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Thread: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

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    Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Documented history will show you that I'm a flake for big projects on here so I'm giving them up FOREVER. This thread will instead just contain reviews of matches whenever I feel like sitting down and looking at one or two in particular, with the unique perspective you can only get from me. That's it, no fancy OP. It's just wrestling reviews. Oh and I don't use star ratings, people get way too weird about that shit. For the sake of giving you something to cling onto, I'll be assigning all matches a letter grade from A to F. No pluses or minuses though, it's a broad five point scale.

    I guess I'll take recommendations though. If you don't flood me with too many, feel free to drop a match or two at a time you'd like to see me watch and maybe I'll do it. 10x more likely to watch American than anything else. Sorry.

    ARCHIVE

    ____

    All Elite Wrestling

    (B)

    Lance Archer vs. Rey Fenix - AEW Dynamite 2-24-2021





    ____

    Impact Wrestling/Total Nonstop Action:
    (C)
    AJ Styles vs. Chris Harris vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Raven vs. Ron Killings (c) - NWA-TNA PPV 98

    (D)
    EC3 vs. Eli Drake - Impact Wrestling 11-24-2016

    (F)
    Jeff Hardy vs. Jeff Jarrett (c) - Victory Road 2004
    Drew Galloway vs. Kurt Angle - Impact Wrestling 2-9-2016





    ____

    World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment:
    (A)
    The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels - Wrestlemania 25
    The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels - Wrestlemania XXVI


    (B)

    Andre The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan (c) - Wrestlemania III
    Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock (c) - Wrestlemania X7

    (D)
    The Ultimate Warrior (IC) vs. Hulk Hogan (WWF) - Wrestlemania VI
    Last edited by Queen; 03-25-2021 at 11:30 PM.


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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Needing somewhere to start, I turned on my Peacock sub and settled in for the Best of WWE, Wrestlemania edition.

    ___

    Andre The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan (c)
    WWF Championship
    Wrestlemania III


    It may seem preposterous to suggest that I’ve only seen this match one other time, but I have, and it was years before I really started to think about wrestling at all critically. Now in 2021, with fresh eyes, this really feels like my first time watching this one, and I see the good and the bad on display. What I think this match does tremendously well is subvert expectations, which I think is lost sometimes when you review a match outside of its time period. On the surface this just appears to be a big wrestler dominating a smaller one for much of the match, but that undersells the kind of wrestler Hulk is and the fact that he simply doesn’t do this little in a big time match. On paper this is a 10 minute squash with a brief babyface comeback, which makes it pretty unspectacular, but the story-telling is key here, when you have a guy like Hulk Hogan who never sold shit for anyone, and Andre who just doesn’t get beat. Needless to say for most of this match it’s a slow, plodding, one-sided affair where Andre beats the devil out of Hulk, which isn’t unusual for Andre but is for the Hulkster. There’s only two brief comeback spots, one where Hogan slips out of the corner and lands a few punches before Andre subdues him with a bearhug, and another where Hogan lucks into his giant adversary bonking his head on the turnbuckle, but the champ fails to turn that into any sort of momentum when an attempted piledriver goes miserably wrong. Ultimately I think my one gripe here is that Hogan’s eventual comeback is so short that you almost don’t have time to drink it in. The moment he bodyslams Andre, as the announce team will vouch, is remarkably unprecedented. Yet, Hulkster is already halfway to the ropes, and has dropped a leg to win the match 10 seconds later. It’s tough coming from an era where the moments really linger to something like this where that bodyslam gets no time to breathe, but it still makes an already buzzy crowd pop hard, and gives the match a memorable if brief ending. On paper this isn’t a great match, but context matters, and this feels like the historical analogue to Brock Lesnar tearing John Cena a new one at Summerslam almost thirty years later, albeit with the good guy winning. It’s so remarkable to see the big top babyface getting whipped on like this, that it almost gives the match an extra star on wow factor alone. B

    ____

    Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock (c)
    WWF Championship - No Disqualification
    Wrestlemania X7


    And now for something completely different. This match is peak 2001, an aggro, over-the-top, non-stop brawl that the crowd can’t get enough of. Austin comes into the match aggressive as hell, looking ready to win the title at any cost and doing it quickly. He pulls off a turnbuckle pad and whips out a superplex in the first five minutes. Austin wrestles this match like it started in the 25th minute. On the other hand, Rock increasingly has to fight for survival, his offense comes off as more desperate, with great spots like bursting out of the corner with a surprise clothesline when Austin gives him a break, or defying the middle fingers to tangle the Rattlesnake up in a sharpshooter. For most of this match there’s just a brilliant back-and-forth between two guys who become increasingly desperate to put each other away. There’s lots of fighting outside, each guy is busted open quickly, they start stealing each other’s finishers, and in a great, underrated Mania moment, Austin’s desperation leads to him dusting off the Million Dollar Dream. Unfortunately, it all comes tumbling down in the final minutes, as Vince pulls the trigger on the ill-fated and terribly planned Austin heel turn. The crowd has spent the entire match thoroughly into both guys, but Austin is probably a bit more over, and it’s going to be impossible to turn them on him. Don’t believe me? First Vince pulls Rock off a potential match-winning cover, then lures him into a Rock Bottom from Austin. The disrespectful finisher steal brought on by the evil boss should be bad enough, but the crowd still screams for the nearfall like they’re ready to erupt. Vince must have known that wouldn’t be enough, because the eventual finish isn’t courtesy of a Stunner, but just a relentless dirty beatdown from a steel chair after low blows and meaningless ref bumps. The end result? The crowd still pops like mad for Austin winning the belt. I wanna give this match my highest score so badly for having an amazing run between two of the all-time best, but the final, torturous few minutes of Vince trying, and failing, to turn the Rattlesnake in his home state, knock it down a peg. B


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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Hogan and Andre is a really good match for all the reasons you mentioned. It feels like a special match and it's cleverly laid out to work through the strengths and weaknesses of each guy.

    It's quite funny you have these two matches up first because it's surprisingly rare for Wrestlemania to have its main event be the two undisputed biggest stars in the company. But these two matches are both examples of that.





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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Hogan sold for lots of wrestlers before this though
    Wrestling fans need to give Ring of Honor a chance again.

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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    It's quite funny you have these two matches up first because it's surprisingly rare for Wrestlemania to have its main event be the two undisputed biggest stars in the company. But these two matches are both examples of that.
    I was pretty surprised they were the first two in the collection. If you put a gun to my head I'd probably call these the two biggest main events in Mania history? Feels like they blew their load early.


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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Silky Snowflake View Post
    I was pretty surprised they were the first two in the collection. If you put a gun to my head I'd probably call these the two biggest main events in Mania history? Feels like they blew their load early.
    I think Hogan vs Andre, Cena vs The Rock, and then Rock vs Austin 2 would be the three biggest Wrestlemania main events. In that order, I reckon.

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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    I think Hogan vs Andre, Cena vs The Rock, and then Rock vs Austin 2 would be the three biggest Wrestlemania main events. In that order, I reckon.

    Sent from my YAL-L21 using Tapatalk
    Hogan/Rock could have been up there too, but...

    Also, the Hogan/Andre match isn’t that unusual for Hogan. It was pretty much his formula against a lot of monsters, and the ends were often just as abrupt.

    Hell, he even did a pretty abrupt ending against Macho at V, after kicking out of the elbow.


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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuji Vice View Post
    Also, the Hogan/Andre match isn’t that unusual for Hogan. It was pretty much his formula against a lot of monsters, and the ends were often just as abrupt.
    Could be my months of WCW watching have tinted the way I see Hogan


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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Silky Snowflake View Post
    Could be my months of WCW watching have tinted the way I see Hogan
    Stop the madness.


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  10. #10

    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Cena/Brock from Summerslam is a good comparison to Hulk/Andre. It's not uncommon for Hogan to sell, but it is uncommon to witness Hogan being damn near squashed.

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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Austin vs Rock was pretty excellent, but just in the wrong city. You can't turn a guy heel in his home town, let alone someone as popular as Austin. Imagine if they had ran that finish in Miami though.
    Talk about the best matches of the year here:

    WWE | AEW | New Japan | Other

  12. #12

    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by King Steventon View Post
    Austin vs Rock was pretty excellent, but just in the wrong city. You can't turn a guy heel in his home town, let alone someone as popular as Austin. Imagine if they had ran that finish in Miami though.
    Eh, it still would have been a stupid finish. It's not bad because the heel turn was in Texas, it was bad because the heel turn didn't make sense and it was in the wrong place.

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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    The next match in the Best of Wrestlemania collection was HBK/Taker at Mania 26, but it didn't feel right revisiting that without first watching...

    The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
    Wrestlemania 25


    At the height of Streak Fever, with Taker finally rattling off really good matches to defend it each year, it really only made sense to eventually put him against one of his stronger opponents and another man who liked to shine at Mania. That entire conceit is pretty much the story of this match, the Streak against the self-proclaimed Mr. Wrestlemania, and HBK billing himself as a light to Taker's darkness. He comes out in a cute white version of Taker's motif, dropping from the heavens as Taker rises from below for his entrance. It portrays them as opposites, but equals, which is a nice prelude to a match that does the same. It would be easy to do a typical monster domination story for long stretches of this match; Taker looks great throwing around smaller guys, and Michaels has done some of his best work as a plucky underdog in those situations. But this isn't just any small guy, this is the iconic Shawn Michaels, and as he begins the last year of his career, it's hard to portray him as anything but a completely capable icon. Undertaker gets his power shots in, and Michaels sells them convincingly, but Shawn also spends several stretches of the match unleashing quick offense that staggers the Deadman, and even gets two long submission holds in that don't particularly threaten to end the match but establish HBK as a credible opponent. The match is basically broken into two long stretches, divided by the most notorious spot of the bout, a Taker dive to the outside that nearly ends in disaster when an incognito Sim Snuka isn't there to catch him. The first stretch with each man putting out even, methodical offense, and the back half, filled with convincing near falls and finisher spam that actually means something.

    I hate the new tradition of epic matches just rolling out several finishes for each guy in quick succession, but because of the stage and the pacing of this one, each man rolling through his finishes feels not excessive, but necessary. To further that point, so much of this stretch feels special because Undertaker has had his finishers protected for so long, with guys only very rarely kicking out of the Last Ride or Tombstone. Taker gets his shot first, giving Michaels a chokeslam, Last Ride, and Tombstone in succession, each getting just a two-count and plenty of time to breathe afterward. Taker's bewildered expression after the Tombstone tells the story of this match best; The Deadman simply cannot believe Michaels is still standing. Shawn for his part, looks unkillable after this, and them proceeds to counter a tombstone, drop an elbow, and hit a superkick. He only covers after the third move, looking the whole time like he knows he needs more to put the Deadman down. In the end, even that isn't enough, and each man looks truly desperate in the final minutes, needing each other's help to rise to their feet, trading exhausted punches, and even still, Michaels somehow coming out on top. He puts Taker down again, and determined as ever to find the move that'll win him the match, he goes up to the top rope once more. This final mistake costs him, as Undertaker catches a potential moonsault (the second disastrous attempt at one for Shawn), and no one kicks out of a second Tombstone. This is not a fast-paced match, but it flies by, with each near-fall feeling like it could end the match. The entire package was sold on two guys who step up big time for big shows, and the match itself couldn't have gotten that across any more clearly. A deserved classic. A


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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    This is a great match. I think I had it in the early 20's for my decade list of WWE matches. I had a hard time with it because it is one of those matches that became lauded as one of the greatest matches ever by a lot of people. You go on places like Reddit, Twitter, or anywhere more casual and you see people saying this is the greatest wrestling match ever. You go to other more hardcore smark forums and they will go the complete opposite way and tell you why this match sucks. I do think a lot of the negativity you might read about this match is in direct response to the praise it gets - almost as if they are over-compensating in the same way that others might be overly generous with their praise.

    An A grade is a perfectly fitting grade for it. It's a great match. There's a lot I love about it, and they do a better job than 99% of wrestlers ever at making this feel epic. And if ever there was a match that needed to feel epic, this was it. This match was so good that, thanks to a nasty looking botch, had a believable near fall on a count out spot. Just think about that - these two were so good at creating drama and sucking people in, that they were able to take a nasty botch and make people buy the fact that the Streak could end on a count out.

    All that said, the sequel takes the niggly things I don't like about this, and makes it better. It tells a better story and is one of my all time favourite matches so I can't wait to read your review on it.





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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    This match was so good that, thanks to a nasty looking botch, had a believable near fall on a count out spot. Just think about that - these two were so good at creating drama and sucking people in, that they were able to take a nasty botch and make people buy the fact that the Streak could end on a count out.
    I totally forgot to touch on this but I really love Michaels dragging the official into the ring and getting him to start counting. Obviously Shawn's desperation to beat Undertaker was a bigger story in the rematch, but I thought that was a really well-played "I'll win this match whatever it takes" moment for HBK.


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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    I remember watching that live and Undertaker almost Hayabusa-ing himself on the dive legit had me buying that they could have done a count-out finish on the fly due to injury. Definitely one of the best 'epics' I think the WWE have ever pulled off
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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    It's important to freshen this up once in a while and really emphasize how scattershot this thread might end up. Anyway, I hit up Impact's Youtube page and grabbed a couple of their recent free matches of the week...

    EC3 vs. Eli Drake
    Number One Contender's Match - If Eli Drake Loses, He Can't Speak for the Rest of the Year
    Impact Wrestling 11-24-2016


    EC3 is currently the number one contender to the Impact World Championship or whatever it's called, and he's offered to give it up on the condition that Eli shut the fuck up for once for the rest of 2016 (a stipulation that sounds much less impressive when you consider it's one whole month). It's not terribly clear who the face or heel in this situation is unless you assume that only heels talk so much that someone would fight them just to shut them up, so Drake is the presumed heel for the first half of this match. Drake also controls most of the action here from start to finish, to a degree that honestly just makes EC3 look bad. After he's gained thorough control and gotten a near-fall from his Blunt Force Trauma finisher, Drake makes it very clear that he's the douchebag in this equation by grabbing a microphone and just shit-talking EC3 for a good minute or two, slapping him around whenever it looks like he might get tired of this. This is the section of the match that might make your strong babyface look a little less capable, but is also by and large the only memorable part of the encounter, and also puts into perspective the match stipulation (IE why someone needs to shut Eli up). Eventually EC3 gets just tired enough of Drake's yapping to briefly counter and get a near-fall, only for Drake to once again take control of the match. EC3 hits the One Percenter for another two count moments later, and then eventually puts Drake down with, appropriately, a sleeper hold to get the submission win. I like the poetic justice of EC3 winning this match with a move that literally silences his opponent, but the inept Impact commentary doesn't pick up on this. EC3 wins a match he hit about 5 total moves in, pretty unremarkable. D

    __

    Kurt Angle vs. Drew Galloway
    Impact Wrestling 2-9-2016


    For Kurt Angle's farewell tour he's running through a few of his more notable opponents still employed with Impact, with Bobby Roode and Lashley on the horizon after this match with red hot Drew Galloway. All four names will be in WWE employ soon enough. Because it's part of the farewell tour, this is clearly just a respect match between men and isn't really about anything more than that, leaving each man to just play good guy hitting their spots. This is also the worst of Kurt Angle in action, which I suppose makes it a fitting homage in his final days. Six minutes into the match we see the first finisher, with Drew putting Kurt down on his banged up neck with a Future Shock DDT. This obviously gets only a near-fall and the action moves to the outside where Kurt does an "Angle Slam" to Galloway onto the steel steps. I put this into quotation marks because with the steps elevated as such it's less an Angle Slam and more just sort of throwing a guy over your head. Regardless, Drew sells it for 30 seconds and Josh Matthews talks about the damage to his back, but it never comes up again. In Drew's defense, otherwise he does all the stuff you like about McIntyre in 2021. He looks like a stud and he makes his offense look impactful and devastating, he has all the ring presence you'd expect of a future WWE champion and hangs in there with a legend masterfully. Kurt, on the other hand, from here just runs through his spots. He hits an Angle Slam for a two count, he hits the three germans, he locks in a few ankle locks. None of this ends the match of course, nor does Drew's Celtic Cross from the top rope or the next three, count 'em three, Claymore kicks. This is a 12 minute TV match with finishers galore, ultimately ended with Drew getting a tapout from a bloodied (of course) Kurt Angle with a crossface. The crowd chants "This is awesome" for half the match. I disagree. F
    Last edited by Queen; 02-20-2021 at 02:26 AM.


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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
    No DQ, No Countout - If Michaels Loses, He Has To Retire
    Wrestlemania XXVI


    An all-time great video package sets the stage here. Michaels has been racked with doubt and frustration since his loss to Undertaker last year and he needs another shot to feel anything close to complete. To achieve his goal, he costs Undertaker his world championship, sending the Deadman into a rage so he'll accept the challenge. The one condition? Shawn Michaels must retire if he can't get the job done. Gone are the good vs. evil parallels from last year, this is one man's battle to feel like a legend one last time, while another man fights to protect his greatest legacy. Michaels is twice as desperate and motivated as he was last year, and Undertaker finds that out quickly when his adversary hits with him back with his signature throat slash taunt.

    The entire match is set up on a seemingly innocuous, every day maneuver for Undertaker. He hits an Old School from the top ropes and jumps up a little funny afterward. One minute later, Michaels goes for a superkick and notices Taker reeling back, favoring his knee. Mr. Wrestlemania has his in. Undertaker's approach to this match is much like last year, he aims to punish his adversary until he can no longer stand, it's worked at 16 Manias before this, so why fix what ain't broken? Michaels, on the other hand, isn't trying to keep pace like in Houston, he's spending every chance he has to punish Undertaker's knee. He stomps it against the ring ropes, he locks Taker into a figure four and an ankle lock, hell even when he goes for a flying elbow and gets it blocked, Taker using his knees to do so only makes the Deadman writhe in more agony. Even though Michaels takes all the punishment from last year and more (a chokeslam, Last Ride, and Tombstone are all kicked out of, again), you can tell he's making in-roads because Undertaker collapses the first time he tries to powerbomb his opponent.

    At Mania 25 it felt like the entire match turned on a dive to the outside and the same can be said of this one, albeit this time it goes much better. Undertaker, in an attempt to punish Michaels enough to stay down, clears an announce table for impact. The only problem is Shawn superkicks him onto it, and then hits an absolutely picture perfect moonsault from the top rope, through the table. Most "picture perfect" moonsaults hit the opponent dead on, but Michaels is a little off. In any other match this might be glaring, but Shawn lands beautifully onto Taker's legs, and the next time the Deadman gets to his feet, it looks like he won't be able to stay on them. Shawn scrambles them both into the ring, Undertaker staggers, just barely, to his feet, and gets a superkick to the jaw for his troubles. This might be the most believable near-fall in this era of the streak, given the stipulation, but Undertaker simply won't stay down. From here it's all a formality, Michaels has given the best he has and it just wasn't enough. One tombstone doesn't bury Shawn, but as Undertaker lifts him back to his feet, the Heartbreak Kid defiantly taunts his greatest foe one last time; A throat slash, naturally. A second tombstone ends a match every bit as great as the first. There's a few more finishers sprinkled in, a natural pet peeve for yours truly, but the story for this match is stronger, the pacing is still on point, and though the ending isn't as surprising as last year's, it's instead poignant, and well-earned. This is a fitting end to one of the greatest rivalries of all time. A


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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    Great review.

    This is quite simply one of my all time favourite matches. In WWE history, there's only the two Bret vs Austin matches that I'd maybe consider putting above it. I love everything with the leg work and how they used that to make Undertaker look like an underdog. I love the table "botch" and how they used it to further their story. I love the ending. Nowadays I hate those sorts of wanky endings, but this was before it was whored out to kingdom come by Triple H, Undertaker, and late 2010s NXT. I think this was only the second one and a direct and fitting homage to Flair vs Michaels.





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    Re: Silk's Miscellaneous Match Reviews

    The Ultimate Warrior (IC) vs. Hulk Hogan (WWF)
    Intercontinental and WWF Championship
    Wrestlemania VI


    In a simple enough match to book, two of the most titanic forces collided at the top of the card for Mania VI, with both the Intercontinental and World titles on the line. Hulk Hogan had of course been the face of the company for the entirety of the Wrestlemania era, but an eye was on the future in setting up Warrior to be his potential successor. The energy of the crowd is palpable for this heavyweight fight and it's a big factor in why I find this, sorry to say, watchable in the slightest. Granted, we're not talking about two guys with incredible ability, we're talking about two wrestlers who could make a crowd buzz, so their job is just to keep them on their toes for 25 agonizing minutes. To the credit of Hulk and Warrior, they succeed.

    My biggest issues here come down to how long this match out and how they insisted on putting it together, often times with the unsurprising intention of protecting Hulk Hogan as much as possible while still losing the strap in the process. The two have a very long test of strength sequence to start the match before Hulk takes a fall to the outside and hurts his knee. Not to make a habit of referencing my past reviews, but Undertaker he is not. Hulkster sells this injury like death on the outside of the ring for an annoyingly long stretch of time, then limps his way back into the ring. Naturally, this should lead into a Warrior control sequence where he takes advantage of the gimped Hogan, but instead a Hogan who appears to be completely healthy seconds later takes control of the match from here. What? The knee is never addressed again, and the poor announce team of Ventura and Monsoon have to BS something about Hogan sliding his kneecap back into place to explain why the world champ can now powerslam the Ultimate Warrior like it's nothing.

    Hogan's reign of terror is ultimately done in by Warrior pumping himself up and seizing control of the match but rather than hustle us toward an exciting finishing sequence, we instead get a torturous, long bearhug spot, and then an inexplicable ref bump. You know how I mentioned we're protecting Hogan? Well after giving him a bad leg (albeit a quickly forgotten one), Hulkster is allowed to get a fake three count on Warrior that the ref is too unconscious to count. Warrior gets one too, to return the favor, but this still gives Hulk a nice out for later. Hogan then finds himself getting the ol' Warrior finishing combo, a press slam and a splash, but he kicks out! I'm no historian, but this was surely a rare feat and he may have been the first in the company to do this. We get the Hulk-Up sequence, and I have no problem with this sort of thing because this is how Hulk matches work, but the spot surprisingly ends with Warrior rolling out of a legdrop attempt, and then hitting a second splash to win the straps. Yes that's right, Hogan needs to take two finishers to lose the match, and Warrior doesn't even get to kick out of his in response. Alas, Warrior is the double champ, Hogan raises his hand, and we all go home wishing we'd seen a match half as long. To each man's credit they pulled out everything in their arsenal and then some, and they kept the crowd hot, but this ran too long and was just laid out all wrong. I've heard a lot of folks like this, maybe Hogan matches just aren't for me. D


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