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Technico Support's 80's/90s WWF nostaligia tour


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It's time for the actual Royal Rumble match itself!  Unless I hear you hate bullet points, I'm sticking with this format.  I am the anti-Dean ?

  • Ax and Smash start out against each other in what became an iconic Rumble moment and to illustrate how there are NO FRIENDS~! in the Rumble.  Howard kinda oversold it when it was time for Smash to enter, saying something like "the man who drew number two TOTALLY AT RANDOM..."  LOOOL
  • At first I thought Ax had a big ol' disgusting Cody pectoral hematoma before I realized Smash's paint had just rubbed off
  • No way am I going through every entrance and elimination.  You have Wikipedia for that.  I just paint with broad strokes and call out stuff that interested me.  ?
  • Fans slowly get into counting down entrances.  I'm thrown by the lack of individual entrance music here and am also shocked that, even though nobody but #1 & #2 had music, Hogan didn't get music.
  • Hey, Tito and Valentine are fighting!  Reprising a feud that goes back to 1984, pre-Wrestlemania.  Cool.
  • Wrestling Shit that Looks Just Phony as Fuck 30 Years Later, Part 6,344: whenever more than one guy is trying to eliminate someone, it's so ridiculously obvious they're just holding the guy up on the ropes or the corner, faking like they're exerting, and essentially taking a break.  Two grown men can easily pick up one and throw him.  Trust me I know! 
  • Did Vince and Patterson get better at filling the Rumble with little storylines in later years?  Because this thing is a slog before the Megapowers stuff, and then after it as well.
  • Only in the Royal Rumble would you see Randy Savage team up with Arn Anderson to eliminate Shawn Michaels.
  • Crowd gets hot as fuck when Savage hits the ring.  Super hot for Hogan, too.
  • Hogan goes after Bad News almost immediately and then eliminates KOKO???  We should have known about this racist fucker all along.  I'm surprised he didn't go harder after Akeem.
  • Just for @J.T.: Koko B. Ware sweet-ass brainbuster count: 0 (because of that Nastiest Hater of the Year Award winner, 1985-present, Hulk Hogan)
  • Now if you excuse me, I'm going to go change the water in Hulk Hogan's momma's dish
  • Hogan tries to eliminate Bad News and "accidentally" eliminates Macho as well, causing a Megapowers faceoff that the fans are NUTS for.  This is so awesome.  I hope the HHH regime can get back to awesome long term storytelling because this angle was tremendous.  Cooler heads prevail as Elizabeth calms these dudes down.
  • Bossman and Akeem are out back to back to keep the 'Powers/'Towers feud going.  More awesome long term storytelling to have these midcarders be a thorn in the side of the faces since something like early Fall 1988.
  • I know it's been said but Hogan is the heeliest of babyfaces and a total dick.  He eliminates the aforementioned Koko, eliminates Bushwhacker Butch with the help of Bad News, somehow never notices when Macho is in trouble, then eliminates his "friend."  AND THEN he throws a fucking big baby fit when eliminated fairly and unlawlully eliminates Bossman so he can brawl to the back with him.  WTF.
  • Like I said, after all that drama, this thing is rough to watch.  Not gonna lie, I was spamming that "forward 10 seconds" button like Jade Cargill spams taunts.
  • Big John Studd comes in and goes after Akeem, then proceeds to fight off anyone else who tries to go after Akeem, THEN proceeds to not eliminate Akeem until the very end.  What kind of bullshit push is this?  "This guy is going to win.  How do we get fans HYPED for that?  I know!  Let's have him come in a house afire, then not do shit!"  It legit felt like he was trying to throw Akeem out for an hour.  Then Studd wins after I fast forward to pretty much the end of this boring shit.
  • What was the plan with Studd?  Bring him back at 41, have him win the Rumble, then do not much except be a ref at Mania.  Ponderous, man.  Ponderous.  THEN the guy quit a few months later over payoffs.  What a waste.

So that was the 1989 Royal Rumble.  The six man was good except for some scary Bret bumps, the King/King match is an interesting historocal curiousity, and the Rumble itself is boring with one exciting spot in the middle.  I forgot to mention I skipped the Warrior/Rude posedown because life is too fucking short for that shit.

UP next: I take a detour from PPVs to watch The Main Event on NBC.  I started watching last night but didn't get to a single match yet, just promos.  The Megapowers' promo about destroying The Twin Towers and causing them to crumble was, uhhh, something. 

Edited by Technico Support
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I never really understood the story behind Dibiase buying 30.  They show him draw his number, he's horrified when he sees it, and then he approaches Slick and it's implied he buys it from him.  The thing is Bossman and Akeem enter at 22 and 23, so what was Dibiase's original number?  His reaction when drawing doesn't match getting 22 or 23.  It would have made way more sense if he had bought it from Heenan with Andre entering at 3, especially with the history Dibiase and Andre had.  I'm sure I put way more thought into than Vince did though, it was probably just "Fuck it! Just tell them he bought 30, no one's going to think about it!"

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The Main Event on NBC!  Megapowers vs Twin Towers.

  • I mentioned it earlier, but it's so cool how they took Akeem and Bossman, two midcarders, and made them into this constant foil for the Megapowers and it lasted something like 5-6 months.  It's a lot harder to do long term storytelling like that now that WWE has a PPV every month and five hours plus of TV weekly. 
  • As far as matches go, this is really a nothing bout that only serves as place setting for the big angle.
  • It's fun to track Hogan overshadowing Macho from the perspective of ring music.  Summerslam: both enter to Randy's theme.  Survivor Series: both have separate entrances and themes.  This show: both enter to Hogan's theme.
  • Liz is not afraid to take a big-ass bump from Randy flying at her.  Definitely someone who came up in some unsavory southern indies.  Real "this is our big angle, gotta make it look good" energy. 
  • Hogan's acting here is beyond horrible.  And you know the big galoot was thinking, "nailed it, brother!"  He definitely unironically put this on his reel for film and TV and now you know why he never got to be Denzel's friend. 
  • I mean come on.  She took a bump.  Hogan is acting like she is in a coma after a car wreck or something.  LIZBETH IN A COMA I KNOW I KNOW IT'S SERIOUS!  DO YOU REALLY THINK SHE'LL PULL THROUGH?
  • I wish I could find the TV version of this (as suggested by @Log) so I could hear Hogan asking the director for a countdown on live TV but all I could find were goof videos like "WRESTLERS PREDICT 9/11."
  • Liz thankfully wakes up and is like, "go help Randy, you dumb shit!"
  • Savage slapping Hogan and leaving was excellent.
  • Likewise, Savage's acting here was amazing.  No fucking lie.  You believed this dude felt like Hogan was jealous of his title and his woman.  Of course it helped that he probably really did feel that way.  But hey, it was great and blew Hogan's Hallmark movie level shit out of the water.
  • Savage attacks Hogan and also throws down Liz and I gotta say I felt actual sadness.  This angle got me!  Here's a good man who has a good woman and (I know we joke but seriously, go with the storyline here) a legit good friend and he throws it all away because he can't get past his shit.  It honestly reminded me of the ending of Revenge of the Sith.  In his jealousy, Savage lost everything and went to the dark side.  This is an actual tragedy.  Top five heel turns in all of wrestling.  Wow. 

Not sure if I need to watch the rest of this show or if I'll just move on to Mania 5.  I highly recommend this show for the angle.

 

Edited by Technico Support
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I watched Herc/DiBiase to finish out the Main Event show and really, there was no need to.

  • DiBiase wins with a heel rollup to blow off their feud (which started in the Fall of '88) in a thoroughly unimpressive fashion.
  • Not a bad match at all but it's such an afterthought.  Herc apparently did JTTS singles duty after this for about another year and a half (!) before partnering with Paul Roma...as a JTTS tag team.  Again, when you only have a handful of PPVs and so little TV to fill, guys can last a long time as roleplayers. 
  • The height of Herc's WWF career for me was probably the SNME match vs Hogan on a show most famous for 1) the match being booked to look like Herc almost won the belt and 2) the THIS IS WHERE THE POWER LIES promo
  • Why did Herc have a "hand holding a lightning bolt" design on his boots?  That Zeus.

Next up: Wrestlemania 5! as I split time between Peacock and HIGHSPOTS TV as I thoroughly enjoy BOLA 2022.  Try to guess which of these shows has a guy at ringside who probably sold state secrets to foreign powers! 

Edited by Technico Support
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4 hours ago, Technico Support said:

 

Next up: Wrestlemania 5! as I split time between Peacock and HIGHSPOTS TV as I thoroughly enjoy BOLA 2022.  Try to guess which of these shows has a guy at ringside who probably sold state secrets to foreign powers! 

Is Julius Rosenberg showing up at BOLA this year? Were the state secrets he and Ethel stole about how to build a time machine?

Otherwise, I'm at a loss. 

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14 hours ago, Technico Support said:

I watched Herc/DiBiase to finish out the Main Event show and really, there was no need to.

  • DiBiase wins with a heel rollup to blow off their feud (which started in the Fall of '88) in a thoroughly unimpressive fashion.
  • Not a bad match at all but it's such an afterthought.  Herc apparently did JTTS singles duty after this for about another year and a half (!) before partnering with Paul Roma...as a JTTS tag team.  Again, when you only have a handful of PPVs and so little TV to fill, guys can last a long time as roleplayers. 
  • The height of Herc's WWF career for me was probably the SNME match vs Hogan on a show most famous for 1) the match being booked to look like Herc almost won the belt and 2) the THIS IS WHERE THE POWER LIES promo
  • Why did Herc have a "hand holding a lightning bolt" design on his boots?  That Zeus.

Next up: Wrestlemania 5! as I split time between Peacock and HIGHSPOTS TV as I thoroughly enjoy BOLA 2022.  Try to guess which of these shows has a guy at ringside who probably sold state secrets to foreign powers! 

Power and Glory were a heavily pushed heel tag team for a few months, before fizzling out by Wrestlemania VII. It was such a shocking push that Paul Roma won most improved wrestler on PWI year end awards in 1990!

The lightning bolt thing was probably due to them not knowing their Greek Mythology properly. Which is probably why they missed out on an awesome "no Herc, I'm your FATHER!"-moment between Hercules and Zeus in '89!

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5 hours ago, Shartnado said:

Power and Glory were a heavily pushed heel tag team for a few months, before fizzling out by Wrestlemania VII. It was such a shocking push that Paul Roma won most improved wrestler on PWI year end awards in 1990!

The lightning bolt thing was probably due to them not knowing their Greek Mythology properly. Which is probably why they missed out on an awesome "no Herc, I'm your FATHER!"-moment between Hercules and Zeus in '89!

Oh shit, I never thought about the fact that they had Hercules and Zeus on the roster at the same time.  That’s hilarious.

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On 8/10/2022 at 10:30 PM, Vgmastr said:

I never really understood the story behind Dibiase buying 30.  They show him draw his number, he's horrified when he sees it, and then he approaches Slick and it's implied he buys it from him.  The thing is Bossman and Akeem enter at 22 and 23, so what was Dibiase's original number?  His reaction when drawing doesn't match getting 22 or 23.  It would have made way more sense if he had bought it from Heenan with Andre entering at 3, especially with the history Dibiase and Andre had.  I'm sure I put way more thought into than Vince did though, it was probably just "Fuck it! Just tell them he bought 30, no one's going to think about it!"

Maybe Dibiase was so entitled he'd be horrified by anything but #30? I dunno.

One nice effect of doing it the way they did is it makes Slick look like a genius. Not only did he secure his men a huge tactical advantage by having them come in back-to-back, he got paid to do it!

But overall it would have made more sense if they'd used Heenan, yeah.

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4 hours ago, tbarrie said:

Maybe Dibiase was so entitled he'd be horrified by anything but #30? I dunno.

One nice effect of doing it the way they did is it makes Slick look like a genius. Not only did he secure his men a huge tactical advantage by having them come in back-to-back, he got paid to do it!

But overall it would have made more sense if they'd used Heenan, yeah.

And Slick had made money deals prior to this, so it made a long term storytelling sense.

As far as Dibiase goes, I think you are on the right track, as an entitled piece of shit would accept nothing but the absolute best, which in this case, at face value, would be number 30, and nothing less!

Next year, they tightened up the security and the motherfucker ended up drawing number 1! Ha!

Edited by Shartnado
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm back from vacation and from watching BOLA 2022 (it was pretty good!) which took up my wrestling viewing time, so we're back to talk about Wrestlemania 5 (that's Wrestlemania, season 5, episode 1 if you're Peacockin').  I saw this on live on closed circuit in 1989 at University of Maryland College Park's Cole Field House, where I'd attend my brother's college graduation seven years later.  It's wild because I'd seen Mania 4 on closed circuit at my own eventual alma mater.  Life's funny that way.

Since I was wrapping up the aforementioned Battle of Los Angeles last night, I only watched the first match of this one  so far.  Hey, I'm a guy with a job, a kid, and house bullshit to handle.  You get what you get.

The Mighty Hercules vs King Haku!

  • WWF has stepped up production values since the Rumble, as his majesty's PALANQUIN~! is carried by a team of smartly dressed fellows in WWF branded sportcoats instead of a team of jobbers in their ring gear.
  • Everybody talks about how tough MENG was and mentions all his exploits but don't forget this one: he stood up on his PALANQUIN~! as it was in motion to address his loyal subjects, as it was carried down essentially a long stairway.  That's a brave dude.
  • Hercules seems to have adopted the late 80s Don Muraco approach to staying relevant (take ALL the steroids), as he looks like 40 pounds bigger here.  Was he this big in the aforementioned TV match vs DiBiase?  I ffwd'd through it and didn't notice.  Fuck.  He is huge.  2002 Brock Lesnar would look at his traps and say,"dude, settle down with that shit." 
  • The match is not good.  Remember when I said something about how guys we remembered as poorly-working loads of beef weren't as bad as we remembered?  And probably used Hernandez as an example?  Well now I see why.  Your last memories are probably the ones that last longest.  Herc was good up until this but holy shit, did this erase all that.  That added muscle killed his mobility.  He's just so slow and not flexible at all.  It looks like Haku is working a life-sized M.U.S.C.L.E. figure or 80s WWF LJN out there for all the mobility Herc has.  He even does the lazy Don Muraco Irish whips, speaking of the Magnificent One.
  • Did we need a two minute bearhug during the heat?  This is awful.
  • Herc does hit one sweet powerslam, though.
  • Match ends when Herc...does a lazy back suplex, pinning both guys, and lifts his shoulder at the last minute?  Dafuq?  I understand doing a babyface win to start the crowd hot but this was not it, both in execution of the match, Herc's diminished ability, and the lame ass noncommittal finish. 
  • Skip this, go watch Herc/Steamboat from Mania 2, and leave the memories alone.

Hey, Rockers vs Twin Towers is next!  That has to be better than this!  LOOOOOL the Wikipedia hyperlink for The Twin Towers, IN THE MANIA 5 ARTICLE, goes to the article about the WTC.  Jesus.

 

Edited by Technico Support
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Haku's loyal servants knew that he would pluck out their eyeballs if they dared drop him. I think it less bravery and more kingly self-assurance in one's eyeball-plucking prowess that caused him to stand as he addressed said servants.

Edited by SirSmellingtonofCascadia
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I watched two more matches last night and I have to admit that it was rough.  I was dozing off on the second one.  I do have a caveat on this retro watching and writing about it spree: if the match looks like absolute shit and 1) I don't want to watch it and/or 2) I know I can't write anything good about it (a low bar to clear because I can at least talk shit on damn near anything), I'll FFWD it and let you know I skipped it.  Okay?  Okay.  Thanks as always for coming on this ride with me.

The Twin Towers vs The Rockers

  • I mentioned how, in the Wikipedia 'Mania 5 article, links to "The Twin Towers" go to the article about the WTC.  Well the link to "Akeem" goes to "Akeem -- disambiguation," where there's a big list of all famous Akeems.  I understand there's probably an automatic link creator but is it that hard for these dudes to go back and fix the link?  There is definitely a Wiki article for One Man Gang.  Put some fucking respect on George Gray's name!  
  • This is such a fun, smartly worked "big guys vs little guys" match, where the Rockers have the advantage when they're using speed and/or smarts and/or double teaming.  But when they get caught, they get fucking CAUGHT. 
  • It's funny how The Rockers were considered "little guys" when both were likely bigger than Kenny Omega.  That's 80s WWF for you. 
  • Rockers got much better gear, finally.  When I saw that at Survivor Series, they looking like total RnR ripoffs, with just plain dark blue tights and a bunch of bandanas.  They're graduated to sweet neon tights a shade of yellow that could have only existed in the late 80s/early 90s.  They also have some wild-ass shirts that have tassels, fringe, checkerboard pattern, and their bedazzled names, all at the same time.  It's like the background of a Max Headroom video.
  • Slick is a goddamn treasure here.  At one point he yelled at Jannetty, "you gonna get it now, white boy!"  Later, he said to Akeem, "you know what we need is a black referee!"  If this isn't my endorsement for listening with Airpod Pros, I don't know what is.
  • I love how Jesse gets all inside just to goof on Gorilla, yelling about the ref, "THAT IDIOT MORELLA!"
  • "I believe he irritated Akeem."  If you know, you know.  If you don't, you can Google those words and it's right there.  Amazing.
  • Only in wrestling do you get a tag team of an evil Southern prison guard and a white dude who thinks he's black, and they're pals. 
  • "One fat guy holds a little dude up while the other fat guy sandwiches him" is the best double team.  I want Bear Bronson to regain that weight just so they can start doing that move.
  • Rockers horriblly mistime their "both guys do flying dropkicks" spot and I can't say I blame them.
  • Bossman reverses a flying rana into possibly the first ever powerbomb  in the WWF?  The Akeem hits the air Africa for the win.  Gonna take a lot to drag Shawn off the mat.
  • GREAT FUCKING MATCH.  I have a feeling we won't see anything that touches it for a while on this night.

Beefcake vs DiBiase

  • They go to TONY SCHIAVONE for an interview with DiBiase and it sounds like Tony is on helium.  But DiBiase sounds fine.  Was Tony on helium?  Was this an affect to try to hide his "TOO SOUTHERN, PAL" accent?  Only Vince would hire a guy from the south and then get pissed because he sounds like he's from the south.  And shit, I used to work with a guy who grew up where VA meets TN and Schiavone had no accent compared to this dude.  This is some real "I told you to shave those sideburns" shit.
  • DiBiase greets Trump on the way to the ring.  That's TWO worked millionaire heels in the same place, if you're counting.  Word is Trump liked the million dollar belt but thought it was maybe not ostentatious enough.
  • Jesse goes all leftist on commentary and I'm here for it, saying something about how cheating is the way all millionaires got their fortunes.  Damn.  Jesse might as well have gone with "“Behind every great fortune there is a crime.”
  • I'm goofing on everything else because there's not much here.  DiBiase is his amazing self, just smooth as butter in a teflon pan and perfect in all his execution, while Beefcake is inoffensive but not really bringing anything.
  • Bout ends in a brawl on the floor and a double countout to, I guess (say it with me now!) save something for the house shows.  Virgil is just happy he's not drop suplexed on the floor this year.

That's it for now.  Bushwackers vs Rougeaus is next and I'll probably watch it.  Is that the match where Butch rubs one of the Rougeaus' cock as a rib while up in a suplex?

Edited by Technico Support
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6 hours ago, Technico Support said:
  • .Bossman reverses a flying rana into possibly the first ever powerbomb  in the WWF?  

Possibly the first televised male power bomb. At the very least Judy Martin had to have been doing them on the distaff side before then. Had the original Tanaka/Sato Orient Express debuted yet? Sato was finishing their prelim matches with a seated power bomb (dubbed the "Japanese Veg-o-matic" in true Gorilla Monsoon fashion).

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2 hours ago, The Comedian said:

Possibly the first televised male power bomb. At the very least Judy Martin had to have been doing them on the distaff side before then. Had the original Tanaka/Sato Orient Express debuted yet? Sato was finishing their prelim matches with a seated power bomb (dubbed the "Japanese Veg-o-matic" in true Gorilla Monsoon fashion).

Bonus points for the use of “distaff,” which I always confuse with “zaftig.”  Come to think about it, Judy was both distaff and zaftig.

Also, my phone wants to correct “zaftig” to “Zartan,” which is both hilarious and fine by me, as a dude with a G.I. Joe tattoo.

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8 minutes ago, The Comedian said:

If nothing else, she could be the poster woman for the whole "people don't age as quickly as they used to" thing...

Cnv9sSOUIAAO1uL.jpg

Here's 33-year-old Judy. Bianca Belair and Bayley are currently 33 for reference.

Wrestling was a much tougher life back then.  Doubly so for women.

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1 hour ago, Technico Support said:

Wrestling was a much tougher life back then.  Doubly so for women.

For sure! But I think we're going to look back and realize it was the rise of no-smoking policies everywhere that made a huge difference. Second would be  awareness of skin cancer/using sunscreen

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Hey guys, let's take a detour from the weirdness of modern wrestling and get back into Wrestlemania 5!  Why talk about an insurrection in AEW when we have a show being put on for guy who led an actual insurrection?

The Rougeaus vs The Bushwackers:

  • Just getting this out of the way:
  • tumblr_nab0hxS6O11sdqajoo1_400.gif
  • Hey, we have a heel who pretends to love America while actually being beholden to a foreign power!  Also, the Rougeaus!
  • I can only imagine Vince all coked up and just exuberant as fuck trying to teach the Bushwackers how to do their march.  NO PAL, LIKE THIS!  PUT YOUR BACK INTO IT!
  • Very blah match.  The Bushwackers were not good.  They lick Shawn Mooney's head on the way back to the locker room.  Remember when WWF had Shawn Mooney act as "Ian Mooney," his fake twin brother, for no damn reason for a while there?  WTF

Mr. Perfect vs The Blue Blazer:

  • Lovely timing as they announce MR. PERFECT, who stumbles on the steps
  • I don't want to turn this into a review all about dicks, but fuuuuuck.  In his excellent 'Mania review thread, @Dolfan in NYCmentions Herc as being, um, "forward presenting."  Well he's got nothing on Perfect, as lil' Curt gets to the ring a few seconds before he does here.  If you told me he did a little work to chub up before the match, I'd believe it.  My man is Alex Wright levels of "oh lord I can't not look at that."
  • Also, this is the debut of the proper Mr. Perfect gear in all its neon late 80s/early 90s goodness.
  • Enjoyable enough, but short, match really only notable for Owen doing a lot a before-its-time (for WWF) offense.  I think I recall this was clipped on the VHS version and I was really disappointed by that, rewatching when I was a kid.  Or maybe it was never clipped an I just remembered it incorrectly from when I saw it live vs tape.
  • Strangely booked as Owen is on offense for most of it.  Perfect cuts him off, blocking a splash with knees to the gut.  It feels like this is where the heat starts, but then Owen is right back on offense and stays there until Perfect dodges a move and then hits a forearm to the back of the head and Perfectplex for the W.
  • I saw this show live on closed circuit, a few times on tape as a youngster, and once on the WWE Network a few years back, but this is the first time I noticed the then-current Maryland Governor (and former Baltimore mayor) William Donald Schaefer at ringside.  Apparently he was a huge wrestling fan and was invited to the show by He Who Shall Not Be Named.

Demolition (c) vs The Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji:

  • It's a handicap match for the belts where it's assumed PoP will be champs and not, for example, Fuji & Barbarian, if their side wins.
  • Here's how you book this match: babyfaces agree to a man disadvantage because they are desperate to get their hands on their turncoat former manager.  Heels keep that from happening, cutting them off at every turn.  Maybe the babyfaces, so eager to beat up the manager, lose focus and keep giving the heels the advantage.  The heat is building up because the fans want to see the manager get his ass kicked and they're being blueballed.  Manager tags in once in a while to cheap shot the good guys when they're softened up and tags out immediately.  Keep building that heat until the heels fuck up, babyfaces beat up the manager, and get the pin.  Like most wrestling booking, it's simple and there's no need to complicate it.  It books itself!
  • Here's how they booked it: it was a heatless match with barely anything resembling the type of storyline described.  If Demolition was so desperate to get Fuji, I couldn't tell by the booking.  Maybe the above booking idea was too simple or too Southern?  So we get eight minutes of clubberin', a bit of Fuji offense, and then he does get pinned in a dull affair that did nobody any favors.

I fast forwarded the Fuji boardwalk skit and the Run DMC Wrestlemania rap because I can take only so much.

Eight matches to go and most look really rough.  I don't know about this, guys, but I'll try.

Edited by Technico Support
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30 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

 

  • Hey, we have a heel who pretends to love America while actual being beholden to a foreign power!  Also, the Rougeaus!

*spits out coffee*

It's too early for this shit, Technico! 

Also, the Bushwhackers/Sheepherders were always bad in all incarnations. Prove me wrong. YOU CAN'T. 

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