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

Thursday, 18 October 2012

PPV REVIEW: WWF Royal Rumble 1990

WWF / WWE Royal Rumble 1990 - Event poster
Orlando Arena in Orlando, Florida
January 21, 1990

A brand new decade was upon us as the World Wrestling Federation presented it's third annual Royal Rumble event. Ushering in a format more familiar to modern-day fans, the 1990 pay per view was a pretty hit and miss affair.

Here's what went down.

With his trademark growl in full force, a hyperactive Vince McMahon ran down tonight's card including a complete itinary of every single participant in the 30-man battle royal before handing over to your commentary team for the evening, none other than Jesse 'The Body' Ventura and Tony 'Greatest Night in Our Sport' Schiavone.

The Fabulous Rougeaus vs. The Bushwhackers
It says something (what exactly, I couldn't be sure), that in 20+ years of being a pro wrestling fan, this is genuinely the first time your writer can ever remember sitting down to watch a Bushwhackers match.

WWF / WWE Royal Rumble 1990 - Jacques Rougeau has a beard!
It probably also says something when The 'Whackers are perhaps more over than I could have ever imagined. I mean seriously, the crowd lose their frickin' minds for Luke and Butch. Then again, as the show goes on, it seems everything is insanely over on this cold January evening.

Here they take on the team with arguably the best entrance music in the history of pro wrestling, The Fabulous Rougeaus in what would be the Canadians' final PPV outing before Raymond retired and Jacques would done the red and black to become the infamous 'Mountie.

As for the match itself, it stunk.

Unlike last year's show, in which the Rougeaus opened the show in rioutous fashion, teaming with Dino Bravo to face Hacksaw Duggan and The Harts, their opening performance here was less wrestling classic, more comedy show for the benefit of the live crowd.

Indeed, whilst the capacity crowd in the Orlando Arena seemed to relish the Bushwhackers' biting of their opponents and the referee and throwing out more heel tactics than the actual heels, on screen it actually looked kind of sloppy.

Ray and Jacques (the latter barely recognisable thanks to his scruffy-looking beard) carried the bulk of the contest but eventually fell pray to a Bushwhackers battering-ram and lost the bout.
Your Winners: The Bushwhackers

In a nice bit of continuity from last year's show, Mean Gene Okerlund quizzed Ted Dibiase about just how he came to be in possession of the #30 slot at the '89 show. This year, it turned out Dibiase had drawn the number one spot, something which seemed to please Okerlund no end.

WWF / WWE Royal Rumble 1990 - The Genius Lanny Poffo
The Genius vs. Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake 
Prior to the opening bell, The Genius cut a promo on his opponent in the form of a tawdry poem, essentially touting his intellectual superiority over Brother Bruti.

Struttin' his way to ringside in a very effeminate pink and white ensemble, the Beefcake went on to deliver a clever, entertaining contest with the man better known as Lanny Poffo.

Comprised mostly of stalling, playing to the crowd and The Genius camping it up, this was a match devoid of what you might normally class as in-ring action.

Yet the more this went on, that became part of its charm as the clearly out-matched Poffo did everything he could to avoid taking a beating from his larger opponent.

In the closing moments, the referee took a wicked bump, allowing Beefcake to put his rival to sleep and begin with the haircut, only for Mr. Perfect to run in for the beatdown.

WWF / WWE Royal Rumble 1990 - Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake
When the referee came to on the outside, he ultimately disqualified both men:
Draw - Double Disqualification

Returning to the back, Sean Mooney began to stir the shit among the Heenan family, taking a perfectly calm stable and instigating an argument between them as to what might happen if Ravishing Rick Rude, Haku and Andre The Giant came face-to-face in the Rumble match.

It was unintentionally hilarious, especially as, with Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan leading his men away, Mooney claimed 'I think I detect some dissension" yes Sean, that YOU started!

Submission match:
Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine vs. 'Rugged' Ronnie Garvin

Accompanied by his manager, Jimmy 'Mouth of the South' Hart, the two rivals went back and forth in an absolutely fantastic submission mission match.

In a bout which was completely different from anything offered by McMahon's company at the time, Greg Valentine and Ronnie Garvin beat the living hell out of each other in a brutally stiff display which turned into what this writer would easily claim to be an underrated classic.

If there was one downside to this match, it was the number of times both men attempted a pinfall. Ya know, in a submission match?

WWF / WWE Royal Rumble 1990 - Rugged Ronnie Garvin vs. Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine
All fine at first of course, have both men go for a pin only to be denied by the referee, and you set the scene well, a reminder to the wrestlers, and the audience, reminded that the only way to win this bout would be to make your opponent submit.

But to do it over, and over, and over again throughout the course of a lengthy contest? Despite frequent reminders? I could be alone in this, but it really does make both Valentine and The Hammer look kind of stupid.

That aside, this really is a compelling match that this reviewer could watch all day long and which ends when Valentine taps to Garvin's scorpion deathlock (or 'reverse figure four', as Shiavone called it)
Your winner: Rugged Ronnie Garvin

Returning to the backstage area, Okerlund interviewed Mr. Perfect, who laid into Brutus Beefcake to set up their eventual meeting at Wrestlemania VI. The future Intercontinental Champion also announced his number for the rumble; 'the perfect number', #30. Hennig was captivating in his promo, arguably the best wrestler on the mic besides Jake Roberts on the entire show.

Brother Love interviews Sensational Queen Sherri and Saphire
Having a segment before the live crowd which had barely anything to do with two or more wrestlers, ya know, wrestling, was becoming something of a Royal Rumble tradition. It started with Dino Bravo's bench press attempt in '88, continued with the Rude/Warrior pose-down in '89, and now, in 1990, we get The Brother Love Show featuring Sherri and Saphire, the manager/valets of Randy 'Macho King' Savage and Dusty Rhodes respectively.

WWF / WWE Royal Rumble 1990 - crowd
This dreadful segment, in which Love and Sherri laid into Saphire for what seemed like an eternity, eventually came when Saphire slapped the crap out of Sherri, leading to the arrival of Savage and Rhodes. Clearing off the heels, Rhodes and Saphire then proceeded to cut a rug in the middle of the ring for about five thousand years.

'Don't we have an interview we can go to or something?' asked Ventura, echoing what probably everybody in the crowd were thinking.

Hoooo! Tough Guy!
Luckily, such an interview was forthcoming as Hacksaw Jim Duggan spoke to Sean Mooney about his upcoming battle against The Big Bossman.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. The Big Bossman
If there's one thing I've learned in watching the first three Royal Rumble events, it's that not only was Duggan incredbly over with live crowds, he was actually capable of having some damn exciting matches.

That was certainly the case here as Mr. USA and The Big Bossma battled back and forth in a hard-hitting brawl that was incredibly fun to watch.

In a similar fashion to the previous contest, this was simply two tough bastards beating the living crap out of each other, albeit in a way that was totally unique from Valentine/Garvin.

Going at it tooth and nail in a solid big man brawl, the ending came when a visibly irate Bossman grabbed his trusty nightstick, drilling his foe across the head with it for the DQ finish.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Hacksaw Jim Duggan

As the ring cleared in anticipation of our main event, cameras cut away to a number of pre-recorded promos from tonight's Royal Rumble participants. Superstars including Dino Bravo, Earthquake, Demolition, Dusty Rhodes, The Rockers, Hercules, The Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan and Jake Roberts, the latter of whom delivered the best mic work out of the whole montage, each declared themselves ready for the challenge of winning the Royal Rumble.

With that out of the way, it was on to the rumble match itself:

Royal Rumble Match:
30-man battle royal featuring: Ted Dibiase, Koko B. Ware, The Rockers, Demolition, Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Akeem, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts, Randy 'Macho King' Savage, The Hart Foundation, 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper and more.
WWF / WWE Royal Rumble 1990 - The Ultimate Warrior

As previously announced, it was up to The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase to start this year's rumble match, his first opponent coming in the form of future Hall of Famer, Koko. B. Ware.

Dibiase made light work of his opponent and tossed him over the rope for the night's first elimination in quick time. Marty Jannety entered at number three in a flurry of excitement, flying at his foe with gusto and taking him around the ring.

Even with hindsight, Jannety's brief appearance was one of the highlights of the early part of the 'Rumble match, though he too was eliminated by the Million Dollar Man.

Jake 'The Snake' Roberts entered at number four, Dibiase meeting him outside the ring for a brawl which eventually spilled back between the ropes. Two minutes later, Randy Savage entered the fray and joined Dibiase in a double-team on Roberts which was eventually broken up with the arrival of Roddy Piper.

The action continued in the usual fashion, men came in, men kicked each others' backsides, men were thrown out, altogether making for an exciting, engaging and entertaining battle royal match.

Ted Dibiase stole Mr. Perfect's crown as the longest-surviving Rumble participant, clocking up an impressive 44+ minutes of ring time before finally being disposed of by The Ultimate Warrior.

WWF / WWE Royal Rumble 1990 - Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior

Speaking of the then-IC champion, the main story of the Rumble match itself came down to Warrior and Hogan, both men at one point being the only two in the ring and squaring off, only for neither combatant to gain a clear advantage over the other.

Hogan eventually eliminated Warrior later in the contest and would go on to hurl out #30 entrant Mr. Perfect to claim the win.
Your Winner: World Wrestling Federation Champion, Hulk Hogan

Afterwards, Hogan celebrated his victory with the Orlando crowd for a decade and a half to close out the show.

If there was one thing more evident this year than in years past, it was how much the Royal Rumble would go on to set the scene for Wrestlemania. With Hogan/Warrior, Bad News/Piper, Colossal Connection/Demolition, Rhodes & Saphire/Savage & Sherri, Beefcake/Perfect and Dibiase/Roberts all begining at Royal Rumble '90 and culminating (for the most part) at Wrestlemania VI, the January PPV served as a great starting point for the year ahead. Match of the night honors most likely go to Valentine and Garvin though, somewhat surprisingly, Duggan/Bossman weren't too far behind. 
Here's to Royal Rumble 1991. 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

PPV Review: WWF Royal Rumble 1989

WWF / WWE ROYAL RUMBLE 1989 DVD cover poster
The Summit in Houston, Texas
January 15th, 1989

Following a rocky start as a television special the previous year, the World Wrestling Federation’s biggest event of the winter months made it’s pay per view debut in 1989 and, with almost all of the kinks from the previous year’s show worked out, delivered on almost every level.

Here’s what went down:

Following a fun opening in which Vince McMahon delivered his trademark growl while introducing the participants in tonight’s 30-man main event, Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon welcomed viewers to the show before settling in to deliver the kind of commentary teamwork that would ensure long-time fans revere the duo in much the same way that those in the modern era do Lawler & Ross.

With that out of the way, it was on to the action.

2-out-of-three falls six-man tag team match:
Hacksaw Jim Duggan & The Hart Foundation vs. Dino Bravo & The  The Fabulous Rougeaus (w/ Frenchy Martin and Jimmy Hart)
And so it was that the winner of the inaugural Rumble match found himself tagging with The Hart Foundation in this entertaining opening contest against the dastardly Canadians.

WWF / WWE ROYAL RUMBLE 1989 DVD Live in Houston, Texas
As opening matches go, the WWF could have hardly delivered anything better, the six combatants putting on a textbook bout which worked the crowd perfectly.

Following a see-saw battle in the opening moments, it was The Hitman who ate Le Bombe de Rougeau to award the first fall to the bad guys.

“I like to call him The Excellence of Execution,” declared Monsoon when Bret was in charge of the match, coining a term the future World Champion would use himself for the remainder of his career.

Hart’s exchanges with both Rougeaus were undoubtedly the highlight of the match, Jacques and Raymond assisting Bravo in isolating their adversary and Bret playing the babyface-in-peril well, teasing the odd comeback before making the hot, and I do mean HOT tag to Hacksaw.

Though Duggan has always been popular with crowds, it’s absolutely insane to see just how over he is in this match; the capacity crowd responding with a deafening ‘Hoooooo!’ and chants of USA! USA! whenever he stepped between the ropes.

Battering the bad guys with clobbering lefts and rights, Duggan shot both members of the Hart Foundation over the ropes onto his opponent before finally landing an vicious elbow drop to Raymond Rougeau to even the scores for his team.

From there, the match only got better

Though Neidhart hardly did anything throughout the entire thing (seriously, I just watched this thing not an hour ago and the only contribution from The Anvil that I recall is him being pulled over the ropes onto Rougeau.) and Dino Bravo, who stunk up the place at last year’s show didn't add much either,  the other four competitors each played their roles perfectly.

Together, they built to a crowd-popping crescendo which saw Hacksaw finally counter the bad guys’ cheating ways with a sneaky 2x4 shot to the spine of Dino Bravo, allowing The Hitman to pick p the third and final fall for the good guys.
Your Winners: Hacksaw Jim Duggan & The Hart Foundation

WWF / WWE ROYAL RUMBLE 1989 Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase
Cutting to pre-taped footage, various WWF stars were shown drawing their numbers for tonight’s Rumble match. Displeased with his luck, The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase called Slick into the picture, leaving with the Doctor of Style to apparently cut a deal.

Elsewhere, Demolition hinted that they both had ‘a long night’ ahead of them, Bad News Brown appeared to have picked a good spot, and The Bushwackers swapped numbers for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Jake Roberts, The Honky Tonk Man and The Rockers were also among those pulling out their numbers for the match.

Returning to ringside, it was time for something that was starting to look like a tradition of Royal Rumble shows; a really boring segment featuring no wrestling whatsoever.

Super Posedown: Ravishing Rick Rude (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. The Ultimate Warrior
In a move which suggested that the WWF Brain Trust learned absolutely nothing from the previous year’s Bench Press Bore Fest with Dino Bravo & Friends, Ravishing Rick Rude took on The Ultimate Warrior in a Super Pose Down.

Even with Rude’s cockiness, Bobby Heenan’s usual mic work and the Warrior being his usual insane self, this was almost entirely tedious.

The highlight of the whole thing was Warrior’s usual entrance, a tsunami of muscle and facepaint tearing to the ring to a brutal, adrenalin charged guitar riff which remains one of the most memorable entrances in pro wrestling to this day.

From that point on, this quickly disintegrated into a mind-numbing mess.

WWF / WWE ROYAL RUMBLE 1989 Ultimate Warrior pose

Rude would pump his workout bar for a bit before striking a pose which Ultimate Warrior would then copy and repeat..over..and..over..again.

Anyone with half a brain cell could have telegraphed the ending to this one; Rude struck Warrior from behind with his workout bar and choked him out.

After officials raced to revive a fallen Warrior, the Ultimate One eventually came round and threw said officials around the ring for no apparent reason.

This whole thing dragged on far too long, achieved very little and was a dampener on a so-far entertaining show.

Things only got slightly better with the return of in-ring action.

WWF Women’s Championship Match
Rockin Robin defends against Judy Martin
The camera cut away from the aforementioned Warrior/Rude showdown to find both Martin and Sensational Sherri in the ring awaiting the arrival of the champion.

Prior to the opening bell, Sherri took to the mic to announce that she would face the winner of this match for the gold.

WWF / WWE ROYAL RUMBLE 1989 Rockin Robin
Arguably the only interesting thing in this thing, Sherri then joined Monsoon and Ventura on commentary. Her voice, which made her sound either drunk or delirious, distracted from an otherwise passable outing from the women which culminated in the champion retaining via flying cross-body.
Your Winner and still WWF Women’s Champion: Rockin Robin 

Oh..*that* Ted Dibiase
In a humorous moment, cameras cut backstage to Sean Mooney standing by with Slick and the Twin Towers.

Questioned on his liaison with Ted Dibiase earlier in the show, Slick first claimed not to have seen the Million Dollar Man in over a month.

“Ohhh, you mean *that* Ted Dibiase, I thought you meant homeboy Ted what did my shoeshine,”  He quickly retorted after being shown video footage of his earlier encounter with ol’ Money Bags. I’d tell you the rest, but here, watch this:

Still in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund tried to elicit some sort of explanation from Rude and Heenan for Rude’s earlier attack on the Ultimate Warrior. Rude claimed to have Warrior beaten from the start before The Brain quickly hurried him from the building.

The Managers speak
Heading to more pre-recorded footage with the managers of various WWF superstars including Mr. Fuji, Jimmy Hart and Miss. Elizabeth made this writer pine for the days when managers were such an integral part of the show, even if neither Hart nor Fuji said anything of note.

The only interesting thing to come from this segment was Liz, who, despite being wooden and completely ill-at-ease in her interview with Okerlund, did  fret over what would happen should her boys Hogan and Savage come head-to-head in the Rumble.

King Haku vs. Harley Race
In the final undercard bout, the big man Haku defended his royal crown against former king Harley Race.

Haku was carried to the ring on his thrown by a collective of jobbers, one of who this writer swore was none other than Tugboat/Typhoon/Shockmaster himself, Fred Ottman, but on closer inspection probably wasn't.

That aside, this was a good, solid brawl between two hard-hitting workers that differed from anything else on the card and delivered in spades. Though not quite as entertaining as the opening six-man contest, it was nonetheless a welcome return to form for the Royal Rumble’s PPV d├ębut following all the previous guff that went between these two matches.

In the end, Haku thwarted Race with a swift kick to the chops to win the match and retain his crown.
Your Winner: King Haku

In a brief respite from the action prior to the main event, a whole bunch of Royal Rumble entrants cut essentially the same promo. Valentine, Beefcake, Hogan, Savage, Perfect and a select few others each reminded the audience that this would be every man for himself and that they would be the one to outlast the 29 other wrestlers to be declared the winner.

And here’s another thing this reviewer misses from the good ol’ days; the custom backdrops for each wrestler’ promo.

Royal Rumble Match
30 man battle royal featuring Demolition, Andre the Giant, Mr. Perfect, Bad News Brown, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, The Rockers, The Brain Busters, The Twin Towers,  The Powers of Pain, Big John Studd and more.

WWF / WWE ROYAL RUMBLE 1989 Demolition fighting
Reinforcing the idea that anything really could happen in the Royal Rumble match and that, yes, it really is every man for himself, participants one and two in the bout’s PPV debut were none other than Ax and Smash, Demolition.

In one of the more memorable moments in Rumble history, the two partners wasted no time in laying waste to one another with thick, hammering blows, trading the advantage as they battered each other around the ring. And this despite being the reigning tag team champions.

All the while, Monsoon and Ventura wondered aloud whether entrant number three would stand a chance against Demolition. In a smart piece of booking, said third entrant turned out to be none other than Andre the Giant.

After all, was there really anybody else who could’ve withstood a double-team from the tag champs?

Mr. Perfect came in at number four, going on to become the MVP of the match, lasting the better part of half an hour and trumping Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart’s previous record by around two minutes.

It was Perfect who stood out as one of the highlight of this match, a joy to watch, the future Intercontinental Champion delivered a solid performance from the time he stepped through the ropes to the moment Hulk Hogan tossed him back out again.

Yet the real underrated star of this event was Shawn Michaels. Though he was in the match for just 15 minutes, Michaels made sure that every single second of those 15 minute counted. Flipping, jumping and bumping like a trooper, Shawn gave a thrilling performance and outshone just about everybody he shared a ring with long before he ever became ‘The Showstopper.’

Of course, the real talking point of the match, and a spot which would eventually lead us on to Wrestlemania 5, was the rising tensions between The Mega Powers of Hulk Hogan and World Wrestling Federation Champion, Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage.

Unleashing the power of the Red and Yellow, Hogan stormed around the ring, eliminating anybody and everybody in sight including, though not entirely on purpose, his partner Savage.

With the ring cleared and only Hogan remaining, the champion returned to the ring to confront the Hulkster, only for Elizabeth to come between her men. The diminutive valet seemed to defuse the situation, leading Savage to extend a hand to his friend and the two to share an embrace.

The second part of the match continued without much of the excitement which played such a large part in the pre Savage/Hogan section. That’s not to say it was boring per se, and there was still enough to keep your attention, yet without the likes of Perfect and Michaels, the pace certainly decreased.

To the surprise of absolutely nobody given the story which had played throughout the evening, Ted Dibiase arrived on the scene as participant number thirty, yet the combined efforts of the Million Dollar Man and Akeem were no match for Big John Studd, who eliminated both men to claim the contest as his own.

Your Winner: Big John Studd

As a special treat for the fans, Studd then proceeded to beat up Dibiase’s bodyguard, Virgil to close the in-ring portion of the show.

Macho Madness
In the final moments of the show, Randy Savage, flanked by a distressed-looking Elizabeth reminded Mean Gene Okerlund (repeatedly) that he was the champion and claimed that he was only eliminated from the Royal Rumble as a ‘victim of circumstance’ and not because he wasn't the better man. The whole thing was to tease the eventual heel turn against Hogan which would lead to their big Wrestlemania showdown and in this regard was highly effective.

With Savage’s promo out of the way, it was down to Gorillla Monsoon and Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura to close out the first pay per view version of the WWF Royal Rumble. A step up from last year’s show, the actual Rumble match itself, thanks in no small part to Perfect, Michaels, Savage and Hogan was a vast improvement on the inaugural bout, even if John Studd as eventual victor was somewhat underwhelming.

It’s certainly rare that you’ll ever hear any match involving Hacksaw Jim Duggan described as ‘match of the night’ material, yet his six man outing with the Harts, Rougeaus and Bravo was certainly that; an enjoyable, entertaining affair from bell to bell.
Though it’s easy to watch this show on its own merit, it’s important to look at Royal Rumble 1989 from a historical standpoint. 
This was the show which set both tone and standard for all over Rumbles to come, provided that memorable moment between Demolition and of course, started Hogan and Savage on the road to dissent. More of that at another time.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


WWF / WWE ROYAL RUMBLE 1998 logo Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario
January 24, 1988

In the time before the World Wrestling Federation became the pay per view juggernaut we know and sometimes love today (albeit as the WWE), the first Royal Rumble event began life as a television special designed, as legend has it, simply to stick it to Jim Crocket Promotions, who were hosting their NWA Bunkhouse Stampede pay per view on the same night.

Whilst the NWA show would fade into eventual obscurity, WWF's January event would, of course, go on to become an annual tradition. Yet the inaugural event was far from flawless and featured the good, the bad, and the incredibly boring.

Here's what went down.

Following a welcome from your commentary team of Vince McMahon and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura (as excellent a pairing here as they ever were) and a run down of tonight's card, things kick off properly with the one and only Ravishing Rick Rude getting what would go on to be known as "The Jobber Entrance" for tonight's opening contest.

Ravishing Rick Rude vs. Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat.
If Rick Rude wasn't the established star he would go on to become when this match started, he would certainly be one step closer to stardom by the time it concluded.

Both men put gave a valiant effort in this one-on-one encounter, The Ravishing One using strength and brute force to counter The Dragon's speed and agility.

Following an opening tumble, Steamboat accepted Rude's challenge to a test of strength, yet was no match for his muscular foe and quickly reduced to his knees. Putting his wrestling prowess to good use, Steamboat eventually found a counter and slapped on an armbar.

The story from then on in was a simple-yet-effective one (much aided by an explanation as to the dragon's motives from Ventura on commentary, something sorely lacking from today's announce teams); Steamboat could not outmatch Rude for pure power, so instead concentrated on working over his opponent's arm, taking strength out of the equation.

Using this as the basis, the two Ricks delivered a very enjoyable, solid contest with perhaps more 'arm drag into arm bar' spots from Ricky Steamboat than certainly this writer has ever seen in a single contest.

The end came as The Dragon looked to finish off his foe with a huge leap from the top rope. The dastardly Rude, however, pulled referee Dave Hebner in harm's way, forcing him to take the blow. Seizing the advantage, Rude applied a submission hold, and claimed victory when the official revived himself enough to call for the bell.

All was not as it seemed, however, and in a somewhat obvious move, the match was awarded to Steamboat on grounds of a disqualification.
Your Winner by disqualification: Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat.

What happened next was probably the most boring thing your reviewer has ever seen on any wrestling show ever as Dino Bravo (with manager Frenchie Martin, who refused to speak English to mic man Gene Okerlund) attempted to break a new world record by bench pressing 715lbs. After warming up by pressing progressively heavier amounts and yelling at the crowd quite a bit, Bravo eventually accomplished his feat, yet only by cheating; spotter Jesse Ventura lending a hand.

The whole thing lasted almost 20 minutes (though it felt more like 20 hours) and reached hitherto unforeseen levels of tedium. Seriously, this thing was so bad that, reflecting back on it during the final match of the show, Vince McMahon himself even claimed 'I thought it was boring.'

WWF Women's Tag Team Championship  2-out-of-3 Falls match
The Glamour Girls defend against The Jumping Bomb Angels
Thankfully, things picked up again with a fun, exciting match between defending women's tag team champions Judy Martin and Leilani Kai defended their (fairly meaningless, even back then) women's tag team titles against Japanese exports Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki.

The action in the ring moved at a furious pace for the time, The Jumping Bomb Angels using quickness, aerial  assaults and a whole arsenal of moves which had barely been introduced to US audiences before as The Glamour Girls counted by basically beating the crap out of the challengers.

Perhaps the most curious part of this whole match was McMahon, when questioned by his broadcast partner, claiming he had no idea as to the names of the Jumping Bomb Angels, instead referring to them throughout the contest as 'Pink Angel' and 'Red Angel' according to their attire.

Perhaps this was an attempt to add a bit of mystique to the ladies from the Orient, or perhaps Vinny Mac genuinely didn't know, or care, which just seems odd.

What also seems fairly odd is that the belts were constantly referenced to as the WWF Women's titles, yet any and all on-screen text surrounded this match named them the WWF Ladies titles. True, this is a small quibble, yet still, a bit of consistency would have been nice.

At any rate, Pink Angel and Red Angel won the match by two falls to one to capture the gold in a thrilling contest which really put modern day women's wrestling to shame.
Your Winners and new WWF Women's Tag Team Champions: The Jumping Bomb Angels

A pattern was beginning to emerge here; great match followed by boring angle. Following the ladies battle, it was the turn of WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant to send everybody to sleep.

Hulk and Andre sign the contract for their upcoming match
The background to this segment should be fairly well-known by any long time wrestling fan, yet here it is again anyway:

At Wrestlemania III, Hogan defeated The Giant in their now legendary showdown, yet early on in the match, Andre was convinced he'd scored a pinfall when he fell on top of the champion following a failed bodyslam attempt.

Enraged, Andre would claim to anyone who would listen that he'd defeated Hogan, and was out for revenge.

Meanwhile, Ted Dibiase had attempted to purchase the WWF title from The Hulkster. Declaring that he (and the Hulkamaniacs at large) didn't have a price for The Million Dollar Man, the champ declined the offer, leading to Dibiase's hiring of Andre to defeat Hogan, win the belt and deliver it to him.

So far, so good, right?

And the this happened.

With the heels (Andre, flanked by Dibiase and his lackey, Virgil) already in the ring along with Mean Gene Okerlund and WWF President Jack Tunney, Hogan made his way to the ring and riled the crowd before taking his seat at the contract-signing table.

Andre, meanwhile, simply rocked back and forth against the ropes with a look upon his enormous face which flirted between apathy and cockiness (though which the announcers assured us was a look of disdain).

He did this forever.

OK, maybe that's a lie, but he genuinely did nothing for a very long time.

OK, it made sense, the longer Andre did nothing, the more the crowd would hate him and want to see The Hulkster kick his ass, but then there's doing nothing to get a reaction and then there's doing nothing for so long that things start to get very dull, very quickly.

Eventually, after much goading from Mean Gene, Andre sat down to sign, and this segment finally ended the way all wrestling contract signings do; somebody got beat up.

In this case, Andre slammed Hogan's head into the table, then pushed Hogan on his ass.

As segments go, this was a poor one.

The Royal Rumble Match
20 Man Battle Royal featuring The Hart Foundation, Tito Santana, 'The Natural' Butch Reed, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts, Sam Houston, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, The Ultimate Warrior, One Man Gang and more.

And so it was that Bret Hart and Tito Santana became the first ever participants in a Royal Rumble match, squaring off with some fairly enjoyable action until Butch Reed and Jim Neidhart entered at #3 and #4 respectively to help out 'The Hitman'.

Jake 'The Snake' Roberts eventually hit the ring to even things, making the first ever Rumble elimination when he tossed Reed over the top rope.

From there, things generated into your typical battle royal. The ring began to fill with bodies, each one vying for victory, pounding on one another and making attempts at eliminations.

All things considered, this was a decent battle royal event with enough action to keep things entertaining throughout. There's certainly been far worse battle royals in the history of wrestling, and this one is at least worth a look.

In the end, Hacksaw Jim Duggan ducked a charging One Man Gang and pulled the top rope down, causing the future Akeem to topple to the outside, giving the match to Duggan.
Your Winner: Hacksaw Jim Duggan

The show continued with more Hulk Hogan, this time giving an interview to short-lived WWF interviewer Craig DeGeorge in which he claimed that if Andre wanted to beat him in their rematch that coming February, he would have to defeat 'Each and every Hulkamaniac' which, of course, Hogan didn't think his rival was capable of.

With time still to kill, it was down to the final match of the night.

2-out-of-3 Falls Match:
The Islanders (Haku & Tama) vs. The Young Stallions (Paul Roma and Jim Powers) 
In all honest, the career of Islander Tama somehow passed me by, which is a shame since he was the most enjoyable thing in this lengthy contest, displaying an in-ring talent and natural charisma which should have surely earned him a more memorable career.

It was Tama, brother of Umaga and Rikishi, who shone in the early moments of the match as both teams traded the advantage until those evil Islanders (at the time engaged in a feud with the British Bulldogs over the kidnapping of the Brit's mascot Matilda), sent Roma crashing to the outside, injuring the Stallion's knee. Unable to meet the referee's count, Roma lost the first fall for his team via count-out.

Selling the injury, Roma was taken to the back to be checked over. As The Islanders waited in the ring, time was killed thanks to a promo from Ted Dibiase and Andre the Giant.

The match resumed with Powers picking up the slack on behalf of his injured comrade. Haku and Tama spent the bulk of the second half beating down on Powers before Roma eventually grabbed the hot tag, only to be just as destroyed and eventually succumbing to a pinfall after Tama leapt off the rop onto his foe's injured leg.
Your Winners: The Islanders

So that was that then, the first ever Royal Rumble event in the history books. A far cry from the pomp and spectacle we've come to expect from today's pay per view spectacles, this was a mixed  bag as far as quality is concerned. Great matches in Steamboat vs. Rude and Glamour Girls vs. Jumping Bomb Angels and an entertaining Royal Rumble match make this show worth watching.
That said, the contract signing was poor, the bench press record was by far the most dull thing ever filmed at a wrestling event, and the tag team main event, though at least decent, was a strange choice to end the show on.
Thankfully, things would only get better for this event as the years wore on.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

DVD Extras: ECW One Night Stand 2005

I covered the fantastic ECW One Night Stand 2005 pay per view last week, so this week I thought I'd run through some of the extras on the UK DVD release.

There's nothing particularly overwhelming on this disc, but let's take a look anyway, shall we?

Alternative Commentary with JBL
This isn't so much full-on alternative commentary as it is a series of off-the-cuff remarks and conversations with other wrestlers as JBL and his henchmen watch the show from a balcony. The audio quality isn't good, sounding like JBL's mic is some feet away, and this really adds nothing to the presentation.

Unless you really can't stand listening to Joey Styles and Mick Foley and would prefer to watch the rest of the show from after the Rey/Psicosis match onwards without them, you've really nothing to gain by listening to this audio track

TV spots
Nothing much to see here, these are just two brief TV spots used to promote the show. Despite being very short, they do nonetheless show the original Extreme Championship Wrestling in all their insane glory and should have been more than enough to convince anyone that this pay per view would be well worth the money.

ECW vignettes
Four short video montages of Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, Rob Van Dam and The Sandman, each containing some pretty cool clips of the men in action, are followed by a short promo from The Dudley Boyz who, in a sign of things to come on the PPV, set a table on fire.

Fun stuff, though hardly outstanding.

The ECW Funeral
A nice video package replaying Eric Bischoff's 'ECW Funeral' from WWE Raw, this provides some background into the invasion angle that played out on the show, with Paul Heyman declaring 'gang warfare' on Bischoff. Again, nothing amazing, but a nice little extra

ECW Fans at the show
A WWE Home Video Exclusive, this short clips gives us brief interviews with fans outside the Hammerstein Ball Room, each one paying tribute to the heart, spirit and, yes, violence, that made ECW what it was.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

PPV Review: ECW One Night Stand 2005

Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY
June 12th, 2005

Even after the original Philly-based outfit's demise, the name Extreme Championship Wrestling still resonated fondly in the hearts of die-hard wrestling fans. Looking to captalize on this unwavering popularity for the hardcore favourite, World Wrestling Entertainment revived the brand for, well, a One Night Stand.

Here's what went down.

Receiving the kind of ovation that sends chills down your spine, a clearly emotional Joey Styles welcomed fans to the show before introducing his broadcast colleague for the evening, a man no stranger to ECW, Mick Foley.

Then, with the introductions out of the way, it was on with the action

Match 1: Lance Storm (w/ Dawn Marie) vs. Chris Jericho 

Having begun his career in a match against Jericho back in 1990, Lance Storm looked to bookend his career by facing his long-time friend in what was then to be his final match.

Eschewing the idea that ECW was a promotion focused solely on ultra violence, the two seasoned stars gave a fine account of themselves as technical wrestlers in a stellar opening contest.

Jericho received a thunderous ovation from the New York faithful as he took it to his former Thrillseekers partner, but ultimately it was Storm who got the upper-hand, picking up the win thanks to interference from a kendo-stick wielding Justin Credible.

Your Winner: Lance Storm

Having stolen a victory from his best friend, Storm made a hasty exit from the ring, leaving Jericho to soak up the adulation from a crowd following as a good an opening contest as anyone could have asked for.

Then, after Joey Styles teased the impending arrival of a host of invading WWE stars, Pitbul Garry Wolfe introduced a video to those members of ECW sadly no longer with us, a video featuring more names than many would have liked.

Match 2: Three-way Dance - Tajiri (w/ The Sinister Minister & Mikey Whipreck) vs. Little Guido (w/ The FBI) vs. Super Crazy

Billed as an 'International Three-way dance' this fast-paced contest soon spilled to the outside, allowing Super Crazy to give us our first real 'extreme' moment of the evening by taking out The FBI with a moonsault from the balcony, much to the delight, and 'ECW! ECW!' chants, from the masses.

Things faired no better for the Italians back in the ring when, following a run-in from Tajiri's men, the Japanese Buzzsaw eliminated Guido from the contest.

Yet it was the Insane Luchador who finally triumphed, planting Tajiri with a swift moonsault to end the contest.

Your winner: Super Crazy

Following a look at some of the more memorable moments in ECW's history, it was on with the action.

Match 3: Psicosis vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

Though similar in style to the previous outing, this battle between two of the most recognisable luchadors in North America managed to go one better with a fast-paced, high-impact offering which delivered everything you might expect, and then some.

Both men traded the advantage several times, enlivening the crowd with crisp, jaw-dropping offence before Mysterio finally put his opponent away with the West Coast Pop.

Your Winner: Rey Mysterio Jr.

Interrupting what had been a fine show thus far, Kurt Angle and JBL led a small army of Smackdown stars to a private viewing box, greeted by fevered chants of 'You suck dick!' and 'Fuck You Smackdown!' from the Hammerstein crowd.

Even now, this writer isn't convinced that this invasion angle was entirely necessarily, especially when Kurt Angle took to the microphone with a rather juvenile anti-ECW promo which consisted of little more than repeating the words 'You people suck and can kiss my ass!'

JBL faired a little better on the mic, though his calling ECW as a garbage promotion full of people taking cane shots to the head made little sense following three first-class wrestling matches.

Thankfully, an injured Rob Van Dam arrived on the scene, lambasting the WWE crew and cutting an impassioned promo in which he praised the fans, the spirit of ECW and, of course, himself. Before he left, RVD discussed his knee surgery, claiming that missing the PPV due to the surgery was worse than missing Wrestlemania.

Then, for seemingly no reason, Rhino ran in and gored the hell out of RVD. Sabu then popped up, and we had our next match.

Match 4: Rhino vs. Sabu 

Sabu took the advantage in the early going, battling Rhino in a short, passable contest complete with chairshots aplenty and an awesome plancha onto the outside.

The master of the gore turned the tide, pummelling his foe with some stiff offence, but when the referee took a tumble, RVD returned to the fray, planting Rhino with a chair and helping Sabu land an Arabian Facebuster through a table for the three count.

Your winner: Sabu

Backstage, Al Snow yelled at Head for a while before introducing another video montage, this one mostly featuring people falling through tables.

Following this montage, the 'Raw Crusaders,' led by Eric Bischoff and Edge made their way to their own private box.

Match 5: Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero

Prior to the match, Joey Styles insisted that this match would be a firm middle finger in the face of everyone who claimed ECW was nothing more than chairshots and tables (so, the previous match then?) and that we would witness 'as good a pure wrestling match as you'll see anywhere.'

He wasn't wrong.

Going at it in a vicious, aggressive wrestling contest, the two now-deceased superstars lit up New York with a thrilling performance that could have easily stood as the main event of a much larger show.

Benoit scored the victory thanks to the Crippler Crossface.

Your Winner: Chris Benoit

Up in the stands, Joel Gertner begged Eric Bischoff for a job. Unsurprisingly, the Raw GM refused before cutting a scathing promo on ECW which put the earlier efforts by JBL and Angle to shame.

Match 6: Mike Awesome vs. Matsato Tanaka 

Throughout the show, Joey Styles had held nothing back when it came to his commentary, shooting when necessary and giving his honest opinion whenever the opportunity arose, yet in the early moments of this brutal-yet-enjoyable contest, Styles went off the rails as he lambasted Awesome for defecting to WCW whilst still ECW champion back in the 1990s.

In one uncomfortable moment following a Mike Awesome suicide dive, Styles commented that 'it's a shame Awesome didn't succeed in taking his own life.' Of course, two years later, and Awesome did just that.

On this night in New York however, he and Tanaka stole the show, planting each other with some vicious offence as the battered each other around the ring, transitioning well from one violent spot to the next until Awesome powerbombed his long-time rival over the top rope and planted him with a second suicide dive for a pinfall on the outside.
Your Winner: Mike Awesome

Overwhelmed by the standing ovation he received from the ECW diehards as he stepped into the ring, Paul Heyman took centre stage next to cut a very personal, very real promo. Thanking Todd Gordon and others who had helped ECW along the way, especially the fans, the former owner of Extreme Championship Wrestling then turned his attentions the WWE stars.

Tearing shreds out of arch-rival Eric Bischoff, Edge ('I have two words to say to you; "MATT FREAKIN HARDY!!"' ...erm, Paul, that's three), and JBL in what would have been a classic promo for the ages had the targets of Heyman's venom sold anything he had to say rather than goofing around and treating the man with the microphone like a silly child.

Match 7: The Dudley Boys vs. Tommy Dreamer & The Sandman

What with The Sandman's usual hour-long entrance and a host of interruptions from The BWO (causing Joey Styles laugh manically), Kid Kash (who took out everybody with an incredible suicide dive), Axl Rotten & Balls Mahoney, tonight's main event took more than a fair while to get going.

When it did however, what came was a wildly entertaining, brilliantly bloody brawl. Bubba Ray and Dreamer tore at each other's flesh with a cheesegrater, The Sandman battered D-Von with a trashcan and ladder shots, chairs flew, chaos ensued and the crowds let rip with appreciative round of 'Holy shit!' chants.

Things turned even more violent with the arrival of The Impact Players as Justin Credible drilled The Sandman with a That's Incredible atop a sphere of barbed wire.

Fans were then treated to an impromptu catfight between Francine and Beaulah McGuilicutty before Beulah reunited with her real-life husband Dreamer to deliver a couple of DDTs to the Dudleys.

Bubba and D-Von fought back, taking out their foes and having Spike Dudley join them in the ring as they sent Tommy Dreamer flying through a flaming table for the win.

Your Winners: The Dudley Boys

Bringing the show to a riotous finale, ECW alum Stone Cold Steve Austin made his way to the ring, rounding up the troops and leading the ECW originals into a hectic brawl against the invading WWE stars. Whilst your reviewer still feels this could have been a perfect show without the Raw and Smackdown involvement, this was a fantastically fun fisticuffs which ended with Mick Foley bringing Eric Bischoff to the ring, Austin leading the charge as The Dudleys, Chris Benoit and Rey Mysterio hit their finishing moves on the former WCW Main man.

Things finally came to a close with a rousing beer bash, the ECW Originals united in triumph.

Overall, a stellar show from start to finish with a string of enjoyable matches, entertainment, comedy and pure emotion. Only the Sabu/Rhino bout failed to surpass expectations, yet even that was enjoyable for what it was. The 'invasion' angle wasn't entirely necessary, but even that did little to detract from what was otherwise a first-rate show. 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

DVD Review: IWA King of Death Match Tournament 1995

Probably the most famous tournament of its type, and the event that paved the way for such levels of pro-wrestling craziness as CZW, the 1995 King of the Death Match tournament made legends out of the likes of Mick Foley and further cemented Terry Funk's status as a death-defying mad man.

This DVD presentation from the World Wrestling Network began with each of the main competitors on the show being paraded to the ring, before Tiger Jeet Singh defeated Mr. Gannosuke in a Barbed Wire Board & Chain Match.

The bout quickly spilled to the outside, where both men battered each other with fists and vicious chairshots, taking their bloody brawl right into the crowd and back again. Hardly the most thrilling brawl of all time, this nonetheless set the scene of things to come in a solid and bloody fashion, ending when Singh choked out his foe on the barbedwire board for the three count.

After declaring how much they both wanted to win the competition, Terry Funk and Leatherface faced off in much more enjoyable Barbed Wire Board & Chain Match than the opening contest. Using the chain which bound them as a weapon just as much as they used hard fists, barbed wire and even chainsaws, the two engaged in a fantastic brawl which finally saw Terry Funk pick up the win.

Taking on a different style of match, Cactus Jack and Terry 'Bam Bam' Gordy pummelled one another in a Barbed Wire Baseball Bat and Thumbtacks Match. Leaving nothing behind, both men went at it tooth and nail, the highlight coming when Gordy hit a sick powerbomb on his foe into the thumbtacks, only for Cactus to reply with a DDT into the 'tacks for the win.

Not content to leave it at that, the combatants continued to pound on each other following the bell.

In the final first-round bout, Shoji Nakamaki bested Hiroshi Ono in a Barbed Wire Baseball Bat & Thumbtacks Match, a highly entertaining contest which saw more actual wrestling than in any of the previous three bouts, coupled with a dramatic finale involved the 'tacks which put this in front as the match of the night to this point.

In a change of direction, Takashi Okano battled Flying Kid Ichihara for the WWA World Lightweight Heavyweight Championship in an above-average encounter. Following plenty of solid, fast-paced wrestling, Okano rolled up Ichihara to bag the belt.

The non-tournament action continued next as Kamakazi defeated Iceman in a clumsy, ten minute botchfest which achieved nothing more than boring your blogger to tears.

Back to the deathmatch, Terry Funk and Tiger Jeet Singh destroyed each other in their semi-final encounter, a brutal Barbed Wire Board and Glass Match. Joining the match mid way through, we found Singh stabbing -yes, stabbing- his foe, cutting him wide open and ambushing him in the broken glass.
Despite being on the brink of death, Funk fought back and looked to have things under control until, for seemingly no reason whatsoever, Cactus Jack ran in and attempted to take out Funk with Singh's sword. The Funker ducked, causing Cactus to nail Singh and cost him the match.

Having inadvertently sent Funk through to the final Jack secured his own spot by defeating Shoji Nakamaki in a gruesome Barbed Wire Board and Spike Nail Match.  The native of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico dominated the bulk of the match, tearing at this rival's flesh with a visceral delight. Nakamaki refused to die, absorbing blow after blow, cut after cut, yet continuing to bring the fight. Eventually, Jack's sadistic nature proved to much for the Japanese star, and a double-arm DDT into the barbed wire sent Cactus Jack into the final.

On the way back to the locker room, a manical Cactus Jack screamed at the camera, vowing that when he met with Terry Funk in the final, they would 'seperate the men from the old bastards!'

As darkness fell, the crowds were given a respite from the bloodshed as The Headhunters took on Silver King and El Texano for the IWA World Tag Team Championship. Despite the complete lack of atmosphere, both teams put on a decent matchup, culiminating in a big splash to El Texano to give the win, and the tag team titles, to The Headhunters.

Heading to the back, then-reigning NWA and UFC champion Dan 'The Beast' Severn could barely hide his nerves as he spoke of taking on Tarzan Goto, but take him on he did in a stiff, hard-hitting contest.

Having been out-wrestled by the champion, Goto resorted to breaking a bottle to attack the champion with, only for The Beast to defend himself with a chairshot before things broke down into a messy, chaotic fight in the middle of the crowd.

The bout descended into further chaos as both champ and challenger resorted to literally throwing chairs across the arena at each other, eventually using them to knock the hell out of each other in what was quickly becoming the match of the night.

Following a heated exchange, Severn walked away still your NWA Heavyweight Champion. Dissatisfied with the result, Tarzan yelled at The Beast and pounced on him. When the dust had settled, Severn then challenged his rival to a rematch, this time for Goto's IWA title. 

Back in the locker room, Severn then claimed to have been fighting for his life out in the ring, something Cactus Jack and Terry Funk could experience for themselves as they met in the tournament final, a No-Rope Barbed Wire, Exploding Barbed Wire Board, Exploding Ring Time Bomb Death match (easy for me to say, right?)

The match got off to a slow start, neither man in any hurry to approach the barbed wire, but once they did, this slowly but surely developed into a violent, punishing war, complete with blood, explosions and sickening bumps aplenty. 

As time ticked on, seconds counting down until the ring, rigged with explosives as due to go up in flames, Tiger Jeet Singh ran in to assist Cactus, though did little to really help. Following the, admittedly disappointing explosion, Cactus, his ragged face soaked in thick blood dragged a ladder into the ring and literally toppled off it onto Funk to win the tournament, bringing this sadistic bloodbath to a close.

If you're a fan of Foley, Funk, hardcore or 'death match' style wrestling, then this really is one event you need to see. Sure it drags in places, but for the most part, it's a brilliantly brutal offering from the short-lived IWA Japan, and one that really served to make Mick Foley such a legend.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

DVD Extras: WWE Survivor Series 2006

Having reviewed the 2006 WWE Survivor Series event last week, I thought it might be good to run through the limited number of extras available on the UK DVD release.

Here goes.

Todd Grisham interviews Lita after her match
Having dropped the WWE Women's Championship to Mickey James earlier in the evening, the outgoing diva reflected on her career in World Wrestling Entertainment, her relationship with the fans and, having made the decision to leave the company, whether she would ever return.

Done completely in kayfabe, the woman better known to her folks as Amy Dumas gave a convincing argument as she claimed to be tired of the disrespect she'd recieved at the hands of DX, Cryme Tyme and the WWE fans and that she was looking forward to the next chapter in her career.

Mr. McMahon's Kiss My Ass Cartoon
Probably the most bizare, incomprehensible piece of animation this writer has ever seen, this special Thanksgiving edition of an apparently short-lived cartoon featuring, yes, Mr. McMahon's ass as its central character is the sort of thing that can't adequately be put into words.

That's not to say I didn't try, but sadly the only words I could up with were weird, scary and WTF?

Instead then, here's the cartoon.

Survivor Series 1987 Main Event Match:
Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Paul Orndorff, Ken Patera and Don Muraco vs.Andre the Giant, Rick Rude, One Man Gang, Butch Reed & and King Kong Bundy

If you can ignore the fact that, on this DVD at least, this match from 1987 has Michael Cole and JBL doing ruining the old-school atmosphere with a retrospective commentary job, this is actually quite a fun addition to the DVD.

Showing that WWE did, at one point, know how to really tell a story in these elimination matches, this is actually far better than any of the Traditional Survivor Series matches on display at Survivor Series 2006.
Following some good, entertaining back and forth action, Hulk Hogan got himself counted out, leaving Bam Bam Bigelow alone to represent his side against Andre the Giant and his remaining team mates One Man Gang and King Kong Bundy. Bigelow toppled the latter two, but eventually felled to the mighty giant .

Strangely (or not), despite having nothing to do with the last five or six minutes of action, Hogan then returned to the ring as a mighty hero to soak up the adulation of the crowd to close the show. This was a great, enjoyable addition to the DVD, and a huge bonus for old-school fans like your humble blogger.

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.