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Dolfan Watches Every Wrestlemania On Lockdown


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And to Tenryu's terrifyingly close powerbomb... Was that his thing?  I admit to being mostly familiar with just American graps, but in googling, I ran across this Tenryu/Brooklyn Brawler match.

Lombardi's lucky he's not dead. Jeez. 

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That was standard for him, and pretty standard for Japan powerbombs at the time until a combo of the Juniors and Vader/The FMW crew started doing higher angles.

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On 4/19/2020 at 9:39 AM, Elsalvajeloco said:

It's also the first "we can use this very popular song so we're going to play it a million times and run it into the ground' track.

God, I never wanted to hear that song ever again after that. 

And yeah Tenryu's powerbomb was always a bit negligible. It always seemed like someone was sandbagging him. Then he later started doing a brainbuster that was just as dangerous looking. 

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20 minutes ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

And to Tenryu's terrifyingly close powerbomb... Was that his thing?  I admit to being mostly familiar with just American graps, but in googling, I ran across this Tenryu/Brooklyn Brawler match.

Lombardi's lucky he's not dead. Jeez. 

You know what is even weirder than this match happening? The exchange of the German commentators at the beginning, where they talk about that wrestlers don't get any prize money if they leave the arena (presumably getting counted out on purpose). Besides that, they are actually acceptable, Carsten Schaefer (one of the two guys talking here and someone who is still doing commentary today) apparently got worse and way more pretentious over the years. The last time I was watching German WWE with him commentating (some 15-16 years ago), he was talking how stupid it is to work a body part (the argument being that in most of the matches he had seen over the years, the guy getting worked on coming back).

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3 hours ago, Robert s said:

You know what is even weirder than this match happening? The exchange of the German commentators at the beginning, where they talk about that wrestlers don't get any prize money if they leave the arena (presumably getting counted out on purpose). Besides that, they are actually acceptable, Carsten Schaefer (one of the two guys talking here and someone who is still doing commentary today) apparently got worse and way more pretentious over the years. The last time I was watching German WWE with him commentating (some 15-16 years ago), he was talking how stupid it is to work a body part (the argument being that in most of the matches he had seen over the years, the guy getting worked on coming back).

Granted, if you only watched/called WWF/E bouts, that would be a completely logical conclusion to draw about limb work...

And I love “forfeit the loser’s share of the purse” as the reason people (most notably heel champs) don’t take deliberate count outs/dqs all the time

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Also, denigrating limb work reminds me of a favorite Monsoon/Heenan exchange about side headlocks, but I think Dolfan will get to that himself in a few more commutes so I’ll let him call it out when he gets there

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A friend of mine is about 6'3" and was close to about 300# a few years ago.  Didn't see him for a while, and when I saw him, he had dropped about 100-125 pounds and was extremely hyper. That kids, is what we call, a cocaine diet. Now, I'm not saying that the Big Bossman looks like he's done enough coke to make Tony Montana tell him to calm down, but...

Perfect's defending his IC championship and is basically at the point where I think he's being test driven for a run with the big belt. (Which apparently was vetoed by Hogan.) Bossman has got his running shoes on because this is roughly as quick a pace as I've ever remembered seeing him. Hennig is bumping like his shoes have flubber in them and it makes this match so much fun.  Well, that is until Andre shows up to stop Heenan and Hennig from cheating as rampantly as they have been. He's just walking around the ring and very.... slowly.... chasing Perfect and the Weasel.  Eventually Haku and Barbarian run in for a DQ which kind of sucked as a finish.  It's fucking Mania guys...  ugh.

I'm running low on time, but it's also squash time! 

Greg Valentine gets job duty to Earthquake.  The only notable thing about this is Earthquake's music is fucking awesome. 

Power and Glory are here to get murdered by The Legion of Doom.  The LOD give a surprisingly bad promo before the match.  And this is Herc's last Mania, frankly, he didn't even really need to even get into his gear for this.  It's LOD no sell, LOD no sell, Doomsday Device, thank you drive through.   

I had a couple of things to do around the apartment and I was eager to get back to watching Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, so that's where Day 21 ended. 

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DAY 22

Okay, lets finish up VII because it's not gonna get good again until I hit Mania 8. 

"King of Fuck Money" Virgil is fighting Ted DiBiase after recently turning on him. Rowdy Roddy is out with Virgil because I'm guessing the original plan for Piper-DiBiase but his motorcycle accident changed those plans. Though I could be wrong about that.  So anyway, this match is very much in the Arrogant Heel gets surprised by Plucky Babyface mold. And it's only notable because of a nasty little bump Piper, who's at ringside on crutches, takes from DiBiase. 

El Matador (Tito Santana) and The Mountie (Jacques Rougeau) are here to discuss corn subsidies and oil market caps.  Yes, I'm actually riding and thinking of what kind of NAFTA/USMCA disagreements this match is a metaphor for.  Bobby makes racist Mexican jokes.  Tito forgets to sell the shock stick.  Next. 

Alright, the Main Event. Slaughter has turned into an Iraqi cos-player, Hogan is a roid- and coke-head American.  The pre-match interview would have been roughly 10,000x better if Slaughter had learned a couple of sentences in Arabic like "almawt li'amrikana" (Death to America). Anyway, this match in 1992 is very notable for its early 1980's style.  It's *very* slowly paced and a grind.  Hogan does a blade job very early on a bump that doesn't look like it merits one. God, for a 20 minute match, I'm really, really struggling to find a reason to care here.  

I think they picked Adnan because he kind of looks like he could be related to Saddam Hussein? 

Wasn't Iron Sheik supposed to be in Slaughter's entourage?  

Sheik Yerbouti was a great album.  

Oh god, this match is awful.  I'm really wondering if the Iraq War had never happened and the rumored at the time Warrior-Hogan II match happened if they'd have had the balls to turn Warrior heel. Or Hogan.  Or whatever.  I don't care.  

Hogan wins the belt.  WIPES HIS BLOOD ON AN AMERICAN FLAG(!!!) and celebrates.   

This Mania has an all-time great match in the middle and a valley of disappointment on either side for the most part.  I've still got about 15 minutes on this ride, so...  

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Adnan was a real Iraqi (and also a worked American Indian, Billy White Wolf).

It was fun at the time watching wrestling with an Egyptian friend who would translate Adnan's Arabic. 

Edited by odessasteps
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Sheik joined up right after Mania, as Mustafa.

First music video WrestleMania package I remember is IX, with R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Bret, but I'm not sure they showed that on the ppv, or just the TV leading up top it

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1 hour ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

I think they picked Adnan because he kind of looks like he could be related to Saddam Hussein?

At least in his autobiography Adnan claims that he even went to school with Saddam.

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WRESTLEMANIA VIII

Okay, I've got enough time left on this ride to start this one.  I'll note, this is the last time they run a stadium until X7.  Judging from that upper deck, I can kinda see why.  

I'll instantly note, the improvement in camera and sound work here.  It feels like a BIG show, while allowing you to hear everyone, especially the holy WWF trinity of Gorilla, Bobby, and Finkel.  And for the record, I finally get that Bobby Heenan made a *lot* of money by throwing every dad joke in human existence out there.  God bless him.  Also, of note, this is the *ONLY* Wrestlemania that had Gorilla and Bobby doing the commentary for the whole show - something I knew, but also, just never clicked. 

So, let's start out with El Matador and the newly liberated Heartbreak Kid, with the lovely Sensational Sherri. This is still in the phase when she's singing his song, so that just adds to the awesome. Tito's out here to make Michaels look like a million bucks and boy howdy does he deliver. Shawn makes everything Tito throws at him look like he's getting hit by Thanos, and cheats so egregiously it is glorious.  Sherri for her part, is almost strangely out of place.  She's doing her part, but it's nothing Shawn couldn't have done on his own. Guess that's why he dumped her not too much later.

HBK hits an untitled Sweet Chin Music out of nowhere on Tito, and I am shocked it wasn't the finish.  That's muscle memory kicking in.  SCM wouldn't be his finisher for a little while longer. And again, the finish looks off, because it looks like Sherri was supposed to hook and hold Santana's leg for the finish, but she missed her cue.  Although, the clean finish actually makes Michaels look better, so, it's a wash. 

That's it for Day 22. 

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11 minutes ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

WRESTLEMANIA VIIIOkay, I've got enough time left on this ride to start this one.  I'll note, this is the last time they run a stadium until X7.  Judging from that upper deck, I can kinda see why.  

My WWF comp ticket was eight rows from the top of the stadium. My friends from the newspaper that bought tickets were on the floor. 

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DAY 23

The suckers who weren't in their seats in the upper deck have now filled in, and have missed a great opener. Then we get a live interview segment(?) with the Legion of Doom.  They introduce Paul Ellering to the world. If you would've told me almost 30 years later, that the one guy one stage who still looks like he'd kick your ass in a second was Paul... I'd probably believe you.  Anyway, this is the kick off to the Rocco... thing.  Thankfully it's nowhere to be found here. 

Back to wrestling, Jake the Snake's last Mania match is now up against The Undertaker.  Taker is still wrestling his super slow motion early style, so it's kind of hard to get the flow of this match going. And I think I'm being generous when I say that.  The majority of this match is extended choke segments.  Then a DDT, where Jake inexplicably decides to go after Paul Bearer rather than actually, y'know, trying to win. There's a SECOND DDT, which in any other match would have meant that Jake's opponent was dead. Well, in this case, undead.  Roberts takes a Tombstone on the outside like a fucking man and that's it for him and Damien. 

Domination for the most part as Jake was clearly putting over the new kid as he walked to WCW.  

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23 minutes ago, PetrolCB said:

He says that he was promised a spot on the booking team and it fell through.

He was allegedly promised Pat Patterson's job after Pat got in trouble with the Murray Hodgson thing and was fired. However, they brought Pat back almost immediately. That, the fact he never held a belt in WWF (in Jake's mind, meaning more money), and it wasn't looking like he ever would is why he left.

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Alright, here comes a big match.  Intercontinental title, Bret vs. Roddy.  I'm not sure why they hotshotted the title from Bret to the Mountie to Piper, but they did, and this match was the result.  We start out with an interview that looks friendly at first with Piper patronizing the shit out of Bret, and Bret basically telling him to go fuck himself. 

So the match itself is fascinating. The crowd is pretty solidly pro-Bret, but Piper is a face, so he has to work against his normal style. They're doing some tie up spots, respect spots, and some test of strength spots.  All the while never really crossing the lines both are more than capable of.  Then Bret spits on Piper.  And it is on.  

They start REALLY going stiff. A double clothesline spot jumps out prominently as sounding a lot harder than it maybe should have been.  Regardless, this match is fucking great.  Bret is out-sneaking Roddy and Piper is clearly at his wits end trying to stay within the rules, but dealing with this kid.  The finish comes after a ref bump, which leads to a Bret eating stairs on the outside, and Piper taking the bell and ALMOST turning heel by crushing Bret with it. He doesn't, and that proves to be his downfall.  His sleeper gets flipped over into a 3 count and a new IC Champ.  (The spot should be familiar since Bret fell victim to the exact same thing about 4 years later by some bald guy.)  

Piper SNATCHES the belt from Hebner, and really looks like he's about to clobber Bret with it.  But again, he doesn't and the crowd is relieved.  Bret's got his IC title back, and Piper congratulates him.  Awesome match.  

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We're wrapping up Day 23 now, and we have two things to get through.  

First, we have the debut interview by Lex Luger.  Who was signed to the WBF?  I mean, sure. Heenan is fawning over Lex.  Lex calls Gorilla, "the fat guy."  I wonder why Vince thought any of this was a good idea.  But then again, the number of failed Vince projects is legion, so why not bodybuilding. Because frankly, if there's any profession that treats its athletes worse than pro wrestling, it's competitive bodybuilding. At least you can make a decent living when you reach the highest levels of wrestling.

We now have an eight man tag match before the real fun begins, and I want to get through this one because I'm running out of time on my ride, and I know what's coming next.  So it's Repo Man, The Nasty Boys, and The Mountie going up against Hacksaw, Virgil, Big Bossman, and Sgt. Slaughter. I don't remember the kayfabe reason they gave for turning Slaughter face again, but I really would have liked it if the other three would've not totally trusted him, and this match leading to a final redemption for him. This match was not that. 

Frankly the best thing about this match was the opener when then-Family Feud host Ray Combs introducing the heels by insulting each one. One by one, they go from "Hey, that's me!" to "Hey! WTF"  over and over again, and it's just tickling me for some reason. The match is for some reason revolving around Virgil's broken nose and face mask and it's so, so bad.  This is absolutely the match you put on after a non-title Hogan match on Saturday Night's Main Event, and not WrestleMania.  Blech.

 

Okay, that's it for Day 23.   Day 24 is only two matches.  One good, one not so good. 

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Hitman vs Hot Rod is absolutely one of my all time favourite matches. Not every match has to tell a story, but that particular match is one of the best examples of how good pro wrestling can get as a story-telling medium. Excellent character work and in-ring acting by both men. 

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Wasn't the deal that Bret was talking to WCW about showing up after the Rumble, so they took the belt off of him to prevent him leaving with it, but the whole thing fell through?

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17 minutes ago, elizium said:

Wasn't the deal that Bret was talking to WCW about showing up after the Rumble, so they took the belt off of him to prevent him leaving with it, but the whole thing fell through?

I asked about this in the Old School Questions thread a while ago. My understanding is that the only reason it didn’t happen was because Bret thought his contract had run out, but it had actually rolled over and he couldn’t get out of it. I’m not sure if dropping the belt to the Mountie was a strategic decision or not, but it doesn’t sound like the WCW deal was very clandestine so Vince probably knew. I was very surprised that I’d never heard about it before this year since it would lend credence to the argument that the screwjob was a necessity. 

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7 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

His sleeper gets flipped over into a 3 count and a new IC Champ.  (The spot should be familiar since Bret fell victim to the exact same thing about 4 years later by some bald guy.)

Ehm... Bret Hart won that match against Austin (and it was a Cobra Clutch in that match, though obviously still the same spot).

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9 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

I don't remember the kayfabe reason they gave for turning Slaughter face again


He wanted his country back!

And presumably wanted to finish up as a face, since he transitioned to backstage stuff almost immediately after this.

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