YES SIR! One of the wackiest storylines the WWF did in the 90s and a lot of “hardcore” wrestling snobs hated it at the time (just read the old Observers) because it was too much fantasy. Whatever, I was 10 and I loved it and now at 28 I love it. Why? It actually had a logical start, middle, and ending (even though we never really figured out where Ted Dibiase’s Undertaker actually came from), it was well thought out, Vince didn’t change his mind about it every freakin week, AND it had actual celebrity involvement that was fun and well done. This includes all of the big promos building up the match and the angle. Soooo much fun.
Yeah the final match blew chunks, but who cares? This was fun 1994 WWF.
We all know about Bret vs. Austin, we’ve all talked at length about the HBK vs. ‘Taker series and we’ve all read all there is to read about the HBK/Razor Ladder match….
but what about the forgotten gems? The matches that maybe weren’t classics, but were really really enjoyable and have gotten lost in the forest of epic WrestleMania matches and moments. These are some matches that I know I look back at fondly:
WrestleMania 9: The Steiner Brothers vs. The Headshrinkers
Big jacked up All American butting heads with savage Samoans – that’s Pro Wrestling to me. These two teams are right up there with my all time favourites and this was somewhat of a dream match for me, even as an 8 year old. Both teams brought their A games with Rick & Scott throwing the big bumping ‘Shrinkers all over the ring and eating some hefty offense themselves. A picture perfect Frankensteiner finish closed the book on this one.
WrestleMania 10: Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna
When people think of Bret matches at Mania 10, this usually isn’t the one that comes to mind. However that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a hell of a match. Yoko was at his peak as a star here, a mountain of a man that nobody could overcome. He ran through Bret (with some help) in Vegas the year before and they told the story of Bret as the huge underdog well. Incredible psychology, and great work from both men.
WrestleMania 11: Yokozuna & Owen Hart vs. The Smoking Gunns
In case you didn’t guess, I’m a big fan of Yoko. This was his big return after a long absence. I remember freaking out when Owen introduced him as his mystery partner, I thought Billy & Bart would be DONE FOR. But what makes this match so much fun is how much of a fight they put up. Ultimately it wasn’t enough though as the massive Yoko (he was really packing extra weight at this point) was just too much for them. The finish was hilarious as Owen took a limp, squished, dead to the world Billy Gunn and put him in an unnecessary Sharpshooter while posing. Continue reading
So I got this DVD comp of the short but sweet, late eighties, heel run of Haku and Tama, The Islanders. Wasnâ€™t totally sure what to expect going in but I was assured it was great, so I decided to dive right into it when it came in the post.
May 30th 1987 Superstars
Islanders vs. Can-Am Connection
Going into this match both teams were babyfaces, and dammit, Bruno on commentary was oh so excited about the good clean technical match we had in front of us! However something smelled fishy as Bobby Heenan came down to ringside and Jesse Ventura seemed to have the scoop. He laughed a knowing laugh and Bruno and Vince werenâ€™t happy. Then the Islanders did the greatest pop-in interview, they simply did a nice big belly laugh. Bruno: â€œI donâ€™t know what dat was allll about Vinceâ€. Of course about 5 minutes in, Haku and Tama go rudo all over the Can-Ams asses and Bobby gets in the ring and hugs them.
The first three post-turn matches are a great squash, a match against THE YOUNG STALLIONS~! and a match against Rick Martel and JYD (I dunno where Zenk went). The main thing that came out of these was how unbelievably great Tama was as a heel. Just such a total cocky prick. He was great.
August 15th 1987
Strike Force arrives! (and my sister was born, but thatâ€™s significantly less important)
So with Zenk having disappeared, Martel was out on his own in singles action (against Big Bad Barry Horowitz). The Islanders apparently werenâ€™t through with making him a sad little model, so they hit the scene and beat the crap out of him. However they didnâ€™t account for Tito Santana (who was working the Spanish broadcast) hitting the ring for the save. Tito was all fired up and Strike Force was formed!
A couple of weeks later, the Islanders squashed a couple of fools and then made their way over to the Spanish table. They had a bone to pick with Tito. A brawl broke out, the feud intensified.
October 3rd 1987 Boston Garden
Islanders vs. Strike Force
“Dr. D” David Shultz was one of professional wrestling’s crazy characters. The man worked various territories in the 70s and 80s, most notably Verne Gagne’s AWA and the World Wrestling Federation. Well on December 28th, 1984, right as the WWF was preparing to hit the mainstream, Dr. D sealed his fate in professional wrestling as a cult legend when he slapped ABC 20/20 news correspondent John Stossell in the face not once, but twice, after Stosell asked him if professional wrestling was “fake”, considering his old tag team partner revealed some of the secrets. This assault was later aired on ABC news and the network actually received thousands of calls of concern for Stosell’s health. Stossel went to court over it and sued the World Wrestling Federation and eventually settled. An apology was also given by Shultz. Many feel this was the incident that caused the WWF to release Shultz until he would rear his head during the early 1990s steroid distribution trial.
David Shultz career pretty much fell into dire straights from that point forward. The ironic thing about it is that had an incident like this happened anytime this year, it would probably have been turned into a storyline.