PPV Review Thread

Smally

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This is something I've been thinking about doing for a long time, well since I got WWE Network anyway. A thread reviewing every PPV for WWE/WWF/WCW/NWA/ECW. I'm hopefully going to put up my first review later tonight (Starrcade 83) and the idea is that I'll review each PPV in chronological order. As a kid I liked wrestling in the early-mid 90's and loved the Attitude era, but stopped watching it regularly about 12 years ago. I've always been interested in wrestling and think watching and reviewing the PPV's in order would be interesting to see where wrestling was at 30 years ago compared to what it's currently like.

If anyone else wishes to join in with their own reviews of any PPV please feel free
 

Smally

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Starrcade 83: A Flair For The Gold



Promotion: NWA
Date: 24/11/83
City: Greensboro, North Carolina
Commentory team: Gordon Solie & Bob Caudle
Ring Announcer: Tom Miller


So, here we go. The first "PPV" on the Network. I say PPV, originally this was on CCTV when it first aired, but thankfully it's in it's rightful place.

Match 1 - Tag Team match
The Masked Assassins (w/Paul Jones) vs Rufus R. Jones & Bugsy McGraw


Masked Assassins are dressed all in black and wearing orange masks. One of them is massive. Like way too big to be an assassin. The fans seem to love Bugsy McGraw and Rufus R. Jones, cheering whenever they pull off a move. Lots of basic moves take place, strikes, hip tosses, arm locks. After a while Rufus starts to take a beating but them starts to 'Hulk Up' to get a tag to Bugsy McGraw. He starts to strike one of the assassins and does an irish whip, but the Assassins make a tag while one bounces off the ropes which Bugsy doesn't know about, so after giving one Assassin a back body drop, the legal Assassin pins Bugsy from behind to get the win.

Not the best opening match and not a lot of good things to write about. I didn't know anything about these teams before watching this and neither did anything to make me remember them*. 2/5
*After reading up about this later on, one of the Masked Assassins was Hercules Hernandez. No wonder I wasn't impressed

The camera cuts to the two commentators who give a bit of information and big up the show, and talk about the main event taking place later on, Ric Flair vs Harley Race. They then move to Tony Schiavone in the locker room, who says that unlike ever before they will be going to locker room after every match of the night to speak with the winners and losers. I guess this was a big thing back then which is kinda taken for granted now. The camera then goes back to the ring for Tom Miller to introduce the next match

Match 2 - Tag Team match, 45 minute time limit
Johnny Weaver & Scott McGhee vs Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin (w/Gary Hart)


Sullivan & Lewin start off as heels, and take the upper hand early on. After taking a beating for a while McGhee tags Weaver but the ref disallows it as he didn't see it. McGhee finally makes the tag to Weaver, who performs a bull dog on Sullivan and gets a 2 count pin, he tries it again but it's reversed and the tag to Lewin is made who regains control of the match. Another tag is made to Sullivan and they double team and arm lock (yes, an arm lock) on Weaver while he's on the ground, but McGhee comes into the ring and is held back by the ref. Manager Gary Hart then grabs one of Weaver's arms through the ropes while Sullivan holds the other, and Lewin does an Ax Handle off the top rope onto Weaver's shoulder to pick up the win.

McGhee then comes into the ring and attacks Sullivan, Lewin and Hart, but Hart pulls something out of his jacket which is used by Lewin to make McGhee bleed. Angelo Mosca (never heard of him) comes down to the ring to help out but is also attacked.

Not a great match but more enjoyable than the first match of the night, and the weapon attack after the match made things a bit more interesting. 2/5

The Camera then goes back to the commentators who talk about the attack after the match, and they then go to Barbara Clarey who is interviewing fans in the crowd. After this it's back to Tony Schiavone in the locker room who is talking to US Champion Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine, Tag Team Champs Jack & Gerry Briscoe, and Heavyweight Champion Harley Race. Race does a short interview saying he knows Flair's weakspots and will be targeting them, before we go back to the ring for the next match.

Match 3: Singles match, 60 mins time limit
Carlos Colon vs Abdullah The Butcher


Well this is quite the size difference. Colon is a regular sized guy while Abdullah is fucking HUGE. Abdullah The Butcher uses his massive size difference to take the upper hand early on and gets a quick 2 count. Bob Caudle mentions that Abdullah as a weapon hidden in his tights, and after a while Colon takes this from The Butcher and turns the tide, cutting him open. Abdullah kicks out of a pin and causes Colon to land on the referee. The Butcher goes for an elbow drop, Colon moves out the way making the ref take the hit. Colon gets Abdullah in a Figure 4 Leg Lock, but someone runs into the ring and hits Colon with a weapon. Abdullah rolls up Colon and the recovered ref makes the 3 count to give Abdullah The Butcher the victory.

Quite a quick match and nothing special about it either. Colon using the weapon to counter the size difference between him and Abdullah made sense, but the match was over before it could go anywhere. The person who ran in and caused Colon to lose was Hugo Savinovich, again not someone I'm familiar with. 2/5

When the match finishes we go back to Tony Schiavone in the dressing room who is with Angelo Mosca who has an injured arm. He is supposed to referee the tag team match later on. He gives a quick interview talking about the youth in the company. He also says Ric Flair will win later on. Barbara Clarey is interviewing more fans (why, it's terrible). We then go back to the ring.

Match 4 - Tag Team Match, 45 minute time limit
Chief Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood vs Dick Slater & Bob Orton


Don't think I've seeen any of Bob Orton's matches so this should be good. Chief Wahoo and Mark Youngblood are both going for a native American look, while everyone knows Bob Orton as 'Cowboy Bob'. I see what they did there... Anyway, the match is about to begin, the bell rings, and then the announcer begins to say that there is a special guest....and then his mic cuts out :lol: . It starts working again when he's saying "Where is Dusty Rhodes?".

The match starts properly now and McDaniel & Youngblood start off the better of the two teams. Orton and Slater slowly come back into it and start to work on Youngblood for quite some time. After a 2 count following a suplex, Youngblood counters a piledriver and makes a hot tag to McDaniels. he starts clearing up, beating both his opponents and delivering an inverted atomic drop and a body slam on Orton, but he pins Cowboy Bob too close to the ropes. Orton tags out and Slater comes in and evens things out, delivering a belly-to-back suplex and gets 3 2-counts off of it. Orton is tagged in and works on McDaniels some more and gets another 2 count. Slater is tagged in while Orton hold onto McDaniels, Slater goes off the top rope, McDaniel moves and Orton takes the hit. The crowd loves it, Slater is hit with an atomic drop and Youngblood is tagged back in. Orton is tagged back in, and gets hit with a few drop kicks while McDaniel and Slater brawl on the outside. Orton is tripped by Slater following an irish whip, causing Youngblood to miss a drop kick. Slater & Orton get Youngblood up on the top buckle in their corner and Orton hits Youngblood with a superplex to get the win just before McDaniel can make the save.
Orton and Slater then double team McDaniel after the match before walking away. This has been a much better match than the ones that have been put on before, and I hope is a sign of things to come. Solid 3/5

Tony Schiavone is now in Ric Flair's lockeroom, who he shares with Ricky Steamboat and Jake Youngblood. Flair says that he's ready and wishes his friends well in their match. Youngblood and Steamboat say they know what to do to win later that night and will get the job done. I didn't know Ricky Steamboat was going to be in this, I love watching that guy. Barbara Clarey has found Dusty Rhodes in the crowd but the audio on the mic isn't working, so Gordon Soley talks over him.

Match 5 - Singles Match, 60 minute time limit with a stipulation:
Charlie Brown vs The Great Kabuki (C) w/Gary Hart


So, yeah, there's a weird stipulation in this one. If Charlie Brown wins inside 15 minutes, he wins the NWA TV Championship off The Great Kabuki. If Kabuki wins inside 15 minutes, he wins.....Charlie Brown's mask. Great.

Charlie Brown is a clear fan favourite and starts off the stronger man, hitting Kabuki outside the ring. He is allowed to hit Kabuki with a chair and doesn't get disqualified! He then gives Kabuki a Phil Babb moment on the ring post, and gives him a kick to the crotch while the ref's back is turned. He puts Kabuki in a sleeper. Kabuki works his way out, so Brown gets him in another sleeper after an irish whip. Kabuki gets out of it and then attacks Brown while Charlie is trying to work up the crowd. He puts Brown into The Claw, Brown fights back with a couple of back drops, but a strong martial arts kick puts Kabuki back on top. He puts The Claw (which looks like a really terrible move, holding someone's head with one hand) back on Brown, but again Brown fights back. Kabuki jumps off the top rope and puts Brown in The Claw for the third time. Kabuki releases the hold after the ref does that holding the arm up til it drops thing that ref's like to do, and climbs back to the top rope and hits Brown in the head. Kabuki tries to take Brown's mask but is stopped by the ref, so he beats on Brown some more. Brown starts to gain momentum/Hulk Up and hits Kabuki with a couple of punches. Kabuki whips Brown into the corner and tries to hit him with some kind of jumping kick move, Brown ducks out of the way and hits Kabuki while he's on the ground with a running elbow drop to get the win.

This wasn't an exciting match but wasn't terrible either. The Claw move Kabuki uses just seems rediculous to me and not a believable submission move. I also didn't like how a missed jumping kick and elbow drop decided the match. 2/5

Afterwards the commentators aren't sure if the win took place within the time limit so Kabuki might still hold the title. They then interview someone called Dude Walker who thinks Ric Flair will win later on. Soley then bigs up the event saying it is history in the making, and you can tell he believes it. I've liked the commentary so far, two guys who you can tell love what they're doing. I think I read somewhere that JR said that Soley was his biggest influence as a commentator and you can tell, Soley is the guy giving you information about the wrestlers pasts like mentioning which college they went to, ex footballer, Harley Race 7 time world champ etc.

We move back to Schiavine who is back in Harley Race's dressing room interviewing Bob Orton and Dick Slater. They talk about when they took out Flair in the past for $25k, and Race joins in saying he's going to target Flair's neck. I find it hard to take him seriously though as he looks like Bob from That 70's Show.

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Barbara Clarey is with Dusty Rhodes again but now backstage. Rhodes says he wants to challenge the winner or Race and Flair for the title so he can become 3-time NWA World Champion.

Match 6 - Collar Match, no DQ and no time limit for the NWA USA Championship
Rowdy Roddy Piper vs Greg Valentine (C)


Piper is the fan favourite going into this one, a collar match where both guys wear a dog collar round their necks, and the collars are attached with a chain. Seeing as this is a no DQ match I expect this to be brutal. I've seen Valentine a few times and remember him as a solid performer.

After a battle of wills each guy leaning back, Piper manages to whip Valentine, before getting his distance. Valentine tries to do the same but Piper dodges out of the way. Piper starts use the chain to his advantage and it takes Valentine a while to get into the match. The commentators make a point that Piper has a weak point with his ear due to a recent injury where he lost his equilibrium and Valentine targets this. Piper fights back and starts being creative with the chain, wrapping it round the ring post so Valentine can't get out of the corner and cuts him open. Valentine works his way back and targets Piper's ear again, hitting it with the chain and shoving Piper into a row of chairs. Valentine stays in control despite Piper occasionaly fighting back and gets a couple of two counts. Piper yanks the chain to get back into it and starts attacking Valentine with the chain, getting full backing from the crowd. Both men are cut and after a Piper suplex the ref starts a double count. They both get up and Valentine puts Piper in a sleeper hold. While in the hold Piper starts wrapping the chain round his fist and hits Valentine to break the hold.After Valentine climbs to the top rope, Piper yanks him down and after a few strikes with chain uses it to hook up Valentine's legs to get the win, Piper is the new Champion!

Valentine attacks Piper again after the match and uses the chain to choke Piper while he is on the apron. Piper takes quite a beat down off Valentine but he doesn't care, he's the new USA Champion. I liked this match and the crowd certainly enjoyed Piper winning. This was a decent scrap and I liked what Piper especially did with the chain, while Valentine certainly played his part, especially with the beat down after the match. Very solid 3/5

Tony Schiavonne interviews Flair and Wahoo McDaniel in the locker room, and Barbara Clarey interviews someone at ringside. These are pretty boring to be honest and don't really add much to the event. We quickly move back to the ring

Match 7 - Tag Team match, no time limit for the NWA World Tag Team Championships, belts can change hands on a DQ
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood vs Jack & Jerry Brisco (C)
Special Guest Referee: Angelo Mosca


The commentators sound exceited for this one and start to explain that the Briscoes are experienced and experts with certain moves. Steamboat starts in the ring and is easily the most athletic guy we've seen so far. Steamboat escapes a couple of holds and hits Jack Briscoe with one of his deep arm drags. Jerry is tagged in and forces Steamboat into the corner to gain the upper hand. Steamboat gets back into it and makes the tag to Youngblood. He gets Jerry Briscoe into a few holds, and they both make quick tags double teaming Jerry Briscoe focussing on his arm. Jerry tags out and Jack starts to dominate Steamboat. Briscoe hits Steamboat with a very impressive double underhook suplex and goes for the pin, but Steamboat kicks out. Briscoe puts Steamboat in a Key Lock arm hold, pinning him for 2, but Steamboat gets to his feet, lifts Briscoe and slams him on his back. Steamboat and Jerry make desparate tags but the Briscoes regain control. They tag and perform a double shoulder tackle, go for the pin but Youngblood gets his foot on the rope. Jerry Briscoe performs a suplex and gets a couple more 2 counts, gets frustrated and pushes Mosca! Mosca shoves back and Youngblood takes advantage, and tags in Steamboat. Steamboat gets a few strikes to Jerry's head and also hits Jack when he is held back by Mosca. After a few quick tags, Steamboat picks up Youngblood and drops him on Jerry Briscoe, he gets the pin and the crowd explodes!

The Briscoes attack Angelo Mosca, shove Steamboat out of the ring and double team Youngblood, but Mosca catches one of the Briscoes in mid air and Steamboat & Youngblood fight back sending both Briscoes out of the ring. They celebrate in the ring with the Championship belts and the crowd love it.

This was a good tag team match, and I'm glad Steamboat won. All the performers did their roles pretty well, and there was a few excellently executed moves, expecially Jack Briscoe's double underhook suplex. Steamboat is the master of the arm drag, and even though I'm biased towards him, he's been my favourite performer so far. I enjoyed the match but I can't really give it higher than a 3/5, it didn't quite have that extra something to make it a bit more memorable.

There is now a massive gap while they build up to the main event. The locker room clap Steamboat and Youngblood on being 5 time world champions and Piper gives a good interview saying Valentine forgot to get his other ear :lol: but all the focus goes into what is coming up next.

Match 8 - Cage match, 60 minute time limit for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Ric Flair vs Harley Race (C)
Special Referee: Gene Kiniski


Someone sings the US national Anthem and then it's onto the ring entrances. Flair gets the first proper entrance of the night, lights out and entrance music as loud as you can imagine, and the crowd lap it up. Harley Race walked into the ring with no music, just crowd noise. It didn't help. Flair is so far and away the fan favourite in this Harley Race may as well be Roman Reigns.

It's a slow start to the match which goes back and forth. Victory can be gained by pinfall in this match, which is weird to me as I'm used to victories in Cage matches being gained by escaping the cage. Probably because I spent far too much time playing WWF Warzone growing up.

Race starts to get ahead and gets a couple of pinfalls. Flair is excellent at selling the attacks Race lands and you can see why he's regarded as one of the best the business has ever produced. Race uses slow, drawn out, methodical attacks, setting a pace which isn't pretty but is very consice in what he wants to do. Flair kicks out after a run of attacks, including a piledriver and falling front body slam. Race berates the referee which gives Flair the time to strike back, attacking Race's body.

Race starts to throw Flair into the cage, causing him to bleed heavily. Flair is moved into the corner but the ref holds Race back for not allowing Flair to escape. Flair takes advantage and moves race to another corner, but the ref returns the favour and grabs Flair for the same reason. This gives Flair the momentum and he in turn uses the cage and turnbuckles as weapons. Flair hits Race with a piledriver and double underhook suplex bit can't put him away. After throwing Race into the cage again, Flair starts arguing with the ref, giving Race the chance to get back into the match.

Race again starts using the cage as a weapon, Flair's face turning crimson. This seems to give him a second wind and Flair begins to dominate. He gets Race in the Figure 4 Leg Lock, which gets the crowd excited, but it wanes slightly after a while. Race tuns Flair over but they're too close to the ropes and the hold is broken.

Race tries to suplex Flair but his leg gives way and Flair pins him, but Race kicks out on two. He hits Flair with a headbutt from the top rope and gets a 2 count. Gives Flair a suplex, again a 2 count. Punches and knee drops are given, Flair swings and really sells himself being lost and exhausted. Race starts to choke Flair with his boot and the ref drags Race away by the hair. Flair reverses a suplex but then misses a follow up elbow drop. Race gets Flair in a headlock but inadvertedly headbutts the ref. Flair takes advantage and climbs to the top rope and hits a big cross body on Harley Race. The ref slowly recovers and counts, eventually, to 3. Flair wins!

The ending wasn't quite as explosive as you would have hoped, seeing as the whole crowd seemed to be behind Flair. However he put on a masterclass of showing how to sell moves and telling the story of the match, especially seeing as he was bloodied all over by the end of the match. Harley Race didn't put a foot wrong either, and this was a worthy wrestling match to close such a big event. A very well earned 4/5.

After the match, all of Flair's dressing room run down to the ring to celebrate with him, which then carries on into the dressing room. Dusty Rhodes comes in and congratulates Flair, but leaves saying they are both 2 time champions and says he wants a match in the future.

So, there we have it. The first PPV I can find and it definitely got better as it went on. I was worried after the first few matches that this would be a huge disappointment, but in the end not bad at all. On match averages the PPV scored 21/40 which doesn't sound too good, however I did enjoy the commentary efforts and the crowd did get involved in parts which made up for parts that may have dragged otherwise. If I was to score the PPV out of 10, I'd say the last match scrapes it to a 6.
 

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Nice read buddy, looking forward to seeing more.
 

Smally

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Thank you, should hopefully have it up next week
 

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The eras of Flair vs. Rhodes or Flair vs. Sting, possibly the best of the NWA/Early WCW.

Post-1990 WCW is terrible
 

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Starrcade 84: The Million Dollar Challenge






Promotion: NWA
Date: 22/11/84
City: Greensboro, North Carolina
Commentary team: Gordon Solie & Bob Caudle
Ring announcer: Tom Miller


This starts with a replay of the closing moments of Starrcade 83, with Ric Flair pinning Harley Race to win the NWA Heavyweight World Championship, before quickly going to the ring for our first match

Match 1 - Denny Brown vs Mike Davis (C)
Singles match, 30 minute time limit for the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship


We start with a title match to kick things off, Denny Brown challenging fan favourite Mike Davis. Brown starts out on top with a couple of arm drags and head scissors, but is sent through the ropes, seemingly hurting his back. Davis works on this with a couple of body slams and a back breaker and gets a 2 count. Brown fights back and after a drop kick gets a 2 count of his own. Davis reverses an irish whip into the corner and hits Brown with a belly to back suplex, and holds onto Brown for the pin. The ref starts counting, and Brown gets his shoulder up, but Davis still has his shoulders on the mat, referee Earl Hebner counts to 3 Brown wins the title!

The ring announcer says that Davis won but the crowd and commentators seem confused. The ref gives Brown the belt and the announcer corrects himself.

Not a bad opening match, I liked the look of Denny Brown in this one but the match itself was quite short. I liked the ending with Brown taking advantage of Davis' position following the belly to back suplex and thought Brown's moveset was refreshing considering not many others around this time were using Japanese style arm drags and head scissors. Davis never really got going in this, but I'd say Brown's performance just about makes this a 3/5

We now go to Tony Schiavone in the dressing room, just like last year (this got boring quickly). He says this will be happening again this year (ugh) before going back to ring announcer Tom Miller for the next match

Match 2 - Mr Ito vs Brian Adidis
Singles match, 20 minute time limit


Adidis gets a big cheer when he is announced, however Gordon Solie on commentary believes Mr Ito to be the favourite. Bob Caudle says Adidis is pretty quick and agile and thinks he has a good career ahead of him. Adidis takes the upper hand after a few back and forth reversals and gets Ito into a wrist lock. Ito tries to reverse this by body slamming Adidis, but Adidis keeps hold of Ito's wrist and rolls through to keep the hold in. Shortly after Adidis whips Ito into the ropes and hits him with what I think is his finishing move, the Aeroplane Spin (picks Ito up onto his shoulders, spinds round and drops Ito down) to pick up the win.

This match was really too short to start getting anywhere. I didn't like that rather than slamming Ito to the ground after hitting the Aeroplane Spin his just dropped him, making the move come across as a bit shit to me. I can't give this match anything higher than 2/5

The commentary team watch a replay of Adidis getting the win and quickly go back to the ring for the next match

Match 3 - Mike Graham vs Jesse Barr (C)
Singles match, 30 minutes for the NWA Florida State Heavyweight Championship


Another championship match and the event is less than 20 minutes old! This wasn't classed as a PPV back then, just another CCTV event.

Both Graham and Barr got cheers from the crowd in this one, but Barr also got a share of boos too when being announced. Graham is a former Florida State Champion and wants the belt again, however Barr will be a tough opponent. Barr seems to be focussing on Graham's arm, getting him in a hold which Graham struggles to get out of. Barr is on top and tries to whip Graham from one corner to the other, but Graham reverses, sending Barr into the corner and gets him to the ground with a drop toe hold. He puts Barr into a variation of the Indian deathlock and tries to put him into the figure 4 leg lock but Barr escapes.

They then go into a test of strength which Barr dominates, but Graham gets in a quick headbutt to the mid section, uses a fireman carry takedown and puts Barr into an arm lock. He later gets Barr into the figure 4 leg lock, but Barr quickly shuffles to the ropes. Barr uses this to again take control and gets Graham in a looooong headlock take down. Graham takes an age to get Barr to release the hold, and eventually does by performing a shin breaker. Graham attacks Barr's knee and gets him in the figure 4 again, this time for longer, but Barr gets to the ropes once more.

After a 2 count fall, Barr shoves Graham into the ref, knocking him over. The ref misses a small package roll up, but I don't think it would have got to 3 anyway. The ref then recovers, and both get 2 count pins. Graham uses an atomic drop and Barr heads into the corner. Barr takes down Graham and quickly pins him, but uses the ropes for leverage which the ref doesn't see, and this time he gets the 3 count.

Not a bad match this. I'd not seen either of these guys before but they put on a decent show. Barr was the type of guy who would work his opponent down with holds, while Graham seemed to focus as much as he could on Barr's knee so he could use the figure 4 leg lock. Graham also had the crowd behind him and seemed to do all he could to generate a bit of atmosphere. I'll give this a 3/5

After this match a clip of another event shows Ricky Steamboat and (I think) Dick Slater getting attacked by 3 other guys and a manager. Slater is tied into the corner while Tully Blanchard, Cowboy Ron Bass and Black Bart attack Steamboat. It goes back to the commentators who explain Steamboat was injured from that attack but he will be competing later that night (which is always a good thing). After looking at a replay of Jesse Barr winning the last match, we go back to the ring for match number 4


Match 4 - The Zambuie Express w/Paul Jones vs The Assassin 1 & Buzz Tyler
Tag Team Elimination match, 30 minute time limit


The stipulation is whenever someone gets pinned they must leave and go back to the locker room. This is the first time someone from last year has featured in a match, and I wasn't overly impressed with the Masked Assassins, but this time it's just one of them (Masked Assassin 1 is a guy called Jody Hamilton, who would have been in his late 40's at this point). Never heard of the Zambuie Express or Buzz Tyler. After reading up on it, the Zambuie Express are Kareem Muhammad & Elijah Akeem, again, never heard of them.


The match starts with the Zambuie Express on the back foot. Tyler is on top of Muhammad and sends him out the ring. Both teams tag but this doesn't change anything. Both teams tag again but Muhammad fights back, briefly. Eventually all 4 men are in the ring, but legal men Buzz Tyler and Akeem are knocked out of the ring. They brawl outside but both men are counted out. Back in the ring, Muhammad whips The Assassin into the ropes, but both men knock into eachother. Muhammad falls to the mat but The Assassin is tied up in the ropes. Paul Jones comes to the apron and the ref tells him to get down, but Buzz Tyler frees the Assassin from the ropes. Assassin pins Muhammad and gets the 3 count.

Well this was crap. It didn't really do anything or bring anything at all to the event. I'm quite generous when it comes to scoring, but even though the crowd loved the outcome, I can't give this match anything other than 1/5

After the commentators re-cap on the night's events so far we go to Tony Schiavone in the dressing room who speakings with Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes gives a promo saying the time for talking is over and he's going to win the match later on. We then go back to the ring

Match 5 - Ragin' Bull vs Black Bart (C) w/James J Dillon
Singles match, no time limit for the NWA Brass Knuckles Championship


Wow. There was a belt called the Brass Knuckles Championship. Amazing. I guess this is some kind hardcore/no DQ title. The announcer said "Anything goes" so I'll see what happens.

Ragin' Bull is one half of the current Tag Team Champions, and Black Bart was one of the guys who was attacking Steamboat in the clip they showed earlier. I've heard of James J Dillon but not seen him involved as a manager before. Black Bart gives Dillon a rope just before the match starts.

Ragin' Bull starts off the stronger, using martial arts strikes against Bart, but Bart slowly gets back into it. The champion manages to cut Bull open only after a few minutes and begins to take control, but Bull fights back and eventually gets Bart out of the ring over the top rope. Solie says in commentary that usually throwing someone over the top rope would result in a disqualification - what a shite rule that is - but seeing as it's a no DQ match it's allowed in this one.

Bull gets back in the ring and taunts Bart up with him. Bart is cut at this point and Bull uses a snapmare to take Bart down before punching him on the ground and gets a 2 count. After an axe handle off the second rope he gets another 2 count. Bart turns the tables with a low blow and after some strikes and an elbow drop goes for the pin but only gets a 2 count. He then picks Bull up and drops his neck onto the top rope. Rather than go for the pin again he shoves the ref out the way and gets the rope from JJ Dillon, but Bull gets up and rolls Bart off the ropes into a pin and gets the win.

For a no DQ match this was terrible. They got cut open early on, then just punched eachother a lot. Things could have gotten interesting if the rope was put to use but it wasn't. Again, seeing as the gimmick in this match was no DQ, it really didn't need to be as the only real DQ would have happened with the low blow and ref shove. Due to the total lack of imagination I give this 1/5

Solie and Caudle watch a replay and feel JJ Dillon could have cost Bart that match giving him the rope. After this we go to a replay of how Starrcade 83 ended (again), and the Ricky Steamboat attack (again) and Tony Schiavone is inteviewing Steamboat. They say Steamboat has put up $10k to wrestle his match later tonight against Tully Blanchard for the US Title, even though he is injured from the attack he suffered. We go back to Solie and Caudle who talk about Steamboat for a while, before going back again to Tony Schiavine. He now has Tully Blanchard and JJ Dillon with him. Dillon says the last match ended with the wrong decision, and both he and Blanchard declare Tully the better wrestler, and then saying after tonight's match he will be going after Flair amd Dusty Rhodes for the heavyweight title. We then go back again to Solie and Caudle, Caudle saying Steamboat will be running on adreneline which will remove any pain he feels. The next match is starting, and we have ring entrances!

Match 6 - Paul Jones w/ Kareem Muhammad vs "The Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant w/ Masked Assassin 1
Tuxedo Street Fight Loser Leaves Town Match


This is the first time ring entrances have been shown. And they're literally just walks to ring to music. Paul Jones is an electric guitar one while Jimmy Valiant is a more upbeat piano piece. Valiant is introduced as the Boogie Woogie man so at least his music makes sense.

Valiant is the clear fans favourite, and they lap it up when he starts chasing Jones around the ring. Valiant ties Jones to the top rope, removes his own jacket and then starts forcing the flower Jones was wearing into his mouth. He then starts to remove Jones' jacket and shirt. He rips off Jones' pants and shirt, which lets Jones escape from being tied to the rope. He attacks Valiant briefly but Valiant whips Jones against the ropes and locks in a sleeper hold. Jones is also bleeding at this point. Before Jones can submit Kareem Muhammad comes to the apron, which causes the ref to stop the count. Valiant breaks the hold and shoves the referee into Muhammad, causing the ref to go down. Muhammad comes into the ring but is attacked by Valiant and the Masked Assassin. They knock Muhammad out of the ring, but from nowhere JJ Dillon comes to the ring and hits Valiant with a weapon of some kind, leaving Jones to pin him for the win.

The crowd absolutely loved this. Valiant certainly played up to them as best as he could, and Jones was good at acting like a weasily character. The crowd alone push this up to 2/5

Another replay is shown of JJ Dillon interfering in the match before we go to Tony Schiavone who is interviewing Ric Flair. Flair gives an interview saying he's the best around and he's ready for the match later on.We go back to Solie and Caudle who talk about how the Championship match on later tonight between Flair and Rhodes is for the championship and the winner also gets $1m. The next match is coming up.

Match 7 - Dick Slater vs "Cowboy" Ron Bass (C) w/ James J Dillon
Singles match, 45 minute time limit for the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship


Dick Slater was in a tag team match as a heel in the last Starrcade. He's now a fan favourite in this match against Ron Bass. Bass is also the co-holder of the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team championship and is dressed with a waist coat and chaps, like a cowboy...

Slater gets the first knock down of the match and then jumps out the ring to go for JJ Dillon, just as the commentators say Slater can get out of control during matches. Dillon runs away and Slater gets back in the ring. After a minute or two he runs after Dillon again, who runs across the ring again and escapes. Bass taunts Slater, Slater taunts back and gets Bass into a headlock. After a brief escape Slater locks it in again, but Bass breaks out. Slater uses an atomic drop on Bass, and takes control. He has Bass on the ground near the ropes and is about to stomp him, but the ref grabs Slater's leg, preventing him making the stomp. This breaks his momentum and gives Bass the chance to get back into it. Slater is caught in the ropes allowing Bass and Dillon to attack at will. After a suplex Bass gets a 2 count. He also hits Slater with a bulldog, but Slater swings and hits Bass in the stomach. He beats Bass down, gets a 1 count, then stands on Bass' forehead, causing it to bleed slightly. Bass throws Slater through the ropes and distracts the ref, while JJ Dillon goes to work on the outside. Slater is thrown back in and Bass works Slater into the corner. Slater tries to escape and get the crowd up. Eventually he truns Bass into the corner and attacks him, then throws the ref out of the way when he tries to break it up. With the ref down, he belly to back suplexes Bass who is down for the 3 count, but no one is there to make the count. Dillon runs into the ring, breaks the pin,but is then body slammed and punched out the ring by Slater. Bass is now on his feet and gets body slammed. Slater hits the leg drop and pins Bass. The ref now appears but instead of counting for the pin, disqualifies Slater. Bass wins by DQ.

Slater isn't happy and then attacks both Dillon and Bass knocking them out of the ring before posing to the crowd. I didn't like this match too much, and didn't like that Slater kept going after JJ Dillon during the match. Not the worst match you will see but not a lot to remember either. 2/5

Solie and Caudle explain that the decision was unpopular but correct in the last match, but they feel Slater could be the next champion due to him having Bass pinned for 3 when the ref was down. We then go to a trumpet rendition of the star spangled banner while a flag is lit up in the arena, and then back to the ring.

Match 8 - Ole Anderson & Keith Larson w/Don Kernodle vs Ivan & Nikita Koloff
Tag Team Match, 45 minute time limit


Anderson and Larson are fan favourite for this 'special grudge' match. I think Caudle tries to explain it's a grudge match due to injuries suffered by Don Kernodle.

Larson and Anderson run from their corner to the Koloffs and go on the attach from the off. Larson keeps Ivan Koloff in his corner and a few tags are made with Ole Anderson keeping the upper hand early on.

Ivan Koloff is being dominated and can't get any moves in. Larson and then Anderson get a 2 count each and don't let Ivan anywhere near Nikita Koloff. Larson is tagged back in and focusses on Koloff's shoulder. He whips Koloff into the corner, but Koloff starts to fight back and raises his knee when Larson charges towards him. Koloff goes on the top rope, rather than going for the tag, but Larson recovers and throws Koloff back into the ring, getting a 2 count. Larson and Anderson keep tagging eachother and focus again on Ivan Koloff's shoulder. Anderson works Koloff's arm round a rope and delivers a few blows, but Koloff is able to turn round and thumb Anderson in the eye, giving him the chance at last to make a tag.

Nikita Koloff comes in and whips Anderson into the neutral corners, delivering shoulder thrusts in each one. Anderson tries to fight back but then gets trapped in a bear hug. Ivan Koloff starts to climb to the top rope from the outside, Larson attempts to come into the ring but referee Tommy Young stops him, leaving Ivan Koloff free to hit Anderson with a double axe handle while he's still locked into the bear hug. Anderson tries to gether crowd momentum and breaks the bear hug by hitting Koloff in the ear. Ivan Koloff is tagged in but Anderson is stopped from tagging in Larson. Anderson is pinned for a 2 count and Nikita is tagged back in. Anderson is put in another bear hug. He struggles but is eventually able to break the hold by performing some kind of chin breaker. Anderson makes a hot tag to Larson.

Larson comes in and attacks both Koloffs, knocking both their heads together. He whips Nikita against the ropes and knocks him down with a high elbow. Nikita is whipped again while Larson does a drop kick, but Nikita Koloff holds onto the ropes making Larson drop kick the air. Koloff starts to choke Larson and Ivan is tagged back in. Ivan drops Larson's neck onto the ropes and brings him back up to perform a body slam, but Larson counters into a small package, but they're too close to Nikita Koloff on the outside who makes the save.

All four men are in the ring, Larson and Ivan Koloff exchanging blows, and Ole Anderson hits Nikita Koloff outside the ring. The ref tells Anderson to get back to his corner, but Nikita Koloff slowly moves round the ring on the outside and attacks Don Kernodle. Anderson doesn't like this and attacks Nikita Koloff again, which distracts the referee. Meanwhile in the ring, Ivan Koloff is able to attack Larson with a chain while the referee's back is turned. He pins Larson and gets the win.

The Koloffs then set up to beat down Anderson and Larson with the chain, but Don Kernodle comes into the ring and attacks the Koloffs with his crutch, breaking it into pieces. The crowd love it.

Not a bad tag team match really. Everyone played their part and the crowd seemed to really enjoy it. Good spells for each team dominating and a good finish for the heels. 3/5

Solie and Caudle watch a replay of Kerndole attacking the Koloffs with his crutch, and then start to talk about the Steamboat vs Blanchard match coming up next.

Match 9 - Ricky Steamboat vs Tully Blanchard (C)
Singles match, 60 minute time limit for the NWA TV Championship
Title can change hands on a DQ or time out


Both Steamboat and Blanchard have put up $10k for this match so the winner will get a nice bonus as well as the belt. Steamboat gets a massive ovation from the crowd as he makes his way to the ring. Blanchard makes his way down to some pretty bad 80's rock music, and is booed mercilessly when the announcer reads his name out.

Steamboat comes into this match with an injured ribcage, which Blanchard targets early on, but Steamboat fights back trading blows of his own. After a snapmare and attack while he's on the ground, Blanchard escapes to the apron, but Steamboat catches him and suplex him back into the ring. He gets a 2 count after dropping his forearm onto Blanchard while he's still on his back. Steamboat gets Blanchard into a chin lock but Blanchard is able roll over into the ropes. Blanchard tries to take control but a knee lift from Steamboat keeps momentum in his favour.

Blanchard backs off, and attacks Steamboat's ribs and back, giving him the upper hand. Steamboat is backed into the corner and is able to lash out and fight back. After some chops Steamboat goes to work on Blanchard and gets a 2 count. He puts Blanchard in abother chin lock but Blanchard gets to the ropes and falls onto the apron. This gives him a bit of space which he utileses by kicking Steamboat through the ropes into the ribs. He gets back into the ring and performs a back suplex before punching Steamboat in the kidneys. He gets a 1 count and tries to get a hold locked in, but Steamboat reverses and gets another quick chin lock on Blanchard. They're right next to the ropes so it's broken up.

Blanchard now starts to back away from Steamboat once more and this dance carries on for a while, before Blanchard spits at Steamboat, which turns his head and forces Steamboat on the attack. He whips Blanchard against the ropes, leaps over him twice and launches into a powerslam. This gets a 2 count but Steamboat keeps on attacking. He throws Blanchard headfirst into the turnbuckle then hits him with a double chop to the head to get another 2 count. After a strike Blanchard is in the corner and Steamboat goes to work on him from the second rope. Steamboat moves out of the corner and Blanchard falls to the floor. After a knee drop and some strikes he gets another 2 count. Blanchard swings wildely at Steamboat and misses. Blanchard is cut open at this point and Steamboat picks him up and spits back at him, getting retibution from earlier in the match. Steamboat chops Blanchard in the corner then hits him with a swinging neckbreaker and gets another 2 count. Steamboat then lifts Blanchard up into a suplex position, but instead of performing a normal suplex, he bounces Blanchard off the ropes instead to perform it. The crowd love it and Bob Caudle explains that this is one of Tully Blanchard's favourite moves being used on him. It gets another 2 count. Another 2 count happens after a dropkick from Steamboat. He strikes Blanchard with a chop and Blanchard rolls out the ring to the apron.

After a couple more strikes Steamboat backs away and Blanchard is able to take something from his trunks and hide it in his hand. He swings at Steamboat who ducks, and lifts Blanchard into a back suplex position. Blanchard is able to hit Steamboat in this position, but the suplex still happens leaving both men down while the ref starts a 10 count. They're both up by 8. Blanchard puts his weapon back in his trunks (haha) and hits Steamboat with a running cross body, which gets a 2 count. After a few strikes Blanchard sets up Steamboat in the corner to perform a superplex, but Steamboat counters and pushes Blanchard away. He climbs to the top rope and lands a body splash on Blanchard. The crowd love it and think this is it, but Blanchard somehow kicks out. Blanchard reverses a whip against the ropes and tries to set up Steamboat for a back body drop, but Steamboat sees this coming so goes for a sunset flip, but he can't bring Blanchard down for the pin. Blanchard then gets the weapon out of his trunks again and punches Steamboat with it in his hand, pins him and gets the win. All that in front of the referee.

Another good match here. Really good infact. Steamboat sold his injured ribs well and delivered plenty of offence, and I liked that he taunted Blanchard using one of his favoured moves on him. Blanchard played his heel role well and attacked with a concealed weapon to turn things round, however I didn't like the execution of the ending, as the referee is literally in the right place to see Blanchard pull out his weapon, hit Steamboat with it and put it away but doesn't look up at it happening. I think the ref may have been too eager to get into position for a possible pin. I'll give this match 4/5, it could have been higher but the ref's position made the ending too hard to go along with. However that isn't the wrestler's fault, they put in a great effort.

Solie and Caudle praise the match but feel that Steamboat will continue this feud with Blanchard, especially after how that match ended and him being $10k lighter.

Match 10 - "Superstar" Billy Graham vs Wahoo McDaniel (C)
Singles match, 60 minute time limit for the NWA USA Heavyweight Championship


Wow, Billy Graham's arms are huge! McDaniel was in a decent match at Starrcade 83, so this is the second match I've seen from him.

The match starts with a text of strength, and McDaniel surprisingly wins, putting Graham into a wrist lock, but Graham powers through, shiving McDaniel to the canvas. They tie up a couploe of times and shove eachother. After another tie up McDaniel ends up in the corner, but thumbs both of Graham's eyes. He chops and slaps Graham into the corner, but Graham reverses a whip, sending McDaniel into the corner. Graham uses this advantage to get McDaniel in a Full Nelson. McDaniel is stuggling but stumbles into the ropes to break the hold. Graham whips McDaniel and knocks him down. He locks in the Full Nelson again, but this time McDaniel is on his knees so can't move as freely. Graham works this down and McDaniel is pinned for a 2 count. Grham knocks McDaniel down and again elbow drops him to get another 2 count. McDaniel is struggling and tries to get back into it with a couple of strikes, but Graham knocks him down again with a shoulder block after being whipped off the ropes. McDaniel gets up and Graham runs at him again from the ropes, but McDaniel sees this coming and chops Graham in the throat, pins him and gets the win.

Totally pointless match that wasn't carried out well. Billy Graham dominates throughout but one chop to the neck is enough to keep him down. The match is barely 4 minutes old before it ended. Awful. 1/5

Just the one match left now. Solie and Caudle watch a replay to the ending of the last match but quickly move on to talk about this. Anothe replay is shown of Flair beating Harley Race at Starrcade 83 as they build up to the match against Dusty Rhodes. I'm quite looking forward to this match, between of the industry's best. I've seen a few Flair matches and he's a natural, just an excellent performer. I've not seen many Dusty Rhodes matches but I've read a bit about him and know he's loved and seen as one of the best of the 70's & 80's. Plus his charisma makes you root for him.

We go to Tony Schiavone in the back who has 3 guests with him, including special guest referee Smokin' Joe Frazier. Schiavone explains that the other 2 people are judges who will decide who the winner is if the match goes the distance. One is an old wrestler who I don't know and the other is a NASCAR racer with a bad muzzy. We go back to Solie and Caudle. An indoor firework is set off (my guess is this would have been amazing for the time) and the wrestlers make their way to the ring.

Match 11 - Dusty Rhodes vs Ric Flair (C)
Singles match, 60 minute time limit for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship

Dusty comes down in his boxer's gown to some laid back music, and Flair comes in to his classic "Also Sprach Zarathustra" piece. The crowd love it, and to be honest it suits Flair perfectly. The Announcer calls this the $1,000,000 challenge and introduces the judges. Dusty is a former 2 time champion at this point and gets a lot of boo's, but Flair gets a few as well but a lot more cheers.

Dusty gains the upper hand early on after a shoulder block and elbow attack to Flair, and puts him in a headlock. Flair struggles to escape buit forces Rhodes to the ropes to break the hold. This gives him a bit of time as he backs off, and after a grapple with Rhodes forces him into the corner after a knee lift and a chop. Rhodes fights out with some quick boxing style puches and showbiz knocks Flair to the ground. He puts Flair into another headlock but is pushed away into the ropes. Dusty knocks Flair down again and goes off the ropes once more, with Flair jumping over Rhodes before getting knocked down with an elbow. Rhodes goes for an elbow drop but Flair quickly rolls out of harms way before crawling over to Rhodes and delivering another knee lift and chop into the corner. He beats on Dusty and then delivers a snapmare and running knee drop to get a (very fast counted) 2 fall. Rhodes' head is smacked into the turnbuckle, and Flair does another snapmare, but Dusty is able to roll out the way of Flair's next running knee drop and gets Flair in the Figure 4 Leg Lock!

This is in place for a long time and Flair goes down for a 2 count in the process a couple of times, but Flair eventually makes it to the ropes. Rhodes focuses on Flair's weakened knee and drops an elbow to it before putting it in another hold. Flair is able to get on too of Rhodes and get in a couple of punches. They back off eachother and Flair reverses a headlock into a wrist lock, before Rhodes counters with a wrist lock of his own. Rhodes keeps the hold in place but Flair forces him into the corner and delivers a few shoulder thrusts. Rhodes reverses positions and after they trade a few blows, Flair runs against the ropes and Rhodes gets Flair with a press slam. Flair is in trouble and Rhodes hits Flair again with a Bionic Elbow. Flair tries to fight back but Rhodes whips Flair from one corner to the other which makes Flair bounce off the turnbuckle out the ring.

Flair slowly crawls up to the apron. Referee Joe Frazier tries to stop Rhodes from coming over, but Rhodes is able to suplex Flair back in to the ring and roll on through for a cover. Flair is down for a 2 count. Blows are traded again, shoulder and elbow blocks are traded off the ropes and Flair climbs to the top rope. He plays to the crowd for a brief moment but Rhodes is up and he throws Flair back to the mat. Flair rolls out the way of an elbow drop. Rhodes blocks a running strike from Flair, but after a couple of whips and reversals Flair puts a sleeper hold on Rhodes. Rhodes runs and falls to the ropes while Flair falls through them to the outside.
Flair manages to pull Dusty outside the ring with him. They trade blows and Rhodes gets Flair in a headlock and charges towards the ring post. Flair is able to counter this by pushing Rhodes head first into the post, crashing him to the ground. Flair gets back in the ring and the camera goes to Rhodes who has a deep cut close to his right eye. Rhodes comes back into the ring but Frazier gets between them as he wants to check the cut on Dusty's eye. Rhodes wants to carry on, he does and Flair gets Dusty to the ground and pounds away at his bloodied head. Rhodes is able to fight back at little with a few punches of his own and hits Flair with an elbow. Flair gets Rhodes into the corner and again pounds away at Rhodes' head, but Frazier intervenes again. Frazier stops the match and awards the win to Ric Flair.

The crowd don't like the ending but cheer Flair when his hand is raised. Dusty goes mad and tries to go for Smokin Joe but is held back by a few other wrestlers. Flair leaves the ring with the belt and collects his $1million cheque. Rhodes is treated in the ring and has a towel wrapped round his head. Solie and Caudle say that maybe Frazier's boxing background came into it when finishing the match early because of a deep cut. Tony Schiavone interviews Flair, who says he will be back next year and that he's delighted to be world champion. He leter interviews Dusty and Manny Fernandez. Dusty is fuming Joe Frazier ended the match and cost him $1million. He says he will get Frazier one day, Flair shouldn't count this as a victory and that the American Dream still lives.

I really liked this match up until the ending. While there wasn't too many grappling moves taking place and it was mainly brawling, both guys flowed with eachother and gave eachother momentum at the right moments. The figure 4 on Flair was a great moment and Flair went along with it and sold it for the rest of the match, while Dusty went along with everything Flair threw at him. I'm going to give this a 4/5, it could have been much better if not for the ending.

Overall based on the matches, this would score 26/55. The title match, and Steamboat vs Tully Blanchard were the stand out bouts, but the other matches couldn't live up to the standards set in those two. There were at least 3 truly terrible matches on this which dragged a lot of things down. This PPV went from the sublime to the rediculous a bit too often. Despite the efforts of Flair, Steamboat, Rhodes and Blanchard I can't give this PPV anything higher than 5/10 due to there being too many stinkers and average matches that were quickly forgettable.

The next PPV I review is one I've seen before, and I'm looking forward to it. Because the next one that happened was the first CCTV event for WWF. Yep, the next PPV is Wrestlemania I!
 

Smally

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Wrestlemania I







Promotion: WWF
Date: 31/03/85
City & Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Commentary Team: Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse "The Body" Ventura
Announcer: Howard Finkel

So here we have it, Vince McMahon's and WWF's response to the successful Starrcade events that had been put on by Jim Crockett's successful NWA Starrcade events, the first ever Wrestlemania!

The main commentator is the legendary Gorilla Monsoon, who welcomes everyone and goes over to Howard Finkel in the ring. Howard Finkel asks everyone to their feet as "Mean" Gene Okerlund sings the US National Anthem. He isn't terrible, but I hate all this everyone singing national anthem stuff. Mean Gene is apprantly filling in for an unnamed celebrity who failed to show up.

After the commentary team give their dues to Mean Gene, the camera goes to Lord Alfred Hayes who introduces the first match of the night, Tito Santana vs The Executioner. He then cuts to pre-recorded interviews by Mean Gene with Tito and The Executioner (I read up afterwards that The Executioner was Buddy Rose under the mask. I don't know anything about him, sadly). Executioner is undefeated but Tito is confident he will beat him, while Executioner says he will target Santana's leg as it was recengly injured by Greg Valentine.

Match 1 - Tito Santana vs The Executioner
Singles match, 20 minute time limit

Santana is the clear fan favourite in this one. Jesse Ventura calls Tito Santana "Chico" which is something that will happen for a very long time. I love Jesse on commentary, I believe he was the first commentator who openly backed the heels and slagged off fan favourites in matches while Gorilla backs the faces. He's hilarious and well ahead of his time in this respect.

The match begins with a criss-cross with both guys running against adjecent ropes, before Santana drops in the middle and does a big back body drop, and follows this up with a drop kick. Santana dominates throughout and manages to get a 2 count with a side headlock. Seriously. The commentators keep bigging up the event as one of the biggest things in history, with Ventura calling it Wrestling's equivalent to Woodstock, and to be honest the crowd are into it from minute 1.

Santana gets stuck in the corner after a while and The Executioner fights back with a few strikes and knee lifts. He gets Santana in a toe hold to focus on his leg, but Santana reverses this into a pin and quickly fights back and brawls Executioner into the corner. After more strikes he sets Executioner up for a move but this is countered into a back body drop. After a basic body slam, Executioner heads to the top rope but Santana recovers quickly and throws him back into the ring. Executioner then raises his knees while he's on the ground to counter a running splash. He works on Santana's leg again on the bottom rope but Santana kicks Executioner out the ring. Executioner is bodyslammed back into the ring and Tito hits him with a flying forearm smash. Santana locks in the Figure 4 Leg lock to pick up the win.

The Fink announces Santana as the winner in the first ever Wrestlemania match. A deserved win for Santana who was better than Executioner from the first ring of the bell. Nothing really special about this match but it was no stinker either. 2/5

Gorilla Monsoon admires a replay of the flying forearm Santana delivered before going back to Lord Alfred Hayes who announces the next match will be between Special Delivery Jones (What. A. Name. hahaha) and King Kong Bundy, who will have Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart in his corner. He then introduces the pre-recorded interviews again, very nervously. SD Jones' accent is brilliant but he spouts a lot of nonsense. King Kong Bundy says he will beat SD Jones with a 5 count, not 3

Match 2 - King Kong Bundy w/"The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart vs Special Delivery Jones
Singles match, 20 minute time limit

King Kong Bundy is massive. So much so that Gorilla Monsoon disputes his 'official' weight of 450 lbs to be closer to 500lbs, and then describes him as "a mountain with legs and feet and arms". Jesse Ventura chimes in that they could use his back for the screen at a drive-in.

Jones charges straight at Bundy but is locked in a bear hug. He's then squashed over to the corner, Bundy slaps him with the Avalanche and then splashes on him while Jones in on the mat to pick up a very quick win.

Yeah, a very literal squash match. 1/5. I believe that Bundy had just signed with WWF so they wanted to make him look good.

Finkel announces that the time of the match was 9 seconds, which makes the match a record. It was definitey longer than 9 seconds, but it's not like WWF to make up figures which suit. We go to Mean Gene in the locker room who has Matt Bourne with him. Bourne says his opponent, Ricky Steamboat (oh yeeeah) is too nice to win. Steamboat then says that he came to this area to develop an attitude to help him win.

Match 3 - Matt Bourne vs Ricky Steamboat
Singles match, 20 minute time limit

While the match starts and Bourne & Steamboat grapple, Monsoon & Ventura talk about Matt Bourne being a second generation wrestler, son of "Tough" Tony Bourne, who Gorilla had a few bouts with. After whipping Bourne against the ropes, Steamboat leaps over him a couple of times, but Bourne telegraphs the chop that's about to be delivered so holds onto the ropes. He then runs into one anyway immediately after. Steamboat takes control with a few quick moves leading into a headlock.

Bourne thinks he's countered this by throwing Steamboat over his head, but Steamboat lands on his feet, and the crowd love it. He gets the headlock back in, and again lands on his feet when Bourne does the same counter. He hits Bourne with a huge atomic drop before again going into the headlock. Bourne counters this differently this time, lifting Steamboat into an inverted atomic drop. Bourne tries to get a bit of control and Steamboat is forced into the corner. He fights back at Bourne and hits him in the head with his forearm from the second rope. Ventura mentions that Matt Bourne's nickname is "Maniac" so he might be able to pull something out to turn this round, but it's all Steamboat so far.

Bourne is able to fight back a little, forcing Steamboat into the corner and then hits him with a side belly-to-belly suplex, and follows this up with a snap suplex. He goes for the cover but gets a 1, Jesse blames a poor pin technique not hooking the leg. Steamboat forces his way back into it with some powerful chops and a back suplex, executed perfectly. He then hits Bourne with a swinging neck breaker. After a couple of knee drops he gets a 2 count. Bourne gets up and thumbs Steamboat in the eye. After a whip Steamboat is able to hit Bourne with a flying double handed attack, and then goes to the top rope. Steamboat flies through the air and hits a standing Matt Bourne with a flying cross body to pick up the win.

Steamboat really dominated this from start to finish and was clearly a lot more talented than Bourne (and a lot more talented than most of the guys around in this time in my opinion). Steamboat alone makes this a 3/5 match, I can't go higher than that due to the lack of a fightback from Bourne throughout the match.

Finkel announces Steamboat the winner and we go back to Lord Alfred Hayes. He talks nervously again about the next match Brutus Beefcake vs David Sammartino, and we go again to Mean Gene in a prerecorded interview. David Sammartino looks about 40 in his interview, while Bruno looks like his hair has been stuck on. Johnny Valiant then talks utter crap, turns around and Brutus Beefcake makes a fart noise into the mic. Possibly the greatest promo of all time.Valiant ends it shouting more nonsense.

Match 4 - Brutus Beefcake w/"Luscious" John Valiant vs David Sammartino w/Bruno Sammartino
Singles match, 20 minute time limit

Mean Gene referred to Bruno Sammartino as "living legend" during the short interview. Bruno held the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship between 1963 - 1971, and then again between 1973-77. So roughly around 11 years he was Champion. Some going. A lot for his son to live up to going into wrestling.

David is the fans favourite in this win, but Bruno gets by far the biggest ovation of all. The match takes an age to begin, but when it does Brutus shoves David into the corner, then backs off a bit to gloat. It starts again and David attacks Brutus, pulling off a drop toe takedown. Brutus hits David with a belly to back take down and Brutus escapes the ring. His manager Johnny Valiant says David is greased up, but its tripe.

David brings Brutus down with a hammerlock and follows this up with a front face lock. Brutus gets to the ropes. David uses an arm lock on Brutus but it's countered with a body slam...or is it? David has kept hold of Brutus' arm and uses an armbar to regain control on the follow through. After a break in action Brutus gets in a headlock. David escapes by whipping Beefcake to the ropes, but is knocked down again by a shoulder block. Brutus goes off the ropes again and reverses David's attempts of a hip toss with one of his own.. David kicks out at Beefcake when he's on the ground and gets him again with a drop toe hold. He starts to pressure Beefcake with a variety of leg holds, which Brutus escapes a couple of times but David goes right back into more holds on the right leg. Beefcake has had enough and rakes David's eyes with his forearm (he wears gloves which go up his arms to near his elbows) and then back body drops him off the ropes. Brutus goes to work on David with a few strikes and a body slam. David tries to fight back but can't get anywhere. After an elbow to the mouth in the corner David is flung across the ring. Brutus is in total control now, but David desparately reverses a whip and hits Beefcake with a back body drop. David starts to fight back a bit and the crowd react. A big boot and knee lift seem to turn things in David's favour, and he hits Beefcake with a well executed suplex, but gets a 2 count. Brutus fights back with a headbutt to the mid section and throws David out the ring.

Johnny Valiant then body slams David outside the ring, but the crowd are on their feet because Bruno is on his way over! He goes to work on Valiant, slamming his head against the mat and throwing him into the ring. All 4 men are now brawling in the ring as the bell rings. Bruno and David clear the ring and think they have won, however the referee rules the match as a double DQ. Gorilla gives us his first PPV "Holy Mackerel!" at all the mayhem which has taken place.

Things like this seem quite tame compared to mass brawls that have taken place since, however the crowd really get into it and you can tell the atmosphere there is electric. Usually I'd give this match a 1/5, as it was long and boring with not many moves being used, but the crowd reaction, especially when Bruno gets involved, will make me push this to a 2/5, seeing as that's what it's all about.

Gorilla and Jesse recap on what we've already seen and then go to Lord Alfred Hayes. Who again is really nervous introducing the next match, Greg Valentine for Junk Yard Dog for the Intercontinental belt. We go to an interview again with Mean Gene and Valentine who is with Jimmy Hart. Valentine says he's in his best ever shape and JYD goes a bit nuts.

Match 5 - Greg "The Hammer" Valentine (C) w/Jimmy Hart vs Junk Yard Dog
Singles match, 1 hour time limit for the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship

JYD is a big fan favourite, so much so that he gets his own intro music, an 80's hip hop theme. Valentine is booed but not badly.

We get another "Holy Mackerel" from Gorilla as the match starts with JYD putting an arm lock on Valentine. Valentine then goes for a big boot but this is blocked by JYD (and another "Holy Mackerel!" from Gorilla) which the crowd like. They then back off a while and Valentine beats down on JYD, but misses an elbow drop. While Valentine is on his knees JYD starts acting like a dog and delivers a few headbutts to Valentine while on all fours. Valentine escapes and slaps an arm lock on JYD after a test of strength. Dog is struck down, and Valentine hits him with knee and elbow drops before using a leg hold. After a while Valentine goes for a figure 4 leg lock (everyone seems to use this back in the mid 80's) but JYD kicks him away. Dog fights back and lands a few headbutts, knocking Valentine to the mat.

Jimmy Hart climbs to the apron to argue with the ref, JYD leaves Valentine on the floor and grabs hold of Hart. Valentine runs over to hit Dog from behind but Dog moves and Valentine strikes Hart down off the apron. The crowd love it and JYD goes to work on Valentine, forcing him into the corner. Valentine is able to knock down JYD and pins him, but has his feet on the second rope. The ref doesn't see it and counts to 3.

Jesse Ventura loves it and calls it a smart move from Valentine to get the win, but Tito Santana runs into the ring and tells the ref what happened. For the first time ever, the ref reverses his decision and starts to count Valentine out. Valentine doesn't come back into the ring and is counted out, giving Junk Yard Dog the win, but the titke doesn't change hands. Tito Santana looks to carry on his feud with Valentine. The Fink announces JYD the winner.

I'll give this another 2/5. The match itself wasn't great, just a lot of physical attacks and strikes rather than wrestling moves, but for what it was it was ok. Nice heel win for Valentine too. The only memorable thing about it is Tito's interference at the end getting the match restarted.

Monsoon and Ventura watch replays of Valentine winning the original bout, explain to fans about the non title change, before going again to Lord Alfred Hayes. He's not quite as nervous this time. It's another recorded interview with Mean Gene with the competitors for the next match. First up is Iron Sheik with Nikolai Volkoff and their manager "Classy" Freddie Blassie. Sheik calls him Gene Mean (haha). Blassie says he has the next tag team champions. Their opponents are Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo with Captain Lou Albano. They say nothing.

Match 6 - Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff w/"Classie" Freddie Blassie vs US Express (C) (Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham) w/Captain Lou Albano
Tag Team match, 1 hour time limit for the WWF Tag Team Championships

Nikolai Volkoff starts singing the Soviet national anthem to a chorus of boos, and Sheik grabs the mic to say Iran and Russia are number 1, and spits after saying USA. The US Express get a massive cheer from the fans, and Lou Albano appears to have rubber bands clipped to his face. Iron Sheik has the greatest wrestling boots of all time with curled up spikes on the toes

Ventura bigs up the heel challengers, especially Iron Sheik as a former Heavyweight Champion and former Olympian for Iran. Sheik and Rotundo start off and after a quick grapple Sheik is whipped against the ropes. He knocks Rotundo down with a shoulder block and runs against the ropes again. Rotundo leapfrogs the run and delivers a hip toss to Sheik, following it up with a dropkick and big body slam. The crowd love it and Sheik is dazed, he goes to the wrong corner and takes a punch from Windham and a headlock takedown. Sheik grabs Rotundo's trunks and gets a pin on him, but Windham is tagged in and a double team takes place, Rotundo using an arm lock on Sheik while Windham crashes down onto it from the top rope.

Windham carries on the momentum temporarily but Sheik is able to force Windham into the wrong corner. Volkoff holds Windham on the apron while Sheik runs against the ropes to perform a drop kick, but Windham moves out the way and Volkoff is clattered to the outside. The crowd love it. Sheik and Volkoff tag, but a replay is shown of the dropkick into Volkoff, meaning we miss Rotundo being tagged back in. He knocks Volkoff down and gets a 1 count. Another tag is made to Windham and the same double team move is used again on Volkoff this time. They focus on Volkoff's arm and do the same double team again for the third time, with Rotundo attacking from the top rope instead.

Volkoff battles back into it and rams Rotundo's head into Sheik's spiked boot and makes a tag. Sheik hits a back body drop and an elbow drop, but can only get a 2 count. We get another "Holy Mackerel" from Gorilla, this is about 5 now in the PPV, and Sheik smacks Rotundo with an impressive gut-wrench suplex, but a poor pin attempt means it's just another 2 count. Rotundo blocks Sheik's attempts of a suplex and lands a great one of his own. Rotundo tries to roll to his corner to tag in WIndham, but Sheik gets to his corner first and Volkoff prevents the tag with a few stomps. He picks up Rotundo and drops his throat onto the ropes, which gives the commentators concern. Rotundo tries to fight back with a hammerlock and telegraphs a back body drop by doing a sunset flip on Volkoff, but only gets a 2 count. He still can't make the tag, and a knee lift knocks him down again. Volkoff tries to make the ring smaller and keeps Rotundo in his corner, puts his head into Sheik's raised boot again makes a tag.

Sheik goes for the Abdominal Stretch on Rotundo while the two managers outside the ring get a bit feisty with eachother. Sheik can't quite hook his leg round to lock the hold in, meaning Rotundo is able to counter with a hip toss. Rather than go for the tag, he goes for an elbow drop and misses. Both Sheik and Rotundo crawl to their corners, Sheik there first again, but this time Volkoff is unable to prevent the tag to Windham and the crowd goes nuts.

Windham beats on Volkoff and hits him with a dropkick. He attacks some more and signals for the bulldog, which makes the crowd explode into life. He hits it(with a pretty poor sell from Volkoff) and goes for the pin, but Sheik is able to make the save. Rotundo comes back in and dropkicks Sheik to the outside. The ref tries to get Rotundo back out of the ring, and while his back is turned Sheik pops up again and strikes Windham in the back with Freddie Blassie's cane. Volkoff capitalises and pins Windham to get the win.

Ventura is made up with the new champions and Monsoon can't believe what he's just seen. I liked this match, good back and forth and a good heel win using the weapon. A small amount of double teaming but it ended up being the same double team attacks over again. A solid 3/5 tag match.

After watching a replay we go to Mean Gene for a live interview with the winning team. Blassie says he never had a cane to begin with when questioned and Sheik calls him Gene Mean again. We go back again to Alfred Hayes who introduces the next match between Big John Studd and Andre The Giant. It's going to be a bodyslam match, with Studd wins then Andre must retire, if Andre wins then he gets $15,000. We go back to pre-recorded interviews again, John Studd has Bobby "The Brain" Heenan in his corner and they show the camera a bag of crumpled bills (Gene tries to take a few to Heenan's annoyance). No interview with Andre so we go to the ring, while Jesse bigs up Wrestlemania some more calling it the greatest spectacle in wrestling history.
Match 7 - Big John Studd w/Bobby "The Brain" Heenan vs Andre The Giant
$15,000 Slam match
If John Studd wins, Andre must retire. If Andre The Giant wins, Studd & Heenan must give him $15,000

Studd is booed by the crowd, and Andre has his own entrance, with no music, but the crowd love him. We get another "Holy Mackerel" from Gorilla and the bell rings.

Studd attacks first with a few strikes but Andre chops his way back, and headbutts Studd out the ring. The ref starts a 10 count and Studd slowly gets back into the ring. Andre chokes him on the ropes before landing some poor blows. He rams his arse into Studd in the corner but Studd goes for a bodyslam and fails hopelessly. Andre wraps Studd in a bear hug while the crowd chant "SLAM". The bear hug lasts for AGES before it's broken, then Andre slaps a sleeper hold on Studd and then attacks with more strikes and headbutts. Andre sets Studd up for a back drop, Studd sees this and goes to kick Andre while he's bent over, but Andre catches his and beats on Studd some more. Andre looks to be in a bit of physical pain in this match, I guess due to his gigantism. He picks Studd up and bodyslams him shortly afterwards, bringing the crowd to their feet. Andre grabs the bag of money and throws the bills into the crowd, but Heenan comes in from behind and steals the money back and runs off with it.

Meh, it looks like Andre was in a bad way in this time of his life, and this match was made purely to get him on the card. Pretty poor and pointless, even though the crowd loved it, it doesn't deserve anything higher than 1/5.

We see a replay of Andre's winning bodyslam and then go back to Mean Gene interviewing Andre. Andre calls Heenan a weasle, and wants to carry on the interview after Gene says they're going back to the commentary team. Ventura calls the bodyslam the "Slam heard around the world". Talk about over hyping things. Anyway, we go back again to Alfred Hayes, who receives kisses on the cheek from a couple of women (I think Fabulous Moolah and Leilani Kai). He says the next match is the first of the wrestling and rock connection matches. There's another pre-recorded interview with Mean Gene and Cindi Lauper & Wendi Richter. After a lot of horrible noise, Moolah and Kai are interviewed and don't say much. Back to the ring

Match 8 - Leilani Kai (C) w/The Fabulous Moolah vs Wendi Richter w/Cindi Lauper
Singles match for the WWF Womens Championship (no time limit given)

Kai is booed and Richter is cheered into the ring during her entrance with Cindi Lauper. The match again takes ages to start, and it's awful. Poor strikes, grapples and selling of holds throughout. Richter loves a hammerlock and Kai a snapmare. This really does seem amateurish and I'm surprised they put this match this high on the card. Moolah gets involved attacking Richter through the ropes, Lauper comes to her aid and the crowd take a bit of notice. After a bodyslam, Kai goes to the top rope and lands a cross body splash, but the momentum is meant to take her through for Richter to get the win, except there was no momentum, meaning Richter crawls onto Kai to get the pin. Richter is the new champion.

They make a real mess of this ending to the match, and it didn't start well either. Dreadful, 1/5.

We see another replay of the poorly executed ending and then go to Mean Gene who has Richter, Lauper and Cindi's manager David Wolf with him, and not much is said.

We go back in the ring where Howard Finkel announces that we will soon be coming to tonight's main event. He introduces the special guest ring announcer for the match, former baseball great Billy Martin. The crowd love him. I'm not a big baseball fan so I don't know who he is, but following a wide camera shot it looks like Pat Patterson is in the ring in referee attire.

Martin announces the guest timekeeper, and it's Liberace, who gets his own entrance down to the ring along with some showgirls. We can barely hear the next announcement because of the crowd noise, but Ventura tells us that it's the special guest referee, none other than Muhammad Ali himself. He gets a huge reception from the crowd and everyone involved. We now to go the match itself

Match 9 - Roddy Piper & "Mr Wonderful" Paul Orndorff w/ "Cowboy" Bob Orton vs Hulk Hogan & Mr T w/"Superfly" Jimmy Snuka
Tag Team match, 1 hour time limit

Rowdy Roddy Piper & Orndorff comes out to a whole bagpipe band and a bunch of boos. Hogan's music hits and the crowd goes wild. Hogan & Mr T are clearly fan favourites and the atmosphere picks up a lot when everyone is in the ring. Piper breaks a broom over his knee, and Gorilla says Muhammad Ali is the outside official while Pat Patterson is the in-ring referee, while he marvels at Liberace's bell.

After a long delay, the match starts with Paul Orndorff in the ring with Hogan. Orndorff tags straight out before any moves take place, and with Piper in the ring Mr T wants in. Hogan plays to the crowd and gets Mr T in the ring, making the crowd noisier than before. Piper gets Mr T in a waist lock after slapping him a few times, but Mr T escapes. After a stand off Mr T gets Piper onto his shoulders before slamming him to the mat. Mr T taunts Piper who rushes towards him into Orndorff's corner. Hogan runs in and all four guys brawl in the ring. Orton & Snuka join in, Muhammad Ali gets in and hits Piper, before swinging at Orton.

Piper's team are out of the ring and head for the dressing room. Pat Patterson starts a count out but Hogan stops it. Piper & Orndorff get back in the ring and start up another brawl, but Mr T & Hogan have too much and give them the noggin knocker. Hogan stays in the ring as the legal man and delivers an atomic drop to Piper. After raking Piper's eyes Mr T is tagged in and Piper takes a double clothesline. Mr T shows he has some basic moves by bodyslamming Piper and then executing a great hiptoss on a charging Orndorff. He bodyslams Piper again before striking Orndorff down, and Hogan is tagged back in. Piper is dazed swinging punches everwhere, and takes a big boot from Hogan sending him over the top rope.

Orndorff comes in from behind and clotheslines Hogan out, leaving Piper to attack Hogan with a chair on the outside. Hogan is thrown back in but stuck in Piper & Orndorff's corner. They double team on Hogan as Patterson has his back turned trying to keep Mr T from coming into the ring, but Mr T charges right past him trying to break up the attacks. Pat Patterson tries to get a hold on Mr T and eventually gets him back in the corner, leaving Hogan open to take a double atomic drop from Piper & Orndorff. Orndorff has been tagged in and he goes to work on Hogan, Muhammad Ali and Patterson have words with Piper but Mr T can't get in the ring. Hogan takes a suplex in the middle of the ring and Piper is tagged back in.

Hogan can barely and after a few punches ispinned for a 2 count. Orndorff is tagged in and enters the ring from the top rope with an double ax handle, while Piper applies an arm lock on Hogan. Hogan kicks out on 2 after another pin and then takes a backbreaker. Orndorff goes to the top rope again, this time with Hogan on the ground and goes for the flying knee drop, but Hogan is able to quickly roll out the way. A hot tag is made to Mr T and all four men are again fighting in the ring. Mr T focuses on Orndorff but Piper attacks him from behind. Orndorff tries to keep Mr T on the ground and tags in Piper. Piper keeps Mr T in a front face lock, but he's able to power through and dives at Hogan for the tag. Hogan gets in the ring and punches at both Piper & Orndorff, giving them another noggin knocker. The crowd are loving it and they seem to sense victory. Orndorff sneaks behind Hogan and gives him a back suplex and Piper is sent back to the apron by Patterson. Jimmy Snuka and Orton appear in the ring and Snuka sends Orton flying off the apron, but Hogan's in trouble. Snuka, bizarrely, leaves the ring and Orndorff has Hogan in a Full Nelson hold. Piper is ready to run and smash into Hogan but Mr T makes the save. By this time Orton has climbed to the top rope and leaps at Hogan with a double ax handle and misses, striking Orndorff instead. Hogan goes for the pin and gets the win, with Snuka stopping an Orton save.

The crowd loved this but it's not something I liked that much. Probably doesn't help I'm not really a Hogan fan, however this wasn't a great match, not the worst either. However due to the crowd reaction I'll be generous and give this a 3/5.

In the aftermath Piper and Orton leave Orndorff in the ring, and Piper takes a shot at Pat Patterson. Mr T helps Orndorff to his feet but Orndorff starts swinging wildely and then realises he's been left on his own.

So there it is, the first Wrestlemania. Not the best PPV you will ever see and definitely not the worst. Judging it purely from match scores, I give it a poor 18/45, however as an overall show, and considering this really was historic for the time and what Wrestlemania has now become, I'd give this a 6/10. It didn't have a standout match and had quite a bit of crap really, however what WWF did do well is present this as a massive event and certainly did a lot to get the crowd on side as much as possible. Certainly well worth watching to see how Wrestlemania started and I'd recommend it on that alone.

The next scheduled PPV from what I can find would be the inaugural Great American Bash...however the WWE Network doesn't seem to have this PPV, with the records going back to 1988 for GAB which is a shame. Oh well. The next PPV I can find after that is a WWF event called The Wrestling Classic...great name
 

Smally

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The Wrestling Classic






Promotion: WWF
Date: 07/11/85
City & Venue: Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois
Commentary Team: Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse "The Body" Ventura
Announcer: Howard Finkel


I'll try to add a bit of backstory where possible from now on with any feuds brewing, as Piper and Hogan are carrying their's on from Wrestlemania.

There is a lengthy introduction to this event, and it has possibly the worst name every for a PPV. The show starts with a young Vince McMahon explaining that the event is basically a big 16 man knockout round tournament (like King of the Ring), the winner of a car will be announced and that the WWF Heavyweight title will be on the line later that night between Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Vince goes to Lord Alfred Hayes and a woman called Susan to discuss the tournament that "Mean" Gene Okerlund drew out earlier that day. Hayes says that wrestlers are fitter than triathletes etc and says this will require a lot of endurance from the competitors. Vince then goes through the draw, before we then see the 'best bits' of the draw. It's quite bad apart from when Macho Man says Miss Elizabeth drew him out a bad match and says she can't even get that right. The camera goes back to Vince & Alfred Hayes, and then onto Mean Gene who is interviewing WWF President Jack Tunney, who is clearly reading off signs behind the camera. He doesn't do this well and it takes Mean Gene to cut him off to say that only winners will progress, so even draws will knock you out. After going back to Vince AGAIN we go to Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse "The Body" Ventura. They talk a bit and we then go to the first match.

Match 1 - Adrian Adonis w/ "The Mouth of the South"Jimmy Hart vs Corporal Kirchner
Singles match, 10 minute time limit


Adonis is booed loudly and Kirchner has his own entrance into the ring. Gorilla says that Adonis is a former tag team champion with Jesse as part of the East West Connection. Kirchner is dressed in army gear while Adonis is wearing massive trunks. They grapple into the corner and Jimmy Hart is at ringside talking through his megaphone, but no one understands what he's saying. Kirchner takes Adonis down with a bad arm drag, the takes him down with a better one. Kirchner works a headlock on Adonis who so far has offered absolutely nothing, but then counters the headlock with a strong back suplex. He hits Kirchner a couple of times before bringing him down with a snapmare and attacks again with a falling forearm. After another snapmare Adonis throws on a chin lock but Kirchner counters. Kirchner goes for a suplex but Adonis counters this with a move that looked quite similar to a DDT to pick up the win.

A quick start to the event and a match where next to nothing happened apart from the impressive looking finisher. The almost DDT bring this up to 2/5, otherwise this was entirely forgettable.

Jesse praises the move from Adonis to end the match and after some boos they quickly leave the ring. Gorilla has already said 1 or 2 "Holy Mackerels!" and also adds in a "Holy Moses!". After a quick replay of the winning move we go to Mean Gene Okerlund who has Adrian Adonis and Jimmy Hart with him. Hart says a lot of high pitched loud noises and Adonis says he knows the difference from a wristlock and a padlock amongst other things. Mean Gene takes us to the next match

Match 2 - Dynamite Kid vs Nikolai Volkoff
Singles match, 10 minute time limit

As usual, Volkoff sings the Soviet national anthem. To a load of boos. After singing he starts muttering into the mic and while his back is turned Dynamite Kid climbs to the top rope, hits him with a missle drop kick and gets the win.

Wow. Kinda hard to rate that, seeing as it was a 1 move match clearly designed to get the fans up and excited with the Russian getting beaten so quickly. Seeing as that's all that happened 1/5.

Mean Gene is now with Savage and Miss Elizabeth. Savage's gnarly voice and delivery is spot on, and he can't keep still like he's hyperactive. After talking about his opponent Savage is saying he's out to prove himself as the number 1 wrestler around.

Match 3 - Ivan Putski vs "Macho Man" Randy Savage w/Elizabeth
Singles match, 10 minute time limit

Putski gets a fair reception and Macho Man gets his own entrance to the ring. I think this is face vs face and Savage gets a similar reaction, despite his treatment of Elizabeth. Gorilla starts moaning saying that it isn't right that Elizabeth leads Savage into the ring and it isn't the right etiquette, Jesse stands up for her saying it's perfectly fine and Gorilla never had a female manager so he woudn't know if it's right or not. Savage does his grand entrance with his robe, and Jesse says he's helped train with Savage for this event. He also says he knows a lot about Ivan Puduski in typical Jesse style.

Savage bails from the ring straight away wearing tight purple trunks with yellow boots. Putski is one of the more muscular wrestlers from this era. The bell rings and Savage again leaves the ring. He comes back and tries to lock in a full nelson, but Putski powers through this and spits in Savage's face! The crowd applaud this and Jesse says there's no call for anything like that. Savage gathers himself again outside the ring and after a quick grapple attempts a shoulder block on Putski, who stands his ground and flexes his muscles some more. Savage dances round the ring and tries to ram Putski's head into the top turnbuckle, but Putski again powers out of this and rams Savage instead. Savage gets his distance, but comes back at Putski with a thumb to the eye. He gets a few punches in on Putski but Putski slaps on a headlock and fires in some short punches, knocking Macho Man to the ground. Putski is in tital control with multiple strong strikes to Savage. He gets him in the corner and lays in some more, but Savage scoops up Putski's legs and goes for a quick pin with his feet on the middle ropes. Despite Putski pointing to the ref about this Savage keeps him down for the 3 count to move into the 1/4 finals.

Savage sold this match well, as Putski's power was making him the clear favourite, so much so that Savage had to resort to cheating to get the win. 2/5

Jesse says Macho Man outsmarted Putski and is quite happy with the win. We go to Vince & Alfred Hayes who recap on the tournament so far but they're interrupted by Nikolai Volkoff who starts moaning saying he was robbed and says no one respects his Russian national anthem. We go back to the ring for the next match.

Match 4 - Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs Davey Boy Smith
Singles match, 10 minute time limit

Davey Boy here wrestling here as part of the British Bulldogs (along with Dynamite Kid) before I think he took up his own British Bulldog name, against one of my personal favourites Ricky Steamboat. This should be pretty good.

Steamboat and Davey Boy both block and reverse eachother's holds before Smith manages to get in the first meaningful moves with a hip toss and a back bodyslam which leads into a pin. Smith gets a 2 count before Steamboat bridges out of the pin and works Smith into a backslide for another 2 count. Smith manages to catch Steamboat into a press slam and gets another 2 count (this ref likes to do some crazy wrist action between counts) and works on a front headlock. Smith brings Steamboat into another press slam and gets another 2 count. Gorilla and Jesse agree that this is a very close match up and there isn't much between the two men, Jesse believes Steamboat to be the quicker of the two but Davey Boy has the edge on strength. Jesse is great at stuff like this, breaking down the characteristics of each wrestler, throwing his opinion out there while Monsoon is more diplomatic without necessarily disagreeing. They really do work well together.

Smith locks in another front headlock and tries to maneuver this into a suplex, but Steamboat blocks this and reverses it into his own standing, stalling suplex, executed to perfection. Steamboat goes for a running splash but hits Smith's raised knees. Davey Boy seems to have the edge right now and attacks Steamboat with a couple of standing front dropkicks. Steamboat is resting on the ropes, and Smith bounces off the ropes towards him and goes for a high jumping kick. Steamboat moves out the way, meaning Smith injures himself on the ropes, especially on the top one. The ref ends the match with Smith too injured to continue, sending Steamboat through.

Good, solid match that I wanted to carry on for a few more minutes, however I can understand why this ended when it did as there's a lot of matches to get through tonight. Usually I'd give this a 4/5, and it was certainly heading that way, but I'd have preferred a different ending than the one that happened eg a quick reversal from Steamboat or a huge power move from Davey Boy, as despite Smith selling his injury well, a missed high kick onto the ropes shouldn't end a match. 3/5

Steamboat checks on Davey boy to see if he's ok, and Gorilla and Jesse watch a replay of the ending. Mean Gene is now with the Junk Yard Dog. Dog's voice is great, and points out his opponent is a former WWF champion, and says that he loves it when the crowd cheers for him. I guess he was a permanent face with stuff like that. Mean Gene ends the interview and we're back to the ring for the next match. Before I comment on that though, this event is moving on at a much faster pace bteween matches than Wrestlemania 1 and the two Starrcade events I've reviewed so far which is good, but I guess they're the two biggest PPV's of each company so they will spend a bit more time on things. Anyway, onto match 5

Match 5 - The Iron Sheik vs Junk Yard Dog
Singles match, 10 minute time limit

Dog gets his own entrance, coming down to the ring to a hip hop song styled to himself, and a big dog collar with a few chains. He's clearly very popular as not many wrestlers have had their own entrances so far.

Sheik attacks JYD as soon as he removes his chains and tries to chock Dog with his outfit. The ref stops this and removes part of Sheik's outfit from the ring, but Sheik is choking JYD some more with a towel. The crowd start chanting "JYD!" so Sheik tells them where to go. Dog starts no selling punches and gets to his feet and then unleashes lots of strikes and headbutts. Sheik bails from the ring and crawls back in. Sheik tries to lock in a full nelson but Dog powers out of it. Sheik is pinned for 2 after a clothesline. Dog uses a really poor snapmare on Sheik and goes for a falling headbutt and misses, bouncing right off the mat. Sheik locks in his finishing move, the Camel Clutch. Dog slowly brings himself to lie on the ground to make Sheik release the hold. Sheik goes to work on Dog in the corner and the ref tries to break them up. Sheik turns around and shoves the referee away, but JYD capitalises on this by landing a headbutt on Sheik and pins him for the win.

This wasn't a good match. Basically lots of brawling, with a bad snapmare and a poor Camel Clutch. Nothing else really to be said, 1/5.

The camera cuts to Mean Gene who has Jimmy Hart and Terry Funk with him. Gene asks him about his opponent, The Moondog Spot, but Funk says he wants a shot at Hogan and he wants Paul Orndorff, who has a $50,000 bounty on his head. He also says Roddy Piper will win the championship off Hogan. Hart says Funk will be the next world champion as Funk spits on the camera.

Match 6 - Moondog Spot vs Terry Funk w/Jimmy Hart
Singles match, 10 minute time limit

Before the match begins Funk grabs the mic and says he doesn't want to wrestle Spot, and Spot doesn't want to wrestle him, which Spot nods at. He says both him and Spot should leave the ring and make the match a draw. Funk leaves the ring and Spot follows. The bell rings, and both men walk back towards the locker room with Spot in front. Funk attacks Spot and tries to get back in the ring, but Spot catches him. Funk hits Spot again and throws him into the ring, the ref signals the end of the match and Funk gets into the ring. The referee has counted Funk out and declared Spot the winner!

1/5. Nothing more to add.

Funk and Hart are losing it, attacking Dog and running after the referee. Finkel confirms Moondog Spot as the winner. Mean Gene is with Mr Fuji and Don Muraco. Fuji says Muraco will win against his opponent Tito Santana, the current Intercontinental Champion (Santana had won the gold against Greg Valentine in a cage match back in July). Muraco says Santana has it all. Back to the ring

Match 7 - Tito Santana vs "Magnificent" Don Muraco w/Mr Fuji
Singles match, 10 minute time limit

Muraco is a bigger guy than Santana, and looks like a powerhouse. Santana looked ok in Wrestlemania I, but he wasn't up against the best of opponents.

Muraco takes control early on with some powerful strikes and ramming Santana's head into the turnbuckle before thumbing Santana in the eye. He attacks some more and whips Santana across the ring, Santana bounes off the ropes and ducks under a clothesline, bouncing back again and leaps at Muraco with a jumping cross body, which gets him a 2 count. Muraco fights back, whips again and dips his head, Santana takes advantage of this and rolls over him into a sunset flip, again getting a 2 count. Muraco goes for a neckbreaker, but before he can pull it off Santana has reversed this into a backslide, and gets another 2 count. Good work from Santana so far.

Muraco is in the corner begging for mercy and Santana gets in a few puches and stomps. Jesse say Chico isn't averse to bending a few rules, Gorilla says Jesse would know, as he is the best bender he knows. Santana works in an armlock which Muraco eventually counters by picking Santana up and dropping his throat onto the top rope. Muraco uses the second rope to help with a jumping knee drop and now has the advantage. After a clothesline, elbow drop and knee drop sequence Santana is pinned but kicks out at 2. Muraco picks up Santana and hits him with a Running Powerslam (which later became British Bulldog's finishing move, at least on WWF Warzone, what a game!). He pins Santana for 3 but Santana has his foot in the ropes. Muraco celebrates in the ring but someone tells the ref about Santana's foot, the ref restarts the match without telling Muraco, Santana pins Muraco with a small package to get the win!

Muraco was a much better opponent for Tito than in the last match I saw him in. This wasn't a bad match really, and Santana was impressive early on with his quickfire reversals. Muraco wasn't too bad either, certainly emphasised his power, not many actual wrestling moves though. Decent match, not a good finish. Solid 2/5.

Jesse isn't happy with the Santana win and moans that Muraco wasn't told the match was restarting. We go to Mean Gene who has Bobby Heenan with him. Heenan has no one with him tonight from his stable but he says he's always on the look out for new talent. He also has $50,000 with him to anyone who can take out Paul Orndorff. Back to the ring for the final first round match.

Match 8 - "Cowboy" Bob Orton vs "Mr Wonderful" Paul Orndorff
Singles match, 10 minute time limit

Orndorff is the face in this match, and has been a face since being abandoned in the ring at Wrestlemania by Roddy Piper & Orton, so a revenge match of sorts on the cards here.

Orton is wearing a cast on his left arm, and Orndorff targets this at the beginning of the match, and lands an atomic drop. Orton goes into the corner and Orndorff attacks the arm. Orton tries to fight back but Orndorff is too quick for him and applies a wrist lock on Orton. He works on the arm some more, including a falling chicken wing which sends Orton reeling into the corner. Orton is able to counter a charge with a high knee and then slowly works on Orndorff. He drops Mr Wonderful's neck onto the top rope and stomps away at him. Orndorff tries to get the upper hand with a quick sunset flip but Orton won't budge and works away at Orndorff some more. Gorilla and Jesse talk about Orton's Superplex, which I guess was his finisher at the time. Orndorff grabs Orton's trunks to try to pull him down for the pin, and the camera blurs out Randy's dad's arse. Seriously. He gets 2 count from the pin.

Orton reacts after the pin first and after landing a couple of elbows goes for a pin, but Gorilla moans that it's bad and that you won't beat Mr Wonderful with a pin attempt like that. He kicks out at 2. Orton throws on a chin lock, before reverting to a head scissors hold. Orndorff rolls onto Orton and almost pins him, but before the ref can start the count Orton rises into a bridge, turns and goes for a backslide pin himself, which gets another 2 count. Orton lands a hip toss, and then goes for a flying head scissors, but misses and lands on the ropes. Very similar to how Davey Boy Smith had to end his match earlier on. Orndorff seizes the opprtunity and attacls Orton with puches, strikes and an elbow drop. After one big punch Orton bails to outside of the ring. Orndorff goes after him,, throws him back in, and Orton escapes to the apron on the other side. The ref gets between the two and blocks Orndorff's path to Orton. Cowboy Bob uses this distraction to adjust the cast on his arm. He smacks Orndorff across the head with a forearm, but the ref ends the match disqualifying Orton, giving the win to Mr Wonderful.

Both men brawl in the ring after the bell goes, ending with Orndorff puching Orton out to the outside. This was decent match, both men showcasing a bit of talent, keeping the action up and told the story well. 3/5

After a replay of the ref giving the win to Orndorff, we go to Vince McMahon and Lord Alfred Hayes. They go over the winners from the last round and announce the next round matches as follows:

Adrian Adonis vs Dynamite Kid
Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat
Junk Yard Dog vs Moondog Spot
Tito Santana vs Paul Orndorff.
Savage vs Steamboat stands out like a sore thumb. And not just because of a match they will have in the future. Anyway, Terry Funk interrupts Vince and Hayes saying he was robbed. After more moaning it's over to Howard Finkel for the next match, and the firsy quater final
Match 9 - Dynamite Kid vs Adrian Adonis w/Jimmy Hart
Singles match, 15 minute time limit

The time limit has been increased, so maybe we will see a bit more quality than before. Adonis is the heel and Dynamite the face in this one. Kid is more about speed and Adonis is power (and fat).

Adonis tries to use his strength to get the better start but Kid uses his speed to get into position to hit a couple of arm drags on Adonis when he's bouncing off the ropes. He leaves the ring to get himself together, comes back in and is able to get Dynamite Kid to the ground. Kid is monkey flipped into the turnbuckle and Adonis bodyslams him to the mat, goes for a pin and gets a 2 count. While this is going on, Jesse says that Randy Savage vs Steamboat is on next, and that he needs to go and tell Macho man something, so just gets up, leave Gorilla to commentate on his own and heads to the locker room.

Adonis suplexes Dynamite Kid and is seemingly in control. Hart loves it and won't stop shouting down the megaphone. A reverse chin lock is applied to Dynamite Kid as Gorilla remains perplexed at Jesse leaving him on his own. Kid works Adonis to his feet again and escapes the chin lock with a back suplex. While Adonis is on the ground he goes for a running splash and misses, with Adonis getting up out of the way. Adonis goes to work on Dynamite's left knee and locks in a Sharpsooter! Gorilla calls it a grapevine, but Dynamite is too close to the ropes. The hold is broken and Dynamite is whipped into the corner. Adonis charges after him and Dynamite detects this, so quickly jumps over him and rolls Adonis over for a pin. Adonis kicks out at 2, but the crowd loved that quick counter. Adonis kicks at Dynamite's knee and goes for a bulldog, but before he can jump Dynamite shoves Adonis into the opposite corner, causing him to go shoulder first into the steel post. Dynamite lands a knee drop, takes Adonis down again with a running clothesline and runs to the corner. He leaps to the second rope and crashes his knee into Adonis! The crowd are getting excited again but this attack only gets a 2 count. After an impressive snap suplex (I say impressive because Adonis is a big guy) and falling headbutt, Jimmy Hart clibs up to the apron. Dynamite Kid grabs hold of Hart, but Adonis attacks from behind and rolls Dynamite up. Kid kicks out, but this sends Adonis flying into Jimmy Hart, and send Hart sprawling to the floor. Dynamite quickly goes for the pin and gets the win!

This was ok. Adonis to me was quite boring but didn't use his size advantage well, while Dynamite Kid was all speed, opportunity and quickness of thought. Not a bad match, but not great either. 2/5

Hart and Adonis throw their toys out the pram in the ring while a replay is shown of Dynamite getting the win. We go now to Mean Gene, who is with Jesse The Body Ventura. Jesse loves Macho Man and says he's been helping Savage & Elizabeth, and says their 3 heads together are better than 1. Mean Gene says Jesse is predjudice during his commentary, Jesse denies this and says he always tells it like it is. Back to the Fink for what I hope will be match of the night


Match 10 - Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs "Macho Man" Randy Savage w/Elizabeth
Singles match, 15 minute time limit

Steamboat is already in the ring, and Savage gets his own entrance again. Savage uses Elizabeth as a shield when Steamboat makes his first approach. Steamboat has them cornered, then turns his back. Savage attacks straight away (with Gorilla calling it a "Pearl Harbour job" which made me laugh), but Steamboat quickly gets on top, sliding under Savage and chopping him out the ring. Savage pulls Steamboat out and attacks him for a bit before thowing The Dragon back in the ring. He puches Steamboat into the corner and the referee has to drag Savage away. When Savage goes back over Steamboat fights back, using a headscissors on Savage, sending Macho Man outside the ring. Savage takes an atomic drop and is rolled back in. One of Steamboat's martial arts chops knocks Savage down, this is followed up by a whip into the ropes, Steamboat goes for another chop but Savage avoids this and follows up with a back suplex.

Jesse is back on commentary now, and Savage goes up on the top rope. Steamboat senses this and hits Savage in the midsection when he comes down with a double ax handle. Steamboat takes Savage down and lands some falling punches, and suplexs Macho Man back into the ring after he rolled out to the apron. This time it's Steamboat's turn up on the top rope, and he lands a flying cross body! Savage kicks out and Gorilla blames it on the leg not being hooked. Steamboat uses some chops on Savage and he falls to the apron. The referee gets between them both again, and Savage takes something out of his shorts and keeps it in his hand with his back turned to the ring. Steamboat comes over, and after a missed swing from Savage, goes for a back suplex. Savage hits Steamboat when he's lifted in the air, both men come tumbling down, Savage hides the evidence back in his trunks, goes for the pin and gets the win.


This match was WAY too short. Really good pace and variety of attack from Steamboat while Savage was never out of it, and resorted to classic heel behaviour to steal the win. 4/5, just wish there was more time for two clearly talented guys to put on a show. Probably the best quick match I will see.

Jesse is predictably happy but Gorilla isn't happy with the use of a foreign object, so Jesse says Gorilla is worse than the Richard Nixon tapes. Mean Gene is with Moondog Spot, who is eating a bone and scratching his face with it while making cave man noises. Gene quickly goes back to Gorilla & Jesse, and they to Howard Finkel

Match 11 - Moondog Spot vs Junk Yard Dog
Singles match, 15 minute time limit

Everyone seems to love JYD, but Spot attacks him as soon as he gets in the ring, knocking him to the canvas. Spot goes for a splash off the middle ropes but misses. JYD then goes on all fours and delivers some crappy headbutts that I even doubt 6 year olds would find funny. JYD hits a big headbutt, pins Spot and counts himself a 3 count. There was no ref in the ring, but JYD gets up, declares himself the winner, and is then announced as the winner by Finkel.

1/5. Crap match. All I've seen Junk Yard Dog do so far is punch, kick, snapmare badly and headbutt. Not a fan. Moondog Spot's character seems to be a bit of a simpleton with dog like tendancies. Shit.

Bobby The Brain Heenan is back with Mean Gene. He says don't be surprised if Tito Santana beats Paul Orndorff tonight and that he wants his friend Roddy Piper to beat Hogan in the title match later on. The back to Finkel for the last quarter final.

Match 12 - "Mr Wonderful" Paul Orndorff vs Tito Santana
Singles match, 15 minute time limit
Orndorff gets mainly cheers and Santana gets a few boos which is surprising. Gorilla is excited about this one and Jesse says Chico could be excited about the $50,000 bounty on Orndorff, and calls him a taco salesman from Tijuana. Safe to say Santana isn't one of Jesse's favourites.

The match starts with Santana putting a headlock on Orndorff. Santana now has a bandage strapped round his left leg, highlighting to the commentators that he could be injured. Santana keeps control locking Orndorff in a head scissors ground hold. After a long period Orndorff flips himself over onto Santana for a pin, but the ref is slow to react and even slower at counting, meaning Santana can kick out after 2.

Orndorff is now the one applying holds, and he brings Santana to the ground with a chicken wing. Santana is struggling to cope with this, but eventually manages to get to his feet and duck in behind Orndorff to reverse the hold. Orndorff makes it to the ropes and the hold is broken. After a short stand off and grapple, Santana throws on another headlock. Orndorff escapes this one much quicker than before using an atomic drop. Santana holds his bad leg and rolls away towards the corner. The ref asks him if he wishes to continue, which he nods to, but Orndorff doesn't go in for the kill. They tie up again and Orndorff attacks the injured leg with a drop toe hold. The leg continues to be attacked and Orndorff looks to finish things off with a figure 4 leg lock, but Santana is able to kick him away with his good leg. Both men get up and Santana can barely walk. They tie up once more, and Orndorff knocks Santana out the ring with his forearm. They brawl on the outside and Orndorff rams Santana headfirst into the steel ring post. The bell rings as both men are counted out.

Despite this being the longest match of the night so far, not a lot happened. Lots of holds, barely any strikes or slammimg moves. Santana's inured leg was worked into the match but I didn't really enjoy watching it. Orndorff could have won this easily but basically kicked himself out the tournament by losing his head. Yoda wouldn't be happy 2/5

Gorilla and Jesse both say that Santana and Orndorff lost their cool, and we go back to Vince and Alfred Hayes, who is rubbing himself up against Susan somethingorother. They go over the results and the tournament is now:

Dynamite Kid vs Randy Savage

The winner will face Junk Yard Dog in the final, who has a bye due to Orndorff being an idiot.

We go back now to Gorilla and Jesse who talk a bit more about that last match, and we see Roddy Piper make his way down to the ring with his army of bagpipe players. Mean Gene has Hogan in the back, and Hogan says a bit of nonsense about Hulkamania and that he will use everything he's got to put Piper down. We go to Finkel to announce the next match.
 

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Match 13 - Rowdy Roddy Piper vs Hulk Hogan (C)
Singles match, 1 hour time limit for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship

I'm a little surprised they've not got this on last, or as the penultimate match before the tournament final, especially seeing as whoever wins between Savage & Dynamite Kid will be wrestling again straight after. However wrestling isn't supposed to make sense, so there we go. Hogan comes down to the ring with the crowd cheering him as always and Piper plays the heel.

Hogan is in all white tonight and proudly shows off the championship belt around the ring, but Piper tries to snatch it from his hands. The ref takes the belt away and they start brawling, with Hulk sent to the outside. He pulls Piper out with him and the fight continues on the outside. Jesse says we won't see much wrestling here and more of a street fight. They get back into the ring and Piper is on top, slowing Hogan down with strikes and a thumb to the eye. This seems to make Hulk react as he reverses a whip and sends Piper into the corner, and lands a clothesline, sending Piper to the mat.

The crowd love this and Hogan hits a big back suplex on Piper, and then does something I find totally stupid. He brings Piper to his feet, and then does a basic body slam on him. Picked him up to drop him down. That's never made sense to me, and never will. Pick the guy up to do something interesting on him, even a suplex will do. Anyway, less ranting, Hogan follows up the bodyslam with a couple of running elbows. Hogan puches Piper around for a bit and corners him. The ref stops Hogan from punching anymore, and Piper uses this to throw some punches back. He beats on Hulk and climbs to the second rope. He tries to land a double ax handle but Hogan catches him in mid-air and wraps him up in a bear hug. Piper escapes with a thumb to the eye. Piper goes to work on Hogan and goes for the pin, getting a 2 count.
Piper continues his attack and gets another 2 count. Piper has Hogan reeling and the crowd are cheering for the Hulkster. Piper tries to end things here by slapping on a sleeper hold, and Hogan is struggling badly now. The ref drops Hogan's arm twice, but the crowd react when he keeps it up on the third attempts. He starts to Hulk Up and takes both him and Piper over the top rope. Piper tries to ram Hogan into the steel ring post, but Hulk pushes him instead just at the last second. Hogan starts no-selling punches and they get back in the ring. Hogan lands a big boot and an atomic drop (everyone seems to love this move in the 80's) before going to whip Piper across the ring, but Roddy reverses it and sends Hogan crashing into the referee.
Piper goes out the ring to grab a chair, and smacks Hogan square in the back, sending him tumbling to the canvas. Piper lines up another chair shot, this time to Hogan's throat. but Hogan grabs the chair and they both fight over it. Hulk kicks Piper to get hold over the chair, and hits him in the back with it, and then locks in his own sleeper hold on Piper. The ref is now back up and it looks like it's about to end, but Cowboy Bob Orton runs into the ring and attacks Hogan with his cast. Piper and Orton attack Hogan and Paul Orndorff then runs into the ring with a chair to make the save, but Orton and Piper back off and leave the ring.

I should probably say I'm not really a fan of Hogan. I admire his ability to whip up a crowd but I don't really like his in ring work. That being said, him and Piper made this a physical match more than anything, playing it off as two guys who don't like eachother, and it worked. Orton made the save to make it a Hulk win rather than Piper getting beaten. The crowd enjoyed this, and as such I'll be generous and award this 3/5.

Hulk and Orndorff are cheered in the ring and, and Hogan's music plays, although it sounds like this has been dubbed in over the original music and crowd noises used. Mean Gene has Junk Yard Dog. Dog talks fast and they fill time, but Jimmy Hart runs in and interrupts the segment and says he's going to get JYD. Doesn't say why, but there you go. Back to Howard Finkel for the next match.

Match 14 - Dynamite Kid vs Macho Man Randy Savage w/Elizabeth
Singles match, 15 minute time limit

Jesse isn't happy that JYD is already in the final without having to fight another opponent, while Savage has to go through Dynamite Kid to have the chance to get there. Savage is booed again, but he's been the perfect heel so far, bending the rules and cheating to get through both his previous matches. Kid barely gets a mention.

There's a few failed tie-ups, but Savage grapples Dynamite from behind, but Kid is able to quickly move and roll to safety, which Savage doesn't like. Savage leaves the ring and then comes back in. They grapple again and roll along the ropes. The ref gets between them both but Savage is able to land a punch square to the face. He rams Dynamite into the turnbuckle, but Kid fights backand knocks Macho Man down with a shoulder block. He works Savage some more and sends him high into the air with a huge back body drop. Dynamite lands a jumping cross body and follows through with the pin, but they're too close to the ropes, and Save is able to roll out to the apron. Savage reverses a whip and goes for his own back body drop, but Dynamite telepgraphs this and instead rolls over Macho Man into a sunset flip, but Savage stands his ground, and jumps onto Kid. When they're back up both men run against the ropes and hit eachother with clotheslines. Savage gets up first and climbs to the top rope. Dynamite slowly gets to his feet but drop kicks Savage, setting him up for a superplex. The crowd are loving this. Dynamite lands the superplex, and goes for the pin, however Savage is able to roll one shoulder up and lock his legs in with Dynamite in the air, meaning Dynamite Kid is pinned and can't get up. Great move from Savage to pick up the win!

Savage is just brilliant, and plays the heel part so well. It looked to be over after the superplex, but the ending of the match was excellent. This was really good from start to finish, with Savage getting the most attention from the commentary team and his own entrance, which clearly put Dynamite Kid in the underdog position, but he played it really well. Like Savage's last match, I wish this could have gone on a bit longer. 4/5

Jesse praises Savage to high heaven for the way he just won, and Gorilla Monsoon is also gushing with the way the match was won. Both describe it as an unbelievable moment, and to be honest it really was impressive.

It's going to be Macho Man vs Junk Yard Dog in the final. JYD has had one less match, which will be an advantage, but Savage is better than JYD, no doubt about it. Going off the crowd reactions. JYD is massively over at this time, infact he's probably the most over guy in the company after Hogan.

We then have quite a long segment where someone live in the audience will win a Rolls Royce. This probably seemed like a great idea at the time, but it's dragging on and boring as hell to watch. Even the crowd are booing in the back ground. Lord Alfred Hayes is going to announce the winner, and even gets booed when going for a cheap pop mentioning the city they are in, which made me laugh. Someone called Michael Hamley wins the car. Gorilla and Jesse fill air time talking about imagining winning a car. Mean Gene is in the locker room and has Hulk Hogan with him along with Paul Orndorff. Hogan says his feud with Piper isn't over and Orndorff joins in. Hulk says that him and Orndorff has a surprise for Piper, and the camera seems to cut out the rest of the interview. It's now back to Gorilla and Jesse, and then Finkel to introduce the final of the elimination tournament.

Match 15 - Macho Man Randy Savage w/Elizabeth vs Junk Yard Dog
Singles match, no time limit

Savage limps to the ring and his holding his back. Jesse says he's showing guts coming down to compete again. Junk Yard Dog makes his way down to the ring high fiving the crowd. His music seems to have been overdubbed onto this, which isn't necessarily a bad thing as it's pretty catchy.

Savage hides behind Elizabeth again before the match starts, and then goes out the ring to grab a chair. He throws a chair to Dog, who beats his head against it and the ref throws it out. Savage enters the ring then goes back out to wind up the crowd. He does this twice. He enters the ring once more and this time JYD shoves him to the ground a couple of times. Savage goes to lift up JYD for a bodyslam, but can't do it. Dog skips behind Savage and headbutts him in the back. JYD actually does a move on Savage, landing a big atomic drop, and slaps on a bear hug.

Savage is reeling and Mean Gene Okerlund comes down to join the commentary team. JYD beats on Savage with physical attacks, seemingly focussing on the injured back. JYD's attacks are mainly strikes and headbutts. Savage fights back after a couple of minutes with a clothesline, which JYD sells really badly. He goes for a pin, and Dog kicks out at 2. Savage throws JYD through the ropes to the outside, and Savage leaps from the top rope and lands a duble ax handle. Dog is down being counted out, Savage gets in the ring and then rolls back out, sneaking up behind JYD and ramming him into the steel post. Mean Gene sides more with Gorilla on commentary, which gets Jesse worked up, saying that Mean Gene hasn't done anything athletic in his life other than tie his shoes, and that he wears velcros now.

Savage works on JYD some more and lands another double ax handle from the top rope. Savage then attacks JYD with a chair, which Gene and Gorilla agree should give JYD the win via DQ. Savage keeps rolling in and out of the ring to restart the clock, and chokes JYD for a while on the steel barricade on the outside between the ring and the crowd. JYD is rolled back into the ring and Macho Man again goes to the top rope, but this time JYD clocks this and hits Savage in the gut. JYD goes on all fours and does those crappy headbutts again, but the crowd are loving this now. Savage his cornered on the ground and grabs hold of the bottom ropes. JYD picks him but by his legs, sending Savage's back crashing to the mat, seemingly turning the tide. A headbutt ties Savage up in the ropes, so Dog attacks some more. When freed, Savage thumbs JYD in the eye, but gets a whip reversed and bumps into Dog in the centre of the ring. This sends JYD backwards towards the ropes, Savage goes for him again, but Macho Man is tossed over the top and out of the ring, to a massive reaction from the fans. Savage can't get up and is counted out, despite Elizabeth's best offerts to get him back up. Junk Yard Dog wins the tournament!

That last match was by far the best Junk Yard Dog match I've seen, although that was more so down to Savage and the beating he gave him on the outside. I'd have preferred to see Savage win, as he was much more deserving, but I suppose that in the early days of PPV's it made more sense for the fan favourite to get the win. 2/5 for the match, I preferred Jesse on commentary.

Junk Yard Dog is announced the winner to mainly cheers although there are a few boos. Mean Gene interviews JYD in the ring but Jesse gets up and interrupts it saying JYD hasn't had the same number of matches as Macho Man and that this isn't fair. JYD goes towards Jesse, who backs off. We go back to Vince, Alfred and Victoria who recap on the night and say how great it was. Just before signing off, Vince says that this is the first of a hopefully annual Wrestling Classic event. There wasn't another one called Wrestling Classic, but as I said at the beginning, the tournament strategy has been used on King of the Ring events amongst others since.

Looking at the total scores for the matches, I've awarded this 33/75. I think the main problem with this was there was too many matches. The whole first round of the tournament took up way too much time, and it was a struggle to get to 15 matches in less than 2 and a half hours. WWF certainly went for quantity over quality here. I'd say Savage's two matches against Steamboat and Dynamite Kid are worth checking out, but overall as a PPV I wouldn't recommend it. 4/10

Less than 3 weeks later, NWA would put on their next big show, which is also the next review I will do; Starrcade 85 - The Gathering
 

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Starrcade 85: The Gathering





Promotion: NWA
Date: 28/11/85
Cities & Venues: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina & The Omni, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentary Teams: Bob Caudle & Tony Schiavone
Announcers: Tom Miller

No, that isn't a mistake, there are two venues for this PPV. NWA have seemingly decided to expand upon Starrcade and make this one bigger than the last two. I believe this is the first time something like this was done, and at the time this was still recorded on CCTV rather than PPV (WWF's Wrestling Classic was the first actual PPV as far as I'm aware). One half takes place in Greensboro and the other in Atlanta. Bob Caudle and Tony Schiavone are in Atlanta and introduce the show before going to Johnny Weaver in Greensboro. The first match is in Greensboro and it's over to ring announcer Tom Miller. After welcoming the crowd, the American national anthem gets played, then we go into the opening match of the night

Match 1 - Khrusher Kruschev vs Sam Houston
Singles match, 20 minute time limit for the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship

From what I've read, it appears that this title was vacant so whoever wins would become champion. I can't say that I know anything about either of these two prior to the match taking place, and the match is billed as Russian vs Cowboy. No prizes for guessing who is fan favourite. Bob Caudle and Tony Schiavone commentate from Atlanta.

The two start with grappling eachother, and Kruschev is thrown through the ropes to his surprise as he's clearly the bigger man. After a stand off Kruschev is able to choke lift Houston over his head, throws Houston to the mat but then misses a running elbow drop. Kruschev tries to use his strength again to get the upper hand but Houston's speed is becoming a problem. After a few more stand offs Houston throws on a headlock, but is thrown against the ropes. After a few bounces too many Houston tries to hip toss Kruschev, but his strength blocks this move. Houston works around this into an elaborate head scissors and locks in the hold.

Kruschev is eventually able to take Houston to the corner, but Houston foils the attacks and hits Kruschev with a drop kick and an arm drag. He keeps hold of the arm, and Kruschev counters throwning Houston against the ropes, and goes for a big back drop but Houston lands on his face. Kruschev gets a 2 count after a punch to the head. Kruschev press slams Houston and looks to be in control. Houston threatens to get back in it but then gets caught in a bear hug. The fans chant USA, and Houston escapes the hold and lands a kick to Kruschev's face. Kruschev doesn't like this and body slams Houston before heading to the top rope. Houston sees this coming and drop kicks Kruschev onto the turnbuckle. After punching Kruschev in the corner, Houston whips him to the opposite corner and signals for what I guess is his finisher, the Bulldog. This lands (awkwardly) and Houston goes for the pin. Houston thinks he's won but Kruschev gets his foot on the rope just in time, and when Houston celebrates he gets hit with a big clothesline. Kruschev pins him for the win but Houston also has his foot on the ropes, which the referee doesn't see.

Bit of a boring match to start things off, and the lack of constant commentary is telling. Caudle and Schiavone only talk during brief moments of the match, meaning long moments of silence which doesn't quite work well. I'm not sure if this is the first time Caudle and Schiavone have commentated together as they don't have the same chemistry as Caudle and Solie. Anyway, the heel won the match but the face can feel hard done by as the ref should have spotted his foot on the ropes. Not terrible, but forgettable 2/5

The match ends and it's straight to the next match without any after match discussion

Match 2 - Abdullah The Butcher w/Paul Jones vs "Ragin' Bull" Manny Fernandez
Mexican Death Match, no time limit

Tom Miller explains that a Mexican Death Match is a no DQ match that can't be won by pin fall. The only way to win, is to grab the sombrero off the pole in one of the ring corners. Scrapping over a hat, brilliant.

Ragin' Bull beat Black Bart at Starrcade 84 in a match I didn't really like, and Abdullah The Butcher I've not seen since Starrcade 83. Not sure how this will go down but judging from these two matches they like hardcore.

Abdullah cuts Bull open within 5 seconds and then attacks him with a hammer and beats on him. Bull fights back with strikes and kicks, and eventually lands a bad monkey flip on Abdullah. Bull takes his boot off and attacks with it, reopening a massive cut that Abdullah started the match with on his head. After missing one boot attack and landing in the ropes Abdullah uses the boot on Bull and goes for the sombrero, but Bull is able to recover just in time. The boot is used again on Abdullah, and this time Bull goes for the sombrero but Abdullah knocks him down.





As you can see, Abdullah The Butcher is a big big guy. And therefore slow at climbing the turnbuckle. He's on his way up but Bull takes his belt off and uses this to whip Abdullah in teh back. After a few attacks Abdullah blocks one and gets Bull on his back. He goes for a running elbow drop and misses, putting Bull on top. He runs at Abdullah and lands a jumping forearm attack with the belt, strikes some more and then suplexes Abdullah! The crowd loved it, and Bull heads for the sombrero. Abdullah recovers in time and low blows Bull, before landing several headbutts, however Bull fights back with another jumping forearm attack and a clothesline from the second rope. Abdullah is struggling on the mat and Bull thinks he can end this going to the top rope. He goes for a big splash, but Abdullah rolls away just in time. Abdullah whips Bull into the corner where the sombrero is and goes for a shoulder tackle. Bull sees this coming and moves out the way, making Abdullah fall through the ropes and uses this to his advantage, jumping up to the fabled sombrero and gets the win.

The crowd really enjoyed this match, and it had it's moments. Both performers put on a decent show and really tried to capitalise on the other's mistakes. The match got better as it went on, and really picked up after the boot stopped being used as the main weapon. 3/5

Johnny Weaver is with Khrusher Kruschev. Kruschev doesn't even try to do a Russian accent and just speaks with a Southern American accent, but talks about "The Motherland". It's hilarious. Weaver then talks about the next match.

Match 3 - Black Bart w/James J Dillon vs "Cowboy" Ron Bass
Texas Bull Rope match, no time limit
If Ronn Bass wins, he gets a 5 minute Texas Bull Rope Match with James J Dillon


This is cowboy vs cowboy in what is a strap match. Bart & Bass both competed at Starrcade 84 as heels, and both were managed at the time by JJ Dillon. Bass is now a babyface following the break-up of their old group, as Bart stuck with JJ.

There is a cowbell in the middle of the bull rope, which Bass uses straight away to cut Bart open. Caudle and Schiavone explain that these two men used to be partners while Bass hammers away wit the cowbell and throws in a few punches too. He then uses the rope as a weapon and beats on Bart some more. Bart turns it round with a quick low blow, ten goes to work on Bass, using similar attacks with the rope and cowbell. Bass is cut open, and just when he looks like he's struggling he fights back, but Bart starts to choke Bass with the rope. Bass fights back with the cowbell, leaving Bart to unconvincingly swing wild punches in the air while he's 'dazed'. Bass uses the rope again and the match goes back and forth, which sends most of the crowd into a sleep, until Bart misses a clothesline and falls over the top rope.

Bass follows him out and uses the cowbell some more. He wraps the rope around Bart's neck and punches him a bit, goes for the pin and gets a 2 count.Bart fights back a bit but both men are knocked to the ground after they shoulder tackle eachother. They get up and the rope is between Bart's legs, which Bass uses to his advantage. Bass gets another 2 count after another cowbell shot. He then gets the win shortly after, after one more cowbell shot.

I like that Bass and Bart tried to make the match about the rope and cowbell, but had zero imagination on what to do with them other than hitting eachother. This was boring and the crowd only seemed to get excited because Bass winning meant he got 5 minutes with JJ. Totally forgettable and a really poor fight. 1/5

Match 4 - "Cowboy" Ron Bass vs James J Dillon
Texas Bull Rope Match, 5 minute time limit

As soon as the last match ended JJ runs into the ring and goes to work on Bass, stomping away at him wearing cowboy boots. Dillon uses the cowbell and goes for a quick pin, but Bass kicks out. Dillon uses the bell some more and uses more imagination in 20 seconds than the whole of the last match, choking Bass with the rope. Bass fights back and gets pumped up, Dillon acts scared and tries to run, but Bass starts attacking with the cowbell, cutting him open and then resorting to pucnhes. He strikes JJ with the cowbell again, but the rope momentum knocks the referee over. Bass goes for the pin but the ref can't count, so Black Bart comes back in the ring and attacks Bass, hitting him with a piledriver. He pulls JJ onto Bass and gets the refs attention, who counts the pin. JJ Dillon wins.

This quick encounter between a wrestler and a manager was better than the longer match between two wrestlers. Dillon used the cowbell to help with falling strikes and put Bass in a choke which actually looked effective. Bass just resorted again to strikes with the cowbell. Only issue with this was that the ref was 'knocked down' by rope momentum, when it would have made much more sense for Black Bart to trip the ref from outside the ring to stop the pin count. I'll be generous and say 2/5

Again it's straight into the next match without any review of what just went down

Match 5 - The Barbarian w/Paul Jones vs "Superstar" Billy Graham
$10,000 Arm Wrestling Challenge, followed by a 30 minute time limit singles match

So first we have an arm wrestling match, then a normal singles match. Graham is the big fan favourite here, while The Barbarian looks like a Leigion Of Doom knock off. Graham got beat at Starrcade 84 thanks to a chop to the neck, so while he might win an arm wrestle, I can't see an actual match going too well. Barbarian has a cast on his right hand so it will be a left handed wrestle.

The arm wrestle is drawn out, with Barbarian on top almost winning a couple of times, but Graham powers back and wins the $10k.

Paul Jones attacks Graham as soon as the arm wrestle is over with his cane, and Barbarian uses his cast to attack as well. Graham is cut open, takes a beating and, after Barbarian misses a flying headbutt from the top rope, fights back and throws on a bearhug. Jones interrupts the bearhug and Graham wins by DQ.

Short match which did it's job, got the crowd excited when Graham fought back and they loved it after the match when he attacked Jones with the cane. Usually I'd give nonsense like this 1/5, but I'll be generous purely due to the crowd reaction, and give this 2/5.

Same as before, no discussion about what just happened. Infact, Caudle and Schiavone have been very quiet so far and barely even commentated on the events down in Greensboro. Which is a different experience, but not one I've liked so far, as the crowd hasn't really been into all the matches.

Match 6 - "Nature Boy" Buddy Landel w/James J Dillon vs Terry Taylor (C)
Singles match, 45 minute time limit for the NWA National Heavyweight Championship

I don't think I've seen either of these two before. I've heard of Terry Taylor before, but definitely not Buddy Landel, who looks like a Ric Flair rip off, even having the same hair style and colour. Landel is the heel in this, Taylor the face, but still gets a few boos when he is announced.

Landel backs out of a grapple to fix his hair, and after a short grapple both men stand toe to toe. JJ Dillon isn't at ringside yet, still recovering from his Bull Rope match. The match goes back and forth with strikes and an arm lock from Landel, whcih is countered into an arm drag by Taylor. Landel act's heelish backing into the corner, and tries to assert control with a headlock takedown. Taylor tries to work around this and gets in a couple of pinning positions, and eventually counters the headlock into a wrist lock.

Landel starts to fight back, but runs into a big boot from Taylor. Taylor then lands a big back body drop, follows it up with a knee drop and gets a 1 count. Landel strikes with a strong elbow, knocking Taylor to the ground. Landel gets him up and goes to work on taylor's body in the corner, ending with a snapmare and a chin lock takedown. Taylor escapes with a back suplex, and then lands a back breaker, and hits a leg drop. He goes for the pin but Landel gets his foot onto the bottom rope. After Taylor attacks with some chops, Landel reverses a whip into the corner and hits a powerful clothesline, getting him a 2 count. Landel sets up Taylor for a suplex, but Taylor counters with a small package, getting a 2 count, but this infuriates Landel. He stomps Taylor and throws on a reverse chin lock. Taylor works back and is able to force Landel off his back and into the corner. Following a snapmare and standing on Landel's neck, Taylor hits a suplex, which causes Schiavone to say that Taylor's favourite move is the Superplex. I wonder where this is going...

JJ Dillon is back at ringside now, and Landel is taking a beating in the corner. Taylor is trying to carry on the offence but the referee is trying to pull him away. While their backs are turned, Dillon hands Landel his shoe (yes, his shoe!) and Landel attacks Taylor with this, knocking him into the referee. Dillon gets his show back and climbs to the apron, while Landel shoves Taylor into the referee again. The ref stays down longer now, and Landel tries to whip Taylor into Dillon and his shoe, but the whip is reversed, sending Landel into Dillon and Dillon crashing to the ouside. Taylor gets Landel into the corner after a forearm, and sets him up for the Superplex. While he has Landel up over his head, JJ trips Taylor, and Landel impressively balances himself and lands on Taylor. The ref has recovered by this point, and counts to 3 to make Landel the new champion!

No real complaints about this match. Some good back and forth action, with Taylor looking to be on top, but JJ Dillon's interference changed the match around, and the ending was very well done. I was impressed with Taylor, and his variety of moves, holds and counters, while Landel wasn't bad at all. Well earned 3/5
 

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Match 7 - "The Minnesota Wrecking Crew" Arn & Ole Anderson (C) vs Billy Jack Haynes & Wahoo McDaniel
Tag Team match, 45 minute time limit for the NWA National Tag Team Championship

I believe this is the first PPV I've seen with Arn Anderson since I started doing reviews. He's a solid in-ring performer, really good technician who rarely has a bad match. Ole Anderson was in a tag team match in Starrcade 84, which he lost when his partner Keith Larson was pinned. Wahoo McDaniel has competed at Starrcade 83 and 84, while I've not seen anything of Billy Jack Haynes. McDaniel & Haynes come down to the ring to a synth version of the Fabulous Freebirds music, and are also NWA USA Tag Team Champions.

Haynes and Arn start off, with Haynes able to power over whatever Arn throws at him early on, which eventually leads into Arn receiving a military press slam. Arn writhes in pain and backs into his corner, bring in Ole. Ole is a bit more powerful than Arn, but Haynes out powers and out brawls Ole before tagging in Wahoo McDaniel. McDaniel carries on the assault, knocking Ole to the floor and attacks Arn on the apron. Ole takes a snapmare and an elbow drop, but bounces over to his own corner and Arn is tagged in. Arn takes his time coming into the ring, cleverly slowing down Wahoo's momentum. He excellently sells a slap from McDaniel , who then throws on a headlock takedown. While grounded, Arn is able to roll McDaniel over and lock him into a head scissors.

McDaniel works his way out of the head scissors and Arn holds his hand out for a tag, but Ole ignores it. Arn then Wahoo into his corner and tags in Ole, ensuring they can work the double team when they tag. After a snapmare Ole goes to work on McDaniel's arm, Schiavone pointing out that this will weaken one of Wahoo's big moves, the Tomahawk Chop. Daniel slaps Ole down, but they're still in the Anderson corner, so Arn tags himself in while Ole holds onto McDaniel preventing him from going to his own corner. Really good tag team play. Arn focusses his offence on the same arm Ole targetted, using holds, stomps and knee strikes. While im a hammerlock position Ole is tagged in and more attacks are made on the left arm. Ole gets a 2 count following a body slam and an elbow drop. Arn is tagged back in and they double team Wahoo again, Arn & Ole have got McDaniel right where they want him. Haynes knows this, so comes into the ring and attacks Arn from behind. With all 4 men in the ring, the ref gets Haynes out first, meaning more double team action on Wahoo McDaniel. Arn again goes for McDaniel's left arm, but he uses his right to slap his way back into it. This is still near the Anderson corner, so as Arn falls back he tags in Ole, and McDaniel still can't quite make it to his own corner. He brawls briefly with Ole, and then rolls to Haynes to make a hot tag, the crowd exploding as it happens.

Arn has also been tagged in, and McDaniel is now on the apron, but Haynes is taking down both the Andersons. He knocks their heads together, and Wahoo comes back to join the action. Haynes & Wahoo have the crowd on their feet and the Andersons are knocked down. the ref gets Wahoo then Ole to leave the ring, but Arn is able to snapmare Haynes into McDaniels corner, who is tagged back in. McDaniel hits Arn with the Tomahawk Chop and has him down for the 3 count, but Ole knows this was coming so jumps in to make the save. Ole leaves the ring and Haynes comes back in, onbly to be blocked off by the referee. Arn whips Wahoo against the ropes, and Ole trips him from the outside, but this only gets a 2 count. The ref is then distracted again with Haynes, and McDaniel has managed to get Arn back into Ole's corner. Ole trips McDaniel again and this time holds Whoo's legs down while Arn pins him to get the win.

Easily the best match so far. Arn & Ole put on a tag team clinic here, making regular, sensible tags, split the ring in half, worked double teams and focussed on trying to weaken a strength of their opponent. In other words, they tried to make what they did count and look believable. Excellent performance from them, and I was impressed too with Billy Jack Haynes in the brief moments he had in the ring. The crowd were really into this too, and a good heel finish to end the match. Great tag team match and deserved 4/5

Johnny Weaver is with JJ Dillon and Buddy Landel. JJ cuts a good promo about what has happened that night and promotes Landel & his win, and says this is the last step towards him becoming World Heavyweight Champion. Landel does a promo but can't help but mention Ric Flair. We then go to the next match

Match 8 - Magnum T.A. vs Tully Blanchard (C) w/Babydoll
I Quit Cage match for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship

This is the first match I've seen of Magnum T.A.'s, but Tully Blanchard put on a great match with Ricky Steamboat at Starrcade 84, so I hope this can reach the same standards. Magnum is the huge fan favourite.

From the first exchange you can tell this is going to be an aggressive, brutal match. Both men strike quickly and fiercely, Magnum has the edge on strength, Tully on speed. Magnum tries to rake Blanchard down the cage, but Tully is able to fend him off. He sends Magnum head first into the cage, which opens Magnum up. Tully works a chin lock, but Magnum powers out of it, eventually lifting Tully over his head, dropping him neck first onto the top rope, while also raking his face down the cage. They brawl for a short while, and Magnum is again thrown into the cage. Tully grabs the mic asking if amagnum quits - not yet.

Tully is now thrown into the cage a couple of times, which looks to have cut open his arm. We see Magnum briefly dig his fingers into the open wound, before the camera cuts to a cincerned looking Babydoll. Magnum asks if he quits and Tully shouts he doesn't. Magnum focusses his attention to Tully Blanchard's cut arm, even going as far as biting at the wound. This is going to another level of brutality. Both men are so emotionally invested in this, it's fascinating to watch. Magnum is down and his head wound seems to be getting bigger. Tully rams the mic down his throat screaming at him to quit, but Magnum's too angry to do that. So Tully uses the mic as a weapon and asks again. In between the screaming between the two, they're both breathing heavily, putting everything into this.

Tully beats on Magnum, focussing his punches on his forehead, then bizarrely goes for a pin, before realising what has happened. Magnum goes head first into the cage again, and Tully lands a forearm smash from the top rope. Magnum still won't quit, despite Tully's best efforts.Tully attacks somemore, but Magnum rolls out the way of an elbow drop, giving him a way back into it. He now uses the mic as a weapon, and when asked Tully just screams in pain but won't give up. Babydoll looks worried on the outside and Tully tries to fight his way back into it. Both men are wobbling at this point, trading swinging heavy blows, and Magnum comes out on top. He tells Tully to quit again, but a quick kick to the ribs takes Magnum by surprise, and he rolls to the corner. Magnum is up on the second rope delivering blows, but Blanchard escapes this by picking him up and landing an inverted atomic drop. Magnum takes more mic shots but still won't quit. Tully lands a load of elbow drops, and is getting frustrated, so much so that he shoves the referee across the ring.

This is the signal for Babydoll to throw a wooden chair into the ring. And this is where things get cranked up to 11. Tully smashes up the wooden chair, and picks up a sharpened corner, with what looks like a spiked end. He kicks the referee down, and then stands over Magnum, before diving downwards, trying his best to drive the spike into Magnum's head. Magnum uses all his strength to hold this off. The crowd are going fucking apeshit at this, and absolutely lose it when Magnum knees Tully in the back to get him off. He then picks up the spike, and rams it into Tully's forehead, holding it in place, twisting and turning it all at the same time. We don't need the mic to know Tully's response when asked if he quits, he just SCREAMS "yes" over and over again. Magnum T.A. is the new USA Champion.

That is possibly the most brutal match I've ever seen. Both men put everything into that, and the emotion on display just made you want to watch more and more. It just builds and builds and plays out perfectly. I don't think you could get away with some of this stuff anymore, certainly not the ending, probably not even the biting at an open wound. Outstanding creativity. The crowd absolutely lost it when Magnum won, and how he wins is an image that will stick long in the memory. I can't fault this match in anyway. 5/5

Babydoll comes into the ring, but all you can hear through the crowd is Tully howling in pain. We quickly go to the next match, which take place in Atlanta

Match 9 - "The Midnight Express" Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey w/Jim Cornette vs "The Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant & Miss Atlanta Lively w/Big Mama
Atlanta Street Fight

An Atlanta street fight is a street fight in Atlanta. The Midnight Express have turned up in formal wear, along with their manager, tennis racquet carrying Jim Cornette, while Boogie Woogie man is in jeans & t-shirt, while Miss Atlanta Lively is clearly a fella in drag (Ronnie Garvin). The Midnight Express are heavily booed, Valiant & Lively cheered.

The match starts with Valiant taking Condrey and Lively throwing powder all over Eaton. The only way to describe this is an all out brawl, without much sense being considered. Valiant gets Bobby Eaton outside quite early on and throws him a huge hip toss which the crowd take in. Condrey is then double-teamed and sent flying into Eaton as he tries to get back into the ring. Boogie man throws a sleeper onto "Lover Boy" Dennis and Lively attacks Eaton with a chain, but Cornette attacks Valiant from behind. More powder is thrown around and Eaton attacks Valiant with knuckle dusters.

The brawl continues with belts, Lively's bag and knuckle dusters used some more, and Lively (Garvin) gets double teamed, showing the world her (his) arse. This causes Schiavone to pipe up that Jim Cornette says that there is something strange about Lively which will be exposed. Creepy. Valiant is knocked out the ring, The Midnight Express are now topless holding Lively, so Jim Cornette wades into the ring and swing his trusty tennis racquet at Lively before making an exit. Lively is double teamed again and Valiant is kicked from the apron to the floor. Cornette is losing it outside the ring smashing his racquet everywhere, and Valiant comes back in to even the odds. Midnight Express focus on Valiant and take him down with a double clothesline. Condrey holds Valiant down while Eaton jumps from the top rope, but Lively catches him with an uppercut, get a big reaction from the crowd, and Condrey is kicked away by Valiant. Lively pins Eaton for the win.

Not really my cup of tea this match. The crowd were into it, and it had it's moments, but it isn't something I'll be rushing to see again. I will say though that Valiant especially kept the match at such a pace where the action didn't die down. 2/5

Cornette is stripped in the ring to reveal he wears love heart boxies. We actually see a replay to how the match ended as well. Johnny Weaver is with Magnum T.A. He says this is the best belt around after the World Heavyweight title, and says he will defend this any place any time, and specifically calls out Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, Nikita Koloff and Buddy Landel. This then moves onto the next match

Match 10 - Ivan & Nikita Koloff (C) w/Krusher Kruschev vs "The Rock 'n' Roll Express" Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson w/Don Kernodle
No DQ Tag Team match with no time limit for the NWA World Tag Team Championships

I last saw the Koloff's at Starrcade 84, while I think this is the PPV debut of the Rock 'n' Roll Express. Rock 'n' Roll Express are favourites, for being American, while xenophobia means the defending champions are villains. Also, this is a no DQ match, but the cage from the previous match is still up, making this a strange way to have a tag team match. Also, it's no DQ, but people still need to be tagged in and out? Wrestling sense...

The match starts off as a regular tag team match, as if the cage isn't there. Nikita Koloff starts off against Ricky Morton, giving an advert of what the match will be like, power & strength vs speed & agility. Morton lands a drop kick early, spinning Nikita to the corner, but he uses this time to get himself together, then cimes back at Morton and tags in Ivan. A jumping forearm from Morton stops on attack, but Ivan then picks Morton up and drops his legs either side of the ropes. A 2 count is kicked out of, and Morton is able to make a tag. Gibson comes in on the attack, and lands a drop kick-bodyslam-knee drop combo to get a 2 count.

The Rock 'n' Roll Express show some impressive tag work now, keeping Ivan isolated from his partner while making a quick succession of tags, double team moves and pin attempts. Gibson starts to use the cage as a weapon, sending Ivan Koloff headfirst into one of the supporting poles a couple of times, and Morton lands a jumping puch to the head from the top rope. Nikita rages in his corner and Ivan takes another cage shot and then a flying forearm from the top rope. This only gets another 2 count, and Ivan is bust open now. Gibson is tagged back in, but Ivan gets in a quick thumb to the eye to give him enough time to tag in Nikita.

The Russians start to take control, with Nikita sending Gibson flying into the cage walls, cutting him open. Ivan is tagged back and gets a 2 count after an elbow drop. Gibson tries to fight back, but Ivan tags Nikita back in. In shades of the last cage match, Nikita Koloff starts biting Gibson in the forehead, making his wound bigger, before bodyslamming him back to the mat. Morton is trying to get in the ring here but the ref keeps him from coming in, giving Ivan the chance to land a jumping punch from the top rope. Gibson is pinned but Morton makes the save. Schiavone says usually tag teams have one save, but with this being no DQ they have as many as they want. Never heard of that rule before, I think he made it up.

Ivan Koloff keeps the attack up, and goes for a running boot to the back of Gibson's head, but I guess Gibson felt the big Russian coming as he rolls out the way at the last second. Ivan clutches his knee, but manages to drag Gibson to his corner, where Nikita grabs hold of him for some quick double team work. Morton rushes in to break it up but the ref quickly sends him back into his own corner. Ivan gets a 2 count following a snapmare and leg drop sequence. He goes for another leg drop but misses, causing the crowd to cheer, but he then tags in Nikita. He slaps on a chin lock, Gibson fights back and a frustrated Nikita tags Ivan back in. After beating on Gibson for a while, who has been in the ring for a long time now, Ivan goes for another pin and seems to hav ethis won, but Gibson gets his foot on the ropes before the ref can get to 3. A dazed Gibson lands a punch and tries to get to his corner, but Nikita charges in and stops this after tagging himself in. He taunts Morton, making sure this distracts the referee, and then starts to choke Gibson while his back is turned (maybe xenophobia isn't why they were booed?). He goes for another pin but Morton makes another save.

Ivan is tagged back in and whips Gibson across the ring. Gibson slides under Ivan and hits him with a drop kick. Both men are on the floor, and the referee is also down for some reason. Gibson pins Ivan for a clear 3 count, but no ref = no count. Nikita comes in the ring and takes down Morton, before knocking Gibson down and throwing Ivan on top of him. But the ref is still down (and badly pretending to be stuck under the ropes), but he quickly gets to his feet when he sees a blind tag to Morton. Ivan back body drops Gibson, but Morton is there to sneak in behind and roll over Ivan after bouncing him off the ropes to get the 3 count!

Another really good tag team match. I was impressed with the Rock 'n' Roll Express, they kept to tag team logic isolating their opponent when possible and made regualr tags when they were in control. Ivan & Nikita Koloff were also good, although I felt that they should have made more of an effort to keep Gibson in their own corner, as a lot of their attacks happened in the middle of the ring or on neutral corners, which to me seemed a bit lazy. I'll give this 4/5, but only just.

Ricky Morton is thrown from the cage, and the Koloff's and Krusher Kruschev start attacking Robert Gibson in the ring with a chain. This goes on for a while, Don Kernodle is also down, but then a load of guys from the back come in to help out. After this behaviour, it was definitely xenophobia why the Koloff's were booed at the start. We go now to the main event

Match 11 - Dusty Rhodes vs Ric Flair (C)
Singles match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship

A repeat of Starrcade 84's main event. Flair was still champion since that last event, and had been champion for around 18 months going into this match. Dusty Rhodes gets massive cheers leading into this match, while Flair is booed clearly and loudly. Rolls reversed since the year before.

Dusty struts his stuff to get the crowd going, and doesn't miss a beat when it comes to striking and slapping Flair around the ring. Flair leaves the ring to gather himself. This doesn't help as Dusty then starts going to work using his Bionic Elbow. Flair rolls out the ring again, comes back and tries a different approach. He goes for an armlock but Dusty counters into a hammerlock, taking Flair to the canvas. The hold is broken, and Flair is able to go on the offence, using various blows and chops before landing a jumping knee drop.

When they're back on their feet Flair kicks at Dusty's left ankle, which had previously been injured by Arn Anderson according to the commentary team. Dusty uses the Bionic elbow when Flair attacks him on the apron, and stomps on Flair's ankle to even things up. He then gets into the ring and starts applying pressure to Flair's right leg & knee. He keeps this up and plays to the crowd, giving Flair the chance to thumb Dusty in the eye. Flair gets up and tries to suplex Dusty, but his knee gives way before he can do anything, so Dusty reverses this and suplexes Flair instead. He goes back for the knee but Flair is able to apply a head lock at the same time. They're both back up and Dusty is winning the physical battle, so Flair cleverley slaps on a sleeper hold. Dusty takes this for a short time while he lines himself up with the top turnbuckle, throws himself to the floor to send Flair crashing into corner face first.

Dusty rolls and and starts forcing Flair's leg into the ring post. Dusty's plan is clearly focussing on the right leg of Flair and it's working so far. He misses an elbow drop, and Flair gambles going to the top rope, but Dusty sees this and throws him to the mat. Dusty then tries to apply the Figure 4 onto Flair, but he's just about able to kick Dusty away, seemingly injuring his ankle in the process. Flair now goes for the Figure 4 but Dusty is too strong for it at that moment. They start brawling in the corner, before Flair is thown across the ring, bouncing over the coner onto the outside. Dusty follows this up slamming Flair's head into a railing, cutting him open. Flair fights back and thinks he throws Dusty out the ring, but Dusty lands on the apron, climbs to the top rope, and just about manages to splash onto Flair. The ref is a bit slow coming over for the count, and Flair kicks out after 2.

The match becomes more physical now as the two men trade blows, with Dusty coming out on top. He keeps the pressure on, but Flair has a few tricks up his sleeve. When whipped into the corner, he flips over the ropes again, but lands on his feet and runs to the next corner, climbs the ropes and goes for a double ax handle, but Dusty telepgraphs this and hits him in the mid-section in mid-air. Flair is now on his knees with his head just under the middle turnbuckle in the opposite corner, Dusty comes running over and wildely tries to kick Flair, but misses! Flair moved out the way, and Dusty is down again with his bad ankle. Flair sets Dusty's ankle up on the bottom rope and jumps on it. The tide has certainly changed and Flair keeps going for the left ankle. The Figure 4 comes into play, Dusty can't get him over, and falls to his back for a couple of 2 counts. Dusty tries to play off the crowd reactions, but gradually gets Flair over so the pressure is reversed.

The hold is broken by Flair in the ropes and both men struggle to their feet. Flair starts chopping at Dusty, who no sells and seems to get angry at this. Bionic Elbow comes into play again, and Flair is taken down with a running clothesline. Flair kicks out at 2, pushing Dusty off of him, making him land on the referee. Flair falls into the dazed referee who falls out of the ring. Dusty tries to apply a leg lock but Flair kicks him away. After a Bionic Elbow the Figure 4 Leg Lock is thrown on by Dusty, but the ref isn't there to end it. Arn Anderson runs into the ring but is kicked away by Dusty, but then Ole runs in from the other side and takes Dusty down with a kick from behind. Flair goes for the pin and another ref runs in the ring, but Dusty is able to kick out! Flair then goes to grapple Dusty, but this is reversed with a small package, and Dusty gets the win! The crowd go wild, jumping to their feet, as Dusty is joined in the ring by loads of faces from the locker room!

I really enjoyed that match. Different paces throughout, and good story telling from both Dusty and Flair, focussing on injured body parts and selling this to the audience. I haven't really seen too much of Dusty Rhodes but based on this match, I like him. Another 4/5 for this one.

Schiavone is in the back with Dusty and loads of other faces, and Dusty dedicate the win to all the blue collar workers of America. Schiavone and Caudle go over the night's results again, before talking about Jim Crockett promotions.

This is the best Starrcade of the 3 I've reviewed so far. Less dud matches, more matches that entertained, and the first match since I started these reviews that will go down as an all time classic in my eyes with Tully vs Magnum. My match scores give this 30/55, and the second half of the show was much more impressive than the opening 5 matches (although Abdullah vs Manny Fernandez was better than it had any right to be). Considering the strong run of matches towards the end, and a great headline event, I'll give this 7/10. A better opening half, and this would have been brilliant.

The next PPV after this is back to WWF, and it's the flagship event again, Wrestlemania II
 

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Wrestlemania II







Promotion: WWF
Date: 07/04/1986
Cities & Venues: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York & The Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois & The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California
Commentary Teams: Vince McMahon & Susan Saint James (New York), Gorilla Monsoon, Gene Okerlund & Cathy Lee Crosby (Chicago) and Jesse Ventura, Alfred Hayes & Elvira (Los Angeles)
Announcers: Howard Finkel (NY), Chet Coppock (Chicago) and Lee Marshall (LA)



Taking another leaf out of NWA's book, Vince has 'gone one better' and made Wrestlemania 2 take place in 3 different cities.


The show starts with Vince in the ring saying welcome, and then introduces his commentary partner Susan Saint James, a famous actress at the time who had been in loads of stuff I've never heard of, but had hosted Saturday Night Live a couple of times before this event.. Ray Charles is then presented to the crowd as he sings America the Beautiful, while a montage featuring waves and cliffs amongst other things come on the screen. Not really my cup of tea this. It ends with fake fireworks being set off behind a picture of Hulk Hogan. Lovely idea Vince.

Once it's over Mean Gene comes on the screen from Chicago andtalks about a couple of the matches. Roddy Piper then comes on the screen who has been preparing for his match later in the night, and cuts a promo saying if he gets knocked out in his boxing match he will retire from boxing, wrestling, tiddlywinks and loads of other things. Without warning, we hear Howard Finkel's voice introducing the opening match

Match 1
"Magnificent" Don Muraco w/Mr Fuji vs "Mr Wonderful" Paul Orndorf
Singles match, 20 minute time limit


Ornfdorf is still a face following the outcome to Wrestlemania 1's ending. Both men were part of the Wrestling Classic tournament, with Muraco defeated in the first round and Orndorf knocking himself out in the quarter final. They're both big men, but Muraco has the height advantage.

We listen to pre-recorded promos of both men over the beginning of the match. They grapple eachother, break it up, and then both guys trade bodyslams. Muraco then works on Orndorff in the corner, but Mr Wonderful fights back with a back body drop, arm drag and drop toe hold takedown. He works an arm lock onto Orndorff, and Susan Saint James sounds like she's never seen a match before, so it's pretty much all Vince on the mic. Orndorff keeps hold of Muraco's arm & wrist for what seems like ages, before Muraco finally counters back with a samoan drop. They brawl for a bit and oth go over the top rope, but Orndorff has his foot caught in the ropes. Muraco attacks on the outside, goes to ram Orndorff head first into the ring post and we hear the bell ring, but Orndorff shoves Muraco into it instead. Orndorff wants to attack Muraco with the chair, but Finkel announces that both men were counted out.

Draw - Double Count Out

Totally crap and forgettable match. Really not sure what the point to this was, and a dreadful way to start off the show. The crowd even chant BULLSHIT when it's over. The Samoan Drop was just about the only decent thing in the whole match. 1/5

We go to Mr T in the locker room, who gives a promo while getting rubbed by his mate and a midget. Back to Finkel for the next match

Match 2
George "The Animal" Steele vs "Macho Man" Randy Savage (C) w/Elizabeth
Singles match, 1 hour time limit for the WWF Intercontinental Championship

We watch a Savage promo while he's on his way to the ring. Susan Saint James says this is her match and she wants George Steele to win because someone needs to show Savage how to treat a woman. The story going into this seems to be Steel loves Elizabeth and wants her, but she stays with Savage despite how he treats her. Her decision may or may not also include the fact that Steele has more body hair than anyone in the world ever.

Savage won The Wrestling Classic tournament at the last PPV. This is the first George Steele match I'll be reviewing, but I remember seeing him as a kid as a comedy dopey character who eats turnbuckles.

It starts with Steele running Savage out the ring a couple of times. While waiting for Savage to engage Steele, Vince says that Steele looks like he's covered in fur. Savage leaves the ring a third time but Steele chases after him this time. Steele catches up with Savage when he'e getting into the ring and starts chewing on Savage's calf. This enrages Savage who attacks with a high knee into the corner, but Steele grabs Savage by the throat with two hands and throws him across the ring. Steele goes to Elizabeth but Savage sees this and ties him up in the ropes, leading to a beat down. Savage climbs to the top rope and lands a double ax handle, but Steele kind of rolls backwards with Savage on top. I think Savage wanted to flow this into a pin but was thown a bit far to make this convincing. He pins anyway, gets a 2 count, and Steele throws Savage through ropes as he kicks out.

Steele is on the attack now and throws Savage out the ring again. Savage rolls under the ring, and Steele can't see him. Savage rolls back out the other side and gives Steele a running knee to the back. Savage goes for a sleeper, but Steele counters by biting his arm. Savage leavess the ring again and comes back with flowers. He hits The Animal with them, but Steele starts biting the arm again, and shoves the flowers into Savage's face. Savage is down in the corner, but instead of attacking some more Steele goes into another corner and starts eating the padding on the top turnbuckle. Quite animalistic. Savage uses this opportunity to grab hold of Steele, who then tries to feed the padding to Savage. Savage leaves the ring again, Steele chases him but stops when he sees Elizabeth. She slowly backs away from Steele, giving Savage time to climb to the top rope and land another double ax handle, this time to the outside of the ring. They get back in the ring, Savage bodyslams Steele in the middle of the ring, setting him up for the big elbow drop from the top rope, and Vince thinks it's all over. Steele kicks out at 2, quite surprisingly, and then grabs Savage in the face. He throws Savage into the corner and tries to attack, but the ref gets in the way. Savage grabs Steele by his legs, pins him with his feel on the middle ropes and this time gets the win.

Winner - Randy Savage Retains by pinfall (feet on ropes)

I love watching Savage, but this wasn't good viewing. Steele acts like a loveable moron, but I don't remember him hitting Savage with any moves. Savage tried to play this like cat and mouse, which might have sounded good in theory, but didn't play out well at all. At least the crowd seemed into it, and Savage got a cheating heel win. This scrapes 2/5

Savage quickly crawls out the ring, grabs the belt & Elizabeth and leaves. Steele starts crying in the corner and eats another turnbuckle. We see a replay with Savage's feet on the ropes again, before going back to Steele in the ring, who is running after the referee trying to give him some padding. Vince announces we're going to Chicago with Mean Gene Okerlund. He has an NFL player and Big John Studd with him in anticipation of a battle royale match later in the night. It looks like it will be WWF vs NFL. We then go back to Vince & Susan Saint James in New York who talk about the next match, before going back to Finkel

Match 3
George Wells vs Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Singles match, 20 minute time limit

Jake and Damien get the cheers, but not many. I'm pretty sure anyone who watched Wrestling as a kid in the 80's & 90's knows Jake The Snake, but I can't say I've heard of George Wells before.

Jake leaves Damien in his sack in the corner, and the match starts quickly, with Wells landing a back body drop and then an uppercut. Jake starts swinging punches through the air, but takes control and throws Wells out the ring. He goes after him but Wells fights back and rolls Jake back into the ring. Roberts is whipped across the ring, but he steps over Wells who had him lined up for another back body drop, and starts showing off to the crowd. Wells runs against the ropes and clocks Roberts with a jumping shoulder block. Roberts takes a headbutt and is whipped into the corner. Wells is definitely on top at this point, beats on Jake in the corner and lands a pretty good looking head scissors take down. This leads to Roberts signalling for a time out. Wells then picks up Roberts to body slam him back down (I hate this), gives him a chop to the chest, and then Jake really sells a knee lift almost ending upside down with his foot on the top rope. Wells then lands a powerslam and goes for a pin, but only gets a 2 count.

Jake is struggling here but thumbs Wells in the eye to give himself some time. Roberts slides out the ring, Wells goes after him, Jake gets back in the ring and attacks Wells as he is climbing back in with a knee lift. Roberts then goes to Damien's sack, hits is famous DDT on Wells and gets the win.

Winner - Jake The Snake by pinfall (DDT)

Jake The Snake basically got battered all match, landed his DDT and won. I've read up on Wells after this match and he was basically a jobber. But he had all the offence in this match. I guess they wanted to make the DDT look like a really strong move. 2/5

Jake grabs Damien and throws him on top of Wells, wrapping him around Wells neck. Wells starts selling this brilliantly and even foams at the mouth. Jake and Damien leave soon after. Vince says that Jake is unbeaten at this point. We now watch a video showing how Mr T and Roddy Piper's feud got started. Basically Mr T has boxing gloves on, Piper comes down to the ring and challenges him, but Bob Orton attacks T from behind. Vince now goes to LA where Jesse Ventura has Hulk Hogan for an interview. Hogan looks like he wants to feud with Jesse, which I'd love, but sadly I don't think this goes anywhere. Back to Finkel, who introduces the guest announcer Joan Rivers (urgh). She introduces NBA player Daryl Dawkins as a guest judge, as well as Cab Calloway and G. Gordon Liddy. Cab Calloway is a musician, while Liddy is a lawyer who was convicted during Watergate, and booed loudly. The time keeper is Herb, no idea who he is.

Match 4
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper w/"Cowboy" Bob Orton & Lou Duva vs Mr T w/"Smokin" Joe Frazier & The Haiti Kid
10 round Boxing match

I'm a bit surprised to see Smokin Joe here, as he appeared at Starrcade 84, but I probably shouldn't be, Vince was all over celebrities at this event. Roddy Piper I last saw lose to Hogan via DQ at The Wrestling Classic, while Mr T was at Wrestlemania 1 with Hogan where they beat Piper and Paul Orndorff.

Round 1: Piper punches more, Mr T dodges. Lots near grapples. Piper punches a lot when the ref is breaking them up. This is totally boring. The carry on fighting after the bell rings.

Round 2: Piper comes out smothered in grease. The ref cleans this off. piper throws a flurry of punches. The grapple some more. Piper is on top, and gets T on the canvas. T gets up on 8.T is knocked down again as the bell rings, Piper hits him while he's down, T gets up on 5.

Round 3: Cowboy Bob throws water on T between rounds. Piper goes down in the corner but gets up on 8. Piper later sells a big punch from T and falls out the ring. Piper gets back in and up at 9.

Round 4: Piper throws his stool at T before the round starts. The swing punches at eachother and don't bother defending. The crowd boo a fair bit. Piper pushes the ref down and bodyslams Mr T. This is over.

Winner - Mr T via DQ (ref push & Piper bodyslam)

Absolutely awful from start to finish. Again, an idea that probably sounded good on paper but in reality was bull shit. Too long and pointless. 1/5

This is the end of the New York section, and we now go to the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago. Gorilla Monsoon and Gene Okerlund are on hand to introduce the matches. Cathy Lee Crosby will be on commentary with Gorilla. Chet Coppock introduces the next match

Match 5
Velvet McIntyre vs Fabulous Moolah (C)
Singles match for the WWF Womens Championship

Moolah is the champion is booed out the building. I remember her briefly as a kid in the late 90's or so where she would turn up with May Young (I think) and she delivered a mean snapmare. Moolah was at WM1 in Leilani Kai's corner, I've never heard of Velvet McIntyre before.

True to my memories, Moolah starts the match by doing 3 snapmares in a row. Velvet jumps over Moolah when in position to do a back body drop, and nearly falls over, then lands a poor dropkick, then a better one. Moolah takes a body slam, but rolls out the way when McIntyre goes for a splash off the top rope. Moolah pins her, the ref counts to 3, but doesn't see McIntyre has her foot on the ropes.

Winner - Fabulous Moolah Retains via pinfall (missed splash, Velvet foot on rope)

1/5. Pointless match that did nothing for anyone. Waste of time. This wouldn't have lasted much more than a minute if that. Moolah was in her 60's at this point, womens wrestling seems more like an afterthought.

We get a trademark "Holy Mackerel!" from Gorilla when the match finishes. Looks like Mean Gene has joined the commentary team from this point. Chet Coppock (this might be one of the best names ever) announces the next match

Match 6
Nokolai Volkoff w/"Classy" Freddy Blassie vs Corporal Kirschner
Flag match, 20 minute time limit

The winner of the match gets to wave their nation's flag when the match ends. Why they wouldn't do that anyway is beyond me. Volkoff does his usual singing of the Soviet national anthem, to a chorus of boos from the crowd, Kirschner interrupts this with his military drum parade music. I last saw Volkoff, Dynamite Kid beat him in seconds at The Wrestling Classic, although he did win a tag team match at WM1. Kirschner lost a forgettable match at The Wrestling Classic in the first round to Adrian Adonis.

Volkoff starts off strongest with a spinning kick to the gut and a knee lift. Kirschner is thown out the ring and into the steel post, before Volkoss starts biting him. Kirschner is thrown into the post again as Volkoff gets back into the ring. Kirschner starts to fight back, much to the fans delight, and lands some punches. Kirschner is bleeding according to Mean Gene, and punches Volkoff some more in the corner. The referee tries to pull him back, but gets too close and takes an elbow to the face, sending him flying across the ring. Volkoff is struggling here and Blassie tries to throw his cane into the ring, Kirschner catches it, smacks Volkoff across the head, throws it away and gets the pin as the ref recovers.


Winner - Corporal Kirschner via pinfall (Cane shot)

Another quick match, with no real moves taking place or enough time for it to go anywhere. The crowd love this one though purely because it's been billed as USA vs Soviets. This would have been better if they scrapped the womens match and gave this more time, at least it had a bit of brutality in it and could have gone somewhere. 1/5

Kirschner wins and waves his flag high and proud. He wasn't allowed to do that if it wasn't a flag match, you see. The crowd cheer and we hear his drum roll parade music again. It's now the main event for Chicago already! Chet Coppock gives Mean Gene mic duties as he introduces the next match - a 20 man Battle Royale and explains the rules - you are eliminated if you're thrown over the top rope and touch the ground. He introduces the time keeper Claire Peller, who has found the beef, and special guest referees Dick Butkus and Ed "Too Tall" Jones. Butkus is a former NFL player for the Chicago Bears and Too Tall Jones is another NFL player for the Dallas Cowboys. The match is between Wrestlers and Football players from the NFL

I've not done a match like this before, so I'll try to get all the contestants and eliminations correct:

Match 7
Jimbo Covert (Chicago Bears), Pedro Morales, Tony Atlas, Ted Arcidi, Harvey Martin (Dallas Cowboys), "Golden Boy" Dan Spivey, Hillbilly Jim, King Tonga, The Iron Sheik, Ernie Holmes (Pittsburgh Steelers), The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair & "Jumping" Jim Brunzell, Big John Studd, Bill Fralic (Atlanta Falcons), Bret "The Hitman" Hart, Jim "The Anvil" Niedhart, Russ Francis (San Francisco 49ers), "The Living Legend" Bruno Sammartino, William "The Refridgerator" Perry (Chicago Bears), "The 8th Wonder of the World" Andre The Giant
20 man Battle Royale

Ernie Ladd joins Gorilla on commentary duty, and mayhen ensues. A bunch of WWF guys try to get Refridgerator out, but he's helped by another NFL player. It's quite hard to see what else goes on so I'll mention eliminations and anything of note. I'm also a bit surprised that a young Bret Hart was on WM2!


Jimbo Covert and King Tonga are the first to go, eliminating eachother as they fall over the rope onto the ground, with a little help from Bill Fralic.

There's several brawls going on all over the ring, Andre The Giant seems to have been left one on one with I think Russ Francis, gets him over the top rope but he doesn't hit the ground. Ernie Holmes is eleminated in the corner by Bruno Sammartino.

The Hart Foundation eliminate Jumping Jim Brunzell. The Killer Bees were trying to get Bret out, but the Anvil came in from behind to force Brunzell over Bret and out of the ring. They start to double team Dan Spivey in one of about 5 or 6 different encounters going on around the ring, one of which is Tony Atlas getting eliminated by The Refridgerator to a massive pop from the crowd!

John Studd and The Refridgerator are pounding away at eachother which gets Gorilla's attention. Pedro Morales and Harvey Martin eliminate eachother, and shortly after Ted Arcidi has B. Brian Blair over his head in a Gorilla press position, and with help from Hillbilly Jim gets him over the top rope, but not on the floor. He comes back in and helps Hillbilly Jim, Dan Spivey and Iron Sheik eliminate Arcidi. Spivey then goes for Iron Sheik, but gets eliminated after Sheik ducks under an attack and back body drops Spivey over the ropes. Iron Sheik isn't done yet, helping Hillbilly Jim push the remaining Killer Bee over the top rope, but Blair hooks his leg round Hillbilly Jim, taking him out with him!

Iron Sheik is on bit of a roll here, as he helps Big John Studd force Bill Fralic out over the top rope. This leave the last 8 as Sheik, Studd, Redridgerator, Hart Foundation, Andre, Sammartino and Russ Francis.

Iron Sheik's run comes to an end, as he's eliminated by Bruno Sammartino the same way he eliminated Spivey. Sammartino now takes on Studd, Andre is brawling with Francis and The Hart Foundation take on The Refridgerator. Bruno has Studd in the corner and lifts his legs up, but can't quite get them over the top rope. Studd thumbs Sammartino in the eye and, while he's dazed, throws him over the rope to make it 6 left.

After taking a bit of a beating, The Refridgerator tackles both Bret and Anvil at the same time, sending them over the ropes but not onto the floor. Studd and Refridgerator square off, with Studd taking a big tackle in the corner. Studd sees the next one coming and blocks this with his shoulder, and quickly eliminates Perry. The Refridgerator wants to shake Studd's hand from the outside. Studd falls for the oldest trick ever and is pulled from the ring, getting another big pop from the audience.

Ray Martin is the last footballer left, up against Andre and The Hart Foundation. Andre gets tied up in the ropes, giving Bret & Anvil time to throw Martin out. The Harts now double team Andre for a bit, but are eventually overpowered. Bret takes a huge boot to the head, and when Anvil takes one he's eliminated. Andre picks Bret up in the Gorilla press slam position and throws Bret onto Anvil to get the win.

Winner - Andre The Giant via eliminating Bret Hart

While there was a lot going on, this was quite fun. Easily match of the night so far, but that isn't saying a lot. Andre was the right guy to win, he looks impossible to lift. The crowd were into this too, and loved it when The Refridgerator eliminated Tony Atlas and Big John Studd. This is also where the 'celebrity involvement' has worked best so far. 3/5

Andre is announced the winner to big cheers, Gorilla comments that Andre has won more Battle Royals than anyone in history but he looks hurt (I think he started to take a bit more time off around this time of his life). We then go to Vince and Susan Saint James in New York who are talking to Roddy Piper. Piper loves what has happened and cuts an amusing promo. We go back now to Mean Gene who has Jimbo Cobert with him who starts crying about being eliminated. Iron Sheik is interviewed next, and of course starts his answer off saying "Gene Mean" which always makes me laugh. We watch another replay of Andre eliminating Bret, Studd eliminating The Refridgerator. Gorilla then goes back to the ring announcer for what I think is the headline match for Chicago
 

Smally

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Match 8
The Dream Team (Greg "The Hammer" Valentine & Brutus Beefcake (C)) w/Lucious Johnny Valiant vs The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid) w/Captain Louis Albano
Tag team match for the WWF World Tag Team Championships

I want the Bulldogs to win. They've brought Ozzy Osbourne with them, and he's wearing a pink suit. I've liked what I've seen of the Bulldogs so far since doing these reviews. Davey's match with Ricky Steamboat at The Wrestling classic was good before it ended, and Dynamite Kid was eliminated by Randy Savage in the semi finals in a great match. Greg Valentine I last saw at Wrestlemania 1, where he thought he had defeated Junk Yard Dog, only for the match to restart and he was counted out. Beefcake was also at WM1, getting disqualified with David Sammartino. The hasn't started his Barber gimmick yet, which is what I remembered him for as a kid. There's two referees for this match, I guess one for the outside. Mean Gene says Ozzy is from Manchester. If so, that's the best Brummie accent impression I've ever heard.

Davey Boy and Valentine start the match. They trade blows, Valentine misses a quick elbow drop, giving Bulldog the chance to throw on an arm lock and work on the shoulder. Valentine escapes with a whip and hip toss combo, but misses a falling forearm. Bulldog tags in Dynamite Kid while having The Hammer in a headlock, keeping control of the bout. Valentine falls to the ground dazed. Dynamite uses a shoulder block and an impressive snap suplex, tagging Davey back in. Valentine counters a couple of suplex attempts, goes for his own, but can't quite get Bulldog high enough. Davey shows him how it's done with a textbook suplex, which gets a 2 count. Valentine backs into the corner and rolls out the ring to break the momentum. He gets back in, strikes Bulldog in the corner, and after a reversed whip knocks Bulldog to the ground, and lands a jumping headbutt. Brutus Beefcake is tagged in and works on Bulldog's arm. He doesn't keep the hold on for long though, and Davey Boy impressively reverses this into a press slam, getting a big crowd reaction, and tags in Dynamite Kid.

Kid goes to work on Beefcake, hitting a clothesline and knife edge chop. He uses a small package pin and gets a 2 count. Davey is tagged back in and lands a bridging cradle suplex, again for a 2 count. Beefcake is struggling here, so lowers his body and grabs onto Bulldog, slowing bringing him into the Dream Team's corner (I doubt many people would have considered Valentine & Beefcake as a dream team). The Hammer is tagged in and jumps from the top rope, laning a forearm onto the back of Davey Boy's neck.

The Hammer hits a suplex and works on a headlock. Davey gets up and tags in Dynamite Kid without Valentine being aware. They brawl with Dynamite coming out on top, forcing The Hammer into the corner, and works away on him with a series of shoulder thrusts. This leads into a two count and Davey is tagged back in, leading onto the Bulldogs using a doubleshoulder block. Another 2 count and Valentine is struggling again here. He motions for Beefcake to get into the ring, which he does, leading to both men attacking Dynamite, and giving The Hammer the chance to get back into it. He messes it up though as Dynamite telegraphs the back body drop and instead tries a sunset flip. It works, and he gets another two count. Beefcake makes the save after a backbreaker. Valentine kicks out on 2 after a knee drop, Mean Gene says Ozzy Osbourne is shaking at ringside, but doesn't elaborate...

Valentine has managed to get enough going on his side to land a piledriver onto Dynamite Kid, and gets a 2 count. Valentine tries to hold the shoulders down, and looks to claw some more momentum his way, and leaps for a knee drop, but gets a crotch full of shin for his efforts. Valentine ignores the tagging oppotunity and goes to the top rope, but Dynamite is onto him and slams him back down. Valentine is done for and motions again for Beefcake to come in. Brutus does as he's told, but Davey Boy sees this and comes in as well. This makes the ref break his count. Beefcake is chased from the ring, and valentine takes a bodyslam. The Bulldogs work together to press Dynamite onto him, but The Hammer bails before the drop happens.

Valentine is back in the ring and beats on Dynamite some more, which forces him to tag in Davey. He manages to get Valentine on his shoulder immediately, which means he's going for the Running Powerslam. It works, and bounces Davey Boy about a foot off the mat! Valentine barely kicks out, and then takes another suplex, and kicks out again. Dynamite is on the second ropes cheering Davey on. The momentum swings again as Valentine reverse a whip into the corner, sending Davey Boy through the ropes, his shoulder crashing into the post. A hammerlock is thrown on and amazingly Brutus Beefcake is tagged into the match. He lands a forearm from the middle ropes. Beefcake slams Davey Boy down after another hammerlock. Davey's shoulder is rammed into The Dream Team turnbuckle and Valentine is tagged in again. He elbows the shoulder from the top rope, and then hits a shoulderbreaker. He goes for the pin, but Valentine breaks his own pin, being the cocky heel he is. He tries to hurt Bulldog some more, but is shoved head first into Dynamite Kid in the corner, knocking him out. Davey falls onto Valentine to get the pin.

Winners - The British Bulldogs (New Champions) via pinfall (Davey Boy Smith pinned Greg Valentine following a head collision)

At last, Wrestlemania 2 has a good match! Watching it back it's almost a handicap match as Brutus Beefcake is barely in it, and is only tagged in for Valentine to have much needed breathers. Valentine was excellent considering this, and the Bulldogs were solid and entertaining throughout. More involvement from Beefcake would have made this a better and more believable tag team match, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. 4/5

The crowd explodes with the result. Davey sells his condition really well after the match, and Mean Gene speaks with Lou Albano and Ozzy Osbourne about what has happened, Ozzy just shouts "BRITISH BULLDOGS FOREVER!!!!!!" Davey Boy says that the Bulldogs will remain in America now that they are champions. Gorilla Monsoon goes over a replay of the win, and goes to Vince again in New York. Vince talks with Susan Saint James for a while, and she just screams and does sound bites.They then go to Los Angeles for part 3.

Jesse Ventura introduces the LA leg of the night with Lord Alfred Hayes and Elvira, who looks hot. It's quickly into the first match.

Match 9
Hercules Hernandez vs Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
Singles match, 20 minute time limit

I was hoping Steamboat would be on this, and I'm glad he is, but he's up against Hercules Hernandez, who I've not taken to at all in the few matches I've seen him in.

Hercules attacks from the off, forcing The Dragon into the corner. The sound quality is pretty poor, meaning the crowd can barely be heard, and it takes a while for the commentators to say something. They haven't missed much, only a barrage of elbow attacks from Hercules. Herc's control over the match doesn't last long, with Steamboat sliding through his legs a couple of times before whipping Hernandez against the ropes and striking him down with a chop. He then uses his classic arm drag takedown a couple of times, but keeps hold of Hercules on the second one to work in an arm wrench. Hernandez counters this eventually whipping Steamboat against the ropes. Hernandez then miss times picking Steamboat up, but The Dragon flips out of this and kicks Hercules to the ground.

Another armdrag into an arm lock is thrown on Hernandez and The Dragon is focussing on the arm and shoulder. Jesse and Elvira call Steamboat wimpy because he has a small scarf around his knee, while Hayes is calling the match. Hercules has barely attack since the first 30 seconds, and he's struggling more here, getting whipped and leapfrogged a couple of times before running into a back elbow. Suplex from Steamboat, who picks Hernandez up and hesitates slightly. Hernandez takes this as a chance to get back into this, slamming Steamboat's head into the top turnbuckle and delivering a powerful clothesline.

Hercules stomps away on Steamboat, whips him, then drops his throat onto the ropes. Herc takes an age to bring The Dragon to his feet, causing Steamboat to up the pace a bit and get in a couple of quick strikes. He goes for a body slam but Herc is too heavy and lands on top of Steamboat for a 2 count. Hercules lands a couple of heavy punches and uses the turnbuckle again. Hernandez attacks again with a back elbow followed by a couple of elbow drops. He delays the pin and Steamboat kicks out. He fights back with some thuddening chops, but Hernandez powers back with a clothesline. A lazy pin gets a couple more two counts. He then presses Steamboat above his head, and drops him unconvincingly. He does a much better job second time round. He then climbs to the top rope and tries a splash, with Jesse saying he's never seen Hernandez go to the top rope before, which explains why it's no surprise when Herc lands on nothing but knees & shins. Steamboat now struggles to the top rope and lands a flying cross body to get the win.

Winner - Ricky Steamboat via pinfall (Flying Cross Body)

I think this match shows why I've never really been a fan of Hercules Hernandez. He's put in a match with one of the best guys around at the time, has a clear size advantage, yet spends 95% of his offense on striking the opponent, rather than using power moves which would work and make this look better. I don't think this was a classic Steamboat performance either, although he did what he could with such a poor opponent. 2/5

The network seems to take a chunk out of the recording and we go straight into the next match

Match 10
"Adorable" Adrian Adonis w/"Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart vs Uncle Elmer
Singles match, 20 minute time limit

Adrian Adonis was defeated by Dynamite Kid in the Wrestling Classic tournament quarter final, while I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've seen Uncle Elmer, who may as well be a fatter version of Hillbilly Jim. Adonis is dressed like a I don't know what. Closest description I can give is Mrs Doubtfire, hungover on a bad day.

Elmer starts off on top with a big whip into the corner, followed by a punch to the head. Which makes himself fall over, for one of the worst sells ever. And he did the move! Not to be outdone, Adonis gets up from the punch, stumbles round and falls through the ropes. I can see where this is heading 5 seconds in...

Adonis rips the Wreslemania 2 sign fastened to the ringside off and tries to bring it into the ring with him. Emler 1 punches him out the ring again. Elmer rips the dress Adonis is wearing when he's back up on the apron, and slingshots him back in the ring. Elmer then belly bounces Adonis into the ropes, getting himself tied up. Elmer punches some more and Hart breaks Adonis free. Adonis uses his first attack of the night, a punch, to take Elmer to his knees. Adonis takes off his Homer Simpson fat guy dress thing off, but Elmer whips Adonis into the corner and hits him with an avalanche, but misses the follow up leg drop. Adonis goes to the top rope, splashes onto Elmer and everyone is made up it's over.

Winner - Adrian Adonis via pinfall (Top rope splash)

Urgh, that was painful. Terrible match that got far too many minutes more than it deserved. Hopefully these two never meet again. 1/5

Adonis celebrates and beats on Elmer some more, and I just want them both off my TV. Jimmy Hart talks into the megaphone and finally they leave. We watch a recorded interview between Alfrred Hayes and Hulk Hogan. Hulk cuts a promo he's done 1000 times before and will do 1000 times after talking about believers, Hulkamaniacs and standing tall like a man. Back to the ring for the next match

Match 11
The Funk Brothers (Terry & Hoss Funk) w/Jimmy Hart vs Junk Yard Dog & Tito Santana
Tag team match, 30 minute time limit

Terry Funk is a hardcore ledgend, Hoss Funk I know less about ie nothing. Junk Yard Dog is a fan favourite, probably more with kids than anything, who I've yet to see put on a good match despite his Wrestling Classic tournament victory. Tito Santana won the first ever match at Wrestlemania, not a bad thing to be known by, and from what I've seen looks like he could be pretty good with the right opposition. Jesse also keeps up his schtick of calling him Chico Santana. JYD & Santana are the fan favourites.

JYD & Hoss start off. Hoss gets in a few forearms, and goes to whip Dog from one corner to the other, but Terry Funk is bizarrely flipped into the ring. JYD whips Hoss into Terry, and then makes alternate body slams before the Funk brother regather outside the ring. Santana and Terry Funk are tagged in when it settles down.

Terry Funk chops away at Santana, but Santana whips him away, tripping Funk as he jumps over him which makes Terry stagger. Santana takes advantage of this by clotheslining Terry Funk out of the ring. Hoss runs in the ring but is dealt with by two Sanatana drop kicks. JYD is tagged in. Both strike boxing poses, but it's JYD who gets the punches in. He rams Terry Funk's head into the turnbuckle for a 10 count, the does the same on the opposite corner. Funk has jelly legs and is thrown out of the ring. Terry Funk gets back in near his corner and tags Hoss immediately. JYD slaps a headlock on Hoss, brings him to his corner and tags in Tito. Santana carries on the headlock, but Hoss escapes with a knee and works away with a melee of uppercuts. Santana is whipped against the ropes, Hoss leap frogs a couple of times, but this is what Santana wants as he jumps into a flying forearm. Hoss is pinned but Terry Funk dives across the ring to make the save.

The Funk brothers leave the ring to break up the momentum, but Hoss is brought back in by Tito. They criss-cross against the ropes, but Terry Funk kicks Santana in the back when the referee isn't looking. Terry Funk is tagged in and throws Santana through the ropes. Jimmy Hart gets a couple of stomps in, but the Funk Brothers won't let Tito back in the ring. JYD tries to scare Jimmy Hart away and gets Santana back in the ring. Terry Funk lands a suplex and gets a 2 count. He goes for another, but can't get Santana quite high enough. Tito lands and counters with a suplex of his own. Both men run into eachother, but Terry Funk lands in his own corner, making a tag to Hoss, but Santana is in a neutral corner on his own.

Hoss comes in and hits a perfect double underhook suplex, but this only gets a 2 count. Santana tries to fight back but Hoss blocks him off. Terry Funk is tagged in and they take Tito down with a double clothesline. Funk uses a leg drop on Santana, who only just kicks out. I guess it only works when Hulk does it. Funk then goes for a running elbow drop but misses. Tito is desparate for a tag, but gets a headbutt from Funk for his troubles. Not put off by this, Santana then crawl and rolls around Funk, and makes a hot tag to JYD. He comes in and starts beating down on the Funk brothers, giving them the double head knockers, and Terry Funk gets a clothesline for good measure. The referee has his back turned, and after Hoss has been knocked down off the apron, Terry funk wraps a small chain around JYD's neck. Dog headbutts his way out of it, then sends Funk to the outside with a big back body drop. There's no mats on the outside in LA, and it makes me want to chant E-C-DUB, but that won't happen for a few years.

Dog headbutt's Hoss and bodyslams terry Funk onto a table. I'm guessing this is way ahead of it's time here, and it must be a sturdy table as it doesn't break. Jimmy Hart helps Terry Funk back into the ring, as he right knee is busted. Dog lightly kicks this, then turns his attention to Jimmy Hart, dragging him up to the apron, only to strike him back down again.

Both Hoss and Tito want to get back into the ring, so they use a small package pin from JYD as a good excuse. Hoss makes the save, but Tito knocks him down and slaps on a figure-4 leg lock! It's to no avail though as neither is the legal man. The ref gets Santana out the ring, and while his back is turned Jimmy Hart throws his megaphone to Terry Funk. Funk drives this into JYD's head, goes for the pin and gets the victory.

Winners - The Funk Brothers via pinfall (Terry Funk pins Junk Yard Dog, megaphone shot)

Another good tag team match here. The Funk brothers mixed it up with good moves and strikes, Terry Funk took a big landing onto the concrete and was slammed onto a table, while Hoss was the more tecchnical wrestler, executing a great double underhook suplex. I'll also say that this is the best match I've seen Junk Yard Dog involved in, while Santana impressed me yet again. Good match from all involved, and I look forward to hopefully seeing the Funk brothers again 3/5

Terry Funk looks injured, but the crowd boo him regardless when they leave the ring. The corwd are chanting BULLSHIT again, this time for different reasons. The match worked as planned, the heels are hated. We watch a replay of the megaphone shot.

There's a bit of a gap while a steel cage is being prepared for the headline match. We watch a video building up into the main event between Hulk Hogan and King Kong Bundy. It includes:

Hulk doing weights while bandaged around the ribs. One of the hillbilly characters is with him, and someone else with a mad 80's muzzy. King Kong Bundy attacked Hogan on an episode of Saturday Night Main Event. Bundy and Don Muraco work together to break Hogan's ribs. The attack is coordinated by Bobby Heenan. Mean Gene interviews muzzy man who is a doctor, who says Hulk shouldn't participate. Hogan does another of his promos, and we watch him do chin ups with a 100lb weight round his neck.

We then watch an interview with Bobby Heenan and King Kong Bundy, both questioned by Jesse Ventura. Bundy isn't bad on the mic here considering he looks like a thumb. Elvira then takes us back to Vince & Susan Saint James in New York. Her answers to Vince's questions are a bit crap but he's improvises well. Chicago must feel left out. The cage is ready and the match can get going...but not before some more celebrities. For the main event, Tommy Lasorda of the LA Dodgers will be the guest announcer, Ricky Schroder (an actor who I only recognise from 24 as Mike Doyle) is the time keeper, and the referee is Robert Conrad.

Match 12
Hulk Hogan (C) vs King Kong Bundy w/Bobby "The Brain" Heenan
Steel Cage match (Escape Rules) for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship
Bundy finally makes his way to the ring and is booed out the building. Hogan is cheered beyond belief, and is still wearing bandages round his ribs & lower back. He's been champion now for over 2 years, but I've never been able to warm to him.

Hogan starts off the stronger of the two after a brawl and lands a big right hand after running off the ropes. Bundy is whipped into a big boot not long after. Hogan then uses Bundy's straps to choke him, and rams Bundy's head into the cage. Bundy takes a clothesline in the corner, and several strikes and slaps. Hogan goes for one ram into the cage too many and Bundy blocks this to go on the offense. He focusses on the mid-section straight away with lots of strong kicks and a bodyslam. Bundy asks for the door to be opened but Hogan grabs him before he can get through the ropes.

Bundy is annoyed by this so picks Hogan up and runs his back into the cage. Bundy goes for another escape, but Hogan clings onto him desparately. Bundy then starts to unravel the bandages Hogan is wearing and starts to use these to choke Hogan, and then ties Hogan to the rope. Bundy goes for the door again but Hogan frees himself just in time to stop Bundy escaping.

Hogan goes on the offence again with a series of strikes, and throws Bundy into the cage again. Bundy is bleeding, and Hogan focusses on this area, but his punches aren't convincing. Hogan throws Bundy into the cage some more, climbs the cage and chokes Bundy on the top rope. Hogan then goes for a bodyslam, but it's too much right now and Bundy comes crashing down on top of him. Bundy goes towards the door again, but gets choked with the bandages by Hogan. Bundy fights back and lands an avalanche on Hogan, and follows it up with a big standing splash. Bundy starts crawling towards the door, but Hogan sits up within seconds, basically no selling Bundy's moves (even though these are the moves which "broke" his ribs 5 weeks previously).

Bundy is pulled back, but Hogan is starting to Hulk Up and no sells another avalanche, reverses a whip and body slams Bundy, before using his leg drop. Hogan climbs the cage, but Bundy is right behind him. Hogan kicks him away, climbs over the cage and gets the win.

Winner - Hulk Hogan (retains) via climbing out the cage

King Kong Bundy didn't really put a foot wrong in this match. He was in a championship match, where all he has to do is escape the cage before his opponent. And he tried to do so at every opportunity. His methodology was good. Hogan in fairness was the same - this guy had broken his ribs 5 weeks previously, so Hogan wanted to punish him before winning the match. I think the bodyslam moment was pretty big considering the size of Bundy, I don't know if anyone else had done this before. However, as much as what happened made logical sense (minus the no selling), I couldn't really get into the match. They tried to make this physical, yet only Bundy bled. I also will never be sold on the leg drop as a finishing move. 2/5

Hogan goes back in the cage after the match and beats on Bobby Heenan, throwing him into the cage, and giving him an atomic drop.

This show wasn't good or pretty. Two good tag team matches and a fun battle royal were the stand outs, but the rest varied from passable to horrific. Adding up the match scores, this gets a pitful 23/60, but there were far too many bad matches on the card for this to be memorable in anyway. Overall, unfortunately Wrestlemania 2 will only score 3/10 from me

The next ppv after this was another Great American Bash, but again this isn't on the network. So my next review will be NWA's flagship event of the year, Starrcade 86: Night of the Skywalkers
 

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This reminds me of the old Wrestlemania Marathon thing, only... every PPV ever? JEEZ. That's gonna take some doing!

But yeah, agreed on those first two WM scores... they aren't really all that great. Nothing amazing really happens at WM's until the third one... and even with that show, the rest of the card (barring Savage/Steamboat and Andre/Hogan) is filled with so much stuff that it's not that great overall. I didn't really feel as if WM's started to really become good shows overall until about WM 7 or 8.
 

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Starrcade 86: The Sky Walkers



Promotion: NWA
Date: 27/11/86
Cities & Venues: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina & The Omni, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentary Teams: Bob Caudle & Johnny Weaver (North Carolina), Tony Schiavone & Rick Stewart (Georgia)
Announcers: Tom Miller & Tony Schiavone


This show is spread over 2 venues again with matches alternating between venues. It's called The Sky Walkers because there's going to be a scaffold match at some point in the show. After the national anthem is heard Tom Miller introduces Schiavone & Rick Stewart in Georgia, before swiftly going back to Bob Caudle & Johnny Weaver in North Carolina. Caudle quickly announces that we're ready for the first match

Match 1 - Tim Horner & Nelson Royal vs Don & Rocky Kernodle
Tag team match, no time limit announced


The first thing I have to say is that the ring looks smaller than usual by a yard or so. I don't remember seeing Tim Horner or Nelson Royal before, while I think Don Kernodle has only been a manager/enforcer so far since I've reviewed these shows. Not seen anything of Rocky Kernodle either.

Horner & Rocky start off and exchange arm drags. Both men tie up and reverse a series of hammerlocks, arm locks and take downs before Rocky misses a drop kick, but he quickly rolls out the way when Horner goes for an elbow drop. Don Kernodle is tagged in after another arm drag, but Horner gains the momentum briefly with a body slam and a 1 count. Horner runs against the ropes but Kernodle gets in position, sets Horner up on his shoulder and hits a front powerslam for a 2 count.

Horner jumps to his corner and Royal is tagged in. After a shoulder block by Don Kernodle, Royal runs off the ropes at him and tries to lock in an abdominable stretch. Don is able to hip toss Royal after about 8 seconds of the stretch being locked in, and whips Royal into the corner, goes for a splash but misses and falls into Royal & Horner's corner. Royal takes advantage of this, using a knee lift on Don and then tagging in Horner while keeping Don in a headlock. Horner goes for a roll-up but Kernodle kicks out at 2. Kernodle fights back with a hip toss but Horner gets in another headlock and Royal is tagged in again. Don tries to fight back again after another shoulder block, but instead of going for a tag runs off the ropes, giving Royal the chance to slap on a sleeper hold.

Don Kernodle has Royal on his back but is able to make his way over to his corner and tags in his partner. Rocky climbs to the top rope and pins Royal with a sunset flip, but Royal kicks out at 2. He kicks out again after a body slam, and is able to duck under Rocky's running cross body. Now it's Royal who goes for the pin but Rocky got his legs under the ropes. Royal tags in Horner, who immediately whips Rocky against the ropes and lands a powerslam, getting another 2 count. Both men get up and Horner goes for a small package, but doesn't pull it off too well and Rocky kicks out again. Rocky is whipped again and after a couple of leap frogs, both men botch the series and jump into eachother head first.

Rocky is first to his corner tagging in Don Kernodle, but both Horner and Rocky look to be struggling. Don hits a stalling suplex to Horner bit he kicks out at 2. Kernodle lands a back body drop, but takes him time over the follow up move, a standing diving headbutt, and Horner rolls out the way. Horner doesn't tag his partner in and instead hits Don with a drop kick, but gets another 2 count. Don then reverses a whip against the ropes and lands an impressive clothesline. Don crawls to his corner and tags Rocky in, who then whips Horner against the ropes once more and gets in a press slam for another 2 count. Rocky then goes for a roll up, but Horner counters and uses the momentum to roll on through on to Rocky and ends up pinning him for a 3 count.

Winners - Tim Horner & Nelson Royal via pinfall (roll up reversal by Tim Horner on Rocky Kernodle)

I didn't really get into this match. Both teams attacked using basic moves and lots of whips against the ropes, and made a huge botch. There were lots of 2 counts but you didn't really believe that the match would end because of the move that preceeded it, and the finish wasn't something I saw coming but it didn't make much sense to me as it came out of nowhere and didn't get a reaction from the crowd. 2/5

The crowd boo the winners, doesn't sound like they were too impressed either. We watch a replay of the pin and Rocky Kernodle almost messes up the ending by not grabbing Horner but just about does enough to pull it off. It looks like we're going to Georgia now for the next match
 

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Match 2 - Brad Armstrong vs "Gorgeous" Jimmy Garvin w/Precious
Singles match, 15 minute time limit


Garvin is booed coming to the ring and I'm pretty sure the music he's walking down to has been dubbed in as its too loud and awful. I've not seen either of these guys before, but Jimmy Garvin at least looks different to most guys of this era by coming to the ring in sparkling dungarees before taking these off to show his normal ring attire.

The commentators say that Armstrong is a speed based wrestler while Garvin is pretty similar in style and reputation. Both men tie up quicky and start brawling, and the crowd are getting into this early on. It's fast paced as they escape eachothers holds and reversals are common. It starts to slow down at bit when Garvin gets in a wrist lock, then a headlock, but Armstrong fights back reversing it into a wrist lock, and takes Garvin down before throwing in an arm lock. Armstrong gets a series of two counts thrusting his knee into Garvin while he's down, but both men are back on their feet shortly afterwards. Garvin reverses an arm lock and a headlock and gets a 2 count pin, but the referee stops this as he can see Garvin is holding Armstrong's trunks.

Both men go through a series of holds but end up in the ropes. Garvin brings Armstromg down and starts to work on Armstrong's legs, using a move pretty similar to an Indian deathlock. Armstrong fights back and is whipped against the ropes, before stopping and bringing Garvin down on with a drop toe hold. Armstrong is keeping Garvin down with a headlock, so Precious jumps to the apron getting the referee's attention. Garvin uses this distraction to his advantage and pulls on Armstrong's hair and locks in a head scissors. The crowd are really into this match and Garvin does a great job telling taunting them and shouting at them to shut their mouths.

Armstrong slowly and impressively gets into a position where he can handstand his way out of the head scissors and uses a headlock to bring Garvin to his feet. Armstrong is then whipped against the ropes, but is able to get a hip toss in on Garvin and a headlock takedown for an improvised pin and 2 count. Garvin kicks out and is able to hook his legs into another head scissors. Precious again jumps to the apron, and Garvin now starts to choke Armstrong. He keeps the head scissors locked in and poses to the crowd. Same as before, Armstrong slowly manouvers his body into another position, but this time rolls Garvin onto his belly and quickly uses a leg hold not too disimilar to the one Garvin used earlier in the match.

They're both back on their feet and Armstromg has Garvin in another headlock. Garvin is trying to fight back by striking Armstrong in the back and tries to land an atomic drop, but Armstrong keeps the headlock in place and rolls through Garvin's attack to get a 2 count. Armstrong won't release the headlock and Garvin goes for another atomic drop, but again Armstrong counters this and rolls through for another 2 count. When Garvin kicks out, he grabs hold of Armstrong's trunks again and rolls him round for a pin of his own, but the referee spots this again, breaks the count and pushes Garvin onto his back, all while Armstrong has the headlock in place.

Garvin is eventually able to get back on his feet and instead of going for an atmic drop, he lands a back suplex to finally break Armstrong's dominance. Both men stay down and the ref gets to 5 before Garvin gets up. He moves over to Armstrong and lands a standing knee drop, goes for a pin and Armstrong kicks out at 2. Armstrong gets his head slammed into the turnbuckle and is then thrown through the ropes. Garvin poses in the ring and prevents Armstrong entering the ring kicking him away. The ref starts the count again and Armstrong slowly gets into the ring.

Schiavone says that there's 3 minutes left in the scheduled match time as Garvin takes Armstrong down with a snapmare and gets a 2 count. Armstromg tries to gather his bearings but Garvin quickly picks him up and drops his neck onto the ropes, goes for another pin but Armstrong kicks out again at 2. Frustrated, Garvin pulls Armstrong back to the mat again and goes for another pin, but again only gets a 2 count. Garvin is getting some momentum going now and does a back breaker on Armstrong, but this isn't enough to keep him down. Armstrong is able to whip Garvin against the ropes and after a couple of jumps both men collide in the ring and bring eachother down.

After the ref gets to 6 Garvin gets hold of Armstrong and tries for a body slam, but Armstrong reverses this and lands onto him for a 2 count. The crowd know the time limit is almost up and are getting behind Armstrong, especially when he reverses a whip to the corner, but all his momentum is lost when Garvin anticipates Armstrong charging towards him and raises his knees in defence. He goes for another pin but Armstrong kicks out as Schiavone says there's one minute left. Garvin goes for another pin and then a sleeper hold, but he can't get it locked in properly and Armstrong hip tosses him away. Garvin gets up and tries a small package, but at 2 Armstrong rolls over getting Garvin's shoulders down, but Garvin is just about able to kick out. After a short sleeper holder Garvin body slams Armstrong and climbs to the top rope, goes for a splash but Armstrong rolls out the way and the bell rings, meaning time has elapsed.

Draw - time limit expired

An enjoyable match this. Both men were quick and used a lot of holds to slow eachother down. Garvin and Precious used heel tactics to get advantages, and Armstrong was always able to do enough to survive what was thrown at him. Draw was probably fair, although Garvin did have the upper hand towards the end. 3/5

The crowd are really excited after the match as Armstrong attacks Garvin, but Garvin rolls out the ring. Precious gets in the ring to confront Armstrong, Garvin attacks from behind but is then punched out the ring. Garvin is booed out the building as he leaves the ring. After a replay of the after match brawl its back to North carolina for the next match
 

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Match 3 - The Barbarian & Shaska Whatley vs Baron Von Raschke & Hector Guerrero
Tag team match, 20 minute time limit


Barbarian & Shaska Whatley are already in the ring as their opponents make their way down to some I think dubbed Mexican mariachi sounded music. Barbarian is wearing chains in his second PPV appearance, and I really hope this is a better match than the one he had at Starrcade 85. I'm pretty sure I've not seen any of the other guys in this match before, but Barbarian, with his Road Warriors-esque looking gimmick will hopefully put in a good showing. I've also just read that Hector Guerrero is the brother of Eddie, so if he's anything like his brother this should be a good match. Whatley and Barbarian are booed as they are announced to the crowd, while Baron Von Raschke gets a mixed reception, but Hector Guerrero is cheered. A bit odd. The announcer also says this is a special grudge match, but there's no explanation as to why...

All 4 men start with a brawl, which ends up with the heels being whipped into eachother. Barbarian falls out the ring, leaving Whatley and Guerrero as the legal men. Guerrero gets an early 2 count when he is whipped into the corner, but jumps to the middle turnbuckle and jumps back with a cross body. After a headbutt from Whatley, he quickly tags Barbarian into action as they double team on Guerrero in their corner. Guerrero rolls under a big boot and goes for a jumping cross body on Barbarian, but he's caught and then dropped throat first onto the ropes.

Guerrero is struggling and is being held by Whatley against the ropes, Barbarian tries to take advantage of this and runs in with a jumping clothes line - only for Guerrero to quickly move out the way, sending Barbarian flying through the ropes to the outside. Baron jumps down and picks Barbarian up into position, when from nowhere Guerrero flies on top of him. The crowd are loving this, but Shaska Whatley has had enough, steps down off the apron and uses his power to ram Guerrero head first into the ring post. Barbarian then picks up and drops Guerrero onto the steel barricade outside the ring before rolling back in. Whatley gets in a quick strike when the referee's back is turned and rolls Guerrero back into the ring.

Barbarian lands a press slam and a leg drop before Whatley is tagged back on. Whatley hits a big back body drop, keeping Guerrero away from his corner and tags Barbarian back in. He keeps on top of Guerrero with a backbreaker and a jumping headbutt from the bottom rope. After a quick hold in the ropes Whatley is tagged back in, and they land a double back body drop on Guerrero, who badly needs to make a tag. Whatley goes for a cover and gets a 2 count, but this is a good spell of dominance for his team. Whatley moans at the ref saying it should have been 3, while Guerrero scurries towards his corner, desparate for a tag. Whatley tries to stop this and shows Hector's arse to the world grabbing his trunks down, and just about prevents the tag. He drags Guerrero back into Barbarian's corner, works on him some more and makes the tag.

Barbarian goes for a cover after a big boot but Guerrero kicks out at 2. After another showing of Hector's arse and hipbreaker, Whatley is tagged back in. He headbutts Guerrero to the mat and appears to spit on him in disgust. He brings Hector up and whips him against the ropes, and Guerrero stops to spit back at Whatley. The crowd love this, and the minor distraction is enough for Guerrero to dive into his corner and hot tag in Baron Von Raschke. Whatley is petrified of Baron, standing still and the big German marches round the ring. After Barbarian comes in, Raschke gets the better of both his opponents, but does possibly the worst head knockers move in history, his Barbarian massively over-sells. Baron throws on his head claw attack on Whatley, which the crowd loves, but Barbarian makes the save with a clothesline.

All 4 men are in the ring now brawling away, but after a missed shoulder tackle by Whatley, Baron lands an elbow drop, goes for the cover and gets the win.

Winners - Hector Guerrero & Baron Von Raschke via pinfall (Baron Von Raschke on Whatley after a missed shoulder tackle & elbow drop)

Argh. What an awful ending to what was shaping up to be a good match. Good team work by Barbarian and Whatley keeping Guerrero away from his corner, Barbarian using a variety of power moves throughout the match and Guerrero showing his speed. The moment Baron was tagged in changed everything though. I'll never ever be sold on that head-claw type move as a finisher, plus he did the worst double head knock I've ever seen. Also, I was unsold on the finish seeing as Whatley barely took any attacks all match, but that was enough to get pinned when Guerrero took a beating for 95% of it. A better ending would have seen this score 3/5, but I can't go any higher than 2/5 unfortunately.

The heels double team Baron after the bell, inclusing Barbarian landing a diving headbutt from the top rope. Guerrero had been knocked out the ring but gets back in and dropkicks Whatley out the ring before Barbarian bails. After a replay of the ending we go to Johnny Weaver in the dressing room for an interview with Dusty Rhodes. Or so we think, as Dusty tells Weaver to leave his dressing room, which is a shame as I love Dusty on the mic. We go back to Atlanta for the next bout.
 

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Match 4 - The Kansas Jayhawks (Bobby Jaggers & Dutch Mantel) vs Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khruschev (C)
Tag team match, no disqulification, 30 minute time limit for the NWA United States tag Team Championship


The Jayhawks have a cowboy gimmick going on and are cheered, while the Russians are booed as usual. Ivan is no longer wrestling with Nikita and is now teaming with Krusher Khruschev, who I hope had learnt how to do a Russian accent since last year. I've liked Ivan's matches so far, but I'm pretty sure I've never seein either of the Jayhawks before. The commentators say that the Russians won the titles in a tournament and beat the Jayhawks in the final for the gold, so there's a bit of history going on here.

This looks to be another no DQ match but people still need to be tagged in and out. Now that the match has started, I can't help but think that Jayhawks is a pretty crap name for the two dudes on that team. They both look like middle aged, over weight hairy men, when that name sounds like it should belong to a youthful team.

It starts with a brawl between Koloff and Mantel, but Jaggers is quickly tagged in after a back body drop. Another tag is made after a series of strikes on Koloff, and another after more physical attacks on the big Russian. Koloff gets in a quick roll up on Jaggers but he kicks out at 2, and then gets a hammerlock onto Koloff before dragging him to the Jayhawk's corner for another tag. He gets an arm lock on Koloff, but the Russian is able to tag in Khruschev.

Krusher plays up to the crowds boo's and breaks the momentum of the match. He strikes at Mantel, keeping him in the Russian corner, whips him against the ropes and goes for a back body drop, but Mantel sees this coming and kicks Khruschev in the face. Mantel bring Kruschev over to the Jayhawk corner again where they double team him with physical attacks, and Jaggers is tagged back in. After a headlock and two punches, it's back to Mantel. He whips Kruschev and goes for a drop toe hold, but Kruschev holds onto the ropes and tags in Ivan Koloff.

The Russians quickly move Dutch into their own corner and go to work on him with strikes and kicks. Mantel is whipped into the corner but moves out the way when Koloff goes for a shoulder tackle. The crowd kinda respond to this but they don't seem into this match. Jaggers is tagged in, puts a headlock on Koloff walks round for a bit, and tags Dutch back in. Seriously. In a match which has so far been punches, kicks, strikes and a back body drop, Jaggers has made this even worse. Ugh.

They whip Koloff and knock him down with a double elbow block, and Dutch goes for the pin, but Koloff kicks out at 2. Mantel finds himself in the Russian corner again and is distracted by Krusher on the apron. Krusher drops to the outside, trips Mantel, pulls him out the ring and slams his head onto the commentary table. Khruschev then picks Mantel up in the atomic drop position, but drops him on the barricade behind the commentators. Dutch is tossed back into the ring, beat on some more by Koloff and Khruschev is tagged in.

Mantel is hit with a double elbow block and is pinned by Khruschev, but Jaggers makes the save at 2. Jaggers leaves the ring and then tries to get back in after Khruschev attacks him, but the referee stops him and the Russians hit another double team, ending with Koloff landing a double ax handle on Mantel's back. Normally I'd appreciate this in a regular tag match, but with it being no DQ I don't understand why the ref would stop Jaggers from coming in. Maybe he's doing us all a favour.

The ref turns around and takes this that the Russians have tagged, but Krusher is tagged back in anyway. The Russians beat on Mantel in their corner and Jaggers runs across to help out. The ref pushes Jaggers back out the ring, meanwhile Mantel ducks under a double clothes line, runs off the ropes and hits both Russians with a clothesline of his own. The crowd loves this, especially when Khruschev is sent sprawling through the ropes to the apron. Jaggers is tagged in, and he punches his opponents nefore giving them a double head knocker. Jaggers hits a clothesline on Koloff and goes for the pin, the ref starts counting, despite Krusher being the legal man, but Khruschev makes the save.

Dutch gets back in the ring and starts scrapping with Ivan Koloff, and they fall outside the ring. Dutch's head meets the commentary table again, meanwhile in the middle of the ring Krusher has got Jaggers in a bear hug. Koloff climbs to the top rope, but Mantel comes up from behind him and whips him with a lasso he broght to the ring earlier. Koloff falls into the ring off the top rope and the crowd are into this now. Khruschev is then whipped by Mantel, and it makes one hell of a noise, also giving the crowd a great pop. Kruschev is thrown over the top rope, but grabs hold of a chain and beats on Mantel with it. The referee has followed them out the ring, and Mantel can't get up after his attack. Krusher then climbs to the apron and hits Jaggers in the back of the head with the chain, Koloff pins, the ref gets back in the ring and thankfully Jaggers doesn't get up.

Winners - Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khruschev via pin fall (Krusher Khruschev hit Bobby Jaggers with a chain, pin by Ivan Koloff)

This was terrible until the whip and chain were brought in during the last minute or so which made it slightly exciting. Bobby Jaggers was awful from start to finish, and didn't seem to be able to do any moves or have any imagination. The Russians at least beat on the Jayhawks in a believable manner, and Dutch Mantel took his outside bumps well, but honestly this was a dreadful match, 3 men just hitting eachother while the other mainly watched and did headlocks. 1/5

The Russians celebrate and quickly leave the ring. We see a replay and it's now back over to North Carolina for the next match.
 

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I've been doing something quite similar to this Smally - watching all (most) of the old WWF/WCW PPVS with the TNA and ECW ones thrown in once I get that far. I haven't been quite as much of a completist as you though, I started with the first Wrestlemania and went on from there (I'm up to 1991 and WCW Superbrawl). I'll get to the pre WM1 ones one day. I'm enjoying reading these reviews.

The network is brilliant, eh?
 

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Match 5 - "Ravishing" Rick Rude w/Paul Jones vs "Chief" Wahoo McDaniel
Indian Strap Match, no time limit


When Rick Rude makes his way down to the ring there's an awful voice over of a woman calling him Ravishing and asking where he came from. The we hear saloon music. Wahoo McDaniel comes down to typical NWA rock music that I think has been on every Starrcade PPV. This is the first PPV I've seen for the Ravishing one, and I like Wahoo McDaniel, he seems like a tough, solid performer from what I remember of previous matches of his I've seen. Rick Rude is booed as usual, and McDaniel is very much the face in this one. To win the strap match, you must touch all 4 turnbuckles consecutively.

There's an argument about who should put the strap on first. McDaniel obliges while Rude removes his dressing gown. When posing for the crowd, McDaniel whips him with the strap before the match has even begun. The referee straps Rude up, but McDaniel gets the first attack away with another whip. Rude retaliates with some punches but McDaniel reverses a whip and knocks Rude to the mat. Wahoo starts choking Rude with the strap which the crowd enjoy. Rude escapes the choke and rolls out the ring. Chief smiles at this and keeps walking backwards, letting the strap pull Rude back into the ring.

Rude acts dazed but throws on a headlock. While this is going on Bob Caudle mentions that Wahoo McDaniel is the master of the Indian strap match and has never lost one before. Rude rolls McDaniel over onto the mat and starts to choke him. He then beats McDaniel into the corner, whips him and chokes some more. After working on McDaniel for a minute or so, Rude bodyslams him to the mat, and then starts to tie McDaniel's hands together with the strap, and starts tagging the corners. He gets 2 but Wahoo fights back and kicks Rude to the floor, resetting the corner tags.

Wahoo starts to use his strenth and size advantage over Rude, and also uses the strap to beat him down. He starts to choke Rude in the corner and keeps attacking the head with punches and elbows. Rude starts to get whipped and the crowd are enjoying seeing this. Rude is cut open and takes a Tomahawk chop to bring him down. McDaniel now starts to tie Rude's hands together and tagging turnbuckles. He gets to 3 without any issue, but is struggling for the 4th, as Rude is starting to resist being dragged round the ring. McDaniel tries to stand over Rude but is kicked to the mat, and Rude is quickly on his feet. The Ravishing one lands an elbow drop, climbs to the top rope and hits McDaniel with a splash.

Wahoo is in the middle of the ring flat on his back. Rude tries to tie McDaniel's wrists together but fails. He keeps McDaniel on the mat and climbs up to the top rope once more, however this time Wahoo pulls on the strap making Rude lose his balance, and then rolls into the corner bring the Ravishing one crashing to the canvas. Wahoo hits an elbow drop of his own and ties Rude up once more, and starts going for the corners. The crowd count the first 3 and start cheering as he approaches the last corner, but Rude is digging his heels in trying not to move any more. Just before reaching the corner, Paul Jones jumps to the apron, but McDaniel elbows him off sending him flying. Rick Rude quickly jumps to his feet and hits Wahoo from behind, making him fall into the corner to get the win!

Winner - "Chief" Wahoo McDaniel

Not much of a match to be honest. Wahoo McDaniel used the strap better in my view and tried to make this entertaining for the fans, yanking the strap to decent effect, but it's not something I think I'd want to watch again. 1/5

Rude and Jones start beating on McDaniel after the match is over, and tie him to the corner, but after a short while Hector Guerrero and Baron Von Terrible make the face save. We see a replay of the beat down Rude gives Wahoo, and we then go back to Atlanta for an interview with Ivan Koloff and Krusher Kruschev. It's the moment I've been waiting for, has Krusher remembered he's supposed to be Russian? Has he shite. Ivan Koloff gives his support to Nikita Koloff for his match later on and mentions the next NWA event called the Bunkhouse Stampede, starts to big that up while Krusher makes faces at the camera, grunts and pulls some chains. I love how awful Krusher is on the mic. It's back to Tony Schiavone to introduce the next match.
 

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Match 6 - "Superstar" Bill Dundee vs Sam Houston (C)
Singles match, 20 minute time limit for the NWA Central States Heavyweight Championship


Bill Dundee is wearing a jacket Chris Jericho would be proud of, and because he's Australian he gets booed, or so it seems. Sam Houston opened Starrcade 85 and I wasn't too impressed by him, he's running with a Texas cowboy gimmick too, how original. Before the match starts, Bill Dundee is wearing his pants so high that Patrick Moore would be proud. The commentators say that Houston won the belt in a tournament and has defended it across the central states since winning it.

The match starts off fairly quickly with holds being countered, and Houston getting a leg drop in early on Dundee's arm, but Dundee is able to fight back before Houston can do any more damage. Dundee takes Houston down with a headlock, but Houston is able to roll Dundee into a couple of pinning positions which he rolls back out of. Houston forces Dundee to his feet and tries to whip him, but Dundee stays in the ropes forcing the referee to split the two up with Dundee cowering - nice shit house heel work. They grapple again, and this time it ends with Dundee being whipped into the corner. He charges back at Houston, but gets taken down with a head scissors.

The head scissors goes on for a little bit too long but Dundee kicks himself up to his feet, only to run into a couple of arm drags and a drop kick. Dundee stays down and tries to slow the pace. He avoids a grapple from Houston and takes him down, then works in a hammer lock. He goes for a pin but Houston kicks out at 2. Houston fights back with a few strikes and gets a 2 count of his own. He follows this up with a firemans carry and headlock take down, and signals for his finishing move, a Bulldog, but Dundee anticipates this and lifts Houston up over his shoulders. Houston however lands on his feet, runs with Dundee to the corner, rolls over him and goes for the cover, but Dundee grabs at his tights to escape, and is warned by the referee.

For some reason, we then go to a really far away camera angle, and see Dundee send Houston through the ropes to the outside. Rick Stewart says that Houston caught the table on the way down and is hurt. Dundee tries to take advantage of this, but Houston counters him with an atomic drop, sending Dundee out over the barricade on the outside. Houston gets back in the ring and the referee starts to count. On 7 Dundee is on the apron, but gets flipped back in by Houston pulling on the ropes. Houston goes for a pin, and Dundee kicks out at two, pushing Houston onto the bottom rope.

Houston is back on his feet first and lands a big right hand to Dundee, sending him to the corner. He tries to follow up on this, only to walk into Dundee raising his boots, sending him to the mat and Dundee climbing to the top rope. Dundee lands a splash, but delays his pin by a couple of seconds which allows Houston to kick out. Dundee hits a snapmare into a chin lock, and seems to be on top. He gets another 2 count, and Houston is dazed in the ring, so Dundee using his for jabbing practice, eventually knicking him down. He shouts to the crowd before pinning, again giving Houston the chance to kick out.

Dundee amps up the pressure now and tries to lock in a Boston crab, but Houston powers out into a pin, but they're too near the ropes and Dundee escapes. Houston is then put in a headlock around the bottom rope, and is then put through the ropes to the outside. Dundee tries to climb the top rope but the ref stops him while Houston is outside, so Dundee goes to another corner, and when Houston is in the ring lands a double ax handle, gets a pin and Houston surprisingly kicks out at 2.

Dundee slaps on a front headlock while both men are on the mat, and Houston is kicking the canvas to try to get some crowd momentum on his side. Houston gets up and forces Dundee into the corner, before unleashing several strikes and knocking Dundee down with an elbow block. He goes for a pin but Dundee kicks out at 2. He hits a knee drop and lets Dundee get to his feet, bodyslams him, goes for another jumping knee drop but misses! Dundee rolled out the way, and now starts to focus his attacks on the knee. He goes for a figure 4 leg lock, but Houston kicks through this, sending Dundee into the referee knocking him down. When he was down, Dundee attacked Houston with a spare boot which somehow made it's way into the ring. Dundee goes for the pin, but the referee ends the match and has disqualified Bill Dundee, it looks like he saw the boot attack.

Winner - Sam Houston via DQ (Attacked by foreign object)

This match was ok. I was enjoying Bill Dundee's work, he was in control for large parts and acted the heel throughout the match. Houston took his bumps and sold his moves well, but I thought could have done more on the offence, and went for the Bulldog too early. Dundee just about brings this to 3/5

Dundee beats down on Houston with the boot after the match ends but the referee gets Houston out the ring. We see a replay of Dundee laying out Houston with the boot and then quickly move onto the next match.
 

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I've been doing something quite similar to this Smally - watching all (most) of the old WWF/WCW PPVS with the TNA and ECW ones thrown in once I get that far. I haven't been quite as much of a completist as you though, I started with the first Wrestlemania and went on from there (I'm up to 1991 and WCW Superbrawl). I'll get to the pre WM1 ones one day. I'm enjoying reading these reviews.

The network is brilliant, eh?

I'm loving the network, it's got almost everything you could want on it. Last week they announced they have everything original ECW related on there now, can't wait to get stuck into that.

I'm enjoying reviewing stuff but really need to change how it I do it, spending far too long typing everything. Gonna try and keep things shorter after I finish copying all this over. And cheers for the feedback
 
Last edited:

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Match 7 - "The Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant w/Big Mama vs Paul Jones w/Ragin' Bull
Hair vs Hair singles match, no time limit


Paul Jones will compete for his hair, while Jimmy Valiant will compete for Big Mama's, who I guess is his wife. Ragin' Bull Manny Fernandez will also be locked in a cage above the ring. This is probably one of the most stereotypical 80's wrestling matches ever. Loser shaves their head, one of the competitors is a manager and someone is locked in a cage above the ring. Jones and Valiant fought at Starrcade 84 with Jones winning, and Valiant turned up again at Starrcade 85, but I'm yet to see a good match from him.

Ragin' Bull refuses to get in the cage and wants to sit outside the ring, but some wrestlers from the back come down to force him in. Wahoo McDaniel eventually Tomahawk Chop's Manny Fernandez into the cage, and it's slowly lifted up above the ring with Jones trying to hang on.

The bell rings and Jimmy Valiant beats down on Jones from the first second. Lots of punches, kicks and hip tosses force both men into the corner, and the referee gets between them. Jones has his back turned and pulls something out of his pants which fits into his hand, and one shot punches Valiant to the ground. Valiant is cut open and Jones goes for the pin, but he kicks out at 2. Jones beats on valiant some more and goes for another pin, but Valiant has his foot on the bottom rope. Jones misses a knee drop and grabs his weapon again. He hits Valiant in head once more and stomps away, but Valiant kicks out at 2 again.

Valiant fights back and starts acting feral, and knocks Jones down. After a while he slaps on a sleeper hold. Jones gets the weapon out again, but drops it when he is shoved into the corner. Valiant picks it up in his hands and the crowd screams as he lines up Jones, knocks him down and gets the 3 count.

Winner - "Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant via pinfall (weapon attack)

This type of match doesn't really do it for me, although I get this is more so a crowd pleaser seeing a bad guy getting humiliated. Also the way Valiant attacks people is hilarious, so I guess it added to the entertainment value. 2/5 for comedic reasons only.

Valiant grabs the hair clippers and starts shaving Paul Jones as soon as he can. Jones has a moustache and is starting to look a bit like Sgt Slaughter, minus the chin. Ragin' Bull has been lowered and let out of the cage, and he goes mad on Valiant, and from nowhere Rick Rude runs down and joins in. They grab a chair, and flapjack DDT Valiant head first into it. Pretty brutal and a great way to get heat back. Baron and Wahoo McDaniel come down to the ring to help Valiant back up. Baron is jumping in everywhere on this show.

There's now a bit of a gap before the next match as we watch an advert for an NWA Bunk House Stampede event due to take place in the next month. Some old guy, I think they say it's Nelson Royal, talks about this event around a campfire while drinking coffee and there's some weird music on in the background. In other words, it's just plane bizarre. We see a clip of Dusty Rhodes winning a battle royale too.

After this, there's now hype for the Jim Crockett Senior Memorial Cup tag team tournament. We watch clips of the previous year's tournament, which was won by the Road Warriors. The adverts end abruptly and it's onto the next match

Match 8 - Ron Garvin vs Big Bubba Rogers w/Jim Cornette
Louisville Street Fight, no time limit


I'm not sure if the music is dubbed or not, but Big Bubba's music suits his entrance perfectly. Jim Cornette waves his golden tennis racquette in the air as he grabs the mic and introduces Big Bubba as his personal bodyguard. Bubba is dressed in a suit, shades and hat, while Garvin is wearing jeans, a vest and boots. Tony Schiavone explains that to win it will either be by pinfall or 10 count, and anything goes. Bubba is the heel by being associated with Cornette I guess, and Garvin gets the cheers. This is definitely the first PPV Big Bubba match I've seen, but Ronnie Garvin was in drag at Starrcade 85, wrestling as Miss Atlanta Lively. After a short while it dawns on me that I have seen Big Bubba before, only not as Big Bubba - it's Big Bossman.

Garvin gets the first punch in and definitely has a speed advantage on Big Bubba. Garvin gets quite a few punches in on Bubba but he won't go down. After feigning to go for a test of strength Garvin finally lands a big enough punch to knock Bubba down, to the crowd's delight. Bubba gets up and throws Garvin through the ropes, but he's not hurt. After another grapple Garvin is thrown out the ring again. Garvin comes back in but grabs a drink from the commentary table and throws this in Big Bubba's face, again getting a big reaction from the crowd. Garvin now starts punching and moving round the ring, forcing Bubba out temporarily.

He gets back in and after another grapple Garvin starts to choke Bubba, but doesn't realise he has a small object in his hand. Bubba is able to use this after a short while and also splashes Garvin in the corner. Bubba lands a huge right hand onto Garvin, as the weapon flies out of his hand - a roll of coins. Garvin is down on the mat and the referee starts to count. Garvin gets up at 8, but Bubba beats him down again. Garvin is up at 7 this time, but walks straight into a big body slam, and then a running splash from Bubba. Garvin is pinned but gets his shoulder up on 2. The ref starts a 10 count again, but Garvin is up in time again.

Garvin his bleeding now but grabs a rope from his boot and starts to choke Bubba with it. He also tries to tie him up in the ropes, and looks like he starts to bite Bubba in the head, making the crowd pop once more. Garvin starts to get a bit cocky, bouncing round the ring going for punches like a boxer, but Bubba connects a suprisingly quick kick to turn the tide back in his favour. Garvin is put into a bear hug, but he headbutts his way out of it. Bubba goes for another bearhug, and Garvin butts his way out once more.

Garvin starts going for his punches again, and one of them sends Bubba flying out over the top rope. The referee starts counting again but Bubba gets back in at 7. Garvin attacks some more and they both go out the ring. Bubba gets a knee lift in and throws Garvin into the ring, and starts to climb to the top rope. He gets on top, only to find Garvin waiting for him who tosses him to the mat. Garvin goes for a pin, but Big Bubba pushes him upwards when kicking out, making Garvin land on the referee. Garvin manages to land a piledriver on Big Bubba, which would normally be enough for the win, but when he's on his knees getting up, Jim Cornette smacks him in the back of the head with his trusty tennis racquette. The ref is up and starts to count out both men, but neither get up before the 10 count. The referee quickly grabs a mic and says that there has to be a winner, so whoever gets up first will win. Jim Cornette jumps into the ring trying to get Bubba up, but the referee pushes him over and back out to the crowd's delight.

Both men slowly start moving, and Garvin starts to get up quicker. Big Bubba grabs the referee so he can't see Garvin get up, or Cornette hit him again with his tennis racquette, this time to the knee. Big Bubba gets up to get the win, and the place is filled with nothing but booing.

Winner - Big Bubba Rogers via last man standing

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Probably because of the crowd reactions to everything. Garvin setting it up as him vs a massive powerhouse, getting punches in to knock Bubba down to get crowd pop's, actually using the 10 count for when both guys were down in a good way, and I really liked the ending. The face had it won, but the heel get's the win due to interference. I thought it was going to be a bit of a borefest watching both men trying to get up quicker than the other, but the finish helped Garvin look strong despite losing, and helped Bubba by actually getting the win. 3/5

Wow, Cornette and Bubba were HATED after that. We see the replay of Cornette attacking Garvin after the piledriver. We change arenas again now for the next match, and one I'm really looking forward to
 

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Match 9 - Dusty Rhodes (C) vs Tully Blanchard w/JJ Dillon
First Blood match for the NWA World Television Championship, no time limit


Dusty won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at Starrcade 85...or so we thought. Turns out that after the match that the referee reversed the decision and Ric Flair remained champion, but Dusty won by DQ. Since then, Flair formed the Four Horsemen with Arn & Ole Anderson and.....Tully Blanchard. Dusty had a brief spell as World Heavyweight Champion before coming into this match, but lost the belt back to Flair, and is now TV Champ. Tully Blanchard lost one of the best matches I've ever seen at Starrcade 85 to Magnum TA.

Everyone in the crowd loves Dusty and cheers him as he comes down to the ring, Tully got all the boo's. Dusty's got "Tully" dyed into his hair, and the match takes a while to get going as the referee won't start it until Tully removes some headgear. JJ Dillon then tries to grease up Tully's face, but the referee also puts a stop to this, getting a good crowd reaction as he wipes it off with a towel.

The match finally starts when Tully reacts to Dusty giving JJ Dillon a Bionic Elbow. Dillon was shouting in Dusty's face about something, and got Bionic Elbowed for it. Tully as arguing with the referee at the time. JJ is rolling around the ring for a while and is cut open. He leaves the ring but can't get to his feet.

Dusty and Tully stand off, and Dusty gets the first strike in on Tully. He then starts to taunt Tully with his elow, walking around the ring getting big screams from the crowd. Tully is backing off everytime Dusty motions that he will be using his Bionic Elbow. Tully gets Dusty to the ground at one point and misses a falling punch to the head, but he then rolls out the ring. Tully gets back in and after a grapple is headbutted to the mat. Dusty tries to work on Tully in the corner but he keeps defending himself and eventually goes to his knees while clinging on to Dusty.

This doesn't work. Dusty works Tully into position, and finally hits a Bionic Elbow. He doesn't draw blood but he's on top. He works on a leg lock after a few more strikes, and attacks Tully's knee. Tully rolls out again to break the momentum. He gets back in lands a couple of attacks on Dusty, including a snapmare and an elbow drop. With Dusty down, he then tries to pull at Dusty's face to draw blood, but Dusty easily escapes, performing a snapmare of his own. Dusty stomps Tully in the head and strikes him some more. He rams Tully's head into the top turnbuckle, but Tully fights back knocking Dusty into the referee. Tully climbs to the middle rope and while the referee is down JJ Dillon throws Tully a shoe. He jumps off the ropes towards Dusty, but Dusty catches Tully and thows him back into the corner, making him drop the shoe at the same time. Dusty then suplexes Tully, but Tully lands on the referee, knocking him down again.

Dusty now has the shoe and sets Tully up. He takes one look at the shoe and thinks it's not for him, throws it into the crowd and uses the Bionic Elbow on Tully instead. Dusty then goes to work on Tully punching him a lot then clearly blading him, meaning Tully is now cut open but the referee is still down and can't call it. Dusty knocks Tully down again and starts posing to the crowd, but Tully lands near JJ Dillion, who cleans up the cut on Tully's head and uses grease to clog up the cut. Dillon also hands Tully a roll of coins, which is uses to hit Dusty with, but this cuts Dusty open. Dusty and the referee get up together, but the ref sees Dusty cut open and calls for the bell. Tully Blanchard is the new TV Champion!

Winner - Tully Blanchard via first blood (roll of coins shot)

I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would. Both guys played the face and heel roles well enough but there wasn't enough physical attacking for me to get excited about this match. They did well to sell Dusty's Bionic Elbow as the move to turn the match, and the ending played out well, but something seemed to be missing to make this really enjoyable. 2/5

Dusty protests the result with the referee but it falls on deaf ears. Tully and JJ Dillon have gone to the back with the belt. The next match is now the while reason Starrcade 86 is called The Sky Walkers

Match 10 - The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) w/Paul Ellering vs The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey) w/Jim Cornette & Big Bubba Rogers
Scaffold match


There's been a giant scaffold & platforms going over and above the ring in Atlanta, and this match is the reason why. The Midnight Express come down to the ring and are booed, but the Road Warriors have a small Pyro entrance as they make their way down, and they immediately climb up the scaffold, leaving the Midnight Express looking up at them from the ring. The crowd love it as the Warriors walk from side to side on the scaffold.

Schiavone is the announcer and says that the only way to win is to throw both of your opponents from the scaffold. The Midnight Express start at a disadvantage, seeing as the Legion of Doom are already at the top. The Road Warrios however allow Condrey & Eaton to the top, and we get underway. Kind of. LOD start shaking the scaffold not allowing the Midnight Express to their feet. The bell rings the match starts, Hawk with Condrey and Animal with Bobby Eaton.

Road Warriors start off the better and beat the Midnight Express down either end of the scaffold, but things quickly turn when they thow powder on the Legion of Doom and then start to beat down. Hawk is hanging off the edge holding onto a railing but Condrey can't quite get him down. Things weren't looking to good for Animal either, but off camera he has somehow managed to get Bobby Eaton in trouble, leaving him hanging under the scaffold and onto Animal's leg. Condrey crawls over to stop Animal from attacking Eaton, who slowly makes his way back on top of the scaffold.

The Midnight Express have been cut open, Condrey in particular looking in a daze. He tries to climb down the scaffold but won't let go of it. Hawk attacks but has to get onto the scaffold himself and Condrey has moved too far down. Bobby Eaton tries to come over and help Condrey but Animal brings him down, and Condrey is fight back against Hawk, both men now holding on to the scaffold under one of the platforms. Condrey thinks he's done enough damage to Hawk that he can escape from him by using the underside of the platofrm across the ring as monkey bars, and sets himself up to move across. Hawk isn't done yet, and begins to fight back. On the other side of the scaffold, Bobby Eaton and Animal are also below the platform.

Eaton has managed to get away from Animal and is using the monkey bars to move across the underside of the platform. Hawk is also holding on to the bars, but has his back turned to Eaton and doesn't know he's there. However, he is trying to swing and kick at Condrey, which he finally does so to some good effect, and Condrey is sent falling off the scaffold and into the ring. Eaton has been taking some kicks from Animal too, and is now caught in the middle of a Road Warrior sandwich. Not surprisingly, Animal kicks him down shortly afterwards, and the Legion of Doom are the winners.

Winners - The Road Warriors

The crowd certainly seemed to love this, but I'm struggling to see why. I didn't really think there was too much excitement, but that's not really anyone's fault. Everyone was making sure they didn't lose balance when being on top of the scaffold, so no one could really perform any moves, the only thing the teams could do was brawl and climb the platform and scaffold. This match seemed to be something which sounded great on paper but in reality there wasn't much else that could have been done. 2/5

Paul Ellering starts chasing Jim Cornette up the scaffold. Animal is still on top, leaving Cornette caught between the two, minus is tennis racquet (Hawk has it and is beating on the Midnight Express with it). Cornette tries to climb down from the platform over the ring for Big Bubba to catch him, but get it all wrong, falls to the ring and does serious legit damage to his knees. The Road Warriors celebrate as the crowd cheer at what they've just seen (Also big props to Hawk who competed in this match with a BROKEN LEG).
 

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We watch clips of the 1985 Great American Bash, which is an advert for the 1987 Great American Bash...I guess the 1986 edition wasn't any good. We then here Schiavone say here's a list of people who made Starrcade 86 possible. And we watch the credits roll. Yawn. Thankfully there's two more matches left.

Match 11 - Minnesota Wreckong Crew (Arn & Ole Anderson) vs The Rock & Roll Express (C) (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
Tag team cage match, 45 minute time limit for the NWA World Tag Team Championships


So the titles will be decided in a cage match, where I think pinfall or submission is needed to win. The crowd went absolutely nuts when the Rock & Roll Express came out, however I remember being very impressed with Arn & Ole Anderson at Starrcade 85, so hopefully we can have ourselves a good match here.

Ole starts with Gibson and its a brawl at first. Arn is quickly tagged in and Morton also comes in, the ref trying to stop him leaving Gibson open to extended double beatings. Arn goes to use the cage as soon as possible, but is countered by Gibson and tags out. Gibson's speed is too much for Ole as he moves away from his strikes and tags in Morton. Morton knocks Ole over a couple of times but, sensing danger, Arn is tagged in again. He tries to use the cage to his advantage again but Morton counters. Arn backs off a bit, trying to slow things right down.

Arn starts a grapple sequence which Morton comes out on top of with a hammerlock. Gibson is tagged in and goes for a running knee into the corner, but misses, crashing into the cage. Arn takes control and starts flinging Gibson's leg into the cage. Ole is tagged in and all the attacks are now on Gibson's bad knee. Arn is back in, slamming the knee into the mat, and rather than going for a pin he tries to throw on a figure 4 leg lock. He can't get it on though as Gibson uses his good leg to push Arn away and flying into the cage. Arn's sore from that but tags in Ole before rolling round the ring.

Ole targets the leg once more with strikes and stomps, and the crowd are chanting ROCK & ROLL! ROCKY & ROLL! Gibson tries to fight back but Ole forces him into a neutral coner and applies pressure again to the knee. Ole drags Gibson to the Anderson's corner and puts on another wrenching leg hold, but Gibson punches his way out. Arn is tagged back in and uses his own leg holds and knee drops to keep Gibson down. Both men eventually get to their feet, and Arn blocks a kick from Gibson, but he anticipates this and smacks an enziguri into the back of Arn's neck. Ole is tagged back in, but Gibson rolls away and hot tags in Morton!

Morton tries to get the upper hand but Ole is too tough for him right now, and he soon finds out as he's thrown into the cage face first. Ole does this once more, and now keeps Morton in the corner, applying pressure to the head making it hard for Morton to breathe. He gets a 2 count, and now starts to attack the arm, but Morton fights back knocking Ole to the mat. The only problem is that their in the Anderson corner, and Arn swiftly tags in. Arn carries on with the head attacls, cutting Morton open against the cage. Arn then moves on to the arm and after a quick flurry of punches from Morton, Ole is tagged back in. Ole goes for another shoulder hold, and Morton's struggling badly here.

Arn is tagged back in and bodyslams Morton with his arm in a hammerlock position. Arn goes to the second ropes and jumps for a double ax handle, but Morton ducks and punches Arn across the stomach to the crowd's delight. He then lands a DDT from nowhere! Morton doesn't go for the pin, and instead tries to tag out, but Ole is in to stop it. Gibson tries to get in too but the referee stops him. Arn rolls out to the apron, with the ref thinking a tag was made when his back was turned. Ole is on the offence again, and lands a shoulder breaker for a 2 count.

Morton is back in the Anderson corner and Arn is tagged back in, who goes to work again on the arm and shoulder. A knee lift on Arn brings both men down on the mat, and the ref starts counting. Gibson tries to stir up the crowd, but Arn grabs hold of Morton's tights and tags in Ole. He slows things down some more and wraps Morton's arm around his knee. Morton starts another fightback and tries to tag in Gibson, but Arn is brought back in and he stops Morton in his corner before Gibson can be tagged. Arn lands a fantastic looking spinebuster, but Gibson is in to make the save.

Ole is tagged in and heads to the top rope. Arn keeps Morton's arm out stretched, and Ole comes down hard on the shoulder with his knees. More focus is put on the shoulder, but Morton gets up again, and both men are brought down with a shoulder block. Ole recovers first, bringing Arn back in, and he cuts off the Rock & Roll corner. Arn puts another hold on Morton, asking if he gives up. Morton refuses, and finally begins to mount a reasonable fight back. Arn is out punched and is dazed, swinging his arns around wildly hoping to connect. The place is on the edge of their seats anticipating Gibson being tagged in, but Ole is tagged in first and rushes across the ring to stop the tag.

Morton is forced into a neutral corner but manages to punch his way out again. Ole goes for a bodyslam but this is reversed into a small package, but Arn this time makes the save. All 4 men are in the ring now, and Gibson has took his frustrations out on Arn in the corner. Ole goes for another bodyslam, only this time Gibson dropkicks Morton during the pick up, forcing the pin and....Rock & Roll Express retain

Winners - Rock & Roll Express via pinfall (Ricky Morton pinned Ole Anderson after a dropkick by Robert Gibson)

Wow, miles away the best match of the night so far. Minnesota Wreckong Crew just looked so dominant during the match and the psychology was spot on too, working Gibson's knee and Morton's shoulder. I just wish that Gibson would have received the mother of all hot tags as the place would have erupted with it being teased for around 10 minutes. Saying that, Gibson's intervention is what won it in the end for the champions, and I'd hope that these two teams can have more matches in future. 4/5

After match brawl takes place with the R&R Express tasting cage, but they escape out the cage door. A replay is shown, and then we have build up to the final match of the evening.
 

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Match 12 - Ric Flair (C) vs Nikita Koloff
Singles match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship

Wow, we get to see a full Flair entrance. And while the music sounds bad, the entrance itself suits the Nature Boy perfectly. Flair gets into the ring, and on the network theres a crude video of Magnum TA to an awful song that's clearly been manually added by someone. Magnum was supposed to face Flair and, according to the internet, win the world title at this event, but he crashed his car in the October and never wrestled again. Nikita Koloff was elevated to the main event instead. He walks to the ring to no music and a shedload of boos. Koloff is also United States Champion. Schiavone announces both men and both guys are booed, Flair for being heel and Koloff for being Russian.

Koloff overpowers Flair in the first grapple, shoving him backwards. Flair leaves the ring temporarily and comes back in. He manages to get Koloff to the corner, chops away at him, but Koloff isn't affected by the chops and Flair leaves the ring again. He comes back and again forces Koloff to the corner of the ring, trying to choke him, but Koloff overpowers Flair again and hip tosses him across the ring.

Koloff starts to take control with another hip toss, and follows this up by picking Flair up and throwing him across the ring a couple of times. Flair backs off into the corner to get up, and tries to shoulder tackle Koloff, but the big Russian won't move an inch. Koloff throws on a bear hug, and bends forward, arching Flair down for a couple of 2 counts. Flair escapes to the ropes, but Koloff tries to contintue the attack. Flair is whipped to the opposite corner, but dodges Koloff's charge towards him.

Flair manages to use a text book hanging suplex, and shows off to the crowd. Koloff is right back up though, and the crowd are getting more and more onto his side. Flair can't believe it and leaves the ring again. He gets back in and the two men back off eachother. After a grapple Flair manages to get in some attacks in the corner. He runs against the ropes but another shoulder block, but Koloff again won't go down. this angers the Russian into choking Flair to the mat. Flair manages to escape but knows he's angered Koloff, and dodges another charges towards him, sending Koloff out over the top rope.

Koloff crawls back into the ring, but Flair moves quickly to the outside and grabs hold of Koloff's leg, slamming it into the ring post. Flair's going for the knee now to try and soften the leg up for the figure 4, and starts his next wave of attacks with a chop block. He goes for the figure 4 quite early and manages to lock it in, and uses the ropes for a bit of leverage. Koloff eventually rolls onto his front for a few seconds, but the hold is broken before too long. It's all Flair now on the attack, with punches and chops in the corner, but this seems to wake Koloff up and make him realise what's going on. Not even a kick will keep the Russian back. Flair is pushed into the opposite corner and tries to get some control back whipping Koloff against the ropes, but he's shoulder blocked to the mat. Koloff runs again, and Flair this time sees it coming and pushes Koloff through the ropes.

Flair comes out after Koloff and rams his head into the scaffold still outside the ring from the Road Warriors match. Koloff is cut open as a result , and Flair starts to focus is offence in the head. Koloff kicks out at 2, Flair responds with a back suplex and gets another 2 count. After more punches to the head, Flair backs off a bit giving Koloff time to recover. The Russian throws Flair across the ring again like he did earlier in the match, Flair landing on his back, and receives another hip toss. Flair is then whipped over the top ropes in the corner and lands on the outside, this time Koloff wastes no time in going after him.

The Nature Boy uses his shoulder to slow Koloff down, and goes to ram the Russian's head into the scaffolding once more, but Koloff blocks this and gives the treatment to Flair instead. Nature Boy is cut open as well now. Koloff is back in the ring and uses the scaffold to his advantage, ramming Flair a couple more times, before allowing Flair back into the ring to be powered into the corner. After some back and forth strikes Flair flops to the mat, which always raises a smile. Koloff gets Flair back up and hits him with a diving shoulder tackle. Only problem is Flair is set into the referee who falls out the ring injured holding his knee.

Koloff hits Flair with his Russian Sickle finishing move (a running clothesline) and Flair is down for the count. Well he would be, but there isn't a referee in the ring to do the counting. Another ref from the back called Scrappy McGowan comes in to check on the injured ref Tommy Young, but Koloff is trying to pull Young up into the ring. Flair attacks with a knee to the back of the head and pins Koloff, but the Russian kicks out at 2. Koloff goes for another Russian Sickle, but Nature Boy ducks, letting Scrappy McGowan take the hit (and he seels it brilliantly). Koloff attacks Flair in the corner but Tommy Young is back in trying to separate them. Koloff shoves Young back a couple of times, making Young call for the bell. He ends it in a double disqualification, to the bemusement of everyone

Double DQ - no winner

This was a standard match that was perfectly acceptable, and given the circumstances surrounding how it came about was ok. Flair impressed again, when watching him you understand why he does what he does, mainly softening up the knee/leg for the Figure 4, and attacking open wounds. Koloff was a standard power man, but if truth be told he would be much more impressive if he had a wider variety of moves in his arsenal. 3/5

The show ends with a huge brawl as the locker room come out to separate Flair and Koloff.

I'll be honest, it's taken me ages to review this PPV because it was pretty bad, barring the last two matches. 2 good matches out of 12 is a really poor return. When adding up the match scores, I come to 28/60, but this dragged on for what seemed like an eternity at times, and was almost a chore coming back to review some matches. I'd give this 3/10 overall

The next PPV is Wrestlemania III, however before I get there I've decided that I basically want to review everything. So, as there was no monday night Raw, Nitro or Smackdown in the 80's, there was the odd TV show instead. WWF had a long running series called Saturday Night Main Event, so I'm going to review the ones I've missed, and then do WM3 when the time comes
 

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Saturday Night's Main Event 1


Promotion: WWF
Date: 11/05/1985
Commentators: Vince McMahon & Jesse "The Body" Ventura
Announcer: Howard Finkel


This show is a couple of months after Wrestlemania I and the feuds there seem to be carrying on. Cindi Lauper and Wendi Richter talk about Moolah, Hulk Hogan and Mr T talk about their upcomong match with Bob Orton, then we watch the opening titles. Vince & Jesse then talk about the night ahead before the head into the first match

Match 1 - Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff & George "The Animal" Steele w/Freddie Blassie vs Ricky Steamboat, Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo w/Lou Albano
6 man tag team match


Mean Gene interviews the face team of Steamboat, Windham and Rotundo. Steamboat easily beat Matt Bourne at Wrestlemania, while the US Express lost the tag titlesto Sheik and Volkoff. Windham brings up Mania but feels they can get the win tonight.

Volkoff does his usual schtick of singing the Soviet national anthem and Sheik says Russia and Iran are number 1. The faces come down to the ring all in matching black trunks.

Windham and Sheik start off and Windham gets the upper hand with an early hip toss and body slam. Windham wrenches the arm and tags in Rotundo to attack rom the top rope. Rotundo does the same and tags in Steamboat. The Dragon works on the arm and Rotundo is tagged in. The give Sheik a double elbow, before Rotundo body slams and elbow drops Skeik for a 2 count.

Steamboat is tagged back in but Sheik is able to wrap himself around and lock in an abdominal stretch. Steamboat powers out and hiptosses an oncoming Steele and Volkoff. The faces clear the ring and the crowd love it. Steamboat powerslams Sheik and follows it with a dropkick from the top rope. He goes up again lands his cross body, but Volkoff makes the save.

Sheik tags out to Volkoff but Steamboat keeps his momentum going, whipping the big Russian into the Express corner where he takes a boot from Rotundo. Windham is tagged in and they work a double dropkick on Volkoff for another 2 count. Rotundo is tagged in for a double elbow attack and after a couple of leg drops goes for the pin but Steele this time makes the save.

Rotundo turns his back allowing Volkoff some rare attack time. Volkoff tries a body slam but it's reversed, and Rotundo tries a rolling pin off the ropes but Volkoff kicks out at 2. Volkoff kicks out of a backslide pin at 2 again, and Rotundo tries a sunset flip but they land in the corner. Windham is tagged in and tries a sunset flip of his own, but again they land in the ropes. When this is broken up Volkoff tags in Steele.

Steele starts to lose a fist fight and wanders back to his corner, but the tag champs drop off the arpon leaving Steele all alone. Steele looking confused has his back turned, allowing Windham to use the ropes to roll him up to get the 3 count.

Winners - US Express & Ricky Steamboat (Windham rollup on Steele)

Good entertaining tag match this. Steamboat and the Express kept up a fast pace throughout and rarely gave the tag champs & Steele a chance to make any meaningful attacks. Enjoyable stuff this and the crowd were definitely into it. Solid 3/5

The faces celebrate in the ring, while Steele does his thing of eating the turnbuckle. Volkoff & Sheik start attcking Steele, but he overcomes them and clears the ring. Albano helps calm down Steele, Vince saying he's Steele's former manager.

The tag champs make their way to the back and speak with Gene Mean. Steele breaks up the interview before it gets going.

We now have a Piper's pit segment. Piper & Cowboy Bob Orton talk with Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff, who they betrayed at the Wrestlemania main event. Orndorff tells Orton to stay in the corner while he and Piper talk. Piper calls Orndorff a loser as his shoulders were pinned at Mania.

Piper starts telling Orndorff why he's a loser, and the best Orndorff can come back with is that Piper has been drinking too much of his own bath water. Piper's face is priceless, realising this is what he's working with. TheyOrton's arm eventually start brawling, and he has Piper set up for a piledriver, but orton attacks from behind with his cast. Mr T runs to the ring to help Orndorff to the back.

Mean Gene is with Hogan, and Hogan says this type of thing needs to be kicked out of WWF, and because it's mothers day soon he can't wait to get in the ring with Bob Orton.

Match 2 - "Cowboy" Bob Orton w/Roddy Piper vs Hulk Hogan w/Mr T
Singles match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship


I'm a little surprised this match is going on second. It starts with a brawl with Hogan coming out on top. Hogan back body dops and hits a trio of body slams on Ace, but Orton rolls out the ring to break the momentum.

Hogan is whipped to the corner but moves out the way when Orton tries a running shoulder tackle, and instead of getting Hogan he gets nothing but ring post. Hogan goes to work on the arm Orton has in a cast and bites Orton too. Orton manages to fight back and gets a jumping knee to the chest to turn the tables on Hogan.

Hogan takes an atomic drop and kicks out at 2. Jesse tells Orton to punish Hogan some more before going for a cover. Orton lands a knee drop andslams Hogan's face into the mat. He hits slow and methodical but Hogan starts to Hulk Up, gets a 2 count after a clothesline and elbow drop combo.

Hogan has Orton in the corner going for a 10 count of punches but Orton reverses this into an inverted atomic drop. Orton gets Hogan into position for his superplex but Hogan counters this and hits a jumping elbow. This send Orton to the ground and into position for the leg drop. Hogan hits it and covers Orton, but their next to the ropes so Piper punches Hogan in the face, ending this by disqualification.

Winner - Hulk Hogan by DQ (Piper attacked Hogan)

Another entertaining match which was timed just right in terms of attack. Hogan started off on fire but Orton's slower style also helped in parts. Decent match that the crowd were also into 3/5

Piper and Mr T brawl in the ring but Orton's cast send T down. Hogan faces up to both Orton and Piper, but Orndorff runs into the ring to back up Hogan and T. Piper and Orton quickly leave the ring.

Mean Gene is with Fabulous Moolah, who says that she has managed to change the rules for the match with Wendi Richter by having Cindi Lauper barred from ringside.

Match 3 - Fabulous Moolah vs Wendi Richter (C)
Singles match for the WWF Womens Championship


Cindi Lauper is with Mean Gene and screeches like a cat saying she is Richter's manager and Moolah always interferes with other matches so she isn't going anywhere.

Before the match starts Howard Finkel reads out a note (on a scroll) saying that Cindi Lauper is banned from ringside for this match, so she heads to the back and watches on a screen.

Moolah uses her strength to headlock toss Richter around the ring. Richter is thrown through the ropes, and Moolah goes to the other side of the ring to taunt the crowd. Richter dropkicks Moolah out the ring and attacks her on the outside. They get back in the ring and Moolah lands a back body drop. She goes for a pin but Richter kicks out at 1.

Richter fights back and Moolah grabs the ropes to break up and holds. Richter sees this and picks up Moolah by the feet and drops her to the mat twice. Moolah kicks out at 1. Moolah is on the attack again with slaps and kicks. Moolah goes for a bodyslam but Richter counters into a small package for the win

Winner - Wendi Richter by pinflall (small package reversal)

I wasn't really into this match, but it wasn't terrible. Largely forgettable, and not something I'd ever want to watch again, but passable 2/5

Lauper runs down to the ring to celebrate with Richter...and that's it for a short while. Back to Mean Gene, who's with Junk Yard Dog with his mum.

Match 4 - Pete Doherty vs Junk Yard Dog
Singles match, 20 minute time limit


Can't say that I've ever heard of Pete Doherty the wrestler, only the musician of Libertines fame. I loved their debut album Up The Bracket when I was a teenager, now, not so much. JYD is the face in this, the crowd and kids especially love him.

JYD sits his mum down on a chair outside the ring. Doherty comes to the apron and almosts looks to attack her, but JYD sees this coming and headbutt's Doherty into the ring. He lands a big clothesline, and picks Doherty up by the hair outside the ring. Doherty is acting like a crazy man, making whooping noises at every opportunity and looking at JYD's mum. Dog sends him back into the ring and no sells Doherty's unches. A snapmare and JYD's on all 4's headbutts send Doherty to the outside.

Doherty climbs back up to the top rope but Dog tosses his into the centre of the ring. JYD grabs Doherty's hair and headbutts him 3 times. He hits an atomic drop and lands a powerslam for the win.

Winner - Junk Yard Dog by pinfall (Powerslam)

Squashiest of squash matches designed only to get people to cheer for JYD. He dance's with his mum in the ring after the win. I want to like Junk Yard Dog's matches but I'm not a fan of what I've seen so far 1/5

The show ends with Cindi Lauper's mothers day party. Mean Gene interviews a bunch of guys at the party. Moolah storms in and isn't happy she wasn't invited to the party. She starts insulting Cindi Lauper's mum calling her a scarecrow. Thes a scuffle and Moolah and Mean Gene fall into a huge cake.

Overall this was a decent show. 4 matches, 2 entertaining ones, Piper's Pit was ok, but the last 2 matches wern't much to write home about. I'm looking forward to reviewing the next one, which takes place around a month before the Wrestling Classic
 

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Saturday Night's Main Event 2







Promotion: WWF
Date: 05/10/85
Commentators: Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura
Announcer: Howard Finkel


The show starts with Mean Gene talking to Nikolai Volkoff and his manager Classie Freddie Blassie. Volkoff is facing Hogan tonight for the title, and says after he wins he will tell Russia to press the button to destroy America. We go to a snippet of Hogan doing a typical promo, saying when he's done with Volkoff the only flag flying will the red, white and blue. We then go to Mean Gene who is with Uncle Elmer and Hillbilly Jim, one of whom is getting married on the show later. Piper interrupts and says lots of gibberish, and gets cut off by the opening titles

Vince runs through the planned schedule, while Jesse laments at the prospect of the marriage due to happen. Jesse is also wearing huge yellow and black glasses, which look amazing. We then head to the ring for the first match

Match 1 - Nikolai Volkoff w/Freddie Blassie vs Hulk Hogan (C)
Singles match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship


Volkoff sings his Soviet Anthem, Hogan is with Mean Gene saying he's going to bring the American flag to the ring with him. The match may as well be Evil Russia vs Saintly USA, as all Russians around this time get booed out the building.

Hogan gets in the ring, waves the flag around and turns his back when passing the flag to someone on the outside. Volkoff attacks straight away with stomps, strikes and headbutts. Hogan's vest is ripped off and Volkoff chokes Hulk with it. Volkoff tries to slam Hogan's head into the turnbuckle but Hulk blocks this and turns the tables his way, and starts to go on the attack.

He lands a clothesline and elbow drop combo and a rare headbutt. Volkoff is then booted over the top rope, and Volkoff gets back into it by shoving Hogan into the ring post. Volkoff beats Hogan to the mat back inside the ring and lands a double ax handle from the second rope. Hogan's in trouble and Volkoff manages to hit him with a big back breaker. Rather than go for the pin he poses to the crowd, giving Hogan enough time to recover so when the pin happens Hogan kicks out at 2.

Volkoff tries to get Hogan into osition for a piledriver, but Hogan is able to power through and back body drops the Russian to the mat. Volkoff is still on the attack and gets another 2 count after a body slam. The kick out starts a Hulk Up, he starts puching Volkoff, but gets whipped to the corner. Hogan moves out of Volkoff's way when he charges at him, sending him to the mat. Hogan runs against the ropes and hits the leg drop to get the win

Winner - Hulk Hogan by pinfall (Leg Drop)

Meh, not a bad match to get things started but nothing particularly exciting either. Volkoff had the upper hand for most of the match and mainly beat down on Hogan, although he did hit a big back breaker. There wasn't really much doubt that Hogan would win in the end, and the crowd loved seeing Hogan turn it around. 2/5

Hogan grabs the Russian flag, spits on it and uses it to shine his boots, causing Jesse to call Hogan a discgrace. Hogan grabs the USA flag and poses around the ring. He's then with Mean Gene, basically calls Volkoff dumb, and then says he can't wait to see Mean Gene play keyboards at the wedding later in the night.

Mean Gene is now with the hillbillys talking about the wedding and a match one has later on. Back to the ring for the next match

Match 2 - Jerry Valiant vs Uncle Elmer w/Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Junior
Singles match


Valiant charges and goes for a crossbody but gets caught by Uncle Elmer. Elmer bodyslams Valiant, pins him and wins.

Winner - Uncle Elmer by pinfall

Run. Catch. Squash. 1/5

Finkel announces the match ended in a new WWF record time of 6 seconds. They show the previous record, King Kong Bundy beating SD Jones at Wrestlemania. Mean Gene is with Uncle Elmer who says Valiant should have kept his coat on if he didn't plan on staying.

Jesse is now in the ring for a Body Shop segment with Bobby Heenan. Jesse talks about Paul Orndorff, Heenan saying that he made Orndorff a star only for Orndorff to fire him as his manager on national TV. Heenan has put a $50,000 bounty on Paul Orndorff, which it sounds like Roddy Piper has taken up. Heenan says Orndorff should retire. Mean Gene is now with Orndorff, who says Piper isn't man enough to take out Orndorff.

Match 3 - "Mr Wonderful" Paul Orndorff vs Rowdy Roddy Piper
Singles match


Piper is with Gene now and says if Heenan doesn't pay up the $50k he will rip Heenan's throat out, and says Orndorff needs to cover himself in baby oil to look good. He also takes shots at Uncle Elmer and his planned wedding.

The match begins as a slugfest with Piper on top. It's all physical and Orndorff fights back. Jesse calls it a street fight with ropes around it. Piper DDT's Orndorff before stomping and striking Orndorff out of the ring. He misses a chair shot, and Orndorff slams Piper's head into a table a couple of times. Piper gets back in the ring, Orndorff throws in a chair and climbs to the top rope and lands a jumping elbow attack. Piper has jelly legs and takes a back suplex.

Orndorff starts to punch some more but Piper pokes him in the eyes. Both men go down after a shoulder block. Piper goes for a running splash but Orndorff raises his knees. Mr Wonderful then lands a running crossbody, and both men fall out over the top rope. Both men are counted out as they carry on brawling ignoring the referee's count.

Draw - double count out

They billed it up as a physical contest and that's what we got. Short and entertaining, this looks like an angle that could have legs and carry on for a while yet. 3/5

Piper & Orndorff brawl down the aisle, even going under Vince & Jesse's table, and then into the back, Piper locking Orndorff out of a dressing room.
 

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It's the wedding now. Jesse says Mean Gene is like Phantom of the Opera on the organ. Uncle Elmer has put on a tie over his usual clothes. Hulk and Andre the Giant lower the ropes for the bride. The hillbillys and Lou Albano are also in the ring. People start throwing things at the bride, I think her name's Joyce, when she says her vows. Jesse is hilarious commenting on this and can't start laughing.

When the audience is asked if there is a reason why these two shouldn't be married, Piper walks down to the ring with a mic, saying he objects, and that the whole wedding stinks, and leaves. Vince is made up when they're announced man and wife. We see the reception, basically a barn with a pig running round.

Mean Gene is with Heenan now and his team of Bog John Studd and King Kong Bundy. They slate Andre the Giant calling him the number 3 giant in the company.

Match 3 - Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy vs Andre The Giant & Tony Atlas
Tag team match


Before the match starts, we watch footage from Toronto a couple of months previously where Studd and Bundy double team Andre, to give this match some meaning.

Andre and Bundy start in the ring, Andre just lays a choke on as soon as the bell rings. Bundy is in the corner getting beat down and choked some more, and uses Tony Atlas to headbutt Bundy. Atlas is tagged in, and Bundy begins to fight back, but misses an elbow drop. Studd is tagged in, but takes loads of headbutts. Atlas tries a bodyslam but fails, and also misses a dropkick after whipping Studd against the ropes. Studd beats on Atlas then attacks Andre. When everyone's back is turned, Bundy sneaks into the ring and running splashes Atlas on the mat.

Andre is tagged in, and Studd backs off into the rope. Andre beats Studd out the ring, and Bundy attacks Andre from behind. Studd, the legal man, rams Tony Atlas' back into the ring post, while Andre is avalanched by Bundy, then shoulder blocked by Studd. The referee calls for the bell, disqualifying Studd & Bundy

Winners - Andre The Giant and Tony Atlas by DQ

Not much really happened here other than Andre beating people up and Tony Atlas doing lots of headbutts. Atlas is a really big buy, but the 3 dwarf him in comparrison. I guess this one won't be over for some time, but I doubt Tony Atlas will be incolved in this feud any longer. 2/5

Andre fights back against the two monsters but 2 on 1 isn't good. Hogan runs into the ring to help out his old friend and they clear the ring. Gene is in the ring with them all, Hogan says he and Andre have something to announce but they won't reveal it just yet.

We then watch a segment of Mean Gene on safari, looking for George The Animal Steele. He finds him, Steele calls camels sheep, does elephant noises, calls a weasle Heenan, calls a hippo Bundy, and says a tiger comes from Detroit. Steele then runs into bushes.

Match 5 - Tony Garea & Lanny Poffo vs The Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake) w/Luscious Johnny Valiant (C)
Tag Team match for the WWF World Tag Team Championships


The Dream Team won the titles from the US Express, and we see a clip of them doing just that. Beefcake blinded Barry Windham with something to get the win. Gene says that the US Express will be at ringside watching this one.

I don't know anything about Garea and Poffo, although the internet tells me Poffo is Randy Savage's elder brother, and Garea is a 5 time tag champ.

Greg Valentine and Poffo start with The Hammer on top early on. Poffo is bodyslammed and Beefcake is tagged in. Poffo gets the better of Brutus and lands a moonsault off the top rope from nowhere, but Valentine is in to make the save.

Beefcake is on the attack and brings Valentine back in. Poffo tries to escape to his own corner but he can't get away. Beefcake is tagged back in and beats of Poffo some more. After kicking out of a pin attempt, Poffo leaps to his corner and makes the tag to Garea, who truns things round, landing strikes, a hip toss on Beefcake and then dropkicks both Dream Team members. Beefcake kicks out of a jumping cross body, and The Hammer is tagged in after a back elbow. Valentine slaps on the Figure 4 Leg Lock and Garea taps

Winners - The Dream Team by submission (Figure 4 Leg Lock by Valentine on Garea)

Beefcake got beat up while Valentine was mostly untouchable in this one. Poffo was quick and athletic, and his moonsault was pretty good. Garea gave the impression of an old school tough guy, but this match wasn't all that great to be honest. 2/5

The Dream Team beat down Garea and celebrate in the ring with their manager. We then go to the wedding reception. Jesse isn't happy there and just mumbles in the corner. Captain Lou Albano says he taught Cousin Junior to eat with his left hand. Larry Poffo gives the happy couple a poem. Mean Gene breaks a glass. Hillybilly Jim gives Elmer and Joyce a toast.

Mean Gene has surprise friend, Tiny Tim. He rambles on gives them a ukelele. Jesse gets up and reads out a poem of his own, saying wrestling and romance don't mix. People get up to confront Jesse, he tries to back away but is tripped by Hillbilly Jim into the wedding cake. I wonder if there's a theme going on here....

Vince is sat with Mean Gene and Hogan, saying he has word that Bobby Heenan has signed off on Studd & Bundy vs Hogan & Andre to take place on the next SNME.


This wasn't quite as good as the first show wrestling-wise, but the shows have done a decent job of introducing characters to the screen and giving you a basic idea of what they're about. The next SNME takes place 4 weeks later, just 5 days before The Wrestling Classic, so I expect some build up for that.
 

Smally

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Saturday Night's Main Event 3






Promotion: WWF
Date: 02/11/85
Commentators: Vince McMahon & Jesse "The Body" Ventura
Announcer: Howard Finkel

This starts with Bobby Heenan dressed for Halloween smashing pumpkins over a bath. Hogan and Andre say they will win. Jesse is with Roddy Piper laughing about the Uncle Elmer. Mean Gene is with Terry Funk and Jimmy Hart. Funk wants the heavyweight belt and the titles roll.

Vince runs through the schedule and talks to Jesse about the wedding on the last SNME. We watch a video of Terry Funk attacking a ring attendant. Jimmy Hart says that was TV tricks, and Funk says he has some BRANDIN' TO DO. We watch a video of Funk beating down Junk Yard Dog with his iron brand. JYD is with Mean Gene now saying that was Funk's day but tonight is his.

Match 1 - Terry Funk w/"Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart vs Junk Yard Dog
Singles match

JYD gets this started early, thowing Funk into the ring before he can even remove his jacket. The crowd have gone absolutely ballistic. JYD makes Funk bounce with his legs either side on the top rope. Funk leaves the ring to sort out his ring attire. He gets back in and body slams JYD, but misses the elbow drop. Dog gets his own body slam in and he then throws Funk out over the top rope. The crowd LOVE it.

Funk gets back in gingerly, but JYD hits another body slam and then does his usual heatbutts on all fours. Funk reels out the ring again, as the crowd bellow for JYD. Dog runs after Jimmy Hart, and Funk goes after him, only to get back body dropped on the outside.

They get back in the ring and Funk beats JYD to the mat with a series of uppercuts. Funk slaps on a sleeper after a 2 count but Dog gets to the ropes. JYD throws on his own sleeper. Hart jumps to the apron to distract the Dog, so JYD throws him into the ring, getting a huge cheer from the crowd. He tries to attack Hart some more, leaving Funk to come in from behind and hit JYD with Hart's megaphone. The referee doesn't see it, so Funk goes for the pin gets the 3 count

Winner - Terry Funk by pinfall (unseen megaphone attack)

Wow, I really enjoyed this, best JYD match I've seen so far.The crowd were into this from the start and he did everything he could to keep them interested. Funk and Hart played good heels too and the ending worked well. Great way to start off the show 3/5

Funk tries to attack Dog with the branding iron but JYD grabs it and hits Funk and Hart with it instead. Funk tries to pull Hart from the ring, JYD pulls Hart's legs and his pants come off. JYD stands on Hart and brands his arse.

We now go Mean Gene for a pie eating contest (seriously) where loads of wrestlers are dressed up for haloween (Macho Man & Elizabeth as Tarzan & Jane, Nikolai Volkoff as Robin, Bobby Heenan as Davy Crockett, King Kong Bundy as Abe Lincoln, Iron Sheik as Batman, Tito Santana as Zorro, Hulk Hogan as Hercules, Uncle Elmer, Cousin Junior & Hillbilly Jim as the Three Musketeers and Captain Lou Albano as Juluis Caesar).

It's Albano vs Bundy in the pie eating contest, and Albano wins, Bundy says he cheated so shoves a pie in Albano's face.

The Hillbillys are in the ring for Piper's Pit, and we watch videos of SNME 2 where Piper interrupted Uncle Elmer's wedding, and Jesse saying Elmer & his wife kissing was like two carp in the Mississippi going after the same corn on a line.

Piper asks Elmer what he did on his wedding night and whether he's thought about family life, Elmer says it's none of his business. Piper starts insulting Elmer some more, Hillbilly Jim gets up and wants to know who said what about Elmer and his wife in the ring. Piper says Jesse said it and he agrees with him. Jim says Jesse should come to the ring and say it face to face. Jesse comes down to the ring and says he isn't backing down on what he said.

Bob Orton is in the ring too. He crouches behind Junior and Piper pushes him over. Ortona dn Piper then get thrown out the ring leaving Jesse alone Elmer and Jim. Jesse leaves the ring but Elmer grabs his hat and stamps on it.

Back to Mean Gene in the back as the next Haloween contest is a pumpkin dunk. Bobby Heenan will take on Cousin Junior. Junk Yard Dog has joined in and is dressed as a mummy. Heenan clearly cheats but Gene doesn't see it.

Gene is now with Heenan, Studd and Bundy, who say there's no chance they will lose to Hogan & Andre. They head off to the ring and the face team is with Gene. Andre says enough talking, lets get to the ring

Match 2 - Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy w/Bobby "The Brain" Heenan vs Andre The Giant & Hulk Hogan w/Captain Lou Albano
Tag Team Match

Hogan & Bundy start off. A knee lift takes Bundy down. Hogan goes for a slam but can't get Bundy up. Jesse thinks Hogan's back is hurt. Hogan is able to keep the upper hand beating on Bundy, and tags in Andre. Andre chokes Bundy with the straps on his attire, and Hogan is tagged back in. Double ax handle from Hogan off the second rope send Bundy towards his corner, and Studd grabs Hogan. Bundy chops Hogan and Studd is tagged in.

Studd carries on the beatdown, while Vince asks Jesse about what happened with him on Piper's Pit. Jesse says that on the next SNME him and Piper will destroy the hillbillys if given the chance. In the ring, Hogan has managed to turn things round with a really poorly executed back drop. Andre is tagged in and he chops way at Studd.

Andre has Studd in the corner and accidentally hits the referee, sending him down. Hogan and Bundy get in the ring, and there's a short brawl. Andre & Hogan send Bundy & Studd out the ring, and we now have a replacement referee. Andre is all over Studd and Hogan is tagged back in. He takes a clothesline and Andre is tagged back in. Studd takes a boot from Andre and rolls out the ring. Andre goes after him, but Bundy gets in from behind and attacks Andre, tying Andre's arms up in the ropes. Studd holds Hogan down and Bundy splashes him. Both men double team Andre being caught in the ropes and the referee calls for the bell

Winners - Hulk Hogan & Andre The Giant by DQ

Meh, what started off as a decent giants match could have ended better. The crowd popped every single time Hogan & Andre tagged eachother in, and the only time the heels were on top was when they got DQ'd. 2/5

Studd & Bundy continue the beatdown on Andre but Hulk gets up and makes the save. Bundy gets a boot and Studd a clothesline. Gene interviews the winners in the ring and Andre says he didn't get enough, and Hogan says they will never beat Andre. Andre grabs the mike and mumbles something, and we cut to an advert.
 

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