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04-23-2023 , 11:50 AM
I have such affection for the Rude vs. Warrior SummerSlam '89 match. I was less than a year into being a fan, so within that limited context it became the best match I had ever seen. Despite it being the match where Rude jobbed the IC Title away and then never regained it, it really felt like the match that made him credible within WWF.

The WrestleMania V match was essentially just a squash where Warrior did whatever he wanted to Rude, and then Heenan's shenanigans gave Rude the fluke pin to take the title. It basically just didn't seem like he was actually a credible champion after he went over so weakly. SummerSlam gave him a significant amount of offense, was a longer match, and made it seem like actually he was on that Warrior level. And he only ever lost on what was basically a distraction roll-up. They did some really good things with that one.

I didn't have Prime Time Wrestling at the time, so I didn't realize they were actually building tension weekly between Heenan and Roddy Piper, which helps explain in kayfabe why Piper came out to run interference here. I didn't have any problem with Piper being involved at the time, but it did feel pretty random. In the post-match promo, Piper says, "My friend, the Ultimate Warrior," which always seemed weird AF to me as a kid. I basically thought, "The Warrior has FRIENDS? He's not even a human being!"

I noticed on this watch that Rude suffered a kickout after dropping Warrior in a ganso bomb and actually reacted properly to the kickout by acting pissed rather than doing the ridiculous cartoonish "OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED" nonsense that only ever came across well once in wrestling history and then naturally had to become a permanent fixture across the industry.
04-23-2023 , 12:06 PM
Originally Posted by LKJ
Of course, it seemed that Tully was maybe going to be gone regardless, since they decided to just scratch him off the Survivor Series card at the last minute and never let him be seen on TV again.
That was for his drug test coming up positive for coke.
04-23-2023 , 12:12 PM
Originally Posted by LKJ
During the Perfect vs. Rooster match at SummerSlam '89, Mr. Perfect delivers a standing dropkick. Tony Schiavone says, "That was totally AWESOME!" It's such a cringeworthy delivery that it haunts me in my dreams over 30 years later.
That dropkick came to play
04-23-2023 , 12:22 PM
Originally Posted by NJPW
That was for his drug test coming up positive for coke.
Yup, I mentioned the coke thing above. Of course, if they weren't on notice then maybe Vince just looks the other way on a positive drug test. God knows he's done that any number of times.
04-28-2023 , 12:20 PM
On 8/16/80 All Star Wrestling...

Rick Martel is in the ring with enhancement talent.

Captain Lou comes out and starts wandering around ringside.

Vince & Bruno have no idea why he's out there.

As he's wandering around the ring, an old man (a fan) comes out of the crowd and attacks him with a wooden chair.

Instead of reprimanding the fan or completely no-selling it, Vince actually calls the action "Albano takes a shot!"

Then Albano climbs into the ring, takes 2 dropkicks mid-match & leaves the ring.

It's one of the oddest things I've ever seen.
04-28-2023 , 01:13 PM
I may have to look that up. That's a hilarious visual.
04-28-2023 , 02:49 PM
SummerSlam 1989's main event culminates in Hulk Hogan scoring a pinfall after hitting his opponent with a foreign object, after which he does an atomic drop to a woman as part of his victory celebration.

I understand subtly objectively heelish things working their way into the top babyface's act, but this sort of blatant stuff is just weird to me. It always created a ton of room for Jesse to rail against it on commentary and for me as a kid in the viewing audience to just have to think, "I mean, Jesse's not wrong about any of this."
05-13-2023 , 12:36 PM
05-13-2023 , 02:20 PM
Also courtesy of Allan_Cheapshot.

05-20-2023 , 01:22 PM
Stan Hansen's character in 80-81 is overt racist. He blatantly states in ringside interviews that he hates black people, Puerto Ricans and Italians. He stops short of white supremacy by saying that he doesn't like anybody but himself. Heels could do and say things back then that made people want to see them get their asses kicked. Is it right or wrong that someone portrayed as a bad guy can't say things like this anymore? Regardless, it's probably part of the reason why you were able to hate heels much more easily back then. You were allowed to believe they were truly despicable people.
05-20-2023 , 01:58 PM
Successful heel work requires that the audience be in overwhelming agreement that a thing is bad. While something simplistic like “is racism bad?” would probably poll really strongly, a too-large segment of the people who would answer that question affirmatively would turn around and approve of individual racist acts. And wrestling crowds would have an even higher proportion of this group.

I’d be all for the use of racist heels if social conditions were considerably different, but when it comes to race we’re still closer to the race equivalent of conditions where Vince engaged in awful sexual harassment of Trish Stratus that he straight-up knew the crowd would cheer.
05-20-2023 , 06:41 PM
Speaking of racism: they really didn't hold back on this with having heels go after Jimmy Snuka in 1989. Just came across Bobby Heenan derisively calling him a "tree ape." And there were never any babyface voices interjecting to say, "hey dude, that's pretty ****ing racist."
05-21-2023 , 09:54 AM
Key is that the racist heel gets their humiliating comeuppance. So when HHH went full racist on Booker T in their WM19 feud, he *needed* to lose. But HHH gonna HHH.

The stories of New Jack deliberately drawing racist heat from white, southern crowds are pretty mind blowing.
05-22-2023 , 01:54 PM
Wonder how long ago the WWE Treasures for Macho Man was filmed. Lanny looked in good health. They didn't mention anything about his passing either.
05-25-2023 , 06:14 PM
Originally Posted by LKJ
At one point during the Attitude Era, MTV ran a WWF week where a number of wrestlers popped in and made guest appearances on MTV programs. At one point, Val Venis appeared by live video to talk with Carson Daly, and in the same tone as his "hello, ladies" catchphrase, he led with, "Hello, Daly."

I'm only just starting to uncringe now.
It’s a terrible thing every time this crosses my mind.
05-29-2023 , 10:38 AM
Unfortunately they seem to be plowing ahead with putting 1980 WWF Championship Wrestling up in the archive in piecemeal. I'm sure that show becomes good at some point (though possibly years later) since it eventually feeds into Superstars in 1986, but the 1980 stuff I've seen is really rough. I very much wish they hadn't seemingly abandoned Wrestling Challenge just as soon as they got a small smattering of episodes up.
05-29-2023 , 02:01 PM
This era of WWE TV is best consumed as background noise. It can get pretty boring if your full attention is on it straight through, but there are some highlights.

I tend to think of it as a hamburger or pizza. If you're eating it every day, it's boring. But if you haven't had one in weeks, you start craving and really enjoy it more. Sure, the squash matches suck, but what they do accomplish is make the squashers look like stars in a way we no longer perceive guys.

It makes those one or two angles they do run on TV every year (Bruno/Larry, Slaugher/Patterson) so much better.

The other thing that really entertains me from that period are the managers. It seems Vince legitimately doesn't know what Albano will do on camera and Blassie always seems to be trying to pop the interviewer. His improv on the mic is some of the best stuff during this era.

Talking about where Killer Khan is from...
Vince: What's the difference between upper and lower Mongolia.
Blassie: Upper Mongolia is higher!
They all almost break character in laughter.
05-29-2023 , 02:09 PM
I'm all for enhancement jobber squashes if there is some point to them. It's something they learned in the following years and got down to a good art when producing Superstars later. There would be a PIP promo during the match to build a feud, there would be a postmatch segment of some at least minor significance, it could be a guy's debut so the announcers would really fixate on putting him over, etc. And then yeah, sometimes it would be nothing, it would be The Undertaker facing some dude with a fish in his name, and Mr. Perfect and Vince McMahon would spend the whole match making fish puns and basically ignoring the match (though they did successfully plant this in my mind forever, so I give them that), but most of the time there was some rhyme or reason.

Seems like the 1980 squash matches were all happening with no other context being added to anything. Once a guy has one or two televised squash matches in the books - and again, I have zero problem with those just standing alone with nothing added - there's not a lot more to do with building them up; at that point they need a feud and/or a story to keep the momentum going.
05-29-2023 , 02:45 PM
The roster wasn't very big at that point, so aside from one or two big feuds (like the angles I mentioned before), the only purpose was to build a guy or team as a challenger for Backlund or the tag champs and then after several months, they moved on. One of the ways to get a guy over in that era, which was pretty sharp, was to mention that he's here because he's been banned from (states not in the northeast region usually) for being too violent. It kind of changes when Vince buys the company and starts pulling away from the territories though and guys hang around for more than a few months to a year.
05-29-2023 , 02:53 PM
I was curious about the 1980 roster, so I just looked it up. The roster page includes this dude.

I squinted at my screen and thought, "WTF? Dizzy Hogan? Is that Brutus Beefcake latching onto the Hogan name in 1980?" I honestly thought it was just a bizarre coincidence and that my initial reaction was a joke, but sure enough...
05-29-2023 , 03:31 PM
Haha, I never saw Beefcake, in any incarnation, on any WWE show on the Network in that era.
06-01-2023 , 12:26 AM
Currently have the 3/28/81 WWE show on. Moondogs taking on two new enhancement talents. The one calling himself Chris Canyon looks an awful lot like King Kong Bundy with long hair. Not yet the walking condominium that Gorilla Monsoon would bill him years later.
06-01-2023 , 12:55 AM
I always thought of him as the human rendition of Grimace from the Ronald McDonald gang.

I liked him pretty well when I was watching WCCW and he was going by Big Daddy Bundy. Can't remember if he adopted the King Kong moniker there when he went heel.
06-01-2023 , 12:43 PM
I pop a bit for the Before They Were Stars look. When guys show up as enhancement talent, looking completely different and most times just lost in the ring. Its one of the few joys of watching this era.
06-01-2023 , 01:12 PM
I really think there's a lot going on in the era. Just not in the WWF. Been watching Mid-South and it's definitely still jarring to see Arn Anderson show up under his real name of Marty Lunde as an enhancement talent.