WWE Vintage Collection Report: January 1st 2012
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Happy New Year everyone! New beginnings is the theme for this week.
Randy Orton morphs from boring bluechipper babyface to arrogant heel in the fall of 2002, providing us with CNN-esque updates on his shoulder/arm injury. The Randy News Network (RNN) bulletins interrupted live broadcasts, updating fans on Orton’s healing, whether they wanted them or not. The promos generated a lot of heat for the cocky young rookie, who was thrust into the Evolution stable upon his return and hasn’t looked back since.
Monday Night Raw: June 16th 2003
Randy Orton w/Ric Flair vs Maven w/Mick Foley
Foley had just started having issues with Evolution and is out to even the sides. Orton has control until he puts his head down too early and eats a DDT. Orton misses a charge and Maven fires back with clotheslines, a heel kick and Rick Steiner type bulldog from the second rope. Flair crotches Maven on the top rope. Foley decks Flair, pulls out Mr Socko, but Orton floors Foley. Maven lands a high cross body for a nearfall. Maven knocks Flair off the apron before Orton reverses a suplex into the RKO. 1-2-3. Winner: RANDY ORTON. Foley briefly applies Mr Socko to Orton then Flair, but Orton pulls Flair to safety.
WWF Wrestling Challenge: September 27th 1992
The Comet Kid vs Duane Gill
The Comet Kid was a precursor to the Max Moon moniker and was one of Konnan’s few televised matches in the role, before he left over a behind the scenes dispute and Paul Diamond took on the doomed gimmick. Think Sin Cara performing in this period and you’re right on the money. Dubbed from outer space and fitted with a blue space costume and mask, the Comet Kid shot streamers and fireballs from a jetpack on his way to the ring, just like Moon. Comet shows his wrestling skills by working over one of Gill’s arms then adds some flash with a spin kick, monkey flip and rolling senton. Comet finishes the future Gillberg off by hoisting him on his shoulders and delivering a rolling back bodypress. Winner: THE COMET KID. Max Moon’s highest profile match was a losing effort against Shawn Michaels on the first episode of Raw in early 1993.
WCW Main Event: February 4th 1996
U.S Title: One Man Gang vs Konnan
Konnan had just crossed over from Mexico and was the reigning IWAS and AAA Heavyweight titleholder. Konnan has the AAA logo emblazoned on the back of his trunks. Konnan comes off the top rope with a big tackle, but leaves himself open for Gang to clothesline from behind. Gang slows the pace as he works over Konnan in the ropes and in the corner. Gang misses a corner charge, enabling Konnan to dropkick the knee, then land a discus kick. A charging tackle causes both men to take a spill onto the floor. Gang attempts to slam Konnan back into the ring from the apron, but Konnan holds onto the ropes, and shifts his body weight on top to pick up the 1-2-3. Winner: KONNAN.
WWE SmackDown! – March 18th 2004: WWE Tag Team Titles
Scotty 2 Hotty & Rikishi vs The APA
Paul Heyman made this match adding the stipulation “if you lose, you’re fired” to the APA after they mocked him being stunned by Stone Cold the previous week. The APA work over Scotty until he gives Bradshaw a tornado DDT. Rikishi cleans house and the match breaks down. Scotty gives Bradshaw a bulldog, but Faarooq derails the W-O-R-M by decking Scotty. Rikishi backs that ass up as he squashes Faarooq in the corner, before ducking a clothesline from hell and superkicking Bradshaw to defeat. Goodnight APA! Winners: SCOTTY 2 HOTTY & RIKISHI.
An angry Bradshaw dares Heyman to fire him, but Heyman states he never said he was firing the APA, just Faarooq. Heyman tells Bradshaw to think of his own future, bringing up his book being published and him being a financial analyst on FOX News, whilst referring to Faarooq as “excess baggage.” With a pained look on his face, Bradshaw opts to stay prompting a disgusted Faarooq to say “after all these years, well I’ll be damned.” Faarooq was released shortly after and quietly retired from full-time competition, while JBL as we all know would don a suit and embrace becoming big-mouthed wealthy businessman and wrestling god John Bradshaw Layfield.
WWE SmackDown! – April 22nd 2004
JBL vs El Gran Luchadore (Paul London)
JBL was in the midst of a heated feud with WWE champion Eddie Guerrero after taking offence to Latino Heat’s Mexican heritage. Paul Heyman convinced JBL to take this match against the “Champion of Mexico” after Luchadore allegedly punked JBL out at an airport. Luchadore cuts an inset promo in Spanish before the bell. Predictably, JBL dominates the early going with power moves. Luchadore manages to get in a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, dropkick and top rope moonsault, before JBL counters a springboard cross body into the last call (fallaway slam.) JBL pulls Luchadore up at a two count, signals that he’s smoked him and delivers a powerbomb. JBL pulls Luchadore up at two once more and mockingly lets him get a nearfall. JBL feigns fatigue then turns Luchadore inside out with the clothesline from hell. 1-2-3. Winner: JBL. After defeating Guerrero for the title at the 2004 Great American Bash, JBL remains the longest reigning WWE champion in SmackDown history.
WCW Souled Out: January 24th 1998
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs Ric Flair
This is Bret’s WCW in-ring debut. Flair had taken offence to Bret’s “best there is, was and ever will be” moniker to establish the feud. Bret beating Flair for his first heavyweight title back in late 1992 also played into things. Bret holds a side headlock to start, drop toeholds and applies the figure four, but Flair quickly makes it to the ropes. Bret suplexes Flair from the apron, then gets the best of a wristlock, taking Flair down with an armbar. Bret wins a slap and shove exchange, prompting Flair to take a breather outside. Back inside, Bret elevates Flair with a backbodydrop, slams him and goes back to the headlock.
We rejoin proceedings after commercials to see Bret working over the knee. Bret gets distracted by the referee as he attempts a figure four around the ringpost, enabling Flair to kick him into the guardrail. Flair works over the knee. Bret hits a desperation enziguiri, before scoring nearfalls from a small package and backslide. Bret argues the count, allowing Flair to chopblock and apply the figure four, while slapping Bret in the face. Bret turns Flair over, who quickly maneuvers free. Bret throws Flair from the top rope then counters a back suplex into a side Russian legsweep. Flair chops away. Bret pulls down his singlet straps ala Curt Hennig and urges Flair to bring it….bitch! Naturally, Flair begs off. Bret punches away and blocks an inverted atomic drop. A backbreaker and vertical elbow find the mark for the Hitman. A superplex makes Flair easy pickings for the Sharpshooter, which Bret applies for the submission. Winner: BRET “HITMAN” HART. It’s a shame that this was one of Bret’s few shining lights in a forgettable and tragic WCW tenure.
There’ll be more new beginnings next weekend.
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