Ahmed Johnson vs. Vader & Triple-H vs. Jake (and other KOTR Qualifying Matches!)

Austin 3:16- The Most Iconic Promo Ever Happened 25 Years Ago Today

Beating a bunch of midcarders and you change the business forever. Wrestling is weird.

WWF KING OF THE RING QUALIFYING MATCHES (1996):
* You might have heard of this tournament before. So by this point, the tourney was kind of up in the air after Mabel’s failed Main Event push. It could have even poisoned the “King” title, in fact. Hopefully THIS year’s winner makes more of a go of it.

So the backstory here was that the crown was meant to go to the “Next Big Midcarder”, more or less- mid-tier heel Hunter Hearts-Helmsley was expected to win it. But instead, he was one of the few guys the WWF could punish for doing the infamous “Curtain Call” (the Kliq members all coming out for a group hug in the ring, “exposing the business” by confusing fans at an MSG house show). And so he had his big push taken away and they threw it on some other guy. Thus giving HHH a lifelong persecution complex and an obsessive need to look smarter and better than everyone else, covering his own ass at every opportunity. But who knows what effect THAT had on the business?

This review is comparatively massive, because I decided to put the trio of Quarterfinals in the same review instead of splitting them up. Easier to look at the tourney as a whole that way! Hopefully it’s not too long, haha.

HENRY O. GODWINN (w/ Hillbilly Jim) vs. JUSTIN “HAWK” BRADHSAW (w/ Uncle Zebekiah):
(WWF Superstars)
* Weirdness abounds as tag wrestler Godwinn is out there with absolutely ZERO chance, taking on rising midcard guy Bradshaw, then a super-green Stan Hansen wannabe in red trunks and a ponytail managed by Zebekiah. At this point, the future JBL was nowhere near as protected as he would be even as part of the Acolytes, but he was protected enough.

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Mabel vs. Adam Bomb (and other King of the Ring 1995 Qualifying Matches!)

8 WWE Matches Where The Crowd Was The Star – Page 3

Mabel vs. Savio Vega ending a PPV. This was so bad it feels like a hard-boiled noir detective should be doing narration over it.

KING OF THE RING QUALIFYING MATCHES (1995):
* Back for more King of the Ring Qualifiers- technically still part of my “Dream Matches” column, haha. And with a special edition of everyone’s favorite wrestling standby: FANTASY REBOOKING!!

This year’s King of the Ring was very well-represented on YouTube. This is the most infamously bad tournament in history, which is hilarious, as “on paper” it looks to be the biggest one ever- while most tourneys are foregone conclusions or are full of mid-level guys, this one had Lex, Owen, Razor, Shawn and even the UNDERTAKER wrestling, with a ton of matches having equal stars. So the disaster that was the ’95 KOTR is a true epic. Come watch as the long national nightmare of Savio Vega in a prominent role begins, plus how NOT to create a new Monster Heel.

Previous tournaments re-legitimized ex-champion Bret Hart and gave credibility to Owen for his feud with Bret. A third tournament could either legitimize another would-be champion (Shawn Michaels, in this case), or set up a challenger for Diesel, who’s coming out of a feud with Psycho Sid. It looks like Bob Holly beating Mantaur is not on YouTube, but I found the rest.

MABEL (w/ Mo) vs. ADAM BOMB:
(WWF In Your House, May 14th)
* This was a strange decision- putting the first KOTR Qualifier on the first-ever In Your House PPV as a throwaway bout. Mabel had just recently turned heel, while Bomb was spinning his wheels as a directionless babyface after splitting with Harvey Whippleman last year. Bomb’s in the red & yellow gear as usual (he only briefly wore other colors), while Mabel’s in black & purple.

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Yokozuna vs. Kamala (and other Dream Matches!)

Kamala, The Ugandan Giant: 6 Things To Know About The Late Professional Wrestler - CINEMABLEND

As a lover of “Big Fat Guys Running Into Each Other” spots, this screencap makes me so, SO happy.

Time for more Dream Matches! And if you’re a Kamala fan, boy have I got the column for you! Watch a newly-babyface Kamala trotted out as a sacrifice for a bigger, fatter Yokozuna! And then him teaming up with the mostly-forgotten “Kimala II” in All Japan of all places, teaming with Abdullah the Butcher to take on Stan Hansen, Joel Deaton & Mike Golden! Plus Bad News Brown vs. Koko B. Ware!

And also, a very special random match from RINGS of all places, as the Japanese fake-shoot fed gives us two of their top stars- Volk Han & Dick Vrij in one of those weirdly inexplicably-scored matches (but don’t worry- the counts are only there to lead to the come from behind finishes!).

YOKOZUNA (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. KAMALA:

(WWF RAW, May 1993)
* Hell yes- someone recommended this to me, and it’s perfect. Another FAT MAN STAND-OFF, as Yokozuna takes on the newly-babyface Kamala, with no Slick at ringside, so you know his ass is being jobbed out. Heenan writes off Kamala’s chances because Yoko has never been slammed, while Savage votes for “the definite underdog” on account of Razor Ramon’s recent loss to the 1-2-3 Kid meaning everything’s up for grabs. Yoko is about ready to fight Hogan for the WWF Title at King of the Ring, so that pretty well tells you the finish right away.

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Yokozuna vs. Rikishi (and other Dream Matches!)

Shitloads Of Wrestling — The Sultan [1996] In 1996, a large masked wrestler...

This week: Another FAT MAN STAND-OFF, as it’s Cousin vs. Cousin! At least I think that’s how they’re related.

Welcome to another set of Dream Matches! Last week’s Wrestling Summit review was kind of a big show, so I needed a few smaller matches and easier-to-find ones to do this week, but I think I found some neat stuff- mostly revolving around Yokozuna’s WWF career, plus some other random guys. So this week, you will see an early Yokozuna squash against Koko B. Ware, then a scrap against his cousin Fatu in his role as The Sultan! And ending with one of his last WWF singles matches, as he takes on God-Tier Main Eventer Shawn Michaels!

Hoo boy, and if you’re a mark for Alex “The Pug” Porteau, are YOU gonna be happy- watch as the Pug takes on Salvatore Sincere and Fit Finlay on separate occasions! Can you believe

YOKOZUNA (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. KOKO B. WARE:
(WWF RAW, Jan. 11th 1993)
* The dreaded “Rob Bartlett” era continues, as he declares “that is one big-butted Oriental, Vince!” then quips “He’s got an ass like an amphitheater!” How did THAT one make it to air? Koko’s in the AMAZING High Energy parachute pants (neon yellow, baby!), while Yoko’s in the cool old gear- the white with red. No Frankie- Vince suggests “Maybe Yokozuna had a little SNACK before he came out here”.

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Macho Man & Mr. Perfect vs. Giant Gonzalez & Mr. Hughes (and other Dream Matches!)

Icons of Wrestling #16 – Giant Gonzalez | Ring the Damn Bell

What defines “Dream Match” better than “Jorge Gonzalez versus _____”?

Welcome to more Dream Matches! Including a rarity with Giant Gonzalez actually interacting with other “name” guys. Also more “short-lived gimmicks” as The Stalker (Barry Windham) has to try and oppose the might of THE GOON! A FAT MAN STAND-OFF between Mabel and Bam Bam Bigelow! Yokozuna in New Japan taking on Riki Choshu! And did you know that Sherri Martel did a run in 1981 AJW? Now you do- watch her face Devil Masami!

All of this can be readily found on YouTube.

“MACHO MAN” RANDY SAVAGE & MR. PERFECT vs. MR. HUGHES & THE GIANT GONZALEZ (w/ Harvey Wippleman):
(17.08.1993)
* Here’s a random taped “end of the card” bout, and an AMAZINGLY weird combination, as Macho Man & Mr. Perfect team up once more to take on Giant Gonzalez near the end of his run, and Mr. Hughes, who at this point was the new guy feuding with the Undertaker (was this the first “heel steals the urn” angle? This feels like the first). Hughes is DEFINITELY not as tall as I remember- he doesn’t look much taller than either opponent. Macho’s in his AMAZING super-patriot gear with red, white & blue, while Perfect’s in black & orange, and the heels are in their usual- airbrushed muscles (Gonzalez) and the sharp suit (Hughes).

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Yokozuna & Bastian Booger vs. Men On A Mission (and other Dream Matches)

Richard Land on Twitter: "An absolute TRAVESTY we never got a Yokozuna vs Bastion Booger feud!… "

It’s a shock and a tragedy that I can’t find any solo matches between these two.

And we’re back with more of wrestling’s wildest Dream Matches! Can you withstand the power of Yoko & Booger working the world’s softest match with Mo & Mabel? More Booger, as he wrestles Rick Martel in a battle of opposites! Also watch the Dungeon of Doom’s B-Team crush High Voltage, Joe Gomez & The Renegade! Speaking of “Plain Old Rick”, watch his last match as he fights Wrath during his “Goldberg” Run! And did you know that Terry Taylor had the world’s most forgettable run in the WWF during 1992-93? True story! He takes on Jim Powers!

As always, these are all readily available on YouTube.

YOKOZUNA & BASTIAN BOOGER (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. MEN ON A MISSION (Mabel & Mo, w/ Oscar):
* An Oakland, California house show gets this AMAZING Dream Match, featuring four huge fat guys (when Mo is the Cruiserweight, you know a match will be good). Yoko was actually WWF Champion at this time, apparently. He tosses his salt right on a ring attendant and shoves the announcer after announcing the faces, then he & Mabel won’t get out of each other’s faces, practically squashing Hebner between them- dude has gotta be ribbing these guys. The terrible video and sound transfer has robbed us of Oscar’s famous diction, sadly.

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Yokozuna vs. Mabel (and other Dream Matches)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YES I’M AN UNAPOLOGETIC MABEL MARK SHUT UP!

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

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

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

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Andre the Giant, El Canek & Villano III vs. Yokozuna, Bad News Brown & 2 Cold Scorpio (and other Dream Matches)

This is like what happens when you hit “Random” in Fire Pro.

RANDOM DREAM MATCHES:
* So randomly searching YouTube for stuff, I found some true gems and some weird stuff, and decided to make a thing of it. This first one is just BONKERS and it got a great reaction when I posted it in the live thread a week back, so I had to share it here. Some are ironic “LOLWTF THOSE guys wrestled!?!” while others are legitimately good. A few of these are WWF & WCW matches posted on YouTube, so I won’t post them here (it demonetizes the blog or somesuch thing), but they’re easy to find.

ANDRE THE GIANT, EL CANEK & VILLANO III vs. KOKINA MAXIMUS, BUFFALO ALLEN & BLACK SCORPIO:
(Universal Wrestling Association, Mexico, 03.05.1992)
* Yes, it’s YOKOZUNA, BAD NEWS BROWN & 2 COLD SCORPIO! Fighting ANDRE, plus Mexican legend El Canek (one of the few guys to slam Andre) and Villaino III (elder brother of IV & V). This is like what happens if you hit “Random” in Fire Pro to make your teams- Andre dressed in a red singlet teaming up with fighting Yokozuna, Bad News Brown and 2 Cold Scorpio! Andre is BEYOND washed up at this point, while Yoko is almost ready for his WWF run, being not quite as fat as he’d be in his 450-lb. debut. Andre’s in a red singlet, Canek’s in white, and Villano’s in blue. Kokina’s in black trunks, Allen’s in his usual black, and Scorpio is wearing a yellow mask and long tights- he’s got a great physique here, too.

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Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers: Heroes of Wrestling (10/10/1999)

Hello You!

I recently brought in a new feature where I’d go all Wrestle Crap and look at a show that is widely considered to be a real stinker, with the ultimate goal of deciding whether it deserves its stinky reputation or not.

We started off with TNA Victory Road 2009 and I left it open to readers to make suggestions in the comments for future shows. This request came from The Ghost of Faffner Hall, who described this particular show as the “Citizen Kane of terrible wrestling shows”

Well, with a build-up like that, how could I NOT review it?!?!

I have actually heard of this one before but have never subjected myself to it, so I hope you all enjoy my anguish. If, for some incomprehensible reason, you actually want to watch this one then you can do you by clicking HERE to view it on YouTube. You do so purely at your own risk though and I will not be held responsible for any misery it may cause you.

The show itself was an attempt by a promoter called Billy Stone to put together a legends show featuring the grapplers of yesteryear, but he had no real idea how to run a wrestling show and it led to an almost inevitable mess as a result.

Let’s all brace ourselves and watch some chuffing wrestling!

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What the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – May 13, 1995

Dave Brown and Corey Maclin are today’s announcers.  The show airs from the WMC-TV5 studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

Brown interviews Jimmy Harris, who says Doug Gilbert does not want to face USWA Southern Heavyweight Champion Brian Lee today because he does not want to get hurt.

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Mike Reviews: WWF Monday Night Raw – 18th of December 1995

Six of the Best for Starrcade in the 90’s will be coming next week when I have some time off work. Until then though, I thought I’d review this show as its only 47 minutes long and features a storyline where poor Balls Mahoney had to play Santa Claus’ evil brother (Which someone actually asked about on the Blog today), so there’s a festive tie in at least.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Main Event – April 2, 1995

Note:  Since some of these broadcasts, such as Main Event, provide a lot of replays of past action, I will avoid recapping those segments and just provide a description of the new content that aired as part of the telecast.

Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan are handling studio duties for today’s broadcast.  They quickly recap the existing storylines surrounding Ric Flair and the Nasty Boys-Harlem Heat feud.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Summerslam 1993

Live from Auburn Hills, MI

Airdate: August 30, 1993

Attendance: 14,100

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Can Luger stand up for America and defeat Yokozuna for the WWF title? Who will be the sole King of the WWF? Will Michaels and Perfect provide us with a “classic” match? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 08-09-1993

Taped from Alexandria Bay, NY

Airdate: August 9, 1993

Attendance: 1,000 (sold out)

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

A contract signing, the debut of the Heavenly Bodies, and Tatanka versus Mr. Hughes. What else can you ask for? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 07-12-1993

Taped from New York, NY

Airdate: July 12, 1993 (taped 7/5)

Attendance: unknown

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

Will Crush capture the WWF title one week removed from the “body slam heard ‘round the world”? Can the Brooklyn Brawler use his hometown advantage and beat the currently undefeated Tatanka? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 07-05-1993

Live from New York, NY

Airdate: July 5, 1993

Attendance: unknown

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

Will Yokozuna survive the Stars’n’Stripes Challenge? Or does a professional athlete from who knows where actually slam the WWF champion? Also, how will the 1-2-3 Kid fare against Blake Beverly? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 06-14-1993

Taped from New York, NY

Airdate: June 14, 1993

Attendance: unknown

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

What can happen during the fallout from King of the Ring ‘93? Can Jannetty overcome the nefariousness of Doink and defeat him? How will Lawler behave following his destruction of Bret last night? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF King of the Ring ’93

Live from Dayton, OH

Airdate: June 13, 1993

Attendance: 8,000 (7,000 paid)

Hosted by Jim Ross, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Who will become the 1993 King of the Ring? Will Yokozuna regain the WWF title or will Hogan keep his “toy”? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 06-07-1993

Live from New York, NY

Airdate: June 7, 1993

Attendance: unknown

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

What’s new and improved with Michaels? Who will win the crazy tag match consisting of Steiners, Gunns, Money, Inc., and Headshrinkers? Let’s find out!

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