Categories
RAW Reviews The Blog Of Kane

The Blog Of Kane #7: One On One With The Great One

Welcome to part 7 of The Blog Of Kane. On this edition, Kane challenges The Rock for the WWF Championship on the August 28 2000 edition of Monday Night RAW.

PREVIOUS ENTRY –>

KANE VS. THE ROCK

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The Story

Kane & X-Pac’s friendship was a positive boon for the Big Red Machine. They won the Tag Team Championship twice in 1999 and were voted the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Tag Team of the Year in 1999. Unfortunately, the alliance/bond didn’t last as WWF Champion Triple H rebuilt D-X, married Stephanie and ushered in the McMahon-Helmsley Regime. X-Pac followed suit, betraying Kane for the money and the power. Alas, the subsequent Kane/X-Pac feud was arduous, lacklustre and just daft. Kane somehow ended up dating Tori (DON’T ASK!), Tori ultimately ended up ditching Kane for X-Pac and joined D-X’s ranks, none of the bouts were particularly special…and FINALLY the tedious storyline ended at WrestleMania 16 when Kane & Rikishi defeated X-Pac & Road Dogg.

During this time, Kane joined the likes of the Rock, Cactus Jack, Rikishi & Too Cool and the Dudley Boys in the war against the McMahon-Helmsely Faction. Paul Bearer returned to his son’s side for a time, but he disappeared again. The Undertaker returned after a long absence to help destroy the McMahon-Helmsley Regime once and for all. The Rock won the WWF Championship from Triple H and Mick Foley ultimately took power as the new WWF Commissioner. But whilst Kane had been fighting on the front line, he seemed to have got lost in the shuffle.

That all changed when he turned heel in the summer of 2000, attacking his brother to restart their rivalry. Now sporting new attire, Kane was also in contention for a WWF Championship Match with The Rock the night after SummerSlam. Could he get back on top?

The Match Itself

Both combatants have entered the ring, and Kane’s staring deep into the Rock. As ever, Dwayne’s facials & mannerisms are PERFECT. The Great One knows EXACTLY how to express the correct emotions; whatever the mood and circumstances. He’s the WWF Champion, and the Rock KNOWS he’s got a major challenge ahead of him tonight. 24 hours after retaining the title at SummerSlam…he’s got KANE. It’s no surprise that Dwayne Johnson transitioned to Hollywood so successfully…he LIVES the story. He reflects it PERFECTLY.

IMG credit: WWE & Dailymotion

The Greensboro Crowd begin with the “Rocky!” Chants, JR & King are selling Kane as the challenger brilliantly, we have a big-time match on our hands…it’s the WWF IN 2000, BABY!!! The bell rings, the fight is on! Champion and challenger exchange blows! Rock ducks a clothesline and smacks Kane with some right-hands. Kane reverses an Irish-whip and smacks the Brahma Bull with a big boot! Already in control, Kane has Rock firmly on the ropes, but the Rock is able to connect with a side-Russian leg-sweep for a two-count.

Kane’s back-up quickly and is soon pummelling Rocky in the corner. Kane’s brutal blows…Rocky’s SELLING…things of beauty! Kane takes a moment to intimidate Earl Hebner, but that gives Rocky enough time to recover and start laying the SmackDown on his challenger! But Kane turns the tide with a NICE running power-slam! AGAIN, Dwayne sells the impact fabulously!

Meanwhile, Kane kicks the Rock whilst he’s down, as Good Ol’ King says that the Monster wants to represent the People as their champion! The fantastic crowd rally behind the Great One with “Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!” as Kane batters Dwayne (Hey, that rhymed! Sorry…). Anyway, Kane follows up with a great suplex on the People’s Champion for a near-fall. Rocky won’t go down without a fight, though! But another comeback attempt is shut-down courtesy of Kane’s brutal sidewalk slam!

Kane heads-up for the top-rope and then nails the Great One with a SPECTACULAR flying-clothesline! The WWF Champion is in trouble! But the Rock manages to kick-out before 3! Rocky tries again to fight back, but Kane is far too powerful and soon has him on the ropes again. However, the Rock manages to reverse an Irish-whip into a Samoan Drop! Which buys the Champion some much-needed time! However, Kane sits-up first as the ‘Rocky’ chants start-up again. The Great One manages to land a terrific-right, and another, and another, and another! He now has the Big Red Machine on the ropes! As usual, JR and King put over both combatants big on commentary!

The Rock scores a fantastic clothesline on Kane to take him down! Then he nails a DDT, but that only gets a two-count. Kane then reverses the next Irish-whip attempt and flings the Rock into the ref. Poor Earl is down again. The Rock counters a Tombstone attempt into a spine-buster! The crowd knows what’s coming next! WE ALL DO! Most Electrifying Move in ALL Sports-Entertainment – THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE! – The People’s Elbow! Rocky covers Kane, but of course, Earl’s too hurt to count! As soon as Dwayne leaves to check on the ref, Kane is back up to deliver an almighty choke slam to the champion!

IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

Earl manages to recover enough to make the count…1…2…NO! The Rock JUST kicks out in time! That was genuinely close! Kane clutches his hair tightly in frustration and roars monstrously at the ref! Kane batters the Rock furiously! He has him on the ropes again! But the Rock suddenly counters with a ROCK BOTTOM! OUT OF NOWHERE! 1…2…NO! KANE KICKED OUT OF THE ROCK BOTTOM!!! ANOTHER CLOSE NEAR-FALL!!!

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The crowd’s unglued, Dwayne can’t believe it, JR asks’ “What does the Rock have to do to beat this monster?!” …this is a REALLY good match, y’know!

The Brahma Bull clotheslines his challenger over the top-rope to the floor, Kane lands on his feet, the fighting now spills out to ringside and into the crowd itself…and then, Kid Rock’s “American Bad Ass” starts playing! The Undertaker’s here! Kane finishes pummelling the Rock and then goes off to play with his brother! The crowd still love Taker and Kane slugging each other! However, Earl is too busy checking on the Rock (awww…!) to notice Taker nail Kane with a thunderous choke-slam in the ring!

IMG credit: WWE & TJR Retro

Rocky finally manages to crawl back into the ring after all the abuse he’s taken! Earl is right there to count! 1…2…NO! Kane kicks out AGAIN?! Incredible! Rocky’s had enough now! With a look of sheer anger and determination, he nails the Big Red Machine with a SECOND THUNDEROUS Rock Bottom! THAT gets the 3-count! THE ROCK RETAINS THE WWF CHAMPIONSHIP AT 8:08!

IMG credit: WWE & Online World of Wrestling

Jim Ross: “The Rock knows he had Lady Luck on his side tonight!” Jerry Lawler: “AND the Undertaker!”

Verdict

THIS was simply a great Raw main-event! Was it classic or memorable? No, but it was a standard, hellacious match that you’d expect to find consistently on television during the World Wrestling Federation’s most successful period. 2000 was simply THE year for WWF, and it shows here. Amazing crowd, fantastic action from start-to-finish, unmatched commentary, and two proven main-eventers who are simply legends of this industry.

As we know, the Rock is one of the greatest wrestlers/WWF Champions of all-time. Interviews, personality, charisma, timing, in-ring ability, facial expressions, selling…Rocky VERY seldomly made a mistake. And very much like Triple H in 2000, it wasn’t JUST the big-time Pay-Per-View matches that Rocky delivered in as WWF Champion. It was night-after-night on Raw AND SmackDown too! Just like Triple H made you believe he could lose to the likes of Chris Jericho, Tazz and Taka Michinoku…Rocky could make both himself and his opponent look good whilst defending the belt. In this case, it was Kane.

Kane looked a legitimately credible threat to the WWF Title again; something he hadn’t looked like in ages thanks to that stupid storyline with X-Pac & Tori. But it’s also important to remember that Glenn Jacobs was also really starting to show what he could do as in-ring worker here. Obviously, his body-language and character-work were stellar from the get-go, but now Kane was getting to showcase more of his wrestling ability. Here, he competed in a fast-paced, exciting match with the Rock, and Kane would go-on to wrestle some excellent bouts against the likes of Austin, HHH, Angle, Jericho, Benoit and Edge over the following years. Of course, you can take or leave the Undertaker interference, but it made sense given that Rocky would soon be booked to defend the WWF Championship against Taker, Kane and Chris Benoit at Unforgiven. As for this match, I recommend watching this one!

OVERALL RATING

  • 8/10

Join us again next time in 2001 where Kane goes after the Hardcore Championship!

Check out the match here –>

FEEDBACK

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Categories
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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Categories
RAW Reviews

WWF RAW February 15 1993 Review (Just Bring Him In Already)

February 15th, 1993
Location: Manhattan, NY (Manhattan Center)
Taped show (on Feb. 1st 1993)
Announced attendance: ca 1 000 (capacity: ca 1 000)
TV rating: 3.3 (USA Network) [up 0.3 from the previous RAW’s 3.0]

Welcome everyone to yet another review of WWF RAW. RAW is back after a one-week absence, as The Dog Show aired on USA Network the previous week instead of RAW. Tonight’s show features a 15-man battle royal and Brutus Beefcake’s return to the ring, against ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase. Let’s get to it.

Here is the list of champions in WWF heading into this episode of RAW (air date):

  • WWF Champion: Bret Hart [126th day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair
  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels [111th day of his reign] – previous champion: The British Bulldog
  • WWF World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) [125th day of their reign] – previous champions: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)

Note: in title matches, the defending champions are underlined

Enjoy the review!

IMG credit: WWE & thesmackdownhotel.com

Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Rob Bartlett

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– We hear from Brutus Beefcake and Ted DiBiase to start the program. Brutus says he’s ready for action, while Ted promises something bad will happen. Jimmy Hart doesn’t think it’s necessary, but Ted says everything will be just fine!

– The RAW intro plays to kick off the show

The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Glen Ruth & Bobby Who
IMG credit: WWE & tapemachinesarerolling.tumblr.com

Really, Bobby Who!? Scott easily overpowers Ruth in the beginning. Impressive dragon suplex by Scott while Savage faces some problems with his microphone. Damn it, why couldn’t it be Bartlett’s!? Rick with an explosive belly-to-belly on Bobby Who, and Scott follows it up with a dropkick on Who. Scott gets him up in Razor’s Edge position, and Rick comes off the top with a flying elbowdrop for the double-team. Rick with a chinlock for a while. The jobber actually hits Rick with a bunch of wussy forearms to the chest, which earns him THE MOTHER OF ALL CLOTHESLINES. What are you even thinking, Mr. Who?? Scott follows it up with the butterfly powerbomb, and then The Steiners end it with the Doomsday Bulldog at 3:32.

  • Rating: The Steiners are always exciting to watch, even if it is just a squash. Very explosive, hard-hitting bout. The Steiners came out of it looking awesome as usual. Effective squash. *
WrestleMania IX Report w/ Mean Gene
  • Brought to you by IcoPro!
  • Gene promotes the main event: World Champ Bret Hart against the Royal Rumble winner Yokozuna for the WWF Championship
  • The first preliminary matches have just been added to the card: The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez (good lord almighty…) and Crush vs. Doink the Clown, with Crush looking for revenge from Doink’s vicious attack last month on Superstars
  • Call your local cable company for availability. What are you waiting for? DO IT NOW!
Yokozuna vs. Ross Greenberg

Savage’s microphone is still not working. Greenberg charges right into a clothesline from Yoko to start. Yoko with a massive belly-to-belly suplex. Vince puts over Jim Duggan’s recent feat of being the first wrestler to ever knock Yokozuna off his feet. Yeah, talk about a wasted star-making moment. Jim f*cking Duggan…. Anyway, Yoko drops the big leg on Greenberg, kills him with the corner Avalanche and adds the exclamation point with the Banzai at 2:01.

  • Rating: Another easy win for Yokozuna as he heads towards his WWF Title shot at WrestleMania. 1/2*

Meanwhile, Savage steals Bartlett’s mic. YESS!!

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Special Report w/ Lord Alfred Hayes
  • Hayes recaps Yokozuna’s showdown with Jim Duggan a couple of weeks earlier on Superstars. Duggan was successful in getting the huge man off his feet, only to get squashed like a bug by the angry Yoko immediately afterwards. Yoko gave him a handful of Banzais, the last with the American flag covering Jim’s body. Duggan was bleeding internally and had to be taken out on a stretcher.

– Vince announces all the participants in the upcoming battle royal refused to have Giant Gonzalez join the field. We then see a recap of three jobbers walking away from their 3-on-1 handicap match against Gonzalez on the last episode of Superstars

– PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATION PAID FOR BY THE FOLLOWING: Bret Hart tells you what IcoPro is all about! WWF Figures are sold separately DIG IT! Need a little excitement? You know what to do, OHHH YEAAH!

15-Man Battle Royal
IMG credit: WWE & tapemachinesarerolling.tumblr.com

Your list of official participants: Bob Backlund, Damien Demento, Typhoon, The Berzerker, El Matador, Razor Ramon, Terry Taylor, Tatanka, Iron Mike Sharpe (did someone no-show!??), Kamala, Skinner, IC Champion Shawn Michaels, Koko B. Ware, Owen Hart and Kim Chee.

Big melee to start with everyone going at it in the corners, while Kim Chee waits outside. He sneaks in rather quickly and joins everyone else, though. Backlund backdrops Sharpe over the top for the first elimination. It’s pretty impossible to follow the action. Kim Chee sneaks out once again. Koko tries toss Shawn out, but ends up charging into a backdrop by HBK for another elimination. Tito goes up top for a flying fistdrop on Berzerker, which is never good strategy in a battle royal. It works here, but it’s still dumb. A bunch of near-eliminations going on near the ropes on all corners of the ring. What is even the purpose of this battle royal? Maybe something huge is on the line here and I totally missed the announcement like a dumbass. I honestly don’t know. Skinner stops to dance on the ropes like a complete moron, and Typhoon clotheslines him out. Tito rams Razor’s head into the turnbuckle numerous times, while Kamala dumps Demento out. Berzerker gets rid of Owen. Santana tries to capitalize and quickly eliminate Berzerker from behind, but he’s unable to do it. HBK slugs away on Tito in the corner. Kamala eliminates Berzerker with a terrible “superkick”… well it’s the thought that counts! Kim Chee comes in from behind while Typhoon attemps to eliminate Kamala, eliminating him. Kamala goes back in and gets rid of Kim Chee, who runs away through the crowd into the concession stand. Kamala chases him while we take a break.

Commercial break

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We’re back with Kamala still chasing Kim Chee all over the arena. Terry Taylor is no longer there, apparently getting tossed out sometime while the cameras were focusing on the whole Kamala/Kim Chee stuff. Courtesy of Tatanka. Backlund went out too, at the hands of Razor. Thanks Cagematch! Typhoon squashes Michaels in the corner. However, he misses a blind charge in the corner and Michaels manages to throw the big man out. It’s down to Michaels, Razor, Tito and Tatanka. Again, what is this for? I’m genuinely lost! Shawn goes after Tatanka aggressively, with Savage bringing up Tatanka’s huge pinfall win over Shawn last week on Superstars. I recommend that one, by the way. What a huge pop for what used to be a rare non-title over a champion. Tito gives Tatanka a hand, though, and both babyfaces manhandle the Intercontinental Champion. Razor is just hanging out watching. A double-whip into the buckle leaves Michaels laying on the top rope, as then both Tatanka and Tito kick HBK to the outside for the elimination. They go after Razor together next… but Giant Gonzalez is here. Razor smartly leaves the ring and watches as Gonzalez tosses Tatanka. Gonzalez chops Tito and tosses him as well. Gonzalez walks away alongside Harvey Wippleman. Razor sneaks back inside the ring and Finkel announces him as the official winner after 13:37. Apparently this was for nothing… yep.

  • Rating: A near 15 minute battle royal as a set-up for a 30-second Giant Gonzalez run-in so he can toss a couple of dudes over the top rope and leave. About as exciting as it sounds. What a waste of TV time. How about… I don’t know, an actual interaction between Bret and Yokozuna? No? Anyway, this was pointless and boring. 1/2*

Main Event

Ted DiBiase (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Brutus Beefcake
IMG credit: WWE & capricorncity.com

This is Beefcake’s first wrestling match since July 1990. Lockup and Brutus sends DiBiase flying into the turnbuckle. Beefcake hammers away with a series of rights on DiBiase, who bails. Back inside, Beefcake remains in control with a side headlock. Beefcake sends him flying with yet another series of punches, and Ted is getting quite irritated. DiBiase goes after Brutus back inside, only to get sent into the buckle. Back to the side headlock goes Beefcake, as IRS comes down to ringside. Jimmy Hart asks IRS what he’s doing out there, but IRS doesn’t wanna hear it. DiBiase whips Beefcake into the ropes, and IRS hits him with a shot with the briefcase to Brutus’ back for the DQ at 4:26.

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IMG credit: WWE

IRS joins the ring for the beatdown on Brutus afterwards. DiBiase holds Beefcake’s arms for a briefcase shot to the face. Jimmy Hart begs IRS not to do it, so IRS shoves Jimmy to the outside. IRS charges and destroys Beefcake’s broken face with a shot with the briefcase. Jimmy checks on Beefcake inside the ring while Money Inc walk away without their manager. Jimmy begs for someone to come and give some help. Great selljob by Jimmy Hart, who was the MVP of this whole angle in my view. There are shots of blood all over the ring canvas. Vince tells us no major damage was done to Brutus’ face, though.

  • Rating: The angle was pretty good, it did a good job of setting up Hulk Hogan’s eventual return. It made sense for the heels to target Beefcake’s legitimately broken face. As far as the actual match goes, though, it was very basic and it wasn’t very good. I didn’t like how Beefcake, who hadn’t wrestled any match at all in nearly 3 years, totally dominated not only a veteran, but a reigning champion in WWF. DiBiase literally got no offense in. I understand their match was nothing but a set-up for the angle, but it wasn’t a good match. 1/4*

Next week: Money Inc are in action, which means Hulk Hogan might actually show up. Plus, a six-man tag team match.

END OF THE SHOW

Final thoughts: I liked the first two squashes and the final angle was good too. However, everything else was completely skippable, especially that pointless battle royal. I’m not the biggest fan of battle royals to begin with, but a 15-minute one with nothing on the line where someone who wasn’t in the match “won” makes it even worse. I didn’t like the main event match either, but they made up for it with the post-match angle to close the show. I didn’t think it was terrible, but some actual build towards WrestleMania would help. Silent Rob Bartlett did help, though, so there’s that! 4/10

POINT SYSTEM

Find out more about our point system here

That’s all from me here. Make sure you don’t miss my upcoming review of the WCW PPV, SuperBrawl III. Don’t miss any of the other RAW reviews either. See you next time!

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Reviews

Every Title Reign From WWF In 1993 Review

In 1993, we saw many different champions holding different championships. The 3 championships in the year were the WWF Championship, Intercontinental Championship and the Tag Team Titles. Let’s review all the title reigns from the year and find out which title reigns were good, and which were bad.

WWF Tag Team Championship

Money Inc. – Ted Dibiase & IRS (October 13, 1992 – June 14, 1993)

IMG credit: WWE & pinterest.com

Money Inc. won the tag titles for a 2nd time from The Natural Disasters in late 1992. They held the titles for a long time and had a pretty decent reign. It was quite similar to their previous title reign. They were entertaining champions but didn’t have many good matches. This reign could have been better if they had a series of matches with The Steiners on PPVs.

Rating: 5.5/10

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The Steiner Brothers – Scott Steiner & Rick Steiner (June 14, 1993- June 16, 1993)

IMG credit: WWE & pinterest.com

The Steiners won the tag team championships from Money Inc. for the first time at a house show, only to lose it back to them 2 days later….

Rating: 0/10

Money Inc. – Ted Dibiase & IRS (June 16, 1993 – June 19, 1993)

IMG credit: WWE & pinterest.com

After winning back the titles from The Steiners, Money Inc. had a grand title reign of 3 DAYS! They lost it to Steiners once again at a House Show. Yeah…

Rating: 0/10

The Steiner Brothers- Scott Steiner & Rick Steiner (June 19, 1993 – September 13, 1993)

IMG credit: WWE & pinterest.com

Recommended Matches:

  • Vs. Money Inc. in a Steel Cage match – SummerSlam Spectacular 1993 (****)
  • Vs. The Heavenly Bodies – SummerSlam 1993 (***1/2)
  • Vs. The Quebecers in a Quebec Province Rules match (***1/2)

It is really unfortunate this title reign didn’t last longer. The Steiner Brothers were on fire and were having great matches. However, the reign came to an abrupt end as they lost the titles to The Quebecers. This title reign could really have been historic if they hadn’t lost, because for the time it lasted, the reign was absolute fire.

Rating: 7/10

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WWF Intercontinental Championship

Shawn Michaels (October 27, 1992 – May 17, 1993)

IMG credit: WWE & pinterest.com

Recommended Matches:

  • Vs. The British Bulldog – SNME #31: November 14, 1992 (***1/2)
  • Vs. Marty Jannetty – Royal Rumble 1993 (****)
  • Vs. Tatanka – WrestleMania IX (***1/2)
  • Vs. Jim Duggan in a Lumberjack match – RAW: May 10, 1993 (***1/4)
  • Vs. Marty Jannetty – RAW: May 17, 1993 (***1/2)

Shawn Michaels won his first singles title against The British Bulldog and started 1993 as the Intercontinental Champion. And what a reign he had! Having great matches with the likes of Marty Jannetty, Tatanka, Jim Duggan among others. Yes, you read it correct, he actually had a good match with Jim Duggan of all people. He even managed to carry Kamala to a decent match during this reign. Even though Shawn was a heel, he defended the title on free TV, and actually felt like a workhorse champion. The end of this title reign was also very good as he lost the title to Marty Jannetty in a very memorable moment. This reign really showed the potential of Shawn as a singles star, and we all know how much he achieved in his career. This was the beginning of it, and it was the absolute perfect beginning.

Rating: 8/10

Marty Jannetty (May 17, 1993 – June 6, 1993)

IMG credit: WWE & whatculture.com

Recommended Matches:

  • Vs. Shawn Michaels – RAW: May 17, 1993 (***1/2)
  • Vs. Bam Bam Bigelow – RAW: May 31, 1993 (***1/4)

This title win is a very iconic part of RAW, as it was the first-ever title change on RAW, and also one of the first shocking moments to take place on RAW. However, it didn’t last long as Marty Jannetty lost the title just 20 days after winning the title. I wish this reign lasted more, because this had a lot of potential.

Rating: 2/10

Shawn Michaels (June 6, 1993 – September 27, 1993)

IMG credit: WWE & pinterest.com

Recommended Matches:

  • Vs. Marty Jannetty – RAW: July 19, 1993 (****)

After the brilliant first reign with the Intercontinental Title, this reign is a bit of a stepdown, but this was also quite entertaining. Shawn continued to impress more and more as he had another banger with Marty Jannetty. The two wrestlers he feuded with mainly during this reign were Crush and Mr. Perfect, and the feuds were decent. During this reign, Shawn also hired a bodyguard who was Diesel. The reign came to a disappointing end as Shawn had to vacate the title as in storyline, he hadn’t defended the title in 30 days. In reality, he was suspended for testing positive for steroids. Unfortunate end as this reign could have been better had it continued.

Rating: 6.5/10

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WWF Championship

Bret Hart (October 12, 1992 – April 4, 1993)

IMG credit: WWE

Recommended Matches:

  • Vs. Ric Flair – House Show: October 12, 1992 (****1/4)
  • Vs. Shawn Michaels – Survivor Series 1992 (****1/2)
  • Vs. Ric Flair in a 60-Minute Iron Man match – House Show: January 9, 1993 (****1/2)
  • Vs. Razor Ramon – Royal Rumble 1993 (***1/2)
  • Vs. Fatu – RAW: March 1, 1993 (***1/4)
  • Vs. Yokozuna – WrestleMania IX (***)

This reign didn’t really set the world on fire or anything, but it felt quite different than the previous title reigns. Bret Hart was constantly promoted as a workhorse champion and he was really defending the title a lot, even on free TV. Bret felt different than the others because he was someone who didn’t win the title because of his charisma or over the top character but because of his wrestling ability. He was really the perfect choice to be the face of the company after the steroid scandal. As far as his promos are concerned, he was weaker in that aspect compared to the previous titleholders, but an argument can be made that fans could relate more to a guy like Bret Hart in that cartoonish era and which is why he gained the support of fans. This reign is quite overlooked which I feel is not fair, obviously Bret would go on to have better reigns but this first reign of his had quite a different feel to it and cemented his place as a main eventer for years to come.

Rating: 7/10

Yokozuna (April 4, 1993)

IMG credit: WWE & pinterest.com

Recommended Matches:

  • Vs. Bret Hart – WrestleMania IX (***)

Well, this “reign” existed is all that I can say. Everyone knows what happened and I don’t even want to talk about it because the decision was so bad.

Rating: 0/10

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Hulk Hogan (April 4, 1993 – June 13, 1993)

IMG credit: WWE & wwfoldschool.com

I seriously want to know what WWF was thinking putting the title once again on Hulk Hogan, when clearly no one wanted him as the champion. He didn’t even show up on RAW after winning the title and then lost it to Yokozuna at King of the Ring and left the company. Good riddance.

Rating: 0/10

And that’s all for today’s post, thank you all for reading. Stay tuned for the next post where we will rank all the matches from WWF Royal Rumble 1994. Have a nice day!

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RAW Reviews

WWF RAW February 1 1993 Review (Returns & Debuts Galore)

February 1st, 1993
Live from Manhattan, NY (Manhattan Center)
Announced attendance: ca 1 000 (capacity: ca 1 000)
TV rating: 3.0 (USA Network) [up 0.4 from the previous RAW’s 2.6]

Thank you for joining me for yet another 1993 RAW review. It’s the fallout from the previous week’s Loser Leaves WWF Match which saw Ric Flair leave the company. Tonight, Brutus Beefcake makes his return to WWF. Doink the Clown and “The Narcissist” Lex Luger both make their televised WWF in-ring debuts as the build towards WrestleMania continues.

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

  • WWF Champion: Bret Hart [112th day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair
  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels [97th day of his reign] – previous champion: The British Bulldog
  • WWF World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) [111th day of their reign] – previous champions: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)

Note: in title matches, the defending champions are underlined

Enjoy the review!

IMG credit: WWE & thesmackdownhotel.com
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Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Rob Bartlett

– RAW’s intro plays to kick off this week’s show

– We’re going straight to the ring for the first match of the evening

Tatanka vs. Damien Demento
IMG credit: WWE & fishbulbsuplex.tumblr.com

Demento takes control early on, until Tatanka surprises him with a small package for two. Tatanka with a hiptoss, a slam and a clothesline dumps Demento over the top to the floor. Demento stops to talk to the voices in his head (they talk to him, they understand too?) allowing Tatanka to chop away on the outside. That’s pretty dumb if you ask me. Back inside for a few more chops, but Demento takes him down with a clothesline. Back elbow smash by Demento and he follows it up with a legdrop for two. Demento goes to a headlock while the crowd chants “we want Flair”. Tatanka escapes the headlock, marches around the ring as he makes the comeback before finishing with the Not Samoan Drop at 4:10.

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  • Rating: Extended squash for Tatanka. Basic but not awful. *

– A clip airs of Bret Hart, representing the company as the reigning WWF Champion, presenting a 100.000$ donation check at the “Headlock on Hunger” charity event

Brutus Beefcake returns to the WWF
IMG credit: WWE

Vince McMahon joins Beefcake in the ring for an interview. Brutus wants to make his return to action, but Vince wonders if it’ll be a good idea due to the parasailing accident. Brutus explains that it wasn’t just the accident, as shortly before his mother passed away. His dad went right after her, due to a heart attack. And THEN his wife left him for some other guy. She was probably just tired of having Hogan around the house, I honestly can’t blame her. Beefcake continues by saying that then the parasailing accident occurred. He was just about to quit, he was broke, he was destroyed, his jaw had 8 steel plates, 30 screws, 500 stitches but the first thing he saw… was the red and yellow as Hulk Hogan reached his hand and all went well. Oh dear god. His career is in shambles, but Hogan told him “go for it, Brutus” so he’s decided to do so. He kinda had me there at the start, but then it all turned into “Hulk Hogan saved the world” territory and he totally lost me. But hey, Brutus is back to the ring. Yey!…

High Energy (Owen Hart & Koko B. Ware) vs. Iron Mike Sharpe & Von Krus

Well, this one shouldn’t take too long. Sharpe overpowers Owen with a shove off the early lockup. Shoulderblock by Sharpe, but Owen kips up and cuts him off with a dropkick. High Energy with a double-team backdrop to Krus, as then Koko takes care of Iron Mike Sharpe by dropkicking him off the apron. That leaves Von Krus alone, allowing High Energy to finish him with Koko’s missile dropkick straight into Owen’s jackknife roll-up combination for the easy squash at 1:31. Von Krus is the future Big Vito, by the way.

  • Rating: In ‘n’ out squash. 1/4*

– Recap of Doink taking out Crush last month on Superstars

Typhoon vs. Doink the Clown
IMG credit: WWE & Twitter
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This is Doink’s in-ring debut in the WWF, if you don’t count the already-taped matches on Superstars that only aired later that month. Doink immediately takes Typhoon off his feet with a single-leg takedown. Typhoon sends Doink flying with a huge hiptoss, but Doink manages to take him down yet again, into a front facelock. Typhoon overpowers Doink to escape the hold, only for Doink to wrestle Typhoon down once more as he goes to work on the arm now with a hammerlock. Doink switches into a headlock, but Typhoon rams him into the turnbuckle to block it and puts the clown in a bearhug. Typhoon with a powerslam, only to miss an avalanche in the corner. Doink takes advantage with a flying clothesline and he steals the pin with a handful of tights at 3:10.

  • Rating: This was there to show that Doink actually knows a thing or two about this wrestling stuff. It wasn’t good or exciting, but it got the point across well enough. 1/2*

– WWF Mania ad followed by a short interview with the show’s host, Todd Pettingill

– 10-bell salute to Andre the Giant, who died the previous week.

– PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATION PAID FOR BY THE FOLLOWING: Try some IcoPro! How about these WWF Figures! Oh, and don’t forget… snap into a Slim Jim ooooh yeaaah!

Yokozuna vs. Bobby DeVito

Good luck out there, Mr. DeVito. Yokozuna is fresh off winning the Royal Rumble the week before. DeVito charges into a superkick from Yoko right off the bat. Yoko with a belly to belly followed by a legdrop, as we hear from Jim Duggan on the phone. Yeah, good luck to you too, Duggan. Yokozuna destroys the poor jobber a bit more for fun before ending him with the Banzai Drop at 2:38.

  • Rating: Another squash. Effective way to put Yokozuna over as a pretty big deal on his way to WrestleMania. 1/2*
Interview with Money Inc
IMG credit: WWE & tapemachinesarerolling.tumblr.com

Vince asks how does it feel to get into an arena and get such a negative reaction. DiBiase tells him that the only thing that bothers him is an empty bank account, which he never experienced. Hahah! They accept Brutus Beeefcake’s open challenge for his return bout and flip a coin to see who will take on him. However, this draws Jimmy Hart to ringside, who doesn’t exactly agree with the idea since one of them can get hurt and risk the team’s success. The champions tell him not to worry about it, but Jimmy still isn’t into the idea at all.

– Mr. Perfect vignette airs

Main Event

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“The Narcissist” Lex Luger vs. Jason Knight
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

Yet another debut here as this is Luger’s first match in WWF. Luger takes Jason down with a hiptoss and immediately stops to pose. What, a man has priorities! Luger destroys Knight with a hard clothesline out of the corner and poses some more. Stungun by Luger and more posing. Powerslam by Luger followed by a running clothesline. Luger ends Knight with a forearm and pins him with his pinky at 2:38.

  • Rating: Basically what I said about all the other matches. 1/4*

Vince closes by saying RAW won’t air next week because The Dog Show will be on. RAW returns in 2 weeks with Brutus Beefcake vs. Ted DiBiase.

END OF THE SHOW

Final thoughts: Well, this was a pretty discreet episode filled with squashes all over the broadcast. I wouldn’t say it was terrible as a number of things happened here, including a return and multiple in-ring debuts, but I wouldn’t exactly recommend this one to anyone, especially compared to the previous episode which had Perfect/Flair. But it’s not like it will make you question your life choices after watching it or anything like that. 4/10

POINT SYSTEM

Find out more about the point system here

That’s all from me. Make sure you don’t miss any of the next reviews. Also, download our web app which you should be able to find on top of the page, near the link bar. See you all next time!

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Categories
RAW Reviews

WWF RAW January 25 1993 Review (Loser Leaves Town)

January 25th, 1993
Taped (on Jan. 18th, 1993) from Manhattan, NY (Manhattan Center)
Announced attendance: ca 1 000 (capacity: ca 1 000)
TV rating: 2.6 (USA Network) [down 0.2 from the previous RAW’s 2.8]

Welcome to another review of an early episode of Monday Night RAW. This week, Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect finally go at it in a one-on-one match, with the loser being forced to leave the World Wrestling Federation! Additionally, Randy Savage is looking for redemption against Repo Man after last week’s theft.

Here is the list of WWF champions heading into this episode (considering the date the show aired):

  • WWF Champion: Bret Hart [105th day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair
  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels [90th day of his reign] – previous champion: The British Bulldog
  • WWF World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) [104th day of their reign] – previous champions: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)

Note: in title matches, the defending champions are underlined

Enjoy the review!

IMG credit: WWE & thesmackdownhotel.com

Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan & Rob Bartlett

– RAW opens with Repo Man, still possessing Randy Savage’s hat, showing up in a flat truck outside to cut off Sean Mooney’s intro.

– The intro of the show plays.

– McMahon, Heenan and Bartlett welcome us to RAW at ringside.

Randy Savage vs. Repo Man
IMG credit: WWE & tapemachinesarerolling.tumblr.com
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Savage jumps Repo Man from behind right off the bat. Savage takes him outside for a kneedrop. Back in the ring, Macho goes up for a flying kneedrop that gets two. Repo Man throws Savage to the outside. However, he stops to celebrate and Savage comes up with a high knee to the back from behind. Repo Man tries to take a walk to the dressing room, but Savage stops him. Savage takes him back to the ring to continue the beating. A trip to the steps followed by one to the ring post turn things around for Repo Man, though. Heenan with the line of the night by asking Vince “where did they get this guy” [Bartlett] after one of Bartlett’s stupid lines. Repo Man puts Savage in a sleeper, Savage fights out of it and we go to a break.

Commercial break

We return with Repo Man still in control. Legdrop by Repo Man gets two, brother. Bodyscissors by Repo Man. Savage escapes with a kick to the gut, but Repo Man immediately throws him down with a clothesline. The crowd chants for “Macho” while Repo Man chokes away on the ropes. Backdrop suplex by Repo Man gets two. Savage tries to fight back, but Repo Man sends him into the turnbuckle to stop him. Backbreaker by Repo Man. Repo Man goes up but ends up landing in a clothesline by Savage in mid-air. The Macho Elbow connects and that’s all at 13:30. Savage celebrates in the ring afterwards with HIS HAT BACK ON! All is right in the world again!

  • Rating: This was a two-week long feud over a hat! It’s not surprising that it turned out to be nothing special. It went a bit long due to the lack of heat, and it honestly felt like little more than a showcase victory for Randy Savage. Not much to this match or “feud”. *1/2

– WrestleMania IX advert airs.

Kamala (w/ Reverend Slick) vs. The Brooklyn Brawler

Brawler goes after Kamala from behind before the bell. He tries a slam on Kamala, but Kamala easily reverses it and hits a slam of his own. Brooklyn Brawler wants a handshake, but the crowd advises Kamala to refuse via a “you are a man” chant. My god! Kamala obliges and chops Brawler instead. Kamala hits a superkick of sorts and follows it up with a buttdrop in the corner. Kamala goes for a pin off some choking in the corner, but he struggles to do the pinfall properly and the match continues. Big boot by Kamala and he does the dumb inverted pinfall once again. Alright, we get the point. Kamala finally hits the splash and keeps rolling the Brawler over until he finally gets him in proper pinfall position at 3:32.

  • Rating: Absolutely awful nonsense. DUD
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Vince McMahon leaves commentary for an interview with Kamala and Slick. Vince congratulates Slick for the job he’s done with Kamala lately, but Slick says the credit goes to all the fans.

Royal Rumble Report w/ Mean Gene
  • Royal Rumble will be available on Coliseum Video on February 11th 1993
  • Mean Gene recaps Bret Hart’s successful WWF Title defense over Razor Ramon, as well as Yokozuna’s Royal Rumble win – that will be our main event at WrestleMania.
  • Okerlund also recaps Bobby Heenan’s reveal of “Narcissus” and the debut of Giant Gonzalez
  • Mean Gene closes by promoting SmarKDown’s review of the Royal Rumble 1993, which you can see here. How nice of you!

– PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATION PAID FOR BY THE FOLLOWING: Bret Hart wants you to try IcoPro! Snap into a Slim Jim oooh yeeeaah!

Main Event

Loser Leaves Town Match – Ric Flair vs. Mr. Perfect
IMG credit: WWE & wrestling.pt

Both guys exchange slaps to start. Flair strikes first with a shoulderblock off the lockup. Flair off the ropes, Perfect with a drop toehold and a number of bitchslaps! Flair bails and Heenan is about to have a heart attack over on commentary. They battle over a hammerlock back-and-forth, Flair takes him down with a drop toehold into a headlock, which Perfect turns into a hammerlock. Flair escapes the hold with an elbow in the corner. He goes for chops, but Perfect fires away with chops of his own and Flair begs off. Great commentary by Heenan and Vince, putting over both men’s defensive strategy due to the stipulation. Flair unloads with the chops in the corner. Perfect once again throws chops himself, and follows with a series of jabs as Flair backs off yet again. Flair pokes the eye, dumps Perfect to the floor and grabs a chair, but the referee prevents him from using it on Perfect. We go to a break.

Commercial break

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We come back with Flair in control back inside the ring. Flair sends Perfect flying all the way to the outside on a hard whip into the buckle. Perfect is busted open. Flair takes him back inside the ring for another hard whip into the buckle. Flair works the count a few times with his feet on the ropes. Perfect fights back with a clothesline out of the corner that gets him two. Flair goes for a hiptoss, which gets blocked by Perfect and turned into a backslide for two. Perfect with a backdrop out of the corner, and Ric is begging off. Perfect slugs away with fists in the corner, until Flair stops him with an atomic drop and rolls Perfect up for two. Flair goes outside, but Perfect is having none of his mindgames. Perfect chops the f-ck outta Flair’s chest while on the apron, and brings him into the middle of the ring with a suplex for two. Heenan is losing his mind on commentary and I’m loving it! Flair catches Perfect in a sleeper. Perfect fades down to his knees and Heenan is YELLING for the referee to ring the bell while punching the announce table! The ref checks on Perfect, but his arms only drop twice so he’s still in it. Perfect runs Flair into the turnbuckle out of desperation to escape the hold. Now Perfect applies a sleeper of his own, which Flair eventually escapes with a backdrop suplex. Figure Four by Flair, but Hebner breaks the hold after catching Naitch grabbing the ropes for leverage. Flair climbs up to the top rope, but Perfect SHOCKINGLY slams him off. We take a final break!

Commercial break

We’re back with Flair using the ropes to get back up to his feet. Vince lets us know we only have about 9 minutes left on the air. Flair reaches for some brass knuckles on his knee pads. The POWER OF THE PUNCH turns Perfect’s lights out. Flair adds a cheap kneedrop for good measure. Flair covers Perfect to end his WWF career… but Perfect has a foot on the ropes! Now Flair is pissed, so he hammers on Perfect’s cut repeatedly. Perfect no-sells a number of Flair chops in the corner, and he’s all fired up. Perfect with his own chops followed by a big backdrop. Clothesline by Perfect. Whip into the buckle by Perfect, Flair flip into the top rope, but Perfect catches him in mid-air with a clothesline for a nearfall. Flair takes Perfect down for a bunch of two counts, but gets caught using the ropes again. Hebner kicks Flair’s legs away, leading into a cradle by Perfect for two. Flair sets up Perfect for something off the ropes, but Perfect catches Flair with a quick Perfectplex for the win to send Naitch back to WCW at 23:00.

Bobby Heenan is cussing and throwing stuff around ringside after the match while Perfect celebrates.

  • Rating: Amazing job done by Perfect and Flair here. They told a brilliant story throughout the entire matchup, with both playing defense at first (which was addressed on commentary) before risking a bit more as tensions grew in the final moments of the match. This lacked a few more nearfalls to take it to that next level, and the commercial breaks in the middle didn’t help, but it was still a heck of a match. The first truly awesome match in the (then brief) history of RAW. ****

– Vince tells us that Ric Flair must honor his already-signed WWF bookings before leaving for good. For those wondering, he worked until February and finished up after the European tour, where he put over the likes of Bret Hart and Undertaker. Here are his final matches, courtesy of Cagematch:

IMG credit: Cagematch.net

– Next week: Typhoon vs. Doink the Clown. Feel the excitement!

END OF THE SHOW

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Final thoughts: Savage/Repo Man was decent at best (a feud over a hat could only go so far…) and Kamala’s squash match sucked, but at the end of the day it all comes down to the main event. Nothing else mattered. Flair/Perfect was awesome and that’s all people were going to remember from this show anyway. Rarely did a match with such huge implications happen on WWF TV at this time, so this show felt huge. Like I said at the beginning of the paragraph, not everything was good, but at the end of the day this will forever be one of the most memorable episodes of RAW due to what happened in the main event. 8/10

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That’s gonna be all from me. Make sure you don’t miss the next reviews of RAW, as well as the upcoming pay-per-views from both WCW (SuperBrawl) and WWF (WrestleMania IX). See you in my next review!

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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
RAW Reviews The Blog Of Kane

The Blog Of Kane #6: Tag Team Champ With X-Pac

Welcome to part 6 of the Blog of Kane! As always thanks for your support! And we now move-on to 1999, and the next chapter of the Big Red Machine’s career!

PREVIOUS ENTRY –>

KANE & X-PAC VS. OWEN HART & JEFF JARRETT

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The Story

Much had happened to Kane since winning & losing the WWF Championship in those 24 hours from June 1998. Successful alliances with Mankind and (incredibly!) the Undertaker followed. Kane won the Tag Team Championship twice, he continued to decimate the entire roster (either by himself or with the Undertaker), continued his pursuit of Stone Cold Steve Austin and the WWF Championship…

His alliances with Mankind & the Undertaker were ultimately short-lived, and even Paul Bearer betrayed his own son to renew his relationship with the Undertaker! Forced into Vince McMahon’s Corporation, Kane formed another alliance with Chyna, but this didn’t last long either. Chyna betrayed him and reunited with Triple H, who in-turn betrayed X-Pac and D-Generation X to join the Corporation. Kane was subsequently booted, and now found himself at odds with Tag Team Champions Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart.

And after inadvertently helping each other out after suffering betrayals, Kane & X-Pac were now scheduled to go after the Tag Titles together! It was the beginning of a strange, yet beautiful friendship…

The Match Itself

Immediately, the Long Island crowd chants ‘Nugget!’ at Owen (God, did he brilliantly embrace that or what?!) and once again, we’re treated to Owen Hart vs. Sean Waltman to kick things off. Side-headlock from Owen, X-Pac shoves Owen off, Owen hits the ropes, then nails the Kid with a shoulder-block takedown. Owen bounces off the ropes again, X-Pac’s back up, NICE leap-frog(!), and then a FANTASTIC spinning heel kick to take the Rocket down! Lovely fast-paced action to kick things off!

IMG Credit: WWE & StillRealToUs.com

X-Pac then goes for an arm-wrench, Owen escapes with his trademark agility, then nails X-Pac with a clothesline. Owen tags-in Jeff, who goes to work on the Kid, whilst the relentless crowd continue to taunt Owen with “Nugget! Nugget! Nugget!”. X-Pac reverses the Irish whip, Jeff counters the hip-toss attempt, X-Pac uses his trademark agility to escape, he ducks Jarrett’s clothesline, X-Pac hits the ropes, then nails the Chosen One with a wicked flying clothesline! X-Pac then grabs Jarrett for a side-headlock…all the while, Michael Cole does a good job calling the action and promoting X-Pac’s showdown with Triple H for Backlash 1999.

Owen tags in whilst Jarrett shoves off X-Pac into the ropes, and then the King of Harts nails a running Kid with a BEAUTIFUL spinning heel kick of his own! Owen then tags Jarrett back in and together they double-team the Kid with a double-clothesline and then a double-leg-pull to play havoc on X-Pac’s groin! OUCH! Michael Cole continues to do good work on commentary by remarking on X-Pac’s situation at the time (suffering from Triple  H and Chyna’s betrayal), whilst Jerry Lawler continues to be the smart-assed, unsympathetic heel behind the announce table.

Jeff then catches X-Pac with a nice powerslam, but only gets a two-count. Owen and Jeff continue to work over the face-in-peril. Owen nails a textbook backbreaker on X-Pac, the “Nugget!” chants start up again, Owen Irish-whips Sean HARD into the turnbuckle cover, Jeff applauds his partner/friend (quite right, too.), and then Owen delivers a textbook suplex for a two-count. Owen then tries to Irish-whip X-Pac again but the Kid counters, but so does Owen! Spring-boarding off the ropes for a BEAUTIFUL cross-body, which X-Pac rolls-through into a close two-count! God, the pure-wrestling here is beautiful! But given the talent here, what would you expect?

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Owen then nails an enziguri on X-Pac. Jeff thoughtfully rests his boot on the top rope in his corner, so Owen introduces X-Pac’s face to said-boot, and the heels make another tag. The crowd now starts chanting, “We want Kane! We want Kane!” as Jarrett traps X-Pac in a sleeper hold. Michael Cole (in my opinion, he doesn’t get the respect he deserves as a commentator) notes that Kane hasn’t yet tagged in this match, and wonders if Kane must he be thinking if he can trust X-Pac. Can he trust anyone anymore after all the betrayals he’s endured?

IMG Credit: WWE

X-Pac counters the sleeper with a back suplex on Jeff. Both guys are down. Jarrett crawls over to Owen, X-Pac crawls over to Kane, but Owen’s tagged-in and stops X-Pac by giving him a BLATANT low-blow! Referee Mike Chioda admonishes Owen, but doesn’t disqualify him…? As much as I love the Attitude Era, there was a lot of nonsense to it, I’ll admit. Owen nails a bodyslam, raises his arms cheering ‘WOOOOOO!!!’ (God, I miss Owen Hart so much…), the “Nugget!” chants are right on cue, but a high-risk attack is countered when X-Pac gets his foot up! X-Pac gets back up, he and Owen run the ropes together and then take each other out with a double-clothesline!

Jeff and Debra rally Owen to get up and make the tag, X-Pac crawls over to his corner and FINALLY TAGS IN KANE! THE CROWD ERUPTS! Owen makes the tag, and Jeff runs towards a devastating flying clothesline from the Big Red Machine! Kane smacks Owen right in the mush, then nails a big boot on the King of Harts! Jeff also eats a big boot from Kane! Powerful clothesline to Owen, Kane goozles Jeff, whilst X-Pac gives a Bronco Buster to Owen lying helpless in the corner! GOD, what a chokeslam on Jarrett! The Raw crowd are loving this!

WHAT ON EARTH?! Kane’s got X-Pac by the throat?! He gorilla-presses the Kid over his head…a recovering Owen wonders what’s going on just like the rest of us…!

Kane then DROPS X-Pac on top of Jeff, before nailing Owen again! 1-2-3! The crowd erupts! Kane and X-Pac are your winners and NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS AT 5:58!

IMG Credit: WWE & Shitloads of Wrestling – Tumblr
Verdict

So after his amazing debut in October 1997, such award-winning feuds with Mankind, Vader and the Undertaker, winning the WWF Championship from Stone Cold Steve Austin, and being an established main-event player throughout 1998…what next? Obviously, Austin was still the company’s biggest star heading into 1999, the Rock was hot on his heels, Mankind was also enjoying his time in the spotlight, Taker was busy with his Ministry of Darkness, Triple H was ascending up the card…so where did that leave Kane?

On paper, the idea of Kane teaming with such a polar-opposite like X-Pac was daft. But in practice, it was a huge-success. In-ring-wise, Glenn Jacobs and Sean Waltman shared a great chemistry. Story-wise, Kane and X-Pac shared common goals and could relate to one-another after all the betrayals they suffered. And going forward, X-Pac would help the damaged Kane find his humanity again. It was fascinating development for the character. Kane willingly granting Austin a rematch for the WWF Title the night after he won it showed that this monster had honour. The alliance/friendship with X-Pac took that hidden depth and realised its full potential; showing that Kane wasn’t just a one-dimensional monster. He was as deep as the Undertaker.

THIS BOUT…was simply a great Raw bout. Short, sweet, fast-paced and exhilarating. Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett made for GREAT Tag Team Champions, and this was a kick-ass way for their reign to end. Owen, Jeff and Sean were all first-class workers in their prime and they wrestled an excellent tag bout, with a white-hot Long Island crowd eating up everything they did. The bout was perfectly laid out, and Kane making the hot-tag right at the end to destroy the champs, tease turning on X-Pac, only to brilliantly swerve us at the end for a creative finish…I loved this gem. And of course, X-Pac and Kane would have a fantastic run together, winning the Tag Titles twice and being the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Tag Team of 1999. GOOD STUFF.

OVERALL RATING

  • 8/10

Cheers as always for your support! Next time in the Blog of Kane, it’s 2000! Kane is back in title-contention and he goes ONE-ON-ONE…WITH THE GREAT ONE!

Check out the match here –>

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