Lightning Round Challenge™: For some of the longer tenured rasslers on the WWE roster, what is the one angle that you can associate that them with and go “wow, someone was paid money to come up with this?” For a handful of those listed, I’m sure you could think of a dozen per person, but in this case, just the first one that pops to mind. As always, thanks for the years of entertainment and ripping apart those storylines to begin with. John Cena The Bray Wyatt feud. Made no sense, went nowhere, destroyed Bray as a main event guy. Kane Oh god, so many to choose from. Probably the one where he was fighting the fake version of himself because reasons. The Undertaker Speaking of fighting the fake version of yourself… Big Show Undertaker leaves him in the desert as training. Randy Orton Wasn’t the Hogan storyline pretty stupid? Triple H Katie Vick, boom. Goldust TAFKA Goldust in general. Which then leads to doomsday preacher Dustin Runnells and the return of the original Goldust character. So bad all around. Sting (got to get his name out there for potential Mania 32 rumors!) Black Scorpion, bitches.
Scott….Going thru my VHS tapes purge has inspired me to ask: can you do a “World Class” version of the Lightning Round? If you could give me (your pick) the best (North America) match of the following:
Kerry Von Erich (overall)
He had some hellacious matches with Flair (duh) but my favorite was actually a match with Harley Race of all people, shortly before Kerry won the title. It was on WWE 24/7 on some random themed month and it was GREAT.
Kerry Von Erich (post amputation….after 1986-ish)
Kevin Von Erich
Gotta be Flair.
David Von Erich
Died before I even became a fan.
One of the 80 million six-mans with the Von Erichs.
He had a lot of great ones in All Japan.
Abdullah the Butcher
Yeah OK then.
Brian Adidas (talk about obscure…….)
Flair in the Precious cage match.
(Also, going forward, which email is the best one to use?)
Good afternoon Mr. Keith. When we hear “One of the Greatest matches of all time”, there is a lot of usual suspects. But i’m curious on a couple childhood favorites of mine that I wonder if I ever even seen their greatest match. Indulge me: None of these would be particularly “obscure”, I’d say. Greg Valentine Most of his really great stuff came pre-WWF. The dog collar match with Roddy Piper at Starrcade 83 would probably be the concensus pick, although he had some tremendous tag matches with Beefcake against the British Bulldogs. There’s a really great one on an early SNME. Tito Santana The IC title match with Mr. Perfect on SNME is likely his best major televised match. The cage match where he regained the IC title from Valentine in 85 is also a hell of a deal. Rick Martel He had some really good ones as AWA champion, but nothing I can remember vividly off-hand. Bam Bam Bigelow He had some awesome ones in Japan. A tag match with Vader against the Steiners comes to mind. Big Bossman Probably the Hogan cage match. Demolition I don’t think they ever had a definitive great one. Against the Harts at Summerslam 90 or against the Rockers on SNME were probably their best. Jake Roberts Most of his great ones were in Mid-South, well before he made it to the WWF. Can’t think of a great definitive one off-hand. Best from his WWF run would have to be the Randy Savage match at Tuesday In Texas, but even that was really short. Rick Rude The Masa Chono NWA World title final is actually shockingly great. Sid Vicious Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series 96, and it’s not even close. Andre The Giant Probably something from Japan, although I’m blanking on specifics.
Scott, considering how often the WWE HOF gets discussed on here I thought it only fitting to end the old year/start the new year (delete as appropriate) With a quick lightning round on whether you think the following people who were best known in a non wrestler capacity should/will be inducted into the Hall Of Fame?
NWA/WCW TV (Muta)
WWF/WWE/"World" Tag Team (Bulldogs)
NWA/WCW Tag Team (Doom)
Mantaur (hint: no)
The Smokin' Gunns
Adam Bomb (one of my fave wacky characters)
"Barmy" Bob Backlund
1) Best MITB Match
Dude, I barely even watched the product from 2005-2011, I can hardly even remember who WON most of the matches. I recall the original with Benoit and Jericho being pretty awesome, so we’ll go with that one. 2) Worst MITB Match
Again, I just don’t remember enough of them to distinguish them. I wasn’t a big fan of the four-man one that Cena won, so we’ll go with that one. 3) Best performance in an MITB match Shelton Benjamin in his various attempts.
4) Best spot in an MITB Match
I recall some crazy spectacular ones at WM24. 5) MITB – better as a separate PPV or at WM
Wrestlemania. Really justifies the bloated nature of the match and gives a bunch of guys a good payday and spotlight. 6) Worst MITB winner
Damien Sandow by giant measures of length. If you want to limit it to guys who were supposed to made into big stars off it, then Jack Swagger. 7) Ideal # of competitors
7 seems like a fair number. 8) Best cash-in
Ziggler. Right place, right time. 9) Your prediction for Sunday’s contract match
Ambrose carrying the case around like a crazy man and threatening to fuck up every World title match from now to Wrestlemania would be ingenious but I think Rollins is the most likely. Love your Sporting News articles! Thanks! Look for a MITB wrap-up article on Monday!
Good afternoon Mr. Keith, here is some matchups I’m curious to have ever happened: Steamboat vs. Great Muta (WCW 89 most likely?) Seems likely but I can’t cite a specific match. Ric Flair and/or Sting vs. Jushin Lyger (wcw early 90’s) Never that I know about. Bret Hart vs. Hulk Hogan in WWF Definitely not. Chris Benoit vs. Rey Mysterio in WCW, preferably with a Mask on Had to have happened either in WCW or Japan. Dean Malenko vs. Kurt Angle (WWF Early 2000’s) Can’t see it happening. Vader vs. Randy Savage singles match in WCW You’d think it would have, but I don’t recall it. It would have made sense for Vader to run through Hogan’s wacky little buddy, though. Randy Savage vs. Mr. Perfect singles WWF I don’t think they ever crossed over at a point where their alignments would allow it. Would have been a hell of a match, though. And I know i’ve asked before, and your answer was no on them facing off, so can you also find it difficult to comprehend that the WWE never headlined a PPV with Michaels vs. the Rock sometime between 2002-2004!?! Thank you and have a good day Rock apparently had heat with Michaels dating back to Shawn’s drug-addled days in the 90s when he would treat Rock like shit, so it was always shot down.
Those last two lightning rounds were a little too easy. Try this one. Last great match for… 1) Kevin Nash Shawn Michaels, Good Friends Better Enemies. 2) Scott Hall Can’t think of anything post-Summerslam 95 off hand. 3) Yokozuna His title defense against Randy Savage on RAW in 94. 4) Earthquake I’ll have to get back to you on that one. 5) Jerry Lawler Bret at Summerslam 93. 6) Al Snow As others have noted, I forgot about the Benoit match in ECW. And, just out of mercy, a couple non-shitty workers (but hopefully still more challenging than “legend with an iconic Mania retirement match”) 7) Curt Hennig He had nothing going on in WCW, although his Flair series was pretty good, so maybe the World War III 98 one? 8) Rick Rude NWA tournament final against Masa Chono. 9) Sean Waltman I’ll go with one of the random light heavyweight title matches during the Invasion. Say, Jeff Hardy? 10) Roddy Piper Bret Hart at WM8.
Their greatest match was long ago, and since this is wrestling, we can’t say we’ve definitely seen their last match. But what was the last great (or at least very good) match for these wrestlers: Ric Flair The cage match against HHH at the Taboo Tuesday show. Or Cyber Sunday? Whatever. Kurt Angle He’s probably had others since, but the last one I can remember is the Samoa Joe series in TNA. Shawn Michaels Well considering his retirement match against Undertaker was damn near *****, that would be the obvious choice. Steve Austin His retirement match against Rock. Bret Hart I’m tempted to say Montreal, but he had a good one with Flair at Souled Out after that. Hulk Hogan He’s never had a good one.
Scott, Thought this would be some fun discussion for you and the blog. Which theme song you liked best for each wrestler:
Austin Clearly the classic is the best. When you hear the glass, it’s your ass. Eddie Guerrero I’m partial to the “Lie/Cheat/Steal” theme myself, but they were all pretty close. Rey Mysterio The one that goes “Booyaka” took me a while, but I think it’s the best one now. The energy just matches him so well. Randy Orton Has he had anything other than “Voices”? I honestly don’t remember. HHH OUR TIME. Trish Stratus The classic one. I’m not a fan of whatever she’s been using in her various comeback appearances. CM Punk I HATE that screamo bullshit, so Cult of Personality is the only choice for me. The Rock Really, he’s had a million different mixes of the same basic thing, but the one he was using by 2000 is the best combination of factors for me. Once they nailed down the “If you SMELLLLL” at the beginning, the rest was easy. Christian The operatic one with the curtain of pyro. Edge Hasn’t he really only had two? “You Think You Know Me” and “Metallingus”? Given I was a fan of the band, I’ll go with the latter.
Not sure where or when this is from (I presume a Super Juniors tournament in 93ish) or why it’s got a German commentator who sounds like a 14 year old boy, but it’s a pretty swank match. Eddie is a huge dick and Kid decides saving his body for later in life is a waste of time.
Just watching some classic tag team wrestling on the WWE Network and wanted to know the best matches of the following:
The Midnight Express Condrey & Eaton: Against the Rock N Roll Express, really take your pick. Eaton & Lane: Against the Southern Boys at Bash 90.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express Again, they had dozens of near-***** matches with the original Midnights. I don’t think any are archived on the Network as of yet. For the definitive Ricky Morton, check out RNR v. Andersons at Starrcade 86, where he gets the everloving fuck beaten out of him by the Andersons for like 20 minutes and it’s just awesome.
Road Warriors Great matches were not really their thing. To say the least. Their title match against Tully & Arn at Starrcade 87 was damn good. The scaffold match against the Midnights is pretty legendary, although not really my cup of tea. I could wuss out and pick a Wargames, but I’m gonna go with the title win over the Midnights in 88.
Blanchard and Anderson That is like asking me to choose between my children. I’ll go with either of the Luger/Windham title switches because both were awesome for totally different reasons.
The Freebirds Whatever their final match as a team ended up being.
The Fantastics They had a ***** match against the Midnights in 88 where they won the US tag titles on Worldwide, and if you want a good approximation of it you can watch the rematch at Bash 88, which for me is a mere ****3/4. They also had a brawl with the Sheepherders that Meltzer gave ***** to.
The Hart Foundation They were never really a top level match quality team (that was more Bret & Owen’s deal) but they had some really spectacular matches with the Bulldogs in their prime. The 2/3 falls match on SNME is probably the easiest to find, but there’s some house show matches on the MSG shows that will rock your shit. In the 90-91 Harts rebirth they had some great matches with the Rockers, too.
British Bulldogs Really, they self-destructed too soon to truly hit their potential, but I’m always fond of their matches with the Harts. Also, they did a couple of runs in Japan that were supposed to be great, although I’ve never seen the matches in question.
Thanks for your help.
Thanks to WWE Network I’ve been able to catch up on some of the 2004-2012 stuff I missed due to disinterest and pretending like I was a grown-up and all of that. There are a number of wrestlers I’ve seen from that period who were clearly popular with the fans and/or with WWE management, but for whatever reasons didn’t become main eventers or last as main eventers. So whatever happened to…
Died of a drug overdose a couple of years ago, sadly.
Mostly retired, does occasional indy dates and has a son in developmental.
Doing reasonably well for himself in New Japan and ROH on occasion.
Great Khali (I know he’s still around, but how did he go from unstoppable champion to comedy act?)
Very quickly, basically.
Don’t even get me started. He was in the news a couple of years ago for ripping a goddamn tree out of the ground to save his mother from a burning building, and I don’t think anyone even called him to cash in on the publicity surrounding it. He’s improved drastically since his WWE days and could probably be a star if given another go.
He stopped giving a shit once Primo came in and showed him up at every turn, and ended up going back to Puerto Rico to continue his career there. I think he does occasional indy dates and stuff as well.
I tuned out post-Attitude Era, and after watching some unimpressive PPV’s from the following years on the Network, here are some lighting round questions for 2002-2009:
1) Bigger detriment to the product: “Booger Red” Taker, or Reign of Terror-era Triple H?
HHH, because he’s smart enough to where he should have known better. Plus Taker was at least trying to put new guys over.
2) Biggest bust as a potential new main-eventer: Hendreich, Kozlov, Kennedy, Lashley, or other?
Lashley by a country mile. They gave that dude the PRIME spot in the biggest drawing PPV in history and he was all “derp derp derp, maybe I’ll do MMA instead and suck at that.”
3) The brand split: good idea, stupid idea, or just the only option at that point? (I personally hate it.)
Only option at that point. They had too many guys and needed some sort of illusion of competition.
4) Best non-WM PPV of this era?
The one with the Rock-Angle-UT 3-way title match is the only one that immediately comes to mind as outstanding.
5) Worst PPV of this era?
The one with Paul Bearer getting murdered by cement mixer.
5) Worse period for wrestling: mid-to-late 00’s, or early-to-mid 90’s?
Oh, dude, if you had to live through the early 90s scene you wouldn’t even need to ask that question with a straight face. Have you been READING the ‘94 RAW rants? That shit almost killed the entire BUSINESS!
6) With the benefit hindsight, what’s the biggest thing that could have been done to make this era better/more memorable?
Not killing off the WCW name two months into the experiment.
There are a few gems to be found, but I don’t feel like I was missing much during this time.
I tapped out after 2005, so I feel ya.