Wrestlemania X Recap

1994 and it’s time for the Big Show. Not the horrible, why-won’t-he-retire Big Show, we’re talking about Wrestlemania X.  Do you know how extreme this Wrestlemania is?  So extreme that it featured a friggin kick ass ladder match.

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Libarace dancing with showgirls – truly the epitome of WWE

This Wrestlemania takes place in Madison Square Garden, so they’ve come full circle.


1. Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Owen Hart


Before the match starts, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Vince McMahon discuss the upcoming event.  The King has no shirt on and I’m pretty sure in any other industry on the planet that would be a sexual harassment suit.

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“This isn’t right, Vince” – The King

Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart.  I still remember originally watching this match and being blown away.  Owen was frigging fantastic and his death was a tragedy.

The angle for this match was that Owen was sick of being overlooked in Bret’s shadow.  As an added twist, Bret was also booked to fight Yokozuna for a title match.

Cementing his status as a bad guy and as Bret’s opposite, Owen ops to rip his sunglasses in half instead of giving them to a small child

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Suck it Raybans

The match kicks off with some capital-W wrestling.  Lots of classic, traditional takedowns, quick escapes and fast moves.  Owen is hamming it up for the audience, screaming at them after every move.  They’re doing a great job of getting the crowd into the match.

Bret takes early control as the more experienced older brother.  Bret tries to slow down the match with a couple hundred minutes of tedious arm bars, but Owen says “nah” and decides to put on an exiting show instead with a series of high impact moves.

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Fratricide!

This is a pretty quick paced match, it’s reminiscent of Macho Man vs. Ricky Steamboat in Wrestlemania III.  It’s all power moves, fast reversals and counters.  No one goes on a very long run, the entire match is a seesaw.  The whole thing feels like the Hart brothers giving a giant “fuck you” to the talent in the WWE by putting on the most fantastic match of the decade.

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Suck a bag of dicks, Vince!  Wheeeee!

Bret Hart dives over the top rope to hit Owen on the apron outside and hurts his knee.  Bret loves a good “hurt knee” storyline.  If Hogan’s finishing move is someone else applying the sleeper, Bret’s is breaking his knee.  The next five minutes is just Owen playing Bret’s ligaments like banjo strings.

Sometimes though Bret forgets which knee is the bad one like this:

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The award for best acting does not go to Bret

Bret really pumps the crowd up with a sweet superplex off the top rope and both Owen and Bret are down for the count.  The momentum swings and Owen slaps on the sharpshooter, further damaging one of the knees, but I guess who cares which one?  Not Bret?

The match ends right out of goddamn nowhere.  Bret climbs on Owens shoulder for some reason and Owen collapses into a pin.  It’s a clean win and Owen is cleanly put over.  This entire match gave Owen’s career a huge push and it’s the exact bump he needed.

Overall: One of the best Wrestlemania matches of all time.


2. Bam Bam Bigalow and Luna Vachon vs. Doink the Clown and Dink the Clown


Yeah, so this match is a goddamn embarrassment and I’m not going to dignify it with a recap.

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Nooooope.

Overall: I have no idea who won this and I don’t care.  The world is a poorer place with this match having existed


3. Randy Savage vs. Crush


This is a “falls count anywhere” match, so I’m expecting tons of action outside the ring.  If you’re pinned, you have 60 seconds to make it back to the ring.  At this point in his career, Macho Man is more tassle than man

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The real question will be whether Macho Man can pull an actual wrestling match out of Crush.  The answer will probably be no as Macho attacks Crush on the way to the ring with a flurry of fists and tassles.  Crush press slams him into the gate and Macho is out.  Crush gets the first pin and Macho crawls back to the ring.

Crush goes for a handful of Fuji Dust to the face, but Savage counters and the dust goes into Crush’s face.  Macho has the upper hand and immediately goes to the top for the flying elbow.

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Future historians are going to have trouble figuring out what Wreslemania this screengrab took place in

Macho pushes Crush out of the ring and gets the second pin.

Not unexpectedly, the match spills out into the aisle outside the ring.  They keep fighting and go all the way backstage into the dressing room and Macho gets the third pin.

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Without context, this could just as easily be a porno

Macho then ties up Crush int the scaffolding so that he can’t make it back to the ring.  Although Crush barely moves anyways, so it was kind of pointless.  Macho wins the match!

Overall: Kind of a weird match that doesn’t really showcase any of Macho’s strength’s as a wrestler, but I guess hides all of Crushes flaws?


4. Alundra Blaze vs. Leilani Kai


WWE, here’s a tip.  You can’t just interject a woman’s match right out of goddamn nowhere.  Who are either of these people?

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You can’t fireworks your way out of this one!

I guess this is a perfectly serviceable match between two strangers who no one in Madison Square Garden has ever heard of or ever seen wrestle once.

Overall: Winner!  Stranger 1!


5. Tag Team Championship – Man on a Mission (Mabel and Mo) vs. The Quebecers


I just realized that Man on a Mission is basically the 90’s version of Brand New Day

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Minus the talent, charisma or wrestling ability, but for sure plus the raw tonnage

This is a pretty quick match, because Brand New Day Man on a Mission are two massive, fat guys which means they don’t have a lot of stamina.  Long time readers will recall how very little I care for big fat guy matches, so I can’t summon a lot of enthusiasm for this.

I just realized that they swapped out one of the Quebecers.  It’s now Jacques and Pierre.  What happened to Raymond?

The Quebecers do their damnedest to put on a match.  Most of the offense is against Mo because he is the least fat of of the two.  Mabel gets the tag and comes in for a bunch of fat guy moves.  Turnbuckle slams, pushes, fat punches, etc.  Impressively the Quebecers manage a double suplex on Mabel and the ring shifts a little.

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Totally did not see that coming

They still can’t get the pin though.  The match deteriorates into a slug fest because when you wrestle a big fat guy, you have to go to the lowest-skill wrestling move.  I think the match is nearly over because neither of Men on a Mission can breathe and if the match continues longer I legitimately think they’ll die.

Abruptly, they kick the Quebecers out of the ring and win by countout.  That’s… always a great way to end Wrestlemania matches?  I guess?

Overall: I’m glad that match is over!


6. Heavyweight Championship Match: Yokozuna vs. Lex Lugar


Remember when they couldn’t decide who won the 1994 Royal Rumble?  Well, this match is the outcome.  Lugar gets a shot at the title and then Bret gets a shot at the title.

The guest referee is Mr. Perfect!

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Honestly just happy to be working at this point, gang.

Lex Lugar comes out and Vince McMahon audibly orgasms into the microphone.  It’s super uncomfortable.  He loves Lex so much and so desperately wants him to be the next Hulk Hogan.

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He certainly has the baby lotion down pat

I’m not expecting too much from this match.  Yokozuna has an impressive toolkit for a big fat guy, but it’s still pretty limited.  Lex Lugar basically has nothing.  This whole match is going to be punches and kicks.

Following the standard template set by Hogan / King Kong Bundy, Lugar goes for a slam and can’t pull it off.  This thing is basically a shot for shot remake of Andre / Hogan at Wrestlemania 3.

I yawned my way through the match.  There’s not a ton to say here, it’s exactly what you’d expect.  Here is a sample:

1:34:19: Yokozuna starts choke hold
1:36:48: Lugar breaks choke hold
1:37:28: Yokozuna starts 2nd choke hold
1:38:47: Lugar breaks 2nd choke hold
1:39:37: Yokozuna starts 3rd goddamn choke hold
1:40:15: Lugar breaks 3rd goddamn choke hold
1:40:36: A FOURTH FUCKING CHOKE HOLD
1:41:56: Lugar breaks out a final (?) time?

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Even I’m goddamn bored

Lugar explodes like a house of fire, gets the slam on Yokozuna and hits him with the forearm.  On the mic, McMahon creams all over his suit.  Lugar pulls the managers into the ring and beats them up.  Yokozuna is out, but Perfect won’t count the pin while the managers are unconscious in the ring.  Lugar pushes Mr. Perfect and Mr. Perfect disqualifies him.

Overall: WWE, the reigning champion in quality booking


7. Earthquake vs. Adam Bomb


As I was setting up for this match, it ended.

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However much Adam Bomb was paid for this match, it was not enough

Overall: WWE sure had a ton of fat guys on the roster in 1994


8. Intercontinental Championship Match:  Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels


By today’s standards, this is a pretty tame ladder match, but this was one of the first ones and without this match, there’s no TLC matches and there’s no legendary matches with the Hardy’s.  This match started Shawn Michael’s legend as “Mr. Wrestlemania.”  He and Razor basically stole the show with this one.

This match has also been referred to as “Shawn Michaels vs. a ladder.”

The first 10 minutes of the match has no ladder at all.  There’s some good bumps and falls, but pretty standard.

Michaels finally gets the ladder and the match really picks up.  Again, all this stuff seems tame now, but this was the first time a mainstream audience had seen anything like this and they are just losing their minds through the match.

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Although it could be because Shawn Michaels farted a WWE symbol

After that bum flash, the action really picks up.  Most of the big spots are Shawn Michaels, with Razor Ramon just sort of being there.  The crowd honestly loses their minds after every bump, it’s fantastic.

They both climb up to attempt to grab the belts.

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It… does not end well for Shawn Michaels

Ramon nearly has the belts, but Michaels drop kicks the ladder and hits some sweet chin music.  A piledriver follows up and Michaels looks like he has the match, but he gets his legs caught in the ropes and Ramon manages to get the belt.

Overall: Great match


9. Heavyweight Championship Match:  Yokozuna vs. Bret Hart


Special guest referee for this one?  Rowdy Roddy Piper.  Gang, I bet he’s going to interfere somehow.

The match gets off to a pretty quick start with Yokozuna going on the immediate offensive.  He throws Hart around like a rag doll.  It’s pretty one sided.  Piper is all up in Yokozuna’s face to stop the whole thing from being a blowout.

Hart really can’t mount any offence outside of punches and kicks.  He’s too small and Yokozuna is too big.  The whole match is basically Bret getting the shit kicked out of him.

The ending is garbage.  Yoko climbs up for the splash and…. just loses his balance.  Bret Hart just sits there and does nothing and gets the pin.

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I lost by fucking accident?

Overall: A so so Wrestlemania.  I remember liking the Bret / Yokozuna match a lot better when I was younger.

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Royal Rumble 1994 Recap

1994.  History will remember this as a time of madness.  Forest Gump beat Pulp Fiction at the Oscars.  People still listened to the Cranberries.  And somehow, WWE booking came up with the idea that the Royal Rumble would end in a tie.

Gang, this is going to be a bit of an odd review. I have somehow lost my 1994 DVD of the Royal Rumble and I can’t really find a complete version online. So the first part of this recap is going to be based on other people’s recaps, since I can’t watch them live.


1. Tatanka vs. Bam Bam Bigealow


What does the internet tell me about this match that I can’t watch?  I know it features two of my least favorite performers, and I know I was able to find this screen grab.

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I think they’re just feeling each other out

I think I have everything I need to know about this match.  Obviously Tatanka wins and Wikipedia informs me the match was 8 minutes long.  411Mania did not care for the match because everyone hates Tatanka

Overall: Glad I didn’t have to watch it


2. The Quebecers (Jacques and Pierre) vs Bret Hart and Owen Hart


If I had to guess, I’d assume this is a fairly standard, technical match that ends with Owen Hart getting really mad at Bret to set up their upcoming feud.

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Called it

Owen ends up kicking Bret in the leg and leaving.  Exactly like a little brother would.  According to WhatCulture, this match really was a breakout performance for Owen that launched his mid-card run.  Too bad I can’t actually watch it!  EFF YOU MISSING DVD

Overall: Apparently a pretty good match.  I wouldn’t know


3. Intercontinental Championship Match: Razor Ramone vs. IRS


Razor came into this match with the belt around his waist.  The match was a continuation of an ongoing feud between the two wrestlers.

Again – I can’t actually watch this match because of  my missing DVD.  I managed to find this screen capture:

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showing IRS doing a falling-back face drop onto Razor Ramone.  I can only assume IRS won the match, got the belt and went on to be the most dominant Intercontinental champion in the history of the WWE.

This website disagrees with everything I say and calls it a very average match

Overall: Reviewing matches without actually watching them is actually way quicker than the way I’ve been doing it.


4. Undertaker vs. Yokozuna / everyone


Great news gang!  Because I own so many wrestling DVD’s, I actually have a copy of this match on my “Tombstone: History of the Undertaker” set.  So I can watch this match for real.  Nice!

I remember this as being one of my favorite Undertaker matches of all time.  I can’t emphasize enough how much I loved the Urn / Undertaker can’t be hurt concept

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Yokozuna, on the other hand, is not a fan of the undead punch-zombie

Most of this match takes place outside the ring.  It’s just Undertaker and Yokozuna beating on each other with a chair.  Yoko hits a bunch of big power moves on the Undertaker, but he just keeps getting up.  He also hits the sloppiest choke slam in his career as he can barely get Yoko off the ground, but give him credit for trying.

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Yoko gets like a half inch off the ground

Undertaker goes for the casket close and then all hell breaks loose.  Everyone comes down and beats him up for awhile.  The complete list is Crush, Kabuki, Tenryu, Bam Bam Bigelow, Adam Bomb, Jeff Jarrett, Samu, Fatu (Rikishi) and Diesel.  Undertaker fights them all off and it’s fucking awesome.

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It’s basically a mini Royal Rumble before the actual Royal Rumble

After this goes on for like 10 minutes, Yokozuna finally steals the Urn and they shut the Undertaker up in the casket.  The ending then gets pretty stupid and cheesy where all the lights go out, the Undertaker appears on the big screen (from inside the casket) and vows to return

Overall: Man, that match was just awesome


5. The Royal Rumble


Quick housekeeping before we start – they have shortened the time between entrants to 1 and a half minutes, down from 2.

The first 10 people: 1. Scott Steiner / 2. Samu / 3. Rick Steiner / 4. Kwang / 5. Owen Hart / 6. Bart Gunn / 7. Diesel / 8. Bob Backlund / 9. Billy Gunn / 10. Virgil

Alright, let’s get this going.  Steiner and Samu barely have time to do anything before they’re announcing the next person.  1:30 really is quick between people coming in.  Scott’s brother Rick comes in next and the Steiners make fast work of Samu.  Next up is Kwang who spits green mist at Rick Steiner, putting him out of action.

Owen Hart comes out next to a huge round of boos.  Now that he has attacked Bret, he is firmly a heel

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Really embracing that heel-rage expression too

He manages to eliminate Rick Steiner pretty quickly.  Bart Gunn comes in next and all four guys just mix it up for awhile.

Then Diesel comes in.

This entire match just puts him over huge.  He just destroys everyone.  In very quick order, he eliminates all four guys in the ring.  Bob Backlund runs in and Diesel immediately whips him out over the top.  Then he just stands there looking awesome for like a minute.

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Yes!  Fuck!

Billy Gunn is out next and Diesel whips him out in 10 seconds.  Next up is Virgil and the audience basically bursts into disdainful laughter.  He’s demolished in seconds and we’re left with more waiting in the ring.

The next 10 people: 11. Macho Man / 12. Jeff Jarrett / 13. Crush / 14. Donik / 15. Bam Bam Bigealow / 16. Mabel / 17. Sparky Pluggs / 18. Shawn Michaels / 19. Mo / 20. Greg Valentine

Macho is next and obviously he’s not going to get thrown out.  He just beat Diesel with a straight pin the 1993 Survivor Series.  He slows Diesel down and manages to survive in the ring.  “Double J” Jeff Jarrett makes his Pay Per View debut, coming in at number 12.  He has a good show, but Macho throws him out.

Shitty Crush pulls number 13 and him and Macho go right at it.  With two guys that size in the ring, Macho doesn’t have much chance and Crush dumps him outside.  Doink is next and I hate Doink.

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Crush and Diesel also express their displeasure through double clotheslines

Bam Bam oozes in next and pretty quickly eliminates Doink.

They sure are keeping the numbers low.

Mabel enters at 16 and the crowd starts chanting “Whoop, there it is”

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“We’ll be popular forever!” – Tag Team, 1994

Everyone is in the ring now and Sparky Pluggs enters next.  Lots of low-talent in the ring now.  Shawn Michaels is in at 18 and distracts Diesel with his mullet and helps eliminate him.  The crowd is pretty quiet now.  I think they’re bored.  I am kind of bored.

Mabel’s other half comes in (Mo), followed by Greg Valentine and now the ring is Shawn Michaels and a bunch of garbage.

The last 10 people: 21. Tatanka / 22. Kabuki / 23. Lex Lugar / 24. Genichiro Tenryu / 25. Bastion Booger / 26. Rick Martel / 27. Bret Hart / 28. Fatu / 29. Marty Jannetty / 30. Adam Bomb

The speed and pace of the match really slow down for the final third.  There’s not a ton to highlight that is super interesting.  A bunch of pretty dull guys come in, and Bret Hart.

This Royal Rumble had the extremely weird and controversial ending where both Lex Lugar and Bret Hart eliminated each other at the same time and “co won” the event.

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In all fairness the timing was kind of impressive

Overall: A quick event and a pretty good Royal Rumble overall.  Although how would I know, I didn’t watch most of it

Survivor Series 1993 Recap


1. Razor Ramon, Randy Savage, Marty Jannetty, and The 1–2–3 Kid vs. IRS, Diesel, Rick Martel, and Adam Bomb


Adam Bomb makes his debut appearance in this kick off match of the 1993 Survivor Series and Macho Man makes his return to the ring after a long hiatus.  He gets a huge, explosive pop from the audience

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On the other hand, 123 Kid gets what could generously be called icy disdain

There is just a ton of talent in the ring.  Razor and Rick Martel start things off and get the crowd fired up with a bunch of quick moves.  Adam Bomb comes out next and the match degenerates into a big guy pushing contest.  Meh.  Fast forward.

Razor goes for the pin and Martel comes out to drop an elbow and break the fall.  Razor rolls out of the way and hits Adam Bomb.  All four of the Adam Bomb team start fighting.  They’re pretty angry at each other. How embarrassing!

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Almost as embarrassing as Macho wearing the same outfit as Marty Jannetty.  Rowr!

123 Kid comes out next and just gets the absolute piss kicked out of him.  It’s really, really entertaining.  Savage comes out and clears house and – much to my genuine surprise – nails Diesel with the elbow and pins him clean

“What a confusing match up this has been” says Vince McMahon.  I completely agree.  We are about 15 minutes into the match and Jannetty has not made a tag yet.  As Macho wrestles, he is distracted by Crush who comes down to ringside – they have a feud going on.

Entertainingly, Crush is on his 3rd iteration of costume / character, and I still don’t think he’s nailing it

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Well fuck you too, WWE Replay!

IRS grabs Macho while he’s distracted and pins him.  Some quick action follows – Razor hits the Razor’s Edge on IRS and gets the pin.  Then IRS hits Razor with a metal briefcase and Razor gets counted out.

It’s down to Jannetty and 123 Kid vs. Martel and Adam Bomb!

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Seriously?  Me?

The ending is a bit of surprise.  123 Kid gets beaten so badly he forgets how to drive.  Again – it’s really, really entertaining.  The match ends with a surprise pin by Jannetty on Adam Bomb and 123 Kid on Martel

Overall: That was a really fun match and a great start to the event


2. The Hart Family (Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Bruce Hart, and Keith Hart) vs Shawn Michaels and His Knights (Shawn Michaels, The Red Knight, The Blue Knight, and The Black Knight)


Why would anyone have thought this was a good idea?  Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart with a bunch of miscellaneous, masked strangers.

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Maybe I’m an actual wrestler, maybe I’m a volleyball player.  You don’t know.

The “Blue Knight” is actually Greg Valentine, but no one knows that.  So let’s pretend I’m a viewer at this event in 1993.  I’m turning over my Pearl Jam cassette on my walkman, loosening my flannel shirt and cheesing my hunger away.  All I’m thinking is if I can get home for the Party of Five premiere.  Why would I even want to watch this?

If you haven’t watched this match, my description won’t do it justice.  The crowd is completely silent, and isn’t reacting to any of the bumps

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THRILL to the action of retired unknown Keith Hart putting a sloppy arm bar on the unknown masked stranger!

This match is 30 unconscionable minutes long and I don’t have enough jokes to make it through the full thing.  Every joke is going to be just pictures of Shawn Michaels “knights” and how they’re fat, stupid assholes.

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I’m a fat, stupid asshole

See?

The Hart Family beats Shawn’s team one at a time until it’s just Shawn Michaels left.  Michaels eliminates Owen Hart with a sneaky pin when Owen bangs into Bret Hart.  Owen gets pissed at Bret and this starts to set up the feud between the two.  The match ends when Shawn Michaels says “screw this” and leaves.

Overall:  What a miserable way to spend 30 minutes


3. The Heavenly Bodies (Jimmy Del Ray and Tom Prichard) vs The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson)


Hmm.  1993 Survivor Series, you are making it challenging to watch you.  This match is for the “Smokey Mountain Wrestling” championship!!

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Yeah, I don’t actually know who these guys are

Just goes to show you, the WWE roster was brutally thin in 1993.  It really was a growth year.  I’m not going to spend a ton of time with this match, because who are any of these people.  Delightfully, the match goes on for 15 minutes.

The Heavenly Bodies win when they hit one of the guys I’ve never heard of with a tennis racket.  I guess they’re the new Smokey Mountain Champions?

Overall:  At this point, I’ll be glad if the next match has any actual popular wrestlers in it


4. The Four Doinks (The Bushwhackers (Luke and Butch) and Men on a Mission (Mabel and Mo) vs Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger, and The Headshrinkers (Samu and Fatu)


Ah Christ.  It’s the fucking goddamn Bushwhackers dressed up as Doink the goddamn clown.  Jesus shit.

I am not going to be able to watch this match.  I just can’t

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Honestly, who could blame me?

Overall: The Doink team won, but I didn’t actually watch this mess


5. The All-Americans (Lex Luger, The Undertaker and The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner)) vs The Foreign Fanatics (Yokozuna, Crush, Ludvig Borga, and Quebecer Jacques)


The Undertaker comes out to the biggest pop of the night.  Just deafening.  It’s impossible to oversell how popular the Undertaker was at this point in his career.  He has the whole auditorium on their feet.  Luger also gets a good reaction, but it’s not the same.

This starts off great, lots of quick action to keep the crowd excited.  Very quickly, Rick Steiner is pinned with what looks like some kind of screwed up move by Ludvig Borga

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So I’m not actually sure what happened there.

Next up is the elimination of Crush.  In a turnabout of fair play, Macho Man comes in to interfere with the match and gets Crush counted out.  It’s down to 3 v 3.

Jacques beats up Scott Steiner for awhile when Lex comes in.  He wrestles for like 3 minutes and pins Jacques after an elbow off the second rope.  All these eliminations are pretty tame so far.

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Tame like Steiner setting up for a Superplex off the top rope.  Yawn

Yokozuna comes in right after this move and immediately gets the pin on Steiner.  It’s Lex and Undertaker against Yokozuna and Crush.  We’re about 17 minutes into the match and Undertaker has not been in the ring yet.

Finally at about the 20 minute mark he comes in against Yokozuna.  The crowd screams through the whole thing.  Yokozuna hits a fat ass press on the Undertaker but he gets right up.  They spill out of the ring and both get counted out.

That whole thing was pretty fun.

We’re down to Ludvig Borga vs. Lex Lugar which.. meh.  It’s an okay final run.  Lex Lugar nails a cheap flying forearm that makes me wish sweet, sweet Tito Santana was in this PPV.

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ARIB…. ah, it’s just not the same

Overall: That was a very fun match.  So I loved the first and last match and the middle was pure, horrific misery.

SummerSlam 1993 Recap


1.  Ted Dibiase vs. Razor Ramon


Finally, they’ve officially made Razor Ramon a face.  He brings the crowd to their feet as he saunters to the ring with casual arrogance

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Dibiase on the other hand, looks like he should be starring in a local theater version of “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”

Ramon controls this match from start to finish.  Dibiase never had a chance.  He’s basically there just to firmly put Ramon over.  He’s almost a jobber.

Dibiase puts on a little bit of offense, but it’s just killing time until Ramon takes over and slaps on the Razor’s Edge.

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The move, not the 1984 Bill Murray film

Overall: Always fun to watch a Razor Ramon match


2. Tag Team Title Match: Heavenly Bodies (Tom Pritchard and Jimmy Del Rey) vs. Steiner Brothers


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It’s great when MacMahon needs to fill a slot and rushes in some nobodies.   The Heavenly Bodies were only in the WWE for about 2 years and were utterly unforgettable.  The Steiner brothers tear them apart for awhile before losing momentum.

Scott Steiner is thrown out of the ring and while the ref is counting angrily at him…

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Get back in here you piece of shit!

.. and one of the Heavenly bodies hits Rick with a tennis racket.  It doesn’t matter though, Rick is like “whatever man, I don’t even like tennis” and the Steiners hit the Frankensteiner for the win

Overall: “whatever man, I don’t even like tennis” is a comeback that works in 95% of situations


3. Intercontinental Championship Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect


Well this could be an interesting little match.  These guys are two very technical, very talented guys.  I’m hoping for a good show.

Whenever two guys like this wrestle, it’s all capital-W wrestling.  Lots of quick reversals, fast moves and random backflips off the top rope

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Wheee!

It wouldn’t be a Shawn Michaels match if he didn’t completely over sell every move.  He’s great.  Midway through the match, Michaels starts aggressively going after Mr. Perfects back.  Perfect manages to power through and slaps the Perfect Plex on Michaels.  Diesal interferes and the match ends with a count out of Perfect.  Garbage.  The crowd immediately starts booing.

Overall: Good match, shitty ending


4. IRS vs. 123 Kid


123 Kid makes his PPV debut.  I just realized this is also the first PPV that starred (almost) all the members of The Kliq – Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Razor Ramon and this skinny loser

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Seriously, try to guess which one is the wrestler

123 Kid matches tended to follow a pretty standard template.  The bigger wrestler (everyone) beats Kid like a 6 year old wrestling against a stuffed bear and then the 123 Kid manages to fluke out a win.

Not this time though!

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Apparently a 120 pound weight difference matters

There wasn’t even a finishing move, IRS basically just punched him unconscious

Overall: The match was fine


5. Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler / Doink the Clown


Jesus Christ, Jerry Lawler has to be 55 years old at this point.  He comes down to the ring in crutches, and says he can’t wrestle and instead Doink will take his place.

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“This is the biggest ripoff I’ve ever seen” – Vince McMahon, expressing the viewpoint of thousand of fans

Here is a matchup I never had any interest in seeing.  Hart makes it interesting because the guy doesn’t know how to have a bad match, but even the high flying, top rope moves both guys put on doesn’t save this

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Maybe it saves it a little

Hart slaps on the Sharpshooter and Lawler beats him with a pair of crutches.  The match looks like it’s over, but Jack Tunny – then president of the WWE – tells Lawler if he doesn’t wrestle, he’s banned forever.

It makes sense.

The next 8 minutes are just Bret Hart beating the shit out of a senior citizen.  It also features some notable highlights – a pile driver, which is a move you barely saw by 1993 rolled around – and a totally shirtless Bret Hart

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Also rarely seen in 1993

The match ends when Hart slaps Jerry Lawler in the sharpshooter and refuses to break the hold.  He gets disqualified.  He would try this exact same move against Stone Cold in a future Wrestlemania

Overall: Interesting match, but Doink seriously sucks


6. Marty Jannetty vs. Ludvig Borga


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Jesus, Marty Jannetty just could not catch a break after breaking up with Shawn Michaels.  First he gets kicked out the WWE, gets placed under house arrest for attacking a cop and now he’s jobbing for this nobody.

WWE apparently had huge plans for Borga but they didn’t really pan out due to a tepid fan reaction and horrible storylines.

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WWE writers would later go on to work for DC

This is a really one sided match, Borga basically takes Jannetty apart and wins with backbreaker submission.

Overall: Poor, poor Marty Jannetty


7. The Undertaker vs. The Giant Gonzalez


WWE Replay has managed to find an actual transcript of the conversation that resulted in this match:

McMahon: Everyone hated Undertaker vs. Gonzalez in Wrestlemania IX, so what should we do with him in Summerslam?

Writer 1: How about the exact same goddamn match?

McMahon: Maybe you didn’t hear me though? Everyone hated the match, like it was rated one of the worst of the year and Wrestlemania was just in March.

Writer 2: What if we do the same match again?

McMahon: Is there…. can you even hear me?  Everyone hated everything about the first match. We need a fresh, new angle.

Writer 1: What if we do the same match, but change it up by making his gross body suit slightly darker?

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electrifying

McMahon: < sigh> Fine. Whatever. I have to start my steroid cycle.

Undertaker gets up over and over again and wins the match.

Overall: I love the Undertaker, but I’m very glad that this feud is over.  The urn is great though, what a fun gimmick.

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Awesome

8. Tatanka and The Smoking Gunns (Billy Gunn and Bart Gunn) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow and The Headshrinkers (Fatu and Samu) (with Afa and Luna Vachon)


Ugggghhhhhhhhh.

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Gimme a break
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He’s actually carrying a tomahawk now?
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Fuck all the way off

I just realized Bam Bam Bigalow is the only person in this match who isn’t a stereotype or a racist caricature.

This match is unwatchable garbage, and Tatanka and the Smoking Guns win

Overall: Unwatchable.  Garbage.


9. Lex Lugar vs. Yokozuna


And we finally hit the point in Lex Lugar’s career where he gets his huge push as the next Hulk Hogan.  On the mic, Bobby Heenan reminds him of his tenuous destiny by saying “Lugar, you have one chance – don’t blow it!”.

He gets off on the right foot by coming in to an instrumental version of this song which is a children’s song about ducks and being kind to them.

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Yokozuna is not impressed by your rabidly pro-duck entrance song

Gang, there’s not a ton to love about this match.  Lugar was pushed way to quickly and they were trying to build him up as the next Hogan too quickly.  He was a wrestler that was all look and very little talent.

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Fortunately, Vince McMahon learned his lesson and never, ever made the same mistake again

The whole match is snoozeville, backed by a pretty quiet, bored crowd.  Lugar eventually wins a technical victory by a count out, but Yokozuna keeps the belt

Overall: Terrible!  But it wasn’t a bad SummerSlam

 

King of the Ring 1993 Recap

It’s 1993 and it’s finally time to add a 5th pay per view into the mix.  It’s King of the Ring!  For the first time ever!  Sort of!  I think 1988 was the first actual tournament.  Anyway, let’s get to it.

Very quickly – King of the Ring is an elimination tournament where the victor goes on to subsequent matches until they’re the only one standing.


1. Round 1, Match 1: Razor Ramon vs. Bret Hart


This is the second time these two faced each other.  I wonder how Razor Ramon will do this time?

To keep the matches quick, every one only has a 15 minutes time limit.  I’m hoping this will keep the pace pretty hot and –

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Ah shit, arm bar

While Hart tries to keep the pace nice and slow, Ramon is having none of it and keeps going on the offense with big, exciting power moves.  The crowd shows their confused support by chanting for the 1-2-3 kid, making that the first and only time in history he was the subject of an audience chant.

The momentum is going back and forth until Hart gets the upper hand with a series of side slams and elbows off the 2nd rope.  Ramon goes for the Razor’s Edge and Hart scrambles out and reverses it with a small package.

This is pretty exciting!

As Ramon goes for a suplex off the top rope, Bret kind of falls on him and gets the pin.  Bret wins!

Overall: That was a snappy little opening match.  These guys put on a good show


2. Round 1, Match 2: Mr. Hughes vs. Mr. Perfect


Do you think they chose this match because they both have “Mister” in their names?  Because I do.

Gang, I do not remember Mr. Hughes at all.  I think his whole deal was to see how inappropriately he could dress for a wrestling match

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You’d think it would be difficult to wrestle in business attire and sunglasses

Mr. Hughes gets the early advantage, but has trouble maintaining it because he’s wrestling in a full suit.  He keeps the match pretty aggressive, but he can’t change the fact that he’s wearing suspenders and a tie.

Mr. Perfect gets the upper hand back because Mr. Hughes is wearing sunglasses that don’t come off and he looks like a stupid, stupid idiot.

Mr. Hughes is quickly disqualified, probably for wearing dumb clothes, but moreso for hitting Mr. Perfect in the face with an urn.

Overall: That match was horrible


3. Round 1, Match 3: Hacksuck Shit Fuckhead vs. Bam Bam Bigalow


Keeping with my commitment from Wrestlemania VI, I refuse to recap or watch Hacksaw matches anymore.  He is awful.  Just horrible.

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Yes.  Be my fat agent of top rope justice, Bam Bam

Overall: Bam Bam Bigalow wins, which is great


 4. Round 1, Match 4: Lex Lugar vs. Tatanka


At this point in his career, Lugar is still doing his horrible “Narcissist” bit.  He also has a side story that he has a metal / bionic / reconstructed arm, so he needs to wrestle with a an elbow pad on it.

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Yeah, in retrospect, this whole shtick is ridiculous

Tatanka comes out hot for Lugar and easily takes control with a series of high impact power moves.  The crowd was really enjoying the action, so he decides to grind it to a screaming halt with an arm bar.

God, I hate arm bars.

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Giant floating Bam Bam head also thinks they’re crap

Ho hum.  Lugar turns it around and goes on a run.  Not much to say in this one, it’s a very by-the-books match.  They go right to the time limit and neither guy can get the pin before time runs out.  That is 15 minutes I’ll never get back.  Winner = no one.  Bam Bam gets a pass to the finals

Overall: This match was like an argument from a Bill Cosby defense lawyer.  Technically well constructed, but ugly and makes the world a worse place


6. Round 2, Match 1: Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect


Before the match, Mean Gene interviews Hart and Perfect.  He stirs up shit by telling Perfect that Hart wanted to face him instead of Mr. Hughes because it would be an easier match.  Mr. Perfect basically calls Hart an asshole and says “all you Canadians are alike”

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i.e. Greasy-haired, pink-wearing fuckheads

These two haven’t met since SummerSlam 91 when Hart beat Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental Belt.  Mr. Perfect is eager to get revenge and starts out with a bunch of quick takedown moves and reversals.  Hart keeps going for the side headlock, which makes me think this match is going the distance.

 

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I’m pretty sure the movie was based on this match

As the match progresses, Mr. Perfect starts using dirtier and dirtier tactics and the crowd gets more firmly behind Bret.  To add to the drama, Bret Hart injures his knee taking a hard bump outside the ring.  Mr. Perfect starts getting more and more aggressive with a series of quick pins.

Eventually Perfect slaps on the sleeper hold and it looks like the end.  Bret manages to sneak out and hits Perfect with a series of high-impact moves.  Perfect goes for a small package but Bret reverses it and gets the pin!

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Even though Perfects shoulder is like, a mile off the ring

Overall: Yet another match that proves WWE referees are hired not in spite of – but specifically due to – their incompetence


7. Heavyweight Championship Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna


Why did Jimmy Hart start managing Hulk Hogan in the first place? I can’t remember what brought that about.

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Did it have something to do with Mustache power?

So Hogan gets to fight another big fat guy.  I wonder if this will be like his match against Bundy?  Or his match against Earthquake?  Or his match against Andre?  I wonder if Hogan’s entire gameplan will be based on trying to slam Yokozuna?

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Hogan, the master tactician, stupidly telegraphing his entire in-ring strategy

Wrestling has as much to do with this match as Bernie Sanders supporters have to do with a basic understanding of politics.  It’s non-stop punches and kicks.  Hogan just keeps going for the slam and Yokozuna keeps blocking it.

I’ve seen this match too many times.  Yokozuna has all the momentum and he goes for the bear hug.

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All the big guys have big hearts that lead to big hugs

To the surprise of no one, Hulk Hulks The Fuck Out.  Despite all the Hulking out, Yokozuna needs 3 big boots to go down.  Hogan drops the leg, but Yokozuna kicks out.  Hogan can’t believe it, so he decides to go for the slam.   At the same time a mystery reporter jumps up onto the ring and explodes his camera in Hogan’s face.  Hogan is blinded and Yokozuna drops the big, fat leg and gets the pin

We have a new champ!

Overall: The ending was at least a little interesting


8. Pointless 8-man tag match:  The Smoking Gunns (Billy and Bart Gunn) and The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner) vs. The Headshrinkers (Samu and Fatu) (with Afa) and Money Inc.(Ted DiBiase and IRS)


What a crappy match this is going to be. I don’t really like any of these guys.  I’m going to just breeze through this and see if there’s an opportunity for jokes

I spent a lot of time earlier on making fun of Mr. Hughes for dressing like an idiot by wearing a business outfit while wrestling.  He should take a lesson from IRS

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Like, if you’re going to wear a dress shirt, at least roll up the goddamn sleeves.  GOD

I guess it’s better than the smoking guns who wrestle in jeans.

This match is fine.  It’s dull and fine.  It ends, which is a plus.   Dibiase slaps on the Million Dollar Dream and … you know what, who honestly cares.  The good guys win, the bad guys lose.

Overall:   Next!


9. Intercontinental Championship Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Crush


Crush never really caught fire in the WWE.  Was it his because of his horrible, wooden wrestling?  His dull promo’s?

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The fact that his outfit would make late 70’s John Byrne-drawn X-men embarrassed?

Historians take note!  Diesel  makes his first Pay Per View appearance at the side of Shawn Michaels.  Also of note!  I just realized that Shawn Michaels and Crush have the two greatest mullets in WWE history

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Even Rapunzel is like “shit that’s a mullet lol”

Kind of interesting vibe to this match.  Crush tries to show off a bunch of wrestling moves.  He alternates between quick, aerial moves and high-impact power moves.  He’s doing pretty sweet until Diesel distracts him and Shawn Michaels attacks him from behind.

The match is going pretty darn good until goddaamn Doink(s) show up.   Crush is distracted again (seriously dude, focus on the match) and Michaels superkicks him in the head

Overall: I surprisingly enjoyed that match, until stupid Doink showed up


10. King of the Ring Final: Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigalow


The final King of the Ring match, lets get started.  Bret hobbles into this match all beaten up – a gimp knee, crummy fingers, tired from multiple matches.  Bam Bam is fresh and ready to go and not surprisingly, takes immediate control of the match.

Given this is the final event of the night, the crowd is pretty quiet during the whole thing.  Maybe they don’t find it entertaining to watch their hero beaten mercilessly for 15 solid minutes?

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Although I guess some people like it?

There’s a brief moment outside the ring where Bret shows some signs of life, but it doesn’t last long.  While Bam Bam is arguing with the ref, Luna Vashon runs out from backstage and hits Bret Hart with a chair.  Hart is knocked silly, and Bam Bam gets the easy pin for the win!

But wait!  Another referee comes out and disagrees with the decision due to the interference by Vashon and says the match needs to continue.

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Ohhh this sucks

Bam Bam keeps putting Hart in the backbreaker.  During the second one, Hart reverses it into a sleeper hold.  He finally starts showing some offense and puts on a few moves.  Because it’s a Bret Hart match, it ends incredibly abruptly.  Hart goes onto Bam Bams shoulders and rolls it into a pin

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Bret’s finishing move is basically sneaky pins from out of nowhere

Overall: The last match was a little long, but I really enjoyed this entire event

Wrestlemania IX Recap

When I was younger, I remember thinking this Wrestlemania was fantastic. Will it hold up all these years later?


1. Intercontinental Championship Match:  Shawn Michaels vs. Tatanka


Shawn Michaels debuts another Wrestlemania, this time against the lazily racist caricature that is Tatanka.  As usual, Sherri is hovering by ringside, watching him wrestle, but not actually in his corner.  That interaction has been going on for like a year now.

Shawn Michaels does his usual bit here – petulant complaining to the ref and over-the-top falls when he sells moves.   It’s a fun match.

…or so I thought.  22 goddamn agonizing minutes later and my enthusiasm has waned.  Opening matches should be quick and high energy to get the crowd immediately excited.

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It should not be 12 minutes of chin locks

On the mic, Bobby Heenan and Macho Man say what we’re all thinking:

Macho Man: “This match should have been over by now”
Bobby Heenan:”It should have been over 30 moves ago”

Michaels barely touches the ref outside the ring and gets counted out or something?  It’s out of nowhere and it’s a crappy ending

Overall: Not a great start.  Horrible booking


2. The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) vs. The Headshrinkers (Samu and Fatu)


Hoo boy.  Let’s get this over with.  Macho Man is more optimistic than me and says “This should be  a great match.  Even better than the last one”

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You think?

Scott and Fatu start in the ring and exchange some blows.  Scott gives Fatu a clotheline, which announcer Jim Ross calls a “Steiner Line”.  I  am briefly entertained by the thought that every move they do will be re-branded by Jim Ross to be Steiner-related.  An arm bar will become a Stein-bar.  A chin lock will be a Rick Lock.  A suplex will be a Stein-plex.

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A botched move will be a Steinicide

I am honestly not sure if Fatu fucked up there or not.  Generally the way that move works, you drop the guy on the top rope, not launch him right over the top.  Macho Man and Jim Ross actually comment on that for the next couple of minutes.

After that move, Scott is a destroyed mess and the Headshrinkers just lay on a pounding.  Eventually Scott makes the tag and Rick gets to play the hero rescue role.  Jim Ross refers to Rick Steiner as Dog Face, which is great.  Why not just call him “Fuc’t brow” or “Sea Monster”?

While I’m making jokes, Fatu puts Rick on his shoulders and when Samu goes for the clothesline, Rick catches him (on another guys shoulders) and power slams him.  It’s a very unexpected and very cool move.

Fresh on the heels of that, Scott hits a Frankensteiner and the match is over.

Overall: Not a horrible match.  It had 3 huge moves that were great


3. Doink the Clown vs. Crush


Look gang!  It’s Doink the Clown – in his SECOND Wrestlemania.  What’s that?  When was his first?  Glad you asked, hypothetical reader who talks to his computer.  He was in the very first Wrestlemania against Ricky Steamboat!

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Matt Osborne, wondering “What if Doink was one of us”

There is nothing spectacular to recap in this match.  Neither wrestler is that good, the moves are all telegraphed and clumsy and neither character is that interesting.

The ref gets knocked down, Doink gets knocked out of the ring and in the confusion a 2nd Doink comes out from under the apron.  The 2nd Doink interferes, clobbers Crush, it’s the dumbest thing I’ve seen and who cares.  Who.  Cares.

Overall: Two Doinks!


4. Razor Ramon vs. Bob Backlund


Yep.  This is an actual Wrestlemania match.  Ramon, ostensibly the heel, comes out to a huge pop, Bob Backlund comes out to what can best be classified as polite indifference.  The WWE has always been a little tone deaf when it comes to who the fans like.

I wish there was something entertaining to say about this match.  Bob Backlund goes on a tiny amount of offence and the crowd is stone cold silent.  Out of nowhere, Ramon hits a small package and gets the win

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If they can’t be bothered to come up with a match, I can’t be bothered to come up with a joke

Overall:  That was garbage


5. Tag Team Championship Match: Money Inc (Ted Dibiase and IRS) vs. The Mega Friends Powers Maniacs (Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake)


Money incorporated put their belts on the line in the second title defense of the night.  Hogan and Beefcake are sporting a black eye and stupid face mask, respectively

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It’s a toss up which looks worse

In real life, Hogan had been in a jet ski accident.  They worked the injury into the match by saying Money Inc attacked him in the dressing room backstage.

At this point of his career, Hogan has given up any pretense of actual wrestling and is just throwing haymakers.  Even Macho points out “not many wrestling holds from the Hulkster”

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Maybe I wasted my career by actually trying to be a talented wrestler?

Halfway through the match, Money Inc decides to bail on the match and go back to the dressing room.  Taking the mic, the ref lets them know that (contrary to the actual rules of WWE) “If Money Inc does not return to the ring, they will forfeit the belt”.

I think every professional sport would be improved if the ref had the ability to alter the rules of the game on the fly.

ed-hochulis
Patriots – penalty, offside.  Also, if Tom Brady does not full-on make out with Drew Bledsoe on the 50 yard line, the Patriots are banned from the NFL forever.

The match continues and Ted Dibiase makes the cardinal mistake of putting Hogan in a choke hold.  Really surprisingly, Hogan doesn’t Hulk The Fuck Out.   Beefcake comes in and clears house, but Money Inc. regains the advantage.

Money Inc. takes off Beefcakes  mask and start punching him in the face.  Beefcake oversells every punch and I guess the gist is that his face bones are really soft and squishy now?  Because he’s healing or something?

Hogan gets the tag and then a bunch of weird things happen.  The ref is knocked out, Hogan hits Money Inc with the “titanium” face mask, the Mega Maniacs collectively pin Money Inc, Jimmy Hart reverses his jacket so it’s a referee stripes and then counts for the 3.  A new ref comes out and says Money Inc is disqualified so they keep the belts.

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Mega Maniacs triumphantly celebrate their technical loss

Overall: I think this match might have been the high point of this PPV which is really unfortunate


6. Mr. Perfect vs. Lex Lugar


The match hasn’t started and I’m already disappointed.  I’m pretty sure Perfect is going to put Lugar over.  Poor Mr Perfect.  He deserves better.

Lugar was still doing his “Narcissist” bit at this point so we are treated to 5 minutes of posing

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I thought Beefcake was in the last match?

At the start of the match, Macho Man calls Bobby Heenan “Camel breath”. I have no idea what that insult means in this context.   Normally, that’s something Jesse Ventura would say to the Iron Sheik or something.  It’s completely random.  Why not call him “Panda breath” or “Unicorn Breath”?

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Are camels even known for the quality of their breath?  While I continue to wonder about this, I guess there’s some wrestling going on in the background

Macho and Heenan basically bicker for the whole match.  They barely call the action.  I’m not sure if this is a bit or if they are genuinely irritated with each other.

More wresting continues in the background.  It’s pretty routine stuff, nothing that great.  Perfect is having trouble dragging a math out of Lugar.

It ends when Lugar reverses a back… slide… flip-pin?

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I don’t actually know what it’s called

Overall: This Wrestlemania is just dragging on and on


7. Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez


I have almost nothing to say about this match

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I’m going to let the disgusting flesh suit do the talking for me

Gonzalez is as much a wrestler as I am.  He quite obviously has no idea what he’s doing.  This entire match is a farce.  The whole thing is punch after punch.

It ends when Gonzalez chloroforms The Undertaker.  Sure.  Why the fuck not.

The booking in this event was abysmal.  There were so few clean wins.  We now have 7 matches and 3 disqualifications, 2 suspicious endings and 1 clean pin.  Fuck you, Wrestlemania IX.

Overall: I love the Undertaker, but this was embarrassing


8. Heavyweight Championship Match: Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna


Did I say embarrassing?  I forgot about this travesty of a match.  Rather than bother with a recap, I’ll just let Bret Hart tell you about it

Bret Hart on the Controversy behind Dropping the Belt to Hulk Hogan via Yokozuna at Wrestlemania 9 and Hogan’s Flat-out Refusal to Put Him over in a Match

“On April 2, 1993, [I] went to my room just in time to answer a call from Vince, who asked me to come to his suite to talk.I knocked on his door and he answered it with that goofy grin. We sat down, and Vince said, “This is what I want to do. I want you to drop the belt to Yoko tomorrow.”

This was not what I had expected. I sat there dumbstruck as he went on to explain how Fuji would screw me by throwing salt in my face, blinding me. After Yoko was handed the belt, Hogan would rush to my aid and in some kind of roundabout way Hogan would end up winning the belt from Yoko right then and there!

Like I was handing Vince my sword, I told him I appreciated everything he did for me and I’d do whatever he wanted. Vince said, “Don’t get bitter. I still have big plans for you.” Sound bites flashed through my mind of Vince assuring me that I was the long-term champion, and not to worry about Hogan, who still hadn’t even spoken to me yet.

As I stood up to leave, I asked, “Did you take the belt from me because I didn’t do a good enough job?”

“Of course not! I’m just going in a different direction. It’s still onwards and upwards for you. Nothing is going to change too much for you.”

I was totally crushed

As I lay in bed that night, the more I thought about what Vince had in mind for Hogan, the more I felt that it would completely backfire on both of them. The hokey finish would stink, maybe not immediately, but in the weeks to come my fans, who were the biggest contingent in Vince’s paying audience at that time, would gag on it. There was something different about my fans. They really believed in me as a person.

By the time I got to the dressing room the following afternoon, word that I was losing the title had leaked out to the boys. Most of them were quiet and some were angry. The Nasty Boys, Shawn, Taker and several others expressed their utter disappointment. Knowing I was losing the belt didn’t stop me from planning on having a great match. I went over everything with Yoko and designed the match so that all the best moves were left for the final minute.

Hulk arrived with his entourage: his wife, manager, Beefcake and Jimmy Hart. Clearly he’d been in the know all along, probably from the first day he came back. Now he was suddenly acting like my long-lost old pal and wearing a big smile that rightfully belonged to me.”

Overall: This match was garbage and this was a terrible event

 

 

 

Top 5 Ultimate Warrior Matches Of All Time

The Ultimate Warrior was only in the WWE for a comparatively brief time, but during his run he established himself as one of the most popular wrestlers to ever hit the ring.  While his matches weren’t the most technical, and he never seemed to get the hang of the whole “wrestling” part of his job, there’s no denying his matches were wonderfully fun to watch.

We’ve scoured our archives to pull out the best Ultimate Warrior matches of his career.  We used an incredibly scientific rating system, namely the number of crazy Gary Busey thumbs up each match received.

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Honestly, Gary Busey is the only guy crazy enough to be able to rate the matches

 


#5. The Honky Tonk Man vs. Ultimate Warrior for the Intercontinental Belt – Summerslam 1988


Much like you would start any Hogan list with his legendary match against the Iron Sheik to capture the belt, we had to start with Ultimate’s match against the Honkey Tonk Man for the Intercontinental title.

This match perfectly captures what was so great about the Warrior.  Prior to the start, they had teased that Honkey Tonk was going to fight a mystery opponent.  The crowd wasn’t sure who they were going to get, until they heard the music.

DUHN.

DUHN. DUN DUN DUHN.

DUHN. DUN DUN DUHN.

DUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUN

“Uh oh, this doesn’t look good” – Honky Tonk Man, SummerSlam ’88

Say what you will about the Warrior, his entrance was fantastic for getting the crowd going.  This match is over in 30 seconds, the Warrior runs in like a complete lunatic, does a few simple moves and gets the pin.  The most entertaining part of the match is the Ref trying to get out of his way

What pace should we set for the crowd and agaggghhh
What pace should we set for the crowd and agaggghhh

Overall: A great introduction to the Ultimate Warrior.  We gave this one 3 Gary Buseys

3 busey


#4.  Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior for the Heavyweight Championship Belt at Summerslam 1990 – Cage Match


Rick Rude had a series of matches against the Ultimate Warrior between 1989 / 1990 that started with their meeting in Wrestlemania V and then again in SummerSlam ’89.  Rick Rude was one of the few people that could make the Ultimate Warrior look like an actual wrestler.  While all three of the matches are really entertaining, this one was the best.

Rude and Warrior get into it right away and spend the first 5 minutes throwing each other into the cage.  Rude gets busted open almost immediately.  I re-watched, but I couldn’t see the cut.  The Warrior follows right after with a cut of his own.

I feel like Rick Rude was trying to prove something in this match, but I don’t know what.  For example, here he is jumping off the top of the cage, which is a level of acrobatics somewhat out of character for him

Who do I think I am? Rick Snuka?
Who do I think I am? Ricky Superfly Snuka?

Warrior unsurprisingly pulls out the win after beating up Heenan for awhile and then climbing out of the cage.

Overall: I remain very impressed by Rude’s ability to pull an actual wrestling match out of the Ultimate Warrior.  We gave this one 3.5 Gary Buseys
3 and a bit busey


#3.  Macho Man vs. Ultimate Warrior for the Heavyweight Championship Belt at SummerSlam 1992


Heading into this match, Ultimate Warrior and Macho Man had some relationship problems they needed to work through.  Although both guys were faces at the time, through a series of incredibly unlikely series of events, (all of which included unconscious referees) neither Macho Man or Ultimate Warrior trusted each other.  They thought the other one hired Mr. Perfect to be in their corner.

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Just how many times have you been knocked unconscious?  If the answer is more than “none” that’s too many times

Macho and Warrior immediately set the pace to “fucking awesome”.  It’s a very aggressive, fast paced match.  Not a single arm bar or chin lock.  Just non stop body slams and big impact moves.  Within 10 minutes both guys seem exhausted. As it continues, Macho seems to have injured his back and Warrior seems to have hurt his neck.  Both guys are at the end of their energy when Mr. Perfect finally comes out and everyone is wondering which guy hired him.

Macho goes to do a move off the ropes and Mr. Perfect trips him.  So now everyone thinks Perfect is in Warriors corner.  Macho man is understandably upset

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And feels the middle of this important wrestling match is the right time to have this discussion

During the action, the ref gets knocked out and when Warrior goes for the pin, the ref doesn’t see it.  When the ref groggily gets back to his feet, he gets knocked out again by Savage.

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I feel like I’m not being clear.  Losing consciousness for even like 2 seconds is cause for huge concern

The match ends when Ric Flair hits Warrior with a chair.  Savage ends up going after Flair and then Perfect and Flair beat him up for awhile and Macho Man is counted out of the ring.  Warrior them chases off and then celebrates with Macho Man

Overall: A really great, high energy match with just enough ringside shenanigans to elevate it.  We gave this one 4 Gary Buseys

4 busey


#2. Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior for the Heavyweight Championship Belt at Wrestlemania VI


Here’s what you need to know about this match.  Hogan wasn’t convinced that Warrior should get the belt and that Warrior “possessed even less wrestling ability than Hogan”.  Glass houses much Hogan?  Most importantly, a very young Adam Copeland was live in the Skydome to watch this unfold

This guy
This guy

This is entertaining purely on the strength of their personalities.  The early match is all posturing – tests of strength, pushing, etc.  They really get the crowd fired up. The match is designed to play to each of their talents.  Lots of big, high impact power moves, coupled with a ton of rest holds – reverse chin locks, bear hugs, etc.  Hogan’s Charisma mostly keeps this one entertaining – on the wrestling alone it’s a pretty dull match.  It’s a 22 minute match and about 12 minutes are holds.

Interestingly, both men were technically “faces” at the time and the crowd started pretty evenly split between the two.  While Warrior was getting his cheers, as the match progressed, the crowd was cheering louder and louder for Hogan

The match culminates with a series of near pins and no-counts after the ref was knocked out.  The most surprising part is the ending where Hogan lost clean.  No tricks, no cheats, no interference, just a clean pin for the Warrior

Holy crap this fat blonde bastard is heavy
Holy Crap this fat blonde bastard is heavy

Overall: One of the all time great Wrestlemania matches and one of Warrior’s best. This one ranks 4 Gary Busey’s

4 busey


#1. Macho Man vs. Ultimate Warrior – Career Match – Wrestlemania VII


The gist of this match is that both guys put their careers on the line and the loser needed to retire.  I think the story is that Macho legitimately wanted to quit (or at least take some extended time off) and this was supposed to be his swan song.

This match reminds me of Hogan / Andre or Hogan / Macho.  The crowd is screaming through the whole thing and the entire match has this fantastic, epic feel to it.

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It also has a double clothesline!

Closer to the end, Macho hits Warrior with five straight flying elbows and it’s fantastic.

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5th times the charm

When Warrior kicks out you basically can’t hear anything, the crowd is screaming so loud.  It’s easily equivalent to Hogan slamming Andre in terms of crowd reaction.

The ending is a bit odd – Warrior looks like he’s going to quit because he can’t seem to pin Macho, but then he changes his mind (for no apparent reason) and hits him with three shoulder blocks and pins him with one foot.

What makes this match especially memorable are the events after it’s over.  Queen Sherri (who was in Macho’s corner) starts attacking him and who should come to his defense?  Elizabeth!!!  The crowd collectively looses their minds as Macho and Elizabeth are reunited, the culmination of one of the greatest storylines in WWE history.

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Horrible WWE writers of 2016 take note – this is how you do a fucking story

Overall: Easily one of the top 3 Wrestlemania matches of all time, easily Warriors best match and easily worthy of 10 crazy Gary Buseys

4 busey