so, for this one I pulled out some random old VHS tapes I had sitting in a dusty box next to a copy of Stephen King's It and a UFC 93/94 poster my brother-in-law ripped off from a local B-dubs. Some of these are treasures and some of them are trash. I'm sure they'll end up in the hands of collector extraordinare and NHO member Adam at some point, with some being preserved on DVD for a new lifetime of quality and some to be put out with his new dog's droppings and some leftover Izzy's from Royal Rumble.
1) Scott Putski/ Gary Young v. Bull Pain/ Billy Joe Travis (Global)- 4
Some things revered as a child never leave you , no matter how ugly the truth is about it when you find out; Pee-wee's Playhouse, Thundercats and World Class Wrestling are examples for me, and to a lesser degree, Global Wrestling Federation which I was extremely attached to when I followed it back in '91-'93. Here's an old classic from it's archives. Putski blows the first 2 spots of the match, looking like a less retarded Mongo McMichael; botches a clothesline and a back drop, both spots causing Pain great discomfort. I prefer Young and Travis to their bulkier counterparts, because they have great punches (especially Travis' dirty uppercut). Travis is actually awesome in this and I'm so happy I re-discovered this southern jerk. His crybaby anctics and huge selling for the faces really speak to me. I think he spent a lot of time in Memphis with Lawler & company as well.
2) Bret Hart v. Sting (WCW US Title- Halloween Havoc '98)-5
When I was a wee little one, in the early 90's, I used to "wrestle" this match out with WWF Wrestling Buddies. I always thought it was a dream match; it's so sad to watch it play out here and really not mean a whole lot. The announcers make a few references to the match being two superstars duking it out, but it's not treated with a whole lot of importance. Bret controls most of bulk of this with a slow, methodical pace. He really is the real deal, even after all the backstage politics of WWE & WCW had seeped into his brain, he could still go here, putting a lot of snap and emphasis on all his moves. As a sidenote, Sting had just gotten help and gotten clean a month or so before this match; he was sporting a tough guy's beard and goatee here but mixed with the red faced paint he looked kind of goofy. Bret used a bat as a finish and the shots were so bad, they're laughable. God, i wished this would have happened in '93.
3) Mitsuharu Misawa/ Kenta Kobashi/ Jun Akiyama v. Stan Hansen/ John Nord/ Johnny Gunn (All Japan, late '93)- 5
This was a pretty fun romp, probably comparable to a night of sex with Elizabeth Banks would be like. It would be really cool if you could have sex with Elizabeth Banks while this match was playing. Anyone notice how non-existent Misawa is in 6 man tags? He really only came in for the pinfall here, except the few times when Hansen blasted him for sleeping on the apron and he came in for revenge. Gunn and Nord both were under seasoned to be in here and Kobashi was wholly comfortable whipping those asses. Akiyama showed a lot of spirit and looked good working basic spots with Gunn, whose selling was decent. Nord looked like a buffoon though, first in those furry boots and secondly running the ropes and missing spots. Hansen was low key as well, but made sure to get some "clobberin' time" in, as our old pal Ben Grimm would say.
4) HHH v. Lance Storm (Smackdown!- 05/23/02)- 5
Apparently this was a few days after the "epic" Hell in a Cell with Trips against Jericho- Storm takes full advantage by hitting those looping hands which split Helmsley open underneath his large bandage. This was when he did that silly choke take down, which is on display here. Trips punches are so over the top, you couldn't find them in a Van Damme action flick. Storm is taking gnarly bumps all over the ring for the Game, even on silly stuff like that face to the knee move. But, does use his control section well, highlighted by a killer springboard clothesline. In the end, though, all talented midcarders fall prey to the Pedigree- get used to it.
5) Kid Kaos v. Juventud Guerrera (XPW: We Wrestle)- 3
Kaos looked like your average indy worker with the frosted hair and strange tribal trunks. The announcers were questioning whether he could keep up with Juvi, but he actually looked better than the wild veteran. Really decent superkick was a highlight, and I think anyone in distance of Juvi and his cow patterned trunks would want to kick him in the face. Kaos did an Asai moonsault and totally banged his legs on the guardrail in a nasty visual; even worse was announcer Kris Kloss (who worked for XWS) did this high pitched squeal after it that would make Fran Drescher scream "Now, that's annoying!" Kaos rebounded with a quick rollup but this was only a few minutes so can't give it that high of a grade.
6) Felino Salvaje/ Shamu 2/ Bola de Humo v. Sombra/ Cisne/ Folrastero (Promo Azteca "Tijuana Riots" 10/29/97)- 2
This show was great for it's main event of a 14 man elimination match that sparked a riot that would have made Los Angeles blush, could such a thing occur. Unfortunately, it looks like someone used my tape of that match to record an old "Roseanne" rerun where Dan & Darlene bond over a game of HORSE. so, we're stuck with the opener; not a lot to talk about really, it's the comedy match of the show, not real sure who's who either. Well, the comedy didn't last long, good thing because I wasn't laughing. Heels wasted some time taunting, then this basically became an exhibition; guys kept trading in and out of the ring working the most basic of Lucha spots- this almost seemed like they were filming for an instructional video. In that instance, the wrestling wasn't bad per se, but I sure expected a whole hell of a lot more.
7) Ric Flair/ Arn Anderson v. Sting/ Hulk Hogan (WCW Nitro- 12/11/95- clipped)- 4
Well, i'd like to see the full match, had some intrigue. Arn was really on this night, playing the stooge heel well for Hogan and just being a complete businessman. Came in at one point to break up Sting tagging and stomped him right in the back of the head, like he was heeling a bug on the kitchen linoleum, then calmly pieced Hogan in his plastic face. Flair was kind of a non-factor here, but they did this great spot where he had Sting in the figure-four and Sting was just pulling him backwards towards his corner while still in the hold; flair's facials were much better than anything he had to act out during that shitty Russo feud. But the best thing about this was how solidly behind the Horsemen the crowd were, popping huge every time Arn threw a stiff left hand. Usual Hogan theatrics closed this one out but wasn't a complete waste of time, unlike the terrible Dane Cook vehicle, "Employee of the Month."
8) Satoru Sayama/ Koji Kanemoto/ Tiger Mask IV v. Ultimo Dragon/ Jushin Liger/ Great Sasuke (Toryumon X, 10/14/2004)- 6
This was a match for nostalgia, also supposed to be Dragon's retirement match, although that's as secure as a comic book character dying and staying dead. TM IV was in the ring for most of the match and it was worked with a bunch of different things in mind; he got a real hot run, outsmarting all 3 of the masked veterans culminating in a top rope splash outside. They also used him to do some ground work, with Liger being subtle heel and the other 2 straight face with clean armbars and such. Dragon seemed to be really motivated when in with Sayama, who was still spry and willing to take some bumps, such as missing his dreaded diving headbutt. Ultimo hit his spot of the night with the Asai onto the two younger Tiger's but ultimately fell victim after all 3 hit their finishes, Sayama getting a pin. Dragon was cracking a smile after the match and seemed pleased with a fun 6 man that never broke boundries or disgraced them.
9) Rob Van Dam v. Big Show (WWF Hardcore Title Match- WWF Raw 10/21/2001)- 2
God Show was miserably out of shape here, could have easily filled him with helium and floated in him in Macy's. He took some really stiff kicks to the face though and slammed Van Dam hard several times. RVD's usually shitty forearms were twice as bad seeing them delivered to someone 3 times his size. Really lame spot where he jumped on barricade where Show was lying bent over awaiting his colon cleansing, and RVD fell off, hopped back up and stuck one leg out like he was hitching a ride and dropped it. The usual plunder came out, garbage cans, fire extinguishers but by that point it was passe, so reviewing this match 8 years later, I can't even take it seriously.
10) Supreme v. Kronus (XPW Batpized in Blood- Finals of 2000 King of Deathmatch Tournament- No Ropes Barbed Wire Beds of Everything Match)- 1
Of all the post-ECW feds that completely tried to model themselves after the hardcore fed, this was by far the most insulting and terrible (probably not, but needed some good emphasis.) Supreme is completely rotund, probably has his own graivatational pull and Kronus, years removed from being in shape and motivated, put on a sloppy wandering pitiful waste of time for 36 fans. Lead Singer of Slayer (?) did the ring announcing which was near as long as the match. Supreme took one crazy spot where he got whipped into the barb wire and completely collapsed it falling from the ring to the concrete below, but I think he misjudged how hard to hit it. There was lightbulbs ( I mean the GE kind, as Kronus attempted to hit Supreme with it, missed the 1st time, then tried again and the bulb connected and flew into the audience, unbroken) Final spot was a splash through a table covered in barb wire by Supreme, funny thing he is was so fat, he could only climb one rung on this girder and so when he fell, the table didn't break, he had to push down on it with his weight. This was worse than microwaved potato pancakes.....and every other wrestling match I've seen this year.
11) Shane Douglas v. Bam Bam Bigelow (ECW Title- 10/16/1997)- 5
Not too bad actually, Rude brought in the Bammer to cause hell in Franchise's life (much like the Target dress code would years later to the fan of yellow) and Bam did a great job too. Bam Bam gives him two big press slams both onto the ropes right off the bat, and instead of just taking the move as it's given, Douglas tries to put his feet down for protection and ends up hurting himself worse on both moves. Putz. Bam Bam also sells well for Douglas, taking a good suplex which is pretty impressive. No real mistakes here and Bam Bam's big World title win gives this a nostalgia point.
12) Kevin Sullivan v. Randy "Macho Man" Savage (WCW Nitro- 09/25/1995)- 2
First we get a video clip of Savage working out on the beach in frilly shorts, when Sullivan, for some unknown reason comes up and drops the bench press bar onto his throat. This match is short and sloppy, like Savage's honeymoon with Liz. Sullivan is using these really lame throat thrusts to control Savage but i'm not buying it. Savage gets himself disqualified nearly 2 minutes in to end this epic fart.