WWE Vintage Collection Report: 26th April 2009
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
This week a real gem of a show. Muhammad Ali, Gorilla Monsoon, Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan and….wait for it Mean Gene Okerlund, all saw action in what was dubbed as ‘Matches and moments that made WWE what it is today.’
Hyping their forthcoming handicap match, Hulk Hogan interviewed Andre The Giant, during a time when the two were ‘friends.’ Hogan referred to Andre as ‘boss’ (the name everyone referred to him as out of respect backstage.) Andre had just slammed Big John Studd in a cage match, so Hogan asked him if he could do it again. Andre said he would do it again, before putting Hogan over as a champion, declaring Hogan could handle the other two (Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch.) Hogan was pre-Real American here, wrestled in white and didn’t shout his promos.
July 15th 1984
Hulk Hogan & Andre The Giant defeated Big John Studd,
Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch
Joined in progress. Andre sported quite the perm. Andre sandwiched all three heels, with Hogan supporting Andre from the rear. Yes it looked that dubious too. Andre was isolated, with Murdoch driving both his knees into the back of Andre’s head from the top rope. Murdoch choked Andre with the tag rope for a prolonged period of time. Andre repaid the favour. Hogan gave Murdoch and Adonis a noggin knocker, which tied Adonis up in the ropes. Murdoch was thrown into Adonis again to release him. Murdoch cut Hogan off, but Adonis was caught going high risk and crotched along the top rope. Studd worked a brief front facelock on Hogan. Hogan and Murdoch collided, Andre backbodydropped Murdoch, cleared the ring with headbutts and saw Studd off to the back. Hogan sustained a brief double team which allowed Andre to plant Murdoch with a big boot. Andre sat on top of Murdoch, Adonis couldn’t move him and Andre picked up the 1-2-3. Sad that out of the five, only Hogan remains alive today.
Women’s Champion the Fabulous Moolah and Captain Lou Albano are interviewed ahead of Moolah’s title clash with Wendi Richter. Albano – who sported a metal hook which held a hair bobble from his cheek – did most of the talking at a very fast pace. Albano boasted how Moolah couldn’t be beaten, while Moolah welcomed her friends and enemies to the show, before putting over her hard work and Albano as a trainer. Okerlund mentioned Cyndi Lauper running Richter through the mill. Moolah told her to keep running, brought up her 27 year title reign and Albano said Moolah was often imitated but never duplicated.
July 23rd 1984
Wendi Richter w/Cyndi Lauper defeated
The Fabulous Moolah w/Captain Lou Albano
The promo lasted longer than the clipped highlights shown. Richter held Moolah for Lauper to hit her with a sponge wrapped around her hand. Richter got nearfalls with a dropkick and suplex. Moolah pulled Richter up following a backbodydrop. Moolah sent Richter to the corner, rolled her up with a bridge, but Richter rolled her shoulder up at the last second, to bag the belt and end Moolah’s 27 year reign. Upon learning that she lost, Moolah dropkicked the referee. Less than a year later came what was known as ‘The Original Screwjob,’ when Moolah – under the guise of The Spider Lady – broke from the script and got a fast pin on Richter. The reason for this was cited as contractual problems between Richter and WWF. After being screwed, Richter unmasked Spider as Moolah, continued to attack her, then promptly left the WWF.
On June 2nd 1976, and, in preparation for an upcoming bout in Japan with legendary promoter Antonio Inoki, Boxing great Muhammad Ali made his presence known in the WWF. During a match between Gorilla Monsoon and Baron Mikel Scicluna, which Monsoon quickly won by countout, Ali removed his jacket, tie and shirt, and started throwing jabs at Monsoon. Monsoon grabbed Ali in an airplane spin and dumped him onto the mat. During a post match interview with Vince McMahon, Monsoon called Ali a great boxer, but terrible wrestler. Monsoon quipped the famous ‘he doesn’t know a wristlock from a wristwatch line,’ before saying he could have wristlocked Ali and broke his arm, leg, or neck.
January 22nd 1980
Bruno Sammartino defeated Larry Zbyszko via disqualification
Jealous student Zbyszko had just turned on his teacher Sammartino. This was one of their first outings in a classic feud. Zbyszko had a full head of hair here and looked a lot like Spike Dudley does now. The story of the match was that Sammartino had a counter to all of Zbyszko’s offense, which made Zbyszko mad. Sammartino countered early offense with a drop toehold and slam. Sammartino hooked an arm to escape a waistlock, then hiptossed free from an abdominal stretch. Sammartino rolled out of a single leg boston crab, tied an arm up, and held a brief bearhug. Sammartino maneuvered out of a hammerlock by sending Zbyszko out of the ring. Seeing Sammartino holding the ropes open, Zbyszko flipped, pummelling Sammartino with kicks, punches and three wooden chair shots to cause the DQ. Zbyszko threw the referee out of the ring, while McMahon screamed that Sammartino was bleeding profusely. No blood was visible from the camera angle shown. This was a great few minutes of technical wrestling. Sammartino ultimately gained revenge in a Steel Cage match held on August 9th 1980, during the ‘Showdown at Shea’ event, held at Shea Stadium.
Vignettes aired of Hulk Hogan ‘training’ Mean Gene Okerlund in preparation for a Tag Match against George ‘The Animal’ Steele and Mr Fuji. Spread over four days, Hogan showed up at Gene’s house, preparing and downing raw eggs. The two were then shown running around a Minneapolis park, working out together at the Olympia Gym, and running flights of stairs, while piggybacking each other. Following some more running, Hogan deemed Gene ready and the two finished with a What’Cha gonna do rant at Steele and Fuji. Back in the studio, Okerlund said tongue-in-cheek that he’s stuck to the workout plan.
August 26th 1984
Hulk Hogan & Mean Gene Okerlund defeated George ‘The Animal’ Steele & Mr Fuji
A couple of minutes here and there were shown. The action mainly consisted of Hogan clearing the ring. Okerlund stomped on Fuji’s hands, which the crowd popped for. The referee misinterpreted a Hogan/Okerlund high five as a tag and ordered Okerlund in. Okerlund simply crawled underneath Steele and re-tagged Hogan. The end came when Okerlund thwarted a Fuji salt throw, Hogan sent Fuji into an Okerlund boot, then slammed Okerlund on top, placing a hand on top of Okerlund to ensure the pin. Post match saw Hogan feed Steele and Fuji into a couple more Okerlund kicks. Gene-A-Mania was indeed running wild, for all of one night.
Okerlund closed the show by saying they don’t call him Mean Gene for nothing…….Brother.
A really fun show, with a little bit of everything: Wrestling, nostalgia and a bit of comedy. Great stuff!
See you next week. Shaun.
Comments/praise/feedback/criticism/discussion points please direct to firstname.lastname@example.org.