‘WWE Vintage Collection’ TV Report #216 – July 22nd, 2012
Shown on Sky Sports in the U.K.
By Stephen Lyon.
This week: Fourth week of the 'Best in the World' theme, with this show focusing on U.S.A. patriots. Main event of today's show was The Patriot vs Bret Hart, from WWF Raw is War, July 1997. Other matches on today's show were: Kurt Angle vs Mark Henry (Battle of the Olympians - WWE Smackdown, August 2002); Lex Luger vs Tatanka in a cage match (WWF Sunday Night Slam, March 1995); Pretty Wonderful vs Stars & Stripes for the WCW World Tag Team titles, WCW Clash of the Champions 29, November 1994); and Money Inc. vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Sgt Slaughter (WWF Prime Time Wrestling, July 1992).
Gene Okerlund hosted the show alone this week.
1) Kurt Angle defeated Mark Henry. This match aired on the August 15th, 2002 edition of 'WWE Smackdown', taped in Seattle, Washington on August 13th, 2002. Announcers for this match were Michael Cole & Tazz. This match was billed as the 'Battle of the Olympians', as both guys had famously competed in the 1996 Olympics. Henry was a babyface here. Henry initially took Angle down with a running shoulderblock, and dominated him with power moves, press-slamming Angle, nailing him with a clothesline and splashing Angle across the ropes. However, Henry tweaked his ankle, and Angle dominated him thereafter. Angle worked over Henry left leg, grounding the big man. Henry escaped from one Ankle Lock attempt, and even slammed Angle at one point, but Angle soon locked on the Ankle Lock again to earn the submission victory.
2) Stars & Stripes defeated Pretty Wonderful (Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma) to win the WCW World Tag Team titles. This match took place at the 'WCW Clash of the Champions 29' live TBS tv special, taped in Jacksonville, Florida on November 16th, 1994. Announcers for this match were Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan. As well as the tag team titles being on line, there was also a stipulation added that if Stars & Stripes (Marcus Bagwell & The Patriot) lost, the Patriot would have to unmask. Roma worked over Bagwell in the early going, with armdrags and punches. Bagwell made the tag to Patriot, who cleaned house. After a commercial break, the heels regained control, with Roma delivering a backbreaker on Patriot, and working over Bagwell too. Finish of the match saw Orndorff give Bagwell a suplex, with Roma ready to deliver a splash. Patriot pushed Roma off the turnbuckles, and Bagwell pinned Orndorff for the win. The crowd popped huge for Stars & Stripes title victory, a lot more than you'd expect. This was an entertaining match.
Todd Pettengill narrated a short video on the near year-long rivalry between Lex Luger and Tatanka, as a prelude to the following match.
3) Lex Luger defeated Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase in his corner) in a cage match. This match aired on the March 26th, 1995 edition of 'WWF Sunday Night Slam' (a USA Network tv special to hype Wrestlemania 11), taped in Stockton, California on March 13th, 1995. Announcers for this match were Vince McMahon & Jim Ross. This match was the blow-off to the Luger vs Tatanka feud. Luger beat down Tatanka and ran him into the cage, before missing with a standing elbow drop. Tatanka crawled towards the door, but Luger dragged him back in before he could escape. In a somewhat confusing development, pinfalls were also allowed in this cage match, but with the referee positioned on the outside. This resulted in every pinfall attempt being accompanied by the referee having to open the cage door and climb into the ring to count the fall, which was rather silly. The referee should have just been positioned in the ring throughout the match, as became the norm in WWE cage matches years later. Luger no-sold a lot of Tatanka's offence, and finally scored the win with a forearm smash off the top rope. Match was rather mundane and boring.
4) WWF World Tag Team Champions, Money Inc. (w/Jimmy Hart in their corner) defeated Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Sgt Slaughter via D.Q. This match aired on the July 6th, 1992 edition of 'WWF Prime Time Wrestling', taped in Toledo, Ohio on April 7th, 1992. Announcers for this match were Gorilla Monsoon & Lord Alfred Hayes. The fact they waited three months to air this after taping it should tell you all you need to know about how good this match was. DiBiase grounded Duggan with a chinlock. I.R.S. tagged in and used a front facelock. Duggan made the hot tag to Slaughter, who cleaned house. Slaughter applied the cobra clutch to DiBiase, but I.R.S. broke it up. I.R.S. then tried to use Duggan's 2x4 as a weapon, but Duggan caught him in time, snatched the 2x4 and nailed both DiBiase and I.R.S. with it himself, to earn his team a disqualification. Bad match.
Jim Ross narrated a short video, recapping the introduction of 'The Patriot' Del Wilkes to the WWF, in the summer of 1997, and how Patriot had become embroiled in a hot feud with the Hart Foundation.
5) The Patriot defeated WWF Champion, Bret Hart in a non-title match. This match aired on the July 28th, 1997 live edition of 'WWF Raw is War', taped in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Announcers for this match were Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler & Shawn Michaels. To say Bret Hart had nuclear heat here with the live crowd would be an understatement. These people DESPISED Hart, throwing plastic bottles and debris at him in the ring throughout this match. Many people in the crowd all had little American flags, in support of the U.S., as Hart had been a very outspoken critic of the U.S., as per his xenophobic, Canada-loving persona at this point. This was 6 days before Summerslam, where Bret would defend the WWF title against the Undertaker, with Shawn Michaels (on color here) as the special guest referee. Hart was in control for most of this match, using a backbreaker and scoring several nearfalls. Hart went for a back suplex on Patriot off the ropes, but bumped the referee inadvertently. Hart gave Patriot a piledriver, but there was no referee to count the fall. Hart revived the referee, and went for another pin attempt, only this time, Michaels pulled Hart off the Patriot. Hart began yelling at Michaels outside the ring, and didn't notice Patriot roll him up from behind, to score the surprise pinfall victory. Crowd popped huge for Patriot's win, as they played his music (which would later become Kurt Angle's WWF theme music). After the match, Hart was furious, and was held back by various road agents from following Patriot up the ramp. Michaels danced on top of the announcers table, mocking Hart, which made Hart even angrier, and the road agents then had to hold back Hart from attacking Michaels. This was a really good match with a very hot crowd.
Closing thoughts: Main event made this a good show. Angle vs Henry was okay, and Pretty Wonderful vs Stars & Stripes was entertaining.
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1) Kurt Angle defeated Mark Henry ('WWE Smackdown': Seattle, Washington - taped on 13/08/02, aired on 15/08/02).
2) Stars & Stripes defeated Pretty Wonderful to win the WCW World Tag Team titles ('WCW Clash of the Champions 29': Jacksonville, Florida - 16/11/94).
3) Lex Luger defeated Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase in his corner) in a cage match ('WWF Sunday Night Slam': Stockton, California - taped on 13/05/95, aired on 26/03/95).
4) WWF World Tag Team Champions, Money Inc. (w/Jimmy Hart in their corner) defeated Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Sgt Slaughter via D.Q. ('WWF Prime Time Wrestling': Toledo, Ohio - taped on 07/04/92, aired on 06/07/92).
5) The Patriot defeated WWF Champion, Bret Hart in a non-title match ('WWF Raw is War' live: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - 28/07/97).
Please note: I DO NOT sell DVDs or tapes of any of these shows. Sorry!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s report. For other reports like this one, be sure to check it out my website archive at http://www.classicwrestlingreports.com .
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Until next week, have a good week.
St Helens, England, U.K.