Archive for the ‘WWF/E’ Category

Wrestlemania1

 

1. Tito Santana vs. The Executioner

The first match in the rich history of this spectacle. Tito Santana was a loveable babyface back in the day, someone who follows that path is Kofi Kingston. Anyways, Executioner is none other than the late “Playboy” Buddy Rose and that’s all you should know. Pretty short match to get the crowd started and it’s nothing memorable.
Grade: D

 

2. S.D. Jones vs. King Kong Bundy

Longtime record holder of the fastest match at Mania history. That is all.
Grade: DUD

 

3. Ricky Steamboat vs. Matt Borne

A carbon copy of the opener. If you’re interested, Matt Borne was the original Doink the Clown.
Grade: D

 

4. Brutus Beefcake w/Luscious Johnny V vs. David Sammartino w/Bruno Sammartino

Beefcake was a couple of years away from becoming The Barber but in the mean time was a brash, cocky heel with a good look. As for Sammartino, the kid of the Living Legend. As for the match, let me put it this way, imagine a car crash and both drivers were spat out of their cars by the impact and land on each others vehicle.
Grade: F

 

5. Intercontinental Championship
Greg Valentine (c) w/Jimmy Hart vs. The Junkyard Dog

JYD was never known for his wrestling skills but for his amazing charisma and antics. Not much of a match but was sure very entertaining and the crowd eating ever single moment of it. That’s why the 80’s was known for in professional wrestling.
Grade: D-

 

6. Tag Team Championship
The US Express (Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham) (c) w/Captain Lou Albano vs. The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff w/Freddie Blassie

Beforehand, the Soviet Union national anthem was played and the amount of boos amounted here were very genuine. This was an old school tag match where the formula was very simple and effective. Quite fun to watch.
Grade: C

 

7. $15,000 Bodyslam ChallengeBig John Studd w/Bobby Heenan vs. Andre The Giant

Self explanatory. Nothing memorable except for a few fans that got some moolah (no pun intended) at ringside.
Grade: DUD

 

8. Women’s Championship
Leilani Kai (c) w/Fabulous Moolah vs. Wendi Richter w/Cyndi Lauper

No offense to the ladies but this was not a pretty match. A lot of sloppiness was demonstrated that I almost that this was the female version of Griffin vs. Bonnar. The highlight of the match was Lauper and it still lives to this day. Other than that, nada.
Grade: F

 

In-Ring Segment: The true Mr. WrestleMania having appeared in all 28 so far, Howard Finkel, announces the special guest ring announcer for the main event who is former New York Yankees manager, Billy Martin. Martin introduces the special guest timekeeper who is  Liberace and does the famous dance featured in every Mania highlight video. Finally he introduces the special enforcer who is non other than boxing legend, Muhammad Ali.

 

9. Hulk Hogan & Mr. T vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff

Piper at this time period was the most hated man in professional wrestling. He even got Mr. T in the ring and create one of the most memorable feuds in WWF history and perhaps the best involving a celebrity. The match was climatic, it was fun to watch but the actual wrestling didn’t out stand but it didn’t need to. This match was a great match in 80’s wrestling but in comparison to today’s standards it’s nothing special.Grade: C-

 

Final Thoughts:

This was a successful card for it’s time and the use of celebrities helped create the magic that Mania is today. The wrestling played second fiddle to the actual show presentation which was alright for it’s initial approach. I only recommend you to watch this for historical purposes.

Verdict: 4.5/10

royalrumble1999dvdconve

 

1. The Road Dogg vs. The Big Boss Man

Bossman was back in the WWF as a bully swat patrol man. Both were respective members of the DX vs. The Corporation feud. This was a very shitty opener that felt like a usual Monday Night Raw match filler.
Grade: D-

 

2. WWF Intercontinental Championship
Ken Shamrock (c) vs. Billy Gunn

The tag partners of the opening contest’s competitors were also in their little feud for the IC title. This was slightly better than the opener but not by much.
Grade: C-

 

3. WWF European Championship
X-Pac (c) vs. Gangrel

For the third time in a row a DX member is in a singles match. This was very quick of a match that was disappointing because of it’s potential. Once again felt like a Monday Night Raw match.
Grade: D+

 

4. WWF Women’s Championship
Strap Match
Sable (c) vs. Luna Vachon

These two were rivals for the early part of 1998 but eventually made peace only to be feuding again. Not a bad match despite with what they had to work with but it sure didn’t help the so far shitty show.
Grade: D-

 

5. WWF Championship
I Quit Match
Mankind (c) vs. The Rock

This will go on record as one of the most violent and heated matches I’ve ever seen in my life. The amount of punishment received by both men, especially Mick Foley will forever be scarred in my mind. Both hated each other at the time with a passion as rivals and their in ring chemistry was top notch. Definitely one of the most violent matches in WWF history bar none. While there was little wrestling between them, there charisma and natural ability to a crowd reaction hid that negative.
Grade: A-

 

6. Royal Rumble Match
Participants: Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mr. McMahon, Golga, Droz, Edge, Gillberg, Steve Blackman, Dan Severn, Tiger Ali Singh, The Blue Meanie, Mabel, The Road Dogg, Gangrel, Kurrgan, Al Snow, Goldust, The Godfather, Kane, Ken Shamrock, Billy Gunn, Test, The Big Boss Man, Triple H, Val Venis, X-Pac, Mark Henry, Jeff Jarrett, D’Lo Brown, Owen Hart & Chyna

Pretty average rumble for the most part but the real kicker here was the Austin vs. McMahon feud that is still talked about today as both were #1 & #2 respectively and ended the match together a la 1995. Another milestone here in the rumble is the first ever entry of a woman in the match as DX member Chyna won a mock Royal Rumble at Raw to earn her spot.
Grade: B-

 

Final Thoughts:

This show suffered a lot and if it were only for the I Quit Match & Rumble match partially, this would of been a disaster. Yet this still marks as one of the worst rumble shows of all time. Despite the rise of dominance within the company the focus at the time was very one sided as it only centered as Austin, Mankind & DX vs. The Corporation. I’d mildly recommend this show just for the last two matches.

Verdict: 6.5/10

royalrumble1998

 

1. Vader vs. Goldust w/Luna Vachon

Goldust was going a downward spiral gimmick wise and became a more deranged and surreal character spoofing off Prince’s moniker “The Artist Formerly Known as…”. His first victim was Vader after a Survivor Series match in which both were partners but he turned his back on the Mastodon. The feud was hot and heavy and the match wasn’t the prettiest but it sure was entertaining with the brawling.
Grade: B-

 

2. Batallion, Tarantula & El Torito vs. Max Mini, Nova & Mosaic

The Mexican mini’s once again make their way to a PPV match as a special attraction. This one had little to no entertainment and it’s division eventually died in the following weeks.
Grade: D

 

3. WWF Intercontinental Championship
The Rock (c) vs. Ken Shamrock

Rocky Maivia joined the Nation of Domination and became what we all know him best as The Rock. At the time he was in a very heated feud with UFC legend Ken Shamrock who at the time competing as a WWF regular. The match itself was pretty good as both had good chemistry and as up and coming wrestlers they sure made the best out of their time together. The finish was understandable and very much acceptable to escalate their feud even more.
Grade: B-

 

4. WWF Tag Team Championship
The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Bad Ass Billy Gunn) (c) vs. The Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal)

The Outlaws were rising while the Road Warriors were descending in the ranks of popularity. Their feuds were very one sided and their matches were as bland as a paper colored in white crayon. This was no exception.
Grade: F

 

5. Royal Rumble Match
Participants: Cactus Jack, Chainsaw Charlie, Tom Brandi, The Rock, Mosh, Phineas Godwinn, 8-Ball, Blackjack Bradshaw, Owen Hart, Steve Blackman, D-Lo Brown, Kurrgan, Marc Mero, Ken Shamrock, Thrasher, Goldust, Jeff Jarrett, The Honky Tonk Man, Ahmed Johnson, Mark Henry, Skull, Kama Mustafa, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Henry Godwinn, Savio Vega, Farooq, Dude Love, Chainz & Vader

This rumble was average with some notable highlights in which Mick Foley entered three times in the rumble as his three alter-egos to everyone’s amusement. The subplot of Austin attacking most of the participants in the weeks prior to the rumble to prove that he is a marked man and doesn’t give a damn. The rest was forgettable but some decent spots were shown.
Grade: B-

 

6. WWF Championship
Casket Match
Shawn Michaels (c) vs. The Undertaker

These two have been pulling a series of really good matches including the infamous first ever Hell in a Cell match. Outside of the interference from DX, the Outlaws, Los Boricuas & Kane. The match itself was quite good with the casket playing a good part of the spots provided in the match. Both have proven the huge chemistry they had as professionals & veterans that was never questioned and never will be. Also another chapter in the legendary Kane vs. Undertaker feud was written during this match with a climatic ending to the show.
Grade: B+

 

Final Thoughts:

This was a solid show that’s easy to sit through and be enjoyed in it’s fullest. The undercard was alright, the rumble was fun & the main event was entertaining. From this point forward the WWF was striking back at WCW during the infamous Monday Night War with their new weapons in Austin, Rock, Mankind, Undertaker, Kane & others.

Verdict: 7.25/10

royalrumble1997dvdconve

 

Free For All Match
La Parkita & Max Mini vs. Mini Vader & Mini Mankind

Mini wrestlers from Mexico come to the WWF as a special attraction and a future division within it’s ranks. If you’re a fan of Mexican Lucha Libre then you’ll find it in your heart to take love this match. Max Mini rolls Mini Vader for the W.
Grade: DUD (A+ for entertainment)

 

1. WWF Intercontinental Championship
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (c) vs. Goldust w/Marlena

Not much of a wrestling match but a pretty good brawl. Both were in a heated feud at the time which made it more interesting and watchable.
Grade: B-

 

2. Farooq vs. Ahmed Johnson

Farooq was in the early stages of  leading the infamous pro black group stable, The Nation of Domination, and it’s first target was fellow black wrestler Ahmed Johnson. This was a very good feud with a lot of build up but compiled some of the worst matches you could ever lay eyes one. That says it all.
Grade: F

 

3. The Undertaker vs. Vader

Taker finally divorced from Paul Bearer and was on a solo journey to superstardom. Vader after having a monstrous 1996 was lost in the shuffle already beginning in 1997. This match was better than most would expect and a rare good big man match at the time.
Grade: C+

 

4. Heavy Metal, Jerry Estrada & Fuerza Guerrera vs. Hector Garza, El Canek & Perry Aguayo

This was a showcase from the Mexican promotion AAA. They’re some of the top luchadors from the country and known for their longevity in their respective careers. If you’re an admirer of lucha libre then you’ll be entertained with this match. Otherwise you’ll find it very spot fested and a bit sloppy.
Grade: C

 

5. Royal Rumble Match
Participants: Crush, Ahmed Johnson, Fake Razor Ramon, Phineas Godwinn, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bart Gunn, Jake The Snake Roberts, The British Bulldog, Pierroth, The Sultan, Mil Mascaras, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Owen Hart, Goldust, Cibernetico, Marc Mero, Latin Lover, Farooq, Savio Vega, Jesse James, Bret Hart, Jerry Lawler, Fake Diesel, Terry Funk, Rocky Maivia, Mankind, Flash Funk, Vader, Henry Godwinn & The Undertaker.

Another fun rumble where a lot of guests from Mexico and legends were participating. Also Steve Austin’s meteoric rise was highlighted with pure dominance in this rumble and his heated feud with Bret Hart wrote another chapter in their history book. This is one of the first rumbles where actual feuds weighed on the outcome of eliminations.
Grade: B-

 

6. WWF Championship
Psycho Sid (c) vs. Shawn Michaels

Unless you’re a Shawn Michaels fan, you’re not gonna enjoy this match at all as Sid’s terrible wrestling is exposed and HBK’s performance wasn’t top notch either despite him being in his hometown of San Antonio. They had a good buildup to their matches with the exception of one match, all of them were mediocre at best.
Grade: C

 

Final Thoughts:

Another average to stinky depending on how you see it. The rumble served it’s purpose but as usual the rest of the card lacked any significance other than storyline chapters. I don’t recommend this show at all unless you want to watch all the rumbles for nostalgia leading up to the current year’s edition.

Verdict: 6/10

royalrumble1996dvdconve

 

Free For All Match
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Duke Droese

This is the first ever Free For All Match that was delivered during the half hour preview show before the event. This had an interesting stipulation where the winner would be #30 in the rumble while the loser will get the #1 spot in the match. Helmsley was still new to the WWF and was feuding with characters who represented the opposite of what he was. Being a rich snob he competed against wrestlers with blue collar gimmicks such as farmer Henry Godwinn and here with garbage man Duke. The future Triple H had enough of this match and Disqualified himself in the match to only realize that he got the #1 spot in the rumble much to his ire.
Grade: DUD

 

1. Ahmed Johnson vs. Jeff Jarrett

The only thing noteworthy here is the birth of a Double J trademark, the guitar smash to the head.
Grade: DUD

 

2. WWF Tag Team Championship
The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart Gunn) (c) vs. The Bodydonnas (Skip & Zip) w/Sunny

A tag match with no emotion nor desire by anyone which killed all the potential this match had.
Grade: D+

 

3. WWF Intercontinental Championship
Razor Ramon (c) vs. Goldust w/Marlena

Marlena (Terri Runnels) makes her debut in the WWF. This was a heavily disappointing wrestling match with no chemistry in the ring despite a terrific build up. One interesting fact here is that it’s Ramon’s fourth straight title match at the Rumble and at the time whoever wrestled in the undercard did not partake in the Rumble match which confirms that Scott Hall never participated in a Royal Rumble match.
Grade: D-

 

4. Royal Rumble Match
Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Henry Godwinn, Bob Backlund, Jerry Lawler, Bob Holly, King Mabel, Jake the Snake Roberts, Dory Funk Jr., Yokozuna, 1-2-3 Kid, Takao Omori, Savio Vega, Vader, Doug Gilbert, Headhunter #1, Headhunter #2, Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels, Hakushi, Tatanka, Aldo Montoya, Diesel, The Ringmaster, Fatu, Isaac Yankem DDS, Marty Jannetty, The British Bulldog & Duke Droese

This was a very fun rumble with a lot of gimmicks doing their trademarks such as Jake Roberts releasing a gigantic python in the ring to which the participants at the time fled outside. The entertainment value was very high in this one and it also brought up a story with Shawn Michaels returning to the ring after a concussion sustained at a Monday Night Raw that sidelined him.
Grade: B

 

5. WWF Championship
Bret Hart (c) vs. The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer

Bret Hart once again made the best of a match this time with a very gimmicked Taker. The match was long enough for a suitable title match but it didn’t shine very well as it didn’t mesh very well and also the interference of Diesel took a lot of the specialty away but at least it opened another chapter in Taker’s direction.
Grade: C+

 

Final Thoughts:

Another disappointing show but at least this time around the actual rumble was good enough to be watched for nostalgic purposes. The rest can be easily be lived without. One thing to be noted here is that the seeds were planted for the eventual rise and comeback of the WWF in which stars like Austin, Triple H & Kane were beginning their careers in the WWF at the time which on the long run heavily paid off. I only recommend this show for the actual rumble match and mildly for the main event if you have the patience for it.

Verdict: 6.25/10