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

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

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

 

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Hogan & Hansen: Main Event in the making!

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

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

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

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

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Royal Rumble 1990

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

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 21, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon call today’s action, which originates from Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The taping took place on January 3.  This is the last show before The Royal Rumble.

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

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

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

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

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – January 8, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan host tonight’s broadcast.  Tonight’s two feature bouts come from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and were taped on December 14.

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Honky Tonk Man & The Hart Foundation vs. Bruno Sammartino, Tito Santana & Jake Roberts (and other Dream Matches!)

Randy Savage vs Bruno Sammartino (WWF, 1-3-1987) | Tape Machines Are Rolling

Bruno was a scary grandpa in 1987- he still looked more dangerous than many of the roided-up wrestlers.

Welcome to more Dream Matches! This time, I found a super-unusual bout from 1987 with latter-era Bruno shoring up a six-man match against some of the nastiest heels in town, and a look at Baby AJ Styles as an indie nobody in WCW, teaming with Air Paris against Jamie Noble & Evan Karagias! Also, did you know that one half of Well Dunn once fought MANTAUR? This all-time Dream Match was for the lucky 26 fans who watched USWA in 1997, and will be reviewed for you here in this very column! Also watch the death of the Big Bully Busick gimmick, and Bill Goldberg demolish one half of the Master Blasters (no, not that one).

ELIMINATION TAG MATCH:
THE HONKY TONK MAN & THE HART FOUNDATION (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart, w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. BRUNO SAMMARTINO, TITO SANTANA & JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS:
(WWF TV, Sept. 1987)
* Hahah, now THAT’s a random six-man! Honky’s the most hated heel in the business with his IC Title, and the Harts are also the champs, while they’re up against the Living Legend (Bruno, not Larry), Tito near his peak, and Jake on his way up. Bruno & Tito are in blue, Jake & Honky in red, and the Harts in pink & black. The Harts start shit, but Jake clears the ring with Damien immediately. This is from one of those “Scott’s Wrestling Collection” sets on YouTube.

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Dream Matches: WWF Survivor Series Showdown 1989

Survivor Series (1989) - Wikipedia

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

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

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Abdullah the Butcher vs. Zeus (and other Dream Matches)

And we’re back with more bizarre finds of “what can I find by typing random names into YouTube?” (and also some requests from sadistic BOD members). This set sees a match between two of the worst workers of all time clearly booked by a monster, along with some unusual WWF matches- the Colossal Connection vs. The Rockers, plus a certain legendary JTTS worker “Huss”-es his way in!

Once again, WWF YouTube videos are non-kosher to post here, but you can find them pretty easily.

ZEUS vs. ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER:
(World Wrestling Council, 1990)
* OH MY GOD SOMEONE ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN!!! This is in Puerto Rico, a pretty wild territory (a murderous one, even), with the famous blood ‘n’ guts wrestler Abdullah facing off against Zeus, following his WWF run, which was so bad he wasn’t even trusted to do a solo match with Hogan in a big way. They look like a pair of “Fist of the North Star” villains fighting- Zeus roided to the gills and in silver & black pants, and Abdullah this scarred-up monstrosity, baggy pants hoisted up to his tits. I mean, at least Zeus LOOKS like a star.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Main Event – November 5, 1995

With no pay-per-view afterward, Main Event is back as a studio show with Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 01-18-93

Live from New York, NY

Airdate: January 18, 1993

Attendance: 1,000 (sold out)

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, & Rob Bartlett

Can the sequel be as good as the first installment? Will it disappoint or will it surpass the original? Let’s find out!

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Went to WrestleCon and Met over 120 Wrestlers (List/Details/Photos)

For those of you who aren’t familiar, WrestleCon is kind of like Axxess on a budget with everyone running their own booth. The key differences though are you have a TON of indy wrestlers, plus dozens of legends. You pay a flat rate to get in ($33) and then each autograph and picture you want is an additional charge. For the sake of finances, I only paid for a handful of pictures.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XXIII

Taped from Cincinnati, OH

Airdate:  October 14, 1989 (taped 9/21)

Attendance:  14,000 (12,000 paid)

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

What can DiBiase do to win the WWF title from Hogan? What’s new with Savage? Can Piper be any zanier? Read on!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on…The WWF Wrestling Classic

It’s only fitting that I review a show from the Chicagoland area on the night the Cubs advance to the NLCS. Go Cubs!

Live from Chicago, IL Rosemont, IL

Airdate: November 7, 1985

Attendance:  14,000

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

This review is sponsored by the candy bar Payday. Thanks, WWE Network!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on Saturday Night’s Main Event III

As I promised earlier in the Daily thread, here is my latest reflection. Go Cubs!

Taped from Hershey, PA

Airdate: November 2, 1985 (taped 10/31)

Attendance:  8,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

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Rock Star Gary reflects on…WWF WrestleMania

Live from New York, NY

Airdate: March 31, 1985

Attendance:  19,121

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Here we are–the very first WrestleMania that has spawned over three decades of supershows for the WWF/WWE. Let’s dig in to how the World Wrestling Federation got to this point:

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Strike Force

Was Strike Force always meant to be broken up the minute they got together? They certainly didn’t last very long despite being popular. Plus, it’s not like pretty boy tag teams were going out of style at the time (hello Rockers). Or was Vince that in love with with the model gimmick that he felt it was worth the sacrifice.

​I know it’s hard to believe with the intense buildup and well-crafted interviews that they gave to set up the team ("We’re gonna STRIKE with lightning FORCE!") ​but yeah, poor Tito was always just the designated goober who Martel was turning on. But I mean, it’s just Tito Santana and it was easy for him to get himself back to the previous level he started at anyway.

Tito Santana

So, I started watching in 1990, and it seemed like Tito had pretty much descended into JTTS hell by that point. As I learned more about the history, I became aware of the two IC reigns and the tag run with Martel, but even then, he lost on every Wrestlemania I rented…and yes, I never got around to watching the first one. My question is: what exactly happened that Tito wound up falling so far down the card? Do you think it would have gone the same way if Tom Zenk hadn’t screwed up whatever it was that he screwed up? Or was he a bigger star than someone who only watched Wrestlemania from that era would have figured, with a bunch of TV and house show wins and such? All I really saw were his JTTS years and the one-sided feud with Rick Martel.

That’s just how the business used to work.  You got your run at the top (or as near the top as you were gonna get underneath Hogan and Savage) and then you dropped down and put guys over while someone new took over your spot.  Besides, Tito was bulletproof anyway, a guy who they could stick in just about any position on the card and fans would buy into his comebacks and accept him in the role.  Need someone to work a long match with a top guy on a house show?  Tito Santana!  Need a tag partner when someone flakes out and leaves?  Tito Santana!  Want to do a miracle jobber angle against the tag champs for fun?  Tito Santana!  I would bet you money that if they had stuck Tito into a World title match against Randy Savage leading up to Wrestlemania V, they would have torn down the house in a 20 minute match and had everyone in the building thinking that Tito might just win the belt.  Tito was good people.  He knew exactly what his role was and played it to perfection.