'WWE Vintage Collection’ TV Report #254 – April 14th, 2013
Shown on Sky Sports in the U.K.
By Stephen Lyon.
This week's theme: History of wrestling at the Meadowlands. Four of today's five matches took place at the Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey, with the other non-Meadowlands match featuring two New Jersey natives. Main event saw: The Undertaker & Brock Lesnar vs Ric Flair & Rob Van Dam, from WWE Raw, July 2002. Other matches on today's show included: Ric Flair vs Sting for the NWA World Title (title change on the night of the infamous blizzard, WCW, January 1991); Paul Orndorff vs Rowdy Roddy Piper (WWF Saturday Nights Main Event, October 1985); Andre the Giant & Sgt Slaughter vs Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik (October 1984); and in the sole non-Meadowlands match, Saturn & Kanyon vs Diamond Dallas Page & Bam Bam Bigelow for the WCW World Tag Team titles (WCW Monday Nitro, May 1999).
Great show today.
Show was hosted by Gene Okerlund and Renee Young. For only the second time in the near-5-year history of this show, they did the links between the matches outside the WWE studios, with Okerlund & Young recording these links live at WWE Axxess, last Sunday morning. In a quirk of fate, I was actually there live when they did the show opening and closing links, on the stage area of the titantron. To the left of where they introduced the show, you could see the fans queuing up to meet Rey Mysterio, and yours truly was in that queue at the time of the filming, looking on. In their other links between matches, they toured the concourse area of the IZOD Center, showing off some of the WWE memorabilia that was on display (such as Mr T's boxing gloves from Wrestlemania 2), which was really cool.
1) Andre the Giant & Sgt Slaughter defeated Nikolai Volkoff & the Iron Sheik. This match took place at the Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey on October 14th, 1984. Announcers for this match were Gorilla Monsoon & Lord Alfred Hayes. Slaughter was wearing a white vest top and blue tights with red trim, which was quite unusual attire for him. The heels fought a losing battle trying to work over Andre, not least Volkoff who tried to apply a bear hug. On Andre the Giant. Monsoon was ridiculing him over that one. Andre made the hot tag to Slaughter, who cleaned house. Slaughter squared off with Sheik, atomic dropping him. Sheik irish-whipped Slaughter into the corner, where Slaughter was busted open on the ring post. Sheik then bit Slaughter's bloody forehead several times, resulting in any close ups of Slaughter's bloody face being shown in black and white. Finish saw Andre tag in, throw the heels into each other, and Slaughter pinned Sheik after a clothesline off the middle turnbuckle.
2) Paul Orndorff went to a double count out with Rowdy Roddy Piper. This match aired on the October 5th, 1985 edition of 'WWF Saturday Night's Main Event' on NBC, taped at the Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey on October 3rd, 1985. Announcers for this match were Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura. Orndorff and Piper engaged in a massive brawl from the get-go, rolling around the ring throwing punches, and attacking each other at ringside. Orndorff threw Piper into a ringside table, and also nailed him with a chair. There was very little wrestling moves used, and the two engaged in a total slugfest, brawling down the aisle, where they were counted out. It was really cool, as they showed McMahon & Ventura in their commentary position on the big scaffold/platform above the entrance area, and Piper & Orndorff brawled right underneath them. In a major rarity in this era of WWF, Piper and Orndorff were shown brawling backstage, to the locker room area, where Piper dived inside a locker room and locked the door, finishing with Orndorff pounding on the door. This was a really great brawl between these two guys.
3) Ric Flair defeated Sting to win the NWA World title. This was a January 11th, 1991 house show match at the Meadowlands, that was taped and aired during the following night's January 12th, 1991 edition of 'WCW Saturday Night'. Sole announcer for this match was Jim Ross. This match was during one of WCW's many ill-fated forays into the New York/New Jersey area. In this instance, there was a massive blizzard on the day of the show, which limited the crowd attendance to just 5,000 fans. This was a good match, which saw Sting clothesline Flair off the ring apron, and led to the Stinger throwing Flair into a ringside table and guardrail, busting him open. Back in the ring, Sting no-sold Flair's chops and military pressed him. Sting missed with a splash in the corner, but did slam Flair off the top turnbuckle. Sting scored a nearfall with a flying clothesline, then inadvertently took out both Flair and the referee when he did the move a second time. The finish saw the pair clash heads coming off the ropes, with Flair falling on top of Sting. The referee recovered to count Flair's winning pinfall for the title change, and didn't see Flair gain leverage with his feet on the middle rope.
4) Diamond Dallas Page & Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Saturn & Kanyon to win the WCW World Tag Team titles. This match aired on the May 31st, 1999 live edition of 'WCW Monday Nitro’, taped in Houston, Texas. Announcers for this match were Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan & Eric Bischoff. Match was joined in progress, with Kanyon taken out earlier in the show and supposedly hospitalised. Saturn & Kanyon were the faces, DDP & Bigelow the heels here. The commentary was weird, as Bischoff was burying DDP on commentary, doing the tiresome 'worked shoot' comments about how DDP owes him, and just generally negating any steam DDP was gathering as a heel. DDP scored a nearfall on Saturn after a sitdown powerbomb. After a commercial break, DDP used a top rope lariat on Saturn. Bigelow missed with a top rope splash, and Saturn had some hope spots as he gave both DDP and Bigelow death valley drivers. Kanyon then ran in from the back, with a hospital wristband attached to his wrist, with the idea he'd discharged himself from the hospital to come back for this match. Kanyon made the hot tag, but then was immediately K.O.'d by a DDP punch for the pinfall win and title change.
5) WWE Undisputed Champion, The Undertaker & Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman in their corner) defeated WWE Intercontinental Champion, Rob Van Dam & Ric Flair. This match was the main event of the July 15th, 2002 live edition of 'WWE Raw', taped at the Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey. Announcers for this match were Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler. This was the night that Eric Bischoff debuted as the new RAW General Manager, hugging Vince and in the process, millions of dollars of drawing potential being flushed down the drain. In of his first moves, Bischoff made this match. Undertaker and Lesnar were both heels here, Flair & RVD both faces. Taker and Flair squared off to start the match, with Flair unloading with chops that Taker sold (Taker was in his 'American Bad Ass' humanised biker gimmick here, with short hair and sold like a normal big guy wrestler). RVD tagged in and used several rapid kicks to Taker's legs in an effort to immobilise the big man. Flair used a figure four leglock on Taker, but Taker applied a chokehold. Flair used a lowblow to escape, and threw more chops, but eventually ate a chokeslam. Taker tagged in Lesnar, who destroyed Flair in the corner. The announcers constantly put over what an animal and a beast Lesnar was, as Flair sold his offence huge. Taker also joined in, cheapshotting Flair behind the referee's back.
After a commercial break, Flair was using desperation chops on Taker, but the Deadman took him down with a flying clothesline. Taker suplexed Flair for a nearfall, but RVD broke up the pin. Lesnar powerslammed Flair off the ropes. RVD made the hot tag, using Rolling Thunder on Taker for a nearfall, and a split legged moonsault on Lesnar for another nearfall, broken up by a Taker legdrop to the back of his head. Finish saw Lesnar give Flair a big F5, knocking him out of the ring. RVD levelled Lesnar with a sidekick and connected with a five star frog splash, but Taker picked RVD for a last ride powerbomb to score the pinfall win. After the match, Taker posed with the belt, as the announcers pondered who would win the upcoming Vengeance ppv main event between Taker, Rock and Kurt Angle. However, Lesnar attacked Taker from behind, then gave him a big F5. Jim Ross was going nuts, screaming on commentary about 'how business just picked up'. This was a very good match.
Closing thoughts: Great show this week, with a stellar main event and some interesting choices throughout. Of course, there were many other major Meadowlands matches from history that they could have aired, not least the Flair vs Steamboat classic in 1984, to ppv bouts from Summerslams 1989, 1997 and 2007. Still, the idea of focusing on matches from a famous arena or area is a cool one, and I hope they do this more often.
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1) Andre the Giant & Sgt Slaughter defeated Nikolai Volkoff & the Iron Sheik (Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey - 14/10/84).
2) Paul Orndorff went to a double count out with Rowdy Roddy Piper ('WWF Saturday Night's Main Event' NBC tv special – Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey: taped on 03/10/85, aired on 05/10/85).
3) Ric Flair defeated Sting to win the NWA World title ('WCW Saturday Night' - Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey: taped on 11/01/91, aired on 12/01/91).
4) Diamond Dallas Page & Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Saturn & Kanyon to win the WCW World Tag Team titles ('WCW Monday Nitro’ – Houston, Texas: 31/05/99).
5) WWE Undisputed Champion, The Undertaker & Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman in their corner) defeated WWE Intercontinental Champion, Rob Van Dam & Ric Flair ('WWE Raw' - Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey: 15/07/02).
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.