- Here we go with another one of those pecky collection of matches recieved in a trade long ago, back in the before times, from Da' Sites own Erick Von Erich (I'm sure no relation to Lance). I think I recall him reviewing the stuff I sent him in exchange on his old website, and I guess after about 5 years, I could do the same. I would've done it sooner, but since most of this stuff was already recapped on his site already, I didn't want to step on any toes and do second rate work that could be easily read with a click of a link on the same page.
Anyway, most of this stuff was picked for various reasons, which I will explain, if I can remember why (probably a mark excuse). Other stuff was just to fill out the disc. I don't think I popped this in the player for a few years now, so it's interesting to see what I might come across and think "why did I want this in the first place?!"
Ivan Putski vs. "Million $ Man" Ted Dibiase (w/ Virgil):
From the November 24th, 1987 show held at Madison Square Garden. Gorilla Monsoon, Lord Alfred Hayes and Nick Bockwinkel are calling the action here. Dibiase had only recently debuted on T.V., doing the odd squash matches, but mostly doing vignettes and stuff where he humiliated some random "fans" who would do anything for money. Putski was trotted out for whatever reason during the later half of 1987, doing the job to anything that moved. I think my reason for picking this was for the unique pairing of Dibiase and Putski, and it's MSG, too. Dibiase gets on the house mic' before the match and runs down New York City, claiming he wanted to purchase Madison Square Garden, but backed out when he realized it would come with the New York Knicks (just about entering a stretch of 13 straight playoff appearances) and Rangers (who hadn't won a Stanley Cup in 47 years at this point). Lockup to start, and Dibiase throws Putski down with a hair pull. Putski applies a hammerlock, but a hair pull is enough to escape. Putski follows Dibiase out of the ring and hammers away with his signature clubbing blows. Back inside, and Putski connects with an atomic drop, followed by more blows. Irish whip, and the Polish Hammer sends Dibiase out of the ring. Irish whip is reversed, and Dibiase connects with a powerslam, and that's enough for the three count at 3:02. That seemed rather abrupt, if I may say so. DUD Not much of a match here, but Dibiase's pre-match comments are a hoot-and-a-holler.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Demolition (c) vs. The British Bulldogs
(Ax & Smash vs. Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid)
From Paris, France, broadcasted on an episode of Primetime Wrestling in November 1988. Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are calling the action. Not an incredible example of a rarity, but I always liked the WWF airing their stuff from the oversea's tours, and that was pretty much my reasoning for selecting this. Oh, and the fact I've always been a major mark for Demolition, although it's mostly for their heel stuff. I never liked it when the "cool heels" would turn face, as it always took away from their "bad ass" persona. Smash and Davey lock up to start, with Smash clubbing away. Irish whip, and DBS with a surprise roll up for a two count. Smash sends DBS to the corner, and the two exchange blows. Bulldog with a sunset flip for a two count, then applies an armbar. DBS does his tumbling act to escape a counter, and Dynamite "tags" in for the first time, going to work on the arm, as well. A shoulder block does nothing, but DK takes Smash over with a hip toss, and DBS comes back in to work the arm. Ax tags in and pounds away on Smith with his signature axehandle blows to the back. DBS pops right back up and the Bulldogs work on Ax's arm now. DK with a headbutt, but that only gets a two count. DBS comes off the top and quickly takes Ax back down to the canvas. The Bulldogs continue to switch in-and-out without making any tags, frustrating Demolition in the process. Cute spot sees Smash leave his corner to annoy Smith as Ax tries to make a tag. Smash eventually gets the tag in, but get caught with a second rope clothesline for a two count. Smash uses his own momentum to fling Davey Boy out of the ring, where Ax greets him to ram him into the ringside table. Back in the ring, and now Smash is working the arm, the trend of the match, obviously. Monsoon and Heenan might be bored, as they discuss the Presidency, and make fun of Dukakis and Bush. Smash with a snapmare on DBS, then more arm stuff. DBS fights free, but Smash grapevines the leg and Ax comes in illegally. Whip to the corner is reversed, but Smith runs into a knee from Ax. Smash tags back in to hammer away, but DBS keeps fighting back with the heart of a bulldog. Smash with more resting as we get the first...
We come back, with Ax slamming DK, but he misses an elbow drop. DK with a clothesline and headbutt, but Smash nails him from the apron, just because he wanted to. Smash pounds away on DK, then applies an armbar. DK fights back and tries for a snap suplex, but Ax nails him from behind. Irish whip, and DK with a sunset flip, but Smash makes the tag to Ax, who continues to bring the pain to Dynamite. Smash with a snapmare and armbar special(tm). DK powers back up, scooping Smash up on his shoulders, but Ax nails him again, then applies his signature nerve hold. Irish whip, and DK launches himself to nail Ax with a diving clothesline. Smash tags in and whip him to the corner. DK boots him on a charge attempt, but Ax cut off the tag. DK pounds Ax to the canvas and covers, but gets launched out of the ring on the kickout. Smash greets him with a face-first visit to the ring post. Smash brings him back in with a suplex, and Ax tags in to club 'im some more, before applying a choking version of a camel clutch. DK surprises Smash with a small package for a two count. Smash returns the favor by knocking DBS off the apron, and some double teaming from Demolition leads to a near fall of their own. DK escapes an armbar and takes Ax over with a snap suplex. Smash yanks DBS off the apron, preventing any tags, and the two exchange blows. Back inside, and Ax with the snapmare n' nerve hold deluxe. DK keeps taking a beating, and Smash digs real dip and applies a bearhug, then turns it into a Boston crab. DBS runs in to get a cheap shot, but Ax is all over Dynamite like stink on a monkey. Smash tags in, and just as Ax called for it, applies a bearhug. DBS comes off the top rope with a sledge across the back of Smash. Ax comes in again, and it's the continuing saga of snapmares and chinlocks. DK escapes with a jaw buster, and Davey Boy FINALLY gets the hot tag. He nails both Demolition with dropkicks, then hammers away with rights and headbutts. DBS with slams to both men, and the crowd is really amped now. Davey Boy with clotheslines and a cover on Ax only gets a two count. Irish whip is reversed, and DBS comes off the ropes with a cross body for a two count. Ax with a blow across the back of the head, and Smash tags in, missing an elbow drop. DK tags in and nails Smash with a clothesline, then takes him over with a suplex. DK with a modified abdominal stretch on Smash, but Ax nails him with a clothesline during all the chaos, and Smash makes the cover (off camera) for the three count at 23:13. *1/2 Match had it's moments and a really hot finish, but damn was it just a little bit too long. Could've easily been trimmed down by 7-8 minutes and could've produced the same match, except less boring.
WWF Championship Match:
"Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth) vs. Akeem (w/ Slick)
From the same card as the above match, and the night's main event. I guess no one filled in the crew from Paris, as the ringcard girl following Akeem is holding up a sign that reads "One Man Gang." I'm assuming the change over in character was on such short notice (this show was taped the first week of October), but it doesn't matter. For a character that was designed as a punishment, Akeem sure does have a lot of fun playing it up, with his constant jiving and trying to be hip. Heenan and Monsoon mention Savage's grueling Tournament victory for the WWF Title, but fail to mention Akeem was one of his opponents (again, back when he was the One Man Gang). Lockup goes all around the ring, but Akeem misses a cheap shot, allowing Savage to grab him by the beard and hang him up across the top rope. Savage to the top rope, and he comes off with a cross body for a two count. Savage charges and gets nailed with a clothesline for his troubles. Akeem chokes Savage across the top rope and squashes him in the corner. Savage whips Akeem to the opposite corner, but runs into a knee. Akeem with a sloppy atomic drop, followed by choking. Monsoon questions the lack of Akeem's last name, which Heenan replies to with "he does, his name is Akeem The African Dream." Savage keeps trying to mount some offense, but Akeem keeps using his massive size and illegal tactics to maintain control. Akeem takes him over with a suplex, but that only gets a two count. Bearhug time as we cut to a commercial break. Savage escapes with some face raking, but an unwise slam attempts allows Akeem to remain in the drivers seat. Savage and Akeem have absolutely no chemistry together. Akeem drops a fat-ass leg drop, but a sloppy cover only gets two. Savage punches and rakes the eyes, then chokes Akeem across the top rope. Savage with a snapmare, followed by a knee drop for a two count. Akeem slams the Macho Man and drops an elbow for good measure. Akeem climbs up to the second turnbuckle, but misses a sloppy looking splash. Savage rams him face-first into the canvas, then whips him from corner to corner. Savage throws Akeem out of the ring, then comes off the top rope with his signature double axehandle. Savage tries for it again, inside the ring, but Akeem nails him with a fist to the midsection. Akeem ties Savage up in the tree of woe, then throws the referee out of the ring. Savage fights Akeem off and sends him out of the ring with a running high knee, as he's declared the winner by Disqualification at 10:11. 1/2* The crowd was hot for Savage, and I always like looking at Elizabeth in a "classy beautiful" way and not "hot looking skank" way. Other than those reasons, this match was a total dog.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. Virgil:
From the May 6th, 1989 episode of Superstars of Wrestling. This was supposed to be Roberts taking on Dibiase, but we cut backstage to Tony Schiavone, where we find Dibiase is suffering from a sudden case of the Kangaroo Flu, so we've got a suitable replacement in the form of Virgil to take his place. Jake attacks before the bell and plants Virgil with a scoop slam. Roberts with a knee lift, but he runs into a knee from Virgil on a charge attempt. Virgil pounds away on Roberts, then chokes him with a piece of his ring gear. Roberts with another knee lift, followed by the short-arm clothesline. Roberts calls for the end, and the DDT finishes Virgil off at 1:38. Post-match, things get interesting. Roberts robs Virgil of a wad of bills tucked in his tights. He goes to unleash Damian from his bag, but Dibiase, having found the miracle cure for his cold, rushes the ring and attacks Roberts, locking him in the Million Dollar Dream. Dibiase digs into Roberts' tights to get back some of his money, then stuffs it into Roberts' mouth to add insult to injury. Dibiase keeps shoving more money into his mouth as more referees come to the ring to break things up. Not going to bother rating the match, but this was done to set up Roberts' disappearance from television (injury or lawsuit, take your pick) and to establish their feud that would lead up to WrestleMania VI.
Big John Studd vs. King Haku (w/ Bobby Heenan):
From the May 7th, 1989 episode of Wrestling Challenge, with Gorilla Monsoon and Tony Schiavone on the call. I picked this one for the fact that Studd didn't wrestle a whole lot of "feature" matches during his brief return in 1989. Studd's entrance music would be recycled for Jim Duggan, but that's useless trivia. Haku works over Studd with his usual stuff, but a slam attempt doesn't work for him like it did back when he was King Tonga, and Studd takes control. Inset promo from Bobby Heenan promises Andre the Giant for Studd to deal with. Studd does some stuff to remain in control. Scoop slam and bearhug from Studd, and as expected, out comes Andre to have an epic staredown. Haku with a kick to the back of the head, allowing Andre to choke Studd out, drawing a Disqualification at 2:19. Jim Duggan runs out to make the save, nailing everything walking with his 2x4. This would set up a match the next week between Duggan and Haku for the King's Crown, and the ongoing nonsense between Andre and Studd kept going, despite never having a blow-off, thanks to Studd's sudden departure from the company. I'm wondering if Studd was supposed to be part of the 6-Man Tag at Summerslam, or maybe it was supposed to be Andre vs. Studd 1-on-1 and Demolition facing the Towers in a straight tag match.
The Hart Foundation vs. The Twin Towers (w/ Slick):
(Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart vs. Akeem & Big Boss Man)
Pulled from a Coliseum Video, I think "WWF's Fan Favorites", a collection of matches that random (fake) fans requested to see. I think I chose this for the fact it was an opponent for the Hart Foundation that wasn't done to death, and might be the only time I can think Bret Hart was in the ring with the Boss Man, period. Neidhart and Boss Man start the match with a lockup. Neidhart grabs a headlock, and a shoulder block goes the way of the Boss Man. We continue to get a battle of the bulk, with varied results. Neidhart catches Boss Man coming off the ropes with a dropkick, then bites his arm inbetween wristlocks. Bret tags in and hammers away on the arm, then goes to the wristlock, as well. Irish whip, and Bret tries a cross body, but Boss Man catches him and connects with a back breaker. Akeem tags in, and quickly misses an elbow drop. Bret heads to the second turnbuckle and comes off with an elbow for a two count, then works the arm. Irish whip is reversed, and Neidhart trips up Akeem, just for the hell of it. Bret jumps up on his back and applies a sleeper, but Boss Man helps break it up. Irish whip, and Bret tries for a sunset flip, but Akeem turns him into a human pancake. Boss Man tags in and pummels the Hitman with his usual clubbing blows. BBM chokes Hart across the middle rope and sits down across the back for added effect. Irish whip, and the Towers connect with a double back elbow. Akeem with an elbow drop, followed by a lot of his jive taunting. Whip to the corner, and the Towers squash Bret like a bug under a pair of my steel-toed boots. BBM scoops Bret up and applies a bearhug. Bret escapes with a rake of the eyes, but a big boot puts him back down. Akeem comes in and works the bearhug spot, too. Neidhart attacks from behind to break the hold, but Bret is still in trouble. BBM hammers away and applies a chinlock. Bret escapes with a series of elbows to the midsection, but a shoulder block from Boss Man ends that comeback. Bret continues to take a beating from both Towers. Whip to the corner, and Boss Man misses a charge, and now is the time for something big. Neidhart gets the hot tag and hammers away on Akeem. Irish whip to the corner, and a series of forearm blows by Neidhart rocks the big man. Neidhart whips Akeem into the Boss Man, and a double dropkick puts Akeem down. Neidhart sling shot Bret back in on top of Akeem, but Boss Man breaks the count at two. Neidhart bulldozes Boss Man out of the ring, and Akeem does the same to him. Bret with a plancha to the Boss Man as Neidhart and Akeem brawl. Akeem somehow sneaks back in and the referee awards the match to the Twin Towers, via count-out, at 12:02. The Foundation haven't had enough though, and clean the clocks of the Towers. They handcuff Slick to the top rope, adding the Foundation to the list of people who have beat the crap out of Slick at some point. They leave the ring with the key safely tucked inside Bret's tights. *1/2 Match dragged a bit, but it was fun at times, and the crowd seemed to be up for it, so there.
The Blue Blazer & Hillbilly Jim vs. Bad News Brown & The Brooklyn Brawler:
From the May 29th, 1989 episode of Primetime Wrestling with Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes calling the action. You're probably thinking "who the hell came up with this match", as it easily peaks in the Top 10 of most random tag team match of all-time (not done by WCW circa 1999-2001). Before the match, the Blazer and Hillbilly do a little bit of do-see-do'ing, because they're partners that get along. They deserve to lose, just for that. The Brooklyn Brawler is wearing a New York Yankees t-shirt, and we all know how I stand by that. Brooklyn and Bronx are NOT the same and that's all I will say. Brawler hammers away on Blazer at the start, then rams him to the buckle. Whip across the ring, and Blazer does the Bret Hart sell job. Whip to the corner, and this time Blazer takes him over with a hip toss, then follows with a hurracanrana. HBJ tags in for the first time and claps the ears of the Brawler. Brawler thumbs the eyes and rakes the face of HBJ across the top rope. Irish whip is reversed, and Hillbilly applies a bearhug. Bad News tags in for the first time, and hammers away with rights and a headbutt, then tags Brawler back in. Irish whip, and HBJ cartwheels out of the way and does stuff not worth noting. Blazer gets the mild tag and runs right into a clothesline. Brawler with a scoop slam and back breaker for a two count. Whip to the corner is reversed, and the Blazer takes the Brawler over with a belly-to-belly suplex. Blazer with a dropkick, and Bad News makes the semi-reluctant tag back in and tells the Brawler he's going to show him how it's done. Blazer quickly puts Brown down with a slam, but misses a missile dropkick. Bad News connects with the Ghetto Blaster, and that's enough for the three count at 5:29. * Not much in terms of quality here, but I always like spots like what we saw towards the end, and everything without Hillbilly was at least watchable.
Hercules vs. Mr. Perfect:
From the July 10th, 1989 show held at the Nassau Coliseum and rebroadcasted on the July 17th, 1989 episode of Primetime Wrestling. I think I picked this for the fact it was a match pulled from Nassau, but on later examination, I should've passed and picked something else in its place, as I was never that into Hercules' babyface run. To top things off, we have Sean Mooney and Tony Schiavone calling the match. Perfect starts with a slap, then ducks out of the ring, looking amused. Lockup into the corner, and Perfect with a cheap shot before running out again. Hercules pulls Perfect back in, then stomps him back out the opposite end of the ring. Hercules eventually gets his hands on Perfect, choking away, then taking him over with a hip toss. The stalling is getting ridiculous. Perfect jumps Hercules from behind and pounds away, and Hercules returns the favor, knocking Perfect over the top rope, to the floor. Herc' sling shots Perfect back in the ring, then introduces Perfect to the buckle enough times to make me count both my hands. Hercules with a headlock and takeover. You know what's funny... as pale as Hercules looks here, he looked even more pale when he first debuted towards the end of 1985. Wrap your mind around THAT one. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Perfect's over-selling isn't as over-the-top as usual, but it's still effective. IRish whip, and Hercules catches Perfect in a bearhug. Perfect thumb the eyes to escape, then works Hercules over in the corner. Perfect tries a slam, but his back gives out, and Hercules press slams Perfect, instead. Perfect eventually hangs Hercules up across the top rope, to finally get the heel heat segment going. Perfect controls with mostly punch-and-kick stuff. Hercules tries mounting a comeback, but Perfect tosses him out of the ring to cut that off. Perfect follows him out and rams Herc' into the ring apron. Perfect teases a high spot, but we ain't having none of that! I don't think either man has broken a sweat, and we're deep into the match at this point. Hercules mounts a comeback from the apron, and hammers away on Perfect. Irish whip, and Hercules with the fist-to-the-midsection and knee lift spot. Hercules with a series of clotheslines, then he applies his signature "back breaker" (Torture Rack), but the bell rings for a 15-minute time limit draw. I never heard an initial bell, but it seemed like it might have been close to a true 15-minutes. Mr. Perfect's Perfect Record remains intact, although a draw is technically not a win, but whatever. I don't make the rules. DUD Absolutely nothing about this match was worth watching. Possibly worse than my previous choice for worst matches from Curt Hennig during this time of his career, formerly a title held by Kerry Von Erich.
Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart):
From the June 10th, 1989 show held at the Nassau Coliseum, and rebroadcasted on the October 23rd, 1989 episode of Primetime Wrestling. That's a pretty long range of elapsed time, but neither man's feud or scenario had changed over time, so it doesn't make much difference. Another match I originally chose for a lame reason, and wished afterwards to have picked something else. We have Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred back for this one. Much like the previous match, we get A LOT of stalling. Lockup to start, and we get a surprisingly clean break. Lockup #2, and this time we get a shoving match, won by the Beefer. Beefcake ducks a big right and connects with an atomic drop, followed by a clothesline. Valentine rolls outside for a quick breather. Valentine with a series of blows to the midsection and not-so-bionic elbows. Beefcake returns the favor, as Valentine takes a face-first dive to the canvas. Beefcake sends Valentine to the buckle and covers for a two count. Beefcake with a series of elbows to the top of the head. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Beefcake connects with a clothesline. Beefcake with a scoop slam, followed by a fist drop for a two count. Back to the PTW Studios before we get back to the "action", and I was more into that three seconds than for any of this match. Beefcake with mounted punches in the corner (10 of them), and Valentine topples again. Irish whip is reversed, and a knee from Valentine knocks Beefcake out of the ring. Back inside, and Valentine drops some elbows on the Barber. Valentine with a snapmare takeover, followed by a forearm across the throat for a series of two counts. Valentine hammers away on Beefcake with roundhouse rights and covers again for a two count. Valentine with a headbutt to the midsection and sledge from the second turnbuckle. He spins around his shin guard (the Hart Breaker), but Beefcake fights out of the Figure-Four attempt. Beefcake knocks Valentine out of the ring, then catches him coming off the top with a fist to the midsection. Blows are exchanged, with Beefcake taking advantage of the situtation. Valentine rakes the eyes to cut off the Barber, but Beefcake comes off the ropes with a clothesline and applies his signature sleeper hold. Jimmy Hart jumps up on the apron to distract Beefcake, allowing Valentine to nail him from behind. Jimmy has the barber bag, but Beefcake knocks Valentine into Hart, who was fumbling looking for the scissors, and rolls him up for the three count at 14:17. 3/4* Match was only slightly better than the previous, only because it seemed to pick up just a little bit towards the last few minutes.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
The Brain Busters (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Demolition:
(Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Ax & Smash) From the November 4th, 1989 episode of Superstars of Wrestling, with McMahon and The Body calling it. I know it's not an important thing to question, but when did the Demo's start wearing the chaps as part of their pre-match attire? Smash and Anderson start with a lockup, and Arn takes him to the corner for some double teaming. Smash fights his way free from the corner, and now all four men are brawling in the ring. The end result sees the Busters knocked out of the ring with a pair of elbows. Irish whip and double back elbow to Blanchard. Whip to the corner, and Smash runs into a knee. Blanchard comes off the middle rope, but Smash catches him and takes him to the corner for some double team pounding. Ax takes a cheap shot at Arn, and then tosse Blanchard over the top rope. Anderson with an elbow to the back of the head of Smash, but a knee drop is blocked, and Smash returns the favor with an atomic drop. Smash with a suplex attempt, but Blanchard clips the knee. Blanchard tags in and pounds away on Smash. Anderson chokes Smash with the tag rope, as the referee is distracted by Ax. Anderson with a series of knees to the back, followed by more choking. Blanchard tags in with a sledge from the top rope, but that only gets a two count. Smash reverses a whip, sending Blanchard into the knee of his own partner, but a tag attempt is cut off. Irish whip, and Anderson plants Smash with his signature spinebuster. Blanchard tags back in, but a suplex attempt is blocked, and Smash takes him over with his own. Ax gets the hot tag and nails both men with clotheslines and slams. Ax pounds away on Tully while Smash drops Anderson throat first across the top rope. They connect with the Decapitation on Blanchard, and just like that, we have NEW Tag Team Champions at 5:31. That came out of nowhere, but served it's purpose. *1/2 Not a "good" match, but it was fun and was a rare title change for the weekend syndicated shows. The Busters would be gone less than a month later, heading back to the NWA, and Demolition would drop the titles to another Heenan Family team by the end of 1989.
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Akeem:
From the October 8th, 1989 card held at the Maple Leaf Gardens, and later rebroadcasted on the December 11th, 1989 episode of Primetime Wrestling, with Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred calling the action. I know I picked this just because it was held at the MLG, and it was a rare combination. Akeem attacks from behind, but Duggan returns the favor with the move of the match(tm), the punch. Duggan with a clothesline into the corner, followed by more punching. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Akeem follows in with an avalanche. Akeem uses his gerth to choke Duggan across the middle rope. Akeem with more choking, and Duggan with more punching. Akeem thumbs the eyes and applies a bearhug. Duggan slugs away some more, but fails on a slam attempt, and Akeem goes back to the bearhug. Monsoon describes the effectiveness of the move, so he must be bored and have nothing else to talk about. Duggan counters, but gets thumbed in the eyes, again. If only Heenan were on PBP, he'd be so proud of Akeem. More bearhugs! MORE I SAY! Irish whip, and Akeem with a lazy back elbow. Duggan avoids the splash, and he's punching away. Duggan with mounted punches in the corner. Whip across the ring is reversed, but Akeem misses a charge, and Duggan rolls him up for the three count at 5:39. We cut back to the studio with Hillbilly Jim and Gene Okerlund, so I'm assuming this was also shown on All-American Wrestling. -* This match sucked.
Intercontinental Championship Tournament; 1st Round Match:
Tito Santana vs. Akeem (w/ Slick):
From the April 28th, 1990 episode of Superstars of Wrestling. No, this was not meant to be an Akeem Love-fest compilation. I picked this one because it was the only match from the Tournament I didn't have on tape. Thankfully, this is the last appearance of Akeem here, unless I'm forgetting something I requested and forgot about. I love how the (8-man) Tournament "featured" notable participants like Tito Santana, Akeem, and Jimmy Snuka, all losers at Wrestlemania, doing absolutely nothing at this point. Akeem is in desperate need of a haircut at this point of the characters run. Santana uses his speed to avoid Akeem for the opening moments. Lockup to the corner, and Santana sends Akeem packing following a flury of rights. Slick complains to the referee about Santana using closed fists, ILLEGALLY, I might add. Akeem wants a knuckle-lock, and Santana takes it, turns it into a wristlock, and applies an armbar. Akeem fights free and pounds away with clubbering blows. Whip to the corner, and Akeem misses a charge. Santana with boots to the midsection, followed by several dropkicks. Santana goes for the Figure-Four, but Akeem kicks him away. Irish whip, and Santana nails the Flying Forearm, knocking Akeem out of the ring and getting counted-out, giving Santana the victory at 4:06 and advancing to the next "round" of the tournament. 1/2* Santana seemed energized for it, I must say. Too bad the tournament featured two double-eliminations, and the semi-finals was a complete wash because of it. In fact, the only non-cheap finish in the first round was when Perfect pinned Snuka.
Tito Santana vs. "The Model" Rick Martel:
From the November 11th, 1990 episode of Wrestling Challenge, with Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan calling the action. This is Part 659 in the never-ending Strike Force Wars. Filler match in the "feature" department, as Martel was feuding with Jake Roberts at the time, and Santana was just doing his thing. Lockup to start, and Martel gives a clean break, to the surprise of everyone. Martel takes Santana over with an arm drag, then does some jumping jax to celebrate. Martel with a fireman's carry takeover and more celebrating. Lockup into the ropes, and Santana counter sa cheap shot, and hammers away with rights and lefts. Santana with a side headlock, but Martel escapes with a knee to the midsection. Irish whip is reversed, and Santana comes back with the fist-and-knee to the belly combination for a two count. Irish whip is reversed, and Martel dumps Santana out of the ring as Heenan retells his version of what happend to break up Santana and Martel. Back in the ring, and Martel starts choking away, then takes Santana over into a reverse chinlock. Jake Roberts, wearing his grandfather's sweater, blindly wanders to ringside and starts attacking... Santana? Martel gives him a quick jolt until Santana clears him from the ring. The bell rings for the disqualification, giving it to... Rick Martel? Wait, Jake attacked SANTANA, shouldn't he have won? Oh well, time of the fall was 3:52, for those who care. After the match, Jake gets on the house mic', and scares us all with his fake contact lenses. 1/2* It served it's purpose for the storyline.
Saba Simba vs. The Barbarian:
Oh God, why did I pick this? Yes, I know... how often did you see Saba Simba wrestle a "name" during his brief run? That was the reason, but damn I'm regretting it now. Looks like we're from London, Ontario, and from an episode of Primetime Wrestling to close out the year. Oh no, we've got Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred calling the action, too! My therapist was right, God does hate me. Lockup to start, and that leads to nothing. They go into the corner and get into a shoving match. Barbarian probably made some sort of coke comment to him, or something. Atla... I mean Simba, applies a wristlock, but a Barbarian throat thrust breaks that up and we get some choking to follow. Irish whip, and Simba comes back with a headbutt and clothesline, sending the Barbarian out of the ring. Back in the ring, and Barbarian grabs a headlock. Simba slips out like a [expletive deleted comment], and just stands around. In case that spot wasn't entertaining the first time, they do it again for shits and giggles. Boring hammerlock spot, next. Barbarian somehow takes control, but I was too busy practicing my rhythmic claps for the Queen song "Radio Ga Ga" to pay attention. At least Sean Mooney is pretending as if Tony Atlas never existed, judging by the commentary of this snooze-fest. The crowd disapproves, but everyone is on their hands. Bearhug time, and Saba Atlas sells it like he's being stabbed in a Puerto Rican shower. Okay, maybe that one crossed the line, but it was totally in context. Atlas climbs the ropes and fights free, then comes off the second rope with a headbutt to drop the Barbarian. Simba tries a slam, but Barbarian falls on top for a two count. Barbarian slams Atlas, but misses his second rope elbow drop, like he always does. Irish whip to the corner, but Simba runs into a boot, and Barbarian covers for a three count at 8:21. It felt more like 28:21, but at least it's over. Looks like this was a Christmas episode, based on the Primetime studio. DUD Total shitfest, but I won't be harsh enough to go into the negatives scale.
Koko B. Ware vs. The Mountie (w/ Jimmy Hart):
With the release of the Royal Rumble DVD sets, this match is no longer much of a rarity to me, but for those that care, it's from the 1991 Royal Rumble. I make special note because 1.) It was never mentioned on any of the hype reports leading up to the show and 2.) it was clipped from the Coliseum Video release. The latter, naturally, because the show ran ungodly long for a Rumble PPV (well over 3 hours), while Coliseum Videos ran no longer than 2 hr. 40 min, thanks to the SP play speed for an 8 hour EP tape. My theory for the first note is that this was sandwiched between two matches that needed crowd support. Warrior had just lost the title to Slaughter, and the crowd was pretty damn deflated, and the next "real" match was the Rhodes' vs. Dibiase and Virgil match that saw Virgil finally turn face on Dibiase. So we have this. The Mountie (the recently returned Jacques Rougeau) had only debuted two weeks earlier, and Koko was pretty much non-existant at this point in the WWF, disappearing not long after Wrestlemania VII. Oh, and if this long intro makes you think this is a great match... ha, it's boring and worthless. I just wanted it for the sake it was only, at one point, available through trades with people who had the PPV version of the show.
Lockup to start, and the Mountie misses a sucker punch. Mountie with a boot to the chest, but Koko comes off the ropes with a dropkick, sending the Mountie out of the ring. Back in the ring, and Koko works a wristlock. Irish whip, and Koko surprises Mountie with a roundhouse right, takes him over with a hip toss, and goes to the armbar. Mountie fights free with a series of rights, then back drops Koko over the top, to the floor. If this were the Rumble, he'd have been eliminated [/Bobby Heenan mode]. Mountie heads out of the ring to continue the punishment. Back in the ring, and the Mountie has a face-hold applied. Jimmy Hart talks trash to FRANKIE THE PARROT, and that is the highlight of the match. I'm giving it 1/2* just for that, because I never paid enough attention to notice it. Irish whip, and the Mountie comes off the ropes with a diving elbow. Koko comes out of nowhere with a sunset flip, but that only gets a two count. Mountie gets back in control and sloppily tosses Koko out of the ring. Jimmy Hart has even more words for the god damn bird. Mountie chokes Koko across the top rope, but a piledriver attempt is blocked. Koko tries to Bird-Up, but the Mountie takes him over with a snapmare. Irish whip, and Koko takes Mountie down with a swinging neck breaker. Koko with a headbutt and diving shoulder, followed by a scoop slam. Koko heads to the top rope, and he connects with a missile dropkic, but he gets up to go after Jimmy Hart. Mountie tries a sneak attack, but Koko catches it coming. Koko with a cross body, but that only gets a two count. Criss-cross time, and Mountie catches Koko with a choke-hold style sidewalk slam, and that's enough for the three count at 9:12. This was probably the way their house show matches went, but I wouldn't have argued it being cut by a good 3-4 minutes. The Mountie would then beat Tito Santana at Wrestlemania VII, which means he should've had a main event push against Hulk Hogan. 3/4* For the Jimmy Hart vs. Frankie moments.
The Bushwhackers & Tugboat vs. The Nasty Boys & Earthquake (w/ Jimmy Hart):
From an episode of Superstars of Wrestling, sometime around July 1991. Interesting partners here, as the Bushwhackers were just a JTTS team at this point, the Nasty Boys had a program with the LOD, and the whole thing between Tugboat and Earthquake has been dead since before WrestleMania. In fact, Tugboat had been on a jobbing tour it seemed ever since he was cured of the Ed Leslie Syndrome (surgically being attached to Hulk Hogan's ass). Knobbs and Luke start it out, with Knobbs hammering away. Whip to the corner and Luke comes back out with a clothesline. Luke tries to tag Tugboat, but Tugboat conveniently turns away to "Toot." No, that wasn't a fart joke. Butch tags in and quickly becomes overmatched by Saggs. I spoke too soon, but Butch tries to tag Tugboat, and we repeat the formula. Luke tags back in, but gets the eyes raked, and in comes Knobbs again. Luke avoids a charge and bites away on Knobbs. Luke gives Tugboat a blind tag, blind to Tugboat that is, and now Tugboat is in the ring with the Earthquake. Tguboat opts out and tags back out to Luke, who is ambushed by Earthquake. Double clothesline and elbow to Luke from the Nasty Boys, but Butch breaks the pin attempt. Quake with a powerslam on Luke, but Butch breaks up another pin attempt. Tugboat comes in and clotheslines Butch, tosses him out of the ring, then splashes Luke. Earthquake follows with his vertical splash, and that's the three count at 4:28. And with that, the Natural Disasters are born, and Tugboat would adopt the name "Typhoon" soon after. DUD Not much of a match, but it was a surprising turn for the time, IMO. The canned heat is too much, though.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. Typhoon (w/ Jimmy Hart):
I guess I was really stretching for stuff at this point. This was a few weeks before SummerSlam '91, obvious because of Roberts still being a face, and I cared enough to request a Typhoon match, so this had to be one of his earliest matches since the name change. From Primetime Wrestling, with the obvious suspects on commentary. Lockup, and Typhoon shoves him off hard enough to send him out of the ring. Roberts comes back in with his usual punches. Jake works the arm for a moment, switches back to his jabs, and back again to the arm. Typhoon takes control and works on the arm, as well. Irish whip, and Roberts floors Typhoon with a knee lift. That only gets a two count, however. Typhoon whips Roberts to the corner, and follows in with a splash. Typhoon with an elbow, but he doesn't want the pinfall, yet. Whip to the corner, but this time Roberts gets the knees up, then punches some more. Roberts connects with a short-arm clothesline, and we know what that means... Earthquake rushes the ring and attacks from behind, drawing a Disqualification at the 4:00 mark. Earthquake goes for his splash, but Roberts rolls out of the way, making him the smartest wrestler in the world. Typhoon goes after the bag containing Lucifer, and Earthquake tries to give him the Damian treatment, but that brings Andre The Giant out... on crutches, so he takes his sweet time. Earthquake had recently injured Andre for turning down Jimmy Hart's managerial services to create a new Giant tag team, hence the turn by Tugboat/Typhoon. I guess they wanted to wrap up the whole Earthquake/Roberts feud, too, because of Roberts heel turn weeks later to start a program with Warrior, which in turn lead to Warrior being replaced by Sid, which in turn lead to Sid being replaced by Randy Savage. Yeah, the Summer and Fall of 1991 was a total mess in the storylines department.
The Dragon vs. The Warlord (w/ Slick):
From an episode of Primetime Wrestling, sometime towards the end of September or beginning of October of 1991. The Dragon suffers from the Saba Simba treatment. It's a well known wrestler from the WWF's past with a gimmick where no one is going to mention that it's THAT person instead of some newcomer... except for Gorilla Monsoon, but that's because he's cool like that. I can't imagiine this being very good. Lockup to start, and Warlord shoves Dragon to the ground. Lockup #2 sees Warlord dominate again. The Dragon tries a shoulder tackle, but that doesn't do much. The Dragon scoops the leg up from out under the Warlord and drops elbows across the knee. Warlord kicks Dragon off, but gets rolled up for a surprise two count. Whip to the corner is reversed, but Warlord misses a charge, and the Dragon with another two count. Dragon tries for a crucifix, but if you've seen one Warlord match... Warlord lays Dragon out with a clothesline, then chokes him across the top rope. Irish whip, and Warlord catches Dragon in a bearhug. YAWN! Dragon escapes, but tries for a slam, and that doesn't work out for him. Warlord with a slam of his own, followed by a forearm across the chest. Whip to the corner, and Warlord takes Dragon over with a back drop. Warlord heads to the second rope, and comes off to kiss the bottom of the Dragon's boots. Irish whip, and Dragon with a knife-edge chop, followed by several dropkicks. Dragon to the top rope, and he comes off with a big chop to the top of the head. Dragon back to the top, and a double axehandle drops the big man. Dragon goes to the top a third time, and Slick shoves him off for the Disqualification at 6:23. Warlord tosses Dragon over the top rope, but the Dragon skins the cat back in, and dropkicks the Warlord out of the ring. Slick escapes a beating, to the delight of three people. 1/2* Not a very good match, as I predicted.
"Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, "Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich vs. The Beverly Brothers (Blake & Beau) & Tanaka (w/ The Genius):
Talk about a weird Six-Man tag team match, in terms of participants, and the more obscure the pairings, the more I'm interested. Don't remember exactly when this is from (around the Rumble '92 range), but it's from Primetime Wrestling, with Gorilla and Lord Alfred calling the action. I always found it weird they kept Tanaka and Kato around doing singles jobs for a while, but not keeping them as a team. After some stalling, we've got Snuka starting it off with Beau Beverly. Beau attacks with rights, then puts Snuka on his butt with a back elbow. Irish whip, and Beau puts Snuka down with a shoulder block. Criss-cross time, and Snuka sends Beau out of the ring with a chop, as well as Tanaka. Back in the ring, and we've got Blake tagging in to square off with the Texas Tornado. We get a shoving match, and a lockup to the corner leads to Blake planting a series of shoulders to the midsection. Tornado returns the favor with some mounted punches. Irish whip, and Blake avoids the Claw, but he's not smart enough to dodge the clothesline (with inside-out selling). Von Erich misses a charge, ramming his shoulder to the post, in the process. Blake with a scoop slam, but he misses a second rope headbutt. Valentine tags in, and he hammers on Blake with elbows and chops. Irish whip, and Valentine with a clothesline. Tanaka tags in for the first time, and chops away on the Hammer. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Valentine takes him over with a back drop. Snuka tags in, and comes off the second rope with an axehandle. Irish whip, and Snuka gets a knee to the back, courtesy of Blake Beverly. Tanaka drops a head across the groin of Snuka, and Beau tags in to get the left-overs. Double under-hook suplex by Beau gets a two count. Blake connects with a back breaker, and that gets two, as well. Tanaka tags back in, and he gets nailed with a diving headbutt. Von Erich tags in, and he... um... slips? Then he hits the Discuss Punch, and falls again. Then he makes the cover for a three count at 7:20. 1/2* Not the most entertaining 6-Man Tag, and that finish was all kinds of ugly. After the match, Tanaka takes a Beverly Bomb for his troubles (a hot shot/face buster double team move).
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. Shawn Michaels (w/ Sensational Sherri):
It's copy and paste time, because I'm not ashamed of my recap of my match the first time I sat through it. From the Primetime Wrestling/March to Wrestlemania VIII Special. Wow, remember when Michaels was considered a warm-up for Champions? Both men have matches set for WrestleMania VIII: Piper defends the IC Title against Bret Hart, and Michaels gets to go over WrestleMania's Biggest Jobber, Tito Santana. This is Non-Title, so everyone can be fooled into thinking Michaels will actually pin Piper. Plenty of stalling to start, including Sherri looking up Piper's skirt and Piper smacking her ass. Shoving from both men, then slapping, instigated by Shawn Michaels of course, since only wussy men start SLAP FIGHTS. Piper wins that contest easily, by the way. Michaels with a side headlock, and he comes off the ropes with a cross body. Piper revers the momentum for a two count. Michaels comes back with a victory roll for another two count. Michaels misses a dropkick, and Piper slingshots him into the post for a two count. Sherri gets on the apron, so Piper gives her a big wet one as we go to a commercial. We come back with Michaels clotheslining Piper over the top rope to the floor. Michaels sends Piper into the steps, then comes off the apron with a sledge to the back of the head. Piper no-sells and now it's a BRAWL! Back into the ring, and Michaels hammers away with rights, followed by boots to the midsection. Reverse chinlock time! Piper fights free with elbows, but he runs into a reverse crescent kick. No pin, since this was before anyone sold the move like it was death. Piper tries for his tear-drop suplex thing, but Piper pokes him in the eyes. They exchange punches, with Piper winning that again. Michaels gets whipped onto the buckle, and Piper kicks him off, crotching Michaels across the top rope. Michaels eats buckle again, but the referee gets taken out during a bulldog attempt. Sherri tosses her high heel boot to Michaels, and nails Piper between the eyes. No referee, no count. Out comes Bret Hart now, and he tosses the boot to Piper. He whiffs on his shot at Michaels, and the revived referee calls for the DQ at 8:06, awarding the match to Shawn Michaels. BOO! After the match, Piper and Bret have words, because we all know it was face miscommunication. **3/4 I can't say I didn't enjoy this match, even if it had a cheap finish (which loses points from the rating) and wasn't very long. Plus the crowd was REALLY into it, judging by the crowd's movements.
The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. The Berzerker (w/ Mr. Fuji):
From an episode of Superstars of Wrestling, a few weeks after Wrestlemania VIII. The Undertaker had just vanquished Jake Roberts, and the Berzerker's planned match with the British Bulldog was pulled from the biggest show of the year due to a lack of time. Fuji snatches the urn away before the match, and the Berzerker knocks Bearer out of the ring, then pounds away on the Undertaker with his serving tray. Berzerker grabs his sword and smacks it across the back of the Undertaker, then is forever labeled with an attempted murder charge, trying to drive his sword through the man from the dark side. The Undertaker fights back, but chooses to go after Fuji, and the Berzerker continues to bring it to the Undertaker. Berzerker removes the padding outside the ring and plants him with a piledriver. Match never happens, and this should've started the Unedertaker's next big feud, but for some odd reason, the Berzerker thing fizzled and Kamala was suddenly shifted into a program with the Undertaker, instead. I don't think the Berzerker ever had a real feud come to a blow-off. Hell, outside of this, I don't think he did much with anyone else, period.
Sgt. Slaughter vs. Ric Flair (w/ Mr. Perfect):
We're back with more Superstars of Wrestling, around May of 1992, I believe. To quote Gorilla Monsoon, a main event anywhere in the country... at one time. Slaughter was midcard fodder at this point, thanks to being a boring babyface instead of a terrible Iraqi Sympathizer. Lockup to start, and Slaugher shoves Flair down, then does some polite mocking. For whatever reason, the Mountie is present at ringside. Slaughter seems to botch a shoulder block spot, but press slams Flair across the ring, anyway. Jimmy Hart comes to the ring now, and delivers the Mountie a guitar case. Irish whip is reversed, and Slaughter with another slam. Flair with a series of chops, and a whip to the corner sees Slaughter do his traditional bump out of the ring. The camera is obsessed with the Mountie and his mystery box, and why not? Mystery box = ratings! The action continues, but there's not much of it to speak of. Perfect creates a distraction, and the action spills out of the ring. Slaughter brings Flair back into the ring with a suplex, and now he's calling for the end. Whip to the corner, and Flair flips out of the ring. Flair heads to the top rope, but gets slammed off, of course. That's only good enough for a two count. Flair goes to the eyes, and then we see an UGLY spot where Flair appears to try to slingshot Slaughter, but it fails miserably, so Flair turns it into a Boston crab for a few seconds. Slaughter mounts a comeback, but this match is a real nightmare.. Slaughter does his bump AGAIN. Perfect distracts the referee, allowing the Mountie to zap Slaughter with his Super-Duper-Mega-Charged Cattle Prod. Flair makes the cover for the easy three count at 6:18. DUD Yes, Flair, the mighty and most wonderful wrestler ever (SARCASM!), had some shitty ass matches, too.
- And the disc ends with a match between Hillbilly Jim and King Haku from a Boston Garden show, sometime around the Fall of '88. From the last time I had to sit through and watch it, I can safely tell you it's a huge stinker. Thanks for the surprise. I would've welcomed a well-placed kick to the genitals over having to sit through this one again.
Final Thoughts: Like with all of these compilations, I can't say a normal thumbs up/thumbs down kind of analysis. I picked all of this stuff, because I was either really interested in seeing some of it, like most of the angle developing stuff, needed it from that particular time frame to pad out my custom tapes, or just for filler. Most of the matches were lacking in wrestling "quality", but for the most part, I enjoyed all the tag team matches on here. A few of the arena show matches, like Beefcake/Hammer and Hercules/Perfect, were huge regrets, and I just started losing my enthusiasm for the review once I came to the stuff from 1991 and on. The only thing here I would say to track down is the entire Primetime Wrestling special from Paris that was represented here in the form of the Bulldogs/Demolition and Savage/Akeem. It wasn't great, but it was something different for the time, to air an international card like that on television.