Friends. I have returned. Yes, I am back at my station here on the starship Cageside. (I'm sorry, I've been watching a lot of Star Trek TNG the last couple weeks.) Last week I was moving, and wound up unable to fulfill my Deep Cuts duties. But now we're back. And this is a grab bag sort of week.
Let's get to it!
Davey Boy Smith & Pedro Morales vs Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine (WWE Old School - Boston Garden 4/26/86)
This was supposed to be a WrestleMania 2 rematch between the British Bulldogs and Beefcake/Valentine, with the Bulldogs having won the WWF tag title at the Chicago (well, Rosemont) portion of that show. Gorilla and Lord Alfred Hayes inform us that Dynamite Kid had to travel to England for an illness in the family, so former WWF and I-C and tag champ Pedro Morales is subbing in for what is now a non-title match. Morales was past his prime.
Hayes notes that Brutus has come into his own and is now seen as the stronger half of his team with Valentine. I refuse to agree. Hayes also adopts Gorilla's habit of calling Beefcake, "Beefer."
This is a decent match. I'd never seen it before and I felt like adding something kind of weird, so I decided to give it a run. Johnny Valiant eventually gets involved and helps his team get the win.
Macho Man Randy Savage vs Ted DiBiase (WWE Saturday Night's Main Event #15)
This has some great Vince & Jesse commentary, with Ventura pointing out that McMahon used to hate Randy Savage and Elizabeth, but he always said Savage was a great competitor, which is true. But Vince counters, "I've always been fond of Elizabeth," while admitting Savage is another story. Then Ventura wonders "which Dave Hebner" this referee is, and Vince replies, "There can be only one real Dave Hebner! He's been finger-printed now, Jesse!" Wrestling is so awesome. It's little moments like that that always remind me.
For Savage-DiBiase matches, this beats the hell out of their WrestleMania IV tournament final, though they did some better post-Mania IV stuff than this one, I think. They were both on top of their game at this point, though, and this is pretty exceptional for the WWF of the time period.
Ventura: "The referee's asking if he pulled the hair, like DiBiase's going to say, ‘Yeah, referee, I pulled the hair.'" I'm telling you, Ventura smoked Heenan as a color commentator, with all due respect to Heenan. Ventura was the absolute best.
Shane Douglas vs Ron Simmons (ECW Hardcore TV #92)
This match is built around Ron Simmons having a "fractured shoulder" courtesy Dean Malenko, though he pretty clearly, even by wrestling standards, isn't injured, and certainly does not have a fractured shoulder. But eventually they're, like, oh man, these moves with the arm, these are limiting Ron Simmons, and his bid for the world championship could go awry. It does, as eventually referee Jim Molineaux has to stop the match because Simmons is SO INJURED, and 2 Cold Scorpio is out to be, like, "Ron, you're TOO INJURED right now!" So Douglas retains his title.
Rey Mysterio Jr vs Yuji Yasuraoka (WCW Slamboree 1997)
Yasuraoka had made his WCW debut on Saturday Night the night before this show, and here he got a cruiserweight title shot. Then I think he never appeared in WCW again, but he might have been on Worldwide or something. I'm not 100% sure. But this was one of those random cruiserweight guys that just showed up and didn't stick around long, and had the one big match. Yasuraoka would retire about two years after this, meaning he and his partner, current star Tomohiro Ishii, would have to vacate the WAR junior heavyweight tag belts. Then, according to Wikipedia, he became a motorcycle mechanic, because he likes motorcycles! That's neat. It's always good to do what you love and get paid for it. This is a really good match even though the crowd isn't too wild about it - Rey and Yuji do some really good stuff here, have a logical, hard-working match, and the fact that the audience isn't familiar with Yuji just is what it is, I'm not trying to act like that's harming MY enjoyment of this match. This is well worth watching as a minor, pretty forgotten WCW cruiserweight closet classic of sorts.
Val Venis vs Rikishi (WWE Fully Loaded 2000)
This is a steel cage match for Val's I-C title. Venis had just cut his long, terrible, stringy, weird hair, in favor of a sharp new short ‘do, having won the belt with the help of Trish Stratus, who enlisted Val after Rikishi stuck his ass on her face, or stuck her face in his ass, however you want to see that situaish. This match is probably best remembered for Rikishi's 400-pound dive from the top of the cage, but it's a really solid midcard cage match that didn't need to be a cage match other than it gave Rikishi a chance to dive off the top. Rikishi was a very good wrestler in his best years, and Val Venis could be great in the ring when he got the chance. They have solid chemistry and put on a good match that most people forgot about by the middle of the next night's RAW.
NEXT WEEK: Return to a theme! U PICK!