Paul “The Keeper” Samson & Jim the Animal vs. Nightmare & Mike Lauria (UWF 7/20/91) – 1
This Nightmare fella is a pudgy guy in black sweats wearing a mask he probably purchased at the merchandise table earlier that evening. Basic irish whip is botched all to hell as Nightmare starts spinning halfway to the buckle like he was playing ring-around-the-rosy. The commentators mention that Lauria hosts a weekday wrestling radio show. I’m guessing Herb Abrams was a frequent guest, otherwise how did he get this gig? To his credit, Lauria, while not contributing a thing towards in-ring action, was very animated on the apron. Animal and Samson seemed like they mastered Pro Wrestling 101 during college and didn’t take the follow-up course. Animal starts throwing candy to the crowd for some unknown reason. A sloppy gutbuster and a tombstone that wouldn’t hurt a stuffed South Park doll were the only two moves of note.
The Destruction Crew & Tully Blanchard vs. D.J. Peterson, The Trooper, & Paul Diamond (AWA Sept. 1990) - 5
This is elimination rules and is part of the Team Challenge Series. These six were pretty much all the AWA had left to offer during their dying days. Really dug the exchange between Trooper and Wayne Bloom to start off with. Too bad it only lasted a few minutes as they brawled outside and got eliminated. Tully is really awesome with his bumping and selling. The eliminations during the match were not really all that great. Diamond was eliminated after taking a back bump off the second rope. I really didn’t like the elimination of Enos at all. Tully and Enos got crossed up and messed up the spot something awful and Peterson got the fall anyway. I don’t understand it but the crowd absolutely ate up everything Peterson did at the end, especially the spot where he stomped Tully in the gut. Good reversal of roll-ups at the end which culminated with Tully getting the win.
Larry Zbyszko vs. D.J. Peterson (AWA 7/23/90) – 6
Over on Segunda Caida, this match was pimped pretty hard so I decided to check it out for myself. Going into this match, if you start thinking “typical Zbyszko” then you’d be wrong. There was just a tad of stalling at the beginning but once the action got going, these two didn’t let up. Zbyszko’s first offense flurry was suprisingly stiff with him just taking D.J. to the woodshed and wailing on him. Peterson’s offense was okay, but I just loved the atomic drop on the outside that Zbyszko sold as if he just passed a kidney stone. Peterson’s punches mid-match are nothing fancy. He just rares back and slugs Larry in the face numerous times. Don’t think the match needed the ref bump spot but overall a suprisingly enjoyable match from a dismal era in AWA.
Barry Windham vs. Brad Armstrong (WCW Power Hour 2/6/93) – 3
I saw a lot of Armstrong during the Worldwide project earlier this year and enjoyed watching him. This is a fun match from a long forgotten episode from the long forgotten WCW series Power Hour. Armstrong did some mat work early on and Barry played a great heel throughout the match. Windham got a good corner punch in that knocked Brad silly. Windham’s front face DDT to finish off Braw was the highlight of the bout. Really wish this would’ve had more time.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Mantaur (WWF Superstars 6/24/95) – 3
Here’s a question, does anyone actually remember Mantaur? Bigelow shows up working face in a cape that gives off fire! I feel like I’ve stepped into an alternate universe here where Bam Bam is working face. I chuckled when Mantaur knocked down Bigelow and then tripped on the follow through. Punches and strikes looked really bad from both guys. Bam Bam teased a slam of Mantaur that actually woke the crowd up. Finish was really strange – Bigelow took a whip into the buckle and did a half-assed Flair flip onto the apron. Mantuar charged, hit the corner and took forever to fall while Bigelow waited for him to get in position to drop the headbutt.
Jerry Lawler & Randy Savage vs. King Kong Bundy & Rick Rude (Memphis 9/17/84) – 7
Here’s another match that was pimped pretty big over on Segunda Caida and once again I decided this would be worth a watch. This is a no DQ match that just goes all around ringside and it complete craziness from beginning to end. Savage is just nutty, grabbing chairs and the metal poles that hold the retaining ropes up and using them as weapons. We got a brawl on the ringside table with said table eventually finding its way into the ring. The entire ringside area looked like a war zone after these guys got done with each other. Rude took one of the sickest piledrivers from Lawler I’ve ever seen in my life which would have been the fall had Bundy not squashed the ref like a fly. I thought the finish was a bit messy with two people counting two different falls and initially I couldn’t tell who won.
Kane vs. Big Daddy V (ECW 11/27/07) – 4
This started off with them trying to knock each other down with simple stuff like just running into each other and the offense didn’t get much better from there. I should mention that this was an extreme rules match, which features the normal plethora of kendo sticks, tables, etc. Once the weapons got involved, there were a lot of really nasty shots from both guys. Big V charging Kane and putting him through a table and putting a giant hole in his own arm in the process was a cool spot. Kane getting slammed was also a highlight to rather lackluster match. I give it a bonus point just because the weapon shots were so damn violent, especially and unprotected one that Big V took with a trash can right to the cranium.
Lord Humongous vs. The Flame (Continental Wrestling July 1985) – 1
Someone should have told the Flame, who is a rather large dude, not to wear yellow and black as it made him look like a giant bumblebee wearing the mask of The Assassin. Flame is also very un-coordinated and sort of jogs lightly whenever he gets thrown into the ropes. Humongous looks like a cross between Jason Vorhees and a member of Demolition. This only goes about four minutes and change and culminates with the nefarious Flame loading his mask to get the win.
Cody Mathews & Bob Murdoch vs. The Dragon Masks (KZW 11/21/10) – 3
This is about as low on the independent scale as it gets. The ring is about 2 feet off the ground and the venue looks like it’s someone’s garage or basement. The one camera angle makes it tough to get a good read of what’s going on but these Dragon Mask guys look like their costumes were just thrown together and one of their masks looks suspiciously like the mask of Los Ice Creams from Chikara. Matthews and Murdoch seemed competent enough in the ring and I even saw one of them early on bust out the old Dusty Rhodes “flip, flop, and fly” elbow move. The end of the match was clipped all to hell and the double count out finish was a joke with everybody just standing on the floor not doing a thing.
Sting vs. Bruiser Mastino (WCW Saturday Night 3/6/93) – 3
Mastino is a really young Kane, pre Issac Yankem even, who looks just as ugly as he does with curly hair as he does bald. Sting spent the first 90 seconds playing to the crowd. I thought this was going to be somewhat competitive but it turned out to be all Sting as he spent the remaining two minutes smashing through the big Bruiser. More of a novelty to see Sting vs. Kane than anything else.