We Need A Hero: The Worst Pay Per View In the History of Wrestling

heroes-of-wrestling-logo_medium

Brian Damage

15 years ago, a man had an idea to capitalize on the booming popularity of pro wrestling. Keep in mind, this was in 1999…in his eyes, it was the height of the Monday Night Wars and the ‘Attitude Era.’ TV ratings were at an all time high, pay per view buy rates were tremendous and the mainstream media was in infatuated with the product like never before. It only made sense that somebody NOT named Ted Turner or Vince McMahon try and get a piece of the big wrestling pie. Continue reading

Advertisements

Super Clash III: The Blueprint to Burying Several Promotions At Once

superclash3

Brian Damage

In the year 1988, it had become blatantly obvious that the World Wrestling Federation was the top dog in pro wrestling. Jim Crockett had just sold his company to billionaire Ted Turner to form World Championship Wrestling to solidify itself as the number 2 promotion in the US. American Wrestling Association owner Verne Gagne was a far distant third. Most of his young homegrown talent like Curt Hennig and The Midnight Rockers jumped ship to the WWF. Continue reading

Bad event, good memories – part III

The third instalment of this series where I look at an event I thought was great as a kid but on recently re-watching the event it’s nowhere near as good. Previously I’ve written about Wrestlemania 6 and Wrestlemania 9. This time it is the turn of Wrestlemania 4.

A bit of background first, after their historic feud and match at WM3, Andre had a rematch against Hogan on the first-ever edition of The Main Event in February. André controversially won the title from Hogan in a screwjob involving a fake referee and became the shortest reigning WWF Champion with a reign of only 47 seconds as he sold the title to the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. However, WWF President Jack Tunney vacated the title and ordered it to be decided in a 14-man tournament at Wrestlemania IV.

The fourteen men were: Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Ted DiBiase, Jim Duggan, Don Muraco, Dino Bravo, Randy Savage, Butch Reed, Greg Valentine, Ricky Steamboat, One Man Gang, Bam Bam Bigelow, Rick Rude and Jake Roberts.

I should pre-empt my remarks here by stating that I love tournaments. I really do. The excitement and the luck of the draw make various tournaments really exciting however, taking that tournament style to Wrestlemania crated a lengthy, and at times very dull, event back in 1988.

As was the norm at the time, this event was bought solely on the aesthetics. Not solely the lure of the cover but the fact that it was a double video. Surely this would mean even more wrestling for my young eyes to feast upon. Sadly, while there is plenty of wrestling on the card it’s just that there isn’t all that much in the way of enjoyment to be taken from this event.

Sure there was a couple of good matches on the night, Greg Valentine v Ricky Steamboat being such a match and the final between Savage and Dibiase, despite the pair having competed a number of times already, is a very good match. There is some absolute garbage too: Hogan v an almost immobile Andre, One Man Gang v Bam Bam in a match that was essentially the trading of four arm blows before a lame finish, Rick Rude v Jake Roberts which was just surprisingly bad and the Ultimate Warrior v Hercules which served no purpose other than allowing those taking part in the tournament to have a toilet break.

I guess this could have been great had the WWF played out the opening rounds ahead of Wrestlemania with just the semi-finals and final taking place on the night. Sadly, this didn’t happen and what you got instead was an event filled with matches that suffered due to time constraints, contained too many count-outs and DQs for a Wrestlemania and a series of matches that are boring beyond belief. Don’t get me wrong, important from a historical perspective and a neat enough concept, it’s just a pity that the WWE failed in the delivery of it.

Bad event, good memories – part II

Part two of this series, the premise is simple, an event you enjoy – for whatever reasons you want – but is either regarded by many as poor or upon reviewing the event you tend to agree.

The first one looked at Wrestlemania 6, this post will take you guys forward three years to Wrestlemania 9 which took place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 4, 1993. It was the first Wrestlemania to take place outside and, I am pretty sure of this, the first home video release not to have the classic purple bordered cover. Am I right on that front?

So, I got this on video at the time, in fact my Gran got me it, and as a ten year old lad at the time, I thought it was fantastic.  As a youngster I thought the wearing of togas was amusing – I have changed this view, having Hogan wrestling twice and winning the title was a great ending – *facepalm* and that Heenan coming out at the start on the camel backwards was amazing – this opinion hasn’t changed.

So, the card:

The dark match was Tito Santana defeating Papa Shango and I can’t say that I’m that gutted that this wasn’t shown on TV…

The first broadcast match was Tatanka v Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental championship. I quite liked Tatanka when I was younger clearly oblivious to how boring his matches were to watch. I was also a big fan of HBK after ditching Janetty to break up the Rockers so this match was one that I remember. Watching it now, there is far too much focus on the respective managers, Sensational Sherri and Luna Vachon for my liking and it went on a bit and was marred by the count-out finish which I hate to see at Wrestlemania. Still, not the worst of the night by a long way…

The second match was a good match that is still good: The Steiners v the Headshrinkers. There is a great moment in this match where the Headshrinkers performed a double splash on Scott Steiner. Wee bit sloppy at times but all in all not a bad match at all.

The same cannot be said for the next bout between Crush and Doink. This is the infamous ‘two Doinks’ bit which sees Doink win this when a second doing appears in the ring and the two clowns break a fake arm over Crush’s head.

The next match is arguable worse, Backlund v Razor. Far too quick, less than 4 minutes, and it comes to an end just as it seems to be getting started. This one ends with a small package from Ramon for the win.

Next up we had the tag-title match between Money, Inc and the Mega-maniacs (Hogan and Beefcake). This match suffers from a really stupid ending where when the referee is down Jimmy Hart, who is managing the Mega-maniacs jumps in the ring and makes the three count. Really stupid stuff. A second referee then comes in an DQs the Mega-maniacs so that Money Inc stay champs. Great. Another stupid ending next where Lex Lugar defeats Mr. Perfect despite Perfect having his feet on the ropes. Not a bad match at all but again one that is marred by a stupid ending.

There is definitely a strong argument for the next match between the Undertaker and Giant Gonzales to be regarded as the worst Wrestlemania match of all time. I know most Undertaker matches are awful but this one will never be beaten. I don’t even want to talk about it. DON’T EVER WATCH THIS MATCH IF YOU CAN AVOID IT!

The match between Bret Hart and Yoko for the title was decent. Yoko was a great big man and Bret did the best he could to get a good match here. After building up Yoko from his entrance in the WWF, including winning the  Royal Rumble of that year, you’d expect him to go on a long run with the belt, right? Well, wrong. Less than a minute after winning the title Yoko drops it to Hogan in what must be the dumbest ending to a Wrestlemania ever.

That said, as a young boy I was quite happy. Gutted about that now, though. Am treating this admission as similar to counselling here!

I can only assume that Vince put the belt back on Hogan in the belief that Yoko or Bret couldn’t be as big a draw as he  had hoped.
The first one looked at Wrestlemania 6, this post will take you guys forward three years to Wrestlemania 9 which took place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 4, 1993. It was the first Wrestlemania to take place outside and, I am pretty sure of this, the first home video release not to have the classic purple bordered cover. Am I right on that front?

So, I got this on video at the time, in fact my Gran got me it, and as a ten year old lad at the time, I thought it was fantastic.  As a youngster I thought the wearing of togas was amusing – I have changed this view, having Hogan wrestling twice and winning the title was a great ending – *facepalm* and that Heenan coming out at the start on the camel backwards was amazing – this opinion hasn’t changed.

So, the card:

The dark match was Tito Santana defeating Papa Shango and I can’t say that I’m that gutted that this wasn’t shown on TV…

The first broadcast match was Tatanka v Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental championship. I quite liked Tatanka when I was younger clearly oblivious to how boring his matches were to watch. I was also a big fan of HBK after ditching Janetty to break up the Rockers so this match was one that I remember. Watching it now, there is far too much focus on the respective managers, Sensational Sherri and Luna Vachon for my liking and it went on a bit and was marred by the count-out finish which I hate to see at Wrestlemania. Still, not the worst of the night by a long way…

The second match was a good match that is still good: The Steiners v the Headshrinkers. There is a great moment in this match where the Headshrinkers performed a double splash on Scott Steiner. Wee bit sloppy at times but all in all not a bad match at all.

The same cannot be said for the next bout between Crush and Doink. This is the infamous ‘two Doinks’ bit which sees Doink win this when a second doing appears in the ring and the two clowns break a fake arm over Crush’s head.

The next match is arguable worse, Backlund v Razor. Far too quick, less than 4 minutes, and it comes to an end just as it seems to be getting started. This one ends with a small package from Ramon for the win.

Next up we had the tag-title match between Money, Inc and the Mega-maniacs (Hogan and Beefcake). This match suffers from a really stupid ending where when the referee is down Jimmy Hart, who is managing the Mega-maniacs jumps in the ring and makes the three count. Really stupid stuff. A second referee then comes in an DQs the Mega-maniacs so that Money Inc stay champs. Great. Another stupid ending next where Lex Lugar defeats Mr. Perfect despite Perfect having his feet on the ropes. Not a bad match at all but again one that is marred by a stupid ending.

There is definitely a strong argument for the next match between the Undertaker and Giant Gonzales to be regarded as the worst Wrestlemania match of all time. I know most Undertaker matches are awful but this one will never be beaten.

The match between Bret Hart and Yoko for the title was decent. Yoko was a great big man and Bret did the best he could to get a good match here. After building up Yoko from his entrance in the WWF, including winning the  Royal Rumble of that year, you’d expect him to go on a long run with the belt, right? Well, wrong. Less than a minute after winning the title Yoko drops it to Hogan in what must be the dumbest ending to a Wrestlemania ever.

That said, as a young boy I was quite happy. Gutted about that now, though. Am treating this admission as similar to counselling here!

Bad event, good memories – part I

Craig Wilson

Premise is simple, an event you enjoy – for whatever reasons you want – but is either regarded by many as poor or upon reviewing the event you tend to agree.

Sticking with the Wrestlemania theme for this one so the first event I’ll talk about is Wrestlemania 6.

WM6 was the second WWF video I got as a kid – the first was 1988 survivor series. At the time I was very young and the decision on what videos to buy was primarily due to the cover. The cover for this event featured the iconic poster of the Ultimate Warrior going head to head with the Hulkster in what was billed as the Ultimate Challenge. Check out the cheesy greatness of the intro video…

Anyway, I remember watching WM6 as a kid and thinking it was awesome. The event took place at the Sky Dome in Toronto, the first Wrestlemania to take place outside America, in front of a crowd of 67,678 fans. I was mesmerised by the huge attendance at the event and thought the matches were good. One of the stand-out features of events in that era was the high number of matches – this event featured 14 that were broadcast. I was a huge Demolition fan as a kid – was delighted, too, that they are in the WWE12 game – and buzzed that they won the tag titles from the Colossal Connection of Andre the Giant and Haku to become only the second team in WWE history to have three reigns as champions. The first team was the 70s combination of Mr. Fuji and Prof. Tanaka. Mr. Fuji will be better remembered by most as the manager of Yokozuna in the 90s but also managed Demolition until late 88.

As a wrestling fan it’s never cool to admit that you’re a fan of the Ultimate Warrior but I was watching this event when I was ten so that’s my excuse. As a small kid I was a huge Ultimate Warrior fan! The main event of that Wrestlemania was epic. The Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior locking horns with the World Champion the Immortal Hulk Hogan in an incredible good guy v good guy battle. Quite uncommon at the time to see a good guy v a good guy as it tended to always be about battles between good and evil. What a match it turned out to be which is even more surprising when you consider who was involved. Hulk Hogan is an icon of wrestling and played as much of a role as Vince McMahon in making the then WWF the success that it was. History hasn’t been kind to the Ultimate Warrior. ‘The self destruction of the Ultimate Warrior’ DVD turned into little more than a hatchet job after the Warrior’s refusal to take part. Also, it’s crazy to note that Jim Helwig changed his name to ‘The Warrior’ in the nineties. That’s right. The surname of his kids is ‘Warrior’. Anyway… I digress. The match was an epic power struggle between the man that had carried the WWF to that point and the man viewed by many as the person who would carry the WWF beyond the event. Despite the Warrior’s win it never turned out like that with poor buy rates eventually seeing the belt return to the Hulkster, although not for another year, when he defeated Sgt. Slaughter in the main event at the following year’s Wrestlemania.

I watched the event the other week and boy does it not live up to the memories of old. Yeah the tag title match was cool and the main event was very good so too was the bout pitting the Orient Express v The Rockers but there is some garbage on there as well. The Big Boss Man beating Akeem in about a minute and a half to end their feud: rubbish. A half blacked-up Roddy Piper going to a double count-out with Bad News Brown: crap ending – I hate double count-outs or double-DQs at Wrestlemania and Dusty Rhodes and Saphire having a mixed tag match with the Macho Man and Sherri: A waste of Savage’s talents. What a drop for Randy Savage. From match of the event at WM 3, winning the title at WM4 and being in the main event against Hogan at WM5 to this drivel. Still, things did pick up in the lead up to his “retirement” match against the Warrior at WM7 but still…

Quite possibly the very definition of a main event show as most watching this, even now, will only care about the main event. There is some decent stuff there, the matches I mentioned and Andre the Giant turning face but that’s buried right at the start. The commentary is great too from the legendary, and late, Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse ‘the body’ Ventura. Still, I wouldn’t bother with the event. Maybe just watch the main event on youtube…