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Dolfan Watches Every Wrestlemania On Lockdown


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On 8/16/2020 at 12:05 PM, Dolfan in NYC said:

 

Hogan saves Eugene from Hassan and Ariya Davari who was Hassan's assistant(?). 

Nitpick. This was elder brother Shawn Daivari. He actually stayed on for a couple years, and managed Kurt Angle for a while.

 

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DAY 66

So the Chris Benoit experiment didn't exactly work out, and spunky underdog Randy Orton didn't either... so the World Championship is around the waist of HHH once again.  Fortunately for HHH, there were TWO guys in Evolution designated as "the future." 

Batista, before he became Drax the Destroyer, or a replicant, or a Bond villain, was a good hand in OVW that got moved up and became a sidekick to a repackaged D-Von Dudley.  After that little run ended, he was sort of just middling around when a new super group was being formed, and apparently since Mark Jindrak annoyed HHH, that group had an opening. He quickly took to the terrifyingly huge enforcer role and got over based on... well, being awesome. So when the 2005 Royal Rumble rolled around and Batista won, it was not unexpected, but surprising nonetheless.  (Also, remember when Vince legit tore his quads doing VINCE WALK to the ring?  That was great.)  So, back to the story, HHH wanted Batista to challenge JBL so Evolution could rule both Raw and Smackdown.  Batista was like, nah.  👎🏼  And so the main event for Mania is all set. 

HHH rises from the ground as Motorhead plays him to the ring.  Lemmy is clearly drunk because he's noticeably slurring the few words he remembers from this song he wrote.  But, he's Lemmy, and like I said, Lemmy sings, I sprint.  God I didn't need him to make me sprint on my bike at 7:30am.    God it is WEIRD seeing Dave approach the ring with the unsung version of his theme song.  He's even doing the machine gun thing, so i actually went to Dailymotion to see if this was dubbed, but it's apparently not.  

What else is weird is *HHH* getting the jobber entrance and only Batista getting intro'ed by Howard Finkel.  

The match itself... alright, so I'm struggling with how to characterize this.  Maybe the right word is, pedestrian?  HHH goes on offense, and is selling that he's scared of getting into a power for power match with Big Dave.  But this seems... I don't know, like we've been here before. He's doing all the right things, the crowd is chanting along for Batista, and all that, but something's off. 

Once Dave goes on offense, after HHH does a pretty good blade job, he pretty much stays there for the rest of the match.  It's long and sustained and we get to about the 20 minute mark and HHH is in dire, dire straits. Nothing he's trying is working, even the cheating stuff.  He never makes any kind of sustained combat and it kind of robs the match of any kind of drama.  By the time Dave has him ready for a Batista Bomb, there's really no question as to who's winning.  And sure enough, clean as a whistle, the Batista Bomb ends HHH's reign, and Big Dave is the World Heavyweight Champion for the first time.   

PPV recap and we're out.  

Mania 22 is the absolute end of the 1990s Attitude Era.  We're well into the Ruthless Aggression phase of things, as the guys from that era have now officially taken over.  They're being mentored by the HHH's, HBK's, Kurt Angle's, Chris Benoit's, and Eddie Guerrero's, but it's their show now. My enjoyment of this show was kind of all over the place.  There were some very, VERY good things, and some downright awful ones. In historical context, the show is appropriately huge and impactful, but the two title matches at the end were...  not good.   It's a sour note to leave on, but overall, it's a step down from 20 and 19.  

Let's head to the Chi for Mania 22

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On 8/18/2020 at 11:23 PM, tbarrie said:

Yeah, I had forgotten how disappointing this match was. After JBL Honkytonking the title for a year, with various creative ways for him to escape undethroned, Cena wins the belt not by overcoming JBL's shenanigans, but because there weren't any. It's like JBL just forgot to cheat.

That was a "thing" at WrestleMania in the time period, as I recall. Guys who cheated all year long would suddenly just play fair at Mania. Never understood it, and it mostly has died out these days, largely because WWE heels barely cheat these days.

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16 hours ago, Zimbra said:

Hmm, my most historic live wrestling moment is either Tank Abbott turning on 3 Count or Tajiri winning his first cruiserweight title so, yeah, not great.

Mine would be the Raw in Philly that broke Nitro's ratings win streak. And Wrestlemania the following year I guess, I mean its a shit Mania but you do have Austin-Rock I. Oh and I also saw Negro Casas wrestle live at Super Astros taping during a Sunday Night Heat, which is pretty cool.

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Not an historic event, but I did see a young Satoshi Kojima when he was on excursion as Japan's Mean Machine. He was in an eight man tag with Robbie Brookside and Doc Dean on the other team.

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I was there when Dragon Soldier B was at that ROH show in Jersey.  Yes it's historic to me and by that I mean historically bad.

But for an actual historic event I was there for Piper's last wrestling appearance.  He was at MCW and did a version of Piper's Pit.  He seemed to have a good time and it was fun to say I saw that live.  Then not long after he passed away.

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I was in the sixth row for the first Hell in a Cell. 
 

Also, a good friend of mine was in nursing school at the time. She helped stitch up Michaels after the match. She met HHH and Chyna too. She said Chyna was really sweet. 
 

I was also in attendance when Rick Rude tried to kiss Jake Roberts’ wife. Prior to that, I’d only been to a couple house shows, so it was really cool to see an actual angle. It was a Superstars taping that went on forever.  Wry thankful to my dad, who is very much NOT a wrestling fan, for sitting through that. 

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1 hour ago, NikoBaltimore said:

I was there when Dragon Soldier B was at that ROH show in Jersey.  Yes it's historic to me and by that I mean historically bad.

The "historically bad" karma points all swarmed in on me in one swoop as I was there live for the "fuck Stan Kroenke" episode of RAW that WWE did after the whole Denver Nuggets playoffs blowup. Though on the flip side, how many people can say they saw a WWE wrestler once pegged as a potential main eventer wrestle in a big comeback match and then suddenly get fired the next day?

And @Log, I can't imagine how many fathers/mothers took so much torture sitting through those marathon TV tapings back in the day. Hell, I'm happy you yourself remained a fan after that. I feel like even as an enthusiastic child, I probably wouldn't want to watch wrestling for a long time once I put together that I watched one Hulk Hogan match and four hours of Superstars squashes, or even worse, Challenge squashes with no major angles since those were usually saved for Superstars. It's never a surprise when I look at attendance figures on The History of WWE and see that the next house show in the same market the previous show was a TV taping would be down considerably. And back then, WWF usually wouldn't advertise if something was a TV taping, correct? It was just typically promoted locally like any other house show?

PS @Dolfan in NYC, I know my post earlier branched this off into some stuff unrelated to Wrestlemania viewings. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your viewing experiences these last few months, and it's also a good kick in the pants to get motivated about getting some sort of exercise routine going again whenever I throw on some old wrestling.

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Probably the most significant thing I saw was Chris Jericho's first match in the WWF. It was a house show in Winnipeg and he was only supposed to make an appearance. The main event was supposed to be The Rock v The Big Bossman, but Rock had plane trouble and didn't make the show, so Jericho took his place. He made his "official" in ring debut a couple days later against Road Dogg on Smackdown.

Other than that, I've just been to a few Hulkamania era house shows, a house show a couple years ago with Lesnar v Sheamus (supposed to be Cesaro, but it was like a week after he broke his face) and a Raw taping this year (nothing much happened, best part was Asuka being funny during the Elimination Chamber contract signing).

The one PPV that was ever held here was the In Your House where Dean Douglas is awarded and then loses the IC title, but that was right at the tail end of my teenage "I'm not going to watch childish wrestling" years.

Personal most significant was seeing one of PCO's last indie appearances before heading to ROH. According to cagematch he only had 2 more matches after his Winnipeg appearance (a 4 way hardcore match won by AJ Sanchez).

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1 hour ago, J.H. said:

I grew up in NYC, where going to MSG was a monthly ritual for me. I've lost count of all the stuff I saw as a kid

James

This was me as well, for about a two year period, then later AWA, AWA and WCW in Chicago for a while. Officially & for the public, my claims to fame are WM1, the first couple Pro Wrestling USAs, SuperBrawl 2 (Pillman v. Liger, Sting wins belt) all come to mind. For me, the arcane AAA/ECW show at the Universal Amphitheatre, seeing Rude/Fernandez as tag champs in Florida as well as occultic Kevin Sullivan, Super Porky at a lucha spot show in the Chicago suburbs, various craptastic indies with great crowds. I worked some great cards as well. It is significant (odd) that my most memorable memories are the fun ones as opposed to the historical ones...

- RAF

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WRESTLEMANIA XXII

Eddie Guerrero died in November 2005. The victim of heart disease, brought on and/or exacerbated by drug, alcohol, and steroid abuse.  He was my favorite wrestler in the world at that point and everyone was shocked when they heard he'd died. (I still despise Colin Cowherd to this day, and will throw a punch at him if I ever see him, because of his Eddie comments.) His death caused a massive shockwave throughout the WWE as well, as depending on who you believe, he was well on his way to regaining the World Heavyweight Championship. I'd guess Rey would have been his Mania opponent, but who knows.  

Batista had proven to be very much the star that everyone expected him to be.  Ditto John Cena.  Both guys were looking well on their way to defending their titles at Mania, but Batista got injured, so Kurt Angle got the call.  This was very much the days when tag teams meant less than nothing on the shows, and the women are skewing a LOT harder to "piece of ass" than "bust their ass."   

And the crowds.  Well, fan empowerment has very much taken hold.  Fans have been told their feelings matter and Vince learned quickly that letting THAT particular cat out of the bag would be impossible to reverse.  Crowds would grow restless and agitated by some repetitive or non-sensical storylines.  And a large section would focus on the guy they felt was responsible for taking away their "Attitude Era".... John Cena. 

Welcome to Chicago (well, Rosemont).  This is an interesting show. 

Well, I say that, and here comes Kane & The Big Show to sap out any energy I have.  They are the current tag team champions, for god only knows what reason.  They're facing DVDVR favorite son, Chris Masters, and Carlito.  Carlito appeared on the previous Mania in a segment I didn't write up because it was just terrible (Piper's Pit, Steve Austin, Carlito mouths off, stunners, only Steve gets over.  There.  I did it.)   The crowd begins to show it's "oddness" by surprisingly giving Masters & Carlito a good face pop. 

This is a decent enough match, actually better than I remember it.  Kane & Big Show are ostensibly the faces here, but they are wrestling the match as dominant heels.  While Masterpiece and Carlito are the heels, but are very much doing the face in peril thing.  The crowd is not really buying their chances much and they get kind of quiet for a little bit.  Until Masters slaps on the allegedly unbreakable Masterlock (full nelson) on Kane.  Big Show breaks up the Masterlock to boos(!) as the crowd finally buys the challengers as possibly having an actual shot here.   

The comeback is short-lived though.  Heel miscommunication has Masters hit Carlito, which leads to Carlito getting pinned.  This was a good TV match, but merely decent (and short) at Mania.   

And we're off...  

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1 hour ago, Curt McGirt said:

What was the lineup on this? 

(clipped from cagematch)

21.10.1995

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Arena: International Amphitheatre

Octagoncito defeats Jerrito Estrada

Koji Kitao defeats Hideo No More

Cactus Jack, Psicosis & Sabu vs. Rey Misterio Jr., Super Calo & Winners - No Contest

Jerry Estrada, Pentagon & Reyna Atomico defeat La Parka, Super Muneco & Tinieblas Jr. by DQ

Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge & Rocco Rock) & Tommy Dreamer defeat The Eliminators (John Kronus & Perry Saturn) & Too Cold Scorpio

Konnan, Octagon & Perro Aguayo defeat Cien Caras, KGB & Killer

This cannot even begin to describe the festiveness of this event. Exanple: Perro Aguayo gets an award at intermission, and thee brilliant Terry Funk of course smashes it over PA's skullbone, piercing the wafer-thin tissue that surrounds his forehead arteries. This triggers a real riot. And there were more stories. I met Mick Foley a couple years later and grilled him relentlessly about this card. Two important factors: it had thee best food concessions I have ever experienced at any event, and it appears that this does not exist on videotape on the planet Earth. I should do a big ol' write up of this before my memory morphs and mutates any more, if I can find out what thread to post it in...

- RAF, gringo-at-large

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18 minutes ago, thee Reverend Axl Future said:

I should do a big ol' write up of this before my memory morphs and mutates any more, if I can find out what thread to post it in...

I don't care if you have to make a new thread, just do it!!! Please! 

And ditto on Kitao. Who the hell is Hideo No More, btw? 

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https://www.cagematch.net/?id=2&nr=2899&gimmick=Masaaki+Mochizuki

Seems to have been a one night gimmick for Masaaki Mochizuki, whom I'm not super familiar with but I'm sure someone here can fill in that blank.

If I had to guess, this gimmick was brought to us by a combination of temporal relevance and racism.

Edited by elizium
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Mochizuki was a fellow WAR guy so that explains why he drew the short straw of trying to get anything out of Kitao. Probably the thing most people first saw him for in the 1990's was doing the 1995 J Cup and doing a job to Ohtani when Mochizuki was still "Karate Outfit Kick Guy" as a gimmick. I know he was an undercard guy for NOAH by the early 2000's and he had some fun stuff, mostly there to be fed to the guys they were really pushing. I'm not sure what else I could add on him.

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