THE ROCKTAGON
W/ JAMES SWIFT
 
If I didn't know any better, I'd say that the seasons are sapient things. Per, on September 30th, it's basically 80 degrees in my neck of the woods. Veritably, it feels like summer. The next day, October 1st, and suddenly, I am living in an arctic tundra. What the hell happened to the transitional season of autumn? I thought these changes are supposed to occur incrementally , and not in one, fell, sentient(?) swoop. Maybe Al Gore is right about global warming and nature trying to kill is. Or was that M. Night Shamalangalongadingdong? Oh, well, like there's a difference in ethos.

So, yes, it is indeed fall, folks, and to celebrate the death of all things warm and non-crispy, I decided to go back to the year of our lord 1992 and revisit something that is truly miraculous: a major WWF show with TWO matches worth a shit. No, I am not pulling one's leg, humble reader, such a mythical event does indeed exist, and it was called Summer Slam.

Summer Slam 92 is important for a couple of reasons, namely being the notion that it was the first major PPV the F produced sans Hulk Hogan on the roster. It was also the first over seas production, and by golly, were the Titan brass putting a lot of faith in these newfangled characters such as Bret Hart and Randy Savage. Truly, the fate of the company rested on their performances, and with the British Bulldog and The Ultimate By God Warrior annexed to the fray, that very well could've spelled D-O-O-M for the promotion.

To give you an idea of how, well, out-of-it the WWF was at the time, consider this: Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect, mayhap two of the best performers on the roster, were scheduled for NON-wrestling activity for the event. And yes, they were both healthy at the time, and capable of competing. To answer your question, "I have no fucking clue, either".

So, would the hosses make Summer Slam a disaster of magnanimous proportions, or would the technicians at hand save the show and make things nice and comfortable in our freshly Hogan-less existence? Well, to hedge your bets, keep in mind that the night before, Davey Boy was up all night shooting cocaine. Yeah, all signs point to suck for this show, but as fate would have it. . .

Regardless, I shan't squander any electric print space on further rhetoric, as I present unto thee, fair reader of the Rocktagon. . . WWF SUMMER SLAM 1992!

We begin our Coliseum Home Video with footage of two lovely, dignified birds in what appears to be Hamburger Helper makeup as they prognosticate the night's match-ups, and I, for one, have never heard the term "Macho Man Randy Savage" stated as eloquently before.

More Ultimate Warrior face paint, more teeth in need of a good dentist-ing. In one of the weirdest taped segments I've ever seen, this little kid proclaims that, tonight, the British Bulldog is going to win, "Whether he wants to or not". So, basically, this little limey is presupposing that, in some mammalian brained manner, that Davey Boy Smith may want to lose tonight's throw down? Sorry, folks, I guess I just don't "get" British humor, and mayhap never will.

Trumpet music and shots of Big Ben, you, know, if you had any doubts as to the show's locality. We are coming to you LIVE from Wembley Stadium, in good old London, England, where over 80,000 screaming, fluoride deprived grappling fans have migrated to watch Hacksaw Jim Duggan and The Nasty Boys continually fuck up moves for 6 and a half minutes. IT WAS WORTH THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, IF YOU ASK ME.

Our hosts are pre-steroid trial "Commentator and not CEO billionaire, nope, not at all" Vince McMahon and Sir Bobby The Brain Heenan. Just four minutes into the show, and we've expended just about every Anglican stereotype in the arsenal ALREADY. Shit, I am nonplused that Heenan hasn't made a statement about them boiling bacon and treating Pakistanis as second class citizens yet.

Out come Jerry Saggs and Brian Knobbs, whom Bobby claims to be nastier than The Beatles. Hey, it's not the Nasty Boys fault that they can't get no satisfaction, am I right? What do you mean that's a Rolling Stones song and not a Beatles one? Well, fuck it.

Their partner for the ensuing six-man tag is The Mountie, accompanied by The Mouth of the South Jimmy Hart, whom receives virtually no fanfare at all from the tens of thousands of spectators in the crowd, which is really weird because when the Bushwhackers come out, dear lord, they get a bigger pop than Princess Diana wielding Excalibur.

And of course, men-children travel in threes in early 90s WWF, so their partner for tonight's curtain jerker is Jim Duggan. You know, looking back on it, there sure were a lot of retard gimmicks back in the day. So it's basically, a white Public Enemy tag teaming with a Canadian cartoon character to take on two incestuous kiwis and Sean Penn's character from I Am Sam brandishing a thick piece of lumber. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that somehow, all of these things are really parables of international mistrust and globalization, but I digress.

So anyway, I was watching "Night and Fog" a while ago, which is a tremendous documentary on the Holocaust by Alan Renais, and I thought to myself, "You know, now THIS is what filmmaking is supposed to be". And then, the next movie I watched? 1980's "Maniac", a movie about a fat New Yorker that scalps hookers and push pins their hair to mannequins.

I bring up the parallel of artistic cinema and schlock degradation because, prior to watching this bout, the last match I watched was Misawa / Kawada from 06-03-94. So, we go from the most poignant, visually striking of meaningful commentary to the zeitgeist of throwaway cheese. . . Yep, I can't think of how that relates to this match. Nope, no way, no how.

The heels Pearl Harbor (or should that be "July 11th?") the faces, and the fisticuffs, THEY ARE ON. We get a lot of comedy brawling, complete with three tiered clotheslines (for when you have a triad amount of apparel to dry, I guess) and for some reason, the UK fans actually chant "USA!" along with Duggan. Um, didn't we do some horrible shit to your country at one point? Yeah, probably.

So I was reading about this guy that was actually charged with "illegal utilization of a megaphone". Shit, I didn't even know that one was on the books. I wonder if there are other statutes out there on the proper, legal usage of other products. Is it possible for one to be cited for improper operation of a blender or exercise equipment? Man, fuck "Directive 51", and HARD.

Time for the extended "battering ram" comedy segment, which provokes Vince to drop this pearl of comedy: "Talk about your earl of sandwiches!" Man, is non-heel asshole commentator McMahon an annoyance. Seriously, his pitch and tone shifts about thirty times in one sentence, and it's more aggravating than playing Crossfire on a slanted table. I know he's skinny, but there's no way Jimmy Hart is just 120 pounds. You know how the add about fifty or eighty to a guy that's really only 220? Well, apparently, they do the same thing to managers, only in reverse. The guy is about 145 in reality, but shit, it's not like anybody at home is approximating his weight. They could probably say he weighs 90 and nobody would second guess. BLIND PRODUCT LOYALTY FTW.

I know this is going to surprise a lot of you, but this match, it kind of sucks. Yes, agog is what we all are at such a revelation. It's basically chained rest hold after rest hold until Luke can make the hot tag. Talk about formulaic, these early 90s tag matches have a more consistent recipe than Coca Fucking Cola. On cue, Luke puts up the effortless leg to jack Jerry Sachs top-rope flying jaw and then he scoots on his ass like a puppy to tag in Hacksaw. Twenty five head rams later, Duggan picks up the pin fall on The Mountie as this place (channeling the spirit of Gorilla Monsoon) "Literally erupts!"

Wait, you mean to tell me that there is an actual active caldera underneath the ring, Gorilla?

. . . Gorilla Monsoon, everybody! Thanks to Mattel for supplying the Ouija Board, America's number one juvenile occultist plaything since the fall of McCarthyism!

Hey, speaking of supernatural hi-jinks, out next is Papa Shango, purportedly tipping the scales at 330 pounds. Yeah, most assuredly.

His opponent is El Matador, whom is accused of lugging around a dead Chihuahua (courtesy of Heenan's blatantly non-PC commentary). Really, what is it with all of those nationalistic clichés and stereotypes? What the hell do Haitian voodoo priests and Spanish bullfighters possibly have against one another? This leads to two great quotes of considerable notation. First, Heenan proclaims that Tito went to "bullfighting school" and then, Vince states that Santana is "one of the all time greats". Now, maybe he was thinking of Carlos Santana and his contributions to the world of guitar music, but man, that's kind of a stretch, isn't it Vinny? Also, Esteban fucking rules all Mexican rock. It is fact.

We get a really Clothesline-y beginning as Vince and Bobby chat about mysticism. Man, Vince's spastic commentary is really grating my nerves. At one point, Tito goes up top, and this is a direct, word-by-word transcript of Vince's verbiage: "Oh no, he's going up top, what's he going to (changes voice modulation by about three octaves) OH NO, HE'S COMING OFF THE TOP ROPE, WHAT'S HE GONNA DO (shifts voice to lower octave while in mid enunciation) he's not going to make it HE JUST HIT IT OH MY THAT'S IT ONE TWO THREE HE GOT HIM, OH NO HE DIDN'T, COME ON REF. God, is that annoying and. . .

Huh, for some reason, the lights in my room keep flicking on and off. Must by a power surge or something.

Laugh out loud, Heenan called Santana "El doormat". Also, those hot pink wristbands are ROCKING it. And by it, I mean, "extremely homosexually in nature".

Oh shit, the Brits brought their bullhorns with them. As Tito picks up his Viento Segundo, Heenan drops this funny: "Uh-oh, I think the Tabasco is kicking in!" Ethnic differences = the funny!

Anyway, Shango scoops up Tito and finishes him with the Shoulder Breaker. As Vince would proudly bark, "he slammed him WITH AUTHORITY" on that last one. Wait, you mean there's an authoritative body on piledriver variations now? Shit, megaphones, wrestling holds. . . The Obama Administration is REALLY getting carried away with all of this government regulation, don't you think?

Shit, I really hate to interrupt this recap, but the electric grid at this place is really going on the fritz. Thanks a lot, local electric provider, you worthless, unprofessional schmucks.

Out next, it's Money, Inc., alongside Jimmy Hart. Some fan actually made a sign for The Million Dollar Man. Huh, economic commentary at a pro wrestling show. Who would have thought it.

Unnghhh, what a rush. . . Oh shit, it's Paul Ellering, with ROCCO. You know, because being motorcycle driving, post-apocalyptic football players from Future Chicago isn't gimmicky enough, so give them a fucking PUPPET as a manger. Positively horrid in all aspects.

This match occurred during the twilight of Dibiase's career, and as one would expect, it's pretty depressing to watch. Overall, this is more like watching a really bad SNES wrestling game than an actual wrestling match; it's all impact and oomph with nary a guest appearance by logic nor transition. You know how non-fans look at wrestling bouts and say that it's just a bunch of rigid homoerotic figures colliding into one another for ten minutes? Yeah, well, they're right in this case, any way.

Sleeper hold from IRS. Wait, a rest hold, in early 90s wrestling? GET OUT OF HERE WITH SUCH ALLEGATIONS! Hawk beats the third arm raise (and nothing else in his life) and it's time for the kicking of the ass. Kind of.

At this point, Dibiase is being held together by chewing gum and toothpicks, so he's basically relegated to just kind of chopping stuff on the outside.

Q: How do you miss a flying clothesline and skid ten feet out of the fighting area?
A: Ask Hawk.

Wrestling 1, Physics, 0.

ANOTHER rest spot from IRS, and . . . WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? Seriously, there's something ON the tape that's climbing up the stairwell positioned adjacent to the ring. It has no definitive shape, and looks kind of rotund. Weird. And my lights just went off. . .again. Let me go grab my security blanket (181 proof grain alcohol) and we'll continue with this recap in a bit.

Ok, we're back. Now, of course, such supernatural beliefs are for the highly superstitious and impractically minded (in other words, Republicans) but folks, there is some spooky shit going on during Summer Slam 92. Maybe my laptop was built on ancient Indian burial ground or something. . .

. . .anyhow, back to the match. Spoiler: it sucks. More snooze-flavored fisticuffs. EL YAWN-O. Time for the mandatory double knock-down slow crawl for the hot tag segment. In comes Animal, with both guns a blazing. Well, no, he didn't literally commit firearm murder, but that's the poignancy of language. Doomsday Device averted, Animal still hits Dibiase with a power slam for the win. A REALLLLLY bad match considering the pedigree of those involved.

Mean Gene is backstage with Ric Flair, who is quite peeved that The Ultimate Warrior is getting a title shot against Randy Savage and not him. Okerlund also quizzes Flair on whom Mr. Perfect shall be in the corner of for tonight's world title bout, and Ric refuses to give an answer. Oh, Nature Boy, you tease. . .

In another backstage (an orange one, at that!) Sean Mooney is interviewing / getting shadow boxed by Virgil, whom says that he is, and I quote, "2 Legit to Quit". Wasn't it almost 1993 by now, and he's quoting Hammer? Shit, maybe Nailz will drop a line from Terrence Trent D'Arby in his promo.

All right, so we have a former prisoner taking on a former slave. Well, at least they are not regurgitating ETHNIC stereotypes here. Heenan's explication for Nailz' prison stint is absolutely priceless, and reason alone to track down a VHS copy of the show. Take my word for it.

Yeah, not exactly a five snowflake opus, here. Nailz locks in a weird ass chicken wing (you know, like the ones from Eraserhead) and Virgil's body hit's the floor like in that one outmoded nu-metal song. You know, "Keep Rolling" by Limp Bizkit.

Post bout, a white prison escapee beats the crap out of an emancipated black man with a blunt object, and nobody in the crowd picks up on the notion that, hey, that might be kind of racist.

. . . Time to bow down before your TRUE lord, the one and only Alfred Hayes. All I can say is, keep knocking on that door, chief. God save the queen. . . And maybe a key, you know, for next time, because truthfully, that shit is kind of embarrassing.

Recap of the Shawn Michaels / Ric Martel feud, which involved a pre bout interview with the Sensational Sherri. Who's corner will she be in? Subtlety.

Well, this here is a rare mid 90s heel vs. heel bout, with a very special stipulation, and when I mean very special, I mean mentally retarded, as neither competitor is allowed to hit the other in the face. Get it, because both of the wrestlers are conceited? Yeah, I am in stitches as well.

Martel out first, in yuppie tennis regalia. Shawn and Sherri out next, as The Sensational One prances about with her ass cheeks hanging out. I called it first: this match is going to be better than a root canal. Just mildly, though.

What do you know, I was right! This is by far the best (OK, ONLY good) thing to come out of the show so far, with both guys going back and forth and chaining movies that actually, you know, cohesively flow without the necessity for a five minute oxygen break.

We get a dump to the outside, and a delay for some sports entertainment nonsense with the two Martels hugging (no relation, in case you were wondering). Up next, we get a spot in which Michaels and The Model take turns exposing one another's ass cheeks to the audience (really). So, you can kick your opponent in the face, but you can't punch him? I don't believe it, stipulations in a wrestling match being abstruse.

Well, just when you think you have something that resembles authentic wrestling, here comes the bull shit wagon. The two take turns slapping the taste out of one another's mouth, and the Sensational Sherri "faints". Cue this morbid, prognostication from Vince: "Did she have a heart attack?" In the verbiage of a certain Opera Phantom, "not now, but soon."

Anyhoo, the two go outside, we get some scuffling, punches get thrown, and a double count out is issued. Yeah, how satisfying. Wait, did Vince just make a double entendre about Sherri's tits using a David Lynch project as a reference point? Well, that's awesome.

So anyway, I was reading Foucalt and Francis Fukyuma earlier. Really interesting stuff about societal development and the psychology of both futurism and determinism. And here I am, watching junior theater clown antics. Yeah, I don't feel like a retard right now. Not in the slightest.

Nasty Boys promo. Not really much to say here.

Dear god, up next, it's the Beverly Brothers taking on the Natural Disasters for the tag titles. All I can say is, nope, just nope. Watching an Earthquake match is like forcing Alex DeLarge to listen to Beethoven, as it ensures that I do very, very bad things in retaliation.

Well, what luck, as soon as I said that, the electricity went out. And I feel a sudden draft. But there are no windows in my bedroom. Huh, creepy. The wiring, that must be the fault with all of this sudden outages. Speaking of eerie, I SWORE that the wind just whispered "it's electric" in the background. Oh well, time to go play DS until the power is restored. (FYI; "playing DS" is a euphemism for something very erotic I do to a coed involving my tongue and a carton of sherbet ice cream).

Well, this match is what it is, which for the uninitiated, is shit. I'll give Bo and Blake credit, they do about as much as one expects them to do with the nine hundred pounds of flab they were saddled with; poor John Tenta and Shockmaster, though. . . Shit, it's like watching John Candy and Chris Farley tag team.

MEGA BONUS FUN TIME SMARK QUIZ: Can you guess which Slim-Jim snapping, "Oh yeah!" spouting world champion is the brother of Beverly Brothers manager Lanny "The Genius" Poffo? That's right, Yokozuna. If you squint hard enough, you can even see the resemblance!

You know how the first Friday the 13th movie pretty much sucked, but it had a really kick ass ending with Betsy Palmer and that red headed chick duking it out like bitches? Well, this match is kind of like that, because the last minute or so is somewhat entertaining. That, plus it gives us these two pieces of comedic gold from Heenan:

Vince says "All Typhoon has to do is sit up and tag his partner!" to which Bobby ripostes "You're asking him a lot to do a sit-up!". Then, Earthquake makes the old Chris Benoit cutthroat gesture and The Brain responds with "Usually when he does that, it means extra pickles and hold the mayo!"

So, in other words, Bobby Heenan fucking rules.

Anyway, Quake drops the ass bomb on Beverly and the world tag team champs retain their belts. Wow, two guys named after seismic activity sure are popular in England. For some reason, I doubt that the Polynesians would cheer for a fellow named after a tsunami, but that's just my two cents. . .

Backstage, the Bushwhackers cut a totally comprehendible and coherent promo on their aspirations within the company. Well, no, they don't.

Lord Alfred Hayes IS comedy. This would be true, if not for the fact that it isn't.

So up next, it's Crush versus The Repo Man and. . . Hey, wait, that means Demolition is fighting one another! No, think of what you're doing to poor Axe's heart!

IRONY ALERT: Vince claims that Crush has a "very bright future in the WWF." Do I hear death slathering on some Lip Smackers right about now? I think I do.

Well, this one is, um, not good. Crush pretty much has his way with the Repo Man for about five minutes, and then he decides to CRUSH HIM with his finishing maneuver, which is basically him squeezing Darsow's head really, really hard. No, this isn't NC-17 fan fiction I'm typing here, but damn it, it can certainly be construed that way. Regardless, the Hawaiian that's not really Hawaiian wins it, and then it's back to Mean Gene.

All right, time to recap the Savage / Warrior rivalry. You see, Randy Savage defeats Ric Flair at WM 8, which was the same show in which the Ultimate Warrior made his triumphant return. Now, astute Rocktagon readers may be saying "Wait a minute, didn't the Warrior beat Randy in a loser-must-retire- and-never-step-foot-in-a-wrestling-ring-ever-again match a year prior at WM 7?" To that, I reply, uh, well. . .

So, now, Randy and The Warrior are set to tussle for the world title, but wouldn't you know it? That little sumbitch (TM, my uncle) Ric Flair thinks he deserves a title shot, and his best pal Mr. Perfect wants a title shot, too, and before long, we have what could've been one hell of a quadrilateral feud for the World Championship. Too bad The Warrior and Flair were both gone by January of 93, so tits to all that anyway.

Out first is the Ultimate Republican, who looks kind of winded by the time he makes it to the ring. Harbinger of things to come?

Cue "Pomp and Circumstance" as the World Champ Randy Savage makes his way down the aisle. Huh, how funny is it that his music is a song that most wrestling fans will never get to hear otherwise (el oh el, insinuating that wrestling fans are of a sub-high school level education. )

My god, watching these two stare on another down is virtually rape upon the part of my brain that receives and interprets color. Seriously, it is as if someone fed a Dachshund a diet of laxatives and Crayolas for a month and let him go full blast on a Matisse painting. ARGHH, how my rods and cones are aflame at such a tacky sight!

Well, there's no need to tell you just how good this match-up is, because I am sure you already know that by now. For whatever reason, the Warrior may have sucked a good 98 percent of the time, but whenever he was paired with Randy, for reasons which may never be fully expounded upon, he turned into about twenty times the performer. Although quite the contentious statement, I would go as far as to say that the Warrior is a fairly underrated wrestler. . . Fuck, I even saw him in a GOOD match with German garbage wrestling wunderkind Ulf Hermann once, so you know that I am just not yapping out of my ass when I say such.

Of course, the opening ten minutes of this bout are far and away better than anything on the show up to this point, so let's keep our fingers crossed that the well-established opening tempo keeps up throughout the duration of the bout.

If you saw the Wrestlemania match between these two, then yeah, you've pretty much seen this much, too, as it is, fundamentally, a scene by scene remake of that bout. Of course, the WM 7 match was far superior, thanks in no small part to the whole retirement angle and especially the post-match lovey dovey stuff that made the bout feel like something more than middle school caliber Shakespeare fare. That being said, it is still a damned enjoyable romp, with the guys breaking out all the tried and true number one hits (who can ever possibly forget the haunting single "I am going to run across the ring, jump over the rope and slam your throat against it?") and the McGuffin involving Mr. Perfect and Flair's inevitable involvement only serves to make the pot all that more tantalizing. That, and god be damned, these two just GEL together. I don't know, it's just two tastes that shouldn't work that just do, you know? It's like peanut butter and mustard. . . Wait, I'm not the only guy out there that enjoys PB and Mustard sandwiches, right? Right?

This is just same great, great stuff right here, with both guys breaking out the heavy artillery. Of course, Flair and Perfect eventually DO make their way ringside and then it's time to play the guessing game. Is he in the Warrior's pocket? I mean, Perfect did just trip up Savage. But wait, Flair just brass knuckled Warrior? Does that mean Savage sold out? I hate to say it folks, but this was about as intricate and intellectual as WWF angles got in the early 90s. We have an extended ref bump sequence, and it's all out fireworks for a good ten minutes, with near falls, interference and finisher teases galore. There's even this great, cinematic moment in which Randy is on the top rope and he's looking down at the Warrior on the canvas and then he looks at Ric to the outside, so he has this little episode in which he's contemplating what's more important, finishing the bout or taking out the scoundrel on the arena floor, and it's a really neat, smart moment for what was, at the time, the federation at its most cartoon-like.

Anyway, Macho Man's little moralistic plunge ends up costing him the match, as he gets counted out while Perfect and Flair do a number on him (and in case you're wondering which number, it was 37.) Post-bout, the Warrior runs off the heels, as there's some kind of in-ring celebration betwixt the two war wagers. Hoo-ray for good sportsmanship! (Which is why both guys have been blacklisted from the industry now, but those are two stories for two respective rainy days, assuredly. . .)

The funny thing is, the Warrior was originally supposed to turn heel and join in league with Flair and Perfect, creating what would've been something of a WWF-ized Dangerous Alliance. Of Course, old Jimmy Hell-wig had to go all diva on us and whatnot, so that plan got scrapped like a an aborted fetus, and what do you know, all four guys ended up getting shafted down shit creek later on in their respective careers anyway, so the night's true winner? That's right, nihilism.

All things considered, a down good little bout hurt considerably by a less- than-stellar finale. Nowhere near approaching the levels of their WM 7 match, but still, a hell of an effort considering the time frame and restrictions thereof.

So up next, it's a battle betwixt Tatanka and The Berserker, and. . . You know, let me just finish off this bottle of liquor and chase it with some Nyquil real quick.

Ah, now I'm ready to watch some hot Viking on Indian action. Now. . .

Dude, the power just went off AGAIN! Better head downstairs and rescue my Chunky Monkey from the freezer before it becomes liquefied sugar milk. Huh, sure is quiet around here, and despite the fact that the electricity is kaput, there seems to be some sort of eerie, ethereal glow emanating from underneath the fridge. Huh, wonder if I wag my dong at it long enough, I'll go sterile.

Maybe it's best I don't ponder things of such a nature. After all, the nuns were really upset the last time I did that and. . .

. . . Wow, the freezer sure is jam packed. In fact, I don't think it's possible that I could wedge another congealed comestible into its icy hull. In fact, I guess one could say that this is a. . .

CAPACITY CROWD HERE TONIGHT! HOLY SHIT, IT'S THE GHOST OF GORILLA MONSOON!

Gorilla, what are you doing here, and for god's sake, why are you bare ass naked in my fridge!?!

WHOA, LOOK AT THIS! EARLIER TODAY, WHEN YOU WERE FUCKING AROUND WITH THE OUIJA BOARD, YOU FREED MY SOUL FROM THE INSUFFERABLE PLANE OF PURGATORY! NOW, I AM STUCK IN YOUR WORLD AND IF THERE'S ONE THING I MISS ABOUT LIVING, IT'S CHOMPING THROUGH AN ENTIRE BOX OF WWF SUPERSTAR BARS!

Uh, Gorilla, I hate to burst your ectoplasm coated bubble, but, uh, they stopped making Superstar bars during the Clinton Administration. I mean, wouldn't you rather use me as a medium to talk to your family, or your old colleagues, or. . .

WHOA, HE GOT HIM WITH THAT LAST ONE! FUCK ALL OF THAT, IF I CAN'T CHEW ON RICK RUDE'S HEAD, I WANT NO PART OF EXISTENCE! AND I ALSO THINK THAT IT'S KIND OF SHITTY THAT THEY DON'T MAKE THOSE ICE CREAM BARS, EITHER! IT'S PANDEMONIUM HERE TONIGHT AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN!

Um, Gorilla, we're actually about fifteen states away from New York right now. I mean, this is a really big thing, being stuck in a neutral state betwixt life and the great beyond. Wouldn't you like to use this as an opportunity to tell us what the afterlife is like, or relay any messages to the living?

I HAVE A MESSAGE FOR THE LIVING ALL RIGHT, DON'T MESS WITH THE NASTY BOYS. WOW, WHAT A MOVE!

. . . Truth be told, Monsoon, I kind of figured you would be, I don't know, a little bit more dimensional than a guy with an obsession with dairy treats and a vocabulary centric to antiquated spoon-fed wrestling platitudes. Is there any way I can send you back to the beyond, to get you to peacefully return to the netherworld?

WHAT, AND GO BACK TO HAVING TO LISTEN TO THAT ONE STORY KERRY VON ERICH KEEPS TELLING ABOUT THAT TIME HE STUCK HIS CHOAD IN A BEAN BURRITO AND ALMOST HAD HIS GENITALS BITTEN OFF BY CHIEF JAY STRONGBOW? FUCK THAT, I WANT TO GO WHERE THE ACTION IS! PREY TELL, WHAT ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW, YOUNG MAN?

Well, uh, it's kind of funny, I was actually watching Summer Slam 92. You see, a write for this one website and. . .

WHAT MATCH ARE YOU AT?

Uh, I think it's Kamala versus The Undertaker right now.

. . .

. . .

. . .

. . . YOU KNOW WHAT? MAYBE HELL ISN'T SO BAD, AFTER ALL. THANKS FOR THE FREE ICE CREAM, AND TELL MY GRAND NEPHEW JUSTIN THAT I SAW HIM SPANKING IT TO THE K-MART CATALOG THAT ONE TIME BACK IN 2004. THAT OUGHTA KEEP THAT SNOT NOSED LITTLE BASTARD IN LINE. SIGNING OFF, THIS IS GORILLA MONSOON! SAYONARA!

Weird, the power is back on, and it's almost time for the main event match. Uh, I guess the moral of the story is, don't mix hard alcohol with codeine, because it gives you some FUCKED up reveries. Like that time I dreamt I was a corndog and had sex with a taco salad. Hey, and if anybody asks, I have NO idea how the neighbor's garden was defiled, either. Uh, next up, I guess. . .

Huh, in the elapsed time between my visitation from Ghost-rilla Monsoon and the concomitant, two matches (that suck more than the world's largest vacuum) have transpired, and Roddy Piper is bag piping it up with some fellow Scotsmen. Hey, why not, I muse; the guy survived both cancer and Hell Comes To Frogtown, so give him all the face time he wants, I say.

Up next, Sean Mooney interviews Diana Smith in a very creepy, Melanie Pillman-esque segment. Now, I am not saying that the dame harbored any ill towards her late husband, but in her tell-all biography, the intro to the book was centered around a night The Bulldog allegedly drugged her orange juice and sodomized her. You know, I've always thought that there were a lot of similarities between the Hart family and the Swift Foundation. . .

Bulldog is out first, accompanied to the ring by a Union Jack waving Lennox Lewis. But wait, isn't Lewis actually Canadian? Hmm, the irony, it is. . . Uh, iron-like, I guess.

I.C. champ Bret Hart is out second, as is standard procedure. God, the old Hart Foundation music was awesome. Shit should be a ringtone, you know? (Now, if only someone would call me so I could hear it. . .)

Well, by now, you should all know that this is one of the watershed moments of 90s wrestling and one of the flat out best matches ever in the history of the WWF. In fact, Bret Hart proclaims this bout to be the best of his career, and from the very get-go, you can just tell that this ISN'T the same art form as represented by The Berserker and Nailz earlier. This is something deeper, something more profound, and something, I don't know, almost worthy of humbled awe and appreciation. Up to this point, the card has been a pastel circus, a brightly hued coloring book.

Well, now it's time for "War and Peace".

As is the policy, I'll officially be turning off my charming, assholish demeanor and try my darndest to give this match the respectful blow by blow it deserves, so, here goes:

At this point, night has fallen over Wembley Stadium. In the opening seconds of the contest, the two combatants engage in a minor shoving contest, which transitions into a lock-up. Bulldog is sent against the ropes, and if by procedure, Hart leap frogs the 280 pound battering ram moving at full velocity. Although ducking his initial barrage, Hart gets shoulder tackled and sails out of the ring, utilizing the outside time as something of a recovery agent.

Back in the ring, Hart begins to dominate with headlock takedowns, using his more scientific, technical approach to bring the behemoth striker to his knees. After several failed pinning attempts, Hart sinks in a headlock which is countered by Smith with an armbar. Hart escapes with a nasty elbow smash to the face, which in turn leads to a hammerlock exchange. Using his British, carnival-like wrestling experience, Bulldog manages to roll his way out of the submission attempt and secure Hart into a stretch hold of his own. Smith continues to aggressively work the arm, slamming Hart to the mat and twisting the appendage after slinging him sternum first into the ring post.

The feared British striker continues to work the arm, as he manages to counter a Hart body slam into another hammerlock. Hart finally frees himself, and ends Bulldog's onslaught with a nasty knee shot to the bread basket. Bulldog immediately crumbles to the mat, as the London crowd boos the current champion for his brusque offense.

Perhaps knowing that his technical repertoire can only go so far against his hulking brother-in-law, Bret begins peppering Smith with short, quick strikes, taking the element of power out of the game. Bulldog attempts a crucifix pin, but Hart drops to his back immediately, slamming the challenger kidney first on the canvas.

Smith escapes another hammerlock, and Davey Boy becomes the aggressor before being stopped dead in his tracks by a boot from the Hitman. Bret goes up top, only to get catapulted by Smith. Smith retaliates by leaping off the turnbuckle, but at the last possible second, Hart rolls out of harm's way.

Davey Boy spills to the outside, and Hart follows suit by performing an impromptu aerial neck breaker. Hart slams Bulldog headfirst into the metal post, and rolls his opponent back into the ring, where he bludgeons him with multiple elbow strikes and whips to the corner.

After a barrage of European uppercuts and a dropkick, Hart sinks Smith into a deep sleeper hold. Although Smith comes dangerously close to finishing the match with a flash pin attempt, Bret continues his offensive onslaught. Bret's aggressive streak continues, as he refuses to relinquish a sleeper hold after Smith makes a rope break. After being locked in several sleeper hold variations, Bulldog utilizes his sheer strength to overpower Bret and shake him off, crushing him against the ring post and leaving his frame tangled in the ropes. A freshly rejuvenated Bulldog begins hitting Hart with high impact power move after move, culminating with a suspended supplex that almost secures the pinfall.

Bulldog absolutely devastates Hart with power move after power move, including a top rope supplex and his patented finisher, the power slam, but to no avail. Bret retaliates with a German supplex, and both men lay one another out with a double clothesline. Bret locks in the Sharpshooter, but Davey Boy has the presence of mind to crawl towards the rope. With the hold broken, Hart attempts a sunset flip, but Davey boy drops to his knees, locking Bret in a pinning predicament to score the out-of-nowhere pinfall.

The British crowd erupts, as their hometown boy has become the new Intercontinental champion. Post-bout, Hitman teases dissent, but eventually shakes his opponent's hand, as the trifecta of Diana, Bret and Davey celebrate in the ring to conclude the night's festivities.

(ASSHOLE CHARM REINSTIGATED)

Well, holy shit, that last match was great. The original ending was to have Hart go over, but he eventually managed to get the creative powers that be to change the ending at the last second. I think it is safe to say that this match is one of the ten best WWF bouts of the 90s, and a match that pretty much any so-called fan should witness in order to envision what true in-ring psychology resembles. As it were, I actually think they're rematch at an In Your House event from 1995 is even BETTER than this bout, but this one has a charm all its own. Without question, YOU NEED TO SEE THIS MATCH. NOW.

All in all, that was a really enjoyable show, with one of the decade's most memorable technical showcases stationed alongside one of the few spectacle matches from the era that WASN'T an out and out disaster in implementation. Yeah, it's pretty much a two match show, but man, are those two matches something awesome.

Well, now that the electricity is operating on a consistent level, mayhap now would be a good time to make myself a delicious mozzarella and brown rice sandwich. Huh, earlier in the day I had this alcohol-fueled dream in which a long deceased wrestling announcer wedged himself in my ice box. Man, what a ridiculous assumption. . .although to be fair, that very well COULD be ectoplasm all over my collection of exotic mustards. THE END?


SEND FEEDBACK TO JAMES SWIFT

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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).