Scott Steiner and the LOD would watch this and be like “Shitting hell, ease it up a bit”.
Welcome back to more of wrestlers brutally abusing jobbers! This time I have TWO requests from Maffew, and matches featuring the four gods of taking liberties- the Steiner Brothers and the Legion of Doom! One has the guy fighting the LOD getting a big head about his position and no-selling, while the other is a standard Steiner Brothers squash, but their very first on WWF TV! Then Shelton Benjamin gets a fantastic squash by ragdolling Colin Delaney around like a video game physics engine gone mad!
Then it’s an SWS match, as Yoshiaki Fujiwara (aka the guy who made that armbar everyone uses today famous) effortlessly squashes a member of the Viet Cong Express from Stampede Wrestling, embarrassing him in the “shoot style”. And then it’s one of the most brutal beatings in WWF history, as AJA KONG from All Japan Women’s Wrestling comes to WWF RAW and beats the ever-loving shit out of Chaparrita ASARI to the point that VINCE McMAHON drops insider lingo on commentary about “Potatoes being thrown around the ring”.
THE ROAD WARRIORS (Hawk & Animal, w/ Paul Ellering) vs. KEN LUCAS & ZULU:
(AWA, Dec. 12th 1984)
* A request from Maffew, this one sees the LOD take on two guys I’ve never heard of- Zulu has a WWF superstar look (taller than either Warrior) but a receding hairline, and is an otherwise normal-looking black dude in red trunks. Lucas is an itty-bitty dwarfish man with a dad-bod and black trunks, and was apparently out of semi-retirement for this one, and wasn’t used to being treated like a jobber. Oh, “Huffy jobber” matches are always a mess. Cagematch says he debuted in *1960* and his finisher was an ABDOMINAL STRETCH if you wanna realize just what kind of an era he was from.
The LOD jump the jobbers before the bell and toss both of them (talking into their ears before the dump)- Lucas comes in and you can see the problem right away, as he throws punches that Hawk aggressively no-sells (as in, he acts like they didn’t even happen) and appears taken aback, getting slammed after some “both guys are trying to do stuff” action. Hawk drops the fist and whips him into Animal’s elbow. Animal kneelifts him over to Zulu, who gets powerslammed for two- Animal hauls him up, holds him for Hawk’s punch and the guy bounces around off of LOD offense, shaking in agony like a good jobber. Zulu tags out and ohhhhhhhhh god, Lucas grabs Hawk and peppers him with fists to establish that he is NOT a jobber, but a frustrated Hawk just grabs at him and kinda hauls him in for a chop. Animal hits a side-breaker and whips him over to Hawk’s clothesline, sold badly… and when Hawk covers him with an arrogant pin, Lucas KICKS OUT AT 3.1 (3:01), which is a shockingly bad call for a jobber.
Legend has it that after the match, there was a locker room confrontation and Lucas got his nose broke. And this match was all kinds of wrong, as he didn’t want to do the “Jobber” role and shouldn’t have been hired for that if that was the case, as he started disagreeing with spots and getting annoyed at the Road Warriors’ schtick (which, to be fair, was pretty new and unusual for the time- completely ignoring jobber offense). But the Warriors were just bullies who were used to disrespecting others, making it a doubly bad idea to start running spots for yourself and no-selling things.
Rating: 1/4* (pretty bad jobber squash, with Lucas screwing up guys’ momentum by throwing in random shots at inopportune times)
THE STEINER BROTHERS (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. RED TYLER & W.T. JONES:
(WWF Superstars, Dec. 15th 1992)
* It’s the WWF debut of the Steiner Brothers! Here acknowledged as having wrestled elsewhere but having come for the “prestige”, Scott’s in manly bright pink singlet and Rick’s in blue stripes. Jones is a black guy in high-waisted orange trunks (looking like a diaper), and the other’s a tall white dude with Dr. Tom Prichard hair, green trunks, a DEEP tan and a “please notice me, Vince!” physique.
Scott ankle-picks Jones and hauls him up for a pumphandle slam and belly-to-belly while Heenan jokes about Rick’s “earmuffs”. Rick comes in grinning from ear to ear at the thought of abusing these guys and Tyler hits him with a European uppercut and tries a leapfrog, but Rick catches him in MID-AIR and hits his powerslam, blowing Heenan’s mind (“That impressed me! That impressed me! Y’know it’s a flashback to when I used to use that!” “Will you be serious!?”). A stiff Steinerline has the jobber pounding the mat in pain, and Scott adds the butterfly bomb while some fan shouts for the Frankensteiner. Rick hoists the guy up for a motherfucking SUPER DDT from Scott while Heenan just groans “Ohhh NOOOOOOOOO”, saying he’s gotta Jimmy Hart (manager of the champions) to warn him as the Steiners score an easy pin at (2:23). At least the guy took a superplex bump off of it- jesus christ.
Fantastic squash, making the Steiners look absolutely unlreal in a company of “chinlock” tag teams at this point. They were set up for murder the Beverly Brothers and then go right after Money Inc., but the Headshrinkers would meet them at WrestleMania first.
Rating: 1/2* (offense like nobody else at the time)
I love ridiculously wimpy-looking jobbers. I mean, granted he looks like the Young Bucks do now, but in 2007 this was insane.
SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. COLIN DELANEY:
(ECW, Dec. 18th 2007)
* Colin’s “oh golly gee whiz” jobber act impressed me last week, so I wanted to check out his debut the week prior. He’s here with Tazz & Shelton, cutting another stuttering, weak-jawed promo while literally wiping his hands on his tights nervously the whole time. This is his “first match”, and he’s talking about growing up in Rochester (where this show is) while Shelton (with his hair dyed blond and these sharp white shorts on) is just staring him down like a piece of chum in the water.
Colin puts his dukes up like a child imitating an old-timey boxer, and Shelton just shoves him against the ropes and catches him coming off with an Exploder (those overhand over and underhand-grip suplex slams), Colin writhing in agony like “AWWWW-HAW-HAW-HAWWWW!” holding his spine and imitating a video game’s ragdoll physics engine. Shelton kicks him a bit, toying with the kid, but eats a right hand to the jaw. Perfect sell, as he’s angry and surprised- building up his fury rather than being hurt by it, and kicks Colin in the face and immediately starts a stiff beatdown, growling “You know who I am?!”, then powerbombs him into the turnbuckles, looks him in the eye, and finishes with a leaping Flatliner (actually avoiding making it look like he’s the one taking a move, unlike the normal Flatliner) at (1:33).
Rating: 1/2* (Great squash, as Colin thrashes around in pain and Shelton just destroys him like a mean alpha male asshole super-athlete should)
YOSHIAKI FUJIWARA vs. FUMIHIRO NIIKURA:
* Here’s another request from Maffew! Fujiwara is a notable name in puro who didn’t wrestle much in the US- he’s a shooter-style wrestler trained by Karl Gotch and with some basis in legit martial arts. His big thing is the “Fujiwara Armbar”, where the guy is planted on his stomach and you bend his arm out and up- it’s not really a major judo hold (if you have that much back control you’ve already basically won and have other options) but in puro it’s treated as this god-tier submission move everyone can do (and it’s MJF’s current finisher). He made his name being the second guy behind Akira Maeda in various incarnations of the “Universal Wrestling Federation” splinter group, but would come back to New Japan and other promotions often. Niikura is a New Japan guy who moved to Stampede Wrestling as part of the Viet Cong Express, then returned to wrestle for SWS for a few years. He’s got a little ‘stache and is way younger-looking than Fujiwara. He retired in 1993. Both are in black trunks. SWS is of course a glasses manufacturing company’s attempt to “money mark” their way into the biz using Genichiro Tenryu as their Ace. Maffew has a series of great reviews based around their wild, “any style goes” shows that seem like total messes.
The crowd laughs as Fujiwara easily headbutts Niikura down out of a lockup, getting an “8” count- he controls the head to avoid another, but gets taken down into the Fujiwara armbar and escapes in a panic. He picks a leg, but gets casually taken down by Fujiwara’s own legs tying his up and he’s screaming in agony. He makes the ropes and tries a cobra clutch thing but is mostly just hanging on after a point. In a great bit, he punches Fujiwara in the gut a couple of times out of a corner break, and Fujiwara doesn’t even react or sell it… he just stalks forward and lights the kid up with chin and body shots, beating him into the ropes. The murderous look on his face when he grabs the kid’s hair is terrific.
They lock up in the corner and Niikura cheapshots him AGAIN, cracking him across the chin and Fujiwara slinks down with this pensive look on his face- the ref refuses to count despite Niikura’s protests, and Fujiwara comes out and eats a combo, blinking it back as Niikura keeps trying to stay on him and Fujiwara slinks down… only to pop back up at “3” and light Niikura up again, scoring “5” and hitting a Fujiwara armbar, but Niikura keeps getting on his side to block it, then makes the ropes out of a kimura. An amused Fujiwara now stalks his one-armed prey, but they rest in a headlock and then Fujiwara just laughs off a leghold, literally propping his head up for a “snooze” to make the crowd laugh before snapping on his own hold (properly twisting the foot to show the kid good technique). He finally just wrestles Niikura into another kimura, leaving him screaming for the submission at (10:31).
Just absolute destruction after a point- Niikura kept using dirty tactics when it was clear his own technique wouldn’t work, but then Fujiwara just stopped selling them and made the guy into a total joke, even laughing off his submissions. Still weird seeing effectively a ten-minute squash, but they clearly wanted to tell their own little story here.
Rating: ** (I never know how to do shoot-style reviews in terms of ratings, but this was funny, yet one-sided)
AJA KONG vs. CHAPARITA ASARI:
(WWF RAW, Nov. 1995)
* Yes, really. Aja Kong made WWF Raw. This is from that strange time period when Alundra Blayze was getting ready to dump the WWF Women’s Title in the trash on WCW Nitro, but the WWF was bringing in a bunch of Joshi wrestlers to replace the fired Bull Nakano (who’d been caught for cocaine possession). Aja Kong was meant to be the new “Monster Heel”, and this match and the prior night’s Survivor Series were her intended showcase. Chaparita Asari is an itty-bitty high-flier who invented the Sky Twister Press (a corkscrew senton off the top), and looks to be about half Aja’s body weight here. She’s dresses as a combination of Jushin Thunder Liger and Jason Lee Scott. Aja’s wearing an all-black Mabel-esque outfit with baggy pants and gold lines all over it, and is already playing to the crowd.
Vince & Lawler are already all over how freaky Aja Kong looks, and we see a flaw in WWF’s Joshi presentation already- the ref is MUCH taller than either wrestler, thus making it look weird. In Joshi, all the refs are dwarfish men or skinny girls in soccer uniforms, so nobody looks more imposing than the wrestlers. And Aja’s coming down to some calming, plunky “Japanese Music” theme rather than “Jungle Emperor”. Well, at least it’s not the Orient Express music, though I’d have LOL’d at that. Aja attacks right away, but Asari hits a pair of Cartwheel Handspring Mule Kicks that are quickly no-sold, but at least Vince & Lawler are impressed. But Asari deflects off of Aja on a cross-body attempt and eats a Vader attack, then Aja viciously hairsnaps her around, then kicks the seated joshi so friggin’ hard that the poor girl scoots about two feet across the ring on her ass.
Aja keeps pulling Asari up at two just to continue the stiff beating, hitting a delayed suplex and a VICIOUS Package Piledriver. Lawler says her “American Hero”, Fat Boy, just expired, making an elaborate insider joke about how “they used to sit on the couch and eat potatoes together” and then Vince just goes “And a few potatoes all over the ring here with Aja Kong” with this beating. Aja’s sarcastic-ass smirk and “Oh, so sorry” expressions are just fantastic, and should have made her a mega-heel with or without English speaking skills, but alas, it was not to be. Aja no-sells everything Asari does until she misses a 2nd-Rope Splash, and then Asari wows everyone by unleashing a Sky Twister Press on WWF TV in 1995, sadly missing. Holy Hell that’s a fast revolution- I don’t think any man could spin that quickly (that’s some “tiny female gymnast” stuff).
And then Aja picks her up, slaps her face around a bit for extra heelishness, and then spins around and Urakens her RIGHT IN THE FUCKING FACE and kills her at (4:00). Jesus Goddamn Christ that looked vicious. Now THAT’S a squash. Word on the street is that Vince was legit horrified by this (I mean when he starts dropping insider lingo during a match you know something’s up), and the division fell apart quickly. I’ve got no idea what the real timeline of that was- I’ve heard “Aja was instantly fired for this and then Alundra quit because she had no more opponents” or “Alundra quit and so then everyone was dropped”, etc.
Rating: ** (just a nothing Jobber match, really, with Aja selling nothing except her own missed splash, then killing the kid with a Spinning Backfist. I’ve seen Barry Hardy look more competitive)