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Kurt Angle Talks New Deal, TNA, and Vince McMahon Conversation

October 01, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Kurt Angle is pro wrestling’s hottest free agent. The former WWE and TNA star is on the free market. Angle talked recently about his upcoming plans, talks with Vince McMahon, and more in an interesting interview.

The Olympic gold medalist hasn’t played his cards too close in that he has said on several occasions that he would like to close out his career in

the WWE. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be in the current plans as he remains unsigned. Yet according to Angle whether he signs or not, he has recently repaired a bridge with Vince McMahon.

“The only person that I really spoke my piece with, that I had a lot to do with in the past, and the problems I had and the way I left the company, I was able to speak my piece with Vince, and I’m happy with that. As long as Vince and I don’t have any issues, I’m okay with that. What I found out is that Triple H is pretty much running the show now. I didn’t know that, I really believed that Vince would always run the show until the day he died, but now they’re in a position as a publicly traded company where you’re not only answering to Vince and Triple H, you’re also answering to the shareholders.

So there’s a lot of decisions they have to make not just for themselves, but for the people that are invested in the company. So it’s a publicly traded company, and there’s people they have to answer to, but I know when I was there, Vince McMahon never had to answer to anyone. He made the final decision regardless, even when they started as a public company. Now things are a little tougher for them to make chancy decisions. The most important thing is that I got to speak to Vince, and speak my piece with him, and I’m happy with that.”

There is a part of me that has a bit of empathy for Kurt. Angle would obviously love to return to the WWE. As a fan I have no doubt in my mind that he can still bring a lot to the table. Yet his reputation and circumstances surrounding his last departure are such that Vince McMahon reportedly has major concerns about bringing Angle back. As a fan I’d love to see him but you certainly can’t blame Vince if he does pass.

Of course Angle isn’t the only free agent in wrestling. His former home TNA is shopping around Impact Wrestling. While there are reports that a deal is imminent, there are also reports that indicate TNA could be in big trouble if they can’t make a deal. Kurt was asked about this and who was communicating the situation to talent.

“Well at the TV’s we just did, Dixie Carter and ‘Big’ John Gaburick sat the talent down and eased their minds a little bit, because I think a lot of the talent were a little bit confused and nervous regarding what was going on. I had a private sit down with Dixie, she reassured me of what was going on, and what her plans were. It was a good meeting, it was a very positive meeting. She just knows that the next deal that they sign really has to help benefit TNA, in every regard.

When it comes down to it, it is about money, and it is also about how you can get promoted on that network. I won’t say that Spike did a bad job, but I will say that Spike could have done better. If it is going to be Spike, and I don’t know, because Dixie really wouldn’t say who it was, they’re going to have to do a better job. I know that that’s where TNA is right now. They’re in a period where they’re budgeting because they don’t have the money from the network to pay for the TV shows. I believe Panda Energy is funding the show right now, so yes, we’re going to have to do TV tapings in the same city 2 or 3 days at a time until we get to the point where we can go live again, and that will be when the TV deal is done.”

Finally, according to Kurt he has a deal. Angle told alternativenation.net that he has signed a deal and is very excited about his new contract. Unfortunately Angle wouldn’t reveal who the lucky suitor is.

“I went with the company that was going to really emphasize what I wanted, and that was a limited wrestling schedule. I would say no more than 40 dates a year, that’s what I wanted, that’s where I feel I am at in my career right now. That’s a lot of the reason, like I said, the company that I’m signing with is a company that really wanted to take care of me, both from a wrestling standpoint and a financial standpoint, and I’m very happy with it.”

Angle also reiterated that he won’t be doing anything until January. He said he won’t be cleared to wrestle until his knee is completely rehabilitated. That would seem to indicate a WWE deal is off of the table as he’d likely have to pass a physical to sign.

Check out the entire interview over at http://www.alternativenation.net/kurt-angle-interview/. It’s a great read.

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Hulk Hogan Talks WWE RAW Birthday Bash, Vince McMahon, and Roman Reigns

August 30, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Hulk Hogan continues making the rounds to promote the WWE Network and WWE 2K15. A recent interview heard the Hulkster talk about his RAW birthday bash, Vince McMahon, and the next Hulk Hogan or John Cena.

Hogan, along with John Cena recently spoke to Scott Fishman of the Miami Herald. I wanted to focus more on Hogan’s comments as Cena didn’t really say anything ground breaking other than naming Sting, Hogan, and Steve Austin as dream opponents. Hogan on the other hand opened up a little bit more.

One of the most memorable RAW moments of the year just took place a couple of weeks ago. The Hulk Hogan Birthday Bash saw Hogan reunite with friends and enemies from different eras of his career. Roddy Piper, Paul Orndorff, the n.W.o., and others paid respect to the Hulkster. According to Hogan, things did not go as planned.

I got rattled when they played the package because I didn’t know what they were going to do,” Hogan said. “Vince [McMahon] likes to do the sneaky stuff without telling me. I was rattled when I saw the package and really fell apart reflecting on that time. Everybody from Flair to Piper to Orndorff was supposed to come out and say stuff. Nobody got to say anything. When Hall and Nash got to the ring WWE was saying no promos. No promos?

“I thought you had to have Hall’s ‘Hey Yo.’ Then there had to be the transition to sing the birthday song to lead to [Brock] Lesnar coming out. The whole thing wasn’t going down the way we thought it was, but we had some old pros in there to pull it off. It was very emotional.”

That’s interesting although I am not sure I believe it. According to Hulk, he and the boys called the spot with Hall’s survey and the transition into Brock’s appearance. Not sure I believe that one, although with old school guys it certainly is possible. Nonetheless, it all worked and it turned out to be one of the most memorable segments in ages.

What some fans don’t know is that after RAW went off of the air, Vince McMahon came to the ring to personally wish Hulk a happy birthday. Hulk and Vince’s turbulent relationship has been well documented over the years and according to Hulk, he wasn’t sure what to expect.

I didn’t expect that,” Hogan said. “Nobody told me that was going to happen. I thought Vince was for sure going to throw the cake at me, and I was going to dive into the cake, but he was cool. He gave me a big hug. It was just a great night. It really was.

That would have been something. Vince throwing a cake in Hogan’s face. Vince has been known to be quite a ribber so Hulk may have been right to have his guard up. I am sure after 30 years of doing business together, there is some genuine affection shared between the two.

Hogan also talked about the next big star. Many critics of WWE booking will cite an “unbreakable glass ceiling” and criticize the company for holding guys back. While there may be something to it, Hulk believes it is up to someone in the crew to step up and he thinks that the WWE may have found that guy.

I’m just praying for someone to reach out and grab that brass ring,” Hogan said. “That’s what Vince McMahon and Triple H are looking for. They want someone to step up. I would love to see the larger-than-life characters develop again like the old days. I don’t get to talk much to the guys. Cena is my man, but this Roman Reigns kid has really stepped up. There is potential in him. He has what it takes.

I don’t know if Hogan really believes that or he is trying to help out the company, either way it is quite an endorsement. It’s funny because a lot of the legends will criticize the talent for not stepping up, yet the flip side of that is that this is a different business today and it isn’t as easy as they think to step up. Steve Austin says this regularly on his podcast.

Check out the entire interview at http://www.miamiherald.com/.

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The WWE Needs A Television Timeout…NOW!

August 30, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

There are times when the writer must step over a line and write as a fan, not some worried about crossing lines between journalist and a once-in-a- while raving lunatic in the stands. This happens to be one of those times. Please indulge me a bit as I must speak about the ongoing, committed cycle the WWE is running around – trying to please its fans without getting anywhere. I think that happens to be the definition of idiocy, but I would not want to accuse Vince McMahon and his cronies of such a title. What I would like, however, is to point out the obvious – the WWE and maybe professional wrestling in general needs a television timeout.

While it may seem a bit off kilter, and I may seem off my rocker (it’s 1:30 in the morning and no, I have not been drinking), but this might make sense if we looked at the significance of the possibility of time off air to recharge batteries, find the fight creative fit and allow the owner of the WWE to catch his breath a bit – he is 69 years old after all and for the past 30-something years he has run his company at lightning speed. A breather might be just what he needs.

Looking at the current state of the WWE, here is what you have.

  • A champion in Brock Lesnar who appears to be the immovable object, about to destroy John Cena again in the middle of the ring.
  • Roman Reigns apparently still waiting to become WWE champion, all the while he faces every WWE opponent there is and is left to compete in 6-man tag matches to take up time and give other solid performers face time.
  • A tag team division that could be very good, but needs one or two more teams to complete its importance to the company and television.
  • Two Divas angles that right now, are better than anything on the screen not named Reigns or Dean Ambrose. How it got to the point where the Bellas and Paige and AJ Lee are main event caliber is lost on me, but it is.
  • Two mid-level titles that are not going anywhere. Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus have main event talent, but cannot get a sniff of the world title picture.
  • And finally no consistency in planning, match prep or coming up with new ideas. Relying on the old cronies to perform is great, but it is also getting old.

OK, thank you for that rant and the chance to speak my deteriorating mind. There are some things that need to be released. That was one of them.

Getting back to what I was discussing, the WWE is weeding out talent from the main event, which is a good thing, however it also eliminates the idea that the small guy (Daniel Bryan and others) can win a big-man’s title. This falls back to McMahon’s principle of the early 1980s where the big, muscle-bound face or heel must win the title and prove dominance. Basically that “Size” equals “Money”. And we all know Shawn Michaels and Daniel Bryan killed that concept. So with that in mind – here is what I propose…

  • A one month moratorium of television. Improve the brand. Drop hints through the WWE Network. Make people miss the product that is shoved down their throats three nights a week.
  • Take away all titles. Have tournaments to crown champions.
  • Make Reigns the winner of the WWE World Title and create new feuds for him. This is the same thing McMahon did when he brought Hulk Hogan in.
  • Have clear cut faces and heels. Continue to create a huge mid card of cruiserweights because their talent sells at the gate.
  • Make the Intercontinental Champion the No. contender for the World Title. Make the United States Title the championship it used to be.
  • Bring back the Hardcore Title and the World Television Title. Both must be defended each week on Raw and SmackDown.
  • And most of all, take the WWE Title away from John Cena and Brock Lesnar.

[ad 1[I know it sounds like a lot, but it makes more sense than you think. Vince McMahon bought the company from his father with the intention of making billions of dollars with entertainment. Right now, this is not entertaining. Jess McMahon must be flipping in his grave. The company wants to create the past so bad, well here is the chance. Follow these steps, being back some of the reality of the 1980s and you could have a really solid product.

But for now, all you have is gush and misery. And with those two items, you really have nothing.

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10 Of The Most Corny WWE Angles

August 27, 2014 By: Category: lists, slider, WWE | Pro Wrestling

I will be the first to admit that there have been many times I have been embarrassed to be a WWE fan. Here is a look back at ten angles that were so corny, I hoped nobody walked in the room as they played out on WWE television.

We all understand that the WWE is entertainment but there are times where they go so far off of the radar, you have to wonder who exactly they are trying to entertain. To be fair, we don’t see goofy angles like these much today. Yet back in the 80s and 90s, they began creeping up fairly often. In Vince McMahon’s efforts to think outside of the box, he wound up miles away from his intended targets. Here are ten angles that while fun to discuss now, weren’t so fun to watch as they played out.

Papa Shango puts a curse on the Ultimate Warrior - This was the angle that inspired the list. I remember watching this as a teenager thinking I needed to find a new hobby. As a matter of a fact you can look back at the WWE in 1992 and notice a steady decline in business. Now I don’t think that this angle was the catalyst, but I think it represents the shift in product and fan reaction by fans like me who were turned off. If you don’t remember the angle, Shango was a voodoo practitioner. His gimmick was to cast voodoo spells on his opponents but the spell he cast on Warrior went to new levels. Warrior began vomiting and inexplicably bleeding from the “curse”. Thank goodness WCW was offering one of its best eras of in-ring product at the time as an alternative!

The SummerSlam 1988 Finish - Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage were red hot babyfaces in 1988 and put together what would become known as the Mega Powers tag team. The team went into SummerSlam against the odds battling the tag team of Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase along with Virgil and Bobby Heenan, and heel referee Jesse “the Body” Ventura. The Mega Powers needed a weapon and for weeks leading up to the match they bragged about a secret weapon. The weapon turned out to be…Miss Elizabeth tearing off her skirt and revealing your basic bathing suit bottom, covered up by a ruffled top. Even a horny teenage boy like me found this a big letdown. Hogan and Savage made teased that Liz would be stripping down to a “itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polk-a-dot bikini” which was hardly the case. Andre and his team were so “distracted” by this that it led to Hogan and Savage beating them. Now the idea that Andre and the “world’s richest man” would be distracted by a woman barely showing a rudimentary bathing suit was beyond ridiculous. Sure this wasn’t as corny as most of the others but it still sticks in my crawl for some reason!

Vince McMahon Dies - This one is legendary on so many levels, and not all for good reason. Vince was down on his luck after losing ECW and was rewarded with Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night. The Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night episode of RAW ended with Vince getting into a limousine that blew up. What really blew up was the angle. The day after RAW the WWE stock price dropped with people really believing that Vince died. Quite frankly you shouldn’t be allowed to buy stocks if you believed that. The next RAW was scheduled to be a tribute show to Vince, “tastefully” reminiscent of real tribute shows. Earlier that day news broke of the Chris Benoit murder/suicide and RAW turned into a real tribute show, abruptly dropping the entire, ridiculous storyline.

Mr. McMahon vs. God - Let’s stay with Vince for a second. For a guy that is regarded as a genius, he has sure been booked in some stupid angles. There aren’t many other moments that made me want to turn off RAW more than Vince cutting promos on God. As part of his feud with Shawn Michaels, Vince mocked HBK’s religious convictions and even booked a match with him and God as his tag team partner. Throughout the feud Vince made outlandish remarks against religion, likely angering many parents who no longer allowed their kids to watch RAW.I was thoroughly convinced that Vince lost his mind during this angle and he may very well have.

The Katie Vick storyline - Hey, remember the time you saw a C.O.O. have sex with a corpse on RAW? I bet you have never seen that written about a C.O.O. before. Well way back when, Triple H in an effort to upset Kane decided to break into a funeral home, open up a casket, and simulate necrophilia. The WWE has never lived this down and nor should they.

The Dawn Marie-Torrie Wilson-Al Wilson Soap Opera - I am sure there is a good explanation for this because the WWE had some damned talented writers on SmackDown during this time, yet I never liked it. For a guy like me watching this in his late 20s, I wound up turning the channel all too often. The whole idea of Dawn seducing both sounds fun on paper but it was some of the worst acting you will ever see on WWE TV. Al of course dies after having too much sex with Torrie, a fate I am sure many A-Rod haters are hoping to repeat itself. I kid…I kid.

Bret Hart –Vince McMahon Car Accident - How do you take a blockbuster angle over ten years in the making and based on realism and turn it into just another wrestling angle? Let Vince and his crack writing team get their hands on it. The match stunk yet the buildup for this should have been the greatest since the WCW invasion. Instead the angle was mucked up when a car ran over Bret Hart and “injured” him leading into WrestleMania 26. The only accident here was letting the creative team get their hands on this angle. I don’t know if it is as corny as any of the others but as a fan watching it home, I was disgusted and less interested in the match immediately thereafter.

JBL owning Shawn Michaels/The Authority owning the Big Show - Both of these storylines were beyond stupid and since they were essentially the same, I lumped them both together. The idea that two guys like Shawn Michaels and the Big Show, still employed, wrestling in main-events for decades lost all of their money only to become “slaves” to wealthy owners was both insulting and incredibly corny. Not for one second did anyone buy any of this and the idea that this company not only did it once but repeated the angle just shows you how uncreative their creative team can be sometimes.

The Lita Miscarriage - Words can’t even describe how tasteless and corny this angle was. I am really surprised that nobody brought this up during Linda’s political campaigns, than again her opponents had plenty of ammunition. Lita was allegedly pregnant through an implied sexual assault by Kane. Family fun! Snitsky attacked Lita and it was implied by the announcers that he had caused a miscarriage. Snitsky even mocked the act by kicking a baby into the crowd. As disgusting as this was, it was very unbelievable. I felt like I was wasting my time when I watched it. Someone on that writing team has some bad karma coming their way.

Al Snow and Pepper - How quickly we forget the time that Al was fed his pet dog Pepper by the Big Bossman. Pepper was a Chihuahua that took the place of head at some point and became something of a mascot for Al Snow. That mean Big Bossman wound up kidnapping old Peps and allegedly cooked him up and served him on a nice dinner plate to an unbeknownst Al Snow. The fun didn’t end there. The angle led to what is probably the worst Hell in a Cell match in history, a Kennel from Hell match. It’s amazing how fondly we remember the Attitude Era today and how quickly we forget all of the duds like this and others on this list.

The Birth of the Hand - How about the time those two crazy kids Mark Henry and Mae Young fell in love? We could end the summary right here with corny but it gets better. It was implied that Mark knocked Mae up and the two were expecting. WWE cameras were allowed in the hospital room when the big event took place and what came out was…a hand. I am sure there was some kind of subliminal message here but the only thing I could think of was that the WWE was giving us all the middle finger to anyone gullible enough to believe that Mae was actually going to give birth.

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WWE Says No To Kurt Angle

August 26, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Kurt Angle’s dreams of returning to the WWE as a conquering hero will have to wait. A recent report indicates that while Angle would like to finish his career in the WWE, Vince McMahon and Triple H are taking a pass.

Mark Madden reports and Dave Meltzer confirms in the newest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the WWE are not interested in re-signing Angle. According to Meltzer, Angle was not only told no once but was told no twice by the two head honchos. Angle was reportedly blown off by Triple H and went over his head to the Chairman of the Board.

Angle then called Vince McMahon, but McMahon, playing good cop/bad cop, said that HHH makes the talent decisions. Madden reported that HHH wasn’t happy that Angle tried to go over his head. Angle pushed the idea of returning on a schedule similar to what Michaels worked his last several years, where he’d come in for specific shows and work very limited house show dates. Angle, 45 had told Madden that he felt he could do at most eight dates per month.

According to Meltzer, Vince does not want to “have an Olympic hero die on the WWE’s watch.” This relates to Angle’s battles over the years with substance issues. If you recall, it was Angle’s substance issues which led to his release from the WWE which landed him in TNA Wrestling. Recent negative stories about Angle on a plane (which I think may be a bit unfair) didn’t help his cause.

Angle’s contract with TNA expires next month. Angle told Jim Ross on J.R.’s podcast that he does have an offer on the table from TNA. Whether the offer is still good or not is another story. TNA has had a turbulent month in regards to the future of Impact. As of now they have no deal past 2014 for Impact. A recent report indicates that while they do have an offer, it is far less than they have received from Spike. If that is the case, could they even afford Angle at that point?

The other wild card here is Jeff Jarrett. Double J has been making rumblings about his Global Force Wrestling for months. Many speculate that Angle would make the perfect flagship star of the company with his contract coming due. Meltzer points out that Angle trying to get back to the WWE isn’t a good sign for the future of GFW as if there was a future he would probably just sit tight.

It’s easy for me to say because I am not running a company that is beholden to share holders but I think that Vince and Trips are making a big mistake. I think Angle has a lot to bring to the table and they could really use a veteran like him in the ring. Angle has been the only bright spot for me in watching TNA as the guy continues to be one of the most entertaining stars in the business in and out of the ring.

I think there would be some great opportunities for Angle in the ring. Matches against Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Brock Lesnar, and even John Cena make bringing him back a slam dunk for me. Steve Austin recently discussed on Dave Meltzer’s podcast the lack of veteran wrestlers in the WWE and Angle could fill that void, even if it was just for a couple of years.

At the end of the day it’s hard to feel sorry for Angle. He had more chances in TNA than he ever would have had in the WWE. Quite frankly the pressures of the WWE may not even be healthy for him as he battles those demons. Unfortunately we all lose out on this one.

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Happy Belated Birthday, Mr. McMahon

August 25, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

When you think of professional wrestler, who is the first person that comes to mind? You may think about Ric Flair or Hulk Hogan, maybe take a swing at Lou Thesz or even Buddy Rogers. But if Vince McMahon’s name is not within the first five mentioned, then you really know nothing about the business or are at best a casual fan. In looking at the history of this business, this once believed to be sport and how for 30 years (since he brought Hulk Hogan into the World Wrestling Federation) McMahon has been synonymous with the changes in the business that have made him he most influential person in sports entertainment. And on his 69th birthday yesterday, McMahon was still doing it and doing it well.

McMahon’s success in the ring are just as important to the history of the business and the company. McMahon played an in-ring character known by the ring name Mr. McMahon (which is said to be retired), based on his real life persona. He is a two-time world champion, having won the WWF Championship in 1999 and ECW World Championship in 2007. He was also the winner of the 1999 Royal Rumble. It is one of the few times where the success of a promotion (other than maybe AWA owner and champion Vern Gage) was as much based on the owner and promoter’s success in the ring.

During the late 1980s, McMahon shaped the WWF into a unique sports entertainment brand that reached out to family audiences while attracting fans who had never before paid attention to pro wrestling. By directing his storylines towards highly publicized Super Cards, McMahon initiated a brand-new revenue stream by promoting these events live on PPV television, a concept that would completely revolutionize event programming for all sports while catapulting the WWF into a multi-million dollar empire. In 1987, McMahon reportedly drew 93,173 fans to the Pontiac Silverdome (which was called the “biggest crowd in Sports entertainment history”) for WrestleMania III, which featured the main event of Hulk Hogan versus André the Giant.

After several years struggling behind Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling (WCW), McMahon cemented the WWF as the preeminent wrestling promotion in the late 1990s, when he initiated a new brand strategy that would eventually return the WWF to prominence. Sensing a public shift towards a more hardened and cynical fan base, McMahon redirected storylines towards a more adult-oriented model.

The concept became known as “WWF Attitude”, and McMahon commenced the new era when he manipulated the WWF Championship away from Bret Hart at Survivor Series in what is now known as the “Montreal Screw Job.” McMahon, who for years had downplayed his ownership of the company and was mostly known as an announcer, became involved in WWF storylines as the evil Mr. McMahon, who began a legendary feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin, who challenged the boss’s authority. As a result, the WWF suddenly found itself back in the midst of national pop-culture, drawing millions of viewers for its weekly Monday Night Raw broadcasts, which ranked among the highest-rated shows on cable television.

It is because of McMahon we all either like or hate the way professional wrestling is run. With his purchase of WCW, McMahon essentially monopolized the industry, and in effect, saturated the system – sinking smaller promotions like TNA and ROH. McMahon has also been slow to develop younger talent and have stunted the growth of the likes of Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Damien Sandow and Wade Barrett. He still runs the puppet strings backstage while allowing his daughter Stephanie McMahon and son-in-law Triple H to work the day to day operation of on screen drama. It does not get any better or any worse than that.

McMahon is still the standard by which every person in the business compared to and until there is someone who can succeed in his success, he will be gold standard, which is something he expects to be until he walks away from his lofty perch in Stamford.

Happy Birthday, Vince McMahon.

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Can Vince McMahon Save TNA and the WWE Together?

August 01, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Vince McMahon did what was best and worst for business when he bought World Championship Wrestling in an effort to control the industry. And by doing that, the wrestling, sports entertainment and business tycoon has given the fans some of the best and worst matches in the history of the industry. With no true competition in sight, McMahon is the major reason the WWE is in the financial and entertainment state it faces as of this moment – with no real sense of getting out of its own way.

Could a chance at a fresh start with new competition be the way to better financial and fan base prosperity? Could buying TNA Impact Wrestling bridge that “silent” gap and give fans another shot at diversity with new matches and storylines?

In May of 2001, when World Wrestling Entertainment bought the sinking ship down in Atlanta, where it was bleeding money and losing talent. Back then, it was thought to be a major coup for the WWE, as a brand and with marketing as well as forming a monopoly on the business.

“This acquisition is the perfect creative and business catalyst for our company,” said Linda McMahon, Chief Executive Officer of WWE Entertainment on WWE.com.

“This is a dream combination for fans of sports entertainment. The incendiary mix of WWE and WCW personalities potentially creates intriguing storylines that will attract a larger fan base to the benefit of our advertisers and business partners, and propel sports entertainment to new heights.”
“The acquisition of the WCW brand is a strategic move for us,” said Stuart Snyder, President and Chief Operating Officer for WWE Entertainment.

“We are assuming a brand with global distribution and recognition. We are adding thousands of hours to our tape library that can be repurposed for home videos, television, Internet streaming, and broadband applications. The WCW opens new opportunities for growth in our Pay-Per-View, live events, and consumer products divisions, as well as the opportunity to develop new television programming using new stars. We also will create additional advertising and sponsorship opportunities. In short, it is a perfect fit.”

When it was announced that Spike TV had cancelled the contract with the Tennessee-based promotion, was thought to be the end of the small niche-wrestling outfit started by Jeff Jarrett years ago. And out of the blue, it came to me that this might be the same situation as the one with WCW – but even better, where McMahon could not only help the fledgling operation, and help himself in the process.

Yes, history can repeat itself, and this time in a good way.

TNA has a deal with Spike TV that runs through October.But after the contract expires, who knows what will happen. According to the story on inquisitor.com, “If TNA is not picked up, it will struggle to survive. What the company makes on television alone helps them stay afloat. While Panda Energy helps pay many of the expenses for TNA, they cannot sustain a roster without a Spike deal.”

As someone in favor of a “potential” move by WWE, which has not been rumored or talked about, it would mean a homecoming for Kurt Angle and Gail Kim and the Dudleys and a potential swoon for Austin Aries, Bobby Roode and Eric Young. It could create new storylines, new rivalries and inject some life into the business and rake in money.

It could also lend some credence to the idea that “Wrestling Matters,” a brand that TNA has used in the past as a marketing tool to show wrestling for what it was before the McMahon days and how we as youngsters remembered it from before.

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10 Hulk Hogan Alternatives To Be WWF Champion In 1984

July 29, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

I am not a big fan of “what ifs” but a recent podcast discussion got me thinking. What would have happened in 1984 if Hulk Hogan wasn’t available to the WWF? Who could Vince McMahon Jr. pick to beat the Iron Sheik and lead his quest to take over the world of pro wrestling?

A recent podcast at drew my attention to this topic. The guys had a fascinating discussion about the best choice to become WWWF champion in 1978 if Bob Backlund wasn’t available? The podcast immediately prompted me to think about the same question but in regards to a Hogan-alternative. Thus it didn’t take long to stop the podcast and start typing this blog.

So here is the scenario. Hulk Hogan is unavailable to Vince McMahon for whatever reason. Whether he is injured or preferred to stay in the AWA and work his New Japan gig, he isn’t coming. Vince has a grand plan which is to kill the territories and take the WWF out of the northeast and spread his product all over the United States. Bob Backlund’s time is up, the Iron Sheik has been picked as a transitional champion, now what does Vince do?

I looked back at the era and quite frankly it was very difficult to find more than a handful of guys that could have even came close to filling Hogan’s shoes. That said let me be clear. I don’t think any of these guys would have had the impact on the business that Hogan had. Like him or not he was truly one of a kind and irreplaceable. So what I had to do was look at the next best alternative and who was available.

This list is certainly open for argument. It’s completely subjective to my opinion and I’d love to hear from you in the comments area if you feel different or agree with the choices. So let’s slip into Vinnie Mac’s shoes, evaluate the lay of the land, and take a look at his ten best options to captain the WWF ship.

Dusty Rhodes - In Dusty’s autobiography he claims that Vince McMahon Sr. asked him to be his top guy during national expansion. Nobody will ever be able to confirm that so take it what it is worth, especially since Vince Sr. wound up selling to his son anyway. Yet even with that questionable story I don’t have a doubt in my mind that Dusty would have been the best alternative if Hogan wasn’t available.

Dusty already had national exposure as he traveled around the country headlining for every territory. Dusty had charisma right on par with Hogan and was a better promo. Dusty could have reached that blue collar/common man that Hogan couldn’t. Dusty could also work his behind off and would have given fans the same show Hogan did minus the flexing.

Could Dusty have sustained the run that Hogan did? I don’t know about that. Dusty’s act was wearing thin in WCW/JCP when he left. Dusty was booked just like Hogan and fans didn’t get tired of Hogan for several years. If you look at Dusty’s run in JCP/WCW I’d say right at about mid-1988 he started losing some of his appeal. That would have given Dusty a four-year run on top. It would have been tough to keep him going after that but I can’t think of anyone better than the Dream for this top job.

Kerry Von Erich - Now the chances of getting Kerry would have been slim to none since Fritz was still in business but you really never know. What if Vince cut Fritz in on a deal that Fritz couldn’t refuse? I have to think that Vince and Fritz could have come up with some common interests to make a deal. In 1984 I don’t know if there was a more marketable guy on top than Kerry. Take his personal issues out of the equation and I could argue that he may have had just as much if not more success on top than Hogan. He had a phenomenal look, he had youth going for him, he could certainly work on par with Hogan, he had some of the best charisma in the business, yet the only thing missing was his promos. I think he could have captured that teenage girl audience on a national level that even Hogan couldn’t do.

Now could Kerry have had a five-year run on top like Hogan did? He could have but I don’t know if he would have been able to sustain the popularity that Hogan had. The promos would have really hurt after a few years. It also has to be noted that his personal issues would have caught up with him and it wouldn’t have been pretty for Vince. I love the thought of Kerry as the Hogan-guy but there was a ton of risk to go with that potential reward.

Jimmy Snuka - Here is where we dip a bit from our 1-As. I don’t think Snuka would have had anywhere near the success of Dusty or Kerry. Snuka was unquestionably the most popular guy in the WWF before Hogan arrived. Fans were clamoring to see Snuka take a title, a title he was never able to win in the WWF. The biggest problem with Snuka was his outside of the ring issues, the same issues that precluded him from an intercontinental title run.
I think he would have been fine as an interim champion for a few months, but he would have had a really short shelf life. His act was pretty one-dimensional and I don’t know if he would have been able to mesh with the new talent coming in. I certainly couldn’t see him appealing to the Rock and Wrestling crowd that Dusty or Kerry could have. He could have been an emergency choice if Hogan no-showed but he wasn’t the answer.

Andre the Giant - Andre is an interesting name as he was even brought up in the podcast as a potential Backlund-alternative in 1978. I thought of Andre immediately as you’d have a guy that was truly the unbeatable champion on top. I think like Snuka, he would have been a great emergency choice but would have had a very short shelf-life in that spot.

There was a reason you didn’t see Andre in your town every month. He didn’t have that kind of appeal. He would have burnt out quickly coming back monthly and let’s be honest. His health was already deteriorating at this point. There is no chance he would have physically been able to endure a lengthy run at the top. The one intangible I do think Andre could have brought that the others could not is that the guy who beat Andre for the belt was going to be an instant legend. You can’t say that about anyone else here. Andre would have made a great champion to transition a new guy like Paul Orndorff or Randy Savage into a credible top star. Other than that and some great houses for the first few months I don’t see it working over the long haul.

Barry Windham - To me Barry Windham would have been a great investment. Barry wasn’t a guy that was going to fill that spot immediately like a Dusty, Kerry, or even Snuka. But, you could have brought Barry in, introduced him, given Sheik a few more months with the title, and had B.W. pull off a major upset on his way to the races.

By 1984 Barry was one of the best workers in the country. He was already on his way to the WWF in a few months. Barry had the size, look, skill, charisma, and could cut some great babyface promos at this stage in his career. I don’t know if he could have related to the Rock and Wrestling crowd like some others, but I think he would have been passable. Unfortunately Barry always seemed to have his personal issues which prevented him from ever getting “the run” anywhere. I can’t help but think he would have imploded here as well.

Sgt Slaughter - If you lived this era of wrestling like I did, you know that Slaughter gave Hogan a hell of a run for his money for that top babyface spot. Now keep in mind that Slaughter had not turned babyface yet at this point so nobody would have truly known his potential. Yet with the hindsight of history I think we can all agree he would have made a great alternative.

Think about it. Vince could have booked that same Sheik-Slaughter angle yet now the storyline would have the WWF world championship in the balance. The feud as hot as it was would have been even hotter. Slaughter was a great worker and there is no doubt he connected with fans. I do think his act would have been very short lived as WWF champion. I just don’t see Slaughter sustaining that same level of popularity for five years. Slaughter’s run while hot, was incredibly brief so we’ll never truly know. I do know that he never connected after he left the WWF the same way he did in the WWF. He would have been a fantastic choice but only for about a year.

Roddy Piper - Roddy Piper would have been the most intriguing choice on this list. Roddy was still new to the company and was immediately one of the hottest heels in the business. So for this to work he would have either had to go babyface sooner than he should have or beaten another transition guy (who beat Sheik, maybe Snuka or even Andre?). There are a lot of moving parts here but I think Roddy could have done some big things in that spot.

Roddy was a successful babyface in several territories throughout his career. There is no denying that his promos would have compensated any deficiencies in Piper’s game. Unlike most of these guys, I think Piper could have had just as long of a run as Hogan, not as successful, but successful nonetheless on top. Again, his promos would have made any championship match interesting. Unfortunately there are a lot of segments Piper would have had difficulties connecting with which would have capped his impact.

Paul Orndorff - Like Roddy, Orndorff was still new to the WWF at the time and was on his way to becoming a very hot heel. For this to work Orndorff would have had to turn babyface and while he got over tremendously as a face, this would have been a little too soon. I am also not so sure he would have clicked with the many segments of fans that some of the others on this list would have. Still, he had the body, the skills, the charisma, and the promo to give you a viable alternative to the Hulkster in the interim.

Tito Santana - Hear me out before you laugh. Tito was one of the best workers in the United States in 1984. He was arguably the best worker in the WWF at this time. I dare you to watch his matches with Don Muraco and Greg Valentine and come away thinking anything less. If you wanted a workhorse in that top spot, Tito would have been your guy.

The big question is whether Tito could have connected with a national audience comparable to Hogan’s level? I want to say no yet when I look back at the time period he was getting a ton of heat in the intercontinental title matches. I think he would have made a fine temporary fix to the situation but I just can’t see him sustaining that appeal past a year if that. According to Tito, he was up for a title run when Vince put the belt on Bret Hart for the first time so this isn’t as crazy as it sounds.

Bob Backlund - What about staying with Backlund? He stuck around for a little while and fans were already accustomed to seeing him in that spot. He was still drawing big crowds although he was certainly struggling in some cities. Staying with Backlund would have been an easy choice if Hogan didn’t show up on that January night in Garden but he wasn’t a Vince Jr. guy. He wouldn’t have been the guy to take the company national that Vince wanted on top. As a transition champion, he’d probably be your best choice. I wouldn’t count on him for anything more and this comes from one of the bigger Backlund fans you’ll find.

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Five Reasons You Cannot Blame Kevin Nash for the WWE Collapse in 1995

July 28, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

I hope ESPN doesn’t sue me for this.

For those of you that remember, ESPN had a show called “The Top 5 Reasons You Can’t Blame” in-which they’d look at an infamous moment in sports history and defend those who were blamed for it. They covered subjects from Bill Buckner to Steve Bartman or the BCS for not having a playoff. It was a great show that I wish was still on the air, because it’s sure as shit better than watching Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless “debating”. It was also hosted by the eternally awesome Brain Kenny, who once again is much, much better than Bayless or Smith.

In 1995, the WWE was beginning to hype a “New Generation” marketing campaign, a fresh start for the company. Vince McMahon had just finished a lengthy battle with the federal government and the stars of the Hulkamania days were gone. Vince was hoping that Kevin Nash, a 6’11 monster of a man to lead the company through what could be a potentially painful transition period. McMahon had already pushed Nash in a big way having him defeat Bob Backlund at Madison Square Garden in eight seconds just days after Backlund won it. McMahon was hoping that Diesel demolishing Backlund with ease would set off fervor not seen since Hogan dropped the leg on The Iron Sheik in the same building.

The fervor never happened.

Before we start, I’m going to break down one of the biggest myths of Nash’s run and that is the concept that Nash was the lowest drawing champion of the modern era. Many cite the 3,039 average attendance number as the lowest but it was actually up from the previous number of 2,880 average attendance number. In-fact, the WWE still beat WCW that year in terms of attendance numbers as WCW’s average attendance number was 2,189. When it came to PPV buys, the company only dipped below 200k and this was with the start of the In Your House events (In Your House 4 and Survivor Series 1995) near the end of Diesel’s reign. WCW only managed to hit the 200k number twice (Superbrawl V and Uncensored 1995). In-fact, when the Monday Night War started, Diesel went 5-5-1 as champion. The company even made a $3,319,000 profit which was up from the four million dollar loss from 1994 and the company losing six million dollars in 1996. So yeah, take that.

Before we start, we’re going to look at two reasons that you can actually blame Nash, followed by the actual reasons why you can’t blame Kevin Nash for the WWE falling apart in 1995.

1. The Kliq: Undoubtedly the biggest factor against Nash, the Kliq ran wild in 1995. Nash was the top guy with the belt, Michaels was the apple of Vince’s eye; Ramon was in the upper mid card as a popular face, Kid had a secure spot as one of the better workers in the company, and Hunter had the protection of Nash and Michaels. The Kliq was able to maneuver Michaels being the number two face in the company, forcing Bret Hart and The Undertaker into mid-level feuds. Hart started out with Diesel and then slide down working feuds with Backlund(Ice cold after losing the belt), Lawler (Pretty good), Hakushi (Still good), Isaac Yankem (Not good) and finally an evil pirate who stole his coat. Hart is pretty much the MVP of the company in 1995, taking WrestleCrap and making it work somehow. Undertaker was stuck in an uninteresting feud with Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation and then had his face smashed in by Mabel and starting that feud. In an interesting note, both Hart and Taker had their own cliques, but more in a way of countering the rise of the Kliq. Hart ran with Owen, Davey Boy, Neidhart (When he was around, he left after the Rumble), Hakushi and Jeff Jarrett. Undertaker had his Bone Street Krew which consisted of himself, Yoko, Bearer, The Godwins, and most of the Million Dollar Corporation. The groups were willing to place nice with each other for the good of the company. The Kliq would infamously threaten to strike, refusing to leave their Indianapolis hotel room when the company was working a show in Columbus that night. The group more or less forced Vince’s hand going over the talent that they did or did not want to work with. Yes, they actually made Vince and Patterson fly from Columbus to Indianapolis. They hammered everything out over a meal at Chillis. I’m 100% serious folks. It would set forth for a showdown between the group and the roster that would accumulate with The Montreal Screwjob.

2. Nash, the worker: As a worker, Nash was not the greatest but he did work well with a certain type of worker. He worked well with smaller guys that could pinball around the ring and make Nash look very well. Nash had good bouts as champion against Michaels, Hart, and Jarrett, which doesn’t help as Vince is still pushing the monsters. The most notable example was the title defense against The British Bulldog at In Your House 4. Many people expected a decent bout, this was before Bulldog went through a knee injury and people were expecting Nash and Bulldog to throw each other around in a power vs power match. Instead, we got a rather boring match with Bulldog working the leg much to the crowd’s boredom. After a DQ finish, McMahon threw his headset down and verbally assaulted Diesel for putting on such a porous match, in-front of the live crowd. It was the beginning of the end for Diesel’s reign. I would recommend that you check out the Diesel/Bigelow match from the April 24th, 1995 Raw. It is one of the better examples of Diesel vs big guy matches that I can think of.

Now, onto the top five reasons as to why you can’t blame Kevin Nash for the fall of the WWE in 1995.

5. The Wrestling Depression

From about 1993-1996, the wrestling industry was at a low point coming off the Hulkamania Era. Vince was in the middle of a steroid controversy and dealing with a roster that had been purged because of it. WCW was still trying to find its footing and falling flat on its face from time to time. The steroid trial had done some major damage to pro wrestling, sponsors weren’t willing give their money to companies that endorsed putting chemicals into their body to make themselves look good. Parents didn’t want their kids watching after Hogan was exposed as a liar (True story) and profits from television/live events/PPV were down. You have to remember that the WWE went from having a toy deal with Hasbro to doing these awful BendEm figures that you couldn’t find at most stores. I got a good majority of mine at a dollar store. Wrestling when from being in to being out faster than you can say WHATTAMANUEVER. Even WCW felt the brunt of this after they signed up Hogan then Savage, but even those two didn’t move the needle as much as WCW hoped for.

4. The Booking Direction of the Company

In 1995, it was both companies trying to go back and use the tried and true formula of the Hulkamania days. Dominant face champion who happens to be big taking on all comers and usually winning, while WCW was beginning the Hogan vs Dungeon of Doom feud. The fans were sick of this and the only company that was trying to do something different was ECW. With both companies trying to push a formula that the fans didn’t want since they had seen it for such a long time. It wasn’t until the nWo angle that both companies realized that something new and different was needed. The WWE was trying to get over gimmicks of wrestling plumbers, race car drivers, mantaurs, workout enthusiasts, garbage men and supreme fighting machines. Yeah, those first few months of the Monday Night Wars were not the greatest time to watch wrestling on television. Watching Raw in this period consists of a good feature match followed by mostly unwatchable squash matches.

3. The Character Change

Nash had got over with the fans before he got the title by being a merciless ass kicker for most of 1994. He didn’t have much of a character; he was just a big guy who beat the crap out of you. So you’d think that they’d keep that part of the character when they gave him the belt. They didn’t, they sort took the edge of Diesel’s character, which was what got him over in the first place. In his Timeline interview, he brought up they had him put on a Santa hat and have him sing Christmas songs. They even sent him out to various events with the belt like The All Star game and had him pose for pictures with celebrities. You have the potential for a different type of face champion than what we’ve seen before. He’s not telling you to say your prayers, a psychedelic wildman cowboy or a nice Canadian; this is one big bad mudda fudda. I have serious concerns that when Roman Reigns get the belt, they’ll try and turn him into a Cena-lite. It didn’t work with Luger and Diesel by trying to turn them into Hogan and it won’t work with Reigns and Cena.

2. The Lack of Good Heel Opponents

A good babyface champion is only as good as his heel opponent and most of the heels they matched up against Diesel were not that good. Shawn Michaels was great, but the company made the rather weird decision to turn him face right after their first match. The problem is that the company lost out on potentially lucrative rematches on the house show circuit. The big WrestleMania rematch usually draws well for live events since you can it market it as “You saw them fight on PPV, now see them fight LIVE!” The match could also draw big numbers for the yearly visit overseas tour after WrestleMania. Instead, they got Diesel teaming with another face against Sid and another heel which doesn’t draw as well as Diesel vs Michaels II. You could have done a cage match gimmick to keep Sid out of interfering. After that, it was a steep downslide in-term of the quality of opponents. Jarrett played a good poor man’s version of Michaels (Their match on the 02/20 Raw is very good), Yoko could have been great but his weight gain made that a no go, Owen could only draw with Bret and Backlund was a bit of a styles clash. In-fact, Backlund was sliding down the similar path of other heel champions, doing jobs on the house show circuit. Waylon Mercy would have been an interesting feud, but Spivey was broken down by then. The less we say about the Mabel and that entire push, the better. Diesel might have been handed the worst deck of opponents in company history to work with. I always thought that Diesel as a monster heel champion with a good mouth piece would have worked, better opponents on the face side: Hart, Razor, Bulldog, Kid, eventual face Michaels and it all builds up to The Undertaker ascending from hell to end Diesel’s reign.

And the number one reason is….

1. Vince Kennedy McMahon

If you’ve noticed, the last three reasons could directly be attributed to the decisions of McMahon himself. So, he gets the number one spot for being the man behind these decisions. I also hold McMahon responsible since this is the year he decided to play it safe with the company. The free agent signings he did make were relatively inexpensive and while three of them (Goldust, Kane and Triple H) proved to be worthwhile; most of them were gone in a year or so. Think about it like this, Maxx Payne (Yes with two X’s) got signed over Mick Foley and was actually pushed for a bit. We’re still a year away from the signing class of 1996 (Foley, Austin, Rock) and WCW does the smart thing by raiding a good majority of the international talent that ECW started to book. He also played it safe by not doing something Nash’s run with the belt, either turning him heel midway through or possibly scrapping the run as a whole.

My other big problem with McMahon is that he let the power slide from himself to the Kliq. While Vince was willing to let certain talents have influence and power, this had never happened before. I can’t blame the group either, they knew that Vince couldn’t fire them or do anything like that, so take advantage of the old man when you can. Vince McMahon had been burned, he thought that Hulk and Savage were down for as draws and now they were helping to turn the tide in Atlanta. Vince needed to keep the Kliq around and did anything to appease them. The big problem would be it would implode on him once Nash and Hall left and Michaels was left to fend for himself.

I also believe that McMahon did not favor’s for himself when it came to the start of the Monday Night War. He was still taping Raw in smaller arenas while still taping in Superstars in large arenas and the production was rather bare bones. When Nitro premieres, you’re watching a product that emanating from large arenas with high level production values, a fancy set, new graphics and cards with main event caliber matches. Raw had been fresh and cutting edge for the first year or so, and then Nitro shows up and makes it look like something that was being taped from a television station in the south. That might be a little embellishment on my hands but Nitro looked sleek and modern. It was everything that Raw wasn’t and I know they were tightening the belt, but it was Bischoff doing what Vince had done to the regional guys. Show the fans a sleek product with all their favorites (Hogan, Savage) and take those territories fans away.

And it worked.

You may agree or let’s be honest a lot of you will disagree with me, but for Nash to get most, if not all the blame isn’t fair. Yes, he didn’t help himself with the Kliq or the fact that he could only work with one type of guy, but I honestly don’t believe that anybody could draw well in this time period. The wrestling industry was in the middle of the Hulkamania Hangover and wouldn’t get out of it until Hulk dropped the leg a year later.

I’m Robert Goeman playing Brian Kenny but I’m actually Robert Goeman, have a good night.

Up next: The Top 5 Reasons You Can’t Blame Garguilo for Hiring Robert Goeman.

Robert Goeman has been writing for CamelClutchBlog since 2014 and has written for FiveOuncesofPain and What Culture. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/RobertGoeman. After every article, Robert usually does “Talking Points” on twitter, bringin up points that didn’t make the article.

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CCB Extra – Hot Topics: Stephanie McMahon, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Lana, and More

July 25, 2014 By: Category: Podcast, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Freelance writer and published author Chris Illuminati and the CCB’s own Eric Gargiulo talk about all of the latest pro wrestling news and hot WWE rumors. This giant one-hour plus podcast also touches on a lot of old school wrestling with plenty of talk about the wrestling Eric and Chris grew up watching in the 1980s. The list of news and rumors covered in this podcast are…

  • WWE Battleground results and reaction
  • WWE RAW and the big angle featuring Stephanie McMahon getting arrested
  • The controversy surrounding Lana and Rusev’s promo at Battleground
  • Sting in the WWE, will he wrestle, and against who?
  • The future of Brock Lesnar
  • The booking of Stephanie McMahon and Triple H
  • Paul Heyman’s promo on RAW
  • Where is Vince McMahon?
  • John Cena’s longevity as a babyface
  • Rumors regarding possible legal action the WWE may take against CM Punk
  • And much, much more.

This podcast topped out at around 67-minutes. Check back soon for more podcasts from Chris and Eric!

Check it out and let us know if you want to hear more podcasts like this one in the future. Subscribe the CCB Extra podcast on iTunes at – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/camel-clutch-blog/id787421073?mt=2

Chris Illuminati is a published author and freelance writer and can be followed on Twitter @ChrisIlluminati.

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The 25 Greatest Moments From WWE Saturday Night’s Main Event History – The Classic Years

July 07, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

With WWE adding Saturday Night’s Main Event to its Network archives this week, fans of that age are no doubt thrilled. I speak for myself as well when I think of the joys as a kid of staying up late on the weekends to catch headline wrestlers in marquee matches on free television.

Sure, Monday Night Raw’s diluted the allure of that by running through matches with name wrestlers week after week until there’s nothing special about anyone, but things were different in 1980s. The weekends were filled with jobber matches, while the top guys were held apart from each other. Pay-per-view encounters were one thing, but the five or six times you got Saturday Night’s Main Event, you were provided with 90 minutes of must-see television, with Vince McMahon’s carnie drawl, Jesse Ventura’s cartoonish gravitas, Mean Gene’s hype-filled inquisitions, and the best of the 1980s WWE roster playing it all out.

Paring down a list to just 25 awesome moments excises much of the good-natured, smile-lame bits, like the 1985 Halloween party, 1990’s Oktoberfest episode, and McMahon and Ventura riding horseback. It also excluded my favorite bit of silliness that was Mr. Fuji singing a country song to prove that he was more of a redneck than Dick Slater. Really, you have to see it.

Listed below are 25 of the moments that made the show the spectacle that is still fondly remembered today, and provides a bit of an itinerary for the younger fans to see what’s worth scoping out from the bountiful archive.

NOTE 1: This list does not include anything from The Main Event, the five Friday night specials that aired between 1988 and 1991. Otherwise, “twin referees” and Savage walloping Hogan would clog the top of the list (in a good way). This is all Saturday, all the time.

NOTE 2: By ‘classic years’, that means only the SNMEs from 1985-92. Nothing from the forgettable 2006-08  run makes it – not that anything outside of Mickie “Single White Female” James betraying Trish Stratus merits consideration.

NOTE 3: I’ve chosen to list the airdates of each show, rather than the day they were taped. Since there’s OCD-historian types out there reading this (my favorite demographic), and those folks may ask why I chose airdates, it’s strictly for the magic of the Saturday connotation. For the rest of you with little time to worry about this sort of silly thing, please disregard.

25. DEATH OF THE SUPER NINJA (November 26, 1988)

Rip Oliver looked like your typical 1980s territory heel: bleach-blonde hair, non-ironic beard, and sleepy eyes that complimented a slop-eating grin. In many ways, Oliver looked like fellow Portland fixture Matt Borne, and appearance wasn’t all they had in common. Turns out, both men’s most famous runs in WWE came as mysteriously cloaked villains.

While Borne gained notoriety as the heinous Doink the Clown, Oliver’s stake was a one-night run as The Super Ninja, a masked fiend imported by Mr Fuji to try and thwart The Ultimate Warrior, and win the Intercontinental Championship. Like most generic masked baddies of the time, Ninja was dispatched in about two minutes, quick work for a rampaging Warrior.

24. THE MOVIE COMES TO LIFE (July 29, 1989)

In the Oscar-winning masterpiece that is No Holds Barred, Hulk Hogan (er, “Rip”) finally fights the menacing Zeus after “The Human Wrecking Machine” nearly kills Hogan’s brother, played by Jacob from LOST. Sadly, Jacob wasn’t imported into the WWE-world storyline along with Zeus, but another actor of similar renown would fill his shoes: Brutus Beefcake.

During a forgotten classic of a match between “The Barber” and Randy Savage, Sensational Sherri fetched Zeus on The Macho Man’s behalf, and Zeus helped Savage beat down Beefcake. Naturally, Hogan made the save, most notably whacking Zeus with a chair, only for the eventual Dark Knight actor to no-sell it. Hogan selling bug-eyed fear is always a hoot.

23. SNAKE HANDLED (May 2, 1987)

WrestleMania III remains memorable, largely for four reasons: Hogan vs. Andre, Savage vs. Steamboat, the crowd, and Piper’s farewell before leaving for Hollywood. The Honky Tonk Man and Jake Roberts had a decent match a ways down the card, which was amazing, given that it had to follow the Savage-Steamboat all-timer. Honky won, but the feud didn’t end there.

Roberts was squaring off with Kamala, who had Mr. Fuji and the masked Kim Chee (Kamala’s “handler”) in his corner. Late in the abbreviated bout, Kim Chee struck “The Snake” behind the referee’s back, and enabled Kamala to win with his patented splash. Kim Chee revealed himself to be Honky in disguise right after, but the feud fizzled, due to a Roberts injury.

22. SID WALKS OUT (February 8, 1992)

WWE’s sound-doctoring of 1992 Royal Rumble footage has always been laughable, even when I was 8 years old. The crowd clearly cheered when Sid Justice dumped an unsuspecting Hulk Hogan, although WWE added heat-machine effects (and re-did Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan’s commentary to call Sid a cheater, for some reason) to repaint history.

Hogan and Justice were slated to face The Undertaker and new champion Ric Flair on the first FOX edition of SNME, and it resulted in a decent formula match, with Hogan being imperiled instead of his partner. There’d be no heroic comeback, as Justice walked out on an ailing Hogan, and threatened to strike an injured Brutus Beefcake, which Heenan delighted in.

21. ANDRE’S LAST GOOD MATCH (November 25, 1989)

Through rose-colored lens, the Hulk-Andre WrestleMania III epic comes closer and closer to a five star rating with each passing year. His matches since don’t get the same consideration, as an aging, creaking Andre the Giant was sad to watch, with all due respect. It’s rare to find a truly enjoyable match in his WWE homestretch, with this bout as the rare exception.

Andre clashed with Heenan Family nemesis Ultimate Warrior for the Intercontinental gold, and what ensued was a shockingly quick-paced eight minute match, ending with a DQ win for the Warrior. Warrior’s 2014 DVD collection includes this match, and hindsight has been much kinder to not just Warrior’s workrate in general, but especially this gem among the dust.

20. FIRST STRIKE (March 14, 1987)

The road to WrestleMania III was paved by the lure of Hulk/Andre, and this Saturday edition was recorded from Detroit five weeks before the PPV (airing just two weeks before the big money showdown). To sweeten the pot, Hogan and Andre were entered in a 20 man battle royal, all but guaranteeing that the icons would lock horns before the championship bout.

Earlier in the battle, Andre bloodied “Leaping” Lanny Poffo to the point where the eventual Genius was gurney’d out of ringside. After Hogan eliminated turncoat Paul Orndorff, Andre landed his mammoth headbutt on the champion, and astonished fearful children nationwide by easily dumping their hero over the top rope. A simple twist to fuel the big match.

19. MACHO MAN AND THE HITMAN GUT IT OUT (November 28, 1987)

Bret Hart was merely a tag team wrestler, and Honky Tonk Man-flunkie, when “The Hitman” was programmed against the penthouse-level Macho Man Randy Savage. The two were given an impressive duration of time for 1987 (12 minutes) to work a story centered on Hart attacking Macho’s leg. This would be Hart’s biggest litmus test in WWE to that point.

The match was tremendously executed, but with a caveat: both men were injured during the bout. Hart cracked his heel on a bump to the outside, and in return (though obviously not intentionally), Hart slammed Savage’s bare foot/ankle into the ringpost as the story called for, and badly hurt Savage as well. Both consummate pros carried on to a great showing.

18. HARDCORE HARLEY (March 12, 1988)

Perhaps it’s a bit inappropriate to list an eventual career-ending injury among great moments, but the spectacle deserves mention. Harley Race’s status of one of the toughest individuals in wrestling history often goes unquestioned, and is playfully referenced, often to Chuck Norris and Bill Brasky levels. Race proved said toughness against Hulk Hogan.

The story was that Hogan was beyond irate after the screwjob that cost him the WWE Title, and engaged in a frenzied brawl with Race. As the battle wore on, Hogan lay prone on a table, and Race leapt at him, but the Hulkster moved, and “The King” took the bump with his abdomen, sustaining a severe hernia. Still, Race finished the match, with none the wiser.

17. HOBBLED HOT ROD (October 4, 1986)

By 1986, Rowdy Roddy Piper had shed his image as the most reviled bad guy of WWE’s mainstream rise, and was now a revered icon, about on the level of old rival Hogan. Even with the change of alignment, it was still a weird image to see Piper make the save for Hogan, when The Hulkster was being assaulted by Paul Orndorff and “Adorable” Adrian Adonis.

Adonis was Piper’s new target, following an assault by Adonis, Cowboy Bob Orton, and Don Muraco on the set of Adonis’ “Flower Shop” talk segment, and Piper sustained a leg injury. Despite being hobbled with the injury, a now-galvanized Piper was made to not only save Hogan, but also defeat Iron Sheik in under a minute the same night, all on just one good leg.

16. NINE WILD MINUTES (March 11, 1989)

Talk about a match made in heaven. Take The Rockers, wrestling’s most spectacular aerial combo of the day, and pit them with Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, the epitome of brawn, science, and ring psychology in one nifty package. Tell them to pack their best material in about nine minutes of time, and watch as they blow everyone away.

It’s possibly the greatest match from a star-rating standpoint in the show’s history, with false-finishes, relentless action, and the expected creativity (a pinfall reversal sequence that would become standard in eras future). The bout ended with a double count-out, and the feud wouldn’t be blown off until November when the Busters left, but this was its pinnacle.

15. MURDEROUS ANDRE (January 2, 1988)

When booking someone to be a giant, it’s imperative to make him look as infallible as possible. Building to the Hogan-Andre rematch on The Main Event, Andre stood ringside for fellow Bobby Heenan-heavy King Kong Bundy in a match with the champ. Hogan won with the ‘Atomic Leg’ after sustaining two Avalanches, a mere prelude to the real fun.

With “Real American” blaring, Andre stormed the ring and began assaulting Hogan, applying his vicious chokehold. The British Bulldogs, Strike Force, Jake Roberts, and Junkyard Dog attempted to rescue Hogan, all unable to free Hulk. Jim Duggan struck Andre with a 2X4, allowing the faces to pull Hogan to safety, but it made Andre look like a true killer.

14. THE DRAGON LIVES (January 3, 1987)

The fuse of the Randy Savage-Ricky Steamboat Intercontinental Title feud was lit when Savage wounded Steamboat’s larynx, via usage of the metal guardrail, as well as the ring bell. Steamboat was put out of commission, and the caustic Savage whooped it up that he’d apparently ended the career of the biggest threat to his title. Or so he thought!

During a title defense against George “The Animal” Steele, Savage was as astonished as anyone when Steamboat made an unannounced appearance, making clear his intent to exact revenge. Steamboat also prevented Savage from injuring Steele with the bell, and the confrontation set the stage for WWE’s match of the decade at WrestleMania III.

13. BEGINNING OF A SHORT-LIVED FRIENDSHIP (May 11, 1985)

And you thought Kane and The Undertaker had a complex relationship. Take away the ghoulish and macabre elements of their on-again/off-again bond, and it’s fairly similar to Hulk Hogan’s connection to “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff in the 1980s. After Orndorff was blamed for losing the WrestleMania main event, Hogan reached out sympathetically.

On SNME’s maiden episode, Hogan retained the WWE Championship by DQ over Bob Orton when Roddy Piper interfered. Mr. T tried for the save, but the heels beat him down as well. That left Orndorff to hit the ring, clearing it of his former friends. The sight of “Mr. Wonderful” posing with Hogan and Mr. T remains an unusual image thirty years later.

12. ACCIDENTAL CLOTHESLINE (January 27, 1990)

Days after Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior, the company’s singles champions, had a time-stopping confrontation in the Royal Rumble match, the two were teamed against Mr. Perfect and The Genius. Hogan scored the pin on Genius, and that seemed to be that, but the post-match activity would set the stage for what was termed “The Ultimate Challenge”.

While the good guys celebrated before their fans, Perfect and Genius attacked them. Hogan went down, but Warrior went on a rampage, clotheslining everyone in sight, including Hogan by accident as Hulk stood back up. The miscue led to a confrontation between heroes 1A and 1B, with WrestleMania VI in Toronto tabbed as the site of their winner-take-all match.

11. REIGN-BUSTERS (July 29, 1989)

On the NBC version of the show, spanning 34 episodes, this was the only title change. Demolition had reigned as World Tag Team Champions for nearly 16 months, a record that remains unsurpassed. Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, the Brain Busters, were granted a shot in a two-out-of-three falls match, after a DQ win on the May 27 edition of the show.

The Demos won the first fall after Ax pinned Anderson, but they were then disqualified in the second fall for excessive double teaming (the DQ ruling didn’t nullify the title change). With fellow Heenan Family charge Andre the Giant now looming at ringside, the Busters took the third fall after Blanchard struck Smash with a chair thrown in by the Giant.

10. SAVAGE LETS HOGAN TWIST (January 7, 1989)

As the Hogan/Savage “WrestleMania Rewind” episode on WWE Network demonstrates, Savage’s subtle facial tics and manic gestures on the road to turning on Hogan were a thing of beauty. All of the hints of paranoid reaction were there, and a viewer could sense that the WWE Champion didn’t really like Hogan, or his proximity to the lovely Miss Elizabeth.

Hogan was wrestling Akeem with Elizabeth ringside, when Big Bossman intervened after a ref bump, and the Twin Towers pummeled Hulk. Mean Gene Okerlund implored Savage to save his friend, but an oddly-calm Savage insisted Hulk would be alright. When Bossman grabbed Liz, only then did Savage spring into action, saving her, and not so much The Hulkster.

9. WHO HIT FIRST? (January 3, 1987)

Hulk Hogan and Paul Orndorff finally settled their acrimony inside the Blue Bar Cage, with the WWE Championship contested. Standard for WWE fare, the winner would be the one who escaped the structure, as opposed to pinfall or submission. While the NWA-nostalgiaphiles would call this the sissy way of winning, here it produced a pretty creative moment.

Hogan began an ascent early in the match, but a refreshed Orndorff took to climbing the other side of the cage. It turned into a foot-race, with both men jumping off the cage wall simultaneously. One official declared Hogan the winner, while the other claimed Orndorff was the new champion. The match restarted and, yeah, Hogan ended up retaining.

8. THE ULTIMATE DUO (November 2, 1985)

One month earlier, Andre the Giant teamed with the incomprehensibly-fascinating Tony Atlas in a DQ victory over King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd. The massive duo double-teamed Andre after the bell, prompting Hulk Hogan to make the save. Teddy Long wasn’t there to institute a tag team match, but the dots connected themselves, and a match was made.

Hogan and Andre are arguably (nearly inarguably) the most imposing tag team in wrestling history, and it was a treat to see two stars of their magnitude take on Bundy and Studd in a Halloween-themed edition of SNME. The match ended in another disqualification via double-teaming, but Hogan and Andre would clear the ring in standard babyface fashion.

7. THE HARDCORE TITLE IS BORN (November 25, 1989)

Hulk Hogan was in the midst of an oddly-entertaining title defense against perma-midcarder The Genius. The bout consisted of Hogan mock-prancing around the ring in a manner that would draw angry diatribes from those clean-conscience souls at Gawker today. While it seemed that another Hogan victory was in order, a swerve finish came to pass.

Mr. Perfect struck Hogan with the championship belt outside the ring, and the Genius would win via countout. Perfect then absconded with the title and was filmed destroying the center plate with a hammer, his message to Hogan to give him a shot, or else. That fractured strap would be taped together, and fashioned as the Hardcore Championship in 1998.

6. HBK GETS THE GOLD (November 14, 1992)

SNME only ran on the FOX Network twice, but it featured one very significant title change. Mirroring the push of Bret Hart as a tag wrestler-turned-singles stud, Shawn Michaels took to his preening pretty boy role with ease, fusing much of heel-Ric Flair into his own unmatched athletic style. It was Michaels’ destiny to be pushed up the card, and it wouldn’t take long.

Already slated to wrestle Hart for the WWE Title at Survivor Series, Michaels was booked against soon-to-be-axed Intercontinental Champion Davey Boy Smith. The angle was that Michaels spent the match working on the British Bulldog’s back, and got him to strike an exposed turnbuckle. Michaels countered a superplex into a crossbody to get the title.

5. DRAGON FEELS THE BITE (May 3, 1986)

The injury angle that Ricky Steamboat worked with Randy Savage wasn’t even the most devastating-looking incident involving “The Dragon” in 1986. Jake “The Snake” Roberts jumped Steamboat before their scheduled bout on the show’s near-anniversary edition, and doled out one of the more devastating blows yet seen on WWE television.

Roberts jumped Steamboat at ringside, and proceeded to plant him with a DDT onto the bare concrete floor, which purportedly cracked the skull of the Dragon legitimately. Either way, Steamboat was definitely dead weight when Roberts threw his limp carcass into the ring, and allowed a freed Damian to writhe all over him, while Bonnie Steamboat watched in horror.

4. BUNDY MAKES HIS MARK (March 1, 1986)

King Kong Bundy dispatched of lower-level opponent Steve Gatorwolf (nice name, though) in under one minute, and then declared that he wanted Hogan’s championship. Immediately after the squash, Hogan defended the title against Don Muraco, managed by Bobby Heenan instead of a purportedly-ill Mr. Fuji. Heenan, of course, was primarily Bundy’s manager.

Heenan caused the disqualification, and then Bundy ran in, unleashing an assault on Hogan that consisted of three Avalanches, and two splashes on the prone champion. To build the lure of WrestleMania II, Hogan sold injured ribs as a result of the incident, and for the first time in his two-plus year World Title reign, it seemed as though Hulk was vulnerable.

3. HEEL VS. HEEL (November 29, 1986)

Macho Man Randy Savage was the company’s most interesting villain, and his Intercontinental Title reign reflected his higher card status. Jake “The Snake” Roberts just concluded a violent feud with Ricky Steamboat, and established himself among a swelling WWE pack. The two were pitted against each other for the title, with a surprising result.

Vince McMahon declared that fans would probably cheer the flamboyant Savage over the icy Roberts, but he and Jesse Ventura expressed surprise as the Los Angeles crowd cheered loudly for Jake. The two worked to out-heel and out-cheat one another before this slice of something different ended in a double-DQ, and a face turn for Roberts was drawing close.

2. HULKA-PLEX (May 27, 1989)

And they say Hogan didn’t bump. While your favorite springboardin’, rope-clearing daredevils put it all on the line with without any regard, there’s Hogan mechanically running through his safe moveset, while making the big bucks. Not such a bad thing, is it? In fact, when Hogan *did* take a risk, I’d argue it meant that much more. Like this particular cage match stunt.

Hogan was defending his regained WWE Championship against the Big Bossman within that Blue Bar Cage, and it seemed the hefty prison guard was safely on his way to escaping. Hulk climbed the cage, dragged Bossman to the apex and then (off the top rope, not the cage itself) superplexed Bossman back into the ring in a visual that’s still impressive today.

1. THE MANIA MEETS THE MADNESS (October 3, 1987)

Macho Man Randy Savage was centimeters away from regaining his Intercontinental Title from the Honky Tonk Man when the Hart Foundaton broke up the pin for the DQ. Afterward, the trio engaged a beatdown of Savage, but Miss Elizabeth intervened as Honky went for a crowning guitar shot. Honky then threw her down, drawing shocked gasps from everyone.

Elizabeth fled to the back as Honky landed the six-stringed smash, but wrestling’s first lady returned with a somewhat perplexed Hulk Hogan. Hogan saw the three-on-one, and then hit the ring, helping clear Jimmy Hart’s clients from the fray. Savage was reluctant to express gratitude, but finally did to Hulk, kicking off the Mega Powers with the famous handshake.

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

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Top 10 WWE Saturday Night’s Main Event Matches

July 07, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Saturday Night’s Main Event is expected to land on the WWE Network today. With 36 shows and over 3000 minutes of matches where do you even start? You would start with the ten best SNME matches as determined by a blogger who has seen them all!

I loved Saturday Night’s Main Event. It brought not only the expected feuds but even a few dream matches to free television for wrestling fans. The matches were always fast paced as the WWE generally would try to squeeze 4-5 in an hour which made for some excellent matches. The WWE Network is getting them all today so I thought it would be a great time to dig deep into the archives and create a must-see list for first-time viewers.

WWE championship: Hulk Hogan vs. Terry Funk (SNME #4) – This match rarely gets the love it so rightly deserves. Terry Funk was on his game here and believe it or not he and Hogan had tremendous chemistry. In another shocker it is Vince McMahon’s commentary that really puts this one over as he is disgusted with Funk. Funk chokes Hogan at one point with his wrist tape (something I am surprised more heels don’t do) and Vince loses it. As usual with a Terry Funk match you may find yourself laughing at some points at his shtick. I liked this one a lot and while not as technically sound as others on this list, it is hard to find a match as entertaining as Hogan and Funk.

Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase (SNME #15) – Bret was starting to break out here as he was on the upswing while DiBiase was on his way down. DiBiase is now managed by Sensational Sherri. These two had tremendous chemistry here and it was obvious immediately that they enjoyed working with each other. This was a real solid match, psychologically as sound as you will find for the time period. Roddy Piper gets into the mix as Bret’s advocate and the match winds up going to a double-count out with everyone fighting on the floor.

WWE Tag Team Champions The Hart Foundation vs. The British Bulldogs – 2/3 Falls (SNME #11) – I remember watching these matches at the time as a kid convinced they were real. These two teams fought so hard and stiff that even after 20/20 I was still questioning whether it was dare I say fake or not. These two teams are the epitome of this as you had four guys that brought their own styles to the WWE as opposed to today where you have guys adjusting to the style of the WWE. Jesse predicts a classic and he is right. The Rock and Roll Express vs. Midnight Express is generally regarded as the greatest tag team series of the 1980s but I’d put this match right up there with them. The Bulldogs take this one in two straight falls to win the WWE tag team titles. I’d highly recommend checking this match out as one of the first SNME bouts on the WWE Network.

WWE championship: Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff Steel Cage Match (SNME #9) – You will see why this is regarded as one of the best steel cage matches in WWE history. It may not be as brutal as some of the classics from the 70s and early 80s, but it is a lot of fun. Both guys work hard throughout the match to reach the floor only for both to touch the ground at the same time. Hogan wins the match after a restart. The crowd ate this one up from start to finish. There is a reason these two sold out arenas around North America and you’ll see exactly why in this match.

WWE IC Championship: Randy Savage vs. Jake Roberts (SNME #8) – What a fantastic match! This was probably my favorite all-time SNME match. I will tell you what. The more I watch these matches the more I am reminded about how awesome Savage was in his prime. He was truly a pioneer. This was a unique match as both guys were technically heels at the time yet Jake was slowly turning. Vince even remarks how the fans are behind Jake towards the end of the match. What I really liked about this is that Jake wrestled like a heel even though he was clearly positioned as the babyface. This match took place well before their famous feud several years later. The match had the sound psychology here as you would expect. Savage was great here as the heel champion coming close to getting pinned on several occasions. Jake goes for the DDT constantly only to have Savage weasel out of it. Both guys are disqualified as you’d expect in a match with two heels. If you want to see an old-school match telling a great story then go out of your way to watch this one on the Network.

The Brain Busters vs. The Rockers – 2/3 Falls (SNME #24) – It’s a shame that these two teams didn’t wrestle more because this rivalry had the potential to be one of the best ever between tag teams. The Brain Busters and Bobby Heenan have a heated talk before the match, teasing dissection. Vince and Jesse tease that the Busters seem out of sync. Jannetty scores the first pin on Tully with a sunset flip over the top rope only after a few minutes of action. Heenan yells at the Busters after they lose the fall. He pushes Tully and is then backed out of the ring by the Busters. The Rockers take advantage of this and go quickly into the second fall. Heenan walks out on the Busters. The Brain Busters take the second fall with a real weak finish as Arn clotheslines Michaels across the top rope for the pin. The third fall is the best of the three as the action really picks up. Jannetty blocks a piledriver attempt by Anderson and Michaels hits the flying bodypress off of the top rope for the pin. This was great but I think the drama with Heenan and the Busters actually hurt this one as it took the emphasis away from the action.

WWE championship: Hulk Hogan vs. Big Boss Man Steel Cage Match (SNME #21) – This was an interesting match as it was the end of the feud and more or less a promotion for Hogan’s movie. Nonetheless it is a great match as Bossman and Hogan really gelled in the ring during this time. The match is contested In an unbelievable moment Hogan catches Bossman after he has climbed over the top and is a few feet from the floor, pulls him back up and suplexes him off of the top of the cage! Hogan winds up ramming Bossman into the cage three times and dropping a leg for the pin in a fun cage match from SNME.

WWE IC Championship: Mr. Perfect vs. Tito Santana (SNME #27) – Many regard this match as the greatest match in Saturday Night’s Main Event history. I don’t know if I’d go that far but it is certainly top 10, maybe even top 5. I have always regarded Santana as one of the most underrated workers of the 80s/early 90s. Put Tito in there with another workhorse like Mr. Perfect and you have magic. These two extract the best from one another, starting out at an incredibly fast pace. At what point McMahon notes that this match can’t keep up for much longer in regards to the pace. Hennig slows it down after a few minutes. The crowd goes crazy for Tito’s comebacks which really add to the intensity. Hennig is his usual bump machine throughout the match. Bobby Heenan’s facial reactions are also priceless. Hennig wins surprisingly with a clean cradle in a thriller.

Randy Savage vs. Bret Hart (SNME #13) – I would dare say that this was probably Bret Hart’s first major singles match on WWE television. This match lived up to all expectations. The pace was solid, much faster than most WWE matches at the time. One odd spot in the match saw Bret get a 2-count on a piledriver, odd since the piledriver was an established finisher at the time. Savage was extremely generous here as the ascending star as he gave Bret about 50/50. Savage was an animal taking bumps all over the place including a backdrop to the floor. The only thing preventing this match from going down as an all-time classic was the short time they were given. Savage catches him out of nowhere with a small package for the win and the crowd goes ballistic. Ten more minutes and this match had potential to be a classic.

The Brain Busters vs. The Rockers (SNME #20) – Believe it or not this one is actually better than their two out of three falls match. The action starts off red hot in this match. It’s more like a Texas Tornado match early on. The match finally turns in the Buster’s favor after Heenan pulls down the top rope and Michaels hits the floor. The match breaks down outside of the ring and ends in a double-count out. This one is a little slower than the two out of three falls match which actually turned out to be a positive for these four.

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