Tuesday, May 26, 2015

WWF Wrestling Challenge June 28th, 1987

June 28, 1987

From the War Memorial in Rochester, NY

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

Tonight's featured match is Greg Valentine vs. Raymond Rougeau. Also in action are the Can-Am Connection and Randy Savage.





Dave Stoudemire vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth

Before the match, ring announcer Mel Phillips introduced Mr. T as the new enforcer of the WWF. He got a decent reaction here then tries to shake the hand of Savage, who turns his back on him, to the amusement of Heenan. The match begins as Savage immediately attacks Stoudemire. He slams him down then goes up top for the flying elbow smash and that gets the win (0:35). Savage did not even remove his shades here.

Thoughts: Easy work for Savage here. The big story from this match is that Mr. T is back in the WWF as an "enforcer." This did not last long.



Wrestler's Rebuttal with Craig DeGeorge. He is with the Junkyard Dog, who tells us that his new catchphrase is "fightin' and a bitin'" before he teaches DeGeorge how to juke. Same old routine from JYD, who was past the point of usefulness here.



Greg "The Hammer" Valentine w/ Johnny V. & Dino Bravo vs. Raymond Rougeau w/ Jacques Rougeau 

Match starts with Valentine taking control as we are shown an insert promo from Brutus Beefcake, threatening to cut the hair of the New Dream Team. Back to the match as Vaentine stops a comeback with a knee to the gut then works the leg. Valentine heads up top but Raymond slams him off then gets a nearfall with a sunset flip. Bravo trips up Raymond from the outside and that sets off Jacques as he runs in and breaks up Valentine's Figure Four as the match is ruled a no-contest (3:12). The teams then brawl for a bit.

Thoughts: This feud continues although it is not particularly exciting or anything.



Gene Okerlund is with Hercules. He asks him about Bobby Heenan as Hercules tells us the Heenan Family has never been stronger. He also says that he has never been stronger and that Ken Patera will pay for what he did to Heenan. Decent enough promo from Hercules.



We are now shown the first "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase vignette. This was originally aired on the 6/27 edition of "Superstars of Wrestling." He is in his limo holding a stack of money while he tells us that he can buy happiness, love, and even by any of us before introducing us to Virgil, who is driving the car. DiBiase then suffers a paper cut from flicking through his money as he orders Virgil to take him to the hospital, where he cuts ahead of everyone after giving the nurse $300. DiBiase then tells us that the nurse did what everyone watching would have done as she had her price, just like everyone of us has too. Great introductory vignette. This character was an awesome idea for a heel and these would continue on for the next several weeks.



Can-Am Connection vs. Terry Gibbs & Jimmy Jack Funk

Zenk starts the match by working the arm of Gibbs. The match breaks down as Zenk gets tossed but comes back in to help Martel take down Gibbs with a sunset flip. The Can-Ams then send Funk to the floor with a double dropkick as they take control of the match. Funk clotheslines Martel behind the referee's back then tags in and gets two off of a shoulderbreaker. Martel blocks a suplex and hits one of his own as both men are down. Zenk gets tagged in and runs wild then Martel holds up Gibbs as Zenk connects with a missile dropkick and gets the win (3:47).

Thoughts: The crowd wasn't that into the Can-Ams here but to be fair it was the final show of the taping and they looked burned out. Plus, this taping did not exactly produce the most compelling TV in WWF history.



King Harley Race & Hercules & "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Don Driggers & Mario Mancini & ?????

I have no idea who the third guy is on the jobber team. He never even tagged in here.  Before the match, Heenan cut off ring announcer Mel Phillips to introduce Orndorff as he has his own entrance in an attempt to re-establish him into the company. Match starts with the heels tossing around Driggers. Mancini tags in and gets clotheslined by Orndorff, who shortly after that puts Driggers away with the piledriver (2:12).

Thoughts: This was designed to put over the Heenan Family as a threat while spotlighting Orndorff and how he is ready to be a threat again to the top of the card.



Craig DeGeorge welcomes Mr. T, who is the new enforcer in the WWF. Mr. T tells him that he has been preparing by chopping trees as DeGeorge tells Danny Davis to look out. Nothing you haven't seen before from a Mr. T promo.



"Cowboy" Frankie Lane vs. "The Outlaw" Ron Bass

Bass tosses Laine to the floor then we hear Bass in an insert promo talking about his whip, Miss Betsy, and how he wants to use it to humiliate people after he beats them. Back to the match as Bass is beating the crap out of Laine for a bit until he hits the Texas Gordbuster for the win (2:35).

Thoughts: Dull and the crowd sat on their hands for this one. Bass wasn't a bad worker at all but he seemingly bored the crowd to tears in this match.



DeGeorge is with Slick and "The Natural" Butch Reed, who says that Superstar Billy Graham does not have the body or the mentality like he does as he runs down Graham further for being old and broken down. They are looking to start a Reed/Graham feud.



Clips of the Hart Foundation vs. Killer Bees match from the 6/20/87 edition of "Superstars of Wrestling."



Okerlund is with Billy Jack Haynes, who talks about the grand opening of his new gym in Oregon. Okerlund then asks him about his workout regime as Haynes tells us that he works out 1.5 hours a day six days a week. He then asks him about his feud with Hercules as Haynes tells Hercules what goes around, comes around, and is not ranting and raving like a psychopath this time as he wants to settle the score with Hercules once and for all. A calm Haynes almost worries me more than a screaming psychotic Haynes.



In action next week will be Jake Roberts, Brutus Beefcake, and the British Bulldogs



Final Thoughts: The Million Dollar Man vignette was cool and the Mr. T as an enforcer angle was intriguing. Plus, they established that JYD and Orndorff returned, which is fine, but they were past their primes. The WWF was trying to get things going at this time but a lot of plans got derailed one way or another.



Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Jerry Lynn
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/4/87
Saturday: RoH Beating the Odds 9/6/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/5/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/11/87


102 comments:

  1. That's alright. I won't be spending my $$$ on that.

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  2. R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.May 26, 2015 at 6:38 PM

    Wow that kip up was...not really a kip up.

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  3. Adam "Colorado" CurryMay 26, 2015 at 6:38 PM

    That's an odd one. It should have been SO much better, but you kind of have to accept it for what it is. Still a really good match though.

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  4. Going back and watching NWA tv from 88-89 it becomes obvious that Flair was big on paying dues. When he said that Sting and Luger had not paid the price it comes off like a work-shoot. This is my opinion but I believe he only wanted to work with guys that he believed had earned it.

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  5. Well that was...polarizing lmao

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  6. Bret-Perfect solidified Bret as a rising star; Brock going over Rock in '02 would fit this profile as well.


    One could also argue for 1997 producing D-Generation X.

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  7. R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.May 26, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    Bret-Bulldog. That main event helped usher in the workrate centric era of the mid-90s that led to a long period of prosperity.


    No...I'm lying.

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  8. This is the point where the lack of a healthy territory system start to become apparent. The territories were not quite dead yet but there were very few places besides the WWF and Jim Crocket Promotions where a wrestler could make any real money. The few remaining territories were good places for a young wrestler to make a name for himself in the hopes that one of the big two would notice but they were not good places for veterans to have a fresh start and make any real money doing.

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  9. A lot of castoffs from Mid South and World Class were coming in at this time.

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  10. I still think Orndorff should have stayed in WCW/NWA in 1989 and been the Black Scorpion.

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  11. 1 and a half hours, six days a week sounds...kind of inadequate actually.

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  12. Really? Serious question and no spread of mocking intended...what do you think is an adequate amount of time @ the gym?

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  13. Pedantry alert: that's the second DiBiase vignette. The first is him buying the public pool and kicking all the kids out of it.

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  14. Crockett made a major play for Valentine in 1988, wanting him to take the then-vacant spot as 4th Horseman. That led to Greg being reunited with Jimmy Hart and getting a renewed semi-push with his "Hartbreaker" brace.

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  15. That one aired the following week on Superstars

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  16. Man...I don't get that at all. Like I like Greg V a ton...but as a Horseman?! I guess I find it tough to imagine him in that lifestyle.

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  18. Can-Am Connection. I wonder if Tom Zenk looks back and says "fuck."

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  19. Never overtrain! Work smart. I doubt these guys in the 80s worked that smart though.

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  20. Valentine as he was presented pre-1986 or so would have been a perfect Horseman since he was pretty much presented as a fancy robe wearing, hard partying technician. I do think the pairing with Bravo and his later presentation as a blue collar tough guy did really hurt him in the long run. With the arguable exception of the Ronnie Garvin feud (I enjoyed that feud), Greg Valentine did not do anything memorable after 1986. He was better off leaving once the Dream Team ran its course.

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  21. Zenk had a pretty good career after the Can-Am Connection. He might have some regrets but I don't think leaving the WWF was one of them.

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  22. Adam "Colorado" CurryMay 27, 2015 at 5:49 AM

    Go chug an 18 pack of dicks.

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  23. Hour and a half... on glutes.

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  24. These reviews are always fun; takes me back to the time when I was watching 6 days a week and enjoying the vast majority of it. Now I read the recaps and... well, that's about it.

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  25. #PONDERHOSS?

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  26. Honestly, I don't know. I figured it would be longer to get the cartoonish 80s physique.

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  27. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 27, 2015 at 6:54 AM

    Charles Barkley: That's just turr-ible.

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  28. WWE owns their facts. If this is the new history, then it's your duty as a fan to re-learn it!

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  29. But WHERE did the TANK fit into this battle?!

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  30. I flicked through the WWE50 book a while back, and opened it straight to a page where it said something like "Sting wins the WCW World Title from Kevin Nash, April 1998" and it was a picture of Sting holding up some trophy while Nash stood looking on, looking thoroughly undefeated. There were so many things wrong there. I'm sure the book was full of that stuff.

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  31. It's like time is going backwards!

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  32. Extant1979 - Extreme SuperstarMay 27, 2015 at 6:58 AM

    I would not be surprised to discover that WWE licensed that out and never saw half of the final product on that.

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  33. AverageJoeEverymanMay 27, 2015 at 6:59 AM

    With shades of their titanic struggle at Wrestlemania III fresh in their mind, Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan battled in Shea Stadium in 1980.

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  34. André StenzelMay 27, 2015 at 7:00 AM

    Easy: The went to Japan during that feud, so they wrestled first at WM 14, went to Japan, came back earlier and won the Tag Titles! Hulk Hogan approves!

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  35. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 27, 2015 at 7:03 AM

    Everyone knows the time difference in Japan is 8 months ahead.

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  36. I'd give it an 0.3 on the Sin Cara Penis Shirt Scale.

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  37. That's nothing! My WWE desk calendar doesn't even mention Benoit at all!

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  38. Jushin Liger is a 6 time WWF champion.

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  39. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 27, 2015 at 7:06 AM

    Who the fuck are you talking about?

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  40. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 27, 2015 at 7:06 AM

    We just don't know it yet?

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  41. After not appearing in a televised wrestling program since the last Nitro in March 2001, "The Vigilante" Sting appeared in a WWE ring for the first time at Survivor Series 2014.

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  42. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 27, 2015 at 7:08 AM

    All these pictures of Shawn and Austin, and they look like they're the same height.


    Shawn must be wearing lifts, or Steve already has serious spinal scoliosis.

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  43. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 27, 2015 at 7:09 AM

    That's fair.

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  44. Yeah, the actual text likely only had to make it through the person who wrote it and a proofreader who was looking for spelling and grammatical errors, not factual ones. Beyond that, it was likely only looked at for typeset/placement/color/legibility/etc.

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  45. To be fair, I'd take that over "he wrestled in half-full high school gyms and 1/8th full minor league baseball stadiums wearing a moob-hiding t-shirt."

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  46. Hulk Hogan writing in his first autobiography that he won his first world title at Wrestlemania I was a pretty bad one. I know if they actually fact-checked the book it would never have even been published, but still.

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  47. Are there only 29 days in June?

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  48. And in 1999 at Wrestlemania XV Bret Hart won the world title back from Austin in a submission match and then he founded the Hart Foundation to feud against the Nation of Domination while DX went to WCW - with a tank. ;-)

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  49. You make a point to hire people who AREN'T wrestling fans, this is the shit you get.

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  50. I have this calendar on my desk at work and almost emailed you about it. It irritates me yesterday when I got to this date on the calendar.

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  51. 1/8th full? You need to look at those photos again. 1/16th full more like it.

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  52. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbRUTHGLu9s

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  53. Isn't that the year that Bruno Sammartino threw down the WWWF title and declared they were no longer a wide company?

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  54. There would also have been fans who remembered the Flair/Valentine tag team.

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  55. Whoever sent this to you needs to make this a daily ritual... fact-check each day's "fact" and send the false ones in so we can all mock them. When we hit 20 items, WWE should send the blog a fruitcake.

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  56. The picture isn't loading for me on my work network for whatever season - what am I missing here?

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  57. That's what I thought - strange that he didn't get mentioned as the obvious answer to that question. Ambrose is floating around in that "potentially going to break through" spot as well.

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  58. WWE is now rewriting history so that Shawn Michaels didn't retire between 1998 - 2002.

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  59. Someone call Doc Brown.

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  60. Eh, I'd be fine with that one. Because, you know, fuck TNA.

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  61. I'm embarrassed for you that you have this calendar at work.

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  62. Was it the same person who said WrestleMania 3 was in 1986?

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  63. Basically it say mania 14 was in 97 not 98

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  64. Is this worse than nwo sting on the sting dvd cover?

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  65. He was on hiatus!!!

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  66. To be fair, when I was a kid and reading WWF magazine and such, they were laden with errors like this.

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  67. Ah, so it's just a typo? I thought it was going to be along the lines of a picture of Benoit captioned as HHH or something!

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  68. Doctor FunkopolisMay 27, 2015 at 8:24 AM

    Everytime he won it, when came to America to defend it? He traveled so far back in time that he was no longer champion.

    A shame, really.

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  69. It shows Austin and Shawn staring each other down in the ring, with a caption saying they joined up to defeat Owen & Bulldog for the tag titles in 1997 after Wrestlemania XIV.

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  70. In addition to his history with Flair, Greg had that Ole Anderson "grumpy guy who likes tearing limbs apart" vibe.

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  71. How 'bout a fruit basket instead?

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  72. Today's date in 1989 Hulk Hogan vs The Big Boss Man from SNME in a Steel Cage!--from the calendar.

    One of my all time favorite SNME episodes.

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  73. Let's be honest, the Can-Am Connection, as popular as they were, was Tom Zenk's ceiling in the WWF, whereas in WCW he won a few tag team and midcard single titles while there. He was a good hand who could be counted on to pop the crowd early in the card. He was never going to be more than that.

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  74. Not just a typo. Wrestle mania XIV occurred after their tag team title reign, so they didn't have those issues plus Michaels went on that hiatus after XIV.

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  75. That's why Barry Allen needs to stop ripping through time!

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  76. Glad you enjoy them. I hope to keep them going for as long as I can.

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  77. When was this? Cause in the 80s and early 90s, they were pretty damn accurate with everything (except ignoring other promotions existed).

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  78. I could totally see it, although his character/role could've been too similar to Flair's. Valentine always struck me as a guy who would've fit better in JCP than with Vince, in spite of all his successes in the WWF. The cartoonier the WWF got, the less Valentine seemed to fit in. His meat-and-potatoes approach lined up perfectly with what worked in Atlanta.

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  79. 1984-85 Valentine would have been a great Horseman fit.

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  80. It says something about Shawn playing Steve's skeleton like a xylophone, but he strikes the same
    rib in succession, yet he produced two clearly different tones. Are we to believe, that this is a magic xylophone, or something? Ha
    ha, boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.

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  81. The New Dream Team sucked. Bravo was an awful association for any wrestler.

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  82. sdvdsvdsvsdv

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  83. Theberzerker, #1 HUSS CHOMPIONMay 27, 2015 at 9:25 AM

    This presupposes the notion that WWE gives a fuck at all about their history, or about any wrestling history in general.

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  84. Couldn't agree more.

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  85. Bulldog was gone by Wrestlemania XIV as well.

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  86. They did have a great match at King of the Ring while tag champs.

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  87. Yeah, Valentine was his best in the WWF during the 1984-86 when they were still a Northeastern promotion trying to go national when the product was relatively grounded. I loved the Garvin feud because it did seem like a JCP feud, although the stuff with the shinguard was a reminder that you're watching the WWF.

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  88. And he remains a hugely popular star even though a lot of us are resigned to not ever having him around on a regular basis again. (Although how awesome would it be if he became just an occasional commenter for a couple of years to heal up, and then did a Terry Funk-style ambush on a newly-minted top babyface in his moment of triumph?)

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  89. Agreed. The problem with the Garvin feud (other than being a couple years too late) is that it felt like something just to keep a couple of lower mid-card guys busy. They were probably the two most out-of-place guys on the roster at the time. Like you said, it would've been a better feud (with a better story) in JCP.

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  90. I neither "constantly bitch" about it nor do I watch it every week! I watch all the specials (and usually like them more than most of the blog) and I'll go back and watch any especially good-sounding matches or segments from Raw. I have no angst about WWE right now, just so-so interest.

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  91. Look at Daniel Bryan. He went from embarrassingly-booked dork in NXT to finally getting over by attacking Michael Cole (and the whole firing-and-rehiring thing giving him some mystique), to strongly-booked US champ, to jobbing cleanly to Sin Cara in 3 minutes more than once (despite being MitB holder), to biggest thing in wrestling. There's always a chance for guys who are just really good at the various aspects of getting over in pro wrestling.

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  92. The CanAm Connection was hotter than anything he ever did in WCW, and it's impossible to say what might have been had he stayed in the WWF the whole time. Would anyone - and I mean ANYONE - had ever thought HBK was going to become an all-time great while he was with The Rockers?

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  93. Touche! Good point. As for Shawn Michaels, while I never expected him to reach the heights that he ultimately did, I always felt that he stood out more as a talent and had an overall better physical presence (charisma) than Marty Janetty.

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  94. It was a death note on a pole match. It was the only way to win

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  95. looking back, I don't know that I felt the same way. Michaels always came off as a kid, he was juuuuust a little chunky, never really said anything great on the mic....how much of that was a lack of opportunity vs one big learning curve, I don't know.

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  96. Well don't I feel fucking stupid.

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  97. They had a rematch next year. Light showed up with a robo-heart he got from that sweet sweet free Canadian healthcare

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