince won that one.) – Live from Vancouver, BC, home of all the WWF’s crappier vintage of PPV. (Was there another Vancouver show around that time I would have been slagging on? I know New Blood Rising would have been fresh in my mind at that point, but that was WCW.) – Your hosts are Vince, Jerry & Good Ol’ JR. – Free 4 All match: Savio Vega v. Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw. This was shortly after Bradshaw’s debut, when the WWF thought the cure to their financial troubles was to find someone who could imitate Stan Hansen. (Well, aside from Steve Austin, I guess, but that was more influence than outright imitation.) They slug it out, won by Savio. He kicks away, but eats turnbuckle. Bradshaw pounds away, but misses a blind charge, and again, and a third time. He finally bails and they brawl outside, where Bradshaw then punches the post by mistake. Not exactly his day. Back in, Savio works on the hand as Vince declares this a “real romp’em stomp’em affair”. Ah, truly he had his finger on the pulse of young America. (Just think, this was before he was REALLY senile and out of touch!) Big boot from Bradshaw, but Savio comes back with chops. A pair of leg lariats get two, but Bradshaw catches him for the blockbuster, and Zebekiah pushes them over and holds Bradshaw on top of Vega for the pin at 4:44. Heel beatdown follows, and JR declares that Savio will never forget this day. Well, that makes one of us. ¾* – I would be remiss in not mocking Michael Hayes during his Dok Hendrix period, shilling for the PPV and advertising the big special for that month…a half-price membership in the WWF Fan Club! Considering how low most IYH buyrates were, I’m pretty sure they were the only ones buying the damn things to begin with. (I feel like the Network needs a Handsome Dok Hendrix or even Don West to just come out and do the hard sell on it.) – Opening match: The Smoking Gunns v. The Bodydonnas. Gunns were the champions, but this is non-title, just to make sure to kill any last vestiges of people thinking of buying the show. I mean, what the hell is the selling point of a NON-title match supposed to be? Especially when the Bodydonnas were already the biggest joke in wrestling at that point thanks to Cloudy, perhaps the dumbest idea Vince McMahon came up with that year. Next, of course, to dying Tom Pritchard’s hair blond and naming him “Zip”. (Could have been “Flip” if not for a previous copyright claim, so look at the bright side, I guess.) The Donnas double-team Billy, and Vince calls shenanigans. Gunns bail and stall. Zip & Bart slug it out back in the ring, and Zip goes armdraggin’. They work the arm for a while. A long while. Bart clotheslines out to break and Billy stomps away on Skip. Fameasser ends a rally, but Skip goes back to the arm shortly after. A rather surreal conversation breaks out at ringside, as JR suddenly goes off about the speed of the Bodydonnas (while Skip is standing around holding an armbar, mind you), and Vince counters by pointing out the speed of the GODWINNS, of all teams. JR seems legitimately incredulous that Vince would say something like that, and asks him if he meant the Gunns, trying to cover for Vince, but indeed Vince meant the Godwinns. I really wonder sometimes what it was with Vince and the hillbillies. Billy bails, setting up Skip for an ambush, which prompts a funny line from Jerry about how Skip would never stand a chance to get someone like Sunny. Anyway, Skip is YOUR crack addict-in-peril. (To be fair, I don’t know if he was ADDICTED as such.) Bart tosses him around while Tammy mugs for the camera. The thrill is gone with her, thanks to drugs and naked pictures. (And to think that she would find a lower level of rock bottom 14 years after I wrote that. However, going back and watching her on these shows today, the thrill is definitely there.) Skip goes up, but gets powerslammed. Billy screws up the double-team leapfrog, failing to clear Bart and landing lamely back on the mat as the crowd gives him a sarcastic ovation. The beating continues ENDLESSLY, as the crowd is just gone. Bart & Skip get crossed signals and screw up a reversal sequence, then repeat it. Billy goes up, but lands in an atomic drop, hot tag Zip. I’d be quaking in MY boots if a guy named Zip with blond hair was after ME. Billy quickly trips Zip, and the Gunns go for the Sidewinder, but Skip pops in with a missile dropkick on Bart and Zip gets the pin at 13:06. Boring and heatless. ½* The Donnas disappeared for good soon after. (Yeah, we’ve been discussing the Bodydonna babyface run on the RAW rants, but man what a disaster they were in that role. As others have pointed out, the New Rockers should have been in this spot because the matches would be better if nothing else.) – Mankind v. Henry Godwinn. Godwinn is subbing for an “injured” (no-showing) Jake Roberts, allowing Jerry Lawler to unleash a bevy of drunk jokes about Jake. The best of them is Jerry declaring that Jake has succumbed to the “Wrath of Grapes”. (That’s not saying much. What a mean-spirited feud that one was, for no real reason. Jake was trying to deal with his problems and be honest about it, and Vince let Jerry mock him endlessly on national TV for months.) Mankind attacks to start, and bites away. He goes low, but HOG slugs away. Mankind bails. Back in, Mankind hammers away and Henry responds in kind. Mankind comes back with an elbow, bulldog and elbowdrop. Running knee in the corner and guillotine on the apron follow, and mats are pulled up as they head out. Mankind gets a neckbreaker on the concrete, and they head back in. Blind charge misses, and Henry lariats him, but gets tossed. Mankind follows, but gets slammed on the concrete. Slop drop is blocked, mandible claw finishes at 6:52. Okayish last-minute squash. ¾* I think that instead of Henry O. Godwinn, he should have been O. Henry Godwinn, so that they could have all his matches feature some sort of twist finish to them. – Steve Austin v. Marc Mero. What? This is a rematch from King of the Ring, what? (Aha, definitely 2001, then.) Austin was the RVD-ish bad boy heel at this point, who the more rebellious element of the fanbase cheered for before the rest “got it”. Austin pounds away to start, but gets bodypressed for two. Mero works the arm, and Austin grabs a headlock, which leads into an early pinfall reversal sequence. Mero slugs away, and Austin takes a powder. Mero attacks and rolls him up for two. Austin fakes another mouth injury (ala KOTR), then suckers Mero in and dumps him, drawing BIG cheers from the Austin Cheering Section. (That cheering section was sort of like the Cesaro one, but Vince actually started listening to this one.) They head out, and Austin posts Mero. Mero climbs onto the apron, and gets shoved into the railing as a result. Back in, the FU Elbow gets two. Austin hits the chinlock, but misses a Bossman straddle. Mero crotches him on the top and comes back, but Austin goes for a powerbomb. Mero tries to block with a rana, and they end up tumbling out. Mero hits a somersault off the apron, and a wicked standing moonsault off the apron. NOW the whole crowd is into it. Back in, springboard splash gets two, but Austin crotches him. Stunner is blocked and Mero gets a springboard legdrop for two. Austin clips him, KICK WHAM STUNNER, goodbye at 10:47. Big face pop for Austin. Match wasn’t as fluid as the King of the Ring one, but it had it’s charm. **3/4 – Undertaker v. Goldust. Goldust stalls FOREVER. I’m eternally shocked that a pairing that produced that such shitty results as this one did got so much PPV time in 1996, with four appearances (counting Beware of Dog #1). UT nails him and he stalls again. Finally, they slug it out on the floor, and Taker drops him on the stairs. Back in, Taker chokes him down, and clotheslines him. Legdrop gets two, and he continues manhandling Goldust. OLD-SCHOOL ROPEWALK OF DOOM, but an elbow misses, and they head out. UT retains control, but Goldust pulls a turnbuckle off and whips Taker into it, backfirst. Stairs to the back, and Taker is in trouble. Hey, what’s that thing he’s doing, where he pretends to be affected and/or in pain from the actions of the heel? Um…selling, I think it’s called. But, but, but…I thought he didn’t DO that back in the Dead Man days? At least that’s what all the whiny rationalizing Undertaker fanboys who write me always seem to be trying to convince me of. (Obviously I was going through a phase here.) Goldust hits the chinlock, but Taker comes back with a small package for two. Flying lariat and tombstone, but Mankind pops out of a hole in the ring for the lame DQ at 12:06, thus negating the whole point of making me sit through 12 minutes of this tripe. ½* Taker then disappears into the hole while steam rises out of it and Mankind sits there like an idiot waiting for Taker to re-emerge and UT’s music starts and stops intermittently. Finally, Taker pops out of the OTHER side of the ring, through another hole, and gets his revenge. Thrilling. – Unintentionally funny bit during the “Vince & JR banter” bit to fill time before the main event, as fans behind the table get all excited and stuff, and a security guard is all like “Hey, no excitement on a 1996 WWF PPV, sit down you hooligans!” and he proceeds to stand there on-camera, monitoring the poor guys in the front row and making sure no enthusiasm is shown for the duration of the segment. But then my general experience with the security guys at wrestling shows is that they’re all a bunch of grumpy rent-a-cops whose crushed dreams mean that no one else gets to have any fun, either, so maybe I’m biased on that score. (I’d say that’s not unique to wrestling. I had front row tickets to Def Leppard a few years ago and the security force was just the WORST, staring down anyone who dared to leave their seats until finally Joe Eliot basically told them to fuck off and let people have some fun. Not a great show as a result, unfortunately.) – Owen Hart, British Bulldog & Vader v. Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson & Sycho Sid. Warrior was supposed to be part of the babyface team, but, you know, it’s Warrior, so instead we get Sid, who at least can be reasonably assured of making his dates before disappearing without giving notice. Shawn & Vader start, and Shawn moves quick, but gets slugged. Rana is blocked, but perseverance pays off as he completes the move. Vader bails and gets baseball slid, and pescado’d. Another dive misses and Shawn eats railing. Back in, Vader hammers him until Sid comes in (to a BIG pop) and he pounds the shit out of Vader, Owen, Bulldog and anyone else in there. He cleans house and the crowd goes NUTS. Okay, Canada likes Sid, I have to apologize for my country for that. (It’s true. He was crazy over at every house show I saw him at.) Owen comes back in and gets clocked, and Ahmed hits a triple german suplex! Holy crap. Elbow misses and Bulldog pounds on him, but Ahmed comes back with a spinebuster and Pearl River Plunge. Vader saves, but Ahmed wears him out in the corner. Vader comes back with an avalanche and pummels him, but walks into a powerslam for two. That’s some impressive strength. Owen comes in with a leg lariat to take over again, and the crowd keeps chanting for Sid. So Ahmed tags out and gives them what they want. (If it was TODAY, Vince would call an audible and have Sid immediately do an injury angle and get stretchered out to spite the crowd.) Big boot on Owen and Sid whips him in the corner, and Owen takes a vicious bump there. Bulldog comes in and gets an amazing delayed vertical suplex on Sid, for two. Vader pounds him, but Sid shrugs off Bulldog and Shawn comes in via the top rope. He misses a blind charge, posts himself, and he’s YOUR face-in-peril. Shawn whips Bulldog into Vader for two, but Bulldog takes over again. Owen uses the ol’ Oklahoma Roll for two. Shawn counters it for two, Victory Roll gets two, countered for two by Owen, rollup, bridge, reverse, backslide, you know the drill. Awesome stuff. Owen nails him with a cast to break it up, and gets two. Bulldog legdrop gets two. Powerslam gets two. Owen cheapshots Shawn again with the cast, and Vader comes in to kick some ass and chew bubblegum, minus the bubblegum. (LAME. Come on, 2001 Scott.) He tosses Shawn, and then back in gets a short-arm clothesline for two. Vader bearhugs the neck as some idiot runs into the ring and gets triple-teamed by Bulldog, Ahmed and security. Shawn fights out, but gets splashed. Sid nails Vader, but Shawn can’t QUITE make the tag. Bulldog puts him in a body vice, and then reverses a crucifix into a fallaway slam for two. Blind charge misses, but Owen cuts off the tag again. Double-KO with Shawn & Owen, but Bulldog powerslams Shawn for two. Sid saves. False tag to Ahmed, and Shawn gets gang-raped by the heels. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Heel miscommunication follows, and finally it’s the HOT tag to Sid. Chokeslam Vader! Chokeslam Owen! Chokeslam Bulldog! It’s BONZO GONZO in Vancouver as Shawn gets launched onto Vader. Shawn gets the tennis racket and uses it for two, but the Vaderbomb finishes at 24:30. That was a rather fortuitous finish for Jim Cornette, considering he promised a refund to everyone if the heels didn’t win. Hmmm…almost…TOO fortuitous. You don’t think maybe this wasn’t on the up-and-up or something, do you? Wrestling? FIXED? **** (Oddly enough, that stip was never mentioned on RAW. It must have been on Superstars because I just did the go-home show and Cornette didn’t say anything about it.) The Bottom Line: Minor bright spots aside, 1996 sucked ass for the WWF for the most part, and this was no exception, earning the lowest buyrate in the history of the promotion with a 0.37, a record which held up until December, when they shattered it with a 0.35 for It’s Time. But then the buildup, hype, undercard and main event dynamic (with Ultimate Warrior flaking out and leaving the promotion the week before the show) all rivalled post-Russo WCW for sheer stupidity, so by the time the show rolled along they’d already decided it was a write-off anyway. I just wish they’d have resurrected Saturday Night’s Main Event if they just wanted a buildup show for Summerslam, though, instead of wasting our time with this junk. But hey, the main event is really, REALLY good, so you might wanna track that match down at least. But it’s not enough to save the show. Strong recommendation to avoid. (On the bright side, James Dixon e-mailed me to let me know that the sequel to Titan Sinking is almost done, so this era should produce some entertaining stories at least!)
– Okay, this is the semi-famous Beware of Dog PPV, famous not because of anything that happened in the ring, but rather because storms in South Carolina blew out the transmission satellite feed and left the arena in darkness for the better part of an hour. In order to make up for this WCW-like snafu, the WWF offered a makeup show on the following Tuesday in the replay slot, called Beware of Dog II, where they’d redo the matches missed by the outage. That’s the show I’m reviewing here, as it was a spliced-together combination of the two matches from the first show and the three from the second. (That’s also the show that is featured on the Network, as it is now considered the “official” version of the show. Holy shit was I pissed at this show back in the day, and Shaw Cable actually refunded the PPV for me and gave me the makeup show for free!) – Live from Florence, South Carolina / Charleston, South Carolina. – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler / Jim Ross & Mr. Perfect. – Free 4 All Match, WWF tag team title: The Godwinns v. The Smoking Gunns. This was taped at the first show. Sunny has her wagon hitched to the Godwinns, who upset the Bodydonnas to win their first tag title a week prior to this. Bart overpowers PIG, but they mess up a double-reverse spot and Billy comes in to work the arm. HOG comes in to break it up, but gets armbarred as well. Bart & HOG exchange wristlocks, and HOG clotheslines him for two. PIG stays on the arm, but now the Gunns work on HIS arm. That goes on for a while, until Sunny jumps onto the apron and gets kissed by Billy. I guess she must have been looking like Chuck Palumbo that night. (Well NOW she does…) PIG is so distracted by this that Bart is able to suplex him for the pin and the titles at 4:53. If you like armbars, this is YOUR match! DUD Billy’s post-match interview sets up the Gunns’ heel turn and Billy’s eventual solo run. (And wasn’t the world waiting for THAT) – Onto the PPV. – Opening match, Wildman Marc Mero v. Hunter Hearst Helmsley. (Remember, you always have to say it like Vince, always as one word: WILDMANMARCMERO!) Mero attacks and they chase, allowing Hunter to gain control. Mero slugs him out of the ring and follows with a dive over the top, then gets a slingshot legdrop for two. Hunter goes to the eyes, but gets KO’d for two. Mero charges and hits the post, however, hurting his shoulder in the process. Hunter gives him another trip to the post for good measure, and then goes to work. Armbar takedown and he stomps away on the shoulder. He pounds away in the corner viciously, and gets a high knee for two. Back to the shoulder, as he surfboards the arm, but Mero cradles for two. Hunter nails the shoulder again and posts the arm, however. Back in, he works the arm using the ropes and stomps a mudhole on the shoulder. To the turnbuckle, and into a cross-armbreaker, but Mero blocks it. Vince is totally out of his league calling this stuff, and I think he knew it. That’s one thing about Vince; once he realized that a new style of UFC stuff was being worked into the matches, I think he knew enough to get out of commentating in favor of JR. (I wish he’d have the same realization about booking these days.) Mero can’t make it to the ropes, so Hunter starts cranking on the armbreaker and gets two before Mero makes it. Hunter kneedrops the shoulder, but Mero fights back. Hunter keeps yanking on the arm, however, and bars it with his own knee. Kind of a spinning toehold on the arm. Back to the turnbuckle, but Mero gets a fluke rollup for two. Hunter nails him from behind for two. Hunter stomps the shoulder again and snaps the arm off the top rope. He goes up and nails the arm coming down, and then goes to another armbar, using the top rope for leverage. Attaboy. Hammerlock slam and Hunter goes up again, but Mero crotches him and gets a top rope rana, making sure to sell the arm injury the whole time. Both guys are out, but Mero comes back with a flying headscissors and a kneelift. Backdrop and he’s fired up. He goes up with a sunset flip for two. Dropkick puts Hunter on the floor, but he misses a plancha and blows out his knee. Back in, Hunter goes for the Pedigree, but Sable doesn’t want to watch, and Hunter wants her to. So he yells at her until she gets in position to watch, goes for the Pedigree again, and Mero reverses to a catapult into the ringpost and falls on top at 16:22. Good finish, great match, as Mero keeps selling the arm the whole time. **** (I don’t think it holds up that great, actually, and it’s probably more like *** or so.) – Meanwhile, Camp Cornette prepares to “drop the bomb” on Michaels later tonight, and Owen Hart gets a manager’s license for one night only. (Judging by the attendance, the only bomb was this show. HEY-YO!) – Okay, here the power goes out. The show actually continued live in the arena in the dark, with all the babyfaces going over. If you want the full experience of watching the show live, turn off your monitor here and leave for an hour, then come back. I’ll wait. – Welcome back! – WWF title match: Shawn Michaels v. The British Bulldog. The “bomb” is Clarence Mason announcing a lawsuit for “attempted alienation of affection” on behalf of Diana Smith. As you might surmise, this angle went NOWHERE. In fact, according to Diana’s glorified roll of toilet paper “Under the Mat”, she was supposed to have seduced Shawn but had her advances spurned and sent Davey after him. (That’s kind of insulting to toilet paper.) That’s actually not a bad storyline, unlike this one, which IS a bad storyline. Bulldog attacks Shawn and he comes back with an armdrag and goes for the superkick quickly. Bulldog bails, but Shawn follows with a pescado. Back in, Shawn grabs a headlock and hangs on for two. Rollup is blocked and Bulldog catches a bearhug. Shawn escapes, and gets a rollup for two. Enzuigiri gets two. Shawn goes to an armbar and short-arm scissors for two. Bulldog powers out and stomps away. Hairtoss, and Bulldog hits the chinlock. It goes into a body vice and and a samoan drop. Legdrop gets two for Bulldog, and back to the chinlock as Vince points out that Shawn has never submitted or surrendered in any form. Unless of course you count Survivor Series 92, where he submitted to Bret Hart. Okay, now it’s about 10 minutes into the match, and while they’re doing this chinlock Earl Hebner quite clearly tells Shawn to go home, and Shawn equally clearly starts arguing like a 12-year old, nearly throwing a tantrum while supposedly incapacitated on camera. (Yeah, this was not a great time for Shawn’s maturity levels.) It’s quite blatant if you know what to look for. Shawn fights back and was supposed to take a kneelift from Davey on a criss-cross, but deliberately avoids Smith and misses by a foot, but sells it and takes a dramatic bump out of the ring anyway. They can’t even find a replay to show that would explain the bump, and Vince & Jerry are totally at a loss to justify Shawn’s behavior. Back in, Shawn slingshots in with a clothesline that again misses by a mile, and both are out. Another collision, both out again. Shawn makes the big comeback and goes up, and gets a double axehandle for two. Ref is bumped and Shawn gets the flying elbow, but Owen comes in and gets taken out by Shawn. Bulldog stomps Shawn as another ref comes in. Powerslam is reversed to a german suplex by Shawn, but both shoulders are down as both refs count the pin at 17:19. A big argument ensues, but tie goes to the champion so Shawn retains pending a rematch. Shawn’s childish reaction to having the match shortened from 30 minutes to 18 minutes aside, the match was actually quite good for what it was, especially considering most guys today would kill to get 18 minutes. ***1/4 (Yeah, 18 minutes for a MAIN EVENT is considered pretty epic now.) – Okay, now we go live to the Tuesday show. – Strap match: Steve Austin v. Savio Vega. If Austin loses, Dibiase joins the nWo. (WCW was offering a ton of money when his contract expired, and Lloyds of London paid him a giant amount of money for his career-ending neck injury at this point, so he was doing pretty well for himself. About two years after this I got to meet him at a local church where he was giving a talk and he was a really awesome guy and very forthcoming about everything in his career to that point.) Austin bails to start, but can’t go anywhere. Austin pounds away but gets backdropped and bails again. Savio uses the strap to yank him into the apron, and then follows him out and pounds away with the strap. Back in, more vicious strappings follow, and Austin bails over the top. Savio fires down with the strap and suplexes him back in. A superkick from Vega allows him to touch three, but Austin goes low. He starts in with the stiff shots from strap, but Savio takes him down and they scuffle. They head out and Savio chops away, but gets sent to the apron. Austin chokes him over the top and suplexes him back in. Austin drags him around for two, but Savio uses the leverage of the strap to whip Austin around the ring and into the turnbuckle. That’s some pretty wicked psychology, by playing up on Savio’s knowledge of using the strap and making it mean something in the match. Savio gets a clothesline with the strap, but Austin dumps him. However, it backfires as the strap is too short and takes Austin with Savio. Savio suplexes him on the floor and keeps strapping him, but Austin comes off the stairs.and gets nailed. Back in, Savio hogties him and drags him to two corners, but Austin legsweeps him down and gives him the leather. Savio comes back with a superplex attempt, but Austin headbutts to block. Savio crotches him and gets that superplex after all. Savio touches three, but Austin gets a wicked spear to stop the fourth. Austin chokes him in the ropes and in the corner, then stomps him down. Austin touches three, but then hesitates for some reason and allows Savio to poke him in the eyes. Hmm. Tombstone reversal sequence leads to Savio tumbling over the top, but when Austin leans over to suplex him in, Savio kicks him in the head. Austin recovers and goes to the top, but Savio redirects him on the way down using the strap and Austin meets the railing facefirst. He sends Savio into the stairs, however. Back in, Savio fireman’s carries Austin around, touching two before Austin uses Savio’s pants to block. Austin piledriver looks to finish, but Dibiase wants another one for some reason. Austin obliges, but Savio reverses. Austin goes to the Million Dollar Dream, but Savio manages to touch two while fighting out of it, and then pushes off the corner to break. Austin stunguns him and chokes him down with the strap, then drags him around the ring. However, Savio sneaks in to touch each corner after Austin, and when they get to the fourth they fight over the strap until Austin “accidentally” pulls Savio right into the corner at 21:22. The finish actually works once it was revealed that Austin deliberately threw the match to get rid of Dibiase. (I am aghast at a pro wrestler possibly fixing the result of a match!) And the match was incredibly stiff and featured neat stuff you don’t normally see in strap matches, plus terrific psychology. Definitely an unappreciated classic, much like most of Austin’s early WWF stuff. ****1/4 (Yeah, this match ruled and might be the only worthwhile thing Savio Vega accomplished in his run. I know the Death Valley Driver guys were all about his Boriquas stuff, but….meh.) – Yokozuna v. Vader. This was pretty much the last gasp for Yoko’s babyface run, before leaving the promotion later in the year. Slugfest to start, won by Yoko. Stalling follows. They do a sumo challenge, but Vader chickens out and stalls. Again, and Vader balks again. Finally they go ahead with it, and Yoko wins easily and Vader bails. Back in, Vader wins a slugfest but gets taken down and bails. Back in, he slugs away again, gets taken down again, and bails again. They slug it out, and Yoko gets a Rock Bottom and avalanche, into a samoan drop. On the samoan drop, you can actually see Vader doing it all himself. Yoko goes for the Banzai drop, but stops to beat up Jim Cornette. When he goes for a Banzai on him, however, Vader drags Cornette out of the way, and it misses. Vader splashes Yoko for the pin at 8:55. This was like watching the main event of a show from England in the 80s. ½* – Intercontinental title, casket match: Goldust v. The Undertaker. (Having watched all the RAW shows leading up to this, I still have no idea why they were even wrestling each other.) Taker attacks, and Goldust bails. Back in, he hammers away, but gets tossed around by Taker. Clothesline and Taker tosses him, but the lid is closed and he lands on top. They brawl outside, and Goldust eats stairs and has casket for dessert. Back in, Taker legdrops him and they slug it out. Taker gets the ROPEWALK OF DOOM and chokes away. Goldust slams him, no-sold. Tombstone by Goldust, no-sold. He gets a seated clothesline and rolls Taker towards the casket, but can’t shut the lid. Aker gets a big boot, but gets dumped. They brawl outside, and Goldust takes over in the ring. Taker keeps fighting back, but Goldust gets a sleeper. Into the casket, but again the lid won’t shut. Back in, Taker gets the flying clothesline and dumps Goldust. Chairshot is blocked and they head back in, where Goldust gets a powerslam and goes up. Flying clothesline, but he goes for a cover for some reason. Taker fights back and slams him off the top, then tombstones him. Into the casket.but Mankind pops up and puts him out with the Mandible Claw and into the casket at 12:36. I’m amazed two human beings can put on matches this boring on a regular basis. ** (And both still active! Sort of.) The Bottom Line: The two matches from the original show are both great, and the strap match from the second show is even BETTER, so call this thing an easy thumbs up. I’m not sure if it was ever put on video, but definitely check out the strap match if you can find it somewhere. (Like the WWE Network, free for the month of April!) Strongly recommended.
(I forget if I’ve Scott Sez’d this one before, but we’re at that point so let’s check it out again.) – Live from Omaha, Nebraska. – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler – This would be the farewell show for both Diesel & Razor Ramon, as they departed for WCW in what was supposed to be a minor defection and ended up turning the company around. Sound familiar? Well, not that the WWF needs turning around these days, but hopefully someone at WCW was watching RAW on Monday night and paying attention to the response for the Radicals got, one that they couldn’t get in WCW due to politics. (Turns out that politics were just as much of a factor in the WWF.) Anyway, in the Survivor Series 95 rant, I commented that the Bret v. Diesel match there was Diesel’s second-best ever, and that he had a better one with Michaels. Many have e-mailed to ask what that one was, and herein lies the answer. (Mystery! Intrigue!) – Free 4 All match: 1-2-3 Kid v. Wildman Marc Mero. This is Marc’s PPV debut after jumping from WCW due to squabbling with Eric Bischoff and working most of the internet in the process. Hey, Marc, guess who’s laughing at who now? (Also, your ex-wife is doing very well for herself.) Karate showboating from the Kid to start. Quick sequence puts Mero in control with a flying headscissors that sends the Kid to the floor. Mero follows with a tope suicida. Slingshot legdrop gets two. Reverse rollup gets two. He goes aerial and gets crotched, then HHH (Mero’s first feud) makes an appearance. Kid hits some vicious kicks to take over as HHH stalks Sable. Mero escapes and goes to confront Hunter, and gets nailed by the Kid from behind. The ref tosses HHH, and Mero mounts the comeback. HHH runs in for the lame DQ at 7:20 of what was looking to be a great match. *** (Future) DX beatdown follows on Mero. (Kid was practically out the door, between injuries and his friends leaving, at this point as well and they were STILL protecting him!) – Opening match: The British Bulldog & Owen Hart v. Jake Roberts & Ahmed Johnson. Johnson was getting into Goldberg territory of overness at this point, although his work was stiff and sloppy, a dangerous combination. (On the bright side, he never punched through a car window.) Bulldog had the issue with Ahmed over arm-wrestling (gotta love the mid-90s WWF) so Bulldog hides on the apron and lets Owen handle things. That goes pretty badly for him, as Ahmed tosses him around like a doll and then Jake nearly gets the DDT. Some cheapshots from Bulldog finally allow him to come in without fear of death. Ahmed plays face-in-peril for a bit, but doesn’t really sell anything and soon tags out to Jake and he gets beat on for a long while. Jake’s mobility is so limited by age and alcohol at this point it’s scary. Not as scary as Heroes of Wrestling, but scary. The match drags on and on. Ahmed gets the hot tag and screams a lot. Jake inexplicably comes back in to finish things, but takes a LOADED TENNIS RACKET OF DOOM to the knee and submits to a lame kneebar at 13:43. Just way too long. ¾* (And this was supposed to be a singles match with Bulldog v. Jake and was advertised as such all the way until the show started, and was changed because Bulldog injured his knee in Germany. Can you imagine how bad THAT would have ended up? And then Bulldog was supposed to challenge for the title at the next PPV. The booking was just on another planet of ridiculous at this point.) – Intercontinental title match: Goldust v. Ultimate Warrior. You know how some matches are so bad that they’re good? Well, this is so bad that it’s just BAD. Goldust has a knee injury, so the “match” is literally him walking around the ring and stalling for FIFTEEN MINUTES to waste time. Finally he gets counted out to put us out of our misery. That’s all, folks. -***** How hard would it have been to say “Goldust is injured, so Warrior is fighting [x]”? (And again, they were well aware of his knee injury for two weeks before this and still chose to advertise the match right up until the day of the show. They even did hotline updates where they ADMITTED that Goldust had a knee injury but lied and said he was cleared to wrestle at the PPV!) – Vader v. Razor Ramon. (Another super-weird booking decision, with Ramon off TV for weeks leading up to this.) This was Graceful Job-Out #1 on the night, as Razor was wooed by WCW a few months before this. Ramon bumps around for Vader to start, as Vader basically squashes him. Ramon punches a lot to come back. Three clotheslines put Vader on the floor. Vader stalls. Cornette’s help allows Vader to continue his destruction of Ramon. Vaderbomb gets two. Ramon gets a vertical suplex to come back. Powerslam as Vader is coming off the 2nd rope gets two. Bulldog gets two. He tries the Razor’s Edge, but his ribs give out and he collapses. Vader goes for the moonsault, but Ramon brings him down the hard way. Razor’s Edge attempt #2, but Vader backdrops out and sits on him for the pin at 14:47. The selling and psychology were sound enough for a good rating, but the match was REALLY boring. *** (And why give Ramon all that offense against the new monster is another mystery. I guess Vince really thought he could talk Razor into staying?) – WWF tag team title match: The Bodydonnas v. The Godwinns. This was a rematch from the finals of the inaugural “Placeholder champions until Billy Gunn’s injury heals” tournament at Wrestlemania 12. (At least they made it off the pre-show this time.) Zip gets double-teamed to start as Vince says “scufflin’” about 14 times. What the hell is with him and hillbilly gimmicks, anyway? Are the southern states REALLY so much of a hotbed that he has to tailor entire gimmicks for them? The story here is that Phineas is in love with Sunny. Just give her some crack, Phineas, that’ll bring her around. Highlight of the mostly-comedy match sees HOG pull out an Ocean Cyclone suplex (picture a german suplex, but starting with the opponent face-down on the mat) as the farmers dominate the champs. This whole period for the titles was a trainwreck, as the Bodydonnas were not over and Vince had no desire to help them become so (Cloudy, anyone?) and the Godwinns were, well, the Godwinns. Thank god for the New Rockers to save the tag division in 96. The champs cheat and gain the advantage. Phineas gets all “riled up” (seriously, is this whole gimmick like one big cheapshot at Ted Turner or something?) (Well, duh) and hot tags HOG, but Sunny had conveniently brought a framed, autographed 8×10 of herself to ringside (which probably wasn’t far from the truth at the time) and uses it to distract PIG while the Bodydonnas pull the switcheroo and pin HOG at 7:12. Soo-ey, that sucked… ½* – WWF World title match: Shawn Michaels v. Diesel. This is the ultimate blowoff for their long-simmering feud, as Diesel was leaving for WCW and made it known that he was on one final run of destruction before he left. Shawn was hot off beating Bret Hart at WM12 and needed credibility. This is no-holds-barred. Shawn uses his speed to avoid Diesel, then dropkicks him out and hits a moonsault tope onto him. He steals a boot from Hugo Savinevich and nails Diesel for two. Diesel gets pissed and knocks Shawn onto the railing, then tosses him back in and absolutely wallops him. Shawn sells like he’s dead. Diesel keeps shooting evil glances at Vince. Jumping side slam nearly puts Shawn though the mat, then Diesel undoes his wrist tape…and chokes out Hebner! He steals Earl’s belt and lays in some wicked shots on Shawn, then hangs him from the top rope and ties him there. As Shawn struggles to free himself, Diesel calmly grabs a chair and blasts Shawn. Back in for another solid chairshot. Lord, what a beating. One more, but Shawn ducks and Shawn gets the chair. That proves temporary, as a low blow gets two for Diesel. Diesel absolutely lays into him with forearms, sending him crashing to the floor. Vince keeps yelling at Shawn to “stay down”. Cool spot of the year: Diesel starts a long tradition, powerbombing Shawn through the announce table. He parades around with the title belt while Shawn, who is nearly dead, pulls himself out of the wreckage. Vince, his own microphone dead, does his usual awesome acting job, yelling “Just let it be over!” at Shawn. Shawn crawls to the ring, and finds a fire extinguisher, which he discharges into Diesel’s face. Flying forearm puts him down, and Shawn grabs a chair to even the odds. Two vicious shots follow, but Diesel won’t go down, and in fact hits the big foot to the face right away to KO Shawn. He takes too long, however, and Shawn escapes the powerbomb. Flying elbow sets up Sweet Chin Music, but Diesel calmly grabs his foot and rips his head off with a lariat. What is this, All Japan? He tosses Shawn out again and drops him on the railing, then gets inspired. He heads over to the front row and beats up Maurice Vachon, who is seated ringside, and STEALS HIS ARTIFICIAL LEG. Major, major heel heat for that. Shawn lowblows him, however, and steals the leg. He knocks Diesel cold with a shot from the leg, then waits for him to recover, warms up the band, and superkicks him for the pin to retain at 17:51. He didn’t win the match, he SURVIVED it. What a horrific beating and an AWESOME brawl. ****3/4 Shawn’s “in your FACE!” post-match celebration is amazing acting on his part, too, and it really makes the match. (This is still the only reason to watch this show, and it’s probably Nash’s best match ever.) The Bottom Line: Most of the show is pretty worthless, but that brawl is something else and sets the tone for garbage main events to follow for years to come. In the next in my little In Your House series, I’ll look at an even BETTER Shawn brawl from a few months later against Mankind. As it is, I’m still in shock to this day that Shawn won Match of the Year for the Wrestlemania match rather than the Diesel or the Mankind one. As it was, however, this match, rather than the Bret one, was the one that really put Shawn over the top as a credible champion and got him over. I wonder if that pissed Bret off? Recommended only for the main event.
This was a special internet show from WCW. Mike Tenay, Mark Madden and Gene Okerlund handled commentary for the special. The event was recorded by a fan in the crowd.
Opening Contest: Konnan, La Parka & Villano IV vs. Juventud Guerrera, Damien & Super Calo: Villano and Juventud kick off the contest. Guerrera delivers an arm drag and they have a standoff briefly. Villano takes Juventud over with a suplex but they have a standoff again. Villano has a leg lock on Juventud until Parka tags in and kicks Guerrera on the back. Calo tags in as well and arm drags Parka followed by a catapult. Calo springboards off the ropes with an arm drag. Parka bails to the floor and is knocked into the guard railing. Konnan and Damien enter with Damien arm dragging Konnan and hits a head scissors. Konnan bails on the floor to avoid a dive. Villano shoulder blocks Juventud but Guerrera hits a nice springboard moonsault. Villano stops Guerrera with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Parka hammers away on Damien but misses a splash in the corner. Guerrera leaps off of Damien to splash Parka in the corner! Guerrera leaps off the top looking for a cross body but Parka catches him and plays to the crowd until Juventud hits a top rope hurricanrana! Parka avoids a head scissors but not a spinning heel kick. Konnan power bombs Juventud! Villano drops Calo with a clothesline but Calo fights back with a spinning heel kick and a bulldog. Villano delivers a jaw breaker on Calo and Damien enters to hit a head scissors. Parka sends Damien to the floor but is met with a backdrop from Calo. Guerrera misses a springboard attempt and Konnan misses a leg drop. Everyone starts to miss dives off the top. Konnan power bombs Calo and nearly wins the match. Damien and Calo are sent into each other and have their legs pulled apart by Konnan and Villano. Parka has a surfboard in the middle of it on Guerrera! The faces dive onto the heels on the floor! Juventud slips off the top rope and counters a hurricanrana to pin Villano. (***. The botch at the finish was unfortunate, but it was a good match that excited the fans and produced some fine action from everyone involved. A good start to this show.)
Second Contest: Ultimo Dragon vs. Psychosis: Psychosis is sent to the floor early on with an arm drag and hits the guard railing. Psychosis punches Dragon as he attempted a leapfrog and gets some heat for doing so. Dragon drops an elbow as Psychosis was looking for Dragon to jump over him. Dragon does a headstand on the top rope and kicks a charging Psychosis and follows up with a series of kicks. Psychosis comes off the ropes and Dragon hits a spinning back breaker. Dragon nails Psychosis off the apron with a spinning heel kick but misses a slingshot dive and hits the floor. Sonny Ono attacks Dragon with the referee distracted. On the floor, Psychosis sends Dragon into the guard railing back first. Dragon runs into an elbow strike as Psychosis maintains control of the match. Psychosis gets a near fall following a clothesline. Dragon is sent to the floor and attacks Ono until Psychosis hits a slingshot dive onto Dragon! Back in the ring, Dragon gets a sleeper hold on Psychosis and hits a back suplex. Dragon dropkicks Psychosis off the middle rope and to the floor where Dragon hits a springboard moonsault onto the aisle way! Psychosis nearly gets a win after rolling through a hurricanrana. Psychosis drops Dragon with a top rope hurricanrana for a near fall. Psychosis counters a back suplex and rolls Dragon up for a near fall. Psychosis goes for a moonsault but Dragon hits a dropkick in midair! Dragon gets the Dragon Sleeper locked in and wins the match. (***1/2. A really good match between these two guys. Psychosis was crisp here and Dragon delivered the goods as he normally did with WCW. An excellent start to the show thus far.) After the match, Sonny Ono attacks Dragon with Psychosis holding Dragon.
Third Contest: Dean Malenko vs. Eddie Guerrero: Malenko tries to get after Guerrero but Guerrero runs around ringside before getting in the ring and hammering away on Malenko. Eddie drops Dean with a clothesline and taunts the fans. Guerrero drops Malenko with a back suplex and locks in a Boston Crab. Guerrero continues to work over Malenko with a series of chops. Guerrero misses a slingshot somersault but knocks Dean woozy from the apron only to get crotched on the top rope. Eddie shoves Dean away and goes for a tornado DDT but Malenko shoves Guerrero away. Malenko lifts Eddie and drops him face first across the top turnbuckle. They end up on the floor where Dean hammers away on Guerrero briefly. Guerrero is sent into the guard railing by the Ice Man. Eddie slams Malenko face first into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Guerrero dropkicks Malenko for a two count. Dean powers out of a Boston Crab but Guerrero keeps control of the bout. Dean atomic drops Guerrero out of the corner and follows up with a leg lariat causing Guerrero to bail to the floor. Iceman suplexs Guerrero from the apron back into the ring for a two count. Malenko works over Guerrero in the corner kicking his left leg. Iceman with a nice dragon screw leg sweep and dumps Guerrero to the floor. Dean dropkicks Eddie’s leg into the guard railing. Back in the ring, Guerrero dropkicks Malenko and delivers a dropkick to Malenko’s left knee. Eddie uses the ropes for leverage while having a leg lock on Malenko. Eddie hits a tilt a whirl back breaker for a near fall. Malenko stops Guerrero by dropping him gut first to the mat and follows up with a power bomb! Iceman hits a wheelbarrow suplex and goes for the Texas Cloverleaf but Guerrero reaches the bottom rope. Malenko drops Guerrero with a tombstone and heads to the top where he attempts a frog splash but Guerrero gets his knees up. Eddie hits a power bomb of his own and plants Malenko with a brain buster. Eddie signals for the frog splash and hits it but doesn’t go for the cover. Instead, Guerrero goes for a Texas Cloverleaf but Malenko counters but the referee got hit in the face causing a delay in the pin count. Guerrero slams Malenko in the corner and puts his feet on the ropes for the win. (***1/4. Another good match between these two and was given plenty of time. This has been a really strong start to the show.)
Fourth Contest: The Steiner Brothers vs. Masahiro Chono & Buff Bagwell: Scott and Bagwell start the match with Bagwell arm dragging Scott and taunting the fans with a pose. Scott hip tosses Bagwell out of the corner and Bagwell complains to the referee. Bagwell nails Scott with a dropkick and Scott rolls to the outside. Scott runs over Bagwell with a clothesline and shows off his muscles to Bagwell and the fans. Bagwell is met with a backdrop, clothesline and a press slam. Scott clotheslines Bagwell over the top to the floor. Rick and Chono are tagged into the contest. We have a test of strength with Chono kicking Rick in the midsection. Rick takes Chono over with a suplex but Chono fights back with an eye rake. Bagwell enters and clotheslines Rick and sends Rick into a big boot from Chono! Scott enters to run both heels over with a clothesline. Bagwell knee lifts Rick from the apron and Chono drops Rick to maintain control of the match. Chono hits a side Russian leg sweep on Rick for a two count. Bagwell works over Rick for several moments but can’t get a three count. Chono prevents Rick from tagging out and sends him to the floor. Rick hits a suplex on Chono for a near fall. Rick comes off the ropes but is stopped with an atomic drop by Chono. Rick stops Chono on the top and hits an overhead belly to belly suplex! Scott finally gets the hot tag and cleans house on the heels. Scott slams both men and hits a double under hook power bomb on Chono for a near fall. Chono kicks Rick in the head but Scott pulls Chono to the floor. Bagwell falls off the top and Rick pins Bagwell with a belly to belly suplex. (**. A decent match though Rick getting beaten down went on for a little too long. The finish was botched as well, but it was a non-offensive match.)
Chris Jericho says that he deserves a title shot. He wants to wrestle the winner directly afterward for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. Rey Mysterio agrees to the match and Syxx agrees to one as well but slaps Jericho.
Fifth Contest: WCW Cruiserweight Champion Syxx vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.: Rey snap mares Syxx to the floor early on in the title bout. Mysterio continues his offense with a drop toe hold but is soon tossed away by Syxx. Rey hits a couple of head scissors sending Syxx to the floor. Mysterio hammers away on Syxx in the corner. Syxx nails Mysterio with a spin kick to get control of the contest. Syxx hits the sit down driver but can’t get a three count. Syxx comes off the ropes and delivers a quick leg drop. Syxx kicks Rey in the corner several times. The champ hits the bronco buster in the corner as well! Syxx gets a near fall after a back breaker. Rey misses a springboard cross body as Syxx ducked the move. Rey is dumped over the top to the floor. Syxx drops Rey with a delayed vertical suplex. Syxx leaps off the top but misses a splash! Rey head scissors Syxx and hits a springboard moonsault for a near fall! Rey seemingly won the championship with a top rope springboard hurricanrana but the referee claimed that Syxx had his foot on the rope. The referee prevents Rey from diving to the floor, so Rey somersaults over the referee to take Syxx out with a dive on the floor! Syxx yanks Rey down on the apron causing the challenger to hit face first. Syxx sends Rey shoulder first into the ring post. Rey crotches Syxx on the top rope and hammers away on the champ only for Syxx to crotch him on the top briefly. Syxx locks in the Buzzkill for the clean win. (**3/4. A fine match between these two with Rey really hitting his moves well. This is one of the better WCW shows I’ve ever watched, honestly.)
Sixth Contest: WCW Cruiserweight Champion Syxx vs. Chris Jericho: Syxx goes right after Jericho with kicks in the corner. Syxx goes for the bronco buster but Jericho moved out of the way. Jericho hits a spinning heel kick and wins the title. (NR. The babyface Jericho did not get a babyface reaction for winning the title in the fashion he did. The fans didn’t seem to like the fella.)
Seventh Contest: Ric Flair vs. Roddy Piper: Piper backs Flair into a corner and quickly delivers jabs and clotheslines Flair off the apron after flipping in the corner. Piper sends Flair into the railing and back into the ring. Ric chops Piper in the corner to gain the advantage and works over Roddy with fists. Piper fights back with chops of his own but runs into a back elbow. Piper has the figure four on Flair but the hold is broken when Flair reaches the ropes. Piper backslides Flair for a two count. Ric stops Piper with an atomic drop and puts his feet on the ropes for a two count. Piper pulls Flair’s trunks down and gets a two count on a roll up. Flair heads to the top but is slammed by Piper. Flair gets a pair of brass knuckles from his boot and knocks Piper out with them. Piper doesn’t sell some chops from Flair and jabs the Nature Boy down to the mat. Piper has the sleeper hold locked in on Flair! Flair drops down in the middle of the ring. Piper wins clean in the middle with a sleeper hold. (*. Well, that was as good as I expected. The clean finish was surprising but leading up to that it wasn’t anything worthwhile, really.)
Eighth Contest: Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page: DDP quickly goes after Savage with right hands and avoids a big boot in the corner so he can ram Savage groin first into the ring post. Savage hits a jaw breaker on DDP sending DDP to the floor. Macho sends DDP into the ring steps and now focuses his offense on DDP’s taped ribs until DDP hammers away on Savage. Macho stops DDP with a boot to the face and a short arm clothesline for a near fall. DDP hits a discus clothesline and both men are down. Savage low blows DDP and follows up with a scoop slam a couple of times. The referee shoves Savage, but Savage leaps off the top only to be met with two boots. DDP hits the Diamond Cutter and pins Savage! (*. That was a really quick match for these two. I was not expecting that and I’m disappointed that it was that quick.) After the match, DDP hits another Diamond Cutter on Savage before Buff Bagwell comes down to the ring to chase DDP away.
Main Event: WCW World Tag Team Champions the Outsiders vs. Lex Luger & the Giant: Hall and Luger kick of the main event. Luger slaps Hall after getting a toothpick to the face. Hall works over Lex with right hands but Lex turns it around and hammers away on Hall. Lex comes off the ropes to hit a leaping forearm shot. Hall spits at Luger and is fired up. Nash has been tagged into the match. Nash knee lifts Luger and continues to deliver knee lifts in the corner. Luger is sent into the corner and Nash hits a clothesline. Nash continues to choke Lex in the corner to maintain control of the match. Lex gets his boot up twice to stop Nash and clotheslines both Nash and Hall. Luger drops Nash with a leaping forearm shot. Hall hits Luger from the apron and Nash delivers a big boot to stop Luger’s momentum. Hall tags in and stomps away on Luger. Nash enters and side slams Lex for a two count. Nash drops across Lex’s back while across the middle rope. Nash drops Lex face first across the top turnbuckle and Hall clotheslines Luger from the apron. Nash punches Giant while standing on the apron. Hall gets a sleeper hold on Lex until the Total Package manages to hit a back suplex. Nash enters but Giant gets the hot tag and cleans house on the tag champs. Giant big boots Nash to the floor while Luger power slams Hall. Hollywood Hogan has come down. Hogan this Luger with the WCW World Heavyweight Championship to cause the disqualification. Sting drops down and slowly enters the ring. Sting hammers away on Hogan and delivers a clothesline. Sting puts the Scorpion Death Lock on Hogan and Hogan is tapping. Syxx is on the apron with the baseball bat. Sting lets go and has a baseball bat of his own. Sting hits Nash with the bat. The New World Order backs away to leave the babyfaces standing tall. (*. A rather boring finish to the show. Giant hardly got involved and any time you have Luge working the majority of a match you’re going to be in trouble. The typical DQ finish for WCW main events doesn’t help either.)
As per usual with WCW the undercard shines while the main event scene doesn’t deliver in the ring and is only based off of names involved. I enjoyed the show as most of the matches were quite good, especially early on in the show. A thumbs up for this one.
For more wrestling review and columns head over to WRESTLING RECAPS
With WCW holding a show in Inglewood, the WWF puts on as strong a show they possibly can in Anaheim as WWF World Champion the Undertaker defends against Steve Austin and Bret Hart in the main event.
World Wrestling Federation House Show
From: Anaheim, CA
Opening Contest: Flash Funk vs. Rockabilly: Billy drops Funk with a shoulder block early on in the contest and taunts the fans. Funk sends Billy to the floor but doesn’t follow up with the advantage. Funk comes off the top rope to take Billy down with an arm drag and continues to focus his offense on the left arm. Funk runs not a big boot in the corner and Billy drives Funk face first down to the canvas for a near fall. On the floor, Billy knocks Funk off his feet with a clothesline and follows up with a snap suplex on the outside! Funk avoids a splash in the corner and begins to battle back into the contest. Flash nearly wins with a spinning heel kick. Funk goes to the top and hits a cross body but Billy kicks out at two. Honky Tonk gets on the apron and nearly collides with Billy and Funk almost wins with a rollup. Billy plants Funk with a tornado DDT and gets the three count. (**. The fans were tricked a few times on the near falls by Funk and seemed to be interested in the match. It was an alright way to kick off the house show.)
Second Contest: Kama & Faarooq vs. The New Blackjacks: All four men are in the ring brawling with Bradshaw and Faarooq being the legal men. Bradshaw runs over Faarooq with a clothesline and Windham tags in to maintain control of the match. Kama enters the match and neither him or Windham go down after a shoulder block collision. Windham backdrops Kama over the top to the floor but doesn’t follow up. Faarooq tags back into the match to try his luck with the Blackjacks. Bradshaw is sent to the floor by Faarooq and Kama gets a few shots in with the referee distracted in the ring. Windham comes over and saves Bradshaw but his partner continues to be worked over. Bradshaw rams Faarooq face first into the canvas and tries to make the tag but Kama cuts him off. Bradshaw has Faarooq on his shoulders and falls backwards to hit an electric chair slam. Kama gets tagged in to prevent a tag. Kama looks for a splash from the middle rope but misses it. Windham gets tagged in and he cleans house with scoop slams. Windham clotheslines Kama for a two count. All four men are brawling with Windham going for a superplex on Kama but Faarooq low blows him and Kama gets the win. (*. Well, that pretty much sucked. The finish was rather weak and the action given was lackluster.)
Third Contest: Jim Neidhart vs. Ken Shamrock: Neidhart ducks a high kick but not a leg sweep so he bails to the floor to stall. Ken takes Jim down with a fireman’s carry and maintains having control of the match. Neidhart hammers away on Shamrock but can’t hit a hip toss. Ken almost gets a win with a rollup. Jim works over Shamrock in the corner with a few strikes. Jim pulls Shamrock up by the head only to slam him back down a couple of times and hit a scoop slam. Neidhart goes to the middle rope but misses a big splash. Ken battles back with strikes in the corner and hits a standing hurricanrana! Shamrock quickly locks in the ankle lock and gets a submission. (1/2*. Yeah, Neidhart has never been a good singles wrestler. The fans are totally into Shamrock who has good ability already so early into his career.)
Fourth Contest: WWF Intercontinental Champion Owen Hart & WWF European Champion Davey Boy Smith vs. Legion of Doom vs. The Godwinns: Owen and Bulldog go right after Henry and Phineas but get ran over by Legion of Doom. All six men are brawling in the ring with Animal getting double teamed and Hawk working over Phineas. Animal runs over the Godwinns with a double clothesline. The referee isn’t even trying to get any order to the match. Henry slams Owen for a near fall. Henry is sent to the floor by Hawk and Animal nearly pins Owen. On the floor, Henry sent Hawk into the railing but Hawk came charging back with a clothesline. Henry dumps the slop bucket on Owen! Animal whacks Henry with the buckey! Owen pins Henry to get the pin. (1/2*. What a disappointment of a match that turned out to be. Had there been some kind of order to the match it would have been an acceptable match but it was just all six men brawling for five minutes or so. I’m quite disappointed with the delivery of that match.)
Fifth Contest: Goldust vs. Vader: Early on, Vader shoves Goldust down to the canvas and gets on the microphone to rip on Goldust. Vader misses a sit down splash and Goldust hits a back suplex before hammering away on Vader in the corner with ten punches. Vader stops Goldust with a stiff clothesline and drops an elbow to the lower midsection of Goldust. Vader splashes Goldust in the corner and quickly hits a slam and goes to the middle rope. Goldust gets up and low blows Vader after Vader shoved the referee away. Goldust comes off the ropes with a clothesline and hammers away on Vader in the corner. Paul Bearer is on the apron but Goldust moves and goes to slam Vader but can’t do it and Vader lands on top for the win. (*. There was some decent action going in the match but it didn’t get a lot of time to really get anywhere of top quality. These two had some good matches three years prior in WCW so they are known to work well together. Yet again, another disappointing match.)
Sixth Contest: Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Mankind: HHH knocks Mankind down and taunts the fans. Mankind backs HHH into a corner and decks him with a right hand. Mankind ducks a clothesline and backdrops HHH and yanks HHH around by the hair to maintain control of the contest. Mankind works over HHH’s arm and yanks on the arm across his shoulder a few times. Mankind sends HHH to the floor and goes out to follow. Mankind is on the middle rope looking to elbow drop HHH on the floor but HHH runs away to avoid it. HHH fights back with a knee to the face and punches Mankind to the floor. On the floor, Mankind sends Hunter into the ring post shoulder first. HHH gets on the apron but is punched back to the floor by Mankind. Hunter attempts a sunset flip from the apron but Mankind blocks it only to be punched by Chyna. Mankind rolls to the floor and begins to stalk Chyna. Mankind punches HHH as he jumped off the apron. HHH sends Mankind into the ring steps to continue his control of the bout. Chyna is distracting the referee to allow Hunter working over Mankind. Back in the ring, HHH has an abdominal stretch on Mankind. Hunter uses the ropes for leverage until the referee sees it and Hunter shoves the referee, who shoves back and gets in Hunter’s face in the corner! Mankind fights back and hammers away on Hunter. HHH goes for the Pedigree but Mankind blocks it only to be kicked into a corner and falls onto Hunter’s groin! Mankind pummels HHH in the corner and delivers a running knee strike in the corner. HHH flips in the corner and gets stuck upside down to allow Mankind to hit a forearm drop. Mankind plants HHH with a double arm DDT but Chyna distracts the referee to allow HHH to kick out at two on the cover. Mankind clotheslines himself and HHH over the top to the floor and tries to use a chair but fails at doing so. The referee prevents HHH from using a chair and appears to have injured his leg doing so. Mankind crotches HHH on the top and Chyna enters to attack Mankind and causes a disqualification. (**1/2. A fine match between these two as they worked well but the non-finish is kind of lame. They kept it simple and didn’t do too much, but just enough to put forth a fine live event match for the crowd.) After the match, Mankind puts the mandible claw on HHH!
Main Event: WWF World Champion The Undertaker vs. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin: Taker gets double teamed in the corner as the Hart Foundation came out to distract Taker. Hart and Austin join forces to work over the champ in the corner for a period of time. Taker is on the floor fighting the Hart Foundation while Austin low blows Hart in the ring and goes to the top rope. Hart crotches Austin and yanks him off the top. Taker is really focusing on brawling with the Hart Foundation. Taker works over Austin in the corner and hammers away on Hart as well. Austin comes back with a series of strikes but Taker knocks Austin off his feet. Hart works over Taker in the corner with a few stomps in the corner. Hart hit a snap suplex on Austin and goes over to Taker to rake his eyes over the top rope. Hart atomic drops Austin but is stopped by Taker with a boot and comes off the top rope to come across Bret’s left arm. Austin works over the champ in the corner while Hart recovered in the opposite corner. Hart comes over and rams Austin into the corner. Austin sends Bret hard into the corner but is soon met with a choke slam from Taker who goes for the cover but Hart is given chair and whacks Taker over the back, but there isn’t a disqualification for that. Hart puts the Sharpshooter on Austin right in the middle of the ring! Austin holds on long enough for Taker to break the hold. Taker knocks the Hart Foundation off the apron and Austin hits the Stunner for a near fall as Hart broke the cover up. Austin hits the Stunner on Bret! Austin takes care of the Hart Foundation and is sent to the floor by Taker. Hart rolls Taker up for a near fall and collides with Austin on the apron. Taker is up and choke slams Bret to get the three and retain the title. (***. For a match that got just over nine minutes, I thought these three put on a fine match for a live event. Now, had they gotten double the time I’m sure it would have been a classic, but that’s too much to ask for on a house show, lets be realistic about that. A clean finish as well is always the right call for house shows.)
Well, there were a few disappointments on this show but the last two matches really left me satisfied with viewing it. It’s an average show with a couple of entertaining matches to close the event and makeup for a lackluster undercard.
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Nailz and The Undertaker square off along with WWF World Champion Bret Hart defending against Ric Flair.
World Wrestling Federation House Show
From: Indianapolis, IN
Opening Contest: Repo Man vs. Crush: Demolition collides in a rematch from SummerSlam in August. There are quite a few empty seats in the arena as the camera pans around a little bit. Crush takes Repo down with a choke slam and runs over Repo with a clothesline. Repo avoids a knee drop and begins to take control of the match. Crush blocks a scoop slam attempt and delivers a back breaker. Repo bails to the floor but is met with a big boot from Crush. Repo avoids a splash in the corner and plants Crush with a piledriver! Crush makes a comeback with an atomic drop and clothesline. Repo is sent into the ropes and driven down with a back breaker. Crush locks in the Kona Vice to win the match. (*. Crush dominated most of the match and there wasn’t really a believable shot for Repo to beat Crush, nor should there be. A basic match for the most part but the crowd was into what Crush was doing.)
Second Contest: Tatanka vs. Papa Shango: Early on, Shango has Tatanka in the corner to deliver one strike and back away. Tatanka avoids a strike and begins to hammer away on Shango with a clothesline in the corner. Shango misses a splash in the corner and Tatanka works over the left arm. Shango works over Tatanka in the corner and bites his forehead. Shango drops Tatanka with an elbow strike after sending him into the ropes. Tatanka gets ran over with a clothesline as Papa is keeping the pace to the match at a snails pace. Shango had control of Tatanka’s arm on a submission attempt but has to back Tatanka into a corner to maintain control. Tatanka boots Shango in the corner and knocks Papa off his feet with a leaping clothesline. Tatanka follows up with a dropkick and chop. He goes on the War Path and heads to the top after a few overhand chops but Shango punches him in midair! Tatanka counters a scoop slam attempt with an inside cradle to win the match. (*. A boring match as Shango’s offense left a lot to be desired. As interesting as a character I thought Shango was promo wise, he is just bad in the ring and it seems like he can’t put together entertaining offense.)
Third Contest: The Natural Disasters vs. The Headshrinkers: Samu and Typhoon kick off the match. Samu puts a full nelson on Typhoon but that doesn’t work. Samu tries to scoop slam Typhoon but he can’t do it. Typhoon scoop slams both Fatu and Samu to get control of the match. Earthquake enters and works over Samu’s arm with a few elbow strikes. Fatu enters the match and taunts the fans. Quake comes off the ropes to shoulder block Fatu. Quake sends Fatu into the corner with a few strikes but Fatu tries to scoop slam Quake but that gets reversed. Quake sends both Samu and Fatu to the floor. Fatu gets splashed in the corner a couple of times. Quake big boots Fatu but misses an elbow drop. Typhoon enters the ring but the Headshrinkers double team Quake for a couple of moments. Fatu delivers a falling head butt to Quake for a near fall. Fatu runs into a big boot from Quake in the corner. Quake avoids a splash from Fatu in the corner. Samu and Typhoon get tagged into the match with Typhoon running over the Headshrinkers. Quake enters and all four men brawl briefly. Typhoon sends the Headshrinkers into each other but that doesn’t impact them. Fatu and Samu head butt Typhoon and that’s good enough for the win. (*1/2. A formula tag match that didn’t exactly offer much entertainment wise. No surprise with the Headshrinkers going over as they are the team the company is going to push going forward while it’s near the end for the Natural Disasters as a tag team.)
Fourth Contest: WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty: Marty yanks down Michaels by the hair and follows up with a clothesline. The crowd is heavily into this one. Michaels avoids Jannetty sending the challenger to the floor. Jannetty is sent into the ring post and Shawn is in control. Shawn drops Marty throat first across the top rope. Marty sends Michaels to the apron where Shawn tries to slide in but is met with an elbow drop. Michaels puts a stop to Marty’s offense with a swinging neck breaker. Marty sends Michaels into the turnbuckle but misses a quick elbow drop. Michaels puts a front face lock on Jannetty to maintain control of the match. Jannetty breaks the hold ramming Michaels into the corner and elbows Shawn before leaping off the middle rope to deliver a bulldog! Shawn scoop slams Marty and comes off the middle rope but Jannetty gets a boot up. Marty drives Michaels face first into the canvas. Jannetty flips Michaels over the top to the floor. Jannetty hits a scoop power slam and goes to the top rope! Michaels rolls out of the way but Marty lands on his feet. Shawn atomic drops Jannetty but misses a super kick. Marty hits one of his own and nearly pins Michaels! Shawn rolls through a cross body and pins Jannetty! (***. A good match with plenty of energy and the fans were completely interested into the match.) After the match, Jannetty clotheslines Michaels over the top to the floor to get some measure of revenge.
Fifth Contest: Big Bossman vs. Razor Ramon: As per usual, Ramon tosses his toothpick at Bossman. Razor decides to stall a little bit before anything happens. Bossman slaps Ramon and taunts him afterward. Bossman doesn’t budge on a shoulder block attempt so Razor tries a few more times. Bossman gets the advantage on a test of strength until Razor uses a knee to drop Bossman to his knees. Bossman fights out of the hold and punches Ramon. Bossman nearly wins with a rollup and inside cradle. In the corner, Bossman hammers away on Ramon. The referee gets pushed out of position so that Razor can hit Bossman with the nightstick and pins Bossman. (DUD. That was just awful. For a short match they seemed to stumble over anything and everything. Poorly executed match on all accounts.)
Sixth Contest: Nailz vs. The Undertaker: Weeks prior to this event, this match had been replacing Flair vs. Warrior matches and gone less than a minute. I believe this was properly promoted. Nailz runs into a big boot in the corner and Taker heads to the top rope to drop down across the left arm of Nailz. Nailz fights back sending Taker to the floor and pulls Taker to the apron. Taker drops him throat first across the top rope. Nailz avoids a splash in the corner and hits a face buster. Taker is sent to the floor again and Nailz gets a few shots in. Nailz sends Taker into the ring steps knee first. Nailz weakens Taker by sending him into the ring post as well. Back in the ring, Nailz scoop slams Taker a few times. The referee is distracted as Nailz hits Taker with his nightstick and locks in a sleeper hold. Nailz bails to the floor and Taker follows him towards the backstage area. Nailz returns to the ring with Taker still stalking him and sends him back into the ring. That was more than ten seconds so it should have been a count out. Nailz low blows Taker with the referee distracted. Taker ducks a clothesline to hit a choke slam and gets the win right in the middle of the ring. (*. Again, an extremely boring match. These two were supposed to feud leading into the Rumble, I believe. Thankfully, Nailz was fired a week later.)
Main Event: WWF World Champion Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair: I’m kind of treading this match, for some reason. I suppose I’ve never really enjoyed a match between these two. Early on, Hart has a hammerlock on Flair as it’s a slow start with some taunting from Flair. Hart is standing on the middle rope while having an arm lock on Flair but lets go shortly afterward. Flair shoulder blocks Bret on the shoulder but can’t maintain control for long. Flair gets control by sending Hart face first into the turnbuckle, but Hart regains the advantage on the mat with a hammerlock. Flair backs Bret into the corner and goes to work with some strikes and chops. Hart trips Flair and has the figure four locked in but can’t get a submission or pin. Flair manages to reach the bottom rope after a few moments. Hart brings him back to the middle of the ring and focuses his attack on the right knee. Flair avoids an elbow drop and both men are on the canvas. Hart rams Flair into the corner and delivers a few more shots. Flair pokes Bret in the eyes and sends the champ hard into the corner. Flair nearly wins with his feet on the ropes but Hart manages to pop his shoulder up each time. The fans are giving Flair some good heat so he taunts them to eat it all up.
Flair continues to work over Hart with some knee shots to the back as the fans try and rally behind their hero.
Flair is obsessed with pinning Bret although it’s just not happening at the moment. Flair goes back to yelling at the fans. Hart blocks a right hand and gets a few shots in but Flair cuts him off with a sleeper hold only to be sent face first into the top turnbuckle! Flair tosses Bret to the floor and kicks Bret from the apron. Bret fights back from the apron with a sunset flip and a near win while yanking down Flair’s tights. Bret goes for a backslide and gets a two count. Hart has a sleeper hold locked in until Flair hits a back suplex. Flair heads to the top rope but Hart stops Ric and hits a slam. Hart gets fed up with the chops and Flair backs off. Hart with a flurry of right hands in the corner and follows up with a backdrop. Hart hits a side Russian leg sweep for a two count. Hart drives Flair down with a back breaker to hit a middle rope forearm drop. Hart drags Flair to the middle of the ring but gets an eye poke for his efforts. Flair stops Hart with a knee breaker and goes for the figure four but Hart counters with an inside cradle to get a three count and retain the title! (**1/2. A competitive main event but their styles don’t seem to mesh very well, at least not for me. Flair’s offense kept the match at a slow pace, though he did a fine job of keeping the fans into the match.) After the match, Flair punches Hart to the floor while he celebrated on the middle rope.
Aside from Michaels/Jannetty, the show is bad. The quality of wrestling is just subpar and it’s not exactly a strong lineup to begin with. The crowd seemed to be into the matches, though watching them some 22 years later, it just wasn’t a good enough show.
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The house show that caused a reshuffling of ECW’s plan and essentially cost us from getting a Mike Awesome/Rob Van Dam feud.
Extreme Championship Wrestling House Show
From: Orlando, FL
The show takes place at the Zuma Beach Club, which looks to be a bar of some kind. The wrestlers have to walk down several wooden stairs and is not setup like your traditional venue. Considering it is ECW, it doesn’t overly surprise me.
Opening Contest: The Dupp Brothers vs. Super Crazy & Prodigy: Seems kind of weird to see Crazy involved with three virtual unknowns. Prodigy gets double teamed to start the bout, but Crazy hits a springboard clothesline to help his partner out. Crazy takes Bo down with a head scissors and Prodigy hits a top rope missile dropkick. His offense doesn’t last too long and gets worked over by the Dupp Brothers. Crazy gets the hot tag and cleans house hitting a springboard moonsault for a near fall. Crazy hits a trifecta of moonsaults on Jack and wins the match. (1/2*. A pretty boring match and seemingly a waste of Crazy on the card to just throw him into a random tag match with three guys that nowhere near his skill level.)
Second Contest: Simon Diamond vs. Masato Tanaka: Diamond insults Tanaka for his lack of understanding English and is promptly met with several strikes. Tanaka hits a sit out slam and goes for the roaring elbow but Diamond avoids it by hitting a super kick. Simon follows up with a clothesline and a few snap suplexs before a sit down slam for a near fall. Tanaka hits a missile dropkick to send Diamond to the floor and Tanaka leaps over the top to hit a dive. Tanaka grabs a chair and the fans go nuts for it. In the ring, Tanaka leaps off the middle rope to dropkick Diamond out of the chair. Tanaka plants Diamond with a tornado DDT onto a couple of chairs for a two count. Tanaka gets distracted by Simon’s manager but still hits the roaring elbow for the win. (1/2*. These two just don’t click and it came across as a squash match for Tanaka. Diamond being saddled with a comedy gimmick just didn’t help him.)
Third Contest: Kid Kash, Chris Chetti & Nova vs. Danny Doring, Roadkill & Mikey Whipwreck: Kash and Doring kick off the contest trading wrist locks and arm drags. They have a standoff after a dropkick attempt but it lacked the speed and impressiveness to warrant the fans to clap, and they don’t. Whipwreck enters but is worked over by Kash followed by a double hip toss and two splashes in the corner. Chetti drops Roadkill with a leaping side kick. I’m not even sure who the legal guys are as the match has broken down. Roadkill with a side slam on Nova for a near fall. Roadkill splashes Nova in the corner and Doring hits the Bareback for a two count. Whipwreck tags in and chokes Nova before hitting a slingshot leg drop across the bottom rope. Roadkill drives Nova down with a side slam but Kash breaks up the cover attempt. Doring hits a top rope elbow drop onto Nova for a near fall. The fans try to get behind Nova and he hits a swinging reverse DDT.
Chetti tags in as does Whipwreck with Chetti hitting a side kick and a series of kicks to Roadkill. Doring is met with a scissors kick for his troubles and Nova comes off the top to send Roadkill into the front two with a cross body. Electra slaps Chetti in the ring but Whipwreck attack from behind. Whipwreck is backdropped onto Nova and we get a cat fight in the ring with Jazz and Electra. Jazz hits Whipwreck with a face buster and Chetti hits Mikey with a sit out death valley driver for the win. (*1/2. Some decent action, but we really got nothing from Kash the entire match and honestly it lacked fast pace action I was expecting. A better match could have been put together involving six of the better workers ECW has to offer at this point.)
Steve Corino comes out and is clearly bandaged up from a recent match. He has never claimed to be a hardcore wrestler. He got his ass handed to him last night against Dusty Rhodes, apparently. He calls out Tommy Dreamer, who indeed comes out. Corino says that Dreamer beat him the last time they were at the building. So, Corino has gotten a new opponent for Dreamer and that man just so happens to be Tajiri.
Fourth Contest: Tommy Dreamer vs. Tajiri: Dreamer backed Corino into a corner and yelled at him before getting hit by Tajiri and several kicks. Tajiri sends Dreamer over the top to the floor and Corino gets a few shots in. Tajiri rams Dreamer face first into the guard railing but Dreamer fights back and tosses Tajiri into the railing followed by a shot with a plastic cup. Dreamer crotches Tajiri on the railing and they return to the ring. Dreamer slams Tajiri but gets stopped on the top. Dreamer is placed in a tree of woe but Tajiri misses a baseball slide dropkick and hits the ring post. Dreamer puts Tajiri in the tree of woe and steps on his groin! Francine places a chair in front of Tajiri’s face and delivers a dropkick! Tajiri fights back with a handspring back elbow and stomps away on Dreamer. Tajiri locks in the Tarantula but Francine gets involved. Dreamer clotheslines Tajiri but runs into a kick in the corner. Dreamer ducks a kick and hits the Death Valley Driver only for Corino to enter and plant Tommy with a DDT. Raven comes out with the snot rag and rubs it in Steve’s face. Dreamer and Raven hit double DDTs and Dreamer pins Tajiri. (*1/2. Similar to the previous match as there was some alright action, but you can tell these guys aren’t putting forth the effort they would in the ECW Arena. The matches have been very simple and not much depth to them.)
Fifth Contest: ECW World Champion Mike Awesome vs. Little Guido: Awesome shoves big Sal but Guido tries to attack from behind, which doesn’t work out so well for him. Awesome hits an overhead belly to belly suplex. Guido is sent to the floor where Awesome slams Guido and taunts the fans who are chanting for Rob Van Dam. Awesome tosses Guido into the fans, who don’t exactly catch him. Awesome goes for a power bomb on the floor but Big Sal attacks and sends Awesome into the railing before delivering a big splash! Guido hits a middle rope leg drop and has a cross arm breaker on the champ. Awesome nearly wins after a Samoan Drop. Awesome drives Guido down with a sit out spine buster for only a two count. Awesome calls for a table and Jeff Jones gives him one.
Guido gets out of a power bomb attempt and Big Sal holds Awesome on the apron. Awesome fights off and grabs Guido a second time. Awesome drives Guido through the table on the second attempt and the crowd goes nuts as Awesome gets the win. (1/2*. A dominating performance by Awesome as Guido didn’t put up much of a fight. There was a lot of money ECW could have made with Awesome, and if anyone thinks otherwise they are just not aware of how over Awesome was a heel for the company.)
Sixth Contest: CW Anderson vs. Sabu: Anderson backs Sabu into a corner but is met with a right hand and a springboard tornado DDT! Sabu goes to the floor and grabs a table to setup on the outside but gets speared off the apron. Anderson delivers a left hand and places Sabu on the table. Anderson heads to the top but slips and crotches himself. Sabu gets up and hits a hurricanrana for a near fall. Sabu takes Lou Dangerously and Bill Wiles with a dive to the floor. CW avoided it and gains control in the ring with a few strikes. Sabu sets up a table in the ring ut Dangerously causes a distraction to allow a super kick from CW. Anderson has Sabu on the table and gets crotched on the top again. CW avoids a hurricanrana and decks Sabu to the canvas. Anderson puts Sabu through the table with a spine buster for a near fall! Wiles gets met with a chair shot and the same for Anderson.
Sabu sets up another table and leg drops Dangerously. Sabu puts Dangerously on the table and hits a leg drop off the top to put CW through the table due to Anderson saving Dangerously. Sabu covers but CW is able to kick out. Sabu delivers a chair assisted leg drop and puts CW away. (**. Some good action by these two guys but I have a hard time buying to CW Anderson to beat Sabu. The show has come across as just a way to highlight the top names and pop the crowd with their finishers.)
Seventh Contest: Balls Mahoney & New Jack vs. Angel & Vic Grimes: Actually, it started off as Mahoney taking on Grimes, but this is going to get the short treatment because it’s exactly what you’d think it is. Mahoney gets double teamed with a pizza cutter. We cut outside to see an ambulance where Paul Heyman is giving Mike Awesome direction for a promo, it looks like. That was actually kind of neat to see a behind the scene look at how they put together a promo. We go back to the match where New Jack had come out for the save and Da Baldies have been betting destroyed. Jack nailed Angel with a chair shot and got the win.
Throughout the entire show the crowd had been egging on a female fan to expose her breasts. She continually refused showing that some ECW fans were classy while the other men just looked like jackasses for be unrelenting.
Prior to the main event, Rhino got some extra heel heat by GORING Joel Gertner after his usual entrance. Rhino calls out Rob Van Dam in a not so friendly way.
Main Event: ECW Television Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Rhino: Rhino attacks right after RVD’s introduction to get the cheap advantage. RVD takes Rhino over with a hurricanrana for a near fall in the opening minute of the match. RVD leaps off the top and bulldogs Rhino face first onto the apron! RVD goes for a baseball slide and that’s where he breaks his leg. Van Dam is limping but sends Rhino into the guard railing. RVD crotches Rhino on the railing and hits a springboard punch sending a chair into Rhino’s face. The fans think RVD fucked it up but RVD has a broken freaking leg. Steve Corino isn’t even attacking RVD as you can hear the camera man ask if Rob’s hurt. Corino sends Bill Alfonso into the crowd but the crowd catches Alfonso and send him back to ringside. Van Dam backflips off the top on a broken leg and is met with a GORE! Rhino decides to stomp the injured leg, apparently unaware of the injury.
He must know now because he puts a half Boston Crab on the non-injured leg. Rhino gores RVD in the corner but can’t get a three count on the cover. Rhino gets a chair tossed to him but RVD hits a northern lights suplex onto the chair. RVD atomic drops Rhino and grabs a chair from Alfonso. RVD dropkicks the chair into Rhino’s face. RVD hits a rolling thunder on Rhino with a chair across his body. Rhino plants RVD with a power bomb and nearly wins. RVD hits a step over heel kick but Rhino regains control rather quickly. Rhino gets a chair kicked into his face and Jack Victory gets on the apron. Corino accidentally punches Victory off and Alfonso hits Corino with a chair. RVD hits the Five Star Frog Splash and pins Rhino to retain the title. (***. Alright, I’m probably overrating the match but the fact is that RVD wrestled a twelve minute match with a broken leg and was doing backflips and springboards with such an injury. Guys in WCW wouldn’t work if they had a headache for goodness sake. It’s a good match to finish the show and shows that at the time RVD was capable of being a solid performer even with one good leg. Much credit to Van Dam on this performance.)
This show is only memorable due to the injury that Van Dam suffered and would then miss several months costing the fans a RVD/Mike Awesome feud. The wrestling leaves a lot to be desired and is another example of ECW wrestling just not holding up well over time.
Thanks for reading.
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The following was submitted by poster mdh1985:
Dolph vs Harper- sluggish start but over time got some wheels **1/2 – Dolph wins
Cesaro, Titus, Tyson, and Hornswaggle vs El Matadors, Sin Cara, and the other midget- some truly nice stuff unfortunately overshadowed by the comedy act **3/4-
The faces win
Adrian Neville vs Tyler Breeze- Good stuff here, seeing Nevilles finish live is pretty cool **3/4 Neville wins
Miz and Mizdow vs New Day- a few nice spots and some creative comedy with the stunt double thing **
New Day wins
Naomi and Emma vs. Sasha and Cameron- Emma is pretty good looking in person 1/2* Emma and Cameron win
Rusev vs Swagger- * 1/2 Rusev crush
Reigns vs Kane with Flair as ref- Long match, I’m guessing they are doing that to get Reigns comfortable having full matches as a solo star. Nice ending with Flair getting involved – *3/4 Reigns wins
Overall an entertaining show
The Netcop Retro Rant for In Your House V. (Ugh. THIS show.) – Before I forget, I just want to mention that Smackdown is the greatest wrestling game ever. Seriously. And coming from someone who thought he’d be slavishly devoted to Wrestlemania 2000 forever, that’s saying a lot. (Written before No Mercy came out, obviously.) I was skeptical when I saw the initial previews and movies, but having played it for what feels like 48 hours straight (WWF Champion Chris Benoit, BABEE!) I have to say that it not only plays faster and smoother than WM2000, but the moves are easier to pull off, more intuitive, and they look better. The role-playing aspect is neato-keen, as are the backstage brawls and really cool gameplay modes (example: When you play “I Quit”, you actually have to grab a microphone and jam it in the guy’s face). All the Titantron videos for the wrestlers are included in their glory (go ahead – TRY not to mark out when you see the Y2J one for the first time, I dare you). The only major downsides are the sucky and/or non-existent sound (inexcusable for the Playstation’s capabilities), horrifyingly bad Create a Wrestler appearance edit (can’t complain about the move editor though, no-sirree) and the usual fuzziness and jaggies associated with any system not starting with “Dream” and ending with “Cast”. Although if it’s ever released for THAT, I’ll never leave the house again. Overall, call it ****1/2 and an absolute must-buy for wrestling fans. Like with WM2000: Believe the Hype. (And then they went on to make a newer, mostly the same, version for another FIFTEEN YEARS. Also, what the fuck is a Dreamcast?) – On with the show. – Live from Hershey, Pennsylvania, home of chocolate and some indy promotion with really obnoxious fans and a balding booker. Original airdate: December 17, 1995. (Original rant date: Sometime late in 2000.) – Your hosts are Vince “We believe in free speech as long as it’s the WWF that’s getting screwed over and not some poor documentary maker” McMahon and Jerry Lawler. (No idea what I was referencing there.) – Opening match: Sid & The Kid v. Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty. Hmm, what a dilemma: Do I explain the circumstances or start firing off the drug jokes? Well, I think we already know what a bunch of potheads the Clique and Jannetty were during this period, so I’ll just explain the setup: The Kid stole Ramon’s private stash, so…oh, wait, I guess I promised not to make those jokes. (Allegedly.) Okay, so this was a standard “spunky partner gets tired of condescending treatment from overly macho best friend and turns into capitalist sellout” angle, as the Kid joined Ted Dibiase’s Corporation and turned on Ramon, requiring Ramon to really scrape the bottom of the barrel and get a new partner in Marty Jannetty. (Hey now, come on. It could have been worse and he could have been stuck with the clown or the pirate or the ninja or something.) It was that old poetic justice thing again, because Marty had been tag champs with the Kid back in 1994 for about 10 seconds, before the WWF came to their senses and realized that the tag champs were MARTY JANNETTY AND THE 1-2-3 KID. Okay, well, I liked them, but they WERE total jobbers at the time. Oh, and by the way, Goldust is sitting at ringside admiring Razor, thus beginning the angle that REALLY changed wrestling, no matter what any other recappers on the ‘net might have you believe in ridiculously long-winded three-part columns on the WWF at this time. No names mentioned, of course. (It was CRZ.) The angle in question was that Goldust was in fact in love with Ramon and he started quite blatantly making passes at him on national TV, so blatantly so in fact that GLAAD majorly freaked out and they ended up killing off the Goldust character entirely by 1997. The angle changed wrestling because Goldust was the first wrestler to not only be overtly effeminate (like Gorgeous George before him), but to actually display outright homosexual tendencies and then act on them. The Marlena character was added to tone down the character somewhat while under the pretext of creating more ambiguity for him, but the message being sent by the Goldust character was a far more interesting one: Was he a bad person merely because of his sexual preference, or because he was trying to force himself on Razor Ramon, who clearly wasn’t “into it”? THAT was truly the first “shades of grey” angle introduced by the WWF, because really a case could be made that he was doing nothing wrong at first. He was attracted to Ramon and he decided to make it known. It actually took a lot of courage on Dustin Rhodes’ part to go through with the character, because he had to know it would end up scarring his career in wrestling for life, and yet he was never squeamish about doing everything asked of him. Later on, the angle was SEVERELY toned down, to the point where Goldust was now merely “playing mind games” with his opponents and acting out a character like he would a movie scene, but for the first few months Goldust was easily the first halting introduction to the modern Attitude era that would bring wrestling back to the forefront, sleaze and all. ANYWAY, the match itself pretty much sucks. (To say the least.) Sid and Kid were on the fast track to the titles, but here’s a shock: Sid left the promotion shortly after this, leaving The Kid dead in the water until finally getting fired later in 1996. (The Smoking Gunns were heavily rumored to be quitting at the time, and Sid & Kid were awaiting the title switch to happen any day. Which of course never did, and then Sid retired due to neck injury anyway.) Ramon and Jannetty take turns on LONG heat segments with nothing much of note happening aside from some good segments when Kid and Jannetty are in together. Ramon finally gets the final hot tag, and does the paint-by-numbers finish, ending with a second rope bulldog on Sid for the pin at 12:20. Nothing happening here. * (It was really REALLY boring. Sometimes I’m hard on a borderline match during the time I wrote this because I was bored or distracted or drunk or something, but this match was the drizzling shits and a whole lot of chinlocks with no flow.) – Jeff Jarrett makes his triumphant return after a 6-month contract dispute. Jerry Lawler presents him with a gold record for “With My Baby Tonight”. Nobody cares, as usual with Jarrett. (Another giant flop of an angle, as this was supposed to be JJ’s shocking return to freshen up the midcard and it just died.) – Ahmed Johnson v. Buddy Landell. This was just a huge inside joke for the smart marks. Ahmed was supposed to be fighting Dean Douglas, but Douglas was on the outs with the WWF and had a “back injury” (wink wink, nudge nudge). (He did actually have a serious injury. I feel kind of bad now knowing all the shit that Douglas endured, as the fake nature of the injury was basically a smear campaign from the Clique to paint him as a quitter, and it wasn’t until later that people realized Shane wasn’t actually lying about it. Even more hilarious is SHAWN MICHAELS calling someone out for fake injuries. That being said, it was a stupid gimmick and Douglas was terrible in the role anyway.) As a result, Douglas presented his “graduate student”, Buddy Landell, better known as “The Nature Boy”. Wink wink, nudge nudge. Landell is wearing a suspiciously flowing sequined robe and using music that sounds suspiciously like that used by another blond-haired Nature Boy when he passed through the WWF in 1992. Wink wink, nudge nudge. Ahmed squashes Landell in 30 seconds and finishes with the tiger bomb. DUD And just because I KNOW someone is going to e-mail and ask me why that was supposed to be funny, Shane Douglas hates Ric Flair with a passion and has been known to spend entire 4 hour shoot interviews whining and bitching about him and the treatment he received, and how he was supposed to “pass the torch” to Douglas and then never did. Get it now? (Poor Buddy, as he was actually supposed to continue on with the company and get a bit of a push out of this, but something like the day after this show he slipped in a parking lot and injured himself so badly that he had to quit the promotion and never came back. That man could fuck up ANYTHING ever handed to him.) – Hogpen match: Hunter Hearst Helmsley v. Henry O. Godwinn. Okay, it’s time we had that talk again about why the WWF got killed by WCW around this time. See, the Old Ways of doing things were that a wrestler was given a gimmick, and then became defined by that gimmick rather than developing an actual character. In this case, Godwinn is a hog farmer, so his “speciality” is a match where the loser is the one to get dumped into a hogpen. This mentality survives to this day even with Ken Shamrock’s “Lions den match” and Kane’s “Inferno match” and a multitude of others. Back to Goldust for a second: He was one of the first people to be given a gimmick (movie reciting weirdo), and when that didn’t get over he was given a CHARACTER (weirdo in love with Razor Ramon) and THAT’S what got him over. Vince doesn’t learn very fast, unfortunately, so it took him a while to catch on. (That actually sums up 1995 pretty well. We were bombarded with pirates, clowns, garbage men, fitness gurus, evil dentists, guitar players, grunge rockers, Ultimate fighters, and vaguely defined Caribbean legends, but in the end the only ones the fans cared about were Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart.) To the match: Neither man is over to great degree at this point, because both are boring with no character at this point. HHH is a Greenwich snob, but so what? Aside from heat for his formal bow, people have no reason to care about him. Ditto HOG, who carries a pig with him everywhere. Big deal, so he carries a pig. HOG ties HHH up in the ropes early on and rubs some slop in his face. Oooo, what political satire by the rapier wit of Vince McMahon, as the inbred hillbilly uses his country know-how to teach that fancy-pants Greenwich snob a thing or two. Hey, guess what: That sums up the NEXT THREE YEARS for the WWF. This match was not only a dumb idea, it was a god damned allegory, too, for the Monday Night Wars! Hunter gets understandably pissed off about this and hits a neckbreaker to take over. Then a kneedrop. Can’t forget the knee. Outside, HHH gets rammed into the stairs. They fight to the hogpen, where HHH nearly gets backdropped into the pen, but holds onto the sides and then drops an elbow on HOG from it. Okay, that looked cool. They head back to the ring as Lawler does some redneck humor. Godwinn takes over with power stuff as HHH bumps around. Back out to the hogpen, where Godwinn tries the slop drop but it’s blocked. He whips HHH into the pen, then hits the slop drop properly. HHH staggers to his feet, and Henry makes that same cardinal mistake: He charges with his head down, allowing Hunter to backdrop him up and into the hogpen for the win at 9:04. Surprisingly well-worked gimmick match. **1/2 (No way, this was terrible. One star, if that.) – Diesel v. Owen Hart. The Rick already covered the Syracuse thing a couple of weeks ago, so I won’t get into it here. Short version: Shawn Michaels got an enzuigiri from Owen on a live RAW and “passed out” in the ring. Diesel was still on good terms with Shawn at that point, so he wants VENGEANCE! Diesel tosses him around to start and clotheslines him to the floor. Back in, Owen hits a leg lariat and missile dropkick, then he works the leg. The ENZUIGIRI OF DOOM gets two. Diesel recovers and hits Snake Eyes and the Bossman rope jump thing. Big boot and jackknife finish…but he picks Owen up at two. The ref objects, so Diesel clobbers him to draw the DQ at 4:35. Well, that was just about the lamest ending possible. *1/2 (To be fair, no one got a pin off a music distraction at least.) – In another Ask the Rick moment, Ted Dibiase introduces us to…Xanta Claus! The best thing about the angle is listening to Vince McMahon’s hyperactive reaction to “Santa’s” selling out and how Ted Dibiase is the most evil person on earth because of it. Just the whole surreal nature of pro-wrestling acting like Santa, too, is not just a figment of someone’s imagination. Anyway, Xanta is of course Ballz Mahoney before he was any good. (Did he get good at some point that I missed?) – Casket Match: King Mabel v. The Undertaker. Mabel hits a quick Bossman slam, no-sold by the Taker. Bellies-to-belly suplex and a big fat legdrop are followed by a splash, and Mo helps drags UT out and into the casket. They conveniently forget to shut the lid and go celebrate, allowing UT to escape, kick righteous ass, and roll Mabel into the casket for the win at 6:11 to end Men on a Mission forever. Sadly, Mabel would return 4 years later as Viscera. I guess it took him that long to figure out how to escape from that casket. 1/2* (The beating delivered to Undertaker seemed to hint at a much more interesting direction for Taker, but then just degenerated into…this. Really the feud peaked with Taker destroying the Royals at Survivor Series, and they pushed their luck by extending it here. He should have just killed Mabel and sent him packing in November in that match and been done with it.) – WWF World title match: Bret Hart v. British Bulldog. Mat wrestling to start, as they trade wristlocks. Bret slides in and out of the ring and hits an atomic drop, but Bulldog catches him coming off the ropes with a knee to the midsection and hangs him in the tree of woe. Odd moment as Davey seems to nail Hebner legit on the backswing by accident, and then he HELPS HIM UP?!? What self-respecting heel would do that? (Waylon Mercy?) Smack him around now, say sorry later. Bulldog counters a crucifix and drops a leg for two. Cornette delivers a Santa-themed racket shot. Lots of resting here. Bret’s corner bump gives Bulldog a two count. Back body drop (or as Vince would say, “BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK bodydrop”) gets two. Bulldog holds a side headlock. Criss-cross leads to a monkey flip and Bret takes over. Bulldog to the Bulldog gets two. Piledriver gets two. Superplex is blocked and Davey bounces Bret crotch-first on the top rope, and the poor guy goes about three feet in the air on the upswing. Ouch. Bret gets tossed to the stairs and blades. Bret and the WWF have since feigned innocence, but it was such an obvious spot, and Bret did the “blading position” for a minute afterwards, and it was to the forehead (really, now, when do you EVER see someone bleed from the FOREHEAD by accident in real life?) so I’m thinking someone was telling a fib here. (Yeah that would be Bret.) Bret stands up and there’s a HUGE pool of his blood on the mats. Man, that’s just ugly. ECW’s trained seals chant “He’s Hardcore!” right on cue for that one. Back in, Bulldog gets a piledriver for two. Hanging suplex gets two. Military press gets two. Diving headbutt gets two. He goes for a bow-and-arrow, but Bret reverses to the Sharpshooter, and Davey Boy escapes. Bret bails, and comes back in with a quick german suplex for two. The mat is literally covered in Bret’s blood, although the cut is hard to see because the camera is zoomed out. Oh, and Bulldog’s white tights are now pink. Pleasant, huh? Bret backdrops him out and hits a pescado, then tries what I think was going to be a quebrada (!), but gets caught and powerslammed on the floor. Bulldog pulls up the mats, but Bret blocks a suplex and crotches him on the railing. Back in, a superplex gets two for Bret. Bulldog eats foot on a blind charge. Majastral cradle gets the pin for Bret at 21:09. (A young Chris Jericho gave him that finish!) Well, that was a pretty underwhelming finish. Good match, though. **** I can’t give the bladejob more than 0.3 Muta in good conscience, because the actual cut was small and he wasn’t wearing the crimson mask. – Oh, to clarify for those who keep asking, the Muta scale refers to the severity of bladejobs that wrestlers do. It’s based on one that the Great Muta did in Japan a few years back against Masa Chono. He ended up with a bloody face, body, and the ring and most of Chono was covered in his blood. The cynical online fanbase was so impressed that they spontaneously decided that from then on, all future bladejobs would be judged against that one, with 1.0 Muta being the maximum and everything else rated below that as need be. The Bottom Line: The main event is really good, but it doesn’t save a lacklustre show by any means. (This was the literal definition of a one match show. Everything else on this show from the opener onwards was wretched.) This was really the Dead Zone for the WWF, as they tried to rebuild after Kevin Nash wrecked the company (where have we heard THAT one before?) and were just seeing what would get over until Wrestlemania, when Shawn Michaels would be “given the ball” for the first time. But then I’m pretty down on 1995-96 WWF in general, so my apathy to this show is no surprise, really. Recommendation to avoid.
The SmarK Retro Rant for WWF In Your House IV – Originally aired October 22, 1995, this show not only was so humdrum that they couldn’t think of a witty subtitle, but it also has the distinction of earning the lowest buyrate ever for a WWF PPV, at 0.4. Kevin Nash, just call him “Money”. (Actually, on the RAW shows building this up, they were trying to make “Great White North” into a thing as the subtitle, but it didn’t happen. I’d like to go with Davey Boy’s summation from one of his promos as a subtitle: “That 50 below hellhole Winnipeg” Spoken like someone who spent years touring the Prairies. – By the way, thank you to the Russians for inventing vodka, so I was able to make it through this one. On a related note, thank you to the makers of ibuprofen. (I’ve heard conflicting reports over the years about my roommate’s patented “take three Tylenol and a giant glass of water before bed to prevent a hangover” advice. At the time this rant was originally posted on the blog, it triggered a firestorm of discussion about the merits of Tylenol v. Advil for booze-related headaches, with each side saying that the other is the one that will cause your liver to implode. That being said, even though I don’t really drink any more because I’m old as fuck, I did partake recently at my work conference and found that cheap pizza at 3 in the morning works remarkably well to prevent barfing and headaches as well.) – Live from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. – Your hosts are Vince, Jerry & JR. – In a pretaped segment, President Gorilla strips Shawn Michaels of the IC title because he has a boo-boo and is incapable of laying down for Dean Douglas. If you want to stop and get some Kleenex in case of bursts of tears now, I’ll wait for you. – … – Okay, all done? On with the show… – Opening match: Makin’ a Difference Fatu v. Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Welcome to Gimmick Hell, as Fatu gets repackaged in one of the dorkiest gimmicks in history – The Caring Samoan. See, the WWF was then gonna bring in his evil cousins, the Samoan Gangsta Party, who were kinda streetwise, rappin’ samoan with attitudez. They’d try to corrupt him like D-Von Dudley did with Buh Buh Ray in ECW, but they’d probably fail because he’s Makin’ a Difference for the kids on the streeet. Sadly, Fatu’s career collapsed in on itself when everyone released what a moron he must have been for taking this gimmick, and the Gangsta Party never saw the light of day. (Those guys are like the lost Samoans or something. They spent FOREVER in developmental and then just vanished.) More’s the pity. I’m not sure if Wrestlecrap has a section for Fatu, but they really should. Fatu gets a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack bodydrop to start (ah, Vince McMahon, play-by-play guy, those were the days). They brawl outside, and back in where Hunter stalls. Fatu does this horrible leapfrog out of the corner, but gets hung up in the ropes, and Hunter pounds on him. He hits a piledriver, which is no-sold by Fatu. They slug it out, but Hunter hits a neckbreaker for two. Kneelift gets two, and we HIT THE CHINLOCK. Vince notes Hunter’s undefeated record. Oh man, even back in 1995 that guy wouldn’t job. Lariat leads to the 360 clothesline sell by Fatu, although with Marty Jannetty on this card he might have competition later. Hunter gets two, but Fatu rolls him up for two. Pedigree is reversed, and a superkick cues the comeback. A pair of clotheslines and a backbreaker for Fatu set up the flying headbutt, which gets a one count. Running Diamond Cutter out of the corner sets up a flying splash, which misses. Pedigree finishes at 8:00. As blueblood snob v. streetwise samoan matches go, this was pretty decent. ** (Meltzer’s note on HHH at the time: “They’re clearly protecting and building him for the future.” You don’t say?) – The drama continues as Henry O Godwinn stalks Hunter with a bucket of slop, setting up the allegory for the Monday Night Wars that was the Hogpen Match at In Your House V. – WWF tag team title match: The Smoking Gunns v. 1-2-3 Kid & Razor Ramon. This was to set up the heel turn that would turn Sean Waltman into the character that eventually became X-Pac. So think about that – he’s essentially been playing the same annoying little creep heel for 6 years, and people wonder why the gimmick’s stale? Anyway, the Cliquesters have matching lavender tights here. Both teams were ostensibly babyfaces, although the crowd likes Ramon the best. Kid & Billy start, as Billy debuts the short hair look that remains to this day. (Even shorter on top these days, if you know what I mean. Unintentionally short. HE’S FUCKING BALD, OK?) Billy wins a hiptoss sequence, so Razor tries next with Bart. Bart holds him off pretty well, and stalling follows. Kid cheapshots Bart, and the Red Eye Express takes over. Ramon pounds on Bart in full heel mode, but still draws mad face heat. Kid hits his kick combo and a pair of snap legdrops, then Razor suplexes him onto Bart for two. Beating continues, but Bart gets a hair takedown for a double KO. Taggery abounds. Billy cleans house and drops an elbow on Kid for two. Bart comes in and kills him with backbreakers for two, and the Gunns hit their suplex/dropkick combo for two. Billy misses a blind charge, but Kid is still out and Bart rolls Billy on top of him, and then Razor sneaks in and reverses that for two. Hot tag Razor, and he cleans house. Razor’s Edge for Billy, but the Kid wants the tag. Razor obliges, and Kid promptly gets pinned at 12:44. D’oh! Kid heels on the Gunns and steals the belts, but Razor makes peace. How sweet. **1/4 (And then they all went out and did a shitload of pot together to celebrate.) – Marty Jannetty v. Goldust. This is Goldust’s in-ring debut after months of bizarre promos. The morality factor is somewhat in question here, as you’ve got your alcoholic drug addict taking on the sexual deviant son of Dusty Rhodes. However, the presence of Rhodes DNA swings things to Marty’s side by my count. I’m shocked Jannetty didn’t try to snort the gold confetti that fell from the ceiling during the entrances. (High five! Anyone?) Jannetty attacks and dumps Goldust, who takes a walk up the aisle. Back in, he bails again. Stalling follows. Goldust gets a rollup for two, but Marty comes back with a rana, and you guessed it, Goldust stalls again. They exchange leapfrogs and Goldie gets a lariat (allowing Marty to work the 450 clothesline sell in) and chokes him out. That goes on for a while, then he changes things up with a chinlock. Backdrop gets one as the match drags JUST A BIT. Marty gets dumped and they brawl for a bit, then he hits the post. Suplex back in gets two for Dustin. Back to that thar chinlock. Jannetty escapes and fucks up a backdrop reversal spot, then hits the post again. Goldust DDTs him for two. Jannetty gets a Rocker Dropper and goes up, but misses the fistdrop. However, in the most intelligent spot of the show, he doesn’t sell it because it wouldn’t actually hurt to miss that move. He goes up again and this time Goldust holds up his foot, and that gets sold. Front suplex finishes for Goldust at 11:12. Amazingly, his push actually continued after that performance. ¼* (You have to give Vince some credit for patience here, because the Goldust gimmick was flopping on every level during the buildup and this debut, but he stuck with it when normal modus operandi would be to cut him loose.) – Yokozuna v. King Mabel. Yes, you read that right. Just accept it. Both guys were still heels, but were being punished for putting Undertaker out of action for three months. That’s all well and good, but there’s no need to cause misery for the poor fanbase, too. Slugfest to start, and Mabel bails. Back in, he gets a lariat and now Yoko bails. Back in again, Mabelanche hits and he takes over. Mabelanche #2 misses, but Yoko misses the Hulkbuster. Mabel misses an elbow as I’m having trouble keeping up with the torrid pace. They brawl outside for the merciful double countout at 5:12. And the fans actually BOOED the end of the match. As if they wanted it to continue. Well, that’s Winnipeg for ya. -** – We get our Heartfelt Moment as Shawn Michaels comes out to surrender the Intercontinental title to Dean Douglas, due to his being horsewhipped by 12 guys in a bar in Syracuse. (FIFTEEN!) My heart bleeds. Here’s a hint on Wrestling Ethics and why Shawn isn’t in the WON Hall of Fame: If you’re healthy enough to WALK, you’re healthy enough to do the right thing. (Well, Shawn at least is in the Hall of Fame now.) On the other hand, if anyone deserved to get screwed over this badly, it’s Shane Douglas, so really it’s just funny on all sides. – Oh, and since the fans DEMAND a title match tonight, Douglas has to defend against Razor Ramon. But the Clique didn’t have any backstage power, nope. – Intercontinental title: Dean Douglas v. Razor Ramon. Douglas bails early. Back in, Ramon works the arm. That lasts a while. Dean comes back and stomps Ramon, but walks into a blockbuster suplex and gets dumped. Stalling follows. Suplex back in and Ramon stomps him. Douglas bails again to keep up the excitement level. Back in, Ramon goes back to that arm. Razor’s Edge is reversed, and they brawl outside. Back in, Douglas goes upstairs and gets caught with a chokeslam. Slugfest is won by Ramon, and he goes for a superplex, which is blocked. Bodypress by Douglas is rolled through for two. Douglas takes over, but gets suplexed and pinned out of nowhere at 11:00, despite having his feet in the ropes. Nice of Ramon to basically give him no offense and then pin him with a transition move. No wonder Douglas is so bitter. This, by the way, is the shortest IC title reign ever. ½* (Ramon was a total shithead here, as he barely even sold anything for Douglas and looked like he wanted to be somewhere else, while winning his fourth IC title.) – WWF World title: Diesel v. The British Bulldog. Yes, kids, this is actually the main event of a PPV. To spite Lex Luger, Vince McMahon actually pushed his partner to the main event for three PPVs to end 1995 (In Your Houses 3,4 and 5). Bret Hart joins us for commentary, replacing Jerry Lawler. Diesel hits an elbow and Bulldog bails. Stalling follows. Back in, but Diesel bails and jaws with Bret. Back in, Bulldog works the leg. That lasts a while. They head outside and Cornette pounds on Diesel’s leg. Back in, Bulldog gets a half-crab to work on it. Diesel uses his POOCHIE POWER to escape, but Bulldog goes back to it. Legdrop gets two. Diesel fights back, but Bulldog goes back to the leg. IT JUST KEEPS GOING. Diesel reverses a suplex for the double KO. Bulldog goes to a bad-looking Sharpshooter, but Diesel powers out. Powerslam is escaped and Diesel gets the big boot, but Cornette comes in and gets tossed, as does Bulldog. They brawl outside and Diesel eats post, drawing Bret into the ring for the DQ at 18:13. The crowd just boos that finish out of the building, and after the show went off the air Vince threw his headset down in disgust and chewed Diesel out right at ringside, basically sealing his fate then and there. He jobbed the title to Bret Hart at the very next PPV and was gone to WCW six months later. * The Bottom Line: Aside from the Shawn Michaels farce and the seeds of the 1-2-3 Kid’s heel turn, this may be quite possibly the most unremarkable show in the history of WWF PPV. Several horrible matches on top of the card didn’t help matters, either. But hey, if you like that early Goldust stuff, this is the show for you! Strong recommendation to avoid. (STRONGEST recommendation to avoid. This one is legendarily bad. I think the Jets left because they were so ashamed of playing hockey in the same arena that hosted this show.)
(Just for the sake of context, here’s my most recent rant on IYH3 to go along with the RAW from last night.) The SmarK Retro Rant for WWE In Your House #3: Triple Header! (September 1995) – This is another redo of a rant I did back in the bad old days where I thought it really needed an upgrade, and since I was watching this show anyway, here it is. – Live from Saginaw, MI. – Your hosts are Vince and Jerry and Jim. Opening match: Savio Vega v. Waylon Mercy Waylon was a timely take on Robert DeNiro’s villain in Cape Fear, because Vince has a habit of watching a movie and then suddenly coming up a new and original character that he immediately trademarks as his own original creation. Savio chops away to start and works the arm, but gets tossed. Back in, Mercy gets a hotshot for two and chokes him down. Sideslam gets two. Sleeper, and Dan Spivey shows off his great facial expressions here, but Savio escapes. Back to it, and this time he suplexes out of it. They slug it out and Vega gets the big boot and a spinkick for two. Bulldog gets two. Half-nelson rollup gets two. Mercy catches a clothesline and follows with a scary brainbuster for two. Backdrop driver gets two, but Savio comes back with a german suplex and a leg lariat for the upset. (Savio Vega d. Waylon Mercy, leg lariat — pin, 7:05, **3/4) It turned into an interesting suplex battle, but Spivey’s body just couldn’t hold out and he was sent into retirement from a neck injury soon after. Meanwhile, we learn that Owen Hart is not here yet, but they will absolutely live up to the stipulations of the main event, because the WWF doesn’t bait and switch and always delivers what they promise. And murder angles, they don’t do those either. Or rape angles. Or market to children. Sid v. Henry Godwinn. This was early in the long and storied HOG legacy. Henry slugs away to start and clotheslines Sid to the floor. Sid returns the favor by kneeing him to the floor and starts working on the back. Sid throws some running kicks, yelling like Monica Seles to really sell the drama. Or is that too dated of a tennis reference? Anyway, Sid goes to his favorite rear chinlock. Points for psychology, but yawn. Blind charge misses and HOG comes back with the Slop Drop for two. Dibiase makes the save, then trips HOG up and it’s good night sweet farmer. (Sid d. Henry Godwinn, powerbomb — pin, 7:23, *) Not much challenge for Sid here. Attacks after the match tease us with HOG & Bigelow v. Sid & Kama, but I don’t know that the universe could have taken that kind of suck power in one ring. The British Bulldog v. Bam Bam Bigelow This was fresh off Bulldog’s heel turn against Diesel. Bulldog gets overpowered to start and Bigelow hiptosses him, but misses an elbow. We hit the chinlock early, but Bigelow escapes. Bulldog suplex, but Bammer no-sells it. His comeback gets cut off and Bulldog sends him to the floor. Bam Bam suplexes him onto the top rope and comes back in with a diving headbutt for two, but Bulldog clips him and starts working on the knee. Another clip after a lazy leg submission, but Bam Bam responds with an enzuigiri. Bulldog goes back to the leg, opting for a half-crab this time. Bigelow fights back, but walks into a knee for two. Back to the chinlock, but Bigelow fights out and falls back on a slam attempt, for two. He blocks a sunset flip using the POWER OF THE ASS, which sets up the moonsault. That misses, however, and Bulldog gets two off a diving headbutt before finishing clean. (British Bulldog d. Bam Bam Bigelow, powerslam — pin, 12:01, ***) Quite an enjoyable little heavyweight match, which was setting up Bulldog for a title match with Diesel at the next In Your House. Mr. Bob Backlund joins us to rant about youth today and introduce… Dean Douglas v. Razor Ramon This was set up by an attack at Summerslam 95, but in reality there was tons of stuff going on behind the scenes that Shane Douglas would likely whine for hours about if given a chance. I don’t normally side with Shawn Michaels in personality clashes, but in this case his little group of schoolgirls was in the right and Douglas was being a whiner. Razor attacks to start and dumps him, and they do a headlock sequence in the ring. Ramon dumps him again, but that goes nowhere. They fight over a wristlock and Ramon goes to a hammerlock, then catches a crossbody attack and gets the blockbuster slam for two. Back to the arm and Ramon holds an armbar, but Dean comes back with a sunset flip for two. Lariat from Razor gets two. Back to the armbar, but Douglas dumps him and follows with a half-assed pescado. He works Razor over on the floor and sends him into the stairs, and then into the post. Back in, a flying axehandle gets two. Douglas works the back and rams him into the mat for two. Surfboard as they plan things out, but Douglas works the ribs and whips him into the corner, and a splash gets two. He goes to a rear chinlock, but Razor escapes with an electric chair. Douglas revives first and gets two. Ramon comes back with a northern lights suplex for two. Backdrop superplex is blocked by Douglas, but a high cross is reversed by Razor for two. Ref is bumped and it’s the Razor’s Edge, but 1-2-3 Waltman runs in, in the know-it-all teenager phase of his character growth, which means that Ramon has to take the time to get him out of the ring. This allows Douglas to roll him up for the pin. WEAK. (Dean Douglas d. Razor Ramon, rollup — pin, 14:55, ***) Perhaps the Kid’s volatile relationship with Ramon foreshadowed his relationship with Chyna? Maybe if MySpace had been around in 1995, Waltman would have written heartbroken poetry to Ramon on there. Bret Hart v. Jean Pierre LaFitte The fact that Bret got stuck in every shitty feud they could think up for him (like here, for instance, where the pirate dude stole his jacket) but still emerged as WWF champion I think shows how great he was. Bret dives on LaFitte and pounds away in the ring, but gets hammered down. Bret takes him down and grabs an arm, and a crucifix gets two. Back to the armbar, but LaFitte clotheslines him and does some choking. Bret rollup gets two, and Lafitte goes back to the pounding. Bret tries a charge, but hits the post, and Lafitte sends him back there for good measure. We get the Bret Hart Running Turnbuckle Bump and Lafitte gets two. Bret dumps him, but that backfires as Lafitte yanks him out and sends him into the stairs. Vince writes off Bret at that point. Geez, give the guy a LITTLE credit. Bret fights back, but a spinebuster gets two. Lafitte goes to the chinlock. Bret fights up and goes down, and Lafitte drops a leg for two. Bret comes back with a sunset flip for two, but a clothesline puts him down again. Sideslam and Lafitte goes up with a legdrop for two. Back up, but the swanton misses. Bret comes back with an atomic drop and Sharpshooter, but Lafitte powers him out of the ring. He follows with a somersault plancha, but splats on the floor and Bret returns that trip into the stairs. Back in, legsweep gets two. Small package gets two. Backbreaker and elbow, but he hits boot coming down. You don’t usually see someone block that. Bret tries another crucifix, but Lafitte has learned and counters to a Regal Roll for two. Bret blocks a slam for two and pounds away, but charges and hits knee, giving Lafitte two. Bret tries a bulldog, but gets sent into the corner for two. He fights back, but charges and crotches himself. Lafitte goes up and misses again, and they clothesline each other. Bret, however, takes advantage on the ground and hooks the Sharpshooter to finish. (Bret Hart d. Jean Pierre LaFitte, Sharpshooter — submission, 16:34, ****1/4) This had all sorts of cool stuff that you didn’t see in 1995, with great psychology and both guys adjusting to each others’ strategy and mistakes. Probably should have made Carl Ouelette into a star, but it didn’t. WWF Tag team titles / WWF title / Intercontinental title: Yokozuna & British Bulldog v. Diesel & Shawn Michaels So the idea is that he who is pinned loses his title, but Owen Hart mysteriously was not there and Bulldog takes his place, which means that you can smell the screwjob coming a mile away. Shawn starts with Bulldog, and they trade hammerlocks. Bulldog tries to take him down,but gets backdropped, and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA as the Dudes With Attitudes clean house. Yokozuna tries against Shawn and they engage in a sumo battle, but Shawn runs into an elbow. Yoko misses his own elbow and Diesel comes in, but gets clobbered. Diesel uses the POWER OF THE BOOT to put Yoko on the floor, but Bulldog comes in and pounds away. Delayed suplex gets two. We hit the chinlock and Bulldog tries the powerslam, but Diesel throws elbows in the corner. Corner clothesline and Shawn comes in with a flying splash for two. Bulldog crotches him, however, and Shawn is face-in-peril. Yoko sends him into the corner and out, and back in Bulldog backdrops him for two. We hit the chinlock, and Shawn gets a sunset flip for two. Bulldog clotheslines him down again, and Yoko comes in with the VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF DOOM. The Banzai Drop misses, however, and it’s hot tag Diesel. Backdrop and Snake Eyes for Bulldog, and a sideslam triggers another brawl. They launch Bulldog into Yoko and Diesel walks into a samoan drop, but Shawn superkicks Yoko to the floor. Like a turtle on its back, Yoko is thus removed from the equation. Bulldog powerslams Diesel for two, but now Owen Hart suddenly appears, at which point Diesel immediately powerbombs and pins him. (Diesel & Shawn Michaels d. Bulldog & Yokozuna, Diesel powerbomb — pin Owen Hart, 15:44, **1/2) This match of course eschewed standard practices of thinking, like having someone in the match taking the pinfall, and as a result the title victory was overturning the next night on RAW and the title went to the Smoking Gunns instead. As a punishment for the fans, we had to watch Diesel v. Bulldog in a god-awful main event at the next In Your House, too. So it was lose-lose for everyone. The Pulse: Bret Hart v. Pierre the Pirate is a lost classic, but the rest is pretty pedestrian stuff, including the main event title match that turned out to be not a title match. I kinda wish that the Bret match had been on his DVD so you could just buy that instead of tracking this down, but mildly recommended if you get a chance to see it.
The SmarK Retro Rant for WWF In Your House #1 (So now that we’re at this point in the RAW rants, here’s the rant for IYH #1. This was done fairly recently so there’s not much to add.) – Lots of people asked in the past why I’ve never done this show, and the answer was probably disappointingly simple: I just never had a good copy before. Well, now I do, so let’s get at ‘er. – Live from Syracuse, NY. Someone better tell Shawn to avoid any Marines. – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Dok Hendrix (Michael Hayes) – Opening match: Bret Hart v. Hakushi. Quite the opener, no? Hakushi (Jinsei Shinzaki in Japan these days) was actually quite the breath of fresh air in 1995, getting over without speaking English or wrestling WWF Main Event Style. This of course was far too threatening to those on top and he was crushed by the Clique as a result. He was managed by “Shinja”, who was former Orient Express member Akio Sato in white-face makeup. Hakushi grabs a headlock to start and they do a stalemate sequence. Hakushi uses the hair to take Bret down and they exchange wristlocks before Hakushi gets a shoulderblock for two. To the armbar and they work off that for a bit before messing something up on a criss-cross, so Bret improvises with a hiptoss and armdrags to send Hakushi to the outside. He sneaks back in and attacks Bret from behind, but Bret pounds him in the corner. Bret gets reversed with his turnbuckle bump and Hakushi gets a pump splash for two. He stomps a mudhole and actually gets an early form of the Broncobuster, without the obvious gay undertones like with Sean Waltman. Bret tries a rollup, but gets reversed to the floor and attacked by Shinja. Back in, Hakushi pounds away with nothing of consequence and chokes him out in the corner. He starts chopping and gets a handspring elbow and more choking. There’s just too much dead space in between moves. They slug it out and Hakushi uses the good ol’ thumb to the eye and gets a backbreaker for two. To the top and a beautiful diving headbutt gets two. He heads to the apron and springboards in with a splash, but misses, and Bret makes the comeback. Wait for it…wait for it…FIVE MOVES OF DOOM! Russian legsweep, bulldog, backbreaker, second-rope elbow and Sharpshooter in this case. He gets distracted by Shinja, but manages an atomic drop and clothesline (with a great 0.8 Jannetty sell by Hakushi) to keep Hakushi down. Bret hammers away on the ropes, but gets tripped up by Shinja and stops to hit him with a tope suicida. Back in, Hakushi dropkicks him coming in for two. “Not this way!” cries Vince. Not with a dropkick? Is there something inherently bad about dropkicks? Bret reverses a suplex and they do an INSANE double bump over the top and to the floor. I mean, they barely even touched the apron on the way down. Bret goes after Shinja again, and Hakushi hits him with an Asai moonsault that gets nearly 3 seconds of hangtime. The crowd actually starts chanting for HAKUSHI. Bret fights his way back to the apron and reverses a suplex in, and they reverse off that into a reverse rollup by Bret for the pin at 14:41. Hakushi’s offense was a bit plodding in the middle, but there was some CRAZY stuff in here that you didn’t see at the time and Bret gave his usual 110% PPV effort. ***3/4 Bret, however, with another match later against Jerry Lawler, twists his ankle leaving the ring and may be hurt. – Stephanie Wiand (who definitely falls into the “What the hell were they thinking?” file) hypes the upcoming draw for the house. When Todd Pedophile threw it over to “Stephanie”, I had sudden horrible thoughts of a 16-year old Stephanie McMahon doing interviews with an even SCREECHIER voice. – Razor Ramon v. Jeff Jarrett & The Roadie. This was supposed to be a tag match with Ramon & Kid v. Jarrett & Roadie, but an injury (or rehab, I forget which) prevented that. Storyline reason was injury, though. (Career-ending neck injury, which he thankfully recovered from in time for a heel turn in the fall.) Poor JJ – he spent most of 1995 being the only sober guy in the match. (Allegedly.) Ramon starts with Jarrett and slugs him down. Jarrett stalls and tries a comeback, but gets dumped and leads Ramon in a chase that results in a cheapshot from Roadie to turn the tide. Jarrett gets an enzuigiri and does some strutting, but walks into a blockbuster slam for two. Roadie comes in with a clothesline (this would be his PPV debut as a wrestler) and drops a few elbows. Jarrett back in with a sunset flip, blocked by Ramon for two, reversed by JJ for two. Ramon counters a suplex with a cradle for two. Roadie comes back in and stomps away, but Ramon comes back until a 2-on-1 situation puts him down again. It’s odd (although generally the way of wrestling) that the worst of the Armstrong family became the most famous of them. Ramon does his “I’m going to give you a Razor’s Edge despite facing the wrong way and being 5 inches from the ropes and oh shit you just backdropped me out to the floor” spot, and Jarrett nails him from behind to keep Ramon out until 9. Back in, Jarrett goes up with a bodypress, rolled through for two. Jeff dropkicks him for two. Neckbreaker and he chokes Ramon out, but crotches himself. That’s normally where Ramon would make a hot tag, but it’s a handicap match, so he makes his own comeback after a double KO. Vince helpfully points out the tape on Ramon’s boots that says “Kid” in 1-2- 3 Kid’s honor. I was thinking that maybe Ramon just took the wrong boots because he was so drunk at the time, but even Waltman wouldn’t get stoned enough to wear banana yellow boots. (Allegedly.) Backdrop suplex and it’s a lot of laying around to sell the beatings, but Jarrett tags Roadie in. He drops a knee from the second rope for two. That looked botched for some reason. Roadie hits the chinlock, but Ramon comes back with the backdrop suplex from the top. Jarrett attacks from behind and goes for the knee to set up a figure-four, but Ramon shoves him into Roadie and finishes with the Edge at 12:39. Well, that was certainly long. **1/2 Jarrett does the post-match beatdown, but clips the knee and puts the figure-four on the wrong leg. Aldo Montoya makes the save for about three seconds before getting tossed again. If I was Ramon I’d rather take the beating than get saved by him. Then, OUT OF NOWHERE, Caribbean Legend Savio Vega (back before he had a name) makes his debut and chases off the heels. Thinking him to be a crazed fan, the police drag him off. Or it might have been for that little- known New York State law banning grown men from calling themselves “Kwang” within state lines, I dunno. (Why not just make it a tag match in the first place? It’s not like Savio Vega has never been a disappointing mystery partner since then.) – King of the Ring Qualifying match: Mabel v. Adam Bomb. Yes, they actually put this match on a PPV and expected people to like it. Although Bryan Clarke wasn’t THAT bad at this point, Mabel wasn’t the guy to motivate him to anything special. Mabel pounds away to start and gets a corner splash, but Adam ducks a second try and slugs away. Shoulderblock puts Mabel on the floor, although the physics of that wouldn’t seem to agree with the bump taken by Mabel. Bomb follows with a pescado and they head back in, as Bomb comes in with a slingshot clothesline for two. To the top with another clothesline for two. Bryan is working his ASS off here, no shit. Mabel reverses him into the corner and gets his ridiculous rolling kick and a big fat splash for the pin at 2:08 to completely deflate the crowd. DUD Vince might have taken a hint from that in later years, but we were still on the verge of the Mabel Mega-Push at this point. Remember – no matter how bad A-Train is, remember that some of us had to live through MABEL. – Meanwhile, Razor Ramon introduces us to Savio Vega. His English got remarkably better in the years following. – WWF Tag titles: Owen Hart & Yokozuna v. The Smoking Gunns. Ah, the days when Billy was 220 and had a mullet and porn star mustache. Billy evades Yoko and gets a pair of dropkicks, and Bart comes in and walks into a shot from Yoko. Owen comes in and gets slammed by Bart, and the Gunns get a double-team for two. Owen lures Billy back into the corner and Yoko hammers away on him and goes to the VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF DEATH. Yoko was just getting grosser by the day at this point. Owen gets a neckbreaker for two. Billy sunset flips him for two. Leg lariat sends Billy to the floor, but he dodges a Yoko splash attempt and heads back in. Owen misses a charge and Bart gets the hot tag (?) and a slam gets two. Backdrop suplex and they hit a primitive version of 3D for two. Bart dives at Owen and misses, landing him on the floor. Yoko adds a big fat legdrop and Owen finishes at 5:43. Very rushed – I guess they were running long. *1/2 The Gunns would eventually regain the titles in September of ’95. – Lawler interviews his “mother” (a twenty-something model) to hype the match with Bret Hart later tonight. Bret reveals that he was faking the leg injury all along. At least he didn’t give a 20-minute interview afterwards about how he lost his smile. – Jerry Lawler v. Bret Hart. Bret attacks to start and Lawler runs for the hills, but gets rammed into the table and stairs. Back in, he keeps begging for mercy, but Bret keeps punching him and drops the leg. Backdrop and Bret chokes him out, but Lawler comes back with a piledriver. Bret no-sells it. If it was Memphis, fans would riot. Bret bulldogs him and gets his OWN piledriver, which Lawler does not no-sell. Lawler asks for help from his “mom”, so Bret steps on his head. Lawler goes to the eyes and slams Bret, but stupidly goes up (jawing with the crowd all the way), and of course gets pounded coming down. Bret elbows him and headbutts him low, and beats on him until Shinja comes out and runs interference. Ref bumped and Bret legsweeps Lawler and gets the elbow, with no count. Hakushi then joins us and nails Bret off the top a couple of times, which sadly the ref misses completely, and Lawler gets the pin at 5:01. This wasn’t exactly Bret’s finest match, and they’re obviously running long given how rushed this was. 1/2* – Todd and Stephanie draw the winning entry in the house sweepstakes. – WWF World title: Diesel v. Sid. I’m sure if there’s a hell it’ll involve watching THIS match for all eternity, with New Jack v. Messiah as your curtain-jerker. (Oh man, Messiah. I must have been watching those awful XPW tapes around this time.) The fans were teased with a Shawn-Diesel rematch for this show before a worked shoulder injury put Sid in his place because presumably there was someone on the planet who wanted to see this match. Okay, it was Vince, but that one vote counts for a LOT. (90% of the voting shares in the company!) Diesel whips Sid around to start and elbows him in the corner, prompting Sid to bail. Nash update: He has currently gone 1:05 in this match without tripping and tearing his quad muscle. I think that beats his involvement in the RAW six- man last year. Back in, Diesel gets two and Sid bails again. They brawl outside and back in, but Dibiase distracts Diesel and they head out AGAIN. You sense a theme here? Sid update: He has now gone 2:45 without jumping off the second rope and shattering his ankle. Sid pounds away outside and “rams” him into the post (because I’m not sure “gently places” works quite right in a main event title match) and heads back in for some stalling. Well, good thing they rushed the other matches to accommodate this classic. Back in, Sid pounds away with minimal effort (still sucking wind), but Diesel fights back. Sid clotheslines him and stalls some more. More ogre-like clubbing and stalling as Sid shows why he’s been a draw* all over the world**. (*By “draw”, I mean “not a draw”) (**By “all over the world”, I mean “nowhere”) Sid goes to the REAR CHINLOCK OF DEATH and can’t even be bothered to do THAT properly (I mean, it makes the Steiner Recliner look painful by comparison) and THEY JUST SIT THERE like that for like two minutes. Sid opts for a legdrop, and that gets two. Back to the clubbing, and that sets up yet another camel clutch. Vince notes that a lesser man would have surrendered to this punishment by now. Well, call me lesser, because I SURRENDER. Stop the horrible match! Please! Diesel breaks loose of the impenetrable hold, but gets chokeslammed. Powerbomb and Sid chooses to play to the crowd rather than covering. Finally, he gets two. Diesel starts no-selling offense and makes the comeback, and Snake Eyes and the big boot result. Powerbomb gets two and Tatanka runs in for the DQ at 11:41. 1/4* Bigelow saves, and they actually stretched this feud out for TWO MORE SHOWS as a result. The Bottom Line: This was obviously a learning experience for the WWF, as they experimented with a two-hour show and ended up having to rush through the midcard after a lengthy opener. Bret-Hakushi is good, take a pass on the rest. (It was definitely a learning experience for them and it was intended more as an experiment to keep up with the WCW Joneses rather than a blowaway show.) Recommendation to avoid. (Honestly, it’s only 90 minutes and it’s worth a look on the Network just for that one match. I wouldn’t sit through Sid v. Diesel or anything but the rest is totally watchable.)
As always, thank you Scott for plugging our show!JP Sarro
This week on Legends’ House, it’s over!
Last week on Legends’ House, the guys roasted Roddy, and Pat Patterson almost said something.
So, sorry this is late. I was without internet until Sunday, then I bought a new car and have been battling the DMV and dealership to get their shit together and just give me my God Damn plates. Oh, and the air conditioning is out at my house. Oh, and no one really cares about these recaps that much anyway. But seriously, sorry – I hate being late in any circumstances, but life sorta happened.
Morning. Fink is walking his laps around the tennis court, and he says he had trouble getting to sleep the previous night, because it was so emotionally draining. They show Pat snoring, fully dressed, but with his gut exposed and belt and zipper undone. No wonder Fink had trouble sleeping. Hillbilly says all the guys are still trying to process what happened last night. I know this is for the “drama” of the “show”, but I really thought everyone kinda knew about Pat already – so I’m not sure what there is to process, really. He says that Pat has been carrying a weight around for so many years, and that he’s “sure there’s going to be a lot more to come out of that, and he can’t wait to see where it goes.”
Now it’s Ashley time, and Tony refers to her as Hacksaw’s girlfriend. I guess they’re getting along better now. She announces that it’s her last morning with the guys, and all the guys are like, “Nooooo”. Jimmy Hart apparently hates her, as he sarcastically says he’s going to shed a tear. And this week’s contrivance is that the guys are going to be throwing a farewell party for, apparently, the entirety of Palm Springs. HBJ is excited about the idea. And, oh no, all the guys are going to perform the song that HBJ and Jimmy Hart have been working on. Remember a few weeks ago, when they were working on a song? I guess it’s that. Ashley goes on to say that there will also be a live band to help out, and “Pat, if you want to, you’ll finally get the chance to…” Really? There going to make him come out at a farewell party? Ashley continues, “…sing”. Oh. That’s probably going to be far less socially acceptable. Pat talks about how he’s not good at karaoke but good with a band, or something. Whatever. Roddy suggests a group hug, and Ashley wishes she never quit the Pussycat Dolls. Then someone pantsed Fink, and ew. They start an “Ashley” chant, because, as wrestlers, that’s how they’ve been taught to express positive emotional bonds.
Roddy explains to us what Ashley just explained to us, and, maybe someone can help me here – Finkel is going to “come out of the song closet” and Roddy is going to play “electric bagpipes”? Those are all words, in English, but I don’t understand them in that order. And holy fuck, there really IS such a thing as “electric bagpipes”. Dude, I can’t wait to see this “song closet”. And Roddy can really play, as he came in fifth in the world in playing bagpipes a ways back. No offense, Roddy, but I think I came in sixth in the world in playing bagpipes, and I’ve never played bagpipes. That’s like being the runner up in vuvuzuela. It’s just noise. Ok, yes, I know there’s more to it than that, and Roddy does seem to have some skill. And then Hacksaw covers his ears and screams “The noise! The noise!” and I’m sad because Hacksaw and I are apparently on the same wavelength on this one.
All the guys are sitting around as Jimmy and Jim are going to demo the song for them. They are trying to get everyone in line and cover the whole arrangement, and Roddy can play harmonica too? Cool. Hillbilly says he’s not going to “be surprised if these guys kick their heels up a little bit, if you know what I mean.” No, I really don’t. I’ve given up on knowing what you mean. Anyway, Jimmy is happy with everyone’s involvement, but then we immediately focus back on Pat, who tells us how heavy it got last night, because everyone started to get to know each other. That was kind of an abrupt shift in moods, but I’ve also given up on logical story progression or editing. Pat says he has one more chance to let people know who he really is.
Later, they all go to a pretty nice looking steakhouse for the “final supper”. I laughed aloud, as Fink reads a menu item to Jimmy as, “sweet corn roasted with cumin”, but pronounces it like “cummin” instead of “CUE-min”. This guy got paid to speak in front of millions of people. Jimmy asks for it without the “cummin”. Pat reads the menu aloud and says “Drunken shrimp? Sounds like Gene Okerlund.” Funny! The guys joke around with each other and Roddy says, “We love having fun. That’s one thing all the guys have in common.” I think that’s one thing every creature has in common, but ok. They’re all sitting around and talking about the experience, and what they’ve learned from each other, and this, again, is (or would be) the strength of this show, in my opinion. It’s neat to just see these guys interact with each other, instead of playing golf cart polo or LARPing. Hillbilly says some of his typical positive stuff, and how he’s had a wonderful time, and will be sad to leave. Tony says that Gary Busey was the best part of the whole experience. Jesus, I really forgot about that completely. And now they’re reminiscing about all their “missions” that they had to do over the course of this thing. It’s cute, but we’ve seen all of it. Tony talks about how he loves and respects all the guys more then he ever did, and says that they are all the weirdest people he’s ever met. Gene says, “Coming from you, that’s a compliment.” I’m not sure what that meant, but all the guys laughed, so, ok. They get their food, and it looks wonderful. Lobster, steak, and …Jimmy’s having a baked potato and corn.
Pat wants to “try one thing serious”. He asks for everyone to share the biggest moment…of their life. That’s a weird question, and a pretty obvious set up for him to share something himself. Like when someone posts on Facebook, “I’m so sad – I don’t want to talk about it.” It could be interesting, though. Let’s see. Gene’s is when Piper got in a fake fight in New York or something. I don’t recognize the clip. Hacksaw’s is when he got to wrestle Andre. Pretty awesome. Tony says he was basically homeless in 89, and a lady, who couldn’t even speak English, saw him sleeping in the park in the freezing winter, took him in, and essentially saved his life. And then he married her. That’s a pretty great story. Hillbilly’s was when he was able to buy his mother her first house and car. Also very sweet. Weird, Gene is going again, so I guess he wasn’t serious about the Roddy thing. Gene starts crying about his wife giving him a kidney, and now everyone’s crying. Man, these are all good. Jimmy’s up and talks about his daughter passing, and everyone feels bad for picking on him the whole time. Apparently none of the guys knew. This is fucking heartbreaking. Tony says that Jimmy is the toughest guy in the house. He said that everyone picks on Jimmy so much because he’s so small. And, Hacksaw’s going again – this is so weird. He was in a bad car accident that apparently ended up killing his wife. Christ, dude. Also, Pat keeps saying, literally, over and over throughout this whole thing, about how it feels good to get all this out, and how they are really real people and not just wrestlers, and …just say it, man. I cannot pretend to know how difficult it must be for him (or anyone) to come out, but…I don’t know. The way this is cut together is weird, or something. I mean, it’s obviously building to Pat’s big admission, but these guys have suffered some pretty horrific things. Being gay is not a horrific thing. In fact, on the rankings list of things these guys have gone through, I’d put losing your loved ones way over any kind of sexual preferences that you may or may not have. Again, I’m not saying it’s easy at all, and I know it cannot be healthy or good to have to live with a secret like that, but, I don’t know. I’m not sure I’m expressing myself well here, but admitting you’re gay seems far less significant than some of these other stories. Anyway, Fink admits to being bullied, and cries. He’s now proud of his success, and all the guys clap for him. And now, Pat’s turn. He talks about how he basically started with nothing, and ended up working with Vince. He slowly builds up to it and finally says it. Good for him. Seriously. What a weight off his shoulders. None of the guys seem especially surprised, and neither am I, because I thought we all knew. Also, it appears that Pat is drinking a cranberry vodka, so that kind of tipped the whole thing off.
We’re immediately at the party, and Pat is excited – not for the party, but to get the fuck out of there. Bunch of people hanging out, and Gene awkwardly flirts with Ashley. He hilariously fills up nearly an entire pint glass with vodka and hands it to her. A cute little, inconsequential scene. Then we cut ahead to later that evening, and Gene is intro’ing the guys to the crowd. Roddy starts off by playing his electric bagpipe. Pretty neat. Next up are Jimmy Hart and Hillbilly Jim, who call up the rest of the Legends onto the stage. They do the song, and it…uh, doesn’t sound great, but whatever. It’s fun enough. Tony starts dancing, and some octogenarian starts throwing singles at him. Tony tells us that he and Hacksaw are best friends now as the terrible song keeps going and finally ends. Gene brings Pat up on stage to sing by himself as the “culmination”. He sings, of course, “My Way”. He’s not awful, he’s not great, but his pronunciation is funny. Like, “and more…much more dan dis, I did it my way”. Oof, they’re showing the whole thing. Well, less I have to type, so that’s cool. Party’s over.
Next morning, everyone is packing up. Roddy is sad to be going. They all sign their respective pictures, and the first car is there to pick them up. Jimmy, in a shaky voice, tells Tony that he is first to go, and so he says his goodbyes to everyone. Pat tells him that he was a pain in the ass sometimes, but it felt pretty good. Ew. They all mock his laugh after he leaves. Next to go is Hillbilly, who hugs and says his stuff. Jimmy Hart leaves next, and says what a great time he’s had. Then Fink leaves, describing the experience as the time of his life. Gene says bye to everyone and rolls out. I’m running out of ways to say “blank” leaves and had a “blank” time. Pat literally sprints out of there. The last two out are Hacksaw and Roddy, and they say they love each other. Roddy cries and tells us he’s learned a lot as he plays the piano. Huh, there’s a piano.
Ok, final thoughts – this was a really nice episode that kind of reinforces my point throughout all of this. These are guys are interesting characters and this could have been a far more interesting show if it weren’t so concerned with being a typical, early 2000’s era “reality show”. Maybe this would have worked better as a documentary. They all seemed nice, they all had their quirks, and they all seemed like they enjoyed the experience of getting to know each other. The “show” show, was at times, excruciatingly bad, but there were enough good moments that, if you’re ever forced to watch it and recap it in the future, it’s probably worth doing.
And that is it! Thanks to Scott for letting me do this, thanks to those of you who read this, and thanks to me for doing it. If there’s a “reunion show”, I’ll write that one up too. Take care, guys!
This week on Legends’ House – The guys roast Roddy Piper!
Previously on Legends’ House – They played a “How well do you know your roommates” game, and then Shawn Michaels came by and was as bored as the rest of us.
Get comfy, this is gonna be a long one.
Before we get started, I have to say that I am equal parts wary and excited about this episode. As a stand up comic, I have performed in a handful of roasts, and watched many more. That said, I typically hate them. In the writing sense, I’ve always found them to be a neat exercise to try out something different than I normally do, and to work out creative muscles that I wouldn’t typically use. Then again, they are almost ALWAYS the same. If you’ve seen a Comedy Central Roast (and this is less typical of the official, original Friar’s Club Roasts), you will have noticed a pattern. The roast-ee is always either “fat”, “gay”, or, if female, a “whore”. Rinse and repeat endlessly. For every Jeffrey Ross “Drew Carey is to comedy as Mariah Carey is …to comedy” brilliant line, there are literally hours of the same joke just twisted by adding a different name to it. And these are professional comics and joke writers. I’m frightened and semi-excited to see what these guys come up with.
Finkel says to Duggan, “Your buddy is coming.” Hacksaw immediately jumps up and starts pounding on the windows like an ape to show his excitement of Roddy returning. Roddy and Fink and Duggan all hug, and everyone seems genuinely happy that Roddy’s back. It’s cute. Roddy admits that he missed being in the house, but then immediately retreats on that, saying, “Now that I’m back, I don’t know why I missed it.” Roddy and Hacksaw head off to their room, and Roddy is showing Hacksaw his re-hair-ified chest, because that’s what roomies do, and then we flash back to the waxing scene. Neato.
Ashley is here! Hillbilly is tongue tied (or maybe that’s just how he always talks), as he tells her she is “smokingly good lookin today, young luh-girl.” And, yeah, she is. She tells the guys that they will be performing a roast – and then explains what that is. Basically, they’re going to do stand up comedy where the intent is to make fun of all the people on the panel (the roommates, in this case), but even more importantly, the guest of honor, which is Roddy. Roddy wants to “scissors paper rock” for it, but no. They have the rest of the day and tomorrow to write their jokes. Hillbilly lets us know again what a roast is, but also adds, “It’s supposed to be light humored”, which, yes and no. Roddy tells the guys to not be afraid of hurting his feelings. Hillbilly starts off early, saying “Roddy Piper is to sensitivity what Captain Hook is to masturbation.” Not horrendous, but it doesn’t really make sense. Isn’t Roddy overly sensitive? Maybe he meant that Captain Hook, in an effort to draw attention from his hook hand is always masturbating with his regular hand? I hadn’t read that in Peter Pan, but I also haven’t read Peter Pan. Anyway, all the guys loved it. Know your audience. Roddy sits opposite them and does his “I can’t believe it” thing with his head shake that he does in every situation, and Tony says, “Roddy, you’re safe with me. I can’t think of one thing.” Heh. Tony adds that when he was a kid, he used to get a “whoopin for doing that.” Performing stand up comedy? Pat reassures him that he will come up with something. Roddy suggests drinking heavily.
All the guys are writing their jokes. I have little to no faith any of them will be any good, but it’s neat to see. It would be even cooler if they sat around and did a roundtable (Roddy not included, of course), so we could hear the thought processes behind their jokes, and how they pitch new punchlines and bat around shit, but that’s asking way too much. I suppose you want the element of surprise in a roast. I guess I approve. Roddy points out how quiet the house is, and how everyone is taking this seriously. They show Mean Gene’s page, and I don’t really think there are any jokes on there. It’s impossible to read, though. I think I make out the words, “Up cunty”, which is hilarious, but it could also be “Up early”. Please, God, let it be “Up cunty.” Gene laughs at his joke pad. Hillbilly goes up to Roddy and discusses his game plan of doing five minutes on him and five minutes on “the other schmucks, I mean Legends”, which is a great plan. Tony is in the room struggling, and says his brain went dead. He then informs us of his ongoing struggle that makes this difficult for him – his mom told him to “make fun of (himself), not no one else”. And then Gene tells Roddy that he’s going to just destroy Roddy with the brutality of his jokes. I hope he says “Holy Balls!” I bet he does.
Next day (maybe), three guys walk in. One is Guy Torry, who introduces himself as the Roastmaster. I thought for a second he was the person who replaced Martin Lawrence as the host of Def Comedy Jam, but it turns out that was his brother Joe Torry, who I thought was the person who replaced Buck Showalter as the manager of the Yankees. Anyway, I’ve heard of him, at least tangentially. Dan Ahdoot and Ben Gleib are the other two guys, and they are here to offer assistance with the joke writing process. That kinda sucks in a way. I mean, it would probably be borderline unwatchable (I know) if they didn’t have pro comics help out with the framework and timing, but, it would be way more authentic and interesting if they just went out there with what they had. I love watching people bomb. Not saying they would, even though I think they would, but it’s just another level removed from reality that this show seems to so desparately want to veer away from at all costs, when it’s actually what I would think the core audience for this show would most want to see. Whatever, dead horse. This could still be interesting. Roddy and Guy will be going to a secret location to write his jokes, and the other two will stay at the house with the other guys.
Gene and Pat and the two comics are standing outside, and Gene says something not so funny, and the comics force laughter and say “The roast has begun!” And here we go, Gene starts off with a joke: “Hillbilly Jim said it was tough being a celebrity – he had a girl pounding on his door until 5am. Finally he got up and let her out.” Ok, I mean, that’s a joke, but this is my problem with roasts. First of all, that’s like, a joke that’s been done a million times. Secondly, that’s not even really taking on any aspect of Hillbilly’s personality. It’s just a “(insert name here) (insert insult here)” thing. But, I will say, I’ve seen HUNDREDS of people try to do standup without any jokes, so, in all seriousness, major fucking kudos to Gene for actually knowing what a joke is. One of the comics forces laughter at Gene’s joke as if he’s never heard that before, and reminds him to not be afraid to insult anyone. And then, I fucking crack up as Gene says, “The writers gave me two pages of notes, that I would say…were absolute garbage.” Gene, I take back all my negative cracks at you, for now. That was awesome and probably 100% true. And then, this is gonna hurt – the comics meet with Hacksaw. We get a glimpse of his legal pad, and he wrote so big that there are only like 9 lines of text (about four words apiece) that take up the entire sheet. This is going to be great. Hacksaw’s first joke, “You know Tony, he’s argued with everyone in the house, except one person, but the other day he got him. I walked by and he was arguing with the mirror.” One of the comics can’t even force a laugh, but says, “That’s cool.” I’m dying. The comic dude says that Hacksaw was good at knowing which jokes he thought were funny and which ones weren’t but if he takes their notes, he’s gonna be great up there. Oh, please please please don’t let Hacksaw take their notes.
And now it’s Pat’s turn, “When Piper was a little kid he used to play in the sandbox and the cat would bury him”. Me and the comedians sigh, but then Pat adds, “Because he’s cat poop and they bury their shit”. I fucking howl. I love that Pat thinks the reason no one laughed is because we didn’t get it, as the comedian guy says, “right, right right”. The comic rearranges the dumb joke for Pat to make it make more sense or whatever, and Pat says “I think that’s cool.” Now Jimmy’s up, and oh dear. “You know, we always have dinner here at the Legends’ House, but Piper refuses to eat with us unless we play his entrance music. You know (and then he hums it). The comic guy says that Jimmy’s jokes were very “insider”, and what he means by “insider”, is that you wouldn’t get them unless you were Jimmy. Oh my God, this is so great. Jimmy says another joke, and it’s just so fucking much of a non-joke. The comic guy (I’m sorry I don’t remember his name) basically re-writes Jimmy’s jokes for him, and Jimmy seems happy. Now off to Hillbilly Jim, and I can’t understand anything he says, and they only show him for three seconds anyway, as we get to the main event, Tony Atlas. He lets the other comic know that his momma told him not to make fun of other people, so this is this worst thing that he’s ever done. I somehow doubt that. Anyway, the comic guy tries to talk Tony into it, and Tony is basically refusing and telling his whole life story. The comic guy describes the writing session as “intense and dramatic”, and I’m sure it fucking would be. As much as I’d love to see Tony go up there and tell what he thinks are jokes, at this point I’d just tell him to paint a picture of Roddy as a clown and be done with it. He’s just not cut out for this at all. The comic guy finally looks at Tony’s pad, and says “This is not how you write comedy.” Well, geez, dick. Tony says that these are just notes, and how he’s going to do it, “like here, I’m going to come out and laugh”. The comic asks him to show him, and Tony obliges with his donkey laugh and says “That Piper’s the funniest man I know (laughing), as the comic looks into the camera with an amused yet frightened glance. Tony looks at him and says, “See? You’re laughin. Then I got em.” Comic guy says that most comics don’t laugh at the end of their own jokes, and Tony laughing at the beginning might confuse and frighten them. Next up is Finkel, and he delivers a joke that the comic guy doesn’t laugh at, but it’s actually not awful, compared to the other guys. Then he tells another one and it’s death. He’s basically refusing to be mean, and the comic says that Fink would be the biggest challenge. Whatever. You weren’t up there with Tony and the other guy.
We see Roddy and Guy walk into the secret location. I guess they’re at a comedy club, but it’s hard to tell. They’re in a dressing room/green room anyway. I’m guessing Guy wrote this one, “Hacksaw is so dumb, he was once considered the white Tony Atlas.” Roddy loves it but doesn’t want to hurt their feelings. Guy reminds him that he needs to not hold back at all, and Roddy tells us how brutal he can be. Guy has confidence in Roddy’s abilities, and Gene thinks there might actually be a fight.
The surprisingly small crowd files in, and the roast is starting. Guy introduces all the Legends. Hillbilly feels good about his chances in this. Roddy mentions again that he doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but if they are mean to him, he’ll hit back. And then, holy fuck, the Iron Sheik is there as a special guest. Tony describes him as a wonderful guy. Hillbilly Jim starts off, and says “brother” 150 times. They do the Comedy Central editing thing as he tells some not very good jokes, but cut to people in the crowd laughing and smiling, clearly at different things than what is actually being said. Gene makes a pretty funny joke about how poor Tony was growing up, and then one at Finkel’s expense. Then they cut to Pat and he is horrendous. Guy introduces the Iron Sheik by saying, “The Rock wanted to be here tonight, but was afraid the Iron Sheik was gonna smoke him.” Pretty good! I can’t understand what Sheik is saying, and neither can Pat or anyone else. Oh my God, this is so weird, as expected. Pat redeems himself by saying in voice over, “I laughed, he was on tonight. He had something.” Yeah, more than likely. They show Jimmy re-reading his notes, and he’s up next. He tells his jokes, and the editing team cuts in crickets between his lines. I mean, he’s absolutely terrible, but he’s really not much worse than the other guys. Wait, he just completely ruined a joke, so cricket away, editing team! Hacksaw steps up and makes a show of throwing away the stuff that the writers gave him, so this could be great. Sadly, it’s not, until Hacksaw tells us how “quick-witted” he is. Finkel goes up next and dies. I seriously cannot even imagine how wonderful and awful this whole thing would be if it weren’t considerably edited. Oh God, Tony is up next. He makes a joke about Roddy putting him in a headlock and something about squeezing a blackhead, and then jokes about how Roddy fucked his wife and Tony’s kids are actually Roddy’s illegitimate children. Pat tells us how great Tony did. And finally, Roddy goes up. Roddy’s tells jokes that he clearly didn’t write, but they’re still just ok. Either way, it’s decent enough, I guess. Just standard roast stuff. It’s over, and Gene thought it was incredible.
Back at the house, the guys walk in, and Roddy tells the guys that he is thankful that no one really went for the really hurtful stuff, and that he loves them. Yes, that is good. It wasn’t ever going to be all that funny, so may as well not just be mean for no reason. Roddy says that, with the roast being done, they all only have one and a half more days together(!), as they sit down for dinner. Pat comments that they all seem to be getting closer. Pat asks the group what they think they are supposed to be (within the context of the house). Hillbilly answers, “ourselves”. Which, yes. Pat says Hillbilly is himself, and that he (Pat) wants to be himself, but he feels trapped by his character sometimes. Tony says he doesn’t feel comfortable here, and is more relaxed at home. “If we were so relaxed, why do we get so angry over every little thing?”, asks Tony. “I haven’t gotten mad about anything”, answers Hillbilly. “See? There you go, you’re so defensive!” says Tony, completely serious, who throws his hands up. HA. Gene asks the table who feels like they’re walking on eggshells, Jimmy Hart says he isn’t, Duggan says he is, and then as Finkel hems and haws over his answer, he and Roddy get into a fight. Roddy hits Finkel on the shoulder and says, “Hey, this is for men. Quit being a fucking pussy and put your hand up yes or no.” Roddy then tells us that if you can’t take a stand, you deserve to be backhanded right out of the house. This is kind of out of nowhere and weird. Roddy seems genuinely pissed, as Finkel says he’s not walking on eggshells. Roddy says, “yeah, you fuckin are too!”. Pat reaches to restrain(!?) Fink, who really just wants to be around all the guys, and doesn’t seem to understand where the fuck Roddy is coming from. Gene jumps on the “I hate Finkel” train, and says that Finkel is walking on eggshells more than anyone. What a fucking weird argument to have. Roddy brings up the limo thing where Finkel sat in the most prestigious seat, from what seems like years ago, and he’s still pissed about it. Roddy tells Finkel to his face that he didn’t belong in that seat, and Finkel answers, “Yes sir.” Pat jumps in, agreeing with Roddy, and stops just short of saying that no one knows who Finkel is, but definitely teases that point. Basically, they hate Fink because he wasn’t a wrestler. And then, somehow, the argument is over, as Finkel reaches over and hugs Roddy. Um, no. Roddy was being a cock, and you should have hit him with a coconut. Pat starts talking and Roddy hilariously says, “Pat’s opening up, and sharing stuff that you normally shouldn’t.” Pat’s speech so far, consists of repeatedly saying how he wants to set the record straight, and how he doesn’t want to be phony, and it’s time to tell the truth about records being set straight and not succumbing to phoniness. Roddy has tears in his eyes, and I’m guessing Pat’s going to mention the gay thing. “I know I won’t be in the main event at Wrestlemania, I know I won’t be in Madison Square Garden, and this is my chance to say…HUHWAHHHH!”. Huh? Pat wants to be free and say who he is, but he says he’s holding it in right now. Is he not “out”? I thought it was kind of a known thing that he was gay, but I don’t know. I’m sure all the guys know. And then Pat says, “I’ll stop there, ok?” Gene is crying, Pat is crying, Jimmy hugs him from the back. Jimmy says that Pat is tip-toeing around it, but they all knew what he was talking about. So, I guess this whole speech is for our (the viewers’) benefit. Anyway, Pat goes to bed without “admitting” anything, and whatever. Gene voiceovers that he will be by Pat’s side and will “live with” whatever Pat wants to do. A strange choice of words, but I don’t think he was being malicious or bigoted. Jimmy is hopeful that Pat will finally finish his thought, because it’s so important to him. It’s just sad that Pat feels like he can’t be completely open about this for whatever reason, but I understand. It’s not like homosexuality is completely accepted even now, in 2014, but he lived through some seriously rough times in an industry where he probably really had to hide.
Tony and Jimmy are eating, and Tony is concerned about Jimmy. Apparently, one of Jimmy’s daughters died a year ago, and it’s still affecting him (obviously, but still). It hit Tony so hard he couldn’t eat any more. I’m not going to make fun of this. Jimmy feels that this experience is like having his family, and he breaks down. Tony runs over and hugs him as Jimmy cries. Tony says that Jimmy is now his hero, and Jimmy says that that dinner is what brought this all on. Anyway, this was the best episode yet, so for all of you who were bitching about my negativity, I got two words for ya…SEASON FINALE.
This week, on Legends’ House, the guys play “How well do you know your roommates?”, and then, apparently, Shawn Michaels drops by.
Previously, on Legends’ House, they LARPed and complained about smelly food some more.
Daytime. Gene voiceovers that they “hit some little joint, downtown Palm Springs”. Just when I think this could be a genuinely good episode, I realize he’s talking about a restaurant. He says that he was looking forward to getting out of the house because “some guys get on your nerves”. And, because the editing team thinks that we are also a bunch of dopes, they make a point to focus on Jimmy Hart again. Gene complains how Jimmy talks a lot, and then the guys order breakfast. Jimmy really is a fucking weirdo, though, as he orders Minestrone soup and a wedge of lettuce. For breakfast. I’ve never even heard of someone ordering a wedge of lettuce. They clink their glasses together and toast “to breakfast”. That’s creative. Gene goes on to say that they usually don’t get together as a full group of 8. Meanwhile, ALL they’ve been doing is getting together as a fucking group of 8. I need a beer. Gene steals my thunder by saying, essentially, “I thought something was going to happen, but it didn’t. Nothing happened.” That’s the God Damn truth. He’s referring to breakfast, my vision is a bit wider. And that’s all for breakfast.
Everyone is on edge coming back from breakfast, and Ashley is already inside. They’ve got a a game show set up in the house, and she instructs the guys to sit at their assigned seats. The host comes out and tells them the plot of the game. It’s basically “The Newlywed Game”, or, for those of you born later than I, “probably not worth watching”. Pat says to us that he and Finkel have a real good chance of winning, since they’re good roommates. And then he rolls his eyes for some unknown and probably non-existent reason. The host does his patter with the guys, and when he gets around to Tony, Tony either burps or growls at him. These people are really weird. So anyway, to explain the dumb game – in the first round, at least, half the guys have to leave, and the other half have to answer silly (and possibly wacky) questions about them. Then, I’m guessing here, the guys who left will then come back and try to match the silly (and possibly wacky) answers that their roomies gave. Oh, and Ashley looks pretty hot. Hacksaw says that he and Roddy have become good friends, but have only recently gotten to know each other, but everyone else has been friends for years, so he and Roddy are at a disadvantage. First question to Hillbilly is “What do you think Jimmy (Hart) would say is his favorite thing to eat?” Heh, the editing team put in a fake game show laugh track, which increased my enjoyment of this immensely. Hillbilly’s answer is “Beans and potatoes”, which I don’t think is a euphemism. Same question for Hacksaw, who answers “Pot Roast”. Gene says that Tony likes “Chitlins”, and Fink says Pat likes “Toast”. Oh, for fuck’s sake. Pot Roast is the only slightly acceptable answer on there, and it’s just barely fucking acceptable. Whose favorite food is toast? Next question is, “What is your roommate’s most annoying habit?” Fink and Hacksaw say that the other guys will say “Snoring”, HBJ says “Too much energy”, and Gene also says, “Snoring, I think he might fart through his nose.” The laugh track laughs, but I didn’t, because. Next question is “Ugly ugly ugly. That’s all I think of when I see my roommate’s ____.” Hacksaw was going to say testicles or butthole, but he goes with “scars”. Gene confusingly answers “talk”. Finkel says “messed up hair”, and Hillbilly says, “scratches that he got on his right legs.” Or maybe he said “white legs”. I really don’t know. The other half come back in. Pat knows what Finkel hates about him, Jimmy says his alarm clock (wrong), Roddy and Hacksaw really do act like newlyweds, and they get it right. Tony’s answer is snoring, and got it right. This is so stupid. Can I not recap this? Well, HBJ and Jimmy got the food thing right, as did Hacksaw and Roddy, who everyone thinks are cheating now. Tony and Gene got it right too, and Pat fucks it up and RUINS IT. Actually, he just got the question wrong. Roddy gets the “ugly ugly ugly” question wrong, and taps Hacksaw on the arm and says, “Sorry, honey”, which did not trigger the laugh track, although I did giggle a little. Tony Atlas chews tobacco, and thusly got his answer wrong. Pat thinks the answer is his ass, which he probably thinks is the answer to every question he’s ever been asked in any situation, but sadly, is wrong. The two Jims get their answer right, and I’m seriously done caring about this.
Ugh, I just realized there’s going to be a round two, and presumably, a round three, of this death. This is kind of the same feeling you get when you’re watching one of those Holiday themed Raws or SmackDowns, and they do that inevitable terrible “comedy” bits, where someone eats too much food, or people throw food, or whatever. It’s awful and way too long. You guys get how this works, right? I don’t have to recap all the questions and answers, right? Tell you what, I’ll watch it, and if anything funny or interesting or surprising happens, I’ll make sure I take note. Deal?
So, that’s the end of the game, and…ok, fine. One of the questions is asking the guys what their roomies wear to bed, the next is whether they need a chef, assistant, or trainer, and the third is, “what would your roomie do with a thousand dollars?”. Thankfully, the editing team zips right through this. The fourth question is, “What would your roommate say they couldn’t live without?” The answers are uninteresting, and the other half of the guys come back in. Ooh, and the host says this is the deciding round, where the winning couple will win the “Mystery Prize”. Hacksaw admits to sleeping naked, usually, and it’s gross. Everyone accuses Jimmy of cheating, and who cares. Roddy whispers his answer to Hacksaw, thereby ACTUALLY cheating, and I still don’t ACTUALLY care. Roddy cheats again, and this part is worth the price of admission. It was the “name the one thing you can’t live without” thing, and Roddy whispers to Hacksaw that he answered “Wife…wife”. Hacksaw, being a fucking block of wood, says, “Life”. Which, you know, is technically correct. You can’t live without life. And they got it wrong. Pat thinks it’s as funny as I do, but sadly, no laugh track to confirm it. So, the Jims win, and Roddy admits to his cheating, and it’s pretty funny. The Jims win an afternoon of private tennis lessons at the Legends’ House. What a shit prize.
The next day, it’s Tennis Time! The tennis chickies are probably 40’s ish, and pretty hot in a sun damaged, 40’s ish kind of way. Gene calls them “the most beautiful women he’s ever seen” or something, and no. But not bad. Anyway, the guys suck at tennis, while Gene makes perverted “funny” comments on the side. Gene asks Fink if the ladies qualify as “cougars”. Not to you, they don’t, Gene. And that’s all for tennis.
They sit around for dinner, and Roddy tells the guys he tells them he has to go sign autographs in Atlanta for a day or two, and Hacksaw is scared to be alone. That’s literally that entire segment. Hacksaw, the next day, tells us how much he misses Roddy. “I think he’s coming back…not tonight, darn it.” He really delivers this like a 5 year old, and it’s really weird. The phone rings, and Hacksaw is hoping beyond hope that it’s Roddy on the phone, but it’s a wrong number. He looks truly sad, or as truly sad as he can muster after being told by the producers to “act sad and pathetic while Roddy’s gone”. Hacksaw then goes up to Pat and asks if he heard the phone ring. He figured Roddy would call him, and Pat, hilariously, says, “Jesus, are you fucking falling in love with him?” Hacksaw then calls and leaves his umpteenth message on Roddy’s voicemail, as he swings and kicks his feet like a little girl calling her crush. This is really, really weird. Hacksaw points out his position on a globe, and Roddy’s position on the globe, and how if they both look at the sky at night, they could both be wishing on the same star. He then yells at the globe to call him. The phone rings, and Hacksaw BOUNDS toward it, but it’s another wrong number. He smashes the phone in frustration.
It’s morning, and everyone is waiting for Ashley to come in, but it’s SHAWN MICHAELS. We get some clips about how great he is and was, and he busts in with a fishing pole. Everyone is happy to see him, and happy to go fishing. Tony both over and undersells it by saying, “Going fishing with Shawn Michaels is going to be one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had…since I’ve been here.” Well ok. Gene makes a gay joke about himself and fishing, but also about Pat, and it’s all very confusing. Shawn Michaels says for the 385th time that they’re going to go fishing, and have fun. Got it, thank you. Anyway, they get on the boat at some lake, and Pat doesn’t wanna bait the hook. I always thought he was a master baiter – GET IT!? Because…eh. Gene invites Shawn to live with them, and Shawn declines, only moderately politely. Tony, meanwhile, is talking to the fish, because he’s a dummy. He then talks to Shawn about the “Chitlins Incident”, and Shawn visibly does not give a fuck. No one is catching shit, until Howard finally hooks a branch of some kind. Pat catches the first fish, then Duggan and Hillbilly both grab one. Shawn says, “Sometimes people are under the impression that when you go fishing, something’s gotta happen for it to be a success.” I swear, they are just doling out the meta references to this fucking show today.
Back at the house, the guys are gonna clean and cook the fish that they caught. Which, unless they edited out the parts where they caught fish that were bigger than 8 inches, these ain’t them. I am SHOCKED. I thought this was REALITY. Shawn says that if you’ve been in the WWE for any amount of time, you know how to survive. He clearly has not been watching this show. This group can’t even order delivery without going into the fetal position and asking for help. Jimmy is talking and annoying everyone, especially Gene, who is cutting and cleaning the fish. Now, I know again that this is completely contrived – but Jimmy really is fucking annoying. Gene agrees, as he tells Jimmy to get the fuck out of the kitchen. Shawn is mildly amused by the whole thing. Heh, and then Jimmy is making his dumb potato in the oven, and his dumb sunglasses fall off into the oven. The guys sit around eating, and talking about the business and how they deal with getting away and how the industry has changed, and of fucking course, the show completely glosses over it. Well, you wouldn’t want to have to edit out the stupid Newlywed Game show. Shawn leaves. This was awful.
This week, on Legends’ House, a bunch of grown men dress up in silly costumes and pretend to fight each other. Hmm…
Previously, on Legends’ House, nothing. Nothing happened last week. Zero things. Hopefully this LARPing will be more entertaining. Scratch that, it will CERTAINLY be more entertaining. Or at least AS entertaining. It cannot, by the rules of physics and math and love and religion, be less entertaining.
The sun rises on a lovely, cloudless morning in Rancho Mirage. The sun is a golden sphere, providing light and, eventually, sustenance, to all who bask in her majesty. There is a cool breeze in the air, which belies the hotness of this mess of dogshit that I’m about to suffer through. And we’re exactly back where we were last week, as the guys are complaining about the pigs’ feet being smelly. Gene tells us, again, that everything is stinky. We’re watching the guys clean out the refrigerator, and they don’t seem to know what simple foods or shapes are. Jimmy feels Tony starting to flip out, and mentions that they have to walk on eggshells around him. Jimmy sits down with a pile of shit in front of him, as Tony tells us that he’s an extremist – he’s either extremely horrible or extremely nice. That seems about right. He then adds, “I’m a screwed up guy.” That seems about right. Jimmy finally puts the pile of shit in front of him into the trash bag slightly to the left of him, and the guys mention that the food, a-mother fucking-gain, does not smell great. Jimmy offers Gene some of the nasty crap in the bag, and Gene, in cute little shorty shorts, tells Jimmy to “Get the fuck outta here.” Years from now, scholars will still be talking about “that one episode of Legends’ House where they cleaned the refrigerator.” It was that good.
<I’m going to now say, this review is going to get a little bit on the dirty side. If you have sensitive eyes, or just don’t want to hear about, um, various sexual things, you should probably just call it a day and not read the rest of this. I’m not joking. I’m not intentionally being overly dirty, but IT’S MY DUTY to share my thoughts on this episode, as unfiltered as I can make them>
Time elapses, and three fucking humongous dorks approach the house. Tony says, hilariously, “Oh no!” (and you DO have to hear how he says it to appreciate it – it was very nearly terror in his voice). One is dressed as possibly Gandalf with black hair (I don’t know), one is possibly a guy from 300, and third is just a run of the mill dork/nerd. Fink says, “You don’t look like Ashley”, which makes Tony absolutely HOWL with laughter. Another genuinely funny moment, as Tony is just fucking flying all over the couch laughing, and leans over to Hacksaw and brushes his shoulder in a “did you hear THAT?” type move, and Hacksaw just sort of opens his mouth and grunts. He couldn’t even muster up the energy to fake chuckle or even smile. It was amazing. Finkel is intrigued by the nerd guys, as they go into their spiel about how they’re seeking the “8 Legends of the WWE”. Piper says, “Keep going straight, and take a right.” Heh. They go on to tell the guys they’ve been chosen to play the heroes in a live action role play, or LARP. Pat kills me by repeating, “Larp?” Ok, this ONE time, guys, I will accept the “this is out of my comfort zone” or “this is weird” stuff. And full disclosure, I am a video game fan – not necessarily RPGs, but I suppose I’m at least on the periphery of nerdiness that these three inhabit. I’m saying I shouldn’t look down on these guys, because I fly imaginary spaceships and throw imaginary footballs and shit on my TV pretty regularly. That said, sight unseen, I’m going to go ahead and say this (LARPing) is super duper dorky, as opposed to my regular duper dorkiness. “Princess Ashley” has been kidnapped and taken to another realm, the 300-ish guy says, and I can’t even imagine the amount of semen stains that actually talking to a human female must have caused these poor guys. Oh for God’s sake, the guy pulls out her shoe, and says “This is all that was left”. That poor, now crusty, shoe. Tony flips out as I’m typing that, and grabs the shoe and sniffs it and makes a googly eyed, tongue sticking out, foot fetishy, disgusting, I quit watching this show now please face. Tony then goes on to admit that he’s a foot freak, and then lists every type of footwear he can think of. No further comments on this. Hacksaw says that Tony needs to go back in his room for a little while. Ok, one further comment. Ew.
And now, the guys are going to be “tested” to see if they’re “ready”, and Roddy does his standard “Aw geez” thing. I’m kinda with ya on this one, Roddy. But come on. I’m being a little unfair. These guys are dorks, but it’s probably harmless and possibly fun. I wouldn’t do it as a weekend activity, but if I were on a reality show where this was the test of the week, I’d go for it. Hillbilly says some stuff. He’s wearing a blouse. Tony then jokes about how he’s going to masturbate into the shoe. No, really. Not in so many words, but yeah. Jimmy says, “I think we should leave her tied up.” There’s a table outside with a bunch of “weapons” on it, and the guys all get to choose one. Apparently all the weapons have a bunch of magical spells attached to them. Huh. So, Jimmy’s hammer has the power of fear, and if he holds it up and says “fear”, the enemies have to split and make way for 10 seconds or something like that. I didn’t know there were rules or anything. Roddy wants a dildo. No, really, he said that. One of the nerds offers Hacksaw “The 2×4 of King Doogan”, and Hacksaw corrects his pronunciation. Then it’s the “Spear of Mean Gene”, which looks like a microphone. Gene’s dumb spear makes him a wizard, and he can heal people. Tony gets a bow and arrow, Fink gets some baseball bat thing, Pat gets an axe, and Roddy gets some kind of hot rod engine sword thing. His has instant kills. 300 nerd now leads the practice and shows them how to pull their punches or strikes or whatever, so they don’t actually hurt each other. So I guess they actually hit people. Also, do not hit anyone in the balls. Those are the rules. Hillbilly and the editors make the point that I made earlier, how this is pretty similar to pro wrestling. And we’re off to save Ashley.
The guys walk into a costume shop to get their probably dumb costumes. Gene again explains to us what LARPing is, which, I mean, come on. The guys all get to choose their own outfits, guaranteeing they will be extra stupid. They all make the dumbest jokes ever while trying on costumes. Hacksaw tries on some kind of furry viking suit and bunny ears, which is surprisingly awesome, as he hops at Roddy, who loves it. I guess he opted out of the bunny ears, because now he has a viking helmet, which is far less awesome, and I should have expected that. Roddy wants a kilt, of course. Tony has some kind of gladiator thing, Finkel is a jester or poet, and Pat is a pimp. Jimmy is dressed as Elvis, and Roddy is making very strange sounds while getting dressed.
Now the guys are painting their faces – Roddy loves it. He’s got a Braveheart thing going on. Tony says something about going back in the time where “mens were mens, and womens were glad of it, and we’re going into ‘conbat'”. And then he growls. Ok, fine. It’s cute that all the guys are cool with this, as they should be. And now, also cute, the editing team put together a little intro with each of the guys in their roles with fire and shit behind them. They’re now in some lot, and the nerd informs them they all will now have to be in character. Roddy is leading the guys and makes a silly speech to rile up his troops. Hacksaw tries to emulate the manner of speaking, but just sounds kinda dumb, but again, good for him for trying and seemingly having fun. Just then, some nerd leads a half-dressed Princess Ashley, hands tied together, out to the guys. Hmm, I wonder what Tony did with that shoe. The “Warlock” who has Ashley calls the guys a bunch of pussies (in LARP speak), and Tony approaches him, trying his darndest to speak in that mannered accent and renaissance-y weirdness, but not quite pulling it off. He walks up the hill toward where Ashley and the Warlock are, and I just realized I’m recapping a LARPing session. Anyway, his army presents itself, and it’s like 30 dudes (including, shockingly, at least one girl). Gene says – everyone together now…”Holy Balls”. Jimmy runs away, and Roddy tries to call a time out. Heh. Tony then says, in his weird, trying but not pulling it off accent, “When upon the hill, came a massive army! And I thought to myself, ‘you in the hood now, brotha, let’s rock'”. Aw, well done, Tony. That was funny and very well-timed. And now the army attacks and it’s just chaos. A bunch of guys swinging and throwing stuff. Jimmy is sitting down behind everyone. Hacksaw DID bring the bunny ears, which he uses to distract everyone. Jimmy runs around and screams “Fear”, but doesn’t look like it’s really effective. Ooh, actually, Jimmy cut his leg open (scratched), and they show a flashback of Matilda attacking Jimmy’s leg in the ring, which, awwww. This is all intercut with stupid closeups and slow motion of the guys pretending to fight – well, double pretending, they were clearly shot separately from the, uh, LARP. So, this is still going on, and the novelty has worn off for me. The guys end up “winning”, as the lines between “winner” and “loser” have never been more blurred. Roddy makes the absolutely brilliant point, “He (one of the nerds) told me that they sometimes get two thousand people for these things. Who keeps track of “fireballs” then?” Exactly, Roddy. That’s why I’m going to stick with videogames. The computer does all the work, there’s more beer, and far fewer neckbeards.
Back at the house that night, the guys are sitting around talking shit about Jimmy. Jimmy walks up and explains himself and his actions during the LARP. Tony is inside cooking some food as the guys say “Sunday Dinner” 43425 times in 4 seconds. Tony’s making green beans, mashed potatoes, and, some kind of spaghetti sauce covered concoction which isn’t fully explored at this time. Howard makes the guys Margaritas for his part, and Gene calls them dog shit. That’s kinda harsh. Ok, I guess Tony made meatloaf? With marinara sauce? He really IS an artist. The guys sit around and pray before they eat. I don’t see any vitamins, they must have cut out that part. Roddy is worried that there is penis in the meatloaf, as Jimmy refuses to eat, but is having crackers and cheese and olives. All the guys are thankful for Tony cooking for them. Pat feels as if they are getting closer, and he’s just so proud that they can all sit around and eat dinner together. Tony says that the guys thanking him is a memory he will keep for the rest of his life. Me too, Tony. Me too.
Next morning, Hillbilly screams at a cloud. Then he spins around and does some yoga in socks, sandals, and pajama pants. He says AGAIN that he’s not here for a long time, he’s here for a good time. He wants everyone to get along. Ashley shows up, and Jimmy says they never know what she’s going to bring them. Jimmy hugs her, and the guys all sit down. She tells them they have a special treat in store. They get a day of pampering at a spa. Massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and Hillbilly and the guys are “so happy, they’re elated”. Gene wants a girl to give him a massage. Someone jokes with Tony about pedicures, and he goes out of his way to mention how NOT gay he is. I seem to remember him trying to have anal sex with Pat earlier this season, but I’ve been trying to drink that memory away, so I could be wrong. Ew, Gene wants a full, “I repeat, FULL”, body massage. This episode is disgusting. Hacksaw thinks they’re being fooled, and something bad is going to happen. Well, something bad IS going to happen to the poor masseuse that has to touch Mean Gene’s mean genes.
Looks like it really is a spa, and everyone is excited to get massages and stuff. Gene and Jimmy are getting a pedicure first, and I’m very uncomfortable watching this. As much shit as I talk, I would NOT do that. Don’t touch my feet. I just can’t deal with it. Gene, of course, is being more than a little bit creepy about it. He was so creepy, in fact, that he embarrassed JIMMY. Now on the massage table, Gene says, “I’ve got a …stirring in the loins, and I’m not that easily excitable.” Ok dude, that’s fucking far enough. These poor women have to touch your disgusting nearly naked body, and you’re talking about your struggling boner? I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to do that at a spa. “Do you ever have clientele here that would like to reciprocate?” Oh God, man. This poor, poor girl. The guys are all saying how they’re not used to getting pampered like this. Hacksaw and Tony are paired up, and Tony talks to Hacksaw, who doesn’t say anything back. Tony is very sore, and happy to get a massage. He’s unhappy that this isn’t the massage station, it’s the pedicure station. Roddy gets his face steamed and nothing is really happening again. Tony finally, finally, gets his massage. Say what you will about Tony, but he’s at least not…oh, he’s got a boner too. Awesome. Then they get tea.
This week, on Legends’ House – the guys go to an art gala and more wacky hijinks surrounding cooking and eating!
Previously on… FLOCKO FLAMINGO, Chippendale’s, manscaping, and Hacksaw spitting and fighting and just generally going crazy.
Morning. Tony tells Gene that when he gets worried he draws, then his worries go away. Gene agrees that it’s good therapy. You know, if Tony hadn’t been a wrestler, he could have also not been an artist. But whatever, good for him for trying to do something creative. Hacksaw, in the hot tub, tells us that Tony is a very good drawer and he draws when he’s angry, so he’s been drawing the entire time he’s been here. I’m angry, because I just had to type “Hacksaw, in the hot tub”. Cut to Gene and Tony in the gym, where Gene is complaining that his back is a little sore. Pat is in the background on the treadmill doing about 1. Gene says he trains with Tony because he’s a “registered, certified, personal, physical fitness trainer.” Jesus Christ, Gene. Spit it out. Gene, speaking of himself, says he has the body of a God. He was obviously being sarcastic, and good for him again for getting some kind of exercise because he’s so old, but he really does look like a meatball. Not like, some slang term for “jerk”, or anything. The actual food, “meatball”. They show Gene working out, and it’s so incredibly slow and boring.
Next up, Roddy is juicing! No mishaps with appliances this week, as apparently he was able to figure this one out. They show Roddy and Tony hugging as Tony thanks him for being nice to him when they got back from Vegas. Roddy is touched by the gesture. Tony says he’s going to try his best to get along with Hacksaw. A bit later, I guess, Tony has an idea for Hillbilly Jim. Oh God. Hillbilly and Tony get in a golf cart and head for parts unknown. I guess the show is building tension by not telling us what Tony’s exciting idea is. Unless that was it. So, I guess they took the fucking golf cart all the way to a “Spanish Butcher Shop”, and Hillbilly goes on about how they got some down home, Southern Country Boy food. I guess there is a “South” in Spain, too, now that I think about it, so I guess he may not be technically wrong. Although, I would guess this is a Mexican butcher shop, but Hillbilly was SO close. It’s foreign, let’s just leave it at that. Hillbilly and Tony bond over both being country boys. They look at food. Forever. They’re getting a bunch of stereotypically country food, and it’s all kind of gross. Tony is so excited to show off how wacky he is, that he eats a pig’s foot at the checkout counter.
Jimmy, being a picky eater, as established earlier in the show, hates everything they got. They got bull penis, too! It’s hilarious, how they’re going to eat food and Jimmy won’t. And when the fuck ever was bull penis a classically Southern meal? Hacksaw is also not going to eat. Gene complains about the food being stinky. Put Fink in the “we’re not eating this stupid bullshit” club. Tony’s washing the literal shit out of the (I’m guessing) pig rectum that he’s preparing. I swear guys, I’m sorry. This is just so uninteresting. I can’t do anything with this. Gene says he’s getting sick to his stomach over all the nasty shit sitting around. Me too, Gene. And now we’re all complaining about the smell, except for Hillbilly, who pretends that it’s not disgusting because HE HAS TO PLAY HIS PART. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it yet, but Gene thinks the food is gross. Oh, and also, it smells. The guys all think it smells bad. Gene doesn’t like it. Oh, and earlier, Gene threw some fucking, foul, half-eaten pig’s foot that Tony left on the table into the yard and now Tony thinks someone ate it! Gene plays along and said Howard ate it. It’s possible that Howard ran into the yard and snatched up the fucking thing and ate it (because he’s pretty fat), but I think Gene is trying to pull a fast one here! Tony is absolutely flabbergasted. Roddy thinks the food is gross, but he does say “dick” quite a few times, so that’s something.
They’re still talking about bull penis. But it was a joke! It’s actually just sausage! They were just messing with Jimmy. Ok, but whatever. You’re still eating fucking colon, which is probably not really that much better. I’m not sure if there ever was an actual bull penis, or it they also got sausage, and I’m tired of thinking about it. Tony eats some nasty grey chitlins, but, a-fucking-gain, the guys think the food is gross. Tony is proud of his cooking, does his donkey laugh, and that’s the end.
Next day, Ashley is in a little tiny bikini, as the Gods of terrible reality shows must’ve heard my silent prayers. She’s yelling for the guys to meet her out by the pool. Gene and Howard drool all over themselves (I’m not blaming them), as we show different shots of Ashley in a bikini, and coming out of the water “Fast Times” style. Ashley lies to the guys and tells them they all look fantastic. She tells the guys that they all have to take care of “themselfs” no matter what their age, and Gene, for some reason adds “Holy Balls”. I’m sure it was edited in, but I’m not sure why. She’s invited some water aerobics chick to help the guys get in shape. I should also point out that everyone except Hacksaw is wearing swim trunks. Hacksaw is wearing what I think are his old wrestling speedos. The aerobics chick has some sort of weird German (maybe a Southern Spanish?) accent, and tells everyone to get in the water. The first exercise is walking from one side of the pool to the other. And we have to watch it. Gene talks about how much he loves it. Jimmy thought it was good, but couldn’t understand the instructor. The bitch starts to get pissed because all the guys suck at water aerobics and just generally existing. She’s bossing the guys around in a far too familiar way, and I kind of hate her. Now they’re moving from side to side, as Jimmy doesn’t want his hair to get messed up. Hacksaw blows into a water noodle and yells “There she blows!” because he’s a moron, and the guys do a conga line. Hillbilly is happy to see Ashley in a bikini, then summarizes the whole experience with a stupid country-fied saying and some positivity because that’s what he does on this show.
Oh no. Now they’re going to play guitar and sing. Hillbilly is playing guitar and Jimmy is singing, and it’s actually not awful. They’re writing lyrics and it’s kind of neat. They’re writing a song about the house, and Hillbilly seems to have a bit of aptitude for this. I guess we’re done with that, because either later that day or the next day, Ashley is back. Pat hilariously zips up his pants (appeared to me to be unscripted), as he says hello to her. Gene creepily flirts with her, and I know he’s playing it up because he’s supposed to, but it’s still pretty weird to see. Some funny editing there where they add in some pauses and awkwardness to make it seem even more weird than it was. Ashley tells them they are going to be opening the Legends’ House art gallery, whatever that means. Luckily, she explains that they are going to have 8 of their photos (ones of them in the ring, stuff like that) that are already in the house auctioned off for charity, BUT, they also have to come up with four additional pieces (of shit) to also sell. The proceeds will go to “charity”. A non-specific charity. Tony gets weird about something and refuses to help the guys. Sigh, artists. Hacksaw asks if they can use Ashley as a model, and someone off camera yells “NUDE!”. It was me. I’m technically off-camera. Ok, it wasn’t me. But God, are they seriously, like, twelve years old? None of them banged any hot wrestling groupie whores? I guess the frequency has probably peetered out since they’ve gotten older, but, I dunno. The whole thing is, again, weird.
Roddy does his, “geez, I guess I have to do this, but I’m so out of my comfort zone” bullshit that he’s done for EVERY SINGLE THING they’ve done so far, because that’s what he does on this show. Roddy, they’re not asking you to jump out of a plane, or perform surgery, or dance around in your underwear in front of a female audience or anything. You’ve had to bowl, and walk in a pool, and now, draw. Let’s take it down a notch, pal. Hacksaw talks about how he’s not artsy, but he knows what he likes. He’s really not the sharpest pencil, huh? Pat and Tony are talking, and Pat says they just want his advice. Tony again says how art is his relaxation, and he thinks the tension in the house might ruin his love for art if he somehow ties the two together. It’s adorable that Tony thinks his brain is capable of concepts like that, but I guess I see what he means. But then again, shut up. Hacksaw is thinking of doing some Jackson Pollock type shit where he dips his 2×4 in paint and sprays it around on the canvas. Gene wants to paint a liquor store. Or nature. Jimmy wants to draw a tree. Tony is complaining that this isn’t art. Jimmy asks Tony to paint a picture of them, and Tony flips the fuck out and runs away. Hacksaw complains about how Tony is being a primadonna, and Jimmy keeps yelling at Tony. Tony threatens to punch Jimmy in the nose for his troubles. Pat and Howard are at a table, and Pat has the worst drawing ever of “waves, and sailboats” sketched out on a legal pad. It’s actually really funny, how awful it is. Tony glowers in the background for a second, then goes in the house to get some postcards or photos to inspire the guys. He says he was just mad because they were “telling” him and not “asking” him. Which, they kinda were not, but ok. Finkel is happy that Tony’s back in, and calls him one of the most accomplished artists in their fraternity. I think he’s painting a clown. Someone gets the bright idea(r) of doing a bunch of handprints and signing their names under each one. Jimmy claims that all these great idears are his doing. Pat says they are a bunch of talented guys, but it’ll just take time. Tony says the handprint idea is great…for kindergarteners. Ha! But they do it anyway.
Tony apparently sketched out a hummingbird, and Pat is painting it. Tony is blown away by how good it is. It’s actually not bad. It’s not good, but it’s not bad. Painting is deceptively difficult, and Pat seems to be doing a pretty OK job so far. I’m sure it’ll end up all fucked up. Gene asks if it’s Koko B. Ware’s bird, and I think about how awesome it would be if he actually did come out with a hummingbird on his arm. And it turns out Tony WAS drawing a clown, because he likes to draw clowns. Happy clowns, sad clowns, surprised clowns, clown burger, clown gumbo. Pat says, “Tony Atlas is a great painter, he can do a lot of…great paintings.” Jesus Christ. They finish the dumb handprint thing, and their second idea is to just smear a bunch of shit on a canvas. Tony explains to the guys that what they’re doing is abstract art, and they should let their feelings come out onto the canvas. My feelings are that it’s a shitty and stupid painting. Pat talks way too much about how Jimmy Hart talks way too much, because we have to re-establish how annoying Jimmy is every five minutes. Finkel’s idea was to write their names in a crossword style painting, and it’s also dumb. Gene agrees with me. Pat is pissed that Gene isn’t helping, and Gene says that all Pat has done was that “cockamamie” bird. Which, I laughed, because they showed the finished hummingbird painting and it’s just horrendous. It even has a little flower at the bottom. Gene says “balls” again as he and Pat continue their little play fight. They decide on some random squiggle one, the stupid hands one, the smeary turd one, and Tony’s sad clown. Hillbilly praises how amazing Tony’s clown is, and Jimmy says “If you really wanna be real about it, I think, on a scale of one to ten, the clown painting is about a three.” Ha! It’s far better than the other bullshit they have, but he’s probably right. I will say, it’s definitely better than I can do and not actively horrible. Good enough job, Tony.
That night, they show up at the gallery, and Mean Gene says “Holy Balls”. I swear to God, show. Hillbilly talks about how proud he is that all the terrible artwork is hanging on the walls, and Gene says he sees a big crowd forming outside. Cut to – no one outside. Cute. Jimmy grabs his megaphone and starts shouting at nobody that there are WWE Legends inside. Jimmy then heads down the street and tries to rustle up a crowd to come over. Finally, some people start coming in. Hacksaw gets excited and yells, “There’s women!” Ugh. Some lady lies to Hacksaw that the art is good, but then can’t keep a straight face. There’s a silent auction for these paintings, which Gene refers to as “a silent Oxen”. And then, double fucking ugh, some self-proclaimed “art connoisseur” interprets the stupid squiggle painting as a bull fight to Tony. Ashley shows up and also thinks the art is awful. “I’m really proud of them.” …for not eating the paint. She is, however, very impressed with Tony’s clown painting. Tony is sad or something because it’s not his best work, and aw. Anyway, now the poor people have to go home with these paintings and shit, and they had to PAY for them. Remind me to never complain about anything ever again. The end.
This week on Legends’ House – HARDCORE OLD MAN NUDITY.
Ok, probably not.
Previously on, they show the enthralling recap of the guys making a commercial, and then getting pulled over by the police. I’m not sure if I’ve addressed it yet, but the theme song for Legends’ House sounds an awful lot like “Blurred Lines”. And now that I think about it, I could watch that video 9 or 10 times in roughly the same amount of time it’ll take me to watch this episode. That would definitely be a better use of my time, but I’m doing this. Because I’m stupid.
I guess we’re flashing back a little, as Pat mumbles “Riding in this van fucking sucks, I know that.” Again, it’s not like it’s a complete piece of shit. It’s just a van. Get over it. He continues, “I can’t wait to get there and take a good shit.” I love that THAT is what the most exciting part of Vegas is to Pat Patterson. It’s a great place to poop. Hillbilly Jim explains that the guys are not happy to be riding in the van. Jimmy Hart also helpfully tells us that he feels horrible about riding in the van, because he feels their team should have won the last stupid contest and should be in the limo. I mean, he has a point. That commercial that the “winners” made was fucking horrific. Jimmy says, “Let’s face it, we’re losers.” I love shoot comments that…anyway. Hillbilly Jim tells us that the guys, again, are not happy to be in the van, but essentially they need to get the fuck over it because they’re going to Vegas which should be fun. Exactly, Hillbilly. You’re going to Vegas with a bunch of (presumably) your friends. I’ve squashed into a 1979 Honda Prelude to get to a terrible High School party with a bunch of my smelly buddies and complained less than this bunch of bitches. In fairness, I’m pretty sure this was a talking point drummed up by the producers of this show. “Make sure you complain a lot about the van. I mean, like, a lot. Like, seriously, don’t fucking stop. Repeat yourself if you have to. That should be really good television.” It’s not, producers.
Meanwhile, in the Limo, the guys are drinking and screaming “Flocko Flamingo” as the graphic at the bottom says “Winning Team” and Tony Atlas is laughing his horrible laugh. I’m not 100% sure I’d rather be in the limo. I don’t even think I want to go to Vegas anymore. And UH OH! The police are pulling over the limo, and Jimmy Hart talks shit about it being payback. The guys in the van are so very happy about this. Gene theorizes that it was because there was a plastic flamingo hanging out of the window, which I’m pretty sure actually does mean “plastic flamingo” and not “penis”. Roddy tells us about limousine etiquette, and how the person sitting on the right in the back is considered in “the King seat”, and it typically goes to the person with the most respect. Well, Finkel is the one sitting there, and they’re trying to get him to talk to the police officer to “find out if they’re safe”. Roddy goes on to imply that it was disrespectful for Howard to take that seat, because he’s never wrestled and basically doesn’t deserve it. I’m sure he’s joking, or being silly, or exaggerating, but fuck you, Roddy. Who gives a shit? Roddy talks about the responsibility of being in that seat, and how Fink needs to step up and talk to the policeman. Really? If this is at all real, which it probably isn’t, shouldn’t you just sit there and shut the fuck up and NOT interrupt the guy with the gun who is talking to the driver of your car with a stupid, “Hi officer. Just wanted to check in since I’m in the king’s seat, and everything kinda needs to go through me first, mmmkay?” Roddy makes another comment about how Howard should streak, and now I’m pretty sure he’s just fucking around, so I sort of take back my “fuck you, Roddy”. But I’m keeping it for later. I have a feeling it’ll come in handy. Anyway, they got a ticket. Wow. And then Tony Atlas reveals that HE was the one who TOLD Finkel to sit there! He didn’t want to sit next to Hacksaw or Piper! What a twist!
Back in the van of humiliation, Pat won’t shut the fuck up about how they’re staying a cheap hotel outside of Vegas. Mean Gene talks about how when he gets there, he’s going to “shave, brush (his) teeth, and sandpaper (his) balls”, because it’s funny to hear Mean Gene say balls at least 458 times each episode. Also, ow. Jimmy comments that that means they won’t eat until 1 in the morning if he has to do all that, because I guess Gene has really long balls or something. Time passes (but not for me), and they play a stupid fart sound effect as we go back to the Limo guys, and Hacksaw has his shirt covering his nose. Tony Atlas tells us that it was him farting every five minutes, and that they were really disgusting. Well, of course they were. Look at you. You look like a farter. He says something about his rectum controlling him, but I don’t know what the fuck he’s talking about. I’m just sad because this is the first time in my life I haven’t found farts funny. This show has broken me. Tony says that the farts actually helped out the guys, because all of a sudden, the driver of the limo “put the paddle to the matter”, which I’m definitely going to start saying now.
So now they’ve arrived at the Palms, which is both not shitty, and not 25 miles outside of Vegas. Maybe Pat said “I bet we’re staying in some shithole outside of Vegas”, but there’s no fucking chance I’m going back and watching this again just to be sure. I’ll understand if you want to find your Legends’ House reviews elsewhere now, from somebody with more commitment. But I would also suggest you be very nice around that person, and do not make eye contact or any sudden movements. Hillbilly dressed up for his big night in Vegas – socks, sandals, and pajama pants, and refers to Vegas as “The City that Never Stops”. I googled this phrase, because I’m pretty sure that’s not what Vegas’ slogan is, and sure enough, the first few results refer to Tel Aviv as “The City that Never Stops”. So, see? I do care about the craft. They show the guys checking in to the hotel, and Finkel has one of those stupid flamingos with him because the producers thought it would be a funny visual. It’s not, producers. Roddy talks about how he got arrested a lot in Vegas, and Hillbilly says, “The fun ain’t endin’, it’s just beginnin’.” I wouldn’t even say it’s middling.
Next morning, the guys are brought to a theater type place, and Finkel freaks out because he has a feeling he’s going to have to perform. He kinda used to do that for a living, but whatever. A girl who I think is Ashley comes out to tell the guys what they’re doing there. “My name is Kristen…”…never mind. Anyway, she tells them they’re going to be taught how to dance and shit for the 8 o’clock show, and guess what? It’s the Chippendales! And now a montage of the guys all shocked about this development, but really, most of them essentially performed in their underwear in front of way more people than will probably be at this show. Kristen goes on to tell the guys that there are grooming standards at Chippendales, and they will all have to be “manscaped”, which, ew. Tony says they don’t even know what that is. Tony doesn’t know what a lot of/most things are, but I forgive him for not being up on this. And then a montage of the guys not knowing what manscaping is. Jesus Christ, show. Just say something once, and then move on. I swear to God, they just beat you over the head with the dumbest shit over and over and over. Pat says “This could be a disaster.” Yep. Tony comforts Roddy who seems upset about this whole thing. Like, not actual upset, but “show” upset. This goes on forever, but nothing happens. It’s just Roddy and Tony saying stuff.
Soon after, the guys arrive at a salon to get their grooming. And I swear to God, my Apple TV just rebooted, presumably to save me from what’s coming up. It didn’t even do the thing where it let me continue from where I left off. Anyway, I’m back up to speed, and Gene explains that he doesn’t know what manscaping is. Jimmy volunteers Hillbilly to get waxed first, and the guys say how Jimmy can be annoying. We’ve established both of these things multiple times now. Tony says, “I think the guys will be surprised how nice this is. If it’s women scaping my man, then let the women skate my man, ha ha! Shh, my wife may be listening.” And now we see Hillbilly getting waxed, and I’m sure this is supposed to be like that scene from the 40 Year Old Virgin, but it’s more nothing. Hillbilly is a pretty good sport and not screaming or anything. For some reason, Jimmy Hart is there watching the whole thing, and that’s really it.
Gene and Howard are getting spray tans, and the chick doing the spray tan says she’s going to make them dark. Gene is being a pervert as Howard is the first to get sprayed, and it’s a touch confusing to see whether he’s excited to see Howard in his underwear (which, ew), or if he’s into the spray tan chick. Gene tries to convince Howard to take off his underwear, which I guess answers my question, but raises so many more. They reveal their new tans to the guys, and Hacksaw spit-takes into a trash can. Hillbilly walks out and takes off his shirt, and the guys applaud. Later, Pat and Tony are getting spray tans, and Pat looks like an old lady with his hair net on, as he complains about it being cold. Well, it’s definitely not hot. And then he complains about the spray tan being cold, and then they show us the spray tan being cold. A few more mentions of it being cold, and Tony comments, “That do make your body look nice.” Which, ew. As the girl is getting ready to spray Pat’s legs, she tells Pat to bend over. Tony says, “Bend over Pat, and I’ll be there in a minute.” Tony is probably joking, but he licks his lips in a weird way, and Pat might have a chubby. Now Roddy is getting waxed, and he thought he was getting his pubes trimmed. Roddy does not deal very well with the waxing, and Hacksaw is in there, and tickles Roddy’s belly. This is one of the most awkward things I’ve ever seen, not just that, but this whole episode. Anyway, he gets waxed. Tony is getting a spray tan, which I guess is funny, and Roddy is still getting waxed. Some more hilarity ensues, and now Roddy is getting a spray tan, and then they show Tony, Roddy, and Pat revealing themselves to the other guys, who applaud. And we’re done.
Now the guys are introduced to the choreographer, who explains that he’s gonna teach the guys how to rip their tank tops off. Pat is kind of upset that the guys would dare call the Chippendales “strippers”, because they’re NOT. They’re DANCERS. Ok, Pat, that’s nice. “Johnny” is the expert shirt ripper, and explains to the guys that you have to rip it “down and out”. Oh really? That’s the trick? I thought it would fucking magically fly off of you and then burst into flames. I didn’t know this before just now, but apparently I, too, am an expert shirt ripper. The key is to rip it. Jimmy Hart fucks it up, of course. Now the guys are practicing their entrances, and they’re carrying a bunch of construction equipment and then not. I know I talk a lot of shit about this show, but it really was a kind of funny bit to see the guys learning how to walk on stage and do their little poses.
And then something magical happens. Hacksaw and Tony actually have a bit of a fight. Something about one of them bumping into the other, and then “Shut up”, and “Shut me up”, and “make me”, and “make ME”. Tony turns around and says “It can happen.” Hacksaw, “Well, if it can happen it can happen.” Tony, “I know, but it will, don’t worry.” This is like the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Two master orators here. And then Jesus Christ, Hacksaw gets really weird. He talks about how he’s not scared of Tony, and says “I’ve been in a fight before, and big muscles don’t mean SHIT, understand?” If you didn’t see this, I have to point out that Hacksaw is not talking to or yelling at Tony at this point, he’s yelling at the camera man, or whoever is conducting this interview-y thing. “I’VE BEEN IN A FIGHT BEFORE”, he continues, “AND BIG MUSCLES DON’T MEAN SHIT TO ME!” Which, he just said twice, like, back to back, and then got increasingly more angry with each word. It was insanity. I guess it was like that thing that happens when someone says something shitty to you and you blank out on the spot, but think of the perfect retort on the car ride home. This was Hacksaw’s perfect retort. “I’VE NEVER BEEN THE BIGGEST, I’VE NEVER BEEN THE (smashing a bottle or cup of water) GOD DAMN STRONGEST AND I GOTTA PUT UP WITH THIS BULLSHIT, AND I’VE FUCKING ABOUT HAD IT!” TOUGH GUY, HOOOOO!
Tony explains that this has been brewing for 20 years, and they never did and never will like each other. Come on guys, if being a part of this amazing show can’t bring you together, then I guess truly nothing can. Hacksaw says he’s not looking for a fight, but he’s never backed down before and he’s sure not going to back down from Tony. He says to the cameraman or producer, “You understand me, brother?” Maybe the producer or whatever prodded him or hit a nerve with a question during the interview thing, which is kinda what this actually seems like. They figured, “Hey, let’s fuck with Hacksaw and make him flip out. That would be great television.” Which, producers, it is.
And now, fuck me, after awesome craziness, we’re back to a bunch of guys dancing. The theme is Risky Business. And thankfully, they do intercut it with Tony and Hacksaw still raging about whatever weird thing is going on between the two of them. Hacksaw talks about how if they (fought), nobody would come out of it well. All the guys have their little bow ties and weird end of the sleeve cuff things, and the audience is filtering in. Pat is excited. About being in front of a crowd, that is. They get a pep talk before the show, and Roddy talks about what a great challenge this is, and the show starts. The guys finally walk on stage with their construction thingies, and do their little dances and stuff. A sign in the background says, “Hard Men Working”, which, ew. Then they do their Risky Business thing, and the guys go out into the crowd and dance with the poor audience. They didn’t show all that much of the guys dancing or anything, which, I’m not complaining. The whole thing was kind of cute. I mean, not the guys, or anything, but it was funnier than I thought it was going to be. All the guys are happy and celebrate after the show.
Now they’re on their way back to the house, and all the guys are talking about how it was fun, but Howard wants to nip the Hacksaw/Tony thing in the bud, before it escalates. Hacksaw smartly avoids Tony as we have our food scene of the week. Roddy says he can feel the tension between the two guys, as they show Tony and Hacksaw glancing at each other at different times. Roddy says he feels caught in the middle, and would take a bullet for both guys. He says he knows what it’s like to be disliked by everybody, so he understands Tony. He talks to Tony, and says how he hasn’t been himself, and that’s he’s been touchy, and he can completely relate. Roddy says if Tony slept good, he’d be much better off. It was a sweet scene, and Roddy is crying a little, and Tony looks like he’s misting up, too. There are glimpses within this show that are really fascinating and interesting, and it’s usually in these non-contrived situations. Gene threatens at the end that the house is definitely going to blow up.
Dare I say that this was an interesting episode?
The Beer & Coffee Rant for NJPW’s Alive (House Show Tour) Day 1
Live from Okayama Orange Hall in Okayama, Japan –5/5/14
Crazy concept here, and by crazy I mean something that makes complete sense and should have been done long ago. Maybe TNA already does this, but if you think I follow TNA you’re reading the wrong blog. This is a 20 minute video package of an NJPW house show from earlier this week, courtesy of the NJPW YouTube page. First half covers the undercard, second half gives us a pretty good look at what seems to be an awesome main event.
We begin with STAN HANSEN~! I know some people still can’t follow the product because of the language barrier, but this product gets more American by the day. The World Champ, the World Tag Champs, and the World Jr. Tag Champs are all cocky white heels representing Bullet Club at the moment. Point being, we start the show with an English in-ring promo. “Thank you, thank you. Now, let’s get ready to start New Japan Pro Wrestling matches. Let’s start!” Everybody putting their horns in the air with Hansen
was pretty awesome.
Kushida taking on the fiery youngster Sho Tanaka is the kind of athletic, well-received singles match that would make these PPV undercards easier to watch than the 8-man tags with the old guys that they trot out month after month. The next two matches were standard fare, but Kojima chopping the piss out of Captain New Japan didn’t bother me in the least. After a Yuji Nagata segment announcing the location of their September PPV, we get a Suzuki Gun 6-man match. This actually looked more lively than their typical TV matches with Suzuki doing a clever little bit with the referee for laughs. That
old lady in the front row when Jado did the Flair Flop.. Not only did
she love it, she clearly paid to see it. Yano-isms lead to a pin via roll up. The Yano/Suzuki feud in a nutshell, basically.
Then we got Naito & Desperado vs. Gedo & Yoshi-Hashi. Naito looked like one of the 10 best wrestlers walking the Earth, what’s new though? And finally, that Main Event. Representing the squad of Chaos, we have Kazuchika Okada, Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii. You could make a strong case all three belong on the short list of Best in the World; definitely one of the factors contributing to the rise of New Japan. Taking them on is the team of Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma (who is fresh off of one of the best matches of the year against Ishii two nights earlier). It goes without saying but Nakamura’s charisma just jumps off the screen like no other, even on the house show circuit. We actually get almost half of the full match here. It looked tremendous. We get a Nakamura promo to send the folks home happy. He even teases the “YeaOh” before delivering.
We’re not done however, as we get back stage promos from Okada, and then Nakamura, who has words for Daniel Gracie.
This was a pretty good introduction for those trying to figure out why the Japanese-born majority of this roster has captured the attention of so many from North America. It also served as an entertaining recap for fans of the product interested in an otherwise non-televised show. The great thing about these, if they continue to air them, is that the cost of one camera/cameraman can’t be much, and if the crowd sucks or the show doesn’t click that day then you don’t have to post it. All in all, a very cool video and a solid idea that I’d enjoy seeing more of.