We have a new feature on this website and as you can see from the above title, we’re going to look at old PPVs (thank you WWE Network) and give you a side-by-side view from the booker perspective as well as the hardcore fan/blogger perspective. Continue reading
We are finally onto the second round and we have quite the mix of eras here. Harley Race is a historical NWA champion while Owen Hart is a memorable character and good wrestler from the 90s. This one goes down to the wire.
Harley Race vs. Owen Hart
GG: Owen vs. Harley time.
Big D: I am going to go with Owen here. I love Harley but by this time, he’s already coming to the ring hammered and acting unprofessional. As far as finish goes, I say Owen wins with the Sharpshooter clean in the middle.
GG: Harley’s not tapping to that move. Meltzer said someone told Harley their finisher was a drop kick off the top and Harley said he was moving out of the way rather than taking the move. I don’t consider this only to be about their run and push when they had the crown. If need be, Harley could’ve still kicked ass in 86. He was slower. Hurt. Probably didn’t care as much. But that was partly because of the push and his willingness to be in the WWF as he could see where the landscape was going.
I love Owen. But he was no Harley Race. Continue reading
On Monday, we posted the introduction to our King Of All Kings tournament in which we take all past King Of The Ring winners and place them in a tournament with past WWF kings (except Jerry Lawler and Hacksaw King).
Our first match-up is Handsome Harley Race vs. Ken Shamrock. It’s an interesting shoot fighter vs. tough wrestler match-up.
Here’s what we thought about the match-up: Continue reading
Being wrestling fans, we love tournaments. One specific tournament that we loved was the old King Of The Ring tournament. Since WWE has been so inconsistent with the King Of The Ring tournament (last tournament was in 2010 and the last PPV was in 2002), the FGB crew decided to put together a tournament of our own, the King Of All Kings tournament.
We decided to take all the PPV winners of the King Of The Ring tournament and add some guys who were also deemed “king” in WWF rings over the year. Two specific “kings” we didn’t add were Jerry “The King” Lawler since he was king before he came to the WWF and Hacksaw King who was just awful.
We created a 16-man bracket and put all the names into a random draw.
Here’s video evidence of the random draw: Continue reading
When it’s all said and done, what Wrestlemania 23 will be remembered for is a haircut match. This isn’t any random old haircut match. This was a billionaire’s haircut match. Well, at least one of them was a billionaire.
Donald Trump has been affiliated with wrestling in the past. He hosted Wrestlemania IV and V at his Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They were two of the worst Wrestlemania’s ever, but that didn’t stop Vince McMahon from calling Trump’s name some 18 years later. And McMahon needed it.
Wrestlemania is what Vince McMahon and company build to every year. It’s their Super Bowl. It’s always the biggest PPV of the year, and the one in which they pull out all the stops. This year, the stops was Donald Trump. You might wonder why putting Donald Trump on a wrestling show, and one that he won’t even wrestle on, is important. The reason it’s important is because people wanted to pay to see who would get their hair cut between Vince and the Donald. Can you imagine a bald Donald Trump? Everyone wants to see that right? Even though anyone in their right mind would know that Trump would’ve never signed on to a match in which he’d lose his hair, it was built up so well, and it went on to be the main event in the biggest money making event in company history.
Donald Trump is still a big name. Even though his television show, The Apprentice was struggling mightily, he’s a well known public figure. And to get a well known public figure who isn’t a one hit wonder (like Kevin Federline) was a major coup for the WWE. It allowed them to enter the main stream media for a short while. The media picked up on Donald Trump being involved with wrestling and it sparked a little bit of a buzz. The wrestling fans are going to buy Wrestlemania. The goal is to get everyone else to do so.
In late 1986, the main event was already being set up for Wrestlemania III. I remember watching Superstars of Wrestling and they held an awards ceremony on the Piper’s Pit. I had never seen this before so it looked like a big angle. And it was one of the biggest. Throughout Hogan’s career on top in the WWF, which started in late 1983, he was the guy, but Andre was always treated as just as special of an attraction. Hogan was the champ, but Andre was just as unbeatable. I honestly don’t remember him losing by pin fall from the time I started watching. Even Hogan would constantly point to Andre as the big man. During the awards ceremony, Hogan received a big trophy for being the champ and Andre came out to congratulate him. Then Andre received his trophy for being undefeated and Hogan came out to congratulate him. Andre seemed perturbed as if Hogan was coming out to steal his glory. Later, Andre famously ripped the cross off Hogan’s chest that made viewers understand that Andre wasn’t going to be so lovable anymore. The turn happened and Andre was now an unstoppable bad guy.
The turn was helped even more by Bobby Heenan who became Andre’s manager. Heenen was always such a great foil for Hogan. He managed King Kong Bundy, Paul Orndorff, and Andre who were three of Hogan’s biggest money opponents. Heenan was masterful here, painting the picture as to why Andre would want to wrestle Hogan. Heenan would go on to say that Hogan never offered Andre a shot at the title, Hogan never respected Andre, and Andre was sick of it. At the same time, Andre would just sit there with this careless look on his face as Hogan tried to convince Andre that Heenan was evil. Much of what Heenan said made sense though, and that made the angle for me. I could see why Andre wanted a shot at the title.
The other angle that had a huge affect on me as an 10 year old was Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage. Savage was tremendous in his portrayal as a win at all costs heel. They had a match where Savage draped Steamboat’s throat over the outside railing and jumped off the top rope and hit the back of his neck, thrusting Steamboat’s throat into the railing. He then used the ring bell to do the same thing, targeting Steamboat’s throat. Steamboat sold it like a champ as they carried him to the back while he was grasping for air. Vince McMahon was screaming and saying that Steamboat had swallowed his tongue. I hated Savage with a passion at the time.
Those were the two big matches for Mania III, but what also made this event was the fact that most of the rest of the matches were booked with some nice build. The Honky Tonk Man and Jake Roberts and JYD vs. Harley Race feuds ended with bad matches, but you remember the build. You remember Honky blasting Roberts with the guitar and JYD bowing and curtsying to Race before sucker punching him.