Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier The PEN15 Mightier (July 10) Best of WWF vol1 - How you can participate, and How it relates to WWE today
Jul 10, 2012 - 2:52:05 PM
Best of WWF/WWE
I am insanely anal. It might not show in how little I proofread my own columns, as that’s a task I barely concern myself with. When I spend a couple of hours writing a piece, the last thing I want to do is read it again right away. Whenever I do that, I skim too much, and skip most errors. To rectify this, I write a piece, and then let it sit for a while. This way when I do read it over before posting, it’s a tad fresher. The problem with this method is that it makes it difficult to stay up to date. I got lucky a couple of weeks ago when I was writing a piece while at work during Raw about the possible winners of Money in the Bank. As I used the main page and forums to discover the Raw results, I read of the special stipulation for the WWE title contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match. I had World/WWE title contenders in the column, but instead of including Ziggler, Kingston and Clay, I was able to cut it down to just the 4 men involved in this match, and then post it just as Raw ended. It was a rare occurrence when I was able to postulate my thoughts on a topic immediately.
The reason for this long summary is to explain my writing interests. When I have time to write something for LOP main page, it’s often difficult to remain the best main page columnist when the current world of wrestling is producing sub-par events. I love dissecting current wrestling events, but I don’t find anything worth typing in lieu of Angelina Love’s release, or Reby Sky vs Sunny. Well, not enough to flesh out an entire column. If more of these stories occurred on a regular basis, I might be able to discuss 3-5 of them in a single column. But I’m not taking up main page space for just a paragraph on why I couldn’t give 2 shits about Cena’s sex addiction according to Ken Doane.
Therefore, I tend to reach back into the past to discuss wrestling. I loved writing the piece on WrestleMania IV, and how powerful that event was to me growing up as a young wrestling fan. It reminded me of how early on I appreciated the midcard over the main event, or the #2 star over the top draw. But it also made me realize that wrestling isn’t just a series of awesome matches, and that even an average contest between 2 foes can create an awesome memory. This can’t be proven any better than by Hogan vs Andre, which may be the most boring WrestleMania main event of all time. But it’s still the most impressive because of what the moment means to so many people.
With that in mind, my organized mind kicked into anal overdrive (have fun with that one) and started compiling a collection of my favorite WWE and WWF moments and matches. I’ve seen every live PPV event in history, but I’m still catching up on old Saturday Night’s Main Events, The Main Events, and even Coliseum Video collections such as “Best of WWF vol 1-20”. And slowly, I’m going to review these moments whenever I feel the current world of wrestling is slacking off, and I need to use my insane collection of DVDs/VHS/AVI/MPG wrestling to remind myself why I still watch. Because no matter how poor a Raw or PPV may be, it’s never too long until there’s something to be excited about.
And, this will be fan participation. I invite anyone to send me their personal favorite moments, and if you’re up for it, include your own reviews. I won’t promise everyone will get their piece included, but I think an ensemble of favorite WWF/WWE wrestling will make for an entertaining read.
Last thing before I get started: I am only interested in Titan Sports/Vince McMahon/WWE/WWF wrestling at this point. The reason for this is I have just finished collecting all NWA and WCW at this time, and am going to slowly peruse the PPVs and Clash of the Champion events. I grew up not knowing of WCW until 1996. I knew more of AWA than NWA due to repeats of SuperClash III on TSN in Canada between Monster Truck pulls. I don’t remember much about it, but it was wrestling, I was 7, so I watched. I invite any WCW/NWA fan to respond with their own collection of matches and moments, but not for a column writing reasons. At least not yet. No, this will be to help me discover more about the brands of wrestling I’m still slowly educating myself on. Eventually I’ll find time to watch everything I can, but between UFC, Raw, Smackdown, NXT, and TNA looking to be interesting enough to tune in this Thursday, it might take a while.
SummerSlam 1988 – Rougeaus vs Bulldogs
In no way is this the best match either of these teams ever had. But, it’s most likely the best match they’ve had on PPV. I chose this one not because of fandom for either team (though I find the Bulldogs a tad overrated and the Rougeaus underrated) but as an indicator of what tag wrestling can bring to the WWE today. Let’s start with some data,:
Don’t read every word on this wiki page, merely look at the match time lengths, as well as the amount of tag wrestling on these cards. On a regular basis, the tag matches received the most time on TV because of the amount of action that can be delivered. It’s also because they were usually the most competitive matches. Hulk Hogan vs Magnificent Muraco for the WWF Title? I think I can predict the winner of that one. Whereas on the same card we had the Dream Team (Valantine/Beefcake) vs Bulldogs for the WWF Tag Team Titles, which I think would have been much more likely to involve a title changing hands.
Tag team wrestling is a lost art in the modern age of WWE. It’s a shame too, because it’s not like the last single stars to breakout from a team were from the 80s and 90s. While Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels are the best examples, it’s easy to forget how well Edge, Christian and Jeff Hardy main evented WWE PPVs in the last 5 years with the top gold in the company. It’s shocking to see that style of wrestling lost for the most part, as we’ve seen time and time again that tag matches deliver with routine success.
This SummerSlam 88 opener is no exception. It was a great clash of styles for 20 minutes. They wrestled to a time limit draw that got the crowd hot for a rather decent event overall. While the main event tag match might be the more memorable one, it wasn’t the most entertaining. Same goes for the 1989 version of the event. Hot opening tag matches were a staple of the Summer Extravaganza until 1993. Without tables or hardcore gimmicks, the late 80s were the true golden era of tag team wrestling in WWF.
There’s no specifics about this match to highlight, but it’s a great example of what a simple tag match can do to shape an entire evening of wrestling on the right foot.
As it relates to today’s wrestling, last year’s Slam started with a tremendous 6 man tag match which hyped up the Los Angeles audience from the start. There’s no reason why this shouldn’t occur more often, even on Raw or Smackdown. If the issue is making people care about the Prime time Playas, than make it a 6 or 8 man tag with someone hot on their side.
Wait! They did that on Raw just last week? Wow, good to know that creative was doing a good job. I know the reaction wasn’t very loud, but it won’t be an overnight success story. By incorporating people who already grab your attention to assist those who need it, eventually the Playas will start getting a reaction.
The Rougeaus were great heels while using an entertaining acrobatic in-ring style. There’s no doubt that this method of villainous activity would work well for a team today. The Colons just turned face it seems, but they are tailor-made for this type of cheap heel antics. It would be great to see them tag in and out, showcasing their inventive flips to enter and exit the ring to the boos of the crowd, while praising themselves, with Rosa assisting the whole way. Would it get them over? Fuck no, but it wouldn’t hurt, and would at least add some personality to their rather bland presentation.
And on that note, peace out.
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