Friday, February 25, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: RAW REVIEW WEEK 7

March, 1 1993

Let's start this off right, with Bret Hart's FIRST match on RAW ever.

BRET "HITMAN" HART vs. FATU
DAMN IT. Rob Bartlett is dressed as Elvis and won't shut the hell up. He's trying to ruin this moment for me but I won't let him. I won't.
Bret tries to play cute with his arm bar work. Every time Fatu gets wild, Bret armdrags him and locks on an arm bar. Eventually he messes up and slams Fatu's head into the canvas. Since Fatu is Samoan he pops up and kicks Bret in the face. Bret tries to go back to what worked before, but Fatu is wise to it now and takes over. And when things couldn't get any worse, Samu shows up and beats his ass on the outside while the ref is chatting with Afa about drapes. This deck is stacked I tell you.

The story is pretty good and Bret kind of wraps up everything in one neat bow at the end. Samu gets his head hung up in the ropes. That distracting Afa gets dropkicked off the apron. And Fatu taps to the Sharpshooter. It's like if a Spider-Man comic was a wrestling match.

MEAN GENE WITH THE WRESTLEMANIA REPORT
Let me tell you what's awesome. The music during the Mania reports. You know the music. I know you know. It gets me so damn pumped to watch wrestling I'm not kidding. It turns me into a kid and makes me HAVE to watch a Pay-Per-View

KOKO B. WARE vs. DOINK THE CLOWN
Don't worry Koko, Frankie has a pint of Rocky Road Ice Cream waiting.
Holy crap. Koko gets OWNED. It's sad. Doink gets it in his head that he wants to get a submission off a leg hold and just stays on it until he he gets it. Koko tries to fight back and kick the clown off but Doink just laughs at him and keeps going. He eventually gives him a neck breaker to quiet him down so he can get the sub. It's fantastic.

It's also fun to listen to Vince sell Doink as an amazing wrestler. We've go Vince McMahon, who has tried to eliminate the word from the company all together, selling a guy, who is Prime example if gimmicky sports entertainment, as an amazing wrestler. Tremendous.

ROB BARTLETT MEETS DOINK
Bartlett, doing his Elvis act, interviews Doink. Doink has a box with some pies. He gives a little one to Bartlett and then pastes him with a bigger one. Bartlett, no sells it and says "This tastes great. You're a funny clown." I wish that pie was made of metal spikes.

MONEY INC RESPONDS TO THE MEGA MANIACS
DiBiase crushes another promo and talks about how soft Hogan is now that he's all Hollywood, and how Beefcake is the weak link. Irwin then refers to his briefcase that he nailed Brutus with: THE BEEFCASE. I love it. They accept the challenge for Wrestlemania and put the titles on the line. Good solid stuff from the champions

LEX LUGER vs. PJ WALKER
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Justin Credible w/ hair looks like Jerry Seinfield. It's like this match is Lex Luger wandering around taunting people and PJ keeps getting in the way of his boot. Luger is great at being a non-chalant dick and Credible is good at flopping around. So it's a good use of both guys.
That's not just the coolest. That's not just the best. That's just my pinky. BITCH.
After the match Lex, takes Credible outside the ring and puts him in front of the mirror so he can see how big of a freaking loser he is compared to Total Package.


THE STEINERS vs. DUANE (Gillberg) GILL and BARRY HARDY
I don't even know if I want to talk about the match. You know what happens here. I mean....look at these guys:
The one on the right gets his dick rammed into the top turnbuckle by Rick. Hard.
Steiners go through like 70 percent of their move set on these poor bastards. Then Scott bangs everyone's mom. 

OVERALL SHOW: Really fun show. It's so cool to see certain people and know what they'd go on to do later. Like Rikishi working with Bret, Credible working with Luger, and Gillberg getting his ass worked by Big Poppa Pump. Bret/Fatu was good and worth checking out. And the squashes were fun in general. Definitely one of the better episodes despite Rob Bartlett working overtime to ruin it.

I find it weird that nearly every match on the Mania card has a story going for it except Bret/Yoko. They haven't really confronted each other yet.

NEXT WEEK
We're getting Money Inc. vs. Virgil and Tito Santana(awesome) and Mr. Perfect vs. Rick Martel(Two former AWA Heavyweight Champions). So imagine next week is going to be pretty damn cool. I'm going to wager Tito gets pinned next week. We'll see if I'm right.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The WWF New Age Era Project: Boston House Show Handheld Review

January 9th, 1993
Boston


WWF Tag Team Championship Match
MONEY INC (c)vs. THE NASTY BOYS
Crowd is super hot during this. Plenty of "Irwin" chants and Nasty Boy chants. Saggs was honestly the only one who didn't do much here. When he was in control he looked sluggish and disinterested. They do a tricky little finish where Knobbs gets the pin after a ref bump but he's not the legal guy so they restart the match. The crowd went nuts thinking they had new champs. Despite the restart the crowd was still into it thinking they had a chacne to do it right. Eventually things get out of hand and while the ref is distracted Saggs eats a briefcase shot before getting pinned. Pretty fun match over all.



THE UNDERTAKER vs. PAPA SHANGO
This match would have scared the poop out of me as a kid. As a matter of fact, the grainy video image of them staring eachother down is like watching the ending of Blair Witch. I keep thinking they're going to slowly turn towards the camera and then it'll cut off.

This is a pretty fun toss around as Papa Shango does a good job beating down Taker and Taker does a good job of sitting up and hitting the chokeslam. No Tombstone, so I was a little disappointed, but it was pretty much what I expected. Decent.

TYPHOON vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW
This one kind of dragged. I was really looking forward to it as I like both guys, but the crowd wasn't into it and it was a little clunky early on. Bam Bam was great at bumping around for Typhoon, but Typhoon just wasn't incredibly hot as the face in this situation. People just didn't seem to care when he came back and I people eventually cheered when Bam Bam won. It wasn't bad it just wasn't optimal given the two guys in the ring and a very unenthusiastic crowd.

60-Minute Iron Man Match for the WWF Championship
BRET HART (c) vs. RIC FLAIR
Fun Fact: This was a double shot day where WWF hit up two towns, and this match is either the first or second match these two had together on this day. Pretty wild.
"I think he's dead, Naitch."

The first 15 minutes or so is basically hammerlock fest and I really dug it. Bret starts it out by working it really hard and Flair selling it like Hart was trying to break his arm. When Flair takes his turn he's doing the rope leverage stuff and the ref NEVER catches him. I think that's what's really brilliant is Flair pretty much cheats the whole match and never gets caught. Bret just has to overcome the blind officiating for SIXTY MINUTES.  The final 10-13 minutes is really awesome, especially the last five minutes, where it seems like Hart isn't going to have enough time to catch up. Definitely worth checking out for that portion alone as Hart really has to sack up to pull this one out.

There's one moment where Flair chops Bret and Bret gets in his face and takes down the straps to his gear, and I thought that was fucking awesome. I can't remember how many times Bret ever pulled the ste straps down but I kind of wish it happened more.

I'd say this is better than Bret's Title Win against Flair from the year before. It doesn't feel very predictable and kept my attention the whole time, which is saying something considering it's sixty minutes on a hand held. So go find this one.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The New Generation Era Project: RAW Review Week 6

2.22.1993
Manhattan Civic Center


Ugh. Raw kicks off with a Bartlett opening where he points at some folks with a Hulk sign and says, "I've learned a valuable lesson, wrestling fans CAN spell...Live from New York it's Monday Night RAW!!!"

Not even Rob Bartlett can make me not excited for the return of the Hulkster. It's gotta be interesting, right?

BAM BAM BIGELOW vs. SCOTT TAYLOR
Yes. That Scott Taylor. A 22 year old, mullet wearing, Scotty 2 Hotty. Actually Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Bam Bam would be pretty freaking awesome. Remember that series he had with Dean Malenko over the Lightheavyweight title 11 years ago? Look it up, punk. Anyway..... Bam Bam gets this crowd riled up beating up Scott Taylor. And instead of staying heel like he has been up until now, Bammer just plays with them and feeds off of it. He dominates Scott in what is probably Bigelow's best squash match so far. He uses a double underhook into a backbreaker to set up the diving headbutt. Good stuff. Scotty actually tried to make comebacks and so this was mildly more competitive than I thought it would be.

HULK HOGAN INTERVIEW
It's a quick interview where Hulk kind of admits he gave in to peer pressure and made some mistakes. But now it's not going to be ":do as I say, not as I do" but "do as I do", because he'll be actually following THE DEMANDMENTS. Speaking of the Demandments, there are now FIVE:

1.Train
2. Say your prayers.
3. Eat vitamins.
4.Believe in yourself.
AND
5.Believe in Hulk Hogan

....Wow. There's something kind Orwellian about the new Demandments.
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others

TATANKA & THE NASTY BOYS vs. SHAWN MICHAELS & THE BEVERLY BROTHERS
This one starts off really well with Shawn and The Beverly's running around and bumping for the good guys. It starts to slip when it settles down with Brian Knobbs playing "face in peril". He's honestly awful at it. He kind of does this dramatic fall when he makes a little comeback and it's cool the first time but he does it like three times, and by then I just wanted him to get the hel up and tag out. Tatanka was hot as hell when he finally got in and he and Shawn worked a new finish counter. That's two matches where Tatanka has countered Shawn's "Tear Drop Suplex". It's a really cool wrestling thing where it seems very apparent that he's got that move totally scouted, and now you wonder what Shawn has to come up with to beat him at Wrestlemania. Decent match.

CRUSH vs. TERRY TAYLOR
This one is kind of hit and miss. Crush is over enough with the crowd to keep them engaged and Terry Taylor is big enough twerp for people to boo and cheer when he gets beat up. However, there's just some moments in this where it felt like Crush was going through the motions, and it really lost my interest. A bit of a let down really. It also doesn't help that the commentary was distracting with Rob Bartlett doing a fake phone in as Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was horrible. Wrestling in Hell is commentated by Michael Cole's Heel character, Rob Bartlett, and Mike Adamle.
The Island won't let me die!

HULK LIVES.
Hulk basically recaps what happened last week and how scared he was in only the way the Hulkster can. Stuff gems like "My smile turned to fear." made it in there. Hulk got the fans to even give a poop about Brutus Beefcake. Once Beefcake gets out there they announce that they now have a new manager: JIMMY HART! Jimmy comes out and gives a great promo and acknowledges his past as a not so savory character. But he knows about managing tag teams and he knows this team will be the greatest tag team of all time. Just a really good promo from Jimmy. Hulkster gives the group a name: THE MEGAMANIACS, and challenges Money Inc. to any type of matches whether it's singles or tag team. We then get all the posing you can handle.

UNDERTAKER vs. SKINNER
It's so weird that they didn't finish with the Hogan stuff. This is basically joined in progress and cut up to bits. They don't even show the finish, as they run out of time. We basically get them wandering around hitting each other on the outside. WEIRD.

OVERALL THOUGHTS:
Hulkster is back, which is kind of fun. The wrestling was decent between Bam Bam and the 6-Man tag. The ending was just plain odd.

NEXT WEEK:
Vince says we're going to get a WWF Championship match....Bret Hart vs....one of the Headshrinkers. He actually says it like that. They don't even know which one it's going to be. By the way, So far Hulk Hogan has had more screen time on RAW than Bret Hart. So has a lot of people actually. Shawn probably has the most.

NON PROJECT STUFF:
I'm going to an Indy show (MAYBE TWO!) this weekend so I'll be bringing in some reports on those. Should be fun. I'll get to see Da Soul Touchaz which is always awesome. I've also got some other reviews for some shows that I hope to have up here to break up the New Era Project monotony. I've got some shows from EVOLVE, CHIKARA, IWRG, and a metric ton of Japanese stuff that I hope to review. Also looking for some very small indie stuff on Youtube to check out. The real small local stuff with unknowns. So if you've got some ideas on little promotions that I should check out give me a holla holla holla, playa!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The New Generation Era Project RAW Review Week 5

February 15, 1993

RAW kicks off with a quick promo from both Beefcake and DiBiase. DiBiase's ends with Jimmy Hart acting nervous as hell and Ted telling him to relax. This show was taped in front of the same audience that poopoo'd Beefcake's promo last week so it'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

THE STEINERS vs.GLEN RUTH & BOBBY WHO
Glen Ruth(the future Thrasher), who worked well with Marty Jannetty a while back, starts it off and within a minute eats a DRAGON SUPLEX, and that's about it for him. The rest of the match is poor Bobby Who getting dominated Steiner style. Fun squash.

During the match, Macho's mic is broken, so Rob Bartlett talks even more than usual. And with Bobby Who we get plenty of Abbot and Costello references. Bad ones. What's odd is that since this was pre-recorded they went in and added sound bites of Macho Man complaining about not having a mic. It's kind of scratchy but you can hear him just fine, so you wonder what the problem is.

YOKOZUNA vs. ROSS GREENBERG
4 "fans" in the front row shriveled up as Yoko spoils the Slugorian invasion.
I don't think there's a time where Yoko doesn't look impressive. He moves so fluidly and with such incredible agility. He kills this guy. After the Banzai Drop I'm pretty sure Yoko talks to the camera in Samoan, and actually says Samoa. An interesting change from him yelling "Sou desu ne" and "Yoshi!"over and over while Fuji talks.

Macho Man steals Bartlett's mic so it's just Savage and Vince. YAY

After the match we get a replay of the Knockdown Challenge where Yoko kills Jim Duggan.

16 MAN BATTLE ROYAL
Bob Backlund, Damian Demento, Berzerker, Tito Santana, Terry Taylor, Shawn Michaels, Koko B. Ware, Owen Hart, Kim Chee, Kamala, Tatanka, Typhoon, Razor Ramon, Iron Mike Sharpe, and Skinner.
SPOILER ALERT. They call it a 16 Man Battle Royal but there's only 15 guys in the rumble. The reason they call it 16 is because of the surprise ending. And Gonzalez isn't even technically in the battle royal so it doesn't make any sense.


This is kind of a let down early on. Shawn, Razor and Owen all seem to have a lot of fun though. Ramon in particular makes a point to go from guy to guy and do something fun with everyone. Typhoon carrying him around by his neck is really impressive looking.

Things get crazy when Kamala is eliminated. He runs back in and eliminates Kim Chee. The two of them then chase through the crowd and up into the balcony. It's pretty fun to watch, but by this time I'm losing a lot of interest in Kamala's character.

Your Final Four is Tito, Tatanka, Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels. HBK makes some plans with Razor(of course) and the two split up with Shawn taking on Tatanka. At this point Shawn and Tatanka are starting to build a little feud to carry them into Wrestlemania. Tito and Tatanka double team HBK and eventually eliminate him. They start to beat down Razor when...... THE GIANT GONZALEZ shows up. Razor rolls out  while Gonzalez easily eliminates the good guys, making Ramon the winner. I guess.

The best part is when Gonzalez leaves Razor rolls back in and kind of taunts Gonzalez from behind. Yeah, you don't want no part of da Bad Guy, chico.

RANDY SAVAGE LINE OF THE NIGHT: "Put some mustard on it, Kamala!"

TED DIBIASE vs. BRUTUS "THE BARBER" BEEFCAKE
End it. Just end it all.
DiBiase is a good choice for Beefcake's return. I think if it weren't for him bumping around there wouldn't be much reaction at all. For a match that's supposed to be the big return of a wrestler who hasn'y wrestled in years, this one is met with a lot of apathy. It's not dead, of course, but there's lots of people sitting with their arms crossed.

IRS eventually comes out and nails Beefcake from behind with the suitcase in plain sight of the referee. A disqualification ending. After the match the two plan on decking Beefcake in the face with the metal briefcase. Jimmy Hart protests and eventually Irwin gets sick of it and tosses Jimmy out of the ring. Then they drill Beefcake. They want to do more but Jimmy crawls in and covers Brutus up and begs his guys to leave him be. They roll out and we get a stretcher job while Brutus covers his face in agony.

They cut to a shot of what looks like a wine stain on the canvas and Vince says he didn't see a cut on DiBiase or Schyster. Well I can tell you there wasn't one on Brutus either. Hell, he didn't even roll around in that part of the ring.


VINCE MCMAHON LINE OF THE NIGHT: (referring to Schyster hitting Beefcake.) "It seemed like it took FOREVER."

OVERALL SHOW: Not a horrible show, just a kind of boring one. Steiners and Yoko are solid guys and the Battle Royal wasn't so hot until it came down the the Final Four. The main story of Brutus Beefcake was a bit of a let down, just because I, and I'm not alone here, don't care. When he started getting beat down everyone rose up and immediately looked towards the entrance way. And you know who they were looking for. And speaking of that....

NEXT WEEK: Vince says Money Inc. will be in action and then says "If they're here it wouldn't surprise me either if HULK HOGAN shows up here on RAW." What a great tease. Also next week is a six-man tag between Tatanka and The Nasties vs. HBK and The Beverly's. Sounds like a fun show.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The New Generation Era Project: RAW Review Week 4

February, 01 1993

Let's start it off RIGHT.

TATANKA vs. DAMIAN DEMENTO
Damian Demento hails from the outer reaches of your mind. He's actually kind of neat in this. There's a moment, early on, where Tatanka clotheslines him over the top rope and he lands on his feet on the outside. He immediately starts talking to whatever the hell it is he talks to.

I really dig this match as they get pretty MEATY with each other. Some thick chops. Damian has a beefy lariat that he connects with in order to take control. I haven't seen a lot of Damian Demento, but I'm digging how he works with Tatanka.
I could e wrong but I'm pretty sure a "We Want Flair" chant breaks out at one point. Tatanka hears this and decides it's time to take this sucker home. One Samoan Drop later and it's another win for the undefeated Tatanka.

BRUTUS "THE BARBER" BEEFCAKE RETURNS
We go from one of my faves to one of my least favorite wrestlers ever. Vince gives him a nice intro and he comes down to a pretty good reaction. He's snipping away with those massive shears and all the fans want to do is slap his hands. I thought some one was going to lose a finger, for real. Vince reminds everyone of the para-sailing accident and Brutus tells him that he plans on returning to competition. STRUTTING AND THE CUTTING.

Things get a little somber as Vince questions this dangerous endeavor. To which Brutus, in front of everyone explains that he before the accident he buried his mother and his father, and then his wife left him. The crowd seems to be getting pretty restless with all this, until Brutus explains that the guy who was there when he got out of surgery was THE HULKSTER.

He keeps going on and it feels like the crowd is actually turning on him. When he hits his "pop lines" he gets a mixed reaction and when he leaves he half heartedly slaps hands, wanting to get the hell out of there as quick as possible. It's all really uncomfortable. Horrible segment.

HIGH ENERGY vs."IRON" MIKE SHARPE and VON KRUS
I'm still pissed at Koko for his Royal Rumble shenanigans. But Owen is with him and they've got Mike Sharpe on the other side of the ring, so I'll let it go for now.
This was pretty quick and it's mostly Owen doing all the work. He's so clean and effortless with everything he did in this. High Energy has a neat finish where Owen holds Von Krus like Anvil does for the Hart Attack, and Koko does a top rope drop kick to the guy's face. As the guy is falling Owen goes into a jackknife pin. Pretty nifty. Want more Owen stuff though.

Looks like a handful of dick, to me, McMahon. Two handfuls.
TYPHOON vs. DOINK
Holy Crap is Doink awesome. From the get go Doink was shooting Typhoon's legs and taking him down with ease. He wrestles so well that Vince actually goes into rasslin' mode and is calling the moves like he's Jim Ross or Lance Russell. Pretty wild.

After Doink hits a top rope clothesline he sits on Typhoon and hooks him by the junk. They say it's a handful of tights but.... well just look at the picture.

Overall Doink was pretty awesome and I honestly don't remember that being the case. I just remember him and Dink, Wink, and Pink and me fast forwarding through it. Now I want to see him and Lawler mix it up. I'm also a little sad that Typhoon is jobbing out to the clown. He got pretty much owned in this match, and I've always kind of dug him. Guess he's on his way out like Boss Man.

I'M NOT READY FOR THIS.
Fink is in the ring and says that last week a Legend passed away. It was Andre. I didn't realize this was coming and I forgot that this was when it happened. They do the "Ten Bell Salute" while they play a montage of Andre pictures.

I guess I'll take this moment to say that Andre has always had a special place in my heart. When I was a kid, I grew really fast. Eventually I leveled off and am just a regular height, but when I was a kid I was 5 ft. tall in 2nd grade, and was taller than everyone in my grade school including the teachers and staff by 6th grade. Doctors thought I was going to be enormous, but, like I said, my growth slowed down and I evened out. During those years that I was a giant kid, Andre was some one I looked up to. I was never a Hogan guy and I was actually hoping Andre would drop the Hulkster at Wrestlemania III.

Personally, I can't think of another figure in history that personifies PRO WRESTLING like Andre the Giant does. He may not have been the best wrestler, but to me he totally embodies it.
Unreleased stills from "Weekend At Bernie's 3".
YOKOZUNA vs. BOBBY DEVITO
Interesting bit of rewriting history done before the match. Savage puts over Yoko saying that he was the last man with him in the Rumble and Yoko tossed him over the top rope. Rob Bartlett responds by saying "Yeah but you knocked him down. You're the first guy to do that." Vince interjects "I don't think so. No one has done that yet."

Yoko dominates this match and during the whole thing Jim Duggan is on the phone getting fired up about his challenge to the sumo-monster. Yoko is just a beast, during this and truly the most imposing force in the company.

MONEY INC. RESPOND TO BEEFCAKE
DiBiase cuts a super promo on Beefcake and his sob story. I mean it's pretty freaking awesome. They say that they're going to take him out. DiBiase and IRS flip a coin to determine which one gets to beat him up and Ted wins. Jimmy hart comes out and tells them this is silly and a poor business decision. I love Jimmy Hart. He's always talking about looking over contracts and determining challengers like he a boxing manager or something. It's awesome. They're planting a little seed of dissent between Money Inc. and Jimmy, and who knows where that's leading....brother.


"THE NARCISSIST" LEX LUGER vs. JASON KNIGHT
Couple of things before the match.
What a man, what a man, what a mighty good man.
1) Luger does his mirror schtick and they send in this very large woman to be the ring girl. The whole night they'd been using hot bikini clad women and then for him they bring in a fatty.
2)They cut to the infamous Mr. Perfect vignette of him throwing footballs with Vikings Tight End Steve Jordan. It's the one where he throws himself a touchdown. PERFECT.

As for the match....JASON KNIGHT! It's kind of awesome that THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE is facing the Narcissist on RAW. Luger just beats the crap out of him and Jason bumps great for him. There's a collection of Luger fans in the arena bowing to him and carrying a TOTAL PACKAGE sign. Luger just punches Jason out and pins him with his PINKY. After the match he gives him a giant swing. Luger looks to be having tons of fun with this and I love it. Why would they turn this guy face? It's perfect.

OVERALL SHOW: Not the best stuff. Bartlett was a non-factor. He mostly stayed quiet and would come in with some "zinger" that got no reaction from Vince. Like "I've figured out the mystery! Demento is Ruth Buzzi's son!" Thanks for that amazing gem, Rob.

Some decent squash matches from guys like Luger and Yoko. The Doink match has kind of opened my eyes to his ability. By far the most awkward story is the Beefcake stuff, and next week we're getting more.

NEXT WEEK: Beefcake vs. Ted DiBiase and a 16 Man Battle Royal......YAY.