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Obscure Wrestler Lightning Round

Good afternoon Mr. Keith.  When we hear "One of the Greatest matches of all time", there is a lot of usual suspects.  But i'm curious on a couple childhood favorites of mine that I wonder if I ever even seen their greatest match.  Indulge me:

None of these would be particularly “obscure”, I’d say. 

Greg Valentine

Most of his really great stuff came pre-WWF.  The dog collar match with Roddy Piper at Starrcade 83 would probably be the concensus pick, although he had some tremendous tag matches with Beefcake against the British Bulldogs.  There’s a really great one on an early SNME. 

Tito Santana

The IC title match with Mr. Perfect on SNME is likely his best major televised match.  The cage match where he regained the IC title from Valentine in 85 is also a hell of a deal. 

Rick Martel

He had some really good ones as AWA champion, but nothing I can remember vividly off-hand. 

Bam Bam Bigelow

He had some awesome ones in Japan.  A tag match with Vader against the Steiners comes to mind. 

Big Bossman

Probably the Hogan cage match. 

Demolition

I don’t think they ever had a definitive great one.  Against the Harts at Summerslam 90 or against the Rockers on SNME were probably their best. 

Jake Roberts

Most of his great ones were in Mid-South, well before he made it to the WWF.  Can’t think of a great definitive one off-hand.  Best from his WWF run would have to be the Randy Savage match at Tuesday In Texas, but even that was really short. 

Rick Rude

The Masa Chono NWA World title final is actually shockingly great. 

Sid Vicious

Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series 96, and it’s not even close. 

Andre The Giant

Probably something from Japan, although I’m blanking on specifics. 

Comments

  1. I watched a 1981 Andre vs Stan Hansen match on njpw world a few nights ago and it's hands down the best Andre match I've ever watched.

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  2. Bam Bam v RVD where Rob takes the TV title is great. Also Bret v Bam Bam at KotR 93.

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  3. Martel's best run nationally came in 1998 WCW before he ruined his knee. I remember a great one vs Booker T specifically.

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  4. Rude's best match is the Iron man Match against Steamboat in 92 WCW. He had so much heat that you couldnt hear his opening promo.

    Rude/Warrior from SummerSlam 89 is his besr WWF match.

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  5. - Valentine had a number of crazy awesome matches with Tito Santana in the WWF. That's one of the better and more underrated workrate feuds in the history of the company. The dog collar match may be the pick, though, of stuff that we have on tape. Oh, and the 1-hour draw with Backlund from '79. Of course we have almost nothing from his team (and feud) with Ric Flair and there's doubtless great stuff there.


    - Tito, see above. He also had an absolutely terrific match with Paul Orndorff from the early-expansion St. Louis tapings.


    - Martel had an AWA title defense against Jumbo in Japan (not the title win) that's really good, and another title defense in Green Bay. Tons and tons of solid-to-really-good matches. But the very best I've seen is a Winnipeg match against Bockwinkel (8/16/84). One of the better AWA matches of the decade.


    - I think the Steiners match is a little overrated, but it's still good. Vader and Bigelow had a bunch of solid matches as a team but no standout MOTY types. I think my favorite Bam Bam match is the Texas Death Match against Lawler way early in his career. He also dragged out one of the better matches RVD ever had.


    - Boss Man was surprisingly awesome holding up in 1993 All-Japan as Terry Gordy's replacement as Doc's partner. I also like the Spring Stampede Vader match over the Hogan matches, as good as the cage bouts are.


    - I think the Demos had a better match with the Rockers in MSG in '88 or '89 than the SNME bout, since Ax >>>>> Crush. The SummerSlam 2/3 falls match is pretty overrated.


    - Jake's best Mid-South match was against (gasp) Flair. Also had awesome matches with Dick Slater and a TV title tournament match with Terry Taylor. Best WWF match is probably the heel vs. heel SNME match with Savage, or the Boston Garden match with Steamboat.


    - Agreed on Rude. Best stateside matches are SummerSlam '89 against the Warrior and the ironman match with Steamboat.


    - I don't know any other candidates for Sid (besides WarGames '91, but I think big multi-man clusterfucks are against the spirit of the question).


    - Andre vs. Hansen is a Match of the Decade, not Match of the Year contender. He also has a tournament final against Killer Khan (4/1/82) that's about as good.

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  6. The Amazing GamecockFebruary 28, 2015 at 8:33 AM

    Sid Vicious vs. The Top Rope was a brutal match.

    Also why no Roman Reigns hate in this post?

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  7. Agree that Rude/Warrior from SS 89 was his best work.

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  8. I never heard of this obscure wrestler named "Andre the Giant". Was he famous or something?

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  9. I know this is kind of a silly pick, but I think the definitive Big Boss Man and his greatest work was the Jailhouse Match against The Mountie at SummerSlam 91.


    Also, I know this is kind of crazy, but I thought one of his best matches was against The Barbarian at Royal Rumble 91. Delightfully good.

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  10. That name is badass...Killer Khan.

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  11. Stranger in the AlpsFebruary 28, 2015 at 8:40 AM

    Turd Ferguson on Celebrity Jeopardy: "Who is Andre the Giant?"

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  12. I never really thought that dog collar match is a great a everyone says. I know I'm in the minority on that one though. I think martel was on the other end of Stan Hansen's "Fat wife and 9 kids" promo which automatically makes him immortal.

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  13. If he went around calling himself a giant all the time, Andre'd be a lot less obscure

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  14. Roman Reigns' best match ever?

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  15. For Singles? Last Sunday.
    If we include the Shield matches it's basically the flavor of the day with those six mans they had from 2012-2014.

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  16. Singles: against Bryan

    With The Shield: TLC match.

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  17. The Amazing GamecockFebruary 28, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    I was a Martel fan back in 98'. We also thought Booker T was amazing and when those two wrestled for the TV title it made my week.

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  18. I never understood the whole el matador experiment. It's as if Vince was trying to embarrass Tito.

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  19. According to the Observer, Rey Mysterio wants $20,000 per wrestling appearance. Is there any indie that can actually afford that?

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  20. Isn't Lucha Underground financed by a pretty wealthy money mark? And I imagine he'd take a pay cut to help out his buddy Konnan.

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  21. Who knows what the hell goes through that old lunatic's mind. He probably thought he was giving Tito some love by giving him a new gimmick while trying to appeal to the Latino audience.

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  22. The Amazing GamecockFebruary 28, 2015 at 9:09 AM

    Just watched it. Holy shit. Just brutal.

    Every wrestler should take notes on how to sell the simplest move, and how to make a simple story out of it.

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  23. To be fair, the OP never claimed these guys were obscure just that they weren't the "usual suspects" which to be fair when discussing the best matches they've watched most people won't mention Sid, or Andre.

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  24. Andre's work in Japan is really good.

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  25. How much AJ orders?

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  26. ROH maybe.

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  27. "What does College Basketball do better than the NBA?" Stephen A: "NOTHING." Somebody had to say the truth.

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  28. Even in the 80's, the mags didn't like Martel. On the cover of one of them, the caption was "The AWA Saves Martel's Title Again!"

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  29. I think Rey's doing that by design. Price himself out of the general market so he doesn't have to bother with fly-by-night promoters wanting him to come in and do his big spots in an auction barn in front of 150 people.

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  30. His first program with the gimmick was against Ted DiBiase, so it SEEMS they genuinely thought it'd get him over.

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  31. March Madness >>>>>>>>>>>>...>>>>>>>>>>>>...(I could go on)...>>>>> NBA Playoffs.

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  32. I was going to type that in as well - although the Network showed a match yesterday between them from Japan which was none too shabby either.

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  33. Love that promo!

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  34. Yes on both accounts.

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  35. Two different matches actually. The Ironman(which I agree is his best), was at Beach Blast. The opening heat was at Superbrawl II, which was a great match by itself. . . .

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  36. "The SummerSlam 2/3 falls match is pretty underrated."

    FTFY. :)

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  37. I love that Martel got that short run before retiring. As The Model he didn´t really shine from a workrate perspective, aside from maybe vs Razor and Tito.

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  38. Well this was in the same time frame as Saba Simba. . . .

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  39. Bigelow also had two choice matches with Tazz in ECW.

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  40. Those matches are a little underrated.

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  41. College basketball has really fallen for me. It's stunning how incompetent some of the offensive sets are and how many guys just can't shoot.

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  42. That's a trick question, there's no such thing!

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  43. JJ Dillon came up with the name "Saba Simba".

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  44. Those two dives that RVD did from the top rope into the crowd were insane.

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  45. I noticed that. I didn't read Apter mags in the 80s but sometimes when I would read about Martel's title reign in the 90s (maybe it came up during an article on Stan Hansen or something), they were pretty blase about him.

    Was that an industry sentiment? Did people think Martel was undeserving of a world title?

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  46. That kinda makes sense. After all, when I think of a guy who is very knowledgeable of African folklore, the first dude I think of is JJ Dillon.

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  47. I don't get why that would be. Most people call it the "best Demos match ever" but it's really kind of a mess, and the idea of Ax and Smash being indistinguishable is insulting.

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  48. Martel was booked so badly and ineffectively as World champ that even modern-day WWE creative would shit over it.

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  49. Having him beat Jumbo Tsuruta instead of Nick Bockwinkel seems like getting off on the wrong foot.

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  50. That spot where Hansen beat Martel for the title, trapping him in the corner with his head on the turnbuckle so Rick couldn't power out of the Boston Crab was pretty cool.

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  51. I remember a match on TV that Valentine had against Slaughter before WMVII that was pretty good.

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  52. Well ok, I guess it's a mixture of nostalgia, a pretty well-worked match, a hot crowd and drama that makes me love it so.

    I agree on the silliness of not bring able to tell the Demos apart. It's stupid.

    And also, that the announcers won't clarify the 2nd fall being that the ref decided to call it as a pinfall when Crush stopped his hand from slapping three. Alas NOT a dq call. So the title-change that way was never in doubt.

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  53. Expanding to more than 64 teams seems like one of the dumbest moves you could possibly make at least from a Canucklehead who doesn't watch.


    I mean who gives a possible shit about teams 65 & 66 who didn't make it?

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  54. Why cant people just call him Scott? He seems like a very aproachable person. Mr. Scott sounds like a 54 year old algebra teacher.

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  55. I'm an unabashed mark for the Rude/Warrior IC title match from SummerSlam. In addition to the match quality (to me, a solid ****), that's the match where Jesse Ventura goes NUTS on Schiavone for insinuating everything outside the ring was legal. "YOU'RE DUMBER THAN MONSOON!" always gets me.

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  56. Martel was compared to Flair (NWA Champ) and Hogan (WWF Champ), so that hurt him. He wasn't as charismatic as Bockwinkel had been. Most of his matches featured him winning in screwy fashion.

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  57. So if he shot him it would OK, because it happened outside the ring?!?!?!?!

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  58. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 28, 2015 at 10:20 AM

    I don't think ROH pays their guys anything close to that.

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  59. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 28, 2015 at 10:23 AM

    I was at that show.

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  60. If someone paid him $20,000 to do his big spots in front of 150 people, I'm sure he'd do it. Any wrestler who would turn down big money to wrestle in front of a small crowd is a fool

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  61. While I don't think it was one of his best matches, I was always fond of the Rude/Warrior cage match from Summerslam 1990. Likely because it was one of the few tapes I had when I was younger, so I watched the hell out of it (along with Survivor Series 1990).

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  62. Martel-Santana had an AWESOME match on SNE late in 89 I think. Fantastic stuff.


    As for Bossman - his work with Vader in 94 was great.

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  63. I believe AJ's rate is $10,000. Rey is a far bigger name than he, so that makes sense on that level.

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  64. Tito has claimed in shoot interviews that Vince was deciding between him and Bret Hart as the guy to give the world title too as this steroid stuff hit. Both had been very loyal, but Tito had been kind of a jobber despite his great resume - so hence the gimmick.


    I've never heard it confirmed tho that Vince was deciding between Tito and Bret, I always just assumed Bret kind of fell into being the right guy at the right place at the right time.

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  65. Bam Bam vs. Spike Dudley needs a mention.

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  66. Anyone think Michael Xavier was in the crowd for Hogan Appreciation Night at MSG and shed tears when the banner went up?

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  67. What in the hell were people on in the 90s? That show Home Improvement was absolutely, offensively terrible. Every character on that show needed to be fed to tigers.

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  68. Oh, probably. It was either him or that zealot talking about how awesome that Hogan-Big Show match in Memphis was a few years back.

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  69. He seemed like a guy who had a point to prove, I really wonder how far he could have pushed that run because he was absolutely on fire.

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  70. The bigger question isn't can anyone afford to pay $20,000 for Rey. The bigger question is whether Rey would make the promoter $20,000 more than he would have made otherwise.

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  71. That show was a MASSIVE hit and no one talks about it at all in any kind of reverence. Nothing good, nothing bad...just meh.

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  72. Tim Allen used to run coke on the 80's. He knew things about people and used that to blackmail them into watching his show.

    When he got that sweet, sweet Toy Story/Santa Clause money he let them off the hook.

    Obviously.

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  73. He's Uncle Scotty.

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  74. Jill Taylor may just be the worst sitcom wife in history. Even Peg Bundy gave her husband more credit. Motherfucker has his own TV show, and brings in enough money to not only own a nice house but also can afford to buy and restore old cars, yet that rancid bitch always dogged him out and put down his job in front of their children?! Man, no wonder the neighbor never showed his face. Id be ashamed too if I lived next to such a harpie.

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  75. I've never believed that story at all. Bret was a protected upper-carder who was among the top five best wrestlers in the world and had just headlined Summerslam in a five star match in front of 80,000 people. He was on the way up somehow.

    Tito hadn't had a big PPV win in years and had been beaten like a drum back in a day when losing on TV was a big deal. He was WAY past his glory days.

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  76. To be fair, he did blow up a lot of shit in the house, thus putting the family at constant risk.

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  77. Same thing they were on the 00's when 2 And A Half Men was on?

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  78. Valentine; april 1985 Maple Leaf Gardens with Beefcake v Tito/Steamboat


    Martel; feb 1990 Madison Square Garden v Red Rooster


    Andre; may 1989 Boston Garden beating the crap out of Big John Studd, and MSG 88 lumberjack match v Duggan

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  79. one time, she got mad at him because he drove her new bullshit british car she wanted and was legit featured on the front page of the local paper

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  80. Very true...he did have that Wile E Coyote vibe about him at times.

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  81. Bossman vs Vader at Spring Stampede is a great super heavyweight match

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  82. Boss Man seemed to be really on his game in 1991 in general.

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  83. "that -IDIOT- Joey Marella!!"

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  84. Scotty doesn't know

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  85. Progeny nerd

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  86. Skeptical nerd

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  87. Debra Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond get my vote for worst sitcom wife. Her resentment of her husband, not to mention his family, was alot worse.

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  88. I can't believe the rspw match of the year for 1990 was Harts/Rockers from SNME and not Perfect/Santana.

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  89. Took the words right out of my mouth.

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  90. God, I hated her so much. But I also wanted to have sex with her.

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  91. "Obscure"

    "Andre the Giant"

    Ok then

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  92. She was the worst. I always felt like the writers of the show were sexist against men.

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  93. It was a great match but by the end of 94 I was so sick of that feud.

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  94. Boss man's best match was against Barbarian at Royal Rumble 1991. Bank on it

    Demos and Rockers had a great match on the SNME before Summerslam 1990.

    Jake I think his best was either on SNME heel/heel with Savage or at The Big Event with Steamboat.

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  95. Almost every episode followed the same formula:
    1) Opening scene of TOOL TIME, where Al gets to say "I don't think so, Tim" and Tim screws up using the tool he is supposed to be promoting (how he kept his job as a tool pitchman is anyone's guess)
    2) CONFLICT happens, resulting in Jill being mad at Tim
    3) Tim works on his hot rod in the garage to blow off steam and his kids offer bad advice
    4) Following his kids' advice makes CONFLICT worse
    5) Tim goes in the back and talks with Wilson, who offers sage (but obvious) advice
    6) Tim talks to his wife and completely mangles what Wilson says, but manages to smooth it all over.

    In short, Wilson always knew the antidote to Jill's bitchiness, so he should've just started banging her and let Tim kill himself by misusing a power saw on Tool Time, or something.

    I know sitcoms are generally formulaic, but I NEVER saw a sitcom that was more formulaic as Home Improvement

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  96. In his book, he said that Vince wanted some kind of African warrior character for Tony Atlas. Dillon said that he had gone on safari a few times and knew a little Swahili so he came up with Saba Simba which means Seven Lions. If you believe Dillon, basically any gimmick from about 1989-1995 or whenever Dillon left was a result of Dillon, McMahon and Pat Patterson just throwing shit against a wall during marathon booking sessions.

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  97. Someone wake Bayless up.

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  98. It's funny how shows like Full House, Boy Meets World, Friends, and Seinfeld are constantly in reruns, but Home Improvement is rarely, if ever, on despite being a huge ratings hit.

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  99. "The Canadian Blogger" Scott Keith

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  100. That match with Barbarian was pretty great.

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  101. HI and Seinfeld came out around the same time. Seinfeld occassionaly breaks in the Top 25 weekly syndicated shows and HI is sometimes played on Nick at Nite. So Home Improvement hasn't stood the test of time.

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  102. He was in this indie movie called "The Princess Bride." I might be wrong, but I don't think it was a hit.

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  103. Carrie Heffernan from King of Queens was the worst. That was essentially a wacky sitcom about an abusive relationship. She constantly nagged and belittled her husband, expected to be treated like a queen while doing almost nothing for him, and never appreciated that he had to put up with he crazy father living in their basement. Plus half the episodes were about him having to deal with awkward situations she got them into with her smart mouth.

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  104. Carrie's one of the rare believable cases of a smoking hot girl ending up with a fat dude because Doug is probably the only person on Earth that could put up with her without an eventual murder/suicide.

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  105. Except Jonathan Taylor Thomas He bested Bob Backlund.

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  106. Maybe "that way*

    Not it

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  107. Agree on all 3.
    The Roberts match from The Big Event gets overlooked. That show as a whole had some good matches but for god knows what reason they didn't use Jesse on commentary, and had Johnny Valiant and Ernie Ladd with Gorilla. Kind of killed the whole deal for me.

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  108. This is the correct answer.

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  109. With a tear in his eye of course. :)


    If Tito broke in 10 years later than he did, he would have been 8-10 time IC champion. I can't picture Tito as WWE world champion the same way I can't see Ziggler as world champ.

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  110. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 28, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    I just put the afternoon thread up.

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  111. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 28, 2015 at 12:23 PM

    Does Ray's mother count? She was a neurotic bitch and made they show unwatchable.

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  112. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 28, 2015 at 12:24 PM

    Outside of the crowd surfing I don't remember a single thing about any of their matches.

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  113. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 28, 2015 at 12:28 PM

    Not in the U.S., well, maybe TNA. Rey wouldn't get over too well with indy crowds I'd bet, ROH fans would probably boo him out of the building.

    Now AAA or EMLL? Then it would probably be worth $20k.

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  114. I see your Jill Taylor and raise you Debra Barone.

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  115. Yeah but at least she got REALLY good looking at one point.

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  116. Heidi was hot.

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  117. Round 1: Bam Bam murders Spike, Spike lucks into win.
    Round 2: Bam Bam murders Spike, then MDKs the little runt. Spike does not win.

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