Boy, I hope you guys like Well Dunn, because I went on a tear of YouTube clips featuring the lowest-tier heel team in WWF history! My god, they faced the Blus, Headshrinkers, and did all sorts of trios matches! This column will be a veritable “Best of Well Dunn”! I bet you can’t WAIT!
Welcome back to more Dream Matches! I fill this one with a handful of oddities today, as we get an ever-rare “Bret & Owen Hart in a tag team” match, as they dress like a real tag team and take on an actual team in the bottom-tier Well Dunn shortly before the “Hart Brothers vs. Not-Jerry Lawler and His Knights” Survivor Series match!
After that, it’s a follow-up to last week’s column, as Terry Funk & Stan Hansen meet each other again, this time with Dory Funk Jr. backing up his brother and Terry Gordy backing up Stan! Then it’s something that’s apparently an old tape-trader classic, as the “Gotta get all the Sabu matches we can find!” days saw a lot of Sabu vs. Chris Candido matches on fancams! Oh, and I didn’t want this to be only three matches long, so I stick in a WCW Prime jobber match- “Dirty” Dick Slater & Bunkhouse Buck vs. Los Especialistas! I was hoping they’d be some interesting Luchadores… but no.
BRET & OWEN HART vs. WELL DUNN (Timothy Well & Steven Dunn, w/ Harvey Whippleman):
(WWF Wrestling Challenge, Nov 14th 1993)
* Hahahaha HELL YES, couldn’t find Harts vs. Steiners on YouTube, but I have THIS! Well Dunn were two indie tag guys just slapped in singlets with goofy thongs over top and thrown out there to die as a “Fake Featured” tag team that just jobbed to all the top ones. I didn’t realize they’d been fed to the Harts. They’re in black singlets & purple thongs this week, and hey, wasn’t Well in better shape? He looks pasty and with no physique here. Of more interest is the Hart Brothers’ matching outfits- Bret’s in all pink (his regular look temporarily) and Owen’s in all BLUE, dropping his parachute pants and lacking the black singlet he’d later wear for the rest of his life. For “Gear Nerds” like me, that’s a very unique look, especially as a duo.
Dunn does Internationals with Owen & Bret, charging into Bret’s inverted atomic drop & gets clotheslined, but Bret opens himself up for a slam and… just beats the hell out of Well when he comes in. Owen comes off the top and works the arm, but Well catches him with an elbow and Dunn clotheslines him from the apron during a criss-cross. Back from break with Heenan continuing his earlier point that this is a HUGE opportunity for Well Dunn- beating the Harts would put them in main events “all over the world” (um, ok). They keep on Owen with double-teams and a healthy dose of cheating- Dunn waffles Owen when he tries a comeback, but Well flies into the corner twice and Owen kicks him and backdrops Dunn to make the tag. Bret comes in, easily beats up both guys, then hits the backbreaker, 2nd rope elbow & Sharpshooter on Dunn while Owen forearms Well out of the ring at (4:59).
The Harts make pretty short work out of these goons right here- Bret doesn’t bother selling ANYTHING and lets Owen do all of that, as I find he often protects himself against the true dweebs (there’s a Tom Pritchard singles match where Bret just eats him alive, too). Owen’s in peril for a couple minutes and then Bret wipes both guys out by himself and Owen saves him from interference to pick up the easy win.
Rating: ** (your basic 5-minute tag match, albeit Bret’s stuff looked great as always)
TERRY FUNK & DORY FUNK JR. vs. STAN HANSEN & TERRY GORDY:
(All Japan, 1983)
* It’s a Funks/Hansen match again, this time with Terry Gordy (a clean-shaven, curly-haired version of Stan, like someone wanted a “Player Two” version with a headswap). The Funks remain WILDLY over, with a big ceremony honoring them, Terry’s wife and kids in the crowd (the little girl getting teary-eyed), etc., as Terry is near-retirement (you know, for serious!). Terry causes pandemonium by tossing his “Texas Broncos” jacket into the fans, then Dory copies him. Terry’s in red trunks, Dory’s in blue, Stan’s in black and Gordy’s in red. For the sake of this recap, Terry Funk is “Terry” and Terry Gordy is “Gordy”, lol.
The big ‘uns charge the Funks before the bell, knocking them through the ribbons (Terry making sure to swing around and tangle as many of them as possible), and Stan/Terry fight into the stands and the ref FINALLY rings the bell when they roll into the ring. Terry basically snags the ropes with every part of his body to avoid the Lariat, then he & Stan tee off on each other with great strikes (Stan getting a STIFF overhead elbow) until Dory tags himself in and cools Terry down. Stan gets a big reaction just for avoiding a double-clothesline and Gordy hits a pretty textbook dropkick for such a burly guy. They work Dory’s arm for a while with quick tags, but Dory finally runs into Gordy on a criss-cross, leading to Gordy way overselling on the flop-sell for a guy who’s taken no damage thus far. Funny bit as Stan adds a stomp to Dory so Terry comes in and just stomps a mudhole on Gordy over and over again, which the fans love.
The big guys get a double back elbow into Stan’s running kneedrop for two, then Stan hits a piledriver & a rope-assisted knee- Terry just dives onto him to break the pin, causing a 4-way fight again, and FINALLY Dory manages enough European uppercuts to floor Gordy and get the hot tag- the fans erupt as Terry goes up against Stan, and actually manages to pull off enough punches to knock Stan on his ass! Gordy busts Terry from the apron and Stan bites at a cut on his forehead, but Terry gets a dramatic backdrop out of a headlock and drops a bunch of elbows for two. They tangle on the mat and Terry bites Stan open but ends up with his knee worked and Gordy hangs it over the top rope and yanks down! Dory puts a stop to that and everyone’s just grabbing holds and scrapping- Terry’s able to knock Gordy over repeatedly (Gordy even trying the Funk spinning toehold) and Dory does these terrible old man dropkicks that drive the fans CRAZY- Gordy bumps like a goon off everything but gets a powerslam- Terry saves. Dory backdrop suplexes out of a headlock then brawls with Stan to the floor, leaving the Terrys to fight- Gordy tries to fly onto a crippled Terry, but (mostly) misses and Terry finishes with a flying sunset flip to a big pop (12:35).
Stan comes in for more fighting then demolishes a rookie with the Lariat in the pullapart- haha, that’s the best part of this whole thing. Terry, struggling to stand, gets on the arena mic and repeatedly says “Japan is NUMBER ONE!” to drive the fans crazy. “FOREVER!!… FOREVER!…” with tears in his eyes and blood all over his face while the fans chant “TERRRY!” like nuts is one of those things only Terry could pull off. Good little match, though they spent half of it with the guys doing basic arm stuff to Dory, who only barely sold it. Terry & Stan were doing their usual, but you could tell it wasn’t quite the same effort as their solo brawl- Terry would flail around, but Stan sold a bit more while Gordy was mostly used as the “subordinate”, taking lots of back-bumps off the Funks and missing moves and the like.
Rating: ***1/4 (good tag match, albeit short-ish and not the full effort given… also Dory is ancient)
WWA JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE:
CHRIS CANDIDO (w/ Dr. Lawrence “EKG” Curtis) vs. SABU:
(World Wrestling Alliance, Nov. 14th 1992)
* So part of the “Origin of Sabu” I’ve always heard is that his early legend was made off a bunch of tape trader compilations of his matches against a handful of opponents on various American indies- Al Snow, Lightning Kid (Sean Waltman) and Chris Candido. These became especially hot when he hit big in ECW and suddenly every smark on the early internet wanted to see where this guy came from. And I watched the two big Snow matches years ago, and only just now am getting to the Candido stuff. Why the wait? Well… these matches are always like 5-7 minutes too long, feature too much emphasis on spots that now look mundane (though this isn’t always a bad thing)… and Candido is just a guy I never “got”. He’s the most “Oh look, here comes another **1/2-*** match” guy ever until Cody Rhodes became a thing. Negative charisma, too.
This is a handheld match of a show in some gym in Wayne, New Jersey. Candido’s in purple trunks and Sabu’s in green Arabian pants with a yellow belt & boots, which TOTALLY clash. Candido disses the crowd for being poor and on food stamps, then a guy he was feuding with comes out and rips on Chris for always ducking him.
Sabu’s “crazy man” crawling around on the mat unnerves Candido, who bails repeatedly and stalls- three minutes in and no real contact. They trade armdrags & stalling until Chris hits a mountain bomb for two. He works a hammerlock and Sabu bumps to the floor, only to shove Candido into the post and hit an Asai Moonsault. Then a plancha. Then a springboard plancha. See, in 1992 this was insane. Candido is somehow up first and swipes a fan’s chair (a big plastic, non-folding kind) and nails Sabu (on the floor all things are legal- Schiavone was right!). He climbs and eats a super rana, then Sabu does the “rope backflip” moonsault onto Candido’s knees. Lol Sabu didn’t cover from a SUPER FRANKENSTEINER in 1992? They both sell that for 30 seconds, Sabu getting two, but Candido gets a Tiger Driver and misses a New Jersey Jam. Sabu tries a rana but gets powerbombed for two, then suplexed on the floor and clotheslined off the apron. They stall a bit, then Sabu catches him with a springboard clothesline and a flying thing, but misses a second only to catch Candido with a front superplex & flying kick. Sabu misses a moonsault (bumping Candido just enough to reveal awkwardness) and Candido’s crossbody takes out Sabu and the ref. Then Sabu tosses the ref again and the guy Candido was feuding with comes out and slams him so Sabu can hit a Moonsault and a new ref counts the pin at (14:55)- new WWA Junior Champion! But the original ref revives and reverses the decision, Disqualifying Sabu, who now attacks the interfering guy for it.
A very standard “Indie Match”, probably not intended to be filmed- fine enough stuff, especially for 1992, but largely a collection of all the moves each guy knew in succession than an actual MATCH. Like they spent five minutes stalling and suddenly it was off to the races with three flying moves in a row from Sabu and then every other move was a finisher. Like, they just went to a Super Rana, Tiger Driver, New Jersey Jam & Powerbomb in succession- the kind of immature nonsense the indies I guess have always been full of, as this was probably two guys trying to grab attention any way they could. Like ya get some Japan tapes and that’s now your entire offense as you fill your “Fire Pro” moveset with all the finishers you can because they all look SO COOL, you know? And hey- both guys got work off of shit like this, so it works.
Rating: ** (pretty bad match- mostly stalling then Finisher Beamspam)
WCW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES:
BUNKHOUSE BUCK & “DIRTY” DICK SLATER (w/ Col. Robert Parker) vs. LOS ESPECIALISTAS (The Fat One & The Short One):
(WCW Prime, Aug 21st 1995)
* I grabbed this one mainly because I have NO idea who Los Especialistas are. Looks like they’re just masked jobbers in black bodysuits with white boots and “facepaint” masks, while Dusty Rhodes is predicting an upset win for these guys, who he just LOVES. They’re actually Fidel Sierra (the Cuban Assassin) & Ricky Santana, neither of whom I’ve ever seen before, I think. Shockingly, Buck & Slater are the TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS, despite looking like a couple of chubby dorks out of a 1980s podunk indie show.
The jobbers get attacked before the bell, but come back with stereo sunset flips & brawling, then work the arm of Buck. Slater comes back on the short one and then bashes the fat one from the apron. The heels beat him up, and Slater hits a swinging neckbreaker into a double-back elbow for the three at (3:33). Shockingly long match considering how little I had to recap- it was just the heels throwing punches after the initial flurry, then they crushed the fat one with a transition move.
Rating: 1/4* (basic nonsense jobber match)