Ah yes, baseball and wrestling, my two favorite pastimes. I’m not sure whether I should consider it a blessing or a curse that the theme for this past October on WWE 24/7 was “Take Me Out to the Brawl Game”, featuring baseball related items pertaining to the world of wrestling. More specifically, the “Shorties” section featured baseball themed moments and matches from the vast archives of WWE. Let’s see how well the two mix together. The matches will be scored as usual but I’ll be offering an “up” or “down” when rating the segments. Up means it was good and down, well, means the opposite. Bust out the peanuts … it’s time to head to the stadium!
Hosted by Abe “Knuckeball” Schwartz (a.k.a. Steve Lombardi a.k.a. Brooklyn Brawler in really bad face paint resembling a baseball and a generic uniform).
1) Cactus Jack & Mikey Whipwreck vs. Public Enemy (Brawl Game Match – ECW November to Remember 1994) – 2
The object of this awful excuse for a match is to beat down one of the member of the opposing team so bad that they can’t answer a 10-count. If you are successful in doing this, then your team gets to use baseball bats for the remainder of the match. Mikey took the brunt of the PE’s punishment. It breaks down really early and the ref loses control. Jack takes some powder in the eyes and DDTs Mikey thus allowing PE to get the ten count. Mikey and Rocco brawl to where there are convientley two tables set up for Rocco to use. Rocco stacks them but then Sabu gets involved and knocks Rocco through them in a shitty spot What the fuck is up with this one shitty camera angle? We don’t even see the bump? Back to the ring and Mikey gets some more punishment with the bats and PE wins. Cactus was almost non-existant. Could someone please tell me one positive thing about this shit?
2) The Four Horsemen Attack Dusty Rhodes (NWA World Championship Wrestling – 10/25/86) – Up
This was awesome! Tony Schiavone and David Crockett set up the story and the tape rolls. We’re in the car with the Horsemen as they see Dusty drive by and then tail him to Crockett’s office where they proceed to beat the ever loving crap out of him with a bat. They (Ole, Arn, Tully, JJ) tie Dusty to the side of a truck and smash his hand with the bat. This was an awesome piece of footage that still holds up today. The violence and the ingenuity of this is something that you just won’t see in today’s watered-down WWE. We then cut to a brief match with Dusty & Nikita Koloff battling Ole & JJ in a cage. Nothing to the match. Nikita beats Ole out of the cage and JJ gets bloodied, beaten, and pinned. Here’s the video of it … it’s a different show but it’s the same segment, sans the cage match. Enjoy!
3) Pete Rose Insults Boston (WWF WrestleMania XIV) – Down
This was exactly what the title says. Pete Rose comes down before the Undertaker/Kane match as the guest ring announcers and insults the crowd about how the Red Sox couldn’t win the World Series and my favorite line “I left tickets for Bill Buckner but he couldn’t bend over to pick ‘em up.” That went over the heads of so many people in the crowd. Kane comes out and tombstones ol’ Petey. Cut to Pete’s Hall of Fame induction (WWE, not baseball) and he’s totally clueless. I guess if Bud Selig won’t give him his well deserved place in the hall, I guess Vinnie Mac will.
4) Abe “Knuckeball” Schwartz vs. Ron Cumberledge (WWF Superstars – 10/1/94) – 2
This was Vince’s lame attempt at taking a jab at Major League Baseball after the players went on strike in the middle of the 1994 season. Schwartz comes out to a cheesy rock version of “Take Me Out To the Ballgame”. This is shit. Vince and Lawler drop a ton of baseball related references on commentary and even name drop Ken Griffey Jr., John Kruk, and Marge Schott. Schwartz does a bit where he feigns kicking dirt on the referee and the ref gives him a look of utter confusion. A sloppy superplex sends Cumberledge to the showers and hopefully Schwartz back to the minors. Nothing to note here aside from this being utterly ridiculous and the fans not caring in the least.
5) Hulk Hogan vs. Sting (WCW Fall Brawl 1999) – 1
Both men’s laziness pretty much sinked this one from the get-go. You could tell neither guy wanted to be there. Run-ins galore to finish this one from DDP, Bret Hart, Sid Vicious, and Lex Luger. I’m not exactly sure why. Luger brings a bat with him. Oh, I guess that’s where the baseball theme came in for this. Sting wins and the fans trash the ring, mostly out of disgrace after having their intelligence insulted. Luger has mustard on the side of his shirt from where some rube chucked a hot dog at him. Fuck both of you … this sucks!
6) Dusty Rhodes Attacks Tully Blanchard (NWA World Championship Wrestling – 3/26/88) – Up
Rhodes should be in the big leagues for the way he swung the lumber here! We start off with Magnum T.A. talking about his injury and possible comeback for a bit until Tully interrupts him. Moments later, Dusty comes out swinging the heavy lumber and absolutely murders Tully with the bat. I mean, damn, those were some stiff shots, including choking Tully against the ringpost. Eventually, hordes of other wrestlers have to hold Dusty back. Damn! That was intense!
7) Mr. Perfect Trains with Wade Boggs (WWF Superstars – 12/26/92) – Up
Boggs presents us with the perfect hitter … Mr. Perfect, who summarily drills numerous home runs, much to the dismay of the rookie pitcher. Afterwards, we cut to Boggs inducting Perfect into the Hall of Fame and the acceptance speech from his widow. Nothing more to say. It’s on the new Perfect DVD, watch it there. You’ll only need about 90 seconds for the skit itself.
8) Public Enemy Trains at the Batting Cage (ECW Hardcore TV – 6/29/95) – Down
Rocco Rock hits a few balls in the cage then exits to find Johnny Grunge with a bunch of shit he must’ve shoplifted from the local sporting goods store, including a cheap Detroit Tigers hat, a bright orange running shoe, and some wrap-around shades with both men giggling like tween girls who just spotted a hot guy from across the room. Then, in the blink of an eye, they get serious, and spout off some revised PE version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. To quote the horse from Ren & Stimpy, “No sir, I don’t like it.”
9) Dave Winfield and Dave Righetti Interview (WWF @ MSG – 5/19/86) – Down
Pointless is the perfect word to sum this up. Gorilla Monsoon interviews the two players and mistakenly calls Righetti “Steve”, who plays it off by sayings “that’s my brother”. King Kong Bundy comes in after Gorilla gives him one of the most blatanly obvious cues ever and talks to the players. Heenan comes in and is then followed by some dude with a bushy ‘stache and complete 80’s casual garb who calls himself Winfield and Righetti’s manager. Bundy and Heenan leave and I’m left scratching my head, deeming if that was perhaps the most pointless thing I’ve ever seen.
10) Randy Orton vs. Mick Foley (No Holds Barred Falls Count Anywhere Match – WWE Backlash 2004) – 8
Behold, I’ve found a jewel buried underneath piles of garbage! This is a match I’ve been wanting to re-watch for a while now and haven’t been able to since I’ve had a hell of a time finding the particular show it’s on. Foley hits the ring and we start off hot with barbed wire and trash cans. The action goes outside where Orton rattles Foley’s brain with three sick shots with a garbage can. A bit later, Foley starts his comeback and has the fans debate between either Socko or a barbed wire bat. The bat wins and Foley bloodies Orton with continual shots from the bat. Thumbtacks came into play a bit later in the match where Orton took a shirtless bump into a shit ton of tacks. Kudos to you kid! Action spills up the ramp and Foley throws Orton off into a strategically placed wooden box of some sort and does the trademark Cactus elbow drop moments later. These two guys are beating the hell out of each other! Orton fights back and jabs Foley in the face with the bat and two RKOs later, one of which was on said bat, picks up the victory in one of the most violent, bloody, and unmistakenly incredible matches I’ve ever seen. Foley needs to be commended for his performance as well. He went into the bout at around 275 pounds and put on a match people still talk about today.
After watching this compilation, I’ve definitley come to the conclusion that mixing baseball and wrestling is not a winning formula. Now, I’m headed to the dugout to throw this disc in the water cooler and smash it with George Brett’s pine tar covered bat ... that is after I salvage the Orton/Foley match and the two Dusty vids.