WWE Network Collections Collection 2
Join me as I continue to dumpster dive for hidden treasures.
Jonh Cena vs Bryan Danielson
WWE Velocity 2/8/03
Velocity delivers again. Cena has started his rapper gimmick, but has yet to develop his Word Life theme and jorts gear. Instead, he's wearing banana yellow couroroy pants with matching boots. Bryan is still a little pasty guy in all white, which only accentuates his pastiness. This was doing the brief period where The Cat was an announcer for the Smackdown brand. Cat keeps trying to explain the hippity hoppity life to Josh Matthews. Bryan shows some impressive strength bridging while Cena is on him, but Cena's power game lays him the fuck out. Bryan gets a couple of hope spots, but he is the local jobber, after all. Cena won with the protobomb. Cena's next opponent? Brock Lesnar. Bryan's next opponnet? Samoa Joe. The more things change...or something like that.
Shawn Michaels vs Jimmy Snuka
WWF MSG 1/31/92
Snuka was 49 heading into this match. He had made his return to the company in 1989, but since then, he's mostly been working house shows only. He's jacked to the tits. HBK had just turned on Marty a few weeks prior, and his gimmick is so fresh that he has a completely different place holder theme that sounds like it could be from a schmaltzy 1950s movie. It's terrible. Unbelievably terrible. This is his first test as a heel. HBK spends the first few minutes stalling and trying to piss Snuka off. "He has aroused Superfly." Lots of HBK trying to avoid Snuka , getting hit with chops or caught in headlocks, and then HBK uses a leverage move to dump Snuka to the floor. Looked very violent. This is definitely more interesting seeing HBK work out the new gimmick than it is as an actual match. HBK wins with a superkick/teardrop suplex combo.
Dusty Rhodes/Dick Murdoch vs Don Muraco/Billy Robinson
Fascinating seeing Dusty before he was the American Dream, and Muraco before he discovered steroids. Don is almost unrecognizable. Actually, Billy Robinsion is also close to unrecognizable, in that he's actually in good shape and has a tan going. He and Dick immediately go after each other on the mat. The first fall has both Muraco and Robinson down on their luck, and then Muraco makes Dusty submit to an abdominal stretch OUTTA NOHWHERE.
Fall two has the faces continuing to work Dusty's back. The Outlaws go after the youngster Muraco in this fall. They repeatedly throw him to the floor, and as Billy got hot and came in the ring, Dusty rammed Don into the post, winning the fall by count out.
When the third fall begins, Muraco is unable to compete, so Billy Robinson is going at it alone. Billy tries to win as quickly as he can with submisisons, but they keep getting broken up. The announcer is getting hot that the ref won't stop this shit. Do your damn job, ref! Billy reverses the brainbuster to hit his dope ass back breaker and win the match. Dusty wasn't fast enough to break the pin. After the match, Dick hit Billy with a brainbuster on the floor, which was followed by Dusty dropping a knee from the apron.
Hulk Hogan vs Andre The Giant
Special Referee: Gorilla Monsoon
WWF MSG 9/22/80
These guys had been feuding for the past 6 months, with the majority of the matches ending in count outs or disqualifications. Out of all of their matches this year, this is only the second to be televised. And it starts out hot and heavy, as both guys have some serious bad blood. Hogan's very hairy back is throwing me for a loop. Gorilla has to interject himself very early to keep these guys from cheating each other, but they just kind of ignore him, despite him being just as big as both of them. I've seen a good number of Hogan/Andre matches, but not any like this. They're both very chippy with each other, but Gorilla keeps forcing them to stop pulling hair and hitting in the ropes. Hulk works a bear hug for a while, and actually picks Andre up off the ground with it for a while. The back becomes his focus for the rest of the match. Hulk EASILY body slams Andre. Granted, Andre was quite a bit smaller here than he would be when they'd meet up 7 years later, but Hogan didn't struggle in the least. When he tries again, Andre falls on him, and unlike WM 3, Andre's clear win actually counts. Gorilla's count was a little fast, though. This is probably the best match I've seen these two have together.
Bret Hart vs Dynamite Kid British Commonwealth Jr. Heavyweight Championship
2/3 Falls Stampede 12/78
As is traditional for Stampede footage of the era, match is joined in progress. About 17 minutes in, Bret Hart is up one fall, and has worked over Dynamite's leg in the first fall. He continues with it in the second fall. Bret's curly mop top is hilarious. Almost clownish. Both guys have bloody noses. Dynamite is such a piece of shit. It's really interesting seeing how much of Bret's trademarks in the ring were already established this early on. Dynamite goes after Bret's leg for a while, and they're really knocking the shit out of each other. The second fall ends in DQ when Dynamite suplexes Bret over the ropes.
Ultimate Warrior vs Ted DiBiase WWF Championship
Pro Wrestling Summit 4/13/90
A crazy joint show from AJPW, NJPW, and the WWF held in the Tokyo Dome. Other matches included Bret Hart vs Tiger Mask II, Snuka/Santana vs Kobashi/Fuchi, Tenryu vs Savage, Jumbo/Haku vs Perfect/Martel, Andre/Baba vs Demolition, and Hogan vs Stan Hansen. It was a crazy card. For fairly obvious reasons, it is somewhat difficult to track down in any kind of decent quality, as rights issues kept it from being aired in full anywhere. But Vince and Jesse did commentary, so I assume at least some of the WWF matches got put out on a Colosseum Home Video release at some point, plus AJPW aired a very, very edited version for TV at some point. Warrior was just two weeks into his reign, and Ted can't buy the title from him. Ted tries to start the match early, but it doesn't work out for him. Ted uses technique to counter Warrior's power, and has the champ in trouble for a bit. Fans are very supportive of Ted. In fact, they boo when Warrior goes on offense. Ted does have an established history in Japan. This is a very interesting crowd. They're cheering and chanting for every move Ted does. Warrior of course fires up, hits a series of lariats, and wins with the splash. Fans gave Warrior a better reaction upon his victory than they did during it.
Bruno Sammartino vs Roddy Piper
WWF Boston Garden 12/7/85
After three and a half years away from the ring, Bruno would return to the WWF shortly before Wrestlemania 1, mostly in tag matches with his son David in an attempt to get David over. I'm going to assume that the deal was, "Hey Vince, my son wants to be a wrestler", and Vince responded with, "I give him a push if you come back for some shows". And then Bruno was still a draw, but no one gave a shit about his son. As tended to happen, Piper started running his mouth and being outrageously racist, which began a very heated feud between the two. Piper attacks as Bruno is entering the ring, and Bruno knocks him on his ass for it. Bruno is still in great shape here, which isn't surprising since 30+ years he's still in amazing shape. Actually in better shape at 80. Piper gets busted open almost immediately. All Piper can do is cheap shots, and he keeps trying to run away. Seems like Bruno might have responded with a low blow of his own. Bob Orton hits the ring to save Piper, only to get his ass kicked, too. Bruno tries to pull Orton's cast off, but the numbers game caught up to him. Now, earlier in the show, Pedro Morales had a match with Bob Orton, so it seems to me like this should have set up a Pedo/Bruno dream team match against Piper/Orton, but I don't believe it ever happened. Could have added Hogan and Savage and had a super 6 man for MSG/Boston/Philly. Anyway, I was dying that Bruno would fix his hair every 20 seconds, yet the end had the cameras do a slow zoom right into his bald spot.
Seth Rollins vs Kassius Ohno Florida Heavyweight Championship
FCW was so weird. Literally just running these super indy shows in a random Florida warehouse with like 50 people. This is just a few months before FCW would be disbanded in favor of the rebooted NXT from Full Sail. Chris Hero was yet to get fat again, Seth was still moshing by himself like an asshole. Some really half assed, half speed mat work to start the match. Feels like blatant filler. Things don't really open up until Hero blocks an apron powerbomb by wrapping the apron around Seth's head and stomping it. Hero continues to control the match wtih various strikes until Seth starts firing up. He's really a terrible face. Always was. Still is. When he's firing up and screaming, he just comes off as an unlikable twat instead of a face you want to see get the win. Seth kicks out of a roaring elbow to the face, then one to the back of the neck. Seth wins with the curb stomp. Title retained. Such an uninteresting face.
Next up is digging through Goodwill dumpsters for CHV tapes.