WWE Vintage Collection Report: 8th March 2009
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome aboard. Just like last week, we have another three WrestleManias to rush through. On this week’s agenda is WrestleMania VII (March 24th 1991) at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California, WrestleMania VIII, (April 5th 1992) at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis and WrestleMania IX, (April 4th 1993) at the outdoor Caesars Palace, in Las Vegas Nevada. Five matches are on hand, so let’s get started.
The Steiner Brothers vs The Headshrinkers w/Afa
Scott is being worked over, under the watchful eye of referee Bill Alfonso. Sabu, I mean Samu misses a top rope splash on Scott to enable the hot tag. Rick cleans house until he mistakenly tries a double noggin knocker. This has no effect on the Samoans, who dish out a double headbutt and faceplant. Rick manages to counter a Doomsday Device, catching Samu with a powerslam in mid-air. Fatu breaks up a cover, before throwing Rick outside. Scott blindtags in, but is immediately levelled by a Fatu clothesline. Scott comes back, catching the future Rikishi in a belly-to-belly suplex. I’d love to see these two try that spot now. Scott signals for the end, but eats a Samu crescent kick. Following a slam, Scott recovers to nail the Frankensteiner and pick up the victory. 1-2-3. This was a great couple of minutes of back-and-forth action. The Steiners were on the crest of the Tag Team titles at this point. Here Are Your Winners: THE STEINER BROTHERS.
In a WrestleMania VII Road Trip moment, Undertaker begins his legendary streak by dominating Superfly Jimmy Snuka, in his first WrestleMania appearance.
The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer vs Jake “The Snake” Roberts
The evil Jake turned on the Undertaker and Paul Bearer during an episode of the Funeral Parlor. After trapping Undertaker’s hand in a casket, Jake DDTed Bearer then smashed the Deadman with a chair. WWF President Jack Tunney banned Jake from bringing a snake to the ring. We pick things up with Undertaker firmly in control, landing a flying clothesline off the ropes. Jake slips out of a Tombstone attempt to deliver a DDT. Undertaker rises up, so Jake gives him a short-arm clothesline. The power of the urn makes Undertaker rise again, so Jake turns his lights out with a second DDT. Jake goes out to stalk Bearer and snatch the urn. From behind, Undertaker renders Jake unconscious with a Tombstone on the floor. Undertaker rolls the snake back in and pins him. Here is Your Winner: THE UNDERTAKER. This was Jake’s last WWF appearance until 1996. During his absence, he endured a brief, ill-fated WCW run with Sting over a Coal Miner’s Glove.
In a WrestleMania VIII Road Trip moment Legion of Doom reunite with longtime manager Paul Ellering. Ellering says that honour formed the bond and the team, while revenge unites them once again. Hawk states they have been a runaway train with nobody driving it, but look who’s driving it now. Unbeknownst to Hawk, the person who ended up driving the train was a ventriloquist’s dummy called Rocco, which drove the LOD out of the WWF after that year’s SummerSlam.
Tatanka vs The Model Rick Martel
Tatanka was undefeated at this point. The backstory here was Martel had stole Tatanka’s feathers, using them as a fashion statement. Closing stages are shown. Tatanka crotches Martel on the top rope, before delivering chops, an Irish whip and backbodydrop. Tatanka tries a second backbodydrop, but Martel kicks him in the head. Martel delivers a slam and clothesline. Tatanka ducks a second clothesline, pinning Martel off of a cross bodyblock. Here is Your Winner: TATANKA.
The complete build for the Career Ending match at WrestleMania VII airs, between Ultimate Warrior and Macho King Randy Savage. In 1991, the WWF simply wasn’t big enough for Warrior wisdom and Macho madness. At Royal Rumble 1991, Savage had a commitment from Sgt Slaughter saying if he won the belt, then Savage would be No 1 contender. Sherri didn’t get the same response from the Warrior who chewed her out with a resounding No. As a result, Savage and Sherri interfered freely in Warrior’s title match, costing him the match with a sceptor shot to the head. This led to Savage and Warrior challenging one another.
Savage says Warrior looks to the sky for powers that aren’t there, because the big Macho King in the sky is smiling at the Macho King. Savage is too hot to handle, too cold to hold. He’s going to take Warrior’s career and there’s nothing he can do about it.
Warrior cuts a coherent promo. They must have got him on a good day. He alludes to Savage taking steps to find pieces of the shattered kingdom of madness, all but one. One will remain missing. A piece of crystal was sewn in at the top of Warrior’s skull along with the stitches. Within that crystal remains all the memories of Savage’s accomplishments. At WrestleMania VII, Warrior isn’t a fantasy or a videogame. He’s real life. He will pull the plug and end Savage’s career.
WrestleMania VII: Career Ending Match
Ultimate Warrior vs Macho King Randy Savage w/Sensational Queen Sherri
Miss Elizabeth is in the crowd. Joined in progress. Savage pulls the trunks to send Warrior into the corner. Savage hangs Warrior’s throat up on the rope twice, before clotheslining him down from behind. Savage slams, then hits five successive patented top rope elbows. Savage is in disbelief when Warrior kicks out. Warrior fires up, hitting several clotheslines, a press slam and big splash. Savage kicks out and now it’s Warrior’s turn to be shocked. Thinking his powers have left him, Warrior looks to the skies and doubts himself, buying Savage recovery time. Back from commercials, Warrior has overcome his demons. Warrior sends Savage flying out of the ring with three flying tackles. After the third, Warrior pulls Savage back in, pinning him with one foot on his chest. Warrior sends Savage to the commentary booth. Here is Your Winner: ULTIMATE WARRIOR. Post match is where the fun really starts. After Warrior leaves, a furious Sherri berates Savage, kicking and screaming at him for putting her into retirement (Sherri would return later in the night to become Ted DiBiase’s manager). Elizabeth hops the guardrail, throws Sherri out of the ring and approaches Savage. After initially rejecting Elizabeth, Savage sees through Sherri’s evil and love conquers all as Savage and Elizabeth are reunited. Tears are shed all around the arena to end a dramatic match and mark a true WrestleMania moment. The two married at SummerSlam 1991 in a ceremony dubbed as a “Match Made in Heaven.”
In a WrestleMania IX Road Trip moment, Caesars Palace turned into a big WWF toga party. Personally, this was one of my least favourite Manias. The event had too many underwhelming matches with screwy finishes and it just didn’t feel like a WrestleMania to me.
WrestleMania IX: WWF Title
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs Yokozuna w/Mr Fuji
Yokozuna earned this title shot by winning the 1993 Royal Rumble. Bret starts aggressively, dropkicking Yoko into the corner and unloading on him with punches. Yoko wriggles out of a waistlock, before tackling Bret to the outside. Bret hooks Yoko’s foot in the ropes, working over it with more punches and an elbow from the second rope. Yoko gets the better of a clothesline exchange, holding the advantage with a slam and legdrop. Yoko chokes Bret along the top rope then settles into a nerve hold. We cut to the closing stages. Bret avoids a running charge in the corner. Bret gets nearfalls from a top rope bulldog and second rope elbow. Bret takes Yoko down following two clotheslines. Bret mounts Yoko in the corner and starts to punch. Yoko goes for an inverted atomic drop, but Bret holds onto the turnbuckle. Bret pulls the turnbuckle cover off as Yoko drops Bret to the mat. Bret sends Yoko’s head into the exposed steel and Yoko goes down. Bret applies the Sharpshooter until Fuji blinds him with salt from the outside. Yoko simply hooks the leg to bag the belt. 1-2-3. Here is Your Winner: YOKOZUNA.
Hulk Hogan runs out to protest the decision. Fuji goads Hogan into a title match. Bret, still blinded by the salt, tells Hulk to go for it. Yoko immediately seizes Hogan, who dodges Fuji’s salt throw and Yoko gets blinded. Hogan punches Fuji, clotheslines Yoko, drops a leg and snares his fifth title reign for a short ill-conceived run. It’s a damn shame that the money match between Hogan and Bret never did take place. This was Hogan’s final Mania appearance for nine years.
Okerlund wraps up the show for another week. Next up is WrestleMania X, so next week I’ll be looking forward to seeing a certain brotherly battle and ladder match. Shaun.
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