WWE Vintage Collection Report: 7th June 2009
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome aboard. This week, we take a trip back to 1995/96, with classic action on the cusp of a new attitude. Five matches are on hand. Let’s begin.
Fatu vs The Ringmaster w/Million Dollar ManTed DiBiase
This match is from the February 10th 1996 edition of Superstars, featuring the future Rikishi (albeit a bit lighter here) against soon-to-be revolutionary Stone Cold Steve Austin. Fatu’s gimmick at this point was “trying to make a difference.” The Ringmaster is sporting a buzzcut. Vince McMahon is calling the action with Mr Perfect and Jim Ross. After exchanging holds, Fatu misses a swing kick, enabling Ringmaster to chopblock and kick the leg. Fatu does a 360 in mid-air following a stiff clothesline. Ringmaster drives Fatu’s legs into the ringpost. Ringmaster drops an elbow across Fatu’s throat from the ring apron. In pre-recorded comments, DiBiase explains his Million Dollar Champion’s heart as cold, calculating and sadistic, just like his own. Ringmaster (sporting dark shades) quietly says he’ll take advantage of everyone’s weaknesses and his thrill is listening to another man scream before he tortures them some more. DiBiase signs off with his trademark laugh. Speaking of DiBiase, he cheapshots Fatu from the outside. Ringmaster uses a leglock, Fatu reverses a whip and lands a clothesline. Fatu brings Ringmaster out of the corner with an Ace crusher (RKO). DiBiase crotches Fatu on the top rope. Ringmaster takes advantage with a superplex, then cinches in the Million Dollar Dream. Fatu is unresponsive on the mat and the referee calls for the bell. Ringmaster keeps the hold applied. Perfect reasons he mustn’t have heard the bell, while Vince calls him “Stone Cold.” Good opener and showcase for Austin who changed his name to Stone Cold not long after this. Winner: THE RINGMASTER.
Razor Ramon vs Hunter Hearst Helmsley
We cross to the January 22nd 1996 episode of Raw. It’s the night after the Royal Rumble. Helmsley (still undefeated at this point) lasted 50 minutes in the Rumble, while the 1-2-3 Kid cost Razor his Intercontinental Title against Goldust. Helmsley has a hot valet at ringside. Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on commentary. In pre-recorded comments, DiBiase says Razor got beat fair and square and has been whining and crying ever since. Holding a baby’s bottle, Kid says you shove one of these into a crybaby’s mouth. DiBiase adds you also change his diaper, as he holds up a large diaper and laughs. Razor responds to Helmsley’s shove by flicking his toothpick at him. Both exchange punches as they try to work on each other’s arms. Helmsley bounces around the ring after a clothesline and atomic drop. Helmsley pulls down the top rope to send a charging Razor outside. Helmsley hits a baseball slide, before crotching Razor along the top rope with a suplex. Lawler hits on Helmsley’s valet as Helmsley continually whips Razor into the corner. With Helmsley on top, the Kid comes down and shoves a baby’s bottle into Razor’s face. Razor decks Helmsley, goes out to chase the Kid and is counted out. A fuming Razor attempts the Razor’s Edge on Helmsley, but he slips out and escapes to the back with his valet. This was more of an angle to setup Razor’s upcoming Crybaby match with the Kid at the forthcoming In Your House PPV. It was a match which Razor would win, placing a diaper on the Kid and throwing baby powder at DiBiase. Winner by Countout: HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs Tatanka w/Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
This match is lifted from the In Your House PPV on February 18th 1996. Vince and Lawler are commentating again. Jake looks like he’s seen better days. Jake works the arm. Tatanka slips out of an early DDT attempt. Jake halts a criss cross rope spot to head out and stalk old rival DiBiase. Jake stops to attack Tatanka. Back inside, Tatanka takes control, choking Jake with his boot a couple of times. DiBiase sneaks a cheap shot in. Tatanka misses several elbow drops. Jake jabs away, sends Tatanka to the corner, but runs into a high knee. Tatanka attempts his renegade drop finisher (a samoan drop) but Jake counters into the DDT. 1-2-3. Post match sees Jake drape his large yellow snake across Tatanka’s face, as a scared Lawler shrieks in horror from the announce table. He and Jake would soon enter an ill-fated angle about Jake’s battle with the bottle. Tatanka was on his way out of the company. Winner: JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS.
Hakushi vs The 1-2-3 Kid w/Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
This classic Cruiserweight battle is from the February 5th 1996 edition of Raw. Vince and Lawler have the call once more. Kid’s baby bottle is present at ringside and Lawler talks up the upcoming crybaby match between Razor and Kid by saying he’s going to bring a rattle. Hakushi was now minus manager Shinja and in a babyface role. Hakushi escapes a couple of headscissor attempts on the mat. Hakushi hits a shoulder tackle, blocks a hiptoss and drills Kid with a thrust kick. Kid goes outside and Hakushi puts on the brakes to stop an aerial assault attempt, as Kid is wise to it. Hakushi catches a kick attempt and sweeps the other leg. Kid quickly nips up. Lawler states Razor will wear a diaper again, as he was such an ugly baby that for the first six months of his life his mother diapered the wrong end. Kid sends Hakushi over the top rope and hits a somersault plancha. DiBiase gets a cheeky kick in from the floor. Kid hits some karate kicks in the corner, followed by an Irish whip and dropkick. We skip ahead a few minutes to see Hakushi catch Kid coming off the top rope in mid-air with a dropkick. Hakushi sends Kid to the corner for a successful handspring backelbow, followed by a flying dive across the Kid’s chest. Hakushi sends Kid out of the ring with a reverse heel kick, then leaps off the top rope, planting Kid with a cross body. Hakushi puts Kid back in the ring and hits a flying tackle from the top rope. Kid ducks a clothesline, before hitting Hakushi with a spinning heel kick. Both trade rollups. Hakushi nearly snatches it with a Frankensteiner. Hakushi goes high risk again, but Kid stops him with a dropkick. Kid delivers a double underhook suplex from the top rope for the 1-2-3. Great match. It’s such a shame that Hakushi and WWE parted ways shortly after this. He was a very underutilized talent. Kudos also to the Kid. Shawn Michaels states in his book that Kid was the measuring stick regarding new talent during this period. He said that if anybody came in and couldn’t have a good match with Kid then there was no hope for them. I’d like to see Sean Waltman have one more WWE run, but he’s currently settled in Mexico. Winner: THE 1-2-3 KID.
Bret “Hitman” Hart, Razor Ramon & Savio Vega vs
Hakushi w/Shinja, Owen Hart & Yokozuna w/Mr Fuji & Jim Cornette
Our Main Event is lifted from the VHS release “Confirmed Hits.” A coliseum video exclusive, this match took place on 6th June 1995. Jim Ross and Dok Hendrix (aka Michael Hayes) are calling the action. Razor sends Yoko staggering to his corner, where he falls on Owen’s foot. Bret and Hakushi take over. Ross references their former battles as Masterpieces. (The two had some stellar bouts at earlier In Your House shows). Hakushi cheats on a test of strength, but Bret recovers to hammer away at his arm. Savio takes over, but Hakushi rakes the face to escape. Owen runs into a backbodydrop, before being sent into Bret’s boot. Owen and Razor have a brief exchange. Owen slaps Razor, ducks a clothesline, but gets caught in a fallaway slam (or as Razor calls it on his Shoot Interview, the sack of shit). Owen attacks the eyes to escape an armwringer, then drags Razor’s face across the top rope. Owen continues with a spinning heel kick and neckbreaker. Razor manages to avoid Owen’s second rope elbow, allowing Bret and Hakushi to resume their scrap. Bret plants Hakushi with a DDT, second rope elbow, backbreaker and legdrop. Hakushi recovers to send Bret crashing front first into the corner. Hakushi throws some kicks then lands a seated attack on the crumpled Hitman in the corner. Following commercials, Yoko chokes Bret in the second rope. Owen takes over with an enziguiri kick and chinlock on his brother. Bret punches free, but runs into a belly-to-belly suplex. Razor pulls Owen off of a cover. Owen re-applies the chinlock. Owen and Yoko double slam Bret. Hakushi tags in while perched up top. Bret avoids a flying headbutt, tagging in a refreshed Savio, who lands right hands galore and a backbodydrop to Hakushi. Hakushi kicks out of a small package and backslide. Savio attacks Owen and Yoko on the apron. Savio cinches in an octopus stretch (modified abdominal stretch) on Hakushi. Savio breaks to give Yoko and Owen a double noggin knocker. Owen falls out of the ring. Savio mounts Yoko in the corner to punch, but stops to leap onto Hakushi with a cross body. Yoko breaks up a cover. Razor sends Yoko out of the ring, as Savio re-applies the Octopus on Hakushi. Owen interrupts the move. Savio ducks under a double clothesline, Bret trips Owen, allowing Savio to clothesline Hakushi and pin him. The spotlight was on Savio here and the crowd reacted well to him. I always did prefer Savio Vega to Kwang the evil ninja. This was a good match. Winners: BRET “HITMAN” HART, RAZOR RAMON & SAVIO VEGA.
Okerlund wraps things up to end the show.
I really enjoyed this show. Hakushi and the 1-2-3 Kid stole the show, the Harts were featured and Stone Cold was on the edge of breaking out. All in all there was a good selection of matches on hand, even if Ted DiBiase’s fingerprints were on four of the five bouts. He must have bought the rights to the show LOL. Nevertheless, a big thumbs up from me. See you next week. Shaun.
Comments/praise/feedback/criticism/discussion points please direct to firstname.lastname@example.org.