Random Review

Random Review: WrestleMania 10

Not much going on in the wrestling world right now. WWE is in rematch mode, New Japan is gearing up for tournaments and rematches, and NXT is between TakeOver’s. Lucha Underground is still fun, but there’s not a lot of say about it except you need to be watching it. The hottest buzz around wrestling right now is from EVOLVE, but I haven’t watched any of it, so I can’t really talk about it. Yep, looks like it’s time for another Random Review from the WWE Network.

Alright, I’ll roll some dice and see what comes up…. WrestleMania 10. Huh. You know, the whole point of doing a random review is to get shows that haven’t been reviewed a thousand times. Every year, from January to April, every old WrestleMania is reviewed to death. But the dice don’t lie, so I guess it’s WrestleMania 10, with a main event of Yokozuna vs Bret Hart, and the legendary Ladder Match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon.

WrestleMania 10, March 20th, 1994

We open with a very cheesy video remembering the first WrestleMania. Little Richard is here to sing “America the Beautiful. He whispers his way through the song, but it was all a ruse, as he injects some soul into it after the first verse.

Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler are our announcers, a noticeable dip in quality from earlier shows with Gorilla Monsoon, break down the story for the card. The WWE Champion Yokozuna will fight Lex Luger, and the winner will fight Bret Hart in the main event. Bret will also fight his brother Owen Hart in the opening match. There’s a good recap of Bret and Owen feuding, the tension building up between them since Survivor Series.

Owen “The Rocket” Hart vs Bret “The Hitman” Hart

The crowd is really into Bret Hart. They mat wrestle, Canadian-style, with Bret having the advantage, until Owen uses various cheap tricks to get on top. Basic stuff, but entertaining. Owen takes control, focusing on Bret’s back with backbreakers and a camel clutch. Owen Hart is so good, hitting a variety of suplexes including a gorgeous German Suplex then a Tombstone Piledriver! He misses a diving headbutt, and Bret takes over. Bret dives out of the ring, taking Owen out but hurting his knee, which Owen attacks mercilessly. Owen really goes after the knee, culminating in a Figure Four Leglock before Bret is able to take back control. Bret slams Owen with a HUGE superplex. Owen kicks Bret in the balls, and applies the Sharpshooter! Bret reverses it into his own, but Owen is in the ropes. Bret roll up Owen, but Owen sits ontop of Bret, pinning him for the 3 count!

**** A great match, one of the better opening WrestleMania matches in history. Owen Hart is so good, and one of the biggest “What if?” questions in wrestling history. He did so many of the little things right in the ring. They set up Bret as the underdog later, with a hurt back and a hurt knee.

There’s a bizarre break for a Hair Club for Men promo. I dunno.

Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon vs Doink & Dink the Clowns.

In a match with two clowns, one midget, and a guy with fire tattooed on his head, the scariest person is probably still Luna. I have to wonder what insanity led to a guy like Bam Bam being in a match against a clown. One of the greater big men of all time, and this is how he spends WrestleMania. Seems like everybody keeps missing moves, to “hilarious” effect. Bam Bam won with a diving headbutt.

*1/2 What a waste. The clowns scare Bam Bam and Luna away in a weird clusterfuck of a brawl.

Falls Count Anywhere: Macho Man Randy Savage vs Crush w/ Mr. Fuji

They brawl immediately out in the aisle, Crush overpowering Macho Man and scoring a quick pinfall. They are doing a rule where after getting pinned, they have 60 seconds to get back into the ring before losing. Crush tries to throw salt in Savage’s eyes, but in a twist of fate, gets it thrown in his own eyes instead. Savage beats Crush all around the outside, throwing him into various things, and they brawl down the aisle. Crush gets thrown through various doors and gets pinned, and Savage ties him by the feet to some with a power cord to some equipment. Crush can’t make it back to the ring, so Savage win.

** Savage’s last WrestleMania was kinda lame. The 60 second rule did nobody any favors.

They have a fake Bill Clinton here, for some reason. Oh, that hilarious Vince McMahon and his sense of humor.

WWF Women’s Tile Match: Alundra Blayze (champion) vs Leilani Kai

Leilani Kai is bigger, and throws Blayze around with Blayze getting in a few counters. Blayze won after a few minutes with a German Suplex.

*1/2 Inoffensive, but too short to be any good.

WWF Tag Team Title Match: The Quebecers (Jacque & Pierre, champions) Men on a Mission (Mabel & Mo)

They brawl to start, the Quebecers double teaming the big man Mabel until he clotheslines both of them. Mable is wearing some amazingly purple MC Hammer pants. The Quebecer’s isolate the smaller Mo with some nice double teams. Mable gets tagged in and takes over. The Quebecer’s flip Mabel with a big double suplex, then an assisted senton, but Mabel kicks out. Men on a Misson win by countout after Mabel splashes one of the Quebecers outside the ring. Titles don’t change on a countout though.

**1/2 This was fine. Mable isn’t very good, but he plays the big, immovable guy well enough.

WWF Title Match: Yokozuna w/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette (champion) vs Lex Luger

Mr. Perfect is the special guest referee. Some lady from the USA network is the special guest timekeeper, so we share a kinship. The winner of this match faces Bret Hart in the main event. Yokozuna is suitably impressive as WWF champion, and Luger looks scrawny by comparison. Luger struggles to get Yokozuna off his feet, with Yokozuna sitting on him. Yoko kills my interest with a loooong nerve hold. Seriously, it’s been like 5 minutes of this. Luger fights back, Yoko puts the nerve hold back on. Luger finally throws Yoko into an exposed turnbuckle, knocking him down with a series of clotheslines, and barely getting him up for a body slam. Luger beats up Cornette and Fuji, and Mr. Perfect checks on Fuji instead of counting a pinfall. Luger grabs Perfect, and gets disqualified.

* This whole match was a long nerve hold until a dumb DQ finish. Waste of time. Crowd chants bullshit. Seems appropriate.

Adam Bomb vs Earthquake

Harvey Wippleman trash talked Howard Finkle before the match, then Earthquake won in less then a minute.

* Whatever.

Jim Cornette cuts a promo in the locker room about how Yokozuna is going to demolish Bret Hart. It’s a pretty good Cornette style promo, with lots of high pitched yelling.

Intercontinental Title Ladder Match: Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels w/ Diesel

They exchange strikes and moves until they go out of the ring, big Diesel hitting Razor and getting sent to the back. HBK flops gloriously around the ring every time Razor hits him. Michaels is the first to use the ladder, dropkicking it into Razor’s ribs, slamming it into him several more times. HBK climbs the ladder and ends up mooning the entire audience, dropping an elbow on Razor with his ass hanging out. Michaels hits a big splash off the ladder, and Razor is hurting. Michaels almost gets the belts, but Razor pushes over the ladder, sending Michaels into the ropes. When Razor goes up to get the belts, Shawn knocks him off, flying from the top rope, the ladder landing on him for his trouble. Both men climb the ladder, and Razor flips Michaels off the top, but Michaels dropkicks the ladder, knocking Razor off too. Shawn just pushes the ladder over, slamming it into Razor, spiking him afterwards with a piledriver. Michaels goes to climb, but gets pushed off again, racking himself on the ropes and getting his foot trapped, allowing Razor to climb and grab the belts.

****1/2 Great match, the innovator of many many ladder matches to come. Many of these spots would be copied later, but rarely improved on. It holds up despite its age and the many iconic ladder matches that would happen later.

They run a video package for Bret Hart with some super cheesy music. I wonder if it is dubbed over something else, because it’s really bad. THen they do one for Yokozuna, and the music isn’t quite as bad fortunately.

WWF Title Match: Yokozuna w/ Mr. Fuji (champion) vs Bret Hart

Rowdy Roddy Piper is the special guest referee. Yokozuna attacks Hart before the bell, dominating Hart early. They do some basic Yokozuna stuff, but at least it’s not a nerve hold. Bret is still hurt from the earlier match, holding his leg when he kicks Yoko. Yokozuna still dominates, with Bret barely getting any offense in. Yoko misses a splash in the corner, and Hart finally gets some offense in, the crowd going nuts for him. It heat up as Bret can’t keep Yoko down, Yokozuna countering a top rope attack into a suplex. Yokozuna goes up the turnbuckle for the Banzai Drop, but loses his balance, falling off the turnbuckle and getting pinned. Like, he just fell over.

** This was fine, and even venturing into good territory when Bret made his comeback, but that ending was beyond dumb, and spoiled the whole match. Who thought that was a good idea?

After the match, Piper and Luger raise Hart’s hands, and all the good guys come out to celebrate in the ring. McMahon sells it has the coronation of Bret Hart, and the start of a new era. Owen Hart comes out and stares down Bret, and Bret celebrates to end the show.

Overall: 6.5/10

Two great matches highlight WrestleMania 10, and make it worth watching, but most of the rest could be fast forwarded through. I appreciate that they tried to tell a show long story with Bret and Yokozuna, and it started strong with the Bret and Owen match. But Yoko/Luger was really bad, and they ended it in such a dumb way that it spoiled the whole thing. Yokozuna ended up looking like a joke, and Bret looked weak. The ladder match really saves this show but man, I can’t get over how bad that ending was.

Vince McMahon is one of the worst announcers in history.

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Random Review: Survivor Series 1991

While I have a self-inflicted ban on writing about the current WWE product, there’s nothing stopping me from diving into the WWE Network and looking at some old classic stuff. So it’s time for another Random Review.

Survivor Series 1991, November 26, 1991

The main event for this show is Hulk Hogan defending the title against the Undertaker. There’s also a lot of team matches, because this was well before WWE forgot that the Survivor Series show was supposed to have Survivor Series matches.

We open with a recap of Jake “The Snake” Roberts beating the crap out of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, including a really graphic view of Robert’s cobra biting Savage in the arm. Something like this would never be allowed now a days, for so many reasons. President Jack Tunney shows up. Remember when authority figures just showed up when needed and didn’t take up 1/3rd of every show? Good times.

We get Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan on commentary. Monsoon is one of my favorite play by play guys, and his team with Jesse Ventura is my favorite commentary team of all time. Heenan is good too though. (more…)

Random Review: In Your House: A Cold Day in Hell

For days I don’t have a better idea for a post, I’m going to review a random Pay Per View from the WWE Network. Using an intricate system of dice rolls, I determine the company, year, and month, and then I’ll recap the show that comes up. I won’t give a play by play or go in-depth into the individual matches; this will be more about general thoughts about the show and if there’s anything worth watching/rewatching. Might as well get my money’s worth I’m spending on the WWE Network. I originally had a goal of watching every PPV in order, but realized that was insane and at my pace I’d never get anywhere. By doing a random show, I’ll be able to look at it better as an individual production, in theory.

First up – In Your House: A Cold Day in Hell, May 11th, 1997

According to the blurb, the main event is Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker for the WWE Title. Names for the In Your House shows were always the best. Also, Rocky Maivia vs. Mankind, and Vader vs. Ken Shamrock. Austin was feuding with Bret Hart and the Hart Foundation at this time, and was getting close to being uber-mega-popular, but he wasn’t there yet.

Excellent opening video package, as usual with WWE production, showing off how badass the Undertaker and Stone Cold are. Our commentators are Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross, and damn, I miss these two working together. Nostalgia puts rose-tinted goggles on a lot of Attitude Era stuff, but this commentary team is still top notch. (more…)