wrestling / Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee: WWF Spectrum Wrestling (1.14.89)

January 21, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Ted DiBiase WWE Champion
4.4
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The Name on the Marquee: WWF Spectrum Wrestling (1.14.89)  

-It’s Rumble Eve, 1989.

-Your hosts are Dick Graham and…oh, god, he’s alone out there?

-Your ring announcer is Joel Goodheart.

TIM HORNER vs. JOSE ESTRADA

-I like how they did something at the Survivor Series that actually made the Conquistadors kind of interesting, and then immediately have Estrada go out there as himself again in singles matches.

-Crowd literally chants “Boring” the very moment the bell rings. Estrada gets a waistlock takedown, and they have a standoff as he has trouble following up on it. Horner tries a top wristlock and Estrada breaks it with a handful of hair. Horner comes back with flying headscissors. Sweet spot follows as Estrada does a headstand to try to get out of the scissors on the mat, but Horner just lifts his legs and releases to drop Estrada on his head. Mini-piledriver.

-So Horner has found a hold that works and he stays with the headscissors over and over again until Estrada finally outsmarts him by realizing “I bet this guy’s about to do the headscissors again” and deadweights to cause Horner to crash. Chinlock by Estrada. Horner elbows free and they have a miscommunication on a clothesline before Horner elbows him down for two. And then they just bungle the fuck out of the finish as Horner goes for a pin but doesn’t have a good grip on Estrada. Estrada realizes it and obviously kicks out at two, but the referee gives it three anyway. 0 for 1.

BUSHWHACKERS vs. BOLSHEVIKS

-Dick Graham refers to the Bushwhackers as “Miller and Williams” in a surprising moment. They charge into the ring and clear the Russians out of there, which is a funny about-face from the Bushwhackers being pushed as the foreign menaces just two months ago in the NWA.

-Referee has a hell of a time getting it down to just two men in the ring while the Bolsheviks collide on attempted offense. Volkoff takes control with a bearhug, but as in Boston, Luke is smart enough to figure out there are a hundred counters and keeps breaking it. This is something I don’t understand. It’s easy to wrap your head around guys just working the same matches with the same spots over and over for regular house shows. But for these televised house shows, they’d occasionally air them nationally or release them on video. Why not mix stuff up?

-Bolsheviks double-team Luke and switch off without tagging a few times. Luke gets elbowed to the floor and Butch gets attacked for trying to intervene. Bolsheviks choke out Butch in their corner. We get what I think is supposed to be the hot tag, but I swear it’s like Philadelphia didn’t even notice it’s a different guy in there now. Bolsheviks attempt a double-team, but Nikolai gets clotheslined out to the floor, and Boris walks into the battering ram and the double gutbuster to finish. 1 for 2. Like the Boston match, the energy was good and I can’t nitpick at it so much.

BLUE BLAZER vs. AKEEM

-A Philly fan holds up a sign reading: “Blue Blazer: Outstanding Wrestler Excellent Natural,” with the initials spelling out “OWEN,” and at the bottom of the sign, he’s drawn a heart. And Dick doesn’t get what the fan has done so he reads the whole sign from top to bottom.

-Blazer ducks and moves a bit while the fans unleash a torrent of “Akeem sucks” chants on Akeem. Right hands by Blazer. Akeem demands a test of strength while a “One Man Gang” chant goes up. Sorry guys, the fan who figured out who Blazer used to be already won.

-Blazer just allows himself to be overpowered in the test of strength, countering it by bridging and tumbling to reverse the pressure. Bodypress attempted by Blazer, but Akeem catches him and makes it a backbreaker. Avalanche misses. Owen throws the worst dropkick of his career and heads to the top rope for a missile dropkick to salvage it. Bodypress misses and Akeem splashes to finish. 1 for 3. This was even more plodding than the Boston match. I think the honeymoon is over for Owen and the WWF, because he looked really unmotivated out there.

-Harvey from “Double Dare” shows up in a promo during Prism’s local break.

HERCULES vs. “Million Dollar Man” TED DIBIASE (with Virgil)

-So in my headcanon, DiBiase has properly scouted Hercules during the match in Boston, therefore he’ll go ahead and wrestle this one. Joel Goodheart says Hercules is from “Parts Unknown,” and I’ve been to Florida and completely understand that.

-Hercules knocks DiBiase and Virgil out to the floor. Hercules gets suckered into chasing Virgil and eats a clothesline, and DiBiase takes control with right hands and chops…although the chops also use the right hand, so really, DiBiase just takes over with right hands.

-Clothesline and an elbow by DiBiase get a two-count. Herc reverses a turnbuckle shot but DiBiase goes to the eyes and suplexes him. DiBiase gets cocky and just slaps Hercules around in slave-like fashion, but DiBiase makes the fatal strategic error of going for the Backward Falling Elbow That Always Misses, and it misses.

-Herc clotheslines DiBiase all over Philly and powerslams him. He slaps DiBiase around in a bit of sweet revenge and locks on the full nelson. Virgil grabs the leg from the outside to break the hold, so Herc tries a torture rack instead. DiBiase taps out, but unfortunately for Herc it’s 1989 so that doesn’t matter, and Virgil runs in and attacks Herc with his own chain for the DQ. It’s a 2-on-1 battle, but Hercules makes his own save and clears the ring. 2 for 4. Both guys were on their game tonight.

FLAG MATCH: HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN vs. DINO BRAVO (with Frenchy Martin)

-Hacksaw suckers Dino into sneaking up on him and then clotheslines him down. Front facelock by the scientific Hacksaw. Dino fights out, but misses a corner charge and ends up in a hammerlock. Man, this is a different side of Hacksaw.

-Frenchy suckers Hacksaw into chasing him around the ring because Frenchy and Virgil are buddies and Virgil told him that would work. And indeed Dino clotheslines Hacksaw down and applies a chinlock. Hacksaw elbows out.

-Dino fights back with choking and Frenchy takes a free shot with the Quebec flag pole. Back to the chinlock. Duggan fights out, but Dino beat him down and having failed to learn their lesson about attempted flag-related cheating in Boston, Frenchy again accidentally knocks out his own man and gives Duggan the win. It was just there. 2 for 5.

TAG TEAM TITLE: DEMOLITION (Champions) vs. POWERS OF PAIN (with Mr. Fuji)
-Weird audio quirk in the Spectrum tonight: Demolition are the first babyfaces to get their entrance music played tonight.

-Pier sixer to start. Weirdness to it as Demolition clears the ring and that leaves Fuji alone in the ring with them. Fuji just looks at them, but then Demolition doesn’t do anything.

-Demolition cuts the ring in half and works Barbarian over with axing and smashing. Smash applies a neck vice, but Barbarian manages to tag out and in comes the Warlord. Demolition just kicks the shit out of Warlord to the point that “he can’t even swallow,” but Barbarian runs in and turns the tide with a swift kick to the head. Fuji attacks with the cane.

-Hot tag comes really quickly here and Smash just goes to town on both of the Powers, and Fuji heads in with the cane, but Ax snatches it and cleans house, getting the DQ. 2 for 6. Demolition just squashed the shit out of the Powers here, which is an issue that I have with this feud in general. The Powers of Pain are big, scary-looking mofos, and it’s not like there’s anything wrong with the way this feud is being booked, but for some reason it just always feels like the Powers never REALLY had a chance in hell.

RUGGED RONNIE GARVIN vs. GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE

-Dick Graham notes that the fans in Philadelphia are chanting “hands of stone” for some reason.

-Having figured out what works for them, they go right to the chop battle. Garvin starts ripping at Valentine’s face and Valentine retreats to the floor. Back to the chops and Garvin gets two. Garvin works the arm but Valentine lays in some forearms and knocks Garvin loopy.

-Valentine goes to work on the neck, but Garvin’s like “Nah, we’re throwing chops” and then switches things up by headbutting the crap out of him. Valentine tries to do his fall-forward splat, but Garvin makes it a point to catch him and prop him back up just so he can beat up on him some more.

-Garvin stomp and a splash for two. Garvin tries a sleeper but Valentine manages to break that. Garvin heads to the top for a bodypress and connects, but Valentine rolls through and cradles him for three. 3 for 7.

PAUL ROMA vs. IRON MIKE SHARPE

-Bathroom time, y’all! Odd thing: Joel Goodheart has disappeared and it’s suddenly Tony Chimel in there to finish out the show.

-Iron Mike hammers Roma with forearms, but Roma sweeps him off his feet and works the legs. Iron Mike fights out and boots him down. Nice backdrop by Iron Mike only gets one while Dick Graham points out that Roma landed feet-first. Bodypress gets two. Iron Mike keeps pounding away with the brace, but Roma reverses an Irish whip, and a missile dropkick finishes. Short and inoffensive. 4 for 8.

WWF TITLE: “Macho Man” RANDY SAVAGE (Champion, with Elizabeth) vs. BAD NEWS BROWN

-Savage’s entrance theme plays and plays and plays and he doesn’t come out. So Bad News grabs the mic and shits on the Philly sports teams to kill time. Bad News suggests that Elizabeth is giving the head usher a blowjob, which is enough for Savage to finally charge down there and strangle him with his cape.

-Brawl goes to the floor but just as quickly Savage throws Bad News back in and connects with a top rope axehandle. Bad News clotheslines him down and follows with headbutts. Bad News throws Savage to the floor and pretty much right at Elizabeth, then starts chasing Elizabeth around the ring, having not learned his lesson from the other two times that somebody’s done that tonight.

-So Savage ends up sending Bad News into the post and the brawl goes back into the ring. Ghetto blaster misses and Savage sprints upstairs to finish, but Bad News catches him coming with a shot to the gut for two. Bad News tries going aerial, but Savage slams him to the mat and goes to the top again, but Bad News rolls out of the way of the flying elbow! Bad News picks Savage up off the mat and Savage just cradles him immediately to end it. What a weird finish. Even Dick Graham seems to just shrug as he calls that finish. 4 for 9. Bad News hated this feud and I can kind of see why, as this was just all over the place and they never found anything to do. They just took turns.

4.4
The final score: review Poor
The 411
A perfectly "eh" evening of wrestling.
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