WWE Vintage Collection Report: 6th September 2009
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Today’s focus is the first televised UK WWF event that was held at the London Arena on October 10th 1989. Screened on the Sky One channel, Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes are the announcers. With the exception of the Main Event, all the matches are joined in progress. Let’s begin.
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs Dino Bravo w/Jimmy Hart
Bravo is wearing down Bret with a camel clutch, gutwrench suplex and bearhug. After Bret takes his customary front first corner bump, Bravo goes back to the bearhug. Bret elbows the head to escape, kicks away a charge, then misses an elbow from the second rope. Bret meets Bravo coming off the top rope with a gut punch. Bret uses a backbodydrop, legdrop, cradle and backbreaker, but can’t put Bravo away. Bravo holds onto the ropes to block a rollup, so Bret dropkicks him to the floor. Bret lands a top rope plancha. Bravo pulls Bret off the apron then rolls back in. Bravo goes to suplex Bret back in, Bret slips behind and tries a rollup. Bravo rolls through and gets the cheap 1-2-3 without holding the trunks. The WWE censors block out Bret cussing into the camera as Bravo poses after the match. Decent action from the six minutes that was shown. Winner: DINO BRAVO.
In the first of many pre-match backstage interviews, Mean Gene Okerlund is with the Fabulous Rougeaus (waving small American flags on sticks) and Jimmy Hart. Hart says his team are on top and ready. Jacques references the truckload of letters they’ve received since coming to London, while Raymond boasts they have brought grits from Memphis to give them the energy to beat on the Rockers. Okerlund incinuates the winners will receive a Tag Title match. Hart says the Rockers are tough and no pushovers, but they’re all about music and dancing, while the Rougeaus have come to fight. All three finish with their new motto: Early to bed, early to rise makes the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers healthy, wealthy and wise. Jacques sings a few lines from their entrance song “All American Boys” to end the segment.
The Rockers respond with Marty Jannetty saying they’ve been chasing the Rougeaus all around the world and now they have them in England. Shawn Michaels adds they didn’t come 3,000 miles to go home empty handed. The Rockers are looking for the Tag Team championships and have to go through the Rougeau Brothers to get them.
The Rockers vs The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers w/Jimmy Hart
Michaels has been cut off from Jannetty, as Raymond drops him chest first across Jacques’ knee. The Rougeaus cheat on an abdominal stretch and bait Jannetty in at every opportunity so they can double team Michaels. Raymond holds a reverse chinlock, before Michaels is sent into a Jacques dropkick. Raymond hiptosses, before he and Michaels exchange several rolling armbars on the mat. The Rougeaus regain the advantage, spending several minutes trading front facelocks. The tide turns when a Jacques forearm meant for Michaels plants Raymond and Jannetty gets the hot tag. After hammering both Rougeaus, Jannetty punches Hart off the apron. With all four men in, the referee fails to see Jannetty have Jacques beat in a backslide position. In what could have been a 20 count, Jacques finally escapes. Raymond trips Jannetty to allow for a Jacques piledriver. Michaels intervenes as Raymond is tossed Hart’s megaphone. The referee intercepts it and orders Raymond out. Michaels picks it up, smacks Jacques in the back and Jannetty falls back for the pin. Raymond is too late to realise what’s gone down. Fans rush to the guardrails to greet the popular Rockers. There was too much resting shown here. They should have shown the start and cut out some of the restholds. I’ve seen these two teams have better matches. Winners: THE ROCKERS.
Paul Roma vs The Brooklyn Brawler
Okerlund introduces this as a battle between two New York natives. Roma is in control early with a side headlock and three top rope forearm shots to the head. The crowd are sitting on their hands. Brawler goes outside, Roma chases him back in, but Brawler sucker punches, then delivers a backbreaker and slam. Brawler takes too long heading to the top rope, so Roma throws him to the mat then clotheslines. Brawler is caught in a running powerslam then a delayed vertical suplex. Roma dives off the top rope with a flying crossbody, but Brawler rolls through, hooking the tights for the 1-2-3. Played off as the veteran getting one over the rookie, this had no crowd heat, but at least it was short and had no restholds. Hardly “Vintage” though. Winner: THE BROOKLYN BRAWLER.
Okerlund is back, this time with Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart. Hart says Honky is ready to shake rattle and roll King Hacksaw. Honky boasts when Sky One called for entertainment, singing and dancing, they didn’t want the Stones or Beatles, they said give us the Honky Tonk Man. He delivers the total entertainment package. Honky adds before all the Queen’s horses and all the Queen’s men they ain’t going to put King Hacksaw back together again and he will be wearing that crown in just a few minutes. After Honky tells Okerlund he parked his pink cadillac on London Bridge, Okerlund reminds him London Bridge fell down a long time ago and Honky leaves abruptly. Vintage Honky.
A cross-eyed Hacksaw tells Okerlund he is excited to be in England, and feels Royal with his crown and cape. According to Hacksaw, Honky plays a mean guitar, but can’t fight a lick and fight is what Hacksaw does. If Hart sticks his nose in Hacksaw’s business then the 2×4 will be there. Hoooooooooo!
King Duggan vs Honky Tonk Man w/Jimmy Hart
Hacksaw escapes a chinlock. Honky plays to the crowd, misses a charge and ends up hanging upside down in the corner. Hacksaw lands the three point stance clothesline for the pin. Honky attacks Hacksaw with Hart’s megaphone, so Hacksaw grabs his 2×4 to send Honky and Hart retreating to the back. Pure filler. Within a month, Randy Savage managed to wrestle the kingship from Duggan. Winner: KING DUGGAN.
Before our Main Event, Hulk Hogan puts over British hospitality and the reception he and Elizabeth received upon landing. After WrestleMania V, he knew it wasn’t over with Savage, battling him in America, Asia, Africa and now London. Hogan claims he called Scotland Yard (London’s main Police HQ) to warn them about the thousands of Hulkamaniacs on the outside that will be trying to get in when he puts the Macho Man in his place. Classic over-the-top promo from Hogan. The Scotland Yard bit was quite funny.
Macho Man responds in kind by saying he’s held the belt before and in a few seconds will be the new WWF Champion. Savage guarantees victory, before declaring the Madness is better than the Mania.
Hulk Hogan w/Miss Elizabeth vs Macho Man Randy Savage w/Sensational Sherri
Savage rips up a Hogan sign before stalling for several minutes by ducking in and out of the ring. Hogan shoves Savage down, tackles him to the floor, so Savage throws a chair in which Hogan catches and sits on. Savage avoids a big boot by ducking outside again. He uses Sherri as a shield, then gets on the mic stating he’s quicker than Hogan, who is also stupid. Savage dedicates the match to the prettiest woman that ever walked the face of this earth….Sensational Sherri. Hogan is irate as he thought Savage was going to say Elizabeth. Savage scales the top rope to spit at Hogan. Following a couple of Hogan tackles, both clothesline each other simultaneously, then miss elbow drops. Savage sends Hogan crashing into the corner with a knee to the back, then locks in a sleeper. Hogan fights back, so Sherri hooks a leg to prevent the legdrop of doom. Hogan manhandles Sherri by the hair, allowing Savage to hang Hogan up against the top rope. Savage nails Hogan with Sherri’s “loaded” purse from the top rope, but pulls Hogan up at a count of two, to allow for his top rope elbow. Savage turns to pose, Hogan pops right up and staggers Savage with a big boot. Hogan holds Savage for an Elizabeth slap after Liz kicks Sherri away. Hogan takes Savage down and hits the legdrop of doom. Liz stops Sherri from getting in as Hogan retains his title. Hogan and Liz raise their arms in victory. This was a very entertaining Main Event. Savage was such a brilliant heel and character. Winner: HULK HOGAN.
The only other match from the card which wasn’t shown was Koko B Ware defeating evil Russian Boris Zhukov.
Okerlund ends the show by mentioning the WWE’s tremendous ongoing relationship with the UK, noting the annual trips are highlights on the WWE’s extensive travel calendar. I’ll return with more classic matches and moments next week. Until then have a good one. Shaun.
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