As many of you are aware, WWE Network is pretty packed with all sorts of content. And as you may also know, we here at Place to Be Nation love long term, in depth projects. So, as part of this initiative, JT Rozzero, Chad Campbell, Jason Greenhouse, Scott Criscuolo & Dan McGinn are starting in 1975 and are planning to watch the entire offering of the WWE Network chronologically. They have plotted their course and after watching each program, they will share their thoughts, notes and recommendations with our readers. So, settle in and enjoy this epic ride through wrestling history!
Run Time: 45:29
Chris Adams vs. The Mongol
Chavo Guerrero vs. Jimmy Garvin
Kamala vs. Tom Renesto & Bill Rathke – Handicap Match
David Von Erich & Iceman King Parsons vs. Michael Hayes & Buddy Roberts
JT: I really liked the Jim Garvin vs. Chavo Guerrero match. Chavo came out fiery and really frustrated Garvin, who kept having to bail and regroup. He mixed in a few nice flying spots too and the crowd was all into it. After Garvin’s offense, Chavo battled right back into it and landed some sharp, crisp punches to the grill. I didn’t even mind the draw because it established Chavo as a real threat in the promotion without hurting Garvin’s heat.
Chad: Chavo vs. Garvin was a perfectly crafted match to round out the meat of a wrestling show. it featured great heat, superb character work and both guys taking their time to develop their story for the match. Garvin has a limited move set, but he has maximized every ounce of it in 1983 and it is again a breath of fresh air. I actually liked a non finish for once as this match going to a time limit draw was a perfect way to show how Chavo completely frustrated Garvin but yet he was unable to put him away.
Jason: There was plenty of star power on this card. I’ll go with Chavo and Garvin this week. Chavo’s move set was very unique and something that we really haven’t seen yet in World Class. Jimmy Garvin is an absolute heat magnet and the draw will in no way damage him at all.
Dan: On a loaded card, I’ll go with the Chavo/Garvin bout but only by a whisker over the main event and the opener. This match was fun and really opened my eyes to how good Chavo Sr. was back in the day. Garvin had no answer for Guerrero’s innovative offense and it fit in perfectly with his character to keep rolling out of the ring to take a powder. The draw was fine by me because these ten minutes just flew by in this fun little match.
Scott: Easily the main event as Iceman is finally getting involved in some major storylines instead to taking out the usual humps in the lower mid-card. The other stuff was real fluff, although I did like that Chris Adams was bringing an apparent feud from a previous promotion (The Mongol) into World Class with him, kayfabe or otherwise.
JT: I will go with Kimala just destroying Rathke and Renesto. He moved around the ring really well and just bounced between the two, smacking them over and over with aggression. I loved when he just no sold Renesto hammering him on his back. Mercer calling his opponents “bothersome creatures” sums it all up.
Chad: Chavo was pretty sweet here as the babyface against Garvin. He wasn’t upstaged by Jimmy’s antics and kept to his gameplan to the delight of the crowd. The middle portion of the match featuring the headscissors allowed Chavo to mix things up in different ways but the match was never boring.
Jason: Kamala beating this piss out of Renesto and Rathke was lots of fun. Devastation Inc. is filled with monster heels and this might have been the best performance from one of Akbar’s boys so far. 1983 Kamala is simply awesome!
Dan: To echo my previous statement, I’ll say Chavo again here. The guy just flat out brought it against the former Texas Champion Garvin. I loved his variations of the head scissors and his acrobatic flip coming out of the corner while luring Garvin into a surfboard submission was simply breathtaking. All Garvin could do was scream and all I could do was gasp with delight from my recliner.
Scott: While many younger fans consider Kamala a big joke, in his heyday he was a monster heel all over the country and this handicap squash he delivered proved that. This was a great performance and a great way to put his character over as a monster.
JT: I was surprised that Mongol really ate up most his match with Chris Adams and then only lost because he chucked Adams over the top rope. It wasn’t like a desperation type intentional DQ to make Adams look strong. Odd booking choice for someone they seem to really be behind.
Chad: I will agree with everyone else that I didn’t know who The Mongol was and was shocked at the level of competitiveness he gave Adams in the opener.
Jason: I was surprised that Chris Adams didn’t steamroll over The Mongol. An over the top rope DQ finish is fine in some situations, but was the wrong booking decision here. If you want to build Adams up as a star, one Sweet Chin Music to the mush of The Mongol should have finished him off. Every stable needs a weak link and The Mongol should be that in DI.
Dan: I’m surprised how little Adams sold for Mongol. Akbar’s newest charge, with the “peculiar Mongolian haircut,” has been built up to be a dominating monster. But anytime he seemed to have the upperhand on the former British champ, Adams would quickly shake it off like it was nothing and go back to work. On another note, how many superkicks can one man uncork in less than ten minutes? Don’t get me wrong. Mongol still looked impressive by constantly coming back on the relentless Adams, but it’s not like he hurt the man until his unfortunate tumble from the top rope. Just bizarre.
Scott: I echo JT’s theory about Chris Adams. Coming in fresh as the new guy he probably should have won this match clean and instead won cheap. Very strange indeed.
JT: I actually don’t really have any this week. I guess the Adams/Mongol finish could slot here as well.
Chad: Tom Renesto was an old school name that I was interested in seeing in the twilight of his career. I was let down to see it was Jr. and that his job tonight was effectively to get his ass kicked every which way from Kimala.
Jason: It’s very disappointing how much Armond Hussein’s stable has gone down hill. His crew of ham and eggers is quite depressing to see.
Dan: I’m disappointed in the fans. C’mon Texas! You can chant other things! It’s allowed. “Go Home Freebirds,” “Go [INSERT GOOD GUY’S NAME] Go,” and “Bundy is a pig” are all nice and all, but you can do so much better! I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard a “We want Hayes” during the main event but I’m expecting more out of the Sportatorium.
Scott:I was actually disappointed that Jimmy Garvin didn’t win that match clean against Chavo Guerrero. He was the more over worker, unless they were planning a rematch in a cage or such other stipulation. When watching these matches in a vacuum it’s tough because you’re not sure what happened on either end of the timeline. Garvin was more over, and he should have won the match.
JT: The Mongol looks like he was picked out of a truck stop diner in Abilene; Chris Adams has really nice fire in his offense; Bill Mercer keeps saying “Chavo Guerrera”; That said Chavo cuts a nice promo; The Jim Garvin prematch strip show is always quite a scene; “The Man with the Huge Ego”; Mercer stating that Sunshine is looking for another spanking made me double take; Kimala has the most robust gear and look in the whole promotion and as a result his match prep takes a while; Lots of Devastation, Inc. hype and heat building on this show; I like seeing Parsons in a team with a Von Erich as it mixes the feud up a bit; Also neat seeing Garvin backing the Birds just to shit on DVE; The crowd heat in the main event is fantastic, natch; Garvin clubbing DVE with his camera to give the Freebirds the win was a nice touch
Chad: That Texas title is so dingy looking. Also, man am I sad that Jimmy Jam lost the title. What did Garvin say that got bleeped out. Sunshine continues to be a great vignette to round out the entourage with Garvin. I also thought it was awesome that Sunshine gave Garvin a lot of encouragement in the waning moments of the match. Mercer really wants to spank Sunshine. Garvin’s promo gets cut off rather abruptly. If Friday is the only one that handle Kimala, why do they need Akbar? Those Freebirds outfits remain swank. We also get some new technology from Jimmy Jam. Main event was really fun and well paced too. I got to side with Jimmy as David taking a swipe at Sunshine for no reasons was rude.
Jason: Adams and The Mongol was quite the slop fest and it wasn’t Chris Adams’ fault. The Mongol has a great look, but he sucks in the ring. Fred Sinclair’s all red referee attire is something else. Sunshine taking off Garvin’s ring shorts on her knees was the most 80s moment of the episode. Garvin asking how his hair was after getting roughed up by Chavo made me laugh. Bill Mercer’s “Sunshine is a cloudy day right now” was as cheesy of a line as it gets. KIMALA(?) Renesto and Rathke are the most generic 80s jobbers to date. It was nice to see the Freebirds’ Oregon Duck trunks back. David and Parsons gelled pretty well for such an odd couple team. I’m officially on the King Parsons bandwagon. His charisma has been his strong point, but his work work has come a long way since his debut.
Dan: I’m sorry. I couldn’t observe anything else on this show since I fell asleep waiting for all of Kamala’s gear to come off. And speaking of gear coming off, Garvin’s little strip show was the precursor to the risque events in the Attitude Era. Anyone else notice the Code of Honor before the Chavo/Garvin match? I’d like to thank Chavo for letting us know how cowboys came to be in his prematch interview. Time for Adams to hit the weights. He barely lifted Mongol off the ground for that truly awkward looking bodyslam. Seeing Rathke and Renesto almost makes me yearn for the days of Checkmate and Magic Dragon. Almost!
Scott: How David Manning could wear those all-red referee outfits is beyond me; It’s strange they didn’t put Chris Adams over clean on Mongol and had a stupid DQ; He’s easily the lowest on the Devastation Incorporated food chain; the microphones near the ring are way too loud, as whenever someone hits the ring it booms very loud and kills Mercer’s commentary; I’d like to think that Hussein’s crew of losers are finally dispatched and we are down to two heel stables
Consensus Best WWE Network Match to Date: Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich (Christmas Star Wars, WCCW 12/28/82)
Consensus Worst WWE Network Match to Date: Ivan Putski vs. Baron Von Rashcke (Madison Square Garden, 6/27/77)
JT: I really enjoyed this episode and it showed up the increasingly strong depth of the promotion. For a while things were getting thin, but an influx of talent has helped beef things up a bit. The matches were all solid and they showcased some new stars, strong mid carders and the main event feud with really no wasted time. Even Mercer had a pretty good night here. The Freebirds/Von Erich feud continues to boil and DI keeps gaining momentum and the overall business is looking good in Texas. Final Grade: 6.5/10
Chad: Really solid show this week for WCCW. Good matches, hot action and some character development too. It was nice to see the Birds pick up a victory. Final Grade: 7/10
Jason: This was a very enjoyable watch. I can’t get enough Jimmy Garvin, David Von Erich and Freebirds during this project. The star power in Texas is incredible right now. I’m scratching my head a little over what’s going on with Chris Adams. Welp, off to the barbershop we go to all get matching Mongol haircuts. Final Grade: 6.5/10
Dan: I really liked this episode after a few stinkers in our previous efforts. Adams and Mongol looks like a hot lower card feud. Chavo instantly looks like a top-of-the-card talent and has already mixed things up with both Bundy and Garvin. Meanwhile, the gorgeous one has his sights set on regaining the Texas title over David Von Erich. Devastation Inc. is heating up and looking for new challengers for the horrifying Kamala. And the Freebirds are still the Freebirds. Not much to hate on this episode though I could have gone for a Kevin Von Erich sighting but you can’t win them all. Nice bounce back Fritz! Final Grade: 7/10
Scott: I liked this episode for the new talent coming in which they desperately needed as well as the strong main event with KVE teaming with the Iceman against the Freebirds. They really needed to ditch Hussein’s bunch and move on. Having the Freebirds and the burgeoning Devastation Incorporated was enough of a heel stable bunch. In fact it was more babyfaces that were needed, not heels. Overall a fun episode with only the Chris Adams result in question. Final Grade: 6/10