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

Showing posts with label King Kong Bundy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label King Kong Bundy. Show all posts

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Event Review: Saturday Night's Main Event 2 (1985)

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Event logo
October 3, 1985 (aired October 5th)
Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Following the success of the first Saturday Night's Main Event show five months earlier, the World Wrestling Federation returned to prime time television in October 1985 with a show that proved more than ever that Vince McMahon was always more interested in the entertainment aspect of his beloved sports entertainment.


Sure, tonight's show featured some wrestling, and we even sewed the seeds for the inevitable build to Wrestlemania 2, but for the most part, Saturday Night's Main Event 2 was focussed on a hillbilly wedding and George Steele hiding in a zoo.

Here's what went down:






Nikolai Volkoff Will Take the Title Back to the Soviet Union

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Nikolai Volkoff and Freddie Blassie
We began tonight's show with Mean Gene Okerlund interviewing Nikolai Volkoff and his manager, Classie Freddie Blassie.

Volkoff had a WWF Championship flag match against Hulk Hogan tonight so, naturally, he promised to win the title and take it back to his homeland.

Blassie warned us that Volkoff always meant what he said, which was supposed to be scary.

Offering a retort, his opponent, Hulk Hogan promised to stay true and defend the red, white, and blue tonight, because whatcha gonna do, when Hulkamania and the US of A run wild on you, brother?

Welcome to Saturday Night's Main Event

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Jesse 'The Body' Ventura & Vince McMahon hosted the show
Our commentators for tonight's show were none other than Vince McMahon and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura. We got the usual opening words from them, but not before Mean Gene gave us another pre-recorded interview.

This one was with Uncle Elmer, who would get legitimately married later on in the show, and his best man, Hillbilly Jim. The two were excited for tonight, so naturally, that evil villain Rowdy Roddy Piper had to interrupt their promo and rain on their parade.

Ventura was equally as unimpressed with the wedding, telling Vince that all he cared about was the wrestling.

Please Rise and Respect the Singing of the Soviet National Anthem

Nobody rose, of course, and nobody respected it, but Nikolai Volkoff sang anyway after which Hogan told Mean Gene how infuriated he was with Volkoff carrying "our enemy's flag" to the ring.

With all of that out of the way, it was finally down to ringside for our opening contest.

Flag Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Freddie Blassie)

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Hulk Hogan beat Nikolai Volkoff on the showThis was billed as a 'flag match,' but that didn't mean it was 'capture the flag' rules or anything like that. It was literally just a normal singles match which each man's flag propped up in the corner.

The match was a good effort by mid-1980s WWF standards, and that's what's important to remember here. Trying to watch these kinds of matches through the filter of modern pro wrestling is always going to make pretty much everything look crappy, so I'm trying not to do that as best I can.

Sure, there'll still be bad matches on these shows. Sometimes things just suck no matter how you look at it, but Hogan vs. Volkoff didn't.

It was a product of its time and it delighted the live audience. At one point, Hogan reversed a piledriver attempt with a simple back-body-drop, and the crowd exploded in a way that modern audiences don't when watching even the most intricate of high spots.

Predictably, Hogan put his opponent away after a few minutes of decent-for-the-time action.
Your Winner and still WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Hulk Hogan is interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund
Afterward, Hogan tore up the Soviet flag and used it to shine his boots just to ensure that there was some element of the flags being involved in this loosely-defined 'flag match.'

As Hogan celebrated, Vince McMahon encouraged us to stay tuned from more of the best in "wrestling and romance." Somewhere in Japan, Genichiro Tenryu suddenly had an idea.

Whatcha Gonna Do, Brother?

If you were a Hulkamaniac, this was the show for you.

Cutting his third promo of the show (and we were only fifteen minutes in), The Hulkster was stoked about his big victory and delivered a basic "I told you so," message to Nikolai. Hogan was also excited about the upcoming wedding because "it prove[d] wrestlers can be nice people."

You tell 'em, Hulk.

Uncle Elmer Ain't Worried

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Uncle Elmer, Hillbilly Jim and Cousin Junior
Backstage, we saw Uncle Elmer's fiance, Joyce, getting ready for her wedding.

Out on the arena floor, Mean Gene asked Elmer himself whether he was more worried about his upcoming match with Gerry valiant or his impending nuptials.

Being a babyface and all, he wasn't worried about either, and when it came to the match, it would soon turn out he had no reason to be worried, either.

Uncle Elmer (w/ Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Junior) vs. Gerry Valiant

About six months after this, Uncle Elmer would compete in what was literally the worst professional wrestling match this writer has ever seen - an absolute farce of a performance against Adrian Adonis at Wrestlemania 2.

That was the bad match against which all other bad matches are judged on this blog. No matter how much a bout sucks, as long as it doesn't suck as much as Elmer/Adonis, that's fine with me.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Uncle Elmer and Hillbilly Jim about Elmer's wedding
Anyway, Elmer didn't have the chance to suck tonight. As soon as the bell rang, Valiant ran at him, but got slammed and pinned in six seconds flat.

That was it.
Your Winner: Uncle Elmer

Post-match, Howard Finkle announced that the six-second victory was a new WWF record, beating out the previous record set by King Kong Bundy in his win over S.D Jones at the first Wrestlemania.

Mean Gene then interviewed Elmer, who chuckled at his own quip that Valiant shouldn't have bothered taking his jacket off if he wasn't planning on staying. Haha.

The Bounty is Set

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Jesse Ventura interviews Bobby Heenan in the ring
On an in-ring edition of The Body Shop (think Piper's Pit but with dumbells on the floor instead of a tartan rug), Jesse Ventura welcomed his guest, Paul Orndorff's former manager, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan.

Heenan declared that even though he had previously put a $25,000 bounty on the head of Mr. Wonderful, he was now upping that to $50,000 and would happily pay it to Roddy Piper if the Rowdy One could take out Orndorff in their upcoming match.

Out on the arena floor, the talking continued with Piper telling Mean Gene that he would gladly take out Orndorff, and would happily rip Heenan's head off if he refused to pay up.

Finally, we got some more wrestling.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene interviews Roddy PiperMr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper 

This was the best match out of both Saturday Night's Main Event shows so far, and it wasn't even much of a match. Instead, Orndorff beat Piper senseless around the ring and on the arena floor until the referee threw the whole thing out as a double count-out in under five minutes.

Though that result may have put a dampener on things for some people, it was such a spirited brawl with such a hot crowd that it proved very enjoyable indeed.
Double-Count.

Post-match, the two brawled all the way to the backstage area where Piper locked himself in a dressing room to escape the wrath of Mr. Wonderful.

Uncle Elmer Gets Married

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Uncle Elmer and Joyce Stazko got married on the show
Despite being referred to as "Uncle Elmer" throughout the ceremony, this was apparently a legitimate wedding between Stan Frazier and Joyce Stazko. Unlike normal wrestling weddings that end in some kind of shenanigans, this one was relatively smooth except for the interruption of Roddy Piper.

Hot Rod had spent most of the show being very vocal about his disdain for these nuptials, so it was no surprise when he turned up during the whole "does anybody have any reason why these two should not be married?" deal. Piper had a reason, and that reason was that everybody stunk.

Wedding guest Hulk Hogan saw Piper off, leaving the rest of the ceremony to go unplanned.

As segments go, there's not much else to tell you about it other than the fact that Vince and Jesse talked over the whole thing and then repeatedly asked each other what was being said by the officiant. You know guys, if you just shut up and listen, you'd be able to hear it.

We're The Real Giants

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd and Bobby Heenan interviewed by The Meanest Gene of Them All
After all that, we went to Mean Gene Okerlund who was standing by for an interview with Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and his men, Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy.

The two wrestlers were mad about Andre The Giant calling himself a giant because, according to them, they were the real giants.

This was actually a fun 1980s heel promo in all its "We're very angry and shouty" glory.

Battle of the Giants
Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy vs. Andre The Giant & Tony Atlas

Here, the two teams attempted to set a new world record for the least amount of wrestling in a wrestling match. They would have set the record too if Tony Atlas hadn't jumped around a bit during his ninety seconds of ring time.

On either side of that, Andre basically walked back and forth around the ring with King Kong Bundy. It wasn't very interesting, but let's be honest, this was never going to be a classic.

After about four minutes, the lack of action came to an unspectacular finish with a disqualification win for the babyfaces.
Your Winners: Andre The Giant and Tony Atlas

The heels continued to attack the victors after the bell, prompting a Hulk Hogan To the Rescue run in.

George of the Jungle

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - George Steele does his elephant impression for Mean Gene
After a brief in-ring promo from Hogan in which he said nothing of note, we went to a pre-recorded clip in which Mean Gene Okerlund arrived at a zoo in a tiger-print jeep that even Joe Exotic would find embarrassing.

Okerlund's mission was to find George 'The Animal' Steele who, he told us, 'the whole world had been looking for.'

If you recall, Steele had been turned on by his partners Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff at the first Saturday Night's Main Event and ended up reconciling with Captain Lou Albano.

The reconciliation led to that Wrestlecap-worthy episode of Tuesday Night Titans where Lou tried to cure Steele of his mental difficulties by having him hypnotized by 'Dr. Sigmund Zif.'

IT even worked, temporarily, but an overload of the funky brain thing they stuck on Steele's head overloaded, causing The Animal to be crazier than ever. Since then, he'd been hiding out in this zoo pointing at camels, and Mean Gene had come to find him.

Nothing happened here. They walked around looking at animals. Gene said the name of them and then George said which WWF performer they reminded him of. (Hippo = King Kong Bundy, weasel = Heenan, obviously). It was relatively entertaining, sure, but nowhere near on the level of that insane Sigmund Zif angle.

World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions The Dream Team Brutus Beefcake & Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine (w/ Johnny Valiant) vs. Lanny Poffo & Tony Garea

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene interviews The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake, Greg Valentine and their manager, Johnny Valiant)
Before the match, we were reminded of the time the Dream Team stole a victory over the U.S Express. Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham would be out on the front row to watch this match, presumedly to size up Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake for an upcoming title match, but in a fun pre-match promo, the champs insisted that they didn't care one way or another.

They were the true champions and, to them, that was all that mattered.

The match itself was about as fun as a three-and-a-half-minute match could get in the 1980s, with Lanny Poffo and Tony Garea jumping about the place to make the champs look impressive.

Unfortunately, no amount of leaping for Lanny and his partner would help the challengers on this night. Valentine locked Garea in his patented figure-four, and that was all she wrote.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: the Dream team

Finally, we went to the wedding reception for Uncle Elmer which was an interesting experience to say the least.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Uncle Elmer and Joyce at their wedding reception
Still wearing his wrestling attire (seriously, imagine being at a wedding reception in your undies), Lanny Poffo read a poem dedicated to the happy couple before singer Tiny Tim randomly turned up and gave Elmer one of his famous ukeleles.

Next, Jesse Ventura decided that he was going to read a poem too though, naturally, his was all about how terrible an idea it was to mix wrestling and romance.

Never one to let anybody else have the spotlight for too long, Hulk Hogan was the focus for the final part of tonight's show. Still sitting at Uncle Elmer & Joyce's wedding reception, he told Vince McMahon that he accepted the challenge laid down by Bobby Heenan.

At the next Saturday Night's Main Event, he would team up with Andre The Giant to face King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd.

I wonder how that turned out.

Never one to let anyone else take the spotlight for too long, Hulk Hogan was the focus of the penultimate spot of Uncle Elmer's wedding reception. He told Vince McMahon that he accepted the challenge laid down by Bobby Heenan and at the next Saturday Night's Main Event, he would team with Andre The Giant to take on King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd.

Finally, Uncle Elmer and his beautiful bride Joyce had their first dance as the credits rolled, and Saturday Night's Main Event 2 came to an end.







If you're a wrestling purist only interested in five-star matches and lashings of #WORKRATE,  then you probably won't find much to enjoy by diving back to the second Saturday Night's Main Event special. 

Sure, the main event tag team title match was fun, but this wasn't really a wrestling show as much as it was a show about wrestlers. In particular, it was a show about a hillbilly wrestler getting married, with a B-story that would prove to set up Wrestlemania 2's main event.

By rescuing Andre The Giant and Tony Atlas from the clutches of Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy, Hulk Hogan would establish himself a rivalry with Bundy and the two would go onto to have a cage match at the aforementioned 'Mania.

If you're interested in checking out the review of that show, you can do so here. Otherwise, thanks for reading.




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For other Saturday Night's Main Event reviews, see:
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Thursday, 9 January 2020

PPV REVIEW: Heroes of Wrestling 1999

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Event logo
October 10, 1999
Casino Magic Hotel and Casino, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Heroes of Wrestling has often been regarded as one of -if not the- worst wrestling Pay Per Views of all time.

Back in the day, The Wrestling Observer called it the worst major wrestling event of 1999 and since that time this one-off show has largely been used as the benchmark against which all other bad wrestling shows are judged.

Yet surely no single show could be that terrible...

...could it?

For years, this writer had no idea.

Heroes of Wrestling was one of those mythical shows that I'd often heard about but never actually come across until, a few months ago, I discovered that somebody had uploaded a really poor quality version of it for us all to enjoy endure.

Without further ado then, let's head to the Casino Magic Hotel and Casino in Bay St. Louis, Missippi and find out if this really was the worst of the worst.






Yoko Hates Bundy

We began tonight's broadcast with King Kong Bundy being interviewed about tonight's event, only to be interrupted by former two-time WWF Champion, Yokozuna.

For some unexplained reason, Yoko was very angry with Bundy and tried to attack him, only to be pulled away by a gaggle of officials.

Welcome to Casino Magic

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Dutch Mantell and Randy Rosenbloom called the event
We were then welcomed to Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi by our lead play-by-play man for the evening, Randy Rosenbloom.

IF you've never heard of Rosenbloom, he's a sportscaster and actor from Southern California who stepped in at the last minute as a replacement for the legendary Gordon Solie.

Solie had been heavily advertised for the show but had unfortunately succumbed to the very same throat cancer which would tragically take his life just a few months later.

His stand-in, Dirty Dutch Mantell gave us a rundown of the card which included such high-profile bouts as Too Cold Scorpio vs. Julio Fantastico and 'Sweet' Stan Lane vs. Tully Blanchard.

With that out of the way, it was down to ringside for our introductions.

Tonight, somebody's gonna get their ass whooped in here tonight

No, that isn't a reference to Mark Henry, but rather to our ring announcer for the evening, Crisper Stanford.

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Crisper Stanford was the terrible ring announcer
Little -in fact, nothing- is known about Stanford. The only reference to him online relates to this event.

What I can tell you though, is that the man was seven shades of cringe.

This is genuinely, word-for-word what he said to get the crowd excited and open the show:

"Welcome to the Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi where tonight, legendary grudge matches will be settled once and for all."

So far, not too terrible, right?

Just wait, it gets worse.

"So, throw down your toys and get out of the sandbox, play time's over because tonight, somebody's gonna get their assss-whipped tonight in here."

Seriously, it was like a bad Michael Buffer impression from a guy who had clearly been watching too much Spinal Tap.

The Samoan Swat Team (Samu & Fatu w/ Sika and Paul Adams) vs. "Rocker" Marty Jannetty & Tommy Rogers

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - The Samoan Swat Team with their manager Paul Adams
Yes, Marty Janetty really was billed as "Rocker," and no, the Fatu here isn't Rikishi, who I believe was doing his thing with the WWF at the time.

Rather, it's Rikishi's brother, Sam Fatu, better known as Tonga Kid/Tama, who Retro Pro Wrestling readers will have last met teaming with Haku as the Islanders all the way back at the first-ever Royal Rumble in 1988.

Before Fatu and Samu could lock up with their opponents, their manager, Paul Adams, took to the microphone.

If you've never heard of Adams before, don't worry neither has anybody else. He was basically an indie wrestling version of Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, albeit with all the charisma and personality surgically removed.

Give Bateman  Adams his due though, he did manage the rare feat of speaking for a full five minutes without actually saying a single thing.

The basic gist of Adams' promo was that nobody in the audience would dare face Samu and Fatu, but it was delivered in the most wooden, cringe-worthy fashion ever, so nobody seemed to care.

The match itself wasn't all that much better.

The sole highlights were Fantastic Tommy Rogers hitting the Samoans with a double DDT and Marty Jannetty diving over the top rope, but to even call those highlights is being polite.

Speaking of Jannetty, I spent most of the match trying to figure out if he was wearing cut-off jean shorts instead of actual ring attire because he was trying to be edgy and alternative (such was the culture during the Attitude Era period), or because he simply couldn't be bothered to get dressed properly.

Not that it mattered.

After a few minutes, Samu drilled Rogers with TKO and this dull, uneventful contest was over.
Your Winners: The Samoan Swat Team

Cutting to a pre-tape, we saw George 'The Animal' Steele and Sensational Sherri Martel checking into a hotel. With Martel fawning all over him, Steele literally tore off her dress as the two went into a hotel room.

Yes, we were supposed to believe that Sherri found The Animal sexy and wanted to do the nasty with him. Maybe it would have been more convincing if Mantell and Rosenbloom didn't talk over the whole thing.

As it was, this came off as a weird segment that totally telegraphed the ending of the next bout.

George Steele is Insane

Back to the show, Sherri gave an interview to our backstage reporter, Michael St. John.

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Michael st. John interviews Sensuous Sherri Martel and her man, George 'The Animal' Steele"You know, in the pro wrestling business you get to the top by your body count," said Sherri. "And George Steele is CERTIFIABLY INSANE!"

I'm sure there was a link between those two points, but Martel never mentioned it.

Instead, she just showed off her cleavage a bit until Steele himself arrived, proving how insane he was by wrapping his arm around his manager and shouting FIGHT! FIGHT!

In the earlier hotel segment, Steele was shown to be a calm, collected dude capable of holding a conversation with Sherri, but now, the very act of arriving to a wrestling show had turned him into a MAD MAN!

My goodness. I've been a big fan of Sherri's ever since I first started watching wrestling over 25 years ago and I feel bad that she had to put up with this garbage.

Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine vs. George 'The Animal Steele (w/ "Sensuous" Sherri Martel)

'Sensuous' was the name Sherri had first used in WCW when the Turner-backed company realised 'Sensational' was copyrighted by Vince.

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine faced George 'The Animal' Steele
Before the bell, Greg Valentine took to the microphone and told us that his father, Johnny Valentine had been feuding with Steele for years, but now that pops had retired, it was up to The Hammer to settle the score once and for all.

The veteran promised to put his rival in the figure four and walk out with Sherri.

Give the guy his credit, he was true to his word, kinda.

Sherri turned on her 'lover' within the first two minutes of the match, but Steele didn't realise it because he'd stupidly got his shirt stuck over his head. The heel turn was so predictable that the live crowd didn't even react to it.

After getting his vision back, Steele lumbered around and found an International Object and jabbed his opponent with it. Not realising his manager didn't actually like him, he then handed it to Sherri, who -not surprisingly- passed it to The Hammer.

Barely passing as actual pro wrestling, more atrocious inaction followed until Sherri leveled George with a chair, allowing Hammer to pick up the three count.

Seriously, that was Adrian Adonis/Uncle Elmer at Wrestlemania 2 level of terrible.
Your Winner: Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine

Keeping his promise, The Hammer left with Sherri in tow, then returned to the ring to attack Steele as the CERTIFIABLY INSANE legend ate the turnbuckle. This time, Steel no-sold a chair shot and chased Valentine back to the locker room.

Julio Fantastico is Wrestling's Greatest Superstar

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Michael St. John interviews Julio Fantastico
Out in the back, Michael St John interviewed Julio Fantastico, the man you probably recognise best as Julio Dinero from ECW or possibly TNA.

You know when people who aren't actually involved in wrestling do an impression of a pro wrestler by ranting and throwing in a bunch of cliches? That's what Fantastico sounded like here.

In a cookie-cutter promo, Fantastico claimed to be Wrestling's Greatest Superstar and vowed to win every match he ever wrestled in, starting with his upcoming bout against Too Cold Scorpio.

When St. John suggested that the rookie Fantastico was underestimating his veteran opponent, Fantastico dismissed him and once again asserted his belief that he was the greatest of all time.

Julio Fantastico vs. Too Cold Scorpio

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Scorpio vs. Julio Fantastico
This was the best match on the card up to this point, but that's really not saying very much.

Scorpio came to the ring brandishing a replica of The Big Gold Belt which was never explained by anyone. I like to think Scorpio just thought 'f- it,' and decided he was the champion.

Once the bell rang, the two went at it with what started out as decent wrestling but soon disintegrated into a half-arsed, by-the-numbers routine that looked scripted and was devoid of any actual emotion.

At one point, Fantastico went to dive onto Scorpio on the outside but somehow messed it up so badly he ended up skinning the cat instead. It looked ridiculous, especially when he backed up and clearly just did the spot over.

More back-and-forth happened until Scorpio hit Fantastico with two Tumbleweeds from the top rope and scored the three.
Your Winner: Too Cold Scorpio

Captain Lou Albano had joined the commentary for this match. After Scorpio's win, Rosenbloom produced a document which announced that Captain Lou was the new Commissioner of Heroes of Wrestling.

The legend was so overwhelmed by this announcement that he practically started weeping on Dutch Mantell's shoulder while calling Heroes of Wrestling 'The Greatest Organization Around' and 'The Greatest Production of All Time.'

Man, how much were they paying this guy?

King Kong Bundy is Irate

Since his last attempt at a promo was interrupted by Yokozuna, King Kong Bundy got a do-over,  promising that he was going to hit Yoko with the Avalanch and pin him for the five count.

It was a fairly generic 'Angry Big Man' promo, but at least it was effective in generating interest about their match.

The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Nikita Brezhnikov) vs. Luke & Butch

Man, this is getting painful to watch.

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Nikolai Volkoff sings the Russian National AnthemAs the former Bushwackers made their way to the ring, Randy Rosenbloom called them "Luke and Dutch."

This was far from his only cock-up of the evening. In the earlier Scorpio/Fantastico bout, he called a dropkick and 'leg drop' and made countless errors throughout the show.

Speaking of errors, whoever decided that having The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff compete in an actual match made one of the biggest errors ever committed in pro wrestling.

The two were so old and past their prime that they couldn't really do much of anything.

At one point, Koloff picked up one of the Bushwhackers and then, instead of slamming him to the mat, kind of just gently lay him down as though lying a newborn baby down in their crib.

Before any of that, however, the two foreign heels had to work the crowd a bit.

Volkoff sang the Russian National Anthem before Iron Sheik did his Persian Clubs routine and then randomly cut a promo on Hulk Hogan and Bob Backlund, neither of whom were appearing here tonight.

Naturally, the crowd responded to this with loud "USA! USA!" chants that they would keep up for the rest of the match. Once the bell rang, these pro-USA chants were encouraged by New Zealanders Luke & Butch.

Honestly.

This was a terrible train wreck of a match, ending with a win for the Bushwhackers when the heels messed up and Volkoff accidentally blasted his own partner with an International Object.
Your Winners: Luke & Butch

Afterward, Sheik and Koloff almost came to blows, but were encouraged to hug it out by their manager, a random dude in a Russian military outfit who was apparently called Nikita Brezhnikov.

Tully Blanchard Has a Flashback

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Tully Blanchard - Man ChardIn true Horseman style, Tully Blanchard arrived earlier in the day in a limousine. Happy to be there, Blanchard was about to give an interview to Michael St John. Yet before he could say anything, he was attacked by Sweet Stan Lane.

Later, Blanchard cut a compelling promo that proved to be the best thing on the show up to this point.

The former Brainbuster was unhappy. Now long retired, he had hoped that Heroes of Wrestling would be a bit of fun, but, like everybody watching it, those hopes had been dashed.

Getting really intense, Blanchard claimed that the attack by Lane had given him a flashback to his most violent battles with the likes of Dusty Rhodes and Wahoo McDaniel and that he was going to channel all the rage and anger built up inside him into taking out Sweet Stan.

This was very good stuff.

Tully Blanchard vs. Sweet Stan Lane

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Sweet Stan Lane faced Tully Blanchard
As bad as this show was, it, of course, makes perfect sense that the most solid match on the card was also one of the shortest.

Before the bell, Sweet Stan Lane took to the microphone to do his own ring introduction. Tully Blanchard arrived on the scene and the two went at it in a basic, no-frills kind of match which still managed to outshine just about everything else on the card.

The most hilarious thing about this match was that the company were trying to get over Stan Lane as some kind of Ladies Man Adonis type figure.

To that end, they kept cutting to the shots of various women in the crowd, but all the women looked totally bored, miserable, or just outright confused.

After seven minutes of decent action, Lane hit Blanchard with a belly-to-back suplex but kept his shoulders on the mat. Tully got his up at two and that meant he won the match.
Your Winner: Tully Blanchard

Lane attacked his rival afterward, but Blanchard fought back with a suplex and sent The Fabulous One packing.

Out in the back, Michael St John interviewed Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart, who had King Kong Bundy with him for some unexplained reason.

Neidhart was his usual crazy self as he insisted that he didn't really have a problem with Jake Roberts, but would fight him anyway later on in the show.

"Don't worry about that snake," said Bundy. "We'll take care of it."

One Man Gang vs. Abdullah The Butcher (w/ Honest John Cheatum)

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 - One Man Gang faced Abdullah The Butcher
This was garbage in every possible sense of the word.

Despite not being billed as one, this was a basic No DQ match in which almost nothing happened.

Prior to the bell, we were shown an angry, pre-recorded promo from One Man Gang in which he just shouted a lot without saying much of anything. He then spent half the match wrapping Abdullah The Butcher up in a chain.

The other half of the match saw Abby jabbing OMG with his trademark fork.

Both men bled a lot and then got counted out.

It was awful.
Double Countout

The two continued to brawl for a long while afterward. Gang even blasted a security guard with a chair.

When Card Games Go Bad

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 - Cowboy Bob OrtonUp next, Randy Rosenbloom told us that, despite "feuding since 1984," Cowboy Bob Orton and Superfly Jimmy Snuka had agreed to put their differences aside and play a game of cards with Captain Lou.

However, things went awry when Snuka and Albano accused Orton of cheating. To make him pay for this terrible crime, Snuka attacked Orton while Albano hurled abuse at him.

That was a pre-taped bit. Cutting back to the show, Michael St John interviewed Captain Lou and Snuka about the latter's upcoming match with Orton.

Albano ranted and raved about how badly Orton was going to get his ass kicked. Meanwhile, Superfly just kind of stood there, arms by his sides, staring off into the distance. In fact, I'm not entirely sure that he didn't have his eyes closed and was taking a quick standing power nap.

Offering a retort, Randy's dad cut a promo of his own, claiming that he hadn't cheated, but was now angry anyway and would beat sup Superfly.

Cowboy Bob Orton vs. Superfly Jimmy Snuka (w/ Captain Lou Albano)

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 - Cowboy Bob Orton faced Jimmy Snuka
I've seen other reviewers call this the match of the night and 'the least sucky thing on the show,' but I'm not buying it.

The whole thing clocked in at just under 12 minutes, at least half of which saw Bob Orton lock Jimmy Snuka in an armbar while the crowd chanted homophobic slurs at him.

The other half was just dull and uneventful.

Snuka won with a crossbody, even though it would have taken just as much effort to hit his trademark top rope splash.
Your Winner: Superfly Jimmy Snuka

Out in the back, a clearly hammered Jake 'The Snake' Roberts slurred his way through what would have otherwise been an awesome promo.

“If you're in a casino, you should gamble," he began. "Let me tell you something, Anvil, you don’t want to play cards with me, because I’ll cheat. Okay? I cheat. You want to play twenty-one, I got twenty-two.

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 - Jake Roberts cuts a drunken promo
"You want to play BlackJack? I got two of those too. You want to play Aces and Eights? Well, I got some of those too. The bottom line is this. You do not gamble with me. When you walk into a casino, when you want to gamble, the main thing you must do, is this, you must accept losing. I don’t accept losing, and neither does Damien. Damien, my friend! My friend Damien is right here.

"You don’t want to see this, do you? Let me show you something (*camera pans down to the snake in a bag on the floor*). I tell you what Anvil, go ahead and roll the dice. Mr. Cameraman, get your ass back up here. Hello? I’m talkin’ to you. Get that camera back up here. That’s what you should worry about Anvil. The bottom line is this, when the DDT comes, then the snake comes out. Worry about the DDT. DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! THINK ABOUT IT!”

Even when he was plastered, Roberts could still deliver a promo better than most of today's current roster.

Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart vs. Jake 'The Snake' Roberts

It's amazing that out of the four men involved in tonight's main event, only one of them is still alive and it's Jake 'The Snake' Roberts.

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 - Jake Roberts drunk
The man the announcers mistakenly referred to as a former Intercontinental Championship staggered to the ring clearly in no fit state to compete.

Seriously. Roberts's appearance here makes Jeff Hardy's Victory Road 2011 low point look like the model of good sobriety.

Reaching the ring, Roberts tried to open the bag to let Damien the Snake out, but was so blitzed he couldn't do it. Instead, he stumbled backstage then stumbled out again, sans shirt, and molested a female fan at ringside.

Eventually, the Master of the DDT made it into the ring for his first appearance in a Retro Pro Wrestling review since WWF Royal Rumble 1997.

As you can imagine, the match was a disaster, but, to his credit, Jim Neidhart did at least try to carry it.

For a few minutes, he basically wrestled himself in close proximity to Roberts, but things only got worse.

After failing to open the snake bag earlier, his snake actually started to slither out unexpectedly, so Roberts grabbed it, shoved it between his legs and started to feign masturbation with it.

This in a crowd full of children.

Next, Roberts went to the mat, not entirely on purpose, and started to lick the snake's face.

As the match reached its most disastrous point, King Kong Bundy made his way to the ring. He and a Mini Bundy (a random fat dude with a bald head who looked like Bundy) conferred with Neidhart to discuss the new finish, after which Jim went to the ring and slapped Jake in a chin lock.

Not long after, Yokozuna and his enormous ass waddled out to the ring, making this a tag team match.

Yokozuna & Jake 'The Snake' Roberts vs. Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart & King Kong Bundy
Seriously, Yoko had ballooned since we last saw him at WWF Survivor Series 1996. Weighing an estimated  760 lb (345 kg), the poor guy looked so big it was amazing he could even move.

Not that he did very much.

Instead, despite apparently having a huge rivalry with King Kong Bundy, he interacted with his originally scheduled opponent for all of ten seconds then spent the rest of the time on the outside while Jake took a beating.

Seriously, they changed this to a tag team match because Jake Roberts was in no fit state to wrestle, but then he finished the bulk of the match anyway.

In the end, Jake did make the tag to Yoko, but then he fell over and King Kong Bundy pinned him anyway.
Your Winners: Jim Neidhart and King Kong Bundy

It wasn't over yet.

In the ring, Yoko got hold of Mini Bundy and held him in place while the crowd chanted for a DDT. Roberts either couldn't or wouldn't deliver, so a frustrated Yokozuna shot the guy off the ropes and hit him with a Samoan Drop.

Jake then draped his snake over the guy and the show just faded to black without a word from the announcers. When it came back on a few seconds later, it was to the tragic sight of a massively overweight Yokozuna leaning over to check on a fallen, drunken Jake 'The Snake' Roberts.






So, was Heroes of Wrestling really as bad as people say it was?

No, it was a hundred times worse.

There was very little to like about the show, and the main event was just a sad sight to behold.

If you really hate your own life, this is a good way to torture yourself, otherwise avoid it. Not even morbid curiosity makes it worth putting yourself through two and a half hours of torture.

I'm just glad Jake was finally able to get back on the road to recovery, though I think the biggest tragedy here is Yokozuna.

The guy was so overweight that something bad was bound to happen sooner rather than later. Indeed, he passed away a year later, making this atrocity of a show the last PPV he would appear on.



1999 events reviewed so far
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Saturday, 9 February 2013

PPV REVIEW: WWF Wrestlemania 2

WWF / WWE WRESTLEMANIA 2 - EVENT POSTER
New York, Illinois, Los Angeles
April 7, 1986 


The late, great Gorilla Monsoon had a saying at the early Wrestlemania events which went something like this: "That was/This is a happening!"
Sadly, that's about the best thing one could possibly say about the second 'Mania event: It happened.

The first,  and indeed only, Mania to take place on a Monday, this was basically a terrible show laden with poor matches, poor booking and even worse commenting, occasionally interspersed with a decent match.

Split across three different venues in three different time zones, let's look at what happened.

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York
It should be noted that the version I'm watching for this review is an apparently heavily-edited Coliseum Home Video release which begins with a bog standard introduction and the voice of Vince McMahon, sounding for all the world as though even he would rather be anywhere but at the event welcoming us to 'Wrestlemania 2, what the world has come to.'





Yes ladies and gentlemen, this is what the world has come to. You see how low we've sunk?

'Mr. Wonderful' Paul Orndorff vs. 'Magnificent' Don Muraco (w/ Mr. Fuji)
WWF / WWE WRESTLEMANIA 2 - 'The Sinister' Mr. Fuji backs Don Muraco
As both men locked up in the center of the ring, we were treated to some pre-recorded audio clips in which Muraco claimed he could beat Orndorff because he had 'The Sinister Mr. Fuji' with him before Orndorff replied by talking about how much he'd been to the gym lately.

Mr. Wonderful gained the early advantage in the match, even taking time out to racially insult Mr. Fuji before  squaring up once again with the Magnificent one. The two locked up and Muraco gained the upperhand with what guest commentator Susan St. James referred to as 'ancient Chinese techniques' but was, in actual fact, a top wristlock.

Before long, the action spilled to the outside and both men were counted out in under five minutes, drawing a very audible 'BULLSHIT!' chant from the New York crowd.
Double count-out

If you thought that was a bad way to start the show, things were only set to get worse from there on in.

George 'The Animal' Steele vs. 'The Macho Man' Randy Savage (w/ Miss. Elizabeth)
The story here was a simple one; Savage was the dastardly heel who treated his pretty young valet Elizabeth like dirt. All the while, crazed mad man George Steele had developed something of an infatuation with Liz, drawing the jealous ire of  'The Macho Man.'

That was good enough for the two to clash at the second annual Wrestlemania, though sadly not good enough to actually produce a decent match.

If watching Savage run away from Steele for a while before the two engaged in fairly bland combat wasn't dull enough, even that was ruined by Susan St. James who uttered one cry of 'uh oh' after another whenever either man went anywhere near each other.

At first this was kind of comical, but by the end, even Vince McMahon had caught the 'uh ohs' and it became nothing more than annoying.

Things came to a close when Savage rolled up Steele and got a ropes-assisted three-count for the win.
Your Winner: 'Macho Man' Randy Savage

Afterwards, 'The Animal' ate some turnbuckle and chased a referee away. It was rubbish.

George Wells vs. Jake 'The Snake' Roberts.
If you don't remember former Canadian Football Leaguer and professional wrestler George Wells, don't worry about it, nobody else does either.

Still, the man looked kinda of awesome as he beat Roberts up and down the ring to yet more 'uh oh's from James and McMahon.

Not a good match by anybody's standards, but at least fun to watch  Jake Roberts sell like a trooper before picking up the win with a crafty DDT.
Your winner: Jake 'The Snake' Roberts

Post-match, Roberts draped his snake over Wells, causing the defeated star to foam at the mouth.

WWF / WWE WRESTLEMANIA 2 - 'Rowdy Roddy Piper' promises to quit wrestling if Mr. T can knock him out
Following a recap of Rowdy Roddy Piper's involvement at the end of a Mr. T boxing match on Saturday Night's Main Event, we were taken to pre-recorded interviews with  both men.

Speaking first, Piper first claimed that he was cute before going on to insist that he would retire from everything in the world if T could knock him out and ending the interview by racially abusing his upcoming opponent.

In response, Mr. T, accompanied by Smokin Joe Frazier and The Haiti Kid, insisted that if Piper did some 'dirty stuff', T would also 'do some dirty stuff.'

And that's all there is to say about that.

Special Attraction Boxing Match:
'Rowdy' Roddy Piper (w/ Lou Duva and 'Cowboy' Bob Orton) vs. Mr. T (w/  Smokin Joe Frazier and The Haiti Kid
As boxing matches go, this one was pretty terrible and looked absolutely nothing like an actual boxing match.

As Susan St. James continued to treat us with more 'uh ohs' both men traded the advantage through several rounds of nondescript inaction before the referee took a tumble and, in one of Wrestlemania's more memorable moments, Piper got himself disqualified by bodyslamming his opponent.
Your Winner: Mr. T

With the first main event of the show over with, we were finally spared any more of Susan 'Uh Oh' St. James as the show moved on to part two.

Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois

Our commentary team for this portion of the show consisted of Gorilla Monsoon, 'Mean' Gene Okerlund and some woman called Cathy Lee Crosby who Wikipedia informs me is an actress (hey, don't judge me, I wasn't even two years-old when this show took place).

WWF Women's Championship:
WWF Women's Champion The Fabulous Moolah vs. Velvet McIntyre
WWF / WWE WRESTLEMANIA 2 - The Fabulous Moolah celebrates her win over Velvet McIntyre
The saddest thing about this match is that, even at less than a minute long, it was actually the best match on the card to this point.

McIntyre took control throughout the contest before missing a top rope splash, allowing Moolah to roll on top and gain the pinfall.
Your winner and Still WWF Women's Champion: The Fabulous Moolah

When a minute-long match is the best thing on the show so far, you know you're in trouble.

Flag Match:
Corporal Kirchner vs. Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Classie Freddie Blassie)
Whereas the rules in most flag matches involve capturing your opponent's flag or something along those lines, the rules here were...well, they were never quite explained.

This was certainly billed as a flag match, with both the US flag and the flag of Soviet Russia resting in opposite corners, though what we actually got was a fairly nondescript encounter which ended when Freddie Blassie tossed his walking cane to Volkoff, Kirchner intercepted and struck Volkoff. The referee recovered from being knocked on his booty and made the three count.
Your Winner: Corporal Kirchner.


WWF / WWE WRESTLEMANIA 2 - Atlanta Falcons NFL Star Bill Fralic confronts Big John Studd before they meet in a 20 man battle royale
Afterwards, Kirchner raised the USA flag and waved it above his head. Apparently the rules had been that whoever won would get to wave their flag about. Riveting.

Prior to the upcoming battle royal, Mean Gene moderated a debate between Big John Studd and NFL star Bill Fralic over whether football players or wrestlers were the superior athletes. In an interesting twist, Fralic easily outshone Studd on the mic.

20 Man Open-Invitational Battle Royale
Featuring: Big John Studd, Andre The Giant, The Hart Foundation, Dan Spivey, Bil Fralic, William 'The Refrigerator'  Perry, Russ Francis, Harvey Martin Bruno Sammartino and more.
Another of Wrestlemania's most memorable matches, and one which is included on lots of compilation tapes, let it be known that this one is memorable for the spectacle only, for it was far from a five-star classic.

OK, so few battle royals ever are, but apart from the appearance of Chicago Bears star William 'The Refrigerator  Perry who gained a huge ovation from the Illinois crowd, absolutely nothing interesting happened here.

A big, convoluted mess, this eventually ended with Andre The Giant eliminated The Hart Foundation to pick up the win.
Your Winner: Andre The Giant

Finally, we were given an out-and-out great match next in the form of Illinois' main event.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship: 
WWF Tag Team Champions The Dream Team (Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine & Brutus Beefcake w/ 'Lucious' Johnny Valiant) vs. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid w/ Captain Lou Albano and Ozzy Osborne)
Let's pretend rock star Ozzy wasn't present for this match, since he does nothing and achieves nothing apart from standing around shaking in a salmon-coloured suit.

His men however, did a great job as they worked mostly with Greg Valentine to produce a compelling match which eschewed the usual tag formula to stand out a mile as the best match on the card.

Following an entertaining performance, the Bulldogs captured the titles after Davey Both Smith pinned Valentine.
Your Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: The British Bulldogs

WWF / WWE WRESTLEMANIA 2 - The commentary team for the LA portion of the show included Jesse 'The Body' Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes and TV star ElviraFinally, it was on to the Los Angeles portion of the show.

Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California

For the last part of the show we were led through the action by
Jesse 'The Body' Ventura (looking like an Egyptian pharaoh in drag), sexy vampire TV host Elvira and Lord Alfred Hayes who, despite not saying much throughout the broadcast, at least came across as less nervous than he had the previous year


Ricky Steamboat vs. Hercules Hernandez
A relative newcomer at the time, Hercules Hernandez (still with last name in tact) went one-on-one in arguably one of the best patches he would have for the World Wrestling Federation.

WWF / WWE WRESTLEMANIA 2 - Ricky Steamboat takes it to Hercules Hernandez
Of course, that had much to do with the always-awesome Ricky Steamboat, who probably never had a bad match in his life.

OK, so this wasn't the greatest match of all time, nor did it quite live up to the previous tag team title encounter, but it was nonetheless an enjoyable affair which reached its conclusion when Steamboat nailed Herc' with a bodypress for the three count.
Your winner: Ricky Steamboat

What happened next likely caused deep emotional scars for many who saw it.

Adorable Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Uncle Elmer
So yeah. Here with a big fat man in a granny dress and make-up getting the stuffing beaten out of him by an even bigger fat man dressed like a special needs kid on a day outing.

WWF / WWE WRESTLEMANIA 2 - Uncle Elmer vs. 'Adorable' Adrian Adonis..yep, this happened
Adonis bumped around for a while without a single blow of offence, before something happened that nobody cared about, and Adonis quite literally fell off the top rope, landing on Elmer and pinning him.

This. was. awful.
Your Winner: Adrian Adonis
Your loser: Everybody who saw this match

Thankfully, things picked up with our next match.

Tito Santana & Junkyard Dog vs. Terry & 'Hoss' (Dory) Funk (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Somewhere along the line there was a decent back-story to just how this match came to be, but that isn't as important as the fact that this was all kinds of fun.

With Hoss Funk and Chico taking on most of the actual wrestling work, JYD dealing with his usual smash-mouth offence and Terry Funk (who actually didn't look like an old man in 1986) bumping all over the place in his usual crazy fashion, what we had here was a match that was enjoyable from start to finish.

Following an all-out riot of a bout, Terry Funk smashed JYD with Jimmy Hart's megaphone to win the match for his team.
Your Winners: Terry & Hoss Funk.

At last, it was down to our main event

World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match
WWF Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy (w/ Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan)
The story came from Bundy interfering in Hogan's title defence against Don Muraco, the two heels destroying the champion in the process and injuring his ribs.
WWF / WWE WRESTLEMANIA 2 - King Kong Bundy dominates WWF Champion Hulk Hogan in their WM2 Steel cage match

With said ribs all bandaged up, Hulk Hogan nonetheless stepped inside The Big Blue Cage to gain revenge on King Kong Bundy.

The result was a surprisingly entertaining brawl which ended an otherwise lackluster show on a high note.

Both men played their parts perfectly before Hogan predictably 'Hulked up' and escaped the cage.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan

Following the match, Hogan dragged Bobby Heenan into the ring and beat him up too.






Whilst Wrestlemania I had the historical relevance thing working in its favor, and whilst future shows would have, you know, being decent shows on their side, Wrestlemania 2 had absolutely nothing going for it beyond a couple of decent tag matches and Elvira's boobs. 
Nothing important happened, there are no matches on the card that will change your life, nothing. Skip it, and go watch Wrestlemania III.

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.