Mike Awesome, Brian Lee & Wolfie D vs. The Sandman, New Jack & Perry Saturn (and other Dream Matches!)
By Jabroniville on 12th July 2023
Hell is Brian Lee matches taking place after… okay, just Brian Lee matches.
Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This week I have a truly wild assortment of nonsense, as an increasingly-bizarre 2003 NWA-TNA springs forth one of the first “ECW Wannabe” runs as “Team Extreme” (The Sandman, New Jack & Perry Saturn- freshly fired from the WWF) team up against the awful Disciples of the New Church, who are at this point made up of Brian Lee (sorry… KILLDOZER Brian Lee), Mike Awesome, and a roided-up Wolfie D. In one of those matches only Vince Russo could have booked, with barbed wire, weapons, tables, a kendo stick on a pole and a LADDER that leads to a baseball bat. Truly horrible.
Then it’s a very “1993” match as Shawn Michaels and the Beverly Brothers take on Tatanka and the Nasty Boys! A very “2001 WWF” match as the Radicalz (Dean/Eddie/Saturn) take on Test and the APA, with every single wrestler in long black tights! Then it’s Brian Adams vs. Medic #8 in Brian’s Heartland Wrestling Association re-training for the WWF! And a weirdo match as the nWo-affiliated Great Muta takes on LENNY LANE on a WCW D-Show!
THE ULTIMATE SIN (Weapons/Barbed Wire/Ladder to a Baseball Bat/Tables/Kendo Stick on a Pole Match):
THE DISCIPLES OF THE NEW CHURCH (“Killdozer” Brian Lee, Slash & Mike Awesome, w/ Father James Mitchell) vs. TEAM EXTREME (The Sandman, New Jack & Perry Saturn):
(NWA TNA, April 2003)
* Here’s a wild one from the early days of NWA-TNA, with the Sinister Minister’s goofball stable of guys taking on an ECW alliance of Sandman, New Jack & Saturn. The Sinister Minister (James Vandenberg) cuts one of those indie-level promos he always did (“You’re now in my world- a world where winning and losing, and life and death are meaningless- and pain is GOD… *evil laugh*), doing the “Religious Extremist/Satanist” gimmick that’s probably hit every indie over the past 40 years. And they put 18 gimmicks in this one match, featuring a ladder, barbed wire around the ring, and tables… plus a kendo stick on a pole and the ladder leads to a bat, Because Russo. He WAS booking this, right?
NWA-TNA at this time was a weird mix of “Guys WWE Didn’t Want”, recent cast-offs, and Late-Stage WCW guys. So you had Mike Awesome as a forgotten part of the stable (he was literally in TNA for only a month), Wolfie D from Memphis as the roided up “Slash”, and Brian Lee in his last grab at fame. The Church are all in black, as is Team Extreme, who are in normal clothes. Most of these dudes were only in TNA for a few months to a year or so- almost everyone in this match is gone by the summer.
Everyone brawls immediately, New Jack using a sickle on Slash, but Slash staples a dollar bill to his head in the opening minute while Awesome & Saturn fight and Lee/Sandman are on the floor. Sandman is laid out by a chair off-camera while Awesome dumps the ladder on Saturn, who comes back with a release German. Awesome hits a lariat and uses a cookie sheet and stands around while everyone else is on the floor, but Saturn superkicks him into the barbed wire (which is so lightly strung about that I can’t see it on this low-resolution YouTube clip). Tenay and West are at least putting over this garbage as horrifying as much as they can, as Awesome gets front suplexed onto the wire and Lee knocks Saturn off the pole and he eats an Awesome Bomb onto a trash can. Sandman climbs up and gets the kendo stick, slamming it into Awesome’s head off the top. Sandman goes nuts with the stick, but Lee (or should I say KILLDOZER, because they’re trying super-hard to get that over) throws a trash can into his head. At least Sandman is good enough to sell that like nuts.
Notably, a lot is happening but the crowd isn’t really responding to any of it- these guys are all dying acts and it’s just random shit going on. Slash gets some kind of thing placed on his head (what IS that? I can’t hear West) and smashed into a table on the floor while everyone trades weapon shots in the ring (oh, there’s a “TNA!” chant, so it’s at least getting over now). Saturn with a cane-assisted legsweep on Awesome and something on Slash for two, then hits his Death Valley Driver. Awesome Ligerbombs Sandman off the apron through a table (Sandman goes up like a sack of shit), and Lee gets put on another for Saturn’s flying splash to the floor. New Jack’s flying chairshot on Slash gets two, and we finally see the ladder get use again- he climbs for the bat, but Slash tips the ladder over and he goes through another table on the floor. Slash slowly climbs for the bat and the lights go out… and OH GOD KILL ME IT’S JUSTIN CREDIBLE! Slash gets Ligerbombed by Saturn as Credible has a horrible time trying to get the bat down, and he wipes out Slash with it so Saturn gets the win- Team Extreme wins it at (9:33), humorously having to cheat to win- it’s not like the heels were doing anything against the rules before this.
This was pretty much every ECW Weapons Brawl you’ve ever seen, with guys just throwing random stuff and no flow to the match. Slash immediately gets his forehead ripped open so he can bleed and make Cool Scary Indie Guy faces while Awesome and Saturn can actually work and are trying to between weapon shots. We get three big table bumps which are at least a thing that people wanted to see, but for the most part it’s junk aside from Awesome & Saturn, who do know how to work.
Rating: 3/4* (just a bunch or random shit happening, some big bumps, two guys knowing how to work, and somehow a screwjob ending in a match with no rules)
SHAWN MICHAELS & THE BEVERLY BROTHERS (Beau & Blake Beverly) vs. TATANKA & THE NASTY BOYS (Brian Knobs & Jerry Sags):
(WWF RAW, Feb. 22nd 1993)
* A match from the pre-WrestleMania IX era, as Shawn has just lost a non-title match to Tatanka and is thus feuding with him now, and they end up in a 6-man tag match. Shawn’s in his white & red heart tights with no Sherri, and the Beverlies are in purple with no Genius. Tatanka & the Nasties only get kinda polite reactions, but Tatanka divebombs Shawn immediately and we’re off.
Tatanka does chops to both Beverlies and Shawn takes his huge backdrop bump to the floor, ending up hung upside-down against the announce table. Blake bounces around in the ring like he wants to keep his job and the Beverlies both eat the Pit Stop (faces rubbed into Knobs’ armpits), but Knobs hits the corner and Shawn works him over, luring the babyfaces into the ring to cover up some cheating. Knobs comes back with some great clotheslines (I love how they’re just fat, sloppy clotheslines, haha- just hucks his body at the other guy), but Shawn immediately wusses out against Tatanka so Beau has to fly around instead. Beau gets his arm worked and Sags hits a shoulderbreaker for two. Tatanka actually fights off all three heels at once in an attempt to put him over.
Back from break with an exhausted Knobs FLYING over the top rope off a charge, and he goes into the stairs and post. The Beverlies hit their leapfrog double-team for two- a flying punch does the same and they keep working through “Nasty!” chants and giving false hope when Shawn runs into the post but Beau still cuts off the tag. Knobs finally catches Beau and the crowd doesn’t even react, and then he’s cut off AGAIN, catches Shawn this time, and they still cut off the tag as Knobs looks literally close to death from all the cardio he’s doing. He FINALLY gets the tag to Tatanka after a collision, and Tatanka bounces Shawn around and hits a powerslam- Blake breaks up the tag and both Beverlies bounce for him, then the three tomahawks get two- the Samoan Drop hits but Beau saves Shawn- the Beverlies get dumped by the Nasties and Shawn tries a comeback with punches, but when he aims for the Teardrop Suplex (crotch-lift suplex), Tatanka sunset flips him… for the pin (12:37)! Tatanka pins Shawn twice on the way to WrestleMania!
This one seemed like it had promise- Blake, Shawn and even KNOBS were bumping like maniacs at first, but then we got a very long, very dull heat sequence on a gassed Knobs, who had to do I shit you not FOUR false comebacks before he finally tagged Tatanka for his Moves of Doom leading directly to the finish. At least that kept you guessing, with Tatanka hitting his finishing sequence but failing the pin, only to roll Shawn up out of his own finisher to look strong heading to his IC Title match. Shawn retains at the PPV by fuckery and has his worst-ever WrestleMania match in the process (and Tatanka’s best actual match ever- think about THAT).
Rating: *3/4 (some fine work at first, but then it slows down way too much with an aimless heat sequence)
You know it’s the Attitude Era when every single person in the match is in black tights with funny symbols on them.
THE RADICALZ (Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn & Dean Malenko, w/ Terri) vs. TEST & THE A.P.A. (Faarooq & Bradshaw):
(WWF RAW, 02.04.2001)
* Eddie has just beaten Test for the European Title at WrestleMania X-7 and is taunting his lack of partners, so here comes the Acolytes for a beatdown! This is SPECTACULARLY 2000s-era wrestling, as every single person in the ring is wearing black.
The big guys clear the ring and the APA hit Saturn with a backdrop/neckbreaker- Saturn slams Faarooq but gets powerslammed. Bradshaw eats a neckbreaker but catches Dean with the fallaway slam- Eddie flies in and gets the same, so Saturn pumphandle suplexes him and the beatdown is on. Bradshaw finally knocks over Saturn and the hot tags see Eddie try to flee Test, but he gets slammed down, press-slammed onto the top turnbuckle and hit with the gutwrench powerbomb. LOL I love how Test almost univerally used that as one of his first three moves in every match. Dean saves and is tilt-a-whirl slammed, and Saturn hits the Moss-Covered Three-Toed Family Gredunza (spinning perfectplex) for two. Everyone runs in to fight, and Test hits a full nelson slam for two, but Terri interferes and nearly gets Pump-Handle Slammed (!) before Saturn pulls her away and Test finishes him with the Big Boot off that distraction at (4:07).
This is every RAW match you’ve ever seen- same cadence, same “kicks and punches plus 3 distinct moves”, same everything. The “get knocked down then fly back up to get knocked down again” thing is so easy to spot once you’re aware of it. The purpose here of course is to re-heat Test after the WMX7 loss, as he takes almost no damage, takes Saturn apart, and then finishes him off without breaking a sweat (leaving Eddie safe). Even Bradshaw didn’t have to sell much (and Faarooq never even got into the ring).
Rating: *1/2 (I feel like almost every RAW match of a certain era will have a similar rating)
BRIAN ADAMS vs. MEDIC #8:
(Heartland Wrestling Association, Nov. 17th 2001)
* OH MY GOD THERE’S A GUY NAMED “MEDIC 8”! This is amazing! This is of course when Brian Adams was forced to go to HWA to relearn his 11+ year craft, and he has a look on his face like he’s every bit aware of how big a demotion this is as he grumpily comes down to the ring to Rob Zombie’s “Dragula”. Medic 8 is a guy in hospital scrubs and a mask, coming out to Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping”, but at least he’s a deliberate joke. Adams cuts a promo about wanting the finest competition, so he calls out “Medic number 8”, whom Jim Cornette on commentary derides as “look at THIS munchkin!”. From the looks of Cagematch “Medic #1-2” and such were classic “masked dweeb” gimmicks with guys like Jose Estrada working under masks to get more match time, so this is probably a cutesy in-joke by Cornette, the booker.
Medic 8 manages a tilt-a-whirl headscissors right out of the gate, but Adams stuffs him on a body slam and hits a good press slam, big boot & chokeslam to finish at (1:13). Aw, just a basic squash, lol. Medic 8 bumped a lot for him and looked pretty good as a hapless goober, and Adams actually looked like he was interested in trying, hitting good versions of the Communal Big Man Offense. Sadly there were a dozen guys using the same stuff at the time.
Rating: 1/4* (a one-minute squash)
THE GREAT MUTA vs. LENNY LANE:
(WCW Main Event, Oct. 18th 1997)
* HELL YES GREAT MUTA SLUMMING IT! WCW was such a unique mess of wasting money, as they brought Chono & Muta all the way from Japan to fill out the nWo ranks (since nWo Japan was a thing as well), but they don’t want to put them over valued talent, so instead they’re beating up Damian & Lenny Lane on the D-shows. Lane at this point was still a babyface Chris Jericho Lite- being CJ Lite stuck to him his entire career and he never got over it. The visuals were just too similar, and both guys were undersized guys using Cruiserweight offense… and worse still, Jericho was GOOD at it while Lenny never hit over *** that I can recall. He’s in weird rose-gold trunks, while Muta’s in his black nWo pants & facepaint.
Lane does the Power Plant Special- the International into a dropkick and “holding the arm under your armpit”. Muta armdrags out, but Lane goes a-dropkickin’ again and bulldogs him out of the corner. Lane gets a horrible bodyslam to set up the finish- he faceplants trying a moonsault and Muta hits the cartwheel handspring back elbow, bulldog and dragon screw legwhip into the Leg Hump at (2:03). Haha, what a lazy Randy Savage Template performance! And he finished with the universal leg-based weardown hold!
Rating: 1/4* (mostly Lane doing Communal Jobber Offense until he misses a move and Muta easily wins)