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PPV Reviews WrestleMania

WWF WrestleMania V Review (The Mega Powers Explode!)

IMG credit: WWE & TPWW

After an abomination of a show that was WrestleMania IV, we’re back once again with yet another installment of my retrospective WM series. This time, we will be looking at an event worth one year of build-up, the place where the Mega Powers explode – the fifth edition of WrestleMania! Elsewhere, The Rockers made their ‘Mania debut against the Twin Towers, Rick Rude defended the Intercontinental strap against the Ultimate Warrior, Strike Force battled the newly-arrived Brain Busters, and much more. And with the introduction out of the way, let’s head to the show.

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Date: April 2nd, 1989

Venue: Trump Plaza Convention Center

Location: Atlantic City, NJ

Attendance: 18.946

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura.

WWF Women’s Champion Rockin’ Robin sings ‘America The Beautiful’ to open the show. Dang, they must’ve run out of famous singers to hire. She didn’t do very well, by the way.

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Hercules vs. King Haku [w/ Bobby Heenan]

IMG credit: WWE & Sportskeeda

Hercules is now a babyface after Bobby Heenan attempted to sell him to DiBiase as a personal slave. He got a nice shine at the start before Heenan’s interference allowed Haku to take over, giving us a short heat segment in this throwaway undercard opener. Haku catching Herc coming down with a Savate kick was a cool spot that I didn’t expect. Hercules eventually won this one at 6:54 with a bridging belly-to-back suplex. Just a simple, inoffensive match to kick off the PPV. Not too shabby. [**]

The Rockers vs. The Twin Towers

IMG credit: WWE

The former Midnight Rockers of the AWA faced the colossal duo of Twin Towers in this exciting tag team battle of power versus speed. The Rockers overwhelmed their much-larger opponents using innovative, fast-paced tandem offense. Bossman, Akeem, and Jannetty all looked great, but it was Shawn who stood out from the pack. He bumped all over the place like a pinball and took a helluva beating from the Towers, including a vicious lariat from Akeem that looked like it could’ve decapitated him! We got a badass finish, with Bossman catching the future HBK with a spinning powerbomb in mid-air, before an Akeem splash brought this one to an end at 8:04. [***]

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Ted DiBiase [w/ Virgil] vs. Brutus Beefcake

IMG credit: WWE

Beefcake’s WrestleMania stinker record continued with another abysmal matchup. DiBiase did his best to carry this with all his bumping and heel work, but it was hopeless when you’re in there with the legendarily bad Bruti. Beefcake would improve himself by the summer of ‘89, but I’m afraid he’s as awful as he’s ever been in this one. This got thrown out the window at 10:01 after Virgil intervened, and both men won’t stop fighting on the floor past the referee’s count. The finish was like a rotten cherry on an already messed-up cake. They did a post-match brawl afterward, but DiBiase retreated to fight another day. This was a chore to sit through. [*]

The Fabulous Rougeaus [w/ Jimmy Hart] vs. The Bushwhackers

IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

I refuse to believe the Sheepherders and the Bushwhackers are the same teams. That’s just impossible! You know the deal when you’re watching a Bushwhackers match that lasted more than five minutes. They went through their usual bullsh-t comedy routine, making their opponents look like fools as a result. The Rougeaus made the common heel error of celebrating too early, and they paid their price for it in the form of a Battering Ram and a double gutbuster at 5:10. Absolutely horrendous. I gave it a quarter star for The Rougeaus as they were actually TRYING something to make this watchable. [¼*]

Mr. Perfect vs. The Blue Blazer

IMG credit: WWE

Mr. Perfect and Owen Hart made their WrestleMania debuts in this underrated, action-packed sprint from the Trump Plaza. They both went all out here, dazzling the crowd with a string of high-impact maneuvers that were rarely seen within the Fed at the time. The fact they managed to pack this much into 5 mins is certainly impressive! After getting a nearfall off a crucifix and arguing with the ref about it, Blazer got nailed from behind for his trouble before a PerfectPlex put things to an end at 5:38. A fun sprint from a horrible ‘Mania. [**¾]

American hip hop group Run-DMC performed a WRESTLEMANIA RAP. Moving on.

IMG credit: WWE
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WWF Tag Team Title: Demolition (c) vs. The Powers of Pain & Mr. Fuji

IMG credit: WWE

This showed slight potential in the first few minutes with some solid clobberin’ from all four hosses. Mr. Fuji became the deciding factor of the bout when his distraction allowed the POP to gain the advantage on the Demos. They worked over Ax in a decent segment until a Smash hot tag finally brought some life to this insufferable New Jersey crowd. The finish, which saw Mr. Fuji misfiring the salt and taking the loss for his team via a Demolition Decapitation at 8:55, actually received a nice pop from the crowd, much to my surprise. Far from good, but watchable enough overall. [*½]

Dino Bravo [w/ Frenchy Martin] vs. Ronnie Garvin

IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

What’s worse than a regular squash on a PPV? A squash by the absolute WORST. Yes, you read that right. This was done simply to reestablish Bravo as one of the top WWF midcard heels, but no one could have cared less. Ronnie Garvin is making his singles PPV debut here in the WWF, and he couldn’t have been any more unlucky being fed to the Canadian strongman. Bravo put a stop to Garvin’s comeback with his side suplex, and that’s all she wrote at 3:58. Another thing to note is that Jimmy Snuka made a cameo appearance before the bout, and he got no reaction from this deader-than-dead crowd. [½*]

The Brain Busters [w/ Bobby Heenan] vs. Strike Force

IMG credit: WWE

Strike Force made their return after Martel’s injury put a stop in the team’s tracks for almost a full year. They gained the early upper hand on the former Horsemen as Jesse questioned how well Tito and Martel can work together after not teaming up for so long. Martel became visually pissed after he was on the receiving end of an accidental flying burrito by Tito, and soon his frustration came clean when he refused to accept Tito’s tag and left him all alone against the Busters. Tito tried his luck, but it was no use, as he fell victim to a Spike Piledriver at 9:17, marking the end of the duo known as Strike Force. I was expecting a 10+ mins barnburner between two of the best tag teams North American wrestling has to offer at the time, but what I got was a classic heel isolation segment before a tremendously well-executed angle kicked in. [***]

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Piper’s Pit, w/ Brother Love & Morton Downey Jr.

IMG credit: WWE

Holy cow, this show just won’t end, will it? I love Hot Rod, but this segment wasn’t needed whatsoever. Piper barely got any pop from the crowd during his entrance. He insulted Brother Love and sexually harassed him before taking off his pants – ahem, I mean kilt – and sending him running in horror. Roddy then cut a promo on Morton Downey, as I struggled to make any sense of, well, whatever this was. And FINALLY, we ended this stupid segment with Piper blasting Downey Jr. with a fire extinguisher. Hooray… except we still got about an hour and a half left on this never-ending show.

Andre The Giant [w/ Bobby Heenan] vs. Jake Roberts

IMG credit: WWE

Big John Studd is your special guest referee here, and he looked like a man hanging onto his last legs. He did nothing of value until the last few minutes of the contest. Andre was done by this point – I mean, the man can barely wrestle a proper match, let alone take a bump. Jake put in a decent effort, but there’s only so much you can do here. Andre choked and held Roberts for what felt like an eternity before Ted DiBiase made a run-in to steal Damien, causing Roberts to chase him to the back. Meanwhile, Andre attacked Studd, earning him a disqualification at 9:39. We finally ended this mess with Roberts returning to the ring and scaring the Giant away with his pet snake. Giving Andre ophidiophobia in this feud wasn’t ideal, but it at least provided some amusement to this feud. [DUD]

The Hart Foundation [w/ Jimmy Hart] vs. Rhythm & Blues

IMG credit: WWE & 411Mania

The Harts opened this with a fun opening shine that Valentine and Honky did a solid job bumping and feeding for. Valentine stopped the shine by evading Bret’s patent elbow drop, and they worked a short but worthwhile FIP segment into this time filler bout. Neidhart came in with a hot tag and actually woke up the crowd a bit with the fire he showed. Things slowly broke down, but as Jimmy Hart distracted the ref so his team could use the megaphone, Neidhart intervened, giving Bret said object instead. Hart then used it to knock Honky out for the win at 7:40, foiling the heels’ plan to a shockingly good pop from the audience. A perfectly acceptable tag match placed in a dead slot of a dead PPV. [**½]

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WWF Intercontinental Title: The Ultimate Warrior (c) vs. Rick Rude [w/ Bobby Heenan]

IMG credit: WWE & Sportskeeda

Rick Rude carried the Ultimate Warrior to his first-ever good match. Rude tried to blindside Warrior at the bell, only to end up kneeing the belt instead in a funny spot. Warrior still looked awkward and clumsy in his movement, although that was redeemed by Rude’s humorously over-the-top bumping. Rude bumped huge for Warrior to make him look like a million bucks! Warrior’s two bearhugs might’ve been overblown, but Rude being unable to do the hip swivel as a result of that was a nice little payoff from it. Heenan eventually got involved, tripping Warrior and holding his feet down so Rude could pin him for the three at 9:42. The finish was clever, though the execution was far from it, as Warrior clearly had both his feet under the ropes. It put over how much Warrior was screwed here, at least if you wanna look at it the other way. [***]

Bad News Brown vs. Jim Duggan

IMG credit: WWE

Brown jump-started the bout by attacking Duggan right at the bell, only for Hacksaw to withstand it and send him bailing. Brown picking Duggan’s head as a body part to target was an interesting move. They brawled outside and we got a 2×4 v. steel chair showdown in the ring. They both went for the shot at the same time, and the ref called it a double DQ at 3:49. Another utterly pointless filler, but hey, at least it was short. [¼*]

Bobby Heenan [w/ The Brooklyn Brawler] vs. The Red Rooster

IMG credit: WWE

More filler to fill time between the IC Title match and the World Title main event. Heenan came out with an injury to sell the post-match assault from the Warrior earlier, which was reported to be legit. Anyway, the less said about this, the better. Taylor ducked a blind charge from Heenan and then pinned him in a mere 0:31 for a quick win. [N/R]

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WWF World Heavyweight Title: Randy Savage (c) vs. Hulk Hogan

IMG credit: WWE

This has tons of backstories behind it, arguably dating back to late 1987 when the Mega Powers initially united. Miss Elizabeth was in a neutral corner, and Jesse Ventura hilariously accused her of being a gold digger as she walked down the aisle. I consider this one of my top Hulk Hogan bouts ever, but truth be told, his opponent was actually the one who did most of the heavy lifting. Savage turned in an amazing heel performance, cheating like a maniac and riling up the crowd with his shady antics. Macho using Liz as a human shield was a genius heel move that you can’t help but smile at. Hogan received colors after getting kicked square in the forehead, and Savage was just a crazed man targeting that cut. Elizabeth finally got ejected from ringside after her troublesome appearance nearly caused a brawl that could’ve halted the whole match. Savage continued his onslaught by jamming away at Hogan’s throat in a brutal fashion. He went up top and landed the Macho elbow, but Hogan immediately hulked up, landed the boot, and dropped the big leg for the win at 17:54.

I’m of the opinion that Savage should’ve gone over and held the belt until SummerSlam, but it’d be counterproductive in this era to see a heel standing tall or having a non-finish of any kind to end a show, so I get why they’d go with their decision. Regardless, this is a very underrated WrestleMania main event, easily the best of its kind up to this point, and one that should garner more praise among fans. This was a marquee bout between two of the biggest stars in wrestling, with spectacular build-up and off-the-chart heat. [***¾]

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Overall

Much like its predecessor the year before, WrestleMania V was a way-too-long-of-a-show that simply never ceased to end. While there are some gems on this card – and that main event absolutely belongs in the conversation of most iconic ‘Mania main events of all time – the show just felt wayyyy too darn long overall, making it a mission impossible to sit through the whole thing in one round. Furthermore, this rotten Atlantic City crowd didn‘t give a crap about 80% of the show, giving off a tepid atmosphere that is more than enough to kill an entire PPV event by itself.

Score: 4/10

Rating: 4 out of 10.

That’ll be all for today, people. Thank you so much as usual for checking in. And make sure to be alert for my next review, where we will take a look at the first time WrestleMania INVADED Canada! Stay tuned!

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Podcast PPV

SmarKDown Podcast #2: WWE TLC 2010

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Categories
AEW PPV Reviews

AEW All Out 2022 PPV Review

Hello everyone, my name is Tanner! Welcome to SmarkDown’s AEW All Out 2022 Review!

Wheeler Yuta vs Rey Fenix vs Rush vs Andrade El Idolo vs Claudio Castagnoli vs Dante Martin vs Penta Oscuro vs ‘The Joker’ | Casino Ladder Match

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IMG Credit: AEW & Cageside Seats

The Joker won after Stokely and Co. Attacked The Contenders at 14:15

I’m very intrigued by what the plan here is. Who is behind that mask? MJF? Adam Cole? We’ll just have to wait and see, but besides that this was a very good opener with some crazy spots and a consistent feel to it. Props to everyone involved. ***1/4

Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks vs Hangman Page & The Dark Order | AEW World Trios Championships Tournament Final

IMG Credit: AEW & Slice Wrestling

Kenny Omega def. John Silver via Pinfall at 19:50

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I absolutely adore the storytelling in this match. Hangman wants to be fair, while Omega and The Bucks aren’t as respectful, which is a call back to their original heel turn. They call back to the Full Gear finish too which was a nice touch. Silver’s near falls was fun to see as well. Great finish too. Just a great match. ***3/4

Jade Cargill(c) vs Athena | AEW TBS Championship Match

IMG Credit: AEW

Jade Cargill def. Athena via Pinfall at 4:17

This match was very flat and obviously very disappointing with them only getting a 4 minute run time. I’m also going to add that Athena should not have lost this. Jade’s cool and all, but she obviously needs a break to improve her in ring work. *1/2

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Jay Lethal & The Motor City Machine Guns vs Wardlow & FTR | Trios Match

IMG Credit: AEW

Wardlow def. Jay Lethal via Pinfall at 16:25

Nothing here is all that outstanding, but I still think this a pretty good match that was a good showcase for The Motor City Machine Guns. Also congrats to Samoa Joe on his return! ***

Ricky Starks vs Powerhouse Hobbs | Singles Match

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IMG Credit: AEW

Powerhouse Hobbs def. Ricky Starks via Pinfall at 5:17

This surprised me with how one sided it was and how dominant Hobbs was over Starks. The clean victory 5 minutes in was actually kind of upsetting because of how hyped up Starks got me for the match. Good for what it was. **

Swerve In Our Glory(c) vs The Acclaimed | AEW World Tag Team Championships Match

IMG Credit: AEW

Keith Lee def. Anthony Bowens via Pinfall at 22:26

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A beautiful mess of a match here. A few mistimings towards the beginning are made up for when The Acclaimed nearly won several times in the performance of a lifetime for them. I’m very interested in the rather heelish performance from Lee and Swerve. I’d honestly be more interested in them if they became heels. Also gotta credit Bowens selling of the leg. ***1/4

Toni Storm vs Dr. Britt Baker DMD vs Jamie Hayter vs Hikaru Shida | AEW Interim Women’s Championship Fatal 4-Way Match

IMG Credit: AEW

Toni Storm def. Jamie Hayter via Pinfall at 14:42

Good match here, not all that great though. It just felt like they were telling us that finishers don’t matter in the end in AEW which is a shame because then it isn’t a finisher. **3/4

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Christian Cage vs Jungle Boy | Singles Match

IMG Credit: AEW

Christian Cage def. Jungle Boy via Pinfall at 0:22

The direction of this feud is all over the place and it’s quite a mess…. N/R

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Chris Jericho vs Bryan Danielson | Singles Match

IMG Credit: AEW

Chris Jericho def. Bryan Danielson via Pinfall at 23:42

This never really escapes second gear, but is still pretty good and has some very good technical work from Bryan who seems to have carried Jericho to an unexpected good match. I’m just kidding, Jericho did good as well. Still I am a bit disappointed by the lack of drama in the match. ***

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House Of Black vs Miro, Darby Allin, & Sting | Trios Match

IMG Credit: AEW

Darby Allin def. Malakai Black via Pinfall at 12:09

Another good match on the card here. Obviously just a spot show to warm us up for the main event, but it told a good story. Loving Miro’s aggression throughout this match. He wants and you can really see it. ***

Jon Moxley(c) vs CM Punk | AEW World Championship Match

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IMG Credit: AEW

CM Punk def. Jon Moxley via Pinfall at 19:56

This is a pretty good match we got here. Violent too. I’m not sure how to feel about Punk winning, but after MJF’s return I think I have a pretty good idea of what they’re going for here. Moxley’s earned that title run. Congrats to him and congrats to CM Punk…and congrats to MJF too! ***1/4

Overall Thoughts: I think AEW is having a bit of a problem with overflow when it comes to their PPV shows. I get the idea that they have to put as many people on here as possible, but you know half of these matches could’ve been on Dynamite or even Rampage. Just feels no matter the quality I always feel overwhelmed by the large amount of matches. Nothing here is bar, in fact a couple of these are excellent, but we gotta stop putting so much stuff on here. 6.5/10

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Categories
PPV Reviews

WWE Clash At The Castle PPV Review

Welcome to SmarkDown’s Clash At The Castle PPV Review! My name is Tanner and I’ll be running down my takes on the event! Enjoy!

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Bianca Belair, Asuka, & Alexa Bliss vs Bayley, Dakota Kai, & Iyo Sky (Damage Control)| 6 Woman Tag Team Match

IMG Credit: WWE

Bayley def. Bianca Belair via Pinfall at 18:43

A very energetic opener here. Nothing all that outstanding, however it’s still 18 minutes of consistent good wrestling. I’m very surprised by Bayley pinning Bianca clean, but it’s a good way to set up their match at Extreme Rules. ***

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Gunther(c) vs Sheamus | Intercontinental Championship Match

IMG Credit: WWE & Last Word On Sports

Gunther def. Sheamus via Pinfall at 19:34

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This match is slow, but astonishingly brutal. The way they just keep hitting each other no matter what is what wrestling is and I love to see. Gunther particularly beats Sheamus to his absolute limit before pinning him with a crazy lariat. Glad they got nearly 20 minutes with this one. ***1/2

Liv Morgan(c) vs Shayna Baszler | Smackdown Women’s Championship Match

IMG Credit: WWE

Liv Morgan def. Shayna Baszler via Pinfall at 11:00

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A surprisingly decent match, at least in my opinion, as Shayna works brutally on Liv’s arm while Liv plays underdog and had some nice counters to Shayna’s offense. The oblivion out of nowhere was good. **1/2

Edge & Rey Mysterio vs Finn Balor & Damian Priest (The Judgment Day) | Tag Team Match

IMG Credit: WWE
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Edge def. Finn Balor via Pinfall at 12:34

This was a very good tag team match that was fast, consistently paced, and had some good action in between. Also love the drama involved. Very surprised Dominik turned here, but that was awesome to see. ***1/4

Seth Rollins vs Matt Riddle | Singles Match

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IMG Credit: WWE

Seth Rollins def. Matt Riddle at 17:20

This match is very, very good with Rollins and Riddle putting on a stellar performance while telling a story of blood, anger, and revenge. Riddle nearly getting DQed works a lot and that Top Rope Stomp really does it for me. Great match. ***1/2

Roman Reigns(c) vs Drew McIntyre | WWE Undisputed Universal Championship Match

IMG Credit: WWE & The Sportser

Roman Reigns def. Drew McIntyre via Pinfall at 30:48

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This was….a lot. Roman and Drew were obviously going to have a dramatic banger of a match, but man this was something else. Multiple false finishes, plot twist, all put into 30 minutes. I loved the final few minutes of this, and I am absolutely shocked that for one, Solo Sikoa is here, and two McIntyre lost! This was great. What is next for Roman? ***1/2

Overall Thoughts: I am going to say that this was Show Of The Year for WWE. Everything meant something, everything was decent to great. The most consistent and entertaining show WWE has put on. Let’s see what’s next… 8/10

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Categories
PPV Reviews

WWF Royal Rumble 1993 Review (Thirty Guys Aren’t Enough To Stop Him)

January 24, 1993
Live from Sacramento, CA (ARCO Arena)
Announced attendance: 16 000 (capacity: 17 317)
PPV buys: 300 000 (up 50 000 from Survivor Series 1992’s 250 000 buys; up 40 000 from Royal Rumble 1992’s 260 000 buys)

It’s the first PPV of 1993. For the first time in history, there’s a WWF Championship shot in the main event of WrestleMania on the line in the annual Royal Rumble match. Who will make history and guarantee a title shot at ‘Mania IX? Plus, Bret Hart defends the WWF Championship against Razor Ramon. The former Rockers go to war as Shawn Michaels defends his IC Title against Marty Jannetty, with the returning Sensational Sherri standing in a neutral corner. All that and much more!

Here is the list of WWF champions heading into this PPV:

  • WWF Champion: Bret Hart [104th day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair
  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels [89th day of his reign] – previous champion: The British Bulldog
  • WWF World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) [103rd day of his reign] – previous champion: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)

Note: in title matches, the defending champions are underlined

Enjoy the review!

IMG credit: WWE & onlineworldofwrestling.com

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan

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The Steiners Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake Beverly)
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

The Steiners’ WWF theme is a huge downgrade from their previous WCW song. It sounds more like one of those Christmas sales adverts and it doesn’t really fit them at all. Scott goes for a single-leg takedown on Beau early, but the latter holds on to the ropes to stay on his feet. Scott takes him down aggressively into a hammerlock, but Beau makes it to the ropes. Scott throws Beau with a hiptoss out of the corner as Beau complains about some pulling of the tights. Tilt-a-whirl slam by Scott and Beau bails. He tags out to Blake back in the ring, who stops to shove Rick, who’s on the apron. Scott gladly makes the tag, but Blake throws Rick off his game and catches him with a powerslam. Leapfrog attempt by Blake, gets caught by Rick who powerslams him. Off to Scott for a belly to belly. He sets Blake up for the butterfly powerbomb, but the illegal Beau comes in to break it up with a clothesline.

Backbreaker by Beau gets two. The Beverlys proceed to use quick tags in and out of the ring, as they wear Scott Steiner down in their corner. Blake even uses the tag rope to choke Scott behind the ref’s back. Double-arm suplex by Beau gets two. Nice back-and-forth between Gorilla and Heenan on commentary – GM: “You’re not gonna beat the Steiners that way, forget about it.” BH: “They gotta hook the tights!” GM: “WHAT!?” BH: “Nothing wrong with hooking the tights… if you don’t get caught!” These two shared some great chemistry together! Meanwhile, Blake puts Scott in a Boston Crab, and then they take turns dropping elbows on Scott’s back. Suplex attempt by Beau, but Steiner easily reverses it into one of his own. Why would you even try to suplex a Steiner? Blake comes in off the tag to prevent Scott from making the hot tag, though. However, Scott explodes with the butterfly powerbomb on Blake. HOT TAG RICK! Backdrop to Blake, German suplex to Blake, running clothesline to Beau, running clothesline to Blake. He’s a house of fire, BY GAWD! He covers Blake but Beau breaks up the pin. Scott tags himself back in and the Beverlys try a Doomsday Device on him, but Scott uses a roll-up on Blake (who had him up on his shoulders) for a two count while Beau goes flying to the outside. Rick takes care of him on the floor, allowing Scott to put Blake away with the Frankensteiner in the ring at 10:34.

  • Rating: It was a simple match to put The Steiners over in their WWF PPV debut. The Steiners started the match in control, The Beverlys then used some cheating to turn things around until The Steiners made the comeback to win in the end. It was good for what it was. Scott Steiner was amazing in the finishing sequence, reversing the Doomsday Device and hitting the Frankensteiner for the win. **3/4

We see a video package covering the HBK/Jannetty story narrated by Gene Okerlund. We see their run as The Rockers, Shawn’s heel turn in the famous Barber Shop window the previous year, and Marty’s return with Shawn “accidentally” throwing Sherri in the way of Jannetty’s shot with the mirror.

WWF Intercontinental Championship – Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty
IMG credit: WWE & Bleacher Report

Sherri is of course at ringside in a neutral corner, finally making her return after the attack with the mirror. Shawn gets in Marty’s face, who wastes no time and punches him in the face right away. Shawn takes a walk already. He tries to catch Jannetty back inside off the pursuit, but Marty faceplants him. Marty with an atomic drop followed by a knee lift that sends Shawn flying to the outside. Jannetty uses the ropes to pull Shawn back inside, only to then clothesline him back to the floor. Suicide dive by Jannetty. Marty comes flying off the apron with a fist to Shawn on the floor. Then he tries one off the top rope and Shawn finally catches him with a shot to the gut in mid-air. Michaels powers up Jannetty on his shoulders and rams his right shoulder into the post. Jannetty sells his left one instead, so Shawn rams his left shoulder into the post the second time around. Hm, that was weird. Back in, Shawn drops Jannetty on his knee with a shoulderbreaker. He slugs away on Marty’s shoulder in the corner, who has no choice but to bail. However, Shawn meets him there and leaves him lying on the floor. Jannetty breaks the count back in, only for Michaels to continue to work on the bad shoulder. Shawn rams Marty’s shoulder into the buckle, and follows it up with a flying double axehandle onto the bad shoulder. Armbar by Shawn. Jannetty fights his way out of the hold, but Shawn immediately takes him down by the left arm. Jannetty fights back but Shawn rakes the eyes to cut him off. Shawn with a powerslam, up top for the Vertical Jumping Move That Always Misses which SHOCKINGLY only finds Jannetty’s boot.

Jannetty finally makes his big comeback only for Shawn to dump him to the outside by the tights. Shawn tries to suplex him off the apron to the ring, but ends up getting suplexed off the ring to the floor by Jannetty instead. Sherri gets close to Shawn as if she’s worried about him, but then gives him a huge slap (when the ref wasn’t looking) to cement her face turn. Backdrop suplex by Jannetty gets two. Jannetty sends him to the outside for a trip to the steps, before bringing him back inside for a powerslam. Marty goes up, Shawn avoids the attack, but Jannetty lands on his feet and immediately DDTs him for two. Shawn tries a superkick, Marty avoids it and superkicks Shawn instead for a two count. Jannetty sits on top of Michaels to block a sunset flip and gets two, then avoids Shawn’s attempt at a pinfall reversal sequence and catapults Shawn into the post for a nearfall. Ref bump while Shawn went for a punch. That draws Sherri in, who takes her shoe off and takes a swing at Michaels, errantly hitting Jannetty instead to knock him down. Shawn adds the superkick as an exclamation point to stay IC Champ after 14:20, as Sherri runs to the back.

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  • Rating: I thought this was quite the fantastic match, although not a classic or even a MOTY contender or anything like that. The action was good as these two are very good athletes, but the psychology wasn’t always the greatest and some of the flip bumps that both guys took to sell normal moves at different points of the match looked pretty ridiculous. But outside of that, the in-ring action was mostly very good and the story was engaging. The finish left me interested in seeing the next chapter of this storyline, so props for that. ***3/4

– Mean Gene finds Sherri in the back and tells her to calm down, but Shawn Michaels walks in and finds her. Marty Jannetty goes to the back next and gets into a fight with Shawn there to extend their program.

That is until Jannetty got fired again due to drugs just a couple of days later, as Michaels moved on to an Intercontinental Title feud with Tatanka heading into WrestleMania. Jannetty would soon be rehired and they would resume their feud over the belt shortly after WrestleMania, though.

The Big Bossman vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

Usual nice reaction for Bossman, who would exit the WWF just a number of weeks after this event. Bam Bam starts off unloading on Bossman in the corner. Bigelow with a running splash in the corner. Bigelow follows it up with the CLUBBING BLOWS as Gorilla brings up that time when Heenan mocked Bossman’s mother. What a weird callback as that went nowhere due to Rick Rude’s departure. Bossman fights back with a clothesline and he slugs away on Bam Bam with ten punches. Ten more punches in the corner by Bossman. Bigelow catches him with a backdrop suplex to turn things around, but Bossman moves out of the way of a falling headbutt attempt by Bam Bam. Bossman charges but Bigelow backdrops him over the top rope to the floor. More CLUBBING BLOWS by Bigelow followed by a bearhug of sorts. Thrilling stuff.

Bossman escapes the hold and tries to fight back, but Bam Bam catches him with a stungun and gets two. Back to the bearhug goes Bam Bam. This time he keeps the hold on for about 2 minutes. Ugh. Bossman finally fights out and hits a suplex, but his back is too hurt from the DREADED BEARHUG OF DEATH and Bam Bam comes back with a headbutt to Bossman’s back. Bossman avoids a crossbody and backdrops Bam Bam. Running guillotine buttdrop as Bossman makes the comeback. However, Bossman ends up eating boot on a blind charge in the corner. Bigelow goes up and the flying headbutt finishes Bossman in one of his final matches of his first WWF run at 10:10.

  • Rating: This wasn’t very good at all. About 25% of this midcard match was spent in a bearhug, which wasn’t necessary. Maybe it would’ve been better had it been 3-5 minutes shorter. At ten minutes, it was pretty tedious. *

We see a recap of Razor Ramon’s cheap attack on Owen Hart in the dressing room a number of weeks before this show.

They air a taped segment with Raymond Rougeau interviewing Razor Ramon. He promises to add more gold to his collection, similar to what he said on TV during the build-up to this title match.

– Mean Gene interviews WWF Champion Bret Hart in gorilla position while Razor Ramon makes his entrance. Bret says it’s beyond personal and way more than a title match at this point.

WWF Championship – Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

Razor Ramon throws his toothpick at the same kid that received Bret’s shades. Bret immediately goes after him leading to a big slugfest to start. It looks awesome because both guys throw great punches. Razor gets the upper hand with an Irish whip into the buckle, with Bret taking the classic Bret Hart bump. Razor charges with a high knee, but finds no water in the pool and his knee hits the turnbuckle. The champion immediately starts working on the leg like a shark smelling blood. Figure Four by Bret with Razor making the ropes to escape. Bret drops some elbows on the knee and rams his leg into the post. Razor cuts Bret off with a knee to the gut, though, and whips him gut-first into the post. Razor slams Bret onto the post on the outside. Back in, Razor goes to work on the midsection with a fallaway slam for two. The cameras catch Helen Hart (Bret’s mother) in the audience covering her eyes in a great shot. A brutal Irish whip featuring another Bret Hart bump, this time sternum-first, gets a nearfall. Abdominal stretch by Razor Ramon. Bret turns it around into his own abdominal stretch, Razor hiptosses his way out of it but misses an elbowdrop. Shoulderblock by Razor gets two.

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Razor pounds away on The Hitman’s ribs while the crowd boos him. Bret ducks a clothesline and gets a crossbody for two. Springboard sunset flip attempt by Bret, Razor sits on top of him for two, but Bret completes the move and gets two of his own. Razor sits on Bret’s back and applies a chinlock, followed by a long bearhug. Difference between this and the previous match being that it actually makes sense here given the psychology and it’s not just time killing. Bret resorts to biting to escape the hold. He backdrops Razor to the outside and meets him there with a suicide dive. Bret lands on top of Razor on the floor and continues to slug away on the challenger. Into the steps goes Razor before Bret sends him back to the ring, where he unloads on Ramon aggressively. Bret with an atomic drop into a clothesline for two. Backbreaker into a flying clothesline get two more. Bulldog out of the corner gets two. Russian legsweep gets two. Bret sets him up for the Sharpshooter, Razor holds on to the ropes to prevent it, Bret pushes him to the middle of the ring so Razor “accidentally” shoves the referee on top of Bret to escape that predicament.

Razor takes him up top for what looks to be a backdrop superplex off the top rope, but Bret uses Razor’s back to roll through into a regular backdrop suplex of his own. Bret goes up for the middle rope elbow, but Razor gets his foot up. Razor’s Edge attempt, Bret perfectly turns it into a backslide for a nearfall. That was sweet. Razor takes back control with another whip into the buckle as Bret can barely stand anymore. Razor kicks at Bret’s midsection while in a test of strength, but Bret manages to wrestle him down into a pinning combination for another unique nearfall. While both guys are down, Bret locks Razor’s legs in Sharpshooter position and rolls over with the hold locked in. Wow! Razor Ramon gives it up as Bret retains at 17:52.

  • Rating: Brilliant action. The match had a methodical pace for most of it as the cocky Razor Ramon took his time while he was in control, which made sense. Razor’s selling of the leg injury he suffered early on wasn’t always the greatest, as he was still a bit green at this point in time and early into his run as “Razor Ramon”, but it didn’t hurt the match in a major way. It just would’ve added to it like Bret’s selling of the midsection did. The reversals in the final couple of minutes were fantastic. Bret knew exactly how to fight from underneath against a big bully like Razor Ramon, using his wrestling ability to avoid Razor’s power moves. I enjoyed the finish with Bret locking in the Sharpshooter while both guys were down on the mat. ***3/4
Bobby Heenan unveils “Narcissus”
IMG credit: WWE & retroprowrestling.com

It’s obviously Lex Luger. He does some posing in front of a mirror and challenges Mr. Perfect in a promo afterwards.

“Julius Caesar” and “Cleopatra” invite everyone to the upcoming WrestleMania IX event. Yep. Welcome to 1993 WWF, people.

Main Event

Royal Rumble 1993 Match: No. 1 Contender for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania IX
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture
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Ric Flair is #1 while Bob Backlund draws #2. Backlund wants a handshake before the match but gets a WOOO instead! Backlund fires away with a pair of takedowns and shoulderblocks. The crowd doesn’t react much to his in-ring stuff when he’s on offense. Flair takes Backlund to the corner for some chops, but Backlund gives him a backdrop out of the corner. Delayed atomic drop by Backlund leads to a Flair flop. The clock appears on the screen for the third entry. It’s Papa Shango at #3. Meeeh. Shango chokes Backlund on the ropes as soon as he enters the action, but Flair comes up from behind to toss Papa Shango to give us our first elimination already. Thanks, Flair! It’s back to him and Backlund all over again. Flair pounds away on Backlund for a while. Ted DiBiase comes in at #4, making what would be his final Rumble appearance as an active wrestler. Gorilla and Heenan remember all his previous Rumble performances, including that time he purchased the #30 spot from Slick, as well as that year he was the iron man of the whole match. Flair and DiBiase team up to get rid of Backlund, but the former WWF Champion keeps holding on to the ropes to stay in the match. The Nasty Boys’ Brian Knobbs is #5. He goes right after DiBiase since the Nasty Boys are in a feud with Money Inc over the tag team titles, finding himself at odds with Flair in the process as well. He runs wild on both guys and gives them a double noggin knocker. Knobbs tries to dump Flair over the top but Naitch holds on to the top rope. Knobbs with a Pit Stop to DiBiase. Virgil enters at #6. Atomic drop by Virgil on DiBiase. He runs wild on his former boss with a backdrop. DiBiase avoids a charge by Brian Knobbs, who goes flying over the top rope to the outside for an elimination. Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler is #7. He gets into a slugfest with Flair and gets the better of it, with Naitch taking a powder outside of the ring to stop it. He went under the bottom rope, of course. Max Moon comes in at #8 with a dropkick to Lawler. Backdrop to Flair. Moon rams Lawler’s face into the turnbuckle. Max Moon is a house of fire in this Rumble match! Lawler gets rid of him. Genichiro Tenryu is #9 to absolutely no reaction. He gets into a chopfest with Flair in the corner while Virgil slugs away on Lawler over in the other corner. Bunch of kicking, punching and lying around in the corners at this point in the match. Mr. Perfect is #10 to close the first third of the field. Time for a much needed paragraph break!

The crowd wakes up as Perfect goes after Naitch. Perfect slams him off the top. Perfect necksnap. Flair turns things around with a thumb to the eye and he chops away. Perfect fights back with punches in the corner. Gorilla finally addresses what would happen in case one of them won the Rumble and then lost the Loser Leaves Town match the following night on RAW. Apparently he would no longer be the no 1 contender. Would there have to be a second Royal Rumble match all over again, then? Skinner enters at #11 while Perfect tosses Flair out with a clothesline. Huge reaction for that! Bobby Heenan is beside himself on commentary. Koko B. Ware in his stupid pijama he wore around this time is #12. Perfect tosses Skinner, he skins the cat back inside to avoid elimination, but Perfect dumps him for good with a dropkick. There’s still way too many guys in there to follow the action. Samu is #13 with headbutts abound. Koko finally stops that flurry by stomping his barefoot. Lawler and Perfect go at it for a while. The Berzerker comes out next at #14. He does nothing of note and joins the kicking and punching in the corners. There goes Lawler courtesy of a backdrop by Perfect. DiBiase and Koko try to eliminate Perfect, who resists elimination. However, the already eliminated Lawler gives them a hand from the outside and Perfect is gone. That early?? Perfect and Lawler go at it on the outside. The Undertaker is #15. Apparently Virgil was tossed out by The Berzerker somewhere in the middle of all this, which I totally missed. Samu greets Undertaker in the ring with a pair of Samoan headbutts. Berzerker attacks Backlund with a chair on the outside, but neither guy is eliminated yet. There goes Samu at the hands of UT. Berzerker slams Backlund on the floor to leave him lying on the outside. UT eliminates Tenryu. ‘Terrific’ Terry Taylor is #16 but he quickly gets dumped along with Koko by DiBiase. Chokeslam by UT to DiBiase and a clothesline puts the Million Dollar Man out. Taker backdrops The Berzerker out. Here comes the debuting El Gigante (not officially in the match) cornered by Harvey Wippleman. He gets in Undertaker’s face inside the ring. Meanwhile, Damien Demento is #17. He waits outside while Gonzalez dumps UT with a sloppy chop. Gonzalez throws UT into the stairs on the outside. Gonzalez chokeslams UT before finally walking away. Irwin R. Schyster is #18. The action in the ring resumes with Demento and IRS going after Backlund, who just made his way back to the squared circle. Tatanka is #19 and he goes after the heels. Out comes Paul Bearer with the POWER OF THE URN to help Undertaker to the back. Tatanka with a powerslam to IRS. Jerry Sags from The Nasty Boys is #20.

The ring is filling up yet again after that flurry by Undertaker. Atomic drop by Sags to IRS. We’re back to kicking, punching and lying around. Typhoon comes out at #21 as Heenan accidentally calls him Tugboat, his previous ring name from 2 years before. Yes, that’s the highlight of this match at this particular point. Tatanka chops some people as I wait for an actual contender to come out. The crowd is dead after that attack by Giant Gonzalez on Undertaker. Fatu is #22 and he gets zero reaction as well. Fatu superkicks Typhoon. Heenan: “I knew it would be good, but nothing like this.” No, just no. Earthquake comes in at #23. At least he gets some kind of a reaction. Quake surprisingly goes after his own partner Typhoon right off the bat. He eliminates Typhoon with a backdrop of sorts. Too many people in there to follow any kind of action. Kicking, punching, kicking, punching, repeat. Carlos Colón is in at #24, whom Gorilla calls a youngster. What the f-ck? For the young readers who don’t know who Colón is, he’s the father of future WWE wrestlers Carlito and Primo. Colón dumps Demento with a backdrop. Backlund escapes elimination in the corner at the hands of Earthquake. ‘El Matador’ Tito Santana is #25. Backlund gets rid of Fatu. Tito tries to put Backlund out but he avoids elimination yet again. Rick Martel is #26 and he goes after Tito. Some things just never change! Tito rams his head into the buckle repeatedly while IRS gets tossed by Quake. Tito comes pretty close of eliminating Backlund once again. The crowd cheers Backlund for his performance thus far. Yokozuna is #27 and sh-t is about to get real. Tatanka goes after Yoko immediately like a geek. He gets casually eliminated in short order. Colón tries his luck next and he’s gone as well. Earthquake gets in Yokozuna’s face and gets a pretty good reaction for it. A number of clotheslines stagger Yoko but he doesn’t go down. However, Earthquake misses an Avalanche in the corner and Yoko puts him out. Owen Hart entered at #28 while the big guys were facing off. Yoko goes after Tito next. The cameras are pretty much following only Yokozuna and ignoring everything else. Tito somehow avoids elimination from Yokozuna. Repo Man is #29. Everyone stops to go after Yoko and try to put him out, but Yoko shoves each one of them away. Randy Savage comes out last at #30. He goes immediately after Repo Man, whom he was briefly feuding with on RAW. Yoko eliminates Tito. Owen dumps Sags with a dropkick. Martel tries to eliminate Owen, but he skins the cat back in and stays in it. Yoko sends Owen flying to the floor. Savage eliminates Repo Man. We’re down to the final four.

Final four: Bob Backlund, Yokozuna, Randy Savage, Rick Martel

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Yokozuna crushes Savage in the corner. Martel tries to dump Backlund but somehow he stills holds on. Martel sets up Backlund for a suplex, Backlund blocks it, places Martel up on the top rope and shoves him out to eliminate him. We’re down to three. Yokozuna gets in Backlund’s face. Backlund tries to dropkick, but Yoko easily gets rid of him. The crowd boos that elimination. It all comes down to Savage v. Yokozuna. The big man slowly pounds away on Macho Man. Yoko chokes him in the corner and tries to dump him. Savage unloads with punches to stay in the match. A clothesline staggers Yokozuna. A flying double axehandle does the same. Another one to the back takes Yoko down to one knee. The crowd is finally coming alive for Savage’s comeback. However, Savage charges right into Yokozuna’s superkick. Belly to belly by Yoko. Legdrop follows, brother. Yoko with a running buttsplash in the corner. A second one only finds turnbuckle, though, with Yokozuna taking himself off his feet. Savage drops the Macho Elbow. He goes for a pinfall for some reason, as Yokozuna shoots him all the way to the outside. Yokozuna wins the Royal Rumble after 66:35, and the right to challenge Bret Hart for the WWF Championship in the main event of WrestleMania IX.

  • Rating: What a boring Rumble match this was. It had some highlights, such as the interactions between Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect, the returning Bob Backlund breaking the longevity record set by Flair the previous year, Undertaker’s brief run in the Rumble before that stupid angle with the debuting Giant Gonzalez that totally killed the flow of the match for the next 20 minutes or so (and led to a terrible 8-month feud between them), and Yokozuna’s impressive run in the end. But that’s about it. Outside of those things I mentioned above, it was nothing but midcarders punching and kicking each other in the corners for over an hour. The ring was filled with too many people on a number of occasions, which didn’t allow many folks to stand out. Yokozuna was the right winner, although the finish with Savage going for a pin was beyond stupid. This Rumble is a recommendation to avoid for me. **

– WWF Champion Bret Hart gets in Yokozuna’s face in the dressing room to promote the main event of WrestleMania IX as the broadcast fades to black.

END OF THE SHOW

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Final thoughts: I came into this show expecting that both title matches would deliver. They did, so that’s a pair of positives about this show. The Steiners’ debut on WWF PPV was good too, a basic opening match that put them over the Beverly Brothers. Outside of that, Bossman v. Bam Bam was not fun to watch and the Rumble turned out to be a huge disappointment, especially after the spectacle that the previous year’s Rumble match had been. Regardless of all that, I still think it’s an overall decent show, mostly because of Bret Hart v. Razor Ramon, which I think was the best match by a slight margin, and Shawn Michaels v. Marty Jannetty. It just ended on a bad note because of how soulless and boring the Rumble match was. 6/10

POINT SYSTEM

Considering this is a PPV with a very unique match, there will obviously be some changes to the point system. As far as all the regular preliminary matches go, I will use the regular point system, which you can see here. As far as the Rumble match itself goes, every elimination made will be worth 1 point. An elimination gives the wrestler a negative -1 point. Also, for every full minute alive in the match, the wrestler earns 0.1 points. As for winning the whole thing, it will earn the victorious wrestler three points.

For the participants in the regular wrestling matches:

For the participants in the Royal Rumble match:

That’s all for today’s post. Make sure you don’t miss any of the upcoming reviews of pay-per-views from both WWF and WCW, episodes of Monday Night RAW and other stuff like WCW Clash of the Champions. See you next time!

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Categories
PPV Reviews

WWF Showdown At Shea 1980 Review (Bruno V. Larry; Steel Cage!)

IMG credit: Bleacher Report

Welcome, everyone, to my review of the WWF’s third Shea Stadium event, a concept believed to be the precursor to WrestleMania. For those who aren’t aware, I’ve been slowly exploring wrestling through the 1980s. I am now in August of 1980 and figure it would be a good opportunity to review this Showdown at Shea event on the blog alongside my WrestleMania series as well.

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Date: August 9th, 1980

Venue: Shea Stadium

Location: Flushing, NY

Attendance: 36.295

Since there was no original commentary recorded when the show was happening, the commentary has now been redubbed by WWE 24/7. So, your hosts will be Michael Cole & Mick Foley, calling the action from nearly three decades after the event initially aired back in 1980.

Jose Estrada vs. Angel Maravilla

IMG credit: WWE

Angel and Jose kicked off the WWE 24/7 broadcasted version of the program with this semi-extended squash of an opener. Jose has a rep for being one of the better enhancement guys of all time, and though there were flashes of that implemented here, he couldn’t do much given the material he had to work with. Maravilla did nothing of note here and the crowd couldn’t care less about him. He hit the flying headbutt on Estrada before following with a body splash for the win at 7:26. A mediocre opener that would ultimately be forgotten by the time this show ends. [*]

Baron Mikel Scicluna vs. Dominic DeNucci

IMG credit: WWE

A pair of relics of the past duking it out in the middle of Shea Stadium. This went about as well as anyone might have expected – a 1970s-style, slow-paced encounter between two old, past their sell-by-date dudes. They packed in plenty of kicky-punchy stuff, with nothing of it looking particularly good. Dominic used a sunset flip for the win at 5:56. And he didn’t even hook the leg! I don’t think I need to tell you how dull this was. [¾*]

WWF Junior Heavyweight Title: Tatsumi Fujinami (c) vs. Chavo Guerrero

IMG credit: WWE

This NJPW-flavored junior heavyweight bout looked extremely out of place in 1980 WWF. Fujinami and Chavo went out there and wrestled a completely different style rarely (if ever) seen in North American wrestling at the time, with rare highspots, neat matwork, and some fast-paced exchanges. There was a spot where Fujinami hit a suicide dive on Chavo on the baseball field, which is bonkers even by today’s eyes! Fujinami retained the title at 10:34 after he reversed Chavo’s O’Connor roll into a clutch pin. This was miles ahead of what we’ve seen in US wrestling at the time, but the time constraints held them back from doing their best stuff, essentially giving this a showcase-y feel. [***]

WWF World Martial Arts Heavyweight Title: Antonio Inoki (c) vs. Larry Sharpe

IMG credit: WWE

This was an adequate showcase for Antonio Inoki, who got to display his signature moves in front of a gigantic stadium crowd. Inoki, even though not a mainstay in the New York area, had a special connection with the Flushing crowd here at Shea, getting a surprising amount of support that carried the bout’s heat throughout. Sharpe played a decent foil opposing him and provided a sound obstacle for him to tackle. Inoki picked up the win at 8:54 after two straight enzuigiris on the back of Larry’s head. Inoki looked good here, and Sharpe did his role right, with some entertaining bumping. [**¼]

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WWF World Tag Team Title, 2-Out-Of-3 Falls: The Wild Samoans (c) [w/ Cpt. Lou Albano] vs. Bob Backlund & Pedro Morales

IMG credit: WWE

This was a pretty notable match in itself, as it marked the first time a wrestler became a double champion within the Federation. The beginning saw Bob and Pedro owning the Samoans, countering their game plan and constantly getting the better of them. They finally took over on Bob, and this began a heat segment to build up Pedro’s hot tag. This wasn’t a good segment, but it did a decent enough job to the crowd in building up the tag, so I won’t fault it. The finish to the first fall was cool, with Backlund hitting an Atomic Drop on Afa into a Morales roll-up at 9:49. Captain Lou Albano got escorted by the police in the second fall after he cheap-shotted Morales on the floor. This opened the door for the faces to make another comeback, culminating in Pedro dropkicking Afa while he had Backlund atop his shoulder and allowing Bob to land on top at 13:06 for the win and the titles. A couple of lulls toward the middle of each fall put this down, but they stuck to the basics, made it work, and got a huge pop in the end as a result. [**½]

Pat Patterson vs. Tor Kamata

IMG credit: WWE

Kamata jumped Patterson before the bell, but he went up top and splatted himself while trying a splash! Pat began fighting back, but just as he was gaining momentum, Kamata blasted a power of salt into him and the referee, drawing a DQ at 2:06. This was… a thing that happened. [½*]

Fabulous Moolah & Beverly Shade vs. Peggy Lee & Kandi Malloy

IMG credit: WWE

I’ve barely heard or seen either of these ladies in action before (sans Moolah), so this will basically be a first-time viewing for me. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot to write here. Beverly, Peggy, and Kandi seemed like perfectly cromulent wrestlers from the footage seen. Moolah showed a glimpse of why he was held in such high regard by peers alike, but it wasn’t enough. A mini melee broke down near the end before Moolah used her experience to get the better of the younger Peggy, catching her off the ropes with a backdrop for the win at 6:04. Not much to this one, but an intriguing look at how women’s wrestling used to be in the early ’80s. [*]

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WWF Intercontinental Title: Ken Patera (c) [w/ The Grand Wizard] vs. Tony Atlas

IMG credit: WWE & Pro Wrestling Illustrated

This was a solid IC Title defense for Patera, who gave a good performance here as the heel champion, walking the line between the cowardly stooge and the powerful strongman flawlessly. Atlas delivered in arguably his biggest match yet. He always brought that fire in him everywhere he wrestled, and I thought his selling during Patera’s control section was very compelling. This one got thrown out the window when both men fought to the floor, and Patera ended up getting counted out at 8:13 after he threw Tony into the ring. Atlas dared Patera to step into the ring with him in the post-match promo, but the champ thought of it better and retreated. They were having a pretty fun match until the sh-tty finish kicked in and ruined it. [***]

Ivan Putski vs. Johnny Rodz

IMG credit: WWE

An All-Star Wrestling squash in a baseball stadium! This was about what you can expect if you have seen any WWF squash matches that aired on the syndicated programs. Rodz blindsided Putski with a cheap shot early. Rodz would get his obligatory token offenses in, but it’s not long before Putski predictably made a comeback and finished him off with the POLISH HAMMER OF DEAD at 4:45. A watchable squash, but then again, it’s just a squash. [*¼]

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The Hangman vs. Rene Goulet

IMG credit: WWE

Foley: “And who is the Hangman?” Cole: “The guy with the noose.” Foley: “I know he’s the guy with the noose, I’m trying to see if I can figure him out!”

No, Foley, you’re not the only one. I’ve no idea who the Hangman is either. Oh yeah, and shouldn’t Fred Blassie be at ringside with him? And where the hell is his mask?? Anyway, this was yet another bathroom break on this program. Rene continued his slow descent down the ranks as his slow age started to catch up to him, moving with not much purpose. Hangman grinded everything down to a halt with his chinlock while Cole mentioned his gimmick is amongst the many failed ones produced by the WWE. Hangman dropped Goulet on the top rope to get the win at 8:28. This was so bad that even Michael Cole and Mick Foley straight-up ignored it to talk about other things! [½*]

Andre The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan [w/ Freddie Blassie]

IMG credit: WWE & Pro Wrestling Illustrated

7 years before the Slam Heard ‘Round The World, Hogan and Andre battled each other in front of over 36K people at Shea. This was carried out similarly to their other matches, with Andre using his colossal size to overpower Hogan. Hogan put a bearhug on Andre for a full minute before being headbutted and decided to bail. He tried to slam Andre back inside, only to end up in a cool-looking Kimura lock by the Giant instead! Andre bodyslammed Hogan, but the referee was bumped, allowing Hulk to slam Andre from behind. Once the second ref was presented, Andre was back on form, slamming Hogan and splashing him for the win at 7:48. Hulk assaulted Andre afterward, busting him up and showing the world he was already a sore loser long before his Hulkamania days! This was mostly average, but the crowd was more than happy to lap it up. Plus, it is the first major meeting between the two icons, which earned itself an extra historical point. [*½]

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Bruno Sammartino vs. Larry Zbyszko (Steel Cage)

IMG credit: WWE

Larry tried attacking Bruno at the cage door, only to get his arse kicked by his former mentor instead. Bruno spent over 75% of the bout whipping Larry from pillar to post. The crowd ate up all of this, but I struggled to find it all engaging due to its repetitiveness. It didn’t help that Bruno’s moveset was limited to only a few punches, kicks, and a couple of Irish whips. With that said, there were parts here that I liked. I thought Larry was a tremendous scumbag here, and the way he fed Bruno’s attacks had fans jumping up and down like crazy. Zbyszko would only gain the upper hand through corrupt means, such as a low blow or a cheap shot. Bruno gave him one hellacious beating, and he took all of it like a man by bleeding buckets for it. After taking his time beating up his backstabbing student, Bruno calmly walked out the door at 13:59 to claim the victory. I’m afraid I didn’t really feel this one on the whole. It obviously had the heat and the story to work, but for such a massive feud-ender, this was a disappointment. [**¾]

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Overall

While it is far from a good show in the ring, WWF Showdown at Shea was rightfully historic in its own ways, and it is worth a look just for that alone. The matches can be a hit or miss only, but the sheer sight of seeing a wrestling match in the middle of a baseball stadium, the fascinating atmosphere of the Shea crowd, and the historical significance of the event – all these are more than enough to give this show a recommendation. I also would like to praise Michael Cole and Mick Foley, who did a splendid job as commentators on the WWE 24/7 version, providing some valuable background info and giving the show a relaxing, breezy feel.

Score: 7/10

Rating: 7 out of 10.

That’s all for today, folks. Stay tuned for my next WrestleMania piece, and thank you for checking out this review!

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Categories
PPV Reviews The Blog Of Kane WWF

The Blog Of Kane #5: King Of The Ring 1998

PREVIOUS ENTRY:

D.C. Wood here again! Cheers for following this series and all the positive feedback! Entry 5 now…and it’s showdown time for the WWF Championship!

KANE VS. ‘STONE COLD’ STEVE AUSTIN

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The Story

After the Inferno Match at Unforgiven, Kane won the feud with Vader at Over the Edge, and then the next night on Raw, Kane finally defeated the Undertaker to become No. 1 Contender for the WWF Championship.

After Dude Love’s failure to beat the Rattlesnake, Vince was more determined than ever to take the title away from Austin, giving Kane his full backing. The Big Red Machine challenged Stone Cold to a First Blood match, and (now using a voice box to communicate) vowed to set himself ablaze if he failed to win (Yeah, right…). Austin welcomed the challenge with typical gusto. And then on the final Raw before the PPV, Kane summoned fake blood to rain down on Austin, soaking the champion. Kane then ominously vowed, “Austin…this Sunday, the blood on you will be for REAL.” GOOD HYPE.

The Match Itself

Kane enters first with Paul Bearer. Then the champion enters to a thunderous ovation. He’s walking, intensely staring down his monstrous challenger…then he races to the ring to take the fight to Kane! Austin ducks a clothesline from Kane, bounces off the ropes and then as the bell rings, Austin takes down Kane with a Lou Thesz Press and starts pummelling away at Kane’s face, and then follows it up with an elbow drop off the ropes. Already the crowd’s into this! Right on cue, Kane sits up, only to be greeted by a wicked shot to the face from Stone Cold with the title belt. Kane sits up again, though! Only to be greeted with an even harder belt shot from the champion. No DQ, and smart psychology from Austin; trying to bust open the challenger anyway he can (despite that mask).

Austin then removes the top turnbuckle cover. Kane’s back up and Austin’s there to great him with furious strikes. Jim Ross also points out Austin’s heavily bandaged right-elbow (due to surgery for a staph infection). Steve Austin TRULY was the Toughest SOB in the WWF.

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Despite Austin’s efforts, Kane is soon able to overpower the champion and batters him to the ground. The action has slowed down now to Kane’s pace. The Big Red Machine chokes the Rattlesnake as the crowd rally with the “Austin!” chants. Lawler makes a brilliant point about how Kane’s outfit tonight virtually covers the whole of his body (only his left hand was exposed bare), so how can Austin possibly win? Meanwhile, Austin counters a Tombstone attempt to shove Kane over the top top, but he lands on his feet.

IMG credit: WWE & Sportskeeda

The two continue to brawl, with Austin smacking Kane’s face on the ring steps and JR also noting how Kane’s mask offers a great deal of protection…and then the Hell in a Cell starts lowering from the ceiling! The commentators demand to know what’s going on. I’d like to know as well, please! My understanding is that Vince McMahon was secretly orchestrating this somehow, but some context would have helped here.

Austin and Kane continue to brawl and then Kane whips Austin face-first into the cell as it lowers. Nasty, yet creative! Kane then proceeds to choke Austin and hold him there whilst the cell continues to lower nearer on top of his face!

IMG credit: WWE & Classic Wrestling Review

Kane picks Austin up and the cell lands safely. The Big Red Machine then decides to use the cell to try and bust Austin open. JR then reminds viewers at home that earlier on during the Free For All that referee Earl Hebner would not stop the match for a nick or a minor cut. Only a significant blade job. JR and King are really doing a good job addressing any plot-holes in this story.

Kane continues to use the cell and ring steps to his advantage, but Austin’s still okay despite a minor cut on his back. Stone Cold then shoves Kane into the cell door and starts stomping a mudhole on him, then the cell’s being raised now for some DAFT reason! The two continue to fight amidst the pandemonium and now their brawling takes them up the aisle.

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Near the entrance-way, Austin’s piledriver attempt on the concrete fails when Kane counters with a back-body drop. Vince meanwhile is surveying the action in his skybox with Sable (naughty Vince!). The two combatants continue to fight with Kane still too-powerful for the tenacious Austin; countering the champion’s suplex with one of his own on the entrance ramp. Kane soon sits up again, as Paul Bearer worships his son proudly. The Austin chants start up again in full force, trying to rally the WWF Champion on. But Kane has now lifted up a security railing and smacked Austin in the face with it!

Vince watches on as Austin struggles to get some distance from the relentless challenger. Having bought enough recovery time, Austin shoves Kane back into the ring and starts smacking him head-first into the exposed turnbuckle from earlier. The ever-brilliant JR comments that Austin’s efforts to weaken Kane may allow him to rip his mask off and then go to work, while the cynical Lawler asks, “Do you think Kane is really gonna let that happen? Let the world see his face?” Another example why JR and King are the greatest announce team of all time.

The gruelling action continues around ringside, with Austin grabbing a fan from the announce table and smacking Kane over the head with it! OUCH! Kane goozles Austin and shoves him into Earl Hebner. The ref is down so JR says, “C’mon, King! You’re licensed!” “Not on your life!” Jerry refuses. “Not in THIS one!” Kane goes to the top rope and takes out Austin with a flying clothesline. Kane then goes for a second flying clothesline but Austin sidesteps and then starts stomping a mudhole and walking it dry! Austin then repeatedly smacks the BACK of Kane’s head (unprotected by the mask!) into the exposed turnbuckle. More good psychology…

And then incredibly, a battered Mankind limps out with a chair to play his part in the finish. Storywise, it makes sense, what with Mick’s history with Austin, Taker and Kane, and being an integral part of the main-event scene. But after EVERYTHING Mick Foley had done earlier in the evening, he should’ve been in the hospital right after Hell in a Cell. Mick takes a Stone Cold Stunner, the cell lowers AGAIN(!), Kane’s chokeslam attempt gets him a low blow AND a Stunner, and now the Undertaker comes out with a chair!

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Austin’s got a chair, he goes swinging for Mankind, but so does the Undertaker! Mankind ducks, Taker’s chair smacks Austin’s into his face, Kane gets back up only to eat a clothesline from Taker, who then knocks Mick out of the ring and out of the cell. Meanwhile, Taker revives the ref (using the PETROL to wake him up! God above!) as Austin has been busted open badly. Kane nails Taker with a chair, King asks, “What the hell is going on, JR?!”, Kane sets to finish Austin off with the chair, but the bloody Rattlesnake takes out the challenger with a flying clothesline and an almighty chair shot! KANE IS DOWN!

IMG credit: WWE & TheSportster

BUT…the bell rings! Earl has called for it! He’s seen Austin bloody! KANE IS THE WINNER AND NEW WWF CHAMPION AT 15:58!

Verdict

Okay, let’s get the bad out of the way. The chaotic ending, the cell constantly being raised and lowered (without real explanation), the screwy finish, Kane vowing to set himself alight if he lost…whilst all that zaniness worked okay in 1998, it doesn’t today in retrospective. And it does again point out the problems with Vince Russo as a booker. On his best days (and under Vince McMahon’s supervision), Russo came up with some fantastic ideas/television. On his worst days…well, we ALL know. So I needn’t say anymore.

All that aside, the build-up to this one was more proof of how essential the WWF was in 1998. Both Steve Austin and Kane were on meteoric rises, and the result was a typical Attitude Era slugfest. Great crowd, awesome atmosphere, intense action, perfect commentary…for me personally, the Attitude Era was the best time to be a wrestling fan.

With regards to the stipulation, First Blood bouts are tricky. Normally, you have a bout that starts off gradually, then changes into a higher gear when a wrestler gets busted open, and then it snowballs towards an epic conclusion. To me, First Blood bouts stop before they can truly begin. Having said that, this match was very well worked indeed. Austin was so smart here, using great psychology to try and find a chink in Kane’s armour (like others had before), and likewise, Kane worked brilliantly also; using the Cell to creative effect in this bout.

As for the outcome…say what you want about the finish, but the fact remains is that Kane defeated the greatest wrestler of all time (Because Stone Cold and me said so!) to take his rightful place in history. Should he have been WWF Champion longer than 24 hours? YES. Did he deserve more than one reign with the belt? HELL YES! But while Kane may be ranked amongst the lower-tier WWF Champions of all time, his program with Austin and time with the title was still a success. Austin/Kane drew big for the King of the Ring (310, 000 buys!) and Austin winning the title back the next night drew huge for Raw is War (a 5.1 rating!). Two great, unforgettable matches over 24 hours.

IMG credit: WWE & Sportskeeda

OVERALL RATING

  • 7/10

That’s it for 1998 now! Next time, it’s 1999…and Kane forms his first unlikely, yet successful partnership.

Check out the match here:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1883977808532890

FEEDBACK

NEXT ENTRY –>

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Categories
PPV Reviews WrestleMania

WWF WrestleMania IV Review (A Macho Crowning)

IMG credit: WWE & Sportskeeda

Welcome to another look-back at WrestleMania, good people of SmarKVille! On the last edition of our series, we were treated to arguably the most popular wrestling event in history. While what I’m about to review won’t exactly be “good” (or if any watchable, at all), it’s a pretty historic show in itself, featuring the first and only one-night tournament for the WWF Title, and an amazing championship win by the Macho Man. With the intro out of the way, let’s carefully head towards the show…

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Date: March 27th, 1988

Venue: Trump Plaza Convention Center

Location: Atlantic City, NJ

Attendance: 19.199

Your hosts for the night are Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura, with Bob Uecker joining them exclusively for the opener.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund introduced us to the show, then treated us to a live performance of ‘America The Beautiful’, courtesy of Gladys Knight. She did great.

And since I’m a super kind human-being, here’s the bracket for you people below:

IMG credit: Sportskeeda & WWF
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20-Man Battle Royal

IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

Here are the participants: Bad News Brown, King Harley Race, The Junkyard Dog, Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, B. Brian Blair, Jim Brunzell, George Steele, Ken Patera, Jacques Rougeau, Raymond Rougeau, Paul Roma, Jim Powers, Nikolai Volkoff, Boris Zhukov, Hillbilly Jim, Ron Bass, Danny Davis, Sika & Sam Houston.

You can expect a bunch of Battle Royal tropes and spots here in this give-everyone-a-payday opener. The crowd was into the action at least, which made it slightly worthwhile. At last, we were left with Bret Hart, Bad News Brown, and Junkyard Dog. Bret and BNB decided to team up, which is a nice callback to their time together in Stampede. They eliminated Dog, but Bret stupidly celebrated first, thinking he’d be splitting up the prize with Brown. Brown obviously blasted him with the Ghetto kick, then threw him out for the victory at 9:47. Bret then destroyed Brown’s trophy afterward for betraying him, marking one of his first breakout moments in a singles rank. An average Battle Royal, but far from bad. [**]

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FIRST ROUND: Ted DiBiase [w/ Andre The Giant & Virgil] vs. Jim Duggan

IMG credit: WWE

Although this was meant to be nothing more than a throwaway tournament opener, it was somewhat entertaining enough to not waste your time. DiBiase was in full bumping mode here, and Duggan seemed extra motivated than usual getting to work with his old Mid-South nemesis. He even pulled out a sunset flip at one point! This came to an end when Andre tripped Duggan from ringside, allowing DiBiase to knee him from behind before following with a fist drop to advance at 5:02. [**]

FIRST ROUND: Don Muraco [w/ Superstar Billy Graham] vs. Dino Bravo [w/ Frenchy Martin]

IMG credit: WWE & bastionblogger

Muraco looked absolutely ridiculous getting accompanied to the ring by Billy Graham and wearing his grandpa T-shirt. He was an embarrassing shell of his former self by this stage, botching simple moves in the first minute of the bout in hilarious fashion. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Bravo actually looked better than him here. Bravo tried to take advantage after a ref bump, but he was disqualified at 4:54 due to pulling the referee into the collision. What a stupid finish. And there’s even more of this to come! [*]

FIRST ROUND: Ricky Steamboat vs. Greg Valentine [w/ Jimmy Hart]

IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

Steamboat’s last hurrah in his first WWF run saw him battling Valentine in a technical-hard-hitting, Mid-Atlantic-style contest. Valentine held serve for most of this, with Ricky doing a masterful selling for his attacks as expected. Seeing these two traded chops on each other urged me to check out some of their other matches. Valentine taking his trademark bumps for Steamboat’s chops might be cartoonish, but I’d be lying to say I wasn’t entertained by it. Valentine got the win by rolling through Steamboat’s crossbody into a pin full of tights at 9:10, but this was a good sendoff for the Dragon all the same. [***¼]

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FIRST ROUND: Randy Savage [w/ Miss Elizabeth] vs. Butch Reed [w/ Slick]

IMG credit: WWE & Tape Machines Are Rolling

Savage plugged Reed right into his babyface formula, except that said formula was still a work in progress. Reed was on offense for 80% of this, and though I’m usually a fan of his, I thought he was too dull here working on top. Butch went up top, but he took too long eyeing Elizabeth, allowing Savage to slam him off and drop the Macho Elbow for the pin at 4:08. Not one of Randy Savage’s finest performances, that’s for sure. [*]

FIRST ROUND: Bam Bam Bigelow [w/ Oliver Humperdink] vs. One Man Gang [w/ Slick]

IMG credit: WWE

Bam Bam Bigelow feels like the WWF late ‘80s incarnation of Keith Lee. He was given a rub on TV right after his debut, received a star-making moment in his first PPV appearance, then became an afterthought and was released shortly thereafter. He and Gang were putting on a serviceable bout until the putrid non-finish grinded everything down to a halt. Bigelow fell to the floor after Slick pulled down the ropes, and the referee instantly declared it a double count-out at 2:59, even though Bigelow was on the floor for not even 5 seconds. Another dumb finish tonight. [½*]

FIRST ROUND: Jake Roberts vs. Rick Rude [w/ Bobby Heenan]

IMG credit: WWE

They opened this last first-round tournament matchup with some solid exchanges that saw Rude bumping and feeding Roberts’ stuff in an entertainingly theatrical fashion. I admit they had me doubting myself a little bit whether this will age better or not. Unfortunately, this turned into a long, never-ending affair filled with tedious Rick Rude chinlocks. Roberts made one of the most boring comebacks I can remember before the 15:00 time limit draw came to a close. The one redeeming value I got from this is how humorously-looking Rude’s tights were. It gave me a pretty good chuckle! [*½]

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The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hercules

IMG credit: WWE

I’m no Hercules hater, but he’s not going to carry a green as grass Warrior to anything remarkable. Warrior still hasn’t quite got his act down yet, so the crowd didn’t provide that much of a reaction for him. Herc tried to submit Warrior with the full nelson, but the latter kicked the turnbuckle to pin both men down before lifting his shoulder up at the last second at 4:38 for a fluke win. Was there any reason why Warrior shouldn’t completely squash Herc here? This was about what you’d expect from these two. [½*]

QUARTER-FINAL: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant [w/ Ted DiBiase & Virgil]

IMG credit: WWE

This was never going to be on the level of their other highly-acclaimed encounters, but it never tried to be. Andre is getting really immobile at this period, but he has always been a smart worker who can get the best out of his limitations. It wasn’t much different here. They kept this short and basic to accommodate him, and the crowd was hot all throughout. I hated the double DQ finish, as Hogan was literally the first one to fire the chair shot at 5:22, and Andre only did it after. Yet another idiotic ending in a bunch of them tonight. Hogan cleaned house post-match so he could do his obligatory poses to the fans. I’ve seen worse. [*¾]

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QUARTER-FINAL: Ted DiBiase vs. Don Muraco [w/ Superstar Billy Graham]

IMG credit: WWE & Classic Wrestling Review

DiBiase now had to come out alone due to the ending of his first-round against Duggan. Muraco put on a better showing than his previous match with Bravo, with him being more comfortable on offense than earlier. This was largely carried by DiBiase’s selling, bumping, and heel work. He caught an oncoming Muraco with a stun gun to pick up the win in 5:34. A solid enough quarter-final round bout. [**]

QUARTER-FINAL: Randy Savage [w/ Miss Elizabeth] vs. Greg Valentine [w/ Jimmy Hart]

IMG credit: WWE & TheSportster

Valentine’s methodically vicious attacks mixed well with Savage’s sublime selling. The layout of this worked due to the above statement, even if it was questionable to barely give Savage any offense on his biggest night ever. Valentine cut off Savage’s axe handle only to take a ‘Timber!’ bump in a cute spot. He then tried a Figure-Four on Savage, only for Macho to counter it into a cradle to score the win at 6:06. I feel this would have benefited much more had it been given at least 5 more mins to strengthen its final stretch. [**½]

WWF Intercontinental Title: The Honky Tonk Man (c) [w/ Jimmy Hart & Peggy Sue] vs. Brutus Beefcake

IMG credit: WWE

Yeah, no. Not even Honky Tonk Man’s tremendous heat-drawing ability could save this garbage. Beefcake looked like he was more concerned about cutting Jimmy Hart’s hair than winning a championship. They did a couple of lame comedy spots to hide the wrestling limitations of both men, and it downright stunk. Beefcake won by DQ at 6:30 after Jimmy knocked down the referee, which was another dreadful finish in a string of them tonight. He then celebrated in the ring like a total doofus. A complete and utter disaster in the worst way possible. [DUD]

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The British Bulldogs & Koko B. Ware vs. Bobby Heenan & The Islanders

IMG credit: WWE

This was a breath of fresh air compared to all the other matches on this show. Bobby Heenan arrived in a dog training suit to protect himself from Matilda, but he ran away from her anyway when the Bulldogs made their entrance. God bless the Brain. This was an enjoyable six-man tag that saw the Bulldogs and Koko showing off their zealous movesets whilst the heels, Heenan in particular, bumped their asses off in an almost over-the-top manner. Heenan eventually got the pin for his team at 7:30 after the Islanders barged in and sky lift slammed him onto Koko. He didn’t get to celebrate, though, as Matilda instantly chased him to the entryway while he ran away in horror. [**½]

SEMI-FINAL: Randy Savage [w/ Miss Elizabeth] vs. One Man Gang [w/ Slick]

IMG credit: WWE & NotRobVanDam (Dailymotion)

This is Savage’s third match into the show, so the Gang Man logically decimated him since he received a bye earlier. The story was okay, but we’ve seen it played out twice beforehand, so there’s no reason to get excited about it. Slick handed a cane to Gang after the referee was busy with Liz, but OMG failed to hit Savage with it in time as Macho kept avoiding the shot. The referee turned back to see this and awarded the win to Randy at 4:12 via disqualification. Savage finally advanced to the final after three exhausting rounds, and I’m ready to be done with the show at this point. [¾*]

WWF World Tag Team Title: Strike Force (c) vs. Demolition [w/ Mr. Fuji]

IMG credit: WWE & TheSportster

The birth of Demolition’s record-breaking tag title reign came in the form of a decent tag team contest. Tito and Martel are the faster, more experienced team, so they used that bit of advantage in their favor, overwhelming the Demos from the get-go with quick movements and classic tag IQ. Smash cut off said shine by catching Tito in a bearhug and dropped him onto an Ax clothesline, which was a neat transitional spot. Strike Force looked like they got this in the bag when Martel locked Smash in a Boston crab, but Mr. Fuji interfered, opening the door for Ax to hit Martel in the back with a cane shot at 8:02 for the win. I could see myself liking this more had the crowd been hotter. [**¾]

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WWF World Heavyweight Title, Tournament FINAL: Randy Savage [w/ Miss Elizabeth] vs. Ted DiBiase [w/ Andre The Giant]

IMG credit: WWE

The crowd started a “Hogan” chant right away after Andre tripped Savage, essentially telling us this will focus more on the outside drama rather than the in-ring action. Savage and DiBiase had some technically smooth exchanges in there, but it was aimless and lacked any real substance to stand out. After a few minutes into the bout, Savage instructed Liz to go to the back and bring Hulk Hogan out to even the numbers. Hogan soon arrived to huge cheers from the crowd, making me feel a little bad for Savage as he had his moment in the sun ruined by one man’s presence. As the referee was dealing with Andre, Hogan walked up behind DiBiase and blasted him with a chair. This gave Savage the opportunity to go up and drop the elbow for the victory and the belt at 9:20. The final shot of Savage lifting up Elizabeth as she held up the belt will forever be etched in my mind as one of pro wrestling’s most beautiful images. This was a solid, albeit highly disappointing, WrestleMania main event. [***]

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Overall

Clocking in at an absurd 3.5 hours and featuring a preposterous number of thirteen matches, this WrestleMania is an impossible slog to sit through. The whole show collapsed under its own weight as a result of this, causing it to drag on and on without ever feeling like its gonna end. And don’t even get me started on the number of non-finishes throughout the event! Randy Savage’s crowning was an unquestionably amazing moment for the ages, but it required an exhausting journey to get there. This is the worst WrestleMania ever in my book.

Score: 3/10

Rating: 3 out of 10.

That will be it for this edition of WrestleMania review, thank you very much for reading! Stay tuned for the next installment of the series, where I will be reliving a highly memorable ‘Mania, featuring the culmination of a year-long storyline between the Hulkster and the Macho Man – the implosion of the Mega Powers!

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Categories
Podcast PPV

SmarKDown Podcast #1: WWE Survivor Series 2010

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Categories
PPV Reviews

WWE SummerSlam 2022 Review

Hello everyone welcome to SmarkDown’s SummerSlam 2022 Review! I’m Tanner and I’ll be breaking down what went down at the biggest party of the summer!

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Bianca Belair(c) vs Becky Lynch | Raw Women’s Championship Match

IMG Credit: WWE

Bianca Belair def. Becky Lynch via Pinfall at 15:10

Bianca and Becky have always had the chemistry to produced great matches and this was no different. A pretty good match with nice athleticism, and a good story. This seems to mark the end of the near 1 year storyline these two had and I think it’s fitting since it seems like they’ll team up against Bayley, Dakota Kai, & Iyo Sky. ***1/4

The Miz vs Logan Paul | Singles Match

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IMG Credit: WWE & Wrestling Observer

Logan Paul def. The Miz via Pinfall at 14:15

I will admit it was cool seeing Logan do that frog splash. The match is a bit average and Logan isn’t exactly at his cleanest yet, but I’m not gonna say this wasn’t quite entertaining. Solid match! **1/2

Bobby Lashley(c) vs Theory | United States Championship Match

IMG Credit: WWE & Bleeding Cool

Bobby Lashley def. Theory via Submission at 4:42

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I’m glad they kept this short. Just basic action to make Lashley look good. Definitely the best route they could’ve taken. *1/2

The Mysterio’s vs The Judgment Day |No Disqualification Tag Team Match

IMG Credit: WWE & POST Wrestling

Rey Mysterio def. Finn Balor via Pinfall at 11:08

Hardly makes use of the stipulation, but it’s an OK match here and I loved Edge’s return. Also a side note those spears were absolutely sick! **1/4

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Pat McAfee vs Happy ‘Bum Ass’ Corbin | Singles Match

IMG Credit: WWE & Sportskeeda

Pat McAfee def. Happy Corbin via Pinfall at 10:39

It’s not the greatest match, but it’s ok and makes its point. Glad that McAfee and Cole get their best friends moment. **

The Usos(c) vs The Street Profits | Smackdown Tag Team Championships Match

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IMG Credit: WWE & TJR Wrestling

Jimmy Uso def. Angelo Dawkins via Pinfall at 13:23

I am disappointed that The Profits after such a build and such a story they had either the Profits finally getting a win, but this match was still pretty decent. Not the best that they can do, but still good. **3/4

Liv Morgan(c) vs Ronda Rousey | Smackdown Women’s Championship Match

IMG Credit: WWE & Sacnilk Combat
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Liv Morgan def. Ronda Rousey via Pinfall at 4:34

I actually do see where they’re doing after that finish so I don’t mind it. The match itself is actually quite decent while it last, and it looks like they’re gonna set up Liv vs Ronda II with Liv hopefully securing the win. **

Roman Reigns(c) vs Brock Lesnar | WWE Undisputed Universal Championship Last Man Standing Match

IMG Credit: WWE & Wrestleview

Roman Reigns def. Brock Lesnar at 22:55

This match was quite the insane one. Brock destroys Roman before he once again needs his Bloodline, but man the ways in which Brock tried to keep Roman down was very interesting. I like finish with Roman having to bury Brock and the visual of him standing over a twitching Brock was definitely interesting as well. This is pretty good. Not amazing, but I enjoyed it personally. ***1/2

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Overall this is a pretty solid show. Match quality isn’t the best, but we got our first look at Triple H’s side of booking and I personally loved some of the moments. The return of Bayley, Io Shirai, & Dakota Kai. The frog splash. Even Ronda Rousey’s heel turn. This show was made my moments and while I don’t love it, SummerSlam was pretty decent this year. 6/10

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