VIOLENT PANDA Wrestling Review: WWE Presents MSG Classics 08.02.06
Posted by Peter Kent on 08.03.2006
Hogan vs. Flair! HBK's Mullet! Harts vs. Bulldogs! & a COLOSSAL JOSTLE~ + emails
VIOLENT PANDA Wrestling Review
WWE Presents MSG Classics (A WWE 24/7 production brought to you by MSG and the WWE)
Torrie Wilson in FHM.. I know it's irrelevant to this review, but it is very relevant to my loins. ECW was pretty awesome last night, huh?
Mean Gene welcomes us from the WWE studio. Behind his head are images of wrestlers, and this week the images of wrestlers behind Gene's skull are Hogan and Andre. Maybe they change them to fit the shows each week? Pretty cool. As Don Mattingly was wrapping up an MVP season with the Yankees, Madison Square Garden was packed to see THE COLOSSAL JOSTLE, hahaha. That's Andre the Giant vs. King Kong Bundy.
September 23, 1985
The Colossal Jostle – King Kong Bundy w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Andre The Giant w/ Lou Albano:
- I guess Jimmy won't complain about KUNG FU KARATE this week, heh heh. Lou struts on the apron. Crowd goes wild as these two.. uh, well.. they don't do much. They hug. They punch and don't sell. Crowd busts into a big "Andre" chant, and Andre hits a big headbutt that knocks Bundy to the mat, and the crowd roars.
- Bundy goes for a kick but Andre catches his leg and kicks him.. wow, that was kind of like RVD's spot there. Without the jumping, of course. Andre takes over with an armbar and he pushes down on Bundy's head… wow.. why do Andre's submissions look more real than most guy's stuff today? What's especially nice is as he has the hold applied, he changes positions, so he ends up looming over a kneeling Bundy, then slowly working him down in a combo bodyscissors! You know, I think that's my beef about the rest holds and Ortonlocks out there. The guy applying the hold doesn't jockey for position – he doesn't go for the kill. He just sits there.
- Unfortunately, after all that work, when Bundy finally escapes he immediately uses the "injured" arm to grab the ropes to pull himself to his feet. Andre gets up and headbutts him out of the ring, and Bundy takes a nasty spill to the floor. That was the Victoria ass-first bump right there, looked nasty!
- Gorilla refers to Bundy as "the moving condominium", heh heh. I should note that Jesse The Body Ventura is on color duty tonight, and they're both calling this one in a very serious tone.
- Andre wraps Bundy's arm behind his head, but again when Bundy escapes he waves the arm around as if he just got a full body massage rather than having a huge fat guy trying to pop his arm out of its' socket.
- They trade clubbering forearms for a while, and then Andre catching a charging Bundy with a boot and he drops flat. Suddenly, Big John Studd runs in and attacks Andre for the DQ. Andre gets a chair, climbs back into the ring, and the heels run.
An OK match. Andre actually did quite a lot here, and a lot of it looked good. Bundy was just kind of there. He didn't really contribute a lot of venom that you'd expect from a heel, but then, his character is in the rare position of being dwarfed by his opponent.
Man.. The Fink was STILL bald!
Winner: Andre the Giant
Who were the champions at the time of this show, you ask? Why:
WWE Champion: Hulk Hogan
IC Champion: Tito Santana
WWE Tag Champions: Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake
Hart Foundation (Brett Hart & Jim Neidhart) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid):
- Fink says this is a "tag team attraction", heh heh. Lots of stalling to start. Then, Dynamite goes off the ropes at an insane speed and ends up catapulting Bret into the corner and to the floor. Crowd loves it.
- Tons more stalling. I'm talking minutes, here. Dynamite escapes a Bret hammerlock by running and sending Bret sliding over his back and all the way to the floor, crowd roars. More agonizing stalling.
- Thank you, ffwd button. Davey does a shocking spot where he hops up onto Bret's shoulders and rolls forward into a pin attempt. I had no idea the guy was capable of a move like that.
- Anvil comes in and eventually sends DK to the floor. With the ref distracted, Bret gives the Kid a careful bodyslam on the concrete. Dynamite is IN PERIL. And by gum, DK gets held down to get hit by the other opponent and does NOT dodge, as per the current formula.
- Anvil's offense is torturously dull. Headlock. Hot tag tease. Commercial. Argh.
- Bret sends Dynamite off the ropes and goes for a.. I'm not sure. Dynamite flips, Bret gets lost, DK just kind of falls to his knees. Supposed to be a backbreaker, maybe? A miscommunication.
- Bret charges DK, who ducks, and Bret ends up kind of crotching himself on the top rope sideways, if that makes sense. Cool idea. Not sure what Bret could have possibly been going for. A crossbody, maybe?
- Davey gets the hot tag, and sends Bret into the corner. Bret goes at top speed, hitting the turnbuckles with his chest so hard that the ring ropes shake violently like there was an earthquake. Davey hits a monkey press, but only gets two. Harts regain control, and hit a NASTY doomsday device or whatever. DK breaks up the pin with a diving headbutt, then covers Bret for the 1, 2, 3. DK was the illegal man, but he actually looked quite similar to Davey with their matching red tights. And the justification is that Jim had actually come in earlier without tagging in.
What to say about this. I guess if you had a few beers, this would be a real good match to watch. Sober, there's just an infinity of stalling that ruins the bursts of cool action that do take place. This was way too long for the amount of stuff they had planned.
Winner: British Bulldogs
Jimmy Hart & Terry Funk are in the back with Gorilla Monsoon. Hart claims that the Junkyard Dog tried to drown him a few months back, so he's hired a bounty hunter – Terry Funk. Again, like last week, the phrase "WWF" was uttered a thousand times during the matches but was only censored during a promo. Terry Funk starts talking about the "WW_". "I don't consider him a Junkyard Dog.. I don't consider him an egg-sucking dog.. I don't consider him a mad dog.. what I consider him (as) is a jackass."
Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Junkyard Dog:
- Terry has his branding iron. JYD has chains. On the butt of JYD's tights is the word: "THUMP". JYD immediately beats on Funk on the floor. Terry takes a back body drop and a body slam on the concrete.
- In the ring, Terry takes the momentum with a blatant mule kick. Gorilla spends a lot of time complaining about the refs in these matches. Terry follows up with the spot Eddie would later do, where he steps on a guy's nose and spins.
- Terry tries to headbutt JYD, but JYD is IMMUNE and Terry ends up knocking himself silly. Funk goes for a cheap pin but the ref catches it. JYD then wins it with a roll-up.
- After, JYD goes after Hart but ends up getting taken down. Terry puts the branding iron to him, but JYD doesn't sell it. I remember seeing the iron as a kid and it scared the bejeezus out of me because I thought the guy was really getting branded.
Pretty weird match. Seems like it was booked to be a hot brawl, but the crowd heat wasn't there.
That's the end of hour 1.
November 30, 1991
The Cold War has ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, the World Championship is under attack. Ric Flair has left WCW to come to the WWF. His target: Hulk Hogan.
Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair:
- Fans can be seen chanting "We want Flair". Ric has the NWA title. WWF President "Jack Tunney" has decreed that the title cannot be shown on TV as he doesn't recognize it, and thus a black spot censors the title as Ric shows it to each section of the crowd. He is apparently claiming that he is the true world champion. See, why couldn't TNA have Rhino do THIS with the ECW title? Instead of keeping it in a red bag? Because TNA is dumb, that's why.
- For some reason, the WWF has concocted a crappy-as-hell synthesized version of "Also Spracht Zarathrusta", Ric's theme. Man, their music is just the worst. HBK's theme makes me hang my head in shame.
- Hogan hits some STIFF chops, and Flair does a big flop to a huge reaction. Hogan clotheslines Flair to the floor, then does the "I want to listen to each side of the crowd" pose.. and he gets about 25% boos! Ha.. awesome.
- Hogan with some of that crappy ringside brawling, then.. poor Ric takes the suplex to the floor. At least they had mats on the concrete at this point. Commercials. You know.. I seriously would want to see this match in 2006. Hell, throw in Nick Hogan and David (or Reid!) Flair. Make that Nick's first ever match – that would be incredible.
- Ric takes control for a moment with an eye poke, but then he climbs the ropes and gets bodyslammed off. This is all Hogan so far and the crowd is loving it!
- Hogan big boot, legdrop! 1, 2, 3…! Ric had his leg on the rope! Crowd doesn't notice and thinks Hulk has won and freaks out. The ref gets super animated and uses the ancient art of pantomime to let everyone know that it was only two. He kicks the rope, he makes the "safe" motion that a baseball ump would make, hilarious stuff. These guys are all high off the crowd reaction. Hogan so far has been incredibly FAST. No bullshit stalling, he's just going nuts.
- Flair's "associate", Mr. Perfect, finally makes an appearance, distracting the ref so Flair can bash Hogan's leg against the post. Then Flair and Perfect switch positions.. man, when Perfect tries to bash Hogan's leg, it clearly doesn't connect at all. Terrible angle on that, looks super-fake.
- Flair continues to work over the knee to set up the figure four. Hulk's selling is fantastic as he hobbles around like Quasimodo. Flair locks in the figure four, crowd goes nuts.. Hogan is able to turn it over. Perfect slips Flair a foreign object. Flair hits him with it. 1..2..3. Flair stashes it in the back of his tights as he celebrates, and we see a clear shot of something sticking out, and it's not poop. Fink announces Flair as the winner…
- Officials rush the ring to expose Ric's deeds. Crowd starts JUMPING UP AND DOWN! Flair tries to cinch in another figure four, but Hogan powers out and chucks Ric out of the ring. Fink announces that the ref has reversed the decision, and Hulk is the winner.
Wild match! GREAT stuff! I think that's the best Hogan "wrestling" performance I have ever seen. It seems like these two could have had a frickin classic blowoff, but as far as I know it never took place in the WWF.
Winner: Hulk Hogan
WWE Champion: The Undertaker
IC Champion: Bret Hart
Tag Champions: Legion of Doom
- Apparently, Jimmy Hart threw water on Bret, and Mountie used his "shock stick" on him, heh heh. Mountie is wielding this staff of striking +2 in the ring. The Big Bossman does Bret a favor and blindsides the guy and takes it away.
- They start off with some dull striking. Then Mountie walks toward Bret with his arms high for a double axehandle, his body language BEGGING to be hit in the gut. When Bret doesn't oblige right away, Mountie very clearly just tells Bret to hit him, heh heh.
- FFWD. This stuff is really dull. Mountie hits a beautiful, big-air elbow. Gets two. Commercial. Heenan calls The Mountie "excellence of electrocution" hahaha.
- Mountie hits Bret in the gut with a chair.. somehow the ref doesn't see it. Mountie walks around for an eternity.. then, hits a piledriver on Bret. Again, we get an unfortunate camera angle which makes it very clear that Bret's head barely, BARELY touched the mat. Mountie doesn't go for a pin for some reason.
- Bret suddenly finds his FIGHTING SPIRIT~!, and hits a series of great-looking boots and a snapping backbreaker. Hart elbow drop… 1, 2, 3. Bret wins.
Mountie's got that heel disease where he spends a lot of time on offense and is not able to fill it with anything that entertains or gets a reaction. I never want to see this match again.
Winner: Bret Hart
The Nasty Boys vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannety):
- You know, if Vince wants to tease DX back, he could start by showing old footage of HBK on the titantron. Here is Shawn Michaels in a HUGE MULLET with a bright pink spandex suit covered in neon tassles.
- A fan in the crowd has cabbage patch kids dressed up as the Nasty Boys, heh heh. Sags hammers away at Michaels. Michaels eventually comes back with a couple clotheslines, and does a cool spot where Jannetty leaps over him and hits a flying double clothesline on the Nasties. Vince, on commentary says that "this is why they call them tag team specialists".
- Marty takes over with a couple submissions. Michaels comes in. He hits a nice fist drop and then continues to twist Sags' arm. That guy's arm should look like a twizzler at this point.
- The Nasties put Michaels IN PERIL for what seems like three weeks, working over his back with dull bear hugs and back stomps. Jannety gets the hot tag and goes to town. As one Nasty creeps up on him, he hits a cracking superkick to fend him off.
- They mentioned on commentary that The Rockers weren't really seeing eye-to-eye. The finish comes when Jannety has a small package, and Knobbs tips it so Sags has the pin. Marty rolls it back, and then Michaels tips it so that the Nasty gets the pin. Michaels acts like he just made a stupid mistake.
I like that finish, pretty creative! Really boring stuff though. Again, wayyy too long.
Winners: Nasty Boys (don't mean a thing)
OVERALL: I prefer the newer shows. I want to see stuff from '95 to the present. A lot of the older 80's stuff is just boring to me. That said, Flair/Hogan was AWESOME and that alone easily makes this a THREEE out of FIVE.
I got a lot of mail about last week's Classics. Here's a sampling:
Good job, I am still waiting to catch this program myself! For some reason it wasn't on the one time (first week) I tried to tune in. Is this on the normal MSG Network, or some other feed?
Anyway, not sure how much you knew about the whole WWF/WWE situation, so thought I would send the 101: basically, saying "World Wrestling Federation" and using the block logo of the '80s are OK. Saying the initials "WWF" and the scratch "Attitude" logo are not. And I too get annoyed when the refer to anything pre-2002 as "WWE." It might be more cumbersome, but just call it by the full name, or just "Federation" (in the early '90s, WWF Magazine did the latter all the time). I mean I appreciate the fact that WWE does give us presentations with the old matches, but there's something that needs to be said for preserving the whole classic feel. And they aren't the only ones who do it, as other TV shows have to be altered when on DVD or sometimes in reruns.
The time you tried to tune in, the show was pre-empted by soccer (or "football" to you non-USA readers). It's on Wednesdays from 8-10 PM. From what I hear, the MSG network isn't very widespread outside of New York.
As for the censoring of the phrase "WWF", it confuses me that they'll censor it in backstage promos from the '80's (Terry Funk's and Hogan's, to be specific) but not in the commentary during the matches. I really hate any censoring of the old shows. I have heard that the WWE really messed with Lesnar/Goldberg, and tuned down all the "this match sucks" sentiment as best they could. That's a slap in the face. That match was awesome BECAUSE of the reaction. Lesnar turning into a big red-faced baby screaming "what the fuck do you want from me?" was classic.
I was very glad to see a recap of WWE's MSG Classics at 411. I just
wanted to provide a few notes on some things you either missed or seemed
- Ahmed Johnson sliced his hand wide open during his match with Rocky,
cameras catch the blood, and Ahmed is clearly having trouble, but guts it
out and finishes the matc. Thus further explaining the sluggishness beyond
"returning from injury" (not that Ahmed was ever particularly fast).
- The 1997 Raw show featured tournament matches for the vacant
Intercontinental title (more on that later), the graphic you saw actually
said that Shawn Michaels was the European champion at the time.
- Goldust's wife Marlena (aka Terri Runnels) was forced to accompany Brian
Pillman to the ring for 30 days as a result of a stipulation match between
the two earlier that month. Goldust's face was half-painted because "his
other half was missing." There was supposed to be a blowoff match at
October's Badd Blood PPV, but Pillman died the morning of that show and the
entire angle was dropped.
- Steve Austin was banned from competing because he was injured in a match
with Owen Hart at SummerSlam '97, where Austin won the Intercontinental
title. Due to the injury, Austin was stripped of the belt, and suspended
from active competition. Owen, being the cause of the injury, took out an
order of protection against Austin, thus leading to the cops in the ring.
- This was the first time Vince McMahon ever had a hand laid on him in a
physical altercation on WWE(F) television. It truly was a "watershed
moment," because it laid the groundwork for the "Mr. McMahon" character. The
Montreal incident only threw fuel on that fire 2 months later.
-This was also the first WWE(F) appearance of Cactus Jack. Jack had been
discussed in interviews before, but the character hadn't made an actual
WWE(F) appearance up to that point.
I hope this helped in some way, I know I feel better...
I did not watch wrestling from 1992 to 1998, except if I was walking by the TV and Hakushi or Max Moon was on. I noticed that the reaction to Cactus on that Raw was HUGE, and that the pro-ECW sentiment was much bigger than I figured it'd be. Thanks for the info!
What was I doing from '92-'98? DUNGEONS AND FUCKING DRAGONS! EVERY WEEKEND, BABY! I did it all, chums.. even "Spelljammer", which is D&D IN SPACE!
I noticed that on the set for the show they also have Sting, seems like an odd choice. I mean...Rock, Hogan, HHH...Sting? How about Flair? Austin? Andre? Macho Man? Just wondering if you noticed.
I agree, it is an odd choice. My pet hypothesis is that the WWE is trying to court Sting, as his TNA contract will be up at the end of the year. So they're just putting him out there a tiny bit so the guy catches word of it and it gets the wheels turning. Or it could be just a slight relaxing of the old policy, which seemed to be not to ever mention anything not owned by Vince. If you look behind Gene when he's in the studio on this Classics show, you'll see the logos of WCW along with WWE and ECW. Sting was WCW, after all. They've also been showing the Macho Man, which I figured we'd never see. Supposedly he's on the blacklist because, allegedly, he had sex with an under age Stephanie McMahon. How about that crap? So hell, if they'll show a Macho Man match, then an image of Sting here and there seems to be relatively minor. Thanks!
Here's a few from the regular Weekly Review:
Hey man, just read the last report (have to read on a week delay or it would ruin TNA for me here in the UK) but still read it despite knowing the results because to be honest, your insults crack me up, lol.
Anyway I thought i'd just clear up that Nash and Shelley's new buddy is Johnny Devine from the original Team Canada and not that tubby charismaticless cruiserweight Cassidy Reilly.
Keep up the good work.
Thanks! Devine seems OK so far, but probably an uinnecessary addition. It smacks of TNA trying too hard to get another guy over, when he probably just dilutes the overall effort. I'd prefer to see Nash and Shelley as a tag team. No flunkies for awhile.
As for Cassidy, I actually thought he bumped like a freak last time he was on TNA. He certainly hasn't found his niche, though.
I love the UK readers. They seem to "get" me a bit more. So I try to use the word "twat" whenever possible. It's interesting to see some people read the Weekly Review later in the week. I wondered why my hits are spread out like that. Now I know.
Lita wore a 7 seconds shirt in relation to the punk band. As I am sure you know, she was in punk bands, has a punk tattoo on her lip etc etc.
just thought you should know why she was wearing it. Fits the sexy punk whore thing she goes for too.. Edge and Lita make the show for this 26 year old smark.
Thanks for writing the great columns,
Thanks for the info. I have always been a Lita fan. I don't care if she is a SHOOT SLUT~! I still maintain that she is one of the best heels in wrestling right now. It's cool to see she's still in touch with her scene. Thanks, Rich!