Saturday, April 14, 2007

Tag Team Wrestling

You already know YouTube is wonderful. I spent another of those wonderful evenings a couple of nights ago perusing some of the wrestling-related channels on YouTube and came across a few crackers, strangely enough all of them tag team matches:

Rob Van Dam & Sabu vs. Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas (ECW Hardcore TV, 1996)

This absolutely blew me away. The premise was that Van Dam and Kroffat had had a match on TV a few weeks previous which I think had gone to a disputed finish or something of that nature, and they'd now been put into a dream partner tag team match. Kroffat of course picked his regular All Japan parter Doug Furnas, and Van Dam went with the curious choice of Sabu, a man he'd be feuding with for the majority of the year.

The main story is that Van Dam and Sabu still despise each other and won't even tag each other, rather just slapping each other and at one point, Van Dam will only accept tags using his boot. It's tremendous fun as they visably bicker with each other the whole time and get in each other's way but really take it to the Can-Am Express with their unique offensive stylings and devil may care attitudes. Furnas and Kroffat manage to hold it all together in a really compelling way, busting out the All Japan ring work to tremendous effect.

Eventually all the big spots built up to a real crescendo that just completely drew me in and I had no idea who was going to win. Apparently, neither did Paul Heyman since he booked a 20-minute draw but that just added to it because it tells you that you've done something right when a match with a drawn finish still gets a standing ovation. Post-match, Van Dam and Sabu continue to bicker yet still throw out a challenge to Kroffat and Furnas for a rematch. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for that one. ****

Man, Sabu & Van Dam were such a great team in 1996, and things only continued to be this great with their series against The Eliminators later in the year.

The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner) w/ Tazz vs. 2 Cold Scorpio & Chris Benoit

Fuck yeah, suplex city!

The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner) vs. Cactus Jack & Abdullah The Butcher (WCW, 1992)

The Steiners throwing Cactus Jack around sounds like all kinds of fun but this just ended up being a short, nothing happening TV match. Really, I don't remember much about it at all apart from The Steiners won and Cactus brawling with Abdullah post match. Take a pass.

The Horsemen (Ric Flair, Arn Anderson & Paul Roma) vs. NWA World Champion Barry Windham & The Hollywood Blonds (Stunning Steve Austin & Flyin' Brian Pillman) [WCW Saturday Night, 03.07.1993]

Two weeks before Beach Blast and even Paul Roma looks great! Well it's actually more a case of everyone else being so fucking great and on-form that he can't help but be brought up to their level. In fact, it might even be Roma's finest ever outing.

I wonder why WCW never put him and Hercules back together? I always liked Power & Glory and while I guess they couldn't use that name, they could still bill them as Roma and Hercules. Paul Roma & Super Invader doesn't have the same ring to it though. Maybe Hercules was busy in Japan with the Jurassic Powers (another great name) at this point?

Anyway, this match is long, this match has a ton of heat, and this match is just really, really fun. (In case you couldn't tell, I wrote most of these reviews ages ago, and I'd not finished it. Since I can't remember what I was going to write, why not just watch the fucking thing?)

D-Generation-X (Triple H & Shawn Michaels), CM Punk & The Hardy Boyz (Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy) vs. World Tag Team Champions Rated-RKO (Edge & Randy Orton), Mike Knox, Johnny Nitro & Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms [WWE Survivor Series 2006]

This was just tremendous fun as the babyface team took around just 10 minutes to wipe out the heels like they were nothing. Which, isn't such great booking when you've got two of your top heels and tag team champions co-captaining the side on the arse end of things, not to mention one of your brightest prospects (Nitro) and another champion (Helms - though it's not like the Cruiserweight strap has ever meant much in WWE-land.)

Still, there's some tremendous crowd reactions (re-united Hardy Boyz, the 'WWE Universe' going batshit crazy over newcomer and former ROH star CM Punk), and Shawn Michaels superkicking ECW's Mike Knox into oblivion and brushing it off, asking the rest of his team who he was and if he was even in the match is good for a laugh. And it's the babyfaces giving the bad guys a whitewash. Sometimes it's just nice when the good guys win, you know?

Edge and Orton as the slimy heels, realising their world is crumbling around them and just making a run for it before being dragged back and finished off properly is also a great touch.

And again, here it is:


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