Back this week without a specific theme, which will come and go as the need or inspiration arises, but meeting a few requests for a fiery match involving Mike Samples and an even hotter one involving Ta-Gar, Lord of the Volcano!
Just realised I could’ve had a theme there – fuck!
Say hello to Ta-Gar, Lord of the Volcano, with volcano background with magma rocks spewing forth but looking like pucker holes. Ta-Gar has a Black Scorpion voice with a Southern accent despite claiming to be an interstellar warrior while looking like a cheap knockoff combo of Skeletor and Klytus from Flash Gordon.
Randy Johnson vs. Ta-Gar
Poor Randy Johnson, looking like an ambitious mixture of Brutus Beefcake and Shawn Michaels. Ta-Gar comes out with a shield to fire flames, which fall to the floor within feet of him. Johnson bumps like a maniac for him off a clothesline, but Ta-Gar almost struggles to get him up for a slam. Bad elbow and another clothesline. Finish comes with him raising the gloved right hand to the ceiling and it feeling like it takes forever for it to fire a flame out, then another elbow and a claw, with the idea I guess being that his hand is burning him or something. Bill Dundee runs him off with a chair.
How bad was it? As bad as Dundee’s mullet, embarrassing to be seen outdoors. Presumably Jerry Lawler was on a comics kick that week and saw someone who looked like Ta-Gar in one and tried to make him out of a jobber and some props from the WMC Studios cupboard.
Shadow WX vs. Mike Samples
From Big Japan, I know nothing of Shadow WX, but heavy-set Mike Samples kicked around for years and I always remember him as a rumoured opponent for the 1-2-3 Kid as the Principal. It’s a lights out match, with the match in darkness, but it starts to be illuminated as we clip into it. Samples is in jeans and t-shirt, as is Shadow, with paint on his face to combat Samples’ Dusty Rhodes mullet. He gently rolls him at this point onto a table and then goes on a barrier wall that’s less than a foot above Shadow’s gut and shouts “You’re probably never gonna see this again!” like it’s his Mick Foley Hell in a Cell swan dive contribution to wrestling history, with it being a small enough crowd that his call almost echoes. He spits on him, so Shadow immediately jumps off and throws the table at him, although it actually hits the chairs in front of him. Samples starts peeling the wood off the table, revealing that it’s got about half a dozen steel bands from end to end. He just drops that, though. Back to the ring after two nice shots to Samples’ head. Samples with his selling sounds like Alex Jones. He’s whipped into the corner where there’s a board of light tubes. The other one turns off as well for some reason. Shadow puts Samples on a table and goes to the top. In darkness, he sets his shirt on fire for a flaming splash. That light splash connects, but no flames stay on Samples and instead Shadow is the one ablaze and he rolls out to the outside and walks into the crowd, where people scarper like mad and anyone with water on them throws it at him until the fire is doused. The match actually continues with Samples winning with a clothesline to not a lot of reaction.
How bad was it? Well, seemingly Shadow’s fate is lost to history, but even before that it was a doomed venture to go this way because none of the crowd was really reacting to it and it was just a bunch of stuff. How bad? Terrible.
Gypsy Joe vs. New Jack
From Columbia, Tennessee, which I only know because New Jack talked in a shoot interview about it taking place on Mule Day “because those dumb motherfuckers celebrate… a donkey”. Old hardcore icon against new hardcore icon. Jack says he was high as fuck already and was brought into the locker room by the promoter (“a gay guy who fucked corpses”) and sat down next to some big guy who he thought was Joe, then was told that Joe was the old brittle guy, with Joe talking about how he beat up Taz (“So what? Everyone’s beat up Taz!”). Jack stalls a bit. Joe’s hair is so receded that he has a mullet and just the one little island at the front that hangs down like a kiss curl. Jack comes back in and works some forearms, but tries a headbutt and hurts himself. Joe comes over with with a headbutt that was apparently really stiff (“My nose is big enough!”, said Jack) and some stinging chops. Jack keeps on working in a safe but convincing manner, including with weapons. “Go, Joe, go!” is the chant. Jack slams Joe over the top rope and follows him out. Again with that headbutt, which still doesn’t work, proving that Puerto Ricans must have stronger heads than black guys and Samoans. In the crowd, Jack gets a chair. Some fat guy gets up and goes for a walk and some seeming security guys in tie-dye head over. Apparently at this point things were looking convincingly dangerous but hadn’t gotten that far. The camera guy won’t come over, so it’s shot through the ring. Jack picks up a connected row of chairs and puts them down and starts throwing a few more around. Jack claims the fans had started calling him racist names, but you can’t really hear it, however he was high and has admitted to seeing lizards before. He goes more to work with a baseball bat covered with barbed wire, although that comes off on some stiff swings, so he whips Joe with the roll. You do start to hear the bomb being dropped in his direction as he rages. I’m kinda surprised he didn’t go for the fans. The bell rings with the match stopped due to “unnecessary roughness”.
How bad was it? From a work to a shoot, with Joe not really being cooperative but not totally bringing on himself what he ended up getting, which was really nasty and unsettling.
Ultimate Warrior vs. Orlando Jordan
One more instead of two more, because as long as this is it’s gonna be a chore. I’ve said before that anything before 1988 with Warrior just be kind and forgive, from 1988 to 1992 he’s at his peak, and anything after is garbage. This is from a one-off appearance in Spain for his last big wrestling payday. Orlando being his opponent is ironic given Warrior’s stated position on people with alternative lifestyles. This picture quality as an upload is pretty dire, especially when someone rains gold confetti down on Jordan’s intro. His valet is pretty hot. Warrior slowly runs to the ring like the fat kid trying to keep up in cross country running. His face paint colour scheme of choice is fresh pizza vomit. The wife and daughters are in attendance and is music is pretty much one riff over and over. Fair play to him for keeping in as good shape as he could with his body breaking down and not dying the hair, but he looks like an old man in paint and a costume. Jordan attacks before the bell but gets turned around during kicks in the corner. The ring is way too small too. Jordan’s pretty much bumping off Warrior while Warrior takes no bumps. The sweat has the paint peeling off in minutes while he looks like he’s going to be sick. Jordan takes an arm, which Warrior reverses, then has reversed again. The camera misses a bit where it’s turned into a rear waistlock, with the banner across the bottom fifth blocking a lot too. A rare bit of excitement where Jordan sweeps the legs for two pinfall attempts, then Warrior seems to go for something and it dies on the vine, so they awkwardly work their way back up. Orlando takes a powder and Warrior follows him out, for the valet to distract Warrior with a look where neither really react to one another. In the aisle, Jordan tries a piledriver, but gets backdropped out, although a cut to Dana probably hid how bad it looked with the lift and drop.
After what feels like three hours out there, Jordan posts Warrior and rolls him back in. Seemingly some biting, although it looks like Jordan’s kissing him. Warrior actually gets a powerslam out of nowhere, but Jordan is up first and climbs the post. I was about to say mount it, but, you know. Warrior meets him up there and it’s a superplex where he actually goes to the top rope. Even though Jordan did the work there, I expected Warrior to do even less than he did. Count with both out on the mat, which they beat on the last count. Warrior shakes the ropes and starts nutcasing up. Couple of clotheslines, followed by a cross body block off the top rope for two. The romanticised initial reports for this match, which Warrior had RVD train him for, called that move a five star frog splash. Warrior meets knees on a splash attempt and Jordan gets what looks like a backstabber, although the camera misses most of it. Warrior no-sells that and ducks a clothesline and hits the sorriest flying shoulderblock you’ll ever see for the win.
How bad was it? So sad. I remember hearing reports in the nineties of Sayama making a comeback and looking fat and winded and way out of shape, but he probably looked like John Cena by comparison. Bless Jordan for being the fall guy, but this was a horror show.
Melting it down: If you have any requests you know where to post them.