4) The Rockers v. The Brainbusters (MSG, 01/23/89)- 6
Time of Match- 16:19
Now, we're into the WWF stuff; during the documentary all 4 guys put over their series of matches together, but Arn surmises it best by saying " You have to wrestle someone better than you to get better." I really like how early on the Busters play frustration, both facially and in their movements. Arn on offense is so great, calculating like a stalking lion. Both teams have such give and take with each other, the choreography in this is more superb than in Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake." The pace was frenetic at times and felt like a NBA game without the celebrities in the crowd or big paychecks. Michaels whipped out a hurricanrana that looked better than most seen today. Busters kept giving them hope spots during thier whole offensive run and it just worked well. I've always loved Arn's knee to the spine; it's a wonderful cut off spot plus doing it to someone has to hurt like fuck. Building up to the finish with the hot tag, Arn hits his beautiful spinebuster and Yes, it really is that good! I know Trips tries to emulate it but you need to get a rotation on it and spike that m'fer to even compare to Arn's. Rockers make a valiant effort but Busters pull out the win with some schecannery, namely Arn holding their boot tassles down on the pin fall. Good solid tag match from these two, but I think they've had better in their series.
5) The Rockers v. Hart Foundation (SNME, WWF Tag Title, 2 out of 3 Falls Match, 10/30/90)- 4
Time of Match: 24:04
This was the untelevised Title win for the Rockers; never aired due to the top rope breaking in the 2nd fall. There's no commentary on this match which really kind of hurts the impact of the match, especially considering it's 2/3 falls. Anvil's wearing a pink bowler that Prince wouldn't be caught dead in. In probably the best spot of the match, both teams use double team sequences back to back in a nifty little "one-upmanship" spot early on. Bret takes Shawn to school in a retro kind of way- if only he'd known what that guy would do to him years later, i'm sure he would have put even more stank on his piledriver. The pace is all slow and strange in the 1st round- Marty pins Bret using the same finish he and Bulldog would use in Wembley.
2nd fall sees rope break early on and Anvil goes on a verbal tirade like he's Christian Bale, throwing out expletives like crazy. Bret throws the match into dangerously bad territory with long rest holds while the crowd boos to it's heart's content. Rockers are truly showing up the Harts as far as team work is concerned. Bret takes his famous sternum bump in the buckle but goes low and hits the 2nd buckle in what looked to have been a small car crash. Then, he takes a really risky bump off the ropes to the floor. That spot treated him as well as his tenure in WCW. Harts pick up the 2nd fall with a laughable double team clothesline where Bret has to jog into the ropes so he doesn't fall over them. Jannetty looks like an idiot trying to make an attempt at breaking the pin when he falls in the ring and clutches his side like he just took those riot blasts Knoxville and gang took in Jackass 2.
3rd fall has rope back up and Bret gets nasty, like his ex-wife every time Bret and Benoit gang-banged her after Canadian house shows, throwing possibly the best punches & stiffest Euro uppercuts to have been thrown in the 90's. Theme of the 3rd fall: Botched spots. Bret & Marty bumbling around trying to do a criss-cross spot, Harts using a sloppy backwards slam where Anvil nearly drops Bret before move is completed, then the finish where Jannetty gets rollup on Anvil as Shawn leaps over top rope to tackle Bret and they fall down like two kids scuffling over a Twinkie at recess.
6) The Rockers v. The Orient Express (Royal Rumble '91)- 7
Time of Match: 19:21
Gorilla & Hot Rod are your annouce team here and they do an excellent job. Piper can really put over a match and talent as he is stroking all 4 men's balls really well but still doesn't come off as a kiss ass. And how can you not praise this match? Starts out fast and furious with all 4 men running in the highest gear. Tanaka takes a gigantic back drop early on leading into a decent double suicide dive by the Rockers. Jannetty and Kato pull off a very Malenko-Guerrero technical stand off at least 4 years before they do it and gets a good reaction from the mega hot crowd, i'm talking Maryse mega hot. Tanaka is a hell of a competent villain, with great facials- he busts out this crazy forearm from the ground that kills Michaels. The Rockers tight's look like something I drew with my MagnaDoodle back in the early 90's. Rockers do double-teams like quite no one else and are severly overlooked as possibly best team of the 90's (I know that's saying something!) Double splash from both guys outside is quite tits. Marty throws decent punches for a drunk. Shawn takes a sick stun gun and plays Ricky Morton twice in same match, doing a decent job of showing his desperation, and takes huge pitiful bumps in the corner and eats a side kick like a No. 5 combo at Panda Express. Marty comes in for big finale and misses about 3 dropkicks in a row and the crowd just doesn't care- they decided they love this match and are popping huge for everything. The finish starts a little unfocused but it uses all 4 guys and finishes with an awesome and extremely creative sunset flip. This is worth adding to your permanent collection if you're serious about seeing great Tag Team wrestling.
7) Shawn Michaels v. Davey Boy Smith (SNME, IC Title Match, 11/14/92)- 4
Time of Match: 10:26
Not a fan of Shawn's overhead punches, really poor. Bulldog was a freaky beast- lifts Shawn's body up with one arm as Shawn is tangled around it like a boa constrictor. Davey not used to taking a leg sweep- these looked faker than Steph's sloppy hoots. Built around Power v. Brains, with both roles being utilized quite well. Shawn is taking these really over the top Rock bumps for all of Bulldog's stuff. Shawn works back for a good 3 minutes then Davey makes comeback and forgets to sell it- too much Kibble I guess, but regardless it still sucks. The finish was creative and memorable but the overall match can be forgotten.
8) 1995 Royal Rumble Match- 5
Time of Match: 38:39
This Rumble had a cast of characters & goofballs bigger than the Simpsons. Bulldog & Shawn start it out with Bulldog doing press slams, suplexes, and never once comes near the ropes to try and throw Shawn out. A bunch of guys come in to fill out the first half of the Rumble but they all go out in due time, with nothing memorable really coming out of it. You had the Heavenly Bodies, Duke the Dumpster, Doink, the Bushwhackers, they were scraping the bottom of the barrel for this one. Let's do our best & worst eliminations now, since they happened so close together: Bundy for the worst- he was practically already touching the floor as soon as he was pushed over the top he threw himself sideways for his feet to land first. And best, desputably, is Mable, who gets chucked sideways by Luger, not able to protect himself at all and when a guy that big goes over that fast, it's enjoyable for all to watch. After that, the 2nd half disappoints almost equally with Mo, Well Dunn (I know you don't remember that tag team) and Mantaur, the living bull all make an appearance.
Now, some funny moments:
- seeing Bulldog & Mabel both "trying" to eliminate Shawn
- Billy Gunn's famous slide where he went across the ring and nearly out the other side
- Bushwhacker Butch reliving his quick elimination with the same spot
- Dick Murdoch coming in, throwing a big dropkick and airplane spin that knocked Michaels silly
- Crush storming in at #30 like he was some big shit (reminds me of him brazenly strolling into an old HWA showcase show back in '01 and proclaiming himself a giant star 2 days after his shitty match against Taker & Kane on PPV)
This match really was all about Bulldog & Shawn, they both put on great performances. Those 2, Crush, & Luger were final 4. I may be off on this but I think Shawn & Luger tied for most eliminations with 5 each. The finish is quite brilliant, where Shawn is dangling from the ropes, and only one foot touches then pulls himself back in the ring to eliminate Davey Boy. So, so Rumble.