Lady Shield

Scott,

I’ve heard some people bitch about all three of the nxt women debuting together on Monday, worrying that they could overshadow each other. How is this any different than bringing the shield up together? I mean that worked out pretty well I’d say

Matt

​The difference is that the Shield was brought up with the goal being to protect and make Roman Reigns into a top level star in the shortest amount of time possible. ​I somehow doubt that sticking Sasha Banks in "Team BAD" has the same sort of agenda. They’ve already shown a few times that they don’t really get why the NXT women have had such success with the division down there. But hey, maybe they’ll prove me wrong.

Star Wars Drop on MCDU

Hi Scott,

I noticed this week Marvel Comics Digital Unlimited dropped 500+ legacy Star Wars comics that they have the rights to (regardless of original publisher) on the app. I haven't read most of the Dark Horse era, do you or any of your readers have some reccos to check out beyond the recent Brian Wood series?

Btw, MCDU has been everything I wish WWE Network would be since they sorted out their apps a few months ago. New content regularly and bugs few and far between.

​I actually started a new subscription for Marvel Unlimited because its getting close to the point where they'll be adding stuff from around the time I dropped out in the winter, and that way if I get the itch again I'll have the app right there.  ​Plus, as noted, a shitload of Star Wars content.  I also got a bunch of SW comics off a Humble Bundle recently, so I'm good to go there.  

Wrestlemania Star (32)


Hey Scott,

So I'm hearing rumors now that the WWE wants to run Rousey vs Steph and HHH vs Rock as 2 singles matches.

I'm intrigued by both of those matches, but when you add in video packages and entrances that's probably a full hour of mania time for those 2 matches.

We haven't even factored in Brock, Sting, or Taker into the situation and 1/4 of mania is already booked with part timers.

Should Bray start looking for a new career or should he keep Bolieving?

Hey man, wrestling is a business and they need to sell 100,000 tickets.  If that show does a $25 million gate, guys like Bray should get down on their hands and knees and kiss the Rock's feet for drawing that kind of money and basically supporting the midcard guys for the next six months in the process.  

New Star or Same Old?

They just announced that they'd do a one-night tournament for Wrestlemania Axxess between Adrian Neville, Tyler Breeze, Finn Balor, and Hideo Itami with the winner getting a slot in the Andre Memorial Battle Royal.

Do we get hopes up and think this might be them launching Balor, entrance and all, on the grand stage, or… Breeze wins and gets tossed by Big Show while he's taking a selfie?


​It would be literally pointless to debut Finn Balor with full entrance and then have him get tossed out with one of other geeks in that thing, so I'm thinking this is where Neville moves up to the big roster for good.  He can be the new Kofi and would probably be more impressive in that environment with a short amount of time anyway.  ​

The SmarK DVD Rant for Star Trek The Next Generation Season Seven (Blu Ray)

The SmarK DVD Rant for Star Trek The Next Generation: Season 7 (Blu Ray) So because Paramount/CBS is awesome, they have finished sending me the Blu Ray seasons of Star Trek The Next Generation. I love these remastered sets SO MUCH, especially when you watch an episode on Blu-Ray and then switch over to Netflix to compare, and the difference is amazing. The original version looks washed-out and grainy, whereas the new one could fit onto TV today aside from the aspect ratio. I really wish that the series had originally been shot with 16×9 framing, but as has been explained by the directors several times now, there’s just too many light stands and makeup artists standing in the open matte frame to make it work, plus all the effects shots were composed for 4×3 and you’d have to basically redo them all from scratch. In 1994, after 7 years on the air, Star Trek TNG came to an end – an ending that was inevitable with the death of Gene Roddenberry and Paramount’s desire to move onto feature films. The seven year limit has now become a Star Trek tradition. Which of course brings me to that season… The final year of my favorite Star Trek series is about two things – Family relationships (storyline-wise) and playing dice with the rules of the Star Trek universe (in the real world). People have some SERIOUS mother issues going on in the final year, and Brannon Braga, loosed from the bonds of having Gene Roddenberry watching over his scripts, goes insane and takes most of the crew with him. It’s a very different year than the first six, and with only a few highlights and MANY lowlights it’s generally regarded as a good thing that they stopped when they did, lest the show end up in the toilet of public opinion like Voyager did. Oddly, there was some serious attempts at forging a strong continuity in the final year, referencing many older episodes over the course of the season and introducing bit players that would reappear in DS9, but at the same time so many loose ends were left untied that you have to wonder why the writers didn’t do a better job in giving the season a “finishing” feel to it. Plus the FUCKING STUPID Troi-Worf “romance” that no one wanted to see but still got shoved down the throats of fans who had been patiently waiting for the Troi-Riker relationship to finish playing out at the end. There was indeed some weird shit going down this season, and indeed the show is much darker and gloomier than Roddenberry intended – there’s deaths, departures and insanity on a regular basis, and this darker tone was carried over into DS9, as well. The Episodes “Descent II”. The second part of the sixth season cliffhanger sees Data reuniting with evil brother Lore to control a subset of the Borg who were turned into individuals by Hugh Borg. Now, it just goes to show how badly things had become screwed up when the freakin’ BORG need another bad guy to spruce up their ranks. And as season premieres go, this one is pretty boring, as Data snaps out of it long enough to foil Lore’s evil plan and deactivates him for good. This ep does, however, re-introduce the “emotion chip” that was first brought up in the fourth season and comes into play again in the movies, but there’s not much else notable about it. Family issues: Data and Lore have a stormy reunion.
Crew members gone insane: Data is hypnotized by Lore’s emotion chip into serving him. He is forgiven immediately afterwards by Picard. “Liaisons”. Another rather dull episode sees a routine diplomacy session with an alien race turn into two boring subplots about aliens learning human ways, while Picard ends up stranded on a planet with a soccer mom. Zero in the way of dramatic tension here. Family issues: None.
Crew members gone insane: None. “Interface”. Third yawner in a row sees Geordi trying out a new virtual reality toy that allows him to directly control a small probe within in a deserted ship. While there, he meets the ghost of his recently-dead mother, but in classic Star Trek fashion, it just turns out to be another alien. They’d even end up recycling THAT plot point by the end of the season. Family issues: Geordi comes to grips with his mother’s death and we learn that his dad is Ben Vereen. And yet the poor guy still can’t score with anyone.
Crew members gone insane: Everyone is convinced that Geordi must be smoking SOME sort of medicinal drugs for his blindness once he starts seeing ghosts. “Gambit part 1”. Picard’s hunt for a mysterious Romulan artifact has him “dead” on a planet, which leads Riker to take a team to chase the captors and lands HIM in their clutches, too. Some cute moments as Data commands the ship in their absence and Riker & Picard pretend to be enemies on the alien ship, but the story isn’t there. Family issues: None.
Crew members gone insane: Riker seemingly deserts Starfleet as a part of the charade. “Gambit part 2”. The alien artifacts turn out to be a Vulcan super-weapon that turns thoughts into DEATH. But all you need is love, apparently, and I need is a barf bag. The theme of “Piker and Riker get kidnapped and lead a revolt” would later be recycled a few times on Enterprise. Family issues: None.
Crew members gone insane: None. “Phantasms”. The very definition of a whacked-out Brannon Braga episode, as Data’s experimentation with dreaming leads him to see bizarre images of crew members as metaphor, and sends him over the deep end until he’s longing to kill Deanna Troi. Sadly he stabbed her before she had a chance to tell us about the great anger she was sensing in him. In the end, it’s just more aliens. Visually, it’s an interesting episode, but if I wanted David Lynch, I wouldn’t have skipped the entire run of Twin Peaks. Family issues: None.
Crew members gone insane: Data is a certifiable box of mixed nuts by the end of this one. “Dark Page”. While communicating with a race of aliens who only speak telepathically (including a young Kirsten Dunst!), Deanna’s mother Lwaxana becomes overwhelmed and goes into a coma, induced by a traumatic event from her past. More Braga metaphors and dream sequences follow, and we learn just HOW bad of a parent Lwaxana really was. Am I watching Star Trek or the X-Files here? Family issues: Deanna and her mother continue their ongoing argument, and Deanna learns of a long-dead relative.
Crew members gone insane: Troi’s mother has a nervous breakdown. “Attached”. Picard and Dr. Crusher get kidnapped during negotiations with a potential Federation member and connected via a mental “rope” between their minds. They escape the prison, but are forced to remain connected with a telepathic link, and we learn what they’ve been feeling for each other all this time. The paranoid Kes provide comic relief, as it’s a nice, quiet character-driven episode to relieve all the Braga madness. Family issues: The spectre of Beverly’s dead husband, Jack, looms large over Picard’s feelings for her.
Crew members gone insane: Beverly and Picard hear each others’ thoughts throughout the episode. “Force of Nature”. In yet another preachy liberal claptrap episode, this time the environmentalists are apparently alive and kicking in the 24th century, in the form of aliens who boobytrap the ship in order to spread their message about warp speed being destructive to the fabric of the universe. And you thought Greenpeace was obnoxious. In the end, the radical viewpoints of these wackos are rushed through the Science Council without debate or further research, and all space flight is limited to Warp 5 except in emergencies. Much like Prohibition, this rule was so fundamentally dumb that it was scrapped by the first movie. Family issues: The alien wackos are brother and sister, and she commits suicide to prove her point.
Crew members gone insane: The writers for pitching such a retarded idea. “Inheritance”. In another one of those improbable retrofitting of history episodes, Data learns that Noonian Soong had a wife that he never mentioned and history never recorded. Well, that’s convenient. Even more so when it turns out that she’s yet another android. You know, for a guy who whines all the time about being alone in the universe, Data sure has a big family. Brent Spiner elevates the mediocre script, as usual. Family issues: Data meets mommy.
Crew members gone insane: None. “Parallels”. This one is so goofy that you KNOW Braga had to think it up. Worf returns from a tournament and begins moving along parallel universes, with subtle differences each time he shifts. Along the way, the seeds of the Worf-Troi relationship are sewn for the first time, as he learns that she’s his wife in just about every universe but his own. Nice to see Worf getting some time to stretch his acting muscles a bit. Family issues: Worf and Troi adjust to married life.
Crew members gone insane: Everyone thinks Worf is losing his mind. “The Pegasus”. Hands down one of the high points of the season, as Riker’s old CO is now an admiral, and one who wants to recover their old ship from the Romulans because of top-secret stuff on board. Riker’s loyalties and ethics are stretched to the limit, and the payoff once you learn what the secret weapon is makes it worthwhile. Sadly, the device was never mentioned again on the shows, because it sure would have helped against the Dominion. Family issues: None.
Crew members gone insane: None. “Homeward”. Worf travels down to a dying Federation colony, and discovers that his adoptive brother Nikolai (played by Paul Sorvino) is running the show for them. When it becomes apparent that the whole place is going to be wiped out, Nikolai breaks the Prime Directive and has the whole tribe beamed to the holodeck until a new world can be found. Picard is naturally not thrilled about the situation, but goes along with it because apparently the Prime Directive ceases to apply if your intentions are good. Family issues: Worf & Nikolai.
Crew members gone insane: None. “Sub Rosa”. And now we go WAY into left field, with an old fashioned ghost story based in a Scottish town (well, a Federation colony designed to look like one, at any rate), as Beverly meets her grandmother’s paranormal lover and gets REALLY horny throughout most of the show. Of course, in the end it’s just another alien. The multiple scenes of Dr. Crusher nearly bringing herself to orgasm would NEVER had made it under Roddenberry. And what the hell is “Sub Rosa” even supposed to mean? Family issues: Bev gets sloppy seconds from grandma.
Crew members gone insane: Beverly again. “Lower Decks”. In a refreshing change of pace, this is an episode focusing entirely on four junior officers and what things look like from their point of view, as they compete for a promotion to lieutenant. It’s really neat seeing what the “big seven” seem like through the eyes of newer people, and another decidedly dark turn for the series sees one of the young officers in a body bag by the end of the show. A good episode in any season and a strong highlight in the awful seventh season. Family issues: None.
Crew members gone insane: None. “Thine Own Self”. Two weak and unconnected storylines fill up an hour here, as Data is left on a pre-warp world with no memory and a radioactive canister, while Troi takes the test to become a full commander and sets in motion the events that would blow up the ship in the first movie. In fact, she blows up the ship three times in the testing simulations alone! Take the hint, Troi! Neither story is particularly strong here. Family issues: None.
Crew members gone insane: Data loses his memory. “Masks”. And away down the spiral we go, as the Enterprise finds an Aztec temple buried inside a comet (no wait, it gets better!). Soon, the whole ship is magically transformed into stone statues and grass huts, and Data has 18 different personalities. The ending is deus ex machina at its worst and the big showdown is Data and Picard wearing masquerade ball masks and reciting bad poetry at each other. About as bad as it sounds. Family issues: None.
Crew members gone insane: Data, again. New record for him, I think. “Eye of the Beholder”. And it’s back to a Braga mainstay, as Troi gets to go insane again and the whole episode was a dream. Two clichés for the price of one! The “plot”, as it were, revolves around a crew member committing suicide (upping the death count to three so far this year) and Troi & Worf investigating. Troi finds echoes of a murder plot from years before and lives it all out in her mind. Sadly, she doesn’t commit suicide herself at the end. Family issues: None.
Crew members gone insane: Troi gets hysterical, as stipulated by her contract. “Genesis”. The nightmare episode of stupid sci-fi to end all nightmare episodes. A virus is let loose on the ship, causing everyone to “de-evolve” into primitive forms until Data can save the day. The plot is non-existent, and it’s all a coat hanger for the actors to jump around like morons while the makeup crew justifies their budget for the year. Once the cat “de-evolved” into a lizard, they lost me. Family issues: None.
Crew members gone insane: All of ‘em. “Journey’s End”. The plight of the American Indians is moved into space, as the Enterprise is called in to move their sacred colony in order to give the planet to Cardassia as a result of a peace settlement. The analogy is so obvious that the writers than feel the need to have the characters SPELL IT OUT for anyone who doesn’t get what the big message behind the show is. I.E., white people are bad for stealing land from the Indians hundreds of years ago. At the same time, Wesley Crusher has become a BAD BOY, dropping out of Starfleet Academy to smoke pot and bang hot chicks. No, not really, but it’d more interesting than hanging out with that Traveler dude. I mean, he wants to show Wesley the wonders of the universe? Sounds like a pickup line, dude. Thankfully, Wesley goes away for good, even if there is only 5 shows left in the series at this point. Family issues: Wesley is rude and insolent to his mother.
Crew members gone insane: Wesley is all brooding and DARK and stuff. “Firstborn”. Worf is determined to spend quality time with Alexander and teach him to be a warrior, but Alexander is more in touch with his human side and refuses to go that route with his life. A mysterious friend from the Klingon homeworld helps to try convincing Alexander about the advantages of being a bloodthirsty maniac, but doesn’t get through to him. Then, a twist ending that nearly sinks the entire episode and induces a groan every time I see it. The show would have been fine without the Big Secret, and why they felt the need to add it is beyond me. Family issues: Worf continues to grapple with being a parent and a Klingon.
Crew members gone insane: None. “Bloodlines”. Picard learns from a renegade Ferengi that he may have fathered a son 24 years ago, and that son is in danger of being killed. A boring hour of Picard trying to bond with the poor guy results, and in the end the threat is actually minimal, much like the effort put into this dog. Family issues: Picard copes with being a daddy, and having a loser for a kid at that.
Crew members gone insane: Picard thinks he’s seeing things when the Ferengi appears at mysterious times. “Emergence”. More metaphors and imagery, as the ship appears to be coming to life, and using the holodeck to represent that. What the eventual point was, I don’t even know, because this one sure as shit doesn’t go anywhere. Family issues: None.
Crew members gone insane: If you count the ship. “Preemptive Strike”. Ro Laren returns, bumped up a rank after months of Starfleet spy training, and is sent in to infiltrate the Maquis. She just wants Picard to be proud of her, but unfortunately the Maquis make a compelling case for her services, and she betrays the Federation and breaks Picard’s heart. Another dark and depressing ending in a series. Family issues: None, although Picard treats Ro like his daughter, and Ro’s actions are affected by memories of her dead father.
Crew members gone insane: Ro turns heel and leaves Starfleet for the Maquis. And finally… “All Good Things”. In the series finale, Picard jumps back and forth through time as a result of meddling from Q, trying to figure out the solution to a puzzle involving three time periods and three anomalies in space. Truly epic and brilliantly acted and written, and a terrific way to wrap up the show and send it on to feature films. The “big seven” all sitting and playing poker at the end is one of the simplest and yet most powerful images in the show’s run, and this one episode nearly redeems the season by itself. Okay, not really, but it’s damn good and it lives up to the hype and still holds up today. Family issues: None.
Crew members gone insane: It’s thought by the others that future Picard is just dreaming the whole thing as a result of his neurological disease. Overall, this is probably the worst season of the lot, with no direction or guidance from Roddenberry to keep the writers from going to the extremes of their excesses. Longtime fans will get a kick out of the self-referential nature of the continuity and the Crusher-Picard relationship, but for casual fans, start with the middle seasons, not this. Audio & Video Oh my. When they went back and fixed the show for Blu-Ray, they went back and FIXED it. The CGI effects are now on par with some of the theatrical releases, colors are BOLD and jump off the screen…the dark and murky backgrounds are now bright and clear, it’s amazing overall. Easily just as good as the original series redo. I can’t even overstate how much better this looks and how much work would have been needed to change it from the original videotape resolution into full HD. The Pulse: Definitely a show that knew when to call it quits at just the right time, Star Trek’s legacy is wrapped up with the seventh and final DVD set, but it’s a set for fans only. Unless having the awesome series finale on DVD is worth $100 to you, there’s no reason to recommend this portion of the series.

Turn Of The Century Top Star


Your girl Steph said the following about Vince letting her and HHHHHH date initially,


" It was a really big thing in our business for the top star to be dating the boss’ daughter and all of the implications it could have.”"

That's insane right? They started dating in 99' or 00' when Austin and Rock were still around. HHH was not the top star. Is she mental? 
Well he was certainly A top star, probably a solid #3 behind the two real ones, maybe #4 if you count Undertaker.  But he who bangs the boss's daughter gets to create the history books, no?  

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WCW Clash of the Champions XXVI!

Live from Baton Rouge, LA

Airdate: January 27, 1994
Attendance: 3,200 (1,600 paid)

“Mean” Gene Okerlund welcomes us to “Cajun country.” After
receiving word through his earpiece

Okerlund introduces…Bobby “The Brain”
Heenan! Holy legendary hirings, Batman! Heenan was last seen getting thrown out
of an arena on WWF Monday Night RAW on 12/6/93. What a great grab by WCW!
Anyways, Okerlund compares Heenan to Tonya Harding with a “thin ice” joke. Heenan
joins Tony Schiavone at ringside to call the action.

Match 1: Pretty
Wonderful (w/ the Assassin) versus Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Too Cold
Scorpio (w/ Teddy Long)

Highlights:

·        
Tony mentioned that this is a #1 contender’s
match as the victors will face the Nasty Boys on the next episode of WCW Saturday
Night.
·        
Stun gun by Roma on Bagwell. I wonder how “Stunning”
Steve Austin felt about that.
·        
During the commercial break Roma received a
double shoulder block.
·        
Scorpio attempted a superplex on Roma, but
Orndorff interfered.
·        
A pair of top-rope forearms to the back by Roma.
·        
Tony mentioned that Heenan used to manage Orndorff.
·        
The new commissioner of WCW will be named later in the show.
·        
Second-rope elbow drop by Roma.
·        
Orndorff leaped from the top rope only to eat
boot.
·        
Hot tag to Bagwell.
·        
Missile dropkick by Bagwell.
·        
After the Assassin loaded Orndorff’s knee pad Roma
attempted to ram Bagwell’s head into it only to get rammed instead.
·        
Bagwell made the cover and pinned Roma.

 

Rating: **

Summary: Not a
bad opener. Bagwell and Scorpio will face the Nasty Boys for the tag titles on Saturday.

Match 2: Ice Train
versus Ron Simmons

Highlights:

·        
This match was billed as the teacher (Simmons)
versus the student (Ice Train). Check out Simmons’ match (taped 12/13/93, aired
1/15/94)
against Scotty Riggs and the post-match interview.
·        
Excellent powerslam by Ice Train.
·        
After a second powerslam by Ice Train he missed
a shoulder block in the corner.
·        
Simmons rolled him up, hooked the tights, and
stole the victory.

 

Rating: ½*

Summary: While it
was a nice display of power wrestling by Ice Train his inexperience exposed him
here.

Call the hotline after the show to speak directly to “The
Brain!”

In a funny bit US champion “Stunning” Steve Austin is
dressed like Colonel Robert Parker while Parker wears a Hollywood Blonds
t-shirt and trunks. Additionally, in an effort to mock the no longer employed by
WCW Sid, the back of Parker’s t-shirt reads “Col. Parker rules the world.” Austin
uses a thick Southern accent to reveal that he has a manager’s license for
tonight.

Okerlund then introduces the new commissioner of WCW—Nick Bockwinkel.
WCW has now added a touch of class to its leadership.

Match 3 for the WCW
World TV title: Lord Steven Regal (champion w/ Sir William) versus “The
Natural” Dustin Rhodes

Highlights:

·        
Speaking of class, Gordon Solie was the
play-by-play announcer for this match. It reminds me of my days of watching
Championship Wrestling from Florida back in the ‘80s.
·        
Superb European uppercut by Regal.
·        
Gut-wrench suplex by Regal.
·        
Lariat by Rhodes.
·        
As Regal stalls outside the ring three minutes
remain in the time limit according to ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta.
·        
Some brawling by Rhodes woke up the crowd.
·        
Flying lariat by Rhodes.
·        
Flying dropkick by Rhodes got a 2 count.
·        
Plancha from the ramp into the ring by Rhodes
got another 2 count.
·        
As Rhodes hit the bulldog time ran out on him.
·        
Time-limit draw. Regal remained the champion.

 

Rating: *1/2

Summary: Lots of
mat wrestling here, so your mileage may vary. Regal’s stalling made the draw
all the more obvious. Dustin Rhodes continues to underwhelm me since his feud
with Rick Rude ended.

Okerlund interviews Aaron Neville. His interview is as
exciting as watching paint dry.

Don’t miss SuperBrawl IV on February 20. Its subtitle is “Double
Thundercage Live.”

Match 4 (non-title): The
Nasty Boys (w/ Missy Hyatt) versus Cactus jack and Maxx Payne

Highlights:

·        
Making sure she doesn’t have another wardrobe
malfunction Missy wore a halter top and jeans.
·        
Cappetta introduced Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne,
but they didn’t come through the curtain.
·        
After the commercial break Jack and Payne ran
through the crowd and ambushed the Nasty Boys from behind.
·        
The bell rung and Cactus Jack gave Knobbs a
Cactus clothesline.
·        
After slamming Saggs on the concrete floor
Cactus Jack delivered a Cactus elbow to him.
·        
Awkward cross-body block from Sags to Payne from
the top rope.
·        
Payne applied the Payne-killer to Knobbs, but
Saggs saved.
·        
Outside the ring Saggs demolished Payne with a
plastic chair shot.
·        
With all four men in the ring Cactus Jack gave
both Nasty Boys a Cactus clothesline.
·        
Double-arm DDT on Knobbs by Cactus Jack.
·        
Referee Randy Anderson was distracted by Payne
so Saggs delivered an elbow and placed Knobbs atop Jack.
·        
However, Saggs was unable to leave the ring in a
timely fashion so Payne delivered his own elbow to Knobbs, draped Jack atop
him, and secured the pin!

 

Rating: **1/2

Summary: A
tremendous upset by a unique team. This was a bar room brawl type of match
minus weapons. More matches between these teams should they up the ante could
be quite intriguing.

After the match Missy entered the ring but got kissed by
both Payne and Jack.

Okerlund plugs the hotline. 
Next highlights of the match from WCW Saturday Night (taped 12/13/93,
aired 1/15/94) where
Pillman beat Austin in a non-title match are shown. Before Parker can place the
chicken head on Pillman with Austin’s assistance Dustin Rhodes rescues Pillman.

Match 5 (Loser wears
a chicken suit on WCW Saturday Night): “Flyin’” Brian Pillman versus Colonel
Robert Parker

Highlights:

·        
Pillman came to the ring with chicken from KFC. Schiavone
informed us that Parker’s picture was on the box.
·        
Fantastic dropkick from Pillman.
·        
Pillman nailed Austin on the floor.
·        
After Parker and Austin tried to take a walk
Pillman came after them. Austin charged but received a back drop on the ramp.
·        
The Boss emerged from backstage to even the
odds.
·        
As the Boss attempted to corral Parker from exiting
over the steel railing Austin attacked Pillman in the ring.
·        
Austin gave Pillman the Stun Gun. Take that,
Roma!
·        
Parker attempted a double axe-handle from the
second rope but ate a right hand to the mid-section instead.
·        
After Pillman climbed to the top rope Austin
knocked him down since referee Nick Patrick was detained by the Boss.
·        
The Boss chased Austin back through the curtain.
As Parker begged Austin to return Pillman rolled him up and pinned him.
·        
Parker will wear the chicken suit on WCW Saturday
Night. How clucky for
him!

 

Rating: *

Summary:  This wasn’t a bad comedy match, but it
wasn’t the blow-off match that the Hollywood Blonds deserved either.

Tony shills SuperBrawl IV on PPV. Two cage matches are
scheduled: WCW World Champion Ric Flair will defend his title against former
champion Vader as well as a six-man match.

Match 6 (Elimination
tag team match): WCW World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and Sting versus WCW
International World Champion “Ravishing” Rick Rude and Vader (w/ Harley Race)

Highlights:

·        
Bockwinkel joined Tony and Bobby on commentary.
The former AWA World champion reunited with his former manager! I’m certain the
commentary will be much more classy and distinguished from this point forward.
·        
Buffer rumbled.
·        
Vader military-pressed Sting then dropped him
throat-first on the top rope.
·        
Vader attempted a second-rope sunset flip but
Sting dropped on top of him instead of going down.
·        
Sting gave Vader a release German suplex. Amazing!
·        
After a commercial break Rude applied the bear
hug to Sting.
·        
After Flair tagged in he hit a double axe-handle
from the top rope to Rude followed by an inverted atomic drop.
·        
Vader tagged in and gave Flair an avalanche.
·        
Vader bomb.
·        
Superplex by Vader.
·        
In an effort to injure the World Champion Vader gave
Flair a top-rope superplex causing Flair to scream in agony.
·        
Vader mounted the top rope again, but Sting
pulled Flair out of harm’s way.
·        
DDT by Rude to Sting.
·        
Outside the ring Vader attempted to use a chair,
but Bockwinkel exercised his power by putting a stop to it.
·        
As Cappetta announced that Flair and Vader have
been eliminated Vader yelled “SHIT!” right in front of the camera. So much for
family-friendly. Oops.
·        
Flair received assistance returning to the dressing
room.
·        
Top rope clothesline by Sting.
·        
After perching on the top rope Rude landed a
forearm to the back.
·        
Rude then bored the crowd with an extended
reverse chinlock.
·        
After copious amounts of time putting the crowd
(and me) to sleep Sting gave Rude the electric chair.
·        
Sting hit knees attempting a splash off the
ropes.
·        
Sting blocked a Rude Awakening then gave one to
Rude.
·        
He then reversed a tombstone and hit one of his
own.
·        
After hitting an incredible top rope splash
Sting pinned Rude.

 

Rating: ***

Summary:  While quite entertaining the match lacked
a certain something. The elimination rule appeared to be
botched/rushed/whatever in an effort to reduce the participant count to two. I
realize this match was set up as a prelude to the cage matches at SuperBrawl,
but it left something to be desired. Another factor in the match was the
absence of Rude’s workrate. It appears that he was just satisfied becoming a
World Champion because he didn’t put forth a ton of effort while being
champion. On the other hand, at least WCW sent the fans home happy.

Conclusion:  Bobby Heenan’s introduction to WCW was the
only historically significant portion of the show. While Clash XXVI attempted
to promote SuperBrawl it only accomplished so much. Conversely the promotion of
the January 29th edition of WCW Saturday Night was tremendously
strong with the offerings of seeing Colonel Parker in a chicken suit,
Bagwell/Scorpio getting another title shot, and a bout between Johnny B. Badd
and Shanghai Pierce where Pierce lost his mask. Unless you’re a die-hard
WCW fan like me take a pass on this show and fast-forward to SuperBrawl IV. See
you soon with its review!

TV Rating: 3.50

For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Ring of Honor All Star Extravaganza November 9th, 2002

November 9, 2002


From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA
Your hosts are Jeff Gorman and Chris Levy
Show starts with Steve Corino walking backstage and finding Low Ki. Corino tells him that the Zero One office wants them to team up against Shinjiro Otani & Masato Tanaka. Homicide interrupts and tells Corino he has a nerve to be here after elbowing him in the face last week as Corino claims it was an accident. They yell at each other until Ki tells them to stop. Homicide is wearing a Ribera Steak House Jacket for those of you who are aware about the tradition of that. 

Scramble Match
Joey & Dixie w/ Izzy vs. Divine Storm w/ Trinity vs. Spanish Announce Team vs. Da Hit Squad

Joey is indeed Joey Matthews, who we were told was found laughing and out of it in the locker room by his Christian York and Alexis Laree  and has now took the spot of Izzy, who has his arm in a sling. Hopefully we get some follow up on that story. Storm and Joel trade off a bunch of moves that ends in a standoff. Mack and Divine work an awful reversal sequence until Mack takes his head off with a clothesline. Maff and Dixie go at it and Dixie takes him down with a roaring elbow. All eight guys meet in the corner and work a tower of doom spot as the crowd goes nuts. Visibly impressive but totally contrived spot. Joel and Mack are up top and Mack takes him down with a Super Michinoku Driver! Divine then runs in and hits Mack with a German Suplex. Crowd starts a “Joey sucks” chant as the moves are coming in at a rapid pace and most of them look pretty good. The SAT’s and Quiet Storm start a spot where they all trade suplexes as the crowd goes nuts for the SAT’s. Maff puts Dixie in the Fgure Four as Mack hits a top rope splash but Quiet Storm breaks that up. The SAT’s use a double powerbomb in the corner on Storm in a move that should have been called the Concussion Maker. Jesus Christ. The SAT’s then clear the ring and hit Dixie with the One Man Spanish Fly (10:12) ***
Thoughts: A fun an energetic opening match. Lots of cool moves here too. Good way to open the show.


The Prophecy is backstage as Daniels hypes up Xavier for his title match against Jay Briscoe. Simply Luscious warns Xavier not to lose again then Xavier cuts a rather bland promo on Briscoe. Seriously, what did RoH ever see in Xavier that made them want to give him the belt? Samoa Joe then interrupts Daniels at the end to reiterate the fact that he is paide by him to kick ass and that is it, so he will not compromise his integrity and will be agreeing to the Code of Honor. Donovan Morgan stood in the far left corner and did not say a word. They were certainly teasing tension between Joe and the Prophecy. 
Gauntlet Match for the #1 Contender’s Trophy

CM Punk vs. Michael Shane
Match starts with both guys trading off moves on the mat. The crowd hates Shane and loves Punk by the way. Punk goes to work on the arm, even using a ropewalk into a leg drop on Shane’s arm. He tries that again but Shane dodges the attack and hits a back suplex. Shane sells the arm as he stomps Punk. He chops Punk with his good hand before grabbing a chinlock as the crowd rallies behind Punk. Shane clotheslines Punk after he hit a sunset flip then drops an elbow off of the second rope as he mocks the fans who are chanting that he sucks. Shane now grabs a front facelock on the mat as a few “boring” chants break out. Shane spears Punk but sells his arm afterwards as both men are down. Punk fights back and barely connects with a dropkick before hitting an armbreaker. Punk targets the arm but Shane drills him with a bicycle kick and that gets two. Punk floats over and locks on a cross armbreaker. Shane is able to get his knees up on a split-legged moonsault attempt by Punk as both men are down. Punk hits a jawbreaker but gets kicked in the face on a crossbody attempt. Shane misses the Picture Perfect elbow drop then Punk nails him with the Shining Wizard. Punk then goes for a reverse rollup but Shane reverses then holds onto the ropes for leverage and gets the pin (13:05) **3/4. The fans are pissed as Shane taunts them non-stop
Thoughts: Solid match. Makes sense to have this slow-paced as it is the first of the series. Punk looked decent in his RoH in-ring debut and Shane has been delivering ever since he arrived into the company. They did a very weak job of explaining why Joey was aligned with Special K though.
Michael Shane vs. Paul London

London hits a few forearm smashes but Shane just tosses him to the floor. They brawl outside as London is whipped into the guardrail. Shane suplexes him onto the floor before rolling him back in the ring. Backbreaker gets two for Shane as the crowd still chants that he sucks. Shane works a Boston Crab then clotheslines him down after London escaped. London ducks an attack but Shane catches him with a floating DDT for two. London sells his ribs as being hurt to the point the referee considers stopping the match but he was just playing possum and he catches Shane with a DDT and that gets the win (4:38) *1/2. 
Thoughts: Good job of having London get revenge on Shane. The match wasn’t much though but the main point with this was to continue their feud.

After the match, Shane tells London he is not shaking his hands because he cheated to win. As he heads up the aisle, Tommy Dreamer makes a surprise appearance as the crowd goes apeshit. Dreamer says there is no way in hell that Shane will leave the ring without shaking London’s hand then goes on about how special the ECW fans were to him. He then says that he has to go back to a house show (WWE) but when the crowd boos, he says that it is different now as he gets a paycheck. He even compares RoH to being special just like ECW was. He then talks up RoH and suggest that maybe the WWE takes up all of the talent in RoH just like they did in ECW as the crowd boos. Dreamer turns around to leave and Shane attacks London from behind but walks into a kick from Dreamer who then hits Shane with a DDT. This was a big surprise as Dreamer was still in the WWE at this time and it was a cool segment overall as Dreamer gave RoH a bit of credibility by appearing.
Paul London vs. Amazing Red

Match starts with a really fast-paced but sloppy sequence filled with mistimed moves. Red takes London off of the apron with the 718 then manages to hit a tornado DDT to London on the floor after his moonsault off of the got caught. London then swings Red into the guardrail. In the ring, London hits a delayed vertical suplex that gets two. Red comes back with a Red Star Press that gets two then takes him off of the top with a hurricarana that gets two. London then comes back and hits a powerbomb then gets the win with the Shooting Star Press. (5:44) *1/4. 
Thoughts: Disappointing match. These two just didn’t gel and kinda needed to be in the ring with really good workers at this point in their careers to have awesome matches.
Paul London vs. American Dragon
Dragon makes his return to RoH after a tour of Japan. Dragon grounds London on the mat to start. Dragon then kills London with chops and forearm smashes as he has been completely dominating this match. He continues to beat the shit out of London, who is selling like he is half-dead. London tries a moonsault but gets caught with a dropkick and Dragon gets two off of that. They then trade shots as we find out the winner of this match gets to face AJ Styles. London catches Dragon with a DDT  then gets back up and fires away. London comes back with a dropkick and a backdrop then gets two with a standing moonsault. Dragon comes back with a clothesline and attempts a super back suplex but London escapes then takes him down with a Russian leg sweep. London climbs up top but Dragon gets to his feet and cuts him off and hits a superplex for two. London comes back with a quick rollup but Daniels comes back with a Dragon Suplex then puts him in the Cattle Mutilation as London taps out (10:10) **3/4.

Thoughts: Dragon looked like an absolute bad-ass in his return as London, tired after wrestling in two matches before this, could not keep up with Dragon on the mat. London was really fun to watch in RoH but his transitions and strikes all looked pretty rough at this point.


RoH Tag Team Title Match
Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan & Samoa Joe (Champions) vs. Low Ki & Doug Williams & Homicide

 

Yes, the tag titles are being defended in a six-man tag as the Prophecy has apparently chosen to do it this way. The Prophecy get attacked before the bell but are able to escape. Ki starts off for his team as the Prophecy keep tagging each other in as they tease further tension between Joe and Daniels. Ki takes down Morgan and puts on a cross armbreaker. These two go back and forth on the mat and that ends in a standoff. Joe and Williams tag and they also take it to the mat. All of the matwork has looked great by the way. Homicide and Daniels are in and they trade armdrags before Homicide completely botches a move that ends with him hitting a DDT. Homicide counters a tilt-a-whirl with an armdrag then hits an Exploder followed by a Yakuza kick. Ki tags and works a figure-four neck lock that Joe quickly breaks up. Daniels is caught in the wrong corner as the face team uses quick tags to keep him isolated. Levy notes that the Japanese press have dubbed Ki the next Dynamite Kid. Williams is in and puts Daniels in the Gory Special and then Morgan in a single leg crab at the same time but Joe breaks that up with a boot to the face. Joe is now the legal man and he destroys Williams. Morgan tags and gets two with a rana as Williams is now getting destroyed in the opposing corner. The Prophecy are now beating the crap out of Williams outside of the ring as Morgan and Joe take turns. Morgan stretches out Williams with a wacky submission hold that Williams reverses but Morgan grabs the ropes. Joe tags and hits a delayed vertical suplex that gets two. Daniels tags and hits the BME but that only gets two. Williams fights back against Morgan and Daniels and makes the tag to Homicide. He runs wild on the Prophecy and hits a top rope Ace Crusher on Daniels. The match breaks down as Williams then takes out Morgan with a plancha. Daniels comes out next with an Arabian Press and the trainwreck spot is capped by Joe hitting a twisting plancha onto everyone as the fans go crazy. In the ring, Joe repeatedly kicks Williams in the face then gets two with a Dragon Suplex. Williams escapes a piledriver attempt but Morgan attacks him and hits a back suplex. Homicide makes the save but Morgan hits the Golden Gate Swing on him. That only got two as Homicide comes back with a takedown then puts Morgan in the STF but Daniels makes the save with a splash off of the top. Daniels rolls through a top rope hurricarana from Homicide and gets two. Ki chops Daniels down then they counter each others finishers. Ki misses a Tidal Crush and Daniels takes him off the top and that gets two. Now they have a sequence in which everyone attempts their finisher and that ends with Morgan and Daniels hitting Ki with a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo. Williams hits the Chaos Theory on Daniels but Morgan breaks that up and hits the Golden Gate Swing. Homicide then hits him with a brainbsuter and hits Joe with a few clotheslines that cannot take him down. Joe fights out of the Cop Killa and folds him in half with a powerbomb that gets two. Joe then rolls over and puts Homicide in the Coquina Clutch and Homicide passes out as the Prophecy remains the champions (23:07) ***3/4. After the match, Joe checks on Homicide, pissing off the rest of the Prophecy in the process. The crowd gives Homicide a standing ovation when he gets up.

Thoughts: Really good match that was all action. The match seemed designed to get Homicide over and besides one slip up at the beginning, he did fine. The rule of letting the Prophecy defend the Tag Titles in a six-man because the belts themselves read “The Prophecy” is contrived but it didn’t matter as the match was fun.


Alexis Laree vs. Allison Danger w/ Mace

The story here is that Danger is attracted to Laree, who is grossed out by that. Danger attacks Laree from behind but Laree kicks her out of the ring. Laree then boots Mace off of the apron then takes them both out with a plancha. Danger attacks Laree from behind then back inside Danger hits a neckbreaker that gets two. Danger kisses Laree on the lips and gets on top of her but celebrates for too long and ends up getting speared then roughed up for a bit until Laree puts her away with an inverted DDT (3:21) 1/4*. After the match, Mace knocks down Laree then suplexes her as the referees run in to check on her.

Thoughts: This was not good at all. Looks like Laree will be feuding against Danger and the CSC by herself.


Bunkhouse Match
Ring Crew Express vs. Carnage Crew

The Carnage Crew beat the shit out of the Express with hubcaps and chairs. There are two other members of the Ring Crew besides Dunn & Marcos and they also get destroyed. They continue their assault until they put away Marcos with a spike piledriver (2:27) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Brief and more of a hardcore exhibition than an actual match. The Carnage Crew were getting pretty stale as the act of beating the shit out of these guys can only go on for so long until the fans have had enough.


JT Smith of ECW fame is now in the ring but gets interrupted by Joey Matthews, who announces that it is Special K party time as he appears high. Given his history, this might have been the actual case. He then messes around and taunts Smith, then the rest of Special K attack Smith as it is a 3-on-1 attack. Two guys dressed in shiny pants and wearing bandana’s make the save but the Giant Black Guy runs in and chokeslams them before shaking Smith’s hand. Whatever.

RoH Championship Match
Jay Briscoe vs. Xavier (Champion) w/ Simply Luscious

This is Xavier’s first title defense. He pie-faces Briscoe after the handshake.  They take it to the mat as Briscoe gets the best of that. Xavier then works the leg and they continue to go back and forth. They trade chops and Briscoe goes for the Jaydriller but Xavier is able to escape and duck outside. Inside, they battle over a test of strength. Briscoe takes him down with an armdrag then a hurricarana. He dropkicks Xavier then spills outside after clotheslining Xavier to the floor. Xavier roughs up Jay then suplexes him on the floor. Xavier hits an elbow drop off of the apron then rams him into the post. In the ring, Luscious interferes behind the ref’s back and yanks out Briscoe as Xavier hits a double springboard moonsault that looked quite impressive. Xavier kicks a chair into Briscoe’s face, busting him open in the process. In the ring, Xavier continues to beat on Briscoe. He locks on a bridging submission as Briscoe’s face is covered in blood. Xavier hits a slam but misses a top rope elbow. Briscoe tries for the Jaydriller but Xavier counters that and slams him down. Briscoes escapes a superplex attempt then hits one of his own as both men are down. Briscoe comes back with a Death Valley Driver and tries for another Jaydriller but Xavier escapes. Xavier hits a Cobra Clutch suplex. Briscoe slips out of the X Breaker then powerbombs Xavier. He heads up top but Luscious slides in a chair to Xavier then crotches Briscoe on the top rope and Xavier hits him with a Super X Breaker for the win (20:48) ***1/4.

Thoughts: A lot slower-paced than the other matches on the card but still good. Xavier did a fine job in this style but still does not carry himself as a champion. Briscoe is extremely impressive, especially considering the fact that he is just a teenager. They also continued the feud between Jay and his brother Mark on commentary by stating that Mark prevented their parents from being here tonight.


#1 Contender’s Trophy Match
American Dragon vs. AJ Styles

They start off by going back and forth on the mat in an incredibly fast sequence that brings the crowd to their feet. Neither man can gain the upper hand until Dragon runs through AJ with a shoulderblock then works the neck. The matwork here is very crisp too. AJ comes back with a dropkick for a nearfall but Dragon sends a charging AJ to the floor with a drop toehold. Dragon then slides out and hammers away. Then, in an incredible spot, Dragon whips AJ towards the guardrail but AJ leaps over it then drills Dragon with a super kick as he charges over. AJ was the fucking man in 2002, busting out all sorts of crazy athletic moves. AJ rolls Dragon inside and gets two then hits a backbreaker/gutbuster combo. They trade Monkey Flips but still hold onto each others arms. Dragon then kicks AJ repeatedly in the arm and targets that for a while. They then trade chops until Dragon takes him down. Dragon wraps AJ’s arm over the rope then headbutts it repeatedly. He then knocks AJ to the corner with a European uppercut then he stomps his head several times. AJ counters a slam with a small package then a front facelock. AJ tries the Phenomenon but Dragon blocks that and hits a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Dragon destroys AJ with more European uppercuts as we now see Dragon bleeding from the eye. AJ comes back with a brainbuster as both men are down with the crowd really getting into the match. AJ puts Dragon in a neck hold and they fight over it as the referee calls for a stalemate and finally gets them to break the hold. AJ hits a neckbreaker for two. Dragon comes back with a German suplex for a nearfall then plants him with a DDT. Dragon climbs up top and hits the diving headbutt but still cannot put away AJ. The have an Irish whip sequence that ends with AJ catching Dragon with a spinning heel kick. AJ hits a German suplex then rolls through that and hits Dragon with a facebuster that gets two. AJ now heads up top but Dragon cuts him off and takes him off with a super back suplex that had AJ flip over in midair and land face-first as AJ looks dead. Dragon covers nonchalantly and AJ gets his foot on the rope. They then have a slap battle and take each other down with discus clotheslines. They are now chopping each other from their knees until Dragon backs AJ into the corner and unloads on him. AJ catches Dragon with an elbow then hits the Phenomenon for a nearfall. AJ then hits the Styles Clash but Dragon just kicks out at the last second. Dragon comes back with a Dragon Suplex then locks on the Cattle Mutilation. Dragon then turns it into a pinning combination but that only gets two. Dragon heads up top and AJ cuts him off. AJ goes up top and gets knocked off but cuts off Dragon again. He tries to set up Dragon for the Styles Clash but Dragon will not let go of the ropes so AJ keeps on ramming his head into the turnbuckle pad then finally hits him with a powerbomb. AJ then hits another powerbomb before he finally gets the win with the Styles Clash (22:30) ****3/4. The fans give them a standing ovation then Dragon presents AJ with the trophy. After Dragon leaves, the Prophecy runs in to beatdown AJ until Jay Briscoe then Dragon comes back to make the save. Joe was not with the Prophecy here.

Thoughts: Incredible match and easily a MOTYC. This might have been my favorite RoH match of 2002. Both of these guys are top-notch wrestlers who brought their A+ games tonight. And this also gave the #1 Contender’s Trophy at lot of credibility afterwards.


Steve Corino & Low Ki w/ Samoa Joe vs. Masato Tanaka & Shinjiro Ohtani

The crowd gives Tanaka a standing ovation. This is billed as a Zero-One/RoH special promotion match. Ki and Tanaka start things off and they trade off working the arm. Ki kicks Tanaka in the face from the ground. They work a fast-paced sequence that ends with Tanaka hitting a powerbomb. Ki hits a back suplex then works a surfboard. Ki now works an abdominal stretch Tanaka escapes and tags Ohtani, who knees Ki in the face after putting him in the tree-of-woe. Ohtani hits a pair of slams then gauges the eyes of Ki. Ohtani gets bit and Ki backs him into his corner and tags Corino. They go back and forth as Ohtani gains the upper hand. Ohtani tags Tanaka then drills Corino in the face with a dropkick as he was in a Camel Clutch. Tanaka puts Corino in a headlock. Corino escapes and tags Ki who boots Tanaka in the face then puts him in a triangle hold. Tanaka reverses it into a Camel Clutch and then tags Ohtani, who puts Ki in a rear naked choke. Ohtani stiffs Ki with chops but gets a taste of his own medicine and tags Corino, whose strikes were not as effective. Corino locks on a cross armbreaker that Ohtani escapes from and has Corino’s hand in his mouth, biting his finger. The crowd goes nuts as Ohtani sets up for his boot scrapes. Ohtani misses a kick in the corner and Corino hits him low. Ki tags in and gets Ohtani in the Hanging Dragon. Ohtani blocks a Ki Krusher attempt but Ki puts him in the Dragon Clutch that Tanaka immediately breaks up. Ohtani nails Ki with a spin kick then tags Tanaka. Ki comes back with a rolling Koppu Kick then gets two with the Tidal Crush. Ki charges at Tanaka again but ends up getting drilled with a spear. The match breaks down as Tanaka hits the Osaka Street Cutter then a frog splash that Ki kicks out at two. Ki comes back with a barrage of kicks and tags Corino. He catches Tanaka with a leg lariat then yells at the fans. Tanaka cahtces him with a short-arm clothesline. He gets caught with two consecutive tornado DDT’s but catches Ohtani with an Exploder then rolling suplexes. He hits the Old School Expulsion but Tanaka breaks up the pin. Corino gets two with a fisherman’s buster then orders Ki into the ring. He holds up Ohtani for him but accidentally eats a springboard kick. Ohtani then comes back with a missile dropkick on Corino before finishing him off with the Spiral Bomb (15:30) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Fun match. Corino seemed out of place in this match but did not drag it down or anything as Ki wrestled most of the time for his team. The crowd was really into both of the Japanese stars, who looked great. Ki wore different gear here as the commentators noted that he did this as this match was airing in Japan.


Da Hit Squad are backstage talking when a distraught Homicide comes up and says he is still pissed off over Corino fucking him over last month against the CZW guys. Homicide then takes off into the locker room and knocks down Corino as Da Hit Squad calm Homicide down.

Final Thoughts: Awesome show. A lot of good wrestling and minimal bullshit. Plus, they cut down a lot on the backstage segments, which were generally poor at this time and told the stories in the ring. Probably the best RoH show of 2002 and I give it a high recommendation.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WCW Starrcade 1993!

Live from Charlotte, NC

Airdate: December 27, 1993

Attendance: 8,000 (7,000 paid)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

The tenth anniversary show opens with a series of photos of
Ric Flair as he grew up. Included are a clipping of a newspaper article of the
plane crash as well as Flair’s victories over Harley Race at Starrcade ’83 and
Ronnie Garvin at Starrcade ’87. Suddenly Vader roars and a sequence of his
squashes permeate the introduction. As an added bonus the aftermath of Vader’s
powerbomb of Cactus Jack is briefly shown.

Tony mentions Vader and Race’s arrival at 2pm and subsequent
workout in the ring. Unlike the punctual WCW World Champion his challenger has
yet to arrive. “Mean” Gene Okerlund is with Flair (and family) at the Flair
household while a chauffeur takes the bags to the limousine. Interestingly, a
very young Ashley (current NXT wrestler Charlotte) and Reid (RIP) hug their
father as disgruntled teenager David broods in the background along with a
worried Beth. After leaving the house, a subdued Flair and Gene discuss the
ramifications of tonight’s main event — if Flair loses he must retire, but if
he wins he becomes WCW World Champion.

Match 1: Marcus
Alexander Bagwell and Too Cold Scorpio (w/ Teddy Long) versus Pretty Wonderful
(w/ the Assassin)

Highlights:

·        
For those unaware Pretty Wonderful is “Pretty”
Paul Roma and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff.
·        
Wait a minute! Wasn’t Paul Roma a face at
Battlebowl? Oh yeah, back on the 12/11/93 episode of WCW Saturday Night (taped
11/30/93) Roma tagged with his Battlebowl partner Erik Watts. Check this
out!
·        
Prior to the match WCW Executive Committee
member Gary Juster presented “The Godfather” Teddy Long with the 1993 Manager
of the Year award. Thanks go out to all of you for calling the hotline!
·        
A brawl between all four men started the match.
Tony mentioned on WCW Saturday Night (taped 12/6/93) that
Orndorff and Roma attacked Bagwell and Scorpio after their match with Pierce
and Slazenger.
·        
Double dropkick sent Roma to the floor.
·        
Excellent tag team synchronicity by Bagwell and
Scorpio.
·        
While Bagwell hooked a sleeper on Orndorff and
referee Nick Patrick was distracted by an intruding Scorpio Roma came off the
top rope with a forearm to the back.
·        
Three consecutive backbreakers from Roma to
Bagwell.
·        
Sweet butterfly suplex followed by an even
sweeter powerslam from Roma.
·        
From the top rope Roma missed a splash leading
to the hot tag to Scorpio.
·        
Scorpio delivered a snap suplex then came off the
top rope to nail Orndorff.
·        
As Scorpio gave Orndorff a standing spinning
heel kick Bagwell and Roma fought on the floor.
·        
The Assassin got on the apron but got decked by
Scorpio.
·        
As Orndorff held Scorpio overhead the Assassin
head-butted him with the loaded mask.
·        
Pretty Wonderful stole the opener.


Rating: **

Summary: Very
formulaic tag match giving the new tag team of Pretty Wonderful a big boost by
beating the former WCW World tag champs. I see bigger things on the horizon for
this team.

Gene and Flair are still in the limo on their way to the
arena. Was there a traffic jam in Charlotte on this night?

Match 2: The
Shockmaster versus Awesome King Kong (w/ King Awesome Kong)

Highlights:

·        
Shockmaster got double-teamed as he entered the
ring.
·        
He then became a Kong sandwich.
·        
Awesome King Kong gave him a splash.
·        
Holy Goodyear blimp, Batman! Shockmaster with a flying body press!
Although he barely left his feet it still counts, right?
·        
After nailing Awesome Kong on the apron
Shockmaster gave King Kong a powerslam and pinned King Kong.

Rating: 1/2*

Summary: A short
Shockmaster match is infinitely better than a long one. Unfortunately for the
900 pound duo the attempted switcheroo trick failed.

Tony mentions that prior to the telecast Terry Taylor
defeated The Equalizer. He and Jesse then discuss The Boss as a replacement for
“The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith in the International World title match
later. In other news, Charlotte’s finest escort the limousine to the arena.

Match 3 for the WCW
World TV title: Lord Steven Regal (champion) versus Ricky “The Dragon”
Steamboat

Highlights:

·        
At the outset of the match Tony and Jesse pondered
the possibility of a time-limit draw due to Regal’s reluctance to lock up with
Steamboat. Foreshadowing, perhaps?
·        
If one cannot enjoy a Regal match solely based
upon his facial expressions, how can one?
·        
Enziguri by Steamboat caused a 360° sell.
·        
After both men head to the floor Sir William
tried to nail Steamboat with the umbrella. Nonetheless it became a chase into
the ring by Steamboat after Sir William.
·        
As Steamboat exited the ring to chase him again Regal
caught him with a standing dropkick.
·        
Butterfly suplex by Steamboat with 45 seconds
remaining in the time limit.
·        
Outside the ring Steamboat rammed Regal and Sir
William’s heads together.
·        
With 15 seconds remaining Steamboat climbed to
the top turnbuckle but misses the flying body press.
·        
As ring announcer Gary Michael Capetta counted
down the final seconds Steamboat delivered a German suplex but could not
successfully secure the pin in time.
·        
Time-limit draw. Regal retained his title.

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  If you enjoy scientific/technical wrestling
then this is your match. Plenty of psychology mixed in with a tiny bit of
high-flying and workrate make this an extremely good match. A finish would have
raised the rating even higher, but Steamboat did his job making Regal look sharp
here.

Tony and Jesse continue to discuss Flair and the retirement
stipulation of the main event.

Match 4: Shanghai
Pierce and Tex Slazenger versus Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne

Highlights:

·        
Can Mick Foley carry the load of four men here?
Let’s find out!
·        
Tony compared Cactus Jack and Tex Slazenger.
It’s no wonder the future Mideon would emulate the future
Mankind in the WWF during the Attitude Era.
·        
Bulldog from Slazenger.
·        
Cactus clothesline to Shanghai Pierce.
·        
Assisted “plancha” by Cactus atop Slazenger. I
believe Sandman swiped that move in ECW.
·        
Payne applied the Payne Killer to Pierce, but
Slazenger saved.
·        
Heel miscommunication led to a Cactus double-arm
DDT on Pierce for the pin.

Rating: *1/2

Summary: Not as
bad as I expected, but yes, Foley can carry quite a load.

Okerlund interviews NASCAR driver Kyle Petty who discusses
his father’s (Richard Petty) retirement.

Match 5 for the US
title (2 out of 3 falls): “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes (champion) versus
“Stunning” Steve Austin (w/ Colonel Parker)

Highlights:

·        
Austin rolled his camera while making his
entrance.
·        
By the way, where is Brian Pillman? Shouldn’t he
be facing Austin? Then again, Austin bloodied Rhodes at Battlebowl, so never
mind.
·        
Ventura made a Rush Limbaugh joke.
·        
Upon the reversal of an Irish whip Rhodes sent
Austin over the steel railing into the crowd.
·        
From the second rope Austin missed a knee drop.
·        
Flip, flop, and fly followed by a lariat from
Rhodes.
·        
Powerslam by Rhodes got a 2 count.
·        
Parker got up on the apron, but Rhodes tossed
Austin directly into him.
·        
In the process Austin went over the top rope
earning him the first fall due to disqualification.
·        
In lieu of the thirty second rest period Rhodes
followed Austin to the floor to hammer on him.
·        
In fact he rammed Austin into the ring post busting him wide open.
·        
An injured Colonel Parker was escorted from
ringside.
·        
To begin the second fall Rhodes went outside the
ring to bring Austin in the hard way.
·        
Double axe handle from the top rope by Rhodes as
the lights flickered.
·        
The ring lights went out forcing them to wrestle
under a spotlight.
·        
Vertical suplex, cross-corner whip, and  a clothesline by Rhodes.
·        
As the lights return Rhodes mounted the second
rope to nail Austin in the head.
·        
All of a sudden Austin took him down, grabbed
the tights, and got the pin.
·        
“Stunning” Steve Austin is the NEW US champion!

Rating: **

Summary: This
match either could have been a bloody brawl or a decent wrestling match;
however, Rhodes’ ire toward Austin wasn’t a factor until the beginning of the
second fall. On top of that both men were capable of using more workrate and
fluidity. Oh, and one more thing, this match only lasted 15:54. For a best two
out of three falls match? That’s criminally short. How will they make up the
PPV time? I’m afraid to find out.

Match 6 for the WCW
International World title: “Ravishing” Rick Rude versus The Boss

Highlights:

·        
Back on 11/30/93 a non-title match between “The
British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith and Rude was filmed, but Smith was fired
before it could air on 12/18. Instead on 12/13 Rude beat Smith by forfeit
causing Ray Traylor the Boss to make his return
to WCW after six years, face Rude in a non-title match, and defeat him.
·        
A police siren signaled the Boss to the ring.
·        
Hooters’ girls have been ring attendants this
evening and gave Rude the thumbs down much to Jesse’s chagrin.
·        
Tremendous elevation via back drop followed by a
backbreaker by the Boss.
·        
While on the floor the Boss suplexed Rude and hung
his legs over the top rope.
·        
Rude mounted the top turnbuckle but ate a right
hand on the way down.
·        
After a Boss miscue Rude sunset flipped over the
top rope and pinned him.

Rating: 1/2*

Summary: Got a
stamp? Rude mailed in another one here. In addition to the legitimacy of the
International World title being questioned the poor quality of Rude’s matches
in 1993 also devalued its championship value. Thus far the WCW International
World title is a joke.

WCW SuperBrawl IV takes place on February 20!

Match 7 for the WCW
World Tag Team titles: The Nasty Boys (champions w/ Missy Hyatt) versus Sting
and Road Warrior Hawk

Highlights:

·        
Oh my God! Missy Hyatt wore a see-through pink
dress. Methinks she wanted to wear less clothing than the Hooters’ girls.
·        
Stalling to start by the Nasty Boys. I don’t
like the feeling I’m getting watching this.
·        
Hawk military pressed Sting then launched him
onto both Nasty Boys.
·        
Enziguri by Hawk.
·        
Sags gave Hawk a chair shot with a plastic
non-folding chair. Ouch!
·        
To add insult to injury Missy slapped Hawk. He must have been a naughty Road Warrior.
·        
Cross arm breaker to Hawk by Sags.
·        
Fujiwara arm bar by Knobbs. It appears that the
Nasty Boys learned something during their short stint in NJPW in November.
·        
Tony: “What’s more painful here? This arm bar or
Missy’s mouth here?”
·        
False tag to Sting not permitted by referee Nick
Patrick.
·        
After Sting got the real tag and cleaned house
the Nasty Boys tried to take a walk.
·        
We’re fifteen minutes in; can we please get a
countout and move on to the main event? No? Dammit!
·        
Alternatively Sting and Hawk continued my misery
by chasing after the nefarious champs.
·        
Sting attempted a top rope splash but hit knees.
·        
Knobbs mounted the second turnbuckle and grazed
Sting on the way down. I believe he was supposed to miss him completely.
·        
In an entirely obvious moment to us but
oblivious to the referee, Knobbs tossed Sting over the top rope. Sting landed
on the apron first, but Patrick ignored it.
·        
Outside the ring Sags made Sting taste the steel
railing. Needs Gulden’s spicy brown mustard.
·        
Not to nitpick but the tag belts sat in the
corner of the champs instead of the timekeeper’s table. C’mon, WCW! You’re
better than that!
·        
Missy whipped Sting with her (ahem) cat o’ nine tails
before Sags clotheslined him.
·        
Just to antagonize me Sags hooked the abdominal
stretch on Sting then switched with Knobbs.
·        
We’re twenty minutes in,  and Sags hurt himself by giving Sting a
pump-handle slam.
·        
Reverse chinlock by Knobbs.
·        
After a vertical suplex Knobbs reapplied the
rear chinlock.
·        
Sags tagged in briefly, but it was obvious he
was in a lot of pain.
·        
Oh Criminy! Knobbs applied the abdominal stretch
AGAIN.
·        
Five minutes remain. Please let this match end.
·        
After a slam Knobbs climbed to the second rope
and delivered a splash.
·        
He tried it a second time, and as if on cue
Sting raised his foot. Oops! Sting forgot the first time.
·        
Nasty Boys with the double-team avalanche on
Sting.
·        
With three minutes remaining Hawk nailed Knobbs
then hammered Sags who caught his leg on the top rope.
·        
FINALLY Hawk tagged in and cleaned house.
·        
Stinger splash, but when Sting tried to apply
the Scorpion Deathlock, Missy jumped up on the apron.
·        
Sting kissed Missy with two minutes left.
·        
He avoided a charging Knobbs (sending Missy to
the floor) and school-boyed him for 2.
·        
In an extremely convoluted manner Sting and Hawk
deliver the Doomsday Device to Knobbs.
·        
Since Sags was too injured to even stand on the
apron Missy was forced to interfere causing the DQ. During that time she
jiggled out of her dress. More on this later.
·        
Out of nowhere the bell rung despite Patrick
doing anything to signal for it.
·        
Sting and Hawk won the match, but the Nasty Boys
retained the titles.

Rating: DUD

Summary: How many
drugs did the Nasty Boys (allegedly) promise Hawk to be in control for this
match? Seriously I realize that the heels normally call a match, but the Nasty
Boys are better brawlers than wrestlers and certainly not ring generals. This
match was too long and had time-limit draw written all over it before that
hasty finish. On the other hand Booking 101 states that a show should not
contain more than one time-limit draw so someone didn’t communicate properly
somewhere.

Speaking of the finish I mentioned that Missy popped out of
her dress. Well, a WCW photographer got a good shot and it ended up on a
bulletin board at CNN Center. When Missy discovered it she pleaded with
Executive Producer Eric Bischoff to remove it and punish those responsible.
After Bischoff’s attempted deflection of the situation Hyatt went over his head
to file her complaint. Without hesitation Bischoff fired her prompting a sexual
discrimination lawsuit against WCW by Hyatt. In December 1996 the suit was settled
out of court.

Call the hotline to talk to Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne after
the show!

Match 8 for the WCW
World Heavyweight title: Vader (champion w/ Harley Race) versus “Nature Boy”
Ric Flair

Highlights:

·        
To no one’s surprise the hometown hero received
an enormous pop upon his entrance and introduction.
·        
Buffer rumbled.
·        
Humongous “Flair” chants from the Queen City
faithful.
·        
Gorilla press slam from Vader sent Flair rolling
to the floor.
·        
Vader followed and made Flair taste the steel railing.
More mustard please.
·        
Having turned the tables Flair avoided a Vader
splash on the steel railing then rammed him head-first into the ring post.
·        
Vader tossed Flair around like a rag doll.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Vader became a Flair flip
to the floor.
·        
Stiff rights followed by a stiff clothesline by
Vader busted Flair’s mouth open.
·        
Flair’s retaliatory chops didn’t faze Vader.
·        
Powerslam by Vader.
·        
Second-rope clothesline by Vader but second-rope
splash missed.
·        
Top rope forearm by Flair yet second one only
grazed Vader.
·        
Third one put Vader down on the mat.
·        
Superplex followed by a running body block by
Vader.
·        
Race kicked and choked Flair on the floor.
·        
Much to the crowd’s delight Flair put Vader down
on the mat after a series of right hands and chops.
·        
After ramming Vader’s left leg into the ring
post, Flair rammed it with Jesse’s plastic chair. OUCH!
·        
After some stiff shots to Vader Flair delivered
a chair shot to the top of the head.
·        
Flair failed to hook a figure-four leg lock.
·        
Vader bomb missed.
·        
Second attempt at the figure four leg lock was
successful, but Vader made it to the ropes.
·        
Moonsault by Vader missed.
·        
Race tried to break up the cover but head-butted
Vader from the top rope instead.
·        
Referee Randy Anderson heaved Race completely
out of the ring. Way to go, Randy!
·        
After a flying forearm and some chops Flair sent
Vader into the ropes only to eat another running body block. Vader grabbed his
left leg though.
·        
Like a shark smelling blood in the water Flair
grabbed the weakened left leg in a single leg takedown and pinned Vader.
·        
We have a new WCW World Heavyweight Champion!
·        
For the eleventh time Flair is the man! Woo!

 Rating: ****1/2

Summary:  Excellent David versus Goliath story told here
by both men. Flair knew he could not outwrestle the larger Vader; hence, he
went toe-to-toe and outlasted him in this tremendously fought battle. Even with
a puzzling finish I thought it was absolutely excellent. If you haven’t seen
this match, check it out.

On another note this match helped to save WCW as Flair was
the placeholder WCW needed after a long and bumpy 1993. To me that adds an
extra  ½*.

After the match the crowd gave Flair an elongated standing
ovation as confetti fell from the rafters.

Eric Bischoff is with an irate Vader with Harley Race. Vader
destroys a locker claiming “I want (the belt) back!”

Flair returns to ringside for a well-deserved curtain call.

Okerlund is in the other locker room with the Flair family.
He tries to interview Flair, but Flair’s mouth is too busted up. Instead he
interviews Sting who congratulates Flair. Ricky Steamboat appears and gives
kudos to Flair.

Conclusion: Consider
this show a major WCW reboot. Since Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson were not
involved two major matches had to be changed. Most of you already know that Sid
was penciled in as WCW World Champion at this show prior to the Blackburn scissors
incident. Incidentally Arn Anderson and Paul Roma were scheduled to have a
break-up angle and feud here as well. Of all the talent within WCW Erik Watts
was chosen to replace Anderson. Additionally Davey Boy Smith’s firing led to
Ray Traylor’s receipt of a title shot here. Since WCW was hung out to dry due
to all of these situations they could only rely on one man to rescue them—Ric Flair.
See you at Clash XXVI!

Buyrate: 0.55

For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WCW Battlebowl 1993!

Live from Pensacola, FL

Airdate: November 20, 1993

Attendance: 7,000 (3,000 paid)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura
This year’s event marks the third Battlebowl. In previous years Battlebowl occurred at Starrcade. While hyping the event Jesse mentions that the winner receives a Battlebowl ring. Both the heel and face locker rooms are shown via split-screen. Recounting Battlebowl history Tony notes that Sting won the first event and is here tonight while the Great Muta who won the second one isn’t here. Remember these marquee names when the names get pulled. Oh, (though unmentioned on camera) Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson are still suspended due to the hotel room altercation. Hopefully that should clear up some of the names drawn in the Lethal Lottery.

An excited “Mean” Gene Okerlund and Fifi rotate the tumbler in order to pull out the first batch of names. Cactus Jack’s name is called first. Were they trying to find best-selling authors or hardcore legends here? Anyways, WCW World champion Vader gets called next. Kole (Booker T) from Harlem Heat is named as the third participant; however, Kane (Stevie Ray) takes his place. The fourth name called is Native American Charlie Norris. See what I mean yet?
Match 1: Vader and Cactus Jack (w/ Harley Race) versus Charlie Norris and Kane (Harlem Heat)
Highlights:
· Before the match began Vader and Cactus Jack brawled on the ramp.
· Kane joined Vader in the melee.
· An unwilling Vader hit Harley Race to protest his participation though Race convinced Vader to compete.
· Reluctantly Cactus Jack tagged in Vader.
· He gave Norris a short-arm clothesline, a slam, and then a Vader bomb.
· Somersault plancha from Jack from the apron to the floor.
· Clothesline from Kane to Cactus Jack prompted Vader to enter the ring to brawl with Kane.
· Big foot from Norris knocked Cactus Jack out of the ring.
· Kane then made Cactus Jack taste the steel railing. Needs Miracle Whip.
· Double-arm DDT from Cactus Jack on Kane.
· Series of chops from Norris until Vader bulldozed him down.
· Vader splash off the ropes.
· Powerbomb from Vader but he lost his balance. I guess he misjudged Norris’ weight.
· Nevertheless Vader pinned Norris.
Rating: *
Summary: The concept of having Vader and Cactus on the same team was the only interesting aspect of this match. Vader and Cactus Jack move on to the battle royal.
After the match Vader appears to have hurt himself with that powerbomb.
Shenanigans between Okerlund and Fifi are teased as the next names are drawn. Paul Roma’s name is called first. Yikes! His partner will be Erik Watts. He’s still employed? Oh brother. Regardless, their first opponent is Johnny B. Badd. That’s three guys from the face locker room at this point. The last name drawn is Brian Knobbs from the Nasty Boys. I sense a train wreck with this group.
Match 2: Brian Knobbs and Johnny B. Badd (w/ Missy Hyatt) versus Erik Watts and “Pretty” Paul Roma
Highlights:
· Perhaps Missy will get involved against Watts since they used to be an item.
· According to Tony on the episode of WCW Saturday Night that aired prior to the PPV (taped 10/6/93) Arn Anderson was double-teamed by “Stunning” Steve Austin and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff before being rescued eventually by Roma. Afterwards Anderson was none too pleased with his fellow Horseman.
· Slam and a dropkick from Roma prior to tagging in Watts.
· Watts then nailed Knobbs with a knee lift and a dropkick.
· Top rope double sledge to the shoulder by Roma.
· Anderson slam by Roma. Who said he didn’t learn anything from being a Horseman?
· Funny bit as Missy turned her back on the match when Watts was tagged in.
· Sweet powerslam from Roma. No count due to Missy’s distraction of referee Nick Patrick.
· Badd didn’t agree with Knobbs’ heel trip of Roma off the ropes.
· Missy berated Badd for not capitalizing on the downed Roma outside the ring.
· Knobbs tried the assisted abdominal stretch with Badd, but Johnny would not comply.
· Knobbs ate boot after trying a second-rope splash.
· Enziguri from Roma.
· Flying body press from Watts, but Knobbs used momentum (and the tights) to roll through and pin Watts.
Rating: **
Summary: Fascinating dynamic with respect to the match flow because when Badd was tagged in a wrestling match occurred; on the other hand, when Knobbs was tagged in it was a brawl.
Back to Okerlund and Fifi who appear to be having a private conversation. For the next match the first participant is the Shockmaster. NO! Dammit! The second name called is Paul Orndorff. Fifi is getting quite cozy with Gene so much so that Gene makes a remark. Their first opponent will be Ricky Steamboat while the second opponent will be WCW World TV champion Lord Steven Regal.
Match 3: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Lord Steven Regal (w/ Sir William) versus the Shockmaster and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Highlights:
· Regal’s facial expression of disgust at the onset was undeniably great.
· Steamboat skinned the cat then headscissored Orndorff over the top rope.
· Next they brawled on the floor.
· After tags were made on both sides Regal continued to be disgusted having touched Steamboat.
· Shockmaster touched Regal’s hair causing his Lordship to become quite miffed. Must not be his day.
· Flying body press by Regal countered into a slam by Shockmaster.
· Regal craftily countered a full-nelson and celebrated with a cartwheel.
· Stungun from Orndorff to Steamboat.
· Sidewalk slam by Orndorff.
· Shockmaster forced the tag between Steamboat and Regal then missed an avalanche.
· Regal attempted to use the umbrella, but Steamboat stopped him.
· Jockeying for the umbrella Regal knocked Steamboat into the ropes. Consequently Steamboat’s momentum caused the umbrella to hit Regal.
· While Steamboat chased Sir William outside the ring with the umbrella Shockmaster splashed Regal for the pin.
Rating: **
Summary: The bickering between tag partners in this match made for quite the entertaining bout. The ironic twist at the end told a good story as well.
After the match Steamboat griped with Regal. Perhaps he promised his Battlebowl ring to Bonnie.
Don’t miss Starrcade on Monday, December 27! Tony details the highlights from the inaugural Starrcade back in 1983. Meanwhile at the Starrcade press conference while standing next to a dapper Vader (including head gear) Okerlund refers to Starrcade as “the premiere event for (WCW).” He then mentions all of the cities that bid for the venue slot. Ultimately Okerlund announces that Starrcade will emanate from (the Independence Arena in) Charlotte, NC.
As Okerlund hypes Vader as the current WCW champion, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair interrupts the proceedings by presenting a contract to face Vader at Starrcade. Vader asks what Flair brings to the table. Flair offers his ten world titles. Vader counters with his ten titles across four continents. Flair counters with a retirement stipulation should he lose the match. Vader lists all of the wrestlers he has either injured or put out to pasture then accepts the match.
As an aside here Starrcade was supposed to feature the break-up of the Masters of the Powerbomb. Nonetheless, due to the hotel altercation between Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson in England both wrestlers were suspended. This situation caused not only the World title match (and subsequent plans for the title) to be altered but also cancelled the Anderson-Roma match.
When we return live to the arena Okerlund and Fifi are having another intimate moment. In fact Gene holds up a pair of handcuffs. How naughty! No wonder this show is rated TV-14. The first participant in our next match is Awesome Kong. Sadly he’s not so awesome. His partner will be the Equalizer. Ugh! My stomach hurts. On the opposite side of the ring will be Dustin Rhodes and King Kong. Will Fay Wray be far behind? Let’s hope “The Natural” can perform a miracle here.
Match 4: “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes and King Kong versus the Equalizer and Awesome Kong
Highlights:
· Three dropkicks from Rhodes couldn’t take Awesome Kong off his feet, but a rollup received a 2 count.
· Rhodes tagged in King Kong to face his partner.
· To say that a match between the Kongs is the polar opposite of a match between the Rockers in 1993 would be an accurate statement.
· Immediately King Kong tagged out avoiding the confrontation with Awesome Kong.
· Since three of the four men in this match are heels the crowd is noticeably VERY quiet.
· Flying shoulder block from the Equalizer knocked King Kong to the canvas, but he missed the leg drop.
· Bionic elbow got a 2 count.
· Pandemonium ensued with all four men in the ring. In turn Awesome gave his own partner a Kong sandwich in the corner but knocked himself silly.
· Immediately Rhodes hit the bulldog on Awesome Kong and gained the victory.
Rating: DUD
Summary: Nope, Rhodes is merely mortal as this match truly sucked. Yuck! I believe the crowd reaction when Rhodes pinned Awesome Kong was for the fact that the match was over rather than anything else.
Methinks Gene is sweating as he stands next to Fifi. The first participant in the next match is Sting. That woke up the crowd! His partner will be Jerry Sags of the Nasty Boys. The next name called is Ron Simmons while his partner will be…Keith Cole? Seriously, an enhancement talent gets a PPV match? Talk about random.
Match 5: Ron Simmons and Keith Cole versus Jerry Sags (w/ Missy Hyatt) and Sting
Highlights:
· Holy incredible mullets, Batman! That is one heck of a hairstyle on Keith Cole. Take a flat top and give it a long tail.
· After former WCW World champion Simmons brought the workrate to the match Cole tagged in and bored the crowd with some arm bars. In response the crowd chanted “We Want Sting!” Sags teased the crowd with a couple of false tags just to be a dick.
· Although after Sags had some trouble with his opponents Sting was finally tagged in.
· Having some fun with Simmons’ neon green tights Jesse changed Ron’s allegiance from Florida State to Notre Dame. I wonder if that means anything.
· Sting shook Cole’s head. Cole’s response was praising Sting’s similar hairstyle.
· Sting countered a hip toss with a backslide.
· Sweet powerslam from Simmons.
· Catapult clothesline on the bottom rope by Simmons.
· After Cole exposed his inexperience Sting took control.
· Stinger splash.
· Sags blindly tagged in, dropped the elbow from the top rope, and pinned Cole.
Rating: ***
Summary: Aside from Cole’s inexperience (who else was going to eat the pin here?) this match brought some athleticism to the ring. Even though this show was in his home state Simmons teased a heel turn and received the appropriate crowd response.
After the match Simmons is disgusted with Cole. In fact he’s so disgruntled that he delivered the Dominator to him cementing his heel turn.
As the camera returns to Gene and Fifi they are shown dancing quite closely. Our next participant is “Stunning” Steve Austin. His partner is “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Considering these two were on opposite teams in a match for Clash XXII earlier in the year their pairing ought to be exciting. Moving along, their opponents will be Maxx Payne and Too Cold Scorpio. Is the outcome too obvious here or what?
Match 6: “Nature Boy”Ric Flair and “Stunning” Steve Austin (w/ Colonel Parker) versus Too Cold Scorpio and Maxx Payne
Highlights:
· Austin was still sporting his Hollywood Blonds jacket and trunks. Also he was the only heel in this match.
· Standing choke from Payne then he dropped Austin on his back.
· Flair and Scorpio took it to the mat ending with a backslide from Scorpio for 2.
· Standing moonsault from Scorpio.
· Austin walked into a superkick from Scorpio.
· Superplex from Austin.
· Belly-to-back suplex from Flair only got 2 thanks to a save by Payne.
· Rope-assisted abdominal stretch from Austin broken by Flair.
· After an argument with Austin Flair gave Scorpio a delayed vertical suplex.
· Top rope forearm from Austin. Again Payne made the save.
· Out of nowhere Scorpio hit the spinning heel kick.
· After no-selling Flair’s chops Payne went on the attack.
· Unfortunately he missed a running knee in the corner prompting Flair to slap on the figure four leg lock for the submission victory.
Rating: ***1/2
Summary: Even with Payne involved the workrate was very strong in this match. On the other hand Payne as a face doesn’t sell too well.
Upon their re-emergence on camera Gene takes a moment to “tie (his) shoe” and inauspiciously tries to look up Fifi’s evening gown. Subtle, Gene. The next name called is WCW International World Champion “Ravishing” Rick Rude. His partner will be Shanghai Pierce. For those unfamiliar that is Henry Godwinn with a mask. Their opponents are Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Tex Slazenger (aka Phineas Godwinn). To say one of these men is not like the others would be an understatement.
Match 7: Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Tex Slazenger versus Shanghai Pierce and “Ravishing” Rick Rude
Highlights:
· Rude showed off his physique then his strength with an unassisted vertical suplex on Bagwell.
· He then tagged in Pierce to face Slazenger, but again he tagged out to avoid wrestling his partner.
· Splash from Bagwell got a 2 count.
· To illustrate how boring this match is, Tony asked Jesse about his Thanksgiving plans.
· Vertical suplex with a float-over by Bagwell.
· As Bagwell tried to bounce off the ropes Rude supplied the low bridge sending Bagwell to the floor.
· Jesse’s Thanksgiving response became a cheap shot at Vince McMahon regarding his indictment.
· Rude with a delayed vertical…nope, make that a gourdbuster.
· Pierce hit a knee drop from the second rope.
· To bore the crowd even further Rude applied a bear hug.
· False tag led to a double-team on Bagwell. Not the Showtime variety.
· Big boot off the ropes by Pierce followed by a sit-out powerbomb. I’m as shocked as you are.
· Slazenger made the save kicking Pierce in the back.
· Tex tagged in and the future Godwinns brawled with one another. It resembled a brawl you’d see at the local watering hole.
· As Pierce set up Slazenger for a sunset flip Rude tagged in and gave Slazenger the Rude Awakening for the pin.
Rating: *
Summary: Thank goodness it’s over. That match was a cure for insomnia. Rude’s involvement along with the sit-out powerbomb rises this one from the dead.
After the match Slazenger and Pierce beat up Bagwell then reunite. Aww.
As we return to the tumbler Fifi is suspiciously on her knees while Gene has an enormous grin on his face. And you wonder why Missy Hyatt sued this company for sexual harassment? The next participant will be Road Warrior Hawk. If his partner doesn’t have a stash of either downers or hormones I don’t like his chances. Hawk’s partner will be…Rip Rogers? Seriously? Yikes! Their opponents will be Davey Boy Smith and Kole of Harlem Heat. In actuality it was either going to be Kole or Kent Cole as nobody else was left in either dressing room.
Match 8: “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith and Kole (Harlem Heat) versus Road Warrior Hawk and Rip Rogers
Highlights:
· Rip Rogers was so excited to be a part of Battlebowl that Hawk destroyed him on the ramp prior to their entrance to the ring.
· Not surprisingly DBS kicked the downed Rogers as he made his way to the ring.
· Kole stopped to check on Rogers then stomped him. And you thought Regal had a bad night?
· Spinaroonie from Kole.
· We’re five minutes in, and Rogers had not yet checked into his corner.
· Sidewalk slam from Kole.
· As Rogers got on the apron he got nailed by Kole.
· After Kole hit a forearm smash off the top rope he hammered Rogers again on the apron.
· Backbreaker from Kole, but a second-rope elbow missed.
· Hawk then brought Rogers into the ring, pressed him overhead, and tossed him onto Kole for the pin!
Rating: *
Summary: Well, there’s your comedy match for the evening. Kole was definitely game here. Notwithstanding DBS was not even a factor in this match. In fact this was his last WCW PPV appearance until 1998.
Okerlund loses his composure after hearing Fifi thank him for their Battlebowl experience together. Profoundly Gene remarks on the possibility of the Nasty Boys’ working together to win Battlebowl.
Match 9: Battlebowl Battle Royal
Highlights:
· In lieu of Michael Buffer a strange voice located nowhere near the arena (Thanks WWE!) listed the names involved: Vader, Cactus Jack, Brian Knobbs, Johnny B. Badd, The Shockmaster, Paul Orndorff, King Kong, Dustin Rhodes, Sting, Jerry Sags, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, Rick Rude, Shanghai Pierce, Road Warrior Hawk, and last but certainly not least Rip Rogers.
· Rip Rogers staggered to the ring.
· Once inside he tangled with Badd probably for the title of the most flamboyant outfit.
· Shortly thereafter Badd eliminated him.
· Cactus Jack low-bridged Pierce over the top to eliminate him.
· A preview of Over the Edge ’98 occurred as Austin and Cactus Jack brawled in the corner.
· Flair and Austin fought on the floor yet still remained active in the match.
· Orndorff eliminated Badd.
· Jesse questioned why Hawk would save Flair from elimination. My guess would be that he was ensuring Flair would be buying rounds at the Marriott later on.
· Vader blocked a superplex attempt by Cactus Jack then eliminated him.
· All of a sudden Orndorff exited unceremoniously thanks to Dustin Rhodes.
· Shockmaster eliminated King Kong, but both Nasty Boys get rid of him.
· Vader press slammed Sting onto the ramp though Sting was not eliminated.
· Austin tried a double sledge from the second rope but got caught in the midsection by Rhodes.
· Tony mentioned Austin’s challenge for the US title from WCW Saturday Night.
· Vader and Flair have a mini-battle to hype their match next month.
· Austin tossed Rhodes through the ropes to the floor then rammed his head into the ring post.
· Dustin was busted open.
· Rhodes backdropped Knobbs over the top rope eliminating him.
· He then lifted Sags to throw him out, but Austin assisted both of them over the top rope.
· Hawk eliminated Rude then was eliminated by Vader.
· The final four stood as Sting, Vader, Flair, and Austin.
· Sting gave Austin a vertical suplex.
· Vader missed an avalanche.
· Race dragged Flair onto the ramp signaling a brawl between the two.
· After Flair gave Race a vertical suplex Vader elbowed Flair on the right leg.
· Vader then splashed Flair on the ramp.
· Meanwhile in the ring Sting attempted to give Austin the Scorpion Deathlock but came to Flair’s aid instead.
· All four men were on the ramp.
· Flair was checked out by the trainer and placed on a stretcher.
· Flair was deemed “unable to continue” according to ring announcer Gary Michael Capetta.
· Will Flair make it to Starrcade?
· Vader and Austin double-military press Sting back into the ring.
· Both Austin and Vader mount the top rope, but Austin ate boot on the way down.
· Sting then caught Vader with a powerslam.
· Much to the crowd’s delight Sting rallied successfully.
· Vader and Austin pinball Sting with right hands.
· While Austin held the legs Vader splashed Sting twice.
· After wasting some time Vader missed the third splash.
· Once again Sting rallied igniting the crowd.
· Vader bomb, but Vader held his back due to the earlier powerbomb.
· Austin missed a top rope splash.
· Sting sent Austin over the top rope to the ramp then Vader clotheslined Sting to the ramp.
· Austin went to the floor thus being eliminated via Sting.
· We’re down to Vader and Sting.
· Clothesline and splash by Vader.
· Coming off the ropes Sting knocked Vader down then accidentally head-butted him low.
· Sting placed Vader in a fireman’s carry onto the top turnbuckle.
· He then attempted the Stinger splash but missed and went over the top rope to the floor.
· Vader won.
Rating: ***
Summary: As a preview to Starrcade this match served its purpose. Once the match evolved into a four man match the excitement started. The stretcher job by Flair keeps the audience in suspense for the title match scheduled for Starrcade. Additionally Vader’s injury was a nice bit of continuity from the opening tag match.
Afterwards Vader yells at the camera above Tony and Jesse.
Conclusion: Though enjoyable at times, as a PPV, this show was meaningless. It would have been much better served as a Clash because its main purpose was to sell Starrcade to the paying customer. Since the show has zero historical significance I would only recommend it to tag team enthusiasts and WCW fanatics; otherwise, skip it and let’s go to Starrcade!
Buyrate: 0.27 (Buh-bye Battlebowl!)
For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WCW Clash of the Champions XXV

Live from St. Petersburg, FL

Airdate: November 10, 1993

Attendance: 6,000 (1,700 paid)

WCW newcomer “Mean” Gene Okerlund welcomes us to the show.
Call the hotline to vote for the manager of year:

1.       Sir
William (Lord Steven Regal)
2.       Missy
Hyatt (Nasty Boys)
3.       Harley
Race (Vader)
4.       Teddy
Long (Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Too Cold Scorpio)

Gene throws it over to our hosts Tony Schiavone and Jesse
“The Body” Ventura.

Match 1 for the WCW
International World title: “Ravishing” Rick Rude (champion) versus Road Warrior
Hawk

Highlights:

·        
Early in the match Hawk no-sold a head shot to
the turnbuckle then gave Rude some of his own medicine. Deca, perhaps?
·        
Vertical suplex from Hawk got a 2 count.
·        
Backbreaker from Rude allowed him to head to the
top rope, but when he leaped he ate a pair of boots to the face.
·        
Clothesline from Hawk sent Rude over the top
rope to the floor.
·        
They kept fighting on the outside until referee
Randy Anderson counted them both out.

 

Rating: *

Summary: Obviously
Rude retains his title. What was the point of that match? Since Hawk had no
credibility as a singles wrestler it was obvious he wasn’t going to take this
one, but the DCOR finish is just obnoxiously terrible. Let’s hope the next
match has a better outcome.

Match 2: The
Equalizer versus the Shockmaster

Highlights:

·        
Oh no! Can I watch the last match again instead
of this dreck?
·        
Heel shenanigans from the Equalizer dominated
the early portion of the match.
·        
Belly-to-back suplex from Equalizer got a 2
count.
·        
Shockmaster no-sold a clothesline.
·        
Bearhug slam from Shockmaster secured the pin.
·        
Thank God it was short.

 

Rating: DUD

Summary: Friends
of Dusty, or in the case family, get a slot on the big shows. In spite of
Jesse’s making fun of him on commentary the Shockmaster continues to win. Thus
far this show isn’t looking good.

Okerlund interviews Colonel Rob Parker. Parker states that
he dropped Sid Vicious as a client and obtained the services of…”Stunning”
Steve Austin. Meanwhile he claims that he also has a restraining order against
Sid so he won’t be here tonight. Considering Sid may have still been recovering
from the stab wounds and under suspension from WCW he wouldn’t be able to make
even a token appearance. More later on this situation.

Match 3 for the World
Television title: Lord Steven Regal (champion w/ Sir William) versus Johnny B.
Badd

Highlights:

·        
Back on July 9 during the infamous Disney
tapings (broadcast 11/6/93) Regal defeated Badd by nefarious means. Therefore,
Tony referred to this match as a “return bout.”
·        
Badd brought the workrate and matched Regal hold
for hold early in the match.
·        
Jesse took Badd’s attire to task. Make-up and
garter belts, seriously Marc?
·        
Badd missed a flying body press and clotheslined
himself on the top rope.
·        
Ya gotta love those European uppercuts from
Regal!
·        
According to Tony “The British Bulldog” Davey
Boy Smith issued a challenge to “Ravishing” Rick Rude for the WCW International
World title.
·        
Badd knocked Regal cold with a left hand
prompting Sir William to get on the apron to complain.
·        
As Badd attempted the pin Sir William placed
Regal’s boot on the bottom rope.
·        
As Badd was distracted Regal snapped out of it,
rolled Badd up, and got the pin with a handful of tights.

 

Rating: ***

Summary: Since
this match went at Badd’s pace rather than Regal’s I enjoyed this match much
more than I expected. I can only hope that this match is the only one with a
distraction finish.

Match 4: “Flyin’”
Brian Pillman versus “Stunning” Steve Austin (w/ Colonel Rob Parker)

Highlights:

·        
Ahem. May I have your attention please? Let us
all please observe a moment of silence and mourn the loss of one of the best
tag teams ever in WCW—the Hollywood Blonds.
·        
·        
Thank you.
·        
On the October 30 episode of WCW Saturday Night
Colonel Parker informed Pillman that Austin was his new client. After Parker
insulted Pillman for being injured Brian attacked Parker. Subsequently Austin
ambushed Pillman. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6yBuyOYbnM)
·        
Pillman, already in the ring and wearing his
Blond jacket, attacked Austin as he entered the ring.
·        
After Parker jumped on the apron Pillman chased
him around the ring. Austin, lying in wait, clotheslined Pillman as he made his
way toward the near side of the ring.
·        
Upon the reversal of an Irish whip Pillman made
Austin taste the steel. Needs horseradish.
·        
Flying headscissors from Pillman.
·        
Austin attempted a piledriver on the ramp, but
Pillman countered with a back drop.
·        
After climbing to the top rope Pillman leaped
but ate boot on the way down.
·        
Austin then tossed Pillman into the steel
railing. More horseradish please!
·        
Slingshot body press from Pillman from the apron
onto Austin got a 2 count.
·        
Austin then pressed Pillman into a modified
stungun.
·        
Ventura badmouthed Sid on commentary.
·        
Single leg crab by Austin with some assistance
from the ropes.
·        
Flying back elbow to the head from the second
rope by Pillman.
·        
Slowly Austin made his way to the top rope, but
Pillman caught him thus crotching Austin.
·        
Superplex by Pillman countered by Austin into a
gourdbuster.
·        
As Austin leaped from the top rope Pillman
dropkicked him.
·        
Austin tried another piledriver, but Pillman
countered into a huracanrana.
·        
Slingshot by Pillman countered into a powerslam
by Austin.
·        
DDT by Pillman.
·        
Crucifix by Pillman countered into a Samoan drop
by Austin.
·        
Austin missed a splash from the top rope.
·        
Oklahoma roll by Pillman got a 2 count.
·        
Austin missed the stungun leaving Pillman on the
apron.
·        
Pillman tried another slingshot maneuver, but
Parker caught his ankle.
·        
Austin rolled him up for the pin.

 

Rating: ****1/2

Summary: Wow! I
could watch these guys wrestle each other all night. Had the match been longer (7:44)
it could have reached five stars. These two should have had a rematch at
Starrcade.

After the match Pillman knocks Austin to the floor and
corners Parker. Much to his chagrin Parker escaped without a scratch.

Okerlund is in the WCW Battlebowl Control Center. Forty
names of the top WCW competitors are thrown into a “hopper.” Thirty-two names
are selected at random for eight tag team matches. Afterwards each winning team
competes singularly in an over-the-top-rope battle royal to determine the
winner. To entice our desire to buy the PPV Paul Orndorff cuts a promo followed
by 1991 Battlebowl winner Sting.

Match 5 for the US
title: “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes (champion w/ “The American Dream” Dusty
Rhodes) versus “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (w/ the Assassin)

Highlights:

·        
Dusty’s not even wrestling and he’s already
“funky like a monkey.”
·        
The crowd chanted “Dusty!”
·        
Each competitor initially worked on his
opponent’s arm.
·        
Belly-to-back suplex from Orndorff set up the
shaky elbow drop.
·        
Backslide from Rhodes got a 2 count.
·        
Cross-corner whip from Orndorff followed by a
clothesline.
·        
Cross-corner whip from Rhodes set up the
bulldog, but Orndorff ducked.
·        
Rhodes countered an Orndorff piledriver attempt.
·        
Orndorff missed the knee drop from the top rope.
·        
Rhodes then hooked the inside cradle for the
pin.

 

Rating: **

Summary:  Very pedestrian match between these two
wrestlers. The “seconds” didn’t even get involved in the match.

After the match Orndorff clotheslines Rhodes to the floor.
Then the Assassin rams Dustin into the ring post. To retaliate, Dusty gives the
Assassin a bionic elbow much to the crowd’s delight. He then tosses the
Assassin into the ring, hits two more bionic elbows, and threatens to unmask
him. Unfortunately for Dusty, Orndorff nails him preventing said unmasking. As
Orndorff held Dusty the Assassin wallops Rhodes with the US title belt. Orndorff
attempts to piledrive Dusty, but Dustin comes off the ropes with a clothesline
scattering the ruthless duo to the floor. The post-match stuff was 10x better
than the match!

Okerlund promises us an update on the “British Bulldog’s”
challenge for Rude’s title. Call the hotline! Starrcade is scheduled for
Monday, December 27.

Match 6 for the World
tag team titles: The Nasty Boys (champions w/ Missy Hyatt) versus Sting and
“The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith

Highlights:

·        
Ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta referred to
Missy Hyatt as the “nastiest lady in WCW.” Did he know this firsthand?
·        
Just like Missy liked it the action was hot and
heavy at the outset with Sting dominating Knobbs in the ring and DBS
manhandling Sags on the ramp.
·        
In the meantime Rick Rude crawled on the floor adjacent
to the ramp in order to sneak attack DBS. He then gave DBS a Rude Awakening . Immediately
Road Warrior Hawk chased him back to the dressing room.
·        
Sting checked on DBS and carried him back to the
ring?
·        
The bell rung and Sting took on the Nasty Boys
by himself.
·        
Tony mentioned Rude’s use of a “foreign” object.
Jesse questioned how Rude imported it. Funny stuff.
·        
While Knobbs occupied Patrick’s attention Sags
tossed Sting over the top rope. Since Patrick didn’t see it a disqualification
could not be rendered.
·        
As Knobbs held Sting in a bear hug DBS sprung to
life and egged him on in the corner.
·        
Sting countered the bear hug into an overhead
belly-to-belly suplex.
·        
He then countered a rear chinlock into an
electric chair.
·        
Hot tag to DBS.
·        
A pair of powerslams on the Nasty Boys followed
by a pair of dropkicks.
·        
600lbs of clotheslines and DDTs from DBS.
·        
DBS pressed Sting overhead then tossed him onto
both Nasty Boys.
·        
Powerslam from DBS received no count due to
referee Nick Patrick’s directing traffic.
·        
Sags mounted the top turnbuckle and clobbered DBS.
Knobbs made the cover and the Nasty Boys retained their titles.

 

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Typical Nasty Boys match with a pair of quality
opponents. Almost all of the excitement in the match happened after the hot
tag. Although a match between DBS and Rude was filmed on 11/30 for WCW Saturday
Night for the 12/18/93 airing the match would not be shown. In turn DBS was also
scheduled to face Rude at Starrcade but he was fired beforehand.

Match 7 for the WCW
World title: Vader (champion w/ Harley Race) versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/
Fifi)

Highlights:

·        
Back in the dressing room Colonel Parker spoke
with Flair. Parker stated that Austin will challenge the winner of this match.
He’s quite confident that Austin could defeat Flair. Flair’s rebuttal was a
right cross to the jaw.
·        
Buffer rumbled.
·        
Joined in progress after commercial Flair had
Race set up for the figure four leg lock in the center of the ring.
·        
As Flair applied the hold to Race Vader splashed
Flair.
·        
Short-arm clothesline from Vader.
·        
Gorilla press slam from Vader.
·        
Vader bomb hit but no cover.
·        
Flair chopped Vader down like a cherry tree.
·        
Flair Flip to the floor.
·        
Race made Flair taste the steel. Dammit! Where’s
that horseradish?
·        
Vader jumped from the apron towards Flair but
ate the steel railing.
·        
Flair drops the forearm from the top turnbuckle
to the floor.
·        
Second rope elbow drop from Vader missed.
·        
Flair slapped on the figure four.
·        
As Vader reached the ropes Race raked Flair’s
eyes.
·        
Vertical suplex and a splash earned Vader a 2
count.
·        
Vader mounted the second turnbuckle again but
got powerslammed for 2.
·        
Flair sprinted to the top rope and nailed Vader
with another forearm.
·        
Flair flip over the buckle landed him on his
feet. Thereafter he mounted the turnbuckle and hit another forearm shot.
·        
Ref bump.
·        
Flair jumped from the top turnbuckle again but
got caught by Vader.
·        
He then gave Flair a superplex.
·        
Vader positioned Flair for the moonsault but missed
it.
·        
Referee Randy Anderson counted three! We have a
new champion!
·        
Cappetta announced that Anderson disqualified
Vader. WTF?
·        
Jesse explained that Anderson DQ’d him because
he ran into him. LAME!

 

Rating: ****

Summary: Incredible
match with a horrible ending. Flair got robbed! Thanks Dusty for that god-awful
finish. Hopefully a rematch will be signed. The good news is the crowd was
eager or better yet thirsty for a title change.

After the match Colonel Parker and “Stunning” Steve Austin
hit the ring to ambush Flair. Vader and Austin try to double-team Flair, but
Dustin Rhodes and the Shockmaster come to Flair’s rescue. As the crowd chants
“Whoomp, there it is” Okerlund enters the ring. Flair interrupts and challenges
Vader and Austin to a tag match with him and Sid on WCW Saturday Night (taped
10/11/93
). This match marked the last Sid appearance in WCW until the Great
American Bash in 1999.

Conclusion: The
Blonds’ match and the main event make this show a must-see. WCW may have been
drawing flies at this point in wrestling history, but their product wasn’t the
reason behind it. If there was only one thing I would have changed I’d have
gotten rid of these finishes. See you at Battlebowl!

For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WCW Halloween Havoc 1993

So after reading your suggestions and making the Mello Yello move from 1993 WWF to 1993 WCW I offer a hopefully more readable review of one of WCW’s delicious bites from 1993.

Live from New Orleans, LA

Airdate: October 24, 1993

Attendance: 6,000

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

The opening sequence begins with children trick-or-treating.
“Dracula” wants to pick the next house much to his friends’ dismay. He points
toward a mansion behind a steel gate. At the same time a man’s hand is shown
awaiting his visitors. Upon their entrance the steel gate closes behind them
frightening the other children.  “Dracula” continues onward and rings the
doorbell which rings as a high-pitch squeal. Obviously they’re taken aback by
that.

The door opens and Tony Schiavone answers. He offers the
children some cookies. “Dracula” obnoxiously tells Tony that he wants to see
something scary. He offers them a bloody Sid with a pair of scissors! Oh wait,
that happened AFTER this show in England. Alternatively he offers “Spin the
Wheel, Make the Deal” for the Vader-Cactus Jack main event. Still dissatisfied
“Dracula” asks for something even scarier. Tony calls his wager, peels back his
mask, and transforms into a hideous monster. The children try to escape, but
the door is locked. Suddenly the door opens and the wheel appears.

With the exception of Tony’s horrendous acting this wasn’t
that bad. It was actually pretty good according to WCW’s mini-movie standards.

Inside the arena Eric Bischoff welcomes us to the show
dressed as General George Custer. Tony disguises himself as “Jesse Ventura” as
Jesse wears an old doctor’s costume complete with mask. He informs Tony that he
is “Bourbon Street’s #1 gynecologist.” He even pulls the thermometer trick on
him. This show is off to an ominous start.

Match 1: The
Shockmaster, Ice Train, and Charlie Norris versus Harlem Heat and the Equalizer

Highlights:

·        
For those who are unfamiliar the members of Harlem
Heat used to be named Kane and Kole instead of Booker T (Kole) and Stevie Ray
(Kane).
·        
Additionally Charlie Norris was WCW’s awful
version of the Native American stereotype in response to Tatanka in the WWF.
·        
Tony informed us that Too Cold Scorpio and
Marcus Alexander Bagwell won the tag team titles “last night.” Considering the schedule
for the infamous Disney tapings in July this acted as a swerve to smart fans
back in 1993.
·        
Meanwhile in the early portion of the match Ice
Train popped the crowd with his power maneuvers.
·        
In an effort to continue to humiliate the Shockmaster
gimmick Jesse buried him on commentary.
·        
Tony stated that “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
will substitute for the injured Yoshi Kwan later in the show.
·        
The crowd chanted Tag Team’s “Whoomp There It
Is.”
·        
Booker T, er, I mean Kole really showed that
he’s the cream of the crop in this match.
·        
Shockmaster applied the bear hug on Kole and
slammed him for the pin.

 

Rating: ½*

Summary: This
match was the drizzling shits. At least Booker T looked good in spite of his eating
the pin.

After the match Shockmaster and the Equalizer “brawl” in the
ring. I’m sure this entertained the 300 or so fans that occupied the average
attendance at house shows during this time.

Bischoff interviews the second referee for the Rude- Flair
match–Terry Taylor. He’s going to call it “right down the middle.”

Match 2: Ricky “The
Dragon” Steamboat versus “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (w/ the Assassin)

Highlights:

·        
The Assassin was Joe Hamilton, father to WCW
referee Nick Patrick.
·        
Not so ironically Patrick was the referee for this
bout.
·        
Steamboat sold everything like death, even a
slam on the ramp.
·        
He attempted a cross-body block from the ramp
into the ring, but Orndorff evaded him.
·        
While Orndorff worked on Steamboat’s back Ricky
concentrated on working on Paul’s arm.
·        
Outside the ring Orndorff launched Steamboat
over the steel railing.
·        
Top rope elbow to Steamboat’s head from
Orndorff.
·        
After Steamboat tossed him onto the ramp he
delivered a chop to the head from the top rope.
·        
Running atomic drop by Steamboat sent Orndorff
over the top rope back into the ring.
·        
Steamboat gave Orndorff a flying body press from
the top rope, but the Assassin occupied the referee’s attention nullifying the
pin attempt.
·        
Aggressively Steamboat pushed Patrick out of the
way but went over the top rope when Orndorff lowered it.
·        
The Assassin loaded the mask and head butted
Steamboat in the back of the head knocking him out.
·        
Orndorff won by countout.

 

Rating: ***

Summary: Countout
finish aside this match was a hard fought battle with some good work rate. I
truly enjoy Steamboat’s thirst for a pin attempt several times during a match
as it gives a sense of realism.

Tony and Jesse discuss the Big Gold Belt and WCW’s upcoming
European tour. I bet Arn Anderson and Sid Vicious regret going on that tour.
According to Tony the WCW International Board of Directors recognize Rude’s
title as a World title.

Let me add something here: Back in July WCW taped months of
matches for their Worldwide syndicated program basically giving away the
results of title changes to the members of the audience. The NWA got wind of
this and was none too pleased with the complete breach of kayfabe surrounding
their prestigious title. Consequently WCW withdrew from the NWA on September 1,
1993. Furthermore, the breach of kayfabe was exposed in an article in the
Charlotte Business Journal according to the history of WWE website hence
notifying its readers of the result of a match at an upcoming PPV event. Yikes!

Why WCW decided to keep the Big Gold Belt and recognize it
as a World title is beyond comprehension. After all once they decided to leave
the NWA, Vader’s status as the WCW champion should have skyrocketed. On the
contrary they have two World titles confusing the audience and devaluing the
WCW title altogether.

Match 3 for the World
Television title: Lord Steven Regal (champion w/ Sir William) versus “The
British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith

Highlights:

·        
Michael Buffer performed the introductions and
calls it the “Battle of Britain.”
·        
To DBS’ credit he was able to go counter for
counter against the wily Regal here.
·        
DBS applied a Mexican surfboard to Regal.
·        
Rolling senton by Regal.
·        
European uppercut/high knee combination by
Regal.
·        
DBS gave Regal a clothesline and a vertical
suplex.
·        
Upon his attempt at a powerslam Regal’s feet
knocked Sir William off the apron.
·        
DBS hit the powerslam, but Regal kicked out at
2.
·        
In the final seconds DBS gave Regal a
piledriver, but time ran out before referee Randy Anderson could count the
pinfall.
·        
Time-limit draw.

 

Rating: ***

Summary:  Obviously Regal was the ring general here
based upon the numerous submission and mat-based styles contained within the
match. In spite of the close call draw for the TV title DBS had been drawing
recently as a WCW World title contender. In fact, on the WCW European tour DBS
performed in the main event for the WCW title against Vader numerous times.

Time to spin the wheel! Vader
spins it and it lands on…                      

Steel cage match? No.

Barbed wire match? Nope.

Coal Miner’s Glove match? Nah uh,
not this year.

Texas Death match? Yes!

Match 4 for the US
title: “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes (champion) versus “Stunning” Steve Austin

Highlights:

·        
Extremely prolific sign at ringside claimed
“Stunning” Steve Austin as the wrestler of the 90s. If only WCW had listened.
·        
Continuing the introductions to title matches only
Buffer did the honors.
·        
At 261 pounds he was “The Natural.” Since he’s
currently 232 pounds can we refer to him as “The Natural Light?”
·        
In lieu of a buzz or crew cut Austin wore the
high and tight hairstyle here. 2 years later he wouldn’t have enough hair to do
so.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Austin followed by a blind
charge; however, Rhodes evaded him, and Austin tumbled over the top turnbuckle
to the floor “injuring” his knee.
·        
Rhodes seized the opportunity when Austin
re-entered the ring.
·        
As Rhodes went for the bulldog Austin caught him
and crotched him on the top rope.
·        
After a double leg pickup Austin pinned Rhodes
with his feet on the ropes, but referee Nick Patrick instructed Rhodes to
continue the match.
·        
Thinking he had the victory Austin went to the
announcer’s table to get the belt but got rolled up for the pin.

 

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Without question I have to deduct a
half-point for that finish. Although Austin getting pinned was the right finish,
a lame distraction finish wasn’t the right decision. Perhaps Austin can find
something down the road to get an edge against Dustin. Stay tuned!

After the match Austin decimates Rhodes with a belt shot to
the head busting him open. Now both men have a reason to face each other in the
coming weeks.

WCW Battlebowl 1993 will be on November 20! Its rant has
already been scheduled.

Match 5 for the WCW
World Tag Team titles: Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Too Cold Scorpio
(champions w/ Teddy Long) versus The Nasty Boys (w/ Missy Hyatt)

Highlights:

·        
Back on October 9 Bagwell and Scorpio upset the
champs in a non-title bout on WCW Saturday Night (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCamUmKLVCs).
The rematch was set for October 23 where they scored another upset and won the
titles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa7nHegv8LY).
·        
Buffer announced Missy Hyatt as the Nasty Boys’
escort. Insert your own joke here.
·        
Before the match Bagwell planted Hyatt with a
liplock. Tastes like mackerel, or so I’ve heard.
·        
Tag Team back again! “Whoomp, there it is!”
·        
Nasty Boys missed a double boot then Bagwell
dropkicked them. They missed again and Scorpio gave both men a flying body press.
·        
Plancha by Scorpio with the assist of Bagwell.
·        
Bagwell took a long drop to the floor courtesy
of a Nasty Boys’ double-team.
·        
Long jumped on the apron wearing a black bandana
with a white X.
·        
Meanwhile Saggs held Bagwell so that Missy could
slap the taste out of his mouth.
·        
False tag so referee Randy Anderson escorted
Scorpio out.
·        
Nasty Boys missed their patented slingshot
avalanche.
·        
Hot tag to Scorpio led to a leg lariat to
Knobbs.
·        
A Scorpio dropkick put Knobbs down then a leg
lariat put Saggs down.
·        
Moonsault by Scorpio.
·        
Missy got on the apron, but Long tried to pull
her down.
·        
Saggs knocked Long off the apron, but Bagwell
rammed Missy and Saggs’ heads together.
·        
Scorpio hit the 450 splash, but Saggs nailed
Scorpio with a boot.
·        
Knobbs made the cover, and we have new
champions!

 

Rating: ***

Summary:  Unfortunately the end result was a given
because the taping schedule would not be denied. Regardless, to say that
Scorpio and Bagwell carried the Nasty Boys here should go without saying.

Bischoff interviews Sid with Colonel Rob Parker. Sid refers
to himself as “Psycho Sid.” Truer words were never spoken two nights later.

Match 6: Sid Vicious
(w/ Colonel Rob Parker) versus Sting

Highlights:

·        
This match determined who the franchise of WCW
was.
·        
After Sting clotheslined Sid on the apron he
suplexed him back in the hard way.
·        
They brawled into the crowd. Wait! Was this 1993
or 1999?
·        
Back in the ring Sting gave Sid a top rope
clothesline.
·        
After the Colonel distracted Sting Sid
chokeslams him.
·        
As Sid occupied the referee the Colonel choked
Sting with his handkerchief.
·        
Funny bit where Sid not only picked up a
CUSHIONED chair but also hit Sting with the cushion!
·        
Sid used the steel railing to clothesline him.
·        
Powerslam by Sid followed by a bear hug.
·        
Sting rang his bell but got caught with a boot
to the midsection.
·        
Sid with a second bear hug.
·        
Sting rang his bell again, caught the foot this
time, and layed in a beating.
·        
Stinger splash!
·        
A second Stinger splash!
·        
The Colonel got nailed off the apron.
·        
Mistakenly the Colonel grabbed Sid’s foot rather
than Sting’s.
·        
Sid pointed out the error and lifted him onto
the apron.
·        
Sting rolled Sid up for the pin.

 

Rating: **1/2

Summary: Nothing
spectacular, but is there dissention between the Colonel and Sid?

After the match Sid begrudgingly forgives the Colonel.

Back in the locker room Vader boxes Harley Race’s hands.
Meanwhile Cactus Jack meditates with his bag and yells out “You can’t hurt
Cactus Jack!”

Match 7 for the WCW
International World title: “Ravishing” Rick Rude (champion) versus “Nature Boy”
Ric Flair (w/ Fifi)

Highlights:

·        
The crowd erupted when the “Nature Boy” and Fifi
make their way to the ring.
·        
Buffer rumbled.
·        
Second referee Taylor was positioned on the
floor.
·        
Rude climbed the top turnbuckle and missed the
knee drop.
·        
Flair with the knee crusher followed by the figure
four! YES!
·        
Tag Team back again! “Whoomp There it is!”
·        
Rude grabbed the ropes to break the hold.
·        
Flair grabbed the ankle and rammed the knee into
the post.
·        
Taylor did nothing to stop it, so Jesse
complained about it.
·        
After Rude tossed Flair between the ropes to the
floor Flair re-entered via sunset flip.
·        
Rude dropped to his knees and held the ropes.
Taylor put a stop to it immediately.
·        
Flair’s high cross body sent both men to the
floor. Rude got the worst of it.
·        
Flair went to work on Rude outside the ring. Again
Taylor did a piss poor job of stopping him so Jesse ranted and raved about it
some more. Funny stuff.
·        
Flair with a forearm from the top rope to the
floor! Wow!
·        
Again Flair tried the forearm from the top rope,
but Rude caught him in the midsection.
·        
Rude tried to nail Flair with a chair, but
Taylor stole it from him.
·        
Rude made Flair taste the steel. Needs Tabasco.
·        
Rude with a backbreaker then taunted Fifi.
·        
Rude hit the forearm from the top rope but hurt
his knee further.
·        
Flair flip in the corner caught the cameraman
and a clothesline from Rude.
·        
Sleeperhold by Flair.
·        
Rude again climbed to the top rope but jumped
over Flair.
·        
Flair hit the Rude Awakening!
·        
Backslide by Flair got a 2 count.
·        
Flair came off the top rope but ate boot.
·        
Double reversal on a cross-corner whip knocked
Randy Anderson out of the ring.
·        
Rude clothesline received no count; hence,
Taylor entered the ring.
·        
Flair knocked Rude into Taylor.
·        
Rude pulled out the brass knuckles, but Flair
ducked and delivered a belly-to-back suplex.
·        
The knuckles fell off Rude’s hand, and Flair
retrieved it despite a crew member’s interference.
·        
Flair knocked Rude silly with the brass
knuckles.
·        
Taylor counted 2, but Anderson stopped the count
and raised Rude’s hand.
·        
Flair lost by disqualification.

 

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Excellent match! It was way too soon for
Rude to lose the belt. He and Flair had good chemistry and told a great story.

After the match Flair grabs the title belt and holds it
high. In the meantime Rude goes after Fifi. He carries her down the ramp until
Flair catches him from behind to rescue her. Flair tries to slap the figure
four on Rude on the ramp, but the referees stop him.

Tony and Jesse discuss the rules of the Texas Death match:

1.       No
disqualification
2.       Falls
don’t count. That means a pinfall does not decide the match.
3.       30
second rest period between falls.
4.       Falls
occur anywhere in the building.
5.       Match
continues until one man can’t get to his feet before the 10 count.

Match 8 Texas Death:
Big Van Vader (w/ Harley Race) versus Cactus Jack

Highlights:

·        
Back on April 17 Cactus Jack upset Vader by
countout. Vader asked for a rematch for the following week. During the match
Vader powerbombed Jack on the concrete knocking him out of action until
September (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VN0kM0aKJk).
·        
A series of vignettes were filmed by WCW
searching for Cactus Jack. To say that they were terrible theater is an insult
to the term theater. Amnesia and a little bag were used as plot devices, but
the story was utter tripe. Hopefully this match delivers to cover for it.
·        
Jack jumped Vader on the ramp to begin the
match.
·        
As Vader punched Jack he removed the head gear.
·        
One punch too many hit post.
·        
Jack used a chair.
·        
Moments later, Jack received a camera from a fan
and nailed Vader with it.
·        
Unprotected chair shot to the head by Jack.
·        
Vicious clothesline by Vader.
·        
Tony informed us that the WCW title was not on
the line.
·        
Jack is busted open.
·        
Jack with a belly-to-back suplex on the ramp.
·        
Race lumbered over with a chair, but Jack caught
him.
·        
Protected chair shot from Jack.
·        
Chair to the back by Jack in the graveyard.
·        
They rolled into the grave marked for Vader.
·        
Jack emerged and his eye looked grotesque.
·        
Soon after Vader emerged and was busted wide
open as well.
·        
Running clothesline put Vader down for 3.
·        
30 second rest period.
·        
As Vader made it to his feet Jack hit him with…a
cactus!
·        
Vader fell to the floor, and Jack hit him with
an elbow drop for another 3 count.
·        
30 second rest period and Vader made it to his
feet.
·        
Jack threw a wooden table into the ring.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Vader reversed by Jack into
the table. Only got a 2 count.
·        
In a loud and sick thump Jack with a sunset flip
from the apron to the floor.
·        
Vader nailed him with the legs of a cushioned
chair.
·        
Race was shown with a taser. So that’s where
Scott Hall got it!
·        
After a slam Vader climbed to the top
turnbuckle, HIT THE MOONSAULT, and pinned Jack.
·        
After the rest period Vader threw Jack onto the
ramp.
·        
Jack jumped on Vader’s back, but Vader fell back
with a very loud SPLAT! Ouch!
·        
Vader with a semi-protected chair shot followed
by a DDT onto the chair.
·        
Trainers checked on Jack, but Vader chased them
off.
·        
After clearing debris Vader pinned Jack.
·        
During the 30 second rest period Race grabbed
the taser.
·        
Jack then DDTs Vader on the chair.
·        
Both men were down. As Jack rose to his feet
Race shocked him with the taser!
·        
Vader got up before the count of 10 and was
declared the winner.

 

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  This match serves as an excellent precursor
to what ECW became in the mid- to late-90s. Even though it was a great bloody
brawl what was the point of Vader’s victory here? Jack had been hospitalized,
put through the ringer with the WCW mini-movies, and then lost the blow-off match?

After the match Jack grabs Race and DDTs him on the chair on
the ramp. Small victory for Jack there.

Conclusion:  Minus the opener
each match hovered around 3 stars. To me that’s a great show. The main event
made Cactus into a star. Unfortunately it would take another five years before
anyone put the World title on him, but that’s neither here nor there. Flair
made Rude look great in the semi-main event. Rude’s definitely world champion
caliber in spite of the “title” he held here. Sid’s loss meant more here than
Sting’s victory due to the scissors incident in Blackburn, England two days
afterward. The Nasty Boys’ victory had to happen. There was no other way around
it due to the taping cycle. Austin made Rhodes look good in their match and
hopefully subsequent matches. Bulldog would get opportunities against both
Vader and Regal while on tour in Europe so the time-limit draw didn’t hurt him.
The match between Steamboat and Orndorff was a house show dream match. It’s a crying
shame that WCW was barely drawing flies at their shows in 1993. I blame the
promotion of the events rather than the talent as I lived in the Southeast
during this time and didn’t hear much if any local promotion of WCW.

Anyways, find three hours and
watch this spectacle. I’m hoping the Clash and Battlebowl, which are next on my
plate, are this good.
For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…King of the Ring 1993

Live from Dayton, OH

Airdate:  June 13,
1993

Attendance:  6,500

Vince McMahon welcomes us to the King of the Ring and gives
us the tournament bracket:

Quarterfinal #1:  Bret
Hart vs. Razor Ramon

Quarterfinal #2:  Mr.
Perfect vs. Mr. Hughes

Quarterfinal #3:  Bam
Bam Bigelow vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

Quarterfinal #4:  Tatanka
vs. Lex Luger

Jim Ross, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Bobby “The Brain”
Heenan represent the broadcast team. Ross mentions the WWF title match between
Hulk Hogan and Yokozuna, and Savage places his support firmly behind Hulk Hogan.
Next they discuss the Intercontinental title match between Shawn Michaels and
Crush.

Match 1 for the KOTR
Quarterfinal: Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Razor Ramon

 

Highlights:
 



·        
The fans chanted “1-2-3” at Razor due to his
loss to The Kid on RAW back on May 17.

·        
Ross explained the time limits for each round.
Quarterfinal matches have fifteen minutes; Semifinal matches have thirty; The
Final match has sixty.

·        
Bret gave Ramon an arm drag and worked on the
arm.

·        
Hip toss by Ramon countered. Hip toss by Bret
countered. Ramon clothesline.

·        
Elbow drop by Ramon missed.

·        
Bret continued to work on the arm.

·        
Thumb to the eye by Razor.

·        
Elbow off the ropes earned Razor a 2 count.

·        
Bret countered a chinlock into a hammerlock.

·        
Back elbow by Razor broke the hold.

·        
Cross-corner whip by Razor countered by Bret.

·        
Blind charge got Bret a knee to the face.

·        
Razor then tossed him shoulder-first into the
ring post.

·        
The Hulk Hogan impersonator was shown at
ringside.

·        
Ramon worked on Bret outside of the ring.

·        
The fans tried to irk Ramon with the “1-2-3”
chant.

·        
Back in the ring Ramon gave Bret a fallaway slam
for another 2 count.

·        
Ramon followed up with a running powerslam! Wow!
Hadn’t seen him do that before.

·        
Two elbow drops by Ramon were followed by a
sidewalk slam.

·        
Three missed elbow drops changed the momentum
back in Bret’s favor.

·        
Bret worked on Ramon in the corner then gave him
an inverted atomic drop.

·        
A Bret clothesline collected a 2 count.

·        
Off an Irish whip Bret hit Ramon in the gut.

·        
He then followed with a side Russian leg sweep for
another 2 count.

·        
Next Bret delivered a backbreaker. Another 2
count.

·        
Second rope elbow smash. Another 2 count.

·        
Head butt by Bret.

·        
Missed haymaker by Ramon turned into a rollup by
Bret for 2.

·        
Bulldog attempt by Bret sent him sternum-first
into the turnbuckle.

·        
Ramon signaled for the finish.

·        
Ramon set up for the Razor’s Edge, but Bret
escaped at the apex of the maneuver.

·        
Bret then attempted to hook a back slide, flipped
off the top turnbuckle, hooked the inside cradle, and almost got the pin! Wow,
that was close.

·        
As Bret argued with the referee Ramon
clotheslined him.

·        
Ramon placed Bret on the top turnbuckle and
attempted to give him a belly-to-back suplex.

·        
However, Bret countered by landing atop Ramon
and pinned him!

·        
Bret Hart advanced to the semifinals.

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Seemingly at every turn Bret outsmarted and outwrestled
Ramon. While Ramon brought power to the match Bret had his wrestling boots
on and countered Ramon quite often.

We look back at Superstars from over the weekend where Mr.
Hughes and Giant Gonzalez manhandle the Undertaker and Paul Bearer.  Harvey Wippleman steals the urn and gives it
to Mr. Hughes. Hughes then wallops UT in the back with it. Continuing the
assault he lays out both UT and Bearer with the urn as his new prized
possession.

Match 2 for the KOTR
Quarterfinal: Mr. Perfect versus Mr. Hughes (w/ Harvey Wippleman)

Highlights:

·        
Before the match Perfect tossed his towel at Mr.
Hughes. It landed PERFECTLY on his shoulder. Excellent!
·        
As much as I enjoy Heenan’s commentary his use
of the “Brain Scan” with the telestrator was awful.
·        
Ross mentioned Hughes’ attitude issues back in
his football days at Kansas State.
·        
Perfect caught Hughes with an arm drag as Hughes
ran the ropes.
·        
A rope sequence culminated with a Perfect
dropkick sending Hughes to the ropes.
·        
Right hand by Hughes knocked Perfect over the
top rope to the floor!
·        
Head butt by Hughes sent a groggy Perfect to the
ropes.
·        
Neck vice by Hughes.
·        
As Perfect came off the ropes he ate a big boot and
a clothesline from Hughes.
·        
Snap mare and neck vice by Hughes.
·        
Perfect pulled himself up by Hughes’ tie.
·        
Cross-corner whip oversold marvelously by
Perfect.
·        
During the match Bret was interviewed and asked
about opponent preference.
·        
Vicious cross-corner whip by Hughes.
·        
As Bret chose Perfect for his preference for an
opponent Hughes blows a suplex off the ropes.
·        
Hughes choked Perfect on the ropes, missed the
running guillotine, received a chop, and then a hip toss.
·        
Backdrop, snap mare, and the rolling neck snap from
Perfect.
·        
Perfect worked him over in the corner until
Hughes grabbed the urn and NAILED him with it!
·        
Referee Earl Hebner disqualified Hughes.
·        
Mr. Perfect advanced in the tournament to meet
Bret Hart.

Rating: *

Summary:  This has to be one of Perfect’s worst matches
completely due to the ineptitude of Mr. Hughes.

Mean Gene interviews Mr. Fuji and Yokozuna. Gene reminds
them of the disastrous finish to WrestleMania IX. I concur, Gene.

Match 3 for the KOTR
Quarterfinal: Bam Bam Bigelow versus “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

Highlights:

·        
Duggan ducked a clothesline off the ropes and
delivered three of his own to knock the big man down.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Duggan reversed by Bigelow.
·        
Blind charge netted nothing for BBB.
·        
Duggan tried to slam him, but Bigelow head butted
him instead.
·        
Duggan injured his ribs on the whip so BBB gave
him an Irish whip into a bear hug.
·        
He broke the bear hug with forearms.
·        
Bigelow with a snap mare but missed the head
butt off the ropes.
·        
Again Duggan tried to slam Bigelow, but BBB fell
on top of him for a 2 count.
·        
Bigelow reapplied the bear hug.
·        
Duggan bit BBB’s head to break free.
·        
Bigelow gave him an Irish whip, but Duggan
reversed it.
·        
Duggan ducked too early so BBB attempted to kick
him in the midsection.
·        
However, Duggan moved so Bigelow fell down.
·        
This time Duggan successfully slammed BBB.
·        
With injured ribs Duggan took his three-point
stance, charged, but hit the turnbuckle as Bigelow slipped away.
·        
Taking quick advantage BBB mounted the top
turnbuckle, hit the diving head butt, and got the pin.
·        
Bigelow advanced in the tournament.

Rating: **

Summary:  This was the pure definition of a  1993 RAW main event.

Terry Taylor interviews the Smoking Gunns and the Steiner
brothers. Both teams are excited for the eight man tag team match.

Match 4 for the KOTR
Quarterfinal: “The Narcissist” Lex Luger versus Tatanka

Highlights:

·        
Savage mentioned Tatanka’s undefeated streak
while Heenan acknowledged Luger’s. Could either competitor suffer their first
defeat in the WWF tonight?
·        
As Luger posed, the referees asked him to wear a
pad over his steel-reinforced forearm to neutralize it.
·        
Luger refused so the referees confer with ring
announcer Howard Finkel.
·        
He announced that Luger must wear the elbow pad
or be eliminated from the tournament.
·        
As an outraged Luger leaned over the top rope in
disbelief, the surgical scar from the steel plate insertion was extremely
evident.
·        
Reluctantly Luger wore the elbow pad.
·        
Tatanka sprinted to the ring; however, Luger
attacked him immediately and tossed him over the top rope to complete his
posing ritual.
·        
Tatanka re-entered the ring and pushed the
mirror on top of Luger.
·        
Four chops by Tatanka sent Luger over the top
rope to the floor.
·        
Following Luger to the floor Tatanka slammed him.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Luger reversed by Tatanka
into a back drop.
·        
Running clothesline by Tatanka got a 2 count.
·        
During the match Bigelow was interviewed about
opponent preference.
·        
Without question BBB wished to face “the Indian”
and then win the tournament.
·        
Luger gave Tatanka an Irish whip but ate a cross
body block for a 2 count.
·        
Tatanka worked on Luger’s arm.
·        
Both men countered standing hammerlocks.
·        
A back elbow off the break gave the advantage to
Luger.
·        
After an Irish whip Luger buried the knee in the
midsection.
·        
An elbow smash got another 2 count for Luger.
·        
After pushing Tatanka in the corner Luger gave
him three shoulder blocks.
·        
Backbreaker and elbow drop earned Luger a 2
count.
·        
Jumping elbow drop by Luger hit getting another
2 count.
·        
Luger argued the count, so Tatanka schoolboyed
him for a 2 count.
·        
Brief comeback by Tatanka with punches and
chops.
·        
Snap mare and a reverse chinlock contributed to
Luger’s methodical pace. (© Jim Ross)
·        
Tatanka tried to make another comeback but ate a
clothesline.
·        
Elbow to the sternum earned Luger another 2
count.
·        
An attempted slam became an inside cradle for
Tatanka for 2.
·        
Irish whip by Luger segued into a sunset flip by
Tatanka.
·        
Ross noted that only 4 minutes remain in the
match.
·        
Luger berated the crowd then rammed Tatanka’s
head into the top turnbuckle.
·        
Cue Tatanka’s normal comeback as a couple of
chops put Luger down.
·        
An Irish whip by Tatanka led to a third chop and
a 2 count. 3 minutes remain.
·        
Another Irish whip and Tatanka gave him a
powerslam for another 2 count.
·        
After a slam Tatanka headed to the top
turnbuckle.
·        
Chop to the head earned another 2 count.
·        
After mounting the top turnbuckle Tatanka dove
but missed the high cross body as Luger ducked.
·        
2 minutes remain.
·        
Irish whip by Luger set up a running clothesline
and another 2 count.
·        
90 seconds remain.
·        
Another Irish whip by Luger set up the powerslam
and another 2 count.
·        
One minute left.
·        
A third Irish whip led to a back drop and a vertical
suplex by Luger.
·        
30 seconds remain as Luger got another 2 count.
·        
Backbreaker got another 2 count, and the bell
rings to end the match.
·        
Finkel announced a time-limit draw eliminating
both competitors.
·        
Consequently he revealed that Bigelow received a
bye to the finals.
·        
Luger requested the microphone and wanted five
more minutes.
·        
The crowd cheered more for that than they did
for anything else during the match.
·        
Thereafter Luger removed the elbow pad and laid
Tatanka out cold.

Rating: **

Summary:  In good conscience I cannot rate this match
any higher. Luger’s S-L-O-W pace not only telegraphed the time-limit draw a
mile away but also made the match rather boring. The pin attempts at the end
made the match somewhat entertaining, but it didn’t gel as well as it could
have. In addition it wasn’t Finkel who was announcing the time left in the
match. It was Ross; therefore, the live crowd more than likely had no idea what
happened when the bell rang. Both men maintain their undefeated streaks in the
WWF.

Mean Gene interviews both Mr. Perfect and Bret Hart. Gene
insinuates from Bret’s preference that Perfect is an easier opponent.
Immediately Mr. Perfect takes offense. They bicker over whose dad beat the
other. Bret brings up the match from Summerslam ’91 where he beat Mr. Perfect
for the Intercontinental title. Perfect fakes out Bret on a handshake. After
Bret leaves Perfect cuts a promo on Bret stating “all you Canadians are alike.”
Yikes! I’m not Canadian, but I’m offended.

Match 5 for the KOTR
Semifinal: Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Mr. Perfect

Highlights:

·        
Perfect tossed the towel behind his back to
referee Earl Hebner PERFECTLY.
·        
Bret’s fingers were taped from his previous
match. Possible finger dislocation was speculated.
·        
Both wrestlers are faces. Who do the fans in
attendance root for?
·        
Bret won a tie-up with a standing headlock.
·        
A rope sequence culminated with a Bret hip toss.
·        
Side headlock takeover by Bret countered into a
headscissors by Perfect.
·        
Bret escaped and reapplied the side headlock.
·        
Perfect took Bret to the corner and chopped him
on the break.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Perfect reversed into a
Hart body slam.
·        
Upon landing on the mat Perfect kicked Bret in
the face.
·        
Perfect got the slam this time, but Bret kicked
him in the face.
·        
Side headlock by Bret.
·        
Perfect shot Bret off the ropes, but Bret
countered with a crucifix for 2.
·        
Bret reapplied the side headlock.
·        
Once again Perfect shot Bret off the ropes, but
Bret hit the cross body for another 2 count.
·        
Perfect’s kick out sent Bret outside the ring.
·        
On the apron Bret gave him a shoulder block then
sunset flips into the ring for another 2 count.
·        
Yet again Bret grabbed a side headlock frustrating
Perfect.
·        
Perfect took him to the ropes to break then delivered
a knee and a stomp to the gut.
·        
Savage acknowledged Perfect’s “salty past.”
·        
Impressive standing dropkick by Perfect sent
Bret out of the ring.
·        
Perfect held the ropes open for Bret.
Sportsmanship!
·        
Whoops. Scratch that as Perfect kicked Bret just
before he got into the ring.
·        
He then rammed Bret’s head into the top
turnbuckle.
·        
Chop by Perfect followed by forearms to the back
of the neck.
·        
Knee lift by Perfect got a 2 count.
·        
A kick to the ribs sent Bret outside the ring
again.
·        
Perfect followed and chopped him on the floor.
·        
He then rammed his head into the apron and
re-entered the ring.
·        
Bret got back up on the apron, but Perfect sent
him flying off into the barricade.
·        
Bret writhed in pain holding his knee.
·        
Perfect punched Bret on the apron, brought him
back inside, and delivered a knee to the chin.
·        
 A punch
put a weary Bret to the canvas.
·        
Perfect mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered
a missile dropkick for a 2 count.
·        
Bret put his leg on the bottom rope to stop the
count, so Perfect grabbed both legs and got another 2 count.
·        
Chop in the corner followed by a cross-corner
whip sending Bret sternum-first to the opposite turnbuckle earning Perfect
another 2 count.
·        
Another punch put Bret back on the canvas as
Perfect mounted the top turnbuckle again.
·        
However, Bret caught him with a punch to the
gut, followed him to the top, and gave him a superplex.
·        
That earned Bret a 2 count.
·        
Bret kicked at Perfect’s knee twice then took
him down.
·        
Figure-four leg lock by Bret.
·        
Ultimately Perfect grabbed the bottom rope to
escape.
·        
Single leg takedown by Bret into a knee bar.
·        
Perfect broke the hold by dropping his free leg
across Bret’s face.
·        
Wearily both men got to their feet.
·        
Perfect rammed Bret’s head into the top
turnbuckle.
·        
Two handfuls of hair allowed Perfect to toss
Bret across the ring.
·        
Perfect Irish whipped Bret and applied a
sleeper.
·        
Bret got to the ropes to break the hold.
·        
After delivering another chop Perfect reapplied
the sleeper.
·        
Slyly Perfect used the bottom rope for leverage.
·        
Bret broke the hold by getting to his feet and
ramming Perfect’s head into the top turnbuckle.
·        
To put things in perspective Ross pontificated
about a time-limit draw causing Bam Bam Bigelow to win the tournament
automatically.
·        

European uppercut by Bret.
·        
Bret rammed Perfect’s head into the turnbuckle
and returned the favor earlier by Perfect in tossing him across the ring while
having two handfuls of hair.
·        
Inadvertently Perfect crotched himself on the
ring post.
·        
Inverted atomic drop and side Russian leg sweep
gets a 2 count for Bret.
·        
Standing leg drop, backbreaker, and Bret headed
to the corner for the elbow smash from the second rope.
·        
Cover got 2 as Perfect exited out the back door.
·        
As Bret tried to lock the Sharpshooter Perfect
grabbed Bret’s injured fingers.
·        
He then stomped on Bret’s hand.
·        
Perfect tried to give Bret the Perfectplex, but
Bret blocked it.
·        
Instead Bret suplexed Perfect over the top rope
sending both men to the floor.
·        
Savage alluded to a possible double countout
causing Bigelow’s tournament victory.
·        
Perfect returned to the ring first as Bret
limped back into the ring.
·        
Perfect hooked an inside cradle for 2, but Bret
countered for 3!
·        
A frustrated Perfect rolled out of the ring realizing
that Bret was goldbricking.
·        
He returned to the ring and shakes Bret’s hand
while exchanging words of respect undoubtedly.
·        
Bret advanced to the finals to face Bigelow.

Rating: ****

Summary:  Excellent fast-paced wrestling match!
Perfect’s unique counter to the Sharpshooter was a great nod to their previous
match at Summerslam where Perfect submitted. Considering he was a face
Perfect’s “saltiness” during the match added flavor to a face versus face
matchup. Additionally Bret’s feigning injury proved wisely for him and costly
for his opponent. On Bret’s DVD Bret mentions the catapult into the barricade
spot. He said the crate “almost blew my knee out…almost broke my leg.” He
refers to the match as “the best match we (Perfect & Bret) ever had.”

Mean Gene interviews the five-time WWF champion Hulk Hogan
with manager Jimmy Hart. In the beginning Hulk points to the airbrushed design
of his face on Jimmy’s jacket then flexes his triceps. Very patriotic if not
jingoistic promo.

Match 6 for the WWF
championship: Hulk Hogan (champion w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji)

Highlights:         

·        
In order to not insult the paying customer
Yokozuna was billed from “the Polynesian islands” rather than Japan since it’s
quite obvious that he’s not Japanese.
·        
Ross noted the presence of photographers at
ringside.
·        
Yokozuna was now billed at 550 pounds. Holy hold
the mayo, Batman!
·        
Meanwhile Hulk Hogan “trimmed down” according to
Heenan. <cough>steroid trials<cough>
·        
In stark contrast to McMahon’s commentary during
this period in time Ross’ commentary contained historical snippets such as
Hulk’s first WWF title victory in 1984.
·        
The fans chanted “Hogan.”
·        
Hmmm…shouldn’t this be the main event? Or is the
King of the Ring title more important than the WWF title? Something smells
fishy here.
·        
Yoko got the early advantage with a chop, back
rake, and a head butt.
·        
Clubbing forearm put Hogan down.
·        
Yokozuna slammed him.
·        
He then worked over Hogan in the corner.
·        
Cross-corner whip put Hogan on the canvas again.
·        
Another cross-corner whip placed Hogan in the
opposite corner, but Yokozuna missed the avalanche.
·        
Hogan landed some punches then mounted the
corner for more punches.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Hogan followed by a
clothesline.
·        
Hogan failed to slam Yokozuna.
·        
Irish whip by Yokozuna but he missed a
clothesline.
·        
Hogan returned fire with punches.
·        
An eye rake and a kick to the gut by Hogan.
·        
Again Hogan failed to slam Yokozuna.
·        
Irish whip by Yokozuna but again he missed the
clothesline and then an elbow.
·        
Hogan hit the clothesline off the ropes
staggering the big man.
·        
Another running clothesline staggered him
further.
·        
A third attempt became a Yokozuna clothesline
putting Hogan down again.
·        
Running splash missed.
·        
Hogan came off the ropes but was knocked down
attempting a shoulder block.
·        
Yokozuna applied a bear hug.
·        
Crowd chanted “U-S-A.”
·        
As Hogan faded the arm went down once…twice…but
not three times!
·        
A series of punches to the head broke the hold.
·        
Off the ropes Hogan ate a Yokozuna back elbow.
·        
Belly-to-belly suplex by Yokozuna.
·        
Huge kick out at 2 by Hogan. Now it’s Hulk-up
time!
·        
Irish whip by Hogan led to the big boot, but
Yokozuna didn’t go down.
·        
Another whip, another big boot, but again
Yokozuna stayed vertical.
·        
A third whip and big boot finally sent Yokozuna down
to the canvas.
·        
Leg drop by Hogan ONLY GOT 2!
·        
As Mr. Fuji jumped on the apron Hogan nailed
him.
·        
Hogan signaled for the slam, but a photographer (Harvey
Wippleman in disguise) got up on the apron.
·        
As Hogan confronted the photographer the camera
exploded in his face.
·        
Clothesline and leg drop by Yokozuna put Hogan
down for the pin!
·        
We have a NEW champion!
·        
Hogan got up holding his right eye.
·        
Yokozuna knocked him back down then he and Fuji
dragged him to the corner.
·        
Yokozuna hit the Banzai drop.
·        
Ross exclaims “Yokozuna has squashed
Hulkamania!”
·        
Heenan proclaims “Hulkamania is dead!”
·        
Jimmy Hart helped Hogan out of the ring.
·        
As Pat Patterson and Dave Hebner assisted Hogan
down the aisle, Heenan buried Hogan on commentary.
·        
Back in the ring Mr. Fuji and Yokozuna posed
with the championship belt.

Rating:  *

Summary:  This match would mark the last Hulk Hogan
live appearance on WWF TV until 2002 when Hogan appeared at No Way Out in
February. For all intents and purposes Hogan’s days as the all-American hero in
the WWF are over. Good riddance. He shouldn’t have held the title in 1993 to
begin with. Have fun making Thunder in Paradise, Hulkster!

Terry Taylor interviews Mr. Perfect. Perfect is obviously perturbed
over his loss to Bret Hart.

Mean Gene interviews the Intercontinental champion Shawn
Michaels and his new bodyguard. Shawn BURIES
Hogan calling him a “dinosaur.” This predates his geriatric burial at
Summerslam by twelve years! Gene then asks for the name of Shawn’s bodyguard.
Shawn tells the whole world that his bodyguard’s name is Diesel. I’m not sure
if being named after a type of gasoline is a step above Vinnie Vegas, but let’s
see how it plays out.

Match 7: The Steiners
and the Smoking Gunns versus Money, Inc. and the Headshrinkers

Highlights:         

·        
Unfortunately these guys had the unenviable task
of following that mess.
·        
As the Gunns joined the Steiners in the ring
they shot their cap guns.
·        
Scott Steiner and Ted DiBiase started the match.
·        
DiBiase took Scott down with an arm drag.
·        
Single leg takedown into a waist lock by Scott.
·        
Rope sequence culminated with a Scott dropkick.
·        
Steinerline knocked DiBiase over the top rope to
the floor.
·        
Rick hit him and threw him back into the ring.
·        
Another Steinerline put DiBiase out of the ring
again.
·        
Again Rick hit him and threw him back in.
·        
DiBiase took a powder to regroup. Fatu tagged
in.
·        
As Steiner grabbed Fatu’s arm Bart Gunn tagged
in.
·        
Fatu avoided a drop toe hold but ate a dropkick.
·        
Bart then got the drop toe hold and applied an
arm bar.
·        
Fatu Irish whipped Bart who grabbed Fatu’s head
and rammed it into the mat.
·        
Obviously having not done his homework Gunn ate
a savate kick.
·        
Samu tagged in, and the Headshrinkers
double-clotheslined Bart.
·        
Diving head butt off the ropes by Samu. IRS
tagged in.
·        
He gave Bart an elbow off the ropes as Ross
noted IRS’ three tag team title reigns with three different partners (i.e. Barry
Windham, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, and DiBiase)
·        
Leg drop to the abdomen by IRS. DiBiase tagged
back in.
·        
Whip by DiBiase and he delivered a back elbow.
·        
Vertical suplex by DiBiase.
·        
Samu tagged back in then chopped and head butted
Bart.
·        
Fatu tagged in and the Headshrinkers gave Bart a
back drop.
·        
Head butt to the abdomen by Samu earned Fatu a 2
count.
·        
Backbreaker by Fatu.
·        
IRS tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and
leveled Bart with a right hand.
·        
Meanwhile Ross promised us an update on Hulk
Hogan.
·        
Leg drop by IRS got a 2 count.
·        
Sunset flip by Bart got a 2 count.
·        
Whip off the ropes and both men clotheslined
each other.
·        
DiBiase and Billy Gunn tagged in.
·        
Cross-corner whip turned into a back drop
followed by two clotheslines by Billy.
·        
Stun-gun by DiBiase.
·        
DiBiase hooked the Million Dollar Dream but released
it after referee Danny Davis raised Billy’s arm only once.
·        
Oozing of swagger DiBiase believed he had Billy right
where he wanted him.
·        
He tried to slam Billy but was hooked into an
inside cradle for the pin!
·        
All eight men entered the ring and a melee ensued.
·        
Scott LAUNCHED IRS out of the ring.
·        
The faces prevailed as the heels headed for
higher ground.

Rating: **

Summary: Standard
tag-team formula stuff here. I would have loved to have seen Scott give someone
the Steiner Screwdriver here.  Considering
DiBiase’ pin here it telegraphed the end of Money, Inc.’s title reign.  Subsequently they lost the titles the next
night at a house show.

Mean Gene interviews NEW
WWF champion
Yokozuna along with Mr. Fuji. 
WWF President Jack Tunney congratulates the new champion. Mr. Fuji
unintentionally quotes the chorus to Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m Goin’ Down” while
commenting on the Hulkster.

Match 8 for the WWF
Intercontinental championship: “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (w/ Diesel)
versus Crush

Highlights:         

·        
Prior to the match Ross informed us that Hogan
suffered neither permanent damage to his vision nor broken ribs.
·        
Back on May 17 Shawn Michaels lost the
Intercontinental title to Marty Jannetty.
·        
However, on June 6 with the help of the debuting
Diesel Michaels regained the title.
·        
Crush won the initial tie-up with a standing
headlock.
·        
After Shawn threw Crush off into the ropes he was
mauled by a Crush shoulder block knocking him completely out of the ring.
·        
Crush won another lock-up with a standing
headlock.
·        
Knowing he couldn’t win a wristlock battle he
forwent it and hit Crush in the ribs.
·        
A rope sequence culminated with a left by Shawn.
·        
Shawn won the next lock-up and worked on Crush’s
arm.
·        
Another rope sequence almost ended via a Shawn
super kick, but he missed.
·        
Instead Crush delivered a dropkick. Wow!
·        
A second dropkick sent Shawn over the top rope
to the floor.
·        
Single leg takedown by Shawn, but Crush kicked
him away.
·        
Two single leg takedowns by Crush followed by an
arm drag.
·        
As Crush gave Shawn a military press and a tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker Savage believed Crush can slam Yokozuna. They might have to try
that perhaps on a national holiday aboard a battleship.
·        
As Crush signaled for the Kona Clutch Diesel
dragged Shawn out of the ring.
·        
Crush followed Shawn to the floor only to be outsmarted
by the speed of Michaels who chop blocked him.
·        
Behind the referee’s back Diesel rammed Crush’s
head into the ring post.
·        
Shawn met Crush on the outside and rammed the
back of Crush’s head five times into the ring post. OUCH!
·        
Shawn physically picked Crush up off the floor
and tossed him back in the ring.
·        
He dragged Crush to the middle of the ring for
the seemingly obvious pin.
·        
But Crush kicked out at 2!
·        
Five stomps kept Crush down as Shawn mounted the
top turnbuckle.
·        
Shawn hit the double axe handle to the back of
the neck.
·        
He continued to work on the back of the neck and
applied a front face lock.
·        
Crush broke the hold by throwing Shawn off.
·        
Shawn reapplied the hold, but Crush sent him
into orbit.
·        
Third front face lock by Shawn.
·        
Immediately Crush picked him up and draped him
across the top rope and out to the floor.
·        
Shawn re-entered the ring via the top rope, but
upon leaping his head was rammed into the canvas.
·        
Irish whip by Crush led to a back drop, cross-corner
whip, and a backbreaker for a 2 count.
·        
Another Irish whip by Crush led to the big boot,
and a standing leg drop got another 2 count.
·        
Clothesline over the top rope by Crush.
·        
Two Doinks marched to the ring smoking cigars.
·        
As they distracted Crush Shawn delivered the
super kick to the back of the head earning the victory by pinfall.
·        
The Doinks high-tailed it backstage, and Crush
immediately charged after them.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Aside from the bad finish Shawn’s selling
along with Crush’s moveset made this match very entertaining. I’m glad we didn’t
get the Crush/Doink rematch here because it would have been a lot worse.

Mean Gene interviews Bam Bam Bigelow. He’s “fresh as a
daisy” and fired up!

Match 9 for the KOTR
Final: Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Bam Bam Bigelow

Highlights:         

·        
As much as I admire Bigelow for his wrestling
ability, the WWF music they gave him reminds me of the Flintstones’ character.
Maybe they should have had Luna dress like Pebbles. By the way where is she?
·        
Ross stated that the time between BBB’s matches was
an hour and 20 minutes.
·        
Thus, while Bigelow was fresh Bret favored his
leg along with some possibly dislocated fingers.
·        
BBB charged Bret, missed, and landed face-first
to the turnbuckle.
·        
Irish whip by Bigelow led to an attempted
military press.
·        
Instead Bret used his own momentum to knock BBB
down and received a 2 count.
·        
Bigelow whipped Bret off the ropes and gave him
a shoulder block.
·        
Military press by BBB.
·        
He vaulted Bret over the top rope to the floor.
·        
He then followed him and tossed him back in.
·        
Two head butts to the lower back by Bigelow.
·        
Hard cross-corner whip by BBB sent Bret back
first to the opposite turnbuckle and then to the canvas.
·        
Off the ropes Bigelow gave him a jumping head
butt to the shoulder.
·        
Two count broken by Bret’s foot on the ropes.
·        
BBB hooked that leg and got another 2 count.
·        
Bigelow continued to work on Bret’s back.
·        
Fantastic belly-to-back suplex by BBB.
·        
Brief Bret comeback thwarted by Bigelow.
·        
Another cross-corner whip further weakened
Bret’s back.
·        
Head butt knocked Bret down.
·        
Diving head butt off the ropes by BBB.
·        
Irish whip by Bigelow followed by a bear hug.
·        
Neck vice broke the hold; however, BBB gave him
another belly-to-back suplex.
·        
Mean Gene oversaw the match from the coronation
stage.
·        
Bigelow again tossed Bret out of the ring and
followed him.
·        
He tried to whip Bret but was reversed and sent
into the barricade.
·        
Bret made BBB taste the steel. Probably needed
ketchup.
·        
Elbow from the apron to the floor by Bret.
·        
Bret dove from the apron to the floor but got
caught.
·        
Bigelow rammed Bret back-first into the ring
post.
·        
He took Bret to the entryway and slammed him on
the unpadded floor.
·        
Luna Vachon came down the aisle and popped (i.e.
lightly tapped) Bret on the back with a chair behind the referee Joey Marella’s
back.
·        
She scampered back to the dressing room.
·        
BBB joined Bret on the floor and tosses him back
in.
·        
Slam put Bret down on the mat.
·        
Bigelow climbed to the top rope, hit the diving
head butt, and got the pin?
·        
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Bret got screwed again!
·        
Wait a minute…I don’t recall BBB winning the
King of the Ring.
·        
Hold the phone! Referee Earl Hebner came out to
notify Marella of the chicanery perpetrated by Luna.
·        
Finkel announced that the referee reversed the
decision, but Hebner stopped him in mid-sentence.
·        
Hebner informed Finkel that he wanted the match
to continue.
·        
As soon as Finkel made the announcement Bigelow
furthered his weakening of Bret’s back.
·        
Yet another cross-corner whip zapped some strength
from Bret’s back.
·        
Another Irish whip by BBB set up a second bear
hug.
·        
Bret tried to break but Bigelow put him in the
backbreaker a la Superstar Billy Graham.
·        
Bret escaped and gave BBB a belly-to-back suplex
of his own.
·        
Up first Bigelow came off the ropes but missed
the senton.
·        
Fourth cross-corner whip into another
backbreaker.
·        
Bret raked the eyes and hooked the sleeper while
riding BBB’s back.
·        
Bigelow tossed him overhead to break the hold.
·        
Running dropkick by Bret sent BBB into the ropes
and almost over.
·        
Bret then tossed him over the top rope.
·        
Plancha by Bret.
·        
After a series of punches Bret tossed Bigelow
back into the ring.
·        
Second rope clothesline by Bret got a 2 count.
·        
Side Russian leg sweep and second rope bulldog
by Bret.
·        
Attempted Sharpshooter but BBB kicked him away.
·        
Bret came off the ropes back into a third bear
hug.
·        
He then ate some Bigelow tattoo to break the
hold. Tasted like chicken.
·        
Attempted belly-to-back suplex by Bret countered
into a 2 count for BBB.
·        
Fifth cross-corner whip by Bigelow, but a blind
charge got boots to the face.
·        
Bret mounted the second rope again, hooked the
victory roll, and wins!
·        
Bret Hart became the King of the Ring!
·        
Savage entered the ring to congratulate him.
 
Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Great big man-little man match-up. Since it
was Bret’s third match but only Bigelow’s second I can understand Bigelow’s
getting the majority of the offense here. Though repetitive the psychology of
working the back worked well for the Bammer. Certainly this is one of the
highlights of Bret’s career along with his World title reigns.

Tony Garea leads Bret to the coronation stage. Mean Gene
places the royal robe on Bret and hands him the scepter. Gene then bestows the
crown upon Bret’s head. But before Bret can say a word Jerry “The King” Lawler
interrupts the proceedings.  He refers to
Bret as “the pretender to my throne.” 
Lawler offers him the title of “Prince” if he will honor him by kissing
Jerry’s feet.

Bret retorts by insulting Jerry’s integrity due to his lack
of entry into the tournament. He then refers to Lawler as the “burger king.” As
Bret chants “burger king” to incite the crowd Lawler nails Bret in the head and
then the back with the scepter.

Afterwards Lawler stomps on the crown and throws the throne
onto Bret’s back. OUCH! He then jabs Bret In the ribs with the remainder of the
scepter. Next he chokes Bret with it then tosses the robe off the stage.  Lastly he drops the stool into Bret’s
midsection.

Grabbing the microphone Lawler tells the befallen Bret to
kiss his feet. He then kicks Bret in the face sending him off the stage.

Conclusion:  Yokozuna may be the WWF champion, but
Bret Hart cemented himself here as the true workhorse/top dog of the promotion.
While not having the WWF title in his grasp Bret received a nice pat on the
back here from the WWF along with earning a long-time rival in Lawler. We’ll
see where this goes.

Additionally it should be noted that despite the title match
being Hogan’s final televised match in the WWF (until 2002) he worked the house
show circuit. His last appearance for the WWF was on August 6 in Sheffield,
England. He defeated Yokozuna by disqualification.

I would be remiss if I didn’t proclaim that I truly enjoyed
this show more than WrestleMania IX. If the combination of three great Bret
matches and a good Shawn match is your cup of tea seek it out and enjoy!

For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WrestleMania IX!

Live from Las Vegas, NV                                                                                                        

Airdate:  April 4,
1993

Attendance:  16,891

Gorilla Monsoon welcomes us to Caesar’s Palace for
WrestleMania IX. In case you’re not aware, this is the first WrestleMania to
take place outdoors. Another fifteen years would pass by before WrestleMania was
truly outdoors again. Monsoon introduces the newest member of the WWF broadcast
team—Jim Ross! Yes, folks, he’s wearing a toga in his debut! With the weight of
trying to make WCW look good off his shoulders Ross seems very happy to be
here! Subsequently he presents our ring announcer “Finkus Maximus” for the
introductions.

“Cleopatra” makes her entrance riding atop an elephant. Unfortunately,
she’s NOT in a see-through toga as promised by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. That’s
two years in a row that Heenan promised a naked woman at WrestleMania and
failed to deliver. Is he a broadcast journalist, a used car salesman, or a
politician? “Julius Caesar” accompanies her as the WWF goes full throttle with
the Ancient Roman theme incorporating a llama, an ostrich, along with the
aforementioned elephant. “Macho Man” Randy Savage is introduced next being
carried out on a sedan with the “vestal virgins.” Not to be outdone Heenan
arrives on a camel albeit seated backwards.

Match 1 for the
Intercontinental title: “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (champion) versus
Tatanka

Highlights:         

·        
Luna Vachon, making her WWF debut, seconded
Shawn Michaels to the ring. Sensational Sherri was in Tatanka’s corner just to
annoy Shawn.

·        
In order to earn his title shot Tatanka defeated
Shawn in both a non-title match as well as a six-man tag match.

·        
Tatanka turned an overhand wristlock into a nice
bridge.

·        
Shawn’s excellent selling led to a verbal
confrontation between Luna and Sherri on the floor.

·        
Botched sunset flip from the top rope by
Michaels could have been caused by Tatanka being out of position.

·        
Good psychology used by Tatanka to work on the
shoulder as Ross and Heenan described HBK’s prior injury.

·        
The move not yet named “Sweet Chin Music” hit
Tatanka as he came off the top rope.

·        
Again Sherri prevented any shenanigans by Luna
outside the ring.

·        
Excellent flying clothesline from the apron to
the floor by HBK.

·        
Swinging neckbreaker got a long 2 count.

·        
HBK blew a victory roll for another 2 count.

·        
He tried another victory roll, but Tatanka
countered with Splash Mountain.

·        
Three rope-assisted double-axehandles cued
Tatanka’s comeback.

·        
Chops o’plenty on HBK.

·        
High crossbody from the top rope should have
pinned HBK but only got 2.

·        
Catapult into the post got another close 2
count.

·        
Papoose To Go blocked by HBK into a rollup for
2.

·        
Tatanka reversed a high crossbody into a
powerslam for 2.

·        
Crowd chanted for Sherri.

·        
Dive from the apron to the floor by HBK missed.

·        
HBK pulls the referee out of the ring.

·       
Tatanka hit the Papoose To Go, but the referee
counted HBK out instead.

 Rating: ***

Summary:  In spite of Tatanka’s being out of position a
couple of times these guys did a great job of teasing a title change while not
ruining Tatanka’s existing undefeated streak. Regrettably the match had its
slow spots and a bad finish or I would have rated it higher. Decent opener.

After the match Luna attacks Sherri with a clothesline and a
slam before Tatanka runs her off.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews The Steiner Brothers. Rick
and Scott cut a promo on the Headshrinkers. Interesting note about the
interview was Gene’s awareness of Michigan’s involvement in the 1993 Final
Four. Non-juiced Steiners actually look somewhat normal.

Match 1: The Steiner
Brothers versus the Headshrinkers (with Afa)

Highlights:         

·        
It took merely a second or two after the opening
bell for Ross to call this match a “slobberknocker.”

·        
Heenan makes fun of Ross for the term “smash
mouth.”

·        
Fatu and Scott started the match for their
respective team.

·        
Steiner-line off the ropes by Scott gave him a
quick advantage.

·        
After both Steiners got tossed out of the ring
they mounted the top turnbuckle and nailed the Headshrinkers with
Steiner-lines.

·        
Afa rammed both Headshrinkers’ heads together to
wake them up.

·        
**THIS
JUST IN**
Luna attacked Sensational Sherri at the first aid station.
Details to follow.

·        
Rick and Samu tagged in.

·        
After Rick rammed Samu’s head into the ringpost,
Scott tagged in.

·        
He delivered a butterfly suplex to Samu followed
by a dropkick to Fatu.

·        
A botched stungun sends Scott completely out of
the ring. That looked sick!

·        
Behind referee Bill Alfonso’s back Afa whacked
Scott in the back.

·        
Fatu split Scott in two with a backbreaker then
gave him a headbutt from the second rope.

·        
Spinning kick from Samu put Scott down on the
mat.

·        
While Rick and Fatu distract Alfonso Samu rammed
Scott’s head into the ringpost.

·        
Scott caught Fatu ducking early and sent him
face-first to the mat only to receive a crescent kick to the face for his
troubles.

·        
Excellent standing dropkick by Samu.

·        
Headshrinkers gave Scott Demolition
Decapitation.

·        
Double clothesline spot knocked both Fatu and
Scott down.

·        
Samu missed a diving headbutt from the top rope.

·        
Hot tag and Rick cleaned house with Steiner-lines.

·        
Rick shows off his intellect by trying the double
noggin-knocker spot on the Samoan duo, but it fails miserably. Both Headshrinkers
give him a headbutt in exchange.

·        
Double Stroke (face-first Russian legsweep) put
Rick down.

·        
Oh my God! What appeared to be a Doomsday Device
by the Headshrinkers turned into a powerslam by Rick! Incredible!

·        
Heenan’s jabs at Ross with the Oklahoma jokes
are hysterical (e.g. indoor plumbing).

·        
Scott tagged in and gave Fatu an overhead
belly-to-belly suplex only to get nailed by a kick from Samu.

·        
Upon a reversal of an Irish whip Scott delivered
the Frankensteiner to Samu for the pin! However, It didn’t look as crisp as it
should have.

Rating: ***

Summary:  With the lack of dead spots this tag
match was really exciting. The Headshrinkers sold really well for the Steiners’
high-impact offense. Hopefully Scott starts using the Steiner Screwdriver as a
finisher because his ability to give his opponent a huracanrana was waning
here.

“Mean” Gene interviews Doink who has “desecrated” the statue
of Julius Caesar with clown makeup. They show the attack by Doink with the
prosthetic arm upon Crush.

Match 3: Crush versus
Doink the Clown

Highlights:

·        
Savage’s commentary is firmly behind Crush. He
must owe him money.

·        
Crush chased Doink around the ring and slammed
him on the outside.  In fact the majority
of the beginning of the match was spent outside the ring.

·        
Crush dominated with a hangman’s neckbreaker.

·        
Neck snap via the top rope by Crush.

·        
Vicious backbreaker by Crush.

·        
Doink turned the tables by snapping Crush’s neck
on the top rope then nailing him with a sledge from the top rope.

·        
Doink went to the top rope twice and delivered a
couple of fists.

·        
Piledriver by Doink.

·        
A Doink slam led to a foot to the face by Crush
as Doink jumped from the top rope.

·        
An attempted crossbody block by Doink was
countered into a Crush powerslam.

·        
Crush then clotheslined Doink over the top rope.

·        
Doink tried to escape under the ring to no
avail.

·        
Back in the ring Crush gave Doink a military
press and signaled for the Kona Clutch.

·        
He applied it, but Doink got to the ropes. Referee
Joey Marella was knocked down in the process.

·        
Again Doink tried to escape under the ring only
to be caught by Crush.

·        
Wow! Back in the ring Crush gave Doink a Savate
kick!

·        
Crush applied the Kona Clutch again, but Marella
was still down.

·        
A second Doink appeared behind Crush and waffled
him with a prosthetic arm.

·        
The two Doinks double-teamed Crush with the
prosthetic arm.

·        
Next they performed the mirror illusion trick.
Amazing!

·        
While the second Doink hid under the ring the
original Doink covered Crush for the pin.

·        
Referee Bill Alfonso ran to the ring and
notified Marella of the Doink shenanigans, but the second Doink could not be
located. Brilliant!

Rating: **

Summary:  Doink’s aerial ability, psychology, and
shenanigans overwhelmed Crush’s power display. It would not surprise me if
Crush underwent a character change as he appeared misguided against the wily
clown. 

Todd Pettengill is in the stands and finds a Japanese
photographer who cannot confirm there were two Doinks. Wacky? Yes! Politically
incorrect? You betcha!

Match 4: Razor Ramon
versus Bob Backlund

Highlights:

·        
**THIS
JUST IN**
According to Ross Sherri is pretty shaken up, but order has been
restored within the first aid area.

·        
Backlund’s offer of a hand shake received a
toothpick to the face in return.

·        
Despite Ramon being a heel the crowd chanted
“Razor!”

·        
Using his quickness Backlund tripped Razor
twice.

·        
Heenan noted Backlund’s long hiatus. Savage
stated he was training during that time. Heenan refuted by saying he was the “paper
boy in Mayberry.” HA!

·        
Savage reported that Bret “Hitman” Hart was
knocked unconscious by “The Narcissist” Lex Luger at the WrestleMania brunch.

·        
Razor dominated Backlund with punches and kicks
until Backlund reversed a cross-corner whip and gave Razor a pair of hip
tosses.

·        
Sadly he missed a dropkick, but a running
forearm put Razor down on the mat.

·        
Butterfly suplex by Backlund

·        
LONG atomic drop by Backlund, but Razor escapes
to the apron.

·        
Razor came in the hard way.

·        
Out of nowhere Razor applies an inside cradle
and got the pin!

Rating: *1/2

Summary:  While Backlund was not overmatched by the
size and strength of Razor his offense was extremely outdated. Razor’s win with
an inside cradle acted like an insult to the 43 year old Backlund.  An atomic drop just wasn’t a devastating
maneuver in 1993. In spite of owning the Rumble longevity record at the time more
character development by Backlund would be necessary for him to become relevant
again.

“Mean” Gene interviews the WWF tag team champions Money,
Inc. They recap the briefcase smash to Beefcake’s face that caused “Mouth of
the South” Jimmy Hart to change his allegiance to the MegaManiacs. That and
being Hogan’s real-life manager helped too. “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase is
confident his team will succeed. IRS mentions Hogan’s “accident.”

Match 5 for the WWF
tag team titles:  Money, Inc. (champions)
versus the MegaManiacs (with Jimmy Hart)

Highlights:

·        
To show that money was no object to the Million
Dollar Man, IRS’ Halliburton briefcase is golden rather than silver.

·        
Holy crap! I had totally forgotten about Hogan’s
black eye! Fact or fiction? You make the call!

·        
DiBiase and IRS attack immediately.

·        
Our heroes (cough, cough) tossed each man over
the top rope shortly thereafter.

·        
The T-shirt got ripped! The ear got cupped! The
people stood and cheered! I grabbed the Pepto.

·        
After a lengthy regroup session we start proper
with Beefcake and IRS.

·        
IRS put Beefcake on the defensive then tagged
out to DiBiase.

·        
Money, Inc. tried to double-team Beefcake, but
DiBiase’s double-sledge to the mask backfired!

·        
Noggins get knocked, and Beefcake tried to
hammer DiBiase’s head into the top turnbuckle.

·        
It’s blocked, and DiBiase tried to ram Beefcake’s
face without any luck due to the mask.

·        
A ram of DiBiase’s head to Hulk’s boot preceded
a tag to the Hulkster.

·        
After Hulk rapped DiBiase’s head about 18 times
he hit a running clothesline.

·        
Beefcake tagged in, and the MegaManiacs gave
DiBiase the double boot to the face.

·        
After an atomic stomp and slam Beefcake tagged
Hulk back in. Hulk came off the second rope with a double sledge.

·        
Upon bouncing like a pinball between Hogan and
Beefcake DiBiase got clotheslined over the top rope.

·        
IRS came in, got pinballed, poked in the eye,
and thrown over the top rope.

·        
Hogan mugged to the crowd again, and they praised
his efforts.

·        
Money, Inc. took a walk expecting the countout
and to keep the belts.

·        
Referee Earl Hebner informed Finkel that if the
champs didn’t return to the ring by the count of ten they not only lose the
match but the titles too! Money, Inc. became irate!

·        
Expectedly they hurried back to the ring.

·        
DiBiase and Hogan start proper again. DiBiase got
the advantage, and IRS choked Hogan with the tag rope behind Hebner’s back.

·        
Heel chicanery kept Hogan subdued.

·        
As DiBiase hooked the Million Dollar Dream the
fans chanted “Hogan” to ensure he didn’t go to sleep. Good luck! Hogan’s
painkillers might just have done that!

·        
By committing an embarrassing gaffe “Macho Man”
mistook rafters for columns then corrected himself during Hogan’s comeback.

·        
Behind Hebner’s back Beefcake slapped DiBiase in
the sleeper.

·        
Order was restored and both DiBiase and Hogan
were down.

·        
Hogan sat up at nine and made the tag to
Beefcake.

·        
High knee from Beefcake to IRS.  Atomic drop sent DiBiase over the top rope.

·        
DiBiase nailed Beefcake coming off the ropes
with the briefcase.

·        
Next he tried to do away with Beefcake’s mask
causing Heenan to make a hockey joke.

·        
The mask was removed and placed atop the briefcase.
Sympathetically Ross got seriously worried for Beefcake’s well-being.

·        
The champs tried to double-team Beefcake, but he
ducked then delivered a double clothesline off the ropes instead.

·        
Beefcake locked the sleeper on IRS.

·        
Hogan came in and distracted Hebner. In the
meantime DiBiase blasted Beefcake in the back knocking him, IRS, and Hebner to
the mat.

·        
Tags were made on both sides despite the referee
being down.

·        
Hogan gave the big boot to DiBiase.

·        
IRS tried to nail Hogan with Beefcake’s mask but
received a low blow.

·        
Hogan hit both members of Money Inc. with the
mask.

·        
Both men covered for the pin. Jimmy Hart crawled
into the ring to wake up Hebner.

·        
In a cute bit Hart reversed his jacket to reveal
referee stripes and counted the double pin.

·        
Belts were grabbed and held overhead. Do we have
new champions?

·        
Referee Danny Davis sprinted to ringside,
checked on Hebner, and raised the arms of Money, Inc.

·        
The champs won by disqualification.

·        
The MegaManiacs intimidated Davis until Money
Inc. nailed them with the belts.

·        
However, the belt shots got no-sold, and the
champs high-tailed it out of the ring.

·        
Hart talked the MegaManiacs out of rearranging
Davis’ facial features.

·        
Alternatively Hart tossed Davis over the top
rope himself!

·        
Wait, Hogan didn’t win the tag belts here?
Something smells fishy.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  My Spidey-sense is tingling. Hogan
doesn’t usually walk out of WrestleMania with a loss even by DQ. There must be
more to this story.

After the match, the MegaManiacs do the double strut. Hogan
poses to the appreciative crowd. Ross believes the crowd noise could be heard
in Reno. Now THAT’S hyperbole! Hogan finds the golden briefcase. Beefcake
unlocks it, and a brick is found inside amongst papers and money. Now the crowd
erupts in anticipation of receiving the money! And the MegaManiacs deliver!

Pettengill interviews Natalie Cole. She’s having a blast!
CEO of Caesar’s Palace Dan Reichartz is also interviewed.

“Mean” Gene interviews Mr. Perfect. They discuss Luger’s
suspicious forearm and the cheap shot dealt to Bret Hart during brunch. He then
bungles Luger’s gimmick. Hey! That’s not perfect!

Match 6: “The
Narcissist” Lex Luger versus Mr. Perfect

Highlights:         

·        
Luger came to the ring with not one, not two,
not three, but FOUR lovely ladies in scantily clad golden bikinis. <cat whistle>

·        
I guess you can’t say Luger didn’t win ANY gold
in the WWF.

·        
Luger posed as the mirrors shot off pyro.

·        
Perfect whipped Luger off the ropes and hit him
in the gut.

·        
He quickly followed with a kneelift.

·        
Rope sequence culminated with a Perfect running
dropkick.

·        
After another rope sequence Perfect grabbed
Luger’s foot. He proceeded to damage Luger’s left knee.

·        
While working on the knee he applied a spinning
toe hold.

·        
A chop by Perfect to Luger’s chest echoed
throughout the outdoor arena.

·        
A cross-corner whip was reversed by Luger, and
Perfect hit his back HARD.

·        
Another cross-corner whip by Luger caused more
damage.

·        
Backbreaker.

·        
A brief Perfect comeback was halted when Luger
raised his knees on a blind charge.

·        
Having studied how he lost to Flair at Starrcade
’88, Luger grabbed Perfect’s legs and put his feet on the ropes. Unlike that
match, referee Joey Marella caught him before counting the pin.

·        
Wasting no time Luger whipped him off the ropes
and gave him a powerslam.

·        
Another whip off the ropes led to a Perfect sunset
flip for 2.

·        
Perfect locked on the sleeper, but Luger broke
the hold by backing into the corner further aggravating Perfect’s injured back.

·        
Yet another Irish whip from Luger segued into an
inside cradle by Perfect for 2.

·        
Luger took a chest-first bump off a cross-corner
whip then received a catapult to the turnbuckle.

·        
Perfect nailed Luger with the Axe then whipped
him off the ropes to give him another for 2.

·        
He mounted the turnbuckle to hit Luger in the
head; however, Luger picked him up for a running inverted atomic drop.

·        
He missed, and Perfect delivered a clothesline.

·        
A third Axe hit the mark for another 2 count.

·        
Missile dropkick from Perfect got another 2
count due to Luger’s foot on the bottom rope.

·        
They fight for a backslide, and Luger pinned him
despite Perfect’s legs being in the ropes. Perfect was robbed!

Rating:  ***

Summary:  Luger’s psychology of working Perfect’s historically
bad back along with Perfect’s well-timed comebacks made this match very good. I
was surprised to see Perfect execute a missile dropkick as I hadn’t seen him
perform it prior to my seeing this show.

After the match Luger hammers Perfect with the loaded
forearm knocking him unconscious. Luger places a foot atop him and poses. After
a short while Perfect gets to his feet and makes his way back to the dressing
room. The camera follows him backstage, and he finds Luger talking with Shawn
Michaels. Perfect nails Luger into a storage area, but Michaels attacks Perfect
from behind. Referees and agents break up the melee.

Meanwhile as Savage and Heenan have a heated discussion back
at the announce table Monsoon previews the next two matches.

Match 7: The
Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) versus Giant Gonzalez (with Harvey Wippleman)

Highlights:

·        
At 7’6” Giant Gonzalez remains the tallest
professional wrestler to date. Unfortunately muscle tone did not correlate with
his height; hence, he wore a ludicrous body suit to the ring.

·        
At this point the Undertaker (UT) was only 2-0
at WrestleMania.

·        
The Undertaker rode a chariot with a vulture
atop a perch to the ring.

·        
Gonzalez towered over the 6’10” Undertaker.

·        
He hammered UT with forearms, but they were
no-sold.

·        
A brief flurry by UT led to a choke by Gonzalez.

·        
While being choked UT mounted the second
turnbuckle and applied a choke of his own.

·        
Gonzalez broke with a low blow.

·        
A standing wristlock by UT segued into a
ropewalk.

·        
After UT intimidated referee Bill Alfonso he
walked into a boot.

·        
Gonzalez then clotheslined UT and tossed UT
across the ring like a rag doll.

·        
LONG headlock by Gonzalez.

·        
Bearer tried to raise UT by invoking the power
of the urn.

·        
UT elbowed out but was sent outside the ring.

·        
Gonzalez rammed UT’s head into the ring steps
then whipped him into them.

·        
The power of the urn encouraged UT to his feet
and back into the ring.

·        
UT received a headbutt but sat up.

·        
A second headbutt put UT down, but he sat back
up again.

·        
UT came back with punches and kicks to the ribs.

·        
Gonzalez’ “selling” took him to one knee.

·        
Wippleman got on the apron.

·        
As UT grabbed him Wippleman tossed a rag to
Gonzalez.

·        
Bearer got on the apron and ate a headbutt from
Gonzalez.

·        
Gonzalez then smothered UT with the rag.

·        
The announcers claimed the rag was soaked with
chloroform.

·        
Alfonso called for the bell disqualifying
Gonzalez.

Rating:  DUD

Summary:  If you’re a fan of slow, plodding big man
matches this one’s for you; otherwise, avoid at all costs. RIP Jorge Gonzalez.
This was his ONLY WrestleMania appearance.

After the match agents and referees try to help the
Undertaker. A stretcher is brought to the ring. Gonzalez then chokeslams
Alfonso. It’s no wonder why Alfonso banned the move in ECW. Immediately the
unconscious Undertaker is stretchered to the backstage area. Hoping for their
hero to put an end to this nefarious behavior the crowd chants for Hogan. Will
he make a second appearance?

Suddenly the gong tolls again, and the Undertaker re-emerges
from backstage. Upon re-entering the ring UT takes Gonzalez off his feet with
three running clotheslines. As Bearer restrains UT, Gonzalez heads for higher
ground. Methinks this feud isn’t over. Sorry, folks.

“Mean” Gene recaps Yokozuna’s rise to the #1 contender position
which includes destroying “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan with two Banzai drops. A third and
fourth Banzai drop onto an American flag covered Duggan isn’t provided however.
The contract signing for the WWF title match is then shown. Next, and who’da
thunk it?, Gene brings in Hulk Hogan to discuss the WWF title match. Hogan basically
tells Bret Hart to watch his back. Truer words have never been spoken. He even
goes the extra mile challenging either Bret or “the Jap, brother” for the next
title shot. Way to turn t the clock back to 1945, Hulkster!

Pettengill gets more air time and scares the bejeezus out of
a young fan. What a role model. He then interviews two guys in togas from
Southern California. Apparently the togas are from Motel 6. They must’ve left
more than the light on for ‘em.

Match 8 for the WWF
title: Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Yokozuna (with Mr. Fuji)

Highlights:         

·        
In a bit of foreshadowing Heenan ominously stated
that the minute Yokozuna walked through the curtain the clouds began to cast
over the skies of Caesar’s Palace.

·        
Bret got off to a good start with a running
dropkick.

·        
Next he tried a go-behind but couldn’t wrap his
arms around Yoko’s girth.

·        
Yokozuna shoulderblock knocks Hart out of the
ring.

·        
Yoko tried to keep Bret outside the ring by
kicking him; however, Bret grabbed the foot and tripped the big man.

·        
Springboard splash by Bret.

·        
While Yoko’s leg was tied in the ropes Bret
delivered a second rope elbow smash.

·        
Referee Earl Hebner untied Yoko.

·        
Bret tried to clothesline him twice but couldn’t
knock him down.

·        
A third try was countered by a Yoko clothesline.

·        
Slam and legdrop by Yoko.

·        
Nerve hold by Yoko.

·        
Cross-corner whip by Yoko, but blind charge hits
knees.

·        
Botched bulldog by Bret got a 2 count.

·        
Crescent kick by Yoko.

·        
Snapmare led to another nerve hold by Yoko.

·        
Another cross-corner whip by Yoko, but the
avalanche missed.

·        
Second rope bulldog by Bret. Much crisper this
time. Got a 2 count, but Yoko kicked out with authority!

·        
Second rope elbow smash by Bret. Another 2
count.

·        
Second rope clothesline by Bret. Yoko staggered.

·        
Running clothesline knocked the big man down.

·        
Bret mounted the turnbuckle and nailed Yoko five
times before Yoko grabbed his legs.

·        
Yoko couldn’t drop him because Bret had a firm
grip on the top turnbuckle cover. He ripped it off!

·        
Yoko tried to ram Bret’s head into the exposed
turnbuckle, but Yoko hit it instead.

·        
Bret locked on the Sharpshooter.

·        
As Hebner checked for the submission Fuji threw
salt into Bret’s eyes blinding him.

·        
Yoko immediately made the cover and won the
title!

Rating: **

Summary:  Wow! A heel wins the title in the main
event! Ballsy booking indeed! Somehow I don’t remember the show ending this way.

After the match Hogan enters the ring to protest. As he
checks on Hart Mr. Fuji challenges Hogan to face Yokozuna right now. My Spidey-sense
is tingling again! Hogan helps Hart leave the ring. Mr. Fuji sweetens the deal
by putting the title on the line. Alarm bells have started to ring for me!

Bret waves Hogan toward the ring. He must smell a huge
Summerslam payout. Hogan enters the ring, and Yoko attacks immediately. Yoko
holds Hogan’s arms, and Mr. Fuji tosses the salt. He misses Hogan and nails
Yoko instead. Hogan dispatches Fuji then gives Yoko the Axe Bomber. He drops
the leg, gets the pin, and wins the WWF title for the 5th time!

To quote John McEnroe, ARE YOU SERIOUS? Yep. “Real American”
is playing and the crowd becomes unglued! Hogan poses and the fireworks go off!

Conclusion:  As a longtime wrestling fan I understood
how important Hulk Hogan was to the WWF in the 80s. After all he was a hero to
millions just not to me. I neither was,
am, nor ever will be a Hulkamaniac
. But by 1992 Hogan “retired” by calling it
quits after WrestleMania VIII. All of a sudden ten months elapse, and he un-retires
then wins the belt back at the following WrestleMania? Even when he’s not
advertised as facing the champion prior to the event? Whose crazy idea was
that? Hogan’s, I’m certain. Oh, and supposedly Bret was in favor of it so he
could face Hogan at Summerslam. Hogan pulled the wool over his eyes too and
dropped the belt to Yoko at the King of the Ring PPV. Bret may have been
officially screwed in 1997, but in 1993 he was screwed for the first time in my
honest opinion. The Yoko-Hogan nonsense didn’t need to be there because the
tickets had already been sold and the PPV was ordered before any of the fans
knew Hogan would be achieving the WWF title again.

The underdog story as it related to Bret made all the sense
from a storyline perspective. They just didn’t pull the trigger. As for the
rest of the card there were neither any **** nor ***** matches, so this
WrestleMania while entertaining was subpar at best.

As far as the commentary is concerned I think Ross passed
his first test in the WWF. While his exchanges with Heenan were not as smooth
as Heenan/Monsoon they didn’t take away from the event. Considering the
reaction Savage received upon his introduction I firmly believe he should have
had a much more active role in the show as a competitor. The outdoor atmosphere
of the event also was a nice touch.

With that being said, is it the worst WrestleMania ever? You
decide!
For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…The Ultimate Warrior

Since many
of you already know the history behind the legendary Warrior I will not repeat
any of it. Nor will I write one of my LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG diatribes that I
have been known to publish here. Instead I will give my personal recollection
of the Ultimate Warrior’s impact upon my wrestling fandom.

Back in 1986
as I watched three hours of syndicated pro wrestling shows on Saturday mornings
I stumbled upon a new character on World Class Championship Wrestling. Since I
had no access to Mid-South back then I had no idea who this guy was. Indeed it
was the Dingo Warrior.
 
What the
fuck is a Dingo Warrior? My young brain couldn’t understand it, but he had the
same build as “The Modern Day Warrior” Kerry Von Erich so I thought he was cool.
Then he jumped ship to the WWF.
In the WWF
back in 1987 I never saw the Dingo Warrior appear, but soon thereafter he was
renamed the Ultimate Warrior with the absolute JUICIEST music ever! Out of
nowhere this dude with tassels on his arms and unique face paint SPRINTS to the
ring, continues to run around it, jumps on the apron, and shakes the ropes
maniacally! I was hooked from the beginning.
 
 
His squash
matches against guys like Jose Luis Rivera, Steve Lombardi, and Terry Gibbs
were worth watching because he absolutely DESTROYED these guys with high-impact
moves. While in no way did he compare to “Nature Boy” Ric Flair when it came to
wrestling acumen, the Ultimate Warrior ENTERTAINED me regardless!
The next
thing I discovered was that the Honkytonk Man stupidly challenged ANYBODY for
his title at Summerslam ’88. Again, out of nowhere, the Ultimate Warrior
exploded from the back and pinned the cocky champion 1…2…3 for the Intercontinental
title! The wrestler for whom I marked out ferociously became a champion. Woohoo!
 
Life
intervened and my wrestling fandom took a backseat for a while. The next thing
I recall was the Ultimate Warrior challenged Hulk Hogan title for title at WrestleMania
VI. Incredibly he won, although I wouldn’t find out about it until I rented the
VHS tape much later.
Quite some time passed, and my next opportunity to see the Ultimate Warrior was at
WrestleMania XII. I watched him squish Hunter Hearst Helmsley like a bug and
enjoyed it tremendously! However, since the WWF was focusing on a “New
Generation” in 1996 the Ultimate Warrior looked lost in the shuffle and
disappeared on me again.
 
The next
thing I knew about our beloved hero was his WCW debut in Hartford, CT on Nitro
in September 1998. While one could see that the ONLY reason he was in WCW was
so that Hogan could finally beat him, his arrival was still HUGE news to me.
When I
attended the Nitro in Chicago shortly after Warrior’s WCW debut I tried my
hardest to understand exactly what he was trying to convey. One Warrior Nation
was not embraced by the WCW minions much to my dismay. When Warrior finally “wrestled”
Hogan at Halloween Havoc ’98 I was excited for the rematch.
 
Then it
happened. While I knew neither guy was a wrestling technician I didn’t know
neither knew how to actually CARRY a match. The Las Vegas crowd, as well as I,
completely SHAT all over the match until my PPV feed died. Immediately I
purchased the event again while the colossal destruction of a main event
continued. Warrior was cooked, finished, fini, done, and kaput as far as
wrestling in the main event ever again was concerned.
In spite of
all that, I made my journey through wrestling history and caught up with some
other Warrior highlights (e.g. Rick Rude, Papa Shango, WrestleMania VIII). I
believed that while he was not a great WRESTLER, thus vilified by smarks
everywhere online, he ENTERTAINED me and became a legend in my wrestling fandom.
 
While
watching the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony I noticed a lot of LONG speeches.
Lita’s speech seemed never-ending. Mr. T’s diatribe about religion and his
mother, while noteworthy, was long-winded. When it came time for the induction
of the Ultimate Warrior I was worried. Would they cut him off too? What would
he say? While most legends tell fascinating road stories or claim so-and-so was
his road buddy I knew the Ultimate Warrior wouldn’t do anything like that.
In lieu of
giving accolades to those who had previously received them he gave credit to
the Steve Lombardis and the Terry Gibbs as well as the Jimmy Mirandas whom the
WWE Universe never sees. I saw how displeased he was over the Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior
DVD and felt sympathy for him. While his speech was also long I felt like he
knew he didn’t have much time left in the spotlight. Little did I know, it wasn’t
just the spotlight.
 
Being the
rabid smark that I am now I made it a point to DVR the RAW after WrestleMania.
After all, new stories are told and monumental moments tend to happen on this
particular show. Since I don’t watch the show regularly but only follow it
online I read the reviews and was eager to watch it. Last night I watched the
show and enjoyed it thoroughly. I only skipped a couple parts, but I wasn’t
going to skip Warrior’s segment.
The music
ERUPTED throughout the arena. The wrestler whom I idolized in my younger years
WALKED up to and into the ring. Wearing one of his customary robes and,
inevitably, a Warrior mask, he gave us a very heartfelt promo. I had no idea
that he would be taken away from us soon thereafter.
 
Today I pay
tribute to the Ultimate Warrior. He was a legend in OUR sport and will remain
so indefinitely.
For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Aiden English – Rumble star?

Hi Scott, longtime reader big fan yada yada yada. In Princess’ MOTD Thread I put forward this idea for this year’s Rumble.
 
“It would be nothing other than awesome if Aiden English was an entrant and had the full spotlight entrance and sang his way to the ring. The action stops dead in the ring as they look at English in amazement. Of course he could get eliminated immediately BUT then requests an encore as he leaves the arena.
 

Tell me that would not be the perfect introduction for him and get him over huge.”
 
Do you reckon this sort of thing would work outside of the NXT universe? Would the ‘regular’ Universe fans just sit on their hands and wonder what the hell was going on? Personally I think it would be a better use of a Rumble spot than say a 3MB member.
 
Also any other entrants or spots you would mark for in this year’s Rumble?
 
Thanks
 
Kev (breakydafunk)

    Aiden would get over in a second with his gimmick.   It’s different and cool.  
    I’d of course mark out for Jake getting a DDT on someone, or Cesaro putting Sin Cara out with a  Giant Swing right over the top rope.  

    Rock – Biggest Star in the World?

    http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-news/paul-walker-fast-furious-stars-lead-forbes-top-180937252.html

    Thought you might be interested in seeing this. Local boy makes good!

    To be fair, Rock was piggybacking off the Fast and Furious franchise for that total, whereas Robert Downey is carrying the Iron Man movies on his back and is clearly the draw there.  
    Either way, that’s why we’re not getting Rock in his annual part time Wrestlemania match.  

    The WWE Network as Rock Star Gary sees it

    If I was the programming director of the WWE Network here are a few ideas I would implement:

    1. Reality and female programming opposite sporting events
          a. Trish Stratus feature
          b. Kevin Nash/Scott Hall/Sean Waltman tour the WWE Performance Center
     2. Tuesday Night RAW (1993 – present)
     3. Thursday Night Nitro (1995-2001)
     4. Saturday morning territory shows (Superstars, Challenge, WCCW, CWF, Mid-Atlantic)
     5. Saturday 6pm World Championship Wrestling
     6. Where Are They Now?
     7. Third Shift ECW marathons
     8. WCW Up All Night
     9. Legends Roundtable (previous and new content)
     10. Features from previous DVD releases minus matches

     What else would you implement? How can WWE promote its current product without RAW and Smackdown since they are on USA and Sci-Fi respectively? What would it take for the WWE Network to succeed?

    For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

    Rock Star Reflects…on good ol’ JR!

    Despite the rumors floating around concerning Jim Ross’
    recent retirement, I would like to congratulate good ol’ JR on a fantastic
    career in the professional wrestling/sports entertainment industry.

    While Hulk Hogan, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and Shawn Michaels
    were throwing around the ICON label back in 1997 a true icon was working two
    different jobs within the World Wrestling Federation. Jim Ross was both the
    Executive Vice-President of Talent Relations as well as the host of Monday
    Night RAW. While one of those positions would be quite difficult to handle,
    Ross held and excelled in both of them.
    Let’s take a look back on the career of good ol’
    JR.
    I was initially introduced to Jim Ross through his
    play-by-play of Mid-South Wrestling back in the mid-80s. Unfortunately I do not
    have many memories of his run in MSW/UWF because it was not nationally
    televised. Once the UWF buyout by Jim Crockett Promotions transpired Jim Ross
    became a weekly staple on my television when he co-hosted World Championship
    Wrestling with Tony Schiavone and David Crockett. To this day I am still quite
    fond of the former Saturday night 6:05pm wrestling show.
    Unbeknownst to me at the time Ross was not only a
    play-by-play announcer for the NWA but also a member of the booking committee. His
    commentary alongside Bob Caudle during the Flair-Steamboat trilogy in 1989
    enhanced the competitive battles taking what was already great and making it
    legendary.
    While having an extensive knowledge of pro wrestling and
    exercising it within his commentary Ross also provided unique background
    information on the ring participants. As you already know Ross is a devout
    supporter of the University of Oklahoma Sooners. When it came time for Ross to
    have an entrance theme he chose the Sooner fight song. The integration of his
    college football acumen with wrestlers such as “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, Ron
    Simmons, along with Rick and Scott Steiner made his announcing appropriate and
    realistic.
    Without a doubt Ross also had an amazing plethora of
    catchphrases. Prior to listening to Ross’ announcing I had never heard the term
    “slobberknocker.” His phrase “business is about to pick up” signaled the
    audience to pay closer attention as the heat for the match got hotter. “Scalded
    dog” and “government mule” were metaphors Ross was known to extol when
    someone’s ass was getting whipped. In addition his exclamation during the Hell
    in a Cell match in June 1998 between the Undertaker and Mankind stands as one
    of his best and most notable: “As God as my witness he is broken in half!”
    Ross’ career in WCW lasted until Eric Bischoff became
    Executive Vice President of WCW in 1993. Despite having a guaranteed contract
    with time remaining on it Ross knew that his TV time was precious and sought
    greener (yet less financially green) pastures in the WWF. In fact, according to
    cagesideseats.com writer Keith Harris, “On March 28, 1993 Jim Ross stuck the
    middle finger to his former employer WCW, just one month after having resigned
    from the company due to Eric Bischoff removing him as the lead TV announcer, by
    having Vince McMahon on his WCW sponsored radio show to announce his signing
    with the WWF, technically before he had even received his official WCW contract
    release.”
    On April 4, 1993 Ross began his WWF career at WrestleMania
    IX in Las Vegas, NV as the play-by-play announcer alongside “Macho Man” Randy
    Savage and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. How can anyone forget seeing Jim Ross in a
    toga?
    Unfortunately for Ross he suffered partial facial paralysis
    due to Bell’s palsy and was fired on February 11, 1994. Subsequently he worked
    for Smoky Mountain Wrestling and the Atlanta Falcons. However, during the
    infamous WWF steroid trials Vince McMahon was unable to perform his announcing
    duties on Monday Night RAW and rehired Ross to fill the play-by-play role. Upon
    conclusion of said trials Ross found himself out of a job with the WWF again.
    In December 1994 Ross was rehired and worked on the
    syndicated shows instead of RAW. But in 1996 Ross rejoined the RAW broadcast
    team alongside Jerry “The King” Lawler and Vince McMahon. In a poor attempt for
    ratings Ross turned heel lambasting the WWF in promos and promising the return
    of “Razor Ramon” and “Diesel.” This move sent shockwaves to wrestling fans
    during the Monday Night War, and it inadvertently caused Kevin Nash and Scott
    Hall to receive raises in their contracts due to WCW’s naivety.
    Sadly Nash and Hall were not rejoining the WWF. Instead Rick
    Bogner and Glen Jacobs (last seen on RAW as Isaac Yankem, DDS) filled the roles
    of “Razor Ramon” and “Diesel.” The audience quickly dismissed the duo as fake
    and Ross’ heel turn was quickly scratched. On the bright side Ross’ commentary
    during IYH: Buried Alive in October 1996 is truly time worth spent if you have
    never heard Ross’ heel character.
    After the Montreal “screwjob” at Survivor Series 1997
    McMahon gave up his announcing duties. Ross then became the lead announcer on
    RAW until Bell’s palsy struck him again in late 1998. He did not return to WWF
    programming until March 1, 1999. With insistence from the Rock and “Stone Cold”
    Steve Austin Ross replaced Cole during the main event of WrestleMania XV and
    didn’t miss a step.
    One of the toughest things an announcer has to do is to
    relay bad news to the audience. With the utmost respect Ross carried out his
    responsibility on May 23, 1999 by informing the pay-per-view audience that Owen
    Hart had died. It reminded me of the incident during the 1972 Olympics when Jim
    McKay had to relay the bad news that occurred in Munich. But I digress…
    While Ross was the play-by-play announcer on RAW Ed
    Ferrara—a TV writer who worked for the WWF but subsequently joined WCW in
    1999—parodied Ross on WCW Monday Nitro as the character “Oklahoma.”  In my eyes this parody was incredibly
    distasteful and mean-spirited. It was neither funny nor cute, and Ed Ferrara
    should be ashamed of himself for doing it.
    As I mentioned earlier Ross was not only the play-by-play
    announcer but also the Executive Vice-President of Talent Relations for the
    WWF. Notable hiring that pertains to Ross’ tenure in said position includes:
    “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, “The Rock”, Cactus Jack, Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, and
    many others. Along with the change in programming that the WWF undertook in the
    late ‘90s I firmly believe the talent that Ross hired to fulfill the change
    made the difference in the Monday Night War.
    On August 26, 1999 Ross performed his announcing duties
    alongside Jerry Lawler on the network premiere of WWF Smackdown. However,
    Michael Cole would assume that role following that episode. On an infrequent
    basis Ross would make appearances on Smackdown (e.g. the 9/11 tribute show that
    aired live on 9/13/2001).
    I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the constant
    humiliation thrust upon Ross during his WWF/WWE tenure. In 2001 Ross became
    only the second member of Vince McMahon’s “Kiss My Ass” club behind William
    Regal. In 2005 health issues would require a leave of absence for Ross. To
    explain the absence WWE humiliated Ross with a “head up his ass” colonoscopy skit
    featuring Vince McMahon. Further humiliations include getting burned by Kane,
    receiving the mandible claw by Mankind, and kissing Michael Cole’s foot. It was
    no surprise that anytime WWE hosted a live RAW in Oklahoma Ross would become
    the butt of the joke.  In spite of all
    the humiliation Ross exemplified a company man performing his job with class
    and dignity.
    In order to place a better focus on his health, family, and
    eventually JR’s BBQ sauce Ross stepped down as Executive VP in 2005 but
    continued his weekly announcing duties on RAW. John Laurinaitis served as Ross’
    replacement.
    In a moment that could be considered by many as overdue Ross
    was elected to the WWE Hall of Fame on March 31, 2007. His longtime friend
    “Stone Cold” Steve Austin inducted him.
    In June 2008 Ross was switched from RAW to Smackdown as part
    of the annual WWE draft. Twelve years of duty on Monday nights came to an end
    due to an angle that Ross was not made aware beforehand. Although he
    contemplated resignation he persevered until October 2009.
    Unfortunately that was when Ross suffered his third bout
    with Bells’ palsy.  He would not resume full-time
    announcing duties until July 25, 2011 when COO Triple H “rehired” him to join
    Lawler and Cole. That would last until October 10 when Laurinaitis “fired” him
    publicly in front of his wife on RAW in Oklahoma City.
    Thereafter Ross made special appearances that include
    calling the last four matches of WrestleMania XXVII and participating in the
    Michael Cole-Jerry Lawler feud. Additionally he announced the Hell in a Cell
    match between the Undertaker and Triple H at WrestleMania XVIII, appeared at both
    the 1000th episode of RAW on July 23, 2012 as well as the 20th
    anniversary on January 14, 2013, was honored on October 1, 2012 on JR
    Appreciation Night, and co-hosted the pre- and post-show for WrestleMania 29
    with Dusty Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, and Scott Stanford.
    When Triple H took over Talent Relations he hired Ross as an
    advisor and scout. Ross also mentored new announcers at the WWE Performance
    Center. Ross would hold this position until September 11, 2013 when he
    announced his retirement.
    As a fan of professional wrestling over most of the last 2
    decades I also attest to being a fan of good ol’ JR. Whether he was proclaiming
    “This is the NWA where we wrestle!” or apologizing for some of the adult
    content during the Attitude Era Ross sold the product better than anyone. Tony
    Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Michael Cole among others greatly pale in comparison
    to Ross’ work in the ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s. Whether or not we have seen the last
    of Jim Ross on WWE TV remains to be seen. But, to be fair, I tip my cap to the
    man in the black hat. Thanks, JR!