Wrestlemania’s 25 Greatest Matches – Introduction

My FGB brothers and I have put together a list of what we believe to be the greatest matches in Wrestlemania history. We started by selecting all of the matches that we remembered to be in the neighborhood of 3 stars (0-5 scale) or higher, and then took a close look at those matches and rated them fully.

The four of us are distinctive in our tastes for what makes a good pro wrestling match. I wanted to give you an idea of who we are and what we like so you know where we are coming from.

One thing that I want to note is that we’re not giving any special treatment to matches that drew incredible business or are historic because of what they meant to business. Thus, you won’t see Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant. It was a terrible match, and even though it was historic, it wasn’t any good and won’t be on our list.

Big D
Danny says that he likes anything that’s good. He doesn’t like pointless brawling with punches and kicks ending in double countouts. He can go for good high flying matches or good scientific matches as long as they tell stories and have a beginning, middle, and end and contain something that’ll excite him. Some of his favorite eras in wrestling include WWE from 1997-2001, ROH from 2004-2006, and ECW 1995-1999. He also includes Bret Hart, Bryan Danielson, and Ric Flair as three of his favorite wrestlers.
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Wrestlemania 2 – Pearl Harbor

WrestleMania 2I remember it like it was yesterday. I was watching Saturday Night’s Main Event where the big angle for this Wrestlemania started. The main event was scheduled for Hulk Hogan vs. The Magnificent Muraco and instead of Muraco’s regular manager Mr. Fuji by his side, Bobby Heenan was in his corner. They said that Fuji had the flu, which was an angle alert. However, I was only nine so I didn’t know about angle alerts. During the match, Hogan went after Heenan and King Kong Bundy came in to attack Hogan and “pearl harbor” him as Vince McMahon would say. It was a sneak attack that left Hogan laying in the ring, taking big splash after big splash. As a young Hulkamaniac, I was devastated. I had just been turned on to wrestling the year before by my best friend at the time, and I bit hook, line, and sinker. There I was, up at midnight, watching my hero take the beating of his life. Bundy was played up huge. He was a mountain of a man. He actually resembled the letter “O” with his short but fat torso and lack of neck. He used to be called a condominium with legs. As Hogan lay lifeless in the ring, I was upset at this guy with the bald head and wrinkled forehead. But I was smart enough to know my guy was going to get revenge. The storyline was that Hogan was in the hospital suffering from rib injuries and you could write the Hulkster to wish him well. I wasn’t that gullible, but I know other young kids were. They even had Mean Gene Okerlund talk to the doctor and they showed x-rays of Hogan to sell the angle. They would meet again in the main event of Wrestlemania 2 and in a steel cage.

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From The Vault – THE ISLANDERS!

So I got this DVD comp of the short but sweet, late eighties, heel run of Haku and Tama, The Islanders. Wasn’t totally sure what to expect going in but I was assured it was great, so I decided to dive right into it when it came in the post.

May 30th 1987 Superstars
Islanders vs. Can-Am Connection

Going into this match both teams were babyfaces, and dammit, Bruno on commentary was oh so excited about the good clean technical match we had in front of us! However something smelled fishy as Bobby Heenan came down to ringside and Jesse Ventura seemed to have the scoop. He laughed a knowing laugh and Bruno and Vince weren’t happy. Then the Islanders did the greatest pop-in interview, they simply did a nice big belly laugh. Bruno: “I don’t know what dat was allll about Vince”. Of course about 5 minutes in, Haku and Tama go rudo all over the Can-Ams asses and Bobby gets in the ring and hugs them.

The first three post-turn matches are a great squash, a match against THE YOUNG STALLIONS~! and a match against Rick Martel and JYD (I dunno where Zenk went). The main thing that came out of these was how unbelievably great Tama was as a heel. Just such a total cocky prick. He was great.

August 15th 1987
Strike Force arrives! (and my sister was born, but that’s significantly less important)

So with Zenk having disappeared, Martel was out on his own in singles action (against Big Bad Barry Horowitz). The Islanders apparently weren’t through with making him a sad little model, so they hit the scene and beat the crap out of him. However they didn’t account for Tito Santana (who was working the Spanish broadcast) hitting the ring for the save. Tito was all fired up and Strike Force was formed!

A couple of weeks later, the Islanders squashed a couple of fools and then made their way over to the Spanish table. They had a bone to pick with Tito. A brawl broke out, the feud intensified.

October 3rd 1987 Boston Garden
Islanders vs. Strike Force

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Big D looks at 20 Years of SummerSlam History

Tomorrow night, WWE celebrates 21 years of SummerSlam, the “biggest party of the summer” as they’ve been calling recently. There have been 20 SummerSlam Events since 1988. But were all of them really worthy of being called the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th best PPV of the year? Absolutely not. So today I’ve decided to take a look and list what I consider the Top 10 Greatest SummerSlam Pay-Per-Views of All Time! So sit back, relax, and enjoy.

10. SummerSlam 1988

So we begin with the very first SummerSlam in 1988, live on PPV from Madison Square Garden in New York. The whole purpose of the creation of this PPV was for the WWE to compete with NWA’s Great American Bash, hoping to convert wrestling fans to save their hard-earned cash and purchase their show at the end of the summer as opposed to the Bash. This soon became the last of the “Big Four” PPVs, alongside Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, and of course, Wrestlemania. The main event was a highly-anticipated tag team match between Hulk Hogan and WWF Champion Randy Savage, collectively known as “The Mega Powers” against Ted Dibiase and Andre the Giant, collectively known as “The Mega Bucks”. Savage won a 16-Man Tournament at Wrestlemania IV, last defeating Dibiase to become champion. Hogan had teased prior to the show that Miss Elizabeth would showcase her “eenie, weenie bikini”, which is creepy in retrospect considering she is no longer with us.

Besides that huge match, the most memorable part of this Pay-Per-View was the Ultimate Warrior defeating the longest reigning WWF Intercontinental Champion in history – The Honky Tonk Man. Honky was scheduled to face Brutus Beefcake, but prior to the match, Beefcake was hospitalized by “The Outlaw” Ron Bass. Honky came out on the show and challenged anybody in the building to take the title and the undefeated Warrior came out and pinned him in thirty seconds to take the title, beginning the monster four year run that he would have in the WWF. Tag Team wrestling was definitely one of WWF’s high-points during this era, as Hart Foundation vs. Demolition was easily the best match on the show, followed slightly by the Rougeaus vs. The Bulldogs.

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