‘WWE Vintage Collection’ TV Report #196 – March 4th, 2012
Shown on Sky Sports in the U.K.
By Stephen Lyon.
This week: Today's theme was 'Shared Nicknames'. Matches featured were: 'Nature Boy' Buddy Landell vs Bob Holly (WWF Raw, December 1995); George 'the Animal' Steele vs Nikolai Volkoff (WWF Prime Time Wrestling, June 1986); 'The Animal' Batista vs Tajiri (WWE Raw, May 2004); 'The Natural' Butch Reed vs Tito Santana (WWF All American Wrestling, December 1986); 'The Natural' Dustin Rhodes vs Cactus Jack (WCW Main Event, March 1992); Jerry 'The King' Lawler vs Bret Hart (WWF Raw, March 1995); and King Harley Race vs Pedro Morales (WWF Prime Time Wrestling, December 1986).
Gene Okerlund hosted the show alone this week.
1) 'Nature Boy' Buddy Landell defeated Bob Holly. This match aired on the December 18th, 1995 live edition of 'WWF Monday Night Raw', taped in Newark, Delaware. Announcers for this match were Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler. In a small trivia note, this match took place mere minutes after Madusa Micelli had dropped the WWF Womens title belt into a trashcan live on WCW Monday Nitro. This was Buddy Landell's WWF tv debut, after he had made his debut appearance on the 'WWF In Your House 5' ppv the previous night, where he had done a quick job to Ahmed Johnson. Landell was given Ric Flair's old WWF entrance theme. Landell got the better of Holly initially, but Holly made a Superman-comeback and no-sold his punches. Holly even did a mid-ring Frankensteiner off the ropes on to Landell. Finish saw Landell pin Holly after an elbow drop, coming off the ropes.
Landell's tale of woe is something of a 'might have been'. After this debut match, he made two more appearances on WWF tv as part of his mini-push - he lost to WWF Champion, Bret Hart in a singles match, taped earlier in the night at the Raw tapings, but which aired on the January 13th, 1996 edition of 'WWF Superstars'. In a second match, taped the following night in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Landell defeated young jobber Matt Hardy, in a match that aired that weekend on 'WWF Superstars'. In a horrible stroke of luck for Landell, after the Bethlehem tv tapings, he slipped on some ice outside the arena and broke his ankle, necessitating surgery. This ended his mini-push and by the time he was recovered, his spot on the WWF roster was gone. He was occasionally brought back as a tv jobber, including doing tv jobs against the Godfather, and Triple H, in matches on 'WWF Shotgun Saturday Night' in February 1999.
2) Nikolai Volkoff defeated George 'the Animal' Steele (w/Captain Lou Albano in his corner) via D.Q. This match aired on the June 23rd, 1986 edition of 'WWF Prime Time Wrestling', taped at Madison Square Garden, New York on June 14th, 1986. Announcers for this match were Gorilla Monsoon & Lord Alfred Hayes. Steele ate a turnbuckle and threw some of the foam in Volkoff's face. Steele used knux on Volkoff. Volkoff attempted a clothesline, but Steele bit Volkoff's arm. Volkoff knocked Steele out of the ring and prevented him from re-entering, so Steele's manager, Captain Lou Albano handed Steele a chair, which he used to hit Volkoff over the head with for the disqualification. Horrible match, with a horrible finish.
3) 'The Animal' Batista defeated Tajiri. This match aired on the May 10th, 2004 live edition of 'WWE Raw', taped in San Jose, California. Announcers for this match were Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler. Batista was an emerging heel at this point, with a full head of hair and an extremely jacked physique. The story here was that the cocky Batista had underestimated Tajiri, who knocked Batista to the outside and ran him into the security wall. Batista began brutalising Tajiri with punches and used a sidewalk slam. Tajiri scored some nearfalls, after a spinning kick and also blocking a Batista powerbomb attempt and turning it into a tornado DDT of his own. Finish saw Batista pin Tajiri after a spinebuster, then after the match, gave Tajiri a Batista Bomb for good measure.
4) Tito Santana went to a time limit draw with 'The Natural' Butch Reed. This match aired on the December 7th, 1986 edition of 'WWF All-American Wrestling', taped in the Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada on November 16th, 1986. Announcers for this match were Gorilla Monsoon & Johnny V. Reed had a mop of blonde hair here. The camera positions for this match were below usual WWF standards, even for this era, with a hard camera further away than normal, and handheld camera shots from outside the ring, peering between the bottom and middle ropes. Santana took most of the match, and the finish saw Santana put Reed in a figure four leglock, only for the bell to ring before Reed submitted. The ring announcer announced that the match was a time limit draw. After the match, Reed jumped Santana, only for Tito to fight back and clear Reed from the ring.
5) 'The Natural' Dustin Rhodes went to a double count out with Cactus Jack. This match aired on the March 1st, 1992 edition of 'WCW Main Event', taped in Rock Hill, South Carolina on February 17th, 1992. Sole announcer for this match was Eric Bischoff, which was the quite the rarity to listen to. This was a short, but hot match. Largely a brawl, as the two fought to the outside, where Dustin posted Jack. Back in the ring, Rhodes charged at Jack, with Jack pulling the top rope down and Dustin tumbling to the outside. Jack gave Rhodes a backbreaker in the aisleway, then missed with a leaping elbow drop off the ring apron, crashing down on to the concrete floor after Rhodes moved. Rhodes himself then climbed on to the ring apron, and connected with a flying clothesline on to Jack. Both men were counted out as a result. After the match, the two fought in the ring, with Rhodes knocking Jack flying backwards off the ring apron, with Jack bashing his head against the guardrail in a dangerous looking spot.
6) Jerry 'the King' Lawler (w/Bull Nakano in his corner) defeated Bret Hart via count out. This match aired on the March 13th, 1995 live edition of 'WWF Monday Night Raw', taped in Stockton, California. Announcers for this match were Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette. Match was joined in progress. Lawler had Bull Nakano in his corner. Lawler had recently accused Bret of being 'racist' towards Japanese people, as part of Lawler and Hakushi's feud with Hart. Lawler gave Bret a running bulldog, followed by a big standing suplex. Lawler attempted a move off the top, but Bret caught him with a punch to the mid-section. Bret then gave Lawler a running bulldog, followed by a side Russian legsweep. The two brawled outside the ring, which led to Nakano dragging Bret off Lawler, grabbing him by the hair. Lawler then held Bret for Nakano to hit, but Bret moved, and Nakano hit Lawler accidentally. Lawler rolled back into the ring, where he won the match via count out after Nakano held on to Bret's leg and prevented him from re-entering the ring. Bret chased Nakano down the aisle, only for Hakushi and his manager Shinja to come out, with Nakano hiding behind her countrymen. Lawler jumped Bret in the aisle, but Bret recovered to toss Lawler back into the ring and deliver a back-bodydrop, resulting in Lawler rolling to the outside to escape.
7) King Harley Race defeated Pedro Morales. This match aired on the December 23rd, 1986 edition of 'WWF Prime Time Wrestling', taped in Boston, Massachusetts on December 6th, 1986. Announcers for this match Gorilla Monsoon & Ken Resnick. Race dominated Morales, snapping his neck across the top rope, giving him several standing headbutts, and using a piledriver, but Race used a sloppy cover to pin Morales, and the big Puerto Rican kicked out. Morales fired up and ran Race's head into the ring post. Pedro scored a nearfall with a small package, but Race kicked out. Race eventually scored the cheap win by pinning Morales with both feet on the middle rope.
Closing thoughts: Fun show this week, with a real eclectic mix of matches and stars. Best match was the brawl between Dustin Rhodes and Cactus Jack. Bret Hart and Jerry Lawler always had enjoyable matches against each other, and the short tv bout between the two on this show was also fun to watch.
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1) 'Nature Boy' Buddy Landell defeated Bob Holly ('WWF Monday Night Raw' live: Newark, Delaware - 18/12/95).
2) Nikolai Volkoff defeated George 'the Animal' Steele (w/Captain Lou Albano in his corner) via D.Q. ('WWF Prime Time Wrestling': MSG, New York - taped on 14/06/86, aired on 23/06/86).
3) 'The Animal' Batista defeated Tajiri ('WWE Raw': San Jose, California - 10/05/04).
4) Tito Santana went to a time limit draw with 'The Natural' Butch Reed ('WWF All-American Wrestling': Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada - taped on 16/11/86, aired on 07/12/86).
5) 'The Natural' Dustin Rhodes went to a double count out with Cactus Jack ('WCW Main Event': Rock Hill, South Carolina - taped on 17/02/92, aired on 01/03/92).
6) Jerry 'the King' Lawler (w/Bull Nakano in his corner) defeated Bret Hart via count out ('WWF Monday Night Raw' live: Stockton, California - 13/03/95).
7) King Harley Race defeated Pedro Morales ('WWF Prime Time Wrestling': Boston, Massachusetts - taped on 06/12/86, aired on 23/12/86).
Please note: I DO NOT sell DVDs or tapes of any of these shows. Sorry!
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Until next week, have a good week.
St Helens, England, U.K.