RottenMarks favorite Wrestlemania Matches (Part 2)

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Kane vs. The Undertaker

Wrestlemania XIV

Kane vs. The Undertaker took place at Wrestlemania XIV in 1998. Four years after Bret and Owen Hart fought the first brother versus brother match at Wrestlemania X. Everything about this match was cool. Kane was red hot. He was choke-slamming fools on Monday Night RAW for months leading up to this showdown. The Undertaker looked amazing, not as crisp as prior years, but still the Phenom that we all grew up being terrified of. These two bulls threw each other around for the first few moments. It looked like Kane had the upper hand for the majority of the match. They tombstoned each other multiple times. Hit each other with flying clotheslines, choke-slams, fists-of-fury… eventually it took three Tombstone Piledrivers from the Undertaker to put Kane away. The story of Kane and The Undertaker is one of my all-time favorite feuds, and seeing it all come to a head here at Wrestlemania XIV was awesome. The entrances alone are worth the viewing.

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"Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. The Rock

NO DISQUALIFICATION MATCH
WRESTLEMANIA XV

The Rock vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship took place during Wrestlemania XV in 1999. Both men were the leaders of the new Attitude Era in the WWF. Both hugely popular with the fans and highly proficient in the squared circle. The Rock and Steve Austin went in there and tore down the house in Philadelphia. This is The Rock’s greatest match and it’s against one of the best competitors in the sport. The pop for Austin was outrageous, it’s clearly bigger than The Rock’s. The fan’s just love hearing that glass breaking. It’s just so… badass. The action is fast-paced and furious. Rock takes it to Austin all over the arena. It’s intense. The in-ring action is just as gripping, even with the Attitude Era shenanigans going on.

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TLC 1

WRESTLEMANIA 2000

The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz is a triple-threat ladder match for the WWF Tag Team Titles from Wrestlemania 2000. It’s one of the most death-defying matches in Wrestlemania history, and serves as an important milestone in tag-team style professional wrestling. It also cemented all six wrestlers in as future Hall of Famers. The action is non-stop. The Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian bring their high-flying agility. They leap off turnbuckles, chairs, ladders, everything. And the Dudley Boyz put them through those things. The ingenuity and ability make this match so damn good.

TLC 2

WRESTLEMANIA X-7

TLC II was a match that took place at Wrestlemania X-7 in 2001. A rematch from the prior years entry, before it was actually called a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. This bout saw the return of the three original teams, The Hardy Boyz, Edge & Christian and The Dudley Boyz. Even with run-ins from Rhyno, Spike Dudley and Lita, this match managed to shine. All three teams put their bodies on the line.

"Hollywood" Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock

WRESTLEMANIA X8

The Rock vs. "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan was a big time dream match for most of the Attitude Era. That dream became reality in 2002 when these two faced off in a high profile exhibition bout. Hogan was playing up the heel gimmick as the leader of the nWo, a faction carried over from WCW. The Rock was electric as the face. A part-timer by this point, The Rock was splitting his time between the WWF and Hollywood. Hollywood Hogan looked good, he moved well and showed rare wrestling skill. The Rock brought the energy in the only way he can, with as much swagger shoved into it as possible.

SHAWN MICHAELS VS. CHRIS JERICHO

WRESTLEMANIA 19

Another Wrestlemania and another Dream Match. This time between the returning "Heart Break Kid" Shawn Michaels, and the charismatic Chris Jericho. These two would square off in 2003 at Wrestlemania 19. Chris Jericho had a lot to prove against the veteran Shawn Michaels, who had been out of in-ring action since 1998. This was the homecoming of "Mr. Wrestlemania". Cunning storytelling. Crisp in-ring action. This match had just about everything the fans could ask for, and it has gone down in history as one of the best matches in Wrestlemania history.

CHRIS BENOIT vs. SHAWN MICHAELS VS. CHRIS BENOIT

WRESTLEMANIA XX

Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H took place in the Main Event of Wrestlemania XX in 2004, and it was for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This had been my favorite match for years. A tremendous bout that told a completely different story before that day in 2007. After a lot of thought and a few re-watches, I had come to realize that I still love this match through and through. But I understand why some people might have second thoughts about including a match like this one. Now this is a hell of a fight. It’s as close as the WWE could ever come to Japanese strong-style wrestling. These guys go hell-for-leather and tear the house down. If you look at Chris Benoit’s journey in professional wrestling up to this point, it makes the ending so much more emotional and ground-breaking. Both Triple H and Shawn Michaels were made guys in the locker-room so they didn’t have as much to prove. But they didn’t let that slow them down one bit.

SHAWN MICHAELS Vs. KURT ANGLE

WRESTLEMANIA 21

Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle was a personal dream match that took place at Wrestlemania 21 in 2005. I am a big fan of both competitors and love what they bring to the table. Shawn Michaels was deep into his return to the company after his five year hiatus. Kurt Angle was still looking for the next step in his career. Both guys turned out an amazing match that had me on the edge of my seat. Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle really lay into each other in this bout, it’s snug. Michaels is slower than in the past, but still very quick and agile. He even puts some of his technical wrestling on display. Angle plays the heel really well and appears to get frustrated through the match. His anger and frustration seems to make him fight harder and more passionate. The ending is very well worth it.

EDGE vs. MICK FOLEY

HARDCORE MATCH
WRESTLEMANIA 22

Edge vs. Mick Foley in a Hardcore Match took place at Wrestlemania 22 in 2006. Mick Foley was nearing the end of his career as an in-ring competitor. Edge was on an upward swing in his career, close to nearing his peak. Seconded by Lita, the Rated R Superstar was on a hell of a hot streak that the Hardcore Icon, Mick Foley was looking to end. This match incorporated everything that the hardcore bouts of the Attitude Era could. There were copious amounts of weapons, barbed-wire, tables and even fire that were utilized that night. 

RottenMarks favorite Wrestlemania matches! (Part 1)

With WWE's biggest show of the year right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of my favorite matches from the past Wrestlemania's. These matches may not be the best on the card, but they hold a place with me as my favorite. Like my selections? Want to let me know why not? Please leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite matches were!

OH, each match poster is a WWE Network link! Enjoy!


$15,000 Slam Challenge

WRESTLEMANIA
1985

The $15,000 Slam Challenge was a match between Big John Studd and challenger, Andre the Giant. This took place at Wrestlemania from Madison Square Garden on March 31st, 1985, and was originally called by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura. The match featured some decent offense from both big men. It concluded with Andre slamming Big John Studd to an amazing pop from the New York City crowd. He was awarded a small WWF duffel full of “money” and celebrated with it. The duffel was snatched by the heel manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, who ran away with it. This was a short and concise match that didn't expose the big men for too long. Although, both guys appeared to be gassed a few moments after the opening bell. Andre was his usual lumbering self, but he at least appeared more able and happy. Studd was his usual bland self. A good wrestler to do the job, but not much more than that. This match clearly established who the dominant big man in the WWF was at the time.

 

THE BRITISH BULLDOGS VS. THE DREAM TEAM

WRESTLEMANIA 2
1986

The WWF Tag Team Titles match from Wrestlemania 2, is the most entertaining on the card. The commentary was provided from Gorilla Monsoon, Gene Okerlund and Kathy Lee Gifford. The Bulldogs were seconded by Capt. Lou Albano and rock musician, Ozzy Osbourne. While the Dream Team (Brutis Beefcake & Greg Valentine) were managed by “The Luscious” Johnny Valiant. The match itself is awesome. The Bulldogs are in top form, Valentine and Beefcake are good opponents for these younger and stronger newcomers. The build in this match is great. Entertaining on a lot of levels. It was a great showcase of the quality of tag team wrestling in the nineteen eighties. The post match speech from Captain Lou Albano is hilarious, Bulldog is excited, and Ozzy agrees to stay in contact with the Bulldogs.

 

RANDY SAVAGE vs. RICKY STEAMBOAT

WRESTLEMANIA 3
1987

"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat for the WWF Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania 3 is an amazing match. The champion, coming into the match, was the Macho Man. Accompanied by his long-time manager, Miss. Elizabeth. The challenger is Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, an amazing wrestler that is seconded by George “The Animal” Steele. This match is a clinic. Macho Man is so damn good in that ring. His selling for Steamboat is some of the best in the game. Definitely the best in the WWF at the time. There is so much effective storytelling in this single match. It’s the true main event of Wrestlemania 3.

 

RANDY SAVAGE vs. TED DIBIASE

WRESTLEMANIA IV
1988

The final match in the WWF Championship Tournament from Wrestlemania IV. A main event bout between two highly proficient competitors that was a good pay-off to a less than stellar Pay-Per-View. Macho Man, who was accompanied by Miss Elisabeth and eventually Hulk Hogan, came into this match with a nearly empty tank. He had already fought three times earlier in the evening. While DiBiase, seconded by Andre the Giant, was a lot fresher. Having only competed twice. Both guys got to showcase some tremendous technical ability, while churning out an entertaining match. This was a good match that would have been so much better without Hogan being around at all. Macho could more than carry the title.

 

MR. PERFECT vs. THE BLUE BLAZER

WRESTLEMANIA V
1989

Mr. Perfect vs. The Blue Blazer was a exhibition match from Wrestlemania V in 1989. A match between Curt Hennig and Owen Hart, umm… yes please. A technical bout that is way too short, but still one of the more entertaining matches on the card. Owen looks great, his dropkicks and moves are delivered with such precision. Mr. Perfect did his job of being the smarmy, cocky heel that everyone wants to see lose. It was a great match that had a less than perfect ending.

 

HULK HOGAN vs. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR

WRESTLEMANIA VI
1990

The Ultimate Challenge was a match at Wrestlemania VI between the WWF Intercontinental Champion, The Ultimate Warrior and The WWF Champion, Hulk Hogan. This was a double-title match between these titans of the squared circle. The winner keeps the world title and vacates the intercontinental strap. Yes, it took me a long time to actually enjoy a Hulk Hogan match on a Wrestlemania card. Maybe part of that is due to the hype of this match, it's through the roof. Ultimate Warrior’s pop is deafening. The place goes nuts. Then Hogan comes out and it’s even louder. These two stars were clearly the top characters in professional wrestling in 1990. Every box is checked in this match. Hogan is red hot. The Ultimate Warrior is the new, hungry talent that has nearly the same popularity. It’s a huge match that has two titles on the line. Such a big time main event. Both guys gave it so much more than they had usually done in past performances. A rare showing of wrestling talent from both Warrior and Hogan. Great match, great ending.

 

RANDY SAVAGE vs. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR

WRESTLEMANIA VII
1991

“Macho King” Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior was a Career Ending Match at Wrestlemania VII in 1991. Dressed to the nines, Macho King showed his vivacious pageantry in a triumphant entrance. He was accompanied to the ring by the sinister “Macho Queen” Sherri, who interfered incessantly. Warrior came to the ring with little gusto. A man ready for a fight. He had clearly been pushed to the edge by King and Queen Macho in the months leading up to Wrestlemania. They had even added some additional story-line by showing Randy Savage’s former valet, Elisabeth, in the crowd as a spectator. This match is clearly a culmination of the popular story lines that Savage had seeded throughout his career in the World Wrestling Federation. It’s tremendous. One of the top Wrestlemania matches that might not leave you with a dry eye.

 

RANDY SAVAGE vs. RIC FLAIR

WRESTLEMANIA IIX
1992

“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair was a grudge match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, that took place at Wrestlemania IIX in 1992. Ric Flair was on an incredible streak at the time as the champion. He and Randy Savage had a great feud going. Flair had seemingly wooed Elisabeth away from the Macho Man and justice needed to be delivered. Justice in the form of a flying elbow. This was a heavy hitting bout with some fantastic storytelling and a brutal beating. Ric Flair is a master in the ring and works in an amazing way with Randy Savage. When he is busted open the match takes this incredibly dramatic edge. It’s beautiful. One of my favorite Wrestlemania matches for sure. These two were made to fight. There isn’t a more appropriate match to chant “Fight Forever” at. A five star match all the way.

 

THE HEADSHRINKERS vs. THE STEINER BROTHERS

WRESTLEMANIA IX
1993

The WWF Tag Team Championship was defended in one of the only decent matches at Wrestlemania IX. It was fought between The Headshrinkers and The Steiner Brothers. A good back-and-forth for each team. The Steiners were the clear favorites, but the Headshrinkers were no slouches. They had shown in the past that their hunger for tag team gold makes them very formidable competitors. Scott Steiner was the showcase of the entire match, he did well selling for Fatu and Samu, but appeared to be overwhelmed halfway through. It was sloppy, dangerous and odd. However, the ending makes the whole thing worth it. This is by far the worst match on this list.

 

BRET HART vs. OWEN HART

WRESTLEMANIA X
1994

Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart was, and is the greatest opening match for any Wrestlemania to date. This particular brawl took place at Wrestlemania X on March 20th 1994. A civil war between two brothers striving to become THE MAN in the World Wrestling Federation. Bret Hart is playing the role of the face here. He was the new focus of the company after Hogan and Warrior left, with Randy Savage retiring from serious competition. Owen Hart had been fledgling in the mid-card with a number of gimmicks like The Blue Blazer and even teaming up with Koko B. Ware. Playing the heel in this match signaled his arrival as a viable top-spot competitor.  The match is a technical powerhouse. Tremendous storytelling and a grandiose display of their wrestling ability. You can feel the emotion, the suspense and the intrigue all playing a part in this fight between two brothers.

 

SHAWN MICHAELS vs. DIESEL

WRESTLEMANIA XI
1995

No Friends in Matters of Gold was a match between the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and the WWF Champion, Diesel. Two good friends and members of the Kliq, these guys would go in there and give it everything. This was a star-studded affair. Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Nicholas Turturro were given special positions during the match as bell-keeper and special announcer. Shawn Michaels was led to the ring by his partner “Sycho” Sid alongside buxom model, Jenny McCarthy. And World Champion Diesel was led to the ring by Playboy and Baywatch star, Pamela Anderson. Everyone was in their prime, and looked fantastic. The match was fast-paced, well-executed and it told a good story. Michaels was a smarmy heel and Diesel was the clear crowd-favorite.

 

THE UNDERTAKER vs. DIESEL

WRESTLEMANIA XII
1996

The Undertaker vs. Diesel took place during Wrestlemania XII in 1996. Kevin Nash was leaving the WWF for WCW and this served as his send-off. A great showing of respect between both men. If you want to see a good match between two big guys, then this is just what you're looking for. A real battle of the monsters. Hard hitting action from both giants as they hit each-other with finisher after finisher. This is Undertaker in his prime.

 

BRET HART vs. STEVE AUSTIN

WRESTLEMANIA 13
1997

The Submission Match from Wrestlemania 13 between Bret Hart and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, is one of the best matches in the history of professional wrestling. It is my personal favorite match of either competitor, and is a clinic for anyone that potentially wants to get into wrestling. The storytelling is beyond reproach. It also has the honor of being the single match that turned the tide of wrestling in the nineties. This bout ushered in the attitude era. Anything can happen, for better or worse. From this match forward, it was cool to be a heel.

KEEP CHECKING WITH ROTTENMARKS FOR UPDATES THIS WEEKEND TO THIS LIST!

Rotten Marks Reviews: WWE No Mercy 2017

Spoilers will follow! 

Scroll down for live updates! 

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The WWE has hit a recent period of wishy-washy storylines and another slump in ratings. But No Mercy has proven to reignite interest in the product. The reimergance of No Mercy last year came with a jolt of increased quality in the product. I was excited. It was one of the times that the WWE had given the fans some scraps of hope. 

The 2016 edition of No Mercy heavily featured a mediocre storyline with The Miz and Dolph Ziggler and blew it into an amazing program. Again, we are faced with a mediocre storyline in Jason Jordan gettin a chance to take on Miz. But Miz is amazing in his promos and I think it will shine through in this match. This will be the match of the night. I think its safe to say that No Mercy, is definitely The Miz's show.

My biggest expectation for this show is that Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman tear the house down. I am not expecting Braun to win. But I do want to see The Beast taken beyond his limits. I believe that Braun is the only man that could do it. That guy has IT. 

I am not looking forward to Cena losing to Reigns. It's the most predictable outcome. WWE is prepping for the big exit of John Cena, and this is a big step.

I am also dissappointed with the upcoming WWE RAW Womens Title Fatal Fiveway. With the recent influx of womens talent, there is no reason for some of the compeditors to even be in the picture. Champion Alexa Bliss defends against Nia Jax, Sasha, Bayley and Emma. Most of them have been wholly underwhelming. 

Other matches rounding out the card are:

- WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Neville defends against Enzo Amore

-  WWE RAW Tag Team Champions: The Bar defend against The Shield

-  "The Demon" Finn Balor goes to battle against Bray Wyatt

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Notes

They are really pushing Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon in a cage. I guess I am excited. Not really. 

Big news with Asuka debuting at WWE TLC 2017. It's nice to see her finally moving into the main roster. It's well deserved and it warms me up to the womens division a bit.

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Apollo Crews vs. Elias

Prediction: I didn't know that this match was happening! I wanted Apollo to win!

Match: These two put on a hell of a rematch from NXT Takeover: Dallas. It's a hard hitting affair with both guys going nuts. Apollo looked great but Elias picked up the win after hitting the Drift Away. Then he attacked Crews' manager Titus O'Neil, furthering their feud. 

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The Miz vs. Jason Jordan

WWE Intercontinental Championship

Prediction: This match will be the match of the night. Amazing matchup with Miz going over Jordan.

Match: Jason Jordan looks amazing. But that talent might be trumped by the Mizterage. The Miz hit one hell of a DDT. Amazing stuff. Jordan is literally throwing himself at The Miz, hitting  him with every thing he has. The float-over chain Northern Lights Suplex was phenomenal. This was a great match until the cheap finish with outside interference. I knew it would go down that way. I just hoped it would go on longer. 

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Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt

Prediction: These guys are going to show some amazing stuff. Unfortunately, they are both hindered by the WWE machine. This will be a slobber-knocker but nothing more than a Monday Night match. Finn... err... The Demon goes over Bray like everyone else.

Match: That Cthulhu Bray Wyatt shirt is amazing. I gotta get one. Oh, I thought Finn would be giving us the Demon tonight. Weird. This injury angle is played out. I long for the days of a straight up match. These two are going hell for leather when the match actually starts. Both beat the crap out of each other outside of the ring. Then Bray gets the upper hand. Bray Wyatt hits a dynamic superplex and brutalizes the rest of the match. This setup the usual hero comeback with Finn Balor going over Wyatt with the Coupe de Grâce. A predictably underwhelming bout that showed Wyatt can't get it done.

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The Shield (Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) vs. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro)

WWE RAW Tag Team Titles

Prediction: Sheamus and Cesaro have been an awesome tag team. They are countered with an out-of-tune, reunited Shield, at least in part. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are great but destined for better. Cesaro submits Ambrose.

Match : It's so great to see these guys go. Like it or not, everyone is a tough worker and they are getting pretty rough. The Cesaro Airplane Spin into the steel steps on the outside was noticeably stiff. Then, surprise surprise, Seth Rollins gets too stiff with Cesaro and knocks out his teeth. Holy crap. They keep going while Cesaro bleeds all over. This one might go home early. Sheamus takes a big chunk of the match against both Shield members. Cesaro gets back in and tries submitting Dean with the Sharpshooter and a great Chris Benoit inspired toothless Cross-face. It was a great spot. Then Ambrose pinned Sheamus... Damn Dirty Deeds. That capped off the clear leader for Match of the Night!

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@Madtrillainy (Facebook)

Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, Bayley and Emma 

WWE RAW Women's Title

Prediction: Parts of this match will be tolerable. At least the scripted and rehearsed parts will be. But I will guarantee a clusterfuck. Nothing against the individual talents but they just have a history. I am hoping Bayley gets one more title run on RAW. I predict Bayley gets the pin on Sasha with the Bayley-to-Belly.

Match: Predictably the match was a mix of cool spots mixed with aqward botches. It's crazy to me that the WWE just had the Mae Young Classic and we are subjected to this. Obviously rehearsed, predictable and boring. Bliss retained her belt by pinning a beaten to crap Bayley. This was the worst of the night. Good effort, but nothing we haven't seen. Can we get some Tessa Blanchard!

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John Cena vs. Roman Reigns

Prediction: John Cena is gearing up to retire. In turn, the WWE is preparing for a post-Cena, Bella, Bryan era. That era has Reigns as the forerunner. Defeating Cena would be a huge thing for him to call back to in future promos. Reigns over a beaten and bruised Cena. Unfortunately.

Match: The match starts off predictably. I am so tired of using that word, but that is the current state of the WWE. Cena can at least work a crowd. He is at least an entertainer. Reigns is just an ex-football player. They both get in good offense. By that, I mean they toss each other around on the outside a lot. Boring. Uninspired. At one point they actually have Cena pleading on his knees to Reigns. This directly calls back to Reigns and Taker at Mania. Wow, deep. Cena goes through his moveset in a hope spot, but Reigns bests him. Of course. This is like a match between Lex Luger and Crush. Ugh. Both guys get their spots in. It's okay. But so... usual. That catching Power Bomb was nice but then a Superman Punch and... common kick out. The best spot was, Roman channeling his inner Goldberg and spearing the ringpost at full speed. But that and a Super Attitude Adjustment can't even get the job done! Four Attitude Adjustments cannot put Reigns down but one Spear and Stupidman Punch take out Cena. I called it and I still hate it. 

Cena leaves as though this is his retirement match. 

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Neville vs. Enzo Amore

WWE Cruiserweight Title

Prediction: Neville is NOT losing the WWE Cruiserweight Title to Amore. The guy has an incredibly shallow personality. Neville wins quickly with the Red Arrow.

Match: Another match that shows how bad Enzo is. Why is he still wrestling? Enzo gets pathetically beat up while Neville laughs and out-performs him. It's boring too. So far No Mercy 2017 has been a bit of a mediocre card. Neville rethinks a Red Arrow for a second rope Phoenix Splash, but cannot follow through. Enzo tries to fight back but it's too little too late. Then we get schmozapalooza. Enzo wins after hitting Neville in the groin. Today is a dark day. SMH.

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Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman 

WWE Universal Championship

Prediction: This match will be about Braun showcasing what he has to give in the main event scene. I expect Brock to beat Braun but it's going to be nuts. Brock will be taken farther than he has been in a long-time if ever. Brock gets the pin after a number of F-5's. 

Match: Braun looks insane. He has somehow gotten bigger than before. Brock looks like a champ as usual. Both guys don't beat the crap out of each other. Instead, Strowman beats up Brock all match. Braun does a blade job under his eye. A bad one. Then it starts to slow down. A series of Germans from Lesnar, then an F-5. Lesnar picks up the victory! The victory seemed rushed for some reason. Worst use of blood ever.

Main Event #2: AJ Styles vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Psicosis vs. Low-Ki

MAIN EVENT

AJ Styles vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Psicosis vs. Low-Ki

NWA/TNA X Division Title Four Way Double Elimination Match (Special Referee: Ricky Steamboat)

NWA Total Nonstop Action #2 - June 26th 2002


TNA came along picking up the pieces that had fallen by the wayside when the WWF purchased WCW in 2001. Unfortunately some really good talent either didn't want to make the jump to Vince McMahon's playground or simply wasn't hired. AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, Low-Ki and Psicosis are all highly skilled high-fliers and innovative competitors that rose from the ashes of a fallen company and began anew with the Total Non-Stop Action X Division.

The Total Non-Stop Action X-Division Title was meant to bring a sense of extreme to the pro-wrestling scene. A Double-Elimination Four Corners match might sound like too much. But in reality it is a beautiful thing that I wish was used more often. We are able to watch all sorts of action. This match brings everything from high-flying luchador type moves to technical clinics. Whatever style the competitor needs in able to avoid being pinned twice. Then you add in a stipulation that says that when it comes down to the final two competitors Ricky Steamboat will officiate. Does it sound crazy? I hope so. This is one of the best matches of all time. 

This match starts off really hot with Styles and Psicosis starting things off. They showcase their quickness and put on a good show. Psicosis puts in some really good offence and delivers an amazing Guillotine Leg Drop but he cannot secure a pin. However, after a Styles Clash, AJ Styles picks up the first pinfall. 

Low-Ki and Styles go at it furiously. These two immediately have amazing chemistry in the ring. Ki hits a bunch of really stiff shots and kicks. But Styles is not to be outdone. He actually manages to hit a really impressive Hurricanrana from a laying down position! It's really neat. These two have awesome energy. This is the hardest hitting portion of the match. Ki locks in a vicious submission hold that looks to be a primitive version of the Bank's Statement but Styles gets the ropes. These guys are setting another level for the bar in the X Division. A Rolling German Suplex into a Facebuster gives AJ Styles the three. Then just when you think that it can't possibly get even crazier. Jerry Lynn jumps into the ring next and immediately hits a Cradle Piledriver for the three on Styles. 

I had to pause the match here just to catch my breath. I was gassed just watching these guys putting so much into it. Psicosis starts his second entry out with a Dropkick from the top rope to Jerry Lynn. They go at it in the ring with some really nice intense high-flying moves. The action is pretty even. Psicosis knocks Jerry Lynn out of the ring and then hits him with a big Somersault Plancha. The two are performing moves you never see anymore! Psicosis connects with a Spinning Flying Leg Lariat from the top. Then Lynn drops Psicosis with a Reverse DDT but can only secure a two. Psicosis goes for another big move but it’s blocked as Jerry Lynn hits a Dropkick and then the Cradle Piledriver and gets the three count, eliminating Psicosis from the match. 

Low-Ki jumps back into the ring and goes right after Jerry Lynn. Just like with Styles, Ki really takes it to Lynn with some stiff and brutal shots. He hits a devastating Elbow Drop and more kicks but cannot get the pin. Ki gets frustrated but keeps fighting. The frustration makes Low-Ki fight harder and Jerry Lynn has a tough time keeping up. But Lynn comes back. We get a good series of finisher reversals before Jerry Lynn plants Ki with a really impressive Powerbomb. Low-Ki is bleeds from the mouth. The crowd is on their feet. More reversals from both competitors before Lynn hits the Cradle Piledriver on Low-Ki followed by the pin. Low-Ki is eliminated from competition. 

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AJ Styles is ready and goes furiously at Lynn to start off his entry. These two really go at it. AJ starts things off with a Lariat and immediately goes for the pin. No dice. He goes for a powerbomb but Lynn reverses it into a Hurricanrana. A Tilt-A-Whirl Backbreaker into a pin only gets Lynn a two-count. Lynn hits a Sunset Flip on AJ Styles but cannot get him over, Styles stomps his head and then goes outside to deliver a Springboard Twisting Splash but still cannot get that win. They continue assaulting each other getting nearfalls. AJ hits a Hangman’s Noose Neckbreaker on Lynn. That was really cool. For this match already going this long, these guys are really not letting up on the energy. Styles hits the Styles Clash on to secure his second pinfall. Both men are now 1 - 1. 

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This brings out professional wrestling legend Ricky Steamboat as the featured referee. The match also goes into Sudden Death mode. This final pinfall will determine the first NWA/TNA X Division Champion. They start things off quickly with a series of roll-ups and nearfalls. It’s pretty exciting. They are both gassed but determined. AJ Styles is the young up-and-comer. While Jerry Lynn is the high-flying veteran. They both have something to prove. These guys take it everywhere and hit just about everything on eachother. Outside of the ring they deliver some solid action. Lynn hits a vicious Irish Whip on Styles, sending him headfirst into the guardrail. AJ goes for a Springboard Moonsault but he is caught by Lynn, so Styles just goes for a Reverse DDT. Back into the ring and Styles cannot get the pin. 

 

Jerry Lynn starts dominating in the ring. He delivers some nice and innovative reversals to whatever AJ Styles dishes out. Like AJ Styles goes for a Hurricanrana but it's reversed into a Flipping Facebuster by Jerry Lynn, unfortunately he doesn’t get the three-count. AJ takes the reigns and mounts a comeback but it's short lived. Both guys are just trying to survive now. Jerry Lynn delivers an insane Top Rope Superplex to Styles but still cannot get the win! The crowd is really into it. AJ gets the advantage and levels Lynn, then goes to the Top Rope and hits the Spiral Tap for the victory. AJ Styles is the first ever NWA/TNA X Division Champion. 

Five Stars

This match was not only fantastic and unique but extreme. It is definitely something that lives up to it's titles moniker. This match proved that the X-Division was another level in professional wrestling. Light-Heavyweight and Cruiserweight divisions had existed before. However in the X Division it didn't matter if you were 145 pounds or 445 pounds. It was about the work that you put in. About the determination that each competitor has. Determination that takes that performer to an extreme level. 

Each wrestler in this match was amazing in their own right. This match had showcased them to the NWA/TNA world. After this matchup, Jerry Lynn had started to cap off an amazing career and his work in the X Division is great. Psicosis had bounced to the WWE and then back to Mexico before getting in trouble. Low-Ki would be featured in the X-Division for a long while and AJ Styles would catapult into stardom. Both were major players in TNA for years. 

 

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Grudge Match #3: Sean Waltman & Scott Hall (Part 3)

GRUDGE MATCH

Sean Waltman & Scott Hall

PART 1PART 2PART 3


Sean Waltman re-joined the WWF in 1997 after he was fired from WCW by Eric Bischoff via FedEx. He would start a campaign with D-Generation X to "free" his friends from the evil clutches of WCW. However, his friends never made the jump. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash both stayed with WCW until it's demise in 2001. It wasn't until 2002 that Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan would make their return to the World Wrestling Federation as the New World Order.

 

The storyline played out with "Hollywood" Hogan going back to being a face and various Kliq members joining the nWo. This alliance brought back the duo of Sean and Scott. Almost four and a half years since they had last met up. 

THe nWo (X-Pac, Scott Hall & Kevin Nash) vs. The Rock & "Hollywood" HUlk Hogan

Three on Two Handicap

WWF Monday Night RAW

During the RAW episode on March 25th, 2002. The WWF would hold their first brand extension. It was the first time that the WWF roster would be split into two separate divisions, WWF Raw and WWF Smackdown. A lottery was held on RAW with General Manager Ric Flair choosing the entire New World Order as a single entry. 

 

The Rock, Kane & "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan vs. The nWo (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & X-Pac)
Six Man TaG Team Match 
WWF Smackdown - March 28th 2002

X-Pac would stay as a part of the new nWo and feud with his former partner Kane. During a hardcore match between X-Pac and Kane on WWE RAW, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash would intervene allowing X-Pac to steal Kane's mask.

The nWo (Scott Hall & X-Pac) & The Undertaker vs. Steve Austin & Bradshaw
Three on Two Handicap
WWF Monday Night RAW - April 15th 2002


Scott Hall & X-Pac vs. Steve Austin & The Big Show
Tag Team Match
WWF Monday Night RAW - April 22nd 2002

 

The nWo (The Big Show, Scott Hall & X-Pac) vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Ric Flair and Bradshaw
Six Man Tag Team Match
WWE Monday Night RAW - May 6th 2002

The night before the May 6th edition of Monday Night RAW, X-Pac, Scott Hall and various other WWE performers were involved in a drug-fueled nightmare flight dubbed the Plane Ride from Hell. Wrestlers were drunk or on DMT, Ric Flair had been flashing stewardesses, Curt Hennig and Brock Lesnar had a shoot fight and X-Pac cut off Michael Hayes' ponytail among other atrocities. However, the entire time Scott Hall was asleep and not participating in the antics. Regardless, both X-Pac and Hall would be gone from the WWE in a number of weeks. This event didn't help. 

  If you're in the ring with me I'll work for free.   - Scott Hall to Syxx-Pac

If you're in the ring with me I'll work for free. 
- Scott Hall to Syxx-Pac

A new promotion was interested in bringing in the Kliq to draw a few views. That promotion is NWA/TNA. Scott Hall had already been competing in singles competition against the likes of Jeff Jarrett. However, in September of 2002 Sean Waltman made his way over as Syxx-Pac. He and Scott Hall formed a Tag Team and competed in the first Tag Team Gauntlet for the Gold Battle Royal. 

 

Tag Team Gauntlet for the Gold
Tag Team Battle Royal & Sudden Death Match
NWA Total Non-Stop Action - September 18th 2002

Part 2 - Part 3

Syxx-Pac had a lot to prove in a new promotion. He ran in like a fireball and set fire to the ring. Not literally. But he did impress. Interesting note, there is a cool little meet-up between Syxx-Pac and a young CM Punk. 

Scott Hall & Syxx-Pac vs. Elix Skipper & Brian Lawler
Tag Team Match
NWA Total Non-Stop Action - September 25th 2002

This would be nothing more than a cup of coffee for the two friends. Scott Hall would start to sporadically show up and Syxx-Pac would move onto singles competition in the X-Division. In 2007, the duo showed up in Mexico competing for Asistencia Asesoría y Administración or AAA. They competed in another Battle Royal this time it was the Copa Antonio Pena 2007 12 Man Gauntlet. Syxx-Pac, sticking with tradition, changed his name for this appearance back to X-Pac. 

 

Copa Antonio Pena 2007 12 Man Gauntlet
12 Man Battle Royal
AAA Sin Limite - Homenaje A Antonio Pena 2007 - October 7th 2007

Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5

Both Waltman and Hall were part of Konnan's stable called La Legión Extranjera or the Foreign Legion. They would help eachother out and interfere in each other's matches. However, these were mostly singles matches and they wouldn't last together for very long. 

In 2010 Scott Hall and Sean Waltman would return to TNA. They would make their debut on Impact in a segment with the also debuting Hulk Hogan. Kevin Nash would also join them creating a new stable called The Band. They wouldn't do much but beat down various wrestlers including their own. In March, Hall and Waltman would tag again this time against their brother Kevin Nash and Eric Young. 

The Band (Syxx-Pac & Scott Hall) vs. Kevin Nash & Eric Young
Loser is Banned from TNA Tag Team Match
TNA Destination X 2010 - March 21st 2010

Nash would rejoin the group and it would start to evolve into a feud with Eric Young. Young would recruit the help of Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy to participate in a Six Man Tag Steel Cage Match. 

The Band (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & Syxx-Pac) vs. Eric Young, Rob Van Dam & Jeff Hardy
Six Man Tag Steel Cage Match
TNA iMPACT! - March 23rd 2010

Impact Wrestling is pretty wretched at maintaining their back library and they apparently don't have a streaming service. Which is a shame. I was actually looking forward to watching this feud. Anyway, The Band would continue to haunt around TNA. But their tag team mostly consisted of the combination of Nash and Hall. Syxx-Pac was brought back into the fold for a match with Team 3D. This storyline also involved Bubba the Love Sponge. Yay. 

The Band (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & Syxx-Pac) vs. Team 3D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon) & Jesse Neil
Six Man Hardcore Match
TNA iMPACT! - April 6th 2010

Scott Hall and Sean Waltman have one of the best relationships in professional wrestling. I had asked a few wrestlers on Twitter what their impressions were on working with those two specifically. The consensus is good. Konnan said that working with Hall and Waltman during their WCW days was "Great!" I suggest you all listen to Konnan's podcast about the nWo. I really enjoyed it. I hope that we hear more from these guys in the future. I would love to add a fourth part to this series. 


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Grudge Match #3 - Terry Funk vs. Jerry Lawler

GRUDGE MATCH

JERRY "THE KING" LAWLER vs. TERRY FUNK

Banner Picture by Glenn Moore
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This feud was pretty insane. Jerry "The King" Lawler, the golden boy of Memphis, Tennessee had met the crazy Texan Terry Funk before. They had a long and bloody feud. There is footage of them from the seventies. But their main feud  took place during the eighties. No matter when they meet Funk and Lawler literally set the town on fire. These two both cut a great promo in their own fashion. Lawler was much more calm and collected. Funk was a mad man. He appeared drunk or at least concussed. Perhaps he was a bit of both.

In 1981 Terry Funk called out Jerry "The King" Lawler. He answered a bounty that was put up by Lawler's old manager, Jimmy Hart. Funk claimed that he was the toughest wrestler around and he wanted Lawler's blood. Lawler scoffed it off first but eventually accepted the match. This match would end up being a pretty bloody No Disqualification match. Funny to think that this whole feud just kicked off as a big pissing contest. 

Terry Funk vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler
No Disqualification Match
CWA - April 6th 1981

These two already put on one hell of a match. Funk proved himself many times over but that wasn't enough for that crazy Texan. He challenged Jerry Lawler again. This time to an Empty Arena Match. This time he was really going to prove himself. No fans. Just Funk, The King, The Ring and their hatred for eachother.

Terry Funk vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler
Empty Arena Match
CWA - April 9th 1981

The insanity would continue. Funk would go nuts over the next few months. He wore his injuries and screamed and hollered. He felt slighted. He felt that he could still beat Lawler and he wasn't soft about it. Lawler was always cool about it. They continued to meet. They had a tag team Texas Death Match between The Funk Brothers against Jerry Lawler and Plowboy Frazier. They had a Cage Match and they even had a Barbed Wire Ropes match. Both are really hard to find. This part of their feud would eventually end in February of '82 with the CWF in Florida.

The next time these two would meet would be in 1983 as reluctant partners against a few teams. Terry was hired as the meanest man that Lawler's partner could find. In a pretty un-politically correct promo, Terry Funk works with Jerry Lawler on the premise that he wasn't a "sissy". Lawler was cautious as he knew that Terry Funk wasn't one to be trusted.  

Terry Funk, Jerry Lawler and Sweet Brown Sugar vs. Jesse Barr and The Marauders
Six Man Tag Team Match
CWA - January 29th 1983

Terry Funk, Jerry Lawler and Sweet Brown Sugar vs. Bobby Eaton, Sabu, & Carl Fergie
Six Man Tag Team Match
CWA - January 30th 1983

Terry Funk and Jerry Lawler may have had a short feud in the early eighties. However, it was a feud that sparked an interest with fans. The character of The King in contrast to Funk's lunacy was great. It made for some really entertaining moments and matches. I wish more of this feud was available. It's hard to find the Cage Match and Barbed Wire Match, those both sound incredibly brutal and fun. What we did get was magical. The followup to this article will start the rekindling of their feud from the nineties. So get your flanel ready. It's going to be radical. 

 

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Superstar Spotlight #2: Goldust (Part 1)

SUPERSTAR SPOTLIGHT

GOLDUST

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

*It is wrong to watch copyrighted material on YouTube/Dailymotion etc... But please let the following links be a message to WWE. They need to release some of this content on the Network. I will post as much official content as possible. As this content becomes available.

Dustin Rhodes ('88 - '92)

Dustin Runnels is the son of the late legendary professional wrestler, Dusty Rhodes. He had begun his wrestling career in 1988. He started in Florida but quickly made a name for himself in the NWA. Dustin Rhodes was put into a mildly successful tag team called The Texas Broncos. Kendall Windham, his partner, was a great competitor but the duo was lackluster. They had no character. Dustin needed more seasoning.

Dustin would relocate to Japan in '89. He began working for All Japan Pro Wrestling and was mostly utilized in tag-team matches. The singles matches that he did get happened to be against Kenta Kobashi and Davey Boy Smith. Sadly, not a lot of this footage is available online. Dustin would come back to the States as "The Natural". He put in work for PWF and USWA. This got the attention of Vince McMahon.

1990 is the year that the World Wrestling Federation had first opened their doors to Dustin Rhodes. Unfortunately, they wouldn't have much for Dustin to do. In 1989, yellow polka dotted "The Common Man" Dusty Rhodes had joined the WWF. While Dusty would gain traction. "The Natural" would flounder. Dustin was mostly kept to singles matches with the likes of Buddy Rose, Haku, and The Brooklyn Brawler. Eventually, he was teamed with his dad in a program against Ted DiBiase and Virgil. They even had a match at the 1991 Royal Rumble. But both Dustin and Dusty would leave New York for WCW.

He would return to WCW as a singles competitor that transitioned back into the tag-team division. This time Dustin tagged up with Barry Windham. Windham and Rhodes are two great competitors that just didn't have much personality for the crowds. Although they didn't bring much in the way of personality. They held the tag team belts and feuded with some great teams. They lost the belts to Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas in a really good bout. But the loss signaled the end of Windham & Rhodes. Rhodes didn't want to pin his friend Ricky Steamboat and Windham hated that. That would be when "The Natural" Dustin Rhodes would be itching to express his character a bit further.

Dustin Rhodes Playlist ('88 - '92)

WWE Network/YouTube/Dailymotion Links

"The Natural" comes into his own ('92 - '95)

Dustin had shown his ability to compete as a singles competitor. In 1991-'92, "The Natural" had been competing in one-off matches against the likes of Arn Anderson and Steve Austin. However, he needed something more tangible. He needed a trophy that encapsulated his proven skill. That trophy would come in the form of the WCW United States Championship.

In 1993 Dustin Rhodes would compete in a tournament for that prestigious belt. These matches showed some bits of his familiar methods of assault. You could see Dustin becoming more comfortable. The final of that tournament was the culmination of the feud that had brewed between Rhodes and Ricky Steamboat. It was great. It awarded Rhodes with his first title as a singles competitor.

Dustin feuded with Ricky Steamboat, Barry Windham, Rick Rude and various other competitors throughout 1993. That year was a highlight of Dustin's career. He had some absolutely fantastic matches. He lost the title but regained it in a Best of Three series of matches against Rude. This victory made Rhodes a two time WCW United States Title holder and served as his official debut as a serious wrestler.

"The Natural" Dustin Rhodes had been in the United States Title scene for a good portion of '93. He faced many competitors and actually turned out some great matches. Unfortunately, that's all that WCW would have for him at the time. After losing the US Title to Steve Austin at Starrcade in a Best Two of Three Falls match. Dustin floundered in the midcard.

The summer of '94 saw Dustin Rhodes go into a feud with Bunkhouse Buck and Col. Robert Parker. This wasn't a very hot feud at all. Even with Dustin's father Dusty getting involved. This is a good example of just how far Dustin could go without a gimmick. He was bland. WCW knew that they had to add some bigger names to the feud. Essentially, they threw gasoline on the fire. When they added Arn Anderson, Terry Funk and eventually Barry Darsow under the name The Blacktop Bully.

The last of WCW's absurdity with this version of Dustin Rhodes came to a head with the King of the Road Match against Blacktop Bully. This was just horrible. Dustin was reduced to fighting in these horrendous gimmick matches and it was terrible. During the match, Dustin and Bully had both agreed to blade. Unfortunately, WCW frowns upon that kind of thing and they fired both wrestlers. It's sad that Rhode's barely had a character during this four year run. But "The Natural" was getting stale and he needed a change.

"The Natural" Playlist ('92 - '95)

WWE Network/YouTube/Dailymotion Links

A Flair for the Gold (1995)

In 1995 vignettes would begin playing on the World Wrestling Federation's flagship television program, Monday Night RAW. The promos were for the introduction of a mysterious character named Goldust. This of course is Dustin Runnels in full regalia. He had finally found an outlet.

Grudge Match #2: Sean Waltman vs. Scott Hall (Part 1)

GRUDGE MATCH

Sean Waltman & Scott Hall

 

 

PART 1 - PART 2 - PART 3

ScottHallSeanWaltman8.jpg

Sean Waltman and Scott Hall are two amazing competitors that share an amazing chemistry inside of the ring. Both members of the Kliq, Hall and Waltman are good friends outside of the ring. In fact, Sean Waltman, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash all make appearances together today as the Kliq. This connection outside of the ring definitely added to their work inside the ring.

Sean Waltman has gone through a few name changes. When he started out he went by The Lightning Kid, gaining popularity in the Global Wrestling Federation (GWF) on ESPN during the early nineties. 
 

1991

The Lightning Kid vs. Jerry Lynn - Best Two of Three Falls
GWF Light-Heavyweight Championship - GWF on ESPN

Scott Hall had been the more established performer. His career had been on track since the mid-eighties. By the time that Waltman had broken into the career, Hall was already a steady performer in the NWA. However, it wasn't until Scott Hall's first WCW run as the Diamond Studd that we would see the beginnings of his true character, The Bad Guy, Razor Ramon. 

The Diamond Studd vs. Ron Simmons
WCW Saturday Night

Both competitors had signed with the World Wrestling Federation in 1992 and showed a lot of promise. Scott Hall, now the sleazy Razor Ramon, shot up the ranks really quickly. Unfortunately, Waltman floundered. He was brought in as a tag team wrestler that found a place with the fans. This led to him going through some name changes The Kamikaze Kid, The Lightning Kid, The Cannonball Kid and just The Kid. He wound up jobbing out quite often even though the crowd loved him. It appeared that this would be his limit. Then the Kid met Razor Ramon. 

This match felt different. Almost like a tipping point for the Kid's career. Was he just going to be enhancement talent forever? Was Razor going to destroy him? By the time of this match The Bad Guy has victories over Tito Santana, Bob Backlund and Typhoon. Not to mention the list of jobbers he had already beaten. He even took Bret Hart to the limit at the Royal Rumble that year. 
 

1993

Razor Ramon vs. The Kid
WWF Monday Night RAW

Razor had put the Kid through hell in their first matchup. It looked dire. However, The Kid pulled out a surprise victory following a Moonsault, a big move for '93. This loss would be a spear in the side of Ramon. A soft spot for him for a good while. The match was really good for television. And boosted The Kid's popularity. But this would just be their first meeting. 

ScottHallSeanWaltman7.jpg

The Kid still wasn't a full time wrestler with the World Wrestling Federation and he would still be fulfilling other dates. Following his match with Razor Ramon on Monday Night RAW. The Kid would adopt the Lightning Kid moniker again and compete for New Japan Pro Wrestling during their Top Of The Super Junior IV tour. He would share the ring with greats like The Pegasus Kid (Chris Benoit), Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Dave Finlay, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, El Samurai and Shinjiro Otani. These meetups with such talent obviously had an impact on his in-ring work.
 

It wouldn't be long before Razor would challenge the 1-2-3 Kid to a rematch. Obviously the loss had been weighing on Ramon, causing him a lot of stress. In June of 1993, after a second loss to Bret Hart at King of the Ring, Razor Ramon brings seventy-five thousand dollars to the ring and offers it up to the 1-2-3 Kid. He wants his win. However, the Kid rejects the offer. Then Razor ups it to $10,000 and Waltman ends up accepting on the phone. 

Razor Ramon vs. The 1-2-3 Kid - $10,000 Match
WWF Monday Night RAW

These two would put on another good match that unfortunately ended in a schmohz. The 1-2-3 Kid took the cash and ran causing a double count-out. The Million Dollar Man would start a feud with Razor Ramon the following week by "showing Razor" how to beat the Kid.

The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase vs. The 1-2-3 Kid
WWF Wrestling Challenge 

Razor and Kid were both gaining popularity quickly. Too quickly to keep them feuding with each other. It only made sense to pair these two together signaling the first face turn for Razor. Sean Waltman was over with the World Wrestling Federation crowd and he had his new friend Scott Hall to thank for that. These were the beginnings of the Kliq. 

The 1-2-3 Kid would again start working his way through the enhancement talent. He made his Pay-Per-View debut in a losing effort at WWF Summerslam '93 against Irwin R. Shyster a cronie of the Million Dollar Man. This match was an extension of the DiBiase and Razor Ramon feud that had also played out during that show. The feud essentially justified Razor losing $10,000 to his friend.

Both guys seemed to be coasting for the rest of '93 as they would appear on Wrestling Challenge and Superstars facing more local talent. Razor Ramon would go on to pursue the  Intercontinental Title breaking away from that mid-year feud. However, they would end up teaming again at Survivor Series in a team with Marty Jannetty and Randy Savage

Team Razor vs. Team IRS
WWF Survivor Series '93

Team IRS consisted of Irwin R. Schyster, Rick Martel, Diesel and Adam Bomb. This would be another milestone for the Kliq as Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Razor Ramon and the 1-2-3 Kid were all featured prominently. Then on the following Monday Night RAWs, we would see Razor face Diesel and Shawn Michaels face Kid. They would go their separate ways, each finding a niche and working into it. The 1-2-3 Kid became a tag team wrestler with various partners. 

Razor Ramon was one of those partners. The two teamed up and faced The Quebecers on Monday Night RAW winning the WWF Tag Team Titles. Then losing them to Shawn Michaels and Diesel in a culmination of their work as the Kliq. 

1994

Razor Ramon & The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Shawn Michaels & Diesel
WWF Tag Team Title

WWF Action Zone

Who says that good stuff doesn't happen on the smaller shows. WWF Action Zone, Superstars and Wrestling Challenge all have a huge nostalgia factor and they feature smaller feuds like these. Come on WWE Network! Anyway. Again, Razor and The 1-2-3 Kid would team up for the Survivor Series. The Bad Guys (Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, The British Bulldog, Fatu & Sione) squared off against The Teamsters (Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart and Jeff Jarrett). A team of sleazy badasses facing a team of blue collar workers? Things were kind of going off the rails during this period of the WWF. But good matches were still happening surrounded by all of this bizarreness. 

Hall and Waltman would again go their separate ways. However, it was understood that they were friends. It would be common to see them together. But they wouldn't meet up in the ring again until they paired up with Savio Vega against hillbillies, the Blu Brothers (Jacob, Eli and Zeb). Yes, that Zeb. But things would get murky as Razor would become more and more paranoid. Leading to another series of matches between Razor and The 1-2-3 Kid. 

1995

The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Razor Ramon
WWF Monday Night RAW - August

Razor Ramon vs. The 1-2-3 Kid
WWF Monday Night RAW - September

This series would see them trading victories. Both showcasing some amazing work. Even though they were enemies during this little period, they would again squash it and try their hand at tag team wrestling again. The duo of Razor Ramon & The 1-2-3 Kid would team up throughout the rest of '95. They would again try their luck for the WWF Tag Team Titles against The Smoking Guns. But come up short. After a loss to Owen Hart & Yokozuna things turned sour. The 1-2-3 Kid ended up aligning himself with Ted DiBiase turning his back on his friend.

The 1-2-3 Kid & Sid vs. Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty
WWF In Your House: Season's Beatings

The Kid would end up teaming with the returning Sid while in the Million Dollar Corporation. A team that he thought would have a better chance at winning tag team gold. This leads to his team with Sid facing three other teams during the WWF Raw Bowl Elimination Match for the WWF Tag Team Titles on January 1st 1996. Those teams would be The Smoking Guns, Owen Hart & Yokozuna and Savio Vega & Razor Ramon. 

1996

The 1-2-3 Kid & Sid vs. Razor Ramon & Savio Vega vs. The Smoking Guns vs. Owen Hart & Yokozuna
WWF Raw Bowl Elimination Tag Team Match - WWF Monday Night RAW

While the 1-2-3 Kid wants to become a WWF Tag Team Champion again, he also has an intense hatred for his former friend. This hatred boiled over in early '96 with Kid attacking Razor in his matches. He would attack Razor with various weapons costing him wins against Jeff Jarrett. 

The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Razor Ramon
Cry Baby Match - WWF In Your House: Rage in a Cage

When the WWF Tag Team Titles were on the line in a tournament. The 1-2-3 Kid tagged with fellow Million Dollar Corporation member, Tatanka. They ended up in a match against Savio Vega and Razor Ramon on Monday Night RAW.

The 1-2-3 Kid & Tatanka vs. Razor Ramon & Savio Vega
WWF Monday Night RAW

The 1-2-3 Kid was a shell of who he was when he came in. His work with the Kliq was undeniably his best during this first WWF run. But it was also that same group that strangled the business at the time. Waltman's drug use didn't help. His final match for the WWF in 1996, would be against Savio Vega. A match that is again closely affiliated with Razor Ramon. 

The Kliq would take part in the famous "curtain call" breaking kayfabe and "exposing the business", just before Scott Hall and Kevin Nash (Diesel) would leave for the rival company, World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Waltman wasn't part of that jump because he was in drug rehab during the time. However, he too would leave the WWF for WCW. 

Razor Ramon and the 1-2-3 Kid left the WWF in 1996 for more money in WCW. Razor adopted his name Scott Hall while Kid adopted a new name, Syxx. Syxx joined the nWo with Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Ted DiBiase, Vincent and Hulk Hogan. Being light-weight, he was their entry into the Cruiserweight division. He feuded with Chris Jericho and even competed in the World War III match with friend Scott Hall. 

World War III - Three Ring 60 Man Battle Royal
WCW World War III

1997 would have Scott Hall dealing with various nWo shenanigans and antics. He would be a WCW Tag Team Champion with Kevin Nash as The Outsiders. One of the greatest tag teams of all time. They are definitely worthy of an article on their own. Syxx would be sharpening his skills against the cruiserweights like Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio Jr, Juventud Guerrera and Jericho. He even picked up the WCW Cruiserweight Title. 

 

These two would continue to meet up in the future. This is as far as I can get today. I hope you enjoyed it. 

 

To Be Continued... 

 

Bonus Videos: 

 

The tag team PG-13 (JC Ice & Wolfie D) cut a promo against The 1-2-3 Kid and would actually face him as things got heated. This all took place during a "WWF Invasion" angle of the USWA promotion. 

1993

PG-13 Promo against The 1-2-3 Kid

Dean Peters

Squared Circle Showcase

Dean Peters

90-bk1.jpg

Welcome

Professional Wrestling is fun. It's not just mindless athletes that act out a fight. Its thousands of characters with different motivations, styles, attitudes and gimmicks that are all competing with a common goal. To find a connection with the fans.


In 1990, my love for pro wrestling began. My father had taken me to the Arco Arena to watch the WWF. They had been coming to town around my birthday and he was a big fan of The British Bulldog. I remember a few things like The Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage, Mr. Perfect getting slapped in the face by the referee, The Rockers facing Power & Glory and a high-flying feline fighter called Battle-Kat!

The Beginning (The 80's)

Before donning the mask and finding his gimmick. Dean Peters had been working in the Mid-Atlantic and Portland region as Brady Boone, the "cousin" of Billy Jack Haynes. He would compete with wrestlers like Tully Blanchard, Ricky Santana and Tom Zenk. Here he had seen moderate tag team success. Albeit short lived as Boone would go onto compete in All Japan Pro Wrestling for the 1987 Power Series.

He would join the World Wrestling Federation during this time as enhancement talent and put guys over like One Man Gang, Sika, Jose Estrada and even Randy Savage. He did this for several years. Crowds noticed his quick feet and high-flying style. These feats would earn him a few nice victories. His first win on WWF television would be on WWF on NESN in November of 1987 against Jose Estrada. The WWF had kept their eyes on Boone. They had seen something special. In 1990 the WWF repackaged Boone. Now donning a black purple cat mask and neon suit Battle-Kat was here and ready for action.

brady-boone-in-the-eighties.jpg

Brady Boone in the eighties

WWE Network Links

Battle Kat (1990)

Brady Boone's Battle Kat's first and only televised victory would be broadcast on WWF Wrestling Challenge on September 19th 1990. He would face off against Bob Bradley. Bradley had been working in the company as enhancement talent. The two would work house shows together.

Blurb from WWF Magazine about Brady Boone's Battle Kat

 

Even though this would be Brady Boone's last televised victory in this gimmick. The Kat would go on. Brady Boone was fired from the company during the first quarter of October in 1990 for undisclosed reasons. His gimmick and moniker were passed onto his opponent Bob Bradley.

Pound for pound, Battle Kat (Boone) is one of the greatest athletes that I've seen thus far in the WWF.
Tito Santana (WWF Magazine - 1990)

Brady Boone was a talented performer that had been stuck with a go nowhere gimmick. It's a shame that Boone in the Battle-Kat character was so short lived. You can't even find anything about the character on the WWE Network.

Bob Bradley's next match as Battle-Kat would be against Paul Diamond. It was horrible. Bradley may have known a few quick moves. But his execution was horrible. He was slow. Bumbling. He appeared to mock the character. Unfortunate.

The Battle-Kat gimmick was losing steam after Bradley took the reigns. They tried to save it by teaming Kat up with the Birdman, Koko B Ware. The duo took on The Orient Express, and it was another blunder. During this time Battle Kat had adopted a dancing gimmick. It went well with Koko.

In November of 1990 Battle Kat would go against Boris Zukoff. This would be the end of our friend Battle Kat. Kat wouldn't fair too well against a brute like this but he got the win. It's a shame that Brady Boone didn't get to continue as Battle Kat. It would have been much more than just back flips.

The Legacy

Battle Kat may have been dead in the WWF. Brady Boone wanted to keep it alive on the road. So, Boone competed as The Firecat in the UWF and AJPW. He would team with different partners like Jim Cooper, Robert Gibson, Johnny Ace and even Dory Funk Jr.

World Championship Wrestling would call in 1993. Brady Boone was quick to answer. In WCW he could have more matches that played to his strengths, much like his late eighties WWF run. He was right. He could focus on more impressive moves and matches.

His first matchup was against WCW International World Heavyweight Champion Rick Rude. From there Boone would continue on as enhancement talent. He would put some of the bigger guys over and work in tag team matches. He even worked a match against Terra Ryzing known better now as Triple H.

Again Brady Boone would bring back a gimmick that called back to Battle Kat. In march of 1994, Fire Cat would challenge Steve Austin to a match for the WCW United States Title. This was a high point in Boone's career.

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Dean Peters would perish in an automobile accident in 1998. His character of Battle Kat may be weird. But that man made wrestling exciting. He is the wrestler that a company like the WWE is lacking today. He was also a good person. Dean would mentor and inspire fellow high-flier Rob Van Dam. Van Dam had written a eulogy for Peters. That can be read on Tom Zenk's website

Battle Kat was fun. While Bob Bradley didn't do the neon spandex any favors. He at least continued in the vein of having a good time. People liked tuning in to look this crazy dude, dressing like a cat and running around doing flippy shit. Even if it was slow flippy shit.

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