The SmarK Rant for WWE Vintage Collection – 09.09.11

The SmarK Rant for WWE Vintage Collection – 09.09.11

– Your host is Jack Korpela, and the theme is people who came JUST short of winning the WWE title.

Ricky Steamboat v. Paul Orndorff

From WCW Worldwide, October 1993.  Talk your random match choices.  Steamboat works a headlock and hangs on through a backdrop suplex, but finally goes down to a clothesline.  Orndorff hammers away in the corner and drops an elbow, then stomps Steamboat while the man is BEGGING FOR MERCY.  I could watch Steamboat sell all day.  Orndorff goes up with a top rope elbow for two and goes to a chinlock, but Steamboat fires back with chops.  Sure enough, though, he puts his head down and takes an elbow for his troubles.  Blind charge misses and Steamboat makes another comeback with a sleeper, but Orndorff runs him into the turnbuckle and follows with a backdrop suplex for two.  Orndorff goes up again for another elbow, signalling that he wants to hit Steamboat’s throat, but he lands on the feet and Steamboat makes the comeback for reals, yo.  Flying chop and he goes up to finish, but Equalizer runs in for the DQ at 5:24.  Sting makes the save.  What a strange group of people involved.  This was a very well-worked match with nothing really outstanding going on.  **1/2

British Bulldog v. Bam Bam Bigelow

From In Your House III, September 1995, a show with one of the biggest bait-and-switch finishes in wrestling history.  They were trying to get Bulldog back up the card at this point, starting with a heel turn on Diesel.  Bigelow overpowers Bulldog and misses an elbow, allowing Bulldog to hit the chinlock.  Bigelow powers up, so Bulldog suplexes him, which Bammer no-sells.  Bigelow charges and hits the floor, and Bulldog wants a suplex back in, but ends up going crotch-first on the top rope instead.  Bigelow comes in with the diving headbutt for two.  Bigelow stops to argue the case, and Bulldog clips him and goes to work on the leg and then switches to the chinlock.  Bigelow powers up and Bulldog tries a slam, but Bigelow falls on top for two.  Bulldog with a sunset flip, but Bigelow sits on him and goes up for the moonsault.  Sadly, it misses, and Bulldog gets two.  Bulldog with his own diving headbutt for two.  Powerslam finishes at 9:11, as the original match was a little over 12 minutes so there was some judicious editing done here.  I had done a redo of this show a few years ago and put this at ***, and obviously I was on crack because this was all chinlocks and not much else.  *1/2

Intercontinental title:  Mr. Perfect v. Rowdy Roddy Piper

How have I never seen this before?!?  I didn’t even know they had wrestled each other!  From February 1991, and with Mooney and Hayes on commentary I’m guessing this is from a Coliseum video release.   Piper uses his fisticuffsmanship to chase Perfect out of the ring, but Hennig hits him with chops.  Piper slugs back and Perfect takes his first bump over the top rope of the match, so Piper immediately drags him back in and tosses him around by the hair.  Heenan gets involved and HE goes flying over the top too.  Back in, they slug it out and we get an AWESOME spot with Piper punching him while hanging onto the tights, as Perfect keeps bouncing up again for more abuse as a result.  Finally the tights just come off entirely, and they clothesline each other.  Perfect recovers first and slugs him down, then stops to put the tights back on.  What a great man.  He slugs Piper down and adds the standing dropkick, but Piper reverses a suplex for two.  Small package gets two.  Sunset flip gets two as Piper has his boots on tonight.  Neckbreaker gets two.  The ref is bumped and Perfect sends Piper into the exposed STEEL turnbuckle, and Piper is out cold.  We are informed that Hennig’s finishing move is imminent and will be viewed by us.  Perfectplex, as promised, gets two, and Piper makes the comeback.  Back to that turnbuckle, but Piper has HAD ENOUGH and he kicks the hell out of Perfect and sends him into it for a 180 bump out of the ring.  They brawl on the floor and Piper runs him into both stairs, then whips him with his belt as they’re kind of flaunting the rules of conduct at this point.  Hennig gets a cheapshot and sends Piper back in, but makes the mistake of going up while the count is still on, and Piper knocks him down and wins by countout at 9:40.  Piper DESTROYS him with the IC title afterwards, giving us an epic sell from Hennig.  This was like everything that is awesome about pro wrestling compressed into 10 minutes, and left me wondering why no one put these two together for a real feud.  People are always like “Why do you keep watching if you obviously hate it so much” and this is why, because this isn’t a chore to watch, this was two guys out there having FUN and embracing the goofiness of wrestling while still captivating the crowd and making people care.  Perfect bumped like a clown, but people bought him as a legitimate athlete and threat because he was booked to win a zillion matches in a row before they started having him do jobs.  And then you had Piper, who did little more than punches and kicks for 90% of the match but had such overwhelming charisma that you bought him as someone who could legitimately beat Perfect for the title just by sheer willpower.  What a tremendous combination.  ****

Million Dollar title:  Ted Dibiase v. Jake Roberts

From MSG, January 1990.  We’re JIP with Dibiase holding the chinlock, but Jake fights out, only to fall victim to the atomic drop.  Jake whips him into the corner, but runs into the boot and Dibiase drops an elbow for two.  Back to the chinlock for Dibiase, so Jake fights up again, only to have a neckbreaker blocked.  Dibiase sets up for the Dream, but Snake makes the ropes right away.  Another try, and this time they land on the floor, where Jake runs him into the post to break for good. Back in, Jake slugs away in the corner and follows with a backdrop, and Dibiase runs away.  Jake gets a pair of slams, and Dibiase bails after each one, and Jake gets the short clothesline for two.  He works on the back and gets a backbreaker, but Dibiase runs AGAIN.  Back in, but now Virgil gets involved and gets his ass handed to him.  DDT seemingly finishes, but the ref doesn’t count because Jake has been counted out at 9:00 while beating up Virgil.  D’oh.  Usual match from these two.  **

What a fun show this continues to be.


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