Summer Slam ’89


1. Hart Foundation vs. Brain Busters


First off, who on earth is that doing the commentating?  It’s sure not Jesse and Gorilla.  It’s Jesse and someone else.  Wikipedia tells me it’s Tony Schiavone.

And the Brain Busters have the title.  Huh.  I guess they won it from Demolition sometime after WM5.   And for some reason this isn’t a title match, something to do with them booking the match when Brain Busters weren’t the champions.  So lots to be confused about.

This match has tons of quick action and good momentum.  The Hart Foundation take the early offense, and then it’s the Brain Busters turn.  Pretty evenly split.

The fight ends up spilling outside the ring, with all four men going at it.  The Hart Foundation end up back inside with Tully Blanchard and do a move so fucked up I don’t even know what it’s called.

A reverse power Bret Slam
A reverse power Bret Slam

It’s fantastic.  Unfortunately, the Brain interferes, Arn Anderson kicks Hart in the head, and the Brain Busters get the pin

Overall: Great match with an incredible finish

 


2. Dusty Rhodes vs. The Honky Tonk Man


As I write this (Jun 2015), Dusty Rhodes literally just died about a month ago.  So this is a bit depressing.  Dusty Rhodes was never one of my favorite wrestlers, but the guy was an icon in the business, helping to shape both the WWE and the NWA.

He also did the
He also did the “are you not entertained” pose a full 10 years before Russell Crowe

Rhodes is great at playing to the crowd, so he keeps the entertainment level pretty high.  Honky ends up throwing Dusty into the ref and Hart uses the opportunity to hit him with the guitar.  Dusty moves, Honky gets clocked and Dusty gets the 1-2-3

Overall: Honky really never moved above low-mid card after losing the best, did he?

 


3. Mr Perfect vs. The Red Rooster


I just can’t take the Red Rooster seriously, I’m not sure why.  Is it the ridiculous entrance theme with the chicken noises?

The dumb hair? The outfit? The fact that it's Terry Taylor? The whole goddamn absurd character?
The dumb hair? The outfit? The fact that it’s Terry Taylor? The whole goddamn absurd character?

I really feel like one bird-themed wrestler is enough for the WWE.  They already have Koko B. Ware, they really don’t need to explore more birds.  Also, if they were going for the attack chicken theme, shouldn’t they have gone with the Fabulous Fighting Cock?

I’m not sure if this is Mr. Perfect doing a great job of selling, but he seems genuinely irritated to be in this match.  He slaps the Rooster alot and seems to throwing a ton of potatoes.  He demolishes the Rooster pretty quickly and gets the pin with the Perfect Plex

Overall: A perfectly serviceable match

 


4. The Rockers with Tito Santana vs. The Rougeaus with Rick Martel


This should be a good one.  Plenty of talent in the ring.  I don’t understand why Tito is still wearing his Strike Force tights.  Will… will the WWE not spring for new tights?

The Rockers immediately jump into the ring, do like six insanely athletic moves and clear house.  The Rougeaus get the upper hand though, and start putting a beating on Tito.  Every time Martel gets in the ring with him, he does a ton of showboating for the crowd.  They hate it and it gets the audience really fired up.

Weirdly, Jacques Rougeaus ends up slowing down the match by throwing on an Abdominal Stretch.  It gives Tito a breather and the beating of Tito continues.  Honestly, I think the offense against him goes on for about 14 minutes.

He finally makes the tag and Shawn Michaels comes in a house of fire.  The action goes insane for about 3 solid minutes of high flying moves and the audience is on their feet the whole time.  Obviously it culminates in a flying forearm and obviously I’m going to screen cap it

Drink it in, it always goes down smooth
                      Obviously

Unfortunately, Martel ends up getting an illegal hit on Marty Jannetty and the Rougeaus get the win.

Overall: Pretty decent match.  Tito is awesome

 


5. Intercontinental Title Match: Ultimate Warrior vs. Ravishing Rick Rude


Didn’t I just recap this match in Wrestlemania V?  I didn’t love it then, why would I want to watch it now?

Warrior – again – no-sells every single move Rude puts against him, while Rude does a great job over-selling every move Warrior does

For example, look how high Rude lifts himself
For example, look how high Rude lifts himself

I feel like Warrior ushered in the new style of wrestling that we see reflected in the modern era.  He is just a big, powerful guy that throws out punches and power moves.  Half the match happens outside the ring, he’s doing moves that used to be disqualifications (like hitting Rude with the belt) and there’s no real wrestling to speak of.

I guess Vince really liked this approach.

This match is really lopsided, with Warrior beating the ever-loving crap out of Rude.  Rude kicks out of a bunch of pin attempts.  Eventually the momentum shifts and Rude gets the sleeper on the Warrior.  As the Warrior powers out of it, there is a three way collision between Warrior, Rude and the Ref and all three men are out.  Warrior Hulks out, hits a power slam, but there’s no ref to count the pin.

I’ve got to hand it to Rude, this is the second match where he’s made the Warrior seem like an actual wrestler.

Both men hit the piledriver on each other, but neither can get the pin.  The momentum is now shifting back and forth every 2 minutes.  The crowd is losing their mind.

Then Piper comes out.

Sure, why not?
Sure, why not?

You can guess what happens next.  Rude is distracted, Warrior comes from behind and slaps on the big press slam and gets the pin.

Overall: A surprisingly great match.  So far this is way better than Wreslemania V.

 


6. The Twin Towers with Andre the Giant vs. Demolition with Hacksaw Jim Duggan


Here’s some early thoughts.  Twin Towers (an unfortunate name in retrospect) enter to “Jive Soul Bro” which is Slick’s opening theme.   Is Slick the only manager to have a theme song?   Do all of the guys in his stable enter to Jive Soul Bro?  Should I refer to it as his “stable”?  I get that he’s a pimp, but is that too on the nose?

Hacksuck sure gets included in a bunch of tag matches.  I expect it’s because he’s completely, completely horrible and is unwatchable in solo matches

This match is a very standard punch-only match.  What’s most surprising is they actually tag in Andre.  I didn’t even think he was mobile at this point in his career.

Ax also seems really surprised
Ax also seems really surprised

Anyway, this match ends the same way any match with Hacksuck does.  With a 2×4 to the face while the refs back is turned

Overall: I’m just glad it’s over

 


7. Hercules vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine


This match starts off with Ronnie Garvin doing ring announcing.  I have no idea what the backstory is for this, but as he announces Greg Valentine he spends 2 minutes insulting him.  This entire thing is just filthy with C-level wrestlers.

Both the Hammer and Hercules are looking a little long in the tooth.  Just a bit slower on the pace of this one.  The match comes to a surprising and unexpected end very quickly when the Hammer gets a pin by putting his feet on the ropes

Overall: Oh, there was more stuff with Ronnie Garvin.  I just don’t care

 


8. The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase vs. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka


Wow, Snuka must be like 60 at this point.  Let’s check.  Hmm, nope.  46.

Much like Hercules and the Hammer, Snuka is a couple beats off his game.

Case in point
    Case in point – he was supposed to jump over Dibiase

Still, pretty good for 46 I guess.  Through the whole match, Jesse refers to Snuka as alternately  “an animal”, “a neanderthal” and “a gorilla”.  Jesse’s racism is on fine display in this match.

The match is mostly lop-sided to Dibiase.   Snuka briefly gets the upper hand and goes for the Superfly off the top ropes.  Virgil distracts him, Dibiase hits him out of the ring and Snuka loses by count out.  All is not lost however because he still manages to hit Virgil with the big splash

Screencap provided because it's awesome
Screencap provided because it’s awesome

Overall: Snuka!

 


9.  Macho Man and Zeus vs. Hulk Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake


This match features Lanny Poffo (Macho Man’s brother) and Brutus Beefcake (Hogan’s very good friend) in a main event.  So this match is all nepotism.  Hogan, stop trying to push Beefcake on us.  He’s just not that good a wrestler and “The Barber” is not that great a shtick

"This is my favorite wrestler!" - Nobody, anywhere
“This is my favorite wrestler!” – Nobody, anywhere

Hogan comes out by himself to a huge, enormous, deafening pop.  Man, he was popular.  Miss Elizabeth also gets a chance to come out to her own ovation and the crowd has another chance to lose their minds.

So Zeus is in this one.  This is right after No Holds Barred then, the horrible Hogan action movie.  I can’t remember how long Zeus lasted in the WWE, but it wasn’t long.  The match starts off with Zeus in the ring and he no-sells every single move.  They are obviously setting him up to be this indestructible, unstoppable monster.

Savage gets in the ring and he quickly puts a sleeper hold on Hogan.  He tags in Zeus, who gets Hogan in a bear hug.  This is like 6 minutes of rest holds to start the match.  So, dull as shit.  But finally, the tag to Beefcake… who puts Macho in a sleeper hold.

Pictured: Unrelenting, slow-paced action
Pictured: Unrelenting, slow-paced action

Jesus.

Then Zeus comes in!!!! And… Brutus puts him in a goddamn sleeper hold.  Okay, I’m pretty much done reviewing this match.

Anyway, the match ends with Hogan vs. Zeus.  Hogan does his standard moves of punching and eventually hits Zeus with what seems to be a lead-filled purse.  The match ends!

And then Hogan physically assaults a woman.
And then Hogan physically assaults a woman.

Overall: A pretty dull match, but Macho is still fantastic.

 

Royal Rumble ’89


1. 6 Man Tag: Rougeau Brothers and Dino Bravo vs. Oh God Why Hacksaw Jim Duggan and the Hart Foundation


Jesus Christ.  I am so fucking sick of Hacksuck Shit Fuckhead.  When did he finally retire from the WWE? < checks Wikipedia >.  Ah shit, not until like ’93.  Okay, let’s just get through this

The match starts – as always – with Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura arguing about whether Dino Bravo legitimately benched 700 pounds or whether Jesse helped him.  I am kind of with Jesse on this one.  Maybe Dino got a leg up from Jesse on the bench, but it doesn’t change the fact that he easily benched 400 – 600 lbs by himself a couple times.  I mean, Jesus Gorilla, cut the guy some slack.

The match features some pretty good wrestling between the Hart Foundation and the Rougeaus.  Lots of quick exchanges and reversals, some great power moves.  The match is the best 2 out of 3, so they get the first pin out of the way pretty quickly.  It’s the old Fabulous Crotch Sniff right into the face of the Hitman for the pin.

Whiff my poutine-scented balls, Hitman
Whiff my poutine-scented balls, Hitman

Fall two has the crotch-inhaled Hitman starting in the ring, so he’s pretty tired and gets beaten up for awhile.  I have to hand it to the Rougeaus.  I don’t really find them all that interesting, but they’re pretty decent wrestlers and they keep the match going at a good pace.  To keep the Hitman’s spirits up, Hacksaw starts a “USA” chant.  Jesse remarks (correctly) “I don’t understand it, why are they chanting USA when the Hitman comes from Calgary, Canada”.

Anyway, eventually Hart makes the tag to Hacksuck and Hacksuck is just fucking terrible.  Just non stop punches and “hos”.  Some moves occur and they get the pin and it’s tied at one fall apiece.  On to the third fall.

Hacksuck starts this one off and Dino Bravo gets the upper hand.  As is eternally the case when Hacksuck is being beaten, my erection could hammer the face off a sparrow.  The Rougeaus get into the action with some more weird, odd crotch stuff.   I think they have a fetish

I cannot think of one possible reason this gif would require any context
I cannot think of one possible reason this gif would require any context

Hacksuck gets a chance to nail Dino Bravo with the 2×4 and he takes it.  Hitman gets the pin and this match is over

Overall: You know, Neidhart was barely in this match.  I wonder if he was injured?

 


2. Super Pose Down: Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior


This is exactly what it sounds like.  A pose down (a super one, no less) between Ultimate Warrior and Rick Rude.  Was this really the best way to use two of your top stars?

Wrestling!
                                        Wrestling!

3. Woman’s Championship Match: Rockin Robin vs.  Judy Martin


Holy shit!  It’s Rockin’ Robin!  I just looked her up on Wikipedia, she’s Sam Houston’s Sister.

Hey everyone, I was actually in this Wrestlemania!
This fucking guy

HA HAHA HAHA HAAH AAHHA HA HA HA HA HA.

Oh man.  They are just burning up the WWE.  HA!

Overall: I don’t typically watch women’s matches.   This one was no exception.

 


4. King Haku vs. Harley Race


Wow.  I could not be less interested in a match than this one.  Let’s just get this over with.  This has to be a quick match, Harley Race was 46 at this point.

Not much to say about this match, except when Haku performs a suplex on Race and Jesse remarks “That was a textbook Suplex”.  I was going to make a joke about that – after all, who would be so crazy as to write an entire fucking book about one move and… oh, never mind.  Carry on with your fancy pants, liberal, book-learning suplexes.

This match is ponderous and slow.  Harley Race moves exactly as quickly as a 46 year old man, and Haku is not that talented.  Haku wins with a textbook reverse thrust kick and gets the win

Overall: This wasn’t a retirement match, so I may have to see either of these idiots in future PPV’s.  So 0 / 10

 


 5. The Royal Rumble!


The first 10 minutes: 1. Axe / 2. Smash / 3. Andre The Giant / 4. Mr Perfect / 5. Rugged Ronnie Garvin / 6. Greg Valentine

This starts off with both Axe and Smash in the ring and they actually start fighting!  What a great little bit this was by the WWE.  They didn’t even pull any of their punches and while neither had the upper hand it was fun to see the tag champs not mailing it and putting on a show for fans.  Andre comes in next which is a great choice to not be overwhelmed by Demolition.  Mr Perfect gets added to the mix doing what he does best and slowly walks to the ring and Andre uses the confusion to surprisingly eliminate Smash.

In comes Rugged Ronnie Garvin!

a853be09-0f0d-4a34-8c72-13d0dc68c3dc

Next up is Greg Valentine who, unlike Mr. Perfect, puts a little jog into his ring approach.  They all gang up on the Giant as expected and so far this is pretty dull – just a bunch of guys trying to get the Giant out any way they can.  Garvin is eliminated abruptly by Andre via a hip toss.

Minutes 10 – 20:  7. Jake the Snake / 8. Ron Bass / 9. Shawn Michaels / 10. One of the Fucking Bushwhackers (Butch maybe?)/ 11. Honky Tonk Man

Jake comes out and goes right after Andre.  Way to pick a fight with the biggest guy in the WWE you dummy.  (Apparently Jake Roberts Snake Damian attacked Andre or something during one of the Saturday Night Main Events) Andre diverts all his energy and squashing Roberts puts him out just as Ron Bass is coming in – and the crowd goes silent.  The action grinds to a halt with a bunch of rest moves.  Mr. Perfect eliminates Axe and nearly eliminates Shawn Michaels.

Ah Jesus.  It’s the Bushwhackers.  It’s like two Hacksaw Jim Duggans.  Just 2 stupid morons who can’t wrestle but man do they pump up the crowd.

Jake grabs Damien and Andre bails over the top rope.  Good way and probably the only way to get rid of him.  Honky is in the ring next and nothing exciting happens as nothing ever exciting happens when the Honky Tonk Man is involved

Minutes 20 – 30:  12. Tito Santana / 13. Bad News Brown / 14. Marty Jannetty / 15. Macho Man / 16. Arn Anderson

In comes Tito and he goes right after Mr. Perfect for a nice pop.  More wrestling happens until Bad News comes out.  Honky gets tossed by One of the Fucking Bushwhackers.  Marty Jannetty is next and him and Shawn Michaels team up on Ron Bass to eliminate him.  Tito hits Valentine with a beautiful flying forearm and yes, I will continue to screen cap every single instance of a Tito Santana Flying Forearm because it is a thing of beauty and sooo much better than the Superman punch of Roman Reigns.

Drink it in. It always goes down smooth
Drink it in, it always goes down smooth

Macho is out next, the crowd loses their minds and he attacks Bad News Brown.  I don’t know why they’re feuding.  Arn Anderson comes in and at the same time, Macho eliminates Valentine.  Next up, Macho and Arn Anderson (which is an odd combination) eliminate Shawn Michaels.

Minutes 30 – 40:  17.  Tully Blanchard / 18. Hulk Hogan / 19. The Other Goddamn Bushwhacker

As Tully Blanchard is running in, One of the Fucking Bushwhackers runs around the ring like an idiot for 20 seconds

We trimmed about 7 extra bushwhacking seconds off this clip
I trimmed about 7 extra bushwhacking seconds off this clip

Marty Jannetty gets eliminated just as Hogan runs in.   Hogan gives a quick elimination to Mr. Perfect and somewhere off camera, Tito Santa is eliminated.  Next comes the Other Goddamn Bushwhacker just in time as One of the Fucking Bushwhackers gets eliminated.

Hogan and Macho Man do some nice Mega Power team work to beat down Bad News Brown until everyone else in the ring notices and decides they want to all gain up on the Mega Powers.

Minutes 40 – end:  20.  Koko B. Ware / 21. Warlord / 22. The Big Boss Man / 23. Akeem / 24. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

Koko B. Ware makes his way into the ring and immediately throws a bunch of drop kicks.  While this is going on Hogan comes over, does a quick eye rake – immediately blinding Koko and then eliminates him.  Hogan isn’t finished yet and eliminates the other bushwacker.  He’s on fire and and eliminates Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson as the Warlord makes his way into the ring.  Hogan Clotheslines him right back out and we have ourselves another elimination.  Man that was great.  But the next big surprise is Hogan eliminating Savage and Bad News Brown who were battling it out in the corner – resulting in the beginning of the end for the Mega Powers.

Pictured: A calm, even headed discussion between two rational men
Pictured: A calm, even headed discussion between two rational men

Bossman shows up having just downed what seems like an extra 30 pounds of pies before the rumble and him and Hogan start going at it.  Hogan manages to slam him before Bossman recovers, drops a piledriver and a slam of his own.  Wow did Boss man really just try and spit at Hogan – I really need to read up on this feud.

So the next part of this rumble really is just focusing on Hogan getting beat down by Bossman and Akeem who actually defy the odds and eliminate Hogan.  Now we can finally focus on everything else going on in the ring.  Hogan takes issue with this and gets back on the apron and manages to pull Bossman over the top rope eliminating him as well.  They take it back to the showers to finish each other off (as Superstar Billy Graham likes to say).

Minutes 50-60:  25. Red Rooster / 26. Barbarian / 27. Big John Studd / 28. Hercules / 29. Rick Martel / 30. Ted Dibiase

So the focus now is apparently to get Akeem out and that’s a solid strategy.  The Red Rooster, Beefcake and the Barbarian and finally Big John Studd all take their turns and we are almost through all the entrants.  The action splits off a bit with Beefcake going at it with the Barbarian and Rooster taking on Big John.  Hercules joins in on the action and doesn’t do much as does Rick Martel until finally Ted Dibiase (who apparently rigged the draw) comes in as the last entrant.  Hercules immediately goes after him like a fat kid and sonic burgers and beats him up with series of clotheslines.  While this is all going on the Red Rooster is eliminated and I have no idea how he managed to stay in the Rumble (let alone the WWF) for this long.

Something, something brand synergy?
Something, something brand synergy?

Brutus stupidly puts a sleeper hold on Hercules and Barbarian dumps them both over the side.   He then goes after Martel who manages to fight him off and drop kick him over the top.  We’re down to the final four – Martel, Akeem, Studd and Dibiase.

Akeem gets rid of Martel pretty quickly and then him and Akeem go to work on Studd.  It’s a pretty great sequence to end the match, Studd ends up getting a surprise elimination on Akeem and then plays with Dibiase for awhile.  He gets on a few great power moves and throws out Dibiase like old trash.  Studd wins the Royal Rumble, presumably as a thank you for a great career.

Hooray!
                             Hooray!

That’s another one in the bag folks!

Survivor Series ’88


Survivor Match #1: Ultimate Warrior, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Sam Houston, The Blue Blazer, Jim Brunzell vs. Honky Tonk Man, Danny Davis, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, “Outlaw” Ron Bass, Bad News Brown


Immediately, I’m surprised at one thing in this match, namely that Sam Houston is still around.  How was he in this many Pay Per Views?  Did he work for nickles?  This whole grouping is pretty strange; lets see what he can do with it.

The match kicks off with Valentine against Beefcake.  This is fantastic!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen them wrestle before.  Sadly, neither of them are really that dynamic and they just exchange some blows before tagging out.  Danny Davis comes in, another guy I’m stunned got in this many PPVs.   His kicks land with all the gentle force of a history major complaining about the job market.  He is eliminated in no time flat.   Like in literal seconds by the worst sleeper of all time.

Blue Blazer kicks off the next round, which is kind of melancholy.  Owen Hart was awesome.   Another series of tags and Gorilla gets the chance to refer to Jim Brunzell as a youngster.  Brunzell was 40 when this PPV occurred.

I guess young is relative
I guess young is relative

Bad News Brown jumps into the action and hits just about the sloppiest Ghetto Blaster in history.  I hate that move.  Sam Houston runs in and Bad News just beats the ever-loving piss out of him for a couple of minutes, to the point where I feel a little bad.  Valentine accidentally nails Bad News Brown after a tag, so Bad News says “screw this” and quits.  Ron Bass takes over the vicious, never ending beating of Sam Houston.

The only other notable matchup in this one is the Blue Blazer – he has a fantastic, high energy run against Valentine before submitting.  The whole thing ends with Warrior going insane against Outlaw and Valentine for the win.

Overall: Except for the Blue Blazer, an uneven start to the event


Survivor Match #2: Demolition, Los Conquistadores, The Brain Busters, The Rougeau Brothers, The Bolsheviks vs. Powers of Pain, The Rockers, The British Bulldogs, The Hart Foundation, The Cock-Hungry Young Stallions


Davey Boy Smith starts off the event doing what he does best – Body Press Slams – this time taking one of the Rougeaus and throwing him into the other.  He’s pretty tired from that so quickly tags out to the Heart Break Kid, before he was the Heart Break Kid, Shawn Michaels.  He quickly displays some nice athleticism and performs a quick flip off the top turnbuckle in the corner before tagging out to Marty Jannetty.

Marty Jannetty doesn’t really get the praise he truly deserves.  This guy was talented and controlled matches really well.  In fact at this part of their careers, I would actually prefer to watch him more than Shawn Michaels.  He’s quick and explosive like Southern BBQ Chili and at one point does this crazy horizontal spin move that doesn’t even have a name yet – like a sideways corkscrew Gorilla even calls out that he’s literally never seen that move before

What the flipping fuck was that????
What the flipping fuck was that????

Jannetty does get a large amount of ring time in this one whether that was intentional or not but takes his lumps and keeps on going.  The action overall in this one is great, quick tags – no submissions hold (at least not early on) and a bunch of classic suplexs, body slams, elbows you name it.

After what seems like forever, Bret Hart is finally tagged in.  I’m not quite sure what they were saving him for – maybe they just didn’t want to win?  Anyways, Bret comes in and goes to work beating up Jacques Rougeau who tags out to his brother Ramone.  Bret wastes no time, goes for a quick rollup and finally we have the first elimination.

Some surprises in the match include the beating that Michaels endured at the hands of Volkoff and Zukoff.  Actually what kind of impressed me was Volkoff doing a Body Press Slam of Michaels (didn’t think he could pull that off).

Okay, there is a ton of filler in this match, with not a whole lot of excitement from the wrestlers.  Let’s skip ahead.

 

Bret Hart finally gets back in there and gets to the cusp of eliminating Tony Blanchard (who???) with a nice back suplex bridge pin but Tony get’s his shoulder up at the last second so Bret Hart basically pins himself and really that was the only way he would ever get eliminated in this match.

Eagle eyed readers will remember this exact same move from WM IV
Eagle eyed readers will remember this exact same move from WM IV with Warrior and Hercules

The Rockers manage to get themselves DQ’d with the Brain Busters (Art Anderson and Tony Blanchard) when after executing an awesome double sweet chin music, the fatal 4 way that ensues is enough for the ref to toss both teams.  So down to 4 teams now and Davey Boy Smith does another crazy/strange move by jumping on the back of Smash and putting on a move known as a crucifix – simulating how a wrestler sometimes gets tied up on the top rope – anyways it’s weird and makes me uncomfortable.

Somehow after 35 minutes of this match still going on, Davey Boy Smith still has enough strength to pull off another Body Press Slam of the conquistadors (no idea which is which).  Alright this is taking way too long to review so let’s wrap this one up.  Dynamite kid gets pinned after missing a headbutt from the top rope and Mr. Fuji turns on his own team when he pulls the rope down as Smash is running towards it leading to him falling to the outside.  Mr. Fuji then hits Axe a few times with his cane for dramatic effect and essentially tells them see ya all while Demolition is getting counted out.

With them eliminated, he switches over to manage the Powers of Pain in a weird and wonderful twist of events and helps them win by tripping up one of the Conquistadors as he’s running off the ropes leading to an easy pin.

Overall: Long and fairly boring


Survivor Match #3: Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Ken Patera, “El Matador” Tito Santana, Scott Casey vs. Andre The Giant, Dino Bravo, “The King” Harley Race, Mr. Perfect, Ravishing Rick Rude


Tito Santana is announced as El Matador, which is essentially like taking a Canadian and calling him “The Hockey Player”.

Or the Mountie, I guess
Or the Mountie, I guess

I’m pretty pumped that Mr. Perfect has finally made an appearance in these PPV’s, but I’m confused when they announce Scott Casey, because who the frig is Scott Casey?

This guy
                                             This guy

Interestingly, he was a last minute fill for an injured B. Brian Blair.  This was his only PPV.  I’m going to bet he does spectacular and isn’t immediately eliminated.   Let’s see what happens – on to the match.

It’s great to see Tito and Perfect square off.  Tito is no longer part of Strike Force, but he still is wrestling with a miniature red “Strike Force” logo on his tights.  Awww… Tito can’t get over the breakup.  That’s touching.

Next group has Harley Race comes out to fight Casey whoever.  Jesus.  We need something to happen, this is pretty dull so far.  Aw fuck, they tagged in Hacksuck.  Well he’s brutal.  Tito hits Rude with the flying forearm and Rude kicks out.   That’s never a good sign for a wrestlers career when their finisher becomes a mere power move.

We’re like 10 minutes in with no pin so far.  Rude and Patera go at it for a bit and Rude hits a rude awakening out of nowhere.  I just realized the Rude Awakening was essentially the precursor to the RKO.

I can't tell the difference between Ken Patera and the Greatest American Hero. Maybe that's the point
I also just realized that Ken Patera looks like the                           Greatest American Hero.

Hacksuck comes out again and is terrible again.  Life starts to look up as he starts to get beaten on and my erection could break concrete.  Tito tags in and brings the quality of the match up like 10 notches.  He starts wrestling through Dino Bravo and Harley Race.  Tito hits him with the greatest move of all time, the flying forearm and gets the pin.

Interesting that I love this move, but hate the superman punch
Interesting that I love this move, but hate the superman punch

Next up is Andre / Tito.  This is a great pairing that I can’t ever recall seeing before.  Andre and Tito square off with expected results

Andre, showing off the technical, in-ring elegance he's known for
Andre, showing off the technical, in-ring elegance he’s known for

Not surprisingly, Andre gets the pin pretty quickly and now it’s 4 on 2.  There’s some quick excitement when Jake and Hacksuck get Andre off his feet, but the match quickly moves to the endless beating of Jake

Hacksuck eventually gets in, the crowd erupts, but this has to be close to the end of the match.  Hacksuck doesn’t have the talent or stamina for long matches.  And, yep.  He grabs the 2 by 4 and gets disqualified.  So now it’s just Jake against 4 guys.

This really starts to drag now.  It’s Jake just wrestling extremely cautious as Dino, Perfect and Rude tag in and out.  Eventually Rude gets the upper hand and it looks like curtains for Jake.  As Rude is sex-dancing over his fallen body (which is an odd sentence to type), Jake pulls his pants down (sure) and slaps on the DDT and gets the pin.

Next out comes Andre who proceeds to choke Jake to unconsciousness.  He doesn’t break for the five count, so he gets disqualified.   Mr. Perfect immediately gets the pin.  Why even have Andre get disqualified then?  Why not just have him win?

Overall: Weird finish, but not a bad match


Survivor Match #4: Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Koko B. Ware, Hercules, Hillbilly Jim vs. Big Boss Man, Akeem, Ted Dibiase, King Haku, The Red Rooster


Alright with that out of the way, the final Match of the PPV seems a little one sided with Hogan and Savage vs basically everyone else that is just filler.

Macho Man starts the match off against Dibiase in what feels like a bit of a rematch of their final tournament match a few PPVs ago.  I never really did like these two squaring off as I feel like they never really get into a good flow.  There is one move where both guys do an Irish Whip reversal on each other and it’s just plain sloppy which helps to solidify my point.  Thankfully after a nice clothesline from Macho Man he heads over to the corner to tag in Hercules who apparently had some really bad beef with Dibiase at this time.  Unfortunately the build up to this isn’t realized yet as Dibiase quickly gets out of there and tags in the Red Rooster.  Who came up with that stupid name?

They didn't want to infringe on the Gay, Flying Chicken
Maybe they didn’t want to infringe on the Yellow, Flying Chicken?

Speaking of the Red Rooster, much like the Red Shirt guys in Star Trek he’s the first one marked for elimination and I must say I actually enjoyed it.   Koko B Ware was working over Red Rooster when he tags in Hogan who body slams him, then tags out to Macho Man who goes up to the top rope and lands a flying elbow smash – easy pin and he’s outta there.  The entire team Mega Powers gets into the ring and starts celebrating like it’s over while the other guys try and regroup.

King Haku who obviously beat the crap outta Harley Race and stole his crown faces off against Hogan and to his credit holds his own in there by knocking Hogan down with a nice dropkick.  They go back and forth a bit without much really happening.  Eventually Akeen gets in and quite easily eliminates Hillbilly Jim and no one really cares.  Koko B Ware jumps in and between him, Hogan, Macho Man and Hercules everyone gets a turn beating down Akeen.  Akeen finally gets outta there and tags in Big Boss Man who does his own version of a Rock Bottom on Koko B Ware which leads to his (and his WWF tights) elimination.

The next part of the match I probably enjoyed more than I should as Hogan took on Boss Man and managed to pull off an Atomic Drop and Body Slam – something you didn’t see too often on Boss Man.  Boss Man does recover from both and catches Hogan running towards him and does this modified Power Slam to Hogan. (Essentially he just caught him, flipped him and sat down).  Hogan gets beat on a bit and at one point Boss Man has him leaning on the second rope.  He goes to the other rope and holy shit we’re gonna see a 619 from the Big Boss Man… this is AWESOME!

Rey Mysterio who?
Rey Mysterio who?

So Boss Man actually chickened out at the last minute and just jumped on his back – wasted opportunity if you tell me.  No elimination here so we move forward to Hercules finally getting another shot at Dibiase.  Hercules as expected controls most of this matchup getting his much needed ‘revenge’ on Dibiase for being his slave or something and apparently according to Monsoon he is having a lot of fun.  Naturally Virgil gets involved and trips up Hercules when he’s bouncing off the ropes and as Hercules turns to put his hands on him, Dibiase comes from behind, rolls him up and gets the elimination.

Hercules leaves the ring but goes right after Virgil and everyone on Team Dibiase is now just watching this in awe, Dibiase still in the ring looking over at Virgil getting beat down by Hercules when Macho Man slips in and rolls him up the very same way that Dibiase rolled up Hercules and Dibiase is eliminated.

Down to the Mega Powers and Big Boss Man, Akeen and King Haku.  Haku gets in the ring against Hogan and puts on a modified version of the Vulcan death grip to essentially put Hogan down on the mat.  Now as past reviews have told you – YOU NEVER PUT HOGAN IN A CHOKE HOLD.  Hogan starts to hulk up a bit but not enough to actually run wild on him, but enough to get out of the hold.  Boss Man comes in and goes to work on Hogan, manages to get him down on the mat and goes up to the top rope again.  I seriously do not know why he keeps trying this move, I have never seen it executed correctly once.  Of course he misses and Hogan tags in Savage.

This is where the match gets really entertaining, for some reason the Slickster goes over and grabs Elizabeth to essentially take her against her will and Hogan goes to her defense.  Big Boss Man comes out to take on Hogan with Haku and they manage to handcuff him to the bottom rope and then proceed to beat him down with a night stick – the whole time he is doing this he is being counted and that results in a count out for Big Boss Man and he’s eliminated.  Akeen is in the ring now with Macho Man and Big Boss Man, comes back in and beats Macho Man with the night stick resulting in a DQ on Akeen.  So we are down to just King Haku vs the Mega Powers.

Still with me?  Haku and Savage are going at it and the Slickster manages to get involved again holding Savage against the ropes.  Haku comes in with a big kick and Savage moves out of the way and clocks the Slickster.  Heenan comes to the aid of Slickster and Hogan manages to knock him down with a big boot.  Elizabeth seeing both guys out cold proceeds to fumble through the pockets of the Slickster and find those handcuff keys.  She unlocks Hogan and puts the handcuffs in her purse for use later in the post celebration activities.

Savage, exhausted now tags in a fresh(er) Hogan who just lays out Haku quite easily.  Off the ropes, does his big leg drop and ladies and gentlemen this one is over as Hogan eliminates Haku for the overall win.

Overall: I really enjoyed this one

Wrestlemania IV


Before I start the review for this one, just a quick note about the format.  They are doing some kind of elimination tournament for the WWE Heavyweight Belt.  I think this has something to do with Hogan dropping the belt under suspicious circumstances to Andre?  I don’t quite remember.  I think it happened during a King of the Ring.

Either way, this is like a 16 man mini survivor bracket where if you win your match you go on to the next round.

 


1.  Battle Royal Invitational


Right off the top, I’m pretty excited for Wrestlemania IV because I’m pretty sure there is no Junkyard Dog or Hacksaw Jim Duggan at all.  But wait!  Who is that in the background of this Battle Royal Invitational?

Ah shit
Ah, shit

Briefly, here’s the rundown of who is in this one: Hart Foundation, The Cock Hungry Young Stallions, Seka, Dangerous Danny Davis, The Killer Bees, Bad News Brown, Sam Houston (!), The Rougeaus, Ken Patera, Outlaw Ron Bass, Junkyard Dog, The Bolsheviks, Hillbilly Jim, King Harley Race and George Steele.

So to summarize, they have taken all of my least favorite wrestlers and thrown them in the ring with the Hart Foundation.

Even Bret Hart can't believe this shit
Even Bret Hart can’t believe this shit

Bob Euker is guest commentating with Jesse and Gorilla.  The match is so dull that they spend 2 minutes talking about Vanna White.  The eliminations happen really quickly over about 7 minutes to get to the final three – Bret Hart, JYD and Bad News Brown.  Oh shit, I think JYD might win this.  Probably as sort of a “thanks for a career, here’s your stupid WM win” kind of thing.  Sort of like Scorsese and the Departed.

Wait!  JYD is eliminated!  This is great!  He didn’t get jack shit.  Sort of like Scorsese and Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas!  The match ends when Bad News Brown throws out Hitman pretty easily.  As Brown is grabbing his trophy, Hitman drop kicks him out of the ring and I think Bret Hart is a good guy now.

Overall: Ultimately, Scorsese was robbed a bunch of times.

 


2. Round 1 Elimination Match: Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase


Well this should be something.  I don’t love Dibiase that much, but he’s at least a very talented, technical wrestler.  Hacksuck Shit Fuckhead is barely one step above a 10 year old wrestling his stuffed animals.  The match starts with some shitty moves because Hacksuck is shitty.  Dibiase keeps trying to wrestle and Hacksuck just keeps punching him in the face.  Which I guess is a pretty good strategy.

Eventually, Dibiase gets the upper hand and I – as always, when Hacksuck is being assaulted – am fully, rigidly erect.  I violently masturbate as the beating continues.

Andre ends up interfering and Dibiase gets the pin.  I ruin my pants.

Overall: Literally the best match I’ve ever seen because Hacksuck lost.  100/100

 


3. Round 1 Elimination Match: Dino Bravo vs. The (other) Rock Don Moraco


Did I just hate every wrestler in the WWE stable in 1988?  I can’t imagine enjoying this match.  Honestly, I don’t remember any of this.  I’m not even sure I’ve actually watched WM IV before.

Right off the top, this is a really clumsy match.  Moraco might be a terrible wrestler.  They’re both about a second off of their moves.

He drops like he's a soccer player
He drops like he’s a soccer player

Neither of them move very well and the action goes back and forth until they hit the sweet, sweet double clothesline.  I can never stay mad at any match that features that move.  Eventually Moraco accidentally hits the ref who for some reason disqualifies ….Dino Bravo?  It makes no sense.  That’s like a bunch of Saudi Arabians attacking your country so you launch a decade-long war on Iraq.

Too soon?
Too soon?

Overall: That ref was the Decider.  10 points for the double clothsline

 


4. Round 1 Elimination Match: Ricky Steamboat vs. Greg Valentine


Finally!  Wrestlers I like.  I will actually pay attention to this one and try not to make jokes.  The action starts off pretty standard for Steamboat.  Deep arm drag takedowns, that move where he goes over the top rope and then pulls himself up.  All pretty standard until he tries to get a pin on Valentine and… completely misses the move.

What the fuck, Wrestlemania IV.  Is there something about Trump Plaza that is throwing off the timing of your moves?

In all fairness, this picture legally counts as an abortion in 19 states.
In all fairness, this picture legally counts as an abortion in 19 states.

Steamboat is a little off his normally perfect game.  Valentine basically punches him a bunch of times and then goes for the figure four.  Steamboat kicks him away and then they chop each other for awhile.   Both Valentine and Steamboat land moves off the top rope, but neither can get the pin.

Eventually Steamboat goes for the High Cross Body off the top rope and he over rotates and ends up underneath Valentine.  I feel like Steamboat loses 90% of his matches this way.

This ends with a long, 10 second shot of Donald Trumps horrific, horrible face in the crowd.

Thanks to this picture, I can no longer distinguish right from wrong
Even in 1988 his hair looked like he had a ferret on his head

Overall: Donald Trump should classify his face as a bio-hazard

 


5. Round 1 Elimination Match: Macho Man Randy Savage vs. The Natural Butch Reed


This one starts off with Elizabeth being the hottest thing of all time.  I have no greater context for that statement, just… she’s super.

<3
Love

For anyone keeping track, here is how Butch Reed is doing so far in the PPV’s since he showed up.

1. Eliminated really quickly in the ’88 Royal Rumble

2. Eliminated by Hogan very quickly in the first Survivor Series

3. Beats Koko B Ware in WM III which is as impressive as beating Koko B Ware in WM III.

So far a pretty underwhelming start for Butch Reed, especially for a guy who was rumored to be on his way to winning the intercontinental belt.  According to Wikipedia: Reed no-showed a set of TV tapings where he was booked to win the title, resulting in the championship instead being put on The Honky Tonk Man. However, in a shoot interview, Reed has said this is untrue. In fact, when the Honky Tonk Man won the title from Steamboat in June 1987, Reed was shown celebrating with Honky and other heel wrestlers in the locker room although, in fairness, that was a taped segment

Anyway, Butch Reed beats up Macho for awhile before Macho slams him off the top rope and nails him with the flying elbow.  A pretty quick, easy match.  Butch is not on a roll

Overall: Would Butch Reed have had more or less success if he was “The Unnatural Butch Reed”?  Discuss.


 6. Round 1 Elimination Match: Bam Bam Bigalow Vs. One Man Gang


Thanks to Survivor Series ’87 and Bam Bam’s great performance, I’m really excited to see this match.  I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

< five minutes later >

What the hell was that miserable piece of shit?  Honestly, what on earth was that garbage supposed to be?  I’m so disgusted that I’m not even going to review the match

Shitty wrestling, cartwheels outta nowhere... it's that kind of Wrestlemania
Shitty wrestling, cartwheels outta nowhere… it’s that kind of Wrestlemania

Overall: Leave me.  I’m upset

 


6.5  Hogan Promo


There’s a break in the action for an entertaining promo with Hogan.  While being interviewed backstage he effectively tells everyone that Andre is so big that when he falls it will crack the fault line of the East Coast and everyone will fall in and probably die a horrible death.  For those that are lucky enough, the Hulkster will take you on his back and dog paddle you to safety

Say your prayers, do your coke.... er, eat your vitamins
Say your prayers, do your coke…. er, eat your vitamins

I guess you had to see it.


7. Round 1 Elimination Match: Ravishing Rick Rude vs. Jake The Snake Roberts


Okay, so this should be a good one, right?  Jake Roberts and Rick Rude look like a before / after fitness program picture.

You too can see fabulous results!
You too can see fabulous results!

The match starts off with an exchange of body slams before moving into what feels like 19 minutes of arm bars by Jake Roberts.  Eventually Rick Rude goes on the offense and the match heats up a little…. until he goes for the 6 minute headlock and the pace comes right back to a screaming halt.

Well this whole thing is as dull as dishwater.  My new prediction is they’re going to get to the 15 minute time limit and both get eliminated.  And they are going to make us feel every second of the entire tedious, dull 15 minutes.

The crowd starts to agree with me and the chant of “boring” starts up.  For those counting, we’ve had about 2 minutes of arm bars, 7 minutes of headlocks and about 2 minutes of actual wrestling.  Jake eventually goes on the offensive, pulls of his short clothsline, goes for the DDT but can’t nail it.

And yep, they hit the 15 minute mark and both get eliminated.

Overall: I didn’t think it was possible, but this might be worse than Wrestlemania II

 


8. Ultimate Warrior vs. Hercules Hernandez


Before this match even starts, I’m going to predict that Hercules is beaten quickly put the Warrior over

The Warrior not being one of the 12 labors
The Warrior not being one of the 12 labors

And…. I was wrong.  It’s an actual match, albeit a fairly crappy one.  It ends when Warrior falls on top of Hercules and both of them are kind of in the pin position and the ref does the three count.  Herc thinks he’s one, but it turns out he’s pinned himself by accident and the winner is Warrior.

“Sure, why not” – drunken head writers for the WWE

Overall:  For anyone counting (me I guess), that’s now 4 matches in this event where the ending has been a variation on “Oh guy thinks he won it but OH NO HE DIDN’T HA HA”

 


9. Round 2 Elimination Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant


Here we go, Wrestlemania III all over again.  We’re up to the third PPV that has milked this feud, that’s some impressive traction.

Andre attacks Hogan immediately, which is a great strategy.  You know what else is a great strategy against Hogan?  Don’t put him in a choke hold.  How do his opponents not know this?  If you’re managed by Bobby The Brain Heenan, you’ve got to know this, right?  How would the planning for a match against Hogan work?

Andre: So my plan is to use my giant fists and punch Hogan a lot, like punch him tons, right in his dumb face.

Brain: Good, good.  That’s all good.  What else?

Andre: Okay, well then I’m going to headbutt him and maybe even step on him.

Brain: That’s great stuff.  How are you going to put him away?

Andre: I’m going to slap on a choke hold and then when he –

Brain: Okay, stop.  I’m going to stop you right there.

Andre: Huh?

Brain: Listen to me.  Don’t slap a choke hold on Hogan.

Andre: Like do it after more punching?

Brain: No.

Andre: … then I should do it sooner?

Brain: No, you’re not getting this.  Do not, under any circumstances, put a choke hold on Hogan.

Andre: Why.. why not?

Brain: He’ll Hulk out.  He always Hulks out.  The choke hold makes him hulk right the fuck out.  Don’t do it.  It’s right there in his name.  Hulk Hogan.

Andre: But

Brain: Stop.  No chokes.

 Goddamnit Andre
< sigh > Goddammit Andre

Anyway, Hulk powers out of this choke hold and hulks right the fuck out.  Some things happen and Hogan and Andre end up beating each other with a chair, which seems like a pretty reasonable end.

They’re both disqualified and Hogan re-slams Andre for good measure.

Overall: Is this even a legitimate Wrestlemania?  This is terrible so far

 


10. Round 3 Elimination Match: The (Other) Rock Don Moraco vs. Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase


Okay, this one starts off with some pretty good energy with Moraco throwing out some good power moves.  They go back and forth for a bit and Diabiase wins clean.  It’s a very fast match.  I don’t have many jokes, so here is a funny strip from Dinosaur Comics

www.quanz.com
http://www.quanz.com

Overall: I would chew an entire cup filled with glass for just one semi-decent match

 


 11. Round 3 Elimination Match: Randy Macho Man Savage vs. Greg The Hammer Valentine


So before this starts, just an FYI that One Man Gang got a pass through because Hogan and Andre eliminated each other.  On with the show.  Macho comes out to a huge pop.  He was easily as popular as Hogan at this point.

I completely don’t remember this WM, as I’ve mentioned a few times, but here’s my prediction.  Macho is going to win this match, but Valentine will slap on the figure four at some point so Macho has a bad knee for the last match.  He’ll face off against Dibiase in the final round to win the title.  Let’s see what happens

Valentine gets the upper hand pretty quickly and beats up Macho for a bit.  Macho tries to show some offense but it doesn’t really take.  The beating continues and Valentine goes for the figure four.  Ha, I told you that was going to happen and –

Not so goddamn fast
Wait a second.  Not so goddamn fast

“not so goddamn fast” says Macho via the caption above.  He nails the small package for the three count.  Macho moves onto the next round with no knee problems

Overall:  Pretty decent match, if one sided

 


12. Intercontinental Match: Honky Tonk Man vs. Brutus The Barber Beefcake


Honky Tonk comes down to the ring with “Peggy Sue” who I’m pretty sure is Sherri Martel.  And credit where credit is due, she’s not a bad dancer.  Beefcake comes out to no music and a mediocre response.

Beefcake leaves everyone feeling uneasy
Beefcake leaves everyone feeling uneasy

The match starts off with a lot of posturing from Beefcake and playing up for the crowd.  The crowd barely, barely cares because Beefcake has all the in-ring charisma of Sam Houston

Hey everyone, I was actually in this Wrestlemania!
Hey everyone, I was actually in this Wrestlemania in the Royal Rumble!

Here’s something more interesting than this match. I just learned that Sam Houston is Jake Roberts’ younger brother.  Another interesting fact – Scary Sherri was trained by Donna Christanello (remember her from the ’87 Survivor Series?).

Anyway, this match – and time – continue to progress.  Eventually Brutus gets Honky in the sleeper but Jimmy Hart clocks the ref with the megaphone to get the disqualification

Overall: I feel like I’ve been watching this dumb event for 3 lifetimes

 


13. The Islanders with Bobby Heenan vs. The British Bulldogs with Koko B Ware


Oh my god.  Oh my god.  How fucking long is this stupid Wrestlemania.  Why are we having a tag match?  Please just let this end.  I can’t keep doing this.

The match is a pretty decent affair as the Bulldogs always keep the energy high.  For some reason the DVD I’m watching is blurring out the back of Koko’s tights so I focus all my energy in trying to figure out what’s written on them.

Maybe it says
Maybe it says “WCW”?

Sadly, I am never able to figure out the mystery.  Eventually Heenan pins Koko (honestly, doesn’t matter how) and the Islanders take the win

Overall:  The match ended which makes is a 10 in my book

 


14. Round 3 Elimination Match: Macho Man Randy Savage vs. One Man Gang


Alright, so Savage comes out for the third time tonight to take on the One Man Gang.  After this one, the winner is going to take on Dibiase.

It’s no exaggeration to say Macho Man is single-handedly carrying this Wrestlemania by himself. Aside from the odd one off match, this whole event has been a real Wrestlemania II.

One Man Gang mostly dominates this match, punctuated by small periods of offense from Macho Man.  The pace is interrupted when Slick threatens to slap Miss Elizabeth because late 80’s wrestling was just a different time.

The match ends with One Man Gang beating Macho Man with a cane, so Macho gets the win by disqualification

Overall:  Fine

 


15. Tag Team Title Match: Strike Force Vs. Demolition


To give Macho Man time to rest, they stick a Tag Match in.  Demolition comes into the ring, but not to their classic entrance theme: “Here comes the Ax, here comes the Smasher, the Demolition, walking disaster”.  Just some generic crud.

Interestingly, Demolition is getting some cheers throughout this match.  Jesse and Gorilla get in a fairly heated argument about a double team from Strike Force with Jesse eventually commenting that the night has been too long to keep arguing.

Such a long, long night
Such a long, long night

The match goes back and forth, with Smash eventually using Mr. Fuji’s cane on Rick Martel.  Ax gets the pin and we have new Tag Team Champions.  The win gets a fairly huge cheer from the crowd, but it could also be Stockholm Syndrome kicking in

Overall: One more.  I can do this

 


 16. Fucking finally the last fucking match.  Macho Man vs. Dibiase


I don’t give a shit.  Hogan interferes, Macho Wins the belt.  Fine.

Audience: Yaay we can go home!
Audience: Yaay we can go home!

Overall: I’m going to bed.  This was the worst Wrestlemania ever

Survivor Series 1987


Survivor Match #1 – Team Macho Man (Macho Man, Ricky Steamboat, Brutus Beefcake, Jim Duggan, Jake Roberts) vs Team Honky Tonk (Honky Tonk Man, Harley Race, Hercules, Ron Bass, Danny Davis)


Finally, after covering three separate Wrestlemania’s, we get to recap the first Survivor Series.  This was originally held on Thanksgiving Day (in the US) and I’m really looking forward to it.  The rules are simple, there’s two teams of five superstars that face off against each other (ok, maybe like 4 superstars and a token ‘first to get tossed out filler’).

Hey everybody! It's me, Butch Reed! Inexplicably in a Wrestlemania!
Hey everybody! It’s me, Butch Reed! Inexplicably in a Survivor Series!

If a participant gets eliminated then another team member gets in the ring until that team is completely eliminated.  First to eliminate all participants on the other team wins the match.

You’re probably asking what counts as an elimination? I’m glad you asked, and if you didn’t, you should have because this is 1987.   Don’t presume you know all the rules based on watching some Survivor Series PPV’s in the last few years!   A wrestler is eliminated based on one of the following reasons:
1) Pinfall – pretty straight forward
2) Submission – they have to tap out or pass out
3) Count Out – they don’t get back in the ring after a count of 10 – yes it’s a real 10 count, not a slow 10 count that lasts 45 seconds
4) Disqualification – pretty much doing something that the ref doesn’t like or if you keep doing something after he tells you to stop
5) Unable to continue to compete due to injury at the discretion of the ref – yep, the ref can just decide that someone can’t continue – bet you didn’t know this one!

The best part about survivor series matches is that the momentum doesn’t really waiver, there’s enough guys in and around the ring that there’s always something to watch and keep you entertained.

Elimination 1: Harley Race / Hacksaw Jim Duggan double count out

I despise both these morons.  I am so glad they get eliminated early.

Elimination  2& 3: Ron Bass eliminated by Brutus Beefcake / Beefcake gets eliminated by Honkey Tonk

Continuing on with four wrestlers a side, Macho Man and Brutus the Barber Beefcake team up to eliminate Ron Bass (again someone else that no one cares about) when Beefcake hits him with a high flying knee and a quick pin for the 3 count. Beefcake gets rewarded for that victory when the Honky Tonk man nails his Shake Rattle and Roll finisher to even the odds back at 3.

What I find jarring about this whole thing is Ricky Steamboat wrestling beside Macho Man.  It’s a mere 6 months after Wrestlemania, and only 2 days in my own real viewing time.  Macho literally tried to murder Steamboat half a year ago and now they’re partners.

Any of this ringing a bell?
Any of this “ringing a bell?”.  Ha.  Get it?  Because Macho hit him with… you know what, forget it

Elimination 4 & 5: Jake Roberts eliminates Danny Davis / Macho Man eliminates Hercules

Still with me?  It’s at this time in the match that Jake the Snake Roberts enters and the crowd goes absolutely nuts – the decibel level in the arena seriously goes up a notch.  He screws around for awhile and then hits Danny Davis with the sweet, sweet DDT

Danny Davis, seconds before forgetting how to chew and stand unassisted
Danny Davis, seconds before forgetting how to chew and stand unassisted

Next, Hercules comes in and gets eliminated by Macho Man (oh yeah he’s in this match).  The crowd applauds, but not standing in their seats applause, more like a yeah this is good but it’s not “Jake the Snake Roberts good” applause.

Is this nearly over? I came to watch the women's match
Is this nearly over? I came to watch the women’s match

Elimination 6: Honkey Tonk says “fuck this”

Honky Tonk man finally gets fed up for all the love that Roberts is getting, so he just walks out of the ring, grabs his IC title and heads to the back getting himself counted out.

To summarize, team Macho Man ends up with only 2 guys getting eliminated while taking out the team led by the Honky Tonk Man and Survivor Series is well on its way.

Overall: A pretty satisfying opening match to Survivor Series.  6 / 10


Survivor Match #2 – Women’s Match: Team Moola (Moola, Rockin’ Robin, Velvet McIntryre, Jumping Bomb Angels) vs Team Sherri (Sensational Sherri, Glamour Girls, Donna Christianello, Dawn Marie)


a853be09-0f0d-4a34-8c72-13d0dc68c3dc

I don’t normally watch women’s matches and this one is no except…. ah, never mind.  If I skip this, the review will be too short.

Elimination 1: Donna Christianello eliminated by Velvet McIntyre

We get off to a roaring start with Velvet going to work early on Team Sherri. This match is full of many hair pulling flips and running clotheslines early on and those thunderous moves are echoing throughout the stadium – echoing because most of the fans are outside taking a smoke or lining up for more beer and nachos. (I wonder if they sold Nacho Man hats full of Nachos like Homer Simpson had.  Man, now I really want some nachos). Finally after some brief moments of actual athleticism from the Bomb Angels, we have our first elimination – Donna Christianello courtesy of Velvet.

I'm assuming this is Ric Flair's Mother
78 is the new 35

Elimination 2 through 5:

Dawn Marie elimnated by Rockin’ Robin
Rockin’ Robin elimnated by Sensational Sherri
Fabulous Moolah eliminated by Judy Martin
Sensational Sherri eliminated by Velvet McIntyre
Velvet McIntyre eliminated by Leilani Kai

After 5 minutes of watching this match I am having a really hard time getting past the outfits that the glamour girls are wearing. Gold and Black with a little heart – I don’t know why but it’s just hideous.  I’m surprised.

I'm not sure why you're surprised
Although given it was the 80’s, I’m not sure what I expected

The hair doesn’t help either. I could overlook some of this if the match itself was actually any good. Moola should never have been in this match as any momentum comes to a grinding halt when she gets involved and I’m pretty sure Rockin’ Robin was just one of costume girls in the back that they threw in the ring.

McMahon - Quick! Can you wrestle? Robin - No, I'm an accounta- McMahon - Perfect! Put on this bathing suit! Match starts in 8 minutes!
McMahon – Quick! Can you wrestle?
Robin – No, I’m an accountant and – 
McMahon – Perfect! Put on this bathing suit! Match starts in 8 minutes!

The fact that she has no muscle definition or actual wrestling skills is surprisingly keeping my attention just to see if she will get seriously injured – but no, the WWF had one job and they screwed that up.  She actually eliminates someone and then get’s eliminated herself from a normal suplex – good job… said no one ever!

Elimination 6 /7 : Leilani Kai and Judy Martin eliminated by the Bomb Angels

The only entertaining part of this match (aside from writing this kick ass review) is the Jumping Bomb Angels. They display some nice agility and pull off some decent moves while just screaming incoherently the whole time.  In the end they manage to get the teams down to a classic 2 on 2 tag match with the Bomb Angels and the Hideous Glamour Girls facing off before the Bomb Angels manage to drop some high risk moves off the top rope to pick up the victory.

The real highlight of the night is when one of the Jumping Bomb Angels actually drop kicks Jimmy Hart off the apron. The guy literally falls backwards so that his head would hit the floor first a la pile driver style.  I’m sitting here wondering if he’s unconscious, dead, paralyzed and really if they cut to another match or promo I could have been left with my own imagination and come up with tons of scenarios but no, he just gets up and walks away. Sigh.

You'd think he'd know how to take a hit by now
You’d think he’d know how to take a hit by now

Overall: 3/10 but only because Jimmy Hart broke his neck


Survivor Match #3 – Tag Team Match: The Killer B’s, The British Bulldogs, Strike Force, The Young Stallions, The Rougeaus vs. The Islanders, The Dream Team, The Bolsheviks, The Hart Foundation, Demolition


This match is a 5 on 5, tag team event – 10 tag teams, 20 men.  If one member of the tag team get pinned (or equivalent) then the whole team is out.  Narratively, I have no insight into what has happened in the 6 months since Wrestlemania 3 since we’re only watching the Pay Per Views.  I am confused on a few points:

– The Bolsheviks?  What happened to the Iron Sheik?

– Strike Force?  Wasn’t Rick Martel just in the Can Am Connection?  Did he drop Tom Zenk already?  He barely gave him a chance!

All hail the mighty Zenk
Martel does not return my texts.  The mighty Zenk just wants to talk!

Elimination 1: Bolsheviks eliminated by flying forearm from Tito

The match kicks off and the Bolsheviks are eliminated pretty quickly with a beautiful flying forearm by Tito.  That move is spectacular.  The action continues through a series of quick tags and the crowd is pretty quiet through the whole thing.  You know what, maybe they can’t see the action with that many guys around the ring.

There's no "maybe" about it.
There’s no “maybe” about it.

Elimination: Jaques Rougeau gets eliminated by Ax after missing a move like a moron

I find it very fitting that the Rougeau Bro gets eliminated by being terrible.  It’s appropriate, because the Rougeaus are also terrible.  To be clear, the Rougeaus are sometimes randomly terrible, but at other times, they’re specifically terrible.  Anyway, Frenchie misses a move and Ax capitalizes.  We’re 6 minutes into the match and I’m underwhelmed.

Elimination 3: Smash (Demolition) eliminated by randomly assaulting the ref

We keep going, and the match so far is mostly just punching and tags, punching and tags, punching and tags.  Paul Roma is in there a lot, and that guy has no idea how to sell a move.  It looks like wrestling a log.

Out of nowhere, Ax is eliminated for assaulting the ref, for no apparent reason.  That was really clumsy.  I’m not even sure the crowd gets what happened.

Elimination 4: Tito (Strike Force) eliminated by pin from Bret

11 minutes into the match and Bret Hart finally enters the ring.  This is another very abrupt elimination that I had to rewind to figure out what happened.  Neidhart gets nailed with Tito’s flying forearm.  Tito goes in for the pin and Bret breaks the count.  Then <scene deleted> and Strike Force is eliminated.  Weirdly shitty camera cuts prevent me from seeing what actually happened.

It's essentially like trying to deconstruct the Zapruder film
It’s like trying to deconstruct the Zapruder film

Elimination 5: Dynamite Kid (British Bulldogs) taken down by massive kick from Haiku

Now comes the dark period of this match.  10 incredibly dull minutes where nothing of any consequence happens.  Holy moly, this is a really uneven, boring event.  Eventually Dynamite headbutts Haku, which leads to Haku kicking him in the face, followed by the pin.  Makes sense.

Elimination 6: Valentine (Dream Team) eliminated by Sunset Flip from Paul Roma

It’s at this point I realized that Dino Bravo and Valentine have barely been in this, nor have the Killer Bees.  It’s a ton of Young Stallions though.  That has to be just about one of the worst names because it’s so obviously the name of a gay porno which makes talking about them awkward.  I’m not even joking, click here to buy the video from http://www.buygay.com.  And now I need to explain to my wife why I’m browsing gay videos.  

Just to be clear, I have no problem with the porno being gay, just that it’s so obviously a porno name.  It would be like a female tag team called the “Slut Hungry Dykes” or “Cum Addled School Sluts”.  I would absolutely watch that team perform, so maybe Vince knows exactly what he’s doing.

It's called "brand synergy"
It’s called “brand synergy”

Anyhow!  It’s actually a great Sunset Flip off the top rope to eliminate the Hammer

Elimination 7: Bret (Hart Foundation) eliminated by Killer B through a series of absurd circumstances

Another pretty dull stretch of wrestling.  The time between these pins is really tedious.  Eventually the Hart Foundation are eliminated by a weird move where Niedhart ends up drop kicking a killer B who ends up on top of Bret for the pin.  Honestly, it’s a weird finish.  The crowd hardly reacts.

Elimination 8: Islander eliminated by Killer B through another series of absurd circumstances

You know, this whole match feels like it was set up to put over the Cock-Starved Young Stallions.  Now we just have the Islanders left and another tedious 6 minutes of wrestling.  You’d think they’d use the momentum to slip in a quick pin, but not.  They just.  Keep.  Wrestling.

The match finally ends when the killer B’s throw on their masks and make themselves indistinguishable to the refs.  The illegal man comes into the ring without the tag, gets the quick pin with a move off the ropes and it’s all over.

Bees!
                                      Bees!

Overall:  This match was pretty terrible and uneven.  0 / 20


Survivor Match #4 – Team Andre (Ravishing Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, “The Natural” Butch Reed, One Man Gang, Andre The Giant) vs. Team Hogan (Ken Patera, Bam Bam Bigalow, Paul Orndorff, Don Moraco, Hulk Hogan)


Well I’m confused again.  When did Paul Orndorff and Moraco become good guys?  I don’t remember Moraco ever turning face.  This is the problem with only watching the PPV’s, there is a ton of stuff I don’t remember.

Here’s something else – Bundy and One Man Gang are exactly the same size.  In fact, they might be the same person.  When Bundy needs to wrestle as One Man Gang, he just straps a mowhawk to his head.  I’m positive this is the case.  Just consider – when have you ever seen them in a match together?

Aside from this exact second I mean
Aside from this exact second I mean

Elimination 1: Hogan eliminates Butch Reed

Jesus Christ, “The Rock” Don Moraco is just jacked. What is it with guys named the Rock?

Can you smell what either Rock is cooking? Hint - It's insane amount of steroids.
Can you smell what either Rock is cooking? Hint – It’s insane amount of steroids.

The match starts off with a bunch of tags and guys jumping in and out of the ring.  Rick Rude gets beaten up for awhile and the crowd is on their feet as the intensity and excitement of this match is ramped up to 10+.  For example, Bam Bam presses Rude, which is… really surprising.  I didn’t think Bam Bam had it in him.

I'm sure Rick Rude was also unhappily surprised
I’m sure Rick Rude was also unhappily surprised

Then Ken Patera tags in and the crowd sits back down and goes to the concession for Nacho hats. Butch reed comes in, things happen, Hogan drops the leg and we have our first elimination of the match. That was a great start – tons of power moves, lots of action.

Take note, horrible Tag Team match that has already happened.

Elimination 2: One Man Gang eliminates Ken Patera
Andre comes in to take care of business and starts off against Ken Patera. This doesn’t even need a snappy analogy – this matchup is exactly as lopsided as Andre The Giant fighting Ken Patera. Andre says fuck this and in comes Bundy.  More offense from Team Hogan and we have some back and forth from the group. Eventually Patera ends up with One Man Gang and the crowd starts chanting.  I honestly can’t make out what they’re saying – it sounds like “Front Face Lock” which is exactly the move Gang is giving Patera.  That.. that can’t be right?

No, it's not right. They're chanting "Andre Sucks".
No, it’s not right. They’re chanting “Andre Sucks”.

Regardless, none of this is particularly helpful to K.P. Eventually the Gang more or less falls on Patera and gets the pin. Front Face Lock indeed.

Then One Man Gang just kind of... sits down.
Then One Man Gang just kind of… sits down.

Elimination 3 & 4 & 5: Rick Rude eliminates Paul Orndorff / Moraco eliminates Rick Rude / One Man Gang eliminates Moraco

The next few eliminations happen in pretty quick succession. These guys are doing a fantastic job keeping the energy up. The crowd is on their feet for most of the match and the pace is pretty frantic. Rude and Orndorff square off for a bit, and Rude nails him with a small package.  Hogan jumps in to keep the fight going and him and Moraco take turns beating on Rude like he was Danny Davis.  Moraco hits Rude with a power slam for the pin and we’re down to 3 on 3.  Moraco keeps going against Bundy before mixing it up with One Man Gang.  Moraco goes for the slam, can’t pull it off and gets pinned.

Elimination 6: H.. Hogan?
Next up is the fat battle, with Gang and King Kong taking turns putting it to Bam Bam.

It's called "brand synergy"
With these guys, that sentence has a different context

They can’t bring in Andre because he can barely move.  Bam Bam carries the match by himself, just acting as a throw cushion for the beating he’s taking.  Finally Andre comes in, misses a move and the tag is made to Hogan.  The crowd explodes as WM3 repeats itself.  Hogan beats up everyone before being pulled out of the ring by Bundy.  More mayhem ensues with Hogan slamming both Bundy and One Man Gang before getting counted out of the ring.

The crowd is not happy.

Elimination 7 & 8: Bam Bam eliminates Bundy and One Man Gang.
It’s just Bam Bam vs. everyone.  I did not see this coming.  Bam Bam does what he can to keep the momentum going by eliminating Bundy, but it just takes too much out of him.  Gorilla is in on the gag too, and says “One Man Gang having a field day.. as Bam Bam is wide open”.

It's called "brand synergy"
Heh

Jokes aside, I’m really impressed by Bam Bam’s performance this match. I was always indifferent to him, but this bout may have changed my mind.  He is doing a great job carrying the action.  One Man Gang misses off the top rope (which is an odd sentence to type) and Bam gets the cover.  Holy shit!  It’s Bam Bam vs. Andre!  This going to be….

Elimination 9: Andre wins!
… over in 2 minutes.  This isn’t much of a surprise. Bam Bam is pretty exhausted at this point and Andre can barely move, so the end comes quickly. Andre does some weird combination side suplex / arm bar / collapse for the pin.

MRAGGLAUghhhh. So tired
MRAGGLAUggghhhhhhh. So tired

To the surprise of no one, Hogan runs back into the ring, chases Andre out and then poses for a bit.

Overall: I was pleasantly surprised by this match. 9/14

 

Wrestlemania III


1. Rick Martel and Tom Zenk (The Can Am Connection) vs Don Muraco and Cowboy Bob Orton


Can Am Connection: Forever blurring the line between wrestlers and underwear models
Can Am Connection: Forever blurring the line between wrestlers and underwear models

I am super excited for this.  Wrestlemania III!  The big one!  Widely considered one of the top five Wrestlemania’s.  Almost impossible to be worse than Wrestlemania II!  So let’s get started!

At the time, Rick Martel was regarded as the best technical wrestler the WWE had ever signed, but had no tag partner who could keep up with his explosive speed and raw, animal power (citation needed)

Enter Tom Zenk.  Zenk was designed to be the ultimate WWE tag partner.  Under the direction of Gorilla Monsoon,  McMahon combed the tombs of the greatest evil leaders in history to find cells with DNA traces. These long-dead genetic blueprints were combined to produce a clone with the genius of Napolean, the ruthlessness of Julius Ceaser, the daring of Hannibal and the shrewdness of Attila the Hun.  He then cloned them and engineered Tom Zenk in a lab (citation needed)

All hail the mighty Zenk
All hail the mighty Zenk

The result was the Can Am connection, and this match.

Overall: Yo Joe!  And trust me, that recap was more entertaining than the match


2. Billy Jack Haynes vs Hercules Hernandez


The Rock starring in 2014's "Hercules", based entirely on this match
The Rock starring in 2014’s “Hercules”, based entirely on this match

WM3 reportedly broke an indoor attendance record with 93,000 on hand to watch the event.  The great thing about this is that every match – no matter how theoretically terrible – manages to crank the excitement up to 11.

It’s great because all the wrestlers are bringing their best game to the table.  For example, this one should have been a really dull affair.  Neither of these guys are too technically interesting, but man, do they ever put on a solid show.

For example, this is 45 goddamn seconds into the match
For example, this is 45 goddamn seconds into the match

It’s a theme through the whole event.  Mediocre matches are elevated to fantastic matches.

This one ends with a double count out.  Shrug.  They do a decent job at keeping the energy high and Haynes gets cut after the match is over from repeated shots from Herc’s chain.  I looked pretty closely, but I couldn’t see the cut, but Haynes got himself pretty deep it looks like.

Normally with a post-match beating by a heel, a superstar would normally come out and save the babyface, but there is no one who wants to save Haynes.  I guess he is a loser?

Overall: Better match than it should have been.  3.5 / 5


3. Hillbilly Jim vs King Kong Bundy


Hey gang! Me again! Still perfectly goddamn round, just like a giant gobstopper
Hey gang! Me again! Still perfectly goddamn round, just like a giant gobstopper

I do not have high hopes for this match.  Neither Bundy or Hillbilly Jim are very talented wrestlers, so I’m going to imagine this will be pretty dull.  Also, has there ever been this significant a drop in booking from one wrestlemania to the next?  Bundy went from the headline event at Wrestlemania 2 to this filth

As expected, this is not a great match.  It ends with Bundy attacking one of the little people and a disqualification.  The first mis-step in an otherwise good PPV, if you don’t count the creation of the horrible, horrible Tom Zenk

All hail the mighty Zenk
None shall survive the terrible mercy of Zenk

Overall: Awful idea that provided one minute of amusement. 2/10


4. Harley Race vs Junkyard Dog


Fuck you so much, JYD
Fuck you so much, JYD

Oh god. Damn.  It.  My nemesis JYD against the septuagenarian Harley Race.  JYD is too terrible to wrestle well and Race is too old.  There is nothing to like about this one.

This isn't a move; just Harley Race randomly falling out of the ring
This isn’t a move; just Harley Race randomly falling out of the ring

Inevitably, JYD manages to get down to the mat for his patented head butts which allows for Gorilla Monsoon to unleash the quote of the PPV “Dog on all fours – that’s his favorite position”, I would have expected that from Jesse Ventura so well done Gorilla…well done.

Here's what you do Gorilla, you grab yourself a tape recorder, you just record yourself for a whole day...
Here’s what you do Gorilla, you grab yourself a tape recorder, you just record yourself for a whole day…

The match has everything you’d expect from a JYD match.  Shitty wrestling, headbutts, terrible selling of moves and dancing.  I am delighted that this is the Dog’s last Wrestlemania.  I am also delighted that Race beats him clean with a belly to belly suplex.  Fuck you Dog.

Overall: Ha ha Dog sucks.  3 /1 4


5. Dream Team Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine vs Rougeau Brothers


 

We get our strength from bags of milk and lays chips, eh?
Us Canadians get our strength from bags of milk and lays chips, eh?

I’m kind of confused, I really remember liking WM3 a lot more but I can’t think of why.  This is another match where I’m kind of “meh” on the participants.  I generally like a match with the Dream Team, but I never found the Rougeau’s very dynamic.  Having said that, I do enjoy their signature move, the Canadian Crotch Catch

Boom! Wiff that crotch. Wiff all of it
Boom! Wiff that crotch. Wiff all of it

The match ends with Brutus turning face because… for no real reason.  Like I can’t tell at all what happened.  It’s probably the clumsiest turn in in WWE history.  What do you think Tom Zenk?

All hail the mighty Zenk
That subpar heel turn enrages the mighty Zenk

Overall: Come on WM3, turn it around.  6/20


6. Rowdy Roddy Piper vs Adorable Adrian Adonis – Hair match


Here to turn this Wrestlemania around
Here to turn this Wrestlemania around

Piper!  Yes!  I cannot dislike a Piper match.  This has been billed as a retirement match and the crowd is fired up and on their feet.  For the first time, you really get how deafening it is when 90,000 people are on their feel screaming.  It’s a fantastic ovation and Piper loves it.

The match doesn’t have much actual wrestling, just a lot of punching and kicking and whipping with belts.  The crowd is on their feet and screaming for every move and it generates more excitement than the match deserves.  Ultimately Piper gets hit with a spray of perfume and Adonis slaps on the sleeper hold, or as he calls it “Good Night Irene”.  That’s… that’s actually kind of a great name.  Good work Adonis.

Adonis drops the move too soon and Brutus comes out of nowhere to revive Piper.  I guess this entire match was to set up Brutus as the Barber when he comes out to cuts Adonis’s hair.  What a weird character that was, although I guess no more odd than a magic wrestling Zombie who got power from bottled dust

Me. He's talking about me.
Me. He’s talking about me.

The best part of the match is the fan who comes out to hug Piper….

I wish this would last forever!
I wish this would last forever!

… and then gets immediately set on by security.

Oh god, why won't this end?
Oh god, why won’t this end?

I am stunned he made it to the ring

Overall: Piper!  Awesome!  89/10


7. Hart Foundation with Danny Davis vs British Bulldogs and Tito Santana


We're awesome and we love valentine's day!
We’re awesome and we love valentine’s day!

Finally!  A Hart Foundation match!  Why did we go three entire Wrestlemania’s before giving these guys their own match?  I love Bret Hart, and anything these two do against the Bulldogs is fantastic, so I’m ready to settle in for a great match

This is technically a six man bout, with Tito Santana joining up with the Bulldogs and disgraced Referee Danny Davis teaming with the Hart Foundation.  A professional wrestler and a 170 pound referee.  That seems fair and even.

Gorilla reminds us that Danny Davis cannot be a ref anymore, he’s been suspended for life + 10 years.  I guess Gorilla thinks Danny Davis is immortal?   I think this was foreshadowing that Danny Davis was originally supposed to be the Undertaker?

Nope
Nope

This match is a great combination of excellent technical wrestling and seeing Danny Davis being beaten within an inch of his life.  Davey Boy hits him with a jumping piledriver that would be literally illegal today.  Like, 10 different types of banned.

It is no longer acceptable to try to drive a mans head into his own torso
It is no longer acceptable to try to drive a mans head into his own torso

The match obviously ends with the old megaphone-me-do and the quick pin and the Hart Foundation chalk up the win.  Just a great match.

Overall: Davey Boy nearly killed a man!  8/12


8. Natural Butch Reed vs Koko B Ware


Hey everybody! It's me, Butch Reed! Inexplicably in a Wrestlemania!
Hey everybody! It’s me, Butch Reed! Inexplicably in a Wrestlemania!

What is it with Wrestlemania 3 screwing up the entrance music?  Isn’t Koko supposed to enter to “Love hits you like a piledriver“?  Why is he coming down to what sounds like a song that is “Wow!  Hallelujah!”?

Okay, Jesse is unbelievably racist in calling this one.  He starts with “You know Gorilla, the B stands for Buckwheat.  He told me he has another brother named Stymie.”  He continues with “And what’s with the glove?  I mean, Michael Jackson wears a glove, but Buckwheat don’t”.

Jesus Christ Jesse, you racist motherfucker.

The most interesting part of this match is the ending.  Butch Reed gets a contested win by grabbing a handful of tights and guess who is down there telling the ref he made a mistake and correcting the wrongs?  Tito Santana!  Dude loves jumping into matches!

Overall: Honestly Tito, mind your own business. 2/139


9. Ricky the Dragon Steamboat vs Macho Man Randy Savage


Ladies
Ladies

This is widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time, and I can’t disagree. It’s unbelievable.  The lead up to this match generated insane heat, with Savage fracturing Steamboat’s Larynx with a ring bell.

There has been about a million words written about this match, so I don’t have much new to add.  One thing I learned recently, apparently this isn’t Steamboats favorite match, due to how scripted it was.  Savage was known to be a very detailed planner, and both wrestlers spent 3 months leading up to this match planning literally every single beat.  The story goes that Steamboat preferred more fluid matches where you call the moves in real time.

Despite what Steamboat thinks about planning, this entire match is brilliant.  The excitement goes through the roof, especially around about minute 7 when they go for about 10 pins in a 2 minute period.  I don’t think there is one wrestler active today who could have pulled off this match.

Overall: No jokes, just a brilliant, brilliant match.  10/10

The Mighty Zenk also approves!
This match is kickass!  Also, kneel before Zenk!

10. Jake the Snake Roberts vs Honky Tonk Man


Sorry gals. Just by looking at this picture, you are now all pregnant
Sorry gals. Just by looking at this picture, you are now all pregnant

I didn’t remember this at all, but this match had quite a bit of heat leading up to it.  It was a result of Honky hitting Jake with a guitar in a segment of pipers pit.

What would be the draw to appear on Pipers Pit if you were a wrestler?  The chances of being randomly attacked were like 70%.  I guess it was no different than Jerry Springer.  So just counting, three matches in this Wrestlemania were as a result of Piper’s Pit: this match, the Andre / Hogan match and the actual Piper / Adonis match.

Did you get twosies?
Did you get twosies?

This match is a pretty tame affair, with some decent moments, but nothing too great.  Some standard back and forth that sees Honky winning with the ropes.  Jake Roberts and Alice Cooper pause briefly to throw a heavily drugged python at a small man with a megaphone.  That is the 4th time in my life I have written that exact sentence, but never once in the same context.

Overall: Ho hum: 6.4/11


11. Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff vs the Killer Bees


The Sheik and Volkoff against the Killer Bees!  I could not be less excited.  The match starts – as always – with the Russian national anthem being sung by Volkoff and oh god here comes Hacksaw Jim Shithead Duggan.    I was wrong, I can be less excited and now here I am.

The crowd is pretty mellow considering this is the next to final match.  There’s a couple decent pops, but nothing great.  The one nice this about this one is how quickly it ends.  The Sheik and Volkoff have the win pretty much clean when Hacksaw jumps in and shits all over everything and gets the bees disqualified.  The crowd barely, barely cares.

Overall:  Apparently I despised a great many wrestlers from the 80’s.  Weird.  2/16


12. Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant


Man, we should just keep getting high. What were we even fighting about?
Man, we should just keep getting high. What were we even fighting about?

Here we go, the big one.  Arguably the most famous match in all of wrestling history.  There’s so many stories about this one.  I like the mythology but I don’t buy some of them:

– Hogan said Andre was closer to 700 pounds than 500.  I call bullshit on that.  He’s not a fucking SUV, he’s a human man.

– Hogan said he didn’t actually know if he was going to win the match.  What I do believe is that if Andre didn’t want to be slammed, then Andre wasn’t getting slammed.   I think more what Hogan meant is he didn’t have pre-match commitment from Andre on the match, but I have trouble believing McMahon would have let the match go if he wasn’t sure Hogan was going to win

Anyway, the match is so lousy with mythology that it’s still entertaining to watch for the spectacle, although the match itself is nothing special.  Lots of great posturing and the actual moment when Hogan slams Andre is one of the biggest pops you’ll hear in wrestling.  Hogan drops the big leg and it’s 1-2-3 all over.  A great end to a great (although not that great, on re-watch) Wrestlemania.

Overall: 9/10 for the history, 2/10 for the match