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WrestleMania 30: The Miracle on Bourbon Street

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Daniel Bryan WrestleMania 30

WrestleMania 30: Miracle on Bourbon Street

WrestleMania 30 comes to us from New Orleans, Louisiana, the first time WrestleMania had run the Superdome. This was also the first WrestleMania to air on the WWE Network and, much like its namesake in 1985, this WrestleMania could be seen as a make or break for the fledgling network, so WWE arranged what has been seen as an amazing card.

This WrestleMania has been seen as a turning point in the company’s history due to the fallout of three of the matches on this card: Daniel Bryan’s battle for respect and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship that would turn into a battle to get back to the sport he loved, and Undertaker pitting his legendary streak against Brock Lesnar’s path of destruction that would end up being a fight over whether or not the Streak would be the only part of his career and legacy that mattered.  Of course, no one knew that when WrestleMania 30 started, so is WrestleMania 30 as big a deal as it seems now? Or is it a great but, largely, inconsequential show that should just be enjoyed as is? Let’s find out!

Pre-Show:

We start with a lively look back at WrestleMania and WrestleMania Moments. Who would’ve thought this show that looked likely to fail would be celebrating 30 years and become a global phenomenan?

We see a clip of Stephanie and Triple H introducing WrestleMania 30’s stage. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like Mardi Gras threw up on it. Joking aside, they both look very proud, and they should be very proud.

I will not bore you or myself with a recap of the kickoff show other than the matches.

Four Way Elimination Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Usos vs Los Matadores (with El Torito), the Real Americans (with Zeb Colter), and RybAxel

Zeb Colter is in the ring, and he’s talking. New Orleans is even more multicultural than New York, but some people seemed to be buying this. Real Americans come out to a mixed reaction. RybAxel get little reaction. Los Matadores and El Torito get a decent reaction, or that’s their music. Usos are out last and they get a good reaction.

I forgot how pitiful the tag team division was in 2014. Thankfully, despite the motley crew of teams, this match was actually pretty good and got the crowd going. There was a badly done spot where one of the Matadores was supposed to headscissors Swagger over the top rope and, for whatever reason, it didn’t work.

First eliminated: Los Matadores.
Second Eliminated: RybAxel…thankfully.
Third Elimination: Real Americans

Winner: Usos retain via pinfall after a double Splash on Cesaro. Colter isn’t happy, maybe someone should tell him that the Usos are American citizens so he’ll cheer up. Swagger berates Cesaro for the loss and Cesaro isn’t happy. Colter calms the situation, but Swagger tries to put Cesaro in an ankle lock but is stopped by Colter who tells him to hug it out with Cesaro. Swagger extends his hand, Cesaro takes it but then takes Swagger for a swing as payback for the ankle lock and leaves, to the joy of the crowd.

Highlights: Axel stopping El Torito from doing a highflying move. The match between the Uso and Real Americans. The implosion of the Real Americans.

Comments: This was a good match, but Ryback was awful.

Opener

We start with a promo about WrestleMania with a New Orleans Jazz band. I guess it’s supposed to be on Bourbon Street, and the cutting in of the superstars and Mania moments is pretty cool in the Mardi Gras type celebration.

Hulk Hogan comes out to a HUGE pop, which is still amazing. Hogan is overwhelmed by his reception. We start out with a flub, Hogan MEANT to say ‘Superdome’ and said ‘Silverdome’ instead and things go downhill from there. After a second flub, Hogan realizes his mistake and apologizes and is forgiven. Stone Cold’s music hits and out comes the Rattlesnake to a HUGE pop.

We get a face off between Hogan and Austin and then Austin gets the mic and teases Hogan about the flub. Austin points out usually, he opens a can of Whoop Ass on whoever’s in the ring when he comes out and asks if the audience would like for him to do that to Hogan, and the audience is happy to see it. Austin talks about how he’d sat next to Hogan at the Hall of Fame ceremony and saw all that Hogan had done in WrestleMania’s early years and about protecting legacies. Austin also says that he respects Hogan and what Hogan did (which is why Hogan isn’t getting stunned, presumably). Hogan asks the crowd to give Austin a Hell Yeah.

Austin says that though he’d like to talk all night, tonight is for the WWE Superstars to come out and give everything they’ve got for the fans, just like he and Hogan have done. Rock’s music hits and out comes the Brahma Bull.

Rock is overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the crowd. He and Austin do their special handshake. Rock also teases Hogan about his flub, which Hogan accepts that he will never live down. Rock cuts a nice promo about how important Austin and Hogan have been to WWE and to himself. He puts over Cena and Bryan and links them to Hogan and Austin. He also links the birth of a lot of young WWE fans to their parents feeling the passion of WrestleMania.

(Commenter: Seriously, guys, hurry up).

I ended up fast forwarding through the end of this. They took twenty minutes for this opener. The three legends had a beer bash and had the crowd in a good mood.

We get a promo for Bryan vs Triple H.

Daniel Bryan vs Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon) – Winner is added to WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

 

Stephanie is in the ring, to a LOUD chorus of boos and introduces Triple H, who gets an even louder round of boos. This is his last Skull King entrance and he’s attended by three ladies who will soon become VERY well known to WWE fans: Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, and Alexa Bliss. Once Motorhead hits, the pop gets a little better, but the crowd’s feelings are pretty well known.

The pop for Bryan is HUGE! There are ‘Yes!’ signs EVERYWHERE! Bryan’s all smiles until he locks eyes on The Authority and the snarling on both sides has started.

Triple H sticks out his hand, but Bryan isn’t having it, he draws first blood and goes for a quick pin. It’s going to be one of those matches and things get very physical, very quickly.

Bryan mocks Triple H’s attempt at a handshake and the Game is PISSED. Stephanie manages to get him somewhat calmed down, but the tone for this match is set: This is going to be a fight and Trips can’t afford to take Bryan lightly.

I’m sure you will not be surprised that this was a really great match. Triple H and Bryan really took it to each other and both looked great doing it.

Triple H really played up the arrogant heel who didn’t think he had to take Bryan all that seriously and paid for it. I do find it interesting that Stephanie never interfered in the match, or took cheap shots, which she has done in different situations. It plays into this scenario of the Authority not taking Bryan as seriously as they should have.

Winner: Daniel Bryan by pinfall after a running knee. The Superdome EXPLODES. Stephanie and Triple H can’t believe it. Stephanie is livid and slaps Bryan and Triple H attacks him.

Highlights: Bryan hitting a sunset flip powerbomb on Triple H. Triple H still being too arrogant to take Bryan seriously. The sound in the Superdome when Bryan kicked out of the Pedigree.

Comments: Even though I already knew what would happen, Bryan’s victory was a surprise, which is nice. However, I can’t see how a Triple H victory was viable since Evolution hadn’t been relevant in nearly a decade.

Six Man Tag Team Match: The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins) vs The New Age Outlaws and Kane

New Age Outlaws are out first, but due to what just happened, the crowd isn’t having it. The Shield interrupts Road Dogg’s promo and get a good pop. The crowd really wants vengeance for Bryan, apparently. Kane comes out and also gets little reaction.

This match was quick and dirty, which is sad because it really could’ve gone on longer. Dean and Kane start us out, as usual, Dean shows no fear of Kane and tags in Roman. This match quickly degenerates into a free-for-all. The Shield is NOT playing tonight.

Winner: The Shield by pinfall after a Double-Triple Powerbomb.

Highlights: Double-Triple Powerbomb, double Drive-By on the Outlaws.

Comments: I wish this match had gotten more time, but the Hogan/Austin/Rock segment went long, and they didn’t want to take time away from Bryan/Triple H. The crowd is very happy to see the Authority being taken out in some fashion after what happened to Bryan.

We get a backstage segment with a lot of WWF/E Legends playing with toys: Danny Davis, Sgt. Slaughter, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Ricky Steamboat, Ron Simmons, and Ted DiBiase.

Inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Big Show is out and gets a pretty good pop, as does Sheamus. Everyone else is in the ring. Since there’s so many guys and it’s a battle royal, I won’t give you a play-by-play.

Cesaro eliminates Big Show by lifting up Big Show up and dumping over the top rope. To understand what a big deal (no pun intended) that is, Big Show was 450lbs at that time.

Winner: Cesaro by eliminating Big Show. Big Show is a good sport and shakes Cesaro’s hand. Cesaro is elated and manages to lift the VERY heavy trophy up on his own.

Highlights: Kofi and Cody having a top rope version of a chicken fight. 3MB eliminating Khali. Kofi Kingston staying in the battle royal.

Comments: This was a really good battle royal. The shock of Cesaro winning instead of Big Show was a great moment.

We get a video package for Cena/Bray Wyatt. This whole feud was creepy.

John Cena vs Bray Wyatt (with Erik Rowan and Luke Harper)

The Wyatt entrance is supposed to be modeled on voodoo, except the woman isn’t wearing white like in traditional voodoo ceremonies. Wyatt actually gets a decent pop. Cena gets a mixed reaction, as usual. Cena’s usually all smiles when he comes to the ring, but he’s not tonight, probably because of the creeps in the ring.

This was an okay match, but it wasn’t exciting. Something just wasn’t clicking for me. Cena’s reactions were so over the top, it was a little ridiculous and his reaction to Wyatt’s ‘spider walk’ was just…no. The move isn’t scary, and I hate them pretending that it is.

I will give Wyatt credit for being a great wrestler, but the rest of this was just a ‘bleh’ for me on both guys. If this was supposed to bring out Cena’s inner monster, it either failed or Cena’s inner monster is a really lame one.

Winner: John Cena by pinfall

Highlights: Cena ‘getting mad’. Cena doing a flying crossbody on Harper and Rowan, instead of Wyatt. Cena taking out Harper.

Comments: I forgot how over the Wyatts were in 2014. The crowd was super into Wyatt and company during this match.

After the Hall of Fame spot, we see Daniel Bryan being examined by the trainers after his bad shoulder was attacked by Triple H.

We get a video package about the Streak and Taker vs Lesnar. They’re almost telegraphing what’s about to happen, and I’m kind of grateful for that, even though I KNOW what’s coming, seeing it basically being said is a little comforting.

Disclaimer: I have never seen the following match before. When I heard what happened, I avoided watching it, skipping it or WrestleMania 30 in general, so the following comments be my reaction in real time. There will likely be some swearing and I apologize.

The Streak: Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman)

Here we go…

Brock is out first, crowd gives him a good pop. He and Paul look a little…nervous. This is bigger than anyone in UFC and they both know it. Cole and JBL are talking Brock’s stats and I really don’t care. Lawler’s legit dislike of Heyman is showing. JBL’s trying to say Heyman’s the greatest manager ever. NOT. EVEN. Bobby Heenan is and will always be the greatest Manager of all time.

Come, on, let’s get this over with, people.

Lights out. We’re getting a montage of the Streak including Heenan’s chilling words ‘You can’t stop him’. There’s a lot of coffins and it’s creepy. Guess the last one is for Lesnar. Gong sounds, He’s coming. The crowd is popping for this.

Taker’s not wearing his robes, he’s wearing his Deadman gear and the last coffin opens. Lesnar looks legit freaked out, like any normal person, especially when the coffin catches on fire.

The Superdome is SILENT until Justin Roberts announces the Undertaker, and then it’s silence again. I’m going to have nightmares about this, I just know it.

Holy Mother of God, Taker looks like an old man. He doesn’t look like Undertaker anymore. I will say that Taker’s gear looks really cool, but holy cow, Taker looks awful and it’s worse when he takes the hat off and he’s still got that godawful haircut.

 

We’ve got a face off. They both know what’s ahead, they’ve had wars before and they’re going to have one now. Slugfest starting off, but Lesnar’s breaking out the wrestling moves, and Taker’s sent outside but lands on his feet. Lesnar breaking out the UFC stuff. Heyman looks nervous. The ref isn’t doing a whole lot of officiating. Taker’s moving slower than he did last year.

They’re outside and Taker’s in control. The quiet of everyone other than Taker and Lesnar in this match is wigging me out, it’s like hearing people talk in the hospital room of someone who’s very sick or dying. Taker picks Lesnar up for Snake Eyes and Lesnar visibly helps him. Chokeslam early but Lesnar counters, goes for the F-5 but Taker counters that.

Oh, that that looked painful. That bad knee of his is being targeted. This is getting ugly. JBL using car racing terms is making me smile. They keep saying this could be the end, they’re warning the people at home what’s about to happen. Vince KNEW how badly people were going to take this.

Okay, something’s wrong. Taker’s eyes are glazed over and his movements are odd. Lesnar’s pulling his stomps a little because he’s missed Taker’s leg a couple of times. Something is wrong with Taker, like…his bell got rung or something. Oh, I don’t like how Taker’s looking right now.

This looks really sick, Taker’s lying there. I’m sure Heyman’s laughing to sell the story, but this looks awful, Taker’s not fighting back. I wish this crowd would make some noise. Taker hits a DDT that is not the best one I’ve ever seen him hit. I really wish this match was over, Taker’s starting to scare me and not in the way I’m comfortable with. He’s showing life, thankfully, but I still think something’s wrong.

Chokeslam! Only a two-count. Taker goes for the tombstone but Lesnar counters and hits the F-5, Taker kicks out. JBL rooting for Lesnar irritates me, but the crowd is rooting for Taker. Taker is trying to sit up, but I think he just suckered Lesnar in and he’s got him in Hell’s Gate. Damn! Lesnar breaks the hold.

Okay, now I’m really worried about Taker, but he goes for Hell’s Gate again. Lesnar breaks the hold by the deadlift powerbomb. Heyman’s about to have a stroke. Taker goes to sit up but it’s not happening. Lesnar gets Taker in that damn arm break thing of his but Taker’s not tapping and turns it around on Lesnar, just like Triple H did last year.

Both guys are sucking wind like crazy. Taker looks like he can’t believe he knocked Lesnar down. Old School is countered into the second F-5. Heyman throws a damn tantrum over Taker kicking out. Lesnar hits a horrible German suplex.

Taker hits what I think was supposed to be a Last Ride, but he didn’t get it all and he missed the cover. God, Taker looks like he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he was struggling to get Lesnar into a tombstone position.

Okay, he sat up, that’s…that’s good, right? It looks like the lights are coming back on. Lesnar hits another F-5 for three. Crap, even KNOWING that how this match would end doesn’t make it easier, I’m STILL crying.

Winner: Brock Lesnar by pinfall. The Streak is over. The crowd pops but then reality sinks in. There are a lot of stunned and unhappy faces in the crowd. They didn’t even play Lesnar’s music at first. It’s like…that wasn’t the finish that was planned. The crowd’s starting to boo, LOUDLY. Afterwards, Taker gets to his feet and the crowd and ringside crew give him a standing ovation and he walks to the back.

Comment: I honestly never want to see this match again, once is more than enough. I might feel differently next year, but right now, I don’t care if I ever see this match again.

We get a promo for WrestleMania 31.

The commentators give props to Undertaker. It really seems like this was meant to be Taker’s last match.

Vickie Guerrero Invitational Match for the WWE Divas Championship: AJ Lee vs Aksana vs Alicia Fox vs Brie Bella vs Cameron vs Emma vs Eva Marie vs Layla vs Naomi vs Natalya vs Nikki Bella vs Rosa Mendes vs Summer Rae vs Tamina Snuka

All the Divas are in the ring for this match, except for AJ, who gets little reaction, which isn’t surprising given what just happened.  Vickie is screeching and it’s getting on my nerves and apparently the Divas aren’t thrilled either.

AJ and Tamina are shoved into the middle and the rest gang up on them. Again, I wish they’d done the Divas/Women’s Revolution sooner, there’s a lot of talented women in this match who really should get more respect than they are given by fans.

Winner: AJ by submission.

Highlights: Stereo snap suplexes. Bellas’ stereo suicide dives. Bellas turning on each other.

Comments: Given what was going to happen tomorrow on RAW, why wasn’t Paige brought in as a surprise entrant?

Mean Gene is doing an interview with Hogan backstage when Piper and Orndorff show up. Piper doesn’t seem to be in the mood to fight…yet. They start rehashing their match at the first WrestleMania and it looks like a fight’s going to break out, especially when T starts running his mouth. Pat Patterson (who refereed that match) reminds them that that match was thirty years ago and Hogan offers to bury the hatchet (not in Piper and Orndorff’s heads, I presume). Everyone shakes hands, and all is good with the world.

There’s a lot of Hall of Famers at ringside, enjoying the show. Bret’s there and he’s a bundle of laughs, as always. The crowd is still dead from the Taker match.

Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton vs Batista vs Daniel Bryan

Orton is being sung to the ring and his pop is minimal. They’re going to have an uphill battle to get this crowd engaged again. Batista gets a round of boos. And the crowd isn’t in a good mood.

Bryan gets a pop, but even he isn’t getting much of one, surprisingly. The ‘Yes’ chant starts, but it’s not as loud as earlier. Even when they do the in-ring intros, Bryan’s not getting a big pop. Bryan draws first blood, Batista goes for a powerbomb, but Bryan counters with a really bad headscissor takedown. Orton targets Bryan’s bad shoulder and Bryan goes outside and we get a match between Orton and Batista.

Triple H and Stephanie show up with Scott Armstrong to make sure that Bryan doesn’t win, but Bryan isn’t going to be robbed of his dream by a bunch of corporate suits or their stooge ref. He takes out Armstrong and Stephanie, and then takes out Triple H with the Game’s own sledgehammer.

Batista and Orton try to gang up on Bryan so they can have the 1-1 they were supposed to have, but Bryan refuses to go away, even shoving away doctors and getting off a stretcher after a Batista Bomb/RKO combination through the Spanish annouce table.

After taking out Orton, Bryan locks the Yes!Lock on Batista and Batista taps. We have a NEW champion and it’s a Mick Foley moment. The guy everyone said couldn’t be champion is the champion. The crowd LOSES it.

This match was also slow moving, or it felt that way. Like Miz/Cena waiting for Rock, it felt like everyone was treading water for the Triple H and Stephanie run in. While it was nice story progression to see them take Bryan more seriously, it hurt the match, in my opinion because things didn’t pick up until they came out.

Winner: Daniel Bryan by submission on Batista. The crowd ERUPTS, their hero is the champion! Bryan celebrates with his sister and niece and then goes to see Connor Michalek, the brave little boy who had been such a fan of his, even while dying of pediatric cancer, and thanks him for his support. Sadly, little Connor would die a few weeks later of his disease.

Highlights: Bryan hitting ‘Yes’ kicks to Orton and Batista. Bryan taking out Scott Armstrong. Bryan using the sledgehammer on Triple H. Batista Bomb into an RKO. The crowd reaction to Bryan’s win

Comments: This match wasn’t as good as Bryan vs Triple H. It was good, but it was too slow a start.

Overall Comments:

So, is WrestleMania 30 as big a deal in reality as it is in retrospect? Well, yes and no. No, it’s not a big deal because of the fallout of the big matches because no one knew what that fallout was going to look like, but it IS a big deal because of what it represents for WWE and the fans: That Vince McMahon’s biggest gamble is still going strong. The show that everyone feared or hoped would fail is not only still successful thirty years later, but growing and improving, seeking new horizons and still bringing in new fans.

Snoozers: There were several, but Cena/Wyatt was the biggest one.

Match of the Night: Triple H vs Daniel Bryan, that was amazing.

Hall of Fame: Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, The Ultimate Warrior, Lita, Paul Bearer, Carlos Colon, Sr, Scott Hall, and Mr. T. Sadly, this would be the last WrestleMania appearance for The Ultimate Warrior. He would die of a sudden heart attack two days later.

Final Thoughts: Aside from the Taker match, I really enjoyed this show overall. Even knowing the outcome, the Bryan matches were done so well, I was still surprised that he won.


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Chairshots Classics: SummerSlam 2008

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SummerSlam 2008 gives us The Undertaker and Edge in a Hell in the Cell match.  CM Punk and JBL go face-to-face for the World Heavyweight Title,  Matt Hardy squares up with Mark Henry for the ECW Championship and on the WWE side of the Strap we get Triple H and The Great Kahli….all this and so much more in this edition of The Chairshot Classic.

Today we will spend the evening in The Conseco Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The show is sold-out with 15,997 in attendance and another 447K tuning in on PPV at home. The theme song for the night will be “Ready to Roll” by Jet Black Stare and the event is sponsored by the 20th Century Fox film “Street Kings”. On a sidenote this is a great movie that stars Keanu Reeves and Forrest Whitaker. Its the story of crooked cops and one mans journey to bring it all down. Check it out. This is also the first PPV after the WWE went to a PG rating, the last one of the PG-13 era being The Great American Bash. Let’s head to the arena and see if this effects the overall product as it’s time for “The Biggest Blockbuster of the Summer”!

The show opens with a movie trailer that is done to make SummerSlam seem like the Blockbuster event of the Summer. It goes on to show Vickie Guerrero reinstate The Undertaker and grant him his Hell in a Cell match with Edge. This a feud that carried over from WrestleMania and Taker and Edge were the first to Main Event both events in the same year. This is a well done package and ranks up there in best opens at SummerSlam for sure.

After the package ends Jim Ross welcomes us into the sold-out show and he introduces the other announcers, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Michael Cole. The three men run through the nights card and the first competitor of the night is introduced. Jeff Hardy enters and he gets the usual love from the fans. Or as a JR says “A Michael Phelps-like welcome.”  JR is tasked with calling the first match and his partner is Tazz. I wish they would move past this mutli-brand announcing as I am a fan of just one announce crew, not three. Montel Vontavious Porter, or MVP is next out for what looks to be a good opening bout.

As soon as the bell sounds, MVP goes for a big opening kick but Hardy dodges it. This opens a window of opportunity for Jeff to land a series of haymakers to the midsection. MVP rolls from the ring to recover and Hardy is quick to follow him. MVP uses this to his advantage and slides right back into the ring, hoping to get the upper hand. This backfires, and Jeff pulls him back out of the ring by his feet. Hardy then slams MVP into the security wall getting the first nice pop of the night. After high-fiving some fans, Hardy bounces MVP off the apron and returns him to the ring. A springboard leg drop and a pin attempt follow, but MVP gets his foot on the rope to break the count. An armbar is next, and when Hardy transitions into a standing variety of the hold, MVP is able to find the ropes. Hardy keeps the advantage for some time but it starts to shift after MVP hits the charging Hardy with a belly-to-belly toss into the turnbuckle. MVP tries for a cover but Hardy gets the shoulder up at two. MVP works Hardy with an armlock next and every time Hardy is close to escaping, Porter nails him with strikes to keep the hold applied. This eventually leads to Jeff Hardy being put in the camel clutch in the center of the ring. Jeff manages to escape it, but MVP is quick to put him into a variation of  a single leg crab. Hardy finally finds the ropes and the official is forced to break the hold.

Hardy rolls to the apron to escape the stomps of MVP and tries to springboard back into the ring. This doesn’t go as planned and MVP catches Jeff, mid springboard, with a right hook. The crowd have a little “MVP” chant here as he brings Hardy back into the ring. Porter tries for a cover and is shocked when he is only rewarded a near fall. An Alabama slam is next, and this leaves Hardy suspended in a tree of woe position. After a quick argument with the official, MVP slams Hardy to the mat and goes for another cover. He is again only gets a near fall and pick Hardy back up. He puts Jeff into a Razor’s Edge like set-up but Hardy escapes with the backslide and catches MVP with a reverse neckbreaker. Hardy lands the mule kick and this sends MVP into the corner. When Hardy charges him, MVP pulls off the ropes for momentums and dropkicks Hardy square in the chest. This had some nice impact and sends Hardy sailing across the ring. MVP is quick with another cover attempt, but for the fourth time he only gets the two count. MVP then whips Jeff into the corner, and when he bounces back out, MVP sends him right back into it with a dropkick. MVP tries for the Drive-by Kick but Hardy explodes from the corner and catches him with a slingblade. Both men lay prone as the ref starts his count. They both slowly return to their feet at the count of seven and Hardy gets the advantage with a Russian leg sweep. Hardy tries for the leg drop cover but it’s MVP’s turn to kick-out. Hardy explodes into a springboard Whisper in the Wind and so does the crowd when this happens. Hardy is quick to return to the top rope, and when he gets up there we see Shelton Benjamin appear at ringside. Hardy crossbodies him and returns right to the top rope. Jeff tries for the Swanton Bomb, but the interference allows MVP to roll from harms way. Hardy hits the mat hard and this allows MVP to hit the Drive-by Kick. When MVP makes the cover, this time he gets the three count and the victory. This was a decent match but I expected better from these two. Not a must watch by any stretch of the imagination and could be skipped over. Match Time-10:21

Next we get an interview with two of the competitors in the next match that is an inter-gender bout with the Intercontinental and Women’s Championships on the line. This is team Glamerella, which is made up of Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella. Maria Kanellis interviews the two and this is all really lame stuff here. We re-enter the arena after this tragedy and Lillian Garcia tells us that this is a winner takes all tag-team bout for the IC and Women’s Titles. I find this quite offensive to one of my all-time favorite Titles, The Intercontinental Championship. Out first is the Women’s Champion Mickie James, who receives a nice pop from the fans. The IC Champ is out next and the crowd has even more pop for Kofi Kingston. Glamerella is out next and incase you’re to young to remember this name was a play on the common theme of combined celebrity names at the time. Most famously was the couple of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, or Brangelina, if you will.

The Glamazon and Mickie James start the bout and the collar and elbow leads to a side headlock for Mickie. She tries to hip toss Phoenix, but she is overpowered and Phoenix tosses Mickie off of her. Phoenix is soon kneeling after James dropkicks her knee out from under her. James then hits the ropes and lands another dropkick, this time to the face of Phoenix. Phoenix reverses into a backdrop and this allows her to tag in Marella. As this is a inter-gender match Mickie James isn’t forced to come out and lands a kick to the back of Marella’s head. She avoids a clothesline from him and this gives her the opportunity to tag in her partner. After the tag is made, Kingston enters the ring via the top rope and nails Marella with a crossbody. Kofi lands a few flipping maneuvers before he sends Santino Marella flying from the ring with a European uppercut. Phoenix starts to yell at her partner and this is when James enters the ring and sends Phoenix sailing off the apron with a dropkick to the back. The crowd pops for this and Beth picks Santino up, as to protect him, because it looks like Kofi is coming out of the ring with a suicide dive. Kofi instead dives into the top rope, intentionally, and bounces back into the ring. Cool stuff here from Kingston.

Marella returns to the apron and when Kofi tries to pull him into the ring Marella hotshots him with a reverse neckbreaker. After Marella does a little more offense and delivers a thumb to the eye of Kingston, he tags Beth Phoenix back in. After a quick kick to the midsection of Kofi, she tags her partner right back in. Marella hits a snap suplex and goes for the cover. Kofi kicks it out at two. Marella responds to this by sitting on the back of Kofi and wrenching on the IC champ’s neck. Kofi eventually stands this up and both men hit the ropes. The two collide in the middle and it looks as though they accidently bumped heads. Marella makes the tag and Kofi is able to do the same. Mickie comes in hot and nails the Glamazon with a series of forearms. Mickie then hits the ropes and takes Phoenix off her feet with a slingblade. She hits a second slingblade and when Marella tries to enter the ring James dropkicks him off the apron. After a hurricanrana, Mickie heads to the top rope and hits Phoenix with the Lou Thesz press from the air. She goes for the cover but Marella enters the ring to break it up. James hits him with a cool tornado DDT but this allows Phoenix to attack her from behind. Phoenix hits James with the Glam Slam and makes the cover. The ref counts the three and Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella are new Title holders. This is the first time the IC Title changed hands at SummerSlam since 2002 when Rob Van Dam beat Chris Benoit. (More on that here.) If you have taken the time to read about this match do yourself a favor and DON’T watch it. Pure trash and a disgrace to a Title that has been carried by some of the greatest bell-to-bell performers of all-time. Match Time-5:35

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Chairshot Classics: WCW WrestleWar ’91

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For the first time, WCW holds a pay-per-view fully on their own, as they continue their slow split with the National Wrestling Alliance. This event is not under the NWA banner any longer, but brings back the WarGames for the continued fallout from Starrcade. ‘The Nature Boy’ is also the new World Champion again, ending Sting’s reign roughly a month and a half prior. Sting has now fielded his squad to even the odds with The Four Horsemen, but can his patchwork team match the cohesion of Ric Flair’s men?

Match #1 for the WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Championships: WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Champions Junkyard Dog, Ricky Morton & ‘Wildfire’ Tommy Rich vs. The State Patrol (Lt. James Earl Wright & Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker) & Big Cat
Cat and JYD start the action. The two big men exchange rights and JYD catches his jaw. JYD ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. He headbutts Big Cat who quickly tags in Wright. Side headlock and a tag to Morton. Wright sends Morton, but Ricky avoids contact and sends him down with a hiptoss and an armdrag. More arm drags from the RnR man. Tag is made to Rich and they double clothesline Wright. Wristlock into an armbar on Wright. He fights out of the hold and sends Rich to the ropes.

Wildfire reverses the offense and scoop slams him. Wright moves away from an elbow but Rich doesn’t pull the trigger. An arm drag into a wristlock by Rich, Wright breaks it up with a poke to the eyes. He slams Rich and tags in Parker. Parker misses an elbow and is sent over with an arm drag and gets caught in an arm bar. Shoulder blocks to the midsection from Parker who sends Rich to the ropes. Shoulder tackles by Rich, who then reverses a hiptoss into one of his own. Another arm drag by Rich. Tag is made to Morton and Parker powers him into the corner. Morton reverses an Irish whip and delivers an inverted atomic drop. Wright rushes the ring and has the same fate. Arm drag by Morton and he pulls his opponent up, tagging in JYD. Snapmare and a stomp by the big man. A headbutt from JYD and Big Cat is tagged back in.

JYD looks for a test of strength, Big Cat has the early advantage but JYD reverses it with a back heel trip. They exchange head butts and Big Cat drops an elbow for two. Parker is tagged back in, he strikes JYD with no effect. JYD fights back and tags in Morton. They run the ropes and Morton is hit in the mid section. Wright is tagged in and the Patrol double teams Morton. More double team work by State Patrol after another quick tag. Big Cat is tagged in. Drop toe hold/elbow combo from the partners. Lateral press but Morton kicks out. Morton is sent and gets a dropkick by the big man. Cat headbutts him to the ground and kicks him into the corner. He slams Morton down but Ricky moves from the big elbow. Parker is tagged in and he exchanges rights with Morton. Powerslam in midair from Parker but Morton kicks out.

Another quick tag and a bulldog/elbow combo from the Patrol. Yet another quick tag and Morton is reeling from double team work. Big Cat is in. Morton tries a cross body but is caught with a back breaker. Big Cat gets some heat on his opponents and with the ref’s back turned, Morton is triple teamed. Parker is tagged in and applies a reverse chinlock. Irish whip, but Morton moves and Parker hits the turnbuckle. Wright is tagged in, but Morton somersaults over and tags in big JYD. He goes right to work and hits Parker with the Big Thump. Cat breaks up the pin attempt as all participants rush the ring. JYD gets up and knocks Cat out of the ring and Morton jumps on the laid out Parker and picks up a three count.
Winners and STILL WCW Six-Man Tag Team Champions: JYD, Morton & Rich (Morton/Thump)

  • EA’s Take: Well, I guess you don’t have to be the legal man to pick up the win. I’ve seen he idea of a 6-Man Title in WWE being tossed around by some on social media and I can’t even begin to imagine how much of an abortion that would be. Nevertheless, this one was just a way to just cluster mid-card guys together and the championships don’t even last a calendar year in WCW. It just doesn’t have the appeal and excitement you’d think outside of Mexico. I’ve never seen the need for it.

In The Arena: Tony Schiavone is standing by with Terry Taylor and Alexandra York. York explains that thanks to Taylor’s in-ring success, the York Foundation is flourishing. They have been using computers to scientifically determine their opponent’s weakness. York predicts Taylor will win in less than 15 minutes and 28 seconds, Taylor predicts pain.

Match #2: Brad Armstrong vs. ‘Beautiful’ Bobby Eaton
Eaton blindsides Armstrong right off the bat. Armstrong fights back and they run the ropes. Headscissor, dropkick and an arm drag by Armstrong. He hangs on for an armbar. Back to a vertical base, wristlock by Armstrong. It’s broken in the corner and Eaton slaps Armstrong across the face. A reversed Irish whip, and Armstrong monkey flips Eaton and goes right back to the arm bar. He keeps the pressure on the arm. Back to their feet and Eaton breaks it with a knee before dumping Armstrong to the floor. He gives chase and Randy Anderson starts the count. Armstrong drives Eaton into the rail and ring post. Both men back to the ring and Armstrong returns to the arm.

He holds a wrist lock before transitioning back to the armbar. Eaton gets over to the ropes to break it. Tempers flare and they shove one another, Eaton cowers back to the ropes again. Eaton calls for a test of strength and Amrstrong obliges. Kick to the mid section by Eaton and Armstrong drops to his knees. Back to a vertical base for Armstrong. He disorients Eaton by climbing up over his shoulders, running up the turnbuckle and turning around with a flying cross body and a two count. Arm drag/Armbar combo once again for Armstrong. Back to their feet and to the corner, Eaton hits a cheap right. Eaton slingshots Armstrong over the ropes but it’s reversed.

Armstrong with a right to the abdomen and goes back to work on the wrist and arm. Eaton reverses a waist lock and hits a huge clothesline. Eaton is slow to cover and only gets two. He sends Armstrong and lifts him for a back breaker. He leans in but Armstrong kicks out again. Scoop slam by Eaton  followed with an elbow, he can still only get two. Reverse chinlock by Eaton. Armstrong hits elbows but Eaton stops the breakup with a knee to the face. Slingshot backbreaker by Beautiful Bobby. He goes for the pin and Armstrong kicks out.

Eaton applies a modified Camel Clutch. The crowd gets behind Armstrong who works to his feet. Shots to the midsection, but Eaton counters the attempt with an elbow and he kicks Armstrong out to the floor. Bobby hotshots him across the railing and heads back to the ring. Armstrong is slow to return but he beats the count. An abdominal stretch is applied by Eaton who uses the ropes for leverage. Randy Anderson crawls in between Armstrong’s legs to catch Eaton cheating and breaks it up.

The two exchange blows, Irish whip but Armstong moves and Eaton goes legs first into the turnbuckle. Drop kick followed by a side Russian leg sweep by Brad but Eaton is too close to the ropes to get the pin. Irish whip by Armstrong but Eaton reverses with a neck breaker. Eaton heads to the top rope and he lands a flying leg drop which earns him the win.
Winner: ‘Beautiful’ Bobby Eaton (Alabama Jam)

  • EA’s Take: Cornette and Lane have both departed the company at this point. I miss The Midnight Express, but I’m happy to see Eaton putting on great singles matches. Unfortunately for him, we’d find out there was a reason why he was always in a tag team as he can’t really talk well or change his look with the times. The Armstrong family has to be one of the most underrated families in wrestling. When I started watching WCW religiously in the mid 90’s, Brad was doing a lot of jobs, but there’s no doubt the guy could work. It’s just too bad he was never able to show his personality on-camera, then later gets saddled with a gimmick blatantly ripping off his own brother.
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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: Raw #7 [March 1st 1993]

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Hello from the Raw side where we chronologically wander through past episodes of WWE’s Monday Night Raw episode by episode. Seven weeks in and it’s time for a WWE Title match. To see who it was defended against and if it was defended at all (see what I did there?) lets head on to

Raw #7 [March 1 1993]

As soon as Raw opens, WWE Champion, Bret Hart is on his way down the isle for……

. Bret Hart vs Fatu [WWE Title]

Fatu pushes Bret out of a Collar and Elbow. Bret turns a second one into a Headlock but Fatu sends him off the ropes. Nobody moves as both men clash shoulders together in the centre of the ring. Bret charges at Fatu who catches Bret and Bodyslams him before an Elbow Drop that Bret rolls to avoid. Bret hits an Armdrag followed by knees to the shoulder before applying an Armbar. Fatu breaks it by throwing Bret into the turnbuckles. However, Bret avoids a charging Fatu and Armdrags him into another Armbar. Fatu breaks this one by sending Bret off the ropes. Again nobody moves when both men clash shoulders in the centre of the ring. Bret hits Fatu with another Shoulder Block and this time Fatu goes down. Bret runs the ropes and falls over Fatu (which Vince tries to pass off as a trip by Fatu’s manager, Afa, despite Afa being nowhere near Bret) and clutches his knee. He’s faking it. As Fatu celebrates his opponent’s injury Bret runs at Fatu and rolls him up with a School Boy that gets him a two count.

Bret Arm Wringers his way back into the Armbar. Fatu tries to break it with a Bodyslam but Bret rolls through it still holding the Armbar. Fatu breaks it again by sending Bret off the ropes but Fatu telegraphs a Back Drop and Bret Faceplants Fatu into the canvas. Fatu is Samoan and apparently shots to the head (like a Faceplant) have no effect on him and he stands straight back up and Superkicks Bret for a two count. Fatu uses his hard Samoan head to hit Bret with a Headbutt. Fatu sends Bret off the ropes and tries to Hip Toss Bret. He counters it and, despite managing to Armdrag Fatu twice so far this match, can’t Hip Toss Fatu because he’s too heavy and gets Clotheslined by Fatu for another two count. Fatu applies a nerve grip to Bret’s shoulder. Bret tries to fight his way out with Elbows to the gut but Fatu pulls Bret’s hair and re-applies the nerve grip. It’s eventually broken when Fatu gets hungry and bites Bret. Fatu catches Bret as he runs right into a Back Elbow and gets a two count. Samu walks down the isle. Bret ducks a Clothesline and hits a Cross Body for a two. Fatu kicks out hard enough to send Bret rolling out of the ring. Afa distracts the referee allowing Samu to Bodyslam Bret Hart onto the ringside mats followed by a series of Headbutts and finally Sam rams Bret into the ringside steps.

Back from the ads and Bret is still on the outside of the ring and not been counted out. (how short were the ads back in ’93 and can we have those back?) Fatu is fanally bored waiting and hits Bret’s head off the apron before rolling Bret back into the ring. Fatu Headbutts Bret and Irish Whips him hard into the corner. Fatu gets a two from a side Backbreaker. Fatu Irish Whips Bret again and drops with another Headbutt for another two count. Fatu gets another two count from a Piledriver. Fatu bites at Bret again and kicks him in one corner before Irish Whipping Bret chest first into another for yet another two count. Fatu gets another one from a Sidewalk Slam and a second rope Headbutt. Fatu climbs to the top turnbuckle but Bret stops him with a Right Hand and Superplexes Fatu for a two count as does a Bulldog. Bret hits a Side Backbreaker and a second rope Elbow Drop before applying the Sharpshooter. Afa distracts the referee while Samu Clotheslines Bret. Fatu rolls out of the ring and Samu gets a two count. Afa distracts again and Fatu is back in. Bret slips out of a Bodyslam attempt and pushes Fatu into Samu causing Samu to get tied up in the ropes. Bret hits Fatu with a Russian Leg Sweep and Dropkicks Afa to prevent him interfering. Bret locks Fatu in the Sharpshooter and this is over.

Winner: Bret Hart [still WWE Champion]

Time for a Wrestlemania Report. Mean Gene hypes the matches for Westlemania including Hogan & Beefcake vs DiBiase & IRS, Giant Gonzales vs The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels vs Tatanka, Lex Luger vs Mr Perfect and Bret Hart vs Yokozuna. Tickets are still available.

Via sattelite we link up with Crush. He demonstates his prediction for his Wrestlemania match by crushing a coconut.

. Doink vs Koko B Ware

Doink attacks Koko before the bell with a Running Knee and then stops on Koko before Elbow Dropping Koko’s knee. He then stops Koko’s knee. Doink applies a Half Crab that quickly becomes an STF. Doink kicks at Koko’s hamstring. Doink hits Koko with a Neckbreaker. Doink applies the Stump Puller and this one is over. Night of Submissions this is.

Winner: Doink

Elvis” or Rob Bartlet interviews Doink at ringside. Doink hands Bartlet a tiny cream pie. Bartlet shows it to the crowd and turns right into… Doink smushes a normal sized cream pie into Bartlet’s face. I love Doink sometimes.

We get the Bret Hart IcoPro ad, the Savage Slim Jim ad and the action figure ad.

Vince McMahon is in the ring with Ted DiBiase & IRS. DiBiase says he thought Hogan had gone off into the sunset but “oh no, here he comes again“. DiBiase says that insted of taking an asset, Hogan has taken an overpaid loss in Jimmy Hart. IRS says if they wanted they could have put Beefcake out of wrestling for good, but they didn’t and calls their attack “a wake up call“. DiBiase says not only will they put the titles on the line against Hogan and Beefcake, but they wll do so at Wrestlemania. He should watch Raw, Mean Gene told me about this match earlier in the show on the Wrestlemania Report.

The Wrestlemania ad airs. Slightly over a month away and tickets are STILL available.

. Lex Luger vs PJ Walker

Yes people it’s Enhancement Time! This time it’s PJ Walker. He will go on to become ECW alumni Justin Credible. We will see him turn up in about 2020 as masked jellyfish Aldo Montoya.

Luger starts with a Kick to the gut and an Elbow to the back of PJ’s head. Luger then Irish Whips PJ hard into the corner twice. Luger then lifts PJ and drops his back across Luger’s knee for a Backbreaker and then hits a Suplex. Luger then rams PJ head first into the corner twice and then catches PJ with a High Knee. Luger then lifts PJ for a Bodyslam but instead runs him into the corner (similar to an Oklahoma Stampede). With PJ hanging from the turnbuckles in a Tree Of Woe stylee, Luger kicks at PJ’s gut. Down off the corner, Luger then Soccer Kicks PJ in the ribs. Luger then hits PJ with a running Forearm and pins him with his pinkie.

Winner: Lex Luger

. Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner vs Duane Gill & Barry Hardy

Yes people, it’s another Enhancement Time! This match feel familiar to anyone? It should, this is basically the Executioners vs The Steiners from Raw #1 only the Executioners are maskless.

Scott and Barry start. Scott goes quickly from an Arm Wringer into a Double Leg Takedown but Barry quickly gets to the ropes. Scott turns a Collar and Elbow into a Headlock and Barry pushes him off the ropes. Scott hits him with a Shoulder Block as he rebounds which knocks Barry down. Scott goes off the ropes again, leapfrogs Barry and smashes a Forearm across his back. Scott grabs Barry and lauches him with an Overhead Belly To Belly Suplex. Scott hits a Snapmare and tags Rick who Clotheslines Barry over the top rope and out of the ring. Scott throws Barry back into the ring where Rick lifts him onto his shoulder and runs (similar to Luger’s variation of the Oklahoma Stampede earlier) into the corner. Rick throws Barry into his own corner so he can tag Duane who runs straight into a Back Drop by Rick. Duane is then thrown off the ropes where Rick catches him with a Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker and an Elbow Drop. Scott tags in and hits Duane with a Pump Handle Slam. Scott sends Duane off the ropes and Dropkicks him. Rick tags in and briefly applies a Camel Clutch before tagging Scott back in. Scott hits a Double Underhook Suplex and a Frankensteiner. He covers Duane and to no surprise, this is over.

Winners: Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner

The ad for Mania airs again.

Commentary hype next weeks matches including Mr Perfect vs Rick Martel and Ted DiBiase & IRS vs El Matador & Virgil and we are done for another week.

Post Show: What can I say? Raw in 1993 is what it is and it will be that way for a couple of years yet.

Match Of The Night: Bret Hart vs Fatu. It was a WWE Championship match on TV and was at least given time for them to do something with. The rest was just filler.

MVP: Bret Hart AND Fatu. Fatu’s offence plus Bret’s selling made the match.

Rating: 6/10

With that I bid you farewell. I’ll be back next week with Episode 8. In the meantime I can be found on Twitter @Callaweasy2220 where I live tweet Raw, Smackdown, NXT and (when there’s one on like the other night with Extreme Rules) pay per view. I also talk Wrestling and post random pictures of what wrestling I am watching so feel free to pop over.

While you are here on TheChairshot.com we have news, views and reviews for you to amuse yourself with.

As I said, I’ll be back next week so until then, #UseYourHead and ALWAYS have an Angle!


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