Open: A flashback is shown of Big Van Vader whipping and choking Sting with the help of Barry Windham and Harley Race. They will settle it tonight in a ‘White Castle of Fear’ strap match.
In The Arena: Eric Bischoff and Missy Hyatt explain that Ron Simmons is unable to challenge Dustin Rhodes for the United States Championship tonight, so Maxx Payne will replace him. Hyatt has her eyes set on a special interview later and Bischoff welcomes Johnny B. Badd to the set. It’s so outrageous, it’s contagious. Badd announces some of the other feature matches for the night, it’s a great night to be a Badd man. Maxx Payne is out next and performs the national anthem for the crowd on his electric guitar.
Match #1: The Hollywood Blonds (‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman & ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin) vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Erik Watts
Austin and Bagwell kick things off. Collar and elbow tie up and a tough break. Austin has a few words with the fans before tying up once again, Badwell with position in the corner and Austin shoves him away. Lock up once again, arm drag into an arm bar by the Rookie of the Year. Austin gets back to his feet but Bagwell works the wrist. The hold is broken with a shot to the gut, test of strength with a top wrist lock and Bagwell wins it. Up to their feet and again Bagwell takes him down.
Austin is able to get to the corner and he hits a cheap elbow. Straight rights from Stunning Steve followed by knees to the skull. Bagwell ducks a clothesline, Austin holds the ropes to avoid a roll up but is surprised by a right that knocks him to the floor. Pillman checks in with his partner but Bagwell throws him back in. Tag is made to Erik Watts, met with boos. Double back body drop on Austin and a double clothesline on the charging Pillman. Bagwell is sent out to his corner, Austin backs Watts into the corner and makes a tag to Pillman. Watts fights both of them off with elbows and clotheslines.
Pillman is enraged and enters the ring and points his finger right in Watts’ face. They exchange shoves, Watts getting the better but Pillman goes to work. Shoulder tackle by Pillman but Watts recovers with an arm drag and a drop kick. Another arm drag by Watts and he works right into a modified wrist lock. Tag is made to Bagwell who is quickly kneed in the mid section. Tag is made to Stunning Steve and the blondes double team Marcus. Bagwell ducks two clotheslines and scores with a cross body and a two count. He’s up quickly with a drop kick and a side headlock takedown and he holds on with a head lock. Slowly back up to vertical and tag is made to Watts, side headlock by the kid. They hit the ropes, Watts boots Austin in the face and locks in an abdominal stretch.
Tag is made to Bagwell who keeps on with the stretch. Austin grabs some hair and pulls Bagwell off, tag is made to Pillman who hits an double axe handle.Chops in the corner by Flyin Brian. Bagwell reverses the Irish whip and lifts Pillman for a military press. Brian ducks one clothesline but turns around to eat the 2nd effort. Bagwell with a lateral press and gets two. Side headlock by Bagwell and Watts is back in. Erik holds the head lock, Brian escapes and tags in Austin. Austin with a scoop slam and an elbow across the forehead. He tries a splash but Watts gets the knees up, he rolls Austin up for two. Double leg pick up, into a Boston crab by Watts.
Steve struggles and Brian makes the save. Pillman enters immediately and the ref tells him no way jose. Brian ignores the referee, he sends Watts to the ropes and tries a boot to the gut. Watts catches him and reverses it into the STF. Flyin Brian is too close to the ropes and the hold is quickly broken. Watts tries to send Pillman for the ride but he keeps falling to his knees. Austin is signaling for a timeout. Pillman lures Watts close and strikes with an elbow. Watts is dumped to the floor, he ducks as Pillman looks for a crossbody over the top rope. Pillman pulls up short on the apron, waits for Watts to turn and leaps. Watts moves out of the way and Pillman hits the railing. Watts rolls Pillman into the ring. Flyin Brian trips him into the turnbuckle and tags in Austin. The Blondes sends Watts over the top rope with double elbows.
Austin cheap shots a dazed Watts and then scoop slams him on the floor. Stunning Steve rolls him back in the ring, tries a sunset flip, Watts fights back with rights and it’s broken up by Pillman. Tag is made to Flyin Brian who lays in a chop before choking Watts on the middle rope. The ref lectures Brian and Austin takes advantage of the distraction. Pillman and Watts exchange shots, they hit the ropes, Watts shocks Pillman with a sunset flip but the ref is slow to make the count. Pillman rubs his face into the mat and tags in Austin. Forearm from the middle rope by Stunning Steve. Elbows and chops from Austin, Steve prevents the tag and cheapshots Bagwell. The ref gets caught up with Marcus and the Blondes double team Watts in the other corner.
Tag is made to Pillman who heads for the top rope. They try a rocket launcher and Watts gets the knees up. Tag is made to Austin who cuts off Watts from tagging with a belly to back suplex. Watts kicks out at two. Irish whip by Austin, he follows closely and the two men slam heads. Watts is laid across the middle rope, Austin tries a bronco buster but Erik moves. Tags are made to Pillman and Bagwell. Marcus with rights to both opponents, Pillman begs for mercy. Bagwell with straight rights in the corner, he sends Pillman to the ropes and scores with a power slam. Austin is forced to make the save. Austin and Watts brawl before Erik is dumped to the floor.
Watts is up quickly but the referee backs him away. With the official’s back turned, Bagwell hits a bridging fisherman’s suplex but Austin comes off the top rope to break it with a flying elbow. Pillman rolls up Watts and the Blondes take it.
Winners: The Hollywood Blonds (Pillman/Flying Elbow)
- EA’s Take: This is the first PPV appearance by one of WCW’s best tag teams of the 1990’s. They are the number one contenders for the Tag Team Championships already, so you give them some momentum here. My one proviso is: if you’re trying to get them over as heels, don’t put them up against the unliked boss’ kid! Erik Watts got far more heat than the Blondes did, seemingly for just existing. Justifiably so, daddy’s boy!
In the Arena: Eric Bischoff & Johnny B. Badd confirm the rumors that Ric Flair will be making his return to WCW tonight! In fact, Missy Hyatt is out back to score an interview as a limousine slowly pulls in behind her. Security backs her away and takes her microphone away, Ric Flair exits the limo, lets out a “WOOO”, and is escorted to the locker room.
Match #2: Chris Benoit vs. 2 Cold Scorpio
Collar and elbow and a clean break on the ropes. Tie up, Scorpio with position, the ref calls for a break but Benoit strikes. Forearm shot by Benoit followed by a big elbow. Snap suplex by Benoit before stomping on the back of the head. Vicious chop by Benoit, he sends Scorpio to the corner, 2 Cold leaps to the top turnbuckle and scores with a flying cross body and gets two. Standing dropkick by Scorpio followed by a spinning kick to the face and Benoit has to regroup outside. Back to the ring, collar and elbow quickly into the wristlock by Benoit. Both men with acrobatic reversals and Benoit stays in control.
They chain wrestle until Benoit throws a hip toss and grabs an arm bar. Up to a vertical base, Scorpio flips for positioning and lifts Benoit with a back body drop. 2Cold holds onto the arm and works it on the mat. Scorpio uses his knee for leverage and then maneuvers into a modified hammerlock, using his feet and falling backwards for pressure. Benoit works his way back to his feet, ducks down and reverses the hammerlock. Scorpio grabs the head, backflips out of the hold, runs Benoit to the ropes, backflips out of the way, leapfrogs Benoit, hits the mat and finally scores with an arm drag. Benoit rolls out to the floor, favoring the arm. Back inside the ropes, they hook up for a test of strength.
Benoit bridges down and back up and then he takes the advantage. Benoit puts his whole body on Scorpio’s bridge. 2 Cold leaps up and they exchange impressive monkey flips. Scorpio with a standing drop kick and an arm drag, working right into the arm bar. Scorpio drops the leg on the arm and then hangs on for more submission work. Slowly vertical, Benoit breaks it up, hitting a head butt. They hit the ropes, Benoit with a baseball slide and a double leg pickup, Scorpio flips him away from a Boston crab but misses with a drop kick. Benoit misses with an elbow and eats a superkick. Armdrag into the submission by Scorpio.
He switches into a seated abdominal stretch and rolls him over for two. Scorpio hangs on with a hammerlock on the mat. Benoit breaks it with a knee to the gut and throws Scorpio hard into the top turnbuckle. To the ropes, Benoit leap frogs, Scorpio misses the spinning kick and Benoit nails him with a high impact clothesline. Scorpio for the ride and Benoit hits a shoulder tackle. Back breaker by Benoit and he stretches Scorpio across his knee. Scorpio grabs a handful of hair and breaks it with a knee. Benoit with a snapmare and a reverse chin lock, and he tells the fans to shut up. Up to their feet, Benoit with a right. Front facelock and he hangs Scorpio across the top rope.
Benoit stomps a hole in him and Scorpio falls out to the floor. From the apron, Scorpio blocks a shot to the turnbuckle and throws Benoit head first instead. Shoulder to the midsection and Scorpio heads for the top, he misses a flying drop kick and is forced to kick out of a pin. Snap mare and chin lock again by Benoit. Scorpio bridges up, throws his elbows into the midsection, ducks a clothesline but is caught with a sidewalk slam. Benoit grabs the legs and locks in a Boston crab. Chris lets the hold go, takes him down with a snap mare. Straight right and chop from Benoit. Scorpio is seated on the top turnbuckle and he signals for the crowd.
Belly to back suplex from the top rope, but Benoit hits the back of his head. Both men are down. Benoit is up first, he tries a pin and Scorpio kicks out. Russian leg sweep by Benoit and Scorpio kicks out again. Benoit tries to lift him for another belly to back suplex, Scorpio contorts his body and lands a cross body, Benoit kicks out. Scorpio tries a back body drop but Benoit hits him with a forearm. Benoit lifts him for a powerbomb and Scorpio is able to kick out. Benoit goes for another powerbomb, reversed into a sunset flip but they’re too close to the ropes. Irish whip by Benoit, Scorpio meets him with a knee. Scorpio catches Benoit’s kick, jumps up and kicks him over. Scorpio sends Benoit to the ropes, Chris ducks two spinning kicks but can’t avoid the clothesline.
Benoit slides to the corner, Scorpio charges with some rights. Irish whip and a 360 clothesline by Scorpio. Scorpio heads for the top rope and hits a corkscrew splash. A lateral press and Benoit kicks out. They hit the ropes, Scorpio ducks a clothesline, leaps on Benoit’s shoulders but is dropped face first on the mat. Benoit with a scoop slam and a leg drop from the 2nd rope, he covers and Scorpio kicks out with 15 seconds left in the 20 minute time limit. Scorpio tries a small package but Benoit kicks. Scorpio blocks a right, Benoit goes for a full nelson but Scorpio reverses it, rolls him up and gets the win just before the clock ran out.
Winner: 2 Cold Scorpio (Roll-Up)
- EA’s Take: What a match! It’s now extremely difficult to mentally separate his incredible career from what happened during his final weekend, but Chris Benoit was a favorite of mine for a long time. When that familiar WCW music hit, I couldn’t help but get excited for the match. Scorpio is in his athletic prime and Benoit is showing that he’s already one of the best technicians in the world, making his WCW PPV debut here before heading to ECW. This is not the match you want to have to follow and it’s not my bias talking when I guarantee this will be the match of the night when it’s all done.
Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 24 – December 4, 2002
The next installment of Tiffany MC’s weekly Classic IMPACT!
We open with a recap of the ending of last week’s episode, but with some after show footage of Killings and Russo getting into a fight and the Harris Brothers breaking it up. While this was going on, Russo was still demanding an answer from Jarrett and Jarrett wasn’t saying anything.
After that, we hear some very familiar bagpipes and after a few minutes, the Hot Rod comes out with a young man I’m ASSUMING is his son because I have no other explanation for why this kid is here.
Piper got on the mic to cut a promo, but because the promo was so long, I’m not going to go through the whole thing here. Piper UNLOADED on Russo, saying that the NWA was the only thing Russo hadn’t killed. He said Russo was a ‘hump’ (I’m assuming he meant ‘hunk’, but you never know) of 300lbs that failed to become a wrestler and became a sport entertainer, but never had any talent, though the fact that Piper himself made a VERY good living being a sports entertainer should be pointed out. He said that Russo was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and would kill the dreams of all the young guys in the locker room. He then says he’s there to challenge Russo.
He also plugs his book, which is part of the reason he was in Nashville to start with, saying it was about a boy and his dreams. In his usual, controversial style, Piper accused Russo of all the sins in the calendar, including being the Osama Bin Laden of wrestling (YES, he said that a year after 9/11) and of killing Owen Hart, who Piper claimed to be related to (he’s not to the best of my understanding). He then, without naming names, trashed some of Russo’s ideas in WWE.
Piper then calls out Russo, who tries to pull one over, but this is Roddy Piper we’re talking about and that didn’t work. In what can best be described as a drunken rant, Piper asked Russo, who he had just PUBLICLY accused of killing Owen Hart, if he killed Owen Hart, and asked how he’d bankrupted WCW so fast. I guess Piper didn’t get the memo that WCW was having financial troubles before Russo got there.
To his credit, Russo tried to defend himself, but Piper is DEFINITELY drunk, and is a loud and stubborn drunk at that. Finally, the Harris boys come out to try and save this mess and at least get Russo out of the ring. This was NOT a great start to the show. After that mess was over, we were given an update on the Lynn/Siaki X-Division title match that was randomly announced last week: It will NOT be happening this week because Jerry Lynn is injured again.
Spanish Announce Team vs Divine Storm (with Trinity): Maximos get a good pop. Apparently, SAT and Divine Storm trained together in Brooklyn. To add some more pressure to this, the winners get a shot at the Tag Team Champions, the New Church.
How’d it go? Well…the start was something to be seen rather than described. Honestly, these guys didn’t give the appearance of people who trained together, unless they all had very short-term memories. The match was awkward, especially for the Maximos. It actually looked like two teams that were still in training. Divine Storm got the win with a big assist from Trinity, so they will be fed…er, working with the New Church for the Tag Team Championship.
Harris comes out to a great pop. The whole point to the singles matches Harris and Storm will be having against the New Church is to have a chance to get their hands on James Mitchell.
Russo interrupts, claiming that he doesn’t have an issue with Harris. He then berates Piper for the opening segment and tells him that he’s going to hell for bringing up Owen Hart’s death. He also berates the TNA fans for supporting the NWA, an organization that he claims doesn’t care about them because it’s run by old men. Showing that he has no real understanding that the fans know full well what his ‘accomplishments’ are and that’s why they’re jeering, he claims the fans don’t know what they want.
To prove just why the fans are right to jeer, Russo calls attention to the Athena signs in the crowd. It turns out that Athena is the girl who takes the wrestlers’ gear to the back for them and she is very loved by the crowd. Russo calls her into the ring and proceeds to insult, bully, and degrade Athena, to the outrage of the crowd. When Athena, rightly, slaps the shit out of him, Russo has the Harris brothers, who aren’t happy with their treatment by the NWA, attack Athena, who can’t defend herself.
Backstage, an enraged Bob Armstrong let the Harris twins have it. He reminds them that the NWA, not Vince Russo, is paying them. He also points out that he gave them shots, despite neither of them being good wrestlers and that all Russo’s going to give them is a joy ride. The Harrises aren’t listening and call Armstrong’s warning ‘Bullshit’.
At ringside, an enraged Chris Harris is also calling ‘Bullshit’ on what just happened, but he’s saying it Tenay and West. Tenay will only say that this is what happens when Russo is around and he’s not happy.
Chris Harris vs Brian Lee (with New Church): Well, we finally got to see this match. The match starts off in a brawl, but that was about the highlight of the match. Lee might bear a resemblance to Undertaker, but he’s not nearly as good of a wrestler as the Dead Man. Harris would pull out the win with a spear, so AMW is one match away from getting their hands on James Mitchell.
Backstage, Goldy finds Ron Killings talking to a subtly pleased Bob Armstrong. Killings wants Russo’s ass for robbing him of the NWA Title. Armstrong is very understanding but tells him that he has to deal with the Harris twins first, by tagging with Jeff Jarrett.
James Storm vs Slash (with New Church): Round two of this starts with a sneak attack by Slash. Sensing that the Church was in trouble. Mitchell, Lee, and Bella Donna all did their part to try and help Slash win, but Storm was more determined. That said, this was a much better match than the previous one. Slash is definitely the breakout star of the New Church.
I will say that Bella Donna finally seems to be getting the hang of being a valet and getting her timing right, which is nice to see. She doesn’t seem to be very evil, compared with other members of the Church, more like a lost soul that’s being exploited by Mitchell. In the end, Storm would get the win, with an assist from Harris and the Death Sentence, when the New Church’s antics backfired on them. So James Mitchell will face America’s Most Wanted in a bullrope match.
Tenay and West go over the rules of the Bullrope match: Storm, Harris, and Mitchell will be joined at the wrist and there will be a STEEL cowbell in this somewhere.
In the locker room, Bob Armstrong is trying fire up Jeff Jarrett and Ron Killings, but Jarrett still isn’t saying anything. Jarrett still hasn’t responded to anyone’s question about his loyalty, though Killings getting in his face probably didn’t help.
Double Elimination Match: EZ Money vs Kid Kash vs AJ Styles vs Joel Maximo: Styles is determined to get back to the title match, because he takes out Joel Maximo before the match officially starts. The match pretty good. It had it’s slow spots, but Styles and Kash were easily the highlights of the match. However, to everyone’s surprise, EZ Money pulled out the win with a pin on Joel Maximo, with an assist from AJ Styles.
We get word through Tenay that Jarrett and Killings WILL team up against the Harris Twins later in the show.
Backstage, Goldy is with Sonny Siaki and she’s not happy about it. Siaki is looking like LL Cool J. Goldy tries to be a good sport and wishes Siaki luck, despite the fact that she looked like she wanted to gag rather than say anything nice to him.
Siaki seems to have dropped the speaking in the third person thing, thank heavens. He doesn’t need Goldy’s well-wishes, he’s waited a long time for this match and it doesn’t really matter when his match with Lynn happens because he’s going to walk away with the gold. I applaud them for letting Siaki try and be himself, but it seems a little too late.
Tenay introduces Jerry Lynn, who explains that he’s got a partially torn pectoral muscle, but he WILL be competing next week against Sonny Siaki. The segment is interrupted by the Harris twins bringing out a table and putting Bill Behrens, the boring as beige NWA official, on it. Lynn tries to save Behrens’ bacon, but ends up being powerbombed THROUGH Behrens and the table. Ron Killings runs out to make the save, but suffers a pretty nasty beat down for his troubles.
Backstage, Goldy finds Bob Armstrong and BG James. Armstrong is pleading with James to put aside his issues with Jarrett and team up to face the Harris twins. James finally agrees and addresses Armstrong as ‘Dad’ for the first time since he’s appeared on TNA.
Bullrope Match – AMW vs Bella Donna: James Mitchell comes out and claims that he can’t compete because he has double pneumonia, though that claim falls a little flat all things considered. He then offers up Bella Donna instead, which AMW are less than impressed with.
Unfortunately, Slash and Lee get the jump on AMW, softening them up for Mitchell to get in some eye gouges and shots with the cowbell. Mitchell then offers to let Bella Donna finish things up, but AMW pull her off the top rope in a spot that looked really awful for Bella’s knee, and set her up for the Catatonic and Eight Second Ride. Still not satisfied, but not wanting to take their frustrations out on the helpless Bella Donna, AMW leave her in the ring and go after Mitchell, who runs for his life.
Tenay shows us a pre-show interview he did with Curt Hennig, who still seems to believe that it’s 1991 and he’s still the best wrestler in the world. In his mind, he’s the better option to carry TNA than Jeff Jarrett, who has nearly broken his back trying to carry Hennig on several occasions. As for Russo, Hennig says that Russo gave him a chance in WCW, but put the belt on David Arquette, which is all that needs to be said to explain why Vince Russo should never be allowed around professional wrestling. Hennig is still bragging about taking down Lesnar, but that still hasn’t been confirmed by any reliable, or sober, witness.
In present time, BG James is found out cold under some metal chairs. Looks like Jarrett’s going to have to deal with the Harrises and Russo on his own.
Harris Brothers vs BG James and Jeff Jarrett: Remember Bash at the Beach 1996 when there was genuine interest and suspense about the NWO and the third man? Remember the shock when it turned out that Hulk Hogan, still one of the biggest stars in wrestling, had turned on the fans?
This was not that match. Jarrett did a good job, but the Harris twins were a load to carry on his own. Ron Killings, limping, and with taped ribs, came to the rescue, letting Jarrett beat the Harrises with a Stroke.
However, the real shock came AFTER the match. Ron Killings still wanted Russo, but suffered another severe beatdown as Russo came in from the crowd. BG James came from the back an appeared to be helping Killings, just before he laid him out with a chairshot, to the crowd’s fury. Then, just to add surrealism to this mess, Percy Pringle, aka, Paul Bearer is on the ramp as Russo, James, and the Harrises celebrate and that’s where the show ends.
Overall Comments: I don’t have much to say about this show other than there were okay matches and an awful story. I didn’t watch much of WCW as a kid, so I didn’t see the real affects of Vince Russo’s ‘writing’ until later and it’s easy to see why his ideas took off in the Attitude Era because he gave the mostly male wrestling demographic what they wanted.
However, watching it back now, and I’ve said this before: It is clear that Russo has a serious problem with women and takes any opportunity to try and humiliate and degrade them and the fact that many people still wish Russo was writing for WWE shows that people either don’t remember how badly the women were treated or they don’t care.
I will say that I was happy to hear the Nashville crowd letting Russo know what they thought of him and it wasn’t friendly.
The whole plotline about Jarrett’s loyalties was so blatantly ripped off from the original NWO storyline, I’m surprised Vince didn’t sue, plus it was just awful. What made the NWO work were the original three guys involved. It’s another example of Russo thinking you can just plug anyone into a storyline or a character type and it’ll work and the audience will buy it, not thinking that 1. The NWO storyline, with all the twists and turns, only ended a couple of years before and fans remember it very vividly. And 2. All three guys were top stars in their primes. BG James and the Harris Twins were past their primes, and Paul Bearer’s glory days of being a manager were largely behind him, not a great formula for rebooting the NWO.
The Piper thing was another storyline from the NWO years, but it was in awful taste and not a great showing for Piper, who came across as an angry drunk using the death of a friend to sell a book.
I didn’t enjoy this episode and I hope this isn’t the precursor to worse things down the road.
Chairshot Classics: WWF Royal Rumble ’88
Our road to the 2019 Royal Rumble begins with a look back at the inaugural event!
This was originally not a PPV, but actually a special which aired on the USA Network. It would however, create the 3rd in WWF’s ‘Big 4’ PPV’s and become the annual January tradition that a lot of fans look forward to even more so than WrestleMania. A little known fact is that in late 1987, WWF experimented with the Royal Rumble idea, holding one in St. Louis, Missouri that saw One Man Gang victorious. This is never referred to though, as WWF considers this the first for historical purposes. It’s every man for himself and luck of the draw, let’s get to the action!
Open: Photos featuring all the matchups for tonights event are shown, as Vince McMahon runs down the card that includes the contract signing for the biggest rematch in WWF history between Hulk Hogan & Andre The Giant. In the arena are Vince & Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, there’s no time to waste and we go right to the ring and Howard Finkel.
Match #1: ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat
They tie-up and Rude doesn’t hesitate to throw hands, Steamboat fires back with chops and Rude goes to the eyes. He tries to throw Ricky over the top, Steamboat hangs on, skinning the cat back inside and tossing Rude out to the floor. The Ravishing One collects himself, telling the ref Steamboat grabbed the tights back inside. Rude wants a test of strength, stops to have a conversation with the fans at ringside and then they lock hands. Rude gets wrist control, driving The Dragon to his knees. Steamboat to his feet, gets out, taking Rude down with a top wristlock and going into an armbar. The Dragon works over the arm, wrenching at the joint and putting Rude to the canvas.
Rude breaks it with a right hand, into the ropes, Steamboat slides through the legs and gets an armdrag, going back into the armbar. Steamboat relentless on the shoulder joint, Rude with forearms and Ricky fires back with chops. Into the ropes, back and forth and Steamboat with another chop, gaining control over Rude’s arm once more. Rude gets to a vertical base, breaking the hold with boots and right hands. Whips The Dragon in and lands a back elbow, finally getting something going. The Ravishing One smashing Steamboat’s head into the turnbuckles, Rude continuing to hammer away.
In the ropes again, Ricky slides through Rude’s legs and hits another armdrag, grabbing an armbar and driving his knee into the shoulder. Rude gets to his feet, sending Steamboat into the ropes and driving an elbow into the chin. More heavy shots from Rude, Steamboat fires back, into the ropes, Rude reverses and drives a knee to the midsection. Steamboat falls out to the floor, Rude giving chase and driving his back into the apron, then slamming Ricky on the floor. Rude drags The Dragon to the apron, bringing him in the hard way with a vertical suplex for a count of 2, then locks in a variation of a Camel Clutch.
The Dragon attempts getting up, but Rude jumps down on the back numberous times. Steamboat gets up again, this time lifting Rude on his shoulders and then dropping him to the mat. Ricky to his feet first, goes for a splash, but Rude gets the knees up, following with an atomic drop for a 2 count. Rude goes back to the Camel Clutch, Steamboat propels him into the corner and then drives his head into the top turnbuckle. The Dragon with a snapmare and a falling chop for 2, Rude goes to the midsection and gets a side headlock takedown, they float over into a bridge and Ricky gains a backslide for a near fall.
He ducks a right, grabs a roll-up for another. Both guys go back and forth with small packages for 2 counts, Rude flooring Ricky with a clothesline for another. Rude attempts a vertical suplex, Steamboat blocks and hits one of his own, then climbs up top. The Dragon jumps off with a crossbody, Rude pulling the referee in front of him and Steamboat takes him out. Rude gets Steamboat up in a Rack, the ref gets to his feet and calls for the bell.
Winner: ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude (Rack)
- After The Bell: Finkel announces that the winner is by disqualification and it’s Ricky Steamboat. Rude hits the ring again after a premature celebration and berates the ref.
Winner: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (Disqualification)
- EA’s Take: Two great workers here, but definitely not as quality of a match as you’d expect. Lots of rest holds and the pace didn’t pick up until the last 15-20 seconds of the match. Rick Rude is easily one of the most underrated WWF Superstars of all-time, after arriving from the NWA in the summer of 1987. No real feud between these two here, as they had limited interactions. Steamboat was one of the company’s hottest babyfaces after his WrestleMania III bout with Randy Savage, but a few weeks after Steamboat asked for time off to be with his wife, who was expecting the birth of their first child. It didn’t sit well with management, as a lot of time had been put into grooming Ricky to be a top babyface. When he would return in late 1987, he was not pushed or really put into any meaningful storylines.
In The Arena: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is with Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura. Tonight, Canadian strongman Dino Bravo will attempt to break the world benchpress record of 705 lbs. They introduce Dino Bravo along with his manager Frenchy Martin. Dino calls it a big challenge, but he feels up to the task. Frenchy says something in French, of course. Ventura goes over some of the technicalities, as Dino goes for a warmup rep at 415 lbs. Dino stops and says it requires total concentration, asking the crowd to be silent. Using Ventura as his spotter, Bravo lifts it and reps it with no problems. They rip through 505, 555, 595 and 655. The crowd keeps making noise and Bravo feigns leaving with 715 lbs. Dino comes back and attempts it, Ventura helps Bravo get it up and they proclaim it legit.
- EA’s Take: I know they were trying to gain heat for the newly repackaged Dino Bravo, but this was just brutally long. The fans were clapping in support of him breaking the record, until he walked off. Dino would return to singles competition when his alliance with Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine as The Dream Team was phased out, joining up with his new manager Frenchy Martin as the French-Canadian Strongman.
Match #2 for the WWF Women’s Tag Team Championships 2/3 Falls: WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai) w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Toteno & Itsuki Yamazaki)
The bell rings and The Angels hit the The Glamour Girls with dropkicks. Noriyo & Leilani are left in the ring, Noriyo missing another dropkick as Leilani hangs onto the ropes. Leilani tosses her across the ring by the hair and then drives her into Martin’s knee before she tags in. Martin with a slam, covering and Noriyo bridges out, grabbing a roll-up for 2. Itsuki tags, sends Martin into the ropes and hits a rolling headbutt, followed by a piledriver. Noriyo back in, she gets taken to the ground, but grabs a body scissors.
Martin fights out of it, Noriyo attempts a crossbody and gets caught, then dropped to the canvas. Martin misses an elbow drop, then quickly crawls over and tags Leilani. She enters and takes a knee out of the ropes, Itsuki back in with a flying forearm and a dropkick. The Angels strike back and forth in the corner, Itsuki covering a count of 2, then lock in an octopus stretch. Martin comes in the ring to try and break it, but kicks her own partner. Noriyo back in to deliver a dropkick to Martin, then we get synchronized figure four’s from The Angels. The legal participants are left in the ring, Itsuki breaks the hold and wishbones Leilani’s legs, then tags Noriyo. She comes in and cross the legs, grabbing a modified surfboard.
Itsuki back in, she continues to work the leg, Martin comes in to help her partner and they pull on Leilani by her hands and legs. Martin is dropped to the mat and rolls outside going back to the apron, Leilani crawls to try and tag, finally making it. Martin fires a kick to the midsection, whips Noriyo into the corner and she hops on the turnbuckle, putting the boots up to a charging Martin. Judy catches the feet, pulling Noriyo off the turnbuckle and slamming her to the mat. She delivers a shot to Itsuki on the apron, whips Noriyo into the ropes and Leilani with a cheap shot from the apron. Martin plants Itsuki with a reverse powerbomb, covers and gets the first fall.
First Fall: The Glamour Girls
Martin tosses Itsuki by the hair, putting her in the wrong part of town, then whips her into the ropes for a flying forearm and a count of 1. She slams Itsuki, attempts a splash and misses, allowing Noriyo to tag in and hit a dropkick. Into the ropes, Noriyo with a jumping clothesling, heads to the 2nd rope and connects with another for a near fall. She hits the ropes, landinga crossbody for another 2, then tags Itsuki for a double team suplex. Martin enters the ring to break it up, but gets caught and The Angels attempt to whips The Glamour Girls into one another. The Angels stop short, Glamour Girls charging with clotheslines and end up hitting one another. Order is restored and Leilani flattens Itsuki, lifts her to her shoulder, Itsuki rolls through into a pin and picks up a 3 count.
Second Fall: The Jumping Bomb Angels
The Angels rush Leilani and deliver double knees, then a double clothesline before the ring clears to a one on one situation. Itsuki with a running knee, but Leilani uses her size to force Itsuki into her corner and Martin makes a tag. Into the ropes, Martin catches a kick attempt, Itsuki countering with an enzuigiri and Noriyo enters. Noriyo attempts a fisherman suplex, Martin counters and drives a knee to the midsection, then whips Noriyo hard into the corner. Martin charges, Noriyo hops up and over, grabbing a backslide, but Martin rolls through. Judy grabs the legs, catapulting Noriyo into her corner and tagging out.
Leilani wrenches the neck, then stomps away at Noriyo and hangs her across the top rope by the hair. Double underhook suplex plants Noriyo and Leilani gets a count of 2. Leilani maintains the advantage, Martin in off the tag with a big boot that sends Noriyo into a tag. Itsuki comes in and is immediately tossed across the ring by the hair, then distracts the ref for Leilani to get in an illegal choke. Leilani makes a cover for multiple 1 counts, sends Itsuki in for a double axe handle and it’s blocked. She drops Leilani keyster first on the canvas a couple times and gets a 2 count. She tosses Leilani into her own corner, then brings Martin in the hard way and tags Noriyo.
She climbs upstairs, Itsuki with a slam and Noriyo follows off the top with a knee drop for 2. Noriyo hits a double underhook suplex into a bridge, gaining another 2 count, then brings Itsuki back in for a crossbody and another 2. Martin is slammed to the mat, Itsuki comes off the 2nd rope with a senton and misses, Martin covering and only getting 2. Itsuki with a leg takedown, Noriyo with the tag and a 2nd rope clothesline, but Leilani breaks up the pinfall. The ref’s tied up with Leilani, The Angels climb opposing turnbuckles and hit a tandem dropkick for the 1-2-3.
Winners and NEW WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions: The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo/Tandem Top Rope Dropkick)
- EA’s Take: The crowd was quite into this contest and a lot of the style of The Angels is ahead of it’s time, however the pacing of the contest was a bit too hectic at times. Women’s wrestling isn’t quite as clean and smooth as the men at this point, it would take a number of years for it to get to that point. The WWF Women’s Tag Team Titles are a forgotten relic in the annals of WWE history and this is the last major appearance they’d ever see. The Glamour Girls would go on to regain the championships in June before the titles were dropped completely in early 1989.
Video: Footage from WrestleMania III is shown, when Andre The Giant took on Hulk Hogan for the WWF Heavyweight Championship. At one point, Hogan attempted to slam Andre, but The Giant’s weight came crashing down onto the champion for what some claim was a 3 count. ‘The Million Dollar Man’ has plans to buy the championship, but Hulk Hogan refused to sell it. DiBiase promises to get what he wants, no matter the cost. Andre would accept DiBiase’s offer, attacking the champion on Saturday Night’s Main Event. The Giant has agreed to hand the title over.
In The Ring: It’s time for the contract signing for the biggest rematch in history, as Andre The Giant along with ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & Virgil make their way to the ring. ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund will oversee the proceedings and he introduces WWF Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan, then WWF President Jack Tunney.Tunney & Hogan sit down at the table, but Andre refuses as Gene urges him to sign the contract. DiBiase gives Andre a few words and he slowly makes his way to the table, staring down the champion. The Giant finally takes a seat, then DiBiase takes the mic and begs Hogan to sign. Hulk appears to be having doubts, but then signs after some more prodding by The Million Dollar Man. Andre reviews the contract and Hulk grows impatient. The Giant finally puts his name on the dotted line and DiBiase tells him to put his ‘stamp of approval on it’. Hogan lunges at DiBiase and Andre grabs the champion, slamming his head into the table.
- EA’s Take: This segment is a stark contrast to the one earlier tonight. Yes, it was also long, but that was supposed to be the effect and it worked perfectly. Even almost 30 years later, you could feel the tension as Hogan’s blood boiled at Andre toying around with him. DiBiase was the perfect foil to add a new layer to the Hulk/Andre rivalry, giving it new life with the ‘purchasing of the title’ story. This contract was signed for a match to come on Saturday Night’s Main Event and would lead to the biggest moment in the shows history.
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