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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: WWF SummerSlam ’91

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Match #1: Power & Glory (Hercules & Paul Roma) & The Warlord w/Slick vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, ‘The Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich & The British Bulldog
The Dragon will kickoff the action with Roma, they lock-up to a stalemate, Roma strikes first with a kick, then a slam, following with a dropkick. He climbs to the 2nd rope, Steamboat pulls him off with an armdrag, hangs on with a wristlock, Roma backs him into the corner and lands rights to break it. Irish whip across, Roma charges in, Dragon side-steps it and hits another arm drag, then a dropkick of his own. He snapmares Roma over, Roma slides to his corner and tags out, Hercules rushing in and getting flung with multiple arm drags.

Steamboat brings The Tornado in, he exchanges wristlocks with Herc, The Mighty One goes to the eyes and attempts to ram Tornado head-first into the top turnbuckle, but it’s blocked. Hercules meets the turnbuckle numerous times instead, Tornado climbing to the 2nd rope and delivering a flurry of right hands. He gains control with another wristlock, Herc back to the eyes and Warlord gets the tag as Bulldog comes in on the other side. Davey Boy hits the ropes and collides shoulders with Warlord, hits the ropes again, ducks a shot and staggers the big man with a clothesline, back to the ropes for another to drop him.

The Bulldog plants Warlord with a delayed vertical suplex, covers for a count of 2 and tags out, The Dragon coming in from the top with an overhand chop. He serves more chops in the corner, The Warlord reverses a whip across, Steamboat jumps to the 2nd rope, then over a charging Warlord. The Dragon with a monkey flip attempt, Warlord hangs onto the ropes to avoid it, makes a tag and Roma jumps off the top with a fist to the ribcage. He levels Steamboat with a clothesline and has some words with Tornado on the apron, Hercules with a cheap shot and Roma looks to follow with a slam.

Steamboat slips out, pushes into the ropes and gains a roll-up, Herc hits the ring to stop the count and distract the official, Warlord stepping in and flattening Dragon with a clothesline. Roma rakes the eyes, hits a snap suplex for a count of 2, then cracks Steamboat with multiple backbreakers before tagging out. Hercules re-enters and hammers away at the lower back, presses The Dragon over his head and slams him to the canvas. Warlord gets a tag and delivers a slam, tags out, Roma hitting the ropes and scores with a seated senton to the back. Herc comes in and sends Steamboat to the ropes, The Dragon slides between his legs and fires away with chops, attempts to send The Mighty One to the ropes and it’s reversed.

Herc drops The Dragon across the ropes with a hot shot, brings Warlord back in, clubbing blow to the back followed by another slam, Warlord to the 2nd rope and he jumps down to double boots to the face. Von Erich gets a hot tag and unloads with stiff rights, Hercules comes in and eats one of his own, then another for Roma on the apron. The Tornado shoots Warlord in for a back body drop, Warlord tries a sunset flip, Von Erich reaching out and making a tag.

Bulldog comes off the 2nd rope and gets caught in the air, Tornado assists in toppling Warlord over, Davey Boy falls on top and gets a 2 count. Roma tags in and rushes the ring, instantly gets caught on Bulldog’s shoulder and planted with a Running Powerslam, but only gets a count of 2. The Warlord tries to come in and is stopped by the referee, Steamboat heads up top and connects with a crossbody to Roma, covers and gets the 3 count without being tagged in.
Winners: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, ‘The Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich & The British Bulldog (Steamboat/Top Rope Crossbody)

  • EA’s Take: A bit of a continuation here from WrestleMania between The Warlord & Bulldog, again with Davey Boy coming out on top. Slick’s stable of talent had really fallen off and was mainly undercard characters by now. Power & Glory would split soon after SummerSlam, Roma skipping off to WCW and oddly enough, becoming a member of the Four Horsemen. This would leave Hercules to jump back into singles competition, but without Slick at his side. The notable part here is the return of Ricky Steamboat who was simply billed as ‘The Dragon’. He had left WCW in 1989 over a contract dispute, deciding to wrestle in Japan instead. He would return on an episode of Superstars in early March, but was treated as a new character with very little reference to his previous run in the company. The comeback wouldn’t last as he would quit the company again as we head towards Survivor Series, supposedly because he was booked to be squashed by The Undertaker and didn’t want to do it.

Backstage: Sean Mooney is in the locker room with WWF Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect & Coach. The champion talks about his opponent tonight Bret Hart, stating the title says champion on it and to be a champion you have to be perfect. Bret Hart may be excellent, but he’s not perfect.

Match #2 for the WWF Intercontinental Championship: Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect w/Coach
Collar & elbow at the start to a stalemate, they lock-up again and Bret with a side headlock, gets pushed into the ropes and scores with a shoulder knockdown. Back into the ropes, Perfect tries a hiptoss, The Hitman blocks and hits one of his own, the champion sliding to the outside to regroup. Back in the ring now, Hart with another side headlock, gets pushed into the ropes and puts The Perfect One in a crucifix, gains a count of 2 and takes the champion to the mat with another side headlock.

Perfect grabs a handful of hair to get to his feet, tries to push the challenger away and Bret turns the favor with a handful of hair to maintain the hold. The Perfect One finally breaks free, backing Hart to the ropes to bury a knee to the midsection, shoots Hitman to the ropes and is hit with a crossbody for another 2 count. The Hitman flies to the outside off the kick-out, quickly pulls himelf to the apron and drives a shoulder to the breadbasket, sunset flips in and gets another near fall, then takes Perfect back down with a side headlock.

The champion uses the hair once again to break the hold, whips Bret to the ropes for a boot, Hitman catches the foot and takes him down with a double leg, stomping away at the chest. The Perfect One reverses a whip to the corner and slams the challenger, Bret kicks up with both feet and returns the favor, then gets caught by a Perfect kick-up. Hart trips the champion and clotheslines him over the top, Mr. Perfect collects himself and then starts to take a walk to the back. The Hitman is out after him, rips his tights and rolls the champion back in the ring, Perfect seeking refuge in the corner and the ref steps in between.

They tie-up and Hart backs the champion into the corner, the official attempts to create a break and Perfect delivers a cheap shot to take control. He sends Hitman to the outside with kicks to the ribs, Hart pulling himself to the apron, only to get dropped back down. He pulls himself up again, Perfect pushes on the ropes and the challenger is sent into the barricade at ringside. Hart pulls himself into the ring and fires away with right hands, the champion reverses a whip to the corner and charges in, Bret hopping up and over for a roll-up that gets a 2 count. The Perfect One quickly goes to the eyes to stop the momentum, shoots The Hitman hard into the turnbuckles and covers for 2.

He hits his trademark neck snap for another count of 2, Hitman reverses a whip to the ropes for a back body drop, the champion has it scouted and delivers a kick, then a dropkick and Bret falls to the outside. Mr. Perfect gives chase, scales the corner and The Hitman is up to meet him, they trade punches, the champion gets the better of it, Hart falls to the mat and Perfect uses the ropes for a 2 count. He tosses the challenger across the ring by the hair, sends him into the ropes and locks in a sleeper hold, grinding Bret down to the canvas. The Hitman fights to his feet, hits the ropes for another crucifix, Perfect blocks it and plants Hart for a near fall.

The Perfect One serves up chops in the corner, shoots the challenger sternum-first into the turnbuckles and gains another count of 2 before calling for the finish. He delivers the Perfect-Plex, but still can’t get a 3 count, Hart building momentum with right hands to the midsection. He hits an atomic drop, then an inverted atomic drop and tosses Perfect by the hair, the champion attempts to slide out under the bottom rope and crotches himself on the ring post. The Hitman with a snap suplex for a near fall, gets another off a small package, then one more after a side russian leg sweep.

He splits the champion with a backbreaker, connects with an elbow drop from the 2nd rope and still can’t put Perfect away. Hitman has words with the official, allowing the champion to score a roll-up from behind, Hart kicks out at 2 and Perfect is sent to the outside off the kick-out. Bret rolls to the floor to get him, whips The Perfect One into the ring post, back in they go and he goes to work on the knee. The challenger drags Perfect to the middle of the ring for the Sharpshooter, Coach hops up on the apron and gets a right hand for his troubles, but gives the champion the opening for a low blow. The Perfect One drops a leg on the lower abdomen, tries it again and Hart catches the foot, counters into the Sharpshooter and we have a new champion.
Winner and NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion: Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart (Sharpshooter)

  • After The Bell: The new champion tears the rest of Perfect’s ring gear away. ‘Lord’ Alfred Hayes is in the crowd with Stu & Helen Hart, Bret makes his way to them and celebrates the win with his parents.
  • EA’s Take: Fantastic match here between two of the best workers in the company. Bret finally gets his big moment as a singles competitor, thus launching himself into Superstar status with the fans. The contest almost never happened, as Perfect was severely injured back in May with the affects still showing in this match. A broken tailbone and bulging discs actually forced Perfect to retire, only coming back for this one match to put over his friend The Hitman. You could tell he was hurting too, as we didn’t see the usual high energy from the former IC Champion. As Bret’s star would continue to grow brighter and brighter, Perfect would spend the next year-plus recuperating from his injuries, taking on the role of manager for a legendary performer who would soon come into the company.

Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is joined in the interview area by The Bushwhackers & Andre The Giant. The Bushwhackers are worked up as usual and looking for revenge on The Natural Disasters after Earthquake attacked Andre’s knee with Jimmy Hart’s megaphone. They say when they’re done with them, Andre can feed on the rest, The Giant stating now is the time for revenge.

Match #3: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. The Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) w/Andre The Giant
The Disasters go to the outside and have words with Andre, Bushwhackers come up from behind and tap them on the shoulder, then deliver eye pokes before rolling into the squared circle. The bell rings and The Disasters give chase, Bushwhackers rolling back out to enjoy a laugh with The Giant, order finally being restored with Butch & Typhoon starting off. Typhoon powers Butch into the corner off the lock-up, Butch ducks a big right and sinks his teeth into the big guy’s backside. He fires away with lefts and rights to the breadbasket, Earthquake steps in for a splash, Butch sees it coming and Typhoon gets squashed.

Luke comes in to lend a hand, they send Quake into the opposite corner, they shoot Typhoon into him, then use Earthquake’s head as a battering ram to take down his partner. Earthquake is dropped by a double clothesline, The Bushwhackers clearing the ring and marching around to the fans delight. Earthquake slides back in and levels Butch from behind, drives him spine-first into the turnbuckles and snapmares him over for an elbow drop. Butch avoids it, reaches for a tag, Quake prevents it by grabbing Butch’s foot and hammers the lower back with an elbow drop. Heenan leaves the announce position and heads to the back during this time, hearing that Hulk Hogan is rifling through his locker room.

Typhoon with a backbreaker off the tag, drives Butch’s back into the turnbuckles, then lifts him over his shoulder and makes a tag, Earthquake taking Butch off his hands into a bearhug. Butch breaks the hold with forearm shots, Quake cracks him with a backbreaker, Typhoon re-enters the match and gets a 2 count off of a back elbow, Luke making the save. The referee gets Luke back to the apron, Earthquake steps in for a right hand, Typhoon holding Butch up, but Butch slips away and Typhoon gets decked. Butch is able to crawl to a tag, Luke delivering forearms that stagger Typhoon, finally taking him down with a headbutt.

Earthquake tries to intervene and is cut-off by Butch, The Bushwhackers stagger Quake with the Battering Ram, then one for Typhoon. They knock Quake to the outside by whipping Typhoon into him, Luke gets a count of 2 as Earthquake hits Butch with a backbreaker on the outside. Andre has words with the ref, Quake stepping into the ring behind Luke’ s back and squashing him. Earthquake tags in now, flattens Luke with an Earthquake Splash and gets the win.
Winners: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake/Earthquake Splash)

  • After The Bell: The Disasters turn their attention to Andre and stalk him on the outside, The Legion Of Doom make their way out to step in, chasing them off with Butch.
  • EA’s Take: Per usual with a Bushwhackers match, organized chaos is the perfect term to describe the action. It’s never pretty and even with the best working opponents (which isn’t the case here), the entertainment value of the characters is relied upon for their segments. Tugboat had previously joined The Bushwhackers in a 6 Man Tag against Earthquake & The Nasty Boys, but turned on them and joined up with Quake, renaming himself Typhoon. The brief feud would end after tonight, as The Bushwhackers would again be used to elevate a new up-and-coming team while The Natural Disasters would remember LOD’s interference tonight. For Andre The Giant, this would be his final WWF PPV appearance. On January 27th, 1993 while in Paris to attend his father’s funeral, Andre would pass away from congestive heart failure. This legendary Superstar would become the first ever WWF Hall Of Fame inductee that same year, entering as the only member of his class.

Backstage: Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan leads a cameraman to Hulk Hogan’s dressing room, knocking on the door to deliver a message from the ‘real world’s champion’. Ric Flair would like to challenge Hulk for anytime and anyplace, but Heenan gets the door shut in his face.

Backstage: In the locker room is Sean Mooney with his guests ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & ‘Sensational’ Sherri. Mooney reminds DiBiase of all the demeaning tasks he used to put Virgil through, The MDM saying the look on Virgil’s face during those jobs is nothing compared to the look he’ll have after tonight. DiBiase says they’re in a city full of gutters and Virgil can have his pick of which one he’s left in.

Match #4 for the Million Dollar Championship: Million Dollar Champion ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase w/’Sensational’ Sherri vs. Virgil
Virgil hits the ring and catches MDM jawing at the crowd on the 2nd rope, he pulls him down and we’re underway, Virgil delivering heavy rights in the corner. He sends DiBiase across and elevates him with a back body drop off the rebound, delivers multiple clotheslines and sends the champion over the top to the floor. Virgil jumps outside and drives The MDM’s head into the steps, rolls him in and drops him with lefts and rights, DiBiase flying back to the outside after an atomic drop.

The Brain returns to commentary as Virgil goes for a slingshot crossbody to the outside, MDM side-steps it, collects himself and tosses the challenger into the ring steps. Virgil’s head meets the steps once more, the champion throws him back in, sends him to the ropes and decapitates him with a clothesline. Patented fist drops from The MDM, he heads to the 2nd rope and connects with a double axe handle right between the eyes for a count of 2. DiBiase whips Virgil into the corner, hits a back body drop of his own off the rebound and gains another 2 count. Irish whip to the ropes, Virgil ducks a clothesline and uses DiBiase’s Million Dollar Dream against him, Sherri sliding into the ring and clobbers Virgil with her purse to break the hold, causing the official to call for the bell.

The referee explains that Sherri is ordered to the back and that the match will continue. WWF Officials escort The Sensational One to the locker room, both guys struggle to their feet back in the squared circle. The MDM looks to ram Virgil into the top turnbuckle, it’s blocked and the challenger introduces DiBiase’s head into it instead. Virgil with a flurry of lefts and rights, whips the champion into the corner and reigns down punches from the 2nd rope. MDM reverses a whip across, doubles Virgil back, the referee gets squashed in the corner and goes down.

DiBiase has some words for Piper at ringside, hits a vertical suplex, follows with another, then a third. The champion spikes Virgil with a piledriver and covers, but the official is still out of it. DiBiase exposes a turnbuckle and looks to bash the challenger’s head into it, Virgil turns the tables and the champion is introduced instead, both men doubling down. The ref comes to and starts the count, Virgil crawls to a cover and gets the 1-2-3.
Winner and NEW Million Dollar Champion: Virgil (Exposed Turnbuckle)

  • EA’s Take: When you add all the bells and whistles such as Sherri & Piper on the outside with the referee bump, this was a very entertaining match. Virgil’s in-ring skills are lacking and even with an opponent like DiBiase, it’s hard to put on a good match without the extras as evidence by their WrestleMania bout. By far the highlight of Virgil’s career, the feud would continue into the fall where The MDM would ultimately regain his Million Dollar title just before we get to Survivor Series.

Backstage: In the parking lot with The Mountie is ‘Mean’ Gene, with NYC Corrections Officers behind him. The Mountie promises to beat Boss Man tonight and see him off to jail for the night, berating the officers to not treat Boss Man like a New York cop, but a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Sean Mooney has Big Boss Man in the interview area, Boss Man stating The Mountie has the wrong idea. Instead of talking to NYC’s finest, he should be on his knees praying to the good lord above.

Match #5 is a Jailhouse Match – Loser Must Spend 24 Hours In Jail: The Mountie w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. Big Boss Man
Mountie hands off his Shock Stick to Hart and here we go, has some words for Boss Man and gets layed out by a stiff right hand. The Mountie fires back with fists of his own, Boss Man sends him to the ropes and scores with a back elbow, following with a splash for a 2 count. He maintains control with headbutts, puts The Mountie over the 2nd rope throat-first, then lands on his back with a running senton. He slides to the outside and nearly gets ahold of The Mouth Of The South, turns and delivers another right to Mountie before rolling back in.

The Mountie goes to the eyes, climbs the 2nd rope and gets caught in the air, Boss Man planting him with a spinebuster, then utilizes a chinlock. Jimmy provides a distraction from the outside, Boss Man takes the bait, Mountie rolling out and pushes him into the steel steps. The Mountie tosses Big Boss Man back in, shoots him to the ropes and hits a jumping back elbow, drops fists between the eyes, then whips him hard into the corner. He slams Boss Man for a count of 2, Boss Man reverses a whip to the corner, charges in for a splash and The Mountie ducks out of the way.

He snapmares Boss Man over and drops multiple elbows for another 2, scores with a dropkick and again can only get a near fall, getting sent to the outside off the kick-out. Mountie drags Big Boss Man out and rolls inside, Boss Man rolls in and tries to build momentum with right hands, The Mountie stopping the comeback by biting the forehead. He spikes Boss Man with a piledriver, Hart grabs the referee’s attention on the apron, The Mountie gets his Shock Stick and looks to zap his opponent.

Big Boss Man avoids it and connects with an uppercut, Mountie sends him to the ropes, leapfrogs over and eats another big uppercut. The Boss Man shoots him to the ropes, plants him into the canvas with a Boss Man Slam, Mountie barely kicking out at 2. The Mountie brings Boss Man down with a leg sweep, hooks him for another piledriver, Boss Man powers to his feet and drives him to the mat with a spinebuster, makes the cover and picks up the victory.
Winner: Big Boss Man (Spinebuster)

  • After The Bell: Big Boss Man calls for the police, two officers come down to the ring and cuff The Mountie, dragging him off to the back. They pull him through the hallway and load him into a paddywagon, Boss Man slamming the doors and sending him off to the clink for the next 24 hours.
  • EA’s Take: I’d only call this match ‘decent’, a little underwhelming considering The Mountie is a good worker and for his size, Boss Man is too. This was the first time anybody had really gotten the better of The Mountie since his debut, the company really playing off the law enforcement vs. law enforcement gimmicks with this stipulation. This is the only Jailhouse Match in company history because it was the only time it really made sense for a storyline. Both guys would quickly move on to new opponents shortly after.

Backstage: Gene Okerlund is in the locker room when he’s interrupted by ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & ‘Sensational’ Sherri. DiBiase is going off about tonight being the biggest rip-off in WWF history that shouldn’t have happened, claiming Virgil stole the title. In the interview area is new WWF Intercontinental Champion Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart alongside Sean Mooney. The Hitman talks about this being the greatest day for him, waiting a long time to show Mr. Perfect that perfection doesn’t exist. Back to Gene in the locker room with The Natural Disasters & Jimmy Hart. Typhoon warns Legion Of Doom they will chew them up and spit them out, Earthquake stating they stuck their nose in where it doesn’t belong. To the interview area again where Big Boss Man is with Sean, telling him the only bird that can’t fly is a jailbird which is what The Mountie is now. He promised everyone that he’s the law and order in the WWF and now it’s a fact. ‘Mean’ Gene heads into a private locker room to get a word with ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, but Savage is busy on the phone. Gene tries to sneak over and get a word with Elizabeth, but Macho stops him and says he can hangout with him.

On Location: The paddywagon pulls up to the correctional facility and The Mountie is dragged inside, kicking and screaming that he doesn’t belong there.

Backstage: Sean Mooney welcomes in WWF Tag Team Champions The Nasty Boys & Jimmy Hart. Jimmy is still beside himself over The Mountie, but it’s going to have to go on the backburner for now. Sags warns The Legion Of Doom that they’re on their way to Nastyville, Knobbs calling it the final ride. Gene Okerlund has The Legion Of Doomin the interview area, Animal speaking about no count-outs and no disqualifications being right up their alley. Hawk thinks The Natural Disasters bit off more than they could chew earlier, but they’ll get to them down the road. First and foremost, it’s about the championships tonight. Sean Mooney is still in the locker room, this time with Sgt. Slaughter, General Adnan & Colonel Mustafa. Mooney alludes to them being outnumbered tonight, but Slaughter thinks it’s the other way around for Ultimate Warrior & Hulk Hogan. Warrior & Hogan aren’t at 100% and things will be easier for them than they thought, promising another surprise for their match. Back to Gene in the interview area with the special ref for tonight’s main event, Sid Justice. Sid speaks about being asked over and over about where he stands tonight, but the answer is that he’s a man who stands alone. Okerlund shows some footage of earlier where Slaughter and his men tries to recruit Justice, but Sid disputes that he got stopped in the hall and hasn’t promised anything to anybody.

Match #6 is a Street Fight for the WWF Tag Team Championships: WWF Tag Team Champions The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. The Legion Of Doom (Hawk & Animal)
The brawl is on quickly with both teams still sporting their entrance attire, LOD clears the ring and drops their pads, then heads outside. They pair-off, Animal & Knobbs on the inside, Animal delivers a kick to the midsection and plants Knobbs with a powerbomb, Sags breaking it up at 2. Hawk slides in and takes the ring with Sags, tries a kick and gets his foot caught, swings the other around and scores with an enzuigiri. He shoots him to the ropes and hits a shoukder tackle for a 2 count, Knobbs climbing in to get involved and Animal is there to drop him.

The official gets Animal back to the apron, Hawk with right hands for Knobbs, Jimmy Hart tosses in a can of spray paint to Sags and he sprays it in Hawk’s eyes behind the ref’s back. Hawk is blinded and moving around wildly, falls to the outside, Sags gives chase and decks him with a drink tray to the back. Back inside now, Knobbs tags in for a double boot to the breadbasket, he coaxes Animal into the ring and Sags chokes Hawk with the tag rope. Knobbs kicks Hawk under the bottom rope to the floor, Sags drops down and drives him head-first into the steps, tagging in and antagonizing Animal by spitting at him.

Knobbs with cheap shots to Hawk on the floor, Hawk drags himself into the ring and is driven into the top turnbuckle. Knobbs back in with rights, shoots Hawk in for a back elbow and covers for a count of 2. He brings Sags back in, frequent tags now and they work Hawk over in their corner, Sags whips Knobbs into a corner splash, Sags then drops an elbow from the top. Animal makes the save after a 2 count, Knobbs gets the tag and comes off the 2nd rope, jumping down into Hawk’s foot. He crawls and gets the tag, Animal with clotheslines for both Nasty Boys, delivers fists to Knobbs from the 2nd rope, sees Sags coming up from behind and gets him with a double axe.

He whips Knobbs to the ropes for a powerslam, Sags breaks the count after 1, Hawk hits the ring after him and gets dumped outside. The Nasty Boys with the double team on Animal now, Jimmy tosses in his helmet and Sags nails Animal in the back. Knobbs is only able to get a near fall out of it, gets sent outside off the kick-out, Hawk wrestles the helmet away from Hart and lays Knobbs out. He hops to the apron and hits Sags with it in the back of the head, LOD calls for the finish, connecting with the Doomsday Device, Animal covers and we have new champs.
Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: The Legion Of Doom (Animal/Doomsday Device)

  • EA’s Take: You almost have to put The Nasty Boys in street fight matches to explain the sloppyness of their work. A lot of stuff that didn’t make sense here such as The Nasty’s double teaming behind the official’s back. It’s a street fight, this is supposed to be no disqualifications. After disposing of Demolition, LOD was set to be the next face of the WWF’s tag team division, completing the championship trifecta with this win. The LOD would be the only team in history to hold the tag titles of the three biggest companies (WWF, NWA, AWA), solidifying themselves as arguably the greatest tag team of all-time. For The Nasty Boys, their title run was more transitional.

Match #7: Irwin R. Schyster vs. Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine
IRS with a wristlock off the tie-up, Valentine counters into one of his own, Schyster gains the ropes and they break clean. They lock-up again, The Hammer with a side headlock, IRS pushes him off to the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder, seeking a break in the corner. Valentine with another side headlock off the collar & elbow, gets shoved to the ropes again, The Hammer with another shoulder knockdown and Schyster complains to the official. Once again we go back to the same spot, this time IRS tries a hiptoss out of the ropes, Valentine blocks and hits one of his own, Schyster sliding to the floor to rethink his strategy.

Back in the squared circle now, Schyster buries a knee to the ribs, sends Valentine to the ropes for a back body drop, The Hammer counters with a sunset flip for 2, slams IRS and again he heads outside. Valentine gives chase this time, tosses Schyster in, but gets caught sliding in with kicks to the breadbasket. IRS locks in an abdominal stretch, uses the ropes for more leverage, the ref finally catches it and The Hammer with a hiptoss to break the hold. He can’t capitalize and gets leveled by a flying clothesline, Schyster drops an elbow and hooks the leg for a 2 count. He looks to ground Valentine with a rear chinlock, The Hammer gets to his feet to break it, but IRS cracks him with a backbreaker and heads up top.

The Hammer is there to meet him, slams him down to the canvas, fires away with heavy shots in the corner, IRS reverses a whip across and charges in for a knee. Valentine avoids it, works to soften up the knee and slaps on the Figure Four, Schyster reaching the bottom rope to force the break. The Hammer looks to drop an elbow and misses, IRS can’t take advantage and is hit with a kneebreaker, Valentine following with a headbutt to the abdomen. He tries for the Figure Four again, Schyster grabs a handful of hair to gain a small package and steals the victory.
Winner: Irwin R. Schyster (Small Package)

  • EA’s Take: Pretty standard stuff here, nothing overly exciting. Greg Valentine continues to put over up and coming and new characters to the company, this time doing it for the returning Mike Rotunda. Returning in April of 1991 and acting as a former tax collector, IRS was the character Rotunda had been searching for to combine with his technical prowess. This third run in the WWF would end up being the longest and most successful for Rotunda.

Backstage: Gene Okerlund is standing by in the interview area with Ultimate Warrior & WWF Champion Hulk Hogan. The champion says that Madison Square Garden is the appropriate place for ‘The Match Made In Hell’, stating he’s been searching for the feeling he has since defeating The Iron Sheik in 1984. Warrior talks about the strike of a cobra not being enough to keep down him or his Warriors. Hogan thinks they’ve got the momentum, claiming that the cobra’s bite lit a fire into The Warrior’s veins.

Match #8 – Special Referee Sid Justice: Sgt. Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa & General Adnan vs. Ultimate Warrior & WWF Champion Hulk Hogan
The champion and Sarge start our main event, Slaughter has his belt in hand and Sid rips it away from him, tossing it away from the ring. We finally get going and Slaughter goes to Hogan’s eyes, hammers him in the corner, Hulk reverses a whip into the corner and scores with a right hand. He plays back and forth with Warrior on the apron, unloads on Adnan & Mustafa, then tags The Ultimate One in for a double clothesline on Sarge. The Warrior with an inverted atomic drop, Hulkster gets the tag and they connect with a double boot out of the ropes, the champion then driving Slaughter head-first into the top turnbuckle.

Mustafa is in to break Sid’s count at 2, Hulk shoots Sarge to the ropes and drvies a point of the elbow to the head before tagging out. Warrior tags in for a kick to the abdomen off the irish whip, rams Sarge into Hogan’s boot and tags back out, Hulk scoring with a double axe from the 2nd rope for another count of 2. The champion sends Slaughter to the corner and charges in with a clothesline, chokes him and Sid steps in to create the break. Hogan goes back to it and again Sid admonishes him, this time Sarge taking the opening and driving the champion into Mustafa’s boot.

He looks to hit Warrior with a cheap shot on the apron and misses, tag to Adnan and they double team Hulk, Adnan delivering overhand chops and raking the back. He works the champ over in his corner, Mustafa tags and hits a gutwrench suplex, then locks in the Camel Clutch. The Ultimate One delivers a boot to the back of the head to break it up, Sarge tags in and splits Hulk with a backbreaker for a 2 count, then chokes him in the corner. Sid asserts his authority and steps in to stop it, Slaughter sends Hogan across, doubles back and Hulkster and Justice collide, neither man budging. They exchange words and Sarge clubs Hogan from behind, Adnan comes in with eye rakes and bites the face, brings Slaughter back in and he climbs upstairs.

Warrior comes around and pushes Sarge down to the mat, Hogan crawls to his corner and gets the tag, The Ultimate One unloading with clotheslines out of the ropes and shoulder knockdowns. He hits the ropes again, Slaughter ducks down and The Warrior collides with Sid this time, they jaw back and forth, Hulk gets involved and Sarge takes control by going to the eyes. Sarge tags out, Adnan with chops in his corner, brings Mustafa in and he hooks for a vertical suplex. The Ultimate One blocks and hits one of his own, Slaughter gets a tag and delivers a cheap shot to Hulkster on the apron, Adnan coming in for a double team behind Sid’s back.

Sarge flattens The Warrior with a short-arm clothesline, shoots him into the ropes for another clothesline, Warrior ducks it and scores with one of his own. He crawls over and gets the tag to the champion, Hulk with heavy rights to Sarge, then sends him into the ropes for the big boot. Adnan & Mustafa hit the ring and are met by The Ultimate One, he clears them out and chases them both to the back with a chair in hand, leaving the ring to Hulk & Slaughter. Hogan tosses a handful of powder in Sarge’s eyes as Sid is distracted, drops the big leg and gets the 3 count.
Winners: Ultimate Warrior & Hulk Hogan (Hogan/Leg Drop)

  • After The Bell: Hulk does his usual celebrating in the ring for the crowd, calls to the back and Sid comes back out. The champion invites him into the ring and tears away his referee shirt, both of them doing The Hulkster’s signature poses for the fans.
  • EA’s Take: Lots of behind the scenes to get to regarding this match, so I won’t go into how basic and predictable this was. So Mustafa is The Iron Sheik, returning to the company after a 3 year absence during which time he worked in Japan and WCW. Sid Justice is better known as Sid Vicious, previously working for WCW and debuting in May and instantly being placed near the top of the card due to his size. Initially, it was portrayed that nobody knew Sid’s intentions in the WWF, thus putting him as special referee for this match before ultimately siding with Hulk Hogan. Sgt. Slaughter would soon realize the error of his ways, splitting from Mustafa & Adnan and pleading for his country back. Behind the scenes, a major controversy was going down between the company and Ultimate Warrior. In early July, Warrior sent a letter to Vince McMahon demanding changes to his contract and more specifically a $550,000 payment for his performance at WrestleMania. In the letter The Warrior stated he would not make any appearances including the SummerSlam main event. McMahon would give in to the demands in order to keep his advertised main event, but would would suspend The Warrior indefinitely immediately following the match. Warrior attempted to give his resignation over the incident, but the company wouldn’t accept it as he was under contract until September of 1992, leading to a long hiatus from the WWF.

Video: After weeks of coaxing and going back and forth, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage finally built up the courage to drop to a knee and ask for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage. She’d answer with an “Ohhh Yeeeah” of her own, then a special musical tribute is played dedicated to the history between the couple.

In The Arena: It’s time for ‘The Match Made In Heaven’, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage making his way down to start the proceedings. Elizabeth comes out to a rousing ovation. The wedding goes off without a hitch, balloons falling from the ceiling as Randy & Liz seal it with a kiss.

  • EA’s Take: The WWF’s first love story (that people really remember, sorry Uncle Elmer) closes out the night with a happy ending, the last time a WWF wedding went off without any troubles. In reality, Savage & Liz had been married for years with the company never acknowledging it until now. Oddly enough, by this time their real-life marriage was very rocky to say the least, seperating the following summer.

EA’s Finisher: My favorite SummerSlam produced by the WWF thus far and my favorite when I was a kid, I remember renting this numerous times from my local video store. Bret Hart & Mr. Perfect stole the show with arguably one of the greatest matches of all-time, while the rest of the card showcased the change that would start to takeover the company. The Warrior controversy put the WWF in a tight spot, forcing them to drop and alter angles that were already taking place such as the Warrior/Jake Roberts/Undertaker storyline. Sid seems to be someone that they could build around for the future and the company clearly noticed by putting him in a prominent role here and moving forward. Unfortunately, Sid would suffer a biceps injury that would force him to miss Survivor Series. This would lead to more storyline changes with Justice unable to return until January 1992.

Top Three To Watch
1 – Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect
2 – Virgil vs. Ted DiBiase
3 – Slaughter/Adnan/Mustafa vs. Ultimate Warrior & Hulk Hogan


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Chairshot Classics: What I Watched #16 – ECW Guilty As Charged 1999

Breaking up the 2018 time travel with a much deeper dive! Harry goes back to some prime ECW with Guilty As Charged 1999!

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Greetings, salutations and welcome back. Harry here once again with another edition of ‘What I Watched’. As the calendar year turns to 1999 on my watch-through of all things ‘big three’ wrestling, I covered Starrcade 1998 in an earlier edition of WIW. I figured since this is probably the last year where all three major companies are relevant (at least at the start), it could be fun to compare and contrast how I feel about the respective PPVs when compared to some of the independent wrestling I’ve been covering recently. Or even going back to the PROGRESS or Impact Wrestling shows that I’ve covered before. I am fully aware there are going to be some bad shows in 1999. But there is also a lot to talk about in a drastically changing industry. Let’s do this, shall we?

ECW is in flux as talent losses haven’t yet gotten to what they would become but names like Sandman, Mikey Whipwreck, Bam Bam Bigelow and others are no longer with the company. To make matters worse, the ECW-FMW relationship is falling apart now as well as a Chris Candido and Sunny (sorry, Tammy Lynn Sytch) no-show of a scheduled FMW appearance. Paul Heyman himself is the first person we see telling us the card is going to change…how much does it change? The WayBack Machine takes us to January 10th, 1999 in Kissimmee, FL as it’s time for ECW to be Guilty as Charged!

What I Watched #16

ECW Guilty as Charged 1999

1/10/1999

Millenium Theatre in Kissimmee, FL

Runtime: 2:40:30 (Peacock)

Commentary By: Joey Styles (PBP)

 

THE RESULTS

  • Match 1: Axl Rotten/Ballz Mahoney win 3 team tag elimination match, eliminating Little Guido/Tracy Smothers @ 10:44 (Danny Doring/Roadkill eliminated @ 8:15)
  • Match 2: Yoshihiro Tajiri pins Super Crazy, dragon suplex @ 11:37
  • Match 3: Psycho Sid Vicious pins John Kronus, powerbomb @ 1:31
  • Match 4: Bubba Ray and D’Von Dudley def. New Jack/Spike Dudley, both Dudleyz pin Spike @ 10:05
  • Match 5: ECW TV Title- Rob Van Dam pins Lance Storm, bridged German suplex @ 17:46
  • Match 6: Justin Credible pins Tommy Dreamer, That’s Incredible on ladder @ 18:44
  • Match 7: ECW Heavyweight Title- Taz defeats Shane Douglas © by KO, Tazmission @ 22:15

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Three Team Tag Elimination Match
Started as a straight up 2 vs. 2, but within the first two minutes, Ballz and Axl (Axl making his return to the company after the passing of his grandmother) join the frey and it becomes your traditional ECW three team brawl. Nothing really stands out here but the overall work is good enough for what the match is supposed to be. The elimination of Doring and Roadkill is well done, as a FBI double-team fishermanbuster looks really cool and gets a decisive win for what was to be the original match. They do give the win to Axl and Ballz here, which I get given the fact they are a popular act, but I personally think  that Guido and Tracy were a better team during the time frame. (**½)

Super Crazy vs. Tajiri

Yes, it’s the feud that never ends. But this is where it begins. Both men were relative newcomers to the American wrestling scene with both having had limited exposure on WWF TV (both were in the Light Heavyweight title tournament). This is a good match but not a great match and honestly, I think timing is the issue here. Eleven minutes may seem like a lot but knowing what these two would be capable of down the road once there is more of a fan and time investment into their matches, it ends up being a good starting point but probably not the blow away match that ECW was expecting to deliver here. (***)

John Kronus vs. Mystery Opponent

So, ECW fans are notorious for their belief that the “big oaf” style of the WWF and WCW wouldn’t work in ECW. Obviously, they are wrong. Guys like Big Dick Dudley and 911 became massive fan favorites due to their look, not anything they could do in a wrestling ring. You can add another name to that list, as Psycho Sid makes his ECW debut here (following an introduction by the ‘Judge’ Jeff Jones) and absolutely kicks Kronus’ ass in less than two minutes. Sid was never anything special in the ring but he is one of the more charismatic big men in wrestling history so the cult-like following is easy to understand. Too short to rate, but fun for what it was. (X)

Dudleyz vs. New Jack/Spike Dudley

Sixteen year old Harry getting into ECW was a huge Joel Gertner fan. Thirty seven year old Harry going back and watching these shows is an even bigger fan of Joel Gertner. Granted, his shtick is incredibly juvenile but sometimes, you just want to laugh…

The match is your standard ECW garbage brawl. Most New Jack matches definitely have a similarity to them that does not hold up well for re-watching. I will openly admit to being a Spike Dudley mark and he does well taking an ass whooping from Bubba Ray. The Dudleyz definitely have their moments in ECW (the best is still to come in my opinion) but this isn’t one of their best performances. I will give props to New Jack for taking 3D on the ramp, even if it doesn’t come across the cleanest. About what you’d expect, but nothing more. (**)

TV Title- Rob Van Dam © vs. Lance Storm

Rob Van Dam vs. Masato Tanaka was the originally scheduled match and I think it could have been fun. However, Tanaka apparently has visa issues which prevent him from being able to get into the US for the show and thus ECW has to pivot quickly. I do have to give credit to Lance Storm for his pre-match promo here. For someone who is not known as one of the better talkers in wrestling history, he does a really good job explaining the situation with the 3 way that was supposed to happen (Storm vs. Spike vs. Jerry Lynn (cracked pelvis)) and then calling out Rob Van Dam since his opponent wasn’t there either. Storm has a really good closing line for the promo too: “I’m not the ‘Whole F’n Show’, but I am the best damn part of it’. That is one of the lines that sticks with you and you remember it.

The match itself is very good but not great. It is better than anything else on the show, so perhaps I’m rating it on a slight curve for that. Van Dam’s selling is sporadic but to be fair, Van Dam’s selling is always sporadic. The biggest thing for me is that despite that, they still keep an impressive pace and the match is by and large clean. There is a super weak chair shot by Storm (which the crowd gives him a good ration of shit over), but they do manage to turn that crowd around for the finishing sequence. A little surprised by the choice of finish, but I imagine that has something to do with telling the idea that Storm got caught and wasn’t soundly defeated like most of Van Dam’s prior opponents had been. (***½)

Stairway to Hell- Justin Credible vs. Tommy Dreamer

The problem for Credible in ECW is that Paul wanted you to believe that Justin was this huge deal but truthfully, the booking never actually treated him as such. Yeah, he won…A LOT…but more often than not, it was almost treated as an afterthought. He very rarely won the big matches on his own and while I get that as a heel, you want to give him that sense of dickishness, as a wrestling fan eventually you have to make it look like the dude could stand up on his own. Dreamer has long been a favorite of mine, even if he has overstayed his welcome in the ring on occasion. You know going in that win or lose, Tommy will bust his ass to give you as good a match as he is capable of. 

As for this match, it never reaches that next level that you expect a gimmicked semi main event of a PPV to reach. It’s not actively bad or anything (in fact, probably up there for Credible’s best match in ECW to date) but with the stipulation and the gaga around it, it feels like there was so much more it could have been. The finish comes off really flat as well as it renders the whole point of the stipulation useless and only serves to put more heat on Credible by way of Funk. (**½)

Heavyweight Title- Shane Douglas © vs. Taz

So, I’ll be a little nicer to this match then some other reviewers I’ve seen for a couple reasons. It completely accomplishes the goal that Heyman set out for it. Taz comes out of the match looking like a world beater. Douglas comes out of the match as the face of the company who “went out on his shield” as the old phrase goes. Sabu looks like a lunatic and a viable threat to take the title at any time he damn well pleases. Candido comes off as a huge dick and sticks the final knife in Douglas’ back for the end scene. So the story telling is magnificent. 

The match itself? At least a good five to seven minutes too long for that story. I get wanting that epic storytelling to fold out but when you guys are down and low on ideas, it might not be the worst idea to take it home. The other issue is that by trying to serve so many masters, Heyman causes the main event to end up being epically overbooked. Granted, that is an ECW trademark but for what was to be the crowning moment for Taz, I don’t think the 73rd Airborne needed to be a part of it. Sabu could have just as easily returned post match to set up a run with Taz. Or Candido could have turned on Douglas post match to give him a direction going forward since Taz would be occupied with Sabu. I’m not saying it completely takes away the moment but it does make it mean less than it could or should have in the overall scheme of things. (**)

 

THE FINAL REACTION

  • Best Match/Moment: Rob Van Dam vs. Lance Storm, although I do think their match at the first ECW PPV ‘Barely Legal’ (which I imagine I’ll eventually do) is better
  • Worst Match/Moment: The main event. What could have been an awesome moment for the ‘Human Suplex Machine’ and the biggest ass kicker in the company is ruined with a boring crowd brawl (to the home viewer) and a couple of run-ins that either end up actively taking away from it.
  • Overall Show Score: 5.5/10
  • MVP: Joey Styles is the best thing about this show with his one man performance. There is a reason he was such a major influence on what I did as an announcer.

 

THE SIGNOFF

It’s not a bad show. It’s just not a particulary good one either. And while ECW would put out worse, it only barely outdoes Starrcade 98 to avoid the worst show of the return thus far.

So, where do we go from here? January of 1999 had no chill. The very next Sunday would see the first WCW outing of 1999, called Souled Out. The Sunday after that would be the 1999 edition of the Royal Rumble. I’m going to hit both of those but as a fair warning, I’ll probably try to mix an Independent show from 2018 in the middle of them. Hope to see you guys at Souled Out. And feel free to check out my archives by clicking on my name at the top of this review. Thanks for reading, everyone.


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What I Watched #10b: All IN 2018

Harry decided to abridge his All In write up and bring us the blast from the past while he’s on vacation! With only a few weeks until All Out, reminiscing could be fun!

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ALL IN

Greetings, salutations and what nots. At the time you are reading this, I will be away from home on vacation with my amazing girlfriend. In the interest of not want to lose everyone’s attention in the downtime, I decided to go back to one of my earlier reviews and reformat it to match the current style while giving people who may have not been interested due to the length of the previous review a chance to see what they may have missed as well as share my thoughts on a show that had quite the buzz when it happened.

I mention in my review of AAW’s Destination Chicago 2018 (full review available in my archive by clicking my name at the top of this review) that everyone was in Chicago for this particular show. Obviously, though it was presented as part of a deal with ROH (and to some extent New Japan), this ends up being what many consider the launching point for AEW. So join me once again as the WayBack Machine takes us to suburban Chicago on September 1st 2018 and we revisit ‘All In’ here on ‘What I Watched’.

What I Watched #10-B

ROH/NJPW/Friends ‘All In’ 2018

9/1/2018

Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, IL

Runtime: 4:45:24 (45:27 on YouTube for the preshow, 3:57:57 on Fite.TV/HonorClub/NJPW World/traditional PPV for the main show)

Commentary By: Excalibur (PBP), Don Callis (Color), Ian Riccaboni (PBP/Color)

THE RESULTS

  • Match #1: Zero Hour- Frankie Kazarian/Scorpio Sky def. Jay/Mark Briscoe, Kazarian pins Mark with a powerslam counter to the Doomsday Device @ 12:35
  • Match #2: Zero Hour- Flip Gordon wins the ‘Over the Budget Battle Royal’ @ 17:11, last eliminating Bully Ray
  • Match #3: Matt Cross pins Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Shooting Star Press @ 10:07
  • Match #4: Christopher Daniels pins Stephen Amell, Best Moonsault Ever @ 11:45
  • Match #5: Tessa Blanchard wins four way, pinning Chelsea Green with the Buzzsaw DDT @ 12:43 of a match that also involved Britt Baker and Madison Rayne
  • Match #6: NWA World Heavyweight Title- Cody Rhodes pins Nick Aldis ©, sitdown on sunset flip attempt @ 22:03
  • Match #7: Adam Page pins Joey Janela, Rite of Passage off a ladder through a table @ 20:09
  • Match #8: ROH Heavyweight Title- Jay Lethal © pins Flip Gordon, Lethal Injection @ 14:25
  • Match #9: Kenny Omega pins Pentagon Jr., One Winged Angel @ 17:48
  • Match #10: Kazuchika Okada pins Marty Scurll, Rainmaker #2 @ 26:06
  • Match #11: Kota Ibushi/Matt Jackson/Nick Jackson def. Bandido/Fenix/Rey Mysterio Jr., Matt pins Bandido after the Meltzer Driver @ 11:44

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Zero Hour- SCU (Frankie Kazarian/Scorpio Sky) vs. The Briscoes (Jay/Mark)

*Hell of a way to kick things off and the exact kind of match that you want to put out to people in order to get those on the fence to order the show. I don’t know about the $50 price tag that the PPV had, but this would have been enough for me to sign up for Honor Club for $10 to watch the show at least. I’m curious if ROH ever followed up on SCU pinning the ROH tag champions here. I’d imagine so even though the end is near for Kazarian, Scorpio and Daniels in ROH with AEW looming on the horizon. (***½)

Over the Budget Battle Royal

*It was fun for what it was. Maybe a little overcrowded, but there are several people who have got to make a name for themselves off this match. Marko Stunt is all over Game Changer Wrestling (and got a run in AEW as part of Jurassic Express) and Jordynne Grace, who got herself a deal with Impact, being two to spring immediately. I don’t rate battle royals but it was entertaining, which is all you can ask for sometimes. (X)

Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) vs. Matt Cross

*Good little opener here for the main show. My misgivings on the rope hanging piledriver aside (MJF calls it the Heatseeker), they worked together well without throwing too much against the wall and burning out the crowd for later. I had hoped Cross would get a chance with AEW but we know that doesn’t happen, unfortunately. MJF does become one of the biggest creations AEW has up until this point, but no-one is really sure where his status lies with the company at present. Strong start to open the show and really happy for a genuinely good dude in Matt Cross to have gotten this opportunity. (***)

Christopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell (special guest referee: Jerry Lynn)

*When this show first happened, I heard a myriad of opinions on this match. Some thought it was really good, others thought it stunk. I fall somewhere in the middle here. Amell, for an actor, put in a pretty good performance here. I’m not saying he should do this full time or anything, but it’s not like he embarrassed himself either. Daniels had his own hiccups here as well though. So the blame doesn’t fall solely on Stephen. Overall, I’d call it above average given who Daniels’ opponent was. But I know first hand that Daniels is capable of much, much more. (**½)

Britt Baker (bay bay) vs. Madison Rayne vs. Chelsea Green vs. Tessa Blanchard

*Not sure if it was just me but the finish looks a little suspect. Tessa getting the win did make sense though at the time (I’d imagine this result changes with benefit of hindsight). As for the match, they worked hard and it by and large came together well. It definitely lost its way a bit towards the end, so I have to dock it a bit for that. All in all, I’d say good effort from the ladies involved and I’d even put it just slightly above the Daniels and Amell match it just followed. (***)

NWA World Heavyweight Title- Nick Aldis © vs. Cody (Don’t Call Him Rhodes)

*A very good match but a couple of little things keep it from the next level for me. First, the blatantly missed superkick. I’m not really as upset about that one as some people may be because I get it, shit happens in the moment. The blade job however, I can’t forgive. It was terribly obvious. I get the intent behind it to help Cody fight from underneath. I have no issues with blood in general (hell, I watch death matches). But if you can’t do the blade job more realistically there, it shouldn’t have been done. It doesn’t really factor into the match in the grand scheme of things. Also while I personally don’t mind the methodical pace, I do know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I dug the match as a whole though. And props to Brandi for eating it on that flying elbow drop. (****)

‘Chicago Street Fight’- Adam Page vs. Joey Janela

*This match won’t be for everyone. Some people like the old school ECW brawl and some people don’t. I do when it’s well executed but there seemed to be quite a bit of downtime in this one. Honestly, to me…Penelope Ford came out of this match looking like the biggest star of the three. All in all, I’d say good for what it was but nothing I’d probably want to go back and re-watch either. The finish was dope though. Janela is a crazy person for taking it. (***)

ROH Heavyweight Title- Jay Lethal © vs. Flip Gordon

*Let’s not kid ourselves. There was no way that they were going to change the ROH title on a non-ROH show. As much as they enjoyed having the belt defended, this defense was a lock for Lethal regardless of the opponent. Flip getting the match itself is the story here and his performance justifies it. I’d call it good but again, it’s nothing that you’ll want to re-watch again, despite the impressive agility of Gordon and the sheer nostalgia of Lethal busting out the ‘Black Machismo’ shtick again. (***½)

Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr.

*Your mileage may vary for sure on this one. Everyone heaped a ton of praise on it and while it is very good, it does not raise to the level of excellence for me. The ridiculously spotty selling and the absolute disrespect to some of the most protected moves in wrestling cause me to take an issue. I do think they worked really well together and the styles meshed a lot better than I thought they might. But there was nowhere near the emotion here that came through clear as day on the Cody and Aldis match earlier. From a pure work rate aspect, it’s the best on the show so far. But personally, I prefer Cody and Aldis to Omega and Pentagon Jr. (****)

Kazuchika Okada vs. Marty Scurll

*A little long. But they told a pretty strong story throughout.At the time of this writing, I had made it no secret that I was not sold on Kazuchika Okada as a draw in the US. Clearly, I was wrong. He had the entire crowd in the palm of his and Scurll’s hands for basically the entirety of this contest and it was one that I think both raised Scurll’s standing in the world of wrestling and confirmed what many people already feel about Okada. That being said, it’s a better match if you chop off five to eight minutes from it. (***½)

Young Bucks/Kota Ibushi vs. Bandido/Fenix/Rey Mysterio

*Clearly much shorter than it was probably supposed to be, they packed a ton of action into these almost twelve minutes. I’d have been curious to see what was possible with a full run time but with Rey already gone (he had just resigned with the WWE), there would be no chance to run this back. I think it was a good way to send everyone home happy and get all the marquee moments in, but overall it just ends up being a spotfest fluff match rather than anything that’ll be strongly remembered as standing out down the road. (***½)

THE FINAL REACTION

There is a lot to get through here. As you guys saw above, the totality of both Zero Hour and All In run almost five hours. While not all of that is well spent, there is more than enough to sink your teeth into here, even if you wouldn’t classify yourself as a traditional ‘Independent Wrestling’ fan. There are a couple of real good spotfests if you liked the ECW/WCW luchador/cruiserweight style. There’s a tremendous call-back to the old NWA days with how Nick Aldis vs. Cody plays out. There is a interesting take on the old ‘hardcore’ styles that both ECW and the WWF used to enjoy presenting in Janela vs the ‘Hangman’. You even get the chance to see the celebrities that get trotted out for the big shows in places like the WWE and Impact Wrestling. Does it all work? No. But a good majority of it does. As I said, it’s almost five hours. But by and large, it’s five hours well spent. Call it an 8.5 and while there is room for improvement (as with everything), a very strong start for Cody and the Bucks as promoters.

Best Match/Moment: I’ll go moment here and go with the obvious of Cody getting to hold the same NWA title his father did in what was an NWA stronghold town. It’s cool to see the torch passed like this.

Worst Match/Moment: The fact that the main event with arguably six of the best wrestlers in the world at the time ends up getting the second shortest amount of time.

Overall Show Score: 8.5/10

MVP: I’m going to give this one to Cody, both for the role he played as a producer/agent for the show as well as the performance in the match with Aldis as well. A good night for young Mr. Runnels.

THE SIGNOFF

And that wraps up the first of the ‘retro’ look backs at previous ‘What I Watched’ reviews. When I return, I will be coming back with ECW’s Guilty as Charged 1999, the first pay-per-view of the last year of the 1900s. Following that, I know the WWF’s Royal Rumble 1999 is on the list. I’d imagine I’ll get to WCW’s Souled Out 1999 and when I do return to the Indies, promotions like IWA-MS, CHIKARA, Freelance, BEYOND, WWR and so many others are within my potentially planned scope. Hope to see you down the road and may you all enjoy quality time with those you care. See you next time and thanks for reading, everyone.


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