Okay, I'm back! Did you all miss me? Okay, stop laughing. Or keep
laughing. As long as you're here, I don't care. So here's where we stand:
1) I never get feedback. I've gotten, like, three pieces of feedback for HOURS of work. HOURS OF GODDAM WORK! Oh no, I'm not bitter... just do me a favor: right now, send me an e-mail at email@example.com (RIGHT NOW) just to let me know that you were here.
2) A recent topic on the Emzee Delphi Forum entitled "Things That Suck" (by Jess Stutzman, who, may I say, kicks ass IMO) included complaints over the constant circle of [slash] friends that kiss each other's asses. Well, I think it's a damn good idea. So from this point on, I will plug my "friends" (read: those who actually give me feedback) here on [slash]. Tanvir Raquib, the Worldwide guy, and Shawn Colton, who both know what I feel like in terms of getting no response for hard work. Check 'em out (yo CRZ, hook me up with a couple of links, if possible [Sorry, Tanvir took the week off, so no link for him ;-) - CRZ]) and send them feedback. Of course, since they're the only two that read my stuff anyway, this is a really moot point.
3) God bless the Delphi forum! This is an AWESOME place, filled with (mostly) intelligent wrestling fans. Plus they have a link to watch the Gorgeous George porno for free, so it's all good.
Okay, enough rambling. It's time for my third tape review! I was up to the last two matches on ECW Heatwave '99, but I lost the tape. It'll turn up soon enough and I'll finish the recap, but in the meantime, I thought I'd go for a show I *loved* the first time around, WrestleMania VII. This was the absolute peak of my markdom at the age of eight. About a year later, I stopped watching until all that NWO jazz, and now I'm a "smart" fan. That's what'll make this interesting for me. As a mark, this was the greatest PPV ever. I haven't seen it since, and now I get to review it as a smark.
I'm all set with a plate of Bagel Bites (pppppppppizza in the morning, pizza in the evening...) and a six pack of Dr. Pepper, so let's get moving with the show.
This is from my WrestleMania box set, and each tape starts with the WWF Super Bowl commercial (the original one), advertisements for Three Faces of Foley, Sable Unleashed, the Undertaker video, and the Best of Survivor Series, and brief recaps (about 15 seconds apiece) of all 14 'Manias.
Vince growls us into the opening of the show, and leads us straight to Willie Nelson singing the America the Beautiful. <sarcasm> Great choice, guys. </sarcasm> Nelson tries his best to look like he has a clue by wearing a kids WWF title belt, WrestleMania t-shirt, Savage bandana, and Bret Hart shades. Don't spend too much on that crap, Willie, they'll repossess your house! At least he keeps it short.
Gorilla is the host, and he brings out Hacksaw Duggan to be a guest commentator in the first match. Whatever keeps him out of the ring. Hacksaw is looking like the king of assholes here, like Uncle Sam on crack (insert joke about Duggan and Shiek getting pulled over in Jersey here. Or, if you have no clue what I'm talking about, ignore me.) Hacksaw and Gorilla run down the card, and some of the bigger of the fourteen (!) matches.
Backstage, Sean Mooney is with the Rockers. I was a huge Rockers mark at the time and always liked Jannetty more, go fig. The Rockers check "Cutting a Babyface Promo FOR IDIOTS" and do a pretty sloppy one.
Match 1: Haku and Barbarian vs. The Rockers
Heels get the jobber entrance. Rockers get a good pop, as they should, being the closest thing to great workers the WWF had at the time.
HBK and Haku start. Shawn ducks away twice, but walks into a boot. Side headlock by Haku, Michaels with the whip, duck down, leapfrog, but Haku catches him in a bearhug and tosses him to the corner. Haku whips to the buckle, goes for it again, Michaels kips up, Haku catches him in a powerslam attempt, Michaels slips out. Rolling reverse cradle attempt, but Haku holds the ropes, charges, leapfrog by Shawn, duck down, another leapfrog, and HBK hits the first impact move of the match, a diving shoulderblock. Rule: a face must always hit the first big impact move of a PPV. Shawn punches away and goes to an arm wringer, reversed, reversed again, and Haku with a blatant punch to break the hold. Haku with a headbutt, a punch, and a chop. Haku on offense is a very bad thing.
Shawn ducks a clothesline, blind tag to Marty, whip to the ropes, and the Rockers nail Haku with a double hiptoss, double elbowdrop, double kip-up, but are met with a big clothesline by the Barbarian, which both men complement with the Curt Hennig clothesline oversell in a cool little visual. Barbarian whips Haku towards the faces, Rockers duck, come up with a double side kick to Haku's chest, Barbarian charges, ducked again, double superkick on the big man, and the heels retreat. I sitll think that this is the team that the Eliminators would later breed themsleves after.
And now you can fill in the match blanks: faces get hot start: check. Heels regroup: check. Now we have the heels dominating through cheat tactics as one face plays face in peril, hot tag, big face finish. Except I'll make it more detailed to annoy all two of my readers. Barbarian and Jannetty now. Barbarian with a knee to the gut. And a chop. Headbutt. Kick. Stomp. SMELL THE WORKRATE! Whoa, this is really reminiscent of something out of Super J-Cup '95! Punch. Finally, Jannetty blocks a punch, hits one of his own, and slides under Barbarian's legs. Jannetty with a sunset flip, Barbarian ain't going over, Jannetty dodges the punch, rana attempt, Barbarian caught him, but Shawn is in to generally break the rules by dropkicking the Barbarian in the back, allowing Jannetty to finish the rana. See these great run-on sentences? God bless the Rockers!
Jannetty punches away, covers, two, no. Jannetty ducks and bobs. Jab, and an arm wringer. Barbarian can't figure out how to counter an arm wringer, so he just headbutts Marty. Tag to Haku, and a double headbutt (which, if actually performed, could kill someone). Haku with a chop. Irish whip, Jannetty slides through the legs and goes for the rana, gets caught again, but this time the ref stops Shawn and the Barbarian sneaks in, allowing a super-cool double-team Stun Gun by the heels. Haku stomps away, tag to Barbarian, double kick. Barbarian with a Gorilla Press. Nice. Oops, forgot to mention a move which Jannetty oversold like nuts in there before the press. So shoot me.
Barbarian goads Shawn into the ring, ref stops him, which allows for HEEL RULEBREAKING~! behind the ref's back. Hey, I did a ~!, I should be on the rant crew. Haku in, shoulder to the gut. Whip, and a messed up double cross body, with Marty landing on top for two. Haku right back on him. Stomps, whip to the buckle, and Haku with a backbreaker, and he effortlessly lifts him up again for another. Good show of strength. Tag to Barbarian, who waits around for a bit and covers for two. Yeah, that makes almost as much sense as when a baseball team goes to the bullpen and the new pitcher intentionally walks the first guy he faces. Good start. Should've left the old guy in. How this realates to the match: Haku should've covered.
Jannetty forgets to leave his feet when selling a clothesline and takes a rude looking shot in the process, and Barbarian locks on... a bearhug. Shoot me now. Okay, play-by-play: ... still with the bearhug... Jannetty's hanging in there... still with the bearhug... Jannetty finally gets out, Barbarian backs him to the corner. Whip, reversed, ring around the rosy, and Jannetty back to the buckle from whence he started. Same thing, but Jannetty meets Barbarian with boots to the face. Jannetty up to the second turnbuckle, body press, but Barbarian counters with a nice powerslam. Barbarian neglects to cover and goes up top... come on, the guy's entire match is stomps and bearhugs... DON'T SEND HIM UP TOP! Of course, he falls on his face in a weak-assed flying headbutt attempt, and I smell a hot tag.
There it is. Shawn pounds Haku (who got tug too) and nails a flying back elbow. Shawn with the ten punch count in the corner (which the L.A. crowd is unable to keep up with *sigh*) but dives off to hit Barbarian with a cross bodyblock. Shawn punches away, grabs Haku, whip, reversed, swinging neckbreaker by Shawn for two. Haku fights back, Irish whip, HBK with a sunset flip, Haku ain't going over, Marty in with a clothesline to take Haku down. Barbarian in, Rockers double-dropkick him out. Rockers with a double clothesline on Haku, both men up top, dropkick by Marty, cross body by Shawn for the three. Match was **1/2, all for the Rockers.
See, here's the thing: terrible wrestlers should be FACES, 'cause the heels have to control the majority of the match, and when they do it with bearhugs and such the end result is a crappy match. This wasn't a crappy match, but it certainly wasn't that good.
And now Bobby the Brain is joining the commentary team, and Hacksaw is leaving, which is good. Gene is with Regis, Marla Maples, and Alex Trebeck. Regis claims that he's scared of Earthquake, but neglects to mention whether or note it's his final answer. On a tangent here, if I was on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire", here's what I'd do:
Regis: "Okay, the question, for $100, is this: Which president is on the one dollar bill? Is it Abraham Lincoln, Bill Clinton, George Washington, or John F. Kennedy?"
Me: "Well Regis, this reminds me of a story. See, my friend's mom's old roommate once said... (half an hour later) so anyway, I'm gonna use a lifeline. Let's call a friend."
Regis: "Okay Pat... anyone in the continental U.S.A."
Me: "Let's go with Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox. (Rupert picks up the phone) Yes, Mr. Murdoch, I have a question: what the hell is up with all the crap you put on these days? I mean- hello? Hello? He hung up. Let's ask the audience."
Regis: "Okay, 100% say Washington."
Me: "I don't know, there're some dumb lookin' mutha fuckers in this audience. I think I'll go with Bill Clinton."
Regis : "Is that your final-"
Me: "HELL NO, IT'S NOT MY FINAL ANSWER!"
Anyway, I was recapping a wrestling show in here somewhere...
Match Two: Dino Bravo vs. Kerry Von Erich
Von Erich is close to his death at this point, and nothing more than a mid-carder. But he's massively over, too. Bravo attacks right away, but Von Erich fires back with rights. As soon as he gets an opening, he takes the time to attempt to remove his huge ass ring robe, and Dino clotheslines him outside. Getting a man down and using the time to disrobe isn't the most sound strategy, Kerry... Outside, Dino pounds away on Von Erich. Back inside, Von Erich with an atomic drop and a clothesline which Bravo has trouble selling. Bravo comes back with chops. Bravo wrestling move count this match: zero. Bravo with a whip to the buckle, reversed, big boot by Dino. Dino screws up an inverted atomic drop and drops an elbow. Two count.
Bravo with punches. Irish whip, and Bravo actually hits a sidewalk slam. He hit a move. How 'bout that. And hey, it's his finisher too. Tornado kicks out at two. Dino up to the second rope and he actually steps off with a chop. He's too much of a pussy to jump from the second rope to the mat. Good Lord. Same thing, but Von Erich hits the clawhold (a move so ridiulous in theory that it makes the Worm look like a running Awesome Bomb through a table) and a Discus Punch for three. Ugh. -** and I never even realized how pathetic Dino Bravo really was. Terrible. Of course, it's a shame that both men died shortly after this, but that doesn't change the fact that the match sucked.
Warlord and Bulldog cut hilariously bad promos filled with dog jokes. Slick rules though, which I have to mention.
Match Three: The Warlord vs. The British Bulldog. The backstory here is that the Warlord says that nobody can break his Full Nelson, and Bulldog thinks that he will be able to. Warlord looks like Goldberg, for those who have never seen him. Warlord with a shove. Warlord poses. Tie-up, knee to the gut by Warlord. Front chancery, but instead of a suplex we get a forearm to the back. Ugh. This is gonna be fun. Bulldog and Warlord hit three dueling shoulderblocks, and the fourth sends Warlord down and to the outside to regroup. Back in, Warlord with a boot. And a double-axehandle. Good Lord wrestling was terrible back then. Warlord with an Irish whip, Bulldog with a crucifix, but Warlord falls back into the Samoan Drop.
Warlord with ELBOWDROPS! AND PUNCHES! And now, to piss me off even further, an f'n bearhug. Bulldog fights out, to the ropes, but Warlord catches him in a Stun Gun for two. Warlord hammers away. They trade punches. Yawn. Warlord finally breaks the monotony with a belly-to-belly suplex. Snapmare, and Warlord locks on a rear chinlock. Why the hell do you need a resthold in a five minute match that's this basic? It would take someone 10 minutes to remember the entire match. Bulldog fights back with elbows, a headbutt, and a dropkick. Bulldog rams Warlord's head into the buckle 10 times. Flying fist and a body press get two. Warlord fights back, Irish whip, Bulldog catches him ducking. Piledriver? No, reversed, Bulldog hangs on for a sunset flip, Warlord sits down for two, Bulldog rolls through for a two count of his own.
Warlord whipped to the buckle, Bulldog follows in and meets a big boot to the face. This is sooooo boring. Warlord gets the Full Nelson, Bulldog makes an elaborate act of breaking the hold, hits the Running Powerslam and picks up the win. DUD, 'cause it wasn't offensive, just totally boring and useless.
Nasty Boys cut a screaming promo. Hart Foundation cuts a pretty pathetic promo of their own to counter.
Match Four: The Hart Foundation (c) vs. The Nasty Boys (WWF World Tag Team Titles)
Macauly Culkin is in the crowd. Good for him. Hart and Sags start out. Tie-up, Hart backs Sags into the corner, Sags with a cheap punch. And another. Punch #3, there's #4, and when something is this prominent on this website, it earns the coveted slash! Yeah! Sags with a /punch! Sags with a kick, two /punches, Irish Whip, Bret ducks a clothesline and hits a Thesz press and a bunch of punches. Hey! This gives me a good friggin' idea! On sites like Rantsylvania they emphasize something cool with a ~!, ie "Later on tonight, EDDY~! Guerrero will face CHRIS JERICHO~!" We [slash]ers need our own little thing. I proclaim use of the slash to add emphasis as the calling of this site! Or at least my calling, if nothing else.
Anyway, Knobs is in and eats an inverted atomic drop (not literally, that'd be pretty difficult), Hart punches both men, Knobs falls outside. Sags leaves and goes to the ring apron, with the sole purpose for doing so being that Hart gets to slingshot him back in. Hart with a kick, and an arm wringer, punches to the arm (Bret=psychology), Irish whip, reversed, Hart catches the Sags boot, back heel trip, and Bret stands there looking around because he hadn't invented the /Sharpshooter yet, so he just kicks Sags in the midsection. Lukewarm tag to Knobs, who taunts Neidhart, and the crowd goes nuts (marks! You can't like Neidhart! Someone get these foolish bastards some All Japan, stat!). Tie-up, to the corner, Knobs with KNEES! AND PUNCHES! Neidhart turns it around and fires back with MORE PUNCHES! Neidhart with a hiptoss, and a charging... something that sends Knobs outside.
Note: Bret has executed 2 moves so far. The other three have executed 1, combined. Back inside, Anvil grabs Knobs' arm, and SWINGS HIM! Knobs with a terrible oversell, and Anvil with an armbar (move #682, accorid to Jericho). Knobs fights back up, punches away, tag to Sags, Sags punches away, Irish whip, Sags ducks, Neidhart telegraphs it and takes Knobs down with a hair pull. God this is terrible. Tag to Bret, who punches Sags, takes him to the corner for ten, whip, punch to the gut, Russian Legsweep (called a neckbreaker by Gorilla) and two the second turnbuckle for the elbowdrop. Back then, those were his TWO MOVES OF DOOM. (BTW- Hart with 4 moves, fat bastards with 1) Knobs is in, Hart punches away on him, but turns his back like the dumb Canuck he is and gets taken down. Sags with a clothesline (no, that's not a move, silly rabbit) and Hart goes outside as Anvil chases Jimmy Hart.
Sags with an Irish whip to the buckle, and a backbreaker (4-2 Hitman), and works on the neck. Gorilla comments that the crowd has gone into a hush. Maybe it's because he's got him in a Camel Clutch, you dick! They're both back up, Sags throws him down, tag to Knobs. Punch. Double-axehandle. Back to the Camel Clutch. I will use this time to tell you about my next review: Dream WrestleMania. I'm going to my WM box set and picking my 10 favorite WM matches ever to review. Should be fun. Rest assured: no Nasty Boys in the review. Tag, and Sags is in with an elbowdrop. Back up, and Sags hits a neckbreaker for two. (4-3 Hitman) Sags goes BACK to the Camel Clutch (hey, a pun!) and, for the first time ever, I just sighed out loud watching wrestling. I do it mentally all the time, but this was my first ever actual, out-loud /SIGH OF EXASPERATION!
Hart fights up with a neckbreaker of his own (5-3 Bret), but Knobs breaks up the hot tag attempt. Knobs stays in with three elbowdrops and ANOTHER FUCKING CAMEL CLUTCH. I don't curse often, so this should give you an idea of how bad this is. Somebody friggin' get me the Viscera-Mark Henry press slam match from RAW a few months back! Please! Anything! That match makes this one look like Benoit vs. Jericho. Hart fights back to a vertical position, and drops back with Knobs on his back. Sags breaks up the hot tag, but the zany heel tactics backfire, and the hot tag is made. But wait! That crazy cat Earl Hebner was distracted by something and missed the tag. Quick question: from a kayfabe standpoint, who's gonna believe that Vince wouldn't fire these bums? They miss EVERYTHING.
More wacky heel miscommunication as Knobs nails Sags with Jimmy Hart's megaphone, allowing the real hot tag. Anvil is an outhouse a'fire with punches, and he tosses Knobs into Sags. Neidhart with a double clothesline, Irish whip on Knobs, back elbow and a clothesline for a two count. Neidhart with a powerslam (5-4) but Sags breaks up the pinfall. All four men in now, Hart and Sags fight outside and around the ring, and, back by popular demand, it's MORE WACKY HEEL MISCOMMUNICATION! Knobs is whipped into Sags and the Hart Foundation hits the Hart Attack. Ref is distracted from counting the pin, as he is trying to get Hart out of the ring, so Jimmy Hart passes his motorcycle helmet to Sags, who clocks Neidhart, and the Nasties win the belts.
Well, heels have gotta go over sometime in the show. Although I question the sanity of putting the belts on the Nasties and not the Rockers, who were MASSIVELY OVER and much more talented. As for the match, you really don't realize how bad something like this is until you recap it. It's the kinda match where you can fast-forward through the middle five minutes and say, "hey, it was decent", but I can't do that, so I've just realized it. I mean, Bret was in a camel clutch for half the match and still executed more moves than the other three combined. Geeze. I really like Bret, and it pains me to do this to a match I loved as a kid, but damn this was terrible. Let's go with -*.
Video recap of the Snake/Model feud. Idea here: Rick Martel blinded Jake with his cologne, "Arrogance", and Jake wanted a match where he'd have an advantage for the big dance. The blindfold match was deemed appropriate and signed.
Jake gives a brief promo beforehand, leading to:
Match Five: Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. Rick "The Model" Martel (Blindfold Match) They feel around blindly for one another, with Jake trying to get the crowd to help him. They do this for about two minutes, Jake gets a hold of Rick, they have one of those boring, real-looking fights where they just roll around, and Martel comes out on top. Martel whips him and ducks, but Jake just trots around to the side of him. Martel is upset. More blind feeling, both men go after each other and miss. They finally make contact again, and Martel hits a bodyslam. Jake gets back up, but Martel (blind, remember) measures the elbow and drops it about five seconds too late. More blind feeling around, Jake FINALLY gets to Martel, and they are in the ropes. Heenan estimates the snake's weight at 500 pounds. Yeah. Crowd chants "DDT", and I can't believe they are even comotose.
Martel touches the snake and flips out. Jake gets ahold of him, but the Model squirms away. The crowd defines LOUD. Jake gets him in a side headlock, Martel pushes him to the ropes, collision, and Jake falls outside. Martel follows and grabs a chair, poking blindly nowhere near Jake. He backs into the post and turns and hits the post with a chair, hurting his fingers in a funny spot. Back inside, Martel hits a backbreaker and locks on the Boston Crab, but Jake powers out and DDTs him for the win.
Okay, here's the thing about this match. Match is about -**********, if that's possible, but IT DOESN'T MATTER, because,
A) It got the crowd more involved than anything the WWF's done in the past three years.
B) Jake is terrible anyway, so a straight match would've given us a DUD or worse rematch, most likely.
C) It certainly didn't hurt business, and it may have even helped. My dad, who is the antithesis of a wrestling fan, wants to watch this match every so often. No other match. So this may have played to the casual person well.
And I know that -********** isn't possible, so let's go with -*****.
Marla Maples is backstage with the Nasty Boys, who drench her in champagne.
Match Six: The Undertaker vs. Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka
'Taker is well on his way to being massively over here. Staredown, Snuka backs off, and 'Taker attacks. Kicks and punches, and lots of them. Irish whip, and 'Taker hits a swank /flying clothesline with lotsa air time. 'Taker controls, Snuka fights back. Snuka with a whip to the buckle, but Taker catches him charging in with a boot, Snuka falls outside. 'Taker with a super sweet vertical suplex to bring him back inside. Elbowdrop misses. Snuka punches, headbutts, and chops away. Irish whip, reversed, and 'Taker moves as Snuka flies to the outside in a nice spot. Snuka headbutts away, springboards back in, and 'Taker is supposed to catch him in the Tombstone, but someone screws up, so 'Taker has to put him down and pick him back up for the move. The three count is academic. Undertaker showcase here, and hey, the match wasn't terrible or anything. *
Video recap of the Savage-Warrior feud. The feud, in a nutshell: a year earlier, Warrior won the World title. Two months previous to this, at the Royal Rumble, Warrior was defending the title against Sergeant Slaughter. Savage had already been promised a title shot by Slaughter if he won, but Savage decided to cover all his bases and have Sherri ask Warrior. Warrior gave a resounding no, so Savage cost Warrior the title to Slaughter. However, before Savage could get the title shot, Warrior challenged him to a "Career Ending Match" at WrestleMania.
Before the match, Heenan spots Savage's former love interest, Miss Elizabeth, in the crowd. Savage is now with Sensational Sherri (Martel) and this will be important later.
Match Seven: The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage (Career Ending Match)
Savage and Sherri are carried to ringside like a king and queen. Warrior neglects his usual running and methodically walks to the ring. The bell signals, starting one of the best matches in WM history.
Both men do lotsa posing, which is okay here, 'cause it gets the crowd going and the macth builds to a great climax later. But for now, we get a collar-and-elbow tie-up, Savage backs Warrior into the ropes, and we get a (semi) clean break. Tie-up again, Warrior shoves Savage down. Another tie-up, and Savage with a knee to the gut. Savage hits some eye-rakes and punches, slaps on a side headlock, Warrior pushes him to the ropes, and Savage bounces off right into a big shoulderblock. Savage rolls outside. Savage takes over, whip, reversed, clothesline by Warrior. Warrior with a big choke lift and throw. Warrior with an inverted atomic drop, a regular atomic drop, and a choke lift, followed by throwing the elevated Savage into Sherri, who had entered the ring. This is how blowoffs should go, it's the same booking they used for the original Hell in the Cell, with Savage deathly afraid of the Warrior, like HBK was afraid of the Undertaker.
Warrior with punches, and Savage gets tied up in the ropes. Warrior follows with kicks. Whip by Warrior, and a punch to the gut. Savage fights back, however, and hits a hooking clothesline. Savage up top with a cross body, but Warrior catches him in mid-air. Warrior puts him down and slaps him in the face, and Savage acts freaked out and leaves the ring. Savage tosses a chair inside, but the ref disposes of it. That distracts the Warrior to the point where Savage can get him from behind, but Warrior quickly comes back and swats Savage like a fly. Savage begs off, and this is what I mean, folks. Savage is about to crap his pants at the sight of the Warrior, and is trying everything he can, every cheap tactic he knows, to survive. Cool booking.
Warrior continues to hammer away. Whip to the buckle. Warrior with 15 (!) kicks to the midsection. Warrior just decimating Savage here with fists. Warrior whips Savage to the buckle and charges, but Savage avoids him, but Warrior actually /BUMPS to the floor. Outside, Sherri punches Warrior, and Savage follows with a double-axehandle. Sherri knees Warrior, so Warrior shoves her down to a big pop. Savage blindsides Warrior and takes over yet again. Savage rams Warrior into the pole and distracts the ref, while Sherri kicks the Warrior. Back inside, Savage with a scoop and a slam, and a kneedrop. Back up, Savage goes for a neckbreaker, but Warrior counters with a backslide for two. Both men up and Savage is scared to death. Savage spits on Warrior and takes off again for the outside. Sherri distracts the Warrior as Savage comes from behind again, but Warrior turns, catches the boot, spins him around, and nails a clothesline.
Warrior runs the ropes. And again. And AGAIN. Finally, he dives at Savage and misses. Savage rams Warrior's head into the mat and covers for two, as we get our first resthold of the match, with Savage clamping on a sleeper. Warrior fights up, elbows to the gut, Warrior free. Warrior off of the ropes, shoulderblock. Warrior off of the side ropes, over Savage, Warrior misses a clothesline, and both men execute the /DRAMATIC DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE! Sherri on the apron, distracting the ref as Warrior reverses a bodyslam with a small package. Hebner finally turns around and Warrior gets two. Warrior argues with the ref, as Savage hits a high knee to the back of the Warrior, who bumps Hebner. Warrior laid out on the top rope, Savage pulls him to the center of the ring for Sherri, who comes off the top and accidentally nails Savage with her shoe.
Warrior chases Sherri and gets her, but Savage cradles the Warrior from behind for two. Back up, Warrior punches away, but Savage grabs the Warrior's trunks and uses momentum to hurl Warrior into the buckle. Savage drop Warrior throat-first on the top rope. Savage does it again, jumping over the top himself as well. Savage with a clothesline and a bodyslam for a two count. Savage goes up top, and... NAILS THE ELBOW! AND AGAIN! THERE'S NUMBER THREE! AND A FOURTH! A /FIFTH ELBOW! COVER: NO!!!!!!!!! Well, it was pretty friggin' dramatic at the time. Crowd is going berserk. Savage is in shock. Savage punches away, but Warrior does his rain dance and fires back. Three clotheslines! Press slam! Big splash! Warrior wins! No, he doesn't! Savage out at two!
Warrior has an epiphany and asks the Warriors in the sky if this is it, as Gorilla calls Warrior "Warlord". Warrior walks away, asking his hands what the dilly-yo is. Savage crawling over, and Warrior continues to stand on the apron, and make an ass of himself. Savage finally up, knocks Warrior outside, and gets Sherri to hold Warrior against the guardrail. Savage up top, but Warrior gets out and Savage hits the guardrail. Warrior now hears a different answer as he tosses Savage inside, shakes the ropes, and hits a diving shoulderblock, sending Savage back outside. Warrior brings him back in. Shoulderblock #2, Savage out again. Back in, and Warrior hits diving shoulderblock #3, places a foot on Savage's chest and wins the match. I'll get to the rating in a second.
Post match, Sherri is quite upset with Savage for losing his career. She kicks at him, drawing heel heat, and lots of it. Finally, the previously mentioned Elizabeth, leaves her seat and hits the ring, taking out Sherri. Savage is up and he doesn't know what's going on, until he sees Liz crying and Sherri yelling at him outside. He then has a tearful reunion with Elizabeth, complete with lovey- dovey crap like hugging. Savage holds the ropes open for Liz, completing the face turn.
Here we go: At the time, I didn't think this could top Hogan-Warrior, but it did. This was ****, the kind of match that's good whether you're marking out or analyzing it. Booking, however, was even better. Both men came out looking like a million bucks. Booking gets *****, so throw it all together, and you have the complete package. Great match, even better booking... it's what WrestleMania is all about, baby.
And people *loved* this angle. I mean, the camera found at least three or four people immediately crying, including one guy who looked like a duck. There was no need to say that, it's just that it's note every day you see a duck with glasses and an Ultimate Warrior wrestling buddy, so I had to mention it.
And now, a great interview, so I'll transcribe it. Wait, WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS? We have some stupid-ass roundtable conversation about the positives and negatives of the instant replay rule, as Vince talks via satelite with George Steinbrenner and Paul McGuire (Yankees owner, and NFL analyst, respectively), who give interviews so obviously read by cue cards. Yeah, Steinbrenner and Jack Tunney are friends who spend hours talking about the WWF instant replay system. Sure. Steinbrenner and McGuire argue. Steinbrenner wants everyone fired, and McGuire calls WWF stars pussies, essentially. And the Bushwhackers are the replay men. Wow. This sucks ass. Bushwhackers destroy the tape, and Steinbrenner wants them fired. This is terrible on so many levels.
Now maybe we'll get the crazy Savage interview.
Nope, first we get a replay of the Savage-Liz reunion.
Now, it's time for, GOD DAMN IT, the PPV is restarting or something! The WM graphic comes up again, and the WM music plays. We go down to Gorilla and the Brain, and-
HOLD ON! I'm finding this damn interview, because I like it a lot. I'm fast- forwarding until I get to it. Then I'll come back for this crap.
Okay, I have NOTHING. The interview is gone, and I think I know why. The last time I saw this show, it was on the Coliseum tape. Now, these are made by the WWF. Well, I still have the Coliseum version in my attic somewhere, so I'm gonna go find it.
Found it! Now to fast-forward... here we go. One thing I've noticed is that the Coliseum version has many different interviews with different guys than the WM box set version. I won't go over them all, but there are DEFINATELY differences between the two.
Now, for the /CRAZY ASS SAVAGE INTERVIEW!
"Emotions high! Emotions low! Emotions everywhere in between! Am I supposed to feel good?! Am I supposed to feel, uh, BAD?! Am I supposed to feel confused?! A state of confusion I am in! But I'll tell ya one thing: The Ultimate Warrior, 1-2-3, took the Macho King, and the Kingdom of the Madness, and cracked it in half! But at the same time, Gene Okerlund, yeah, I'm thinkin' that, yeah, Miss Elizabeth, yeah, wild, yeah! Wild happenings, yeah, and I'm thinking that everything UP, DOWN, IN THE MIDDLE, yeah, I'm feeling... mixed emotions, ya know what I'm talking about, mixed emotions? I WANT TO GO IN THE RING AND FIGHT AGAIN! But at the same time, I'm lookin' at Elizabeth, and I'm a winner right there, at the same time, I'm lookin' at her right there. It was wild, it was different, and it was awesome."
Gene: "It should be very interesting to see what happens down the pike."
Savage: "DOWN THE PIKE! Does anybody know what's gonna happen down the pike? Do you know what's gonna happen down the pike? Mean Gene Okerlund, do you know what's gonna happen down the pike?!"
Gene: "I don't have a clue."
Savage: "You don't have a clue, Macho King, the Kingdom of the Madness is cracked in half- I have to go on, ELIZABETH! Right there, yes you are. Ultimate Warrior, I'll tell ya somethin', I've faced the best, and 1-2-3, you took it, yeah! Mean Gene, I'm outta here, yeah!"
And Gene comments that it was a special Coliseum exclusive. Whaddya know.
Now, I go back to the WWF WrestleMania box set version.
Gorilla and Heenan discuss the rest of the card, and the Brain looks really sad/subdued about something, and it shows in his commentary. Weird. Weirdest part is- he's back to his regular self throughout the rest of the night, just for this segment.
Backstage, Regis is with 'Taker and Paul Bearer in a funny bit, as Bearer just flashes goofy looks towards Regis as Undertaker takes his measurements with a tape measure. Heh.
Alex Trebek is with Jake Roberts and Damien. Jake claims Damien is a big Jeopardy fan, and Damien wants to ask to be a contestant, or something.
Match Eight: Demolition vs. Genichiro Tenryu and Koji Kitao, I believe.
I'm not sure because the foreigners only get their last names. Hey, ya know what? I just spent an hour finding the Savage interview. I doubt anyone will mind if I don't do play-by-play here, and if you do, tough. I'm taking a break. Tenryu and Kitao win with a powerbomb. No rating, 'cause I fast-forwarded it, to be honest, although I remember being very bored with it in 1991.
Backstage, Gene is with Big Boss Man for a promo. Mooney is with Perfect and Heenan. Backstory here is that Perfect makes fun of Boss Man's mom, which spurred this match. No joke.
Match Nine: Mr. Perfect vs. The Big Boss Man (Intercontinental Title Match)
Heenan leaves, which means Lord Alfred Hayes does commentary, which is a BAD thing. A VERY, VERY BAD thing. Perfect tosses his towel behind his back to Bossman, who proceeds to mockingly wipe his ass with it and throw it in Perfect's face. Perfect mouths "fuck you, Boss Man" (pretty bad stuff for back then) and tosses it behind his back again, only to get slapped with it. Heh. Perfect spits on Boss Man, Traylor returns the favor. Hennig with a slap, but Boss Man turns around and Hennig bails to the outside. Boss Man follows and slaps Perfect, which Hennig sells with the /OVERSELL. Back inside, Boss Man swings Perfect in mid-air by his hair. Ouch.
Boss Man backs Perfect into the corner, whip, reversed, but Boss Man slides out, slides back in, ducks a clothesline, and hits a boot to the face. Boss Man with a clothesline, and he tosses Perfect outside. Perfect regroups. Back inside, Boss Man punches away, whips Perfect to the buckle, Boss Man charges and misses. Perfect with punches to the kidneys. Perfect backs him into the corner, Irish whip, reversed, and Hennig with another oversell, this one being twice as big. Boss Man legdrops Perfect throat-first across the middle ropes, and takes the belt off. Boss Man whips him with the belt, but Perfect gets it, wraps it around his fist, and nails Boss Man with it. Perfect tries to drop the belt out of the ring, but he drops it next to himself and looks like an idiot as he tells the ref "I don't have anything."
Perfect with kicks, both men trade punches, Perfect takes back over and whips Boss Man into the buckle, and slaps on a chinlock using the ropes. Perfect continues to punch away, and locks on an abdominal stretch. Perfect lets him go and hits a standing dropkick for two. Back into the corner as they trade punches and chops. Hennig hits his super jumping neck snap. Perfect goes for the Perfect-Plex, but Boss Man counters with a small package for two. Before Boss Man can come back though, Perfect nails an inverted jumping neck snap for two. Perfect goes up top and tries for the move that was the craze for heels in the early-90's, the diving headbutt to your opponent's extended boot. Boss Man rams Perfect into the buckle with a dramatic oversell.
Boss Man screws up a choke throw, and crotches Hennig on the ringpost. Back inside, Boss Man with lotsa punches, and one sends Hennig outside. Boss Man stalks Heenan, but Perfect comes from behind and rams Boss Man shoulder-first into the steps. Heenan kicks at Boss Man as the crowd pops... because Andre the Giant has arrived. Andre stalks Heenan as Perfect takes over inside and removes a turnbuckle pad. Five bucks says Hennig hits it and oversells. Andre's got the IC Title belt, as Perfect comes over to politely ask for it back, and Andre ignores him. Boss Man actually goes into the exposed buckle, as Perfect still wants the belt, so Andre clocks him with it. Both men down inside. Boss Man up at seven, and he covers. One, two, kickout! And now Haku and The Barbarian run in for the lame DQ. Crappy ending to an otherwise alright match. *1/2 as Andre uses his crappy offense from hell to take out the heels, and he and the Boss Man celebrate by the entranceway.
Match Ten: Earthquake vs.
First, Gene is with some celebs. Donald Trump, Chuck Norris, /HENRY WINKLER, and Lou Ferrigno.
And now, match ten is Earthquake vs. Greg Valentine
Tie-up, back into the corner as Earthquake hits shoulderblocks. Earthquake with a powerslam. That gets two. Earthquake whips Valentine to the buckle, but Valentine fights back with chops and elbows as Gorilla comments that the Hammer needs 12-15 minutes to get his motor running. If they give this 12-15 minutes, I will kill myself. Hammer with a whip, reversed to the buckle, but Valentine with elbows and punches, trying to get 'Quake down. And he does get him down to one knee. Back up, and a Valentine elbow from the second rope takes the big man down. Valentine with a running elbowdrop. Headbutt to the midsection. Greg goes for the Figure Four, but the legs are two big, so he drops it and... goes for it again. What a genius. Still no go as Hammer gets distracted by Jimmy Hart, so Earthquake hits a kidney punch, a hairpull takedown, and a 400 pound elbowdrop. 'Quake hits the fat-ass running buttdrop and picks up the win. -*
One thing you'll notice is that if a match entertains me, I'll rate it higher than it probably deserves. For instance: RVD vs. Lance Storm probably wasn't ****3/4, but this star thing is all subjective. I've rated 40% of the matches negative tonight, and here's why: they didn't entertain me, and I am way harsher than I probably should be when I am bored beyond belief by a match, especially having to recap it move-for-move. There are some exceptions, like the Blindfold match, which entertained me but I sitll bombed, but for the most part, that's my rating system.
Sean Mooney interviews the Legion of Doom. Nothing special here.
Match Eleven: The Legion of Doom vs. Power and Glory
Speaking of nothing special... P&G jump LOD. P&G have Hawk, double whip, Hawk ducks a double backhand, ducks a double clothesline, and hits one of his own. Hawk and Hercules go outside as Roma slams Animal inside, goes up top, gets powerslammed, LOD hits him with the Doomsday Device for the win in about 30 seconds. DUD
Video recap of the DiBiase-Virgil feud, complete with Piper aligning himself with Virgil.
The deal here: Virgil was DiBiase's slave, and he got sick of doing what DiBiase said, so he turned on him to a huge pop.
Match Twelve: Ted DiBiase vs. Virgil
Piper is with Virgil. Virgil only knows how to box. Oh, and for ANYONE out there who doesn't know, Virgil is currently Vincent in WCW, duh. Heenan comments that Virgil looks like "George Foreman on Nutra-System". Heh. Virgil with weak jabs followed by a weak right cross to start. DiBiase misses with kicks (and by about five feet each time, no lie), and Virgil with more jabs and another big right. DiBiase rolls out. This is gonna be fun, I can tell. DiBiase back in and Virgil blocks and ducks and weaves... AND PUNCHES! JABS! ANOTHER WEAK RIGHT CROSS! SOMEBODY PLEASE SHOOT ME! DiBiase rolls outside again. So far, we've had about 25 punches and *no* attempted wrestling moves.
Virgil brings DiBiase back in and hits a CLOTHESLINE! A NEW MOVE FOR VINCENT, BABEE! Virgil takes DiBiase outside with a clothesline. Oh, BTW, I haven't even mentioned that Piper is on crutches, 'cause he'd just had hip surgery, oops, I mean, he was "in a motorcycle accident". Ahem. Yeah. That's the ticket.
Virgil goes out and tosses DiBiase in. DiBiase finally does something, hitting a kick. And a clothesline. DiBiase off of the ropes, over top of Virgil, and Virgil nails a... something to the head. Looked like a backhand. That gets two. And now they... tie up? 'Kay. Virgil with a side headlock, turned into a hammerlock, and Virgil takes DiBiase down from behind. DiBiase with a drop toehold and he rams Virgil's head into the mat three times. Virgil's head meets the buckle. Chops. Irish whip, and an elbow by DiBiase. Irish whip, and a clothesline. Piledriver by DiBiase for two. Vertical suplex for two. This is like "Pro Wrestling for DUMMIES". Gutwrench suplex for, you guessed it, two. Virgil tossed outside. DiBiase with chops. He tosses Virgil back in and shoves Piper down. Back inside, DiBiase with an Irish whip and a powerslam as Heenan mocks Piper.
DiBiase to the ropes, but Piper pulls the top rope down with the crutch. DiBiase decks Piper and kicks him... and gets counted out. DUD and DiBiase goes right back to work on Virgil, complete with the Million Dollar Dream. Piper gets in with the crutch and nails DiBiase. Suddenly, Sherri runs out and saves DiBiase, setting up the brief period where she was aligned with the Million Dollar Man. Heels beat down piper post-match. Virgil grabs the crutch, takes a full-tilt swing and *barely* misses Sherri. That looked dangerous. Virgil cuts an incomprihensible promo afterwards, telling Piper to get up, and they hug. Piper's music plays afterwards, 'cause, he's got a bad leg and stuff.
Video recap of the Hogan-Slaughter feud. Interview with Slaughter and Adnan. On an unrelated note, I've noticed that the interviews in the copies of my video (Coliseum and WM box set) are totally different. For instance, the LOD. They say basically the same words, but they are obviously different promos, so I guess the WWF keeps all the interview outtakes for future stuff like a WM box set. I wonder how many times a guy had to cut the same promo over and over before every event. Sounds like a question for the Rick (hint, hint)
Match Thirteen: Tito Santana vs. The Mountie
Time filler here before the main. Tie-up, side headlock by Tito, pushed to the ropes, leapfrog by Mountie, he tries again, but Tito catches him in mid-air with the Flying Jalapeno. Mountie outside as Tito rams Mountie's head into Jimmy Hart's. Back inside, Tito with an atomic drop and and punch. Mountie gets the cattle prod though, and shocks Tito for the win. Hey, Jimmy Hart's 3-4 tonight, which is really good, considering only three heels went over the whole night. DUD
Gene interviews Hogan backstage. Say what you will about Hogan, the guy has CHARISMA.
But before we get to the match, it's time for the guest celebrities! Camera almost gets an upskirt shot of Marla Maples entering the ring. Regis is doing commentary, Marla Maples is the guest timekeeper, and Alex Trebek is the ring announcer.
Match Fourteen: Sgt. Slaughter vs. Hulk Hogan (WWF World Title)
Champion enters first, 'cause tradition sucks (yes, I stole that from someone. GUESS WHO!) And at the time, this was the most predictable match in history. There was NOBODY who thought Slaughter was going over here. And now, after ripping his shirt off in the "live" interview moments ago, it's back on Hogan. Oops.
Marla *almost* rings the bell correctly. Staredown to start and lots of stalling. Lots of it. More stalling. I can't keep up! Tie-up, and the wander around the ring in the collar-and-elbow. To the corner, where Hebner gets between 'em, but they go right back to the tie-up, Hebner between 'em again, back to it, and Hogan powers Slaughter down. Tie-up, side headlock by Hogan. Slaughter pushes him to the ropes, shoulderblock, neither man goes down. Hogan runs the ropes, Slaughter ducks down, Hogan over top, and the Hulkster comes back with another shoulderblock, taking Slaughter down. Slaughter rolls out, Hogan follows. Double axehandle, punch, Hogan goes after Adnan and Slaughter chairs Hogan. But Hogan is Hogan, so he no-sells the chairshot.
Hogan rolls Slaughter in and Sarge begs off, suckering Hogan in with an eye rake. Punches. Hogan's head to the buckle. And again. Punch. Whip by Slaughter and an elbow... this is starting to suck. Slaughter "steps on Hogan's fingers" (missing by a LOT) and hits a punch. And another. Kneedrops. Elbowdrop misses. Hogan with punches and a clothesline. Punches Adnan. Kick. Hogan takes Slaughter to the buckle. Whip to the buckle, and Hogan charges in. Atomic drop for two as Slaughter rolls out. Hogan with a back rake. Back inside, Hogan with an Irish whip and an elbow to the head for two. Hogan rams Slaughter's head into turnbuckles. And a ring post. Irish whip to the buckle, and Hogan with a back bodydrop. Hogan with a punch, and a whip to the buckle. Knee to the back, and Slaughter's head hits the turnbuckle. Hogan with a slingshot, and Slaughter's head hits the post. Hogan with ten punches. Hogan with a chop to the throat, sending Slaughter down.
Hogan with a whip to the buckle, and he follows with a clothesline. Eight corner punches (not ten?) and he rams Slaughter into the buckle again. Cover, two, no, as the crowd gasps, 'cause they're a bunch of marks who thought that a WrestleMania main event would end with a shot to the foam rubber turnbuckle pad. Hogan goes to the second rope, but Slaughter punches him in the gut on the way down. Bot of course Hulky no sells and rakes the eyes. Punch. Scoop and a slam. Elbowdrop. Good Lord, this is a beating. Another elbowdrop, and... HE'S GOING UP TOP? Adnan hooks the leg and Slaughter powerslams Hogan off the top. Slaughter clotheslines Hogan out and rams him into the post. Slaughter has a chair and hits some of the worst chair shots I've ever seen. Slaughter chokes Hogan with a cord.
Back inside, and Slaughter with a punch to the back. And another. Double axehandle. Slaughter works on the kidneys. Slaughter with a scoop and a backbreaker for two. Slaughter with kicks to the back. Slaughter with a Boston Crab, right in the ropes, but Hogan is too dumb to grab the rope. Finally, Hulk grabs it. Slaughter back to work on the back with knees, warming him up for the camel clutch. Wait... is this psychology? In Hogan vs. Slaughter? WTF? ANd now Slaughter going up top... TWISTING CORKSCREW SENTON BOMB! Yes, that was sarcasm... it's just that FALLING KNEE TO THE BACK doesn't sound as impressive. Slaughter covers for about 50, but for no reason at all, Adnan is distracting the ref... wait, shouldn't Hogan have been going for the pin when the ref was distracted? That makes no sense. Slaughter gets two. Slaughter outside getting a chair. Chair to the head, cover, two count only. Hogan blades. Slaughter pounds Hogan. Slaughter with stomps as Hogan tries to Hulk up.
Slaughter with a short-arm clothesline. Slaughter suddenly remembers that he was working on the back and locks on the Camel Clutch, stopping a few times to buttdrop the back to weaken it more. Hogan fights up with Slaughter on his back, but gets pushed to the buckle. Slaughter has the Iraqi flag, and he lies it over Hogan and covers for two. Hogan hulks, up, rips up the flag, no-sells some punches, punches some of his own, big boot, legdrop, yadda yadda yadda. Three time WWF champion. Match was better than it should've been. ** Hogan poses, wipes his blood on the American flag (huh?! Why?!) and we fade out. Quick note: Regis, while being clueless, played it safe with obvious comments and didn't make an ass out of himself in the progress. Good for him.
The Show in Review
I really don't see why everything hates this show. Sure, the angle revolving around
the main sucked, but the actual show wasn't bad at all. Faces go over, Savage
drags **** from the Warrior, and only two REALLY offensive matches (Bravo vs.
Von Erich and Martel vs. Roberts) out of 14, one of which is actually pretty damn
entertaining despite not being a real wreslting match. It was my all time favorite
show as a mark, and I still like it today. Recommended.