What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – January 22, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan do the studio duties for tonight’s show.

Read more

Bret vs. Misawa, Savage vs. Tenryu & Hogan vs. Hansen (and other Dream Matches!)

 

ENV0YdPui94CbGoaZs40CSfKUABP3A5x4As7gK5clhs.jpg

Hogan & Hansen: Main Event in the making!

WWF/AJPW/NJPW WRESTLING SUMMIT:
(Tokyo Dome, April 13th, 1990)

* This is a pretty wild and wacky card, full of the kind of “Dream Matches” you’ll never see again- I’m really shocked it’s not more famous. I mean, it’s a triple-show with All Japan, New Japan, AND the WWF all at once! In the Tokyo Dome! Apparently highlights were aired on Japanese TV, but complexities with the rights led to the full event never being shown in its entirety (which might be why it’s so obscure). The biggest matches are Hulk Hogan vs. Stan Hansen, Macho Man vs. Genichiro Tenryu, and the Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted DiBiase. The WON awards declared this the “Best Major Wrestling Show” of 1990!

“TL;DR” Version: So come see Bret Hart vs. Mitsuharu Misawa in the most disappointing Dream Match of all time! Hogan with his “Japan working boots” (where he’s more “Unstoppable Monster” than the Technically-Gifted Powerhouse I was led to believe he was) on against Stan Hansen in one of his greatest matches ever! Macho King & Queen Sherri doing their schtick against a stoic top-tier Japanese legend in a befuddled Tenryu! Grumpy ol’ Jumbo Tsuruta dealing with hard-working heels in Martel & Perfect!

The show had two dark matches- Dan Kroffat, Doug Furnas & Joe Malenko beat Samson Fuyuki, Tatsumi Kitahara & Toshiaki Kawada in (11:56), and Jushin Liger beat Akira Nogami in (8:37). An extremely shaky fancam of the latter exists- it’s mostly hold-trading. They trade corner moves and Liger hits a surfboard and a rock-the-cradle. They trade flash-pins and Nogami hits a very good plancha and German Suplex for two, but Liger dropkicks him coming off the top and hits a Tope Con Hilo to the floor! He misses a roundhouse kick but gets a powerslam and finishes with a Moonsault Press. Looks **1/2-ish but holy god am I not gonna go move-for-move with such a shaky vid.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Royal Rumble 1990

Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura are in the booth and they are live from Orlando, Florida.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, this show drew a sellout crowd of 16,000 fans.  It also drew a buyrate of 2.0 (an estimated 260,000 buys), an increase from the 1.5 number the Rumble did the previous year.  This would also be the last pay-per-view that Schiavone would call for the WWF.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – January 20, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are in the booth, kicking off a new set of tapings in Birmingham, Alabama.  These tapings took place on January 2.

The opening match is the Jimmy Snuka-Brooklyn Brawler bout that aired on Prime Time Wrestling.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 14, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon call today’s action, wrapping up the television tapings in Nashville, Tennessee.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – January 13, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are doing commentary and they are concluding the tapings in Huntsville, Alabama.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 7, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon handle commentary duties and they are taped from the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.  This taping took place on December 12, 1989.  Schiavone has a guitar and tries to play a song and does terribly.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – January 6, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are in the booth and they are taped from the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  This taping took place on December 13, 1989.

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – January 1, 1990 (Start of a New Series!)

1989 was a strong year for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).  The Mega Powers angle between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage created a strong buyrate for WrestleMania V and rematches between the two throughout the spring and summer generated healthy gates.  In addition, the company expanded its revenue streams by adding The Royal Rumble to its pay-per-view lineup in January.  And other competitors were faltering as the American Wrestling Association (AWA) was on its last legs and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) was riven by divisions between Executive Vice President Jim Herd and talent like Ric Flair.  Times were good for the WWF’s Golden Age.

However, there were some cracks underneath the surface that the WWF would grapple with as 1990 began.  The company’s star, Hulk Hogan, wanted to make his mark on Hollywood and WWF owner Vince McMahon wanted to find the next big act to replace him.  And without Hogan it was unclear whether casual fans, who fueled the WWF’s rise throughout the late 1980s, would continue to tune in.  Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior appeared the most likely successor, with a physical build similar to Hogan’s and laying claim to being the second-biggest star in the company.  Both men had been kept away from each other in storylines and McMahon looked at a clash between them as a way to resolve the conundrum.  And beyond the Hogan-Warrior transition there were questions as to who the big heels of the company would be.  Randy Savage and Ted DiBiase had failed in their efforts to win the WWF Championship, reduced in standing by multiple losses.  Mr. Perfect, Rick Rude, and Zeus were considered possibilities but Perfect had not held a singles title yet, Hogan refused to work a program with Rude, and Zeus was limited in the ring.  So, the WWF was on the look for new talents that they could slot into main event programs and continue to draw houses on par with those of the late 1980s.

Read more

Macho Man & Mr. Perfect vs. Giant Gonzalez & Mr. Hughes (and other Dream Matches!)

Icons of Wrestling #16 – Giant Gonzalez | Ring the Damn Bell

What defines “Dream Match” better than “Jorge Gonzalez versus _____”?

Welcome to more Dream Matches! Including a rarity with Giant Gonzalez actually interacting with other “name” guys. Also more “short-lived gimmicks” as The Stalker (Barry Windham) has to try and oppose the might of THE GOON! A FAT MAN STAND-OFF between Mabel and Bam Bam Bigelow! Yokozuna in New Japan taking on Riki Choshu! And did you know that Sherri Martel did a run in 1981 AJW? Now you do- watch her face Devil Masami!

All of this can be readily found on YouTube.

“MACHO MAN” RANDY SAVAGE & MR. PERFECT vs. MR. HUGHES & THE GIANT GONZALEZ (w/ Harvey Wippleman):
(17.08.1993)
* Here’s a random taped “end of the card” bout, and an AMAZINGLY weird combination, as Macho Man & Mr. Perfect team up once more to take on Giant Gonzalez near the end of his run, and Mr. Hughes, who at this point was the new guy feuding with the Undertaker (was this the first “heel steals the urn” angle? This feels like the first). Hughes is DEFINITELY not as tall as I remember- he doesn’t look much taller than either opponent. Macho’s in his AMAZING super-patriot gear with red, white & blue, while Perfect’s in black & orange, and the heels are in their usual- airbrushed muscles (Gonzalez) and the sharp suit (Hughes).

Read more

GLOW vs. AJW (and other Dream Matches)!

Welcome to a second edition of Dream Matches for this week! aka “I already reviewed these matches once so it’s just a cheat to re-use them”. This one features some fascinating stuff between “People who know how to wrestle” and “People who had two weeks of training and were just sent out there” as All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling (AJW/Zenjo), one of the best workrate promotions in the world, somehow thought it would be a great idea to get the women from GLOW to visit Japan and wrestle their stars in the huge Retirement Show of Chigusa Nagayo!

Most GLOW girls were just wannabe actresses given a modicum of training and filmed doing simple stuff, but it became a pretty big fad for a year or two in the 1980s. Meanwhile, AJW’s wrestlers could do some state-of-the-art stuff, like the Jumping Bomb Angels, and were among the best wrestlers in the world (like Jaguar Yokota, who trained some of the AJW women seen this night).

I’ll also throw on a couple of other bouts here- didja know that Jamie Noble wrestled as a jobber in WCW? Well you will tonight, as he takes on HARDWORK Bobby Walker! And also another look at Terry Taylor’s forgotten 1992-93 WWF run as he takes on Mister Perfect on an early ’93 RAW!

Read more

Mike Reviews – WWF Royal Rumble 2002 (20/01/2002)

Hello You!

Next week I’m doing another Stinker Review, so I decided that I’d do a show I actually like this week in the form of WWF Royal Rumble 2002.

This show actually happened during a period where I was getting progressively less into wrestling due to WCW and ECW falling by the wayside and the fact I hadn’t discovered Japanese Wrestling yet. However, the emergence of Brock Lesnar and the Smackdown Six ended up re-energising my fandom later in the year and then I discovered ROH and NOAH in early 2003, which pretty much ensured that I’d have some form of wrestling fandom going forward.

Despite being a bit down on the WWF’s product following the lame Invasion angle of 2001, I was still tuning in to Sunday Night Heat on Channel 4 due to having no access to satellite on my house. When that contract wasn’t renewed I was left without any access to wrestling on TV for the first time in 3 years, which was a bit of a pisser in all honesty. However, a friend taped this show off SKY Box Office and leant me the tape, so I watched it more out of curiosity for the guys who were scheduled to comeback in the Rumble match itself and I ended up loving the show.

To this day, this is still one of my favourite Rumble events from top to bottom, so let’s take a dip into 2002 and watch some chuffing wrestling!

Read more

WWF Dream Matches (SummerSlam Fest 1990)

PPV REVIEW - WWF SUMMERSLAM 1990 ~ Retro Pro Wrestling Reviews

WWF SUMMERSLAM FEVER 1990:
(1990)

* These “preview shows” for PPVs are always a great source for little-seen matches. In this one, we’re a week away from SummerSlam, we have our prelude show in Utica, New York (what kind of a place doesn’t know the expression “steamed hams”?), featuring a handful of big name vs. name matches- Earthquake vs. Hacksaw! Smash vs. Neidhart! Mr. Perfect against Ronnie Garvin! And most importantly, THE BOLSHEVIKS EXPLODE!

Read more

Dream Matches: WWF Survivor Series Showdown 1989

Survivor Series (1989) - Wikipedia

WWF SURVIVOR SERIES SHOWDOWN 1989:
(Nov. 12, 1989)
* So this is largely a card of JUST Dream Matches, and I Bayless already covered this ages ago, but whatever- these cards fascinate me. I guess they were on the USA Network and were used as hype shows for the Survivor Series, mixing up the guys in the matches against each other. So we’re in the post-WrestleMania V era, with “Macho King” being slid down to an “Upper Midcard” position, Hogan as Champion again with Zeus as an arch-enemy, and more. And this YouTube video includes the COMMERCIALS, complete with advertising. Hm, Dyanetics or video games made by Acclaim- which is more evil to advertise to children?

Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan & Roddy Piper are our hosts, and Monsoon actually lays it out- every team member would put their names into a hat, drawing names out until one one guy remained- those guys would fight each other. This is why it looks so “random” (ie. big stars are fighting tag team wrestlers so that they can win while not hurting anyone’s push).

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 11-01-1993

 Taped from Poughkeepsie, NY

Airdate: November 1, 1993 (taped 10/18)

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Can Ramon conquer the behemoth Booger? Will the Gunns spoil the RAW debut of Well Dunn? Does Virgil stand a chance against Adam Bomb? What other surprise do I have inside? Let’s find out!

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 10-18-1993

Live from Poughkeepsie, NY

Airdate: October 18, 1993

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Will Savage and Crush reconcile their differences? Can Michaels be reinstated? Who’s the new guy in the WWF? Also, **BREAKING NEWS** included just for your amusement. Read on!

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 09-20-1993

Taped from New York, NY

Airdate: September 20, 1993

Attendance: 1,200 (sold out)

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Can Scott Steiner earn a shot at the tag titles a week after losing them? Are these truly happy days for the WWF? Let’s find out!

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Summerslam 1993

Live from Auburn Hills, MI

Airdate: August 30, 1993

Attendance: 14,100

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Can Luger stand up for America and defeat Yokozuna for the WWF title? Who will be the sole King of the WWF? Will Michaels and Perfect provide us with a “classic” match? Let’s find out!

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 05-24-1993

Taped from New York, NY

Airdate: May 24, 1993 (taped 5/17)

Attendance: 1,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Will either Doink or Perfect qualify for the tournament? What does Ramon have up his sleeve? Could he be calling for a strike? Let’s find out!

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 04-26-1993

Live from New York, NY

Airdate: April 26, 1993

Attendance: 1,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Can Crush defeat Luger or is something else in the cards? What happens when MIchaels takes Manhattan? Let’s find out!

Read more