WWE Vintage Collection Report: 21st February 2010
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome aboard. Our annual WrestleMania Road Trip begins its six week airing with a look back at the first three WrestleManias. Let’s begin.
March 31st 1985: Madison Square Garden, New York
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs Matt Borne
Announcers for this match are Gorilla Monsoon and a relatively unbiased Jesse Ventura who refers to Gorilla throughout by his real name of Gino. Ventura was yet to develop his patented far fetched rationalisations to side with the heels. Steamboat had recently transferred to the WWF from the NWA. Borne is dubbed as a wily veteran. Steamboat starts by dishing out some karate chops. Steamboat utilises a side headlock, countering several of Borne’s back suplex attempts with flips to maintain the advantage. Both trade atomic drop variations before Steamboat hooks Borne in the corner with his legs to deliver a scissor kick. Steamboat chops Borne down from the second rope then returns to the side headlock. Borne escapes the hold with a belly-to-belly suplex out of the corner followed by a snap suplex. Steamboat fights back with a back suplex, swinging neckbreaker and drops several shots onto Borne’s head. Borne goes to the eyes to stop Steamboat’s momentum. Steamboat ducks underneath a clothesline before taking Borne down with a flying tackle. Steamboat lands a cross body from the top rope for the 1-2-3. This was a good showcase for Steamboat to begin his WWF legacy. Borne would become Big Josh in WCW before returning to the WWF in 1993 to portray the original and best version of evil clown, Doink. Winner: RICKY “THE DRAGON” STEAMBOAT.
In a WrestleMania road trip moment, Ozzy Osbourne and Captain Lou Albano watch The British Bulldogs defeat the Dream Team to become Tag Team champions at WrestleMania 2. After the bout a lively Ozzy yells “British Bulldogs forever.”
April 7th 1986: Long Island, New York
Mr T w/ Smokin’ Joe Frazier & Haiti Kid vs Rowdy Roddy Piper w/Cowboy Bob Orton & Lou Duva
This was the blowoff to Mr T’s rivalry with Piper, after Piper attacked T following his boxing match with Orton at the previous Saturday Night’s Main Event show. With the card split between New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, Vince McMahon and Susan St James are covering this bout. The rounds are three minutes each.
Vince calls T’s style “peek-a-boo” as he starts off on the defensive with Piper coming out of the gate like a wild bull throwing a lot of wild hands. The two tussle in the ropes a couple of times. T backs Piper into the corner and lands a couple of good hooks to the face. T ducks a lot of Piper’s wild swings as Piper wears himself out. Both finish the round brawling into the corner with each side’s cornermen having to split them up. Piper comes over to talk trash during the one minute intermission.
Both men are clearly pulling their punches from this point onwards. Piper works over T, wobbling him with several shots, before T goes down with a minute remaining. T is okay to continue at an eight count. The crowd turn on T and start to chant “Roddy” as Piper closes out the round with T on the defensive backed into the ropes. T slumps down in Piper’s corner at the bell so Piper lands a cheap shot to the back, to get some heat back.
Buoyed by his performance thus far Piper cockily pulls off an Ali shuffle with his feet. T lands some early lifters into Piper’s gut. T works over Piper in the corner. Piper quickly becomes weary, slumps and gets up at a seven count. Piper urges T forwards and the crowd start chanting for T. A swinging left hook by T sends Piper out of the ring and to the waiting Orton who’s ready with the magic sponge. Piper gets back in at nine. Vince warns the fight’s over if Piper goes down once more, as Piper holds onto T to close out the round. Clearly unhappy, Piper throws his stool into T’s midsection during the break.
Both leave themselves open and unguarded while they take turns to maul each other. Piper punches out T’s mouthguard. T moves Piper to the corner and having had enough, Piper shoves the referee down before slamming T. The cornermen come in for a melee as the referee calls for the bell and awards T the bout via DQ. Piper jumps T as he gets his arms raised before leaving with his arms raised believing he’s won. Winner via DQ: MR T. The first round was the closest to legitimate boxing, before things got a bit hokey and both blew up. Definitely a WrestleMania moment though. Very unique.
In another WrestleMania road trip moment Piper says his farewells to wrestling at WrestleMania III after beating Adrian Adonis and shaving him bald with the help of a freshly turned face Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. Piper returned after a few tame action movies failed to take off.
March 29th 1987: Pontiac Silverdome, Detroit, Michigan
Hillbilly Jim, Haiti Kid & Little Beaver vs King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook
Bundy had gone from Main Eventing WrestleMania 2 with Hulk Hogan to competing in a midget match with Hillbilly Jim. He looks pissed during the pre-match interviews. Okerlund asks if big trouble comes in little packages, but Bundy corrects him stating that big trouble comes in 450lb packages like King Kong Bundy. Bundy wants Hillbilly but tells the other two midgets he’ll squash them if they get in his way. Hillbilly says he can take whatever Bundy dishes out, but is worried about his two little buddies. Hillbilly promises he’ll do his dawgest to make sure everything is okay for them. Announcers for the match are Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura and Bob Uecker. The midgets start with a criss cross rope spot before Beaver and Haiti row the boat on Tokyo and Littlebrook’s legs. Ventura wants to see Bundy put the big kibosh on a midget, before quipping they’ll bring a spatula out for them. Uecker likens them to marinated mushrooms as Beaver hits Bundy in the chest. Beaver and Haiti size Bundy up. Beaver crawls under Bundy’s legs. A dropkick has no effect so Beaver rushes out to tag Hillbilly, who clotheslines and drops a big elbow. Team Hillbilly try to dog pile on top of Bundy, but Bundy throws them off. Bundy backelbows Hillbilly down to get the advantage. With Hillbilly trapped in a front facelock, Beaver takes off his shoe to smack Bundy in the face. Bundy gives chase, Beaver crawls underneath Hillbilly. Bundy re-asserts his authority by giving Hillbilly an avalanche splash in the corner. Bundy catches Beaver interfering a second time so he gives him a slam and an elbow prompting the referee to call for the bell. Bundy motions for a second elbow, but all the midgets pull Beaver away and unite as Hillbilly punches a clearly fed up Bundy into retreat. Ventura calls Tokyo and Littlebrook turncoats, as Hillbilly scoops Beaver up in his arms. Monsoon speculates on Beaver being seriously injured. Unsurprisingly Bundy soon upped and left WWF. Winners via DQ: HILLBILLY JIM, HAITI KID & LITTLE BEAVER. Although the match was a DUD I found this a lot more entertaining than any of the current crap featuring Hornswoggle.
A Hall of Fame package on Antonio Inoki airs.
March 31st 1985: Madison Square Garden, New York
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/Jimmy Hart vs The Junkyard Dog
Okerlund conducts interviews with both before the bout. Valentine boasts he’ll show everyone why he’s the greatest Intercontinental champion of all time, the master of the figure four and why they call him the Hammer, because he nails them harder than anybody else in professional wrestling. He concludes by saying he’s ready to fight and in the best shape of his life, down 16 lbs to a lean, mean 248. JYD calls this the biggest opportunity of his life to get his hands on the title. After calling Valentine a weasel, JYD says he needs a bone to chew on and he can find himself a whole lot of bones when he gets his hands on Valentine. Monsoon calls Valentine the best champion to date, with Ventura putting him over for not ducking any challengers. JYD puts Valentine on the defensive by shucking and jiving his large frame. JYD goes after an arm, catches a wayward leg and decks the champion who then stalls in the corner. Valentine briefly gets the advantage, but misses a forearm drop. JYD gets on all fours and sends Valentine out of the ring with three headbutts. Monsoon talks about Jimmy Hart’s impressive stable of wrestlers mentioning Valentine, King Kong Bundy and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. Bret Hart would join that list after Mania. Back inside Valentine gets the best of a test of strength and works over JYD’s legs to soften them up for the figure four. Valentine applies a modified half crab, before JYD kicks off a figure four attempt. JYD limps to his feet, wins a slugfest, delivers two headbutts and Valentine does a Flair type flop to the mat. Ventura says JYD smells victory like he does dog food. JYD grabs Jimmy Hart and Valentine inadvertently knocks him off the apron. JYD punches Valentine into the corner. Valentine goes to the eyes, scoops JYD’s legs from under him and pins him with his feet on the ropes. Immediately, Tito Santana dressed in street clothes rushes out to inform the referee of Valentine’s wrongdoing and the referee restarts the match. Valentine grabs his belt and refuses to re-enter so is counted out. As JYD gets his arm raised, Hart holds Valentine’s leg to stop the irate champion from getting back in. Not much of a match, but a continuation of the feud that Valentine had going on with Tito who would win the belt from Valentine later in the year. Winner via Countout: THE JUNKYARD DOG
The Road Trip continues next week. Shaun.
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