WWE Vintage Collection Report: 12th October 2008
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome aboard. This week, we have five matches on cue, albeit split over two shows. The first two matches come from April 26th, 1986. The site is the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit Michigan. The remaining three matches are off a card from Philadelphia, in November 1982. Handling the commentary are Jack Reynolds and Ken Resnick (not Gene Taylor as the graphic says) for the first half, while Gorilla Monsoon and Dick Graham announce the second portion. We’ve got Hall of Famers and Midgets galore so let’s dive in and get started.
“Mr USA” Tony Atlas vs Hercules Hernandez
Hercules is sporting quite a perm here. A criss-cross running of the ropes leads to an Atlas hiptoss. Hercules takes a long walk outside. Hercules gets the best of a test of strength by kicking Atlas. Atlas eventually brings Hercules to his knees, then hits an atomic drop and right hand. Hercules hits an inverted atomic drop to turn the tide. Hercules works over Atlas with stomps, punches and a big elbow drop. Hercules chokes Atlas along the top rope, before raking the eyes. Atlas leaps off the second rope to throw Hercules down. Atlas hits clapping blows to the head, a big headbutt and vertical suplex. Hercules telegraphs a dropkick attempt by hanging onto the ropes. Hercules drives a knee into Atlas’ back. Hercules tries to rack Atlas, but Atlas grabs the top rope, forcing Hercules to break. Hercules goes on the attack once more, but Atlas counters a slam into a sunset flip for the 1-2-3. Here is Your Winner: “MR USA” TONY ATLAS. An okay opener and matchup between two power men.
Tito Santana vs Cowboy Bob Orton
Both start by blocking the others punches. The commentators note the Boxing experience of both men. Orton applies a side headlock, Santana comes back with a hiptoss. Orton (on spaghetti legs) clutches his back. Both exchange waistlocks. Santana counters a wristlock into a hammerlock then armbar. Orton pushes Santana to the ropes and punches him in the face. Orton drops a forearm, boot and elbow from the second rope onto Santana. Orton works over Santana with punches, a few throws to the mat and the dreaded chinlock. An Orton family speciality. Somewhere, baby Randy was watching on in glee. Orton Irish whips, misses a charge and gets caught up/perched in the corner. Santana takes advantage with several measured kicks and punches. On his way down to the mat, Orton cleverly pulls Santana through the ropes by the trunks. Orton goes out to deliver a backbreaker across his knee. Santana comes back to throw Orton over the guardrail. Santana snapmares Orton back in over the top rope, then delivers kicks and two throws to the mat. Orton kicks Santana off of a figure four attempt. Santana lands a suplex counter, but Orton drapes his foot across the bottom rope, to break up a pin attempt. Orton rakes the face, delivers an inverted atomic drop, then comes off better following a punch exchange. Orton comes off the top rope right into Santana’s fist. Santana comes back with kicks, a forearm and jackknife pin for a nearfall. Orton telegraphs a backbodydrop attempt with a boot to the head. Santana reverses off the ropes, Orton ducks a forearm and hits a flying bodypress. Santana rolls through and hooks the leg for the 1-2-3. Here is Your Winner: TITO SANTANA. Post match sees Santana and the referee leave the ring as an irate Orton goes for them both. This was a great back and forth match, and i’ve been impressed with the commentary team, who have called the action well and got the superstars on show over, without resorting to the normal hokeyness and baloney. This show has got off to a pretty good start thus far. I hope it holds up, as we switch gears to 1982.
Chief Jay Strongbow vs Superstar Billy Graham
Okerlund puts over Strongbow before we join the match in progress. The bald Billy Graham traps Strongbow in a lengthy bearhug. Strongbow escapes and applies a sleeper. Graham sends Strongbow into the ropes. Strongbow hits a shoulder tackle which puts both men down. As the referee lays the count on both, Graham pulls some tape from his tights and chokes Strongbow with it. As this is an early morning show, we only see stills of Superstar’s use of a ‘weapon’. Strongbow breaks into his war dance and chops Graham in the eyes. Strongbow delivers three kneelifts and an Irish whip. Strongbow runs into a knee. A karate chop from Graham puts Strongbow out of the ring. Strongbow doesn’t beat the count (albeit a bit fast) back in and Graham wins it. Strongbow gets the better of a brief but rubbish post match brawl to send Superstar packing. Not a very good match. Quite sloppy. Here is Your Winner via Countout: SUPERSTAR BILLY GRAHAM.
Sky Low Low & Butch Cassidy vs Little Beaver & Sonny Boy Blue
Time for a midget match which is joined in progress. This Butch Cassidy was no relation to the Sundance Kid. He actually looked like a mini Raymond Rougeau. His partner Sky Low Low was a bald white midget. As for the opposition, Sonny Boy Blue resembled Spike Dudley while Little Beaver was sporting a black mohawk. After Blue gets a cross body on Cassidy, the match descends into comedy. It centres around Blue and Beaver working several full nelson spots with Cassidy, along with flexing and trash talking in-between. Cassidy manages to hook the top rope with both feet, so Beaver drops him on his head. Low comes in and Beaver slaps him. Cassidy runs in, so Beaver, then hilariously his own partner, Low, admonish him for trying to interfere. Beaver keeps on shouting and pointing at Cassidy to throw Low off of his game. It works as Low starts punching on his own partner in order to keep him out. Blue comes back in to resume the full nelson, this time on Low. Blue lifts Low towards Beaver, who wallops him with a slipper. Blue then tries to repeat the move. At first, Beaver simply tickles Low with the tag rope, but a second swing of the slipper meets Blue instead of Low. Cassidy delivers a slam and a legdrop to Blue. During this, Low gets excited and climbs on the top rope in his corner. When Cassidy misses a second legdrop, the bounce from the canvas is enough to send Low crashing into the ring. All four midgets run in and do a criss-cross rope spot. Beaver suddenly calls a halt to proceedings and slingshots Cassidy into the corner. Cassidy falls back and Beaver covers him to get the 1-2-3. I loved this, purely for the shenanigans. It’s on a par with some of Hornswoggle’s funniest moments. Al Snow said it best a few years back: “We need more midgets.” True that. Here Are Your Winners: LITTLE BEAVER & SONNY BOY BLUE.
WWF Title-Lumberjack Match
Bob Backlund vs Playboy Buddy Rose
Time for the Main Event. Some of the lumberjacks included Mr Fuji, Rocky Johnson, Chief Jay Strongbow, Tony Garea, Jose Estrada, Superstar Billy Graham and a young looking Curt Hennig. He must have been enhancement talent here, as he didn’t start as a regular until 1988. The referee is SD Jones. Both combatants go face-to-face before Rose gets his women to disrobe him. As he gets his hair combed, Rose goads Backlund, by asking him where his ladies are? This doesn’t faze the straight edged, Backlund. Rose kisses and escorts his women out, past the lumberjacks. It finally dawns on Rose that he’s in a lumberjack match, as there’s nowhere for him to run to. Rose spends a lot of the early going getting tossed around by the lumberjacks on each side of the ring. A flying forearm sends Rose back over the top rope. The wolves throw him back in. Backlund spends several minutes, methodically working over Rose’s arm with an armbar, top wristlock and several arm stretches. Backlund moves about as if he’s a rower, as he’s trying to pull Rose’s arm off. Rose finally counter rolls into a side headlock, but Backlund quickly neutralises that with a headscissors. Rose quickly gets up and dropkicks Backlund out of the ring. Now it’s Backlund’s turn to get lumberjacked. Rose ensures more punishment with a flying backelbow. Fortunately, Backlund falls out to the face lumberjacks, who help him up and slowly place him back in. Rocky Johnson offers words of encouragement as Rose throws Backlund shoulder first into the corner. Rose then repeatedly sends Backlund out to the heel side with a chop and a headbutt. The heels quickly push Backlund back in to Rose. Rose gets nearfalls following a suplex, backslide and back suplex into a backbreaker. Backlund stuns Rose with a sunset flip and suplex counter. Both men are down but manage to steal nearfalls on one another. From a Rose side headlock, both men collide. Rose manages to fall on top of Backlund, but can only get a two count. Rose hits two kneedrops and five successive elbow drops. Rose nonchalantly slaps Backlund. As Rose lifts him for another backbreaker, Backlund slips behind and slaps on the Crossface Chickenwing. Rose pushes Backlund back to the corner twice, but Backlunfd holds on, gets Rose in the centre of the ring and Rose gives it up. A great old school main event, with good drama to finish things. Here is Your Winner via Submission: BOB BACKLUND.
Okerlund wraps things up to end the show.
Wow! What a show and difference a week makes. Someone must have read my complaint last week. This show gets a thumbs up from me. A bit of good comedy, some great wrestling, and more importantly, some crisp, competitive, back-and-forth action. TITO SANTANA vs COWBOY BOB ORTON just shades the Main Event as best match. CHIEF JAY STRONGBOW vs SUPERSTAR BILLY GRAHAM was the only weak point of the show, but even that wasn’t on for long. Also, the majority of the matches were shown from the start, which is a good thing and makes it easier to get into the match. More of the same next week please WWE. Shaun.
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