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Old 06-09-2015, 07:23 PM   #151
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Great American Bash '90: NWA US Tag Team Titles - The Midnight Express (c) (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. The Southern Boys

Date: July 7, 1990

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31588807

Background: I don't really know of one.

The Match: Though I've had a vague familiarity with Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong, I have no familiarity with this team. Jim Ross and Bob Caudle on the call…I don't really know who this referee is.

Eaton jumps Armstrong before the opening bell, Lane joins in the ambush, and we're straight into a brawl outside. Southern Boys get Eaton back into the ring, hit a double dropkick and then a double backdrop before knocking Sweet Stan back to the floor to control the ring.



Match sets legally for the first time, Eaton vs. Armstrong. Armdrag by Armstrong. By the way: while this project has made me more appreciative of the Midnight Express, it has also made me more unappreciative of just how terrible their standard tights looked. Holy **** those things were ugly. Eaton wrestles Armstrong into the corner and gets in a cheap shot during the attempted ref break. Tries to follow a bodyslam by going up top, but gets caught and thrown off. Monkeyflip by Armstrong followed by a few straight lefts and a standing dropkick. Great clothesline off the top by the man with the Confederate flag draped across his ass, and Eaton takes a walk.

Eaton re-enters, still selling, which raises the question of why he isn't just tagging out. He runs straight into the double-team, retreats to his corner for a break, but still doesn't tag. Side headlock by Eaton, followed by a low jab off the ropes, but he eats a savate kick directly after to be put back down. Smothers in now, backdrops Eaton and delivers another savate kick for good measure. Eaton finally clues in and tags Stan Lane into the match.



Lane threatens Smothers with a karate stance in response to the Southern Boys' kicks, Smothers obliges with the same stance, and Lane gets a hard shot in with a karate chop to the neck. I enjoyed that spot. Another karate standoff, and Lane gets the best of it again with a back fist strike. Smothers launches a comeback by hitting several strikes of his own, Eaton re-enters to help and takes another Smothers boot to the face. The Midnights regroup outside.

Stan Lane back in, trades holds and counterholds with Smothers before tagging Eaton back in. Eaton being dominated every time he enters the ring, as he now immediately gets pulled through on an armdrag before being dropkicked. Eaton tries an escape to the floor, but Smothers hits a modified dropkick on him from the ring through the middle rope. Cool spot. Lane enters illegally, ref strangely allows it, but he tags out pretty immediately anyway.

Double back elbow by the Express, but Smothers hits a high flying cross-body off the top that takes out both Midnights right after, and again the Southern Boys clear the ring of both Midnights. After a reset, Eaton is back in, is about to fall back behind again, but he blind tags Lane, Cornette distracts the referee directly after, and Lane takes advantage by blatantly throwing Smothers over the top rope and then slamming him into the barricade (which, again, never gets anyone disqualified and doesn't require a distraction). Jim Cornette comes across to that side of the ring and lays in a racket shot while the referee isn't looking; okay, that required the distraction.



Back inside, atomic drop by Lane into a backbreaker by Eaton. The heat segment is on, as the Express continue double-teaming. Savate kicks and a snapmare by Lane. Eaton back in, absorbs a kick by Smothers and then slams him. Eaton up top, beauty of a flying legdrop from there. Tags out instead of going for a pin. More double-teaming, as a Lane savate kick sends Smothers stumbling into an Eaton swinging neckbreaker. Smothers goes outside for a break, but Eaton slingshots him back in. After a punch and a kick, Smothers is back outside, Eaton attempts to greet him back in with a slingshot, but Smothers reverses and slingshots Eaton outside. Lane is in to briefly quell the comeback, but Smothers manages a double sunset flip in the face of a double backdrop attempt, and then seizes the window to go make the hot tag to Armstrong.

Armstrong fights them both off for a bit, when he needs help Smothers is back in, Armstrong holds Lane up for a missile dropkick by Smothers off the top, and only a badly distracted referee (who suddenly starts caring about getting the illegal man out during double-teams) keeps that from being a pinfall. As the referee keeps on the case of pushing Smothers out, Armstrong attempts to climb to the top, gets pushed off by Eaton from the apron, and the Midnights execute a rocket launcher. Referee seems to count to three, but gets up and declares that it's only two. As the Express read him the riot act, Eaton gets rolled up for a very believable near-fall that again is only two. As the referee continues to have a hard time keeping control, Lane hits a kick to the back of Smothers's head from the apron, small package by Eaton, 1-2-3.



Result: The Midnight Express via pinfall (18:14)

Meltzer Rating: ****3/4

My Review and Rating: Great stuff overall, another Midnight Express match with excellent pace and a lot of cool innovative stuff. From a bit of research, the Southern Boys weren't really over, but this match put them decently over and it's easy to see how. Smothers and Armstrong had just great spot after great spot; it's actually too bad they didn't make it bigger if this match was any indication. Great final flourish in this match also, with two highly believable near-falls directly before the actual finish. I probably liked the story from the Midnight Express-Rock 'n Roll Express match from earlier in 1990 better, but this deserves a high rating as well. ****1/4
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:30 PM   #152
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

(99% of the writeup below lifted from my Curt Hennig Tribute Thread.)

Saturday Night's Main Event XXVII: Intercontinental Title - Mr. Perfect (c) vs. Tito Santana

Date: July 28, 1990

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v33576301

Background: Mr. Perfect beat Tito Santana in the tournament final to crown a new IC Champion after the belt was vacated when Warrior beat Hogan for the WWF Title. Here's the rematch of the tournament final.

The Match: Perfect cuts a fierce backstage promo on Tito before the match, then heads to the ring.



Tito lights Perfect up to start with a series of punches, then dropkicks him to the outside to a huge pop. Crowd seems hot. Perfect regroups a bit, then rejoins the match and does a bit better, getting an advantage and then connecting on that standing dropkick that I can never get enough of.

Perfect with a chinlock, Santana starts to fade but then grabs Perfect's hair and then uses his other fist to cold-cock Perfect in the face and stun him. Mr. P recovers and chops him into the corner. Sends him into the opposite corner, but charges into a boot to the face. Santana comes charging out after that with a strong clothesline that Perfect sells with a flip.

Ref bump as Tito winds up with a punch and knocks him into Earl Hebner, taking Hebner's knee out. Hebner is out as Tito places Hennig in the figure-four leglock. Tapping out wasn't a thing back then, but presumably Perfect was trying to submit if there had been a referee there.



Tito finally gets up to revive the official, then hits Perfect with the flying forearm. The hobbled Hebner slowly makes his way over…1, 2, and no. Good false finish, especially in an era where finisher kickouts didn't happen constantly.

Tito up to the second rope, flying clothesline off the second rope. Hebner still struggling, but he makes his way over to count and can only get to two. This is awesome. A new official runs down to the ring and subs himself in for the injured Hebner. Perfect misses a clothesline as Tito comes off the ropes, Tito bounces off the opposite ropes and comes with a cross-body for another pinning attempt. Still only two.

Perfect finally gets off of defense for a moment and hits the snapmare/neck snap. He comes to the side and Heenan offers him a towel to dry off a bit. Big heat from the crowd. Perfect and Tito exchange right hands, coming out about even, but Perfect breaks the stalemate with a crescent kick to the face, followed by twisting Santana's neck.



Santana reverses and once again takes back over. Sends him into the post and crotches him. Hits a reverse atomic drop. Hits a regular atomic drop. The regular atomic drop sends Perfect flying into the turnbuckle, and he bounces back off into Santana's hard clothesline, which turns him inside out. Pin, 1, 2…no. So many good false finishes.

Perfect into the ropes, catches Tito and positions him for a Perfectplex. Tito reverses and catches him in a small package. Only two, then Perfect reverses the leverage and gets Tito into his own small package, and gets the three count.

Result: Mr. Perfect via pinfall (10:11)

Meltzer Rating: ****

Rating: Truly sick match, Hennig's finest in the WWF to this point without much question. Both wrestlers just absolutely killed it. ****1/4
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:36 PM   #153
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

1990 seems to have been a thin year on the top end. Five writeups in the books, just one more to come. Only 1987 was shorter on Meltzer 4+-star matches when talking about full years.
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:39 PM   #154
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Starrcade '90 - World Tag Team Title Street Fight - Doom (c) (w/ Teddy Long) vs. Arn Anderson & Barry Windham

Date: December 16, 1990

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31666527

Background: Not sure.

The Match: The brawl gets going while the broadcast is showing some introductory graphic, as all four men go at it. Ron Simmons bodyslams Windham on the aisleway, but Arn interjects himself and lays a beating on him. Back in the ring, Butch Reed connects on a suplex on Windham.



The two pairings brawl separately, and Windham gets busted open early by a weapon shot. Reed follows up by digging his weightlifter belt into Windham's open wound, but Windham reverses into a back suplex on the floor. It's obvious from early that this isn't going to have enough structure to it for me to be able to keep up with much of a description.

Hard chair shot by Arn outside on Reed, and Windham does likewise to Simmons in the middle of the ring. All four men are busted open within the first few minutes of the match. Sick spinebuster by Simmons on Windham gets a two-count. Press slam by Simmons on Arn. His momentum gets stopped when he climbs to the top and Windham blatantly drops him with a low blow. Superplex by the Widowmaker for two. Flying shoulderblock off the top by Reed hits Arn; Windham makes the save on a pinning attempt and then DDTs Reed.



Chairshot straight to Arn's head by Simmons only gets two. Piledriver by Reed on Windham. The Horsemen isolate Simmons for a double-team move as Arn goes up to the second rope, but Reed returns to the ring, breaks up the move, Simmons puts Arn's lights out with a clothesline, and two pins take place simultaneously as Windham pins Reed while Simmons pins Arn. Referee Nick Patrick counts them both down at once.



The brawl continues after the double pin with no real word for a while, but eventually it gets ruled a no contest after the two teams brawl to the back.

Result: No contest (7:19)

Meltzer Rating: ****

My Review and Rating: I mean, I can appreciate how incredibly hard these guys went to get the absolute maximum out of the short runtime, but I'm not inclined to go as high as Meltzer. It's a fun brawl, and these guys really beat the **** out of each other, but the ending is kinda stupid. Just a very contrived spot to get to the simultaneous pins next to each other. Tough match to really rate, but I have to give these guys some love for laying it all out there, even for just seven minutes. ***1/2
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:42 PM   #155
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

1990 Match of the Year: Midnight Express vs. Rock 'n Roll Express from Wrestlewar '90

While I loved that match, it also feels fairly weak for a match of the year selection; I gave some consideration to Flair vs. Luger from the same event just because I'm inclined to give a bump to a match that's higher up the card if it's close at all, but I think my selection had enough of the edge in match quality that I'm just going to pick it rather than talk myself out of it. Midnights vs. Southern Boys would probably get the bronze here.
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:10 PM   #156
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

I always cracked up when the performers ring attire would change to ripped t shorts and jeans when they were a street fight
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Old 06-13-2015, 12:50 AM   #157
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Watched that match last year and thought it was great. Would give about the same raring as you, LKJ
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:44 AM   #158
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Royal Rumble '91: The Rockers vs. The Orient Express (w/ Mr. Fuji)

Date: January 19, 1991

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31345879

Background: None that I know of, and really probably none in general. To my recollection, the Orient Express never really got any proper feuds and were just thrown onto cards because they were good hands in the ring and could keep up with a team like The Rockers and put on a nice curtain-jerker to get the crowd up.

The Match: Hey look, the Rockers were still together two years later! That's about a year and ten months longer than they would last today. Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper on the call. Joey Marella the referee.



Pat Tanaka jumps Marty Jannetty and knocks him off the top rope to the floor in mid-entrance, and we're under way quickly with the Orient Express double-teaming Shawn Michaels with a double backdrop. They go to follow, but Marty is back in for the save, knocks Kato out of the ring, and now it's the Rockers' turn to double-team as they connect on a double hip-toss on Tanaka. Tanaka rolls out to take a break, but the Rockers aren't having it and they hit a double suicide dive on the Express.

The crowd chants "USA!", seemingly a negative chant against the Orient Express. Tanaka is from Hawaii, but they did accidentally stumble into chanting this against a foreigner given that Kato was…Croatian. Match settles into a normal bout, with Jannetty and Kato facing off. Side headlock by Marty, Kato tries to reverse into a back suplex, but Marty holds on in mid-air and it turns into a side headlock takeover.

Back up, the two run the ropes, hip-toss by Kato, legscissor by Jannetty, some jostling into a backslide by the less successful Rocker; the referee counts to two as the announce team spares us the indignity of having to hear about how the backslide nearly won the match. Tanaka tags in, but Jannetty has him down with an armdrag as well. Tag out to Michaels, who enters with an axhandle off the top.



Michaels and Tanaka run the ropes, culminating in Tanaka hitting a beauty of a hard cross-body. Reverse chinlock by Tanaka, Michaels tries to escape, blind tag in to Kato, Michaels thwarts an attempted double-team by ducking under and then smashing the Express's heads together. Strangely enough, Kato's tag just seems to get no-sold, and Tanaka remains the legal man. Sleeper by Michaels. Joey Marella gets distracted by Jannetty, Kato seizes the opportunity to break up the hold and hit Michaels from behind, and Tanaka is able to take advantage with a leg sweep that puts the future world champion down.

Tanka lays in the right hands in one corner until Michaels reverses position and fights his way out. Both tag partners enter, but Michaels throws a moonsault at Kato for good measure. Lots of really good action here as the four continue to fight, Rockers throwing great top rope cross-bodyblocks to the floor on opposite sides of the ring on their respective opponents.

Jannetty and Michaels hit a double back elbow on Kato as things settle down with Jannetty and Kato legal in the match. The quick tags continue, Michaels back in for a delayed suplex. Shawn attempts to go up top for a monkey-flip on Kato, Tanaka races down the apron and hangs Michaels hard along the top rope. Gorilla, as he always did when he didn't know the name of a move, calls it a "nice leverage move." Was a really cool spot.



Kato baits Jannetty into the ring, distracting Marella, and Tanaka positions Michaels along the apron so that Mr. Fuji can drive his cane into Michaels's throat. The Orient Express continue deconstructing the face in peril, hitting a double-team move where Kato holds Michaels up along the ropes and Tanaka leapfrogs onto him to sort of splash him along the ropes. I knew that the Orient Express were a good team, but they were actually even better here than I had remembered.

The Michaels heat segment continues with Michaels taking a hard back bump on a whip into the corner and then a hard flipping clothesline bump off of clothesline by Tanaka. Shawn creates an opening when he stops short of a backdrop attempt and hits a facebuster, and this chance only gets cut off when Kato goes charging across to attack Marty in the corner, causing Marty to again be held back by Joey Marella. While this is happening, the Express produce a leather belt, attempt to hold it up to clothesline Michaels, but Michaels ducks it and then purposely jumps into it on the way back, causing the Express to run into each other. Love that spot, and it finally gets us to the hot tag.



Jannetty cleans house, hits a hard scoop powerslam on Kato for two, goes for another pinning attempt and Tanaka interferes. He actually hits a kick that sends Jannetty into a Kato backslide, and for once the backslide was going to be a believable false finish, but it got semi-botched and didn't feel like as close of a call because of it. All four men in, Rockers go for a rocket launcher on Kato, but Tanaka breaks it up by kicking Michaels off the top rope to the floor.

Monkey-flip by Kato into a chop by Tanaka. The Express set up the same spot again, but Michaels is back in, hits Tanaka, Jannetty seizes the opening for a sunset flip, and amid the chaos the Rockers score the three-count. Wow, sick match.



Result: The Rockers via pinfall (19:15)

Meltzer Rating: ****

My Review and Rating: Very impressed. Expected a good match and got a great one. To me this was every bit as good as almost any of the great NWA tag matches that had gone on during these years. ****1/4
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Old 06-18-2015, 12:23 AM   #159
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Thread has been on pause for the better part of a week because next in the queue is another War Games match, and **** that noise. Oddly, really enjoying the last War Games match I reviewed didn't change my overall attitude toward those matches at all. But I'll endeavor to knock that out tomorrow night, and hopefully I'm pleasantly surprised again.
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:33 AM   #160
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

1991 War Games is a ton of fun.
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:31 PM   #161
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

WrestleWar '91: War Games - Ric Flair, Barry Windham, Sid Vicious, & Larry Zbyszko (w/ Arn Anderson) vs. Sting, Brian Pillman, & The Steiner Brothers

Date: February 24, 1991

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31675301

Background: Don't know. I assume Sid Vicious had begun his Horseman run here. Larry Z never had a Horseman run, so it would seem like he was probably an injury replacement for Arn.

The Match: Jim Ross and Dusty Rhodes on the call. Flyin' Brian is sporting a cast along his left shoulder and upper left arm. Scott Steiner is sporting long, dark hair. I'm appreciative of how simple it is to know whether you're watching "good wrestler" Scott Steiner or "awful joke" Scott Steiner just from hair color and length.

Barry Windham in first for the Horsemen, and Flyin' Brian seems to go the Leroy Jenkins route, running in to take a run at Windham against his team's plans as Jim Ross says, "He's out for revenge!" I like that as a way to open the match, for the way that it brings across some real hatred and intensity from the word go. Helps that it starts us off with two good workers.



Pillman ducks a clothesline and connects on a flying clothesline of his own. Windham with a shoulderblock, but Pillman hangs from the cage to connect on a dropkick, then hangs from it again to execute a headscissor takeover. Pillman up to the second corner, pump-fakes a cross-body, Windham bites on the pump-fake by ducking, then takes a missile dropkick when he stands back up.

Windham ducks a cross-body and looks to take his first advantage, but Pillman connects with a low blow to shut that down before sending him into one side of the cage and then the other before ultimately grating Windham's face across the cage. Probably my biggest opposition to these matches are the obsession with dumb-looking "run the guy into the side of the cage" spots, but everything else in this match has been great, and I will say that psychologically the move makes plenty of sense even if I'm not particularly a fan of it.

Jawbreaker by Pillman, who then bites at Windham's head and comes up with a bloody mouth as Windham is broken open. Flyin' Brian beats him from one corner to the other, then goes up top and connects with a flying clothesline from there. Pillman flings Windham over both sets of top ropes into the adjacent ring, then starts working Barry's leg over. What an absolute clinic by Pillman; just five minutes of awesomeness. As I say that, he connects with an axhandle off the ropes as time runs out on the first period.



The Horsemen win the toss, and Ric Flair is in to rescue a heavily-bloodied Barry Windham. A chopping contest between Flair and Brian takes a foothold, Pillman seems ready to win it, but Windham is able to recover well enough to put the former Cincinnati Bengal down. Windham rams Pillman's injured shoulder into the cage, and both Horsemen proceed to keep working it over as the clock runs down to zero.

Sting is in to even the score. Operating as if he just got a hot tag, Sting clobbers both enemies, and even fights off a double-team when double-whipped into the corner as he charges back off the corner and clotheslines both. The four pair off into Sting vs. Flair and Windham vs. Pillman. As the clock keeps rolling, Larry Zbyszko signals that he's going in. "They're going to save Sid Vicious for being the cleanup hitter!" Since the whole point of having Sid is to keep his matches as short as possible, I approve.

Flair chops Sting; Sting no-sells and takes an advantage, eventually sending Flair into the corner and connecting on a Stinger Splash. Zbyszko in now, and Sting quickly greets him by getting a running start from the empty ring and launching himself over both sets of top ropes for a flying shoulderblock. After that spot, it's a pretty uneventful 3-on-2 session, mostly some slow brawling, but Rick Steiner injects some energy when he comes in to even the score.



Rick clobbers Ric Flair in the corner, then throws him in a belly-to-belly suplex before giving him the head-grater treatment on the cage. Flair is bleeding now as well, and continues to take a lot of punishment from Rick Steiner, but the clock runs out again and Sid Vicious is in to make it 4-on-3. Sid beelines for Rick Steiner and holds him in place so that Sting can plant a kick straight into Steiner's crotch.

Sid in a slugfest with Sting; Sid prevails in the trading of blows, putting Sting down with a hard clothesline. Camera back to Rick Steiner, who doesn't seem to have stopped grating Flair's head into the cage for like 2-3 straight minutes. We get our final countdown in, and Scott Steiner enters to complete the 4-on-4 set. Only a submission can end the match. Double clothesline on two Horsemen by Steiner, and then a tigerbomb on Larry.



Rick Steiner whips Sid toward a corner, and Scott is waiting for him with a flying clothesline that cuts him off. Meanwhile Sting goes for the Scorpion Deathlock on Sting, but a Flair teammate breaks it up. Sid pins Pillman's bad arm behind his back and bodyslams him on it. Rams Pillman's bad shoulder into the corner. All four faces lock figure-four leglocks on the heel team, but the heels do all work their way out.

Press slam by Sting, preceded by several military presses of Flair overhead. Double clothesline by Sid and Windham on Rick Steiner. Flair attempts to have a go at Pillman, but Pillman keeps showing heart and takes an advantage. Sid picks up Pillman, blatantly calls a spot right by the camera, then sends him into the ropes before throwing him up into the top of the cage on the way back. Sid sets up for a powerbomb and botches it badly, dropping Pillman right on his neck. Yeah, I've seen this last part. Pillman was legitimately seriously injured, so ****ing idiot Sid naturally picks him back up and delivers a second one.



El Gigante runs in from the back, "rips the door of the cage off" (relatively sure he just leisurely opened an unlocked door), runs over to protect Pillman and submits on behalf of the faces. Can't have been the planned finish.

Result: Ric Flair, Barry Windham, Sid Vicious, and Larry Zbyszko via Sid going full Ryback (22:05)

Meltzer Star Rating: *****

My Review and Star Rating: Alright, I should probably drop my anti-War Games bias. This was excellent too. During the first five minutes of Windham vs. Pillman, I knew that I was almost certainly going 4+ stars on this too. If not for the knowledge of the fact that Pillman really was seriously hurt here, I would think that the story regarding Brian Pillman that was told throughout this match was not only extremely well-done (which it still absolutely was), but also well-ended (which…welp, but thankfully it wasn't as serious as it looked like it could be). Very much enjoyed. No temptation to go the full monty, but I'll give it plenty of love. ****1/4
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:46 PM   #162
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Stars & Stripes Forever: IC Title Match - Mr. Perfect (c) vs. Shawn Michaels

Date: March 17, 1991

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Trwvyxzfmy0

Background: None. Just a warmup match for Mr. Perfect heading into WrestleMania. Shawn Michaels was still a Rocker here, just a tag wrestler in a rare singles match. So rare, in fact, that they didn't know how to spell his name.



The Match: Vince and Heenan on the call, clearly standing in front of a green screen recorded some other time but it looks vaguely like there's a crowd behind them. Heenan says he's not going to the ring with Perfect because Michaels has no shot here. The real reason he couldn't go to the ring is the lack of technological advancement to time travel.

Perfect and Michaels engage in a couple of hold --> strike combos early, the first won by Perfect and the next won by Michaels. Fun underdog dynamic here as Michaels takes the fight to Perfect and Perfect is surprised by the kid's tenacity.



Shawn knocks him to the outside, then takes a running leap over the top rope at Perfect. He mostly misses and gets guardrail, but he seems to play it off like he connected and is right on top of his opponent with a series of punches. He charges at Perfect and Perfect hits something close to a stun gun where he launches Michaels backwards into the guardrail. Jannetty hits ringside and there's a commercial break.

Back from break, Perfect is in control, connecting on the standing dropkick. For some reason I didn't remember that move being such a trademark of his, but it definitely was and it's one of his coolest spots too. Sends Michaels into the turnbuckle, Michaels does the flip-to-the-top bump and then falls to the apron. Hennig continues his domination, running his signature offense including the snapmare/neck snap, and keeps controlling until he drops his head early on a back bodydrop attempt and Michaels kicks him in the face (which Perfect sells the hell out of).

Still that kick was shown as a desperation move that Michaels couldn't follow up on, so Perfect applies the sleeper. Michaels manages to escape that with a jawbreaker. Perfect floors Shawn and then goes and slaps Jannetty at ringside just on principle, causing Jannetty to clobber Perfect in revenge, and at this point Heenan leaves the separately-recorded area and says he's going to the ring. That's really not a convincing green screen, WWF.



Jannetty threatens and stalks Heenan. Perfect goes out to protect his manager and knees Marty into the post from behind. This distraction does allow recovery time for Michaels though, who reverses a whip into the corner and chases Perfect in. Perfect gets a foot up, but Michaels ducks underneath, slides out of the ring, grabs Perfect's legs, drags him back and crotches him against the post. He follows with two kicks that attempt to take Perfect's leg out, an inverted atomic drop, a regular atomic drop that sends Perfect into the corner, and then a hard clothesline as Perfect bumps out of the corner. He goes for the pin but it only gets a very near fall at two. Great sequence there, and the crowd is all kinds of hot at this point.

Michaels sends Hennig into the ropes and superkicks him off the ropes…but sadly for Shawn, that wasn't a finisher yet, so it only gets a two count. Michaels stays on offense with a swinging neckbreaker though, then heads up to the top rope. Heenan interferes with Michaels, causes a distraction, and Perfect sets up and executes a Perfectplex. Big Boss Man, Perfect's upcoming opponent at WrestleMania, runs in and breaks up the Perfectplex before it can get a full three-count. We have a disqualification.



Boss Man chases Perfect to the back, then runs back to the ring and raises Michaels's hand to put him over further. Then as he goes to the back himself, Andre the Giant emerges from the shadows, stopping Boss Man in his tracks, but after a delay he offers his hand to Boss Man to shake and then puts over Boss Man to the crowd here. Everybody was getting some sort of rub here…I mean aside from Perfect, but he came out of this looking fine too, this didn't hurt him.

This was a great match and put Michaels over very strongly; the good match in '89 with Bret Hart at Maple Leaf Gardens did the same while Bret was still a Hart Foundation member, but this match was even better. While I don't generally love disqualifications, this was pretty much perfect booking since it also helped lead into WrestleMania. Really enjoyed this match.

Result: Mr. Perfect via DQ (9:35)

Meltzer Star Rating: ****

Rating: Very nice work by both men, with Perfect bumping his ass off to try to help put Michaels over and with Michaels very much up to the task of showing that he could put on great singles matches. ***3/4
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:50 PM   #163
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

WrestleMania VII: Retirement Match - Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior



Date: March 24, 1991

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31356293

Background: The feud between these two men had gone on for over six months now. It became increasingly personal until one week it was announced that it would be a retirement match.

The Match: Just as the introductions for the match are starting, Bobby Heenan notices something off-camera and points out Miss Elizabeth as sitting in a floor seat along the aisleway. I'm not sure that she had appeared on WWF TV since WrestleMania VI.



Ultimate Warrior, who always always always sprinted to the ring, walked to the ring for this one. This was a nice touch, and the announcers point it out, saying that he must feel the gravity of the situation with his career on the line. The crowd is hot for this one from the beginning, chanting for the Warrior before we ever get an opening bell.

The two men are slow to lock up, with each playing to the crowd. They finally do engage, but basically end up with a stalemate broken up by referee Hebner. They separate and stare down a bit.



Next lockup results in Warrior flooring Savage. Third one goes Savage's way, as he drives a knee in and follows with an eye gouge. Tries a side headlock, but gets flung into the ropes and hit by a shoulderblock on the way back. Savage into the ropes and takes a clothesline. Warrior holds him up in a chokehold and drops him, then picks him up and levels him with an inverted atomic drop. Regular atomic drop follows. Again Warrior holds Savage up in a chokehold; Sherri runs into the ring, and Warrior promptly throws Macho into her.

Right hand by the man from Parts Unknown sends Savage into the ropes and gets him tied up. Savage finally breaks his momentum by stopping short after a whip and kicking the Warrior in the face. A Macho clothesline follows, then a cross-body attempt, but Warrior catches him cleanly…and then just gently sets him down and slaps him across the face. Quite a troll move. Savage is unsurprisingly furious, goes and gets a chair and flings it into the ring, which is a bit silly since Hebner just shrugs and disposes of it.



Savage attempts to get back on offense, but Warrior blocks his punch and stays in control. He stomps the Macho Man repeatedly in the corner. Throws some right hands. Whip into the corner, and he attempts to follow it in with a flying shoulderblock, but gets air and ends up all the way on the outside. Savage distracts Hebner as Sherri gets her shots in. Savage follows with an axhandle from the top to the floor. More distraction back inside, more Sherri outside until Warrior just gets mad and shoves her to the ground. This doesn't get far though, as it allows Savage to attack Warrior from behind and then ram him into the post.

Back inside, Savage gets good elevation from a standing position as he drops the knee. Attempts a backslide, but Warrior outpowers him and turns it into his own backslide for a two-count. Savage escapes, backs into the corner, spits on Warrior out of it, then runs outside. Sherri distracts, Savage tries to hit Warrior from behind, but Warrior sees it coming and keeps an advantage, knocking Macho back over. He goes off the ropes a number of times, seeming to set up his flying shoulderblock as he waits for Savage to get up…but then he randomly launches before Savage truly gets up, and Savage has to play it off like he sidestepped it. Savage attempts a pin on that sequence and gets a two-count.



Reverse chinlock by the Macho Man. They've earned the rest with the pace so far. Warrior finally works his way back up, elbows his way out, Savage ducks a clothesline running one way, then they both get a running start and clothesline each other.



As the men finally come to, Sherri is distracting Hebner. Warrior locks in a small package for a long time, but there's nobody there to count. Warrior back up and pissed, yells at Hebner and Savage knees Warrior into him for the ref bump. Savage holds Warrior as Sherri comes in, shoe in hand, and tries to clobber him off the top rope. Warrior gets free, and she clocks the Macho Man instead.

Warrior stalks Sherri outside the ring, follows her through the ring to the other side and grabs her while she's on the apron. Savage with a schoolboy from behind for a two-count. Warrior throws a couple of punches. Savage flips things around and executes something of a stun gun to hang Warrior over the top rope. Grabs him and does his usual hanging over the top rope by jumping to the outside.

Back in with a bodyslam. Heads up top for the flying elbow and hits. Immediately pops up and hits a second one. By the time he gets up after this one, you know that he has lost the match. Drops a third elbow from the top. And a fourth. And a fifth. Savage makes a lazy cover and makes it super obvious that Warrior is kicking out, which he does.



Warrior hulks up. Savage keeps attacking, but Warrior starts no-selling and then dishing it out himself. Punches. Clotheslines. Press slam, running splash…and Savage kicks out on two. Now that was an actual dramatic near-fall.

Savage kicking out of his finishing sequence seems to rattle Warrior. He looks upward for an answer as to why a dude kicked out of one pinfall attempt. This is the one part of this match that's just stupid. He makes as if he's going to leave. As he is debating this though, Savage clotheslines him off the apron. Goes up top and tries to drive him into the steel barricade with an axhandle, but Warrior sidesteps and Savage takes a solid bump off the barricade.

This rejuvenates Warrior, who sends the Macho Man back in and stands him up in the middle of the ring. Flying shoulderblock sends Savage all the way back outside. Warrior follows and returns him to the middle. Again stands Savage up, against a flying shoulderblock to the outside. Rinse and repeat, and we get a third flying shoulderblock. Pulls Savage back in, drags him to the middle, and pins him with one foot.



Of course, we're not done here. Warrior celebrates for a bit, as Sherri watches on in disbelief that her meal ticket just lost his career. After Warrior leaves, Sherri comes in furious and attacks Savage for losing.



Miss Elizabeth is shown watching on in concern, and eventually she just can't take it anymore. She hops over the rail and runs to the ring, attacking Sherri and sending her out of the ring.





Savage comes to, not knowing who was attacking him. Liz tries to help him up, but he doesn't know who is trying to help him up and he violently waves her off. He makes it to his feet on his own, turns around and sees Elizabeth, instinctively ***** his fist, but then stops when he realizes that it's her. Sherri is outside, with Hebner restraining her, and Savage realizes that Sherri was the one attacking him. He finally gets his wits about him, sees that Liz still loves him two years later, and we get one of the most iconic WrestleMania moments of all time.







Yep. Moment still holds up nearly 25 years later.

Result: Ultimate Warrior via pinfall (20:47)

Meltzer Rating: ****1/4

Rating: I found more this time that sort of irked me about the match, but whatever. The storytelling here was brilliant, and from start to finish this was one of the greatest ~30-minute segments in wrestling history. ****
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:55 PM   #164
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Obviously those last two writeups co-opted from my Hennig and Savage threads.

Those threads, by the way, are functionally stopping me from watching almost any WWF matches during this project so far. Move Hennig and Savage out of the way, and the next WWF match on the schedule is quite a ways down the list. It's iso's personal favorite, Bret vs. Davey Boy from SummerSlam '92.

In the meantime, hopefully Meltzer's WCW choices are good ones.
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:57 PM   #165
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Heart Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKJ View Post
Obviously those last two writeups co-opted from my Hennig and Savage threads.

Those threads, by the way, are functionally stopping me from watching almost any WWF matches during this project so far. Move Hennig and Savage out of the way, and the next WWF match on the schedule is quite a ways down the list. It's iso's personal favorite, Bret vs. Davey Boy from SummerSlam '92.

In the meantime, hopefully Meltzer's WCW choices are good ones.


Glad to see the War Games hate going away. Still going to recommend the 7/4/87 match on DM for some day.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:05 PM   #166
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

wargames writeups are excellent
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:19 PM   #167
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Thanks mets.

By the way, far and away the biggest sticking point that holds Savage-Warrior down for me is the fact that Warrior was just going to voluntarily leave the match. That was absurd for his character. And then chicken**** heel Savage, instead of letting him leave a retirement match, attacks and basically draws Warrior into staying. Maybe let him leave and save your own career?

Sure shows what a difference a couple of decades makes though. In 1991, someone kicks out of Warrior's finisher one time ever, and Warrior's reaction is to get so butthurt that he decides that he's just going to retire on the spot over it. Today you get finisher kickouts in random unannounced meaningless Raw matches, and everyone watching shrugs.
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:07 PM   #168
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

WCW Saturday Night: Ric Flair vs. Brian Pillman

Date: April 13, 1991

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-EHNnoT-Co

Background: There had been a Pillman vs. Horsemen feud going for a decent bit, so this had to just be the continuation of that. Flair was still the world champion at this point, but this wasn't a title match.

The Match: Jim Ross and Paul E. Dangerously on the call. Randy Anderson wearing stripes.



Pillman wrestles Flair into the corner, Flair turns around and gets position, but Randy Anderson forces a break before anyone gets a shot in. Things get more physical when Pillman shoulderblocks Flair and then gets down and wails away on him. The two men trade chops; Pillman gets more in, then delivers a back bodydrop after sending Flair into the corner.



Brawl heads outside. More chopping. A frustrated Flair, whose chest has actually been busted open hardway by the chops, goes to get a steel chair but the referee stops him in his tracks and then returns to the ring with Pillman. The two wrestlers reset, and continue jostling for position against the corner. Flair starts to get an advantage, but Pillman again is able to chop his way back to success. Side note: I do find it irritating that face Flair would consistently get the upper hand in the chopping exchanges but heel Flair almost always lost them. That's silliness.

Drop toehold by Flyin' Brian, who then drags Flair crotch-first into the corner and hammers the Nature Boy's left leg into the post a couple of times. Half-crab by Pillman continues the assault on that leg. The world champ attempts to roll out, but gets caught and suplexed back in. Brian climbs the ropes and rains right hands on Flair, but Flair reverses into an inverted atomic drop.

Flair with his first real advantage, sends Pillman into the ropes and fells him with an elbow smash. Running kneedrop. And another. Pin attempt with his feet on the ropes is no good. Pillman manages a comeback when he chops Flair to the mat, but Flair is quick with a single-leg takedown. He tries another pin with the rope leverage, but still nothing. Pillman tries again to come back, but Flair throws a low blow when he kicks his leg backward at a pursuing Pillman.



Elbowdrop by Flair. More pinning with leverage, more failing. Back suplex. Flair goes up top slowly, gets caught and thrown off. Pillman follows with a missile dropkick, but Flair sidesteps. Delayed suplex by the champ. Pillman keeps fighting, laying in more chops until Flair goes for a breather. Pillman follows him out, but comes up empty on an axhandle off the apron.

Another chopping contest. Heel Flair finally sort of prevails in this one when he works in an eye gouge. Pillman attempts a running dropkick, Flair sidesteps, Pillman gets Randy Anderson flush, and we have a ref bump. Flying cross-body off the top by Pillman gets the "1-2-3 WHERE IS THE REFEREE??" Figure-four by Flair, holds on to a suddenly-at-ringside Arn Anderson for leverage from outside the ring, Randy Anderson wakes up and tries to count Pillman's shoulders down, but we get a kickout.

El Gigante shows up at ringside with a rag full of chloroform for Arn Anderson (okay, not really any rag or chloroform present) and knocks Arn away from his help on Flair. Then he puts some sort of claw on Flair's face, and we have a disqualification.



Result: Ric Flair via DQ (13:16)

Meltzer Rating: ****

My Review and Rating: Are you ****ing drunk, Meltzer? That was the most ordinary **** I've ever seen. What the hell is it doing in this thread? **
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:15 PM   #169
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

4/27/91 - Barry Windham vs. Brian Pillman

This match isn't on the WWE Network, and I can't find it on YouTube. Or even DailyMotion, where I root for matches to not be. So I'm afraid it doesn't make the thread cut.
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:09 AM   #170
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

I've always been a huge fan of Wargames matches, and it tilts me that current wrestling companies neither run them, nor properly build the prerequisite group animosity.
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Old 06-19-2015, 03:13 AM   #171
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Have you seen Cage of Death between ROH and CZW? It's a wargames style match. There's been a lot of them but that one is one of the best matches you'll ever see.
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Old 06-19-2015, 09:23 AM   #172
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Meltzer's ratings indicate just three War Games matches at 4+ stars and only four at 3+ stars. He, like I, saw every War Games bout from the mid-90s on as garbage. That explains why I had a thing against it; I only started keeping up with WCW in real time in the mid-90s.
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:12 PM   #173
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

lkj
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:20 PM   #174
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Hello.
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:59 PM   #175
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Sup bro. Was just looking for more entertainment
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