Sunday, May 9, 2010

WWF Prime Time Wrestling from Paris, France 11/08/88

1) Greg Valentine v. Don Muraco- 4

So, all those haters for the "Hammer", and trust me, I nearly become one when i saw him at a County Fair a few years ago, his skin seemingly melting off of him but still badly microwaved, moving as clumsily as a blind brontosaurus, but this match here will show you something. Over all, it wasn't recommendable, probably went about 20 minutes but Hammer showed more personality than he usually does. He had a stable vicious ground attack, pummeling away at Muraco's legs, using nasty elbow drops and braced knees. When he would be at a loss of what to do, he would just club Don in the face solid. But he also played weak heel well for Muraco's hope spots, even making outrageous faces when hit in the stomach, my god I couldn't help thinking King Hippo, damn my Nintendo upbringing, seeing as how Princess Peach gave me more guidance than my blood mother. The ending you can catch in any number of 80's matches so I won't spoil it here, but you can discover a little greatness in Valentine's performance.

2) Junkyard Dog v. Andre the Giant- 3

I was really apprehensive seeing these two names up against each other and while it didn't overtly tickle my fancy, there was a few things to appreciate, the big factor working against it is at this point, neither guy was very mobile but facially, they could tell a story. Dog bumped around like a beat up Pinto for Andre's hard strikes and long labored choke spots but when he came back, Andre did his tied in the rope spot, and JYD choked him like he choked Ueker at Mania and Andre was totally into it, selling like David Carradine in his final hours and just relishing his pain. Other than that, this one didn't go over seven minutes and was a cop out finish.

3) Rockin Robin v. Sensational Sherri- 4

I remember Rockin Robin from an old trading card and for some reason likened her ability to that of Wendi Richter, green rookie who was worthless in ring. Well, she was green, but still had some spunk and was able to be lead around by Sherri. They did a lot of headlocks, one of the detractions, and didn't really even work them, as if they were playing it safe in fear they would bomb. Sherri was a great heel though, she is really dirty with the scratching and hair pulling and stuff, but her comic oversells really gets the fans behind the face. This was a surprise title switch and was at least different from everything else on the show so it stands out a little.

4) Barry Horowitz v. Lanny Poffo- 2

I've been a Genius fan for years, but this was hackneyed stalling by Horowitz at it's best. He has a good simple move set that he can perform too, nice snap mare, sharp precision on his strikes but this whole bout was an exercise in futility. Poffo's flopping splashes and such were as embarrassing as the home exercise machine I saw him shilling years later on an infomercial one late night. I actually like the French more than this match and that's saying a lot coming from a born and bred American. Only thing redeemable was Gorilla and Heenan's shtick on commentary where Gorilla talks about getting an invite to Rockin Robin's celebration in the back (that fast?) and Heenan tries to leave to go to it and comes back dejected and Gorilla keeps asking him what that red mark on his face is, Heenan's reply is he's burning up in the booth and Gorilla retorts, "You mean in this air conditioned booth?" and they go on and on for some funny repor.

5) Haku v. Hulk Hogan- 5

This was from a Sat. Night's Main Event episode and boy did it sizzle. Haku was just on fire, he was all over Hogan, really aggressively, but his selling was non-existent only thing keeping this from going recommended on your ass! Loved this flurry where Hulk went for a clothesline off a offensive spree and Haku ducked, then hit a sick side kick and Hogan took one of the biggest bumps of his career by nearly flipping over the top rope, getting caught, then settling for a 2nd rope exit. Rest of the match kind of goes by the numbers of a Hogan comeback but both guys showed charisma in their physical actions while performing it.

6) British Bulldogs v. Demolition- 4

I was looking forward to this one, it had a great old school vibe, went at least 20 minutes deep, liked the heels cutoffs and quick tags keeping injured Dynamite in. Overall it just didn't really amount to a great match though, Davey was taking the beatdown for most of it and couldn't emote like Dynamite could, who actually took some really gnarly bumps including a big kickout he sold like he just got hit with a bazooka shell. Demolition were kind of fun, didn't do a lot besides chinlocks and axhandles, but Smash was really getting into his performance, this whiny screaming every time he took a shot while Ax stood stonefaced like the giant Paul Bunyan statue outside Fargo. The ending came with an illegal clothesline and totally diminished the previous bulk of the work with such a goofy finish.

7) Jake Roberts v. Rick Rude- 5

This bout was also from Sat. Night's Main Event, Rude had Jake's wife Cheryl airbrushed right on his pleasure stick and gyrated every time he thought to, while McMahon gasped in disgust. Cheryl was actually at ringside and the first section built up to her slapping Rude and getting ejected. Jake as always did those back arches when taking his bumps, both guys are actually experts at selling the back but Jake took the duty tonight. Loved Jake using the jabs a lot, gave it a more personal fight feel. Some neat counters to their top holds highlighted the second half and a really creative way for the DDT to come into play. Wanted to mark it higher but they've done better work.

8) Randy Savage v. Akeem- 4

Surprisingly this match worked all the way to the ending. Akeem is just a goofball but I knew if he could at least give some believable offense for Savage to sell this match would work. But The African Dream gave Randy tons of great moves, all his highlights, the flying axhandle, the clothesline on the neck over the top rope. Gorilla ripped on the gimmick, saying "he and Slick cooked it up one late night," of course he also lambasted the US government, as this show took place on election night 1988 between George Sr. and Mike Dukakis, as when Heenan inquired who Monsoon liked, he responded " Do you really think either of those guys will run the country, Brain? We all know Big Business runs this nation!" That aside, these two vets got a lot of mileage out of this match with really no stalling or rest holds. I thought their chemistry was very evident and would like to see this one again with a better match laid out.

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