NJPW 2012 10 08 King of Pro Wrestling

Your random great match of the day:  Tanahashi v. Suzuki from the October 2012 NJPW PPV.  What a brutal and great match.  Tanahashi looks and acts like a rock star and Suzuki is this grizzled tough guy and it’s such an awesome dynamic, especially with Suzuki just beating the hell out of Tanahashi with everything he has, and the supposed pretty boy champion coming back with shots to the leg.  Plus there’s this awesome spot where Tanahashi puts him into an abdominal stretch and plays air guitar on him, and Suzuki has a supremely pissed off look and proceeds to just slap the shit out of him.  30 minutes just flies by, an easy ***** match.

Christmas in Wrestling

Hi Scott,

As the Christmas Season is getting close, a quick question for you and the BoD, of all the Christmas themed shows, wrestlers, matches and moments we've had through the years. Which were you favourites?
 
Personally i always love the WWE's backstage Christmas Parties, paticularly the 2001 one where they had 2 parties a face & a heel one.

The only ones that even come to mind for me are Shawn Michaels laying down for HHH in 97 to give him the European title, and then Steve Austin beating up Santa Claus in 98.  

WWF Championship Wrestling 6/9/84

June 9, 1984
Mean Gene is our host tonight. Vince is not here for the next three shows as his father passed away two days prior to the tapings. He tells us that this week’s featured matches are Tony Garea vs. Paul Orndorff and Terry Daniels vs. Iron Sheik.

Tony Garea vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Gene welcomes Lord Alfred Hayes on commentary. As bad as he was, he has nothing on Okerlund in terms of sucking. Orndorff starts by yelling at the ref and taking off his coat slowly, which irritates the crowd. They do some matwork to start things off. Garea ducks a clothesline and hits an atomic drop then works on the arm. Orndorff knees down Garea but misses an elbow drop. Garea goes back to the arm and Orndorff breaks but misses a charge in the corner. Dropkick by Garea and he gets Orndorff in a small package but that is reversed and Orndorff gets the win (5:42)
Thoughts: There was no reason for Orndorff to sell this much for Garea. Speaking of Garea, I have no idea why they tried to protect him in defeat. Hell, they protected Garea better here than they do 85% of the roster today. Orndorff should have destroyed this clown with a piledriver in under three minutes.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. This week’s spotlight is on Tito Santana as we see a clip of him giving Charlie Fulton a flying forearm. They then show a photo of Tito with some kid in Pennsylvania who won a contest that allowed him to have lunch with his favorite WWF superstar. I have to say, this was lame, even for 1984 standards.
Okerlund is on the Piper’s Pit set. The studio is empty as he warns us about what we are about to see. They show us Piper’s Pit with Jimmy Snuka as the guest. This was filmed a few months before it was aired on WWF TV. Piper tells Snuka that he wants to make him feel like he is at home then proceeds to give Sunka a pineapple, coconut, and a banana. Piper then apologizes for not bringing Snuka a tree for him to climb. That is a line you can not get away with today. Snuka tells Piper that he is not afraid of him and Piper’s hits him off the head with a coconut from behind. Piper mashes the banana in his face then takes off his belt and whips Snuka, calling him “Boy” several times. Piper then yells how everyone wants to be big time as Snuka slowly gets up. Piper leaves out the door and slams it shut as Snuka is beating on the door and going crazy. A few other wrestlers come out and hold back Snuka, who is just irate. A tremendous segment and one of the best ways to kick off a feud. Both men were great here, especially Piper, who was one of the better agitators in the history of pro wrestling.
SD Jones vs. Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Ventura returns to the WWF after a few years. Jesse stalls for time by taking off his earrings. He backs SD into the ropes and breaks cleanly. Jesse then knocks him down and works the arm for a long time. He pulls down SD by the hair and stomps away. SD makes a brief comeback but misses a charge in the corner. Jesse chops him down and puts on a front facelock. SD escapes and gets in some token offense before Jesse takes him down. He hits SD with an inverted atomic drop then drops the elbow of the win (4:51). After the match, Jesse does several poses, which pisses off SD. He chases after Jesse then they work a criss-cross spot that ends with Jesse pulling up on the ropes and falling down before rolling away. The crowd popped for that.
Thoughts: Not much of a match, Jesse wasn’t a good worker to begin with, but he could work the crowd well. His re-introduction to the WWF went well though.
Piper’s Pit with Capt. Lou Albano. He presents Piper with an achievement award from the “Rowdy Roddy Piper” fan club. Piper thanks him then states how he called Burt Reynolds and other celebs and promises that Cyndi Lauper will be here next week. Albano then yells about Dave Wolff, calling him “Dave Dog” as the crowd gets excited. Good segment and It made you intrigued to see next week’ show.
Plug for the WWF Magazine
Terry Daniels vs. Iron Sheik w/Freddy Blassie
Okerlund says that Sgt. Slaughter has some travel problems and still hasn’t made it to the arena. Sheik yells at the crowd to start things off. They do some matwork to start and Daniels gains the advantage, to the delight of the crowd. The camera shows Slaughter, dressed in a “Cobra Corps” shirt standing in the entrance way. Sunset flip by Daniels gets two. He ducks his head off of a whip and Sheik kicks him in the face and Okerlund calls that a “controversial move.” And people think Michael Cole is the worst. Sheik slams Daniels then mocks the military salute. He proceeds to slap Daniels repeatedly in the face. Suplex by Sheik and he spits on Daniels. More slaps from the Sheik then he slams him again. Sarge moves closer to the ring as Daniels is getting destroyed. Sheik sends Daniels halfway across the ring with a forearm smash then heads up top. Sarge then shoves him off as the ref rings the bell for the DQ (4:37). Sheik and Blassie bail, with the Sheik yelling “Iran number one” into the camera. Sarge checks on Daniels and raises his hand as the crowd applauds.
Thoughts: Good advancement of the Slaughter/Sheik feud. Daniels was a decent worker but did nothing of note besides this in the WWF. Sarge is insanely over with the crowd. I still wonder what would have happened had he not left the WWF.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
Bellomo is booed by the crowd, which makes sense because he is terrible. They start by trading off working the arm. Orton gets a drop toehold then boots Bellomo in the face. Slam by Orton and that is followed by an elbow drop. He puts Bellomo in a headlock as Hayes puts him over on commentary as one of the best wrestlers in the company. Bellomo fights back with terrible looking punches. He charges at Orton but gets tossed to the floor. Orton climbs up top and hits a forearm to the back. After a brief struggle, he suplexes Bellomo back into the ring and gets the pin (2:33)
Thoughts: Orton destroyed Bellomo, which is always enjoyable. They are starting to push him and he really was one of the better workers in wrestling at this time.
Next week’s matches include Bob Orton vs. Tito Santana in a non-title bout and the featured bout, which is B. Brian Blair vs. David Schultz. Also, the Wild Samoans and Jesse Ventura will be in action and Cyndi Lauper will be on the Piper’s Pit.
Final Thoughts: This was a decent show. Thy kicked off the Piper/Snuka feud and advanced the Lauper angle and the Sheik/Slaughter feud. Ventura had a decent return and nothing was horrible. They are starting to push the newer talent ahead of the old guard, which was desperately needed.

Pro Wrestling X PC game (Kickstarter fund)

http://t.co/id3S264j


Worth checking out. A Kickstarter fund for a wrestling game for the PC that Lance Storm's helping with, and one of the main guys from No Mercy has pledged on.

Apparently they want to make it very customisable and base it around No Mercy.

At first impressions, it doesn't look great from the video. But they said some of the money will be used to re-do artwork and animation, so that's fair.

Looks interesting!

I don't know about their chances of hitting 75K with only a couple of days left, but I heartily endorse anyone trying to revive the No Mercy engine, so I'll be happy to throw a couple of bucks their way.  

WWF Championship Wrestling 6/2/84

June 2, 1984
Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon
This week’s show includes Greg Valentine vs. Chief Jay Strongbow and David Schultz vs. SD Jones. Plus, David Wolff is the guest on Piper’s Pit and Paul Orndorff and Sgt. Slaughter will be in action.

Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/Capt. Lou Albano vs. Chief Jay Strongbow

The Hammer attacks Strongbow before the bell. He beats on him in the corner before tossing him through the ropes. Valentine brings him back in and destroys him so more. He chokes him out and goes to work on the leg. Strongbow pushes Valentine through the ropes with his feet. He comes back in and Strongbow locks him in a sleeper. Albano jumps on the apron and Valentine escapes and sends Strongbow back to the floor. The Chief grabs Valentine out of the ring and the two brawl until Valentine slides back in the ring before the ten count, getting the win (4:14). After the match, Valentine puts the Chief in the figure-four leglock.
Thoughts: Match wasn’t much and there was no reason to protect Strongbow in defeat. The guy was in his mid 50’s and they were grooming Valentine for the IC belt so he should have won cleanly.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. This week’s focus is on Capt. Lou Albano. Vince mentions him managing the tag champions 14 times and closes by showing him the music videos for Cyndi Lauper.
“Dr. D” David Schultz vs. SD Jones
Schultz starts by faking a handshake, which upsets Jones. He works the arm but Schultz grabs the ropes. Lots more stalling from Schultz as he is basically running away from Jones. SD lands a headbutt, turnbuckle smash and a few punches, which is 75% of his offense. SD falls for another handshake attempt but regains control. He lands a few more shots, even mo-selling a turnbuckle smash. Schultz goes outside after getting knocked down but comes back in and gets a slam then drops the elbow from the second rope for the win (6:04).
Thoughts: I have no idea why Schultz was playing the role of chicken-shit heel for SD Jones, a guy who was losing on TV every week. This match was very dull.
Gene Okerlund is standing in what is best known as the event center. He plugs upcoming house shows as Paul Orndorff wanders on the set. Okerlund mentions his upcoming match with Ivan Putski, as Orndorff says Putski is not a big deal and tells a Polish joke about odor eaters after calling him a “Polack.” 1980’s WWF racism really is something to behold. Roddy Piper comes in and Gene asks him about Rocky Johnson. Piper says that he has no brains and was trying to make a name for himself by going on Piper’s Pit. Slaughter gets interviewed about an upcoming boot camp match with the Iron Sheik. He talks about how this was like fighting behind the barracks in the Marines and talks about his specially made boots. I liked this segment as the interviews strayed from the regular format and they did a fine job in promoting the matches.
Another plug of the new WWF magazine.
Billy Travis vs. Paul Orndorff
Orndorff does his routine with the jacket. Travis catches Orndorff with an armdrag. Orndorff then backs Travis in the corner. He stomps him and gets in a kneelift. Orndorff pisses off the crowd then tosses Travis to the floor. The crowd just fucking hates Orndorff. Travis comes back inside and gets absolutely drilled with a back elbow smash. Backbreaker by Orndorff and he stomps away. He literally wipes the mat with the ace of Travis then kills him with a clothesline before finishing with a piledriver (5:49). After the match, Orndorff smiles and shrugs his shoulders. He was such a great heel.
Thoughts: For a squash match that lasted almost six minutes, this was quite entertaining. Travis took a beating, esepcailly with an ultra stiff elbow smash. Orndorff is really becoming a star, getting as much of a heel reaction than guys like Piper and Sheik.
Piper’s Pit with David Wolff. He says that he is the manager of Cyndi Lauper. Piper then asks why she needs two managers. He says that Albano is a liar and not the manager of Lauper. Wolff then states that he will bring Cyndi Lauper on the show. Piper then sticks up for Albano and yells at Wolff as the segment ends. Good stuff, although Wolff looks like a complete dick, making it tough to cheer for him. He was also the real-life boyfriend of Cyndi Lauper at this time.
We are shown clips of a match between the Masked Superstar and Hulk Hogan that took place at the Kiel Auditorium in February. Howard Finkel was the ring announcer here and hearing him is so much better than Joe McHugh. Anyway, they show the last few minutes of this match, with the Superstar getting caught hiding a foreign object in his mask. Hogan gets it and threatens to take off the mask but the Superstar escapes.
Okerlund is back in the studio plugging a house show in Cape Cod. Jimmy Snuka comes out and Okerlund, like a moron, asks him if the Cape reminds him of the Fiji Islands. Snuka babbles on for a few minutes, saying nothing of note.
Lanny Kean vs. Sgt. Slaughter w/Terry Daniels
Before entering the ring, Sarge and Daniels pass out American Flags to all of the kids. Sarge with a forearm to the chest of Kean then beats him up for a bit. He gets a backbreaker and hits a clothesline from the second rope as Kean was charging towards him. Sarge then locks on the Cobra Clutch for the win (1:23). After the match, the ring fills with the children and their flags as Vince talks about the Cobra Corps.
Thoughts: This whole match was designed to put over the Cobra Corps and market Slaughter to the kids. It worked perfectly for its time.   
Next week’s featured bout is Terry Daniels vs. Iron Sheik
Final Thoughts: This show was alright. The matches weren’t much but it did advance the main angles and feature the top stars of the company. The interview segments with Okerlund was a nice addition too.

MeekinOnMovies’ Indie Wrestling Odyssey: Part 2


Part II
MeekinOnMovies jobs to WCW, a  tripod, an audio recorder, and a laptop.

One
of the better ways to look like a bumbling fool is to trip over a
replica of the WCW Hardcore Championship in front of Spike Dudley and
The Full Blooded Italians. While the Fall River PAL is an awesome venue,
The gorilla position area backstage is crowded with audio equipment,
lighting rigs, TRP personnel, cables, and to the determent of my
balance, the aforementioned replica of the WCW Hardcore Championship
belt on the floor.

Not
that the floor is a bad place for such a…bizarre item. Despite it’s
treasured lineage – it’s the only championship in pro wrestling history
to be held by Terry Funk, Lance Storm, and Eric Bischoff –  I somehow
doubt there’s a high demand for the illustrious title amongst fans.

So
down I went, instinctively grabbing hold of the red velvet curtain that
was there to separate the Dorothys and Totos of the audience from
machinations of the great and powerful Wizards of Oz backstage. I saw
the curtain collapsing from the unexpected ballast in slow-mo. Falling
forward, it wafted over the audience like a blanket, confusing the
elderly, delighting the kids, stopping the competitors in the ring in
their tracks – in an instant I’d become most infamous figure in the
history of TRP, including zonked-out Scott Hall. Man, WCW really ruins everything.


Thankfully
the catastrophe was my overactive imagination acting up again, and
while the curtain wavered under my weight, it stayed up-right. I turned
back to see if anyone had noticed the narrowly avoided calamity I
caused. Only one person made eye contact. Guest commissioner Spike
Dudley – who shot me a glare the likes of which he probably hadn’t used
since he taught 3rd grade. I half expected to be kept in from recess.

Heck,
I only came down from my happy little perch in the Balcony to grab a
tape. Naturally the first tape started running low right in the middle
of Sarge’s big match, which is a problem – Cause the guys seemed afraid
to hit him. Which is fine in theory. Sarge is 64 years old after all.
But I needed the wide angle to make the match work (weak offense + wide
angle = okay match) – as it stood I would be losing that angle for at
least 45 seconds as I switched out tapes.

The
match itself is a tag bout between Sarge, indie wrestler Jeff Star (who
looks to be the real deal, btw), and TRP’s World Champion Biff Busick and his manager / partner “The Ladies Man” Gregory Edwards.

Biff
and Edwards are my personal favorites (though I like pretty much
everyone). Biff because he looks like the unholy love child of what
would happen if Kane and Daniel Bryan ever had a baby – and he does a
nasty top rope neck breaker I’ve taken to calling the Biff Blockbuster.
Edwards is great because he’s a dick who loves to piss off the crowd –
and you can tell he loves every second of it, too. He’ll call out folks
in the audience, rile them up, and generally be a grade-A tool bag in
the way the best heels in the biz typically are. They occasionally do
the whole Mr. Fuji powder thing, and it’s nice to see someone is keeping
the classics alive. Plus they don’t really seem to like hitting Sargent
Slaughter, so you know they’re probably nice guys, to boot.

It’s
kind of a testament to the talent of Sarge, Jeff, Biff, and Edwards
that they can all have a match that really excites the crowd despite
Sarge’s supposed limitations. The crowd was hot, the action was
exciting, and once you add the commentary in, it’d make for some really
exciting television.

Oh
yeah…. The commentary. There won’t be much of that. The way TRP
records commentary is into a Tascam / Zoom that’s typically used for
dual system audio on movie sets. You plug a Mic into it, and then the
commentators share the mic. I’ve used one….twice in my life. Once
during an interview with Vidal Sassoon and once during this video of me complaining about the CGI-ization of the beloved Thomas The Tank Engine.
The audio was met with mixed results. So when the commentator for TRP
found me during the first match of the night – which was a strong style
bout between the members of The Whaling City Wrecking Crew – I was a
little bummed.

I shimmied past the people in the balcony, down the narrow steps, across the Gorilla position curtain, and was greeted with the Tascam Zoom.
This was my Slumdog Millionaire moment. I could prove myself a capable
production person to this commentator, save the show, and be welcome
with open arms into the world of independent pro-wrestling after
literally hours of trying.

And
I sorta fucked it up. A note to aspiring filmmakers. Always. Check.
Levels. Always. Always. Always. Always. Always. It was dark and I missed
the mic input button, so the first…half of the show is likely without
commentary – a fact I didn’t figure out until the intermission *after*
Sarge’s big match.

Now
would probably be a good time to pause and explain that I actually
enjoy doing this sort of thing very much, and am not an incompetent
buffoon despite what my writing may suggest. Unfortunately, with
wrestling shows being as chaotic as they are – especially indie
pro-wrestling shows, the production people are largely an afterthought
and have to fly by the seat of their pants. There are simply more
important things to do.

It’s
also worth noting I am doing this for free.  While I was told I would
see some of the proceeds from the DVD sales, any money coming my way
would rightfully be split three ways. So if you sell 20 DVDs at 10
dollars a piece, split that 50/50 with TRP, the remaining 100 dollars
then needs to be split 3 ways, giving everyone a cool 33 dollars for
their time and effort. Safe to say, I’m not in it for the money.

Anyway,
the commentary…hiccup meant for the second show in a row I’d be
turning in a less-than-optimal product. It eventually was rectified in
time for the second half the show – including a super hot 6-man tag team
bout between the FBI and some guy under a hood, and the tag champs; the
Alden Brothers and their partner “The Devil’s Reject” who wears a
gas-mask out to the ring and sort of looks like what would happen if
Bane got heavy into ICP as a teen. The kids love him.

At
the first show I was at, there was a 12 year old kid sitting next to me
who was hamming it up the entire show. He’d call out “woos!” during
chops, kept (repeatedly) shouting that if “The Ladies Man” likes Biff
Busick so much they should kiss, and so on. He really brought an energy
to the show and it was cool to see someone mark out in such an
innocent(?) way. After every match though, he kept asking me if “The
Devil’s Reject” would be coming back out to sign autographs and sell
more merch. I told the kid I didn’t know. For some reason I felt
compelled to help the kid out, and went looking for the guy backstage,
but since he wore face paint it was kind of futile quest.  

Wrestling
actually needs more of that little kid then you would think. In a
figurative sense. While most fans are cynical and largely sick of the
kind of muddled and inconsequential bullshit we’re feed weekly by the
WWE and the like, there was a time in practically all our lives when
we’d mark out for anything. And a boisterous wide-eyed kid yelling at
wrestlers he hates has the kind of kinetic energy you can’t buy, or
edit, or post-produce into existence.

Which
brings me to the sweet spot. The sweet spot can occur in a variety of
media. For example during “The Avengers” when Captain America points to
The Incredible Hulk, says “Hulk…” then pauses, the audience my theater
collectively uttered “Smash” in unison, so caught up in the awesome
action we were of a sharing a single brain. These things happen during
concerts, sporting events, and of course in professional wrestling.

In
a pro-wrestling context, the sweet spot will pop the crowd and keep
them engaged throughout a sequence. My personal favorite example of this
is the last…10 minutes of the Wrestlemania 15 main event. With the
Stunner kick out, Vince hammering Austin, Foley running out, and Austin
winning the title back from Rock. The crowd was at a fever pitch for the
entirety of that sequence of events, caught between the knowledge the
match would soon be ending – and not wanting it too. Kind of like
quality love-making.

While I don’t know if  Vinny Marseglia
(Vinny from now on) is a quality love-maker, I do know he’s excellent
at finding the pro-wrestling sweet spot. I don’t know if this is because
he’s the most over, or because he brings the most friends to shows, but
It seems everyone knows the guy, and when he comes out to the ring he
gets the kind of pop that is typically reserved for Jeff Hardy is taking
his shirt off. He’s also kind of a lunatic; doing an insane springboard
somersault plancha to the outside during the previous show, as well as
taking a pretty innovative backdrop onto the ring apron too – both
sending the crowd into a fancy.

After
getting the tape situation…situated and fixing the commentary during
intermission, I actually got a chance to be a fan for a good majority of
the second half the show, and got a chance to chat with the wrestler
who trained Vinny (who also happened to be the guy who picked up the
first DVD), Ryan. He was shooting with a little flip cam from roughly
the same angle I was.

Then
it happened. Something I’d never seen before in a match. Vinny, on the
top rope, was pulled off by his leg, and his opponent turned it into a
back breaker. While the crowd’s pop on tape isn’t nearly as loud as it
sounded in the arena (though my high-pithced “OHHHH” made it through
loud and clear), it was one of the most innovative things I’d ever seen
in a match, and the look on Ryan’s face was a combination of proud
mentor and marking out fanboy geek. Vinny, was for real.

This
moment of exuberance was tempered a tad once I realized I should
probably be keeping tabs on my camera men, and didn’t see George – the
long haired, Metallica loving, wrestling fan who’d never operated a
camera before. Eddie was…directly opposite my camera angle, so I hoped
he nailed the shot, I wouldn’t know until days later.

Eventually
the show ended after another stellar contest involving Vinny and a
member of the Whaling City Wrecking Crew in the finals of the
tournament, where a suicide dive by the 350 pound strong-style grappler
popped the crowd into a “Holy Shit” chant that I intend to use in the
promo video for the DVD that I intend to set to “I Can Tell We’re Gonna
Be Friends” by the White Stripes. Vinny gave an emotional promo,
thanking Ryan, the fans, his family TRP in general…and then the
announcer came on and said Vinny would be doing photos in the ring for
10 dollars to commemorate this historic occasion.

Gotta love indie wrestling.
 
We
broke down the cameras, collected the footage, and prepared ourselves
for the two hours it would take to transfer Eddie’s awesome footage to
Top Rope’s hard drive. It was an awesome show, and one I looked forward
to watching again (and again, and again, and again thanks to the wonders
of non-linear editing).

“Did you bring a laptop?” Eddie asked me. It was my turn to answer in the negatory.
“No….” I responded.
“Well,
you can always come to set tomorrow and get the footage there” Eddie
said, referring to a commitment to a small independent film I committed
to helping out on earlier in the day.
“Where’s the set?” I asked.
“Oh, just Pawtucket Rhode Island”

Welp, they never said the business would be easy.

In Part III: post-mortem cigars, slatuting Sarge, a rainy day in a winnebago, absent minded promoters,

WWF Championship Wrestling 5/26/84

WWF Championship Wrestling
May 26, 1984
Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon
Gene and Vince run down the card, which will feature Tito Santana vs. Tiger Chung Lee, the debut of “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer as he squares off against SD Jones. Plus, the Tag-Team Champions, Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas go against Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch with the belts on the line and Piper’s Pit with guests Lou Albano and Cyndi Lauper.

SD Jones vs. “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer w/Capt. Lou Albano
This is the debut of Sawyer, who is pacing around the ring. On commentary, they are referring to Sawyer as “Bulldog.” He attacks SD immediately after the bell and tosses him outside then gets on all fours and barks like a dog. He bites SD on the apron then suplexes him back into the ring. Sawyer then does a lot of biting before SD breaks that up with a headbutt. Sawyer no-sells some offense and rakes the eyes. He tosses SD outside and bites his fingers. In the ring, Sawyer hits a belly-to-belly suplex. SD makes a comeback consisting of headbutts and punches before Sawyer catches him with a powerslam, getting the win (5:05). After the match, more biting from Sawyer who then yells at the cameraman before exiting the ring.
Thoughts: The crowd reacted well to Sawyer but this match wasn’t much at all, unless you love biting. Overall, I’d call the debut a success because the fans hated Sawyer, he even got pelted with garbage at one point after the match, and he did come off as a threat. I’m guessing that they changed his nickname to “Bulldog” due to the fact “Mad Dog” Vachon was still on the roster.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. This week’s focus is on Andre the Giant. They show a clip of his ring entrance then mention is restaurant in Montreal. Not much to see here.
Lanny Kean vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka
Snuka backs Kean against the ropes. He takes him down and Kean gets to the ropes. Snuka works a lengthy side headlock, occasionally breaking to perform a move. Backdrop by Snuka, who then hits Kean with a backbreaker. He drops the knee then goes up top and hits a diving headbutt for the win (4:53).
Thoughts: Dull squash match. Snuka is loved by the crowd though. Nothing else more to say.
Tiger Chung Lee vs. Tito Santana
Okerlund spells “Arriba” for us before the match. God, he was useless on commentary. That was probably the most informative he has been in months. Tito takes down Lee and works the arm for a bit. Lee escapes and gets a slam, but misses an elbow drop. Tito gets a slam and goes back to the arm. He works on the arm for a while, occasionally breaking for a move. Tito gets caught with a knee and Lee hammers away. He lands a chop from the second rope, getting two. Tombstone piledriver gets two. Lee kicks Tito in the head as he was laying against the ropes. Lee goes to bounce off the ropes but Tito comes running across the ring and hits the flying forearm for the win (5:59).
Thoughts: This picked up at the end but it was a nothing match. Tito has a lot of boring TV matches, which is odd seeing how he was a really good worker.
Piper’s Pit with Lou Albano. Piper is dressed as a punk rocker, expecting Albano to bring out Lauper. Albano then walks out by himself, saying that her flight was delayed. Piper is upset, stating that he dressed like this for nothing. Albano then mentions how Dave Wolfe might be involved in Lauper not being here as Piper goes off on a tirade, stating how no one embarrasses him, promising that Wolfe will be on the show next week.
WWF Tag-Team Championship Match
Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch vs. Tony Atlas & Rocky Johnson (Champions)
The look on Atlas’s face as he exits the curtains pretty much tells us the outcome of this match. Murdoch yells at his opponents to start things off. Rocky takes down both men with armdrags. Adonis sidesteps a monkeyflip but gets slammed. Rocky goes back to the arm as Adonis is able to escape and make the tag. Atlas tags in too and overpowers Murdoch. He works the arm for a bit. Atlas runs into an elbow and Murdoch sends Atlas into his corner. The heels work over Atlas, taking him down with a double elbow smash. Atlas fights back and takes Murdoch down with a headbutt but Adonis runs over and snaps his neck. Adonis tags but so does Atlas and Rocky cleans house. All four men are in the ring and Murdoch and Atlas go at it outside. Atlas presses Murdoch over his head and Rocky tries to hit him while he is in the ring but Adonis runs over and gets a reverse rollup for the win and the tag titles (4:57) ½*. The champs celebrate in the ring after the match.
Thoughts: The match was unremarkable to say the least but it was a rare televised title change, so that was cool. Also, the title change was necessary as the team of Atlas & Johnson was essentially terrible. They were not good in the ring and had no chemistry at all together. They were just two singles wrestlers stuck together. On the other hand, the team of Murdoch and Adonis worked well together. The WWF finally has a team worthy of the belts.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. Billy Travis
Orton takes down Travis and puts him in a headscissors. He gives him a few knee smashes before hitting a double underhook suplex. Backdrop by Orton, who then hammers away on Travis. Slam by Orton and he then puts on a headlock as the announcers talk about everything else that happened on the show. Orton then places Travis on the top rope and hits the superplex for the win (3:13).
Thoughts: A dull squash that featured a few nice moves from Orton. The crowd was dead though.
Next week’s featured bout is Chief Jay Strongbow vs. Greg Valentine
Final Thoughts: Solid show. We had a much needed title change and the Piper/Albano/Lauper stuff is getting interesting. Buzz Sawyer debuted in what would be a very brief stay in the WWF. Some of the other matches were boring but overall, a good effort.

MeekinOnMovies’ Indie Wrestling Odyssey: Part 1

Part I
A wrestling fan, a cameraman, and a crazy person walk into an armory…

“Are
you a wrestling fan?” I asked. I knew the answer, but hoped someone
else on the production side of things would be able to geek out with me.
And boy oh boy did I want to geek out. I was behind the curtain, man.
The Gorilla position. If you pardon the pretension it was wrestling
purgatory. Behind it were men dressed in funny costumes, beyond it they
became larger than life superheroes; entertaining the kids, parents, and
relatives that crowded the intimate Fall River PAL to watch a pro
wrestling show. And literally, I was in the middle of it all.  


(Note:
I’m writing about this show without much in the way of permission from
the kind folks at Top Rope Promotions, I don’t think they mind, but if
this post goes away, just assume Spike Dudley kicked my ass and pulled
the blog).

(Note
two: What follows is a relatively detailed and possibly sort of boring
account of what it’s like to produce, shoot, and edit an independent
professional wrestling show. I’ve changed the names of my cohorts in
case they don’t want to be talked about, but have left wrestler names
the same because who doesn’t like free press, right? In a perfect world
I’d love to write these every couple of weeks after shooting or editing a
show, but if this is lame to you guys lemme know!)  

 

“Not really,” came the
response from Eddie. This could be a problem. Eddie, you see, had the
good camera. The kind folks at Top Rope Promotions in Fall River,
Massachusetts, had two cameras at their disposal, and Eddie kindly
brought the third. A fancy, HD, three-chip, prosumer model that made
good matches great and bad matches good. It also had the best mic –
which was sort of a pain in the ass when it picked up wrestlers calling
spots, but it was a small price to pay for the glorious footage he could
obtain just by pointing it in the general direction of a wrestler.

The
problem was that the general direction of the wrestlers tended to be
close-ups that are kind of hard to get on the fly. One second there’d be
an awesome facial expression of a guy locked in a Boston Crab, the next
you’d get a viewfinder full of referee crotch. 

One of the things that
goes unnoticed during your typical wrestling show is that 90 percent of
the time the camera will cut on action. Be
it a chop, drop kick, neck breaker,  or DDT, if you watch enough
wrestling there’s almost a poetry to it – a rhythm. And that rhythm
exists to prevent audiences from noticing how often wrestlers screw up.
If a guy throws a weak kick and you cut to a wide angle – its much
harder to tell. If a guy throws a shoulder block and you cut to the
close up of the victim hitting the mat, the attacker looks like a
monster. And the more of those shots I had, the better the DVD would be.

I
explained to Eddie to keep the camera angles wide, and only go in for
close ups during obvious rest holds (I then explained what a rest hold
actually was). Eddie, a consumate pro, smiled and nodded and part of me
kind of wondered what *exactly* he was doing shooting a pro-wrestling
show considering how good he was.

My
other camera man, George. George had long hair and, Metallica, and I
think kind of didn’t want to be there. He was a wrestling fan but wasn’t
a particularly adept technician – and this was his first show. With ten
minutes to show time, I ran down everything I needed from him as my
secondary camera. He could *never* be opposite of Eddie, or else
everything would look terrible and jarring (For geeks this is called the
180 degree rule). I attempted to explain by likening it to a strap
match. Pretend you guys are tethered. You can’t be opposite each other,
keep it at a 90 degree angles. These are all important things that make a
wrestling show look great on DVD.

With
five minutes to go, the crowd had filed in. I had wanted to get footage
of wrestlers working the gimmick table for a sort of “Fan Interaction”
portion of the DVD, but gave up the ghost on that after realizing I’d
have to explain what a gimmick table was, and wasn’t sure if special guest Sergeant  Slaughter would
be annoyed by being filmed without permission.

Plus
I still had to set up the hardcam in the balcony. I’d opted to run the
Hardcam because A) I’m a fat-ass and didn’t want to get in the way of the
show, B) I’d never been inside a pro-wrestling ring before and didn’t
want my first time to be in front of hundred(s?) of people, and C) The
hard cam had the best seat in the house.

I am a fan, after all.

Top
Rope Promotions itself was a really interesting promotion. I’ve never
been one to follow Indie wrestling particularly closely, but after
spending some time with TRP, I can see why people love it. This
particular crowd isn’t filled with rabid fans out for blood. Instead
it’s kids, mostly teens, moms, dads, the elderly, and some special needs
kids (who are actually the biggest fans of them all). It’s actually
sort of a family atmosphere. It’s blue collar thing. Most of the
wrestlers are from Fall River, Rhode Island, and other parts of southern
New England. 

Through
sheer force of will and schedule availability I was also sort of in
charge of this whole shebang too; Where the cameramen went, making sure
the commentators could use their commentary recorder properly, hopefully
getting a one-on-one interview with Sergeant Slaughter (who was the big
name brought in for that show) and then editing the whole thing into a
hopefully saleable DVD.

Tonight’s
card was the 7th annual Killer Kowalski cup. A King of The Ring style
tournament named after the Malden, Massachusetts native who trained
Chyna, Triple H, Kofi Kingston and Damien Sandow (if Wikipedia is to be
believed) among other notables. It was a big night for the promotion –
but a bigger one for me. I wanted this to go smoothly. The last show,
had not.

It
was mostly my fault. I had waited to long to capture the footage, and
misjudged how long it would take to render (geek speak for encode)
Eddie’s footage. As a result the DVD was delayed several times over and
it was all on me. The DVD itself came out…Okay. I didn’t have much in
the name of resources, and had to cobble together wrestler names and
spellings from Facebook. There also seemed to be a few color correction
issues, as well – namely everyone looked yellow.

Eventually
I handed the DVD off to another wrestler and it was actually pretty
cool to see fans clamouring to buy a DVD I edited and produced. I think
the deal was that we’d split the proceeds 50/50 with the promotion, but
as I later found out, only 4 DVDs sold, and I figured TRP could keep the 8
bucks they owed me.

Up
on the balcony I set up the camera, cutting it dangerously close to
showtime. The crowd was pumped, and rowdy – awesome. A “Feed me More!”
chant broke out amongst everyone in the audience, which quickly turned
into a “Goldberg” chant, then turned into a dueling chant. If the crowd
was this hot during the show – and I had every reason to think they would be,  the show could be something
special.

Getting the show on video – well, that was a different story.

To be continued….

In Part Two (Lets shoot for…Tuesday?): A camera without power, an audio recorder without a mic, a man and his country, and I make an idiot of myself in front of Spike Dudley and Sarge on completely separate occasions.

Wrestling all time supercard

Hi Scott long time reader and all that I have a question/discussion for the blog if you were to put together a wrestling event with the best matches that nwa/wcw/wwf/wwe have produced what would you pick? The only rule is you can only use a wrestler once ie you can't have hogan warrior and hogan Andre you have to choose

Well if I was putting together an all-time supercard, I certainly wouldn't be picking either one of those matches.
We've done this particular exercise with Wrestlemania and other major shows a lot, and the question as phrased is really too broad because it's basically just asking for a list of great matches without any overlapping people.  Plus if it's a three hour show you could just do Flair-Steamboat 2/3 falls, a one hour Misawa-Kobashi draw, and CM Punk v. John Cena and there you go.  
So I dunno, if you guys wanna have a crack at it, go nuts.

WWF Championship Wrestling 5/19/84

WWF Championship Wrestling
May 19, 1984
Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon.
Vince and Gene run down the card that features Salvatore Bellomo vs. Paul Orndorff and Bob Orton vs. B. Brian Blair. The featured bout this week is Mr. Fuji vs. Bob Backlund.

Salvatore Bellomo vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
The crowd absolutely hates Orndorff. Piper is not present for this match. He stalls for a bit while taking off his coat then stomps Bellomo in the corner. Slam by Orndorff but he misses an elbow drop. Bellomo gets an armdrag then Orndorff bails. He takes his time before getting back into the ring. Bellomo catches him with another armdrag then grabs a headlock. Bellomo tries a sunset flip but Orndorff won’t go down. Orndorff punches Bellomo then drops an elbow as the crowd is screaming “Paula.” He drops another elbow, which the announcers proclaim landed on Bellomo’s throat, then beats on Bellomo some more. Backdrop by Orndorff, who then slams Bellomo’s face off of the mat. Orndorff stops a brief comeback then stomps on Bellomo in the corner. Orndorff acts nonchalantly and gets shoved into the corner. Bellomo lands a few dropkicks but gets caught with a clothesline and Orndorff finishes him off with an elbow drop for the win (5:53).
Thoughts: They continue to build up Orndorff by having him work his way up the card. His heat with the crowd is nuclear at this point. They hate him with a passion. Bellomo remains useless.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. Hulk Hogan is the subject. Vince tells us how popular Hogan is all over the world and even lets us know that he is referred to as “Ichiban” in Japan, which means “number one.” They show a clip of Hogan entering the ring, with the crowd going crazy. He was still using Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” as his theme song. Decent enough segment putting over Hogan as a major star.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. B. Brian Blair
Vince says that this match is a “pick em,” meaning that it’s 50/50 as to who will win. That’s their way of making people believe that Blair has a chance. The two struggle to gain an advantage to start. Blair gets an armdrag and works the arm. He reverses a hiptoss attempt by Orton and goes back to the arm. Orton escapes then gets a slam followed by an elbow drop. He pounds on Blair in the corner and works a headlock for a bit. Blair eventually breaks out and takes Orton down with a shoulderblock but runs into a boot afterwards. Blair escapes a front facelock and drops Orton with a few punches. Slam by Blair but he misses an elbow drop. Orton goes for a suplex but Blair reverses and hits one of his own. He makes the cover but Orton puts him in a cradle and gets the win (5:52) **.
Thoughts: Solid TV match. Orton was one of the best workers in the WWF at this time and Blair, while dull and about as charismatic as a brick, was at least capable in the ring. They are booking Orton strong in his return. Blair is still in the lower midcard, which is right where he belongs.
“Dr. D” David Schultz vs. Billy Travis
Ring announcer Joe McHugh lets us know that this is the debut for Travis. Piper is not with Schultz tonight. Travis offers a handshake but Schultz slaps that away. Travis gets backed into the ropes and Schultz breaks cleanly. Schultz then gets a hiptoss and a front slam. He grounds Travis then hits him with a forearm smash. Schultz whips him against the ropes and catches him with a hammer that turns Travis inside-out. He convulses on the mat then gets knocked to the floor with a forearm smash when he gets up. Schultz suplexes him back into the ring then punches him in the face. He gets an ugly looking dropkick then chokes out Travis with his foot. Back suplex by Schultz who them picks him up for a slam. He goes to the second rope and drops the elbow for the win (5:27). Schultz yells that the same thing will happen to Hogan.
Thoughts: A very long squash match. Schultz looked good and Travis was a decent worker, despite getting in zero offense. He was short so he had no chance in the WWF but he did wrestle in Memphis for a while, teaming with Jarrett when he first started out. He died of a heart attack in 2002.
Piper’s Pit with Capt. Lou Albano. He reads a letter from Cyndi Lauper’s actual manager David Wolfe, asking Albano to stop stating that he is Lauper’s manager. Albano states that Wolfe is a liar and promises to have Lauper appear on the Pit next week. Another segment furthering along the Lauper/Albano angle. It worked well and is intriguing.
Butcher Vachon vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Terry Daniels, still in his Marine’s uniform, leads Slaughter to the ring. Sarge knocks down Vachon to start things off. Vachon comes back with a punch then rake the back and eyes of Slaughter. Freddie Blassie and the Iron Sheik are in the aisle as Slaughter takes down Vachon with an armdrag. Sarge is distracted and Vachon hits him from behind. Sarge fights back and gets a slam but sees that the Sheik kneed Daniels and ran backstage. Sarge goes out and checks on Daniels but gets counted out and Vachon celebrates the win (2:09). Sarge is pissed about that and runs in the ring and lays out Vachon then puts him in the Cobra Clutch.
Thoughts: Not much to this other than putting over the Sheik/Slaughter feud for the house shows. The crowd loves Slaughter and eats up everything he says. He was probably the second most popular babyface at this time, just behind Hogan.
They show a replay of the Sheik hitting Daniels an Okerlund goes over to interview Slaughter. He calls Sheik “maggot scum.” Okerlund then asks Slaughter the “Big question,” which is if Sheik actually hit Daniels, which is moronic seeing that we just saw the replay showing Daniels getting hit. Hell, he even mentioned it on commentary. I’m telling you, before he was the “Mean Gene” we all know and love, he was one of the worst announcers and interviewers ever. Seriously, he was awful, saying nothing of note besides the same generic phrases over and over again. Sarge closes the interview warning Sheik not to lay a hand on his recruit.
Lanny Kean vs. Bob Backlund
This is Kean’s debut. The announcers ask what happened to Fuji as Backlund is toying with Kean. Fireman’s carry by Backlund as they try to get word on what happened to Fuji. Armdrag by Backlund and Vince reads off a list of Fuji’s ailments including the flu, injured knee, and a groin pull. Kean gets a few knees but Backlund puts on the Chicken Wing for the win (2:40). After the match, Backlund goes over and helps Kean, rubbing his injured arm for him.
Thoughts: A nothing match but the crowd did react well to Backlund, who has been getting some boos since his return several weeks ago. His babyface act is very lame though.
Next week’s featured bout is a match for the tag-team titles with the champions Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch. Also, Tito Santana and Jimmy Snuka will be in action.
Final Thoughts: Nice show. You had a good TV match and put over some good workers in squash matches. The Albano/Lauper angle is getting interesting too. Next week has a rare televised title-match, which will be fun to see.

Best year for wrestling

Obviously the overall product is way down and almost unwatchable cause of weak story lines and everything else.  However the actual in ring product is okay.  Reading your retro rants for as good as the product was in terms of character development and storylines in the 1997-1999 era, the actual in ring product outside of Shawn and some Austin brawls was weak.


So my question is what was the best year for in ring performance (wwf/wwe only) from the top down.

Sent from my iPad

Man, how do people do lengthy e-mails from their iPad, anyway? Is it just that you kids today have adjusted to a touchscreen keyboard?  Because as much as I love my tablet, I would go insane trying to do any kind of typing without the tactile feedback of real keys.  But then if I was up to me I'd use the full size ergonomic keyboard from my desktop all the time, so maybe I'm just weird.
ANYWAY…
I think 2000 was pretty much the consensus best, with Rock and HHH having great matches with everyone, and then the additions of Benoit and Jericho and Kurt Angle taking everyone to another level.  Plus just look at all the ****+ matches we were getting that year — HHH v. Foley, Rock v. HHH, Benoit v. Rock, Jericho v. HHH, Angle v. Rock, Hardyz v. E&C v. Dudleyz…it's pretty unheard of, actually.  Plus you had the great tag division and Radicalz spicing up the undercard and it's hard to find a better contender up and down.  

WWF Championship Wrestling 5/12/84

WWF Championship Wrestling
May, 12, 1984
Your announcers are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon
Rene Goulet vs. Ivan Putski

Rene covers his sequenced glove before the match. Putski shoves him into the corner a few times. He then wins a test-of-strength then shoves him down again, which has Goulet complaining of a hair pull. Putski works over the arm until Goulet breaks it up with a punch to the head. Goulet backs him in the corner and bites Putski, who fights back. Goulet stops that barrage with an eye rake. He chokes Putski for a bit then hits him with one of the ugliest snapmares I have ever seen. Putski then powers out of the claw and the two trade punches. Putski gets backed into the corner and gets a kneelift. Goulet then proceeds to bite Putski all over the ring until they trade some more punches. Goulet ducks outside for a few seconds then comes back in and gets a dropkick. Putski then reverses an Irish whip and hits Goulet with the Polish Hammer for the win (5:15).  After the match, Putski stomps Goulet a few times before leaving the ring.
Thoughts: This was great for those who love to see biting as part of the matches but it was terrible for everyone else. Putski is just awful in the ring at this point.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. He asks the question of which family is the most powerful in professional wrestling. He lists the Vachons and Funk but states that the answer is the Von Erich family. He plugs their article in the latest edition of WWF Magazine and says that there will be more on the Von Erich’s in the following weeks. Vince switches the topic to Salvatore Bellomo and mentions how he makes paper ships. That’s fantastic. Anyway, the screen caption for Bellomo reads “ATSA MY BOAT.” I miss the subtle racism from the 1980’s WWF.
B. Brian Blair vs. Ron Shaw
Talk about excitement. Shaw backs Blair into the corner and works on the arm. Blair reverses and works the arm himself, causing the crowd to start a mildly loud “boring” chant. He gets a monkey flip before going back to the arm. That is not going to stop those boring chants. Forearm smash gets two. He gets a shoulderblock then hits a terrible looking hiptoss, which gets two. He gets another near pinfall but then runs into an elbow smash from Shaw. Slam gets two. He misses a charge into the corner and Blair hits him with a kneelift. He gets an elbow smash from the second rope then ducks an elbow from Shaw before locking on the abdominal stretch and cradling him up for the win (4:26).
Thoughts: Blair shows no personality in the ring and the crowd couldn’t care less about him. The match was boring
Israel Matia vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Terry Daniels is not present with Slaughter. Sarge is over huge, kids and adults are going nuts for him. They do a bit of stalling to start off until Sarge chops Matia in the corner. Sarge then ducks a shot from Matia and dumps him over the ropes. Matia screwed up that spot and Sarge seems pissed. He rolls him back in but Matia rakes the eyes and punches away. Sarge picks him up in the back suplex position then just dumps drops him down har. He tosses him on the ropes then kills him with a clothesline, setting up the Cobra Clutch for the win (3:51). Slaughter keeps the hold on Matia well after the bell then breaks before leaving the ring
Thoughts: Slaughter is crazy over right now. The whole arena loved him. His transformation from a hated heel to one of the most over acts in the company was fascinating to watch.
Piper’s Pit with Captain Lou Albano. Piper calls him the best manager ever, in wrestling and in music. They have several magazine covers on the table that all feature Cyndi Lauper. Piper says that Albano is the reason that she is a megastar, and joked that he was even to make her appear sexy. He shows a gold album then they show a clip of her video “Time after Time.” Piper asks if he could bring her onto his show and Albano states that he can make that happen, which causes Roddy to get excited.
“Dr. D” David Schultz vs. Salvatore Bellomo
Schultz tries to ground Bellomo but he escapes. They do some matwork until Schultz pulls down Bellomo by the hair then grabs a headlock. Schultz gets backed into the corner and Bellomo fires away. He reverses an Irish whip and comes back with a dropkick. Schultz takes the advantage with a headbutt and rough up Bellomo. He slams him then connects with the elbow drop from the second rope for the win (3:50). After the match, Schultz joins Okerlund for an interview. He tells Okerlund that there are no room for crybabies in the WWF and states that his goal is to win the heavyweight championship. He then puts over his finisher to close the segment.  
Thoughts: They seem to be pushing Schultz. The match itself was dominated by Schultz and the interview was fine. He is a good worker and a better heel so it was a smart move by the WWF.
We are joined in progress as the Iron Sheik is destroying two jobbers. He stacks them on each other and puts one of them in the Camel’s Clutch, causing the jobber to submit. After the match, the Sheik grabs the mic and yells for Sgt. Slaughter before leaving the ring with his manager, Freddie Blassie. The crowd is throwing stuff at Sheik and just hate him with great passion.
Vince tells us that next week’s featured bout will be Mr. Fuji vs. Bob Backlund.
Final Thoughts: Not much of a show here. They furthered along the relationship between Albano and Cyndi Lauper but the matches were just about all terribe.They continue to push Sheik, Slaughter, David Schultz. They are all over but are just about always on TV, so if you missed this, you didnt miss anything new.

Fwd: Pro Wrestling USA

So I have been watching Pro Wrestling USA from the mid-80s and its my understanding that its an amalgam of JCP, Memphis and AWA, but I had a few questions to maybe ask the blog:


  1. I noticed that the tv production on the shows are very inconsistent.  In that I mean you can see the first taping event was Memphs, and the next Crockett, and the last AWA.  Was that the plan to keep rotating?  I would think in hindsight that would put one foot in the grave with a project like that to be that inconsistent.  
  2. Also was the show essentially meant to be a showcase or was it supposed it going to be an autonomous federation, that featured the guys from those feds?  It seems like other than the re-establishing Backlund (who was still referred to as the WWF Champ)  and a Road Warriors vs Lawler/Tommy Rich feud, there was no angles or other reasons to keep people tuning in from week to week. 
In another comment on this, it seemed pointless to do what they are doing because they considered, Flair, Martel, Carlos Colon and to some extent though no belt Backlund as World champions.  

Oh my god, THAT disaster.  Yeah, the idea was to rotate tapings and share rosters to basically act as a challenge to WWE, but Crockett turned into his personal buffet of available guys to pick off for his own promotion, and Verne Gagne thought he was above everyone else, and it was just a ridiculous mess.  Greg Gagne actually talked about the "promotion" on a DVD from Kayfabe Commentaries that I reviewed a while back, and he pretty much described it the same way.  
And Backlund kept referring to himself as WWF champion because in his mind he was screwed out of the title, even though he agreed to do the job to Sheik.  But it was supposed to be a showcase for the individual promoters and it was just a hot mess for obvious reasons.  

WWF Championship Wrestling 5/5/84

May 5, 2012
Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon
Pete Sanchez vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/Capt. Lou Albano

 

 Valentine kills Sanchez with forearm shots in the corner then tosses him across the ring. He beats him against the ropes then goes to work on the ribs of Sanchez. He has him up in a powerslam position but drops him throat first on the top rope. He drops the elbow a few times and gets two as Sanchez was able to put his foot on the ropes. Sanchez makes the comeback and gets a hip toss. However, Valentine regains control and tosses Sanchez to the floor. Albano puts him on the apron and Valentine slams him back into the ring. He misses a leg drop and Sanchez fights back. He gets an atomic drop but Valentine catches his leg and turns it into the figure four and Sanchez quickly submits (4:13). After the match, Albano distracts the ref as Valentine roughs up Sanhcez some more. The camera then cuts to a couple of pro-Valentine kids in the crowd, one of which is holding a sign proclaiming him to be the next Intercontinental Champion. 
Thoughts: It put Valentine over strong but it did go on a bit too long. No one was buying any of Sanchez’s comebacks.
WWF Update about Sgt. Slaughter. This was the same exact segment that aired a several weeks ago. Vince plugged the WWF Magazine at the end.
Tony Garea & SD Jones vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch
Murdoch starts by beating on Garea in the corner. He tags Adonis but Garea hits him and he gets stuck in the ropes. He kicks Adonis then fights off Murdoch but Adonis hits him from behind. He tosses Garea to the floor then they hit him with a double elbow after he enters the ring. They neutralize Garea, also using some illegal tactics. Adonis gets a splash for two. Garea manages a small package then SD, who had enough of the illegal double-teaming, headbutts Adonis and Gara makes the tag. The crowd is wild as SD takes care of the heels until he runs into an elbow from Murdock. The heels get a backbreaker/running elbow drop combo then Murdoch drops another elbow for the win (5:25).
Thoughts: Match wasn’t much as Garea sucks at selling. However, the crowd hated the heels and threw trash at them as they left the ring. It’s nice to see a good tag-team because the division was weak at the time.
“Cowgirl” Wendy Richter & Peggy Lee vs. Princess Victoria & Velvet McIntyre
Wendy cheapshots Victoria to start, allowing Peggy to gain the advantage. She stomps Victoria in the corner then tags out. She gets a chinlock and uses her hands to stretch out the mouth of Victoria, who breaks the hold by biting her hands. Wendy tosses her into Peggy, who gets her leg up and tags out. Backbreaker gets two. She runs Victoria’s face against the ropes then chokes her out using her foot. The heels then double-team Victoria behind the ref’s back as Velvet is getting pissed. Victora grans the middle ropes after blocking a slingshot attempt but Lee comes flying in with a splash. Victoria is taking a shit-kicking out there. She manages to roll away from Richter, who was coming off the top with a splash, and make the tag. Velvet runs wild, hitting a few dropkicks. Lee whips her against the ropes but Velvet comes back with a tilt-a-whirl into a press for the win (5:26).
Thoughts: Not a bad match as Victoria played the face-in-peril role extremely well. However, the heels dominated 90% of the match and lost at the end.
Piper’s Pit with Rocky Johnson. Rocky states he will not be insulted. Piper replies by stating how he has no other choice to be insulted as he cannot come out with any significant material then rants and raves for a while. Piper then brings out a rag and tosses at Rocky. He calls him “boy” then tells him to shine his shoes. Rocky gets up and knocks Piper out of his chair as some jobbers come out and separate the two. Fun segment that furthers the tension between Piper and Johnson.
Jose Luis Rivera vs. Paul Orndorff
Piper is not at ringside. Orndorff backs Rivera into the corner then takes him down. Enziguiri by Orndroff who then stomps away. He tosses Rivera to the floor then kicks him down from the apron a few times. Rivera goes back in and tries sunset flip but Orndorff blocks that and punches him in the face. Suplex by Orndorff then he grounds him with a front facelock. He kills Rivera with a few kneelifts then catches him with a powerslam,, pulling him up at two. Orndorff then kills him with the piledriver for the win (4:09).
Thoughts: The crowd hated Orndorff with such passion. Heels today wish they could draw the heat from the fans like Orndorff did here. I have no idea why the WWE doesn’t have someone rip off his gimmick today.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Ron Shaw
I’m pretty sure this match was from several weeks ago. Shaw beats on Bellomo in the corner and gets a slam. He beats on him some more until Bellomo gets a backdrop. He hits a standing dropkick then Shaw begs for mercy in the corner. Bellomo applies a chinlock then works the leg. Bellomo hits Shaw with the mule kick after a leapfrog and comes back with a crossbody for the win (2:37).
Thoughts: A dull squash as Bellomo is not at all exciting, or even important for that matter.
Next week’s featured matchups include Ivan Putski vs. Tiger Chung Lee and David Schultz vs. Salvatore Bellomo.
Final Thoughts: Decent show. The Valentine and Orndorff squashes were fun and it was good to see Adonis & Murdoch. The womens tag match was decent and Piper’s Pit was fun as well.

WWF Television 4/28/84: Championship Wrestling & All-Star Wrestling

WWF Championship Wrestling
April 28, 1984
Your announcers are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon

Rene Goulet vs. Tito Santana
Tito backs Rene into the corner. He fights out of a headlock and gets an armdrag. He grounds Rene then goes to work on the arm. Rene escapes but Tito dodges the monkeyflip attempt and flips Goulet over. He hits him with an Atomic Drop but Goulet accidentally collides with the ref. Goulet gets an elbow smash from the second rope after a cheap shot and fires away in the corner. He gets a snapmare but Tito escapes from a chinlock with an armbar. Gouelt gets a reverse rollup but Ttio gets another armdrag. Goulet uses come cheap heel tactics until Tito fights back. He gets a backdrop, which gets two. They trade hip tosses until Tito comes back with the flying forearm for the win (6:00) *1/4.
Thoughts: This match was longer than the usual for this program. Nothing particularly exciting but the crowd really loved Tito.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. The spoltlight is on Rowdy Roddy Piper. Vince talks about how he is a great manager and wrestler as they replay his Piper’s Pit segment with Andre the Giant from last month.
Pete Sanchez & Salvatore Bellomo vs. “Dr. D” David Schultz & “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Piper is not here tonight. The “Paula” chants are deafening. Orndorff gets a dropkick then tags Schultz. He grabs a headlock but Bellomo still manages to tag out. Sanchez fights out of a headscissors then Bellomo complains to the ref, allowing the heels to cheat. They take turns roughing up Sanchez until he is able to make the tag. Bellomo challenges Orndroff but gets destroyed. He dodges a charge from Orndorff and tags Sanchez. However, Orndorff beats him up then tags Schultz. He gets a pair of bodyslams then gets the elbow drop from the second rope for the win (5:12).
Thoughts: An extended squash that did not impress. Orndorff and Schultz are not gelling as a tag team. They have little chemistry together and are just two singles wrestlers who are thrown together.
Tiger Chung Lee vs. Sgt. Slaughter w/Terry Daniels
Tiger gets a cheap shot off of a clean break. Sarge decks him and he rolls outside. He goes back inside and Sarge grabs a headlock as the camera shows Daniels, still in his Marine uniform, holding the flag in the aisle. Sarge beats on Tiger for a while. He dropkicks him then runs his face along the ropes. Tiger begs for mercy in the corner but gets a cheapshot and takes the advantage. The crowd is screaming “U-S-A” at this point and Sarge makes a comeback. Turnbuckle smash by Sarge. He gets a gutbuster then delivers a double stomp. Tiger manages a thumb to the eye but Sarge catches his foot on a kick attempt then destroys him with a clothesline, getting the win (4:17). After the match, Slaughter gives a flag to a kid in the stands.
Thoughts: Slaughter was extremely over with the crowd. They are eating up his Patriotic act. Surprised to see him win with a clothesline though.
Piper’s Pit with Captain Lou Albano. They gush all over each other for a bit. Piper mentions how Albano made Cyndi Lauper the #1 star in the music industry and they show his part in the “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” video. This segment was really just an excuse for Vince to promote one of his stars who was part of a popular thing outside of wrestling. Doesn’t that sound familiar.
Steve Lombardi vs. Iron Sheik w/Freddie Blassie
The camera shows all of the anti-Sheik signs in the crowd. Nothing was overly racist this time. Sheik grabs the mic to proclaim how Iran is number one as the crowd throws trash into the ring. Lombardi bounces off of the Sheik, who then yells at the crowd. Lombardi manages to get a sunsetflip but Sheik stomps him down. He slams Lombardi then tosses him outside. Blassie pokes his cane off of Lombardi’s head, then laughs directly into the camera. Sheik slams Lombardi on the floor then rolls him back into the ring. Sheik gets a few suplexes then makes Lombardi submit to the Camel Clutch (2:52). Sheik stomps Lombardi after the match. 
Thoughts: Looks like they are attempting to push the Sheik again. The crowd hates him so it is a good idea to make him a strong heel.
Israel Matia vs. Ivan Putski
Matia stalls to begin the match. Putski gets a slam then Matia does his bit about complaining to the ref about a hairpull. Okerlund begins to name off all the muscles in the human body and how Putski’s are the best as Matia gets a knee. He runs the ropes but Putski gets the Polish Hammer for the win (2:33)
Thoughts: The match was nothing and Putski is well past the point of usefulness.  
Next week, the featured match is Princess Victoria vs. “Cowgirl” Wendy Richter. Also, Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch will team up and Piper’s Pit with Rocky Johnson.
Final Thoughts: The show itself was forgettable but they seemed to make the matches longer and a bit more competitive. I am interested in seeing Murdoch & Adonis team up though.
WWF All-Star Wrestling
April 28, 1984
Your Hosts are Vince McMahon and Gene Okerlund.
Tito Santana vs. “Dr. D” David Schultz
Piper is not present for this match. They shake hands to start then do some matwork. Schultz gets a rollup for two. They fight over a test of strength and Schultz throws a knee. Schultz pulls Tito down by using his hair and works the arm. Schutlz gets some elbows but Tito fights back. Schult backs into the corner and Tito stomps away. Kneedrop gets two. Schultz pushes Tito outside but gets dragged out. Tito fights back and Schultz prevents him from going back into the ring. The ref eventually counts to ten and the match ends in a double count-out (6:13) **
Thoughts: This really played out like the beginning of a twenty minute match but it was decent for what it was. Schultz and Tito seems like a good feud for the IC title.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. The spotlight is on the Iron Sheik. They show him squashing a jobber then mention his shopping spree and how “American Pigeons” crapped on the cars that he bought.
“Cowgirl” Wendy Richter vs. Princess Victoria
Victoria is dressed like Pocahontas. They go at each other before the bell. Victoria grabs a headlock but Wendy reverses. They then roll around and have a catfight, ending up on top of the referee. The crowd loved that. Clothesline by Richter, who follows that with a splash that gets two. She uses Victoria’s pigtails to choke her out, just as Mean Gene predicted. It is a rare occurrence when Okerlund says something of importance on commentary. Victoria tries a headlock but Richter counters with a back suplex. She stomps away then picks her up and drops her throat first on the ropes. She puts her in a surfboard for a bit. Wendy stops Victoria’s comeback attempt and hits a shoulderbreaker for two. Wendy pulls the hair but misses a charge and flies outside. Victoria snapmares her back into the ring from the apron. Reverse rollup gets two. She gets a flying chop then rolls up Richter and uses a bridge for the win (6:02) **12
Thoughts: A really good TV match. This was all action. It may have been a bit one-sided in Richter’s favor but still fun to watch. I never knew that Richter was originally a heel in the WWF so that was interesting to see here.
Israel Matia vs. B. Brian Blair
Blair starts by grabbing a side headlock. He hits a shoulderblock then goes back to the headlock as a faint “boring” chant breaks out. Matia backs Blair into the corner and rakes the eyes. Blair fights back and does another headlock takeover as the boring chants get louder. Another eye rake by Matia. He knees Blair and they trade punches. Blair gets a dropkick and a slam. He catches Matia with an abdominal strectch and gets the cradle for the win (3:52).
Thoughts: This match was boring and the headlock spots killed the crowd. Plus, Blair has next to no charisma and the crowd never cared much for him to begin with.
Replay of Sgt. Slaughter vs. Tiger Chung Lee from Championship Wresting
Replay of Piper’s Pit with Lou Albano
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Paul Orndorff
Orndorff beats the piss out of Bellomo. He then misses a charge and sells the elbow. Bellomo hits a few punches and then a dropkick. Orndorff gets a kneelift then drops an elbow. He grabs a chinlock as we see Piper head down to the ring. Bellomo escapes the chinlock but Orndorff takes him down with a jumping knee smash. He shakes hands with Piper then stomps Bellomo. He tosses him to the floor as Piper yells at him to get back in and fight. Orndorff knocks him down with a running boot from the apron. He rolls him back in but Bellomo fights back. He gets a headbutt to the mid-scetion then beats him in the corner. He comes off the top rope with a crossbody block but Orndorff reverses and gets the win (5:03)
Thoughts: Another extended squash but I have no idea why Orndorff needed to win with that move. He should have killed him dead with the piledriver.  
Tony Colon vs. Ivan Putski
Putski hits Colon with a hiptoss, who complains to the ref about his hair being pulled. They engage in a terrible looking punching battle that end with Putski working over the arm. Putski no-sells a forearm shot then knocks Colon out of the ring. Colon goes back in and Putski disposes of him with the Polish Hammer (3:12).
Thoughts: This was pretty bad, even for Putski’s standards. Crowd was silent throughout the match.  
Vince plugs next week’s featured bout, which is Bob Backlund vs. Rene Goulet.
Final Thoughts: We had a really good women’s match and the Tito/Schultz match was fun while it lasted. It had two bad squash matches from Blair & Putski, but overall, a better show than Championship Wrestling.

WWF Championship Wrestling 4/14/84 & 4/21/84

WWF Championship Wrestling
April 14, 1984
Your announcers are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon
This week features the in-ring debut of Terry Daniels plus the featured bout, which is a non-title match between Tiger Chung Lee and “Incredible” Hulk Hogan. Also, Jimmy Snuka, Tito Santana and others will be in action.  

 

 Charlie Fulton vs. Tito Santana
They lockup a few times until Fulton lands some forearms. Tito then tosses Fulton and monkeyflips him out from the corner. Flying headscissors by Tito and he goes to work on the arm. Fulton escapes but Tito sends him down with a dropkick and goes back to the arm. Fulton breaks again but Tito comes back with a flying foreman for the win (4:10).
Thoughts: Tito was a good wrestler but had some really dull squash matches.He either worked a headlock or the arm until he hit the flying forearm. Too bad Fulton had zero charisma because he was solid in the ring.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. The spoltlight is on Big John Studd, who is billed as 6’10 and 364 lbs. He recently won a $30,000 Battle Royal in St. Louis as we see clips of Andre and Hogan beating on Studd outside the ring after the match. Apparently, Studd won by cheating.
Jose Luis Rivera vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/Capt. Lou Albano
Rivera is looking for revenge after Valentine had him carried out on a stretcher during the last bout several weeks ago. Rivera uses his quickness to ward off Valentine and gets a few armdrags but Valentine is able to land an elbow smash. Slam by Valentine. Rivera rolls away from Valentine and gets a dropkick but the Hammer comes back with another elbow smash. Suplex by Valentine then he tosses Rivera outside. Albano rolls him in and Valentine gets a pair of elbow drops for the victory (2:07)
Thoughts: Nothing special. Valentine didn’t look dominating and Rivera is back to being strictly a jobber after his lower-midcard push from the beginning of the year.
Mike Powers vs. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka
Powers attacks Snuka before the bell. Snuka regains control and gets a slam. Headbutt by Snuka then another slam. He hits a kneedrop then climbs up top and hits the Superfly Splash for the win (1:26). After the match, Powers is carried out on a stretcher.
Thoughts: Nice return from injury by Snuka. The crowd was into him too. They are also pushing him strong, with his opponent doing the stretcher job.
Francisco Vasquez & Johnny Rivera vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff & “Dr. D” David Schultz w/Roddy Piper
The “Paula” chants are everywhere here tonight. Rivera and Orndorff start out. Orndorff knees Rivera and tags Schultz. They get a double elbow smash then allow Vasquez to tag into the match. Schutlz shoves him down then hits him with an elbow smash, setting up the second rope elbow drop for the win (1:50)
Thoughts: Not much to see here. I expected some entertainment, giving that Piper was the manager but he really didn’t do anything.  
Piper’s Pit with Frankie Williams. Piper states that he invited Frankie out here from the goodness of his heart. He starts by asking him if he has ever lost a match. Williams of course said that he did and Piper states how he has never lost a match. He makes fun of Williams, who tries and fails to defend himself. Piper tells him that he should be making pizzas and that he is a coward, which infuriated Williams. He says that he runs from nobody and Piper just beats the shit of him. He punches him around then tosses him off the set. Piper looks into the camera and says this famous line “Just when they think they have the answers, I change the questions” before walking off. What a fantastic segment and one that was completely groundbreaking at this time. Piper was great and Williams, who had trouble speaking coherently, was the perfect target for Piper. Definitely check this out if you haven’t seen it before. 
Terry Daniels w/Sgt. Slaughter vs. Johnny Ringo
Daniels debuts with Slaughter in his corner. He lands a few armdrags then some headlock takedowns. He gets a terrible looking backdrop, which seemed like Ringo’s fault. He drops a few elbows then nearly kills himself when he scoop slams him down. Ringo gets a backdrop himself as even Vince is shitting on him during commentary, calling him clumsy. Daniels gets bounced off the ropes but comes back with a sunsetflip for the win (1:50). After the match, Slaughter takes Daniels aside and tells him if he messes up again, he will have to do pushups and they walk away. They are playing up a military-style relation between the two.
Thoughts: Ugly match that did Daniels no favors. Ringo was horrible. Gene and Vince were burying him on commentary towards the end. The crowd is eating up anything Slaughter does so this segment did okay with them. 
Tiger Chung Lee vs. “Incredible” Hulk Hogan
Hulk comes out to “Eye of the Tiger.” The crowd is crazy for Hogan. Fuji is not with Lee tonight. Lee tries to attack Hogan as he enters the ring but Hogan fights him off and grabs his kendo stick, causing Lee to bail. In the ring, Hogan rips off his shirt, causing Gene to go bonkers. Lee is on the apron intimidated as Hogan slingshots him back into the ring. Slam by Hogan. Atomic drop then Hogan catches Lee in a bearhug. Lee breaks that with an eye rake. He chops Hogan and works a nerve hold but Hogan “Hulks Up” quickly then kills him with a clothesline. He slams him again then gets the legdrop for the win (3:03).
Thoughts: Good squash for Hogan. Hulkamania was still in its infancy here so all of the spots, like the shirt-rip, were not the norm around this time.
Gene Okerlund is with Hogan. Hulk yells and states he can feel “Hulkamania” running wild. He tells the fans that he loves them and states that he is on top of the mountain. Hulk was stumbling over his words here as he was starting the whole Hulk Hogan persona at this time. Its interesting to watch.  
Tony Colon vs. Jose Gonzalez
Gonzalez, if you do not know, was known as Invader #1 but better known as the man who stabbed Bruiser Brody to death. He grounds Colon to start. Drop toehold by Gonzalez. He gets a backdrop then a snapmare. Colon comes back with an uppercut but Gonzalez gets another snapmare. He then hits a backbreaker and works a front facelock. Colon escapes but misses a corner splash. Gonzalez gets a slam then heads up top and comes off with a missile dropkick for the win (2:44).   
Thoughts: Gonzalez was a good worker who was ahead of his time. That is all I will say about him though. 
Vince and Gene plug next week’s featured bout again as Sgt. Slaughter will face Mr. Fuji & Tiger Chung Lee in a handicapped match.
Final Thoughts: A good show. Piper’s Pit was a classic and its fun to watch Hogan develop. Seeing him work out the kinks in his character is interesting. The wrestling was fairly decent for the most part.
WWF Championship Wrestling
April 21, 1984
Afa w/Sika & Capt. Lou Albano vs. Hulk Hogan
The Samoans talk outside of the ring. Hogan looks around to make sure the others will not interfere. Afa stalls before entering the ring. Hogan shoves Afa, who ducks outside. Sika distracts Hulk and Afa delivers some shots to the back of Hogan. Hulk comes back with a backdrop and slugs away. Atomic drop by Hogan, who then knocks Sika off the apron. He sends Afa back down and gets the legdrop for the win (3:42). Sika and Albano try to run in after the match but Hogan fights them off easily.
Thoughts: A match where Hogan overcomes all odds. This would happen a lot in the future.
Vince McMahon is in the studio, telling us that this is a special edition of “Championship Wrestling.” We will be shown matches from MSG and other places.
Rene Goulet vs. SD Jones
This is joined in progress from MSG. The two lockup and Goulet reaches the ropes. Goulet continues to break everything by reaching for the ropes. Goulet then gets a forearm smash and puts Jones in a bearhug. SD escapes and tries to slam Goulet but Rene falls on top of him. Goulet then does some sort of nerve hold on the head of Jones, which looks anything but painful. SD fights out of that and gets a backdrop. SD misses a charge in the corner and Goulet pulls a foreign object fro his trunks. SD ducks a punch then lands a headbutt for the win (9:40) ½*.  
Thoughts: A terribly boring match. Neither of these men are good in the ring and this was all stalling and rest-holds.  
WWF Update as Vince McMahon spotlights Tito Santana. They show him hit a jobber with a flying forearm.
“Dynamite” Jack Evans & Johnny Rodz & Joe Nova vs. Andre the Giant
This match is from 1975. Andre was somewhat slender back then and could move around well. The jobbers try to jump Andre but he manages to put all three in the corner. He knocks down Nova and gets Rodz & Evans in the rowboat spot. Andre deflects the jobbers easily and knocks Evans out of the ring with a headbutt. He knocks down Nova then puts Rodz and Evans on top and covers all three men for the win (4:17)
Thoughts: Match was all comedy spots and this would never, ever work today.
Piper’s Pit with Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas. Piper tells them that they only won the belts because Albano accidentally hit one of his men with a chair. He then tells them that they have million dollar bodies and no brains. Rocky then tells Piper that he has no brains or muscles. Rocky hovers off Piper then walks off. Pier turns to Atlas, who says that Piper’s skirt and perfume is the same as his wife’s. Piper comes back by telling him that he is in trouble if he is better looking than his wife. That was a funny comeback. Piper made the segment as Johnson & Atlas aren’t much on the mic.
Jose Luis Rivera vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
Piper is not with Orton tonight. Orton ducks out after Rivera gets an armdrag. They take takedowns and Orton sends Rivera in the corner. There was a miscommunication spot as Orton charges at Rivera with a running knee but Rivera gets his knees up and they collide. Orton then throws Rivera across the ring with force. He places him up top and gets the superplex for the win (1:40).
Thoughts: Really brief and not much to the match.
Sgt. Slaughter vs. Tiger Chung Lee & Mr. Fuji
Slaughter starts by beating on Fuji. He quickly tags out and Lee gets the same treatment. Gutbuster by Slaughter who follows that up with a double stomp. Sarge is distracted by Fuji and Lee backs him into the corner. Lee eventually tags Fuji, who throws some kicks before tagging out. Lee gets a scoop slam and heads up top but Sarge tosses him off. He elbows Fuji off the apron then kills Lee with a clothesline. Sarge sets him up for the Cobra Clutch and boots Fuji down before applying the hold, which causes Lee to submit (4:18) *1/4.
Thoughts: Brief match that was decent for what it was. Fuji was being phased out and he could barely even do anything in the ring at this point. Lee was fast becoming a jobber around this time.
Vince runs down the show from the studio before it ends.
Final Thoughts: A change of format tonight as we didn’t have the same studio matches as usual. The Goulet/Jones match was terrible but the show itself was different, especially that it showed more competitive matches than you saw on TV at this time. No Gene Okerlund meant that we didn’t get to hear him not answer the fan mail questions or hear him scream after a high-impact move.

Dan Selby: Impact Wrestling review

TNA Impact Wrestling Review

So here’s the fallout from what was a good pay-per-view, I felt. Great wrestling, but too many title changes ‘just because it’s our big show’. I kinda get it, but some felt for the sake of it. Anyways, I’ve been ill as hell this week and i’m now armed with a keyboard and hot chocolate. It can only be time for TNA Impact…
Each match/segment will be scored with a positive (+), a negative (-), or a neutral (N). These will then be calculated to give a fair overall rating for the show.

We begin with a promo video from BFG highlighting the Cowboy’s bloody victory over Roode, Devon being revealed as an Aces & Eights member, and Hardy winning the gold.
The Aces and Eights pull up on their bikes and shout lots of probably nasty stuff. We can’t really hear their muffled battle cries… Their wild west style music plays throughout the arena as they strut in to the Impact Zone. Six of them stand in the ring (Nation of Domination style) while the rest of them (including the leader) are shown back at the A8 shack. The boys have a beer for Devon. And here comes the man now, walking out to some good heat, too. Not so awkward anymore.. At least we finally have a different get-up for Devon. “You sold out” chant breaks out. In a funny VKM-esque moment, he tells the crowd to “dammit, SHUT UP!”.  Now there’s either a “You suck” chant or a “Ru-sso!” chant… (Yeh, ok, it’s “You Suck”)
Devon explains why he did, what he did. First it’s Bubba – He remembers him putting his son through a table. Before he gets a chance to explain further, out comes Sting, Bully, and some more TNA guys. Sting introduces them to the TNA roster. Yep, that really means a fight! Brawl ensues, cue Hogan’s music. Nice new red Hulkamania top!
Back from the break, Hogan tells Devon it “doesn’t work that way, brother” as he and the 8’s flee. Sting challenges Devon to a match tonight. Hogan then tells Devon “you’re either all the way in, or all the way out, brother”. Unfortunately, all I can think about now is Hulkamania running wild on the Love Sponge’s other half. Cheers, Hulk. So it’s Sting Vs. Devon tonight. If you hadn’t followed this angle, that’d look weird on paper. In fact, it still does.
VERDICT: This was ok. Passable stuff. In fairness, I think you could have predicted this entire segment beforehand. A8’s were always going to show up first, celebrate, then have a brawl. Logical, but nothing noteworthy.
N
Highlight package for Aries/Hardy. Really good match, but too similar to Punk/Cena storyline, and they needed to do that Aries go-home promo about 3 weeks prior. TNA jumps on the drum and bass bandwagon, unfortunately. I just think it sounds really tacky, but that’s probably more a personal taste. Whatever happened to real ‘hype music’? Would Rock/Austin’s promo videos looked as good to drum and bass rather than ‘My Way’?  We also have a Jeff Hardy celebration tonight. Without meaning to be the broken record, how much cooler would that have been if he was heel Hardy doing his pre-taped promos? I stand by the fact that was the best work of his career. I’d hazard a guess this’ll set up Hardy’s next feud.
Aries confirms this, while eating a nice cookie.
Hogan’s chatting to Anderson. He will be a part of Championship Thursday and in contention to face Hardy, along with Storm. There’ll be a 3 way tonight to determine the next guy. Joseph Parkes shows up. Hogan tells the cameras to scram and asks Joseph what he saw..
TV Title match – Samoe Joe Vs. Robbie E
Why is Robbie E getting a title match? Call me old skool, but you have to earn ANY type of title match. Also, please change this gimmick. It was outdated when he debuted, I can’t imagine how outdated it is now. It’s never been relevant to us UK viewers, but you cater for your masses.
Joe opens by killing Robbie. He then no-sells Robbie’s offence. Yep, this guy’s ready for a TV title shot! Joe goes for the Muscle Buster, but that no good Robbie T holds on to Joe’s leg. Joe suicide dives T for his troubles! Nice. Muscle Buster time, great sell. Now the rear-naked choke, and it’s game over.
Winner: Samoa Joe
T comes in to make the save, but Joe locks him in the choke for his troubles.
VERDICT: Joe needs to be killing people again, so this is a big plus. Robbie E’s a great seller, too. Trouble is, no one seems to care about him, or find him any kind of viable threat. My main gripe was this being a title match, but you knew that already. It’s pretty easy booking – you have a quick 5 minute match between two guys to determine a #1 contender. If you want the match to happen tonight, so be it. Face Joe later tonight as a hook.
N
That Big Brother dude is lifting Tara over his head. Sorry, I still don’t care one tiny bit. What a huge let down that was. I saw a promo from Jessie and I had to turn it off after 1.50 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1upLeTrON8). It’s ok for a non-wrestling guy, but if you’re now a wrestling guy, it’s not good enough. He asks if anyone has any idea who he is. No.
VERDICT: Sorry, I really hate this guy. Not in a ‘heat’ kinda way, in a ‘what a wasted opportunity’ kinda way. I didn’t really buy this Tara angle from the start, but a good payoff would have made it totally worthwhile. Her and John Morrison would have been a cool pairing.
Dippin’ Chicken looks so, so good… Come here, America.
VERDICT: +
ODB/Tara up next. ODB is shouting at Eric Young over the phone, keeping him under the thumb.
Tara Vs. ODB:
ODB gets the better to begin, but ODB wants to continue her phone conversation with Eric Young. ODB sticks Jessie’s face in her mammoth mammories. A sick hair pull for Tara (looks better than it sounds). And ODB is still concerned with her phone even while selling. THAT’S commitment, ladies and gentlemen. More smooching from Tara/Jessie. Bit of the dutch courage for ODB now, which ends up over the face of Jessie. TKO gets the win for ODB.
Winner: ODB
Brooke Tessmacher comes down to applaud (cos she’s a FACE). She will be facing Tara next week. Weird. ODB just beat the champ…
VERDICT: Fine little TV match for what it was. I’m so confused by TNA’s logic as far as title shots go, though. Not sure putting ODB over the champ in her FIRST title defence was the way forward.
N
Angle and AJ are backstage. AJ tells Angle he loved being tag champs. Angle reminds AJ that it’s a 3 way tonight between himself, AJ and Daniels for a spot in the Championship Thursday title match.
Tag team title promo is shown from BFG. I like the way they’re getting over the important aspects of the PPV without giving TOO much away. There’s some stills, and some clips. I can’t stand Chavo using Eddie’s moves, though. I like Chavo and he’s a great wrestler, but don’t resort to that. Annoyingly, he can’t even hit the frog splash properly.. Still think it was a bum move to put the straps on these two, especially as Kaz/Daniels have been doing such a fine job. Fortunately, according to Daniels, there’ll be a rematch. He shows a bit of fire, too. Good stuff.
Chavo/Hernandez Vs. Kash/Gunner:
Our obligatory shot of Hector Guerrero. I wonder if they just use the same one every single week? Could they not just have this shot on Chavo’s tron instead and save some time? I joke. Kind of.
Hernandez takes out both guys to open. Big gorilla press sends Kash down. Huge bearhug belly to belly. Love that move. It’d be better to use later in the match, though. You could lock the bearhug in for a while, then as the opponent starts to come back, bang, big throw. Would definitely be better as the heel, though, in fairness. In comes Chavo who gets beaten up by Kash/Gunner in their corner. Nice botch/miscommunication from Kash/Chavo. Didn’t seem to know whether it was a whip in to the corner or ropes. Usual Taz stoned blabbering. Still kinda funny, but the novolty’s wearing thin. Quick tags from Gunner/Kash, rugged offence. Stiff kick to the face of Chavo. Kash is such a badass these days, really reinvented himself. Enzeguiri by Chavo sets up the hot tag. Slingshot shoulder block followed by the clean house spot from Hernandez. Big time shoulder tackle sends Kash across the ring – love that move, wouldn’t like to take it. A frog splash style crossbody from Chavo gets the fall on Kash.
Winners: Chavo/Hernandez
VERDICT: A convincing/clean win for the new champs, in a non-title match. The way it should be at this stage. One thing that’s bothering me in tag wrestling at the moment is the lack of unity. By that, I mean team names, attires, tag moves. It’s almost as if they know they’ll be splitting up within 3 months (generous), so what’s the point? I just think they should at least make the effort to make us believe it’ll last longer.
+
Joseph Parkes is backstage with Hulk and Sting. He wants Aces and Eights. Bully Ray turns up and thanks Sting for being on his side. Bully tells Hogan how he knows Devon like the back of his hand. He wants in on the match against Devon instead of Sting. Bully will be the 4th guy in the Champion Thursday show. Bully feels Hogan needs to start trusting him more. Sting tries to catch Bully up and resolve the tension…
They show the drum and bass Aries/Hardy promo again. Not sure we need it twice..
Ok, so I always, ALWAYS say ‘I preferred Jeff’s music before this one’ and always end up liking it. I’m pretty sure I’m not keen on this one, though… It just feels a little lame in comparison to his others. But, check back in in a few months time and I’ll be raving about it. We have pyro as Jeff holds up his title, with a load of confetti AKA more celebrations than there were at their biggest PPV of the year. That’s backward. It’s also worth noting that Jeff has a new title belt. It’s like a cross between the current one and his Immortal world title. A big pop, followed by a lot of boo’s. TNA, you have your John Cena.
Jeff does his usual promo where every sentence ends with massive emphasis. Kids are shown loving it. Yeh – Cena. Aries interrupts singing “Ceeeelebrate good times COME ON!”. Quite good, too! He’s armed with balloons and cookies. Aww. The Impact Zone want some, too! Aries congratulates Jeff and goes to hand him the balloons, but Jeff wasn’t quick enough.. Jeff then bats the cookies in to the front row. Aries questions what that world title is, as it’s not the same one he had. It’s pretty cool, I have to say. Aries explains how Jeff has to learn to handle the pressure. Aries says he’s going to invoke his rematch clause when he wants to and take Jeff off-guard. Austin reckons the belt is a “spitting image” of Jeff, and gobs twice on the belt. Jeff has enough and decks Aries. He goes for the Twist of Fate but Aries evades.
VERDICT: Jeff’s mic skills look so stupid alongside Aries. Apart from that, it was a decent segment as Aries is always pretty strong on the mic. His verbage with the fans is always fun. Also, I look forward to the rematch.
+
Chris Daniels talks about his upcoming 3 way and says he’ll have more of these ‘delicious beverages’ after the victory. I like the appletini gimmick. He’s such an ass.
AJ Styles Vs. Kurt Angle Vs. Christopher Daniels – Winner goes through to Championship Thursday
The tag team double team Daniels, but AJ goes for the Styles Clash and Angle breaks it up. Tension. We can see where this is going. Angle/AJ go at it as it looks as though they’re using the old “2 men in the ring, other guy sits out” routine. Has that always been the norm? I’d like to see more legit 3 ways. Angle starts kicking ass with backdrops and an array of suplexes. Styles cuts him off with a big kick to the head. Style Clash reversed in to the ankle lock early on. Daniels breaks it up with a slappy right. Angle takes a break after being thrown shoulder first in to the ring post. Daniels is now in control. ‘Final Cut’ gets a close fall. Taz tells us King Mo did a ‘great job’ at BFG. I want Mo’s job. Rest hold from Daniels, Styles fights back and Angle comes in and cleans house. AJ nails Kurt with the springboard forearm. Daniels with a picture perfect blue thunder powerbomb. Angle turns out a t-bone suplex for the first time in a little while on Daniels, but AJ knocks him down with the Pele kick. All 3 down. AJ looks for the springboard 450 but hits a moonsault to the outside on Daniels instead! Nice! Taz gets over how risky the move is – good call. AJ gets barged back to the outside and Angle hits the Angle Slam for the win.
Winner: Kurt Angle
VERDICT: Ending felt a little contrived, but it was a good match as you’d expect from these 3. Obviously teasing Angle/AJ splitting. Wouldn’t be surprised to see AJ turn heel. I’m in the minority that thought AJ was at his most interesting when he was mentored by Flair. He’s just so bland character-wise.
+
We see Matt Morgan’s return, coming to the aid of Joey Ryan.
Ryan is backstage with Morgan and introduces himself to Hogan. Hogan asks why he’d ruin the biggest PPV of the year. Hogan goes on to break kayfabe talking about how creative thought he was hot one week and cold the next. Morgan backs Hogan against the wall and tells him he’ll take all of that and shove it up Hogan’s ass. Great, another Hogan insertion image in my head. Thanks, Morg.
Storm is in the Impact Zone, and he’s in a damn suit! I’m not sure of the significance of this, but there you go.
Highlight package of Storm/Roode. Holy fuck, Storm bled like a trooper. I’m not a lover of the blood ban in WWE, but less is definitely more in this case. It looks shocking again.
Storms come down and puts over his match at BFG. He pulls out a piece of paper that is infact his ‘bucket list’. Great idea, very original! He makes it known that he wants that world title back. Cue Bobby Roode. Roode’s still selling as he walks down the aisle, nice touch. Need more of that. And now the crowd want to ruin the segment by doing the dead ‘WHAT?’ chant. Grow up. It’s DEAD – MOVE ON. Storm’s shirt is really f’n cool. I want it. Roode compliments Storm so the Cowboy asks for a chair so Roode can sit down and kiss his ass. Funny. This riles Roode up and he talks about how he was Beer Money. Basically, without him, he wouldn’t have been a world champion. Roode thinks deep down, Storm knows Roode will always be the better man. Storm doesn’t care and hits the Last Call superkick.
VERDICT: Segment of the night so far. A legit long feud, a good story, and an original idea with the bucket list. Storm does a wonderful job being a pro wrestler, but still one of ‘the people’. This was well paced and got intense when it needed to. Good job.
+
We see highlights from Sting’s HOF induction. Some pleasant clips from Luger, Dixie, and the man himself. Seemed very sincere.
Devon Vs. Sting
All Aces & Eights members enter from backstage, which is the right thing to do. Sting has his cool pink attire. I’m kinda surprised they haven’t done a Jeff Hardy/Sting team at some point. Devon’s just wearing plain back. He could at least gimmick it up a little bit. He still looks far too Devon. Does any of this make any sense?
Brawl kicks things off. Sting gets roughneck with stomps to the fingers and rakes of the eye. The two botch a Cactus style clothesline, so Sting unceremoniously dumps Devon outside instead. During the break, Sting hit Devon with a chair, but Earl Hebner despite staring right at it, mustn’t have seen anything! Those damn bias TNA refs! Devon is now in control, though. Punch/kickfest commences. After lots of slow offence, Devon misses a headbutt off the 2nd rope. Comeback by Sting. Stinger Splash to the back connects, followed by the Scorpion Death Drop. Sting turns Devon over for the Scorpion Death Lock, but, of course, here come the Aces and Eights.
Winner:  No contest
VERDICT: Uhh this was difficult to watch. Storyline wise, it makes sense for this match to happen. But Sting wrestling only works against either someone who can move around for him (an AJ Styles, for example), or someone who is perceived as a legend (Flair/Hogan), as the anticipation covers up the plodding match. Devon is neither. I totally understand they’re holding off the Devon/Bully match for PPV, though.
Here come TNA, lead by Anderson and Garrett. Right. We see the same brawl we saw that opened the show. But here comes the Bully with a baseball bat to scare that nasty gang away.
OVERALL VERDICT: This was a bit of a snorefest for me. The idea of a TV show is to further storylines, create interest for next week, but without giving too much away for the PPV’s. TNA did the latter, but for this viewer, they did not check the first two boxes. I actually found myself wanting the show to hurry up towards the end, which is never a great sign. This review is riddled with ‘neutrals’ so the outcome is a foregone conclusion. But let me tell you, it’s mighty close to being a ‘negative’.
N
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WWF Championship Wrestling: 3/31/84/ & 4/7/84

WWF Championship Wrestling
March 31, 1984
Your announcers are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon
This week features the return of “Cowboy” Bob Orton. Also, Piper’s Pit with the first inductee of Sgt. Slaughter’s Cobra Corps, Terry Daniels, and the featured bout, which will see Piper go up against SD Jones.

Mike Powers vs. Tito Santana

Apparently, this is the debut of Powers, who has the hair of Buddy Rose and the back hair of A-Train. Tito grounds Powers then works a headlock as Vince reads a fan question wondering where Muraco has been. Like usual, the fan doesn’t get an answer. Powers seems to be messing up his spots and Tito is getting pissed. Tito blocks a turnbuckle smash then kills Powers with the flying forearm (3:37).
Thoughts: Powers was one crappy jobber and the squash itself was boring. Tito really hit him hard with the forearm though. That was vicious.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. The spoltlight is on the Iron Sheik as we see a clip of him destroying a jobber while the crowd is screaming for Sgt. Slaughter. These segments were used to showcase those they were trying to push. Not a bad idea, really. Short and to the point.
Francisco Vasquez vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/Capt. Lou Albano
Never heard of Vasquez before but he has a good physique. Valentine gets an elbow smash to start. Drop toehold by the Hammer and he goes to work on the leg. Vasquez fucks up a small package by falling down so Valentine picks him up and slams him hard. He uses the spinning toe hold to set up the figure-four leglock for the win (2:07). After the match, Valentine destroys the leg some more.
Thoughts: Where did they get the jobbers tonight? The first two have been awful so far. A dominating squash by Valentine, who they seem to be building up strongly.
Tony Russo vs. Bob Backlund
Backlund is still getting some boos. They start out with a handshake then Backlund goes to work using some amateur moves. Russo manages a takedown but Backlund gets up and uses a backslide for the pin (1:58). After the match, the two shake hands as Arnold Skaaland, the man who threw in the towel for Backlund when he lost the title to the Iron Sheik, is introduced as he enters the ring to raise the hand of Backlund, who then proceeds to use his own ab-roller to exercise..
Thoughts: The crowd is not warming up to Backlund’s act at all. This was even too corny for 1984. The overly nice and happy act, along with the boring amateur moves are turning off the crowds. Funny, how later in the year, Hulk Hogan would ride a wave of popularity by pandering to the kids.
Santiago Rios vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff w/Roddy Piper
Crowd is driving Orndorff crazy with the “Paula” chants. He starts by kneeing Rios then throwing him out of the ring. Rios tries to use some shoulder thrusts on the apron but Orndorff yanks him back inside. He hits Rios with a nasty waistlock suplex before nearly taking his head off with a clothesline. After that, he picks him up and nails the piledriver for the win (1:40)
Thoughts: Damn, I love Orndorff squash matches. Poor Rios took a shit-kicking here.
Piper’s Pit with Terry Daniels. He is dressed in his Marine attire. Piper mocks him and then pokes fun of military catchphrases that you see in the movies. Piper then makes fun of Slaughter and puts down the idea of the Cobra Corps before walking off the set. Not bad and Piper was pretty funny but this seems to be setting up to some sort of match down the line.
Lee Wong vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
The return of Orton, who is met with a few cheers but mostly boos. Orton works the arm of Wong as we see Roddy Piper appear at ringside, seemingly in the corner of Orton. Slam by Orton then a kneedrop as he places Wong up top and hits the Superplex for the win (2:23). After the match, Piper comes in the ring to raise the hand of Orton.
Thoughts: Nice job by Orton as the Superplex was one of the coolest looking finishers in the company at this time. Having Piper align with Orton will add to his heat. Speaking of Piper, he now has Orton, Orndorff, and Schultz. That really could have been a great stable.
SD Jones vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
Piper stalls and takes off his kilt, which had the crowd taunting him loudly. He starts by shaking hands and using clean breaks, in a very insincere manner. It was pretty funny, actually. Piper then clocks SD after teasing another clean break. SD manages a sunset flip for two but Piper goes to work on the neck. SD makes a comeback as the crowd goes crazy. He catches his foot and hits an atomic drop and the crowd is insane right now as Piper is staggering all over the place. SD  then ducks his head and Piper hits him with a swinging neckbreaker for the win (4:43).
Thoughts: Not bad at all. The wrestling wasn’t much but Piper really could work the crowd. He had the crowd go nuts for SD Jones.
Frankie Williams vs. Ivan Putski
Putski keeps hitting Williams, who ducks out of the ring each time. The announcers play up how Williams has never beat Putksi. Has he even won a televised match at this point? Vince plugs Tony Garea & B. Brian Blair vs. Wild Samoans as next week’s featured match. Putski slingshots Williams back in the ring then hits the Polish Hammer for the win (2:52).
Thoughts: Dull stuff. Nothing more to add other than Putski continues to get phased out.
Vince and Gene plug next week’s featured bout again as they mention Putski will be a guest on the Piper’s Pit next week.
Final Thoughts: Fun show. They had better and more prolific wrestlers, like Santana, Piper, Orndorff, and the return of Orton. None of the Salvatore Bellomo and Butcher Vachon types were present here. More of the focus is on the new and not on the old.
WWF Championship Wrestling
April 7, 1984
Your announcers are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon
They run down the card for tonight’s show, plugging Garea & Blair vs. Samoans and Ivan Putski on the Piper’s Pit.
Tony Colon & Johnny Ringo vs. Tony Atlas & Rocky Johnson
Johnson armdrags Ringo then tags Atlas. Colon tags in as well and punches Atlas to no effect. The tag champs make quick tags until Colon beats on Johnson for a little bit. Johnson escapes and tags Atlas, who gets the press slam and finishes with the splash (3:46).
Thoughts: Boring squash and the tag-champs still don’t seem to mesh well at all.
WWF Update as Vince McMahon tells us that Jimmy Snuka has been named WWF magazine wrestler of the year. They show a clip of him winning a squash with the Superfly Splash.
Jose Luis Rivera vs. “Dr. D.” David Schultz w/Roddy Piper
Rivera’s first match on TV since he did a stretcher job for Valentine last month. Schultz takes him down then sends him out of the ring with a forearm smash. Back in, Rivera lands a few shots but Schultz pokes his eyes. Slam by Schultz, which sets up the middle-rope elbow drop for the win (2:01).
Thoughts: Schultz dominated here and it’s further back down the card for Rivera.
Charlie Fulton vs. Sgt. Slaugher w/Terry Daniels
Daniels is leading Slaughter to the ring, bearing the flag. Sarge is in his red, white, and blue colors. Slaughter starts with a Fireman’s carry then hits Fulton with some forearms. Gutbuster by Slaughter who then works the arm. Fulton escapes but Slaughter comes back with some windmill punches. Clothesline by Slaughter which sets up the Cobra Clutch for the win (1:59). After the match, Slaughter leads the crowd in some “U-S-A” chants.
Thoughts: Nice squash match for Slaughter. The crowd is eating up the patriotic act by Slaughter. They go absolutely crazy whenever he appears.
Tonga Kid vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton w/Roddy Piper
They start with a criss-cross sequence that ends with Tonga getting a crossbody for two. He chops Orton, who then brushes off a dropkick attempt. Crowd is behind Tonga as he is getting pummeled by Orton. Tonga manages a dropkick but Orton  thencatches him with a backbreaker, setting him up for the Superplex and the victory (2:02).
Thoughts: Good amount of action for a two minute match. Tonga was very athlectic and Orton was one of the best wrestlers around.
Piper’s Pit with Ivan Putski. Roddy starts by dissing Putski’s Polish heritage then tells him how he is not intimidated by his physique. Piper then tells him he would rather hear Lassie bark and listen to him sing so Putksi grabs the mic and begins to sing, to the disgust of Piper. Piper screams at Putski, who continues to sing. Eventually, Piper walks off and Putski finishes his song. Not much of a segment but the crowd seemed to enjoy Putski here. Then again, Piper could always get the crowd to cheer for his opposition at this point.
Lee Wong vs. Iron Sheik w/Freddie Blassie
Loud “Iran Sucks” chants from the crowd. Sheik stalls for a bit then hits a waistlock suplex and applies the Camel Clutch for the win (1:04).
Thoughts: Very quick and the heat for the Sheik was off the charts. Looks like they are trying to build up the Sheik once again.
B. Brian Blair & Tony Garea vs. Wild Samoans w/Capt. Lou Albano
Blair and Sika start out after some stalling by the heels. They do a bit where Sika tries to hit Blair but he would duck out of the way and Afa got hit by accident. Sika easily escapes from a full nelson. Afa runs in but accidentally hits Sika. Blair grabs a headlock but Sika reaches the ropes and tags out. Blair gets a sunset flip for two then tags Garea. He gets a crossbody for two. Afa knocks him down and applies a chinlock. The Samoans tag behind the referee’s back and double team Garea for a while. After ducking away from a charge, Garea tags Blair. He beats on the Samoans then gets the ab stretch into a cradle but Sika breaks up the pin. All four men are now brawling in the ring and the ref signals for the DQ as he cannot control the match (6:12) *. Albano gathers his team and takes them back to the dressing room.
Thoughts: Basic match that seems to be leading up to a series of matches between the two teams. Blair & Garea don’t really do much for me and the Samoans are getting a little stale.
Israel Matia vs. Johnny Rivera
Rivera is smaller with a receeding hairline. He is best known for being Invader #3. Matia stalls for a bit then grabs an armlock. Rivera escapes and gets a dropkick and an armdrag. He works the arm as Vince breaks the news that Hulk Hogan will wrestle in next week’s featured match against Tiger Chung Lee. Rivera then gets a flying chop for the win (2:39).
Thoughts: Rivera was quick and a good worker but no one cared about the match. It seemed like a heel vs. heel match.
Final Thoughts: Another solid show. You can see that they are taking steps to change the format of the show. They are having the bigger names appear, Piper’s Pit is original and even the WWF Update segments are a nice touch. Also, ring announcer Joe McHugh (who really isn’t that good) has stopped giving the match times before announcing the winner. They are really strong on the heel side of the roster and building them up nicely. The tag-division is weak but there are plenty of challengers for the World and Intercontinental belts.