WWE Vintage Collection Report: 15th June 2008
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome to the second dive into the WWE archives. This week is a treat. This week’s action is what my TV guide promised last week. Three matches on cue and they are all rematches, based from the fallout from WrestleMania IV. The date is April 1988, the venue, once again is MSG and your commentators are Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes. Our first match is joined just after the start.
Bret Hart vs Bad News Brown
Brown double-crossed Hart at the end of the WrestleMania IV Battle Royal, en route to winning. This was the start of Hart’s successful babyface turn as he embarked on a series of really good house show matches with Brown. We pick this up as Brown delivers a hiptoss. Hart comes back with a hiptoss reversal and backelbow to send Brown out of the ring. Brown takes a walk but opts to come back. Hart charges into a mule kick. Brown works over Hart in the corner, then Irish whips. Hart gets a float over, hiptoss, slam and kneedrop. Hart plays to the cheering crowd, before tossing a charging Brown, over the top rope to the floor. Brown goes walkies again before Hart brings him back in, over the top rope. Brown extends his hand, Hart ducks a swing, then delivers an atomic drop and forearms in the corner. Hart Irish whips but charges into Brown’s feet. Here comes the first commercial break. We return to see Hart throw Brown off the second rope. Hart teases a sharpshooter but opts to boot the gut. Hart builds momentum with an inverted atomic drop, legdrop and forearm from the second rope. However, Brown goes to the eyes to prevent a backbreaker. Brown connects with a ‘southpaw’ clothesline then works over Hart’s throat with several shots. Hart falls to the outside, where Brown slams him onto the concrete, then into the ringpost. Back inside, Hart takes his infamous front first bump into the turnbuckles as we go to another commercial break. Back once again, Brown works over Hart with headbutts, before getting a one count, off a very nonchalant one-footed cover. Brown slams but misses a splash from the second rope. Hart comes back with punches, a backbodydrop, mounted mat punches to the head, elbow and backbreaker for a nearfall. Hart throws Brown through the ropes. Hart goes out to slam Brown on the floor before suplexing him back in. Hart continues the attack with a standing dropkick. Hart teases the sharpshooter again, only to deliver a second gut kick. Hart snapmares but misses an elbow. Hart manages to reverse an Irish whip before monkey flipping Brown out of the corner for a nearfall. Hart sends Brown off the ropes for a kick to the gut. As Hart punches, Brown manages to deposit Hart over the top rope to the floor. Brown attempts a piledriver on the outside, but Hart counters with a backbodydrop. Back inside, Hart nails a piledriver but the referee refuses to count as the time has elapsed. Howard Finkel announces the match as a draw and both Hart and Brown are pissed. So am I. Give them more time. Alas it’s not to be. Top notch action, despite the annoying interruptions. Here is Your Winner: DRAW.
Macho Man Randy Savage w/Miss Elizabeth vs Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase w/Virgil (WWF Title)
Savage comes out with Elizabeth. DiBiase and Virgil are already in the ring. This match came about after Savage defeated DiBiase in the tournament final at WrestleMania IV. DiBiase wants a rematch and Savage wants to prove that he’s a fighting champion, who doesn’t duck any challengers. Savage goes outside to stop Virgil from going after Elizabeth. This gives DiBiase the chance to attack Savage from behind, and work him over on the outside, with punches and head rams into the ring apron. Savage manages to send DiBiase’s arm into the ringpost to turn the tide. Savage goes after DiBiase’s arm. Inside, DiBiase begs off, but Savage catches a boot and turns it into an atomic drop to send DiBiase back to the outside. Savage continues on the arm with wrenches against the top rope, a ram into the ringpost, several kicks and an armbar. Savage hits a shoulder tackle and running elbow to the head. DiBiase goes to the eyes, but then misses a charge following an Irish whip. Savage continues to kick at DiBiase’s arm, but DiBiase grabs the trunks to send Savage out of the ring. DiBiase sends Savage into the guardrail, then takes him down in the ring with a double axehandle from the second rope, for a nearfall. DiBiase chokes Savage with his hands as we go to a commercial break. DiBiase keeps the advantage with a suplex. Savage pulls out a small package for a nearfall. DiBiase uses more chokes. Savage reverses a whip off the ropes, then thwarts a sunset flip attempt, but DiBiase is first to react, as he kicks Savage down. Savage blocks and reverses a suplex, but again, DiBiase is first to recover with a double axehandle from the second rope. Snapmare and chinlock by DiBiase, as he wears down Savage. Savage runs DiBiase into the corner to escape. DiBiase recovers to slam, before missing a blind elbow from the second rope. Savage fights back, sending DiBiase into a couple of corners. Savage leaps over the top rope, while bouncing DiBiase off of it. Savage hits a double axehandle from the top rope but misses a corner charge. DiBiase attempts a waistlock, Savage swings a backelbow, but knocks the referee out. Savage clotheslines DiBiase down. Virgil clips Savage off the top rope as he goes to elbow DiBiase. Savage is down and out and Elizabeth’s attempts to revive him are in vain, as the referee counts him out. Here is Your Winner via Countout: MILLION DOLLAR MAN TED DIBIASE. Post match, Virgil straps the WWF title on DiBiase before Savage chases them both out with a chair. The referee picks up Savage’s title. Howard Finkel says DiBiase isn’t the champion despite winning. Savage gets hot, screaming for DiBiase to come back. Another good matchup from two great workers. It’s a shame that Savage is still on the outs with WWE’s top brass. Why has he got so much nuclear heat?
Demolition w/Mr Fuji vs Strike Force (Tito Santana & Rick Martel) (WWF Tag Team Titles)
Demolition upset Strike Force at WrestleMania IV following assistance from Mr Fuji and his cane. Here, Strike Force wanted their titles back. Demolition enter with Strike Force already in the ring. Ax and Smash try coming in from different sides, but they get pummeled upon entering. Following some double teaming, Martel gets an early boston crab on Ax. Smash just manages to break it up, as the referee gets tied up with Santana. Strike Force get the early advantage with fast tags, as they try to work over the arms of both Demos. Strike Force get fired up and the crowd are right behind them. Strike Force nail Ax with a double gut punch. Ax finally catches a break with a headbutt to Santana. The momentum doesn’t last long, as Smash comes in and is met with an armdrag. Martel goes back to working the arm but Mr Fuji distracts the referee. Smash sends Martel off the ropes and Ax cheapshots Martel from behind. Commercial time. D’oh. We return to see Ax pummel Martel’s back with double axehandles, before throwing him through the ropes. Outside, Smash rams Martel’s back into the ring apron. Back inside, Smash foils Martel’s sunset flip attempt by tagging out as he falls backwards. Ax goes back to beating on Martel’s back. Demolition cut the ring in half by isolating Martel. Martel punches away on Smash. Smash reverses an Irish whip but charges into Martel’s boot. Smash hooks Martel’s boot but Martel makes the tag…just not in front of the referee, who orders Santana out. Demolition make an illegal change as Ax pounds Martel’s back some more. Martel hits a jumping backelbow off the ropes in desperation, before making the hot tag to Santana. Santana whips Ax into the corner then connects with a corner clothesline. Santana beats on both Demos before whipping Smash into Ax, knocking the latter out of the ring. Santana clocks Smash with his patented flying forearm. Cover….. no, the referee is busy with Mr Fuji, who’s up on the apron. Ax yanks Santana off Smash, prompting Martel to run back in and attack Ax. The referee moves towards Martel, turning his back to the action. Mr Fuji gets in the ring and clocks Santana with the cane, just as Santana was going for a figure four on Smash. Smash covers and gets the 1-2-3. Martel is too busy stomping Ax to realise, until it’s too late. Demolition steal one. Here Are Your Winners: DEMOLITION. Demolition would go on to enjoy a year + reign as tag champs. However, it was all downhill from here for Strike Force. Rick Martel took a brief sabbatical, before coming back and turning heel on Tito Santana, at WrestleMania V in a match against the Brain Busters. This was an okay match, but not as good as the two prior bouts shown today.
Okerlund wraps things up to end the show.
Best match: Bret Hart vs Bad News Brown.
Worst match: Demolition vs Strike Force.
Show verdict: Thumbs way up. A thoroughly enjoyable stroll down memory lane, with some stellar in-ring performances and rivalries. Looking forward to next week’s offerings.
I’ll be back tomorrow night with the results from the Heat awards, and the column I’ve been promising about the end of Heat, and what it means to certain individuals. Thanks for reading. Shaun.
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