WWE Vintage Collection Report: 4th October 2009
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund

Welcome aboard to several weeks of Halloween themed matches, moments and personalities in the run up to pumpkin day at the end of October. This week’s theme is all about Warriors who have donned a painted face. Let’s begin.

The show opens on the June 6th 1992 edition of Superstars of Wrestling. Okerlund is interviewing Papa Shango on the stage. Shango has just placed a curse onto the Ultimate Warrior. We see Warrior collapse from the ring apron with abdominal pains after he’s disposed of an opponent. Fast forward to a Warrior interview. After declaring himself free of the curse, a black gooey liquid trickles down his face. Shango asks the Warrior how it feels to not be in control, before welcoming him to his black circle. Okerlund is relieved when the interview is over, but Shango creates a puff of smoke around Okerlund, whose hand starts to spasm and produce the same black goo as Shango laughs.

Back in the studio, Okerlund reveals the gooey side effects cleared up after a few weeks. He then jokes that it made a delicious low calorie sweetener for his coffee.

Superstars of Wrestling: May 19th 1992
Papa Shango vs Ultimate Warrior
This match also features on the 1992 VHS release “The return of the Ultimate Warrior.” Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes are announcing on the ominous date that no doubt still sends Kane freaky. I digress. Warrior runs down to clothesline Shango to the floor. Shango pulls Warrior out, but Warrior quickly turns the tables. Back inside, Warrior delivers a tackle, some clotheslines and a slam. Shango gets his knees up to prevent the big splash. The future Godfather isn’t beaten that easily. Shango takes Warrior down with a flying clothesline then works him over in the corner. Shango applies a lengthy nerve hold, delivers a slam and misses an elbow from the second rope. Warrior re-energises himself by shaking the ropes, before delivering three clotheslines, a flying tackle and the patented splash off the ropes. 1-2-3. Goodnight Papa Shango, whose push soon evaporated into a puff of smoke. Winner: ULTIMATE WARRIOR. Surprisingly, there’s no post match Shango ambush as he instead opts to return to the back.

Starrcade: December 13th 1989
Sting vs The Great Muta w/Gary Hart
Sting, Muta, Ric Flair and Lex Luger were all involved in a one night Ironman tournament. Sting lost his opening match to Luger, while Muta was defeated by Flair. Sting was looking for revenge against Muta, after recently losing the TV title to him. Gary Hart had no ties to the Hart family either. Jim Ross and Terry Funk are on commentary. Muta sprays green mist into the air, then swings a leg. Sting reverses a full nelson, so Muta mule kicks him into the corner. Funk puts over Muta’s offense by wishing he could do some of his kicks and flips. Muta grounds Sting with a side headlock. Sting comes back with a monkey flip, clothesline and snap suplex. Muta fights to the ropes to prevent the Scorpion Deathlock being applied. Muta goes outside to have Hart massage his chest. Back from commercials, Muta goes to the eyes to gain the advantage, before launching Sting into a backbodydrop. Funk boldly predicts great things from both combatants and the NWA during the 90s. Well he was right with the former, and it’s disputable regarding the latter. Muta utilises a chickenwing plex submission. Sting manages to flip himself free, before sending Muta into a press slam. Sting follows up with a bodyslam and chinlock, but Muta takes Sting to the corner and sends him out onto the apron following a couple of battering rams. Muta uses several chokes and a backbreaker to regain control. Sting avoids a top rope moonsault, but Muta lands on his feet and plants Sting with a spinning karate kick. The moonsault had cost Muta the match against Flair. Muta hasn’t learnt from his mistake, as he continues to go to the well one too many times. Sting takes advantage to crotch Muta on the top rope with a dropkick before a superplex is enough to give the Stinger victory. This was a good spectacle. Sting ended up winning the tournament, beating Flair in the final matchup. Winner: STING.

The hotly anticipated matchup between Demolition and Legion of Doom is next. Pity it was a year or two too late. Demolition Ax had been “placed on probation” (in truth he had been released) and replaced by newcomer Crush. The Demos were also slowly being phased out. Pre-match comments air from both teams the week before their showdown. Legion of Doom are first. Animal calls Demolition liars and cheaters who will pay the price, while Hawk adds they have swelling of the brain, haematomas and contusions to look forward to. Meanwhile, Demolition happily admit to being tortured by Master Fuji. Crush says they walk 20 miles uphill, pulling a tractor trailer, with Fuji on a golf cart zapping them with a cattle prod. How nice! Smash says they start out hating it but they do it because they want to cripple everybody and the only way you can win is to hurt people. I don’t think the match will live up to the hype, but let’s see shall we.

Wrestling Challenge: February 10th 1991
Demolition w/Mr Fuji vs Legion of Doom
Okerlund notes the Demos record holding 16 month reign as Tag champions. A record which still stands today, although Big Show and Chris Jericho look like running it close based on current form. Legion of Doom had won the AWA and NWA tag titles before coming to the WWF in July 1990. Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are at the booth, discussing Willie Nelson just being added to the forthcoming WrestleMania VII show. Heenan talks about LOD’s shoulder spikes, resolving that they don’t sleep on a water bed. Hawk thwarts an early Demolition double team. Smash pulls down the top rope to send Hawk to the floor. Fuji blasts Hawk with his cane. Crush pulls Hawk into the ring for a backbreaker and legdrop. Heenan quips he hasn’t seen one wrestling move yet and doesn’t think he will. Smash chokes Hawk in the corner while calling him a stinking punk. Smash delivers some double axehandle sledges to the chest. Classic Demolition offense there. Crush and Hawk clothesline each other and tag out. Animal rolls back from a back suplex attempt to deliver a double clothesline. Hawk deposits Crush over the top rope. Smash is set up for the doomsday device, but Fuji trips Hawk on the top rope. LOD go after Fuji, but Demolition come to his rescue. LOD send Demolition packing with corner clotheslines then get their arms raised. This was a far cry from the dream matchup that fans had been clamouring for a year earlier. Winners by DQ: LEGION OF DOOM.

Okerlund narrates a short piece on Doink the Clown who initially debuted as a heel in late 1992/early 1993.

Wrestling Challenge: January 31st 1993
Doink The Clown vs Bob East
This is Doink’s in-ring debut. He had just whacked Crush with a prosthetic arm on an episode of Superstars to take the massive Hawaiian out of the Royal Rumble match. Monsoon and Heenan have the call of the action once more. Heenan puts Doink over as a threat and accomplished wrestler as he starts with a fireman carry into a half crab, followed by an enziguiri kick. In pre-recorded comments, Doink mocks Crush by saying the bigger they are, the dumber they are. Crush fell for the oldest one in the book, the old arm in the sling. He found out just like every other wrestler’s going to find out. Doink’s armed and dangerous. Doink did a great job in his promo of mixing humour with seriousness to keep him heel. Heenan comments on Doink’s familiarity as he pins East with a crucifix/half crab combo otherwise known as the stump puller. Doink keeps pulling at East’s leg after the bell. Doink laughs before staring menacingly into the camera. Winner: DOINK THE CLOWN. This was a nice reminder of Matt Borne’s talents of portraying a creepy clown. With lots of crappy gimmicks born in 1993, this was one of the better ones, until Borne was replaced and Doink turned face, then it was nauseating.

Before our Main Event match pitting Shawn Michaels against Goldust, we see a promo from the bizarre one standing across from the Hollywood sign. Decked in gold, while whispering and continually rubbing his upper torso and blonde wig, he says he bathes and revels in stardom. In time HBK will witness the presence of a real star. There will soon be a permanent vacancy in the heartbreak hotel. Hasta La Vista baby. Back in the day, Goldust always used to finish his promos with prominent lines from films.

Raw Championship Friday: September 6th 1996
WWF Title: Shawn Michaels w/Jose Lothario vs Goldust w/Marlena
Jim Ross and Kevin Kelly are commentating. Michaels is being portrayed as a fighting champion and being at less than 100%, after beating Vader at SummerSlam, then the 700lb Yokozuna 24 hours later. Mankind was also waiting in the wings for Michaels. Goldust blows a kiss from the apron. Michaels slides underneath to the floor, dropping Goldust onto the ring apron. Michaels takes an aggressive approach, but Goldust catches him coming off the top rope with a gut punch. Michaels mounts in the corner to punch, before backflipping off of him and onto the canvas. Michaels meets Goldust with a hiptoss, but puts his head down too early, allowing Goldust to punish him with a sit down shot to the face, hard clothesline and hotshot across the top rope. A hard Irish whip sends Michaels up and over to the floor. Michaels is dropped throat first across the guardrail. Marlena blows cigar smoke into his face. Goldust suplexes Michaels back in from the apron. Goldust holds the advantage with a chinlock and slam, as Mankind is shown walking around backstage calling out that he has “a surprise for the sexy boy.” Both Michaels and Goldust clothesline each other. Michaels launches into his comeback of a flying forearm, nip up and slam. Goldust rolls through from a top rope cross body. 1-2-no. Michaels delivers a top rope elbow, tunes up the band, but gets distracted by Marlena. Goldust sends Michaels front first into the corner. Michaels counters a curtain call with a top rope moonsault for the 1-2-3. Winner: SHAWN MICHAELS. Shades of how HBK beat Vader at SummerSlam. This was a good match. Mankind comes running out after the bell, but Michaels ducks under him and Goldust before getting out of the ring. Paul Bearer joins Mankind and Goldust in the ring holding the Undertaker’s urn with a smile on his face. This set up Michaels vs Mankind for their upcoming match at the In Your House: Mind Games PPV.

Okerlund promises to continue our journey towards Halloween next week with a look back at some of sports entertainment’s greatest superheroes.

If anyone would like to contribute a “Vintage” banner to accompany this column at the top of the page, then do get in touch. Full name credit will be given. Shaun.

Comments/praise/feedback/criticism/discussion points please direct to shaunmb1@hotmail.com.

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