Mr. Perfect vs. Doink the Clown (and Other Dream Matches!)

King of the Ring (1993) - Wikipedia

WWF KING OF THE RING QUALIFYING MATCHES (1993):
* So for this week’s “Dream Matches” column, I decided randomly to take a look at the build up to 1993’s inaugural King of the Ring. As a 12-year old fan, I was way into the idea of this big tournament, and even now the set-up seems great- you have an 8-man tournament in one night on PPV, and in the weeks leading up to the show, you stick your stars up against JTTS guys in “Qualifying Matches” that are mostly foregone conclusions, except a couple of them have a legit question mark. It lets your “Featured Matches” actually count for something, and gives your name guys a big win on TV- and if you were watching back then, you know you only saw “Star vs. Star” matches once per week if you were lucky. I’ll see what I can find on YouTube for these (turns out it’s everything but Shawn/Crush, which ended in a Double Count-Out, which disqualified BOTH for some reason, so we had a different Qualifying Match instead).

The issue with KOTRs, of course, is that with 16 guys, 15 have to do the job. And when times are tough, Vince is squirrelly about letting guys drop legit falls. The real purpose of the first King of the Ring, of course, was to return some credibility to former champion Bret Hart, and set off his new feud with Jerry Lawler.

RAZOR RAMON vs. “EL MATADOR” TITO SANTANA:
* So Razor had debuted the previous year and been given arguably his biggest solo push ever, teaming with Ric Flair in the main program at Survivor Series and then facing Bret Hart for the WWF Title at the Royal Rumble. After his loss there, he was cycled into the upper-midcard, beating Bob Backlund at WMIX. Here, we’re a little bit away from the face turn that would forever change his career. Santana, meanwhile, has fallen all the way down the card and is only rarely featured on TV anymore- he’s been a JTTS for years by this point, and was looking pretty flabby compared to the ’80s. Both guys are in black, here- I don’t recall Tito in that look.

Read more

The Rockers vs. The Natural Disasters (and other Dream Matches!)

The Wrestling Insomniac: The Natural Disasters: Tag Team Champions?

Many more “Fat Guy Matches” await us today! Read on!

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! The main thing this time is a match I didn’t even realize had happened, as one team formed just as the other one was being split apart- the Natural Disasters against The Rockers!

And this time I have even more on those terrible indie-riffic tag guys, as the Land of Giants actually fight EACH OTHER (in Puerto Rico of all places), while the Puccio twins (“The Undertakers” on last week’s column) wrestle on a WWF House Show as “Double Trouble” against the Steiner Brothers! Then we see a random Saturday Night squash as Mike Enos takes on Mike Tolbert.

Also, a match that helps explains to the youngsters among you just WHY Dallas Page was one of the most hated wrestlers online in the late ’90s. This tends to shock newer fans and those who weren’t around back then, so take a look at a particularly notable match against Psychosis!

THE ROCKERS (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) vs. THE NATURAL DISASTERS (Earthquake & Typhoon, w/ Jimmy Hart):
(WWF TV, Oct. 20th 1991)
* It is extremely weird to me that these two teams overlapped- I identify them both so strongly with two different eras- the “Hogan Era” and the post-Hogan doldrums- that this just feels “wrong”. But there was indeed about a four-month period where this could have happened- the Rockers were on their way to splitting, while the Disasters were a fresh heel team set up to fight the Legion of Doom. Ironically, the Rockers, in their bright blue tasseled gear, were a “modern”-looking duo, which is why in retrospect they’re now the most dated-looking guys of the era.

Read more

Andre the Giant & Giant Baba vs. The Land of Giants (and other Dream Matches!)

Andre & Baba versus two 6’7″ guys so bad even Vince didn’t want them. I’m in love. So how bad do you have to be to have neither Vince nor Eric want you when you’re that big? Read on!

Time for more Dream Matches! This time, I’ve found one of those things that opens up the floodgates- wrestlers I’ve never heard of before who send me on a YouTube-fest that bring sup all sorts of weirdo matches! Come see two  6’7″+ guys even VINCE didn’t want as the “Land of Giants” take on Andre the Giant & Giant Baba in 1990!

Also, we have two bouts from the same episode of Prime Time Wrestling, as Jake Roberts takes on Typhoon and Paul Roma goes up against The Dragon! And then a match recommended to me a week ago- Dean Malenko vs. SURFER-era Sting from Nitro! And we’ll cap things off with the WCW Saturday Night debut of one Bill Goldberg, as the “Best of Roadblock” series continues! Can Bill defeat the 6’7″ guy who almost never wins? Who knows?!?

REAL WORLD TAG LEAGUE 1990:
ANDRE THE GIANT & GIANT BABA vs. THE LAND OF GIANTS (Butch Masters & Skywalker Nitron):
(All Japan, 25.11.1990)
* Oh my god you GUYS. This is Andre & Giant Baba in their retirement tour as crippled old men, and they’re taking on two gigantic dudes I’ve never heard of! I have to know everything about these guys now. Looks like they’re two never-was acts (Nitron sniffed WCW for a second as “Big Sky” and that’s all the Big Two has for them), both about 6’7″ or so but with physiques like the Young Bucks and knock-off Ultimate Warrior facepaint. Oh wait… Big Sky/Skywalker Nitron was Sabretooth in the first “X-Men” movie! It’s Tyler Mane! And he has a goddamn bleached RAT TAIL haircut! Butch has more fashion with a regular brown mullet. I love this match already.

Read more

The Road Warriors vs. The Natural Disasters in Japan (and other Dream Matches!)

1991.12.12 SWS&WWF L.O.D VS Natural disasters① - YouTube

The height difference here is nuts. Like, Fred Ottman must always fight dudes of equal height because I completely forget sometimes that he DWARFS even men as big as Hawk.

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This time, I found an AMAZINGLY fun Hoss Match from Japan as the Natural Disasters go up against the Legion of Doom… with their “Iron Man” theme and incredible overness in Japan! That and Earthquake’s sumo credibility make for an incredibly fun bout.

And I found a great grab-bag of weird stuff for the column today: Did you know that when the Truth Commission split up, Bull Buchanan and the other guy were paired up for a couple of weeks as a team before being sent away and repackaged? Yup- come see “Armageddon” take on The Quebecers! Also my “Best of Roadblock” series continues as he’s set up against a pissed-off, lethal Giant! More of Jimmy Del Ray’s weird run as “Jimmy Graffiti” as he takes on Eddie Guerrero during Eddie’s early babyface push! And we cap off with Al Snow and a very young, green Kane as “Unabom” up against… Matt Hardy and Joey Abs? God SMW was weird.

WWF TAG TEAM TITLES:
THE LEGION OF DOOM (Hawk & Animal) vs. THE NATURAL DISASTERS (Earthquake & Typhoon, w/ Jimmy Hart):
(SWS/WWF in Japan, 12/12/1991)
* Okay, this is a fantastic one I saw split up in two on YouTube. The Road Warriors are of course famous in Japan and here come out to their old-school theme, “Iron Man”, and HOLY SHIT is that a massive game-changer to their act. Even with the cartoon WWF red & black spikes it’s a totally different effect, as awesome as their WWF music was- this was BORN to be a wrestling theme. Earthquake is of course known and respected in Japan as a former sumo (undefeated but quit over injuries and cultural rules and such)- he’s billed “Earthquake” John Tenta here. Right away I’m astounded as the two teams square up and even Typhoon is MUCH larger than either man. Like, Hawk & Animal ain’t small but Ottman has a couple inches on either one. This is in two parts on YouTube.

Read more

Demolition vs. The Rockers (and other Dream Matches!)

The Rockers: Marty Jannetty/Shawn Michaels | Wrestling posters, Wwf  superstars, Wrestling superstars

Found this on Pinterest. It’s glorious.

Time for more Dream Matches- this time centered by an SNME match between Demolition & The Rockers! Also, a REMATCH to the classic Jim Powers/Bobby Walker vs. Renegade/Joe Gomez match I showed you last week… PLUS the legendary explosion of that very same Renegade/Gomez team! And then not one, but TWO High Voltage solo matches, as Rage & Kaos face Fit Finlay & Perry Saturn, respectively! And then we cap things off with a Papa Shango vs. Typhoon match, long after either man was relevant! I couldn’t have booked a better match myself!

DEMOLITION (Smash & Crush, w/ Ax) vs. THE ROCKERS (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty):
(Saturday Night’s Main Event, July 27 1990)
* This is the prelude to SummerSlam, with the Demos now as heels. The Rockers are in bright yellow, and gaining credibility at this point.

Read more

Yokozuna vs. Mabel (and other Dream Matches)

Worst in the World: Yokozuna vs King Mabel-In Your House 4

Note: Not from the below match. Yes they ran this more than once.

It’s time for more Dream Matches- starting with the ultimate in obesity, as 1,000+ lbs. of humanity collide in a singles match! Also some major “Wait, that really happened?” stuff, with Balls Mahoney as an EVIL SANTA, Diesel fighting goddamn TYPHOON, and Jim Powers WINNING A MATCH. And an all-time tag team dream bout, as High Voltage take on the Beverly Brothers! As WCW jobbers! oh, plus more Joe Gomez goodness, and “HARD WORK” Bobby Walker makes his “Dream Matches” debut!

As always, everything here can be found via YouTube, but can’t be posted here.

YOKOZUNA (w/ Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) vs. MABEL (w/ Oscar):
(WWF Action Zone, 1994)
* HELL YES, an even BIGGER Fat Man Stand-Off! Absolutely glorious! Mabel’s in mostly purple with some gold writing.

Read more

Earthquake’s Dream Matches (Boss Man! Paul Roma! Booger!)

mengs-mullet: “Earthquake's tryout match Earthquake Evans w/ Slick vs Paul  Roma September 20th, 1989 ” | Mens tops, Men casual, Paul roma

Tenta as Yukon lumberjack “Earthquake Evans” in a 1989 tryout match, with Slick as his manager!

I’ve long felt that John “Earthquake” Tenta is a tragically underrated “Big Man” worker, but, much like Haku, he’s had a bit of a renaissance as former Workrate Snobs like me have learned to appreciate what a hard-working big guy can bring to the table. I was gonna make a more varied list for a column, but I had enough for a full one of JUST Tenta, so here’s a random selection of fun or weird Earthquake matches! Watch him take on such luminaries as Paul Roma (back when he was trying out in a Lumberjack gimmick!), The Big Boss Man (with one hell of a power feat), Tugboat & Bastian Booger!

Read more

Yokozuna & Crush vs. Mabel & Typhoon (and other Dream Matches)

1995 WWF Wrestling Trading Cards (Merlin) Mabel (No.26) | Pro Wrestling | Fandom

YES I’M AN UNAPOLOGETIC MABEL MARK SHUT UP!

It’s time for more of wrestling’s strange oddities, ironic “Dream Matches”, or just stuff I didn’t otherwise know existed. First off, a quartet of 1994 WWF’s least-respected workers in a great FAT MAN STAND-OFF tag match, then a bizarre 6-man from the 1970s era of the company- Gorilla Monsoon & Haystacks Calhoun on the same team! Plus our weekly dose of Hercules, and then two roided-up tag teams from 1996 WCW- did you know that you needed High Voltage vs. The American Males in your life? Because you need High Voltage vs. the American Males in your life.

As always, WWE-owned videos are non-kosher on the Blog, but this is all easily found on YouTube.

YOKOZUNA & CRUSH (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. MABEL & TYPHOON (w/ Oscar):
(WWF TV, 02.07.1994)
* HELL YES it’s my all time favorite kind of match- the FAT MAN STAND-OFF!! My two favorite things in wrestling are high-speed joshi, and Big Fat Guy wrestlers slamming into each other. As a kid, I was unironically a huge fan of both Mabel & Typhoon, so I was delighted when they randomly started teaming up, and because it’s the WWF, they put their 6’10” 550 lb. guy up against the only person fatter, in Yoko. Crush was in his heel persona here, and is quite possibly my least favorite wrestler to watch, ever.

Read more

Typhoon & Shinja vs. Genichiro Tenry & Ultimo Dragon AND Koji Kitao & El Gigante (and other Dream Matches)

And we’re back with more of wrestling’s weirdest side-matches. This time some stuff Maffew showed me- possibly the greatest disparate bunch of dudes ever, all from a one-night tag tournament in Tenryu’s WAR promotion in Japan! Even better, there’s Buddy Rogers vs. Haystacks Calhoun from 1961, and Antonio Inoki versus the famous “Fat Motorcycle Twins”.

KOJI KITAO & EL GIGANTE vs. TYPHOON & THE GREAT SHINJA:
(One-Night Tag Tournament, Wrestle Association R, Japan, 12.08.1995)
* Maffew got this one for me, so you can blame him, lol. Gigante you know as the most hopeless wrestler ever; Kitao is infamous for the 1991 match where he & Earthquake shot on each other, and was a failed yokozuna-level sumo (promoted just to “have a native Sumo at the top level”), retiring in disgrace after never having won a tournament and feuding with his stable bosses (sumo is dirty as FUCK, though). Typhoon is from the WWF, and… Earthquake’s partner, so that’ll be interesting. The Great Shinja is Akio Sato of the Orient Express (in the shittier original version), and was also Hakushi’s manager Shinja in the WWF. Gigante’s in red shorts, Kitao’s in a white gi, Typhoon’s in his WWF gear (and pretty much exactly the same size as Kitao), and Shinja’s in a white shirt & pants that just make him look like someone’s dad who just wandered into the ring.

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 5-10-1993

Live from New York, NY

Airdate: May 10, 1993

Attendance: 1,200 (sold out)

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

Duggan gets another shot at the IC title, but this time it’s Paul Bunyan-style. In addition, Typhoon and Bigelow battle for a spot in the KOTR tournament. Wayne, how do you feel about leading us into the show?

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 02-01-93

Live from New York, NY

Airdate: February 1, 1993

Attendance: 900

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

Can Typhoon defeat Doink the Clown? Who will make a surprise appearance this week? What will stem from it?  Let’s find out!

Read more