WWF Superstars of Wrestling March 28th, 1987

March 28, 1987

From the Hara Arena in Dayton, OH

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and Vince McMahon

In action this week are the Can-Am Connection, “The Natural” Butch Reed, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and the Hart Foundation.

Bob Uecker is shown with Andre the Giant and Bobby Heenan. Uecker is bullied into announcing Andre as the new Heavyweight Champion over and over again.

Steve Lombardi & Johnny K-9 vs. Can-Am Connection

The crowd went ape shit for the Can-Ams entrance. Lombardi chokes out MArtel from the apron but gets accidentally hit by his partner. Martel works the arm as we get another insert promo from Bob Orton, Don Muraco, and Mr. Fuji hyping their WrestleMania III match. Back to the match as the Can-Ams remain in control as they work over K-9. Lombardi then cheapshots Martel as he was attempting a flying headscissors. He tags and collides with Lombardi then Martel makes the hot tag to Zenk, who runs wild on K-9. He catches him with a powerslam then tags Martel, who gets the win with a slingshot splash (3:16). The fans once again go out of their minds for the Can-Ams after they win.

Thoughts: Its unreal as to how over the Can-Am Connection was at this time. They had been in the company for just about four months too. Unfortunately, Zenk quit a few months after this and the team did not get the titles.

WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s topic is the Intercontinental Title match at WrestleMania III between Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage. We get a solid promo from Steamboat that lacked the corny “karate” phrases and was effective as a result. They have done as good of a job building up this match as humanly possible.

“The Natural” Butch Reed w/ Slick vs. Jim Powers

Match starts with a lockup that ends in a stalemate as we get an insert promo from Koko B. Ware, who tells Reed that he will be flying all over him. He sounded like a preacher here as Vince enjoyed himself on commentary. Reed then beats on Powers, who comes back with a dropkick. Reed then catches Powers with a clothesline before slamming him down then gets the win with a flying clothesline off of the middle rope (2:30).

Thoughts: Reed looked awful here as he was as slow and lumbering in the ring as could be. Just a segment for Reed to look strong heading into WrestleMania against Koko B. Ware.



Gene Okerlund is with the Rougeau Brothers, who want Dino Bravo to keep his nose out of their match against the Dream Team at WrestleMania III. The promo ends with some lame babyface stuff that did nothing to help out the Rougeaus in the loaded Tag Team division the WWF boasted at this time.

Rick Hunter & Joe Mirto vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis

The heels all break huddle in the ring as Jesse and Vince argue about how Davis will fare in his match at WrestleMania III. We are then shown an insert promo of Matilda walking around as Jesse joked how it looks like Sammartino’s girlfriend. The Hart Foundation beat on Mirto, mixed in with some illegal tactics, until they put him away with the Hart Attack (2:35).

Thoughts: The Hart Foundation was firing on all cylinders here. They had swagger and were very crisp in the ring. Their heel act was perfected too as the fans fucking hated them.



Jake Roberts and Alice Cooper are shown cutting a promo on the Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart. Jake was good here as Alice was passable I suppose. He didn’t seem too comfortable here.

A replay of Hacksaw Jim Duggan running off the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Slick last week. Then after that Slick and the Iron Sheik are shown as Slick issues a challenge to Duggan for a match next week, promising to keep Volkoff home. Duggan is then shown telling them both that he will be there, closing the interview with his thumb up yelling “tough guy.”

Moondog Spot vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Huge ovation for Jake here. Match starts with some back-and-forth action as we get an insert promo from the Honky Tonk Man who promises to defeat Jake at WrestleMania III. Spot takes control of the match and gets two off of an elbow drop. Jake fights back then leapfrogs Spot before booting him in the gut then hitting the DDT for the win (1:51). After the match, Jake grabbed the snake but the referee rolled Spot to the floor.

Thoughts: Not much of note here other than this was Spot’s last match with the WWF as he went back to Memphis. He was always an underappreciated talent in his prime.



Piper’s Pit with no guests. Piper says that this is the last edition of the Pit we will ever see as the fans are showing their respect for him. Piper then stands on the table and delivers a speech about how he was a “street kid” and how wrestling saved his life. He then says that being shot at and in a plane crash did not stop him from wrestling but that his daughter grabbing his leg, begging him not to leave, is what got him to retire. He then talks about being here on a Green Card and puts over America as the crowd eats that up like candy. Piper closes by saying “daddy is coming home” as the takes his portrait and walks away.

WrestleMania III Report airs.  Jimmy Hart trying to get Mary Hart to join the Hart Foundation as she reluctantly agrees. Not a bad segment at all. Heenan then welcomes Aretha Franklin to the WWE, who tells him that he better show some R-E-S-P-E-C-T to Hogan. Decent for a celebrity apperance. Okerlund then runs down the rest of the card.

Uecker and Mary Hart are shown talking backstage as they do a comedy bit in which Uecker tries to pretend that he did not lose the tickets to WrestleMania III. They were both good sports.

King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jerry Allen

Race grabs a side headlock to start. He then pulls up as Allen attempted a dropkick then hits a belly-to-belly suplex as JYD is shown in an insert promo hyping their match at WrestleMania III as Race gets the win with a cradle suplex (1:01).

Thoughts: Just designed to get over the stipulations of the JYD/Race Mania match in which the lose must bow before the winner, who if JYD will be the king.



Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan, who talks about his match against Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III and how he does not want the kids to be deceitful like Andre the Giant.

Next week in action will be Harley Race, Jake Roberts, Demolition, and the featured bout of the Iron Sheik vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

Final Thoughts: This aired the day before WrestleMania III and at this point, everyone watching regularly was ready for the PPV. This show was hyped brilliantly as every match had a backstory and they were blowing off some major feuds here as well. Not much else to say here other than that.

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/29/87
Tuesday: WWF WrestleMania III
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/4/87

Wrestling vs. Porn

Hey Scott, Adam here with a topic that will definitely not be PG: if you think about it, aren't wrestling and porn pretty much the same thing? Let's look at the list.

Bodies: Many people (Vince especially) want a guy to "look like a wrestler", usually meaning someone who is at least 6'4" and juiced to the gills. In porn it's someone who has at least D-cup tits. In both cases that body did not come naturally. And in both cases I prefer a more natural athletic look. Can't be too skinny or out of shape, but can't be clearly enhanced either, has to look natural.

Selling: A chick who just screams the whole time is distracting, but one who just lays there is boring. This is a parallel to overselling/underselling.

The show: Kind of hard to explain, since while wrestling is simulated fighting and porn is pretty much actual fucking, the principles are the same. In both you have people kind of planning it out but kind of telling them to just wing it, and in both you have someone that might occasionally tell them to go home or tell them they have another few minutes.

Ratings: You can TOTALLY rate porn on the same scale you rate wrestling. It's all subjective and biased depending on how much you like the "workers" involved, but it's pretty much the same damn thing.

My question is, what's the difference between the two, besides the fact that while wrestling companies might have big money TV deals and make more money yet porn is way more popular?

​So…yeah.  This is an e-mail that happened.

WWF Wrestling Challenge March 22nd, 1987

March 22, 1987

From the Ohio Center in Columbus, OH

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight will be the Hart Foundation, Koko B. Ware, and the Can-Am Connection. Plus, highlights from the battle royal from “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

We are show clips from the battle royal that took place at SNME. It lasts for a few minutes.

Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis vs. Jim Powers & Paul Roma

Here are Powers & Roma are teaming before they officially became the Young Stallions. Also, the feud between Roma and Lombardi was dropped out of nowhere as that has not been mentioned on TV in a while. Roma and Powers are sporting matching trunks though. Hart slams Roma to start then grabs a headlock. Roma catches Bret with a backdrop then a dropkick before he tags out. Powers shoves Hart into the corner but stands around as Bret attacks him from behind. Bret drops him throat-first on the top rope then kicks him out of the ring where Davis lands a few kicks. The Harts use quick tags to isolate Powers before they put him away with the Hart Attack (2:37). After the match the Hart Foundation attack both guys as Davis drops an elbow on Powers after the attack then tosses him to the floor.

Thoughts: Decent action as the Hart Foundation continues to be the most impressive tag team in the WWF. They really had their act down pat in 1987.



Craig DeGeorge is with Roddy Piper. DeGeorge was such a cornball. Anyway, Piper talks about the stars he has faced then mocks Adonis for not being one of them. Not much to this segment.

Johnny K-9 vs. Koko B. Ware

Koko starts the match off on fire as he hits Johnny with a armdrags and a slam. Reed and Slick taunt Koko in an insert promo as Johnny nearly drops Koko while performing a backbreaker. Koko hits a missile dropkick after getting whipped into the corner then gets the win with the Ghostbuster (2:10).

Thoughts: The fans still loved Koko. Poor guy got no push despite that too. He was facing K-9, who is truly one of the lowest forms of life to enter the wrestling business. You can Google all of the crimes he has committed.



Okerlund tries to interview Andre the Giant as Heenan interrupts to tell him that he does the talking for Andre. Heenan then hypes up Andre as the next champion and calls Okerlund a “dummy” for trying to speak to Andre. They are hammering home the point that Heenan is the voice for Andre and that he was somehow brainwashed Andre into aligning with him

A Hacksaw Jim Duggan vignette as he is mopping a floor to show that Americans have not gone soft as he will rid the WWF of Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff. These vignettes were goofy but Duggan was over quickly with the fans.

King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Mario Mancini

Johnny V. takes over for Heenan on commentary. As Bundy beats on Mancini, Hillbilly Jim is shown in an insert promo telling Bundy that he better not hurt one of his “little buddies” as Bundy finishes off Mancini with a splash (0:53). After the match, Bundy grabs the mic and warns the midgets that will happen to them if they get in his way as Mancini gets taken out on a stretcher.

Thoughts: The angle of Bundy potentially crushing a midget at least gave the WrestleMania match some sort of storyline as it has been one of the least hyped matches on the card.



Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan who says that WrestleMania III is a big deal unlike his other encounters against Andre. He then asks Gene how he would feel if a kid looked up to Andre and started to “lie, cheat, and steal” as Gene did not appear like he would

Aretha Franklin is with Okerlund, who says that the wrestlers are as big as her “hits.” Brief but Franklin did not come across as embarrassed to be here or anything.

Can-Am Connection vs. Terry Gibbs & Iron Mike Sharpe

The match breaks down off of the bat. The Can-Ams clear the ring with a double dropkick as we get an insert promo from Muraco & Orton, who tell the Can-Ams that its power and knowledge, not excitement that wins matches. They go back and forth for a bit until it breaks down again. The Can-Ams reverse a double noggin-knocker and come back with dropkicks then Zenk catches Gibbs with a powerslam and Martel puts him away with a slingshot splash (2:40).

Thoughts: Nice showcase for the Can-Am Connection as they have a lot of momentum heading into WrestleMania III



Replay of “Piper’s Pit” from the 3/21/87 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling” where Jack Tunney shows us the custom-made belt that Andre the Giant will wear should he become the World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania III.

Snake Pit with guest Hulk Hogan. Roberts first runs down the Honky Tonk Man, saying that he is a bonebreaker and not a tailshaker like Honky. Hogan then talks about how he has to be beaten before Andre can wear his special belt. Roberts points out how the WWF doesn’t think he will win as they already made the belt for Andre as Hogan gets where they are coming from as Jake asks him about people questioning his routine of saying his prayers and taking his vitamins as Hogan tells the non-believers can play with Andre’s toy (as he holds up the special belt made for Andre) until WrestleMania but after that day they can put it in a box as they will not be needing it any longer.

Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jim Young

Johnny V. is back on commentary. Hercules destroys Young to start the match then we get another psychotic promo from Haynes as Hercules makes Young submit to the Full Nelson (0:41).

Thoughts: They have done all they could to hype up the Haynes/Hercules match as these two are ready to fight. And its not been a bad feud at all, in fact it was a good one, but its time for these two to fight after months of feuding.



Okerlund is with Randy Savage. He says that Steamboat is nervous as he is just hyper. Ain’t that the truth. Savage says that he will be peaking at the Silverdome and that Steamboat will be unable to take away his Intercontinental Title.

Next week in action will be Tito Santana, King Harley Race, and “Adorable” Adrian Adonis.

Final Thoughts: Not bad but the WrestleMania III card does not need to be hyped anymore. Luckily the show is just eight days after this aired as a few more weeks of build up would have been tiresome. As far as PPV builds go, WrestleMania III might have been the most impressive of all-time.

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with D’Lo Brown
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/28/87
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge: 3/29/87
Tuesday: WWF WrestleMania III

New Japan Pro Wrestling: New Beginning In Sendai (02/14/2015)

This is the second of the two big shows to wrap up The New Beginning tour. You can find my review of New Beginning In Osaka here.


Yohei Komatsu & Satoshi Kojima vs Manabu Nakanishi & Captain New Japan
This was your standard opening tag match. Kojima is the ideal guy for openers. He’s an established vet whose move set is designed to encourage fan participation. The story of the match has Komatsu looking to prove himself against Nakanishi. The established vet dwarfs the Young Lion though. It’s David vs Goliath. Captain New Japan does his job in the comedy role. There isn’t much to the match. The crowd chants for Kojima and laughs at CNJ. A singles match with Komatsu vs Nakanishi would have been preferable. *1/2

ReDragon vs Tiger Mash IV & Jay White
It’s a little disheartening to see ReDragon go from defending the belts to 2nd match on the card within the span of 3 days. I’ll give them credit, they do one hell of a job making Jay White look like a million dollars. It’s no easy task making a Young Lion look believable as someone who can viably beat you. Odd as it is to say, TMIV of all people brings this down a notch. His timing wasn’t on at all, messing up a couple of sequences. It’s not the first time I’ve noticed this issue. He may be losing a step in his 40’s. The other 3 put on a solid match though. It’s a shame it’ll be at least a year before we see any kind of real personality out of Jay White. He epitomizes generic white guy right now. **1/4

Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks vs Mascara Dorada & Time Splitters
Shout outs to KUSHIDA for going full on Marty Mcfly in BTTF2 with the jacket and cap. Then he finds a fan in the crowd going full BTTF1 Life Jacket outfit and gives him his chain. Looks like this is a preview of the respective Junior title pictures on the next tour. Splitters & Bucks had my favourite Junior Tag match of 2014 (06/21/2014 ****1/2) so another feud will get no complaints from me. This match was so much fun. They broke out a ton of variations on old sequences and some interesting 6 man variations as well including a Bullet Club Triple Superkick. The Bucks carry the majority of the match. They’re so good at working the crowd and making their opponents look great. Dorada is fast becoming someone I look forward to watching. He curbed the Lucha aspects of his offense and you’re left with his amazing work. Something to watch is Dorada’s insane over the top Sunset Bomb on Omega from apron to floor into the railing. That looked beyond dangerous but it was executed flawlessly. I’d watch this 6 man every show if possible. ***1/2

Chase Owens vs Jushin “Thunder” Lyger (C) (NWA Junior Heavyweight Title)
This is a title rematch from the Power Struggle PPV (11/08/2014) where Lyger took the title. Their previous match was a showcase of how well Lyger could carry a guy who wasn’t in the same universe of talent. This time around the match was more even and Owens at least looked like he belonged there. It’s worked fine but lacking in drama or any sense of urgency for that matter. At 50 years old, Lyger can still put on a show but he’s reached a ceiling on quality. **1/4

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Rob Conway (C) (NWA Heavyweight Title)
Conway has been feuding with TenKoji (Tenzan and partner Kojima) for over a year. I’m not quite sure anyone cares to see it run this long but here we are. I’m not even going to get into how far the NWA Title has fallen in stature. This is a match of two halves. The first is frankly awful. It’s slow, plodding, punch kick elbow garbage work. The second half, after what everyone thought would be the finish, invigorates the crowd and both guys as well leading to an enjoyable finish. The heat spiked crowd elevates what would have otherwise been a meandering match. **1/2

Tetsuya Naito & Kota Ibushi vs Toru Yano & Kazushi Sakuraba
I never thought I’d see the day where Toru Yano carried a match with so many great workers but here it is. I have no idea what Sak was doing booked in there. He had a couple of nice sequences with Ibushi but otherwise he didn’t bring anything to the table. Yano works his comedy style throughout and it actually works well for once. Naito and Yano work the majority of the way. They’ve got great chemistry and I wouldn’t mind seeing a singles match out of this. They teased Ibushi vs Sak as well. Well worked match the crowd was into from the get go. **1/2

Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale vs Yoshi-Hashi & Kazuchika Okada
Honest to God, unless Fale goes over Okada in the singles match, I don’t get this feud at all. It’s never ending tag and 6 man matches with Okada on a redemption quest. The issue is that none of the matches feel like they have any importance. It’s like watching the Usos vs Rhodes brother 2x a week for a month. The matches are fine but don’t do anything for anyone. The crowd is into Okada so the match comes across more important than it is. In the end though, it’s just a standard tag team match burning 10 minutes. **1/4

Hirooki Goto & Katsuhito Shibata & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson & Tama Tonga
Another in a string of perfectly acceptable if forgettable matches. The Bullet Club spent most of the match working over Tanahashi’s endured left eye. If you missed it, he received a nasty hardway cut at New Beginning In Osaka (02/11/2014 ****1/4) show doing a High Fly Flow to the outside. They didn’t rip the tape off his eye though and no blood so what’s the point? The match was fast in pace with the crowd into it from the get go. It felt like the kind of match you’d see as a semi main or main event of a spot show. I’m both surprised and disappointed AJ Styles wasn’t booked here. He goes over for the IWGP Title 3 days earlier and there’s no follow up. Also, looking at the line up, it makes for a very predictable finish in this kind of format. ***

Tomoaki Honma vs Tomohiro Ishii (Vacant NEVER Open Weight Title Match)
This match was supposed to be Ishii taking on Togi Makabe in a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom 9 (01/04/2015 ****). However, Makabe went down with a nasty flu. He missed the 02/11 show. When it was revealed that he was not able to defend on this show, he was stripped of the Title. I’ve got serious issues with Honma being in this match from a logical perspective. The crowd loves him but he never wins. In fact, he lost only 3 days earlier in a great singles match with Kota Ibushi. The crowd loves these two. Honma has been a crowd favourite since subbing in for Ibushi during last year’s G-1. Ishii is one of the toughest guys in the company and is respected by both peers and fans as a result.

This match was a war. Every so often a match comes along that makes you cringe over the sheer brutality of it. These two beat the holy hell out of each other. An early exchange of Knife Edge Chops that went on for seemingly 2 minutes straight, had me rubbing my own chest. You can see the sweat fly and the neck muscles recoil from all of the Forearm Shivers.

It’s a simple story and plays perfectly to both guys strenghts. Honma is a man who desperately wants to win. He NEEDS to win. He gives you everything but can’t quite get there. The crowd not only empathizes but lifts him to achieve the greatness he so desires. Ishii is the wall blocking Honma’s path to glory. He can not be broken. The brick will not crack under the storm of chops, forearms, or Honma’s trademark Headbutts. It truly is a case of The Irresistible Force against The Immovable Object.

I don’t think there’s any man tougher than Ishii in wrestling today. His ability to withstand punishment and keep pushing through it unreal. There’s a point where he takes a DDT the wrong way and I thought for sure he’d separated his shoulder. He legitimately screams in agony but continues to gut through the pain. The crowd, loving both for entirely different reasons, captures you as a viewer pulls you along in their joy of seeing both guys give it their all. There are at least five different points where I thought “this has to be the finish” only to jump out of my seat at yet another impossible near fall. I’ll admit there’s a point where they go over what I’d consider the perfect peak of the match. While the ending satisfies, it simply comes 2 minutes and one extra sequence too late. This is an absolute classic and will be in high consideration for Match Of The Year. ****3/4

Yugi Nagata vs Shinsuke Nakamura (C) (IWGP Intercontinental Title)
These two were screwed following the previous match. The crowd was simply burned out. The match was worked very stiff. Nagata’s facials were fantastic as he showed complete and utter disdain for Nakamura throughout the match. The missing crowd was a major factor but the far bigger issue was the lack of build to the finish. It felt like it was missing the pivotal third act. We got the stiff strikes in the first act. Some great moves in the second act and then you’re expecting them to pull out all the stops. The sad reality is those big spots never come. The match ends abruptly. As a viewer I felt robbed. These two had a lot left in the tank and took a pass. I don’t know if it’s because of the previous match or that’s how they plotted it but I expected far more from these two. ***1/2

Final Thoughts: You might think this is an automatic recommendation based on a true high end MOTYC. Even with that match, I don’t know if I’d say to chase this card down. Where as the 02/11 show was loaded. This felt like a card full of fun if forgettable matches and then one truly excellent match. If anything I’d say track down the match rather than watch the complete card.

Please feel free to leave questions/comments/constructive criticisms in the comments below. I’ll endeavour to answer everybody. I can also be reached via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @NagataLockII.

Impact Wrestling – February 13, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
February 13, 2015
Location:
SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Scotland
Attendance:
1,500
Commentators:
Josh Matthews, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
back in the UK this week for the first of several taped shows. This
tour usually results in some very high energy shows with the crowd
eating up whatever TNA gives them. For once that seems more deserved
as these recent shows have been a lot more entertaining and well put
together than some of the last ones on Spike. Tonight is about the
fallout from Lockdown so let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Lashley saying he wouldn’t team with Angle until
he changed his mind a week later and helped his team win Lethal
Lockdown.
The
BDC arrived earlier, now in matching gear. MVP tells them to forget
what happened last week because it’s time to show everyone what they
do. Eric Young is here and I’m just going to start calling him a
member of the team. The only reason he isn’t at this point is TNA
said he wasn’t, but it’s close enough so yeah he’s a member of the
team.
Here’s
Angle to open the show. He’s usually been on his own, but he has to
thank Gunner and Aries for helping him last week. The BDC wants to
say they control the World Title, but the best wrestler in the world
controls that title. Angle invites Lashley out here right now and
they shake hands. Lashley says he was there to get his hands on MVP,
not to help Angle. That’s fine with Angle, because he wants to be
World Champion again. It actually has been a very long time.
Before
the champ can say anything, here’s the BDC to interrupt. MVP says
last week’s pin in Lethal Lockdown is stripped from the record books
for some reason so now and it’s time for one of those two to get a
beat down. Lashley cuts MVP off and issues a challenge to either two
of them for a tag match against himself and Angle. This was a
totally acceptable opening segment, but more importantly it was done
in about ten minutes. Take notes WWE.
Austin
Aries stops Bobby Roode in the back and goes over their history
together. Roode of course respects Aries and agrees to give the fans
something special. Unlike the opening segment, I have no idea why
this was necessary.
We
look back at Jeremy Borash preventing EC3 from cutting Spud’s hair
last week.
Carter
says he’s wealthy so he gets whatever he wants, and that would be to
shave Spud’s head. Tonight it’s Carter/Tyrus vs.
Mandrews/Spud/Borash.
Austin
Aries vs. Bobby Roode
So
they’re actually trying to make this Top 5 concept mean something.
Next week there will be a 20 man gauntlet. The first fifteen
entrants will be at random but the last five will be determined by
the top five. Aries comes into this match at #3 and Roode is #1,
basically making this match for the last spot in the gauntlet. The
prize is of course a World Title shot the following week.
They
trade arm holds to start with Aries going to a headstand but getting
caught in an early Crossface. That goes nowhere but neither does
Aries’ early Last Chancery. Both of their other finishers miss as
well and Aries is sent to the apron but he shoulders Roode in the
ribs and hits the slingshot hilo for two. Fast start here. Aries
follows him to the floor with a huge top rope ax handle but gets
dropped with a gordbuster back inside.
The
spinebuster sets up the Blockbuster for two but Aries fights out of
the Roode Bomb. Maybe Bobby should have stuck to busting. Austin
knocks him off the top rope and hits the missile dropkick, followed
by a discus forearm to send him outside. The suicide dive hits the
barricade though and Roode takes over. Back in and Aries gets caught
in the Crossface for the tap out at 8:21.
Rating:
B-. The match was entertaining
but the ending was kind of surprising. It does fit the idea of Aries
hitting the barricade, but it’s rare to see someone with a top
ranking cleanly defending it like this. By saying “this is for the
#1 spot in something”, you’re almost guaranteeing that it’s going
to change. The surprise isn’t a bad thing though and it worked quite
well.
Roode
says this is pro wrestling. I’d call that a pretty big stretch.
Aries leaves and Roode says
it’s time to get his title back. Roode
vs. Lashley III never happened and he deserves a rematch. Cue
Eric Young to jump Roode from behind and plant him with a piledriver.
Of course he does, because where would we be without Eric freaking
Young to take the focus off a good match and a logical story
progression to keep up a feud where Roode won the big gimmick match?
Oh that would be because we can have a TRILOGY, and that’s the magic
word in wrestling for some reason, even when there was no desire to
see a second match.
After
a break, Roode is being helped out and Young piledrives him on the
stage. In case you didn’t
know, Eric Young is CRAZY.
Here’s
Al Snow, looking ancient. He’s been having issues with one of the
students on British Boot Camp, which I’d assume has been seen by
about 18 American fans. The fans in the arena certainly seem to know
it though as they start chanting for Grado, one of the contestants on
the most recent season. In
Grado, Snow found someone else who thought he could do what Snow does
but Grado was just another failure.
Snow
gives Grado one more chance to come out here and quit before he has
to give the student a beating next week. Grado
comes out and looks like a cleaned up Louis Spicolli. Snow rips into
him for a lack of respect and heart. He’s the heel here if that
wasn’t clear. Grado takes the mic away and says Snow doesn’t realize
where he is. They’re in Glasgow and the people here won’t take this
from Snow. Grado’s mom is
in the front row so Snow yells at her, causing Grado to nail him in
the face. The fight is made for next week.
After
the segment is over, I still have the same two questions I had before
it started: who is Grado and why am I supposed to care about this
feud? We first heard about Grado maybe two minutes before he
appeared and were given a very basic backstory about him. I get that
the fans live are going to like him, but if you don’t or can’t watch
British Boot Camp, there’s a good chance you don’t know who this guy
is. Show us some stuff from the show and give us a reason to care,
because otherwise it’s the same as bringing in the ECW guys for shows
in the northeast. If you didn’t care for ECW, you don’t care about
that.
I
don’t care about British Boot Camp, but it’s more because I haven’t
been exposed to it. I’m not a fan of just expecting the fans to know
what you’re talking about, especially when you can clear it up with a
quick package or by giving us some information more than two minutes
before the whole thing starts. It’s going to get some loud pops in
the arena, but there are a lot more fans on the other side of the
camera. I will give them
this though: Snow did a great job at riling up a crowd like an old
school talker can.
Craazy
Steve vs. Bram
Bram
pulls him out of the corner to start, sending Steve’s head into the
buckle. He grabs the mic and says he wants Magnus, stomping at
Steve’s head more every time. Steve’s comeback lasts as long as you
would expect and an impaler DDT gives Bram the pin at 2:20.
JB
says he can’t wrestle but Spud says they’re men and they’re going to
be fine.
Gunner
asks Angle if he’s sure about teaming with Lashley. Kurt knows he
and Lashley are fighting one day and he wants the champ at his best.
Ethan
Carter III/Tyrus vs. Rockstar Spud/Mandrews/Jeremy Borash
Carter,
sporting a huge brace on his arm due to a recent surgery, is thinking
this week and has cordless clippers to shave some hair. Spud gets
right in Carter’s face but Tyrus comes in instead. That goes badly
for Spud and Mandrews is thrown down as well so it’s time for JB vs.
Carter. Ethan easily pounds Jeremy into the corner and it’s off to
Mandrews to take the real beating. Tyrus plants him with the t-bone
and now Carter comes in to pick the bones.
The
announcers get off topic to talk about the main event tag as carter
sends Mandrews face first into the mat. Mandrews fights out of a
chinlock and hits an enziguri, allowing for the tag to Spud. Tyrus
breaks up the Spud offense with a claw hold but accidentally splashes
his boss. A Dudley Dog sends Tyrus to the floor and……Borash goes
up top for a dive onto Tyrus! Borash looks dead after landing but
still it looked good at the time. Back in and the 1%er is enough to
pin Spud at 6:06.
Rating:
C. Spud
is rapidly growing on me as he keeps getting better and better in the
ring and is nailing the Spike Dudley mold of fighting beyond his
size. The dive from Borash was more cool than anything else and gave
me a little smile. This story continues to live WAY beyond its means
and is far more entertaining than it has any right to be. I know
Spud is going to lose in the end, but man alive they’re making it fun
along the way.
Carter
and Tyrus go for the hair but the lights go out and Mr. Anderson
appears to take out the heels.
Gunner
says he’s ready for the gauntlet but gets beaten down by the BDC.
Here’s
Madison to talk about something. Before she can really get going,
she keeps getting interrupted by what sounds like a microphone being
dropped and stepped on. She says she’s one title reign away from the
all time record and no one can beat her. I think you know what’s
coming.
Awesome
Kong vs. Madison Rayne
Kong
splashes her in the corner but misses one in the middle of the ring.
That’s the extent of Madison’s luck as the Implant Buster ends her at
1:24.
Aries
is in Angle’s locker room and says he tapped out because he has his
eyes on the World Title. Angle doesn’t seem to care and again this
seemed a bit worthless.
We
look back at Jeff Hardy’s injury last week to keep him off the UK
tour.
Cue
Matt Hardy to give us an update on his brother’s condition. Jeff has
taken a lot of risks over the years and given us memories that will
last forever. Every time he’s been hurt before, Jeff has always been
able to give Matt a little sign that he’s ok and will be back. Last
week though, there was nothing from Jeff. This brings out the
Revolution so Storm can say that Matt is right.
Storm
did what Edge and Christian and Team 3D couldn’t do. Sting, Kurt
Angle, Roode, Aries, Lashley or even the Undertaker couldn’t do what
he did. He put Jeff Hardy down because heroes only exist because of
villains. Matt has two options: join the Revolution or join his
brother in the hospital. Matt says Jeff’s hospital bed is pretty
nice and the beating is on. Manik puts him in a cross armbreaker and
they go for the noose but the Wolves run out for the save.
Aries
won’t say when he’s cashing in and gets attacked by the BDC. They
even throw him out the door but are nice enough to throw him his
briefcase. We actually get a replay of it not thirty seconds later.
Apparently throwing him the briefcase is a way for the BDC to attack
Lashley as much as they want without worrying about Aries. If
they’re beating him down, wouldn’t they be able to see Aries coming?
Or they could just, keep the briefcase if its presence is required.
Kurt
Angle/Bobby Lashley vs. MVP/Samoa Joe
Ki
and King are of course at ringside. Angle and Joe get things going
after a break and they trade arm control to start. It’s quickly off
to Lashley for a running shoulder to Joe’s ample gut and a hard
clothesline. MVP bails from contact and Joe gets in some cheap shots
to take over. It’s off to MVP for a running basement dropkick and
that’s about it for the leader. Joe runs him over again and King
gets in some choking from the floor. We hit the chinlock for a bit
before Lashley throws Joe down, allowing for the tag off to Angle.
It’s Germans time but the Angle Slam only gets two on Joe.
Everything
breaks down and MVP sends Kurt shoulder first into the post for two.
We settle down to MVP working over Angle before it’s back to Joe for
a weak crossface chicken wing. Angle fights out and makes hot tag
the sequel to Lashley. The big delayed vertical suplex drops MVP and
a spinebuster gets two. Everything breaks down again and Lashley
loads up the spear to Joe but Angle grabs the ankle lock. The
distraction lets MVP roll up Lashley with a handful of trunks for the
pin at 10:08.
Rating:
B-. Nice main event style tag
here and it’s clear that MVP is the next major challenger to the
title before we get to Angle vs. Lashley in their big showdown. This
feels a lot like Reigns vs. Bryan and it’s being done a bit better.
It’s a nice three way feud,
but MVP really doesn’t need a stable behind him to do this. Just
have them all be guys instead of MVP running a group and let them
have a feud. Still though, good enough.
Overall
Rating:
B. TNA is rolling right
now and this was another
good wrestling show. They’re setting up stories and seem to be
paying them off. No it’s not perfect and there are some tweeks that
need to be made, but I’m very pleased with what I’m getting at the
moment. If nothing else,
they’re not cramming 19 segments on one story into a show and are
spreading things around a good bit. That
being said, I’ve thought this before and TNA has managed to screw it
up like no other. Hopefully
it lasts a good while though as this has been very entertaining
lately.
Results
Bobby
Roode b. Austin Aries – Crossface
Bram
b. Craazy Steve – Impaler DDT
Tyrus/Ethan
Carter III b. Rockstar Spud/Mandrews/Jeremy Borash – 1%er to Spud
Awesome
Kong b. Madison Rayne – Implant Buster
MVP/Samoa
Joe b. Lashley/Kurt Angle – Rollup with a handful of trunks

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

WWF Superstars of Wrestling March 21st, 1987

March 21, 1987

From the Hara Arena in Dayton, OH

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and Vince McMahon

Tonight’s featured bout is the Iron Sheik vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Also in action will be “Adorable” Adrian Adonis, British Bulldogs & Tito Santana, and the Honky Tonk Man

Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Slick are in the ring. Before the match, Craig DeGeorge is backstage with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, who goes off on the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff then flips out and grabs his 2×4 when he hears the Russian National Anthem. Duggan chases the heels around the ring before they head backstage with his 2×4 then grabs the mic and talks about the Iran Hostage Crisis then gets the crowd going with some Pro USA stuff as he warns Volkoff that he will not be singing the Russian National Anthem in the WWF again as long as he is around. The crowd was going nuts for Duggan here. However, the match between Duggan and Sheik never took place on this show.



WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s focus is on the Billy Jack Haynes/Hercules feud. They another psychotic screaming promo from Haynes, which are my guilty pleasure. Decent piece to hype their WrestleMania III match.

DeGeorge is now backstage with Sheik, Duggan, and Slick. They are all livid as to what Duggan did to them.

Corporal Kirchner & Mario Mancini vs. Cowboy Bob Orton & Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji

Kirchner briefly works over Orton until he eats knee on a charge. They slug it out as we get an insert promo from the Can-Am Connection who warn Orton & Muraco that at WrestleMania they will show them what teamwork is all about. Muraco knees Kirchner from the apron then tags. Mancini also tags and gets drilled with a clothesline. Kirchner runs into the ring but gets sent to the floor as we hear a poem from Lanny Poffo about WrestleMania. Orton holds Mancini up for a suplex as Muraco comes off of the top rope with a crossbody for the win. That looked awkward (1:47).

Thoughts: Sad to see Muraco and Orton as just shells of their former selves. They still had a little bit of credibility as a team due to their past but that was starting to fade away.



Gene Okerlund is backstage with the Hart Foundation, Jimmy Hart, and Danny Davis. Neidhart makes all sorts of dog jokes about the Bulldogs then proceeds to bust out a Chihuahua impression and rants about how they hang around “the corners with the greasy taco stands.”

We get a vignette of the Rougeau Brothers in action as they are performing all sorts of Winter sports set to “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins. Only in the 1980’s would this have been considered a good idea.

“Adorable” Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Jim Young

Young gets in a few moves, that all looked terrible, until he runs into an elbow. Brutus Beefcake is shown in an insert promo telling Adonis that he hopes Roddy Piper cuts his hair after the match. Adonis then puts Young away with the Good Night Irene (1:48). Adonis attacks Young after the match

Thoughts: This was just as much geared towards Beefcake’s hatred of Adonis than putting over Adonis himself for his match against Piper.



Okerlund is with Mary Hart. They engage in some playful banner as Okerlund gives her the WWF Swatch, because Hart is the guest timekeeper at WrestleMania III. Quick segment to plug a celebrity appearance and showcase the WWF Swatch. That’s a two-fer!

Now, Okerlund is with the Junkyard Dog who talks about his match against Harley Race at WrestleMania III. He then leaves when he sees Randy Savage entering. Savage comes in holding a chair then tosses it down to point at his belt, saying that he will be the Intercontinental Champion when he leaves WrestleMania III.

Bob Uecker is backstage with Jimmy Hart. He asks Hart how he will counter Alice Cooper’s snake as Hart ensures that he will take care of Cooper.

Al Navarro & Steve Lombardi & Rick Renslow vs. British Bulldogs & Tito Santana

Davey catches Lombardi with a hiptoss before hitting him with a press slam. Santana tags and ducks a clothesline before firing away. Renslow tags in as Santana hits him with an atomic drop. Dynamite headbutts him from the apron as Renslow gets trapped in the opposing corner. Navarro tags and lands a few shots on Tito but he escapes and tags Davey, who hits a running powerslam. He then backdrops Navarro before tagging Tito, who gets the win with a flying forearm (2:48).

Thoughts: A quick showcase for Santana and the Bulldogs before their match at WrestleMania III. Dynamite never tagged into the match and seemed like he could barely walk to the ring.



Piper’s Pit with guest Jack Tunney. Before Tunney come out, Piper warns Adonis about their match at WrestleMania III as the fans are going mental for Piper. Tunney shows us a new World Championship Belt that would fit Andre the Giant if he won the title at WrestleMania III. Heenan and Andre then come out as Heenan says that he will win the belt as Andre complains that the belt does not fit him. Piper then asks the crowd if Andre deserves to wear the belt right now as they scream no then Andre says that in one week they will finally see a real champion. Good segment as the new belt gave doubt as to if Hogan could beat Andre.

The WrestleMania III report airs as it runs down the entire card. It lasts for about five minutes and it is nothing you haven’t seen before if you’ve been watching these shows.

“Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart

Poffo uses his speed on Honky but ducks his head on a backdrop attempt and gets booted in the face then Honky puts him away with the Shake, Rattle, and Roll (0:38). After the match, Honky grabs the mic and thanks the fans for their support then proceeds to dance as the crowd boos until his music gets shut off then they cheer. Honky demands to know who shut off his music then Jake Roberts voice is heard as he tells Honky that both Damian and himself were watching his match.

Thoughts: Very quick match. Honky insincere act with the fans got him some heel heat.



Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan. He asks him about his match against Andre at WrestleMania III. Hogan hints that he has god watching out for him as he hypes up the match. Not much out of the ordinary here.

Next week in action will be the Can-Am Connection, “The Natural” Butch Reed, Jake Roberts, and the Hart Foundation.

Final Thoughts: This was really just an infomercial for WrestleMania III as there were barely any angle advancements. Not much else to say about this other than that but the buzz remains strong as they are a week away from the show.







New Japan Pro Wrestling: New Beginning In Osaka (02/11/2015)

This is the first of two major shows ending New Japan’s “New Beginning” tour. The latter show takes place on 02/15. All the major titles are at stake between the two shows, though this one has the majority of them oddly enough.


Before I get started, a quick apology to those of you who were looking for my review of the 02/01 spot show. The show didn’t get archived quickly and I had to leave for my flight to Cuba on the same day. The timing just didn’t work out. If people really want it, I’ll be happy to do it up.


Yohei Komatsu vs Sho Tanaka
These are essentially the top two Young Lions out of the New Japan Dojo. They’ve had more singles matches on various shows than I can count since making their debuts in late 2012. You have to figure they’re either going to be re-packaged or sent overseas and come back with new personas pretty soon. The match itself is well worked, if very basic. These two obviously know each other very well and it shows in their timing and positioning. The match is worked very snug, much to the delight of the still being seated crowd. An enjoyable start to the card. **

Tiger Mask IV & Mascara Dorada vs Manabu Nakanishi & Captain New Japan
This was a fun back and forth match. Nakanishi is essentially in there to provide power spots while the Juniors bounce off of, and bump for him. The crowd really likes Dorada. He gets amazing height on his jumps, great extension on his moves, and provides some creative spots. I’m happy to see he’s curbed a lot of his Lucha tendencies and is working a less contrived style in this match. He’ll make for an interesting contrast to Kenny Omega down the line. They’re on a collision course to unify the CMLL Welterweight and IWGP Junior Titles. *1/2

Jushin “Thunder” Lyger & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Rob Conway & Chase Owens
Yes… that Rob Conway. This tag match has come together due to two respective feuds. Owens debuted as the NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion at the King Of Pro Wrestling PPV (10/13/2014) and challenged Lyger after a successful defense. Lyger accepted, and subsequently defeated him at the Power Struggle PPV (11/08/2014) for the belt. On the flip side, Tenzan is being put into a program with current NWA Heavyweight Champion Conway later this year. He’s got history with TenKoji (Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima) going back to Wrestle Kingdom 8 where he lost the NWA Title to Kojima. He also lost the NWA Tag Titles (partner Jax Dane) to TenKoji at the Invasion Attack PPV (04/06/2014). Conway got the NWA Title back on 06/02/2014 and has held it since. The match is worked US style with a fast opening, Tenzan working as FiP, and a hot finish. I can’t say I’m happy to see Conway again. He’s muscled up even more, slow in the ring, and oversells everything. The match is nothing more than a story springboard to better matches down the line. *3/4

Tomoaki Honma vs Kota Ibushi
I got very excited when I saw this match was signed. Ibushi is my current favourite worker in New Japan. Honma is a perennial crowd favourite. He actually has Ibushi to thank for that in an odd way. Ibushi suffered a major concussion on his way to losing the IWGP Junior Title to KUSHIDA on 07/04/2014. He was removed from the G-1 Climax tournament and Honma was put in his place. While Honma didn’t win a single match, his performances were absolutely top flight, with multiple **** matches. The crowd got behind him for his Fighting Spirit as a result and he’s been riding the wave ever since. His sheer presence, and the crowd’s love for him, instantly elevates this match. They cheer for every Forearm Shiver, headbutt (his trademark), Slam and Suplex. Ibushi to his credit gives Honma the vast majority of the offense, thus keeping the match heated from start to finish. The match is fast paced, hard hitting, crazy heated, and will put a smile on your face. A relatively flat finish keeps it from entering legit contention for a low end MOTYC. ***3/4

The Young Bucks vs Time Splitters vs ReDragon (C) (IWGP Junior Tag Team Titles)
This follows a simple history. Time Splitters (Alex Shelly & KUSHIDA) defeated the Bucks at the Dominion PPV (06/21/2014 ****1/2). ReDragon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) defeated Time Splitters at the Power Struggle PPV (11/08/2014 ****1/2). So we have the last 3 Championship teams in a match. This format only allows 2 guys in the ring at once so one team has to find a way to tag in at any given time. Well… ideally it should work that way except everyone goes into Scramble mode not even 5 minutes in and then it’s on. Someone pumped rocket fuel down everyone’s throat and lit a match. It’s non stop action from the start. If you’ve watched these 3 teams against each other over the last year, this is very rewarding. They constantly play off each others previous spots. The match builds and builds until the final sequence, where you’re at the end of your seat. The crowd is oddly less heated than you’d figure, but they could have been burned out from the Honma/Ibushi match. This was great and well worth tracking down. ****

Ryusuke Taguchi vs Kenny Omega (C) (IWGP Junior Title)
This is a rematch of Omega’s title win at Wrestle Kingdom 9 (01/04/2015). The match is slow to get out of the gate. It’s initially worked for comedy, which I feel has no place in a title match. It’s a sad byproduct of matches involving The Bullet Club though. After getting the junk out of the way, they settle into a finely worked match. They play off of a couple of spots from 01/04. These two are both very talented but I don’t think they’re capable of anything more than what was done here and on 01/04. I had high hopes as Dome shows are not typically conducive to strong Junior matches. With a smaller venue I had hoped for something very strong. Like 01/04, this was good. Just not great. ***1/4

Toru Yano & Kazushi Sakuraba & Kazuchika Okada vs Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale
This is a continuation of the Okada vs Fale feud that was set up at New Year Dash (01/05/2015) when Fale secured a clean pinfall on Okada. I have absolutely no idea why Sakuraba is booked in this match. Okada & Yano are part of the CHAOS stable and their opponents are all part of The Bullet Club. I figured Sakuraba was a wrap after his feud with Minoru Suzuki ended at Wrestle Kingdom 9. Okada and Tonga really shine in this match. The latter is an athletic freak. At his size, I’m surprised the WWE hasn’t come knocking on his door yet. Okada takes a massive beating but keeps pushing through. The way the match is worked, it might as well have been a handicap match. Yano and Sakuraba work maybe 1 total minute. Okada is head and shoulders above everyone in here both in selling his opponents offense and in his spirited comebacks. Sadly, I’m slowly losing interest in this feud without a singles match in sight. **1/2

Yugi Nagata & Satoshi Kojima & Tetsuya Naito vs Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi
Well this is odd. Kojima is working the match in place of Togi Makabe. The latter is supposed to be continuing his feud with Ishii as the last stop before their NEVER Open Weight Title match on 02/15. Naito is being booed out of the building and I have no idea why. he was being cheered at the Dome show and the spot shows. Maybe it’s an Osaka crowd thing? If anyone knows, I’d greatly appreciate some insight in the comments. Ishii and Kojima work some extended sequences. I’m forced to wonder if Ishii is going over on 02/15 and will start a new program with Kojima. This was a rock solid six man tag. Nagata and Nakamura looked to have worked their chemistry issues out. There isn’t much in the way of drama. Just a well worked match. ***

Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson vs Katsuyori Shibata & Hirooki Goto (C) (IWGP Tag Team Titles)
This is the 3rd match in 3 months for these teams. Shibata & Goto beat the then champions in the World Tag League Finals (12/07/2014) to earn a title shot. They then defeated the champs at Wrestle Kingdom 9. This is the match I knew these 2 teams had in them. The 1st match was outright disappointing. The 2nd match had the work but was limited by time, not even getting 10 minutes. This had the time, work, crowd, drama, and near falls these teams needed to put on a great match. Gallows & Anderson really bring their work boots in this one, working far faster than you’d figure for guys their size and bumping big for the smaller champs. I was on the edge of my seat by match’s end, wondering which way it would go. I’m glad these teams were able to live up to expectations this time around. ****

AJ Styles vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (C) (IWGP Heavyweight Title)
This is a title rematch 4 months in the making. Tanahashi took the title from Styles at the King Of Pro-Wrestling PPV (10/13/2014 ****). After working separate programs, Styles scored a pinfall on Tanahashi in the main event of the New Year Dash (01/05/2015). This was a match of layers. From the get go you can tell it’s going to go long. They start with basic mat work and as each five minute announcement comes on, the moves grow slightly bigger in scale. These two know each other very well. They counter and re-counter constantly, including an incredible Tanahashi reversal of a Styles Enzugiri into a mid air Dragon Screw Leg Whip. The match really takes a notch up after an odd occurrence. Tanahashi executes a Super High Fly Flow onto the entire Bullet Club on the outside and receives a brutal hardway cut over his left eye. The blood only serves to elevate the match. They continue to build well to the finish, and in that finish the match fails to reach its true zenith. It’s a fine finish and you could call it satisfying, playing off an underlying story going back to Styles match with Yoshi Tatsu at Power Struggle. However, the finish keeps it from becoming a true high end MOTYC. It’s an odd complaint when you’re disappointed only giving a match ****1/4. It’s just a tough pill to swallow knowing something truly fantastic was within their grasp.

Final Thoughts: New Japan continues to deliver on their big shows. I’ve got 3 **** matches and I’m sure many will argue that Ibushi/Honma is **** worthy as well. Do yourself a favour and track this show down, you won’t be disappointed.

Please feel free to leave questions/comments/constructive criticisms in the comments below. I’ll endeavour to answer everybody. I can also be reached via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @NagataLockII.

Legends Roundtable Review: The Soul of Wrestling

My contribution to Black History Month as I, unlike Kurt Angle, am a
very big fan of “the black people” and I even decided to marry one of
them.

Anyway this panel is in the vault and has been for
a long time. Not sure if they moved it to the Black History Month section but
you can find it on the Network rather easily.

Originally
Aired in February of 2009

JR is your moderator and your esteemed panelists are:

Teddy Long (Definitely black)
Dusty Rhodes (Considered to be close to black by some black wrestlers although
he teamed up with an alleged Klansman in Dick Murdoch)
Tony Atlas (Definitely black and half of the first black tag champions with
Rocky Johnson)
Bill Watts (Often considered a friend of blacks)

— JR asks Teddy to tell his story. Teddy got into the business around 1984 or
so as a hanger on and someone that could help the new guys coming into the
Georgia territory. He met Abdullah the Butcher first and was a gopher for him.
He would come with Abdullah and help the guys take their ring gear back from
the ring to the dressing room. Ran errands for the guys. Didn’t make any money
of course. Eventually he met Dusty and Dusty liked him and gave him his first
paying job as part of the ring setup crew, which paid about $75/show. Dusty
gave him a job as a referee when the ref didn’t show for an event at Marietta,
Georgia. He tells a funny story about reffing a Black Bart-Ron Bass Texas death
match and they were bleeding everywhere and he tossed the “foreign object” that
Bart was using into the crowd. Bart was pissed but the timekeeper made a
mistake and they got mad at him about that and forgot about Teddy.


JR talks about Teddy being a manager of Doom. Teddy said he rode with Kevin
Sullivan and Eddie Gilbert and he would entertain them using his radio DJ’ing
skills while they rode and Sullivan convinced Flair to let him manage. He thanks
JR as well for his help in convincing Flair, who was against it. First guy he
managed? Norman the Lunatic. Then it was the Skyscrapers and then Doom. That’s
a pretty nice upgrade of talent actually.

— On to Atlas, who was a state champion as an amateur wrestler, power lifter
and bodybuilder. Atlas said he’s one of the luckiest people in the profession.
Sandy Scott saw an article on Atlas in a newspaper and met him during a show at
the YMCA. At the time he was trying to get to the Olympics in weight lifting or
wrestling. He describes his career as too much too soon. He was in main events
with Tommy Rich and Dusty within six months. He says he was his biggest problem
in wrestling. He made $1,500 his first week and $75,000 his first year. He said
most of his problems were with black wrestlers because when he came into the
territory the other black star had to leave. Pistol Pez Whatley hated him as
did Skip Young but they made amends. Tommy Rich told Atlas he wasn’t black or
white, he was green — as in he made money.

(They show a promo he cut with Gordon Solie and they are talking about Ric
Flair and…holy shit Atlas is MASSIVE. I could see why everyone wanted him in
their territory. He looks like big money and his babyface promo skills were
solid. He didn’t come across as a badass but more of a loveable babyface that
looked like a dude you did not want to mess with.)

(They show clips of a Flair-Atlas match, probably from the Georgia territory.
Flair is bumping like a madman for Atlas and even takes a nasty piledriver.)

– Atlas tells a funny story of a promoter riding him around the black
neighborhoods in Virginia with him covered in baby oil and posing while the
promoter billed him as the strongest black man in wrestling. He hated it but
went to the arena and saw the big crowd and starting buying his own baby oil for future promotions.

— Dusty talks about growing up in neighborhood of mostly blacks and Hispanics.
He said Sailor Art Thomas was one of the first black wrestlers that influenced
him. He also mentioned Thunderbolt Patterson and how he crafted his promos.
Dusty also got his style from listening to the black preachers that came
through town each month for revivals.

(Clips of a Thunderbolt Patterson sit down promo with Missouri Mauler and Dale
Lewis. You can easily see the similarities with him and Dusty and exactly where
Dusty took some of his style)

— JR asks Watts about his run with Bobo Brazil. He said he did some things to
create a racial atmosphere mostly because he was dumb and ignorant. He talked
about being drenched in urine going to the ring to face Bobo and causing a riot
after he pinned him.

(Clips of a Bobo Brazil interview when he entered Florida. I kind of like his
style.)

— Watts said Bobo was a classy guy, as was Ernie Ladd. He talked about an
incident in Baltimore when his tag partner called Ladd the n-word after Lyndon
Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act. Watts expected Ladd to get up from
playing cards and knock the guy out but he didn’t knowing that he would
probably get fired. Watts said Thunderbolt Patterson’s problem was that he
fought the culture because he dealt with so much and was filled with so much
animosity. Watts said that when he was in charge of Mid-South he looked at the
territory’s demographics and saw the black fans and saw how blacks were
dominating other athletics but just token blacks in pro wrestling so he wanted
to change that. He talks about Ernie Ladd and Ray Candy as the main event the
first Superdome card. JR said he remembered when white bookers would call Watts
and ask him if he lost his mind for promoting so many black wrestlers.

(Clips of a hilarious interview between JYD and Gene Okerlund with both of them
gawking over Wendi Richter and JYD talking about making enough money to pay the
IRS…shoot comments that aren’t meant to be shoot comments?)

— Watts talks about JYD entering the territory. He said he learned of him from
Jake Roberts (“only good thing he’s ever done”). Watts talks about Ladd booking
JYD with Super Destroyer and ran him tired for 20 minutes. Watts told Ladd that
he sent JYD to him to figure out what he could do, not what he couldn’t do…and
fired Ladd and Super Destroyer. But hired them back the next day.

— Watts continues on how it was tough to book black wrestlers against white
wrestlers and how many of the houses in Louisiana still had segregated seating
(this is in the late 70s, early 80s BTW). Watts partner, Leroy McGuirk, wasn’t
happy about all the color in the crowds and the card but Grizzly Smith reminded
him that it’s all about the green. And they made a lot of money.

— Long talks about Ole Anderson being a big racist jackass (you’re shocked I
know) and how Thunderbolt Patterson would side with Ole because he wanted to be
the only black on the card. Dusty said Patterson’s biggest problem was himself
and he blamed everyone else. The panel agrees. No love for Thunderbolt here
(Long really hated him).

— Watts talks about how far we’ve come but how far we need to go and mentions
the lack of black college football head coaches compared to the black players
in college football. He tells another funny story about Ladd.

(After a break we return with a clip of Dusty cutting a promo about having
soul. He was born with soul and so was Tony Atlas daddy!)

— JR talks about Butch Reed and Koko B. Ware wrestling at Wrestlemania III
with Slick as Reed’s manager and having two black wrestlers against each other
on the card was more history.

(Clips of the Reed-Ware match, Reed won with a rollover and a handful of
tights.)

— JR asks Tony about winning the tag championship with Rocky Johnson. Atlas
said S.D. Jones said they were the only two guys that held the belt and made no
money with it. They hated each other and mostly because they didn’t want to
share the spotlight. Atlas said he beat up Rocky after Rocky promised to give
him a ride to a show and didn’t do it so he would get heat. They lost the belts
the next day and Atlas was fired. Atlas puts over Tommy Rich as his best tag
partner and his brother. Atlas tells a funny story about trying to do a 500-lb
bench press in the ring with Dusty supposed to spot him but Dusty starts jumping
around to get the crowd going and the ring is shaking while he’s trying to lift
this large amount of weight.

— Dusty talks about how proud he is of Teddy Long because he wasn’t necessary
going to draw money but he was a good guy and he loved the business and never
became part of the problem despite all the shit he took. Long said he had many
opportunities to sue based on racial discrimination but he just wanted to do
his job and not deal with it.

— Atlas talked about being protected by the promoter George Scott, who was a
father figure to him. He told him to always be on time, do what you are asked
and stay away from white girls. Of course Tony married a white lady.

— Watts said he loved Ron Simmons and he had the pedigree of an All-American
athlete. He decided to pull the trigger on Simmons winning the title in
Baltimore and the people are crying. Dusty said when you go to the FSU football
locker room and see Simmons’ locker enclosed in glass you know he’s the real deal.

(Clips of Simmons beating Vader and it’s a beautiful moment seeing that kid
rush to the front of the crowd and almost jump over the railing. Looking around
the crowd closely there were lots of pockets of people going apeshit. Very cool)

— Atlas said he’s rode with guys that have showed him their Klan card (they
have cards??) but those same guys would stand by him and fight with him if he
needed it. He said if you are looking for racism you are looking in the wrong
business. Watts slows him down a bit and tells him he was a different guy and
everyone loved him because he was just so dog gone friendly. So he was lucky
and well protected (probably because he made everyone a lot of money).

— Watts said he didn’t care about any backlash to Simmons winning the title.
JR said he broke from tradition with the NWA lineage and all the white
champions. Teddy Long said that seeing Simmons as the champion during their
celebration in Atlanta was great because they were friends and he used to
manage him. Watts said that at the end of the day it was too big of a burden
for him and he tried too hard to please everyone. Long and JR agree that
Simmons struggled with the pressure (I wish Simmons could have been part of the
panel to talk about this. Hell the WWE should track him down now to talk about it).

— Atlas said Harley Race tried to convince the promoters to give him the NWA
belt several times, naturally Ole Anderson was against it because god knows if it will make money, Ole is against it.
Harley fought Atlas in Florida and when the fans thought Atlas won they rushed
the ring and Harley left the ring unnoticed, which told him that this guy was a larger-than-life figure. Harley’s favorite color was money green.

— JR brings up the Nation of Domination, at least later version with Farooq,
D-Lo Brown, The Godfather and The Rock. Teddy said it was good for the black fans of
wrestling and Ross says it might have been the first black-based faction on
wrestling TV. Teddy said there were a lot of black fans of wrestling but they
didn’t come to the events because there weren’t many black stars to support. He
talks about Doom having the support of the few black fans that were at live WCW
events.

— Dusty said The Rock was going to be a megastar, maybe he was bigger than
Austin, maybe not. Dusty goes back to the Nation of Domination and how they
took it to the edge.

(Clips of Farooq cutting an in-ring promo with Vince in 1997. I’m a mark for
Ron Simmons’ heel promos.)

— Atlas compared the Rock to Elvis with his unique look and said a guy with
that look come along once in a generation. Watts said the Rock had a humbleness
about him and always took time to talk to the older guys. He was never too busy
to have a conversation with someone like Watts, even though he was no longer a
factor in the business.

(Clips of the Rock doing Rock things and making fun of everyone he can find.)

— They talk about the current black stars (as of 2009) like Shelton Benjamin,
MVP, Mark Henry, etc. He said that Pat Patterson introduced JR to the Rock as “Rocky
Johnson’s kid”. Ross said he thought he was seeing a mirage, he couldn’t
believe this guy was real and the rest is history. Watts says the Rock doesn’t
see color and that’s where we all need to evolve.

— Teddy closes by saying that he’s had a chance to work for everyone on the
panel. He wasn’t “the color green” but to sit here with the guys that gave him
the opportunity it’s history for him and it’s not just black history, it’s
history. Teddy comes across so well in this panel, a super likeable guy.

Bottom Line: Lot of good stuff there. Lot of great stories and definitely worth
the hour and 15 minutes of your time if you are interested in such a thing.

WWF Wrestling Challenge March 15th, 1987

March 15, 1987


From the Civic Center in Springfield, MA


Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action this week are Billy Jack Haynes, Ricky Steamboat, and the Junkyard Dog. Plus, another “WrestleMania III” report.

A clip of Haynes being attacked by King Kong Bundy and Hercules after his match a few weeks ago.

Billy Jack Haynes vs. Moondog Spot


Spot attacks Haynes to start. Haynes then comes back with a chop before sending him outside with a dropkick. Haynes is then shown cutting an insane promo on Hercules and Bobby Heenan. Spot rolls back inside and very shortly after that Haynes makes him submit to the full nelson (1:10).

Thoughts: Quick match to put over Haynes and his full nelson. They really did give the Hercules/Haynes feud a lot of time on TV.






Jesse Ventura is with a shirtless Bob Uecker telling him to flex as to show off all the training he has done. Fine for what it was.

A clip of Adrian Adonis accidentally cutting Brutus Beefcake’s hair is shown.

Dino Bravo & Dream Team w/ Johnny V. vs. Mike Lucca & Paul Roma & “Italian Stallion” Salvatore Bellomo


I had no idea that Bellomo’s Rocky-knockoff character even made it to TV. Beefcake is selling his accidental haircut by wearing a bandana. Match starts with Bravo and Roma going back and forth. Bellomo tags but immediately gets hit with an inverted atomic drop as we get an insert promo from the Rougeaus on Bravo. The Dream Team takes advantage of the match for a while until Roma hits Beefcake then yanks of his bandana to a slight round of cheers from the fans. Lucca tags and taunts Beefcake with the bandana but ends of getting his ass kicked until Bravo tags and gets the win with a back suplex (3:53).

Thoughts: They were portraying Beefcake as an angry lunatic since getting his accidental haircut from Adonis. It didnt really work out to well in this match though.






Gene Okerlund is with the Can-Am Connection as they talk about facing Don Muraco & Bob Orton at WrestleMania III and how they will be keeping an eye out for Mr. Fuji. Really basic promo from these two.

Another segment with Bob Uecker as he hypes up WrestleMania III. Great job by Uecker, who was quite enthusiastic here.

Junkyard Dog vs. Rick Renslow

Before the match we get an insert promo from Heenan and Harley Race as Heenan gives JYD a lesson on how to bow and put the crown onto the King’s head. Match starts with JYD roughing up Renslow then taking him down with a headbutt. He then follows that with a clothesline before getting the win with a powerslam (1:02). After the match JYD dances with a few kids in the ring.

Thoughts: The JYD/Harley feud was not really clicking. The fans popped for JYD’s entrance but were silent during the match and his deteriorating skills were not helping with that.






Okerlund is with Adonis, who is dressed in a regular polo shirt as he tells Piper he has to decide on how he will cut his hair. He leaves then Hercules and Heenan come in as they warn Haynes that his neck will get broken when he is gets locked in the full nelson. Heenan then tells us that he will be managing the World Heacyweight Champion after WrestleMania III as Okerlund teases him about making a bet on that as Heenan tells Okerlund he will end up a loser, just like Hogan. Decent interviews from both.

Demolition w/ Johnny V vs. Tommy Sharpe & Sivi Afi


Demolition toss their opponents to the floor before the match starts. They then beat the shit out of Sharpe for a bit as we get an insert promo from Aretha Franklin as the talks about performing “America the Beautiful” at WrestleMania III and after that they put Sharpe away with the Decapitation (1:20).

Thoughts: Demolition looked like killers here and that was a good thing as Sheik & Volkoff were getting stale as the powerhouse heel team.






Snake Pit with guests Bobby Heenan and Andre the Giant. Jake as Andre why he turned on Hogan as Heenan tells us all that Hogan has used him. Jake asks Andre about losing respect of the fans as he just stares straight ahead as Heenan does the talking, proclaiming that Hulkamania will die at WrestleMania III. Nice segment that furthered portrayed Andre as a man who was completely turned his back on the fans.

The same “WrestleMania Report” from Superstars airs.

Pete Doherty vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat


Steamboat works the arm as we are shown an insert promo from Randy Savage telling Steamboat that having George Steele in his corner will not help him one bit. Steamboat catches Doherty with a dropkick after an Irish whip sequence then goes back to the arm. Doherty misses a pair of elbow drops as Steamboat goes back to the arm as the announcers talk about the WrestleMania III card. Steamboat then hits a delayed vertical suplex before climbing up top and getting the win with a flying chop (4:53).

Thoughts: This was way too long for a squash match. The crowd still loved Steamboat though.






Okerlund is with Roddy Piper and asks him about Hollywood and the celebrities he will be meeting like Brian Dennehy and Pee Wee Herman. Piper then says that he is in the peak of his career at 32 years old and the only man that is in his class is Hogan, who comes out and tells us that all of the Hulksters will walk tall with pride and that he can live forever through Hulkamania as well. Not as crazy as their interview from a couple of weeks ago but still a bit out there.

Next week in action will be King Kong Bundy, Hart Foundation, and Hercules. Plus, highlights from the Battle Royal at “Saturday Night’s Main Event” and more.

Final Thoughts: This show was just okay. Being the final show of the taping, the crowd was somewhat dead and nothing really memorable happened but it did a fine job of hyping WrestleMania III, which was the main purpose.

Here is my schedule for the next week:

Tuesday: WWF Frank Tunney Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament 3/15/87
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Blue Meanie & Jasmin St. Claire
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/21/87
Saturday: RoH Wrath of the Racket 8/9/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/22/87

Impact Wrestling – February 6, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
February 6, 2015
Location:
Manhattan Center, New York City, New York
Commentators:
Josh Matthews, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
As
is going to be the case all year it seems, pay per view is no longer
an option (save for One Night Only because who can forge that series)
so for the first time ever, Lockdown is being offered as a free TV
broadcast. The main event is Team Angle vs. the BDC with Angle’s
team being down a man as Lashley turned down his offer to join.
Let’s get to it.

The
opening video starts off by focusing on the cage itself before
shifting to Roode vs. Young and the Lethal Lockdown main event.
All
matches are inside a cage.
Tag
Team Titles: Hardys vs. James Storm/Abyss
Storm
and Abyss are defending and it’s tornado rules. Matthews says he and
Taz are ringside and then they’re shown in their studio in Nashville.
So Matthews is a liar. Good to know. The Hardys start fast with
Poetry in Motion to both guys but they have to stop to deal with the
interfering Manik. They just happen to have a pair of handcuffs to
tie him to the top rope but the distraction lets the champs take
over. Matt and Jeff are sent into the cage over and over with Matt
getting the worse of it as we take a break.
Back
with Storm hitting a top rope elbow for two on Matt as frustration is
starting to set in for the champions. The Hardys quickly fight back
for a double two count but Matt misses a moonsault to Storm. Matt
doesn’t seem to mind as he hits a top rope Twist of Fate to drop
Storm. Khoya ignores the cage as well and pulls Matt through the
camera hole to the floor, which doesn’t count as a win because it
wasn’t over the top. Back inside, Jeff hits a Twist on Abyss but
Sanada Mists him to break up the Swanton. Storm’s Last Call retains
the titles at 13:36.
Rating:
C. This was more of a spot fest
than a coherent match but that’s what you have to expect for a
tornado style match. It’s not that easy to get much of a story going
without the need for tags and all those other people interfering in
the match. Still though, it had enough big spots to open a show and
it’s always good to see the Revolution get a win.
Post
match the Revolution puts Matt
through a table outside and sets up another in the ring. They unhook
Mania, though where they got
the key isn’t really clear. Manik misses a top rope splash through
the table and Jeff fights
off most of the Revolution and climbs up, only to get crotched on the
cage door and knocked off onto the steps. This is Jeff’s annual “I
can’t go to England” injury angle.
MVP
has a special offer for Angle tonight. After a break, MVP, King and
Young are in the ring with MVP talking about how dangerous this cage
really is. They’re ready to
face anyone who stands in their way tonight and Young promises to
make Roode bleed tonight. Bobby
is offered a chance to walk away but
MVP switches to Angle. He wants Kurt to come out here and talk to
him face to face for a proposal.
Cue
Angle, Gunner and Aries as MVP talks about how all three can walk out
of here (they just walked in here though) without getting beaten up
again. MVP has talked to Angle’s doctor and that knee is being held
together by tape and gum. Has this doctor never heard of privacy
laws??? Angle and company
say they’re not walking away and the brawl is on. Joe
and Low Ki come out to give the BDC an advantage and they crush
Gunner’s arm in the cage door. The Clan runs away instead of taking
advantage of their numbers advantage.
Video
on Havok and Kong dominating the company. I still don’t buy Havok as
anywhere near Kong’s level after winning like five matches.
Gunner
is checked on in the back but he insists he’s starting the match
tonight.
Havok
vs. Awesome Kong
They
start fighting on the ramp with Kong getting the better of it but
being sent into the steps. The bell rings before they’re even in the
cage with Kong down on the floor. Kong fights out of the spinebuster
slam and sends Havok into the steps for her efforts. The fans think
this is better than the Divas, which really isn’t covering a lot of
ground.
They
finally get inside (the girls, not the fans, in case you’re really
thick in the head) and ram heads before Havok kicks her down. It
just seems to fire Kong up though and she no sells a chokeslam for
good measure. A chokeslam puts Havok down and sets up the Awesome
Splash for the pin at 5:48.
Rating:
C+. This was better than I was
expecting, even though the ending was exactly what I expected. There
was no reason to think Havok could go toe to toe with Kong,
especially given how short Havok’s run in TNA has been. She debuted
what, four months ago, which includes the month they were off TV?
Kong looked dominant though and that’s the right idea.
Video
on Roode vs. Young. They have to have someone bleed in this.
From
two weeks ago, Velvet told Angelina that she was fired and starts
crying. Love hugs her and smiles at the news.
Lashley
is told Angle is looking for him and the champ says he isn’t hard to
find.
Eric
Young vs. Bobby Roode
Pin
or submission only. Roode runs him over to start but eats an elbow
to the jaw. The fans already want blood as Eric sends Roode back
first into the cage a few times. A belly to belly sets up a
chinlock on Roode before a powerslam gets two. Cue MVP with a chair
but Roode ducks a big swing. The piledriver is countered into a
catapult to send Young into the cage and you can see Eric blade. I
really shouldn’t like seeing him in pain this much.
The
spinebuster gets two for Bobby and he puts Young on top. A super
Roode Bomb is countered with a cage shot and Young’s top rope elbow
gets two. Young loads up another elbow onto the chair but Roode gets
up and blasts him in the back. The Roode Bomb onto a chair is good
for the pin at 7:55.
Rating:
D. Well that happened and I
still don’t care. At the end of the day, Eric Young isn’t
interesting, intimidating, tough, worthy of being in a major story or
anything positive that I can think of. This “12 years thrown away”
story made my head hurt as these two barely associated for years and
the whole “Roode owns Young and makes his life miserable” period
is conveniently forgotten. Just get Young back to the comedy jobber
guy he’s been for years so I don’t have to put up with this any
longer.
Lashley
turns Angle down again so Kurt throws him against the wall and tells
him to wake up.
The
announcers debate the upcoming Top 5.
Mandrews/Rockstar
Spud vs. Tyrus
Tyrus
easily shrugs off a double teaming to start and shoves both guys into
corners. A double Tongan Death Grip has them in trouble but they
come back with a double dropkick to the face and then more to the
chest. An enziguri is good for one but Spud escapes a powerbomb and
climbs all the way to the top of the cage. With a middle finger to
Carter, Spud hits a HUGE flip dive to take Tyrus down and Ethan is
stunned.
Carter
gets up and spits at Mandrews, tricking him into coming out of the
cage. Carter trips him up on the way out, sending Mandrews’ head
into the steps to make this one on one. Spud is distracted from
covering and gets the cage door slammed on his head, setting up a
Tongan slam and Asiatic Spike to the neck for the pin on Spud at
5:44.
Rating:
C. That big flip and Carter’s
facials make this match work better, even though Mandrews really
didn’t need to be in the match. I’m digging this feud way more than
I was expecting to and I’m actually believing Spud could pull off the
upset and beat Carter, even though that wouldn’t make a ton of sense.
Carter
goes to shave Spud’s head but JB unplugs his clippers.
We
look at Hardy being hurt “moments ago” and say there’s no update.
Roode
talks about the fifteen years he’s known Eric and says he made Young
bleed, just like he promised. They were best friends but now it’s
all gone and it’s time to move on.
Earlier
tonight, Robbie E. challenged Brooke to a competition to determine
who lost the Amazing Race. They had a dizzy bat challenge before
climbing the cage and getting back out with the winner crossing a
finish line. Robbie almost won but spent too much time taking a
picture, allowing Brooke to hit him low and win. This was heavily
clipped instead of showing the full thing.
Team
Angle vs. Beat Down Clan
Kurt
Angle, Gunner, Austin Aries, ???
MVP,
Kenny King, Samoa Joe, Low Ki
Lethal
Lockdown, meaning two men start for two minutes and then a team
(determined by a coin toss) gets to send in its second man. After
two minutes the team that lost the coin toss gets to send in its
second man to tie things up for two minutes. The teams continue to
alternate until all participants are in when it’s first pinfall or
submission wins. There are weapons provided inside the cage for the
duration of the match this year, as opposed to them not coming down
until the last man enters in previous editions.
King
and Gunner get things going with Kenny going after the injured arm.
Gunner whips him into the cage and blasts him in the back of the head
with a trashcan lid to keep King in trouble. He chokes King with a
nightstick but Low Ki comes in to make it 2-1. They’re already going
quickly through this match.A big trashcan lid shot to Gunner’s head
gives the BDC control and King holds him for kicks to the chest. The
beating continues until Austin Aries comes in for the tie. Austin
immediately starts speeding things up and blasts King in the ribs
with the nightstick.
Gunner
opts for a tennis racket (cue the Jim Cornette reference from Taz)
but it’s Samoa Joe to give the BDC another advantage. More weapons
shots have Team Angle in trouble as this is getting very repetitive,
just like almost all Lethal Lockdown matches. Angle ties it up again
and takes a hockey stick to his ribs upon entry. Kurt doesn’t seem
to mind and German suplexes Joe before rolling Kenny up out of
instinct. Team Angle gets beaten down with more weapons shots until
MVP completes the BDC.
Pins
and submissions are allowed now as all the announced wrestlers are
in. Back from a break with the BDC destroying everyone in sight with
quadruple teaming. Angle finally gets back up and blasts them with
the trashcan lid. The comeback is short lived though as the BDC
destroys them again….and here’s Lashley. This would be more
exciting if TNA hadn’t shown him appearing four times now in their
previews for next week.
He
extends his hand to MVP but doesn’t let go, pulling the leader into a
clothesline. Lashley cleans house but gets taken down into the
corner and choked out by MVP. Angle counters Joe’s Muscle Buster
into the ankle lock as Gunner Gun Racks King and Aries puts Ki in the
Last Chancery. Lashley spears MVP down for the pin at 20:23.
Rating:
C+. Bobby Lashley is exactly
what Roman Reigns should be. He’s big, he’s strong, he runs through
people, and he barely ever speaks because his actions do all his
talking for him. I’ve had a lot of fun watching Lashley break people
in half over the last few months and he’s far more entertaining than
Reigns more often than not. Put Reigns on a roll like this and build
it as a clash of the titans against Lesnar and I’d want to see it.
Some guys just don’t need to have a really detailed character and
both Lashley and Reigns fit that mold.
The
rest of the match was just there and followed the format of almost
every single Lethal Lockdown match in history, minus the big spot on
top. You knew it wasn’t going to really crank up until the end of
the match which makes the first seventeen minutes or so pretty dull
stuff. I can only see a trashcan lid to the back of the head to
change momentum so many times.
Overall
Rating:
C+. It’s a decent
enough show but as usual, most of these matches don’t need to be
inside a cage. This is very similar to the Elimination Chamber or
Hell in a Cell PPV: the calendar alone said these matches had to be
in cages and there really wasn’t a reason for a lot of them to be
under these rules. Look at Kong vs. Havok and see that the cage
didn’t change a thing. The Hardy bump could have been done off the
top rope for the same ending and Spud could have hit the same move
off the top rope. Only the main event required a cage and it didn’t
really change much. Decent show but not necessary.
Results
James
Storm/Abyss b. Hardys – Last Call to Jeff
Awesome
Kong b. Havok – Awesome Splash
Bobby Roode b. Eric Young – Roode Bomb onto a chair
Tyrus
b. Mandrews/Rockstar Spud – Asiatic Spike to Spud
Team
Angle b. Beat Down Clan – Spear to MVP
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

WWF Superstars of Wrestling March 14th, 1987

March 14, 1987


From the Civic Center in New Haven, CT

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and Vince McMahon

In action this week are the Killer Bees, Hercules, and Randy Savage. Plus, “Piper’s Pit” with guest Hulk Hogan and another WrestleMania III report.

Tiger Chung Lee & Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Killer Bees


Ventura makes fun of the Bees new tights, comparing them to ballet dancers. We get an insert promo from the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Slick hyping their match at WrestleMania III as Blair works over Sharpe. Brunzell tags and makes Sharpe scream with an arm wringer. Sharpe finally breaks free and tags Lee, who beats on Brunzell. He catches him with a powerslam then Brunzell comes back with an armdrag but gets caught in the opposite corner after that as Jesse and Vince talk about Bob Uecker. The heels double-team Brunzell behind the referee’s back as this match is dragging. Brunzell finally makes the tag as Blair hits Sharpe with the Bee Sting then tags Brunzell who hits Lee with a dropkick for the win (4:48).

Thoughts: Too long for a squash as the announcers touched upon the other matches and celebrities that will be at WrestleMania III after the Bees/Sheik & Volkoff match was hyped. And the bees new trunks were atrocious.






WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s update is on the WWF World Heavyweight Title match as we get the tale of the tape for both men. Lots of exaggerations here but it was all in good fun.

Don Driggers vs. King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan


We get an insert promo from Bob Uecker hyping WrestleMania III before the match. God, he was great. Match starts with a criss-cross spot that ends with Driggers dropkicking Race. He then misses a second attempt as the Junkyard Dog is shown watching the match backstage on a monitor who then says he has seen enough and walks away. Back to the match as Race hits a clothesline then hits a kneedrop before putting him away with the cradle suplex (1:45).

Thoughts: The bit with JYD monitor took up a majority of this match, which was a typical snoozefest from Race. This feud is losing steam.






Okerlund is with the Can-Am Connection. Martel promises that they will be ready for WrestleMania III as Zenk agrees and warns Mr. Fuji that they will be ready for him if he tries to interfere. The Can-Am Connection were not known for the mic skills.

Butch Reed and Slick are shown talking about Koko B. Ware. Reed ends the interview by dropping feathers all over the place saying he will make soup out of Frankie. Fine for what it was.

Barry O. vs. Koko B. Ware


Vince goes mental over Koko’s dancing as Jesse refers to him as “Buckwheat.” Koko gets the crowd going as he reverses an Irish whip then catches Barry with a slam. Tito Santana is shown in an insert promo warning Koko to keep an eye out on Slick during his match against Reed. Barry sends Koko to the floor then stomps him as he lays on the apron. Still on the apron, Koko blocks a turnbuckle smash then drills Barry with a missile dropkick before hitting the Ghostuster for the win (2:43).

Thoughts: Solid action as the crowd still loved Koko. This was about the peak of his career in the WWF though.






Okerlund is with Aretha Franklin. He asks her about a few of the performers as she calls Jimmy Hart a “one-hit wonder.” Not a bad segment.

Now, Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan, who doesn’t care what people are saying as he wants to live forever and that the prayers, vitamins, and Hulkamania will live forever. He then said Andre will feel the power of Hulkamania in front of the whole world at WrestleMania III. Good promo from Hogan.

Uecker is with Andre the Giant. He asks him about meeting Andre in Europe and how they are est friends but Andre comes out and puts his hand on Uecker’s shoulder and makes a fist as Uecker laughs nervously. I’ll say it again, Uecker was great in all of these segments and this was no exception.

Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Mario Mancini


Hercules beats on Mancini as we get an insert promo from Billy Jack Haynes screaming about how we will see who is the master of the full nelson. Hercules continues his assault on Mancini until he puts him away with the full nelson (1:20).

Thoughts: The psychotic screaming promos from Billy Jack Haynes are a favorite of mine. Hercules was getting a nice push here and starting to get over well as a singles act.






Piper’s Pit with guest Hulk Hogan. Piper first tells us that Adonis will be the ugliest thing you will see after he cuts his hair after their match at WrestleMania III. Hogan then comes out as the crowd goes mental. Hogan is intense as he first tells Piper that he knows there is no way he will let a “fat boy” put him away with the sleeper as Piper says that he knows they will have to bury him six feet under in order to get the belt off of him. Piper asks Hogan about all of the doubters that say he cannot beat Andre as Hogan is unsure if he can pick him up but he will try no matter what before telling Andre he will get him back for tearing the heart out of the “Little Hulksters” as the segment ends with both guys shaking hands then walking off together. Awesome stuff and the crowd was crazy the whole time.

The WrestleMania III report is next. Uecker is shown with Jimmy Hart asking him about the hair vs hair match between Piper and Adonis. Hart promises Piper that he will be bald when he heads off to Hollywood. Mary Hart is then shown with Bobby Heenan and Andre the Giant, who tells her that she talks too much when asked why he has a manager and Hulk Hogan does not. Okerlund then runs down the card. We get some promos mixed in between as Haynes tells us he has been doing wrist curls and that Dino Bravo will be present when the Dream Team wrestles the Rougeaus so he can them lose. The highlight was a wacky promo from the Anvil, calling Tito Santana a “burrito brother” and asking why he has a problem.

Sivi Afi vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Elizabeth

Lots of cheers for Savage as Vince tries to spin it as they are all for Elizabeth. Afi sends Savage to the floor with a dropkick then heads back inside as he headbutts him down. He then hits a slam but Savage gets his knees up on a splash attempt. Savage then hits a clothesline then on the floor hits him with a running knee smash to the back. In the ring, Savage slams Afi down then puts him away with a flying elbow smash (1:37). Savage then gets cheered after the win.

Thoughts: Savage was just awesome at this point and started to get cheered by the crowds as a result, no matter how big of a heel he was.

Okerlund is with Bobby Heenan and Hercules. Okerlund taunts Heenan about the “weasel” name as Heenan said that he has proven himself as a brain as he puts over his stable of wrestlers. Hercules then runs down Haynes and leaves as Heenan comes back but they are out of time as Heenan is now pissed.

Next week in action will be Jake Roberts, Honky Tonk Man, and the featured bout of Jim Duggan vs. Iron Sheik. Plus, highlights from the Battle Royal that takes place at the 3/14/87 edition of
“Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

Final Thoughts: Another show that did a superb job at promoting WrestleMania III, which is just fifteen days away. Piper’s Pit was a great segment and the celebrity involvement, especially Uecker, was cool to see. Not much else to say other than this company was on a roll heading up to WrestleMania III.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: Highspots Shoot Interview with Ernie Ladd
Friday: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event 3/14/87
Saturday: RoH Death Before Dishonor 7/19/03 (Finally!)
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/15/87
Tuesday: WWF Frank Tunney Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament 3/15/87



WWF Wrestling Challenge March 8th, 1987

March 8, 1987


From the Civic Center in Springfield, MA


Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight are the Can-Am Connection, Tito Santana, and Kamala. Plus, a special “WrestleMania” report.

Can-Am Connection vs. The Gladiator & Jimmy Jack Funk


The Can-Am Connection take the advantage early using quick tags while wrestling at a quick pace. We get an insert promo from Don Muraco, Bob Orton, and Mr. Fuji about how they are not flashly and just win matches. Back to the match as the heels work over Zenk while the announcers hype WrestleMania III. Funk gets a nearfall with a shoulderbreaker then the Gladiator tags in as Heenan tells us he has a new outfit designed for WrestleMania III. Zenk comes back with a dropkick on both guys then tags Martel, who runs wild. He hits the Gladiator with a backbreaker then tags Zenk and slingshots him in with a splash as he gets the win (5:03).

Thoughts: Nice showcase for the Can-Am Connection, who continue to rise quickly in the tag team division.






Gene Okerlund is with Bob Uecker, who talks about his parents used to wash the clothes of The Crusher. Not much to this but shows that Uecker at least has some knowledge about professional wrestling in that he is aware of the past stars.

Brutus Beefcake cuts a promo on Adrian Adonis, who accidentally cut his hair a few weeks ago. Beefcake hopes that Piper shaves Adonis’s head after their match at WrestleMania. The promo was terrible but we can see the face turn for Beefcake developing.

Don Driggers vs. “Adorable” Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart


Adonis brushes off a dropkick attempt from Driggers then tosses him to the floor. Piper is shown in an insert promo holding a pair of scissors taunting Adonis, who is in control of the match. Adonis then chokes out Driggers for a bit before putting him away with the Good Night Irene (2:20).

Thoughts: Adonis could still work and the fans hated him but he was really at his fattest here. It was sad.






Okerlund is with Hercules and asks him about his match against Billy Jack Haynes at WrestleMania III. Hercules promises to put Haynes in the full nelson in a decent promo.

Highlight of Tito Santana going after Slick when he interfered in his match.

Barry O. vs. Tito Santana


Tito grabs Barry in a waistlock as Heenan tells us that Jimmy Hart spoke to him and says that Davis will surprise everyone in the ring. Davis is then shown in an insert promo blaming Tito and the British Bulldogs for getting suspended for life as a referee and promises to make them pay. Tito dropkicks Barry as we get a replay of that. Tito grabs a side headlock but Barry breaks that up with a hair pull then goes to work. He sends Tito to the floor then knees him off of the apron. Slick then runs out and whacks Tito in the back with his cane as the referee was dealing with Barry. Tito slugs it out on the apron but Barry slams him back in and gets two. Barry then whips Tito against the ropes but gets hit with a flying forearm as Tito gets the win (4:40).

Thoughts: It finally looks like they are breaking Tito away from his dead end team with Pedro Morales. Tito still had a lot of fan support at the time too.






Mary Hart is interviewing Okerlund and not letting him get in a word for a comedy segment. It worked fine as Okerlund was always great in these and Hart seemed to understand her role in these promos.

Okerlund is now with Savage, who proclaims that WrestleMania III will be his night. Typical Savage promo.

Another vignette for Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who was in a forklift inside of a warehouse to show us that he is not here for fame and fortune.

Jerry Monti vs. Kamala w/ The Wizard & Kimchee


Kamala starts the match by hitting Monti with a crescent kick. He then tosses him around briefly before slamming him down then hitting a pair of splashes for the win (1:03).

Thoughts: Without a feud and repetitive squash matches for months, Kamala lost a lot of heel heat among the fans as they even seemed to grow tired of the same thing happen over and over again.






Snake Pit with guests Hillbilly Jim, Little Beaver, and the Haiti Kid. Before the match, Jake runs down the Honky Tonk Man. Hillbilly then talks about how he will be protecting his partners as Jake tells them not to be afraid of the snake as he was just friend in a sign of Jake turning face.

Replay of the Andre the Giant/Hulk Hogan contract signing at WrestleMania III.

David Stoudemire vs. Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart


Hart is shown in an insert promo running down Alice Cooper, joking about how tough could a man named Alice be as Honky beats on Stoudemire. Honky poses as the fans boo as Heenan makes fun of Cooper’s first name too. Honky takes Stoudemire outside then follows him out to hit a backbreaker and shortly after that rolls him back in to hit the Shake, Rattle, and Roll for the win (2:46).

Thoughts: Lots of hype for the Honky/Roberts match but it was mostly about Alice Cooper’s involvement.






Okerlund is with Billy Jack Haynes who again cuts a scary promo on Hercules about how he will not quit until his neck is broken. Dude is a lunatic.

Next week in action will be Billy Jack Haynes, Ricky Steamboat, and the Junkyard Dog. Plus, Andre the Giant as the guest on the Snake Pit.

Final Thoughts: Solid show as the build for WrestleMania III continues to be superb. “Wrestling Challenge” highlighted the midcard feuds as well as showing all of the top storyline advancements that happened on “Superstars of Wrestling.”

And my schedule for the week:

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/14/87
Thursday: Highspots Shoot Interview with Ernie Ladd
Friday: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Even 3/14/87
Saturday: RoH Death Before Dishonor 7/19/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/15/87

Impact Wrestling – January 30, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
January 30, 2015
Location:
Manhattan Center, New York City, New York
Commentators:
Josh Matthews, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The
World Title picture is starting to pick up again as Bobby Roode, Kurt
Angle, Austin Aries and MVP all have their eyes on Lashley’s title.
It’s hard to say what’s coming up next week at Lockdown as nothing
has been announced yet. You can guess what some of those matches
will be but the main event hasn’t been set in stone so far. Let’s
get to it.

We
open with a look back at MVP taking Lashley’s title belt after a
brawl.
Here’s
Bobby Roode with Lashley’s title, which he picked up on the street
after chasing off the BDC, to open the show. Roode talks about how
he wishes this title belonged to him but it doesn’t right now. It
was stolen from him a few weeks ago and he’s going to get his hands
on Eric Young to pay him back for what he did.
As
for the title, the only two people with a claim to it are he and
Lashley, so here’s the real champ to get his belt back. Roode says
this title belongs to Lashley but he wants a rematch tonight.
Lashley agrees and starts to walk away but Roode asks why wait. This
brings out Austin Aries with his Feast or Fired briefcase. Do you
remember wrestling before briefcases? I miss those days. The fans
are pleased to see him (Aries: “You know my name!”) and he thinks
he should cash in his briefcase here in New York City.
He
isn’t sure if he should do it now or wait until later on after these
two have fought. This brings out MVP who says he’s disappointed in
Lashley for saying the title is his. That title belongs the BDC and
MVP wants to fight Lashley for the title right now. Lashley tells
Aries to hold onto the briefcase for now, because he’ll fight all
three of them for the title tonight. This would be yet another major
match announced with next to no build that could have been the
culmination of about five weeks instead of fifteen minutes.
A
voiceover announces Team Angle vs. Team BDC next week in Lethal
Lockdown. The clips show who will be in the match. Well that’s one
way to set up one of the biggest matches of the year.
Angle
says he’ll assemble his team tonight and know who is fighting in
Lethal Lockdown next week. And it might be surprising if you tuned
back in from commercial thirty seconds late.
Knockouts
Title: Madison Rayne vs. Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell
One
fall to a finish and Taryn is defending. We get some stills of Will
Ferrell hitting her in the face with a basketball in a scene from
Ferrell’s new movie. It’s a fast start with Taryn going for a fast
pin before hair dragging Gail down. She misses a charge into the
corner and gets hit with a running cross body to the ribs as Madison
is on the floor. Madison comes back in and gets suplexed for two but
elbows Taryn in the jaw for the same.
Gail
runs back in and gets caught in a neckbreaker (called a Diamond
Cutter by Josh) from Madison at the same time Rayne catches Taryn in
a DDT. Kim takes Madison down in something like Konnan’s Tequila
Sunrise but she pulls forward on the leg instead of backwards like a
half crab. That’s quite a different version and looked good at the
same time.
The
champ breaks it up by adding a dragon sleeper to Kim and all three
head to the floor. Madison flapjacks Terrell onto the steps and
sends both girls face first onto them for good measure. They head
back inside with Madison escaping Eat Defeat and avoiding a cross
body, only to walk into an RKO to retain Taryn’s title at 6:00.
Rating:
B-. This was far better than I
was expecting as they didn’t stop for a second in the whole match.
Making Taryn the fighting champion who goes up against anyone she can
is a good way to get her over and the fans seem to be responding to
her. They still need some fresh blood in the division and Kong would
be a good option.
Announced
for Lockdown next week: Havok vs. Awesome Kong and Abyss/James Storm
vs. the Hardys for the Tag Team Titles.
Magnus
is walking the street and says he and Bram are going to have a drink
and talk about their problems.
Rockstar
Spud is showing Mark Andrews around New York City but doesn’t quite
know the names of some landmarks (the Empire State Building is the
Washington Monument for example). The point is they’re challenging
Tyrus and Ethan Carter III for a tag match tonight.
Here’s
Tommy Dreamer to say he hasn’t lied to the fans in 25 years and he
isn’t going to tonight.
He calls out Eric Young to say something to his face. Oh
good grief seriously? These two together is what I get for watching
these guys for years??? Young
says this isn’t Dreamer’s business but Dreamer talks about his
history with Roode and Young in TNA. Tommy has watched him go from a
nothing joke to the World Champion.
He
tells Young not to turn his back and burn bridges with Roode or the
fans. Eric: “You’re a fat loser from this dump.” He
wants to blow the bridge up so Tommy takes his jacket off. Tommy
says this is all about a title shot, but did Young ever ask Roode for
a shot? That earns Dreamer a piledriver but Roode comes out for the
save.
The
Hardys are ready for their title shot next week but Jeff has a
Monster’s Ball match with Abyss first. He’s brought some friends
named kendo, cookie and barbed wire.
Magnus
goes into a bar and finds Bram.
Kurt
Angle goes into Gunner’s locker room and asks him to be in Lethal
Lockdown next week. Gunner isn’t sure so Angle slaps him in the
face.
Magnus
and Bram are in the bar where Bram says that briefcase was his.
Magnus points out that he won a Tag Team Title shot and who else is
going to be his partner? It’s Bram’s temper that has held him back
over the years and he’s gotten Bram a job here. They’re not 18 years
old anymore and they can’t just get in fights when they don’t get
their way. This is about Magnus’ family and putting a roof over his
son’s head and food on his table.
Bram
asks to see a picture of Magnus’ son and says he has Magnus’ eyes.
They toast to their future and leave. Bram shows Magnus the way out
and says he’ll handle the bill. Magnus realizes he’s in a dead end
and Bram jumps him from behind, ramming Magnus into a few doors and
punching him in the back of the head. This actually worked really
well.
Josh
and Taz discuss what Bram just did.
Jeff
Hardy vs. Abyss
This
is Monster’s Ball and they’re shown fighting in the back before
coming into the arena for the opening bell. Jeff is in control early
and rams Abyss into whatever he can as they get down to ringside. He
takes too long to set up a table though and gets kicked away,
allowing Abyss to start loading up weapons in the ring. That takes
too long as well though and Jeff hits a running forearm and basement
dropkick for two.
The
Twisting Stunner sends Abyss into the corner for Poetry in Motion
(chair instead of Matt), knocking the monster out to the floor. Jeff
tries a dive but crashes through the table to change momentum. Abyss
brings in the tacks but takes a cheese grater between the legs. He’s
still able to sidestep a charging Jeff though and sends him face
first into the chair wedged in the corner. That was one heck of a
crash. Is it any wonder Jeff is such a mess? It’s Janice time but
as always it gets stuck in the buckle, allowing Jeff to hit the Twist
of Fate but the Revolution comes in.
Cue
Matt Hardy to cane everyone he can but Storm cracks him with a
trashcan. The Last Call knocks Matt out but the Wolves come in for
another save. Double suicide dives take out the rest of the
Revolution but Abyss pours out the tacks. He takes too long with it
again though and Jeff sunset bombs him onto the tacks, setting up the
Swanton for the pin at 9:06.
Rating:
C-. You know, if I remember
right, these two had the exact same match with the exact same ending
whenever they last did this match. I’m
completely over Monster’s Ball as it’s nothing interesting anymore
and is just the same weapons spots with the same guy (as Josh said,
Abyss has been in 95% of the Monster’s Ball matches. Even if that’s
not true, it certainly seems like it). It
was passable, but by this point there’s nothing interesting in these
things.
Storm
is mad at Abyss for losing. I really hope they’re not teasing a
split already.
Matt
says he’ll always have his brother’s back.
We
recap the fourway being set up.
Aries
appreciates Lashley being a fighting champion and implies he’s
cashing in if he loses.
Rockstar
Spud/Mandrews vs. Ethan Carter III/Tyrus
Yes
his name is Mandrews because there are no British wrestlers who
aren’t skinny guys with
bleached blond hair. Carter comes out and says the request for this
match is denied. However, they have a replacement.
Rockstar
Spud/Mandrews vs. BroMans
Yes
his name is still Mandrews because wrestling names make my soul hurt.
The BroMans jump Andrews to
start and plant him face first, drawing in Spud so the BroMans can
hit a double knee to the head. Robbie
charges into a boot in the corner and the hot tag brings in Spud for
some kicks to the leg and punches to the jaw. A
double crotch claw has the BroMans in trouble and he takes off the
bowtie, setting up a Dudley Dog on Robbie and a Shooting Star from
Andrews is good for the pin at 2:39.
Robbie
jumps Spud post match and sets up Andrews/Spud vs. Tyrus in a cage
next week.
After
a break Spud goes on a rampage about how he’s going to get Ethan
because he isn’t a loser.
The
announcers preview Lockdown.
TNA
World Title: Lashley vs. Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode vs. MVP
Lashley
is defending and this is one fall to a finish. MVP bails to the
floor but Roode and Aries force him back inside. He realizes what
that means and tries to fight Lashley, only to get punched by all
three guys. Everyone pairs off with Lashley stomping Roode in the
corner but Roode comes back with a Blockbuster. He gets to his feet
and eats Aries’ missile dropkick but Roode sends Austin to the floor.
MVP goes after Roode’s knee but charges into a spinebuster to leave
Roode as the only man standing as we take a break.
Back
with Lashley powerslamming Roode for two with Aries making another
save. Lashley powers out of a brainbuster attempt but gets low
bridged out to the floor, setting up Aries’ suicide dive. MVP
hits his running boot to Roode’s jaw, followed by an exploder suplex
for two. Here’s a sign of things changing in TNA: Taz
started stumbling over all the three letter names involved in the
match (it happens), made a quick joke about it, and got right back to
commentary. If this was still he and Tenay, they would still be
making fun of it ten minutes later.
The Ballin
Elbow gets two on Roode but Lashley comes back in with a Dominator to
MVP, sending him to the floor. Aries nails a top rope ax handle to
deck MVP again before Roode puts MVP in the Crossface. This time
it’s the champ making the save and a Tower of Doom sends everyone not
named MVP down. Cue Eric Young with a chair to Roode, leaving Aries
to counter the spear into the Last Chancery. MVP breaks it up but
gets sent to the floor with a discus forearm. Aries loads up a dive
but gets speared in half to retain Lashley’s title at 13:11.
Rating:
B-. Fun match here but I would
have liked to see it go on longer. Lashley retaining here is a good
sign as they’re clearly going with Lashley vs. the BDC for the next
few weeks if not months and that should have some interesting
stories. I’m still not as high on MVP as a lot of people are but he
did fine here. As usual, Aries stole the show.
The
BDC and Young (again, why is he not a member?) comes in post match
but Angle and Gunner make the save.
After
a break, everyone is still at ringside. Roode challenges Young to a
cage match next week and the challenge is accepted because Roode
wants to make him bleed. Aries comes in with his briefcase and says
he should be on Team Angle next week. Angle accepts and now it’s
Lashley’s turn. Kurt asks him to join the team so
he doesn’t have to deal with MVP for the rest of his career. Lashley
turns him down and walks away to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
B. I really liked the
show this week, even though they had to fly through everything to set
up Lockdown in a hurry. The
wrestling, when it actually happened, was good for the most part and
they kept things moving fast. This was about setting up stuff for
the future and they accomplished that quite well, with some decent
wrestling to go with it. Solid
show this week and their best since they’ve been on Destination
America.
Results
Taryn
Terrell b. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne – RKO to Rayne
Jeff
Hardy b. Abyss – Swanton Bomb
Rockstar
Spud/Mandrews b. BroMans
Lashley
b. Bobby Roode, Austin Aries and MVP – Spear to Aries
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

New Japan Pro Wrestling: Road To The New Beginning 01/30/2015

This is the first of back to back spot shows to start The New Beginnings Tour. New Japan is slowly adding shows here and there. Because this is essentially a House Show, there are no commentators and they’re only using 1 Hard Camera. It’s a very stark production contrast to the big PPV’s.

Also, for those few that asked me on Twitter, I will get around to reviewing the two NJPW vs CMLL FantasticaMania shows. Lucha isn’t really my thing but I figured I’ll do them for completist sake as I’d like to give you insight into everything offered on New Japan World.



This is taking place at the Tokorozawa City Gym. Maybe 800 people in the house?



Alex Shelley vs Jay White
This is White’s first match for New Japan. He’s a 2 year pro and wrestled primarily out of the UK. He’s playing the Young Lion (rookie working from the bottom) role here with the plain black trunks. Shelley’s the right opponent to make him look good in his debut, as he sells well and knows when to let his opponent take control. White’s fiery, works the crowd well, and is technically sound. It’ll be enjoyable to see his progress. *½



Yohei Komatsu vs Kyle O’Reilly
Komatsu is one of the top 2 Young Lions in the company, along with partner and rival Sho Tanaka. He’s a 27 year old, 2 year pro who came through the Dojo system. O’Reilly is ½ of ReDragon with Bobby Fish and ½ of the ROH Tag Champs and NJPW Jr. Tag Champs. I highly recommend tracking down his work. His creative fusion of Shoot & Pro style is truly something to behold. While Shelley gave White plenty of offense, this match is worked with O’Reilly doling out punishment and Komatsu showing he has the Fighting Spirit to take it and keep pushing through. Komatsu had a bit of an off night as he mistimed a couple of spots, detracting from the flow of the match. This was otherwise solid. **¼



Mascara Dorada & KUSHIDA vs The Young Bucks
This is my first look at Dorada. I rarely dip my feet in the Lucha pool. I only know he’s been in the business for around 10 years and worked CMLL before coming to New Japan. KUSHIDA is one of my favourite Junior workers. He typically teams with Alex Shelly in The Time Splitters. The Bucks are my outright favourite Tag Team in any company right now (though Cesaro & Tyson Kidd are creeping up there). The Bucks, Time Splitters, and ReDragon are in a 3 way Jr Tag Title match at the New Beginning In Osaka PPV on 02/11 so this is to further that along. The Bucks do what they do best as they work a fast paced style with creative spots. They’re especially heelish in this one, mocking the Japanese girls for chanting Dorada’s name. Dorada is everything I dislike about Lucha as his work is overly contrived with excessive movement before actually hitting his offense. He works a blistering style though. The match is US Face In Peril formula with a hot Face start, FiP, and then hot tag finish. Sadly short and cookie cutter for such high level talent. *½



Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Jushin “Thunder” Lyger vs Captain New Japan & Tiger Mask IV & Manabu Nakanishi
Six Man Tags with aging veterans is commonplace on Japanese spot shows. If this had taken place 15 years ago, it could have semi main evented. Now it gives the crowd something fun to watch for a few minutes. The match is slow and plodding. Not a surprise when the average age of the workers is 45. Most of it is worked for comedy. The crowd loves to chant along with trademark spots like Kojima’s Machine Gun Chops (a tribute to Kenta Kobashi) and Nakanishi’s chanting Lariat. Odd to see Lyger and TMIV on opposing sides, as they’re usually partners. *½



Yugi Nagata & Togi Makabe & Tetsuya Naito & Tomoaki Honma vs Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano & Yoshi Hashi
This match is meant to lay the groundwork for a few stories leading up to the big shows of the tour on 02/11 & 02/15 respectively. The 02/11 card has Nagata/Makbe/Naito vs Nakamura/Ishii/Hashi. The 02/15 card has Ishii getting his rematch with Makabe for the NEVER Open Weight Title that he lost at Wrestle Kingdom 9 (01/04/2015 ****¼) and Nagata challenging Nakamura for the Intercontinental Title. Nagata & Nakamura’s exchanges throughout the match were frankly sloppy. This is exactly why you work these kind of spot shows leading to the big singles match though. They’ve got to work the kinks out. Makabe & Ishii work what is now their customary stiff exchanges. I’m always left at a loss as to how these guys hit each other so hard without serious injury. The other 4 participants are entirely inconsequential. **¾



Kazuchika Okada & Gedo vs Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi
This is a continuation of the stable feud between CHAOS and The Bullet Club. Fale scored a clean pinfall on Okada at the 01/05 show (think of it as the Raw after Wrestlemania). CHAOS vs Bullet Club will have tag matches on 02/11 & 02/15 with Okada vs Fale being the underlying theme. The match has an odd dynamic. CHAOS as a stable are more heelish, though not strictly heels per se. The Bullet Club however, are concretely portrayed as heels. As such, you get guys like Gedo, who’s annoying beyond words most often (though a fantastic Head Booker), working as Face In Peril while Okada is pounding Turnbuckles to build the crowd up. This is the first match the crowd was really into from the get go. They absolutely love Okada. The Fale vs Okada story will play out for a while as they aren’t booked in a singles match on this tour. ***



Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata & Ryusuke Taguchi vs Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson & Tama Tonga & Kenny Omega
This match is more about continuing feuds than starting new ones. Goto & Shibata ended Gallows & Anderson’s 1 year Tag Title reign at Wrestle Kingdom 9 (01/04/2015 ***½). Omega defeated Taguchi to win the IWGP Jr. Title on the same card. I’m a bit surprised to see AJ Styles wasn’t in this match. He lost the IWGP Heavyweight Title to Tanahashi at the King Of Pro-Wrestling PPV (10/13/2014 ****). Styles scored a pinfall over Tanahashi on 01/05 in an 8 Man Tag match, setting up their Title rematch at the New Beginning PPV on 02/15. Taguchi’s resemblance to the late Eddie Guerrero in this match is staggering. The tights, build (he’s really starting to get a hard body), moustache and now shorter haircut just scream Guerrero. This was a fast paced, hard hitting, but entirely forgettable match. While Styles wasn’t there, the story with Tanahashi is furthered through his work in the match. It’s actually a bit of a “WHOA” moment and instantly elevates your interest in their title match. A hot crowd made this match all the better. ***



Final Thoughts: It’s pretty much what you’d expect from any House Show. The matches were solid. The bigger matches all moved stories and feuds forward to the big shows in mid February. I’ll be back with thoughts on the 02/01 Korakuen Hall show soon.

Question/comments are always welcome. You can also find my thoughts on various random matches that cross my path on Twitter at @NagataLockII.

This Week in 90’s Wrestling: January 25th-31st

From Place to be Nation this feature chronicles all of the happenings in the world of professional wrestling during the 1990’s.

Highlights from this week include:

Halftime Heat Empty Arena Match between Rock and Mankind
Coin Toss Between Bret Hart and Lex Luger, with the winner facing Yokozuna first at WrestleMania X
First Vignette Hyping the Debut of Mankind
Clash of the Champions XIV

And many more matches and interviews.

Click on the link below and give it a view.

http://placetobenation.com/this-week-in-90s-wrestling-january-25th-31st-3/

RAWlternative, an independent wrestling marathon, replays tonight


Hey Scott,


With no Raw tonight, indy promoter Drew Cordeiro is re-running a marathon he produced last week called RAWlternative, featuring 13 matches from different North American promotions in 2014. The marathon features Kevin Steen, Young Bucks, Brian Kendrick, Chris Hero, Eddie Edwards, and a ton of others, and it runs for free via YouTube


With no Raw, I figured some BODers would wanna check out something that delivers in the goodness department.

Impact Wrestling – January 23, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
January 23, 2015
Location:
Manhattan Center, New York City, New York
Commentators:
Tazz, Josh Matthews
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The
big story tonight is Feast or Fired, TNA’s big Money in the Bank
style match with three potential title shots up for grabs, plus a
lone pink slip. This is usually a huge mess but the fallout can
change a lot of things going forward. The other situation is the
Beat Down Clan walking off with Lashley’s World Title. Let’s get to
it.

Feast
or Fired
Davey
Richards, Eddie Edwards, Samuel Shaw, Magnus, Bram, Rockstar Spud,
Austin Aries, Robbie E., Jesse Godderz, DJZ, Gunner, Crazzy Steve
It’s
a ladder match with briefcases hanging over every corner. Only four
people win and everyone else walks away with nothing, which isn’t the
worst outcome. The lights are very low again, likely covering up the
low attendance. Again, this is in New York City. There really
shouldn’t be an excuse to not draw a thousand people to a wrestling
show, assuming the tickets aren’t outrageous.
The
match is a huge brawl to start and Steve goes for an early briefcase,
only to have Velvet Sky offer a distraction to break it up. She
winds up going up and getting a case for Robbie, meaning he gets to
leave early. Steve chases Robbie and the Beautiful People off to
clear out the ring a bit. Spud goes up but isn’t tall enough to grab
the case. Everyone but Shaw and Spud fight to the floor but Gunner
pops back in to crotch Shaw. Aries dropkicks Gunner in the back of
the head, only to be sent to the floor by Spud. Using Gunner as a
platform, Spud climbs up and pulls down a case.
Robbie
E. knocks Aries down again but stops to get a kiss from Angelina,
allowing the Wolves to kick him down. The Wolves load up a dive but
stop due to an Angelina distraction. Aries has the ring to himself
and takes down the third briefcase, THEN hits the dive to take
everyone out. Bram and Gunner get back in for a brawl on the pole
but it’s Magnus powerbombing both guys down, leaving Magnus to take
down the last case at 7:41. Bram isn’t pleased with Magnus taking
the case.
Rating:
D+. I’m sorry for all the play
by play in this but there’s almost nothing else to do in one of these
things. It’s almost all about the aftermath and if you’re lucky
enough to get something fun in the middle like Spud climbing up onto
Shaw’s back then so be it. There just wasn’t much to see here but
there rarely is in Feast or Fired.
Lashley
is coming to the ring.
Magnus
says the pressure is on with the case when Bram comes up and says
that was his. Magnus isn’t impressed and says calm down because he
got Bram his job here. Security has to break them up. You knew this
split was coming eventually and it makes perfect sense.
We
look back at the BDC beating Lashley down and leaving with the title
last week.
A
bandaged Lashley calls out the Beat Down Clan to bring him his title.
He gets Kenny King minus the belt, who says Lashley is too
ungrateful to make it in the BDC. Lashley couldn’t beat Roode
without the BDC, where everyone is a potential World Champion.
Without blinking, Lashley still wants his title. King says get a
referee out here but doesn’t want to wrestle in front of a bunch of
people who won’t appreciate him. Cue the BDC to surround the ring
for the match.
Kenny
King vs. Lashley
Non-title
and Lashley is wrestling in an American Top Team (his MMA team)
shirt. King hammers away in the corner to start but Lashley throws
him down with a delayed vertical suplex and takes off the shirt.
Kenny misses a springboard and gets speared down, drawing in the BDC
for the DQ at 2:37.
MVP
says if Lashley wants his title, come get it in the streets.
Havok
vs. Gail Kim
Gail
jumps her in the aisle to start and hits a nice cross body off the
apron. They head inside for the bell with Havok taking her down in
the corner and driving forearms in the corner. Some kicks don’t get
Kim anywhere and a bearhug spinebuster gets two for Havok. A hard
running knee to the face knocks Gail silly and she’s holding her eye.
The announcers say this is a message to Awesome Kong, which would be
better than Havok’s current resume. The referee calls Havok off but
gets shoved down, drawing the DQ at 4:06. Total destruction
otherwise.
Rating:
C-. Well they accomplished the
goal of making Havok look like a monster, but I’m still not
interested in seeing her vs. Kong. At the end of the day, Havok has
only been around a few months and probably lost almost as many
matches as she has won. It just doesn’t add up to the year plus of
dominance for Kong.
Post
match Havok grabs Kim by the throat but here’s Kong for the showdown.
Havok’s forearm has no effect and Kong clotheslines her to the
floor.
We
recap Ethan Carter III challenging Jeremy Borash to fight him last
week.
Tigre
Uno vs. Khoya
This
is Khoya’s debut as part of the Revolution. Tigre kicks at the legs
to start, drawing Storm up to the apron to slap him in the face. It
fires Khoya up to hit a bad looking fall away slam, followed by a Sky
High for the pin at 1:04.
Storm
says he’ll be facing Matt Hardy tonight and he’s stronger than any
demon Jeff has ever faced. He’s stronger than any pill Jeff has
taken and any bottle he’s ever drank. There’s always room for one
more in the Revolution. That’s quite the promo.
Roode
comes in to see Angle and says he doesn’t care about their tag match
tonight because he wants Eric Young one on one. Angle says Roode has
to focus to win the title back, because if he goes in alone, he’s
going to lose. I’m having a hard time getting behind the idea of
Roode vs. Young again when Young beat him in the big showdown last
week. But hey, why build to a match when you can have it with no
build, right TNA?
We
recap Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode with Josh saying they’ve been best
friends for twelve years. That’s some creative history to put it
mildly.
Very
quick recap of Feast or Fired.
Spud
says he used to be a gopher and now he feels like he’s moved forward
in his career. Even if he’s fired, he’s going to punch Ethan Carter
right in the face, but it’s worth the gamble.
Eric
Young/Low Ki vs. Kurt Angle/Bobby Roode
Angle
and Low Ki get things going in a match that might never have taken
place before. Ki gets taken down to the match and it’s off to Roode
vs. Young. Josh tries to figure out the relationship between Young
and the BDC, asking the same question I’ve had: if he has the same
enemies and associates and teams with the BDC, why don’t they just
add him to the team? Low Ki comes back in and hammers away in the
corner for two but gets caught in a superplex, allowing for the hot
tag to Angle.
Everything
breaks down and the Angle Slam plants Low Ki, setting up the ankle
lock but Eric makes the save. Roode puts Low Ki in the crossface but
Angle brings in a chair. Joe and MVP come out on the stage for a
staredown, allowing Roode to break up the hold with another chair,
giving Low Ki the pin at 5:11. Our heroes ladies and gentlemen.
Rating:
D. This didn’t have time to go
anywhere because we have to get 194 other things in on every episode.
However, the faces lose again because that’s what happens in TNA.
It’s the same story we’ve gone through time after time now, leading
up to what is probably going to be a long, drawn out story of the
faces being downtrodden until someone rises up to win a single big
match, leading to the heel stable implode over several months. How
do I know this? Well seeing it a dozen or so times with almost
nothing changes gives you a good idea.
MVP
is outside the arena on the street, telling Lashley to come and get
his title.
We
recap Rockstar Spud splitting from Ethan Carter III and Jeremy Borash
being dragged into it by saying he supports Spud.
Ethan
Carter III vs. Jeremy Borash
Carter
introduces himself because he’s fighting the announcer. JB comes out
with Spud and shakes hands with Mark Andrews, the winner of British
Boot Camp 2. Carter still has the mic in his hand and does
commentary for the match. Borash finally shoves him away and takes
the mic. The fans like to tell Carter that he can’t wrestle, but he
can’t announce either.
Borash
actually nails Carter in the jaw and knocks him into the corner, only
to get taken down with a tackle. The beating is on but Carter yells
at Spud, drawing in both Spud and Tyrus with the big man dropping him
with a heart punch. Andrews comes in with a springboard dropkick as
the match is thrown out at about 2:00.
A
double dropkick puts Tyrus on the floor and Andrews hits a nice
shooting star to take everyone out.
Matt
Hardy vs. James Storm
Matt
hits a quick running clothesline in the corner to start and they’re
quickly on the ramp. Hardy stays on offense by sending Storm into
the steps over and over, followed by an elbow from the apron to the
back. Back in and Storm puts him on the middle rope for a
Backstabber (now called the Lung Blower) to take over. A quick Side
Effect gets two for Hardy as the darkness over the crowd is even more
noticeable than before. The people there are making noise but the
visual is horrible. Closing Time sets up the Last Call but Matt
ducks and counters the Eye of the Storm into a small package for the
pin at 5:17.
Rating:
D+. This really didn’t do
anything for me and felt like they were just doing moves to each
other until one of them won. I’m really not caring to see Hardys vs.
Revolution, but then again I’m not wild on Storm as a Tag Team
Champion again. At least
it’s better than some of the stupid teams they could have had.
Post
match Hardy turns down a handshake offer, drawing in Abyss to help
Storm hit a Last Call. Abyss gets out Janice but Jeff Hardy makes
the save with a chair. Jeff
challenges Abyss for Monster’s Ball next week. Again?
A
preview for next week shows Lashley with the title in a pretty big
spoiler.
Samoa
Joe comes up to MVP on the street but MVP says he has this.
It’s
time for the reveal of the briefcases. There’s
a World, Tag Team and X-Division Title match and a pink slip. Robbie
E. has a camera on a stick to record himself and Velvet Sky’s every
move. Rockstar Spud goes first and
has…..an X-Division Title
shot. Magnus’ case
contains…..a Tag Team
Title shot. So it’s Robbie
E. or Austin Aries with the pink slip or World Title shot.
Back
from a break with Aries getting in a Stuart Scott reference by saying
he feels as cool as the other side of the pillow. Robbie points out
that Velvet Sky grabbed the case and has the footage to prove it. In
other words, the case belongs to her.
As luck would have it, Velvet is the one getting fired, meaning
Aries gets the World Title shot. Robbie
gets on the table and dances, shouting that he still has a job,
leaving Velvet in tears.
Lashley
goes outside and beats up MVP on the street. MVP punches him back
and they head inside, likely to avoid getting arrested. The rest of
the BDC jumps Lashley and beat him back outside until Roode and Angle
make the save with a pipe. Roode
picks up the belt and stares at it to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C-. This show goes by
so fast that it’s hard to tell if it’s good or not. They keep it
moving so fast that it’s almost impossible to remember everything
that happens, but as usual they’re flying through almost everything
they have in a week or two. It’s
not a bad show, but they really need to slow down instead of just
burning through everything they have. For instance, Lockdown is in
two weeks and while you can see most of the card coming from here,
the show hasn’t even been mentioned yet because we have to get
everything else in. Decent
enough show this week but it’s typical TNA.
Results
Magnus,
Rockstar Spud, Austin Aries and Robbie E. won Feast or Fired
Lashley
b. Kenny King via DQ when the BDC interfered
Gail
Kim b. Havok via DQ when Havok shoved the referee
Khoya
b. Tigre Uno – Sky High
Eric
Young/Low Ki b. Kurt Angle/Bobby Roode – Ki pinned Roode after a
chair shot from Young
Ethan
Carter III vs. Jeremy Borash went to a no contest
Matt
Hardy b. James Storm – Small package
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

WWF Superstars of Wrestling March 7th, 1987

March 7, 1987


From the Coliseum in New Haven, CT

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse Ventura, and Vince McMahon.

In action tonight will be the Junkyard Dog, Ricky Steamboat, and the Hart Foundation. Plus, an appearance by Andre the Giant and another “WrestleMania Report.”

Mary Hart tells us that she is ready for her timekeeper’s role at WrestleMania III and promises to have a lot of fun. This was fine and like Bob Uecker, she was a good sport in these segments.

Pete Doherty vs. Junkyard Dog

JYD starts by hitting Doherty with a backdrop. Slam gets two. JYD no-sells some punches to the head then tosses Doherty around. The match briefly goes back and forth until JYD catches him with a powerslam for the win (2:27).

Thoughts: This match felt like it lasted for an hour. JYD moved around slower than any other time in his WWF run at this point. JYD’s act is starting to die down a bit with the crowds too.



WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s focus is on the WrestleMania III match between Jake Roberts and the Honky Tonk Man. Roberts is shown sitting on a couch with Alice Cooper cutting a promo on Honky, with Cooper saying that they are not imitations, like Honky and Jimmy Hart. Jake was great, Cooper was passable here. He did not appear as enthused as the other celebrities.

Replay of Adrian Adonis accidentally cutting the hair of Brutus Beefcake from their match last week.

Demolition w/ Johnny V. vs. Mike Lucca & Tommy Sharpe

Demolition came out to theme music for the first time. This was the theme they would use for their run in the company. Johnny V. is shown in an insert promo saying that Beefcake is alright as Vince says how he would be pissed if he was Beefcake. Both guys take turns destroying Sharpe. Lucca tags in and gets tossed outside where Smash tosses him into the guardrail. Ax then comes out and slams Lucca to the mat. Back inside, Ax tags and slingshots Lucca as Smash clotheslines him down then covers for the win (1:45). That finished looked awful as it was quite mistimed.

Thoughts: Demolition looked awesome except for their finisher, which was terrible. Thank god they stuck with the Decapitation. And the music really made their entrance special, IMO.



Okerlund is with Adrian Adonis and Hercules to hype up the elimination match in Boston. Heenan makes fun of Piper by saying he will be parking cars in Hollywood as the other two cut basic promos about their opponents. Those elimination matches at house shows were fun.

Bob Uecker and Mary Hart are backstage doing a comedy bit about how they are going to date each other. The end had Uecker buy a fur coat for Mary to wear then gets reminded by her that the show is held indoors. Not bad at all.

Terry Gibbs vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Gibbs rakes the eyes of Steamboat then hammers away. Randy Savage is shown in an insert promo telling us how George Steele will be a non-factor in their match and that he get the win. Steamboat takes control of the match by working the arm. He then hits an armdrag after an Irish whip sequence as Jesse is on commentary saying that Steamboat should retire. Steamboat slams Gibbs before going back to the arm. Gibbs tosses Steamboat over the ropes then stands there like an idiot as Steamboat skins-the-cat back into the ring before punching him in the face. Steamboat gets booted after ducking his head as Gibbs climbs up top and misses an attack. Steamboat then hits a pair of dropkicks before hitting a flying body press for the win (3:27).

Thoughts: Okay-ish action. For some reason, these two did not have good chemistry in the ring. The main point of this though was the announcers putting over the importance of Steamboat/Savage at WrestleMania III with Jesse talking about how he should retire as this match might end his career, leaving doubt in the fans minds that he has a shot in this match and even suggesting it might end his career.



Okerlund is with Uecker as they talk about the midget match. Uecker said he wants to see this match and that he loves the “little beaver” as Gene quipped how he got the impression he did. Gene then asked if he knew him personally as Uecker said not yet then they both laughed before we get shown the places to watch on closed-circuit TV. Hilarious stuff as these two were clearly enjoying themselves. Fun to see that happen instead of reading scripted junk that lacks passion.

Now, Okerlund is with Bob Orton & Don Muraco. He asks them about the Can-Am Connection as Orton said they are now a machine after working together for several months. Muraco talks about how everyone will be excited in a rather tame promo.

A Hacksaw Jim Duggan vignette is shown of him getting out of his truck calling out Nikolai Volkoff and how this is his America as he bangs a 2×4 against the bed of the truck. This vignette was not very impressive but this character was different from his most-known persona as here he was more of an “everyman” while the other was more gimmicky with the 2×4 and catchphrases.

Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff w/ Slick vs. S.D. Jones & Brad Rheingans

Sheik and Rheingans start off the match going back and forth. Rheingans gets two off of a suplex as the Killer Bees are shown in an insert promo using all sorts of lame bee puns to hype their match at WrestleMania III. Sheik takes control of the match then tags Volkoff as Jesse talks about Rheingans amateur wrestling background. Rheingans dodges an attack and tags Jones, who knocks down Volkoff with a headbutt. He then hits an atomic drop but misses a charge in the corner. Volkoff then hits a backbreaker before tagging Sheik, who gets the win with a Camel Clutch (3:05).

Thoughts: Dull and the parts with Volkoff and S.D. going at it were abysmal. Rheingans did a few house show matches (mostly openers) and TV jobs in his brief WWF run.



Piper’s Pit with guests Andre the Giant and Bobby Heenan, who was uninvited. Heenan tells Piper that he talks to him as he handles all of Andre’s matters. Heenan then accuses Piper, the fans, and Hogan of “using” Andre as Capt. Lou Albano comes out to plead with Andre, asking him why he has let down his fans and disgraced his family by aligning with Heenan. Albano then said that he hopes Hulk “whips his butt” as Andre then chases Albano off of the set. The camera then zooms in on Andre’s face as the segment ends, with Andre just starring angrily at the fans. Another good segment that established how Andre was unable to be swayed to leave Heenan and has officially turned his back on the fans.

Another replay of the contract signing between Hogan and Andre. Again, great stuff.

Jim Powers & Jerry Allen vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis

The fans hated the Hart Foundation here. Match starts with Brett booting down Powers as Davis cuts an insert promo on his opponents for WrestleMania III. Neidhart is now in as he slams Allen before tossing him into the corner. The Hart Foundation then use quick tags to isolate Allen until they put him away with the Hart Attack (1:48).

Thoughts: The Hart Foundation looked great here in the ring and were firing on all cylinders at this time.



Okerlund is now with Hogan and Piper as the hype up the elimination match in Boston. They are all friendly with each other and both seem high as a kite. This promo is all kinds of wonderful as they run down their opponents. I have included it below for all of you to see for yourselves. Pure 80’s WWF insanity here.

Next week in action will be the Killer Bees, Hercules, and Randy Savage. Plus, “Piper’s Pit” with guest Hulk Hogan and another WrestleMania Report.

Final Thoughts: Although not as memorable as the past several weeks, this was still a solid show. WrestleMania III has been promoted brilliantly and the top feuds are still going strong, making this time period must-see TV for wrestling fans.




Guest Post: Sports Review Wrestling PREDICTIONS!

Sports Review Wrestling Predictions into 1998…What They Were And Why They Weren’t As Ridiculous As You Might Think. Took some inspiration from the ongoing WWF Magazine recaps on the BOD, and remembered that I had this in my possession (not for long…as of this writing you can purchase it from my eBay store at jmfabianorpl, with other wrestling goods and more!  Jeter421 on Half.com has even more great items.  Anyway…) http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NjQwWDQ4MA==/z/zPUAAOSw~uhUmvC8/$_57.JPG Back when I started being a wrestling fan, I had to have EVERYTHING related to the sport.  The action figures, the books, videos, I had to be around when anything even resembling wrestling was on television and I watched it ALL.  And of course, there were the magazines.  Like others, I started with the WWF Magazine, but then as I discovered other companies on TV, I took notice of other titles on the newsstand…especially those coming from Bill Apter and “TV Sports.”  Yes, the trinity of The Wrestler, Inside Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling Illustrated especially…though I liked many of Apter’s side publications such as Wrestling ‘8x/’9x, Wrestling Superstars, and why I am here today, Sports Review Wrestling.   SRW really didn’t have anything that jumped out at you like the other Apter mags did…for example, Inside’s strengths included One on One (a phone conversation between rivals); Top 15 rankings, instead of the usual 10, for the major companies and a roll call of champions; and a “Where are they now?” page.  PWI had arena reports, “breaking” news, and full-color centerfolds.  SRW seemed to mostly be straight news most of the time.  Wrestling Superstars, while one of the B-listers, still had monthly dream matches, complete with storylines (such as a masked Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake assaulting Sting and Davey Boy Smith; El Gigante taking Andre the Giant’s mainstream popularity, causing the latter to get in bodybuilder’s shape for one big blowout; and the Road Warriors having a singles match competition for a car, ending inevitably in them facing each other).  However, more often than not, the other magazines would get something interesting, and the September 1988 SRW was no exception, as you can tell from the cover.  For this issue, the writers would attempt to guess what way the wrestling world would go in the next 10 years.  I am a sucker for this kind of thing, and love revisiting the fans’ predictions in the year-end PWIs.  So I had to have a look at this article and some of the things it foresaw.  I expected far-fetched weirdness and got some, but I must tell you…some of SRW’s predictions actually weren’t as far off from the truth as you may think… C:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8209.JPG So, we start out with the bold prediction that a major corporation would take over the NWA by 1993, helping it compete with the WWF and even surpass it.  Coca-Cola (which would have lost Columbia Pictures years ago) and MCA (which would lose Universal in a couple of years) are named…BUT…we know how things really went down.  As the NWA would be purchased by Ted Turner, rebrand itself WCW, and would of course become a part of Time Warner eventually.  Now the article is 5 years off with the year of the purchase, which would actually be coming within months.   However, think about this: 1993 was when Eric Bischoff came to power, and though it took some more time, he would be the one in power when WCW did overtake the WWF.  And hey, the article is off by just one year as far as when that really happened.  You could even stretch things and say 1995 was the debut of Nitro, which was a catalyst in WCW becoming number one.   Next prediction involves “Sean” McMahon, Vince’s son (typo?  Misinformation?  DIDN’T KNOW BUT CAME REALLY, CLAIRVOYANTLY CLOSE?!!?), taking over the WWF by 1997.  Either that or you can say another Sean (or Shawn) was practically family with Vince by then, of course, being favored in the Montreal Screwjob and pretty much being allowed to get away with anything and, well, practically running the joint.  Name play aside, the dates again are still not that far off, and competition with WCW would indeed push the WWF harder, all the way into the Attitude Era, as the prediction states.  As for the prime-time comedy-drama, isn’t that one of the things they insist/insisted Raw and Smackdown are?  Then again, the XFL was pretty unintentionally comedic…but that was years off anyway.  This column also predicts that “Sean” will make WrestleMania 14 the first to be held in outer space…yeah, let’s pretend that SRW was actually seeing Steve Austin beginning the company’s rise into the stratosphere for the next 3 years.   C:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8407.JPG C:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8211.JPG OK bear with the blurriness here.  We have Michael Jackson signing a 10-year contract with the WWF in 1992 after doing an album of standards with Frank Sinatra.  MJ would be getting $50 million and by 1994 would primarily serve as a manager who loads his sequined glove to pass to his wrestlers.   I could simply say “no, but both would be dealing with PR scandals at the time.”   The Road Warriors were predicted to break up in 1990 and become singles wrestlers, only to feud when both Animal and Hawk wanted Paul Ellering for a manager.  They would have a one-on-one match at Great American Bash ’91 or Starrcade ’91 and cripple each other, ending both their careers, so the article said.  Now, any LOD partings in the ‘90s happened with whimpers (their split in 1992 when Hawk left the WWF; the teased feud in 1998 that was abandoned for the formation of LOD 2000…sup, Russo?).  Interestingly enough, Bash ’91 did feature a grudge match between the former members of a long-standing NWA/WCW tag team in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Express.  And Starrcade of that year ended with a confrontation with ex-friends Sting and Lex Luger, in the Battlebowl finals.   Steve DiSalvo will be NWA world champion in 1993, managed by Harley Race, and he’ll run rampant until losing the title to Owen Hart in ’94.  The closest level of infamy DiSalvo achieved was becoming the first, or one of the first, IWC internet memes in 1991.  But a dominant world champion in NWA/WCW, managed by Race and dominating throughout 1992-94, sound familiar?   Also, Owen DID use the Sharpshooter/Scorpion Death Lock as a finisher, like someone’s arch rival during his tenure in WCW.   C:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8408.JPGC:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8214.JPG When making a predictions article, Apter always loved to throw in a tease that Hulk Hogan would be turning rulebreaker.  This was no exception, as the writers saw Hogan beating Brutus Beefcake for the Intercontinental Title in ’93, then going to the NWA…to join the Four Horsemen.  Again, SRW was a few years ahead, but we all know that this basically happened with Hogan returning to his heel roots with a new elite group in the company.  And hey, Hogan did leave the WWF in 1993, although it took time for him to first show up in WCW.   Other predictions made in the column included: Larry Zbyszko getting his own talk show on WWF TV and beating the Ultimate Warrior for the I-C title; Elizabeth beating Wendi Richter in a 26-minute classic in ’94 to become WWF Women’s Champion; and Nick Bockwinkel coming out of retirement and regaining the AWA title in the mid ‘90s.  (Well, the latter can be likened to a certain legend winning the #3 company’s world title, on their first pay per view…) So Sports Review Wrestling…second coming of Nostradamus, or not worth the $1.75 it cost?  You decide…

This Week in 90’s Wrestling: January 18th-24th

From Place to be Nation, here is all the happenings in the world of professional wrestling in the 1990’s from January 18th-24th. Highlights include:

Various Royal Rumble PPV’s
Various Clash of the Champions Shows
WCW 1998 Souled Out PPV
Ric Flair’s promo against Hulk Hogan from the 1/21/99 edition of WCW Thunder
Bret Hart appearing on Shawn Michael’s “Heartbreak Hotel” Segment

Plus all sorts of great matches from Japan and Mexico. Click on the link below to read and see everything that happened this week in the 1990’s world of professional wrestling.

http://placetobenation.com/this-week-in-90s-wrestling-january-18th-january-24th/