WWEClassics on Demand Showcase (07.09)
WWEClassics on Demand Showcase
Where Are They Now?
I suggest everybody who pays for this should check out the entire ‘Where Are They Now?’. Backlund is BOSS and it’s only six matches.
- WWF World Champion Bob Backlund (w/Arnold Skaaland) vs. Hulk Hogan – (Philadelphia Spectrum, 4/12/80)
Wonder where Freddie Blassie is at? Hogan comes out in a rainbow-colored cape, which is hilarious. No commentary on this match. Apparently Backlund feels this is one of the most memorable matches of his career. At this point in Philly wrestling history, they weren’t so much as a smart crowd as they were really hot for everything. Hogan might have been a heel, but he still shakes Bob’s hand before the match! And the seeds are planted for RING OF HONOR! *clap clap clap-clap-clap* Hogan obviously overpowers Backlund to start. Later in the ’80s, Hogan always wrestled guys as big or bigger than him, and Backlund makes Hulk looks HUGE in this match. Backlund’s a little hunched over to make Hogan look taller, but I mean he’s 6 foot 1! That’s not very short IMO. Backlund and Hogan trade waistlock takedowns with Backlund coming out on the winning end of that. Hogan hits the floor and takes a powder. Back in, Hogan wants a knucklelock contest. Of course Backlund can’t win, so he breaks free and rolls out to trip Hogan up. Backlund grabs a headlock and he STICKS with the headlock. They play around with that for a few minutes. That’s one thing that guys in those days knew how to do. They could keep your attention with a headlock. Very few guys can do that now. Finally, Hogan backbreakers out of the hold and hits a Oklahoma Stampede! I’m not kidding. Backlund kicks out at one. For some reason, Hogan starts working the arm. He grabs a short-arm scissors and Backlund tries to lift Hogan up and slam him down! He can’t get him up on the first try, but he does on the second try and puts Hogan in the corner for a good pimp slap across the face. HOLY MOSES! Hogan charges into a powerslam, but reverses a corner whip and grabs a bearhug. Backlund collapses and nearly gets pinned. He manages to fight up and right out of the bearhug he delivers a piledriver to Hogan. Cover, 1-2-NO! Splash hits knees, so Hogan hits a suplex for 1-2-NO! He tries another, but Backlund reverses into a suplex of his own for 1-2-NO! Now Backlund misses a jumping legdrop (IRONY~!) and takes a Airplane Spin from the future Hulkster. After 25 minutes, that move really doesn’t do any favors for either man. Just as I say that, Backlund grabs Hulk and gives him the Airplane Spin! They both tumble over the top to the floor where Backlund continues to spin Hulk around. When he’s close to being counted out, Backlund puts Hogan back in the ring. Oh but he’s just too exhausted. Backlund falls down on the floor and gets counted out, giving Hogan the victory. (29:00) Extremely impressive match on both parts, but especially Hogan because you just don’t think of the man going thirty minutes with anybody and it coming out on a positive note. So many people forget that he could really work outside of his clichéd Hulkamania act. ***¾
Hall of Fame
- WWF World Champion Bob Backlund (w/Arnold Skaaland) vs. NWA World Champion Harley Race – (Madison Square Garden, 9/22/80)
Even though this is from MSG, there’s no commentary for this one either which makes me think it never aired. This was marketed as an attempt to unify the belts. Knowing that, it pretty much guarantees that nobody is going over. Race bumps around for Backlund to start. Backlund grabs a headlock. Any time that they’re on the mat and Race tries to turn Backlund over on his back, Backlund does this awesome bridge up to his feet and uses the extra leverage to take Race back down to the mat flat on his back. I know this is New York, but this has been all Backlund. Around 25 minutes in, Backlund delivers the ATOMIC DROP and Race flies over the top rope to the floor. Back in, Race headbutts Backlund low and starts dropping knees and headbutts. Backlund comes back with a sudden piledriver, but a delayed over only gets a two-count. Race hits a knee lift and tries a Diving Headbutt off the second rope, but Backlund moves out of the way. Double-KO lands Race on the floor. Back in, Backlund hits a jumping legdrop for 1-2-NO! Butterfly suplex connects for 1-2-NO! Now Backlund takes a headbutt out to the floor. When Backlund makes it up to the apron, Race bashes his head into the ringpost to bust him open. Oh geez. Race punches the cut to show how brutal of a man he can be. On the apron, Race tries to run Backlund into the post again, but Backlund manages to send Race into the post instead to bust him open. Back in, Backlund pounds away on the cut forehead. He wins a fisticuffs battle and hits a backbreaker for two as we go to the B&W filter. Swinging neckbreaker on Race gets two. Gutwrench suplex scores another nearfall for Backlund. Race tries a suplex, but Backlund flips out and grabs a sleeper. Once Race goes down to one knee and the ref checks his arm, Race pulls the ref right into Backlund to get himself deliberately DQ’ed. (35:32) Certainly a dream match at the time made all the more surreal with time by seeing the NWA world title in Madison Square Garden inside a WWF ring. ***¼
New This Month (July)
- WWF World Champion Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart – (WWF Action Zone, 10/23/94)
Vince and Pettingell are together on commentary. Scary stuff, I know. This was billed as Owen’s last chance at beating Bret for the WWF title. Owen snatches away the WWF title and throws his shades at Bret. Bret catches the shades bouncing off his chest and goes over to put them on a little fan at ringside. Owen slaps Bret and ducks in the ropes to get him all riled up. Bret works the arm a bit and Owen bails. Cue Jim Neidhart! He calms Owen down some. Back in, more arm work from Bret until Anvil trips him up. Owen stomps Bret while he’s down as the British Bulldog makes his way down to cheer for Bret. After a commercial, Bret fights out a camel clutch, but a yank of the greasy hair puts him back down in a chinlock. Bret tries shoving off a headlock, but Owen has a good hold of the hair and continues on. More hair-pulling shenanigans from Owen keeps Bret down on the mat. Is that an “Owen stinks” chant? Boy how times have changed. Belly to belly suplex from Owen gets two. Bret fires back and gets a sunset flip for two. He lays in a series of forearms, but gets whipped in for his signature chest-first bump. Owen missile dropkicks Bret and then jaws with Bulldog while Anvil posts Bret’s knee. Owen tears at Bret’s knee in the corner and takes him over with a dragon screw leg whip into the Indian deathlock. Bret manages to headbutt Owen to escape! Owen starts snapping on the hamstring and delivers another dragon screw leg whip. Just awesome systematic leg work from Owen. Figure-four! Bret turns it over as we go to commercial again. AND WE’RE BACK! Bret mounts his comeback with his famous FIVE MOVES OF DOOM! After the second rope elbow drop, Anvil helps Owen out and puts his foot on the bottom rope. When Bret goes to yell at him, Owen rolls him up for 1-2-NO! Owen goes to the eyes to avoid the SHARPSHOOTER and connects with a Spinning Heel Kick for 1-2-NO! Bret blocks a suplex and places Owen up top, but Owen shoves him down. While the ref checks on Bret, Davey Boy Smith runs over and shoves Owen off onto the top rope! Ouch. Bret covers for 1-2-3. (14:50) They managed to piece together a lot of their earlier work which made for a great free TV match. The short-lived Action Zone series would peak with the Kliq match the following week and revert to another Superstars-type show from then on. ***¼
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Rocky Maivia – (WWF Shotgun Saturday Night, 1/18/97)
Since Raw wasn’t seen as an edgy enough show anymore, the WWF began Shotgun Saturday Night and had the show take place in various NYC nightclubs, which had the crowd RIGHT up against the ring. This week, they’re in Texas for the Royal Rumble that aired the next day in San Antonio. To show just how edgy they could get, two weeks earlier on the show’s debut, Marlena removed her top to distract the Sultan which led to his defeat at the hands of Marlena’s man Goldust. Of course she was wearing pasties and her back was to the camera, but still that had never been done before by the WWF. Not to mention on this episode, Terry Funk showed up and ran his mouth off using a bunch of obscenities that caused the show to tone their attitude down a bit. On last week’s show, Maivia saved Sable from the Honky Tonk Man’s advances. Marc Mero runs in and gets in Rocky’s face about it leading to a fisticuffs! OH GEEZ! The Tremendous Rookie Sensation gets a HUGE “Rocky” chant in the early going. This match is all armbar city until Jake Roberts runs in and scares everybody out with his snake. Is Jake wearing a Starbucks barista apron? Anyways, he’s here to join JR and Vince at the announce booth during the commercial break. Rocky elbows out of a chinlock, but runs into a knee. Pair of Knee Drops gain a nearfall for Hunter. Rocky connects with a crossbody block, but then takes a facebuster. High Knee gets two. Back to the chinlock. He cheats by using the ropes a little bit. Rocky fires back and hits a powerslam. Wait a minute, here comes Marlena. Rocky dropkicks Hunter to the floor, but gets his face slammed on the steps. Oh man, now Hunter spots Marlena. They say a few words to one another until Goldust runs down and chases him back through the crowd and all the way to the locker room. Well, probably not a locker room since they’re in a club, but wherever they went, they are now completely out of sight. With Rocky back in the ring, Helmsley has been counted out to give him the win. (9:23) At this point in either man’s careers, they weren’t going to produce anything great regardless of the fact that Vince McMahon calls HHH a veteran when he has less than three years of overall experience. **
Bret Hart | Shawn Michaels
- The Rockers vs. The Hart Foundation – (Madison Square Garden, 11/25/89)
The “all-star” duo of Gorilla Monsoon and Hillbilly Jim are on commentary. Bret and Marty start us off. Anytime the Harts battle a team of babyfaces, they seem to revert to their classic heel tactics from the mid-80s. After some back and forth counters, Marty does the spin out of a hiptoss and grabs an armbar. Blind tag to Shawn, they deliver a double-hiptoss to Bret and drop some STEREO ELBOWS only to kip up into a running clothesline from Neidhart. Now Anvil tags in and shoves off a headlock. He REFUSES to go down to a shoulderblock from Shawn, so Michaels suckers into catching a crossbody and countering that when he goes for a slam with an inside cradle for two. Anvil cannot slam Shawn as he slips out of a second attempt and rolls up Neidhart for two. Jannetty tags in and grabs an arm wringer, but gets run down by Neidhart. He slides back in underneath the Anvil and works a front headlock. Tag to Shawn, STEREO CRESCENT KICKS score him a nearfall on Neidhart. Anvil slams Shawn down and tags in Bret. During some rope running, Bret catches Shawn for an inverted atomic drop. Bret works him over and tags Anvil so he can bury the knee into Shawn’s back from the apron. Just for old time’s sake. Backbreaker by Bret sets up a bearhug from Neidhart. Michaels fights out and dropkicks Anvil back into the Rockers corner where Jannetty gets a shot in for what Bret did moments earlier. Turnabouts fair play and all that jazz. Michaels leaps for a hot tag, but Neidhart catches him in mid-air and backs Shawn into the Harts corner. More face-in-peril stuff follows. Bret tries to slingshot Anvil into the ring, but Michaels moves out of the way. Bret manages to pull Shawn back into their corner though. Nice suplex gets two. The Hart Foundation continue to cut the ring off and keep Shawn on their side until Bret misses an elbow drop off the second rope. With nothing in between Shawn and Marty, Shawn seizes the moment and makes the HOT TAG TO JANNETTY! Knee-lift on Bret gets two. Jannetty gets another two off a backslide. Crossbody block gets another two. Jack Brisco rollup scores another nearfall. Bret stomps the groin to take back control. Jannetty tries to roll Bret up off the ropes, but Bret blocks. Jannetty charges for another crossbody block, but Bret ducks and Jannetty goes flying over the top to the floor. NASTY. Back in, Jannetty rolls underneath Anvil off a whip and makes the tag to Michaels. Anvil wipes him out with a jumping shoulderblock. Cover, 1-2-NO! Neidhart gets caught ducking low off a whip and takes a crossbody out of the corner from Shawn for 1-2-NO! Tag to Bret, he rolls through a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! Now Shawn rolls through an O’Connor roll for 1-2-NO! Michaels blocks a suplex and hits one of his own for two. From there, Shawn counters Bret’s abdominal stretch. Neidhart comes in and breaks it up, causing Jannetty to walk over and shove him around as the 20-minute time limit expires. (19:38) Yeah, close enough. Tito Santana, Paul Roma, and Hercules all come down to break up the confrontation. Seems like the Hart Foundation were involved in more time limit draws than any tag team in MSG. Standard Harts-Rockers stuff that leads to their big match on SNME in April. ***½
Last Month’s Videos (June)
- Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (w/The Genius) – (Primetime Wrestling, 11/6/89)
I’m still waiting on that Maple Leaf Gardens match everybody talks so highly about to show up on WWECLASSICS. Bret sends Perfect spinning out to the floor after a hiptoss. Back inside, Bret and Perfect some hairpulling games during a headlock. Bret’s headlock takedowns are so quick and turned to an angle that just makes me cringe. Perfect buries a knee, but Bret gets a crucifix for two. Back to the headlock as we go to commercial. We come back to see Perfect down on the floor walking off whatever Bret did to him. Back in, Perfect lands a cheapshot on Bret in the corner which he does to absolute PERFECTION. Haha, I love it. Big Knee Lift connects and now Bret gets kicked out to the floor. Perfect follows him out and blasts Bret with a chop and then heads back in to pose. Back inside, Perfect whips Bret into the corner for his chest-first bump for two. Perfect makes Bret pay for the hairpulling earlier and tosses him from one side of the ring to the other by the hair. Hennig Neck Snap and a jackknife cover gets two. Perfect makes a mistake (I know, seems like that line contradicts itself) and heads up top only for Bret to pop up and crotch Perfect on the top turnbuckle. Atomic drops from both sides of Perfect sets up a hair toss into the corner. Now Bret sends him flying by his hair into the other corner where Perfect crotches himself. Suplex gets 1-2-NO! The crowd CANNOT believe it. Small package gets two. Backbreaker gets another nearfall. Bret argues with the ref, allowing Perfect to roll him up for 1-2-NO! Bret kicks Perfect off through the ropes. Down on the floor, Perfect goes to the eyes and plans to suplex Bret back inside, but he flips out and O’Connor rolls Perfect for 1-2-NO! Perfect rolls through and grabs a handful of tights for 1-2-3! (13:25 shown) Classic Hart-Perfect stuff here. ***¾
Hall of Fame
- WWWF World Champion Superstar Billy Graham (w/The Grand Wizard) vs. Mil Mascaras – (Madison Square Garden, 12/19/77)
This would be the equivalent of today’s Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio. The Grand Wizard agrees to “behave” if the referee will allow him to be at ringside. Well, Mascaras doesn’t trust the guy, so he heads to the back and brings out Bob Backlund to be in his corner. Fair enough. Mascaras takes charge on Graham to start with the CROSS CHOP and then whips him corner to corner. Graham rolls out and spots Backlund aaaaand starts walking the other way. Back in, Mascaras grabs Graham and pulls back on both arms. Despite Graham’s power, he can’t quite reverse the hold. Next, Mascaras fights out of a test of strength with a headscissors. Mascaras does a cool float over into an armdrag and Graham protests saying he pulled the hair. Graham goes to a full nelson, but Mascaras counters. Now to an ab stretch. Wizard flashes some card at Graham and he hiptosses Mascaras off him. Atomic drop follows a backdrop. Dropkick puts Graham on the floor. Mascaras wants to come off the top onto Graham, but the ref doesn’t recommend that. Boy if he had come down on Graham, THAT would have made the NYC crowd take notice. Nobody in the US was doing that kind of stuff yet. In the ring, Graham chokes on Mascaras with some wrist tape. The ref has NO idea. When the ref does realize what’s happening, Mascaras counters with a snap suplex. Mascaras rolls out and chases the Wizard around the ring. He wants him OUTTA HERE. Here comes security and they haul the Wiz to the back. Back inside, Graham goes to the eyeholes to take control. He starts pounding the back and grabs a Bearhug. Somehow, Mascaras counters the bearhug and grabs Graham for a bearhug of his own. Graham makes the ropes and tries to pull off the mask. No way, pal. Mascaras won’t let that happen. He starts his comeback and drives Graham into the ringpost to bust him open. It’s time for the B&W filter. Another CROSS CHOP connects and just when it looks like Mascaras might beat the champ, the ref calls for the bell due to Graham’s excessive blood loss. (15:34) This was just Graham and Mascaras trading power holds up until the end. That might be okay if there was any real psychology in between holds. Mascaras gets stuck in a bearhug and then puts Graham in the same hold? Puh-lease. In the grand scheme of things, Backlund was merely two MSG shows away from beating Graham and becoming the new WWWF world champion. **¼
- Ric Flair vs. Tito Santana – (Battle Royal at Albert Hall, 10/3/91)
Ric Flair is the REAL world’s champion, you know. From one of the first big WWF shows over in the UK, Ric Flair battles Tito Santana in one of his earliest WWF matches. At least he’s not Jim Powers. You know Tito’s still wearing his Strike Force gear. Gorilla and Bobby are on commentary. They’re GOLD, Jerry. Gold. Flair bails after one shoulderblock to start. Back in, he fights out of a headlock into an overhead wristlock and pulls Tito’s hair behind the ref’s back to take him over. Santana gets his hair pulled again during an armbar, but he kips up and gets that LATIN TEMPER going to back Flair into the corner. Tito fires away and hits a backdrop on Flair. A couple dropkicks and Flair Flops. He rolls out where Santana slams his head into the guardrail. That just serves to piss Flair off, so he goes to the eyes and slams Tito’s head on the Union Jack wrapped over the guardrail. Tito comes back in with a sunset flip for 1-2-NO! Now he goes after Flair’s leg, but he suckers Tito into the corner. Oh but Tito doesn’t get it and keeps pounding on Flair, which screws up the match for a moment. That is until we see the Flair corner pin for 1-2-NO! Ten-count corner punch is countered to an atomic drop. Can’t feel good for Tito. Rolling Knee Drop connects for two with his feet on the ropes. He whips Santana from corner to corner and AGAIN covers him with his feet on the ropes for 1-2-NO! Tito wins a slugfest and whips Flair in for the Flair Flip and catches him with a clothesline down the apron. Santana suplexes Flair back in, leading to Flair begging off. Flair goes low, but Tito backslides him for two. Now Flair goes to the eyes to slow him down. Chop gets two. Flair hits the shinbreaker and slaps on the FIGURE-FOUR! Flair cheats like a MUTHATRUCKA and uses the top rope for A LOT of leverage. He never gets caught though and Tito reverses the hold. They go to the floor where Flair chops away on Santana. Back in, Santana slams Flair off the top for two. Tito misses an elbow drop, but nails Flair with a running clothesline for two. FLYING JALAPENO connects for 1-2-NO! Flair got his foot on the bottom rope. Heenan is about to have a heart attack. Santana delivers an O’Connor roll, but Flair rolls through and grabs the tights for the 1-2-3. (16:14)
Tito seemed to have some chemistry issues working with the Flair formula. And I always thought Santana was made for it too. On the other hand, Flair was doing all he could to get over his dirty tactics with the UK fans. Makes me wonder if their Raw match was any better. **¾
Another great month of requests, everybody!
Posted on July 17, 2009, in NWA, WWE and tagged Arnold Skaaland, Bob Backlund, Bret Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Goldust, Grand Wizard, Harley Race, Hart Foundation, Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, Jim Neidhart, Marlena, Marty Jannetty, Mil Mascaras, Mr. Perfect, Owen Hart, Rockers, Shawn Michaels, Superstar Billy Graham, The Genius, The Rock, Tito Santana, Triple H. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.