WWECLASSICS.com Showcase (February 2010)

WWECLASSICS.com Showcase
February 2010

  • Rene Goulet vs. Bret Hart– (Madison Square Garden, 1/21/85)

This is Bret’s MSG debut – a HUGE deal for him at the time. Rene is quite the master of crowd psychology and since we’re in his twilight years here, that’s certainly his strongest point. Everybody hates Goulet and he’s a good opponent for an incoming babyface, but Bret is incredibly vanilla and lacking personality here. Nevertheless, Bret takes a beating on the mat. Goulet grabs the CLAWHOLD, but he doesn’t have the demon-possessed black glove to make the hold extremely lethal. Bret escapes and sunset flips Goulet, but takes a stomp to the mid-section for his troubles. Back to the CLAWHOLD. Still no evil black glove applied, so it’s all futile. Another sunset flip from Bret gets two. An atomic drop fires up Bret. Abdominal stretch! Rene flips him over, but takes a backbreaker followed by a legdrop for two. Rene catches Bret charging in the corner and finds something in his tights. He misses a swing and Bret grabs him for a sleeper! That gets the submission and Bret wins his first match in MSG. (14:32) Solid outing here, but who would ever see Bret as a main event guy here? There’s just no way. **

  • WWF World Tag Team Champions The Hart Foundation vs. The Rockers – 2/3 Falls (10/30/90)

It’s the phantom title change! This was originally supposed to air on the post-Thanksgiving Saturday Night’s Main Event show, but NBC decided to move the show to Friday due to decreased ratings and gave them only an hour of airtime instead for a lackluster fourth installment of the Main Event series (which had annually aired in February), which is one of the reasons this match and the title change never made it to TV. Bret and Marty start us off. They trade armbars until Shawn comes in and helps out with a double backbreaker on Bret. STEREO SUPERKICKS take out Neidhart! Bret stops the Rockers with a DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER and Neidhart runs them over with a clothesline. Once the action settles, the Rockers attempt to work on Neidhart’s arm, but he keeps on bowling them over. Jannetty hits an atomic drop and STEREO DROPKICKS to take over. Bret spends the next several minutes trying to keep the Rockers from defeating his brother in law. He stops Shawn during the STEREO FLYING FIST DROPS and breaks up the pin. Neidhart hits the STANDING POWERSLAM on Shawn, but only gets two. Bret works over Shawn with his famous five move sequence, but can’t get the pinfall. Jannetty gets the tag, blocks a sunset flip, and hooks the legs for the 1-2-3. (Rockers – 1 | Harts – 0 | 9:31) Back in, the Harts work over Jannetty. During a suplex contest when neither man can pull off the move, Michaels comes in and saves Jannetty as they take down Bret with a clothesline. It’s right around here where the top rope gets detached from the turnbuckle pad. Bret and Shawn go down for an extended front headlock segment while they try and figure out what they want to do now that there’s no top rope. Bret does the sternum-first bump into the middle turnbuckle. HOT TAG TO JANNETTY, but Bret cuts him off. We see the Demolition Decapitation, but Shawn prevents the pinfall. The Harts try for a Rocket Launcher, but Shawn runs in and dropkicks Bret out of the Anvil’s arms to the floor! Back inside, Shawn gets caught in the HART ATTACK to send this into the third fall. (Harts – 1 | Rockers – 1 | 19:20) During a commercial break, the WWF ring crew people try and fix the top rope for the final fall. The Hart Foundation continue to work over Shawn until Bret tests the ropes by taking a signature bump crotching himself off a crossbody block. HOT TAG TO JANNETTY! A pier-six brawl erupts and the Harts get whipped into one another. That leaves Bret all alone with the Rockers. Bret does a criss-cross with Jannetty, which fails. Tag to Neidhart, the Harts begin to double-team Jannetty while Shawn keeps hopping into the ring taking away the ref’s attention. Finally, Neidhart tosses out Shawn so the Hart Foundation can go for the HART ATTACK without any problems. Just we say that, Shawn runs back in and cuts off the clothesline from Bret as Jannetty shifts his weight to tumble Neidhart over for the 1-2-3 and the tag belts. (Rockers – 2 | Harts – 1 | 24:56) Since the match was never aired, everybody acted as though nothing ever happened and the tag belts went back to the Hart Foundation until they eventually lost them at WrestleMania 7. Why they didn’t just redo the match on a later date? Sadly, I have no answer for you. It was a great ten minutes or so and they tried to lift this one out of the dumps by the third fall, but the second fall really threw them off their game. **½

  • Andre the Giant vs. Ernie Ladd (Madison Square Garden, 4/26/76)

Before the match, you can hear Vince McMahon hyping up the June 25 Showdown at Shea main event which is Ali-Inoki. At that same show, Andre faces Chuck Wepner in what many call the better match. Personally, I haven’t seen either match so let’s just MOVE on. Ernie Ladd is declaring himself the “king” of wrestling here. He just lost to the WWWF world champ Bruno Sammartino at the last MSG show in March and now he’s got a match with the young Andre the Giant. Ladd plays some mind games to start – because you don’t just *hook up* with Andre. Finally he gets caught and beaten down. Andre pretty much has his way with Ladd. Nerve holds and bear hugs. Ladd punches out of a bearhug though, but Andre chops him back. Andre falls down all over Ladd’s knee to the approval of the crowd. By the way, Chuck Wepner – FEAR THIS! Andre gives him the Coconut Cruncher. It’s that move where Andre puts your head in between his legs and then jumps up and down. SO brutal, I tell ya. A series of headbutts follow. Ladd has enough of that and starts using his LOADED TAPED THUMB to jab at Andre to take over. What could he possibly have taped to his THUMB? Andre’s tired of thumb jabs, so he takes Ladd’s thumb and jabs it into Ladd’s OWN throat! Backdrop by Andre sets up a running splash, but Ladd rolls away and heads to the dressing room. Andre wins via countout. (12:28) Yeah I can’t see either guy jobbing here. Whatever though. It works. The psychology was certainly there, but it was as exciting as watching paint dry. ¾*

  • Andre the Giant & Iceman King Parsons vs. The Super Destroyers (w/Skandor Akbar) (WCCW, 1/21/84)

The Super Destroyers are the Irwin brothers under masks. Akbar and the Super Destroyers have done some dastardly things to the Iceman and he’s brought in a large amount of help to get him some revenge. Andre sure looks happy here. That’s good to see. Parsons and Bill start us off. Iceman’s all confident having Andre in his corner, so he has very little trouble with the Super D’s to start. Andre gets his turn in the ring and squashes both the Super D’s. I wonder who the WWF got while Andre came to Texas if anything at all. Andre telegraphs a backdrop and pays for it, but that just gets him mad. Tag to Parsons, he becomes *your* face in peril as if there was any doubt. The Super D’s draw in Andre every once and a while so they can choke on Parsons behind the ref’s back. Scott misses a corner charge to set up the HOT TAG TO ANDRE! Rocket Launcher on the Super Destroyers! It’s a pier-six brawl as Kamala runs in and attacks Andre for the DQ. (12:44) It has broken loose, folks. Andre fights off Kamala and pulls off Akbar’s Arabian head dress while Kim Chee calms down Kamala. As Devastation Inc heads to the back, Andre and Parsons shine their boots with the head dress. They’re such good buddies! Just a fun formula tag. I wouldn’t say any satisfying revenge was really had here for the Iceman. **½

  • Ricky Steamboat, Junkyard Dog & Roddy Piper vs. Randy Savage, Harley Race & Adrian Adonis (Madison Square Garden, 2/23/87)

Holy crap this looks cool. It’s elimination rules too! Possibly a test to see how it gets over in NYC for the upcoming Survivor Series PPV. Gorilla Monsoon and SLICK are on commentary. Always hilarious. While this is Ricky Steamboat’s first MSG appearance since Savage crushed his larynx, this is Roddy Piper’s last appearance in MSG until he returns to the WWF in 1989. Are we going to see Piper-Adonis right off the bat? No way. Savage gets a tag. Piper chases him around and tags in Steamboat. Armdrags and chops! In comes Harley, JYD tags and headbutts him out of the ring. Great start to this one. Race gives JYD a belly to belly suplex to break away and tag Savage. He heads up top, but gets distracted by Steamboat. Now the Dragon comes in and continues where he left off. Just as I say that, Steamboat telegraphs a backdrop. Tag to Adrian, he drops Steamboat with a back suplex. Adrian runs into a boot in the corner, allowing a tag to Piper. PIER-SIX BRAWL ERUPTS! The heels dominate on Piper for a while. Adonis and Piper trade SLEEPERS, but Harley breaks that up. Adrian tries to elbow JYD’s head, but the guy has an abnormally thick skull and it doesn’t work. Everybody fights to the floor where chairs come out and everything, but JYD and Adonis don’t make it back in the ring before the ten-count at 7:50. Race and Savage concentrate on Piper for a while. In a moment that is SOOOO Roddy Piper, he pokes Race in the eyes while he’s getting beat up by Savage. Piper avoids a Bossman straddle and counters a suplex from Race to set up the HOT TAG TO STEAMBOAT! Chops everywhere! Steamboat hits the Flying Head Chop on Race, but Savage reverses an inside cradle into Harley’s favor for the 1-2-3 at 11:42. Steamboat embraces Piper as he’s left to battle Race and Savage all by himself. Piper unloads on Harley and takes him to the floor. Savage tries to hit him with a chair, but Piper sees it coming. Back in, Savage hits a double sledge for two. Powerslam by Race only gets two. Piper counters a gutwrench suplex on Harley for two. Race holds Piper for a flying double sledge, but we get some classic heel miscommunication. That eliminates Harley at 15:43. As the crowd gets louder and louder for Piper, Savage begs off. Race and Savage try for one last double team, but it fails too! Bulldog by Piper and Savage begs off again. Savage extends a hand and Piper bites a chunk out of it. Savage SPITS back at Piper and now we’ve got a FIGHT. Piper gets COCAINE CRAZY and chases Savage out, but Savage lowers the boom on him back inside the ring. Sunset flip from Piper fails. Clothesline by Savage gets two. They start trading chokes and Piper goes nuts on him with punches. Double-KO ensues and Savage falls to the floor. While the ref is counting, Piper lays down on his back in the center of the ring and plays dead. As Savage heads up top for the MACHO ELBOW, Piper moves and cradles Savage up for the 1-2-3. (20:22) Savage just got EDDIE GUERRERO’D! Nobody ever said Piper was the best wrestler in the world, but anybody can say that he is one entertaining individual. Definitely a well-booked match that turned Piper’s weaknesses into strengths and exhibited three big feuds involved at the biggest PPV ever. ***½

  • WWF Intercontinental Champion Bret Hart vs. The Mountie (Madison Square Garden, 11/30/91)

This is from a pretty famous MSG show which featured Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair in one of their very first meetings. Heenan calls the Mountie the “Excellence of Electrocution”. Of course he has his cattle prod with him. Bret refuses to get in with him as long as he’s got a hold of the “shock stick”. Big Bossman comes in through the crowd and nails Mountie from behind and STEALS the prod! What a thief! Inverted atomic drop and a clothesline sets up a stomp to the groin. Ten-count turnbuckle smashes by Bret. He is ALL OVER the Mountie while Heenan and McMahon talk over This Tuesday in Texas. About five minutes in, Lord Alfred Hayes wakes up and joins in on the conversation. Mountie rakes the face before a backbreaker to take control. Bret prevents an attack in the corner and goes back to work until he misses a charge and runs shoulder-first into the ringpost. Bret takes his chest-first bump and gets his hair pulled during a camel clutch in DISGUSTING and cheap ways. Pretty awesome. Mountie sticks Bret in a tree of woe and pulls back on Bret’s hair from the floor. Big piledriver from the Mountie, but he doesn’t cover. In a cool spot, Mountie grabs a half nelson and a hammerlock with the other arm and turnbuckle smashes Bret with no way to protect himself. Cover, 1-2-NO! Off a corner whip, Mountie catches himself and goes for a crossbody and misses. HERE COMES BRET! Russian Legsweep, backbreaker, and the flying vertical elbow drop gets 1-2-3? (12:59) Well that’s the first time I’ve seen *that* win a match for Bret. Not their best stuff, but a decent outing. Vince points out that there’s no distortion put on the IC belt because he earned it here in the WWF, which of course the F gets muted. Kind of ironic, no? **

  • Corporate Royal Rumble (Raw is War, 1/11/99)

Winner gets the #30 spot in the real Royal Rumble match. While this is called the Corporate Royal Rumble, it includes both members from Vince McMahon’s Corporation stable and Degeneration-X. Shane McMahon is on commentary, which you’ll either find hilarious or annoying. Ken Shamrock and Billy Gunn (with his Iceman King Parsons haircut) are the first two guys in the match. Shamrock eliminates himself IMMEDIATELY by dropping on Gunn with a pescado. He’s CRAZY, you see. He takes Billy into the steps, the ringposts, and over to the announce table. Shane-O-Mac is cheering this on the whole time. As Shamrock leaves, his tag team championship partner the Big Bossman enters in at #3. Shane calling his dad “POPS” makes me laugh every time. Bossman beats the ever living crap out of Gunn as Test comes in at #4. As you can see, it’s pretty unfair so far. Test big boots Gunn around for a bit. Bossman and Test try and toss him out as X-Pac heads to the ring at #5. Test and Billy do their hiptoss-across-the-ring spot until Gunn gets thrown over the top to the floor. Gutwrench powerbomb from Test to X-Pac as we get another entrant. It’s Road Dogg. Evidently WWEClassics doesn’t like Road Dogg’s entrance as the screen goes black for a few seconds. We quickly have #6 as it’s…KANE! You know, back when people cared about him. He clotheslines out Road Dogg. It’s now 3-on-1 for X-Pac. HHH runs in for the save at #7 as our last entrant, says Cole. Test and Kane have some miscommunication problems, so Kane tosses out Test. With Kane against the ropes, HHH and X-Pac eliminate Kane and then Bossman dumps out X-Pac. While HHH tries to toss out Bossman, the horn blows again and a surprise entrant walks out. It’s Vince McMahon with Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson! HHH dares Vince to get in the ring with him, but then Bossman attacks from behind and tries to dump out HHH. That allows Vince to walk up behind them and send them both to the floor! Vince McMahon wins the Corporate Royal Rum-hey, wait a second. The buzzer goes off again and the DX music hits! They have forgot about Chyna! Patterson and Brisco try to stop her, but she stops them with a couple right hands. *GLASS SHATTERS* Oh my gosh. Stone Cold Steve Austin walks out and Vince *GULPS* as he turns around to face his biggest adversary. As Vince walks over to the ropes to keep Austin on the floor, Chyna runs up behind Vince and throws him out to win the Corporate Royal Rumble and secure the #30 spot in the REAL Royal Rumble on January 24. (10:50) Before Austin walks away, he makes sure to tell Vince one more time just what he thinks of him. At the time, there was classic Raw moments happening pretty much on a weekly basis and this was certainly one of them. It’s funny – Chyna came into the Rumble at #30 with a little help from Austin, but at the same time Austin was the one to throw her out of the Rumble after only about 30 seconds. It’s pretty great how that worked. **

  • Bret Hart vs. Lex Luger (5/24/93)

From a Bret Hart tape made for the UK fans, this is one of the first meetings between the two. Lex is nearing the end of the Narcissist gimmick here. He talks some smack to the fans until Bret has enough and chases him into the ring for a beating. Bret tries to tear a shoulder out with an armbar. JR, Heenan, and Savage wonder why Bret’s not working on the LOADED BIONIC FOREARM. Heenan’s answer? Bret’s Canadian. Luger uses his good elbow to fight out of his predicament. Lex tosses out Bret and beats him on the floor. Bret avoids the guardrail smash and returns the favor to Lex. More brawling around the ring follows. Back inside, Luger thumbs Bret in the eye and whips him HARD into the corner a few times. Bret tries to fight back with a sudden rollup, but Luger gets right back on top of him. Chinlock is applied, but Bret escapes and pulls Luger’s tights down to get a sunset flip to work. That gets two. Bret counters a suplex and catches Lex in a sleeper, but Luger backs him into the corner. Luger blocks an O’Connor roll, but Bret nails an inverted atomic drop followed by a clothesline for two. Russian Legsweep gets two. Small package gets two. Backbreaker sets up the flying vertical elbow drop for 1-2-NO! Double KO follows. Both men up, Bret gets that rollup for 1-2-NO! Luger tries the O’Connor roll himself, but Bret blocks and goes for the SHARPSHOOTER. Here comes Razor Ramon to attack Bret for the DQ. (17:01) The crowd calls for the 1-2-3 Kid to come help out. Razor holds Bret for the LOADED BIONIC FOREARM shot, but Bret moves and Ramon gets wiped out. Luger seems pretty pissed at himself. He helps Razor up, but now Razor wants to fight Luger. Uh oh, the tooth pick has been thrown. Oh, It’s ON. Razor beats Luger out of the ring as Lex talks his way to the back. And we take one step closer to a Razor Ramon face turn. Solid match if pretty dull. *½

  • WWF World Champion Bob Backlund vs. Bobby Duncum (Philadelphia Spectrum, 1/12/80)

Vince McMahon and Dick Graham are on commentary. Backlund attacks Duncum at the bell and puts to the boots to him. He goes for the win early with a big slam and a PILEDRIVER. Duncum misses a corner charge and runs into the ringpost as Backlund continues the punishment. Backlund works the arm for a while. Vince mentions a time when Duncum attacked Skaaland, which explains the motivation. Meanwhile, Duncum runs Backlund into the corner and kicks him to the mat while he tries to get the feeling back in his arm. Backbreaker gets two. Backlund headbutts back, so Duncum knees him in the head. Duncum grabs a chinlock and changes over to a nerve hold. Backlund fights to his feet and elbows out. He hits a shoulderblock, but Duncum catches him with a back elbow. Next up, there’s a double KO spot. Duncum dumps out Backlund and keeps him out there until Backlund trips him up and posts the leg. Back in, Backlund applies the figure-four. Duncum makes the ropes and kicks off a second attempt. Looks like Duncum reaches into his tights and nails Backlund with something, but we can’t see what it is. Cover, 1-2-NO! Backlund backdrops out of a piledriver and hits the RUNNING ATOMIC DROP, which sends Duncum through the ropes. Back inside, a running splash from Backlund hits knees. Back suplex from Duncum gets 1-2-NO! To the apron, Duncum runs Backlund into the turnbuckle connector and then grinds on his forehead in the ring. That’s got Backlund busted open. Duncum kicks at his face to make him bleed some more. Just when Backlund gets FIRED UP, the ref calls for the bell. (16:09) Duncum wins the match, but not the title. Good little match, but I would have liked to have seen Duncum act a little more like a crazy Texan. ***

  • AWA World Tag Team Champions The Midnight Rockers vs. Adrian Adonis & Bob Orton Jr. (AWA, 2/20/88)

So here are four guys who left the WWF in 1987 for one reason or another and headed back to the AWA. The Rockers control the heels to start with headlocks. You better believe there’s a headlock-headscissors double-team spot. Finally, Orton gains the upper hand with a backbreaker on Shawn. Tag to Adonis, he gives Shawn a running bulldog. Hourglass suplex from Orton connects. Face-in-peril segment continues as they cut the ring in half. Orton and Adonis do a cool spot where they catapult Shawn into a clothesline. Splash from Adrian hits knees, but he still cuts off the hot tag. Orton delivers the knee bulldog off the second rope for 1-2-NO! The heels switch without a tag and the crowd gets onto them for it, but I mean they were in CONTROL of the match. What difference does it make if they switch? Running powerslam from Adrian gets two as Jannetty makes the save. False tag spot ensues and Shawn gets tossed over the top to the floor to allow Orton to throw him into the ringpost and stuff. Looking over the AWA tag title history, I’d be interested to see the Midnight Rockers title win over the original Midnight Express. Back in, Shawn avoids a corner splash from Adrian and SLAMS him, but misses a knee drop. Adonis hits a back suplex and tags Orton for a NASTY reverse neckbreaker. Cover, 1-2-NO! Shawn reverses a corner whip and crotches Orton on the top rope. HOT TAG TO JANNETTY! He sends Adonis into Orton in the corner. Orton pulls Jannetty to the floor off a cover on Adrian. Now all four men are on the floor as we’ve got a double-countout. (15:51) I really liked Bob Orton Jr. here. He just felt DANGEROUS. Adrian is at about as big as he gets here (which is ridiculous) and he’s just not as good as he once was. Not much to say other than this was another good formula tag from two fantastic teams. ***¼

Final Thoughts: Wow. Four Bret matches and NONE of them break ***. How rare is that? Some interesting picks here, but definitely not a plethora of classics. Personally, I would seek out the Piper MSG sendoff and the Corporate Royal Rumble for some fun. Good stuff *again* here and thanks for taking part in this column, everybody!

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Posted on May 14, 2011, in AWA, WCCW, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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