Due to request, Caliber’s 2013 Tour of the Classics is making a stop at Halloween Havoc 1989.
Mike Rotunda vs. The Z-Man
Rotunda obviously spent his GAB money on a perm,
which I assume had something to do with him being Gabe Kaplan’s stunt double.
Doesn’t matter what a person does, there’s no way someone is getting over with
a name like Z-Man. I’m soon proven this as this match is absolute death. It’s
insanely slow, with constant stalling, and once the action gets going it’s
leap-frogs and wrist-locks. Thankfully, they do figure out what this match
needs to pick it up, SEVERAL submission spots. Leg-scissors, abdominal stretch,
sleepers, it’s all there, and it all sucks. Thankfully The Z-Man, a nickname
the ladies gave him, turns a flying cross body into a pin.
The Z-Man pins the future boat captain at 13:23 | *
We get an interview with Bruno who was the
definition of a barrel chest.
This is Sir Oliver Humperdink. He was out on behalf of the SST & Samoan Savage. I’m including this picture because I started reviewing this PPV late at night, and fell asleep. For some reason, I have no idea why, my VLC player froze the file on this image. So, I literally woke up to this on the computer monitor about 2 feet from my face.
The Midnight Express & Steve Williams vs. The
Samoan Swat Team & Samoan Savage
I often wonder if wrestling organizations in other
countries are as xenophobic. Does a promotion in England do the Samoan savage
crap? Are there any American characters who are either Million Dollar Man-esque,
or Zeb Colter? I wonder if any promoters fucked with Samoan type wrestlers now
and again. Like, you have Fatu come into the office for his first meeting;
Promoter: We wanna go with something new! You’re
gonna be a Harvard educated-type Samoan. A man of culture and class, who’s here
to change stereotypes and ways of thinking
Promoter: Nah, just kidding. Here’s a raw fish,
get to eating.
Enough with the fun, let’s get back to the match.
MX and Dr. Death are pretty great, that goes without saying. The Samoans are
death as far as any entertainment goes. Speaking of death, once the good Doctor
comes in, the place explodes. He really gets going, getting you whipped up for
the match, but then you realize it’s The Samoans on the other side, not The
Southern Boys or the 4 Horsemen. Eventually, because I say this with no
exaggeration or stretching of the truth, this match goes on for at least 4
hours, and finally Stan is pinned by The Samoan That Is Not Fatu, not to be
confused with The Harris Brother That Sid Did Not Pin.
Stan runs into Corny and is pinned at 18:16 | **
[all of these stars are for Dr. D and MX]
We get an interview with Terry Funk in which he
states that tonight a new dance will sweep Philly, the 10,000 Watt Electric
Boogie featuring Ric Flair and Sting. I for one am looking forward to this
match, simply to see how Funk acts when he gets electrocuted.
Tommy Rich vs. The Cuban Assassin
It’s great how Ross keeps talking up Rich, and how
he’s “the comeback man of 1989” as the crowd screams “TOMMY RICH
SUCKS!” There is nothing to note of this match, other than the crowd
shitting all over it. Man, this PPV better get going, because so far it’s
God-awful. Honestly, this picked up a little near the end, and that’s all I
have to say about it. I can’t believe Rich won with a Lou Thez Press in 1989.
Cuban Assassin eats a pin after getting hit with a
finisher that wouldn’t get over in 1089 A.D. let alone 1989 at 8:26 | *1/2
FREEBIRDS! Man, they were DYING to make those
Terminator shades happen. Let us also not forget the waist high leather
The Freebirds [C] vs. Dynamic Dudes – WCW Tag-Team
The Freebirds do have a great move where Hayes
will run over to Garvin after getting roughed up and have him adjust his hair.
I’ll give it to the Dudes, they’ve got some decent double-team moves. The
crowd, because it’s the birthplace of smark, is chanting like crazy for the
Freebirds. So much so that Garvin and Hayes get into it. The crowd is so sick
of the Dudes’ pathetic babyface pandering that they blow the roof off with a
cheer when Hayes cheapshots Johnny. Near the end, The Dudes look to be
finishing off the Birds, drawing absolute heel heat. They go for the Wipeout [a
double sling-shot back-drop] on Garvin, Hayes holds Ace’s foot, allowing Garvin
to turn into a pin and retain the titles, much to the delight of the crowd.
Now, I’ll admit, I was dreading this, but this match absolutely won me over.
The crowd laid a great foundation for the match, proving it’s always awesome
when people will not just eat the white bread like they’re told. I also have to
give due to the Dynamic ones, as their double team moves and energy helped them
pull their own weight. Same goes for The Freebirds, as they were ridiculous,
and absolutely soaking up the adulation. Good stuff.
Garvin pins Douglas after a botched Wipeout at
11:28 | ***1/2
Interview with The Steiners. It’s so weird seeing
the voice, and sheer idiocy of Big Poppa Pump coming out of this dumb looking
dude with a mullet.
Doom w/ Woman vs. The Steiners
You know, I often hear about how broken down Scott
was once he hit the BPP stage of his career, however it wasn’t until I started
watching old NWA stuff that I saw it for myself. Literally everything he does
is faster, from simple things like walking and punching, to leaps off the top
rope and Frankensteiners. Definitely one of the hardest hitting matches I’ve
seen, as the Steiners are typical to their rep, but Simmons and Reed are giving
as good as they get. Rick and Scott are controlling at first until Doom starts
gloriously pulling out every cheap heel tactic they can. They get Scott in
their corner and beat the hell out of him with numerous double-team moves, my
favorite of which being what appeared to be a double-suplex but they end up
just throwing Scott to the ground once he’s up in the air. Eventually Scott
nabs the hot tag, but Woman places an international object in the mask of Reed,
allowing him to deliver a super-head butt on Rick and earn the victory. Of
course, the announcers don’t call in to question the absolutely inane action of
putting something like a roll of quarters in your mask as opposed to just your
hand, but whatever gets the job done, I suppose. It’s a pretty good match
that’s made on the simple fact of how hard-hitting it is.
Reed head-butts Rick for the pin at 15:26 | ***1/4
Brian Pillman vs. Lex Luger – US Heavyweight
The match started off with Brian doing whatever he
could to get the edge on Luger, but Lex just kept cutting him off at the knees.
Eventually, Pillman is able to work Luger’s left arm in hopes of disabling the
Torture Rack. All this does is piss Lex off, as he eventually beats the hell
out of Pillman with clotheslines to the back of the head and powerslams. This
is the role that Luger should play always, whoever wanted to see him as a face
is out of their mind. Or digs crap. Philly seems to really love themselves some
Lex, and we even see him jawing with Hat Guy from ECW. Luger catches Pillman
with a Stun Gun, and that’s enough to put him down. I too am stunned at Luger
being able to have another good match that wasn’t with Flair. I don’t think
it’s anything worth seeking out, but it definitely helps elevate the PPV, and
at the time made Pillman look like a star.
Pillman eats a Stun Gun and a pin at 16:48 | ***1/4
Skyscrapers vs. Road Warriors
Well, here’s the match that’ll give you your
money’s worth, workrate wise. The fact that Sid is still in a tag-team after
what I saw at the GAB 89 is amazing. The match is just about what you’d expect,
a lot of no selling, a lot of kicking and punching that help carry a giant
reminder that the LOD are not the greatest tag-team of all time. Teddy Long is
mobbing around with a giant gold key, leaving me to wonder if he melted down
the crown the Skyscrappers won at GAB. He probably opted for the key because
carrying around the crown looked stupid. Teddy tosses the key in and we get
ourselves a DQ.
The Skyscrapers are DQ’ed at 11:39 | *1/2
Interview with Sting and Ric Flair. Sting tells us
it’s Halloween, and it’s full of havoc. Oh…oh, I see what he did there.
Ric Flair & Sting vs. Terry Funk & The
Great Muta – w/ special guest ref Bruno Sammartino – Thunderdome Match
The match can only end when either Gary Hart
representing Muta & Funk or Ole representing Sting & Flair throw in the
towel for one of their guys. The Thunderdome cage is decorated with Halloween
garb that of course catches fire before the match starts. Once it does start,
it’s great, with everyone giving their all, and enjoying the hell out of
themselves. It’s almost as tough a brawl as the Flair/Funk match from the Bash,
but I feel like the cage is actually hindering the match. Instead of keeping it
in the ring, the guys have to occasionally work the cage, and it really
disrupts the flow. However, Flair does swing from a rope like Tarzan, so that
helps. However, if they’d just kept this as a basic tag match, they could have
had a great main event. Unfortunately, all this crap with the stupid
electrified cage, and throwing in the towel just ruined it. Completely killing
the flow, and turning the match into a disjointed mess of people randomly going
here and there and doing whatever, like touching the top of the cage despite
the fact we’re told it’s got 10,000 watts running through it. The second half
wouldn’t have been so bad had it not been built on the promise of the great
first half. Ole throws in Gary’s towel, and we have our winners.
Towel is thrown in for Funk & Muta at 21:55 |
On the heels of GAB, as well as the other great
stuff I’ve been hearing about 1989 NWA, I really expected this one to be solid
as well. Although I’ve certainly seen a hell of a lot worse, there wasn’t
anything mind blowing here. Had more than one match been at least ***1/2, I
could probably give this a recko, but that isn’t the case. Dusty’s need to have
a gimmicked main event soured the final match on a card that was built on a
foundation that could be described as “OK” at best. I’d say look for
the Freebirds vs. Dynamic Dudes match on YouTube, and sure, check out the main
event while you’re at it, because the first half is some great stuff. This show
is the Second Showchase that’s not so bad, but still isn’t the first one that
had jet-skis and the Royal Rumble pinball machine.
As always much respect to my editor, Steven Ferrari. I met him when I needed to buy a new caravan for a boxer I was managing, and at the time he was living with a group of Gypsies. Dags? Oh yeah, I like “dags”.
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser
– I’ve started a new article series known as Man Etiquette, so you’ll
know how to act in certain situations, I pay tribute to the burliest of
the burly from the 8-bit era, talk
about people who shouldn’t use the internet [all of them], Saved By The
Archives, Comic Book Films You Didn’t Know Were Comic Book Films, movie reviews, wrestling articles, and plenty
of other goods.
WCW In 2000
– Recently updated with the infamous Bash at the Beach 2000. You know
what’s shocking? The PPV is GOOD. No joke, it’s seriously good, and
features the best match of WCW’s 2000 year so far.
Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol.1
– NOW ONLY 99CENTS! THAT’S LESS THAN A DOLLAR! My book about action films. Endorsed by Scott Keith & Maddox, as
well as well as fellow BoD’ers The Fuj & Kenny Chill. 5 star average on amazon.
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