WWE Vintage Collection Report: 7th December 2008
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome aboard. This week, WrestleFest 1988 comes under the microscope and gets the Vintage treatment. Held on July 31st at the outdoor, (baseball) County Stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I’m happy to report that the weather stayed rainfree. Four matches on cue and the announcing trio consists of Sean Mooney, Lord Alfred Hayes and Superstar Billy Graham. Let’s go.
The Killer Bees vs The Fabulous Rougeaus
Jimmy Hart is conspicuous by his absence from the Rougeaus corner. The Bees are Jumping Jim Brunzell and B. Brian Blair. The announcers make note of the extra body weight that the Bees have put on, speculating on it effecting Brunzell’s dropkick finisher. Brunzell frustrates Raymond with several headscissors’. The Rougeaus stall, playing to the crowd, to stop the Bees from building any momentum. Blair and Jacques engage in some nice chain wrestling. Blair gets caught with a monkey flip. The Rougeaus high five. Jacques baits Blair with the offer of a handshake. Blair reverses off the ropes and Jacques flips over him. Jacques plays to the crowd, so Blair makes him eat a clothesline. Raymond nurses Jacques. The Rougeaus briefly work over Brunzell’s ankle. The Bees turn it around and work Raymond’s leg. Raymond escapes a boston crab attempt, getting Jacques to stretch his legs. Blair schoolboys Jacques for a nearfall. Jacques turns his back to Blair, reminding him of his Fabulous moniker. The Bees work Jacques leg. Unlike Raymond, Jacques gets caught in a boston crab. Raymond pushes the bottom rope forwards making it easy for Jacques to grab. Following a Jacques distraction, Blair finds himself trapped in a Raymond boston crab. Both men exchange nearfalls via rollups. Raymond kicks off a figure four attempt, before Blair catches him in a full nelson. Blair turns to see Jacques sneaking in, which allows Raymond to regain the advantage. The Rougeaus double team Blair a little. Jacques applies an abdominal stretch. Raymond hits a reverse kick to the gut then sits on a chinlock. Jacques knocks Blair down as he piggybacks Raymond. Blair counters Raymond’s monkey flip out of the corner, with an inverted atomic drop. Both men tag out. Jacques receives a monkey flip and backbodydrop from Brunzell. Brunzell sends the Rougeaus into one another a couple of times. Brunzell locks a figure four on Jacques, which Raymond breaks up. Brunzell catches a swinging Jacques in an atomic drop. Brunzell connects with his patented dropkick. Raymond breaks up a cover. Blair attacks Raymond. Brunzell scoops up Jacques, as the referee ushers Blair out. Raymond uses a boot and a punch to make Jacques fall on top of Brunzell. Shockingly, that’s enough for the pin. Brunzell sure looked weak there. Despite the weak finish, the match was a good opener and was building to something good. Good early story of both teams going for the legs. The Bees were released by the end of the year, although they did serve as enhancement talent in sporadic singles appearances, for a few years after. Here Are Your Winners: THE FABULOUS ROUGEAUS.
The Honky Tonk Man w/Jimmy Hart vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan
As we all know, Honky’s record breaking IC title run was very near the end here. He was one month short of being dethroned by the Ultimate Warrior in record time at SummerSlam 1988. Before the bout, Okerlund compares Honky’s boasts to Santino Marella. Hacksaw chases Honky around the ring to begin. Once inside, Hacksaw fires off a series of punches. Hacksaw delivers an Irish whip, ten mounted corner punches and ten head rams into the corner. The announcers wonder if Hacksaw will ever hit eleven shots just to throw the crowd off. A clothesline puts Honky outside. Hacksaw interrupts Honky regrouping with Jimmy Hart by banging their heads together. Hacksaw puts Honky back in, but makes the mistake of focusing on Hart, who’s still recovering. Honky meets Hacksaw coming back in, going to work with an offense consisting of mainly punches. Honky and Hart take turns to throttle Hacksaw. Hacksaw reverses a head ram in the corner, then sends Honky into a backelbow. Hacksaw delivers an Irish whip and clothesline, as he readies for the three point stance. Hart reaches under the ring, tripping Hacksaw for the DQ. Hacksaw chases Hart, narrowly avoiding a Honky guitar shot. Hacksaw runs both off with his 2×4. Hacksaw brings Hart back in, avoids a second Honky guitar shot, then lets them both go to the back, as he opts to play to the crowd. Hacksaw destroys Honky’s guitar with his 2×4. I was all for a Hacksaw guitar shot LOL. Thankfully, a short match, but passable. Hacksaw dominated with his usual offense. The crowd loved him as always. Honky was a perfect heel IC champion during his reign, doing his best to make his opponents look good, while always sneaking out the winner. Here is Your Winner via DQ: HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN.
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs Bad News Brown
Before the bout, we see highlights of the Battle Royal from WrestleMania IV (where this feud started). After being declared co-winners, News double-crossed Bret and eliminated him. Bret responded by destroying News’ crown. This cemented Bret as a face. Before the bell, Bret asks for a ringside worker to take his sunglasses. (The pink shades hadn’t been invented yet). News ducks his head outside to stall and shout at the fans. The announcers make note of News never smiling, even in victory. News attacks Bret, sending him into the corner. News Irish whips, Bret nearly messes up a float over, before retaliating with punches, a slam and elbow drop. Bret follows up with kicks. Bret rakes News’ face across the top rope. Bret struts then drops an elbow to the back of the head. Bret Irish whips, but News gets his feet up on a charge. News gets caught up top, as Bret throws him to the mat. Bret connects with an elbow from the second rope, a snap suplex and legdrop for a couple of nearfalls. News goes to the eyes to prevent a backbreaker. Back from a break, Bret reverses an Irish whip, but News retaliates with a clothesline. Bret ducks a ghetto blaster attempt, then avoids a corner charge. Bret sends News over the top rope then connects with a plancha. Back inside, Bret lands on top of News with a cross body. News throws Bret off and out of the ring. Bret immediately comes back in with a sunset flip for two. Bret hits a backbreaker, which Sean Mooney erratically calls a side suplex. Bret goes low with a gut punch and rolls News up off the ropes. Right on the count of three, News reverses and hooks the tights. Even as the referee counts, Bret tells him to look at the tights, but to no avail. 1-2-3. News cheats himself to a win. News goes outside as Anvil rushes the ring to protest the decision. Bret feeds News to Anvil, but after a few shots, News gets out of dodge. The Hart Foundation raise their arms to fan support as News is declared the winner. Enjoyable match, thanks to Bret. Here is Your Winner: BAD NEWS BROWN.
Tag Team Titles
Demolition w/Mr Fuji vs The British Bulldogs
Main Event time. As is the norm with these 80s flashbacks, if the Harts are on, then so are Demolition and/or The Bulldogs. Not that I’m complaining. This was when Tag Team wrestling was at its best. In a rare occurrance for this show, we see the entrances of both teams. Matilda the dog doesn’t accompany the Bulldogs to the ring. The Bulldogs simply stare down Demolition during their entrance. Davey and Smash have the first exchange. Davey gets a nearfall off of a sunset flip out of the corner. Davey and Smash go back-and-forth on each others arms. The Bulldogs hit Smash with a double headbutt. Dynamite gets caught in the wrong corner, as Ax pounds away on his back with double axehandles. Dynamite counters a backbodydrop with a punch to Ax’s face. Dynamite works Ax’s arm. A shoulder tackle attempt doesn’t budge Ax. Dynamite tries a second, but Ax catches him with a hard slam. Demolition work over Dynamite with double axehandles galore. Back from a commercial, Dynamite escapes Ax’s head vice, catching Smash in a small package for two. Smash knocks Davey off the apron then suplexes Dynamite. Ax throws Dynamite to the outside. Smash drives Dynamite’s head into the ring apron. Ax brings Dynamite’s throat down across the top rope then puts the boots to him. Smash cinches in a bearhug, which Davey eventually frees Dynamite from. Demolition throw Dynamite into their corner. Ax Irish whips, charges into a backelbow and Davey gets the hot tag in. Davey runs wild, taking the fight to both Demos with punches, kicks and clotheslines. A backbodydrop on Ax gets a two count. Ax kills Davey’s momentum with a knee to the gut. Smash tags in and misses an elbow drop. Dynamite re-enters, taking Smash down with a running clothesline. Dynamite knocks Ax off the apron and gives Smash a snap suplex. 1-2-no. The Bulldogs whip Smash front first into the corner. Davey press slams Dynamite onto Smash with a flying headbutt. Ax breaks up a cover. Davey attacks Smash before knocking Mr Fuji off the apron. Fuji conveniently drops his cane into the ring, as the referee focuses on Davey. With Dynamite busy cinching a hold in on Smash, Ax cracks him with the cane. Ax deposits Davey out of the ring, as Smash covers Dynamite for the 1-2-3. Demolition retain their titles. Post match sees Smash mugging for the camera. Another enjoyable match and a good ending to the show. Here Are Your Winners: DEMOLITION.
Okerlund wraps things up to end the show.
Best match: Bret “Hitman” Hart vs Bad News Brown. Just shades the Bulldogs/Demolition.
Worst match: The Honky Tonk Man vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
Good show. Three really enjoyable bouts and a passable one. Thumbs up. Hopefully WWE can unearth some more hidden gems from the late 80s in future weeks. I love that era. See you next week. Shaun
Comments/praise/feedback/criticism/discussion points please direct to firstname.lastname@example.org.