WWE Vintage Collection Report: July 25th 2010
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome aboard. This week’s show contains action from the late 80s (one of my favourite eras) featuring an emphasis on meetings of some of sports entertainment’s most influential and recognisable tag teams, and a couple of singles bouts to boot. Four matches, let’s begin.
WWF House Show: May 8th 1989
The Red Rooster vs The Brooklyn Brawler
According to Okerlund these are “two of WWE’s most memorable and infamous characters.” The date of this match is wrongly listed as February 11th 1989. The Brawler was receiving a small push as a bottom tier heel, as opposed to being squashed in 90 seconds. He had just taken on Bobby Heenan as a short term manager, but the Brain was notably absent here. We join this matchup in progress, with Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes announcing. Rooster falls foul as Brawler puts the boots to him, rakes his face across the top rope, and hooks the hair to keep a chinlock applied. Rooster manages to escape via a back suplex. The announcers lament Brawler for being slow in-between moves and not thinking ahead. Brawler thwarts a slam by falling on top of Rooster for a nearfall. Rooster nearly wins it with a small package and backslide. Brawler goes to the eyes, mounts in the corner, but Rooster cuts him off with an inverted atomic drop, followed by a swinging neckbreaker. Brawler comes back with a kick and irish whip, but Rooster offsets a charge by catching Brawler with a sunset flip for the 1-2-3. A nothing match which wasn’t very eggs-citing. Brawler proceeded to get beaten for the rest of 1989 before going back to jobbing out in quick fashion a year later. Winner: THE RED ROOSTER.
February 3rd 1989: Special Referee – Brother Love
The Hart Foundation vs The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers w/Jimmy Hart
This match was one of seven dark matches taped at the infamous Main Event (a spinoff of Saturday Night’s Main Event) tapings, where Randy Savage finally turned heel on Hulk Hogan to set up their WrestleMania V title match. It was later included on the Coliseum Video release “Best of the WWF Volume 20.” Both teams were feuding after the Rougeaus had cost the Harts the chance of regaining the Tag Titles in a match against Demolition a few months prior. Announcers are Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes, who both speculate on the odds being stacked against the Harts throughout the match. Love shows his true heel colours from the get-go, slow counting two early pin attempts by Bret. Jacques rolls Bret up, Love does a fast count, but Bret kicks out. Love slow counts an Anvil rollup, and Schiavone says the Harts will be fortunate to escape with a time limit draw. Hayes mentions a tape of this match will be viewed by Jack Tunney of the WWF championship committee, who will take into consideration the inadequacy of the referee. Anvil catches Raymond in a bearhug. Love purposely wanders over to chastise Bret (who’s simply standing on the apron), allowing the Rougeaus to freely double team Anvil and choke him with the tag rope. The Rougeaus take it in turns to work over Anvil with a camel clutch, as Love gets up close to goad Anvil.
Back from commercials, Jacques pulls Anvil to the floor to throw his leg into the ring apron. The Rougeaus deliver kicks and a spinning toehold. Anvil uses his power to lift Raymond out of a front facelock and tag Bret in full view of Love. However, when Bret enters, Love pretends not to have seen the tag and orders Bret out. Jacques trips Anvil coming off the ropes. Anvil clubs Jacques down, and goes down himself. Raymond stands over Anvil, taunts Bret, but Anvil’s playing possum and he tags out. Bret hammers Raymond, before dishing out inverted atomic drops and a double noggin knocker. Bret follows up with a backbreaker and elbow drop on Raymond. Love slowly counts two, then breaks away to stick his face into the camera and proclaim “I Lurve Youuuuuuuuu.” (That was funny). Bret is irate, Raymond hooks a reverse rollup, Bret rolls a shoulder at two, but Love still counts to three. Bret immediately cusses at the result, while Love informs Howard Finkel, who stutters out the official decision after a short delay. The announcers and crowd are livid at the outcome, as are the Harts, with Anvil immediately throttling Love in the corner. The Rougeaus try to come to Love’s aid, but the Harts whip them into one another to leave Love all alone. Bret gestures a thumbs down to Love, before combining with Anvil to give Love the Hart Attack finish, to a big crowd reaction. Bret gives the crowd a thumbs up as the Rougeaus drag Love out to safety. This was a fun matchup, which gave some added heat to the ongoing feud. Winners: THE FABULOUS ROUGEAU BROTHERS.
Our final two matchups come from the October 7th 1988 House Show, held in Paris, France as part of a European Tour. Announcers for both matches are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan.
“The Rock” Don Muraco vs Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
This battle between two former Intercontinental Champions came about after Valentine attacked Muraco’s manager Superstar Billy Graham, putting him on the shelf. Joined in progress, Muraco has Valentine reeling after an atomic drop. Valentine pulls the referee in the way to sucker punch Muraco. The Rock quickly recovers to work over an arm.
The action gets clipped to the point where Valentine clubs away at Muraco’s throat as the Rock is draped out across the apron. Valentine drops an elbow, rips at the face a couple of times, before being thwarted at pin attempts, as the much stronger Muraco refuses to let his shoulders be pinned. Muraco bridges up to drive his knees into Valentine’s groin. Muraco drops Valentine’s leg to the mat, but hurts his own knee in the process.
After commercials, Valentine is softening Muraco up for the Figure Four. Valentine re-adjusts his shinguard. Muraco prevents the first attempt by going to the eyes, then staves off a second attempt by using his other leg to kick Valentine into the ringpost. Muraco shakes off Valentine, firing up and breaking free from a throttle attempt to wake up the crowd. Muraco staggers Valentine with roundhouse rights then drops him with a clothesline. Muraco signals for his patented piledriver, however, the referee is too close to the action and Valentine clatters him as Muraco scoops the Hammer up. Muraco breaks from a cover to tend to the referee. Valentine removes his shinguard, using it to whack Muraco in the back of the head to pick up the cheap 1-2-3. Fans boo the finish. This was a very slow, plodding matchup and it turned out to be one of Muraco’s last in the WWF as he was released shortly afterwards alongside the likes of Junkyard Dog and Ken Patera. Winner: GREG “THE HAMMER” VALENTINE.
WWF Tag Team Titles
Demolition vs The British Bulldogs
We join our Main Event in progress. The Bulldogs look in tip top shape. Mr Fuji is absent from Demolition’s corner, leading Heenan to ask where he is at one point, claiming it’s an important matchup in the Bulldogs’ backyard. (Slight exaggeration considering the gap between Britain and France). The Bulldogs rile Demolition in the early going, pulling repeated switcheroos, as they isolate the titleholders with armbars, prompting Ax to tell the referee “open your eyes,” and scream “they’re not tagging.” Davey Boy Smith fuels the fire by holding out the fallen Ax’s hand for a tag, deliberately just out of Smash’s reach. Smash runs outside to argue, Ax finally makes it to his corner, but no-one’s there. By the time Smash has run back to his corner, Dynamite has kicked Ax away and dragged him to the Bulldog corner. When Ax finally tags out, Davey hooks a headscissors. Smash places Davey onto the second rope. The referee admonishes Smash, allowing Davey to nail a flying tackle for a nearfall.
We rejoin the action after a commercial break and the momentum has shifted. Dynamite suplexes Ax and tries to make a tag, but Davey and Smash are brawling on the outside. After an Ax nerve hold, Demolition work over Dynamite’s back. Smash applies a bearhug and Boston Crab. Ax kicks Dynamite in the head as he tries to make it to the ropes. Davey runs in to hammer Smash. Ax re-applies the Boston Crab. Both Davey and Smash interfere once more. Davey breaks up a Smash bearhug by attacking him from the top rope. Dynamite uses a jawbreaker to escape an Ax chinlock. A fired up Davey tags in, taking on both Demos with dropkicks, punches, slams and clotheslines. Davey hits Ax with a diving cross body for a nearfall. Ax knocks Davey down to get a brief reprieve and tags out. Smash misses an elbow drop and Dynamite re-enters, dropping Smash with a running clothesline and snap suplex. Ax breaks up a cover, Davey goes after him and Dynamite locks Smash in an abdominal stretch. As the referee gets Davey out, Ax clotheslines Dynamite and Smash falls on top. Davey is too busy hitting Ax on the floor to notice the referee count 1-2-3. Winners: DEMOLITION. This was a very intense and entertaining matchup. Demolition certainly look like they’ve been in a war as they walk to the back. Sadly it was one of the Bulldogs’ last matches in the WWF as they had given notice shortly after SummerSlam and finished up a month later at the Survivor Series.
Okerlund wraps things up to end the show. By far the best things on this week’s show are the two tag team matches which are well worth a look. The rest is uneventful filler.
Join me next week for another trip down memory lane. Shaun.
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