Friday, 09 May 2014 19:14
Shown on Sky Sports in the U.K.
By Stephen Lyon.
This week's theme: Famous Rivalries. Main event of today's show was John Cena vs Randy Orton, in their first ever singles match together on WWE tv (WWE Raw, November 2005). Other matches on today's show included: Bruno Sammartino vs Superstar Billy Graham (July 1977); Hulk Hogan vs Macho King Randy Savage, with Buster Douglas as ref (WWF The Main Event, February 1990); Bret Hart vs Bam Bam Bigelow in the KOTR tournament final (WWF KOTR ppv, June 1993); The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels in their first ever singles meeting (WWF In Your House: Ground Zero ppv, September 1997); and Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock in their final meeting & Austin's last ever match (WWE Wrestlemania 19, March 2003).
Show was hosted by Gene Okerlund & Renee Young, once again live at Wrestlemania Axxess in New Orleans.
1) Bruno Sammartino went to a double disqualification with WWWF Champion, Superstar Billy Graham. This match took place at Madison Square Garden, New York on June 27th, 1977. Sole announcer for this match was Vince McMahon. Only the last few minutes of this bout aired. This was a major brawl between both guys, with Sammartino largely getting the better of it with kicks and punches. The referee tried to step between the two multiple times, but kept getting shoved away, so in the end, called for the bell and disqualified both men. Graham slipped out of the ring and Sammartino attempted to drag Graham back in, but couldn't, with Graham heading to the back. The brawl had good intensity.
2) WWF Champion, Hulk Hogan defeated Macho King Randy Savage (w/Sensational Queen Sherri in his corner). This match took place on the February 23rd, 1990 live edition of 'WWF The Main Event', taped in Detroit, Michigan. Announcers for this match were Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura. Special outside the ring enforcer for this match was recently crowned World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, James 'Buster' Douglas. Mike Tyson was originally signed for this spot, but after Tyson shockingly lost his title to Douglas in Tokyo a few weeks earlier and pulled out of his WWF appearance, WWF quickly made a deal with Douglas to fulfil Tyson's role. Douglas made a decent fist of it, pardon the pun. After Sherri tried to interfere, Douglas ordered Sherri to the back and escorted her down the aisle. Savage had Hogan pinned after a top rope flying elbow, but Hogan kicked out and Hulked up. Referee Earl Hebner was accidentally bumped, and seconds later Hogan hit the legdrop on Savage. With Hebner down, Douglas hopped into the ring and counted the pinfall win. Afterwards, Savage was unhappy with Douglas' count and slapped him. After much prancing around by Savage, Hogan shoved Savage into Douglas, who botched his first knockout punch attempt, which Savage didn't sell, but then caught Savage with a better second punch, 'knocking him out'. This was very entertaining stuff. I think the only reason why this angle/post-match spot isn't featured as much in historical WWE history pieces, as far as famous moments go, is because Douglas' fame as a boxer didn't last, plus the botching the first punch attempt hurt the ability to feature the angle in nostalgia pieces. I think if Mike Tyson had done this gig as originally planned, and had KO'd Savage after the match with no botches, it probably would have been more widely recognised as one of the more famous moments in WWE history.
3) Bret Hart defeated Bam Bam Bigelow to win the 1993 King of the Ring tournament. This match was the main event of the 'WWF King of the Ring 1993' pay-per-view event, held in Dayton, Ohio on June 13th, 1993. Announcers for this match were Jim Ross & Bobby Heenan & Macho Man Randy Savage. Match was joined in progress, with a wild brawl outside the ring, including Bigelow (shocking misspelt by the WWE on-screen graphics department as 'Bigelo'!) crashing into the guardrails, before recovering to post Hart. The finish saw Luna Vachon come out and hit Bret with a chair, before Bigelow gave Hart a top rope diving headbutt, seemingly for the pinfall win. However, Earl Hebner came out and overruled referee Joey Marella, informing him of Luna's interference, and restarting the match. Shortly thereafter, Bret won with a victory roll off the top rope, scoring the pinfall win. A brief clip of Bret's coronation ceremony afterwards with Gene Okerlund was shown.
4) The Undertaker went to a no contest with Shawn Michaels. This was the main event of the 'WWF In Your House: Ground Zero 1997' pay-per-view event, held in Louisville, Kentucky on September 7th, 1997. Announcers for this match were Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler. This was the first ever singles meeting between Undertaker and Michaels and was a totally wild affair. Undertaker decked referee Mike Chiota before the match even started, prompting Michaels to tell Vince McMahon at ringside, 'I'm out of here'. Commissioner Slaughter came out and ordered Michaels back to the ring. Undertaker then tossed referee Chiota out of the ring and on to Michaels at ringside. Undertaker and Michaels brawled all the way and back around the In Your House set (the last time this set would ever be used). Back in a ring, multiple refs would come out to referee the match, only to be decked by either guy after a few moments. At one point Rick Rude came out and handed Michaels a pair of brass knux to use, but Undertaker was able to snatch them from Michaels. The final moments of the contest saw Undertaker chokeslam Earl Hebner, leading to ref Tim White to come out and call for the bell to end the match. The carnage continued, however. Triple H and Chyna came out to help Michaels, only for Taker to tombstone Triple H. A bunch of lower card babyfaces and heels came out, to separate Undertaker and Michaels respectively. Taker then did a top rope plancha dive on to Michaels and the heels outside the ring, to end the segment.
5) The Rock defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin. This was the main event of the 'WWE Wrestlemania 19' pay-per-view event, held in Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington on March 30th, 2003. Announcers for this match were Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler. Only the last few minutes aired, with Rock putting on Austin's waistcoat to mock Austin. Austin used a Rock Bottom on Rock for a nearfall, whilst Rock gave Austin a stunner and a Rock Bottom for a nearfall of his own. Austin kicked out of two Rock Bottoms, before Rock gave him a third Rock Bottom for the pinfall win.
6) WWE Champion, John Cena defeated Randy Orton (w/Cowboy Bob Orton in his corner) via disqualification. This match aired on the November 13th, 2005 live edition of 'WWE Raw', taped in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Announcers for this match were Joey Styles & Jonathan Coachman & Jerry Lawler. This show was the Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show, taking place the day after Eddie passed away. Cena wrestled the whole match wearing an 'I'm Your Papi' Eddie t-shirt. Not a lot to this short tv bout. Cena got the better of Orton, taking him down with shoulder blocks and clothesline, but hitting his five knuckle shuffle. Orton's father, Cowboy Bob Orton attacked Cena for disqualification, and Orton Sr & Jr both attacked him. Cena made his own save though, clearing the ring of Cowboy Bob, and then giving Orton the FU.
Closing thoughts: Good show this week, with some cool matches of historical importance.
Quick plug: If you enjoy my weekly 'WWE Vintage Collection' tv columns such as this, then you may like to check out the latest issue of 'Fighting Spirit Magazine' (Issue 105, with The The Shield on the cover. The critically-acclaimed magazine features all new regular columns from FSM columnists, Magnus and Jim Cornette, in addition to articles on the current wrestling scene internationally and in the U.K., as well as great historical pieces on wrestling heritage. Plus my 'Wrestling Round Up' TV Lounge column, recapping this past months' WWE & TNA tv shows, as well as WWE ppv & UK independent show reviews, plus much more. Available now, in all good newsagents in the U.K. & Ireland, and for fans worldwide, subscriptions are available here at: http://www.fightingspiritmagazine.co.uk/magazine/subscribe!
Also, for fans in the U.S. and worldwide, why not try the brand new Fighting Spirit Magazine app for iPhone and iPad? Price is $3.99, but a free issue is included in that price! It's awesome to read FSM on the iPad, so why not give it a try?!
Fighting Spirit Magazine App is downloadable here:
1) Bruno Sammartino went to a double disqualification with WWWF Champion, Superstar Billy Graham (MSG, New York: 27/06/77).
2) WWF Champion, Hulk Hogan defeated Macho King Randy Savage (w/Sensational Queen Sherri in his corner) ('WWF The Main Event' live - Detroit, Michigan: 23/02/90).
3) Bret Hart defeated Bam Bam Bigelow to win the 1993 King of the Ring tournament ('WWF King of the Ring 1993' pay-per-view event - Dayton, Ohio: 13/06/93).
4) The Undertaker went to a no contest with Shawn Michaels ('WWF In Your House: Ground Zero 1997' pay-per-view event - Louisville, Kentucky: 07/09/97).
5) The Rock defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin ('WWE Wrestlemania 19' pay-per-view event - Seattle, Washington: 30/03/03).
6) WWE Champion, John Cena defeated Randy Orton (w/Cowboy Bob Orton in his corner) via disqualification ('WWE Raw' live - Minneapolis, Minnesota: 13/11/05).
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 .
It’s no longer updated, but this website carries all of my previous WWE Classics tv reports that have been featured on the old WrestlingObserver.com website.
As always your questions, comments and thoughts are always welcomed, and you can contact me at
Until next week, have a good week.
St Helens, England, U.K.