Thursday, 22 May 2014

WWF All Star Search #10 - Saturday Night's Main Event 1

Hello Turnbucklers! It's edition #10 and we're looking at our first and the first Saturday Nights Main Event in this one! Not a big card as SNME was only an hour long but they were significant and important viewing for any WWE fan. This card looks alright with a 6 man tag match, two title matches (one of which is a WWE Title match) and also an important Pipers Pit. Last edition I had to watch a complete pile of bilge so let's hope this one is short and sweet! Onwards we go!

The Card:

The US Express/Ricky Steamboat vs Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff/George Steele

Piper's Pit ft Paul Orndorff

Hulk Hogan (WWE Champion) vs 'Cowboy' Bob Orton [WWE Title Match]

Wendi Richter (Womens Champ) vs The Fabulous Moolah [Womens Title Match]

Junkyard Dog vs Pete Doughety

The Show:

So before we even start up flashes Wendi Richter and Cyndi Lauper hyping up their match tonight. Then, Hulk Hogan and Mr T pop up to hype up Hogan's match tonight and T is in his corner! Mr T growls at us to seal home the point.

Our commentary team tonight is Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura. Not even 30 seconds in, McMahon is trying to save Jesse on commentary when he didn't need saving. Calm it, Vince!

The US Express/Ricky Steamboat vs Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff/George Steele

Before the match gets underway, of course we have the Soviet anthem and some spitting to get through via the heels. We also get a very speedy promo from the faces where by Windham says he wishes it was for the tag titles...and gets some subtle evils from Steamboat for doing so. Damn right Ricky, you are a third wheel on this night! This is George Steele's debut on our All Star Search and he announces himself by...flailing his arms. Windham and Sheik start us off while Steele is told to stand on the apron and not in the ring. Windham takes early control with an arm drag, a sneaky punch from Steamboat and a scoop slam. Rotundo and Steamboat both get shots in on Sheik from the top rope before Rotundo maintains control with headlocks and armbars. Steamboat in who nails a chop to Sheik but soon finds himself in an abdominal stretch. It doesn't last long as the faces clear the ring of the heels and the crowd is a buzzin'. A massive USA chant breaks out...and the only one who plays to it is George Steele...the American on the heel team? Nice dropkick off top on Sheik followed by a cross body off the top by Steamboat. In comes Volkoff but eats eats a double dropkick from Steamboat and Windham. Rotundo in who levels the Russian with legdrops but gets distracted by the heels allowing momentum to shift for...a second...before Rotundo regains control. An awkward sequence of backslides follow and Windham tags back in. George Steele in now to big heat and him and Windham trade awful looking punches. Steele goes for a tag out but the tag champs just drop down to the floor allowing Steele to be pinned with a roll up from Windham for three. The tag champs attack Steele after the match but it doesn't go too far. That big heat for Steele are now big cheers and Captain Lou comes in to calm down Steele. Face = turned. Good, quick, action despite the lack of offense by the heels. Surely if the US Express were to dominate...why not have kept the titles on them at Mania? Match Rating: *1/2
After the match Mean Gene Okerlund catches up with the champs who claims Steele was at fault and he deserved them to shun him.

Piper's Pit with Paul Orndorff

Straight into Piper's Pit now and Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff is the guest. If you remember, at Wrestlemania, Piper and Orton left Orndorff alone in the ring after their loss and last month, Orndorff lost to Hogan but shook his hand afterwards. Piper tries to talk but Orndorff cuts him off and tells Cowboy Bob Orton to go stand in the corner like the 'dunce' he is. Of course the tension between Piper and Orndorff is off the charts. Piper of course starts getting cheeky and calls Orndorff a loser who gets angry as a result. Not angry enough NOT to sit down when Piper asks him too. Nonetheless, more back and forth snarkiness between Piper and Orndorff and Piper is great here. He says Orndorff lost his guts and Orndorff replies with 'you've been drinking your own bath water'. Tension escalates as expected until the heels attempt the cheapshot but fail. Orndorff goes for a piledriver on Piper but gets nailed by Orton's cast. Mr T runs down for the save and Face = Turned. Short but sweet segment to solidify Orndorff's turn and it definitely worked. Piper was superb.
Mean Gene is with Hogan who says he's happy it's Mother's Day soon and the following match is for his mummy. injured is your arm because Hogan says he's coming to find out.

Hulk Hogan (WWE Champ) vs 'Cowboy' Bob Orton [WWE Title Match]

The man with too many names...Mr Ace Cowboy Boxing Bob Orton is out first with Roddy Piper. The place naturally explodes when Hogan comes out and he's accompanied by Mr T! They get in the ring and rip each others shirts off and who says wrestling can seem gay? The match itself is your standard Hogan quick formulaic match. It spills to the outside but its a case of brawling and basic manuevers. Of course Piper on the outside plus Orton's cast provide enough of a challenge to keep the crowd hot throughout. Hogan eventually gets the legdrop but Piper breaks up the count with a cheapshot from the outside to cause the DQ win for Hogan. There's afters between the four until Orndorff comes out to support the good guys since he is now solidly one of them. Suprised they didn't just give Hogan the clean win on this one. I'm starting to notice the challengers get more offense in against Hogan on TV and supercards in comparison to house shows. Match Rating: *

Before we move onto the next match, we get to watch Cyndi Laupers new (at the time) music video. It was too sappy for my liking but hey, whatever floats your boat people. Although I approve of any love themed music video featuring Nikolai Volkoff.

Cyndi Lauper and Captain Lou are in the back, who both seem very confident that Wendi Richter is winning against the 106 year old Fabulous Moolah. Lauper worries about Albano's 'medula swelling.' Roddy Piper appears and has a screaming match with Lauper, its all good!

Mean Gene is with Moolah who says she's winning tonight and she's sick of Lauper cheating. She's also sick of people putting bags on her head, I however would encourage it, except plastic, 'coz that's dangerous!

Wendi Richter (Womens Champ) vs The Fabulous Moolah [Womens Title Match]

Big heat for Moolah when she comes out. Lauper and Richter come out to another Lauper song and Richter is such an after thought here. It's a shame because this of the potential if Lauper was the mouthpiece of a women's wrestler with actual in ring ability. Before the match, Fink makes the announcement that Lauper is banned from ringside and has to go backstage. The crowd chant bullshit but if that was 2014, that would've resulted in a 45 minute concert at Wrestlemania so keep your angst to yourselves on this one fans! The match of course is absolutely dreadful and the crowd die a slow death as soon as Lauper leaves. Richter eventually gets the win with a small package and the crowd wake up again in time for Lauper to come back and celebrate. Match Rating: DUD

Junkyard Dog vs Pete Doughety

Straight into the last match now and Pete Doughety gets the jobbers entrance and no reaction. 'Another One Bites the Dust' hits and out comes Junkyard Dog with his ma because it's Mothers Day. Only two interesting things in this one...1) Pete Doughety has a lovely scream when he's selling and 2) Pete Doughety is supposedly the Duke of Dorchester. Its a quick one and Junkyard Dog gets the win with his Powerslam. What a strange choice of ending matchwise but hey, Junkyard Dog and mum dance after the match. Is she really his mother because they look the same age, hmmm. I wish I liked the Junkyard Dog more but I can't take a bloke doing dog impressions seriously. Match Rating: DUD

Into the back with Mean Gene who is with several wrestlers celebrating Mothers Day. Freddie Blassie's mother is about 40 years younger than him which is lovely. Cyndi Lauper is with her mum and everyone is having a good time. Hogan and Sheik are bickering in the background and Moolah crashes the party and lays into Mummy Lauper while Lauper quacks on until shes covers Moolah in cake.

McMahon and Jesse Ventura go through their highlights to close us out.

Wrestler Scores:

  • Ricky Steamboat +6 (18)
  • Mike Rotundo +6 (22)
  • Barry Windham +6 (21)
  • George Steele +3 (3)
  • Iron Sheik +4 (27)
  • Nikolai Volkoff +3 (18)
  • Roddy Piper +6 (36)
  • Paul Orndorff  +7 (26)
  • Hulk Hogan +5 (46)
  • Bob Orton +4 (14)
  • Fabulous Moolah +2 (3)
  • Wendi Richter +2 (5)
  • Pete Doughety +1 (1)
  • Junkyard Dog +3 (11)

Piper and Orndorff brought in some decent points this week for that Piper's Pit segment and their various appearances throughout the episode proving how important the non-in-ring segments are too. Matches overall were disappointing whereby only the face team in the opener truly looked good. At this point overall, Hogan is in the lead after 10 editions with 46 points. Tito Santana isn't too far behind him and Roddy Piper and Greg Valentine after them. Shoutout to Iron Sheik who has impressed me more so than I thought, not so much Volkoff though. Onwards to our last house show of 1985.

Monday, 19 May 2014

WWE WCW's Greatest Pay-Per-View Matches Volume 1 DVD Review

WWE's WCW's Greatest Pay-Per-View Matches Volume 1 is out now on DVD and Blu Ray, available from, currently priced at £19.99 for DVD and £22.99 for Blu Ray. The three disc set, looks at the greatest matches that happened on WCW Pay-Per-View and is presented by former Five Time WCW World Heavyweight Champion Booker T. The set looks at the period between November 1987 and March 2001 and features some of the best wrestlers to work for WCW and the NWA during that time, including Chris Jericho, Jushin Thunder Liger, Bret Hart, Ricky Steamboat and The Road Warriors.

     WWE's WCW's Greatest Pay-Per-View Matches is a three disc DVD set that chronicles some of the most important bouts to have taken place on WCW's Pay-Per-View broadcasts. Bouts from the likes of Starrcade, The Great American Bash and Halloween Havoc feature heavily throughout as presenter Booker T leads us through the action. 


     As a presenter Booker is a solid choice for this set, as he not only offers knowledge on a large period of WCW history, but also brings a strong energy and enthusiam to his segments, which is always a bonus!

     The matches kick off with Ric Flair challenging Ron Garvin for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship inside a Steel Cage. It's a decent bout, but Garvin's lack of connection with the crowd, means they are fully behind Flair throughout, which harms the overall feel. In contrast the crowd clearly adores Dusty Rhodes as he takes on Barry Windham for the United States Heavyweight Championship in a bout from The Great American Bash 1988. Whilst the pace is slow by today's standards, this match still has a lot to offer, telling a good story, whilst also containing some decent spots like Rhodes delivering a diving cross body. It's a shame so much of the bout is built around Windham "Claw" submission hold as the move does nothing for me what so ever. Five months later Dusty Rhodes teams with Sting to take on The Road Warriors at Starrcade 1988, in an average tag bout, that is let down by some messy action at points and a frustrating finish. 

     After a string of average matches, this set really kicks into gear with Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat's classic bout from Chi-Town Rumble in February 1989. I absolutely adore this match and for me it is an instant five stars. Both men work together perfectly throughout, creating a must-watch wrestling match. The only downside is the camera's occasionally deciding to show SOME GUYS who play some sport in the US, instead of the action. The match that had to follow was always going to struggle in comparison, and whilst Lex Luger and Flyin' Brian have surprisingly good chemistry, Luger's atrocious selling kept pulling me out of the action. The final match on the disc see's Sting challenging for Ric Flair's NWA World Heavyweight Championship. The bout features solid wrestling throughout, with strong psychological elements thrown in, based around Sting's injured knee. It is let down however by Sting rarely selling the knee, and relying on the commentary team to remind the audience after it is pretty much forgotten by the wrestlers in the last five minutes of the match.

      The second disc kicks off with a dull Steel Cage bout between Lex Luger and Barry Windham. It's made even more boring by an apathetic crowd chanting for Ric Flair, who had recently departed WCW for a run in the WWF, throughout the contest. The finish is also baffling, with the steel cage gimmick barely being used throughout the match.In contrast, Flyin' Brian and Jushin Thunder Liger's bout over the Light Heavyweight Championship from Superbrawl II, starts off with a crowd that couldn't care less about the contest and finishes with them gripped by the action taking place within the ring. It's a well paced, epic, light heavyweight contest. with a  mixture of crisp chain wrestling and high flying spots. Only Brian not selling the leg that Liger worked early on in the match would stop me giving this bout the perfect five stars. As usual Jesse Ventura's commentary has been turned down, although it can still be heard feintly if listening through headphones, which is slightly distracted, as is seeing Ventura talking at ringside and not being able to hear his voice. It's the same for the following match, as Jim Ross goes solo again as Sting's Squadron (Barry Windham, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, "The Natural" Dustin Rhodes, Sting & Nikita Koloff) battle Paul E. Dangerously's Dangerous Alliance ("Stunning" Steve Austin, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko & "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton) I enjoyed this match a lot more here than on the War Games boxset as it benefits from being the only match using the gimmick here. It's a bloody, violent battle with Austin and Windham both bleeding buckets. There's strong storyline elements thrown in as well, with a lively crowd making this a compelling battle. 

        The set continues with Cactus Jack and Vader's Texas Death match from Halloween Havoc in 1993. The match is a superb example of Hardcore wrestling done right, as the two men beat the shit into each other for twenty minutes, with some great spots involved. The gimmick harms the match however, with rest periods in between the ten counts, and a bizarre finish, if this was a straight last man standing bout it would have been a lot more enjoyable.

       Ricky Steamboat and Steve Austin battle over the US Heavyweight Championship in a sound Veteran vs. Up and Comer contest, with Steamboat allowing Austin to look like a star. The finishing sequence is exhilirating, how WCW and Eric Bischoff didn't recognise they had not only a breakout star in Steve Austin but the future biggest star the industry has ever produced is anyones guess. In the final match of Disc 2, Hulk Hogan's soap opera style theatrics combine with Ric Flair's technical to create a compelling World title bout at Halloween Havoc in 1994. Throw in Mr. T as Special Guest Referee and surround the ring with a Steel Cage and it seems like WCW is onto a winner here. That is until an overbooked ending including Jimmy Hart removing Sensuous Sherri's skirt, a run in from Sting and masked man with a lead pipe, make the final few moments a little tedious to watch. 

Disc three kicks off with one of the biggest moments in wrestling history as The Outsiders and their mystery partner take on Lex Luger, Sting and Randy Savage. This match has been present on a number of different DVD sets, and whilst the action isn't particularly great during the actual match, this one is all about the finish. The crowd reaction is always good to see. 

           Diamond Dallas Page and Randy Savage's No Disqualification tangle from Spring Stampede is a fun bout. Whilst the action isn't always as crisp as it should be, there's enough to keep the attention of the viewer throughout. I coud've done without the strange goings on after the bout though. Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Eddy Guerrero from Halloween Havoc 1997 is a quality Lucha Libre style bout, with all the flips and tricks that you'd expect. There's a lot of really pretty wrestling here, and stuff that still makes me say "Wow" in 2014, so I can only imagine what watching in 1997 would have been like. The finish is truly spectacular. 

            Bret Hart and Randy Savage's bout from Slamboree 1998 is as dull as dishwater as the two go through the motions for 15 minutes, before a convulted ending reveals this bout as a set up for another Hogan vs Savage feud. WWE obviously wanted to include a Bret Hart match on the set, and with Hart finest PPV matches for WCW coming against Ric Flair, who we'd already seen four times and Chris Benoit, it's almost as if they picked a match at random. From the bizarre Road Wild PPV (held at motor bike festival, because why wouldn't you hold a wrestling PPV there) we get Chris Jericho defending the Cruiserweight title against Juventud Guerrera in a decent cruiserweight bout. Jericho does his best to gain some heat from an audience that isn't made up of wrestling fans. There's some good wrestling, but this bout lacks the fire needed to take it too the next level, with a crowd that couldn't care less not helping at all. Goldberg's World Heavyweight title defense against Diamond Dallas Page is one of the best bouts of Golberg's career. The psychology is strong, with Goldberg's selling also very good throughout, making the finish mean something! The face vs. face type matches doesn't always pay off but it works very well here.


     After the mess that was Hulk Hogan exiting WCW at Bash at the Beach 2000, Booker T and Jeff Jarrett attempt to rescue the situation in the main event of that PPV. Unfortunately the pair are let down, by an over booked mess of a finish and a random brawl around the arena in poor rip off of what ECW had been doing for sometime. When the two are allowed the wrestle the action is good, but they don't get very long to show us what they can do. A six man ladder match for the Cruiserweight title has some really good spots in it, with Shane Helms and Jamie Knoble both standing out. However, once again some bizarre booking, with the match presented as a tag team match that only one man can win, and eventually having it won by two men, and a dodgy first five minutes, harm what could have beena rival to WWF's TLC matches at the time. The final match on the set, is the final match WCW ever presented on PPV as Scott Steiner and Diamond Dallas Page collide in a Falls Count Anywhere bout over the World Heavyweight Championship. For what it's worth, this is a sound contest, with some good brawling presented by both men. Both Steiner and Page play their roles very well, it's just a shame we get another over booked mess of a finish, but hey that was WCW for you!

     Overall, this was fine three disc set that showcased a good cross section of WCW's PPV offerings, whilst they may not all be classic matches like Flair vs. Steamboat, the DVD does flow very nicely from one match to the other without an over whelming "burn out" feel. It's clear that WWE wanted to make sure everyone of WCW's big name stars were on this DVD, rather than simpy the Best matches from WCW PPV's otherwise we would have had a whole lot more of Ric Flair! I would have liked to have seen a few more added features like interviews with the wrestlers involved in the matches and maybe some new commentary from those involved (Steve Austin and Ricky Steamboat commentating on their match would have been a nice touch) to make this set stand out from the content already available on the WWE Network (for a cheaper price a month, for a lot more content) as Booker T's introduction aren't quite enough to shed the extra cash. If you're a completist buy the set, if you're not check out the higher reccomended matches on the WWE Network.

Content Listing

Vignette 1: Then, Now, Forever.

Vignette 2: Classic WCW PPV Moments

Segue 1: The Evolution of Pay-Per-View

Match 1: Steel Cage Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship: "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair vs. "The Man With The Hands of Stone" Ron Garvin (C) - NWA Starrcade "Chi-Town Heat", 26th November 1987

Match 2: Singles Match for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship: "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes vs. Barry Windham (C) with "The Executive Director of the Four Horseman" James J. Dillon - NWA The Great American Bash "The Price Of Freedom", 10th July 1988

Match 3: Tag Team Match for the NWA World Tag Team Championships: Sting & "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes vs. "The Legion of Doom" The Road Warriors with "Precious" Paul Ellering (C) - NWA Starrcade "True Gritt" - 26th December 1988

Segue 2: A Hall of Fame Rivalry

Match 4: Singles Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair (C) with Hiro Matsuda - NWA Chi-Town Rumble, 20th February 1989

Match 5: Singles Match for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship: Flyin' Brian vs. Lex Luger (C) - NWA Halloween Havoc, 28th October 1989

Match 6: Singles Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Sting with Junkyard Dog, Paul Orndorff, Scot Steiner & Rick Steiner vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair (C) NWA The Great American Bash "New Revolution", 7th July 1990

Disc 2

Segue 3: Everything to Gain

Match 7: Steel Cage Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship: United States Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham. WCW The Great American Bash, 14th July 1991

Match 8: Singles Match for the WCW World Light Heavyweight Championship: Flyin' Brian vs. Jushin Thunder Liger (C). WCW Superbrawl II, 29th February 1992 

Match 9: War Games Match: The Dangerous Alliance ("Stunning" Steve Austin, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko & "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton) with Paul E. Dangerously & Madusa  vs. Sting's Squadron (Barry Windham, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, "The Natural" Dustin Rhodes, Sting & Nikita Koloff). WCW WrestleWar "War Games", 17th May 1992.

Segue 4: Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal

Match 10: Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal Texas Death Match: WCW World Heavyweight Champion Big Van Vader with Harley Race vs Cactus Jack. WCW Halloween Havoc, 24th October 1993.

Match 11: Singles Match for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship: Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. "Stunning" Steve Austin (C), WCW Bash At The Beach, 17th July 1994

Match 12: Steel Cage Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: "Nature Boy" Ric Flair with Sensuous Sherri vs. Hulk Hogan with Jimmy Hart. WCW Halloween Havoc, 23rd October 1994

Disc 3

Segue 5: The Hostile Takeover

Match 13: Six Man Tag Team Match: The Outsiders & Hulk Hogan vs. Lex Luger, Sting & Randy Savage. WCW Bash at the Beach. 7th July 1996

Match 14: No Disqualification Match: Diamond Dallas Page with Kimberly vs. Randy Savage with Miss Elizabeth. WCW Spring Stampede. 6th April, 1997. 

Match 15: Mask vs. WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match: Rey Mysterio, Jr vs. Eddy Guerrero (C). WCW Halloween Havoc, 26th October 1997

Match 16: Singles Match: Bret Hart vs. Randy Savage with Miss Elizabeth. WCW Slamboree, 17th May 1998

Match 17: WCW World Cruiserweight Championship Match: Juventud Guerrera vs. "Lionheart" Chris Jericho (C). WCW Road Wild, 8th August 1998.

Match 18: WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Goldberg (C) 

Segue 6: Oppurtunity Knocks

Match 19: WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match: Booker T vs. Jeff Jarrett. WCW Bash at the Beach, 9th July 2000

Segue 7: A Legendary Era

Thursday, 15 May 2014

WWE All Star Search #9 - 20th May 1985 - Adam Ross

Hello Turnbucklers! It's edition #9 of our All Star Search and the scores are starting to show who's been impressing...and who hasn't. I'll probably post an article looking at the Wrestler Scores before I get to Wrestlemania 2 and we'll delve into them. Until then, we move forwards in 1985 onto this MSG show in May! Last edition we had what was probably the best show I've watched in the series so far. The card for this one looks like sh*t on paper to me unfortunately with a lot of 1984 jobbers getting some time in the ring. We do get a WWE Title match with Don Muraco who is making his blog reappearance. The main event is exactly the match that should've been on the Wrestlemania 1 card but wasn't, in favour of a DUD. Finally we also get another match between the US Express and the tag champs but let's hope that this is the last one.

The Card:

Rocky Johnson vs Rene Goulet

Jim Neidhart vs Ivan Putski

Pedro Morales vs Terry Gibbs

Hulk Hogan (WWE Champ) vs Don Muraco [WWE Title Match]

Bret Hart vs Rick McGraw

Ken Patera vs Tony Atlas

The US Express vs Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff (Tag Team Champs) [Tag Team Title Match]

The Missing Link vs SD Jones

Jesse Ventura vs Tony Garea

David Sammartino/Bruno Sammartino vs Brutus Beefcake/Johnny Valiant

The Show:

Our commentary team for tonight is Gorilla Monsoon and Mean Gene Okerlund.

Rocky Johnson vs Rene Goulet

Another opening contest featuring Rene Goulet? He must really be thought of highly backstage as he's still going strong being given 10+ minute matches. This is Rocky Johnson's final MSG appearance and his last appearance on this blog for now. Once again this is a 10 minute opener and the term 'nothing special' comes to mind. The main focus seems to be Goulet's missing glove? O...K. Johnson actually looks quite good in this one, showing off both strength and speed which I wasn't expecting so much. It's still weird to hear him being referred to as 'The Rock'. Goulet does get some offense in but its mixed in between his heely stalling tactics. I actually like Goulet, he's easy to hate which makes him a good heel. Johnson gets the 3 count in the end with a roll up and we move on. Match Rating: *

Jim Neidhart vs Ivan Putski

Straight into the next match now and on paper this one is self-explanatory as to what to expect. Neidhart is still fairly new to the WWE scene and Putski is coming to the end of his career. Both are pushed as powerhouses. That is exactly what we get in this one and the early goings are spent by both trying to out power the other. Of course it breaks down into restholds and the pace slows down by a hefty amount. The crowd are alive towards the end and really get behind Putski in his final flurry of offence but its no use and Neidhart counters a suplex attempt into a roll up for 3. Impressive way to end considering the size of both men and how smooth the sequence actually was. Neidhart still looks strong going forward but the match was too slow for the majority. Match Rating: 3/4*

Pedro Morales vs Terry Gibbs

This is another match that doesn't exactly make me jump out my seat. This is Morales' first appearance on our blog. His biggest career peaks came before this show but I'm interested to see how he comes off on his return and whether he's another former great who's still stuck in a former decade style-wise. Terry Gibbs is a perennial jobber here. The commentary team say Morales looks great....but he doesn't. This match itself was sinfully boring. So many restholds at such a slow pace, it was just hard for me to care. Unfortunately the timekeeper plays a harsh trick on me and rings the bell halfway through the match...but it wasn't over! Damn him! Eventually Morales gets the win with a Boston Crab to decent crowd noise, so I assume the crowd only watched the last 10 seconds of the match. Match Rating: 1/4*

Hulk Hogan (WWE Champ) vs Don Muraco [WWE Title Match]

The crowd has really lit up for this one and Don Muraco comes out to major heat with Mr Fuji! Eye of the Tiger plays and the crowd goes mental as usual! The ringbell is doing my head in at this point as it won't stop pissing ringing. Action kicks off straight away as Muraco blindsides Hogan before he de-belts. He lays in the boots before choking Hogan with his T-shirt. Muraco's offense doesn't last long as Hogan hulks up quickly and sends Muraco to the outside. He nails an atomic drop on the floor before they both make their way back in the ring. Hogan starts choking Muraco with his T-shirt now and even finds time to gob in his face...lovely. The crowd don't care though as they are unglued. They head back outside where they trade chairshots right in front of the ref but no DQ. It makes even less sense when Hogan rolls in and out of the ring to break the countout. Muraco actually gets busted open via these chairshots. Back in the ring and Hogan hits a back suplex and soon after, a standing suplex. Its not long before he hits the leg drop for the 3 count. However Mr Fuji had put Muraco's foot on the ropes so the 3 count doesn't count. This gives Muraco the chance to blast Hogan in the eyes with a load of salt for the DQ. Stupid, pointless finish to a glorified squash match. The crowd noise made this match much better but Muraco got no offense in after the initial phase and its safe to say his career ain't going higher than this. This match is very similar to Hogan vs Orndorff from the month before. Match Rating: *1/2

Lord Al Hayes replaces Mean Gene on commentary and immediately acts like a lecherous old git.

Bret Hart vs Rick McGraw

Is this our first blog Bret singles match? It could possibly be! Last month he looked extra good in the tag match with the Bulldog's. This time out he's against Rick McGraw who is the definition of...OK. At this point he's still sporting an extra 'T' in his name. He seems less enthusiastic this time around and it shows in his in ring work. The match is slower than I expected with very little to talk about. Bret did show glimpses of good entertainment but that's all they were, glimpses. McGraw was...OK...considering the last time we saw him he was being jobbed out to Ken Patera quite quickly. Strange commentary as Lord Al rants on about Stu Hart but starts getting a bit creepy. Bret eventually got the win via a second rope elbow drop. I'm quite disappointed with this one and Bret honestly came off as well as any other lower card heel in this one. Match Rating: *

Ken Patera vs Tony Atlas

This card is not getting better is it. Out comes out favourite 1970's throwback in Ken Patera and the immensely roided Tony Atlas. Bobby Heenan is out with Patera so maybe he can add something. Before the match even gets under way, both men engage in a posedown with Patera looking old and Atlas looking camper than a picnic basket. Pretty basic start as both men try to out power the other. Patera gains early control using restholds early on. They end up outside where Patera rams Atlas into the apron before getting back in the ring to pose. Patera locks on a bearhug which Atlas wiggles out of into one of his own. That also looked really gay on Atlas' part. Nice cross body followed by a suplex by Atlas into a sleeper that is quickly broken up. Patera tries to stall but Atlas isn't having any of it and nails an atomic drop. They go back and forth until Patera is sent out to the floor. Patera and Heenan suffer a dreaded double noggin knocker before Atlas gets distracted trying to beat up Heenan/ Patera uses that to nail Atlas off the top rope for the 3 count. Better than I was expecting and better than most the crap on the card. Both men still seem very outdated though. Match Rating: *3/4

Into the back with Mean Gene and Bobby Heenan who is representing the Missing Link. Heenan tells us that everyone better have paid their insurance premiums because the Missing Link is going to be piling up the bodies. The Missing Link says nothing and wanders around the background. Its a middle-aged bloke with Einstein hair and a green face. He looks like someone sneezed on him. Thank God that Heenan gave him at least some legitimacy.

Still in the back and Jesse Ventura is now with Mean Gene. Mean Gene is just as shocked as me that Ventura looks somewhat human. Ventura says he's the best on commentary and the best in the ring so watch out Garea!

STILL in the back and this time Mean Gene is with Johnny Valiant and Brutus Beefcake. They talk about San Fransisco and then the Sammartino's. Beefcake doesn't freeze which is an improvement and actually shows off some good confidence. They're ready! the back with Mean Gene and this time he's with the Sammartino's. Bruno's promo's always seem the most real, no yelling and always confident in what he's saying. David on the other hand is a stuttery mofo. Bottom line...they're ready!

The US Express vs Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff (Tag Team Champs) [Tag Team Title Match]

The heels are out first to big heat as per! 1980's xenephobia really was an amazing heat catalyst, I mean, it's hard to take the champs as seriously as I'd like too but the crowd disagree. Of course Volkoff sings before the match to big heat and I love hit! 'Born in the USA' hits and out come the US Express with Captain Lou Albano. The crowd don't seem as into them as they were 2 months ago which is strange. Big USA chant breaks out right on cue. Quick action to start with the faces taking control over Sheik to major crowd noise. Nice double leg drop by the faces and an atomic drop by Rotundo. Sheik misses a Senton splash attempt which was a nice suprise. Sheik eventually tags out to Volkoff just as Windham comes in and the pace slows down slightly. Windham does gets some shots in but misses a dropkick and the tide doth turn. The heels take turns working over Windham. Sheik hits a lovely gutwrench suplex and maintains control until Rotundo gets the hot tag. It doesn't last long as Volkoff pearl harbours him. Windham takes the time to bust Sheik open on the ringpost in the melee. It all breaks down outside the ring and the champs get counted out but keep their belts. Was a decent little match for what it was but I'm hoping thats the last we see between the two. Match Rating: **

The Missing Link vs SD Jones

Before the match starts, Bobby Heenan lists off a load of face wrestlers and tells them to pay attention. He tells them to pay attention to his newest Heenan family member...The Missing Link. For all that build up, this guy better be good! I should mention that in the time between this show and the last, Orndorff cemented his face turn and fired Heenan. Heenan is now offering $25,000 to anyone to take Orndorff out. None the less, Heenan feels the Missing Link is the dude who will get that dollar. Match is a total squash but christ, The Missing Link looks awful. He's slow, weak and very disjointed. He gets the quick 3 with a falling headbutt/punch (?) from the top rope. I would mention SD Jones...but there is literally nothing to mention other than he just got battered. The officials run away from the Missing Link after the match while Heenan tries and fails to control him. Match Rating: DUD

Jesse Ventura vs Tony Garea

Straight into the next match now as we get the in-ring blog return of Jesse Ventura after his blood clot incident last year. His opponent is Tony Garea who is once again solid, but not spectacular. It takes an age for Jesse to take off all his shit and actually start the match. Of course, even then there's a fair amount of stalling. In fact, the first half of this match is a hefty mix of stalling by Jesse and rest holds by Garea. When Garea is on offense, he works over Jesse's arm throwing in some decent psychology but unfortunately its all for nothing as Jesse forgets to sell. The crowd really hate Jesse here so that adds a lot to this one. Garea gets in a sunset flip and tries to abdominal stretch but unfortunately it all goes sloppily wrong. Finish comes when Garea tries to ram Jesse into the turnbuckle but its countered so Garea levels his own head, staggers down to the mat allowing Jesse to hit a weak looking elbow drop for the win. I really, really wish I liked Jesse Ventura's in ring work more than I do but alas, I don't and this match was crap until the final third. Match Rating: 1/2*

David Sammartino/Bruno Sammartino vs Brutus Beefcake/Johnny Valiant

Time for our main event now and it's not quite a Wrestlemania rematch although this is the match that should've been on the card. Out first is Beefcake and Valiant to big boo's. Valiant is another 70's flashback by the look of him. Beefcake looks like a golden ticket allowing you into Wonka's factory. The Sammartino's come out with a Hogan style entrance (without music) and they get a huge pop, granted though, it was mainly for Bruno. Bruno starts and cleans house early while the crowd go mental. It's apparent though he's aged a little too much to be a regular in ring performer. He seems sluggish and clunky although the crowd distracts you from it. Bruno continues to keep control working over both heels. He works over Beefcakes arm and tags in David who keeps working on the arm. Eventually the heels take control and work over David with lots of chokes and strikes. The finish comes out of nowhere as Valiant misses a charge in the corner and David rolls him up for the win. The heels do some damage to Bruno after the match but in my opinion, they should've left this for a Sammartino feelgood moment. Match itself was better than the Wrestlemania match and I maintain this should've been on that card instead. Still a poor, dull match though. Neither David or Beefcake looked great in this which is wrong considering they're the future. Match Rating: *

So there we have it, edition #9 is done and wow, what a hard show to sit and watch. The things I do for my Turnbucklers. Nevertheless, onto the next show! First...let's see the updated Wrestler Scores.

Wrestler Scores:

Rocky Johnson +4 (10)
Rene Goulet +2 (9)
Jim Niedhart +4 (14)
Ivan Putski +2 (6)
Pedro Morales +2 (2)
Terry Gibbs +1 (4)
Hulk Hogan +5 (41)
Don Muraco +3 (9)
Bret Hart +4 (11)
Rick McGraw +3 (8)
Ken Patera +4 (14)
Tony Atlas +3 (7)
Mike Rotundo +6 (16)
Barry Windham +5 (15)
Iron Sheik +4 (23)
Nikolai Volkoff +4 (15)
The Missing Link +2 (2)
SD Jones +1 (7)
Jesse Ventura +3 (10)
Tony Garea +3 (7)
David Sammartino +3 (9)
Bruno Sammartino +3 (3)
Johnny Valiant +3 (3)
Brutus Beefcake +4 (13)

So there we have our updated list after this show. After edition #10, I'll be going through the scores so far and the patterns and reasons behind them. Hopefully you'll see us in edition #10! Please leave a comment, follow us on Twitter @TheWrestlinDork.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

WWE Best of Raw: After The Show DVD Review

WWE's Best of Raw: After The Show is out now on DVD and Blu Ray, available from, currently priced at £19.99 for DVD and £22.99 for Blu Ray. The three disc set, looks at the best moments that have happened after Monday Night Raw goes off the air and is presented by Renee Young. The set looks at the period between May 1999 and April 2013 and features some of the biggest names to have featured on Raw during that time, including Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Edge, CM Punk and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin!
       The Best of Raw: After The Show looks at those moments that happen after WWE's flagship TV Show, Raw goes off the air. These moments usually consist of crowd-pleasing actions and occasionally matches to send the crowd home happy, as the heels have come out on top at the end of the show. I have to say I was fairly excited when the discs for this one came through, as almost all of this footage was completely new to me, which is rare in 2014, especially with the WWE Network opening it's doors earlier this year. There is no commentary on any of the set, which may be a problem for some people. The set is presented by the lovely Renee Young and anyone who follows @ATPWrestling on Twitter will know that I might, perhaps, have a slight crush on Renee (as the majority of the wrestling world it would seem). She does a good enough job, in her nine segue segments throughout the piece, breaking up the action and introducing the next clip well.

The first discs contains a total of 11 different segments, with three segues from Young. Proceedings begin with Steve Austin, Triple H and Shane McMahon engaging in an entertaining segment which closed the highest rated episode of Raw in history on 10th May 1999, both Shane McMahon and Triple H return in similar roles, this time featuring The Rock in the next segment from 3rd April 2000. Both are pretty similar in feel, and set up a theme that will continue throughout the sets, expect to hear a lot about Steve Austin and The Rock going forward. The crowd clearly love these moments and pop appropriately, however it is hard to feel that kind of excitement sitting at home with no lead in present. 
One month later, we get some dancing as Too Cool and Rikishi lead Chris Jericho, Big Show and The Dudleys Boys in their signature dance, after seeing off Triple H once again. The Game is takes a beating again a month later, this time as the hands of Kane, The Undertaker and The Rock, however the highlight of this segment is some terrific mic work from Triple H, who does a great job of winding up the crowd, whilst also being laugh out loud funny at the same time. Oh yeah and Kane delivering the People's Elbow is pretty funky too! 

We're thrown into the midst of The Invasion angle next, as The Rock quickly dispatches with Booker T, followed up by a hilarious encounter with Shawn Stasiak (Yeah, Shawn Stasiak once closed Raw). In a strange moment from September 2001 (the first Raw following 9/11) we see Rob Van Dam completely obliterate Steve Austin, before a heel Austin closes the show. Austin is fantastic throughout and has the crowd in the palm of his hand, which serves to show the monumental error WWF made by turning him heel. Kurt Angle acts as the perfect stooge for The Rock, in front of Rocky's home town Miama crowd, as The Great One has the crowd reacting to even the slightest movement in a clip from December 2001. Stone Cold is back for a third appearance, this time being aided by Hulk Hogan in despatching the NWO's Scott Hall, Big Show and X-Pac, in a messy brawl. There's a lengthy beer bash, I have to say I found myself switching off after a while. However it's nice to see Hogan actually knew how to drink beer with Stone Cold at some point in time.

In what was possibly my favourite segment on the entire set, a whole cast of characters attempt to get The Undertaker to attempt a "Spin-a-Roonie" including a number of Spin-A-Roonies from a number of others. There's some genuinely funny lines from The Rock, Triple H, Mr. McMahon and others throughout and the whole thing does feel like a superb rib on The Undertaker. Booker and The Rock are back for the next segment from February 2003 and whilst The Rock is on form on the mic once again, this time in his Hollywood Heel persona, this probably wasn't needed after the previous lengthy segment on the Spin-A-Roonie. In the final segment from Disc 1, Stone Cold and The Rock build towards their final encounter at WrestleMania XIX, with some masterful stalling before the two engage in an enjoyable brawl. 

Disc Two kicks off the night following WrestleMania XIX, following on from Goldberg's attack on The Rock, as The Rock treats us to a heart warming moment with a young fan at ringside. Goldberg makes an appearance in the next segment, alongside Stone Cold as the pair drink some beer and beat up Eric Bischoff in one of the segments that I imagine would have been a lot of fun for the live crowd, but doesn't particular translate here. What does translate is the Ric Flair celebration from two weeks later, as what looks like the whole looker room, including Vince and Shane McMahon join The Nature Boy in the ring. Flair's emotional promo is a delight to watch.

Steve Austin continues to clock up appearances as he gets the crowd to sing "Happy Birthday" to camera man Marty. Marty's subsequent heel turn is amusing, and it's kept fairly short. The beer bashing continues as Stone Cold is joined by Chris Jericho in the next segment from August 2003. This exactly what you'd expect from two of the best mic workers in the business, completely fantastic. The pair seems to have a lot of fun here, and it emanates from the screen as they have the crowd under their spell throughout. Similar to Ric Flair's celebration earlier in the set, The Fabulous Moolah celebrating her 80th Birthday in September 2003, see's a number of superstars out in the ring. There's a cameo appearance from Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade which is mildly amusing, but overall it probably goes a bit long.

The beer bashes begin to get a bit tedious at this point in the set, as another Steve Austin and Goldberg drink session is presented. Austin heading down to the ring on an office chair is funny, but it doesn't really warrant a place on the DVD. The beer continues to be drunk, in a segment from February 2004. This time Austin is joined by Booker T, Rob Van Dam and Mick Foley. This segment goes way, way, way too long (over fourty minutes) and Austin trying to get Lilian Garcia to do a Spin-A-Roonie is uncomfortable to watch. By this point I'd really began to lose interest in this DVD, which should have been renamed "Stone Cold Drinks Some Beer". Disc two finishes up with more beer, as Austin is joined The Rock and Mick Foley, which is luckily kept short, with the three having an entertaining exchange.

Disc Three opens up with the first match of the set, as Triple H & Ric Flair team up to face Shawn Michaels & Randy Orton from February 2005. The bout is pretty good, with sound storytelling and some funny spots, that anyone who hasn't been to a live event will be surprised by. If you've ever wanted to see Ric Flair's bare arse this is the match for you.

Hulk Hogan returns in John Cena and Batista's first appearance on the set from August 2005 in an inoffensive pose session, that was again was probably more entertaining in person. Cena features in the following segment from January 2006, this time putting over Ric Flair on the microphone in North Carolina, in a touching moment. It's not quite the celebration we saw earlier for Flair, but still a solid addition to the set. 

Cena completes a trifeca of segments with "San Antonio" Street Fight with then WWE Champion Edge from July 2006. The bout feels more like a PPV main event from that era, rather than a dark match following Raw, lots of nice false finishes that the crowd is really into. A lot of fun to watch.

The matches continue as Randy Orton takes on Triple H in August of 2007. After an awkward moment at the beginning of the bout, the match itself is very short, with nothing much of note.

We skip more than two years then for afun segment with D-Generation X, John Cena and John Cena Snr, before another big jump to July 2011 presents Street Fight between Cena and CM Punk. The match is shown entirely from the hard camera and the crowd is really quiet throughout, which made it difficult to really get into this one. The finish is cool, but this isn't a patch on the Street Fight between Cena and Edge from earlier on this disc. An appearance from Zack Ryder alongside Triple H is a reminder of just how popular the former was in 2011.

The night following WrestleMania 28, we get a decent six man tag pitting Randy Orton, then Intercontinental Champion Big Show and then World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus against Daniel Bryan, Kane and Cody Rhodes. This is notable however for the huge babyface reaction the heel Daniel Bryan recieves throughout, with the crowd pouring scorn on the bout whenever he is not in control. The result then is a strange one. In the same month, a birthday celebration for John Cena, featuring CM Punk, Mr. McMahon and the entire lockeroom singing Happy Birthday is a decent addition, if only for The Great Khali;s hilarious rendition of the song.

Cena returns in the following segment, taking place just after Raw 1000, as he and The Rock clean house with the Big Show. It has it's moments but goes on for way too long after Show is taken out. The final piece of action on the disc is taken from the night after WrestleMania 29, as we some "interesting" looking people "Fandangoing", after John Cena cuts a decent, but slightly corny promo. I would've like to see something else end the set personally, but this works well enough.

Overall, The Best of Raw: Not on Raw set contains a number of entertaining and humourous moments, that a lot of people will never have seen before. There are also a few decent matches on the final disc, of which Edge and John Cena's Street Fight is the clear leader in terms of quality, followed by the tag bout between Triple H & Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels & Randy Orton. However, there are moments where this set really drags, I love Steve Austin to pieces, but there are way too many Beer Bashes on this set, all of which are essentially the same, and whilst his interactions with others are always a pleasure to watch, I feel we could have left the segments after the interactions were over. I do feel that this set has a lot of filler, and sometimes segments over stay their welcome, I don't really need to see a wrestler shake hands with everyone in the arena, so I'd find myself fast forwarding through those segments.

I feel that whilst a lot of the segments included are entertaining, they are much better when viewed on their own, instead of a continuous viewing experience. It's a good one to have on the shelf (especially as the content most likely won't be appearing on the WWE Network) to flick through from time to time, but I wouldn't reccomend watching too many segments in one sitting.


Content Listing

~DVD Disc 1~

Segue 1: AfterMath

Segment 1: Stone Cold Salute to Shane McMahon and Triple H. WWF RAW is WAR #311, 10th May 1999

Segment 2: Shane McMahon Smells What the Rock is Cookin’. WWF RAW is WAR #358, 3rd April 2000

Segment 3: Too Cool Dance with Dudleys / Jericho / Big Show, WWF RAW is WAR #363, 8th May 2000

Segment 4: 12th June 2000, The Big Red People’s Elbow, WWF RAW is WAR #368, 12th June 2000

Segue 2: Did I Just See That?

Segment 5: The Rock and Sean Stasiak – Third Time’s a Charm? WWF RAW is WAR #433 10th September 2001

Segment 6: Stone Cold’s Music City, WWF RAW #434, 17th September 2001.

Segment 7: The Rock Questions an Olympic Champion, WWF Raw #448, 24th December 2001

Segment 8: Stone Cold and Hulk Hogan Share a Cold One, WWF RAW #465, 22nd April 2002

Segue 3: Iconic Images

Segment 9: Under-Take-A-Rooni? WWE Raw #481, 12th August 2002

Segment 10: Rock-A-Rooni, WWE Raw #509. 24th February 2003

Segment 11: The Rock and Stone Cold Meet Again. WWE Raw #512, 17th March 2003

~DVD Disc 2~

Segue 4: All New to Me

Segment 12: Rock Fan Smells It. WWE Raw #514, 31st March 2003

Segment 13: 5th May 2003, Stone Cold and Goldberg Confront Eric Bischoff. WWE RAW #519 5th May 2003

Segment 14: 19th May 2003, Ric Flair Celebration. WWE RAW #521, 19th May 2003

Segue 5: Entertain the Fans

Segment 15: Stone Cold Salutes Cameraman. WWE Raw #528, 7th July 2003

Segment 16: Stone Cold and Chris Jericho Verbal Exchange. WWE RAW #535, 25th August 2003

Segment 17: Moolah’s 80th Birthday. WWE RAW #538, 15th September 2003

Segue 6: Forever Linked

Segment 18: Stone Cold and Goldberg Unite. WWE RAW #545, 3rd November 2003.

Segment 19: Stone Cold Entertains All. WWE RAW #559, 9th February 2004

Segment 20: Rock / Stone Cold / Mick Foley Reunion. 1st March 2004

~DVD Disc 3~

Segue 7: Marquee Matches

Match 1: Triple H & Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels & Randy Orton in a Tag Team Match. WWE RAW #612, 14th February 2005

Segment 21: Hogan Poses with Batista & John Cena. WWE RAW #638, 15th August, 2005.

Segment 22: Ric Flair Thanks North Carolina, WWE RAW #661, 23rd January 2006.

Match 2: WWE Champion Edge with Lita vs. John Cena in a "San Antonio" Street Fight. WWE RAW #686, 17th July 2006

Segue 8: Previously Unseen Matches

Match 3: Randy Orton vs. Triple H in a Singles Match, WWE Monday Night RAW #744, 27th August 2007 

Segment 23: DX Joined by John Cena and….. WWE Monday Night RAW #858, 2nd November 2009

Match 4: John Cena (C) vs. CM Punk in a Street Fight for the WWE Championship. WWE Monday Night RAW #946 11th July 2011

Segment 24: Triple H meets Zack Ryder. WWE Monday Night RAW #958, 3rd October 2011

Match 5: Randy Orton & Intercontinental Champion Big Show & World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan & Kane & Cody Rhodes with AJ in a Six Man Tag Team Match. WWE Monday Night RAW #984, 2nd April 2012 

Segment 25: John Cena’s Special Day. WWE Monday Night RAW #987 23rd April 2012

Segment 26: The Rock and John Cena Join Forces. WWE Monday Night RAW #1000, 23rd July 2012

Segment 27: Cha-Cha-Cha-La-La. WWE Monday Night Raw #1037, 8th April 2013

Segue 9: Close