This Week in 90’s Wrestling: January 11th – 17th

JANUARY 16

1990

The UWF ran a show at Budokan Hall in front of 15,000 fans headlined by Akira Maeda taking on Nobuhiko Takada in a ***3/4 match. Amazingly, nearly 12,000 tickets were sold the date they went on sale. The Maeda-Takada produced many great matches, especially one in November of 1988 that is one of the best matches of the 80s, but this was a step below their previous matches. Have no fear, as they rebounded in a big way in another matchup over the summer. On the undercard, Yoji Anjoh and Kazuo Yamazaki squared off in a *** match and Yoshiaki Fujiwara defeated Tatsuo Nakano to set up his main event against Maeda in Osaka the following month.

1992

The USWA ran quite the house show at the American Legion Building in Kennett, MO, headlined by Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett taking on The Moondogs in a wild ****1/4 brawl that spilled all over the building, leaving Jarrett in particular with some nasty gashes down his arm and on his back. In one spot, Lawler attempted to shatter one of the Moondogs with part of a broken glass. Everyone involved took some hard bumps in a chaotic scene.

1993

SMW aired footage from earlier in the day where the Stud Stable and Heavenly Bodies were cutting local promos and Jim Cornette refused to do the promo next to the Stud Stable as scheduled. Things were heated between the two teams, and Cornette and the Bodies delivered a fresh interview in front of the crowd to address the situation. They were interrupted by SMW Commissioner Bob Armstrong, who announced that the Rock & Roll Express would defend the SMW tag titles in two weeks against either the Bodies or the Stud Stable. Tom Pritchard, who had been using a loaded boot gimmick at the time, was warned by the commish that his actions were being investigated and that he would be watching his foot, which prompted the great line from Cornette: “Keeping an eye on a man’s foot? Who does he think he is, Mel Phillips?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBUrcL-OUXE

USWA TV aired highlights of a match between Jeff Jarrett and Brian Christopher on the January 11 Mid South Coliseum card where Christopher defeated Jarrett to win the Southern title after a series of run-ins. The matches between the two were receiving a decent amount of praise at the time, and thankfully we got a complete match given plenty of time on television a few months later.

Doink the Clown took a dark turn on WWF Superstars by attacking Crush with a cast in a shockingly violent beatdown that culminated in Crush being stretchered out of the arena. While the WWF received rightful criticism for being so cartoonish at this point in time – with Doink often cited as an example of them going overboard – the early version of the character was a brilliant, scary and almost too dark heel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAqDNsTpq5c

WCW Saturday Night was home to quite the angle in an attempt to get Erik Watts over, as they aired video of him signing a fan’s autograph at a gas station in Charlotte, NC, when Arn Anderson showed up and attacked him out of nowhere. After a brief scuffle, Watts locked Arn in the STF until the cops showed up and arrested both guys. Also on the show, the Hollywood Blonds were interviewed in the WCW Up Close segment and challenged Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas to a two-out-of-three-falls match. Set aside the nonsensical “Loose Cannon” gimmick — this is the best heel promo you will ever see from Brian Pillman. In the main event, Ricky Steamboat faced Dustin Rhodes in the final round of a tournament to crown a new WCW U.S. Champion. The title was vacated when previous champion Rick Rude went down with an injury. Barry Windham interfered and gave Steamboat a DDT on the concrete after a ref bump without Dustin’s knowledge, and Dustin won the match and title by countout. The show did a strong 2.8 rating.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2azkuh_wcw-saturday-night-january-16-1993-part-1_sport

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2azp04_wcw-saturday-night-january-16-1993-part-2_sport

1995

Joey Styles hyped the newly renovated ECW Arena on television before bringing out Stevie Richards, who was dressed like Scotty Flamingo. Stevie claimed the previous week that he would have Johnny Polo on television this week, but he was repackaged as (The) Raven. In an attempt to explain away his previous more comedic gimmicks, the story was that Scott Levy had a few rough months that changed him on a personal level. The show included a video set to The Offspring’s “Come Out And Play”, which would be his new entrance music.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5lnaz_ecw-1995-01-07-raven-s-ecw-debut_sport

WWF Monday Night RAW was headlined by a Bret Hart vs Jeff Jarrett main event, with William Shatner in Bret’s corner to offset The Roadie. The show did a 2.6 rating, and you can watch it on the WWE Network.

1999

All Japan ran Korakuen Hall, and FMW mainstays Hayabusa and Jinsei Shinzaki (better known as Hakushi to WWF fans) defeated Tamon Honda and Jun Izumida to win the All Asia tag titles in a ****1/2 match. When All Japan’s weekly television slot was reduced from one hour to 30 minutes, it was the undercard that suffered the most, as there was rarely enough time to air their best matches. This match was released commercially and certainly raised the question about what other buried treasure may have been hiding outside of All Japan main events.

Sean Stasiak returned to Jerry Lawler’s house during Power Pro Wrestling and attempted to break in once again. This time, Lawler blindsided him with a garbage can and the two brawled in the backyard, with Lawler giving Stasiak a bodyslam on the leafy grass in a cool spot. Stasiak then started a fire in a pile of leaves and they heavily teased a Lawler barbecue until Bill Dundee pulled up out of nowhere in a Lincoln Towncar and chased them away with a rake. Oh, dear sweet Memphis wrestling.

House Party ran to a sellout crowd at ECW Arena in a show headlined by the Dudley Boys taking on Public Enemy, who were dropping by for a cup of coffee before leaving for the WWF. Also on the show, Taz pinned Shane Douglas in a rematch from Guilty As Charged six days earlier, Super Crazy and Tajiri had one of their first matches against each other and Sid made his debut in the ECW Arena to big fanfare, defeating Skull Von Krush.

In The “To Watch” Queue:

Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Tatsuo Nakano (UWF 01/16/90)

Atlantis, La Fiera & Dos Caras vs Mano Negra, Bestia Salvaje & Scorpio Jr. (CMLL 01/16/96)

Megumi Kudo vs Bison Kimura (Jd’ 01/16/97) (Part 1) (Part 2)

Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka & Hisakatsu Oya vs Yukihiro Kanemura, Jado & Mr. Gannosuke (FMW 01/16/98)

Hiroshi Hase vs Masahito Kakihara (AJPW 01/16/99)

Toshiaki Kawada, Akira Taue & Masao Inoue vs Kenta Kobashi, Jun Akiyama & Kentaro Shiga (AJPW 01/16/99)