August 12, 2009
The Powerdriver Review
WWE: Allied Powers – The World’s Greatest Tag Teams – Disc Two
Sorry about the delay, guys. Work and women. You know how it is.
Your hosts are John Morrison and The Miz.
WWF World Tag Team Champions Strike Force vs. Demolition (w/Mr. Fuji) – (WrestleMania IV, 3/27/88)
Smash smashes Martel to start until all four men get in the ring. A double-back elbow from Strike Force gets two on Smash, which causes Ventura and Monsoon to get into an argument about double-team moves. Ventura is all like, “We’ve just called FOURTEEN MATCHES, Gorilla! I’m tired! Shut up and quit arguing with me!” Ax comes in and gets caught in an armbar by Santana. Martel tags in and applies the armbar, but Ax headbutts out and tags in Smash. Santana tags in and gets caught in a bearhug and clotheslined by Ax! Nice! Santana gets caught in the Demolition corner and gets slammed by Ax for two. Santana forgets to lift up his shoulder off a pin attempt after a suplex by Smash. Ax tags in, but he ducks low off a whip and pays for it. Smash comes in and cuts off the tag to keep Santana in their corner, but Santana hits the FLYING JALAPENO out of nowhere. HOT TAG TO MARTEL! He’s got a couple dropkicks for both Ax and Smash, and then hooks on the QUEBEC CRAB. Santana grabs Fuji up on the apron, but the cane is already in Ax’s hands. Martel still has Smash in the Crab, and gets walloped by Ax. Smash covers and gets the 1-2-3. (8:02) Thus begins the longest WWF tag title reign to date of sixteen months. The most ironic thing about this was that Demolition would be dethroned by the very team who lost the NWA World Tag titles on this very night. Until then, Demolition rules. *½
Worldwide Attractions: The Fabulous Rougeaus, Ivan & Nikita Koloff, the Bushwhackers, La Resistance, the U.S. Express, and Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff.
WWF World Tag Team Champions Barry Windham & Mike Rotunda (w/Captain Lou Albano) vs. The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff (w/Freddie Blassie) – (WrestleMania, 3/31/85)
Sheik ~ “Russia, number one! Iran, number one! USA, *HACK-POOEY!*” You can’t have two #1’s, that makes eleven! Rotundo shoves Sheik off a headlock into the ropes and catches him with a hiptoss, a dropkick and a slam before getting nailed in the face by Windham. Rotundo works a headlock before bringing in Windham who comes in off the top with a single sledge. He drops a leg onto Sheik’s lower abdomen. Windham hooks on a headlock, but Sheik backs him into the heel corner. Volkoff grabs hold of Windham as Sheik comes off the ropes. He goes for a running dropkick, but Windham moves and Volkoff gets nailed. Sheik apologizes and tags Volkoff in. Volkoff immediately gets caught in a headlock as Windham tags in Rotundo. He delivers a pair of elbows for a one-count. See, two counts are the norm these days where people don’t understand what a one-count means. The champs tag in and out twisting and hammering on Volkoff’s arm. Volkoff fights back and runs Rotunda’s face into Sheik’s boot. He tags in and puts Rotundo down with a back drop. Sheik follows up with a running elbow drop for 1, 2, NO! The near-fall tells you that Rotundo is nearing defeat because he didn’t kick out at one or two, but at two and a half. It’s simple psychology that is lost these days. Just saying. Gutwrench suplex gets two for the Iron Sheik. Sheik tries a suplex, but Rotundo blocks it and delivers one of his own. Sheik rolls over and makes the tag to Volkoff before Rotundo can tag in Windham. Volkoff delivers a hotshot and goes for a pin, but Rotundo slides out and applies a hammerlock. Volkoff stands up and backs Rotundo into the ropes, but then he ducks low off a whip, allowing Rotundo to sunset flip over for a one-count. Volkoff is right back on top of Rotundo, as Volkoff whips him into the ropes and buries a knee into his gut. Tag to Sheik, who comes in and applies the Abdominal Stretch as the managers argue out on the floor. Rotunda escapes the hold with a hip toss and makes the HOT TAG to Windham! Sheik made the mistake of not grabbing hold of Rotundo and just going over and tagging in Volkoff. Windham unloads and gives Volkoff a running dropkick, followed by a running bulldog. He covers, but Sheik breaks it up at two. Rotundo comes in and dropkicks Sheik out to the floor. As Windham and Volkoff brawl up against the ropes, Sheik climbs up on the apron and blasts Windham in the back of the head with Blassie’s cane. Volkoff covers for the three-count to win the tag titles. (6:56) Basic tag formula with tons of heat. **
The Dudley Boyz
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (w/Stacy Keibler) vs. WWF World Tag Team Champions The Hardy Boyz – Title Unification Cage Match (Survivor Series 2001)
Alright! Let’s unify some titles! This was the first WWE show I ever attended live. One of my friends called a local radio station that was giving out tickets, told them his mom was sick in the hospital and couldn’t get to the coliseum to buy tickets for the show, so they ended up giving him FOUR free tickets. At least that’s how the story goes. Decent seats too! Front row on the upper deck. Pinfalls and escapes are the only way to win. Other than that, tag match rules seem to apply. Matt and Bubba Ray start us off. The Hardyz double-team Bubba Ray with their TANDEM OFFENSE~! as JR points out. Matt plays face-in-peril for a while. He delivers a reverse DDT to Bubba and makes the hot tag to Jeff. It breaks down and never returns to traditional tag-team form as the Dudleyz receive Poetry in Motion one at a time. The Dudleyz prevent a climb out, but D-Von takes a Russian Legsweep off the top rope. Meanwhile, Bubba Ray gives Jeff a Super Bubba Bomb! Matt receives a double-team flapjack into the cage. Jeff gets launched up to the top of the cage, but Bubba Ray pulls him down into a Doomsday Device. Reverse 3D on Jeff gets two thanks to a save from Matt. He gets thrown into the steel for his troubles and then SPLASHED by individual Dudleyz! NASTY. Jeff moves away from a D-Von flying headbutt as well as a diving legdrop from Bubba Ray. With the Dudleyz stunned, Matt comes off the top rope with a double flying clothesline. Double backdrop to Bubba Ray sets up a STEREO FLYING LEGDROP/SUPERFLY SPLASH from the Hardyz for 1-2-NO! As Matt tries to climb out, D-Von slams his head into the cage with his foot stuck in the top tier – leaving Matt just hanging around by his foot. Wassup Headbutt is delivered to Jeff. STACY! GET THE TABLE! Alliance ref Nick Patrick won’t allow it until Stacy shows him a little tail and pulls the cage door key out of his back pocket. It’ll get you every time. In comes the table, but the 3D is countered. Matt shoves Bubba down off the top rope and escapes over the cage wall to the floor. That’s kind of dumb because it leaves Jeff all alone with the Dudleyz. After bouncing D-Von’s head off the cage a few times, Jeff starts to climb out. D-Von does the only thing he can do at this point and that’s lay down on the table. JEFF CAN’T RESIST! He tries the SWANTON BOMB off the top of the cage, but D-Von gets out of the way leaving Jeff to crash and burn through the table. Bubba Ray crawls over and covers him for 1-2-3. (15:46) This leads to the first Hardy Boyz failure of a feud. Decent story mixed in with some decent spots and a great finish. You could sense that the crowd seemed somewhat desensitized by the crazy ending. Possibly from the TLC matches that were still somewhat fresh in the minds of wrestling fans. **½
WCW World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri & Col. Robert Parker) vs. The Outsiders – (Halloween Havoc 1996)
Scott Steiner was out with an injury and instead of just waiting to put the belts on them to drop to the Outsiders, they got impatient and decided to just have Harlem Heat drop the belts to Hall & Nash instead, which makes no sense if WCW wants fans to boo them. And the crowd’s reaction shows exactly who’s side they’re on by giving super loud with Razor & Diesel chants. Booker and Hall start the match. He catches Hall with a hook kick, but Hall comes back with his signature punches. The hiptoss across the ring spot puts Hall on the floor to take a beating from Stevie Ray. Back in, Hall spits on Stevie Ray and tags out to Nash. He takes Stevie Ray to the corner and unloads with knees and elbows. Stevie Ray battles back, spits at Hall, and beats Nash down into the corner. Booker T tags in for a Scissors Kick for 1-2-NO! Nash comes back with a Side Slam on Stevie Ray and tags Hall. He hits the second-rope bulldog on Stevie Ray for two. Booker tags in for a chinlock, but Hall fights out and sends him into Nash for a club to the back. Tag to Nash, he hits a Big Boot and the Snake Eyes. Booker staggers over into a clothesline from Hall on the apron. The crowd approves! Back over to Hall, he gives Booker a Chokeslam for two. Fallaway Slam connects and Sherri hops up on the apron, so Hall lays a big ol’ fat half-drunken kiss on her. Isn’t that like a standard babyface action? Hmm. HUGE undeniable “Razor” chants go up. They trade sleepers until Booker gets crotched on the top rope. Double-KO sets up a not-so-hot tag to Stevie Ray. Nash takes a clothesline to the floor as the Heat deliver the HARLEM HANGOVER to Hall! The ref is too busy trying to get Booker T out of the ring, allowing Col. Parker to try and whack Nash with his cane. He gets scared and instead, hands Nash the cane, who breaks up Stevie Ray’s pin with Parker’s cane. Hall turns over on top for the 1-2-3. (13:08) Huge pop for the Outsiders. No one should really be surprised by that though. **¼
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard
NWA World Tag Team Champions Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (w/JJ Dillon) vs. Sting & Nikita Koloff – (Great American Bash 1988)
Half of this match was edited out of the Great American Bash ‘88 commercial release that I reviewed, so that’s TWO matches on this set from this show that I’ve never seen in full. Awesome. Sting and Nikita clean house to start. The Horsemen attack, but Sting dropkicks Arn to the floor and wipes him out with a plancha. Remember, this is 1988! People just didn’t do that back then in the US. Back in, they slow down the pace as Arn gets his arm worked over. Koloff puts the brakes on a near-miss off a corner charge and delivers a SICKLE to Arn and a SICKLE to Tully! Geez, they have the crowd eating out of their hands! Sting goes back to grinding on an armbar on Anderson. Tully runs in for the double overhead wristlock spot as Sting flips out and attempts to armdrag both men. Doesn’t quite happen, but he takes them both out instead with a dropkick. Blanchard tags in and receives the same treatment to his arm. He does all he can do to reach the ropes, tag in Arn using his foot, and everything in between. He finally does get a tag and tries to keep Nikita in their corner, but he gets away and Arn is PISSED. Since Tully failed, Arn corners Koloff in the Horsemen zone and tags Blanchard. He runs into the Russian Hammer (choke takedown) and takes a SICKLE out to the floor. Back in, Nikita hits a suplex and JJ Dillon interrupts a pin attempt, which causes him to get grabbed. Nikita puts JJ up against the ringpost and misses a SICKLE. YOU IDIOT! Back in, we see some VINTAGE ARN ANDERSON~! Hammerlock slams and everything. Nikita starts to NO-SELL an arm wringer, but telegraphs a backdrop and gets DESTROYED with a DDT! I love it. Arn celebrates too long and only gets two. The Horsemen continue to dominate until a pump splash by Arn hits knees. HOT TAG TO STING! Press Slam to Blanchard, Running Face Slam to Arn! Classic Sting stuff here. DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER! Arn tries to suplex Sting and when he can’t, he blind tags Blanchard in for a flying sunset flip. Sting punches out of that as Nikita takes down Arn with the SICKLE! Stinger Splash to Blanchard sets up the SCORPION DEATHLOCK! Nikita blocks for his partner, but Blanchard lasts through the time limit. (20:00) As far as the crowd was concerned, Nikita and Sting could do no wrong here. This was just some sweet molten hot tag formula action, but probably not the best example of just how “in tune” Arn and Tully were as a tag team. Instead, this match just made Sting and Nikita look like a million bucks. ***½
Tribute to the Classics: The Texas Outlaws, Pat Patterson & Ray Stevens, the Wild Samoans, the Blackjacks, and Ray Stevens & Nick Bockwinkel.
AWA World Tag Team Champions Nick Bockwinkel & Ray Stevens vs. Red Bastien & Billy Robinson – 2/3 Falls (AWA All Star Wrestling, December 1972)
Certainly four of the best ever from the ’70s. While the action was certainly fast and furious, tag team wrestling in the ’70s relied less on ‘face-in-peril’ formula and more quick tags. The name of the game was to merely keep the fresh man in at all times – no matter what. Way too much going on here for strict PBP. According to the storyline, Bockwinkel and Stevens get conned into wrestling Bastien and Robinson because they didn’t read the ‘fine print’ on a contract. Bastien pins Bockwinkel to earn the first fall with an atomic drop at 9:09. Remember, it’s 1972 – when move psychology was somewhat more realistic. No 450 moonsault DDTs here. Bockwinkel seriously looks exactly the same from 1970 all the way into the ’90s. We see Bockwinkel take a double-team move FROM THE FUTURE as Bastien catapults him into a forearm from Robinson. Ooo, and a double-team slam from the champs on Robinson. He spins and kicks out of a Bockwinkel PILEDRIVER and tags in Bastien for a series of dropkicks. Robinson tags back in and executes his famous BACKBREAKER on Bockwinkel for the 1-2-3 as they win in two straight falls. (13:45) They don’t win the belts though because it wasn’t technically a title match. SWERVE~! Great to see how tag team wrestling has evolved even if you don’t know who these guys are. **¾
The Miz & John Morrison
The Miz & John Morrison vs. Shawn Michaels & Rey Mysterio – (Raw, 11/17/08)
This was in between tag title reigns for Miz & Morrison as they take on members of Team HBK on the Raw before Survivor Series. Morrison and Michaels start us off. It’s like Shawn facing himself twenty years ago. Tag to Mysterio, Miz trips him up to put a stop to a possible 6-1-9. Shawn makes Miz pay with a pescado. With Morrison on the floor, Mysterio takes him to the announce table with a suicide dive. Commercial time. AND WE’RE BACK! Shawn fights out of a Miz chinlock and avoids a springboard legdrop to make the tag to Mysterio. Headscissors takedowns all day long. Morrison causes a distraction, allowing Miz to whip Rey into the ringpost. Back inside, Miz and Morrison work over Mysterio’s ribs. Miz tries a sunset flip, but Rey rolls through and catches Miz with the dropkick. You knew it was coming. Morrison cuts off the tag and whips Mysterio into the corner for the chest-first bump. Rey fights out of an ab stretch and slides underneath Morrison for a possible tag, but Morrison grabs him by the foot and pulls him into a tilt-a-whirl gutbuster. More rib work follows. Morrison goes for the Flying Chuck, but Rey blocks with a dropkick. HOT TAG TO HBK! He hits the Flying Elbow on Miz and calls for SWEET CHIN MUSIC, but Miz hits the mat. HBK wants that inverted figure-four submission, but Miz kicks him off. Rey gets rid of Morrison and hits the 6-1-9 on Miz in one of the goofiest setups I’ve ever seen. SWEET CHIN MUSIC to Miz! Here comes Morrison, Superkick to Michaels! He takes Rey to the floor as Miz covers for 1-2-3! (7:55 shown) NO WAY! Huge win for Miz and Morrison. Shawn must think a lot of these two to job like that – to his own finishing move no less. Decent tag match in an age where that doesn’t happen very often over at the E. **¾
The Hart Foundation
WWF World Tag Team Champions The Hart Foundation (w/Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis) vs. The Fabulous Rougeaus – (Boston Garden, 3/7/87)
The Boston Garden had some awesome matches back in the day. MSG had the mystique, glamour and the universal name while Boston Garden was the work horse arena. Bret screws around with Jacques to start by encouraging and then refusing to lock up during a test of strength. Jacques goes to his knees, but he trips up Bret when he tries to stomp his fingers. The Rougeaus control the pace for a while by working over arms and legs. Nothing too interesting. Bret tries his signature knee from the apron, but Raymond sees it coming and knocks Bret to the floor. Of course, here comes Neidhart to run him down. Now Raymond gets stuck in the Harts corner as they draw Jacques in so they can do some dirty deeds. I mean like, cheating. Get your mind out of the gutter. Raymond escapes a chinlock and sunset flips Neidhart, but Bret finds a blind tag and lowers the boom on him. Raymond gets tossed and Jacques comes over to help, so Jimmy Hart goes over to bring Jacques away so Neidhart can dish out some cheapshots and toss Raymond back into Bret. Raymond breaks loose from Neidhart’s bearhug, but he’s still caught in the Hart corner. Bret hits a backbreaker for two. Raymond catches Bret off a corner charge with a knee to set up a false tag spot. While the ref is with Jacques, the Harts suffer some miscommunication problems, allowing Raymond to break free and make the HOT TAG TO JACQUES. Bret begs off, but it does no good. Jacques delivers a rolling short-arm scissors and everyone is kind of like what is this? It breaks loose as the Harts run into one another. Danny Davis gets knocked off the apron. Now the Rougeaus can deliver the DOUBLE-TEAM SENTON BOMB to Bret! Neidhart makes the save and gets clobbered by Raymond. Meanwhile, Danny Davis runs in and turns an inside cradle over into Bret’s favor as he helps get the win over on Jacques. (14:39) Not one of my favorites, but this was all well and good. ***¼
The Freebirds “Badstreet” Music Video in all its glory.
The British Bulldogs from 1987: MATILDA CAN TALK!
Gene Okerlund visits the Hart Foundation Headquarters, ‘87. Women come and massage the Harts and Danny Davis. Neat stuff.
The Bushwhackers pop out from under some leaves in the fall of ‘88 to knock over Gene Okerlund. Those idiots!
From Wrestling Challenge 7/7/90, Gene Okerlund interviews Demolition. Apparently this is Crush’s debut.
From the 4/11/92 Superstars, Paul Ellering makes his WWF TV debut by talking about the Legion of Doom near a bonfire in Chicago. What is a man like him doing in a place like that? Hawk and Animal join alongside him for more crazy talk.
A Los Conquistadors montage from 2000.
The AWESOME and very creative Rock N Sock Connection split. Mankind gives this over the top breakup speech while Rock is on his cellular phone. Hilarious stuff.
From Cyber Sunday 2006, HBK shows how controversial he can still be by giving out superkicks to stage hands backstage.
The Miz & John Morrison’s “Mizfits & Mofos” music video. Flight of the Conchords – they aren’t.
Final Thoughts: Still got one more disc to go. The match quality takes a step down from the first disc with the best match coming in at ***½, but it makes up for it for being chock full of nostalgia and an unedited match I’ve always wanted to see. I’d still go with a mild thumbs up for this set. Hopefully disc three won’t be a deal breaka.