Mortis vs. Juventud Guerrera (and other Dream Matches!)

10 Years Later: The Death of Chris Kanyon - Last Word on Pro Wrestling

Seriously though, this is an ALL-TIME wrestling look and it’s a shame they wasted it on a “Midcard JTTS” act.

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This week, I have a classic case of a WCW “throw together two good workers and give them time!” throwaway match, as Mortis (Chris Kanyon) faces Juventud Guerrera on WCW Saturday Night! Then it’s the end of Rick “The Model” Martel’s WWF run as he faces “The Rocket” Owen Hart in one of Owen’s last babyface matches! The more WCW goodness as a rookie Tokyo Magnum on his learning excursion faces El Dandy!

Then we get another Steiner Brothers/Fire & Ice “just launch each other around the ring” match, and finally, an all-time dream bout of the Beverly Brothers facing the jobber Dream Team of Virgil and “El Matador” Tito Santana! Read on!

MORTIS (w/ James Vandenberg) vs. JUVENTUD GUERRERA:
(WCW Saturday Night, Jan. 3rd 1998)
* Hey, an interesting one, actually! Kanyon in his “Mortis” identity vs. Juvie! This is back when Juventud was still masked (here his mask is an odd dark salmon color) and was kinda/sorta a job guy but sometimes not really? WCW’s midcard was strange because guys would alternate wins & losses randomly. Mortis looks AWESOME and holds up even more in retrospect- 99% of guys don’t look half as cool. The size difference here is profound, too.

Read more

Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Buddy Landel (and other Dream Matches)!

Mid-Atlantic Gateway: Buddy Landel Passes Away

“Mom, can we see Ric Flair?”
“We have Ric Flair at home.”

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! Today, we’ve got a wild mish-mash of WWF stuff, as we get the weird time when Buddy Landel was a regular WWF guy until an ice patch, not his own demons, caught up with him! And Buddy gets a shot against the WWF Champion, Bret Hart!

Then it’s the true debut of “Team Extreme”, as Matt Hardy takes on Essa Rios (w/ Lita), and Essa’s had enough of his manager! Then we have Marty Jannetty vs. The Repo Man as Marty gets ready to face Shawn Michaels at the Royal Rumble! There’s also an interesting jobber match, as the Steiner Brothers take on Al Green and a very young Mike Awesome! Vincent vs. Damian on WCW Saturday Night, as they continue to give VINCENT of all people a mini-push on that show!  Then it’s one of those throwaway Nitro spotfest matches, as Psychosis, La Parka & El Dandy take on future Dragon Gate guys CIMA Nobunaga, Tokyo Magnum & Judo Suwa!

WWF WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE:
BRET “HITMAN” HART vs. BUDDY LANDEL:
(WWF Mania, Jan. 15th 1996)
* Yes, it’s the hilariously short time BUDDY LANDEL was in the WWF- an ill-timed injury slipping on ice ended this, what could have been his most lucrative run ever. Though he jobbed to Ahmed Johnson in like 45 seconds on PPV, so I don’t think they had high hopes for him. His “Ric Flair Wannabe” gimmick was in full effect, with fancy robes and he even used Flair’s WWF entrance music! This is actually taped before Buddy’s injury and aired after it- he was only in one-off WWF matches after this.

Read more

Brock Lesnar & Ron Waterman vs. Randy Orton & Rico Constantino (and other Dream Matches!)

Ned Balme on Twitter: "2002 Randy Orton is the vibe I'm going for this summer https://t.co/TWDnZXKyOz" / Twitter

Randy Orton in 2002- ready for his Crazy Town cover band.

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This time, I have a fascinating dark match from RAW where four of OVW’s seemingly most promising guys perform… while also proving just WHY Brock Lesnar & Randy Orton made it, and why their partners, Ron “H20” Waterman & Rico Constantino did not.

And also I have some requests- Wildo & Ingus Jynx vs. The Grimm Twins! This is the only TV appearance of Wildo & Ingus Jynx and one of two appearances of the Grimm Twins! The Jynxes, of course, Matt & Jeff Hardy in weirdo one-off look, against the Harris Brothers in the second of their three WWF gimmicks. Also let’s take a look at Jake “The Snake” Roberts in 1987, taking on Moondog Spot, whom I’m seeing for the very first time! Also the wildest squash ever, as f*cking VINCENT of the nWo gets to look like a shooter against poor Tokyo Magnum! Plus a main event in any gymnasium in the country- VAN HAMMER vs. MIKE ENOS! And finally, the “Dream Matches” debut of Sick Boy, as he faces The Renegade!

As always, all these matches are available on YouTube.

BROCK LESNAR & RON “H20” WATERMAN vs. RANDY ORTON & RICO CONSTANTINO:
(RAW Dark Match, Feb. 4th 2002)
* oh SNAP! Some of the Pillars of OVW, back during their “touring RAW in Dark Matches” days. Nobody was really known to the fans yet, but Brock had been mostly teaming with Shelton Benjamin in OVW, and Rico was a very pushed guy over there (I remember Scott giving one bout of his a **** review and being excited to see him). Ron was a failed MMA fighter and has a great look, but never even made WWF TV. Brock & Ron are in black trunks, Ron just walking down stoically while Brock is actively flexing and talking smack- jeez, no wonder only one got called up. Randy… my god I forgot how young he was back then. He’s just a BABY. Oddly lacking today’s muscle-tone. The blue shorts are a weird look given how long he’s been in tiny trunks. Rico’s in long black tights and is just a normal guy, not the fabulous hairdresser yet.

Read more

CIMA & Tokyo Magnum vs. The Public Enemy (and other Dream Matches!)

Cima (wrestler) - Wikipedia

Future puro stars pop up in the strangest places in their early years- like CIMA making Nitro & Thunder appearances!

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This week we have a wild assortment of weirdness, as I finally get to showcase something I’d been wanting to share- the time CIMA & Tokyo Magnum hit WCW! See, Ultimo Dragon wanted some training time for his boys in what was then called Toryumon, and so we have them acting as jobbers in all sorts of WCW programming, taking on guys in true “Wait, THAT happened?” bouts- such as here against The Public Enemy in their second WCW run!

Also the KOTR run of Chyna inspired me to check out an IC Title defense from the same era, as she takes on DX stablemate Mr. Ass! Then watch a bizarre OVW trios match, as “The Main Roster Failures Squad” (Sean O’Haire, Lance Cade &  Renee Dupree) take on The Big Boss Man (an OVW trainer at this point!), Charlie Haas and John Cena! Also an all-time dream match as Blake Beverly takes on SMASH… but in WCW when the latter was completely washed up and doing the “Hole in One” gimmick on WCW Saturday Night. TWICE they wrestled- smell the ratings! Finally, more of my dive into lucha as Silver King, 2 Cold Scorpio & El Texano team up against Dr. Wagner Jr, Scorpio Jr & Black Power.

THE PUBLIC ENEMY (Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. SHIIMA NOBUNAGA & TOKYO MAGNUM:
(WCW Thunder 07-08-1998)
* GOD I love WCW! Where else can you see s--- like Dragon Gate guys fighting TPE on the B-show? The rookie trainees already have great looks and good gear, but they’re taking on an increasingly-rotund TPE (Grunge in particular is HUGE now). Magnum’s in pink & black, Shiima’s in yellow & black, and TPE have big white jerseys on.

Read more