MOTD: Ivan Koloff vs. Bruno Sammartino

Since someone was just e-mailing me asking about this match, I figured I’d throw this up there.  The WWWF didn’t actually film the match at the time because it was never intended to be shown and they wanted the title change to be as low-key as possible to prevent rioting, but this is fan footage that showed up many years later with someone adding commentary themselves.  WWE of course doesn’t own the rights to this, which is why they never show footage in their documentaries and countdown shows and such.  Plus it looks pretty crappy.  But there you go, the most historic title change until that other one in 1997.

MOTD suggestion

Hey Scott, 

This is Biscuit from the comments section.  This is a match from St. Louis in 1983 at the Checkerdome, Ric Flair defending the NWA title against King Kong Brody.  The match is 2/3 falls and goes for an hour.  Unfortunately the commentary is in Japanese, but it's really good video quality for the era and a great example of the main events we were fortunate enough to get here.  
​This would be Dave Meltzer's dream match.  I believe he's raved about it before, in fact.  ​

MOTD: Mr Perfect vs Shawn Michaels At Stars & Stripes Forever 91

Here’s a Mr. Perfect vs. Shawn Michaels match that’s pretty obscure.

Taped 3/11/91, aired on the Prime Time Wrestling “Road to WrestleMania VII: Stars And Stripes Forever” special on 3/17/91. 

Hennig was on a major roll at this point, no doubt.  Shawn was no slouch himself.  Had the Summerslam 93 match even been this good, people wouldn’t have been so pissed about it, I think. 

MOTD: 1 15 99 Kobashi vs Vader

On the subject of great last matches, Vader had a hell of a run in AJPW after leaving WWF. This WAR with Kobashi showed exactly how badly Vader was wasted during his time in the WWF.

No doubt he was wasted, although to be fair it’s not like there was a ton of people around who were willing and/or able to work that kind of style with him.  

MOTD candidate

Mr. Perfect vs "Terrific" Terry Taylor from 1/18/1993.  I wasn't actively watching at this time and I find this match, in addition to being just a generally good solid wrestling match, to be fascinating television for a number of reasons.  One, I didn't realize that Terry Taylor returned to WWF for anything more than 24 seconds in the Royal Rumble, and it's an interesting dynamic to watch heel Terry Taylor vs face Mr Perfect in WWF.  Two, he looked pretty good and motivated here (gutwrench powerbomb, proving Jack Swagger has nothing on Terry Taylor). Three, Macho Man is on commentary reacting to the infamous Repo Man hat theft.  Four, we see one thing at which Hennig is not perfect, and that is doing a hulk-up segment.  On the downside, we're constantly reminded that Rob Bartlett is the hackiest hack ever, with his completely arbitrary Tom Arnold and Joey Buttafuoco references. 

I think this was actually the review where Bartlett replied on the blog to apologize for his terrible commentary non-skills.  This show also featured Glen "Thrasher" Ruth as a jobber and a Flair-Santana main event that was also pretty decent.  
Here's my review of that match, by the way:
Terrific Terry Taylor v. Mr Perfect

Man, I'd totally forgotten about Taylor's failed comeback attempt in 1993.  I should point out that the absence of Randy Savage leaves us with Vince McMahon and Rob Bartlett on commentary.  ALONE.   Luckily that only lasts about 15 seconds before Savage returns to save the broadcast from infamy.  They trade cheapshots to start and Perfect sends Taylor out with a dropkick, and we get into a chase before Taylor begs off and runs away.  Back in the ring, Perfect works on a headlock and takes Taylor down with an armbar, but they trade some kinda lame mat stuff before Perfect goes back to the armbar.  We take a break and return with Perfect throwing chops in the corner until Taylor finally dumps him and takes over with a jawbreaker.  Backbreaker gets two.  Taylor hits the chinlock and follows with a spinebuster for two.  Gut wrench powerbomb gets two.  They slug it out and Perfect rings the ears to come back, followed by an atomic drop.  Necksnap and Perfect slugs away, but Ric Flair heads down to ringside for the attack.  Back in we get a cute finish, as Taylor tries a suplex, but Perfect easily reverses to the Perfectplex at 7:54 to finish.  Decent little TV match, but these two just couldn't get chemistry together.  **1/2

MOTD: Steiners v. Money Inc

Steiners vs Money Inc Cage by CrossFaceChickenWing Steiners vs. Money Incorporated for the WWF tag titles…in a steel cage! Awesome ending as well that I bet Vince just loved due to the crowd reaction… Yeah, this was from the Summerslam Spectacular on USA if I’m not mistaken.  I did a review of this show a few years ago on 24/7 and the ending of that cage match was pretty insane. 

MOTD: Jake vs Macho

Here’s a MOTD for you, from SNME. It’s not a technical masterpiece, but it’s got some of the best psychology and in-match character work ever from two of the masters (Jake taunting Elizabeth while pinning Savage is a highlight for me), and a really fun story as they both just shamelessly try to out-heel each other. Proof you don’t need to have an incredible moveset or a million reversals to put on an entertaining match if you just understand character and story. *looks pointedly at WWE Creative* 

I fucking love this match. Wasn’t it on the SNME DVD?  I seem to recall it being somewhere recently. 

MOTD Kurt Angle vs. Marty Janetty

Since I already sent in one Rocker vs. Curt match earlier this week, I figured I’d submit this gem as as something of a companion piece, featuring the other Rocker and the other Kurt. Obviously the last great match of Janetty’s career (and really the only one post 1994 or so), and a real testament to Kurt’s ability to bring out the best in his opponents. As an aside, Kurt Angle really was the evolutionary Hennig, wasn’t he? The hyper-cocky technical genius who could work heel or face without really changing his gimmick. It’s a shame we never got a program with the two of them, but I suppose the window there was pretty small. Anyhow, here’s the match, and it is good:

Yeah, that was a good week for Marty. Surprised he didn’t earn himself a job off that.  

MOTD: Rock N Roll v. Bulldogs

Today in crazy matches I never knew happened… The Rock n Roll Express vs The British Bulldogs. With Pat O’Conner as referee, for some reason. And some of the worst announcing I’ve ever heard. But still, RnR vs the Bulldogs! I have this one on one of my endless RNR comps that I picked up in my tape trading days, and it kind of sucks.  But yeah, as historical curiosities go, holy shit.