Monday, November 17, 2014

Interesting tidbits from Survivor Series

Survivor Series coming and always been a favorite event of mines. It's known Undertaker made his WWE/F debut in event. Also came out of the event is the awful Gobbedly Gooker, start of Bret and Owen Hart feud, Montreal screwjob, bait-and-switch which Big Show won WWE/F World Heavyweight title, and showering of "CM Punk" chants from Philadelphia crowd. There's some tidbits few or no one knew happened at the event. Here's a few:

Brutus Beefcake and Honky Tonk Man faced each in the opener for three straight years - in first three years of event Beefcake and HTM tangled in opening match with their respective teams. Beefcake come out on top being one of surviving wrestlers in 1989. HTM went 0-3 in surviving.

Last Hurrah for he Magnificent and the Wonderful - main event has Hulk Hogan team against Andre the Giant team. Two members of Hogan's team were Don Muraco and Paul Orndorff in the only PPV main event appearance. It's also their only Survivor Series appearance.

Hart Foundation does Demolition Decapitation and gets a two count while Demolition STILL in the match - this happened during tag team elimination match of Survivor Series 89. Jim Neidhart held a Conquistador in backbreaker position and Bret Hart came off the turnbuckle hitting him with elbow drop only garnering a two count. This was Demolition finisher and they were STILL in the match.

1988 Survivor Series only time they did co-captains

Hercules main evented Survivor Series twice - the late mighty Hercules was mid-card wrestler entire WWF tenure, but he made it to final match of Survivor Series not once, but twice. In 1988 where he was part of Hogan/Savage team and 1990 when he was part of Rick Martel team that won and got themselves in the final match.

Angelo Poffo ICW collides - for total of 23 seconds two old rivals from Poffo ICW collided as in Randy Savage and Ronnie Garvin. It was lopsided as Savage beat Garvin down entire time when they were in the ring together.

NWA sign - at Survivor Series 89, a fan few rows from the front held "NWA is Where It's At" sign during Hulk Hogan's team entrance.

Zeus is afraid of snakes - for Zeus nothing can harm him feeling no pain from punches, kicks, and bodyslams. When Jake Roberts threw the snake in the ring every member from Ted DiBiase team bailed including "Human Wrecking Machine" himself revealing his first (and only his only) weakness.

Powers of Pain gets eliminated for ignoring the 5 count - Powers of Pain hit spike piledriver on Hulk Hogan, but the referee counted to five and disqualified the team for not getting out of the ring within 5 count rule. It's possibly only tag team to get eliminated for ignoring that rule on a PPV.

While 1990 is the only time Survivor Series introduced Grand Finale these wrestlers can claim they main evented WWE/F PPV once: Tito Santana, Rick Martel, Paul Roma, and Warlord.

Speaking of Tito Santana he got revenge on Warlord eliminating him seconds into the match. Warlord beat Santana at Summerslam that year.

Anyone got more to add?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Why ECW matterd to a fan

Been watching ECW stuff on WWE Network this week. The matches may have aged badly, but excitement of it still there. It was 20 years ago I was introduced Extreme Championship Wrestling through magazines of Bill Apter on the newstands. Being at supermarket and browsing through the magazine I came across article of Texas Deathmatch between Cactus Jack and Sandman on super exaggerated account of being in hospital after the match. While so used to watch WWF and WCW while growing up this fed stuck to me due to article written about the match. I didn't have internet at the time or heard anything about dirt sheets til 1997. These Apter magazines were gateway to indies and ECW stuck out. I followed ECW through these issues mentioning about Public Enemy breaking tables to Mikey Whipwreck a champion and pictures Axl and Ian Rotten bloody feud and Tommy Dreamer about to piledrive Beulah McGillicutty. The pictures of bloodied ECW wrestlers and mayhem told the story. It was when RAW episode ECW invaded and it was my first chance seeing them. In their three matches I came away hooked. At time it was fresh and out of ordinary. It was different. The first ECW PPV I saw was Living Dangerously 98 and loved the show from RVD and Scorpio match to three-way tag team brawl which New Jack and Spike Dudley dove off the balcony onto Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley. How can I forget Taz and Bam Bam Bigelow match which Bigelow put Taz through the ring. Then next PPV Heatwave 98 as they put on building burning show with Masato Tanaka and Mike Awesome crisscrossing their feud from FMW to ECW along with RVD/Sabu battling Hayabusa/Jinsei Shinzaki. Main event of Tommy Dreamer/Sandman/Spike Dudley plundering the Dudley Boyz with appearance of New Jack after the match. Something that clicked while watching ECW. Whether its wild frenzy brawls or the fans or the matches it stood out and it during time WWE/F Attitude went full speed. Soon I got tapes of ECW shows and was amazed of the action. I stuck with ECW even when they were going down the drain til it died.

Watching through episodes of ECW Hardcore TV I understood its importance. At the time they were cutting edge and breaking down the barriers with their feuds, storylines and in-ring action. The fans were very rabid becoming very loyal to ECW. What also stuck out more was "us vs them" mentality whether its WCW, WWE/F, censors, and various third parties. They were not going be this puppet to anyone unlike current landscape of wrestling. They will step on toes and be progressive in wrestling with their product. ECW is so influential as their roster gets raided and storylines get lifted into mainstream. Many indy feds have tried copy ECW success to no avail. Some indy feds have been influenced by ECW.

How many closed down feds will have "reunion" show years later and fans still be rabid about it? Just one and its ECW. Whatever Kool-Aid the genius mind of Paul Heyman offered it must be good as he and the wrestlers took us one hell of a ride. E-C-DUB! E-C-DUB!