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Chairshot Classics

WrestleMania X: The New Generation On Its Own

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WrestleMania 10 Shawn Michaels Razor Ramon

WrestleMania X comes to from Madison Square Garden, home of the first WrestleMania; and my, how times have changed in WWF in a decade. The generation that brought us WrestleManias I-IX have moved on to greener pastures and a new generation has taken over. These new superstars are young, edgy, and more nuanced than straight good guys vs bad guys. For the first time in WrestleMania history, Hulk Hogan is NOT part of WrestleMania.

 

The road to WrestleMania hit a bit of swerve at the 1994 Royal Rumble. Lex Lugar and Bret Hart eliminated each other. Not wanting to slight either man, WWF President Jack Tunney decided that both men would get a shot at WWF Champion Yokozuna at WrestleMania X and a coin toss was used to decide who would get first crack at the champion.

 

So, how does the New Generation do with the first post-Hogan WrestleMania? Let’s find out.

 

Opener:

We start with a recap of the very first WrestleMania. An incredibly proud looking Vince McMahon is in the ring, welcoming us to WrestleMania. ‘America, the Beautiful’ is going to be sung by Little Richard. Richard sounds fantastic.

 

We get a recap of the Bret/Owen feud.

 

We have a bit of snafu with the fireworks going off prematurely, but not too bad.

 

Owen Hart vs Bret Hart

Owen is out first to a THUNDEROUS round of boos. Owen comes out in the Hart pink and black, even wearing Bret’s shades, which he promptly tears up.

 

Bret’s pop is every bit as thunderous as Owen’s. He, however, gives his shades to a young fan.

 

Unsurprisingly, this was a fantastic match. Despite kayfabe, the Hart brothers almost seemed to be playing with each other, much like they probably did as children in Calgary.

 

Winner: Owen Hart by pinfall. It’s hard to tell who’s more stunned by this. Owen rubs it in Bret’s face before going to the back. Bret’s frustrated, but he applauds for his brother.

Comments: I really liked this match. Owen got the win, but the almost fluke of the finish protects Bret.

 

The President (and client) of the Hair Club for Men is in the ring and tells us he’s going to introduce us to the latest success story of the Hair Club for Men: Howard Finkel. Considering that Finkel has been bald pretty much his entire career, I don’t think this is fooling anyone, but Finkel seems pleased and the crowd seems to like it too.

 

Mixed Tag Team Match: Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon vs Doink the Clown and Dink the Clown

 

Bam Bam and Luna are out first to a mixed reaction. They are an odd looking couple. Doink and Dink (a little person) are out next to a really good pop. I’m not sure how this is a mixed tag match, this is more of an intergender match since Luna is the only woman in the bunch. Doink squirts Sy (Hair Club guy) with his flower and this one is a go.

 

What is there to say about a match where a full grown woman wrestles a little person and it’s called ‘Mixed Tag’?

 

Winner: Bam Bam and Luna by pinfall. Dink’s a sore loser and kicks Bam Bam and gets a double splash for his trouble. Dink crawls away and Bam Bam goes after him(probably to keep the little dude from getting to close to the edge of the ring)

Highlights: Bam Bam’s athleticism is always amazing.

Comments: Well, that happened.

 

 

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savge vs Crush (with Mr. Fuji)

Macho Man is out first and gets a thunderous pop. Crush is out next, but Savage doesn’t wait for Crush to get in the ring and we are off.

 

This was a really good match

 

Winner: Macho Man after tying Crush up so he couldn’t answer the count.

Highlights: Savage shoving the salt into Crush’s face. Mr. Fuji dumping water on Crush to wake him up.

 

Comments: This would be Savage’s final WrestleMania. He would leave WWF under strange circumstances later in the year and never return.

 

WWF Women’s Championship Match: Alundra Blayze vs Leilani Kai

 

Leilani (who was the defending WWF Women’s Champion at the first WrestlesMania) is in the ring already to a lukewarm response. Alundra Blayze is out next to an okay response.

 

Winner: Alundra Blayze by pinfall

Comments: This match was an ‘eh’ for me. Both women are good athletes, but I didn’t really care who won.

 

WWF Tag Team Match: Men on a Mission (with Oscar) vs The Quebecers (with Johnny Polo)

Men on a Mission is out to really great pop. Oscar is rapping, I have no clue what he’s saying, but the beat is really good.

 

The Quebecers, the champions, come out during a segment with HBK, Rhonda Shearer, and Burt Reynolds.

 

This was a reasonably good match, but not a showstopper. M.O.M were really good athletes and both teams did a great job.

 

Winner: Men on a Mission by countout. Quebecers retain the titles, but M.O.M refuse to let them leave with the titles.

Comments: I liked this match. It’s not a fave, but it was good.

 

WWF World Heavyweight Championship Match: Yokozuna (with Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji) vs Lex Lugar. Special Guest Referee: Mr. Perfect

 

Coming out first are our first guest ring announcer and timekeeper, Donnie Wahlberg (New Kids On the Block), and Rhonda Shearer, respectively.  Mr. Perfect comes out to a great pop, the crowd is legit glad to see him. Yokozuna is out next with his entourage to a lukewarm reception. Jim Cornette looks like he got dressed in the dark, as usual. Poor Mr. Fuji had some trouble getting into the ring. Lex Luger is out next to a big pop.

 

This was a pretty good. Yokozuna isn’t thought of as a good athlete, but he was able to hang with Luger, a very accomplished athlete for almost fifteen minutes.

 

Winner: Yokozuna by disqualification after Mr. Perfect disqualifies Luger for shoving him. Understandably upset, Luger goes to confront Perfect and the officials try to keep them apart.

 

Highlights: Mr. Perfect turning heel. Luger trying to throw Yokozuna into the ring and only half succeeding. Luger hitting a flying crossbody on Yokozuna and nearly getting a pinfall.

Comments: I have said before that Luger always struck me as phony, and while that worked well when he was the Narcissist, it doesn’t work as well when he’s supposed to be an All-American babyface. I like the way they did Perfect’s turn. He turned heel by enforcing the rules, it was perfect(pardon the phrase) for the evolving attitude of WWF.

 

Earthquake vs Adam Bomb (with Harvey Whippleman)

Whippleman is in the ring and insults Finkel and his lovely rug. After Whippleman rips off the pocket of Finkel’s tux, the normally even tempered, long suffering Finkel’s had enough and shoves Whippleman, to the crowd’s delight. Adam Bomb comes out and accosts poor Fink, but Earthquake comes in, hits a belly-to-back suplex, a power slam, and the Earthquake Splash, and it is over.

 

There’s not much to say about this match. The real match was between Finkel and Whippleman, and Finkel won.

 

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match: Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels (with Diesel) – Ladder Match

HBK and Diesel are out first, in all of their mulleted glory, to a good pop. HBK won’t walk under the ladder. We get another example of HBK’s terrible dancing. Razor is out second to a much better pop. Razor’s too cool to be superstitious, and walks under the ladder.

 

Winner: Officially: Razor Ramon. Unofficially: Generations of WWF/E fans and superstars who would make careers off of ladder matches.

 

Comments: This is one of the most hyped matches in WWF/E history, and with good reasons. The excitement this match created spawned off two match concepts that WWF/E fans still enjoy today: TLC and MitB. There’s a reason that people remember the match and not the outcome: It was so good that who took home the dueling belts didn’t matter. This is often mistaken for the first ladder match in WWF/E; actually, the VERY first WWF/E ladder match took place in 1992 between Bret Hart and HBK on Wrestling Challenge. The Razor/HBK match is the first one on WWF/E PPV.

 

We get a recap of Bret and Yokozuna’s respective paths to WrestleMania X, but no explanation is given.

 

WWF World Heavyweight Championship Match: Yokozuna (with Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji) vs Bret Hart

 

Our guest timekeeper is Jennie Garth from the ORIGINAL ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ and the guest ring announcer is Burt Reynolds. Burt Reynolds announces that our guest referee is none other than Roddy Piper. The crowd is ecstatic to see Hot Rod back in the place where he main evented the very first WrestleMania. Yokozuna is out next to boos, which is a little unfair since it wasn’t his fault Luger was DQ’d. Bret Hart’s pop is fantastic. Bret is limping but has a determined look on his face.

 

This was a really good match. Bret winning because of Yokozuna slipping protects Yokozuna and gave us a plausible pinning situation.

 

Winner: Bret Hart by pinfall after Yokozuna slipped and missed the Banzai Drop. Yokozuna is furious and chases (yes, CHASES) Piper out of the ring.

 

As Bret celebrates, Luger comes to the ring and, after a tense minute, shakes Bret’s hand and raises Bret’s hand in victory. Piper has eluded Yokozuna and comes back to raise Bret’s hand.

 

Soon, the rest of the babyfaces come out to congratulate Bret on his hard-fought road back to the championship. They are joined by the celebrities, and Gorilla Monsoon. Bret is lifted onto Razor and Luger’s shoulders as the crowd cheers.

 

Owen comes out, but doesn’t join the celebration. He just stands in the aisle and glares at his big brother, who has stolen the spotlight again.

 

Highlights: Yokozuna going for what looked like a standing frog splash on Bret, only for Bret to, wisely, roll out of the way. Piper KOing Cornette after Cornette pulled Piper out of the ring. Yokozuna chasing Piper.

 

Comments: I really liked this match. The sentiment of the fans and the boys seemed legit. They were really happy that Bret was champion again.

 

Overall Comments

So, how did the New Generation do in the first post-Hogan WrestleMania? Overall, they did a pretty good job. This match wasn’t as historic or precedent-setting as the previous ones. There’s wasn’t a history making attendance record, or a huge ‘WrestleMania Moment’, but it was a good show. The waves of the Ladder match are still rippling through WWE, almost a quarter century after the event.

 

In celebration of ten years of Vince’s greatest gamble, recaps of the previous nine WrestleManias were shown between matches.

 

Celebrities: I was ‘eh’ on the celebrities. They were alright, but I wasn’t really excited about them being there, though 11-year old me would’ve thrilled to see Donnie from NKOTB. The best one was the Bill Clinton impersonator. Also, many alumni from previous WrestleManias were in the audience.

 

Stinkers: Mixed Tag Team Match. I don’t know whose idea that was, but it was terrible.

 

Match of the Night: Normally, I would say ‘Ladder Match’, but that’s too easy and obvious. Hart vs Hart, Hart vs Yokozuna, and Luger vs Yokozuna are my picks

 

Odd Moment: There was supposed to be an eight-man tag match on this show, but it got scrapped at the last minute, but they aired a backstage segment about it anyway.

 

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this show. It was a good first WrestleMania for the post-Hogan WWF.

 

 


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classic: Andrew’s 2019 AEW Double or Nothing Ratings & Analysis

Take a look back at AEW’s first PPV effort, the 2019 Double Or Nothing in Andrew’s Retro Ratings and Analysis!

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AEW Double Or Nothing 2019AEW Double Or Nothing 2019

Take a look back at AEW’s first PPV effort, the 2019 Double Or Nothing in Andrew’s Retro Ratings and Analysis!

With AEW Double Or Nothing–the 2022 edition–on the horizon, enjoy this trip down memory lane as Andrew Balaz reviewed the inaugural Las Vegas AEW pay-per-view…spectacular?

Well this is history boys and girls. Good, bad or indifferent, it’s the first show of the IWC’s favorite t-shirt company. What becomes of Hangman since he’s injured and PAC cancelled? What surprises will we get?

We all sit here with bated breath. Some want it to fail, many want it to succeed. Me? I just want it to not suck.

Let’s see what we got!

Ratings:

  • Casino Battle Royal: Hangman Page wins @10:45 – **
  • Sammy Guevara vs Kip Sabian: Sabian wins Argentine Facebuster @9:55 – ***
  • So Cal Uncensored vs Strong Hearts: SCU wins via Best Meltzer Ever @14:00 – *** 1/2
  • Britt Baker vs Nyla Rose vs Kylie Rae vs Awesome Kong: Britt Bakers wins via Kneecap Brainbuster @11:05 – ***
  • Best Friends vs Angelico & Jack Evans: Best Friends win via Strong Zero @12:55 – ** 1/2
  • Riho, Hikaru Shida &  Ryo Mizunami vs Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki & Emi Sakura: Hikaru wins via Three Count @13:10 – *** 1/4
  • Dustin Rhodes vs Cody Rhodes: Cody wins via Crossroads @22:35 – *****
  • AAA Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (c) vs Lucha Brothers: Bucks retain via Meltzer Driver @25:00 – *****
  • Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho: Jericho wins via Judas Effect @23:50 – **** 1/4

Analysis:

This was definitely a mess. A few spots, a bunch of messy spots and just generally awkward moments. Flying Brian Jr had a few decent spots, Luchasaurus looked good and Orange Cassidy is awful. Hangman being the 21st entrant made a lot of sense, but probably already upset a few people since it wasn’t CM Punk or Jon Moxley. Of course Page won. He can fight with a bum leg, cause he has three of them. So yeah, not an awful match, but it had a lot of issues.

Sabian looked tremendous in this match. Guevara definitely did too much. Shooting Star onto Sabian draped over the outside barricade, a bad double Moonsault and standing Shoot Star hurt the match a little. But Sabian’s technically proficient, charismatic and can hang in the air a bit too. So Sabian was the star here. Solid match.

Well now, this was great. Strong Hearts trio pulled off some great fluid offense and SCU did fantastic. This was just a great match, I can’t really accurately describe more than great match. Best Meltzer Ever is a little dumb when it comes to names, but damn was this a good match.

So Brandi comes out in her gear to swerve us that she’s adding herself to the match, but instead she adds Awesome Kong! So the Triple Threat turns into a Fatal 4 Way and it’s not bad. A lot of the early portion is focused on taking out Kong, then Nyla becomes the target. Britt and Kylie are the ones left in the ring after the collateral damage. Kylie looks to be firing up for a finish, but Britt catches her in a Kneecap Brainbuster (Adam Cole’s Last Shot in ROH).

Excessive spots, excessive near falls, I knew to expect it to a degree with these four, but that doesn’t make it better. This was definitely an ‘Indie style” match, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. There was a lights out attack on both teams from…some team, with masked minions. The “Who Are You” chant kicks up and commentary doesn’t lend any information. So that’s really not helpful.

Everyone got their stuff in, we got to see a lot of personality from the different women and the action was solid. I also appreciated Emi Sakura trying to rally momentum doing We Will Rock You stomps (since she was dressed as Freddy Mercury). Save for the big mess up with the bell ringer calling the end of the match when the referee obviously held up 2 and said 2, just messed up the flow and gave away the finish since Hikaru’s music played. Not bad, just the ending did kind of take the air out of a pretty good match.

Wow. Dustin and Cody brought it, Dustin bladed pretty deep, I think even Dusty would’ve blushed. New moves from Dustin like the Misawa style Apron Senton, a Code Red and a few classics. The blood, the desire to keep fighting, this was everything wrestling should be. It made sense for Cody to win the match of course, but wow after the match was a beautiful moment. Also call of the night might have to go to Excalibur when Cody hit a Pump Kick aka Bicycle Kick and you hear him say something like ” He hit him with a BICYCLE”.  In a huge homage to Dustin and Dusty’s Heart to Heart promo, Cody tells Dustin he can’t retire, because he needs a partner. He doesn’t just need a partner, he needs his big brother. This was a great way cap off such a hard hitting personal match. Wow.

Belt reveal with a few extra curricular and Bret Hart. Much like Bret Hart, the belt doesn’t do anything for me. It looks a lot like Big Gold, but it’s so ostentatious it’s hard to love it. Just too shimmery or whatever. It’s not bad, but I in no way love the belt.

I’m very happy there was the unveiling ceremony between the Rhodes match and this one. Cause this was a great match and moving it out too quick could’ve hurt the crowd immersion. Great tandem moves, a decent thread of the ring rust playing a part against the Young Bucks early on and just generally great spots. There definitely was a lot of stuff, big spots and it was “spot monkey” style, but it all worked. The Lucha Brothers pulled out crazy moves to try and get the AAA belts back and the Bucks were trying to prove they still had it with most of the year off. Just really really good.

Well now Jericho and Omega pick back up where they left off. Referee Paul Turner allows for a lot of out of the ring shenanigans. Jericho busts Omega open, tries to use a table as a shield, but Omega still throws himself at Jericho.Jericho focuses on Omega’s face with the Triangle Dropkick, a Lionsault went high and this was pretty damn solid. A few missteps and Jericho not countering the first One Winged Angel was car crash worthy, but aside from that, this was nice. Multiple Codebreakers followed by the new Judas Effect, leave Omega laying for the 1, 2, 3.

Jericho says AEW is for him not for fans, and he deserves a thank you. When the crowd pops, Jericho thinks it’s for him, but Jon Moxley makes his debut through the crowd! Almost as if it were a reference to Lex Luger showing up on the first Nitro, it looks like Jericho basically says “You don’t work here”. Dirty Deeds to Jericho, Dirty Deeds to referee Paul Turner and Omega manages a burst of energy to brawl for a little bit. They end up on the poker chips, Moxley hits Dirty Deeds and then just dumps him off, onto some other stage item.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

Well damn, I was skeptical since All In didn’t rate as highly for me as other fans, but this was great. Aside from a few personal gripes, and not really enjoying the cluster that was the Battle Royal, this was one of the better shows of the year thus far. Good surprises like Awesome Kong, Bret Hart and Jon Moxley. Jericho winning the main event breaks up The Elite getting the clean sweep, so that shows it’s not as predictable as All In.

Oh and yes, I can’t express how good the Rhodes match was. The match itself, the story it told, the promo after, everything was just beautiful. That is my number 1 match of the year personally, cause it was just too damn poignant.

Good job AEW. Great show, and the symbolic moment where Cody used the sledgehammer to break the replica throne Triple H used for his WrestleMania 22 entrance. It was awesome.


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock from WWE Backlash 1999

Ahead of WrestleMania Backlash, Chris King takes a stroll back to WWE Backlash 1999 as Stone Cold Steve Austin defends his WWE Championship against The Rock. 

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WWE Backlash 1999 Steve Austin The Rock

Ahead of WrestleMania Backlash, Chris King takes a stroll back to WWE Backlash 1999 as Stone Cold Steve Austin defends his WWE Championship against The Rock.

Let’s set the scene for a minute, you’ve got “The Texas Rattlesnake” and Corporate Rock going one-on-one at WrestleMania XV. Austin wins the championship and the McMahon family is livid. Stone Cold wants his Smoking Skull Championship belt back, and Vince and Shane McMahon are trying to keep it from him by hook or by crook.

Damn, things were different during the Attitude Era, The Rock threw Stone Cold over a bridge and held a funeral for his rival. The storytelling was captivating and exciting, and it kept you guessing what would happen next. Keep in mind this match was conclusively built around a championship belt, something that would never work in the current product.

It was a high-octane no disqualification match with Shane as the special guest referee for their latest encounter. Austin began the match running straight into the ring for a brawl which spilled out all over the arena.  I miss how exciting these two superstars were. Rock hit a vicious Rock Bottom through the Spanish announce table and then got on commentary to talk some smack.

The arrogant challenger took the camera to talk trash while Austin laid on the other announce table, and ate a Stunner through the table. Man, the WWE Universe was on fire throughout the entire match. I feel like both superstars can’t put on a bad match because they have such strong in-ring chemistry.

The finish of the match came when Austin had Rock set up for the three-count but Shane refused to count. Vince came down and struck Shane with the Smoking Skull belt. Austin hit another Stunner and decked the challenger with the belt for the victory. Vince then tossed his rival his precious Smoking Skull Championship.


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