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Thread: Going to the matches - Reviewing WWF House Shows

  1. #1

    Going to the matches - Reviewing WWF House Shows

    I've been considering writing up some house show reviews for awhile. If there seems to be interest in them, I'll continue. Otherwise, I may just watch for my own entertainment.
    ----

    Madison Square Garden
    June 14, 1987


    Background
    We are just a few months removed from the historic Wrestlemania 3. Hulk Hogan and the Hart Foundation are still the World and Tag Team champions. Meanwhile, the Honky Tonk Man IC Title win over Ricky Steamboat was just shown on TV (Superstars) the night before. The last major event was SNME 11 that featured the Hart Foundation vs The British Bulldogs in a 2 out of 3 falls match and Ricky Steamboat defending the IC title against Hercules. Without a Summerslam to build to, it's all open road until October when the next SNME will air (The birth of the Mega Powers).

    The Can-Am Connection vs The Shadows
    The Can-Am Connection is of course the precursor to Strike Force. Meanwhile, the Shadows were a brief tag team brought in shortly after Wrestlemania 3 and stayed until the end of fall. Shadow #1/Big Shadow was Randy Culley, the original Smash. Shadow #2/Small Shadow was Jose Luis Rivera, one of the future Conquistador's. In some way, this is precursor team vs precursor team. Bobby Heenan joins Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes for commentary. The match is all Zenk and Martel. Heenan talks mostly about his newly heel turn Islanders and their win over Zenk/Martel the previous month. Even when The Shadows are on offense, they never look as if they could possibly win. To make the match more entertaining, Shadow #2 is absolutely horrible. Big Shadow was at least acting as if it was his gimmick to be bad. At the end, the Shadows look to Irish Whip the Connection into each other, but Zenk drops down and Martel hits a nice running cross body on Shadow #2 for the victory. After the match, Bobby Heenan gets on the mic to remind the Zenk and Martel that they lost to The Islanders the previous month. Martel challenges the Islanders to a match right now. The Islanders run out, but are stopped by WWE officials. The Islanders finally give in and return to the back. For a long squash, this wasn't too bad. Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon's banter can make anything entertaining. The nice looking finish ended the match on a high note. I really appreciated the building of the Connection/Islander's feud. This wasn't something that was common on these house shows. While Martel was easily the better member of The Can-Am Connection, I really wish he would of toned down the face mannerisms. It seemed like every time he was on offense, he was jumping around and pumping his fists. However, it is Martel, so I can forgive him. Decent opener. 2 Stars.

    Hercules vs Billy Jack Haynes
    A rematch from Wrestlemania 3. That match ended in a double count-out and doing a quick check, I gave the match 2 stars. While I always enjoyed Hercules, Haynes was a horrible wrestler. So I'm not expecting anything good here. Hercules spits in Haynes face to start the match, but he quickly pays for it. A lot of stalling from Herc in the early going. Hercules eventually takes over and works over the back of Haynes. Some great commentating from Gorilla Monsoon as he suggests that Haynes is always guarding himself from a possible Full Nelson, despite Hercules never trying to lock it in. Basically, Haynes is hurting himself because he's too busy worrying about a move. Haynes takes a vicious Irish Whip into the turnbuckle. Easily one of the better turnbuckle sell jobs I've seen outside of Bret Hart's. Hercules uses his unwrapped wrist tape to choke Haynes. Once the referee finally spots it, Herc rips it off. Haynes looks nearly dead. Herc finally goes for the Full Nelson, but is unable to lock in the fingers. After a long fight, Haynes is finally able to get out of the hold. In a nice twist, Haynes uses some of his own tape and chokes Hercules before the referee forces him to stop. Hercules gets in a low blow to even the contest again. Chops and forearms follow until both ends up on the outside. Fearing a count out like their WM match, I'm pleasantly surprised to see both men make it back in time. Both men are exhausted, sweating profusely and breathing deeply. Haynes gets in a few more blows before the bell rings. It looks like we have a twenty minute time limit draw (Closer to 24 according to the time on the DVD player). Wow. For a match that I had very low expectations for, they managed to not only add 15 minutes to their WM match, but also improve drastically on the quality. This is easily the best match I've ever seen from Haynes and most likely Herc's best singles match. This just had two wrestlers pound on each other for nearly 25 minutes. Nothing flashy. It reminds me some of the Greg Valentine/Ronnie Garvin feud. The match isn't perfect though, the early going has some boring moments and sloppiness. However, most of that is forgivable because of how good the good was. 3 1/4 Stars.

    The Islanders w/Bobby Heenan vs The Young Stallions
    I'm not sure if Jim Powers and Paul Roma are technically the Young Stallions yet, but I'm still going to call them it. The Islanders had just turned heel at the end of May and sided with Bobby Heenan. I'm really starting to enjoy Haku the more I rewatch him. Sadly, this isn't a great example for Haku. The Young Stallions (Powers in particular) are just horrible. Their good looks along with their lack of talent (Something the Can-Am Connection had, which helped them) made them have a hard time getting face reactions from the males. I'm bored of the match shortly after it started. Tama, despite being sloppy, could be exciting just because of his difference of style compared to most Samoans/Island wrestlers. Near the end, Haku hits the ropes and nails a cannon ball flipping splash. A back breaker/top rope splash finishes Jim Powers off for the Islander's win. Well, I'm glad to see some Haku. The Islanders, early on in their heel run, were treated very well. It looked as if they were destined to being WWE Tag Team Champions. Demolition, on the other hand, seemed to disagree with that. Anyways, nothing exciting, but it could have been worse. 1 1/2 Stars.

    Paul Orndorff vs The Junkyard Dog
    The Dudes with Attitudes explodes! Well, had this match happened in 1990, they would have been. The commentating claims are just so over the top. "These two could main event anywhere in the country" and any mention of how JYD looks in great shape. JYD is just killing time before he's released in 1988. That should tell you what kind of shape he's in. JYD gets in some headbutts and an awful looking head scissors lock that bores me to tears. Finally, something interesting happens as Orndorff hotshots JYD to get the pinfall. Well, it took the entire match, but they at least had one interesting move - the final one. Both of these men were on borrowed time and it showed. Despite this, Orndorff was still capable of putting on some good matches, but it's hopeless against JYD. I have to wonder if Orndorff would had still left the WWE had Andre not have been able to work Wrestlemania. With Orndorff being the back up plan, he would have wrestled in the main event of the biggest show of the year. Instead, he was left off of the card entirely. I'll add a quarter of a star for the hotshot, but other than that, the match was bad. 1 Star.

    Hulk Hogan (c) vs Harley Race - WWE World Title - Texas Death Match
    In a rarity in these early Vince Jr. days, a Texas Death Match, which basically means there are no rules. Hogan added a special stipulation that if he loses, he will take the WWE title and leave the WWE forever. So I guess that means even in losing, Hogan refuses to give up the title. To show how serious Hogan is, he's wearing his alternate white tights. Race jumps Hogan to begin the match, but Hogan quickly takes control. A lot of brawling in this one. They fight up the entrance way and Race takes an Irish Whip into the guard railing. Hogan breaks a steel chair over the head of Race (Well, the seat of it popped off). Race has a very small cut above his eye. Race takes over with a piledriver, headbutt and a gut wrench suplex. On the outside, Race goes for a falling headbutt, but Hogan moves out of the way so Race lands on the floor. Race manages to recover and even nails a piledriver on the floor. Back in, Race hits Hogan with the WWE title. From the top rope, Race attempts a headbutt, but Hogan pulls the WWE title in the way. Race, knocked out, Hogan hits the ropes and nails his leg drop for the win. Not that there was any doubt that Hogan could lose, but this was still one hell of a match. Granted, Race wasn't in his prime, but he could still deliver. This match mostly benefits from working a style not seen often in New York. Instead, the match felt more like a Southern hardcore brawl. This will end up being one of my favorite first title reign Hogan matches. 3 1/2 Stars.

    With that, we are finally given a match without Bobby Heenan either commentating or one of his wrestlers in a match. Busy night for the Brain.

    Outback Jack vs Jose Estrada
    Oh, this should be pretty bad. Jose Estrada is the famed jobber who went on to be the other half of the Conquistadors. For Attitude Era fans, he's probably best known as being the father to Jose Estrada Jr, a member of Los Boricuas who Edge beat in his debut match. Outback Jack is classic Wrestlecrap. The match is as bad as it sounds. Luckily, Estrada gets in a few offensive moves before falling prey to the Boomerang closeline. After the match, the two trades blows until Estrada runs off. Thank-God Vince gave up on Outback before too long. The guy was useless. This is easily the worst match of the night. 3/4 Star.

    Before the final match, Howard Finkel announces that The Can-Am Connection will face The Islanders next month at MSG (July 25th). This would be Tom Zenk's final MSG match before bailing on Rick Martel. By the next show, Tito Santana was being positioned into being Martel's new partner.

    The Hart Foundation and Danny Davis vs The British Bulldogs and Billy Jack Haynes
    According to my research, Koko B Ware was scheduled to team with the Bulldogs, but he wasn't around. So, Haynes is a last minute substitute. The Hart's control most of the match with Dynamite and eventually Haynes playing the face-in-peril. Danny Davis comes in for short bursts while one of the faces is hurt. Later on, Haynes has the Full Nelson on Davis, but Bret Hart breaks it up. Davey gets in a hot tag and takes out everyone. Neidhart breaks up a pin attempt, so Dynamite comes in and headbutts Neidhart out of the ring. Now that's using your head. (Yes, I know it's a lame joke). With Haynes taking out Davis and Neidhart, Davey press slams Dynamite on Bret to get the victory over the tag champions. The Bulldogs and Harts were pretty much incapable of putting on a bad match. Although not quite as enjoyable as the Wrestlemania six man (Tito in Haynes part) it's still a solid match. All six men were over at the time. With the comedy of Davis and Haynes being well...Haynes, there was a cap of how good the match could be. 3 Stars.

    Overall
    For a house show, it was pretty impressive. While there were a couple of poor matches, the good ones made up for it. Every match that was supposed to be good was. Meanwhile, the Haynes/Hercules match blew my mind. Billy Jack Haynes ended up wrestling for over forty minutes and yet it wasn't a negative. Race vs Hogan is the main reason to check out the show. The best part about the show was the whole build for Islanders vs The Can-Am Connection. It felt as if it was a couple of Raw/SD in building towards a major match. And now I want to see their match which is exactly what good booking should make you want to do.

  2. #2
    Indy Talent
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    Re: WWE MSG June 14, 1987 Review

    Very nice review. I really enjoy watching the house shows on WWE 24/7. One of the main reasons i stay subscribed to the service. The House Shows and Prime Time Wrestling is the only reason I have 24/7. I think you should keep the house show reviews coming. I need to watch this show again check out the Hercules and Haynes match

  3. #3

    WWE MSG April 30, 1990 Review

    Madison Square Garden
    April 30, 1990


    Hercules vs Haku w/Bobby Heenan
    A rematch of Wrestlemania 5. Hercules is really just killing time until he can turn heel and join up with Paul Roma. A lot of rest holds in this one. Despite being a quality wrestler, even Haku doesn't look to be putting in a lot of effort. Things start to pick up near the end with some fighting on the outside. Haku gets in some nice short chops to Hercules head while Herc fires back with horrible punches. Hercules tries to sunset flip Haku, but Haku gives him a throat thrust and kneels down for the cover. He gets a two before Hercules uses his legs to pull Haku down by his arms in the pin position to pick up the three. If you're not going to put effort into a match, you shouldn't be given so much time. The match is about twice as long as their WM 5 match and it shows it. Haku at least keeps me from falling asleep. 1 Star.

    Jim Powers vs Paul Diamond
    Powers still somehow has a job despite his partnership with Paul Roma ending a couple years ago. Paul Diamond is better known as Kato from the Orient Express. He also played the character of Max Moon during 1993. Both guys are JTTS at most during this time. Diamond uses every cheap tactic in the book to anger Powers. Commentators Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes rips on Powers for losing his cool so easily. Bobby Heenan joins the commentators mid way in the match to make the match more entertaining. Monsoon gives Heenan a hard time for Haku losing earlier. Powers attempts a big power slam, but botches it badly. Diamond holds on and rolls into a cover to get the victory. Monsoon and Hayes rips on Powers for being so horrible. Monsoon even calls the power slam atrocious. Powers may have been a terrible wrestler, but he at least tried unlike Haku and Hercules. As for Diamond, his work may have been a little cliche, but it entertained me. With both wrestlers' "Star status", the match didn't have any heat. Still, it's a decent little match, you can only expect so much with two JTTS fighting each other, one of which is Powers. 1 1/4 Stars.

    Jake Roberts vs Bad News Brown
    In the time since Wrestlemania 6 aired and this show took place, they already began Jake's first feud after the DiBiase one. On an episode of Wrestling Challenge, Bad News was presented with a birthday present (Real birthday being in October though). In the package was a rubber snake. Bad News reacted in the same way that Miss Elizabeth would at Summerslam 1991. Early on in the match, Heenan talks about Bad News's Olympic past. Heenan calls him an Olympic Gold Medalist, but he really only won the Bronze for Judo. He did win gold in the Pan American Games though. Useless information aside, back to the match. A large portion of the first half has Jake trying to pull Brown near Damien's bag and Bad News freaking out. When Heenan questions whether Jake may have a poisonous snake in the bag or not, Gorilla Monsoon claims that there isn't any poisonous snakes in North America. ¿Que? He finally connects with a Ghetto Blaster to send Jake to the outside. Bad News takes this time to throw Damien under the ring. A lot of time is wasted by Brown once he pulls Jake back in the ring. He eventually gets on the mic and talks about how he's going to beat Jake up in his hometown (He's billed from Harlem, New York). All during this time, the commentators are baffled as to why Bad News isn't trying to win. When Roberts is picked up, he surprises Brown with a DDT to finish him off. After the match, Jake angrily looks around for Damien before finally finding him. Brown is able to escape before coming into contact with Damien. This was more about the angle than anything else. Before the knockout moment with the Ghetto Blaster, the match was decent. But after that, it really drags on. I don't mind if wrestlers waste some time, but at least do something meaningful. I did enjoy the whole angle of the match though. It further develops the feud between Jake and Bad News that would culminate at Summerslam. 1 1/2 Stars.

    Jose Luis Rivera vs Nikolai Volkoff
    It looks as if Rivera forgot his mask at home. Rivera is better known as many different masked wrestlers. Two of the more well known ones were Shadow #2 (Aka Small Shadow aka the bad Shadow) and Conquistador #1. I guess he was promoted. Volkoff is still in his heel The Bolsheviks team, but it's nearing the end. Before Summerslam, Volkoff would turn face and have a short lived tag team with Jim Duggan. Not too bad action here. Rivera performs well for the face, making Volkoff look good. Volkoff gets in his trademark spinning knee kick (Imagine a spinning heel kick, but you remain on your feet and just hit your opponent with your knee) and some other nice moves. Rivera misses Stinger Splash and is whipped front first into the opposite corner. Russian Sickle (Robert Roode's Northern Lariat) gets Volkoff the win. Volkoff kind of reminds me of Harley Race in the WWE in this match. He's not exactly good, but you get hints of some true skill. Pretty much the only Volkoff I've seen is his mid to late 80's work as a heel. I'm wondering if Volkoff was a lot better earlier in his career. He had a lengthy feud with Bruno Sammartino over the WWE title in the mid 70's. I may try hunting down some old school Volkoff to see if my theory is correct. Anyways, this match is a good example for what having the right amount of time in a match can do for the quality. It's just long enough not to feel like a waste, but it ends before it drags. Not too bad. 2 Stars.

    The Bushwackers vs Rhythm and Blues w/Jimmy Hart
    Some decent build here with The Bushwackers ruining R&B's concert at Wrestlemania. The Bushwackers shows a glimpse of their true quality with some brawling early on. That ends and we get the typical Bushwackers comedy match that just drags on and on. If the Rougeau Brothers couldn't get a good match out of the Bushwackers when they worked this sort of match, Honky sure as hell wouldn't. Skipping to the end, Honky tries to use a chair on Butch, but Luke prevents it and chases Honky to the back with the chair. That leaves Greg Valentine alone in the ring to pick up the count out victory. Post-match sees Valentine attacking Butch, only for Luke to make the save. The Bushwackers clean house and regains their face. As a kid, I loved the Bushwackers. But their matches as an adult is just a chore to get through. It's really sad seeing Greg Valentine in this match. He looks so awkward in his role. He still has the rest of the year to get through before he turns face at the start of 1991 and we get a little better version of Valentine again. 3/4 Star.

    The Red Rooster vs Dino Bravo w/Jimmy Hart
    Oh God. This could be bad. Since Heenan is still commentating, Monsoon brings up Wrestlemania 5 where Rooster beat him. It seems as if these two are trying to have a match with the weakest punches ever. There's one punch by Bravo that comes several inches from even touching Rooster, but Rooster still sells it as if he's hit with a hammer. Bravo comes off of the top rope and falls into the back hand of Rooster. I'm not even sure what that was supposed to be. God, this is horrible. Bravo hits his finisher, the Side Slam (Side walk slam) to pick up the victory. I'll give these two credit. For as bad as I thought the match was going to be, they somehow made it worse. One of the worse Bravo matches I've ever seen and that's saying something. 1/2 Star.

    The Big Boss Man vs Ted DiBiase w/Virgil
    Nice, a match with some good build behind it. Shortly after the Royal Rumble, Jake Roberts had DiBiase's Million Dollar Title, but he kept it in Damien's bag. During a match on Superstars, Boss Man ran out and stole the bag. With Roberts handcuffed, the two heels went on the Brother Love Show so DiBiase can get the belt back. DiBiase makes the mistake of talking about paying Boss Man off. For the first time in his WWE career, Boss Man is angered by being made out to be a dirty cop. He turns face and brings the belt back to Roberts. At Wrestlemania, DiBiase stayed behind after his good match with Roberts to attack Boss Man during his entrance. On the last SNME (Aired two days before this show) DiBiase and Virgil attacked Boss Man during his rematch with Akeem. Boss Man was handcuffed to the ropes and beaten up. Boss Man runs out to start the match by brawling with DiBiase. He even uses the microphone code to choke DiBiase out. Boss Man is PISSED. The punishment continues in the ring until Boss Man makes the mistake of trying a splash from the top rope and missing. With Virgil distracting the referee, DiBiase uses Boss Man's nightstick to injury his ribs. Over the course of the next several minutes, DiBiase is hitting the ribs with knees and punches every chance he gets. Boss Man makes a comeback, but when Virgil tries to interfere, Boss Man slingshots him in the ring. Virgil is beat up from one side of the ring to the next. Boss Man is so intense tonight. DiBiase comes back with the Million Dollar Dream, but Boss Man makes it to the ropes. DiBiase whips Boss Man into the ropes, but Boss Man surprises the Million Dollar Man with a small package for the surprise victory. Post-match sees Ted trying to get revenge, but Boss Man is able to clear house. He manages to remember to hold his ribs in one of the final moments before the camera moves off of him. Now THIS is how you tell a story. Boss Man was so driven at this point in his career and it showed. I loved the story of DiBiase working over the ribs and Boss Man just wanting to kill Ted. It may not be as good as Shawn Michaels vs DiBiase, but it's one of Ted's best matches from 1990. Pretty impressive for a year that most didn't have much to write home about. 3 1/4 Stars.

    Jimmy Snuka vs The Barbarian w/Bobby Heenan
    The Barbarian has been with Heenan for a couple of months now. His look is a hybrid of his Powers of Pain and furry singles look. He no longer has the face paint, he's growing back the hair that he had shaved off and now has the furry boots. However, he's still wearing the POP arm brand with tassels, the tights and the vest/jacket thing. I kind of dig the look. This goes on for too long. It's mostly back and forth action with Snuka getting in far too much action for a JTTS. Barbarian gets a big boot and uses the ropes to steal the victory. I love the Barbarian and around this time period his workrate really increased. However, this match was just bad. He didn't have the extra frills to his moves he normally had. It just looked as if he was on autopilot. As for Snuka, he was bad, but that's typical Superfly for you at this time. I knew not to expect anything great, but I'm still disappointed. 1 Star.

    Bad News Brown comes out to talk about walking home to Harlem. He promises to head down to the sewers and find the biggest and nastiest rat he can find so he can bring it back the next time he's in the ring. A little long, but decent hint at what his Summerslam match will be about.

    Hulk Hogan vs Earthquake w/Jimmy Hart
    Warrior who? I believe for the first time in history, the first MSG after Wrestlemania, the World Champion isn't on the card. That just goes to show you how hard the WWE was trying to give Warrior the top spot. Once Hogan gets in the ring, Quake and Hart starts stomping away on him. Some good back and forth action. Hogan tries to body slam Andre Earthquake, but he can't. Quake works in a bear hug for awhile. Hogan tries to body slam Andre Quake again, but his back gives out on him. Quake only gets a two count. Earthquake Splash, but Hogan kicks out of it. I believe he's the first ever to do so. It's time to Hulk Up. Earthquake looks scared, not knowing what to do now. Typical Hogan move sets follows with Hogan connecting with the Leg Drop. Jimmy Hart breaks up the count at two to give Hogan the DQ win. Post-Match sees Quake trying to attack Hogan, but Hulk finally manages to body slam Andre Earthquake. Hogan poses to send the fans home happy. Paint-by-numbers Hogan aside, it's a fun match. The match dragged on in the second half, but the first few minutes were pretty good. The match reminded me a lot of Hogan vs Andre at Wrestlemania 3, but with a much more agile monster heel. It may not be rocket science, but Hogan knew how to put on a decent match that had the fans eating out of his hand. You can check out this match on Hogan's latest DVD that came out last November. 2 1/2 Stars.

    Overall
    Talk about a weak MSG show. You didn't have the World, Tag or (Future) IC champion. Meanwhile, the WWE also felt they didn't need to have the majority of their quality wrestlers on the show. At this point, the WWE was actually running three different house show rosters. As a result, each roster was really thin. Luckily, just like at Wrestlemania, Ted DiBiase steps up to put on one of the two good matches of the night. I'm really surprised that the WWE never threw his match on any Coliseum Home Video. Since you can find the Hogan match on his DVD, this is an one match show. I wouldn't go out of your way of looking for it, but if you come across it, check out Boss Man vs DiBiase.

  4. #4
    Sweet Meat

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    Re: WWE MSG April 30, 1990 Review

    Yeah, definitely sounds boring but I'm not surprised. With Hogan being the banner they're waving, it would obviously draw so they put most of the bigger guys elsewhere.

    Meh, lame.

    Spoiler:

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  5. #5

    Re: WWE MSG April 30, 1990 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by KenTheKiller View Post
    Yeah, definitely sounds boring but I'm not surprised. With Hogan being the banner they're waving, it would obviously draw so they put most of the bigger guys elsewhere.

    Meh, lame.
    What makes it especially lame is how weak it is compared to past post-WM MSG shows. The first MSG after WM 5 had Hogan vs Savage, DiBiase vs Jake Roberts and Perfect vs Bret Hart.

  6. #6

    WWE Nassau Coliseum June 10, 1989 Review

    Nassau Coliseum
    June 10, 1989


    The Genius vs Jim Powers
    Oh Jim...how I hate thee so. Supposedly, Jim Powers is subbing for Koko B. Ware. The Genius shares a poem about No Holds Barred to advertise the movie a little more. It was actually just released nation wide eight days earlier. It takes me awhile to notice, but the Genius' boots are pretty creative. On them are the letters 'H, I and Q'. It stands for high IQ, but when you say it like "Hi-Q" it sounds like Haiku. A man who shares poems has a type of a poem on his boots! Yes, I'm excited about a pair of boots that are over twenty years old. However, the match is long and boring with The Genius stalling early on and Powers using rest holds to waste time in the second half. The one highlight is The Genius attempting a Swanton Bomb (Although it was more gymnasticish than Hardy) that peaked my interest. Powers goes for a suplex and floats over for a cover. The Genius using his high IQ hooks one of Powers' legs to get the surprise pinfall. It's an opening match for a house show, you can't expect too much. They tried getting the crowd into it, but hearing a guy chant "Boring" isn't a good way to start any show. I always love seeing the Genius in action though. 1 1/2 Stars.

    Rougeau Brothers w/Jimmy Hart vs The Rockers
    A match with potential that even has a backstory! In a previous match with each other, The Rougeau's attacked the Rockers during their entrance. Shawn Michaels would end up being injured during said attack. He's even going into this match with some sort of bandage/wrap around his neck. Not much happens early on except for loads of showboating to get the crowd cheering. However, things pick up in a big way with a double team hot shot to Michaels. Everything for the next few minutes is directed to Shawn's neck/throat. The entire heat face-in-peril sequence takes up over half of the match easily. Classic tag team wrestling with the heels cheating non-stop with the ref just oblivious to it. They add in a few hope spots for Michaels, but a Rougeau always gets the advantage back by going after the neck. There's even one point when Jacques hooks Michaels in the Sharpshooter. Thus proving that Canadians have some sort of weird fetish for that move. When Marty finally gets the hot tag, the crowd erupts for a few horrible dropkicks. How is it that Marty could be so bad at throwing them? The match continues to heat up with Marty getting a couple of near falls. At one point, he has a small package on a Rougeau, but the ref gets distracted by Michaels going after Jimmy Hart, who was on the apron. Michaels chases Hart around the ring while Raymond reverses the small package so that Jacques pins Marty. Ugh. The finish really sucked. I don't know who made the mistake, although I'll guess the ref. However, Shawn entered the ring at a two count to go after Hart, who the referee wasn't even noticing. It wasn't necessary. It's only made worse by the fact that the camera was keeping an eye on Michaels and Hart while the pinfall occurred. Fix the finish and you may just have the Rockers' best match ever. The time just flies by on this classic. Everything up until the finish was done to near perfection. It's a shame that the Rougeau's were treated as such jokes on PPV. Instead of putting on these classics, they were given the Bushwackers to job to. What a waste. 4 Stars.

    Greg Valentine w/Jimmy Hart vs Brutus Beefcake
    The Dream Team EXPLODES~! Does wrestling over two years after the split still count as exploding? Beefcake is in the middle of a feud with Randy Savage after Savage and Sherri cut some of Beefcake's hair. Slow, slow match with many breaks to play to the crowd. After nearly fifteen minutes, Brutus gets the win with a roll up after Valentine ran into Jimmy Hart on the apron. Valentine had to be phoning it in. He's too good of a worker to put on such a horrendous match. It's a good thing Beefcake was so over at this point, otherwise, the match wouldn't have even had the fans interest. 3/4 Star.

    Andre the Giant vs Hillbilly Jim
    I imagine Bobby Heenan is in Toledo, Ohio to manage Rick Rude, thus explaining why he's not with Andre. Andre chokes, Hillbilly Jim uses double ax handles and punches. Repeat, repeat and repeat. Andre switches to using bear hugs. Jim finds some success by focusing all of his attack to the abdomen. Haku eventually wanders down to attack Hillbilly Jim when he's on the outside. King Jim Duggan runs out for the save. Duggan nails Andre with a 2x4 shot behind the ref's back. That only gets a two count, prompting Haku to climb in the ring to attack Hillbilly Jim to cause the DQ. Duggan enters the ring to send the heels packing. As bad as this looked on paper and how little they did in the match, this was surprisingly fun. It's a simple match with such simple "Moves" that couldn't be botched and the face using strategy. The interference from Haku and Duggan only adds more heat to their match later in the night. As sickening of a thought as this is, this made me want to see a Colossal Connection vs The Hillbilly Kings (Like my name I gave Duggan/Hillbilly?) tag match. On top of all that, this match went eight whole minutes. Far longer than I'd want to see Hillbilly Jim ever work. There's just something about Andre near the end of his career that's a guilty pleasure for me. He may have been extremely limited in what he could do, but the matches were booked so well. 1 3/4 Stars.

    Haku vs King Jim Duggan
    These two had been feuding since late April when Duggan defeated Haku for the King of the WWE crown. Haku locks in long nerve holds in addition to pulling at Duggan's tights to show off Duggan's ass more times than I'd prefer to see. Duggan wins with the 3 point stance. While it was never as bad as Brutus vs Valentine, it wasn't particularly exciting. Duggan was only really good when he wrestled Randy Savage in the WWE. As for Haku, the quality really varied depending on his opponent's capabilities. 1 1/2 stars.

    Boris Zhukov w/Jimmy Hart vs Jimmy Snuka
    Wow. My least favorite heel vs my least favorite face of WWE 1989. Jimmy Hart is only out there with Zhukov since this was scheduled to be Honky Tonk Man vs Snuka, but Honky was either sick or hurt depending on which source you go on. Boris keeps a slow pace with his rest holds while Snuka gets in his typical moves. Snuka wins with the Superfly Splash to which Zhukov sells for a long time after the match. Meh. I expected a terrible match and I got one. I dig seeing the Superfly Splash, so it wasn't a complete waste of time. 1 Star.

    The Fink announces a return date of July 10th. Already signed matches include:

    The Genius vs Jim Powers (Wouldn't happen)
    The Warlord vs Koko B. Ware
    Mr. Perfect vs Hercules
    The Twin Towers vs Demolition - WWE Tag Titles
    Colossal Connection vs Hillbilly Jim and King Duggan (EEK!!!1!)
    Randy Savage vs Brutus Beefcake

    Not too bad of a card.

    Powers of Pain w/Mr. Fuji vs The Hart Foundation
    Final match of the evening. Thanks to Jim Neidhart being in this, a Jim was involved in every single match tonight. Neidhart and The Barbarian were in the middle of a house show feud to keep Neidhart busy while Bret was putting on classics with Mr. Perfect. So there's some backstory behind this. Bret plays the face-in-peril for most of the match before finally getting the hot tag to Neidhart. Action continues for a couple of minutes before all four men battle on the outside with Hart and Barbarian being the legal men. Hart actually slingshots himself to the outside to peak my interest. Barbarian holds Bret for Fuji to nail him with a cane shot, but Bret ducks and Barbie takes the blow. Bret makes it back in the ring before the ten count resulting in a count out victory for the Hart Foundation. It isn't anything special, but you could always depend on the Hart Foundation to give you a watchable match. Easily the second best match of the show. On a night of mostly bad matches, they at least ended the show with something fun. 2 1/4 Stars.

    Overall
    This is what happens when the WWE runs three cities in one night. The Ultimate Warrior and Rick Rude main event in Toledo, Ohio, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage main event in Houston, Texas. As a result, the quality workers are spread thin across all three cities leaving this show without any of the champions. The star power for this show is still impressive knowing that the roster had been broken into three parts though. There isn't any reason to watch the full show. However, be sure to watch the Rockers vs Rougeau Brothers. Besides saving the show, it was one of the best matches of the year.
    Last edited by Jim; 04-26-2011 at 04:34 PM.

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    Re: WWE Nassau Coliseum June 10, 1989 Review

    Gonna have to watch the Rougeau Brothers vs The Rockers match sometime soon. Huge fan of The Rockers, although I've not seen too much of the Rougeau Brothers.

    Keep up the good reviews though, I like all the pre-1995 reviews because I generally find there's always something I want to check out after reading the reviews (either for being really good or, shamefully, for being really bad).

  8. #8
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    Re: WWE Nassau Coliseum June 10, 1989 Review

    Sounds like a horrible show....Although if I remember correctly, shortly after this The Rockers faced The Rougeaus in 1 hour time limit draws on several house shows...

  9. #9

    Re: WWE Nassau Coliseum June 10, 1989 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by TCON View Post
    Sounds like a horrible show....Although if I remember correctly, shortly after this The Rockers faced The Rougeaus in 1 hour time limit draws on several house shows...
    Was it more than one show? I know that due to people not showing up at a house show, they were given an hour to take up time.

  10. #10
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    Re: WWE Nassau Coliseum June 10, 1989 Review

    I think it was an entire loop....Meaning...Same match on every show for every town until the matches are changed for the next time they run the same town...

  11. #11

    WWE MSG September 30, 1989 Review

    Madison Square Garden
    September 30, 1989


    The Genius vs Koko B. Ware
    Koko has blue and yellow streaks of paint on the sides of his head to resemble a parrot. I can't decide if that's beyond awesome dedication or just stupidity. Genius stalls a lot early on with his showboating. Once the action really begins, they have a nice little back and forth match. Genius goes for his Swanton, but Koko moves out of the way...sorta. Genius sells it as if he did though. Genius ducks out of a charging Koko, forcing Koko to hot shot himself. That only gets a two though. Showing his brilliance, Koko tries another charge in the form of a Stinger Splash (?), but the Genius only moves out of the way yet again. The blow allows Genius to roll Koko up for the 3 count. The match felt longer than the 13 minute length, but it eventually became a quality opening bout. Better than I expected at least. Cut out the playing to the crowd, The Genius was a pretty underrated in ring talent. 2 1/4 stars.

    Honky Tonk Man w/Jimmy Hart vs Jimmy Snuka
    The match I didn't get to see with the Nassau Coliseum show. Snuka is wearing the zebra black and white trunks. I believe the only major match he had with those tights was at Summerslam 1989 against Ted DiBiase. nWo Snuka gets a thumbs up from me. Snuka starts off with blocking a Pearl Harbor attack and pokes fun at Honky by doing HTM's dance. That's a sight to witness. Match slows down with Honky on offense. It's not bad, but the heat segment lasts too long. Honky takes too long before going for Shake, Rattle and Roll with Snuka easily back dropping out of it. A few moments later, Snuka picks up the win with the top rope headbutt. For a Snuka return match, it was better than most. It's certainly better than watching Snuka vs Zhukov. My ultra low expectations for anything Honky or Snuka related greatly helps watching these matches. 1 3/4 Stars.

    Mr. Perfect w/The Genius vs The Red Rooster
    These two met at Summerslam, but the match was cut short after Rooster injured his knee. The commentators make note of The Genius being at ringside with Perfect, so I'm guessing it's early on in their partnership. Random back and forth fighting up until Perfect turns his attention to Rooster's wrapped up knee. A lot of psychology with Perfect working it over and Rooster selling it to perfection. At the end, Perfect goes to lock in a Figure Four, but Rooster surprises him with a small package. Perfect manages to reverse it into a small package of his own and gets the win with by pulling the tights. Big improvement on their Summerslam and SNME match. The leg work was all solid and helped tell a story. I would have preferred to see the leg play a part in the end, but it's fine. The best Red Rooster match I've seen. 3 Stars.

    Barry Horowitz vs Mark Young
    Mark Young is the son of Chief Jay Strongbow. Given who his father was, the WWE gave him a chance. Lasting about a year and a half in the company, Young saw some mild success on the house show circuit. However, Young never made it above the enhancement talent level on TV. Young enters the ring and immediately does a spinaroonie three times as long as Booker T's. Young can best be described as a modest version of Jack Evans...after his third match ever. Young keeps going back to arm drags and arm bars. Apparently, he hasn't learned any of the B moves yet. Horowitz sells the arm for awhile before taking over. Things improve with how talented of a worker Horowitz was. Late in the match, Young hits a top rope version of Christian's corner twisting sunset flip pin to get the victory. Before leaving the ring, Young does another spinaroonie to only further humiliate Booker T. Young had potential, but he was so green. Had he stayed in the business and learned the basics, he could have fit in nicely with the more high flying 90's. Thanks to a broken neck in Japan, he'd never get that chance though. Horowitz is an underrated talent who could make anyone look good. Great heel during this time period as well. Alas, both guys were just jobbers to the crowd, so they didn't care. 2 Stars.

    Andre the Giant w/Bobby Heenan vs The Ultimate Warrior (c) - IC Title
    Since this is the biggest match for Heenan's clients, he's not in the other two towns the WWE worked this night. Total brawl with neither guy allowing the other to get a real advantage. Warrior does the unthinkable and slams Andre. Andre gets a boot up when Warrior goes for a splash. Warrior closelines Andre out of the ring, but when Warrior goes to do it again, Andre pulls the ref in front of him. Andre has Warrior covers for a good six seconds, but once the ref wakes up, he calls for the bell. Warrior wins by DQ due to Andre pulling the ref into harms way. The two continues to brawl after the match. Warrior gets away after several belt shots to Andre's head. Once Andre's all alone, he gets on the mic and calls himself the new IC champion. He knows that everyone in attendance knows this. A lot of talk that I can't understand before Andre thanks the fans for coming to see him. Andre finishes up by throwing the mic over his shoulder with a giant smile on his face. Andre's speech is gold. So fucking hysterical. What's shocking is that this was a good match. Very simple booking, but they kept the action going for the full ten minutes. Andre was such an incredible worker. I can't say that enough. Even with his body failing on him, he knows how to book a match so that it's entertaining. I may be alone in this, but I thought this was pretty great. 2 1/2 Stars.

    The Brainbusters (c) w/Bobby Heenan vs Demolition - WWE Tag Titles
    For some reason, this match isn't included with the show I have. However, thanks to Dailymotion, I can still check it out. Demolition controls the early going by out cheating the ultimate cheaters. Pretty great idea really. Eventually, the Brainbusters keep Ax away from Smash, forcing him to be the face-in-peril. Behind the ref's back, Tully uses the tag rope to choke Ax. Later, Smash gets the hot tag and easily decimate both members of the tag champions. As Smash has the winning cover, the ref is pulled out of the ring by a Brainbuster, drawing the DQ. Demolition wins, but The Brainbusters keep the belts...until they lose them to Demolition at a TV taping two days later. Did we really need two straight DQ results? Gripe aside, this was a fun match. I really dug the story of "Who can out cheat the other?" These two teams had the right chemistry and I'd say this was better then their two SNME matches. 3 Stars.

    Greg Valentine w/Jimmy Hart vs Ron Garvin
    Already summed up the history of their feud in my Rumble '90 review. I'm thinking Garvin was reinstated as a wrestler sometime in the last month. A total slugfest for 17 minutes. Both guys end up looking like two of the toughest guys in the locker room by standing toe-to-toe without either having the advantage for long. Garvin nails his Garvin Stomps to my delight. The Heart Breaker comes into play with Valentine attempting, but failing to lock in the Figure Four. Garvin tries a slingshot sunset flip, but Valentine kneels down in a pinning position. With the extra use of the ropes, Valentine steals the win. After the match, the two continues to pummel each other until Valentine gets tied up in the ropes. Garvin removes the Heart Breaker and puts it on his leg. Before he can use it, Jimmy Hart frees Valentine and the heels flee. This is the sort of match you should show someone who believes wrestling is fake. It may be staged, but both looks like they could beat the shit out of you. Great little battle with the Heart Breaker storyline starting up. While not as good as their Rumble match, it's a nice set-up match though. 3 1/4 Stars.

    The Fink announces the return date of October 28th with a card of the following:

    The Widowmaker will be in action (Wouldn't show)
    Bret Hart vs Dino Bravo
    Powers of Pain vs The Bushwackers
    Hercules vs Akeem
    Macho King vs Jim Duggan
    Ultimate Warrior vs Andre the Giant - IC Title

    Rick Rude w/Bobby Heenan vs Roddy Piper
    This feud all started at Summerslam when Rude blamed Piper (Who had been gone since Wrestlemania 3) for losing the IC title back to the Ultimate Warrior. Rude gets some huge heat when he tries to do his normal pre-match shtick. He's forced to stop several times so that the noise quiets down some. Piper walks out with one of the most serious expressions I've seen from him. Brawl to start before Rude bails from the ring. Piper chases Heenan out from ringside so that he won't be an issue. The ref is very lenient with the rules. There's choking with t-shirts, belt whipping and even Piper throwing a drink in Rude's face. A great moment early on when both are about to hit each other, but they spot Piper's belt laying on the mat. They jump to the mat to be the first to grab it. This fast pace style lasts the entire bout. Rude works over Piper's back with his seated chin lock (Just a Camel Clutch without the arms being trapped) to which Piper sells well. Eventually, the ring can't contain them as they continue the fight on the outside. Referee, Danny Davis, counts to ten, counting both men out. The end of the match doesn't stop them as Piper gets in a few more good shots before celebrating in the ring. I knew this would be good due to how much I love their cage match. However, this was even more fun than that. The crowd was loud during the entire match, there wasn't a dull moment, the hate felt real and it felt like something entirely different from the usual WWE match. If the objective was to get the fans to be willing to pay to see the rematch, it worked. It doesn't even bug me that it doesn't have a finish. 4 Stars.

    Overall
    The first half of the show feels like any normal house show. None of the matches are anything too special, but there's a couple watchable bouts. However, the last three matches only get better as the night goes on. It goes to show that as long as you have big matches and quality matches, you can have a great house show without the World Champion. For a house show, this was above average.

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    Re: WWE MSG September 30, 1989 Review

    Never was a big fan of how they booked the Ultimate Warrior to constantly destroy Andre.....Most matches lasted under a minute....

  13. #13

    Re: WWE MSG September 30, 1989 Review

    Those matches were nothing more than Warrior surprising Andre with a lot of high impact closelines before his splash. It didn't make Andre look bad at all.

    This match definitely wasn't that though.

  14. #14

    WWE Copps Coliseum May 1, 1989 Review

    Copps Coliseum
    May 1, 1989


    The Honky Tonk Man w/Jimmy Hart vs Jim Powers
    A lot of stalling early on. It's nearly five minutes before the action really begins. Powers works over the arm of HTM early on with some arm bars and arm ringers. Honky no sells and begins his long heat segment, mostly working over the back. Most of Honky's moves revolves around hitting a double ax handle to the back of Powers' shoulders. In the home stretch, things pick up with Powers speeding things up with dropkicks. Honky catches him in a front facelock and easily disposes of Powers with the Shake, Rattle and Roll neckbreaker. Such a long and dull match. I didn't mind Powers' short time on offense since he was concentrating on a body part, but it didn't lead anywhere. With Honky using his left arm all during his time on offense, it made the early arm work pointless. At least for 1989, Honky and Powers were two of the worst workers the WWE had. However, this was bad even for them. 1/2 Star.

    The Brooklyn Brawler vs The Blue Blazer
    Brawler attacks Blazer as soon as Blazer turns around. Blazer shows off a lot of his high spots early on. Such moves include a hurricanrana, sunset flip, and being trapped in a wrist lock, but jumping up to the top rope from the mat, falling down into a sort of split legged moonsault and landing on his feet so he can turn Brawler around into a hip toss. Brawler takes over for a few minutes of Blazer selling the arm. Finish comes with Blazer hitting his top rope cross body (Starting in the moonsault position and twisting in midair). They probably could have trimmed off a few minutes of Brawler on offense, but it was a perfectly acceptable undercard match. Owen's spots could make any mundane match fun. At least with Brawler, Hart has someone who won't drag him down. 2 Stars.

    Greg Valentine w/Jimmy Hart vs Hillbilly Jim
    A lot of stalling early on as Valentine isn't sure what to make of Hillbilly Jim's cartwheel. The match keeps a slow pace with neither guy being on offense for long. With Jimmy Hart distracting Hillbilly Jim, Valentine gets a knee to the small of the back and rolls Hillbilly up for the three. Thanks to the cameraman missing the shot, we don't initially see Valentine holding Hillbilly's jeans during the pin. An instantly forgettable match. Despite typing this up immediately after watching the match, I've already forgot most of what happened in the match. That's a great sign. I wouldn't call Hillbilly Jim a poor worker, but he's not the right kind of guy to get a good match out of Greg Valentine. On the plus side, they kept this fairly short. 1 1/2 Stars.

    Demolition (c) vs The Twin Towers - WWE Tag Team Titles
    Hearing "Jive Soul Bro" and Demolition's theme song one after another is enough to instantly receive one star from me. Demolition dominates early with Ax hitting jackhammer like punches to the back of Boss Man. It isn't pretty, but it's effective. The Twin Towers take over once Akeem gets a thumb in Ax's eye. The cheating continues with Akeem hitting Ax in the back after Boss Man whips him into the ropes and Akeem using the tag rope to choke Ax on the outside. Smash finally gets the hot tag which brings all four men into the action. Demolition hits a double closeline to knock over Akeem, but the referee goes down as well. Once Ax goes for the cover, Boss Man nails him with the nightstick. The fight continues once Smash throws the referee out of the way. The referee calls for the bell, disqualifying both teams. The Twin Tower get the last laugh by continuing the assault on Ax though. It may not be much for workrate, but it was a simply and fun match. Demolition just tried to overpower the Twin Towers, but the heels used their dastardly skills to cheat. No one wants to see a non-finish, but it's a house show, so you have to expect some. All in all this was a pretty solid addition to the show. 2 3/4 Stars.

    The Red Rooster vs Richard Charland
    I can't say I know a lot about Charland other than he's a Montreal wrestler. He looks like the type of guy parents warn their children to stay away from. There's a group of girls in the second row cheering for Rooster all during the match. After some mindless wrestling, Charland avoids a Rooster charge in the corner. With Rooster ramming his own shoulder into the ring post, he's vulnerable ot Charland working over the injured body part. To Charland's credit, he focuses all of his attention to the arm. Similarly to Rooster, Charland eventually misses a charge of his own and crotches himself on the middle rope. Rooster quickly lifts him up for the Rooster Wing (Imagine a lifting hammerlock back-to-back) to get the submission victory. I'll admit it, I was impressed. Rooster and Charland produced a story based match that worked pretty well. Credit goes to Gorilla Monsoon for pointing out that the Rooster Wing uses the right arm more than the left. Charland wrestles like a Dino Bravo, only he's actually entertaining. For someone who generally hates everything he does, The Red Rooster had a good match. Dare I say Rooster's best WWF match? It's a shame we didn't see more of Charland. 3 Stars.

    Rick Martel vs Bret Hart
    Martel is just about a month into his heel run. Even though he has Slick for a manager and dons the ironic baby blue tights, he hasn't transformed into The Model just yet. All during the match, Martel shows off his new arrogant ring style, often times taking Bret too lightly. Martel has a smart strategy of working over the back though, a perfect set-up for his Boston Crab. Bret manages to crawl his way to the ropes to break the hold though. Martel's one surefire way to win is now out of the window. Bret begins making his comeback including a series of punches in the corner. A dazed Martel grabs Bret by the tights and headbutts him in the abdomen. Martel uses that brief moment to roll Hart up to win. Martel had his feet on the ropes, but the referee was too focused on Bret's shoulders to notice. Not too bad of a match. Martel had a game plan and stuck with it until Bret thwarted the finish piece of the puzzle. The cheap finish plays up to the fact that Martel knew Bret was going to beat him. If he didn't cheat, he wouldn't have won. Bret was Bret, which is always a good thing. Sadly, Bret has another few months of this part-time singles wrestler purgatory he was in between 1988-1989. Typically, he'd work singles matches at house shows, but would be back with Jim Neidhart on TV and PPV. It went nowhere, but it did show the natural chemistry between Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect. To say the least, that would be of high importance down the road. 3 Stars.

    Mr. Perfect vs Tito Santana
    It's almost as if Perfect heard his name being mentioned. For the record, Santana's theme music was pretty underrated. Early on, they both try to out wrestle each other, but once Perfect realizes Santana is too much for him, he cheats to gain the advantage. Showing his aggressive side, Perfect pummels Santana with a series of knees. Perfect whips out most of his trademark moves including his rolling neck snap that really deserved it's own name. Just as Santana begins his comeback, Rick Martel makes his way to ringside. Santana does his best not to let his former partner distract him and nails the flying forearm. As Tito goes for the cover, Martel pulls Santana off of perfect. The referee wasn't in position to see Martel though. Tito makes the mistake of yelling at Martel while turning his back on Perfect. Perfect rolls Tito up to get the distraction pinfall. Didn't we just see this finish with Valentine/Hillbilly Jim? I don't mind it too much though. They at least had Martel distract Santana to play to their feud instead of having Hillbilly Jim with Jimmy Hart, where there wasn't any feud going on. I feel like I've seen this match recently, which only makes the finish less of an issue. You can't go wrong with Perfect vs Tito though. While it's not as good as their 1990 matches, it's still an enjoyable match with Perfect keeping his overselling to a minimum. 3 1/4 Stars.


    Rick Rude (c) w/Bobby Heenan vs The Ultimate Warrior - IC Title
    Possibly the biggest WWE feud never to work MSG. Warrior dominates the first half of the match with ease. Rude is bumping his ass off without overselling as bad as Mr. Perfect tended to. All of Warrior's attacks are focused on Rude's back to which he sells fantastically. It's one Warrior gets daring and climbs to the top rope that Rude shakes the rope to crotch him. Rude takes over, but still sells his back. This includes a great spot where Rude hits a sit down splash repeatedly on Warrior's back, but when he goes for his trademark hips swivel, he grimaces in pain to hold his back. Warrior makes his comeback by attacking the back of Rude again. Shockingly, Warrior can't put Rude away with a running power slam nor a piledriver. Finally, the two battles on the outside, but while Rude flees, Warrior chases Heenan back in the ring to barely make the count. Warrior wins by count-out, but fails to wrestle the IC title away from Rude. First off, the camera work was HORRIBLE. There were a lot of spots the viewer either missed or just saw the tail end of. Commentators Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes questions where Bobby Heenan was for half of the match because the camera never got him in frame. Technical problems aside, this was a well booked match. Rude was an amazing seller who could tell a great story with someone with such limited skill as Warrior. I love seeing Rude/Warrior wrestle each other so much that I'd gladly buy a DVD with all of their 1989 matches together. It may be the same exact match (I saw a similarly booked Boston Garden match in April), but it's smartly booked and it's fun. Believe it or not, this is the match of the night. 3 1/4 Stars.

    16 Man Battle Royal
    The match includes everyone who wrestled tonight except for Rick Rude and the Ultimate Warrior. Within seconds, Demolition throws out Akeem. The feud continues to be on display in the match as Boss Man eliminates Ax later on and Smash eliminates Boss Man. Boss Man has the last laugh as he pulls Smash by the leg off of the apron to be eliminated. It's a small highlight, but Bret Hart and The Blue Blazer are seen working together against Greg Valentine. As everyone else begins to be eliminated, the final four comes down to Mr. Perfect, Bret Hart, Rick Martel and Tito Santana. The heels and faces separate in a sort of tag match. As Tito Santana FINALLY gets his hands on Martel, Perfect sneaks up behind him and tosses him out. That leaves Bret alone with the two heels. Santana ignores the refs and stays at ringside to cheer on Bret. After a couple of minutes of the heels working on Bret, Santana spots his chance to pull down the top rope as Martel bounces off them. Martel falls out of the ring as payback for costing Santana his match against Mr. Perfect. Bret quickly catches Perfect off guard and throws him out to win the battle royal. Santana and Bret celebrates in the ring after the match. It seems as the longer I watch wrestling, the less I enjoy battle royals. However, this one had a lot going for it. We got to see more Demolition/Twin Towers action. The final four showcased four different feuds as both faces had issues with Martel and Perfect. After seeing both faces screwed out of winning their singles matches, the fans got to see the babyface winning in the end. The battle royal also made me want to see a Bret Hart and Tito Santana vs Mr. Perfect and Rick Martel tag match. Overall, it was a pretty successful battle royal. 3 Stars.

    Overall
    After the first few matches, I was beginning to expect a real dud of a show. It's not exactly a good sign when The Brooklyn Brawler was shaping up to be in the match of the night. However, once Demolition and the Twin Towers came to the ring, it was all quality for the rest of the show. The Red Rooster finally produces a good match and Warrior has yet another quality bout with Rick Rude. There may not be any one match that you should go out of your way to watch, but it's not a bad way to kill two hours. The only real issue was all of the dirty finishes. In total, five out of the eight matches had one. However, I'd still rather watch this than what the A-Show had produced the same night in Phoenix, Arizona. Despite a strong looking match like Ted DiBiase vs Jake Roberts, it has such "Classics" as Boris Zhukov vs Paul Roma, Dino Bravo vs Hercules, Warlord vs Koko B. Ware, Rockin' Robin vs Judy Martin and wasting the Brainbusters on the Bushwackers. *Shudders*

  15. #15
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    Re: WWE Copps Coliseum May 1, 1989 Review

    Sounds like a surprisingly solid show. Most of the shows from the late 80's and early 90's that I've seen don't have that many 3 star matches in WWF. Not surprised to see Rude and Warrior being match of the night, actually - people seem to think that Warrior only had two good matches (at Wrestlemania 6 and 7) but his series with Rude were all fairly enjoyable at least with a couple being borderline great.

    As a side note, i's always easier to enjoy shows that get progressively better as the show goes on, as opposed to the inverse, I find.

  16. #16

    Re: WWE Copps Coliseum May 1, 1989 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by TheShockmaster View Post
    Sounds like a surprisingly solid show. Most of the shows from the late 80's and early 90's that I've seen don't have that many 3 star matches in WWF. Not surprised to see Rude and Warrior being match of the night, actually - people seem to think that Warrior only had two good matches (at Wrestlemania 6 and 7) but his series with Rude were all fairly enjoyable at least.
    As far as 1989 goes, if the Rockers aren't wrestling the Brainbusters or the Hart Foundation, you're potentially watching a pretty big dud of a show. Most of the quality from the year came from the same matches. Multiple Rockers vs Brainbuster, Roddy vs Rude, Warrior vs Rude and Boss Man vs Hogan all springs to mind as matches that make up the majority of the quality matches that year. Looking back, it seems like Rick Rude was the singles MVP and the Rockers were the tag MVPs.

    As a side note, i's always easier to enjoy shows that get progressively better as the show goes on, as opposed to the inverse, I find.
    Personally, I'd rather see the poor matches thrown throughout the night. Anytime you have a grouping of them one after another, it can really kill my interest.

  17. #17
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    Re: WWE Copps Coliseum May 1, 1989 Review

    Great review, I went to several house shows at Copps Coliseum in the 80's and they were always a real good time. Don't think I was at this one but I could be mistaken, I'll see if I can find my old ticket stub shoebox because if I was there I would have kept the stub. Terry Taylor was a great worker who was saddled with a crappy gimmick that was virtually impossible to get over, not that he didn't give it the old college try. I think they really missed the boat on a heel turn where he became angry at the company for giving him such a ridiculous gimmick and just attacked everyone, face, heel, even the announcers.


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  18. #18

    Re: WWE Copps Coliseum May 1, 1989 Review

    Personally, it doesn't matter how bad of a gimmick Taylor had with the Red Rooster, the guy sucked in the WWF. The gimmick shouldn't have prevented him from having good matches.

  19. #19
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    Re: WWE Copps Coliseum May 1, 1989 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Personally, it doesn't matter how bad of a gimmick Taylor had with the Red Rooster, the guy sucked in the WWF. The gimmick shouldn't have prevented him from having good matches.
    True enough, I wonder why he didn't seem to care in the WWF but did in NWA/WCW?


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  20. #20

    Re: WWE Copps Coliseum May 1, 1989 Review

    It's very possible he just didn't have his heart in it thanks to the gimmick. Unlike Dusty Rhodes, he gave up instead of trying to have some fun with it.

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