The SmarK 24/7 Rant for Copps Coliseum Show – May 1 1989
– Taped from Hamilton, ON, almost home of the Nashville Predators.
– Your hosts are Gorilla & Lord Alfred.
– I decided to do this one to take a break from the relentlessly depressing dead wrestler book I’m working on, but then realized that most of the people on this show are likely themselves dead. Such is life. This one would be shortly after Wrestlemania V, on the “B” tour.
– Billy Red Lyons handles the ring announcing, which is pretty awesome.
Jim Powers v. The Honky Tonk Man
OK, now I’m confused. Jimmy Hart wrote both “Honky Tonk Man” and “Crank It Up”, and yet the former remains intact here while the latter gets erased in favour of generic entrance music for Powers. I’ll never understand the labyrinth of fine print that must revolve around the music on these shows. Honk does the Larry Zbyszko SEVEN MINUTE STALL OF DOOM to start, even going so far as to threaten not to sing for us. Heaven forfend. Finally, 2:50 into the match, CONTACT! Honky goes right with the cheapshots, but Powers slugs him down and Honky wants to think it over again. Back in, Powers goes to work on the arm and rams Honky into the corner off a hammerlock. Honky breaks with a knee to the gut and a rake of the eyes, but Powers counters with a rollup. Honky goes down to block, putting Powers on the floor so that we can slow down the torrid pace of this match a bit. Back in, Honky drops an elbow for two. We hit the chinlock, which again has Gorilla ranting about youngsters these days taking too long to win the match, unlike the old days. Good thing he didn’t live long enough to watch a Randy Orton match. Powers escapes and hooks the abdominal stretch, but Honky escapes with a hiptoss and goes back to his kicking and punching. Gorilla is at a loss to think of a finisher for Powers, although on the rare occasions when Powers would get to win, it was generally a powerslam. Honky goes up with a lazy fistdrop for two, and goes back to the chinlock. Honky goes up again, but gets nailed coming down and Powers makes the comeback while Honky does his goofy selling. Wayne has it completely on autopilot tonight. Powers elbows him down for two. Dropkick gets two. Sadly, he walks into the Shake Rattle N Roll neckbreaker, and his dreams are crushed at 12:10. On the upside, neither guy is dead as of this writing. *1/2
The Brooklyn Brawler v. The Blue Blazer
Brawler attacks to start, as you’d think that Owen would have learned that backflipping in doesn’t exactly give you the element of surprise. He comes back with the flip out of the hiptoss and sunset flip out of the corner for two, which sends Brawler to the floor. Alfred notes that a sunset flip is called a “double leg nelson” in Britain. Feel free to work that one into conversation in your daily life. They do the test of strength and Blazer does the rope-walk escape, then takes Brawler down with a rana and pounds him on the mat. He follows with an enzuigiri and Brawler bails again, so Blazer slingshots him in and works the arm. Hammerlock takedown gets two. Brawler tries brawling to get rid of the Blazer, and catches him with a clothesline out of the corner to take over. Blazer charges him in the corner and hits boot, and Brawler chokes him out on the ropes and elbows him down for two. Backdrop gets two. Brawler goes up, but Blazer pops up and slams him off, then follows with a dropkick to come back. Legdrop gets two. Brawler tosses him to buy time, then gets a vicious necksnap to knock him off the apron again. Good bumping from Owen there. The Blazer regroups and finishes with a moonsault press at 9:20. Owen was WAY ahead of the curve here, but the market wasn’t ready to change to that cruiserweight style yet. This was totally watchable and well-worked, regardless. ***
Greg Valentine v. Hillbilly Jim
Gorilla notes that Hulk Hogan instilled Jim with good feelings to bring him back to wrestling after the knee injury years before. I’d say he “instilled” him with something else, likely bought from George Zahorian. Perhaps the Wellness Policy should include good feelings, too. Hammer stalls while Jim dances with Billy Red on the floor. It’s been that kind of show. Hammer slugs away to start, but Jim cartwheels out of the way and Hammer regroups on the floor. From a CARTWHEEL? Geez, be a man. Back in, Jim grabs a headlock and grinds it until Hammer does a Flair Flop off it. Jim stomps him down and gives us some dancing, then quickly goes to the bearhug. Jimmy Hart distracts the ref to allow Hammer to thumb his way out, then adds some choking on the ropes himself. Jimmy doesn’t usually get involved that way. Hammer hits the chinlock, but Jim puts him down with a mule kick and an atomic drop. Big boot gets two. Jimmy gets involved again and Hammer rolls up Jim for the pin at 7:06. This went nowhere. *
WW[blur] World tag titles: Demolition v. The Twin Towers
Bossman slugs it out with Smash to start and they trade shoulderblocks, but get nowhere. Smash hits him in the gut and Bossman does a great overblown sell, bouncing around the ring to really drive the point home. Ax comes in and pounds away on the back to finally get the crowd going, and Demos start double-teaming the arm. Bossman brings him into the heel corner and Akeem comes in to pound away, but Ax whips him into the corner and the Demos go to work on him. The double-team in the corner and Akeem jiving on instinct is tremendously entertaining. Ax hits the chinlock, which allows Akeem the time to plot his strategy and poke Ax in the eye to break. The Towers go to work and trade shots on Ax in the corner. Ax bails to escape, so Akeem undoes the tag rope and chokes him out on the floor, and then Bossman uses it as well in the ring. He elbows Ax out of the corner and Akeem shows his dance moves while pounding on the back. He whips Bossman into Ax in the corner, then follows with a running splash himself, and things look bleak. 747 splash gets two, but Ax rolls him up for two. Ax comes back with a faceplant and makes for the corner, but Bossman cuts off the tag. Akeem charges and hits nothing, and now it’s the hot tag. Smash hits everything that’s fat and clotheslines Bossman, and the champs double-team Akeem with a clothesline that takes out the ref in collateral damage. The ref takes the best bumps of the match and calls for the double-DQ at 8:56. I wasn’t expecting much, but this was a lot of fun. **1/2
Richard Charland v. Terry Taylor
Gorilla notes that Charland is a “personal friend” of Terry Garvin & Pat Patterson, which has GOT to be a rib of some sort. Taylor works a headlock to start and takes him down for two. Criss-cross and Taylor dropkicks him, and Charland bails to regroup. Back in, Taylor misses a blind charge and hits the post, and Charland goes to work on the arm. He stomps away on the arm and chokes him out on the ropes, then drops an elbow on the arm. Taylor fights back, but Charland kicks him in the shoulder and chokes him on the ropes. He charges and misses, however, and Taylor comes back with the jawbreaker and backdrop. Charland misses a charge and Taylor gets the hanging chickenwing at 9:47 for the submission. That’s a pretty nasty move, actually. This was fine, with no resting and good psychology, so I have no beef with it. **1/2
Rick Martel v. Bret Hart
Interesting, as this is fresh off the heel turn for Martel and early in the halting singles push for Bret. They trade hammerlocks to start and Martel gets the best of that, showing his smarts. Martel works Bret over in the corner, but Bret fires back and then catches him with an AWESOME hooking clothesline out of the corner. Martel bails as Gorilla and Alfred gush about the clothesline for a couple of minutes, and he heads back in after a rest. Bret starts pounding on him and blocks a big boot, but Martel whips him into the corner to take over. He goes to work on Hart’s back with elbows and keeps at it on the ropes, as he’s certainly single-minded tonight. Bret fights up, so Martel thumbs him in the throat to put him down again and drops more elbows on the back. Rollup, but Bret grabs the ropes to block, then dives on top of Martel with a cradle for two. Martel comes back with a backbreaker for two, but Bret quickly catches him in a small package for two. Martel goes to finish with the Boston Crab, but we’re in Hamilton so Bret can make the ropes. Martel goes to the back again and tries a suplex, but Bret reverses to his own. Martel slugs on him with no resistance until Bret goes down, but gets backdropped. Bret hits an atomic drop, both ways, and follows with the legsweep for two. Backbreaker gets two. Bret fires away in the corner and just unloads on him, but gets pinned at 11:06 with the feet on the ropes in that most clichÃƒÂ© of finishes. Needed a stronger finish, but Bret was obviously out to show he could hang in singles matches. ***1/4
Mr. Perfect v. Tito Santana
Tito forces Hennig into the corner to start as they fight over the lockup, and Tito grabs a headlock and they criss-cross into a hiptoss from Tito. Back to the headlock and they criss-cross again, and this time Tito outsmarts Perfect by evading a drop toehold. So it’s back to the headlock again and Hennig chops out, then gets cocky and charges, taking a crazy bump through the ropes and landing on the floor. Oh, he’s on tonight, I see. Back in, Hennig finally gets a cheapshot and fires away on Tito, then chokes him out on the ropes before ramming him into the turnbuckle. Rolling necksnap and he goes to work on the neck, adding the kneelift and jackknife cover for two. Back to the neck vice, as I’m at a loss to explain how Tito’s neck can bend in that direction, and Gorilla points out that it’s also effectively a sleeper hold because it’s cutting off the carotid artery. Nice touch. Tito fights up, so Perfect waffles him with a clothesline for two. Perfect lays on the badmouth, but runs into a boot and Tito fights back. He gives him the ear-ringer, which Perfect sells with a somersault, and heads up with a clothesline for two. Rick Martel comes out to distract Tito, but can’t stop the flying forearm. It gets two, as Martel pulls him off, and Hennig gets the cheap rollup for the pin at 10:38. Gah, stop the cheap finish INSANITY tonight. Tito and Hennig is all good. ***
Intercontinental title: Ravishing Rick Rude v. The Ultimate Warrior
Warrior, as usual, attacks before the bell and starts pounding on the back. Suplex and he slams him a couple of times, then follows with a backbreaker to send Rude running. Warrior won’t let him out, but then changes his mind and throws him over the top himself. I guess he just wanted it to be on his terms. Warrior follows him out and rams the back into the post and then presses him into the ring. Back in, he whips Rude into the corner and calmly throws kicks, not giving into temptation to charge. He smacks Rude around and grabs the bearhug, but Rude quickly breaks and tries a slam. The back gives way, however, and Warrior rakes the eyes and goes right back to his bearhug. He stops to chase Heenan, then heads up with a rare flying clothesline for two. Back up again, and that’s gotta be a bad move. And indeed, Rude shakes the ropes and Warrior goes down the hard way. And he was being so smart, too! Warrior tries a charge but misses, but boots Rude out of the ring from his back and both guys are in rough shape. Rude goes up and gets slammed off, but Warrior tries a splash and hits knee. Rude follows with the piledriver for two. He goes to the camel clutch, but tries jumping on the back and Warrior headbutts him in the crotch and makes the comeback. Rude eats turnbuckle and Warrior faceplants him off that, and the clotheslines follow. Running powerslam gets two. Piledriver gets two. They brawl to the floor and you know how that goes, as it’s Warrior by countout at 12:03. Rude was a miracle worker for what he did with Warrior, calming him down and guiding him through a pretty long match by Warrior’s standards. **3/4
Battle Royale Main Event:
Everyone but Rude & Warrior returns to participate. Akeem is out 10 seconds in and then it’s the usual kicking and punching, and really it’s not worth recapping. Final four is Bret, Tito, Perfect and Martel, which would be one hell of a tag match. Strike Force EXPLODES and Tito tries to dump Martel, but Perfect dumps him instead, leaving Bret two-on-one against the heels. Tito hangs out at ringside, however, surely up to no good. Perfect and Martel show what good friends they are now, but Tito pulls down the top rope to get rid of Martel and Bret dumps Perfect for the win at 10:56. It was a battle royale, yay.
Solid show, well worth watching, but nothing to set the world on fire if you’re not into nostalgia stuff. Still, nothing bad, so it gets the thumbs up from me.