Reviewing Fred Ottman matches. Oh, how I’ve missed this.
Welcome back to more Dream Matches! And this week, I have one of my favorite things in the world to share with you… FAT MAN STAND-OFFS!!! I feared I’d gotten through all the ones I could find, but lo and behold- Yokozuna vs. Typhoon! TWICE!
And then it’s a dramatically awful match-up on paper as it’s… well it’s 1990s AWA, what more do I need to say? But it’s the AWA’s patented “washed-up old fart” wrestling COMBINED with 1990-era American’s women’s wrestling! The worst of two genres! Col. DeBeers & The Magnificent Mimi take on Baron Von Raschke the babyface goose-stepping Nazi and his partner Candi Divine! Watch DeBeers try to save the whole match from the apron!
Then it’s over to 2000s-era WWE Velocity as the re-trained Sean O’Haire takes on… WCW’s Crowbar! Back when WWE just hired every indie worker they could find to work squashes! And then it’s another request, as I combine my tributes to Lanny Poffo and David Sammartino as they partner up with the future Haku in the clean-faced, ripped Tonga Kid doing his best “Superfly Snuka” rip-off act, and they take on the job squad of Les Thornton and the Moondogs!
YOKOZUNA (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. TYPHOON:
(WWF Mania, April 10th 1993)
* Hell yes! I found another one! A FAT MAN STAND-OFF!!! These are always extremely short matches between these two- I mean, I wouldn’t wanna deny Fred Ottman’s cardio but I’m guessing this is for his benefit. Typhoon is noticeably taller, but Yoko has considerably more bulk, even now shortly after WrestleMania IX (though it was probably taped before).
And yes… right away we get it- A FAT GUY NO-SOLD SHOULDERBLOCK!!! But only one, as the next staggers Yokozuna, but he actually catches Typhoon with a massive belly-to-belly suplex (unable to clasp his hands all the way, given the huge size of his opponent) and the running legdrop. Typhoon stumbles to his feet and gets distracted by Fuji’s swiping at his foot, and BAM! Avalanche in the corner! And that’s it- Banzai Drop finishes at (1:51). TWO MINUTES.
Man, you can really tell Typhoon was on the job squad on the way out (he’s apparently the Shockmaster only four months later), because he put over Yoko like crazy here. Staggers him with one move but then eats four unanswered moves in a row to go out on his back. Granted this was the “standard babyface finish” for jobbing to Yokozuna at this point- guys apparently unable to detect an incoming 600-pounder because of manager distraction.
Rating: 1/2* (barely even a match- just taunting leading to a finishing sequence. As a young fan I’d feel ripped off, and not just because Typhoon was one of my favorites, lol)
YOKOZUNA vs. TYPHOON:
(WWF Superstars, 07/16/1994)
* A year later and they’re in very different spots- Yokozuna is the dethroned WWF Champion and will spend the latter half of the year feuding with the Undertaker, while Typhoon has left the company, gone to WCW, been the Shockmaster, and is now back after that disaster, mostly to fill dates after Earthquake up and quit after his own comeback.
We’re joined at what looks like the start of the match, and Yoko is slow to lock up, then rakes Typhoon’s face and beats him down for a while, but misses the Ass Avalanche, Typhoon actually spritely scooting across the ring and hitting his OWN avalanche! Yoko goes down to a clothesline! Two! Typhoon drops the elbow for another one and Yoko goes to the eyes again, but picks him up for a slam and Typhoon falls back on him- he gets up like an idiot instead of going for the pin, probably because Crush is late on running in, and goes for the Running Splash and gets tripped up by the Evil Hawaiian for the DQ at (2:20). Typhoon actually beats on both guys, hitting another avalanche on Yoko and ramming their heads together, but he runs into Yoko’s belly-to-belly suplex and both guys drop legs on him, thus leading to the all-time classic next week of Mabel & Typhoon vs. Yokozuna & Crush. Alas, I’ve already reviewed that one.
Rating: 3/4* (hot action for like two minutes and then a DQ)
Col. DeBeers is an odd “Evil Foreigner” wrestler- portrayed as an Afrikaaner douchebag.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST MATCH:
COL. DeBEERS & MAGNIFICENT MIMI vs. BARON VON RASCHKE & CANDI DIVINE:
(AWA, Jan. 13th 1990)
* oh man, this looks like an affront to God. Some mixed tag match featuring a white supremacist and a babyface Nazi teaming with bimbos and fighting each other. I’ve never seen any of these four in my life, unless one was on the WWE “Best of AWA” DVD they released and I forgot. Mimi is still pretty green but later became a stuntwoman in major productions. Candi was five years in and looks like she wrestled everywhere BUT the Big Two in North America, and looks to be on an absolute truckload of quaaludes. The Baron is a legendary heel now eons past his prime (he had a famous feud with Bruno Sammartino), looking like a washed-up actor in “Ed Wood” with his pasty body made of dough, turkey neck and hairless head, while DeBeers is supposed to be from South Africa, despite sounding pretty much like Demolition Ax. The Baron’s promo is almost like an SNL sketch on what a disastrously bad wrestling promo would look like, with him repeatedly poking his neck out like a turtle and going “Beauty and the BEEEEEEEEEAAAASST” as he stalks towards the camera. DeBeers is in olive camo pants, Mimi’s in pink, Baron’s in black and Candi’s in leopard print- keepin’ it classy, I see.
Oh hey, Lee Marshall is on commentary here, proclaiming Mimi & Candi the two greatest ladies in the sport at the time (note: this time included Bull Nakano and the Jumping Bomb Angels)- no wonder he was the “Women’s wrestling expert” on Nitro! Candi does some armdrags, but Mimi twists her ankle and punts her right in the, uh… is that even illegal in women’s wrestling?, then Candi reverses, but gets slingshotted. She comes back with overhand shots and a running chest-slap (lol why is that move only in women’s wrestling? Even Joshi does that!)- they’re moving a bit stiffly but it’s not actively terrible at least. Mimi gets the tag and DeBeers immediately bails in fear of THE CLAW~~. Raschke eventually just grabs the arm and pulls back on it for a while, but DeBeers bootrakes out and does basic corner whips and stuff. Baron blocks a turnbuckle shot and threatens the Claw, sending DeBeers scurrying again from the goose-stepping babyface. DeBeers taunts him with his own claw-pose and tags out, and the women do a Flair/Steamboat reversal sequence (I mean, sorta) out of a Boston crab.
Mimi hits a dropkick to the face (thankfully Candi was bent over), but Candi gets whipped off the ropes and hits a “gut punch” and a “shoulderblock” to put Mimi down, then charges into her again and appears to forget to do a move at all and just runs into her, as poor Mimi completely ass-plants with her head slammed into the rope (which is NOT the proper way to bump). Mimi comes back by ramming Candi into the corner, with DeBeers pulling the hair and posing theatrically, which Marshall misses for ages until it’s finally SUPER obvious. Mimi with a slam and falls on her for two- a monkey flip only sorta works, and Candi bumps funny off a back elbow. They pull hair and Mimi does the same arm-lock Baron did- DeBeers pushes on her head, which makes it hurt more (SCIENCE!), then flat-out CHOKES Candi, finally hauling her down in front of the ref, who gets so distracted by Baron that DeBeers is able to turn Candi’s small package over so Mimi’s just lying on top of her, and that’s the pin at (7:55). Candi cuts maybe the cocainiest promo I’ve ever seen after the match, which I can barely make out, eyes bulging out and looking like a blonde Amy Winehouse.
Wow this was pretty bad. But not like… generationally bad or “they botched everything” bad. In fact, the women, who I was most worried about, were at least trained and didn’t blow much at first, as much as their offense looked bad and basic. Like, they’re not exactly super-athletes and all they’re doing is shoulderblocks and noticeably helping each other do pin-reversals, but it wasn’t EXCRUCIATING like Britt Baker/Anna Jay or anything. Mimi was a lot better than Candi, though, as Candi has that “wimpy run” where her arms are tucked in like she’s afraid of winging someone, and sorta forgets her next move. This becomes an issue as the match goes on, as things seem to get worse and worse as they’re probably outta gas (since they’ve had to do the entire thing as the men did the laziest work possible then tagged out). At least the story was good- DeBeers ran all this shit-stirring from the apron and even CHOKED A WOMAN, making him a dirty rotten heel that the virtuous Nazi babyface had to try and fight, but he was useless and left his partner to get murdered.
Rating: 1/4* (a pity point for the good heeling by DeBeers and some tolerable women’s wrestling in the early half, but holy hell it fell apart)
Devon Storm had a bit of a following online, mostly stemming from his WCW work as Crowbar, David Flair’s crazy friend. He’s at least got a decent look here, dropping his “Shawn Michaels Reject” look.
SEAN O’HAIRE vs. CROWBAR:
(WWE Velocity, 27/09/2003)
* Yes, CROWBAR on WWE television in 2003. Just as a Velocity jobber, back when it was very common to see Indie darlings in that role, but still it’s funny. By this point Devon Storm had been floundering in Indie Hell for years, but finally got a regular gig in WCW as this crazy dude, and that probably gave him a new lease on life even if he never really got a push to that level again. And now the sneering, manipulative O’Haire gets his new character and some squashes. He’s in shiny black trunks while Crowbar’s in torn jeans like it’s 1996 ECW (which, ironically, is when he was dressing like a 1991 Rocker).
O’Haire gets WWE Cookie Cutter-Style shoulderblocks while Josh Matthews drops the real backstory on Devon Storm, detailing his WCW career. He manages a headscissors but gets headlocked as this is kept SO BASIC- an overhand chop hits, but a dropkick from Crowbar gets two and O’Haire gets his kneeling clothesline (given a HUGE reaction by what is clearly a heat machine as the crowd is sitting on their hands). Tazz cracks up himself and Matthews by suggesting Crowbar is religious (“cuz he’s got holy pants”) and O’Haire does the “OVW Walk & Taunt” between stomps & overhand shots. He lands a sidekick and an armbar as I recall this is the era where WWE was trying to “educate the fans to like technical wrestling” but the vast majority of the roster only knew restholds. Tazz points out that while O’Haire has a black belt, he’s not necessarily a “master”, as there are different dans required. More plodding shots to tremendous heat (a standard kick to the back draws a reaction like Jey Uso going “man I don’t give a DAMN what the Tribal Chief said!”), a resthold, a bodyslam toss, and more, but Crowbar tries some flash-pins until O’Haire goes to the arm again. WHY IS THIS SO LONG? A Fireman’s Carry Slam (like a reverse F-U/release DVD) gets the pin at (5:46).
Tremendously boring squash, as O’Haire is too dominant for such a long match, but it’s too long for a squash- the worst combination of events. Like Crowbar has the experience to maybe lead through a decent match but he’s here in the context of a jobber so he’s lasting way too long, and O’Haire doesn’t have the offense to go that long, nor the cardio, so he’s just slowly plodding through the Cookie Cutter stuff all the OVW guys learned.
Rating: 1/2* (way too long and slow for a squash, and too one-sided for a competitive match)
DAVID SAMMARTINO, “LEAPING” LANNY POFFO & KING TONGA vs. LES THORNTON & THE MOONDOGS (Rex & Spot):
* A request! This one also stars David Sammartino, but it’s a six-man tag. Poffo is I think pretty low-end even here, while Tonga was getting a midcard babyface push until he became Haku. Thornton is a guy I’ve only heard of- he’s got one of those classic short, ultra-squat roided-up beefy “Early 1980s” physiques that you saw a lot of in those days. The Moondogs are I think a JTTS team at this point, as Thornton himself was apparently in that position a lot. Poffo’s in white trunks, Tonga in multicolored pink trunks (Haku in TRUNKS? Weird) and David’s in black trunks. Les is in blue trunks and the Moondogs are in hillbilly jeans- Rex has dark hair and Spot has a bleach-blond afro and beard.
Poffo’s poem is HILARIOUS, as he basically speaks for the bookers by getting mad at the fans for thinking David can’t live up to Bruno’s legacy, saying “To fill his father’s shoes would be impossible to do/The Sammartino legacy is very hard to take/Young David tries the best he can/so give the kid a break!”
Tonga starts off with Moondog Rex, and is immediately VERY obviously aping Jimmy Snuka’s act, doing his leapfrog to chop spot- he slams everybody and does a Snuka-like flourish into a martial arts pose, albeit with none of Snuka’s timing or charisma, like he learned it by rote- there’s a reason this trick NEVER works, kids. Moondog Spot shove/slaps David, but gets swatted down from behind in turn- in comes Poffo and he gets beaten up. He manages an ultra-slow, awkward backflip off the top out of a corner whip and headscissors Spot, but gets kneed in the back by Rex. Thornton beats on Poffo and suplexes him, and Rex adds more but Poffo just does one punch and scoots away to tag out- Tonga gets a HIGH dropkick but the Moondogs run in and he swats at both of them, then hits an atomic drop into the Reverse Crescent Kick for the pin at (3:49) while the Moondogs don’t even pretend to try and break it up- they just fall back to the corners and fight Poffo & David. Tonga wins it for his team!
A pretty basic match with nothing much to it- it’s each face getting a tiny bit of shine, Poffo getting beaten up for a couple of minutes, then a hot tag to a finish. The fans were pretty dead as none of these guys were over. Very much the “overhand clubbing blows” 1986 WWF Style throughout, with no charisma from the babyface side.
Rating: * (filler TV match with simple offense, but fine)