WrestleMania V – A Portrait in Wrestling History

March 12, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

From Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, NJ
April 2, 1989

The picture of the WWF hadn’t changed much in the year between WrestleMania IV and V. Other than the unfamiliar sight of somebody other than Hulk Hogan being WWF Champion, in this case Macho Man Randy Savage, things in the WWF were seemingly running as smooth as ever.

In late 1988, WWF released their first video game, entitled WWF Wrestlemania, for the classic Nintendo Entertainment System. With Hulk Hogan’s shirt-tearing image plastered on the cover of the game’s packaging, fans who yearned for a WWF-based video game had to get used to this being the only one of its kind until October 1990, when WWF Challenge was released.

Hogan wasn’t just serving as the avatar for wrestling video games. “The Hulkster” would soon be starring in No Holds Barred, a low-rent fighting movie to be released theatrically in June 1989. Although the movie was a critical flop, it did two things. One, it introduced the wrestling world to Zeus, who would be making his way into the promotion toward the end of spring.

The other was reinforcing the idea that, although Savage may be champion right now, Hogan was still the most popular wrestler they had.

In fact, Hogan was used to elevate Savage’s profile as well. The two teamed as The Mega Powers, thwarting the likes of Ted Dibiase and Andre the Giant, as well as the up-and-coming Twin Towers. Never before had the WWF featured two good guys that were, seemingly, on par with each other at such a high clip.

It seemed inevitable, however, that Hogan would be getting the gold back sooner, rather than later. With Savage in the way as champion, however, the WWF needed a way to explain how Hogan would have to challenge his best friend in the whole wide world over it.

Against the backdrop of New Jersey’s gambling hub for the second straight year, WrestleMania was thrust into the colored, flashing lights yet again. However, unlike the previous year’s glitzy pageantry with the World Championship tournament, WrestleMania V would have a decidedly darker tone.

Perhaps it’s fitting that the house lights inside the Trump Plaza seemed a few shades blacker for the building’s WrestleMania sequel, because the main event of the night featured a storyline that wasn’t exactly comfortable.

In a chapter that would be more at home in the playbook of the Attitude Era, WWF Champion Macho Man Randy Savage and one-time best friend Hulk Hogan watched their Mega Powers-partnership disintegrate over a woman. That woman, of course, would be Savage’s better half, Miss Elizabeth.

After forming an alliance in the fall of 1987 that culminated with Hogan aiding Savage in becoming champion at WrestleMania IV, the duo staved off Ted Dibiase, Andre the Giant, The Twin Towers, and anyone else that dared stand up to the two biggest heroes that the WWF had on display.

Things went sour in February 1989, however, when a mishap during a tag team match saw Savage land on Miss Elizabeth on the concrete. Hogan took her away to be checked out medically, and Savage saw Hogan’s rescue attempt to be him sidling up to her as a homewrecker.

That night, with Miss Elizabeth in agony on a gurney, Savage accused Hogan of having “jealous eyes”, while Hogan defended his actions as being nothing more than platonic. The nail in the Mega Powers’ coffin was hammered in by Savage striking “The Immortal” with his World Championship belt, with Savage further butchering their ties with added punches and threats.

Savage hated Hogan, and perhaps hated Miss Elizabeth more for refusing to take sides. Hogan, for his part, swore revenge for Savage’s treachery, and planned on taking his championship as a means to that end.

Elsewhere, The Ultimate Warrior had became the big star that WrestleMania IV indicated would be coming, and he achieved ascension to that level by winning the Intercontinental Championship from The Honky Tonk Man.

In his sights, however, was Ravishing Rick Rude, who brutally assaulted him with a flexi-bar at the Royal Rumble after the two engaged in a posing contest. The match was also of importance to Rude’s manager, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan who, after five years in the WWF with many different charges in his camp, had yet to manage a single titleholder.

Speaking of managers, Mr. Fuji was four months removed from double-crossing Demolition, the team he managed to WWF World Tag Team gold, and was attempting to lead the Powers of Pain, whom he left the Demos for, to the gold. Fuji would join the Powers in a three on two handicap match against Demolition, who looked forward to not only defending their belts, but destroying Fuji for his betrayal.

Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura would, as usual, call the action. Rap icons Run DMC would perform a special “Wrestlemania Rap” in the middle of the show. Also, Superfly Jimmy Snuka would return after a four year exile.

But biggest of all was Rowdy Roddy Piper returning, fresh from a turn in Hollywood. Piper would come back to antagonize Brother Love and talk show host Morton Downey Jr.

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Hercules def. King Haku in 6:57
(Decent opener, but the storyline was better: Hercules was attempting to get revenge on Bobby Heenan and his associates for Heenan selling Hercules into slavery. This actually happened)

The Twin Towers def. The Rockers in 8:02
(Sign you knew Shawn Michaels was going to be great, part 4,515: despite being severely hung over, Shawn still stole the show. By the way, this is the first WrestleMania match to feature four men born in the 1960’s or later)

Brutus Beefcake fought Ted Dibiase to a double count out in 10:01
(Man, what a letdown for Dibiase: headlining one year, and then drawing with Hogan’s landscaper the next. No wonder Dibiase fell into drugs and alcohol so hard)

The Bushwhackers def. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers in 3:59
(Two years later, and Jacques would be reinventing himself as a crazed Canadian law enforcer. How many other forms of entertainment can boast THAT sentence?)

Mr. Perfect def. The Blue Blazer in 5:38
(Sigh…..great match for being so short, but still, it’s depressing to think about)

WWF World Tag Team/Handicap Match: Demolition def. Powers of Pain/Mr. Fuji in 8:54
(Mr. Fuji in 1989 was in better shape than Ric Flair in 2011. Truth)

Dino Bravo def. Ronnie Garvin in 4:59
(This is the match where those walking cotton candy and popcorn vendors earn their biggest money)

The Brain Busters def. Strike Force in 9:17
(Really good, albeit abbreviated, tag team match that cut a good pace. This also led to Rick Martel turning heel and becoming a fashion model at age 33. And nobody batted an eye)

Jake Roberts def. Andre the Giant by disqualification in 9:44
(The special referee was Big John Studd, who apparently won the right to be referee by winning the 1989 Royal Rumble. Ted Dibiase interfered in the match, which marked the last known time that the Mega Bucks ever worked together)

The Hart Foundation def. Honky Tonk Man/Greg Valentine in 7:40
(Honky became the first man in wrestling history to be knocked unconscious after being hit in the elbow with a megaphone. Maybe the first in human history too)

WWF Intercontinental: Rick Rude def. The Ultimate Warrior in 9:36 to win the title
(Talk about an underrated match; neither man was considered a good worker to this point, and Rude led the way in a tremendous, albeit criminally short, match. Warrior’s post match beatdown of Bobby Heenan apparently exacerbated Heenan’s lingering neck injuries)

Hacksaw Jim Duggan fought Bad News Brown to a double disqualification in 3:49
(If you ever wanted to see Duggan with a primo snot rocket in his beard, you’re watching the right show)

Red Rooster def. Bobby Heenan in 32 seconds
(Bobby Heenan: who DIDN’T he job for?)

WWF World Championship: Hulk Hogan def. Macho Man Randy Savage in 17:54 to win the title
(This match had everything: intense storyline, shades of character from both men and Miss Elizabeth, blood, a crazy bump (Savage being bodyslammed over the top rope), and a satisfying finish. All the bad came from Jesse Ventura going too far in slagging Hogan during the match. Otherwise, great stuff)


Despite having too many matches (14 in four hours), WrestleMania V provided just as much good as they did bad. The majority of the matches had little to no storyline value, and that would become an unacceptable standard for an event that is to be the annual snapshot of WWE for some imaginary time capsule.

However, Vince McMahon must have liked the idea of fourteen matches expanding his card to its limits, because the next two WrestleManias would feature the same amount of contests.

Although the stretched concept didn’t last forever, the idea of adding deep-running intensity and hatred into storylines would. The WWF was getting over the idea of “Hogan vs. monster heel”, and firmly embracing a newer trick of letting characters, not so much caricatures, shine.

Hogan and Savage’s blood feud over a woman helped set the new standard for main event feuds. Over the next several years, Wrestlemania story arcs would feature more attempts at adultery, family betrayal, and calls for blood that would all but make the campy 1980’s “Rock n Wrestling” style extinct.

WrestleMania V will forever be remembered for its headliners, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, as the two men would define this era.

Justin Henry has been an occasional contributor to Camel Clutch Blog since 2009. His other work can be found at and He can be found on Twitter, so give him a follow.

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WrestleMania IV – A Portrait in Wrestling History

March 11, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WrestleMania IV
From Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, NJ
March 27, 1988

A young comedian walking out on stage after George Carlin has performed doesn’t stand much of a chance in topping the performance of the predecessor. The same holds true at a music festival, if some wet-behind-the-ears pop singer has to croon after Eminem has destroyed the place with his energy and intensity.

Point being, WrestleMania III was going to be a tough act to follow, no matter what the fourth incarnation of the event had in store.

The WWF was in an unusual position, and a self-inflicted one. On February 5, 1988, Hulk Hogan had lost the WWF Championship that had been his for four years. In the highest rated wrestling event in American television history (33 million viewers), Hogan lost his title to Andre the Giant, with a finish that involved twin referees and a Ted Dibiase-orchestrated conspiracy.

Andre, as per the terms of said conspiracy, surrendered the championship to Dibiase, but WWF President Jack Tunney ruled the transaction invalid.

With the belt vacant, a fourteen man tournament was instituted for WrestleMania IV.

For the first time since the Rock n Wrestling era began, the door opened for there to be a possible successor to the Hogan throne. Of course, there remained a possibly that Hogan would continue on as champion once more, as he and Andre each held a first round bye (facing each other in round two), but the remainder of the field would have a chance to shine as well.

But much like the “following greatness” analogy, the question remained of whether or not any potential ‘new suitor’ for the championship could carry the ball the way that “The Hulkster” had in the previous four years.

The WWF was gambling on creating a second savior to walk the earth alongside Hogan, but would it pay off?

In the vein of a tournament, a handful of superstars are going to have to work several matches apiece. In all, WrestleMania IV would boast sixteen matches over the course of the night, with eleven of those contests taking place within the World Title Tournament.

As a result, other than Hogan and Andre possibly settling their score in the second round, there weren’t very many “money” feuds to build the show with. Instead, Vince McMahon was banking on the lure of a new champion, as well as Hogan and Andre’s third encounter, as being the show’s drawing points.

That’s not to say that the other entrants in the tournament were to be ignored. Although the other twelve men had yet to be crowned World Champion at any time in their careers, the likes of Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat were among the WWF’s most popular stars. Villains like Ravishing Rick Rude and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase were perfect foils for the fans to boo vociferously, and would add entertaining layers to the brackets.

Of course, standing out a shade above the pack was “Macho Man” Randy Savage. One year prior, he was a ruthless malcontent who lost the Intercontinental Championship to Steamboat, with the fans rejoicing at his defeat. Now, still flanked by the lovely Miss Elizabeth, Savage had worked his way into the people’s graces, thanks in large part to his relentless pursuit of current Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man, as well as his unlikely friendship with Hogan.

Although the tournament was certainly the focal point of the evening, a few curious sideshows were offered, with varying levels of build. For one, The Ultimate Warrior, a rising star due to his unparalleled intensity and bizarre charisma, was matched up with middling heel Hercules, in an attempt to showcase Warrior without wasting him with a tournament loss.

In addition, in one of the most strange storylines up to that point (but certainly topped many times since then), The Islanders kidnapped Matilda, the mascot of the British Bulldogs. In an act of revenge, the Bulldogs would team with fellow animal lover Koko B. Ware to face the Islanders and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in six man action.

In addition, both of the other major titles would be at stake, as The Honky Tonk Man, fresh from fending off Savage’s challenges, would defend The Intercontinental Title against Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. Also, Strike Force would be putting their World Tag Team Titles on the line against a pair of rising menaces in Demolition.

Just to pad the show with paydays for the remainder of the roster, twenty other combatants were shoehorned into a twenty man battle royal for a giant trophy. No specific reason was given for why these men were fighting for a trophy, but it was a nifty way to get everyone available involved.

Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura would, once again, expertly call the action with the dramatic gravitas that so many other announcer pairings lack. Bob Uecker would be appearing to introduce the main event for the second consecutive year, although replacing Mary Hart as eye candy would be Wheel of Fortune’s own Vanna White. TV host Robin Leach presented the new World Title belt, and Gladys Knight sang ‘America the Beautiful’.

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Bad News Brown won a twenty man battle royal, last eliminating Bret Hart, in 10:40
(If this match happened now, Bret would be known as “the battle royal runner up king” on IWC, and would have millions of smarks claiming he was held back. You know it’s true)

Round One: Ted Dibiase def. Jim Duggan in 4:54
(Featuring Andre the Giant at ringside, in a suit. If that suit ever turns up on E-Bay, I’m cleaning out my PayPal account to have it)

Round One: Don Muraco def. Dino Bravo by disqualification in 4:53
(Superstar Billy Graham or Frenchy Martin: who was the more useless manager? By the way, when anyone of substance happens, I’ll let you know)

Round One: Greg Valentine def. Ricky Steamboat in 9:12
(Ah, there we go. Really good match, even if two pros like Steamboat and Valentine did blow a roll-up spot. When these two blow a spot, it’s a bad omen)

Round One: Macho Man Randy Savage def. Butch Reed in 5:07
(When you have Savage, Slick, and Miss Elizabeth at ringside, you really don’t need a whole lot else. Savage was at his awesome apex here, using the rare “hook one leg/use my leg to hook his other leg” pin technique. Dude was feeling it)

Round One: One Man Gang def. Bam Bam Bigelow by count-out in 2:56
(Bigelow’s other WrestleMania memories include beating up a midget clown, and losing to a football player. Now there’s a resume for you)

Round One: Rick Rude fought Jake Roberts to a draw in 15:00
(Speaking of resumes, I’m not sure what good having this on a resume would do for a man. The formula for this match is like listening to a white noise machine after downing shots of NyQuil)

The Ultimate Warrior def. Hercules in 4:29
(Just a harbinger of things to come. Before long, Warrior would become the #3 babyface in the company, and after Savage turned heel, #2)

Quarterfinal: Hulk Hogan fought Andre the Giant to a double disqualification in 5:22
(Well, there you have it: the biggest announced match for the show and it’s a shade over five minutes. It was nowhere near as good as the prior two contests of their epic series, and, to top it all off, Hogan posed for several minutes after the match, despite not winning. A feel good moment, sure)

Quarterfinal: Ted Dibiase def. Don Muraco in 5:44
(The good news is that Dibiase won and would get a bye into the final round. The better news is that we didn’t have to see Billy Graham for the rest of the night)

Quarterfinal: Macho Man Randy Savage def. Greg Valentine in 6:06
(The winner of this good, but abbreviated, match got to carry One Man Gang in the semis. Either man could do it, too)

WWF Intercontinental: Brutus Beefcake def. Honky Tonk Man by disqualification in 6:30
(Only note: Beefcake cut Jimmy Hart’s hair, and Hart ended up wearing a Ghaddafi hat for months)

The Islanders/Bobby Heenan def. The British Bulldogs/Koko B Ware in 7:30
(I liked Heenan’s dog trainer outfit, as well as the Islanders’ soothing theme music. And that’s about it)

Semifinal: Macho Man Randy Savage def. One Man Gang by disqualification in 4:05
(Ever notice that the 1980’s were littered with disqualifications? But I’m just happy it’s over)

WWF World Tag Team: Demolition def. Strike Force in 12:33 to win the titles
(In modern terms, this would be like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan beating two John Cenas, if you base it on fan gut feelings)

Finals: Macho Man Randy Savage def. Ted Dibiase in 9:27 to win the WWF World Heavyweight Title
(Short match, but still great, thanks to the outside antics of Andre and Hogan. Dibiase’s master plan was thwarted, giving the show a happy ending. Besides, Savage was the hardest working man in WWF at that point. He was more than deserving of this hard-earned moment)

The show is always going to be associated with the tournament, as well as it being Randy Savage’s finest hour . Stars like Ultimate Warrior, Demolition, Bad News Brown, Bret Hart, and Ted Dibiase also established themselves out of the pack with definitive moments.

However, the show dragged onward like a rotting corpse of a squirrel being pulled behind a Mongoose mountain bike. The crowd was nearly comatose by the end, and unless Savage was involved, the air went out of the sails slowly and painfully. Savage’s win in the end was a big pick-me-up, but there was little else to scream over.

A lesson here that Vince McMahon seemed to learn was that booking concrete matches (instead of having tournament outcomes determine the remainder of the card) was a surefire way to keep interest as the night went on. Fans need matches with feuds to look forward to. After all, are you shifting in your seat over Dibiase vs. Muraco, or even Savage vs. Gang?

It’s appropriate that WrestleMania IV was at Trump Plaza, because McMahon gambled on a concept that is bizarre in hindsight, as well as a bad idea for a four hour showcase of his talent.

Justin Henry has been an occasional contributor to Camel Clutch Blog since 2009. His other work can be found at and He can be found on Twitter, so give him a follow.

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Top 10 Best WWE Heel Turns In History

December 11, 2013 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Nothing gets better for me than the drama of a great heel turn. The WWE has featured some of the best over the last several decades. Thanks to memory and a little bit of YouTube I was able to go back and pontificate on what I found to be the 10 best heel turns in WWE history.

I have always loved a great heel turn. The problem with most heel turns today and for the last decade is that they are just too predictable. Sometimes predictability isn’t a bad thing as we will see with some of the choices below. Yet for whatever reason the difference between a great heel turn and just a heel turn are the levels of drama, intensity, and suspense. I think I have captured ten of the best with my picks below.

I kept it strictly to the WWE. If there is enough interest I may come back and open it up to the territories and WCW because there were some really great ones that took place outside of the WWE Universe. For today we will still inside the large WWE Universe and look back at close to forty years of great heel turns.

Peter Maivia turns on Bob Backlund (1978) – This one if a little before my time yet it deserves a spot on the list. From all reports this was a huge angle at the time and a rare big time turn during this era of the WWE. The turn came during a tag team match between regular partners WWWF champion Bob Backlund and Maivia. The two were wrestling Spiros Arion and Victor Rivera. Maivia refused to help Backlund as he took a lot of punishment and was thrown outside of the ring. Backlund’s manager Arnold Skaaland got into Maivia’s face about it on the ring apron and the High Chief beat the living hell out of the Golden Boy. The maniac Maivia ripped off Skaaland’s shirt and started choking him with it. A beaten Backlund tried to lay on top of Skaaland but Maivia threw him off and Arion and Rivera held Backlund. Officials had to pull Maivia off of Backlund. This was awesome! It is currently available on YouTube if you care to check it out.

Paul Orndorff turns on Hulk Hogan (1986) – This is probably my favorite turn of all-time. I have a soft spot for this one as it went down during my favorite era of WWE history. Paul Orndorff and Hulk Hogan were not what I’d call regular tag team partners although they obviously had an alliance. What was really cool about this was no matter how predictable it was, it still worked. How often can you say that? Orndorff began getting upset that Hogan was getting more attention from the fans during their tag team matches. The big spot before the turn was a segment in which Orndorff called Hogan but couldn’t get the Hulkster on the phone because the champ was too busy training. In hindsight you’d think that would make Hogan the heel. Orndorff finally had enough in a tag match with Hogan against Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy on a television match (a huge match for TV). Orndorff started getting annoyed by Hogan’s cheers again. Orndorff and Hogan collide and Orndorff starts selling an eye injury. Orndorff won’t get in and help Hogan as he continues selling the eye. Vince McMahon is yelling at Paul to get in there. In one of Vince’s best moments as an announcer, Vince screams “Oh no!” as Orndorff finally clotheslines Hogan and solidifies his turn. There are rumors that Orndorff turned as a backup in case Andre the Giant couldn’t go at WrestleMania III although I don’t know if that has ever been confirmed. The two went on to draw huge money together and leaving a legacy behind as one of the best feuds in WWE history.

Shawn Michaels turns on Marty Jannetty (1992) – Of all the turns between mid-card WWE wrestlers this may be the most memorable. Quite frankly I don’t even know why this was so memorable but it certainly has stood the test of time. Michaels had been teasing a turn for a few weeks. Brutus Beefcake confronted them on rumors of a split on it when he had The Rockers in the Barber Shop. Michaels quickly pointed out in the segment that he was the team captain as a surprised Marty looked on. The two started arguing, blaming each other for recent losses. Jannetty told Michaels that he was going to turn his back and when he turned back around, everything would be water under the bridge. Jannetty turned around, turned back, and the two shook hands and hugged. Michaels held up Jannetty’s hand before nailing him with Sweet Chin Music. Michaels then proceeded to throw Jannetty through the glass window. In retrospect I guess what made this so memorable is that you never saw anything like that in regards to a guy going through glass. The rest is a lot of history!

Randy Savage turns on Hulk Hogan (1989) – Some have called this the greatest angle in WWE history. The year-long angle is certainly up there as the top five most memorable of all-time for sure. I wrote a little about this in a previous blog taking a look at the entire feud. Here is how I described it.

The seeds were planted a year out from Hogan and Savage’s biggest match. Savage won the WWF title at WrestleMania IV. Hogan came into the ring and put Elizabeth on his shoulders. Savage gave Hogan a subtle glare which planted the seed of doubt into Savage’s babyface intentions. A brilliant idea that most fans didn’t even catch until the tape was replayed a year later.

Hogan finally returned to active wrestling in the summer of 1988. Hogan and Savage teamed up as the “Mega Powers” to take on Andre the Giant and Ted Dibiase at SummerSlam. The two would continue to team on big shows including the Survivor Series. The tension began to mount when Hogan took Savage’s manager Elizabeth as his own manager around this time.

Savage’s legendary jealousy behind the scenes would be the catalyst for one of the greatest feuds of all-time. Savage’s off-screen jealousy was written into the storyline. Savage finally had enough and attacked Hogan following a tag team match on The Main Event. This last attack would finally make the match that had been built up for almost one year between the Mega Powers.”

Larry Zbysko turns on Bruno Sammartino (1982) – Many wrestling fans would put this right up there with Hogan vs. Savage as the greatest angle in WWE history. Over 30 years later and several generations of fans, the legacy of this great moment continues to live on. This was billed as the “Student vs. Teacher” feud. Bruno was Larry’s legit mentor outside of the ring for years. Larry started to become jealous of his teacher and challenged his mentor to a “gentleman’s” wrestling match. Larry was certainly no gentleman when the Living Legend started to get the best of him. Larry wound up nailing Bruno over the head with a chair in one of the most famous chair shots of all-time. The feud was so big that it wound up drawing (although Hulk Hogan said it was him and Andre the Giant in his book) over 30,000 fans to Shea Stadium to see Bruno get his revenge on his former student.

Stephanie McMahon turns on Vince McMahon (1999) – I call it like I see it and this was one of those moments that nobody saw coming when it went down. The Billion Dollar Princess was engaged to the late Test when Triple H did the unthinkable. Triple H kidnapped and drugged the boss’s daughter, took her to a Las Vegas drive-thru chapel, and married her. Stephanie sold it like she was devastated when in reality she was in on it all along. Stephanie shocked her family when she assisted her new husband Triple H in a match against her father. Vince handed Steph the sledgehammer to finish off Hunter at Armageddon. She couldn’t do it. Tripls proceeded to use the sledgehammer on his father-in-law and get the win. Jim Ross was awesome here when Triple H lined up the sledgehammer like he was going to hit Stephanie. Instead the two embraced and shocked the world. Jim Ross’ reaction to the embrace was one of his all-time best calls.

Andre the Giant turns on Hulk Hogan (1987) – I will go back to my childhood (well teenage years) for another one of these memorable angles. The angle started when Andre was presented a trophy for his 15-year undefeated streak only to have Hogan interrupt and receive a bigger trophy than the giant. Andre the Giant had finally had enough. After 15-years of remaining undefeated the giant finally wanted a WWE championship title match. It was no more Mr. Nice Guy as Andre not only associated himself with his arch enemy Bobby “The Brain” Heenan but ripped off Hulk Hogan’s cross on Piper’s Pit. While many WWE fans had just seen this feud seven years earlier, it was still a welcomed rivalry. Of course the two met in what is arguably the most epic WrestleMania match in history.

Steve Austin turns on The Rock (2001) – It didn’t pay off as you would expect but it still goes down as one of the all-time best. What I liked about this turn as compared to a few others is that it wasn’t predictable. Unfortunately that is also what may have hurt it as fans weren’t primed for an Austin-McMahon alliance. The thought of these two teaming up should have turned stomachs yet the fans just didn’t want to boo Stone Cold. Vince hobbling to the ring with a steel chair at WrestleMania 17 is certainly one of the most memorable moments in Mania history. McMahon pulled The Rock off of Austin turning himself babyface to the Houston crowd. Austin and McMahon eventually work over The Rock with assistance from a chair to get the win. Turning Austin and putting him over for the title in his hometown stadium certainly didn’t help Austin earn any boos on that night.

Paul Bearer turns on The Undertaker (1996) – I remember being real surprised at this one as I remember it coming out of nowhere. Taker and Bearer had a great six year run together that came to an end at SummerSlam 1996. The Undertaker sought powers from the urn at the end of his Boiler Room Brawl match against Mankind. Bearer refused to the give him those powers, turned his back, and Mankind was able to use the mandible claw for the win. The big shocker came when Bearer crashed the urn down on Taker’s head following the match. Bearer said he was tired of carrying the Undertaker the next night on RAW. Of course the two would reunite later down the line but on this night it would be Paul Bearer who shocked the world.

Vince McMahon turns on Bret Hart (1997) – Which heel turn produced the most money for the WWE? One could argue that the turn of Vince McMahon at Survivor Series 1997 was the biggest ever. Vince was a television announcer for years yet fans had become wise in recent years to Vince’s true involvement behind the scenes in the company. While Vince ringing the bell and screwing Bret was a shoot, he quickly turned it into a big angle and rode it all the way to the bank. Would Austin vs. McMahon have been as big without the Montreal Screw Job? I don’t think so. Fans knew this was real which only added to the hate of Vince’s character. It set the plate for a WWE rebirth and arguably the biggest boom in history. The only disappointment here is that Bret came back too late and too old for the eventual payoff.’s version

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Top 10 Greatest Pro Wrestling Promo Men Of All Time

May 29, 2013 By: Category: lists, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

My favorite part of the pro wrestling business has always been a great promo. Growing up as a fan in the 1980s you were inundated with them. That is why today I celebrate the pro wrestling promo and look back at the best mic men of all time. put out a list of great promos last year. It got me to thinking about my memories of watching pro wrestling as a fan and tape trader in the 1980s. So without even taking one look at the WWE list I thought it would be fun to sit back and put a list together of my own…WWE politic-free!

It is hard for fans today to understand how important the art of the promo used to be. There were no such things as scripts or script writers. These great talkers came out, grabbed the microphone, and delivered a cacophony of threats, jokes, and promises, and talked thousands of people into paying their hard earned money to either watch them get revenge or watch them get the beating they deserve. It was what made or broke you as a top draw in pro wrestling. That was the difference between these guys and what fans may consider a great promo today.

This list is in no particular order or rank. The list comes after watching endless hours of pro wrestling as a kid through local TV and tape trading. Thanks to You Tube fans can now appreciate these great promo men, decades after their words helped plenty of butts into the local arenas. So without any further a due let’s take a look back at the greatest mic men in pro wrestling history.

Austin Idol – He probably isn’t the first guy you think of when you think of the greatest pro wrestling promo men of all time but that is only because you probably haven’t seen him…Jack! Idol is one of my favorite promo men of all time. His promos in Memphis, TN as a babyface or a heel are still some of the best in the history of the business.Hopefully the WWE buys the Memphis Wrestling library someday so everyone can see the greatness of the Universal Heartthrob.

Jerry Lawler – Before the King became a corny WWE character he ruled the Memphis territory with his two fists. During that time, the King was able to draw 10,000 fans per weekend (at the height of the territory) to see him get revenge on whomever the unlucky villain was that laid out Lawler the week before. The one thing I always loved about Lawler’s promos in Memphis is that he came across as genuine and not just some loud pro wrestler yelling about what he was going to do to his opponents.The money this man’s mouth drew makes him one of the greatest of all time in my opinion.

Roddy Piper – There are two different Roddy Pipers. The one before Piper turned babyface in 1986 and the legendary Piper who delivered some of the greatest promos in pro wrestling history on a weekly basis from 1975-1986. Piper’s promos in San Francisco, Portland, Georgia Championship Wrestling, Mid-Atlantic, and his heel WWF stint were genius. I could sit back and watch hours of Piper promos on You Tube and find myself wanting more when they are over. I also dare anyone to watch a few hours of Piper as a color commentator in Georgia Championship Wrestling and not come away thinking Piper was the greatest heel/color commentator in pro wrestling history…but that is for a different top ten.

Ric Flair – Wooo! The Nature Boy! It is impossible to put this kind of list together without including the great Ric Flair. I think what stands out about Flair over anyone on this list is longevity when it comes to promos. Most of these guys had a point in their career where they peaked and their promos were never as good as their early days. For Flair, he continues to deliver some of the best promos in the business. I grew up watching Flair cut promos on TBS every week and thought he was a legend. Even as a babyface Flair could knock them out of the park, yet his heel promos are where he was in his wheel house.

Magnificent Muraco – If I was ranking this list Muraco would be way at the top. For me, Don Muraco was the greatest promo man of all-time. I grew up watching Muraco cut promos every week on WWF television on everyone from Pedro Morales, to Chief Jay Strongbow, to Bob Backlund, to Jimmy Snuka and they were all the most entertaining promos I ever heard. His promos always had somewhat of a “shooty” aspect to them and he always gave fans a great reason to pay $15 to watch him get his butt kicked. The Rock has credited Muraco for influencing his promos. It is a shame more pro wrestlers didn’t learn promos from this legend.

Dusty Rhodes – Like the majority of wrestlers on this list, there are two different versions of Dusty Rhodes. There is the Dusty Rhodes who was booked as the top star of a territory (by himself most of the time) and the Dusty who was a bit player in his later years. I can’t think of many babyfaces that were able to envoke as much passion and intensity from pro wrestling fans as Dusty Rhodes. There was just something about Dusty Rhodes that made you relate to him and made you want to see him get his revenge. I know that “Hard Times” is a classic but as a kid I was watching promos like that almost every week from the American Dream.

Captain Lou Albano – For me, Muraco and Captain Lou are neck and neck as far as the greatest promo men in the history of the business. I would almost give the nod to Albano for the fact that he was able to draw so much money as a heel manager for Bruno Sammartino and Bob Backlund’s challengers. Like Muraco, there is a real funny comedic side to Albano’s promos that even as a kid I appreciated. Go back and watch them now on You Tube and while the great Captain probably couldn’t say half of what he said in this current politically correct environment, you can certainly see the humorous side that Lou had to his promos. That was probably because he delivered more than half of his promos intoxicated.

Superstar Billy Graham – Thanks to You Tube I have really grown to appreciate the great Superstar. If you look at the big picture and take note of all of the great promo men that Billy Graham influenced, there is no way you can walk away from this list without recognizing his ability to talk fans into the seats. He influenced the greats like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Dusty Rhodes by bringing his Muhammad Ali-ish brand of rhyme and arrogance to the microphone. The WWE DVD on the Superstar was a great reminder of how talented this man was for his time period.

The Rock – I went back and forth on this one. I grew up watching pro wrestling in the 1980s and I saw a lot of great promo men. But there is something that still gets me every time The Rock is on television with a microphone. Beleieve me, he went through a period in my opinion in which his promos got stale. However, his rebirth as “Hollywood” Rock during his last full time run produced some of the greatest promos in WWE history. Let’s face it. He didn’t become one of the biggest WWE stars of all time on his wrestling. His mouth did the talking and his promos turned him into a megastar.

Steve Austin – If you really look at the guys mentioned on this list other than The Rock, Austin had a real small period where he delivered those great promos. However, those promos revolutionized the pro wrestling business and helped shoot it to heights that I don’t think will ever be achieved again. Austin’s critics will say that it is easy for anyone to get over using curse words. I disagree. There was an intensity and a realism that Austin brought to his promos which has never been matched since he left the WWE as a full-time performer. His stint as the head honcho on Tough Enough and those final moments at the end of every show were a great reminder as to how great Stone Cold was and still is as a mic man.

Honorable Mention: Paul Heyman, Hulk Hogan, Bobby Heenan, Tully Blanchard, Harley Race, Nick Bockwinkel, Randy Savage, Sgt. Slaughter, Bill Watts, Jake Roberts, J.J. Dillon, Jimmy Garvin, Michael Hayes, CM Punk, Raven, and Curt Hennig

WWE: The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the ’80s

WWE: WrestleMania 29 DVD

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Bruno Sammartino WWE Matches Video Playlist

February 06, 2013 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Bruno Sammartino is not only heading into the WWE Hall of Fame, but he is being introduced to a brand new audience. The WWE Universe will learn about the greatness of the Living Legend starting with a fantastic series of videos posted on You Tube by the WWE.

The legend of Bruno Sammartino is a fascinating thing. For fans that either grew up watching Bruno or learned about pro wrestling history, there is a great appreciation for Bruno’s legacy. The man not only sold out Madison Square Garden more than any other WWE champion, but fought a laundry list of just about every legendary name of that era. Now that Bruno and the WWE have mended fences, today’s fans will get to see exactly how great this legend truly was.

WWE Fan Nation quickly assembled a fantastic assortment of videos spotlighting the former WWWF champion at various periods of his career. Of course a great majority of videos come from Bruno’s last run in the mid 1980s which Bruno will readily admit was not his best. My hunch is that the WWE will hold on to the deeper videos for an upcoming DVD release.

The Bruno playlist is…
Take a special look at the legendary career of 2013 Hall of Famer, Bruno Sammartino
Bruno Sammartino vs. Ivan Koloff – WWE Championship Match: Madison Square Garden November 17, 1975
Bruno and David Sammartino vs. Bobby Heenan and Paul Orndorff: Prime Time Wrestling, March 26, 1985
Bruno Sammartino vs. Spiros Arion – Greek Death Match: Madison Square Garden, April 14, 1975
Bruno and David Sammartino vs. Brutus Beefcake and Johnny V: Madison Square Garden, May 20, 1985
Bruno Sammartino returns to WWE: Championship Wrestling, September 22, 1984
Bruno Sammartino vs. Stan Hansen – WWE Championship Cage Match: Madison Square Garden, August 7, 1977
Special interview with Bruno Sammartino and Larry Zbyszko: Championship Wrestling, January 26, 1980
Bruno Sammartino vs. Hercules: Houston Live Event, August 28, 1987
Bruno Sammartino and Paul Orndorff vs. Roddy Piper and Bob Orton: Prime Time Wrestling, February 24, 1986
Piper’s Pit with Bruno Sammartino: Madison Square Garden, October 21, 1985
Bruno Sammartino announces his retirement: Championship Wrestling, August 12, 1981

Again a lot of the matches come from Bruno’s last run which is a slight disappointment but at the same time it also features WWE legends that most of the current Universe are familiar with. I hope we get a chance to see some of the MSG, Boston Garden, and Philadelphia Spectrum classics in upcoming video releases. As an FYI you can do a search on You Tube for some of those classics although some aren’t the best quality.

Enjoy and learn the legend of Bruno Sammartino!

Bruno Sammartino: An Autobiography Of Wrestling’s Living Legend

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Flashback: WWE Survivor Series 1989 Review

March 09, 2012 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWF Survivor Series1989Opening with the World Wrestling Federation Superstars telling us what they’re thankful for. Obviously they’re in character, and it’s something I miss, Survivor Series being on either Thanksgiving Eve or on Thanksgiving Day itself. Also Vinnie Mac is running down the matches-a walk down memory lane.

Gorilla open us up with Jesse “the Pilgrim” Ventura. We get corrected by Ventura that he is Jesse “the Body” Ventura. I miss having a heel color guy at the announcer’s booth.

The Enforcers versus the Dream Team

It’s the Enforcers versus the Dream Team for the first match. The Enforcers come out first, then the Dream Team. With this, I miss having most of the PPV, if not the whole thing, as 5-on-5, or this PPV, 4-on-4, Elimination Tag Team Matches

Tito and the Honky Tonk Man start the match out. Jimmy Hart is on his megaphone, what a third man on the booth for the match. Dusty gets huge pops from the crowd-his yellow polka dots and all. I’m happy there isn’t any wrestlers that has tights like Brutus “the Barber”-wait, there is (Zack Ryder).

It seems that the crowd back in 1989 was hotter than a crowd in 2010. Also there were clear babyfaces and clear heels.

Dusty even hit “the Model” with a dropkick.

It came down to the Boss Man against the Rooster, Dusty, and the Barber, and the Rooster gets pinned after the Sidewalk Slam. Dusty hit the running high cross and pinned the Boss Man and won for his team, being Sole Survivors for their team. Dusty is barely bleeding and Gorilla said he was “busted wide open.” Really?

Sole Survivors: Rhodes and the Barber

The Kings Court versus the 4 x 4’s

Pomp and Circumstance plays and massive boos, and the King’s Court comes out for the Macho King Randy Savage, and they faced the 4 x 4’s. Jimmy Hart is out for the King’s Court, it’s great that Jimmy is out for this match as well. The 4 x 4’s didn’t come out to a theme song. I’m happy that guys have theme songs nowadays, because that would of bothered me back then when guys came out without theme songs.

Hercules got eliminated by Earthquake doing his finisher, running the ropes and sitting on him. That would be a bad way to spend a Thanksgiving night. Later in the match, Hacksaw defeated the Hammer by a 3-Point Stance. Finishers in the late ‘80’s were awesomely simply. I miss those days. Jimmy Garvin showed us his Garvin stomp. I wonder where Randy Orton got his “stomp” from. Makes me wonder.

“The Macho King” was a mighty heel back in November 1989. With being a former Intercontinental and WWF Champion, I’m surprised he’s in the second match of the card, but I think it brings credibility to the third annual Survivor Series. Shoulder Breaker by Bravo and a Flying Elbow Drop from the Macho King to “the Hitman,” Duggan is along against Earthquake, Bravo, and Savage. Duggan got counted out.

Sole Survivors: Bravo, Earthquake, and Savage


Million Dollar Team versus the Hulkamanics

The Million Dollar Team didn’t get an entrance! What a rip-off! The World Wrestling Federation Champion and the WWF Tag Team Champions are on the same team? The WWF Champion being the third match on the card? The crowd goes wild for the Hulkster! With all these years that Roberts carried the snake, I’m surprised the snake never tried to squeeze someone and try to eat them for supper.

Hogan and Zeus start the match. The shoving match and the crowd chant “Hogan!” Both men tease starting the match and the crowd eats it up. I love it! Zeus gets disqualified!

Demolition and Hogan triple team the Million Dollar Man. Ventura goes off about the ref letting it happen over Zeus getting disqualified and putting his hands on the ref.

Another shoulder breaker by the Barbarian to Axe! I’m surprised to see two shoulder breakers by the third match on the card.

Roberts and Hogan against the Powers of Pain and the Million Dollar Man. I’m really enjoying these Survivor Series matches. The Million Dollar Man gives us the Million Dollar Piledriver on Jake Roberts! Another move I miss seeing! The Powers of Pain gives Hogan a Spike Piledriver and the Powers of Pain got double disqualified. Poor DiBiase, being outnumbered.

The Million Dollar Dream on the WWF Champion! Roberts breaks up the sleeper because Hogan’s arm went down for the second drop. Virgil gets DDT’ed and the Million Dollar Man nailed Roberts in the face and eliminated him. It’s down to Hogan and DiBiase at the end.

Double clothesline by both men and the ref counts them out. After a couple of minutes, Hogan hits DiBiase with the Big Boot and the Leg Drop and get’s the three count.

Sole Survivor: WWF Champion Hulk Hogan

Macho King and Zeus interview to promote the No Holds Barred Tag Team Steel Cage match with Savage and Zeus against Hogan and the Barber. Hogan and Beefcake also did an interview to hype out their match as well. Sheri threw salt in their eyes and Zeus and Savage attacked them.

Interview with the Rude Brood and Roddy’s Rowdies. Nice build up for their match, which is next.

The Rude Brood versus Roddy’s Rowdies

Rougeau Brothers-Snunka-Bushwhackers

Jimmy Hart’s back for his third match with the Rougeau Brothers! The Genius comes out with Mr. Perfect! Bobby “the Brain” didn’t come out with “the Ravishing” Rick Rude. Rude has awesome tights, and awesome mustache. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka comes out for the next team. The Bushwhackers comes out next with their whackerish walk. “The Hot Rod” Roddy Piper comes out with the bag pipes being played in the arena.

Quick tags with the Bushwhakers, Piper, and Snuka, and they all are biting Perfect. That isn’t perfect, it’s quiet rude. Wait a second, wasn’t one of the Rougeau brothers the Mountie in a couple of years? Another thing, half of the Rude Brood was from Minnesota, and sadly enough, aren’t with us anymore.

Both Rougeau bothers got eliminated right away, first the Mountie, then the other brother. At least the two guys from Minnesota are left on the Rude Brood, right? The Rude Awakening and Luke is eliminated and it’s down to Rude and Perfect against Snuka and Piper!

Piper and Rude got a double count-out. What bums. After numerous near falls, Mr. Perfect wins with the Perfect Plex! I couldn’t be happier!

Sole Survivor: Mr. Perfect!

The Rude Brood was interviewed, and then the Ultimate Warriors were interviewed for the main event match for this Survivor Series. I have no clue what the Ultimate Warrior just said in his part of the interview.

The Heenan Family versus the Utlimate Warriors

Another team that doesn’t get an introduction, and that’s the Heenan Family. That bothers me.

Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart and the Rockers already start the match before the WWF Intercontinental Champion came out, and the Warrior finally came out and started the match, running out Mountain Dew, because he sprinted down to the ring with the IC Belt on.

Andre the Giant got counted out because the Warrior clotheslined him out of the ring and wasn’t able to get up and into the ring before the ref counted to ten. How sad. It’s nice to see Arn Anderson in a main event spot on a WWE pay-per-view.

Bobby Heenen get’s a “Weasel” chant, and Haku eliminated Neidhart. Bobby gets tagged in when Marty was hurt and then tagged right out again. Bobby even pinned Marty after the damage was done.

It came down to the Warrior against Anderson and Heenen. Warrior pinned Anderson, and Heenen got beaten by the Warrior. Heenen got running shoulder hit and splashed and was defeated.

Sole Survivor: The Ultimate Warrior.

Philosopher’s Perspective:

First and second match, it came down to one-on-three. I find it odd that the endings were similar. Even though the babyfaces won the first one and the heels won the second match, I still find it odd that they looked at similar endings.

I find it weird that the WWF Champion was put in the middle of the card when the Intercontinental Champion was put in the main event slot. I’m assuming that this is happening because they wanted the WWF Champ to have more time than any other match, which makes sense. But the WWF Champion was Hulk Hogan; we all know he normally doesn’t have matches longer than 15 minutes.

I’m not a fan of the end of the pay-per-view we saw the Intercontinental Champion face a manager for a couple of minutes. How fair is that? I agree with Jesse Ventura at the announcer’s table and that shouldn’t have happened.

Besides those notes, I enjoyed the the ’89 Survivor Series. I enjoyed hearing Gorilla and Ventura at the announcer’s table and enjoyed the wrestlers that got me into watching the WWF around this period. Finishers were simpler and fans bought everything that was done inside the ring. That’s something that I don’t feel like happens anymore. Also, at least the announcers build-up and tear down the guys that they’re suppose to, unlike Michael Cole these days. At least in two Survivor Series time, the beginning of the end of Hulkamania starts. This is Eric Darsie from Minnesota, until next time; do what you do, and stay classy.

Eric Darsie is known as a ‘common-man’ among his peers, at least he thinks so. He works hard with his hands in the heart of Minnesota and on his free time, he thugs and a bugs with his family and friends. Whenever he doesn’t do that, he’s found to be writing. Now more of a rare thing, he’s gems could be found here. If you would like to see more of Eric’s work outside of the professional world, check him out at,, and on Twitter @IAmDarsie.

WWE: Survivor Series Anthology, Vol. 1 – 1987-1991

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Flashback: WWE Survivor Series 1987 Review

March 01, 2012 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWF Surivor Series 1987Thursday, November 26th, 1987 – Richfield Coliseum – Richfield, Ohio – Jesse “the Body” Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon are our color commentators for the very first Survivor Series event that the World Wrestling Federation had put on every year since!

This blog also marks the first of my Survivor Series blog series for CamelClutchBlog[dot]Com! I’m excited to visit (for most of these events) and revisit (a few) Survivor Series memories! I’ll be giving the highlights of each match instead of trying to list off each blow.

Let’s take a history lesson before we jump into the review of the first Survivor Series. The National Wrestling Alliance (JCP) was putting on their version of WrestleMania, called Starrcade, on Thanksgiving night for several years by 1987. So Vince McMahon, in all his wisdom, thought he’ll take a stab at the Jim Crockett and offer a television special that was built around teams of five and the goal of the match was to eliminate every member of the opposing team. Birthed the Survivor Series and the blog series!

Monsoon and Ventura get introduced to the crowd and they walk down to their position to call the pay-per-view and they were booed, to my surprised. They told us to have a Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks men! I wish this event was still held on Thanksgiving Day. Oh American Football, why did you have to take over its position?

Ventura and Monsoon go over the card and the rules of the matches. For the first time since WrestleMania III earlier this year, Andre the Giant and World Wrestling Federation Champion Hulk Hogan will lock up for the very first time!

Craig DeGeorge interviews the Honky Tonk Man and his team. Honky talks about how his team is the greatest put together and there’s a video played showing when Honky nailed the Macho Man with his guitar.

The Fink announces the first match!

“The King” Harley Race, Hercules, Danny Davis, “Outlaw” Ron Bass, and the WWF Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man versus Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat, Brutus “the Barber” Beefcake, Jake “the Snake” Roberts, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Randy “Macho Man” Savage

When the heel team was introduced, the face team was interviewed by Mean Gene. They all said that the heel team will be defeated and there will be survivors in this match. I surely hope there are winners in this match.

Sounds like to me, WWE dubbed over a different theme song when the faces came out after their interview. I find this to be sad because it takes away the feel of the original broadcast. When Savage came out, the crowd pops. I find it strange that the future WWF Champion in a few short months opens this show.

Hercules and the Barber start off the first match on the first card. One thing I noticed with the quick tags at the start of the match was how into the fans were into the match. Seems like the fans nowadays aren’t as in as the fans of 1987 were.

One point Race and Steamboat were in the ring together. Isn’t it ironic that former NWA guys were in the ring together on a night where WWF put on a show to go against the biggest show in NWA history?

The first elimination saw both Duggan and Race getting double-count-out.

Beefcake has the oddest wrestling trunks that I’ve seen. The one he’s wearing this night was yellow zebra print and the sides were cut out and mesh was sown back in.

Talking about Beefcake, he got eliminated after being hit by Honky Tonk Man’s finisher, a swinging neck breaker called “Shake, Rattle, and Roll.”

A cool thing about Jake Roberts as a face was whenever he gets into the ring; the fans chant “DDT.” A finish that I absolutely love was when Jake “the Snake” hits the DDT. The fans popped and jumped to their feet once he nailed Danny Davis with it and covered him for the elimination.

I also find it odd that Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage are team mates when at WrestleMania III they fought each other in a show-stealing Intercontinental Championship match.

Honky Tonk was faced by himself against Randy Savage, Jake Roberts, and Ricky Steamboat. Reversal of what usually gets booked. Usually the heels gains the advantage.

Honky Tonk Man got himself counted out (great heel move), giving Savage, Steamboat, and Roberts the victory.

Sole Survivors: Randy Savage, Jake Roberts, and Ricky Steamboat

Craig DeGeroge is back and interviewed Andre the Giant and his team. One thing about this team is how huge each member is. Wow, I wonder what happened to McMahon being okay with big men back then and not so much these days. One line I enjoyed was from Bobby Heenen and he called Hogan a 300-pound turkey.

The lades match never got an ring introduction until they were already in the ring.

The Glamour Girls, Dawn Marie, Donna Christannelo, and Sensational Sherri versus Velvet McIntyre, Rockin’ Robin, Jumping Bomb Angels, and the Fabulous Moolah

Sherri is the Women’s World Champion at this time. To the Sherri I grew up knowing, she looks amazing in 1987! Wow! And Fabulous Moolah look old even back then. I find that to be sad.

Another sad fact is, I don’t know who most of these women are. While on the sad facts, I wish the WWE had this big talent pool of women wrestlers. These women are amazing compared to the women these days. This match is more enjoyable, even not knowing who most of these women are. I find most women matches these days to be too much, even for a few minutes.

Moolah seems not to act much since 1987. I wonder how she does it. She moves pretty well compared to how well she moved at the end of her life.

I actually talked to Captain Obvious while watching this match and we started to discuss on how much professional wrestling was different 25 years ago. Watching through these Survivor Series brings back why I fell in love with this business to begin with.

Sole Survivors: Jumpin’ Bomb Angels

Craig DeGeorge is back to interview the Hart Foundation and their Survivor Series team. Watching this interview makes me miss how great the tag team division was. I also noticed it seems like this pay-per-view card has showcased the WWF’s mid-cards, the women, the tag teams, and the last match, the main eventers. This interview was simply crazy. I was unable to get anything worthy of note to take down.

The Bolsheviks, Demolition, the Dream Team, the Islanders, and the Hart Foundation versus the British Bulldogs, the Young Stallions, the Rougeau Brothers, the Killer Bees, and Strike Force

After the heel team enters, Mean Gene interviews the babyface team in this match. I spot the Mountie! I spot the Model Rick Martel!

Monsoon and Ventura explain the Tag Team Survivor Series rules, where if one of the Killer Bees gets eliminated, both men go. So if one man gets eliminated, both are eliminated! This match proves that Vince McMahon decided to have the tag division die. Heck, the main event of WrestleMania I was even a tag match! I find it to be sad that back in 1987 there were at least ten good tag teams that the WWF had and now the WWE has a couple actual tag teams.

Sole Survivors: the Young Stallions and the Killer Bees (by the Bees outsmarting the Islanders with the masks)

We see how the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase celebrates Thanksgiving. I find this video package to be absolutely great. Only if video packages were put together like this these days, the superstars would be seen as main event wrestlers.

Craig DeGeorge is back again to interview the Honky Tonk Man, the WWF Intercontinental Champion, who walked out at the first match and got himself eliminated. Honky puts himself over and will accept the challenge of anyone. Honky said that he’ll even face Hulk Hogan and will defend his title against the Hulkster. Even Macho Man can’t defeat the Honky Tonk Man.

“Ravishing” Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, “the Natural” Butch Reed, One Man Gang, and Andre the Giant versus Bam Bam Bigelow, Ken Patera, the Magnificent Don Muraco, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, and World Wrestling Federation Champion Hulk Hogan

Mean Gene is backstage with the World Wrestling Federation Champion Hulk Hogan and his team mates and everyone’s crazy. Hogan is walking back and forth in front of the camera and comes and pushes Bam Bam. Hogan says that his team mates are hungry and are ready to kick butt and take names.

The faces then enter the arena. I guess Don Muraco is filling in for “Superstar” Billy Graham. Poor Billy Graham, you’re always being the true “Superstar.” Giving it a second thought, it was a good thing you couldn’t make it to the first Survivor Series because Hollywood Hogan would outshine you, how he stole your gimmick and turned it into what he did, brother.

The Rock and “Ravishing” Rick Rude start out the main event.

Butch Reed’s the first one eliminated when Hogan dropped the leg drop and got the pin fall victory. Hogan was celebrating with his team when Andre came in and Hogan was shocked when he turned around. The ref made Hogan go out and Patera cause Hogan “made a tag.” I surely didn’t see the tag.

An obvious observation I noticed in this match was how Hogan’s team was a set of four body builders and Bam Bam and Andre’s team had four overweight dudes and Rick Rude.

I might be losing it but it sounded like One Man Gang was calling a few spots when he had Patera in a front face lock. It looked like it but I swore I heard him call a few things. Opps.

Orndorff wasn’t so wonderful on this night; when he was calling to put Rude in the piledriver, Bundy came in and nailed him from behind and Rude school boyed him and eliminated him.

Ventura asked Monsoon if we’ll see Andre and Hogan. Ventura really wanted to see those two men do battle at Survivor Series. I’m with you Governor! I wanna see the WrestleMania III main event go at it here at Survivor Series 1987!

Hulk Hogan got eliminated when he got counted out when he was brawling with King Kong Bundy. Smart thinking Bundy, let’s get the World Champ out of the match. So it’s Bam Bam taking on King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, and Andre the Giant – the total reverse of the first match. This is smart booking.

Lucky for Bigelow, he eliminated Bundy after scoring a pinfall. A few minutes later he scored a pinfall victory over One Man Gang. Come on Bigelow! Make yourself famous! Grab the main event ring and show that you belong in the main event picture!

After a double underhook suplex, Andre wins.

Sole Survivor: Andre the Giant

Hulk Hogan ran down and hit Andre with the belt, continuing their feud, and taking in the attention at the end of the pay-per-view. No surprise out of Hogan, what an

attention jerk! Vintage Hogan, posing to all the fans.

Mean Gene got a word from Andre the Giant and Bobby Hennen backstage. Bobby said that if he truly wants Andre, he’ll face him inside the ring, but has to sign on the dotted line. Hogan has to put the title up on the line if he wants Andre again in the ring. Smart thinking by Bobby and Andre.

We go back to Hogan posing. Come on Hulkster!

All-in-all, I consider this pay-per-view a success. I really enjoyed this pay-per-view, even though it was four matches in total. But the first few Survivor Series I love because each match got a good length of time to showcase some of the talent that this era of the WWE had. To be honest, I wish WWE had talent like this today to bring back the classic Survivor Series concept back and give the whole PPV the Survivor Series match treatment. If not, let the World Heavyweight Champion defend his title, or the WWE Champion defend his title.

Heck, it would draw big ratings (hopefully, at least in my old-school wrestling opinion) if the main event Survivor Series match was World Heavyweight Champion captained a team against the WWE Champion’s team. Then the Intercontinental Champion would captain a team against the United States Champion. I would love to see this happen, or the idea I had at the beginning of the blog where there’s a tournament and the winner faces both the World and WWE Champion in a triple threat match and the winner walks out as Champ. To conclude, a great PPV.

Check out an awesome podcast on this very PPV:

Eric Darsie is known as a ‘common-man’ among his peers, at least he thinks so. He works hard with his hands in the heart of Minnesota and on his free time, he thugs and a bugs with his family and friends. Whenever he doesn’t do that, he’s found to be writing. Now more of a rare thing, he’s gems could be found here. If you would like to see more of Eric’s work outside of the professional world, check him out at,, and on Twitter @IAmDarsie.

WWE: Survivor Series Anthology, Vol. 1 – 1987-1991

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1989 WWE Royal Rumble Review – Couch Groove Wrestling

January 23, 2012 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Hulk Hogan eliminated Randy Savage in the WWE Royal Rumble 1989 which featured Randy Savage, Andre the Giant, and Hulk HoganYou know, I’d be the first to admit that my 1988 Royal Rumble rant was a bit lacking.

Looking over it, I see where I was the most bored and disinterested, and it showed in my writing. I don’t apologize often, but I’ll do so by writing a better rant for this show, the 1989 Royal Rumble.

There’s an underlying message in here. The 1988 show had a lot of kinks to be worked out, as did my accompanying rant. The 1989 show was a vast improvement and my rant, well….let’s cross our fingers. I hope it’s less boring than Dino Bravo’s weight lifting challenge from ’88 at least.

-January 15, 1989, from the Summit in Houston, TX. It’s the home of non-playoff football, as well as pitchers who have played or WILL play for the Phillies. Thanks, Ed Wade!

-And yes, this would be the first Rumble on PPV. It’s also got a better logo than the 1988 version, which featured fancy handwriting fit for some historical document, and is replaced through 1995 with the famed block lettering. It’s the block lettering I grew up with.

-The A-Team of Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura is on duty here, and I’m pleased. As much as I love the duo of Monsoon and Bobby Heenan for sheer laughs, Monsoon and Ventura could make any match seem like an important event. They were like John Madden and Pat Summerall in that regard. How many NFL games did Madden and Summerall make seem like life-and-death battles with their natural cadence? Same with Monsoon and Ventura. Would Hogan-Andre at Wrestlemania 3 been as good if Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler were on commentary? What about Hogan-Warrior? My thoughts exactly.

-As with the 1988 rant, I’ll be using the “what would I pay?” system to determine what I feel the value of the event at hand is. The system is kind of moot if you already own the show, but you can see if it feels like something you SHOULD have paid for. But if you watched it and hated it, you’d already know that…well…let’s move on.


-Oh, thank God they’re getting Bravo out of the way now. Say, what’s up with these 2 out of 3 falls matches? This is the third one in the first five matches in Rumble history, and then they never had another one at the Rumble ever. What gives?

-All three heels take a battering ram in the corner, and the crowd is happy. Which three are the heels, you ask? Lemme counter by asking: has there ever been three French Canadians on the roster at the same time that were all faces? Ever? Maybe a slew of man-rats, er, jobbers that Pat Patterson would have tag along, but nobody major.

-Le Bad Guyex win the first fall via Le Bombe de Rougeau on Bret. It’s amazing when you look back and realize how many tag team matches from 1987-1990 ended with either Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels taking the fall. Hate to say it, but maybe that’s why not many fans stuck around during the “New Generation” (“HE’S the champ? The guy that once got pinned by the Warlord? No thanks…”)

-This is a great warm-up match, as all of the participants at least have well defined characters. The Harts are the well oiled tag team machine, Duggan’s the patriotic Buford Pusser type, and all three heels are openly foreign. It’s like paint by numbers on how to get fans 20 years ago to cheer and boo.

-Anywho, the good guys take the second fall after a horde of moves on Raymond, ending with an elbow drop by Duggan. Getting pinned by an elbow drop is only acceptable if it’s Survivor Series, or you’re laying down for The Rock. There’s no other exceptions.

-Finally, the faces win the third fall when Duggan hits Bravo with the 2X4 (Bravo was so boring last year that it tainted the thrill of Duggan’s Rumble win….well that’s MY theory) and Bret pins Bravo.

RATING: $4.50. Good, solid stuff, and I wasn’t bored by Bravo. We’ve already topped 1988! Now as long as Paul Roma’s not headlining, we’re in decent shape.

-Meanwhile, there’s chicanery afoot, as Ted Dibiase (the dad, not the boring sponge of a son) isn’t happy with the number he drew, so he has an offer for Slick, who’s shady on the basis that he’s a pimp. You know, how come they didn’t stereotype against Flash Funk in 1997? He dressed like a pimp, but was a good guy due to being “funky”. If you’re going to stereotype, at least be consistent.

-Also, the Bushwhackers swap their numbers for some reason. For those who complain about goofy characters now like Hornswoggle, Santino Marella, and the guest hosts, I give you: Luke and Butch. Now stop complaining.


-Judy Martin would not be allowed on the current WWE TV product looking the way she does here, unless she somehow convinced McMahon that she was Greg Valentine.

-Sensational Sherri shows up and challenges the winner, looking like Shia LeBouf going to a rave. I know Sherri’s dead and all, but geez, 80’s fashion was crap.

-The crowd could really care less about the match, even though Robin is portrayed as a local hero. The most notable thing is Sherri on commentary, as her and Jesse taunt Monsoon. Otherwise, it’s your typical modern divas match without the fitness model physiques. I wonder if this is why so many guys my age came out of the closet (no, not me).

-Robin wins after faking a cross body, and then hitting a real one. See, Robin was so good at faking things, she even had another woman fooled! Err, let’s move on.

RATING: $1.25. I was gonna go two bucks, but I decided to dock it 75 cents for having to listen to Robin sing “America the Beautiful” at Wrestlemania V. Look, it’s my convoluted ratings sytem; I’ll do what I want with it.

-Sean Mooney confronts Slick over the possible tampering with Dibiase, but Slick insists he hasn’t seen Dibiase in over a month. Well, given the travel schedule back then, it’s possible. Wouldn’t surprise me if half of these guys said to each other “You still work here?!?” Actually, I’ll bet they said that to Terry Taylor a lot.


-So instead of having a match, the Intercontinental Champion and one of the top heels will be engaged in a posing contest. Can you imagine if they did this now? Wait, they actually DID do this in 2003 with Triple H and Scott Steiner! And it was horrible! They even had an arm wrestling match, just to empty the tray of embarrassing 1980’s non-match clichés. I’m surprised there wasn’t a dual interview between the two on a revamped Brother Love Show.

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-The story is that Rude is seriously trying to win on technical merit, whereas Ultimate Warrior just aggressively recreates Rude’s poses, and the crowd cheers louder for him. It’s also notable for Rude using one of those flexi-bars that Chuck Palumbo helped (not) make famous during his WCW run.

-After Warrior wins hands down, Bobby Heenan blinds Warrior with lotion (….not like that) and Rude beats the hell out of him with the flexi-bar. Then Warrior goes nuts and beats up the officials who aid him, including Nick Bockwinkel. Take THAT, AWA.

RATING: $2.00. Lame as it was, it created a fresh upper card angle, and the crowd was into it. Let’s just keep Tyler Reks and Chris Masters from trying their own version. In fact, let’s just keep both of them off TV.

-Mean Gene asks Elizabeth who she would pick between Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan in the Rumble. Ah, yes, the “jealous eyes” storyline. I dare say it was the first angle in WWF history that felt like it could have played out on Raw in the last decade and not felt ancient.


-If your mother attended this event, there’s a chance that she became pregnant if she was in the first two or three rows. Race and Haku have enough testosterone to fill the Roman Coliseum, and there’s plenty of manliness wafting through when these two go at it!*

(*Written by Pat Patterson)

-Haku comes to the ring on the throne-sedan, carried by a group of jobbers, so Race just knocks it over for fun. Wow, 1980’s WWF was hardcore! When do they break out the razor wire?

-Match is quite brutal, with Race taking huge bumps in his late forties, and he even managed to piledrive Haku on the concrete. If this match happened on Raw now, the internet would briefly faint out of ecstasy.

-Haku plants Race with a thrust kick to retain the crown and, effectively, send Race packing from WWF. Of note was Bobby Heenan playing cornerman to both, as they were both in his employ. Wait, I’m writing this on the day that Heenan’s new DVD came out and I haven’t bought it yet! What is wrong with me?!

RATING: $5.50. Surprisingly good stuff, given that it was a throwaway match. We could use more matches like this on modern undercards. Just brutal brawls without trademark moves.

-Intermission, plus promos. Remember the intermissions? They got rid of them in favor of matches involving Alicia Fox. Nothing says “take five minutes, stretch your legs, and get some beer” like Alicia Fox matches.


-Ah good: no Paul Roma this year to screw things up. The real main eventers get to main event! Except for Warrior. And Rude. And the Harts. And Duggan. Crap.

-So we’re finally up to 30 participants, and the winner gets….nothing. Except the opportunity to referee a midcard match at Wrestlemania V. My money’s on Joey Marella, going in.

-Just to show how COMPLETELY RANDOM AND UNSCRIPTED this show is, Ax and Smash of Demolition are 1 and 2. Monsoon and Ventura are more surprised than the fans are. Oddly enough, Ax and Smash go right at it instead of conserving energy and beating up the next entrant. I know they’re trying to keep it exciting, but for logic’s sake, couldn’t Ax and Smash just stand there and tell dirty jokes to each other? Seems sensible.

-Perhaps they should save their strength, because here comes Andre the Giant at #3! Ugh, this was the year they had the awkward camera angle every time someone came in. It looks like Zapruder footage, except slightly less grainy. And I do emphasize “slightly”.

-Mr. Perfect (sans singlet) is #4, but Andre can’t be contained, and he sends Smash flying. Poor Smash. At least he got to dress like a cat burglar in his next life. Ronnie Garvin is #5, and we actually have three former World Champions in the ring. Yes, I’m counting Garvin, though I don’t WANT to.

-Greg Valentine is 6 and Andre chucks Garvin. Good riddance. Jake Roberts is #7 and he has beef with Andre. Andre just simply chokes him while Ron Bass is #8, in what may have been his last appearance with the company. Andre tosses Roberts. Finally, Shawn Michaels is #9, just so Perfect isn’t the only athlete in the ring. Perfect backdrops Ax out to keep the pace going. To complete the first third, Bushwhacker Butch is #10. Shouldn’t have switched, matey. Then to top off the frantic pace thus far, Roberts returns with Damain, his python, and scares Andre into taking the final bump of his career, over the top for a self elimination. Jesse says it’s unfair; I say at least the pace is a good one.

-Honky Tonk Man is in at 11 while Perfect and Shawn just take bumps like superballs in there. Tito Santana is 12, and he and Valentine soon rekindle their old feud. Bad News Brown is 13, and Santana and Butch toss Honky. Man, after he lost the IC Title, Honky became everyone’s submissive, didn’t he?

-Marty Jannetty is 14, and we get some Rockers double teams going. WWF Champion Randy Savage is 15 to a NUCLEAR reaction, and he goes right for Bad News. The Rockers get rid of Bass, just to make me happy. Shawn would later steal Bass’ finisher and give it to Triple H (Well, not really, but since I’m writing this….)

-Arn Anderson (yes, he worked there) is 16 as Savage dumps Valentine, his future Survivor Series partner. Savage and Arn then team up and dump Shawn, as Tully Blanchard comes in at 17. Jannetty goes next via both Brain Busters. And then….

-#18: Hulk Hogan. Get ready to count the bodies! So long, Perfect. Bye bye, Santana. Bushwhacker Luke is #19 just as Bad News tosses out Butch. See, shouldn’t have switched! Koko B Ware is not only #20, but he’s also eliminated by Hogan in short order. Hogan clotheslines both Busters out. Warlord is #21 and is gone even faster (2 seconds!) at the hands of Hogan. Then Hogan eliminates Bad News and Savage at the same time and….uh oh, Savage isn’t happy. He jumps back in and gets into it with Hogan, with Miss Elizabeth coming in to try and talk sense into both men. They make up and Savage leaves as Big Bossman is in at 22.

-Hogan and Bossman continue their feud, brawling until Akeem comes in at 23. And there’s the payoff for the Slick and Dibiase business deal. Hogan gets eliminated shortly thereafter. Hogan won’t go away like a good sport, so he attacks Bossman for fun. And they wonder why so many kids my age grew up to be sore losers. Brutus Beefcake is 24, and Hogan illegally eliminates Bossman, much to Ventura’s chagrin. Hogan even busts Bossman even with some kind of suitcase.

(sound of record scratch)

-And now, the fun stuff is over. The match slows down to the point of tedium, as all the fast paced fun has died out. From here, it’s Red Rooster at 25, Barbarian at 26, Big John Studd at 27, Hercules at 28, Rick Martel at 29, and Ted Dibiase at 30 (the other half of the payoff). Is it as auspicious a finish as last year? I think they’re tied for dead last, myself.

-Dibiase dumps Rooster. Dibiase and Barbarian then team up and dump Beefcake and Hercules together. Martel then surprises the world by dropkicking Barbarian out.

-FINAL FOUR: Dibiase, Studd, Akeem, and Martel. No, really. Martel gets caught by Akeem and thrown out. Then, because I don’t feel like wasting my fingers any more, a double team on Studd fails which sees the future Hall of Famer throw out Akeem. Then Studd toys with Dibiase for about 40 years before throwing him out, and then he beats up Virgil for fun. So, yeah, Studd wins. He would leave WWF within five months.

RATING: $9.25. The first 2/3 was great stuff, but it dragged once Hogan and Bossman finished their little angle. Nonetheless, an upgrade over last year

TOTAL: $22.50. That’s almost how much a PPV was in 1989, so I guess that’s somewhat reasonable. Just wish the Rumble had a better outcome, and that Warrior/Rude was, you know, an actual match.

CYNIC SAYS: An upgrade over last year’s TV version, but there was still work to be done. It would take many years for WWE to figure out to add more innovative eliminations and creative double teams, but at least they’d mastered the art of mixing existing feuds with new ones beginning (especially Hogan and Savage).

For a great early effort, it’s a thumbs up.

Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for, as well as several wrestling columns a week for and Justin can be found here on Facebook – and Twitter-

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Recap Of Gene Okerlund Interview On Aftermath With Ocal & Korderas

January 17, 2012 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

"Mean Gene" OkerlundAftermath hosts Arda Ocal and Jimmy Korderas interviewed “Mean Gene Okerlund on the Score on January 16, 2012. They start the show by putting over Wrestle Reunion which is happening in Toronto in mid April. Ocal lists guests for the event such as Bruno Sammartino, Tommy Dreamer, and then introduces Gene Okerlund.

Mean Gene says he is looking forward to discussing wrestling, and then discussed his calling basketball, baseball, and hockey games. However, he said it always came back to wrestling. One you start, you don’t turn back.

Ocal asked Gene why should fans attend Wrestle Reunion, and Gene said he was at a Wrestle Reunion event last year in LA, and said there was a lot of talent. Okerlund added that it was a great production, and said Wrestle Reunion is a can’t miss event for people with heart and soul in pro wrestling.

Ocal asked about his moving to work for WWE, and Gene joked that he did it because of greed but then he said he liked Vince’s vision . Gene said the springboard for WWE was MTV and Wrestlemania. When asked about being recognized, and being noticed, Gene said there was notoriety and said he got stopped in airports, and hotels. He said it was like a Gold rush stage. He added that it was pretty tough to miss Hogan and Macho Man in an airport.

Korderas asked about Chemistry with Bobby Heenan, and Gene said he loved to work with Heenan. Gene mentioned that he had just spoken to Heenan and mentioned Heenan’s health problems. Okerlund said he loved Bob’s quick wit. Ocal then asked if he had the desire to be a play by play man, and, Gene said no. He said doing that and backstage interviews also gets too busy. He said he has done play by play and ring announcing in AWA. He said that a man can’t wear two pairs of shoes so to speak.

As an employee of WWE, Gene said he does a lot of classics for their classics series. He did a Hall of Fame show about Mad Dog Vachon for WWE. He said he is doing a lot of voice work for syndicated programs. WWE cranks out a lot of product. Gene said that a lot of the syndicated programs don’t air in the US. Gene said he used to do Madison Square Garden Classics. He then said he shows up for Wrestlemania, and the Hall of Fame. He did a backstage interview with the Rock last Mania. He said he never worked with the Rock, and he told the Rock later that they would have made a lot of money together.

Gene was asked about Cena/Rock being announced a year in advance. He thought it was money in the bank. Gene said he thought it was something both Rock and Cena wanted to do. He said that the Rock wants to make a statement. Gene put over Fan Axxess, and the Hall of Fame. He mentioned Edge’s hall of fame induction. He said Edge still had the fire in the belly, and if it were his choice, he would be out in the ring rather than in the Hall, but his career was cut short due to injury. Ocal mentioned that he just interviewed Edge, and how Edge said he felt “old” but was very honored by being selected for induction

Orca said some inductees are jealous that Flair is going to get a second ring since he is going to be inducted again as a member of the Four Horsemen. Gene didn’t think it was a big deal and said Flair was a great talent and put over the Horsemen..

Orda and Gene put over the Legends House on the upcoming WWE Network. Gene said there will be a script to get from point A to point B so there is some sort of plot.

Gene was asked the difference between WWE back then and now: Gene said there is no organization like WWE and put over Vince McMahon, and Vince’s vision. He talked about watching wrestling in the 50s where wrestlers had potbellies to now where wrestlers are in shape and more athletic. He also went into detail about how the writers are very involved in the product .

Near the end of the interview, Gene Orkerlund confirmed a story about a city called Calluett in Canada with a restaurant called Mean Gene Burgers.

Finally, Gene said he will be at WrestleMania and WrestleReunion. He put over Jack Tunney. He said he has no Twitter or Facebook account.

Terri Bey currently blogs for about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for Terri can be found here at Facebook- and at Twitter-

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WWE Website Ranks The Top 25 WWE Managers

June 14, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Did Captain Lou Albano come in first on the list of top managers? has put out a brand new Top 25 list on my favorite subject, pro wrestling managers. The list ranks the Top 25 WWE Managers that like most lists compiled by the WWE, will leave you scratching your head.

Now I am not going to get all crazy and start ranting and raving like some fans who take these lists very seriously. I don’t. It is always important to keep in mind who compiled this list and of course, the WWE will always try and revise wrestling history. Also keep in mind that this is a list of WWE managers and not pro wrestling managers.

One of my all time favorite pro wrestling managers tops the list. WWE Hall of Fame manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan comes in at number one. In terms of storylines and success in the WWE, I can’t a whole lot of other managers that had as much impact over their tenure. The only other manager I could see making a case for number one is the guy that actually came in at number four.

My favorite all-time manager, Captain Lou Albano comes in at a disappointing fourth behind Jimmy Hart and “Classy” Freddie Blassie. Now if I were going to take this list seriously I would write a four page blog on why this is a huge travesty and Albano is better than Blassie, Hart, and arguably Heenan. But I won’t. I will say this. Albano managed more champions than any other manager in the history of the WWE if you combine intercontinental, world, and tag team. Not too mention, I don’t think there was a manager who drew more money for the WWE thanks to his promos than the old Captain.

Sensational Sherri Martel comes in at number five. I don’t mean any disrespect to Sherri, but five? I may be missing something but she only managed two guys during her tenure, and only had one title under tutelage. I think the pairing of her and Randy Savage was one of the best ever, but I wouldn’t put her above the Grand Wizard, Paul Bearer, and even Slick.

One of my all time favorite characters, the Grand Wizard comes in at number 6. He managed world, tag team, and intercontinental champions so I don’t have a problem with the ranking. Paul Bearer and Arnold Skaaland follow him. I don’t know if I would put Bearer in the top ten since he only managed three wrestlers in his entire tenure, but his guys did win a lot of gold.

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Old friends to the WWE Jim Cornette and Paul Heyman appear on the list. Both guys have world championships to brag about and certainly belong on a WWE list. Cornette comes in at 9 while Heyman comes in at a distant 12. The only injustice there is seeing Mr. Fuji and Sunny ranked between them. Miss Elizabeth comes in at 13 which is something debatable if you really take this list seriously.

The bottom of the list is fun because at this point the WWE is really reaching. The late Sir Oliver Humperdink comes in at number 20 which may be a little generous considering the Kahuna’s short WWE tenure. Michael Hayes comes in at 23, followed by Marlena at 24, and the Genius Lanny Poffo at 25. What about the Coach?

Two interesting names left off this list are Johnny V and Roddy Piper. Johnny Valiant was a big part of my childhood as a manager to the Dream Team and certainly deserved to be on the list ahead of people like Michael Hayes, Armando Estrada, and even the late Oliver Humperdink. Piper came into the WWE as a manager to David Schultz and Paul Orndorff. None of his “charges” won belts, but I would have expected to see the WWE throw him a bone.

Once again keep in mind this is a WWE list. Past lists have included former greats like Gary Hart and J.J. Dillon but they never managed in the WWE. If the list included managers outside of the WWE, I’d be shocked to see them off the list.

The list is a reminder of how much fun wrestling managers were when I was a kid. They had big mouths, big personalities, and were the focal points of some of the biggest feuds in WWE history. If there is one complaint I’ll make after reading the list it is that we don’t have managers in the WWE today (at least like the ones I grew up with). Bring back the managers!

The complete list of Top 25 WWE Managers according to

25. The Genius
24. Marlena
23. Michael Hayes
22. Armando Estrada
21. Teddy Long
20. Sir Oliver Humperdink
19. Stephanie McMahon
18. Harvey Whippleman
17. The Million Dollar Man
16. Slick
15. Vickie Guerrero
14. Paul Ellering
13. Miss Elizabeth
12. Paul Heyman
11. Sunny
10. Mr. Fuji
9. Jim Cornette
8. Arnold Skaaland
7. Paul Bearer
6. The Grand Wizard
5. Sensational Sherri
4. Capt. Lou Albano
3. “Classy” Freddie Blassie
2. Jimmy Hart
1. Bobby Heenan

Do you agree with the list? Where does your favorite manager rank? Leave a comment and let us know.

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