Ahmed Johnson vs. Vader & Triple-H vs. Jake (and other KOTR Qualifying Matches!)

Austin 3:16- The Most Iconic Promo Ever Happened 25 Years Ago Today

Beating a bunch of midcarders and you change the business forever. Wrestling is weird.

WWF KING OF THE RING QUALIFYING MATCHES (1996):
* You might have heard of this tournament before. So by this point, the tourney was kind of up in the air after Mabel’s failed Main Event push. It could have even poisoned the “King” title, in fact. Hopefully THIS year’s winner makes more of a go of it.

So the backstory here was that the crown was meant to go to the “Next Big Midcarder”, more or less- mid-tier heel Hunter Hearts-Helmsley was expected to win it. But instead, he was one of the few guys the WWF could punish for doing the infamous “Curtain Call” (the Kliq members all coming out for a group hug in the ring, “exposing the business” by confusing fans at an MSG house show). And so he had his big push taken away and they threw it on some other guy. Thus giving HHH a lifelong persecution complex and an obsessive need to look smarter and better than everyone else, covering his own ass at every opportunity. But who knows what effect THAT had on the business?

This review is comparatively massive, because I decided to put the trio of Quarterfinals in the same review instead of splitting them up. Easier to look at the tourney as a whole that way! Hopefully it’s not too long, haha.

HENRY O. GODWINN (w/ Hillbilly Jim) vs. JUSTIN “HAWK” BRADHSAW (w/ Uncle Zebekiah):
(WWF Superstars)
* Weirdness abounds as tag wrestler Godwinn is out there with absolutely ZERO chance, taking on rising midcard guy Bradshaw, then a super-green Stan Hansen wannabe in red trunks and a ponytail managed by Zebekiah. At this point, the future JBL was nowhere near as protected as he would be even as part of the Acolytes, but he was protected enough.

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Wrestlemania XXIII

Wrestlemania XXIII
Date: April 1, 2007
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Attendance: 80,103
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Tazz, John Bradshaw Layfield, Joey Styles

It’s the biggest night of the year and this time the show does indeed feel big. You can feel how things have been going strong on the way here and I want to see how it goes. That takes some work when I have already seen the show multiple times. It is a stacked card and the biggest is Bobby Lashley vs. Umaga in the Battle of the Billionaires, which is really Donald Trump vs. Vince McMahon. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – March 30, 2007

Smackdown
Date: March 30, 2007
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Attendance: 5,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the final (of three) go home shows for Wrestlemania and I wouldn’t bet on seeing much in the way of important action here. That is perfectly fine in this case and they would be insane to try anything too complicated. We’re sure to get a lot of talking about Wrestlemania though and that should work out well. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – March 26, 2007

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 26, 2007
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 15,146
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the go home show for Wrestlemania and that means we are not likely to see a lot of wrestling this time around. Instead, expect a heck of a lot of talking, plus some rather short matches to get everyone to Detroit as safely as possible. That being said, we have a heck of a double main event with Bobby Lashley vs. Vince McMahon and a No Way Out main event with Shawn Michaels/John Cena vs. Batista/Undertaker. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – March 12, 2007

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 12, 2007
Location: Verizon Center, Washington DC
Attendance: 14,740
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We are less than three weeks away from Wrestlemania and it’s another Donald Trump show as the contract has to be signed. Other than that, the World Title situation has been picking up as you can feel the tension building between Shawn Michaels and John Cena. The shows have actually been working well as of late and that might be the case again this week. Let’s get to it.

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ECW On Sci Fi – March 6, 2007

ECW on Sci Fi
Date: March 6, 2007
Location: Tuscon Convention Center, Tuscon, Arizona
Commentators: Joey Styles, Tazz

Now this is going to be different as we have a very special guest star in the form of Steve Austin. For once, it is someone who has an actual connection to the original ECW, which really doesn’t mean much but is kind of nice for a change. He’ll be talking about a Raw story, but that is the case with every show at the moment. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – March 5, 2007

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 5, 2007
Location: US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We are less than a month away from Wrestlemania and for once, the build is actually clicking really well. There is a lot of focus on the Battle of the Billionaires, which is hardly the most thrilling story due to the people involved, but just about everything else has my interest. Let’s get to it.

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Macho Man Squashing Steve Austin (and other Dream Matches!)

Jimmy Del Ray (Graffiti) last TV match: vs Dean Malenko, WCW Monday Nitro  09.12.1996 - video Dailymotion

The legendary Jimmy Graffiti, the finest gimmick of “Gigolo” Jimmy Del Ray.

This week in the “Dream Matches”, here’s the most disappointing match between two all-time great workers possible! Plus Shawn Michaels trying to crawl up the WWF card in 1992 against the Texas Tornado! One of those matches only WCW could have, featuring Jimmy Del Ray as a rebellious young street tagger and Prince Nakamaki in a cheap Tiger Mask outfit! Oh, and New Japan legendary asshole Shinjiro Otani fights Jerry Lynn in his Luchadore/Power Rangers ripoff gear!

“MACHO MAN” RANDY SAVAGE vs. “STUNNING” STEVE AUSTIN (w/ Col. Robert Parker):
(WCW Saturday Night, 27.05.1995)
* Yes, an ultra-rare meeting between two of the greatest stars in the history of the business… passing like two ships in the night because Austin’s about to get dumped. “Stunning Steve” has a terrible receding hairline, wispy blond hair, black trunks & leather jacket, and no goatee, while Savage is in full Mega Powers colors, but with Slim Jim décor on his cowboy outfit. The winner of the match will face the winner of Ric Flair & Alex Wright. And before you get too excited and search this out, the YouTube video is only 7 minutes long and half of it’s pre-match bullshit.

Austin pokes the bear with a slap to start, and eats a back elbow and gets choked over the ropes for it. Austin goes to the eyes and brawls, but misses a flying splash (?!?) and Savage rams him into the Slim Jim post coverings (those don’t look painful at all) and the guardrail, then finishes with the Flying Elbow in the ring at (2:19). Haha, jesus christ.

Rating: * (TWO MINUTES. That’s all it got. Nice moves, as Austin was very smooth back in the day, but TWO MINUTES)

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What the World Was Watching: ECW Holiday Hell ’95 (Last of the Series!)

This card was the largest of ECW’s Holiday Hell Tour in December 1995, taking place at the Lost Battalion Hall in Queens, New York on December 29.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show attracted a sold-out crowd of 1,283, the largest to see an ECW event to that point.

Joey Styles provides commentary for the evening’s events, working solo as per usual.  He starts the show in the ring, putting over ECW’s debut in the New York City area.  Stevie Richards and the Blue Meanie interrupt so Richards can put himself over for a few minutes and question the sexual preferences of fans at ringside.  Missy Hyatt is spotted in the crowd and Richards tries to put the moves on her, but Hyatt is reluctant until Richards tells her that she can get Hyatt a date with Raven.  Hyatt kisses Richards, telling him to give that to Raven and Richards marks out to a chorus of boos.

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What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – December 26, 1995

A video package recaps the feud between Rey Misterio, Jr. and Psicosis.

Joey Styles talks about how Woman controls all the titles in ECW.  He acknowledges rumors on the WCW Hotline that WCW Champion Randy Savage wants Woman to manage him.  However, Styles says that Woman has given her word that she is staying with ECW.  Call the ECW Hotline to find out more!

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What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – December 19, 1995

Highlights of the Mikey Whipwreck-Steve Austin-Sandman triangle match for the ECW Championship air, as well as a reminder about a wrist injury the Sandman suffered during the match.

Joey Styles hypes the Sandman’s next three title defenses.  On December 28, the Sandman faces Cactus Jack.  The next night in Queens, New York, the Sandman will face Steve Austin.  And at House Party ’96 on January 5, the Sandman will face Konnan.

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What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – December 12, 1995

Joey Styles recaps the heel beatdown of Tommy Dreamer, the Pitbulls, and the Public Enemy on last week’s broadcast.  He hypes a “Beulah’s Box” segment tonight where Beulah McGillicutty will talk with the Heavenly Bodies.

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What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – December 5, 1995

A graphic describes ECW as the place “Where the big boys don’t play” to lead into a replay of the Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer-Raven and Cactus Jack match at November to Remember.  ECW clips the match down to three and a half minutes to hide its faults.

Funk puts over Dreamer as the next hardcore athlete and how his wrestling career is winding down.  A tearful Dreamer tells Funk that he will never forget what he did for him.

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What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – November 28, 1995

Sabu’s return to ECW, which aired at the end of last week’s telecast, kicks off the show.  Joey Styles marks out on commentary, but it is too much and detracts from the segment.

A lengthy video package puts over Sabu.

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What the World Was Watching: ECW November to Remember ’95

Joey Styles handles the commentary for the show, which took place at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 18.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a sellout crowd of 1,150 fans.

Buh Buh Ray Dudley walks to the ring to do guest ring announcing duties for the Broad Street Bully-Don E. Allen opener.  He is accompanied by the other members of the Dudley clan except for Dudley Dudley, who is no longer part of the company.  Buh Buh is wearing a top hat and suit coat like he is running a circus.  Buh Buh gets through the welcome until he tries to mimic Michael Buffer and stutters over the word “rumble.”  Frustrated, Buh Buh takes out the jobbers with Buh-Buh Bombs.

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What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – November 14, 1995

Cactus Jack says he is proud of Mikey Whipwreck for winning the ECW Championship.  However, he blames the crowd for ruining his moment and tells them to get ready for the most boring match they have ever seen.  Jack adds that he will take care of Tommy Dreamer by himself and does not need Raven in his corner to do it.

Tommy Dreamer tells Jack that he is in for a fight tonight.

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What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – October 31, 1995

Beulah McGillicutty promises “an up close and personal feel” and talks about TNT.  This gives way to Steve Austin doing an Eric Bischoff impression on Monday Nitro, talking about his joy in firing people over the phone.  Austin calls WCW’s talent old and their show “Monday Nyquil” where “the big boys play with each other.”

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What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – October 24, 1995

Joey Styles calls the action on this episode, which continues to come from The South Philly Jam.

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What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – October 10, 1995

Steve Austin cuts his famous promo that denounces his treatment in WCW and puts over how he is now in an environment where no one can hold back his wrestling abilities.  The segment marks the end of the “Stunning Steve” character as Austin promises to reach new heights because no one can stop him any longer.  And what makes this promo so great is Austin would later become one of the most famous wrestlers in history and helped bring down the company that cast him aside.

Amid terrible camera work that keeps shaking, Lance Wright hypes the October 28 ECW Arena show which will feature the Sandman defending the ECW Championship against Mikey Whipwreck in a ladder match.

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What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – October 3, 1995

Don’t forget to vote in the Doomies!  Polls close on Saturday!  https://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2021/01/04/seventh-annual-doomie-awards-poll/

Beulah McGillicutty says she is going to have a segment on future broadcasts that will answer any fan questions, whether they are about romance or wrestling.  She promises that her “[mail]box is always open for you.”

As a follow up to the previous segment, Joey Styles tells fans that they can send their mail for Beulah to P.O. Box 17280, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19105.  Styles adds that the Public Enemy will face the Gangstas in a street fight this Saturday that will literally take place on the streets as a ring will be setup underneath a trestle a block away from the ECW Arena.  The show will also feature the Sandman defending the ECW Championship against Mikey Whipwreck.

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