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On 12/15/2023 at 5:25 PM, zendragon said:

according to Bob Holly he replaced Sabu in the EEC due to Suprise, Suprise a failed drug test.

Go figure that Sabu didn't say that at all when asked. He said was given a script to memorize and recite by Steph and after two shitty readings he just tore up the script and tossed it. They then replaced him and had him escorted out by security from the building later. If he did that, he really was in the right because Sabu never fucking talked! How could they have been so stupid? 

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Let's go back 40 years to some December 1983 Mid-South

Mid-South Wrestling (12/10/1983)

We open up with Bill Watts comparing Krusher Darsow's feelings towards Nikolai Volkoff to the the Soviet Union dominating other nations. We also see Darsow's heel turn of attacking Dr. Death, and then we see Jim Ross saying "AT THAT TIME" over and over while interviewing Darsow.

Our first match, Krusher Darsow takes on Mike Jackson. Darsow has shaved his head so that he looks like Gomer Pyle from Full Metal Jacket a few years early. Apparently Darsow showed a few personality flaws and that was enough for Nikolai Volkoff to make Darsow a communist. Darsow wins with the backbreaker in a few minutes. Volkoff joins Darsow postmatch to give him a Soviet flag as a present. Jim Ross is disappointed at this turn of events.

Next up, Jim Neidhart (his last name is spelled in the graphic) and Hacksaw Butch Reid face Randy Barber and Koko Ware (or as it's spelled in the graphic, Coco). Bill Watts says that Darsow turned his back on America by accepting that flag shortly before Koko misses a crossbody. Barber gets in there to get squashed for a bit. Neidhart pins Barber after a neat looking Samoan Drop.

Our next match is Jeff Sword vs Leaping Lanny Poffo. Lanny with a neat floatover armdrag. Lanny insists he hasn't been associated with his dad and brother in a year. Lanny wins with a standing moonsault.

Let's take a look at Wrestling 2 training Magnum TA with audio quality recorded by a tincan! Wrestling 2 bringing some of that dictatorial high school football coach energy here

Now a match, Tom Lentz vs Magnum TA. Wrestling 2 takes notes. Bill Watts takes the blowjobs talk to heart by talking about how the women love Magnum TA. Bill Watts' famous friend from Yazoo, MS might show up to the tapings soon. Magnum wins with a Belly to Belly.

Jim Ross just wants Krusher Darsow to know that he turned his back on America by accepting that flag. Darsow is unhappy that JYD didn't do anything for him. JYD walks out to join this conversation and slap Darsow. This leads to JYD fighting Volkoff and Darsow helping Volkoff attack JYD. Watts calls Darsow a Russian bootlicker. Some jobbers come out to get thrown around. Duggan comes out to run Darsow/Volkoff off.

Bill Watts calls on Americans to unite against Volkoff and Darsow. Now let's take a look at Dr. Death Steve Williams on campus at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Death is gonna choose between recreational management, pro football, and pro wrestling. Boy does his mic skills suck. I'm guessing that Boomer Sooner just plays on a loop in the background as you walk around Norman, OK.

Now it's time for Doug Vines vs Iceman King Parsons. Bill Watts' wife is from Estonia. Parsons wins with the Buttbutt in a few minutes.

Love Jim Cornette peeking into the camera shot next to Jim Ross as he announces.

Next up, John King and George Weingroff vs the Midnight Express. The Express quickly spikes John King with a doubleteam before TV time expires.

Now.. let's do another week.

Mid-South Wrestling (12/17/1983)

Flashback to Jim Ross telling Darsow that he's a traitor to America before the Darsow/JYD confrontation. 

Our first match is Krusher Darsow vs Koko Ware. Watts notes the American flags in the crowd. Darsow wins in a few minutes with his over the shoulder backbreaker.

Next up, Jim Neidhart vs Mr. Wrestling II. Neidhart's last name is spelled right on the graphic this week. Boyd uses his several words during this show to accidentally call Neidhart "The Animal" before correcting himself. Bill runs through some biographical information about 2 and Lillian Carter and about Neidhart throwing anvils. Eventually 2 hits a mini-kneelift, but Neidhart throws the ref in the way of the big kneelift. Reed comes out. The heels try to unmask 2. Magnum comes out and saves the day. Eventually 2 hits the big kneelift and the referee wakes up from his nap and 2 gets the pin.

And then from there, Randy Barber and George Weingroff vs the Midnight Express. A match for those who didn't think Weingroff got enough time with the Express last week. Express wins in a few minutes with the doubleteam.

The next match, King Carl Fergie vs the Junkyard Dog. Nice of Carl Fergie to use his Jerry Lawler ripoff gimmick on a card where Jerry Lawler is working. Fergie looked bad missing a ropewalk elbow. JYD wins in a few minutes with the Thump.

Now, it's Larry Higgens vs Jerry Lawler. Jerry getting a TV taping match out of the whole Mid-South/Memphis talent swap. "Jerry Jarrett is a sly fox" (aside from the talent exchange where Watts gets much more than Jarrett did). Bill Watts casually mentioning the impending Mid-South TV champion. Lawler wins with a fist drop off the second rope.

Now, it's time for a main event caliber match. Nikolai Volkoff vs Hacksaw Duggan. Duggan attacks Volkoff during the Soviet anthem because this is a free country. Duggan ends up on the outside, Darsow puts him in the backbreaker behind the Refs back. Duggan kicks out of Volkoff's press backbreaker so Darsow rolls into the ring and it's a DQ. Volkoff/Darsow do a 2 on 1 before the faces make a save.

Doug Vines and Tom Lentz vs Rick Rood and Leaping Lanny Poffo. Finally the jobbers collide on TV. Rough looking swinging neckbreaker with Lentz and Rude. Eventually Poffo and Rood hit a double clothesline and Rood gets the pin with a running bodypress. And that's it for the show.

Behold as they're setting up for 1984 (aside from the guys about to be going to Memphis)

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Insert Bill Watts explanation about how Jim Need-heart obviously needs a heart because of how bad a dude he is.

anyways, Jerry Clower does have a Wikipedia page, so, all those name drops from Bill Watts paid off

edit: watching a YouTube upload of the MidSouth episodes and they pulled “Gonna Fly Now” from a video of TA doing roadwork for obvious reasons. In fact they might have deleted the entire segment from the Network version of the show.

Also ringside fans were really into “We Are Family” as Parsons came out

Edited by Cobra Commander
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Going back to Holiday Season wrestling on the 0s and 5s, I've decided to wander back into a show that I watched a bunch of 2012/13 episodes of, but stopped after getting busy. I might go back to early NXT one of these days.

So here's..

WWE NXT (December 25th, 2013. S7E52)

Renee Young here from an empty NXT Arena at Full Sail University to recap the happenings of 2013.

First we flashback to the opening of the WWE Performance Center.

Let's take a look at some NXT superstars who are now on the main roster. The Wyatt Family. The Shield. Fandango. Xavier Woods. Sandow. Cesaro. Big E. Langston.

Here's some words from the WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E. Langston thanking the NXT fans.

NXT Rewind: William Regal takes on Antonio Cesaro!

A few words from Cesaro. There's only room for one of Cesaro and Regal.

Let's flashback to Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey vs the Wyatt Family for the NXT tag team titles. Neville and Grey win the inaugural titles.

Stephanie McMahon has given her blessing to the divas to compete for the NXT Women's title. Paige takes on Emma. If you weren't there for Emma's stupid dance, you kinda had to be there to get it. Paige wins with the Paigeturner.

Paige joins NXT interviewer Devin Taylor for some comments. Aw yes, the anti-diva thing.

Bo Dallas also joins Devin Taylor. Man, Bo Dallas really has the gimmick of a 23 year old SEC Quarterback who isn't getting picked in the NFL draft. But that's a "knowing what we know now" comment.

Let's look back at Bo Dallas vs Big E. Langston. Bo used the exposed turnbuckle to win the NXT title.

Next, the future stars of NXT!

A few words from Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family about how much ass they're kicking on the main roster.

Let's take a look at the future generation of NXT. Aiden English singing. Main Aiden looks like a dude who should be doing karaoke of U2 songs. Mojo Rawley the Hypeman. Bayley! Tyler Breeze! Alexander Rusev with his lady friend Lana. Sasha Banks! Corey Graves is still a future star somehow! Sami Zayn! Yeah i'd say some of these people were successful.

Let's see what happens when WWE stars show up to NXT to see what's going on. Christian! The Bellas! Santino! Paul Heyman! Mark Henry! Dolph Ziggler! John Cena! The Big Show! Sheamus! Rob Van Dam! Randy Orton! Chris Jericho! AJ lee! Energy drink endorser Ric Flair! Shawn Michaels!

William Regal has a few words for us. Regal knows that on his best day, Cesaro is ten times the wrestler that Regal was. If this is the end, he can't think of a more noble way to go.

Next up, the NXT Match of the Year.

Before we get to that, the Shield hacks into the signal to talk about how awesome they are. The Shield claims responsibility for it being possible for people to break through from NXT.

Anyways.. back to Renee. Our match of the year was Antonio Cesaro vs Sami Zayn, 2 out of 3 falls which we see highlights from. That swinging sleeper looks brutal. Awesome deadlift suplex into the ring. Awesome counter into the uppercut and Cesaro wins with the Neutralizer.

Sami Zayn joins Devin Taylor to talk about his match with Cesaro. His focus is Bo Dallas, but Leo Kruger is proving to be a roadblock. Next week, Sami Zayn vs Leo Kruger, 2 out of 3 falls.

The announcing crew of Tensai, Tom Phillips, and Byron Saxton join us for our main event.

Howard Finkel is also here to announce this matchup...

Antonio Cesaro vs. William Regal. Man, the We The People tron for Cesaro is a relic, isn't it. Magnificent long old man hair on Regal. Generous crowd chanting "you still got it" for Regal early in response to wristlocks. Cesaro working like someone who can namedrop of the most obscure World of Sport dudes that he saw on tape in the 2000s. These two are making the most ofbe being able to work like this. Love Regal back-kicking Cesaro while arguing with the ref. Then Cesaro takes out Regal's leg to claim momentum. Well, Regal was kicking him with that leg. That stretch muffler looks nasty. Love the alternating left/right european uppercuts. Yes the Cesaro Swing when it's more than just a cool spot that Cesaro does because he always does it. Cesaro dicks around and Regal backdrops out of the Neutralizer. Cesaro really emitting some "villain in a Die Hard movie" energy tonight. Regal is apparently fighting for everybody who had their pride questioned. You just don't get enough "make the fans react" mat-slapping these days. Cesaro powers out of a butterfly suplex attempt. Cesaro evades the Regal stretch and gets to the ropes. Mean looking dropkick by Cesaro to swing momentum. Running stomp by Cesaro and Regal is down. Regal eventually starts moving and Cesaro hits him with the Neutralizer for the win. That was fun.

Cesaro offers a handshake on the ramp as we fade to black.

Nothing says Christmas like watching Cesaro beat down Regal! At least the clipping means that I can safely watch the 2013 episodes sometime later.

Edit: as of December 2023, that Cesaro/Regal match was Regal's final match. I suspect that the combination of age and alluded to health and the fact that it's been 10+ years means Regal is done-done, unless there's a Saudi prince that really enjoyed 1993 WCW and wants a card with Regal working a 10 minute time limit draw against Ricky Steamboat.

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And since there's more afternoon to fill... i'm gonna watch some wrestling I haven't watched so..

The Best of Keith Lee in Evolve.

First Keith introduces us to this special and tells us that Evolve had people such as Timothy Thatcher, Walter, Donovan Dijak, Matt Riddle, and Keith Lee.

I'm feeling a Coliseum Video aesthetic here for some reason.

First off, Keith Lee vs Donovan Dijak from Evolve 81 (March 31, 2017). Gnarly corkscrew to the outside by Keith Lee. Gotta love the normalish front row fans getting picked up on the mic. I think these two had several matches in this spirit in NXT. I asked myself "if Keith Lee showed up in Louisiana in 1984, how quickly would he end up in the main event in New Orleans with Bill Watts". Wild that the moonsault probably isn't in the top 5 craziest wrestling things that Keith Lee can do. "This Christmas" by Donny Hathaway popped up on the R&B station and I think this is the first time I've heard that this year, which is an important song to check off the list each year. Keith spends awhile telling us he's limitless and Dijak pops up to hit the torture rack/knee move. You know there's some fed seeing all the moves done on ring aprons which asks "what if we made the aprons wider". In most fair universes, nobody in an indy should be alive after being hit by a Keith Lee moonsault. Which means Dijak kicked out at 2 from a Keith Lee moonsault. Chokeslam counters! and then Keith Lee wins with a sitout powerbomb.

Second, Keith Lee vs Donovan Dijak from Evolve 84 (May 20, 2017). There's way more lighting at Evolve 84 than at Evolve 81, which means the crowd looks a lot smaller for this one than the previous matchup. Is this a community center, a high school gym, the world will never know. Dijak flies in response to the Pounce. Batshit looking slam by Dijak onto the apron out of a fireman's carry. Nice looking powerslam counter to a dive by Lee as I've decided that Keith Lee's 1984 Mid South music would be "Beat It" and Bill Watts would insist that Keith end matches with the Thump. How to show you're limitless: (1) do amazing things, (2) say you are limitless during matches. Having back to back Lee/Dijak matches presents the challenge of hoping these two matches don't repeat themselves too much. This would be a Coliseum video if they did the Hulk Hogan/Harley Race Texas Death Match with the same finish on back to back matches. Speaking of that, the sitout powerbomb doesn't end things for Lee after a Canadian Destroyer. I'm sure we all figured out the official wrestling reason why Canadian Destroyers don't do shit anymore. Keith Lee flips off the top in a very "fucccck" way after taking too long to do a moonsault. Dijak avoids accidentally dropping Keith Lee on some black fans in the front row but Keith clears out a few rows after going over the rail. Dijak dives into the chairs onto Lee in a match that would have gotten fucked up in multiple ways in 1996 ECW. Man this rec center is gonna wonder what happened to their chairs. Those windows with sunlight are a little distracting. This is wrestling, we're not supposed to have things like natural light. Reverse rana by Keith Lee! This match has a slightly different finish as it's a sitout powerbomb off the top rope this time.

Third, Keith Lee vs Timothy Thatcher from Evolve 90 (August 11, 2017). Hey, Stokely Hathaway is hanging around with Thatcher. Lots more hardhitting and less spots early in this matchup. Hey Thatcher is taking on someone called Darby Allin in an upcoming match, amazing how much utility served by WWE hooking into some 2010 indy feds. This match is a bit of a culture change from the Dijak matchups but it's good. Thatcher flies on the Pounce. I'd be an ineffective heel manager for Thatcher because I would just be fistpumping constantly in praise of him hitting dudes. Lee gets the win after a popup punch out of a fireman's carry. That headbutt looked nasty too. That was worked at a tempo that was probably a comparative night off for Keith Lee's knees and back compared to the Dijak matchs.

Fourth, Keith Lee vs Matt Riddle vs Hot Sauce Tracy Williams vs WALTER from Evolve 91 (August 12, 2017) for the WWN title. The only thing that can stop this matchup from being awesome is multi man match tropes. Stokely is with Hot Sauce. That mushroom tattoo on Riddle makes him look like such a dork. We almost get Keith Lee vs Walter to start off but then we don't. After a few minutes of Riddle/Williams keeping Lee/Walter away from each other, and a Riddle/Williams sequence, we get Lee and Walter dropping bombs and doing awesome things to each other. Good luck to Riddle and Williams in competiting with that. More Riddle vs Williams as Lee and Walter sleep. Then we got Riddle and Williams putting submission holds on Walter and Lee for a little bit. For some reason I wasn't convinced by Tracy Williams hitting 3 larger guys with strikes one after another. Then they dispatch him and it's Riddle/Walter/Lee. Triple (double) German Suplex. Tracy Williams awakens and gets a nearfall on Riddle. Williams doesn't fly as nuch as you'd expect from a pounce. Riddle has to break up a Walter sleeper on Keith Lee to save his title. Riddle hitting Walter with some spider-like strikes. Not sure if you'd know that Riddle was in MMA from watching some of these strikes, but real strikes vs wrestling strikes is a whole other thing. Matt Riddle taps out Tracy Williams with the crossface to retain his title. So, Keith Lee doesn't win *every* match on his best-of.

Love the between match narration of Keith Lee trying to not accidentally flip us off while holding a water bottle.

Fifth, Keith Lee vs Matt Riddle from Evolve 94 (October 14, 2017) for the WWN Title. Matt Riddle is Rob Van Dam for aspiring MMA douchebags. Weird to have the fans on the hard cam be seated that high up. Riddle's foot hit the hanging circus sign on a move. He hits that sign again on a powerbomb! Nice to see the person to furnished the Wrestlewar 91 cage found work creating a set that the wrestlers will clip if they go high enough. It's probably for the best to just pretend that Riddle can hurt Keith Lee with sentons. Oh yeah, this is a last man standing match too, for the record. So this one could end with Keith Lee ripping that sign down and beating Riddle with it. The arena setup here makes the front row on hard cam look like a jury tasked with deciding this match. Riddle clips the sign for a 3rd time, this time on a suplex. Keith Lee is taking the variety of trademark Matt Riddle moves for this one. Riddle bounces like a motherfucker on that top rope powerbomb. That fisherman's buster on the apron looked like it could have went better. Keith barely gets up after that and a top rope senton and then goes on the offense with that punch and the Go to Sleep and a powerslam off the top. Riddle almost makes it up by 10 but collapses at the last moment and Keith Lee wins the WWN title.

And now our 6th and final match of this special, Keith Lee vs WALTER from Evolve 96 (December 9th, 2017) for the WWN title. Time to unbutton your pants, folks. This is from the same gym as the four way match. You see, that ref missed the rope break due to the size of the competitors. Love the sequence of these two just bouncing into each other followed by a leapfrog and dropkick by Keith Lee. This match is going almost exactly how you'd imagine it should. Kind of an odd dynamic of Keith Lee doing all these awesome things and the Evolve commentator talking about Keith Lee's weight depending on what he had for lunch. Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry gets signage below the scoreboard in this gym. Nice dismissive shoves by Walter along with a butterfly suplex and running Keith Lee's spread fingers into the ropes. I think there's a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine at the top of the stairs in this place. This is the hossiest of all hoss fights. Behold these two large dudes exchanging strikes and powerbombs! Nearfall for Keith Lee falling backwards onto Walter while in the sleeper, which might be a bananapeel finish they'll do to end Gunther's title reign. Speaking of that, Keith Lee hits Ground Zero and that's enough for him to get the win over Walter.

Keith Lee has a few closing remarks and we fade out.

That was a fun selection of matches. Through no fault of his own, Keith Lee's momentum has ground to a halt over the last few years (which started before he went to AEW). With better timing, and no global pandemics, i'd think that this decade would be working itself out a little better for him. Lots of awesome moves (although that fireman's carry/punch didn't seem to land too cleanly and looked less devastating than most of his offense), lots of awesome bumping and stuff that large dudes shouldn't be able to do.

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Things I remember from Clash of the Champions 12: Mountain Madness-

Since the main event angle in AEW right now is basically the Black Scorpion sans magic tricks... let's go to this WCW 1990 experience.

You think Chris Jericho ever suggested having his music videos cut into the intro during an entrance like 1990 Freebirds? The elevated ramp is at an angle, which looks different from the ramps i'm used to seeing in WCW. Freebirds vs Southern Boys is a visual matchup of two warring factions in a pre-Voting Rights Act Southern primary. So much Confederate swag. At one point Bob Caudle says that the Confederacy might have won if Lee had the Southern Boys in Atlanta, holy shit Bob, I know he worked for Jesse Helms, so I was imagining Senator Jesse Helms ending this match like 1997 Bret Hart while telling the Birds and Southern Boys to unite to take on the Yankees and Integrationists. This match was gonna be a six man tag with Buddy Roberts (in 1990!) and Bob Armstrong, but Buddy Roberts has an arm injury (more on that later) so Bob gets to wear his best dad clothes. This was actually a pretty good matchup when you consider that 1990 Freebirds are pondwater fresh and maybe this was the one pairing where the Hayes/Garvin Birds didn't suck. Jimmy Garvin's hair is apparently in a transitional phase. Anyways, Buddy E. Lee Roberts wasn't hurt and he tried to help his buddies, but the interference backfired and the Southern Boys pinned both Freebirds at the same time with sunset flips. Then a fracas broke out postmatch and Bob Armstrong took an excellent bump on a double DDT.

The crowd sorta took a nap between this match and Flair/Luger. You will notice at various times during this card that they should not have lit parts of the Asheville Civic Center because some of it is very empty (like the upper levels).

Scott Steiner was rough on the mic in 1990.

Some poor woman won a poetry contest, writing poetry about 1990 WCW, to accompany Captain Mike Rotunda to the ring for his match with Buddy Landell. Buddy has one kneepad, so he might bump tonight. Also Buddy has a Skid Row tattoo because he's apparently a big Skid Row fan, which feels like he made a mistake while drunk one night. Anyways, Rotundo wins with a backslide.

We take a look at the Freebirds doing stuff in Hollywood for some reason.

The Master Blasters are debuting tonight. They take on Tim Horner and Candyman Brad Armstrong (who was nowhere to be seen as his dad took a DDT). Nash might have did more than he did once he became successful. The other guy wasn't Al Green but the Blaster who quit quickly. The other Blaster did not seem suited to being a wrestler. Blasters win with a double shoulderblock.

Brian Pillman is interviewed about the concept of the Gauntlet. Which I am asking for Tony Khan to start doing with Dynamite/Rampage/Collision. The 1990 Gauntlet seemingly went for like a month or maybe two, so perhaps it's not a good idea.

Ric Flair talks to Missy and her ozone layer destroying hair.

The Nasty Boys are taking on Jackie Fulton and Terry Taylor. This was a fun match. Jackie Fulton was doing some stuff. Terry Taylor was apparently substituting for Bobby Fulton. The Nasties win with a Sags elbowdrop. Naturally this talented new team was not actually under a contract and they quickly went back to the fed that they grew up watching in Allentown, the WWF.

Wild Bill Irwin faced Tommy Rich in a "these guys were here in 1990" feature. Jim Ross keeps noting how Tommy was one of the youngest World Champions ever as he looks like the world's oldest 34 year old (keeping in mind that Michael Hayes would claim that title a few years later). Tommy wins with a Thesz Press.

The WCW Top 10! Stan Hansen is unhappy with being ranked 6th. He says he's going for Sting (that will change) and everybody between him and Sting (so he wasn't technically lying about going for Sting).

Also they had a Top 10 Tag Teams list, which I can't imagine lasted long considering at least 1/3rd of the WCW Tag Team division in 1990 was the wrestling equivalent of day laborers.

Susan Sexton took on Bambi, reminding us of the days of womens wrestling where the lady wrestlers looked like they had CDL certifications. Jim Ross claims these wrestlers are working 300 nights a year in 1990, which seems hilariously optimistic. Sexton retains the LPWA title by reversing a rollup.

The Steiner Brothers took on the dork patrol that was Maximum Overdrive. Overdrive didn't seem to do anything impressive except complain and look frightened that the Steiners would kill them with moves. Rick Steiner gave them a few Steinerlines and the Steiners won with the Doomsday DDT.

Stan Hansen squashed Tom Zenk. I was reminded of December 1999 when Tom Zenk shooting about how he got screwed over in all his WCW runs was a big thing to read about. Anyways. Hansen won with the Lariat. Lex Luger and Tony watched the match from the world's tiniest backstage monitor.

Lex Luger vs Ric Flair woke these fans the fuck up. This was a hot match in regards to the fans looking like they gave a damn. The guardrails were like 10 feet away from the front row, which made for lots of whips into the rails. We get to see Jim Ross and Bob Caudle were at a table behind the guardrail, which is a unique setup for a wrestling show? Anyways, lots of spots that you might be familiar with from Luger/Flair matches and Sting/Flair matches. A fun story of Ric Flair wanting to win this title because he wants to face Sting (if only there was a way for him to get into that scene). Prematch we saw clips from Wrestlewar with the front row attention-seekers in Greensboro. Really good match that they couldn't give us a finish for because Stan Hansen is running in to start a feud with Luger. The formula for 1990s WCW: just put Flair out there against one of his best opponents and save the show. Also gotta love the cut-ins of intro videos during the intros, it'd be like if they cut to the tron videos during intros today.

And now it's time for the main event with the Black Scorpion challenging Sting.

The Black Scorpion looks and works like a generic masked job guy! Did Sting have heat with one the Thunderfoots. One problem with the Black Scorpion, aside from not knowing who to put under the mask, is that he has to work like a generic guy or else he'd give away his identity. Even Flair at Starrcade 90 (which I've seen before) had to fight his urges to remain anonymous. Also if you knew Ole was the Scorpion's voice, you'd say "yeah, that's Ole". If you didn't know it was Ole, maybe you wouldn't figure that out. The crowd is at least audible, which is helpful because imagine how bad it'd have to be for a North Carolina crowd to poop out before a main event. I think this Scorpion was a tanned Al Perez which is a stellar choice of generic wrestlers to use. Sting beats the Scorpion with the Stinger Splash.


The Scorpion has TWO masks on.

Also, there's another Black Scorpion! On the ramp! Who looks like Jody Hamilton facially without being fat. The ref holds Sting back from actually fighting that man.

So anyways, Sting gets to talk to Jim Ross in the ring after his princess was moved to another castle. Sting can't understand why this guy can't just fight him man on man.

Sid Vicious walks out to set up the next pay per view. Sid looks gigantic next to Sting and Sting isn't a small guy. I don't know if I've seen Havoc 90, I'm thinking it wasn't up for rental at my local stores.

There was a lot of filler in-between Birds/Southern Boys and Flair/Luger. But it was at least kinda fun on average.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick notes on Survivor Series '92:

  • I love High Energy. They should have pushed High Energy more. The Headshrinkers got a jobber intro, which is disrespectful, dammit! A week or two ago, I saw a clip of Fatu wrestling Heath Slater in which he finished Slater off with a Samoan Spike and then a Banzai Drop, and I thought that was an awful nice way for Fatu to give tribute to two deceased family members. Tonight, he just has that top-rope splash as his finish, but what a top-rope splash! It's almost as fantastic as Koko's fade (which Heenan commented on like two minutes after I typed that sentence). It all adds up to another good tag opener on a late '80s/early '90s WWF PPV. 


  • Sean Mooney is really bad at the backstage stuff, huh? His warnings about the nightstick match are definitely in line with Vinnie Jr.'s preference for tortured verbiage. 


  • Boss Man/Nailz is what it is. Wacholz has a great "violent nutbar who might be missing a few genomes" look, but (of course) he sucks real bad in the ring. The crowd is very into Boss Man getting the nightstick and going to town, though. Boss Man is way over in his spot as a midcard babyface. What irritates me is that Mooney and Vince are both like THIS MATCH IS GONNA BE GRUESOME, HIDE YOUR EYES IF YOU ARE EASILY SICKENED and it was soft as baby shit. 


  • 1992 WWF was kind of a mess, but there were a handful of classic angles sprinkled in there - the Barber Shop incident with the Rockers, obviously, but also the follow-up incident with Michaels pulling Sherri in front of Jannetty's mirror swing and then this Prime Time Wrestling spot with Perfect accepting Savage's offer to tag with him at Survivor Series. Heenan's pitch perfect in that angle, with the slap and then the groveling. Flair's been cutting some good unhinged promos about it over the past week of TVs, too, and he and Hall are perfectly acceptable in their promo about the whole conflict tonight.


  • Tatanka/Rick Martel is fine, but boy it doesn't matter to the desk, which is focused on Heenan ranting about Mr. Perfect's betrayal for awhile, and then on Doink standing in the aisle making balloon animals. I'm actually impressed that Bourne made such a decent balloon dog. Tatanka might be the epitome of league-average for a professional wrestler, now that I consider him further. Anyway, Tatanka wins with the, uh, End of the Trail reverse slam while a bunch of fans do a tomahawk chop and Doink pops all the balloon animals that he handed out to fans. What a "1992 WWF" series of events in that finish there. 


  • Savage and Perfect cut a promo. Curt Hennig's face is far too small for his giant head. 


  • The crowd is hot for Flair and Razor vs. Savage and Perfect. This is Razor's first PPV showing in the WWF, and he won't win either this or his second showing at the Rumble. It's going to take him until WM IX to get a WWF PPV victory over Bob Backlund. Hall came in at a great spot, but he was a terrible title opponent for Bret Hart when he hadn't beaten anyone of note in his first three-ish months in the company. I guess I'll just go ahead and say it again: Hart/Savage needed to happen for the gold ASAP. Vince also could have/should have fed Flair back to Hart once more at the Rumble. 


  • I digress. This match is real good, mostly because everyone is working it like they legitimately don't like one another at all. Hennig works like he was simmering inside at having to be front man for Flair, Flair is off the rails at Hennig's betrayal, Hall has disdain for his opponents that he can barely contain, and Savage is Savage, which is to say that he wants to fight everyone all the time. Heenan is also hot about things over on commentary. This match has the same curse as Mankind/Michaels at Mind Games - the fuck finish diminished our collective memory of this match. I'm not saying it's as good a match as Mankind/Michaels, but that it's better than it's remembered for, which I think is due to the finish. The finish is a total mess, too, and there's no excuse of needing to protect Flair, who probably should have been doing a load of jobs on his way out of the territory. 


  • Vince, when Virgil enters the ring to face Yokozuna: VIRGIL WILL BE SHUCKIN' AND JIVIN', SO TO SPEAK. Uh huh. Anyway, we're gifted an early-era Yokozuna competitive squash on PPV. That rules. 


  • There is one single, solitary traditional four-on-four elimination tag match on this card. And it's only 1992! This PPV isn't even that old! Except for Deadly Game in 1998, where the one-on-one single-elimination tournament that replaced the traditional four-on-four elimination tag matches was so well-booked that I wouldn't change a thing about it, any Survivor Series with under three traditional Survivor Series matches is a failure. 


  • That four-on-four elimination tag is Money Inc. and the Beverly Brothers against the Natural Disasters and the Nasty Boys. Actually, it's not even a traditional one because if your tag partner loses, you have to leave ringside, too. BOOOOOOO. After a long time, Quake beats one of Enos and Bloom and then the other one has to leave, and man, this sucks. Quake later launches IRS over the top of a counting Bill Alfonso on a kickout. That didn't suck, but meh, this match didn't do it for me w/r/t my desire to see a series that is truly for survivors. IRS eventually evens it up with a shitty elbowdrop (?!) on Typhoon, but the Nastys roll IRS up immediately after for the win. I want a refund.


  • The Undertaker dumps Kamala into a casket. I typically like casket matches, but this one isn't very good. First of all, you have to pin the guy before you are allowed to dump him in the casket. Two, this is a strange match in which they fairly heavily protect Kamala, who actually looks like he might win this thing until Kim Chee doesn't leave well enough alone and steals the urn so that he can toss it to Kamala, who is like Why are you tossing this to me, I don't want it, handling it is probably going to wake the zombie man up, which it obviously does. Taker needs an urn shot to Kamala's face to win this match. Third, 'Taker spends time nailing the coffin lid shut while everyone in the crowd is mildly confused about whether or not the match is over, and I am too, actually, but finally they play 'Taker's music to signal that yes, this is over. This match, which is the first of its type on WWF television IIRC, had what TV Tropes would call Early Installment Weirdness. 


  • Shawn Michaels denies that he pulled Sherri in front of Marty Jannetty's home run swing with that mirror, which he did that shit, guilty as fuck, and then he demonstrates something of a knowledge of the transitive property. I don't think he totally gets it right, but I'm not what one would call a mathemetician. But man, his gum chomping is gross on the audio. Bret is shoot super-excited to main event his first WWF PPV as World Champ, you can tell. 


  • This is a good match. It's not the match Bret needs as a new champ, but it's aesthetically pleasing and a solid bit of work. I spend a lot of superlatives on Bret, so I won't repeat myself too much here. It's hard to say anything new or useful about a Hitman/Michaels match, honestly, or about either guy. I guess Michaels's heel control work is a little dull and could be better, and I have no idea why he spent so long using a teardrop suplex as his finisher when the superkick is a better finish for a guy his size. Uh, yeah, that's pretty much it. 


  • Weirdly, my final thought is that I would enjoy re-booking 1992/1993 WWF. First thing I'd do is erase that 1993 Hulk Hogan title reign, obviously. 










Edited by SirSmUgly
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I was there at the Richfield Coliseum, just like for the first two Survivor Series. Very fun but strange show with all of the booking changes. That was the third Bret-Shawn match we had seen in the building that year. My friend had floor seats and made a homemade NWA belt for Flair and a "DON'T TRUST THE CLOWN" sign.

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Holidays are over, weekday football is over. Time to get back to watching old wrestling

WWF Prime Time Wrestling (1/2/1989)

35 years ago today!

Gorilla and Bobby are very festive to start off the show. Confetti. Hats. January 15th at the Summit, the Royal Rumble is gonna be a happening. Also we're taking a look back at 1988.

Before that, we kick off with Dangerous Danny Davis vs Jim Powers. Danny Davis just stuck around for-fucking-ever before they just said "you're a referee again, we'll stop mentioning your 3 year long heel stint". Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes on the call. What a way to kick off 1989. For a smaller guy, Danny Davis sure didn't run the ropes with any sort of speed or grace. This gimmick has went on for so long that Sean Mooney asked Lord Alfred if he recalled the days when Danny Davis was a referee like you're just pitching a topic to your 80 year old uncle so you can hear him talk about watching Len Dawson play football in the 1960s. You don't see that "catch the foot and turn it into an atomic drop" combo much anymore. Sean Mooney feeding Lord Alfred furiously to get him to answer questions and eat some time as Jim Powers works a hammerlock. Lord Alfred trying to convince himself that Powers is setting a fast tempo for this match despite the fact that he worked a hammerlock for 2 minutes. Danny Davis takes a back body drop like he had a plane crash in 1975. Roll up cradle by Powers is countered by Davis into a cradle where he grabs the tights. Jesus, Jim Powers is in a bad spot in 1988 if he's eating a pinfall loss to Dangerous Danny Davis 18 months after his gimmick ran stale.

The Rick Rude/Ultimate Warrior posedown will be *before* the Royal Rumble which means something according to Gorilla.

The Royal Rumble! Sunday Afternoon! 4pm Eastern! January 15th was the offweek before the Super Bowl, for the record. Remember when the Super Bowl wasn't in February.

Let's take a look back at the Ultimate Warrior! Also think the "press slam where you just drop the guy like a sack of crap" move has some utility. Also, a look back at the Ultimate Warrior beating the Honky Tonk Man at Summerslam.

Also a look back at Ted DiBiase trying to buy Hercules as a slave which lead to Herc's face turn.

"LARCENY IN INDIANAPOLIS" - that's a tremendous graphic

Gorilla taunts Bobby about how short Andre's title reign was.

Let's take a look back at Andre the Giant beating Hulk Hogan on NBC, causing my cousin to cry. Imagine a referee making a mistake shaping the result of a football game.

Let's take a look back at Randy Savage winning the WWF Title at Wrestlemania 4 as Hulk Hogan makes sure to get the spotlight.

FROM THE PAGES OF THE WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION MAGAZINE. Jack Tunney was confronted on the Brother Love show by Bad News Brown. I'm pretty confident that Elizabeth wasn't giving Jack Tunney blowjobs even if Bad News was just asking questions about that. Bad News Brown vs Macho Man Randy Savage was a great pairing of guys who probably a bit insane. I can guess why Bad News didn't take his beer-bellied sharecroppers line to that many territories with actual sharecroppers (aside from Florida).

Bobby Heenan offers Gorilla some champagne of questionable quality as Gorilla talks about the newcomers in the WWF in 1988.

Let's take a look back at Mr. Perfect's vignettes. Also the Bushwhackers and the Red Rooster and the Blue Blazer and Akeem and the Big Bossman. The Big Bossman beats a jobber and beats him up. Back in October, the Bossman and Slick confront Hulk Hogan on Brother Love and then Hulk Hogan takes a beating to set up Ray Traylor making a ton of money off of how well this feud drew.

Gorilla is unsure about why the Big Bossman would want to make Hulk Hogan mad.

Another Royal Rumble promo. The replay will be at 8pm Eastern in case you were busy at 4pm Eastern.

Hey we have some matches to show. Iron Mike Sharpe and Jose Estrada are taking on the Rockers. What a jobber superteam. Tully and Arn offer a promo about the Rockers in the opening moments of this one. Gorilla and Bobby are on the call here. Jose Estrada looking like he's gonna do a Puerto Rican Bad News Brown gimmick. Bobby Heenan doesn't know why Macho Man Randy Savage is in the Rumble while being the champ due to injury risk. Shawn Michaels is a house of fire taking on both guys. Rockers win with a suplex/splash combo.

Gorilla wants to talk about the 2 out of 3 falls six man tag team match. Those are international rules.

Sean Mooney here at the Events Center! Rick Martel is gonna prove the doctors wrong at the Royal Rumble. What an inspirational story (he'll be a heel in 3 months). Jimmy Hart, Frenchy Martin, Dino Bravo, and the Rougeaus have some words about the Six Man Tag.

Let's take a look back at the arrival of Brother Love.

Let's also take a look back at Demolition beating Strike Force for the Tag Team titles at Wrestlemania. Then at the Survivor Series, Demolition and the Powers of Pain did a double-turn.

January 15th, King Haku is taking on Harley Race. So let's take a look back at King Haku's coronation. Hey Jos LeDuc was in the Federation for the 15 seconds that included the coronation of Haku. Wonder if they tried using the same elevated throne for King Mabel that they used for Haku 7 years before.

Let's take a look back at the formation of the Megapowers and the Megapowers handshake. Then at Summerslam, the Megapowers win (we don't see the skirt removal). Then at Survivor Series, the Megapowers win again but is jealousy brewing.

Gorilla goes over the list of Royal Rumble entrants with Bobby.

Gene Okerlund here with the Royal Rumble Report! Let's go back the Saturday Night's Main Event where Andre accidentally creates a reaction gif with his fear of snakes. Let's get some comments from Andre/Bobby Heenan and Jake The Snake about this matter. Hey Ron Bass is still around! Mr. Perfect still has a Christian name! They're really selling the concept that this the only time you're gonna see all of these people in the same match. Let's take a look back at Dino Bravo setting a bench press record without any help whatsoever. Man, a Hacksaw Jim Duggan/Jim Neidhart pairing would build a city block in Medellin in the late 80s. Hey we got a women's title match too! And the Battle for the Crown! And the SUPER Posedown.

It's not too early or too late to order the Royal Rumble. Apparently some people took too long to order the Survivor Series and got bones. HOME SATELLITE DISH OWNERS CALL PRIMETIME 24 TO ORDER THE ROYAL RUMBLE.

We got a feature match this week as Bad News Brown takes on Bret Hart. Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred are on the call for this one. Mooney doesn't know why Bret Hart turned his back on Bad News Brown, it's not like they spent a bunch of time together years before and he would know better. This looks like the Boston Garden and there's at least one Boston fan who doesn't realize that Bad News Brown could do serious damage to him. Would the fans of Boston be beerbellied irishmen in Bad News' opinion. I'm fine with "the heel teasing an intentional countout but then coming back to the ring" not being in style. Bad News milks a "let's shake hands" spot for a minute or two and then Bret milks the "Am I gonna stomp this guys balls?" gut stomp spot. Hey Bret choking Bad News with his feet while holding onto the thing connecting the turnbuckle to the post is an interesting spot. How much WWF commentary in the 80s/90s involved talking about wrestlers not hooking legs on pinfalls.

Commercial break time

We return to the match and we another legdrop similar to the one we saw before the break but's not the same one. Lord Alfred talks about Bret Hart playing possum. Hey that won't be a finish in 7 years. With the wooden floor and ring steps at the Garden, it's a surprise they didn't try making the entire ring out of wood. I'm sure some cheap fuck has a wrestling ring where the posts are made out of wood instead of steel. That's an idea for Eco-friendly Daniel Bryan from a few years ago. Man those ropes just move constantly, no wonder why Cornette, who hates most modern wrestling things, hates those ropes and loves using cables for ropes. Momentum swing after Bret misses a second rope elbow. Then Bad News misses a second rope splash(?). Lord Alfred has no idea what Bad News was trying to do. We're to the point of the match where Lord Alfred suggests Bret Hart is using the rope-a-dope to allow Bad News to punch himself out. Bret's second rope elbow looked a little less point of the elbow there. Bret Hart hits a piledriver but we got a time limit draw. Well. Okay. They had several matches ready for TV this week and we saw them.

Gorilla decides this is the time to talk about Rockin' Robin. Guess we don't have a lot of topics left for this week.

1989 is gonna bring some changes to Prime Time Wrestling. More on-location stuff and guests. Also Gorilla suggesting he'll get Bobby fired from the show (which kinda happens for a few weeks later on in 1989, which is how we get Heather Hunter on WWF TV one week)

That was a show which did happen 35 years ago today which reminded us of 1988.

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Papa Shango just cursed me with this line on the 12/12/92 Superstars, and I quote: "May ring rats eat you at night."

We really should have seen his run as the Godfather coming, huh?

Edited by SirSmUgly
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Another day, another 0/5 anniversary.

WWF Monday Night Raw (1/3/1994)

We start off with Paul Bearer and the Undertaker in their workshop talking about how 1994 is the year of the casket and how Yokozuna will rest in peace (maybe in retrospect we should have realized Undertaker and Paul Bearer talked so much shit that Yokozuna had to recruit 75 people to put the Undertaker away)

Meanwhile, "this past weekend" on Wrestling Challenge: Jim Cornette is pretty sure there's funny business going on with the contracts and the casket match. Also Stan Lane is handling the interview and poking the bear over and over. Meanwhile Yokozuna has a phobia just in time for the Casket Match.

Our announcers tonight are Vince McMahon and Johnny Polo.

Tonight, the Smokin Gunns take on Bam Bam Bigelow and Bastion Booger! Shawn Michaels in action! Double J Jeff Jarrett in action!

Hey the rainbow entrance way is still around this late.

We're opening with Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji. Yokozuna is taking on Dan Dubiel. Oh boy! Hey, Johnny Polo making references to recent news on a show that was taped a few weeks ago in Poughkeepsie. Yokozuna throws Dubiel around a bit. That legdrop always looks nastier than most of the legdrops. We'll find out this weekend if Lex Luger is in the Rumble. Yokozuna gets the win with the nastiest Banzai Drop that you've already seen over and over. That guy with the red security shirt looks like a dork. We see a replay of Dubiel taking the Bonzai Drop directly on the top of his sternum. Thanks for showing up Dan, here's $100.

This past weekend on Superstars, Lex Luger is taking on Jacques. But then the Quebecers do the switcheroo which is the rare time that you could switch a guy with two eyes for one with one eye and have it work. Luger pins Pierre but Jacques gets the match continued so that Lex Luger takes him down. Then Scotty Johnny Polo takes the Forearm as well.

Vince McMahon is talking to Lex Luger in an empty arena about his bid to get into the Rumble. This makes the Poughkeepsie arena look like a movie theater. Lex Luger is a better talker than he gets credit for, and he's probably better in pre-records in quiet places than the normal promo settings of Techwood or Monday Night Wars Nitro.

Race Cars! Thurman Sparky Plugg is on his way to the World Wrestling Federation!

Now it's time for Bam Bam Bigelow and Bastion Booger to take on the Smokin Gunns. Vince McMahon gets a Tammy Wynette mention because this show is totally not taped folks (at least the commentary isn't). Bigelow and Bastion are tagging for the first time as long as you ignore the Survivor Series 8 man match.

PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATION PAID FOR BY THE FOLLOWING. It's ICO PRO because the federation is down bad in sponsors.

Not sure where Bigelow's outfit ranks out of the 4 outfits in this match. There's Bigelow in a flamesuit that some people dislike. The Gunns are working in jeans. Bastion Booger is in his outfit. Johnny Polo calls Luna Vachon sexy. Johnny says that the Gunns are bigger than you'd think. Story of Billy Gunn's WWF life, Scotto. Bastion looks like Bam Bam Bigelow's cousin at this time. Commercial Break. We return to see Billy Gunn awkwardly bulldog Booger to prevent a butt drop followed by Bart returning to the corner so he can get tagged in. Booger pulls down the top rope so Bart dives through the MIDDLE rope. Maybe Booger should be wearing an outfit with ice on it to match with Bam Bam's flames outfit. Johnny Polo is calling commentary like a man who is being fed likes and isn't necessarily sure if anybody is really watching so he can say whatever. Billy towers over Bam Bam Bigelow, for the record. Hot tag to Billy who dropkicks Bam Bam. Luna is rubbing Bastion Booger's shoulders as the Gunns doubleteam Bam Bam. Booger kisses Luna and gets slapped. Booger is just lurking after Luna and hugging her as she acts like the opposite of the David Crockett SHE LIKES IT TONY line. Bastion Booker keeps trying to molest Luna until Bam Bam Bigelow runs out to slug it out with Booger. The match ends with a countout victory for the Gunns.

Royal Rumble Report with Todd Pettingill. Todd wants a hump as his New Year's Resolution, which isn't how resolutions work, Todd. Saturday Night, January 22nd, is the Rumble (because the NFL played 18 weeks in 1993 and the championship games were on January 23rd). We're 6 years into the Royal Rumble but explaining how the Rumble rules work is a good way to fill time. Kamala was still around in January 1994. Man Todd really doesn't bring a lot of juice to reading the list of Rumble entrants. THREE SLOTS ARE STILL OPEN, folks. One of them could be Lex Luger. Wait, Cornette did the "one time only title shot" thing twice in 3 PPVs? Tatanka and Ludvig Borga are going at it before the Rumble (no they won't). Todd Pettingill closes by saying his name like Jeff Jarrett would. Even by the standard of mid-1990s WWF, what a dork.

Next week, Monday Night Raw's 1 year anniversary!

Jeff Jarrett's gear is very purple at this time. Jeff Jarrett takes on John Chrystal. Vince doing a read for the USA Network Friday Night movie, apparently James Spader is being led down a road of corruption. It looks like Jeff Jarrett is wearing a Men on a Mission outfit that shrank in the watch. Jeff Jarrett hits a DDT coming of the ropes for the win. I can see why that move didn't stick for Jarrett.

Last week on Raw, Marty Jannetty took on Johnny Polo. Johnny gets the win with the help from his team.

And here comes Marty Jannetty looking like a man who once murdered a dude outside of a bowling alley. The 1-2-3 Kid is also here in tights. Marty Jannetty wants the Quebecers to face Marty and the Kid. Johnny decides to make the match for next week.

Razor Ramon here to tell us that smokers are losers. A message brought to you by the WWF.

Now that Shawn Michaels is back, Diesel has a purpose in life again. Shawn Michaels takes on Brian Walsh. Time for the honey cam shots of women reacting to Shawn Michaels.


They got Jacques Rougeau on the phone. Like they have a phone at this commentary table. Brian Walsh looks like a guy who would have made a solid living as a local wrestler if he were in Tennessee instead of the Northeast. Anything can happen on Monday Night Raw, like Brian Walsh hitting moves on Shawn Michaels. Shawn throws Walsh to the floor, Diesel throws him back in, Shawn throws Walsh to the floor, Diesel throws him back in. Amazing timewasting spot. Johnny Polo isn't sure which ocean Razor Ramon swam in to get to America. Just some amazing "say whatever" heel commentary from Scotty this week. We've just been informed that Bam Bam Bigelow will take on Bastion Booger next week. Shawn hits Walsh with the Superkick back when it was a lot more lowkey. Then Shawn gets the pin with the Piledriver. Maybe one day Shawn will take on Razor to resolve this matter.

The use of quotation marks around 1-2-3 ("1-2-3" Kid) is a decision.

Well, that was a breezy one hour of action.

Edited by Cobra Commander
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Decided to rewatch Tyler Bate vs Walter from TakeOver: Cardiff because I haven't seen it since it first aired, what with the AEW and the pandemic and all that

Walter's classic Dvorak theme may be the most perfect entrance music outside of Badstreet USA. Right from the opening knucklelock the match has a simple yet effective psychology with Walter using his size and striking advantage to control but Bate fighting back with explosiveness and surprising strength. Bate takes a nasty bump early on, it looks like he needs a minute to get it together and Walter tries to give him some time before clobbering him again. Either Tyler is a great seller or that's a concussion, WWE might make a different call today. First nearfall comes out of a beautiful sunset flip counter to a power bomb, then they fight on the top rope until Bate cracks Walter's fingers to get a super exploder for another 2. Great spot as Tyler KOs Walter with surprise left only for the big man to fall on him so he can't take advantage. Bate gets an airplane spin into a very safe burning hammer but Walter rolls to the floor. After a couple of dives an incredible deadlift German suplex gets 2 for Bate. Walter backdrops out of a tiger driver '97 only for Tyler to bridge out and haul him up for one anyway for a 2 count (causing Nigel McGuinness to yell "I'm losing my mind!"). Sky twister press gets 2 then Tyler makes the mistake of trying to duke it out allowing Walter to take over and smother him with a sleeper. This leads into the finishing sequence as Walter hits a sleeper suplex on the apron and a splash off the top for a huge nearfall, a powerbomb for 1, and an enormous lariat for the 3. Great match, one or two too many sequences on the apron/ring post for my taste but the work was near perfect and these two always have chemistry. I don't expect a rematch now would get 45 minutes and yet I still want to see what these two with 5 more years of experience can put together

Post-match, I am reminded that Alexander Wolfe used to be in Imperium and that Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser's real names weren't European-y enough for (I assume) Vince

Edited by Godfrey
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I've had Nitro on loop in the background while I sleep the last few nights.

Eric Bischoff is the biggest exception imagonable to the saying that nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

His hokey, insincere delivery on everything just undermines some absolute bullshit angles every time. He sounds like a total moron trying to put over every second angle as real, legit, unplanned and it's like a few months into the show kicking off and it's clear none of his announce partners want anything to do with it.

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Things I remember from NXT UK: Cardiff

Since Tyler Bate is on the main roster, I guess it's a good idea to watch this card. I've seen some of this because I watched a Best of 2019 episode of NXT UK recently but I don't remember much from that either.

Dar vs Banks: perfectly fine opener, some fun spots (Dar kicking Banks while in the knucklelock)

Cesaro vs Ilja: really fun, 40 rotations on the swing, Dragunov bringing the same fire he always brings, Cesaro wins and then teases beating Ilja further but doesn't

Tag Team Three Way: was a fun match if you're into multiman/multiteam matches, it was a bit of a blur to me. This might have been on the Best Of. Gordon/Webster won.

Mastiff vs Coffey: a total war that mostly took place in close confines, the loser of this feud should have had their beard shaved off, I never thought about a cricket bat as a weapon but it makes sense, so much action taking place perilously close to a lawsuit over someone in the front row being wiped out, the sort of match that needed the rings to break so that they weren't doing stuff off the ropes. The finish is what is was because this is Last Man Standing and there's quite a few banana peel finishes that job someone without destroying them

edit: Mastiff/Coffey is probably viewed a lot better if (a) it wasn't arguably the 3rd or 4th best match on a 6 match card and if (b) it took place in a promotion where they would have bladed as soon as they started using weapons

Kay Lee Ray vs Toni Storm: I think this was on the Best Of. Toni Storm has went from the look of someone in auto shop calendars to someone doing retro pinups. Didn't really retain a lot from this one and Ray won the title.

Walter vs Bate: the sort of war that everybody says it was. I've typed some version of this before but Walter/Gunther really is like Vader in the sense that he can let smaller guys shine without looking weak and then eat them up whenever. I guess it's a matter of taste about who's a better Walter opponent between Ilja and Bate. The crowd was way behind the concept of their guy beating Walter like Walter's the touring NWA Champ working Portland this week. Eventually Walter just overwhelms Bate and kills him for good with a lariat to retain.

Edited by Cobra Commander
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I feel strongly that the Kamala and Gonzalez feuds the Undertaker has in '92 and '93 would be, if not salvaged, at least far more entertaining if Mark Guleen were cutting promos on behalf of the heels rather than Harvey Wippleman.

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What I remember from watching the 2004 Royal Rumble:

I'm going directly into this card cold because I have no idea about the match list or many of the non-basic details

First match is a Tables Match for the tag team titles with the Dudleys taking on the tag team champions of... Batista and Ric Flair? Well, okay. Flair chopped Bubba hard a few times. Coachman did a run-in. Dudleys got distracted and Batista slammed D-Von through a table to retain. Ric Flair and Bubba Dudley exchanging blows was actually the best part of this match, which might not say much for it.

John Cena hasn't gentrified his gimmick yet. RVD pops up to get a pop. I forget who the backstage interviewer is around this time but his outfit and frosted tips make him very 2004. 

Next up is Rey Mysterio defending the cruiserweight title against Jamie Noble. Nidia is blind at this time. This match goes a few minutes and ends with Blind Nidia accidentally tripping Jamie Noble while blind and Rey hitting the 619 and the springboard legdrop (I forget if the West Coast Pop was the crotch attack or the leg drop). If I don't mention it later, Rumble cards can be sorta one match cards. Maybe two matches if you're lucky.

Next is Eddie vs Chavo. We get a video package for this one. It's bloodfeud. Chavo Sr is with Chavo. Chavo Sr, who wouldn't become Chavo Classic for a a few weeks/months after this, looks like Mark Margolis in his suit. I suspect Chavo Sr is just a hoot if I ever go back and watch this stuff. I don't really remember regularly watching the WWE in 2004 when I was a high school senior, which was 20 years ago. Chavo hits most of the Amigos suplexes but Eddie counters and then wins with the Frog Splash. Then Eddie beats down his brother and nephew a bit including tying Chavo Sr's tie to the rope. WWE Babyfaces in 2004! Are they still doing Ruthless Aggression?

Chris Benoit gets a few words backstage in before Ric Flair/Orton/Batista show up and champagne is popping.

Oh yeah, this is the Brock Lesnar vs Hardcore Holly PPV. Holly got a PPV title shot because of what happened a year before. He starts hot as the announcers try to sell us on the concept that Holly needs to outbrawl Lesnar because of how good a wrestler Lesnar is, which is fucking preposterous when you look at how huge Lesnar is next to Holly. Man, Lesnar hasn't done some of these moves (the Fisherman's cradle buster) since 2004, has he? Lesnar keeps going to the mat to work a hold on Holly, the third time this happens a dude in the 4th row just throws up his arms in frustration that he's watching boring mat wrestling in 2004. Holly has a plus dropkick. Anyways, Lesnar just eventually beats Holly with the F5 and this filler title defense is over.

Now it's time for Last Man Standing, Triple H vs Shawn Michaels. I wasn't 100% sure if this was going on before or after the Rumble so I typed up the review through Lesnar/Holly before Last Man Standing.

Gotta love the unique sets with stuff like two videoboards at the entrance ramp shaped like a 2. Lots of hard hitting for a match between friends like Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Also gotta love the use of the Figure Four as this Last Man Standing match will have some wrestling for a few moments before this goes to the floor and all hell breaks loose. Wow, Shawn Michaels just jumping directly through that table and bleeding. Is that why this card has a TV-MA rating? Shawn tapped a good one tonight, a shame his tights are already the color of blood. Lots of near-falls for this last man standing match based on the concept that Shawn Michaels slashed an artery. Fucccck, that pool of blood on the mat. This match is vampiric. Michaels is just covered in blood and somehow this isn't a match that comes up for bloody 2004 WWE. The hard cam Philly crowd is into Shawn Michaels tonight. Awkward looking low blow counter to a Superkick. Nearfall for a sleeper but somehow Triple H wakes up without being slapped on the back. The standard for ending 10 counts is very generous. Michaels gets up from a Pedigree. Michaels hits a Superkick and then both men are counted out. Well, that's a bullshit finish. What a bloodfest. Shawn Michaels refuses to take a stretcher ride. If Shawn Michaels had been allowed to do more matches like this in the 1996 WWF, then maybe his reign wouldn't have been as cringeworthy.

Now i'm gonna go out and out typing as I watch for the Royal Rumble match. Watch out.

This is such a huge Royal Rumble that they've forced Jim Ross and Tazz to team up.

Eric Bischoff interrupts Howard Finkel to gather some cheap heat. Only for Paul Heyman to interrupt. I forgot that Heyman was the Smackdown GM. Heyman tosses the mic to Bischoff before going in with the gentlest looking forearm. Stone Cold comes down in an ATV. Stone Cold hits the Stunner on Bischoff. Stone Cold hits the Stunner on Heyman.  Stone Cold speeds off while drinking beer. A day in the life of 2004 Stone Cold.

Terri Runnels was a backstage interviewer back then? And here's comes the build to the legendary Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg match.

We also have a storyline about Mick Foley being invited to his card and Jim Ross being nudged into saying Mick's a coward for not being here.

Anyways, it's time for the Rumble. Future murderer Chris Benoit draws #1. Randy Orton is #2. Somehow, Ric Flair is the only member of Evolution to have hair in 2024. Mark Henry is #3, not sure if purple/gold was a good color scheme for him. Tajiri is #4 and he hits a handspring. Bradshaw is #5 a few months before he was getting a superpush. Bradshaw just kills everybody with clotheslines except Benoit. Then Bradshaw gets tossed out. Rhyno is #6. Tajiri tries to put the Tarantula on Mark Henry and then gets eliminated. Mark Henry is also out. Matt Hardy is #7. Scott Steiner is #8, I did not know he lasted this long in the company. Scott Steiner vs Rhyno in 2004 is a matchup. Matt Morgan is #9. Feeling Wardlow vibes from Matt Morgan (or maybe the inverse since Morgan came first). Hurricane is #10. Matt Morgan launches Hurricane to eliminate him and his knee health. Booker T is #11. Kane is #12, and with 7 other people in the ring, I suspect we're getting eliminations now. Steiner got eliminated while the camera was somewhere else. Kane just dusts Rhyno by countering the Gore with a Big Boot. The Undertaker is #13? Kane is so mad about this that Booker T eliminated him. No, Spike Dudley is #13 and Kane chokeslams him on the ramp. Rikishi is #14. I think Spike's not gonna make it into this match. Rhyno is out. Matt Morgan takes the stinkface. Rene Dupree is #15. Rene Dupree eliminates Matt Hardy. Rikishi eliminates Rene Dupree. A-Train is #16. Matt Morgan jumps directly into the rope to crotch himself and gets eliminated. Booker T is out via Orton. So our three guys are Benoit, Orton, and A-Train because I missed Rikishi's elimination. Shelton Benjamin is #17. Shelton misses a thrust kick and gets eliminated. I missed the A-Train elimination because it's Orton/Benoit alone. Ernest the Cat Miller is #18 and he is shticked the fuck up with a ring announcer and everything. Benoit and Orton get some rest in as this goes on. Orton eliminates Miller, Benoit pulls the wig off the ring announcer. Kurt Angle is #19 and it's time to get out of the mid-match lull and start adding bodies again. Rico is #20, so maybe we're still in the lull. Rico is eliminated quick as expected. Benoit and Angle sure did love inflicting brain damage levels of action. #21 is... someone (Test) who was attacked backstage. So Austin is telling someone to enter the Royal Rumble. And it's Mick Foley to settle that angle. Mick Foley is #21 and the crowd goes banana. Mick Foley goes for Randy Orton because impending Wrestlemania match. Christian is #22. Focus on Foley/Orton. Nunzio is #23 and he gets put in the Socko Claw before Randy Orton takes a shot and wanders off. So, it's Christian, Benoit, and Angle in the ring. Nunzio is on the outside. Big Show is #24. Chris Jericho is #25. Everybody tries to eliminate Big Show but they don't. Charlie Haas is #26. Nunzio is still on the outside. Jericho eliminates Christian. Billy Gunn is #27 and he's the Returning Billy Gunn. Nunzio is still on the outside. John Cena is #28 wearing a Tug McGraw jersey. Cena throws Nunzio into the ring for some Italian-on-Italian crime. Rob Van Dam is #29. "We know who's next". Thanks JR. And #30 is Goldberg. Goldberg immediately spears Big Show for old times. Haas is out. Nunzio gets a spear and an elimination. Brock Lesnar comes in to F5 Goldberg. Goldberg is out. Everybody tries to eliminate the Big Show but they fail. Jericho barely makes good contact on a Lionsault. Five Star Frog Splash. Five Knuckle Shuffle. Diving Headbutt. Kurt Angle tries to organize a group effort to eliminate Show. Cena is out with a gnarly landing. Van Dam is out. The final four is Jericho, Benoit, Angle, and Show. Jericho puts Show is a Boston Crabby Walls of Jericho. Jericho gets yeeted to the outside by a Show Chokeslam. Angle has Show in the Anklelock but gets tossed to make the final two Benoit and Show. Benoit flips Show back into the ring with a top rope move. Benoit with the crossface, which is of questionable utility in a battle royal. There's more drama since I can't remember is Show was being pushed at this time. Benoit pulls Show directly onto his head to flip him out of the ring and Chris Benoit has won the Royal Rumble.

I remember Michaels being in the Wrestlemania 20 title match as being a point of contention for some fans. You know back in the simpler days when we liked Benoit and he wasn't a murderer yet. 

I don't know how 2004 PPV WWE has aged in the 20 years since it happened but that was certainly an interesting array of matches and wrestlers.

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16 hours ago, zendragon said:

I think that's the first double count out for a LMS match they then did to death

Mankind-Rock LMS also ended that way at In Your House 27: St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1999.

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another thing about Brock/Holly that didn't help is that the bearhugs on the mat, while i'm sure they're painful and legit, also look like Brock is spooning Hardcore Holly, so that might be hard for some fans to get into

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9 minutes ago, Cobra Commander said:

another thing about Brock/Holly that didn't help is that the bearhugs on the mat, while i'm sure they're painful and legit, also look like Brock is spooning Hardcore Holly, so that might be hard for some fans to get into

And might please some other fans. 😉

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OK, the heck with it, I've watched enough early '93 Superstars to re-book WM IX. I've done it before a little bit, but mostly the top of the card. Let's do a full-on teardown of that card.

The card as it ended up:

Bret Hart (c) vs. Yokozuna (Royal Rumble winner) - WWF World Championship Match

Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Tatanka - WWF Intercontinental Championship Match

Money Inc. (c) vs. Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake - WWF Tag Team Championship Match

Lex Luger vs. Mr. Perfect

Crush vs. Doink the Clown

The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez

The Headshrinkers vs. The Steiner Brothers

Razor Ramon vs. Bob Backlund


Matches that I see no reason to change in any permutation:

Crush vs. Doink the Clown

The Headshrinkers vs. The Steiner Brothers


Alternate Card A

Bret Hart (c) vs. Randy Savage (Royal Rumble winner) - WWF World Championship Match

Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Tatanka

Money Inc. (c) vs. The Nasty Boys - WWF Tag Team Championship Match

Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna

Razor Ramon vs. Mr. Perfect

The Undertaker vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

Lex Luger vs. Tito Santana

Crush vs. Doink the Clown

The Headshrinkers vs. The Steiner Brothers


I've long been a supporter of Ric Flair and Randy Savage being used to put over Bret Hart at the Rumble and WM IX respectively. I'd certainly do that here. 

I want Brutus Beefcake the fuck off this card; the Money Inc./Nastys feud needs a blowoff, so doing it here makes a ton of sense.

If you can get Hogan to do a job, you put Yokozuna over huge here, with the plan of putting the big gold on him at KotR. You just move up Jim Duggan challenging Yokozuna on Superstars (and being annihilated by him) to January, pre-Rumble, and have Hogan return to defend the honor of Duggan rather than to defend the honor of Beefcake after Money Inc. jumped Beefcake and left him laying on RAW. 

Razor/Perfect needs a blowoff after five months, and Luger/Perfect feels thrown together by comparison. Yeah, Heenan introduced Luger, but it's not like he's regularly managing the guy. Razor needs a win on PPV, preferably a bigger one than squashing Backlund.

I want Gonzales up out of here. I thought about Harvey Wippleman forming an alliance of convenience with Bam Bam, who wants to move rapidly to the top of the cards by targeting someone who he can get big notoriety from beating. You can still protect the streak in this case through a DQ if you want.

Lex Luger needs a squash match on this card, so Tito can do it instead of being relegated to a dark match with Papa Shango. I briefly thought about giving Shango a quick feud against his BSK buddy 'Taker, but I think the match quality is solidly better with the Bammer in the match.

Don't like that card? Here's another slightly different one.


Alternate Card B

Bret Hart (c) vs. Randy Savage (Royal Rumble winner) - WWF World Championship Match

Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Marty Jannetty (w/Sensational Sherri) 

Money Inc. (c) vs. The Nasty Boys - WWF Tag Team Championship Match

Hulk Hogan vs. Jerry Lawler

Yokozuna vs. Tatanka

Razor Ramon vs. Mr. Perfect

The Undertaker vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

Lex Luger vs. Tito Santana

Crush vs. Doink the Clown

The Headshrinkers vs. The Steiner Brothers


Just don't fire Jannetty immediately after the Rumble. Wait two months and then fire him. Business is down, so I'm sure the reward of a WM payoff isn't enough of a reward that you absolutely must snatch it from him to punish him for being a drunken fuck-up. This should be a gimmick match of some type that involves Sherri (and that gets her off TV after the end of the match).  Michaels wins definitively to end that feud. Then we don't need any surprise title switches on RAW or anything to end the feud later on in the year.

If you can't get Hogan to job to Yoko, you have him crush a shit-talking Jerry Lawler, who says that the Hulkamaniacs need a King to rule them. I would pay good money just for the promos. Lawler can still feud with Bret eventually for some reason other than being angry about Bret wearing a crown if you're worried about that (I'm not). 

Yokozuna still gets a bit of a bump by definitively ending Tatanka's undefeated streak on the way to a run with big gold later this year. 



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