WWE Vintage Collection Report: 21st December 2008
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome aboard. Happy Holidays everyone. This week we go way back to August 28th 1986, and a show which was called the ‘Big Event’. Held at the outdoor CNE stadium in Toronto, Canada and housing 74,000, the event was big in more ways than one. I’d like to see WWE sell out a show that big now. Four matches from the show are on hand. The commentators are Gorilla Monsoon, Ernie Ladd and Luscious Johnny V. Let’s begin.
The Magnificent Muraco w/Mr Fuji vs Haku
Haku had just been renamed. However, the commentators kept calling him Tonga quite a bit early on. They mustn’t have got the memo. Haku was a face at this point in time. Two years later, the roles would be reversed. Muraco stalls at the start, cowering to the corners and refusing to lockup. Haku starts off hot, with two hiptosses and a slam. Muraco takes a break outside to regroup. Back inside, Haku doesn’t buy a handshake, as both exchange shots. A standing dropkick sends Muraco over the top rope. Haku grounds Muraco with an armwringer then a wristlock. Muraco sends Haku off the ropes into a clothesline. Muraco slams, but misses a series of elbows. Haku armdrags Muraco twice, then goes back to the wristlock. Back from a commercial, Muraco now has the advantage, applying a lengthy nerve hold. Haku chops free and dropkicks Muraco into the corner. Haku Irish whips, but Muraco sidesteps a charge. Muraco lands some kicks, steps out and rams Haku’s leg into the ringpost twice. Muraco focuses his attack on Haku’s leg with several twists and shots. After a falling headbutt to the groin, Muraco ties Haku up in a figure four. Haku makes it to the bottom rope. Monsoon calls Muraco out for not fully committing to the move. Muraco takes his time heading up top, allowing Haku to throw him to the mat. Following some chops, Haku hits a cross body from the top rope. Before the referee can finish counting, the bell goes. The time limit has expired. Here is Your Winner: DRAW. We saw ten minutes from a likely fifteen/twenty minute match, which was a tad colourless, but passable. Haku was rather bland at this point, but did catch on, as he had just formed the Islanders Tag Team with Tama.
“Adorable” Adrian Adonis w/Jimmy Hart vs The Junkyard Dog
Speaking of colour and flamboyance, the late Adrian Adonis possessed both of these characteristics. In addition, Dog, also unfortunately deceased, had a cult following. Here, Adonis looked a cross between Dusty Rhodes and Rico. Adonis sported makeup along with bright, different coloured socks pulled right up to the knees. Jimmy Hart, sporting a beard also interfered freely, which largely went unpunished by the referee. Joined in progress, Dog is in control as he whips Adonis. Channelling Ric Flair, Adonis takes a clumsy upside down bump out of the corner to the floor. Dog pounds Adonis on the apron before manhandling the referee, shoving him out of the way. Hart gets on the apron and sprays Dog in the eyes from Adonis’ stick. Surprisingly, this isn’t the finish and the match goes on. Adonis clotheslines Dog, before dropping several phoney looking kneedrops to the head for a nearfall. Dog gets thrown outside, then no-sells Hart’s weapon shots. Hart leaps onto Dog’s back, while Dog gently pulls at the ropes, resulting in Adonis getting crotched up top. This was botched as Dog didn’t touch the ropes enough to warrant Adonis slipping. The two briefly go at it on the floor. Inside, Hart gets on the apron, so Dog throws Adonis into him. Adonis crashes on top of Hart on the floor and the referee calls for the bell. We have a countout victory, despite no new count starting. What a clusterfuck of a match. Only good thing was Jimmy Hart’s antics. Here is Your Winner via Countout: THE JUNKYARD DOG.
“King” Harley Race vs Pedro Morales
Okerlund calls both men, two of the most respected athletes in the business, in his pre-match notes. The commentators reference Morales winning every WWF title. He was the first man to complete the grand slam. Monsoon calls Race the self-proclaimed ‘Handsome One’ and ‘King of Wrestling’. Race attacks Morales before Morales has a chance to remove his ring jacket. Morales gets thrown into the ringsteps then the ringpost. Morales counters a piledriver on the floor with a backbodydrop. Morales uses his experience to bring the fight in the ring, punishing Race with an Irish whip and backbodydrop. Following a brief standoff, the two exchange shots to the gut. Morales’ punches make Race go outside to recover. Race grabs a leg to pull Morales to the apron. Race delivers elbows to the throat, then shoves Morales face first onto the ring bell on the floor. Race hits a falling headbutt to the face, then drives Morales into the ringpost again. Morales gets back into the ring by himself. Race is waiting but Morales reverses a suplex. Morales catches Race in a small package for two. Race blocks and reverses an Irish whip. Race charges, but gets caught in a sunset flip for another nearfall. Morales blocks and counters Race’s punches. Morales pulls the referee away when he intercepts. Race uses this split second to drop down, scoop Morales’ legs and roll him up, with his feet on the ropes for the 1-2-3. Good veteran match and story to boot. Race wanted to brawl on the outside, while Morales wanted to wrestle inside. Here is Your Winner: “KING” HARLEY RACE. Post match sees Morales’ protests at Race’s cheating fall on deaf ears.
Hulk Hogan vs “Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Main Event. Before the bout, Okerlund gives us the backstory. Orndorff, once a Hogan ally, turned on him and enlisted Heenan’s help in his bid to become champion. Now, Hogan was out for revenge. Simple enough. This was dubbed as Orndorff’s highest profile match. Hogan gets the referee to check Orndorff. Orndorff checks out clean, but blindsides Hogan with a clothesline, as he gets checked. Orndorff puts the boots to Hogan, before both men have a punch brawl on the mat. The crowd are psyched. The referee has to pull Hogan’s hair to yank him off Orndorff. Hogan wins a second punchup. A fired-up Orndorff even shoves Heenan away when he approaches him on the outside. Hogan backelbows Orndorff out of the ring. Hogan gets pulled out, but ends up reversing a head ram into the ring apron. Back inside, Orndorff eats a clothesline. Hogan drops an elbow. Hogan delivers an Irish whip and corner clothesline, before playing to the crowd. Orndorff hits a gut shot. As Hogan ducks his head outside, Heenan slaps him. Instead of going out to chase, Hogan goes hard-faced and wags his finger at Heenan. Hogan thwarts an Orndorff sneak attack with an atomic drop. Now Hogan gives chase to Heenan, who suckers Hogan into Orndorff. Orndorff grounds Hogan, driving several knees into his back. Hogan messes up taking a clothesline out of the ring, turning it into a forearm shot at the last second. Hogan takes a quick look around in disgust at people in the crowd throwing things by him. Orndorff suplexes Hogan on the floor, mocks Hogan’s cupping to the ear, then keeps him on the outside with a running knee to the head. Orndorff drives a flurry of elbows into Hogan’s throat with Hogan draped on the apron. Orndorff tells the cameraman that he’s the World Champion. The crowd chant for Hogan. Orndorff chokes Hogan in the top rope, as he stands on the apron. Hogan rolls back in as Orndorff drops another knee across the back for a nearfall. Orndorff slams and drives an elbow into Hogan’s throat. After choking Hogan on the mat, Orndorff lands a blow to the throat from the top rope. Orndorff signals for his piledriver which many in the front row pop for. Hogan counters with a backbodydrop. In desperation, Orndorff resorts to more choking and biting. Orndorff quickly counters a side headlock with a back suplex. Orndorff covers, 1-2-no Hogan gets his foot under the rope. Orndorff thinks he’s won. Hogan hulks up out of nowhere in the corner. A running kneelift sends Orndorff into the referee, who gets wiped out. Hogan gets cocky, raises Orndorff’s hand, then clotheslines him. Hogan goes to beat Orndorff with his own piledriver, but in mid-move Heenan smacks Hogan in the back with something. It’s hard to see as the weapon shot is frozen out on TV. Orndorff covers, the referee takes an age to recover, before tapping Orndorff on the shoulder three times. Orndorff thinks he’s won as Heenan straps the belt around him. However, Hogan gets awarded the bout via DQ because of Orndorff taking out the referee. Orndorff throws a fit. He has a point as Hogan caused it. Here is Your Winner via DQ: HULK HOGAN. Hogan thwarts two post match attacks then lays the belt in the ring, daring Orndorff to attack. Orndorff heads to the back, and Hogan works the crowd, sending them away happy. Enjoyable match. Great intensity shown by Orndorff. Orndorff’s animosity towards Hogan came across really well. A bit too well at times. Throughout the show objects were thrown in the ring by the crowd. Someone threw a stuffed animal into the ring towards the end of the Main Event. I think it was a penguin LOL.
Okerlund wraps things up to end the show.
Best match: Harley Race vs Pedro Morales.
Worst match: Adrian Adonis vs The Junkyard Dog.
The first half of the show ranged from the passable to the atrocious. However, things really picked up with the final two matches showcasing some good, solid action. This show gets a thumbs in the middle from me. Once again, it’s a shame about the lack of clean finishes being shown. Other notable matches from the card saw Ricky Steamboat pin Jake Roberts in a Snake Pit match, The Killer Bees defeated Jimmy Jack and Dory Funk and the Rougeaus beat the Dream Team. Merry Christmas to one and all. I hope everyone has a great festive period. See you next week. Shaun.
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