The SmarK Rant for Stampede Wrestling – 02.20.87
By Scott Keith on 24th June 2023
The SmarK Rant for Stampede Wrestling – 02.20.23
Time to take a break from Rampage for a bit. Unless Jeff Jarrett is on. Especially this weekend with Collision and Forbidden Door, that’s a lot of AEW content in one week.
Taped from Calgary, AB
Your hosts are Ed Whalen & Jungle Jim Davies
BREAKING NEWS: Kerry Brown has no-showed his handicap match against Bill Kazmaier tonight, and Kaz is apparently as angry as someone who has eaten “a burrito from Hell”. That’s pretty angry. Also the announcers note that it’s pretty bizarre for Kerry to no-show a match where he was 2-on-1 against Kazmaier.
Rotten Ron Starr v. Jeff Wheeler
Apparently there’s a tournament coming up for the vacant International tag team titles, and Wheeler is teaming with Kenny Johnson as one of the teams. Shockingly, SHOCKINGLY, the tournament was won by the booker, but the team was pretty awesome so that was fine. Wheeler is taping his ribs like DDP and he tries to work on Starr’s arm, but Ron hits him in the ribs to take over and slugs away on the ropes. He continues to beat on the injury and throws forearms in the corner, then sets up for a suplex and changes his mind and just rabbit-punches Wheeler in the side instead. OUCH. Ron beats on him in the corner and puts the boots to him for two. Jeff makes a comeback, but misses a blind charge and runs rib-first into Starr’s boot, and that gets two. Starr with a chinlock and he gets an awkward running knee to the ribs for two, but Wheeler makes the comeback and guts out a powerslam for two. Small package gets two. But then Starr just sends him to the floor to evade a charge and follows him out for a further beating. That draws a yellow card, and some old guy at ringside is OUTRAGED. “A yellow card? HOW ABOUT A RED CARD?” YEAH YOU TELL HIM STEVE-DAVE. Wheeler tries a sunset flip, but Starr grabs the ropes and holds on for the pin at 8:15. Pretty good effort from them and good selling from Wheeler.
Ron Starr is joined by his partner Makhan Singh as they prep for the upcoming tag team tournament, and Makhan pretends to be boxer Willie DeWit and falls down after a phantom knockout. That joke reference is so dated that even I can’t remember what it was about.
Bill Kazmaier v. Duke Myers & The Scorpion
The Scorpion is subbing for Kerry Brown and he’s clearly not Kerry at least and it’s probably just a rando under the hood. So this is a handicap tag team match, and the heels have to tag and it’s elimination rules. Joined with Myers holding a nerve pinch on Kazmaier. Scorpion comes in and beats Kazmaier down for two. He grabs a headlock on Bill and switches off with Duke for more generic cheapshot offense. “Kazmaier is having a little trouble getting on track” notes Ed. Now that’s an understatement. Scorpion goes to a chinlock and Kazmaier fights out of that and splashes the Scorpion for the pin at 3:22 to get rid of him. So that leaves Duke and he beats on Kazmaier with the (allegedly) loaded glove as Davies accuses him of loading up the glove with 10 pounds of buckshot. In a GLOVE? Now that’s just silly. Myers beats on Kaz in the corner as this goes NOWHERE slowly, but Kazmaier makes a comeback and immediately gets tripped by the Scorpion. Myers works on the leg while Scorpion holds onto it, and that draws the dreaded RED CARD for Duke Myers and Kazmaier wins by DQ at 6:28 of a very bad match. Duke Myers was not the guy to carry Kazmaier to anything watchable.
Duke Myers joins Ed afterwards, claiming that Kazmaier is gone from the territory now. Hopefully we’re lucky enough that it’s true.
Brian Pillman is still getting ready to return from his shoulder injury, and he’s coming after Makhan Singh. But referee Rod Hayter comes out and warns him that football moves won’t be tolerated, like clips and spears. So PIllman is all worked up, but Makhan Singh hits the ring and attacks Pillman again, going after the injured shoulder, so Pillman kicks him in the nuts and chases him off.
Viet Cong Express #1 & The Cuban Assassin v. Johnny Smith & Ben Bassarab
Joined with Smith getting worked over on the floor and slammed onto the ringside table by the Cuban, as apparently we’re at 25:00 into the match at this point. Viet Cong comes off the top with a flying stomp to the arm back in the ring, and Cuban comes in for a double team Demolition elbow from the heels for two. Cuban tosses him over the top rope while Drago Zhivago takes the ref, which of course draws Bassarab into the ring to protest and causes further problems for his partner. Smith comes back, but misses a dropkick on Cuban, which is of course the dreaded malfunction at the junction. Viet Cong puts Smith into a stretch hold on the mat and tries the spinkick, but Smith ducks under it and gets a bodypress for two. The heels cut off the tag and drag Smith back to the corner for more abuse. Davies notes that when Cuban reaches into his trousers, he’s not pulling out an all day sucker. Um. OK. That’s…good to know? Moving on. Cuban and VC with another awesome double-team in the corner, as Cuban puts Smith in a body vice and Viet Cong does a diving stomp off the top rope, and then Viet Cong puts him in a Liontamer. Bassarab can’t take that and breaks up the hold, so he gets escorted out and Cuban goes to an abdominal stretch on Smith. Finally Smith breaks out and gets a desperation dropkick, and it’s HOT TAG Bassarab. Ben delivers the NOGGIN KNOCKER in the corner and drops the knee on Cuban, then goes up with a flying splash for two. Bassarab with a sleeper on the Cuban, but Viet Cong flies off the top from 3/4 of the way across the ring and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA. Cuban runs into Zhivago in the chaos and Bassarab rolls him up for the pin at 9:25 shown. What we saw of this was great and Viet Cong Express #1 was doing some high level stuff with guys who knew how to take it. Really enjoyed this one.
Bruce Hart tries to come out for an interview, but Drago Zhivago returns from the last match and lays him out with a chairshot on the way into the ring, thus robbing us of hearing the promo. That’s a shame. And we get the beatdown from Viet Cong & Cuban as Bruce is busted open, but makes the comeback on Zhivago and chases him away.
North American title, no DQ: Makhan Singh v. Ron Ritchie
So after the shenanigans in their match last week, Ritchie has a rematch with no DQ and Wayne Hart as referee to ensure fairness. Joined with Makhan beating on Ron outside with a chair, as Ed notes that knuckle dusters have also been involved. Makhan drags Ron into the crowd and runs him into a supporting post, but Ron makes it back to the ring and Makhan goes to the bearhug. Ritchie fights out of that, but Makhan slugs him down again and sends him to the floor again. Ron fights up again and makes the comeback in the ring, giving Makhan a blatant low blow in the corner and ringing his ears for two. They fight to the floor again and Ron beats on Makhan with his own title, and back in for a running forearm that gets two. Ritchie beats on him with chops in the corner and goes up with a flying splash, but lands on Singh’s knees and Makhan gets the pin to retain at 6:13 shown. Solid match but their last one was better.
Davey Boy Smith makes a cameo while touring with the WWF, putting over cousin (brother?) Johnny Smith and Ben Bassarab. I could never figure out what the relationship actually was supposed to be with those two in kayfabe. They seemed to change it a lot. Bassarab clarifies that although Owen Hart is still his chosen partner for the tournament, if Owen can’t return due to his eye injury, then Johnny Smith will be his partner.
And Makhan Singh returns one more time, asking if the upcoming CNIB benefit show for the blind will have the proceeds going to Owen Hart, and then laughs uproariously at his own joke like a good heel.
Next week: The tournament for the vacant tag team titles begins, as we give up waiting for Viet Cong Express #2 to come back.
So in the mean time, and in between time, that’s it, another edition of Stampede Wrestling!