Legacy on Demand Showcase (05.09)
WWE.com Legacy on Demand Showcase
Since we can’t get 24/7 here in North Carolina just yet, I’ve subscribed to WWE’s online on demand service which is FILLED with stuff to watch that I haven’t ever seen. Not from just WWE, but from other territories and companies over the years much like WWE 24/7 offers, only it’s online.
I’ll be taking requests from people who want something reviewed/recapped, which I’ll work on completing a mix bag of matches like you’ll see here once a month. Just put your requests in the comment section. All I ask is no PPV matches and NO MORE THAN ONE EPISODE of the weekly programming (Raw, Wrestling Challenge, Superstars, House Shows) at a time. Believe it or not, I will get around to the PPV matches AND I just don’t have the time to do a bunch more programming than I’m already doing. I hope you all understand. So without further ado, here we go with my first edition.
- WCW World Heavyweight Champion Big Van Vader (w/Harley Race) vs. Ron Simmons – (Baltimore MD, 8/2/92)
This is not a request, but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this in full. Maybe I have, but I’ve never done a review for it. Before they air the match, JR compares Simmons winning the world title to Barack Obama becoming the U.S. President. He continues on discussing how promoters treated African American wrestlers in the ’60s, ’70s and a lesser extent in the ’80s to set up the match even further. To set this up storyline-wise, Sting was supposed to get the shot here but Jake Roberts gave him a couple DDTs on a chair, allowing Ron Simmons to win a “random” drawing to earn himself the title shot instead. Vader shoves off a tie-up to start and then corners Simmons for a nasty beat down. Simmons fires back and BEATS Vader down into the corner for a change. With Vader reeling, Simmons runs him over with a clothesline. Back suplex and a jumping shoulderblock puts Vader on the floor to meet up with Harley Race. Side note: Harley Race made a “racist” comment in a pre-match promo about Simmons that guys like him used to carry his bags twenty years earlier. I’m paraphrasing, but that’s essentially what he said. Back in, Simmons catches Vader with a Spinebuster for 1-2-NO! Simmons tries a three point stance, but runs into a boot. Vader unloads on Simmons and hits him with an avalanche. Sick clothesline follows a splash for 1-2-NO! Vader delivers a suplex and a Chokeslam to set up a flying splash! Cover, 1-2-NO! Vader catches Simmons with another clothesline, but then Simmons counters a suplex. Simmons gets a backslide for 1-2-NO! Vader goes back on the attack with brutal forearms in the corner. Simmons avoids an avalanche and rolls Vader up for 1-2-NO! Oh, but Vader sits down on top of Simmons’ sunset flip. Vader’s ready to put Simmons away with the POWERBOMB, but Simmons slips out and catches Vader charging at him with a POWERSLAM! Cover, 1-2-3! (9:45) This is definitely one of WCW’s classier moments as the crowd goes completely insane over what just happened. And with this match, Ron Simmons becomes the first-ever African American world champion. What a great moment as a bunch of babyfaces come out to celebrate with him. It’s just too bad that his title win would be the pinnacle of his one and only world title reign. **½
Andre the Giant
- WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition vs. Andre the Giant & Giant Baba – (Tokyo Dome, 4/13/90)
I don’t have a copy of this WWF/AJPW Wrestling Summit show and since I’ve had a request to do it, I’ll go ahead and recap the few matches that are provided by Legacy on Demand. Both Andre and Baba are in just AWFUL shape at this point in their lives. Matt Striker and Josh Matthews on commentary might make this watchable though. The belts aren’t on the line, by the way. Matthews mentions this is the final televised match ever for Andre the Giant, so it is a big deal in that respect. Ax and Smash had just regained the tag titles back from Andre and Haku twelve days earlier at WrestleMania VI. Smash and Baba start us off. Smash tries pounding on Baba, but he’s quickly chopped. He gets stuck in the wrong corner too as Andre SCREAMS at Smash to scare him away before getting in a chop of his own. Tag to Andre, he headbutts Smash down and stands on his chest. Andre misses an elbow, allowing Smash to run over and tag Ax. He hammers Andre down, which is what the Demos did best together. Striker informs us of the Masked Superstar’s true identity. He is…DEMOLITION AX! Andre breaks away and tags Baba, who comes in and does a standing march on Ax. Baba gets caught in the Demos corner as Striker mentions that Baba was the first to ever win the NWA world title. Baba comes back with a swinging neckbreaker on Smash and tags Andre. After another switch, Andre chokes Ax into the corner, which Smash makes the save. ITS BREAKIN’ LOOSE IN TOKYO! Baba and Andre whip Demolition into each other. While Andre gets rid of Ax, Baba hits a Big Boot to set up an elbow drop for Andre to secure the win. (6:40) They didn’t try to do too much and still managed to have fun in there. It actually wasn’t so horrible to watch. *½
- Bret Hart vs. Tiger Mask II – (Tokyo Dome, 4/13/90)
More from the WWF/AJPW Wrestling Summit show. And yes, Tiger Mask II is Mitsuharu Misawa towards the end of his tenure as an incarnation of the Tiger Mask character. Seems like it would be a pretty rare thing to have any gaijin (in this case, Bret) to have wrestled both Tiger Mask I and Tiger Mask II. Early on, Tiger Mask works the arm a lot. Bret slips out of an armbar, but takes a dropkick to the floor. The crowd thinks it is time for a suicide dive from Tiger Mask, but he totally fakes them out and lands on the apron. Back to the arm for Tiger Mask. During this segment of the match, Striker actually mentions how Misawa went on to create his own wrestling company known as Pro Wrestling NOAH! WHAT! Not only that, but he encourages people to CHECK OUT Mitsuharu Misawa on the internet! Such blasphemy! Bret backs Tiger Mask into the corner. Tiger Mask tries a crossbody out of the corner, but Bret rolls through for a two-count. Bret gets a chance to grab a chinlock. Tiger Mask escapes a headlock and makes Bret whiff a dropkick. He follows up with a catapult in the corner, but then chills out with a wristlock. Tiger Mask wants a crucifix, but Bret puts a stop to it and falls back on him. Tiger Mask escapes another chinlock and sends Bret to the floor to him with a plancha! Back in the ring, Tiger Mask grabs a cross armbreaker. Bret makes the ropes, but gets stuck in the armbar again. Bret feigns a knee injury off a leapfrog and then runs Tiger Mask over with a clothesline. Backbreaker gets two. Bret continues to knock Tiger Mask around before dumping him out to the floor so he can pose without interruption. Back inside, Bret hits a Russian Legsweep for two. Back to the chinlock. Tiger Mask comes back with a quick slam, but then Bret gives him a NASTY atomic drop. Suplex gets two. Another chinlock by Bret. When that doesn’t get the submission Bret wants, he changes over to an abdominal stretch. Tiger Mask reverses, but Bret takes him over with a hiptoss. Tiger Mask runs into a boot, but avoids a flying elbow drop from Bret. Tiger Mask climbs up top and hits a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! The sternum-first bump earns Tiger Mask another nearfall as the time limit expires. (20:15) This one had a slow build, but never really picked up to anything all that special like it should have. It had the feel of a short time-limit draw. Still, we got some interesting commentary to make the match more interesting than it was. **¾
- Mr. Perfect & Rick Martel vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & King Haku – (Tokyo Dome, 4/13/90)
This is like a classic AWA match with special guest, Haku! This is the final match WWE.com Legacy on Demand has on the site from the Wrestling Summit Show, despite having a Hogan/Hansen match on the card. Once again, we have the wonderful Striker and Matthews on commentary. As far as the TV schedule goes, Perfect is about a month away from being crowned as the new Intercontinental champion to replace Ultimate Warrior who captured the WWF title at WrestleMania VI. Perfect and Martel clean house to start. Tsuruta is the All Japan Triple Crown champion at this point, so it’s pretty big in Japan for these guys to be in the ring with him. Jumbo catches Perfect with a boot in the corner and follows up with a High Knee. Tag to Haku, he kicks Perfect silly in the ropes and then levels him with a shoulderbreaker for two. Jumbo tags back in and grabs an abdominal stretch on Perfect. Martel breaks it up, allowing Perfect to take over. Perfect hits the Hennig Neck Snap and tries to draw in Haku, but he’s buying into it. Jumbo blocks a punch and slams Perfect to tag Haku. He just owns Perfect, but then misses a somersault senton. Kind of odd because both of these guys were in the Heenan Family at the time, but apparently not here in Japan. Tag to Martel, who drops a bunch of elbows to the back of Haku. Whoa, is that a hurracanrana from Martel I see? That gets two. Perfect brings Martel back into the match with a slingshot splash for two. Haku blocks another rana from Martel by dropping him back on the top turnbuckle. Perfect gets a tag and dropkick Haku for two. Double-slam by Martel and Perfect. That sets up a QUEBEC CRAB attempt by Martel. It’s a battle, but Martel turns Haku over into the hold. Tsuruta breaks it up. Now we see an abdominal stretch in the corner by Perfect, who actually doesn’t cheat to gain extra leverage from Martel. Back to Martel, who gives Haku a suplex and knee drop for two. Meanwhile, Striker is explaining the Triple Crown championship! Awesome. Tsuruta tries to get the crowd behind Haku while Martel and Perfect continue to work over Haku’s back. Flying splash from Martel hits knees and that sets up the hot tag to Jumbo. Everybody gets in the ring as Haku and Tsuruta whip their opponents into each other. Jumbo catches Martel with a High Knee and delivers the RELEASE BACK SUPLEX for the win. (10:53) Pretty neat little formula tag to put Jumbo over the Americans. **
- Ric Flair, Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (w/JJ Dillon) vs. Sting, Lex Luger & Barry Windham
– (NWA Main Event, 4/7/88)
I couldn’t pass up a chance at recapping this one. This is shortly after the first Clash where Sting went 45 minutes with Flair and Luger & Windham defeated AA & Blanchard for the NWA world tag belts. These are all the ingredients for complete 100% AWESOMENESS as the crowd is molten hot. Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross are on commentary. Windham and Blanchard start the match. Windham hiptosses Blanchard into his corner for Sting to pop him one good time. Blanchard backs Windham into the Horsemen corner, causing him to fight his way out. That brings everybody in for a stand-off. Looks like about a four-minute edit job as we cut to see Luger standing over Blanchard. Windham tags back in and gives Blanchard a powerslam for two. They head to the floor where Windham continues the violence. Back inside, Windham grabs a sleeper. Flair manages a tag, but runs into a sleeper! Oh, but Flair counters into a back suplex. Flair misses an elbow drop, which cues the headscissors-into-a-backslide sequence. Windham fires away on Flair and punches him over the top rope to the floor. He considers leaving, but Arn calms him down. Back inside, Arn Anderson stalls a bit before locking up with Windham. Sting gets a tag and leapfrogs over Arn before taking him over with a slam. Flair tries to come down on Sting from the top, but naturally gets caught and slammed to the mat. Here comes Blanchard to give Sting a try. Sting hiptosses Tully out of the corner and delivers a flying headscissors. Tag to Luger, he whips Blanchard hard into the corner for a shoulder-first bump. He follows up with a stalling suplex. Blanchard blocks a corner charge with a knee, but leaps off the middle rope into a bearhug. Flair runs in and kicks Luger in the back of the knee to break it up. Arn tags in and catches Luger with a DDT! Cover, 1-2-NO! Luger presses Arn off him, but Flair runs in to prevent the tag with a rake to the face. Rolling Knee Drop connects to bring about horrific shrieks from the crowd like Lex is going to die tonight to a knee drop. Back to Arn, he rakes and chokes Lex in the ropes. Tully tags and tosses Lex to the floor as Flair goes to work on him. Back inside, the Horsemen continue to ravage Luger as the crowd cheers him on. Arn drills Lex with a Spinebuster for 1-2-NO! Luger powers up to his feet from a knucklelock position, but Arn’s smart enough to move into his own corner to get a save from Tully. Reverse neckbreaker to Lex. Tully draws in Sting for a double-team as Arn comes in to have himself some more fun. Luger elbows out of a chinlock, but runs into a knee. Tag to Flair, he stops another tag and hits a stalling suplex of his own. Oh snap, Luger NO-SELLS and runs Flair over with a clothesline. WHITE HOT TAG TO WINDHAM! He cleans house on the Horsemen. Powerslam to Tully, but then Windham misses the LARIAT and flies over the top rope to the floor. Anderson and Luger brawl on the floor while Tully tries to suplex Windham back inside, but he flips out and O’Connor rolls Blanchard for 1-2-NO! Flair makes the save, which brings Sting over to beat him up in the corner. Meanwhile, JJ Dillon tosses Tully some taped knux. Barry ducks the swing, but Tully nails him with several wide open shots as Windham lifts him up for a back suplex. Windham is out cold as Blanchard makes the cover for 1-2-3. (12:52 shown) This is what made main event six-man tags in the NWA so awesome because they had workers who could pack so much incredible, heat-filled action into a short period of time for TV. Just an awesome match. ****
- WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition vs. The British Bulldogs – (Prime Time Wrestling from FRANCE~! 11/8/88)
The classic Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan double-team this one on commentary. There’s no Mr. Fuji and nobody knows why. On the same card and show, Rockin’ Robin won the WWF women’s title. When Bobby goes to ask her if he’s invited to the party after the show, he comes back to the announce booth with a slap across his face, says Gorilla. Great stuff. This is towards the very end of the British Bulldogs run in the WWF as a tag team. They would come back to the US to compete at Survivor Series on Thanksgiving and that would be it for them. Then again, this was taped on 10/7/88, so they had about seven weeks to go. This crowd is super hot for the Bulldogs. Onto the match. Early on, the Bulldogs pull the old switcheroo behind the ref’s back while they work an armbar on Smash. This goes on for a good five minutes, but the French crowd eats it up. After Smash dumps Davey Boy out to stop the armbars, Ax gets a tag and hammers DBS down. Meanwhile, Gorilla Monsoon speaks TRUTH~! When Heenan wonders what’s going on in the US presidential election, Gorilla shatters every young boy’s dreams by telling us that big business is what runs America and not one single man in a suit. Funny how WWE started ‘Smackdown Your Vote’ after Monsoon passed away. Davey Boy Smith plays face-in-peril for a while as the Demos work a nerve hold/armbar. Hot tag to Dynamite, Smash shuts him down with a blow from the apron as he came off the ropes. Now Dynamite plays face-in-peril as the Demos give him the same treatment. Out on the floor, Smash makes sure Dynamite Kid eats the ringpost. Smash brings Dynamite back in with a suplex. DBS gets drawn in as Demolition whips Dynamite and sends him chest-first into the corner. Dynamite breaks free from the nerve hold and delivers a desperation SNAP SUPLEX on Ax! Oh, but Smash goes over and brings Davey Boy off the apron to prevent the tag. Now the Demos work on Dynamite’s back by trading off on a Boston crab. When that doesn’t get the submission they want, Smash grabs a bearhug for a while. Dynamite breaks free from a chinlock by Ax with a jawbreaker and hot tags Davey Boy Smith! Crowd goes nuts for everything. He gets a few nearfalls on the champs and tags in Dynamite again. SNAP SUPLEX to Smash. It breaks down with everybody in the ring. As ref Tim White is getting Davey Boy out of the ring, Ax breaks up Dynamite’s Octopus Stretch on Smash with a clothesline. Smash covers and gets the 1-2-3. (23:07) Long enough formula tag match to really build up the hot tag at the end, but the match itself was nothing special. **
- WWF World Champion Ric Flair (w/Mr. Perfect) vs. Bret Hart – (Saskatoon, SK, Canada, 10/12/92)
Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Awful Hayes are on commentary. Flair had regained the belt from Savage a few weeks earlier on Prime Time Wrestling. Flair tries getting a quick three-count on Bret to start. Bret counters over into a hammerlock and works over Flair’s previously injured arm. Flair lights up Bret with chops, but Bret counters a suplex for two. Bret teases the Sharpshooter and instead stomps Flair in the gut. Flair takes a powder on the floor. Back in, Bret gets a REAL nice bridge on an overhead wristlock. He bridges up and takes Flair to the mat with the overhead wristlock into an armbar. Flair backs Bret into the corner, so Bret keeps the hold on and steps up to the bottom rope for added leverage. That’s awesome. HE’S GOT UNTIL THE COUNT OF FIVE, REF! More arm work from Bret kills some time. Flair draws Bret into the corner for a chop and then throws him over the top rope. Flair blocks one sunset flip attempt and gets his tights pulled down on a second try. Monsoon ~ “We just became x-rated, Alfred!” Bret floors Flair with a series of clotheslines where we see the Flair Flop on the outside. Back inside, another Flair Flop gets two. Flair thumbs Bret in the eye and corner whips him in for the chest-first bump. Flair goes after the leg with a shinbreaker. He backs the ref away so he can unload on Bret’s face in the corner with CLOSED FISTS~! Rolling Knee Drop misses. Bret tries the Figure-Four, but Flair kicks him off. Bret works on BOTH knees as he drops one with a shinbreaker and the other knee receives a bunch of elbow drops. That sets up the Figure-Four for Flair. Bret earns some nearfalls off the hold, but Flair ultimately reaches the ropes. Backslide gets two for Bret. Flair goes low, but gets stuck in a sleeper. Oh, but Flair escapes with a back suplex. Butterfly suplex by Flair gets two. This time he hits the Rolling Knee Drop. Big chop from Flair gets himself a few more nearfalls, which just proves to frustrate Flair. Bret takes advantage with a schoolboy for 1-2-NO! Flair delivers another shinbreaker and applies the FIGURE-FOUR! Bret nearly gets pinned a whole bunch, but he’s able to reverse the hold into the ropes. Flair kicks at the knee in between chops to the chest. Bret counters a Figure-Four with an inside cradle. He wins a slugfest, but runs into a boot in the corner. Flair goes up top and gets slammed down. HERE COMES BRET! Russian Legsweep gets two. Backbreaker sets up the Flying Vertical Elbow Drop for two. Suplex gets another two. Flair begs off to draw Bret in the corner for a chop, but Bret NO-SELLS and DOWN COMES THE STRAPS! Awesome. He wants another chop, so Flair gives it to him. Bret ABSORBS that and fires back on Flair. He delivers a superplex and grabs the SHARPSHOOTER! Perfect is going nuts trying to distract the ref, but then Hebner looks down and sees Flair is giving up! (26:30) Bret wins his first WWF title. This was great, but I can see why Bret might have a problem with the psychology. All the early arm and leg work he did on Flair was forgotten about half way into the match, which left him no choice but to work on the back to set up for the Sharpshooter. Good psychology like Bret loves to work into all his matches was just never Flair’s style though. Nevertheless, it’s a great match and a great moment for Bret and the fans in Toontown. ****
- NWA World Television Champion Great Muta vs. Arn Anderson (NWA Power Hour, 1/12/90)
Jim Ross and Jim Cornette are on commentary. I could listen to them call NWA matches all day long. Muta had just suffered his first pinfall loss at the hands of Ric Flair at Starrcade. Now he goes up against fellow Horsemen member who recently returned from the WWF. This is during the two-month long period when the Horsemen were acting like babyfaces to sucker Sting into a mega huge beatdown, which was a great angle. Very tentative start. They trade wristlocks, leading to Arn being tempted to stomping Muta in the balls. Here comes the rest of Muta’s J-Tex Corporation buddies: Buzz Sawyer and the Dragon Master. Buzz is a nut. That’s all you need to know. Muta rakes the eyes on Arn, but misses a spin kick and receives a suplex for his error. Crowd wants Sting, as Arn clamps on a headlock. The camera takes a look at the Dragon Master and JR says, “Are there any nice looking oriental guys?” WHAT. Now JR takes a shot at the WWF. Muta gets another kick caught, but readjusts himself with a mule kick. Powerdrive Elbow connects. Muta takes Arn to the floor for some guardrail action. Back in, Muta hits a HUGE flying double ax handle. Muta lands the Handspring Elbow and then hooks on CATTLE MUTILATION~! Arn manages to power and shoulder butt out. From there, he mounts Muta and unloads! Oh, but then Muta nails Arn with a jumping back kick. Muta proceeds to ravage Arn in the corner for a while. He climbs up in the corner to pound on Arn, but he brings Muta out with an inverted atomic drop. Arn gives him one more atomic drop for good measure. Hammerlock Slam! Off an Arn Anderson ab stretch, they tumble over the top rope to the floor. Muta whips Arn into the guardrail while Dragon and Sawyer laugh at him. Inside the ring, Muta telegraphs a backdrop and gets his face raked across AA’s boot laces. Spinebuster to Muta! Dragon Master distracts the ref and Arn while Buzz flies in and lowers the boom on Arn. Cover by Muta, 1-2-NO! When that doesn’t finish off Arn, the MOONSAULT will. Too bad Muta hits knees. With Muta doubled over, Arn nails him with the DDT! Cover, 1-2-3! (13:10) Arn wins his second TV title. Match had so much heat, you could fry an egg. Muta would hang around in the state for about another month before heading back to revolutionize New Japan. ***½
And that’s all for now. I plan on starting the Intercontinental Title Legacy series as well, so that should be up within the next days. Hey, I’m home on a two-week break from college, so I’ve got some free time. After I complete the first episode, I’m going to get back on Nitro.
Posted on May 5, 2009, in AJPW, WCW, WWE and tagged Andre the Giant, Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, Big Van Vader, Bret Hart, British Bulldogs, Buzz Sawyer, Davey Boy Smith, Demolition, Demolition Ax, Demolition Smash, Dragon Master, Dynamite Kid, Four Horsemen, Giant Baba, Great Muta, Haku, Harley Race, J-Tex Corporation, JJ Dillon, Jumbo Tsuruta, Lex Luger, Mr. Perfect, Ric Flair, Rick Martel, Ron Simmons, Sting, Tiger Mask, Tully Blanchard. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.