Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Saturday, 21 May 2022

PPV REVIEW: WWE Insurrextion 2003

WWE Insurrextion 2003 - Event Poster
June 7, 2003
Telewest Arena in Newcastle, England

WWE Insurrextion 2003 has the distinction of being the WWE Insurrextion 2003 has the distinction of being both the first Insurrextion to take place under the WWE name following the WWF vs. WWF lawsuit and also the last Insurrextion to take place ever. 

After this, WWE wouldn't return to the UK for a pay per view offering until Clash at the Castle in 2022. 

So how was their final British PPV for 19 years?

Let's go down to Newcastle to find out. 

We’re Going Through Changes

Tonight’s opening video talked all about change, focussing on recent developments such as the return of Kevin Nash and Stone Cold Steve Austin now co-managing Raw with Eric Bischoff.

WWE Insurrexion 2003 Review - Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler called the action

It was a decent opening, but not one of WWE’s best.

With that done, Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler welcomed us to Newcastle for what would prove to be WWE’s last-ever UK exclusive PPV before sending to the ring for our opening bout.

WWE Women’s Championship
WWE Women’s Champion Jazz (w/ Theodore Long) vs. Trish Stratus

This match, along with multiple variations of it (triple threats, four-ways etc.) had been done so many times by this point that your writer is kind of tired of talking about Trish Stratus vs. Jazz.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 - Jazz is ready to defend her Women's Championship

The match wasn’t terrible or anything, but for the better part of ten minutes, the two ladies did nothing that particular made you sit up and take note.

That is apart from one brief moment when Trish Stratus slapped her opponent in such a horribly weak-looking Boston crab that it made The Rock’s sharpshooter look positively crippling by comparison.

Speaking of weak, the end came when an angry Victoria ran in, distracting the referee so that old man Teddy Long could grab Trish and attempt to throw her into the corner.

Long’s attempt was so slow and feeble that Stratus pretty much had to hurl herself into the corner.

With Long out of the ring, Jazz made the cover and that was all she wrote.
Your Winner and Still WWE Women’s Champion: Jazz

Up next, we got a quick look back at Christian screwing Booker T out of the Intercontinental title back at Judgement Day 2003.

The two would meet next.

WWE Intercontinental Championship
WWE Intercontinental Champion Christian vs. Booker T

WWE Insurrexion 2003 Review - Christian

Thanks to the guy in the crowd with the “Christian is on crack” sign. I laughed at that one.

Booker T was in no mood for humour though. The stoic-faced superstar snatched the title belt from Christian and lifted it aloft, nodding in recognition that be was the real champion before locking up in attempt to prove it.

The match was, quite honestly, fantastic.

I’ve read three other reviews of this show and all seem to say this one wasn’t anything special, but personally I absolutely enjoyed the hell out of it.

As I’ve mentioned many times, the wrestlers usually toned things down a notch or two when they wrestled in the UK, but these two didn’t.

The match was solid, exciting and genuinely entertaining and I don’t know what more anyone could expect from them.

Towards the end, referee Jack Doan took a tumble. Booker knocked Christian down and got him with what would have been a three count had Doan been in the zone.

Instead, by the time the zebra got to make the count, the challenger could only get a two.

Christian then went for an Unprettier but Booker reversed it into a German Suplex into a roll-up, but the champion reversed it and got the win by holding onto the ropes like the flukey cheating heel that he was.
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Christian

Out in the back, Stone Cold Steve Austin confronted Theodore along.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Stone Cold Steve Austin confronts Teddy Long

Punishing Long for getting involved in the women’s title match, Austin announced a change to the upcoming Dudley Boyz vs. Rodney Mack & Chris Nowinski, making it a six-man with Spike Dudley on his brothers’ side and Long himself as Mack & Nowinski’s partner.

I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere about Teddy Long being booked in a tag match, but I can’t think of it right now.

Kane then walked by and stared down Austin as he made his way to the entrance for our next contest.

Before that, we looked back to Raw where Austin had tried to motivate Kane, who had been on something of a downward spiral.

When encouraging Kane to be the same badass who beat him for the title in a first blood match at King of the Ring ‘98 didn’t work, Austin slapped the piss out of the Big Red Machine and encouraged him to hit him with a chokeslam.

When that didn’t work, Austin merely stunned the tag team champion.

WWE Insurrexion 2003 - RVD & Kane vs. La Resistance

I’m glad they showed that because the backstage stare down made zero sense otherwise.

WWE World Tag Team Championship
WWE World Tag Team Champions Kane & RVD vs. (Sylvian Grenier & René Duprée)

Our third straight title match in a row began with La Resistance getting heat by claiming that the UK was as bad as the USA and they couldn’t wait to leave with the titles.

Unfortunately for them, they wouldn’t get that opportunity as Kane and RVD beat them in a decent match.

Though this was nothing out of the ordinary, it served its purpose well and got the crowds involved.

After a good effort, Kane hit double choke slams to the French men and RVD came off the top with a five-star frog splash for the win.
Your Winners and Still World Tag Team Champions: La Resistance

Out in the back, Goldust was interviewed by Al Snow of all people

I’m not sure when Al got relegated to this position, but here we are.

Al Snow interviews Goldust

Promoting his upcoming match with Rico, Goldust -who was going through his ‘I have a vocal stammer/Tourette’s/whatever’ phase yelled the word “tally whacker” several times before promising to beat the “tally ho” out of Rico.

This was far less funny than it meant to be, and not just because nobody in England uses the word “tally whacker.”

Rico vs. Goldust

This match was OK, but it was the sort of thing that was best left to whatever B-show WWE was running at the time rather than what was supposed to be a special event.

Not that Jim Ross seemed to think it was anything special.

The announcer spent part of the previous match joking with King about having a small penis. In this match, he randomly name-dropped James Bond character Pussy Galore out of nowhere seemingly just to get a rise out of Lawler.

To be fair, that was more interesting than anything going in the match, which ended when Goldie power slammed his way to victory.
Your Winner: Goldust

The match was followed by an emotional tribute to Classie Freddie Blassie who had recently passed.

In memory of Classie Freddie Blassie

On behalf of pencil-necked geeks everywhere, RIP Freddie, you were one of a kind.

The Highlight Reel with Eric Bischoff

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Jericho, Stone Cold, and Bischoff

Up next, Chris Jericho came and proved he’d done his research by calling the Newcastle crowd ‘tossers’ and referencing rival city Liverpool’s recent appointment as a European City of Culture.

He then brought out his buddy Eric Bischoff and the two continued to insult the live audience until Steve Austin showed up.

Stone Cold was really there to announce that tonight’s main event between Triple H and Kevin Nash was now a street fight, but he also had some hilarious banter with the two heels before offering them a beer.

“If you want to see Chris Jericho and Eric Bischoff drink a beer with Stone Cold
Steve Austin, give me a doo-wah-diddy-diddy-dum-diddy-do!” Yelled Jericho in a line that made this fan laugh his ass off.

The crowd naturally obliged, beers were drank and the whole thing ended with a couple of predictable stunners.

This whole thing was fantastic.

All three men were on form and were clearly having a laugh, with Austin visibly making Jericho break character and laugh on several occasions.

Honestly, I bet that segment ends up being the best thing on the whole show.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Ric Flair and Triple H

Out in the back, Triple H and manager Ric Flair were understandably outraged at Austin’s announcement.

A quick look at the outside of the arena followed at the Insurrexion theme played.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but that theme was just a take on Machine Head by Bush.

Rodney Mack, Chris Nowinski, and Teddy Long vs. The Dudley Boyz (D-Von, Bubba, and Spike Dudley)

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - D'Von Dudley

This match was, like many UK PPV matches, just OK.

The heels did their job well but this one was all about The Dudleyz getting their trademark spots in and popping the crowd.

It was reasonable enough, but no better than anything you might’ve seen on Raw around this time.

The end came when Rodney Mack accidentally clotheslined Teddy Long. Spike pounced on Long.
Your Winners: The Dudley Boyz

Next, we got a look back at the rivalry between Test and Scott Steiner.

To recap, this revolved Test being an absolute misogynistic asshole to his manager Stacy Keibler and Steiner being the chivalrous gentleman wanting to protect her.

The two would meet with Stacy’s services on the line at Badd Blood in a few weeks, but first we had this.

Test vs. Scott Steiner

(Special referee: Val Venis)

Prior to the match, Val Venis surprised everyone by coming out in tight little shorts and a referee’s shirt.

After doing his usual “hello, ladies…” shtick, he next introduced our girl Stacy, who took it upon herself to be the ring announcer.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Stacy Keibler and Scott Steiner

The match itself was…well, I mean it was no better but no worse than you’d expect a Test/Steiner match to be.

The action was fine, while the involvement of Stacy and the whole storyline surrounding it made it a little more entertaining than it might have otherwise been.

At the finish, Test went to swing a chair at Steiner, but Stacy blocked it and Big Poppa Pump hit what I think was a reverse DDT for the one, the two, and the three.
Your Winner: Scott Steiner

Post match, Stacy celebrated with The Big Bad Booty Daddy.

Finally, we got the standard video package for HHH vs. Kevin Nash that i feel like I’ve already seen a thousand times.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Kevin Nash vs. Triple H

With that, it was on to our main event.

Street Fight for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H (w/ Ric Flair) vs. Kevin Nash (w/ Shawn Michaels

The match started with a wild four-man brawl. The actual combatants fought inside the ring while Shawn Michaels took Ric Flair to the outside to duke it out with his upcoming Badd Blood opponent.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Earl Hebner warns Triple H and Kevin Nash

The contest was barely two minutes in when Nature Boy began gushing blood despite not being in the actual match.


Because he was Ric Flair and he couldn’t help himself.

Flair and Michaels then made their way to the back, leaving the spotlight on The Game and Kevin Nash who gave us a solid match with an overbooked finish.

Although not the best street fight you’ll ever see, I genuinely thought this was a good outing for the two Kliq members and was exactly on the kind of level that you’d expect for a UK-only PPV.

Towards the end, Earl Hebner (who had been bombarded with “You screwed Bret!” Chants all night despite it being six years since Survivor Series 1997) got knocked and took a nap so long you’d be forgiven for thinking somebody had slipped him a NyQuil.

The ref bump opened up an opportunity for HBK and Nature Boy to return to the ring, Nash to hit a powerbomb and cover HHH for an eight count until a second referee came in and delivered an official two count, and finally, for the champion to plant his opponent with a sledgehammer to the head for the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H

Afterwards, H and Naitch’, both covered in blood, made their way to the back having narrowly escaped with the title intact.

All in all, Insurrextion 2003 was a good show for what it was.

If this had been a major PPV meant for global audiences, I’d probably be marginally less favorable towards it as nobody needs to see Goldust vs. Rico on PPV…or probably at all for that matter.

But it wasn’t, this was a show catering to a live audience who really only got the chance to see WWE live once or twice a year at most, and by those standards, it delivered.

Although this Raw-brand card didn’t give us as many stand out matches as the Smackdown only Rebellion 2002 had months earlier, it was perfectly acceptable for a piece of throwaway entertainment.

Besides, that Austin/Bischoff/Jericho Highlight Reel segment was a joy, especially when you could see Steve and Chris clearly having fun and laughing at themselves and each other.

All in all, a fitting way to bring WWE’s run of UK-exclusive PPVs to an end.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

PPV REVIEW: WCW Great American Bash 1991

July 14, 1991, 
Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland.

By the time Great American Bash 1991 rolled around, the truly unthinkable had happened:

WCW Great American Bash 1991 Review - Event Poster

Nature Boy Ric Flair had left WCW. 

Flair had been at loggerheads with then-WCW president Jim Herd for some time. Despite the fact that Flair had been the company's franchise player for years, Herd saw zero drawing power in Nature Boy and looked to not only reduce his pay but also his role in the company.

Herd wanted Flair to become a completely different character (though he did deny wanting him to become Spartacus) Naitch wanted to keep on Naitchin', and since neither could agree on a direction for Flair in WCW, Big Bad Jim simply booted him out of the company with the big gold belt in tow. 

Despite being officially stripped of the title, Flair also had a legitimate claim to keep the title belt due to a $25,000 deposit he'd paid for it which WCW had never returned. 

We all know what happened next:

Flair took the title to the WWF and was promoted as 'The Real World's Champion' while, back in WCW, plans for The Great American Bash 1991 were left in dissaray.

Flair was originally scheduled to face Luger for the title, but he had been replaced by Barry Windham, meaning plans for a six-man cage match involving Windham also had to be changed.

Fans were famously unhappy -to say the least- about the changes and positively livid about Nature Boy's departure from the company.

Would WCW put on a great show to win favor with their hostile fans and change their mind about recent developments?

OF course not, this was WCW, and this was a disaster. 

Welcome to the Great American Bash

Our opening video tonight was actually better than a lot of WCW’s usual videos, probably because it eschewed the usual cheap graphics and cheesy animations in favor of having a cameraman give us a fan’s-eye view of walking from the parking lot and into the arena.

Once there, the cameraman bought two tickets, which seems unfair. WCW was supposed to be bankrolled by a billionaire and yet the cameramen have to pay their own way into the show? 

I’d be calling my union rep if I were this guy.

Anyway, our cameraman next took us into the arena where fireworks went off, the event’s logo flashed up on screen and your friend and mine? Garry Michael Capetta welcomed us to tonight’s event.

There was to be no greeting from the announcers yet as we went immediately into the introduction of PN News and Bobby Eaton.

Man, I wonder what poor Bobby did to deserve that.

Scaffold Match
PN News & Bobby Eaton vs. Terry Taylor & WCW TV Champion Stunning Steve Austin

WCW Great American Bash 1991 Review - Terry Taylor & Steve Austin vs. Bobby Eaton & PN News in a scaffold match

There’s no nice way to say this:

This was the dumbest piece of crap I’ve ever seen in my life.

Honestly, if I ever write a “Top 5 Worst PPV Openers Ever” list, this match will take all five spots because of how ridiculously bad it was.

Unlike the classic scaffold matches at Starrcade '86 and Starrcade '87, this one featured the rule that you could win by either hurling your opponents off the scaffold or capturing their flag and taking it back to your side, a rule which immediately telegraphed how this was going to end.

Meanwhile, the actual platform between the two teams’ scaffold towers was so narrow that nobody could actually do anything and it was impossible to get all four competitors on it at the same time.

This meant we got several very long minutes of the competitors taking it in turns to walk into the middle of the platform, nervously stare each other down and stroke each other’s hands like they were going to attempt a lockup that never happened.

Eventually, all four men ended up in the heel’s “base.” With Terry Taylor and Steve Austin busy attacking PN News, Bobby Eaton simply freed the heel’s flag and sauntered over to the face side like he was out for a Sunday stroll.

That was apparently enough to win the match, but the bell didn’t ring and there was no announcement as Bobby turned back around and went back to the heel side where Steve Austin threw some powder that he’d picked up from Lady Blossom.

It made zero difference.

In the next instance, all four men began climbing down the scaffold as GMC declared Eaton and News the winners, an announcement which was met by silence from the baffled crowd.

I’ve always said that Adrian Adonis vs. Uncle Elmer at Wrestlemania 2 is the worst match I’ve ever seen in life and is the benchmark against which all other bad matches are measured, but honestly, I think this might be even worse.

What an absolutely horrible, boring, and confusing way to start a show.
Your Winners: Bobby Eaton & PN News

Post-match, Bobby and PN continued to brawl with Taylor and Austin. It was the first time the crowd had popped since the start, though some were clearly booing.

WCW Great American Bash 1991 Review - Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone called the show

Even Jim Ross seemed lost for words to describe what we’d just seen as he and broadcast colleague Tony “I Just Dyed My Hair Blonde” Schiavone welcomed us to the show proper.

Schiavone told us that WCW had made a second offer to Ric Flair to coerce him back to the company but the Nature Boy had refused. As such, Tony insisted that despite this being the seventh Great American Bash, it was actually the first because it was a new era here in World Championship Wrestling.

WCW Great American Bash 1991 Review - Eric Bischoff interviews Paul E. Dangerously and Arn Anderson

He and Ross then sent it over to Eric Bischoff, who was here making his PPV debut as he interviewed Paul E. Dangerously and Arn Anderson.

The duo would be teaming up tonight to face Rick Steiner and Missy Hyatt in a cage match.

Say what you want about that booking, this promo was excellent. Both Arn and Paul E. were gold on the mic as they promised to destroy their upcoming opponents.

Something tells me that promo might prove to be one of the best things on this whole show.

Killing time, we went back to Ross and Schiavone who put over the rest of the card before finally, more than six minutes after the scaffold match ended, sending us back to ringside for another contest.

Tom Zenk vs. The Diamond Studd (w/ The Diamond Studd)

WCW Great American Bash 1991 Review - DDP introduces The Diamond Studd

Prior to the match, Diamond Dallas Page picked a lady from the crowd to come in and rip off The Diamond Studd’s entrance gear because Scott Hall was, according to Dallas, all “twisted steel and sex appeal.

Studd also had some weird mark on the back of his trunks. It’s impossible to tell if it was part of the design or if Hall had diarrhea.

Tom Zenk responded by coming to the ring with his own entourage of beauties, but he largely ignored them and leapt over the top rope, knocking Studd on his backside with an impressive flying clothesline.

That got the match off to a hot start, with a fun brawl on the outside and Zenk doing his best to fly around and take out his opponent.

Countering all this, the future Razor Ramon countered with punches, kicks, and an abdominal stretch.

Zenk battled back and was the most entertaining thing in the match, even dragging Page into the ring for a beat down, but in the ensuing chaos, Studd suplexed Zenk for the win.

This match was better than most other reviewers would tell you it was, but it wasn’t exactly anything that demands repeat viewing or anything.
Your Winner: The Diamond Studd

Before the next contest, JR and Schiavone told us that while we’d only really seen Oz at Superbrawl and Clash of the Champions 15, we’d seen a lot of Ron Simmons because the former Doom member was on a roll and working his way up the rankings.

The two would meet next.

Oz (w/ The Great Wizard) vs. Ron Simmons

WCW Great American Bash 1991 Review - The Grand Wizard accompanied Oz to the ring

With The Great Wizard (Kevin Sullivan) in tow, Oz shuffled lifeless lifelessly to the ring with his shoulders slung low looking for all the world like he was going through a bout of depression.

After being saddled with such a goofy gimmick, who could blame him?

Meanwhile, Big Ron hadn’t even made it to the ring before JR started telling us all about Simmons’ football career.

The match itself was…well…it was total garbage, that’s what it was.

Not necessarily sloppy or incompetent, just merely slow and mind-numbingly tedious.

Even the crowd thought so. The audience greeted this match with a deathly silence that was broken only by the sound of one single fan yelling “boring! Boring! At the top of his lungs.

The worst part was that it seemed to last forever.


I’m not the kind of guy to needlessly rag on Kevin Nash. I honestly think the guy did the best he could with what he had, but even as a fan of Big Daddy Cool, I can’t deny that this felt like an endless trudge that was almost painful to watch.

Thankfully, Simmons put us all out our collective misery and tackled Oz for the win in just shy of eight long and agonising minutes.
Your Winner: Ron Simmons

To be fair, that still wasn’t as bad as the opening cage match.

More ‘tween-match banter from Jim and Tony followed in which they put over the upcoming match between Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson before Schiavone ran down the WCW Top 10.

It put Barry Windham and Lex Luger at one and two which made sense given they’d be competing for the vacant world title later.

Robert Gibson vs. Richard Morton (w/ Alexandra York)

Now going by the name ‘Richard,’ Ricky Morton had turned heel at Clash 15 by joining the York Foundation and then beating up his Rock ‘n’ Roll Express partner, Robert Gibson when Gibson came to ask him WTF was going on.

The two had made for an exciting tag team, but when they actually faced off one on one, none of that excitement was there.

Sure, things started pretty hot as Gibson met Morton in the entranceway for a crowd-popping brawl.

It even looked to be the best match on the card as the two traded holds while JR sold us the story that the two knew each other so well it was hard for either man to outdo the other.

That was good stuff.

Then, Morton began working Gibson’s recently injured leg for at least ten minutes.

I’m not exaggerating either.

The majority of this match was just Morton working Gibson’s leg while the crowd told him that he sucked.

This went on for so long (the match ran the better part of 20 minutes!) that at one point I simply tuned out and started messing around on my phone while I waited for it to end.

When I tuned back in, Gibson was still getting his ass kicked and eventually lost when Alexandra York distracted referee Bill Alfonso so that Morton could hit his former partner with her laptop for the win.
Your Winner: Richard Morton

My goodness, this show is the worst.

Out in the back, The Young Pistols and Dustin Rhodes gave an interview to Eric Bischoff.

WCW Great American Bash 1991 Review - Eric Bischoff interviews The Young Pistols and Dustin Rhodes

The ‘Pistols helpfully explained the rules of an elimination match for us but told us they weren’t here for a wrestling match, they were here for a fight.

Meanwhile, poor Dustin delivered an embarrassing impression of Papa Dusty as he also put over tonight’s six man.

Six-Man Elimination Match
WCW Six Man Tag Team Champions The Fabulous Freebirds (Bad Street and US Tag Team Champions Michael ‘P.S.’ Hayes & Jimmy Jam Garvin) vs. Dustin Rhodes and The Young Pistols (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong)

Hey, you know what we’ve not seen enough of?

The Freebirds vs. The Young Pistols.

Seriously, I feel like these two teams have faced each other so many times that I‘ve lost count:

WCW Great American Bash 1991 Review - Michael Hayes puts a hurting on his opponent

Still, I probably shouldn’t complain because, whether they going at it in a straight tag team match like they did back at Clash of the Champions XI or spicing things up by making it a six-man like they did both here and at Suoerbrawl 1, both teams normally delivered.

Indeed, this was the best thing on the show so far by a country mile.

Ok, so the bar was set pretty low and anything even remotely half-decent would have looked like a classic compared to the likes of Oz/Simmons, but it would be unfair to say that this was enjoyable only because everything else sucked.

The truth is that, despite an abundance of stalling from the heels in the early going, this was a legitimately solid match with some fun spots and good action.

The only weird part was when Tracy Smothers made a blind tag to Steve Armstrong, who climbed to the top rope and just perched there for a solid minute while Jimmy Garvin staggered around in front of him looking dazed from the match but also completely confused as to why Armstrong wouldn’t leap off the ropes and attack him.

Instead, Steve waited until brother Brad “Bad Street” Armstrong was in the ring so that he could tag him with a drop kick.

The match continued without an elimination until they all happened more or less at once towards the finish.

A Freebirds Double DDT sent Steve Armstrong packing then, seconds later, Michael Hayes was disqualified for hurling Tracy Smothers over the top rope.

Almost immediately after, Tracy Smothers also fell prey to a double DDT courtesy of Bad Street and Garvin, an elimination which was quickly followed by Dustin sending Jimmy Jam to the dressing room courtesy of a clothesline.

This left just Dustin and Bad Street to wrap things up. The former caught the later with his patented bulldog finisher (kicking Big Daddy Dink mid-move in a cool spot) and, three seconds later, the son of WCW’s top Booker was the sole survivor.
Your Winner: Dustin Rhodes

I don’t care how bad this show sucks now, at least that was an enjoyable watch.

Bounty Match
Yellow Dog (w/ Man’s Best Friend) vs. Johnny B. Badd (w/ Theodore Long)

(Yellow Dog’s mask is on the line)

Brian Pillman had lost a Loser Leaves WCW tag match against Barry Windham and Arn Anderson back at the last Clash of Champions but had come back under a mask as The Yellow Dog.

WCW Great American Bash 1991 Review - The Yellow Dog ready for battle

Billed from ‘The Kennel Club,’ Dog came to the ring with a Labrador in tow, with Capetta telling us that the dog was ‘Man’s Best Friend.’

If you didn’t get why the cute little pupper was there, Jim Ross killed off whatever thin slice of subtlety the character had by yelling “and he comes to the ring with an actual yellow dog!”

Thanks Jim, I didn’t quite get that.

Meanwhile, Johnny B. Badd was out to claim a bounty that would be awarded to anyone who could remove the mask and prove that Yellow Dog was Brian Pilman.

The former boxer was supposed to have a big, flamboyant entrance where he stood with his arms out stretched wearing an elaborate robe while pyro went off behind him but, this being WCW, the wrong theme music played.

As a result, Badd just sort of stood there for the longest time while his manager, Theodore Long clearly yelled at somebody to get it right.

That ruined Johnny’s big entrance, but it di d nothing to ruin what was a pretty decent match.

In what felt like the shortest contest on the card, the two men worked well together to deliver a good performance which was fun while it lasted but immediately forgettable once it was over.

Speaking of which, the whole thing ended when Long ran and tried to unmask Pillman, resulting in a DQ.
Your Winner via DQ: Yellow Dog

Post match, Dog clotheslined Long but got punched over the top rope by Johnny B.

Backstage, Eric Bischoff tried to get an interview with Missy Hyatt. Venturing into her locker room, he excitedly busted in on her while she showered, only to have the First Lady of WCW scream and throw stuff at him until he left.

I can’t help but feel like this was Missy’s karma for walking in on Stan Hansen in the shower like she’d done twice earlier in the year.

Lumberjack Match
Big Josh vs. Black Blood

Big Josh came out with a bevy of beautiful women which seemed ill-fitting with his character.

Meanwhile, Black Blood was billed as hailing from “a little town in France,” because apparently nobody had bothered to ask him what that town might be.

He was also advertised as being accompanied by Kevin Sullivan, but Sullivan was nowhere to be found.

All of this was far more interesting than the match itself which, though not necessarily horrible, was pretty tedious and uneventful.

In fact, there was a point when all the lumberjacks began brawling on the outside and it was far more entertaining than anything that happened in the ring.

Towards the finish, Black Blood (Billy Jack Haynes in an executioner mask) picked up his ax, but before he could do anything with it, lumberjack Dustin Rhodes hit him in his injured knee with an ax handle.

That allowed Josh to get the roll-up and the three count.

I should probably mention that both Dustin and Big Josh were supposed to be the babyfaces here.
Your Winner: Big Josh

Before then next match between One Man Gang and El Gigante, Jim Ross told us that Gigante had improved both his English and his wrestling ability.

History would make a liar out of Good Ol’ JR.

Battle of the Giants
One Man Gang (w/ Kevin Sullivan) vs. El Gigante

WCW Great American Bash 1991 Review - Eric Bischoff interviews Kevin Sullivan and The One Man Gang

As One Man Gang and his manager, Kevin Sullivan made their way to the ring, they were stopped by Eric Bischoff for an interview.

The bat-sh*t crazy Sullivan proceeded to ramble on about a Lady with a Third-Eye who helped them build a death wagon which was now apparently waiting outside for El Gigante.

Alrighty then.

From there, Gigante came to the ring with a gaggle of dwarves for reasons which can only be explained by WCW being WCW.

I won’t lie, it was so absurdly ridiculous that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

The resulting match was just about as bad as you’re probably imagining it was.

Comprised almost entirely of really slow punches and kicks, the end came when Sullivan handed OMG some cocaine (ok, maybe it was just “Mysterious White Powder”) which Gigante then kicked in his opponent’s face so that he could take him down for the three count.

That’s all I’m going to say about this one because, after watching Great American Bash ‘91 for two hours now, I’ve completely run out of creative ways to say “this sucked.”
Your Winner: El Gigante

Before then next match, Jim and Tony sent us to a video package highlighting the feud between Nikita Koloff and Sting, which could basically be summed as Koloff getting the better of his rival every time they interacted.

Honestly, I’m still confused about how this feud started with Koloff attacking Luger and then transitioned to him hating Sting without -as far as I can tell- ever having any kind of major blow-off with Lex at a high profile event.

I mean yeah, I know how the Sting feud started, but from watching PPVs and Clash shows alone, it really felt like the Luger feud was just forgotten about.

Russian Chain Match
Nikita Koloff vs. Sting

This could have been a really good match but it wasn’t.

WCW Great American Bash 1991 Review - Sting vs. Nikita Koloff in a steel cage

Don’t get me wrong, it was a decent effort and surely one of the more superior matches on the card, but as I said in the earlier six-man, it didn’t take much to be a stand-out match on such a crap event.

In a variation of a strap match that used a long metal chain, the two went at it with a certain intensity but just didn’t seem to gel very well.

The result was a match that was sloppy in some places and kind of dull in others.

Towards the end, both men managed to touch three corners at the same time.

As they did so, Jim Ross told us that he’d never seen such a thing before despite it being a standard part of every strap match ever.

Referee Randy Anderson allowed them to continue fighting with their three count in tact since -according to Schiavone- neither man had technically broken the momentum of the other.

Then, Sting dove at Nikita in the fourth former, presumably looking to take out his rival while simultaneously winning the match.

Instead, Koloff touched the fourth corner fourth and continued his run of getting the better of his nemesis.
Your Winner: Nikita Koloff

Post match, Sting pulled the chain between Koloff’s legs and almost literally broke his balls.

This was followed by a video package that did its damndest to make the Lex Luger/Barry Windham title cage match sound like the most epic encounter in the universe.

Cage Match for the Vacant World Championship World Heavyweight Championship
WCW US Champion Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham

WCW Great American Bash 1991 Review - The World Heavyweight Championship

The match began with the cameras panning the crowd as they all visibility chanted “we want Flair!”

I get that they couldn’t stop the crowds chanting for Nature Boy, but why draw such obvious attention to it?

The chants continued for a large portion of the match which was a shame really because both men worked hard to deliver a solid, old-school main event.

By the end, it even seemed like Windham and Luger had even won the crowd over with a strong showing, but any good will they’d earned quickly evaporated when Luger joined forces with Harley Race and Mr. Hughes at the finish.

It’s not that any of them actually did anything particularly heelish. As far as I could tell, Luger won clean in the middle of the ring with a piledriver, so the resulting reaction was less hatred towards Luger for turning heel and more a mixture of confusion and apathy.
Your Winner and New WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Lex Luger

Post match, Luger celebrated with Race and then stormed off. It still wasn’t immediately clear that Luger had turned or, if it was, it was just about the lamest heel turn in history.

The crowds booed anyway, but then they probably would have done regardless of the outcome simply because Luger wasn’t the Nature Boy.

Afterward, even JR admitted that the whole thing was confusing.

Mixed Gender Tag Team Cage Match
Arn Anderson & Paul E. Dangerously vs. Rick Steiner & Missy Hyatt

Imagine having a steel cage match for your vacant world title involving a top star like Luger on your shoe and then booking a novelty mixed-gender match as your main event.

Imagine then having one of the combatants, arguably the most over in the whole match, taken out before the bell even rang.

That’s exactly what happened here as Dick Murdoch and Dick Slater came down before the match and kidnapped Missy Hyatt, carrying her to the back.

Hilariously, an over-eager fan tried to stop The Hard Liners and nearly got his head taken off by one of the dicks.

Apparently, this was all done because, in classic WCW fashion, the company had booked the match, promoted the hell out of it, and then learned almost right before the show that inter-gender matches were banned by the Maryland State Athletic Commission.

Fair enough, but it left GAB ‘91 with a less than stellar main event.

Don’t get me wrong, Anderson and Rick Steiner were good wrestlers, but do I want to see them main event?

Not really.

I would have watched this because at least Missy was hot but now, meh.

Not that it mattered.

By the time the actual match started, there was only four minutes left on the show anyway.

During those four minutes, Anderson tried to attack Steiner, but the Dog-Faced Gremlin got the better of him, took out both Double A and Paul E. with a pair of Steinerlines and won the match.

He then stormed off without bothering to celebrate because, let’s face it:

There was nothing worth celebrating on this show.
Your Winners: Rick Steiner & Missy Hyatt

“Fans, as we look out at the Baltimore Arena tonight, I’m glad there are no more matches left,” said Jim Ross as he and Schiavone signed off.

You know what, Jim?

I couldn’t agree more.

There are people out there who will tell you that The Great American Bash ‘91 was the worst Pay Per View of all time.

Those people have clearly never seen the absolute steaming pile of garbage that was the 1999 Heroes of Wrestling PPV, but you can’t blame them for being so critical of this event.

I rarely agree with the general consensus among diehard internet fans, but there’s no possible way I can defend this show.

From the abomination of the opening scaffold match to the bait-and-switch and pointless four minutes of the main event via a string of boring, lifeless matches, GAB ‘91 absolutely f**king sucked.

Sure, the six man was decent and I personally enjoyed the world title match until the finish, but neither match is really worth repeat viewing and certainly could save this show from going down in history as one of the worst of all time.

Clearly, World Championship Wrestling needed Ric Flair more than anyone ever realized.

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Sunday, 15 May 2022

PPV REVIEW: WWF The Wrestling Classic (1985)

November 7, 1985
Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Event Poster

Regular Retro Pro Wrestling readers may have seen me mention in the past that my main motivation behind starting this blog was to review every single WWE PPV from Wrestlemania 1 to Wrestlemania 30.

Though I’ve since expanded that goal to include every WCW and ECW PPV too, I remain nonetheless committed to covering all of WWE’s “Premium Live Events” from the first three decades following the first ‘Mania.

Doing so means I occasionally have to go back and review stuff I’ve missed like the 1985 PPV, The Wrestling Classic.

Honestly, I’m not looking forward to it:

The World Wrestling Federation were not exactly known for producing a wealth of five-star bangers during the mid-1980s, and that’s before I mention the fact that this show features a 16-man tournament.

Every time I think of one-night tournaments I get flashbacks to the horrendous nightmare that was Wrestlemania IV and I can barely face it.

Still, face it I must, and I shall.

Besides, maybe The Wrestling Classic will be better than anticipated.

There’s only one way to find out, right?

Let’s get to it.

The World Wrestling Federation Presents Wrestlevision

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Wrestlevisionisio


Tonight’s show began with an introduction In which a Howard Finkle voice-over told us that the WWF presented Wrestlevision, without actually telling us what that was or what it meant.

Honestly, I’ve Googled this and I’m still none the wiser.

Perhaps it was an early name the company gave to their PPV specials or something.

Who knows?

If any of you do, please let me know in the comments below.

Anyway, Fink then proceeded to run down all the participants in the dreaded 16-man “Wrestling Classic Tournament” as well as telling us that we’d also hear who had won a Rolls-Royce the WWF were giving away and see Hulk Hogan defending the title against Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Fink then sent it down to Vince McMahon.

The boss welcomed us to The Rosemont Horizon before repeating what Howard had just told us.

Vince then introduced us to Lord Alfred Hayes  and a lady whose name was apparently Susan Waitkis.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Vince McMahon, Lord Alfred, and a lady called Susan

I thought she might be a celebrity I’ve never heard of, but another Google search reveals no information about her outside the context of his event.

The legendary Lord Alfred put over tonight’s tournament as the ultimate test of endurance, insisting that it was going to be more taxing than a decathlon and a marathon rolled into one. 

The mysterious lady (are you out there, Susan? Who are you?) Then used a pointer to show us the tournament brackets for tonight as Vince McMahon named the competitors.

The Luck of the Draw

Vince then sent us to highlights from earlier in the day where Mean Gene Okerlund and two random dudes in suits presided over the tournament drawing.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mr. Fuji draws a tournament slot on behalf of Don Murraco

Ricky Steamboat drew Davey Boy Smith’s name out of a bowl and that should be a good match.

Elsewhere, Elizabeth picked Macho Man Randy Savage’s opponent, and Mr. Fuji drew on behalf of The Magnificent Muraco.

A Word With The President

From there, Vince and Hayes sent us back to Mean Gene who this time was standing by with WWF President Jack Tunney and his massive chin.

Big Jack expressed his excitement for tonight’s event and told us that the WWF had “outdone themselves,” probably forgetting that he was supposed to be the head of the company and thus should have said “ourselves.”

The President then told us that the only rule for tonight was that you had to win your match to proceed which was both obvious and untrue.

Surely rules like don’t hit your opponent with a weapon and don’t stay outside of the ring for more than 10 seconds still applied?

With all that preamble out of the way, Vince then sent us to our announce team for the evening, the classic pairing of Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura

Wow: we’re five and a half minutes into this and not only have we not heard the opening bell yet, but I feel like I’ve already been writing this review for an hour.

Still, I’m not complaining.

Although nothing up to this point was particularly entertaining, it was cool to see all these old-school stars, and it’s been so long since I reviewed a show featuring either Gorilla or Jesse that I’m genuinely excited to hear them again.

The duo were as excited to be there as I was to hear from them, and the two eventually helped us get the show on the road by sending to The Fink for the introductions to our opening match.

Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Corporal Kirschner

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Adrian Adonis

As Gorilla Monsoon made reference to Adrian Adonis’ former tag team with Jesse Ventura, the big man from New York locked up with Corporal Kirschner in a very short match that was no different than the kind of thing you’d see on TV back in this era.

Though it was inoffensive, there was really nothing to make this one stand out, and Adonis picked up the win in about three minutes.
Your Winner: Adrian Adonis

After a quick recap, we went backstage where Mean Gene interviewed Adonis and his manager, Jimmy Hart.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Jimmy Hart and Adrian Adonis

The Mouth of the South called his man a superstar before Adrian cut a crazy promo about rewriting the wrestling rule book.

The promo was far more fun than anything Adonis had just done in the ring.

Dynamite Kid vs. Nikolai Volkoff

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Dynamite Kid

Back in the arena, both competitors were already in the ring.

Nikolai Volkoff busted out his usual rendition of the Soviet National Anthem while Dynamite Kid stood by patiently.

His patience wore out, however, when Volkoff finished his ditty and began berating the live crowd.

At that point, Dynamite scaled the top rope and let rip with a sweet drop kick, putting the evil Russian away in less than 10 seconds and eliciting two “holy mackerel!”s from Monsoon.
Your Winner: Dynamite Kid

Backstage, Okerlund interviewed Macho Man Randy Savage.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Macho Man Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth

With Miss Elizabeth standing by, Macho Man claimed that despite feeling nervous, he was hyper and ready to go for his match with Ivan Putski.

Something tells me I’m going to enjoy the promos on this show far more than the matches.

Ivan Putski vs. Macho Man Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth)

Making his way out to the familiar sounds of Pomp and Circumstance, Macho Man entered into an entertaining performance against Putski.

This was another very short match, and it certainly wasn’t one for the ages or anything, but both men tried hard to make the best of what they’d been given and the crowds were into it.

A few short minutes of enjoyable action, Savage got the pin with his feet on the ropes.
Your Winner: Macho Man Randy Savage

Prior to the next match, the mysterious Susan updated the tournament brackets while McMahon and Hayes talked about them.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Nikolai Volkoff confronts McMahon and Lord Alfred

The duo were interrupted by an enraged Nikolai Volkoff, who ranted to the pair about being robbed in his earlier match.

Not-so-fun fact:

We’re still less than 25 minutes into this. Man, this review is going to take forever.

Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. Davey Boy Smith

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Ricky Steamboat

It’s a little weird to me that Dynamite Kid had earlier been billed as coming from Manchester but now Davey Boy Smith was supposedly from Leeds when both were in fact from a tiny town called Golborne in Wigan.

That aside, this was the best match on the show so far and could have been something special had the tournament not forces all the matches to remain short.

Just as the match was gathering some real momentum, Smith charged at Ricky Steamboat but crashed into the ring ropes in a move that didn’t look all that painful but was apparently enough to render the future Hall of Famer unable to continue.
Your Winner via Referee’s Decision: Ricky Steamboat

In a display of class and sportsmanship, The Dragon came to his fallen opponent’s aid after the match was over.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Junkyard Dog

Backstage, Junkyard Dog mumbled his way through an awkward interview with Mean Gene in which he called his upcoming opponent The Iron Sheik a “Dubba Dubba Champion” and then said he wanted to congratulate Chicago.

For what, exactly, I have no idea. 

Given Okerlund’s response, it seemed like JYD meant to congratulate one of the city’s sports teams for something specific but had forgotten the name of the team and what they’d achieved. As such, it came across as Dog was simply congratulating the city for existing.

That was an uncomfortable watch.

The Iron Sheik vs. The Junkyard Dog

This wasn’t a great match from a technical standpoint, but JYD was over like rover and The Iron Sheik was a tremendous villain, so it worked in terms of pure crowd-popping entertainment.

After a match that was weirdly allowed to go almost twice as long as the Steamboat/Smith match, JYD head butted the former Dubba Dubba Champion for the win.
Your Winner: Junkyard Dog

Backstage, Mean Gene interviewed Terry Funk and his manager, Jimmy Hart.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Jimmy Hart and Terry Funk

Ignoring Okerlund’s question about tonight’s tournament, The Funker first said that he wanted a shot at the WWF title and then in the same breath also said that he wanted Paul Orndorff which made it sound like he thought Mr. Wonderful was the champion.

Clearing things up, Funk explained that he was out to claim the bounty placed on Orndorff’s head by his (Orndorff’s) former manager, Bobby Heenan.

The plan, you see, was to use the bounty money to buy himself a title shot against the man he claimed would be the next world champion, Roddy Piper.

Finally, Hart promised a big surprise as Funk spat tobacco all over the camera lens.

That was crazy, but in a good way.

Moondog Spot vs. Terry Funk (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Prior to the bell, Terry Funk took to the microphone and claimed that he no more wanted to wrestle Moondog Spot than Spot wanted to wrestle him.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Terry Funk has a proposition for Moondog Spot

He then suggested both men leave the ring and call it a draw.

Moondog agreed and the two began heading up the entrance, only for Funk to reveal his plan and attack his opponent.

The plan backfired, however, when the two made it to the side of the ring where Funk actually threw Spot back into the ring and then immediately got counted out by Earl Hebner.

I can understand people being angry at that non-match, but honestly, it was so ridiculous that I found it absolutely hilarious.
Your Winner via Countout; Moondog Spot

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Mr. Fuji and Don Murraco

Prior to the next contest, Mr Fuji claimed that Tito Santana had met his match in Magnificent Don Murraco, while Murraco himself insisted that he was glad to be getting in the ring with one of the best.

Non-Title Match
WWF Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana vs. Magnificent Don Murraco (w/ Mr Fuji)

Like the Smith/Steamboat bout from earlier, this was shaping up to be a good match until the dumb finish.

Santana and Murraco worked well together, delivering an engaging contest until the former IC champion dove onto the current title-holder for the three count.

Apparently, however, Tito had his foot on the ropes. You wouldn’t have known this though because the cameraman completely missed it, so when Santana popped back up and caught his opponent off guard with a surprise roll-up that the official delivered a fast count for, it came off as very confusing.
Your Winner: Tito Santana

As Mr Fuji protested the decision, a small but audible “bullsh*t!” chant came from the crowd.

I don’t blame them either, that was such a heel move for a babyface to commit.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Bobby Heenan

Out in the back, Bobby Heenan told Mean Gene that despite not having any men in tonight’s competition, he was here actively scouting for new talent.

Cowboy Bob Orton vs. Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff

This was the longest and most enjoyable match on the card so far.

Though it may not stand up against the balls-to-the-wall bangers we see in the modern age, it was still very good for the time period and looked like Taker/Michaels from Wrestlemania compared to some of the absolute dross we’d seen on The Wrestling Classic so far.

After a very good battle, Bob Orton blasted Mr. Wonderful with his trademark cast and made the cover, but referee Earl Hebner had seen the whole thing and disqualified the Ace Cowboy.
Your Winner via DQ: Paul Orndorff

Next, cameras cut to Lord Alfred Hayes sexually molesting a visibly uncomfortable Susan Waitkis while Vince McMahon watched.

Seriously, that was almost Jimmy Saville-level behaviour right there.

McMahon eventually prized Lord Alfred’s filthy hands off the distressed woman and asked him to tell us about what we’d seen in the first round.

Hayes only had two things to say about each match. Either it was great or a surprise, or in some cases a great surprise (yes, I know, that’s three things).

In a repeat of the last McMahon/Hayes segment, Terry Funk then burst onto the scene and complained about being robbed in his match before threatening to slap Alfred.

Whether the slap was because Terry was angry at his match or Lord Alfred was a blatant sex pest is something we may never know.

Quarter Final 1
Dynamite Kid vs. Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart)

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Adrian Adonis puts a hurting on Dynamite Kid

As Jesse Ventura abandoned the commentary table to apparently go and talk to The Macho Man, Dynamite and Adonis gave us a good match.

After the absolute dross of the first 45-50 minutes of this show, it was good to see the quality finally picking up from the Orndorff/Orton match onwards.

This wasn’t spectacular or anything, but it was certainly a solid effort that ended with a win for the British Bulldog member thanks to a flash pin.
Your Winner: Dynamite Kid

Post match, Adonis threw a temper tantrum.

Meanwhile, out in the back, Mean Gene accused Jesse Ventura of being a biased commentator.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Jesse Ventura

The Body refuted such claims, but did declare that he’d been scouting on behalf of Randy Savage and had informed Macho of the best way to beat his upcoming opponent.

Quarter Final 2
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Macho Man Randy Savage

A precursor to their legendary battle at Wrestlemania 3, this was a brilliant little match that proved that just because a bout only runs to two or three minutes, it doesn’t have to suck.

After a tremendous effort from both men, Savage pulled an international object from his trunks and used it to steal a victory from The Dragon.
Your Winner: Macho Man Randy Savage

Out in the back, Okerlund tried to interview Moondog Spot, but Spot could only grunt and beat himself in the head with a bone, so Gene cut it short and we went back to the ring.

Quarter Final 3
Moondog Spot vs. The Junkyard Dog

JYD came out to “Grab Them Cakes” from The Wrestling Album and then entered into a weird bit of nothing with Moondog Spot.

For reasons that were never explained, there was no official for this match, so Junkyard simply hit his opponent with a couple of headbutts, pinned him, and made his own three count before leaving the ring, calling it a day in bout 40 seconds.

“I don’t think that’s going to be official,” said Monsoon, but apparently it was.
Your Winner: The Junkyard Dog

In our second Bobby Heenan interview of the night, The Brain insisted that he wasn’t worried that nobody had claimed the $50,000 bounty on Mr. Wonderful’s head yet because his time would definitely come.

Heenan was also eager to see Roddy Piper best Hulk Hogan for the title.

Quarter Final 4
WWF Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana vs. Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff

This could have been a great match, but instead the two babyfaces decided to keep things clean and focus on holds.

Santana held Orndorff in a headlock for a bit, then transitioned to a head scissors before slapping on an Armbar.

Mr. Wonderful then recovered and worked on his opponent’s leg for a bit and nothing much happened.

It was rather boring until the finish when the two threw the babyface rule book out of the window and brawled on the outside until they were both counted out.
Double Countout

Elsewhere the arena, Lord Alfred Sexpest continued to grope and fondle Susan, who at least pretended to enjoy it more than she had the last time.

Alfred and Vince ran down the updated tournament brackets, which now gave Junkyard Dog a by into the final as a result of the previous match’s double Countout finish.

So yes, JYD got through to the final by virtue of winning a 30-second match in which he counted his own pinfall.

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Hulk Hogan

Piper came out first with a full entourage of bagpipe players, after which we cut backstage for a Hulk Hogan promo.

Having still not fully embraced the trademark red and yellow attire that he’d become synonymous with later in his career, The Hulkster cut claimed that Hot Rod had backed himself into a corner by running his mouth about being the next champion.

Cutting a charismatic figure, Hogan naturally insisted that he would topple his opponent before heading to the ring for a hot match with a lively crowd.

Though it was never going to be a technical masterpiece, the two were excellent at captivating an audience and played their roles well here, putting on a match that was a lot of fun to watch.

In the end, the referee got destroyed so Piper brought in a chair but Hogan snatched it and whacked Piper with it.

Roddy’s buddy Bob Orton then ran out, but by this time the official had risen from his nap and called for the disqualification.
Your Winner via DQ and Still WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan

Backstage, JYD gave another interview to Mean Gene.

This time, he spoke at 5,000 miles an hour but somehow still mumbled his way through it.

The funniest part was that Junkyard talked about how great it was to be in Chicago while looking absolutely miserable about being there.

Dynamite Kid vs. Macho Man Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth)

Dynamite and Savage took a few moments to click, but when they did, it was a thing of beauty.

Unable to get the better of his opponent in the early going, Savage took a breather on the outside but returned to deliver an excellent match that could have (perhaps should have) gone an extra ten minutes without any problems.

At the finish, Savage scaled the ropes, but Kid drop kicked him then took him down with an impressive superplex that was genuinely a major deal back in 1985.

As the crowd went crazy and Gorilla gushed over how they’d never seen such a move before, Dynamite got a roll-up but Savage reversed it and pinned his way into the final.
Your Winner: Macho Man Randy Savage

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Vince McMahon and Susan

Giving Savage a break before the main event, we next went to Vince and Susan, the latter of whom looked relived to be away from Lord Alfred but still incredibly uncomfortable to be there.

The duo showed us a clip of the Rolls-Royce that was being given away in a sweepstake before sending it down to the ring to reveal the winner.

In order to do that, Howard Finkle first had to introduce us to WWF President Jack Tunney.

Tunney announced that they’d received thousands upon thousands of entries to the sweepstakes and thanked the fans for their response.

Next, Fink introduced us to WWF promotions manager Basil DeVito who also told us that they’d had lots of entries to the competition but added nothing else.

Then, as it this wasn’t long enough, Fink introduced us to some dude from the marketing company that managed the contest.

You know what he said?

Yep, that they’d had lots of entries.

By this point, the restless crowd were loudly booing, and even though Marketing Dude’s comments were unnecessary, I couldn’t help feel bad for him as nerves were clearly starting to get the better of him.

Finally, Lord Alfred Hayes also told us about how many entries they’d received before revealing that some dude called Mark Hanley (Mark Hamley?) from Illinois had won.

The crowd booed poor Mark like he was the biggest heel in the building, and when Lord Sexpest asked them to cheer for him, they booed even louder which for some reason made Big Bad Al’ laugh his ass off.

As Alfred was talking, you could clearly hear Gorilla Monsoon taking to somebody on the headset, and it was to him and Jesse that we went next.

Monsoon found the fact that Michael had won the Roller to be quite humorous and chuckled about it before sending it backstage to Mean Gene.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Paul Orndorff and Hulk Hogan

Hanging in the locker room, Okerlund interviewed Hogan, who was eventually joined by Paul Orndorff.

The champ insisted that he and Mr. Wonderful watched each other’s backs and claimed that they’d be ready any time
piper and Orton wanted to face them in a match.

Tournament Final
Macho Man Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. Junkyard Dog

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Junkyard Dog won the Wrestling Classic tournament

Savage hobbled to the ring looking tired and hurt after wrestling three hard-fought contests while JYD sauntered out looking fresh as a daisy after wrestling for 40 seconds in the past hour and a half and getting a bye into the final.

There’s nothing wrong with doing the weary warrior vs. The fresh-faced opponent, but isn’t it usually the face who comes out battle-worn and ready to overcome the odds?

Anyway, this was a fine main event that was given enough time and was legitimately enjoyable until JYD tossed Savage to the outside and won by Countout.

Again, shouldn’t it be the heel doing this?
Your Winner: Junkyard Dog

Post-match, Mean Gene tried to interview the Wrestling Classic tournament winner but they were interrupted by Jesse The Body.

Ventura protested that Savage had wrestled three times while Junkyard Dog had an easy night.

He had a point too, I was honestly rooting for Macho Man because Junkyard seemed like such an unworthy winner.

Deciding not to finish his promo after Jesse pointed out how hollow his victory was, a folorn-looking JYD simply chatted off-mic to Mean Gene before Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura signed off and the credits rolled.

So, was The Wrestling Classic tournament better than the never-ending nightmare that was Wrestlemania 4?

Well, yes and no.

On the one hand, there was some genuinely enjoyable wrestling here.

Savage/Dynamite was the best thing on the card while Orndorff/Orton delivered and Steamboat/Savage was also a gem.

On the other hand, I think we had like 3 clean finishes in the whole tournament and a lot of dumb booking, especially when it came to Junkyard Dog.

The guy had one three minute match against Iron Sheik, wrestled (and I use that term very loosely here) for about 40 seconds against Moondog Spot and didn’t even get a three-count from a verified official, and then sat around for an hour enjoying a bye to the final.

Then, he took on a Macho Man who had been working his ass of all night and could only beat him by Countout.

All this, and we’re supposed to think JYD has truly earned his tournament win?

It was incredibly stupid, but a good bit of nostalgia with a smattering of good wrestling to boot.

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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.