August 4, 2009
The Powerdriver Review
WWE: Allied Powers – The World’s Greatest Tag Teams – Disc One
Your hosts are John Morrison and The Miz. Even though they are now broken up and gone their separate ways, who better to introduce a tag team DVD than the most entertaining duo of personalities in the WWE since Los Guerreros. They go through their usual song and dance while holding onto their Slammy awards.
Before we begin the show, Miz and Morrison talk about how important natural chemistry is for a team to be successful.
The British Bulldogs
The British Bulldogs vs. The Hart Foundation (w/Jimmy Hart) – (Madison Square Garden, 9/23/85)
Such a CLASSIC confrontation. Also, this is a different match from Bret Hart’s DVD, which took place two monthly MSG shows earlier and went to a curfew draw. Dynamite and Bret start the match. Bret does a lot of complaining early on about hair pulls and stuff. Dynamite avoids a dropkick and catapults Bret into the corner to send him out to the floor to regroup. Back in, Dynamite throws Bret off a hammerlock to put him back on the floor. Of course, the Hart Foundation cries foul play. Neidhart and Davey Boy make a tag. Neidhart slams Davey Boy, so Davey Boy returns the favor. Davey Boy flips out of a backdrop and dropkicks Neidhart out. Tag to Bret, he corners Davey Boy and unloads on him. DBS puts on the brakes off a corner whip and victory rolls Bret for two. Bret buries a kitchen sink to take control. Neidhart tags in and hammers Davey Boy down. The Harts keep Davey Boy grounded on their side of town. Davey Boy punches out of a Neidhart bearhug and scoots underneath the legs to make a tag to Dynamite. He’s a house of fire (yuk yuk), but Bret catches him with that trademark knee from the apron. Not only that, but then Bret sneaks in and drops a second rope elbow on Dynamite while the ref was busy reprimanding Neidhart for choking. Now Dynamite gets dumped out as Bret walks over and slams him on the concrete. Back in, the Harts do an illegal switch while Dynamite plays face-in-peril. Neidhart grabs a front headlock and you know what’s happening next. At one point, Bret draws in Davey Boy to prevent the tag. Next up, we see the false tag spot. They mess up a tilt-a-whirl spot, but Dynamite still manages a backslide on Bret for 1-2-NO! Bret misses a charge up against the ropes and crotches himself pretty good to set up a HOT TAG TO DAVEY BOY! He runs Bret into the corner for his chest-first bump for 1-2-NO! Press Slam gets 1-2-NO! Neidhart makes the save. That allows the Harts to deliver a modified Demolition Decapitation double-team. Now they follow that up with a SUPER HART ATTACK! As Bret covers, Dynamite Kid flies in with the SWANDIVE HEADBUTT! Dynamite covers even though he’s not legal. Nevertheless, the Bulldogs get the 1-2-3! (18:34) I don’t think these two teams are capable of putting on a bad match together. ****
The Steiner Brothers
IWGP Tag Team Champions Kensuke Sasaki & Hiroshi Hase vs. Rick & Scott Steiner – (WCW/NJPW Supershow, 3/21/91)
This is the match that made the Steiner Brothers in New Japan. Back in the states, the Steiners had done it all in WCW by recently becoming the second team to ever hold both the World and U.S. tag team titles simultaneously. Hase and Scott start us off. After some time on the mat, Scott explodes on Hase with an overhead suplex. Hase comes back with a hook kick and takes Scott to the floor with a clothesline. Back in, Sasaki and Rick make a tag. Sasaki takes Rick down into a headlock. He fights up, but gets met with a powerslam off a leapfrog. IRONY~! Big bulldog and a HUGE Sasaki clothesline turns Rick inside out. Back over to Hase and Scott. He drills Hase with a gutwrench suplex and follows up with the Super Samoan Drop! Tag to Rick, he runs Hase stomach first into the corner. Steinerline connects, and Scott gets another tag. Spinning Belly-to-Belly Suplex gets two. Rick tags in again and delivers a Belly-to-Belly Superplex! Cover, 1-2-NO! Back to Scott, he drills Hase with the Tiger Driver for 1-2-NO! Hase kicks away a double-team backdrop and nails Rick with the GOLDEN ARM BOMBER! GOLDEN ARM BOMBER to Scott! HOT TAG TO SASAKI! Powerslam to Rick gets 1-2-NO! Sasaki sets up Rick with a Running Powerslam and then SUPERPLEXES Hase onto Rick! NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX gets 1-2-NO! Whoa. Double-KO ensues and Scott gets a tag. Hase has to tag out after a Tilt-a-Whirl Slam, so Sasaki comes in and drops Scott with a DDT. Looks like Hase and Sasaki were going for the Steiner Bulldog, but Rick breaks that up. Instead, Rick gets rid of Hase, leaving Sasaki to receive the STEINER BULLDOG! While Rick keeps Hase at bay, Scott gives Sasaki the FRANKENSTEINER for the 1-2-3! (9:48 shown) Looks like there was a few minutes cut out of Hase’s heat segment. Nothing wrong with this match as both teams beat the CRAP out of each other. Also if you think the Dudley Boyz of today are overwhelmed with title belts and they are, this is nothing new as the Steiners at this point held the WCW world tag team titles, the WCW U.S. tag team titles (the belts would be vacated and a tournament would be started to wrap up at Superbrawl in May), and the IWGP tag team titles. That’s A LOT of gold, but boy were the Steiners awesome. ****½
Outstanding Aerial Achievement by a Tag Team: Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood, The High Flyers, The Fantastics, and the Killer Bees are all mentioned as high-flying tag teams of the ’80s.
Demolition (w/Mr. Fuji) vs. The Killer Bees – 2/3 Falls (Houston TX, 10/9/87)
The all-star commentary team for this match consists of Bruce Pritchard, Michelle “Mike” McGuirk (the female ring announcer), and Duke Doherty. The Duke of Dorchester here tries to sound so dastardly, it just comes off as comically bad. Smash and Brunzell start us off. The stick-and-move strategy seems to work on Smash until Brunzell gets caught in the Demos corner. He makes his escape as the Bees start to make a lot of quick tags while they work on the arms of both Smash and Ax. Blair fights out of a front headlock by pounding away on Ax’s left thigh. Now every time Ax tags in, Blair punches and kicks at the leg before making his way over to Brunzell for a tag. The Bees start concentrating on Ax’s leg like crazy. After Smash breaks up a figure-four, Blair tries a splash off the second rope which hits knees. Umm? Ax covers for 1-2-3. (9:01 | Demolition – 1 | Killer Bees – 0) The Bees continue right where they left off by working on Ax’s leg. Spinning toe holds and such. Ax makes it over to Smash for a tag. Brunzell gets a blind tag and nails Smash with the BEST DROPKICK IN THE BUSINESS for the 1-2-3. (11:27 | Killer Bees – 1 | Demolition – 1) AND NOW THE DRAMATIC THIRD FALL! Brunzell gets stuck in the Demos corner again, but pounds away on Ax’s thigh and gets away for a tag to Blair. Now Blair runs into a knee in the corner and gets dumped, which is bad news for Blair. Back in, more pounding on Ax’s thigh. You’d think he’d learn after fifteen minutes of it, but he never does. The Demos crank on Blair’s neck for a while. Flying Forearm from Blair connects. We see a false tag spot, but then Smash misses a corner charge and Blair makes the HOT TAG TO BRUNZELL! BEST DROPKICK IN THE BUSINESS connects on Ax. Now we’ve got a pier-six brawl. The Bees whip the Demos into one another. However, while the ref gets Blair out of the ring, Ax nails Brunzell with Fuji’s cane for the 1-2-3. (17:58 | Demolition – 2 | Killer Bees – 1) Although the finishes were kind of odd, this was definitely one of the better Demos matches I’ve ever seen as opposed to the usual clubberin’ stuff you see from those guys. ***½
The Hardy Boyz
The Hardy Boyz (w/Michael Hayes) vs. Edge & Christian (w/Gangrel) – (King of the Ring 1999)
The winners get a tag titles shot. This match happened earlier on HeAT, but was thrown out when the Acolytes attacked everybody. Christian gets dominated by the Hardyz to start until he catches Jeff with a gutbuster off the shoulders. In comes Edge for a double-hiptoss. Jeff gets a headscissors out of the corner and tries for it again, but Edge sees it coming and drops Jeff with a whiplash spinebuster. Tag to Matt, Edge receives the Poetry in Motion. Christian gets a tag and fights out of a chinlock. He tries for the Inverted DDT, but Matt twists out and backdrops Christian. OFF COME THE SHIRTS! Thankfully Michael Hayes doesn’t join in on the fun. Christian gets his Inverted DDT and tags Edge. While the ref is with Gangrel for some reason, Michael Hayes nails Edge from behind to help with a Northern Lights suplex by Jeff for two. Edge comes back and SPEARS Hayes when he tries to jump in the ring again. The Hardyz try for Poetry in Motion on Edge, but he catches Jeff in mid-air with a SPEAR. Meanwhile, Christian delivers his signature springboard plancha on Matt down on the floor. When Edge tries an O’Connor roll, Gangrel spits his red stuff in his face by accident. TWIST OF FATE gets the 1-2-3. (4:51) Lots of energy, but kind of overbooked at times. Still one of the best matches on that horrible, horrible show. Poor Greensboro. You deserved so much better. **½
The Fabulous Freebirds
The Fabulous Freebirds vs. Kerry & Kevin Von Erich – Country Whipping Match (WCCW, October 1983)
The rules are simple: everybody gets a leather strap to whip their opponents, only it’s not Texas Tornado rules and you can only use the strap when you’re tagged into the match. Not too much wrestling going on here. Just lots of whipping and choking from both sides, but LOADS of crowd heat which is per usual for World Class. Kerry gets the hot tag, but the match ends when Kevin gets thrown over the top rope for the DQ. (around 7:00) Kerry gets busted open by the Freebirds and the Oriental Spike gets involved, but Kevin makes the save. Buddy Roberts comes down and helps get Michael Hayes away from the Von Erich boys. Again, loads of heat and that’s about it. **
Best Brotherly Duos: The Von Erichs, Ole & Arn Anderson, The Undertaker & Kane, Johnny & Jimmy Valiant, Chief Jay & Jules Strongbow, The Smokin’ Gunns, Terry & Dory Funk Jr., and Jack & Jerry Brisco.
The Brisco Brothers vs. The Funk Brothers – (Championship Wrestling from Florida, 1970s)
Gordon Solie and Dory Funk Jr. are together on commentary. There’s no exact date given here, just that it’s from CWF and it’s definitely in the 1970s. From the Briscos/Funks Florida tag title changes, my guess is 1971. We just get a snippet that shows how awesome both teams were at the time. We see Jack firing away on Dory with forearms in the ring. Of course, Dory can fire back with some nice forearm lifters of his own. Terry breaks up Jack’s FIGURE-FOUR and dumps Jerry out to the floor. From the apron, Jerry shoulder butts Terry into Dory’s way to trip him up as Jack falls on top of Dory for the 1-2-3. (around 2:30 shown) If it is indeed 1971, it’s a pretty big deal for Jack to gain the fall on Dory as he was the NWA world champ at the time. No rating.
WCW World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri & Col. Robert Parker) vs. Rick & Scott Steiner – (Hog Wild 1996)
So who do YOU think a crowd full of bikers are going to cheer? Lots of stalling from the Heat to start. Boy is Bobby Heenan DRUNK. I thought he was drunk at Superbrawl V, but this is ridiculous. He talks about how much he loves Dusty, this match, the crowd, and can’t seem to make one hilarious insult for the whole twenty minutes. Hardly even a complete sentence sometimes. It’s unseemly. The Steiners end the stalling momentarily and cleans house on the Heat with a butterfly slam on Booker and a Steinerline on Stevie Ray. As usual with Harlem Heat matches, it’s only good when Booker T is in the ring. This is no different. Booker misses a hook kick and takes a press slam from Scott. In comes Stevie Ray. He goes to the eyes and stomps Scott around, but then takes an overhead suplex. Tag to Rick, Steinerline gets two. Sherri is having a nervous breakdown out on the floor. I’m sure it couldn’t possibly be because of all the mood elevators she’s taking and not because her boys are getting whooped. Booker T tags in and Side Slams Scott. He comes back with a Spinning Belly-to-Belly Suplex for two. Back to Rick, he blocks and counters with a suplex of his own for two. Stevie Ray nails Rick from the apron to help his team take control. Stevie Ray clamps on a chinlock and then tags his brother in, who leapfrogs into a powerslam. Tag to Scott, the Steiners do an illegal switch while holding onto Booker in a chinlock. This time Booker reverses a whip and Stevie Ray pulls the top rope down to send Rick flying out to the floor. Back in, Booker misses a big Jumping Heel Kick and crotches himself on the top rope. Stevie Ray tags in and grabs the chinlock again. Rick fights out into a Bicycle Kick from Stevie Ray. Tag to Booker, he reapplies the chinlock. Rick escapes out of it again and avoids an elbow drop, but Booker SPINAROONIES up and blasts Rick with the Jumping Heel Kick. Stevie Ray executes a rib breaker and a suplex for two. Booker misses a flying fist drop (I guess?) and Rick makes the HOT TAG TO SCOTT! Rick and Stevie Ray fight to the floor while Sherri and Parker have some trouble throwing powder in Scott’s face. Once he’s blinded, he gets cracked over the head with Parker’s cane for the 1-2-3. (17:53) I think I would have shown the Heat/Nasties tag match from Fall Brawl 96 instead since that was about the only decent Harlem Heat match ever. **¼
The Midnight Express
NWA U.S. Tag Team Champions The Fantastics vs. The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) – (NWA Great American Bash 1988)
YES! Whoever decided to edit this match down to the finish on the Great American Bash ‘88 commercial tape should have arrested and received the death penalty. Well maybe that’s a little much. At least a stern warning though! Cornette is not only locked inside of a cage and elevated twenty feet (of course in JR talk, twenty means forty!) above the ring for this one, he’s also strapped in a strait jacket to prevent ANY chances of Cornette getting physically involved. By the way, if the Fantastics win, they get to give Cornette ten lashes with a belt. Whenever Jim Cornette gets caught in these stipulations, he always has these reactions like, “I was REALLY hoping everyone would have forgotten about this part.” Oh well, he whines for a moment and then hugs Bobby and high-fives Stan and quickly puts his arms in the jacket. While the refs are putting him in the strait jacket, he’s bribing them with $15,000 to NOT go through with it. They don’t bite, though. Hahaha, Bobby even wipes away his tears! Before he goes in the cage, he whispers something to his team and then quietly walks into the cage. Just off the top of my head in the two matches I’ve seen (the COTC match and the title switch on Worldwide), these two teams have done nothing UNDER ****½, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to do that again. Right?
Onto the match, Fulton and Eaton start us off. Fulton fights out of a headlock and delivers a pair of headscissors takedowns that knocks Eaton loopy. Lane tags in for a test of strength. Fulton kicks him in the knee and climbs over Lane to take him over with an AWESOME armdrag. Lane busts out the kicks to put Fulton on the floor. On the outside, Lane eats the ringpost and gets sent into the guardrail thanks to a baseball slide. Tag to Rogers, he goes DROPKICK CRAZY on Lane. Eaton tags in and he’s met with a hiptoss into an armbar. Eaton buries a knee to escape and goes for a superplex, but Rogers flips out and O’Connor rolls him up for two. Off the kickout, Rogers flies off the middle rope and nails Eaton with a flying bodypress! Eaton gets tired of that and grabs an overhead wristlock. Blind tag to Fulton, he helps deliver a double backdrop to Eaton. Lane comes in and wants to whip the Fantastics into each other. They put the kibosh on that and as Lane gets doubled over, Rogers whips Eaton into Lane for a backdrop! Ha, whoops. With the Midnight Express cleared out, the Fantastics do their signature strut in the ring. Fantastics deliver a leapfrog guillotine to Lane’s arm, but a blind tag to Eaton sees Rogers take a bulldog for two. Lane tags in and delivers a necksnap followed by a slingshot clothesline. Back over to Bobby, he levels Rogers with a pair of elbow drops and a Swinging Neckbreaker for 1-2-NO! Lane kicks Rogers around and then whips him into a Billy Robinson backbreaker! How can you not love that? Cover, 1-2-NO! Fulton comes in and causes more problems for poor Tommy Rogers. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Eaton to Rogers gets 1-2-NO! Eaton is like freaking Roderick Strong in this match. Single-arm DDT called the Divorce Court is delivered to Rogers. He fights out of a hammerlock and catches Eaton telegraphing a backdrop and slams his head into the canvas. Lane tags in and draws Fulton in again for more chaos all over Rogers and his face. Lane cheats with an ab stretch by gaining some extra leverage from Eaton. Fulton comes in to protest. Meanwhile, Rogers avoids being posted and sends Eaton face-first into the steel instead. Back in, Rogers gets a desperate sunset flip on Lane but Eaton cuts off the tag. ALABAMA JAM to Rogers! I could watch that over and over again. Lane tags in and applies the ab stretch again. He transitions over to a Russian Legsweep to set up the ROCKET LAUNCHER! No! Rogers brings up the knees to block! HOT TAG TO FULTON! The party ends right quick as he gets distracted by Lane and knocked through the ropes by Eaton into a powerslam on the concrete! In the ring, Rogers collides with the ref and Eaton off a crossbody block. Lane tries to attack Rogers with the chain and takes a backdrop off the charge. Eaton gets the chain and blasts the legal man Fulton in the face with it wrapped around his fist! Cover, 1-2-3. (16:04) And the Midnight Express regain the U.S. tag team belts. Even though the Fantastics got cheated, they drag Cornette into the ring and give him his ten lashings anyways. Awesome match that just falls short of their other two classics. ****
Honorable Mentions: MNM, Billy & Chuck (It’s amazing what people will do for a paycheck in wrestling), the Hollywood Blondes, the APA, and the Nasty Boys.
The Nasty Boys vs. Public Enemy – Street Fight (Superbrawl VI)
And the natural rivalry between these two brawling teams begins. Public Enemy dumps the Nasties out to the floor. Grunge and Knobbs stick around ringside while Sags and Rocco Rock fight up the aisleway. Rocco finds a table, but gets BEATEN DOWN with a chair by Sags! Grunge gets the chair away from Sags and saves his partner. Rocco Rock wants to splash Knobbs through that table he grabbed earlier, but Knobbs slams him off the apron through the table instead. Grunge stops a pinfall with a chair. Sags brings some PLUNDAH (trashcan) and wears Grunge out before giving him a PILEDRIVER ON THE TRASHCAN! That gets two as Grunge gets his foot on the bottom rope. Meanwhile, Rocco takes Knobbs over to the faux souvenir stand, where Knobbs gives him a suplex through a table. Grunge beats Sags up the aisle with the trashcan lid to meet up with the other two. Public Enemy continue to keep the Nasties down with chairs and trashcan lids. Dusty seems disappointed that there hasn’t been any clubberin’ in this match. Poor guy. Sags does the table suplex spot on Rock. Grunge continues with the trashcan lid shots to set up a Rocco Rock STAGE DIVE through a table for Knobbs. That misses and Knobbs gets the 1-2-3. (7:52) Possibly because the feud didn’t called for it, but this was certainly not the violence we saw in 1994 from the Nasties. Back then, they would hit Cactus Jack unprotected in the face with a SHOVEL! Still lots of fun seeing Rocco Rock going through three tables in three different spots. ***
The Rockers vs. The Brain Busters – (Madison Square Garden, 3/18/89)
MSG REMATCH~! Their first meeting I’m referring to was included on the second Shawn Michaels DVD set which was around ***½ and the Brain Busters picked up the win. A week earlier on SNME, the Rockers and Brain Busters fought to a double-countout. For some reason, it seems these two teams don’t cut loose on the house shows like they did on SNME. Not even in Madison Square Garden. Arn and Shawn start the match. Arn goes low and buries a bunch of knees into Shawn. After Michaels avoids a sunset flip, he answers back with a barrage of rights. All four men come inside the ring, and see STEREO O’CONNOR ROLLS! The Rockers clean house. Once the Brain Busters make it back inside, Shawn draws Blanchard over to Jannetty to work him over. Jannetty grabs an armbar as Tully desperately tries for a tag. At least for now he’s unsuccessful. Finally, Blanchard reaches Arn for a tag. Jannetty and Anderson head to the floor where Arn misses a forearm up against the ringpost. Back in, Jannetty gets out of an arm wringer by flipping off the ropes ala Owen Hart. Arn gets a break from the armbar when he pulls Jannetty into a knee from Blanchard. Shawn helps Jannetty avoid a double-team with STEREO HURRACANRANAS to the Brain Busters! The Busters head to the floor, but still aren’t safe as they get nailed with STEREO PESCADOS! Back inside, Blanchard gets caught in a game of ping pong with the Rockers, but then Arn grabs Shawn when he tries a headscissors and drops him throat-first on the top rope! Tag to Arn, he ruthlessly stomps Shawn in the head and then whips him into a knee from Tully. Back over to Tully, he sends Shawn to the floor where he takes a pounding from the Busters. Shawn fights back a little bit by slamming Tully’s head on the apron, but Blanchard backs Shawn into his corner and tags Arn. He tries the knucklelock pin on the mat, which leads to Arn trying to splash Shawn. He gets caught with a body scissors, but then Arn counters and catapults Shawn into a right hand from Blanchard. Awesome. Shawn fights out of the Busters corner, but runs into a knee. Tully heads up top and gets slammed down. Off a corner whip, Shawn charges and slides underneath Blanchard’s legs to make the HOT TAG TO JANNETTY! Shawn pulls Arn out to the floor, leaving Jannetty and Blanchard in the ring. Arn takes a Superkick on the floor while Blanchard takes one in the ring. Shawn jumps off Marty’s shoulders and splashes Blanchard for 1-2-NO! Arn pulls the ref out, causing his team to get DQ’ed for putting his hands on the ref! (13:37) As I said, this wasn’t the Rockers/Busters high energy matches I’m used to seeing. Still really, really solid though. ***½
Final Thoughts: Some odd choices here and there (the Freebirds and the Nasties/PE matches), and everything else ranges from pretty great to just decent. With that said, I’m real glad they put the entire Midnights/Fantastics GAB ‘88 match on here though. If you’re a fan, that makes this set alone worthwhile. Not as strong as some other WWE DVD releases, but then again we’ve still got two more discs to go. So far, I’m leaning towards only a mild thumbs up for the Allied Powers DVD set.